[Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

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[Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby paltrysum » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:52 pm

This post has some SPOILERS in it. If you're a player in a Drinax campaign, I urge you not to read it. :)


To maintain the sandbox feel of the Drinax campaign, I'm trying to stay out of the players' way and let them go where they wish. Obviously the campaign has adventures that are located in various regions of the Void and when the players hit an area that has an adventure, I'll drop the seed so they can opt in or not.

With the "Demon's Eye," the travellers end up going way off the map and well into Imperial space. By this time your travellers are very likely to be wanted sophonts and going into the Imperium seems like a risky proposition. For those of you who have run this, how did it play out? I'm a little concerned my players will just say, "Oh, well. They went into the Imperium. Forget it."

That's all well and good but kind of makes me wonder if I should even drop the seed. It's a tricky adventure to manipulate since the conclusion really needs to happen deep in Imperial space. I'd love to read about your experiences running this one.
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby Old School » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:42 pm

I haven't run it, but I don't like it for the same reasons. The book does make a good suggestion - have the players send word to contacts in the imperium, and then roll up these contacts as a 2nd group and have them go on the chase.

That won't work for my group as you know, so I'd probably move the religious gathering to somewhere a heck of a lot closer. I know the choice of location is based on its reputation for decadence, but really, you could do that part anywhere. You could also alter the adventure so the ending doesn't HAVE to be at Neumann. Maybe she's about to steal a jump-6 ship that they won't be able to catch, so the dramatic finish has to happen then and there. The whole Neumann arc is very cool, but it's too far away. My players are heroes to the Imperium, but they still won't want to go on some jump-2 chase that takes 6 months of game time.

There's a guy who blogs about his Pirates campaign, and in his universe Dr. Jali is a man with a daughter, and ends up on Sink or Fantasy or some such. I've got the link on my ipad. I think I posted it on the big thread, but I can find it if you want it. The blog is called Honest Merchants.
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby paltrysum » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:25 pm

I'll Google it. Thanks for the tip! The idea of rolling up new characters to conduct part of this campaign is not something my players are on board with either. They like their main characters and the idea of rolling new ones for either "Demon's Eye" or "Game of Sun and Shadow" is not something they're interested in and I don't blame them. I think it dilutes the campaign. I'll probably insert my own "Makergod" adventure (shameless plug: on sale now at DriveThruRPG!) as a substitute for one of them.

My players are intrigued by Tech World, though, and all or some aspects of "Demon's Eye" might be useful as a hook. I just don't want that hook taking them 13-15 parsecs into the Imperium which, as you mentioned, could take six months.
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby Old School » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:49 am

I think its a good adventure, and its defintely worth making them earn the loyalty of Tech World, which is a major prize. And the straight up fight against the “cursed” on the Vagabond Soul is very cool. Just figure out how to shorten it.

Find a reason for an archon to be on Cordan in place of the religious conference 12 just mos away. My guys just assassinated some corrupt tax collector on Cordan (with a PGMP, very subtle), so that would be fun. If she succeeds there, have her attempt to steal a jump 5 or Jump 6 craft at Wildeman. Maybe one of those little Aslan Jump-5 messengers? Your players are chasing her up the ramp when Lionel (hey, what happened to Lionel?) appears at the top of the ramp with a FGMP in each hand. An earnest exchanging of views occurs, followed by a brief flash of radioactive gunfire (or not?), followed by Lionel paying off the players to keep quiet. What do they tell her friends on tech world? Do they steal the messenger ship for themselves?

I have too many PCs already, so we will have no more. So we already have a B team to send on missions if need be.

So instead of new Navy characters, I’m thinking about a way to finagle some of the ex-Navy characters into service for the Game of Sun and Shadow. Instead of running opposing forces, have a couple of “Pirates” on the inside. Maybe as a liason to the Navy from the Kindom of Drinax? If they can get Byrni into the Kingdom (see the patron mission on page 263),that might make sense. I dunno, still kicking it around.

