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Travelling Alone

I started playing Traveller in 1978 with the original LBB set. Book 1 said Traveller could be played solo, but didn't say how. I followed the starting advice given in an early issue of White Dwarf and rolled a few planets, crewed up a Free Trader and started to get the hang of the rules by travelling around and trading. It was out of this that the system developed, but it is still being refined and modified.

The system is designed for solo play, but can also be used by a referee in an episodic campaign, or to set up events etc in advance.

The important thing to realize is that the system is not designed as a programmed paragraph adventure (although a later subsystem does use paragraphs.) It is designed to make you think, to create situations to spark your creativeness.

It is important to write things down as they occur; this is your personal history. It also provides continuity and it is scary sometimes how the game seems to take on a life of its own, with events 'just falling into place' (and past events providing justifications for present actions and incidents). In the example below, perhaps during the mini-scenario starting with the offer of an illegal cargo of drugs, Judson shoots and injures a police officer in getting away. Years later, that same police officer might turn up as a Chief Inspector when Judson is brought in on a minor charge. And he's got a long memory.

Have Fun!

Example

Lets take Judson Deathdancer, ex-Army, newly mustered out on Neu Regari. (Go to 1.)

At point 1, having assembled all characters, go to 2.

At 2, Judson has to pay Upkeep equal to Cr10 x SOC squared. Now throw 1D. A 3, so he goes now to 5 (Healing.)

At 5, He can heal if necessary, or pay for a prolonged stay in hospital, buy medikits or drugs, etc. Judson wants some Slow Drug; depending on the law level of the world you may have to set up a mini-scenario using bribery, streetwise, etc. Perhaps the cops get involved? Do as much detail as you want and play it out. At the end, throw 1D. A 1, so now go to 7 (Event)

At 7, throw D66 on Event Table, throw is 66, (offered illegal cargo, drugs.) Aha! In his earlier dealings trying to by the Slow Drug, did Judson come to the attention of the local crime boss and chief pusher? Is he being offered a job as a courier, or being set up a a fall guy? Roll up some characters for who's involved and design a scenario, then play it out... (etc,)

(Incidentally, all of that was rolled as I typed it, so none of it was preplanned to 'make it fit.')

Footnote: Clarification of Area 3 & 4, Buy/Sell ONE item or group of related items. This is deliberate, you can only buy one 50m length of rope or 24 bullets (or whatever). It is designed to a) stop players saying "right, we'll buy everything we need plus replace everything we used" and b) abstracts the fact that the item may not be available, that the shop was closed, that you forgot to buy it, it was out of stock, there was only one available or you ran out of time .... The later Buy/Sell area (13) does not have so many restrictions.

The Tables

A. Off-Time Flowchart

  1. Start. Assemble Characters. Once party is assembled,
    Go to (2) Upkeep
  2. Sell Cargo, pay Ship costs, pay Crew wages. All characters pay Cr10 x Soc2 for upkeep, clothes, etc. After accounting is completed, roll 1D6:
    1-2
    Go to (3) Buy Equipment
    3-4
    Go to (5) Healing
    5-6
    Go to (4) Sell Equipment
  3. Buy Equipment. Each PC may buy 1 item or group of related items of equipment. After purchase, roll 1D6:
    1-2
    Go to (4) Sell Equipment
    3-4
    Go to (5) Healing
    5
    Go to (7) Event
    6
    Go to (3) Buy Equipment
  4. Sell Equipment. PC's may sell any surplus equipment and/or curios they have collected. Equipment may be sold at 50% of base cost, curios etc. throw 9+ to find a buyer then negotiate. After sale is concluded, roll 1D6:
    1-3
    Go to (3) Buy Equipment
    4
    Go to (5) Healing
    5-6
    Go to (6) Event
  5. Healing. Recover Wounds or pay for Medical Aid. May also purchase medipacks, drugs etc.
    1
    Go to (7) Event
    2-3
    Go to (10) Seek Patron
    4-6
    Go to (8) Options
  6. Event. Roll on Event Table. Events may affect the whole group, or just an individual. Some have long-reaching effects, see Event Table for details. After dealing with the Event, roll 1D6:
    1-3
    Go to (8) Options
    4-6
    Go to (9) Healing
  7. Event. Roll on Event Table. Events may affect the whole group, or just an individual. Some have long-reaching effects, see Table for details.
    1-2
    Go to (8) Options
    3-4
    Go to (10) Seek Patron
    5
    Go to (12) Expenses
    6
    Go to (3) Buy Equipment
  8. Options. May take any Action, initiate new project, take a job etc.
    1-2
    Go to (11) Hear Rumour
    3-4
    Go to (13) Buy/Sell Equipment
    5
    Go to (10) Seek Patron
    6
    Go to (14) Encounter
  9. Healing. Recover Wounds or pay for Medical Aid. May also purchase medipacks, drugs etc.
    1-3
    Go to (13) Buy/Sell equipment
    4-5
    Go to (11) Hear Rumour
    6
    Go to (8) Options
  10. Seek Patron? Roll 1D (or choose using another method):
    1-4
    Generate Patron as per Chart C
    5-6
    Do not generate Patron

