Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:48 pm

Old School wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:17 pm
Question for those who have run the Treasure Ship Adventure: Irontooth’s vessels include a “300 ton bug-class” salvage hauler. I cant find this vessel. The ships book details a 400 ron vulture class, but no 300 ton. Is there somewhere I’m supposed to be looking for this vessel’s particulars, or is it an artifact left over from a prior version, or perhaps something that was planned but later left out?

Thanks.
Found it after some digging - it’s from Scoundrel (1st edition book). Stats-wise it looks very much like it evolved into the Vulture class in 2nd edition, so I’d just use that :)
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:24 pm

Pyromancer wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:30 pm
Are there 2d deckplans for the ships in Drinax anywhere? There are official ones for the rulebook and High Guard, and I find those more useful than the fancy 3d ones.
I actually made a set in Adobe Illustrator so that when my players inevitably modify the ship, I can keep the deck plans up to date. Here's the 2D version:

https://ibb.co/nQFTD0
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:35 pm

Thanks. Much appreciated.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Pyromancer » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:50 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:24 pm
Pyromancer wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:30 pm
Are there 2d deckplans for the ships in Drinax anywhere? There are official ones for the rulebook and High Guard, and I find those more useful than the fancy 3d ones.
I actually made a set in Adobe Illustrator so that when my players inevitably modify the ship, I can keep the deck plans up to date. Here's the 2D version:

https://ibb.co/nQFTD0
Cool! For the Harrier, I use the old 1e version, but your's look nicer.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:39 am

Thank you! I hope you enjoy it.

We finished "Treasure Ship" and based on the players decisions ended up moving on to "Ihatei!" Let me tell you, an Ihateisho-class scout is no match for the the Harrier. :shock:
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:35 pm

So I could swear I posted this last night, but it ain’t here.

After a long and frustrsting delay, we finally got in a lengthy session last night. Played Treasure Ship through the battle of Exe. Very well played by my travellers. They turned the plot on its ear, or course. Massive amount of well planned bloodshed and radiation damage ensued. Will try to put up a detailed post later, maybe over the weekend. My travellers have new, interior shot to hell but almost fully functional, 1200 ton flagship. “Say what you will about the Aslan, but the paint job is killer”.

The dancing spider and ten light fighters are no more, and my gang is currently arguing with Capt Torsa over the Monkey Business and Sindal’s Shame, which are moderately damaged and floating in Space with dead crews. “Hey, asshole who’s ass we just saved, we have a tow cable, too”.

Torsa has ordered his marines to board and take control of the Monkey Business, but of course his ship is too slow to get there before any traveller ship should they so choose, which might put the Gazelle Captains, two decent chaps who have taken a liking to the Traveller Captain (and realize who’s planning and initiative saved all their skins), in an awkward position.
Last edited by Old School on Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:36 pm

Sounds like an exciting session. So your travellers are flying a pocket warship! I assume Hroal died then.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:03 am

Referee’s ruling: Hroal ain’t the surrendering type. Went out in a blaze of glory, roaring with rage and wielding a plasma jet. A good death.

Actually the first personal combat we’ve had since the first session where my intended introduction to traveller combat (ambushed by three Oghman raiders while fixing a pump on Borite) almost ended in TPK. Those Sindalian officer’s revolvers seem pretty powerful until you have to use them at range. They are a little better armed now.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:01 am

At least they used them. I love that revolver but my group has been adventuring for a while and had better gear. We've come close to TPKs a few times. I like those close shaves. Keeps the players honest. :D

My group spent a lot of their Treasure Ship money on augments. If you've ever read Alistair Reynolds' sci-fi, they now kind of remind me of the crew of the Nostalgia for Infinity from "Revelation Space." They're fully embracing transhumanism. I dropped the bait for "Ihatei!" but they didn't bite. I guess I'll have to toss in another "carrot" to get them going in that direction. I'd hate to see Drinax taken over by legions of Aslan. :shock:
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:01 pm

Warning: Long post. . .

So here’s a blow by blow of the Treasure Ship adventure so far.

I like running back through these sessions, as I think it makes me a better referee to revisit them. So forgive me (or just stop reading) if I ramble on.

I’ll leave the dates out but we kept a detailed timeline of all movements from the day the Treasure Ship arrived on Arunisir. Two weeks later word reaches my Travellers and their three ships, who are taking a break on Drinax. They have been gearing up for the Revolution on Acrid. They took the concept of Chieftain Galx wanting to send a few young warriors into space and ran with it. The Marine Colonel, Chadwick, has been with the Vespexers for several months putting 27 Vespexer recruits through basic training, with intent to have a cohesive, if inexperienced, platoon to take to Acrid.

