Thursday, August 14, 2014

Casual Encounter - Fenton Tukachevski

557AF7 Navy 4 terms* Age 34 Cr 0
Computer-1, Vacc suit-1, Gunnery-1
TAS membership  

     A while back the Space Cockroach shared this NPC short form, taken straight from the list of sample characters given in The Traveller Book, in a post about how many skills are needed for viable or competent Traveller characters. I thought I'd see what I could come up with to turn this pile of stats into an interesting character. From just 14 words/81 characters (according to my word processor) what can we make of this character?

 Ex-Navy Petty Officer Fenton Tukochevski

Computer tech. Space walker. Laser gunner. Has more PhD's than you.
  • He's a former navy PO (computers).
  • He's familiar with working in space.
  • He knows a lot about Navy computer (especially weapon computer) systems.
  • He could work as starship crew, or as a vehicle gunner for a mercenary group.
  • He also possesses Skill-0 in all the usual weapons, and likely Grav Vehicle-0 
     Fenton was always more interested in learning about the universe as a whole than he was about doing his job. He never even bothered applying for a commission; his work as a weapons computer technician left him with ample time to read & study the things that interested him. He's a big history buff, and knows a lot about lost ships, derelicts, and other historical curiosities of space. 

     He spends all his money on books/e-books (hence his poor cash state), and always carries a large collection of e-book readers with him. He has travelled a lot since leaving the Navy, and had the foresight to secure several backup collections/archives on several planets, in the event that he loses his current travelling collection of source works. 

     After a long study of art & crime Fenton is an expert in detecting forgeries & knows all about the common scams (and uncommon ones). He is near impossible to fool. He freelances with corporations and wealthy individuals to verify authenticity of documents and art objects. Another freelancing area where he often works is information support to salvage & treasure hunting expeditions.  He has an extensive collection of records, folklore and speculation on the location of crashed ships.

     Adventurers could meet Tukochevski in any of these ventures. He could be the patron, in need of a ship to transport him to the location of a wrecked ship, or he could be an NPC hired by the PC's patron to assist them with recovering something from a derelict. 

     The PCs could be hired by a patron who was swindled by a forger, and wants Fenton to help them find the parties responsible. If the PCs are passengers aboard a starship, Fenton might be a passenger or taking working passage. In an emergency, he would be a good companion to have. 

     The PCs could meet Fenton aboard a space station, or on a sattelite where he is working EVA to repair/upgrade computer systems or weapon stations.

     Physically Fenton is short, slight of build, and soft spoken. Despite being very bright and unbelievably well educated, he is very reserved socially. His clothes are neat and clean, but obviously not the current fashion. He works for pay, and is smart enough to not get duped out of a paycheck, but is not motivated by the prospect of riches. When he has money, he buys books or objects that can further his education, until he needs to work some more - to buy more books. 

     He prefers to listen rather than to speak, and will be an attentive audience to anyone who has something new to tell him. He has little interest in popular culture or entertainments, but can converse at length on obscure subjects. He understands social rules of interaction, but does not always choose to participate. He prefers the company of other educated persons, but will not be intentionally rude to the uneducated. Attractive women will not rattle him, but would be very surprised if one expressed romantic interest in him, given his poor physique and esoteric interests. 

     Fenton is no coward, but he is aware that his physique puts him at a disadvantage as a fighter. If he has to go into a potentially dangerous situation, he will hire or ally himself with people who can protect him. If the situation demands it, he will use a gun; he has no personal objection to fighting but he would rather not risk his life for simple material gain. 

*By my reckoning, a 4-term Navy character should have 5 skills. Perhaps Fenton used two of them to increase characteristics - like his Education.
Image in the public domain, taken from (


  1. This is, indeed, the beauty of Classic Traveller, a Zen Moment if you will; your stats are just a small part of who your character is, or what he can do, and a good Referee allows you to expand life this. This is a really rules-light, old-school RPG - you don't need a number on your character sheet for everything...

  2. I referenced your post here:

  3. Thanks so much, Omer. Your post was excellent and spot on.