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Career Book 1

Career Book 1. Richard Hazlewood.
Spica Publishing http://spicapublishing.co.uk
40pp., softcover or PDF
US$12.50/UKú6.05 (softcover, Lulu)
US$6.99/UKú4.47 (PDF, DriveThruRPG)

This review originally appeared on http://rpg-resource.org.uk in 2009 and is reprinted here and in the June 2015 issue with permission

Intended as a supplement to Mongoose’s Traveller Main Book, this work looks at alternate options that could be available to characters following careers in the core rules and provides some new career paths. As any experienced Traveller player knows, the ‘career’ defines what his character knows and what he did in the past before the game itself began—a ready-made history even before you start thinking about the specifics of what happened to make your character the man he is today. The Mongoose ruleset in particular has taken advantage of this method of character generation by providing tables of ‘Mishaps and Events’ that you can roll on to provide extra detail and flavour; and here we have additional tables for the Agent, Drifter, Entertainer, Merchant, Nobility, Rogue, and Scholar careers which feature in the Mongoose rules. There are also generic Life and Unusual Event tables. The new tables are entertaining to read and have the potential to spawn plenty of backstory which will no doubt return to haunt you during the game!

Next comes eight new career paths. All are suitable for human characters, and most will suit at least some alien races as well. All the career-specific information and tables are here for you to create an Adventurer, Bounty Hunter, a member of the Clergy, a Colonist, a Corporate Citizen, a Militant Religious individual, a member of the Space Patrol or a Worker. Each has sub-paths, so your clergyman might be a missionary or a monastic, while your wage-slave Corporate Citizen may earn his way as a lawyer, accountant or administrator… while giving ideas, none tie you down too much, just providing a framework on which you can build your character as you choose. Again all the incidents provide plenty of ideas for background for your character... the good sort of background (for the GM at least) that provides lots of material for the things from your past that pop up to make the present interesting!

The final part of the book contains a bunch of pre-generated characters, useful if you need an NPC in a hurry or even need a character and have no time to generate one. Although they have allies, enemies and such like listed, presumably from the appropriate life path tables, there’s no indication of what went on, so either make it up or roll a few times to come up with a backstory for them if you need that kind of detail.

Overall it is a neat addition to the Mongoose ruleset. Back in the days of the ‘little black books’ I spent many an afternoon inventing new career paths; it’s good to see that the appeal of trying to model just about anything that a character might have done in his past is alive and well!