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The Invisible Masses

This article was originally posted to the pre-magazine Freelance Traveller website in 2002 and reprinted in the March/April 2019 issue.

[Editor's note: The original version of this article only encompassed five new careers. The revision of December 11, 2002, added an additional four.]

While searching for Traveller Careers via Google, I was directed to a number of new careers for Marc Miller’s Traveller (T4). Being a MegaTraveller player, I decided to try my hand at knocking out a MT version of some of these (with liberal swiping from the originals)...

Career Construction Worker Citizen Worker Religious Order Emergency Technician Servant Entertainer* Artist* Athlete* Paid Companion
Enlist 5+ 3+ 3+ 6+ 4+ 6+ 6+ 8+ 6+
DM +1 END 9+ INT 7+ END 5+ INT 8+ INT 8+ DEX 9+ INT 7+ STR 9+ DEX 9+
DM +2 STR 10+     END 10+ EDU 10+ INT 10+ --- END 10+ INT 10+
                   
Survival 5+ 3+ 3+ 6+ 4+ 4+ 4+ 5+ 4+
DM +2 DEX 9+ INT 9+   DEX 9+ EDU 9+ INT 9+ INT 9+ DEX 10+ INT 9+
                   
Position     9+ 6+   8+ 8+ 7+ ---
DM +1     Philo 3+ EDU 9+   DET 16+ DET 16+ DET 16+  
                   
Promotion     9+ 8+   8+ 8+ 7+ ---
DM +1     EDU 9+ INT 9+   TheAct 3+ Art 3+ Sport 3+  
                   
Special Duty 7+ 9+ 8+ 6+ 8+ 6+ 7+ 6+ 5+
Re-enlist 4+ 3+ 3+ 5+ 5+        
           

* These careers use Recognition instead of Position, and Notoriety instead of Promotion.

 

Notes:

Citizen Worker: Enlistment is automatic if first career; roll for enlistment only if 2nd or later career. The lack of Position/Promotion rolls reflects the Slow-path-to-Nowhere nature of most average jobs. At higher TLs, these types of jobs are often replaced entirely by robots.

Construction Worker and Servant have neither Position nor Promotion; moving between projects/jobs/employers usually does not preserve hierarchy.

Religious Order or Emergency Tech: The high Position/Promotion rolls are based entirely on web research, and reflect that one can spend quite a while in a given position between promotions.

Recognition indicates that the character’s talent within a particular field has been recognized and is promoted by an interested source (e.g., a sports scout, wealthy socialite, newspaper columnist, relevant magazine, etc.) Characters that never gain Recognition remain something of a big fish in a very small pond: well-known to a relatively small group of interested locals (e.g., the local Tavern’s cover-band, or the Dinner Theater’s shining star, continuing to plug along, never getting their Big Break).

Notoriety: There are no standard ‘Ranks’ associated with these Careers, though there is something called ‘Notoriety’; roughly reflecting the general level of exposure the character’s works or performances have gained within the borders of the Imperium. The higher the Notoriety, the closer to a household name the character has become. While standard Ranks stops at 6, Notoriety may exceed that limit. Notoriety isn’t rolled for until the character has first received Recognition.

Paid Companions have neither Recognition nor Notoriety rolls, as I figured the very private nature of the career limits their public exposure.

Notoriety Effects Table
1 The character’s work is well-known across most of a continent on a particular world.
2 The character’s work is well-known across several continents on a particular world.
3 The character’s work is well-known within an entire star system.
4 The character’s work is well-known within 2d parsecs of the focal world of the character’s activities.
5 The character’s work is well-known within 3d+12 parsecs of the focal world of the character's activities.
6 The character’s work is well-known within 1d sectors of the focal sector of the character's activities.
7 The character’s work is well-known nearly everyplace in the Imperium.
8+ The character’s work is well-known well beyond the borders of the Imperium.

Special Duty Notes for Recognition/Notoriety Careers: If a natural 12 is ever rolled for Special Duty, the character receives 1 level of Notoriety for whatever the special circumstances happened to be; whether the actual ‘Notoriety’ roll is successful that term or not (provided of course, that the character has already been Recognized).

