Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pirates of Drinax

The Pirates of Drinax campaign intro is basically the best Traveller product Mongoose has ever put out besides the core rulebook, in terms of delivering subsystems that I now want to use in play.  And it's free.  Go figure.

Useful things:
  • Morale rules, both for pirate crews and the crews of target vessels.  Hallelujah!
  • Rules for port-pirate relations (eg, classification of ports as havens, friendly, tolerant, neutral, suspicious, unfriendly, or hostile).  These are useful, and could also be applied to smuggling.
  • Some bare-bones for recruiting additional crewmen.  This could use another two tables (see below).
  • Rules for pirate-empire relations.  Again, these could apply to smugglers, lovable rogues, and troublemaking travellers in general.
  • Rules for actually attacking and looting targets.  These look mostly identical to Scoundrel's, plus
    • Target morale
    • Target quirks
    • Complications (always fun, minor typo for "dissent" vs "descent")
  • Good rumors table
  • Pirate shares and a default assumption that "someone is the captain"
  • Good ideas as regards "you start with a ship, it's been beaten all to hell, and you can spend ship shares to fix some of the things that are wrong with it"
Things missing:
  • Table of costs for improving relations with ports.  The Judge's section seems to suggest that this should be varied based on how much cash the players have available for this purpose.  Meh.
  • Random pirate crewman skill level and skillset
Skillset probabilities ought to be based off of the relative crew strengths of the standard-issue Corsair.  An average crew for a corsair ought to be three pilots, one navigator, one engineer, 0-1 medics, three gunners, and the of crew capacity (20ish) marines, so 10 of those.  The following table on 2d6 is 'reasonably close enough' to that distribution:

2: Navigator
3: Engineer

4-5: Pilot
6-8: Marine (note: might not be marines in the "took terms of marine career and now have combat armor" sense.  Might just be Jayne)
9-10: Gunner
12: Medic

And then skill distribution, again on 2d6:
2-4: Green
5-8: Average
9-11: Good
12: Excellent

Legendary crewmen don't just come up for hire at random (not on the 1:36 granularity that 2d6 gives us, at least).  If necessary, after rolling a 12 on 2d6 for crewman skill, roll another 2d6.  On another 12, the crewman is legendary (~1:1300 odds).

Number of recruits found is equal to the effect of the recruitment throw+1.

Also there was some fluff in there that I skimmed.  Interest in their prepub'd campaign somewhat piqued by decent rules, but not enough to get me to read all that.  The editing's decent; found a couple typos.  I assume there are probably more, but the text is coherent despite these, and they're less frequent than in the Mongoose career books I've read.

Value per price: excellent.  Well done, Mongoose.  Please give us more free stuff with good tables and subsystems.

1 comment:

Matt Celis said...

Maybe Legendary crewmen don't need to look for work, work comes to them?