“Navigator” – Space Tramp – Chapter 11 (Megatraveller Fan Ficiton)

Happy Tyr’s Day

Story:

If there was one continued disappointment for Jeremiah is that many of his assignments had no bonuses to them.  If it wasn’t for the continued good pay of being a 1st Officer his savings toward owning his own starship would be very negligible.  As it was he lived a very Spartan lifestyle ( other than the once a month trips to whatever local bar and brothel there was on a system) and still put a lot away, but those missing bonuses were just not to be found in the standard route assignments he found so often in his life.

This last year he had easily found work as a first officer being the bridge crewman and pilot of the far trader known as Red Grasshopper III. They were on a route out toward the center of the Imperium but six jumps out would return back to Regina.  It was a well-known route and well patrolled by the Imperium so no trouble was expected.  It was however new to Jeremiah and so he learned some new things and saw some new places.

The captain was also the owner and played the role of that very well.  Senior Captain Largo Frogman, was a good captain with the right balance of running his ship with discipline, encouragement as well as striking a good balance between micromanagement and letting his crew free to do their jobs.  The Grasshopper was well maintained by her engineer and the steward/medic was top notch.  Jeremiah was the pilot and shared that with the captain. He sat in the navigation co-pilot seat a lot.

This was great for him as he began to fine-tune his navigation skills.  He smiled at his ability to come up with his own course routes through a system and jump coordinates were getting much easier. He could program the computer with the navigation himself. By the end of the trip, he took the Navigation Journeyman exam and passed so now both Pilot and Navigator had the word Journeyman next to them on his Free Trader ID card.

When they touched down in Regina a year after setting out, Captain Frogman thanked him for his hard work and excellent navigation.  He didn’t promise him a spot for the next voyage, but he was open to the idea if Jeremiah wanted it.

Jeremiah was uncertain because he was looking for something more lucrative than a simple Route assignment.  As much as he liked Captain Frogman he needed something more profitable and so he would chance it on a new assignment.   He gathered his gear and headed to The Naked Gypsy.

As usual, the bar/brothel didn’t fail to lift his spirits.  He ran into some dock workers he knew from back a few years and bought them a round of drinks.  After a couple hours, they left and he headed upstairs to the brothel.  He found that a lot of the girls that had been there when he had first started coming there were gone.  Madam Anabelle explained that many of them retired. Jeremiah shook his head – prostitutes retiring at 26 standard years was something he couldn’t fathom.  Lots of time on your back leads to time on your back sunbathing somewhere. It made him smile.

There was a new girl that caught his eye and he asked to see if she was available.  Mirana was as young as he had been when he left Strouden but she obviously has skills he had never thought of that age which he learned in the hour he spent with her.  He went next door and got a room in the hotel.  He checked the job list.  He needed something to make some money. When girls of the evening are retiring faster than you and you are a spacer, it’s time to double your efforts

Megatraveler Notes:

Start:

Free Trader 1st Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O4 – 1st Officer   Terms Served: 2

UPP: A67A74   Age: 27  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 1, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 5, Bonus Money: 25000 Cr.

Year Ten:

Roll for position availability: 9 + 1 for Intelligence = 10 – position available, serves as 1st Officer

Roll for assignment: 4 + 1 for Social 5- = 5 –  Route Assignment

Survival Roll: 7  – Survives.

Skill Roll: 8 – Skill acquired.

Bonus: 3  – No Bonus

Roll for Skills: (1 for skill roll) – Rolls Business Table rolls: 2 – Space cascade – picks Navigation – 2

Year-End

Free Trader 1st Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O4 – 1st Officer   Terms Served: 2

UPP: A67A74   Age: 28  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 2, Navigation – 2, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Zero-G Combat-1, Handgun – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 5, Bonus Money: 25000 Cr.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Streetwise” – Space Tramp – Chapter 7 (MegaTraveller Fan Fiction)

Happy Thor’s Day

Story:

Jeremiah did land on his feet, but it wasn’t the way he expected. He was looking for a new ship to serve but everyone was pretty much full and he would have had to take a position as enlisted if he settled for a couple of the jobs.  Then a job with the Free Trader branch office on Regina presented itself. He was fairly sure this meant staying planetside for a year, but he figured it was at least a position that was acceptable for a 2nd Officer.

He became one of the Free Trader Office’s representatives with the various labor unions on Regina, particularly the starport dockworker’s unions. This involved a whole different kind fo diplomacy as the unions were often at odds with the free traders because each captain had to contract individually with them or in small groups of ships.  This was very unlike their contracts withe various star lines, but on occasion, the Free Trader’s Union would negotiate a flat rate for all free Trader captains.  But then it would change and the whole game would start over again.

So Jeremiah worked for a lot of different Free Trader captains negotiating rates for the dock workers. It actually offered him a deeper look into the underworld nature of Regina.  Yeah. regina is the Sector capital and yeah it’s tech level is high, but it also has a seedier side and Jeremiah found out about various parts of it.  He wasn’t sure this past year which had been handier to have – his ability to party at a bar with union bosses; his blade on his hip that he could use well; or his developing sense of being streetwise.

One union boss tried to drink him under the table but he reversed it on her and in the process got a better deal for three Free Trader members.  The next day to show there were no hard feelings; she took him to bed so that lead to even more deals with her particular union group.  Some forms of negotiation were definitely very enjoyable.

Another occasion involved a strike of some of the dockworkers but one hand on his blade was enough to send them packing.  A thug from another union tried some shit with him and the blade came in handy again. Although he never actually got any blood on it.  The threat was enough and only once did he have to pull it and the wide eyes of the thug whose neck it suddenly found itself pointed at were enough to make Jeremiah smile.

Of course, there were some deals that were less than above board legally.  Getting sensitive goods around customs for example. Some union bosses would offer a lower rate for a wink and a nod when it came to other activities of a less than legal nature. Smuggling was everywhere. Jeremiah simply learned how to do these things and who to talk to when it counted. Between his new understanding of the streets and his legal knowledge, he walked the fine line between legal and illegal many times.

It was a long year where he never got past the cargo holds of most ships but he learned a lot about the starport dockworkers and the Regina criminal underground.  His old days on Strouden now made a little more sense. Navigating this underground, and its less than savory world, had a lot of uses.

