Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

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Pyromancer
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Pyromancer » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:25 am

paltrysum wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:57 pm
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.
In my campaign, the Foundation was a rather tyrannical government - although they had a good PR department. And Drinax doesn't have to go hard on Asim. They just need to supplement their own food production. Even if Drinax didn't have any food production of their own (which they have), delivering food for 40,000 people is hardly noticeable for a population of 6 million. More so when those 6 million are somewhat industrialized. It is mentioned somewhere in the text that King Oleb feels remorse about the invasion, so I think he will be especially soft on the Asim population.

For the simple man on Asim, nothing has changed. Even the tax collector is the same, and taxes are actually lower than before, because the fat upper class of the Foundation is gone. He might fear and hate the Foundation guerillas in the woods more than the Hawk Warriors, because the guerillas actually might hurt him "for collaboration with the enemy", while he only saw those fabled Hawk Warriors three years ago flying by at high altitude.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:38 am

Good approach, Pyromancer. It's a complex situation and deserves to be handled with a degree of subtlety. I also read that about Oleb, but my sense of it was that his guilt was more internalized and therefore any empathy he might feel for the Asimen would be unknown to them. In addition, sympathetic or not, he still has a secret bunker on Asim, stocked with Hawk Warriors who are prepared to put down any large-scale rebellion. Primarily, that would mean a resurgent Foundation, but many common Asimen must know that they too are oppressed and they likely chafe at being occupied if history on our world is any indication.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:56 am

Well, I cant go for it unless the Ihatei go that way, so we will see what happens. I do want to run Ihatei! as the next “main” adventure, if I can ever get them out of Acrid. I think my main adversion to the Hierate adventures are the rididulous clan names. Going to need nicknames I can keep track of. The players will certainly never keep them straight.

Now I’m picturing “The Dude” Lebowski in his bathrobe, on a scoutship on a frozen wasteland, negotiating a deal.

i didn’t think about it until your comment, but you did just blow up your own (very good) published adventure!

The loyalty to Drinax is built in background tension, and one of the unmentioned but overarching themes of the campaign that I really like. My “A Team” has both a Vespexer and a retired Asimer Army officer, and a platoon of Vespexer mercenaries. Recruiting more troops from Asim has been mentioned. They also have a minor noble from the floating palace. Just how loyal is this crew? Dunno.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:14 am

Old School wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:56 am
Well, I cant go for it unless the Ihatei go that way, so we will see what happens. I do want to run Ihatei! as the next “main” adventure, if I can ever get them out of Acrid. I think my main adversion to the Hierate adventures are the rididulous clan names. Going to need nicknames I can keep track of. The players will certainly never keep them straight.
Let's just say that it caused more than one tongue to be tied. One of my players is playing an Aslan female. He's a great roleplayer and is committed to making an honest attempt to lend pronounceability to Trokh words and even he got tied up several times. Still, we approached it in workmanlike fashion without too much complaining. I should have given everyone in the group a bonus experience point just for the effort.
Old School wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:56 am
Now I’m picturing “The Dude” Lebowski in his bathrobe, on a scoutship on a frozen wasteland, negotiating a deal.
I love it! I'll be that Lebowski was in my subconscious guiding my approach to that character.
Old School wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:56 am
i didn’t think about it until your comment, but you did just blow up your own (very good) published adventure!
Thank you very much for the kind words, and yes, I sure did.
Old School wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:56 am
The loyalty to Drinax is built in background tension, and one of the unmentioned but overarching themes of the campaign that I really like. My “A Team” has both a Vespexer and a retired Asimer Army officer, and a platoon of Vespexer mercenaries. Recruiting more troops from Asim has been mentioned. They also have a minor noble from the floating palace. Just how loyal is this crew? Dunno.
Nice! You've laid the groundwork for some good ol' moral ambiguity. Looking forward to reading about how it plays out.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:34 pm

This got very long, so I had to cut if off a bit early. Will save the rest for the next episode.

Rao’s Revenge Indeed

So as we last left our travellers, the group underground in Acrid had gained control of both one level of food production and also the small PRQ space station above Acrid.

The Mendina jumped out for Tanith on a mission to buy food and recruit mercenaries. Word had also been sent of ships travelling through the very busy Acrid highport that the revolutionaries would pay absolute top dollar for food shipments.

All was quiet on Acrid for a couple of days after the firefight in the biodome. Everything possible in storage and that could be harvested was moved into the miner’s residential quad for consumption. The miners had detected drilling activity below the biodome level they controlled, but it appeared to be very small scale. PRQ had dropped the ceiling to block their escape route back to the citizen’s quad and the section of the ring tunnel that they controlled, which suited the miners just fine. Guards were posted and personnel in the biodome were kept to a minimum necessary. Good thing, too. . .

