Saturday, 30 August 2014

House Asheranon, Siridar-Barons of Exxilon Part 2

I had quite a bit of fun working up a family tree for House Asheranon of Bromus.

From my existing family trees, I knew that I had to link in a Morwen, who married Piero of Bromus; and a Bessl who married Duke of Li'iatan II of Miazan.

Aryon hault-Asheranon served on Duke Chi'leur I of Miazan's staff for over twenty years following the establishment of Miazan Subsector. When the planning began to open Exxilon up for colonization, Aryon and his son, Clyn, and daughter, Morwen, were heavily involved in fitting out the expedition. It was during the reign of Chi'leur's son, Duke Mah'radys I, and following the death of Aryon hault-Asheranon, that the settlement of Exxilon began, and Mah'radys I raised House Asheranon to House Major status by confirming them as Siridar-Barons of Exxilon.

Exxilon lies within the County of Bromus, and even though Morwen hault-Asheranon married Piero Mahuran, grandson of Count Sakkan I of Bromus, relations between House Asheranon of Exxilon and House Mahuran of Bromus, their feudal overlords, remain strained.

So, we already know that:
House Asheranon are Siridar-Barons of Exxilon. House Asheranon practice Absolute Primogeniture. The eldest child inherits, irrespective of sex. The current head of the Household is Padarn II, who is also the Patriarch of House Asheranon. House Asheranon's Influence is Scant (2).

Now, this is interesting. House Asheranon's Influence is described as Scant, yet they have married into both House Mahuran, Siridar-Counts of Bromus, and House Geyukthi, Dukes of Miazan.

Looking more closely at this situation, I see that Piero Mahuran, husband of Morwen hault-Asheranon and grandson of Siridar-Count Sakkan I (872 - 990) of Bromus, predeceased both his father, Oscaran, by 13 years, and his grandfather by seven years, and so never inherited the County. Count Sakkan I, as patriarch of House Mahuran, took charge of Piero and Morwen's children upon Piero's death, and Morwen may have retired to their estate or, more likely, returned to Exxilon.

Just over 100 years later, Bessl hault-Asheranon, sister of Aryon III, Fifth Siridar-Baron Exxilon, married Duke Li'iatan II. Bessl married into a Ducal House on the decline. Devastated by losses incurred during the 3rd Outrim War, and politically outmaneuvered by the Houses Major, House Geyukthi had been reduced, losing the Honour of the Sector Duchy along the way. Bessl worked tirelessly with Li'iatan over the course of his forty-year reign to turn the fortunes of the House, and the subsector, around, only to have much of what they worked for destroyed by the 4th Outrim War of 1080 - 85. As Dowager-Duchess, Bessl continued her work after Li'iatan's death, assisting her son Mah'radys IV, and assisted by Li'iatan's fifth-cousin Admiral Chi'leur Geyukthi, Baron of Culvenia (an estate on Miazan).

In both cases, the members of House Asheranon who married into the more powerful, external Houses, became subsumed by that House's aims and goals and so the alliance did little to benefit House Asheranon.

House Asheranon posses Modest Holdings, generating Cr700,000 for the family per annum. This is in addition to Siridar-Baron Padarn II's personal Holdings.

While not poor, House Asheranon is not a wealthy House. Its holdings are, of course, separate from such wealth as Siridar-Baron Padarn II has managed to amass for his immediate family.

House Asheranon is a large family with 16 directly related members.

There are sixteen members of House Asheranon alive at present. Alongside the senior and junior branches of the House, Houses Minor hault-Resswhen of Exxilon and van Sabor-Mehlan of Miazan also play prominent roles in Exxilon society.

A member of House Asheranon participated in a duel, and lost.

This person was Aryon, eldest son and heir of Padarn II. Aryon has been sent over the Imperial Border as a member of an Exxilonian Trade delegation to the Outrim, until such time as the political dust settles.

