Friday, July 24, 2020

Mongoose Traveller, 2nd Edition

Mongoose Traveller, 2nd Edition
A few weeks ago, GameDoc finally decided to get us out of quarantine by inviting us to do some online gaming via Fantasy Grounds.  My own experience with Roll20 meant I was disinclined to play online, but he had shown us around the program a while back and I thought 'hey, if he's gonna do the setup, I'll show up.'  I am now very glad I did.
I'll talk about Fantasy Grounds later, for now, I want to focus on Traveller.  Specifically, in this case, Mongoose Traveller 2.0.

I've heard a lot about this for a long, long time.  It's a staple in online discussion forums, and I've learned quite a bit just through osmosis.  I've seen Traveller material in shops, and even owned Traveller material at various points in my game-time.  It was just one of those things we never got around to playing, what with the Rifts and all.  And so, I was quite happy to jump in when the invitation to the game went out.

Traveller has a very interesting character creation process that actually outlines the history of your character as you build up their skills, stats and assets.  I've seen systems like these, and even played with some such as old school Legionnaire.  I like these systems a lot, though they may seem old-fashioned to newer gamers.  

The system is quite robust, and putting together a timeline that matches all the player's backgrounds can be really fun.  The main objective during Session 0 was weaving our characters' histories together.  For my own character, I wanted someone who couldn't do much inside of combat but had a lot of other skills.

Enter Hernando Patrice Mondocane del Contreras LXIX.  I cannot show you a picture today, but he looks just like Patrick Hernandez.  Everyone should take the time to remind Patrick Hernandez that you love him.

As we went through the creation process, events occur to your character.  Working together with the GM, we filled out our character's backstories based on what we were presented - you don't always get exactly what you want in character creation, as is evidenced by my constant failings of important tests.  Despite all that, I ended up with one of my favorite player characters to date (in any game).  

GameDoc compiled everything into a text file and tidied it all up.  The resulting tale was complex and compelling.  I present to you this document, brought to you by your GM, GameDoc.


•  J.C. Khaine is born on the planet of Mirenme to a 

    family of colonists.


•  Hernando Patrice Mondocane del Contreras LXIX is 

   born on the planet of Matig. His parents are 

   researchers who study the indigenous flora and 


Planet Matig by Dave Bone
Planet Matig.  Much purple.  Such lush.


•  J.C.’s uncle relocates from Mirenme to Tinath, 

   hoping to establish himself as a merchant among the 

   younger colonies there.


•  J.C. applies to the Calidan Naval Academy, but is 

   rejected. He instead enlists and serves one term as

   crewman. His career is cut short during an accident 

   in which his legs are crushed. But he managed to 

   make friends of his shipmates, including the son of a 

   Baron on Cenhening, who gets him a job on the 

   household staff.


•  Amadeus Khaine is born on Tinath to J.C.’s uncle.


•  Sally May is born on Priti into a family of colonists.

•  Riley is born on Ashfield Station, where his parents 

   work on the space docs.


• Amadeus’ parents fall on hard times. His father takes 

  to fencing stolen and smuggled goods to supplement 

  his legitimate mercantile operations. Amadeus begins

  to show signs of psionic potential.


•  Hernando becomes fascinated with the fringe 

   science of psioncology. He applies to admission to 

   university, but is denied because essays are focused

   on such a controversial field of study. Disillusioned, 

   he hops a freighter and drifts from system to system.


•  J.C. works hard for the Baron of and becomes part of 

   his official retinue. He is awarded the rank of Knight 

   and entrusted with increasing responsibility.

•  Hernando returns home to Matig and finds work as a 

   field researcher. He loses an eye during a lab 



•  J.C. is assigned to mediate a dispute among the 

   Baron’s staff. He discovers one of the cooks has

   been abusive towards the others and fires the man, 

   making a new enemy.


•  Hernando is dismissed from his research position

   due to his unorthodox proposals to look for psionic 

   potential among animal species of the planet. He 

   again becomes a drifter, eventually finding work as a 

   scavenger in the asteroid belt near Ashfield Station.


•  J.C.’s service to the Baron is further rewarded. He is 

   made a diplomat and allowed to represent her family 

   in off-world dealings.

•  Hernando has become a medic for his scavenger 

   crew working the asteroid belt, while attending 

   courses in his spare time. The company CEO takes a 

   liking to him and helps him get admitted to medical 



•  Hernando completes medical school and applies for 

   a fellowship under Professor Quentin Warwick, a 

   neuroscientist who is one of the few credible experts 

   on psioncology. However, to get the position, he 

   submits findings from his own graduate research 

   without giving credit to his partner, making an enemy 

   of a former friend.


•  J.C. uncovers a conspiracy of other nobles on 

   Cenhening to strip the Baron of his title. For exposing 

   them, he makes yet another enemy, this time a noble

   exposed as a conspirator. 


