16 Jul 2014

Fun With Traveller - Cybernetic Soldier

Time to give Supplement 8: Cybernetics a spin.  The book covers how various aspects of cybernetics can affect a Traveller campaign in a way that keeps things playable and still lets GMs adjust the various elements.  There are also new careers that take into account cybernetic augmentation, either because of injury or of fashion*.  While the supplement isn't tied to the Third Imperium, I'll create a character from the Spinward Marches to see what comes up.

First step, homeworld.  A cybernetically enhanced character needs to be from a world that has the tech level to support the upgrades.  This leaves out anything below tech level 8.  Off the top of my head, three worlds come to mind: Glisten/Glisten, Mora/Mora, and Trin's Veil/Trin.  All three are subsector capitals within the Marches, Glisten is a highly populated asteroid belt, Mora is an industrial world ruled by a popular duchess, and Trin is a highly populated industrial world with an impersonal bureaucracy.  Mora seems to be a good place to be from.  In the Official Traveller Universe, the world has a matriarchal society, so I'll say the character is female.  This time around, I'll also try to reach seven terms instead of stopping at five, though if a mishap or even just rolling too low to advance occurs on or after the fifth term happens, I'll stop then.

Name: Vamsi Ng
Species: Human (Solomani/Vilani mix)
Homeworld: Mora/Mora (AA99AC7-F, Naval Base, Scout Base, High Pop, High Tech, Industrial, Subsector Capital)
Slipped in the character's name up in the quote block, too.  Vamsi is ready to transform from nebulous blob to solid character.  The rolls for her characteristics are 10, 12, 4, 5, 7, 5, averaging 7 1/6.  Could get interesting with the low values.  Let's try getting Vamsi into the Army.  Endurance is key, with Strength or Intelligence next, depending on the branch.  Dexterity is useful, too.  Thus, the 10 goes to Strength, the 12 to Endurance, the 4 to Social Standing, the 5s into Intelligence and Education, and the 7 into Dexterity.
  Str 10/+1
  Dex 7/+0
  End 12/+2
  Int 5/-1
  Edu 5/-1
  Soc 4/-1
Vamsi is a physically imposing woman at age 18, though she probably should have spent more time in class.  She gets just two background skills.  Being from Mora she would get Computers, Streetwise, and Trade from the trade codes, but her lack of education means choosing one to give up.  Given her Social Standing, Vamsi chooses Streetwise and Trade; she can get around Mora's alleys and back streets and she's started learning a trade before trying to enlist.

To enlist in the Army, Vamsi needs to make an Endurance check at five or better.  The roll is 7, plus 2 from her End, so she's in the Army now.  She enters the Shock Troops specialty, then gets basic training.  From the service skills, Vamsi gets Drive, Athletics, Recon, and Gun Combat.  She also gets Cybernetics (limbs) and Cybernetics (weapons) each a 1.  Both will have to checked on a table provided for the career; she takes Cybernetics (legs) 1 and Cybernetics (close combat) 1.  I'll check the cyber results later.

As a rank 0 private, she gets to choose between either Energy Rifles or Slug Rifles to improve under Gun Combat.  Vamsi decides that the gauss rifle is more interesting, so grabs Slug Rifles.  With basic training over, Vamsi gets a skill roll, which she takes on the Shock Troops table, resulting in Melee.  With the close combat cyber she's getting, she takes Melee (Unarmed) 1.  Vamsi is shaping up well as a trooper.

Vamsi now needs to see if she survives her first term.  She needs to roll seven or higher with her Strength modifier added; the roll is 10, 11 with her Strength.  Vamsi gets through without a problem.  She now checks to see what happened during the term.  Rolling d66** gets 44; Vamsi is assigned to a mechanised unit.  She chooses to pick up Drive (tracked) 1.  Finally, the check for a commission and a promotion.  To get a commission, Vamsi needs to roll 8 or higher, adding in her Social Standing; the roll is 11, -1 from Soc to get 10.  Vamsi is commissioned!  She checks for a promotion on top, 7 or higher after adding her End modifier.  The roll is 7, +2 from End for a 9, leading to becoming a Captain in the Mora Armed Forces.  Just reaching Lieutenant gets Vamsi Leadership 1.  The bonus skill roll for being promoted is taken on Personal Development, getting Vamsi a +1 to her Education.

The second term seems Captain Ng still in the shock troops.  She rolls on the Shock Trooper table for her term skill and gets Cybernetics (skillsoft) 1.  I'll choose what the skillsoft chip is later, but I'll make note that Vamsi can get a skill at level 1 for now.  Next, the survival roll; Vamsi rolls a total of 9 after Strength modifier and has no problems.  For her event, the roll is 32; she's posted to a series of peaceful worlds and sees no action.  As a result, she picks up Gambler 1.  Finally, the promotion roll is 9 after her End modifier; Vamsi makes Major and learns Tactics (Military).  Perhaps the lack of action allowed her to spend time getting ready for her promotion exam while she wasn't gambling.

