Traveller: Chad’s First Freelance

The people have spoken, and the Blackreef Syndic needs our hero, one Chad Solo, to recover some very important and hush-hush company materiel that they quote misplaced unquote somewhere out in interSyndican waters.  The Blackreef Syndic, in the person of mid-level Admin named Joan Alice, offered Chad Solo a freelance gig in the last post, and thanks to another session of play we have some additional detail on the job.

One of their smaller transports ran into trouble roughly 1,100 miles out of Blackreef Station and lost contact with its controller. In the crushing depths of the world ocean, it now rests 3,000 feet down, perched on the edge of a precipice. Luckily, this happened in intersyndic waters so trespassing isn’t an issue for the recovery team.

But due to cargo of a clandestine nature, the Blackreef hauler was sailing off the books.  That means the Syndic is eager to avoid calling in outside help.  Instead, they grab a team of freelance roughnecks to do the work, off the books, and if anything else goes wrong their hands are, administratively speaking, clean. In addition to a crew of muscle, they need somebody with the engineering and vacc suit skills to ride along and troubleshoot any mechanical problems involved with the recovery effort.  Hence to opportunity for our Chad.

What exactly is Blackreef trying to keep so hush-hush that they would call in unreliable freelancers?  In a normal game the referee would simply make something up. Or listen to the table for suggestions – always a fine strategy as the players will tell you what piques their interest – and choose the one he pikes best.

In a Solo game, the player would come up with four possibilities, and roll some dice to decide which was the right answer.  This preserves the mystery and sense of rising the tiger that makes tabletop RPGs so much fun.

In my #Traveller solo livestreams, I do a little of both.  The viewers had some stellar ideas:

  • One commenter suggested alien-tech as a first contact thing. But aliens are already a thing, so this would be first contact with a previously unknown native species.
  • It could be raw data on changing deep-jelly migratory patterns which would give Blackreef a leg up on the upcoming negotiations re: fishing rights.
  • There could be survivors down there, people that Blackreef is keeping under wraps for some reason.
  • Or it could be the crashed ship itself, a prototype silent drive that Blackreef wants scuttled so rival Syndics don’t peep their newtech.

This time around, the poll has an extra bit of fun.  As usual the high vote is the job Joan Alice is offering. But , it is possible that Joan Alice is lying about what rests on the world ocean floor.  We won’t find out until Chad suits up and cracks into the downed sub.  We’ll roll to find out if this is a set-up, and if it is then the real object is the LEAST vote getter.

Because the smart referee also listens to what his players dread the most, and throws that into the game, too.

As a brief footnote, a clever commenter suggested a third Syndic that was too good to resist.