Above the Crowd
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2022 issue.
Genesis of the Project
I saw a tweet at New Year from @tardiscaptain (Carl Stark) announcing the 2022 Character Creation Challenge (accompanied by the banner picture to the right), and decided to participate. Part way through the month, I decided that the results were worth sharing with the Traveller Mailing List, as I’d decided to do all Traveller characters. Subsequently, the editor suggested I turn it into this article.
I only discovered right at the end that I hadn’t just seen a random retweeting but I’d seen the actual originator announcing it.
In addition to the original tweet, I used…
- The Core Rulebook Update 2022. It sounded like a good way of giving the new volume a workout.
- The March Harrier twitter feed – which I felt I’d been slacking on for a short while as Christmas and other things took over.
- A short ton of discipline (Twitter only allows a single tweet to be scheduled ahead of time, not a whole thread). Every tweet was created within a day or so of being posted.
- A pinch of creativity – I was determined not to just present stat blocs.
I decided it would be as completely dice-driven as I could possibly make it. No fudging rolls I didn’t like. Random selection of any options.
Characteristics (what in old money were called UPPs) were as rolled straight out of the box (i.e., six rolls, six stats in order). I had been going to roll three sets and choose a reasonable set but in fact it wasn’t really necessary and arguably makes it more interesting. I consider them all playable as PCs, never mind NPCs.
For the nobles I moved a high enough stat to SOC in one case and rolled again in the other.
For the psions I managed to roll 12 both times as a seventh characteristic. This seems remarkably unlikely, but there you are…
Gender was selected as a 50/50 chance of female or male; despite that, the entire list contains 21 females and 13 males; other options are probably best left as the Referee’s domain, but two characters at least were left as indeterminate.
Background skills were chosen randomly (the list in the Core Rulebook is in fact quite a handy 3×6 table. Reroll 5,6 and 6,6) [or maybe another time, bung in a psionic Talent at that point].
I’d decided I’d work through the 12 main careers, then the Prisoner and Psion career. Realizing that would leave me three days short at the end of the month, I thought I’d add the two slightly offbeat careers from Traveller Companion: Truther and Believer.
For the first 16 days I skipped the Qualification roll so I could have each career represented, second time through I applied the Qualification requirement and let the dice decide on Draft or Drifter (50/50) if they failed Qualification. If I felt like pursuing another career after Mustering Out, I rolled on the Career Summary table (a handy 2×6 table if you think about it).
Assignment was chosen randomly. I thought about removing the Assignment of the first tranche of characters from the possibilities on the second run through, but decided not to.
Skill tables were rolled randomly (including Advanced Education if allowed); then on any given table the skill was chosen randomly.
Any options (for skill or circumstance) was chosen by dice. For example, Entertainer (journalist) can get Art (holography or write) so I’d make it a 50/50 chance; in Marine Mishap 5 the tormentor would be chosen by die roll; in Entertainer Event 4 there are four possible skills and it would be a random selection of one of those. (The number of times I rolled three sixes in a row at this point when I couldn’t accept anything over 4 was ridiculous! I should have used the d4 I own.)
A ‘pick any skill’ was determined randomly from a d66 table of all the skills – although rather irritatingly that leaves three skills left over so you need to make it two d66 tables with a lot of rerolls on the second one. I should probably just get a 39-sided die.
Mustering Out – randomly on cash alternately with benefit until the cash rolls were used up and then all rolls used up. If only 1 or 3 Benefit rolls were gained, I selected the odd one as randomly Cash or Benefit.
Initially I didn’t pursue subsequent Careers (mainly because I thought tweet space would be limited and the whole project might become too demanding if I was spending too long on each day). By about day 7 I was confident enough of space and not taking too much time, not to mention rather enjoying the process, so I’d select another career randomly if I felt it appropriate.
Following Mishaps, I added d4-1 to age to determine when in the Term it happened and added that to the character’s age rather than the whole four years. This occasionally meant that Aging rolls could be delayed till the 5th term or in one case even later (although whether a one year term is actually a term, I’ll leave for readers).
The only two flexible things really were whether to go into pre-career education and when to call it a day. For the first, I didn’t select it often and thought about trying to come up with a mechanic based on INT or EDU or even SOC but decided against it in the end. As for stopping, I usually quit at a Mishap – and interestingly it was six days before I got past Term 2 – or alternatively as Aging was beginning to be too much of a hit. The average age of all 36 characters is 31.5.
Once the mechanics were finished, I’d generate two or three tweets worth of description from events or other features of the process I thought interesting. I suspect, were I do this for much longer, it would get a bit repetitive and I’d perhaps dig out the Spica Publishing d66 tables for Events. I set myself an arbitrary limit of four tweets per character – one more than the microNPCs I’d previously been offering on the twitter feed. One definite goal from the outset was to try and create characters that could be easily slotted into an ongoing campaign and had hooks of one sort or another whether they’re used as PCs or NPCs. I’d be interested to know if this works for anyone.
I followed the rules exactly with one exception. The first edition of the Core Rulebook isn’t clear on whether you get a skill roll at the start of a term when you get Basic Training. Indeed, it explicitly says that you get such a skill roll in every term. I’ve always ‘allowed’ that. I chose to continue doing that with these characters despite the second edition of the Core Rulebook now making clear that Basic Training is instead of that skill roll. If you need to unpick what that has granted a PC additionally, you’d need to review the term-by-terms. Email me* if you want them.
* Freelance Traveller will not indiscriminately print the email addresses of our authors. Readers who do not have an email address for Mr Collinson should write to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass the request to Mr Collinson.
Also, the Citizen and the Drifter career, under the second edition rules, now have Basic Training taken from their Assignment skill tables. This has changed since the first edition and I managed to either miss it or forget that the rule had changed until about day 6 when of course I’d already created one of each. Hence their footnoted variations.
