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RPG Archetype – Smuggler’s Blues

Smugglers. It seems that every science fiction RPG needs this character. In Mongoose Traveller it is a shady Merchant or Rogue. In Star Wars: Edge of the Empire its the Scoundrel. In the Firefly RPG its a Smuggler.

Doesn’t matter what its called, nobody explains it better than Glenn Frey.

Firefly RPG – Benedict Changram, Small-Time Trader, Captain of Eagle-class Light Transport “Drunken Tiger”

Benedict Changram, Small-Time Trader, Captain Eagle-class Light Transport “Drunken Tiger”

Attributes: Mental D8, Physical D8, Social D8

Skills: Craft D4, Drive D6, Fight D6, Fix D4, Fly (Transports) D8, Focus D6, Influence D8, Know (Trade Guild) D8, Labor D4, Move D4, Notice (Hidden Compartments) D6, Operate D6, Perform D4, Shoot D8, Sneak D4, Survive D4, Throw D4, Treat D4, Trick D6.

Distinctions:

  • Debt D8
    • Gain 1 PP when you roll a D4 instead of aD8
    • Pay it Forward: When you use your financial resources on behalf of another, spend 1 PP to create an appropriate asset.
  • Guild Trader D8
    • Gain 1 PP when you roll a D4 instead of a D8
    • Shadow of the Guild: Gain 1 PP when your decision to go against the Trade Guild’s policies, practices, or orders puts you in danger or hot water.
  • Ship’s Captain D8
    • Gain 1 PP when you roll a D4 instead of a D8

Signature Asset: Custom Datapad D8: It looks like just another data pad, but it has fancy encryption and hacking tools that can cruise the Cortex without anybody else knowing just how you got into that Alliance – or corporate – database.

Reputation: Alliance D4, Browncoats D6, Corporations D8, Criminals D6

“Drunken Tiger” Eagle-class Light Transport

Attributes: Engines D12, Hull D6, Systems D6

Distinctions:

  • Been Around the Verse D8
    • Gain 1 PP when you roll a D4 instead of a D8
  • Built for Speed D8
    • Gain 1 PP when you roll a D4 instead of a D8
    • Full Burn: Spend 1 PP to reroll a pool containing the Engines dice. On our subsequent roll, both 1s and 2s count for Complications.
  • Smuggler’s Delight D8
    • Gain 1 PP when you roll a D4 instead of a D8
    • Hidey Holes: When a crewmember is trying conceal cargo, add the ship’s Hull die to the roll.

Signature Assets:

  • Hard Burn Optimization D8: When you are trying to travel between worlds when your under a deadline, spend 1 PP to guarantee your arrival before that time.
  • Flares and Chaff D8: Spend 1 PP to avoid being taken out by a missile strike.

A Disturbance in the (House) Force – FFG Star Wars Games

Courtesy FFG

I guess my boys are becoming Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) Star Wars fanatics. Big T has all the FFG Star Wars RPG Core Books (Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion, and Force & Destiny) along with several expansion books. Together with Little RMN they started playing X-Wing this summer. Little RMN especially got into the system by reading older Star Wars technical books and spending his own money on expansion packs. This weekend, we broke out the Imperial Assault game – and now they are hooked again!

I believe a major factor in the appeal of the boardgames is the “toy factor;” the figures and models along with the many slick cards and tokens – not to mention the funky dice – just ooze that Star Wars feeling. Both boardgames do a decent job of capturing the feeling of the Star Wars universe. X-Wing plays fast and is deadly; just like in the movies. Imperial Assault has heroes and minions. As an added bonus, Imperial Assault is actually three games in one; a Tutorial Game to get started, a Skirmish Game (squad building) to play head-to-head, and a Campaign Game that is much like a RPG adventure series. Indeed, I wonder when FFG will come out with a way to convert your FFG Star Wars characters into Imperial Assault figures?

Bottom Line: Great games for the boys, but a bit damaging to the pocketbook. Glad to see the boys making their own investment in their gaming! In the long run, FFG has created new fans/players for life.

Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG – Jado Ragon (Human Explorer/Trader)

Courtesy swredshiftchronicles

Another Nameless Starport in the Outer Rim (Courtesy swredshiftchronicles)

Jado Ragon (Human Explorer/Trader), Captain-CoPilot of ILH-KK Citadel Light Freighter “In the Black”

Brawn-2 Agility-2 Intellect-2 Cunning-2 Willpower-2 Presence-3

Soak=3 Wounds=12 Strain=12 Defense (Ranged/Melee)=0/0 Total XP=110

Skills:

Astrogation (Career)-2, Charm (Species)-2, Cool (Career)-2, Deception (Bonus)-1, Negotiation (Bonus)-2, Perception (Career)-1, Piloting (Career)-1, Survivial (Career)-0, Ranged Light (Species)-2, Knowledge Core Worlds (Bonus)-0, Knowledge Lore (Career)-0, Knowledge Outer Rim (Career)-1, Knowledge Underworld (Bonus)-1, Knowledge Xenology (Career)-0.

Talents:

Know Somebody (1), Wheel & Deal (1), Smooth Talker (1)

Motivation: CAUSE – Overthrow the Empire

Obligations: Addiction (10), Oath (10)

Equipment: Lt Blaster Pistol, Heavy Clothing, ComLink, Utility Belt, Datapad, Extra Reloads

Jado is the Co-Pilot and Captain-Aboard the Citadel Light Freighter “In the Black.” For reasons he doesn’t speak about he is a quiet anti-Imperialist. Those that know him have heard his oath – but no one can tell you for sure what it is. Jade does like his Alderaan beer, but understandably it has been hard to procure in the Dark Times.