They leave their smallest ship in Drinax, and depart with the Harrier (which has no name) and the Medina, a heavily armed fat trader. Much of the cargo bay will serve as rough quarters for the Vespexers. Two weeks later they arrive at Torpol, and the Medina takes break for a few days to stretch their legs and gather rumors about this reported Treasure ship, which they do quite successfully. The Harrier pushes on to Arunisir, and the crew start working the taverns and the ships in system to see what they can learn. The most critical piece of information is gained from Bel, the skipper of the Hopeful Wander, regarding Hroal Irontooth’s location in the Exe system. The Harrier Captain, Dante, a retired Navy Captain, calls on Captain Torsa. He gains a little information but not much. The crew befriend O’Leary and Ilin, and also learn that the Ship has lost its medical officer. Willow, a doctor who did one term in the Navy way back in the day, hires on as an both Engineer and Ship’s Doctor for the repairs and voyage. They learn of the Jump-2 limitation and the expected route.

When the Medina finally arrives, the Travellers compare notes, and the Harrier jumps out the next day to go find their old fiend Hroal, who they had previously promised a large track of land in the renewed Sindalian Empire. “Yeah, big guy: Marduk, Fantasy, Sink, Asim, whatever you want. You’ll have plenty of options.”

With stealth and better sensors, they locate Hroal and contact him while staying out of weapons range. They have information Hroal wants. Dante insists on a face to face meeting. Neither side trusts the other to come within particle beam range, so finally they agree to stage their ships 80,000 km apart, and Hroal and Dante each take a launch to the mid-point to meet. The shuttles are within range of the respective particle beams, so funny business on either side gets their leader blasted.

Dante shares solid intel on the Martin II. The Harrier picked up the Dancing Spider’s fly by prior to leaving Arunisir, so he knows that Hroal has good info already, and he plays it straight. He offers his ships to help Hroal attack the convoy. Hroal chuckles that he won’t have to fight the Gazelles, but won’t say why. Dante presses: "You can’t get in the vault without our help due to security. You have to take the ship intact, and jump to the right destination to get it to open. Which means taking on Marines in battledress. You need a huge boarding party, and I’ve got a platoon ready to go. You can't refuel the Martin II without fighting the Gazelles. Hroal asks what good these newbies will be against Marines, and Dante replies “They’ll fight bravely”. Hroal gets the point that cannon fodder can be useful. Dante names his price: He wants a captured Gazelle. Hroal considers it and realizes that with two more ships, he can take on the Gazelles, whether the ambush plan works or not. A Gazelle would be a fine addition to his fleet as well. He agrees. Dante tells Hroal that he will be back with both ships and the troops ahead of the convoy, and then departs for Acrid.

Back on Arunisir, Willow is working overtime to cover her responsibilities and then some fixing the Martin II's jump drives, and also making time to interview each crew member, under the guise of a psychological evaluation. This is appropriate given the hardship the crew has faced and the lengthy trip ahead of them. She senses something wrong with Osha and with Henshaw, but neither is talking. She makes an effort to befriend both of them. (Referee note: I give a her false leads as well. A homesick Marine, a gunner who despises another crew member to the point of considering violence. Otherwise it’s too obvious who the culprits are. Vaughn was quite uncooperative, but no deception was detected).

The Vespexers are bored and troublesome. Their presence is explained away as the Medina crew having a contract to train and deliver raw mercenary recruits (not all that untrue) and they accomplish a little bit of training while stuck on Arunisir.

The convoy, along with the Medina, finally depart for Acrid, and our travellers reunite there. In route, Pilot Henshaw breaks down to Willow and shares Salvesdes’ plans, begging Willow for help. Willow takes pity on her and decides to stop Salvesdes while not exposing Henshaw. Henshaw’s description of Salvesdes combined with a successful Science (Psychology) roll result in Willow figuring out that Salvesdes is not his own man. Willow tells Harc and Jagad that Salvesdes is suffering from PTSD as a result of his previous pirate encounter, and that as Medical Officer she is declaring him unfit for duty. Harc and Jagad are skeptical, (and she’s not really the medical officer), but they agree to watch on a monitor as Dr. Willow subjects Salvesdes to a counselling session, clinically pressing his buttons about the pirate attack, his behavior, and does he have any visions of donning his armor and attacking his crewmates? (Referee note: very nice role playing in this scene). At this last bit, Henshaw finally snaps, coming across the table at Willow. He’s unarmed for the medical exam, and Harc and Jagad are close by, so Willow escapes a little roughed up but not seriously injured. Salvesdes is subdued and confined until they reach Acrid. Rather than drag him along the entire journey, Torsa pays the PRQ to detain Salvesdes at their facility on Acrid until such time that the Navy retrieves him. This upsets the other Marines (nut not the Navy crew), as Salvesdes is a hero who cracked under pressure, not a common criminal. no one other than Willow and Henshaw know any of the real story. (Referee note: totally unplanned, but my man Salvesdes is still going to be there when we get to “Revolution on Acrid”. Not sure what this means, but it’s too good to pass up).