At about the midpoint of the month I saw someone on Facebook wonder why there weren’t videos of character generation walkthroughs. Now I’m not a fan of learning via such things (it always seems so slow compared to just reading the instructions) but I understand that others don’t feel the same way. As I happened to be recording lectures for work, it occurred to me that maybe it wouldn’t be much effort to get the Core Rulebook PDF on my laptop (instead of the print copy I was using) and film myself as I worked through that and worked up a Word document. It was relatively simple although I have doubts about my ‘speaking’ voice and questions about whether to blur the background or not. (And if not, whether to spend hours curating the background!). However, invariably I’d have a couple of serious errors I didn’t feel I could live with. I wasn’t looking for perfection and was happy to correct myself as I went or accept a ‘cough’ or dropping a die and so on. But when I failed to see a mistake or worse yet, found I was typing the exact opposite of what I was saying, I wasn’t prepared to post that. And of course, I couldn’t edit the videos having limited skills and equipment. I suppose it might have been possible to append a comment to a video but that rather brings me back to why not just read the instructions rather than watch a slow video! (Going methodically and explaining what I was doing also meant that a character I’d knock up in about 10 or 15 minutes was now taking twice as long. I gave it four attempts and couldn’t get a single one reasonably error free, so I abandoned the project. I may return to it and give it another go but not in the middle of the #CharacterCreationChallenge.
Meanwhile, the daily tweets had been getting sufficient Likes and Retweets to keep me motivated to some extent. About half a dozen of each for most tweets. I’d have probably carried on without them, but it was encouraging.
Also during the month, I noticed that the March Harrier account had arrived at 250 followers. If I thought the #CCC was going to add lots of followers I’d have been mistaken, but I hadn’t expected that fortunately and it wasn’t really the purpose. But it felt like a moment to mark and having noticed that despite all the Likes and Retweets on twitter, no one had actually commented on any character. So, perhaps I could run a competition. I’d offer a March Harrier publication in return for one of the first six people to Retweet with a comment (randomly selected with a six-sided die of course!). After carefully constructing a tweet with the ‘rules’ such as they were and a 24-hour deadline – which in retrospect was probably a bit short but I thought it suited the ephemeral nature of the whole thing – I waited. And waited. And waited. Still the Likes; still the RTs. But no comments! I don’t know if people hadn’t read the instruction, couldn’t be bothered, didn’t want to put themselves out there, weren’t speaking to me, but after 24 hours, still no comment. Ah well. I then had to decide whether to ‘not play’ or put those who had simply Retweeted into a lottery. I decided the former was churlish and @agentpumpkin duly won Three Blind Mice (his choice). It was fun and a sort of learning experience.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with the results. I went to places I’d possibly never have considered if I’d been making more choices over which tables to roll on and so on. I hope readers find them of interest too. On the Twitter side, I was surprised to find that I was just about the only one doing a daily character. Many were doing multiple RPGs rather than just one as I was doing which would have been a much harder task. Others were posting photos of old character sheets or characters generated using software; there were a fair few ‘bare stats’ and little idea of ‘character’. Of course, none of that is ‘cheating’ – the only rules really were ones I’d inflicted on myself – but I quite enjoyed what I saw as the purity of what I was attempting; or perhaps discipline would be a better word. Having said that, I’m quite glad to have finished and can put away my dice for a while. Though only a short while most likely. The one thing I’ve reconfirmed is my opinion, not unique, that Traveller character generation is fun!
A little while after the challenge finished, Carl, the Challenge originator got in touch to offer ‘badges’ his daughter had created for everyone who completed the entire month. I proudly displayed mine on the twitter feed (right).
Anyway, that’s not what you’re here for, you’re here for the characters, presented of course as a d66 table. (Which of course required an extra five characters…)
- 1/1. Agent: Law Enforcement Arlene Fasst A33665, age 20
- Characteristics: STR 10 (+1), DEX 3 (-1), END 3 (-1),
INT 6 (+0), EDU 6 (+0), SOC 5 (-1)
Skills: Melee 1, Admin 0, Animals 0, Drive 0, Gun Combat 0, Investigate 0, Flyer 0, Recon 0, Streetwise 0
Background: Tragedy struck when a gang Arlene was bringing to book turned on her family. Her husband was tortured, losing his right arm, her daughter was mistreated as well. Arlene left the force as she struggled to come to terms with her grief. She may no longer be an Agent but she’s intent on becoming an agent of revenge.
- 1/2. Army: Cavalry L/Cpl Bertram Snyderfoot A97A44, age 25
- Characteristics: STR 10 (+1), DEX 9 (+1), END 7 (+0),
INT 10 (+1), EDU 4 (-1), SOC 4 (-1)
Skills: Recon 2, Gun Combat 1, Mechanic 1, Medic 1, Athletics 0, Melee 0, Heavy Weapons 0, Seafarer 0, Vacc Suit 0
Equipment: Cr20,000. Contact, Rival (Mishap 5 – tormented by fellow soldier)
Background: Driven out of his prestigious cavalry unit, Snyderfoot is very sensitive to seeing bullying and any perceived unfairness. Big, agile & bright he’ll jump to protect the defenceless.
- 1/3. Citizen: Worker Cavilla Demptster 9A8467, age 27
- Characteristics: STR 9 (+1), DEX 10 (+1), END 8 (+0),
INT 4 (-1), EDU 6 (+0), SOC 7 (+0)
Skills: Drive 1, Carouse 1, Science 1, Steward 1, Electronics 0, Engineer 0, Mechanic 0, Profession 0, Science 0, Streetwise 0*
Equipment: TAS Membership, Cr12,000, Ally×2
Background: Cav “Lucky” Demptster falls on her feet more often than not which included being gifted a TAS membership by a thankful client – although that did create some friction with her live-in partner who thought it inappropriate and suspicious. She worked as a management trainer in a resource exploration company until a government investigation into senior management corruption caused a restructuring that didn’t find room for her skills. She’s now looking to try her luck elsewhere.
