BotA 1248: Characters
Origins and backgrounds: I’m intentionally limiting character races to Human, so no Alien origins to deal with. However, there’s still the issue of homeworlds and how the character’s environment and formative years may have affected them. I’ll probably just treat it as a level 0 “quasi-career”… If someone is from a water world, they probably know how to drive a boat or submersible, swim, etc; if they’re from a desert world they’re probably aware of methods of procuring water and other survival techniques.
Attributes: Strength (includes STR and CON), Agility (DEX), Mind (includes INT and EDU) and Presence (willpower, social skills, appeal, charm)
Combat skills: as per BoL/BotA.
Other characteristics: Lifeblood, Hero Points, Advancement Points, Psi (Presence + 10)
Here’s my list of careers, based largely on stuff from the core rules with a couple additions of my own: Pilot/Navigator, Noble/Courtier, Laborer/Peasant, Scout/Explorer, Soldier/Warrior, Steward/Courtesan, Rogue/Pirate, Barbarian/Drifter, Scholar, Gambler/Dilettante, Engineer/Technician, Priest/Monk, Gladiator, Entertainer, Tradesman/Artisan, Doctor/Scientist, Agent/Spy, Diplomat/Bureaucrat, Merchant/Trader, Belter/Prospector
This notion of swapping skills for careers seems like it would work pretty well, with a couple snags. Spaceship operations are the biggest of these. How would one handle the BotA equivalent of rolling Sensors or Comms check? I suppose one could roll Pilot or Navigator. What about ship gunnery? Should there be a separate Gunner career? A new combat skill? Fold it into Ranged combat? I’ll have to keep kicking these around some. For now, I’ll just leave it as is — roll Pilot or Navigator for shipboard sensors/computer/comms stuff, roll Ranged for ship gunnery. Another career that presents some challenge would be Soldier — how are specializations, such as demolitions, artillery, or special ops handled? Perhaps the Soldier career would require the player to state the character’s specialty, just as they would for Entertainer or Tradesman/Artisan.
Event and Mishap tables are part of what make Traveller’s character creation subgame so fun, and are definitely worth retaining even if it means a little extra wiggling. Instead of giving extra skill points, the player might note the “skills” related to that career for future use; for instance, a scout character who explores a planet and gains their choice of Animal Handling 1, Survival 1, Recon 1, etc. might just jot down one of those skills on their notes section. In other cases, an appropriate Boon or Flaw might be assigned, such as gaining an Ally, Contact or Enemy. A character who wants to take 2 points in a Career would have to roll an event for each point; if the first event results in the character’s dismissal from that service, the player would have to assign the second point elsewhere.
More on this work-in-progress after I’ve played around with conversions a bit more.