Citizens of the Imperium

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CaptRet August 24th, 2019 01:31 PM

Naval Reserve Cadre
 
I've been noodling with the concept of an Imperial Naval Reserve Cadre which, for former naval officer Travellers, would be somewhat similar to the Subsidised Liner concept for Merchant characters. After all, not every group of Travellers with a ship is looking to become the space-borne equivalent of tramp steamer captains (which the economics of starship ownership often force on players, and it is not economically viable anyway for the owners of yachts or safari ships - given their small cargo space - vice traders). The Cadre essentially makes the Navy a regular patron of the Traveller party. Attempting to join the Cadre, which would be a Difficult task (10+), would be an attempt taken immediately after rolling for benefits on the Traveller's final career before setting out adventuring, could only be attempted once, and is purely voluntary (need not join). The below reflects my concept of the Navy as the more high status of the services. Based on Mongoose Traveller 2nd ed., the below could easily be adapted to other systems. The Navy can find it useful for special missions to have access to trusted individuals with ships, who could be disavowed if necessary or in circumstances where regular naval resources are unavailable or it wouldn't be cost-effective to use them.

Advantages of the Cadre: Navy Command in the Sector (including Intelligence) can activate the Cadre member Traveller and "his ship" for special missions. During a mission, the Navy will pay to the mortgage-holder the pro-rated portion of the owed ship payment (i.e. if the mission lasts two weeks, the Navy pays at least half that month's ship payment - alternatively, the Navy could pay an entire month's payment for all or any portion of a month that the ship is in naval service). The Navy also will reimburse for/pay to the Cadre member reasonable costs incurred during or in preparation for the mission, replacement of equipment, ammunition, etc. expended (under some circumstances, the ship can refuel and rearm at Naval Stations, although priority will be below that of active duty naval vessels), repair of damages incurred and other ship operating costs while on the mission. In some situations, the Navy may arm the ship and/or supply other military and/or medical equipment (any of which the shipowner and crew might - or might not - retain after a mission, at the Navy's discretion) at a naval base, or pay for the shipowner him/herself to have the ship so armed and/or obtain other necessary military and/or medical equipment. The shipowner will not reimburse the Navy for armaments/equipment reasonably lost or expended while on the mission. The Navy will pay the ship's crew - including the Cadre member - their salaries and living expenses on a pro-rated basis during and in preparation for a mission. The ship owner is entitled to retain customary salvage rights and "spoils of war," if a lawful opportunity presents itself. The Navy may pay bonuses for accomplishment of a mission. When not on a mission, the shipowner is entitled to utilize his ship for his own commercial use and enjoyment (illegal activities of course make the owner subject to being thrown out of the Cadre and having any Navy property seized).
"
The Cadre is open only to former naval officers who are starship "owners" (defined as either having been awarded a ship as a benefit from any career except Scout - Navy can't poach off a sister service, so no Scoutships - or as having acquired a ship via contributing at least one ship share, even if the actual acquisition was by several Travellers pooling their shares); there can only be one individual officially designated by the Navy as "owner" of the ship, so Travellers should choose who has the best chance to be admitted to the Cadre. Ships cannot be Subsidized, Scouts, or Laboratory ships - any other type can be of use to the Navy. The other mandatory requirements are that the Traveller: have had at least one successful term in the Navy and had departed the service (either retired or honorably discharged) as an O2 - O5 (06 admirals cannot apply for the Cadre - former flag rank officers are subject to callup in event of war anyway or at the pleasure of the Emperor, and ensigns are too junior); had not been forced out of the service (i.e. no courtsmartial, disgrace, etc. resulting from the Mishap table, although an individual honorably discharged due to a mishap is permitted to apply); and had not had a Prisoner or Rogue term (not in the best traditions of the Navy).

Die modifiers to apply: Plus 2 if a Naval Academy Graduate (Ringknockers have the Old Boy advantage); Plus 1 per Navy term served as an officer past the qualifying first term, to a maximum of plus 4 (i.e. no addition from that first term which is needed to qualify for the Cadre, so someone who served two terms as an officer gets Plus 1); Plus 1 if left the Navy as an O2 or O3, Plus 2 if O4 or O5; standard dice modifiers for social status (e.g. Plus 1 for Soc 9 - 11); Plus 1 if also had a term in the Noble career (exposure to influential people); Plus 1 if TAS Member (again, influential people); Plus 1 for every Ally from the Naval Academy, Navy Career, or Noble Career, and Minus 2 for every Enemy from these (easier to blackball). Incidents from results on the Navy Events Table can be modifiers: Minus 2 for having abused your position for profit; Plus 1 for each time the commanding officer had taken an interest in the individual's career; Plus 2 for each time the individual's vessel had taken part in a notable victory, and Plus 3 for each time the individual displayed heroism in battle (alternatively, High Guard could be used to provide Plus 1 per MCUF, Plus 2 per MCG, and Plus 3 per SEH). Plus 1 each for having the following skills at a level above 0: Leadership, Naval Tactics, Persuade, Admin, Diplomat.

AnotherDilbert August 24th, 2019 03:02 PM

I've done something similar, but simpler. Much like detached Scouts you get a loaner ship, small but military, perhaps even a Patrol Corvette. No mortgage so you don't have to bother so much about money.

Like scouts the ship with crew can be reactivated for a scenario here and there.

