Heroic Character Quick-Gen Rules
Step One: Characteristics
To determine your Characteristics (Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Intelligence, Education, and Social Standing), roll 3d6 and drop the lowest individual roll six times. Once rolled, assign one roll to each Characteristic in the manner of your choosing. After doing that, if the Traveller is a non-human, add or subtract any racial modifiers to Characteristics from the Traveller’s chosen species.
Step Two: Background Skills, Languages, and Initial Benefit Pool
Background Skills are detailed on Page 8 of the 2e Core Rulebook and are unchanged in this rule-set. However, any skill which allows specialization – Art, Athletics, Drive, Flyer, Science and Seafarer – can only be selected for specific specialties. In other words, you cannot select Science 0 as a Background Skill and gain Rank 0 training for all Science specialties.
The Language Skill
All characters gain Language 1 in their native tongue. (For humans, this is Anglic.) Taking Rank 0 in other languages gives the speaker the ability to speak the given language well enough to be considered functionally fluent. Higher ranks in a Language indicates formal training, such as for academic research or conducting oneself amongst nobility.
Initial Benefit Pool
The Benefit Pool is a major addition by these rules, as Benefit Rolls are used extensively as a mechanical currency to allow for player customization without reliance upon without needing to rewrite the entirety of the character generation rules. A Traveller’s initial Benefit Pool is equal to three plus the Traveller’s Social Standing DM.
Step Three: Modifying Characteristics and Background Skills
A Traveller may use some or all of their initial Benefit Pool to modify their starting Characteristics and/or Background Skills. One Benefit Roll may be expended to raise one Characteristic by one point. Alternatively, one Benefit Roll may be expended to acquire an additional two Rank 0 skills from the Background Skills list.
Step Four: Qualification, Basic Training, and Pre-Career Education
There are no Qualification rolls associated with entering a Career in this rule-set. A Traveller, therefore, simply selects their initial Career and may automatically enter into and receive Basic Training.
Borrowing from the original Space Raj campaign, when a Traveller enters their first Career, they receive Basic Training. This consists of gaining Rank 1 in two of the Skills on their Service Skills table and Rank 0 in all other Skills on the same table. Additionally, the Traveller gains Rank 1 in one of the Skills on their appropriate Specialty Skills table.
These rules do not support usage of the RAW University and Military Academy forms of Pre-Career Education. This is partially because these rules are intended for heroic Travellers, who have picked themselves up by their own pluck and resourcefulness, and partly because the amount of work to socket them into this rule-set would have proven too great for their limited purpose.
Step Five: Create Traveller’s Terms
Once an initial Career is determined and Basic Training undertaken, complete the first Term in that career. (The full description of the Term Completion Process is detailed below.) Once completed, determine whether to continue for another Term within that Career, if the Traveller wishes to change Careers, or is ready to muster-out. (As there are no Qualification rolls, a Traveller may freely change Careers.) If the Traveller wishes to complete another Term, repeat the Term completion process up to another two times. Or, said another way, until up to three terms have been completed. If the Traveller opts to muster-out immediately, proceed to Step Six.
Step Six: Mustering Out
When a Traveller musters out, it is time for the Traveller to spend their accumulated Benefit Pool. Prior to spending the Benefit Pool, the Traveller gains any bonus Benefit Rolls which the Traveller would be entitled from Career Rank. The Traveller does not gain a Benefit Roll for each Term completed.
Once the final Benefit Pool is calculated, the Traveller may buy any Benefit off a Mustering-Out Benefit table in a Career in which the Traveller has spent one Term. The cost of purchasing the Benefit is equal to its rolling number. For instance, a Traveller who spent at least one Term in the Navy Career could buy a Benefit of 1,000cr or a Ship-Share for 1 Benefit Roll; 5,000cr or INT +1 for 2 Benefit Rolls; and so on. A Traveller may also choose to buy Benefits from Careers which no Terms have been completed, at twice the cost.
Phase One: Primary Skill Points
Select one Skill from each of your Career’s Personal Development, Service Skill, and appropriate Specialty Skill tables and increases them by 1. (Attribute increases on the Personal Development table are considered Skills for this purpose.) Notwithstanding such, no Skill can be raised higher than Rank 3 during this Phase.
These Skill increases represent the sum of a character’s specialized training and hard-won training for the Term. For roleplaying purposes, they are what define the professional competencies of your Traveller, and should be used to allow your Traveller to do well the things which they are supposed to be skilled in.
Phase Two: Secondary Skill Points
Select one Skill that is not found on your Career’s Personal Development, Service Skill, or appropriate Specialty Skill. You gain Rank 0 in that Skill. If that Skill is one which has specialties, you gain Rank 0 only with regard to one chosen specialty. You may, once per Term, purchase Rank 0 in an additional Skill by expending a roll from your Benefit Pool.
These Skill increases represent the eclectic knowledge that all individuals pick up in their travels. They should be used to round out a character by giving them unexpected competencies or knowledge which might not be expected from someone in their profession. To use an example, if creating Mass Effect’s Ashley Williams, a player in the Marine (Star Marine) Career might choose Endurance +1, Gun Combat (slug), and Vacc Suit as her Phase One Skills to represent Ashley’s tenacity and prowess a boomstick, they would in turn choose Science (literature) 0 to represent her familiarity with Tennyson.
Phase Three: Career Exploit/Advanced Training
During this Phase, examine the Advanced Training table under your Career. If you meet the qualifications, you may elect to undergo Advanced Training or gain a Career Exploit. If you do not meet the requirement for Advanced Training, you simply gain a Career Exploit.
A Career Exploit is a defining opportunity of a Term in terms of a Traveller’s Career: It is the moment when a Marine might have to hold out against overwhelming odds, the Merchant comes across a life-changing trade, the Scholar partakes in a career-making experiment, and the Noble throws the biggest space-coke party in the sector. They are moments rife with potential, but also with risk.
To create a Career Exploit, begin by writing a single-sentence synopsis of what the basis for the Career Exploit is and what the Traveller must accomplish to succeed in the scenario it presents. A Career Exploit need not be particularly detailed or involved, but it does need to at least contain an appropriate and challenging situation: “The Traveller discovers a derelict container ship and organizes a salvage expedition!” is a perfectly fine basis for a Career Exploit, so long as it makes sense for the Career it’s used for. (An Entertainer, for instance, probably isn’t going to be mounting too man salvaging operations.)
Once the basis for the Career Exploit has been established, select a Skill to be used to attempt the Career Exploit. The Skill should be one which is reasonable and relevant to the basis of the Career Exploit. Once an appropriate Skill has been selected, select a difficulty for the Career Exploit to be attempted: Average (8+), Difficult (10+), Formidable (12+), or Nightmare (14+). (This replaces the Core Rulebook difficulty progression, as “Very Difficult” is silly.) After selecting the Skill and setting the difficulty, make a Skill Check with the selected Skill against the chosen difficulty.
If the Skill Check is successful, you have successfully completed the Career Exploit. In order to gain the advantages of the Exploit, briefly describe its successful nature and the Traveller’s actions in making it that way. Once done, you gain a bonus to your Benefit pool based upon how difficult the Career Exploit was and how successful you were, as follows:
Normal: 1 Benefit roll plus 1 Benefit roll if Skill Check was a Critical Success.
Difficult: 2 Benefit rolls plus 1 Benefit roll for every 2 points of Success (rounded down).
Formidable: 4 Benefit rolls plus 1 Benefit roll for every 1 point of Success.
Nightmare: 6 Benefit rolls and +1 SOC plus 2 Benefit rolls for every 1 point of Success.
If the Skill Check is not successful, opportunity has passed the Traveller by. Briefly describe what went wrong and, if you choose, what repercussions (if any) there are for the Traveller. Once done, if you had a Marginal or Average Failure, gain a Contact: This symbolizes the helping hand that righted the Traveller’s ship after the Exploit’s failure. If you had a Critical Failure, gain an Ally instead, because the Traveller likely needs all the help he can get.
If you qualify for Advanced Training, you may – instead of attempting a Career Exploit – simply gain 1 rank in the Skill of your choice selected from your Career’s Advanced Training table and one Contact.
Phase Four: Personal Life
Gain one new Contact and one new Rival. You may choose to, in the alternative, gain one new Ally and one new Enemy. You may also choose to expend a Benefit roll to do any of the following, though only once per Term per option:
—Gain an additional Contact this Term.
—Not gain a Rival this Term.
—Upgrade an existing Contact to an Ally.
—Downgrade an existing Enemy to a Rival.
Phase Five: Advancement
Under these rules, a Traveller is assumed to automatically attain promotion at the end of the Term. During this Phase, gain any listed bonuses for your rank on your Career’s Ranks & Bonuses table. A character may also choose to forego promotion. If a character foregoes promotion, gain 1 Benefit roll instead.
Phase Six: Benefits Acquisition
Calculate the number of Benefit rolls you have acquired and spent during your Term and adjust your Benefit pool upwards or downwards appropriately.