All posts by Gray Pennell

Xboat Speculation!

Patron: Merchant Prince, Spy
Required Skills: Scout Life Knowledge, Survey, Starship Operation skills
Required Equipment: Jump 2 capable Starship

Players’ Information:
The characters are nearing the end of their downtime and last of their credits on Urnian prime, when a middle age, but well-dressed lady approaches them. She introduces herself with a nice card that reads, “Julia Liverson. Urnian Properties Property Acquisition Specialist”.

Before the players know it, she has taken a seat with them, ordering a round for the table and Urnian Gin for herself. She then launches into her spiel; “My company is seeking to hire professional surveyors for an important job. It will be at least a six-jump trip with a possible extension if both parties agree. We are offering Cr. 3000 per month, per crew member, all standard ship fees and any maintenance needed during the time period – subject to a prior ship inspection, of course. You will provide a stateroom/office and aid me in surveying several worlds.” She takes a sip of her drink, then prances away – giving the team time to discus her offer.

Future Starport?
Future Starport? – Image from wikimedia.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Referee’s Information:
Pick 1 or more systems with in Jump 4 of Emape (Spinward Marches 0133) or Raweh (Spinward Marches 0139); priority given to Cs Status over high starport classifications.

Suggested systems: Ovdyo (Foreven 2935) or Cinboshabo (Foreven 2938).

Both Urnian Properties and Liverson will pass a background check. Urnian Properties specialize in startowns and starport properties speculation, making millions as these ports get upgraded. Ms. Liverson is known for making a killing off Imperial deals as the Imperium moves beyond the Five Sisters into the Urnian Subsector. This expedition, if successful, will make her enough to retire wealthy.

She has gotten word that the Imperium is about to expand their Xboat routes into the Urnian subsector. This includes upgrading starports where needed. This means millions of credits to those fortunate to own property. While she has a clear idea where the routes might go, she needs to investigate all the options. Additionally, they are keeping this trip off the books and it requires Imperial Scout operations knowledge, so the company has chosen to hire a private ship and former scouts crew. If the characters wish to carry cargo and or passengers she will negotiate to reduce or even to stop paying ship upkeep and maintenance.

1. The characters are not the only crew Urnian Properties is looking at. The other crew is desperate for the contract, so they sabotage the characters’ ship or harm the crew. The other crew may or may not know the secret speculative nature of the survey mission.

2. Liverson is actually a property spy for the Marrakesh Trade Association. While the Xboat expansion is true, her actual mission is to buy property out from under the Imperium agents, to prevent Imperial expansion, and to report on Imperial activities and Urnian market conditions.

3. Liverson knows that the Imperium is not ready to expand and is instead embezzling hundreds of thousands of Urnian Properties funds through dummy companies; she plans to disappear from Urnian as soon as she can convince the characters to take her. Not only does she steal the company funds, she does not pay the characters.

4. Everything is normal for the group and the party spends 6 jumps exploring the startowns of the Urnian subsector.

5. Liverson finds out that Urnian Properties are pulling out of the speculative adventure but she isn’t about to give up on her dreams. With her all savings, she pushes on and offers the characters a deal of a life time. In return for forgoing the cost of the ship’s expenses and their salaries, she will give them each 5% equity in her new company. She will also allow them to buy into her new company giving up to a total of 45% equity. If she is right, they will make a fortune and she is never wrong – well hardly ever.

6. The survey trip is anything but normal as a rival company dogs the survey mission at every turn. They will do anything to ruin it and/or capture properties for themselves. In the end they may get desperate enough to harm Liverson and her faithful scouts. This option works best if the players have enough room on the ship for the saboteur(s) to book passage. They will even to try to corrupt a crew member. With millions at stake, anything goes.

Dark Energy

Required Skills: An array of maintenance, administrative, combat and ship skills.
Required Equipment: Jump 2+ Ship
Number of Players: 2-6

Players’ Information:
Baron Stron, formally Captain Stron (Rtr), of the Five Sisters fleet retired 1102; mustered out with the title Baron for services rendered. Using family money, savings, and retirement, Stron began a writing career. His stories are not just action-adventure but finely-veiled tell-alls of the rich and powerful of the rimward sectors of Marches. The books and holo films made the Baron a small fortune. He now feels it’s time to live the life of a Baron, but the books have made him persona-non-grate in the Marches so he relocated to Urnian (Urnian/Urnian 2834 of the Foreven Sector).

