Starting Drinax Advice

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Stumondo
Shrew
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Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:40 am

Starting Drinax Advice

Postby Stumondo » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:16 pm

I'm just about to start running Pirates of Drinax. I was wondering if people had any general advice. I suppose I'm mostly looking for what pitfalls to avoid.

Thanks
paltrysum
Banded Mongoose
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Re: Starting Drinax Advice

Postby paltrysum » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:37 pm

I've really just begun the campaign myself, but one thing I can already recommend is that you read through the entire campaign, if possible, before beginning. The adventures can be arranged in just about any order (obviously, "Finale" must come last, but other than that, the play order is highly customizable), so I think it helps to get a handle on the adventures so you can loosely plan the order in which you might run them. This can change as you get into the campaign. I had initially planned to more or less follow the given sequential order until my players told me some of their plans: a) they want to see what's going on on Oghma (so I wrote something up since none of the Drinax adventures directly addresses the Oghmans), and b) they want to go into Aslan space to resolve some unresolved plot lines from adventures we ran before we started Drinax. There are a few Drinax adventures that occur in Aslan space almost exclusively, and those will now move closer to the front of the queue.

The campaign is presented as a sandbox, and giving the players the freedom to choose their own directions is key. In all fairness, though, if they want a prepared ref, I need to have some idea of where they want to go. I'm always ready to improv if need be, but I find that our gaming sessions are better when I am at least marginally prepared. So it's a two-way street: Players get the freedom of a sandbox, but I ask for some ideas about the general directions they intend to travel.

The other thing I'm seeing a lot on these boards is just how creative refs and players are with this campaign. Some run a straight space pirates story. Some have players that are more interested in the mercantile or political aspects of the story and focus on those, putting piracy in the back seat. Some run parallel campaigns with a set of pirate characters and a second set of characters who perform another function (e,g., diplomacy, navy, trade, etc.).
"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."
Rauffrey
Cub
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Re: Starting Drinax Advice

Postby Rauffrey » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:02 pm

I've just started a Drinax campaign too, and at least skimming over all the Drinax adventures before you start is a very good idea. Some you may not want to use at all. Others you might want to adjust. I preplanned about 6 adventures before the campaign started, 3 from the Drinax books and 3 of my own creation. My own creations are flexible enough that they can be dropped in almost no matter what the PCs want to do.

I also added some of my own NPCs to the Floating City, generally with plans of how those NPCs could play a role in the future of the PCs. With the PCs' ship shares from character generator, they made repairs to the Harrier before leaving the Floating City, which gave them some extra time to explore the city and meet NPCs.

Encourage the PCs to take on some NPC crew for the Harrier. The NPCs can be used to provide contacts, info, rumors, etc. and lead the PCs toward specific adventures.
PsiTraveller
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Re: Starting Drinax Advice Sspo

Postby PsiTraveller » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:55 pm

Decide on a couple of things first off.

1 ) Mark out what starports are run by GeDeCo. At some point the players may want to start hiding from, or working for GeDeCo and it will help to know where the ports are.

2) Decide how dangerous the Aslan are. The Aslan wave that is about to crash across the area is the looming threat, and Ihatei is focused on it. If you want the Aslan to be the major risk, keep mentioning Aslan ships (could be a scouting ship for a raid) to the players. It can really amp up the tension of what might happen

3)At the same time if the players decide the Aslan are a disaster waiting to happen they may start making apocalyptic plans. the treasure of Sindal for my group was the opportunity to plan the genocide of a planet. They have not launched, but are willing to. This can cause all sorts of issues for the Jaskarl plan.

4) The Jaskarl plan: Decide how strong the prophecy really is. Are they all puppets? or can a few pirates really alter the future?

5) The Coup: my group has a Merchant Prince Baron with a Soc of 12. During the coup section he took over the palace. Next session he may become king. This will alter my game, a lot. Think about what your players may do in the coup scenario.

