Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Pyromancer » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:37 am

steve98052 wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:47 pm
The company name sounds a bit funny to me; I don't think of mist as something that rises, more like just drifting slowly.
Of course mist does rise, preferably from meadows.
But I wouldn't invest in a business that uses mist as a metaphor for profit. It rises very slowly, and not very high.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:04 pm

Rising slowly and steadily can be a sign of stability and longevity. And as for how high, maybe they only want to reach a certain point so they are a viable acquisition. Maybe The Company Whose Profits Rise Like Mist wants to be acquired by a bonafide Aslan megacorporation, thereby increasing their fame and honor. See? You can make just about any metaphor good if you just look for the positive. :)
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Bardicheart » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:09 pm

Unless said mist are clouds on the side of a mountain, in which case you could say the sky literally is the limit. :wink: .oO(Geez that sounded Zen :lol: )
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:51 pm

This thread has moved to close to the bottom of the page, so it's time to revive it with an overly wordy post:

Revolution on Acrid. . .the more mercenaries, the better!

So where were we?

The bloodshed has abated for the moment at PDQ Acrid. Our heroes used explosives to collapse the backside of the security ring tunnel, and both sides have makeshift defensive positions on the front side, and also at their respective entrances to the main terminal “Grand Central Station”.

The travellers held a quick meeting with the leaders of the miners, either in person or via secure comm for those trapped in their residential quad, and quickly came to the following decisions:
- The miners have enough portable equipment in the mines to fairly quickly dig a tunnel from the security ring into the residential quad, thereby connecting the two separate groups of allied travellers and miners, so that process is immediately started.
- Next they quiz the miners for knowledge regarding the facility and the citizens and security forces.
o Do the citizens have their own equipment that they can use to dig new tunnels? “Well, we don’t know why they would have mining equipment up in their fancy citizen quarters (they do), but there are certainly those among the citizens who have worked their up and would know how to use the gear.
o If we try to dig our way into position for a surprise attack, will they know we are coming? “We’ll, don’t know why they would have that kind of scanning equipment up in their fancy citizen quarters (they do), but they would certainly know how to use the scanners if they do.
o If they try to do the same to us, can we detect them before they break through? “We have lots of scanning equipment down in the mines that we can use to detect new tunneling activity. “ By god, go get it, and have teams continuous scanning every level of the residential quad (once you get there) and all other areas we hold!

So with that settled, back door access is finally achieved to the residential quad, reuniting the surviving Vespexers and Junior, with Chad, Leroy, Hima, and the rest of the crew. The travellers quickly decide that the PRQ forces almost certainly have another way to get into the bio dome quad and therefor all the food beyond the couple of days supply that the miners have in their quad already and what the travellers brought with them (which was a lot, but we’re talking about 5,000 miners to feed). So that’s a problem.

The scanners are set up, and quickly detect signs of multiple tunneling operations, but none immediately close to their positions. (PRQ knows the miners can detect any new tunneling activity, so they are using their gear to make a few tunnels in areas that could conceivably be points of attack, all in an effort to distract the sensors from their actual planned counterattack, a tunnel into the miner’s residential quad. Given PRQ’s superior numbers in terms of experienced troops, an undefended breakthrough could quickly lead to a rout).

Communications are established with the local PRQ Citizen leadership. After a few insults and accusations are exchanged, the Travellers offer to allow any and all citizens and security who wish to leave the facility safe passage to the GeDeCo port. “We control the exit, the skies, and space.”

PRQs official response: “None of those things will keep you from starving”. Point. Counterpoint.

Next effort is to establish a dialogue with GeDeCo. GeDeCo’s local exec, the Starport Director, is open to a dialogue but far too experienced to be seen taking sides. She agrees to facilitate safe passage for any non-combatants who have the means to purchase passage off planet. She also agrees to allow use of the Starport’s medical facilities for the treatment of wounded. A GeDeCo shuttle meets the heavily damaged PRQ SDB, now under control of the travellers, and offloads its seriously wounded and radiation sickened crew. Their condition has the effect of turning some GeDeCo personnel against the travellers, but hey, war sucks.

GeDeCo’s director also agrees to arrange for a secure meeting at the GeDeCo downport should the combatants wish to sit down and talk. She makes it clear that they will not take sides, but they will defend GeDeCo interests vigorously. The traveller’s again pledge to not interfere in any way with any ships or commerce entering or leaving the system or the GeDeCo facility.

