Career Book 2
This article originally appeared in Issue #002 of the downloadable PDF magazine.
Career Book 2. John Griffiths, Richard Hazelwood, and Nik Kraakenes
Spica Publishing Ltd. http://www.spicapublishing.co.uk
Careers Book 2, published by Spica Publishing Limited, was written by John Griffiths, Nik Kraakenes and Richard Hazelwood. This book continues what started in Careers Book One; like the first, this book introduces a number of careers, and is clearly written and well laid out with good art. It is compatible with the new edition of Traveller by Mongoose Publishing.
CB2 also introduces two alternative background skills options—one based on homeworld and the other on education and intelligence—along with an alternative injury table and a university and graduate school. This is a good addition, as it allows the creation of better-educated characters, though just like in real life it doesn’t necessarily do anything for that character’s intelligence. The book has some additional mustering out benefits: for example, it has surveillance equipment, a sports flyer (a high-speed grav bike) and a new type of ship, the Explorer-class, which is a high-tech vessel which can be used as a step up from the standard Type S ship. My only complaint with the vessel and the sports flyer is that the vessel is TL 15 and the sports flyer is TL 14; I’d have felt they’d do well with TL 12-13 versions of each (but keep in mind that in my opinion, Mongoose Traveller equipment is often introduced at a much higher tech level than is really realistic).
The careers themselves—Athlete, Chancer, Companion, Cosmonaut, Enforcer, Insurgent, Media Practitioner, Mystic Warrior, Politician, Port Authority, Prisoner, Puppeteer, Secret Police and Slave—are, like in CB1, additions to or expansions of (in the case of the Athlete and Media Practitioner) the careers available in Mongoose Traveller. These careers each have three specialties; for example, the Secret Police has Spetznatz, who are the jackbooted thugs, Analyzers and Plainclothesmen—who are watching everything that goes on. These careers are used in the same way that the core careers and the careers presented in CB1, and do very well in expanding the options available for character creation. Indeed, the Prisoner career is a good addition because it opens up a description of what can happen to a fringe character, such as the Insurgent, the Chancer or the Enforcer, or to a military character who gets sent to a POW camp. “Slave” as a career choice may be offensive to some, as it does start the character out as the property of another, but it does allow for a very interesting campaign element to be introduced, even when used to generate NPCs; this is smiliar to the Companion career, which is essentially a prostitute (but depending on your views on the topic, it can be used to create characters like Inara from the show Firefly). But again, this can be used to add color and campaign twists to your game if you are willing to use them.
My primary questions involve the Insurgent, Mystic Warrior and the Puppeteer: an Insurgent, which for this book is the career for those who support a revolution but are not actually fighters, sounds more like an armed rebel such as the Guerilla career in Mongoose’s Mercenary book, while the Mystic Warrior, which is a career path for those who pursue enlightenment through martial art, has a description stating that it would be ideal for an alien culture which pursues such, and the Puppeteer sounds perfect for Hivers. These two should perhaps allow for usage by humans as well. Further, some of the careers, such as the Athlete and Slave, deal with characters gaining addictions to various substances as mishaps; this mishap should be expanded upon to give rules for handling addictions in play.
In short, Spica Publishing Limited’s Career Book 2 is a worthy addition to its burgeoning product line. I recommend buying it, as it provides several new careers and new equipment to the Traveller series, which can be used to expand your campaign.