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Party composition?


Another post made me curious: What kinds of Player Character Adventuring Parties are people ending up with?

We're running a mostly merchant campaign (With a bit of a twist) and the players have a Far Trader (minus Air Raft)

The PCs:

1 - The Captain, a Zho noble who has been tasked with running a tramp trader in Imperial space to build funding and support for a 5th Column movement for the upcoming 5th Frontier War. (Social/Merchant Munchkin with some psi)

2 - The "Owner", Zho intendant, Captain's wife. Helping her husband with the above mission. (Psychic Munchkin - Regularly hits over DC30 on psi tests)

3 - The Pilot, a brash former Navy fighter pilot of Solomani origin. "Starbuck from BattleStar Galactica, but 46 years old." (Pilot Munchkin...he hits about DC35 when he takes 10)

4 - The Enginerd, another former Navy character. Has every T/ skill in the book, underworld contacts on seemingly every planet, and by some strange quirk of genetics is immune to Scout Brew.

There's also an NPC Doctor and Cook (Also married) aboard.

So what do other people's Player Character Adventuring Parties look like?

[EDIT: Replaced "Parties" with "Player Character Adventuring Parties" to avoid further misunderstanding and bad jokes.]
Originally posted by Vanguard:
Another post made me curious:


So what do other people's parties look like?
Mine usually involve my best friend in a corner being either obnoxious, sick or obnoxiously sick. My Uncle Gord still thinks wearing the lampshade on his head is the funniest thing since Buster Keaton. Typically there are lots of beer bottles in the yard and the BBQ is still smouldering from the grease fire that broke out around 7pm...

I guess I was asking for it :rolleyes: ...would replacing "parties" with "Player Character Adventuring Parties" help at all?
I have GMed for two groups, and they look like this:

Group 1)

Human marine combat monster.
Human rogue con man.
Vargr engineer computer specialist.
human small craft pilot.
Human merchant/traveller "od-job man".

Group 2)

Zhodani telepoprting marine.
Imperialised Aslan engineer/hacker/telekinetic.
Human barbarian/scout thief and thug-for-hire.

The game I run at the local game store consists of the following.

And remember I am running in Ley sector, Yr 993.

The owner of the ship, a Vilani who was born on a tech lvl two world and was in the army and then the mercenaries.

The hot shot Ace pilot Luriani. Man, can he FLY that ship.

The Ex-patriot, on the lamb and far from home Zhodani "doctor"/"Engineer".

The Vilani Merchant, who can guess those die rolls real well.

The vilani Valet/Ship's STeward who has a Russian accent. [for some reason] and a German name: Heinrich.

A cat and his girl, in deep sleep in one of the low berths.

An ex-belter who is not bad with a laser.

That's about it...

The Man Behind the Curtain
The campaign I'm running is a sort of cold war espionage and intrigue campaign in the Solomani Rim. The players are working for the Imperium as secret agents, under cover as consultants for a shipping line owned by the Intelligence branch of the Scout Service.

All three PCs have a broad range of starship abilities. Usually they take commerical transportation, but sometimes they have to fly themselves. They're ship skills aren't maxed out, but they can run the ship in a pinch.

First character is a male Vilani belter/rogue/traveller mix. He's the demolitions expert as well as a sniper/assassin.

Second character is a female Vilani rogue/traveller/scout mix. She's a computer and security systems expert.

The third character has a pretty wild backstory. She's modelled after the character Faye Valentine on "Cowboy Bebop," as well as the companion character on "Firefly." She's sort of a modern-day version of a geisha, an entertainer/sexual companion. Her classes are professional/merchant/rogue/traveller. She's skilled in seduction as well as information gathering, and has a wicked gambling skill as well as some entertainer skills (dance, singing, stringed instruments).

There are two NPC characters as well who tag along when the group uses its own ship. One is an ex-Navy doctor, the other is an ex-Marine combat specialist who also serves as the ship's gunner.
Let's see...

We have the Navy Captain/Doctor, a Solomani who has dreams of Terra becoming free someday.
The Navy pilot/merchant who is padding the ship's coffer with some keen speculative trading.
The Vargr rogue, who is the captain's gopher.
The ex-Marine brigadier general, who prides himself on ship security.
The ex-marine/mercenary who obeys (for the most part) the brigadier. At least, until last session, when the brigadier told him to open a briefcase they thought was harmless. He spent the next week in the autodoc regrowing his fingers.
And the Navy engineer, who tries to keep the ship running as best he can.
Ours is a mixed bag in a mixed/ military style pre-FFW campaign online:

We have(players):
1x Naval CPT/Noble/Human male
1x Naval CDR/Merchant/Imperial Aslan,female
1x Naval AcePilot/human male
1x Marine LT/Belter/ human male
2x Marine SGT/Human males
1x Traveller/Belter/Human female*
1x Traveller/ALien(D'Kelva)female*
1x Naval Ensign/Vargr Male
1x Naval E-6/PO3/ Vargr Male
1x Naval E-5/Genaform human female**
1x SpecOps/Scout/Human Male**
1x Scout/reporter/Human Male
1x SpecOps-Commando/Human male
1x Academic/DR MD./ME., human male (a civilian!)
1x ExNavy/Merchant engineer, human male (now a civilian!)