Without warning, hell opened up and ate the entire fourth level of the food biodome. PRQ detonated enough explosives below it to drop the entire level, destroying everything in both the third and fourth levels. Only a few lives were lost, but the ongoing food production available to the miners, already insufficient, was completely wiped out.

Based on what had been stored and what they were able to harvest, the miners had about 3 days of food for their 5,000 population, with the Mendina not due back for at least 11 days, probably longer. The travellers and miners decided to keep full rations for the combatants (about 100), with everyone else going on half rations. Even then, five or more days without food awaited the majority of the miners. Plans were made for an all-out assault on PRQ, but this desperate action was put on hold to wait the return of the Mendina, or any other food bearing freighter. And so they wait. . .

As for the Mendina, she’s not doing any better than the folks back on Acrid. She had jumped out for the Tanith system, and upon arrival headed for Pylkoe-10 to sub-contract some mercenaries for Acrid. She also sent a message to brokers on Tanith downport to arrange purchase of concentrated foodstuffs to take to Acrid. In route to Pylkoe-10, Mendina was hailed by the Hero, a broadsword class mercenary vessel, which claimed to be on contract to provide system security, and demanded that Mendina heave to for boarding. Alaina, temporary captain of Mendina, attempted to contact the spaceport at Pylkoe-10 to confirm Hero’s story, but found its communications jammed. She then ordered her crew to reverse course and break for jump limit. They would proceed to Tanith if the Hero didn’t pursue, but of course it did, as it is actually under contract with PRQ. PRQ’s reps had arrived at Pylkoe-10 many hours ahead of Mendina, and wasted no time in recruiting.

The merc captain, Jenaime Ygrant, had jumped the gun, not expecting Mendina to match its 3G acceleration, but it did get to very long range with the Mendina still 200,000 km from the jump limit. At 3G acceleration, that’s one hour, or ten turns. Hero opens fire with 9 missiles per turn, and her lasers aren’t in range. The Mendina has a couple of long range pulse laser turrets (I disallowed these after this game session, more on that later), and managed to land a couple of shots. But between the Hero’s armor and sandcasters, only 16 points of damage were accumulated before Alaina had to order that all four laser turrets engage in point defense.

Nine missiles per turn, and they start arriving in turn seven. Countermeasures were attempted but were useless, due to the combination of civilian grade sensors and no trained sensor op on board. Point defense picked up most of the missiles, but certainly not all of them. Alaina diverts one point of thrust to use her considerable pilot skills for evasive maneuvers. Despite her efforts, Mendina becomes a pincushion for missiles, taking a whopping 152 points of damage over several turns, including critical hits to cargo x3, M-Drive X2, Hull X2, one weapon, and fuel. None to the jump drive. (I’m playing space combat straight, but their luck is going to get me accused of having some famous luck with the dice, if you know what I mean.)

The fuel leak is stopped, and Alaina and crew enter jumpspace with 8 hull points, bound for Acrid, and with no fuel beyond what’s needed for the jump. Efforts are made to repair systems, but without access to the outside hull, and without any spare parts (destroyed with the cargo bay hits), there isn’t that much that can be done. I thought about role playing all kinds of things going wrong with the ship in jump, but hey, enough things are already wrong with the ship. They manage to move one dton of fuel from the launch to the main fuel tank, which keeps them going, and everyone lives.

Hero needs a few extra turns to get to the jump limit, and then also jumps to Acrid. I rolled to see the arrival time of each ship. Mendina arrives first by four hours. I should have used the expanded jump rules in the Traveller Companion, which would have given credit to the traveller’s much better astrogation and jump skill checks, largely due to their superior skill, in which case the Mendina would have arrived 18 hours ahead of Hero.

So, one very uncomfortable week later, everyone arrives in Acrid. The miners are 5-6 days out of food at this point? It’s make or break time for the revolution. Mendina pops out of jump space, screaming over the radio like a stuck pig, and moving at approximately 388,000 km/hr (3G acceleration for 60 minutes prior to jump). “Very uncool”, say the controllers at GeDeCo. “Where’s the f’ing food?”, say 5,000 ornery miners. “What the holy hell did you do to the ship?” cry the rest of the travellers!

