I'm just starting a game in Traveller and we spent our first session rolling up characters, it's the first time playing this game for all of us, Referee included. It all went pretty well, slow cause we kept having to look things up and we had fun talking about our story as it was rolled up. Then we got to the end and...we got confused.

So my character got an injury in his first career, no benefits for leaving, and his second career he's been doing amazing in and has no plans on leaving just yet. So does this mean I start with nothing? No credits, no gear, just the clothes on my back?

We can't find anything in the rule book that tells us what we start with. One idea that we had was that maybe we're expected to end our current career before the campaign, which means changing up my story a little at the end but it also doesn't feel right.

We're pretty sure we're using using Mongoose Traveller 1st edition.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Which edition of Traveller are you playing? There is considerable variation between them... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 6:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KerrAvon2055 Mongoose Traveller. Sorry didn't even realize there were other editions until you asked. Then the group had to do some looking to figure it out. It's a Mongoose Publishing one and there's no mention of a 2nd edition so we're pretty sure it's the first one. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miatog
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 6:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mongoose has released a 2nd edition. Does your version have rules for "Boon" and "Bane" dice rolls? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 9:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Boon" and "Bane" dice are diagnostic in the rules for second edition Mongoose; a quick visual check is to look at the design of the word "Traveller" on the cover - in a simple sans-serif oblique font, possibly with a line with half-arrowhead, is first edition; in a 3-D effect, upright heavy line weight sans-serif font, with a "swoosh" across the entire word, is second edition. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 11:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ No bane or boon dice so this should be 1st. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miatog
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


The general presumption in most editions of Traveller (including the Mongoose version) is that characters have retired from their careers at the end of character generation and set off to start a new life of freelance adventuring. So the normal thing to do at this point would be to make your mustering out rolls for all careers (including your final career), which should give you some money to purchase equipment, plus perhaps a little free equipment, depending on the benefits rolled.

This doesn't seem to be directly stated anywhere that I could easily find in the Mongoose Traveller 1st edition rulebook, but step 11 of the character creation process in the sidebar on page 5 is the only place which mentions finishing your character, and it presumes that you have left your (final) career before doing so:

  1. If you have left your current career, then go to Step 3 to choose a new career, or to Step 12 if you wish to finish your character. Otherwise, go to Step 5.

If you want to instead run an "in service" campaign, then the GM should assign equipment based on the service you are in and your specialty within that service, but this equipment is owned by your employer, not your personal gear. Note, though, that this approach could prove difficult if your group's characters are not all in the same service (why is a civilian Merchant on the bridge of a Navy ship?), so I wouldn't recommend it for your first Traveller campaign.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 I had never previously noticed the omission of the explicit statement that you must finish your career before you start adventuring in the first editions of both the original GDW and Mongoose Travellers. Megatraveller Player Manual on p10 explicitly states "Ultimately, the character retires or leaves that career, receives mustering out benefits, and is ready to begin adventuring." 2nd edition Mongoose has an equivalent statement on p7. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 9:41
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "Benefits are gained when a character leaves a career for any reason other than failing a survival roll (willingly leaving the career, an event, an aging crisis, or just wishing to finish character generation)." Even more explicit mention from our sourcebook, p34, if you want to add it! Thank you again for your help. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 16:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Given that in real life people aren't just paid a lump sum when they retire, I assume that e.g. Scouts who are still working with the Scout Service have just accrued their "cashing out" benefits over time and they haven't actually left, that's just their savings and benefits so far. \$\endgroup\$
    – Quil
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 1:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Quill That's correct: Your character's mustering out cash benefits represent the money that they saved during their career, not the sum total of their wages. (It's assumed they were spending money as well as earning it, since presumably they ate and such during each four-year term.) Similarly, their non-cash benefits don't represent the only possessions they had during that period. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 10:28

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