Urnians industry – especially the weapons industry – destroyed Urnians atmosphere so many people live in the cities, with the wealthiest living in domed estates. Baron Stron could afford a small domed estate outside of Capital along the Mebby river.

He now needs to hire a small retinue of servants including: maintenance staff, a ship and crew.

Additionally the laws allow estate holders to hire a small, lightly-armed bodyguard unit. The Baron will pay well for any position the players apply for. If a ship is provided he will pay the yearly upkeep, salaries, and fuel every time he takes it out for a spin. He also does not mind people moonlighting as long as they carry out their estate duties firsts.

Urnians polluted atmosphere
Urnians polluted atmosphere. Copyright P-O Bergstedt.

Referee’s Information:
The encounters can be played individually or as a campaign. Either way there is downtime for the players and GM to do something else..

1. The Barons estate is old and rundown, requiring a lot of upkeep. This time the mechanical cooling system has gone out after a storm and river flooding. The players need to investigate the vast water cooling system connect to the estate by a large maze of underground aqueducts.

After some time, the players reach a flushing pool that has flooded over its banks due to a blocked drainage system. In the flushing pool is a family of 4 Libersharks, a local fresh water amphibious predator similar to the Terrain Crocodile. They apparently made their way into the pool during the storm, The party needs to clear them out, unclog the drain, and get the flushing pool working again.

2. The Baron is laid up on the estate as he begins to write his newest book, Dark Energy. He not only gives everyone but the cook time off with pay, he orders them off the estates for three months. This frees up everyone for a nice vacation.

3. The Baron needs to do research on the Utsukushi family – Leila Utsukushi, the current ruler of Urnian, for his book Dark Energy. While he tells the players that the trip to Meepy is simply to visit the Utsukushi family archives, he is really there to get the dirt on Leila, The trip downriver is uneventful, as are the first two days at the Utsukushi family fortress complex.

During this time, the Baron has the players perform standard duties while he gets involved in court politics. He mangers to seduce Leila, angering the Court Vizier Sarsak who frames a payer for theft embarrassing the Baron. The Baron loses the favour of Leila and cannot get the player out legally – so the players have to rescue their comrade before they receive the traditional punishment: their right hand cut off.

4. The Baron needs more research for Dark Energy and really needs to get off planet, especially after the last research trip, so he decides it is time to go find some off world information. He plans a 24 week trip across the Urnian main then to Shoefrete and into the Five Sisters to Iderati and back. The Baron, though, leaves out the real purpose: he had received a message.

Dear Baron Stron I am Terka Kalvin, you do not know me but you know my mother the Lady Elize. I am your son! I am on Iderati and my mother is dying. She needs your help. Enclosed is my DNA card to prove who I am. Please Please come to Iderati and help.

Your son,

Once on Iderati, the players must find TK and help the Baron sort things out. Unfortunately the group arrives to late for TK mother, who has just passed away. At this point the Baron decides to take TK back to the estate.

5. Several months pass as the Baron writes more of “Dark Energy”. A pre-publication interview with the Baron reveals the book is focused on her Ladyship Leilas often selfish, scandalous behaviour and poor judgement. This angers the Court Vizier again. The Vizier seeks to silence the Baron by kidnapping TK and holding him hostage until the Baron withdraws Dark Energy from publication. The players must find out who kidnapped TK, locate the remote hideout where TK is held and rescue him.

6. The Barons newest book Dark Energy is published, becoming his most successful work to date bringing more wealth to the Baron. The Baron is even nominated for the Imperial Pen Award for Fiction. This does not sit well with her Ladyship Leila, the ruler of Urnian the target of Baron’s poisonous pen.

Angered by her Viziers failure to stop the book before publication, Leila, orders the Vizier to lead a personal assault on the estate using an elite platoon of her bodyguard. The party must safely evacuate the Baron and TK off planet through a running gun battle from the estate up the Meeby river, to the downport. If they succeed the Baron orders the players, “Just get me to Szirp!

Once on Szirp, a world owned by SuSAG, and famous for its anagathics atmosphere, he uses the last of his wealth to buy a small cabin. He then dismiss the party without pay!