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It Beats Shoveling Shemdur in Aramanx, Barely

INTRODUCTION

This adventure is meant as a means by which characters can begin to form their own mercenary unit at the start of a mercenary-style campaign, or at a transition point in another campaign. It is a straightforward security ticket with a variety of difficulties to overcome. It should work best with between 2 and 6 characters. Required material includes the basic rules of whatever edition of Traveller you are using, plus either Classic Traveller Book 4 "Mercenary" or Gurps Traveller "StarMercs" or Traveller 4th ed Emperor's Arsenal. The adventure is written with Traveller 4th edition skills and task resolution in mind, but can be readily adapted to other editions.

Location/Setting

This scenario can be played on any planet with the following characteristics:

As a default, call the planet Alphax: C565755-B

Summary

There are five parts to this adventure:

  1. Finding the Patron

    Encounters

    1. Rumor: players are informed of a job by old army buddy, who suggests they could form their own mercenary unit.
    2. Patron: players are given the run-down on the job and what they need to do in order to get the job.
  2. Creating the Mercenary Unit: characters will have about a week to put together their own small mercenary unit.

    Activities

    1. Try to obtain a mercenary license
    2. Try to purchase weapons or equipment
    3. Try to recruit soldiers
    4. Try to track down information
    5. Organizing the Unit
  3. The Mission:

    Encounters

    1. Saddle-Up: unit is transported and briefed.
    2. Nail it Down: unit sets up shop guarding a ship under repair.
    3. Weep for the Beans! Unit is plagued by angry tree-men.
    4. Treachery and Sabotage: unit is betrayed by bomber.
    5. Infiltrators: criminals attempt covert raid on site.
    6. Riot: angry civilians try to destroy ship's cargo.
    7. The Big Climactic Gun Fight.
  4. Cashing Out: characters get their rewards.

PART A: Finding the Patron

ENCOUNTER 1: Rumor

The players are casting about for work or opportunities in the Startown area of Alphax, when one of the PCs with military or marine experience runs into an old friend. "Mustache Bill" Ilidru was a friend of the PC in the service, but now is wearing the scarlet and green uniform of one of "Hendru's Dragoons" a respected mercenary unit. "Mustache Bill" is now wearing staff sergeant's stripes (he had been a major in the regulars, last you heard). Bill is currently tearing up the town and will invite the players along with him to "Skunky's" a star town bar. After buying a few rounds, Bill will explain that he is reasonably happy in the Dragoons--it beats shoveling shemdru in Aramanx--but that the real money and chance for advancement lies in forming one's own unit.

At one point, Mustache Bill will sit back, point at a businessman in a shiny silver jumpsuit and say "guys like that pony up the equipment-money and take half the profit, yeeesh. If I only could hang on to a paycheck for more than 2 seconds I'd start my own team. Hang it all, I'd just muck the business up in the end. But, I tell you, if you're quick and have some cash, you could get into the business yourself. I had a lead on a job, but am still under contract with the Dragoons. If you can get together an infantry squad of twelve men there's security contract available with Trans-Galactic Mining. You have about a week to pull something together and see the District Director over in Mine-town. If you need some more advice on setting up a unit, talk to the InterStellarms representative over at the downport."

ENCOUNTER 2: Patron: Trans-Galactic Mining

When the players follow up on Mustache Bill's information, they will be able to contact the local headquarters of Trans-Galactic Mining. When they enter the large windowless structure in mine-town, they will be greeted by a robotic receptionist and once their business is made clear they will be ushered into a contra-grav tube which will lift them up to an impressive office which has several robotic workers operating office equipment. A mobile desk-bot will lead the characters into an inner office and introduce them to Hilbert Wuldax, the company representative on Alphax, who is also the only human who works in this building. He looks all business, and wears a conservative blue-foil jumpsuit, Vilani headdress and platform boots. Wuldax will gruffly tell the players he needs a security troop for about a month and will hand them a document carrying the following information and bid them good day.

