• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[Traveller] Classic character generation compared to Mongoose

GypsyComet

Registered User
Validated User
The question has come up in another thread: how compatible are Classic, MegaTraveller, and Mongoose Traveller characters?

Since this is Veteran's Day, let's generate a Marine.

First up, Classic Traveller, 1977 Edition.

Quick and dirty, from the original CT Book 1 "Characters and Combat".

Roll two d6 for stats six times
10, 4, 12, 8, 5, 5
Taking them in order or assigning is up to the Referee, really. We'll take them straight.
STR 10
DEX 4 (clumsy!)
END 12
INT 8
EDU 5
SOC 5

With stats like that, we look at the career chart and see that the low DEX won't be a big hindrance if we go with either the Marines or a Merchant career. Living dangerously, we'll pick the Marines. The STR and INT of more than 8 each give our blank slate a +3 on the roll to enlist, meaning we need to roll a 6+. (Roll = 12) We're in.

First Term. Starting Age 18.
Roll for Survival. The base roll is 6+ but our END gives a +2, so (Roll=6) we're good for the four years and are now 22. We need a 9+ to earn a Commission, and our EDU is not high enough to help, but (Roll=9) we are apparently seen as promising anyway. The four years offer opportunities to advance, and (Roll=10; we needed a 9+) we do. At the end of four years we hold Rank 2.

By getting through the term and being commissioned, we have earned two skills automatically: Rifle-1 and Cutlass-1 (the Imperial Marines are strong on old traditions and still teach a bladed weapon). In addition we will be making three rolls on the skill tables: one for the term, one for the commission, and one for the promotion. We cannot use the second Advanced Education Table, as it requires an EDU of 8+, but we'll roll once each on the other three. (Roll=6, 2, 2) and get another level of Blade Combat, a level of Vacc Suit, and a level of Mechanical. The Blade Combat needs to be defined, and our fellow decide to expand his expertise and takes "Blade", which is somewhere between a dagger and a short sword.

At the end of the Term: Cutlass-1, Blade-1, Vacc Suit-1, Mechanical-1, and Rifle-1

We love the Corps, and roll to re-enlist, and (Roll=8) are successful. On to Term 2!

Repeating the rolls for a Term (except that Enlisting and Commission are once only), Survival is (Roll=4) barely made, while Promotion is (Roll=9) also just achieved. The further rank does not give any automatic skills, but does provide another roll on the tables, giving us two for the Term. Sticking to the skills tables, we get (Rolls=1, 2) Vehicle and another Mechanical. Vehicle is another skill that must be defined, and we pick Grav Belt (we are from the future, after all), which will, according to the skill description, also be useful for other gravitic vehicles.

End of Term 2: Cutlass-1, Blade-1, Vacc Suit-1, Mechanical-2, Grav Belt-1, and Rifle-1; Rank 3 (Force Commander); Age 26.

We love the Corps, and roll to re-enlist, but alas (Roll=5) are not successful. Apparently there aren't many slots open for mid-range officers in the Cav Motor Pool.

Very well, we shall take our skills out into the rest of the Imperium and make a go of it. Our two terms and Rank 3 give us a total of four rolls on the Mustering Out tables. Up to three of these may be taken as Cash rolls. We'll split ours evenly.
Cash (Rolls=1, 4) we tucked away for retirement comes out to Cr12,000. Enough to live on for a little bit, but a new job is going to be needed soon.
Benefits (Rolls=3,5) include a bit of an education despite ourselves (EDU+1=6) and the real jackpot, a membership in the Traveller's Aid Society! This normally costs a cool million, so we were probably awarded this for…something… we did that we can't be visibly thanked for. It means we get a luxury starship ticket every two months, which we may use, accumulate, or sell (at Cr10000). Assuming we don't need to travel, we're set for beer money for life.

Now off to the TAS lounge to see if any of the other members need a mechanic with command experience…


+++++
Force Commander Slate - Marines 2 Terms, Age 26
A4C865 (Str=10, Dex=4, End=12, Int=8, Edu=6, Soc=5)
Cutlass-1, Blade-1, Vacc Suit-1, Mechanical-2, Grav Belt-1, and Rifle-1
Rank 3 (Force Commander)
Cr 12,000, TAS Membership

Next up, CT Book 4, aka Mercenary.
 
