Fight the Power Word, Kill

no we're not the same 'cause we don't know the game

header photo

Spinward Solo

A few years ago, I agreed to GM a game of Traveller. I decided to use a fairly early version, namely The Traveller Book, which is a collected edition of the "little black books". In order to reacquaint myself with the rules, I decided to run a solo PBP for myself, randomly generating characters but also using the system in the book for randomly finding adventures and patrons. I did this on a private Discord channel over the course of a couple of days. Below is the text of that PBP, cleaned up for clarity, though I have left most of the dice rolls in, not so much for you to see the results as to indicate how much dice-rolling there is in the game. I've also expanded on some entries for clarity. 


Instructions: go to and make a character, name your character, post the results here. Don't worry too much about what the skills do, just pick stuff that sounds right. Everything has a context in which it's useful; part of TRAVELLER is figuring out what your role is. 

Army Captain Mark Dubois    888995    Age 22
1 term                        Cr22,000
Skills: Computer-1, Fwd Obsvr-1, Medical-1, Rifle-1, SMG-1, Tactics-1

Service History:
Rolled attributes: 888995
Attempted to enlist in Army.
Enlistment roll 2 + 3 vs 5
Enlistment accepted.
Learned Rifle-1
Term 1 age 22
Commission roll 8 + 1 vs 5
Learned SMG-1
Commissioned during first term of service as Lieutenant.
Promotion roll 8 + 1 vs 6
Promoted to Captain.
Learned Medical-1
Learned Fwd Obsvr-1
Learned Computer-1
Learned Tactics-1
Survival roll 4 + 2 vs 5
Reenlistment roll 7 vs 7
Chose not to reenlist after first term.
Mustered Out
2,000 credits
20,000 credits


Belter Dame Chloe Li    8C76AB    Age 22
1 term                        Cr98,400

Skills: Computer-1, Prospecting-1, Vacc Suit-1 

Service History:
Rolled attributes: 8C76AB
Attempted to enlist in Belter.
Enlistment roll 10 + 3 vs 7
Enlistment accepted.
Learned Vacc Suit-1
Term 1 age 22
Learned Prospecting-1
Learned Computer-1
Survival roll 6 + 1 vs 5
Reenlistment roll 6 vs 7
Denied reenlistment after first term.
Mustered Out
100,000 credits


Merchant 3rd Officer Thomas Li    782B86    Age 38
5 terms                        Cr40,000

Skills: Computer-1, Electronics-1, Gunnery-1, Laser Carbine-1, Mechanical-1, Navigation-1, Prop-Driven Aircraft-1, Streetwise-1, Vacc Suit-1

Benefits: 4,000/yr Retirement Pay, Laser Carbine, Low Passage

Service History:
Rolled attributes: 783A86
Attempted to enlist in Merchants.
Enlistment roll 8 + 3 vs 7
Enlistment accepted.
Term 1 age 22
Commission roll 3 + 1 vs 4
Commissioned during first term of service as 4th Officer.
Promotion roll 7 + 1 vs 10
Learned Computer-1
Learned Navigation-1
Learned Electronics-1
Survival roll 10 + 2 vs 5
Reenlistment roll 7 vs 4
Voluntarily reenlisted for second term.
Term 2 age 26
Promotion roll 11 + 1 vs 10
Promoted to 3rd Officer.
Learned Streetwise-1
Learned Prop-Driven Aircraft-1
Survival roll 6 + 2 vs 5
Reenlistment roll 10 vs 4
Voluntarily reenlisted for third term.
Term 3 age 30
Promotion roll 8 + 1 vs 10
Learned Gunnery-1
Survival roll 3 + 2 vs 5
Reenlistment roll 9 vs 4
Voluntarily reenlisted for fourth term.
Term 4 age 34
Promotion roll 8 + 1 vs 10
Learned Vacc Suit-1
Survival roll 8 + 2 vs 5
Aging strength throw 10 vs 8
Aging dexterity throw 9 vs 7
Aging endurance throw 12 vs 8
Reenlistment roll 4 vs 4
Voluntarily reenlisted for fifth term.
Term 5 age 38
Promotion roll 8 + 1 vs 10
Learned Mechanical-1
Survival roll 6 + 2 vs 5
Aging strength throw 11 vs 8
Aging dexterity throw 8 vs 7
Aging endurance throw 5 vs 8
Decreased endurance by -1 to 2
Reenlistment roll 8 vs 4
Retired after fifth term.
Mustered Out
20,000 credits
10,000 credits
10,000 credits
Laser Carbine
Learned Laser Carbine-1
Low Passage
Increased intelligence by 1 to B


