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Charged Encounters

Editor’s Note: This adventure originally appeared in Spanish in Vuelo Raso N. 6, and was translated by Google Translate and Jeff Zeitlin and the translation printed in the May/June 2023 issue of Freelance Traveller. Lea este artículo en español.

In many cases, Traveller referees manage Open World or Sandbox adventures in which it is difficult to predict the actions of the characters or the direction they will take and, therefore, have prepared events or activities to present in the locations they can visit. A methodology that I usually apply as a Traveller referee is that of Charged Encounters.

To do this, what you have to do is take as a reference a series of events or subplots that are supposed to be interesting to include in the story, which serve to give depth and a sense of realism. The daily life of these is usually prioritized, to introduce into the game that part of the life of the characters that is not commonly faced during the development of the adventures. Once the events in question have been selected, they usually develop with the following characteristics:

These characteristics are not specific to place or time, and they do not have a role related to the main plot or objectives of the characters. They are independent and usually address concepts that must complete the game universe. The story will tell when and where to introduce them to the players, either because they are needed to fill a space in the narrative, because a player expresses concern in a way, or because it just looks good. In any case, it is a tool that is always on hand and I find it useful on many occasions.

Included are some examples of these Charged Encounters that were used in one of my campaigns with a little notation of how they came to be featured in the campaign.

Deirdre/Hannibal buys you a drink.

Xiao Li/Tomki Araki needs a ride

Sofía/Milinko can take you hunting

Elissa/Robert wants to give you a present.