- The young officer approached the reviewing stand with a bit of
hesitation. Rewards processions were occurrences that were a part of every
young officer in the Imperial fleet. But this one was different. Before,
he was in the honor guard. Now . . . His name was called, and a CPO was
waiving him to go up on stage. He came to attention and marched onto the
Once on stage he approached the central podium, careful not to display his astonishment. The planet's Marquis was there, no less. A bead of sweat started to form on his brow as he came to where the Marquis was. The Marquis smiled, then spoke, reading from an artificially weathered parchment.
"On this day, the 81st day of the first year of the Imperium, and in the name of the Emperor, Cleon I, I award Lieutenant Commander James Stovall of His Majesty's Imperial Navy with the Medal for Conspicuous Gallantry for his efforts at Eneri in defending his ship against overwhelming odds."
The Marquis hung the medal around the young officer's neck and shook his hand. The Marquis then spoke again. "I also hereby promote this young man to the rank of Commander in His Majesty's Naval Forces on behalf of a grateful Imperium. Congratulations, Commander."
Awards for meritorious conduct in the face of the enemy on behalf of a grateful nation have always been an important part of every nation's heritage. Children are regaled with stories of how Grandpa won the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving that entire regiment in World War II for example. Decorations serve multiple purposes, one of which is to give the country a new hero to help bolster morale and support. The Third Imperium is no exception in this regard.
In Book 4: Mercenary, players and gamemasters were introduced to the concept of decorations in the Classic Traveller universe. A decoration served to represent the service of a character in a particular event. How one received a decoration depended on what type of mission he served and if that mission allowed the character to be eligible for the medal. There were five primary decorations mentioned in Mercenary, which were also later used in Book 5: High Guard and the MegaTraveller Player's Manual:
- Combat Ribbon - This award was received by a character that participated in a mission that was considered hazardous to the character's health. For Marines/Army characters, the missions that were considered were Battle, Counter Insurgency, and Raid. For Navy characters, they were Battle, Siege, and Strike. No roll for the combat mission was necessary, just participation in one of the above missions.
- Purple Heart - A character received a purple heart if he received an injury on a combat-oriented mission. In games terms, this translated to rolling the exact roll needed to survive the mission.
- Meritorious Conduct Under Fire (MCUF) medal - This medal was received when a character displayed courage above and beyond the call of duty. Gamewise, the character would receive this when he rolls the number needed for receiving a decoration. For that year, the character receives a +1 for a promotion roll (if he hasn't already received a promotion that term if he is an officer.).
- Medal for Conspicuous Gallantry (MCG) - This medal was one step above the MCUF. Gamewise, the character received an MCG if he passed the roll for decoration by a total of three or more needed. For that year, the character receives a +2 for a promotion roll (if he hasn't already received a promotion that term if he is an officer.).
- Starburst for Extreme Heroism (SEH) - This medal was given for the providing the greatest service for the Imperium or local sector. Gamewise, the character could receive an SEH for passing the decoration roll needed by six or more. For that year, the character receives a +3 for a promotion roll (if he hasn't already received a promotion that term if he is an officer.) as well as a +1 to social standing.
In the case of the MCUF, MCG, and SEH, the player could "buck" for a decoration. That is, the player could gain a bonus of +1 for the decoration roll if he accepted a -1 on the survival roll. For example, a Marine is required to roll a 6+ to survive a mission and 8+ to get a decoration. The player decides that he wants to add +2 to his chance to get a decoration. This changes the required roll for survival for that mission to 8+. This decision must be made before the survival roll is made.
When Marc Miller's Traveller came out in August 1996, there were several changes to the character system. One of them was the absence of a system to determine decorations for a character in the system. This article provides a proposed option for the implementation of awards/medals in the T4 character process. This article expands on the original idea, providing possible awards and decorations for all the careers presented in the T4 core rulebook, save the Psionicists (who are a group that does not advertise its existence) and the Rogues (who try to keep out of the public eye for obvious reasons.).
Army, Marines, and Navy
The Army, Marines, and Navy receive the same awards as presented in Mercenary, High Guard and the MegaTraveller Player's Handbook. To bring these awards into line with the character generation system for Marc Miller's Traveller, consider the following:
- For a combat ribbon, a player rolls 6- on 2D6, no modifiers. This signifies the character participated in a combat situation. No real benefits for the term are derived. This roll should be made before the injury roll.
