Kicking off my Zho Campaign -Wish me luck!


Cosmic Mongoose
So, way back in the days of CT, the Alien Module: Zhodani had an adventure idea that has long intrigued me.
On the even of the 5thFW, the players are kidnapped by a Zhodani Noble. This noble has had a psionic vision of these specific people aboard a Zhodani Consular Cruiser and in combat. What's more, by triangulating the stars the noble realizes that the combat takes place in a sector between the Vargr Extents and the Core Route... someplace that no Imperial has ever seen, the Zhodani know almost nothing about, and if the Vargr know anything about it nobody is aware of it.
The adventure was named 'Vlezpridliashav' [after the noble in question].

With a little bit of help from the Sector Construction Guide, the Great Rift and Deepnight resources, I'm going to try and run this bad boy with my regular group.

I've got some mucking about to do with some deck plans, but other than that I think I'm good to go.

Wish me luck


Emperor Mongoose
Good luck, I am looking forward to updates about how this goes.

One piece of advice - the AM pre-dates DGP's baddies form the core/sparklers/primordials, the Ancients have been done to death, the Empress Wave will not be a concept for a couple of decades - have an original big bad.


Cosmic Mongoose
Sigtrygg said:
Good luck, I am looking forward to updates about how this goes.

One piece of advice - the AM pre-dates DGP's baddies form the core/sparklers/primordials, the Ancients have been done to death, the Empress Wave will not be a concept for a couple of decades - have an original big bad.

My plan is that they will encounter the Empress Wave, but the Wave will spur a formerly peaceful race into conquerors. With the psions in the Zho crew disabled, the bad guys will attempt to take over the Consular Cruiser and the PCs will have to take it back.... after all, it has only copy of the navigation data to get them home.
All of this presumes a couple of things:
a] the players establish a rapport with their kidnappers, and
b] if and when they get PSI tested, they'll all be abysmally low in the PSI stat. They've all got 5 terms, so none of them will rate 'Intendant' treatment, but if they do well, the Zho's might be willing to train their talents [if any] even at the low levels they'll likely roll. In any event, that won't happen until the return leg... after the alien attack.


Cosmic Mongoose
Lurking Grue said:
Godspeed! It must be intriguing and interesting to play as/with the Zhos for a change.

VERY true.

I'm going to have to portray Zhodani culture in the first person, and that's always a tough thing to do. Presenting a culture to a foreign observer be really tricky. Some of the foreign propaganda has to have a kernal of truth in it, some of it has to be completely false, and most of it has to be in between. One of the things that official sources don't give us is a lot of the stresses a society is under for the majority of it's citizens. For example, in the 3-I parochialism is a major issue. For the vast majority of Imperial citizens, the existence of the Imperium is almost an afterthought. Just like the citizens of modern nations on Earth, they never travel and rarely experience different cultures outside of mass media entertainment. They're taught to be 'good citizens' in school and have a certain patriotism for the concept of 'home' [be that home a nation-state on modern Earth or a dusty settlement outside a Class C starport in Ley Sector]. Essentially, beyond ordering 'foreign' food from the take-out place and attending the odd street fair, their experience with the truly foreign has about as much effect on them as going to to zoo.

So I have portray the Zhodani as people, regular folks who follow different social rules but whose hopes, dreams, ambitions, and desires are identifiable to citizens from the Spinward Marches who've been taught that 'Zho mind rippers' are untrustworthy.

I DO know that one of the enlisted men aboard the Zho cruiser will be escorted off the ship by the Tavrchedle' because of the characters. He or she will be having a hard time reconciling the Zhodani image of Third Imperium citizens with the reasonably 'nice-ish' people they've gotten to know. They might even be getting a romantic attachment to one of the PC's, and the Tavrchedle officer aboard will find that to be inappropriate. So at the last stop in Zho space, before they step off into the Great Unknown, Technician Leader 2 Dliashtish will self-report themselves for re-education.


Good luck!

And I'm very interested about how your roleplaying of the Zhodani culture will work out. I recently purchased Aliens of Charted Space Vol 1 in the hopes that it would teach me how to portray Zhodani as more than turbaned psions with strange accents and was a bit disappointed that there was only 11 pages on Zhodani culture and that the book was mostly a player's handbook to create characters of the various alien races.


Cosmic Mongoose
You can find the Mongoose First Edition Alien Module 4: Zhodani as a .pdf here on the Mongoose site.
You can also find the CT Alien Module 4: Zhodani at drivethrurpg.
GURPS Traveller Alien Races 1 also covers the Zhodani, but is not consistent with Mongoose content
All of these have more information. Much of it is just a repeat of previous work and some of it is contradictory, but all three together give you a much better idea of [and a lot more suggestions] than any one book by itself. I'm planning on using bit from all of them.


Cosmic Mongoose
Stjarnvik said:
Which would you suggest as a next purchase?

OK, all information we have about Zhodani starts off in the Classic Traveller era with an article in JTAS 9, Contact! The Zhodani in 1981. This was followed up in 1985 by an article in JTAS 23 called 'Zhodani Philosophies'. Also in 1985 came CT Alien Module 4: The Zhodani. These three references form the baseline data. In between there were several attempts to fill the blanks [SORAG by Paranoia Press for example] but none of these were considered canon.
In 1998, after the demise of GDW, Loren Wiseman started working for Steve Jackson Games' GURPS Traveller and released GT Alien Races 1: Zhodani and Vargr. Inasmuch as Wiseman was one of the original authors of the CT Zhodani material, this source is highly regarded.
Then came Mongoose Traveller. In 2011, Mongoose Traveller 1st Ed. published their take on the Zho's, Alien Module 4: the Zhodani as a hardback book. Then this year they published Alien Races Book 1 for Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition.

Of all the references, the two that differ the most from each other are Mongoose 1st ed. Alien Module 4:Zhodani and GT Alien Races 1: Zhodani and Vargr. While the basics of Zhodani society remain the same [the basic honesty, the Thought Police and re-education, etc.] these two references address those basics in different ways. Honestly, there are good ideas in ALL the references and I plan on taking bits from all of them for my campaign.

I'd suggest that you buy Classic Traveller Alien Module 4: Zhodani first. This is the base line that everything starts from.
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