Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Classic Traveller, 1001 Characters, a review

CT-S01 1001 Characters

This product is 52 page PDF made up of scans from the original published book which was put out in 1978. Therefore the text is a little blurry although readable throughout even on my 7" tablet. There is no art at all.

The introduction to this book says that it presents a number of pre-rolled characters for the main five services, Navy, Marines, Army, Scouts, and Merchant that are suitable for use as PCs. Interestingly enough it says that the provided characters for the "Other" service are not considered suitable as PCs. When you get to the "other" section it explains that they used a modified system for the "others" that differs from the base game rules.

The provided characters are grouped by service. Sadly there's not a lot here. Each character is a simple list of the six stats, skills,  service/rank-achieved, and the mustering out benefits. That's it. No names, no background, just raw data.

For the Navy you get 136 sets of stats.
For the Marines you get 136 sets of stats.
For the Army you get 136 sets of stats.
For the Scouts you get 136 sets of stats.
For the Merchants you get 136 sets of stats.
For the Others you get 136 sets of stats.

The skill system they used for "Others" allowed the characters to gain any skill listed not just those from the core rules' "Other" list. This means the characters here are a bit all over the place skill wise, but that does suit the category.

The next section in the book is what they call "Chance Encounters" and here a series of characters are provided for you to pull from when in a hurry for an NPC. Sadly, again there is no "character" to any of these, they are a list of stats, age and weapon skill. No names, background or skills.

44 Army
44 Police
44 Thugs (law level 6)
44 Thugs (law level 7)

The next untitled section lists nine further characters. The book says they are based on characters lifted from science fiction, but sadly it doesn't give you any reference. You can guess of course and as number 1 is described as good with pistol and sword and an uncontrolled interplanetary teleportation ability, I suspect he might be that "Carter" chap.  Apart from this guessing game, I found the single descriptive paragraph given to each rather uninspiring.

Well, all of this does add up to 1001 characters but is it worth it? I'm not sure but I would tend more to the "no" side.  I'm not sure what use this book is. Sure it's got a lot of pre-rolled characters, but that's half the fun of the game so I wouldn't deprive a player of that.

As a ref' I can grab the stats as the starting point to making a character, but it's not really worth buying for that. I might change my mind "if" I can find a use, but right now I find the whole book very disappointing.

The pre-generated stats for the services, possibly useful, the latter four lists are pointless, and the last nine characters possibly a half minute of amusement.

I give it a thumbs-down, only for the completist.

No comments: