House Rules: Character Generation aka Traveller Creation


Quick Overview:
This house rule is about slight changes to the Traveller Creation rules, to allow building your character the way you envisioned it, instead of being a slave to RNG'esus (Random Number Generator, 2D6 in Travellers case)

Rule Changes to Traveller Creation:
1. Obtaining a level 0 skill twice, will give you skill 1 in that skill
Note: Prevents overlapping of background skills with basic training skills.
2. Roll and then choose a skill table
This rule does not apply to prison career, where you are limited to make your own choices in life.
Note: This rule makes it easier to realize the character concept you envisioned. You want this skill 4 pilot, scientist, or former combat specialist. This rule will not guarantee that, but it makes it a lot easier.
3. Roll for benefit and then apply modifiers or not
Note: If you reach rank 5 in a career you get a +1 bonus to all your benefit rolls. You may apply this bonus after you rolled on the selected Mustering Out Benefits table. Mustering out bonuses gained from events also fall under this rule.
4. Reroll pool
You start your first term with one reroll. You can use this on any roll during Traveller Creation (Event, skill table, survival, advancement, benefit etc). For every reroll after the first you will loose one benefit role. If you don't have any benefit rolls to spend, reroll is not possible.
5. Alternative 12 or 66 result on the event table
Replace the default from the career for the 12 or 66 result, with:
Choose on option:
a) Roll twice on the event table (can only selected once per term)
b) Choose an event (can only selected once per term)
c) Increase your rank by 1. You may still roll for advancement. (can only selected once per term)
Note: for the Truther and Believer career from the Traveller Companion replace the "Increase your rank by 1" from option c) with the event result 12 from those careers.

Final thoughts
The rules above are the result of over a dozen detailed character generations. I'm quite happy with the result. No more checking which background skills not to select because I already get them in the first term of the career. Easier to specialize in specific skills. And having a reroll (for a price) when RNG hits you hard and would have ended the whole character concept. Even with these rules don't take the skill 4 specialist for granted. Yeah you will reach in 75-80 percent of the cases skill 4, but don't count on it. As a GM be aware that Rule 1 can be misused for gaming the system (select only background skills that are part of the first term basic training package). Additionally make sure that the players don't specialize to much. Scientist's with 3 level 4 skills are great as Professor's at a University, not so much on a planet where you are the snack for the local wild life.


Emperor Mongoose
Why bother with the complexity?

Just pick the skills you want, the number of terms served, the final rank achieved.

Now everyone can be Ace Rimmer.


Banded Mongoose
Of the last two PBPost games I've played in, #2 and #3 have been in use and #4 has been handled as one reroll per term (only usable for that term), rather than paying for them.

It gives much more control over how the character turns out but it certainly isn't completely to order.


I’ve used Rule #2. It works well to let the player better shape their character and you still get an element of randomness that can drive the player towards a skill they might have otherwise skipped.

I doubt I’d ever use Rule #1. I might let the player pick a different background skill instead. And with the new Traveller Companion rules for skill specialties it’s not as big of a deal - just pick a different specialty if the skill is Art, Profession, or Science.

Rules #3&4 - no, I won’t be using those. Failing an advancement or survival check just makes for more interesting characters. And not getting good cash benefits or that sweet far trader share just means you’ll have to work harder....

As far Rule #5 goes, I like to give the player a choice between the event tables in the CRB and those found in D66 Companion 2 - with the caveat that the player can’t choose the same event twice if they get the same dice result on a later term. This adds a lot of variety to the backgrounds, but it does skew the results towards more positive outcomes so YMMV.


Banded Mongoose
I've used 1 and 2 for games with lower term limits. If you're using them for characters going to geriatric admiral I think you've missed the point somewhere. 3 I wouldn't use, but again wouldn't mind it in a game with term limits. 4 and 5 I wouldn't use, and in fact would take as a sign that a player wants something different than I do out of Traveller.


Howdy folks. Thanks for your replies, got me a few insights about character generation:
- There are no bad events. Sure an event that throws you out of the career and would destroy the whole character concept is the reason I came up with rule 4. But except for these very rare cases, every event is a good event. It gives your character an interesting background, or you might end up with something that fuses well with the original idea. For example one of the characters I created became a cyborg after losing both arms in 5 terms. For a Swordworlder that is not what I wanted, but makes for an interesting background and roleplay experience because of the social stigma attached to cybernetics.
- With the Traveller Companion specialization changes Rule 1 could be considered obsolete, or you do it like Linwood who simply choose another background skill when overlapping happened. That's what I did in the beginning, but then I got to lazy to do it and invented Rule 1, aka the lazy rule. Rule 1 could however be used to emphasize cultural differences: e.g. Darrian characters use Rule 1 for skills that use INT, EDU. Swordworlders use Rule 1 for skills that use STR, DEX, END. And the rest of the galaxy gets nothing.
- Garran's mention of one reroll per term without any cost involved, is in my opinion way to powerful. I think even the first free reroll in Rule 4 is to good. Reroll's represent the power you have inside an organisation. For example a rerolled survival check could mean, you knew in advance that the posting on a planet with a civil war would mean disaster (failed survival). So you used your influence (benefit role) to get a different posting and passed your survival check.
- It seems no one likes rule 5. The reason for this rule was in some careers the 10 or 11 event result was actually better than the 12 result. An automatic advancement isn't great, when you consider that most characters get a +1 or even a +2 from there characteristics for that roll.

@ShawnDriscoll: If you don't like something, it is helpful to tell others what you don't like. Otherwise there won't be a discussion. Just a friendly advise that works for this forum, and also in real life.