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  #1  
Old April 13th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Default Traveller Space Opera

Not the game but the genre.

Traveller adventurers tend to be ordinary people (Except for the Imperial nobles that the character generation system unfortunately tends to supply in far too great numbers). Space opera heroes tend to be larger-than-life. So what sort of modifications to the CT character generation system do you think would be needed to create such characters?

* They'd have better average stats (except for Soc, which I think should be the same range, heroes coming from all strata of society).

* They'd have more skill levels (though not necessarily more skills).

* They'd suffer less from the effects of aging.

* They'd have more and better (or at least more nifty) gear.

Opinions? Suggestions? What other rules modifications would be needed to do Space Opera? Some sort of "cheat death" rule, perhaps?


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Old April 13th, 2009, 10:53 PM
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They get some kind of saving rolls. Or at least they should get to avoid the rule about all the damage from the first hit is taken off a single stat thereby avoiding having them get taken out n the first round. A space opera hero has to be able to hold off hordes of alien barbarians while the women and children get to the evacuation ships.

He needs a foil. Some minor race alien or sidekick to help him out. He can be a PC or NPC.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rancke View Post
Traveller adventurers tend to be ordinary people (Except for the Imperial nobles that the character generation system unfortunately tends to supply in far too great numbers).
Soc of B+ does not necessarily indicate an Imperial noble. The character could very well be a local noble, part of a feudal society that has no connection at all with the Imperium.

At least, that's the way it is in CT.





Quote:
Space opera heroes tend to be larger-than-life. So what sort of modifications to the CT character generation system do you think would be needed to create such characters?

* They'd have better average stats (except for Soc, which I think should be the same range, heroes coming from all strata of society).
I think Mongoose Traveller does this by allowing arrange-to-taste.

Quote:
* They'd have more skill levels (though not necessarily more skills).
MGT definitely does this.



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Some sort of "cheat death" rule, perhaps?
Didn't someone say that MGT doesn't have a Survival throw, too? I dunno about it, though.

Sounds like Mongoose Traveller is your game.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
Quote:
Some sort of "cheat death" rule, perhaps?
Didn't someone say that MGT doesn't have a Survival throw, too? I dunno about it, though.
I believe the OP is referring to cheating death during game play, not chargen. Maybe the OP could clarify for us.

Clarification: Depending on which chargen method you use, MGT does have a survival throw for each term of service and it is up to the GM whether to use the Iron Man survival rules or roll on the mishap tables.

Regarding the list from the OP
Quote:
* They'd have better average stats (except for Soc, which I think should be the same range, heroes coming from all strata of society).
* They'd have more skill levels (though not necessarily more skills).
* They'd suffer less from the effects of aging.
* They'd have more and better (or at least more nifty) gear.
You certainly could, but I don't think you need to tweak all of this. I think it is more 'heroic' when a character is fairly average but has one or two exceptional skill or characteristic that makes them stand out from the rest of the group when the situation calls for it.

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Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
Sounds like Mongoose Traveller is your game.
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Please take it to a new thread or private message if you feel you need to respond to this.
That may be true, because I don't believe CT provides as many chargen options, like MGT's point buy system which is certainly one method for creating a 'space opera' character with characteristics and skills to fit your needs. While buying a different version of traveller is an option, I believe the OP posted in the CT thread and probably prefers suggestions for CT.

I believe that no matter what version of Traveller you play, many games do lean toward being 'larger than life', no matter what the characters abilities - the GM creates situations that don't typically happen to average folk and the rewards are often equally unusual. The GM often tweaks the situation to suit the group so that they have a chance at success. This GM is probably more important to the success of a 'space opera' than the characters stats.

Last edited by CosmicGamer; April 14th, 2009 at 08:45 AM..
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Old April 14th, 2009, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by CosmicGamer View Post
I believe the OP is referring to cheating death during game play, not chargen. Maybe the OP could clarify for us.
Indeed. Many Space Opera heroes are not only insanely competent but also ridiculously lucky. What I'm aiming for is something in between; Space Opera Light, if you like.


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Old April 14th, 2009, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rancke View Post
So what sort of modifications to the CT character generation system do you think would be needed to create such characters?

* They'd have better average stats (except for Soc, which I think should be the same range, heroes coming from all strata of society).
When I roll-up a character I roll three sets of stats. I can choose only one set, but I can arrange the stats to my liking. This forces me to make a choice of lesser evils, but then I can arrange the stats into a persona I would like to play. After all, we are the adventurers and main characters of our Travels.

Also, during char gen I allow one re-roll. As far as survival rolls, I keep those legit (the one re-roll does apply however). Makes rolling a character a little exciting.

When it comes to running the game. The Ref can decide if a player should be given a second chance at a bad roll, or reverse a good roll if the player did something dumb but lucked out on the roll.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 09:03 AM
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First, I'd like to point out that when I think of space opera movies and books, there is usually one main character everything revolves around - hence the need for an insanely competent individual. Traveller is often played in a group. In my opinion, it is better to have unique individuals than a group of similarly insanely competent characters.

For 'cheating death' or to add that 'ridiculously lucky' feature to the game, there has been numerous methods posted here on CotI and other forums. Some allow players to gain hmm, I can't recall the name, I'll call them 'hero points' since it fits our topic. Anyways, some allow characters to earn hero points during game play, some start out each game session with a set number of hero point. Some allow hero points to be used to add to a die roll, some allow you to spend a point to re roll a die, some both dice. The concept though, is to allow you to overcome a bad random roll in a crucial circumstance. Obviously this needs to be balanced so that you don't just re roll, or add points to every bad throw. It might take numerous sessions of gaming before you come up with something that works for you.

EDIT: An original idea I just had (I'm sure someone has thought of it, but I never read it) is to allow points to be spent to make the GM re roll, or to spend points to reduce the roll a GM makes so that your hero can avoid the death blow.

As always, post and share your failures and successes.

Last edited by CosmicGamer; April 14th, 2009 at 09:20 AM..
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Old April 14th, 2009, 11:02 PM
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I don't think I'd change stats or skills or anything, I think I would introduce 'Attitude'. As in 'Travellers Are Special'; no one else would dare to fly off into space. The vast majority live their lives of quiet desperation on the worlds of their birth. But Travellers are a different breed, drawing a sense or awe mixed with envy. In Western terms, Travellers would be the saddle tramps who drift into town, who are willing and able to do the heroic thing.

Of course, the original poster could just be looking for some Flash/Buck/Wilma vs Ming kind of vibe.
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  #9  
Old April 15th, 2009, 03:02 AM
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Why not give your space opera light characters an edge by means of technolgy?

Instead of a cheat death saving throw or a luck roll give them improved armor, unique weapons (the captain's pistol springs to mind) and special gear (think of the stuff the Stainless Steel Rat got to use).

You could go down the route of mysterious alien tech (done to death), ancient artifact (done to death then left to fossilise) or psionic abilities (aaarrrrgggghhhh).

After all is said the best way to give it a space opera feel is just to fudge your dice rolls in the players' favour so they think they are lucky
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Old April 15th, 2009, 08:31 PM
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I think Mike has something there. Without the player's knowledge, why not reward stupid behavior and outrageous stunts? ("I leap up and swing from the chandelier, firing as I go!").
If you could hide the fudging, you'd actually start to encourage pulp-like endeavors.
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