Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mongoose Traveller Core Rulebook MGP 3800 Part 2 Skills

Mongoose Traveller has taken the Classic Traveller 2d6+modifiers, beat a target score system and made it more consistent.  All skill roles are 2d6+modifiers, beat 8.  The amount you go over 8 on your total roll is called the "effect".  The effect determines how well you did.  An effect over 6 is, in d20 terms, a critical success.  Because it's a 2d6 it's very sensitive to modifiers, so that a plus or minus 1 is much more important than it would be on a flat d12 for example.

If you are completely untrained in a skill you have a minus 3 on your roll.  That moves your "must roll" number to 11+, assuming no characteristic modifiers.   If you have level 0 in a skill, you get no modifier, which makes your "must roll" number 8+, a much easier roll.  (41% vs 8%)

Skill rolls are ranked from "Easy" to "Formidable", which range from +6 to -6.  Most example skill rolls range from Routine (+2) to Difficult (-2).  Skill rolls are also ranked by how long it takes to make the check.  You can make a roll harder or easier  by taking less or more time to make the roll, with a DM or +/- per step up or down the scale.  You can also do an "Aid other" via task chains, which add a DM based on the  effect of each task in the chain to the next roll.  This doesn't help as much as it should
MTU errata. Instead of it ranging from -3 to +2, the full effect of the roll is added to the next roll in the chain

Some skills have specialties. Taking a level in a skill with a specialty normally gives you level 0 with the other specialties  in that skills.

The skill list:

Dealing with paper pushers, but not with legal issues
Dealing with legal issues
A very broad skill, ranging from simple riding through Veterinary, with a side of farming
This is a more important skill than it's name would reflect as one of it's specialites (co-ordination) is used for throwing weapons in combat
This covers all creative arts, acting, dance, holography etc
Plotting jumps. Vital for ship based games. Jumps don't happen until you pass an Astrogation check
Battle Dress
This is one of the few skill you simple have to have to use something and is not rolled vs much in game.
Vital for traders.
Yes, there is a skill for being a party animal
Aside for the obvious communications uses, it's also used for electronic warfare rolls
Using, programming and hacking computers
Lie, cheat and steal
Fun fact, it's harder to greet the Emperor than it is to negotiate a peace treaty
Ground based vehicles
Space ship repair.
Making things go bang with out hurting your self
Aircraft and Grav vehicles
Having this skill lets you add 1 to your cash mustering out rolls
Spaceship weapons
Gun Combat
Rifles, pistols, lasers, that sort of thing
Heavy Weapons
Any thing bigger than a small arm, to include the PGMG/FGMP things
Forensics etc.
Jack of all trades
A special skill. Each rank in it reduces your unskilled penalty by 1. Level 0 and more than 3 levels in the skill are useless. This skill can't be learned in game play and cost 5x normal cost if using the point by system. It's very powerful
Speaking, reading and writing a language other than your native language
Primary use is to increase initiative in combat
Fixing things that don't require the Engineer skill
Ranges from battle field first aid to surgery and long term care
Smacking people or monsters upside the head with various things.
A more informal version of diplomacy
Flying spaceships. Aircraft is covered by flyer
Seeing things that are either hidden or out of place
Remote Operations
Controlling drones, robots and the like
This is divided into Physical, Life, Social and Space sciences, each of which has their own specializations
The water version of Drive
Reading data from electronic sensor devices
The care and feeding of High and Middle passengers
Yo, keeping it real
Keeping it real in the woods
Covers board games to major fleet battles
Knowing how to produce a good or service.This is the exception to the rule that if you have level 1 in a specialty you have level 0 in the other specialties.
Vacc Suit
Knowing how to wear a vacc suit
Knowing how to move in micro gravity and using a grav belt


  1. Sounds as though they took a hard look at the Little Black Books (where the basic chance to hit in combat was an 8+) and extended that without the overhead of the task systems that bred in DGP material and infected later iterations of Traveller.

    I still dislike the idea (which I think also dates back to the LBBs) that "untrained" is different from "level zero". I don't mind separating the two states, but I'd much rather make level 0 the untrained state, level 1 basic familiarisation or a rather ungenerous default, and level 2 some actual training...

    Heh, I remember the FGMP-15. "You don't need to be in battle dress to fire it!" "Why... would I not be in battle dress?" Yeah, we were kind of munchkin in those days.

  2. The programmer in me likes the "your level with the skill is your modifier with the skill" aspect of level 0 vs level 1 with a skill, but I can see where some on else might be a bit confused with or not liking the 'there being a difference between "no skill" and "0 levels with a skill"' system.

    On character sheets that don't have all the skills listed, I normally just have the write the skill name down when they have 0 levels in it, then add a +1 etc when they get ranks.