During the brief stopover in Acrid, the Medina drops off a nine man Vespexer Squad, who have signed contracts as new employees in the PRQ mines (nice audible by the travellers while hanging out on Arunisir). Our Vespexer traveller, Deni, goes with them in an effort to keep them from blowing the whole thing with their inexperience and aversion to taking orders. PRQ doesn’t ask too many questions, as they need manpower, and who better to work in such a harsh environment?

Dante requests a meeting with Captain Torsa, but Torsa has decided he doesn’t like Dante so he refuses to meet. Dante meets the two Gazelle Captains for drinks, and walks them through the plan he presented to Irontooth, including putting Chad’s troop on Hroal’s flagship before the fight.

Based on the obvious threat and the travellers reputation as pirate hunters, the Captains convince Torsa to listen and consider the plan. Torsa is too risk adverse to walk into an unnecessary firefight, so Dante points out that Torsa could take different route and avoid Exe if he so chose, but also makes it clear that the travellers are going after Hroal with or without the Navy (Referee note: we’ll never know if this was true or not. The players didn’t know what they would do if Torsa changed course to avoid Irontooth). Torsa knows he’s lost face with the crew by panicking during the accident. He knows he’s about to lose more in the eyes of his First Officer, as well as the Captains of the Komino and Arshad, who are also at the meeting. After making several (not entirely untrue) derogatory comments about the Vespexers, he decides to seize the opportunity to be a hero (while hiding behind two Gazelles). The convoy pauses for a day while the Harrier and the Mendina jump out to meet Hroal, with news that the Martin II won’t be far behind.

In Exe, the remaining two squads of Vespexers offload from the Mendina to the Meatgrinder, along with their Colonel Chad, and a crack Engineer named Hima who also happens to be Gun Combat (Slug) 4. Hroal plans to use his gunners, a couple of engineers, and of course himself as a boarding party. By taking the now short platoon onto the Meatgrinder, they are massing their forces to storm the Navy vessels.

Amusing aside: An argument among the players broke out when Hima declared himself the XO (Executive Officer), i.e. 2nd in command of the platoon. Someone says that the 2nd in command at the platoon level is the platoon sergeant, not an XO. Chad’s player finds this funny and starts referring to Hima (a retired Navy Master Chief) as “Sarge”, until Hima’s player points out that if he’s the platoon sergeant that means Chad is the wet behind the ears lieutenant that Hima has to babysit. Peace is declared as Colonel Chadwick Vangeles promotes Hima Mitsui to the rank of brevet Major for the duration of their stay in the Exe system.

Tensions mount as the Navy convoy emerges from jump space, not in the ambush location, but not near the Exe star port either. They are headed towards the asteroid belt, and Hroal realizes that his trap has failed and that the Navy is looking for him. On the bridge of the Meatgrinder, Chadwick looks at Hroal “That’s because they think they can beat you. Did you have someone on the inside? If you did, did they know the size of your fleet? No? Good. They don’t know about my two ships at your command, either.” Hroal roars with satisfaction and orders his ships out of the asteroid belt and towards the three Navy Ships. Meatgrinder launches its fighters, but they stay close the six ship convoy, holding back until the bigger ships have engaged each other. The two convoys head straight for each other, and even Hroal has to admire the foolish courage of the Imperial Navy. Chad leaves the bridge, telling Irontooth that he needs to oversee his platoon’s preparation.