Details of the Ticket: Trans-Galactic Mining is looking for a small mercenary unit to undertake a 30-day security ticket beginning in 7 days. The leader of the unit must appear at Trans-Galactic depot in Mine-town by the end of business 7 days from today. He must meet the following conditions to be hired:

  1. He must have in hand, ready for transport, a squad of 10-12 soldiers with infantry weapons.
  2. He must have a mercenary license, either local or Imperial.
  3. The unit must be willing to remain under contract and under arms for a solid 30 days without a break.

The mission is to guard an unspecified installation from all hostile attack, theft or sabotage. If the target is preserved undamaged and secure at the end of the thirty-day period, then 100,000cr will be paid out to the unit. The unit will incur no transport, food or life support costs during the contract.

PART B: Creating the Mercenary Unit.

If the players decide to undertake the mission, there are several obstacles to overcome: obtaining a license, recruiting the squad, obtaining weaponry and optionally acquiring additional intelligence. There is a seven-day period in which the players can prepare their unit, and players will be limited as to how many activities they can perform each day, based on the number of people who are playing:

List of Player Activities:

  1. Try to obtain a mercenary license
  2. Try to purchase weapons or equipment
  3. Try to recruit soldiers
  4. Try to track down information
  5. Plus a final group activity: Organizing the Unit

The first activity should be an interview with the InterStellarms company representative in Star Town. He is currently very accessible, since he's finished all the work on a big contract with the local army and also has just delivered the latest order to Hendru's Dragoons. The players will be ushered right in to his office once they've paid the receptionist a 75cr consulting fee (the receptionist is either an Aslan or Newt, depending on which alien is more common in your campaign area). This same information can be gained (legally) by an average Computer task.

The representative, Dr. Miles Maxwell, will brief the players on the types of mercenary license available (see Encounter 1 below) and what weaponry is available from what sources (see Encounter 2 below).

ACTIVITY 1: OBTAINING A LICENSE:

There are several types of mercenary license available, each has its advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Local Security License

    Advantages:

    • Gives right to act as security guards on this planet only.
    • Gives right to buy semi-auto weapons at police depot.

    Disadvantages:

    • No access to military weapons
    • License is of no use off world.

    Cost: 500cr filing fee.

    To Obtain: a player must be designated "company CEO" and must apply in person at the central police office. The police will run a background check (roll Social Status or less to avoid a 1-day delay). The fee must be paid and an average Admin task rolled and the license will be issued.

  2. Imperial Mercenary License

    Advantages:

    • Gives the right to act as mercenaries anywhere in Imperium.
    • Gives the right to buy surplus equipment at Imperial Surplus Service depot and from the InterStellarms warehouse.

    Disadvantages:

    • Cash bond
    • High filing fee

    Cost: 1500cr filing fee. 1000cr refundable bond for each soldier employed in the unit.

    To Obtain: a list must be drawn up of the investors or "owners" of the unit, and what proportion of the "owner's share" each receives (this is typically the Player Characters in proportion to the money they pony up for starting the unit). A unit commander must be appointed who must be an ex-Imperial army or marine officer. The filing fee must be paid and a bond paid equal to 1000cr per soldier in the unit (this may be increased later). This bond (not to be confused with a repatriation bond) is refunded if the unit is disbanded but is seized by the Imperium if the unit engages in wrongdoing.

    The license can be applied for at the Imperial Army Public Liaison Office in the star port. The woman in charge is Captain Lydia Procrustes, who is a career officer with only staff experience. She wears a simple garrison uniform, with service ribbons (it will be obvious to any Army character that she has no combat experience) and a computer monitor-aide mounted over her left eye. How she reacts to the application is handled as follows:

    Roll a difficult Admin task

    • +2 if designated commander is an Army veteran
    • -2 if designated commander is a Marine veteran
    • +2 if designated commander's rank is higher than captain.
    • +2 if noble present who lords it over everybody.
    • -2 if no one present is above social status 6.
    • -4 if applicants criticize her for not having combat experience.
    • +2 if the applicant "makes real nice and respectful"
    • -2 if the applicant is surly.

    If the task roll fails, the players may reapply each day, as long as the roll is not missed by more than 4 points, in which case Captain Procrustes will refuse any further application.

  3. Noble Bodyguard Registration

    Advantages:

    • It's free
    • It requires little effort

    Disadvantages:

    • Gives no special access for weapons purchases.