Boost local defenses in the Exxilon system by acquiring an SDB flotilla is the current goal of House Asheranon.

Due to its location on the Imperial Border, House Asheranon and the Exxilon Government are very conscious of political currents in the Outrim. With the heightening of tensions due to the imminent withdrawal of Imperial forces from the Kalar-Wi system, and the resurgence of central government power within the Geithurian Republic, House Asheranon has been looking to the defenses of the Exxilon system.

House Asheranon supports an unregistered Mercenary Company.

This Company has been hired out to the Kalar-Wi government of Gaidon to help suppress an uprising by the Kiang, natives of that planet.

I'm quite pleased how the Noble House Character Quirks worked out. They seem to provide a rapid way of expanding Noble Houses from a series of stats to full blown characters in their own right.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

House Asheranon, Siridar-Barons of Exxilon

Exxilon is one of the four systems that make up the County of Bromus in Miazan Subsector. While developing the County, I decided that House Asheranon were Siridar-Barons of Exxilon but, apart from this fact and that relations were cool between House Mahuran of Bromus and their feudal subordinates, I had no further information.

Deciding to develop House Asheranon, I elected to try out some ideas I had developed for fleshing out Noble Houses. These ideas have are also been added to the end of another article on Nobles on this page.

Exxilon has a Universal Planetary Profile (UPP) of:
C-AA5899-9. This means that the planet has a C Class Starport - Standard Repair facilities, unrefined fuel available, but no Ship construction - is 10,000 miles in diameter, has an Exotic Atmosphere and is 50% covered by water. In Exxilon's case, the Exotic atmosphere means that the oceans are classified as "Fluid" - not standard H2O. The population numbers in the 100's of millions and is ruled by an Impersonal Bureaucracy. The Law Level of 9 indicates a fair amount of interference in the citizens' day-to-day lives and that no weapons may be carried outside of one's home. Overall, the planet has a Technology Level of 9 - 1990's to 2000, so cell phones are big and blocky. A Scout Base is also present in system.

"Exxilon is a large, high gravity world, colonised in 969, just after the 2nd Outrim War. It was used as a dumping ground for displaced populations during the late war. House Asheranon was installed as Siridar-Barons of Exxilon by Duke Mah'radys I of Miazan, and soon gained a reputation for their hard, yet indifferent rule, insulating themselves from their subjects behind an oppressive Law Level and and Impersonal Bureaucracy. While the bulk of the population of half a billion live in a string of cities, high up in the mountains of the small continent of Parishnaman, House Asheranon and its retainers are based on a large, geostationary satellite. It is rare for a member of the Household to "go down the well".

The relationship between House Asheranon and their feudal overlords, House Mahuran of Bromus, are cordial yet cool. The installation of House Asheranon by House Geyukthi within House Mahuran's County was both a calculated insult and an assertion of authority by Mah'radys I, the 2nd Duke of Miazan. Count Sakkan I of Bromus may have won that argument, in the end, as he outlived both Mah'radys I and Chi'leur II, his son."
 With the planetary information, and the existing material quoted below, I set to work to flesh out House Asheranon.

Working through my check list, I determined the following about House Asheranon:
House Rank
House Asheranon are Siridar-Barons. They rule Exxilon/Miazan and the Exxilon system.

Head of the Household
House Asheranon practice Absolute Primogeniture. The eldest child inherits, irrespective of sex. The current head of the Household is Padarn II. Padarn II is also the Patriarch of House Asheranon. Padarn II is Old and Cunning.

Prior Service of the Title Holder
Padarn II served as a Colonel in the Baronial Household Force of Exxilon - a TL12 elite formation - under his father, Aryon III.

Moral Stance of the House
House Asheranon is Law abiding.

House Asheranon's Influence is Scant (2).

House Asheranon posses Modest Holdings, generating Cr700,000 for the family per annum. This is in addition to Siridar-Baron Padarn II's personal Holdings.