Scout Baron Omar Suzuki    95BACC    Age 26
2 terms                        Cr50,000

Skills: Gunnery-1, Mechanical-1, Navigation-1, Pilot-1, Tracked Vehicle-1

Service History:
Rolled attributes: 95BACC
Attempted to enlist in Scouts.
Enlistment roll 8 + 3 vs 7
Enlistment accepted.
Learned Pilot-1
Term 1 age 22
Learned Gunnery-1
Learned Tracked Vehicle-1
Survival roll 7 + 2 vs 7
Reenlistment roll 10 vs 3
Voluntarily reenlisted for second term.
Term 2 age 26
Learned Navigation-1
Learned Mechanical-1
Survival roll 11 + 2 vs 7
Reenlistment roll 4 vs 3
Chose not to reenlist after second term.
Mustered Out
20,000 credits
30,000 credits



Looking for a gig

Day 1, year 1105. Rhylanor subsector, 0404, desert world Jae Telona.
In a single week, a band of adventurers may elect to devote their time to encountering a patron. They may frequent bars, taverns, clubs, perhaps the Travellers'
Aid Building, or any other likely places. One throw is allowed for the entire band: a result of 5 or 6 on one die indicates a likely patron has been found.

Our heroes spend a week seeking out a patron. Dame Chloe pays for a month's good food and lodging for the group (Cr1600)
!roll 1d6
Roll: [1] Result: 1

No patron in the first week
Random encounters (but max 1 per week, I think)

35 = the group meet some researchers
[5, 4] Result: 9  of them

The researchers are travelling in a tracked ATV around the desert.
Roll: [5, 3] Result: 8  Reason: reaction roll

They are interested in our heroes and ask if they are doing any adventures soon.

Roll: [6] Result: 6  Reason: Patron roll as another week passes
Roll: [5, 5] Result: 10  

It's an army guy. He wants some armed couriers to go with the scientists to a remote prospecting outpost on the planet. The pay is Cr8000. 
There's a space-briefcase that needs to be taken to Major Kola there.

[5, 2] Result: 7
They get the job!

Journey day 1 

Day 15, 1105. The trip will take two days. Our heroes jump aboard the researchers' big ATV. It's nice and air-conditioned inside

Roll: [4] Result: 4  Reason: Day 1 human encounter
They encounter no people on their first day of travel in the desert

Roll: [4] Result: 4  Reason: Day 1 travelling animal encounter

The group halts and camps for the night inside the ATV.

Roll: [5] Result: 5  Reason: day 1 camped animal enc.
 Roll: [3, 2] Result: 8
 Roll: [6, 2] Result: 8
Roll: [3] Result: 3

It's 3 herbivore grazers, shuffling across the dunes, digging their lizard bills into the sifting blue sands.
Roll: [6, 2] Result: 5  Reason: Grazer size roll

Grazers are size 25 - 3D hits each, horns and teeth to defend themselves.

Roll: [4] Result: 6  Reason: chance to attack
Roll: [6] Result: 6  Reason: chance to flee roll
Roll: [3, 3] Result: 6

The grazers see the ATV and the people in it, and flee.


Day 2 of the journey

Result: 6  Reason: Day 2 travel encounter

Roll: [6, 2] Result: 8
Roll: [5, 2] Result: 10
Roll: [6, 3, 2] Result: 11

They encounter 11 herbivore grazers, same animals as they saw last night.

Roll: [4, 1] Result: 5
Roll: [6, 3] Result: 9

The grazers attack!
They charge towards the ATV.
... or rather they will unless the PCs get surprise.

Roll: [3] Result: 3  Reason: PCs surprise roll
Roll: [3] Result: 2  Reason: animals surprise roll

No surprise

Result: 9  Reason: Encounter range

The encounter begins at medium range, about 40 metres. (2 range bands)

Our heroes try to evade - the grazers can close easily within this round and attack the ATV if the evasion is unsuccessful

(before any combat or contact occurs). Roll 9+ to escape (DM allowed based on range: -1 if short range, +1 if medium range, +2 if long range, +3 if very long range).

 Result: 7  Reason: Baron Omar's ATV driving

Omar swerves the ATV to go around the grazers but doesn't escape!

Omar tries to open range on the next turn, while the grazers try to close range

Roll: [5] Result: 3
They can go 3 bands per turn.
The grazers smash up the outside fixtures of the ATV a bit, but Omar is able to drive away.
The sun is setting as our heroes approach the base. Desert raiders have encircled the base and are waiting to ambush the PCs' ATV.

