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Certification for Player-Characters

This article was originally posted to the pre-magazine Freelance Traveller site in 1999, and reprinted in the March/April 2017 issue.


(This section by Jeff Zeitlin)

Often, in campaigns, the referee just looks for a mix of skills that he/she believes will be necessary or useful in the campaign as planned. Often, this skill mix focusses on the ‘meat’ of the campaign, without worrying about associated logistics and the skills necessary to support the main campaign effort. William’s system is an attempt to meet that need.

Defining the Tickets

(This section and the remainder of the article by the credited author)

In my Traveller campaign, under MegaTraveller rules, I require the following for holding a ticket:

Computer-0, Vacc Suit-0, Speak Galanglic. (This rating is a prerequisite for all ship crew tickets which follow) There is an exception to the Galanglic requirement made for Droyne. Droyne are required to speak Galanglic to test for Master’s licenses.

Rated Tickets

Pilot-1, Commo-0, Sensor Ops-1
Navigation-1, Computer-1, Sensor Ops-1, Commo-0
Steward, General:
Medical-0, Steward 1, Admin-0
Steward, Purser:
Admin-1, and General Steward ticket
Steward, Broker:
Trader-0, Broker-1, Streetwise-0, Admin-1
Medical-1, Sensor Ops-0
Steward, Ship’s Flight Physician:
Medical-3, Admin-1, Sensor Ops-1, Steward-1
Engineer, General:
Engineer-0, Mechanical-0, Electronics-0, Gravitics-0
Engineer, Systems:
Mechanical-1, Electronics-1, Computer-1
Engineer, Drive:
Engineer-1, Gravitics-1
Engineer, Ship’s:
Admin-1 and both Systems and Drive tickets.
Turret Weapons-1, Screens-0
Ship’s Master, 5th Class (Noncommercial ships only, hull rate 400Td or smaller):
Complete the prep course, and/or own a ship. See below.

Advanced (“Master”) Ratings

Ship’s Master, 4th Class (Ships of hull rate 400Td or smaller):
Admin-0, Legal-0, Commo-0, SensorOps-0, Interview-0, and any rated ticket, plus 4 years active merchant service or 2 years as a naval officer, Pirate Officer, or Scout.
Ship’s Master, 3rd Class (ships of hull rate 1000Td or smaller):
Admin-1, Legal-1, Pilot-1, Nav-1, SensorOps-1, Commo-0.
Ship’s Master, 2nd Class (any non-combatant):
SM3c Ticket, plus Leader-1, Interview-1
Ship’s Master, 1st Class (Combatants):
SM2c Ticket, plus Ship Tactics-1, Instruction-1, Interrogation-0.
Engineer, Master:
Ship’s Engineer Cert, plus Naval Architect-1, plus any two skills required by the lower engineering ratings at level 2.
Steward, Counsel:
Medical-1, Admin-2, Legal-3, Steward-2, Broker-1 (this is the guy who bails you out in Imperial Admiralty Courts) plus 4 years merchant service or Naval Service.

In my campaign, I have the IISS and the IN both run ticket tests, but the ratings are actually issued through the scouts. You can get rated at any scout base, naval base, or class-A or Class-B Starport within J2 of an X-Boat route, and any class C port on an x-boat route. You may only test any given skill once per month. Test attempts are included in the actual card's database.

Resolving the Test for Any Rating

To pass an examination for a rating:
Routine, (once each skill) and Edu. Safe, Fateful, Uncertain. 1 Hour

(Expected time is thus 10 hours, you have 16 to complete the test; exceeding time allowed is a failure).

DM+1 if repeating test taken within past six months.

Roll this task for each skill required. On Total Truth, rated at skill level. On Some truth, Rating for skill = Skill +1d3-2. On No Truth, Skill rated at Level-1d3. Count Level 0 as a step, and no skill at all as one level below level 0. Taking the test costs Cr100 per skill tested, plus Cr100 to apply for the rating.

If your Assessed skill levels possess all the skills, but at insufficient levels for the ticket sought, you obtain a “Mate’s” ticket in that rating. If you lack any skill (according to the assessment, not the character sheet), you will not pass. If your assessed rating lacks some but not all of the skills, it will be noted that you are ‘striking’ for the rating. If your assessed skills equal or exceed the required levels for the ticket sought, you will be granted the rating proper.

Note: Skill tests are generally available in any language spoken in the local subsector or within J6, plus the following: Vilani, Old High Vilani, Sylean, Galanglic, Aslan, Oynprinth, Newt, Virush, Geonee, Vegan.

Getting the Unrated Spacer’s Ticket
Simple, Computer, Vacc Suit, 15 minutes, Fateful, Safe.

(Expected time is 3 hours; limit is 4 hours. Increase difficulty by one step per each skill missing.)

This test is only issued in Galanglic or Oynprinth; if taken in Oynprinth, it will be limited to ships operated by a known Droyne Population Center (Read as a Droyne government). Any character with Merchant, Naval, Pirate, scout, or Marine background ends the character generation sequence possessing this ticket. This ticket is a lifetime rating, but must be renewed every 4 years. It may be renewed without retest if not lapsed 4 or more years.

Also, I grant every PC any non-master’s tickets they qualify for before mustering out, if they have a naval, marine, scout, merchant, or pirate background. Anyone else with ship-specific skills may be rated; they have to ask the referee…

In my campaign, a master’s license is required to be a ship’s captain. The IISS will run a certification prep course for both the unrated spacer’s ticket and the 4th class master’s ticket, and a Pilot’s Mate ticket. The combined course takes 9 weeks, grants 1AT to each of the following skills if they are not possessed: Pilot, Nav, VaccSuit, Legal, Admin, Steward, Interview, Commo, Sensor Ops. You get Computer 0 and VaccSuit-0 automatically. Roll standard AT testing rolls at completion of course. Cost is KCr5 for the course, it is residential, and intense; no outside communications are allowed during the course. At the end of the course, you get an unrated ticket, a “5th Class Master’s Ticket” which is limited to 400 tons Displacement, non-commercial service, and incidental employment as master only. The 5th class will also be issued to anybody with any other rated ticket who is in a first mate slot, or a department head. Basically, this allows yachters.