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In My Traveller Universe Detail what parts of Traveller you do (or don't) use in your campaign.

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Old June 3rd, 2006, 02:32 AM
stofsk stofsk is offline
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By that, I mean "In part or in whole divorced from the OTU, effectively a new universe albeit using the familiar Traveller trappings."

If you have, what kind of changes do you make or what sets your thing apart from the OTU? Is it a variant or is it a reworking of it all?
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 04:14 AM
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My main Traveller Universe is the Solar Triumvirate one, set in the (relatively) near future of 2,400 AD, in a sector or so of known space surrounding Earth. Maximum TL is 12, with the avarage being lower (8-10) and a few technologies (medical technologies and robotics) going into early TL13 on the more advanced worlds.

This is a completely different TU from the OTU, with no Ancients to spread Humanity around (though there are extinct races, but those haven't taken too much interest in Earth in their hayday); Humanity has spread around by the means of STL colony ships at first, and later jump-capable ships.

The main polity is the Solar Triumvirate, a monolithic coalition of military, government-bureaucracy and corporations. Though quite repressive in the Core, the frontier has far lower governmental presence, and corporations are free to do as they want, including sabotaging each other and engaging in privateering. But not only the corporations rule the frontier - the lack of infrastructure and the communication-lag allow individuals far more freedom than on the Core, as long as they are not direct employees of the corps - not to mentions the fact that certain factions within the government subsidise small businesses and small trading starships to create an economicl powerbase for themselves at the expense of the corps.

The basic assumptions, especially in terms of technology (jump-drives, no FTL communications, low berths etc) are the same as in basic Traveller with several changes (such as HG ship "computers" counting as mostly sensors in terms of space and cost); alien races (two real alien spaces - the quasi-reptilian Celirans and the strange Inheritors; and one posthuman race, the Matriarchate), polities and cultures are different.

See the link in my sig for more information (though it isn't very up-to-date).

Beyond my Solar Triumvirate TU, I'm also thinking about creating a variant of the OTU, set in the 1130's (Imperial calander) but with a very toned-down Virus, so that infestation occurs mostly in the Core, and by the time the few remaining Virus-infested ships reach the periphery (such as the Solomani Rim or the Marches), the Virus has evolved into something VERY alien but not overly suicidical/homicidical (i.e. the initial strains have already been extinct by the Virus' rapid evolution). So, while the Core Sector has some sort of introverted Black Curtain on it (results of the first, all-destructive strains and of a later Viral takeover of Lucan's Imperium), the edges of the former Imperium (almost everything except for the Core) slowly recover from the Hard times situation. The main adversary here would not be the Virus (which would be treated as an very alien alien species, not a direct menace in most cases), but the economical and social results of the Rebellion and the petty tyrants created by the utter collapse of most factions.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Yes, I have created an Earth centred Empire like from the pulps of old. It turned out to a bucaneering adventure that combined the most heroic elements of Star Wars with an Asimovian sense of prophetic doom. With a health dose of Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat, Deathworld and especially To the Stars thrown in, to add humour and grit (pun intended).

Early adventures were sort of a combination of Star Trek arrive at a planet and things take off from there and organized missions with a purpose often commissioned by powerful patrons.

Their main nemesis was HYDRA, a terrorist organization inspired by Bond's SPECTRE who would show up under a variety guises.

It had all sorts of aliens (mainly drawn from the Monster Manual), realistic star systems drawn sometimes from actual stellar data.

It got bogged down because only I the references to the universe and could unlock the keys. The Players long accustomed to Greyhawk were used to published settings where they could reference the macro details of the setting and let me concern myself with setting up the micro. That is what neccessiated the transfer to the OTU plus winning some of the Alien Modules & a few issues of JTAS in an auction at a Con shifted my loyalities. And, then the Rebellion was the nail in the coffin in my campaign, as after that I loved the OTU.

Flynn, if you are thinking of mining this thread, I could may whip a few more details together but further down the road when I return from Paris.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 10:41 AM
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Yes, started in 1978 right after I got the three LBB, didn't even know there was an OTU for some time. [img]smile.gif[/img] So no variant or re-working, designed from scratch and not very Star Wars or Asimov Foundation like as the OTU.

Inspiration for the setting came from my favorite Sci-Fi authors of the time: mostly Frank Herbert (Dune and Dosadi series), Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle (Known Space and Co-Dominion series), Robert Silverberg (many except Lord Valentines Castle), Robert Asprin (The Bug Wars), Robert Heinlein (Starship Troopers), Harry Harrison (The Death World Trilogy mostly) and James White (Sector General series). Healthy doses of inspiration also later from Cherryh (Chanur series) and David Brin (Uplift series, although the idea of "uplift" I'd included earlier through inspiration from the story "A Boy and His Dog").

