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Classic Traveller Characters - tell us a story!

Cessna

Gritty AF
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Classic old-school Traveller had a life-path character generation system. You rolled up your character’s stats, then followed their path through the first years of their adult life. There were six possible paths – the armed services (army, navy, Marines), Scouts, Merchants, and the nebulous “Other.”

Time passed in four-year intervals. For each “term” you rolled to see if you picked up any skills or promotions, then rolled to see if you could continue. Eventually your character either left the service or was denied reenlistment, in which case you rolled to see what benefits you got when you got out, like a sword, money, or a ticket on a spaceship (low or high passage).

Yes, it was possible to die. Character creation was a mini-game of sorts, in which you balanced risks and rewards. Scouts, for example, got really good benefits and a chance at being handed their own spaceship, but Scouts died a lot.

So – go here. Link to character generator.

It will automatically roll up a Classic Traveller Character for you. Then tell us their story.
 

ChalkLine

Rogue Conformist
Validated User
Merchant 4th Officer Omar Zhang 774A97 Age 22
1 term Cr60,000

Skills: Mechanical-1, Vacc Suit-1

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Merchants.
Enlistment accepted.
Commissioned during first term of service as 4th Officer.
Denied reenlistment after first term.

Omar never really wanted to join the stellar merchant service and during the Fourth Frontier War he regretted his decision even more. At first he thought he could handle it but that long week in jump wondering whether the inbound system had a battle raging occasionally proved his worst suspicions correct. When you first saw that massive weaponry atomising dreadnoughts it made you think that all they had to do to turn your freighter into a sparkling cloud would be just take a simple dislike to it. He started using Zoom, an illegal learning drug, when he sat his exams for his 4th Mate's ticket and soon couldn't stop. That stuff's not illegal without reason. Soon he couldn't do without it and the fear of some commerce raider catching up with his ship turned him from an addict to compulsive user when ever the fear struck again. He got caught of course and while he wasn't kicked out of the service it was made clear to him his services were no longer required.
That was last year and he's clean now, or as clean as you ever get. Surely there's some job where he can have a little more control over his fate?
 

ffilz

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I used my alternate hosting of the Classic Traveller Character Generator with some options:
http://www.mindspring.com/~ffilz/Gaming/travellercharactergenerator.html?history=verbose&muster=split&personal=always&vehicles=1977

I also host documentation here:
http://www.mindspring.com/~ffilz/Gaming/travellercharacter.html

(most of which applies to the Devilghost hosting since Paul Gorman has incorporated all but my most recent changes).

Army Captain Shu Kask 478646 Age 22
1 term Cr20,000

Skills: ATV-1, Mechanical-1, Rifle-1, SMG-3

Benefits: Middle Passage

Service History:
Rolled attributes: 478646
Attempted to enlist in Army.
Enlistment roll 12 + 3 vs 5
Enlistment accepted.
Learned Rifle-1
--------------------------------------------
Term 1 age 22
Commission roll 12 + 1 vs 5
Learned SMG-1
Commissioned during first term of service as Lieutenant.
Promotion roll 7 + 0 vs 6
Promoted to Captain.
Learned ATV-1
Learned Mechanical-1
Improved SMG-2
Improved SMG-3
Survival roll 6 + 0 vs 5
Reenlistment roll 3 vs 7
Denied reenlistment after first term.
--------------------------------------------
Mustered Out
20,000 credits
Middle Passage

Shu grew up on a back water world. When he turned 18, an army recruiter came to his school and offered a ticket off world. Not seeing any better option at home with his poor grades, he signed up.

