BROWNCOAT ID#:4204   SINCE: 2004.01.20 16:56   LAST HERE: 2006.10.13 23:52   CREDITS: 1





Sunday, July 25, 2004 10:51:11 AM

Ok, here was my thumbnail of Mal before:

Mal UPP 88B966
5 terms. 2 peacetime Army, 2 wartime Army (Browncoat), 1 Rogue or Merchant
Total Skill Points: 15
Rank: E-4 (Platoon Sergeant)

So, now a little discussion of how I can up with this and some more detail. First, the UPP (Universal Personal Profile) (for those unfamiliar with Traveller, that string of numbers after Mal’s name).

Strength: 8 Ok, since CT/MT uses 2d6, you get a range of 2-12 with 7 being dead average. Mal’s a strong guy, but not super strong, and as we saw in Trash, not really ‘cut’ so to speak. So an 8, above average, but not so much.

Dexterity: 8 Ok, once again, Mal is good on his feet, but not super good. I might be persuaded to up this to a 10 to give him an advantageous DM with an auto-pistol, but I’m not sure that isn’t more a result of experience (skills) over natural talent.

Endurance: B (11) This comes from War Stories. Mal’s tough, that’s what gives him his physical edge more than anything.

All in all, this give Mal 6 points of advantage over an average Joe (777). Seems about right to me.

Intelligence: 9 Mal is one smart character (no pun intended). He’s usually (but not quite always) one step ahead. I think a 9 is about right.

Education: 6 Traveller Education is kind of an odd thing. A 7 means an associates degree, but you could roll up a character with a C (12) which is a post doctorate level of education at 18 (and with an intel of 2 theoretically), so I modified it a little in my system so that no one can get above a 7 just by rolling and an average character will get a 5, 6, or 7. So, a 6 is a high school education. There’s never been any hint that Mal went to college, so 7 or higher is out. It’s also not clear that he went to high school either, but he could have picked up some education points along the way in his prior service as well.

Social Standing: 6 Mal is one of those guys just on the edge of respectability. He was probably upper middle class (his family owned a ranch with lots of employees at one time), an 8 maybe, but that standing has taken a hit after being on the loosing side of the war. Mal’s respectable enough to move in higher circles and disrespectable enough not to be too out of place on the underside of society. A 6 seems right there.

Prior Service and Skills.

Ok, now is when the back story becomes important. You have to make some assumptions about the society in order to model it in a game system that produces characters by having them live a good part of their life before they start ‘adventuring.’ So, in Mal’s case, here are some assumptions that went into the model.

Browncoats, who were they? My take it that the Browncoats were a frontier militia set up to protect the fringe and the new colonies from Reaver attacks. In terms of the CG system, that means that Mal could be a Browncoat before the war starts, and based on his experience and rank at the end of the war, he was probably in the military before it began. We may learn in the BDM that that’s not the case, but for now, it works for me.

So, before the war, Mal was in the Army career. Now, my Firefly Traveller system has a couple of tweaks form the original CT/MT system, so that it allows for enlisted ranks and promotion with out having to used the advanced CG system. That boosts the number of skills you can earn per term. I also have a system for what MT calls ‘special duty’, but you could just used the MT system if you wanted to (it’s simpler, you just roll one die and based on the career, if you beat a 4, 5, or 6 you get another skill for that term).

So, basically, a character is eligible for 1 skill per term automatically, 1 skill if they get promoted, 1 skill of they get special duty, plus an extra skill for ‘basic training’ the first year they are in a service. You can also get a couple of default skills based on where you grew up, so, Mal probably gets equestrian and a weapon’s skill for growing up on the fringe. So, looking at the tables and the modification that I’ve made you can get a general picture of how many skills Mal would get through the CG process, plus the fact that he’s in his late 30s means pretty much a max of 5 four year terms (18 when he starts plus 20 years of service would put him at 38, just about the right age).

So, before the war starts, 2 terms in the Army. That gives him 1 skill for basic training (combat rifleman), and 1 skill for each term (up to 3 now), plus we’ll figure he will get promoted at least once in those two terms, so that’s another skill (up to 4), and special duty once (the special duty roll for the Army is 4+ so every other term is average) (up to 5 now).

The war starts at the end of his second term and the special rules I listed in my last post go into effect. Those pretty much guarantee that Mal will get promoted and get special duty for both terms of the war. So, 2 more terms, that’s 2 more skills (up to 7 now), plus 2 more promotions and 2 more special duties (which is pretty much automatic from browncoats in the war) puts the total skills up to 11. After the war, he has to muster out, and might pick up another couple of skills or a couple of adds to his UPP (under the rules I did in my last post, browncoats can’t roll on the money table, only the benefits table). So, it could be up to 13 skill points by now depending on the rolls.

After the war, a term in a new career means at least 2 more automatic skills plus a possible 3 more (position, which I never took into account in the Army career because Mal was never an officer (at least from all we have seen), but he could have gotten one after the war in a new career, plus promotion and special duty, so that pushes the possible skills up to 16, and he gets to muster out again. Add in the default skills for growing up on the fringe, and you’re up to 18 potential skill points. The only catch here is that in Traveller you’re limited to the number of skill points equal to your Intelligence + your Education, so Mal can’t have more than 15 skills. So, some of those skill roles must have gone into personal development (boosting up his UPP).

So, now we have a little clearer picture of who Mal is and where he came from, we can fill in some more. I’m assuming that Mal went into the Merchant career after the war to explain his understanding of how to captain a ship. Drawing from the skills available to the Army and the Merchant career, we could easily come up with this profile.

Malcolm Reynolds, UPP 88B966 Age 38
5 terms. 2 peacetime Army, 2 wartime Army (Browncoat), 1 Merchant
Equestrian 1, Combat Rifleman 1, Auto Pistol 2, Leadership 3, Tactics 2, Streetwise 2, Smuggling 1, Broker 1, Vacc Suit 1, _________ 1
Total Skill Points: 15
Rank: E-4 (Platoon Sergeant)

So, there’s Mal, with a little space for the skill of your choice.

One last thing, at 34 and 38 Mal would have had to roll for aging and risk losing some of his physical stats. I’m just assuming that it didn’t have any significant effect, or he was just lucky and didn’t lose any.