Quick Hiver Character Generation for Conventions
This article originally appeared in the September/October 2021 issue.
Sadly, I have been unable to attend TravCon UK or TravellerCON/USA, but I have enjoyed reading Timothy Collinson’s and Jeff Zeitlin’s after-action reports. When I saw Jeff’s announcement that the September/October 2021 issue would be a Hiver theme issue for TravellerCON/USA, I decided that even though I couldn’t attend, I would try to contribute to others’ enjoyment. Thus, this article.
I’ve used Marc Miller’s quick method (as outlined in the Freelance Traveller article) for my own games; it works well, and lets you get under way quickly – a five-hour window for play lets you actually play for about four-and-a-half hours, give or take a few minutes.
As Jeff said in the article, one can modify it fairly easily for non-humans or for non-Third-Imperium settings.
I have the Classic Traveller Canon on CD, so when I decided to work up a Hiver version of the procedure, I referenced the Hiver alien module from that CD.
The overall process is quite similar – some of the changes are in nomenclature only; others are to accommodate the differences between Hiver characters and Imperial/Humans.
First, generating characteristics. The Hiver module says that Hivers don’t have Social Standing (SOC); they have Curiosity (CUR) instead. However, they’re generated the same way, so just roll 2D six times for characteristics.
Hivers have a different selection of careers from Imperial/Human characters, so Table 1 from the article, the career list, needs to be changed. Using the careers from the Hiver module, the careers available are Navy, Explorer, Merchant, Story-Teller, and Leader:
|Table 1: Careers|
“Split Career” in the table above indicates that the career has “branches”, similar to military careers in the original article. If a Split Career is chosen, use the modified Table 2 for selecting initial skills.
|Table 2: Split Career Branch and Skills|
* Cascade skill. Choose any Gun or Blade skill
Hivers do not have Social Standing or nobility, so skip the step where SOC is used to define a noble title.
Career resolution proceeds as described in the original article. However, there is no equivalent to commission in any Hiver career; all characters should roll for Advancement after succeeding at the Survival roll. Skills should be chosen from the modified Table 5 following; note that any character may choose from the Hiver Life column, and Leaders may also choose skills from the career column that matches their selected “branch”. I have generally played that a character may select skills from the combination of all columns that s/he would be eligible for, e.g., using the original tables, a commissioned Marine character could select his/her four skills for a term as two from the Marines column, one from the Everybody column, and one from the Officer column.
As in the original rules, characters may not have more levels in any skill than they have served terms, except that the chosen branch skill in split careers may be one level higher.
|Table 5: Skills|
|Gravitic||Vacc Suit||Vacc Suit||Computer||Leader||Computer|
* Cascade skill. Choose any gun or blade skill
As medals and knighthoods are an aspect of social standing, which Hivers do not have, and as ship ‘ownership’ has a different meaning for Hivers, the Benefit tables need to be revised.
|Table 6: Benefits|
|2||Nest Cred 1||Nest Cred 1||Nest Cred 2||Nest Cred 1||Nest Cred 2|
|3||+1 INT||+1 INT||+1 INT||+1 INT||+1 INT|
|4||+1 STR||+1 CUR||Nest Cred 4||+1 CUR||Nest Cred 3|
|5||Nest Cred 2||Nest Cred 2||M Status||Nest Cred 2||M Status|
Hivers may serve up to 9 terms before mandatory retirement; if a Hiver character serves more terms than there are benefits listed for, award duplicate benefits in sequence (e.g., a 7-term Explorer will get a second weapon).