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Traveller in Other Systems Discussion of Porting any published traveller setting into non-traveller games. If it doesn't involve a published Traveller/CE setting, it goes in Non-Traveller Gaming

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Old May 20th, 2021, 01:12 PM
Werner Werner is offline
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This is an idea for a rules supplement for the Traveller game, not sure which version of Traveller would be best for this. Traveller is a game of the far future, but what if you wanted to set a Traveller game on present day Earth? Some science fiction occurs in the present or the near future, no more than a decade or two, to have adventures in this setting, you need to have modern characters, skill sets and equipment, has there ever been any rules supplements for this?

Seems to me that all the Traveller careers could be translated to the modern world. Some more easily than others. You have Army, Navy, Marines, Mercenary, Merchants, Spy, Rogue, Scientist, Explorer.
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Old May 20th, 2021, 02:48 PM
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Easy peasy!

We're TL 7-8 under most Traveller standards (without the grav tech, though) -- GURPS used a slightly different TL system.
Convert Credits to Dollars (or Euros, or whatever). If memory serves, a Credit was about $1 in 1977 so adjust for inflation.
Adjust the chargen skill list for today's equivalents, and your uncle's name is Robert.

Compared to CT, I'd subdivide Vehicle (ground car) into what are basically the drivers' license endorsement categories -- car, heavy truck, motorcycle; heavy equipment (forklifts, earthmovers) is also a specialization. Vehicle (aircraft) gets split into fixed wing v. rotary wing (RW can do FW at -1, FW can do RW at -2), with fixed wing further split by category (ultralight, light plane, large plane). Boats get subdivided by propulsion (sail v. powered) and size.

Navigation is terrestrial unless otherwise required by the character's career -- space navigation is probably part of the EDU stat (in an Astronomy/Math degree) and most likely used by ground control rather than people working in space.

Computer splits into software use (commercial software, e.g. LibreOffice or business-specific software), coding (actually writing software), and network admin. For game purposes, hacking uses mostly the last two.

Vacc Suit is (almost always) not skill in 0-G in an EVA suit. Think chem warfare or biohazard suit, firefighters' SCBA gear, possibly a deepwater diving suit.

Last edited by Grav_Moped; May 20th, 2021 at 03:36 PM..
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Old May 20th, 2021, 03:53 PM
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TWO supplements from Zozer Games, as starting points:

(1) HOSTILE. If you want retro-grit like Alien, Bladerunner, and Outland. HOSTILE has a large clutch of supplements, if you only need one particular thing.

(2) Orbital 2100. A realistic TL9 solar system setting.

I recommend anything by Zozer.
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Old May 20th, 2021, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werner View Post
...present day [or near future] Earth?
1. Stick with the ruleset you know best.

2. Reuse as much as possible or reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grav_Moped View Post
Convert Credits to Dollars (or Euros, or whatever).
This gives you an easy out: Keep the ACTUAL credit listing but call it "Euros". It sounds slightly exotic here in the States, but it's also a real currency, but it allows values to NOT be pegged at the "U.S. dollar" and all of the headache you might get when players might see dollar signs and complain that the prices don't match what they can find on the internet etc etc.

So that handgun that costs Cr300 has become €300. Yay!


(You could use ANY currency... see the last point for clarification)


3. Limit and explain the essential technology. But, Map Only As Really Necessary.

- what's the essential TL? 7? 8? 9?
- does gravitics exist?
- how do you get from planet to planet?
- is life support an important matter?
- how is power generated?
- what sensors are available?
- are there robots? clones? synthetics?


4. Map the careers. Again, reuse as much as possible. However, you may want to redefine and adjust "Navy" for instance.

- army, marines: no change
- entertainers: no change
- scholars: no change
- citizens: no change
- agent: no change
- rogue: no change
- noble: no change

- scouts: needs a name change
- navy: needs a description change
- merchants: might not exist

- psioncist might not exist -- PSIONICS might not exist!

5. Create a skills blacklist. Only worry about skills that absolutely "cannot" exist. Let the rest live as-is. Keep It Simple. It should be a short and obvious list.

- Fleet Tactics
- Grav craft ?
- Astrogator
- Gravitics ?
- Turret Gunner ?
- Jump Drive tech
- Battle Dress
- Spines ?
- Psionicology ? (depends if you want psionics)

6. Map the vehicles and equipment. know what equipment captures the feel of the setting.

- are there gauss guns? lasers? plasma? particle accelerators? meson guns?

7. Know what captures the feel of the setting.
- Outland
- Alien?
- Blade Runner
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Space: 1999
- The Expanse?
- Jack McDevitt's novels (set around 2200 AD, a bit further than "near" future).


If the political structure of the world is slightly different from today, then you'll need a Map Of The Earth and you'll have to make decisions.

Make any decisions that you like. Do NOT be bound by analysis or other peoples' opinions. This is a game.

One side effect: you'll probably want to use the dominant country's currency sign for the prices of things. So instead of Cr300, you'd have

€300. (Euros). <-- I like this one best.
元300. (Yuan)
L300. (Lira). <-- My second choice.
₺300. (Turkish Lira)
₹300. (Rupees)
₽300. (Rubles)

...or whatever. Just avoid emoji or else your players will be distracted.


I like the straightforward "L", for Lira or Libre or whatever, but it begs the question: where did this currency arise from? Did Greece suddenly stumble upon such overwhelming material, technical, and political power that it now dominates the world? Or is this the currency of the North American Union? Or something else entirely??


If you can deal with those points, then you have a viable setting for adventures.
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Last edited by robject; May 20th, 2021 at 04:51 PM..
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Old May 20th, 2021, 06:08 PM
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Generally the default is todays world with one big science fiction exception.

