Took the Cepheus Engine System Reference Document: A Classic Era Science Fiction 2D6-Based Open Gaming System for a test run. One thing I love about the old Traveller RPG series, especially Classic Traveller, was the random character generation. Not only does one learn more about chargen, but it makes for interesting thinking about how or why the character is now a Traveller.
Traveller [TRAV-uh-ler, TRAV-ler]. -noun. [Origin circa 1300 CE, from the Middle English travaillour, the treader of a path, emphasizing labor or toil, as in “to make a difficult journey”]. 1. One who travels, or has traveled, or will travel, as to distant places. 2. An adventurer. 3. The game of science-fiction in the far future. – Traveller5 v5.09 Title Page
Please meet Franclyn Phaerwick.
Step 1: Characteristics. Rolling characteristics per the rules yields:
STR A (DM +1) / DEX 7 / END 3 (DM -1) / INT 8 / EDU 7 / SOC A (DM+1)
Step 2: No homeword is used (optional). However, with the EDU DM of 0 Franklin gains three Level 0 skills from the primary education list. Franclyn, seemingly a noble, takes Gun Combat-0, Carousing-0, and Advocate-0.
Step 3: Career. Franclyn is socially elevated so can’t see himself in a blue-collar type of job. He choses Bureaucrat. Roll to qualify is SOC 6+. Rolling an 8, Franclyn easily enters the bureaucracy.
Step 4: Basic Training. Service skills (all Level-0) are Admin, Computer, Carousing (already taken), Bribery, Leadership, and Vehicle.
Step 5: Survives.
Step 6: Commission and Advancement. Starting as Rank 0, the Ranks and Skill table awards Franclyn Admin-1, promoting his previous skill. He attempts to gain a Commission. Required roll is SOC 5+. He easily gains his Commission. The extra skill is taken from the Personal Development table where he rolls a 3, +1 INT making his INT 9 (DM+1). Franclyn also tries to advance; is successful, and rolls on the Specialist Skills and gains Leadership. [The rules do not specify that this rank is stacked with previous skill levels. Given that the rule is explicitly cited in Step 7, I elect to not stack skills here. Also, in a change from the Mongoose Traveller SRD, there are only commissioned ranks. As a former Navy officer I fully understand the importance of enlisted persons. Not a game-breaker, but an interesting design choice?]
Step 7: Skills and Training: Franclyn choses to roll on the Specialist skills table again. He again gains Leadership. This time he promotes the skill to Level-1.
Step 8: Aging. Franclyn is now 22 years old.
Step 9: Reenlist. Successful. Decides to continue as a Bureaucrat.
Term 2 Step 5: Survival is again EDU 4+. Franclyn rolls a 3 – FAIL. Using the alternate death system, we roll on the Mishap table. Getting rolling a 5 and being dishonorably discharged from the service after serving an extra 4 years of prison for a crime and losing all benefits from this career.
Term 2 Step 8: A two-year term for mishap plus four-years prison means Franclyn gets out at the age of 28.
Term 3 Step 3: After prison, Franclyn tries to reinvent himself. Looking at his high SOC, Franclyn tries to become a true noble. He succeeds.
Term 3 Step 4: Service skill gained is Gambling-1.
Term 3 Step 5: Survives, rolling a 4 which needs the DM+1 to just (barely) make it!
Term 3 Step 6: As a Rank -0 Noble, Franclyn gains Carousing-1. Trying to advance, Franclyn finds himself a newly minted Knight! [Although not specifically stated, the Rank table for Nobles equates with the Titles of Nobility by Social Standing on p. 23. Thus, Franclyn not only becomes Rank 1, but also is now SOC B] Franclyn picks up Melee Combat (Slashing Weapons) -1.
Term 3 Step 7: Skill this term is Liaison-1.
Term 3 Step 8: Age now 32.
Term 3 Step 9: Reenlistment successful.
Term 4 Step 5: Survives
Term 4 Step 6: Once again, Franclyn advances (Rank-2 Baron, SOC C) and picks up Medicine-1 for his additional skill.
Term 4 Step 7: Term skill is Gun Combat. Franclyn adds Gun Combat (Slug Pistol)-1.
Term 4 Step 8: Age now 36.
Term 4 Step 9: Franclyn misses his reenlistment and must muster out.
Step 10: Benefits. Franclyn has no benefits from his aborted time as a bureaucrat. He gets 2 rolls for his terms as a Noble, plus an extra roll on the Cash Benefits Table for his Gambling-1 (see p. 31). Choosing to make all three rolls on the Cash Benefits table, Franclyn is setting off with a slim 30,000Cr in his account.
Step 11: Next Career. Choose to end character generation here.
Step 12: Purchase Equipment [not executed].
Baron Franclyn Phaerwick, Noble, Age 36. 30,000Cr.
STR A (+1) / DEX 7 / END 3 (-1) / INT 9 (+1) / EDU 7 / SOC C (Baron)
Admin-1, Advocate-0, Bribery-0, Carousing-1, Computer-0, Gambling-1, Gun Combat (Slug Pistol)-1, Leadership-1, Liasion-1, Medicine-1, Melee Combat (Slashing Weapons)-1, Vehicle-0.
Franclyn was a nice guy but with little physical endurance to keep up with his friends. Of average education and intelligence, Franclyn did come from a good family. He became a somewhat timid bureaucrat, hoping to just get along. It worked for a few short years.
And then everything changed.
Sent to prison for a crime he is convinced he never committed, Franclyn was released four years later a changed man. Taking advantage of his family connections, he became a true Noble for his planet. Within a few short years, this disgraced bureaucrat had turned from prisoner to Courtier to a Knight and then Baron.
But the past has caught up with Franclyn; his family has sent him off world. Franclyn is not sure if it is because of political problems with long-time rival families who can’t seem to let anyone forget that Franclyn was a condemned man or if there is another reason. After all, there was that time just after prison that he swears someone tried to kill him….
Let the traveling begin.
“Cepheus Engine System Reference Document, Copyright (c) 2016 Samardan Press; Author Jason “Flynn” Kemp.”
“The Traveller game in all forms is owned by Far Future Enterprises. Copyright 1977-2015 Far Future Enterprises.”