Category Archives: Personalities

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Star Traders: The Navigator

Category : Personalities

Some people travel for fun. Some people do it for profit. For you, traveling the stars is neither a hobby nor a job, it’s a way of life.

Your parents were part of the Explorer Corps, charting new and faster routes between worlds. You were born in space. You plotted your first jump when you were five and shocked your parents when it cut a light-year off their best trajectories. You absolutely terrified them when, at 10, you reprogrammed the nav computer and jumped the ship on your own. You were grounded and banned from the bridge, but you continually pointed out the fact that the ship clearly missed the supernova by several million kilometers.

You shocked your parents again when you failed to follow in their footsteps. You’d been around the Explorer Corps your whole life; you always had a passing interest in discovering new places, but that was never your driving goal. It’s not about finding the new places, you just want to find faster, more efficient ways to get around. Pushing the edge of the known routes, running closer to the dangerous hazards of space, that was your thrill. Nothing held the pleasure of taking a route and being able to cut off another parsec by shaving closer to a black hole.

You bounced from ship corp to ship corp. Your natural talent backed up by a lifetime of experience would get you hired. Your constant attempts to “optimize” the trade routes and never sticking to a schedule would get you fired. You had just concluded a final conversation with your newest ex-employer (you admit to taking the ship through the space station’s gravity wheel, but you took almost fifteen minutes off the transit time and it’s not like you actually hit anything) when you received a very unexpected communication from your parents.

The Explorer Corps had gotten inside information from the trade commissariat. the Star Tsar was gone; no one was sure why, but the Emperor would be announcing a trade competition to appoint a replacement. Whoever could move the most cargo the quickest would win. The Corps wanted to make sure they had a connection with the winner. Your parents immediately thought of you and recommended you to the Corps. You’ve always wanted to get from here to there faster than anyone before. They thought that maybe now you could put that desire to some good use. The Explorer Corps had arranged a fast ship for you, a license to trade, and no questions asked about the routes you would take. Frankly, you stopped listening at “no questions.” You’ve got a chance to prove once and for all you’re the absolute best. You’ll be a legend, and the whole galaxy will be watching.

You are the Navigator. It’s time to go as no one has gone before.

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Star Traders: The Rogue

Category : Personalities

You were born in the slums outside a large spaceport. You watched hundreds of people move through the spaceport every day. People from all walks of life, all strata of society. You watched and learned. Everyone had mannerisms, quirks, tells. You studied them as they moved through the spaceport and learned to mimic them. You knew that a lone, uneducated orphan could never get ahead and make it away from these slums. So you became someone else.

You quickly grasped the art of watching people’s reaction. You discovered an often overlooked characteristic: people see what they want to see and rarely question their assumptions. If you wore decent clothes, carried a briefcase and seemed terribly preoccupied, people assumed you were an executive. A worker in coveralls with a tool box was never questioned when walking in the back hallways of a starport.

You finally got an opportunity to test your conclusions. You scavenged a discarded flight suit and made repairs to it yourself. You steadied your nerves, then put on the suit and a winning smile. You walked onboard an off-world transport just as if you belonged. You were light-years from the system when they figured out you weren’t part of the crew. They handed you over to the authorities when they docked.

You were released with a warning; you hadn’t technically done anything illegal. You found yourself on a new world, at a new starport. It was depressingly like the one you had left behind. You spent time at an electronic documents center, pulling up technical manuals. A week later, you walked onto a new starship, fully conversant with in the interior cooling mechanics of large scale reactors. They didn’t figure out you weren’t really their newly assigned technician until you failed to show back for their next departure. You had already found something new to try.

You survived by bluff and guile. With a healthy dose of charm and native intelligence, you did more than survive: you thrived. You moved from system to system. Each new locale birthed a new identity. From construction works to financial institutions to entertainment networks, you fooled them all. You even spent six months once as starship pilot, where you received a top performance rating despite the fact that you never actually piloted anything.

When you heard of the trade competition to determine a new Star Tsar, you knew it would a challenge, but you were ready. You crammed stock reports and star charts for the latest information on routes. You went to a shipping company — the same company that owned the ship you first left on. You gave the best of credentials, using your old pilot competency reports. You dazzled them with your knowledge of shipboard systems from your time as a “mechanic.” By the time you finished your evaluation of the current trade markets, they were scurrying to sponsor you for the contest. You walked out with handshakes, congratulations, and a brand new starship. They had no idea who you were.

You are the Rogue. Who are you going to be tomorrow?

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Star Traders: The Maverick

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They say that lucky people always win. You know that’s not true. Being lucky doesn’t mean you always win, it means you always come out on top. Sometimes that means losing. Fortune may favor the bold, but Lady Luck picks a favorite and sticks tight. You’re her number one pick.

Even as a child, you knew something was different about you; something special. You’d find a little bit of money, then walk to the street hustlers that ran the rigged games. You’d walk away with enough money to eat for a week. You were on your own, but that was all right. You had your wits and you had your luck. You didn’t need anything else.

The little tries were always the easiest; the quick, low stake games — contests that won you free meals, lotteries that would net you small earnings. You were a wizard; you never lost and always had an edge. You didn’t really lose at all until the first big stakes game you got in. It was a private game, in the back room of an upscale bar. You were doing well most of the night, until the last play. Your bluff got called, and you got wiped out. You were shocked, half dazed as you walked out the room. You couldn’t understand what happened. Until the authorities rushed past you, kicked in the doors, and arrested everyone at the table. Looks like luck was still on your side. You found another game the next week; you won back your losses and then some.