To that end, the travellers are denied permission to enter or land/dock at the Highport or the downport. They travellers aboard Rao’s Revenge are contacting star ships as they enter the system from jump space, trying to recruit more crew members. Should have thought about that one ahead of time. They are also looking to purchase food, but little speculative traffic comes through the Borderlands, and the margins on foodstuffs don’t pay a tramp trader’s bills.

After the initial flurry of post-shooting activity, another leadership meeting is held, this time in the residential quad. Our travellers and their allies are well positioned with everything except food, which will be critical within two days. They decide to send the Mendina to Tanith, a garden planet with a significant interstellar traffic, to place orders for imports of food. This requires a minimum of two weeks, of course, but that can’t be helped. The Mendina is going instead of sending messages via other ships, as she can prepay in cash for several deliveries, lowering the risk that traders might not want carry low value cargo into such an uncertain situation. Mendina’s cargo hold can carry significant amounts itself as well. The basic deal is that Acrid will pay for food with equal amounts of basic raw materials (if they can get the smelter going) or uncommon raw materials (if they can’t). A good deal for any trading vessel. Word is also sent on the first available trade ships heading to Arunisir, Cordan, and Umemii. One actually has a lot of choices for food close to Acrid.

The Tanith system also has the advantage of being home to Pylkoe City, with its many mercenary companies. (Mongoose Third Imperium Supplement: Borderland Profile: Tanith). The travellers don’t trust the inexperienced miners to hold their ground alone, and the lack the manpower to both support the miners and capture the smelter, which is on the PRQ space station. This station is currently embargoed by the travellers, and is also running low on food, so its capture may just be a matter of time, but more troops seems like a good idea regardless. Four members of the B team: Alaina, Gemma, Junior, and Benedict, along with two NPC gunners they picked up a month or two ago, depart on the Mendina

With the medium term solution to the food situation underway, a short term solution is needed. Everyone goes on ½ rations to stretch the food to four days. Odds of buying significant amounts of food before the Mendina’s return are low, so that leaves one obvious answer: The bio quads controlled by PRQ security. PRQ has to know this as well.

The travellers make their plan: Drill multiple tunnels, one at each of the of the security ring for diversionary attacks, and several into the top level of the bio quad. The top level of the bio quad is a couple of levels lower than the top level of the residential quad, and is picked because it is easier defended once taken. All assault tunnels are rigged to be collapsed if need be, indeed that is the plan for the diversionary attacks. Multiple tunnels are started into the bio quad under the assumption that PRQ can hear them coming (correct).

Good tactics rolls mean the food fight, which takes place two days after the initial assault, begins according to plan. The diversionary attacks in the security ring are well defended by regular PRQ security forces and get nowhere, which isn’t an issue. PRQ are not fools: they know the real attack needs to be on the food supply, and their elite rapid response teams are positioned accordingly. Two holes are blown into the bio quad’s top level, and Vespexers, behind hasty constructed shields and wearing boarding suits, engage the PRQ forces, who are slightly better armed and also behind their own makeshift defenses.

So with three relatively minor firefights amounting to a whole bunch of nothing underway, the real assault begins: A huge third hole is blown into the bio quad, and Gecko thunders through the breach, driving straight down the center aisle toward the PRQ redoubt, its autocannon roaring (Hey, I said they had a lot of mining equipment! TL 13 tunnel digging is pretty efficient). The lightly armored Gecko and its crew is almost immediately cut to ribbons by PRQ lasers, however.

The crew, fortunately for our heroes, consists of a couple of makeshift dummies, dressed in blood stained PRQ security uniforms, carapace armor, and mining helmets. The Gecko was piloted Porter (Remote Ops 2). Because the autocannon is a simple pindle mount, the remote setup could fire the gun but not actually aim it, as there was no time to build and install a proper remote turret. As the destroyed Gecko crashes into a hydroponic avocado producing area (the guacamole!), several packs of aerosol grenades mounted on its roof are set off by Porter. (the travellers engaged in an ironmongery orgy many moons ago back on Theeve. I don’t think they know what everything they bought did. Someone on the team has spent some time with the Central Supply Catalogue since then).

