Travelling With Added Vargr

Following on from creating Hosea for my solo Traveller game set in the Third Imperium, I’ve decided to add a Vargr companion. I’ve always wanted to play a Vargr (uplifted Wolf species) and this seems as good a time as any. To get the ball rolling, I decided to name him Heiko (after my childhood pet dog) and have him hail from Terra. Let’s get started.

To begin, we roll 2D six times for the characteristics: 3, 10, 8, 6, 4, 7.

Vargr are modified as follows: STR-2, DEX+1, END-1. I decide to drop the 10+2 = 12 into Dexterity, gaining the +2 modifier. The 3 can go to Social Status, representing the low regard Terrans have for Imperial Vargr and netting him a -1 modifier. The 8-2 = 6 can go to Strength and the 7-1 = 6 to Endurance, largely to avoid any penalties and give them +0 modifiers. I will give the 4 to Education and the 6 to Intellect, giving a -1 and +0 modifier respectively. Vargr gain the Bite and Heightened Senses traits for their species, which is handy. I am going to assume Vargr gain Melee (Natural)-0 as a free skill.

Being from Terra, Heiko is an Imperial Vargr and grew up on the rough streets of one of the European cities. Given the world is under Imperial military occupation, life is hard and security is tight. He can choose three plus EDU modifier (-1) background skills, so he gets two choices. I opt for Streetwise-0 and Drive-0. I imagine him starting life as a freelance driver, perhaps as a personal chauffeuer for some rich client.

We might as well try for University entrance but I can’t see it being a good fit for Heiko. He needs an EDU 6+ roll and scores… 10-1 = 9 to succeed! Wow! Ok, then. He can choose a Level 1 and a Level 0 skill for his Major and Minor, so I opt for Astrogation-1 and Navigation-0 because he dreams of getting offworld and travelling the universe. His EDU+1 bonus takes him to 5, still with that -1 modifier. We roll for an Event and he scores… 4. A supposedly harmless prank goes wrong and someone gets hurt, physically or emotionally. He must roll SOC 8+… the roll… 8-1 = 7 to fail. Heiko gains an Enemy. Interesting.

Will he graduate university? He needs an INT 6+ roll and scores… 7 to succeed. This pops him up to Astrogation-2 and Navigation-1. Heiko gains EDU+1, lifting him to Education 6 and a +0 modifier. He has a DM+1 to entering several careers and, if he wants a military career, he gains a commission roll before he leaves university. I think the Navy sounds cool so we test for entry, needing INT 6+ and rolling… 8+1 = 9 to succeed. He rolls for commission, needing SOC 8+ and rolling… 11-1 = 10 to succeed. Incredible! Heiko is signed on to the Imperial Navy as an Ensign. He gains the Melee (Blade)-1 skill as he enters service.

Heiko chooses the Flight assignment because he tests as highly agile and has astrogation as his major. Basic training nets him Pilot-0, Vacc Suit-0, Athletics-0, Gunner-0, Mechanic-0, and Gun Combat-0. The first term survival roll needs DEX 7+ and he rolls… 12+2 = 14 to succeed big time! We roll for his event, 2D on the Event Table, and score… 8: his vessel participates in a diplomatic mission. Heiko gains Diplomat-1. Time to test for advancement, needing EDU 6+… rolling 7 to succeed. He is promoted to Sublieutenant and gains Leadership-1 as a bonus skill. Heiko can also roll on the Flight skills table, scoring… 4 for Pilot (Small craft)-1. He has obviously been serving as a shuttle pilot on the mission this term. Well done, Heiko!

Aged 26, Heiko decides to continue in his Navy career. He rolls on the Service Skills table and scores… 3 for Athletics (Dexterity)-1.The survival roll scores… 8 to succeed. The event is… 7, a Life Event. Rolling again on the Life Event he scores… 9, Travel: he moves to another world and gains DM+2 on his next qualification roll. Might be handy if he changes career. Rolling for advancement, Heiko scores… 7 = success. He is promoted to Lieutenant. He takes the bonus skills roll on the Personal Development table, rolling… 2 for DEX+1 and taking Dexterity to 13.

