Within Mongoose Publishing, we are currently working on (among many other things!) a revision of the Pirates of Drinax epic campaign. We steadily released this campaign in parts (for free!) over the past couple of years or so but, with the new edition of Traveller now out, we wanted to do something a little bit special.
So, later this year, expect to see a nice big double-hardback set in slipcase, with big poster map and lots of ebook support to further extend your adventures!
In preparation of this, I decided our RPG group should rattle through the campaign to help close up any holes and basically make sure players will have everything they need to hand in the commercial release.
We started by rolling up characters, which is always a laugh in Traveller. Unlike many other games, in Traveller characters are rolled up as a group exercise, as the system gets you to ‘link’ to other players through various events in their history. The idea here is that, by the time you are ready to play, everyone in the party already knows each other – I often describe this as creating the crew of the Firefly, where everyone has some sort of history that is primed and ready to go.
That done, the Travellers started off in the floating city on the blasted world of Drinax, with an offer from King Oleb (think Brian Blessed in Flash Gordon); he will give them an old but highly advanced raiding ship, and the Travellers go off into the Trojan Reach to pirate Imperial and Aslan shipping, while building up resources that will allow Drinax to become a true empire. Simples.
The first debated started with the Travellers trying to come up with a name for their Harrier-class raider. This took some time but they finally settled upon the Balderick.
They then checked out the nearby systems and decided which one they would first jump to, lying in wait for a nice fat trader to board. To their credit, they also made plans as to whom would do what when they actually found a target (rather than employing their usual practice of figuring things out as they go along…).
However, they were interrupted by an automated message that had been left on their bridge by the Princess Rao. Pirates had attacked two nearby systems (Torpol and Clarke) and bounties had been posted – if the Travellers could run them down, they would earn the bounties but, more importantly, would start to influence these two worlds to be more receptive to Drinax. As it happened, the Travellers had chosen Torpol as their first target world, so were at least heading in the right direction.
Landing at Torpol, they scouted around the starport for information, which led to a punch up in a bar between the Travellers’ captain and a visiting sports team. Though outnumbered, the captain, along with his Aslan bodyguard, ‘dealt’ with the situation and when security arrived, took the opportunity to meet one of the administrators of the planet – a man only too pleased to get help tracking down the raiders.
The Travellers analysed the data collected from the attack and quickly deduced that the attacking ships had disguised themselves and fled to the Borite system. After quickly refuelling at the starport, the Travellers left Torpol and jumped to Borite.
A scan of the system located a faint distress beacon coming from an ancient (really ancient – it was nearly falling apart!) space station in orbit around the local gas giant. After (very carefully) docking, three of the Travellers entered the station and began exploring – starting off by splitting up and wandering off on their own…
Inevitably, one of the Travellers (the Aslan bodyguard) encountered the strange alien creature that had been lurking on the station (a Chamax that had been transported here, for you Traveller veterans) but after a brief though brutal fight, she managed to fend it off. Meanwhile, another of the Travellers had found a poor Vargr pirate – the captain of one of the raiders who had been abandoned by his crew after an unsuccessful attack after the raids the Travellers had already heard about.
The Vargr (named Krrsh) was pathetically grateful to the Travellers, and took a shine to the younger of the Vargr on their team. After being given food and rum, he happily told the Travellers that the attacks were led by a pirate captain called Redthane. He had no idea where Redthane was, but knew his lieutenant, a lady known as Silverhand, was on the pirate world of Theev. Krrsh would be willing to give the Travellers the codes needed to enter Theev space (as well as use the deep space refuelling point needed to get there), and would go on to serve on their crew (hoping to get another ship from them later on).
The deep space refuelling was hellishly expensive, as it turned out, but enabled the Traveller to get to Theev.
The session ended when they touched down on a world with a very low Law Level and very high Tech Level – always a good combination when you want to go shopping!