The aerosol almost completely negates PRQ lasers being fired in the direction of the large breach, through which has now rolled a hastily welded together firing platform, which provides a small amount of elevation and near perfect hard cover for one sniper. Hima: Gun Combat (Slug) 4, Dex 9, firing a scoped gauss sniper rifle (5D damage, AP 6), at what for it is short range. That’s +7 in total. Hima laughs at your hard cover. As the well trained PRQ forces switch to slug rifles and pop back up, Hima picks off the first one (head shot!). Then another. Other traveller and friends forces unleash their competitive advantage in every firefight with PRQ: heavy weaponry, in this case frag grenades. PRQ’s response teams are very well equipped, but they have no man portable or vehicle mounted heavy weapons, and their grenades are limited to baton and tranq grenades: useful in crowd control, not so much in real combat.

The rounds after Hima starts shooting, the PRQ forces are staying behind cover as they fall back. Hima knows he got three of the rapid response members (identified by their combat armor helmets, which did not save them), and the team saw several more security forces go down either injured or dead, but the PRQ teams are disciplined enough to take their dead and wounded with them. The travellers and friends take few injuries, but nothing Sofiya can’t patch up.

The travellers, Vespexers, and miners enter the bio quad’s top level cautiously, searching and scanning for explosives and other traps, and are surprised to find none. Explosives are detected in the corridors moving from the dome back to the security ring and the lifts to the lower levels, but PRQ can blow those all they want. The travellers would actually prefer if they do. Immediately work starts on building/rearranging fortifications, followed quickly by moving stored foodstuffs, and also harvesting the fruit, vegetables and starches growing on the level. Each level of the bio quad was built to be fully functioning on its own, as they were built sequentially as the facility expanded, and in case of power failure or contamination on any one level. So the miner forces, who have 4/5 of the facility’s population, now control ¼ of its food production. But hey, that’s a big improvement over this morning.

Meanwhile, PRQ plans its counter attack, but the citizens are growing more nervous, their faith somewhat shaken. Small groups now talk of asking GeDeCo for safe passage, but citizen leadership silences this for the time being.

Meanwhile, up in orbit, Willow is trying to talk some sense into the PRQ citizens manning their small space station, which is little more than an orbiting smelter. Without supply shuttles they don’t have much food left either. They do have one shuttle currently docked. Willow repeatedly enjoins them to take their shuttle to the safety of the GeDeCo highport. Communications between the station and the PRQ facility on Acrid are difficult due to Artemis’s jamming activity, but those countermeasures cease long enough for the station crew to verify Willow’s claim that the rebel scum have taken control of part of the food supply. Willow also informs the space station crew, as nicely as possible, that there will come a time when her ship is commanded by her leaders to back up her “request” to vacate with a particle beam. She doesn’t want to do this, of course, but she reminds anyone listening that “we always keep our word, both our threats and our promises”. The station crew begins to relent, first asking for a GeDeCo SDB to ferry them off the station. The travellers refuse any notion of GeDeCo docking at the PRQ station, but “we would agree to have any number of GeDeCo or other neutral ships escort your shuttle from the facility”. GeDeCo agrees to provide escort in an effort to keep the peace. The travellers insist that a few of the miners who understand smelting operations are allowed to come aboard the station first, to inspect it for any sabotage. “Should any harm come to our friends, particle beams will be our response”. One very tense nickel tour of the smelters later, the first group of PRQ citizens take the offer of safe passage, abandoning the space station.

The space side travellers dock the captured SDB at the station, and quickly set to patching the ship back together. Manpower for ships remains a problem however. They barely have enough personnel to run the ships they arrived in. They have to decide whether to keep Artemis manned, or to move its crew to the SDB. Artemis is sneaky and its particle beam deadly, but the SDB carries a whole lot more armor, and can launch more missiles than anything this side of the Imperial Navy can handle. For now it’s decided to keep Artemis flying, partially because it has the ability to jump out and fight another day if things go poorly. PRQ’s other SDB, which was undergoing maintenance planet side, is not flyable, as the necessary parts remain in PRQ control.

After all this excitement, on Acrid, Mendina arrives in Tanith system. They jump in close Pylkoe-10, not Tanith itself. Although food is the top priority, it can be ordered via comm, whereas mercenaries are best recruited in person.

Our travellers, unfortunately have made one potentially fatal mistake. A representative from PRQ’s liaison office on Acrid’s GeDeCo highport has arrived first, departing in a PRQ owned ship (via a dummy corporation to disguise ownership) during the initial assault. This PRQ rep is short on details, having not waited around very long, but is long on cash and given full authority to act as necessary in event of emergency, as is typical of any far ranging corporation or government due to the lag in communication times. Mendina approaches Pylkoe City to find some mercs, not knowing that a group of star mercs have already been hired by the opposition. . .
Last edited by Old School on Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Welf » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:13 am

Really great summary of your session. I can't wait to finally start a traveller game wigh pirates of drinax myself - but as if is this will be quits some time in the future :(
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:02 pm

Thanks!
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Baldo » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:15 pm

Enjoying your story so far :mrgreen: , just a couple of questions on minor details:

1):
Old School wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:02 pm
Two proud Vespexers fall dead, another unconscious, and one seriously injured man crawls to cover.
What's happened to the two survivors in Grand Central Station?

