Police Characters for MegaTraveller

Last Updated 20 October 2008.



Throughout history, humaniti has been governed by laws and customs designed to keep societies from lapsing back into savagery and barbarism (McINNES 1982, p 19). The enforcement arm of society is the Police force.

General Background

Police forces occur at several levels. A world may have metropolitan forces for each of its large cities, several constabulary forces for its lesser populated areas, a para-military force stationed against rebels in the outback, and an overall planet-wide investigatory agency (or agencies). Many times there will be several layers of police organisations, sometimes with overlapping jurisdictions, and often working at cross-purposes (WISEMAN 1982, p 15).

When looking at the overall picture within the Imperium, law and justice exists on three levels. The lowest is the low justice of planetary and local authorities that governs everything from homicide to littering. In the middle is the middle justice of the subsectors, intended to protect helpless societies from exploitation, and to protect all societies from excessive military action. Over all this lies the high justice of the Imperium, intended to prevent revolt against Imperial authority; keep the peace between worlds, subsectors and sectors; uphold the rights of sentient beings; and preserve free trade between member states. High justice is presided over by the Imperial Ministry of Justice (MoJ), and enforced by the Imperial Navy, Army, and Marines, often assisted by the Security Branch of the Operations Office of the IISS (McINNES 1982, p 19).

The lowest two levels of law and justice are covered by the character generation system below. MoJ characters have a separate MoJ character generation system, although Police characters do have opportunities to transfer up.

Police Ranks

Ranks for characters in the Police are shown in the Police Table of Ranks. Ranks O1 to O7 are called commissioned police officers. Ranks E1 to E7 are simply called police officers, and correspond to enlisted rank in the military.


The general term for officers serving in any form of police force, regardless of rank, branch, or type of force, is police officer.

Initial Activities

A beginning Police character must determine their homeworld (see pp 11 and 13 of the MegaTraveller Players' Handbook). Once this has been done, the referee must determine if the homeworld is Aggressive (more likely to use weapons to control tense situations) or Non-Aggressive (more likely to use negotiation to control such situations). Note: if Grand Census or World Builder's Handbook is available and the homeworld is known, then check the world's Aggressiveness Action. Militant and Neutral worlds are considered Aggressive for the purpose of these rules, whereas Peaceable and Conciliatory are considered Non-Aggressive.

Pre-Career Options

Once the character's statistics are rolled, their homeworld determined, and their default skills allocated, characters intending to follow a Police career may consider attending College.

If the character chooses this option, roll the indicated number or higher on 2D for each activity below. If the character is both admitted and successful, then they can roll to increase their EDU statistic and check to see if they passed with honours.

Activity Roll Modifiers
Admission 9+ DM+2 if EDU 9+
Success 7+ DM+2 if INT 8+
Education 1D-2 DM+1 if INT 9+
Honours 10+ DM+1 if INT 10+

Honours graduates receive EDU +1 or EDU 10, whichever is greater.


The character must now enlist in the Police. Enlistment is automatic (if desired) for College graduates, otherwise they must roll the indicated number or higher on 2D. Characters can only enlist in the Subsector Police if their homeworld has a starport type B+.

  Planetary Police Subsector Police
Activity Roll DMs Roll DMs
Enlistment 7+ If INT 7+, DM+1;
if DEX 9+, DM+2
8+ If INT 8+, +1;
if DEX 9+, +2

College graduates and normal enlistees begin with rank E1; College honours graduates begin with rank O1.

Terms of Service

A term of service is 4 years long. Each term is subdivided into 4 one-year assignments, each resolved separately. At the end of a term, a character can attempt to re-enlist or elect to muster out.

Branch Assignment

Upon enlistment, the character must roll 2D on the following table for their branch assignment. A character with SOC 9+ may choose any branch. Characters must stay in their assigned branch unless they undergo Cross-Training in another branch, in which case they can transfer to the new branch at the beginning of a new term of service.

2D Planetary Police Branch Subsector Police Bureau
2 Riot Strike
3 Uniform Liaison
4 Uniform Liaison
5 Uniform Liaison
6 Uniform Investigative
7 Uniform Investigative
8 Detective Investigative
9 Detective Protective
10 Customs Protective
11 Security Security
12 Security Security
Optional DMs: if STR 9+, DM-2; if END 7+, -1; if INT 8+, DM+1; if SOC 9+, DM+2.

