Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

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Mithras
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Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby Mithras » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:45 pm

My 14 yr old son wants to play a bit of Traveller and I like to use the Third Imperium, and the Spinward Marches in particular. My eye settled on this stretch of star systems, a piece of real estate that formed the De-militarized Zone between the Zhodani and the Imperium following the Third Frontier War (circa: 990):

Image

I need to brainstorm a few ideas now, a story arc or two and possibilities for adventure above and beyond what the planets themselves offer.

I suck at playing aliens, so I'm running Zhodani almost like Star Trek's Vulcans, logical with an ordered and logical society with emotion under control or at least very restrained. I'll probably play down psionics, if they are used, it will probably be telepathic noblemen. Not sure I want the other psionic powers.

The situation after the Third Frontier War smacks a bit of Firefly, a war almost lost, territory ceded, bad blood between the civil population and the military, the emperor forced to abdicate, probably dragging lots of high ranking military officers in the Marches with him. What passes for the 'Outer Planets' in Serenity can be made up with this DE Militarized Zone. I'm not after recreating a Firefly campaign though, just the same adventure opportunities.

Looking at that map ... does anything spring to mind?!?
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby Mithras » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:56 pm

I notice that in Martin's The Spinward Marches there is mention on pg.62 (the Jewell subsector) of rumours about covert scout missions launched from Imperial bases aimed at 'adjusting the attitudes of neutral worlds, or countering Zhodani activities with the same objectives'.

Special ops?!
Paul Elliott
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby dragoner » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:04 pm

Expedition to Zhodane and the Federation of Arden.
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby Mithras » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:27 pm

dragoner wrote:Expedition to Zhodane and the Federation of Arden.
Expedition to Zhodane, that's the one with the little asteroid ship, isn't it..?
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby dragoner » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:07 pm

Yes it is, and the Utoland Gazette job finding plus the personality overlay machine. Had a great time playing it 30 years ago. Everyone was caught by the Zho's though.
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby Mithras » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:54 am

Would the populations be mixed I wonder? Then again Zhodani don't like to mix with humans so perhaps not ... But it would be interesting to have pro Zhodani and pro Imperium factions, with the pro Zhodani perhaps adopting a Zhodani philosophy or attitude to life.
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby alex_greene » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:55 am

Tripwire is an entire campaign set in Jewell subsector.

Also, note the critical importance of Esalin, straddling the border between Imperium and Consulate and acting as kind of a gateway between them. It's a garden world, and it is said that "nobody goes hungry on Esalin."

That one world has huge potential, as a kind of Casablanca - everyone eventually wanders through there at some point - or like the old Checkpoint Charlie in the days of the Berlin Wall and the Cold War, where East and West would swap their captured spies as part of clandestine trade negotiations between us and the Russians.
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby Mithras » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:14 pm

Tripwire might be a bit intense for my one player, is there alot of setting material in it? If so, I may just pick it up ...
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby alex_greene » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:37 pm

Mithras wrote:Tripwire might be a bit intense for my one player, is there a lot of setting material in it? If so, I may just pick it up ...
It's a bit intense, yeah. The adventure does, however, feature every world in the Jewell subsector so you can pick it up to get a more detailed idea of what each world is about, and thus figure out what sort of stories you can give your player which make use of the settings without having to run Tripwire.
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby phavoc » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:07 pm

The Expedition to Zhodane setup might work very well for you. But instead of getting into the mind overlay aspects, you could run the adventure the same up to their finding the asteroid ship and then diverge. At first the people who imprisoned them may be after them because a) they escaped and that pisses them off ("nobody escapes from their asteroids!"), and b) they want the ship for themselves.

Toss in the odd Imperial or Zhodane patrol ship chasing them too, just because they aren't flying anybodies flat - are they spies? aliens?.

To make it even more interesting why don't you add in some sort of computer system that once activated, the players are basically along for the ride. Or maybe the computer is semi-sentient and its taking the players from world to world to pick up pieces of something, and it needs bipeds to do its bidding.

