Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Taking Traveller Encounter Tables to Heart

I rolled a "2" for one of my stats creating a new Classic Traveller PC and an extremely poor attribute roll (in this case DEX) got me thinking about how to incorporate the low stat into the overall character concept. I was also hankering to use Classic Traveller to game out baroque Space Opera styled adventures and using extreme ability rolls as a jumping off place for creating alien characters seemed like a way to go. But first I decided to finish out enlistment and background skills before I came down on some type of new alien species.

The character failed initial enlistment and was subsequently drafted into “Other”. After surviving an initial term of service this new character failed a reenlistment roll and entered the campaign world with the skills Mechanical-1 and Medical-1.

So a Saroid Priest-Scientist from a planet of primitive mystics travels to a mining colony looking for help in reaching the Vault of the Stars. His mission, reset a celestial machine to protect the universe for the next ten thousand years.

This is all tangential to the meat of this post, wilderness encounter tables in Traveller, but here we go.

With my adventure idea writ in broad strokes it is time to fill in the details, to key the dungeon. Classic Traveller relies on Encounter Tables to drive the action during a game. I believe the LBB's encourage the referee to create their own specific to the adventure worlds. So I took the plunge and started drafting encounter tables for the world where the adventures would occur. 

The randomly generated World Profile gave me a thick jungle planet 80%-85% water covered with a tainted atmosphere. Mining outposts with a total population of 50,000 live high in the mountains while native tribesmen keep to themselves in the toxic jungles below. The adventure should lead a group of PC's to penetrate the planet's jungles in search of a lost city. As you can see one table sometimes sprouted another and in no time I had a satisfactory adventure setting for the PC's! In writing these up I'm just following the LBB's suggestions. There are no hard and fast rules on why the tables are the way they are. Each creature will still need its own stat block, but at least with a good set of tables I know what is actually there. One thing for sure, tread the jungles of Ramea with care!

Adventure Encounters

Daily Encounter Chance is 50%. If an encounter is indicated roll on the following appropriate Encounter Table for terrain type.

Ramea Jungle Encounter Table roll 1d20

1 Raccoon Men
2 Insect, Giant
3 Sauroid, Giant
4 Cat, Giant
5-7 Wilderness Hazard
8-10 Weather
11 Snake Men
12-13 Insect, Swarm
14 Dangerous Plant
15-20 No Encounter

Forbidden City Encounter Table roll 2d6

2 Sauroid, Giant
3 Insect Stinging Flyer, Giant
4 Plant Barrier
5 Raccoon Men
6 Snake, Giant
7 Spider Men
8 Herd Animals; Stampede Check
9 Equipment Failure
10 Intact Structure
11 Water Feature
12 Other Scavenging Party

What are the Natives Doing? roll 1d6
1-2 Establishing Territory
3-4 Hunting for Food
5-6 Traveling to a place of Worship

Insect Type roll 1d6
1-2 Trapper
3-4 Pouncer
5-6 Flyer

Sauroid Type roll 1d6
1-2 Aquatic; Single, Large
3-4 Tree Dwelling; Herd or Single, Medium
5-6 Ground Dwelling; Herd or Single, Large

Wilderness Hazard roll 1d6
1-2 Groge/Crevase; delays travel and forces another encounter check.
3-4 Water Barrier; lake, mire/swamp or river. Delays travel and forces another encounter check.
5-6 Tectonic Activity; volcanic, geothermal, quicksand.

Weather roll 1d6
1-2 Driving Rain; stops travel for 6-12 hours.
3-4 Corrosive Cloud; atmosphere is much more corrosive than normal. Piece of equipment fails.
5-6 Thick Clouds; low light and decreased visibility.

Swarm Type roll 1d6
1-2 Ants, mobile.
3-4 Termites, stationary.
5-6 Aquatic, during water crossing.

Dangerous Plant
Uses vines to grasp and strangle prey.

Plant Barrier roll 1d6
1-2 Blocks Progress; delays travel and forces another encounter check.
3-4 Attacks!
5-6 Has Scientific Value.

Intact Structure* roll 1d6
1-2 Creature; roll for Giant Slug, Carnivorous Swarm, or Giant Spider.
3-4 Tribesmen; roll for either Raccoon, Snake, or Spider.
5-6 Empty
* Further 50% chance a tradeable good will be found.

Water Feature roll 1d6
1-2 Blocks Progress; delays travel and forces another encounter check.
3-4 Provides subterranean access to the wormhole.
5-6 Others present; roll for either tribesmen, predator/prey stand off, lurking predator.

Other Scavenging Party roll 1d6
1-2 Pirates hiding out.
3-4 Scouts surveying.
5-6 Scientists on expedition.

For the map of the lost city I plan on using I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, and the machine to repair there is The Puissant Machine from the Dread Machine adventure module. It would work excellent here and is free. Game on!

[Edit: 08-08-17]

Here are the stats for;

Ral Al'Neon (a priestly Sauroid) 8286A5 Age 112 1 term