8 Jul 2016

Fun with Traveller - The Imperial Citizen

In the past, I've created characters who had experience in a service of one sort or another.  But what would a Traveller character from a civilian background would look like?  Fortunately, Mongoose Traveller has a book specific for that question, Book 10: Cosmopolite.  For this, I'll start with a character from Trin, the capital of the Trin's Veil subsector in the Spinward Marches.

Brendan Ng is a mixed-heritage Human, with Vilani, Solomani, and possibly Darrian and Zhodani heritage for all he knows.  He's from Trin, a major world in the Spinward Marches.  The first set of rolls for his characteristics is 5, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 4; the average of which is 5.5, way under the needed average of 7.  Brendan gets a re-roll, resulting in 7, 4, 10, 11, 8, and 9, which averages above 7.  He arranges the numbers as listed below; he's above average in Strength, Intelligence, and Education, but is a bit clumsy.

Name: Brendan Ng
Species: Human
Homeworld: Trin/Trin's Veil/Spinward Marches (A894A96-F, Garden, High Pop, High Tech. Industrial, Scout Base, Naval Base)

  Str 9/+1
  Dex 4/-1
  End 7/+0
  Int 11/+1
  Edu 10/+1
  Soc 8/+0
He now gets to choose four starting skills, three base plus one from his Education modifier, all at level 0.  His homeworld, though, has an influence, and Trin has four trade codes.  Garden provides Animals; High Population provides Streetwise; High Technology grants Computers; Industrial provides Trade.  Brendan doesn't have to choose a specialty for Animals yet, only if he gets another skill level in it.  Trade, though, does need a specialization, even at skill level 0.  Brendan grabs Biologicals as the specialty.  These skills represent what an average person from Trin would know.

Cosmopolite includes an option for university studies.  Brendan will attempt to attempt to enroll.  He needs to roll 8 or higher, adding in his Education modifier.  He rolls a total of 7, missing by one.  However, his Education is already that of a post-graduate, so he may not be missing out on much.  He now needs to try to enter a career and opts for Functionary, also from Cosmopolite.  This time, he just needs a 7 or better after adding in his Education modifier.  He rolls an 8 total, squeaking by, and opts for the Administrator assignment.  As an Administrator, he gets Advocate, Admin, Broker, Computers, Diplomat, and Leadership all at 0; no effect with the Computers skill he already has.

The first term has begun!  He takes his first skill roll on the Service Skills table, getting Streetwise, raising it to 1.  Brendan now needs to see if he survives the term, needing 6 or better, adding in his Social Standing modifier of +0.  He rolls 10, easily surviving.  Next, he rolls his event, getting 46; a respected elder is retiring and takes Brendan under his wing, trying to convince the younger man to join him in space.  If Brendan does so, this is it for character creation; he starts play.  However, Brendan realizes that he's too inexperienced, and just gains his former boss as a Contact.  Last important roll to do is for advancement.  Brendan needs to roll 7 or more to get promoted and rolls 7 on the nose.  Looks like the former boss put in a good word for Brendan, who is now an Administrator, picking up a bonus skill roll and Admin 1.  The skill roll is taken on the Advanced Education table, which requires an Education of 10 or higher.  The result is Language (any), which Brendan takes as Vilani, the language of the humans who built an empire on top of paperwork.

The second term begins with Brendan rolling on the Administrator table and getting Advocate.  The survival roll is 9, thus no problems.  The event roll is 11, a disaster.  Brendan now has to roll on the Mishap table, but he is not forced to leave the career.  The Mishap roll is 11, he suffers work-related stress leading to a nervous breakdown, losing him one point of Social Standing.  However, he keeps going.  Brendan rolls a 4 for advancement; the breakdown led to him being passed over for promotion.

The third term sees Brendan rolling on the Personal Development table, getting one added to his Intelligence.  He rolls 6 for his survival, a mishap.  Maybe the stress was too much?  The Mishap roll is 5; Brendan's in a building that was condemned but no one told him.  He needs to make a Dexterity check to avoid injury; he rolls 4 total.  Ouch.  He rolls now on the Injury table, getting 1, nearly killed.  He loses 1d6 (4) from his Strength, and 2 each from Dexterity and Endurance.  That's going to cost him Cr20 000 to heal from if his insurance doesn't kick in.  The roll for insurance is 5, plus 1 from his rank for a total of 6.  Only half the expenses are paid; Brendan still owes Cr10 000.

