This is a lightly-edited version of an article originally posted to the pre-magazine Freelance Traveller site in 1998, and reprinted in this form in the February/March 2015 issue.
Since its inception, the Imperium has been governed by laws covering its member states. Naturally, as with all laws, not all are obeyed. While the Imperial armed forces such as the Army and Navy are the usual instruments of control, the Imperium’s lawbreakers are investigated by the Imperial Ministry of Justice.
The Imperial Ministry of Justice (MoJ) prosecutes the high justice of the Imperium. In many respects, it operates as the Imperium’s police force, being primarily concerned with potential threats within Imperial society. The MoJ was established to pursue the four basic goals of Imperial high justice:
- to prevent revolt;
- to keep the peace among member worlds, subsectors and sectors;
- to uphold the rights of sentient beings; and
- to preserve free trade between member worlds, subsectors and sectors.
In practice, MoJ agents primarily maintain contacts with the law enforcement systems of the worlds of the empire. This intelligence network focuses on criminal activity. MoJ agents also undertake investigative research, protect non-military Imperial officials and offices, raid criminal havens, and enforce Imperial law in the field. The MoJ is especially valuable when dealing with criminal elements within the empire, and can offer great rewards in terms of amnesty or pardons. MoJ and megacorporation agents often oppose one anothers efforts.
The Coordinator of the MoJ is informally known as the “Head”. The current Coordinator is Duke Daranth En La.
MoJ character generation is outlined below. The two lower levels of law and justice (middle and low justice) are covered by a separate Police character generation system, although Police characters do have opportunities to transfer into the MoJ.
Ranks for characters in the Ministry of Justice are shown in the MoJ Table of Ranks. Ranks O1 to O10 are called commissioned MoJ agents, with ranks O7 to O10 also called coordinators. Ranks E1 to E7 are simply called MoJ agents, and correspond to enlisted rank in the military.
|Table of Ranks|
|E1||Trainee Operative||O1||Assistant Special Agent|
|E2||Junior Operative||O2||Special Agent, 3rd Class|
|E3||Operative||O3||Special Agent, 2nd Class|
|E4||Agent, 3rd Class||O4||Special Agent, 1st Class|
|E5||Agent, 2nd Class||O5||Assistant Coordinator (candidate)|
|E6||Agent, 1st Class||O6||Regional Coordinator|
|E7||Senior Agent||O7||Sector Coordinator|
|O10||Coordinator of MoJ|
The general term for serving MoJ officers, regardless of rank or branch, is agent.
A beginning MoJ character must determine their homeworld. Direct enlistment in the MoJ is limited to characters from worlds with a minimum tech code of Early Stellar.
Once the character’s statistics are rolled, their homeworld determined, and their default skills allocated, characters intending to follow a MoJ career may consider attending College.
|Admission||9+||DM+2 if EDU 9+|
|Success||7+||DM+2 if INT 8+|
|Education||1D-2||DM+1 if INT 9+|
|Honours||10+||DM+1 if INT 10+|
Honours graduates receive +1 EDU or EDU 10, whichever is greater.
|+1||Homeworld Starport B+|
Enlistment is automatic (if desired) for College graduates. College graduates and normal enlistees begin with rank E1; police officer transferees begin with rank E3; college honours graduates and commissioned police officer transferees below rank O4 begin with rank O1, commissioned police officer transferees of rank O4+ begin with rank O3.
Note that direct enlistment in the MoJ is limited to characters from Early Stellar homeworlds and above.
Terms of Service
A term of service is 4 years long. Each term is subdivided into 4 one-year assignments, each resolved separately. At the end of a term, a character can attempt to re-enlist or elect to muster out.
Upon enlistment, the character must roll on the following table for their branch assignment. A character with SOC 9+ may choose any branch. Characters must stay in their assigned branch unless they undergo Cross-Training in another branch, in which case they may transfer to the new branch at the beginning of a new term of service.
|3, 4||Security||9, 10||Administration|
|5, 6||Intelligence||11, 12||Liaison|
|DMs:||+2 if INT 10+ (optional)
-2 if DEX 9+ (optional)
- Strike operatives
- are the “commandos” of the MoJ. They conduct raids on newly-discovered havens of criminal activity, track and capture criminals wanted for crimes against the Imperium, conduct search-and-rescue missions for missing or kidnapped Imperial officials, perform counter-insurgency operations along the Imperial border, and conduct other covert operations as required under the MoJ’s mandate.
