Traveller: Your Career is Not Your Character
It is just as true in life as it is in game: your character is not defined by their career. While their career will color the way they see the universe (i.e. an Agent will see threats around every turn where a Citizen will see people), that should not define your character. Here are three ways to separate your character from their career.
1) Describe a Vacation They Took And Give Them Dreams
Short of the Prisoner career, no career offers no time off. Did they go big game hunting in the Foreven Worlds or did they relax at a spa? Did they go to the equivalent of Las Vegas and gamble and take in big name concerts and shows? Giving the character a vacation shows something they care about other than the job.
Similarly, describe what they work for. Does your character want to impress their old military academy fling, showing them how they are so much better than the one they married? Do you want a house on Regina that you’re saving up for? Is travelling around on a ship your dream, seeing all kinds of different places, and doing that now as a player is living the dream? What puts antigrav in their step when they think about life?
2) Describe an aspect of the Job They HATED
Every job has its downsides. Sometimes it’s the pointy-haired boss that is completely incompetent or an annoying co-worker in the cubicle next door. Other times it’s a necessary part of the job, like the amount of paperwork an Agent must perform after discharging their weapon. Maybe it is a major aspect of the job like dealing with the public. Perhaps it is some rate occurrence like rebooting the robots when their restart sequence fails. No matter what, coming up with some aspect of their former career they cannot stand will help them stand out and will help your character be glad they are not doing that job anymore.
3) Describe a Happy Memory That Had Nothing to do With Work
Sure everyone is happy after some big achievement at the job, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Describe something happy that had no connection to the job, even if you use skills gained from the job. Did you do volunteer work, using skills you picked up as a scholar? Did you negotiate a better deal on your property because of skills you picked up as a merchant?
Maybe the happy memory doesn’t involve skills. Did the character enjoy a relationship or spending time with family? Did they paint figures terribly but enjoyed the time doing so? How about binge-watched a holovid romcom series about people living on a space station? What made life happy?
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