CaptRet August 24th, 2019 04:17 PM

As I see it this gives the Navy a fleet of auxiliaries. Clearly not naval vessels (so they can take on covert assignments as needed), and saves the Empire on ship-building costs.

McPerth August 24th, 2019 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptRet (Post 605809)
Die modifiers to apply: Plus 2 if a Naval Academy Graduate (Ringknockers have the Old Boy advantage); Plus 1 per Navy term served as an officer past the qualifying first term, to a maximum of plus 4 (i.e. no addition from that first term which is needed to qualify for the Cadre, so someone who served two terms as an officer gets Plus 1); Plus 1 if left the Navy as an O2 or O3, Plus 2 if O4 or O5; standard dice modifiers for social status (e.g. Plus 1 for Soc 9 - 11);

I'd change those modifiers for just Naval Rank. Not only is (INHO) simpler, but also means that if one cjaracter remains as O1 for 4 turns, its modifier would be only +1 (after all, I guess the Navy does not trust this individual too much, it not promoted in 12-16 years).

CaptRet August 24th, 2019 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McPerth (Post 605818)
I'd change those modifiers for just Naval Rank. Not only is (INHO) simpler, but also means that if one cjaracter remains as O1 for 4 turns, its modifier would be only +1 (after all, I guess the Navy does not trust this individual too much, it not promoted in 12-16 years).

Part of my thinking behind my modifiers is to reflect the pull that characters with the right social status and right connections have. In the Empire, a knight who is is an Academy grad would have more pull with Navy brass than an enlisted man who gained a commission and left the service with a low social status (although he could go some way to make up for that with a long, heroic successful service record). And an individual who left the service still an ensign probably wouldn't be trusted to have the command experience for detached duty (or have come to the attention of the right people).

McPerth August 25th, 2019 07:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptRet (Post 605828)
Part of my thinking behind my modifiers is to reflect the pull that characters with the right social status and right connections have. In the Empire, a knight who is is an Academy grad would have more pull with Navy brass than an enlisted man who gained a commission and left the service with a low social status (although he could go some way to make up for that with a long, heroic successful service record). And an individual who left the service still an ensign probably wouldn't be trusted to have the command experience for detached duty (or have come to the attention of the right people).

Agreed. See that the only modifiers I suggested to be changed with the Naval Rank were those for Navy terms and being O2-O5, not the ones for having been at accademy or Social Status (that's why I deleted the paragraphs referring to them from the quote, though Iforgot to delte the ones for SS, my fault on it),

This way, the DM for being a Naval Officer would be kept as +(1-6), but being only Rank dependent, not term dependent, to reflect the lack of trust by the "right people" on an officer that is not promoted.

CaptRet August 25th, 2019 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by McPerth (Post 605838)
Agreed. See that the only modifiers I suggested to be changed with the Naval Rank were those for Navy terms and being O2-O5, not the ones for having been at accademy or Social Status (that's why I deleted the paragraphs referring to them from the quote, though Iforgot to delte the ones for SS, my fault on it),

This way, the DM for being a Naval Officer would be kept as +(1-6), but being only Rank dependent, not term dependent, to reflect the lack of trust by the "right people" on an officer that is not promoted.

Ah, I misunderstood your post. I thought you were suggesting to make the only modifiers those related to Navy Rank. I fully agree with you that there would be a lack of trust in an officer who had stayed in rank too long, and this could be reflected in the die modifiers. I used O2 etc. instead of the actual names for various naval ranks because different versions of Traveller use different names for some ranks, and I wanted the system to be generally understood ("we are all playing different games with the same name").

McPerth August 25th, 2019 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptRet (Post 605841)
Ah, I misunderstood your post. I thought you were suggesting to make the only modifiers those related to Navy Rank. I fully agree with you that there would be a lack of trust in an officer who had stayed in rank too long, and this could be reflected in the die modifiers. I used O2 etc. instead of the actual names for various naval ranks because different versions of Traveller use different names for some ranks, and I wanted the system to be generally understood ("we are all playing different games with the same name").

In CT:HG, despite the officer grades going from O1 to O10 (to keep with current US system, I guess), the Ranks system is kept ftom 1 to 6...

MT uses the say system, and MgT has tanks from 1 to 6 again. I cannot talk about other systems.

kilemall August 25th, 2019 04:05 PM

If you break out from the 3I, you could have a more privateer sort of cadre, which fits into the age of sail and every ship might have a cannon for darn pirates sort of theme. Then the ship is not subsidized except for prize ships and cargo, plus whatever bounties on individual pirates/enemy personnel.


Very much like the original shoestring your actions matter/local government doesn't really have control of things vibe.

CaptRet August 25th, 2019 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilemall (Post 605849)
If you break out from the 3I, you could have a more privateer sort of cadre, which fits into the age of sail and every ship might have a cannon for darn pirates sort of theme. Then the ship is not subsidized except for prize ships and cargo, plus whatever bounties on individual pirates/enemy personnel.


Very much like the original shoestring your actions matter/local government doesn't really have control of things vibe.

Indeed you could, but as for my Traveller universe I rather like the Third Imperium setting. Also, for beginning Travellers, it would be rather difficult (and very expensive) to arm and equip a privateer (even if you have the ship initially, probably on mortgage) without some kind of patron (which could be either the government or some sort of consortium looking to make money off prizes).


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