    Cost: none

    To Obtain: If one of the players is of noble rank, he can register up to 15 men as his personal bodyguards. These men have the right to carry any civilian or light military weapons without interference from local authorities. As long as these men stay in close proximity to the noble this right applies (within a km or so). The noble merely has to drop off a list and a copy of his patent of nobility with the Ministry of State of the planetary government. The registration will allow the players to undertake the mission but gives them no extra legal access to the purchase of weaponry beyond the law level guidelines.

  4. Forging a License

    Advantages:

    • It's free.

    Disadvantages:

    • Risk of prison

    Cost: None

    To Obtain: there are two different quality forgeries that can be attempted. If the players just want to fool Trans-Galactic into accepting them as a licensed unit, then it is a difficult Forgery task, with a +1 modifier for each whole day spent improving the forgery. If the forgery is meant to fool the police weapons depot, the Imperial Surplus Service or InterStellarms, in order to purchase weapons illegally, then the task becomes Formidable and requires three days of work. The referee should make the skill roll in secret, but tell the player if he fails the roll by 5 or more points (obvious bad result). If a failed result occurs and is presented it will be discovered and the police will be summoned to arrest the forgers (adventure over, man).

ACTIVITY 2: BUYING WEAPONRY

It's necessary for the players to purchase weaponry for their unit. Visiting, purchasing and receiving weapons from one source counts as one "activity".

What sources are accessible depends on the type of license the characters have, as detailed in Activity 1 above. Equipment is listed in general terms to allow adaptation to any Traveller edition.

  1. Friendly neighborhood discount store

    Legal Requirements: Show I.D.

    Complications: If a person purchases more than 1 shotgun, triggers police investigation. Roll 7+ to avoid being taken in for questioning. If illegal arsenal is discovered will face prosecution.

    Equipment Available: blades, shotguns, shotgun ammunition, and any normal, non-military supplies and equipment at standard prices.

  2. The Police Weapons Depot

    Legal Requirements: Local Security License (see above).

    Complications: Purchaser must show his license, be photographed and retina scanned. If he has criminal record roll 10+ on 2 dice to avoid arrest.

    Equipment Available: Semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, pistols and revolvers of TL 8-10 along with ammunition. Tech Level 8-10 armors except combat armor, battle dress or combat environment suits.

  3. The Imperial Surplus Service Depot

    Legal Requirements: Imperial mercenary license (see above)

    Complications: Weapons are serial numbered and purchasers are required to notify Imperial authorities when they are sold, stolen or traded to other than original purchasers.

    Equipment Available: A selection of TL 10 military rifles and light support weapons (ACRs, light machine guns, hand grenades), which have been retired from service in the colonial forces on this planet. Also, TL 10 body armor (unpowered), helmets and communication gear is available. The guns, armor and commo gear must be purchased in boxes of 10, ammunition in boxes of 1000 rounds, grenades in boxes of 20, but there is a 10% discount off the list price.

  4. InterStellarms

    Legal Requirements: An imperial mercenary license (see above) or an average Fast Talk or Carousing task if a Noble with a "registered bodyguard" (see above) attempts purchase.

    Complications: Same as Source 3 above.

    Equipment Available: Laser rifles, pistols and carbines of up to TL-12, military electronic equipment of up to TL-11, mortars and anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines of up to TL-11. All equipment available at 150% of list price.

  5. "The Street"

    Legal Requirements: None

    Complications: Each time this is attempted, character must roll 7+ on 2d6 to avoid detection by police and possible arrest. If the character chooses an item available from the police depot, roll an average Streetwise task to obtain it, at 150% of list price. If he chooses an item available form Surplus Service or InterStellarms, roll a Difficult Streetwise task and pay 2x list price. If he attempts any other item of higher tech or more powerful damage (plasma guns, LAAW rockets, etc) roll a Formidable Streetwise task.

    Equipment Available: theoretically anything.

ACTIVITY 3: RECRUITING SOLDIERS

A character can use his activity to try to recruit soldiers to bring the unit up to 12 men. Each attempt requires either a Leadership, Streetwise or Carousing task roll (Average difficulty) and will result in 1-3 soldiers from the following list being available. As each recruit appears, he will automatically take the job offer at private's salary and shares. If rejected and later recalled, make an Average Leader, Fast Talk, or Recruiting roll to sign him up.