I think I just talked myself into two good adventures. But anyway, shortening the chase after Dr. Jali Astor is more than doable.
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby Baldo » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:46 am

Old School wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:42 pm
The whole Neumann arc is very cool, but it's too far away. My players (...) still won't want to go on some jump-2 chase that takes 6 months of game time
What about making Klowaaar (book 1, p. 101) a lone and not very bright ihatei with a ihateisho ship, then? If your players 'save' him from the robots and gain his friendship (“Yeah, big guy: Marduk, Fantasy, Sink, Asim, whatever you want. You’ll have plenty of options”, do you remember?), they also gain access to a not-blacklisted, Jump 4 ship for faster travel.

Besides, taking a vacation from piracy, traveling to Neumann (add new encounters/adventures!) and getting on the good side of the Immortal Protector could be the key to win some elusive McGuffin only an immortal god-king can have (and NOT a measly "MCr1 bonus". Example 01: "We need an ancient, Second Imperium-era fusion control module for The World" (The World, book 1, p. 267) "No problem, I still have spares of every component of the station, pick whatever you want" -The World joins Drinax-; Example 2: Do you know a cure for this bioweapon?" (Palindrome, book 2, p. 161) "It's 1500 years we're fighting nanoswarms, this is nothing! Here!" -Palindrome joins Drinax-; etc. etc.).
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby PsiTraveller » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:41 pm

I skipped this completely. I used the tech Level 15 computer gift/message as a means to lure the group to Tech-World. The party was interested in getting there anyway, and in the ship repair, tech options that might be available.

the meeting with the scientist cabal offers a chance to set up trade deals to provide independence for Tech-World. A flurry of trips to the surrounding systems and diplomacy adn trading rolls later tech Worl is setting up a little trading empire.

The big issue I had with the adventure is the time it will take to get to the final system, and back. Assuming the J2 Harrier is used the trip will take months to complete. Even going 3 Jumps a month it will take a long time. I skipped over the nanotech event completely and dropped it from the adventure. My players would have been more interested in getting a 'grey goo' weapon anyway, and I did not want to deal with that. :)

The chase is 11 Jumps, 5 months there, 5 months back, plus repair time, adventure at site, any other issues. You are looking at a year of time for this adventure, and the next adventure says it is 1105.

I skipped this adventure and we are 2 years of adventure time in the Drinax area. Jumpspace travel takes time.
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby steve98052 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:21 pm

Player characters on a wanted list might be wanted as "the crew of the XXX", rather than as "Alice, Bob, Carol, and Dan, described as . . ."

In that case, it's easy enough to fly commercial, as just a handful of regular citizens traveling High Passage with their dton each of sealed containers of trouble.

They might also fly as undeclared passengers on a chartered ship that's not on a wanted list, even if they are on a list as individuals rather than crew of a notorious ship.
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby Old timer » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:41 pm

Running this adventure now, and have run it a few years ago when the campaign first came out. In the current run of the adventure the PCs are about to reach Neumann for the final showdown with the Dr, and are still utterly unaware of who Lemuel is.
In both cases the players want tech world on their side, and both groups delegated more normal pirate activities to their small fleet whilst they are away dealing with this. The previous group were very interested in a grey goo weapon, but settled for more personal rewards (the nano tech that boosts their attributes, a 'gift' from Lemuel). My current group, well we will see want they want if it works out in their favour. I as a GM like this part of the campaign, and the see no problem with the players pursing this problem into the Imperium, as before this they took the treasure ship (yes, actually stole the treasure ship!) and so are in the good books with the King and the Princess, and are 'ahead' of their reputation and bounty, and will likely brag that as wanted pirates they entered the Imperium, landed at Imperail controlled star ports and so on.
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?espec

Postby Old School » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:31 pm

Good thoughts all the way around. A few random responses:

Lemuel, Lionel, whatever. I was close, right?

Baldo - good idea to give the loser Aslan a jump 4 ship. But that doesnt speed things up unless dr. Astor also obtains a jump 4 ship. Otherwise they’ll just be waiting for her to get there. If I give Klowaar a jump-4 ihatei ship, my players will just steal it from him (not necesarily a bad thing). Might space the poor cat, too. I’m definitely going to run Ihatei! A little multiculturalism would do them some good. I like the way you think, though. Getting a Macguffin or two should definitely be in the cards, especially for going all the way to Neumann. That MCr1 Lionel offers is insulting. He might get away with it while on Neumann and while holding a fusion gun, but he’d make enemies being that cheap.

