This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue.
Editor’s note: As submitted, this was specific to the Second Frontier War and the Spinward Marches. It has been edited to allow placement virtually anywhere in Charted Space, or in your own Traveller setting.
“…you probably know my name from the Arvild Blaster stories?”
The overweight man pauses to look expectantly at you. You’re seated at the other side of a stained bar table. You shake your head slightly. The fat man looks slightly disappointed, then smiles.
“No? Well, I suppose you won’t have a lot of time for reading in your work.” The fat man takes a drink from a glass of deep red liquid, his bald head reflects the light from the table lamp. He licks his corpulent lips with a thick red tongue before continuing.
“Well, they’ve been very popular, and given me a very nice living for the last twenty years. I’ve always been fascinated by the War, you understand, and Arvild gave me a wonderful opportunity to explore the different battles. Of course there were only so many battles during that war, so I had been quite at a loss for the subject of my next book.” He leans back into the red armchair and takes another drink.
You put down the small glass tumbler of amber liquid you’ve been nursing. Moving your grubby ship’s cap slightly to one side you ask, “So you’d like to charter my ship for a tour of some of the smaller skirmish sites?”
“Yes, that’s eactly right. One site in particular has grabbed my attention. A skirmish between a group of separatist miners and an assault group of Lord Ternham’s Marines.”
- The skirmish was on and around a small planetoid which is difficult to find. Once found he will want to visit the surface and look at the scene of the fight. However, he is an absolute novice in Zero-G and very clumsy. Assuming they can keep the author alive the players may find some interesting archaic weaponry or a clue to war booty.
- As 1 except the planetoid is now the base for pirates. This is not obvious until the author has descended to the surface at which point a single armed ship arrives…
- The author is badly in debt, but has found information about the location of a large stash of precious metals stolen from the miners during that war. He is intent on finding the stash to clear his debts. However the stash is hidden deep in the planetoid, in old mine workings and protected by booby traps. The author will need significant help to find, retrieve and sell the stash.
- As 3, but another person has also discovered the whereabouts of the stash, and arrives with an armed group around the time that the players group arrive at the planetoid.
- As 4, but the stash is empty. However the author notices a clue (a discarded data stick? A ship’s log in a wreck floating near the planetoid?) that indicates that the stash was moved…
- As 5, but the planetoid is also being used as a base for pirates who arrive at an appropriately awkward moment.