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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

More 'flavor' for your Psionics

Ideas for Psionics to add some 'flavor'. With help from friends at the Citizens of the Imperium.

The chart below shows the different 'Stages' and the points required to be considered in that 'Stage'. Each 'Stage' is exponentially stronger (double) than the 'Stage' below it. You can use this as extra 'flavor' in a campaign. Example: Ref talking about an NPC - 'He's a Stage 4 Psion' or 'She's a Class III Psion'. You can change the word 'Stage' to 'Class' if you like - I just used 'Stage' because it's used in TNE.

Psionic Points
0 ............. Latent Psion
1 ............. Stage 1 Psion
2-3 .......... Stage 2 Psion (2 point range)
4-7 .......... Stage 3 Psion (4 point range)
8-15 ........ Stage 4 Psion (8 point range)
16+ ......... Stage 5 Psion (16 point range)
And so on...

This chart is a bit more of a breakdown of the different 'Stages'. Tried to go for a MegaTraveller feel, but I didn't finish that too well.

Psionic Points Breakdown
0 Latent
1 Stage 1
2 Lower Stage 2
3 Upper Stage 2
4 Lower Stage 3
5 Lower Average Stage 3
6 Upper Average Stage 3
7 Upper Stage 3
8 Lower Stage 4
9 Lower Average Lower Stage 4
A Lower Average Stage 4
B Lower Average Upper Stage 4
C Upper Average Lower Stage 4
D Upper Average Stage 4
E Upper Average Upper Stage 4
F Upper Stage 4
G+ Stage 5

Just some ideas I came up with to add some 'flavor'. Based a little bit on the idea in the Marvel X-Men comic of the different 'Class' of mutant strength. Can be used with the chart on the bottom left side of page 4 in Mongoose's Book 4: Psion.

If you are a fan of the Julian May Galactic Milieu novels*, you can break down the chart like this:

Psionic Points
0 ............. Latent
1 ............. Sub-Operant
2-3 .......... Operant (2 point range)
4-7 .......... Master Metapsychic (4 point range)
8-15 ........ Grand Master Metapsychic (8 point range)
16+ ......... Paramount Grand Master Metapsychic (16 point range)
* The Galactic Milieu novels are: Intervention (two books in one), Jack the Bodiless, Diamond Mask, and Magnificat.

Evolutionary Modifiers
It is harder to perceive minds from a different evolutionary origin. The brain of a creature with a completely different biological origin, shaped by different evolutionary processes, will be difficult to understand. Each level of alien-ness reduces the total of any telepathic skill check.
Modifier       Description
-2 ............... Non-intelligent animal
-2* .............. Separate evolutionary path
-4* .............. Very alien evolution
* One or the other only, not cumulative
This is from the 'separate evolution' section on page 249 in the Traveller: The New Era rulebook, modified for Mongoose rules.

Psionic Strength Recovery
A Psion can recover points at 1 point plus the Psion's normal positive Psionic Strength DM, per hour, beginning three hours after the character last used a psionic talent. This is ignored if the Psion normally has a negative Psionic Strength DM.

Psionic Signature
Each person is unique. Like a fingerprint, the mind of a person carries a distinctive signature. This signature can be used in a number of ways for identifying the person or interacting with them. Acquiring a Psionic Signature only needs a successful use of the powers Read Surface Thoughts or Probe. To send another character a copy-image of someone else's Psionic Signature only needs a successful use of the power Send Thoughts.

Latent Psionic Potential Bonus
The Psion gains a +1 to Psionic Strength for every Circumstance the character has on page 8 in Book 4: Psion.

Training Bonus
Sometimes training can reveal unknown reserves of power. On a roll of 2 on a 2d6, Psionic Training increases a character's PSR by +1.

Characteristic Modifiers
Extending the chart from page 6 in the Mongoose Core rulebook.
Characteristic     Modifier
15-17 ................ +3
18-20 ................ +4
21-23 ................ +5
24-26 ................ +6
27-29 ................ +7
30-32 ................ +8

Relationship Modifiers
It is easier to use Psionics on someone who is close to you. Add the modifier to skill checks when a psionic power is used on someone the character has a relationship with.
Relationship    Modifier
+1 .................. Distant Family, Business Associates, Acquaintances
+2 .................. Close Family, Friends, Spouse, Lover
+3 .................. Psionic Signature*
* Having a Psionic Signature of a target overrides the other Relationship Modifiers. They are not cumulative.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Basic Scenarios for Traveller

This is mostly for new players. Ideas that can get someone interested in Traveller. Make it easier to write up an adventure.

1.) Trade an Exciting Cargo - the basic Trader scenario and what a lot of Traveller is based around.
2.) Explore a New World - the basic Scout scenario
3.) Fulfill a Patron's Mission - you get a job, you do it, then you get paid (hopefully!)
4.) Find an Ancient Artifact or Ruins - and make yourself famous!
5.) Defend an Outpost - a basic Mercenary ticket
6.) Travel to an Interesting World - for various reasons
7.) Fight an Exotic Creature - or maybe not fight one. This could be a Safari scenario
8.) Become a Noble - and be one of the Imperium's elite!
9.) Blast Enemies in Space - don't forget your VACC suit!
10.) Answer a Distress Call - because Free Trader Beowulf is calling
11.) Strike it rich on an Asteroid - and make a ton of Credits
12.) Salvage an Abandoned Starship - and sell the goods on the Black Market
13.) Beating a Space Pirate - but more likely getting beat by a Space Pirate
14) Survive a Mishap - be the mishap a crash, an alien monster, imprisonment, or sabotage.

