Saturday, January 22, 2022

Character Challenge 2022 22: Sally Harris, Dino Express

Having a bit more time on a Saturday, I'll pull out my Apex book and see about rolling up a dinosaur rider. I am goign to restrict to change some of the things so that he will fit your Saturday morning cowboy show, albeit with dinosaurs!

First, we have the traditional attribute scores of strength, intelligence, wisdom, constitution, dexterity and charisma. We roll 4d6 and take the top 3, so that we start off with a more heroic character. In general:

  • 3 - 6: below average (-1 / -5% bonus for skills and checks using this attribute)
  • 7-14: average
  • 15-18: above average (+1 / +5% bonus for skills and checks using this attribute)

 Our cowpoke starts with:

  • Strength: 14. Physical power is in the average range, though at the top of that.
  • Intelligence: 6 (-1) (wow, a few ones on that roll. so dumb as a post!) IQ, reasoning and the ability to solve puzzles. Let's leave him with the kid's 24-piece puzzle set instead of the 1000-piece set.
  • Wisdom: 17 (+1). Insight, perception and good judgement. He is an excellent judge of character and will rarely be surprised.
  • Constitution: 13. The health and endurance of a character. 
  • Dexterity: 14. Coordination and quickness. 
  • Charisma: 13. The character's leadership ability. 
As I am hoping that I'll be using this character in a future Apex Cowboy game, and I am also hoping to use some shared world-building to get the players to start at level 2, we'll have a few more steps to add in traits and so on. But first, I need to determine if this cowpoke is a girl or boy: even roll, so we have a cowgirl. Using a random cowboy name generator (and yes, there are random generators for EVERYTHING!), and looking at her wisdom and her intelligence, going with Sally "the Deaf" Harris. Deaf in not that she can't hear, but that she never paiud attention to the school marm and children just called her the Deaf. Children can be cruel, as well as being amazingly nice. You can't tell...though Sally could always tell it seems. 

Sally, at level 2, gets 2 traits. With my idea based on part of a Bonanza episode I saw the other day at the gym on the treadmill (you can only stare at the walls for so long!) she is going to be part of the pony express network. As such, and as she really loves her dinosaur, we'll go with animal affinity and explorer. With animal affinity, she gets a +2 when trying to train, placate or calm animals. Explorer grants her a boon, excuse me, advantage, for finding her way. Both useful traits for the dino-express. 

At level 2:
  • Hit points are constitution + 2, for 15
  • Saving throw: 12
  • Lore: 1
Her dinosaur will know 1 trick, and looking through those available, the "come" trick seems the best. After all, Silver always came to the Lone Ranger's aid when called. Mounts will come when a rider calls. This trick is an "urgent" come so that allows the rider to leap onto their mount without costing an action.

Her wisdom plays with the dinosaur rider class: she gets a 10% bonus on experience points. So, the rolls went mostly where I'd like them to. But, in deference to another Western game I played, she will have to act similar to Whitey (may his soul rest in peace) and not be the brightest at much of anything. 

She also gets an advantage on saving rolls when she is on her mount - something I will have to remember when playing her. I tend to forget a lot of these little rules when playing. One of the reasons I want to play some games more: I do want to understand and be able to use the rules better. Not necessarily always to my advantage, but to get more into the game.

Now I need a character sheet to round up all these pieces. And she named her dinosaur Daisy.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Character Challenge 2022 21: Priestess Zhou Smithensonne

I think we need to detail a priest from the Nimble Priest Inn. Perhaps expound a bit on the Fair Lady that they worship, or whatever it is they do. The Fantasy Trip does not have classes, so no Cleric class here. It does have skills and spells that anyone can use. The costs just vary based on if you are a magic user (and skills cost more) or a fighter/non-magic user (and spells cost more). Funny in a way: that whole alignment thing causing such an uproar for some people is not even an aspect in my 2 favorite games. In these games, people are people regardless of race, gender, whatever. You, the player & GM, decide about the various races and attitudes. Anyway, refreshing to not get caught up in that craziness!

First, I need to decide if these priests are all male, all female, mixed, whatever. As I rolled an even number, this will be a priestess, and then we'll figure out if the devotees of the Fair Lady are all women, or mixed and it does not matter. Or something along those lines. Though for some reason I am leaning towards a matriarchal priesthood. 

We'll start with the standard human, 8/8/8 with 8 points. And actually, as she has been a priestess for a while and will be in charge of the Nimble Priest Inn, at least 2 more points. We know for skills we need the priest skill (which I forgot that if the GM wishes we can have prayers affect dice rolls. I'd go with a boon affect I think and allow an extra die or two and pick the highest). Additional skills for her will be literacy so she can read the liturgy. Not all religions would have a written word, but we will say this one does. With a name like the Nimble Priest, I am also thinking, hey, monk-style ninja priests! Acrobatics and unarmed combat II. And a fun unusual weapon: quarterstaff. As she will be leading any songs, we'll add bard. Now, we may also want to see about a spell. I like drop weapon as it makes fighting your opponent easier if they've dropped their sword! And that seems like a good list. And after poking around image searches, found one I liked, but she also had a sword. So...another skill!

