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Traveller’s Aide: A Basic Career for Classic Traveller

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2018 issue.

Following the publication of my article: “The Travellers’ Aid Society: Character Generation for Classic Traveller” in the January/February 2018 issue of Freelance Traveller, I concluded that a “basic career” variant might be warranted to satisfy those who do not enjoy the “expanded career” character generation system for one reason or another (usually due to skill inflation). Also, because I hope to run a TAS character-centric adventure at a future Con (I’m looking at you, TravellerCON/USA), a streamlined character generation process will be necessary for that to be feasible, if not successful.

This character career has been condensed to its bare functions per TAS Form 41 as found in Supplement 12: Forms & Charts in order to make it as simple as possible. It is up to the referee and the players to determine just what kind of “TAS-man” has been generated by examining the results. For example, an Aide with Journalism-2 and Investigation-1 might be an investigative reporter for JTAS, while a Chief Aide with Mechanical-2 and Leader-1 might be a very hands-on manager of a TAS Hostel.

Term Process
Enlistment 5+
DM +1 if EDU 9+
DM +2 if INT 8+
Survival 4+

DM +1 if

INT 8+
Appointment 10+

DM +1 if

SOC 9+
Promotion 10+

DM +1 if

EDU 8+ or INT 8+
Re-Enlist 4+

All DMs cumulative

Table of Ranks Automatic Skills
1 Junior Aide Jack-of-all-Trades-1
2 Aide Steward-1
3 Senior Aide Journalism-1
4 Aide First Class Admin-1
5 Chief Aide Leader-1
6 Senior Chief Aide Investigation-1

If the Survival roll is failed, the character musters out immediately without the player rolling for appointment, promotion, or skills.

If the Appointment roll is successful, the character promotes to Rank 1 (Junior Aide) and earns automatic skills from the Rank and Automatic Skills table. No further Appointment rolls are required; player instead rolls for Promotion once per term, but not during the term they earned Appointment.

During each successful (Survival roll succeeds) term of service, the player rolls once on the table below after choosing which column to roll against (notice that restrictions apply).

Service Skills Education
(INT 8+ only)
(EDU 9+ only)
1 +1 STR Streetwise Steward Medical
2 +1 DEX Brawling Journalism Legal
3 +1 END Mechanical Admin Leader
4 +1 INT Blade Computer Hunting
5 Gambling Computer Investigation Survival
6 Carousing Gun Vacc Suit Zero-G

If player earns Blade, Gun, or Vacc Suit they receive both an item of the appropriate type and the skill upon first award; subsequent rolls increase the skill level only. Characters who roll Blade or Gun must select the type of blade or gun on first receipt.

Characters must roll to re-enlist at the end of each term; on a roll of 12+ they must remain in TAS, otherwise they can choose to leave TAS even if they pass the re-enlistment roll. A failed re-enlistment roll results in immediate mustering-out. No character can remain at TAS past their 7th term.

Characters receive one mustering-out benefit for each term of service they have successfully completed, choosing either a material or cash benefit. Ranks 1 and 2 receive one extra benefit roll; ranks 3 and 4 receive two extra benefit rolls, while ranks 5 and 6 receive three extra benefit rolls.

Mustering-Out Benefits
  Material Cash
1 Blade or Gun 2500
2 Vacc Suit 5000
3 Annuity:
(Cr10 SOC # of terms)
per month
4 SOC +1 15000
5 Annuity:
(Cr25 SOC # of terms)
per month
6 StarPass 25000
7 TAS Membership 30000
DM +1 if 5+ terms of service rank 5+, or Gambling-1+,
or SOC 9+; cumulative

TAS Aides do not earn pensions, but instead have the opportunity to earn a separate retirement income plan called Annuity which is cumulative – it is awarded once each time a player earns them with a benefits roll.

StarPass is a travel voucher that allows the bearer to take one Low Passage trip per month, or one Middle Passage trip every two months. Unused Passages can be sold for up to 90% of their value. This benefit can only be earned once; ignore and reroll if awarded more than once.

TAS membership can only be awarded once; ignore and reroll if awarded more than once.

Skill Limitations: no character may have skills (or combined total levels of skills) greater than the sum of their INT and EDU. Any new skill awarded that would do so becomes an automatic level -0; there is no limit to level -0 skills a character may possess. If a character receives a level in an already-known skill that would put them above the limit, either reduce another skill by one to compensate, or do not award the new level.

Aging: is conducted in accordance with Traveller rules.

Sample Characters

Ex-TAS 757874; Age 26; Cr20,000
2 terms, Rank 0
Blade Cbt-1, Streetwise-1,

Ex-TAS Investigative Reporter 5359AC; Age 38; Cr40,000
5 terms, Rank 3
Jack-O-T-1, Gambling-1, Steward-1, Journalism-1, Leader-1, Vacc Suit-0
Vacc Suit, Annuity: Cr720/monthy, TAS membership

Ex-TAS Guide 6548B9; Age 46; Cr45,000
7 terms, Rank 3
Survival-1, ZeroG-1, Vacc Suit-2, Jack-O-T-1, Leader-1, Hunting-1, Steward-1, Journalism-1
Vacc Suit, TAS Membership, Annuity: Cr4500/monthly

Ex-TAS Hostelman 744B83; Age 38; Cr75,000
5 terms, Rank 2
Vacc Suit-1, Gun Cbt-1, Blade Cbt-1, Jack-O-T-1, Investigation-1, Computer-1, Admin-1, Steward-1
Annuity: Cr375/monthly, StarPass