Solo Traveller: Second Chances

It turns out there was more to last session’s street fight than we realized.

Recall that our lone hero, Chad Solo, fell in with a group of water polo hooligans, fans of the Whalin-Soonami Limpets, and spent a weekend in Innsmouth Station crawling the pubs and watching their team win the All Ocean Cup.  While staggering back home, the crew was accosted by a band of churchmen, adherents to the Soggy Path of Dag’gone.  Ready and willing to fight, the gang turns around and confronts the churchmen.

Their fight song is, “I Wish I Was Fish”

Two triple rolls of the 2d6 and the combatants look like this:

-In the blue jerseys, at Str5 Dex6 End9, twelve hooligans in jacks wielding clubs

-In the blue robes, at StrA DexA End4, thirteen religious types with short bladed knives

Chad, without a dog in the fight, opts to hang back and bolts when the blows start the fly.  Though out-classed in the muscle department, the hooligans have jacks to balance things out.  They are also more inclined to fight, as I rolled a single d6-2 for each side to figure out how many in the mob weren’t really up for a brawl, and the hooligans had fewer fence sitters.  Despite that, the religious types were getting the better of things when Chad made his exit.  It’s also worth noting that a couple of the hooligans hanging back chased Chad down to punish his cowardice, to no avail.

The next morning Chad blows his interview with his way off the wet rock by answering the door unshaven, wearing only a bathrobe and boxer briefs.

At this point Chad is entirely without prospects, and so we roll for another random encounter the next day and get boxcars!  It must be something really important, and that something must be his original patron, checking in on him.  As it happens, word of Chad’s interview with Captain Doose got back to Joan Alice, his patron back at Blackreef HQ.  Worried that her potential leak isn’t leaving the planet after all, she puts pressure on Captain Doose to give Chad a second shot.  She devises a test by which Chad can prove himself.

I can’t remember where I got this table from, but it’s one a several that help generate plots for a cyberpunk campaign, and this perfect for randomly selecting a new adventure for Chad to get embroiled in.

Rather than roll percentile dice, this is Traveller after all, I chose to roll d66.  This leads to some interesting omissions, as there’s no way to roll 70+.  So no ex-girlfriends, no serial killers, and no megalomaniacs.  But it does mean potential gang wars, which was the result of my roll, and since we just left a street brawl, this result means that things got way out of hand after Chad left the party.  The violence spreads throughout Innsmouth Station and though the authorities don’t have to worry about bullets flying, a whole lot of productive cogs are showing up to the machine badly battered and unable to meet their daily productivity quotas.  The red line going down makes the Board of Directors very, very sad.

This also explains why Munder Doose was so short with Chad on Monday – he had to dodge rioters in the street-hallways and all the chaos has slowed his business down.  He’ll be stuck in port for two extra days as the authorities try to cool things off.  That’s enough to put a freightman in a bad move, even if he doesn’t know Chad is partly to blame for the starport’s current woes.

And that’s where Chad comes back into the picture.  With a seven-way brawl out there, one way for each of the six teams in the tourney and the seventh being the Dag’gonians,  the place needs an effective communicator and a man not beholden to any of the megacorps.  Joan passes word to her superiors that Chad, recently made logoless, is a rough and tumble guy who fits the bill – little realizing that he was there at the spark that lit the powderkeg. He opts not to inform her of this salient point, as he doesn’t want her to revoke her offer of a second chance with Captain Doose.  Or maybe she does know his role and just doesn’t care.  After all, if he fails, then all the blame dumps on him and the Corps can string him up as a fall guy to appease everyone that justice has been done.

Things are tense at the peace talks, and once the Whalin-Soonami crew gets a load of the arbitrator things go from tense to heated.  His Social giving him a DM+! is negated now by a DM-1 because no one on either side really trusts him. Voices are raised and things almost come to blows as Chad takes a second shot at things now with a total DM-2 modifier.  A big roll of ten results in a total of eight and things finally settle down.  To clear the streets and get this ugliness behind them so that the line can go up again, the MegaCorps offer full amnesty to everyone involved and agree to a hefty fine/donation to the coffers of the Church of Dag’gone.  This leaves things peaceful enough, but everyone in the Corvinus Board of Directors chafes at the price tag, and now no-one on the planet likes Chad.

Not even Captain Doose.  Sure, the guy calmed things down, but he’s a businessman and recognizes that a real arbitrator could have calmed them at a way lower price.  Translating to the dice roll, Chad got a barely acceptable 7 on his reaction check, which allowed him a second roll, at a price.  The second roll comes up 8, which in Traveller’s terms in a barely interested.  Translating back to Chad’s world  that means he can work as Junior Engineer on the Money Crater (a subsidized Type-M hauler), but his first six-weeks he’ll be an unpaid intern and can pay his own board and be grateful to even have a room instead of a hammock in the hold.

Chad accepts the tepid offer, knowing that with the way the economics of a hauler work, the Captain will have plenty of opportunities for a man of Corvninus to prove his mettle.

Or die trying.

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