Rank and Service Skills
Construction Worker Construction-1
Religious Order Philosophy-1
Religious Order Priest Persuasion-1
Emergency Technician Vehicle-1
Emergency Technician Captain Leader-1
Servant Steward-1
Entertainer Carousing-1
Artist Fine Arts-1
Paid Companion Courtesan-1, SOC +2 (min SOC 9)
Athlete Physical-1

Using the concept of the Victorian-era ‘Paid Companion’ (as well as that of the ‘Companion’ in Firefly) being of a purportedly more cultured and refined background, I decided that once trained, their SOC would be increased. The decision to set SOC to a minimum of 9 after training reflects their need (and ability) to move about in high society.

Table of Ranks
Religious Order Emergency Technician
Acolyte [Student] Station Officer
Underpriest [Initiate] Lieutenant
Priest [Teacher] Commander
Prelate [Leader] Captain
Hierarch [Theologian] Assistant Chief
High Priest [Supreme Leader] Chief

Rank Notes

For Religious Order, the ranks in plain text were a set that I had come up with, but was not really pleased with. The ranks in bracketed italics are alternate suggestions by Freelance Traveller’s editor.

Mustering-Out Benefits
Material Benefits
  Construction Worker Citizen Worker Religious Order Emergency Technician Servant Entertainer Artist Paid Companion Athlete
1 Tools Low Passage Mid Passage Tools Low Passage Low Passage Low Passage Mid Passage Low Passage
2 Low Passage Mid Passage +1 EDU Mid Passage Mid Passage Mental Mental High Passage Physical
3 Mid Passage Mid Passage Paraphernalia High Passage Weapon TheAct Art Equipment Mental Mid Passage
4 High Passage High Passage High Passage High Passage High Passage Mid Passage Mid Passage Paraphernalia High Passage
5 Fine Tools High Passage Assistant Fine Tools Token High Passage High Passage Attendant Hi-Perf Vehicle
6 TAS Member Memento +1 SOC TAS Member +1 SOC TAS Member TAS Member TAS Member TAS Member
7     Relic +1 SOC          
Cash
1 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 --- --- 1000 1000
2 5000 1000 5000 2000 1000 1000 1000 5000 10000
3 5000 3000 5000 5000 5000 5000 5000 10000 20000
4 10000 5000 10000 7500 10000 10000 10000 10000 50000
5 12000 5000 20000 10000 15000 20000 20000 20000 75000
6 20000 7000 30000 25000 20000 50000 50000 50000 100000
7 30000 0000 50000 50000 30000 75000 75000 100000 200000

Benefits Notes

Religious Order and Emergency Technician may roll on Material Benefits at DM +1 if Rank 3 or higher has been attained.

Any character with Gambling skill (Gambling-1 or higher) may roll at DM +1 on the Cash table. Entertainers, Artists, Paid Companions, and Athletes may take DM + 1 on the Cash table if they retire (voluntarily, as opposed to failing a re-enlistment roll).

Additional Material Benefits for Notoriety Careers
7 Personal Assistant
8 Portfolio
9 Standard Yacht
10 Business Venture
11 Big Award
12 Imperial Invitation
13 Inducted
14 Talking Head

Entertainers, Artists, and Athletes may use their Notoriety as a DM on the Material Benefits table. For modified rolls of 6-, use the preceding table; for 7+, use the table to the right.

The Assistant, Attendant, or Personal Assistant is either a robot or sophont assistant to the character—assuming the Religious Order character has attained at least Rank 3. Entertainers, Artists, Paid Companions, and Athletes may choose to take an additional 50000 credits cash instead.

Portfolio: As the result of wise investing, most commonly the result of having hired good consultants, the character has quite an impressive portfolio of diverse and profitable investments; providing an annual income of 1D10KCR.

Standard Yacht: Whether as the result of a personal gift, as a gift from the character’s patron or corporate sponsors, or as a personal purchase, the character will possess whatever type of Starship passes for the ‘Standard Yacht’. The character will own the vessel outright. Note that the method used to crew such a vessel is left to the character. Each ‘Standard Yacht’ benefit received after the first indicates that a Yacht a number of times larger than the Standard model is possessed; thus, 3 additional benefits of the Standard, 200 displacement ton Yacht would indicate the character now has a very impressive Yacht of 800 tons displacement.

Business Venture: Whether acting as the primary, or as part of an investor’s consortium, the character has become an investor in one or more businesses; providing an annual income of 2D10KCR.