Riot police control civil disturbances that are beyond the capability of uniformed police, but do not require military intervention.
Uniformed police deal with routine crimes in the community.
Detectives investigate crimes in order to identify & gather evidence against criminal suspects.
Customs police guard starport entry points and associated free trade areas, and deal with crimes concerning extraplanetary trade (such as smuggling).
Planetary Security police investigate crimes against the state. The scope of this mandate depends on the government. Societies with high law levels will treat even minor political dissent or illegal economic activity as crimes against the state; those with lower law levels will only deploy security police against clear dangers to the social order (espionage, sabotage directed against the defence forces, major economic crimes such as counterfeiting, etc).
Strike officers are a specialised force who raid newly-discovered havens of criminal activity.
Liaison officers maintain contacts between the Subsector Police and the various planetary police bodies.
Investigative officers investigate crimes that affect more than one member state of the Imperium, in order to identify & gather evidence against criminal suspects.
Protective officers guard non-military installations of the subsector government.
Subsector Security officers act as bodyguards to the subsector bureaucracy.

Brownie Points

Brownie points (BPs) are special DMs received for significant success efforts on the part of a character. A brownie point may be used as a special DM on any die roll after it has been rolled. Once expended in this way, a brownie point is used up for good. Any number of brownie points may be used on a given roll, as long as the character has them available. They may be accumulated for as long as desired and used whenever desired.

For Police characters, BPs include:

Graduation from College   1 BP
Upon receiving honours 1 BP
Completion of each four-year term 1 BP
Upon receiving Special Duty 1 BP
Upon receiving a decoration: Commendation (COM) 1 BP
Meritorious Conduct Medal (MCM) 2 BP
Police Star (PS) 3 BP

No brownie points are awarded for a Wound Ribbon.

Basic/Advanced Training

Police characters undergo Basic Training at the Police Academy. They receive Gun Combat (Brawling if homeworld is Non-Aggressive) and one skill rolled on the appropriate Branch Skill table.

Advanced Training occupies the remainder of their first year after enlistment. Roll one skill on the appropriate Branch Skill table.

Career Resolution

Contacts (optional)

If the referee allows it, a character may check to see what sort of Contacts they may have made during their career (see pp 29-31 of Traveller: The New Era). College graduates receive one Academic or Journalist contact. Police characters receive one Law Enforcement and one Criminal contact per term. The referee should determine the specific nature of these contacts, preferably by reference to the assignments the character undertakes that term.

Assignment Determination

Each year, roll 2D on the appropriate Assignment Table to determine the character's basic assignment for the year. Special Duty Assignments are determined by rolling on the Special Duty Assignment table.

2D Riot/Strike Uniform Cust/Liaison Detective/Investigative Security/Prot
2 Investigation Undercover Duty Undercover Duty Undercover Duty Field
3 Staff Staff Undercover Duty Undercover Duty Staff
4 Field Staff Staff Field Investigation
5 Field Investigation Investigation Staff Investigation
6 Civil Disturbance Field Field Investigation Undercover Duty
7 Civil Disturbance Field Field Investigation Undercover Duty
8 Civil Disturbance Field Field Investigation Undercover Duty
9 Undercover Duty Civil Disturbance Investigation Staff Investigation
10 Training Training Training Training Training
11 Special Duty Special Duty Special Duty Special Duty Special Duty
12 Special Duty Special Duty Special Duty Special Duty Special Duty
Civil Disturbance: attend at a major disturbance in the community
Field: perform routine field work. For example, uniformed police patrol the community.
Investigation: identify and gather evidence against criminal suspects.
Special Duty: roll on the Special Duty Assignment table below.
Staff: perform administrative duties, complete paperwork.
Training: attend routine training.
Undercover Duty: perform plain clothes undercover work, either surveillance or infiltration of criminal groups.

Assignment Resolution

Roll on the appropriate table for the year in order to determine survival, decorations, promotions, and whether skills are acquired. Special Duty Assignments are each resolved as separate procedures, below.

