ON THE TABLE: Traveller, Spotlight, and Planning

Tuesday , 12, September 2017 2 Comments

Waiting for our Merchant Captain to show up, we realize I need to have a character for the other game in the campaign. (The referee offered to let me run somebody else’s stuff, but no. I wanna play what the dice give me.) I get this great three term Army character:

A75966 (3 Terms Army) Rifle-2, SMG-1, Mechanical-2, Electronics-1, TACTICS-1. (High Passage, Low Passage, Rifle, 20,000 credits)

Not enough education to get a crack at the Leader skill on the advanced education table. But hey… I’m a crack shot with a +2 bonus on the surprise roll. (And by the way…. surprise dice are 1d6, not 2d6.)

Looking over those stats, though… I think I just rolled up B. A. Barracus! Too bad, though. The Merchant Captain never showed up, so it’s back to Percival Jones and the utter chaos that is Planet of the “Failed” Psi Coup.

Now… Neal and Sky were planning some crazy raid. I may be okay if somebody hands me some kind of straight ahead text adventure situation. But real life Jeffro is not an Ex-marine Trooper. I’ve played enough of these sorts of scenarios to know that the smartest thing for me to do is stay out of the way and let the experts do their thing.

What’s your typical millennial-aged referee going to do with that at a con…? I’ll tell you: he’s going to mutter something about how everyone deserves to get an equal share of “spotlight time” and he’ll improvise some sort of scene for me play out why the other guys go do the “real” adventure. But not Brian. The whole session was just about the guys doing their raid. And it worked just fine. The fact that I was the star of the show a couple sessions back was purely a product of the dice handing me a scout ship. And the fact that the group decided to go do quintessentially Scout-ish type things. It was way past time to see how things play out without me being the quasi-leader.

Not that my character was idle. I was rigging up a Ghostbusters style Psi detector while The Company installed my turret. (One laser, one sandcaster… with computer programs to go with them.) Why would I risk my neck on a raid when I hadn’t  gotten a chance to shoot something with my space ship yet? And if it goes sideways for them, hey… I could just pretend not to know them and fly away. Our characters aren’t that close…!

Anyway… Sky and Neal have their patron organize a riot to provide a distraction. They get these military police to go shoot up the first level of the building that had the hostage they were supposed to rescue. Meanwhile… they head over the Noblesse Oblige Catering to high-jack an air/raft. (Role-players will plan excitedly stuff like this for an hour. If you role-playing game doesn’t leverage this phenomenon, it is a bad role-playing game.)

There was a lot of improvised dialog that I just can’t do justice to. I just popped some popcorn and set back to watch the fireworks. The guys get to this crazy three tiered space needle place and work their way down. They get to this floor where the senator drafting the Psionicist Amnesty bill is hanging out. There’s a big shoot out and Sky finds the hostage plugged into this machine. There’s a big computer and this wacky helmet thing on his head. He goes to free him, and some guy warns him not to take this thing off.

“The jump spiders are coming! Millions will die if you interrupt this. Also, if you take that helmet off, you could kill him?”

So Sky rips the helmet off, throws the hostage over his shoulder, hog ties the Senator, and escorts Mr. Know It All out of the building to boot. They rendezvous with the patron at some random topless bar… and now we have no idea what happens next…!

My idea had always been that the answer to the campaign’s biggest problems are clearly tied up in the black globe generator cache that is not even on the subsector map and that the referee clearly hasn’t done any real planning about. (!!) Of course, what really matters is not so much whether our scruffy group of ragtag miscreants can figure out a way to save the world. (Heck, we don’t even know if the bad guys are actually still the bad guys anymore.)

What I really want to know is if there’s a way we can keep the air/raft.

  • John E. Boyle says:

    Hmm. Some questions:

    a. What the heck is a catering service doing with an air/raft in…never mind.

    b. “Random topless bar”

    Do you guys really think that your wives are going to fall for that one?

    “But the patron INSISTED, honest.”

    “No, no, it was completely random: Tattoo Parlor, restaurant, chop shop, arms dealer, gambling den or topless bar, and Hernstrom kept rolling 6s. I swear!”

    c. Of COURSE you keep the air/raft: you swap out the RFID, change the paint job and report the original as destroyed in the string of explosions that Messrs. Hernstrom and Durando are sure to leave behind them.

  • Terry Sanders says:

    Waitaminnit. You can *build* a psionics *detector*? Psi is electronic?

    So are you gonna build a jammer next?

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