Zhou Smithensonne is the local High Priestess of the Followers of the Fair Lady. She runs the Nimble Priest Inn in Windemere. There is a small cadre of 5 other priestesses who assist with the operations, including Wren, who is a most excellent cook. Zhou is quiet and tries to stay in the background. But with her good looks, shaved head, and singing voice, she usually ends up singing for the evening entertainment. Her staff, which she carries constantly, is both well-worn and well cared for. Glyphs of some sort entwine the length of it, with a set of crossed quarterstaffs showing up at one end. The staffs the priestesses carry indicate their rank within the order. All the priestesses have a quarterstaff, though it is usually in the kitchen when they are on duty. Zhou will often greet patrons as they arrive, and floats between the bar and kitchen, keeping an eye on the guests.

She and the other priestesses live next door to the inn, reserving the inn for guests. They reserve one of the smaller back rooms as a generic sanctuary. It has a tiled floor, and cushions on the floor, and a small table at one end. Deputy Newtonsom shows up every 3 days for his prayers, and often to pick up the sheriff and take him home when he gets maudlin drunk. They have a small temple in the rear yard, which is more of an open sparring ground than a temple. The Fair Lady may be related to Tinma, the god of plants, that female warlocks often venerate. There are no images or statues of the fair lady in the temple. Instead, there is a recurring motif of crossed quarterstaffs. The priestesses rejoice in the Fair Lady by combat. And always a fair combat, which is where the deputy thinks the name comes from. To rise in the ranks, one must be a fierce fighter, and training a few hours a day will weed out those who are not sincere. 

While Zhou is the best fighter, the other priestesses are also valiant and capable fighters. Wren, even despite her girth from "testing" her dishes, is a more capable foe than one would think. Fights at the Nimble Priest often do not require the sheriff or the deputy: the priestesses are more than capable of handling most fights.

The inn is a large 2 story building with a basement below the main floor. The Nimble Priest is run by the acolytes of the Fair Lady. Fellow clerics and acolytes get a good discount, everyone else pays fair coin for the rooms. Rooms range from a few coppers to sleep in the stable above the riding mounts, 5 silvers for a shared room and breakfast, 1 gold for a single room and breakfast. The Fair Lady is a deity none of the characters would have heard of before. 


Thursday, January 20, 2022

Character Challenge 2022 20: Major Quarol Rocha

Another long day and out of time. So, I have a choice: true Classic Traveller or TFT? Those are the fastest I can use to generate characters. And while I did do a Delve character, I really should look into some other games I have. In fact, I plan on running Apex in the Old West sometime so we can have a Dinosaur Cowboy game. I'll try & do that this weekend. Maybe a western-style map as well!

Anyway, let's just roll dice & see what we get. If it is good or interesting, CT, else TFT.

698657 - well, sort of interesting. And the only career that gives her a good chance is the Army. And maybe she will be my first character death this year. And she easily gets in.

Term 1

She handily survives and gets a commission, and (re-read the rules) she also made her promotion. From raw private to Lieutenant to Captain in her first term! Due to the 1st term, commission and promotion, 4 skill rolls! She does not have access to the advanced education roll with her 5 level of education. We'll just rotate through the tables.

Skills: +1 Endurance, Air/Raft, Blade Combat: Blade-1, +1 Dexterity. 6A9657.

Noted that the air/raft skill is later renamed to grav as the description does indicate all grav-based vehicles. Sadly, she does not have enough strength for a modifier. Maybe one of those rolls will boost her strength.

Re-enlistment roll was a success.

Term 2

She again survives and made promotion to Major. 

Skills: Revolver-1, Grav-Belt-1

hah - I don't remember seeing grav-belt as a specific vehicle. I assume it later got subsumed into grav vehicles in general, but I had a character, a Marine, who used power armor with the built-in grav belt. Good times!

And she failed her re-enlistment! With her rank and 2 terms, she gets 4 rolls. 2 cash, 2 benefits.

Mustering out

Cash rolls: Cr2,000 + Cr10,000 = Cr12,000

Benefits: Mid-passage and a gun. She'll take her trusty service revolver.

Amry Major Quarol Rocha

6A9657 age 26, 2 terms

Air/Raft-1, Grav-Belt-1, Blade-1, Revolver-1, Cr10,000, Mid-passage ticket

A brief but amazingly rapid career in the army left Major Quarol Rocha spinning in her own head. She joined the army fresh out of high school and rose very rapidly through the ranks. Some say perhaps too rapidly and that is why she was denied re-enlistment. She was a capable officer and well-liked by those she commanded. She took great joy in flying: grav vehicles or her preferred style of grav-belt. There was a certain freedom in the air. 

After 8 hectic years in the Army, she decided a nice long vacation to figure out her next steps. She ended at the high port at the end of her term and took on a long-term apartment while she weighed her options. She spends a good bit of time at the Purple Fountain, mostly because the photonic light sculpture in the concourse next to it caught her eye. In fact, she has talked with its creator, Sterey Pera, when he noticed her looking at his masterpiece. They've since taken on an almost father-daughter relationship. She keeps her service revolver at her apartment, well-cleaned and serviced. Eventually she will have to find a job as her credits will dwindle down as she stays at the port.