- 1/4. Drifter: Wanderer Deva Dendrite 993959, age 20
- Characteristics: STR 9 (+1), DEX 9 (+1), END 3 (-1),
INT 9 (+1), EDU 5 (-1), SOC 9 (+1)
Skills: Drive 1, Drive 0, Deception 0, Recon 0, Seafarer 0, Stealth 0, Streetwise 0, Survival 0**
Background: Nearly killed in an accident when using a Free Trader’s exercise equipment in Jumpspace, Deva has lost much of the vigour and strength of her teenage years. Having just been discharged from hospital, she’s naturally vivacious and keen to find employment despite her limitations
- 1/5. Entertainer: Performer Egremont Xanix 999359, age 25
- Characteristics: STR 9 (+1), DEX 9 (+1), END 9 (+1),
INT 3 (-1), EDU 5 (-1), SOC 9 (+1)
Skills: Art (performer) 1, Science 1, Stealth 1, Streetwise 1, Art 0, Carouse 0, Deception 0, Drive 0, Persuade 0, Profession 0, Steward 0
Background: Eggie has lived a strange and charmed life which, until now, he has put down to the year he spent living amongst Zhodani, hoping to pick up mystical tips to improve his singing capabilities.
He got by at school by intimidating classmates to help get past exams he struggled with and now performs under the stage name “X” which he styles in ornate fashion but detractors suggest is indicative of the marks he received on schoolwork. For Reasons, his tour of Charted Space has gone horribly wrong with his manager and backing group abandoning him; he’s now wending his long way home performing whatever gigs he can get and taking whatever transport he can find.
- 1/6. Marine: Support Sergeant Fred Rattler A749B3, age 42, rank 4
- Characteristics: STR 10 (+1), DEX 7 (+0), END 4 (-1),
INT 9 (+1), EDU 11 (+1), SOC 3 (-1)
Skills: Stealth 3, Athletics 2, Gun Combat 2, Medic 2, Tactics (military) 2, Electronics (comms) 1, Leadership 1, Melee (blade) 1, Melee (unarmed) 1, Gambler 1, Vacc Suit 1, Drive 0, Heavy Weapons 0, Mechanic 0, Stealth 0
Equipment: Pension Cr10,000, Cr55,000, Rival
Background: Fred has had a chequered career from his time in military academy to not one but two planetary assaults which has given him a strong tactical sense. Despite being in a support role he was severely injured which has made him, in his eyes, at least, very clumsy but in fact he’s more beginning to feel his age due to struggling to maintain his fitness. A sizeable figure, he can nevertheless appear in a room almost unnoticed and is handy in a fight – with weapons or without. He’s keen to find a new, non-military role for himself: mercenary support, muscle on a starship, minder for a noble?
- 2/1. Merchant: Free Trader Gabbee Amorant 98954A, age 33
- Characteristics: STR 9 (+1), DEX 8 (+0), END 9 (+1),
INT 5 (-1), EDU 4 (-1), SOC A (+1)
Skills: Drive 2, Athletics 1, Gunner 1, Investigate 1, Melee (blade) 1, Persuade 1, Pilot (spacecraft) 1, Vacc Suit 1, Broker 0, Electronics 0, Recon 0, Steward 0
Equipment: Cr21,000, Blade, Enemy
Background: Not favoured when the looks or the brains were being handed out, Gabbee was carving out a niche for herself as a cautious but thriving Free Trader until she was embroiled in legal trouble and very narrowly avoided a jail term. It knocked her confidence and when, soon after, Imperial trade restrictions forced her out of business she fell in with a bad crowd and became one of the enforcers and drivers for a citywide ‘enterprise’. When she crossed a rival criminal, who vowed to hunt her down, she fled and is hopping from world to world, one step ahead of Jum Fastbreak, offering herself as pilot or gunner to any ship which will take her.
- 2/2. Navy: Flight & Prisoner: Thug Hinrek-Hinrek Mels 8A6467, age 21
- Characteristics: STR 8 (+0), DEX 10 (+1), END 6 (+0),
INT 4 (-1), EDU 6 (+0), SOC 7 (+0)
Skills: Melee (unarmed) 1, Art 0, Athletics 0, Gun Combat 0, Gunner 0, Mechanic 0, Mechanic 0, Pilot 0, Profession 0, Streetwise 0, Vacc Suit 0
Background: “H” to his friends, of whom he has few, dreamed of becoming a Navy pilot and scraped in, only thanks to excellent co-ordination. However, still very green, in a crucial battle, a lead pilot was injured and when H took the controls handled the ship so badly under the stress that the cruiser Indomitable was severely damaged. H was blamed, court-martialled and discharged. In his anger and frustration and the unfairness of it, his desperate CO should never have put him that position, he lashed out and ended up in prison for a year. He can’t settle, but word of his disgrace has reached his homeworld so he travels to avoid going back to family.
- 2/3. Noble: Diplomat Inigo Brassman A9888C, age 42, rank 4: Counsellor
- Characteristics: STR 10 (+1), DEX 9 (+1), END 8 (+0),
INT 8 (+0), EDU 8 (+0), SOC 12 (+2)
Skills: Diplomat 3, Admin 2, Advocate 1, Art 1, Electronics 1, Gambler 1, Language 1, Science 1, Flyer 0, Investigate 0, Persuade 0, Seafarer 0, Streetwise 0,
Equipment: TAS, Pension Cr10,000, Cr61,000, Four Ship Shares, Ally×2, Enemy Conspiracy, a very old chalice – reputedly from pre-spaceflight Terra – which will keep a liquid at whatever temperature it starts at for one hour
Background: As third son of a minor noble family, Inigo could have spent his time as he wished but was encouraged to diplomatic service by a Sector Duke who has become a powerful ally. Inigo has made something of a name for himself as skilled, patient and caring for the poor until a nasty injury he makes light of, forced his retirement. His retainers are skilled in weapons and unarmed combat due to the enmity of a cabal of plotters against the Duke which Inigo refused to join.
- 2/4. Rogue: Thief Jiim Pantofle 759466, age 22
- Characteristics: STR 7 (+0), DEX 5 (-1), END 9 (+1),
INT 4 (-1), EDU 6 (+0), SOC 6 (+0)
Skills: Stealth 2, Recon 1, Streetwise 1, Tactics (military) 1, Animals 0, Athletics 0, Deception 0, Flyer 0, Gun Combat 0, Vacc Suit 0
Background: Jiim reckons himself as something a lad about town, especially after Gösta Enkman, a crime lord, took him on as protégé. He’s not unskilled in various ways and has avoided the courts but a stupid mistake damaged his foot rather nastily. This left him with scars, and made him useless to his comrades. Now he’s desperate for any work he can get and doesn’t much care what it is. His nose tattoo may not help him.
- 2/5. Scholar Kamberlane Azzatoni 9579C8, age 38
- Characteristics: STR 9 (+1), DEX 5 (-1), END 7 (+0),
INT 9 (+1), EDU 12 (+2), SOC 8 (+0)
Skills: Medic 3, Art (write) 2, Drive 1, Persuade 1, Science 1, Science 1, Carouse 0, Diplomat 0, Electronics 0, Investigate 0, Language 0, Science 0
Equipment: Cr90,000, Ally, Rival
Background: After training as a doctor, Kamberlane qualified and has had some success in the field even making something of a breakthrough in Jump effects on sophont health but her findings were roundly ignored for reason she’s never understood. She published her results in a pop science book. That and follow up volumes have been notably well received outside the medical establishment.
Having had pressure put on by her institute to perform research exposing animals to Jumpspace, she retired citing ethical issues and now travels measuring Jump effects on crew and passengers of any ship she’s on which allow her research. Anyone who follows her (medicinal/meditational/dietary?) advice gains DM+2 to avoid Jump sickness.
- 2/6. Scout: Courier Leilani Cou 6CCB88, age 42, rank 2
- Characteristics: STR 6 (+0), DEX 12 (+2), END 12 (+2), INT 11
(+1), EDU 8 (+0), SOC 8 (+0)
Skills: Gun Combat 4, Survival 2, Diplomat 1, Mechanic 1, Recon 1, Vacc Suit 1, Animals 0, Astrogation 0, Electronics 0, Language 0, Mechanic 0, Pilot (spacecraft) 0
Equipment: Pension Cr12,000, Cr105,000, Weapon, Enemy: Portmaster Briggs
Background: In a dramatic if rather lacklustre career Leilani has dozens of stories with which to regale anyone who’ll give her an ear. There was the time she was first to arrive on a waterworld just after a typhoon had all but wiped out the starport. The portmaster and assistant had both been killed and the next in line, struggling in the aftermath, gave Leilani explicit instructions which the scout ignored to save dozens of lives. On another occasion, out in the wilds negotiating with alien mustelids, she caught a life-threatening disease which was so debilitating she spent a considerable sum from savings on medical bills. Surveys of alien worlds, vital communiqués, criminal proceedings – Leilani has a tale.
- 3/1. Prison: Fixer Mish-L Marputo 563963, age 28, rank 3
- Characteristics: STR 5 (-1), DEX 6 (+0), END 3 (-1), INT 9 (+1), EDU
6 (+0), SOC 3 (-1)
Skills: Melee (unarmed) 2, Streetwise 2, Athletics 1, Deception 1, Investigate 1, Language 0, Medic 0, Persuade 0, Profession 0
Equipment: Cr1200, Contact: Prisoner
Background: Mish-L has just been released from a ten year stretch in prison. She still maintains her innocence and made at least one escape attempt although her effort to slip past the guards disguised as a maintenance worker didn’t pan out. Inside, she was known for being able to arrange anything – for the right price. Despite that, she’s been released with hardly a Credit to rub together but a strong desire to show the universe she’s worth more than her life so far.
- 3/2. Psion: Wild Talent Nooba Williard 893A9A-C, age 40, rank 3: Witch
- Characteristics: STR 8 (+0), DEX 9 (+1), END 3 (-1), INT 10 (+1),
EDU 9 (+1), SOC 10 (+1)
Skills: Science 2, Telepathy 2, Animals 1, Clairvoyance 1, Deception 1, Survival 1, Telekinesis 1, Teleportation 1, Athletics 0, Awareness 0, Carouse 0, Vacc Suit 0
Equipment: Cr19,000, Gun, Two Ship Shares, Contacts×4, Enemies×2
Background: Nooba is a wild talent and has never trained but that doesn’t stop her being a powerful psion, some might even say a witch. She also has a natural gift for making friends and seems to have contacts wherever she goes. She’s accompanied everywhere by a (mostly) housetrained Qastian Tree Skunk and an auto pistol she’s just acquired. She plans on learning to use it since her friend Zik Donohue betrayed her when he found out about her abilities and has threatened to pursue her to the ends of the universe. Rhetoric or reality?
- 3/3. Truther Oona Vremil 929679, age 46, FOL=6
- Characteristics: STR 9 (+1), DEX 2 (-2), END 9 (+1), INT 6 (+0), EDU
7 (+0), SOC 9 (+1)
Skills: Medic 2, Recon 2, Science (sophontology) 2, Art (write) 1, Electronics (computers) 1, Electronics (remote ops) 1, Persuade 1, Diplomat 0, Flyer 0, Investigate 0, Language (any) 0, Profession 0, Streetwise 0
Equipment: Cr102,000, Ally, Contact×2, Rival, Patronage, Major Following
Background: Oona is a typical minor truther (Interaction DM +1) with a Major Following who vehemently believes in her Truth that there are beings in Jumpspace and they can be communicated with. She has travelled extensively to the borders of the Imperium and developed a wide range of skills including her own science of Jumpspace sophontology. She is under the Patronage of Sir Belkam Narsonfanduil who pays her a Cr10,000/year stipend. Warm and personable, Oona is hard not to believe and can often be found holding court about her latest theories or findings.
- 3/4. Believer: Missionary Petr Zamek 43C773, age 23
- Characteristics: STR 4 (-1), DEX 3 (-1), END 12 (+2), INT 7 (+0),
EDU 7 (+0), SOC 3 (-1)
Skills: Diplomacy 1, Profession (religion) 1, Admin 0, Carouse 0, Diplomat 0, Electronics (computers) 0, Persuade 0, Profession 0, Science (belief) 0, Survival 0,
Equipment: Cr10,500, reward in next life, prominent statue
Background: Petr has all the assurance of youth that his chosen religion is The One True Way and he travels to tell anyone he meets of his faith and their need for it. He’s actually quite diplomatic as such zealots go and certainly knows his own religion well. Weak and clumsy, he regards himself as something of a martyr having been attacked and injured for his proselytizing; he’s an easy target. But he is indomitable and rarely knocked back. He is certain of his reward in the next life and carries a statue which he displays prominently if at all possible. Fellow believers feel he venerates it a little too highly. Losing it doesn’t bear thinking about.
- 3/5. Drifter: Wanderer Quella Ramkin 599AA9, age 27, rank 1
- Characteristics: STR 5 (-1), DEX 9 (+1), END 9 (+1), INT 10 (+1),
EDU 10 (+1), SOC 9 (+1)
Skills: Recon 1, Stealth 1, Streetwise 1, Deception 0, Drive 0, Electronics 0, Language 0, Profession 0, Survival 0, Vacc Suit 0
Equipment: Cr4000, Ship Share, Rival, Enemy
Background: Quella failed the entrance exams she took to join her world’s secret service and, disappointed, started travelling rather randomly. Quick witted, but not terribly strong, she’s got used to staying out of trouble by fading into the background and developing street smarts to stay out of harm’s way. Attacked on one world and left in the lurch by a friend to pick up a large bill on another, she’s wary of new faces but is reliable once you get to know her.
- 3/6. Agent: Intelligence Ramona Frebble 479837, age 25, rank 1: Agent
- Characteristics: STR 4 (-1), DEX 7 (+0), END 9 (+1), INT 8 (+0), EDU
3 (-1), SOC 7 (+0)
Skills: Deception 1, Persuade 1, Drive 0, Flyer 0, Gun Combat 0, Investigate 0, Language 0, Recon 0, Streetwise 0, Survival 0
Equipment: Cr-2000 (debt to her agency), Scientific Equipment, Contact
Background: Ramona was very disappointed to be retired as an agent from her world’s security services having dreamed of such work from her childhood. Severe injury has left her in some pain and weakness due to the fall from a great height in the course of an operation that went badly wrong. She’s rather persuasive if allowed to make her case and can be something of a trickster in her work and her downtime with friends. Now she travels to find purpose selling her skills to anyone who will give her an opportunity. And to pay back the debt she owes for her medical expenses.
- 4/1. Army: Cavalry Sami Yllic 755553, age 21
- Characteristics: STR 7 (+0), DEX 5 (-1), END 5 (-1), INT 5 (-1), EDU
5 (-1), SOC 3 (-1)
Skills: Athletics 1, Gun Combat 1, Recon 1, Athletics 0, Drive 0, Heavy Weapons 0, Medic 0, Melee 0, Streetwise 0
Background: Sami joined the army straight out of school that she left as soon as she could, hating the whole experience. She surprised her instructors by acing the physical entrance exams despite her slight stature. Unfortunately, she and her platoon were sent to fight the Meerwulf guerrillas in the swamps of Meritoba where savage conditions and brutal combat led to her discharge from the army for stress. She regards any Meerwulfen she comes across as implacable enemies and will attack them on sight with whatever weapon she has to hand: fist, pistol or heavier ordnance.
- 4/2. Citizen: Worker Tamara Trevithik 89988A, age 38, rank 3
- Characteristics: STR 8 (+0), DEX 9 (+1), END 9 (+1), INT 8 (+0), EDU
8 (+0), SOC 10 (+1)
Skills: Engineer 2, Gun Combat 2, Profession ( ) 2, Carouse 1, Diplomat 1, Electronics 1, Gambler 1, Steward 1, Drive 0, Mechanic 0, Profession 0 ( ), Science 0 ( ), Seafarer 0
Equipment: Pension: Cr10,000, Cr120,000, Gun, Ally×2
Background: Tamara has had a successful corporate career which she’s been committed to for two decades and an ally in a long-term boyfriend, Arti Vukan, although they’ve constantly decided not to commit to each other and living together as yet. As her corporation has grown she’s been able to develop a healthy savings account as well as explore a variety of technical fields including as surveyor and picked up various specialized skills. She has an ally in Benq Barton, her superior who has mentored her through learning better approaches to dealing with people around her and reduce something of her risk-taking party attitude.