That’s enough for now. Much bloodshed to come.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:19 pm

Fantastic! I look forward to the next chapter. It went sooooo differently than ours. I love how much variation there can be.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:12 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:24 pm
Pyromancer wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:30 pm
Are there 2d deckplans for the ships in Drinax anywhere? There are official ones for the rulebook and High Guard, and I find those more useful than the fancy 3d ones.
I actually made a set in Adobe Illustrator so that when my players inevitably modify the ship, I can keep the deck plans up to date. Here's the 2D version:

https://ibb.co/nQFTD0
Dude, are those imperial sunburst cookies I see?
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:23 pm

Indeed. And Domain of Deneb ones as well. And they were delicious. :)
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:47 pm

and I thought the first post was too long. . .

Part 2
How we’ve set the game up:

We started with 4 players playing 6 travellers. Less than ideal, but I knew we would need a lot of characters for this campaign. Two former Imperial Navy, a former GeDeCo agent, a Vespexer, and Asimer, and a Drinaxian noble. Once they started gathering ships and wanted to split them up to achieve multiple objectives, I let them bring in another group of 6 that we had rolled up but never used. Now we’re down to three players, and with 12 characters it’s already too unwieldy, so there will be no more traveller PCs. They are going to need to hire some help pronto. It does give them unusual options, however. For example, our Asimer is more loyal to Asim than he is to Drinax. If this came to head the player could role play this to an extreme. He could turn against the other travellers (I’d take him over at that point) without the player having to leave the game, as he’d have more travellers to play.

Vespexers: In maneuvering the who’s who of the floating palace, they were approached by Chieftain Galx about taking a few warriors into space with them. I brought this idea in much earlier than it would be in the written Campaign, because I thought they could use a few warm bodies to fill their ships. They completely took ahold of this one, with the Vespexer traveller wanting an army to go fight for glory, and the Marine Colonel agreeing to train them. Haven’t quite fleshed this out as to their ultimate motivation. A mercenary’s salary doesn’t quite seem to fit what would drive these people.

The result for now is 27 Vespexers, organized into a platoon similar to that of the U.S. Army infantry. Four man fire team consists of a team leader, rifleman, automatic rifleman, and a grenadier. In our case the automatic rifleman is instead the “heavy weapons man”. Two fire teams plus a sergeant squad leader equals a squad. Three squads is a platoon. They have all completed basic training, which I defined as equivalent to Core Rulebook Marines: Level 0 in Athletics, Vacc Suit, Tactics, Heavy Weapons, Gun Combat, and Stealth. Also gave them Level 0 Melee, Survival and Navigation as background skills. All have average stats (limited pool to recruit from), with the exception that those carrying heavy weapons have Str 9.

They were equipped with mostly low tech equipment (sub machineguns, shotguns, cutlasses) in preparation for the Revolution on Acrid. As they have been diverted to this adventure, they are equipped with a hodgepodge of powerful weaponry taken from the very well stocked armories of the Harrier and the Medina.

For the purposes of the combat below, we gave up the normal player/traveller assignments, with one player taking one ship and its travellers – The Meatgrinder, the Mendina, and the Harrier. One traveller is on the Martin II, for what that’s worth.

Okay, let’s get this party started:

Space Combat, round 1:
Two rounds out from Very Long Range, Hroal fires off 12 missiles at the Arshad. Dominick, running sensors on the Harrier, considers firing up the Countermeasures Suite, but is counseled not to as, the power surge might give them away (Referee Ruling: can a countermeasures check be made against the missiles aimed at a different ship? Yes, so long as only one check is made per round against that salvo.) The Arshad uses countermeasures against the salvo to no effect.

Space combat, round 2:
Hroal fires off another 12 missile salvo from distant range. The Arshad uses countermeasures again against salvo 1, this time eliminating 3 of the 12 missiles in the first Salvo.

Now the Harrier does fire up its countermeasure suite, directed at the Meatgrinder’s communications, completely and immediately jamming them. Chadwick, monitoring the comms traffic from the power plant section of the Meatgrinder with his troops in the adjacent cargo bay, hears static and gives the long awaited signal. The Vespexers, ostensibly suited up for radiation projection and boarding, spring into action, simultaneously charging the four turrets, the particle bay, and the power plant, all on the same deck as the cargo bay where they begin the round.