And finally, the Traveller Army career has always been interesting to me. Like all the LBB1 careers, they predate the OTU. There is no 3rd Imperium, so the careers only say things like "members of the armed planetary forces". Which I like in many ways: the "proto-Traveller" does not have the decades of history and our Major Rocha could be from some small planet's army, or some interstellar government's army that has armies on multiple worlds. It was up to the referee to decide what and how they wanted to play.  Probably why I keep going back to Classic Traveller (and the reference in the name of this blog!). It was my first RPG, and the original LBBs were open to playing any SF game we wanted to. Don't get me wrong: I love all the resources now available. People in the Traveller community are very giving when it comes things like the Traveller Map site, or COTI. But as my sig says for my COTI account, Traveller is a neat tool box!

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Character Challenge 2022 19: Keze Briarlegs

Deciding I've run out of time today, I'll do a Fantasy Trip character. Rennor gets her "looks like armor" clothing from Keze Briarlegs. He is introduced briefly here, and other than a name and the town's second barber, we don't have a lot to go on. 

With a name like Briarlegs, though, you have to wonder. Going to play against the Dwarves despise Orcs as Rennor is exceptional in many ways. And hoping I can play her well when my group visits Windemere. And also deciding based on a roll that she is actually a female Dwarf.

Dwarves start with ST 10, DX 6, and IQ 8. Going to boost her to ST 12 DX 12 and IQ 9. Some skills she will have will be brawling (one of the reasons she is the 2nd best tailor is she is often in fights and so does not always get her work done in time). Also carousing which is what ends up as brawls. Being a Dwarf, the ax/mace skill is required of course, and perhaps shield and knife (swords just don't work well for her stature). The mundane talent of tailor and finish off with silent movement and toughness. 

Keze used to be an adventurer in years past, but one dungeon delve too many left her left side scarred from a slime. Deciding to settle down, she ended up in Windemere. Seeing how the tailor in town was pretty snooty (at least in her eyes) she decided that tailoring should be available to more people. She set up shop just outside the Goblin Drecks. And she also provides some of their tailoring needs, usually trading for odd jobs and things she needs. 

Seeing a bit of herself in Rennor, she helped the Orc girl with some padded cloth armor. She made it look more like armor, but it is effectively cloth armor. While Keze keeps away from the rest of the Lurboc clan, she talks with Rennor a lot as the girl makes her "patrol" through the Drecks. Rennor also is more gentle with Keze when breaking up fights. In fact, that is how they first met. Keze was fighting a caravan guard at the Devilish Water after they both had a bit too much of the wine. Rennor simply picked Keze up and took her home and actually tucked in the older woman. Ever since then, Keze had second thoughts about the Orcs, but figured she would take it one Orc at a time. And one Orc was all she wanted to know. 

While generally quiet about her past, a few drinks and she opens up about her adventures. She claims she managed to stash away a good bit of her loot and findings but spent a fair amount setting up her shop. Her shop is in the west side of town just outside the Goblin Drecks. Between the interesting smells and piles of refuse and debris in that section of town, not many people visit. She can do clothing repairs and carries a small stock of clothing she can modify a bit. Clothing there is not particularly well made but does the job. Costs are 75-100% of the normal cost of clothing. The building is almost a hovel and not well cared for, located against the wall to the west side of town. She will buy and order magical items and has her errand boys (which includes girls) pester caravans as they come through to see if there are interesting baubles she can purchase before other merchants in town can get to them. Though Goblins are not always welcome near the caravans, she has managed to get a few odd magic items. She will sell them if she can't use them or gets bored of them. Or needs to pay up her bar tab.

There is a war ax behind the counter, and she always wears several knives. Sharp enough to slice a thread, most of those are actually 1d damage knives. She is also one of the people that, if she is not in the bar brawl, the sheriff calls out to break things up.

While getting on there in age, she could possibly be pulled from the tailoring life to a bit of adventure. She is also a possible source of low-end magic items in addition to decent and cheap clothing. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Character Challenge 2022 18: Kueklluegz Khengarkang ("Kookie"), former Vargr Corsair

Just rolling dice...

A66AA8, Vargr this time, and female. Another smart character. Though depending on the rule set I may need to adjust the physical stats. As I have the reprint of the Classic Alien Modules 1-4, which has the Vargr, we'll use that. And side note - I found that book in a bookstore years ago, and, having not looked at my Traveller books in years and years, I suddenly got nostalgic and bought that and it restarted my interest in my first RPG. Not long after that I found COTI. Life was good!

Anyhoo. We adjust the strength & endurance by -1, and dexterity +1, and social is 1d. So, our revised Vargr UWP is now 975AA5 (hey, I choose the 5 I rolled for charisma!) We have a smart, strong Vargr with pretty good charisma. Using the word generation for a name, her name will have 6 syllables. Another roll and 3 for first and 3 for last. Kueklluegz Khengarkang. And we'll need some sort of Anglic name as I cannot bark that out! Kookie. Well, it is a work in progress.