Pleasantries over, Rao’s Revenge launches a shuttle to chase down the Mendina with some spare parts and an extra mechanic. Mendina has some use of its M-Drive, so it able to slow itself for landing at PRQ Acrid. Rao then begins patrolling very close to the jump limit, earning another protest from GeDeCo. Artemis is still no more than a rumor in system, also is patrolling at about 110 diameters, laying a trap for Hero should she arrive, which she does in due course.

The crew of Rao, with a sense of irony, demand that Hero stop for boarding and inspection. Of course, this would have been funnier had Hero submitted, as Rao barely has enough crew to keep flying, much less board anyone, but Hero has no way to know that, so her captain, Janaime Ygant, backs off. As the two ships both have 3G acceleration, this looks to Hero to be a perfectly good way to waste time and draw Rao away from Acrid while waiting for more PRQ sponsored ships to arrive. She can jump out at any time if necessary. Rao keeps up the pursuit, and Captain Ygrant begins firing missiles once her ship is safely back past 100d, knowing she can order a jump should she get in too much trouble. She has a mercenary contract to fulfill, but she also knows she’s outgunned. Rao just keeps plodding forward, not returning fire, as the travellers have no desire to see Hero leave. Given Rao’s tech advantage and the tremendous skill of Sofiya, her sensor operator, those missiles aren’t getting through. (Note: I gave Hero radiation shielding, because otherwise this encounter would end as all the others).

While Captain Ygant thinks she’s buying time, she’s really just headed straight towards the stealthed Artemis, which is closing in order to get a called shot on Hero’s jump drives.

One round away from close range, a strong sensor check by Hero detects the incoming Artemis, and the mercs redirect all fire towards the smaller ship. IRL, an argument breaks out over the use of countermeasures at such a short distance. A strict interpretation of the rules says no, which is really, really bad news for the Artemis. Since they didn’t know that, I allow them to redirect one point of thrust towards evasive maneuvers against the missiles, which makes a huge difference, but Artemis still gets lit up by Hero’s laser turrets. A dangerous chain of critical hits starts, with a crit on the hull leading to more damage, which triggers another cri to the hull, which does more damage, which leads to another critical hit to the. . .cargo bay. Whew, that was close.

The initiative sequence for the next term is the Harrier, then the pocket warship, then the broadsword. Bad news for our mercenary friends. Get a better crew next time. Artemis closes to dogfight range. Using one point of thrust for aiming, combined with a sensor lock, fire control, and good gunnery, she lights up the Hero with two critical hits to the jump drives, disabling them. Captain Ygant briefly considers her options, and orders her crew to repair the jump drive while continuing to unload on the Artemis. This plan is shortl lived, as Rao’s Revenge unloads with both particle beam bays, doing tremendous damage to Hero, including a third critical hit to the jump drive, destroying it.

With no escape possible, Ygant knows she won’t survive long in a firefight, so she raises the figurative white flag, requesting parley. Our travellers, who are still seeing red, demand that her entire crew evacuate the ship in one of her two modular cutters. Ygant wants safe passage for her ship, which in this case means a space at the repair yard in the GeDeCo owned highport. GeDeCo agrees to accept the crew and see that their passages back to whence they came are honored, but refuses to allow the broadsword to dock, essentially hanging Hero out to dry. Ygrant can’t outfight or outrun the Rao, so she has no choice but to accept the terms and abandon her ship. Hoping for the arrival of a PRQ armada is better than going down with the ship.

Meanwhile, Alaina has managed to limp the Mendina to the PRQ spacestation in their control, and from there they take a shuttle down to PRQ Acrid. Alaina declares that she will “Never! Ever!” fly the Mendina again. (They originally wanted to fly the Mendina straight to the downport at the mines, because they wanted to switch ships and take the 400 ton SDB up into the battle in case more PRQ ships arrived).

Here’s a short clip of the Mendina’s crew rushing from the badly damaged ship to get to the SDB:

https://makeagif.com/i/qayL_j
Last edited by Old School on Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
paltrysum
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:56 pm

Great recap! Looking forward to the next installment. :)

By the way, in our campaign, the Travellers are being pursued by the Hero and the Arshad, now commanded by Commander Jagad from “Treasure Ship.”
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:25 pm

Hero won’t be chasing anyone for a long time in my campaign. MCr 97.5 for new jump drives. There’s a fine line between disabled and destroyed.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby DickTurpin » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:05 am

Old School wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:25 pm
Hero won’t be chasing anyone for a long time in my campaign. MCr 97.5 for new jump drives. There’s a fine line between disabled and destroyed.
So Acrid just got another SDB to patrol local space. Or they negotiate a repatriation deal with the defeated mercenaries to get their ship back. Paying MCr. 100 for repairs beats shelling out MCr. 292.5 for a new ship.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:59 am