Big Award: The character has received whatever the Big Award for outstanding achievements in his field happens to be called; whether analogous to the ‘Oscar’, ‘Grammy’, ‘World Series Ring’ or ‘Olympic Gold’, the benefits of winning this award are the same: In addition to an exceedingly cool and valuable statue, ring, pendant, or other bauble, the character also receives +1 SOC (or SOC 10, whichever is higher), as well as a one-time cash award of 150KCR. In recognition of ancient Terran tradition, a winner at ‘The Olympics’ is able to eat for free for the remainder of his life.

Imperial Invitation: The Emperor’s/Empress’s curiosity has been piqued, and the character has been invited to the Imperial residence. While most of these meetings usually occur at Capitol, it is not unusual for the invitation to be to accompany an Imperial Excursion; traveling en troupe to a favorite Private Reserve world, or some other get-away.

Entertainers are, not surprisingly, asked to make an Imperial Command Performance, which, thanks to the Royal Press corps, are usually turned into major media (and marketing) events.

Artists routinely wind up creating privately Commissioned work for the Emperor/Empress; the nature of the work remains a repeated source of speculation, until the work is eventually profiled on Tri-V broadcast.

Athletes will be regaled with overly-detailed (and no doubt embellished) accounts of the Emperor’s/Empress’s past sports glory, usually from University days. After a few hours in the Presence, said Athlete will be dismissed from his royal presence, and avid sports fans within the extended Royal Family will descend; attentively listening to any stories the Athlete feels like sharing, having images of themselves taken with the Sports Legend, get autographs, and the like.

At the conclusion of an Imperial Invitation, the character receives an honorific title; providing +2 SOC (or SOC 11, whichever is higher), as well as a small token of the Emperor’s esteem, a one-time cash award of 3D100KCR.

After such a visit, the character cannot, for some time, go anywhere within the borders of the Imperium without being recognized.

This is ordinarily a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but repeat invitations are not unknown, if the individual or the individual’s work in some way tickles the Imperial fancy.

Inducted: The character is recognized for achievements in his field, and inducted into a prestigious society of his peers in said field.

Entertainers are inducted into the ranks of the Imperial Society of the Arts; effectively elevated to the unofficial (yet usually used in any articles mentioning the character) status of ‘Imperial Treasure’. Tri-V files of the character’s best performances are kept at the Imperial Museum of the Arts on Capitol.

Artists are inducted into the ranks of the Imperial Artisans’ Guild, and a wide range of their artwork can be found at the Imperial Museum of Art and Design on Capitol.

Athletes are inducted into the Imperial Athletics Association’s Hall of Fame, where Tri-V files of the character’s notable feats are kept. A larger-than-life-statue of the Athlete is also standard at each exhibit. Such Halls are located on Capitol, and, in recognition of the ancient Terran ‘Olympics’; in Athens, Greece on Terra.

The character receives an honorific title; providing +1 SOC (or SOC 11, whichever is higher), as well as a one-time cash award of (1D+3)100KCR. Such recognition should be received only once in a character’s career.

Talking Head: The character has become a Media Fixture; whether as a commentator at events dealing with the character’s former career, or as Corporate Shill.

As Commentator, the character is an employee of one of the numerous, usually large, Media Concerns within the Imperium. Such a position could be as either play-by-play or color commentator for coverage of a particular activity (usually sporting) related to the character’s former career (like Jackie Stewart and the Indy 500, or Scott Hamilton and Dick Buttons’ coverage of figure skating, etc.); The Host of a program loosely dealing with the subject of the character’s former career (Such as a famous, knighted actor hosting Masterpiece Theatre, though not being directly involved in any of the productions himself, etc.); or the ubiquitous Athlete-turned-Sports Reporter or Sports Analyst, etc.

As Corporate Shill, the character’s notoriety has effectively been harnessed by some MegaCorp and directed at the masses via Tri-V and other media to peddle their wares (use any of the vast assortment of celebrity-driven commercials currently available for reference). Note that while a MegaCorp usually tries to tie the Shill’s former career to their product line (Bob Vila’s tool-related commercials, for example), this isn’t always the case (Former boxing great George Foreman hustling “his” own line of cookers, for example).

