Monday, April 22, 2019

Traveller New Service

Traveller News Service bulletins can be a convenient and effective in-game method to provide players with some interesting color or background information, to drop in some adventure hooks, and to establish a sense of time passing.

Bulletins can also be used to transmit metaplot events, for both good and bad. If used well, metaplots provide an exciting stage for players to do something. The Fifth Frontier War, for example, generally succeeds at this. But if used poorly, metaplots become backdrop, and the players are stuck as a passive audience while massive events unspool before their eyes and distant NPCs drive the action. Much of the Rebellion suffered from this sort of railroading.

For my money, the GURPS Traveller TNS bulletins are a great example of walking the line. They evoke a living, active world—but a world in which the players have agency to act.

Kline (Magyar 3012) Date: 046-1102

Images of atrocities from the Imperial world of Einkamp (Magyar 3020 E8648BD-6) continue to spark public concern and condemnation across the subsector. A recent exposé by “lifestyle holographer” HotLolz69420xxx documented civilian suffering from a conflict that pits the paramilitary regime of General Carlos Zakiah against a growing insurgency. Sophont rights groups have called upon the Duchess of Walpurgis to launch a formal investigation into onworld conditions.

Kugle (Magyar 2423) Date: 081-1102

The interface line Celestine Transfers announced that one of its merchant vessels has been seized at the foreign port of Ensley (Magyar 2019 B420578-D) in the Reformed Dootchen Estates. Celestine Transfers is seeking help from the Imperial Ministry of State to secure freedom for the detained crew of the far trader Béziers, which has been held now for over 90 days.

Kline (Magyar 3012) Date: 095-1102

Hong Borges, the Minister of Information for the embattled world of Einkamp (Magyar 3020), issued a fiery rebuke to reports linking his planetary government to recent atrocities. Minister Borges insisted that such reports were the fabrications of off-world agitators with ties to the Solomani Confederation. The minister further asserted that the Einkamp government remains firmly in control of its world.

Kline (Magyar 3012) Date: 097-1102

In her daily press briefing, Lieutenant Colonel Hermila Fierro, spokesperson for the Unified Armies of Walpurgis, noted that the Imperial Army, at the direction of the Duchess of Walpurgis, had recently offered military assistance to General Zakiah of Einkamp (Magyar 3020), whose military forces are battling an insurgency outside the capital city of Zaidium. Although jump troop regiments from the 30th Lift Infantry Army stand ready for deployment, General Zakiah’s government has not yet responded to the offers of aid.

Kline (Magyar 3012) Date: 099-1102

In a widely disseminated article titled “Our Einkamp Problem,” Solomani playwright and activist Henrik Liu claims that the Third Imperium’s myopic focus on interstellar trade cause it to prioritize stability and control over individual freedoms and personal expression, resulting in support for repressive dictators such as General Zakiah.

Kline (Magyar 3012) Date: 110-1102

The Imperial financial megacorporation Hortalez et Cie announced today that it had canceled a significant development loan package to Einkamp (Magyar 3020), citing concerns about the stability of the world’s government. Subsector stocks fell sharply for two corporations with significant holdings on Einkamp, Ling-Standard Products and Instellarms, while stock for Hortelez moved up in heavy trading.

Skyhaven (Magyar 3118) Date: 112-1102

Delgado corporate executive Sir Mason Nealy and his family have been reported missing while vacationing on Skyhaven (Magyar 3118 B588501-C). Nealy has been an assistant regional director for the Delgado megacorporation since 1099. Skyhaven, known for its lush and exotic native ecosphere, has become a popular tourist destination over the last 40 years. The Imperial Ministry of Justice has reportedly focused its investigation on the Jarslavi Cartel, a powerful criminal network known to kidnap wealthy individuals for ransom. So far no party has claimed responsibility for the Nealy family’s disappearance.

Kline (Magyar 3012) Date: 118-1102

No evidence of any Solomani interference on Einkamp, say sources within the Kline Security Directorate. The KSD, the planetary intelligence service for Kline, monitors and evaluates subsector-wide threats and is known to work closely with Imperial intelligence agencies. The unnamed KSD sources directly contradict the recent accounts of General Zakiah, the dictatorial ruler of Einkamp (Magyar 3020 E8648BD-6). The KSD believes that the Einkamp insurgency is a largely domestic movement with few interstellar ties.

