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Old Mar 5th, 2021, 01:08 AM
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savoylen savoylen is offline
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Character Creation

Traveller Character Creation
Traveller characters are rarely beginners fresh from the farm. There is no reason not to play a young and inexperienced character if you like, but since a broad range of skills is important to success in the game most players will want their character to be a little more experienced in the world.

All characters begin at the age of majority, typically 18. Having generated characteristic scores and background skills, the character should begin serving terms in his or her chosen career. Each 4-year term spent in a career gives the character more experience in the universe, generally in the form of skills. Generate the results of each term before proceeding to the next. At the end of a period of service, characters roll for benefits gained upon "mustering out" (i.e. leaving the service). They may then begin adventuring.

Character Creation Charts
If you want to see what we are GOING to be doing together, it is all listed here. DON'T do this yet, this is just a preview of what we are doing. Each version of traveller has it version of these and they work about the same way. Usually you do this with your group as part of the character creation "mini-game."

Please bookmark this Cepheus SRD. I'll be sending you there from time to time to read over options that you have or a table to roll on, etc.

This is what is called the Universal Character Format Block. It is used in a lot of Traveller related materials and condenses the essence of a character (or NPC) to the most important elements. The template for that looks like this:

[Character Name, with rank and/or noble title, if appropriate] [Character UPP] Age [Character Age]
[Character Careers, with terms listed in parentheses] Cr[Character Funds]
[Character Skill List, in alphabetical order, with skill levels listed after skill names]
[Species Traits, if not human; optional]
[Character Equipment, if available; list only significant property]

When completed it looks like this example system-wide human celebrity that has been entertaining his holovid fans for almost two decades with his heroic action movies::

Bruce Ayala 786A9A Age 38
Entertainer (5 terms) Cr70,000
Athletics-1, Admin-1, Advocate-1, Bribery-1, Carousing-3, Computer-2, Gambling-0, Grav Vehicle-0, Liaison-2, Linguistics-0, Streetwise-0
High passage (x2)

But we'll do a full Character Sheet to get there! (We can't let you off that easy now can we?!)

Here is an example of a full character sheet:


You are welcome to copy/paste the character template into a new post for your own use. You'll be editing the stuffing out of this post as you do the rest of the Character creation mini-game.

Here is a Copy/Paste version (scaled down) you can use for your character::

Generally Speaking, unless you are told to otherwise, you'll do each step in turn. There are 12 of them. If you end up taking a little detour, the instructions will let you know. Each time you cycle through these set of steps is called a "Term". most people decide to do 2 to 4 terms before "mustering" out and finishing up a character.

Step 1: Characteristics
Starting Out and leaving the nest (metaphorically speaking for most of the characters)

You are going to editing the crud out of it but it gives as a place to start and a way for me to see how you are doing. TIP: By the way, if you ever want to see the [BB] codes someone is using, its ok to use the "quote" option on the post. You'll see what they did... its always ok to copy/paste from me and test out what these codes do while you are leaning. If you ever start to feel weird about it, just ask the Post Owner for permission. I've never been told 'no' in all the years I've been on this site!

Enter Your Name, Species/sex, homeworld in your CS (the one in your post you just put the template in). Your name, species, homeworld, description are now locked in.

Now its time to roll for your basic stats.

Again, in your character's creation forum (I'm going to stop repeating that part now... everything I'm going to talk about next happens in your character creation forum), roll 2d6, six times. You'll end up with 6 numbers. Assign these scores in any order you wish to your abilities in your Character's Sheet.

Use the dice roller to make this happen using this code:
[DICE="Characteristics Score Rolls"]6x2d6[/DIZE] (change the Z to C)

The Physical Characteristics are...
Strength (STR): A Traveller’s physical strength, fitness and forcefulness.
Dexterity (DEX): Physical co-ordination and agility, reflexes.
Endurance (END): A Traveller’s stamina, determination and ability to sustain damage.

The Mental Characteristics are...
Intellect (INT): A Traveller’s intelligence and quickness of mind.
Education (EDU): A measure of a Traveller’s learning and experience.
Social Standing (SOC): A Traveller’s place in society.

Once you've assigned these, they are locked!

Characteristics scores change as you play the game. For example, if you are hit with a bat, your ENDurance is reduced and you feel the effects immediately! On your character sheet there are places for two numbers in the Dashboard (at the bottom of your sheet). Think of this as your current status read out for you character. Fill in your characteristics there as well. To begin, your "MAX (full) Score /Current Score" numbers are the same. Notice I put the modifiers in the Dashboard for your reference as well. Handy!

Once you've updated your CS and Dashboard, we'll move on to skills!

Step 2: Homeworld and Early Education
Gain background skills from your early education. Character gains a number of background skills at Level 0 equal to 3 + their Education modifier.