Uniform, Customs,
Liaison, Detective,
and Investigative
Training Staff Field Investigation Civil Dist Undercover
Survival auto auto 4+ 5+ 6+ 6+
Decoration none none 11+ 10+ 9+ 8+
Promotion (9+) (8+) 8+ 7+ 7+ 7+
Skill 6+ 8+ 7+ 6+ 6+ 6+
Riot/Strike Training Staff Field Investigation Civil Dist Undercover
Survival auto auto 3+ 5+ 6+ 6+
Decoration none none 12+ 10+ 8+ 8+
Promotion (9+) (9+) 9+ 8+ 7+ 7+
Skill 5+ 8+ 7+ 6+ 5+ 5+
Security/Protective Training Staff Field Investigation Civil Dist Undercover
Survival auto auto 4+ 5+ n/a 5+
Decoration none none 10+ 10+ n/a 8+
Promotion (9+) (9+) 8+ 7+ n/a 6+
Skill 5+ 7+ 8+ 5+ n/a 4+

A character risks some chance of injury or death while serving in the Police. To survive a duty assignment, roll the indicated number or higher on 2D. If successful, the character survives and continues with the resolution of the assignment. If unsuccessful, the character must leave the service immediately. The current term of service does not count when determining the number of mustering out benefits, but the character does receive a yearly pension no matter how long they have been serving (they are "pensioned out sick").
If the indicated number is rolled exactly, the character has been wounded while on duty and receives a "Wound Ribbon".
The character may take up to -2 for survival (the police force discourages risk-taking) and add that figure onto the Decoration roll. Alternatively, they may take up to +2 for survival, but must subtract this from their Decoration roll.
If a character rolls the indicated number or higher on 2D, they have performed outstandingly well and receive a decoration for actions above and beyond the call of duty. If the character rolls the indicated number or higher, they receive a Commendation (Com). If they roll at least three higher than the indicated number, they receive a Meritorious Conduct Medal (MCM). If they roll at least six higher, they are awarded the Police Star (PS).
If the character fails a decoration roll by 6 or more they have been criminally charged and must consult the Court-Martial Table (MegaTraveller Players' Handbook, p 47).
A character may be promoted during their assignment. Roll the indicated number or higher on 2D, and the character steps up a grade. Promotion chances in brackets are for E1-E6 only; commissioned officers cannot be promoted in these assignments. Commissioned officers can only be promoted once per term, although they may be promoted (once) in the same term they are initially commissioned.
The character may be able to learn a skill during their asignment. Roll the indicated number or higher on 2D, and the character may roll once on the Skill Tables below.

Skill Eligibility

Skills are received from basic/advanced training, special assignments, or from the skill roll. The Skill Tables are restricted as follows:

Police Life: any Police character.
NCO Skills: character is rank E4-E7.
Officer Skills: character is rank O1+.
Field Skills: character is in a Field, Investigation, Civil Disturbance or Undercover assignment.
Staff Skills: character is in a Training or Staff assignment.
Branch Skill Tables: the character is in the appropriate service branch.

If the character's skill roll succeeds, select a Skill Table and roll for a skill on 1D. Note that skills in bold are Cascade Skills, requiring further selection as per the MegaTraveller Players' Handbook.

1D Police Life NCO Skills Officer Skills Field Skills Staff Skills
1 Brawling Brawling Mental Hand Combat Admin
2 Carousing Streetwise Admin Blade Combat Computer
3 +1 STR Gun Combat Instruction Gun Combat Interpersonal
4 +1 DEX Admin Interpersonal Vehicle Medical
5 +1 End Leader Vice Vice Recruiting
6 Streetwise Tactics Inborn Interpersonal Legal
7 +1 EDU Academic Legal Legal Legal
8 +1 SOC Interpersonal +1 SOC Liaison Academic
DMs: +1 if E4+
+2 if O4+
+2 if E4+ +2 if O4+ +2 if O1+ +2 if O1+

1D Riot/Strike Uniform Cust/Liaison Detective/Investigative Security/Prot
1 Gun Combat Gun Combat Zero-G Environ Gun Combat Gun Combat
2 Vehicle Vehicle Vehicle Vehicle Vehicle
3 Recon +1 End Language Bribery Forgery
4 Interview Interview Interview Interview Interview
5 Gun Combat Interpersonal Vice Interpersonal Electronics
6 Heavy Weapons Streetwise Vacc Suit Streetwise Vice

Skill Modifications

These character generation rules treat some skills differently to the regular MegaTraveller rules (these apply to Special Duty Assignments as well):

  1. In all cases, Brawling may be replaced by Martial Arts at the referee's discretion.
  2. If homeworld is Non-Aggressive, the first receipt of Gun Combat may be taken as Brawling instead. On subsequent receipts, the character may choose to take either Gun Combat or Brawling.
  3. If homeworld is High Law, player may choose to receive Interrogation skill instead of Interview.

