[ Freelance Traveller Home Page | Search Freelance Traveller | Site Index ]

*Freelance Traveller

The Electronic Fan-Supported Traveller® Resource

Denizens of Marburg

This article originally appeared in the January/Feburary 2017 issue.

In an off-the-cuff series of lunchtime Traveller games at work, where I’m supposed to be making it up as we go rather than preparing manically, we naturally encounter all sorts of NPCs. Some I’ve seen coming and sketched some notes for prior to the session, and some have appeared de novo as we played. Oddly, it doesn’t seem to matter how they originate as to whether they become memorable or not. The games aren’t quite as off-the-cuff as I’d imagined because once we get going from a critical decision point, there are two or three weeks between sessions in which it’s all too easy to generate all sorts of plot and detail and handouts, etc., in odd moments of down time and thinking.

Three NPCs in particular have stood out in our memories and as they all happen to be more generically useful in places other than Marburg on Regina (where the players encountered them), I offer them here for others to make use of as they will. Surely other gaming groups need fixers, hackers or companions on a fairly regularly basis!

I should add that neither these fully worked up versions of characters, nor the maps for that matter, were generated on the fly but the core concept of each character is as we encountered them. We’re using Mongoose Traveller 1st edition rules, but GURPS stats are presented for any who find them useful or because you can extract some additional character details from the Advantages and Disadvantages.

Cepheus Engine variations are also given as they’re not quite the same. The skill list is rather more limited than an equivalent Mongoose Traveller skill list with Deception, Investigate, Persuade, Stealth and Survival being rather useful skills that are no longer present. Of course, the rules do say that the referee may “add other skills as needed to better fit the universe they have created” but this conversion limits itself to the listed skills.

Marburg is a city on the continent of Noncredo on Regina (Spinward Marches 1910 A788899-C) some 1000km from the capital Credo where the starport lies. Marburg has a spaceport of its own, Letishka Down as well as an old port along the river now more normally used by grav traffic. Two maps have been generated and are included, and again these could be used for any reasonably equivalent continent or city (TL8-12ish, some hydrographics and probably a breathable atmosphere). Noncredo is the continent—based on the shape seen on the standard map of Regina; Marburg is a fair sized city of perhaps 200,000 people. For a world map of Regina see Grand Survey (DGP, 1986) or World Builder’s Handbook (DGP, 1989). For its system details see Book 6: Scouts (GDW, 1983).

Marburg, like any city, sports a collection of interesting and colourful characters of varying savouriness. Given the penchant for PCs to look for (and find) trouble, these four personalities might prove useful.

“Sniff”

Sniff grew up on the streets of Marburg and although he’s turned his back on his thievery, some would say he remains pretty close to the bone with his ability to source weapons, armour, drugs and other equipment for low life in the city. It doesn’t seem to matter how illegal or unobtainable something might be, Sniff can usually get hold of it—for a price. His personal hygiene may not be up to much but he knows his territory and he knows his sources. Many have thought he was an easy target for a scam or an underpayment, but he’s smarter than that. He’s well known in Old Town and a mention of his name will quite literally bring him sniffing around. He’s lanky and rat-faced with long mousy-blonde and ill-kept hair; he doesn’t seem to know what a handkerchief is but he has a sleeve which is quite sufficient thank you. Hence his name which is the only one anyone knows him by. He might typically ask: “So, What are you looking for?” in something of a stage whisper, and might typically say (after a sharp intake of breath): “I can probably get that. Can you definitely pay?”

Although he’s easy enough to find in the taverns of Old Town, he has a string of out of the way meeting places for the actual exchange of gear and money. It might be a quiet glade in a coniferous forest just out of town, a scrap metal yard with teetering piles of junk and poorly built retaining walls, or a disused power station that is supposed to become an art gallery if the city’s funding ever comes together. He’ll have several hidey-holes as well as multiple routes out in case of trouble.

