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Old January 12th, 2010, 04:59 PM
Chaos Chaos is offline
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Default Players wanted for PBP

Hi folks,

I´m looking for players willing to risk playing a PBP Traveller(ish) campaign, with me as the GM.

We´re not going to be playing according to any specific ruleset, seeing that it is difficult to use dice and all that via e-mail; we´re just going to use common sense (which sounds so much better than "dictatorial referee fiat", doesn´t it?) and such.

We´re going to play my own setting, Orion (after the Orion Spur in which our sun is located). It´s not all Traveller - no Imperium, no vast differences of TLs, no Ancients, none of the traditional alien races, no psionics, and so on - but I think it is Traveller-ish enough for Traveller players to feel comfortable in it, although for some reason I hesitate to call it an ATU. I´ll describe it briefly, and I´ll also post some more info in the IMTU subforum later on.

The setting is about 500 years after humanity begins interstellar travel. The Terran Alliance is the 5 megaton gorilla in humanity´s monkey house, having elements of the European Union, and Galactic Republic from Star Wars (minus the Jedi, of course), and maybe the Free Worlds League from BattleTech (minus the ´Mechs, of course); it´s a bunch of very different nations (some nice, some not so nice, some democratic, some not so democratic) who are not too fond on one another, with a lot of political infighting, bureaucracy, corruption - you name it, they´ve got it. There are other human-founded nations, even big ones, but none as big as the Alliance.
Then there´s the Wendol (named after the monsters from Eaters of the Dead/The 13th Warrior), who you might think of as a mix between Vargr and Aslan - except that they look like apes. Fanged, clawed, carnivorous apes, to be precise. They´ve been at war with humanity several times, but right now things are peaceful - mostly. These critters are the aliens who are most similar to humanity, which might be the reason behind their problems with each other. There is a big Wendol empire, whose ruler (mostly) reins in his vassals´ predatory ambitions, most of the time. There are also other aliens, most of which have a less problematic history with humanity.

The major differences that Traveller players would have to get used to are:
- Aliens are more alien; communication with them, much less understanding what makes that weird critter tick, is tricky business. The Wendol are a partial exception to this; I´d allow one or two Wendol characters if there is interest, but no other aliens.
- Interstellar travel is faster. Civilians ships can make anywhere from .5 to 2 light-years per hour; however, colonized systems are a lot more sparsely distributed than is common in Traveller, and its anywhere from 10 to 50 light-years from to one the next - including in-system flight time, it´s usually 2-4 days from one stop to the next. Jump time is also proportional to distance travelled, not a relatively fixed period.
- ships use reactionless drive; this means space flight is more as seen in Star Trek or Star Wars rather than Traveller
- ship weapons and defenses are different; shields which behave somewhat like black globe generators are common defensive systems, and weapons are mostly particle beams (military ships also have plasma torpedoes and nuclear missiles, but neither are legal for civilians in the Alliance)
- No TAS; there are organizations which, between them, fulfill most of the functions which the TAS has in the OTU (such as the Orion Explorer magazine, which is a mix of the TAS journal and National Geographic)

The campaign I have in mind is set in a region called the Crescent, with the Terran Alliance on one side, its (human-ruled) rival the Union of Midgard on the other, and the outskirts of the Wendol Empire on the third. There´s political intrigue (there´s a Cold War going on between Midgard and the Wendol, a rather less bitter one between the Alliance and Midgard, and a lot of officially cordial relations and mutual trust and goodwill (if you know what I mean) between the Alliance and the Wendol), espionage, proxy wars, piracy, unexplored mysteries of long-dead alien civilizations, unexplained space phenomena to investigate (or be investigated by), and lots of other general fun to be had.
The players are the crew of a small(ish) trading vessel operated by Crescent Cargo, a large company by Crescent standards, but dwarved by Alliance or Midgard megacorporations. The beginning of the campaign is going to be transferring a newly acquired old rustbucket to the company yards; this is the characters´ first job for Crescent Cargo, and their continued employment hinges on their performance during this job. There´ll be several stops along the way, and of course they are expected to make some profit during the trip.

Rather than a pure story campaign with a beginning, and end and a direct way from one to the other, I´m thinking of a more episodic format. There´ll be an overarching plot, recurring villains (and recurring good guys), and so on, but there will also be plenty of episodes in between that deal only with the characters´ perpetual struggle to stay employed and keep their ship from falling apart around them, and maybe earn a little money on the side.

Okay, that was a long speech. Hope nobody fell asleep halfway through. So, is anybody interested?
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