2): The Vespexers are natives of Drinax, a Size 4 and Low Gravity world. Acrid is a Size 10, High Gravity world. How they are coping with this crushing (to them) gravity?
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:08 pm

Thanks!

Those injured are recuperating in the medical facilites on site.

Gravity: they’ve been lifting weights for a few months.

Seriously, for the most part I ignore gravity changes, as does most of Traveller. For 90% of game play, gravity is either on or off. To use gravity literally would be to destroy the OTU, as with many concepts if you dig too deeply. The concept that any humans could live and work (in a mine of all places) in a high gravity (1.4 gs) environment for an extended period is hogwash. Walking upright for any period of time would exhaust your body, especially your heart. Its survivable, but not livable.

If you take the traveller rules and the OTU literally, generations of humans living in a low G environment (almost all of them, btw, see below) would grow and function the same as those on earth size worlds. That’s absurd.

I haven't done this for other sectors, look at the population of the Trojan Reach. The worlds that dominate the population are those with population code A (tens of billions). Just using the population totals from traveller map, over 95% of the Reach’s population is on those handful of worlds. And they are almost all small worlds. Which means the vast majority of sophonts in the sector were born and grew up in low g environments. Yet they have no trouble colonizing and working on larger planets? Realistically those people would have a hard time at 1G on a space station or ship, and couldnt survive on acrid.

Note that the authors routinely ignore this as well. Why does King Oleb need three grav belts to lift his fat ass if the gravity of Drinax is only 0.45G? And “Revolution on Acrid”, by a different author, contains 10 pages of detail of the situation on Acrid, and the word “gravity” does not appear in the text. Realistically, if you’re going to fight a war there, gravity would be a huge factor.

So I ignore gravity effects, in order to make the game playable.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:42 pm

Challenging scenario to play out, Old School. How much of it did you have to improv? Seems like it would have been tough to have every detail charted out.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:33 pm

Hmmm... lets see.

At a high level, I spend WAY too much time thinking about this campaign , which is probably why I ddin’t find this session that hard to run.

I figured there would be some combat, so I had a few sheets ready with relevant stats/gear for the regular security forces as well as the elite teams. This was easy as I had prepared similar before the initial attack. It didn’t really matter where the players attacked, I can decide what the defenses are easily from the prepared sheets. The initial assault was a lot more prep than this. I also sketched out the plans and attitudes of both PRQ and GeDeCo. So I knew what the two big organizations were planning and doing while the players made their plans. Sketching out their “character” and motivations (didn’t write much of this down, but gave it some thought) helps me when reacting on the fly.

What I find very difficult is handling important NPC interactions from a blank slate. That happens alot, but I could avoid it here becuase I knew the main NPCs (whether characters of organizations) well enough already.

Some of the player questions about PRQs capabilites (i.e. interviewing the miners) I didnt anticipate and made up on the fly. These players like to think through a scenario before it happens and noodle what might result and what might go wrong, and it shows. I want it to be challenging, but also not use the hand of god to counter their well laid plans. NPCs (in this case the miners who hired them) can gently guide them where needed (and also to mislead them if need be).

I had planned for PRQ to lay a trap for them around the food production, but the remote controlled gecko was such a cool idea I didnt want to ruin it. I’m a softy for a good scene. That trap will spring next time instead, but with less affect.

Could use some ideas for the next session, however. Lots of things going on in the background:
- mendina has jumped into a trap. They are going to get attacked by a broadsword. That is a fight they will lose if they can’t escape. I’m good with this, as it was a huge mistake, but I haven’t decided the details. Mainly how aggresive the broadsword’s captain will be (leaning towards the Hero for the Ship Encounters Supplement), and perhaps more importantly, at what range the action starts, and how far from the 100d limit. Those two stats will likely determine whether they live to fight another day.
-The Lady Miria, which had been loaned to the Gov’t of Hilfer, is on the way, and will arrive in Inurin in a couple of days. It can press on with all haste (seems reasonable), or it can pause at Inurin to see what news arrives from Acrid first (a possible plot device for my use). My call since it is an all NPC crew.
-The Komino, is on its way to report the vault disaster in Byrni. GeDeCo’s plan continued even though my players bailed on the adventure once they got what they wanted. It will be arriving in Acrid soon as well. To what effect?
- I left Marine Salvesdes from the Treasure Ship adventure in PRQ custody while waiting on a Imperial ship to pass through to take him back to the Imperium. So he’s still there, but what to do with him? I may abandon that plot thread for lack of any good ideas, but would like to work him in if it can be done well. As I type this, I realized thst it makes sense for the Komino to pick him up on their way home. So maybe that could be part of the game? But how can I run this in a way that adds to the adventure?

