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House Rules

House Rules

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Published by Alternity
Some common sense house rules for using the classic version Traveller RPG
Some common sense house rules for using the classic version Traveller RPG

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Published by: Alternity on Sep 24, 2010
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 House Rules
General house rules
 These house rules apply across the board to all my
Classic Traveller 
 campaigns, exceptwhere specifically noted in the particular campaign sections.
Task resolution
 One of the things lacking in
Classic Traveller 
 is a uniform task resolution system. This isone of the things added quickly in subsequent editions of the game. Here’s a quick andsimple task resolution system that borrows concepts from
 (mostly tosmooth the way for a transition to that game, if wanted).
 Basic throw: 8+
  As with combat, to succeed at any generaltask, a character must make a basic throwof eight or more on two dice. Of course,the roll should get adjusted based on avariety of factors.
Opposing efforts
 There’s two ways to handle opposingefforts. In some cases, it’ll be appropriateto match two task rolls against oneanother, highest total wins (after DMs). Inother cases, a “defender” can subtractskill/stat DMs from the “attacker’s” roll.
 Difficulty of tasks
 Tasks vary in difficulty: the basic throwapplies only to a task of “average” diffi-culty: one in which a person who knowsat least a little about what they’re doingcan succeed about half the time underpressure.Tasks of other difficulties provide DMs forthe throw, as in the nearby table.
Stat/Skill DMs
 In general, when you want to attempt ageneral task of some sort, any relevantskill your character has can apply to thetask. If I agree, your character’s skill levelcan get applied as a positive DM to a gen-eral task throw. if a character has no skillrelevant to the task at hand, then youmight be able to use a characteristicinstead. You can apply one fifth (rounddown) of an appropriate characteristicvalue as a postive task DM. (In somecases, you might be able to apply both askill DM
 a characteristic DM.)If it seems likely that a particular skill israther required for the task, and you don’thave the skill (like trying to pilot a nose-diving fighter jet), then you have to makea plain roll of 8+ at one or more levels of increased difficulty (which might makethe roll impossible).You can also get assistance to receive a“one-time” zero level in a skill. See “Learn-ing by doing” on page 3.
Special Tasks
There might be some special, prede-fined tasks for use during the game.Right now, there’s at least one: the
task is typically of average difficulty (but might beharder with sufficient distractions),and you can apply both your Endur-ance and your Intelligence DMs tothe task.
Task difficulty table
Very Easy+4Simple+3 Average+0Challenging-3Difcult-5Formidable-7
 2 General house rules
  House RulesClassic Travelle
Character creation
 The rules as read provide a decent engine for creating characters, but the random aspectof the system creates a number of dangers: in the first case, it’s easy to create a parties of characters with wildly mismatched skills (this may or may not be a bad thing); in the sec-ond case, it’s easy to have a decent character shaping up only to watch him or her die dur-ing the creation process; finally, the random nature of the system makes it hard to createthe precise character a player might want.
 Fate Points
 Every character starts with five fatepoints. The player can use these points both during character creation, and duringplay itself. Here’s what you can do with afate point.
 During character creation.
Duringcharacter creation you can use a fate pointto
 Choose your character’s service. However,you may only choose a service for which youwould have at least a +1DM on the enlist-ment roll. (This may also be a service forwhich you’ve already been denied enlist-ment.)
 Choose to reroll any die roll (in this case, youcan wait until the roll is made, pay the point,roll again, and then choose which result youwant to keep).This expense applies to the twelve dice youroll for your characteristics as well.
 During play.
During play you can use afate point to
 Choose to reroll any die roll (roll again andchoose the result you want).
 Make a task easier by one level of difficulty.
  Avoid death. In situations where a charactershould by rights be dead, you can spend afate point to avoid death, as long as you canmake up some halfway reasonable storyabout which the character should survive.
 Rolling characteristics
 While you still roll six pairs of dice to gen-erate your characteristics, you may nowroll a set of twelve dice, and match themup to the six characterstics as you like,although each characterstic must get twodice.
Non-lethal creation