His contract complete with the Free Trader Union, he sat in now what had become his favorite hangout The Naked Gypsy. He now hoped the next contract would get him back into space. He heard Captain Juros had settled into retirement, so that was out.  No, he needed to have the deck of a ship under him again and to see new worlds again.  He disliked this last year financially because it required he maintain an apartment and so he hadn’t made any money but had survived.

He downed his glass and according to custom headed upstairs to the brothel.  He was a little wiser and it was still a long few years until he could test for his 1st Officer exam.  Time to learn and grow as much as possible.  Well, that and enjoy life when possible.  Madam Heather said there were a few new girls since his last visit.  Time to try one out.

Megatraveler Notes:

Free Trader 2rd Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O3 – 2nd Officer   Terms Served: 1

UPP: A67A74   Age: 23  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 1, Navigation – 1, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 4, Bonus Money: 25000 Cr.

Year Six:

Roll for position availability: 8+ 1 for Intelligence = 9  – position available.

Roll for assignment: 7 + 1 for Social 5- = 8 – No Business

Survival Roll: 5 – survives,

Skill Roll: 3 – Skill acquired.

Bonus: N/A

Roll for Skills: ( 1 fo skill roll): Rolls Planet Life Table: 2 – Streetwise – 1

MegaTraveller Shorthand

Free Trader 2rd Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O3 – 2nd Officer   Terms Served: 1

UPP: A67A74   Age: 24  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 1, Navigation – 1, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Streetwise – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 4, Bonus Money: 25000 Cr.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Corsair” – Space Tramp – Chapter 6 (MegaTraveller Fan Fiction)

Happy Tyr’s Day

Story:

Captian Junos shook Jeremiah’s Hand for the last time as his captain.   She told him it had been an honor to serve with him and to be his captain.  He, in turn, thanked her for all the training and support she had given him for the last five years.  She was retiring and selling the Regina Strider because the last speculative trade run had not only been very profitable, it had put the last pieces in place for her to retire on Regina, her homeworld.

Jeremiah thought back to the day after the refit was finished and the captain had accounted what was going to happen that next year. Firstly that he was not going to be the pilot or engineer that year.  He was not even going to be the Steward/Medic.  Rather he took the role of navigator/security officer.  Captain Junos had hired a top-notch pilot and engineer and they were not going to need a steward as they were engaged purely in a speculative trade run in very lucrative goods along the border of the Empire.

That’s why the refit of the Regina Strider had also involved installing a weapons turret with a missile launcher. Something that before they left Jeremiah was trained to operate as it would be his responsibility in the event of a pirate attack to use the turret in combat.  In simulations, he was eventually very good at it.

The one problem was that he was a security officer and he realized he had never actually been trained in anything martial.  He began to ask around and discovered that the new engineer had been in the military and has some knowledge of weapons.  Jeremiah asked if he would train him and the engineer, a rough middle-aged man, suggested he learn to use small blades.

There were a lot of reasons for this.  Inside a starship, a battle was going to be close quarters and so distance weapons would be less important.  Secondly, a blade was a solid weapon that on most systems one could still wear openly or concealed for personal protection.  It was easier to learn knife fighting than most other things. The entire trip the engineer trained him in small blades and even though he never had to actually use the skills he had learne, he was good at using them by the end of the trip.

The real test came as they entered a system to refuel at a gas giant.  There was no good starport so they were simply going to top off the fuel tanks and run the onboard purifier.  The process took some days because you had to travel to the gas giant. Doing hyperspace jump in a strong gravity well is dangerous.  So, you then had to travel enough distance away from the gravity well of the gas giant to jump all the while letting the purifier refine the fuel.

They were approaching the gas giant when the corsair starship appeared. Hails did no good as it was clear that the pirates intended to disabling the Regina Strider and boarding her. Jeremiah activated the missile launcher and after getting a target lock fired a salvo of three missiles.  The corsair had not expected a merchant ship with teeth but continued to pursue despite the missiles. Jeremiah guided the three missiles and used his skill to make them come in from three directions.

The Pilot maneuvered their ship to be evasive and Captian Juros showed a little knowledge of ship tactics.  The end result was the pirate ship was hit twice but did manage to hit the Strider with its own beam weapons which disabled the maneuver drive. The corsair, however, must have been gravely damaged as it broke off and disengaged. limping back the way it came. Jeremiah sent a couple missles after it to keep it moving away.

The engineer and the rest of the crew of Strider went to work getting the maneuver drive back up and running and succeeded in a few hours. With the corsair nowhere on the sensors, they fueled up and headed to the jump point. The hyperspace jump was a welcome relief as everyone was on edge thinking the corsair would reappear, but it never did.

A couple jumps later they were back on Regina.  The cargo they brought had done far better than expected. Jeremiah was given a large bonus and Captian Junos announced her retirement.  As it turned out the pilot and engineer were old friends of hers who had over the years invested in her ship.  All of them were going to retire to very comfortable lives.

All of them met at The Naked Gypsy for a combination of celebrations.  Captain Junos’ retirement from the Free Traders was well celebrated by many free trader captains. But also Jeremiah had passed his 2nd Officer exam and had been promoted. Captain Junos said it was fitting that as she was going out, a bright star of the future was rising.  She was very proud of the man he had become and even said so. She was glad that she had taken a chance on a young man from Strouden those five years ago.

Eventually, the celebrations died down and Captian Junos said goodbye to him.  She had a ship to put up for sale and then was traveling to another city on Regina where she had purchased a home. She did something he didn’t expect while telling him if he ever needed her help with something to not hesitate to call her; she kissed him.  Gently and with a lot of motherly love, something that Jeremiah had never experienced in truth until then.  He watched her leave with a large sadness in his heart.

The rest of the evening he sat at the bar and pondered his next move. His possessions were in a duffle bag at his feet and everything else was on his person. It seemed strange to not have the Strider to go back to as it had been his home for five years.  He had learned a lot these last five years and now it was time to put that to the test in finding a new ship and captain to serve. He was wondering what challenges were in store for him next.

He downed his last drink and then gathered his duffle bag over his shoulder.  He was a Spacer and he would land on his feet.  In the meantime, it was time for some companionship of the female variety, so he headed upstairs to the brothel.

Megatraveler Notes:

Free Trader 3rd Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O2 – 3rd Officer   Terms Served: 1

UPP: A67A74   Age: 22  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 1, Navigation – 1, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Carousing – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 3 

Year Five:

Roll for position availability: 8+ 1 for Intelligence = 9  – position available.