Any ideas are appreciated.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Baldo » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:10 pm

Old School wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:51 pm
Our travellers, unfortunately have made one potentially fatal mistake. A representative from PRQ’s liaison office on Acrid’s GeDeCo highport has arrived first, departing in a PRQ owned ship (via a dummy corporation to disguise ownership) during the initial assault. *This PRQ rep is short on details, having not waited around very long, but is long on cash* and given full authority to act as necessary in event of emergency, as is typical of any far ranging corporation or government due to the lag in communication times. Mendina approaches Pylkoe City to find some mercs, not knowing that a group of star mercs have already been hired by the opposition. . .
Old School wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:33 pm
- mendina has jumped into a trap. They are going to get attacked by a broadsword.
I disagree with your conclusions. It's likely your PRQ rep knows Mendina is crewed by traitorous scum, yeah, but I can't believe he also specifically planned for the coming of this ship and your PCs to Pylkoe 10 (or elsewhere).
Try following the Big Money Power path instead:

1): Once Mendina approaches Pylkoe City, the PCs get under attack by some unlikely enemy (Pelzentin Della, from the Ship Encounters book, works fine), for obscure reasons. However, the enemy *must* flee or die in this battle, keep your players in the dark a bit...
2): In Pylkoe City, they notice two things: few mercenaries around, but much veiled interest in the PCs. Speaking to the locals should result in something like this: "Sorry pal, a few days ago a PRQ chap with enough money to buy Strephon's crown hired most mercs here for something big on Acrid, I heard. Hey, you're new arrivals, what's your ship? Are you maybe... "?
3): More questions later (and once menacing goons start appearing around the PCs), the players finally get informed about the obscene amount of money PRQ is offering for the Mendina and its crew, dead or alive.
4): The PCs leave Pylkoe City, *fast*.

For added amusement, give your PCs the option to hire the single mercenary troop still in the city (because immune to the lure of PRQ money): a big ihatei band out for glory and, most importantly, territory!
And who knows, building relations with this particular breed of mercenaries could also help (or hinder... ) the Ihatei! adventure in the Drinax saga.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:19 pm

Baldo wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:10 pm
It's likely your PRQ rep knows Mendina is crewed by traitorous scum, yeah, but I can't believe he also specifically planned for the coming of this ship and your PCs to Pylkoe 10 (or elsewhere).
Thanks for the feedback.

The PRQ rep didn't plan for anything, he simply took the first ship he could get on from Acrid to the closest spot that is known to have ample Mercenaries: Pylkoe 10 in the Tanith system. The players could have gone elsewhere for food, but also picked Tanith because it's only one parsec away (meaning they can jump out without refueling first if need be) and because it has many mercenaries. They are going to run into a Broadsword hired the day before by PRQ, that is just headed out, bound for Acrid.

So the upcoming attack is very plausible, and more a combination of circumstances than any genius on the part of PRQ. My players conceptually realize that PRQ's natural response is to hire mercs, but didn't think it through.

I do like your adventure scenario, however. It would be fun to play, (especially the option to hire Aslan Mercs) but I don't think we have time for it. I want to move on to other things that are already partially planned out. Four sessions devoted to the Revolution on Acrid is a lot. We'll all be dead before finishing the Campaign at the rate we are headed (although much fun is had, which is what matters). I'll save your scenario idea. . .maybe one day.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Welf » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:13 pm

- mendina has jumped into a trap. They are going to get attacked by a broadsword. That is a fight they will lose if they can’t escape. I’m good with this, as it was a huge mistake, but I haven’t decided the details. Mainly how aggresive the broadsword’s captain will be (leaning towards the Hero for the Ship Encounters Supplement), and perhaps more importantly, at what range the action starts, and how far from the 100d limit. Those two stats will likely determine whether they live to fight another day.
If it is the kind of mistake you say, this encounter should not be too easy for them. But if I understand your last post correctly, they will more or less meet each other by chance. The hired mercs want to jump and don't expect to run right into their target before that, right? Therefore I would expect the mercs to be somewhat baffled the moment their sensors pick up their prey.