Looking over the careers, and choosing the extended versions, I'll choose Corsair - I mean, this is a Vargr! How will I integrate an ex-Corsair Vargr into the station? Ahh, that shall be interesting. If I even get in - I don't actually have any DMs, but a 5+ is pretty straightforward. And a 9, Kookie is a Corsair!

Term 1

Needing to pick space or troop, she is a spacer (well, okay, I need to roll as I'll always pick spacer. Hey, I like Traveller! So, even = spacer, odd = trooper. Odd). Okay, she decides to be a trooper. 

Year 1 Basic/Advanced Training: Heavy Wpns (Auto-Cannon-1), Grav-1. I should look up the details for heavy weapons, but honestly, I think we can wait until she is actually in use and then pick what is appropriate? Nah. Opens LBB4 to find the list of heavy weapons. And back-fills the entry.

Year 2 Protection. I survive handily with a 10 but am not successful, but fortunately a 7 means no effect. I can gain a skill and choose Corsair life and pick up Gambling-1.

Year 3 Raid! Another easy survival with a 10, and no success with a 5, but again, an 8 yields no effects. No skills in this seemingly uneventful year of raiding.

Year 4 Protection, barely survive with a 5, and again, no success and this time I lose a charisma for UWP 975AA4. I do pick up a skill, and again choose Corsair and gain +1 dexterity for 975AA4.

Term 2

I just make reenlistment with a 7.

Year 1 Protection. I survive with a 6, finally succeed and yeah, no effect. And no skills. Sometimes, those dice really hate me.

Year 2 Protection. Maybe I need to become a spacer...and I am injured. A wounded Vargr who does not seem to be getting anywhere. However, having just said that I do succeed and gain a MCUF (Meritorious Conduct Under Fire) and gain a charisma back! UWP: 975AA5. Finally - some recognition!

Year 3 Garrison. While I survive, no success but no effect. And no skill. I am looking more like a Classic without expanded character generation!

Year 4 Training. And I must have really acted out. While survival is automatic, I failed, and actually get a -2 charisma and tossed out of the Corsairs! 

Mustering out

Traditionally I believe if you get tossed out you do not get the benefits for that term. So Kookie only has the 1 roll. I'll gamble and do the benefits table and she nabs education +2. And no credits to her name.

Kueklluegz Khengarkang ("Kookie"), former Vargr Corsair

975AC3, age 26, Vargr
Grav-1, Heavy Wpns (Auto-Cannon-1), Gambling-1. 
Her days as a Corsair did not do well for Kookie. She had a soft heart and raiding people to take from them just seemed to be off for her. A loaner from early on, she just never fit in anyplace. After several years of being the ground and ship boarding troops, she decided she was getting nowhere other than scarred up. Her captain, tired of her inability to really go for it, finally dropped her off at a high port far away from their last raid. He was picking up supplies and dropping off what he considered dead weight. With nothing to show for it, Kookie joined the group in Red's Quarters. She avoids most people but has managed to barely survive in the weeks she has been there. She does wander by the gambling dens but without a credit to her name, she can't even enter. She does post that she is available for hire at the hiring boards, and the Lady Aidy, having seen the wandering Vargr, has started up trying to get her employed at the DocuMat. At least it would be a job.
most of the time, she was bored

Red's Ruins, home of the destitute

Yeah, another one that did not turn out to have a happy experience! Not sure why. Maybe I need to switch games for the next character.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Character Challenge 2022 17: Craftsman Sterey Pera

 For those in the US, Happy Martin Luthor King Day. I actually have the day off, but as it has been snowing the last few days, I am unable to leave my house. Which personally is just fine by as long as I have electricity. Internet is not really needed as I have a LOT of books, but no power means no heat and as I am on a well, no water either. But internet is good, and I've binge-watched way too much the last couple of days. On the bright side, I did finish off a couple series I was watching, so in theory I can start new things. I really prefer to finish a series as long as it is not really bad. Though some of the Korean shows seem to go on forever - up to episode 45 of one show and have no idea how many more episodes there are. I have sort of given up on another after 50+ episodes, though who knows, I may get back to it as well.

Regardless, here we are for another character. And I'll do another Traveller character to add more people to this near mythical high port that is slowly developing in the back of my head. I'll have to have a post with the actual port and the character list, perhaps even various maps from the many resources I have or can create. And in looking back over the Points in Space, there are opportunities to pull parts of that together along with a few of the 0-Hr maps as there are a few stations among the PDFs and posters I have for that.

Raw stats: 859868, and human and male. A perfectly average kind of person, so viable for any career and none on particular. One career I've not really tried is the T5 Entertainer career, nor the craftsman. From various comments the fame seems to be a bit tricky, but we'll give it a go. Additionally, it gives me an excuse to open the big black book from the 2nd Kickstarter for T5. Perhaps there will be a 3rd Kickstarter to get rid of the remaining errata and finally, after almost a decade, the actual player's guide as promised in the 1st Kickstarter. Yeah, not really expecting that to ever show up. And as they paid no attention to the PDF reviews indicating errata, pretty sure another KS will just be more of the same. However - I will note that there are a LOT of useful charts in book 1 in dealing with the travel times and jump limits which I've never really paid attention to. It may be handy on my system detailing to see if the planet is within the stellar jump limits. 