House Size
House Asheranon is a large family with 16 directly related members.

Recent House Activity
A member of House Asheranon participated in a duel, and lost. This person was Aryon, eldest son and heir of Padarn II. Aryon has been sent over the Imperial Border as a member of an Exxilonian Trade delegation to the Outrim, until such time as the political dust settles.

Current House Goal
Boost local defenses in the Exxilon system by acquiring an SDB flotilla.

House Scandal
House Asheranon supports an unregistered Mercenary Company. This Company has been hired out to the Kalar-Wi government of Gaidon to help suppress an uprising by the Kiang, natives of that planet.

I'm quite pleased with how House Asheranon came out. From next to no information beyond the family name, and a hint of a possible conflict where the Subsector Duke had imposed the Asheranon's on a world within the County of Bromus, we have discovered a lot about the family itself.

While House Asheranon is not particularly wealthy, and has little influence on the Subsector stage, they are firmly entrenched in the Exxilon System. The Patriarch of the family, Padarn II, has been Siridar-Baron since the death of his father, Aryon III, in 1085. His extended family consists of sixteen members, most of whom hold senior positions within the governing bureaucracy of the planet.

While generally law-abiding, House Asheranon maintains an unregistered Mercenary Company in direct violation of Imperial Law. Raised during the 4th Outrim War to support the defenses of Exxilon, House Asheranon retained the unit in being after the war. Currently, the unit is under hire to the Kalar-Wi government of Gaidon. House Asheranon is concerned about the exposed position of the Exxilon system and aims to raise a System Defense Boat Flotilla to strengthen their defenses.

Padarn II's eldest son, Aryon, has proved to be a bit of a disappointment. A Captain in the Unified Imperial Army, Aryon became involved in a duel with another young officer. Before Aryon could be cashiered, his father Padarn managed to have him assigned to lead an Exxilonian trade mission into the Outrim.

I just have to finish laying out a diagram of the Family Tree, and House Asheranon will be ready for use.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Fun with Family Trees #5

This is a history of Miazan Subsector from the perspective of House Mahuran, Siridar-Counts of Bromus. It draws upon elements I developed during 2013 as I looked at family trees and ties in to the current adventures of players in my Traveller campaign.

The Duchy of Miazan was established by Order in Council under the seal of Sector Duke Leonid I Trumer on 093-906. This is the same date as the official accession of House Trumer as Sector Dukes of the RimWorlds and represents one of the first official acts of Sector Duke Leonid's reign. It is also the date of the establishment of the County of Bromus, set up to protect the Coreward/Spimward frontier of Miazan Subsector.

Sector Duke Leonid I Trumer had begun his campaign to reunite the RimWorlds several years prior to the official inaugural date of his reign. The establishment of Miazan Subsector as a Duchy marked a major expansion Rimward by the Sector Duchy, pushing the Imperial frontier beyond the existing Miazan Subsector Military District centered around Celephais. It was an indication that the new regime intended to drive a wedge between the Spinward states of the Outrim Alliance and the Rimward polities of the Rimward Coalition, and bring order and stable government to a fairly lawless region.

Chi'leur I Geyukthi, 1st Duke of Miazan, had served as an aide de camp to Sector Duke Leonid I during his initial campaigns, and as Leonid's son-in-law and supporter, he was considered a safe pair of hands to secure and hold the new frontier subsector. To Sakkan Mahuran, Chi'leur's Fleet Admiral, fell the task of defending the Spinward frontier at Bromus and Exxilon, as Siridar-Count of Bromus, and securing the Coreward communication lines from the Rimward Counties of Miazan and Nakaya.

Sakkan I proved very tenacious in his duties. 118 years old when he died, Sakkan outlived his eldest son, Anton, and his grandson, Piero. Both Oscaran, Sakkan's second son, and Susannah, his daughter, served as Fleet Admirals in the Miazan Subsector Navy during the 2nd Outrim War (954-962).