First of all: Are the mercs already in space and headed towards the 100d limit?
If not:
They can head out, plot a course bringing them close enough to the Mendina to attack, but might try to mask it as a normal flight towards the jump point. Combat would engage well inside the 100d limit and result in quite the difficult and dangerous escape. Turning around when heading towards the

If they are:
Are the mercs jump point close enough to the entry point of the Mendina or are those points far away from each other? If they are close it might play out similarly as above. If they are a bit away the Mendina will surely realize the merc ship changes course to intercept. Depending on the distance this might allow the Mendina to just jump away before the mercs get in weapons range. Which is not a good situation for them. The mendina will be out of fuel afterwards and they know the situation on Acrid will be really problematic once those mercs arrive. Even if they get out before the mercs attack, and the mercs jump to Acrid right afterwards they might not make it in time to warn the others.

Behaviour of the captain:
I believe it is advantageous to capture the Mendina and the crew alive. It is a potential bargaining chip to get the situation on Acrid under control. Therefore I would expect the captain was told to capture them alive - if possible. Nonetheless a nice bribe might be possible. After all misjumps happen and the mercs arrived just a bit too late.

In my opinion forcing the Mendina to escape is already quite a problematic situation for the players, even without a fight.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby MonkeyX » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:40 pm

Can gravity plates from starships he used on planets to create zero g rooms or even just a normal 1g environment? If so then I guess this can explain the gravity discrepancies a little.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:09 pm

All good points, Welf. Thank you.

You've gotten to the crux of the issue -what do I want the encounter to be? If the Broadsword is still in port when the Mendina flies in, it can just wait for her, and then she's toast. That's only fun if I want the traveller's captured - which is a perfectly valid scenario (they may choose to fight to the death, you never know). Unless I stage the encounter near the jump limit with the ships in range of each other, I'm more or less determining the outcome. They could go for the early jump at -4 DM, but if they do that to avoid capture I'm not sure I'm fudging any rolls for them.

If they have a chance to jump out, I'm giving them a shot, which is what I'm leaning towards, but I don't want them to automatically get to escape either. The Broadsword would follow. I'd likely allow straight dice rolls to determine time in jump. Keep in mind that the mercs have nowhere near complete information - the PRQ rep that hired them left very early in the initial fight. Depending on who arrives when and where post Jump, the Mendina could still be toast, or the mercs could be. The Broadsword is very much outgunned when it arrives.

So there's a chance we could lose a few travellers, but there's also a chance of them acquiring a Broadsword. Any mercenary ship without Radiation shielding will regret its choices upon arrival in Acrid.

You make a great point about the Mercenary Captain as well. While the captain of the Hero as presented may not be the prisoner taking type, it is very much to PRQ's benefit to have captives rather than dead travellers.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Welf » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:14 am

I think you have to decide how many chances you want the Mendina Crews to have, depending how grave the mistake they made was. Personally I don't like to kill of players after a bad decision without somehow making clear, this is a really bad idea. The same goes for single dice rolls killing the whole party or a single player (e.g. just killing them because of a really bad misjump). Instead I try to have them face consequences (those might lead to dead characters, trying to avoid tpks).

If the Mercs don't have a lot of information they might try to get those.
Possibility a) They attack the ship in space, try to capture the crew and get more information.
Possibility b) They stay on the planet, wait for the Mendina to land and try to get the information on the crew there - they might use force or might try a ruse, mimicking interested Mercs (the Mendina is there for Mercs too) that want the big picture before agreeing to work for the characters.

If you want to go for the Hero-type captain, he might keep someone on planet, to strike a deal with the crew of the Mendina, while the Broadsword waits in-system. Or he might just contact them out in space, far off the planet. His deal might sound even more appealing if the Mendina is inside 100d and clearly outgunned by the broadsword.
For the right amount of credits they might jump in to Acrid but are too far off to help in time. Or they agree on a show fight, that "forces" the Mercs to retreat.