  1. Thad Kisenowski UPP 888777 1 term Army
    Gun Combat-2, Heavy Weapons-1, Brawling-1, Ground Craft-1, First Aid-1
  2. John Stephens UPP 777777 1 term Army
    Gun Combat-1, Demolitions-1, Gambling-1, Recon-1, Mechanical-1,
  3. Urdush Mogushi UPP 888665 1 term Marine
    Gun Combat-1, Cutlass-1, Recon-1, Throwing-1, Streetwise-1
  4. Migo Resh UPP 777667 1 term Marine
    Gun Combat-2, Cutlass-1. Recon-1, Stealth-1
  5. Bluto Sludge UPP 989663 2 term Army
    Gun Combat-3, Recon-2, Artillery-1, Grav Craft-1, Stealth-1, Dagger-1
  6. Dorn Whiplash UPP 888777 1 term Army
    Gun Combat-2, Camoflague-1, Melee Combat-1, Ground Craft-1
  7. Joe Harrison UPP A98777 1 term Marine
    Gun Combat-1, Cutlass-1, Environmental Combat-1, Battledress-1, Computer-1
  8. Steve Conners UPP 777666 no terms, yokel
    Ground Craft-1, Brawling-1
  9. Ihero Meshmishig UPP 788886 1/2 term Scout
    Jack-of-All Trades-1, Recon-2, Pilot-1, Gun Combat-1, Brawling-1, Computer-1
  10. Fulwith Rago UPP AAA664 1 term Rogue
    Gun Combat-1, Dagger-1, Brawling-3, Streetwise-1,

These are the only 10 recruits available during the week of recruiting. Both Steve Conners (#8) and Fulwith Rago (#10) claim to be experienced mercenaries, but an average interrogation task (default at full value to Army/marine veterans) will reveal they have no real military background. SECRET NOTE TO REFEREE ONLY: John Stephens, (#2) is in fact a saboteur. He acts like a slightly undisciplined, if well trained, soldier but is waiting for a chance to place a bomb (concealed in his personal entertainment computer). Only a Difficult Interrogation task--aimed specifically at revealing saboteurs--will reveal his true nature. It is strongly suggested that he remain completely nondescript in the referee's presentation at this point.

ACTIVITY 4: TRACKING DOWN INFORMATION

Searching for additional information requires an Average task roll using Streetwise, Carousing, Admin, Leader, or Computer Skill. If a character uses his activity to search for information and makes his skill check, reveal one of the following rumors. If the character decides to follow up the rumor, make another skill check at the indicated level to determine additional information.

  1. Trans-Galactic has been automating nearly every facet of its operations.
    Follow-up: easy: this is true and there is a large number of displaced workers angry with the company.
  2. Trans-Galactic has been changing its mining operation on this planet into an export-driven luxury food business.
    Follow-up: easy: this is false but a group called Sophonts Against Vegetable Exploitation (S.A.V.E.) has protested the supposed new business.
  3. The Grey Shadow Criminal Cartel has gained control of the Miners' Union and plans to extort money from Trans-Galactic.
    Follow-up: average: this is true, but Trans-Galactic is in no hurry to pay, in fact does not seem worried.
  4. A damaged merchant vessel arrived last week and was landed on Trans-Galactic property.
    Follow-up: difficult: this is true and the management has been searching hard for qualified engineers and mechanics.
  5. In Trans-Galactic mine shaft A-7, all work was mysteriously called off 6 months ago, but the laid-off workers have been called back beginning next week.
    Follow-up: average: this is true and there are also reports of the mining equipment being in need of minor repairs.
  6. A huge monster was sighted on Trans-Galactic land several times over the last six months.
    Follow-up: difficult: no pictures or reliable eye-witnesses exist.
  7. Trans-Galactic has made a deal with the Grey Shadow Cartel to eliminate the Miners' Union.
    Follow-up: difficult: this is absolutely false, there is evidence that Trans-Galactic has been stepping up efforts to have the Imperial authorities and local law enforcement move against the Cartel.
  8. A strange unmarked bus has been sighted picking up and dropping off men from the main Trans-Galactic mine barracks.
    Follow-up: difficult: this is true and no one has been able to talk to these men who have been kept sequestered.

