This article originally appeared in the November/December 2015 issue.
- A mudslinging independent journalist creates headaches for the heroes.
Muckraker is intended for no more than 5 Classic Traveller characters of varied career backgrounds. The team need not have been working together prior to the adventure. A starship is required.
The team is in port taking on cargo and passengers. One of those requesting passage, a modestly-dressed man with a somewhat cocky air, offers to pay high passage rates for two jumps in any direction. Observant heroes see that he seems to be pleased with himself for some reason, but if asked about it, he simply asserts that he’s happy that he’s able to finally take a trip he’d been saving up for.
Arslin Millei is a muckraking, semi-famous journalist of the lowest order. His mission in life is to find dirt on someone and exploit it for ratings and buzz. He normally targets celebrities and nobles. For whatever reason (a botched mission, negative rumors), he has now set his sights on the PCs.
He takes passage aboard their vessel in disguise under an assumed name, but some of the heroes might recognize him regardless:
To see through Millei's disguise:
FORMIDABLE; INT, Recon
The disguise was apparently applied by a pro. If anyone calls Millei out, he simply replies with “Yeah, I get that a lot. People say I look just like him.” He’ll tell them that’s the reason for the disguise; he’s tired of people coming up to him and asking for autographs or holos. This is, of course, a lie.
Once the vessel is underway and in jumpspace, Millei makes his move. Despite his cockiness, he’s a topnotch investigator. Through subtle interrogations of the crew and as much computer hacking and physical snooping as he can get away with, he tries to find as much as he can about the heroes, with an eye toward using it against them later. Of course, the group may have nothing he can use, but he is also a master at twisting facts to suit the narrative he wants to convey.
Throw 1D for the results of his efforts:
- Millei tries his best, but finds nothing scandalous. Nevertheless, he twists whatever he finds into something salacious on an 8+. If this news gets out onworld, it will cause one or more of the PCs minor embarrassment only. The PCs catch him snooping on a 6+.
- As 1, except he twists whatever he finds on 6+ and the crew catches him on a 9+.
- Millei uncovers a minor secret of one of the crew members, assuming there are any secrets to be found. If the news gets out onworld, the crew member harboring the secret will suffer a major blow to their reputation and a reaction from others at a -2,. The crew catches him snooping on 7+
- As 3, but the crew catches him on 10+, and he unlocks the entire crew’s skeleton closets.
- Millei uncovers any illegal activity the group may have been involved in, no matter how minor. He tries to blackmail them on a 10+. If they refuse, and the news gets out onworld, the group will be subject to sanctions ranging from a stiff fine to arrest, depending on what they did. The team catches him snooping on 12 exactly.
- As 5, except Millei keeps quiet and makes two files: one for his report, the other for the authorities. He turns the authorities’ copy over as soon as he hits port. The crew will not catch him snooping and will be subject to arrest based on what was in the report Millei turned in. They may not even find out what he was up to until they see an embarrassing report in the media and learn they are now wanted!