Here’s the setup of my new Traveller sandbox. I’m lifting an idea from an early issue of the Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society; running a character solo in real time, so that one real day equals one game day. This is easy to do with characters who are part of a ship’s crew, because there is a regular and well-defined cycle of events; but it will be more convenient to post these adventures in batches, probably on a weekly basis.
I have quite enough active games to keep me occupied for the moment, so these posts will be more about setting up the campaign than playing it, at least for a while. When one of the others drifts to a stop, I’ll switch back to the Arioniad.
In general I shall use Classic Traveller, although it will be a mixture of the 1977 and 1981 editions of the Little Black Books, plus some borrowings from Starter Traveller and maybe other games as well.
- The 1977 edition had less reliance on the Imperium as remote but powerful central empire, and felt more like clusters of semi-independent worlds, which I think is more likely. I also preferred the skills, ship encounters and jump route tables in this edition.
- The 1981 edition had some improvements worth having, notably the option to muster out on a failed survival roll and two skills per term for Scouts.
- Starter Traveller had range band space combat, which is definitely worth stealing, and all the tables in one place.
I originally intended to go full-on Old School and use CT for character generation and combat, but decided to stick with Savage Worlds in the end. More on that in a later post. Does that mean I’m not playing “proper” Traveller? Probably, but I’ve always run Traveller by borrowing pieces from other games and bolting them on, and Traveller is an RPG defined more by its setting assumptions than its rules – witness its adaptations for GURPS, the Hero system, d20, and so on.
I’m not happy with the season 1 subsector, so I’ll drop it in favour of a new one. Season 2 opens with Arion & Co. misjumping into it, of which more anon.
(This happens in the source literature too; off the top of my head, the universe of Elizabeth Moon’s Serrano Legacy changes almost entirely between the first and second books in the series; and EC Tubb’s Earl Dumarest gets flung halfway across the galaxy at the end of Mayenne, book 9 in the saga. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.)
The setting deserves more detailed posts, and it shall have them in due course.
I had planned to start over, but somewhat to my surprise, I’ve become quite attached to Arion, Dmitri and Coriander. The characters look like this:
Arion, Scout (0 xp)
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6. Skills: Fighting d6, Guts d6, Healing d6, Notice d6, Piloting d8, Repair d6, Shooting d6. Charisma 0, Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 7 (2). Hindrances: Heroic, Loyal: Friends. Edges: Ship. Gear: $25. Kevlar Vest: +2/4, Glock: 2d6, Knife: Str+d4.
Arion is just being reset to the original rules system and character sheet, so nothing special here. “Ship” is a setting-specific edge to represent his constructive possession of the scoutship Dolphin.
Coriander, Psion (0 xp)
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6. Skills: Fighting d4, Guts d6, Healing d6, Knowledge (Psionics) d4, Notice d6, Persuasion d6+2, Psionics d6, Shooting d4, Stealth d6. Charisma 2, Pace 6, Parry 4, Toughness 5, Power Points 10. Hindrances: Clueless, Loyal: Friends, Wanted. Edges: Arcane Background (Psionics), Attractive, Connections (Psionics Institute). Powers: Boost/Lower Trait, Healing, Mind Reading. Gear: $25. Kevlar Vest: +2/4, Glock: 2d6, Knife: Str+d4.
Coriander is Clueless because she grew up on a Lost World, but is daughter of the head of the Psionics Institute there, so has Connections. Being a psion in the CT universe makes her Wanted. Mind Reading covers CT Telepathy up to about level 4, and Boost/Lower Trait covers most of CT Awareness. Healing would be a CT Special, but it fits with the ending to Season 1 better than most other powers.
Dmitri, Spy (0 xp)
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6. Skills: Fighting d6, Guts d6, Investigation d8+2, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Shooting d6, Streetwise d8+2. Charisma 0, Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 7 (2). Hindrances: Loyal: Friends, Wanted. Edges: Investigator. Gear: $25. Kevlar Vest: +2/4, Glock: 2d6, Knife: Str+d4.
Dmitri was the most straightforward to convert, and is essentially built around the Investigator professional edge. I was aiming for a hard-boiled private eye here, although strictly he is an espionage agent, Wanted by the opposition, whoever they turn out to be, and possibly by local law enforcement as well.