Thursday, April 16, 2009

hey, let's talk about something besides Japan today

Adventure 4: Leviathan is a neat-o Trav product I've long wanted to run. Design-wise it combines a two subsector sandbox with a straightforward mission: mercantile exploration. A big portion of this booklet is devoted to the Leviathan class merchant cruisers.

I've never run A4 for3 big reasons.
1) Traveller is a crusty old game that no one plays anymore.
2) Not that many players actually want to deal with the personnel and logistical issues of running a big ship. In my experience most players want a Millenium Falcon sized operation or Constellation-class hand wavery.
3) Not that many players want to plan out something as complicated as a long multi-jump loop route through a couple of subsectors. Especially when they know the referee is just going to monkey the whole thing up.

So here's my idea on how to get some use out of my copy of Leviathan.

1) Use Mongoose's new Traveller. If necessary trick prospective players by describing it as a shiny new sci-fi game. "Inspired by Firefly."
2) Make most of the crewmembers myself, possibly cribbing from 1,001 Characters if that supplement is sufficiently compatible with the new Mongoose edition.
3) Make the captain an NPC.
4) Use the module as a springboard for episodic adventures. Examples:
  • "Tonight we're starting out with all of you in the shuttlecraft, scouting out a gas giant as a fuel source. You're six hours from the mothership when you pick up a faint distress beacon."
  • "Shore leave on non-imperial worlds can be interesting. The cops wake you up just in time to board the bus for the prison work camp."
  • "That dodgy cargo you picked up two jumps back turns out to be xenomorph eggs. Roll for initiative, suckers."
5) In between sessions, I'd play out the strategic portions of the game as a solo operation.