Pirate Booty Quick Mechanics

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bklokis
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Pirate Booty Quick Mechanics

Postby bklokis » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:28 pm

Running Drinax, my PCs are at the point where they've got an additional ship and crew in their meager 'Fleet'. So far they have assigned this ship to plod a route from Clarke to Palindrome and back playing pirate, while the PCs take care of the main missions. At some point every couple of months they plan to meet up and divide the spoils.

Since this seems to be an obvious strategy for this campaign, I can only assume other GMs have dealt with a similar situation and I can see this getting out of hand once they have multiple other ships doing the same thing. I'm wondering what other GMs have done to easily generate results for ship-encounters/combat/booty for the NPC driven ships in a way that doesn't require myself or the PCs to roll through fully fleshed out encounters.

I know there are random encounter tables, but I'm looking for suggestions for things like: roll 2d to determine encounter, roll 2d to determine if combat/boarding ensued, roll 2d for success/failure in combat/boarding, roll on random booty table for spoils or ship damage table if the combat roll failed.

Maybe I've just worked out what I'm looking for above, but I'm still interested in other people's approach here.

Thanks!
"Every RPG character worth his salt has daddy issues" - Ambrosius Quayle
Annatar Giftbringer
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Re: Pirate Booty Quick Mechanics

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:19 pm

Have you looked at the encounter and boarding action rules in the main rulebook? Pages 145 and 163. Or do you want something even more automated?
Garran
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Re: Pirate Booty Quick Mechanics

Postby Garran » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:38 pm

I don't see the need for a bunch of tables for this: the off-camera ship simply generates a certain amount of return on investment (much like unused ship ownership from chargen can). You only need to worry about it beyond that when the story specifically calls for it, such as during the Sun & Shadow events.
silburnl
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Re: Pirate Booty Quick Mechanics

Postby silburnl » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:28 am

I wouldn't make it an entirety sure thing, but a simplified 2d (or perhaps 3d like for spec trade) table where the extreme results kick off events that the players can respond to, or not, and the middle results give returns that can be thrown into the pot when you meet up to divide the spoils sounds like a good mechanic. I'm not aware of anything like that has been written up however.

BTW how do they cover the 3 parsec gap on that route to Palindrome? Fuel bladders?

Regards
Luke
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Currently running Pirates of Drinax
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Re: Pirate Booty Quick Mechanics

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:59 am

Take a look at the Sindal subsector map on p.163 of Pirates of Drinax book 2, there’s a fuel dump in hex 0406. Since it doesn’t show up on the big sector map, it’s probably top secret :)
silburnl
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Re: Pirate Booty Quick Mechanics

Postby silburnl » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:52 am

Annatar Giftbringer wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:59 am
Take a look at the Sindal subsector map on p.163 of Pirates of Drinax book 2, there’s a fuel dump in hex 0406. Since it doesn’t show up on the big sector map, it’s probably top secret :)
I don't have the the fancy paid-for version of Drinax - only the freebie pdfs, but I guess that's the fuel dump that Krrsh knows about in 'Honour Among Thieves', right? If so, then yes it's a secret.

So the route is Clarke-Torpol-Borite/Marduk-Noricum-Fuel Dump-Palindrome? That's six jumps so each transit along the route will take on the order of three months (assuming two jumps/month and that instead of looking for spec cargoes in the downport they are lurking for targets) - that gives a timeframe for a 'how good a pirate were we?' check.

The table to roll against for this check and the modifiers to apply would need to account for the pirate crew's skill, how well trafficked the systems they're hunting in are, how dangerous the systems are and how much risk the crew are willing to take (there are more factors you could consider, but that sounds like enough to be getting started with). Interesting events could be stuff like 'crew misses rendezvous, roll to see if they were destroyed|captured|absconded|delayed', 'ship damaged in battle, needs refit', 'crew commits atrocity', 'crew finds lead to a big payoff', 'prize had unusual cargo', 'rival pirates threaten retribution' etc etc.

Regards
Luke
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Currently running Pirates of Drinax
bklokis
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Re: Pirate Booty Quick Mechanics

Postby bklokis » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:50 pm

Garran wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:38 pm
I don't see the need for a bunch of tables for this: the off-camera ship simply generates a certain amount of return on investment (much like unused ship ownership from chargen can). You only need to worry about it beyond that when the story specifically calls for it, such as during the Sun & Shadow events.
silburnl wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:28 am
I wouldn't make it an entirety sure thing, but a simplified 2d (or perhaps 3d like for spec trade) table where the extreme results kick off events that the players can respond to, or not, and the middle results give returns that can be thrown into the pot when you meet up to divide the spoils sounds like a good mechanic. I'm not aware of anything like that has been written up however.

BTW how do they cover the 3 parsec gap on that route to Palindrome? Fuel bladders?

Regards
Luke
This is more along the lines of what I was thinking. I don't think the off-camera ships need to generate so much specific info about what happens, really just a min/mid/max on loot or damage, or simply a 'return on investment'. Thanks, I'm going to try to flesh out this method a bit more.

Also, in MTU, during Honour Among Thieves, the PCs rescued Krrsh somewhat as written, and while heading from Borite to Theev, (due to an as yet investigated backstory between Lady Yamar and her pirating past) the secret fuel dump Krrsh knew about is located at hex 0607, rather than the originally mapped 0406. This is what allows the route from Clarke to Palindrome with a J2. Whether there actually is another secret fuel dump at 0406 is unknown.
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silburnl
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Re: Pirate Booty Quick Mechanics

Postby silburnl » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:37 pm

bklokis wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:50 pm
...the secret fuel dump Krrsh knew about is located at hex 0607, rather than the originally mapped 0406. This is what allows the route from Clarke to Palindrome with a J2. Whether there actually is another secret fuel dump at 0406 is unknown.
So the route is Clarke-Torpol-Borite-FuelDump-Palindrome? OK, that's probably more like a two month cruise rather than three, but the rest of my previous post holds.
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Putraack
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Re: Pirate Booty Quick Mechanics

Postby Putraack » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:25 pm

I'm getting ready to address a similar question myself. They've taken on the Tanith "side quest": 4 ships just left with potentially dangerous parasites on board-- go catch them! My first thought would be to plot the NPC ship's route, then roll 2d6 (or3) for each system entered.
2= something very bad happened
3-5= something bad happened
6-8= meh.
9-11= something good happened
12= something very good happened.

That's as far as I had gotten. I'd involve the Random Encounters or Prey Tables to give me a hint what good or bad might mean.

I did consider determining the NPC captain's personality (I am a fan of the personality/motivation deck of cards from Twilight:2000), that might inform my opinion of good/bad.

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