Modding Traveller: Of Vice and Men
In our last blog post in the Modding Traveller series, we talked about Stressing your character to give them a success after they failed a roll. But how do they get rid of that Stress point? After all, it gives you a DM penalty to every roll after that one you needed to succeed. Well, you have to indulge in some Vice of yours.
What is a Vice? It is something that your character enjoys, but it takes you out of the action for a time while you indulge. This can be anything from sleeping in zero-g chamber to enjoying the best chocolate to getting high on some new designer narcotic. Does it have to be illegal? Absolutely not, but it can be. Should it be expensive? Definitely. But most importantly, it has to fit your character. This should be a roleplaying gold mine here, more than anything else.
So what is the catch, beyond it costing credits? Vices should be something you cannot do on your ship. It has to be something that takes you out of the safe environs and can potentially get you in trouble. Does your character have a drug habit? Well, they have to go somewhere to get the “good stuff.” Food? What you have the ship won’t do. It is always there for you. Sparring? Your room’s holographic partner just won’t do. You need to kick the crap out of someone made of flesh and blood.
So is that it? My character can’t participate in the action for a bit and I spend some credits? No. You have to roll for it. Make an Easy (4+) check using your lowest characteristic. And yes, this includes your Stress penalty. Success: you lose 1 Stress. Effect of 6+, you lose 2 Stress, should you have had a second Stress point. Fail: you still lose 1 Stress point but bad things happen. What exactly those bad things are is up to the Referee. Did you fight someone in a Fight Club back-alley brawl? Well, you put them in the hospital and now you are wanted for assault. Indulging your drug habit? Where you went got raided by the authorities. Getting pampered or enjoying some fine cuisine? The place is owned by a mob boss, and they want something from you before they let you go. Going to a holovid marathon? On the way back, your parents get killed in a dark alley while you standby helplessly and watch. Ok, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.
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