- For a purple heart, the player rolls exactly the number needed to avoid an injury. This signifies that the character received an injury, but it was not debilitating enough to remove him from service.
- For the MCUF, MCG, SEH, make one roll of 6- on 2D6, no modifiers. The gamemaster may as an option allow a player to "buck" for a decoration by giving the player a +1 bonus for every -1 the player voluntarily takes to make the injury roll. Note that the gamemaster should make sure that the player should take this option before he makes his injury roll. The result of the roll gives the medal received:
- If the player rolls 6-, an MCUF is received. The character also receives a +1 for commission/promotion for that current term.
- If the player rolls 4-, an MCG is received. The character also receives a +2 for commission/promotion for that current term.
- If the player rolls 2-, an SEH is received. The character also receives a +3 for commission/promotion for that term. At the gamemaster's discretion, the character might also receive a +1 to social standing permanently.
The roll for decoration should be made before the roll for commission/promotion
The rewards of a scholar should be quite different from those a military-oriented career. A scholar would receive a decoration for insightful work in a particular field of endeavor or discovery of a new idea/process. There are no combat ribbons or purple hearts in the scholarly fields.
For a decoration, the scholar rolls a 4- on 2D6, no modifiers. This is in recognition that it is much more difficult in the scholarly field to gain recognition for work than in the military.
- If a player rolls 4-, he is a Published Researcher. The scholar has had his worked published in one of the major scholarly journals of the day. The character receives a bonus of Cr 500 credits for his work as a small stipend.
- If a player rolls 3-, he is a Tenured Professor. The scholar receives a permanent teaching/research position at a major university in recognition. The scholar receives an additional Cr 500/yr upon retirement from the career.
- If a player rolls 2- , he receives a Chair. This means that the scholar's work has had so profound an impact on the nature of the field he is in that he will be recognized for as long as that university department remains in existence. The character receives a +1 to social standing, an additional Cr 1000/yr upon retirement, and a +1 to the material benefits table upon mustering out.
A character should receive a Tenured Professor or receive a Chair only once in his career. If one of these options is already received and the character re-rolls it as an option, the scholar should receive a Published Researcher award.
A merchant does not receive a decoration. Rather, a merchant receives a bonus for opening new trade territory, establishing major trade deals, etc. The type of bonus depends on the merchant's rank within the corporate entity. Needless to say, the captain of a free trader would receive a higher bonus than the crew members. A bonus is received when a merchant rolls 4- on 2D6, no modifiers. This reflects the involvement of the company in the affairs of its employees. The employees are working to ensure that the company makes a profit, correct? The type of bonus depends on the roll made.
- If a player rolls 4-, the merchant has been involved in a speculative venture for the corporation. The merchant has discovered a new way to breathe new life into a current trading enterprise. As a reward, the merchant rolls on the cash benefits table, then receives a percentage of the results based on rank. If of enlisted rank or O2-, receive 10% of the roll generated. If O3 - O5, receive 15% of the roll generated. If O6+, receive 25% of the roll generated.
- If a player rolls 3-, the merchant has been involved in an exploratory venture for the corporation. The corporation has ordered the merchant and/or his vessel to a new world to check on the possibility of new markets for goods, and to "test the waters." Roll once on the cash benefits table, then receive a benefit based on rank. If enlisted, no bonus is given; officers only would be involved in the negotiations. Rank O1-O3 receive 15% of the roll generated, O4+ receive 25%.
- If a player rolls 2-, then the merchant has opened a brand-spanking new trade route. Enlisted ranks and ranks O4- cannot receive this benefit; this is for the officer in command; receive a speculative venture instead. Ranks O5+ makes one roll on the cash benefits table and receives 50% of the roll generated (the corporation was VERY generous in this case. The merchant also receives +1 to social standing. NOTE: This should be received only once in a character's career; any other results should be treated as exploratory trade.
The life of a scout is quite lonely, dangerous, and can sometimes be underappreciated. As such, the IISS has made an effort to develop a system of recognition for outstanding members of their service. The benefits of the recognition are in lieu of no ranks in the IISS
To receive a recognition, roll 4- on 2D6, no modifiers.
