Old School Traveller via Google Hangout First Game

All images today come from the X3 Reunion PC game and
the images come from gamespot.com.au

I am mad.  Totally insane.  Completely loopy.  One beer short of a six-pack.  Why? Well, I agreed to run a game in a system that is over 30 years old that I had never played before (in this rule set) and run a game after only having two weeks to get through around 8 main rulebooks.  That game: Traveller. Yes I know, not Pathfinder but still relevant to the roleplaying conundrum 🙂

Totally freaking unbalanced.

Last night was the first game.  I have only three players at this stage which is largely how I like it while I get the rules under my belt but they are a diverse mix.  I am running a mercantile (space merchant) campaign so it is not all space wars and fights.  I want this campaign to build organically and have the players take it where they want.  I don’t want to drive them into a solid plot but I will offer them opportunity to build on plot hooks that I will introduce along the way.

Some great space stations in this game

I was extremely scared prior to turning up at the hangout last night.  I had not really had anything to do with any of the players apart from being talked into running the game by +duncan mcphedran and reading the character that +Seth Blumberg had created for the game.  The third player +Peter Byrne was pretty close to an unknown to me as well.  That plus reading the rules had dominated my life for about five days and it seemed that none of the rules appear to be sticking inside my head.  I had a sheet of paper in my role playing notes book dedicated to a couple of plot hooks I intended on using as well as details of the starting area and a few names to use as we moved along in plot.  I had also put a placeholder campaign onto my roll20.net account but I was not sure if any of them even had accounts.  I got my computer out, readied myself and clicked the join button as it turned 8 P.M.

It was a few minutes before the first person arrived.  +duncan mcphedran said hello and we chatted about how his girlfriend hates Tasmanians (just kidding) and we waited a little bit before +Seth Blumberg arrived.  Seth is our American amongst us and he had meant to set his alarm to wake up at an insanely early time just to play in the game.  I was a little daunted as I had found our biggest Traveller fan amongst us.  I had played a little story driven Mega Traveller in my time but here was Seth, whose pronunciation of names and background knowledge of the meta plot would leave me in awe by the end of it.  We sat and chatted in general as Duncan chose and named his character and then I sent a message to Peter.


Peter had expected it to start a little later than it did so I decided we would leap in after having a bit of a discussion about some house rules that bend the “experience” system of Traveller (which sucks in its original format).  With that under way I leapt into the situation and talked some rough trading and sketched out the local happenings.  Peter joined us along the way and picked out his character from the few that I had generated and the game got into full swing.

The plot essentially found the Captain ( +Seth Blumberg ) trying to build a reputation for his newly formed company after leaving the merchant fleet with his own Far Trader the Lark Song being Cpt. Beniades Lark’s ship.  he had hired on an engineer ( +duncan mcphedran ) Mullock Extrovian who had been on a free trader for some time but the free trader had fallen on hard times and so he has moved to the Lark’s Song in hope of a new start.  His third employee is brilliant with his hands and has a broad range of skills that he learned in the Navy.  He was a bit of an NCO star in the navy and got out early as he had always wanted to be a marine.  A close second was travelling to different star systems with a trader to soak it all in if he could.

They had picked up some standard cargo and the Captain began to speculate about filling his ship with more cargo (I got very nervous here as Seth knows sooooo much about this game) but could not find anything suitable.  Luckily there was a loud explosion as a ship in a nearby cargo hold exploded and then a mysterious sect of Alien (volatile) artefact worshipping mass suicidal sect suddenly needed passage to a small lawless planet close to their flight path.  Oh, and the sect seems to be run by a mind reading Zhodani too, right near the Imperial border…  And then there was the mysterious woman who rushed to get allowed to travel to the same planet, almost as the doors were closing.

Traveller is an inspiring game… So is X3!

Also, the more mechanical minded found a planted device on the hull of the ship, somehow connected to the Jump Navigation data feeds.  They attempted a patch over it to stop it transmitting but did not want to take it off, just in case it was bomb like…  And in mid jump they noticed some regular, strange fluctuations in the jump energy patterns.

They made it to their first waypoint and I called it for the evening.  I had a talk with the players and they all seem to be enjoying it thoroughly at the moment which makes me feel a bit more confident.  The trick will be balancing the trade assignments with the role playing as it is clear that Seth loves the trading and the others are along for a space adventure.

Welcome aboard travellers!

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