Wicker (Magyar 2728) Date: 119-1102

The non-governmental organization Emancipation Interstellar (EI), based on Tolson (Magyar 2106 A432ADH-E), has launched a new advocacy campaign targeting the android bloodsports that are a multi-million-credit industry on Wicker (Magyar 2728 A742843-C). While these events draw enthusiastic spectators from across the sector, EI holds that these sports are inhumane and should be banned under Imperial law, which extends broad protections to intelligent, living beings while withholding such rights from intelligent, non-living beings such as robots. An EI press release notes that, while androids may have some mechanical components they are largely biological creatures and as such should be afforded the same rights as any other living beings under Imperial law.

Kline (Magyar 3012) Date: 134-1102

A recent report from the Solomani Confederation-backed news outlet Veriti questions the financial relationship between the Adelbert family of Duchess Shanika and General Star Construction. The corporation had been awarded a no-bid contract for the construction of a new starport terminal at Mirjam Downport on Kline. The project, which has been undertaken amidst unusual levels of secrecy, has been subject to much speculation over the last 15 months. Veriti bureau chief Katrina Peron also intimated that further revelations about the starport terminal would be forthcoming. A spokesman for the Duchy of Walpurgis declined to comment on the Veriti allegations.

Kline (Magyar 3012) Date: 141-1102

Dame Ofelia Abrams of the Imperial Starport Authority denies any impropriety associated with the no-bid contract that was awarded to General Star Construction for the new terminal at the Kline starport. She noted that all such contracts are subject to strict anti-corruption review, and that Duchess Shanika’s family had no influence on the award. Dame Ofelia further noted that, under Imperial regulations the Authority is only permitted to utilize no-bid contracts under very specific circumstances, such as to provide disaster relief or address economically critical infrastructure.

Einkamp (Magyar 3020) Date: 142-1102

In a nearly four-hour speech transmitted across the worldnet of Einkamp, a defiant General Zakiah blamed an “offworld conspiracy” for planting false stories about his embattled government in the interstellar press. The General called on his citizens to hold fast in the face of recent economic hardships, and vowed revenge against “all foreign enemies of Einkamp.”

Hrongding (Magyar 2817) Date: 144-1102

The 109th Fleet is reportedly investigating accounts of a recent Solomani intrusion into the Veneet (Magyar 2519 C742865-8) system. Witnesses claim that a squadron of Confederation Navy cruisers emerged briefly into the outer system, then jumped away before local defense forces could intercept. Such provocations are not unusual on both sides of the border, as the Imperial and Confederation navies regularly probe the defences of their rivals.

Gyurenek (Magyar 2912) Date: 154-1102

Force Commander Venita Sauls of the 1,670th Imperial Marines Line Regiment announced today that Operation Proud Copper was finally drawing to a close and all marine forces would soon leave the surface of Rouern (Magyar 3213 D5568DC-4). The low-tech world is dominated by a religious sect that has rejected most technology to embrace a radically simplified lifestyle. An offshoot of the Solomani Catholic Church, adherents of the sect have been blamed for acts of violence against Imperial institutions. Operation Proud Copper was a police action launched in 1097 in an attempt to prevent further violence. The Diocese of Rouern issued a terse statement thanking the Marines for their assistance.

Kline (Magyar 3012) Date: 155-1102

Sir Virgilio Khan, seneschal to Duchess Shanika, announced the imminent opening of a new starport terminal at Mirjam Downport. The terminal is notable for accommodating the low-gravity, thin-atmosphere environmental preferences of the Vegans, an alien race native to Muan Gwi (Solomani Rim 1717). Sir Virgilio explained that the terminal is intended to encourage trade with the high-tech Vegan Autonomous District. The seneschal noted that the Duchess believes that with Vegan assistance Kline could become the first world in Magyar to reach Technology Level 15.

Kline (Magyar 3012) Date: 165-1102

The famed solicitor Deon Lund, attorney for Veriti editor Katrina Perot, held a press conference today to announce that his client was being detained by Imperial authorities and had not been seen for over two weeks. “Ms Perot is the bureau chief for an accredited news organization, one responsible for important investigative reporting across Kline subsector. For her to be held incommunicado is yet one more example of the rampant abuses allowed to the Third Imperium under the over-broad Official Secrets Act. The Act circumvents due process, and allows for indiscriminate harassment and suppression of freedom of the press.”

Traveller News Service is another Imperium wide benefit of membership in the Travellers' Aid Society.

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