Aslan Character Stats

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bklokis
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Aslan Character Stats

Postby bklokis » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:49 pm

So I've just started running the Pirates of Drinax campaign, and wouldn't you know two new players decided to create Aslan characters. This will be my first time dealing with Aslan characters, but it should have a pretty interesting impact on the campaign.

However there is some confusion about some of the Aslan specific characteristics. I've looked through the forum for some clarification but didn't find any. My question is this:

Concerning Aslan SOC vs. TER, on page 64 of the Trojan Reach book:
"TER can be used in place of SOC. For example, instead of rolling Diplomat using his SOC DM, an Aslan lord could use roll Diplomat and add his TER DM instead."

This implies that TER is a completely separate characteristic from SOC with its own DM....and then:

Page 66 of the Trojan Reach book:
"Travellers have SOC equal to their Ancestral Territory. If you have SOC 10+ and are male, gain Leadership 1."

So are SOC and TER combined? kept separate? made to be equivalent?

One of my players rolled a 12 SOC, so adding his earned TER to that puts him at a max 15 for that stat, but it wouldn't make sense to use TER to impact SOC checks with non-Aslan, so it's not clear to me how this actually is supposed to work. Am I just missing something obvious?

Thanks for any clarity.
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AnotherDilbert
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Re: Aslan Character Stats

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:35 pm

This answer is heavily influenced by T5, so might not be orthodox MgT2:

Some races replace characteristics with similar characteristics with the same basic functionality but slightly different mechanics. So humans have Social Standing, Vargr have Charisma instead, and Droyne have Caste instead. Hence a Vargr has no SOC, just CHA.

So I assume, without having read the Trojan Reaches book, that Aslan have TER instead of SOC. Hence Aslan have no SOC, but use TER for the same purpose, probably with some quirks.
paltrysum
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Re: Aslan Character Stats

Postby paltrysum » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:50 pm

Aslan don't actually roll SOC. It is determined by their TER level. Here's how you determine it:
  • Determine Clan size from the die roll described in "CLAN, FAMILY & PRIDE" on p. 64. This gives the character a possible +1 DM on the Ancestral Deeds roll.
  • Roll 1D for Ancestral Deeds on p. 66, adding the +1 DM if he has it. This tells you how much Territory you have so far as a positive DM.
  • Roll 2D for Past Deeds, also on p. 66, adding the DM from that table to the one you got on Ancestral Deeds.
The two combined rolls (Ancestral Deeds, Past Deeds) determine your TER and hence your SOC. They are equal at the start of character generation. During the Aslan's terms of service, the two stats can become different. You sometimes get a +n to TER but not SOC and vice versa.

It often results in a character with very little TER or SOC, but that's a big motivator for Aslan males: Obtaining territory and hence more social standing.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
bklokis
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Re: Aslan Character Stats

Postby bklokis » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:59 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:50 pm
Aslan don't actually roll SOC. It is determined by their TER level.
Thank you both.

I realize my confusion stems from the first portion of the Aslan character creation on pg 64 of the Trojan Reach book:

"Use the characteristics and traits for Aslan Travellers shown on page 51 of the Traveller Core Rulebook. However, male Aslan Travellers have an additional characteristic, Territory (TER), which starts at 0, and SOC for all Aslan is determined by Ancestral Territory, described below."

It seems the player should not have rolled SOC, but there is no clear indication in the language of the core rulebook or the Trojan Reach book that that's the case.

While we're talking Aslan, something else that I've been wondering but couldn't find: Do Aslan automatically get the melee(natural) skill due to their dewclaw, or do they still need to earn the skill to be able to efficiently use their own natural weapon?
"Every RPG character worth his salt has daddy issues" - Ambrosius Quayle
paltrysum
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Re: Aslan Character Stats

Postby paltrysum » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:08 pm

They have to learn it. They have the claws, and can use them, but using them well requires learning the skill. If they don't, they're not going to be very good at Aslan-style conflict resolution, now are they? :D I just took a look at the Background Skills, and Melee isn't in there, so I guess there isn't a way for them to have Melee (Natural)-0...unless you want them to. You're the ref after all!

One thing I was thinking: your player who rolled a 12 for SOC is going to be very upset about sacrificing that sweet die roll.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
bklokis
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Re: Aslan Character Stats

Postby bklokis » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:50 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:08 pm
They have to learn it. They have the claws, and can use them, but using them well requires learning the skill. If they don't, they're not going to be very good at Aslan-style conflict resolution, now are they? :D I just took a look at the Background Skills, and Melee isn't in there, so I guess there isn't a way for them to have Melee (Natural)-0...unless you want them to. You're the ref after all!

One thing I was thinking: your player who rolled a 12 for SOC is going to be very upset about sacrificing that sweet die roll.
Yeah, I was thinking of ruling that they get melee(natural) at level 0, it just seems odd that they could have a natural claw and not have at least a basic instinctual ability to use it.