ACTIVITY 5: ORGANIZING THE UNIT

Once the unit has been recruited, it must be organized. Each person in the unit should be given a rank, to determine salary and shares. And a chain of command should be established. Since the unit will be 12-15 men, it should be organized as a squad. The unit commander should be given the rank of sergeant. The remaining troops should be arranged in 4 man fire teams, each of which is commanded by a corporal. The remaining troops should be privates, or lance corporals. One player character could be designated Assistant squad leader and given the rank of Lance Sergeant. The table of ranks, pay and shares appears below.

Once the unit is organized, the players should prepare an index card for each NPC trooper and indicate his name, UPP, skills, armor, weapons and other equipment, his unit rank and which team he is a member of on it.

Rank Shares Salary
Private 1 300
Lance Corporal 2 400
Corporal 3 450
Lance Sergeant 3 450
Sergeant 4 550

The shares will be important in the final "cashing out" at the end of the adventure. Salaries must be paid to NPCs whether or not mission is a success or even if the character is killed.

PART C: The Mission

Note to Referees: Two maps should be prepared for this part of the adventure. Map #1 should give a plan of the Trans-Galactic compound, showing the locations of all of the buildings, the fence, and the starship. Map #2 should show all significant terrain features within 1000m of the compound.

ENCOUNTER 1: Saddle-up!

When the players and their unit arrive at Trans-Galactic headquarters with the requisite license and equipment, they will be greeted by Mr. Wuldax, wearing an especially tall Vilani headdress. He will look over everything and then push a button on his lapel. After the contract is signed, a bus will pull up and Wuldax will say, "Get in, I'll brief you when we arrive at our destination."

The bus ride takes about an hour, at the end of which the players will find themselves at a compound consisting of a large garage, small administration building and a Subsidized Merchant vessel, all surrounded by a tall barbed-wire fence (map #1). Wuldax will invite the commander to a meeting room in the admin building. There he will give the following information:

  1. Trans-Galactic has been undertaking an experiment in robotic mining on this planet for the last 6 months. Special mining robots and techniques have been used in secret in one of the existing mines.
  2. The robots, ore samples and technical information are due to be loaded onto the merchant ship parked outside today, but the ship was ambushed by pirates on the trip in and requires considerable repair. A special repair crew has been hired to do the job, which should be completed in exactly thirty days when the last needed part arrives on the regular liner from the subsector capital.
  3. Trans-Galactic has been having real trouble with the Miners' Union, which is controlled by the Grey Shadow criminal cartel. The automation of the mines will put many miners out of work and eliminate the cartel's ability to use the union for money laundering and extortion. Wuldax believes that the Grey Shadow were behind the "pirate" attack on the merchant vessel and is certain that they will make a direct strike on the vessel to destroy the robots and the other results of the tests. Miners and their families may also cause some trouble, but this is not rated as a real danger.
  4. The police will guard the shipment of equipment to this base, but will not leave a significant guard presence here, thus the need for the unit. Each day a bus will arrive from the town, containing a dozen workers who will work on the repair of the vessel, and return to town each evening.
  5. The unit will be paid its 100,000cr thirty days from now as long as the contents of the vessel (being loaded this evening) are intact and no additional damage has been inflicted on the vessel.
  6. The troopers legally justified if they use firearms or explosives against attackers who are using, carrying or displaying dangerous firearms on company land. If they fire on people who are unarmed or not armed with firearms, then they are liable to arrest and criminal prosecution, as they will be if they engage in offensive action off the base.
  7. None of the troops may leave the base until the ticket has been completed, barring medical emergency or wounds.
  8. Trans-Galactic owns the land 1000m in every direction from the base, all of which is considered within the unit's authorized security area (map #2).

ENCOUNTER 2: Nail it Down!