Special Duty

If the character recives Special Duty, roll 1D on the Special Duty Assignment table to determine the character's special assignment for the year. Resolve each Special Duty according to the procedures below. Note that skills in bold are Cascade Skills, requiring further selection as per the MegaTraveller Players' Handbook.

1D Special Duty Assignment
2 Combat School (Space Environ for Customs & Security)
3 Admin
4 Tech
5 Medical
6 Cross-Training
7 Intel
8 Attache/Agent
DM+1 if rank O1+;
DM+1 or DM-1 allowed if EDU 8+.

Administration School:
Receive Admin, then roll 4+ for each of the following: Computing, Instruction, Interview, Legal, Liaison, Recruiting.
Roll 1D. On 1-4, the character is seconded to serve as an attache (liaison officer) to the Subsector Police; on 5-6, the character serves as an agent for the Imperial Ministry of Justice. An attache receives Liaison, a promotion of one grade and +1 Social Standing. An agent receives one roll on the MoJ Staff Skills table (assume MoJ rank E2), +1 Social Standing and may choose their next assignment (other than Attache/Agent). At the end of any subsequent term of service, the character may transfer to the seconding organisation: to the Subsector Police at equivalent rank, or to the MoJ at one less than current rank E2. For example, a Deputy Commissioner (rank O6) would become an Assistant Coordinator (candidate).
Combat School:
Receive Gun Combat, then roll 4+ for each of the following: Battle Dress, Heavy Weapons, Recon, Survival, Special Combat, Vehicle. This school CAN be attended by a character from a Non-Aggressive homeworld.
Roll twice on the Branch Skills table of another branch. The character may transfer to this branch at the end of any subsequent term of service.
Intelligence School:
Roll 4+ for each of the following: Vice, Communications, Computing, Interpersonal, Interrogation, Language.
Medical School:
Receive Admin, Medical, Science; if one of these skills is at 3 or more, receive Instruction instead.
Officer Candidate School (OCS):
Advance to rank O1 (if rank E5, advance to rank O2) in current or cross-trained branch. Roll twice on the Officer Skills table and once on the relevant Branch Skills table. If rank E6 or E7, advance to rank O3, but receive no new skills.
Space Environment School:
Receive Gun Combat, then roll 4+ for each of the following: Gunnery, Sensor Ops, Ship's Boat, Space Combat, Vacc Suit, Zero-G Environ.
Technical School:
Roll 4+ for each of the following: Communications, Computing, Demolitions, Forensic, Sensor Ops, Technical.

Reenlistment And Mustering Out

At the end of each term of service the player must decide whether to continue this career or muster out. If they want to continue, they must roll 5+ on 2D to be eligible to reenlist. If they want to leave, they must still roll 2D. If the result is 12 exactly, the character MUST reenlist.

Changing Branch

If cross-trained in another branch, the character can elect to transfer to that branch, re-enlisting as normal.

Changing Service

If the character served as a MoJ agent at any time during the term, they may transfer to the Imperial Ministry of Justice.

Mustering Out Benefits

When a character leaves the service (for any reason), they are eligible for mustering out benefits. They may roll on the Mustering Out tables as many times as indicated below:

Eligibility No. of Benefits
Per term of service 1
If rank O1-O2 1
If rank O3-O4 2
If rank O5+ 3

If they have served at least 5 terms, they may retire and be eligible for retirement pay. Annual retirement pay is equal to Cr2000 per term served. This may be collected in monthly instalments.

