Monday, November 19, 2018

More Traveller Literary History - Kalin

In E C Tubb's Dumarest of Terra novel Kalin, the titular protagonist finds himself out of cash on Chron, an Industrial planet of huge strip mines and forges, run mostly on slave labor. Dumarest avoids that fate, but if he's not working for the Company, there are very few other options. He gambles a little, but wins too much for the house's comfort, so that's not a source of income.

Along with some other travellers he meets, he goes hunting for creatures called zardles. Zardle meat is not appealing, but it is edible and better than not eating. 

I have extracted some details of the creature from the narrative, to construct a Traveller animal description for it. I have written elsewhere about Frightening Animal Encounters, and these things definitely fall into that category. More than half a dozen of the hunters in Dumarest's party are killed by these foul beasts.

Just add lots of legs. And claws. And bad breath. And don't forget its poison.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Scurvy Space Dogs - The Pirate Career

Scurvy Space Dogs – the Pirate career

Now that Piracy & Privateering is out, it's time to have a look at the CT Pirate career, as found in Supp:4 Citizens of the Imperium. Is a pirate's life for you?
Piracy is harder to get into than you might think. At 7+, it's tougher than Bureaucrats, Sailors/Flyers or Scientists. Pirates will take lower-class types than Rogues (+1 DM for SOC 7-, instead of 8- for rogues).

All pirates learn Brawling. Well, maybe that's more on-the-job training than a planned course. I expected Gun combat. When you're raiding a ship, is there more brandishing weapons than actual fighting? Plus the bottom rung of the pirate ladder is likely considered expendable. Why waste time training them?

That could explain the 6+ survival throw. This is tougher than sailors/flyers, the Navy, the Army, and as tough as the Marines. Is this saying that Pirates and Marines (natural enemies) are evenly matched? It's INT that helps the pirate survive. This makes sense, given the chaotic nature of the career. But brains are not the first characteristic many think of when considering pirates.