And yes good point about the die roll, we're barely one session in so I think I'll let him swap it out for a lower stat as a "Ref's error" boon...he's already going to have enough complications as an Aslan trying to rebuild the Drinaxian Empire with a bunch of humans.
"Every RPG character worth his salt has daddy issues" - Ambrosius Quayle
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Aslan Character Stats

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:35 am

Aslan are cool no matter what rule book you use for them.
Condottiere
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Re: Aslan Character Stats

Postby Condottiere » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:48 am

It translates to social status, or the application of social capital.
baithammer
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Re: Aslan Character Stats

Postby baithammer » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:59 am

Aliens in the Main Book 2ed are assumed to have been raised in the Imperium so have soc instead of the racial equivalent.
Tupper
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Re: Aslan Character Stats

Postby Tupper » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:20 am

I spent a while trying to wrap my head around TER/SOC, and this was my interpretation of how it all fits together:

Page 35 describes how SOC and TER work once play begins. An Aslan’s SOC can move around as he/she fights duels (page 31), but always drifts back toward TER. I interpret the rule as saying that the drifting stops once SOC is within 3 of TER. Note that dueling is a great way to “buff” SOC before using it, which accords with the violent nature of Ihatei camps.

Page 64 has the key rules. Females use the TER of their father (if single) or husband (if married). Males use the TER of their father (if they have no land) or their own TER (if they have their own land).

So... a younger son of a wealthy family can have a high SOC, and maintain it (no downward drift), until he acquires land of his own, whereupon his SOC will start to decline towards his new (personal) TER. This seems like a bad deal, but don’t forget that if he marries landless, his wife will base her SOC on his 0 TER, and see her SOC decline to be in line with this. Further, if the happy couple have any children, they will have 0 SOC. So getting married is a bit tricky for the younger son, unless he can get some land.

Note that TER levels tend to be *low* for many Aslan starting out. There are good odds of having a father with zero TER, and 1-2 TER is not uncommon. Page 34 describes this as owning a house, which is “average”. So don’t be surprised to see Aslan with SOC 1-2 wandering about. Also note that for many Aslan, becoming an outcast may *increase* their SOC (better to be a nobody than known as the child of a buffoon with no land). Aslan SOC will be much lower, in many cases, than Human character SOC (an average human SOC is 7).

As a clerical suggestion, I would suggest recording TER of a father or husband in brackets, so it’s clear this is someone else’s TER. For a male, this would then be replaced with his own TER if he subsequently acquired his own patch.

In character generation, females occasionally get opportunities to increase their TER (generally from unisex careers). I would assume this TER is given to the female’s husband/father, and this will benefit her by allowing her SOC to rise to higher levels. Regarding marriage (on the life events table), I would presume that the husband has equivalent TER to the female’s father, so no change in recorded TER is needed.

Hope that helps!
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Aslan Character Stats

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:12 pm

The Aslan Alien Module book for MgT 1st edition explains all the things. All of them. It works with MgT 2nd edition as well. Any ship data would need minor tweaking if you're that detailed with ships.
Jump Dave
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Re: Aslan Character Stats

Postby Jump Dave » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:49 am

The Aslan Alien Module book for MgT 1st edition explains all the things. All of them. It works with MgT 2nd edition as well. Any ship data would need minor tweaking if you're that detailed with ships.
The Aslan chapters in Drinax update the careers, and include some useful clarifications/corrections, for example around becoming an Outcast - but yes, it's pretty similar.

For what it's worth, I wrote a program in JavaScript to calculate the various probabilities of each possible starting value for TER/SOC:

0: 31.487911522633745%
1: 8.982767489711934%
2: 9.503600823045268%
3: 9.104938271604938%
4: 8.738425925925926%
5: 8.037551440329219%
6: 6.957304526748971%
7: 5.742026748971194%
8: 4.468878600823046%
9: 3.176440329218107%
10: 1.9675925925925926%
11: 1.0738168724279835%
12: 0.5079732510288066%
13: 0.19290123456790123%
14: 0.051440329218107%
15: 0.006430041152263375%

This takes into account the major/minor clan roll, the ancestral deeds roll, and both parental and grand-parental deeds rolls, including the possibility that TER will reset to 0 on a parental/grand-parental roll of 2. Negative TER values are treated as TER 0.

So yes, most Aslan characters will be low starting TER and SOC, as has been stated. This will make it extra challenging to score a Rite of Passage success on SOC, which affects females more than males - and makes the careers that depend on SOC for Survival or Advancement (Priest, Negotiator, Spy, Clan Aide, Governess, Healer, and all three Space Officer specialties) riskier unless you're very lucky in your initial rolls, or are able to acquire additional SOC during a first career and successfully jump to one of these.

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