Growing up on your homeworld gave you skills that depend on the planet’s nature. You can select any skill that matches your homeworld’s planetary description and trade codes. If you came from a planet already established in the Referee’s universe (in this case the OTU), then consult those sources for the planet’s description.


For your early general education, pick those skills from this list:
Admin-0, Advocate-0, Animals-0, Carousing-0, Comms-0, Computer-0, Electronics-0, Engineering-0, Life Sciences-0, Linguistics-0, Mechanics-0, Medicine-0, Physical Sciences-0, Social Sciences-0, Space Sciences-0

Once you've updated your CS, we're ready to move on to the next step.

Step 3: Career
a) Choose a career. You cannot choose a career you’ve already left except Drifter.
b) Roll to qualify for that career, as indicated in the description of the career. If this is not your first career, you suffer a –2 DM for every previous career in which you have served.
c) If you qualify for this career, go to step 4.
d) If you do not qualify for that career, you can enter the Drifter career or submit to the draft. You may only enter the draft once.

The list of careers we are going to use for this game is here. This works a little differently in different systems but the general idea is the same. Once you select your career, you need to look for the tables that match up. You can see the tables by following this link and then scrolling down just a bit.

Lets say for example, you selected "Pirate." Looking in that LARGE table, you'll see the Qualification is listed as DEX 6+. That means, you need to do a DEX "Check". when you have to make a die roll to resolve an action, it will typically follow the core system of a 2D6 roll plus modifiers (DM) versus a target of 8+ (read as eight or higher). This is called a check. You always want to roll high on a check.

In this example, you roll 2d6 (+the DEX DM listed on your CS). If you roll a total of 6 or higher, your a Pirate!

If course, you failed to qualify you have two choices, become a Drifter (no need to qualify - you just get in) or you can submit to the draft by roll 1d6 and checking this draft chart.

Each step through the cycle of resolving your career path, you will go through a term of service that lasts approximately four years long. This adds four years to the character's age. Each time the character reenlists, or enters into a new career, it is for another term which is four additional years of service.

Go ahead and check to see if you qualify for your career. If you don't, select the Drifter or submit to the draft. Write your new Career (wherever you ended up) on your CS and make an entry in your "lifepath area".

Step 4: Basic Training
* For your first term in your first career, you get every skill in the service skills table at level 0.
* For your first term in subsequent careers, you may pick any one skill from the service skills table at level 0.

This this is my First Career as a Pirate(from my previous example), then I scroll down on the pirate chart and look for "Service Skills." You get to take them all at level 0! If you already have the skill, you don't get a higher level of that skill. In my example as a brand new Pirate, I would get these skills: Streetwise 0, Electronics 0, Gun Combat 0, Melee Combat 0, Recon 0, Vehicle 0.

Step 5: Survival
Roll for survival, as indicated in the description of the career.
If you succeed, congratulations we get to keep going!
If you did not succeed, you have died. Just joking (That was how it worked in the old days and in the CE.)
We are using the alternate rolls. That simply means events have forced you from this career. Roll on the mishap table and then step on to 10 (Though we are not going to worry about benefits in this NPSG, if you did, you may or may not receive a benefit roll for this term but you WOULD for other success terms.)

Roll 1D6 for Mishaps

IF required, roll 1D6 for Injury

A note on Prison or other injuries. DON'T over worry about this. There is a special skills package and other game benefits you'll be getting as part of your time doing hard crime. Some of my favorite Characters are 'hard cases' like this. If this applies, I'll let me know so I can send you all the info. (I'm trying to keep this outline clean.) As for injuries, those can be restored when we finish up - just remind me, and I'll let you know what that will cost (you might need to take out a loan but don't worry, its not due any time soon!).

Step 6: Commission and Advancement


Back to the Tables for the Career again.

a. You begin as a Rank 0 character.
b. If your career offers a Commission check and you are Rank 0, you can choose to roll for Commission. If you are successful, you are now Rank 1 in your chosen career. Choose one of the skills and training tables and roll on it for an extra skill. Take any bonus skills from the ranks table for this career.
c. If your career offers an Advancement check and you are Rank 1 or higher, you can choose to roll for Advancement. If you are successful, your Rank improves by one in your chosen career. Choose one of the skills and training tables and roll on it for an extra skill. Take any bonus skills from the ranks table for this career. You can roll for Advancement in the same term that you succeed in a Commission roll.

Step 7: Skills and Training
Each career has skill tables associated with it – Personal Development, Service Skills, Specialist Skills and Advanced Education. In each term you spend in a career, pick one of these tables and roll 1D6 to see which skill you increase. You may only roll on the Advanced Education table if your character has Education 8+.