- 4/3. Entertainer: Journalist, Rogue: Pirate Ulrika Pearson 754479, age 37, rank 1: Freelancer
- Characteristics: STR 7 (+0), DEX 5 (-1), END 4 (-1), INT 4 (-1), EDU
7 (+0), SOC 9 (+1)
Skills: Carouse 2, Drive 1, Electronics (comms) 1, Gunner 1, Language 1, Melee 1, Recon 1, Admin 0, Art (write) 0, Art (performer) 0, Deception 0, Flyer 0, Persuade 0, Steward 0
Equipment: Cr40,000, Two Ship Shares, Weapon, Armour
Background: Ulrika went to work for The Evening Star operating holocams and was even, briefly, a minor celebrity. A behind the scenes package her team were working on produced a clip which went viral of her falling into a river but still operating her cams as she went in and sank. She had her finger on the pulse of the celebrity party scene which was useful for stories. A few years later she was sacked after a scandal involving a newt and a noble’s comm unit. Following that and the death of her father she took up with a bad crew, got into a feud, and now, in her mid-30s, her mother has given birth to a surprise baby brother, has decided to return home to help out.
- 4/4. Marine: Ground Assault & Scout: Explorer Vladmir Perkko 7BB4A5, age 34, rank 2
- Characteristics: STR 7 (+0), DEX 11 (+1), END 11 (+1), INT 4 (-1),
EDU 10 (+1), SOC 5 (-1)
Skills: Engineer 2, Vacc Suit 2, Diplomat 1, Electronics 1, Explosives 1, Jack of all Trades 1, Mechanic 1, Admin 0, Animals 0, Athletics 0, Gun Combat 0, Heavy Weapon 0, Language 0, Stealth 0, Tactics 0
Equipment: Cr65,000, Ship Share, Weapon, Contact, Rivals×2, Enemies×3
Background: Vlad trained as a marine and was known for his long-distance running but after a year of torment by Nadeen Tsunga, a bully of the first order, he attempted to transfer to the Navy. Unfortunately, they were not impressed with Vlad’s record but the Scouts took him on as an explorer and here he seemed to find his métier. Well, except for that time he caused an inadvertent conflict between the Imperium and a minor species. And the time his Scout ship was so wrecked he had to abandon it and hitchhike home. Oh, and damage to himself that some skilled medics and a generous payment from the scouts had to repair. Vlad is up for most things but it may not go well.
- 4/5. Merchant: Broker (partial term) & Rogue: Enforcer (5 terms) Wezlee Aronski 7B98956, age 41, rank 4
- Characteristics: STR 7 (+0), DEX 11 (+1), END 9 (+1), INT 9 (+1),
EDU 5 (-1), SOC 6 (+0)
Skills: Athletics 2, Deception 2, Gambler 2, Gun Combat 2, Broker 1, Drive 1, Melee 1, Persuade 1, Art 0, Electronics 0, Persuade 0, Steward 0, Vacc Suit 0
Equipment: Cr151,000, Pension: Cr10,000, six ship shares, Ally, Enemy×3
Background: Released from the upmarket Brokerage Triple Star following a near death injury which put him on sick leave for a year, Wezlee found employment at the other end of society when a dodgy outfit took him on as an enforcer. His embittered aggression was useful and was reinforced when his wife left him and drove him to gamble ferociously and exercise just as hard. He’s made his money though, and his foes. If you can trust him, he can be a useful ally.
- 4/6. Navy: Flight (partial term) & Citizen: Colonist (partial term) & Marine: Ground Assault (partial term) & Scholar: Physician (3 terms) Xin Zizz 95779B, age 37, rank 3
- Characteristics: STR 9 (+1), DEX 5 (-1), END 7 (+0), INT 7 (+0), EDU
9 (+1), SOC 11 (+1)
Skills: Diplomat 2, Investigate 2, Medic 2, Advocate 1, Drive 1, Engineer 1, Gun Combat 1, Mechanic 1, Science 1, Art 0, Athletics 0, Electronics 0, Gunner 0, Pilot 0, Recon 0, Seafarer 0, Streetwise 0, Vacc Suit 0
Equipment: Lab Ship, Cr10,000, Enemy
Background: In what can only be described as a chequered career, Xin seems to have tried everything at one time or another and has suffered mishap after mishap. Eventually, however, perhaps inspired by injury as a marine and the medical attention received at that time, Xin settled down as a physician and has become quite skilled with a warm bedside manner and an ability to look deeper into problems. Knighted for service and winning the Remple Prize, Xin has retired to run a 40-year-old Lab Ship with Advanced Sensors (TL15) and often needs crew to help out or help getting out of tricky situations.
- 5/1. Noble: Dilettante & Scout: Surveyor & Army: Support Yammer Bressington 96886B, age 32, rank 1: Lieutenant
- Characteristics: STR 9 (+1), DEX 6 (+0), END 8 (+0), INT 8 (+0), EDU
6 (+0), SOC 11 (+1)
Skills: Animals 1, Deception 1, Leadership 1, Mechanic 1, Pilot 1, Electronics 0, Gun Combat 0, Science 0
Equipment: Cybernetic Implant (STR+1 = A), Ally, Debt to Scouts: Cr12,500
Background: Known as the Unlucky Scion having dropped out of university, failed at the family business, sent to “make something of himself” only to be medically discharged from the Scouts and then rejected for a job as a scientist, Yammer was finally drafted into the Army but, perhaps with judgement clouded after the death of a close friend in combat, made poor decisions and ended up in a smuggling ring with his CO which was then discovered and had him discharged. Unusually for a noble he’s left with a cybernetic implant enhancing his strength and less unusually, debts – which his family insists he pays off before returning to their good graces.
