Tuesday, December 31, 2013

OSR, Traveller-Style: CharGen

Unsatisfied with the Mongoose version of Beltstrike, I picked up the Classic Traveller one, and...  the rules were actually somewhat clearer (especially the bit on how to handle bidding on claims, which Mongoose omitted).  So then I decided to take a look at CT's core books.  Here're some interesting differences so far (through CharGen in book 1):
  • Recommended group side: 3 to 10 players.  Yow.
  • There's a note about how extra PCs people generate should be kept around for use as hirelings, and something else about a reaction roll mechanic in book 3.  I'm excited.
  • Only six careers - Army, Navy, Marines, Merchants, Scouts, and Other (rogueish, basically)
  • No standardized DM by ability score system (ie Dex 9 -/-> +1).  Instead there are DMs all over the place; if you have Int 6+, you're at +1 to enlist in the Scouts.  If you have Str 8+, you're at another +2.  If you have Dex <6, you're at -1 to fire an autorifle.  And so on and so forth.
    • I think this would result in a lower DM spread from abilities most of the time (-1 to +1 vs -3 to +3)?  Maybe I haven't gotten far enough yet.
  • Can only draft into the services at 18.  No chance of commission during first term after draft.
  • Other Service actually has -1 Soc on their personal development table.  lol.
  • Rank only matters after commission; enlisted ranks not tracked
  • Scouts - no ranks, really hard to survive, but gain two skill rolls per term
  • Ironman chargen on by default, with an extra reenlistment roll every term to stay in the service even if you survived.  I guess this is where T20 got its reenlistment mechanic.  It doesn't look like you can change careers after failing to reenlist, though (which sorta makes sense for a game where almost all the careers are military)
  • All PCs are assumed to be minimally competent (skill 0) with all weapons (!)
  • A lot of skills seem to give a +2 DM per level of skill 
  • Computer skill - When PCs write starship computer programs, there's a 1 in 6 chance there's a crashing bug, and another 1 in 6 chance that there's a performance bug for a penalty to actions using it.  That's...  kinda reasonable, really.
  • No ship shares!  Instead when you roll free trader, you get a free trader on a 40 year lease.
  • No Combat Armor on the mustering-out table, either.
  • Peeking ahead into the Combat chapter before going to sleep, their surprise roll mechanic is straight out of TSR D&D, and Leadership and Tactics skills (both of which we've struggled with before) help modify it.

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