Traveller Store CotI Features New Posts Mark Forums Read Register


Go Back TravellerRPG.com > Citizens of the Imperium > Cepheus Engine > Cepheus General

Cepheus General General discussion of Cepheus Engine products.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old July 27th, 2017, 07:15 PM
flykiller's Avatar
flykiller flykiller is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: desert
Posts: 5,860
Gallery : 100
flykiller Citizen+flykiller Citizen+flykiller Citizen+
Default

Quote:
I have decided that I´m going to try and create a unified ruleset for use with such historical settings
... based on the actual history, or rather flavored by the setting? would your ruleset include a map and a list of historical players and a timeline, or will it be a "you are here, now go where you want and change history" kind of ruleset?
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old July 28th, 2017, 03:46 AM
Chaos Chaos is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 489
Gallery : 0
Chaos Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flykiller View Post
... based on the actual history, or rather flavored by the setting? would your ruleset include a map and a list of historical players and a timeline, or will it be a "you are here, now go where you want and change history" kind of ruleset?
The ruleset is intended to cover all the setting; invariably there´ll be some adjustments in each setting.

The way I intend to do it, each setting is a snapshot of a certain time period that serves as a starting point for events to unfold. It´s kind of hard to have things follow a fixed timeline with a bunch of player characters running around and changing things. The Trojan War for example will unfold slightly differently if the players manage to prevent Paris from absconding with Helen to begin with...
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old July 28th, 2017, 11:00 AM
Chaos Chaos is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 489
Gallery : 0
Chaos Citizen
Default

I´ve been thinking some more on the UCP (Unified City Profile) and come up with a revised version:

A-BCD-EFG-H

A: Port level
A through E are accessible for deep draft ships, F through I or J are river ports or other ports only accessible for shallow draft ships, X means not accessible by ship

B: Network level
Codes from A through E denote successively less central locations within the long-distance trade network, with A a central trade hub and E an isolated backwater; X is reserved for places traders are not supposed to visit (something akin to a Red Zone, perhaps, or maybe the place is inhabited by a tribe of cannibals or something).

C: Market level
A through E denote successively less extensive infrastructure for traders present: marketplaces, inns for travellers, warehouses, stables, moneylenders and currency exchange, etc etc

D: Road level
A through E denote successively less extensive and advanced road networks linking the city to others overland; A represents the finest Roman road networks, E means not even dirt paths, while X denotes that it is literally impossible to reach any other city overland from this one (such as when the city is the only settlement on a smallish island).

E: Population level
F: Government
G: Law level
I: Tech level
Those are more or less the same as in CE.
Population would of course not vary as wildly as in CE; I´m thinking of "100 or less" as Pop 0 and "1 million or more" as Pop A (i.e. a Pop difference of 2 is the same as a Pop difference of 1 in CE), with a theoretical uninhabited city having Pop X.
Government would see some changes; for example, instead of Balkanisation, Gov 7 means control of the city is currently contested between two or more parties, not necessarily in a civil war but in some sort of civil strife.
Tech level would follow the scale as established earlier, from Stone Age to Coal Age.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old July 28th, 2017, 11:14 AM
McPerth's Avatar
McPerth McPerth is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 6,596
Gallery : 0
Visit McPerth's Blog
McPerth has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
Population would of course not vary as wildly as in CE; I´m thinking of "100 or less" as Pop 0 and "1 million or more" as Pop A (i.e. a Pop difference of 2 is the same as a Pop difference of 1 in CE), with a theoretical uninhabited city having Pop X.
CIties with 1 million inhabitants were quite rare (if they exist) all along this period (at least in Europe, maybe some eisted in Asia).

Why not POP2*1000 (so from 1000 to 100000 inhabitants, with a median of 32000)?

