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. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The 2015 Amber Zone Contest is on

Surf on over to the Amber Zone (or see the link in my blog roll) and check out all of the entries in this year's Amber Zone Adventure Writing Contest. 

Pay particular attention to my three entries:

but do check out all the other awesome adventures, like and share!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rewarding the PCs in my Traveller game

This is what we do adventure for.

Recently I posed myself the question "what could I give PCs as rewards for completing patron missions besides credits?"  Cash is always handy, but might there be some other kinds of assets that will provide their own adventure hooks, or build the game world, and therefore be more than a number noted on the character sheet?

The answer of course is Yes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Frontier is closer than you think - exploring a solar system

I want to expand my idea from an earlier post on Ungoverned Space or UGS, to see what could be made of it in a Traveller setting. Much to my delight, I found that Book 6, Scouts, gives some canon rules for the little bitty worlds, which I will refer to as subordinate worlds, that populate solar systems, but reside in the shadow of the main world. What I've got here is not a systematic review of Book 6, but a collection of thoughts and impressions based on my reading. You can pick up Book 6 from DrivethruRPG, and it's not even that expensive.

From Book 6: Subordinate governments are the “small, relatively powerless governments which can exist off of the main world”. Exactly. Just the sort of setup where mercenaries, PC parties, and TAS Wardens are needed.

Subordinate worlds are by canon “small [and] relatively powerless” but they can “wield great power on their own territory”. Well that's great, but however much power a mining outpost may have within its own mine shafts, the rest of the planet(oid) is still going to be ungoverned space. The miners are there to mine, not to be a territory holding civil government.

Relatively powerless” - what does this mean? To me it means that the government may not have a potent police force or military to enforce its will and keep the peace; therefore individual residents are more likely to have whatever guns are available. TL 8 may not be able to produce laser weapons, but surely even a small settlement can stamp out some rifles & SMGs. Take a look at the anti-Nazi Underground during WWII.

The subordinate world tech level is the Main TL-1, again illustrating that the frontier is not as well developed as the mainworld. The subordinate world may be dependent on imports from home to supply local needs.

All of this presents a setting of isolated groups of people with limited resources & limited zones of control. In other words, prime locations for adventure!