Psi - I think your time estimate is a little long, as they'd want to be jumping as fast as they could refuel, but your points are all valid.

Old Timer - glad it is working for you. Its a cool adventure. Do your players tend to follow the script? I worry mine wouldn't take the bait. Bragging rights for making the run is a very good point. Discovering Lemuel early and realizing what a nice friend (and dangerous enemy) he could be would also be incentive to make the run. Perhaps a side adventure in Tobia on the way back? Some reason the players would already have to go deep into Tobia, but nothing urgent. That would further entice them as well. Glad you rewarded your players significantly as well.

See, now I’m seeing the merits in and reasons for the trip. These ideas and perspectives are what makes sandbox campaigns fun.
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby PsiTraveller » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:02 pm

Well even at 10 days a jump, the fast traverse of the Dust Spice route is 3 Jumps a month. The standard is 2 Jumps a month, but lets stick with 3.
The Martin II spends 3 days in port and 7 days in Jump space, so 10 day cycles.

11 jumps is still 3 and a half months to get there, adventure and 3.5 months return. You are stil gone for 8 months. Is Oleb going to be happpy his secret weapon is gone most of a year?

This is assuming a Jump 2 ship. If the players have a faster ship maybe they can get ahead of the other ship and stop the adventure before it gets to the end planet, which changes things quite a bit as well.

I just looked at the time requirements for the adventure and came up with a diplomatic workaround.

Actually the entire campaign takes a long time to complete. Like I said before. Tracking all the Jump time going from planet to planet really adds to the ages of the players.
Thankfully they are looking into anagathics to avoid the perils of aging.
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?espec

Postby Baldo » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:38 pm

Old School wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:31 pm
Baldo - good idea to give the loser Aslan a jump 4 ship. But that doesnt speed things up unless dr. Astor also obtains a jump 4 ship. Otherwise they’ll just be waiting for her to get there.
This only gives your players more opportunities for gain and/or adventure (and/or bigger troubles :wink: ... ).
Let's say they have 3 weeks on Mirage before dr. Astor starts implementing her plan. They can "watch the Archon until Jali shows herself", yeah, but besides the time/effort required to discover where the archon is, exactly, nothing prevents to advance the cause of Drinax too. For example, if they discover why Marquise D’Haube is hosting the Interfaith Conference on Religious Diversity, they can help one of the delegations with the Marquise and gain something useful: a temporary alliance with archon Dreek (if they help the Shield Church), or improved relations with Clarke (if they give support to the Psychopomps -not in the book, but their presence here is very plausible-).
Who said Travellers have nothing to do in their free time? :mrgreen:
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby paltrysum » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:28 pm

Reread the adventure. I’m convinced that somehow this one has to be included. It’s a high-quality adventure with valuable goals. The fact that they gain valuable relationships and tech makes the question of whether or not to delve deep into the Imperium a tough one for the players to make...in other words exactly the type of interesting quandary you want to place them in.
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby Old School » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:44 am

Let us know how you decide to run it!
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby JMISBEST » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:17 am

Baldo wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:46 am
Old School wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:42 pm
The whole Neumann arc is very cool, but it's too far away. My players (...) still won't want to go on some jump-2 chase that takes 6 months of game time
What about making Klowaaar (book 1, p. 101) a lone and not very bright ihatei with a ihateisho ship, then? If your players 'save' him from the robots and gain his friendship (“Yeah, big guy: Marduk, Fantasy, Sink, Asim, whatever you want. You’ll have plenty of options”, do you remember?), they also gain access to a not-blacklisted, Jump 4 ship for faster travel.