He was a quick study and was quickly commissioned and promoted to captain in an armored division. He learned to drive and maintain the division's vehicles. Knowing that a disabled tank made one a sitting duck, he perfected his SMG skills, shooting his way out of a few tight corners. Unfortunately, the minor war he was involved in ended, and the army disbanded the division leaving Shu mustering out at yet another backwater world with a ticket and at least a decent wad of cash. He is perusing the job boards looking for mercenary jobs that require a tank commander.
 

joetheok

Registered User
Validated User
Using ffilz' variation, this seems too good to pass up:

Merchant 2nd Officer Wen Kelly 6A2A87 Age 46
7 terms Cr80,000
Skills: Auto Rifle-1, Bayonet-2, Bribery-1, Electronics-1, Medical-1, Navigation-1, Steward-1, Streetwise-1, Vacc Suit-2
Benefits: 8,000/yr Retirement Pay,
Auto Rifle, 3x Low Passages
Service History: Rolled attributes: 9B5A77
Attempted to enlist in Merchants.
Enlistment roll 11 + 3 vs 7
Enlistment accepted.
--------------------------------------------
Term 1 age 22
Commission roll 8 + 1 vs 4
ommissioned during first term of service as 4th Officer.
Promotion roll 4 + 1 vs 10
Learned Bayonet-1
Learned Electronics-1
Learned Vacc Suit-1
Survival roll 7 + 2 vs 5
Reenlistment roll 7 vs 4
Voluntarily reenlisted for second term.
--------------------------------------------
Term 2 age 26
Promotion roll 7 + 1 vs 10
Learned Medical-1
Survival roll 8 + 2 vs 5
Reenlistment roll 5 vs 4
Voluntarily reenlisted for third term.
--------------------------------------------
Term 3 age 30
Promotion roll 8 + 1 vs 10
Learned Navigation-1 S
Survival roll 7 + 2 vs 5
Reenlistment roll 7 vs 4
Voluntarily reenlisted for fourth term.
--------------------------------------------
Term 4 age 34
Promotion roll 6 + 1 vs 10
Improved Bayonet-2
Survival roll 3 + 2 vs 5
Aging strength throw 2 vs 8 Decreased strength by -1 to 8
Aging dexterity throw 4 vs 7 Decreased dexterity by -1 to A
Aging endurance throw 7 vs 8 Decreased endurance by -1 to 4
Reenlistment roll 10 vs 4
Voluntarily reenlisted for fifth term.
--------------------------------------------
Term 5 age 38
Promotion roll 6 + 1 vs 10
Improved Vacc Suit-2
Survival roll 5 + 2 vs 5
Aging strength throw 2 vs 8 Decreased strength by -1 to 7
Aging dexterity throw 12 vs 7
Aging endurance throw 2 vs 8 Decreased endurance by -1 to 3
Reenlistment roll 7 vs 4
Voluntarily reenlisted for sixth term.
--------------------------------------------
Term 6 age 42
Promotion roll 10 + 1 vs 10
Promoted to 3rd Officer.
Learned Streetwise-1
Learned Steward-1
Survival roll 9 + 2 vs 5
Aging strength throw 4 vs 8 Decreased strength by -1 to 6
Aging dexterity throw 10 vs 7
Aging endurance throw 8 vs 8
Reenlistment roll 8 vs 4
Voluntarily reenlisted for seventh term.
--------------------------------------------
Term 7 age 46
Promotion roll 10 + 1 vs 10
Promoted to 2nd Officer.
Learned Bribery-1
Increased strength by 1 to 7
Survival roll 8 + 2 vs 5
Aging strength throw 4 vs 8 Decreased strength by -1 to 6
Aging dexterity throw 7 vs 7
Aging endurance throw 5 vs 8 Decreased endurance by -1 to 2
Reenlistment roll 6 vs 4
Mandatory retirement after seventh term.
--------------------------------------------
Mustered Out: 20,000 credits Low Passage 40,000 credits Increased education by 1 to 8 20,000 credits Auto Rifle Learned Auto Rifle-1 Low Passage Low Passage


xxxxxxx
Wen Kelly, unusually, managed to make a full career in one of the many small sector or sub-sector merchant shipping companies that ply the lanes of charted space. A quick enough fellow, and a likely one to have in a fight, Kelly solved all manner of longshoreman and sailors labor disputes with use of a trusty bayonette. Promotions came occasionally, but of course the ravages of time took their toll as well. Kelly felt might well have made First Officer or Captain, commanding his own ship, but the effort of space faring took its toll and he simply rolled over in his bunk and went back to sleep until the feeling passed. After a full career he retired, and realized his life long ambition, ownership of a rifle to put that bayonnette on to. He now looks for a berth in a free trader and has just enough skill to be a useful addition to any crew, and just enough lack of energy to be dangerous.
 