- Security operatives
- protect the Imperial non-military bureaucracy, either by guarding Imperial non-military installations or by acting as bodyguards for high-ranking Imperial and foreign diplomats. They also infiltrate anti-Imperial organisations in order to gather covert intelligence for the Intelligence branch.
- Intelligence operatives
- conduct investigative research targeted at anti-Imperial elements within the empire, especially those identified as destabilising. They monitor criminal activity through a large intelligence network, gather information in order to determine if Imperial intervention is required, perform reconnaissance of criminal havens, and conduct counter-intelligence and disinformation campaigns among the known criminal elements of the Imperium.
- Field operatives
- perform the basic legwork of the MoJ. They undertake field investigations, enforce the law in Imperial jurisdictions (including space), and enforce customs regulations in areas of Imperial control.
- Administrative operatives
- organise and manage the day-to-day operations of the MoJ. They perform administrative duties, staff the MoJ headquarters on Capital and MoJ agencies throughout the Imperium, and work as aides to Imperial legal staff during the course of a legal prosecution or defence.
- Liaison operatives
- work closely with the various law enforcement agencies on worlds of the empire, including interstellar low– and middle-justice enforcement agencies. While much of their work focuses on passing local information to the Intelligence branch, they also perform a more clandestine role as they investigate the level of support for the Imperium on target worlds. They also negotiate directly with Imperial member worlds in order to keep the peace and preserve free trade, including organising joint anti-piracy missions and conducting truce negotiations to halt military actions. They also send diplomatic missions to client-states and other non-Imperial governments to negotiate over matters of law.
Brownie points (BPs) are special DMs received for significant success efforts on the part of a character. A brownie point may be used as a special DM on any die roll after it has been rolled. Once expended in this way, a brownie point is used up for good. Any number of brownie points may be used on a given roll, as long as the character has them available. They may be accumulated for as long as desired and used whenever desired.
For MoJ characters, BPs include:
|Graduating College||1 BP|
|…with honors (add’l)||1 BP|
|Completing each term||1 BP|
|Receiving Special Duty||1 BP|
|Receiving decorations:||Meritorious Conduct Under Fire (MCUF)||1 BP|
|Medal for Conspicuous Gallantry (MCG)||2 BP|
|Starburst for Extreme Heroism (SEH)||3 BP|
No brownie points are awarded for a Wound Ribbon.
Characters who enter the MoJ through direct enlistment or College, undergo Basic Training. They receive Gun Combat and one skill rolled on the appropriate Branch Skill table. Advanced Training occupies the remainder of their first year after enlistment. Roll one skill on the appropriate Branch Skill table.
Characters who enter the MoJ as transferees from the Police Character career undergo a short form of Advanced Training, before being sent on assignment for the first year. Roll one skill on the appropriate Branch Skill table, then complete the current term of duty as a MoJ character. This may mean that the first “term” in the MoJ is a short term of 1-3 years.
Contacts are as per TNE rules. MoJ characters receive one Law Enforcement contact per term. They also receive one Government contact (if Intelligence, Liaison, or Diplomacy, and not Undercover) or one Criminal contact (if Strike, Security, or any Undercover) per term. The referee should determine the specific nature of these contacts, preferably by reference to the character’s assignments for that term.
Each year, roll 2D on the appropriate column of the Duty Assignment Table to determine the character’s basic assignment for the year. Special Duty is determined by rolling on the Special Duty table.
|Duty Assignment Table|
|3||Fieldwork||Undercover Duty||Undercover Duty||Undercover Duty||Fieldwork||Fieldwork|
|4||Undercover Duty||Liaison||Undercover Duty||Liaison||Agency Ops||Liaison|
|9||Undercover Duty||Liaison||Agency Ops||Liaison||Agency Ops||Liaison|
|11||Special Duty||Special Duty||Special Duty||Special Duty||Special Duty||Special Duty|
|12||Special Duty||Special Duty||Special Duty||Special Duty||Special Duty||Special Duty|
- Agency Operations:
- perform administrative duties, staff MoJ agencies, and act as aides to Imperial legal personnel.
