lost pet

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steve98052
Greater Spotted Mongoose
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Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:13 am
Location: near Seattle

lost pet

Postby steve98052 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:12 am

In the Mongoose Traveller core book, there's a passing mention that a "lost pet" might be the inspiration for an adventure. In planning for a short-term campaign (with a gaming group that customarily plays no more than about three sessions of the same game), I decided to run with that idea.

The party recently gained conditional use of the 50-year-old Far Trader Duchess Nazriya. It is owned by Sharik Kunumi, but a few years after she paid off the mortgage on Nazriya she had saved up enough for a few ship, and entrusted Nazriya into her loyal Second Officer [one of the player characters]. Nazriya is past due on an assortment of maintenance issues, but the mortgage is paid off. Its biggest issue is that its jump drive draws extra fuel, about 25% more than normal. Sharik's temporary solution was to buy supplemental fuel tanks, which tie up 10 dtons of the ship's cargo space, but what the ship really needs is an overhaul of the jump drive.

While in port at Extolay (Spinward Marches 1711), the ship's steward is approached by a rich couple looking concerned. Atsuko and Ronald Masondo are in Extolay on vacation from Regina, and had their daughter Alice's prized pony Butterscotch in an environmental livestock container on the Countess Kakumana, a luxurious Far Trader operated by the dilettante merchant Sir Anthony Panya. (Sharik regards Sir Anthony as an incompetent dandy.) In an attempt to impress Alice and her parents, Sir Anthony himself unloaded the livestock container from the hold.

The port authority's inspect was so backed up that Kakumana had already jumped out of the system before the livestock container was released to the family. Unfortunately, Kakumana had another livestock container in its hold on the jump from Regina, and Sir Anthony had unloaded the wrong one. Butterscotch, it seems, is on his way to the Imperial client-state world Tionale (an Amber Zone), and the Masondo family are getting an unexpected lesson in the mating habits of Prilissa kian.

Atsuko and Ronald would like the crew of Nazriya to attempt to catch up with Kakumana and retrieve Butterscotch. They have to return to Regina. However, Alice isn't sure where she wants to go to university, and her parents think it would be a good learning experience if she could spend some time as a working-passage intern crew member, assuming she will be safe aboard Nazriya.

Meanwhile, Nazriya's cargo broker on Extolay advises them that they might be able to earn a reward for correctly delivering the kian to their intended destination, the Federation of Arden colony word Utoland (Spinward Marches 1209).

Comments? Ideas?

[Edit: formatting only.]
Last edited by steve98052 on Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
Burocrate
Stoat
Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:35 pm

Re: lost pet

Postby Burocrate » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:46 pm

First off, thank you for the campaign hook; I will be stealing this. Secondly, well done! I tried to to provide useful feedback but was inspired to write up an old school set of Complications tables instead.

Once the PCs Jump you can spring any one or combination of these on them.

Complications with the Kian:
1. This animal is being shipped live so it must be feed.
2. As #1, and there are brushes and combs included on the outside of the container. The kian must be exercised and groomed during the trip.
3. As #2, in addition to the grooming there is a full set of track (bit, bridal and saddle). The kian is a riding beast and must be put into the track at least every other day.
4. The kian is high spirited; add this to any combination of the above complications.
5. The container is being used to smuggle whatever would be prohibited on Utoland.
6. The container conceals a stowaway who has been eating the beast’s feed and using the container’s waste capture system.

Complications with the Passengers:
1. The young Noble Alice hates the kian and will spend her time in the hold complaining about what a dreadful beast it is and how wonderful her Butterscotch is in comparison.
2. Young Lady Alice is interested in Zoological studies and takes an interest in the kian. She will request to take over and care and feeding duties.
3. The kian does not like Lady Alice and injures her. Explain that to the dotting parents!
4. There is contraband in the container and Lady Alice causes a problem; drugs spill and contaminate the Cargo Hold, or weapons go boom, or an experimental device interferes with ship operation. A Mis-Jump is extreme and de-rails the story, so I would go with a frightening but non-lethal option like the life support must be run a greatly reduced level or everyone not in a Low Berth will run out of air.
5. There is a stowaway in the container (as #6 from The Kian) and they are the kian’s handler. All care of the beast can now be provided by this individual.
6. There is a stowaway in the container (as #6 from The Kian) but they are nearly dead from injuries/starvation/exhaustion (you try sharing a container with an aggressive large animal and see how much sleep you get!). Now you need to figure out how to get payment for your medical and travel services.

Complications with the Ship:
1. The cargo hold was never intended to carry live perishable freight.
2. The container requires attachment to the ship’s life support/waste treatment systems. Who knew a single kian could produce so much waste.
3. Due to missed scheduled maintenance, the waste treatment system is not up to the job. Engineer in response to the problem: “Throw it out the air lock!” Captain’s response: “Which one the Kian or its waste?”
4. Unrelated to the new cargo, the ship develops a new quirk; no heat in a selected stateroom, faulty comms within the ship, lighting and life support systems default to a random setting: Bwap home world come to mind.
5. Ship arrives out of Jump but all sensors and comms off line. The systems are still set at 'In-Jump' mode and must be manually re-set in Engineering. “If I can’t see or hear you then you can’t see or hear me!”
6. The cargo hold has a bad seal on the bay doors. It is always cold in the Hold and when transporting live shipments the life support usage sky rockets…you decide on the consequences.
Travellers: they'll break you ship and then ruin your best laid plans.
steve98052
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 936
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:13 am
Location: near Seattle

Re: lost pet

Postby steve98052 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:29 pm

Thanks for the comment, Burocrate. I had thought everything I had written recently had been ignored, but I guess I'm just not getting e-mail notifications.

Nice work on your complications tables.

My intention was for it to be up to the player characters to decide whether to accept Lady Alice aboard as an intern. If they accept, she's a quick learner and useful source of ideas -- but she's also impulsive and has the sense of invulnerability that is so common in young people who have never faced real danger before.

"Captain, I think I can help here. I studied four years of Gvegh in middle school. I can even follow most of the Uknar slang on Kaegzong and Eneri."

"How does this control work? Hello, anyone around?" Hmm, there's no warning labels on it, so I suppose it must be safe to just try it and see what happens...

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