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💯 {Staff Pick} Some Stuff about Classic Traveller

Tog

UPP 478992
Validated User
Just a couple things I've noticed on going back to the original edition & looking at the numbers...

* Rules as written: Roll 2d6 six times, record the results. NOTHING says you can't put the numbers where you want! So where DO you want them?

* END is vital to survival as a Scout, where every tour is a 50/50 chance at death. END 9+ will get you that magic +2 DM. END is also vital to Marines; 8+ will reduce their Survival roll to 4+ on 2d6, not bad odds. (Which also suggests that surveying worlds from space and meeting new cultures are deadlier than dropping out of orbit and shooting at them... :p )

*Army survival is dependent on EDU; 6+ will reduce your Survival to 3+, though if you drop just one more point in an EDU of 7+ will give you a positive DM to Promotion as well. Book learning is important!

*The other careers in the original LBBs depend on INT for Survival, and Navy and Merchant get off with a positive DM for INT of 7+. Navy folks with an above-average INT fail their Survival roll ONLY on snake eyes. Other get a bonus, but only at INT 9+, but their Survival is 5+ to begin with.

*Getting a Commission in the Navy almost totally depends on knowing the right people - 10+, with a DM if your SOC is 9+. If you opted for the high EDU, though, it's 6+ per term to get Promoted.

*The Scouts really want folks to stay on, with a Reenlist roll of 3+; Army on the other hand is the toughest with a 50% chance they'll refuse your re-up. As far as Enlistment, the Other career's the easiest with 3+; the Marines are toughest with 9+ (6+ though if both your END and STR are above average.)

*You want to be smart as a Merchant (of course); an INT of 9+ will get you positive DMs to Enlist, Survive, get a Commission, AND get Promotions! Naval folks should opt for EDU; Army for END. Smart & strong get you into the Scouts but only the tough survive.
 
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Marc17

Registered User
Validated User
As for Scouts, the question is, why it is so dangerous? Are they constantly venturing out of rickety space craft into space and poisonous atmosphere worlds in vacc suits where things are trying to kill them, in a way that makes crab fishing in the North Sea in a kayak preferable? Or is it because they are constantly getting into people's business where everybody but the Imperial militaries assumes they are an Imperial spy (and they probably are), while the militaries just think they are a spy (which they probably are). Or are they just mixed up people on a last, desperate attempt at a career and as likely to shoot up their workplace and turn the gun on themselves as get shot by some backwater world's baron?

As for the Army, sounds like the Army. Get a cushy tech MOS teaching/fixing/building for the guys that go out and die in the field or be one of the guys that gets to go die in the field. They don't have time to train you up. You either pass your class or get booted back to infantry.

The Navy is all about who you know and becoming somebody to know. It's the glue that binds the Imperium together and those that control the space forces that protect the system because they get bought out by the system. It's all based around getting those that could threaten the Imperium invested in the Imperium so that they have more to lose if it falls than causing trouble. Most Navy guys look at some sweet, well paying consultant job for a megacopr after retirement where their contacts get used and they continue to get paid off. However, PCs aren't those people.
 

CK!

Creator of Things
Validated User
Regarding the rolling and assigning of dice rolls for characteristics:

The text of the 1977 edition reads, "Each player should roll two dice for each of the six characteristics: Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Intelligence, Education, and Social Standing. Record the results."

The text of the 1981 edition reads, "Roll two dice for each of the characteristics given on the characteristics table. Record the results."

I think the phrasing "roll two dice for each" means you roll 2D6 for each, one after another. But I promise I won't show up to stop you from playing however you want to play.
 

JohnBiles

Registered User
Validated User
As for Scouts, the question is, why it is so dangerous? Are they constantly venturing out of rickety space craft into space and poisonous atmosphere worlds in vacc suits where things are trying to kill them, in a way that makes crab fishing in the North Sea in a kayak preferable? Or is it because they are constantly getting into people's business where everybody but the Imperial militaries assumes they are an Imperial spy (and they probably are), while the militaries just think they are a spy (which they probably are). Or are they just mixed up people on a last, desperate attempt at a career and as likely to shoot up their workplace and turn the gun on themselves as get shot by some backwater world's baron?
I suspect it's a case where thanks to how the Jump Drive works, if you get in over your head, there's no one who can save you. The military, for all that it does fight wars, will very rarely send one ship by itself into unknown territory, whereas that's basically the Scouts' job.
 

Tog

UPP 478992
Validated User
I suspect it's a case where thanks to how the Jump Drive works, if you get in over your head, there's no one who can save you. The military, for all that it does fight wars, will very rarely send one ship by itself into unknown territory, whereas that's basically the Scouts' job.
So they've been doing this for years - CENTURIES, in the Third Imperium - and they haven't figured out yet that maybe, MAAYYYBEEEE, they should send an Away Team to explore instead of one guy in a 150-year-old Type S with bad air filters and a blocked fresher? HUH.
 

CK!

Creator of Things
Validated User
Well, when Traveller was first written there was no no Third Imperium or any default setting. Moreover, the setting implied by the rules (ship encounters and so forth) suggested a setting without any centralized government of any kind.

As for scouts, anyone curious about the inspiration for the game would be best served by checking out the opening pages of Jack Vance's The Chasch, the first book in his Planet of Adventure series.

https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Chasch.html?id=lYiMSd7h1QEC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button
 

The Radioactivist

Registered User
Validated User
Just had a riff come together after reading a review of a LotFP adventure. So, a bunch of Scouts in an adventure with a lot of LofFP attitude. THAT might explain the survival rolls.
 

JohnBiles

Registered User
Validated User
So they've been doing this for years - CENTURIES, in the Third Imperium - and they haven't figured out yet that maybe, MAAYYYBEEEE, they should send an Away Team to explore instead of one guy in a 150-year-old Type S with bad air filters and a blocked fresher? HUH.
I was thinking more in terms of 'one ship on its own', not 'one dude in a ship on his own'.
 

Mordhau

Registered User
Validated User
Playing the game without any setting information, I always assumed that Scouts died so much because they were wandering into places where anything could happen. Maybe there's a black hole, or a supernova, or maybe he'll accidentally stumble on an uncharted planet ruled by God Emperor Thalanax and his army of Cyborg Dragons. Scouts seemed to basically just be having been a PC already before the game begins.
 
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