Last edited:

GypsyComet

Registered User
Validated User
Next up, CT Book 4, aka Mercenary. For the sake of comparison, we will use the same career (Marines) and career length (2 terms). Because it influences the tables to some extent, we will assume the world of service is TL11.

Roll two d6 for stats six times. We'll use the same six for this experiment:

STR 10
DEX 4 (clumsy!)
END 12
INT 8
EDU 5
SOC 5


First Term. Starting Age 18.
We choose to enter the Support Branch of the Marines, and spend the first year undergoing Basic and Advanced Training. This year automatically gives Combat Rifleman-1 and a roll on the MOS table (Roll=5), which give a skill of Electronic-1.
In the second year, we roll for our first assignment (Roll=3) which is "Staff". For an Enlisted Man, that means a roll on the Unit Assignment Table (Roll=7) which results in a Garrison assignment. Survival is automatic, and there is no chance for Decoration or a skill. The roll for Promotion (Roll=9) is successful and we advance to Rank E2.
In the third year, the Assignment roll (Roll=3) again moves us to the Unit Assignment table, where we (Roll=2) participate in a Raid! Survival (Roll=7) is made, but the Decoration roll (Roll=6) is missed. After the action, promotions are passed around, and our hero gets one. He is now Rank E3. The skill roll (Roll=7) also means he learned something. With the Marine Life, MOS, and NCO Skills tables as options, we'll pick the MOS table and (Roll=2) come up with Combat Engineering-1.
Year four's General Assignment roll (Roll=5) leads us to the Unit Assignments, where (Roll=9) we end up in Training. No Survival or Decoration checks are taken, the promotion check (roll=6) bumps us to an E4, and the Skills roll (Roll=11) is taken on the NCO Skills table, which (Roll=5) gives us Mechanical-1.

At the end of the Term: Combat Rifleman-1, Mechanical-1, Electronic-1, and Combat Engineering-1

We love the Corps, and roll to re-enlist, and (Roll=7) are successful. On to Term 2!

We don't repeat Basic or Advanced Training, so we proceed straight to Assignments.
Year One: (4) Staff -> (6) Garrison. Otherwise non-productive, this year sees us promoted to E5.
Year Two: (6) Special Assignment! The Special Assignment table lands us in (Roll=4) Protected Forces School, in which we learn (Rolls=3,5) Vacc Suit-1 and Zero-G-Combat-1
Year Three: (2) Command -> (9) Training. This nets another promotion to E6, and (Roll=8) a skill roll, which we take on the NCO table. Rank allows a +2 on this roll, and results (Roll=6+2) nets Leader-1.
Year Four: (6) Special Assignment -> (2) Specialist School. The roll for specific school (Roll=3) gets Communications School, and a Commo-1 skill.

End of Term 2: Combat Rifleman-1, Mechanical-1, Electronic-1, Combat Engineering-1, Vacc Suit-1, Zero-G-1, Leader-1, Commo-1; Rank E6 (Gunnery Sergeant); Age 26.

Following the pattern of Force Commander Slate, we leave the service.

Because NCO ranks don't count on the Mustering Out check, our two terms give us only two rolls on the Mustering Out tables. All of these may be taken as Cash rolls. We'll split ours evenly.
Cash (Roll=4) we hit the streets with Cr10,000.
Benefits (Roll=2) tell us that our time serving the Imperium has been broadening (INT+2=10).


+++++
Gunnery Sergeant Fuse - Marines 2 Terms, Age 26
A4CA55 (Str=10, Dex=4, End=12, Int=10, Edu=5, Soc=5)
Combat Rifleman-1, Mechanical-1, Electronic-1, Combat Engineering-1, Vacc Suit-1, Zero-G-1, Leader-1, Commo-1
Rank E6 (Gunnery Sergeant)
Cr 10,000

Because MegaTraveller is substantially the same as Classic when it comes to characters, we'll skip on to Mongoose..
 