- conduct raids on known havens of criminal activity, track and capture wanted Imperial criminals, perform search-and-rescue missions for missing Imperial personnel, and undertake other covert operations both inside and outside the Imperium.
- enforce Imperial laws and regulations such as those dealing with customs, maintain free trade, conduct field investigations to identify and gather evidence against criminal suspects and anti-Imperial groups, and investigate criminal activity involving multiple Imperial worlds or violating the Imperial border.
- maintain links with planetary and subsector police organisations to share and gather information, arrange extradition of Imperial lawbreakers, negotiate with Imperial and non-Imperial governments over specific matters of law, and conduct direct diplomacy with world and subsector governments over free trade, excessive military actions, anti-piracy operations, and the rights of sentient beings.
- conduct investigative research to identify and gather evidence against criminal suspects and anti-Imperial groups (such as those seeking to plot sedition or disrupt free trade), perform intelligence reconnaissance of Imperial criminals and anti-Imperial groups, wage disinformation campaigns against hostile foreign powers; and disseminate false information among the criminal community to disguise real and on-going investigations.
- act as a bodyguard for representatives of the Imperial government and visiting foreign diplomats, guard non-military Imperial installations such as embassies, government offices, and the residences of Imperial nobility, and infiltrate subversive organisations in order to monitor their activities.
- Special Duty:
- roll on the Special Duty table.
- attend routine training.
- Undercover Duty:
- perform various undercover work, usually surveillance of criminal groups.
|2||Commando School||Commando School|
|3||Support School||Naval Studies|
|4||Interrogator School||Interrogator School|
|5||Intelligence School||Command College|
|6||Officer Candidate School (OCS)||Medical School|
|7||Officer Candidate School (OCS)||Attaché/Aide|
|DMs:||+1 or -1 if EDU 8+
+1 if transferred commissioned
|+1 or -1 if EDU 8+.|
Roll on the appropriate table for the year in order to determine survival, decorations, promotions, and whether skills are acquired.
|Training||Agency Ops||Liaison||Fieldwork||Investigation||Security||Undercover Duty||Counterinsurgency|
- A character risks some chance of injury or death while serving in the MoJ. To survive a duty assignment, roll the indicated number or higher. If successful, the character survives and continues with the resolution of the assignment. If unsuccessful, the character must leave the service immediately. The current term of service does not count when determining the number of mustering out benefits, but the character does receive a yearly pension no matter how long they have been serving (they are “pensioned out sick”, or “pensioned, Line of Duty Disability”).
- If the indicated number is rolled exactly, the character has been wounded while on duty and receives a “Wound Ribbon”.
- The character may take a negative DM for survival and add that figure onto the Decoration roll. Alternatively, they may take a positive DM for survival, but must subtract this from their Decorations roll.
- If a character rolls the indicated number or higher, they have performed outstandingly well and receive a decoration for actions above and beyond the call of duty (note that as members of an Imperial organisation, MoJ characters have access to Imperial awards). If the character rolls the indicated number or higher, they receive a Meritorious Conduct Under Fire (MCUF). If they roll at least three higher than the indicated number, they receive a Medal for Conspicuous Gallantry (MCG). If they roll at least six higher, they are awarded the Starburst for Extreme Heroism (SEH).
- If the character fails a decoration roll by 6 or more they have been criminally charged and must consult the Court-Martial Table (MegaTraveller Players Manual, p 47).
- A character may receive a promotion by throwing the indicated number of dice. Promotion rolls in parentheses (e.g., “(8+)”) are for agents of rank E1-E6 only; commissioned agents of rank O1+ cannot be promoted in these assignments.
- Promotion to the level of O6 (Regional Coordinator) is a major step, since this effectively “marries” the agent to the MoJ for the rest of their life. At this level, the character becomes privy to information that is so confidential and sensitive that “retirement” is no longer an option; the inherent security risks are too great. It is better to leave characters of this rank as NPCs.