Enough of the muse, the setting is about 3,000-3,500 AD or so, never fixed it exactly, which I call the Lost Colonies campaign. The campaign is centered around a region of space (a little past Bellatrix) settled by a human STL colony ship about 400-500 years ago. The humans have succeeded admirably and have expanded from their original colony to inhabit about two dozen worlds.

The main world after a couple of hundred years went through a "revolution" and a new STL colony spun off a couple of parsecs away (think LeGuin's "The Dispossesed"). Both colonies grew. The younger colony discovered jump drive and the humans went through a micro-expansion until they started to come into contact with aliens.

A little about why the humans are here. The STL colony ships left Earth when it looked like they were going to lose the war with the first alien species they met. The best image I can conjure is imagine what the humnas in the Man-Kzin wars thought when slowly the Kzin gobbled up the human colonies and then a massive fleet (all STL then) was detected heading to Earth. People paniced and a slew of STL colony ships were sent out, The First Great Exudos. No records were made of were they we're going, for fear the Kzin-like aliens would follow. Hence "The Lost Colonies."

Now back to the campaign center. Stars within a region heavy with nebula were chosen for the colony to avoid detection and to provide some cover as IMTU, nebula make STL travel more dangerous (and FTL travel as well). So the human's were hidden in their little nebula pocket, as it were, for some time from the local aliens. Now when the humans encounter these local aliens there was a bit of tension as humans were a bit paranoid of aliens, veiwing them as genocidal at best. Luckily the first aliens they met were friendly traders who introduced them to the local political neighborhood. The Lost Colonies are in an area of several small alien polities (2-5 systems each) and two "massive" polities 24+ systems each. All of a sudden the humans are a new player on the block, although they are divided and war amongst themselves, and are not the most technologically advanced. Due to the nebula there remains regions of space unexplored that a fairly close by for those crazy enough to brave the navigational hazards.

IMTU there is also an Imperium, but not like the OTU one. No Vilani, no ancients etc. It is just off the edge of the campaign focus and the plan is to have it come in contact with the lost colonies.

Overall big picture, IMTU I explain the Fermi Paradox as follows. Roughly 3 billion years ago the first intelligent species arose in the galaxy, The Seeders. They looked around via STL (they never discovered FTL) and found they were alone. Depressing for them; so two factions took two different roads. One sent out seeder ships, STL self sustaining robotic controlled ships that were sent out to prepare worlds and seed them with life that hopefully would evolve into something like The Seeders. (Hence the reason there is a larger fraction of oxygen/ nitrogen bipedal life than by pure chance and why "food" from one world can often grow on another). Another faction of The Seeders decided to create intelligent species (think for example, The Progenitors in Brins' "Uplift Series"). That's another story.
Now this Seeder activity is the source of many woes for the region of the galaxy humans find themelves in. Over hundreds of millions of years many of these robotic seeder ships became aware, sapient. A portion looked back on what they had done and felt guilt, as in preparing worlds the often sterilized the surface first. They have come to view The Seeders and their progeny as "bad life." Some wait in space until they hear radio signals from a world, then proceed to clear it of "bad life," usually by bombardment with cometary fragments as they don't want to steralize a world just clean off the "bad life." Others merely contain the "bad life" in system. Still others periodically roam and destroy any bad life they find (one reason why mass extinctions on some worlds follow a very cyclic pattern). Still others focus on protecting independtly evolved life. Still others yet don't believe further destruction is the answer, and try to shield systems by "stopping/blocking/scrambling" radio emissions from the system. The zealous seeder ships make the galaxy a very dangerous place. But they are all STL with drives that a very hard to detect so they go unoticed largely as they crawl, almost leterally, between the stars. Luckily, not all regions of space are covered by these ships and they are the target of another species.

The other major threat are called simply The Bugs. They are actually several different species who have joined together. There actions appear random to humans (as they are typically emergent intelligences with a matrix -like thought process) but what is know is that they tend to travel to a system, settle it, clearing worlds of all higher life and farming them. After a while they leave (hence in some regions of space "garden worlds" with much flora and some fauna but with little variety or higer life are found) and move on. Great swarms are rumored to sweep the stars at STL and some at FTL. The Bugs and most Seeder Ships are mortal enemies. So IMTU, it's a dangerous place with seeder ships and bug fleets lurking between the stars and explaining the Fermi Paradox.