- 5/2. Drifter: Scavenger & Rogue: Thief Zekaria Abz C28366, age 22
- Characteristics: STR 12 (+2), DEX 2 (-2), END 8 (+0), INT 3 (-1),
EDU 6 (+0), SOC 6 (+0)
Skills: Astrogation 1, Gun Combat 1, Streetwise 1, Carouse 0, Electronics 0, Mechanic 0, Pilot (small craft) 0, Profession 0, Stealth 0, Streetwise 0, Vacc Suit 0
Equipment: Ship Share, Ally, Enemy×2
Background: Always short of a bob or two Zek is a big ungainly lump of a man for whom nothing seems to go right and nothing seems to go well. The exception to this is Rose, his petite girlfriend, who since Zek was betrayed by a fellow scavenger in a largely mined out belt has stuck by him through thick and thin. Even now when Gizkhe Gughz, a vicious Vargr from a rival criminal gang, has vowed to hunt him and down and kill him for some imagined slight. Zek and Rose will most likely be furtively looking out for passage to anywhere but here.
- 5/3. Marine Academy & Marine: Ground Assault Alfons Ofusha 786978, age 33, rank 2: Captain
- Characteristics: STR 7 (+0), DEX 8 (+0), END 6 (+0), INT 9 (+1), EDU
7 (+0), SOC 8 (+0)
Skills: Athletics 2, Diplomat 2, Heavy Weapons 2, Leadership 1, Stealth 1, Tactics 1, Vacc Suit 1, Gun Combat 0, Survival 0
Equipment: Cr30,000, Weapon, Armour
Background: Despite wanting to go to university, Alfons acquiesced to a parental desire for him to join the marines and follow in mother’s footsteps. He excelled himself and graduated with Honours, top of his class. With his newly minted commission he suited the discipline that was required of him but perhaps harking back to his earlier dreams took every advanced training course going. As a Captain a mission went pear-shaped when the Navy fouled up and he was stranded behind enemy lines but is reluctant to speak of the experience. He’s still physically fit and keeps in shape but often wonders: what if?
- 5/4. Scout: Courier Beatrix Oomersflet 9793C3, age 31
- Characteristics: STR 9 (+1), DEX 7 (+0), END 9 (+1), INT 3 (-1), EDU
12 (+2), SOC 3 (-1)
Skills: Astrogation 1, Electronics (sensors) 1, Engineer 1, Explosives 1, Gun Combat 1, Mechanic 1, Survival 1, Carouse 0, Flyer 0, Pilot (spacecraft) 0, Streetwise 0, Vacc Suit 0
Equipment: Cr20,000, Enemy
Background: Living the life of holovid material, Bea has certainly knocked around as a courier for the Scout Service and has a wide range of skills to draw on. From surviving on an alien world for a couple of years, to her Type S being ambushed leaving her with a bad knock to the head and an enemy in Boon Tyler who thought he could steal her mail pouch. The IISS have retired her, still young, due to ongoing psychological problems that isolation in a 100-ton craft hasn’t been helping.
- 5/5. Prisoner: Thug Comfort Agrippa B76867, age 38, rank 3
- Characteristics: STR 11 (+1), DEX 7 (+0), END 6 (+0), INT 8 (+0),
EDU 6 (+0), SOC 7 (+0)
Skills: Melee (unarmed) 3, Streetwise 2, Athletics 1, Deception 1, Engineer 1, Melee (blade) 1, Drive 0, Persuade 0, Profession 0, Seafarer 0,
Equipment: Cr200, Blade, Contact, Enemy
Background: Comfort, a career prisoner for 17 years, has just been released for good behaviour. Surprising, perhaps, given her role as an enforcer for a prison boss. Her size, looks and ability in a brawl however usually meant no actual force was required. However, as she left the prison’s main air/lock an unguarded comment from one of the guards pushed Comfort over the line and she punched him. As she was expected to go see her disabled parents, and will be searched for there first, she might just have time to get away with it. She wants a ship out of system fast before she’s incarcerated again. She doesn’t have much money but has other, well, abilities.
- 5/6. Psion: Wild Talent Daneela Wentrix 249956-D, age 27, rank 1: Survivor
- Characteristics: STR 2 (-2), DEX 4 (-1), END 9 (+1), INT 9 (+1), EDU
5 (-1), SOC 6 (+0), PSI 13 (+2)
Skills: Athletics 1, Streetwise 1, Telekinesis 1, Admin 0, Animals 0, Awareness 0, Clairvoyance 0, Telepathy 0, Teleportation 0
Equipment: Cr4000, TAS Membership, 2 ship shares, Ally
Background: A born survivor, Dani has never been trained as a psion and while her raw ability isn’t in doubt, her skills are somewhat lacking. Despite knowing her secret, her boyfriend Genk Proostman has faithfully stood by, particularly after an anti-psi gang attacked her and marked with a tattoo she’s been unable to remove. He knows better than to ask about her mysterious TAS membership and Dani is beginning to ask herself questions about how the anti-psi gang found her out.
- 6/1. Vargr Scientist: Doctor Sukhs 258888, age 40, rank 3
- Traits: Bite, Heightened Senses
Characteristics: STR 2 (-2), DEX 5 (-1), END 8 (+0), INT 8 (+0), EDU 8 (+0), SOC 8 (+0)
Skills: Electronics 2, Investigate 2, Medic 2, Admin 1, Deception 1, Science 1, Diplomat 0, Flyer 0, Investigate 0, Science 0, Streetwise 0
Equipment: Cr175,000, Scientific Equipment, Contacts×2
Background: Sukhs is a talented doctor and made an early career breakthrough in emergency medicine but could have gone further if luck and circumstances hadn’t dictated otherwise. Able to make medical equipment ‘sing’ with regard to patient diagnosis and care, Sukhs is also good at puzzling out odd symptoms and difficult diseases. The Vargr does have a very secret period of work that is never spoken about. After the death of several pack members when an experiment went wrong, Sukhs is now travelling in the Imperium and keen to learn human anatomy and surgery.