The players will meet the following people at the base:

  1. Dris Molonu UPP777887 2-term merchant,
    Admin-2, Law-1, Sensors-2, Gambling-2, Mechanical-1, Pistol-1

    Dris is an ambitious woman who is a bit angry at being placed in charge of this installation instead of a posting on a starship. She is the only human on permanent station at this base, supervising a crew of maintenance robots who clean up and do the inventory etc. She is a bit lonely and will take any opportunity to engage in gambling with the troops. She will constantly remind the players about the legalities of the contract and their responsibilities and duties.

  2. Brock Hammer UPP978787 3 term merchant
    Admin-1, Engineer-3, mechanical-2, Electronics-2, Brawling-1, Computer-2.

    Brock is the head of the repair crew who come everyday to fix the starship. He is surly and grouchy and his favorite quotation seems to be "git yer damn soldier-boys outta my way and off that ship". He will adamantly refuse to do anything that inconveniences his crew in any way.

There are about 11 other repair crewmen who will be rather nondescript. None of them will cause any trouble or has any connection with any of the opposition.

The patron will provide sleeping bags (luxury, ehh?), pre-packaged rations (uggh) for 12 men for 30 days each and a tank of drinking water (gee, thanks). So there should be no "need" for any other supplies.

The first task that faces the players is to set up their security measures. They should decide on a schedule with which troopers will be on watch and where they will be positioned.

There will be one complication during the first three days. A multi-phase coil adjuster will turn up missing according to a robot inventory check. This tool is expensive, but also can be used to overheat and damage a starship maneuver drive if left running near the thrust plates. It will not turn up on the base grounds, but in fact has been stolen by one of the repair crew and hidden in his toolbox. Dris will demand that it be found, but Brock will refuse to let the soldiers near any of his workers. The easiest method of dealing with this problem is to send for Mr. Wuldrax, but he will become very angry and chew everybody out. If Brock is restrained or assaulted he will storm off taking his workers with him and the patron will fire the troops.

ENCOUNTER 3: Weep For The Beans!

On the eighth day of the ticket, a radio call will come in from Brock in the workers' transit bus. He says that a bunch of angry trees are blocking the road and he can't get through. It turns out that a band of Hresh (an intelligent, mobile tree-like being) calling themselves S.A.V.E. (Sophonts Against Vegetable Exploitation) have moved in and set up a political protest on the access road. The bolder field in the area makes it impossible to get the bus around them. The Hresh claim that Trans-Stellar is about to test market a new variety of cave-monkey chili as a luxury food off world. They are incensed that native chili beans are being needlessly slaughtered for the sake of rich off-worlders.

The blockade can be avoided by marching the workers around the Hresh, but Brock will refuse to do so, insisting that they be cleared off and the bus proceed. The Hresh will refuse to move voluntarily, and Dris will remind the players that firing on the Hresh is utterly unacceptable. Once the blockade question is settled, the Hresh will get up to about 200m from the front gate and start making a huge racket, with several loud speakers and electronic amplifiers and translators. The will constantly chant slogans such as "Weep for the Beans" and "Plant Killers Be Damned!"

If the police are contacted, they will just laugh. Wuldrax if contacted will say, that this is the characters' job to settle. The Hresh will depart if they can be convinced that there is no vegetable-based food in the hold of the ship or after 4 days of incessant chanting. If Steve Conners is in the unit he will go nuts after two days of Hresh protest and attempt to "teach those bush-boys a lesson."

ENCOUNTER 4: Treachery and Sabotage

After the first week has expired, the saboteur, John Stephens, will attempt to do his dirty work. At night, when the workers are gone he will attempt to get onto the ship and take his handheld "game computer" which is actually a bomb, place it in the power plant of the ship. The bomb will explode 30 minutes after being planted, in which time Stephens will try to escape from the compound. The referee will have to judge his chances of success based on the plans of the unit. But, he is not especially stealthy, although he has a good chance of spotting someone looking for him. If stopped and questioned, he will say he left some of his gear in the ship. If he believes he is discovered he will attempt flight, but will return fire if necessary. If he is stationed alone in the ship, it's bad luck for the players (unless he's caught while trying to escape). If caught and questioned, he will turn out to be a hired criminal who does not know the identity of his employers.