Cities over 50000 (so, POP 8+) should be seen as very large cities (equivalent to HiPop systems)

See that, as cities will not be rolled as in Traveller (I guess, being historical campaigns), you can assign a code Z (special) for the rare city with population over those numbers.
__________________
Duke of ShaiaVland 3215 B64A998-E
Marquis of Ashtagz Tyui SR 1818C548786-8
SEH for actions in Extolay

I'm not afraid about bullets, what scares me is the speed at which they're incoming.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old July 28th, 2017, 12:00 PM
Chaos Chaos is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 489
Gallery : 0
Chaos Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by McPerth View Post
CIties with 1 million inhabitants were quite rare (if they exist) all along this period (at least in Europe, maybe some eisted in Asia).

Why not POP2*1000 (so from 1000 to 100000 inhabitants, with a median of 32000)?

Cities over 50000 (so, POP 8+) should be seen as very large cities (equivalent to HiPop systems)

See that, as cities will not be rolled as in Traveller (I guess, being historical campaigns), you can assign a code Z (special) for the rare city with population over those numbers.
There were a few cities of that size: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ughout_history

But, true, Pop A would be even rarer than in Traveller. But they exist, and I want the scale to be able to cover them.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old July 28th, 2017, 12:23 PM
McPerth's Avatar
McPerth McPerth is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 6,596
Gallery : 0
Visit McPerth's Blog
McPerth has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
There were a few cities of that size: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ughout_history

But, true, Pop A would be even rarer than in Traveller. But they exist, and I want the scale to be able to cover them.
Agreed, but they were few. THat's why I suggested the Z code (idea taken from the batteries mumbers and bearing in CT:HG) to represent those ocasional cities.
__________________
Duke of ShaiaVland 3215 B64A998-E
Marquis of Ashtagz Tyui SR 1818C548786-8
SEH for actions in Extolay

I'm not afraid about bullets, what scares me is the speed at which they're incoming.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old July 28th, 2017, 05:45 PM
Chaos Chaos is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 489
Gallery : 0
Chaos Citizen
Default

Trade codes would mostly not be derived from the UCP, but either manually, or randomly based on separate dice rolls.

High Pop and Low Pop are viable trade codes, but would most likely be awarded based on variable criteria depending on the era and setting - the great Northern trade nexus of Hedeby, 9th and 10th century AD, had maybe 1,500 permanent inhabitants, which would have qualified it is little more than a fishing village in the Mediterranean during the Roman Empire´s heyday.
The Rich and Poor trade codes are considerably more subjective as well, and probably more fleeting than in Traveller.

Cities are assumed to be more or less self-sufficient in agricultural production by default, counting their area of influence around them; they might import some items (like an inland city importing fish from the coast) and import others, but they would not suffer famine if long-distance trade ceased.
The Agricultural (Ag) trade code denotes breadbasket cities or the major shipping ports for breadbasket provinces - such as Alexandria in the Roman Empire - or cities exporting large quantities of other agricultural products such as wool.
Non-Agricultural (NA) is for cities who need significant amounts of food imports via long-distance trade - such as Rome itself in its heyday.

Likewise, cities are assumed have access to at least some raw materials and have the artisans to create whatever finished products are made from these raw materials (as well as from the local agricultural products).
A city with few or no artisans would get the No Manufacturing (NM) code, while one lacking some important raw materials (even something as simple as no wood for heating and construction) gets the Resource Poor (RP) code.
A city with a great number of skilled artisans, especially one famous some sort of finished product (such as Venetian glassworks) gets the Master Artisans (MA) code, while one which exports large amounts of non-agricultural resources, including things like lumber, gets the Mining (Mi) code.

Other trade codes could be:
- Capital (Ca) for the capital of major nations
- Religious (Re) for major religious centers such as Rome, Jerusalem, Olympia and so on - since religious centers are often flush with money due to the flow of donations towards the religious organisations, and perhaps also the pilgrim streams
- Icebound (Ic) for ports that are icebound during winter
- Laws (La) for cities with particularly invasive laws, especially those governing trade (like the Spanish colonies in the New World with very restrictive rules on who could trade there)
- Piracy (Pi) for ports either considered pirate dens, or with particularly high risks of pirate encounters in their vicinity
- Crime (Cr) for cities with an extraordinarily high risk of being victim of a crime - either in the form of pickpockets or robbers in the city, or highwaymen in the surrounding countryside

