Friday, December 28, 2012

Fun with Anagathics

I ran a little thought experiment in Traveller character generation the other day.  I was curious to see just how far a character using anagathics could go during Mongoose character generation.  It turns out I played it a bit wrong (snake-eyes on a survival roll are an auto-failure), but I'm still reasonably convinced that, if a character were to use anagathics to their full potential, it should be quite possible to get close to 20 terms during character generation (I made it to 36 terms with the omission of that rule before I got bored and decided to muster out).  If you're clever about it and rush military officer as your first career for a boost to Soc 10 and then go to Noble and roll your cash benefits there, you can probably even avoid coming out of character generation with anagathic debt.  This possibility stands in stark contrast with the 'standard' Traveller character, who's running maybe four terms.  Traveller's NPC selection doesn't really reflect the possibilities of the technology which is apparently available, and the rules as written do not cope terribly well with octogenarian PCs with 15s in multiple stats from decades spent rolling on Personal Development tables and skills at level 6 or higher for auto-success on many tasks.  You do assume some extra risk during play, since you need to keep yourself 'in supply' as it were, but if you can get to a TL15 world, anagathics themselves are not terribly expensive.  It also creates a nice adventure hook when you start running low.  In any case, I'm now curious to see a mixed party of single-term, fourish-term, and anagathic-enhanced characters in action.


  1. I've never really tried using anagathics in any of my CT games, so it would be an interesting experiment to have a character with extra longevity. I recall an essay by someone (so this isn't my original idea) on the subject of immortality in RPGs: when a character has reached such an advanced age, a self-preservation agenda comes into play - characters who think they might live forever will be less willing to risk their lives. This will affect the adventure possibilities of a mixed group. As Avon from Blake's Seven said about a dangerous mission, "I am not expendable, I am not stupid and I am not going."

  2. Are you aware that if you roll under the numbers of term in the advancement roll you're out? So you can't be forever in any career, unless you roll 12s all the time...

    1. Ayup. That was why I kept changing careers; I think the 36-term guy did Army, then Agent, then Noble, then one or two terms each of Entertainer and Scientist before failing to qual for Rogue and drafting into the Marines. After that point I got bored.