Mongoose Traveller 1st Edition

“Sniff” 457733, age 27, Rogue: Thief, Rank 2
Characteristics: STR 4 (-1), DEX 5 (-1), END 7 (+0), INT 7 (+0), EDU 3 (-1), SOC 3 (-1)
Homeworld: Regina (Spinward Marches 1910, A788899-C Ri Cp)
Skills: Comms 1, Deception 1, Melee (any) 1, Gun Cbt (slug pistol) 1, Stealth 1, Streetwise 1, Athletics (any) 0, Carouse 0, Engineer (any) 0, Gun Cbt (energy rifle) 0, Recon 0

Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition

“Sniff” 457733, age 27, Rogue: Thief, Rank 2
Characteristics: STR 4 (-1), DEX 5 (-1), END 7 (+0), INT 7 (+0), EDU 3 (-1), SOC 3 (-1)
Homeworld: Regina (Spinward Marches 1910, A788899-C Ri Cp)
Skills: Deception 1, Gun Cbt (slug) 1, Stealth 1, Melee (any) 1, Electronics (comm) 1, Streetwise 1, Athletics (any) 0, Carouse 0, Engineer (any) 0, Gun Cbt (energy) 0, Recon 0

Cepheus Engine

“Sniff” 457733, age 27, Rogue, Rank 2: Soldier
Characteristics: STR 4 (-1), DEX 5 (-1), END 7 (+0), INT 7 (+0), EDU 3 (-1), SOC 3 (-1)
Homeworld: Regina (Spinward Marches 1910, A788899-C Ri Cp)
Skills: Bribery 1, Comms 1, Gun Combat (slug pistol) 1, Liaison 1, Melee Combat (any) 1, Streetwise 1, Athletics 0, Carousing 0, Engineering 0, Gun Combat (energy pistol) 0, Recon 0

GURPS

“Sniff”: [100 points]
Race: Human
Ht 5’ 7” Wt: 90lbs Age 27

Attributes:
ST 8 [-20]; DX 9 [-20]; IQ 10 [0]; HT 9 [-10].
HP 8 [0]; Will 10 [0]; Per 14 [20]; FP 9 [0].
Basic Lift: 13; Damage 1d-3/1d-2; Basic Speed 5 [10]; Basic Move 5

Appearance:
Skinny [-5], lank hair, unattractive [-4]; Odious Personal Habit: nervous with habit of sniffing and using sleeve as handkerchief [-5]; Poor [-15]; Reputation +2 [10]; Status -1 [-5].

Languages:
Galanglic (Native) [0]; Reginan Street Patois (Native) [6].

Social Background:
TL12 [0]; Cultural Familiarities: Third Imperium (Native) [0].

Advantages:
Acute Hearing +4 [8]; Business Acumen (Streetwise) +1 [10]; Smooth Operator +2 [30]; Contact Group (criminal suppliers) [30]; Lighting Calculation [2].

Disadvantages:
Oblivious [-5]; Overconfidence [-5]; Slight smell [-1].

Skills:
Area Knowledge (Marburg on Regina) IQ+2 12 [4]; Current Affairs (Business) IQ+2 12 [4]; Detect Lies Per+0 14 [4]; Fast Talk IQ+2 12 [8]; Gambling IQ-1 9 [1]; Gun DX+1 10 [2]; Hold Out IQ+1 11 [4]; Melee Weapon (Knife) CX+1 10 [2]; Merchant IQ+5 15 [20]; Smuggling IQ+3 13 [12]; Stealth DX+2 11 [8].

Teeda “The Duchess” Womsinnor

Teeda Womsinnor is good with computers. Really good. She’s grown up with them and lives for the things. If she’s not building one, she’s hacking into one. She’s already making a name for herself under her pseudonym The Duchess—an obscure pun on the Ghost level rank she aspires to. She doesn’t ask questions about who she’s working for or what she’s doing and is beginning to accumulate quite a stash of money from her work and a reputation amongst the criminal elements of the city or orbital station where she’s encountered. With her cropped black hair and pale complexion, she makes Sniff look overweight. She keeps herself to herself and is nervous around people. She might typically ask: “Am I saying the right thing?” She might typically say: “Can I get into the system? Here look, I already have…”