Remaining active and in good health well into the teens of his second century, it was later rumoured that Sakkan I had discovered a secret stash of anagathics in an ancient ruined Purvion base located either on the House Mahuran estate on Bromus, or on one of Bromus' three small moons. As none of his descendants lived to such an advanced age, it was assumed that the secret of this stash was lost when Sakkan eventually died.

Sakkan II, Sakkan I's great-grandson, became 2nd Siridar-Count of Bromus in 990. In 999 Sakkan's immediate overlord, Duke Mah'dainraian I of Miazan became Sector Duke of the RimWorlds. This elevation seemed to raise House Mahuran's political stock as well as Sakkan II's daughter Susan subsequently married Edenar Ulanor, later Duke Edenar I of Nolgor. On the surface, this marriage appeared to draw House Ulanor into the orbit of House Geyukthi of Miazan through an alliance with an important client but, if this was the intention, it failed. Edenar I was only Duke of Nolgor from 1042 - 1044, but it was the anti-Geyukthi ground work carried out by Feodorus X, his father, and more importantly by his son, Olgarthi Ulanor, that resulted in the fall of the badly weakened Sehlemarl-Geyukthi Sector Dukes in the aftermath of the Rimbaud War in 1044 and the ascension of Olgarthi Ulanor as Duke of Nolgor and Sector Duke of the RimWorlds.

Count Giovhanhi II Mahuran of Bromus came of age during a period of great change in both the RimWorlds and in Miazan Subsector. Born in 1017, and inheriting the family title of Lord Sherck, he became 4th Siridar-Count of Bromus in 1041. His sister Stefani married Pahran Juharl-Zarquestuir who became Duke of Gamelea in 1065, while his second sister, Elemyl, married Mah'radys Geyukthi who became Duke Mah'radys IV of Miazan in 1085.

The 3rd Outrim War broke out in 1025 and House Mahuran weathered the initial assaults by Nutharal forces pushing across the Imperial frontier from Cabria Subsector into the County. Young Giovhanhi joined the Planetary Navy as a Midshipman in 1033 and saw action both in Bromus low orbit, and around Sertan VIII, the system gas giant.

Following disastrous Imperial losses in 1030 and 1031, and the deaths in combat of three House Geyukthi Sector Dukes in quick succession, Sector Duke Yuri Sehlemarl's strategy was to reinforce the fortress worlds in the frontier subsectors and suck the Outrim forces into a series of sieges that would bleed their fleets white. By the time his strategy succeeded and peace was signed in 1038, Giovhanhi's father, Count Giovhanhi I, was ailing and the younger Giovhanhi was finding himself more and more involved in the running of the Bromus planetary government. When war broke out in 1025, Giovhanhi I had suspended the Bromosian civil government and declared a state of emergency. With the end of the war in 1038 and the beginning of a massive rebuilding project, the populace of Bromus voted overwhelmingly for the continuation of the emergency government under House Mahuran with Count Giovhanhi I as Head of State and his son, Lord Giovhanhi of Sherck, as First Minister.

The cessation of war did not automatically mean peace. During the course of the 3rd Outrim War, the Rivokul War had seen the extermination of House Rivokul of Kamperel, the family of Giovhanhi II's grandmother, Eschen. The Republican government that replaced House Rivokul swiftly fell under the influence of Torvor Van Zaquerl, who methodically shot all opposition to his rule as First Consul of the People's Republic of Kamperel. With House Geyukthi of Miazan crippled (four Dukes and three generations of the senior line perished during the 3rd Outrim War, along side various cousins and other relatives), House Rivokul of Kamperel extinct, and House Sehlemarl-Geyukthi of Celephais diverted by their attempts to hold on to the Sector Duchy, it fell to House Mahural to attempt to contain the Van Zaquerl clan of Kamperel even as they sought to secure the Ektra and Floranna systems of the County of Kamperel for themselves.

