Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

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alkibiades
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Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby alkibiades » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:21 am

I am aware that the Traveller randomness of the character creation is a core component of the mechanics. But wanting to introduce a 9 years old to Traveller and wanting to prevent the frustration of a youngster with the randomness for a char, that will probably not turn out as he envisions it, I seek for some creation method that grants more control. Now I stumbled over the point-buy alternative of Mindjammer Traveller and liked it pretty much. But could it be adapted for Traveller as well or would it unbalance it?
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:26 am

alkibiades wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:21 am
Now I stumbled over the point-buy alternative of Mindjammer Traveller and liked it pretty much. But could it be adapted for Traveller as well or would it unbalance it?
I don't know about Mindjammer Traveller. But Mongoose Traveller 1st Edition has a rules section for point-buying your character's creation, if you don't want to do random generation. Works great.
Sigtrygg
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby Sigtrygg » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:01 am

Just let them choose the skill rather than roll, but with the following caveat

you can not pick the same skill again until you have picked another skill to an equal skill level.

So with six skill picks you could end up with
1,1,1,1,1,1
or
2,2,1,1
or
2,2,2
or
3,2,1
It sounds more complicated than it is.
alkibiades
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby alkibiades » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:32 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:26 am
I don't know about Mindjammer Traveller. But Mongoose Traveller 1st Edition has a rules section for point-buying your character's creation, if you don't want to do random generation. Works great.
Is this 1st edition point-buy method compatible with 2nd edition? And is it described somewhere without having to look after a 1st edition book entirely (as I only own 2nd edition material)?
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:31 pm

alkibiades wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:32 pm
ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:26 am
I don't know about Mindjammer Traveller. But Mongoose Traveller 1st Edition has a rules section for point-buying your character's creation, if you don't want to do random generation. Works great.
Is this 1st edition point-buy method compatible with 2nd edition? And is it described somewhere without having to look after a 1st edition book entirely (as I only own 2nd edition material)?
I don't know. I haven't tried it with 2nd edition. I use both editions for my games (because 1st edition has the alien races for characters). If your kid likes computer games, getting the RPGSuite for second edition is fun to use for random character creation.
Last edited by ShawnDriscoll on Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reynard
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby Reynard » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:34 pm

Hmmm, can't seem to find a point buy in 1e. Someone have the page?

Personally I never needed to generate that way but, since this is for a kid, fudge rolls. Let the person go as many terms as they want though I would keep the aging rule as a limiter. When a skill roll comes up, let them choose which legitimate table they want and pick a skill. Choose a different result for a failed Survival roll. The kid is in it for the fun not for a 'realistic' character. As a bit of learning remind them having a super high skill will mean they'll be lousy at many other skills.
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby Jeraa » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:43 pm

Reynard wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:34 pm
Hmmm, can't seem to find a point buy in 1e. Someone have the page?

Personally I never needed to generate that way but, since this is for a kid, fudge rolls. Let the person go as many terms as they want though I would keep the aging rule as a limiter. When a skill roll comes up, let them choose which legitimate table they want and pick a skill. Choose a different result for a failed Survival roll. The kid is in it for the fun not for a 'realistic' character. As a bit of learning remind them having a super high skill will mean they'll be lousy at many other skills.
It is is the core rulebook, page 40.
Reynard
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby Reynard » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:36 am

Ah! There, at the end not the beginning of the chargen. Thank you
steve98052
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby steve98052 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:00 pm

A lesser fudge factor one can use is to roll the skill die before choosing which of the three or four tables to use.

When I generated a bunch of characters for a single session game (which I still haven't had time to play), I rolled the skill die and an extra die to choose which table, but sometimes I overruled the table choice die when it produced too much sameness in the character list. My other fudge factors were to discard both events that turned up too much and mishaps that were so adverse that they made a lesser character too weak compared to the others in the group.

For your situation, I would suggest applying mishaps, but toning them down the worst ones, without discarding them completely. For example, in a case of a serious service injury, instead of losing a bunch of characteristic points, give the character a replacement limb or organ grown from cloned cells, with a quirk.

Maybe one arm is enough longer than the other that clothes fit wrong unless tailored for it. Maybe one eye has red irises because the pigmentation gene failed to express in the growth medium. Maybe one leg is much darker than the rest of the character's skin because the pigmentation over-expressed. Maybe the character has to drink and pee more often because a replacement kidney is always working at full speed. Maybe a brain surgery left the character with a strange phobia, or an irrepressible compulsion to laugh at the sound unfamiliar languages.

"The Imperial Army does the best it can to restore its valued soldiers to good condition, but we are not cosmetic surgeons. And do you really want to go through another surgery just to save yourself a few trips to the toilet? Thanks to all of you for your service, and best of luck in civilian life."
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby GamingGlen » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:10 am

steve98052 wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:00 pm
A lesser fudge factor one can use is to roll the skill die before choosing which of the three or four tables to use.

I would put a restriction on this: pick any table except Personal Development, or any table with Jack-of-all-Trades. You can pick those tables before you roll a die, but not after.

In the current campaign I'm in, when we all did character gen at the beginning I suggested pick a table and roll 2 dice, take your pick of either die for a skill choice. Even then a couple people who professed to want to play a particular type of character (i.e., engineer, or pilot) ended up being better at something else and they were not too happy about that.
Glen
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby heron61 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:45 am

I wrote the point-buy system for Mindjammer Traveller, in large part because I love Traveller and I love the Mindjammer setting, but I have no interest in rolled chargen, and always want an alternative. Here's what I'd do for standard Mongoose Traveller 2e:

1 Generate the six characteristics by purchasing them from a pool of 45 character points (CP). No characteristic can be below 2 or above 12 at this stage of character creation. In addition, each point of each characteristic costs one CP as long as the current value of the characteristic is eight or less. If the characteristic is nine or higher, then purchasing each additional point of characteristic costs 2 CP. For example, every point of a characteristic from 1-8 costs 1 CP, and each point after that costs 2 CP. Buying a single characteristic up to 12 costs 16 CP.

