So I made this super-simple Traveller character sheet that holds five PCs per page. Eight of them come with one of the pre-gens from Adveture 4: Leviathan already filled in for the first character. Like this:
Stupid red squiggly lines. Anyway, the eight pre-gens fill out the command staff of the ship nicely, putting the players in charge of the ship. The other four slots on each will be generated randomly using the normal methods and then jobs on the ship found for them. So, for example, if you put together a character with the skills Admin-1, Computer-1, Gunner-1 they could be assigned as the Boat Deck Officer (Admin-1, Comp-1 required) or as the Fire Control Officer (Comp-1, Gunner-1) or as one of the Computer Operators (Comp-1). Or anybody can wash dishes and chop onions as a Galley Hand, no skills required.
Each player operating a stable of up to five characters on the ship is advantageous in the following ways:
- Cuts down on my work fleshing out the rest of the crew.
- No need to send the whole dang command crew down with every landing party.
- Makes it easier to switch scenes "Meanwhile, back on the ship..."
- By running different PCs with different jobs, we all will get a better sense of how the ship operates.
- Combat in classic Trav is pretty brutal. It's good to have some back-ups ready.
- Gives the players a sense that there are people on the ship they can trust to handle things while they are planetside or whatever.
So which player gets to be the captain? Hell if I know. I think I'm just going to fling the charsheets down on the table and let the players work that out among themselves. If they can't figure it out that have no business flying a fifty billion credit starship into unknown space.