Clement Sector Traveller RPG Character – Jamie Bond

Jamie Bond, Religious Explorer

STR-6 DEX-7 END-8 INT-9 EDU-14 SOC-6; Real Age – 30 (Apparent Age – 20)

Skills: Athletics (Youth Sports) -0; Astrogation -0; Science (History) -1; Sensors -1; Social Science (Philosophy) -1; Social Science (Planetology) -3; Space Science (Xenology) -1; Survival (Wilderness) -0; Medic -0; Pilot (Flyer) -1; Vacc Suit -2; Zero-G -0 ;

Social Status: Must spend at least 1,500 Hub Credits (HC) per month to maintain Social level (see Career Companion, p. 17).

Bank Balance: 30,000 HC

Biography:

Born Thorpe (Sequoyah 0708); Languages: English; French

In his early youth years was active in local sports, but in later youth years became heavily involved in the CHURCH OF ENGLAND. During his early teen years, his parents were able to land a good job with the church that lifted them into the lower-middle class. However, in Jamie’s later teen years he was struck by a muscular-disorder and suffered a great loss of his athletic abilities (original STR 9).

In college, Jamie excelled in Planetology Studies and graduated with Honors. As successful as he was, he failed to get into Graduate School.

Jamie joined the Explorer Corps and participated in off-planet expeditions into the DADE SECTOR. In his first term he was promoted to ENSIGN (Rank 1). His Commanding Officer favored him and put in more than a few good words to try and get Jamie promoted (Gain Ally). However, in his second term, Jamie suffered an accident during a spacewalk and was cast loose from his ship. Though he was eventually rescued, Jamie had to leave the Explorer Corps as he had developed a great fear of space.

Jamie returned to Thorpe and is once again became active in the Church. Recently, Jamie was approached by a group of concerned clergy that are worried at the rise of Caxtonism. They asked Jamie to join an expedition to CXE-807 to discover why the “starter orbital colony” placed there failed in 2340. There are many who believe that the disappearance of the colony at CXE-807 is connected with Sarawak’s (Dade 0707) desire for separation (see The Clement Sector, p. 25). However, the Church believes that Kingston (Hub 0106) has some responsibility for the colony’s failure, and by extension Caxtonism (see The Clement Sector, p. 127 for discussion of Caxtonism).

Putting aside his fear of space for the good of the Church, Jamie has joined the expedition to CXE-807.

Possible Plot Hooks:

Is Kingston and Caxtonism really responsible for the disappearance of the colony?

Why is Bridges Unlimited, manufacturer of the colony at CXE-807, suddenly interested in the expedition?

Character was created using Gypsy Knights Games Career Companion for their Clement Sector setting. 

Free RPG Day 2015 – Kiviat Patrol Corvette for MgTrav

pic1959015_t As much as I want to, I usually end up missing  Free RPG Day. In the few times I have made it into a FLGS I am already too late for any of the more desirable stuff and, not being a D&D sorta guy, usually walk away empty handed. This year I was pleasantly surprised to see GypsyKnights Games offer a free Mongoose Traveller RPG download thru DriveThruRPG.

Ships of the Clement Sector 1: Kiviat-class Patrol Corvette is an 18-page product that is the first in the Ships of the Clement Sector line supporting GypsyKnights Clement Sector Alternate Traveller Universe (ATU). It features the outstanding artwork of Ian Stead who is my favorite Traveller ship artist. It also starts off with a bit of fiction to help set the mood. In addition to the background and ship form there is the Mongoose-obligatory deck plan that, though inspirational, is once again all-but-useless at the scale printed. There is also one character described.

Pros: ARTWORK! In addition to the cover one gets a color five-view page. The background is very useful for the referee; the fiction passable.

Cons: Deckplans. The character description is given but no references to which product was used to develop it.

Overall a very useful product; darn sight better than the usually poor Mongoose items.

A big THANK YOU to GypsyKnights Games for giving this away for  the 2015 Free RPG Day. You have sucked me in and I will be looking for opportunities to get the rest of the Ships of the Clement Sector series!

RPG Thursday – Traveller Aliens

Aliens have always had a weird place in My Traveller Universe (MTU). In Classic Traveller, most aliens are based on classic sic-fi tropes or stolen whole-cloth from other works. I listened to a recent episode of The Hydian Way (for FFG’s Edge of the Empire/Age of Rebellion RPG) where the topic was the cantina. They pointed out that in Star Wars (Episode 4 if you must) the cantina is really the only scene with aliens. The rest of the movie is very human-centric. Given I was playing Traveller at the same time as Star Wars, I think that subconsciously affected MTU. Surprisingly, this does not affect my boys who grew up with Ewoks and Jawas and Hutts and other Star Wars aliens who they see populating their Star Wars Universe as much as humans do.

As I have aged, I have come to see the dramatic value of aliens in MTU, and have occasionally tried to work them into my campaigns. With that thought in mind, I recently purchased Flynn’s Guide to Alien Creation for Mongoose Traveller. This short (34 page) pdf started with Universal World Profile and then uses directed 2d6 tables. In many ways, its not far off from the animal encounter builder in Classic Traveller. The result is a race that, though fairly well described, still have enough “unknown” that a referee can modify or embellish for a campaign.

Now, since the tables are random, the results one get may be a bit too random for some. In that case I can see using the table as a “directed builder” to capture all (or the most important) qualities to describe a new race.

Flynn’s Guide to Alien Creation is a good investment. The examples in the book can get a bit too repetitive (every step adds the one new quality while restating ALL the previous ones. As simple as it seems, this book is an invaluable addition to my Traveller library and will be getting much use preparing for the table.

 Image courtesy RPGGeek

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