Step A is the stats as rolled above. I am not going to worry about the genetics (1 die of each roll is the genetic portion of that stat and is used when generating clones. Not a fan of the cloning thing as for me, if you need a clone, you may as well roll up a new character.

Step B is determining home world. There is a handy d66 table, so I'll utilize that. 15 = Efate (A646930-D), a high population, industrial planet (and with a 0-law level!). From the high pop I gain Streetwise-1 and 1 trade. And though there is an index, the actual trades are listed conveniently at the bottom of the table defining the trade classifications and what skills they grant. And of course, I looked everywhere else before looking at the bottom of the table of trade classifications and their skills. They are also nicely summarized on the skills overview table itself. As there are 10 listed and he is still a blank character, an 8 gives him Photonics-1. These are light-emitting devises (TVs, holovids, etc.). TV repairman or, as I am going to the entertainer career, perhaps a light sculptor of some sort. 

Step C is education and training, or the pre-enlistment options. Looking at his existing education and intelligence, perhaps a trade school to boost his photonics skill. Note that T5 characters have much higher skills as that is a part of the dice-pool mechanism. I'll probably keep him as both versions of Traveller: the general idea is you divide the skills by 3 I think for Classic. Need to find where I read that, but we'll see how that works out. Anyway, back to a trade school (and yes, T5 is full of tables, including tables to generate a trade school name) yet the definition of the trade school shows a +2 to major. The trades don't have the M column checked, just the C for College and S for School. And d'oh, a trade school is a school. Going with that interpretation. Having to roll under Intelligence to get in, he manages it with exactly an 8. A year later, and he does pass, so I'll boost him to Photonic-3. He is getting good at photon-emitting devices, all thanks the (rolls on trade school name) <Company name> Institute of <Skill>. So, the Aeritis Lights Institute of Photonics has handed us our graduation chit. And somewhere I switched from entertainer to craftsman.

Retcon time: it was not until term 2 / year 1 below I realized that he could not become a craftsman. He needs some more skills before entering that career. Our 19-year-old was apprenticed to a photonic engineer during his early schooling and ended up with Photonic-7. Yes, Traveller 5 skills are a far cry from Classic. I'll parse this into Classic to fit the others on the station as well as leaving T5 character generation as well. Picking up craftsman as a skill is required, so a training course for another year (which he gets in with the photonics skill). He just passes with an 8 against his intelligence of 8, so picks up Craftsman-2 and is now 20 years old.

Step D is selecting and resolving a career. This is where Classic Traveller starts. Though the LBB 4 and on introduced pre-enlistment options, it is the Cepheus rules that really expanded on this a great deal so that your character has a life before 18 (or 14 in the case of belters or barbarians). T5 really complicated things though, at least for me. It is still the 4-year term process as started in LBB4, and there is the risk/reward minigame that may have been in LBB4 but was certainly in LBB5 / High Guard. You can take higher risks for survival for a better chance at a promotion, or vice versa. I just seem to never remember to do that but will endeavor this time around. There are actually 2 possible career choices that fit where I want this character to go: craftsman and entertainer. Now that I am looking at it, I've changed my mind, and craftsman seems like a better fit. As defined, a craftsman is a skilled creator, an artisan. The focus of a craftsman is creating a masterpiece, and there is no risk or reward. However, he needs to roll 9 dice to see if he creates a masterpiece against master points. Which are the controlling stat for that term + craftsman skill + up to 5 skills at level 6+. So obviously he is not going to get a masterpiece in the first term or two. And that is a lot of dice - good thing I do have a dice addiction!

Term 1

Year 1 age 20

I'll just go straight through the stats, so C1 / 8 is the controlling stat. Since 8 + 3 (my photonics skill) is not at least 40, I can't even try for a masterpiece. A skill is automatic, plus, as I do not have the 40 points, I also gain Craftsman-3 as I hone my skills. As I am working towards a craftsman, I may also need some business skills and pick up Comms-1

Year 2 age 21

Controlling stat is C2 / 5, + 3 + 1 (1 for Craftsman). Still under 40, so still cannot attempt a masterpiece. For some reason I picked up Medic-1 on the avocation table. Not helping me to my masterpiece, but perhaps wearing those safety googles when working with lasers is a good idea.

Year 3 age 22

Stat is C3 / 9 + 3 + 2, still < 40. I must be working out: strength +1. Now have a 959868 UPP.

Year 4 age 24

This year is C4 for 8 + 3 + 3, or 14. Still far short of what I need to even try for a masterpiece. Apparently, you have to be really old to try! And heck - the skills have to be 6+ to I've been doing it wrong already. T5 is...complicated. Rolling a 5 on the trade gives me Photonics-8. Some progress to making a masterpiece!