There's lots of possibilities there if you think about it. And having a starting point for an adventure sometimes make it easier to begin one.
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby Elrick » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:27 am

You can get more world data at: http://traveller.wikia.com/wiki/Vilis_Subsector and http://traveller.wikia.com/wiki/Jewell_Subsector.

Something that I've just thought up which might work for you is the PCs are traders for the Federation of Arden (although some of them might be ex-Impies or ex-Zho citizens who have decided to pursue an easier life in the DMZ).

After the Third Frontier War the Zho have gone over their war diaries and realised they are missing a scout or other small ship in the 100-300 ton range somewhere in the Arden area. A small team of Zho start paying small amounts to the traders who work this area for news of the ship. The Imperials take an interest (it probably has codes or something on its computer) and start doing the same. Both sides approach the PCs.

Trading happens for a couple of worlds, then some Zhodani equipment (something tame like compressor masks or portable shelters) turns up for sale in a market in Zenopit. Following the trail back through brokers and scavengers turns up news that the equipment came from Gougeste.

Travelling to Gougeste (http://traveller.wikia.com/wiki/Gougeste_(world)) turns up a starport fortified against the local gangs and one of the gangs has (amonst other things) Zhodani snub pistols. The evidence is clear - the ship is crashed out there somewhere in 'Mad Max' territory.

What they do with that information depends on how they want to proceed. The Zhodani and the Imperials can't send troops, so they want to hire someone locally to recover anything moveable from the wreck - either the PCs or some mercenaries. If they hire mercs, they'll need a ship to transport them to Gougeste and land close to the wreck (no sense in fighting your way out of the port and across gang territories and alert the natives to what you are doing).
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby Mithras » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:45 am

Elrick, thanks for the link. I really like your intro scenario idea, firstly because it introduces the pcs to the secret service and gains them a long running patron, secondly because it ties in the Zhodani and an element of the failed Third Frontier War that should loom like a shadow over the DMZ.
Elrick wrote:You can get more world data at: http://traveller.wikia.com/wiki/Vilis_Subsector and http://traveller.wikia.com/wiki/Jewell_Subsector.

Something that I've just thought up which might work for you is the PCs are traders for the Federation of Arden (although some of them might be ex-Impies or ex-Zho citizens who have decided to pursue an easier life in the DMZ).

After the Third Frontier War the Zho have gone over their war diaries and realised they are missing a scout or other small ship in the 100-300 ton range somewhere in the Arden area. A small team of Zho start paying small amounts to the traders who work this area for news of the ship. The Imperials take an interest (it probably has codes or something on its computer) and start doing the same. Both sides approach the PCs.

Trading happens for a couple of worlds, then some Zhodani equipment (something tame like compressor masks or portable shelters) turns up for sale in a market in Zenopit. Following the trail back through brokers and scavengers turns up news that the equipment came from Gougeste.

Travelling to Gougeste (http://traveller.wikia.com/wiki/Gougeste_(world)) turns up a starport fortified against the local gangs and one of the gangs has (amonst other things) Zhodani snub pistols. The evidence is clear - the ship is crashed out there somewhere in 'Mad Max' territory.

What they do with that information depends on how they want to proceed. The Zhodani and the Imperials can't send troops, so they want to hire someone locally to recover anything moveable from the wreck - either the PCs or some mercenaries. If they hire mercs, they'll need a ship to transport them to Gougeste and land close to the wreck (no sense in fighting your way out of the port and across gang territories and alert the natives to what you are doing).
Paul Elliott
HOSTILE: A Gritty SF setting inspired by Alien, Outland and Bladerunner - for Cepheus Engine https://www.paulelliottbooks.com/hostile.html
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby Mithras » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:33 pm

The usually secret Psionic Institutes might have a role to play in this no man's land. They may be popular amongst proZhodani factions, reviled by others, perhaps embedded into planetary societies in strange ways, perhaps as cults, religions or organs of government. Like the US trying to shut down terrorist training camps in 'neutral' countries today, the Imperial secret service may want to try doing the same, sabotaging, smearing, disrupting or shutting down these Psionic training centres covertly.
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby GypsyComet » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:33 pm

1104-1105 the Ardenese are still a single world, but are probably thinking about the plans that will eventually (after the 5FW) become the Federation of Arden. If you do a lot of planet-hopping, the same "diplomatic courier" can pop up again and again.
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby Mithras » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:10 am

There was an old White Dwarf scenario on this theme, perhaps called The Snowbird Mystery, perhaps written by Andy Slack. I have it somewhere....

