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Creation Date: June 14th, 2013 06:27 AM
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SpaceBadger's Blog: BBCodes stopped working in this Blog Description, so I moved my Links down to a Blog Entry and made it Sticky, so the latest new Blog Entries will actually be below (following) the Links entry.
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In Moot Member Blogs Chargen for new PbP game Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #3 New July 21st, 2013 01:43 AM
Huh, I'm new to this blogging stuff and forgot that blog posts will appear in order from newest to oldest, which is sort of the reverse of what I had planned in laying out info about my new PbP game. For prospective players, I recommend that you read in order from oldest to newest, the way I planned.

*** EDIT: Actually, rather than read through everything from oldest to newest, I'd now recommend that you just go to the SBRD Quick Reference and read from there. ***

Character Generation for My New PbP Game:

My prime rule for character generation is that I want each player to have a fun character that he/she will enjoy playing, yet not so overpowered in skills and attributes as to impinge on the enjoyment of other players by being the Best at Everything.

My second rule for character generation is that I want to allow each player to create his/her character by his/her own preferred methods, subject to the prime rule above.

The finished character should have stats and skills in line with a character generated via Classic Traveller Book 1 or The Traveller Book. A skill level of 0 indicates some familiarization sufficient to avoid "no skill" penalties; skill-1 indicates a trained individual; skill-2 a professional level; skill-3 and 4 are expert levels; skill-5 and 6 are very high levels of expertise that are rarely seen.

The players have a lot of options as to how they get to that point: (1) use LBB1 or TTB; (2) use my homebrew extensions to LBB1 (essentially adding some options like advanced chargen, but still using 4 year terms); (3) use a point-buy system set forth below; (4) use whatever advanced chargen you prefer (Books 4-5-6-7) and then reduce skills as detailed below.

First, some General Principles applicable to all four optional chargen methods, then I'll go into more detail on each individual chargen method:

Stats/Attributes: We'll have the usual Traveller stats: Str, Dex, End, Int, Edu, Soc (unless your character is another species, then Soc may be Cha or Hon or something). You can either: (1) roll 2d6 six times to generate six numbers, then assign them as you wish to stats, or (2) use the 14 Method to generate six numbers, then assign them as you wish to stats, or (3) just roll each stat on 2d6 and take what you get. (There is also an option for using points for stats under the point-buy method, and maybe some options for altering stats depending on what we decide for level of Gritty vs Cinematic play.)

The 14 Method: Roll 2d6 three times to generate three numbers. Now subtract each of those three numbers from 14, to get three more numbers. You should now have six numbers, with an average value of 7.

Starting Age: Standard starting age is still 18, but you can start your character at age 14 if you want, as long as we can justify it somehow in his background. Maybe he went to the Academy at age 14 and graduated as a Midshipman at 18. Maybe his homeworld was invaded or had a war of some kind, and he had to learn to be a soldier at an earlier age than most. Hey, maybe he has a very high Int and went to university at age 14!

Enlistment, Draft, Survival, Promotion, Re-enlistment: I don't care if you want to roll for these things, or just make your decision as to how you want to build your character. I know that some purists will insist on rolling everything, and that is fine, but I don't require it. (However, if you find you are just deciding everything without rolling, you may want to look at just using point-buy method.) Also, on Survival it is your choice if you want to use Ironman (failure = death), or have failure just mean discharge, or want to use the Unfit for Service tables in my homebrew stuff.

Skill Selection: You can either roll on the tables available to you depending on your service/branch, or just choose a skill from those same tables. (Again, if you are just choosing all the time, take a look at the point-buy method.) There is no hard limit on skills for Int + Edu; I don't like that rule because it eliminates the character w low Int and Edu who is nevertheless very skilled due to life experience. However, if using chargen methods 3 or 4 below, there is a limit that you can't have more skills than you could buy on points. Also, if you are choosing skills rather than rolling for them, please do not go higher than level 3 on a skill, or we will need to adjust w point-buy limits.

Multiple Services: I have no problem w you enlisting your character in more than one service consecutively, as long as we can come up with a good justification for it. Maybe your character served in a planetary or multi-system military with unified services, so having some skills from multiple services makes sense. Maybe he tried one career, and either quit or got discharged, and wanted to try something different. Maybe he was that 14-year-old guerilla fighter, who after the war went to school and got into the Navy. Maybe his Merchant service was interrupted by war, and he either volunteered or got drafted into the military, then went back to Merchants. Just come up with a story to justify it and it's fine with me.