Things like war, civil war and epidemics are probably too transient to be codified by trade codes.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old July 30th, 2017, 07:52 AM
Chaos Chaos is offline
Citizen: SOC-12
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 489
Gallery : 0
Chaos Citizen
Default

The basic structure of character creation remains recognizably similar, but it has undergone some significant changes. Society in many of the eras the Zephyr Engine covers has far less sophisticated and formalized structure than the society assumed for the Cepheus Engine rules - starting with institutions like the Draft, or even the necessary bureaucracy to provide regular pension payments to veterans; the rules need to reflect this.
- In place of the Draft, there is a Hard Times table, to determine which of several careers the character finds themselves in - either a job taken up for lack of alternatives, being press-ganged into the Navy or captured and sold as a slave, or winding up as an outlaw after either a misdeed or a misunderstanding. The mechanism is the same, but depending on the era and setting, the careers involved are very different from the “six branches of the military” roll provided in the Cepheus Engine.
- Likewise, in most eras the career paths with a formal system of ranks would be the exception, rather than the rule. For that reason, rather than a Commission and Advancement check system, careers have a Special Events check; success in the Special Events check gives the character an extra skill roll for that term, plus a roll on a Special Events table that might result in any combination of a promotion (for those careers that do have ranks), an extra benefit, an ally and/or a positive reputation.
- Similarly to the above, failing a Survival check means a roll on the Survival Mishaps table, which can result in any combination of being ejected from the career, suffering an injury, losing the benefit for this term, gaining an enemy and/or a negative reputation.
- To reflect the fact that people tended to begin working for a living long before the age of majority for most of history, characters in the Zephyr Engine begin their prior history at age 14, but must have spent at least one term in a career (and thus be aged at least 18) before they can begin pay; likewise, to reflect shorter life expectancies and poorer medical care, the effects of age begin to set in at age 30 rather than 34 - and since careers start at 14 rather than 18, a 30-year-old character runs the same risk of characteristics decreases as a 34-year-old in the Cepheus Engine. The maximum number of terms, not considering forced re-enlistment, remains 7.
- Speaking of injuries and old age, medical treatment to recover lost characteristic points or avert aging/injury crises does not exist. In a fantasy setting variant, there may or may not be magic procedures (such as prayers to the right supernatural entity) who can deliver the results of the medical treatments - at a price.
- Pensions as a standard benefits after a certain number of terms in a career do not exist; some careers in some settings may have pensions as an entry on a material benefits table. To compensate for the loss of a pension, I am considering awarding one additional benefit to any character who stay in a career for five or more term.
- Instead of a +1 bonus to benefit rolls for rank or Gambling skill, a character leaving a career who has at least Gambling-1 has the option of wagering one or more of the benefits they receive (at most one per Gambling skill level) on a Difficult Gambling skill check - winning one additional benefit for each benefit wagered on a success and losing the wagered benefits on a failure.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old September 8th, 2017, 05:23 PM
timerover51's Avatar
timerover51 timerover51 is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: North of Chicago
Posts: 4,498
Gallery : 0
timerover51 Respected Citizentimerover51 Respected Citizentimerover51 Respected Citizentimerover51 Respected Citizentimerover51 Respected Citizentimerover51 Respected Citizentimerover51 Respected Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
I assume many of you are aware of the CT conversion Mercator; it proves, in my opinion, that it is feasible to use Traveller as the ruleset for historical settings. With that in mind, and my own fascination for various historical eras, I have decided that I´m going to try and create a unified ruleset for use with such historical settings, based on the Cepheus Engine. Given that what unifies all these settings is that they revolve around sailing ships, I decided to call that ruleset the Zephyr Engine.