Last edited:

GypsyComet

Registered User
Validated User
A brief note on MegaTraveller. While the career process is essentially the same as CT, MegaTraveller introduced the idea of default skills based on homeworld. Generated under MegaTraveller, both of the above characters would be getting Vacc Suit-0, Gun Combat-0, Computer-0, and Grav Vehicle-0 in addition to the above rolled skills.
 

GypsyComet

Registered User
Validated User
Mongoose Traveller began with a basic set of careers, including Marine, which were then divided into three specialties each. In the case of Marines, these are Ground Assault, Star Marines, and Support. In the spirit of the two previous examples, we will go into Support once more.

The same characteristic rolling process is used: Roll two d6 for stats six times. Once again we will use the same starting set

STR 10
DEX 4
END 12
INT 8
EDU 5
SOC 5

Mongoose starts with determining the characteristics of your homeworld and assigning background skills accordingly. We will choose High Tech and Industrial, so the homeworld skills granted are Computer-0 and Trade-0, Our starting EDU of 5 means that only two background skills are gained.

Getting into the Marines requires a roll of 6+ modified by END. In this case that means that a roll of 4+ is needed, which (Roll=10) we make easily.

First Term. Starting Age 18.
In our first term, we start with Basic Training. This gains the entire Service Skills set at rank zero, or Athletics-0, Battledress-0, Tactics-0, Heavy Weapons-0, Gun Combat-0, and Stealth-0.
We then make one skill roll on an appropriate skill table. As we are in Support, we have Personal Development, Service Skills, or Specialist:Support as options. We'll choose the Support table, and get (Roll=4)Medic-1. We now roll for Survival. The base roll is 5+ but our END gives a +2, so (Roll=6) we're good for the four years and are now 22. Having made it through the term, we now see if anything unusual happened by rolling on the Events table for Marines. (Roll=9) gives us an option to either rat out a commanding officer or not, we choose not to and gain him as an Ally.
We need an 8+ (modified by Soc) to earn a Commission, and (Roll=6) are not considered for a commission this term.
As a Rank 0 Marine, I have the choice of taking Melee(blade)-1 or any Gun Combat at 1. I will choose Gun Combat(Slug Rifles)-1

At the end of the Term: Medic-1, Gun Combat(Slug Rifles)-1, Computers-0, Trade-0, Athletics-0, Battledress-0, Tactics-0, Heavy Weapons-0, and Stealth-0. Note that while the Gun Combat skill increased and a specialty was chosen, the rest of the specialties remain at rank 0.

We love the Corps and wish to re-enlist. Because the Commission roll was higher than the number of terms served so far, we can continue. On to Term 2!

We once again start with the skill roll, this time choosing to roll on the Service Skills. A (roll=3) gets us Tactics(any)-1 which we defined as Military Tactics. Survival is (Roll=7) made, and an Advancement roll is (Roll=8) also achieved, though barely. The enlisted rank gives another Gun Combat(any)-1, which cannot be stacked with the slug rifle option chosen in the first term. We take Slug Pistol this time. The promotion also allows another skill roll, which we take on the Specialist table. A (roll=3) gives an option for several types of vehicle, and we choose Fly(Grav)-1. The Event check (Roll=6) gives us a learning under fire opportunity which needs an 8+ roll modified by either gun or melee combat. We (Roll=8) succeed and choose Leadership-1.

We choose not to continue in the Marines, and since the Advancement roll this terms was not a 12, we can do so.

End of Term 2: Medic-1, Gun Combat(Slug Rifles)-1 and (Slug Pistols)-1, Tactics(Military)-1, Leadership-1, Fly(Grav)-1, Computers-0, Trade-0, Athletics-0, Battledress-0, Heavy Weapons-0, and Stealth-0; Rank E1 (Lance Corporal); Age 26.

Our two terms and Rank 1 (Enlisted ranks count in Mongoose Traveller) give us a total of three rolls on the Mustering Out tables. Up to three may be taken as Cash rolls. We'll take two Material Benefits rolls and one Cash roll.
Cash (Roll=5) comes to Cr20,000.
Benefits (Rolls=1,5) include a an Armor award and a membership in the Traveller's Aid Society. The Armor award allows a choice, and our demobbed Marine will choose to walk away with the Combat Armor he spent so much time in over the last eight years. It's not like the Marines don't have more...


