Thursday, June 20, 2013

GURPS Traveller Lite Episode 03

Thanks to those who could make it
+Dave Morris +Mateusz Sierzant and +Tom Tyson

It may LOOK like its monty hall until its time to pay the bills. The Rizzoli got 2M worth of credits from CGE for rescuing their CEO and owner, Countess Regina Perez. They were given a simple job: Bring 50dtons of heavy machinery worth $70M and about $5M worth of androids to ROUP with a Type A contract and preferred  vendor status. The job is paying them $1.2M or $24,000 per dton.

They had to Jump through WHANGA where they were greeted by malfunctioning defense station that tried to fry their ass as soon as they arrived. A Chief Science Officer Anna Boren greeted them and despite the 20 minute communication gap, they were able to sort out the reason behind the problem. It didn't hurt that they did some refueling in the outer gass giant the space station was orbiting.

Around this time the Captain Vicky Nelson, +Tom Tyson character finalized the ship details. They chose a Very Fine Quality Lightning Class frontier merchant ship found in ISW210. HT12 and the ability to fly in atmospheres as dense as those that a modern science submarine can withstand. They got heavy turrets and filled up half their weapon number.

When the players learned about the problem Sternmetal Horizons was having with their defense platform, they offered help before even considering the reward (bless their hearts). Anyway, Anna interjected that Sternmetal would pay 5M for service since it would have been lost business for more than a month and it would have cost a lot of money to mobilize someone to repair it.

The crew quickly got up to speed. +Dave Morris as Yuri the engineer did most of the prep and hacking. He had to default as one of the pilots of the microboats. They learned there was a system malfunction during the combat readiness calibration. Some AI was still being straightened out for its offensive capabilities when the command station blew off and the unfinished AI went online.

During the 12 hour refueling run the Rizzoli hatched a plan. They chose to coordinate with the Scout Ship and create a saturating volley of EW Drones. Hopefully they can overwhelm the defenses long enough to have 2 Modified missiles (canabalizing 2 techbots on the ship) create a hard line connection and bring down the ships defenses.

The Rizzoli set to work and brought their two Micro-Boats online to help them increase the saturation. Since only the Captain, Vicky, was skilled in Guided missiles and EW warfare there was some drawbacks slaving all the drones to just her command system.

When everything was ready, the four ships made their firing run. At the extreme range, the lethal and effective AI was still able to hit the ships. The Microboats took the most damage, since they are defenseless despite their very small profile and amazing acceleration. They made their HT rolls but the damage was grevious so it is assumed the ships had to fall back to redundant systems. The Rizzoli, would have been hit with a devastating beam strike (yes BEAM lasers not Pulse) but this frontier merchant had heavy turrents with double the load out and double the casters. A dazzling spray of crystals lit up and diffused the beams as Vicky engaged full evasive maneuvers.

Close enough the ships launched their EW missiles/drones. The lack of another Gunner was felt as the microsecond delays that occured in coordinating the evasive maneuver was felt but the station had very little opportunity to defend. A lucky blow knocks out an entire defense arc which opened the Rizzoli to an opportunity to try to make a boarding lock.

It took a lot skill and tempering for the Captain to land her in the blind side. The point defenses were going crazy trying to shoot the ships down, blasting an Airlock. Their systems can track what seemed like "panicked" androids hurtling towards space. The Combat Robots soon came out, their weaponry designed for internal defense could not penetrate the ships hull, designed to withstand micrometeor strikes.

Brynded tried to possess them, but the AIs were unusually feisty. To his surprise (and for me as a GM) two coincidental ties (they had 50:50 odds to be possessed, and +Mateusz Sierzant rolled exactly the same as AI on both occasions).

When the ordeal was over, only the Microboats suffered and they had about $500,000 worth of hull damage, but the Rizzoli was going to take home $5M of Sternmetal Horizons Credit.

The crew got repairs and got a great deal in used androids (those that came from the malfunctioning platform). Initially they got half off, but Vicky was able to get it less 10%. We decided to do all the other accounting inbetween sessions.

ROUP
They arrived at ROUP greeted by a System Defense Boat hailing them for their "Papers" and identification accelerating rapidly towards them in the light minutes it took for the Rizzoli to appear to it. The crew complied, but Bynden was immediately suspicious when he saw through the sophisticated AI Video masking. What was supposed to be a SDB was showing a hollowed-out internal system by to the densomiter and a slightly lower heat signature. The ship took evasive maneuvers and with their 4.5 accell redlined it to about 20 to get out of there.

Detailed analysis showed serial number was of a 40 year old ship, not strange for a back-water system but another nail in their certainty that this was not a legit ship. It took about a couple of days to accelerate within system to have a better look. The system infrastructure in ROUP was practically crap and the ships that greeted them were 20-50dton boats and shuttles. Many were of Rugged-ized Maker TL9 design.

The crew have finally arrived, a man in white and a strange accent, Regional Director Junio Juarez, greeted them and welcomes them to the capital directing the to the private port in a peninsula (150,000 sq km) owned by CGE. They make conversation, and true enough the 1.2M for delivery is ready to be credited uploaded physically to their ship's bit-credit reserve.

With that we ended.

Notes.

  • If the Rizzoli took damage every HP they would have paid 0.6M in repairs. That assumes that only HULL took damage, they would have to buy replacement Powerplant, Drives, etc... if those got hit. 
  • about 500,000 worth of repairs for the Micrboats. The guys have to name them. 
  • CGE is looking for Android Labor in the planet.
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