One Night Traveller (or any Sci-Fi) Adventure

From the Guild’s GM Improv Contest 1997

Prep: The players can have a ship, but it is not required

Initial Pull: The players are a group of trouble-shooting mercenaries. They have been together for only a short while. On a particular planet (Heavily industrial, civilized, with lots of cityscape. Make it miserable), they are sitting in a local water hole (stereotypical cantina or something different). They are uncomfortably unemployed to the point where they don’t have any cash to get off-world (either to buy a ticket off or to pay the docking fees to get out of the port.)

The players must first have an encounter with a merchant. It can go one of two ways:

  • A local merchant approaches them. He is nervous and scared. He wants the players to do a job for him. See The Job below.
  • The Merchant didn’t approach the players first. He approached another group, who violently rejects his offer, and throws him into the player’s table.

The Job

Merchant’s Name: Lambert Walkersoul Dickinson, identifies himself as “John Smith”

He is nervous and withdrawn. He identifies himself as John Smith, a local businessman. He acts as though he is unaccustomed to the “cloak and dagger” act. He says that a competitor of his is arriving in two days aboard the passenger liner Concordia. His name is Anselm Beauchamp. “If Beauchamp is allowed to complete his task here, it will ruin me…”

He wants the players to kidnap Beauchamp, and “detain him” for three days. During this time, Smith will benefit from the deal Beauchamp is here for. Smith supplies the location of a small villa where he can be taken, in the mountains. Beauchamp can not know why he is being detained.

He offers the players Cr15,000 for the group.

The Push

The players will have to take Beauchamp at the spaceport or find out about where he is staying. He will have 4 bodyguards (generic thugs with big guns) and 2 secret spec-ops bodyguards. He is on his way to meet with an Imperial government official. In some way, the players will have to deal with the Imperial official, and escort of marines. This is unrelated to “Smith’s” deal.

Once the bodyguards and the marines are taken care of, the players will have to deal with Smith and his thugs for reasons explained below. See The Plot Thickens.

There can also be a set of third party assassins after Beauchamp.

The Gimmick

This is what is actually happening and it develops rather rapidly and the complexity gets worse as time goes on. Smith is a second-rate criminal looking for a piece of the action, with a front as a businessman. He is after a specific item that he is sure that either is waiting for Beauchamp in his hotel, in his luggage or in his cabin in the ship. The item doesn’t really matter. Suggestions are:

  • Secret plans for a take over of a local crime boss
  • A very rare and expensive gem
  • A sample of a nerve agent to be given to a rebel band.

Beauchamp is not a businessman either; he is a crime boss, but also has a front of a businessman.

The Plot Thickens

Smith was unable to find the item he is looking for and now must chase down the players, and get it from Beauchamp. Because Smith isn’t too smart, doesn’t plan to actually pay the players, and really doesn’t know any other way, he plans to take Beauchamp from the players by force. He and a few thug friends of his will try to take Beauchamp from the players.

Beauchamp will even offer more money to keep that from happening.

How the Plot is to progress:

OPTION 1: The players are to flip-flop sides, based on the money offered. First Smith offers the initial job, and once Smith turns on the players, Beauchamp will offer more. The third party assassins might offer more. In the end, the players should come to a point where they were played by all sides and come out with nothing.

OPTION 2: This option can be included in OPTION 1 or just used by itself. Beauchamp set this while situation up, knowing the “Smith” would make his move as well as a few other people, only if he showed his own face in public. He took a gamble, and is using this to (1) Eliminate some of his competition, (2) recruit new special agents. The players would be the agents

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