Heiko is transferred to another world but remains in the Navy, settling in to his new Flight assignment aboard a larger vessel. He rolls for skill on the Flight table and scores… 3 for Gunner (Turret)-1. Clearly, he has been placed for cross-training and is gaining experience with the ship’s systems. The survival roll is… 8+2 = 10 to succeed. The event roll is… 5, giving Heiko advanced training in a specialist field. He must roll EDU 8+ to increase one skill he already has. He rolls… 10 and takes Pilot (Small Craft)-2 as he is assigned to fighter pilot training. Does he advance in rank? He rolls… 8 to succeed and is promoted to Commander, gaining Tactics (Naval)-1 and then rolling for a bonus skill on the Personal Development table, scoring… 4 for INT+1, taking his Intellect to 7 (+0).

This is where I decide to make a Connection to Hosea, having this flight pilot assignment coincide with the first deployment Hosea experiences in the assault on a fortress. It’s a small retcon to Hosea’s story to give him a skill choice – and I give him a boost to Vacc Suit-1 – while giving Heiko a boost to make him Melee (Natural)-1. This is mostly about giving the characters a link as Hosea meets Heiko and they become friends on the mission.

Heiko is 34 years old as he enters his fourth term in the Navy. He rolls on the Flight skill table and gets… 5, Astrogation-3. The survival roll is… 5, unfortunately a fail. We roll on the Mishap table… 5. Heiko is tormented by an officer who forces him out of the Navy. He gains this person as a Rival. At the end of the term, Heiko must make the aging roll, 2D-4 scoring… 7-4 = 3 for no effect. Time to muster out. Heiko has 3 terms under his belt and is Rank 4, so he totals 5 rolls.

I take the first roll on the cash table, scoring… 2 for Cr5000. The rest will be on the benefits table, I think. Roll two is…1 for either a Personal Vehicle or a Ship Share. I am amused by the idea of him having his own Air/Raft, so we take the vehicle. The third roll is… 6 for either two Ship Shares or a Ship’s Boat. The latter is tempting but we take the Ship Shares. The fourth roll… 6 again, for two more Ship Shares. The last roll… 6 again, for two more Ship Shares. Nice.

Picking up his earlier qualification bonus, Heiko decides to try out as an Agent. He would need INT 6+ with a DM-1 for previous career, but DM+2 for transferring worlds earlier. The roll… 8+1 = 9 to succeed. He signs on for Intelligence assignment and gains the Investigate-0 skill as basic training. The survival roll is INT 7+ and he rolls… 7. The event roll is… 7, a Life Event. We reroll on the Life Event table, scoring… 5, Improved Relationship. Heiko deepens a romantic relationship leading to a commitment and he gains an Ally. Interesting stuff. Is he promoted? The advancement roll is INT 5+, we roll… 10 to succeed. He qualifies as an Agent and gains Deception-1. He can also roll on the Intelligence skills table, rolling… 2 for Recon-1. Aged 38, Heiko tests 2D-5… 10-5 = 5 for no effect.

A second term in Intelligence beckons. Heiko chooses the Intelligence skill table and rolls… 4, for Stealth-1. His survival roll is… 10 and a success. The event roll is… 8. He goes undercover to investigate an enemy. He must roll Deception 8+ and scores… 11+1 = 12 to succeed. He can roll on the event table for either Rogue or Citizen, so I choose Rogue. The roll… 9. Heiko is involved in a feud with a rival criminal organisation. He must roll Stealth or Gun Combat 8+ so I choose Stealth. The roll… 7+1 = 8 to succeed! He gains an extra benefit roll, presumably on the Rogue tables so I resolve that now, rolling on the benefit side… 4 is 1D Ship Shares and I roll… 5. Heiko also gets to roll once on the Rogue skill tables, choosing Enforcer and scoring… 1 for Gun Combat (Slugs)-1. Is he promoted? The roll… 7 is a success, so Heiko becomes a Field Agent and gains Investigate-1. He can also roll for a bonus skill, chooses Personal Development and rolls… 5 for INT+1, taking his Intellect to 8. The aging roll is 2D-6, scoring… 7-6 = 1 for no effect.

