Traveller: Sometimes You Should Just Take The Right Turn At Alburquerque

Wow.  Just finished up Merchant’s Rising for the evening.  Had my computer dissolve in a whimper after it was all over but am now up and running again and I have to get my thoughts out.  Why?  Because where we ended and where I expected us to be are two completely different things.

Leaving Emerald

This is the beauty of the sandbox.  Tonight I wanted nothing more than to follow the players where they wanted to take me and I thought that it may be a bit of merchanting.  And I was right.  In a fashion.  If you watch our games (thanks) you will be aware that it is loosely based on a mercantile campaign with adventure hooks thrown in.  You will also be aware that the crew have just had their old ship destroyed and found their way into a brand new Fat Trader that they were keen to make some money with.

They did a bit of merchanting tonight and set their sites on a little planet called Narval.  They were going to Jump from Emerald to the big black in between Narval and Emerald (they have only a Jump 1 capable ship) and then on to Narval.  It seemed a good idea carrying a cargo hold of grain and various other illicit materials.

The Nine Fortunes on risk factor 9

They made it to the Big Black area, a little off course but not too bad and then the Navigator, +James Austin‘s Professor Babbage, rolled a critical fumble.  The navigational details entered I randomly rolled to see where they ended up.  50% chance they would land in space with a system.  They hit the wrong 50%.

I was literally stunned!  We had done some good work to get the game back up with some momentum in a new(ish) direction and BANG!  The third Jump they end up in empty space with no fuel to jump out!  This is normally lights out for a crew.  I called it a night and had a bit of a discussion about what would happen with +Tom Tyson and +Scott Cadoo who had missed the game.

And then it came to me.  The ship that they had was being monitored (for reasons I don’t want to divulge here) and it was a big investment for a company on Jewell.  They were being fed information on a semi regular basis about the progress of the ship and it would be missed.  Likely to be missed around six weeks after it disappeared, but missed none the less.  So my brain wave is this.

Rescue mission.

The rescue effort is mounted next time we play!

The players next fortnight will be playing new characters who are sent on a mission to see what happened to their ship (The Nine Fortunes).  This is perfect for building tension.  What happened to their characters?  Are they still alive?  Are they still there?  What was in that patch of empty space?  Did they all crawl into low berth and hope for the best?  Will the new characters reach them in time?

So many questions.  Such a beautiful cliff hanger!  Join me in a fortnight when hopefully we will be able to answer some, if not all, of these questions!

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