Count Giovhanhi II spent most of the rest of his life locked in a Grey War with Torvor Van Zaquerl of Kamperel. It was only with the accession of his demi-cousin, Li'iatain Geyukthi, as Duke Li'iatan II of Miazan in 1044 that the full force of the Duchy was brought to bear against the recalcitrant Siridar-Barony of Kamperel. Even then, politics intruded as the new Sector Duke, Olgarthi Ulanor of Nolgor, Giovhanhi's cousin, sought to secure his advantage in the feud between House Ulanor and House Sethlemarl-Geyukthi by hamstringing House Geyukthi's efforts to bring the Van Zaquel's to heel. Starved of resources, and with its best units and service personnel drafted to Sector Fleet, Miazan Subsector Fleet lacked the strength to deliver the Kamperelians a knock-out blow.

Sector Duke Olgarthi died in 1050 and the feud died with him. The following year, the Ektrans rose up against Kamperelian Merchant Factors attempting to buy their government. The Kamperelians retaliated and, much to Giovhanhi's despair, seized Ektra with overwhelming force. For the next thirty years Count Giovhanhi fought to contain the Kamperelians, and to keep the peace along the Imperial Spinward/Rimward border.

The 4th Outrim War broke out in 1080 and, while most the fighting took place along the Spinward border of Gamelea Subsector, Miazan Subsector saw its share of conflict. Left out of the loop regarding the elaborate warplan developed by Siridar-Lord Elmar Hendrian for Sector Duke Kanus II, which was designed to cripple the Geithurian Republic and break up the Outrim Alliance, the local commanders in Miazan Subsector battled on the best they could. In the midst of the struggle, the Kamperelians swooped on Floranna and could not be dislodged. At war's end in 1085, the task of rebuilding began again.

In 1087, worn out and disillusioned, Count Giovhanhi II died. He was succeeded by his son, Sakkan III, who had seen his father slowly worn down over forty years of difficult service. Sakkan retained House Mahuran's active role in the Bromosian government, serving as both Head of State and First Minister, but his natural reserve and shyness distanced him from his people. Sakkan's insistence that a company of Vargr from the settlement on Lo Taisang be included within his honour guard, to the discomfort of his more xenophobic subjects, acted to further isolate him and it was into this political breach that his Interior Minister, Phorgan saVasparan, began to thrust himself.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Ventauran Kickstarter from Darkest Star Games

Darkest Star Games is one of the many boutique figure manufacturers I support by buying too many of their toy soldiers.

Producing an excellent range of 6mm scale miniatures, Darby has also been expanding his 15mm line. Recently, he has been "upscaling" a number of his 6mm vehicles to 15mm - such as the Talin IFV and the S'orhan LODAN GIFV.

The Talin Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) has a nice Low/Mid-Tech vibe about it. Civilianized, it would make a great ATV.

The S'orhan Low Orbit Drop Assault Vehicle, Grav Infantry Fighting Vehicle is a Ventauran Grav Assault ship and is a huge model - over 12cm long.

So it really wasn't a surprise when Darby announced a Kickstarter to accelerate the "biggification" process. Initially aiming at getting two new vehicles - the Ventauran Kh'erian Main Battle Tank and the Federation Scorpion Light Armoured Combat Vehicle into production, one of the stretch goals is the release of a new batch of Ventauran Infantry.

Sculpted by the gentleman who produced the original 25mm Ventaurans, these new 15mm sculpts can be seen as an upgrade on the excellent Ventauran Infantry produced by Eureka Miniatures.

So, if Ventaurans are your thing or if, like me, you see Zhodani, check out the Kickstarter and help get these little guys onto a battlefield near you.

Note - all photos lifted from either Darkest Star's website or the Kickstarter page.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Website Update #28

It's taken a while, but here's a belated website update, with a new link - as my host has managed to munt the original link.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Buying Used Starships

The topic of buying used starships came up during a Traveller Facebook Group discussion recently and it got me thinking about what sort of trade-offs one might make if one picked up a slightly used ship.