- If a player rolls 4-, the scout has made a Discovery, such as discovery of a new life form. The scout receives one additional roll on the skills table in recognition.
- If a player rolls 3-, the scout has made Successful Contact/Recontact with a world that was once part of the one of the Imperiums and has been rediscovered. The scout should receive one additional roll on the skills table and +1 social standing in recognition of this feat.
- If the player rolls 2-, the character has Discovered/Rediscovered a "Lost" World. This should be received only once in a scout's career if that. The scout that achieves this recognition receives 2 additional skill rolls, +1 social standing, and should receive the option to name the system if it is no longer in the IISS datanet. If this choice is rerolled after being received once, the character should receive a Discovery or Successful Contact/Recontact.
The entertainer can receive additional recognition beyond the adulation/disdain of the masses in front of whom they perform. The result of this recognition is more monetary than the options.
To receive a recognition, roll 6 - on 2D6, no modifiers.
- If the player rolls 6- , the entertainer has received an Award for Outstanding Performance. This performance can be akin to the Oscars, Emmys, Grammies, etc. The character receives Cr 25,000 with the award, as well as at least subsector-wide recognition.
- If the player rolls 4-, the entertainer is an Inductee into the Imperial Grand Society of the Arts. The entertainer has received sector or possibly domain-level recognition. The inductee should receive Cr 50,000 and +1 to social standing. Note that this recognition should be received only once in an entertainer's career.
- If the player rolls 2-, the entertainer has been ordered to make an Imperial Command Performance on Capitol/Sylea. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and should be the crowning achievement of the entertainer's career. The entertainer receives +2 to social standing (hey, it's not every day you play for the Emperor) as well as Cr 100,000. After this, the entertainer cannot go anywhere in the Third Imperium or its client states without being recognized and mobbed.
The agent is one of the unsung heroes of Imperial society. It is up to him to keep the wheels of Imperial society humming along. As such, when an agent achieves an honor, it is well known both in "official" society as well as "unofficial" society.
To receive an honor, the agent should roll 6- on 2D6, no modifiers. Rolls should be made before commission/promotion rolls, with one per term possible.
- If the player rolls 6-, the agent receives a Bronze Star. The agent has performed a service that goes beyond the call of duty. The agent should receive a +1 on the roll for commission/promotion for that term only.
- If the player rolls 4-, the agent receives a Silver Star. The agent has performed an important act of gallantry that needs to be rewarded. The agent should receive +2 on the roll for commission/promotion for that term only.
- If the player rolls a 2-, the agent receives a Medal of Honor. The agent has performed a service that cannot go ignored by the members of the state. The agent should receive a +3 on the promotion/commission roll for that term only, as well as a +1 to social standing.
The noble is already highly visible in Imperial society. Additional recognitions are in acknowledgment to the service and expansion of the Third Imperium to achieve its ultimate goal as the inheritors of the First and Second Imperia. Recognition brings the eyes of the upper strata of Imperial society down upon the noble, eyes he might not want looking sometimes.
To receive a recognition, the noble should roll 4- on 2D6, no modifiers.
- If the player rolls 4-, the noble is now an Inductee into an Imperial Order by the local subsector/sector duke. The noble receives a +3 on the promotion roll for that term only, as well as additional title for his name.
- If the player rolls 3-, the noble an Honorary Inductee into the Imperial Moot. This position has no real power, but is seen as a status-booster. The noble receives +1 to social standing. This honor should be received only once in the character generation process.
- If the character rolls 2-, the noble receives a Summons into the Imperial Presence. The noble has performed a duty that has gotten even the notice of the Emperor/Empress and wishes to reward the noble for this action. The character should receive +2 to social standing, as well as any other benefits the current Emperor/Empress might like to bestow upon the noble.
The individual gamemaster has the option to develop his own ideas on decorations/awards for the Traveller services, of course. Those above are provided as a possible starting point. As always, it is the Traveller gamemaster that has the ultimate as to what goes in his game or what doesn't.
- Chadwick, Frank. Book 4: Mercenary. Published by Games Designers' Workshop, 1979. Page 8.
- Miller, Marc(?) Book 5: High Guard. Published by Games Designers' Workshop, 1981. Page 8.
- Miller, Marc(?) Book 7: Merchant Prince. Published by Games Designers' Workshop, 1985. Page 8.