6) Technology: Drinax and Tech World, and Theev offer the chance to get high TL gear. This can have a big impact on the game. Space combat changes (The TL 15 Harrier should be getting a +3 to everything it does against TL 12 opponents. This is a big boost.
My players are interested in Cybernetics, the fabulous upgrade for their looks. (The Baron +1 bonus in social situations... ) Imagine what else is possible with access to TL 15 goodies. Perhaps synthetic anagathics? immortal pirate lords. Or immortality as a bribe and trick.
Be prepared to handle the high TL requests.

7) Trade: My players did very little piracy, just the adventures and they did spec trade across the sector. They made millions. They used this as a diplomatic and economic effort to make deals for the King. (he got his percentage) Smart players can bypass a lot of the adventure and still get stuff done.

8) Time: a lot of time passes in Jump space. Look at the first adventure. Drinax to Torpol, Clarke, Borite, Noricum, empty hex, Theev, Palindrome. And back is 14 weeks in Jump space, plus whatever time spent in each system, plus repairs if needed. The first adventure could cover 6-8 months. Keep a calendar and plot the time. A lot of training time i available for skill boosts.
Stumondo
Shrew
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Re: Starting Drinax Advice

Postby Stumondo » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:18 pm

Thanks guys, some solid advice there.

I do have one question, and maybe I've just missed the answer or haven't come across it. The book mentions crews of pirate ships getting shares. I'm familiar with this concept. However, it states the PCs get 2 shares each and the captain 5. Is the captain supposed to be a NPC, or is it implying that one PC gets over double payout compared to the others?

I'm sure this can be easily house ruled / hand waved, but would be nice if it's covered somewhere
paltrysum
Banded Mongoose
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Re: Starting Drinax Advice

Postby paltrysum » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:26 pm

The captain is a player and she/he gets more shares than the other players, yes. Obviously it's your choice if you prefer a more egalitarian distribution method. :)
"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."
Rauffrey
Cub
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Re: Starting Drinax Advice

Postby Rauffrey » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:47 pm

My players opted to give all PCs equal shares. I think the 5 Shares to the Captain is simply a norm, but definitely subject to change if you wish.
mac40k
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Re: Starting Drinax Advice

Postby mac40k » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:32 pm

I think the Capt receiving 5 shares presumes he will be paying ship maintenance and resupply costs. So adopting a more egalitarian option would presume an equal responsibility for handling those costs as well. Something I've seen done in another game was that the cost of maintenance and resupply got taken off the top before the rest of the spoils were divided, since ultimately without the ship, the crew are stranded. This could lead to the situation where due to PC choice(s) and/or other circumstances, the NPC crew members may not receive the reward they thought they would, leading to possible talk of mutiny, but that's all just fuel for the game.
CaladanGuard
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Re: Starting Drinax Advice

Postby CaladanGuard » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:01 pm

Mine run the Captain at five shares. But he refuels the ship, does monthly maintenance, and pays the NPC crew salaries out of his shares. (They obviously get their own shares as well, but separately)

The other players have thrown in for upgrades and Harrier repairs, but the day to day is on him, and it seems to be working pretty well. I left it in their hands (With a, "Generally, spoils would be divided as so.") and they decided it could work.
Putraack
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Re: Starting Drinax Advice

Postby Putraack » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:20 am

Be ready if the players want to split up after they get more than one ship.
Have lots of NPCs ready, in case they hire some crew for new ships.
Definitely run a calendar, this could take years to play out.

I started keeping a page for each system with stuff I'd need to know: cargoes available, 1-2 random encounters, what ships are on defense or patrol duty, NPCs, rumors, and quests. Plus port & planet data.

I ran 4 of the first 5 adventures a few years ago, ending Ihatei with a big space battle as the group recruited all the pirates they'd encountered, to launch a surprise attack on the ihatei gathering. I might restart the campaign this year, beginning with the Fleet characters and following them for a while, before restarting the pirate thread.

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