Questions about Point Buy in Companion 2022

The rules do not address any of those issues, but in a recent campaign in which we used point buy, we selected skills that emulated the careers we were to have participated in, taking zero-level skills that we would have gotten from pre-career, then basic training, and then 1-level skills that we might have gotten from the various skills tables. For example, I created a female Aslan former clan agent. The skills I selected had to come from the available tables for that career. The rank I purchased gave some indication as to how long I might have been in the career.

As for pre-career options, such as university, again, I think we would have been asked to accommodate for the +2 EDU and the level 1 and 2 skills that we acquired. You're on the honor system when it comes to figuring out how old you should be. Based on the number of skills and rank I had, I determined that I had served a total of five terms.

I hope that helps. You have to sort of wing it.
If you don't want to use die rolls but the point buy is too ambiguous then you could simply use the package-based chargen instead. Start everyone with 7-all in stats (add racial modifiers if relevant), and any changes from there come from the packages themselves.

You probably won't have anyone with really high or really low values, but Traveller characters aren't as dependent on a high "main stat" as, say, D&D characters typically are.
As said - not an option. This WILL be the character generation used. No one in the group is willing to use "dictatorship of plastic lumps" in CharGen and none has been in decades (Rule systems that force that won't get looked at)
That's unfortunate in some ways, but understandable. Every group will have its preferences. The thing that's great about Traveller random chargen is that it produces the best characters for the mechanics of the game. Overly optimized characters can break the 2D6 mechanics with their enormous die rolling results.

"Hey, Bill, make a sensors check."
"Okay, I have Electronics (sensors) 3, a +1 for my INT, and another +1 for my Expert software. Boom! I rolled a 13 and I only needed an 8!"

[Note: Getting a level 3 skill with a rando is tough but easy with point buy if given the points]

I'm not saying that player characters shouldn't have high skill levels, but a team of optimized characters produces a whole lot more over-success on skill checks. Failures and retries make for fun sessions, too. YMMV

Traveller, at its heart, is also designed to tell the tale of "ordinary people" doing exceptional things. Randoms kind of makes that happen. Optimized point-buy characters might still accomplish that, but it takes the element of chance out of it. Just my $0.02.
Look, you have your preferences. No one is disputing that or attacking them. Not sure why you have to attack the basic mechanic of the game in return. Anyway, he wasn't saying your players would be powergamers. Its just that Traveller's system is designed to create broadly skilled characters with a lot of 0, 1, 2 rank skills rather than a few 3 or 4 rank skills. Those kinds of characters can happen, but that's not how the system works best.

Its natural to make experts when using point buy. Its EXPECTED in almost all point buy games out there. Traveller characters typically aren't super experts. All he is was saying is that this natural tendency is what will cause the biggest divergence between the two methods of character creation.
That's not an attack on your preferences. That's a statement of fact about the design of the game. Point buy is an optional rule. Like all optional rules its perfectly fine to use. But unlike GURPS, etc, the game system was not designed that way and its not a complete system. No one told you to use the standard chargen. They were pointing out in response to your questions that point buy it not a fully fleshed out system and its results don't look much like standard chargen.

I'm sorry it miffs you, but the answer to your questions are "whatever you decide, because that bit of the rules is incomplete and tacked on so you'll have to make up answers and wrestle with it to get it to look like Traveller characters." It makes no effort to link to character age or length of career. There are no event rolls. You decide that as suits your concept of the character. One of the two versions of point buy says to keep your skill purchases within what's available to a particular career or pay to change careers, but that's an attempt at balance, not an attempt to generate any backstory for your character.

They don't go through the pre career packages per se. You can buy those skills if you wish. I would personally allow a character to buy a couple university skills without charging the 5pts for career change (if you even use the career change version), but its not spelled out anywhere. So, again, you have to make up something that suits your group.

Of the alternate systems, the package selection is the best fleshed out, but that replaces the tyranny of the dice with the arbitary choices of the author, so I don't think it would be an improvement for your group. The point buy system is "decide your character's story and then spend points to reflect what you decided.". You can sort of infer age from the balance of stats and skills. More skills implies older characters. That's about it.
You are projecting your (bad) experience with players on a character generation method. The group I am with playes point buy systems exclusively since the late 1990s. And with us being all adults the "super character" has yet to make an apperance. What we DO get is the character we WANT and not "oh, the plastic lumps says you play Dumpster Dave, Master Hobo" when what you want to play a Space Marine.
No, not projecting. Just pointing out that part of the charm of out-of-the-box Traveller is mismatched, unequal, and in some cases underqualified characters with broad ranges of skills. With some skills they might be surprised at how much they enjoy using them. Add all that to what Vormaerin said.