Term 2

Year 1 age 25

Back to C1 which is now a 9. 9 + 8 (photonics) + 3 (crafstman) and no skills above 6, so 20 is way, way below 40. Need to work on the skills.  A 1 on the vocation table gives me Naval Architect? Okay, that must be errata: why the heck would naval architect be in this list? Swapping that for 1 Art and choose Artist-1. Ahh, a step towards creating a masterpiece. I am still not at all certain I am handling this correctly. In fact, I don't think I could have even entered this career: I needed 2 level 6 skills and craftsman in re--re-reading the career. So, our hero really needed to get photonics-6 and craftsman-1 before entering the career. Section C will have to be revisited: he'll need an apprenticeship and a mentor for a few years before even starting! See the retcon above. He is still below 40 points but not as much.

Year 2 age 26

Magnetics-1. Picking up another trade skill for a bit of a more well-rounded character. Though at this pace, a masterpiece is a ways to go!

Year 3 age 27

A new trade. Dang, picking Mechanic-1

Year 4 age 28

C4 = 8 + 8 + 4, only 20. Artist-2. And as I can't succeed at the masterpiece, Craftsman-4

Term 3

I also noticed I have no idea about the re-enlistment option. It says Craftsmanx2, so is that a roll under? In which case, he never would have made the 1st reenlistment. I'm doing to fudge this as I realized when I got all the way to term 4, I had been messing up the check for a masterpiece. You only check once per term, not each year! With Craftsman-4, I need an 8 or less to stay in.

And in rewriting this post multiple times, I can see why T5 is full of issues: it is complicated! Next time I do a T5 character generation, I am going to do it on a notepad first then transcribe the end results. Some of the masterpiece attempts may still not have the correct numbers adding up.

Year 1 age 29

Edging closer but still no good. Another new trade. If I run out of new trades, it is a lost roll. And having no major or minors, not having been to college or university, the academic is also not a good chance. Picking up Program-1

Year 2 age 30


Year 3 age 31

If I can just bump up the other trade skills. Another new trade Electronics-1. Fortunately, there are 10 trade skills. But eventually I am going to hit that limit when I roll the "new trade" and there are no new trades.

Year 4 age 32

Artist-2. Hmm, if I can boost the artist up, that would help. And I also will fail the masterpiece check, so Craftsman-5

Term 4 (the aging term!)

Year 1 age 33

Still not anywhere near what I need. Artist-3

Year 2 age 34


Year 3 age 35

Artist-4. Soon I may be able to add that artist or magnetics skill in!

Year 4 age 36

Artist-5. Closing in! And of course, failing at a masterpiece Craftsman-6

Aging rolls. 

The aging rolls are interesting in T5. You want to roll over the life stage to avoid aging. At 36, we're at life stage peak, or 5. Rolling a 9, I age gracefully. A 10 and a 6 mean the other stats also are safe (roll per stat; yeah, if reading this you may be wondering why I bring this up. Another re-write!)

Term 5

Year 1 age 37

The UWP is still 959868. C1: 9 + 6 (Craftsman) + 7 (photonics) = 22. Not yet deciding to roll on the personals for a change and hoping for one of the stats to get boosted. It ended up being the education, so 959878. Which does NOT help.

Year 2 age 38

Artist 5. Okay, one more artist & I will be able to add towards the 40-point minimum requirements.

Year 3 age 39

Artist-6. Finally, we can add in another skill!

Year 4 age 40

C4: 8 + 6(Craftsman) + 7(photonics) + 6(artist) = 27! Still unable to even attempt a masterpiece. Craftsman-7, Magnetics-4


I failed my aging roll with a 6. So, no affect, so no actual change. At least that is how I interpret it. And we'll go for a 5th term as I want another masterpiece, preferably a perfect masterpiece. Funny - you succeed on that roll, and you get the Craftsman skill bump & 3 other skills. Though I really think I am misunderstanding that: there is a 4 skills per term listed. Is that the roll to make, or the maximum skills you can get, or the maximum skill levels you can get? T5 is very confusing for me in the character generation. Regardless, I have a master craftsman. And I really, really think I screwed that up as in looking at the Craftsman skill, the hardest is a 4D < int + craftsman. Meaning this character would never, ever fail any of those checks. But I don't see how you can get to a masterpiece otherwise. Hmm - you can only try for a masterpiece once per, all those craftsman rolls are only 1 per term, not per year. Dang. So, updating all those numbers above. Which of course, you won't see. But he would have had his masterpiece! We're going to have an older, bet very well-qualified, craftsman when done. Perhaps he can do some work on Lady Aidy's ship, put in some fancy custom lighting. 

Term 6

Year 1 age 41
C1 again, 9 + 7 + 8 + 6 = 30. Closer. Magnetics-5. One more of those and perhaps we can try this term for a masterpiece.

Year 2 age 42
C2, and nope. Artist-7 so that will help a bit. Was hoping for a trade to add in magnetics. 

Year 3 age 43
Magnetics-6. So now we have an additional skill to add in!

Year 4, age 44
C4: 8 + 7 (craftsman) + 7 (artist) + 6 (magnetics) + 8 (photonics) = 36. So, no. It will be another term before he can succeed at a masterpiece. We do pick up Craftsman-8 and +1 endurance, giving us 95A868 which does mean a slight boost.

Rolled an 8/8/9, so above the 6. Still aging gracefully. And impossible to fail the re-enlistment roll.

Term 7

Year 1 age 45
C1: 9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 8 = 38. New trade: Polymers-1

Year 2 age 46
Even worse than previous year. Electronics-2.

