The Tavrchedl’: A Zhodani Classic Traveller Career
This article appeared in the August 2014 issue.
The rules presented here require that the player has both a set of basic rules for Classic Traveller (Traveller Basic Set, Traveller: Starter Edition, Deluxe Traveller, or The Traveller Book) and the Classic Traveller Alien Module 4: Zhodani. All of the required material is also available on the Classic Traveller Canon on CD-ROM available from Far Future Enterprises.
Alien Module 4: Zhodani presents slightly less than a page of information on the role of the Tavrchedl’ in Zhodani society. That information allows for both the unfavorable Imperial interpretation of the ‘Thought Police’ engaging in ‘brainwashing’, and a more favorable Zhodani interpretation of guardians protecting the stability and mental health of their society. This career is designed for Zhodani characters, and is generally supportive of the Zhodani view.
Creating a Tavrchedl’ Character
Create a Zhodani character as outlined in Alien Module 4: Zhodani, including testing for Psionic talents. Resolve a career as per the Alien Module 4: Zhodani rules, but use the tables below. There is one special rule, regarding assignment to the Civilian Branch or the Military Branch.
Civilian Branch or Military Branch?
Most Tavrchedl’ members are in the civilian branch, in a role that is almost entirely that of a social service or medical service. There is, however, an arm of the Tavrchedl’ associated with the military, under the control of the Consular Guard, and responsible for operating within the military, or outside the Consulate. Characters always start in the Civilian Branch, and may be moved between branches later on during the career. On successful reenlistment, roll 2D for 10+ for transfer. If this roll succeeds, the character is transferred to the other branch. On the first transfer to the Military Branch, award the Guard service skills to the character (Blade Cbt-1, and +1 Psi for Nobles). Subsequent transfers to the Military Branch do not award any additional skills. A character’s Guard rank is one lower than their civilian rank; the roll for position and promotion directly adjusts the civilian rank, not the Guard rank, even if the character is assigned to the Military Branch when promoted. Character that are currently assigned to the Military Branch may roll skills on either the Tavrchedl’ skill tables below, or on the Guard tables in Alien Module 4: Zhodani. All other aspects of career resolution continue to use the Tavrchedl’ tables following.
Proles in the Tavrchedl’
Although the enlistment requirements are biased toward encouraging Nobles and Intendants to join, it is possible for Proles to join. Proles are never transferred to the Military Branch; those roles are handled by low-ranking Guard members. Advancement is limited to a maximum rank of Counselor for Proles, and then only if the Prole has at least either Psychology-1 or Non-Verbal Communication-1.
Adventuring With Tavrchedl’ Characters
On Active Duty
Occasionally, it may be necessary for the Tavrchedl’ to search for and capture a Zhodani in need of reeducation. This can be a source of adventure. Naturally, the target is considered insane, even if the reason for reeducation is not the commission of an Insane Crime—after all, what sane Zhodani would try to avoid being helped? Characters on such missions within Consulate space will have expenses paid by the Tavrchedl’; if the mission takes them out of the Consulate, the character will get advance cash for expenses, and, when needed, may get expenses for the mission reimbursed at any Zhodani diplomatic facility.
Retired Tavrchedl’ Characters
As with any retired character, a retired Tavrchedl’ character may undertake any adventurous activities he desires. However, the Tavrchedl’ will ‘keep tabs’ on him, so as to be able to request assistance in cases where the character has a special ‘knack’ for dealing with the problem. This is especially true if the character has a Special psionic talent. If a retired character engages in what the Zhodani call Incited Crime or Insane Crime, an approach by active-duty Tavrchedl’ personnel will quickly be made, and the character will be expected to cooperate. An uncooperative character will be judged insane, and a concerted effort to capture the character for reeducation will be made.
|Tavrchedl’ Career Resolution Sequence|
|Enlistment||Survival||Position||Promotion*||Reenlistment||Transfer (except Proles)|
|DM +1 if||INT 8+||-||SOC B+||PSI A+||-||-|
|DM +2 if||SOC A+||EDU 9+||-||-||-||-|
|DM +3 if||PSI 9+||-||PSI A+||-||-||-|
|* Proles limited to rank 2 if Non-Verbal Communication 1+ or Psychology 1+; rank 1 otherwise|
|Tavrchedl’ Acquired Skills Table|
|Personal Development||Service Skills||Education||Noble and Intendant Education
(characters with SOC A+ only)
|3||+1 END||Gun Cbt||Non-Verbal Communication||Awareness|
|4||+1 INT||Liaison||Liaison||+1 PSI|
|5||+1 EDU||Brawling||Computer||Non-Verbal Communication|
|Rank Titles and Service Skills|
|Mustering Out Tables|
|4||Legion of Merit||10,000|
|DM +1 for Material Benefits if Rank 5+ or SOC B+
DM +1 for Cash if Retired (4+ terms). Nobles receive double cash.
Adventure Seed: Shtiz Bralzastebr
As a subject of reeducation in the past, Shtiz Bralzastebr is kept on a list of ‘persons of interest’ to the Tavrchedl’. Since his reeducation, Bralzastebr has been an upstanding citizen. However, recently, his shields have been seen to have slipped, briefly revealing emotional states that are potentially worrisome. He is also seen to be spending much time reexamining records of his naval and government careers, and data concerning the Imperium in Tloql (Spinward Marches) and Idrflanta (Trojan Reach) sectors. As a noble, his claims of an interest in opening trade missions with the Imperium and the Aslan are accepted when a Tavrchedl’ Therapist interviews him (without using Telepathy); his professing to have taken up approved therapeutic meditative exercises also acts to assuage their concerns.
Some time after Bralzastebr has successfully found financing for the trade mission, and departed for Idrflanta, the reeducation division reports that certain processes used in reeducation can, under very specific circumstances, lead to a breakdown and failure of reeducation many years later. Bralzastebr is identified as being at particular risk. He must be examined, and if he is beginning to break down, reeducation using newer and more advanced techniques must be carried out. A ship is chartered, and a Tavrchedl’ team sent after Bralzastebr.
Possible Directions to Take This Adventure
- Bralzastebr is fine. His interest in the area, and his prior career, was to find potential contacts.
- Bralzastebr’s reeducation is beginning to show signs of breakdown. When this is explained, he will immediately cooperate in returning for corrective reeducation.
- Bralzastebr is beginning to be erratic. His crew has noticed, but don’t seem concerned. He will resist reeducation to the point of causing an embarrassing scene, after which he will abruptly reverse himself and ask for Tavrchedl’ help.
- Bralzastebr is definitely erratic. He will refuse to submit to an interview with the Tavrchedl’. If forcibly examined, it will be apparent that he needs immediate reeducation.
- Bralzastebr is showing signs of a breakdown. His crew is concerned, and ready to mutiny to get him to help when the Tavrchedl’ arrived.
- The PCs encounter Bralzastebr’s ship on its way back to the Consulate. Bralzastebr is restrained, and ranting about a mutiny. Clearly, he has had a breakdown, and desperately needs help, to the point that his crew has mutinied to get him to it.
The referee should determine the future direction of this adventure.