Wednesday, August 19, 2015

More than just High Passages - the TAS in my TU

What the Travellers' Aid Society does In My Traveller Universe

In the Third Imperium the feudal unity of the government makes a sector-spanning entity like the TAS possible. The Imperium is everywhere, so the TAS is everywhere as well. In my TU, there are multiple competing governments, none of which controls all of 'known space'. However, there is an organization that does span the map: the Church.

Why does the Church run the TAS? One of the reasons is right there in the name: Aid. For the Church to offer aid and assistance (the ecclesiastical word is alms) to those who venture across the stars just makes sense. The Church is a community. Parishes live and work together and help those around them. This is called almsgiving, and it is an essential part of what the Church is and does. The TAS takes as its foundation Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke chapter 10 which underscored his teaching to "love your neighbor as yourself".

Why a TAS?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

How do you search for things in Traveller?

Search skill in Traveller explained

A lot of modern RPGs have a specific skill for Searching. It makes sense, lots of times an adventure calls for finding some object or person. But where does one go to school to be taught how to search a room?
Has anyone seen my keys?
Traveller’s skill list does not include a Search skill. In effect, it says “who needs that?  Anybody can search.”  But how is this handled in play?  See for yourself, it is laid out pretty plainly in Double Adventure One, Shadows.

Friday, August 14, 2015

One Way to Deal with Pirates

A pirate ship, yo ho!

An encounter with pirates in Traveller

Referee: Dad
Josiah Greene, captain of SS Lioness: Zach
Zeke Mason, XO and head of security: Joel

Referee: The navigator tells you that the pirates that are in pursuit have reached overtake velocity. It is no longer possible to outrun them.

Josiah: What do we know about the pirate’s ship? How big is it?

Referee: Your sensors indicate it’s a 400-ton vessel, probably a modified Type-P corsair.

Josiah: I’d like to make an Education throw to determine the size of the crew.

Referee: Ok, that should be an average difficulty, so roll EDU or less, no DMs.

Josiah: (rolls) Made it!

Referee: The Type P usually has only 10 crewmen, possibly as many as 12.

Zeke: Are we going to fight them?

Josiah: Maybe, but I think we can outsmart them first. (writing) I want to rig this up in the airlock. (hands referee a list)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Is space still dangerous in the Far Future?

Last night for our weekly movie night we watched 1986's Space Camp. Overall it was a good movie; perhaps not the most dramatic but a fun sit. In short, a group of teenagers attending NASA's Space Camp get accidentally launched into orbit in a shuttle that's only half prepared for space, and they have to get back down before the run out of oxygen and die.

The circumstances that led to them being in space were not that credible to me, and the practical effects  were good but not always consistent. Despite this, the main storyline was these kids and their adult supervisor suddenly having to do for real what they had been mock-training for, and coming together as a team without which they would have all died. One thing that the film did do well was demonstrate the difficulties of surviving in space and in zero-G. There was the lack of air, the disorientation of zero-G and the problem of not being able to stop or turn easily. Everything takes longer in space, and the hostile environment will kill you if you let your guard down. The kids all showed the fear that weighed on them as they tried to survive and get home.

Flash forward by several hundred years to the present in my TU, which is the year 924 SA (Space Age). The new calendar began sometime in the 22nd century AD when Jump Drive was introduced. Mankind has reached out into space. I wonder if they still think it's dangerous?