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Old October 24th, 2018, 04:50 PM
Black Vulmea Black Vulmea is offline
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Default Papa's Got a Brand New Bag

On a lark, I decided to roll up a Traveller character.

I had a vague idea for a solo trader campaign, inspired by "Speculation Without a Starship" from JTAS 5, something to pass an idle hour. I rolled up the character: 876C88, a good foundation. Rather than my usual scruffy Book 1 free trader, I wanted this guy to come from Book 7 for a change of pace.

At the start, things went swimmingly: hired on by a megacorp line - Tukera, I decided - and successful at the academy, Venn Argrink graduated with honors before beginning his actual service at age 22. As an academy honor graduate, he was free to choose his billet, and what I shoulda done here was choose Sales as his department right out of the gate, but instead I decided to see if he could transfer his way in, first spending time in space; if Venn made rank O4, he would have a good chance of earning Special Duty and attending Business School in a megacorp line, so that seemed like an interesting path to pursue.

So Venn joined the Purser Department instead. First year-long assignment went great: speculative trading, earned a 15K Cr bonus, picked up a skill - a promising start. Second assignment was a route gig; passed his department test and received a promotion, but didn't pick up a skill - a little frustrating, as he needed Liaison to get promoted again, but still two more years in this term. Third year, more speculative trading, another 10K Cr bonus, but once again no skill.

Fourth year, it falls apart: transfer down - kicked out of Tukera to a sector-wide line, Sworat; apparently this shook him up, as he finally earned that Liaison skill in a route assignment, but I guess it was too little, too late: he failed re-enlistment - rolled bloody snake-eyes! - and was booted by Sworat as well.

From academy honor graduate to unemployed at 26. Oh, random lifepath, you fickle mistress.

Now I know there's a great story in here somewhere, but it felt very much like only the first chapter; sure, I could set this character adventuring, looking for a billet as steward on a free trader or subbie, but it just seemed like he wasn't quite ready to go that route yet.

So I flipped open Dragon 55, thumbed to the article "Filling In Skill."

The article offers an experience system for Traveller - feh - and rules for switching careers. Most non-military careers can be entered from other careers by these rules, based on previous service and age. As a 26 year-old ex-Merchant, two second-career possibilities stood out: Pirate and Rogue. Pirate was enormously tempting, especially given Venn's Gunnery skill and the chip he must bear on his shoulder, but it seems a little too gritty, too hands-dirty, for our former Tukera assistant purser. Rogue, on the other hand . . . skills like Forgery, Bribery, and a shot at a Travellers Aide Society membership on mustering out - that seems right in Venn's wheelhouse.

So he becomes a Rogue, picks up Streetwise, Body Pistol . . . and three levels in Carousing. Now I know Venn's story: he's a party animal, which is why he wasn't picking up skills when he should've. With a background in hospitality from his time in the merchants, he spends the next twelve years of his life running nightclubs, hosting parties, mastering the ability of making people feel special, cultivating a reputation as The Guy who Brings People Together - For a Price. He makes a comfortable living - earns that Travellers membership from one satisfied customer - right up to the point where he fails to re-enlist at 38, as a deal goes sideways and he needs to get off planet.

Now Venn'll call on those levels in Steward to get a job on a small trader, get back into space again, and put some parsecs between him and his past.

That means I need more crew members, and a ship . . . more on that later . . .

Crossposted at RPG Pub
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