For example: Artificial Intelligence, in a world that looks much like today a computer company makes the breakthrough in artificial intelligence.

Another example is Castaways in Time, a town or an Island gets sent back in time several centuries or millenia their presence creates a parallel timeline with them in it, and the time travel phenomina is not revisited and may never be explained, similar to the Ring of Fire series by Eric Flint or the Nantucket Series by S.M. Stirling, you have a bunch of modern tech items and people with modern skills within the area of effect that is transported back in time.

Another theme is the near future exploration and colonization of Mars, put something interesting on Mars, a technological artifact perhaps, this takes place from the 2030s to 2050s.

Flash Gordon: a rogue planet enters the Solar System and is seemingly on a collision course with Earth

Rendezvous with Rama, an alien starship enters the Solar System, it is huge, it is a cylinder 4 miles wide and 24 miles long rotation around it's long axis once every two minutes, the ship is on a hyperbolic orbit around the Sun, and we just barely have a spaceship that is advanced enough to intercept it. A crew is chosen and it is launched into space.
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Old May 20th, 2021, 06:25 PM
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Oh, I was thinking you wanted to sketch out a particular near-future setting.

Instead, you're exploring the space, so to speak.
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Old May 20th, 2021, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robject View Post
Oh, I was thinking you wanted to sketch out a particular near-future setting.

Instead, you're exploring the space, so to speak.
Why not talk about the five above or perhaps someone might think of something else? Basically it is the modern setting but we add one science fiction element that changes everything. This science fiction element is a stand alone, in that it doesn't need a science fiction setting to plausibly exist in our modern world. Artificial intelligence, for example, could happen at any time, because we don't know how close it is, but it would change everything.

A Mars mission is all about geology, and planetology, and the means of getting there, but its needs something extra to spice it up, some functioning artifact of alien origin is the usual trope, another possibility is a stole away, or an accident or a murder mystery perhaps.

Castaways in time is you take a town or perhaps a vehicle, a ship works best and send it back in time with a bunch of people with varied skills and limited resources to work with.

The last two involve introducing modern characters to science fiction settings,

Flash Gordon is a pulp setting with a mobile planet, a megalomaniac villain, and a bunch of characters opposed to the villain but with conflicts between themselves, and a bit of diplomacy and heroics are called for.

Renderous with Rama is a more hard science fiction take, it is a bit more alien and mysterious.
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Old May 21st, 2021, 12:10 AM
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In the here and now, there are no galactic empires as far as we know. Leaving the SOC stat scale AS IS means no one rates higher than a B because on Earth no-one rules more than entire planet. Not European nobles like the Queen Elizabeth of the UK and Pope Francis of Vatican City (he is still has a title of monarch in there, but it is generally impolitic to bring that up ) and all that. Other heads of state like elected presidents, dictators for life, etc. Do they rate higher, equal or lower to those nobles?

The practical effect is no-one should get more than a +1 DM from SOC in rolls, not even the heads of state. Are you good with that? If not, you should consider adjusting the scale in some manner.
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Old May 21st, 2021, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Brazil View Post
In the here and now, there are no galactic empires as far as we know. Leaving the SOC stat scale AS IS means no one rates higher than a B because on Earth no-one rules more than entire planet. Not European nobles like the Queen Elizabeth of the UK and Pope Francis of Vatican City (he is still has a title of monarch in there, but it is generally impolitic to bring that up ) and all that. Other heads of state like elected presidents, dictators for life, etc. Do they rate higher, equal or lower to those nobles?

The practical effect is no-one should get more than a +1 DM from SOC in rolls, not even the heads of state. Are you good with that? If not, you should consider adjusting the scale in some manner.
One could adjust Soc upward for just the planet.

Here's an idea for a campaign. What if we swapped out the real Mars for Ray Bradbury's Mars in the Martian Chronicles. That Mars has the same size and gravity as real life Mars, but a thicker atmosphere, would qualify as Thin by Traveller standards, it is criss-crossed with canals and the ruins of ancient Martian cities, and Elon Musk's Starship could land there. In fact they look much like the rocket ships used to colonize Mars in the Martian Chronicles miniseries. So basically what we are talking about is an alternate history where just one thing is different, a different Mars, the Martians also have psionic talents, and this introduces a new race a player can play. Mars is a dying planet, and the Earth is colonizing it. A colony is being set up called New Jamestown, in the Valles Marineris - which also happens to be one of the major canals on the planet's surface, still filled with meltwater from the icecaps. The topography is the same as real Mars, the atmosphere is breathable to humans.

So how would this alter the history of the Space Race?
The history proceeds much as in our timeline up until Apollo 11. NEIL Armstrong plants a flag on the Moon's surface, then Project Ares kicks off, as does the Shuttle Program. NASA gets bigger budgets, but going to Mars is expensive. The Ares I spaceship is assembled in low Earth orbit from Apollo hardware, the Space Shuttle Columbia launches from Cape Canaveral carrying the seven astronaut crew to the Ares I the mission goes to Mars in the mid 1980s, the crew lands and when the dust clears they find themselves seemingly in Greenwich, Connecticut, after that Mission Control loses contact with the Astronauts and they are never heard from again, there is a commission to determine what went wrong and what happened to the crew. NASA receives a budget cut and project Ares is canceled, until around 2007 when Elon Musk starts up SpaceX.

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Old May 21st, 2021, 12:36 PM
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You can easily use the CT rules for just about any historical era, all the rules are there for ancient through to early slug throwers.

Running Traveller as a modern era technothriller - Mission Impossible and its ilk - is perfectly doable.
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