T5 Book 1 Errata

I first published this in my T5 Discussion Group, on the social media platform MeWe.

This is a list of typos I have found in my first read through the printed books. I’m sure this list isn’t complete, and almost every one I spotted is very minor.

P 36, 3rd paragraph, 3rd line: Missing a period.

P 36, 3rd paragraph, 4th line: The comma after ‘match’ should be a period.

P 90 SHIP SHARES TABLE: Free Trader is listed as being ‘on loan’. I think this is actually supposed to apply to the Yacht…

P 134 Knowledge Example in column 2, on top:
The example in the text lists the character receiving only one (1) level of Knowledge in M-Drives from ANM School. ANM School provides TWO skill levels. So the example should reflect a total of 4 skill points, not 3.

P 137 under Animal Trainer skill: The two task examples are both listed as Difficult, but the first one lists only a 2D roll. Either the number or the stated difficulty is incorrect. My hunch is the number is wrong.

P 141 Broker Skill, column 2:
“Broker is a Mod (equals half Broker skill, rounded up) on the Actual Value Table (to a maximum of Broker-4).”
This wording is unclear. Is the maximum skill you can use equal to Broker-4 (and thus +2), or the max bonus?
Based on previous game versions, I’m going with a max bonus of +4 (assuming Broker-7 or greater).

P 145 Dancer Skill:
“To identify a dance by ethnic or regional origin
Hopeless (6D) < Edu + Dancer +
Dancer skill is optional (but helpful)”
Dancer Skill should be in brackets, as it is optional, not Dance Fame.

P 148 Explosives: A blank line is missing between the two task examples.

P 148 Fighter: Under ‘Fighter is a default skill’.
“Most people are able to engage of a fight” should read “engage IN a fight”.

P 150 Forward Observer: Under ‘Interaction of the FO and the Gunner”.
‘A Forward Observer is useful if’.
There should be a colon (:) after if.

P 151 Gambler: 1st sentence: “Gambler (Gambling) is skill in variety…” Should read “skill in A variety…”

P 160 Seafarer: There should be a blank line between the end of the Sapper section and Seafarer.

P 166-167 The following listings need a period at the end of its sentence.
Archeology; Biology; Chemistry; History; Linguistics; Philosophy; Physics; Planetology; Robotics; and Sophontology.

P 168 Talents
The sentence at the top of the page is missing a period.

P 169 Hypno Talent: Column 2, top:
“Hypno interacts with non-player characters find answers to questions and to force compliance or action.”
This sentence is vaguely worded/muddled, as written.
“Interacts with non-player characters TO find answers…”

P 169 Intuition:
“Using Talents”: this should be BOLD format.

Last Paragraph, there is a space missing before the last sentence.

Last Sentence: “…a period of at least a month without Talent:Intuition”.
Should read: “…a period of at least a month without USING Talent:Intuition.”

P 171 RAGE Talent
The end of the 1st sentence has a comma, but should be a period.

P 176 Q2 QREBS
On Table, Item #4 Bulk/Burden: needs a period.

P 206 “The Tactics Mode”
In the example under The Tactics Mod Grant on page 207, it lists the Sergeant’s Tactics Mod as “14”. Either this is a typo, or the Tactics Mod also includes a pc’s Edu score – which is highly unlikely, as anyone he assisted would rarely miss!
The Mod in this example should be 6.

P 208
Under the Combat Example for “Immediate Action”, column 1, paragraph 3, it reads, “At the same time, the group’s Communicator has hit once…”
Replace ‘has’ with WAS.

That’s it! It’s obvious (to me, anyway ? ) the sections with more charts were more carefully edited and proofread.

There may be mistakes in the charts, but it will likely take gameplay to find them…

I hope this helps someone out there! If you find others which I have missed, please let me know in the comments.

Have a great day, play some Traveller (or other board game/RPG), and Keep On Travelling!

#traveller #traveller5 #T5 #rpg #scifirpg #travellerrpg #errata #travellererrata #traveller5errata #T5errata #classictraveller #otu

T5 Has Arrived!

I’ve been “rather busy” the past few weeks, so I haven’t been keeping up on my planned posts. Too much yard work, too many minor house repairs.

