Traveller RPG Week Day Two: Character Generation

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6 Responses

  1. pdunwin says:

    One thing I never understood from the Mongoose rules is how you know when a character is “done.” How many skills does a character “need” to get along in the game. In a certain sense, it doesn’t matter; just play with what you have and if it dies make another one. That can be troublesome if the death occurs, say, in Jump space or on a lifeless planetoid, but a clever GM can figure something out. A hidden cryoberth maybe….?

    There’s also the matter of the character of a lucky player ending up with much more going for it than the character of a conservative player. Because I haven’t played much, I don’t know how much difference this makes in play.

    I’m also still not sure how I feel about playing an aged, injured character. Sometimes you just want Mal Reynolds and his crew, not … some aged, injured character. I guess I should just play the Firefly RPG in that case, but still I think coming out young, healthy, and playable (though perhaps not rich) in just a couple of terms should be possible. In Mongoose, the forming of Connections and the use of a Skill Package can augment one’s skills, so maybe that’s the intention.

    The other thing worth mentioning that makes Traveller interesting and a bit ahead of its time is that character growth is pretty much done after character creation. No levels, no experience points. I believe there are rules on training, but in Mongoose they’re somewhat discouraging. Most of how a character will advance is simply by earning worth in the universe, as money, reputation, or just achieving goals.

    “Refluffing” my character’s species never occurred to me. Good idea.

    • greywulf says:

      In Traveller, a character is done when you decide he’s done. This means your typical Traveller party (in D&D terms) can be apparently unbalanced with 60 year old high-ranking characters working alongside wet behind the ears 22 year old barely out of kindergarten.

      And y’know what? I works, brilliantly.

      Traveller is one of the few systems where it is possible to have elderly master and willing student (for example, a General and his busboy) on the same team. It makes the team feel much more “real” than a party where everyone is statistically equal, all the time.

      That’s firmly in keeping with the scifi genre too. Imagine the spread of D&D-style levels across the occupants of the Millennium Falcon, for example. There’s Luke at the beginning of his Jedi training (level 1 noob!) sat alongside the high Paragon-level Obi Wan. Not to mention the Demigod Level 30 awesomeness of R2D2.

      Or how about the bridge of the Enterprise – there’s a mixture of differing ranks and levels of experience on the Bridge, all the time.

      That said, I have run one-shot Traveller games where we set the age of all the characters at 30 just to get a certain (Firefly-like) style of play. That works too.

  2. Jonathan says:

    You got me hooked, Greywulf. I downloaded the rule set and ran though character generation, and it was a blast. Looking forward to the rest of Traveller week! :)

  3. cooperflood says:

    Here’s a quick first attempt at a character. Additionally what does Psg on the mustering out tables refer to?

    Jarius Endeavor (Human)
    Scout 2 Terms Age 28
    C49896 Cr0
    Pilot-1, Computer-2, Mechanical-1, Jack OT-1, Shotgun-2

    Jarius attempted to enlist in the Marines but just barely missed the cut (his social standing probably hurt his chances). He ended up being drafted by the Scouts. There he found he was average at just about everything, but his true calling is in computers. In combat Jarius favors blasting everything with a shotgun, despite barely being able to hit the broadside of a barn.

    • greywulf says:

      Good character!

      Psg refers to Passage – a ticket for one Jump trip from anywhere. It can be Low, Middle or High Passage – cryosleep, second class and first class accommodation. Some characters sell them (a High Passage can be re-sold for Cr9,000!) or hang onto them for those times you need to leave the planet, fast.

      Be warned: Traveller character generation is very addictive!

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