Old School wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:25 pm
Hero won’t be chasing anyone for a long time in my campaign. MCr 97.5 for new jump drives. There’s a fine line between disabled and destroyed.
Yep. And that fine line lies between the level 2 and 3 jump drive critical hits. We've hit that limit, too. One of our group's first piratical operations was taking the Callsign Alpha, a subsidized merchant featured in the Ship Encounters guide. They hit the jump drive a little too hard with their Harrier's particle barbette and blew its jump drive up with a level-3 crit. They still have the hulk hidden in the icy rings of the Blue system's inner gas giant because of how expensive it is to replace a jump drive. I do like how it comes up about every three sessions, though: "Hey, guys! Remember that subby we have hidden at the gas giant on Blue? Hey, we should get its jump drive replaced at the starport."

I don't know how to break it to them that a starport B probably can't do that. :(
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:32 pm

Negotiations and Conclusion

During the fight, a couple of ships with GeDeCo transponders appear out of jump, a Herald Class Messenger and a Gazelle, with missile barbettes in place of the Navy’s particle beams. They avoid combat, but stop at about 70 diameters from Acrid, where they are met by GeDeCo’s two SDB’s, along with two subsidized merchants. The fat traders’ transponders indicate they are privately owned freighters. Once the shooting stops, Rao’s Revenge is hailed by the Gazelle, who’s captain informs Domenic that GeDeCo will allow no more ship combat within 3 million km of Acrid, and that will bring all of its resources to bear on any further threat to its business servicing trading ships.

The travellers have no desire to hop from one fight to another, even if they don’t really appreciate the scale of GeDeCo’s power in the Borderlands. They promise to start no more fights but also that they will protect their interests just as vigorously as GeDeCo will theirs. Eventually they get onboard the Hero, and find that it has 90 days of rations for its crew and marine compliment of 47, which equals a couple of square meals for all the miners, so all efforts are made to get this food down to them. Hero is parked at the space station, while Artemis heads to the downport so its crew can get a break from many weeks in space. The battle has revealed that the mysterious Harrier Class Commerce Raider, a rumored but never proven pirate ship, is actually aligned with the Drinaxians. The same Drinaxians who are both the heroes of the battle of Exe and the current villains of the Battle of Acrid. The same Drinaxians who are responsible for the apprehension of three notorious pirates: Hroal Irontooth, ‘Grim Jack’ Zanya, and Ferrick Redthane.

As the travellers ponder their next move, more ships are arriving in system. First comes the odd pairing of two ships they know well: their very own Lady Miria, along with the Komino. Lady Miria had received their message to come to Acrid with all haste. While stopped Inurin for fuel, word came from a ship arriving from Acrid that raiders had taken control of the mining facility, and that they were offering exorbitant prices for food. Lady Miria’s NPC crew quickly negotiated with traders on the island nation ‘The Confederation’ to purchase a cargo hold full of highly concentrated processed fish. Also on Inurin was Komino, which had just made the four parsec jump back from Byrni on orders from Captain Torsa, following the Treasure Ship vault opening disaster. Due to the hurried transit Torsa had ordered prior to the events at Byrni, Komino’s Captain, Lt. Commander Ephraim Griffith, decided to give the crew a couple of days shore leave before making the five parsec jump to Wildeman to deliver the bad news back to the Imperium. Hearing the news from Acrid, Griffith made the decision that his errand could wait, and jumped to Acrid instead. As a standard courtesy Lady Miria was allowed to join in a synchronized jump. Her arrival ends the immediate food crisis on Acrid, along with PRQ’s best bet to regain the facility.

Another tramp jumps in bound for the mines, this time the Hopeful Wanderer, who’s Captain Bel the travellers met on Arunisir several months ago. She was in Tanith and heard the call for food supplies (at top prices), and decided to take the risk of a speculative cargo bet to Acrid. More food for the miners means more bad news for PRQ, who attempt to intercept Bel, but the Komino refuses to allow this. Komino’s crew boards both the Lady Miria and the Hopeful Wanderer, and find both ships loaded with food and no mercenaries, raiders, or any passengers beyond their registered crews. Both are then allowed passage to the renamed the “Free Mines of Acrid”, or the “FMA”. Hopeful Wanderer, in addition to 10X the going rate for her cargo, is given the honor of carrying the first shipment of raw materials from the FMA.