Roll for assignment: 9 + 1 for Social 5- = 10 – Speculative Trade

Survival Roll: 5 – survives (barely -again),

Skill Roll: 5 – Skill acquired.

Bonus: 9 – Bonus – roll: 6 muster out table: 50,000 Cr / 2 = 25000 Cr. bonus.

Promotion: 8 – Promoted to 2nd Officer

Roll for Skills: ( 1 fo skill roll/ 1 for promotion): Shipboard Life Table: Blade Combat Cascade: picks Small Blade – 1, Free Trader Service Table: 5 – Space Combat Cascade: Picks Gunnery Cascade: picks Turret Weapons -1

1 Brownie Point for promotion:

MegaTraveller Shorthand

Free Trader 2rd Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O3 – 2nd Officer   Terms Served: 1

UPP: A67A74   Age: 23  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 1, Navigation – 1, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Carousing – 1, Small Blade-1, Turret Weapons-1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 4, Bonus Money: 25000 Cr.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Downtime” – Space Tramp – Chapter 5 (MegaTraveller Fan Fiction)

 

Happy Tyr’s Day

Story:

Jeremiah sat at the bar and reflected on how this past year had been probably the most boring he had so far in the Free Traders had it not been for that close call he had had in this very bar a few months ago.  This year had been of one getting The Regina Strider her ‘stem to stern’ refit.  So for this year, he basically had been stuck on Regina.

Not that he went unpaid.  Captian Juros didn’t want to lose him so she offered him the pilot’s job again but she hadn’t needed a pilot.  She was at the port all the time during the refit making sure the techs and engineers did their job.  He, on the other hand, spent a lot of time at the local bars and brothels.

Not that it was completely wasted time.  He had to be cautious about his money as normally he had one week in port and the other three weeks were in space.  He still lived onboard The Strider in his stateroom.  So he couldn’t just blow his funds but he had a lot of time on his hands.

So he spent a lot of his time in the bars nursing the same drink for hours and talking with the patrons. You pick up a lot of information that way.  Mostly he learned to mingle with strangers as the bar patrons were constantly changing.  His confidence turned to ease is social situations that were much more suited to being a captain who could connect with people. Something he had not considered but he was learning that it was important for the purpose of forming business relationships and keeping customers happy and entertained.

There was however the one night when his interest was another Free Trader officer.  She was a young woman and just newly a 4th Officer called Kate.  He joined the celebration of her passing the exam when her boyfriend showed up who lived on Regina.  He became hostile with Kate for taking up the Free Traders.  When she told him it was over and he needed to leave, he grabbed her arm.

Jeremiah took exception to this and the guy pulled a knife.  He stabbed Jeremiah, but thankfully only a flesh wound, but it could have been worse.  Jeremiah for his part knocked the guy out with a punch.  After the paramedics and local police handled things it was late.  Jeremiah’s wound was handled and sealed, he would be fine in a day or so.  Kate thanked Jeremiah and he said it was nothing and prepared to leave.

She stopped him.

“Hey, I am shoving off tomorrow morning and my captain is going to take us toward the capital of the Empire.  I have a room rented next door in the hotel.  I would like to thank you more tangibly.”

Before Jeremiah could reply, she unzipped the front of her jumper revealing both of her well-formed breasts.  Then while Jeremiah sat there for a second shocked, she zipped back up and took his hand and walked him speechless out of the bar.  They spent a few passionate hours together. In the morning Jeremiah found himself alone in the hotel room.  She was gone.

As he sat in the bar now, he wondered where Kate might be but she was at least three hyperspace jumps away.  He drank the rest of his drink and looked around.  He had finished his first term in the Free Traders and had enlisted for his second.  The Regina Styrider’s refit was finished and they were getting ready to shove off the next day.  Time for one more night in the Regina Spaceport. There was a brothel down the street and he headed there for his last fling. Only when he walked out an hour later did he realize the girl he had hired looked like Kate.

He sighed and started walking to the Strider.  Downtime was over.

Megatraveler Notes:

Free Trader 3rd Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

UPP: A67A74   Age: 21  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 1, Navigation – 1, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 2 

Year Four:

Roll for position availability: 7 + 1 for Intelligence = 8 – position available.

Roll for assignment: 4 + 1 for Social 5- = 5 No Business

Survival Roll: 3 – survives (barely), Skill: 7 – Skill acquired. Bonus: N/A

Roll for Skill: Merchant Life Table: 2 – Carousing

Roll for Reenlistment for a Second Term: 7 + 1 for being an officer = 8.  Success

1 Browning point gained for the term completed.

MegaTraveller Shorthand

Free Trader 3rd Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

Rank: O2 – 3rd Officer   Terms Served: 1

UPP: A67A74   Age: 22  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 1, Navigation – 1, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal – 1, Carousing – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 3 

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Legal Trouble” – Space Tramp – Chapter 4 (MegaTraveller Fan Fiction)

Happy Tyr’s Day

Story:

Jeremiah walked down the open front ramp of The Regina Strider.  It had been a long year of exploring the edge of the Imperium for new trade routes. The last assignment with the rich patron had been enough for Captian Junos to decided to take a risk and try to trade across the border and look for new avenues to trade. Because this was going to require an expert in navigation, she hired Jeremiah this time as her Engineer and did the pilot/navigation duties herself.   It was still a position suitable for a 3rd Officer, so Jeremiah had accepted.

Jeremiah missed the pilot’s station on the bridge, but he was equally good at being a starship engineer.  He also knew that most of this would be routine because the Captain kept a well-maintained ship.  Besides he wanted to spend some time learning the one thing he still had not learned in order to be a captain – the interstellar legalities of owning and running a starship.  He and the ship’s library computer had become very well acquainted over this last year as he studied.  He also paid a lot more attention to the legal issues when they came into a new port or the captain talked to the local authorities.

The one close call they had during this run was when some of the cargo they were hauling was being unloaded and the crane operator (A Vargr) didn’t secure it properly and it collapsed on the ground and broke most of it. The recipient wanted to sue the Captain, but she deftly reminded them that once the cargo is secured by the operator, it is no longer the legal responsibility of the starship captain but falls on the port authority.

