5150 No Limits - Creating the crew of the Tiny Dancer
A recent thread on BoardGameGeek reminded me that I haven’t played 5150 No Limits in a while so I decided to start up a game. While sold under a “wargames” title, these are really roleplaying games with a well developed lightweight man-to-man skirmish game along for the ride.
While 5150 No Limits is filled with an abundant set of tools for running a solo “space trucking” game, I’m going to lean on my usual suite of solo tools from Word Mill Games: Mythic Gamemaster Emulator, Adventure Crafter, and the Location Crafter to fill in gaps. I’m not sure what else might be useful but I’ll try to keep track of the built-in/outside provenance of the tools.
A couple of things about “my 5150 universe”:
- I don’t really care for the default species, so I’m going to ignore them and make mine up as we go.
- I do like the general idea of the “9 rings” that organize the galaxy into 9 parts with ring 1 being the center of the galaxy and ring 9 being the outer ring.
- The default assumptions about the tech levels and professions are good. It is a blend of space opera and cyberpunk that works for me.
- To limit the amount of typing, I’m going to borrow Traveller’s “UPP” format. A character’s 5150PP will have something like:
[Name] [_Rep#_][_People#_][_Savy#_][star status] [profession]. [Attributes]. L[Lifetime Rep] (I[Increasing Rep] D[Decreasing]). [Armor] / [Weapon].
Crew of the Tiny Dancer
I’ve already decided on the name and type of ship, which will be a “Pirate” class vessel.
Ok, first up let’s generate the “Star.” You are either a Star or Grunt in a THW game. Stars in 5150 get all sorts of “plot armor” to stay alive. I want a sorta young Han Solo type character. I pull a random name from my personal collection of human name generators:
Name generator: Reza Trenor
Now to assign our character’s Rep. In THW games, you have one main stat - Rep and the higher the better. It is a number typically set between 3-5 at character creation. Reza, will start at Rep 5 which means they can have one skill of either People or Savvy at the same rating as their Rep (with the odd-skill out relegating to one step lower.) Reza’s probably better with People than being Savvy. Reza is going to take advantage of the “Jack of All Trades” rule for Stars - where being either an Exotic or Criminal Element allows him some latitude in being proficient with all of the various roles. Reza will take the profession of Smuggler from the Criminal Element category.
Now we just need to assign Attributes. Attributes are like “Feats” or “Edges” - they break the default game rules under certain circumstances. Stars receive two Attributes, one randomly rolled and one chosen. To randomally roll an attribute you roll 2d6 and cross reference against the Attribute tables.
2d6: [6, 2] - Crack Shot
For the other attribute I’m going to give Reza “Quick Reflexes” as I see him being the ship’s pilot.
Finally for a weapon we’ll give Reza the “BAP-2” (Big A$$ Pistol, 2 shots.) This weapon does not appears in the Character Creation’s Weapons table but later in the book. It is a rather infamous 5150 weapon and typically found in the hands of a Star. I like to think of it as Han Solo’s Heavy Blaster.
- Reza Trenor 554* Smuggler. Crack Shot & Quick Reflexes. SBA / BAP-2.
Now, let’s figure out who Reza’s primary partner is. I know that they will be a Grunt rather than a Star. They’ll start at Rep 4. I’m envisioning a crew of three - one other human and a robot. To figure out the background of my partner I’m going to use the Adventure Crafter’s Character Descriptor & Identity tables (and my own random name generators:)
Name generator: Emma Kyrkos
I like the idea of Reza’s partner being someone who identifies as female, so I’m going just to run with that.
Fate Check: Was Emma Law Enforcement (yes) or a Private Investigator (no)?
Fate Check (CF 4, 50/50) 8: Exceptional No
Emma has a background as a PI… possibly still active? I interpret the “Exceptional No” as Emma having a serious distrust with the official arm of the Law. Maybe some background event drove her away from the Law and into her own practice. I also imagine this makes them more Savvy than People oriented.
Emma can have one attribute, randomly assigned.
2d6: [2, 6] - Stealthy
Stealthy is an interesting one as it seems to drive towards a particularly story setup: It only triggers when the character is alone.
For a weapon, I think she wields an Shotgun (SG-3.) (Again this is a weapon not in this book, but I pulled it from another THW game “Larger than Life” which is their “Pulp Adventures” line.)
- Emma Kyrkos 434 Private Investigator. Stealthy. SBA / SG-3.
Finally we have our robot. While No Limits has no “robot rules” exactly, the author (Ed Teixeira) was kinda enough to prepare the supplement 5150 Robots for me based on other THW titles when I asked about this subject awhile ago.
Once again, I’ll use Adventure Crafter’s Character Descriptor & Identity tables to narrow down the profession of our robot and my own robot random name generators:
Trained and Intimidating Driver/Pilot
Robot name: K-2DK
K-2DK is a robot trained in astronavigation & piloting making them “Spaceship Crew” from the Joe’s Labor category. This is fine, every famous tramp freighter needs a co-pilot. They are a Grunt as well and I’m going to start them off at Rep 3, with Savvy being their strong skill. The Robot supplement has some super flavorful tables for generating the description of our robot, so I’m going to use them.
Size, 1d6:  - Medium (AR 1)
Shape and Mobility, 2d6: [2, 2] - Humanoid, Two-legged
Interaction Skills, 1d6: 4 - Developed
The Medium sized droid comes with “Armor (AR) 1”. With a humanoid body form I imagine they can manage a basic Pistol (P-1) just fine. The “Developed” Interaction skill means that they are able to communicate like any other character in the game - no advantage or disadvantage at doing so. Rather than roll for an attribute I think it makes the most sense to just give them the “Logical” Attribute and move on.
- K-2DK (Medium Developed Humanoid Two-legged) 323 Spaceship Crew (Pilot). Logical. AR 1 / P-1.
So, that’s that. 5150 No Limits Character Creation. Takes about 15 minutes if you know what you are doing and maybe 30 minutes the first time through (just to carefully read the various entries on the tables.)
The Crew of the Tiny Dancer (Pirate: Thrust 3, Firepower 3, Hull 3)
- “Captain” Reza Trenor 554* Smuggler. Crack Shot & Quick Reflexes. SBA / BAP-2.
- “Security Officer” Emma Kyrkos 434 Private Investigator. Stealthy. SBA / SG-3.
- “Co-Pilot” K-2DK (Medium Developed Humanoid Two-legged) 323 Spaceship Crew (Pilot). Logical. AR 1 / P-1.
This is all the information you need to run the game (plus tracking “increasing/decreasing rep” which is effectively the in-game credit & XP system bundled together.)