The key thing about The Duchess is that you’d be unlikely to meet her. Invariably, contact would be made via highly encrypted comms. She can work her magic pretty much any time; she can obtain data, she can prepare for a job, or she can ‘virtually’ accompany a physical break in to hack electronic locks or computers for her standard fee plus 50%. She will almost certainly present herself in her comms link ups with some form of avatar which will vary but may start with a pink and primped ‘Duchess’ character with lapdogs, but change to a ninja outfit when ‘accompanying’ a heist, or perhaps a chariot-riding Romanesque triumphal entry on the successful completion of a job. Those who have met in her person are few and far between and have certainly gained her trust somehow—through long association or by dropping the right name.

Mongoose Traveller 1st Edition

Teeda “The Duchess” Womsinnor 679985, age 24, Cybernet: Cyberhacker [Supplement 8: Cybernetics], Rank 2
Characteristics: STR 6 (+0), DEX 7 (+0), END 9 (+1), INT 9 (+1), EDU 8 (+0), SOC 5 (-1)
Homeworld: Regina (Spinward Marches 1910, A788899-C Ri Cp)
Skills: Computers 4, Investigate 1, Streetwise 1, Admin 0, Carouse 0, Cybernetics (chrome) 0, Cybernetics (limbs) 0, Life Science (any) 0, Life Science (any) 0

Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition

Teeda “The Duchess” Womsinnor 679985, age 24, Cybernet: Cyberhacker [Supplement 8: Cybernetics], Rank 2
Characteristics: STR 6 (+0), DEX 7 (+0), END 9 (+1), INT 9 (+1), EDU 8 (+0), SOC 5 (-1)
Homeworld: Regina (Spinward Marches 1910, A788899-C Ri Cp)
Skills: Electronics (computers) 4, Investigate 1, Streetwise 1, Admin 0, Carouse 0, Cybernetics (chrome) 0, Cybernetics (limbs) 0, Science (any) 0, Science (any) 0

Cepheus Engine

Teeda “The Duchess” Womsinnor 679985, age 24, Technician, Rank 2: Supervisor
Characteristics: STR 6 (+0), DEX 7 (+0), END 9 (+1), INT 9 (+1), EDU 8 (+0), SOC 5 (-1)
Homeworld: Regina (Spinward Marches 1910, A788899-C Ri Cp)
Skills: Computer 4, Comms 1, Streetwise 1, Admin 0, Carousing 0, Electronics 0, Mechanics 0, Sciences (physical sciences) 0, Sciences (social sciences) 0

GURPS

Teeda “The Duchess” Womsinnor: [100 points]
Race: Human
Ht 5’ 3” Wt: 80lbs Age 24

Attributes:
ST 10 [0]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 12 [20]; HT 11 [10].
HP 10 [0]; Will 14 [10]; Per 12 [0]; FP 12 [3].
Basic Lift: 20; Damage 1d-2/1d; Basic Speed 5 [-5]; Basic Move 5

Appearance:
Very skinny [-5], pale, uses avatars in electronic interaction; average wealth [0]; Reputation +2 x x 1 [5]; Status 0 [0].

Languages:
Galanglic (Native) [0].

Social Background:
TL12 [0]; Cultural Familiarities: Third Imperium (Native) [0].

Advantages:
Alternate ID [15]; Less Sleep [4]; Signature Gear (Computer equipment) [2]; Shtick (Avatars) [1].

Disadvantages:
Chronic Pain (Severe, 2 hours, <10) [-10]; Loner [-5]; Low Self-Image [-10]; Proud [-1]; Shyness [-5]; Unfit [-15].

Skills:
Acting IQ+2 14 [8]; Admin IQ+0 12 [2]; Area Knowledge (Marburg on Regina) IQ+2 14 [4]; Artist (Illusion) IQ+2 14 [12]; Computer Hacking IQ+3 15 [20]; Computer Operation IQ+4 16 [12]; Computer Programming IQ+3 15 [16]; Current Affairs IQ+2 14 [4]; Research IQ+2 [8].

