Pirates of Drinax Episode 2: Honour Among Thieves, Part 1

Team Harrier: 2 as-yet unnamed PCs, John Sanders, Dr Anthony Sanpo, Brigadier Lennox Kirrin.

As you know, I avoid spoilers for five years after a product is published; but while the current incarnation of Pirates of Drinax was published in 2017, it’s actually an upgraded version of a free-to-download campaign first published in 2011, so I feel at liberty to start letting things slip.

Last time, the royal family of Drinax engaged the party as privateers. As the group was too big for me to run (it’s now back up to nine players) I split them into two groups, one in the ship provided by Drinax, and one in a detached duty scout. This week it was the turn of Team Harrier, who have been tasked with tracking down raiders who hit the nearby worlds of Torpol and Clarke; we start in week 1 of Imperial year 1105…

Week 1: The party uses its ship shares to effect repairs on the ship they’ve been loaned, which is a fixer-upper. They also hire a gunner as none of them can cover that slot, and two marines. Finally they approach Princess Rao with a wish list of what they’d like added to the ship’s locker, which she approves.

Week 2: Jump to Clarke. We’ve established that weeks in jump count towards training.

Week 3: Investigate the attack on Clarke, gather clues.

Week 4: Jump to Torpol (training week 2).

Week 5: Investigate the attack on Torpol, decide that the raiders have gone to Borite, prepare to jump there.

GM Notes

One of the benefits of using published material set in the Official Traveller Universe is being able to use the Traveller Map. Team Harrier is currently here.

There’s also a lot less to write up, as I can refer to the campaign book to refresh my memory of what happened. So far they are following the trail of breadcrumbs without much sign of going off-piste; like the previous group I ran through this adventure, they became very interested in exactly what chemicals the raiders had stolen from Clarke, and why; but I was ready for them this time, and a clear answer, firmly stated, seemed to satisfy them without an extended discussion of why the raiders had targeted that particular facility.

Much time was spent debating how to approach Princess Rao for extra equipment, but the way I see it, she is the de facto ruler of a small nation, who hopes to parlay that into control of an interstellar empire; as we’ve established she is a competent ruler, she is not going to place that plan at risk for the sake of saving a few hundred credits on gear; so their negotiation was easier than they expected.

Unlike the previous group, this team thought of asking for some trade goods to start building up a war chest with, and left with a hold full of precious metals and gems. They were chastened when they realised how expensive running a pirate fleet is going to be, though.

This team now has a designated rules lawyer, whose job is to make sure we don’t stray too far from the rules as written, and a designated trader, whose job is to handle trade (as suggested in the core rulebook) and keep track of what’s in the ship’s locker and funds. That is working very well so far, and the players think it a useful addition.

Finally, one of the players wants to take a turn at being the GM, so this could be even less work than planned; we just need to establish some limits on what each of us can do which might affect the other’s adventures, which will be straightforward enough.

Continue reading...