ENCOUNTER 5: Infiltrators

In 1d6 days after the Stephens incident, a party of infiltrators will attempt to cut the wire, sneak in set a bomb on the ship and escape. There will be four of them, each wearing cloth armor (in CT/MT/GT= Jack) carrying an SMG. One will have wire cutters, one the explosive device, the other two also carry daggers and 2 hand grenades each.

Infiltrator UPP 787874 Stealth-1, Demo-1, Gun Combat-1, Dagger-1

The infiltrators will flee if discovered, but will use their weaponry if needed to escape. If any are captured and questioned, they will turn out to be known members of the Grey Shadow Cartel. They will reveal on a Difficult Interrogation task roll that they were meant as a security test, but if they succeeded, then they would get a big bonus.

ENCOUNTER 6: Riot

1d6 days later a gang of 50 people will show up at the front gate and begin to throw rocks and yell at the compound. After 30 minutes or so they will try to rush the gate and eventually get into the ship and destroy the contents. The crowd is made up of 15 university sociology students, 15 criminals, and 20 miners from the miners' union, all of these are led by Brigo Haze, a union activists who will be riling everyone up with his megaphone. If there is any weapon-fire, the university students will immediately flee. If Haze is convinced to leave (Difficult Intimidation task or Difficult Bribery task 500cr) then the miners and students will clear off too.

The criminals will stay until 25% of them are captured, killed or knocked unconscious, although the can be forced off by a Formidable Intimidation task. If any of the miners or students are killed or seriously injured, then the unit will face serious legal consequences.

ENCOUNTER 7: The Big Climactic Gun Fight

Three days before the expiration of the ticket, the Grey Shadow Cartel will attempt one final play to destroy the ship's cargo. They will send a para-military strike team to assault the compound. It will be a night attack in two parts. The first body will consist of 3 air/rafts each with 4 men, The second element is a 24-man infantry unit which will attack on foot.

The Plan: The air/raft unit will come in at high speed firing as many bullets as possible hoping to draw the entire security force into a fire fight. They will always remain on the Eastern half of the compound, sacrificing their own weapon accuracy to avoid being hit. Their attack is mainly a diversion, but each air/raft does have a bomb stowed on board to set on the ship if it becomes practical.

Meanwhile, the infantry unit will wait until it thinks that the unit is fully engaged, when it will rush the western perimeter. The rifle-grenadiers will use the rifle grenades to blow holes in the wire fence, and the troops will rush through and attempt to wipe out or drive off the defenders.

Each air/raft is a standard model, with a Light Machinegun in a non-stabilized mount.

1 man in 8 has a rifle grenade adapter and 3 rifle grenades.

They will attack in 3 squads of 8 men each, 1 grenadier 3 riflemen and 4 SMG gunners each.

(Note if using editions of Traveller other than 4th, treat Rifle, Bullpup-9 as a standard Rifle, treat flex vests as flak vests (cloth armor) and treat cloth armor as Jack.)

Check Morale for each Infantry Squad when 2 of its 8 members are killed.

Check Morale for each air/raft when 1 of its crew is killed.

Use standard morale rules.

While the attackers have a large numeric advantage, remember they have no Tactics skills, which presumably the defenders will. Also the attackers are lightly armored and hopefully the defenders will have procured better armor, weapons and communications gear. Finally the defenders should have the advantage of prepared defensive position.

PART D: The Cash Out

Once the thirty-day ticket is complete it is time to receive the rewards.

Dividing the Money: take the 100,000cr received and subtract the salaries of all the soldiers and PCs (whether each survived or not). Also subtract the cost of any weapons and other equipment purchased for the mission, which is now considered "unit property". The remaining money is split in half. One half is called the "owner's half" and is split among the owners or investors of the unit. This typically means the player characters. The split is either even or in proportion to the money invested in the unit. The second half is the troopers' share and is divided among all surviving soldiers who took part in the mission (PC or NPC) in proportion to the shares that are derived from their ranks. For example if the troopers' share is 40,000cr and the survivors are 6 privates (1 share each) and 1 sergeant (4 shares). There are a total of 10 shares which is divided into 40,000cr to get 4000cr per private and 16,000cr for the sergeant.