The position of Talking Head pays exceedingly well; providing the character with an annual income of 5D100KCR. Event Commentators are busy for the duration of their sport’s season. Corporate Shills are rarely bothered by the MegaCorp. About the only down side to the Shill gig is when that damned, grueling, personal appearance schedule that goes along with the money, shows its ugly head. It can be positively amazing to a new Shill to discover the things his MegaCorp Masters expect their mouthpiece to do.

Tools are a set of tools specific to the career, valued at approximately 10,000 credits. Fine Tools are similar, but of higher quality, value approximately 20,000 credits.

The Citizen Worker’s Memento indicates the character still has some type of work-related material; IDs, uniforms, tools, awards, unwanted or even stolen pieces of equipment, memorabilia, condiments, or technology.

The Religious Order’s Paraphernalia is whatever special clothes, tomes, staffs, etc., that are considered to be the required equipment of a representative of a particular religion.

The Religious Order’s Relic is a piece of fairly pricey (or priceless, if you’re a believer) reliquary given into the character’s keeping—assuming the character has attained at least Rank 3. Multiple Relics can indicate either multiple Relics, or a single Relic of even more significance. Selling such a thing would ordinarily be out of the question for the character; though determined collectors would probably pay several MCR.

The Servant’s Weapon is received only if Weapon skill has been received first.

The Servant’s Token is a small item given as a gift to the character by a former employer. Multiple Tokens can indicate either multiple Token from one or several employers, or a single Token of higher value. Determine the value by rolling 2D each time this benefit is received; the total is the value of all tokens in thousands of credits.

The Act’ includes whatever specific equipment the Entertainer requires to be able to perform his talent; musical instruments, costumes, sound equipment, a cabinet and saw used to saw a lady in half, a bullwhip and tiger, a collection of puppets, a sledgehammer and watermelons, ice skates, whatever.

Art Equipment’ includes all of the materials the Artist requires to produce artwork within his specialty.

Paraphernalia’ covers whatever clothes, wraps, candles, bedding, incense, oils, music, etc., required to do business comfortably. Each receipt of this benefit adds an additional 20KCR to their value.

High-Performance Vehicle: Whether as the result of a personal gift, a bonus from the Athlete’s patron or corporate sponsors, or as a personal purchase, the character will possess a usually very highly-priced, high-performance vehicle of some sort as a toy, status symbol, or both. The most common types of vehicle are Grav vehicles or Small craft; though eclectic tastes in vehicles can run the gambit; including wheeled vehicles, racing boats, submersibles, LTA-craft, or even Solar racers and the like.

Personal Development
  Construction Worker Citizen Worker Religious Order Emergency Technician Servant Entertainer Artist Paid Companion Athlete
1 Physical Physical Physical Physical Physical Physical Physical Physical Physical
2 +1 END +1 DEX Mental +1 END +1 DEX Physical +1 DEX +1 DEX +1 DEX
3 Physical +1 END Vice Physical Mental Mental Mental +1 EDU Mental
4 Mental Mental Interpersonal Mental +1 EDU Vice Vice Vice Vice
5 Vice Interpersonal Inborn Academic Inborn Inborn Inborn Mental Physical
6 Hand Combat Inborn Vehicle Vehicle Interpersonal Inborn Academic Inborn Hand Combat
Service Skills
1 Mechanical Vehicle Academic Mechanical Vehicle Vice FineArts Academic Physical
2 Technical Job Inborn Technical Inborn TheAct Academic Inborn Sport
3 Construction Job Philosophy Blade Combat Steward TheAct FineArts Courtesan Sport
4 Construction Job Philosophy Heavy Equipment Steward TheAct FineArts Courtesan Sport
5 Vice Vice Interpersonal Inborn Vice Inborn Inborn Courtesan Physical
6 Inborn Technical Academic Interpersonal Interpersonal Interpersonal FineArts Interpersonal Technical
Advanced Education
1 Space Technical Streetwise Space Vehicle Vehicle Technical Academic Vehicle
2 Heavy Equipment Hand Combat Interpersonal Recovery Operations Technical Mechanical Hand Combat Interpersonal Survival
3 Artisan Electrical Academic Survival Steward Techical Elective Courtesan Sport
4 Demolitions Job History Demolitions Steward TheAct History Physical Hand Combat
5 Interpersonal Interpersonal Philosophy Exploration Admin Interpersonal Interpersonal Mental Technical
6 Zero-G Environment Admin Technical Zero-G Environment Hand Combat Environmental Artisan FineArts Environmental
Advanced Education (only available to characters with EDU 8+)
1 Academic Inborn Linguistic Medical Economic Vice Inborn Linguistic Medical
2 Zero-G Environment Vice Mental Academic Space Mental Vice Inborn Academic
3 Naval Architecture Mental Mental Zero-G Environment Gun Combat Academic Inborn Mental Inborn
4 Macro Engineering Academic Interpersonal Naval Architecture Interpersonal Economic Academic Interpersonal Interpersonal
5 Transport Engineering Admin Academic Macro Engineering Academic Mental Admin Academic Inborn
6 Combat Engineering Economic Economic Transport Engineering Vice Inborn Economic Economic Economic