1D Cash Table Benefits Table
1 5,000 Low Passage
2 5,000 +1 INT
3 10,000 Forensic Kit
4 10,000 Weapon
5 20,000 High Passage
6 25,000 +1 SOC
7 50,000 Traveller's
DMs: If Gambling skill or retiree, +1    If rank O5+, +1

No more than three rolls may be made on the Cash table. If Forensic Kit is received, the character receives a Forensic Kit. If Weapon is received, the character can choose what weapon is awarded unless their homeworld is Non-Aggressive and the character has no weapon skills, in which case the first receipt of Weapon must be taken as Brawling skill. In all cases, subsequent receipts of Weapon may be taken as another of the same weapon, a different weapon, or as skill levels with a weapon received earlier.

For travel allowances and material benefits, refer to the MegaTraveller Players' Handbook. For more information on the Forensic skill and the Forensic Kit, see "Law Enforcers" and "Forensic Science", both in Travellers' Digest 4.

Table Of Ranks

Planetary Police Subsector Police
Rank Officer Rank Officer
E1 Probationer E1 Trainee
E2 Constable/Detective Constable E2 Constable
E3 Senior Constable/Snr Det Constable E3 Senior Constable
E4 Sergeant/Detective Sergeant E4 Sergeant
E5 Senior Sergeant/Snr Det Sergeant E5 Senior Sergeant
E6 Station Sergeant/Det Station Sergeant E6 Station Sergeant
E7 Area Sergeant/Det Area Sergeant E7 Area Sergeant
Rank Commissioned Officer Rank Commissioned Officer
O1 Deputy Inspector/Detective Deputy Inspector O1 Deputy Inspector
O2 Inspector/Detective Inspector O2 Inspector
O3 Chief Inspector/Detective Chief Inspector O3 Chief Inspector
O4 Superintendent O4 Station Chief
O5 Chief Superintendent O5 Area Chief
O6 Deputy Commissioner O6 Bureau Chief
O7 Commissioner of Police O7 Subsector Chief


For adventuring scenarios involving local police forces and the Imperial Ministry of Justice, see Scenarios for Police and MoJ characters.


The following sources (sorted by publication date) were used as reference material for this article:

  1. McINNES, Terry, "High Justice", Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society, #14, Game Designers' Workshop, Bloomington, IL, USA, 1982, pp 19-22.
  2. WISEMAN, Loren, "Police Forces in Traveller", Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society, #14, Game Designers' Workshop, Bloomington, IL, USA, 1982, pp 12-15.
  3. JOHN, Diane & Richard, "Dead or Alive", White Dwarf, #unknown, Games Workshop, UK, date unknown (c. 1982), pp 26-27.
  4. PARKER, Robert, "Law Enforcers", Travellers' Digest, #4, Digest Group Publications, Boise, ID, USA, 1986, pp 48-51.
  5. PARKER, Robert & Nancy, "Forensic Science", Travellers' Digest, #4, Digest Group Publications, Boise, ID, USA, 1986, pp 52-54.
  6. MILLER, Marc W., MegaTraveller Players' Manual, Game Designers' Workshop, Bloomington, IL, USA, 1987.
  7. BRINICH, Stephen & SCHWAR, James, "There When You Need Them", Challenge, #30, Game Designers' Workshop, Bloomington, IL, USA, 1987, pp 34-36.
  8. THOMAS, Gary L., Grand Census, Digest Group Publications, Boise, ID, USA, 1987.
  9. HERBERT, George William, "Law in the Imperium", Challenge, #50, Game Designers' Workshop, Bloomington, IL, USA, 1991, pp 22-26.
  10. CHADWICK, Frank & NILSEN, Dave, Traveller: The New Era, Game Designers' Workshop, Bloomington, IL, USA, 1993.
  11. ZEITLIN, Jeff, "Law Enforcer Characters", Traveller Mailing List, Jeff Zeitlin, New York, NY, USA, July 1995.
  12. MILLER, Marc W., Marc Miller's Traveller, Imperium Games Inc., Lake Geneva, WI, USA, 1996.
  13. SMITH, Lester, Milieu 0, Imperium Games Inc., Lake Geneva, WI, USA, 1996.
  14. McGREGOR, Phillip, "Point-based Character Generation", Dark Star, #1, Phillip McGregor, Sydney, Australia, September 1996, p 15.

With apologies to The Bill.

© David Jaques-Watson, Canberra, ACT, Australia; April 1998 and January 2002.

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