Most interesting or fun campaign prompts/plots?



As I prep for my first campaign with some friends, I'm curious what kinds of plots or prompts others have come up with before?

What are some of your favorite ideas for adventures in traveller? Whether they're adventures you have played before, written yourself, or have read but never got to play. I want to hear it all!
I use the CT encounter tables.

Easiest way to explain it is with an example (note that this is using the 81 version of LBB3 – Starter Edition and The Traveller Book actually have much more comprehensive tables)

I roll three times on the patron table and get:

rumour, avenger, army

next I roll three times on the random person encounter

workers, animal encounter (a roll of 6,n I take as animal or alien) and ambushing brigands.

I pick the starting encounter:

Let’s say the players encounter some workers who are obviously agitated, discussion with them reveals that the industrial plant they have been operating has been closed due to rumours of some violent native beast, and that some hotheads are thinking of going to hunt the animals down. There is a rumour that the animals in question have highly valuable (insert whatever you want here – anagathic glands, valuable fur, expensive blubber – whatever).

Players may or may not join the hunt, but they have been seen talking to the workers.

Next encounter depends – if they go on the animal hunt then they may encounter the ambushing brigands who are also after the animals, or they may encounter the army patrol guarding the industrial site and containing the animals.

If they don’t go on the hunt they are approached by the avenger who has lost (family member, best friend, whatever will pull players in) and offers to guide the players past the workers/army guards to get to the animals.

If they went along with the workers they may still encounter the avenger being attacked by the brigands/army patrol.

It’s fairly organic – I may decide to change the encounter order in response to player actions, and reaction rolls may make things more tense than they need to be.

And at some point I have to generate the animal stats…
... what kinds of plots or prompts others have come up with before?

I've done "explore/salvage derelict asteroid base" [with security drones still active]. Also "break a VIP out of involuntary, indefinite cryostorage - and by the way don't kill anyone while doing it". This was very loosely inspired by Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold, but not at all trying to touch on everything in the novel, just using that prompt. And a simple PCs hired for Q-ship/merchant convoy escort - not exactly interesting, the twist was pirates did indeed attack, but we got a decent session out of it. (Hindsight, should have had a real twist like one of the NPC merchant ships was pirates biding their time to attack from the inside, but didn't.)

... or have read..

I like Divine Intervention, from Classic. The premise feels just a little thin to me, but is easily changed to "plant a recording device," or retrieve one. But once it starts its a great heist adventure.

I like the premise of One Crowded Hour - you're on a ship with dead drives, spiraling into a moon, what do you do? I don't care for the execution, its a scene-based railroad when it doesn't need to be, but its a great prompt.

Then there's a short list of adventures from completely different systems that I'd like to do full conversions of, but have never made the time. Dead Planet from Mothership (least likely, I could just run it in Mothership as a one shot), Scenic Dunnsmouth from Lamentations of the Flame Princess (really should do this for the hat trick, I've run it once in D&D and once in L5R), and Slaughtergrid from... OSRIC of all things, though it reads like another Lamentations adventure so I always have to look. But with a reskinning it would work well as a "wake up in a clone lab" adventure for either Traveller or Mothership.
I've mentioned this before, but my name here is a reference to a general campaign idea that I've had for a while, about two-thirds serious and one-third dumb joke.

We know that the Girug'kagh, the K'kree's smug little majordomo race, have a thing for "reality television", preferably humiliating. They like nothing more than seeing people who "act out" or don't know their station in life being humbled for the presumption (this is discussed in GURPS Traveller Alien Races 4). It's probably my British background that makes this so amusing to me; it's a mindset that earns more knowing chuckles here, than in most places ;) (a friend of mine, upon hearing my description of the Girug'kagh, upfront said, half-serious, half-jocular, "so they're the British working class, then?").

G'naakbusters! would be a Girug'kagh production. The player characters would be Girug'kagh, humans, Vargr surviving on fruit juice, or from any race not irredeemably awful in K'kree eyes, who work for a company or patron distributing reality entertainment programs. They would (with official or semi-official sanction from the Steppelord's people -- or maybe just indifference) follow a K'kree warband as it works to help incorporate a region into the Two Thousand Worlds. If the warband is sent to put down an insurrection or trample some unrepentant meat-eaters, the crew rush after them to catch the action on film.

"This human thinks he can eat a ham sandwich. But he's reckoned without... The G'naakbusters!" And then the K'kree burst through the walls and trample the guy to death, which will get a good self-satisfied chuckle from the viewership.

Our intrepid heroes (for want of a better word) would have all the usual issues -- paying their way, negotiating access to various trouble-spots (or just slipping in), maintaining or replacing equipment -- while also judging how involved they can get before becoming an irritation to the K'kree, or a target for insurrectionists, etc. They'd be trying to chase rumours of new "incidents" and get to the places in question as quickly as possible, they might have deadlines from the producer, and so on.

Of course the potential twist is that their own misadventures might wind up entertaining self-satisfied folk back home. Or for another potential twist, maybe their ultimate patron is in fact a Hiver pulling a Manipulation to shape local systems' view of the K'kree.