Roll: [6] Result: 8  Reason: Raiders surprise roll
Roll: [3] Result: 3  Reason: PCs' surprise roll

The raiders achieve surprise.
The base inhabitants haven't been able to get a warning out because the raiders destroyed the communications tower.

Roll: [4, 3] Result: 11  Reason: encounter range

Long: at rifle range, from 51 to 250 meters -- 5 range bands.

The raiders wait until the ATV pulls up at the outer perimeter gatehouse.

When Dame Chloe and Captain Dubois get out to check out the guard post, 6 raiders open fire with rifles from cover in the rocky dunes
Result: 9  Reason: Raider STR
Roll: [1, 1] Result: 2  Reason: Raider DEX
Roll: [6, 2] Result: 8  Reason: Raider CON

Roll: [2, 1] Result: 3  Reason: attack number 1 on Dubois
Roll: [6, 2] Result: 8  Reason: attack 2 on Dubois (HIT)
Roll: [6, 5] Result: 11  Reason: attack 3 on Dubois (HIT)
Roll: [4, 1, 1] Result: 6  Reason: Att 2 wound on Dubois
First wound applies to
Roll: [2] Result: 2 DEX

Mark Dubois 888995  -- current 848995
Apply the other two wounds to STR and END -- current 747995

Roll: [6, 5, 2] Result: 13  Reason: attack 3 effect on Dubois

STR -6, DEX -2, END -5: 122995

Roll: [5, 3] Result: 8  Reason: Attack 1 on Chloe (HIT)
Roll: [5, 1] Result: 6  Reason: Attack 2 on Chloe 
Roll: [5, 2] Result: 7  Reason: Attack 3 on Chloe

Roll: [6, 2, 6] Result: 14  Reason: unsort
Roll: [2] Result: 2

First hit is DEX - Dame Chloe Li    8C76AB  -- current 8676AB
hit 2 goes to Chloe's STR, the 3rd to END: Chloe's stats are now 6616AB
Chloe and Mark crawl back into the ATV!

The researchers grab carbines from the equipment boxes but only 4 of them can fire out of the ATV at one time
Roll: [5, 2] Result: 7
Roll: [6, 1] Result: 7
Roll: [5, 2] Result: 7
Roll: [3, 1] Result: 4

They all, somehow, miss

Turn 2, Omar tries to drive through the security fence. He needs a 10+ to get through without damaging the ATV so that it needs repair.
The raiders keep their heads down and observe the ATV.

Roll: [4, 2] Result: 7  Reason: Omar's driving

Nope, there's a big wrenching sound as the ATV ploughs through the gate. Omar drives into the base's reinforced vehicle entrance, but the ATV can't be used again until it's repaired.

The PCs and researchers are brought to see Major Kola. They hand over the space-briefcase.

Chloe and Mark rest and get back to their original stats.

Now the question is, how to deal with the raiders. They could try and repair the transmission tower, attack the raiders, or try to break out and bring word to the starport city.


Dame Chloe volunteers to climb the transmission tower and repair the relays. Thomas Li will provide covering fire with his laser carbine.
Climbing the tower is 10+ (modified by DEX above or below 8, so Chloe is at +4); if Thomas does not successfully shoot a raider (long range), a raider will shoot at Chloe each round.

Round 1
Roll: [2, 2] Result: 8  Reason: climbing roll

Chloe starts the climb but it is slow going up the creaking metal tower.

Covering fire: +0 DEX mod, +1 skill, Long range +1, Cloth armour on raider +1. = +3
Roll: [4, 1] Result: 8  Reason: Covering fire 1

Pyew pyew! Thomas forces the raiders to keep their heads down.
He zaps one ranger for 4D damage.

Roll: [1, 4, 2, 6] Result: 13  Reason:  unsort

Roll: [3, 2] Result: 9  Reason: climbing roll 2
Chloe reaches the relay. She must spend another round replacing the relay components.

Roll: [5, 3] Result: 11  Reason: Covering fire 2
Thomas zaps another raider. Chloe finishes fixing the relay.

Chloe must spend one round climbing back down.

Roll: [4, 2] Result: 9  Reason: covering fire 3
She safely makes it down as Thomas zaps a third desert ranger.

The transmission tower is back in working order. The base calls for help and in a couple more days, a relief column arrives.
It's now day 19, 1105




And that's where I left it. 

Overall, I found the system quite manageable, if dry in places. I think in the encounter where the grazers charge the vehicle I just gave up and GM fiat-ed away the scene. But most of the time, the encounter system created real tension, and I enjoyed the way that a plotline I hadn't thought of – before starting, my head was full of space-based adventure, not planetbound – emerged from the job-finding mini game. 


Go Back