At the end of the year. Jeremiah took the basic certification test for the legal matters of interstellar law that would allow him to operate as a captain of a ship and passed.   It was noted on his records and at that moment he sat back and realized that one fo his first major goals of gaining the necessary skills and certifications to be a Starship Captain was achieved. Now it was just a matter of time and opportunity to make that happen.

As he walked through Regina’s starport he was somewhat relieved that this year there was no test waiting for him at the end. Once again his contract was up in a week or so and he would be looking for a position for the fourth and last year of his first term in the Free Traders. But first was the monthly ritual of heading to the local pub and having a pint of the house specialty and then finding some companionship for the evening.

Jeremiah had taken his captain’s advice to heart. That said, he didn’t always have to pay for that companionship.  He was after all young and fit.  The money he had earned in the Free Trader’s had allowed him to buy better clothes, so he looked and smelled nice.  He was a good looking young man now and his experience in other worlds was far more extensive than most. He handled himself now with confidence that most young men his age did not have. More often than not it was some young lady that would approach him at a bar and in the course fo getting to know each other better, he would find himself at her home in bed with her.

This had its dangers as one time it turned out that the young woman (a lovely olive-skinned brunette) was married and her husband unexpectedly came home. Yeah, his old warball skills came in handy on that one as he basically shoulder blocked the guy unconscious and then got dressed and left. After that, he asked a lot more questions and in some cases preferred the lesser drama of hiring a girl for the night.  He always knew where prostitutes stood as far as jealous significant others.

The one advantage he had in such things was that they were usually never in port for more than a week and he would just move on.  He was in some way relieved this year was over as it allowed him to take stock and see where he wanted to go from here. He had all the necessary skills to be a captain but what other things did he want to know or be able to do to be a great captain.

He mused on this as he walked and then he saw one of his favorite pub/brothel combinations, a favorite of the Free Traders called The Naked Gypsy.  There were a few girls there that he enjoyed the company of and they had an excellent beer. He smiled and walked in. Time enough to worry about the details of his career.  Right now he could taste the beer in his mouth and feel the body of the girl known as Cherry Rose against him in his mind. and he sought to make that a reality.

Megatraveler Notes:

Free Trader 3rd Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

UPP: A67A74   Age: 20  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 1, Navigation – 1, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 2 

Year Three: 

Roll for position availability: 8+ needed.  +1 Int 9+  rolls 7+1 = 8 finds position.

Roll of Assignment: Rolls 3 + 1 for Soc lower than  = 4-Exploratory Trade

Assignment: Survival: 5+ rolls 6 – survives.  Skill: 5 + rolls 8 gains a skill. Bonus 8+ rolls 7 no bonus.

Skills 1 – Rolls on Free Trader Service table – 4 – Economic cascade – picks Legal-1

With the Legal-1 skill, Jeremiah now has all the skills needed to roll for his promotions every term.

MegaTraveller Shorthand

Free Trader 3rd Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

UPP: A67A74   Age: 21  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 1, Navigation – 1, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Legal -1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 2 

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Captain’s Advice” – Space Tramp – Chapter 3 (MegaTraveller Fan Fiction)

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Story:

Jeremiah felt a moment of Deva Vu as the was waiting in the same waiting room on Regina for his 3rd Officer exam results as he had been for his 4th Officer. The only difference was Kimberly was no longer there. She had been promoted and unfortunately engaged to be married to some other bureaucrat.  He had called her as soon as The Regina Strider had touched down in the Starport; only to get the bad news from her own lips that she was no longer available.  Perils of being away for a year in space on a charter assignment for a rich patron.

It seemed a shame though, as he and Kim had gotten rather intimately acquainted for three days a year before. A good three days of drinking, sex, and conversation.  It ended with a call from Captain Juros who wanted to contract him out for another year. She had contacted The Strider to a rich patron who wanted them to take him and a survey team on tour of some new holdings he had bought in a couple systems.  He wanted a Jump-2 capable starship to save time and Juros had offered up the Strider.  She needed a pilot for the next year.  He took the contract.  Kim and he had sex one more time and he kissed her goodbye.

The next year was uneventful and rather safe, to be honest.  They only did a hyperjump four times, the last bringing them back to Regina.  It wasn’t dull though as he spent a lot of time helping the survey team with the sensors from orbit as the surveyed some areas on a couple planets and some asteroid belt content.  The patron was looking for something specific and didn’t find it, so no bonus, but he paid really well for some of the things they did find.

Because of the extra time Jeremiah spent a lot of time learning Navigation from the library computer and any time he could talk to about it with Captain Juros.  After the second jump, he tested and logged in Navigator skill to his abilities.  The third and fourth jumps, he not only piloted the ship but had been the one who had set the navigation coordinates himself.

“Jeremiah Kilwood”

Jeremiah got up and approached the desk and the masculine voice attached to the new man assigned to Kim’s old position.

Jeremiah identified himself.

“Congratulations 3rd Officer Kilwood, you passed. Here is your new ID.”

He took the new card in his hands which Read “Free Trader 3rd Officer Jerimiah Kilwood – Starship Pilot, Navigator, and Engineer.”

Jeremiah took the card and headed to the local spacer bar.  One that most of the Free Traders liked to go in order to drown their troubles or have a good time.  To his surprise, Captian Juros was there and she looked like she was waiting for him.

“So?”, she asked as he got near.

“I passed – 3rd Officer Kilwood reporting in”.

“Well, done. let me buy you a drink.”

In the next hour, Jeremiah unburdened himself a little to his captain of two years. He told her of his plans to be a captain himself one day and about Kim. He asked Juros about the whole thing because he had never written her and yet he was a little sad she had moved on. He puzzled about this dual problem of seeming not to care but still feeling sad all the same.

“Can I give you some captain’s advice about relationships?”

He nodded.

“You are a Spacer, kid.  My best advice then is to understand that all your relationships are short term. You want a long term relationship, settle down on a planet and find a girl and have kids.  That, however, has no place in the life of a spacer.  You can have a girl in every port if you want, but if they move on, you shrug and move on yourself. Your lover is space itself.  Trust me this will save you a lot of heartaches. Here.”

She slapped a credit note down on the table.

“What’s this for?”

“There is a brothel upstairs, I use it myself from time to time.  One of the men has particular skills I enjoy, but they have some pretty great gals too. Girls who understand you are a spacer and won’t be around tomorrow.  They will let you fuck them, hold you afterward and listen to you for the time allotted with patience. If you do take a lover sometimes, make it in the context of being a spacer and know it is not permanent.”

