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[Traveller] Dying in Mongoose Traveller Character Generation

It’s possible. I thought so when I first read the rules, but it just happened to me. Without the famous Iron Man rules proposed by Mongoose even.

For a short explanation: Traveller must have been the first game ever that allowed characters to die in character generation. This made the generation of characters in the game a bit of a gamble. Technically it was possible that the character in his next career term would get better, more important, more wealthy, whatever… but he/she also could just die.

The version published by Mongoose Publishing is quite close to the old Classic Traveller, but a bit more lenient in that respect. Instead of automatically being killed the character suffers a mishap and is in most cases ejected from the career after that. Then the character can be used, or can go on doing a different career in the character generation process until the player is satisfied. There is an optional rule though (the Iron Man rules) which reinstates the old process.

All the old grognards have been moaning for the last few years that the old process was so much better, and that one should be able to die in character generation because that’s how Traveller always was… I never read anyone noticing that it is perfectly viable that a character will die in Mongoose Traveller generation even if it’s not done with Iron Man rules. Weird.

But well, it takes something like this: physical characteristics of 6 and lower, a career in a combat oriented/physical career, a failed survival roll in a career leading to the mishap table, a roll of 6 on the mishap table (or any other that causes injury), and then an injury roll that gives enough stat damage to bring one physical characteristic to 0.

Now this one was the most likely option (there are more) and even that one is a rather remote chance, and obviously one would be able to get around it by intelligently choosing the character’s careers. Bbut there still is the chance that something might happen that kills the character. Especially if the character has to roll two injury rolls in two terms.

Which all in all is a bit more realistic (yeah I know, the bad r-word again) than people being killed left and right as was usual in Classic Traveller. After all it can happen: some people are killed even in the best of cases. Especially when people are joining the military. Because, well, people are shooting at you much more often when you’re a soldier than when you’re a painter or working in fastfood.

How my dead character happened? Oh, I actually had Spica Publishing’s Career Book 2 involved. That one has a nifty Cosmonaut career that reminded me of Planetes. The poor girl got booted out of her first career (Navy) by mishap, had a micro-meteorite strike her during EVA in the second term, and then had a vac suit malfunction in her third. Funnily enough the last two things were not even mishaps but normal career events, meaning that the Cosmonaut career is damn dangerous.

Ah, yeah, how realistic. 🙂

5 responses to “[Traveller] Dying in Mongoose Traveller Character Generation

  1. John July 16, 2012 at 4:40 am

    I don’t know. I can see why people like it I guess. I thought that the point of character generation was to end up with a playable character. Sure there are people who die in the army/navy/whatever, but we can only play a character who is alive so I think it is a viable assumption that our character is one of the ones who didn’t die. I see the generation of characters who die as generating NPCs basically, dead ones at that. Not the best use of my time!



  2. Another John July 17, 2012 at 12:56 am

    We found with Mongoose that, in many of the high-risk careers like military, the coverage of injury repair costs was sufficient that mishaps were insufficient to kill any of the 30 or so PCs we generated. Still, good to know that it can happen.


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  4. Shawn Driscoll July 3, 2013 at 9:48 am

    My Mongoose characters died until I started adding medical bills to their debt to keep from dying of old age or from injuries. At first, I wanted my characters to all be debt free at the beginning of a game. Now I want them to just be in one piece.


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