A hodgepodge of GeDeCo and PRQ affiliated ships arrive system. PRQ accuses GeDeCo of taking sides, while GeDeCo insists that PRQ is welcome to storm their mining facility so long as they can do it without any space combat that would scare off shipping. This of course, is impossible, and the arrival of the Komino carries a lot more weight than her size would indicate. Lt. Cmdr. Griffith attempts to arrange a face to face negotiating session, but tensions are high. PRQ doesn’t have anywhere near the resources in the Borderlands as GeDeCo, so it is relying mostly on mercenaries. It does, however, have significant influence within the Imperium Navy, so it’s hopes are raised when the Kerrelblossom, an Imperial Destroyer based in Wildeman, arrives in system, escorted by two Type-T patrol corvettes. Kerrelblossom’s Captain, Commander Margaret Pallix, outranks Lt. Cmdr. Griffiths, which throws a wrench in the traveller’s good relationship with Komino.

The traveller’s next request that Griffith come to the FMA facility for a face to face discussion. So as not to show favor, Cmdr. Pallix allows this on the condition that another officer, along with a PRQ executive, be allowed to meet with the PRQ ‘citizens’ still holed up on Acrid. PRQ also demands the ability to deliver necessary supplies to its employees. The travellers agree on the condition that the Navy verify that no weapons are transported. All agree and safe passage is arranged.

On Acrid, Griffith is introduced to the miners, and given detailed descriptions and evidence showing the mining conditions, the lack of fair pay, and the debt that the miners have accumulated due to PRQ pricing on sundries and necessary equipment. Also shown are workers’ receipts for passage off of Acrid, and records showing that GeDeCo apprehends workers with outstanding balances at the port. Further evidence is shows that when GeDeCo is able to recover the funds paid for passage, it returns them not to the worker, but to PRQ directly for payment against the worker’s debt. The point of all this is clear: PRQ is running a slave camp, and GeDeCo is, at a minimum, complicit in PRQ’s activities.

Griffith is provided with copies and video all of this. As he leaves, the travellers indicate that they haven’t yet decided whether to send this material directly to both the Duke of Tobia and the Admiral at Pax Rulin, or if they just take it straight to various news media.
Cmdr. Pallix is initially sympathetic to the PRQ, as are most career navy officers. Upon hearing Griffith’s report, Pallix’s disposition towards PRQ hardens, but she sees an opportunity to retain favor with all parties while defusing the situation. She meets with the recently arrived PRQ director walks him through her assessment: This bell can’t be unrung. Your job is now damage control. Unless PRQ wants the whole sector hearing about this from the miners’ point of view, this situation needs to go away. Go make some friends. The PRQ man replies that Pallix is operating a little over her pay grade, but relents when she offers to accompany him back to Imisaa to discuss it with the subsector Admiral.

So at long last negotiations commence. The general agreement:
- The mines will operate as a joint venture between the FMA and PRQ. FMA will operate the business and PRQ will provide capital.
- The Revolutionary Council at Argona, which also broke free of PRQ’s stranglehold, will provide operational and management advice to FMA.
- PRQ will make a substantial investment in improving the mines, and receive a preferred dividend on profits until this is investment recouped.
- Debts are wiped out. A ‘bonus’ of six months wages will be paid to every worker that agrees to stay. Basic passage as far as Tobia is arranged for those who don’t.
- Future wages and prices will be set by FMA.
- PRQ guarantees to purchase a % of raw materials from the mine at market prices, with the remainder sold on the open market
- The Travellers receive payment from the FMA for MCr 5, plus full repairs to both Mendina and Rao’s Revenge, paid for by the FMA (but with funds received from PRQ). Repairs are completed by GeDeCo.
- Another MCr 10 is paid by PRQ for the traveller’s agreement never to disclose publicly the conditions on Acrid. While this is only really enforceable in the Imperium, Willow also signs for her Noble House on Drinax, which kind sorta puts the Drinax Government’s guaranty on it. The travellers don’t doubt PRQ’s determination to collect if this agreement is violated.
- Mendina and Hopeful Wanderer are given preferred contracts to haul freight to and from Acrid. Mendina’s combat days are hopefully done.

In game terms:
- Both Acrid and Argona become Havens for the travellers.
- The traveller’s have made a thinly veiled enemy of PRQ. They’ve most certainly caught the attention of GeDeCo.
- The traveller’s reputation with the Imperium drops by 2, although it increases in the Hierate by 2 (The Aslan respect anyone who rolls into a system with a pocket warship and kick the locals off their territory).