Briz and Garv Theekston

No one is quite sure if they are brother and sister or husband and wife or something else, but they are excellent at working together to pick up marks. If they’ve (rarely) misjudged a situation it’s a work of art watching them switch with each other to match the interests of any particular client. They can communicate with one another through a private gesture language and when not working they love hiking together in the hills outside of Marburg; they’ve even crossed The Northern Track of the Great Desert, a well-known long-distance trek.

Either might typically ask: “You’ve met my partner, haven’t you?” They might typically say: “It’s not the speed, it’s the length that makes endurance feats work for us.”

Mongoose Traveller 1st Edition

Brizelda Theekston 8C8946, age 30, Companion: Heterae [Career Book 2], Rank 3
Characteristics: STR 8 (+0), DEX 12 (+2), END 8 (+0), INT 9 (+1), EDU 4 (-1), SOC 6 (+0)
Homeworld: Regina (Spinward Marches 1910, A788899-C Ri Cp)
Skills: Persuade 2, Carouse 1, Deception 1, Gambler 1, Language 1, Melee (any) 1, Steward 1, Streetwise 1, Survival 1
Equipment: Cr10,000, Ally, Contacts x 2

Garvin Theekston 88B746, age 33, Companion: Heterae [Career Book 2], Rank 2
Characteristics: STR 8 (+0), DEX 8 (+0), END 11 (+1), INT 7 (+0), EDU 4 (-1), SOC 6 (+0)
Homeworld: Regina (Spinward Marches 1910, A788899-C Ri Cp)
Skills: Streetwise 2, Carouse 1, Navigation 1, Stealth 1, Steward 1, Deception 0, Persuade 0, Physical Science 0
Equipment: Cr10,000, Contacts x 2, Enemy

Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition

Brizelda Theekston 8C8946, age 30, Companion: Heterae [Career Book 2], Rank 3
Characteristics: STR 8 (+0), DEX 12 (+2), END 8 (+0), INT 9 (+1), EDU 4 (-1), SOC 6 (+0)
Homeworld: Regina (Spinward Marches 1910, A788899-C Ri Cp)
Skills: Persuade 2, Carouse 1, Deception 1, Gambler 1, Language (any) 1, Melee (any) 1, Steward 1, Streetwise 1, Survival 1
Equipment: Cr10,000, Ally, Contacts x 2

Garvin Theekston 88B746, age 33, Companion: Heterae [Career Book 2], Rank 2
Characteristics: STR 8 (+0), DEX 8 (+0), END 11 (+1), INT 7 (+0), EDU 4 (-1), SOC 6 (+0)
Homeworld: Regina (Spinward Marches 1910, A788899-C Ri Cp)
Skills: Streetwise 2, Carouse 1, Navigation 1, Stealth 1, Steward 1, Deception 0, Persuade 0, Physical Science 0
Equipment: Cr10,000, Contacts x 2, Enemy

Cepheus Engine

Brizelda Theekston 8C8957, age 30, Entertainer, Rank 3
Characteristics: STR 8 (+0), DEX 12 (+2), END 8 (+0), INT 9 (+1), EDU 5 (-1), SOC 7 (+0)
Homeworld: Regina (Spinward Marches 1910, A788899-C Ri Cp)
Skills: Advocate 2, Carousing 1, Bribery 1, Gambling 1, Linguistics 1, Melee Combat (any) 1, Steward 1, Streetwise 1, Tactics 1
Equipment: Cr10,000, High Passage, +1 EDU (=5), +1 SOC (=7)

Garvin Theekston 88B747, age 33, Entertainer, Rank 2
Characteristics: STR 8 (+0), DEX 8 (+0), END 11 (+1), INT 7 (+0), EDU 4 (-1), SOC 7 (+0)
Homeworld: Regina (Spinward Marches 1910, A788899-C Ri Cp)
Skills: Streetwise 2, Carousing 1, Navigation 1, Steward 1, Tactics 1, Advocate 0, Bribery 0, Sciences (physical sciences) 0
Equipment: Cr10,000, High Passage x 2, +1 SOC (=7)