But today changes that, as my order for the latest Traveller release has arrived! (The fact it’s snowing helps, as well…)

As is usual with Marc Miller/FFE products, the quality is excellent. I’ve been reading and using the PDF files since they were released, but nothing satisfies like a book in the hand…

Sorry for the lousy pic; my phone’s camera lens is badly scratched; I need to get that replaced soon… Glad I have full replacement coverage! But I ramble.

Now, to get reading, and get to work on Traveller projects! Anyone in the Minneapolis area looking for a game soon? I’ll even run.

#traveller #travellerrpg #T5 #traveller5 #scifi #scifirpg #classictraveller #oldschoolrpg #OTU

Terraforming Worlds in The Doldrums Setting

[With apologies for posting later than I wished; I’m on vacation this week, the weather is cooperating (mostly). I’ve been getting yard projects done – finally!]

In the Dumarest Saga by E. C. Tubb, which my Doldrums setting is based upon, many, many worlds in the setting have been Terraformed (planet-formed) during distant eras of humanity’s expansion through the stars.

To simulate this in my Doldrums campaign I was going to create a list of tables and die rolls, along with requirements, modifiers, etc, to simulate a variety of factors, reflecting the potential a world was actually Terraformed.

Upon reflection, it would have been a fair bit of work just to set up, and cumbersome to use, with little actual advantage gained. So I scrapped that idea. Figuring there has to be an easier way, I came up with a much simpler option.


If a world as rolled isn’t ‘optimal’ for human habitation, I use the following criteria to determine if Terraforming has occured. First, the world must be within these ranges:

Size from 3 to 9; Atmosphere from 2 to 9; and Hydrographics under A (10).

Assuming the world falls within these ranges, I allow for One (1) change of its Atmosphere rating, and One (1) change of its Hydrographics rating. We are assuming very high technology was available at some point, as well as time to make these changes, so there should have been ample opportunities for them to have been made.


If Atmosphere is any rating other than 6 (Standard), it changes as follows:

  • 2 (Very Thin) becomes 5 (Thin)
  • 3 (Very Thin, Tainted) becomes 4 (Thin, Tainted)
  • 4 (Thin, Tainted) becomes 5 (Thin)
  • 5 (Thin) becomes 6 (Standard)
  • 6 (Standard) remains unchanged
  • 7 (Standard, Tainted) becomes 6 (Standard)
  • 8 (Dense) becomes 6 (Standard)
  • 9 (Dense, Tainted) becomes 8 (Dense)


For high tech cultures, it is a fairly simple (if time consuming) process to increase a planet’s Hydrographics rating: simply drop a number of ice planetoids on the surface. Removing vast quantities of water, however, is probably not done.

Thus, if Hydro is 0, add 1d3 to it.

If Hydro is from 1 to 3, add 1d2 to it.

Any other Hydrographics rating remains unchanged.


I toyed with the idea of assigning a Compatibility Rating to each world. This would represent the compatibility of local life forms to Terran ones – i.e., how Edible they are. But I decided this was relatively unworkable. This is a GAME, after all, not a simulation.

So instead I decided on a ‘Dominance’ stat. [This may have another name, assigned later.] This represents how much Terran (or Terran-based) life forms have adapted to, or come to dominate, the planet’s ecology. This allows a high degree of familiarity for players, as Terran-style lifeforms are ‘everywhere’ – though they may very well have changed over the millenia.

Basically, I roll 2D, with the following DMs:

  • +1 if Hydrographics 6+
  • +2 if Atmosphere 5, 6, or 8

Results compared to this chart:

  • Less than 8: under 10%
  • 8 to 11: (2d * 5)%
  • 12 or more: (2d + 80)%

This system should suffice for what I want for this setting. While it will make for a number of ‘similar’ worlds, this setting is less about exploring new worlds, and more about human interactions, as well as trying to figure out just what the heck is going on.

Oh, and surviving, of course!


Well, that’s it for this installment regarding the Doldrums setting. As always, I look forward to any discussions, ideas, and the like!

Keep on Travelling!

#traveller #travellerrpg #scifi #scifirpg #classictraveller #ct #traveller20 #t20 #traveller4 #t4 #marcmillerstraveller #gurpstraveller #mtu #dumarestsaga #homebrew #homebrewcampaign #campaignbuilding #mongoosetraveller

Mapping The Doldrums

Now that I’ve decided on starship drive basics for my The Doldrums setting, a campaign based on E.C. Tubb’s Dumarest saga, I can get the map basics down.

