Vox Populi Forum
We've been told specialists and cargo impact upon conditions for the colonists, and I have to assume at this point they are, in fact, the primary Mission (I can see it now: "I don' care ye brought pins n' needles, where be my wife!").
So, I tossed out (for example) Lord Baileigh's kid's tutor more as a joke (Fred, to catch you up, a card flip long ago determined a PC was being cuckolded by the Rival. As Bailey was the only married PC, he got the "honor.") since Bailey's player has determined that Lady Caterina continues to cuckold her husband... discreetly this time... One of Bailey's kids...isn't. Not important to game-play at all, especially for a character about to reture to NPC.
While there's a marginal in-game argument to make for "Taking a teacher is good!" I'd guess we won't actually have that option in play.
Fred, I went back through my Mission notes and you haven't encountered this particular style of mission before. Red's done this to us twice already.
What Red will most likely have prepared is a table of modifiers for success. Each item of cargo has a purpose for the colony that might not quite correspond to reality. We also might have encounters with others where we can attempt to alleviate a situation that can be defused by offering the correct trade item. Rahmordial logic applies here.
With the Specialists, in the past we've had encounters that can only be resolved "correctly" by figuring out which specialist we need.
So, here's an example pulled from the narrative of Mission 28:
"As the weather turned to winter the winds and waves beat harder into our ships. It was Muller, the brew-master, with his knowledge of cured woods who spotted and tarred the micro-fractures in Honey-Dew’s hull."
The hazard was, of course, the fractures in the hull. In this case the party correctly guessed that Muller, the Brewer, would work with barrels, hence would be a judge of wood. We guessed correctly. If we'd guessed incorrectly then we might have lost a ship, or lost the brewer. (The Brewer died later because we hit the map icon for "The Brewer dies.")
Another example: "It seemed order had been restored until one crewman, one of the quieter swabs, suddenly and violently lashed out, Van Dijk was cruelly beaten. It was not the last time one of the crew would succumb to pressure."
Van Dijk was a harpooner (with a fantastic goatee), and was obviously the wrong person to send to calm down the grumblers in the crew.
In short, in game play the Specialists and Cargo already represent puzzle pieces for something Red's already been working on. Saying we impress Bailey's tutor, or other teachers and/or craftsmen won't help us in any way. They'll just add to any overcrowding encounters Red's written, or force us to abandon someone who actually has a use on the tables.
And, of course, Red is keeping us "on plot" by already determining that PC's may not bring personal vessels on this mission (or they can, but the vessel WILL be lost). Red knows damn well that without that note, my Leon Leonard L'eonce will bring his three-deck Galleon, "Lion's Pounce" along. The Pounce is one of the finest vessels in the game. She's speedy, overgunned and has an Elite crew. Laura might bring out Moridin and Moridin's three-deck Galleon, "Petryl" or Merd-a-din's three-deck "May Sun." Tony's Francois owns the trusty Galleon "Karlskrona," so Red's acted to prevent us from just bringing a war-fleet with us, because (at least) five Galleons is a fleet capable of taking out anything "reasonable" it encounters.
Mike Myke Mique