Monday, September 16, 2019

Social Standing and Class Consciousness

It seems that I am on a quest to make Social Standing a more important aspect of Traveller. Not sure why this is. I tend to play and write more plot-heavy and action-driven games, and have never gotten a PC into a 'comedy of manners' type situation. Pride and Prejudice is a great novel, but not a good model to base a Science Fiction adventure upon. (If you think I'm wrong, please do comment and explain your idea.) But as I look back across my now five years of writing posts for this blog, I see that I've spent some time trying to integrate Social Standing (SOC) into my favorite game.

Some players may consider SOC a 'dump stat'. I don't. I think it deserves its place in the UPP, because it can tell a player some interesting things about the PC. In the hands of an experienced player, SOC can be a useful tool in the arsenal for getting things done.

What's All This About Class Consciousness?

I assume in my TU that each planet has a mostly unified culture, even if the governments are not unified. There is not one monolithic 'Galactic Culture' or even an 'Imperial Culture'. Planets are like islands. Most residents don't ever leave, and don't ever interact directly with folks from somewhere else. This results in planet-based cultures.

Some cultures rate highly on what is known as the 'Power Distance' scale. These are socially stratified or 'class conscious' cultures. It matters what class you come from, and you stick with 'your people'.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Asteroid Visualization - Bennu

I have followed with great interest the OSIRIS-REx Mission to Asteroid Bennu (1999 RQ36), discovered twenty years ago this month! The next step in its exploration is to attempt a landing of the O-R spacecraft on it's rocky surface. It's a microgravity environment, and a challenging operation to conduct remotely.

Best of luck to the NASA team that's running this mission. 

What could a space-faring Traveller find by landing on such a small object?  What degree of difficulty would there be for the Pilot?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Amber Zone Adventure Contest is Back

The Amber Zone is once again holding its Adventure Writing Contest. 

Amber Zone Adventure Writing Contest 2019

This means War!

See here

The style of the entries should be in the style of the Amber Zones in the old JTAS. (First Players’ Information. Then Referee’s Information without any D6 options.)
This years theme is War. (This could be anything from a small local war on a balkanized planet to the Fifth Frontier War.) The PCs don’t have to be directly involved in the war. The war could be a background story.

I sent in two entries this time: a little jaunt I call Burn the Philadelphia!, and a rescue mission Doctor Aardmore, I Presume?

Check the Amber Zone site for mine, and all the other great entries. They are being posted one per day until all are up.

The "Big Phil"