Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Solus "Sol" Harshant - a second attempt at Traveller PC generation

Rutger Hauer as Sol Harshant?
So, still focused on the idea of running some Traveller at some point, I'm going to use this opportunity to have a second crack at PC generation. I'm hoping that I'll be a little luckier than my previous effort. What I like about Traveller is the sheer old school randomness of the PC generation method. No min / maxing here (well, there is scope for some manipulation). You get what you roll. It reminds me of the good old days of rolling 3d6 for your attributes and starting from the top of your character sheet, sadly now relegated to the mists of time.

Let's get started then. Solus Harshant obtains the following for his attributes: Strength 7, Dexterity 4 (-1), Endurance 6, Intelligence 8, Education 7, Social Standing 4 (-1).

Taking a moment to think about things this time, we decide that we need to avoid any careers that require good Dex. The poor Soc score we'll just have to live with. There are no real strong points here. Solus goes with Space Science 0, Physical Science 0, and Engineer - Power 0 as his background skills.

First career attempt at 18, and Sol tries for Scholar (Scientist), needing Edu 4+ to get in. He gets 9 and walks it. He picks up Comms 0, Computers 0, Diplomat 0, Medic 0, Investigate 0 and decides to upgrade his Space Science to 1. He also gets Life Sciences 1. He nails his survival roll with an 8, and gets promoted to Level 1 Scientist, picking up Physical Science 1 in the process. He achieves a major scientific breakthrough at the tender age of 22, and gets promoted to Level 2. His extra roll on Scientist comes out as Computers 1. Awesome.

Another term in Scientist awaits Sol. He goes for personal development, and gets a 5, taking his End score up to 7. He's obviously working out when not in the lab. He stays in Scientist and makes his advancement roll as well. He wins a prize for his work (+1 Benefit roll), and picks up +1 Soc (takes him to 5) and Engineer - M-Drive 1, as well as Physical Science 2 as his advancement benefit. He is starting to earn recognition for his work.

Third term in Scientist for Sol. He makes his survival roll, but fails to advance. He boosts his Int to 9. He makes a breakthrough in his field, getting +2 for his next advancement check, but now decides to cash out and use his +1 benefit bonus. He banks 40,000 credits and goes looking for a new career at age 30.

Seeking for his work, Sol tries for Agent - Corporate. He has -3 on his roll to qualify but +1 on his Int of 9. He needs an Int 8+ roll, and gets 8! He's in! He gets Deception 1 as a Corporate Agent. He makes his survival roll and gets promoted up to Agent, with Deception 2. He makes an extra roll on Personal Development because of this, and obtains Melee - Unarmed Combat 1. He goes above and beyond the call of duty, which garners him +2 for his next advancement check.

Now at 34, he makes his first ageing check. He is at -4 for his existing terms. He gets net zero, so has to lose -1 on a characteristic. I randomise it, and roll Endurance, which is bad news for Sol, as it takes him to 6, undoing all that good work in the gym. Blast.  He makes his survival roll. For advancement, he really only needs to avoid snake eyes, and gets a seven. The corporation loves him! He is now a Field Agent, and picks up Investigate 1. He uses one of his rolls to boost his End back to 7, and also receives Stealth 1.

Sol is now 38 and it is time for a -5 ageing check. This could hurt. And it does. He ends up with -3 and has to drop his three physical characteristics to Str 6, Dex 3(-1) and End 6. This is a big disaster for Sol. He decides to quit and musters out with a weapon of his choice. In the interests of game balance, I let him take a TL9 laser rifle and a power pack.

Final touches: I give Sol four skills from the Traveller package to help him survive past his first adventure, namely Persuade 1, Gun Combat (Energy Rifle) 1, Pilot (Small Craft) 1 and Stealth 2 (he's going to need that with his horrendous Dex).

That extra term in Agent probably did Sol no favours. He should have mustered out earlier. I wanted to see how far I could take him without resorting to anagathics, which had the potential to bite quite severely into his savings. I now have to work out how he knows Vala Kontiri and what equipment he has to hand. I also have to work out whether they need a third PC in support to fill in any gaps, but I think I have most of the key skills covered. I might even use the first adventure to throw the characters together.

I really like the Mongoose system so far. It is very easy to get the hang of. Indeed, I'm seriously thinking about converting my Operation Tempest one-shot scenario from d20 Modern to Traveller, and keeping it all at TL8.


  1. You're doing an excellent job of selling Traveller! TNE had a similar character generation system and although I disliked the game as a whole creating characters was always fun.

  2. This guys stats sucketh beyond imagining! Fine if you are playing a 2-4 shot game... but imagine playing a pc who failed at every roll for 2 years in a long campaign! Rolling 3d6, average you expect = 11, and his stats are Strength 7, Dexterity 4 (-1), Endurance 6, Intelligence 8, Education 7, Social Standing 4 (-1)!!
    That was some baaaad rolling dude!

    But yes - as El Kel mentioned, it sounds fun and - heck - your games are always fun -so I look forward to some insane pc creation at some point in the near future....or should that be in the far future ;) boom boom!

    1. I my be wrong but aren't Traveller stats rolled on 2d6? 4 is still bad but not quite as bad as it would be with 3d6!

    2. Kelvin is correct - stats for a HUMAN are 2d6. Some aliens can have 3d6 or more for some attributes. 7 is your average.