You moved from system to system, planet to planet, working your angles. Sometimes you were on top of the world, only to be down low the next week. But as soon as things got bad, your luck intervene and something unexpected showed up. You rode a streak into a fivestar hotel on a resort world for a month. You lost a luxury trip on a starliner cruise, only to hear it disappeared without a trace. You worked casinos; you’d inevitably end up banned by one, only to be back a month later when it was bought by a new corporation. You started playing the stock market; your trades were so chaotic that your broker cringed at your call, but you managed to accumulate a hefty retirement fund within a year. You loved it.

You got involved in a card game with a group of rich jet setters. One of them kept talking all night about his great plan to join in the competition to become the new Star Tsar. He was bragging about his new starship, his cargo, his nest egg of cash to finance the trades. He even talked about some of the inside information on trade routes he had acquired. By the end of the night, you had his ship, his money and his cargo. You graciously informed him that you would call the ship the “Lucky Lou” in his honor. He tripped over his own chair lunging at you in anger, while you smiled as you walked out. You don’t know anything about running a trade empire, but if life has taught you one thing, it’s better to be lucky than good.

You are the Maverick. It’s time to roll the dice and win the game.

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Star Traders: The Engineer

You had signed on to work a long-haul freighter with the engine crew; you had no experience but a great willingness to learn. Your first six months showed your natural talent with ships and engines. You impressed your crewmates, and (more importantly) you impressed the captain. You signed up for another six months.

It was on your second tour that you found her.

Your freighter had gone off course and had to make an emergency refueling at an out-of-the-way gas giant. The refueling station also doubled as a ship salvage yard. She was an old wreck, and had been sitting abandoned for years. But you knew the moment you saw her: this was a ship, this was the ship. Gutted and broken, but you could detect the lines of a dancer, graceful and sweeping. You just had to make her your ship. Every bit of money you’d made so far got you the ship and a berth to house her.

When your tour on the freighter was done, you left with a little bit of money and a bigger reputation. You spent your savings on new parts; you lived on board her and ate reprocessed soy-yum. When the money for parts ran out, you signed on with a new ship. You were back in a new engine room; you kept learning about new ships, new engines. Your good-natured attitude endeared you to your crewmates, and each ship you worked on added to your reputation. It was the same for years; any free waking moment was spent in the salvage yard, tinkering, tuning, tweaking. The rest was spent moving from ship to ship, from crew to crew. Everyone you worked with was amazed by your skills. What had been talent was refined by hard work and experience on countless different models. Your reputation continued to grow and soon people were actively trying to recruit you. But you were always selective about where you went. You’d turn down lucrative contracts to go at half-pay on a ship class you’d never worked on. You never stopped learning.

Then one of your former employers contacted you with a job. The Emperor wanted a new Star Tsar; he would be using a trade contest to determine who that will be. You were offered a job as part of the maintenance crew for the contest, working on the engines in-between flights. You turned him down. You had a better idea.

You walked into your hangar and contemplated the ugly duckling that over the years had transformed into a graceful swan. Her hull was gleaming, as though brand new from the shipyards. She was a technological wonder — a merger of a hundred designs and systems, integrated together through skill and hard work. No other ship could compare. This ship was meant to be dancing among the stars, not sitting in a hangar. You just needed to find the right waltz. You didn’t build for pure speed, but for strength and efficiency; she has the ability to continue on long after another ship would give up. Most people look at you and just see a mechanic. They look at your ship and just see a wreck.

You are the Engineer. It’s time for you and your ship to show the galaxy a few new steps.

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Star Traders: The Negotiator

It was a worthless load of junk and everyone knew it. Twenty sealed cargo containers, packed to the seams with … smaller cargo containers. You easily convinced the cargo master to pay you to haul them off, just to clear up the space. You moved them right into the hangar of a small export company, who gladly paid you top money for them. You smiled, thanked them, and took the cash. You moved on, looking for your next deal.

People always have something to sell, and someone else is always looking to buy it. The trick is to be able to move the goods without anyone knowing what a huge profit you make by doing it. And you have always been very good at that. The profits from the cargo containers were handed over to a bemused tradesman for a load of foil blankets that had been gathering dust for a year. The next day they were being shipped out to a newly founded arctic colony world and you pocketed your profit.

Each day was a new deal, a new adventure. One trade lead to another, each one bringing in a bigger payday for you. A warehouse full of discarded solar panels found its way to a desert world. Crates of old lamp shades were shipped to a giant space mall to be gobbled up in the sudden antique craze. Other traders tried to follow your example, but you stayed on step ahead; people thought it was skill, but you knew the truth. It wasn’t skill; it was art. The art of the deal. You always came out ahead and made more money than anyone else would have thought possible.

You amazed your friends when you managed to trade eleven crates of plastic figurines (still in the original packaging, of course) for a shiny new starship. You thought that this could very well be one of the best trades you had ever made. The next day you heard about the competition. The old Star Tsar was out — no one seemed to really know why, but he was definitely not in charge anymore — and the Emperor was going to hold a trading contest to determine the new one. You smiled to yourself and looked over at your new ship.

Could someone trade a starship for control of the entire galactic trade network? It would be incredible, it would be amazing, it would the biggest deal of the century. There’s no star trader out there who could pull that off. Well, no trader except you.

You are the Negotiator. It’s time to show the galaxy what the real deal is.

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