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Traveller Hero: Pirates of Drinax


Steve
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My group had our character creation session for the new campaign using Mongoose’s Pirates of Drinax campaign setting this weekend. It was quite a lot of fun, like a time-compressed pre-campaign session, and everyone had a great time following their character’s life paths.

 

One character started out with a fantastic stat set (three 12s rolled in front of me) and the other two were closer to average. Of those other players, one had his best stat as his social standing, and the third was fairly average with social standing as his dump stat (a five as I recall). Because there was a pretty big difference in the totals of their characteristics, we all decided to let the two with lower characteristics have some rerolls on their life paths to make up the difference.

 

They all then decided to go to the military academy for the Marines, and that’s when the fun began. My player with the golden stats failed to get into the academy and was drafted instead, ending up in the Marines anyway as a private. The low SOC player managed to successfully enroll on his first try and the third used one of his rerolls and managed to get in on his second try (and we explained that as his high SOC meant Daddy pulled some strings).

 

The other two later managed to graduate with honors without rerolls, entering the service as lieutenants, while the stat-lucky player finished pounding it out in his first enlistment and was promoted to a higher level noncom. The player kept joking about “college boys” like that sergeant character from the old “Black Sheep Squadron” tv show.

 

After that, things continued to be interesting. The golden-stat player kept getting injured and ended up losing both eyes, one each on two separate tours of duty which were replaced with the marines covering most of the cost. Meanwhile, the two academy grads steadily ascended in rank, never once failing an advancement roll and never getting injured that I recall. They also accumulated a small collection of contacts, rivals and enemies during this phase.

 

The high starting SOC player served his entire career in the motor pool, and the other graduate was a Star Marine.

 

During one particular enlistment later on, there was apparently a disastrous military campaign that took place that was the fault of the commanding officer. The low SOC player decided to turn in his commanding officer and received a bonus to his next promotion roll and advanced again in rank. The noncom player ended up getting injured in that mission and lost his other eye, getting that one replaced and picking up a bit more medical debt.

 

The golden-stat player, having had enough of the dangers of military service by this point, changed his career to being a corporate agent and then ended up almost burning his face off on his first tour of duty for his new employers but gained the Demolitions skill. This added to his accumulated medical debt for more repair work. Even before this, he was being compared to a young Nick Fury.

 

The other two players retired as Brigadiers with pensions and earned a lot of mustering out benefits. They also decided to pay for anti-aging treatments. The formerly low-SOC player finished with a 10 SOC thank to his rank, and the other somehow managed to become a decorated war hero with a SOC in the low teens all while commanding the motor pool.
 

After everyone settled their medical debts, the two Brigadiers joined up again with their old service buddy, who had become a deadly gunfighter based on his skill levels by then, and they ended up in the Trojan Reach together to begin their new adventure.

 

I’m now going to take their rolled characters and convert them over to Hero.

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I picked up the Traveller core rulebook update 2022 and discovered that we made some rolls incorrectly for some of our life events that involved skills. Evidently you're not supposed to add a characteristic modifier to these rolls, but since we're simply using them as inspiration for Star Hero characters I don't think we need to be sticklers. Rules as written, there should be many low-stat and in-debt Traveller characters who live short brutish lives. I suppose Champions and 5th edition D&D have spoiled me for starting heroic characters. I look forward to a life of piracy in and around Drinax.

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2 hours ago, Durzan Malakim said:

I picked up the Traveller core rulebook update 2022 and discovered that we made some rolls incorrectly for some of our life events that involved skills. Evidently you're not supposed to add a characteristic modifier to these rolls, but since we're simply using them as inspiration for Star Hero characters I don't think we need to be sticklers. Rules as written, there should be many low-stat and in-debt Traveller characters who live short brutish lives. I suppose Champions and 5th edition D&D have spoiled me for starting heroic characters. I look forward to a life of piracy in and around Drinax.


Ah, I did miss that.

 

Based on my past experiences with the game in days of yore, most Traveller characters will be Average Joes struggling to make a living in unusual situations, which would translate into lower-point Hero characters in the 8-13 primary characteristic range. Our cyber-eyed gunfighter will probably have an 18 DEX as his best characteristic.

 

The Trojan Reach looks like it will have plenty of adventure potential.

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9 hours ago, Steve said:

My group had our character creation session for the new campaign using Mongoose’s Pirates of Drinax campaign setting this weekend. It was quite a lot of fun, like a time-compressed pre-campaign session, and everyone had a great time following their character’s life paths.

 

One character started out with a fantastic stat set (three 12s rolled in front of me) and the other two were closer to average. Of those other players, one had his best stat as his social standing, and the third was fairly average with social standing as his dump stat (a five as I recall). Because there was a pretty big difference in the totals of their characteristics, we all decided to let the two with lower characteristics have some rerolls on their life paths to make up the difference.

 

They all then decided to go to the military academy for the Marines, and that’s when the fun began. My player with the golden stats failed to get into the academy and was drafted instead, ending up in the Marines anyway as a private. The low SOC player managed to successfully enroll on his first try and the third used one of his rerolls and managed to get in on his second try (and we explained that as his high SOC meant Daddy pulled some strings).