The only real sticking point in the negotiations was Hero. The travellers insisted on keeping it in lieu of cash payment, while PRQ insisted that it be returned. PRQ made an effort to turn the miners against the travellers on this point, and it worked. Essentially the travellers were holding up the solution for their own benefit, not that of the miners they were paid to fight for. The miners’ anger at this point was palpable, and after a tongue lashing, the travellers very reluctantly relented on this point. Before handing Hero over, they did raid its supply of missiles, replenishing the stock on Rao and selling a supply of 30 missiles to the FMA for the discount price of Cr100,000 each. Captain Ygrant discovered this after the fact, but her protests fell on deaf ears, as all parties involved were ready to move on.

As the travellers consider all that has happened as well as their next move, they receive a “request” to meet with Cmdr. Pallix. She has a ruling from the Admiralty court on Imissaa regarding a salvage claim on Sindal’s Shame and Monkey Business. Apparently having the Navy as your co-claimant moves you to the front of the queue at the Admiralty Court. Both ships were stolen, so title reverts back to the original owners or lien holders. Total award for recovery is 20% of the ships’ value, or MCr 24. Half to the Navy, half to the travellers. Pallix isn’t too pleased, as despite any wrongdoings on the part of PRQ, she still sees our travellers as somewhere between raiders and low life mercs. But orders are orders. Lt. Cmdr Griffith is there as well, and flashes the travellers a smile when Pallix isn’t looking. All in all its been a good day for our travellers.

Finally, the GeDeCo Director, who had arrived in system on the Herald, politely requests an audience with the travellers. He introduces himself only as ‘Hando’, but the starport director is obviously deferential and addresses him as ‘Mr. Nierr’. Hando Neirr praises them on their deft and dramatic handling of their mercenary contract, being oddly effusive without actually showing any excitement or true emotion. He offers them an office on the starport for their use as needed, and his assistance with any red tape they might encounter in shipping, repairs, etc. Although he seems inoffensive and obsequious, they notice that he is shadowed by two servants who appear strangely familiar. They appear to be young women of identical height and build, but they never speak, and under their hoods and robes it’s really hard to tell.

So ends the Revolution on Acrid.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:34 pm

Epilogue / Housekeeping

Our travellers find themselves pulled in many directions:

- Lady Miria’s crew presents Chadwick with a gift from some “eggheads” they met on Tech World, along with an invitation for meeting to discuss a possible “employment scenario.”
- They are due for a return to Drinax. They need to show off the Rao and drop a whole bunch of credits on King Oleb. The Vespexers also want to go home. Chad and Leroy have some ideas regarding the Vespexers (and the Asimers) as well. Big ideas.
- Baroness Lux demands their return to Cordan to clean up the mess they have made. Despite the lack of any physical evidence tying her or them to their actions, assassinating a minor corrupt official with a plasma gun while the Harrier was in port was just a little too obvious.

They come up with the following plan:
- Cr 250,000 in bonuses is divvied up on the NPC crew and Captain Bel and her crew. Associating these Driniaxians may be dangerous, but they look out for their friends, and they pay well. For Bel, the point is clear: you took a huge risk on us, now we will make you rich. You feed us information, and we will keep your cargo hold full.
- Another Cr 250,000 is given to the Vespexers, but they don’t have the greatest concept of money, so the travellers take them shopping so they can load up on whatever they want to take home. Some go for iron mongery, some have acquired a taste for good rum, some go for fancy decorated hostile environment suits, some are very practical. All of them buy gifts for extended family. The travellers kick in an advanced base with an additional power unit as a gift to the families of the five fallen Vespexers.
- Wilhelmina Moneaux (“Willie”), a traveller from the “B Team”, will stay at GeDeCo’s highport above Acrid indefinitely as the travellers’ representative in the Borderlands. In addition to being a trained Doctor, she’s an experienced merchant, trader, and all around wheeler dealer. Her presence at the port, combined with Mendina and the Hopeful Wanderer gives the team eyes and ears in subsector. Willie becomes a quasi NPC, kind of a recurring character going forward.
- Lady Miria’s NPC crew is re-assigned to Mendina. No one wants to fly the unarmored, crap for sensors Mendina into combat ever again.
- Lady Miria gets upgraded sensors, which requires her to lose a stateroom to make room for the new sensor suite. I suggested she get a med bay as well, especially as the B team is losing its doctor, but they decide against it.
- The two dual pulse lasers and turrets they had installed on Mendina are removed, and installed on the Rao, which had one dead turret resulting from the Vespexer’s attack. The spare turret and the beam lasers off of the Rao are sold at a discount to a passing Aslan trading vessel. (Mendina still has the two turrets and lasers they found her with). Proceeds from the sale are used to pay for the work and also to replace the damaged portion of Rao’s powerplant (which took a shot from Chadwick’s PGMP way back when).
- Benedict Catlow from the B team essentially moves to the A team, as he heads for Drinax with the original characters.
- The remaining four of the B Team: Chadwick, Alaina, Junior, and Gemma take the Lady Miria as their primary ship. Its faster than Mendina and has a little bit of armor. Its also less famous. They sunk a bunch of money into Mendina in the early stages: improved M Drives, library, med bay, etc as it was to be their flagship. So much for that. (I’d like to say live and learn, but they’ve drawn up plans to put MCr 150 into the Rao one day. We’ll see how it goes.) These four are an all military team without Benny or Willie.
- Lady Miria heads for Cordan, with plans for Tech World after. I’ve warned them that Tech World could result in a very long adventure.
- Artemis and Rao’s Revenge head for Drinax to consult with the King. They include a stopover at Exe with a few gifts for their friends that run the refueling station there.