*-Played by one player
**-Played by one player.
<<<A cat and his girl, in deep sleep in one of the low berths.>>>

Uh oh, I have a premonition of bad things surrounding this one...

<<<The Vargr rogue, who is the captain's gopher.>>>

I bet he loves being called a gopher.

Anyways, the group I'm running consists of:

One Marine Colonel, ret. with tons of battles during the Third Frontier War and thoughts of carving out his own pocket empire.

One Ex-Navy Doctor, who is still shell-shocked from the war and gets frazzled at the slightest things.

One Solomani Fighter Pilot, who is on the run from the Solomani Confederacy for various reasons, and has become somewhat of a celebrity throught the Imperium (Bol Lives is written on bathroom walls from Capitol to Regina)

and last but not least:

One Dandy Engineer who can fix just about anything, and doubles as Pilot and Navigator when Bol isn't on the ship.


In our PBEM T20 game, we have:

an ex Navy/Scout (Captain)
an ex Scout (Astrogator/backup Pilot/Engineer)
a young Vilani Merchant (Sensor/Computer/SuperCargo)
an ex Intel Marine (Security)
a Belter/Rogue (Gunner)
a Merchant/Professional (Engineer)
an Academic/Professional/Traveller (Doctor)
a Virushi ex Scout (Medic/Cargo Lift)

In the PBEM that I Ref, the crew of a far trader consists of:

Pilot/Astrogator/Positive Thinker: Rogue 1/ Navy 6
Bowler-hat equipped Engineer with a PhD: Professional 5/ Navy 1
Dandy Merchant/Steward:Merchant 6
Lovely and deadly security and gunner lady: Marine 5/ Mercenary 1
So far in my T20 campaign we have a bunch of Farguard Intelligence guys, pretending to be the professional crew of a racing yacht, the Speed Demon:

Tactician James Bodine Scout-2 / Rogue-2 / Traveller-1
Hotshot spy, nominal leader of the group, although he is in fact the youngest and the least experienced (but well trained). The epitomy of a jack of all trades. His cover is as the owner's representative aboard the Speed Demon.

Semi-Tactician Sadius Agammemnon Traveller-1 / Marine-4 / Navy-2
Grizzled ex-Marine with some Navy cross-training, usually cautious with occaisonal flashes of recklessness. He is also a great engineer (go figure) and responsible for the ship's engines.

Leader Conan Bradbey Belter-3 / Navy-1 / Traveller-2
Hotshot pilot and acknowledged wildman. The least stable of the crew, he is the one responsible for getting them places safely!
The campaign a few friends have mooted (not yet played) is:

The players are hired by a archaeologist from the University of Ryhlanor to document the archaeology the lost Sindalian empire (In the Sindalsubsector of the Trojan Reaches). The PC roles are:

The Paymaster: An late middle age Imperial Count -he served one or two terms as a marine when young but has acted as a paper pusher for the Emperor at the Moot ever since - A great administrator/attorney/negotiator and time spent at sport and in reserves training on Capital means he is still able to fire his hunting rifle or Gauss Rifle if called upon. In fact he has been appointed as a frontier Count in the Trojan Reaches and is checking out the territory.

The Professor: Archaeology professor - not a guns man at all.

The Scout/PhD student: 'Retired' scout completing his doctorate under the professor on 'The Reign of the Last Emperor of Sindal'.

Sparks: Ex Scout friend of above - Was companion and technogeek on scout missions, now useful as technical consultant.

The ex-marine grunt turned research assistant: Former Sargeant in the marines, left to do a BA in pre-Imperial history. Got the post as research assistant to the Professor.

The Hunter/Guide: A local hunter hired as a guide to the former worlds of Sindal.

Noricum (the world formerly known as sindal) is a tech level 1 uncharismatic dictatorship: i.e. a medieval monarchy complete with castles and knights. Number One (another ex Sindal world and the location of a number of Sindalian sites) is on the verge of all out religious civil war, Aslan eye the unprotected world all around and Slave Traders/Pirates are rife in the whole area.
Snipping from prior discussion...
<<<A cat and his girl, in deep sleep in one of the low berths.>>>

Uh oh, I have a premonition of bad things surrounding this one...