Year 3, age 47
C3: 10 + 8(photonics) + 7(artist) + 6(Magnetics) + 8(Craftsman) = 39. Ouch! Missed it by that much. Electronics-3

Year 4 age 48
Not a chance, so we pick up Craftsman-9 and strength +1 for A5A868. Hope the aging goes well!

Still in my midlife and I still age gracefully. One more term as geriatrics in space is not as much fun. 

Term 8

Year 1 age 49
C1: 10 + 9 + 7 + 6 + 8 = 40! I can try for a masterpiece finally! Rolling a 33 means I succeed. Finally! though it is just worth Cr150,000, that will be the nest egg. Oddly, because I succeeded, I actually get Craftsman & 3 other rolls. Going to put those rolls into the personals this time as I fear I'll be getting old soon. Craftsman-10 and +1 dex, +1 int, +1 edu for 96A978. 

Year 2 age 50
As we can only try once per term, we get 1 skill this year. Need some business sense so Trader-1 Guess that may help evaluate things along with the craftsman skill.

Year 3 age 51
Bureaucrat-1. Must have a lot of forms to fill out. There is still an admin skill in T5, but it has been revamped to more of a management type of skill, versus actual paperwork. I think perhaps those should not really be split out and just have the 1 skill cover business stuff. But then, I do prefer the broader skills vs the more specific skills in Traveller. 

Year 4 age 52
Decided to roll on the travel column, so pick up Grav-1. I have to haul my work too!

Being a senior, I need a 7. I must have not been taking care of myself as I roll a 4, so -1 Str, a 3 so -1 Dex, but my endurance is good. Realized after the fact you roll per stat and have made the appropriate updates above. Now my UWP is 85A978.

Mustering out

8 terms, so I actually have a +8 on the muster out tables. Not sure if the limit is still 3 for credits but going with that. 
  • Cr60,000 + Cr60,000 + Cr40,000 = Cr160,000
  • TAS for life
  • Director - and I cannot find what that actually means
  • Dexterity + 1 86A978
I rolled the TAS for life twice so that was a lost benefit. Though there was an interesting conversation on COTI about a TAS Fellowship: with an extra benefit I can promote someone to have a TAS membership for a year or something like that. I may hold on to that idea for MTU.

Sterey Pera, Craftsman 8 terms

86A978 age 52

Craftsman-10, Photonics-8, Artist-7, Magnetics-6, Electronics-3, Polymers-1, Grav Vehicle-1, Streetwise-1, Mechanic-1
Cr160,000, TAS Membership, Director of Imperial Crafts Certification Society.

Born and raised on Efate, Sterey went to trade school right out of high school, the Aeritis Lights Institute of Photonics. He was also part of an apprenticeship with a master of photonics. Realizing he wanted to create photonic art and not just repair the made-to-be-discarded viewers that Efate produced, he went into a training camp and picked up enough skills to start to work on hist masterpiece. Over the years, he picked up the bare minimum to run his own business, expanding out his skills. Yet he always wanted a masterpiece, an art piece that brought together the craftsmanship as well as the artistic view of what things could be. Finally, just before his 50th birthday, he did create such a piece. It was to be installed at the high port of a distant world when he sold it. A few more years, and he realized he wanted to see how the installation looked. Weeks after his 52nd birthday, he arrived on-station. His masterpiece was on the concourse outside the Purple Fountain Club. While not exactly what he thought, at least it was visible for all those who walked through the concourse. 

Sterey devotes a fair amount of time to the Save the Animals network, a charity group against the cruelty to animals. He is also a member of the Imperial Crafts Certification Society. As such, he can certify crafts and goods as being what they profess to be. He has also faced down accusations that his one and only masterpiece was a copy, and a bad one of that. Perhaps that is why it is stuck in the concourse and not in a museum. 

At times a bit grumpy, especially when focusing on an issue, Sterey has a soft spot for strays. While mostly of the animal sort, he also can have a soft heart for people. A roaming director for the Imperial Crafts Certification Society, he can certify craftmanship. He takes this responsibility seriously, and has been hired on occasion to certify equipment that has been traded in. 

Currently he is staying in a Cozy Quarters. While not a particularly large room, and he studiously ignores that stain near the toilet, it is reasonably clean and, as the sign says, cozy.

The Purple Fountain Club from Points in Space. Just adjacent to the entrance is Sterey's masterpiece.

To Classic Traveller

86A978 age 52

Craftsman-3, Photonics-4, Artist-3, Electronics-1, Grav Vehicle-0, Streetwise-, Mechanic-0

While Craftsman does not really have a correlation, I'll leave it. This is just a rough guess to translate the skills. The stats of course remain the same.

Some minor comments in closing

Now, was it worth the 2-3 hours (yes, hours!) to generate this character? Well, if I generated T5 characters more often that time would decrease to the same point probably I can kick out the expanded Traveller characters. I still think of T5 as a toolbox and not an actual RPG. 