- If you still want to advance a character to these upper levels, their candidacy must be checked at the end of the term in which they attain rank O5 (Assistant Coordinator). The candidate character must roll (INT/2)− on 2D6, with DM -3 for Field and Intel, -2 for Liaison, -1 for Admin, +1 for Security, and +2 for Strike agents. Failure to be confirmed results in an honourable discharge (retirement if 5+ terms). Success confers automatic reenlistment, with the ability to rise further in rank; however, the character can only leave the career by failing a survival roll.
|1D||MoJ Life||NCO Skills||Officer Skills||Field Skills||Staff Skills|
|3||+1 STR||Gun Cbt||Instruction||Vehicle||Influence|
|8||+1 SOC||Influence||+1 SOC||Investig.||Economic|
|DMs:||+1 if E4+
+2 if O4+
|+2 if E4+||+2 if O4+||+2 if O1+||+2 if O1+|
|1||Gun Cbt||Gun Cbt||Gun Cbt||Gun Cbt||Gun Cbt||Gun Cbt|
|4||Hand Cbt||Hand Cbt||Econom.||Econom.||Academ.||Academ.|
Skills are received from basic/advanced training, special assignments, or from the skill roll. The Skill Tables are restricted as follows:
- MoJ Life:
- any MoJ character.
- NCO Skills:
- character is rank E4-E7.
- Officer Skills:
- character is rank O1+.
- Field Skills:
- character is in a Fieldwork, Investigation, Security, Undercover, or Counter-Insurgency assignment.
- Staff Skills:
- character is in a Training, Agency Operations, or Liaison assignment.
- Branch Skill Tables:
- the character is in the appropriate service branch.
Note that Brawling may be replaced by Martial Arts at the referee’s discretion.
The following are changes and additions to the MegaTraveller Cascade Skills:
- Gun Combat (changed):
- Combat Rifleman is an additional skill option.
- Influence (new):
- choose from Persuasion, Liaison, Carousing, Streetwise.
- Investigation (new):
- choose from Computer, Interview, Interrogation, Forensic.
- Infiltration (new):
- choose from Intrusion, Stealth, Recon, Hunting.
Resolving Special Duty
- Assassination Training:
- If the character has any of Brawling 3+, Blade Combat 3+, or Gun Combat 3+, Roll 1D. On 5+, the character is assigned as an instructor and receives +1 Instruction. On 4-, or if the character does not have any of the above skills at the indicated level, add 1D÷2 (round up) to the player’s choice of the above skills.
- Roll 1D. On 1-4, the character is assigned duty as a MoJ attaché (liaison officer); on 5-6, the character serves as an aide to a MoJ coordinator. An attaché receives a promotion of one grade and +1 Social Standing. An aide receives +1 Social Standing and may choose their next assignment (including Special Duty other than Attaché/Aide).
- Command College:
- Roll 4+ on 1D for each of the following: Combat Engineering, Influence, Leader, Recon, Ship Tactics, Tactics.
- Commando School:
- Receive Gun Combat, then roll 5+ on 1D for each of the following: Battle Dress, Hand Combat, Demolitions, Heavy Weapons, Intrusion, Recon, Stealth, Survival, Special Combat.
- Roll twice on the Branch Skill table of another branch. The character may transfer to this branch at the end of the current or any subsequent term of service.
- Intelligence School:
- Roll 4+ on 1D for each of the following: Vice, Communications, Computing, Influence, Investigation, Language, Streetwise.
- Interrogator School:
- Receive Interrogation (if the character already has Interrogation-3+, roll 1D; on 5-6, the character is instead assigned as an instructor and receives Instruction). Roll 4+ on 1D for each of the following: Influence, Investigation, Vice.
- Medical School:
- Receive Admin, Medical, Science. If one of these skills is at level 3+, roll 1D; on 5-6, the character is instead assigned as an instructor and receives Instruction.
- Naval Studies:
- Roll 5+ on 1D for each of the following: Computer, Engineering, Gunnery, Navigation, Pilot, Sensor Ops, Ship’s Boat, Vacc Suit, Zero-G Environ.
- Officer Candidate School (OCS):
- Advance to rank O1 (if rank E5, advance to rank O2) in current or cross-trained branch. Roll twice on the Officer Skills table and once on the relevant Branch table. If rank E6 or E7, advance to rank O3, but receive no new skills.