Underqualification is a blessing in disguise. If you use the official or other experience point system, players usually have something to work towards. That player who envisioned themself being the hotshot pilot, but only got Pilot 1, can work towards their goal over time. Players LOVE spending experience points. Obviously, you can do that with point buy, too, but the desire will be all the more urgent.

Please don't take offense. None was intended. Just conveying the counterpoint in case you (or anyone else reading here) hadn't thought of, or at least hadn't fully processed why Traveller uses random chargen as its default. But hey, if the game designers really didn't want point buy to exist, they wouldn't have presented a version of it in the Traveller Companion, right? I hope you and your players enjoy the game.
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Sorry I don't have better news for you. But the point buy system just exists to let you take a pre-determined concept and turn it into something playable. It doesn't help in any way with generating that concept or fine tuning it. The 250 pt allowance gives a result that approximates an early 30s standard generation character, though without certain results like ships and ship shares. So if you are trying to make a 45 yr old retired Marine Colonel, you are going to be underpowered compared to your concept (and the results of normal chargen) while if you want to make a 22 yr old recent University graduate, you are going to be much better off than basic chargen would produce.

It has some pretty serious flaws, like charging serious points for character ranks that don't actually *do* anything unless your campaign is designed to make being a ex-Marine officer matter in play compared to being a former enlisted Marine. It doesn't answer important questions like how to point buy a psionic character.

Mongoose makes a lot of cool products for Traveller. But, imho, their point buy system is not one of them. And not just because I have a 40 year love of the basic chargen. GURPS or HERO Traveller just do the point buy dramatically better.
Why not just let them roll characters but always succeed at every dice roll and pick what they want from the tables you would normally roll randomly on? Or let them roll with advantage for every roll during character generation and pick from the random tables.
Why not just get the GURPS Traveller books? Go to the FFE website and you can get the lot in 2 cds. 3 if you want the GURPS JTAS too.
Wouldn't it be simpler to use the GURPS chargen you like and convert the names of a few skills than to convert everything else for a process that takes (at most) a couple of hours on your first session?
Kind of throwing the baby out with the bath water, wouldn't you say?
Much easier to convert skills.
Point buy mostly works. It just might require a little tweaking to get the balance desired. As I mentioned, I'm in point-buy-based campaign right now and it seems fine. I would prefer random, but my ref has similar feelings about random vs. point buy that #Somebody does.
Hmm. Sorry... Probably why I never picked up any other editions of GURPS passed the mid Eighties.
It certainly produces viable characters, even if they are a bit blah comparatively. It just doesn't do any of the things that Somebody was asking about. It lets you get an array of stats and skills that are decent. It severely nerfs mustering out, imho. And completely ignores psionics. And the fact that it costs points from your stats & skills to have ranks doesn't make sense to me. The vast majority of the campaigns I've been aware of over the last 40 years didn't really care much what your former career rank was. Certainly not to the extent that being a former Colonel is worth 10% of your build points.
Depends on how you use it your rank.

With Mercenary, you tend to get minimum levels of responsibility, with requisite compensation.

GURPS is a bit more specific, when combined with reputation, does allow access to influencers.
IIRC the Naval Campaign book had simplified rules for character creation. You might poach it and tweak it for other careers.
It's not a true point-buy system like GURPS or Hero Games, but you have some control on your character, at least on the age/terms, rank & skills. And rank doesn't cost you points. it's just a matter of age (unless your concept call for it & the master agrees).
You can create a 46 years Marine Colonel. Your characters will have skills for it. But the 22 years old pilot will not be as skilled as the Colonel.
It certainly produces viable characters, even if they are a bit blah comparatively.
Exactly. My female Aslan character has no Events, no Mishaps, none of the Advance rolls to show her climb to the top (or the failures that caused her to switch careers), none of the I-wanted-Astrogation-but-got-Diplomat rolls that turn out to be fortuitous, none of the Mustering Out rolls that add the finishing touches and possibly grant me a ship. I had to pay points to get my money. I had to buy my rank, which was basically meaningless, except as window dressing.

Random chargen is a game within the game that makes it more enjoyable. Having the built-in aspects of Traveller character building is an essential part of the game in my book.
Depends on how you use it your rank.

With Mercenary, you tend to get minimum levels of responsibility, with requisite compensation.

GURPS is a bit more specific, when combined with reputation, does allow access to influencers.
Yes, but that's a very specific style of compaign. And your former service rank only sort of corresponds to your actual rank in the mercenary unit.

You can, as GM, structure your campaign so that former service rank matters. And that being a former Colonel is worth dramatically more than being a former Sergeant Major. But, unlike GURPS, there is absolutely no support for that in the game mechanics of Traveller (outside of former Army/Marine rank helping get better jobs if joining a mercenary unit).
Our house rule for some increased player agency during character gen: you always qualify to enter a career and when you roll for skills you roll first then take the best option from any of the tables you qualify for. works for us