So I made a Classic Traveller character in the 2022 Character Creation Challenge. I recently had a chance to pick up the D20 based Traveller20 (sometimes called T20) in one of the online bundle sales. So let’s see how this stacks up using the D20 RPG system in the Traveller universe.
According to the rules, you will need the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Players Handbook. In my copy of the T20 PDF there is 435 pages. There are two pages in the character sheet and a single “Prior History Worksheet”. The character creation steps start on page 18. So let’s start.
Besides the standard D&D attributes, there are two additional attributes that are used in T20. Education and Social Standing. Another ability called Psionic Strength is listed on the character sheet, but this isn’t described until chapter 10 (page 186). All of these were common attributes in Classic Traveller as well. The rules state that you roll them as per the standard D20 rules. So I’m going with the 4D6 and drop the lowest.
I thought it was interesting that under races (step two) that they mentioned the various races in the D&D 3.5 PHB and how they could be used, but it wasn’t recommended. I’m going to select the wolf-like Vargr. They look like they would be neat species to play.
Next is to roll what type of homeworld the character came from. This looks interesting. First is the tech level (I rolled a 2, which was Low Technology) which had a Tech Level of 6 (rolled a 3 and added 3, but this TL gives me a -2 to my EDU score). Apparently this homeworld results in the class of Belter or Traveller from being a prohibited class. Shrugs. I rolled for the Starport and ended up with a type C (E was the worse, A the best). Next we need to determine the basic characteristics of the world. I hate just calling it the world (or homeworld) so I’m going to name it Onkin. I’m instructed to roll a 2d6 and got a Ni (Non-Industrial). I wrote down the skills and the one feat that my character gained from growing up on Onkin.
Step three is the class of the character. I selected Mercenary out of the list because it sounded like a good idea. I wrote down the feats, class skills and other details.
Final details, rolled up a height of 150 cm (4’9″). But the weight formula confused me. 46x(1d4) kg? I rolled a 4 so 46×4= 184 kg which is 405 lbs. I know that the Vargr are aliens, but do they have that much weight in a small frame? Um, OK, I think this is wrong. I know math isn’t my strong point but did I read that wrong? Shrugs, moving on.
An in the Traveller tradition, there is a prior history (the mini-game when creating the character). I wonder how they are going to do terms for mercenaries since they are not an organized military force like the Army or Navy? Hey I get to use the special prior history worksheet. Let’s see if it helps. First term, Commando Raid: survived and cash bonus. No rank advancement, commission or bonus XP. Now age 22. Second term, Commando Raid: survived, commissioned (went from Private to 2nd Lieutenant). No bonus XP or bonus cash. Now age 26. Third term, security forces: survived, promoted (now 1st Lieutenant), XP bonus (4,000) but no cash bonus. Did not roll high enough vs the DC9 to get a fourth term. So he musters out. I think I did the mustering out benefits right. It’s by term.
Now this character is at 6th level. Actually, I’m going to scrap all of this and just release him at a 1st level mercenary. I’m at the end of my day and I need to hit the sack. So I’m going to assume that he got some equipment and is out trying to make a name for himself. Speaking of name, the character’s name is Baaken. Yea some spots on the sheet aren’t filled in, but it’s D20 3.5 so you already know the drill. I’ll fill it in before he gets used in a game (if that happens).
I really wish that the PDF core book had been bookmarked. I’ve really grown to use the bookmarks when creating characters. Also I was referred to charts and I had to hunt for it since it was provided on an earlier page.
I don’t know if I’m a fan of the mini-game. Rollplaying the character at 1st level would have been just as enjoyable.
Other than the excess on the character creation, I’d be willing to try a T20 game. Just because I’m a fan of the D20 system.
Under a week to go before the end of the challenge. Can you make it to the end?
Coming Up Next:
This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.