He nodded and tried to push back the note.

“No, take it and use it. Consider it a promotion present.”

After she left, Jeremiah nursed his drink for another half hour looking at the note and thinking. He had to admit, Captain Juros had good points. I mean, Kim and him had been a good thing for a few days, but she was clearly a planetside person.  He was spacer and any relationship of a romantic nature would have to be with another spacer. Even that though would have to be short term.  He had to admit the thing that meant most to him now was being in space.  At present, no girl was worth losing that.

He downed the rest of his drink and took up the note.  He smiled and headed upstairs.

Megatraveler Notes:

Free Trader 4th Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

UPP: A67A74   Age: 19  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 1, Engineering – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 1 

Year Two: 

Position Availability: 8+ +1 Int rolls: 8+1=9 Serves as 4th Officer.

Assignment Roll: 8 +1 for Soc: 5- =9 – Charter

Survival: 4+ rolls: 12; Skill: 6+ rolls: 7; Bouns: 10+ rolls: 3 no bonus.

Promotion: 6+ rolls: 10 – Promoted to 3rd Officer. Gain one skill.

Skills: 2 Rolls on Free Trader Business table: 5 – Exploratory Cascade – Chooses Sensor Ops – 1; Rolls on Free Trader Business table: 2 – Space Cascade – Choses Navigation – 1

Having been promoted as an officer this term he is not eligible for another until his second term: Gains one Brownie Point for the promotion.

Megatraveller Shorthand:

Free Trader 3rd Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

UPP: A67A74   Age: 20  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 1, Navigation – 1, Engineering – 1, Sensor Ops – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 2 

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Spacer” – Space Tramp – Chapter 2 – (Megatraveller Fan Fiction)

Happy Mani’s Day

Story:

Jeremiah anxiously waited to get the results of his 4th Officer Exam.  He had completed the necessary year contract classified as Route Assignment.  He had taken the test on the work station and now it was simply a matter of waiting to get the results.  If some of the test hadn’t been an essay, it could have been automatically graded, but it had essays so it required someone to look at it.  He couldn’t believe how far he had come both literally and figuratively in this last year.

It seemed now like an eternity ago that he stepped into the Starport of his homeworld Strouden looking to get off-world.  He headed to the starport employment agency and began to look at his options.  The opportunities were many from Megacorp service to the Free Traders. He already decided that Free Trader was the way for him to go for a couple reasons – everything else required a better education for a better chance and the Free Traders only required one-year contracts while all the line types required four. He wanted to keep his options open. He signed up for Free Trader Service and after a battery of testing both physical and mental, he was accepted into the Free Traders.  He was given his Free Trader ID Card and then placed on the list of prospective Trainee candidates.

He didn’t have long to wait as several captains extended him offers.  His strength scores attracting the freighter class captains for his potential offloading ability.  He was also a qualified Grav Vehicle driver.  But what caught his interest was a Captain who was more attracted to his intelligence as she offered to make him a true Spacer if he joined her ship. When he messaged her back to ask what she meant, she replied: “How would you like to be a Pilot?”  He signed a one year contract for a Route Assignment with her.

Free Trader Captain Mandy Juros was in her late 40s and she was the owner/captain of the Far Trader – The Regina Strider.  A Far Trader is a little different than the standard Free Trader as it exchanged the ability to do a two-parsec hyperspace jump for some cargo space. Strouden was isolated by space geography as there was only one nearby system within one parsec and it has an E class starport – that is a foundation of rock to land on and that was it.  You refueled at the systems gas giant.  A Standard Free Trader ship had to jump there and then to the next world which meant two months of time. The Regina Strider could do a two-parsec jump so it has a choice of seven different worlds to jump to but the only one was interesting as it put them on the route the captain wanted – Sharrip. She wanted to follow a route she had done before from Strouden to Regina.

Jeremiah, having never been off-world was excited but soon found himself too busy to enjoy all the sights of his first space voyage. The first thing he learned was the standard month of a spacer’s life on an active starship.  There is a one-week planetside where the ship is refueled, sells and then takes on cargo and passengers.  It takes one week on average to get to the jump point.  Once in hyperspace, the ship is there for a week and once out it; it requires as week usually to travel to the next starport.  Once landed the cycle repeats.  Jeremiah found himself loading cargo almost right away using his grav-vehicle license and muscles.  Once they were loaded, Captain Juros piloted the Ship to the jump point. In that week she sat him down at the controls and began to teach him.

Over the next months, they jumped to Sharrip, then Resten, then Quiru.  All of these worlds were low population but had good starports that provided a means for trade and travelers. When he wasn’t loading or unloading cargo, he was in his room learning to engineer or on the bridge using the simulator programs to sharpen his pilot skills.  The fourth jump, he was the one who ran the jump program and they arrived at Garrincski.  He piloted the starship to the starbase and did the landing. That next week, while at Starport, he took the Pilot’s exam and then the word ‘Starship Pilot’ appeared on his ID Card.

Captain Juros was at a loss because her contract with Jeremiah said that part of his pay would be teaching him Spacer skills in exchange for his services.  He had mastered being a Starship Pilot far sooner than expected and so she asked him what he wanted to learn next.

Jeremiah always had a view of the long term.  Up to now, he has been an orphan and not really all that important.  He knew the better jobs in the Free Traders went to officers. He had his route assignment so he knew at that point the 4th Officer test would be available to him at the end of it.  But he also knew that he could at the end of the second year, if he passed the commission test, he could take the 3rd Officer test, but that required Engineering skills. So he asked her to teach him Engineering.  She agreed.

The rest of the assignment was uneventful other than slowly but surely moved their way to Regina.  One month before they arrived, he took his Engineering Skills exam and passed.  Now His ID card also said: “Starship Engineer”,  Captian Juros shook her head.  It was a rare thing for a Spacer to basically get the two most desirable qualifications in a single year, but Jeremiah had done it.  He smiled and shrugged. One jump later they landed on the Sector Capital of Regina. He scheduled himself for his 4th Officer commission test at the Free Trader Association building.