Moving to regular combat rounds: Carnage ensues, with Chad’s troops getting the drop and wiping out the 5 gunners and 3 engineers in short order. (Hindsight: probably would have made more sense for the particle bay gunner to be on the bridge rather than in the bay, but it’s too late now. He’s already dead).
The ambush goes well, with two exceptions. In one turret, the Vespexers lose their +6 initiative roll, and three rounds of incredibly low rolls on the part of the Vespexers and the gunner, who has a gauss pistol on full auto, finally result in two Vespexers injured, one severely, and the gunner dead. (Referee ruling: the turret, although not the weapons mounted on it, is completely destroyed by the gunfire). Elsewhere, our fearless leader, Colonel Chadwick Vangeles, retired, of the Imperial Marines, MCG, MCUF, kicks off the combat by hoisting a plasma gun at a defenseless pirate engineer, and promptly places the opening shot right into the fusion reactor. (Referee’s note: snake eyes. A natural 2 is more than a miss. One dton of Fusion reactor is now damaged beyond repair, and the ship’s available power drops by 15. That’s one way to kill the power to the ship!).

Those incidents aside, almost all combat is over in one or two rounds, with the turret destruction being the exception. The troops rush up the ladders to the drives on deck 4 as planned. Reality check: one man is bleeding out, and the platoon has no medic. Never thought about it until now. They also have no medkit. The injured man’s fire team stays behind to pull him out of the turret and into the cargo bay, where Chad (Medic 1), considers first aid, decides he ain’t got time for that, and administers a fast drug instead.

The now shorthanded fire team go to the power plant to cover Hima, Engineering (Power) 2, who is attempting to cut power to the drives and weapons. (Referee’s note: Very good argument by the players that cutting power to a specific area should be a routine task as the controls would be designed with this functionality. Nice try. Due to security protocols and alien controls, Hima can roll Engineering (Int) to find specific power couplings that can disabled by destroying (fast) or decoupling (not nearly as fast) them). With both the Medina and the Harrier in close proximity to the Meatgrinder and its remaining particle beam bay, time is of the essence. A successful check and some use of his gauss pistol as an engineering tool, and the power goes down. (Referee’s note: he made the check easily so I let him disable the drives and the weapons while keeping background systems operational. In hindsight, I made this too easy. Missed opportunity for zero-G combat, which given the number of slug throwers on both sides, would have been hilarious).

While Hima starts working, there are fourteen pirates are alive on the upper decks. That drops to 12 as the Vespexers overrun the two poor souls manning the drives. They heard the gunfire in the lower deck had time to grab guns and take cover, but there are a lot of Vespexers coming up those ladders. The first Vespexers come up the ladder in round 3, more in 4 and 5, and they have the room secured in round six with five men (fire team plus a squad leader) at each entrance, with a third team in reserve taking cover but with a clear line of site to either door.

Chad gets on the internal comm and orders the pirates to surrender, and to walk into engineering one at a time and unarmed. (Referee’s ruling: fat chance. I gave Hroal a plasma jet, because can you really think of a better weapon for Hroal? and I want it used).

12 pirates. Hroal is in combat armor. Gunners are in Boarding Vacc Suits. Bridge Crew that didn’t expect close combat are in TL 12 vacc suits. Hodgepodge of powerful weaponry. Hroal wants one massed attack, but our heroes, to their credit, have planned well and cover two major chokepoints. Third fire team is in reserve. So the pirates split into two groups and attack with a fury.

The starboard side combat goes well, with the pirates being cut down by well placed defenders, who sustain only modest injuries. Combat lasts two or three rounds.

The port side, where Hroal is, goes worse. The pirates win the initiative roll, and Hroal catches the five Vespexers with his plasma jet, killing one, dropping two more, and injuring the Sergeant. The one man who shrugged off the hit (damage roll 1) is the heavy weapons man, and he catches the exposed Hroal square in the chest with a plasma gun (damage roll 5). No more Hroal. (Referee’s note: This guy is now officially a badass, and is going to need a name). The other four pirates do little damage, and our heavy weapons man and the injured Sergeant fall back into the engineering room. Now both the five remaining pirates and the reserve fire team have cover, and exchange fire with a few hits for two rounds. Chad, Hima and the two uninjured members of the fourth team are downstairs, but coming up through the hatch completely exposes them, so they are momentarily stuck unless they want to exposure themselves to heavy cross fire. Chad takes the ladder farthest from the pirates and pops his head up, firing his laser pistol. (Referee’s ruling, he has cover, but he’s firing at -2DM because he makes it clear he’s popping in and out of the hatch. Also, a natural 2 from the starboard side fire team might just hit him.) The other ladder is right next to the pirates, so the other men stay put.

The Sergeant on the starboard side takes charge, and orders his grenadier to fire his Grenade launcher. Grenadiers were given a laser pistol to use as well as their launcher, and close quarters combat meant the launchers stayed slung over the shoulder until now. Good roll leads to a frag grenade going through the open hatch and hitting the back wall of the passage the pirates are taking cover in. The reserve team’s grenadier sees this, does the same thing, and also makes a successful roll. Two frag grenades = five dead pirates. Our heroes are victorious.