Gee4orce

Registered User
Validated User
† Merchant 4th Officer Baron Aziz Chu 537A3C Age 22
1 term

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Merchants.
Enlistment accepted.
Commissioned during first term of service as 4th Officer.
Death in service.

Physically weak, and lazy, noble born Aziz never worked hard at school and mostly flunked out of education. In desperation, his father managed to use his rank and influence get him a placement in the merchants as an officer. After displaying scant regard for routine procedure training, Aziz was fatally crushed in a zero-g cargo handling mishap aboard the 10kton super freighter Ramaco Star. He was buried in space.

(After rolling up a few more characters - man, Traveller characters are comically under skilled. Still haven't seen a skill-2 in anything!)
 
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ffilz

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† Merchant 4th Officer Baron Aziz Chu 537A3C Age 22
1 term

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Merchants.
Enlistment accepted.
Commissioned during first term of service as 4th Officer.
Death in service.

Physically weak, and lazy, noble born Aziz never worked hard at school and mostly flunked out of education. In desperation, his father managed to use his rank and influence get him a placement in the merchants as an officer. After displaying scant regard for routine procedure training, Aziz was fatally crushed in a zero-g cargo handling mishap aboard the 10kton super freighter Ramaco Star. He was buried in space.

(After rolling up a few more characters - man, Traveller characters are comically under skilled. Still haven't seen a skill-2 in anything!)
Yea, Classic Traveller Book 1 characters don't have many skills. It's even possible to have a character with no skills at all (in fact, to be pedantic, according to the rules, when you finish chargen, you have no skills... the previous experience system is not actually part of chargen per a super pedantic strict reading of the 1977 rules...). The thing is that skills in Classic Traveller are not the ONLY thing your character is capable of. It's the set of things you are good at under pressure. A Scout can scout around in and maintain a star ship with the ONLY qualification being Pilot-1. It's also worth noting that a +1 on 2d6 is pretty significant. It's also worth noting some skills give you more than +1 per level (Vacc Suit for example, gives you +4 per level - someone with Vacc Suit-2 can shrug off all but the most extreme of dangerous situations needing to roll a 0+ on 2d6).

That said, look at my 1-term Army wonder with SMG-3 (if he had been hand rolled, he could have taken Rifle-3 instead, or even some other gun and been Rifle-1, SMG-1, something else-2.

For many skills, not having the skill is a -5 DM. For others, not having the skill means you can't even make a roll in stress situations.

Later versions of Traveller (including Book 4) started to make the skills more a description of the character's qualifications and also grant higher levels (back in the 80s I was running Traveller in a way that made level-4 "mastery"). But in my opinion that's a losing battle. Think of what skills you as a real person should have? How fine grained do you make skills? How do you decide what level of Computer a 30+ year career in software development should grant you?

Frank
 

Gee4orce

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Validated User
Think of what skills you as a real person should have? How fine grained do you make skills? How do you decide what level of Computer a 30+ year career in software development should grant you?

Frank
Don't wish to derail this thread, but yes this is something I've thought about. I love the 1 to 5 scale for skills, as it fits some real-world models of skill acquisition. I also love that Traveller skill can be quoted in-game ("I have a class 3 rating for Piloting!"). I do think that Traveller skills hover at the low end of the scale though.

One idea I've had is that your rating is how specific you skill is. So, in answer to the 30+ years of computer skill you'd have a skill tree like 'Computers -> Programming -> Java -> Back end' in which case you would have a rating of 4 if you were coding up a backend system in Java, but only a rating of 3 for other Java application programming, and a rating of 2 of other coding tasks.
 

ChalkLine

Rogue Conformist
Validated User
On a straight out percentage reading each point is 16.67% although that varies when looking at it as a dice probability
 

Uqbarian

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
My first attempt:

† Navy Starman Esperanza Weber A84393 Age 22
1 term

Service History:
Attempted to enlist in Navy.
Enlistment accepted.
Death in service.
 
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