<<<The Vargr rogue, who is the captain's gopher.>>>

I bet he loves being called a gopher.
OH OH OH [waving hand, arm outstretched] I know the answers! [I think, I hope.]

That would be Alien and Titan AE respectivly, right? Felgercarb, I can't remember the bad dogs name from Titan AE. Oh well...

Well, playing the game solo, the PC party is easy to figure...

1 human[solomani or mixed] Imperial Scout, pilots and navigates the ship. Sometimes has engineering skill, most of the time does not. This leads us to...


The Engineer: either human or robotic. If human, he/she is fresh out of college, and has very basic skills, and so will need constant attention when outside of the engineering deck. If robotic, it will be a cheap low tech dumbot type, and has very basic skills, maybe only one skill, and so will also need constant attention also.

A bizzare alien: one slightly loco in the cabeza alien, appropriate for the current campaign/locale.
Presently, since I'm in the Marches, I'm trending towards a Droyne. A technician or a sport, served in the navy, his ship crashed, exploded, or otherwise had issues, causing the poor Droyne to hit his head, may be suffers amnessia, gets a little confused, and avoids committing Droyne Sepuku. The guy is just trying to figure out what happened to him. Hmmm... he may not even remember he's a Droyne...hmmm.

The Companion: The Scouts girl friend, or patron, or maybe somebody he just fell in with. Somebody to save, or somebody who will save the scout, as the case maybe. Human female, generally Solomani, sometimes Darrian, lately an occaissonal Suerrat.
Sometimes the scout will even dream of a D'kelvin...

Thats the basic group; packable into two staterooms.

Depending on the context and situation we add...

The Fireteam/Deckhands: 4 ground combat types, usually ex military, at least one of which has ships gunnery skill. Generally Imperial Army types, cause there cheap to hire. As for the gunner, an Imperial Marine or COACC special ops if the dice are kind, otherwise, ex navy. I don't trust Merchant Gunners, either your dealing with corporate types or pirate types, and both present problems my pc could do without. Maybe a couple big muscle types to handle the cargo, yeah.

Packable into four staterooms.
After the last few weeks of the Iraq War I'm tempted to run a campaign with a TNN* News Team where the PCs are:

TNN Journalist The guy the people back home watch.

TNN Cameraman The guy responsible for getting great pictures/sounds for the people back home.

TNN Field Producer (optional) The guy responsible for making field decisions as to what stories are worth covering, when and why.

The Bodyguard(s) The guys who keep the rest of them moderately safe in the warzone(s)/planet(s) they visit.

You could also throw in a spaceship along with its crew. But I suspect that it would be more interesting if the team didn't have a spaceship, but instead had to use commercial liners and/or hire mercs willing to take them where the stories are.

* TNN = Traveller News Network, "All the news, all the time."
Been a few weeks since we played, but...

The ex-Marine Brigadier General (handy with guns and opsec)
The ex-Navy Doctor (Herr Doktor, a genetic specialist)
The ex-Marine Sergeant/Monk (ok with weapons, MUCh better with nare hands)
The Professional (Hacker Supreme and good navigator)
The Belter (Ship owner, techie, ex-con)
The Girl (Brigadier's adopted daughter, psionically active, untrained and verging on puberty--character currently inactive due to player's business travel)

All characters are human. No Vargr were harmed during the sessions of this game.
No Vargr were harmed during... heh.

My current group of players is:

Aslan female (navy/merchant, Ensign), serves as the ship's engineer
Vargr male (marine, Colonel)
Human male (marine/mercenary, Captain)
Human male (scout/army/mercenary, Lieutenant), serves as the ship's Captain/pilot

In addition, there's a Vargr noble (ex marine
) who's their patron.
In my T20PBEM game http://www.urbin.net/t20pbem/,

We have:

A Noble/Academic (GM's NPC), leading an expedition to find bits of the past lost in the cracks of history.

A Navy/Merc, who is Captain of the ship supplied by the Noble/Academic

A Belter/Imperial Navy type to keep the engines running

A Vargr Academic, a vegatarian, BTW...

A Vargr Merc/Traveller/subsector Navy. Pilot/bridge crew

A Vargr Traveller/Imperial Navy/Merchant, Pilot/bridge crew

An Army/Barbarian/Traveller, my best guess is comic relief. :rolleyes:

A professional/Traveller, ship's doctor

An Army/Rogue, ground fighter
Vargr ex-marine/merchant for captain/Gunnery
Solomani ex-scout/belter for pilot
Aslan ex-scout for navigator/Gunnery
Solomani ex-scout for medic
Imperial ex-academic for supercargo/mission specialist
Imperial ex-Navy for sensor ops/commo
Imperial ex-merc for Steward/Ships security
Geneered Rodent ex-scout for Engineer
A dog, a cat, and a rat, all on the same ship!