Pre-Career Education

Here at Mongoose, we are constantly work not only on new games and books but we also beaver away on existing games, trying to find ways to make them better! This article is another take on pre-career education in Traveller, an attempt to unify everything we have done before, add some cool new bits, and generally improve on the system. Feel free to swing by our forums and let us know what you think!

 

Before a character embarks on a lifelong career, there are several educational options that it may be worth considering. These include going to university, attending a military academy, and perhaps engaging in further education beyond this to better prepare for careers ahead.

This usually takes place in a character’s first term, though it can be delayed up until the third term if a term or two in a career is desired. From term four and onwards, these options are no longer available.

A character can select one of the options below, making a dice roll for successful entry. If this is failed, the character must immediately attempt entry into a career and, failing that, be drafted as normal. Further attempts can be made in terms two and three if desired but only one attempt can be made at entry to one of these pre-career options in any one term.

Once successful entry has been achieved, the character will gain any skills noted and roll on the Events table on page XX. Upon successful graduation, one or more benefits will be awarded. Unlike a career, there is no mustering out or gaining of anything else other than the benefits listed. If graduation is not achieved, then no benefits are gained though the character may still have earned some skills during this time.

After successful graduation, a character may attempt to enter a career of their choice as normal, though pre-career options often given bonuses or automatic entry to certain careers, as listed under their benefits.

 

University

Most worlds have one or more universities within their major settlements but even citizens of the most remote system can engage in university education through the use of computer networks and interstellar communications. A university education will channel a character’s efforts into a narrow range of skills but there are few other ways to become more skilful within them so quickly.

Entry: Edu 8+.

DM-1 if in Term Two, DM-2 if in Term Three

DM+1 if Soc 9+

Skills: Choose a level 0 and a level 1 skill from the following list;

Admin, Advocate, Animals (farming or veterinary), Art (any), Astrogation, Broker, Comms, Computers, Engineer (any), Language (any), Life Sciences (any), Navigation, Physical Sciences (any), Social Sciences (any), Space Sciences (any), Trade (any).

Increase Edu by +1

Graduation: Int 8+. If 10+ is rolled, graduate with honours.

Graduation Benefits

Increase the skills chosen above to level 1 and level 2 respectively.

Increase Edu by +2

Graduation allows attempt to enter medical or flight schools.

Graduation grants DM+1 (DM+2 if graduation was with honours) to qualify for the following careers; Agent, Air Force, Army, Citizen (corporate), Entertainer (journalist), Marines, Navy, Scholar, Scouts, Wet Navy.

Graduation allows a Commission roll to be taken before the first term of a military career, so long as it is the first career chosen after university. Success will mean the character enters the career at officer rank (O1). If graduation was with honours, a DM+2 is granted on this first Commission roll.

 

Military Academy

For those who are looking to dedicate their lives to military service, there is no better option than joining an academy to round out an education. This is a popular choice for those coming from ‘military’ families or those having grown up never considering anything other than a life in uniform. A term within a military academy can set a recruit’s career for great things, so competition to gain one of the limited number of open student slots is fierce.

Before joining a military academy, you must decide whether it is an academy of the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy or Wet Navy.

Entry: Air Force Dex 9+, Army End 9+, Marines End 10+, Navy Int 10+, Wet Navy End 9+

DM-2 if in Term Two, DM-4 if in Term Three

Skills: Gain all Service Skills of the military career the academy is tied to at level 0, as with basic training.

Graduation: Int 9+. DM+1 if End 9+, DM+1 if Soc 9+. If 10+ is rolled, graduate with honours.

Graduation Benefits

If entering the same military career the academy is tied to, for basic training the character may select any three Service Skills and increase them to level 1.

Increase Edu by +1.

Graduation allows attempt to enter medical school.

Graduation in an Air Force or Navy academy allows attempt to enter flight school.

Graduation allows automatic entry into the military career the academy is tied to, so long as it is the first career attempted by the character after graduation.

Graduation allows a Commission roll to be taken before the first term of a military career, so long as it is the first career chosen after university, with DM+2. Success will mean the character enters the career at officer rank (O1). If graduation was with honours, the character will automatically pass this roll.

