Traveller Interstellar Wars - Episode 0

I decided to run a "episode 0" session for my group before they had characters draw up. They had ideas of who they wanted to be, but this gave them a chance to get into character and figure out the characters. I'm not sure how well it went, but it was a fun.

I like to think of this session as the "unaired pilot". It sets up the backstory, but if characters need to change or be alter, it doesn't really matter. Continuity hasn't started yet. ;-)

The crew of the Ziggy Stardust have just landed on Nusku. The ship was long overdue for it's annual maintenance, and the credits from their bonus on the last run was burning holes in their pockets.

Captain William "Mac" MacRae, handed out key cards to each of the crew for their hotel rooms and for a storage sheds where each was having a trunk filled with all their personal effect stored till the ship's overhaul was complete.

Dennis Ross took his cards and hurried off. He had a fight with the captain about his position just before landing. He is the ship's cargo master, but had some background as a navigator and wanted to take more of that responsibility. Unfortunately for him, Finch Logan was the ships navigator and they really didn't need another one. On top of that, the captain wasn't sure that Ross was ready for the bridge crew.

After Ross left, the rest of the crew went to a local bar where Captain Mac opened a tab and they all celebrated another prosperous trade run. Mac kept telling stories about how he had something big in the works, a common theme with the captain, but this time he seemed a bit more serious.

During their celebration, they noticed the bar got suddenly quiet. Someone had the news on and there is a broadcast stating that the Saarpuhii Kushuggi had decreed tight border controls and steep tariffs on Terran goods. Then, the bar erupted with yells and groans. Mac was particularly bothered by this, leaving shortly after.

The next day the crew are approached by the authorities asking about their whereabouts. Logan refuses to answer their questions, but most of the rest of the crew is pretty forthcoming. Ross and the ship's Steward, Cait Walsh, were not found in their rooms though.

It seems sometime in the early morning Captain Mac was murdered. Ross is eventually found and questioned also. Then Walsh is seen trying to break into the captain's locker. She isn't seen again as is presumed to have fled the system.

A week later the remaining crew is approached by a representative of the Free Traders Federation, which owns a controlling share in the Ziggy Stardust. The were told that the captain had left his shares to the crew. The FTF was willing to let the crew continue on, but asked for them to add a member that they trusted to the crew.

So, Logan took command as the new captain, Ross got his navigator gig. Khalekshii Sadaka, joins the crew as the new Steward (and cargomaster), the second Vilani on the crew along with comm officer “Skip” Uaid Karbuga. The Pilot (TBD), Chief Engineer Kit Malloy, and ships doctor Dr. Svetlana Batsoev, round out the rest of the crew.

Sadaka, had a gift for the crew. A pre-third interstellar war transponder. This should get them past any imperial blockades. If the crew are careful they can make it through the Dingir sector and hopefully find a world that is willing to buy up the cargo hold of goods that the Captain had already negotiated to fill the ship. With that money, they could do some other trading and look out for that "big score" that is sure to be out there.

When Logan went to unpack his trunk, he found the captain's old hat in it. Tucked inside was a strange metal object with circuitry like groove etched into it. There was also a scrap of paper with "Nushimi" written. Maybe that big score was closer than they though.