    Go to (11) Hear Rumour

  11. Hear Rumour. Roll on Rumour Table with appropriate mods. After generating rumor, roll 1D6:
    1-2
    Go to (8) Options
    3
    Go to (14) Encounter
    4-5
    Go to (9) Healing
    6
    Go to (13) Buy/Sell Equipment
  12. Misc. expenses. An unforeseen expense that must be paid. Roll 1D:
    1-2
    Cr100
    3-5
    Cr1 x Soc2
    6
    Cr5 x Soc2

    After payment, roll 1D6:

    1-3
    Go to (14) Encounter
    4-6
    Go to (16) End
  13. Buy/Sell Equipment. Group may buy/sell as much equipment as is desired.
    1
    Go to (14) Encounter
    2-6
    Go to (16) End
  14. Encounter. Group may encounter NPC's, Law Enforcers or even creatures.
    1-2
    No Encounter
    3
    Law Enforcers. Throw Law Level+ to avoid
    4-5
    Roll on Encounter table and check reaction
    6
    Animal. Roll on Animal Encounter Table for area

    After encounter, roll 1D6:

    1-4
    Go to (15) Healing
    5-6
    Go to (16) End
  15. Healing. Recover Wounds or pay for Medical Aid. May also purchase medipacks, drugs etc.
    Go to (16) End
  16. End. Either repeat cycle if a further week on planet is necessary, else roll for Cargo availability, passengers etc.

B. Selling Cargo

Throw for availability of Broker; DM's Streetwise, Bribery, Admin.

Broker Skill Available
on throw of
Broker-1 5+
Broker-2 7+
Broker-3 9+
Broker-4 11+

On an unmodified throw of 12 there is no broker available this week. PCs must cycle through Chart A and try again next week, or sell without a Broker.


C. Patron

  1. Roll Patron
  2. Generate Stats (if required), plus tags etc. See NPC creation.
  3. Generate mission (or select one,) decide if PC's will accept it (or roll 1D 1-3 = Yes; 4-6 = No)
  4. Return to Chart A (10)

D. Events

Events Throw D D ("D66")

11 Meet NPC
12 Meet new PC (a way to introduce new characters)
13 Legal encounter, throw Law Level+ to avoid
14 Gambling. Win Cr100 x (2D + Gambling)
15 Misc. expenses. Pay Cr50 x 1D
16 Receive a message from….

21 Patron encounter
22 Random encounter
23 Hear Rumour
24 Get involved in a brawl (fight it out)
25 Shot at by accident (throw 10+ to be hit)
26 Meet NPC

31 Opportunity to buy exotic item
32 Close relative dies (who?)
33 Inherit Cr100 x 3D
34 Weapon rendered permanently useless (e.g., gun jams, blade breaks, etc.)
35 Legal encounter, throw Law Level+ to avoid
36 Opportunity to buy property (may be worth rent etc.)

41 Hear some news about….
42 Opportunity to make TAS application (open entry)
43 Receive information about…
44 Meet NPC
45 Robbed/burgled. Lose 50% of possessions (divide into 2 piles, roll randomly for which one was lost.)
46 Mistaken identity (roll reaction)

51 Meet alien or group of aliens
52 Civil disorder on planet (why?)
53 Planetary event (volcanic eruption, earthquake, giant asteroid strike etc.)
54 Hear rumour
55 Patron encounter
56 A piece of equipment breaks down and needs to be fixed.

61 Papers/documents not in order. (compare mini-adventure Exit Visa)
62 Complication with cargo (sb)
63 Special charter (transport to…, act as bodyguard to…., etc.)
64 Asked to carry message
65 Gain a Contact or Favour owed by NPC (who, why and what)
66 Offered Illegal weapon/Black market goods/drugs etc.


Complication with cargo: There is a potential problem with any cargo that will be picked up in the End Phase. Once cargos are generated, throw for each, 9+ to have a potential problem. Then roll for where the problem is, this end or at the destination. If this end, then roll 1D to see what it is. If the destination, then do not roll until PC's get there!

  1. Needs special import/export license (see Chart A (8) Options).
  2. Damaged. Real value reduced by 10-30%
  3. Offensive stench will permeate LS system and make passengers unhappy
  4. Hazardous cargo, throw 12+/day in transit to leak/explode and damage cargo area
  5. Customs believe it is contraband and cargo is impounded
  6. Shipping manifest was wrong and half/double (roll) agreed amount has arrived