Skip to main content

Maritime Career Path

Okay, first, check this out: Career Paths for 3d6 Fantasy

I link to Goblin Punch a lot. Almost exclusively. You'd think it was all I read.

Anyway, this is an alternative to character generation, where you create your character's history while generating stats. It's not totally elegant, but it works and it's fun. A few random numbers turn into a realized bit of fiction right in front of you.

There's a lot of room for expansion, too. Here's my offering:

Joseph Noel Paton, Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Maritime                                            Useful: DEX, CON, CHA
1.     Helped quell a mutiny. Test STR to influence CHA.
2.     Helped start a mutiny. Test CHA to influence STR.
3.     Survived a shipwreck. Test DEX to influence CON.
4.     Swam with mermaids, once. Test DEX to Influence CHA.
5.     The bosun was a cruel taskmaster. Test CON to influence DEX.
6.     Would stay up all night, telling tall tales. Test CON to influence CHA.
7.     Old Salt showed you how to run the rigging. Test CHA to influence DEX.
8.     Always up for a dare. Test CHA to influence CON.
9.     Stay awake on lookout duty. Test CON to influence INT.
10. Marooned. Test WIS to influence CON.
11. Saw a devil at high tide. Test WIS to influence DEX.
12. Picked up some entertaining tattoos. Test STR to influence CHA.
13. You can smell a squall. Learn Weather.
14. Lived for Shore Leave. Learn Carousing.
15. You know your jib from your mainsail. Learn Sailing.
16. You hate to spend too long on land. Learn Oceans.
17. All you need is a line and a hook. Learn Fishing.
18. The stars will guide you. Learn Navigation.
19. There’s a reason you left home. Learn Random.
20. There are some strange ports in the world. Learn Random.
21. You learned it from a bunkmate. Learn Random.
22. The captain was an enthusiast. Learn Random.
23. You had a lover in a faraway port. Learn Random.
24. You needed to do something to pass the night watch. Learn Random.


  1. This is excellent. I stopped a mutiny and learned about History from a lover in a faraway port.

    1. Glad to hear it. Thanks for coming up with such an engaging system!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Reviewing Rules for Play-by-Post Optimization

I’ve played a lot of PbP games: all your favorite flavors of OD&D, AD&D, and their retroclones, Call of Cthulhu, Marvel Superheroes, Traveller, Dungeon World, etc. ad nauseam. In almost every instance, I forgot what ruleset we were using at some point. Which is a good thing. Once chargen is over, you spend a lot more time describing your characters actions and poring over the GM’s descriptions than you spend interacting with rules. When you do roll, it’s usually a combat to-hit roll, which you’ve probably programmed into the online dice-roller as a macro. Pretty much any game will work for PbP. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t points of possible optimization. Point 1: Resolution. Anything that can keep the action moving is a boon to PbP. A game that requires a back-and-forth exchange of information to resolve an action is going to progress very slowly. A good rule of thumb is that it’ll take 2 or 3 days to get a response from any given player. At that pace, an exch

Maze Rats by Post

In my previous post , I reviewed a bunch of my favorite rulesets for optimization for Play-by-Post. It occurred to me almost immediately that I hadn't really thought about Maze Rats enough. In fact, I'd mis-remembered and mischaracterized it. Upon reflection, one of the mechanics I took issue with is actually a big strength. Re-reading the rules, it seems like just a few very simple hacks could make it a highly-optimized PbP game. As follows: Danger Rolls are rolled by the GM. Danger rolls usually fail, so it is in the player’s interest to describe their actions plausibly and mitigate as many risks as they can, in the hopes that they don’t trigger a danger roll. 2d6 + ability bonus ≥ 10 If you have taken enough precautions to have a distinct advantage in an action, but not enough to have eliminated the distinct possibility of danger, the GM will give you a roll with advantage. 3d6 keep 2 + ability bonus ≥ 10 Because each character only has 3 ability scores (S

An Exaltation of Rockets

I've been toying off-and-on with a rockets-and rayguns campaign/ruleset based heavily on the original Buck Rogers strips. I started working it up as a Black Hack, but I've since switched over to Maze Rats, which has become my ruleset of choice for Play-by-Post. I don't have a good name for it. I want something that conveys the baroque majesty of science fiction in the 20s and 30s. "Planetary Romance" is an accurate description of the genre, but needs about 20% more pulp. Pseudo-pulp magazine names seem like a good way to go, but that's such an easy well to dip into that the results can sound pretty generic. Request for feedback #1:  On this particular morning, I'm enamored of "An Exaltation of Rockets," but it may not carry the right resonances. I'd be eager to hear from you what your first impression was when you saw that as the post's title. What sort of imagery did it conjure up? What sort of world does it belong to? The prem