Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 05:12:08 GMT
Subject: Re: Swine and Villains
On Sat, 29 Jan 2000 00:46:46 -0500, "Chris Seamans" wrote:
>> Anyone looking for an evil villain need look no further than
>> the character Mason in this book. He was one of Lector's early
>> victims who survived. He was obscenely wealthy, deranged, and
>Yes, a modified version of Mason Verger would make a very good villain in a
>Trav campaign. He would make an excellent degenerate and depraved noble, and
>he would feel right at home in a "Dark Imperium"-style setting.
Or an adventure run during the last week of October.
>A variant of Lecter himself would make an excellent villain as well. A
>single Lecter, with his incredible mental abilities and vast range of skills
>would be more than a match for most parties. Lecter isn't the kind of guy
>I'd like to be stuck in Jump for a week with.
I agree. However, I doubt my abilities are up to running him as an NPC. (But, see below)
>The secret serial killer network which serves as something of a backdrop,
>specifically in Red Dragon and to a lesser extent in Silence of the Lambs
>could be very interesting as well. Imagine the sheer horror which the PCs
>might be faced with if they stumbled on a key to interpret just one small
>part of the secret language used. This would be especially shocking when put
>into the proper perspective. There is a hell of a lot of information packed
>in each individual Xboat, and so many of them wind their way through the
I bet it would be easy for a serial killer to operate in the 3I. With the vast population there are probably a million murders a day. How difficult would it be to even discover a planet-hopping murderer? He could be three parsecs away a week after killing a victim. Chasing him down would be a good adventure or even a campaign. The hunt for the killer across a sector or two. Always a step behind and not knowing where he'll strike next.
- - Jeff Peterson email@example.com
"Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the
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Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 11:02:11 -0800
From: "Kiri Aradia Morgan"
Subject: Serial Killers
From: Leonard Erickson
>> On Sat, 29 Jan 2000 00:46:46 -0500, "Chris Seamans" wrote:
>>>The secret serial killer network which serves as something of a backdrop,
>>>specifically in Red Dragon and to a lesser extent in Silence of the Lambs
>>>could be very interesting as well.
I have a hard time imagining serial killers being that organized. They generally are solitary and paranoid.
>>>This would be especially shocking when put into the proper perspective.
>>>There is a hell of a lot of information packed in each individual Xboat, and
>>>so many of them wind their way through the Imperium...
Actually, tending Xboats would be a good job for a serial killer. He (they're almost always male) could devote lots of uninterrupted time to researching his targets and would have a very wide range of places to operate. Serial killers are weird and don't like to interact with other people and would be very happy on an Xboat... that extra "bedroom" could be used for lots of things, and think of the access to people's mail and secrets and things.
>>>How difficult would it be to even discover a planet-hopping murderer?
>I'm reminded of a short story (I forget the author) involving a species
>that looks human, but is far stronger, etc than humans, as well as much
>longer lived. They prey on humans. They need certain tissues from the
>human body to stay alive.
Gee, there are lots of stories about those critters, they're called "vampires".
real fun is when the one in the story selects a victim that turns out
>to be something that preys on his species.
I think I may have read this.
>One or both of these species would be an interesting add-on to Traveller.
>If anyone is really interested, I'll see if I can track down the story.
>It's in something I read in the last few months, even if it's an old
I'd like to know if it's the same one. I can't remember what it was...
>Anyway, picture the players cornering a "serial killer", discovering he
>isn't human. And then realizing that they've now got his entire species
out to stop them before they can get believable data to someone in power.
Yes, Lieutenant Van Helsing?
>Sure, the "predators" may only number about 1 for every 10,000 or even
>million of us. But in the Imperium, that's a lot of people. Especially
>if they've had the brains to infiltrate the right groups, both to spot
>victims who won't be missed, and spot "wild" members of their species so as
>to avoid tipping off the public.
The Camarilla, anyone? Delta Green?
Kiri Aradia Morgan 93! Thou Art God...
"That wickedness weltering around inside of you, inside of everyone, is
sacred somewhere. There's
a deity out there who digs it. You can respect and love your darkest side,
disposing of only what is obsolete or impractical. It's all about giving
-- Jack Darkhand
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 14:08:33 -0500
From: "Terry Carlino"
Subject: Re: Swine and Villains
>I bet it would be easy for a serial killer to operate in the 3I.
I think that you're basing your premise of murder rates too much on modern western (U.S.) civilization. Murder rates in Japan are a tenth of the rates in the U.S. Rates in most of Europe (Not counting the areas of ethnic cleansing) are a third or a fourth of the U.S. rate. Australia's rate is half the rate in the U.S.