GURPS

Brizelda Theekston [100 points]
Race: Human
Ht 5’ 6” Wt: 130lbs Age 30

Attributes:
ST 9 [-10]; DX 14 [80]; IQ 10 [0]; HT 9 [-10]
HP 8 [-2]; Will 11 [5]; Per 10 [0]; FP 10 [3]
Basic Lift: 16; Damage 1d2-2/1d-1; Basic Speed 7.75 [0]; Basic Move 7 [0]

Appearance:
Very attractive, shapely figure; bright eyes and brighter smile; often seen with partner Garv.

Languages:
Galanglic (Native) [0].

Social Background:
TL12 [0]; Cultural Familiarities: Third Imperium (Native) [0].

Advantages:
Beautiful +4 [12]; Fashion +1 [5]; Charisma +1 [5]; Flexibility +3 [5]; Reduced Consumption [2]; Alcohol Tolerance [1].

Disadvantages:
Gregarious [-10]; Flashbacks [-5]; Guilt Complex [-5]; Xenophilia [-10].

Skills:
Accounting IQ+0 10 [4]; Acting IQ+1 11 [4]; Carousing HT+1 12 [2]; Dancing DX+0 14 [2]; Erotic Art DX+1 15 [4]; Gesture IQ+0 10 [1]; Hiking HT-1 10 [1]; Panhandling IQ+0 10 [1]; Sex Appeal HT+3 14 [12]; Streetwise IQ-1 9 [1]; Survival Per+0 10 [2].


Garvin Theekston [100 points]
Race: Human
Ht 6’ 3’ Wt: 170lbs Age 32

Attributes:
ST 11 [10]; DX 12 [40]; IQ 10 [0]; HT 11 [10]
HP 11 [0]; Will 11 [5]; Per 11 [5]; FP 13 [6]
Basic Lift: 24; Damage1d-1/1d+1; Basic Speed 5.75 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0]

Appearance:
Strikingly handsome, muscular; bright eyes and brighter smile; often seen with partner Brizelda.

Languages:
Galanglic (Native) [0].

Social Background:
TL12 [0]; Cultural Familiarities: Third Imperium (Native) [0].

Advantages:
Charisma +2 [10]; Very Fit [15]; Versatile [5].

Disadvantages:
Enemy [-5]; Insomniac [-10]; Congenial [-1]; Colourblindness [-10]; Curious [-5]; Expressiveness [-1]; Nocturnal [-20].

Skills:
Body Language Per+2 13 [8]; Brawling DX+2 14 [4]; Carousing HT+2 13 [4]; Cooking IQ+1 [4]; Disguise IQ+1 11 [4]; Erotic Art DX+2 14 [8]; Gesture IQ+0 10 [1]; Hiking HT+0 11 [2]; Housekeeping IQ+2 [4]; Poetry IQ+0 10 [2]; Sex Appeal HT+3 14 [12].

Noncredo and Marburg

Noncredo is an equatorial continent on Regina, a rough irregular quadrilateral approximately 3,500km by 7,000km at its greatest extents, not including the outlying islands. Credo, the capital, lies just south of the equator on the east coast.

Marburg is a city of approximately 200,000 roughly 2,000km northwest of Credo, across the Great Desert, in the foothills of the mountains bisecting Noncredo from the northern tip to the horsehead-shaped bay between Credo and Corona. Its connections with the outside world are grav or surface vehicles, and the Rovenka River from the mountains to a bay on the northeastern coast.


Not shown: grav vehicle separation layers above the city.

Old Town is the original city site, and today is mostly poor and decayed. Wealthy residents have largely moved to Tarlik Hill and similar areas; most commercial activity has moved to Newly Mesto, the more recent development of the city. Letishka Down is a minor spaceport; the wharves are still in operation but using gravitic cargo lifters more than waterbourne transport these days. The Duchess has a home out near Tarlik Hill although you’d be fortunate to ever see the place; Sniff and the Theekstons would most often be seen in Old Town although the latter have clients all over the city.