Travelleverage: The Inkling

Wombat's Postulate of Cognition: 80% of useful thought processes happen in the shower.

So I started thinking in the shower. I thought back to Traveller games and the "roles" you need to fill for a rogue trader style game. Bare minimum you need a negotiator, a pilot, an engineer, some muscle, and a security specialist. And I thought how cleanly that maps to the Leverage roles. And now I need to commit those ideas to electrons before they flee my head.

Your muscle easily translates to the Hitter role. Retired grunts love to hit things or fire weapons. Done.

Your negotiator fills the Grifter role. Navigating the social structure of varied worlds requires charisma and quick thinking. Making up a plausible flight history off the cuff or a provenance for less-than-perfect goods could come up in port.

You'll want your security specialist (Thief) to spot trouble from a mile away and be able to secure meeting locations. Sniper work or recovering stolen goods with some breaking and entering also fit into this role.

Since every ship is run by computer, Hackers could work as pilots, navigators, and/or engineers. Making a ship look inconspicuous in port or hacking a radio jammer out of a broken down jeep 

Given the fact that anyone can educate themselves or be promoted to the top of the command structure, Brains can come from any role in the Traveller universe. Hm. More thought required here.

How would this play out? Given that many of the Traveller adventures follow the traditional Cyberpunk or Shadowrun mold of Get Job -> Do Job -> Get Screwed -> Try To Survive -> Try To Get Even, that should translate fairly easily to plot complications in a heist.

At some point I'll pick up the Leverage rules, hopefully in book form at PAX or soon thereafter. And then let the scheming and crunch-making commence.


  1. Putting a SciFi twist on Leverage sounds very interesting. I'm not all that familiar with Traveller, but does it have any Tactical Officer role? That might fit for Mastermind. He's the planner.

  2. Traveller in its early form (Little Black Books or LBB for short) was about as non-classed as an RPG can get. There's no real role assignments in Traveller, but there are categories of things to do for most "standard" Traveller adventures. Tactical officer would work, but I'm not sure there's enough meaty tasks in that role, especially on a short-tonnage trader. I tend to equate the Mastermind with the party leader, regardless of whatever other skills he brings to the team. That's not always the way things work, but it's the way my mind leans.

    I know some people have used the Leverage mechanics to run heists in D&D-style games, so this isn't new ground as much as reskinning Leverage with a different genre. There may be some hidden drawbacks caused by a far-future setting getting shoehorned into the Leverage system, but that's part of the fun of discovery.

    Definitely more on Travelleverage later.