+++++
Lance Corporal Wheels - Marines 2 Terms, Age 26
A4C855 (Str=10, Dex=4, End=12, Int=8, Edu=5, Soc=5)
Medic-1, Gun Combat(Slug Rifles)-1 and (Slug Pistols)-1, Tactics(Military)-1, Leadership-1, Fly(Grav)-1, Computers-0, Trade-0, Athletics-0, Battledress-0, Heavy Weapons-0, and Stealth-0
Rank E1 (Lance Corporal)
Cr 20,000, TAS Membership, Combat Armor

Note that this character also has Connections skills (up to two) and campaign skills (typically one or two) coming as well.

Comparisons next.
 
Last edited:

GypsyComet

Registered User
Validated User
Book 1: Cutlass-1, Blade-1, Vacc Suit-1, Mechanical-2, Grav Belt-1, Rifle-1, and Referee determined zero level skills

Book 4: Combat Rifleman-1, Mechanical-1, Electronic-1, Combat Engineering-1, Vacc Suit-1, Zero-G-1, Leader-1, Commo-1, and Referee determined zero level skills

MegaTrav Basic: Large Blade-1, Small Blade-1, Vacc Suit-1, Mechanical-2, Grav Vehicle-1, Rifleman-1, Vacc Suit-0, Gun Combat-0, Computer-0

MegaTrav Advanced: Rifleman-1, Mechanical-1, Electronic-1, Combat Engineering-1, Vacc Suit-1, Zero-G-1, Leader-1, Commo-1, Gun Combat-0, Computer-0, and Grav Vehicle-0

Mongoose: Medic-1, Gun Combat(Slug Rifles)-1 and (Slug Pistols)-1, Tactics(Military)-1, Leadership-1, Fly(Grav)-1, Computers-0, Trade-0, Athletics-0, Battledress-0, Heavy Weapons-0, and Stealth-0, and two to be named later.

This works out to 7+Ref for Book1, 8+Ref for Book4, 7+3 for MTBasic, 8+3 for MTAdvanced, and 8+6 for Mongoose. The numbers change once you look at the skill definitions, however. Book 1 characters have very specific weapon skills, while all over editions gain groups of weapons. As such, the MT characters each gain two more ranks relative to the Book 1 character from Rifleman, and the MTBasic character gains 3 more from the two Blades skills. The Book 4 character gains four ranks relative to the Book 1 character just from Combat Rifleman.

This renders the earlier editions, relative to Book 1, as follows:
7+Ref for Book1
12+Ref for Book4
12+3 for MTBasic
10+3 for MTAdvanced

The Mongoose character, with both Rifles and Pistols, is gaining a considerable list compared to the Book 1 character. If he had the same limitations as the others (ie. just Rifles-1), he would look similar to the others:

12+6 for Mongoose

Note that the weapon groups difference gets larger very quickly if you manage more than one rank in a skill. A Book 1 character who had gotten Rifle-2 instead of another skill would still have a total of 7, while a Book 4 character would rocket up to 16 under the same circumstances.

In the other direction, Mongoose splits up Engineering into five specialties, so a Naval or Merchant Engineer is losing ranks relative to a prior edition character, who lumps the same territory under three skills at most (Engineering, Gravitics, Electronics).
 

rje

Registered User
Validated User
Thanks for taking the time to walk us through these, Gypsy. It makes our theoretical discussions a bit more clear.
 

Knightsky

Making wizards funky again
Validated User
A brief note on MegaTraveller. While the career process is essentially the same as CT, MegaTraveller introduced the idea of default skills based on homeworld. Generated under MegaTraveller, both of the above characters would be getting Vacc Suit-0, Gun Combat-0, Computer-0, and Grav Vehicle-0 in addition to the above rolled skills.
Also, MT has the Special Duty roll, which can grant 1-2 extra skills per term (essentially putting the 'basic' characters created much closer to those created under the advanced (i.e. Book 4' style) model).
 

GypsyComet

Registered User
Validated User
Some of the edition differences, like the already mentioned gun and melee combat skills, can become larger with more terms, while others (like Mongoose's connections and campaign skills) don't. Two terms is just about as far as I wanted to go in this style, though.
 
Top Bottom