- 6/2. Vargr Marines: Special Ops & Loner: Prospector Tsezdanki 458655, age 35, rank 2
- Traits: Bite, Heightened Senses
Characteristics: STR 4 (-1), DEX 5 (-1), END 8 (+0), INT 6 (+0), EDU 5 (-1), SOC 5 (-1)
Skills: Gun Combat 3, Astrogation 1, Athletics 1, Electronics 1, Mechanic 1, Pilot 1, Stealth 1, Athletics 0, Melee (infighting) 0, Melee 0, Recon 0, Streetwise 0, Tactics 0, Vacc Suit 0
Equipment: Cr15,000, Weapon, Ally: Ogholkha, Enemy: Areadudu Khog
Background: Tsaezdanki is perhaps not the most impressive Vargr you’ll ever meet but provide her with leadership to look up to and you’ll have loyal pack mate. She spent five years in the military where she once saved the life of Ogholkha (486748) in her pack and has a staunch ally in him. But defeat by the Aedouratho clan, including a personal shaming by Khog, led her to strike out as a prospector where she could get away from the infighting and has had considerable success locating raw materials for her pack. (Aliens of Charted Space 1)
- 6/3. Aslan Envoy: Negotiator Lekhaei 637859, age 24, rank 2: Envoy
- Traits: Dewclaw, Heightened Senses
Characteristics: STR 6 (+0), DEX 3 (-1), END 7 (+0), INT 8 (+0), EDU 5 (-1), SOC 9 (+1)
Skills: Art 1, Athletics (dexterity) 1, Tolerance 1, Diplomat 1, Carouse 0, Mechanic 0, Survival 0
Equipment: 2 Clan Shares, Contact
Background: Lekhaei is a female Aslan out of place. Becoming an Envoy, traditionally male only, she has served her Major Clan despite considerable internal opposition and external disapproval. She brings skills that males haven’t been able to but had an assassination attempt made on her due to her ‘usurping’ traditional roles. In dress and behaviour, she emphasizes a male look and has even acquired a taste for hunting.
[The Career Summary table (p.20 of Aliens of Charted Space) was used to select a career which clearly says Envoys can be either gender. The text on p.18 however says this is a male only career.]
- 6/4. Merchant: Free Trader & Rogue: Thief Evaline Razmussel 897846, age 33, rank 2
- Characteristics: STR 8 (+0), DEX 9 (+1), END 7 (+0), INT 8 (+0), EDU
4 (-1), SOC 6 (+0)
Skills: Streetwise 3, Deception 1, Electronics 1, Melee 1, Persuade 1, Stealth 1, Admin 0, Athletics 0, Broker 0, Drive 0, Steward 0, Vacc Suit 0
Equipment: Cr40,000, Armour, Ship Share, Ally, Enemy
Background: “Leeny” had every intention of going straight as an honest merchant but when her ship was destroyed by criminals decided on another path to ‘get back’ what was rightfully hers. She makes her money knowing who and what and where and is rumoured to have been the mastermind behind a highport heist when some lanthanum was being transferred and somehow went astray. She is almost invariably found wearing armour for fear of those who’ve already blown up her ship and might yet have another go at her.
- 6/5. University & Marine: Support Frenk Longman 98C7D3, age 26, rank 1: Lance Corporal
- Characteristics: STR 9 (+1), DEX 8 (+0), END 12 (+2), INT 7 (+0),
EDU 13 (+2), SOC 3 (-1)
Skills: Engineer 2, Gun Combat (energy) 2, Vacc Suit 2, Gun Combat (slug) 1, Medic 1, Tactics 1, Admin 0, Animals 0, Athletics 0, Heavy Weapons 0, Stealth 0, Streetwise 0
Equipment: Cr5000, Ally: Hebdon Marik, Enemy: Vic Mulroon
Background: Frenk was a natural for university and it looked at one point as if he’d go into a medical career but his studies and his friendship with Hebbie lead him more to the practical side of electronics and after graduation he planned on becoming a intelligence operative but failed their admission exams. Drafted to the marines in a support role, Frenk put his skills to good use as security staff on a highport until captured and tortured by criminals trying to gain access to the highport’s control centre. His injuries led to his discharge and his ongoing pain means that if Mulroon ever crosses his path again, he’d better beware.
- 6/6. University & Merchant: Broker Gazel Hendriks 6728B3, age 41, rank 4
- Characteristics: STR 6 (+0), DEX 7 (+0), END 2 (-2), INT 8 (+0), EDU
11 (+1), SOC 3 (-1)
Skills: Admin 2, Broker 2, Advocate 1, Drive 1, Engineer 1, Science (sophontology) 1, Streetwise 1, Vacc Suit 1, Athletics 0, Electronics 0, Mechanic 0, Medic 0, Persuade 0, Science (cybernetics) 0, Steward 0
Equipment: Cr60,000, Free Trader, Blade, Contact, Enemy×3 (one of whom is criminal)
Background: After dropping out of university (it’s a long story), Gazel joined Beedley & Beedley brokerage that definitely operates on the boundaries of legality. She’s an abrasive character who makes enemies more easily than friends but serves her company well in being able to process paperwork and hide trails. Turning down an opportunity to smuggle certain goods through her starport she sensed she’d missed out on an opportunity and when, a few years later, was offered a similar opportunity, took it; she gained nothing and kicks herself for her stupid risk taking. But in the future? If the price were right?