Because the Athlete, Barbarian, Belter, Drifter, Entertainer, Hunter and Scout careers do not have commission or advancement checks, characters get to make two rolls for skills instead of one every term.

a. Choose one of the Skills and Training tables for this career and roll on it. If you gain a characteristic improvement as a result, apply the change to your characteristic score immediately. If you gain a skill as a result and you do not already have levels in that skill, take it at level 1. If you already have the skill, increase your skill by one level.
b. If your career does not have a Commission or Advancement check, you may roll a second time, choose one of the Skills and Training tables for this career (which may be the same or different from the first table chosen for this term.)

Step 8: Aging
The effects of aging begin when a character reaches 34 years of age. At the end of the fourth term, and at the end of every term thereafter, the character must roll 2D6 on the Aging Table. Apply the character's total number of terms as a negative Dice Modifier on this table.

a. Increase your age by 4 years.
b. If your character is 34 or older, roll for aging.

2D6 Effects of Aging

Step 9: Re-enlistment
At the end of each term, the character must decide that they wish to continue on their career path or if they wish to muster out. If continuation is desired, the character must make a successful Reenlistment check as listed for their current profession or service. If the character rolls a natural 12, they cannot leave their current career and must continue for another term. If the check is not successful, then they cannot reenlist and the character must leave their current career.

A character that has served 7 or more terms in character creation must retire and cannot undertake any more prior experience, unless they roll a natural 12 during Reenlistment and must serve another term of service.

a. Roll for re-enlistment. If you fail, you must leave this career. If you roll a natural 12, you cannot leave this career and must continue for another term, go to step 5.
b. If you have served a total of seven terms or more in character creation, then you must retire, go to step 10.
c. If you wish to continue in this career, go to step 5.
d. If you wish to leave this career, go to step 10.

Step 10: Benefits
Characters who end their careers receive one benefit per term served in which they did not lose benefits. An additional benefit is gained if the character held rank O4, and two for rank O5. A character with rank O6 gains three extra benefits.

You're welcome to check out the benefit tables other mustering out benefits here but you'll have everything you need once our adventure starts.

You can just move on to the next step! Let me know when you are ready to move on and you have updated your CS.

Step 11: Next Career
If you're leaving your current career and your total number of terms in character creation is less than seven, you may go to step 3 to choose a new career or to step 12 if you wish to finish your character.

Step 12: Buy Starting Equipment
Everything you need for equipment is in the ship's locker so there is not need to spend time working on this part of Character Creation.
But since we are here, go ahead and add the following items to your Character sheet as gifts from your Referee for making this far.

A heavy duty body suit tailored from ballistic cloth. The fabric absorbs impact energy and spreads it over the body, which can result in bruising. However, cloth armor is highly useful and versatile – it can be effectively concealed under normal clothing although observers making an Investigate or Recon check at 8+ will notice something unusual.Cloth Armor TL6 Protection: 9 Cost: Cr250 Wgt: 2

The rest we'll take care of when we get on board!

Its time to get on board!
I know that might seem like quite a bit of work but once you get the hang of reading the flow chart and tables, its incredible fun. I suggest keeping track of not only what the results are but to also write a little story - even just a few lines - of what you imagine took place. That's VERY traveller... the tables and charts give you the 'big picture' and you fill in the details using your imagination.

That turns a results such as "Failing a advancement check" into something like "Garl's made the mistake of showing up his boss during a key project that resulted in being past over for his advancement." Bu the time you are done with your character you have a detailed history of a life that might have never some up with on your own!
GM of: Dark*Matter: The Hoffmann Institute (2007 HOF),
Traveller: The Third Imperium & Strixhaven: Academy for the Gifted
New here? Try a New Player Solo Game for 13th age, CoC, DnD, FATE, Pathfinder, Traveller.

Last edited by savoylen; Mar 6th, 2021 at 12:59 AM.
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Old Mar 5th, 2021, 05:00 PM
savoylen's Avatar
savoylen savoylen is offline
Ancient Dragon
User Statistics
Last Visit: Mar 27th, 2023
RPXP: 27113
savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen savoylen
Posts: 18,900
Confused on a step? Do you like REALLY BIG FLOWCHARTS?
If you answered yes to both those questions, then perhaps you'd like this visual aid to the Character Creation Process we are using in this version (Cecpheus) of Traveller. Each one (I'm a fan of Mongoose Traveller Ed. 2 MgT2) has there own version of this process... and then some alternate options!

For example, if you end up "DEAD" on this chart - don't despair! Death is only the beginning. Really, you didn't die. We'll use the 'no death' optional rule (see above).

Character Creation Flow Chart - PDF

GM of: Dark*Matter: The Hoffmann Institute (2007 HOF),
Traveller: The Third Imperium & Strixhaven: Academy for the Gifted
New here? Try a New Player Solo Game for 13th age, CoC, DnD, FATE, Pathfinder, Traveller.
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