Game Prep: Traveller Campaign

As I was working on the previous post – the one about prepping for 4.03 – it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to go into a little more detail about some of my overall campaign plots. Some of this is more in depth than others and, obviously, some may change along the way. Here’s to hoping none of my players start digging too deeply…

 

I have three major “overplots” that will play out. I’m referring to this first plot by the same name as the ‘story arc’ that I’m using it from, Tempest Feud. This major adventure arc was originally written for the d20 Star Wars RPG published Wizards of the Coast way back when, so naturally, I’m having to make some major alterations. The driving focus in that campaign is a family of Hutts, but I’m altering that to the Count of Porozlo since honestly, nobles might as well be criminals as well. 🙂 At any rate, this involves the growth of a dangerous new drug known as tempest that causes a great deal of trouble. This big adventure is, in its original format, split up into three acts, with each act taking place some time (at least a couple of months) between another, which is perfect for my uses. Act 1 of Tempest Feud will be adventure 3 of my run.

Second, and this is really tied to “the growth of the PC company” is the Planet of Darkness adventure arc, which was originally published for the StarDrive setting using the Alternity system (from TSR.) As with Tempest Feud above, PoD is split up into three parts, each taking place some time after the other. As with TF, I’m having to make some tweaks to the adventure, although since I’m setting it in the Foreven Sector, I can do pretty much whatever I want. Act 1 of Planet of Darkness will be part of adventure 4 of my run.

Finally, there is a big overplot that I’m calling The Duchess War and this one is really all me. For this, I was heavily influenced by WWI, specifically how it actually broke out (Archduke Ferdinand and all that.) I also found some very, very interesting plot threads in the GURPS Traveller: Nobles book that led to this, specifically the notion that Countess Josephine of Regina has basically been running the duchy of Regina for her cousin, Archduke Norris, who has, in turn, been trying to have her promoted to the rank of Duchess. Virulently opposing this is Duchess Delphine of Mora who is basically Norris’ arch-enemy due to actions taken by him during the Fifth Frontier War.

So, my plan there is that, around adventure 6, Norris will have convinced the Emperor to promote Josephine to Duchess of Regina but this has been kept quiet, so when it is announced – at a big noble gathering which the PCs will inevitably be at for … reasons – Duchess Delphine is caught flat-footed. And she will be infuriated by this. From that point on, everyone in the Spinward Marches can sense that a war is coming…

As the PCs are mostly based in and around the Rhylanor sub-sector, they know that any actual war is going to take place in their backyard (since Rhylanor is sandwiched between the duchies of Regina and Mora.) This conflict between the two duchesses will mostly be a shadow war for a while as the archduke will forbid an actual war.

And then, the archduke (and his heir) will be assassinated on Fornice/Mora. This planet is important as it is run by a count who is both Duchess Delphine’s kinsman but also the guy who Archduke Norris displaced (at Imperial decree) to run the Spinward Reaches navy during the Fifth Frontier War. Ideally, I’d like to have the PCs involved in this somehow, like they learn about it too late to prevent the assassination (ala Garibaldi in Babylon 5 when he finds out that the president is about to be murdered.) Even better would be if the PCs actually transport the assassin to Fornice without realizing it!

Just like Archduke Ferdinand in WWI, this death will lead to war…