- Support School:
- Roll 4+ on 1D for each of the following: Communications, Computing, Demolitions, Forensic, Sensor Ops, Technical.
Reenlistment and Mustering Out
At the end of each term of service the player must decide whether to continue this career or muster out. If they want to continue, they must roll 5+ on 2D to be eligible to reenlist. If they want to leave, they must still roll 2D. If the result is 12 exactly, the character must reenlist.
A character can elect to transfer upon re-enlistment to any branch in which cross-training has been received (including the branch of initial enlistment).
Mustering Out Benefits
Characters leaving the service for any reason are eligible for mustering out benefits, earned as shown:
|Per term of service||1|
|If rank O1-O2||1|
|If rank O3-O4||2|
|If rank O5+||3|
|Mustering-out Benefits Table|
|DMs:||+1 if Gambling 1+
|+1 if rank O6+|
No more than three rolls may be made on the Cash table. If Agent Kit is received, the character may choose one of Forensic Kit, Disguise Kit, or Surveillance Kit. Upon subsequent receipts of Agent Kit, the character may chose another kit, upgrade the current kit (additional DM +1 on tasks using relevant skill(s) where use of the kit is declared), or receive +1 in the corresponding skill for any one kit already possessed (the corresponding skill for the Surveillance Kit is any of Intrusion, Stealth, or Recon). If Weapon is received, the character must immediately choose the weapon type. Subsequent receipts of Weapon may be taken as another of the same weapon, a different weapon, or as skill levels with a weapon received earlier.
For travel allowances and material benefits, refer to the MegaTraveller Players’ Manual. For more information on the Forensic skill and the Forensic Kit, see “Law Enforcers” and “Forensic Science”, both in Traveller’s Digest No. 4.
A character who has served at least 5 terms (including any prior Police career) may retire and be eligible for retirement pay. Annual retirement pay is equal to Cr2,000 per term served. This may be collected in monthly installments.
- Edited excerpts from the following source is included in the Introduction to this work:
- Lester Smith, Milieu 0, Imperium Games, USA, 1996.
- The following sources were used as reference material:
- Scott Walschlager and Craig Johnson, Library Data from “The Cobra Conspiracy”, High Passage 2, High Passage, USA, 1981, p23.
- Terry McInnes, “High Justice”, Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society 14, FarFuture Enterprises, USA, 1982, pp19-22.
- Loren Wiseman, “Police Forces in Traveller”, Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society 14, FarFuture Enterprises, USA, 1982, pp12-15.
- Robert Parker, “Law Enforcers”, Traveller’s Digest 4, Digest Group Publications, Boise, ID, USA, 1986, pp48-51.
- Robert & Nancy Parker, “Forensic Science”, Traveller’s Digest 4, Digest Group Publications, Boise, ID, USA, 1986, pp52-54.
- Marc W. Miller, MegaTraveller Player’s Manual, FarFuture Enterprises, USA, 1987.
- Gary L. Thomas, Grand Census, Digest Group Publications, Boise, ID, USA, 1987.
- Stephen Brinich & James Schwar, “There When You Need Them”, Challenge 30, FarFuture Enterprises, USA, 1987, pp34-36.
- Charles E. Gannon, “IRIS”, Challenge 33, FarFuture Enterprises, USA, 1988, pp53-58.
- Charles E. Gannon, “Generating IRIS Characters for MegaTraveller”, Challenge 34, FarFuture Enterprises, USA, 1988, pp35-38.
- Frank Chadwick & Dave Nilsen, Traveller: The New Era, FarFuture Enterprises, USA, 1993.
- Jeff Zeitlin, “Law Enforcer Characters”, Traveller Mailing List, Jeff Zeitlin, New York, USA, July 1995.
- Marc W. Miller, Marc Miller’s Traveller, Imperium Games, USA, 1996.
- Joe Walsh, “Spies (House Rules Character Class)”, Traveller Mailing List, Joe Walsh, USA, April 1996.
- James Garriss, “Secret Agent”, Traveller Mailing List, James Garriss, USA, October 1996.
- Phillip McGregor, “Point-based Character Generation”, Dark Star 1, Phillip McGregor, Australia, September 1996, p15.
With apologies to The Bill.