Besides, taking a vacation from piracy, traveling to Neumann (add new encounters/adventures!) and getting on the good side of the Immortal Protector could be the key to win some elusive McGuffin only an immortal god-king can have (and NOT a measly "MCr1 bonus". Example 01: "We need an ancient, Second Imperium-era fusion control module for The World" (The World, book 1, p. 267) "No problem, I still have spares of every component of the station, pick whatever you want" -The World joins Drinax-; Example 2: Do you know a cure for this bioweapon?" (Palindrome, book 2, p. 161) "It's 1500 years we're fighting nanoswarms, this is nothing! Here!" -Palindrome joins Drinax-; etc. etc.).
In my only Drinax Campaign as 1 of 2 GM's and not The sole GM The Pcs did the same by chance to get Palindrome the same way, bargained for what The World needed for the cure for a none fatal disease variant based off of A hybrid of Nuclear and Plague Torpedoes that The Scholars Tower made, plus bargained for The Means to reverse engineer The Aslan modifications on The People of Fantasy by agreeing to use Kasiyl to redirect a when-not-if Aslan attack on Neumann that The Pcs had actually arranged to be guaranteed rather then likely in the 1st place and offered to prevent the permanent loss and reserve the temporary loss of fertility on Neumann's most fertile landmass, which they arranged by having Iligans Selwyn pay for the chemicals to ruin his rival then double-crossing him by keeping the half we faked being stolen by The Mafia thus adding Iilgan to Drinax too, then they got enough Luxury Goods to net Argona and Paal to Drinax in return for Drinax+Tech World hybrid Tech returning Neuman to normality within 1 to decades max rather then 1 century minimum, this time changed by me cos I thought normality within 1 century max was far too short, plus doing it in a way that makes Oleb and Drinax look good enough to bag Byrni, Kteiora and Cordan, find the time to earn Falcon, Tanith and Borite by their own actions, buy Exe and curing Simok's Pharaoh, Salif's Ruler Zazzle and Mirage's New Ruler D'Haue

So 19 worlds across 19 stems and 4 Subsectors, as well as more then 11.2 billion part-time and more then 680 million full-time and a extra 1,589 ships that range from 100 tons to 2,300 tons and worth 2,007 Fighting Dice for a mere 12.17 in-game years and 14.19 real-life months
Last edited by JMISBEST on Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby Old School » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:30 am

In my only Drinax Campaign as 1 of 2 GM's and not The sole GM The Pcs did the same by chance to get Palindrome the same way, bargained for what The World needed for the cure for a none fatal disease variant based off of A hybrid of Nuclear and Plague Torpedoes that The Scholars Tower made, plus bargained for The Means to reverse engineer The Aslan modifications on The People of Fantasy by agreeing to use Kasiyl to redirect a when-not-if Aslan attack on Neumann that The Pcs had actually arranged to be guaranteed rather then likely in the 1st place and offered to prevent the permanent loss and reserve the temporary loss of fertility on Neumann's most fertile landmass, which they arranged by having Iligans Selwyn pay for the chemicals to ruin his rival then double-crossing him by keeping the half we faked being stolen by The Mafia thus adding Iilgan to Drinax too, then they got enough Luxury Goods to net Argona and Paal to Drinax in return for Drinax+Tech World hybrid Tech returning Neuman to normality within 1 to decades max rather then 1 century minimum, this time changed by me cos I thought normality within 1 century max was far too short
I just want to point out that this whole rant is one sentence. I couldn’t do that if I tried.
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Re: [Pirates of Drinax: The Demon's Eye] Anyone run this one yet?

Postby JMISBEST » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:35 am

Old School wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:30 am
In my only Drinax Campaign as 1 of 2 GM's and not The sole GM The Pcs did the same by chance to get Palindrome the same way, bargained for what The World needed for the cure for a none fatal disease variant based off of A hybrid of Nuclear and Plague Torpedoes that The Scholars Tower made, plus bargained for The Means to reverse engineer The Aslan modifications on The People of Fantasy by agreeing to use Kasiyl to redirect a when-not-if Aslan attack on Neumann that The Pcs had actually arranged to be guaranteed rather then likely in the 1st place and offered to prevent the permanent loss and reserve the temporary loss of fertility on Neumann's most fertile landmass, which they arranged by having Iligans Selwyn pay for the chemicals to ruin his rival then double-crossing him by keeping the half we faked being stolen by The Mafia thus adding Iilgan to Drinax too, then they got enough Luxury Goods to net Argona and Paal to Drinax in return for Drinax+Tech World hybrid Tech returning Neuman to normality within 1 to decades max rather then 1 century minimum, this time changed by me cos I thought normality within 1 century max was far too short
I just want to point out that this whole rant is one sentence. I couldn’t do that if I tried.
I've now added in a few bits that I initially forgot due to tiredness. Also the whole rant being one sentence is cos I find that at least among those I know its quicker to read in a hurry

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