Significant Others In Traveller

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Condottiere
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:22 am

The reason I may be a tad vague on this, is the nature of character generation.

With D&D, you start off at the start of your career, and likely footloose and single, though you may have an extensive family tree.

With ShadowRun and GURPs, family can be integrated in the character creation, adding the wife or girlfriend as an ally, if she contributes significantly to the success of scenarios or missions, a liability, if you have to spend time with her, distracting you from study, exercise or hanging out with the gang.

With Traveller, these relationships tend to be already past, like your military career, so you can either have it randomized, and it becomes part of the way you play that character:

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rust2
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby rust2 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:02 pm

Well, I do have a use for Significant Others in my campaigns. Most of these campaigns are designed to cover a rather long time and several generations of characters, with only one or two adventures per year of game time and a lot of downtime activities inbetween - somewhat similar to a series of novels like Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy (or a Pendragon RPG campaign). For example, in the Thalassa campaign I am currently preparing the characters will be among the early colonists of a water world, and they and their descendants will have the opportunity to shape the colony's development. While I will not use the Traveller rules for this campaign, I am very willing to borrow good ideas from Traveller - and the Significant Others could well be such an idea.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby fusor » Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:46 pm

Thing is, if you're actually "Travelling" would you even have an SO? If you're hopping from planet to planet for weeks at a time (possibly longer) that's not really conducive to having a relationship. It worked in Firefly because Zoe and Wash were both crewmembers, but it wouldn't be likely to work if one was off the ship.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby -Daniel- » Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:32 pm

fusor wrote:Thing is, if you're actually "Travelling" would you even have an SO? If you're hopping from planet to planet for weeks at a time (possibly longer) that's not really conducive to having a relationship. It worked in Firefly because Zoe and Wash were both crewmembers, but it wouldn't be likely to work if one was off the ship.
I think you just offered one of the answers in my opinion. In my Traveller setting there are merchant clans that all have their families on their ships and their older children go on to become crew or even captains themselves. A SO does not have to be a chain and ball waiting on some planet, but rather they could be fellow crew members or fellow mercenaries in the unit as examples. I would also expect that in some cases you could have SOs that move in the same circles but are not quite as tied, say a partner of some kind that you meet over time. I think the idea is not for every game nor every character, but I do think it could be an interesting one to explore.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby rust2 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:20 pm

fusor wrote:Thing is, if you're actually "Travelling" would you even have an SO? If you're hopping from planet to planet for weeks at a time (possibly longer) that's not really conducive to having a relationship. It worked in Firefly because Zoe and Wash were both crewmembers, but it wouldn't be likely to work if one was off the ship.
Hmmm... I know, the analogy between Traveller and the real world Age of Sail is overused, but in the Age of Sail many seamen managed to have relationships and families although they used to be at sea for many months at a time.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby fusor » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:40 pm

rust2 wrote:Hmmm... I know, the analogy between Traveller and the real world Age of Sail is overused, but in the Age of Sail many seamen managed to have relationships and families although they used to be at sea for many months at a time.
Sure, but I guess I was thinking that there's not really a lot of options for doing much involving the SO in that case. if they're 3 weeks jump away then you can't exactly go back to them for "cuddles" or emotional support or get them to wire their instant magical money to you. And you wouldn't even know what's going on in their lives or if anything's happened to them until you got back to their system.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby alex_greene » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:16 pm

fusor wrote:
rust2 wrote:Hmmm... I know, the analogy between Traveller and the real world Age of Sail is overused, but in the Age of Sail many seamen managed to have relationships and families although they used to be at sea for many months at a time.
Sure, but I guess I was thinking that there's not really a lot of options for doing much involving the SO in that case. if they're 3 weeks jump away then you can't exactly go back to them for "cuddles" or emotional support or get them to wire their instant magical money to you. And you wouldn't even know what's going on in their lives or if anything's happened to them until you got back to their system.
If they're stuck on some planet somewhere, they're not significant. They'd be allies.

Your S.O. is going to be with your character and either appear on adventures or travel with the Traveller and have separate activities and adventures.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:32 pm

Empty nest syndrome, especially if both are in their early forties.

So nothing to really tie them down to dirtside.

Or there's Lost In Space.

But it comes down to the group being comfortable with the arrangement, and the character not having a free henchwoman.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby -Daniel- » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:03 am

Condottiere wrote:... and the character not having a free henchwoman.
Bingo. This is the issue I am more concerned about. As a GM I would need to insure the SO was played out as a real life person. So either they are one of the other PCs or the control of the NPC SO would have to fall into both the Player and GM hands. As long as we avoid the empty puppet controlled by the Player then I believe there is a possible fun angle here. Regardless of the rules, I can't see how this could be anything more than a cooperative effort between Player(s) and GM.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby mancerbear » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:18 am

Another option that I find works very well is to have the SO played as an NPC by another player (in addition to their own character). This stops the player who controls both his own character and significant other from having conversations with themselves (which can be horribly awkward).
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby fusor » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:32 am

mancerbear wrote:Another option that I find works very well is to have the SO played as an NPC by another player (in addition to their own character). This stops the player who controls both his own character and significant other from having conversations with themselves (which can be horribly awkward).
This works really well in other games (like Wraith, where players play eachothers' dark sides as well as their own characters).
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:10 am

Challenge magazine issue 35 had an article about stuff like this, its worth checking out if you have access to the magazine or the JTAS cd rom.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby alex_greene » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:16 am

Sigtrygg wrote:Challenge magazine issue 35 had an article about stuff like this, its worth checking out if you have access to the magazine or the JTAS cd rom.
Thanks. But I don't mind inadvertently stepping in old footprints while blazing a trail. Traveller 2e might have the same sorts of setttings, ships, names - but the game's got a different feel, and I'd like to see what I come up with to match this modern Far Future in its bold, adventurous spirit.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:53 pm

The concept is universal.

What you're wondering about is the game mechanics so it can be integrated into the Traveller character generation and gameplay.

I think it would really depend on actual impact the partner would have in the game, because if it helps achieve the characters' goal easier, to balance it out, you have to somehow pay for it.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby alex_greene » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:44 pm

Condottiere wrote:The concept is universal.

What you're wondering about is the game mechanics so it can be integrated into the Traveller character generation and gameplay.

I think it would really depend on actual impact the partner would have in the game, because if it helps achieve the characters' goal easier, to balance it out, you have to somehow pay for it.
That is a terrible legacy of older games - that in order to gain an advantage in one place, you have to accept a disadvantage in another place.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:53 pm

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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby rust2 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:00 pm

alex_greene wrote:That is a terrible legacy of older games - that in order to gain an advantage in one place, you have to accept a disadvantage in another place.
Yes, indeed, it is probably an element of the philosophy that all characters of a party have to be "balanced" to be on the exactly same "power level". While I understand why the game designers considered this necessary for a competitive approach to roleplaying games, where the player characters compete with each other, I never liked it - there is no "balance" in the real world, and in my view members of a team should not be competitors.
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Re: Significant Others In Traveller

Postby Condottiere » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:17 pm

While I like playing under powered characters, this is one of those rules to prevent less scrupulous players from exploiting.

It's an exploit, unless you married Harleen Quinzel, whose unpredictability would balance out her capability to inflict grievous bodily harm.

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