2 Choose background skills.

3 Decide if you wish to use pre-career education. You can also pay 1 CP to graduate with honours, and can pay a second CP to choose an event off the pre-career education events table.

4 Choose a career. At the start of each term, you gain +8 CP. You can choose to spend these during the term, or save some or all of them for later. Instead of rolling for survival, you automatically survive, unless you want to roll or purchase a mishap (see below).

5 If this is your first time in this career, you receive your basic training for free.

6 Choose a specialisation for your career. If you’re changing specialisations while remaining in the same career, ensure you come up with a good explanation.

7 Choose one of the skills and training tables for this career and purchase one of the items on it. Purchasing a characteristic up to 8 or a skill up to level 2 costs 1 CP per characteristic point or skill level of any skill other than Jack of All Trades. Purchasing a characteristic at 9 or higher (to a maximum of 15) or a skill of 3 or higher costs 2 CP per characteristic point or skill level for any skill other than Jack of All Trades. The Jack of All Trades skill always costs 3 CP per skill level.

8 You can choose to purchase a rank in your career. Each rank costs 1 CP, but you can purchase rank only once per term. Each rank you purchase lets you also purchase an additional entry from one of the skills and training tables for the career, as well as automatically providing the normal benefits for that rank, including any bonus skills. If available, you can also purchase a commission at the cost of 1 CP.

9 Choose an event. You can choose one item from either the Mishap table or Event table for your career, or a life event from the Life Event table. Mishaps can be chosen without cost. Alternatively, you may roll on the Mishap table. Doing so gives you an additional +1 CP, but you must abide by the result. Alternatively, you may pay 2 CP to purchase any item from the career’s Event table or the Life Event table. You may choose or roll only one mishap, event, or life event per term.

10 Increase your chronological age by +4 years. If your character has a biological age of middle age (human: 34) or older roll for ageing, take antiagathics (if available), or pay 2 CP to automatically succeed at any aging rolls where rolling 1+ on the aging table is possible.

11 If you’ve left your current career, return to Step 4 and choose a new career; or go to Step 12 if you want to finalise your character. Otherwise, return to Step 7.

12 If you’ve left your current career, choose benefits. This can be cash or another benefit (usually an item of equipment). Each choice on the benefit table costs 2 points. You can choose up to one benefit for every term you served in the career. If you reached rank 1 or 2, you can purchase a maximum of one additional benefit choice when leaving that career. If you reached rank 3 or 4, you can purchase a maximum of two extra benefit choices, and if you reached rank 5 or 6, you can purchase a maximum of three extra benefit choices. You can choose any benefit which requires a roll of 6 or less in standard character generation. However, to choose benefits which require a roll of 7, you must have the Gambler skill, choose an event that gives you a bonus to a benefit roll, or have a Rank of 5 or 6 in that career. Keep any unspent CP gained this term for use in later terms.

13 Finalise any connections with other characters.

14 Choose a Campaign Skill Pack and allocate skills from that pack among your group.

15 Purchase starting equipment.

Note: The above rules don't account for Psi. If a character chooses Psionics as a Life Event, the the character gains PSI 7, and can freely choose 1 Psi Talent (at Skill 0). Additional Talents cost 1 CP, and points of Psionic Strength is purchased like any other characteristic. The character can gain additional benefits by choosing one or more terms in the Psion Career.
steve98052
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby steve98052 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:45 pm

GamingGlen wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:10 am
I would put a restriction on this: pick any table except Personal Development, or any table with Jack-of-all-Trades. You can pick those tables before you roll a die, but not after.
. . .
Those revisions make sense. I haven't run Traveller except with pre-generated characters in single session games in a long time, and I used GURPS Traveller for the last continuing campaign, so just how to do house rules in a campaign is still hypothetical for me.
h1ro
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby h1ro » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:07 am

Heron61, thanks for the post.

:)
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby TrippyHippy » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:55 am

As a default these days, I tend towards the 'Roll 12 dice at once and distribute how you like' towards Characteristic generation. You could also set a cap here for a minimum total, to ward off very bad roll. It's still technically random, but it still gives players a point-spend-like influence on how they want their characters to go.

With the skills, as pointed out before, you can simply get players to select skills from available lists rather than roll them, but I'd be guarded against Min/Max players here - maybe with a flat cap of skill levels here too (max = 3 ranks, say?). If you are doing this also, then the Campaign Packages for skills at the end of group generation becomes a bit redundant so I'd drop them.
Outtasight!
alkibiades
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby alkibiades » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:54 am

heron61 wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:45 am
I wrote the point-buy system for Mindjammer Traveller, in large part because I love Traveller and I love the Mindjammer setting, but I have no interest in rolled chargen, and always want an alternative. Here's what I'd do for standard Mongoose Traveller 2e:
Thank you very much. This is so to say a official as it gets. And by the way, I received the print version of Traveller Mindjammer today. =)
alkibiades
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Re: Point-buy like in Mindjammer for Traveller

Postby alkibiades » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:23 am

heron61 wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:45 am
3 Decide if you wish to use pre-career education. You can also pay 1 CP to graduate with honours, and can pay a second CP to choose an event off the pre-career education events table.
Just one final question. The pre-education Military Academy offers the option of a commission before the 1st career . How would you handle it? An additional 1CP?

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