At Spin Two Swords
Some Advice on Character Creation
It seems to me that there are two ways of doing this. The first is to figure out what you’re character hopes to be and then either keep choosing the same career in that category, or opposite of that, figure out what skills you want your character to have, and then start trying to get into careers.
Bear in mind that the real trick to Traveller Character Creation is knowing when to stop. Forging ahead can inevitably ruin the character given that every term you age and every turn you open yourself up to mishaps. Aging can be overcome with drugs (pricey but doable), but it doubles your chance of a mishap. As in the real world, a serious medical injury can ruin your character. I recommend between 3 and 4 terms. If you’re tricky, you can go for fewer terms. If you like to gamble, go for more.
Finally, note, it is a lot easier to advance in skills if you have very few. Thus, if you do play a younger character, your character’s skills will advance faster.
Method 1: I want to be an X.
Pick a general theme. By this, I mean, Naval, Scout, Scholar, etc.. After you’ve got a general theme, find the associated career. Note: if you’re using the core rules, the career path tree is two-deep. You might pick “Merchants—>Broker.” What the books do is they make the tree three deep: “Merchants—>Broker—>Corporate.” The Books do not particularly boost the character’s power, they just make choices more specific and more interesting. You do not have to use them.
At this point, the goal is to stay with it as long as possible. If you fail to re-enlist, you can either quit (and become a Traveller) or you can spend a term as a drifter from the the Core rules. You may, instead, choose one of the careers listed in the Scoundrel that has automatic enlistment (these are all really just sub-careers of Drifter). After a term as a drifter, you can become a traveler, stay on as some kind of drifter, or you can move on to a new career path. Keep in mind, when you’re making these kinds of decisions, it might be time to stop the character creation process.
Method 2: I want skills Y
Each of the careers offers fairly different sets of skills. Each of the careers will give 1 of the service skils listed plus 1 more skill for the specific career choice. The problem is that you have to roll. I would suggest that you pick a career that has a bunch of skills you want on that list. The trick to this is career switching. Staying with any career for two long is no good. The math works something like this. People who stay in a career are likely to get 1 or 2 skills out of it (1 for being in the profession, 1 for advancement), but your first term in the career actually has a chance of getting you three (1 for starting, 1 for the profession, and 1 if you advance). Advancement has a chance of giving you more benefits (which is an argument for both kinds of character creation).
A character who uses Method 2 will get more skills faster, but the skills level off, and the other benefits accumulate more slowly. A character who uses Method 1 is at the whims of the dice to stay on the path and may, without wanting to, have to succumb to Method 2.