Saturday, August 6, 2011

Blast From The Past - My First Traveller Character

Between my first D&D character and my first Traveller character, I created my first Gamma World character. I also GMed at least one but perhaps two other RPGs which I never personally made a PC for. One of them was Boot Hill. I do not recall the other game.

If you follow my posts this month, you will notice this trend pick up speed. I would GM more and more and play as a player less and less. I am trying to post these 'Blast From The Past' entries in roughly the actual chronological order of when I created my PCs. At some point you will see me create a character for a game years and years after the game came out. Very likely I'd been running the game forever and simply never got to play.

That said...

I summed up my earliest experience with Traveller in an older post, so what I will try to do here is remember the character I played in that first game.

That isn't easy to do. I didn't like that game. Between the first time I played Traveller and the next time I played it, 8 years would pass. I later grew to love Traveller and it remains a favorite of mine to this day but in 1979, at the age of 10, Traveller was far too boring for my tastes. It lacked everything that made Sci-Fi cool (and my favorite genre). No PC alien species, the idea of dying during character creation, low high-technology and virtually no pictures in the rulebooks failed to give the young me anything to get excited about in the game.

My character, like all the others in that session, was a mercenary. I believe he had the careers of Army and Scout on his sheet if my memory serves me right. He had a gun. Actually two, a pistol and a carbine I think. That is all.

Goodnight Folks! (The Tonight Show closing theme starts...)

Seriously, that's it. That's all I can tell you. And it's not because my poor, old brain can't recall any more (ok, partially it is I'm sure) but moreover because there really was nothing else distinctive about him. I don't even remember his name, though I believe it was a fairly mundane one, especially for me.

Like my first D&D guy, this character taught me a few things that I would later put into good use when GMing.

If you have a diverse group, they are going to want to play diverse characters. Even if they have the same 'job' (all are Starfleet Officers, Superheros, Knight of the Realms, etc.), focus on what makes them different (Area of Expertise, Origin and Background, Style and Personality, etc.).

Start small only if you're gonna end big. Otherwise, start big. If you are introducing something new to a group of players, don't begin in a way that won't wow them. If you do, it's unlikely they're going to be enthused about starting a campaign. This goes along with my ideas about one-shots.

Well, onward and upward. The next game I made a character for was...hmmm...Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition? Possibly yes. Huh. OK, so it was. Good ol' Thickstone gets his day in the sun then...

AD
Barking Alien

I almost forget - Happy Birthday Lucy! Today would've been Lucille Ball's 100th Birthday. I have always been a big fan of this classic queen of comedy and she was instrumental (along with her husband at the time, Desi Arnaz, by way of Desilu Productions) in the development of some of the greatest television shows of the mediums early heydays (including Star Trek!).

We still love you Lucy!



1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything I see in this post - basic Traveller characters were kind of boring as rolled, not enough aliens, not enough lasers, not enough pictures - it takes awhile to click in the era of Star Wars. In any game make sure all the players feel like they have unique characters (and some games make this easier than others) and most of the time go big.

    Yep, that's all good.

    I still have quite a few my badly phtotcopied character sheets used for my early characters. I know I used the "spell your name backwards" trick for a few of them and a lot of Irish/Scottish type names for some reason. One of the big attractions of Traveller for me back then was the entertaining solo game of rolling up characters, rolling up new star systems, and building ships with the construction rules. Those LBB's were just so packed it seemed at the time, and they seem so small today compared to the coffee-table sized 400 page monsters we see so often.

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