Having started my tabletop roleplaying game life using the Traveller Little Black Books in 1979, I eagerly embraced the “new” Mongoose Traveller (MgT) when it appeared in 2008. While there was plenty of familiar aspects in character generation, there also were some differences that really stood out to me. The two most jarring were “Level 0” skills and the fact that death in character generation was now an optional “Iron Man” rule.
Truth is I rather liked the Mongoose Traveller rules—at least the first edition. The rules were in many ways a cleaned up version of the Little Black Books. I would play MgT for many years…at least until the Second Edition arrived. More on that later.
Strength B (+1 DM) / Dexterity 8 / Endurance 7 / Intelligence 8 / Education B (+1 DM) / Social 9 (+1 DM)
[MgT is the first time I recall seeing a by-rule Characteristic DM used in Traveller. The rule totally makes sense but it it can have an outsized impact on a 2d6 die roll.]
A Merchanting We Will Go
[One part of MgT character generation I really like is the checklist approach. It is actually rather well laid out and easy to follow. Like most Traveller character generation systems it’s also fast.]
Agne grew up on an otherwise nondescript Industrial planet (Background Skill – Trade 0) and gained some education in how bureaucracies work (Education – Admin 0). as soon as he turned 18 he joined the Merchant Marine as a Crewman (R0). His Basic Training teaches him Drive (Wheeled) 0 / Vacc Suit 0 / Broker 0 / Steward 0 / Comms 0 / Persuade 0.
Agne’s first term becomes very important to him as he meets a great mentor (Life Event – New Contact). He advances to Senior Crewman (R1) and learns how to pilot a spacecraft (Pilot- Spacecraft 1) as well as Mechanic 1 and Advocate 1.
[Life Events and Mishaps are intended to make “connections” or plot seeds for characters. Having an event each term seems a bit excessive to me; maybe my life has been too boring?]
In Agne’s second term he stays in the Merchant Marine and continues to network amongst traders (Life Event – Gain Contact). He does more extravehicular work (Vacc Suit 1) but fails to promote.
Sensing a change of pace is needed, for Agne’s third term he uses his contacts to sign on to a Free Trader. This change has immediate career benefits as he learns more of the “people” side of the business (Diplomat 1) as well as improving his piloting skills (Pilot-Spacecraft 2) and learning how to pilot a Small Craft (Pilot-Small Craft 1). He “advances” to R2 but is still just a “crewman.”
Now 30 years old, Agne continues as a Free Trader for his fourth term. He goes “back to school” for some training and acquires Sensors 1, Engineer-Electronics 1, and Engineer-Maneuver 1. He is rewarded by “advancement” to Experienced Trader (R3) which also means he has learned a bit of everything (Jack of All Trades 1).
It is Agne’s fifth term that life goes sideways. Lots of trade with airless frontier moons means more Vacc Suit expereince (Vacc Suit 2) but he gets caught up in a war (Mishap!) which forces him out of business but not before he learns a bit about pistols (Gun Combat-Pistols 1).
Agne leaves the Merchant Service after 20 years of service ranked as an Experienced Trader. He musters out with 20,000 Credits, a Blade, and two (2) Ship’s Shares.
The Quiet Bulldog
Agne decides he wants to go into business for himself, but he doesn’t have much to start with. He finds a 20-year old Far Trader that he gets on discount at 9% (see Old Ships rule on page 136 of the Mongoose Traveller Pocket Edition). Adding in his Ship’s Shares he is able to acquire a “gently used” ship for an 11% discount as long as he doesn’t mind the chemical spills in the cargo bay or the extra maintenance effort (+1 DM). This means his mortgage is “only” 45,733,095 Cr. or 190,555 Cr per month plus 4,383 Cr per month maintenance and another 20,600 for Life Support. Agne needs to clear at least 215,538 Cr. each month…not counting crew salaries.
Fortunately, Agne has his old mentor-contact that is willing to stake him to start his new life as Pilot-Owner of The Quiet Bulldog. Now all he has to do is, “Find a crew, find a job, keep flying.”
Agne T’vern, Pilot-Owner The Quiet Bulldog
- Agne T’vern / UPP B878B9 / Age 38 / 5-Term Merchant – Experienced Trader
- Skills: Admin 0 / Advocate 1 / Broker 0 / Comms 0 / Diplomat 1 / Drive-Wheeled 0 / Engineer-Electronics 1 / Engineer-M Drive 1 / Gun Combat-Pistols 1 / Jack of All Trades 1 / Mechanic 1 / Persuade 0 / Pilot-Small Craft 1 / Pilot-Spacecraft 2 / Sensors 1 / Steward 0 / Trade 0 / Vacc Suit 2
- Credits: 20,000
- Contacts: 2 (1x Life-long mentor)
Pilot-Owner The Quiet Bulldog, a 20-year old Far Trader with chemical spills in the cargo bay and extra difficult maintenance.
Feature image from the TV series Lost in Space courtesy imdb.com