I had initially toyed with the concept of a 3D map. An hour of running some basic numbers and plotting, and I quickly gave up on that idea.

TOO MUCH WORK, even if you have a good desktop computer (I don’t even have a bad one right now, sadly), and it would look discombobulated and messy as heck if I were to plot it on paper (I am no artist.)

So standard issue Traveller maps it is. Sometimes the old/basic ways are best.

I will set star system density to ‘sparse’ in most regions (star system presense per hex of 1-2 on 1d6), as I don’t want too many systems present (for that frontier/backwater feel).

When placing systems on the map, I will try to maintain that ‘frontier’ feel. If there are too many systems, or too many clusters of systems, I will remove or relocate systems, until the region ‘looks right’.

Other than determining if any stellar anomalies are present in the region, I think I’m set for mapping basics; if I’ve missed something glaringly obvious, let me know!

Now, to start rolling systems. 😊

As always, let me know what you think, if I’ve missed anything, or any cool ideas I could add in.

Keep on Travelling!

#travellerrpg #classictraveller #CT #T20 #traveller20 #megatraveller #mongoosetraveller #cepheusengine #traveller5 #T5 #rpg #scifirpg #sciencefictionrpg #doldrumscampaign #doldrumscampaignsetting

Drives in the Doldrums Setting

So I’ve decided to create a Traveller RPG setting based heavily on E.C. Tubb’s iconic Dumarest saga, which I named The Doldrums. The first major decision to make is how FTL travel will work.


I want the setting to reflect the long travel times hinted at in the Dumarest books. However, no actual travel times are listed within them (“travel at the speed of plot”). I could just go with the standard times used in the Traveller rules – 7 days, approximately, per jump) – but I wanted to do things differently. I want distant, isolated systems to be just that – distant and isolated. So rather than place systems farther out/apart, I decided to change the time in Jump space.

What I decided on is a base time in Jump of around 1 day’s travel per light year (LY), making the drives act more similar to a hyperdrive (though still being a Jump drive). As travel time between two neighboring systems (1 parsec/hex/3.26 light years apart) would be around 3.5 days (not nearly long enough for my liking), I added 3 days to the base travel time (6.5 days for Jump-1; 22.5 days for Jump-6).

To keep with the concept of variable time in jump, I’m going with a Flex roll (1D6 minus 1D6) multiplied by 0.25 days, added to the base time. I’m using this to simulate navigational requirements, such as avoiding minor stars or gravitational anomalies, and so forth. This puts a normal jump-1 (3.26 LY, or 6.5 days) at anywhere from 5.25 to 7.75 days. A Jump-6 would be 22.5 days, plus Flex time (21.25 to 23.75 days). This is more than sufficient to create that ‘separated’ feel, so necessary for backwater or frontier regions.

Jumps of longer than 6 parsecs ARE possible, but become increasingly difficult. Few astrogators (or ship owners) would dare attempt such a dangerous transit, and most wouldn’t have enough fuel or provisions for it, either. Such a risky jump would require guts, high skill, and planning. Or desperate player characters!

Unlike most Traveller games/settings, there is only one level of jump drive. I haven’t decided on the exact size requirements just yet, but they will NOT require a separate fuel source, and will be much larger than the standard drives listed in the T5 rules.


Power plants will also be different. They will be twice the sizes listed, and require the listed operations fuel per week, rather than per month.


For maneuver drives, I don’t really feel like dealing with ‘realistic’ drives; it’s too much work for this old geek, so I’m leaving maneuver drives (STL) unchanged. It’s a science fiction setting, right?


These modifications should give the right ‘feel’ I want in the Doldrums setting, reflecting the longer travel times and isolated feel of many systems within the Dumarest novels.

If you haven’t read these books, they are highly recommended! They are considered to be a major literary influence on Traveller.

As always, I am interested in what you think of my ‘chattering’, and am open to constructive criticism, questions, and ideas. Feel free to leave a comment.

Thank you for your time, and Keep On Travelling!

#traveller #travellerrpg #traveller5 #traveller5rpg #classictraveller #CT #sciencefiction #sciencefictionrpg #rpg #scifirpg #traveller20 #T20 #dumarestsaga #ectubb

Now entering – The Doldrums!