Referee’s thoughts:
- Lots of ships means lots of housekeeping and accounting. This is hard to avoid. I try to keep it simple, e.g. the swapping of weapons and turrets above is all a wash, instead of wasting brain cells figuring out the exact cost of each. I also skip the fuel, maintenance, and crew costs, and just assume they haul enough occasional freight to cover the bills.
- I will have to figure out the Mendina’s profits going forward, as it is converting from a primary ship to a profit center.
- The Mendina really does suck in combat. Armor and sensors are a very big deal.
- Advanced (long range) pulse lasers are no longer part of my game. The ability to double the range from from long to very long for a 10% increase in price is so powerful that if this is allowed, it should be the standard. Having custom ships with this modification fighting standard ships without is unfair. If you want an unfair advantage, get a particle barbette.
- Players cooperated in breaking up the group into two to keep future game sessions simpler. The B Team will likely take the bait for the demon’s eye adventure, which will take them out of the main game for a while. Unlikely they would do that with the whole group.
- Space combat is still hard. I thought I was getting much better at it, as these sessions went smoother, but looking back I see things that I missed (evade software, what’s that?).
- I had anticipated them keeping the Hero. But as we got into it, if PRQ is offering a sweetheart deal with the one caveat that they get their hired ship back, how could the travellers refuse in good faith? The miners don’t give a damn about the Hero. The FMA would have turned against the travellers had they held out on this point.
- I would say Hero will appear again in the campaign, although I said Marine Salvesdes would appear on Acrid and he didn’t, so we’ll see. Some story threads get lost along the way.
- King Oleb won’t be quite as pleased as they had hoped (although his 10% cut of their recent deals will help a lot). He’s all for making friends with the other governments, but he hired these yahoos to cause pain for the Imperium and the Hierate via piracy, and that doesn’t seem to be happening.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:08 am

Sounds like a well-run adventure. The players were entertained, you challenged them, and they came away having advanced the storyline. I'm curious to see if Acrid was merely a chapter in their story or if it becomes a "hub" for future adventures.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:17 pm

Thanks. It was definitely a challenge. I’ve never run a sandbox like this before. It was very nice to just roll play without the combat in the last session. I dont think we even rolled dice? Maybe we did once or twice during negotiation. It all runs together after a while (part of the reason for the writeups).

Players are on board with making the game a little more manageable. B team is headed for ‘Demon’s Eye’, while the Drinaxians (no, we dont call them the A team. I dont know why.) will be directed to ‘Ihatei’once they get back to Drinax. Will try to avoid any universe altering adventures along the way, but you never know.

My general plan is that the King is pleased with their ability to make friends and ring the register, but upset that they aren’t doing anything to disrupt trade. General idea is that the king doesnt want their “diplomacy” to stop, but he also wants to see the Imperium and Hierate squirm, and that’s not happening. Not really that logical in my mind, as building the restored Kingdom of Drinax quietly makes more sense at the moment, but the King’s only so rational, piracy is in his blood, and revenge against the Hierate is in the back of his mind. Need to work in some drama with the palace NPCs as well. Few of them have been developed in my campaign. Haven’t gotten anywhere with that thought yet.

Last idea: players have great interest in a secret base. I like the idea. Would be a good reward for them. ‘Treasure of Sindal’ is obvious, but unless I change the adventure (very possible) also way out of the way. Sean (Bardicheat) suggested a big ass freighter for that purpose. Two other bases are mentioned in ‘Game of sun and Shadow’, and there’s also the Wildeman patron adventure that I know Kulthea has run with in a big way in his campaign (his writeups are very entertaining, also much more character driven and much shorter than mine. Highly recommend).

