CT: "I died during character generation"

In Classic Traveller, famously your character can die during character generation. The character generation system has you throw for six attributes, then attempt a four year term or more of service in army, navy, and so on; in each term you gain skills. However, at the end of each term you must roll for survival, to see if something killed you during that term. Keep going for long enough and you gain quite a few skills - if you survive! It's not uncommon for a surviving character to have had 3-6 terms of service, and thus be 30-42 years old. Some lucky or merchant characters may even get into their 50s. 

Which is to say that they have already had a life - what will be for many a full career. One famous science fiction space explorer, for example, died in a reactor repair at 55 years of age after 35 years of service (it is said there were later stories, but this is unproven). And so the player who is creating a CT character is creating one who has already had a full life - and it may be they discover (through the dice, which are always right) that it was indeed their entire life. 

Further, the risk of death during character provides not game balance, because that is a ridiculous concept no right-thinking game master has any interest in, but an interesting choice for players: "More skills at the risk of losing what I've got? Or double or nothing?" Some games like chess are entirely choice, and some like snakes & ladders are entirely chance - but roleplaying games are a mixture of choice and chance. Commonly the choice is whether to take a chance. 

This then makes a game of character generation. Recently I introduced my eldest to tabletop roleplaying games, then we had dinner, and she was quiet for a little bit and said, "I think I'll roll up some more characters." This is part of the joy of roleplaying games, the joy of discovery, discovery of what the dice bring up - and this joy begins with rolling up a character - not writing them up, but rolling them up. 

Let player-characters die. Do not come up with magical technology to bring them back for another adventure. Yes, let them die even during character generation. They can always roll up another one. and they will tell tales of the one who fell. Because, of course, the dice are always right. 


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