 

Advanced Education

Successful graduation in university or a military academy gives characters a chance to enter advanced education in a highly prestigious flight or medical school. These choices are for characters determined to dedicate their lives to becoming a pilot (of aircraft or spacecraft) or doctor respectively. This consumes another four years of a character’s life but ensures they are highly specialised with automatic entry to the career of their choosing should they be successful.

 

Flight School

For both air forces and the Navy there exist flight schools designed to produce the very best pilots. The most famous of these cater for fighter pilots of agile aircraft and small space-going craft, but no less important are the schools that concentrate on the deft skills needed to manoeuvre the largest warships.

Entry: Edu 8+

DM+1 if Dex 9+

DM+2 if graduated with honours.

Skills: Admin 0, Physical or Space Sciences (any) 1, and either Flyer (any) or Pilot (any) 1

Graduation: Int 8+. If 10+ is rolled, graduate with honours.

Graduation Benefits

Gain two more levels to either Flyer or Pilot (any); these two levels must be put into different specialities.

Graduation grants automatic enlistment to the Navy (line/crew or flight) if the character has at least one Pilot skill, or the Air Force (air lift or flight) if the character has at least one Flyer skill, with an automatic commission before the career’s first term, allowing the character to start at officer rank (O1). Graduating with honours increases this to officer rank 2 (O2).

 

Medical School

There is more than one route to becoming a doctor, be it specialist or researcher, but the very best tend to be those who graduate a respected medical school. Successful graduation at medical school will guarantee a high-flying career.

Entry: Edu 8+

DM+1 if Int 9+

DM+2 if graduated with honours.

Skills: Admin 0, Life Sciences (any) 1, Medic 1

Graduation: Int 8+. If 10+ is rolled, graduate with honours.

Graduation Benefits

Gain Medic 2 and two more levels to Life Sciences (any); these two levels may be put into a single Life Science or split between two Life Sciences.

Increase Edu by +1

Graduation grants automatic enlistment to any military career (if the character went to a military academy, this must be the same career the academy is tied to). Graduating with honours grants an automatic commission before the military career’s first term, allowing the character to start at officer rank (O1).

Graduation grants automatic enlistment to the Scholar career, starting at rank 1. Graduating with honours means the character will start at rank 2.

 

Events During Pre-Career and Advanced Education

For every term a character spends in pre-career or advanced education, roll on the following table to generate an event. As with career events, other characters may be linked to with the connections rule – perhaps they even spent time in the same university or academy!

 

2D Event
2 You are approached by an underground (and highly illegal) psionic group who sense potential in you. You may test your Psionic Strength (as described on page 152 of the Traveller Core Rulebook) and attempt to enter the Psion career in any subsequent term.
3 Your time in education is not a happy one and you suffer a deep tragedy; perhaps you become hopelessly addicted to drink or drugs, a failed romance leaves you in tatters, or a fatal accident involving a close friends shakes your confidence. You crash fail to graduate.
4 A supposedly harmless prank goes and someone gets hurt, physically or emotionally. Roll Soc 8+. If you succeed, gain a Rival. If you fail, gain an Enemy.
5 Taking advantage of youth, you party as much as you study. Gain Carouse 1.
6 You become involved in a tightly knit cliché or group and make a pact to remain friends forever, wherever in the galaxy you may end. Gain D3 Allies.
7 Life Event. Roll on the Life Events table (see page 34 of the Traveller Core Rulebook).
8 You join a political movement. Roll Soc 8+.  If successful, you become a leading figure. Gain one Ally within the movement but gain one Enemy in wider society.
9 You develop a healthy interest in a hobby or other area of study. Gain any skill of your choice, with the exception of Jack-of-all-Trades, at level 0.
10 A newly arrived tutor rubs you up the wrong way and you work hard to overturn their conclusions. Roll 9+ on any skill you have learned during this term. If successful, you provide a truly elegant proof that soon becomes accepted as the standard approach. Gain a level in the skill you rolled on and the tutor as a Rival.
11 War comes and a wide-ranging draft is instigated. You can either flee and join the Drifter career next term or be drafted (roll 1D: 1-2 Army, 3 Marines, 4 Navy, 5 Air Force, 6 Wet Navy). Either way, you do not graduate this term. However, if you roll Soc 9+, you can get enough  strings pulled to avoid the draft and complete your education – you may attempt graduation normally and are not drafted.
12 You gain wide-ranging recognition of your initiative and innovative approach to study. Increase your Social Standing by 1.

 

 

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