Multiple Characters Generated: Some people like to go "Ironman" on this as well and insist on playing the first character they generate who actually survives to muster out. I don't mind if you generate several characters and then choose the one you like best to actually play. It is up to you.

Multiple Characters Played: In some campaigns it makes sense to allow each player to play two characters if he/she wishes. I don't think that will work in this campaign, as it appears we will have 5 or 6 players, and I think 10-12 PCs is too many to keep track of (unless y'all choose the exploration campaign with a corporate sponsor and large ship, then it could work).

No Psionics: I really don't want to GM any PCs with magical mind powers. They only exist IMTU because we can't very well have Zhodani without them, but you'll have to work to convince me to allow a psionic PC, and then it will probably be nerfed so much you won't want it.

The Four Optional Chargen Methods:

Method 1: LBB1 or The Traveller Book: Not much more to say about this method. Just make your character as you normally would, although all options listed above in General Principles are available to you.

Method 2: My Homebrew Extensions: These rules are intended to create characters very similar to standard CT as in Method 1, but with more service/branch and special school options as you would have in advanced chargen using LBBs 4 and 5, plus my own versions of Free Traders and Scouts as I made these rules before LBBs 6 and 7 came out. I also added some options for service as MP/CID characters to allow more investigative and police skills.

Note: If you use my homebrew Free Trader variant, the tables don't include two skills that we added:
Cargo Handling - can be taken instead of any Crew skill (all Free Traders get at least level 0, as even officers pitch in when needed).

Holdout/Search - can be taken when rolling on Smuggler skill table instead of "No Skill" - gives skill at hiding stuff, and also at finding hidden stuff.
Method 3: Point-Buy: This system owes some inspiration to Bloo's Point-Buy system, but I simplified it a lot, and now you just use points to buy stats (optional) and then during your career or afterward use points to buy skills and stat-boosts.
Stats: You can choose to roll your stats by one of the methods set forth above under Stats/Attributes, or to buy them exactly as you wish with Point-Buy. If you want to use Point-Buy, you get 42 points to allocate to stats as you wish, with max stat 12 and min stat 2. You'll end up with average stat of 7 for beginning stats. If you take less than the average and have points left over, you can save them for the next step, your Career.

Career: You get 18 points for Point-Buy in your career (plus any left over if you used Point-Buy for stats). Use any of the chargen methods set forth in methods 1, 2, or 4, noting down all of the skills that you receive. Level-0 of a skill costs 0 points; it just means you had some training in your career that didn't really give you a skill, but saves you from "No Skill" penalties. Level-1 (trained) and Level-2 (professional) of a skill cost 1 point each. Levels-3+ (expert) of a skill cost 2 points each. Max skill level w point buy is Level-6. If you get stat boosts in the place of a skill result (as in the Army Life or similar skill table), you pay 1 point for the stat boost, or you can decline the boost to avoid paying for it. When you are finished with your character's career, you can adjust skill levels up or down match the number of points you have to spend.

Mustering Out proceeds normally. If you get stat-boosts in mustering out, you do not need to pay for these with points, because you are giving up something else (cash or goodies) to get them.

As with all chargen methods on this page, the desired result is to get a fun character that you are interested in playing. The various career structures are to make the character fit into what is expected in the game, and the Point-Buy limits are to try to keep the character reasonable so that he/she does not eclipse everyone else's characters by being Best at Everything. If you have some character concept that doesn't fit neatly into these systems, PM me and let's talk about it.
Method 4: Advanced Chargen with Skill Reduction: In my experience, the advanced chargen systems in LBBs 4-5-6-7 tend to create skill monsters w levels of skill so high that they break the CT rules. That doesn't mean you can't use one of these systems if you really like them, only that once you are finished we will need to discuss your character and make sure the skills don't exceed what you could have created using the point-buy method. (EDIT: removed reference to using MegaTraveller or Mongoose Traveller to avoid confusion; PM me if you want to discuss these.)

SBRD Quick Reference
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RSS Feed 1 Responses to "Chargen for new PbP game"
#1 July 23rd, 2013 01:16 AM
Fritz_Brown Says:
Cool. I have a handful of already generated characters (various systems) that I will go through and see if I want to play them, then discuss with you how to make them fit.
 


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