He musters out from the Functionary career.  Brendan gets two rolls from his successful terms plus one for his rank.  The first roll is for cash; he gets Cr10 000, enough to pay his medical bills, but that's it.  The two rolls on the Benefits table get him an Ally or a Network at 1 and a Contact or a Network at 1.  Brendan takes the Ally and Contact.

The choice now put to Brendan - start his adventuring career with no money or assets to his name or try another career and risk becoming a drifter.  Even as a drifter, he'll gain some cash, so the risk is worth it.  Before he starts drifting, though, Brendan tries to become a Teacher, another career found in /Cosmopolite/.  He'll need to roll 8 or better, and his Education modifier is cancelled by the -1 die modifier imposed because of his previous career.  Brendan rolls a 5; no luck.  He becomes a Drifter.

Unlike most other careers, there is no roll to enlist as a Drifter.  Anyone can become one, usually because a character failed to enlist in a different career.  Brendan chooses the Wanderer assignment and takes Recon for his starting skill.  His first skill roll is on the Personal Development table, resulting in a plus one to Intelligence.  Next, survival; Brendan rolls a 9, more than enough to survive.  The event roll is also 9; he is offered a chance at a risky but rewarding adventure.  Brendan jumps at the chance; the result is based on a d6 roll; he gets a 6, leading to a +4 to one Benefit roll.  The advancement roll is modified by his Intelligence; a break for Brendan.  His roll is 12 total, leading to an extra skill roll and Streetwise 1, which he already has.  The bonus skill roll is taken on the Wanderer table and is Deception.  Since this is the end of Brendan's fourth term, he needs to check for aging.  As long as he rolls above zero on 2d6 after subtracting terms served, he's fine.  The roll is 0, total, a loss of one point from a physical characteristic.  Brendan loses the point from Strength.

Brendan will take one last term before heading off to be a Traveller himself.  His first skill roll is taken on the Service Skills table, resulting in Recon.  He now rolls for survival, getting 3, another mishap.  A roll of 3 on the Mishap table means he ran afoul of a criminal gang, corrupt bureaucrat, or other foe.  The corrupt bureaucrat ties in nicely with Brendan's previous life.  This ends Brendan's pre-game experience.  And since it's the end of his fifth term, he needs to make another aging check.  This time, the roll is 3, total, so no losses.  He's ready to join his former boss in Travelling the stars.

Before he does venture out, Brendan does get to muster out again.  He gets one benefit roll because of successful terms as a Drifter, plus one more because of his rank.  Brendan also has the +4 die modifier in hand for when he needs it.  The first roll will be on the Cash table.  Drifters don't get much, but it's better than nothing.  The roll is a 3; bumped to 7 by the die modifier, for Cr8000.  The second roll is taken on the Other Benefits table; Brendan gets a weapon.  Brendan has no skill with weapons, and is from Trin, where the law level prohibits most firearms.  He takes a Tech Level 10 stunner.

Brendan's final character sheet is below:
Name: Brendan Ng
Age: 38
Species: Human
Homeworld: Trin/Trin's Veil/Spinward Marches (A894A96-F, Garden, High Pop, High Tech. Industrial)
Rank: Administrator (1); Wanderer (1)

  Str 8/+0
  Dex 4/-1
  End 7/+0
  Int 13/+2
  Edu 10/+1
  Soc 7/+0

  Admin 1
  Advocate 1
  Animals 0
  Broker 0
  Computers 0
  Deception 1
  Diplomat 0
  Language 0
    Vilani 1
  Leadership 0
  Recon 1
  Streetwise 1
    Biologicals 0

Career - Functionary/Administrator (Terms 1-3); Drifter/Wanderer (Terms 4-5)
Term 1: Former boss takes Brendan under his wing; promoted.
Term 2: Work related stress leads to a nervous breakdown.
Term 3: Mishap: A building falls on him.
Term 4: Offered a chance at a risky adventure and suceeded; promoted
Term 5: Mishap: Ran afoul of a corrupt bureaucrat.

Medical Expenses: Cr10 000, paid.
Ship Shares:
Contacts: Former boss now Travelling, Medical doctor
Allies: Lawyer
Enemies: Corrupt bureaucrat
  Stunner, TL10
Thanks to the two mishaps, he lost opportunities to gain skills.  However, his Intelligence is high enough to offset most of the untrained modifier if needed.  Brendan can try to raise some funds by acting as a broker, either for a ship at the starport or for himself.  He'll have to buy small lots of cheap goods so he can ship both the cargo and himself to sell elsewhere.  The main asset he brings to a ship is being able to fill out the datawork and legal forms.  Brendan was a bureaucrat, even if he didn't last long.

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