.: home » tool notes

Tool Notes

A brief discussion of the online tools, their features and shortcomings.

Last updated on Tue, Apr 5, 2005.

Introduction

The tools available on this site are written in Perl. A design goal for each tool was to accurately model the processes described in the Traveller rules. However, certain aspects are different, incomplete, or require clarification. In addition, there are some known bugs.

These tools are an old project and may contain errors.

Character Generator

The character generator is capable of generating characters using careers from Book 1 and Supplement 4. It is not an interactive tool; any player decisions normally made during the character generation process are either made by the software or deferred for later resolution by the player or referee. Examples: skill tables are chosen randomly; the focus areas of so-called "cascade" skills are not specified.

  1. Characters are not subjected to enslistment or the draft; instead, they are either assigned a career directly, or randomly. For example, if scout service is requested, only scout characters will be generated. This is to facilitate the generation of precisely the sort of characters required for the purpose at hand.
  2. When picking careers, the choice is purely random. There is an option that allows careers to be chosen according to an algorithm that attempts to find the "most suited" career or careers for a character.
  3. Aging crisis is noted in verbose output, but is not handled as discussed in Book 1. If during generation any character attribute is reduced to zero, generation is stopped. This is at variance with the rules, which specify a roll to survive for each attribute reduced to zero, and a lengthy period of incapacitation in the absence of slow drug. This is a bug which is scheduled to be fixed.
  4. Characters will currently seek to reenlist up to retirement. If a minimum number of terms is specified, all reenlistment tests will succeed for that many terms. If a maximum number of terms is specified, futher reenlistment tests will fail.
  5. When mustering out, the decision to choose between cash or benefits is a coin toss, with a maximum of three rolls on the cash table. In addition, weapon benefits are not specified; eg, if 'blade' benefit is received, no particular blade type is chosen, nor might skill in a different blade be selected upon receipt of the same benefit a second time. This aspect of the code might be changed in future.
  6. Nobles have a career entry requirement of Soc A+. Generation of characters with an appropriate Soc attribute score is handled by generating a random number between one and six, with a result of 1 giving Soc C, 2 or 3 giving Soc B, and 4, 5 or 6 giving Soc A.
  7. Bureaucrats have some fiddly retirement requirements that are not currently modelled. This is a bug which is scheduled to be fixed.

Use the character generator now.

Subsector Generator

The subsector generator uses the method specified in Book 3, which is fairly spartan and sometimes improbable in its results.

  1. Amber and red zones are indicated using the following logic: on a roll of 12 on 2d, the zone is chosen randomly from among green, amber and red. This seems to reproduce roughly the same frequency of amber and red zones as exist in the Spinward Marches.
  2. Trade classification and remarks are derived programatically from the profile and listed alphabetically. Only those classifications and remarks that can be thus derived are listed; eg, no indication is made of polity capitals, research stations or the like.
  3. The code does not take into consideration any setting information, so for example there is no option to generate Zhodani or Aslan worlds. This may be amended in future using alternate generation methods.
  4. The code does not produce PBG data, nor does it generate stellar or extended system data. This is a feature addition scheduled to be completed in the future.

Use the subsector generator now.

Animal Encounter Generator

This tool automates the generation of animal encounters using the process detailed in Book 3. Both short and extended encounter tables can be generated; the user has the choice of getting output for a particular terrain type, all available terrain types, or for certain groups of terrain types. There are some details that effect the results.

  1. Ideally, a world profile should be provided in the usual format. The profile is used to parameterize the animal encounter generation process; both the profile and world name are used to decorate the results.
  2. If no profile is provided, atmosphere and size default to zero, which will seriously skew the results.
  3. Currently, the code does not prohibit nonsensical results. For example, one can generate encounters for the desert terrain type on a water world. This is either a bug or a feature, to be determined.
  4. In the extended format, the entry for a result of 10 is always a "special event" to be administered by the referee. This may be amended in future.

Use the animal encounter generator now.