Learning Traveller 6: Merchant Prince

Just as with the previous posts in this series, I’ve continued to progress through trying the expanded character generation rules found with Traveller Books 4 to 7.

Read from the beginning: Learning Traveller 1

Trey Dershyb Joins The MegaCorp

Having worked my way through the first three additional books, I felt I needed to try and dig into Traveller Book 7: Merchant Prince too. Honestly, I wasn’t too excited at first but, through play, I discovered a pretty amusing – if slightly more complex – character generation mini-game worthy of your attention.

It’s been a few weeks since I rolled this up and, honestly, I have forgotten the initial dice rolls for Trey’s characteristics. Looking at the piece of paper, and the carefully over-written lines, I think he was something like this: Trey Dershyb 587AA4.

Trey got into college with an outstanding natural 12 on 2D (with a +2 bonus to boot). Even better, the 1D-2 roll (with DM+1 if Intelligence is 9+) netted him a whopping +4 bonus to his Education. To cap it off, he passed with Honours and got another +1 Edu to make the total 15. This is the maximum cap of any character’s characteristics… and all by the age of 22. Great start!

Term 1

As an Honours Graduate, Trey automatically enlisted in the Mega Corporation fleet of Ling Standard Products (LSP) operating out of Dingir, his homeworld. His first role was on a Purser Assignment with an E1 Rank on a standard Route. Trey is initially trained as a Steward. Passing his exams, Trey was promoted to Rank O0 as an Apprentice. Rolling on the Officer table, he learns the Liaison skill.

Entering his apprenticeship on an LSP starship, Trey is first assigned to two years of Speculative Trade. During the first year, he develops his Liaison skill further but doesn’t make any bonus. He gets lucky in the second year, however, when his focus on shipboard living nets him the Jack of All Trades skill and a tasty Cr15,000 cash bonus.

The fourth year sees him unable to find a Purser’s Apprentice position and relegated to Deckhand work instead. Dissatisfied with this, Trey spends most of his time Carousing with the other crew and thinking about how to progress his career. Just when he is thinking of leaving LSP for a life of adventure, he is forced to re-enlist as the Dingir merchant navy is mobilised against a suspected Solomani plot.

Term 2

Trey is transferred to the Engineering Department on an LSP freighter operating a Route along the Solomani Confederation border. Hired as an Assistant Drive Hand, he is trained in Gravitics and invited to test for promotion. Passing the exam, Trey is promoted to Drive Hand (Rank O1) and kept on into year two.

As the freighter stays on Route assignment, Trey is given broader Engineering training and sits the Engineering Exam. Passing, Trey is promoted again – this time to Assistant Engineeer (Rank O2) and recommended for transfer.

Unable to find an officer’s position in the LSP fleet, Trey takes a job as a Drive Hand on a ship running Charter assignments between Dingir and several Imperial outposts. During this time he develops his training and learns Mechanical skills. This puts him in a great position to re-apply onto the vessel he left last year.

In the final year, Trey is transferred back to the Route assignment with LSP’s freighter operating near to Solomani interests. He obtains a position as Assistant Engineer and practices his Engineering skills further. As he improves, he is able to sit the Full Engineering Officer’s exam and passes. At the end of the term, Trey is Rank O3 Engineer. The MegaCorp insists that he stays (another natural 12 on the reenlistment roll!) on the assignment.

Term 3

Trey is placed into the Engineering Department for a second time. This was the point in which I realised I’d messed up last term and that he wasn’t technically supposed to have been able to do that… but, ho hum.

This term saw Trey posted on four Route assignments in a row. Offered a job as an Engineer on the LSP freighter again, our intrepid merchant tinkerer was trained in Administration in the first year. The second year was more hands-on and less managerial, seeing him develop his Mechanical skills further.

Year three was the interesting turning point in Trey’s career: he was invited to sit for the Chief Engineer’s exam. Spending the year preparing and deepening his knowledge of Engineering, Trey was successful in the examination and promoted to Rank O4 Chief Engineer. Offered a position in the fourth year, serving as an active Chief Engineer, Trey saw some limited combat action when pirates tried to board the freighter and he had to fend them off with Blade in hand. At the end of the term, despite LSP’s willingness to keep him on, Trey decided to Muster Out.

Mustering Out

Five rolls on the Muster Out Tables gave Trey some interesting choices. Keeping it simple, and bearing in mind he already had Cr15,000 in the bank from early in his career, he decided to make one Cash roll and take the rest on the Material Benefits table. This netted him Cr5,000 plus membership in the Traveller’s Aid Society, a High Passage ticket, +2 to Intelligence, and a rather nice Autopistol sidearm. There were no problems with aging.

Trey Dershyb, Ex-Merchant 587CF4; Blade-1, Liaison-2, JoT-1, Carousing-1, Gravitics-1, Engineering-3, Steward-1, Mechanical-2, Admin-1; Cr20,000, High Passage, Traveller’s Aid, Autopistol; Age 34.

Very enjoyable for me! What do you think about these expanded character generation rules in Books 4-7? Drop your thoughts into the comments.

Game on!


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