Any ideas on any of this? Welcome all feedback and suggestions.
Last edited by Old School on Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby AndrewW » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:43 pm

Old School wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:17 pm
B team is headed for ‘Demon’s Eye’, while the Drinaxians (no, we dont call them the A team. I dont know why.) will be directed to ‘Ihatei’once they get back to Drinax.
Because they aren't led by John "Hannibal" Smith?
Old School wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:17 pm
Last idea: player’s have great interest in a secret base. I like the idea. Would be a good reward for them. ‘Treasure of Sindal’ is obvious, but unless I change the adventure (very possible) also way out of the way. Sean (Bardicheat) suggested a big ass freighter for that purpose. Two other bases are mentioned in ‘Game of sun and Shadow’, and there’s also the Wildeman patron adventure that I know Kulthea has run with in a big way in his campaign (his writeups are very entertaining, also much more character driven and much shorter than mine. Highly recommend).
Could be an old Sindal base or something. Perhaps some large derelict ship is floating around that could be utilized, though it might be in need of some work, which could result in some adventures all on its own. Perhaps there is one somewhere but has issues, such as too close to a population center so they have to be careful when utilizing it.[/quote]
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:57 pm

Depending on whether or not they establish a relationship with Utea, the proprietor of the Kteiroa starport (during the events of "Ihatei!"), they might consider establishing a secret base there. I seem to recall that your group hates the Aslan, but they might change their minds when Utea requests that they acquire the goods mentioned in "Friends in Dry Places," one of the supplementary adventures that Mongoose published (note that the side adventure refers to Utea as a male but the campaign book as a female; I've opted for female since she's basically a businessperson).

If they take Utea up on her offer, they might increase their status on Kteiroa and basically have a secret base inside the Hierate.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Baldo » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:23 pm

Old School wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:34 pm
The Vespexers also want to go home. Chad and Leroy have some ideas regarding the Vespexers as well. Big ideas.
If the Vespexers are important in your campaign, I think you *MUST* develop the "Prisoners of the Aslan" dropped plot in Ihatei! (page 81). Turn Fyukh (page 95) and his crew into self-serving cutthroats (not very difficult) with an ihatei raider ship (a modified* aoa’iw trader), and the much abused and tortured Vespexer prisoners currently in cold sleep and kept alive only because of their value as slaves.
During their investigations with Utea and in the ihatei camp, the players discover about Fyukh and his evil work, and start planning a rescue (by stealth and/or violence. And because of the situation in the camp, I doubt security is high - in encounter d57, page 88, Fyukh is apparently the only one still in the ship). If well planned, (prisoners rescued with minimal collateral damage and friendly Aslan supporting the players -Kasiyl, Teaw and/or Stea -page 87, encounter d37-, for example), your players could even get Fyukh's ship as rightful prize in their private war against "a filthy outcast that had infiltrated Drinax and paid the price!".
Of course, this sub-plot does NOT help king Oleb and the Floating Palace with the ihatei menace, but still wins the friendship of the Vespexers (useful in Blood of the Star Dragon, at least) and a fine ship for the players.

* "Modified" here means "refitted with added weapons" (page 81). Be sure to add a Particle Barbette, it could be useful in Treasure of Sindal :wink: ...
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:51 pm

Baldo, thank you!

Exactly what I am looking for. You’re right, the missing Vespexers must be investigated. You’re also right in that they need some more particle beams sooner or later. Might just take your idea and run with it verbatim.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:14 pm

Got a little excited by Baldo's idea and neglected to thank paltrysum or Andrew. I apologize. I appreciate everyone's input.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:17 pm

Old School wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:14 pm
Got a little excited by Baldo's idea and neglected to thank paltrysum or Andrew. I apologize. I appreciate everyone's input.
Not offense taken. I immediately started scheming after reading Baldo's comments as well. :)
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby bklokis » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:49 pm

I'm curious how people are using Rachando's Bizarre, from a PC supply standpoint?

It's not totally clear from the book whether the bizarre should act as an open market for the Travellers, and if so, what is the availability of items considering the high TL of Drinax along with their lack of basic items. The text indicates Drinax begrudgingly parts with high TL items to Rachando in exchange for basic items. Does that mean that these high TL items wouldn't be available to the Travellers, or is it up to Rachando's discretion? The area of the bizarre on the map of the Floating Palace is pretty huge, implying a vast array of markets, vendors, and items available.

I'm just curious how others are using the bizarre as a resource (independent of how Rachando figures in your plot)

Thanks!
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