Because the game is for my son (1 player), I'll muster him out on Denotam since he wants to be a marine, then give him options, two or three options. I can say he was mustered out suddenly, his mustering out pay is actually waiting for him at the Regina naval base. He can either look for work on Denotam, that will lead him into the DMZ via one or two job offers, or trek to Regina for his pay, where he'll run into the Office of Naval Intelligence who want their scout ship back ..... ONI may even declare him legally overdue to claim his mustering out pay. However, if the marine would do them a favour ..... then they can sign over his mustering out pay without delay.... ;)

Rather than run Expedition to Zhodane as written, where I think he will feel cheated, powerless and bored having to mine rocks for survival, instead I may offer him the job of search for the rest of his squad who mustered out ten weeks earlier and said they were off to Utoland to make their fortunes in the postwar chaos "opportunities for anyone brave enough to try - get there before the Zho do!" Of course his comrades tried a few jobs in the Utoland Gazette then found themselves slaves of the mining corp. The PC can attempt a rescue, finding the professor's asteroid ship along the way. A couple of his comrades will have survived the slavery and act as NPCs and crew for the ship.
Elrick wrote:After the Third Frontier War the Zho have gone over their war diaries and realised they are missing a scout or other small ship in the 100-300 ton range somewhere in the Arden area. A small team of Zho start paying small amounts to the traders who work this area for news of the ship. The Imperials take an interest (it probably has codes or something on its computer) and start doing the same. Both sides approach the PCs.
Paul Elliott
HOSTILE: A Gritty SF setting inspired by Alien, Outland and Bladerunner - for Cepheus Engine https://www.paulelliottbooks.com/hostile.html
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby Prime_Evil » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:39 am

Mithras wrote:There was an old White Dwarf scenario on this theme, perhaps called The Snowbird Mystery, perhaps written by Andy Slack. I have it somewhere....
Andy made this adventure freely available on his Halfway Station website with the permission of Games Workshop and FFE, along with a number of other White Dwarf articles he wrote. You can still grap a PDF copy here:

http://www.travellerbibliography.org/wh ... snwbrd.pdf

I also love the collection of his Expanding Universe articles - I still use some of his world generation stuff:

http://www.travellerbibliography.org/wh ... expuni.pdf
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby Mithras » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:03 pm

Thanks! That'll save me digging through my untidy pile of White Dwarves...
Prime_Evil wrote:
Mithras wrote:There was an old White Dwarf scenario on this theme, perhaps called The Snowbird Mystery, perhaps written by Andy Slack. I have it somewhere....
Andy made this adventure freely available on his Halfway Station website with the permission of Games Workshop and FFE, along with a number of other White Dwarf articles he wrote. You can still grap a PDF copy here:

http://www.travellerbibliography.org/wh ... snwbrd.pdf

I also love the collection of his Expanding Universe articles - I still use some of his world generation stuff:

http://www.travellerbibliography.org/wh ... expuni.pdf
Paul Elliott
HOSTILE: A Gritty SF setting inspired by Alien, Outland and Bladerunner - for Cepheus Engine https://www.paulelliottbooks.com/hostile.html
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Re: Adventure ideas for a campaign in Jewell?

Postby Jak Nazryth » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:16 pm

You know, never in my life of playing Traveller (admit I had a decade or so break), have I ever heard of anyone, or had any inclination myself, of adventuring in Vargr territories. But thanks to the Gvurrdon supplement and map pack, this may be an option for your campaign. You could involve the Zhodani of course but wouldn't it me interesting to enter zho space sideways, from Vargr territories? I've never been that far coreward in the games I've played or GM'd so Gvurrdon has never been a concern. But since you're up there already, might be something to think about.

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