Traveller Characters

Character Skills

Changes to the base skills



four categories: melee, guns, lasers, hvy wpns

when a character has a skill rank in a category they pick one weapon as their preferred type of that category (they are assumed to practice with that one most) but they are assumed to have one rank less skill in all weapons of that category

  • a character with Blade-1 is assumed to have skill-0 with all other melee weapons
  • a character with Rifle-2 is assumed to have skill-1 with all other slug weapons
  • a character with laser rifle-3 is assumed to have skill-2 with other energy weapons

simplifies character sheet



A skill rank in a specific vehicle confers skill in other vehicles at one skill rank lower

  • ATV-1 gives Raft-0 for free
  • Raft-1 gives ATV-0 for free

simplifies character sheet



Taken to be mean skilled in a particular type of electronic equipment.

Pick one of [computer / comms / sensors / drones / robotics] etc

Assume one skill rank less in the others

  • a character with sensors-1 has skill-0 in comms, computer, drones, robotics etc


Name Changes

  • Mechanical -> Mechanic
  • Electronics -> Technican
  • Broker -> Trader



  • survival
  • wrangler (animal handling)
  • science (not realistic but i like minimal character sheets)



  • forgery requires streetwise
  • bribery requires streetwise or trader


Character Stats

Various things connected to character stats – some may not apply in all settings.


Genetic Screening

Say physical stats below a certain minimum value x represent fixable medical conditions then an optional rule could be

minimum pstats = min (x, home world TL-5, Soc)

minimum Int = min (x, home world TL-6, Soc)

where min() means take the lowest of the three values

and pstats = Str, Dex and End

if the minimum value was set at 7 then

  • a character from a TL10 home world and Soc 6 would have minimum pstats of min (7, 5, 6) or 5 and minimum Int 4
  • a character from a TL12 home world and soc 8 would have minimum pstats of min (7, 7, 8) or 7 and minimum Int 6

so basically if the home world has the tech then Soc determines minimum physical stats – assumed to be the result of gene treatment – up to a value of x


You could go for the full transhuman thing and increase the value of  x above 7 but 7 is fine for me.


Medical Repair

Stats that are reduced during the game can be repaired on high tech worlds in the same way up to

  • pstats: min (x, planet TL-6)
  • int: min (x, planet TL-7)

so if x is set to 7 then

  • a TL12 world could repair pstats up to min (7, 6) or 6 and Int up to 5
  • a TL15 world could repair pstats up to min (7, 9) or 7 and Int up to min (7, 8) or also 7


  • pstats 100K per point
  • int 200K per point


Max Edu

max Edu = Int

  • a character with Int 7, Edu 7 would need to raise Int to 8 before raising Edu to 8

max starting Edu = min (Int, Soc)

  • a character with Int 8 and Soc 4 would have a max starting Edu of 4
  • a character with Int 4 and Soc 8 would also have a max starting Edu of 4


Max Skill Ranks

max skill ranks = highest stat + lowest stat

skill-0 and skill-1 count as 1 rank, skill-2 as 2 ranks etc

character with UPP 777777 would have max skill ranks of 14 which could be:

  • 14 x skill-0 or skill-1
  • 4 x skill-2 and 6 x skill-1
  • 2 x skill-3, 2 x skill-2, 4 x skill-1
  • or any combination that adds up to 14


Character Progression



Traveller characters generally start out as people who have been in a career for 12+ years and are already skilled – they are like the (senior) characters in Star Trek: Kirk, Spock etc are already fully formed when the show starts.

There are two problems with this imo

  • what if a character starts out after one term with two skill ranks
  • what if Scottie got marooned on a wilderness planet – after ten years would he still be Engineering-4 or would he have forgotten a lot of it and picked up Spear-4 instead.


My System

Characters can have a total of n ranks of skill where n is the sum of their highest stat and lowest stat.

Skill-0 and skill-1 count as one rank, skill-2 counts as two ranks etc.

Characters can add one skill rank to a skill after each adventure up to their maximum, if they are already at their maximum they have to reduce another one first.

If a character starts a new skill it starts at skill-0.

Characters can improve skills they already know or skills they can learn from others in the group.

If a character’s stats change then their maximum ranks total may change also.


This still works for characters like Kirk, Spock etc as their stats might give them a maximum of c. 20 ranks of skills and they would likely have all of them filled at game start.

e.g. Spock 888CC9 (=20 ranks max)

  • science-3
  • navigator-3
  • sensors-3
  • technician-2
  • medical-2
  • engineering-1
  • liason-1
  • admin-1
  • brawling-3
  • phasers-1