The skill part of the test was a Vacc Suit familiarity test which he passed.  He had to don the Vacc Suit to do some repairs to the power plant that required him to do a spacewalk once so he was practically familiar with its operations.  Over the last year, he had simply had gotten familiar with Vacuum Suits by default. Then was the battery of tests on starship procedures and basic Imperial laws on Interstellar trade and travel. The Essays had been more about “Here is situation X, what do you do?”

“Jeremiah Kilwood”

The voice broke him from his musings.  He stood up from his chair in the mostly empty waiting room and headed to the counter.  Behind it was the woman who had said his name.  She was young like him with a cute face and nice curves.  Her brown hair and eyes accented her overall beauty really well.  As he approached she smiled at him.

“You Jeremiah Kilwood?”

“Yeah, that’s me.”

“Congratulations, you passed.  Let me be the first to call you 4th Officer Kilwood. Your new ID card.”

She handed him the new ID which had at the top: ‘Free Trader 4th Officer Jeremiah Kilwood’ Then his skill certifications were listed underneath. He beamed a huge smile.  He was no longer just a deckhand.  He was a Merchant Officer. More importantly with this first year done – he was a spacer.

“Oh, Officer Kilwood?”

“Yes.”

“My name is Kimberly Forrest.  If you have any questions, you can ask me.”

“This might be improper, but when do you get off work?”

She smiled and blushed slightly.

“It’s Ok, in about fifteen minutes.”

“I want to go celebrate, but I don’t have anyone to drink with me.  You game?”

“Ok, see you in a bit.”

Jeremiah sat back down in the waiting area and looked at his New ID.  He felt for the first time he was someone. Not just a nameless face in the crowd. Who knew, maybe someday instead of 4th Officer, it might read Captain.  But that was the far future. Right now there was a commission to celebrate and a girl to get to know.

Megatraveler Notes:

Start fo the year:

Jeremiah Kilwood

UPP: A67A74   Age: 18  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0 

Year One:

Rolls to Enlist in Merchant Service – Free Trader: Needs 7+: modifiers +1 for Strength and +2 for Intelligence.  Dice Roll: 8 + 3 = 11. Success. 

Position Availability: 8+ needed +1 for intelligence. roll: 9 + 1 = 10 Success

Assignment: roll: 5 – Route Assignment. Survival: Need 3+; roll: 7, Skills: Need 7+: roll: 8 success. Bonus: Need 11+ roll: 7 no bonus. Commission Exam: Need 6+ roll: 6 Commissioned as 4th Officer. 2 Skill rolls: Year and Commission.  Adds default skill Vacc Suit – 0 because of Merchant Service. Rolls on Free Trader Business (corrected) table: 5 – Exploratory Cascade Table – Picks: Pilot – 1, Rolls on Free Trader Business table again: 2 – Space Cascade table – Picks: Engineering – 1.

The commission earns Jeremiah his first Brownie Point.  These can be used to modify die rolls by one for each brownie point. 

Megatraveller Character Shorthand

Free Trader 4th Officer Jeremiah Kilwood

UPP: A67A74   Age: 19  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Pilot – 1, Engineering – 1, Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0, Vacc Suit – 0

Brownie Points: 1 

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Homeworld” – Space Tramp – Chapter 1 – (MegaTraveller Fan Fiction)

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day:

Story: 

Jeremiah pulled his overcoat tight as he stepped out into the street, the door sliding closed automatically behind him.  Strouden’s thin atmosphere made the planet cold so his boots, pants, shirt, and hat were all made to keep him warm. He made sure as a matter of routine that his filter mask was on and tight so the industrial pollutants of the planet’s atmosphere didn’t choke him. Of course with the planet starting to have overpopulation problems because of its size, one less mouth to feed so the government, which as basically an over-bloated bureaucracy, would probably not mourned his loss that much.

He was a well built young man with muscles, probably helped along by the planets 1.1 G gravity, but he also possessed an intelligent mind.  It was his mind right now that was troubling him the most as he wrestled with his thoughts.   He had just had a conversation with the orphanage head that reminded him in a week he would reach the age of majority and effectively be on his own. The orphanage had been his home for sixteen years since both his parents were killed in an industrial accident.  Strouden’s government had been his guardian ever since.

It wasn’t all bad. Standard education was provided for him for free, but teachers were only interested in getting the students their basic knowledge which amounted to how to handle computers in the most basic of senses and drive gravitic vehicles which on the industrial planet was a must-know skill.  He had three meals a day, a place to sleep and a small stipend to spend.  Out on the streets, some of the kids with parents didn’t have it that good.

There was however some downsides. The heads were constantly changing as this orphanage being in the more poor and rough part of the industrial part of town, was not a desirable place for a bureaucrat looking at upward mobility. The same was true for the teachers who would change out every year.  This lack of consistency left a hole for a lot of them as far as strong male or female figures in their life.

Life was regimented during work hours which were six days a week and for 10 hours. The other times there were rules that prevented fraternization between boys and girls while inside the orphanage, but outside that, government bureaucracy didn’t care what you did on your own time as long as you showed up when the time was appointed to work.  Training for the future. As he got older more freedom was given during these off-hours as long as curfew was observed. From the time he hit his teens, he had freedom of movement as long as he showed up the next morning for classes.

Of course, this meant the vices of life were available to him fairly early.  Girls and sex were there and he had partaken often of their pleasures. It was one of those things all the orphans did to alleviate the monotony and perhaps get some sense of human closeness however fleeting.  From the moment they hit puberty, the government-mandated birth control prevented pregnancy and disease for the most part. Alcohol and drugs he avoided.  But he did like to gamble, although he had the restraint to not blow everything.  Officially, these vices were not allowed to underage teenagers, but unofficially, as far as he could tell, those rules were never enforced.

The criminal element was strong in this part of town and the temptations therein were high for a young teenage boy.  But Jeremiah was a watcher and waiter and often avoided the pitfalls. He spent some time with his friend Jake who became his gym partner and somehow had found a handgun that they both practiced within the sewers.  He could at least shoot straight but was no expert.  Jake said in this world one better learn to defend himself. Jeremiah could not argue based on what he had seen in his homeworld.

Jeremiah soon became part of the ‘war ball league’ which was run by the underground criminal element of the planet.  It basically was a game where you tried to get an oval ball across a line at one end of a field or the other.  Jeremiah was a good blocker and tackler for his team and soon he had a sort of street cred that caused a lot of the people to treat him with respect. They even paid him a little money. But that was coming to an end very soon, so Jeremiah was weighing his future options. He may be an orphan but he did have some.