Firstly, price. Most merchant or “Adventurer” class ships are financed over a 40 year period. It might be possible to pick up a second hand ship part way through this payment cycle and continue on with the payments, or the ship may have been seized for debts or other mischief and been condemned by an Admiralty or Prize Court. In that case, the price of the ship may be lower, but the risk of malfunction may be higher, particularly if money had been tight and annual maintenance had been skimped or skipped.

Given a reasonably regular maintenance programme, there is no reason why a ship might not continue in service for well over a century. Like Grandad’s axe, we might replace the head a couple of times, and replace the handle a couple of times, but it would still a good axe. The most likely case for scrapping a ship is if its hull was no longer capable of withstanding the stresses of atmospheric  re-entry. And even then, in backwater systems, it might be possible to find semi-gutted merchant starships relegated to insystem haulage duties – dragging supplies and raw materials from gravity well to gravity well, only semi-pressurized and partially flare shielded.

Ships for sale at A and B Class Starports are more likely to have current registrations and be up to date with their maintenance. Though, if one is looking for bargains, and considers maintenance regulations more of a guide line, then it is still possible to pick up an inexpensive junker. In all cases, the ancient concept of caveat emptor – buyer beware – still holds sway.

Age of the Ship
2d6Age of Starship
2Ship is 2d6 years old
3Ship is 10 + 2d6 years old
4Ship is 20 + 2d6 years old
5Ship is 30 + 2d6 years old
6Ship is 40 +2d6 years old
7Ship is 50 +2d6 years old
8Ship is 60 +2d6 years old
9Ship is 70 +2d6 years old
10Ship is 80 +2d6 years old
11Ship is 90 +2d6 years old
12Ship is 100 + 2d6 years old

Determining the Ship’s Age helps determine the Ship’s Base Price. Base Price = Ship’s New Price – 1% per year of Age to Age 50 and then 0.5% per year thereafter (so a 50 year old ship’s Base Price should be 50% of the same model’s New Price, while a 70 year old ship’s Base Price should be 50%+ (20 years x 0.5 = 10) or 60% of New Price).

Condition of the Ship
2d6Condition of the Ship
2 - 3The ship is 3d6 years behind in its annual maintenance. Reduce Base Price by 1% per year behind and add three extra rolls on the Quirks and Foibles Table.
4 – 5The ship is 2d6 years behind in its annual maintenance. Reduce Base Price by 1% per year behind and add twoextra rolls on the Quirks and Foibles Table.
6 – 7The ship 1d6 years behind in its annual maintenance.  Reduce Base Price by 1% per year behind and add one extra roll on the Quirks and Foibles Table.
8 –12The ship’s maintenance logs are up to date. No modifier to Base Price.

Any ship behind in its maintenance will have to undergo immediate servicing before it will be permitted to carry freight, cargo or passengers. The annual maintenance cost is increased by 1% per year the ship is behind in maintenance.

+/- 1 per level of Streetwise (the character may opt to either find a cheap ship, or a good ship) on a
successful Streetwise roll.
-1 year of missed maintenance per level of Engineering on a successful Engineering roll (representing maintenance
work an Engineer can carry out with a standard tool kit).
+1 if the ship is for sale at a Class B Starport
+2 if the ship is for sale at a Class A Starport

Quirks and Foibles
Ships are complex machines and tend to develop little eccentricities during the course of their working lives. These quirks are often hard to diagnose, and locate but rarely compromise safety. Roll once on the Quirks and Foibles table for every ten years, or part thereof, of age of the Ship.

