Classic Traveller: A New Solo

Today marked the inaugural session of a new solo campaign over at the Joy of Wargaming, and this time we’re chasing the edge of the universe with a game of OG Traveller.

It wasn’t much of a session – all we managed to do was roll up one character, establish eight starport systems, and flesh out a single world.

Our first character, Chad Solo (3A96A9), survived three terms of service in the terrestrial navy on Corvinus (C75A755C) before striking out on his own and kicking off the campaign proper.  To understand Solo you have to understand Corvinus first.

It’s a standard earth sized planet a little too far from its sun, with a thin but breathable atmosphere.  Covered in deep ocean, it has long  days (100 standard terran hours) which causes great, languid currents to form, constantly pushing enormous icebergs and flows to grind anything at the surface to pulp within a few years.  To protect themselves, the denizens live among large submersible cities anchored to the sea floor.  Luckily for them, the tech level of 12 makes cheap and abundant energy possible – enough to provide for a single starport and planetary capital to perch atop a massive floe and nudge away and dangerous icebergs that approach it.

That high tech level also allows the denizens to harvest nettles from the king jellies that drift along the currents, and harvest their nettle-cells for a wide range of pharmaceuticals for export.  That market is more profitable on a per-unit basis, but not as large as that for the robust and plentiful doublehump deepwhale meat that fills cargo ships bound for industrial worlds across the subsector.

The rich sea life and sparse population makes Corvinus a relatively wealthy world, even as the hardships inherent in survival there result in a hardy people.  Ruled over by eight quasi-familial corporations infused with a strong noblese oblige, the people are loyal to the Syndics into which they are born or pledged, and look down their noses at the minority of unaffiliated freelancers who nonetheless provide some much-needed social mobility and flexibility to an otherwise rigid society.

It is among such men, freelancers, that Chad Solo begins his civilian career.  While he was out on deployment, patrolling the depths for illegal salvagers and off-world poachers and the like, his wife trashed the musclesub he bought with his enlistment bonus.  The subsequent dissolution of their marital contract left him disillusioned with life on Corvinus and he decided to cash out and sign on with the first starship willing to take him on.  His time in the Blackreef Navy let him pick up skills in vacc-suit use and fusion plant engineering which should have made him an easy hire for any captain with an eye for talent.

Unfortunately, they don’t call them backwaters for nothing. After a week of cooling his heels in starport bars, he watched as only a few small merchants dropped into Innsmouth Station and departed with cargoes that did not include a freshly minted navy lieutenant with bigger dreams than prospects.

And that’s where the fun begins.  A random roll on the Patrol table results in contact made by an interest party – one Joan Alice of the Blackreef Syndic.  The whispernet brought him to her attention, and a group of freelance thugs brought him to her office.  As an Affiliate Subdirector of the Bioacquisitions Department she has need of a man who can operate outside the normal channels, and in return she can offer a verbal endorsement that would guarantee him a job on the next freighter off-planet…

And that’s as far as we got.  We have until February 23rd to figure out what she wants out of Chad – we are playing in 1:1 time of course.

We’ll need to draft up the crew of the Blackraven, to give ourselves something to do when Chad gets too far out ahead of skis on the calendar, and to give us a chance to play with the shipping and starship rules.  But for now, we’ve got a whole planet of adventure in Corvinus to explore.