Still the hunt for a serial killer does seem like a good plot seed. It would fit in well with a group of PC's who are law enforcement officers or high social status travellers.
Further, considering the cost of interstellar travel we have a situation very much like the early to middle nineteenth century. People who travel a lot are either rich and so among the upper classes or spacers. Either way they are relatively small populations. Victims are likely to center around either the Startown community or among the upper classes (or those who have contact with the upper classes.) It might work best among a group of PC's who don't have their own ship, but have the means to book passage on liners and free traders. That could mean law officers on an expense account or a group of PC's with a Noble patron (or a PC who is a Noble).
All that is Gold does not glitter
Not all who travel are lost
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000 17:15:07 -0500
From: "Smith, Walter"
Subject: re: Serial Killers
William F. Hostman wrote:
>The Zhodani, on the other hand, Can, Will, and Do perform those kind of
>screenings, and have an effective treatment.
Scary thought: What if the "treatment" involves just tweaking them and putting them to work as foriegn intelligence operatives, assassins and semi-disposable soldiers?
This assumes there are brains the Zho's can't fix completely, and that they want to give even the broken-brained a place in society. Even the government of a Utopia must sometimes commit unspeakable acts, if they are surrounded by less Utopian societies.
I recall a book...Murder and Magic? About a somewhat-Holmesian detective in a world where magic worked. A character's servant was a complete psychopath - to the magic-oriented psychologists of this world, some demonic creature had intervened at the time of his birth and prevented a soul from entering the man's body. There was no known way to give such a man a concience, as such a thing was a feature of creatures with souls. Instead of euthanizing or permanently imprisoning him, they placed him under a strong Geas to obey a certain person in all things, presumably a person of good concience - this "master" would make all the moral decisions for the man who had this disability.
There was a scene where the "master", in extremis, ordered his quiet, respectable servant to kill some villains of the piece...which he did as calmly as you or I would sip iced tea, though he was mortally wounded in the process. More like an automaton than a man, and somewhat more chilling an idea than the bad guys themselves.
Imagine the quiet, respectable receptionist at the Zhodani Embassy...he spent his teen years under direct supervison of the Guardians of Our Morality, until they sadly declared him "incurable". He's never done anything wrong, he just has a certain mindset, a defect or difference that makes him, in certain ways, the most dangerous Prole on any given planet.
The Tvar'Chdle then handed him over to Inspector Jhianzhant's Special Operations Directive, who saw him, not as a broken shard, but as the beginnings of a fine dagger...
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2000 11:38:03 -0500
From: "Daniel Phelps"
Subject: Regards Murder in the TU
Before this thread completely expires I would like to add one item. Anthony Cave Brown in his book On A Field of Red relates the following incident. Some time after the Russian revolution, I believe it was in the 1920's, a Bolshi of one faction killed a Bolshi of another faction in plain view in the lobby of a Swiss Hotel. After due consideration it was determined that the homicide was a "political act normal to their home country" and thus not murder. As no Swiss citizens were more than inconvenienced and the Swiss are strictly neutral in such matters, the killer was politely expelled.
This suggests a plot thread where a homicide is committed in a neutral system by two persons from a second system in the fulfillment of a political grudge directly connected to their home planetary government. In such cases the killer might just be requested to leave the planet on the next convenient ship.
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2000 18:50:33 -0500
From: "Daniel Phelps"
Subject: Serial Murder in the TU
Regards this topic I don't think the suggested link between Jack the Ripper and a member of the British royal family has been discussed as a cue to a play able plot. Several years ago a book was published suggesting that Jack the Ripper was actually Clarence the Ripper - that is to say a batty royal relative. It was suggested that evidence was supressed at the time by the powers that be. Does anyone on the other side of the pond remember the full particulars?
A plot built around this could take several directions. The PC could be hunting a particularly grisly killer and get warned off/cut off from information by the powers that be who are protecting/trying to get the Noble killer under wraps. Alternatively the PCs could be the ones trying to put the bag on the nut before he kills again and trying to misdirect those hunting him until they can.
Regards the subject of serial killers in general has anyone tied this to anti-agathics? Picture a very rich and well connected killer who surfaces infrequently to kill a set number of victims and once his blood lust is sated doesn't kill again for 10, 20, or 40 years. The PCs are investigating a recent set of murders and run a MO match in the sector but forget to set a time limit or instead of setting it for 10 years mistakenly set it for 100. They find a series of matchs in the sector spaced out over time going back as far as they can chase it. Is it a case which crosses generations or one very long lived perp?
Just some suggestions.