Compiled with a little help from my friends over on Citizens of the Imperium.

Psionic Intuition Gauge

Psionic Intuition Gauge
Alien Artifact or High Tech Gadget/Trinket

Form: Amulet/Necklace/Pendant
Purpose: Information
Powers: Information (Analysis)?, Mental Enhancement (Heightened Intelligence)?
Drawbacks: Compulsory Behavior?, Decreased Ability?, Mental Instability?, Uncontrolled Function?

Appearance: The Psionic Intuition Gauge is a short metal or crystal tube, maybe the length of a pen or pencil, on a necklace. On the front of the tube there are three lights.

This is sort of a very high tech Magic 8 Ball. The Player asks a question (or the character thinks of a question). The device displays a color in response - Red for No, Yellow for Uncertain or Maybe, and Blue or Green for Yes.

The device draws it’s answer from the person holding it. It psionically (or in some other way) accesses the subconscious and conscious processing of the brain using any information it can gather from these sources and sensory input to formulate an answer. It’s not always the right answer, but just what the device thinks is right. It could be powered by body heat or some sort of small but long term energy storage. This could just be a good luck charm until a player/character starts to figure out how to use it. You could find one in an abandoned outpost or at an alien bazaar. The user may also become psychologically dependent on the device and stop making decisions without it.

A Referee could have a lot of fun and good use from a character having this device.

You can use Magic 8 Ball results for random responses or the Referee can make up the answer that's needed.

Magic 8 Ball results for Referees

Did you ever have a Magic 8 Ball when you were a kid? You ask a question, shake it up and turn it over and it gives you an answer like: Outlook good, or Don't count on it?

Well, it turns out that inside that Magic 8 Ball was a very large d20 die that had answers written on it instead of numbers. Ten of the answers are Positive, five are Negative, and five are Neutral.

They have all of the possible answers on this wikipedia page.

It's very easy to simulate this in Traveller with 2d6 dice.

Roll 2d6

2-7 Positive
8-9 Neutral
10-12 Negative

If you do have a d20, the results are this:

Roll 1d20

1-10 Positive/Yes
11-15 Neutral/Uncertain/Maybe
16-20 Negative/No

Have fun!

Starship Encounters - Space Wreckage

You come across a ship, floating in space, its crew long deceased and frozen at their stations...

This is an optional list I came up with from seeing a revival of the old Terran Trade Authority books - specifically the Space Wrecks book. A 1,000 year old Imperium should have some debris flying around, I'd think.

This list is just an idea generator - a phrase to give an image or concept of the Space Wreckage. The details should be filled in or modified by the Referee for their own game setting. If you even want more details - it could be used for just background 'fluff'. You could use some of these 'on World' as an Encounter, as well.

If 'Distress' is rolled on a random Starship Encounters check, the Referee can roll 2d6. On a result of '12' (or more often in a Frontier or Post-War area), roll d66 on the Space Wreckage table below, or just choose from the list.

Space Wreckage
11 - Neglected Derelict
12 - Scrap Belt
13 - Disabled Craft
14 - Abandoned Ship
15 - Garbage Dump
16 - Starship Graveyard
21 - Gutted Husk
22 - Pre-Stellar Prototype
23 - Vacuum Stricken
24 - Galactic Sentinel
25 - Cometary Crush
26 - Ghost Ship
31 - Lone 'Survivor'
32 - Intact Spacecraft
33 - Explosive Remains
34 - Starflight Prototype
35 - Invasion Remnant
36 - Star Creature Shell
41 - Battle Loss
42 - Plague Ship
43 - Space Oddity
44 - Space Wreck
45 - War-torn BattleHulk
46 - Space Victim
51 - Unwelcome Reconnaissance
52 - Timeworn Relic
53 - Unfinished Framework
54 - Spaceship Disaster
55 - Settler Stupidity
56 - Early Spaceflight Probe
61 - Traveller Rubbish
62 - Failed Experiment
63 - Impact Debris
64 - Star Crash
65 - Pirate Discard
66 - Colonial "Landing"

More Missions for Book 3: Scout

If you have the MgT Scout book, you've seen they did a very comprehensive look at the types of Missions a Detached Duty Scout could be recalled for - Contact, Courier, Exploration, Special Operation, and Survey. There is one more type of Mission that a DD Scout could be recalled for. I call them "Necessity" Missions. For some reason, the Imperium needs the help of the Scout Ship and it is recalled. Not always for the Scout Service.

"Necessity" Missions
1 - Search and Rescue
2 - Interdiction Picket
3 - Planetary Quarantine
4 - Escort Duty
5 - Decoy
6 - System Defense

EDIT: You can change the Employer Details table at the bottom of pg. 31 to:

Employer Details
1d6 Branch
1 - Contact
2 - Courier
3 - Exploration
4 - Necessity
5 - Special Operations
6 - Survey

A New Decision

So I've decide I want to add more to my Traveller blog. I'm going to start throwing different odds and ends up here that I've created for Traveller over the years. Stuff that I've posted on the Citizens of the Imperium web forum.