Right now I can think of a variety of backgrounds for campaigns in the same spirit as Traveller:
- Ancient Greece, especially in the classical period around the time of the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, or even the earlier Archaic period
- Ancient Rome, in other periods than Mercator, and including other regions as well (arguably, Britain is closer in atmosphere to the Spinward Marches than the Eastern Med), perhaps around the time of the first two Punic Wars (for those who like major non-Roman powers) or the civil strife of the 1st century BC
- the Viking Age, with the player characters as Norse raiders, explorers and traders
- the North Sea and Baltic in the heydays of the Hanseatic League, with the conflicts between the Hanseatic cities and noble rulers, and the threat of the Victual Brothers
- the Age of Discovery, particularly the conquest of the Americas; between the campaigns against the Aztecs, Inca and Maya, the search for the Fountain of Youth, El Dorado and the Seven Cities of Cibola, and attempts to establish colonies in the Americas, there should be plenty of potential for adventure
- the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean, with the political intrigue, wars in Europe spilling over to the colonies, and the scourge of piracy (or the opportunity for the player characters to become pirates themselves)
I´m sure others, with greater knowledge in other areas of history can come up with other eras of interest - for example, the seas of East and Southeast Asia, with the various Chinese dynasties, European explorers and traders, and numerous pirate bands, would certainly provide fertile ground for adventures in the hands of someone who knows more about it than I do.

Rather than adapt the Cepheus Engine separately to each possible setting, I think it is much more practical to create one unified historical RPG ruleset, Zephyr, that can be used across eras and settings with only minor alterations. That would also make it easier to include low fantasy elements in the setting according to what people tended to believe in the respective times and places - a campaign in Ancient Greeks could include nymphs and centaurs and satyrs, potentially even as player characters, or involve the characters fighting of sea monsters, an Age of Piracy campaign might revolve around an actual Fountain of Youth, or around undead pirates seeking to recover all pieces of a cursed Aztec treasure.

So then, I´d like to hear whatever praise, critism, suggestions and whatnot you all have to offer for my ideas as I outline my adaptations of the Cepheus Engine rules.
If you need any artwork for your material, I have quite a bit. I have purchased the Cepheus Engine, and it does look quite adaptable.
__________________
Link to Piper Sector: http://www.zarthani.net/ridder-mankind_to_the_stars.htm
Do you have a security clearance? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElI451TxsTg, 3:24 in.
I march to my own set of bagpipes. Caution: This individual thinks that studying logistics is FUN.

Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old September 8th, 2017, 05:27 PM
timerover51's Avatar
timerover51 timerover51 is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: North of Chicago
Posts: 4,498
Gallery : 0
timerover51 Respected Citizentimerover51 Respected Citizentimerover51 Respected Citizentimerover51 Respected Citizentimerover51 Respected Citizentimerover51 Respected Citizentimerover51 Respected Citizen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
The ruleset is intended to cover all the setting; invariably there´ll be some adjustments in each setting.

The way I intend to do it, each setting is a snapshot of a certain time period that serves as a starting point for events to unfold. It´s kind of hard to have things follow a fixed timeline with a bunch of player characters running around and changing things. The Trojan War for example will unfold slightly differently if the players manage to prevent Paris from absconding with Helen to begin with...
There are those who argue that Helen's kidnapping was simply the excuse for the Greeks to attack Troy. Troy did control trade through the Dardanelles, which was important to the Greeks. Against that, it might have been harder to put together a large force without Helen being involved.
__________________
Link to Piper Sector: http://www.zarthani.net/ridder-mankind_to_the_stars.htm
Do you have a security clearance? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElI451TxsTg, 3:24 in.
I march to my own set of bagpipes. Caution: This individual thinks that studying logistics is FUN.

Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Historical IN fleet figures? rancke The Fleet 13 March 17th, 2014 02:27 PM
Adventures from historical incidents Dragoner The Lone Star 21 September 26th, 2012 11:37 PM
Question for the rules and Traveller historical Gurus about Hull costs in MT JRDavis The Fleet 3 August 17th, 2010 01:26 AM
Historical Striker? jrients Traveller Wargames 6 May 13th, 2006 10:54 AM

This website and its contents are copyright ©2010-2013 Far Future Enterprises. All rights reserved. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises .
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright (c) 2010-2013, Far Future Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.