 

The other two later managed to graduate with honors without rerolls, entering the service as lieutenants, while the stat-lucky player finished pounding it out in his first enlistment and was promoted to a higher level noncom. The player kept joking about “college boys” like that sergeant character from the old “Black Sheep Squadron” tv show.

 

After that, things continued to be interesting. The golden-stat player kept getting injured and ended up losing both eyes, one each on two separate tours of duty which were replaced with the marines covering most of the cost. Meanwhile, the two academy grads steadily ascended in rank, never once failing an advancement roll and never getting injured that I recall. They also accumulated a small collection of contacts, rivals and enemies during this phase.

 

The high starting SOC player served his entire career in the motor pool, and the other graduate was a Star Marine.

 

During one particular enlistment later on, there was apparently a disastrous military campaign that took place that was the fault of the commanding officer. The low SOC player decided to turn in his commanding officer and received a bonus to his next promotion roll and advanced again in rank. The noncom player ended up getting injured in that mission and lost his other eye, getting that one replaced and picking up a bit more medical debt.

 

The golden-stat player, having had enough of the dangers of military service by this point, changed his career to being a corporate agent and then ended up almost burning his face off on his first tour of duty for his new employers but gained the Demolitions skill. This added to his accumulated medical debt for more repair work. Even before this, he was being compared to a young Nick Fury.

 

The other two players retired as Brigadiers with pensions and earned a lot of mustering out benefits. They also decided to pay for anti-aging treatments. The formerly low-SOC player finished with a 10 SOC thank to his rank, and the other somehow managed to become a decorated war hero with a SOC in the low teens all while commanding the motor pool.
 

After everyone settled their medical debts, the two Brigadiers joined up again with their old service buddy, who had become a deadly gunfighter based on his skill levels by then, and they ended up in the Trojan Reach together to begin their new adventure.

 

I’m now going to take their rolled characters and convert them over to Hero.

 

Jeez, it's like you had to run a campaign before you could run your campaign.  :)

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6 hours ago, Old Man said:

 

Jeez, it's like you had to run a campaign before you could run your campaign.  :)

It's a pre-campaign character-creation-minigame where much of the effort is on us PCs. We're the ones who concocted the stories that connect our characters. Mostly @Steve just had to look up tables and the results of our rolls. Although he also gave us our official campaign introduction to Drinax and our beat-up pirate ship in need of repair and a crew. The premise reminds me a bit of Our Flag Means Death with our group playing a mixture of the Black Beard and Stede Bonnet roles. Our ocular-challenged gunslinger might be Black Beard (Black Eyes?) and the two brigadiers have delusions of being gentleman pirates. We'll see if our campaign of piracy is more Captain Nemo or the Three Stooges. Daddy warbucks might not be happy to learn that his famous brigadier son has gone rogue. Much depends upon how well we follow Dexter's code: Can we prey exclusively on other pirates? Can we cover up our crimes and keep our secrets? Can our veneer of civility inspire the the remnants of the Kingdom of Drinax enough to transform a pirate fleet into an actual navy? Too bad literally none of us actually had a career in the navy. We've got an abundance of swashbuckling and a dearth of deck swabbing.

Edited by Durzan Malakim
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I converted over the first of the PCs to 6th Edition Hero on Monday, and it went pretty well.
 

Brigadier “Mes” Meson came out to a surprisingly high 225 points after converting his stats, adding in the package deals for Marine and Marine Officer, some bonuses to those skills based on his career events and some extra tweaks I threw in. His high point value was almost all due to skills and perks. Thanks to having four ranks in Leadership earned during his illustrious career that ended in honorable retirement, his highest characteristic is a 20 PRE (since setting it at 19 bugged me), further boosted by some positive reputation bonuses.

 

Complications weren’t that hard to do based on his life events. A Hunted earned from his career events, the Imperium officer he reported for failure after a fiasco mission which later earned Mes a promotion for doing so. The package deals also gave some very good suggestions for psychological complications that fit: Marine Code-never leave a man behind. I added in “The Burden of Command” which I can’t recall right now if it came from the book or was my own idea.

 

For his Equipment load out, he has some mesh body armor (not battledress), an auto pistol and a cutlass. All in all, he would not be out of place as a “sword and planet” hero.

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On 6/20/2022 at 5:32 AM, Old Man said:

 

Jeez, it's like you had to run a campaign before you could run your campaign.  :)

 

It's a minigame bedore you play the game.

 

Realistically, you can, with a bit of familiarity, roll up a Traveller character in under ten mimutes; using the original (ie, "unexpanded" character generation rules, you can do it in under five minutes.

 

Unlike most roll 'em games, though, the entire peocwss lets you choose from diffetent themes (vareera or other life paths).  All you are doing is rolling up you skills and a few random perks (maybe), but the thematic way in which the table expresses the results are both kind of fun and extremely helpful to folks who have teou2ble coming up with backstories for their characters--  the skill generation system is quite literally presented as "you life up until the moment this adventure starts.

 

You absolutely do not have to use the story generated, of course, but if you are given to explore your characters, the entire process is a little bit addictive, and I personally believe it had a lot to do with Traveller catching on and its staying power.

 

 

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