The Willful Traveler
The Willful Traveler: Gathering No Moss
1. I’ll be using the maps from http://fireflyrpg.com as the basis of the ‘Verse for this game.
a. The circuit will be primarily set in and around the Heinlein system.
b. The PCs will be starting on Ezra.
2. Characters are Greenhorn level but are assumed to have spent all but a small portion ($???) of their starting money. Feel free to equip your PCs as you see fit bearing in mind that this is the only time you’ll be given carte-blanche on what you can buy. Nothing is considered out-of-bounds but bear in mind as GM I will break it, remove it or steal it if it becomes a problem. Remember that you may need special equipment/set pieces for your “act”. If you need/want animals, they can be accommodated.
3. As a general rule think in terms of your character owning a single suitcase full of personal possessions. You also own a large trunk full of “tools of your trade”. Everything else belongs to the show.
This campaign takes place two years after the events of Serenity. Most of the hooplah about the “reavers” and “Miranda” and the cortex feed have blown over, but it is still there in the back of people’s minds. People really just want to forget that the Alliance is out there and that there are troubles.
Consequently entertainment waves on the cortex are at an all-time high. Theaters and concert-houses are becoming more and more common and are replacing saloons in many cities as the place to find entertainment. Civic governments have found that the Alliance is more than willing to subsidize construction of these sorts of places as it gives them a channel to reach the populace and change public opinion.
However, there are a lot of places on the Rim that aren’t organized or established enough to afford to build a theatre or to have an orchestra. Heck, they can’t even afford to build a city hall in a lot of cases. A lot of them are lucky to even have four walls on their church. Enter the travelling show.
A travelling show consists of a troupe of varying talent that put on a show that can be seen for a minimal price ($2? 2 silver? Look up the rates you should be able to take a family of 4 out for less than a credit). There will be a sideshow/museum, rides and games starting at dusk (5-6-ish) with full performances at 8 and 10 and an ‘adult’ show at 11pm (catering to both sexes, don’t forget!). The main show should last about 40 minutes with a 20-80 minute break between.
A good show shouldn’t have to resort to dirty tricks, but occasionally, in order to meet the "nut":http://www.goodmagic.com/carny/index.htm or minimum operating expenses, some liberties can be taken including whoring out the adult performers, pickpockets, crooked games, and bait-and-switch.
As PCs you should be prepared mentally to:
- Do a good job at your ‘practical’ specialty
- Have a ‘performer’ specialty (or two).
- Bring in "rubes":http://www.goodmagic.com/carny/index.htm for the show.
- Be prepared to do a ‘dirty’ show (in order to boost the take).
- Get paid nothing if the show fails to make the "nut":http://www.goodmagic.com/carny/index.htm
If you can’t do those things, then your character won’t be playable. You don’t have to like doing those things, but you should accept that they will be necessary at times.
Depending on the type of performers the PC build the character of the ‘show’ may change dramatically. I suggest setting aside points for “performance’ and keeping it undefined until you can have some discussion unless your performance is integral to your character concept (such as a thief/acrobat).
Type of performing skills include:
- Musician (also Composer, Instrument Maker, Sound Technician)
- Acrobat (high wire, contortionist, Rings, trapeze, Nets)
- Physical (Clown, contortionist, slight-of-hand, swordsmanship/martial arts displays)
- Stunt Performer (Human Cannonball, Fire-eater, knife-thrower, sharpshooter)
- Animal Act (Trick Rider, Tamer, Trained Monkeys, Smart Birds)
- Verbal Skills (Recitation, Ringmaster, Acting, Singing, Barker, Comedian)
- Backstage (Costumes, Sets, Rigging, Props, Lighting)
- Dancing/Choreography (Snake Charming, belly-dancing, also Blocking and Direction)
- Patter (Games, Fortune-telling, sleight-of-hand, pickpocket performance)
- Dirty Tricks (Whoring, Pickpocket, Burglary, Ringer)
The SHOW can be anything in the range of:
- Geek Show
- Freak/Side show
- Revival (religious performance/service)
- Stage Show (Burlesque/Vaudeville)
- Musical Play
- Morality Play
- Theatrical Play
Lastly, the [[Traveler:Willful Traveler]] has a sponsor. Blue Sun Corporation has a distribution/marketing deal with you guys to sell “Blue Moon” beer. This is a sweet deal because it is a well-known brand that isn’t carried out to the more remote parts of the rim all that often. You always have beer (all you can drink!). You always have something to sell to the local tavern/saloon (there is ALWAYS a tavern/saloon) and you make a bonus commission on every keg you personally sell (how do you think you can pay for the beer you drink for free?). Bear in mind, however, that every member of the troupe can earn the same commission.