And finally, though the image shows an older gentleman, I am actually almost 6 years older than he is (I turn 58 this year, and have had Traveller since I was 18, so 40 years of Traveller! Though I did not actually play until I was 19 and in college and found my fellow Traveller players!). Age is entirely relative! Of course, I can't really "see" myself so have no idea how old I look.  I just see the me I was, not necessarily the me that I am. Ahh, our own blind eye to ourselves. 

And this has been probably one of the longest posts I've written. Wonder if there is a way to get word count by post stats from Blogger?

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Character Challenge 2022 16: Dr. Jala Inishmar

Realizing that my last couple of Traveller characters were not exactly beacons of hope, we'll try again. That is the thing about an entirely random (or mostly) character generation: it does not always give you the happy path. And that is an entire discussion worth having at some point as it also plays into why we play. Most people want to play a more heroic character, someone who can make a difference be it via super powers or magic or sheer might. Traveller has always been about regular people doing heroic things. Or dastardly things if playing the criminal elements. Regardless, I do want something more optimistic in general, so we'll try to have a Traveller character who can have what they wanted out of life. That drug dealer NPC ended up being very destitute. I also see him as Lenny from Mice and Men. Or more likely that hairy monster from Bugs Bunny, who is based on Lenny. At least I think so.

And now on to our next Traveller character. 

667BB8. Other than a Star Wars reference, here we have someone with average physical stats but very smart and educated. A 4 as an even roll and we have a woman, and a 3 is human. I may have to pick an alien race just to have some this year. 

I always lean to the scientist career with stats like that. And what is a space station that has no lead scientist? In looking over the science career paths (and some of the pre-enlistment options to even better increase education) we have the following college options:


She was successful in getting in and actually stayed all 4 years, and just barely got honors. She also managed to pick up Language (Trokh-1) and Computer-1. And picked up more education, so now we have 667BD8. Looking at the University options, or the doctor options. I decided to forego trying for NOTC or MOTC as she will either be a doctor of medicine or a scientist. 

Medical School

I did roll and she would have been good in NOTC in college, and I failed the medical school enlistment roll by 1. Going to fudge this (and I would do the same when a player is that close). With her intelligence and education, going to sort of borrow the T5 mechanic that allows you to try again (which is an interesting mechanic that I did use last year for one of my T5 characters). She easily makes the success roll with that +2, and even gets honors with the 8 + 1. This gives her some crazy skills, though her dexterity is not high enough for a surgeon.  At this point we have 667BE8, Medic-4, Admin-1, Computer-2. Heck, she is ready to play as is, but. there is the surgeon career from Behind the Claw, Foreven Worlds. Yes, mixing rule sets. But that is the joy of Traveller for me. Besides, hoping to bump her dexterity up by 2 points so she can be a surgeon! You do not want a clumsy doctor with a scalpel operating on you!

Term 1, Medical Career

I actually rolled an 11 to get in. She is already a doctor, so no DMs even needed really. And honestly, this to me would have been a freebie. And my dice are feeling the optimism - rolled a 12 for survival even though 4+ was all I needed, and a 9 for promotion so Rank 1. Having 2 rolls, I'll do 1 on personal & hope for a dexterity push, and the other on advanced education to get another hopefully useful skill. Well, I gained endurance +1 for 668BE8 and language so picking actually Vilani just because of the pseudo-classical part of this. In fact, perhaps she comes from a Vilani family. I may go with that as humans are not really that differentiated in Traveller. So, Language (Trokh-1, Vilani-1) as she continues.  And it turns out there are a few varieties of the language as listed here. We'll stick with the "modern" standard version.  Though I think I want a younger character and she has plenty of skills to be a station doctor. And there is an event and apparently, she has a great bedside manner: can either take a +2 for the next advancement or +1 social. I'll bump her social, so now we have 668BE9. She can put that classical language to use as she moves up in society.

And not wanting to invoke the harsh aging rolls as she does not really have the physical stats to take a hit, we decide to muster out.

Mustering out

I get all of 1 roll and choose cash as she needs to be able to live a bit. Unfortunately, she did not manage to save much (perhaps she had a lot of student loans!). She ends up with Cr5,000. So she will be actively looking for some position.

In the end, this character turned out well: I had mostly good rolls, and only had to fudge 1 roll. Something I will often allow in character generation once in a while. We are here to have fun after all.

Dr. Laja Inishmar, MD

668BE9, age 30. College with honors, medical school with honors

Medic-4, Computer-2, Language (Trokh-1, Vilani-1), Admin-1

Dr. Inishmar comes from the core worlds of the Imperium, her family history stretching back generations. Though from a middle-class family, her innate intelligence and aptitude for school quickly led her to advanced degrees. Her college career she picked up computers and become fluent in Trokh. She got her medical doctorate, with honors, at the Medical School of Sketola. She took to a 4 year journey on various ships as ship's doctor, and the constant running around helped strengthen her legs as some of those decks are hard. She also picked up the Vilani language in tending high class passengers that refuse to learn Anglic. 

After a hectic four years, she decided to take a break and see what she really wanted to do next. She is staying at a long-term complex at the high port, drinking yakka juice and eating vilnafku. She sometimes tosses a credit to the derelict she passes in her walk, and is thinking about seeing if the travel agency at the Documat could use a ship's doctor for a trip.