With the coming of the third term, Major Ng is doing well, though the last term was a little quiet for a cybernetically augmented killer.  Let's see what happens next.  Vamsi takes her term skill roll on the Shock Trooper table again, getting Melee again.  She increases her Unarmed specialization.  Her survival roll is 8 after her Strength modifier; Vamsi is a survivor.  The event is 52; her unit is cut off, surrounded, and outnumbered by the enemy, but holds out.  The promotion roll is a natural 12; with all the modifiers, total of 16, but also means that even if Vamsi wanted to leave the service, she has to stay.  Fortunately, Colonel Ng has no desire to leave.  She takes her promotion skill roll on the Service Skills table, getting Cybernetic (limbs), which she uses to improve her cyberlegs.

Colonel Ng starts her fourth term.  Again, she takes her term skill roll on the Shock Trooper table, getting Cybernetics (skillsoft).  Survival roll is 12; as time goes on, Vamsi gets the hang of being the leader of cybernetic shock troops.  The event roll is 41; Vamsi has the choice of calling in an orbital bombardment.  If she does, she gets a bonus to her promotion roll, but she'll lose a point of Social Standing as the civilian casualties sicken the general populace.  Vamsi decides to not call in the bombardment.  Let's see if this affects her promotion; the roll is 7 after her End modifier, just enough to make Major General.  She takes the promotion roll on the Commissioned Officer table and gets Cybernetics (any), which she applies to Close Combat.  Vamsi also gets a +1 to her Social Standing; apparently, not killing civilians is a good thing.

With her fourth term ending, Vamsi needs to check for aging effects.  Ideally, when she rolls 2d6 minus her total terms, the result is positive.  The roll is a total of 3 after subtracting her four terms; no effect.  Aging effects cannot be healed like injuries; they're permanent, or until cybernetically or physically changed.

Major General Ng looks ahead at her fifth term.  She has done well in her career despite her low beginnings.  Her first skill roll is taken on the Shock Trooper table to give her troops a role model; the result is Melee, which she takes as Unarmed again.  For her survival roll, she rolls a total of 6, missing the mark.  A mishap has occurred, the roll of 8 means that peace broke out, forcing the army to reduce its size.  Vamsi is one of the soldiers forced to retire.  But, Vamsi does get retirement pay, but no benefits for this term.  The aging roll is 6, -5 for terms served, for a total 1; no effect.

Vamsi must now muster out.  She gets four benefit rolls from terms served, plus three more from her rank.  In addition, she gets a +1 to all her benefit rolls because of her high rank.  Vamsi will take three rolls on the Cash table, with totals of 4, 4, and 5, getting her Cr30 000.  On the Other Benefits table, the roll totals are 6, 6, 5, and 7, getting Vamsi armour, Cybernetics (skillsoft) twice, and +1 Soc.  Vamsi chooses Combat Armour, what she wore in the field.

The cybernetics need to be determined.  She has Cybernetics (legs) 2, Cybernetics (close combat) 2, and Cybernetics (skillsoft) 4.  Checking the cyber chart for the Army career, Vamsi has cybernetic legs with Speed*1.5 and Agility (+2 Dex), an integral stunner built into her hand, and a skillsoft system with chips for Flyer (grav), Stealth, Engineering (electronics), and Gun Combat (slug rifle).

At this point, Vamsi is ready to begin her career as a Traveller.  She had a good career, but she had been promoted away from the field, where she prefers to be.  Being forced to retire may have been a blessing for her; Vamsi can now hire on to a crew and relive her early career, being thick in the fight.  She can be a capable security guard, good both with armed and unarmed combat, and can get the programming needed to fill in a missing niche.
Name: Vamsi Ng
Age: 38
Species: Human (Solomani/Vilani mix)
Homeworld: Mora/Mora (AA99AC7-F, Naval Base, Scout Base, High Pop, High Tech, Industrial, Subsector Capital)
Rank: Major General (O5)

  Str 10/+1
  Dex 7(9)/+0(+1)
  End 12/+2
  Int 5/-1
  Edu 6/+0
  Soc 6/+0

  Athletics 0
  Drive 0
    Tracked 1
  Gambler 1
  Gun Combat 0
    Slug Rifles 1
  Leadership 1
  Melee 0
    Unarmed 3
  Recon 0
  Streetwise 0
  Tactics 0
    Military 1
  Trade 0

Career -
Term 1: Assigned to mechanised unit.  Commissioned.  Promoted
Term 2: Assigned to series of peaceful worlds.  Promoted
Term 3: Unit is cut off, surrounded, and outnumbered but holds out until relief arrives.  Promoted
Term 4: Given a choice to call in orbital strikes but refuses to inflict civilial casualties.  Promoted.
Term 5: Peace breaks out, forcing Vamsi to retire.

Cr 30 000
Retirement Pay: Cr10 000

  Cybernetic Legs with Speed *1.5, Agility (+2 Dex)
  Integral Stunner

  Combat Armour
  Skillsoft chips - Engineering (electronics), Flyer (grav), Gun Combat (slug rifle), Stealth
As always, if you wind up playing this character, let me know how it goes.

* "Love your hair, darling!"
"Isn't it wonderful?  I had Chaz install an exclusive scene to play all night long.  Just wait until midnight!"
** Similar to rolling percentile dice, one d6 is read as the "tens", the other as the "ones".

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