 During character creation, failing a sur-vival check does not end in a character’sdeath (unless you want it to). Instead, thecharacter washes out of the current serv-ice with only two terms of service and nochance for promotion or skill acquisition.The character still gets to muster out. Youcan decide the circumstances of thedischarge–it need not be dishonorable.
 Zero level skills
 In the rules as read, player charactersautomatically get a level of zero in allweapon skills. This prevents them fromhaving to suffer unskilled penalties duringcombat. This house rule makes this policyslightly more flexible.
 Each player can choose, as part of a back-ground, five zero level skills for their charac-ter which they should justify to me. You now
do not 
 receive a zero level in any combatskills, unless you pick them in your five.You may
 select Jack Of All Trades as azero-level skill.
Complete skill list 
Here’s a list of all the skills in the game.Those skills in italics are available onlyfrom the expanded character creationrules (Books 4 through 7).
Basic Skills
Carousing Communications
ForgeryForward ObserverGambling
 Instruction Interrogation
Jack Of All TradesLeader
 Legal Liaison
Naval Architect 
Space [Type] 
Vacc Suit
Combat and Weapon Skills
 Battle Dress
BrawlingBlade Combat [Type]
Combat Engineering  FA Gunnery Fleet Tactics
Gun Combat [Type]Gunnery
 Heavy Weapons Recon Recruiting Ship Tactics Zero-G Combat 
Transport Skills
 Air/Raft ATVShip’s BoatVehicle [Type:Subtype]
 General house rules 3
 Classic TravellerHouse Rules
Character advancement 
 In the original
Classic Traveller 
 game, the assumption was that characters would notchange substantially during play, thus character advancement was a very slow process,and rather sketchy. Here’s some rules to make character advancement a little nicer.
 Learning by doing 
 If you use a skill during a session to partic-ularly good effect, then you shouldremember this; at the end of the sessionyou can receive an experience tick for thatskill. I typically will hand out only one tickfor each session, even if you make gooduse of more than one skill. You can choosewhich skill should receive the tick, but Ihave to agree.If you don’t have a skill, you can betutored by someone into an immediatezero level for that skill. This requires adetermination task on your part, and atutor to show you “how to use that vac-cuum suit”. Once the immediate situationpasses, you lose the zero level; however, if you used the skill successfully, then youcan gain an experience tick for the skill.This does not apply to the Jack Of AllTrades skill.
 Learning through practice or study
 You can elect to be practicing a skill desir-ing to improve it. You have to back this upduring roleplaying, and it takes at least afew hours of game time dedicated to prac-tice during each game week. At the end of a game week, you can have one experi-ence tick to assign to a skill that you’repracticing, if you pass a Determinationtask.You can elect to be studying a skill desir-ing to improve it. As with practice youhave to back this up during roleplaying. if you have an instructor to guide you, thenyou can take one tick per week. If youdon’t, then you can take one tick per gamemonth for a studied skill. If you pass aDetermination task.You may not apply practice or study to theJack Of All Trades skill.
 Making your skill improve-ment check
  At the end of an adventure (not game ses-sion), you can elect to make one (and onlyone) improvement check. An improve-ment check is of Formidable difficulty,and you can use your DM for one appro-priate characteristic on the roll (which ismost appropriate depends on the skillyou’re trying to improve); you also get toadd the experience ticks you’ve accumu- lated for a skill as a positive DM to thecheck.
 If you make your check, then you lose allyour ticks for that skill, but the skill increasesin level by one.You also get to add one tick to your Educa-tion characteristic.
 If you fail your check, then you lose half your ticks (round in your favour, so if youstarted with three you end up with two ticks)for that skill, and you get no increase.
 Improving characteristics
 Your Education improves naturally over timeas your skill levels increase.
 Your Intelligence is innate and doesn’timprove.
 Your Social Standing can improve throughroleplaying.
 Your physical characteristics can all improve by +1 by undergoing a conditioning regi-men.The bonus takes effect after a month of thisregimen, and you must account for the regi-men during roleplay. This regimen essen-tially uses a lot of the time you’d otherwisedevote to practice or study, so it’s a bit diffi-cult to do both at once (although some physi-cal skills can be practiced in conjunctionwith a physical regimen).If you skip the regimen for more than amonth, you lose the benefit to your physicalcharacteristics.

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