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Old June 18th, 2019, 05:13 PM
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Default Can you turn back time? The Interstellar Confederacy...

Originally Posted by weasel fierce View Post
So does T4 have any overarching plot lines or expansions of the setting, compared to whats been presented before in the previous three games ?
I'm not sure there are any "overarching plot lines" per se in the T4 books. What few ideas are presented, are presented in very broad strokes. But there are a few nuggets that might be mined if you start to read between the lines.

Here's an example of something I've been toying with...

In the books they talk about "The Interstellar Confederacy," a pocket empire the Sylean Federation first made contact with in -301, before the founding of the Third Imperium. If you don't mind setting the clock back, I have been considering just how interesting a setting this might be for a group of adventurers, perhaps as the members of the original scout team, that makes this first contact. For several reasons...

The Traveller Wiki describes the Interstellar Confederacy as such:

"The Interstellar Confederacy was an interstellar, multi-system government located in the Core Sector. It was a loosely allied collection of 32 star systems in a Confederation within the Bunkeria and Cemplas subsectors of Core Sector. The Interstellar Confederacy was the largest interstellar government to oppose the Sylean Federation during their 650 year ascendance in the Core Sector."

The First Survey supplement, in particular, only lists 19 worlds as members of the "Sylean Federation." My idea centers around scouts making contact with the Interstellar Confederacy in these early years when the Federation is still at this nascent, and fragile, point in their existence. While I haven't seen anything that specifically lists which worlds constituted the Interstellar Confederacy, you can go along the Core sector's main trading routes, and choose 32 systems that are close to one another. The thirty-two I chose, turned out to have some interesting characteristics in comparison to the early Sylean Federation, according to First Survey.

First of all, obviously, there are 32 worlds in comparison to 19. Secondly, there are four worlds in the Interstellar Confederacy that have a tech level of 12, while only one world in the Sylean Federation, (Sylea itself, actually,) that has this high a tech level. So when the scouts make first contact, they may be in for something of a shock.

This is a pocket empire that is bigger, and more technologically advanced, than the Sylean Federation! Assuming the scouts are tasked with the mission of finding worlds that could add to the advancement of the Sylean Federation, they certainly hit paydirt. But what's to keep the Confederacy from absorbing the Federation instead? Or worse yet, conquering it? It would seem to me, therefore, the scouts are going to have to measure their words and actions carefully, lest the Confederacy start getting ideas. Because if they did, the Sylean Federation would be out-manned, out-gunned, and over-matched in a serious conflict.

I find these ideas intriguing because turn-about is fair play. Usually it's the Imperium that is the big kid on the block. But at this earlier juncture, it's the other way around. How can Sylea "overcome" such an overpowering potential adversary? The books talk about how the Sylean Federation, and later the Third Imperium, tended to avoid these conflicts by "surrounding" and "engulfing" these pocket empires as they expanded. But that may be easier said than done! Could player characters working for the Sylean Scout Service explore the rim of the Interstellar Confederacy, perhaps finding out where, politically, their neighbors stand? Could scouts, or agents, of Sylea start making trade deals, or do favors, for those outlying powers? Could player characters be given the task to spreading descent among the worlds of the Interstellar Confederacy?

To say nothing of the irony that they would be undermining the very form of government that the Third Imperium is destined to become. The Confederacy is not a tight-knit community with once central Confederacy-wide government. But, instead, it is a loose alliance of worlds, whose internal affairs are governed locally. The very thing Cleon stove for with the formation of the Third Imperium.

Lastly, according to the Traveller Wiki, the major turning point in the downfall of the Intersteller Confederacy, was when (in -239) a civil war broke out among their members as a charismatic leader, Baron Rolf von Toerbach, tried to seize power. Sound familiar?
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