Friday, November 1, 2013

Traveller - Random Bounty Target Table

This came up on the radio recently.  Don't ask what manner of radio station.  In any case, it got me thinking about bounty hunting in Traveller.  It's a wonderful, hazardous, morally grey activity, which means it's eminently suited to PC operation in Old School Traveller.  The trouble I typically had was with coming up with open bounties when my players hit the TAS station; the idea's well and good, but implementing it is somewhat trickier.  And so, in preparation for future need, a set of tables is born.

Bounty source:
1-3: Government
4-5: Corporate
6: Private citizens

Crime of bounty:
1-2: Piracy
3: Murder
4: Smuggling
5: Terrorism
6: Other (espionage, desertion, insider trading, insulting a nobleman, ...)

Bounty assets (roll as many as you feel necessary):
2: Psionics
3: Military-grade armament (possibly experimental)
4: Exceptionally good hiding place
5: Great wealth
6: Loyal crew
7: Fearsome reputation
8: Well-constructed alter ego
9: Provided refuge by a foreign government / extradition law
10: Fanatical followers
11: Leet hacker skills ;)
12: AI, shapeshifter, or otherwise hard-to-apprehend nonhuman

Bounty liabilities (reroll as necessary for consistency with assets):
1: Substance addiction
2: Utter belief in rightness of cause and impossibility of defeat ("Your lack of faith disturbs me")
3: Sense of honor
4: Spouse or other close associates deemed non-disposable
5: Superstitious or strong religious convictions
6: Wanton cruelty ("You have failed me for the last time")

Bounty hunting complications:
1: Interference from other bounty hunters
2: Bounty is actually innocent (or other moral quandary)
3: Got the wrong guy (33% chance planted by target or enemies of players, 66% chance poor luck)
4: Paying authority fails to pay up (small text in contract, hides behind bureaucracy, pays in monetary vehicles that don't vest for 20 years, turns out to have been a front for organized crime and vanishes into thin air, &c)
5: Promised pay amount far too low for actual hazard level (not clear until engaged)
6: Treachery by PCs' hirelings, if any.  If none, come up with something interesting.

With a little further effort, I expect this setup might work alright for ACKS too.

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