After reading the article “Love of adrenaline costly for Michael Schumacher, others“, I think that every last Traveller should be subjected, at least one, to some exceedingly talented madman at the wheel of a car, the yoke of a grav vehicle, or the helm of a starship. It would be difficult for the Referee to convey the terror and exhilaration of the trip, but if he can pull it off, it would definitely bring the game alive!
There are difficulties for letting the PC characters be the skilled-yet-insane wild child at the wheel, though. As the article points out, there comes a time when the daredevil’s
luck providential protection runs out, even for the best of us.
Still, instead of trying to flee death (and losing in the end), it’s better to leverage death to better secure goals worthy of your life (which is exceedingly valuable, and should not be destroyed for foolish, trivial, short-sighted, or cowardly reasons.)
For obvious reasons, Christians should know this, better than anyone else.
Traveller permits PCs to die for a good cause, and I see nothing wrong in that. For most of us, though, the real test is to live for a good cause, and to fight relentlessly to change the world for the better, uncaring of the price to be paid, or the slowness of the rate of improvement.
That is the real under-girding structure of the Empty Quarter. It is an arena, a hard testing ground that can break a man… or purify him, forging him to be the very best he can be. Nothing is easy except failure and death: and death is in the end inescapable.
But, while death is inevitable, failure is not. Good and evil are not figments of the imagination, but objective realities; and progress is sometimes real, and not always illusionary.
The challenge, then, is how the PCs use the skills and tools they have to rebuild their portion of the Empty Quarter into something better than it was before. They may be nobles, working to haul their people past the sterile cycle of vengeance; or traders, luring hostile tribes to trade and enrich each other (and, not incidentally, getting their own cut out of the deals as the trusted middleman). Or scouts, looking to get at the truth behind the cultural stereotypes and the murmured rumors.
The PCs, like all adrenaline junkies, must eventually pay the price for challenging the odds. But how they live, and how they die, what they are in the dark when nobody’s looking… this is what builds their legacy, and lays the foundation of those who comes after them.
“Because even when nobody’s looking, Somebody is.”
(And I don’t mean the Referee!)