Sunday, November 29, 2015

Shaking Up my Traveller Universe

One of the more enjoyable aspects of creating your own Traveller Universe is that you can change it if you want.
Back in 1997, when I first began to sketch out the map that would become my TU, I left everything to the roll of the dice. Book 3 showed me the procedure, and I followed it verbatim. All the star nations that inhabit my TU do so because they were adjoining one another on the map as I rolled for the presence of systems.

Was that wrong? No, I do not believe that it was wrong. But it was short on imagination. I had missed out on one of the more important rules – as the Referee I had final say in how my TU took shape.

Looking Back to the Beginning, Heading for the Future

Here's a scan of my original map, about six subsectors worth, on a sheet of graph paper. Compare this with the map of my TU now, and you can see it still lines up. I had forgotten that what is now the Talaveran Empire, and my most developed star nation, I first called the Star Kingdom of Adair.
You'll have to blow it up to see much of anything. Sorry.
Before long I began color-coding the planets, and the various star nations took shape. 

Long before Hexographer, there was . . . graph paper.

I spent a long time, from 1997 to 2011 or so slowly adding more worlds. Again, I followed the world building tables and used dice rolls. I did start to place the worlds instead of just putting them where the dice said a world could go.

The region I called The Wilds is where I began to do more building and less die rolling. I shifted a few planets around, and adjusted rolled values. It's not necessarily better to assign all the UPP values for each world. Dice rolling does provide variety, but here I took more effort to nudge and adjust. I was designing worlds, not just rolling them up.

I made the Esparada Cluster a group of worlds just at the beginning of jump-capable technology. I admit that I lifted the planet Sharmun from the Amber Zone adventure I reviewed here, because the setting interested me. The planet has two TL-6 cultures on the brink of nuclear war, with any outside interference likely to send up the balloon.

Down South of the Wilds I did even more lifting. I pulled District 268 out of the Spinward Marches and dropped it into my TU. Not long after that I realized what I did was both a copyright infringement and poor creativity. I decided to change the names and UPP values of the planets and move them around. I began creating planet backgrounds, and the Corridor of today was the result. I'm proud of the work that I've done in making this region my own.

I can't say when or why he other parts of my TU got added on. I didn't keep records of what I added or when, and it doesn't matter anyway. Building planets is fun. What is important is that I keep control and make the changes I want to make. I'll take ideas and inspiration wherever I find them, but it is my responsibility to make the setting interesting and fun to explore.

And your point is?

That brings me to what I decided to do with it recently. I'm focused on the Corridor as I have been, but with my recent posts about the TAS and its' expanded role in the galaxy I wanted to change things up and put some more frontier into my TU. I've said elsewhere that the subordinate worlds of an established system may have ungoverned space or frontier. There should also be parts of my TU where the whole system is the frontier. I've tightened things up and moved things around.

There are Independents in between the bigger star nations, so they can have borderlands. I've pushed most of the Wilds and Independents to the edge of the map. The frontier isn't that' deep, but there's no reason why explorers couldn't go off the edges of my map and find new worlds to subdue and colonize. 

Here's the new map of my Traveller Universe. As far as all the residents of my imagined galaxy are concerned, everything is still as it should be. Whether I think so in a month or a year, we will see. And if I don't like it, I'll change it. 
Dark Red or Gray hexes are the Independents, Border Worlds and Frontiers.

I will replace all the pictures on the sub-page with subsector maps, once I've gotten this big map broken down. Some of the subsector maps won't have to change.

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