Real life conversation at this point:
Me: “There are no pirates moving, and no sounds from elsewhere.’
Player 1: “I think that’s all of them, but we need to search the upper two decks.”
Player 2: “We only lost one guy, right? What are our injuries?”
Me: “You still got two injured men in the cargo bay. Two of your guys in the starboard door are injured but moving. Two guys are down in the port doorway, in addition to one dead.”
Player 3: “Isn’t that right where we put those two grenades?”
Me: “Uhhh….yup. Forgot about that. Correction: You got three guys dead in the port doorway” *smile*

Hima goes back to the power plant to try to repair the damage he inflicted less than one minute ago. A guard is posted at the ladders, and the rest of the troops begin a systematic search of the ship, but all the pirates are dead.

Returning to Space Combat, round two: Where were we?

The Meatgrinder is now a dead stick, but there are still 21 missiles flying. The Harrier and the Mendina, keeping a close watch on the on the Meatgrinder, see the power drop and the thrust stop, and immediately launch a surprise attack against the unsuspecting fighters. 6 turrets fire, 5 hit, and four fighters are popped. (Referee Note: The rules say that if a spacecraft manages to be caught completely by surprise, it gets no action that turn. That seems harsh for a 6 minute turn. Ruling: no evading, sensor locks, etc., but the gunners do each get a shot). The two traveller ships, however, go into evasive maneuvers, and are pretty hard to hit. With the rush of unexpected combat, I roll randomly to see which ship each gun fires at. The Harrier is hit a couple of times but not badly, while the unarmored Mendina takes a beating.

Space Combat, Round 3:
Arshad again uses countermeasures, again killing 3 missiles. (Referee note: easy to lose track of missiles, so I do those first thing every round). The Arshad and Komino are now at Very Long Range. The Arshad puts on the brakes so as not to close with the missiles and lose a countermeasure turn, but the Komino and Martin II keep coming. The remaining three pirate ships could try to jump if they had the initiative, but they don’t, so its particle beam time!

The Harrier and Mendina both fire on the Dancing Spider, with their logic being they can destroy it now before it can jump, and they need the salvage value to cover the cost of repairing Chad and Hima tearing up the pocket warship from the inside. Arianna, Captain of the Mendina, observes: “I think we’re going to need the cash to repair the Mendina.” Excepting the Mendina’s beam laser, both ships unload on the Spider, and sure enough, they turn it to scrap. That beam laser targets a fighter, and actually hits it! 5 fighters left.

The Arshad turns its attention to Monkey Business, bringing two particle barbettes and its fire control system into the fight. Particle Barbette from Very long range is a tough shot, but one of them hits, and with it comes a VERY high radiation roll. That story is repeated with the Komino and Sindal's Shame, and just like that, both ships are taken out of action by radiation damage. (Ref note: I thought at least one of them would get away. Oh well. Pay the extra credits for radiation shielding, boys and girls).

Space Combat: Round 4:
Those pesky fighters at dogfight range are hard to hit, but Mendina manages to snag one them, although she continues to take a beating. The Harrier enters the dogfight but misses both rolls. 4 fighters left.

Referee’s note: crap, forgot about the missiles again. Arshad again uses countermeasures, but gets nothing. 18 still coming.

Arshad is backing off so as to get that last countermeasures roll, and Komino is still coming. Mendina has used a little thrust to inch closer to the Komino as well, trying to the close the range. We could really use the Martin II’s six beam laser turrets, but she’s way the hell back there. Komino holds its fire against the fighters, not wanting to risk particle beam friendly fire, and is still too far away to use beam lasers.

The Pirates’ surrender is demanded, with two fighters standing down and two continuing to fight.

Space Combat Round 5:
Missile Salvo 1 has reached its destination. All six missiles are cut down by the lasers of the Arshad. Bummer. They would have attacked at DM-6 anyway, but still. With only two fighters left, Dominick turns the Harrier’s massive countermeasures against Missile Salvo two, cutting down nine of the 12. Many missed shots between the four ships engaged in combat.

Space Combat Round 6:
The Arshad again uses its beam lasers to cut down the last of the missiles. MCr6 worth of missiles for nothing. The Komino has made it to Long Range. (Referee Note: I did mention the cost of the missiles when the last ones were destroyed. Players got mad because they thought this was the reason I had fired them. The real reason is because I wanted to try missile combat, and because I thought it was funny. I knew they wouldn’t expect it. They are too smart for me, but they didn’t see that coming.)