The first was right in front of him every game, join the planet’s criminal element and become one of them.  The orphanages became some of the best recruitment tools of thieves, cutthroats, bosses,  prostitutes, drug dealers, etc. in the city. He was strong and of a social standing low enough, he might not be missed if he fell off the grid. He even had some street cred already.  One thing Jeremiah noted, however, is he saw very few old criminals.

The other option planetside is one every orphanage resident was offered which was to be a member of the planet’s bureaucratic class. Becoming a drone in an office was not appealing to him.  He had to admit, there was a wanderlust to him.  Something inside was pulling him off-world to the stars, but how would someone like him find his way onto a starship?

The Imperial  Navy? He knew that Social Standing meant a lot there as well as education.  Probably not.  Better would be the Imperial Marines but he to admit to himself, despite his war ball prowess, he was not a naturally violent person. It was for this reason he quickly dismissed the Marines, Army and planetside forces. He valued freedom when he could get it and moving from one form of regimented life to another did not appeal to him at all. The Scout Service might have appealed but there was not Base on the planet to sign up and he had no money to travel to another planet to do so.

He stopped walking for a minute and looked around him.  The grey cold atmosphere of the planets industrial heart all around him. The metal and other manufactured materials adding to the gloom.  The light of advertising and the building were even cold and harsh to him.  But there was one place that was not like this at all.  The trade hub around the starport.  All the bright corporate logos and the flamboyant free traders were there engaged in trading, buying and selling.  He loved going there, the atmosphere was intoxicating.

Suddenly an idea struck him and he headed off in the direction of the trade hub with a plan rolling in his head. If he could just convince one of the traders to take him on as a hand, he might be able to get off this miserable planet and see the stars he longed for.

Megatraveller Notes: 

Welcome to Space Tramp, a work of Megatraveller fan fiction. Basically, I am taking an advanced character creation process and developing it into a fully fleshed-out story background. In each part, I will end with the notes for that year.  What I rolled and any modifiers I added or changed because of the roleplay of the character will be noted. This is the first part so it will probably be a little longer but if you bear with me, then it each part after this will make more sense.

Name: Jeremiah Kilwood  Sex: Male  Universal Personality Profile (UPP): A67A74  Age:18

Explanation: Jeremiah is an 18-year-old human male.  In order of his UPP – Strength:10, Dexterity: 6, Endurance: 7, Intelligence: 10, Education: 7, and Social Standing: 4. He is stronger than most people and more intelligent with scores of 10 in both which in Megatraveller are represented as ‘A’s. He has average endurance and slightly less than average dexterity.  Physically he is a strong guy but otherwise unremarkable.   His education level is average coupled with his high intelligence gives him the ability to learn 17 skill levels at present.  His social standing, however, is low.

Homeworld: Strouden / Lunion Subsector/ Spinward Marches

Universal World Profile: A745988-D N Hi In

Jeremiah’s Homeworld is Strouden which is found in the Lunion Subsector fo the Spinward Marches sector. If you have the map is it hex: 2327. Doing the UWP in order. Starport A which means the world not only services starships but builds them.  Size 7 is slightly smaller than Earth.  The atmosphere is 4 which means thin and tainted by industrial pollutants. Hydrographics is 5 which means the world is half covered by water. The population is 9 which puts it in the billions of people. The government is 8 – Civil Service Bureaucracy.  People are employed by the government based on their expertise and skills. Law level is 8 which is high law which means no weapons allowed except small blades that have to be concealed. Technology Level is D or “13”  which high is but pretty standard for the main worlds of the Imperium. The N indicates Strouden is an Imperium Naval Base.  No scout base is however present other than the x-boat station for the couriers.  ‘Hi’ indicates a classification for a trade of a High Population world. ‘In” indicates industrial which indicates that trade classification.  Given both of these, Strouden is a good trade world both in that it is both a good supplier and market for goods.

Skills: Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun- 0

Three default skills based on his homeworld’s characteristics – no disadvantage or advantage here and no skill levels actually taken.

In Megatraveller shorthand form:

Jeremiah Kilwood

UPP: A67A74   Age: 18  Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In

Skills: Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0 

The next part will have Jeremiah trying to join the Merchant Service and his first year therein.  

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Happy Sif’s Day and Some Personal and Writing Notes” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sif’s Day

Sif: Gold-Haired Earth Goddess

After a week’s deliberation, I decided that from henceforth, Saturn’s Day will now be Sif’s Day.  I juggled Eostre and Idun in this spot but in the end, I think Thor’s wife, goddess of the land, earth, and harvest takes Saturn’s Place the best.  Her story in Norse mythology is the one where her hair is shaved off, presumably by Loki as a prank.  Thor threatens to hurt Loki repeatedly unless he fixes the problem.  Through a complex, multilayered scheme, Loki convinces the Dwarves to create living gold hair that when Sif places it on her head attaches itself and becomes her hair.

Other than that, Sif represents the fertility of the earth.  Something that is missing from the week with the current gods and goddesses.  As Thor’s wife, the rain – earth duo is in the days now.  I rejected Idun and Eostre in the end because they already have their time of the year all to themselves in many respects.  Sif represents the constant and continual bounty of the earth in all seasons.  With Sol, we have the bright sun goddess who is a beacon of life and truth.  With Frigg, we have hearth and home.  Freya gives us a passionate woman both in love and war.   The addition of Sif gives us the hard-working woman in the field. A welcome addition.

So. Happy Sif’s Day.

Personal Notes: 

This is not a The Grey and The Wayfarer post. But after writing my four-part series of getting things off my chest so to speak, I have felt much better.  I have thought of some of these things far less and seem to be moving on better. Perhaps the Storm is breaking and some sun is shining through at last.  Time to get moving.

My job search can be a little frustrating at times. I learned recently that most Human Resources jobs want certification.  No problem accept its another few months of time and a couple thousand dollars. So crossing that off at least for now, I have focused on Business, Education, and Government.

Business – I am moving my focus from human resources to retail as I actually not only have some education there as far as management but also experience both in retail and management but never at the same time. Mostly, business is attractive because I have 15-20 years left before age and retirement will start to kick my ass and I need to make as much money and put it aside as possible in that frame of time.  At the same time, the physical labor thing is going to be less and less of an option. Retail Business Management fits given experience and education.