•  Hernando completes his fellowship and sets up his 

   own medical practice and research venture into 

   psioncology, but has trouble getting funding. He 

   begins to dabble in shady deals with criminals and 

   unscrupulous nobles to get funding. It’s quite 

   lucrative, but not without risks. Although he tires to 

   cover all his bases, he winds up owing a “favor” to 

   one of his financiers.

•  With the help of Hernando, Amadeus is covertly 

   transported to Crefleu to study under a psionic tutor. 

   After four months, he returns home to Tinath to   

   oversee the illicit aspects of his father’s business, 

   using his psionic powers for advantage and making 

   contacts in the criminal underworld.


•  Sally is accepted to university and majors in 

   performing arts, but also studies architecture and 

   develops a love of gambling. 

• Riley enlists in the Calidan Navy and is trained for 

  flight service. His commanding officer takes an 

  interest in him and secures him a commission as an 



•  Sally graduates from university and is hired by a 

   large megacorporation as a customer service 


• Riley and J.C. meet when the Baron sends J.C. on a 

  diplomatic visit to Undpoar and Riley’s ship is

  assigned to take him there.


•  Sally is enrolled in a business administration course 

   and then promoted to office manager at the 

   megacorporation where she works. She befriends a 

   fellow trainee who works for the Priti ministry of 



•  The Baron passes away and his daughter becomes 

   Baroness. J.C. tried to advise her as best he can, but 

   as many young suitors seek to gain her affection, 

   they treat the overprotective J.C. as an obstacle. 

   Three younger knights in particular begin to see him 

   needlessly as a rival. 

•  Hernando competes for the affection of a much 

   younger woman who shows psionic potential, but 

   loses her to a bank executive closer to her own age.


• Amadeus’ father’s business collapses and Amadeus 

  is forced to flee Tinath. He takes up work as a 


•  Sally’s employer is shut down due to tax evasion. 

   She takes a new job in a brokerage firm.

• Riley is discharged from the Navy with the rank of 

  sublieutenant. His skills as space pilot land him a job 

  in the Calidan Scout Service where he works as a 



•  While en route to Ainsarvi, Riley encounters a 

   passenger ship under attack by pirates. He fires on 

   the pirate ship, driving it away. Despite his best 

   efforts, he is only able to save a handful of the 

   passengers, including a young noblewoman whose.   

   injuries wind up leaving her paralyzed from the neck 

   down. He later hears the pirate captain has learned 

   his name vowed to kill him.


•  Hernando is approached by a noble family whose 

   daughter has been permanently paralyzed from the 

   neck down. They request that he perform a legal but 

   ethically questionable procedure: implant the brain of 

   the young woman into an android body. They pay 

   him an obscene amount of money. The procedure 

   appears successful, but before Hernando can.   

   determine the long term outcome, the patient steals a 

   ship and a great deal of his money and escapes.


•  Amadeus uses his criminal contacts to try and   

   secure an inside deal on land prospects in Tinath so 

   he can return home and go legit. Several nobles from 

   Cenhening are also in on it. J.C. is offered a chance   

   to take part in the affair, but chooses to expose them, 

   making even more enemies. Disordering his cousin 

   in the middle of it all, he works to shield Amadeus 

   from being implicated.

• The nobles attempted to use Sally’s brokerage firm to 

   purchase the land. With the help of her friend at the 

   ministry of justice, and some words of support form 

   J.C., Sally is able to show the authorities she was 

   also being conned. 

•  Feeling bad for almost getting her sent to prison, 

   Amadeus abandons his prospects on Tinath to help 

   his cousin clear her. Still wanting to go legit, he takes 

   a job at the brokerage firm, again using his psionic 

   abilities to his advantage.

•  Riley has managed to secure a mortgage of his own 

   vessel and elects to leave the Scouts and go into 

   business for himself  as a free trader. He marries an.   

   engineer from Ashfield Station, but the relationship 

   ends with a bitter breakup after only a few months. 


•  J.C.’s status among the nobles of Cenhening is 

   falling fast amid too many enemies and rivals. 

   However as gratitude for his fouling to plot to grab 

   land on Tenath, one of the nobles on that planet, the 

   Baroness Edda, lets him know he’s always welcome 

   there. It might be a good home base, but J.C.'s 

   boyhood dream of space exploration never got     

   realized. It’s time to Travel.

•  Riley decides to take to the stars as a Traveller after

   his divorce. He has an ideal ship. Now it needs a 

   crew. There’s a lot of buzz on Tenath these days.

•  Hernando retires from his career as a medical 

   researcher and decides to use his accumulated 

   wealth to pursue personal interests. He contacts 

   Amadeus, one of the few true psions he knows about 

   joining him on his voyages. Amadeus was born on 

   Tenath, maybe there’s something in the ancient ruins 

   there that holds the secret to psionic  powers.

•  Amadeus and Sally leave the brokerage firm to 

   pursue the life of a Traveller with Hernando.

That brings us to the start of our game. Check out part 2 here.

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