I think there is no ideal solution for your problem, but I am sure you can find the solution most fitting for your table.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Kulthea » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:19 am

Old School wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:34 pm
Havent had time to read much, but just stumbled across this:

http://piratesofdrinax.blogspot.com
Hey! That's mine! I didn't realise it was open to the public but very happy to get feedback.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:06 pm

We completed Ihatei! yesterday. A blow by blow might be a little dull, but I'll summarize what our little group of Drinaxi corsairs were able to accomplish:
  • Once bitten, twice shy, the players have learned to be more cautious with their flagship. They never landed the Ghost of Sindal (their name for the Harrier) on Kteiroa, instead landing their Vulture-class salvage hauler on the planet to accomplish their charade as traders and tinkers. They assigned their NPC prize-ship crew to the Ghost and sent it to investigate the asteroid belt while they figured out what to do about the ihatei on Kteiroa.
  • Elis, their captain and pilot, got into a duel with a young tough in the camp. Elis has been fascinated with the Aslan for a while and had gotten cybernetic dewclaws installed on Tyokh. It was close but he won the duel and gained a certain level of notoriety, in some cases admiration, in the camp.
  • The Travellers served initially as tinkers in the camp and managed to get into negotiations with many of the major players.
  • Meeting with Iykhi of the soon-to-be-landless Htyowao clan, they discovered that he would soon have hundreds of ships on Kteiroa and intended to make a move soon. The players attempted to push him toward Arunisiir (where they knew Aslan were already present thanks to their time there during Treasure Ship) or Camoran, the Imperial client state just to spinward. He expressed little interest in either.
  • They made good friends with Utea, the female Aslan in charge of Kteiroa's fledgling starport and ihatei-hosting operation, and committed to obtaining the equipment she needed to upgrade the port (see the mini adventure, "Friends in Dry Places," for more information). Thanks to a lot of their piratical raiding and ship combat victories, they already had a lot of the salvage they needed to help her out. A 60-Mw power plant and fuel refinery were already in their possession. So they're halfway to providing what she needs. The reward will be a huge upgrade in their standing on Kteiroa, possibly all the way to Haven.
  • They were noticed by Teaw, the Khaukheairl clan agent. After making a favorable impression, they negotiated with him to manipulate the direction of the camp. The Travellers revealed that they were from Drinax and did not want the ihatei to attack their world. Teaw was explicit that he did not want the ihatei to be directed at any Hierate systems, including Camoran. On the short list were diverting the ihatei to either Sink or the Oghma cluster. Noting that both Iykhi and Toiho were spoiling for a fight, they opted for the latter. The Travellers have attempted to offer Asim as a jumping-off point to the Oghma cluster. Asim will become a livestock-supply stopover for ihatei on their way to Marduk. While Teaw said he could not guarantee that some ihatei would not simply stay on Asim, taking land in the planet's outback, he was reasonably assured that they could influence the majority of the group to Marduk. They pointed out that Marduk and Borite will be easy wins for the ihatei but that they will quickly encounter resistance from Oghma whose raiders prey on both those worlds. Iykhi, who very much wants to die in battle, is eager for the chance to fight an aggressive, if technologically inferior, foe.
  • To make sure they had it in the bag, the Travellers met with Fyukh and bribed him to change his intelligence report so that it no longer designated Drinax as the most desirable world in the region. Fyukh, now MCr5 richer from the players' coffers, has told Eihei the Clever that the ihatei's best bet is Marduk.
In conclusion, the crew of the Ghost of Sindal managed to divert the Aslan from Drinax. The jury's still out as to whether the ihatei will become allies or foes once they establish themselves in the Oghma cluster. In addition, the Travellers got another desired effect: They completely ruined the Oghman warlords' easy access to Marduk and Borite. Oghma's future does not look bright, which is just fine as far as the players are concerned. :)
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:12 pm

Good stuff, although the accepted term is "consulting fee". "Bribe" is so gauche. Sounds like your crew combined good sense with just the right amount of risk. Did they negotiate the amount, or just straight up offer MCr5?

I've got a bunch of risk taking cat haters in my group, so Ihatei! will be interesting. They'll probably want to arrive on Kteiroa with a holographic show on the harrier's hull, custom designed for the occasion.

A contract selling livestock and fuel to the Ihatei could be genius. Depends on how many wild cats you have to remove from the Asim outback.