No, I’m not sad nor depressed! Doldrums is the name for a new Traveller rpg campaign setting I am creating. While the name is lackluster, at best, and the setting isn’t even that original (far from it; true originality is difficult to attain these days, alas), it will at least be full of adventuring opportunities!

This setting is *heavily* based on the classic Dumarest saga, written by E.C. Tubb over several decades. There are NO non-human intelligences. Worlds are mostly independent, and must be self-sufficient for most basic resources, as trade can be spotty. Most space vessels are tramp ships (free traders), usually under 500-tons displacement (Td). Ships over 1000-Td are rare, indeed, and ships over 2000-Td are almost unheard of. New ships are rare, with most ships being hundreds of years old, and in various states of repair (or disrepair…) and maintenance.

Humans have expanded out for millenia. Indeed, as in Tubb’s classic series, the home world is lost or forgotten; few people even believe humans derived from merely one little planet. And frankly, most people don’t really care. Besides, who would name a planet “Dirt”?

Technology, in Traveller terms, hovers around TL (tech level) 8. Most backwater worlds (where players will spend most of their time) vary in TL from 4 (post American Civil War/pre WW1) to 7 (Korean/Vietnam War era).
Most starships are around TL 9, with the possibility of a rare TL 10 item or two. Rumors of higher TL gear are probably just that – rumors. Really. You listen to rumors? 😁

Tech development is extremely slow, if it advances at all. It certainly isn’t increasing on the fringes. It almost seems as if it has come to a stop, as has human expansion and curiosity. Thus the odd setting name…

Terraforming was widely utilized in many human expansion eras, so much so that almost every world inhabited by humans has equivalent, Terran-based lifeforms. These may have completely overrun the local ecology, may exist in harmony with local forms, or may fill small niches locally.


This setting will NOT be using the classic Traveller jump drive. In sticking with a Dumarest-style setting, FTL drive is more similar to a hyperdrive. These drives will require no significant fuel, but will be much larger; they are also subject to greater gravitational interference. Rate of FTL travel is about a light year (LY) per day. Some ship engineers may know a few tricks to shave some time off these totals. These little secrets could save time, but may also involve significant danger if not performed properly…

Ships will almost always travel along known routes, where the chances of navigational errors and gravitic anomalies are lowest. Travel to new/unknown systems is *dangerous*; few sane ship captains will risk their vessels on such journeys. Player characters, however, are known to be risk takers…

Systems not listed on the normal space charts could contain ‘anything”. Most will be empty systems, containing little more than rocks. But there’s always a slight chance of a lost colony or outpost, hidden pirate base, and other such fun. Smart players will do significant investigation before making such forays.

I could rattle on and on, of course, but that’s boring. Suffice it to say I have given myself another largish project to fill the upcoming winter nights with plenty of creation and die rolling. 😁

I am always interested in ideas from others! If you have any idea which might fit in with this setting, or improve it, leave a comment!

Keep on Travelling!

#travellerrpg #rpg #scifi #CT #T20 #sciencefictionrpgs #classictraveller #megatraveller #mongoosetraveller #rpgsettings #sciencefictionrpgsetting #dumarestsaga #ectubb #travellerblog #hiverlord

Fame in T5

Traveller5 (T5) adds a new statistic called Fame. Players gain Fame mainly through the career process (character generation). Fame is typically gained for medals (military), rank in the various services (military, scholar, etc), and other actions. Rogues, for example, gain Fame (Infamy, perhaps, or “Street Cred”, if you will) for completing Schemes – and gain more fame for failing at a Scheme (Notoriety).
The greatest Fame increases are gained by Nobles (as leaders, or potential leaders, in the Third Imperium setting, people Pay Attention to them), and Entertainers. Indeed, an Entertainer’s entire career is based around his or her Fame and perceived Talent. (Actual talent in the profession matters little; look to the Kardasian family as a modern day example…)

So how is Fame used in the game? And are there any discrepancies in the rules, or sections which need clarification? Let’s take a look at some instances.


From the T5.10 PDF file, p. 91: “Fame stacks. A character’s Fame is the sum of all Fame points received to 20; beyond 20, only the highest fame applies.”

