Mustered Out on Mertactor

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Arrival at Tarkine

Jie and Max spend the rest of jump getting into a regular routine. Jie spends mornings shouting at Kiimii and Laarii trying to get them to work, Max spends the evenings telling reassuring Kiimii that the nightmare will soon be over if she agrees to sell to the party members at a good price and evenings are spent in a kind of truce in order that the passengers are kept reasonably content and don’t think that they are travelling on some kind of asylum in space.

By the last day of jump, Max and Kiimii have agreed to the main terms of the deal. Kiimii will get 5% of the ship’s value repaid to her in cash – around MCr 2.75. The party will get the same amount as a discount on the buying price.

It should be a deal that works for everyone. The party gets a good discount on the price of a practically brand new ship; Kiimii gets a good chunk of cash which should keep even a little princess like her happy for a decade or so, and Unguin gets rid of the headache and can be sure that Kiimii will be safe back at home and won’t be tapping him for any more cash any time soon. There are still the small details to work out as both sides try the ‘nibble’, but the main terms are already agreed.

The passengers are only semi-aware of what is going on around them. The cyclist is a joy to have onboard. She’s not used to this lifestyle and so will put up with anything. The judge is not at all happy with the service, obviously, but tends to stay in his stateroom most of the time. The Army Officer thinks that the place is a shambles and is constantly on the point of complaining. He likes Jie though and so she is able to calm him down.

The three GSbAG execs are loud and obnoxious but, somewhat surprisingly, they get on well with Kiimii, even though they are rather condescending about the quality of the ship, thinking that Collacian shipyards are pretty shoddy compared to their own.

In this pressure-cooker environment, it comes to a relief to everyone when the ship finally emerges from jump at 17.30 and Jie and Arvor plot a course to Tarkine.

The ship is three hours into the four hour journey to the planet when Arvor announces to the others that there is a ship’s boat coming up from the planet on an intercept course for them. This panics everyone and Taeva runs for the turret in case the ship is hostile.

Arvor radios the fast approaching ship. “Identify yourself,”

“This is Tarkine Customs and Excise,” the ship replies. “Maintain your current trajectory and prepare for boarding.”

The party members are still nervous, worried that it could be a trap. Arvor calls down to the highport for confirmation.

“Yes, Unguin’s Princess, that is one of our customs cutters. You need to obey their orders or they will be forced to take offensive action.”

Arvor, still somewhat nervously, holds the course as the much more nimble ship’s boat comes up alongside and docks.

The airlock cycles and the entrance is filled with the imposing site of two Imperial Marines in Combat Armor filling the way, armed with accelerator rifles. Four of them come onboard, followed by three customs officers, with another four Marines at the rear.

“Papers please, everybody,” the Customs Inspector says.

Terrified, Kiimii hands over the ship’s registration documents with shaking hands. Max shows the cargo manifest and everyone on board presents their papers.

After looking at just a few of the papers though, the Customs Inspector smiles warmly and turns to the Marines.

“Stand easy, boys,” he says. “It’s OK, they’re Impies.”

The Marines relax, leaning against bulkheads and taking off their terrifying helmets.

One of the Marines looks at Jie as if he has just seen a ghost.

“Jie,” he says. “Is that really you?”

Now it’s Jie’s turn to look as if she has just seen a ghost.

“Marc!” she says, recognizing her fiancee’s best friend.

She rushes over to give Marc a hug, which is quite difficult due to his wearing combat armor.

The embrace is met with wolf whistles from Marc’s companions.

The pair spend a short while chatting while the other marines stand around smoking and chatting with the other crew members until the Customs Inspector taps them on the shoulder.

“Got to split you up now,” he says. “Otherwise we’ll all be splatted on the tarmac.”

Marc parts. “Stop by the barracks if you have time,” he says to Jie as the marines make their way back to the ship’s boat. “And be careful when you get down to Tarkine. It’s gotten a whole lot worse since you were last there.”

The ship’s boat disengages and, five minutes later Arvor is on final approach. Fifteen minutes later and he brings Unguin’s Princess safely to land at Moffett Down.

It’s winter at the moment and so it is quite chilly as they emerge onto the apron. Looking around, everyone sees that the downport is heavily fortified. With the rather primitive tech here, the party members are instantly reminded of Pavabid Down.

As Kiimii and Laarii help off the high passengers, Will unfreezes the low ones. Fortunately the hardened mercenaries are pretty tough and so all of them survive to his great relief.