At 46 years of age, Heiko is on a roll. He decided to roll on the Service Skills table and scores… 1 for Streetwise-1. The survival roll… 11 is a success. The event is… 3. An investigation takes a dangerous turn and he must roll Investigate or Streetwise 8+. The roll is for Investigate… 8+1 = 9 to succeed. He gains Persuade-1 as a reward. Is he promoted? The advancement roll is… 8 to succeed. Heiko is Rank 3 as a Field Agent. He gains a bonus roll so I choose the Personal Development table… 5 is INT+1, taking him to Intellect 9 (+1). Neat! He’s needing to roll aging at 2D-7 now, and scores… 11-7 = 4 for no effect. Lucky boy!

I decide to push it. Heiko rolls on the Intelligence skill table and scores… 4 for Stealth-2. The survival roll is… 10 to succeed. The event… 6 for advanced training in a specialist field. He must test EDU 8+ and rolls… 11 to succeed. I choose to add +1 level to take him to Investigate-2. Is he promoted? The advancement roll is… 11 to succeed, making Heiko a Special Agent (Rank 4). He can roll for a bonus skill, plus he gains Gun Combat (Energy)-1. I choose the Personal Development table again, rolling… 1 for Gun Combat (Slugs)-2. The aging roll is 2D-8… rolling an 11-8 = 2 for no effect. Time to retire, I think, and muster out.

Four terms served and Rank 4 gives him six rolls on the tables to Muster Out. I take the first one on the cash table, rolling… 3 for Cr5000. I will roll the rest on the benefits table for fun. The second roll is… 5, for a Cybernetic Implant. I choose Subdermal Armour (TL10). The third roll is… SOC+1 or a Cybernetic Implant. I choose to upgrade the Subdermal Armour to TL11. The fourth roll is… 6 for SOC+1 (as I can’t improve the Subdermal Armour further). The last roll is… 1 for Scientific Equipment. It makes the most sense to take a Cybernetics Science Toolkit so that he can attempt self-repairs.

I really did not expect that as an outcome. Heiko is an ex-Navy fighter pilot who served as a Special Agent with Imperial Intelligence for 16 years. He has some 11 Ship Shares to buy a starship and all we now need to do is put him together with Hosea to form a team.

The last step in character creation is to choose Skills Package for the group. I am not really sure quite what the adventures might end up being yet but I am pretty sure I want them to own and operate a starship. I choose the Starship Skills Package and alternate doling the skilld out. Hosea gets Astrogation-1, Gunner (Turret)-1, Tactics (Naval)-1, and Mechanic-1. Heiko gets Electronics (Comms)-1, Engineer (J-Drive)-1, Pilot (Spacecraft)-1, and Medic-1.

Because I love the classic Type S Scout/Courier so very much, I have the 11 ship shares invested in a Type S (minus the Air/Raft cost) and set up a 15-year-old ship with a mortgage of MCr22. The old ship has two quirks which I roll up on the Spacecraft Quirks table. Rolling… 5, for the cargo bay being tainted by chemical spills and leaks, which might damage vulnerable cargoes. Rolling again… 7, for DM-1 to all repair attempts. Apparently she’s a bit of a pain to keep running. She’s called the “Midnight Falcon” (after the David Gemmell novel on my shelf). The mortgage is extortionate at 91756 credits per month. Better get out there and start making some money!

Game on!

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