We had run very late with the game, so we didn’t actually kill the last two fighters, as people had to leave. (Referee ruling: they surrendered )

We covered the aftermath of the battle over email:

Damage Check: Mendina is at hull 81, having taken the brunt of the pirate fire. Amazingly, nothing worse than Critical 1, so not as bad as it could have been. Harrier only took seven points and is at Hull 73. Monkey Business took 16 damage and Sindal’s Shame took 20. Dancing Spider is destroyed but salvageable. Six destroyed fighters are “expanding clouds of debris”.

Communications are established with the Meatgrinder. The ever dutiful Colonel Vangeles tries to keep things official, and he’s also subdued by the loss of three good men, but Hima patches in a video feed from the galley, where the Vespexers are having a memorial service for their fallen comrades. To the cultured Imperials, this looks a lot like drunken savages singing, shouting, and dancing while consuming pirate rum. Captain Torsa orders his ships to recover all the pirate ships, which the Travellers immediately protest. Captain Torsa wants control all ships and informs the Travellers they can file a claim with the Admiralty Court. In effort to be generous, he makes it clear that his report will reflect well on the Travellers, so their share of the claim could be quite lucrative. The Travellers aren’t having it, and move to recover both the Dancing Spider wreckage and the Sindal’s Shame. Tensions are high, but no one wants particle beams to fly, so cooler heads eventually prevail.

The Aftermath:
The travellers and the Navy eventually agree just to haul everything into the star port at Exe and sort it out face to face. After a night’s sleep (both in the game and IRL), everyone is a little more reasonable. Torsa may be an incompetent buffoon, but he’s not actually going out of his way to rip off the travellers and their efforts. He starts by declaring that on behalf of the Imperial Navy, he is prepared to award the MCr5 bounty on Hroal Irontooth to the Captain and Crew of the Mendina. Today. In cash. So with that bit of diplomacy, the rest is settled as follows:

- The aforementioned MCr 5 for the bounty to the travellers
- The travellers claim salvage on the Dancing Spider, which they have brought into the port. A representative from GeDeCo agrees to the customary 10% of value for the destroyed ship. Another MCr 3.6.
- The travellers will file a proper claim with the Admiralty Court in Immisaa for the recovery of Sindal’s Shame, and leave the claim for the Monkey Business to the Navy. The traveller’s lost interest in the Monkey Business when they found out it was Jump-1, and decided to give it up to help the negotiations. Both ships will remain in Exe while the claims are considered.
- The Martin II recovered the surrendered fighters, and will deliver them with the rest of its cargo to the Aslan Delegation as a diplomatic gesture. Surprisingly, the travellers really don’t want them. They have other ideas.
- The Navy agrees to cover the cost of repairs to the Mendina in return for services to the empire and making no claim on the fighters.
- Captain Torsa states that the matter of the Meatgrinder will be between the travellers and the Aslan Hierate. Porter, the former GeDeCo man who is educated in Aslan language and culture, replies with an Aslan expression: “The strong prey on the week, and there is nothing wrong with that.” (POD Ship Encounters, page 18). (Referee Note: Okay, so I gave him that quote. I figured that with his background and education, he would know that sort of thing).
- The Harrier’s role does not make it into the official report. The Harrier crew have a reputation as friendly to pirates if not pirates themselves, and they have already pushed that issue with the capture of Ferrick (although sanctioned by Admiral Darokyn) and Grim Jack. They may have also been spotted on Arunisir meeting with the Navy and the Mendina crew, but they want to keep the game going as long as they can. The public record will show that one additional pirate ship, small and heavily stealthed, possibly a Harrier Class Commerce Raider, was engaged but jumped out, escaping capture.

All agree that they are better off without the Meatgrinder being part of the convoy that meets the Aslan delegation. The travellers are ready to cut this adventure and move on, but Torsa insists that Willow complete her obligation as far as Byrni. In any case she’s tending to the care of the injured Vespexers on board the Martin II. Torsa is willing to have them on board for medical care, but not to delay his mission, so the travellers have an issue. Other than the Harrier, which can’t be seen with the Navy beyond this point, their other ships aren’t all that space worthy. Willow can’t really renege while Torsa and purser Vaughn are counting out their cash payment for the bounty. She can either go it alone and catch up with her friends down the road, or perhaps more travellers can come on board.
paltrysum
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:17 pm

Great story! You have multiple threads running concurrently, which is not easy to manage in an RPG. With "Treasure Ship" somewhat overlapping "Revolution on Acrid," your players must have a sense of a chaotic universe, rife with opportunities and a need for individuals like themselves. Looking forward to hearing more. :)
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Old School
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:15 pm

Thanks. It's getting very difficult to keep track of that chaotic world.

