Tweaking a classic Traveller game
Broadsword was a cool adventure for Traveller, a sci-fi role playing game by GDW. The booklet had fabulous detail on the mercenary Broadsword class starship, but sheesh did the scenarios need some work or what?!
The 800 tonne mercenary cruiser was the bomb! The ugly lil flying pumpkin was kitted out with beam lasers, missile racks, two modular cutters with potentially a squadron or two of star-fighters! AND it had three squads of marines armed to the teeth with hi-tech gear: ATVs, gauss rifles, fusion guns, pointy sticks- yeah baby!! All this was detailed with floorplans, a pecking order for the entire crew, SOPs etc. But as for the provided adventure…yikes!
Rather than just a game of Traveller, the Broadsword adventure had vague mass combat scenarios more intended for Striker and High Guard: GDW’s dense ground and space combat rule systems. The overall campaign was a great idea, loaded with possibilities: The players conduct ground and space operations to prop up the regime of Garda Vilis during a rebellion. But the 4 scenarios are missing something. Namely crucial details, skulduggery of any kind, plot twists, and GM’s advice for when the players do the unexpected.
Click on Sharpening Broadsword: Adventure 7 to check out my expansion of the Garda Vilis campaign back into the realms of a RPG with added zing for the crew of the Broadsword.
Adding zing to the Fate of the Sky Raiders Traveller adventure
Fate of the Sky Raiders by FASA lacked specific detail, so I have written an addenda to this sci-fi role playing adventure.
‘Fate’ was the culmination of an awesome Traveller trilogy by the Keith brothers. Classic Traveller RPG adventures always looked very professional and unfortunately a bit ‘dry’ too. But any good GM could see the potential in there for jazzing Traveller games up. Insert the “latest” movie ideas (Alien/ Aliens/ Blade Runner/ Star Wars/ Starship Troopers etc) into a game and most of those old adventures could sizzle.
The Sky Raiders trilogy was no exception – with a few tweaks it was Indiana Jones in space. And the concluding episode, became “Raiders of the Lost Space Ark”.
The first two adventures ( The Legend of the Sky Raiders & The Trail of the Sky Raiders) were crackers. The final book, Fate of the Sky Raiders, had heaps of great ideas but I found that it didn’t quite deliver. It had all this great lead up: a 5000 year old space ark with collapsed and devolving societies; treasure from dozens of worlds; ancient tech mixed up with savages etc etc and what do the designers do ? They give us a general description of the asteroid, a vague story arc and leave the interaction down to the GM with some random encounter tables!
Mega let down! Or is it?… coming up with your own personalised version is one of the pleasures of GM-ing. Like most Traveller adventures, there is much fun to be had in the adaptation to your gaming style.
So, putting finger to keyboard, I outlined four major cultures, inserted a few dangerous animals, detailed some interesting locations & encounters, and postulated the ongoing consequences for the Traveller universe. Addenda inspiration came from: Dr Who ‘The Face of Evil’ for the regressing cultures based on ancestral occupations; Robert E Howard’s tale ‘Red Nails’ for the pervading nasty atmosphere of enclosed warring societies; ‘Fast’ zombie movies and H.G.Wells’ Morlocks for the Ghoul society; and of course, the FASA legendary writers, J. Andrew Keith and William H. Keith,Jr for the wicked set up.
Anyway, enough bloggy preamble. Check out the Fate of the Sky Raiders – Addenda