Quirks and Foibles
d66Quirks and Foibles
11Power Plant always displays a voltage drop just before Jump and dims all the lights throughout the ship. A service engineer will mutter something about “darn Vilani distribution busses”.
12Manoeuvre Drive becomes sluggish in non-standard gravity fields. Manoeuvring within 10 Diameters of a planet of Size 7 or less or Size 9 or larger becomes one level of Difficulty greater.
13Jump Initiator is laggy. When the Jump Drive is engaged, there is a 2d6 second delay before the Jump Initiator engages and the ship Jumps.
14The Engineering deck is always five to ten degrees warmer than the rest of the ship and the hottest part of the Engineering deck is around the Power Plant.
15Under low power, the port side (or starboard side) Manoeuvre Drive Impulse module vibrates. These vibrations reverberate through the deck plates along the port (or starboard) side of the ship.
16No matter how the Jump Drive is tuned, it always seems to use 2% more fuel than expected per Jump. At some stage, a cross tank pump was installed that makes up the deficit by siphoning fuel from the Power Plant supply. This reduces standard Power Plant endurance from 28 to 20 days.
21The Library Computer is buggy. On a roll of 8+ it will have partially scrambled the particular entry a user wishes to consult. Sometimes, this data is recoverable on a subsequent search, or if the character has Computer Skill.
22The Navigation Computer is buggy. If the Navigator fails a Navigation roll, on 1d6: 1 – 2 the Navigation computer suddenly reboots; 3 – 4 the Navigation computer throws up an error message that requires a successful Computer Skill roll to clear; 5 – 6 The Navigation Computer tape drive shreds any Jump tape in the drive, or suddenly starts spooling madly if there isn’t a tape in the drive.
23The Gunnery Computer is prone to lock up. All Gunner Interact and Targeting programmes will crash if they have been used together for more than 1d6 combat turns. Turrets will still function under local control.
24The Life Support Computer is prone to flagging errors. On 7+ on 2d6, these are false errors, otherwise they are actual errors. On 1d6: 1 – 2 Carbon dioxide levels in crew quarters are dangerously high; 3 – 4 atmospheric humidity controls default to Bwap-comfort levels; 5 – 6 Oxygen levels begin to drop to planetary Thin Atmosphere classification.
25The Ship’s Artificial Gravity will start to fluctuate. It will cycle either up or down from Standard Gravity, one Planetary Size Band per 1d6 minutes over the course of 1d6 hours before resetting to Standard Gravity. The effect can be ship-wide or localised.
26The Galley Entertainment module will spazz for 1d6 minutes every 1d6 hours. During this time, the tri-D viewer will play random files from all directories, the lighting module will fluctuate, and the audio module will cycle through random audio files while the volume fluctuates wildly.
31One State Room is always five to ten degrees colder than the rest of the ship.
32When anyone uses the fresher, the smell of wet locker room permeates the crew area.
33Atmospheric Humidity fluctuates. As more systems come on line, the humidity increases until it reaches Bwap-comfort level. As systems go off line, humidity levels decrease until they reach Deep Desert levels.
34All plant life brought aboard the ship will die within 1d6 weeks.
35The lights in the common areas fluctuate from pitch black to complete white out over a period of 1d6 minutes. This light fluctuation will be triggered by 1d6: 1 – 2 preparations for jump; 3 – 4 enforced system idle time during Jump; 5 – 6 system idle time when the ship is in port.
36The ship’s water supply will become brackish after 1d6 weeks. While not harmful, it will taste unpleasant and be hard on skin and hair. Replacing filters and flushing the system will alleviate the problem for 1d6 weeks, when it will occur again.
41A cabin door will jam half open, or half closed, every 1d6 days.
42Cooking odours from the Galley will permeate the ship for 1d6 hours after any cooking has finished.
43One iris valve sticks. It takes 1d6 seconds longer to fully close or fully open.
44All clothing washed in one of the Galley’s washer units will come out stained slightly pink.
45One cabin always smells slightly of wet fur.
46There is a stain on the deck carpet in the Galley. There does not seem to be a carpet cleaner in Known Space that can remove it.
51One landing jack always leaks fluid from a pinhole in a line up in the gear well.
52The rear cargo ramp is prone to jamming. During extension or retraction, on an 8+ the power drive will jam. It will take 1d6 hours to clear the jam.
53One of the main Ship’s Riding Lights will fail every 1d6 Jumps. If the ship is operating within the Traffic Control Zone of a Class C+ Starport, it will be fined Cr5,000 for the violation and written up. All subsequent visits to that port will attract additional official interest.
54During Jump, an unpleasant odor permeates the cargo hold, contaminating anything stored within. For certain cargoes, this will make them unsaleable.
55The Ship’s sensor array will jam in the deployed position during landing or docking approach every 1d6 port calls. This will delay landing or docking 1d6 hours until the array can be retracted. A successful Engineering roll will reduce the time required by half.
56The main airlock control is sticky. Every time the lock is cycled, on a 2d6 roll of 8+ it will jam. It will take a successful Engineering, Computer or Electronics roll to clear the jam and allow the lock to cycle.
61One turret is always 1 -2 degrees off target when under Computer assisted fire control.
62The truck in the missile/sand hoist for one turret squeaks when in use. This intensely irritating squeak can be heard through all surrounding compartments.
63One turret will always lock-up on traverse if under Computer assisted fire control. It will respond perfectly under manual fire control.
64The Gunnery Station for one turret always smells slightly of vomit.
65Power supply for one turret fluctuates. After 1d6 combat rounds, roll 1d6: 1 – 2 Power drop, lasers cease to function and missile racks fail to reload; 3 – 4 Power surge, lasers fire at double effect and then burn out, requiring an Engineering and Gunnery roll to repair, missile racks cook off, firing their missiles in random directions; 5 – 6 Turret goes offline. A successful Computer or Engineering roll will bring the turret back on line.
66The Manual Fire Controls for one turret are prone to short out. After 1d6 Combat Rounds on Manual Fire Control roll 1d6: 1 – 2 Manual Controls short out, turret off-line for 1d6 hours, reduced to 1d6 minutes on a successful Electronics roll; 3 – 4 Manual Controls short out, turret off-line for 1d6 days, reduced to 1d6 hours with successful Electronics and Engineering rolls, turret operator takes 1d6 damage from flashover; 5 – 6 Manual controls short out, fire at Gunner’s station, operator takes 2d6 damage and turret off-line until serviced at a Class C+ starport.

