Seeds: Ideas From ‘Who’

Here are three brief summaries of Traveller adventure ideas stolen from old episodes of Doctor Who:

THE BIG CON: A noble warlord who has fallen from grace seeks to acquire another world from which he may build a new army. A megacorporation broker offers to sell him a title to a low-technology world as “a summer retreat,” but in the course of inspecting the world, the warlord learns of a large deposit of iridium mined from a now-lost operation. The corporation offers the title with reserved mineral rights for future exclusive development, but the warlord figures if he can find the lost iridium mine, he can harvest enough to hire mercenaries from across the sector and retake his title from his sibling on his homeworld. However, the whole deal is a scam – the “broker” is a con artist who brought the iridium from off-world for the warlord to “discover on his own.” Once the warlord makes the 1 million credit “good faith deposit” toward the megacorporation, the con man plans to skip planet aboard the next available ship (perhaps the PCs) and never return to this part of space. (Plot of “The Ribos Operation”)

FIST OF THE MONKEY’S PAW: A pirate captain terrorizes colonies by staging vicious raids. Always trailing at the rear of his pirate fleet is an old colony ship which never engages in battle. In truth, the people aboard this colony ship are second-generation settlers born in space and raised to believe the captain is a benevolent and generous hero who once suffered horrible wounds in a space battle, resulting in his reconstruction with advanced cybernetics. In truth, a renegade Zhodani scientist rescued the captain following the battle, built his bionics, and now literally controls him to wage war as her pirate puppet. The colonists are kept ignorant of the truth and unknowingly live as hostages – leverage to force the captain to continue to obey his “mistress” on board the lead pirate vessel. Were someone (the PCs) to either kill the Zhodani scientist or get the colony ship away to safety, the pirate captain would quit his evil ways – even if meant his death as his booby-trapped cyberwear turns against him. (Plot, of sorts, from “The Pirate Planet.”)

SLEEPING JUSTICE: The PCs discover a pair of humans in low-berth hibernation, apparently kept in stasis for roughly 35 years. Upon reviving the sleepers, the two men identify themselves as police agents from some world in the sector. They were travelling to another planet to track down a brutal criminal believed to be living there after escaping justice on their homeworld. Upon checking the Imperial Library Data, the policemen are shocked to discover their wanted criminal has grown old under an alias and is now a powerful religious leader on some nearby world. The policemen insist on being taken to this world to deliver justice, and the pair may even try something drastic (like hijack the PC’s ship) in order to get there. Perhaps the PCs can be hired or otherwise convinced to help take down this villain. (Variation to “The Stones of Blood.)