Education – I could go to another state and teach.  Texas would let me start and then learn the education stuff as I go.  Mostly though I would be using it as a springboard for a masters’ degree and eventual doctorate. I would want to teach at the university level.

Government – Like it or not, I am adding this to the list because my Political Science degree gives me the most qualifications for government jobs. It is what the degree is actually designed for, so it is time to add it to the list.

One of the things I have done is to rewrite my Resume again. I eliminated, as much as possible, any references to my ministry career and my education for it. They are irrelevant to the jobs listed above.  I also have been removing anything that might give away my age. My experience listed will still make me older, but I want it to be, without lying, a little nebulous.

Writing Notes:

There is, of course, my other ‘career’ as a writer which I need to get more serious about.  So here is that list:

Blog: This personal blog needs to be kept up because it is simply good practice.

Blog Fiction: Last time I wrote about some fiction ideas I had floating, but there is some other fiction on this blog already that I need to address and make the previously mentioned ideas a little more concrete.

  1. The Grey Wayfarer (Serial) – I wrote this series when I first started this blog  It was a work of fantasy fiction with the same name as the blog.  That was confusing I am sure, but the reason I stopped writing it here was a realized it had potential to be one helluva novel.  So, I leave the five parts that exist as a teaser to a someday maybe finished work. I just felt the writing was that good and so was the concept.
  2. Rogue Wizard: The Fire of Fury –  There is a large part of me that senses the whole Hedge Wizard of Redberg / Rogue Wizard universe and storyline needs come to a complete end. I originally started the whole thing as a labor of love for Miss Salty and now she is gone out of my life.  The continuation based on it in this blog is difficult emotionally at best to write. Spoiler: It might be time for the whole thing to die. But it will die by my own hand and not just fade away unfinished. I have been sitting on Part 10 for months because emotionally it might be the last difficult thing to write with the whole saga. After that, it is simply a matter of killing off the main character. Me.
  3. ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ (adult version) I have toyed with the idea of taking fairy tales and giving them a modern spin many times.  It would fit my short story or short fiction series niche.  Red Riding Hood, if you know the actual origin and symbolism is already a pretty adult tale, but I want to give it an urban fantasy truly adult feel.  Little Red wouldn’t be the only one but it is my favorite fairy tale and a good place to start.
  4. Tales of a Viking Muse (working title) – I mentioned this a couple days ago.  This will be my Viking Shieldmaiden Skald Muse.  I am using Dungeons and Dragons to flesh out the character and to create the backdrop world to an extent.  She will be a combination of a fighter/bard.
  5. ‘Space Tramp’ – Basically I am taking the advanced character generation system from MegaTraveller and doing a year by year full flesh out of the background of a character.  The challenge, of course, is the random nature of the generation process which will force me to in one year explain a near-death and another year take a pretty boring admin assignment and make an interesting story of it.  The character will be a free trader crewman of the merchant branch, so it should give him the freedom to move about as he sees fit.  It should be fun.

Non-Fiction Book: My book here is basically Life of Christ, but form a skeptics’ point of view. I taught the life of Christ as a pastor and instructor in the faith probably ten times. I am simply writing what would amount to a harmony of the gospels with a twist.  I am going to show even with four accounts, the gospels still are not compelling evidence to believe that the Life of Christ as presented in the Bible is a genuine story of any more historical value than Homer’s Illiad or the Tales of Gilgamesh.

Novel: Over the last few years the successful fantasy stories have been the epic ones from Game of Thrones, to Lord of the Rings, to Wheel of Time and Sword of Truth.  I don’t mind these but I enjoy more the stories that are a little more down to earth.  Five friends from a small village heading out into the unknown and finding an adventure.  No saving the world or correcting the imbalances in the powers of magic for the universe.  Just some friends finding themselves in a tough spot and fighting to get out of it.  That’s my novel. I am thinking of using National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to fast forward its content by 50,000 words in November.

This is a lot of writing, but good writers write a lot and I want to be a good writer. So, raise a drinking horn to the challenge of making some changes in my writing with the goal of publication and making it my second and hopefully also paying career.  What you may see over the next couple of weeks is me trying to make progress on all of this. Hopefully, my muse will come alive and something will not only click but take off.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

“Role-Playing Games as a Writing Tool” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Thor’s Day!

This post idea has been sitting in my hopper since July.  It’s probably about time that I clear it.

In writing, there are a couple of challenges when it comes to characters and their interaction with each other. The first is record-keeping in that you need to make character notes and that can take a lot of forms but you want something simple that can be easily altered as the story unfolds.  The second is the ability to compare characters wih each other.  Which one is stronger, smarter.  Along with this is what can one character do that the others cannot.  This can be tricky if you don’t have a system that can compare them objectively or makes not of the differences.

My solution has been when applicable to use role-playing games (RPGs) for this purpose.  The paper, dice and pen kind. Over the years I have used Dungeons and Dragons for instance to make records of my Fantasy Characters.  By having already made up character sheets and plans to make notes, it makes it very easy to do this.  You also can know which character is stronger or smarter by comparing Strength and Intelligence scores for instance. You can also know that one character has knowledge of history while the rest of the group does not and the other has knowledge of how to speak Elvish and the others do not. I currently use this for my novel which is a fantasy novel, but I have also used it with science ficiton and urban fantasy.  With the first MegaTraveller has been used and with the second d20 Modern with the Urban Arcana addition works very well.

The trick with it though is sometimes you can’t be completely bound by the world the RPG characters are created in when writing. Then you might be writing fan fiction but not original stories.  Fantasy is easier to avoid as you can simply create your own world and adapt the RPG system you are using to it.  But science fiction can be more problematic with this approach.  Science Fiction RPGs tend to be very universe specific. Mostly though as a writer you have to be story-driven not rules-driven.

By opening up my writing schedule recently, I think a good way to get the creative juices flowing would be to create a single RPG character and then take them for a writing fiction ride for a while.  I am going to combine this with my search for a new muse as well. I am thinking I may do a D and D female character – I am thinking a Bard (Skald). 🙂

I also may in time drop into the science fiction world of Megatraveller. I have an idea for fleshing out the background of a character creation of a young orphaned lad who joins the Free Traders and starts traveling the stars.

One thing is for sure I need to get my creative juices flowing and there is a wealth of ideas to draw from RPGs and its time I began to tap into them.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!