Monday, February 29, 2016

Where do I sign up? Becoming a Warden in my TU

Here we will learn how a Traveller gets to earn the title of Warden.

Becoming a Warden is not a career in the normal CT sense. The TAS only hires veterans, those who have experience and a record of public service.

Applying to join the Wardens is a lengthy process. The applicant is interviewed extensively, including by priests and monks with spiritual insight to spot the selfish or unstable. The player and his referee should discuss the reasons for joining the program, and if the referee is persuaded, let the process proceed.

Warden training takes one full year. Using the CT experience rules, the Warden-in-training receives one level of Liaison skill (they are supposed to peacefully resolve disputes) plus one level of skill from this list (roll 1D6):
  1. Medical
  2. Administration
  3. Leadership
  4. Legal
  5. Unarmed Combat
  6. Survival
Payment will never be great, but the service offers room and board year round at TAS facilities. Annual salary is equal to Retirement Pay, as if the PC had served one additional term in their service. Minimum salary will be the same as for five terms. Long-serving Wardens will see pay rises on the same term basis.

Once the trainee has completed the first year, they graduate and take assignment in a specific world/system. Transfers are possible after one year of a four-year term of service. Wardens can retire at the start of any four-year term. The last thing the trainee has to do before taking assignment is to take the Warden's Oath, in the presence of a representative of the TAS and a priest, and recite from memory Psalm 82: 3-4.

The Warden's Oath

I am a Warden.

I am a protector.

I am a light shining against the darkness of chaos and oppression; an unyielding wall of defense for the widow and the orphan.

I will never forget or deny the inherent dignity of all mankind.

I will extend mercy to all who ask it of me; but woe to him who thinks that I am a fool.

I will use only the force necessary to maintain peace and order; but woe to him who thinks that I am weak.

I will do all in my power to uphold the rule of law; but woe to him who would use Law as a tool of oppression.

I will do all in my power to defend the right as God gives me wisdom to see the right.

I am not a soldier or an agent of any government. I am a defender of those who cannot defend themselves.

I am a Warden.

Verses for the Warden Corps to live by:

Psalm 82: 3-4
Defend the poor and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and needy;
Free them from the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 146: 9
The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.

Isaiah 1:17
Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.

James 1:27
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

My vision of the Wardens program is of an organization that has its flaws, because it is run by fallible humans, but tries to correct those flaws, and genuinely live out the ideals set forth in the creed. The TAS is not a 'secret society' manipulating people in the background; they and the Wardens believe in their stated ideals and try to act accordingly. In a genre where the 'corrupt organization' is a common trope, whether it be a business, government or religious organization, I say the Wardens are genuinely altruistic. They try to do good, watch out for their own, and work hard to keep out or weed out the ones who are self-serving and try to use the Warden badge for their own ends (see article 6).

Wardens are like US Marshals of the Wild West – just less likely to shoot people. 

Using the Martial Arts rules article from JTAS, I can create a defensive martial art, similar to akido, which the Wardens will teach to priests or monks, so that they can defend themselves or others without attacking!


  1. I can't say how much I love finding Traveller articles with Bible verses! Especially on Easter morning. Thank you.

    1. He is Risen! A blessed Easter to you (although this year the Orthodox won't be celebrating Easter until the first of May, because of calendar differences).

    2. Cheers! And to you too when you get there! (Did I read earlier this year of moves to reconcile - and fix - the date?)