Friday, July 6, 2012

The Cantons in Spaaaace

I have been trying to resist the space opera bug for months now—Jeff Rients' Traveller Leviathan campaign reports just made matters much worse.

Basta. I surrender.

Starting today at 8:30 I will be running an on-again, off-again Classic Traveller mini-campaign on Google Plus.

The mini-campaign takes place on the outer edge of the Cantonment, a distant-future confederation of 31 worlds. The Cantonment has mysteriously just emerged from the confines of a pocket universe it was shoved into (just as mysteriously) five centuries ago to find it has been shoved to another spiral arm of the galaxy.

All around it is the yawning darkness of unexplored space.

The coreworlds of the Cantonment are in sad shape for confronting this development. An inward malaise and weariness has set in the long years of splendid isolation. Endless rounds of flower wars, ponzi schemes, financial collapses, feuds, peccadillos, insurrections, and the like have wracked the confederacy leaving its central government weak and inert.

But some are stepping forward to face outwardly into the stars. Grasping corporations, ambitious planetary radas (councils), and now even spunky little “bolos” (small, cooperatively-owned outfits leftover from the Autonome Upheaval) are outfitting their own ships.

You are one such bolo. Pooling your savings and pensions from your years in service you have purchased a 200-ton Stormchild-class Space Xebec (pictured above and statted below). The ship only crews six and your bolo is larger, so expect some rotation (cue the in-game excuse for rotating player composition). You start on the edge of known space at a squalid, little planet called Outpost Nine (0801 Outpost Nine C446353-9 Non-Industrial).

A small detail, you still owe payments on the ship. Every six months for the next 20 years you must pay 300,000 cr—or you are going to make the repo list pretty damn quick. And the life of a space repo man is always intense.

House Rules
1. We will be using the three LBBs and the Citizens of the Imperium for character generation. Any number of terms are acceptable.

2. Failure to meet a survival roll in chargen gives you the choice between “cake” (-1 to one of the first three stats and forced discharge from service with no skills/benefits for that term, add two years to your age) or “death”.

3. Any melee weapon can be bought in a suped-up version that cuts all to hit modifiers against armor in half (rounding down). Such weapons cost three times the normal price. Feel free to add “vibro”, “chain”, “power”, or what to the name of it to sex it on up.

The Ship
Name: [Player-Defined]
200-ton Space-Xebec
Constructed by Hydra-Corp, Nova Marlankh

M Drive: Mongo-Bakunin Model A Infectuator, 2G acceleration
J Drive: B, Schizflux Rhizomatic Model B, 2 jump
Power Plant: Runtaz 2
Range: Eight weeks maneuver. Two jumps. Six months. RAM-type fuel scoops and processors.
Gravities: Adjustable 0.1 to 2.0 floor fields. Inertial compensators.
Minimum crew: pilot/navigator, engineer
Full crew: above and gunner, medic, gun thug/procurement specialist, and xenobiologist (or other necessary expert).
Cabins: 6
Cargo: 20 tons of cargo.
Armament: dorsal hardpoint, dual laser-blaster turret standard. Optional weaponry available.
Electronics: TRS Model/Ibis or equivalent. 8-bit entertainment consoles with cassette drives. Magnetic tape and punchcards sold separately.
Ship's Boats: No auxiliary vessels. One four-passenger Chim'ba Air/Raft carried in aft. Used for errands and has limited sub-orbital capability.


  1. 8:30 tonight what time zone?

    Also, do you have spots?

  2. I said "Peter Elson!" out loud when I saw this post. I've loved his art since I was a wee laddie buying Sphere SF paperbacks with my pocket money. Cheers, and enjoy your game.

  3. "TRS Model/Ibis or equivalent. 8-bit entertainment consoles with cassette drives. Magnetic tape and punchcards sold separately." Love it. Was watching Outland the other day, and I'm always amused at how quickly (some) future technology is outdated. Okay, so we've not got flying cars, or even workable short-range space travel. But did you see the 'high-tech' video golf game the guy was playing? Psh!

  4. Heh...cake or death. Brilliant.

  5. Now Space Repo Men is an idea for a flailtravellers game!

    1. Doesn't it though? Maybe I will run a one-shot.

  6. BTW you are making me look like a big old bandwagon jumper.

  7. I hereby offer my services and my fleets of starship miniatures to play out any space battles that may come up.

  8. Gay! And by that I mean sounds like you're pussing out on my game.

  9. Thanks Chris. Had fun, but the long week was catching up to me towards the end and I was struggling to stay awake. I'll probably not make the afternoon sessions but will try to make the evening ones.