We quit tracking ship expenses and revenues directly when they got their third ship. They aren't much interested in trading beyond a means to an end, so we basically decided they are moving enough freight around when the opportunity presents itself to cover expenses. That's pretty reasonable when there is no mortgage. They currently have a fast trader that they are leasing to the government of Hilfer at a bargain price to gain favor and also cover the bills. The expenses of running a 1200 ton jump-3 ship are a whole different ball game, however.

We do keep pretty good logs, with just one or two after the fact corrections to keep the game flowing. I'm not above a tiny bit of hindsight correction if it makes the game more enjoyable. But it is a lot of work.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby steve98052 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:40 pm

Great game management, and nice work on the summary.

One tiny detail -- which is not a quibble for a change -- it's cool to see that I am not the only one who bothers to italicize ship names in informal writing.

One way to keep track of details like missiles in a larger combat is with tokens. Get a stack of pennies, poker chips, etc. to represent missiles, and a grid showing how many turns they are from target, and move them each round. You can also have a single token that you slide around on a combat round checklist to avoid skipping phases.

If you mistakenly skip a countermeasures or counter-fire phase (and it's too late to go back), it's only fair to also skip the phase where the missiles move closer to the targeted ship.

Anyway, thanks for sharing!
Last edited by steve98052 on Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:47 pm

Whoops. Looks like somebody misread the specs on the salvage hauler. It has jump-2,not jump-1, making a perfectly acceptable freighter. That’s my fault, and I know it would affect the players’ calculus. I guess I’m gonna have to modify the deal they struck. They’ll just split any salvage reward on both intact ships with the Navy (I intend to the claim to result in 25% of value as a reward from the rightful owner / insurance company, but they wont know this for a couple of months).

I’m also gonna give them a +10 their standing with the Empire. Killing Hroal, recovering stolen ships, and saving three Naval vessels from an ambush has to count as several heroic deeds. Should come in handy as they declare war against the PRQ shortly. For the hierate, its +3, but with a catch. Destroying a pirate band as powerful as Hroal’s count’s for something, but the fact that these yahoos are now operating in an Aslan Warship (which they have re-christened as Rao’s Revenge) is always going to irk the Aslan, and that will impact negatively the Hierate’s opinion of any act they commit using using it, good or bad. Whether or not the Harrier operating solo gets the benefit of that +10 depends on if the other party is privy to the classified intel that the Harrier was hero, not villan, in the battle of Exe. Might not matter much longer - they may need to publicly coordinate actions to take Acrid.

Because they’ve done so well, even though they havent picked up on the GeDeCo plot, I think I’m going to reward them in a way that speeds up the game without giving them anything they couldn’t hire eventually anyway - crew members. They’ve already asked about hiring crew, (Referee ruling: not on Exe, Sport. Get to something resembling civilization and then you can look for some crew).

I think the jump drive failure described in the book is about to happen, leaving the Treasure Ship stuck in Exe for two weeks waiting for the Gazelles to return. An opportunity for bargaining. . . (or just outright piracy and murder, but that’s not their style unless the target is Aslan).

This delay will also give several replacement crew members time to catch up with the Martin II and assume their dutires. (Wouldnt they have had time to get there in the 12 weeks it sat on Arunisir? I mean the Gazelle got there 4 weeks before they left! Referee’s ruling: Handwave).
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:13 pm

Steve, those are good tips, thanks. I do basically the same thing, just on a chart on the paper I'm using to track ship stats during combat. A counter would probably make it easier not to lose track of them. . .

One last thing. I've been nagging them about the Harrier not having a name. The second place name for the Pocket Warship, now Rao's Revenge, was Oleb's Redhead. The Harrier might get a new paintjob and take on that name, but I think they want to save it for something bigger.

"Why is it Rao's Revenge? What does the spoiled little Princess need revenge for?"
"That's not the point. It just sounds cool. And she'll like it."
"On the other hand, what does King Oleb need a redhead for?"
"hurhurhur"
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:39 pm

By the way, what became of 'The Treaty of Fist' in your campaign?
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