Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Any Planet Is Earth: Character Generation

After establishing intitial concept for Any Planet Is Earth, I've put together the service tables for terms served by players during character generation. You'll either roll for or select your starting service, roll 2d6 against the corresponding table, then either accrue skills or bonuses or roll against subtables for events, mishaps, and boons. In this manner I am scraping my favorite bits from the expanded Mongoose Traveller 2 career tables and stripping them of their context, allowing for players to come up with the context for their results or with help from the referee. This provides some easy worldbuilding while also setting up your character quickly with a lot of variablility.

Rather than break down every result, I'll post the tables here and allow them to speak for themselves.

Wonky blog formatting aside, there is a lot of dense information here which otherwise translates into tangible loadouts for new characters. Some may be more mundane with a few skill-ups and little more, while others may go through a roller-coaster of swingy results across multiple skill tables. 

In addition to term benefits, PCs begin play with a pair of magboots and 1d6-1 petty cash. Negotiate additional starting loadouts with the referee, as necessary. Additionally, upon retirement from all services, roll 1d6 against the tables below for each applicable term completed:

1. Handgun (1 tag)
2. Rifle/SMG (1 tag)
3. 2 petty cash
4. Armor +1
5. Armor +2
6. Knife (2x)

1. Armor +1 (1 tag)
2. Advanced medkit
3. Personal comm array
4. Handgun
5. Regional map
6. Vacc suit (light)

1. Trade contact
2. Government papers
3. Knife (subtle)
4. 2 petty cash
5. 1 asset
6. Pet (exotic)

I've borrowed the tag concept from Apocalypse Engine games, wherein a single descriptor can add a lot of flavor and utility to any given item/weapon/starship. Since Any Planet Is Earth is based far more on group/referee adjudication than hard codification of rules, the tags are meant to be vague. What is a freighter (antique) or a knife (messy)? What, ironically, is a shotgun (stealth)? Tease these out for yourself and inject it straight into the veins of the game world.

Wealth is abstracted here. Interstellar and even local solar travel renders central currency nearly irrelevant. Commerce on the scale of a ship and its crew has more to do with cargo manifests and trade goods than a stack of “credits.” As such, wealth across the stars is founded on barter, while local currencies still find use in any given port. This leaves us with three buckets, each measured on a 2d6 scale: petty cash, assets, and debt. Petty cash is daily/weekly spending, such as simple upkeep. Assets are an order of magnitude above petty cash, such as a full bay of trade goods or whole starships. Debt is the loans taken by the crew 1:1 for assets they cannot afford. Some debts are hard to repay.

PCs only record personal petty cash, while as a crew writ-large you maintain petty cash, assets, and debt. As a group, you and your peers begin with a serviceable courier (light), 0 assets, and 4 debt. This initial debt drives the crew to make good and repay for their loan against their courier.

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