Skill Notes

Construction skill represents the character’s knowledge and ability to perform myriad construction techniques. Level 3- represents various levels of being handy; 4+ is professional construction.

Heavy Equipment skill covers accurate use of heavy construction equipment, such as water, laser, sonic or saw cutters, laser and plasma drills and welders, nailguns, powered work-frames, etc.

Macro Engineering (JTAS 22) covers “the planning of cities and starports, world terra-forming, and other large scale construction”.

Transport Engineering (JTAS 22) covers the “design and operation of public transportation devices, such as monorails. This includes cost-effective construction and operation techniques”.

These seem more theoretical than hands-on, but I’m assuming it includes associated practical knowledge and common techniques and designs that apply to construction or rescue crews.

The Entertainer’s The Act skill is used to represent the myriad of different possible skills an entertainer may possess which might not fall under an already-existing skill or skill group. For example, a piano-playing singer would pick Play Piano, Sing, and (if performing his own material) Composition; while someone working the time-honored path of the Blockhead would pick something like Pound nails into head safely, likely plusses to his physical stats, and maybe even Geek as well; and a wire-walking acrobat might pick Juggle, Throw, Acrobatics, and various plusses to physical characteristics (especially DEX). This over-specialization can create some highly-skilled individuals fairly quickly; but in very esoteric fields.

Each level of the Artist’s Fine Arts skill can be taken in one of Act/Bluff, Chef, Dance, Disguise, Drawing, Imaging, Music, Painting, Song, Sculpture, or Write. I may have lifted it from TNE. While MT has Artisan skill which implies works of art can be created with it, I’ve limited it to Carpentry, Jeweler, Mason, Glassblowing, or Metallurgy. If you don’t want the hassle, and feel that Artisan pretty much encompasses all art production, just replace the Fine Arts skill on the above table with Artisan instead.

The Paid Companion’s Courtesan skill covers not only encyclopedic knowledge of the erotic arts, but also practical experience with the physical application thereof. It also includes aspects of Acting, Carousing, Interview, Liaison, Psychology, Persuasion, and Steward skills, and can thus be used instead of (or in addition to) any of these skills, but at DM-1.

The Athlete’s Sports skill is a catch-all for just about any physical sport or game.

End Notes and Credits

Editor’s note: Some of these comments refer to an extensive rewrite of parts of this article in late 2002.

Inspiration for these careers comes in part from Paolo Marino’s Traveller Page, Bloo’s Religious Careers for Traveller (Wayback link), private correspondence, the “Contact: Girug’kagh” article in Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society #21, and personal experience of the author.

Having originally gotten tired of using the usual 6-place benefits table, with a poorly defined “Rich and Famous” (ugh!) filling the bottom slot, I decided I wanted to have some different degrees of “Fame” (ugh!) to add to the mix; coming up with the Notoriety stuff given previously, which was actually little more than grafting the 3-different-results from Scott Galliand’s article Decorations in Marc Miller’s Traveller at Freelance Traveller directly onto my work.

On reading over it, however, I decided that while I liked Scott’s 3-level award system, I was dissatisfied with my clumsy attempt at wedging varying levels of fame and notoriety into the 1st, 2nd, 3rd benefit mechanic I’d used before this rewrite.

The Recognition and Notoriety mechanics in this article were inspired, in part, by the concept of Reputation from the Entertainer character generation article at Traveller Central; the Galliand article; my extended Benefits table owes a lot to the extended Benefits table seen in the Charles Ahner, Rick Stuart, Ian Mackinder article The Imperial Nobility, from Ian’s Eclectic Website (Wayback link).