It’s 22.00 now and most of the facilities on the relatively small and simple starport are closed and so there’s little that can be achieved that night and so they check in at the Novotel. After suffering Laarii’s appalling cooking for a week, everyone is in the mood for a good meal at the hotel. The food is absolutely excellent, as is nearly always the case on agricultural worlds, and it’s washed down with gluhwein, a Tarkine speciality at this time of year. Many glasses are drunk before they all call it a night.

Comments

That will have to be all from me for tonight as I’m knackered. Will finish off getting the story up to date in about 12 hours.

Feel free to post anything in the past or where we got up to at the end of play last night.

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Ok, voting is now open for the category of “Most Herculean Effort by a GM in the History of Gaming”.

I nominate Nick Pendrell.

Grim was in engineering when Jie’s reunion took place, so he didn’t witness any of it, but he’s still determined to have the talk with her that he’s been postponing about Beverly’s death…

In regards to the ship. if I’m wrong let me know, but we’re at 0.833 % (just shy of 1 ship share) each for Jie, Will, Arvor, and Grim, at 6.833 % for the Mistress of the Vessel, and at 3.833 % for Max? This means we own 14 % and the bank owns 86 % ? How far away is annual maintenance?

Grim/Ian

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We sure did get a lot done in yesterday’s session – plus lots of income and expenses to work out which took a while as well!

Your figures are nearly correct. There will have been five or six repayments made on the ship already. Each month, after every payment, Hortalez will own a little less and each of you will own a little more, so you are probably already another 1.5% better off.

I will put together a Wiki page with all the figures concerning the ship and ownership.

It seems as if Mongoose has monthly maintenance fees rather than annual ones. You needed to do one in Dallia and the price of it was Cr.4600, so not too punishing.

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2ond motion to nominate Nick as “Most Herculean Effort by a GM in the History of Gaming” Award winner.

Here’s a silly question, do we really want a ship? As homeless freebooters we had the ability to roam wherever fate took us. If we own (really that’s not true, the bank owns the ship we’d just be using it to gain money to pay the bank) a starship then we might feel tied down. Just wondering.

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In terms of gameplay the ship allows us to range far wider than ‘a job on the next planet.’
The fact that it needs paying for allows the GM lead the players into making the money to keep it going (via Max’s suggested deals).

From a character point of view Taeva would probably like a room that was home. As she can’t really remain in one place too long a ship or a journey far far away are probably her only options. Other characters will have different motivations but I’d have thought generally that for people who are absolutely NOT going to settle down on the farm, having a travelling home and the novelty of a personal den/ room would be attractive.

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It’s a valid question Russ. In the last game we played we owned a couple of ships and there were both benefits and drawbacks. Having a mobile base of operations is a very cool feature, but you’re also tied to maintenance and spend a bit of time in port doing trading and passenger herding. In the last game everybody (except one player) was cool with being “opportunistic merchants” as we had a wide range of ship and mercantile skills and as Nick varied the ship based encounters considerably between combat, exploration, and trading. We also ran a lot of missions that were “ground” based and didn’t have anything to do with our various ships.

Overall, in character, Grim would be the kind of player who’s very happy to be part of a ship crew, though he would also be at home just “hoofing it” around the sector. I guess in the end it is kinda a choice about what flavor of adventure you like?

In any case, don’t be worried that our rather excellent GM will stick us with only one (or just a few) type of mission/encounter because we have a ship; in my experience he’s pretty good about not “tying” us to the ship in a way that limits play.

Grim/Ian

(insert obligatory butt kissing…“All Hail Taeva, Queen of the Shipping Lanes! huzzah! huzzah! huzzah!” shouts Grim whenever she emerges from her cabin, “Now T, sweetie, about that pre-nup…”)

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Yes, from a gaming point of view, it gives me as GM a lot of advantages.

A lot of the published adventures only work if the party has their own ship for one reason.

Another advantage is that it gives you more motivation to keep moving and keep adventuring. With the ship, you’ll now have to find around 250k per month even if the ship never moves, which gives you all a major incentive to keep the cash rolling in.

Max will have been lobbying hard to get a ship as it gives you much more opportunity to profit from trade. As your cash reserves have been increasing, he’s usually been able to buy more expensive (and bulkier) cargoes which are giving him more problems in finding space on ships going to the same place you want to go to at the right time.

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Never noticed that-annual maintenance is a bit of a Traveller Trope. Presumably 11 are ‘little maintenance’ and 1 is the annual 2 week maintenance?

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I don’t know why they changed it from annual to monthly as annual makes more sense. My reading of it now is that the engineer is constantly working on the ship while the ship is in month and just hands the purser a list of the materials he needs once a month to make sure that he always has the main consumables in stock.

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NickPendrell

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