Had a thought for a fun plot twist, but Oghma is just little too far away. Look at the patron adventure seed for Ace from the back of the Core Rulebook. In return for destroying the raiders from Oghma that routinely threaten their world, the sages of Ace declare Iykhi to be their new King. (this would actually work if it was Tyr that was attacked rather than Oghma). Could go a lot of ways with that.
A blow by blow might be a little dull
Noted. :D
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:57 pm

Old School wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:12 pm
Good stuff, although the accepted term is "consulting fee". "Bribe" is so gauche. Sounds like your crew combined good sense with just the right amount of risk. Did they negotiate the amount, or just straight up offer MCr5?
So that was an interesting scene. I played Fyukh like he was some kind of Aslan stoner. He was one of the last Aslan "resources" that the players decided to approach. He had his Ihateisho-class scout parked in sort of a dark cul-de-sac, a little away from the others. When the players first came to him, it looked like no one was home, so they left. Later, when they asked another Aslan at the camp about the mysterious "information broker" they were told that he was indeed home, but you just have to knock. :)

So they visited him and had a conversation about why he was encouraging the ihatei to attack Drinax. Fyukh invited them into his ship and was wearing basically a bathrobe. Fyukh said that Drinax was ripe for the picking and that the Scholar's Tower was a bounty of information for a would-be invader. One of the players told Fyukh that the Aslan would have trouble taking the Floating City to which Fyukh replied with something to the effect of a) I've been there spying on it for a while and it ain't that impressive, and b) "You think Aslan are afraid to die in combat?" He quite confidently said that while the Hawk Warriors would certainly kill a number of his brethren, the Aslan would ultimately win with sheer numbers. (After the session, one of the players said to me, "I was glad to see one of the NPCs dispel the myth of Drinax's power.")

In any case, he was pretty forthright with them, saying he'd change his advice to Eihei the Clever if the Travellers would simply pay him. Elis, the captain, offered him Cr100,000. Fyukh basically spat back at him, showing that he was an Aslan with a high level of Independence skill. He told Elis, don't try to lowball me like I'm an Aslan female. Come at me with something real. I half expected the players to murder him at this point. No one would have probably noticed for quite a while, but they were pretty intent on getting Fyukh to endorse a new target world so maybe that's why they didn't just slit his throat. I had MCr5 in mind, but I figured there would be some negotiation. Then Sioux, the engineer, said "Five million," to which Fyukh said "Sold."

I think some of the players were disappointed they didn't negotiate for a lower price, but they're still flush in cash from selling all the goods from the Treasure Ship, and I think they like spending the money. Fyukh told Eihei that the Ancestors spoke to him at night and that it turns out Marduk was a better target. The influential Eihei, who had sort of become the Aslan spokesperson at this point, addressed the masses with their new target and the rest is history. They're now prepping and arming for the big assault. I guess this means I won't be running my own published adventure, "Makergod," in its original form. :shock:
Old School wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:12 pm
I've got a bunch of risk taking cat haters in my group, so Ihatei! will be interesting. They'll probably want to arrive on Kteiroa with a holographic show on the harrier's hull, custom designed for the occasion.
Well, my group's original plan was to drag in an asteroid from Kteiroa's belt and drop it on the Aslan, so they weren't far from your group. :) They figured it would only be a stopgap measure at best since they knew millions of Htyowao had been displaced from their homeworld of Keaih, so they decided to play the long game instead. You might recall that I was posting on this forum about how big a rock it would take to get the job done. I really expected them to do it!
Old School wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:12 pm
A contract selling livestock and fuel to the Ihatei could be genius. Depends on how many wild cats you have to remove from the Asim outback.


I'm looking forward to the Asim chapter. I did some digging through the materials and the bulk of information on Asim occurs in "Blood of the Star Dragon," but I'm going to put much of that to use in the next chapter (minus all the Prince Harrick/Princess Rao stuff; it's not time for that yet!). I have some ideas about what life might be like on Asim considering that they are essentially under martial law with Hawk Warriors threatening to kill them if they don't meet the agricultural quota of Drinax every year. The aforementioned Sioux has already been going down to the surface of Drinax and helping the Vespexers. When he sees the plight of the Asimen, it's going to light his fire. He's sort of a crusader, a bleeding heart for the oppressed. This could really throw a curveball into the campaign if he (and therefore the rest of the players) take the side of the Asimen against Drinax, but I love throwing curveballs and seeing what happens!
Old School wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:12 pm
Had a thought for a fun plot twist, but Oghma is just little too far away. Look at the patron adventure seed for Ace from the back of the Core Rulebook. In return for destroying the raiders from Oghma that routinely threaten their world, the sages of Ace declare Iykhi to be their new King. (this would actually work if it was Tyr that was attacked rather than Oghma). Could go a lot of ways with that.
I say go for it! And then write about what happens here! :)
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."

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