Classic Traveller: Brief Update

We’ve got our first space princess!

Okay, so Queen Carrere Tiadime (“tee-uh-dee-may”) isn’t technically a princess, but she must have been at some point.  Today, however, she serves as the current head of the largest polity on Blaine’s World, which is ruled by a hereditary oligarchy, and how does our humble scout run into so august a woman?

Why, the through the random encounter tables of course.

After returning from his successful wumpsnipe hunt, Jeremy Powell requires several days of rest.  The acid rainforest is a harsh mistress, after all, and he and his mates had to drag over a hundred pounds of snarling carrion eaters out of the jungle before claiming what proved to be a token thank you from the National Galacticgraphic Society.

The dice wait for no man, and during those rest days Jeremy would first encounter a band of a half-dozen bored marines who took little interest in him, before being forced off the shaded streets of Marriot by the axe-armed guards of a noble personage. And here’s where Jeremy’s life, and our solo play, gets gets ret-conned into something a little more complicated.

The random encounter table in proto-Traveller (1977) indicates the potential for meeting “noble and retinue” without going into detail.  Casting about for guidance, we note that it does provide a little guidance with respect to what a high score in SOCIAL means as far as social standing goes:

In keeping with our trust of the dice, we roll 2d12 to find out what sort of nobles pass by Jeremy on the street.  We’ll roll the standard 2d6, with higher results indicating higher rank.  Boxcars.  That means a full-blown Queen, and since we’re on Blaine’s World, we keep with the theme.  She’ll have a couple of handmaidens/princesses with here and the rest of the troop (totalling eight) will be well-armed and armored guardsmen.  Jeremy dutifully steps aside to allow her to pass, murmuring the standard Blaine’s World royal greeting, “We’re not worthy.”

And so we roll for her reaction to Jeremy and his scruffy friends.

With a result of nine, she is intrigued by Jeremy’s appearance and asks her ladies-in-waiting about him.  Little does Jeremy realize, he and his recent exploits have caught her attention.  She must be a fan of the NGS and their works with xeno-conservatism, and so she makes a few calls, reminds the NGS of her generous endowments, and the next day he gets a call informing him that his Scout-S class ship awaits him at the local starport.

He doesn’t know it yet, but he just picked up a powerful behind-the-scenes patron, whose influence has made him a pawn in a larger game.  We don’t know what that means yet, but the dice will let us know in all due time. One thing to remember is that the icebumpkins up in the polar area constitute a breakaway republic that does not recognize her throne.  She’ll want to address that issue, and Jeremy may find himself playing a larger role in local politics than he expected.