Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Traveller Tuesday: Odds & Sods

Traveller Tuesday missed its engineer roll and so came out of jump a day late. It happens from time to time when ripping an artificial wormhole through spacetime. Have an assortment of notions that aren't enough to build separate posts from.

Online Trade Calculator
I mentioned this last week, but it's so awesome it deserves repeating. The Traveller Highport is a wonderful online resource for the harried, lazy, or innumerate Traveller GM who for whatever reason doesn't want to do the calculations for determining what mail, freight, passengers and speculative cargo are available from Point A to Point B.  Recently added (as per my request to the site's developer) are the raw passenger and freight modifiers, so that if your tramp steamer of impoverished murderhobos wishes to busk for a better quality of patron (like lucrative High Passage), making adjustments on the fly is easy.

Experience Points
I was never a fan of the original Traveller "You have all the skills you're ever going to get" rule. Mongoose fixed that, but their solution was to have a skill earned by studying it for X weeks, where X is the level you're going to plus all the levels of all the skills you have. I don't like that either, because it unduly punishes people with actual useful skills (and my life experience has taught me that skilled people learn new skills faster than the unskilled), whereas someone with a bunch of Rank 0 skills can pick up more Rank 0 skills pretty much instantly.

So I cobbled together a system that's reminiscent of MegaTraveller, but different:

  • Each time you roll a natural 12 on a skill, you get an Adventure Tally for that skill. 
  • Each time you study a skill for a week,  you get an Adventure Tally for that skill. 
  • Each Adventure Tally counts as a +1 for gaining a skill level. 
    • These are cumulative and only go away when you increase that skill. 
  • At the beginning of every game session, we roll for skill gain.
    • The roll is [2d6 + Intelligence OR Education + Adventure Tallies] - difficulty. 
      • If you roll an 8+, you increase that skill by one.
      • All ATs for that skill then reset to zero.
      • If you don't succeed, you keep the ATs. 
    • Difficulty is based on the level of skill you want:
      • 0-1 is a -6 to the roll. 
      • 2-3 is -7.
      • 4-5 is -8.
      • Level 6 is -9.
My players like this system because they advance faster than the book says. I like this system because they only seem to advance about every 3 sessions or so. Therefore they are growing, but not ridiculously so, and the higher levels will take commensurately longer to achieve. 

Some Useful Charts

Mostly these are handy thrust + distance = time charts, but one of them is an easier to read version of the Dangerous/Safe Orbit table from this post.

Happy Travelling!

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