The wording here is, in my opinion, a little vague. Are the Fame values received in the order listed on the Fame charts, and once Fame=20 only the highest applies? Can a player add all the smaller levels of Fame he receives, then apply the highest to put him over 20 (potentially)? Or are they received in Career order – meaning you apply Fame received in each career served, and only apply the highest after this point, once Fame=20? My guess and suggestion is this last option is the correct interpretation for most careers, as it makes the most sense. Entertainers determine Fame throughout their career, determining their base Fame. Any additional Fame gained is added to this total, with only the highest bonus being applied once Fame reaches 20 or greater.


From the T5.10 PDF file, p. 36: “Fame is notoriety, or reputation. Fame is the degree of recognition or respect which society (or subdivisions of society) holds for an individual. Fame is not a guarantee of recognition; it is the likelihood that a search of documents or databanks will return information about the individual, or that a discussion will include reference to the person.

Outside of this statement, there are no rules written detailing how Fame is used within the three PDFs. The statement itself, however, gives clues to how a referee may utilize it.


A PC or NPC’s Fame level indicates the area where he or she is most likely to be recognized; for instance, Retired Navy Captain Eneri Jansen is from Regina system, an important frontier Capital. Eneri has Fame=17; he is “well-known” in two systems. Most likely these systems are Regina and Jenghe (a neighboring world which is owned by Regina). Both are worlds with advanced technology; each has an accessible public databank. A search of these databanks would require a Task similar to this:

To search for public information on Eneri Jansen (Difficult, 3D), Edu + Computer. If search time matters, use a base of 10 minutes (10-60 minutes total).

Note that this search would only turn up publically-available data; other information may require access to non-public databanks (and possibly requiring addition rolls of much greater difficulty to access, then search). Also note that the Task difficulty level is set to “Difficult” (3D) by default; there are A LOT of people on an individual world (sometimes in the billions), and many names will be repeated quite a bit. Computer skill becomes important in any data query, representing knowledge and experience with asking the correct questions…

Such a search can be adapted to each situation, as local conditions – and player actions and background – dictate. For example, if Eneri was involved in a famous battle against pirates, the referee could reduce the difficulty down to 2D – or even 1D, if ‘everyone’ knows about the incident. Conversely, the difficulty could be increased by +1D or +2D if the incident was hushed up as an embarrassment. If this were the case, Spectacular Failure on the search roll may bring authorities (or worse) to investigate the enquery, attempted security breach, etc.
Searches conducted outside the player or NPC’s ‘Fame area’ would be increased in difficulty, say +1D in the rest of the Subsector, +2D in neighboring Subsectors, or +3D in further regions. Such searches and tasks are subject to referee interpretation in all cases, as the situation (or player actions) dictate.


Or, “Don’t you know who I am?”

Invariably, PCs will attempt to use their Fame in some manner. Many times these efforts will involve bluffing their way past guards, gaining an audience with the local Magistrate, and so on. Invoking their perceived Fame, they hope to accomplish a goal they consider necessary to their success (or even survival). Each such case will vary with the current situation, with differing degrees of difficulty. As always, it remains the duty (onus?) of the referee to determine just how influential the PC’s Fame is. As an example, a famous Musician may have a fairly easy time convincing the bouncer to let her into the exclusive party (depending on her story), whereas a retired Marine General may easily gain access to an off-limits military facility. Each situation will vary greatly, as will the potential influence of the individual(s) involved.


It is difficult to determine how to go about awarding Fame increases during game play. Many factors will go into such a decision or award, the most influential factors being the actions of the players involved, as well as their visibility to the public. Many referees will not want to deal with this aspect in their campaign or setting, and that is perfectly acceptable. Use what you need, ignore the rest! Most campaigns which use (and, perhaps, award) Fame will be long-term, long running ones.


The Fame statistic as detailed in the Traveller rules is an interesting addition to an already excellent set of rules. Though more details need to be worked out/added in, the beginning pieces are in place. I hope someone out there finds my babblings on the topic of use, or at least interesting.

As always, I am interested in hearing comments on this, as well as other ideas on the subject.

Keep on Travelling!

#traveller #traveller5 #T5 #travellerrpg #classictraveller #sciencefiction #sciencefictionrpg #sciencefictiongaming #scifi #rpg