The Galactic Gourmet
This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Freelance Traveller.
No. of Players: 2-6
Required Equipment: Starship
Required Skills: None
The party is approached by Andin Gustavus, a chef and restaurateur renowned throughout the subsector. He is planning a tour to scout out restaurant locations on other worlds and wants to hire the group’s ship as transport, as well as employ them as aides and bodyguards. He will possibly have other work for them in the future if they do a good job. He offers to pay standard charter rates for the duration, plus Cr1500 per crew member per week that participates. Naturally, a few gourmet meals are also part of the deal.
Select 6-8 worlds in the subsector with starport class A or B for Gustavus to visit. If there are fewer than that number of worlds in the subsector which meet that criteria, then select a few worlds in the immediately adjacent subsector(s) to round out the number. He will spend a week on each world, during which time the group will have varied duties depending on the circumstances he encounters. The referee is not limited to using only one or two of the following circumstances; one per week may be imposed to create a mini-campaign if need be.
- A crowd of fans and well-wishers has gotten advance notice of Gustavus’ arrival and mobs him almost as soon as he steps off the starship. The PCs will be hard-pressed to prevent harm to him as they try to get him to safety. Each character providing aid must throw their DEX or less on 2D or take 2 hits from being roughed up by the crowd. The referee should make the same throw for Gustavus. On any round in which fewer than half of the characters succeed, and Gustavus fails, Gustavus will take one hit. If Gustavus and half or more of the characters succeed, or if all characters escape damage (regardless of whether Gustavus’ throw succeeds), they succeed in getting a shaken Gustavus to safety.
- One of Gustavus’ rivals has allowed his animosity to overtake him and he has subsequently decided to dog the chef through the subsector attempting to undermine and discredit him. On any world the PCs and Gustavus visit, throw 2D for 7 exactly. If the throw is successful, the rival has spread rumors and lies about Gustavus and his methods that will set the press on the party and impose a -2 DM on any reactions to them. The rival himself will be present on a further throw of 2D for 12 exactly. If present, he will loudly and publicly confront Gustavus directly, ridiculing him and trying to turn his fans and potential business partners against him. He will quickly accept any challenge to compete through cooking.
- An overeager fan of the great chef has, through trickery or plain good luck, managed to bypass all guards and reach her hero. While meaning no harm, her gushing praise and overly friendly manner may appear on the outside to be unbalanced, possibly even dangerous behavior. Unfortunately, the media is ever-present, and any harsh treatment of the woman by the PCs will be beamed around the planet in seconds, with appropriate social and legal results.
- Gustavus is confronted by a group of people who believe that they each contracted food poisoning from one of his restaurants (referee’s call as to whether or not the accusation is true) and blame him for it. They demand restitution. The offended group will number 1D times the number of PCs. They are not armed (that the adventurers know of), but they are angry, frustrated, and more than willing to escalate the situation. Of course, if any of Gustavus’ establishments is responsible, he will want to investigate forthwith.
- While hosting a cooking event, Gustavus commits some breach of local propriety, whether through his actions, his choice of foodstuffs, or even his choice of ingredients. The offense is considered serious enough on this planet that the situation may even progress to violence. The adventurers have the option of hustling the chef off-world as quickly as possible before the crowd gets hold of him, or dusting off their best diplomatic skills to head off any unpleasantness.
- As 3, except that the fan is deranged and committed to harming Gustavus. The referee is encouraged to make this person as smart and dangerous as necessary to give the group a good runaround.
- After an orderly appearance on a broadcast interview, some well-behaved fans appear at the studio exit to request that Gustavus autograph copies of his book. Gustavus would be happy to comply… except that he hasn’t written a book, and will insist on staying on-world to investigate and find out who is actually responsible for the book. The referee has discretion to determine Gustavus’ willingness to be associated with the book.
As always, the referee must determine the flow of subsequent events.