The Arioniad – Scene 6

This is a story advancing scene and takes place in Cyrene Downport, a Jungle location, using the rules on LTL p. 34.

Is the Big Bad here? 1d6 vs 1: 5, so no.

Time of day? 1d6 vs 3: 2, daytime.

Get info from someone – difficulty: 2d6 and take lower – 1, 6 so 1. Arion rolls 2d6 vs 4 (Rep): 1, 3 = pass 2d6. Quarry rolls 2d6 vs 1 (Difficulty): 4, 5 so passes 0d6. Arion has passed 2d6 more than the Quarry, so finds him without incident and may attempt to retrieve info.

There’s no traffic control to speak of, so the Dolphin parks at random on a large flat piece of rock. Cyrene Downport appears to consist of a ramshackle hut, partly covered in vines, on a slapdash concrete base. Dmitri and Arion descend and make for the hut. A figure in overalls emerges, wiping his hands on a rag.

“Morning,” he says. “Name’s Galen. What can I do for you?”

This leads to an Opposed Challenge Roll (p. 24). Arion has no interpersonal skills, which is proving more of a hindrance than I expected; he can either use a default skill level of 1, or ask Dmitri to take over, as Dmitri has Interrogate 4. What kind of person is the guide? I consult the People Lists on p. 18 and see there is an entry for Guides, who count as Adventurers and have the Tracking skill. OK, so he won’t have any interpersonal skills either. I’ll experiment by having Arion try to persuade the Guide to help. I note the Guide is under the White Explorers table on p. 20, and has Rep 5 and Star Power 2, should those become important.

Both sides now roll 1d6 vs 4 (as explained on p. 25), as they have the default skill level of 1. Arion rolls a 5 and fails; the guide rolls a 4 and fails.

“Arion,” says Arion, pointing at himself. He jerks a thumb at his companion, but before he can open his mouth, Dmitri says “I’m Percival.” Arion looks at him for a moment, but then decides to press on. “We’re looking for a guide to the Cyrene Pyramid. You know where we can find one?”

“Oho,” says Galen. “You want to see the Pyramid, eh? Well, I might know somebody, if the price is right.”

“And what sort of price would be the right price?”

“Five hundred Credits.”

“You get a lot of visitors?” asks Arion, who is not very good at this sort of thing. Galen snorts and gestures around the empty bedrock landing field. “What do you think? You going to pay, or what?”

Since both scored zero successes, the table on p. 26 shows the task fails but Arion can try again. Arion rolls a 5 and fails; the guide rolls a 1 and succeeds. Arion fails and suffers complications, but may try again; however, he will now always fail. Since I can’t see any way to break the deadlock, Dmitri enters the fray and Interrogates the Quarry; since he only has one skill, I decide he has it at his full Rep. Dmitri rolls 1, 4, 3, 2 and scores 3 successes; the Quarry rolls 5 and fails. Dmitri succeeds in getting the next clue.

Dmitri fishes some bills out of his pocket, and says: “Two hundred up front, three hundred when we get back. Also; an extra hundred if you can tell us something useful about anyone else who’s been to the Pyramid in the last few months.”

Galen pockets the bills. “You get your hiking gear on and meet me back here in a couple of hours.”

“You’re the guide?” asks Arion. Galen spits.

“Yeah, I’m the guide. And the traffic controller. And the mechanic. And the janitor. How many people you think this starport can support, eh?”

“About those visitors,” says Dmitri.

“Well, there was this one guy came through here about six weeks ago. Gimirri ear-rings, but he didn’t look Gimirri; too pale for them. And he had a cat with him; took it everywhere, even into the jungle. You could see the cat hated that…”

The obvious next step is to stay on Cyrene and visit the Pyramid, so I bypass the location table for the next travel scene and decide this is one of slogging through the jungle on foot. I’ll check for events when I run the scene.

Reflections: Classic Traveller skills and skill levels would work very well as replacements for the LTL skills. Maybe I will switch to using those at some point, that would mean I could use CT characters pretty much as they are. Or, I could stick with my current favourite, Savage Worlds, and use some ruling like success = pass 1d6, raise = pass 2d6, with Rep based on half the die sized for the relevant trait – e.g. Rep 5 = d10. Or, I could convert my face to face and PBEM campaigns to the THW reaction system. For further thought.

Meanwhile, I’ve decided to allocate location types by starport. Class A starports will be Metropolitan areas, B Civilised, C or D Exotic, E Jungle, X Lost Worlds. That might give me too many Exotic locations, we’ll see. Next up, another transport scene; it’s been a long time since you saw a picture here, so I’ll share the starmap as it currently stands in that post.

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2 thoughts on “The Arioniad – Scene 6

  1. Thank you – glad you like them!

    The universe is explicitly based on the Classic Traveller RPG from the 1970s and 1980s, and the copyrights to that are held by Far Future Enterprises. They have a very enlightened attitude to using their material on the web with a suitable disclaimer (see the “Legal” tab above), but anything more than this would cross a line I don’t want to cross.

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