An older, second-hand starship may be an economical way for a party of Adventurers to get into space, but older ships should also have character.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Another Light Goes Out

"Here we see a long forgotten starport on a long forgotten backwater planet in a forlorn system, deep into the Long Night. The ghosts of the once great Imperium, now long gone can be seen here, in the skeletons and rotting hulks of once proud starships.

"Here, under the light of a distant binary star the planet never truly has a night - in light brighter than an earthly full moon, the dim night light reveals the last vestiges of a star spanning civilization brought to ruin and leather flyers wing over it all in unconcerned ease.

"How melancholy indeed to see mans achievements brought so low, here on the Derelict planet."
- Bryan Gibson
I learned today that Bryan Gibson had finally lost his battle with Double Pneumonia and has passed on.

A well-known craftsman associated with the Society of Creative Anachronism, Bryan was also an artist and has contributed to several editions of Traveller, as well as to numerous adventure books and supplements over the last thirty years. A selection of his art - the picture, above, a melancholic piece that reflects my mood this evening, is taken from the collection - is currently hosted on deviantART. Bryan was also the author of Field Manual for Spica Publishing.

I never met Bryan in person, but I did have the privilege of taking part in a couple of mIRC Traveller games he ran, as well as chatting with him, off and on, via IM. I understand that he was a man of fairly firm views, and could be rather prickly to deal with on occasion, but I always found him immensely creative and interesting to talk to.

"Stand easy, soldier, ere the setting of the sun.
Stand easy, soldier. Job well done."