Trades of Terra Norma
Just capturing some thoughts on character creation…
Double your pleasure, double your fun
Once I get more race/class/career stuff posted, and you feel like rolling up some dudes, please create two (
lvl 1 lvl 3) characters
A few of my reasons for this…
- In the d20 Modern/Future setting (and in Traveller20), there are lots of interesting roles to be filled, and some cool job synergies. Trying to cover everything (say, managing a starship) with just three characters would leave them all stretched very thin.
- It might give you a chance to explore a less popular character type. It’s a tough universe and all those bullets and lasers and mutant space-piranhas are pretty deadly; it’s a no-brainer that you’re going to want at least one combat-strong character. But maybe you’re also interested creating a crafter, merchant, performer, or some other utility character who’s maybe just an okay combatant. Dream it! Do it! Or not!
- There are lots of convenient reasons why characters would temporarily disappear (staying behind to tend to the ship, disembarking to take care of some personal business, etc.). This will give me some flexibility to keep the game moving at a brisk pace. When we’re all together, we’ll generally play with three active PCs. And if a player can’t make a session, then we can bring out the alts and have a perfectly playable party of four. Maybe I’ll shake it up from time to time; an occasional royal rumble, or maybe a simultaneous encounter with both trios that gets played out over two sessions. I’m new at this; let’s see how it goes. Dig?
And party ev-er-y day
While the team you build is collectively up to you, there are a few crew roles I’d recommend working in there somehow. Every skill point and feat invested in starship stuff is a point/feat not invested in something else, so you’ll have to find a balance that works for you.
- Good gravy you’ll need a skilled Medic. This is a no- (or is it low-, hmmmm) magic world; ain’t no cleric gonna save your ass. It’s the Medic’s medkits, mid-combat stims that keep your ticker tickin’. In the field or in a ship or station’s med-bay, the Medic’s Treat Injury, Craft (pharmaceutical), Knowledge (a variety of sciences), etc. skills will prove invaluable. There are some really solid feats for a dedicated Medic to consider: Medical Expert, Surgery, Xenomedic, etc.
- You’ll also want a decent Pilot, preferably with good Dex and high Pilot skill. You could also pump your Navigate skill, or leave that to someone else. In either case, it takes a few starship feats to turn a rookie into an ace, so in the long-term this specialization, like Medic, will take a big bite out of your character’s available potential.
- Having a Co-Pilot aboard a ship can be very helpful, but anyone with decent Dex and some points invested into the Pilot skill can do it (i.e., it won’t take over your character build and leave you gimped). A Co-Pilot can also serve as Sensor Operator.
- A ship benefits from having a dedicated Sensor Operator, and more generally speaking, a party benefits from having a dedicated Computer Expert. In this high-tech world, it’s inevitable that you’ll want to do a little hacking, door opening, robot-reprogramming, etc. Build decisions are pretty obvious; load up on Computer Use, Disable Device, Knowledge (technology), etc. Maybe through in a feat or two like Mastercrafter. As a ship’s Sensor Operator you’ll want a good Spot skill too. C’mon, throw in some sneaky bits and you’re the ROGUE OF THE FUTURE!
- It’s good to have a couple of starship Gunners, a role that doesn’t take much special investment. The role can be filled by anyone with good Dex and the Starship Gunnery feat.
- Gotta have an Engineer; master of repair. Needs lots of (wait for it…) Repair skill. Knowledge (technology) is good to learn, along with a couple other pretty obvious skills. Maybe a fixin’-related feat or two. Nothing really surprising here.
- Finally, one of your vaguely Leader-ish characters should bone up on their Knowledge (tactics) skill. In certain situations it’s nice to have someone who can bounce around a bridge, aiding the crew’s rolls and giving nice synergies. This would also be the character likely to end up on a starship’s com system, so you might not want to ignore your Diplomacy, Bluff, and/or Intimidate.
(Remember, you get one free starship-related feat at character creation, to represent the ubiquity of basic-level shipship know-how on the tradelanes. That should help you slide into these crew roles a little easier, without having to gimp your low-level characters. See: Rules)
Oh girl, you hypnotize me
- Having a psionically gifted character in the party might open up some cool opportunities. It’s up to you. If you’re interested in playing a psionic, though, know that Ambyloids and Bala are currently the only playable races with psionic skills (and the Bala’s I haven’t really fleshed out yet. Though if someone really, REALLY wants to be a psionic human, I could probably whip up a very special, not-without-drawbacks cybernetic implant that… hrmmm… simulates what happens in an psionically-active Ambyloid’s brain. You’ll probably also be hunted by the government for your sweet, sweet brain meat.
Happiness is a warm gun momma
- In the cramped quarters of starships and stations, melee weapons are common and perfectly viable. But it’s bullets-and-lasers kind of world, and frankly I’d be surprised if any party didn’t end up ranged-heavy. From my personal, non-GM perspective… Guns use Dex, a lot of starship combat tasks use Dex, zero-gravity fighting (which is bound to happen at some point) is aided by Dex… Honestly, if I were creating a melee character I can’t think of a single compelling reason why I wouldn’t go with a high-Dex Weapon Finesse build. But that’s just me; go hog wild!