MTU is also a place of many aliens, the progeny of The Seeders. A fair number are bipedalish but a large number are not. The non-Seeder species are rarer. The Imperium is dominated by human systems but there are many alien polities that weild great power in the Imperium. The Imperium is more a military and economic association of many power blocks. The Imperial House is usually the most individually powerful group of worlds that have formed the most powerful power block. No one power block is strong enough to ignore all others and rule by fiat. Currently, IMTU the Imperial House is a human one (which is typical) after coming out of rule by a very corrupt human house (Think "Dune" and House Corrino and House Harkonnen).

This is just a quick overview since I skipped over the second wave of spaients that arose (all non-seeder life) and the Curators who came later and tried to carry on The Seeder work as they saw it.

I can go over the local conflicts/politicas in the Lost Colonies around Bellatrix, and/or those of the Imperium or the other non-imperium forces out there if you'd like more.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 06:54 PM
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I toyed with one back around the same time I put together my Wounded Colossus notes. It was towards the end of MegaTraveller's run and my game group was slowly drifting apart. The Rebeelion and Hard Times were beginning to drag on my players, so much so that they asked me to drop my MT campaign and run Classic Era one-shots instead Looking bakc, I now realize that their requests and our drifting apart had more to do with the lives of the people involved; changes in jobs, marital situations, etc. They simply didn't have the time to inviest in lenghty campaigns anymore. At the time however, I felt that if I could come up with a setting they enjoyed we'd start playing more often. So I putzed around with devising a few different settings.

You've seen or heard of WoCo, my alternate Rebellion setting. I had a few notes concerning a few other settings too. However, none were even as 'detailed' as WoCo and that setting is barely detailed at all! Two of the other setting were:

- '"o Ancients": I wrote up a few pages concerning this setting. Aside from humanity, the only other major races were the K'Kree and Hivers. They were a long way off however, treated as more rumor than fact, and any contacts were limited to lonely survey ships hundreds of parsecs from home bumping into each other and - maybe - not shooting immediately.

The area around Earth would have a 2300AD rip-off; a balkanized Earth home to several star spanning empires, lots of colonies, newly independent colonies, and so forth.

- "Dead Earth/Multi-FTL": Even less detailed than the others. Nemesis, Sol's barely theorectical distant companion, turns out to be a fact. As soon as it's detected, we realize that its will pass vey close to the Solar system this time and generally ▮▮▮▮ everything up. We have about 200 years. The UN gets' 'reformed' with the various G8 nations agreeing to share power and stomping any who squawks, crash space programs begin, and various 'Manhattan' projects launched into different technologies. The projects bear fruit, STL probes followed by STL arks leave first. Jump drive is discovered next followed closely by wormholes and stutterwarp drives. (I'd planned on making each FTL drive viable in its own way but barely got started on that.) With FTL on hand, the UN begins shipping out populations whether they wanted to go or not, that was straight out of Pournelle's CoDominium and BuReloc. Colonies good, bad, and ugly are set up in the region surrounding Sol. Some colonies plant further colonies.

1000 years later, Sol got ▮▮▮▮ed up on schedule. A successor state in Alpha Centauri kept things together for a while. 'Acey' went through the Toynbean stages and collapsed. Acey-2 is growing in power now. The various colonies are stirring about also. Generally speaking, the closer to Sol the more chance a colony became New Somalia. The 'Periphary' has more actual, working states. All of it knit together in a crazy quilt of various FTL options. Wormholes produce connected systems 1000s of ly apart, stutterwarp drives provide fast connections off the wormhole network and within 7.7 ly, and jump drive provided slow connections beyond 7.7 ly off the wormhole network.

- "Detente/Yugoslavia": This one was a bit more detailed, I actually drew crude maps for it. The premise was stolen from current day (mid-90s) world events. There were two regional superpowers; one with a troubling ideology and an expansionist bent and the other a satisfied state whose growth had reached the comm lag limits it felt it could could handle. Between them were a number of client states almost wholly clients of the second power. The two powers had fought a few wars over the last century or so with a cold war of varying severity filling the gaps. Both powers had experienced internal changes and were now co-operating in an uneasy peace.

'Geographically' the setting's region was a ~2 sector 'bulge' in a vast rift. The expansionist superpower had its back to the rift with a layer of client states between it and the other superpower. Crossing the rift was possible but very difficult. Explorations had crossed but not large amounts of traffic. The best crossing points were outside the expansionist power's territory too. Earth was a long way off with contact with it a once in a lifetime event.

One of the clients states between the powers; a confederacy, had suffered a recent and very nasty civil war. Forces from both superpowers were working together as peacekeepers. The clinet's civil war had resulted in a few small polities and several independent systems. The client's only real reason for existence had been as a bulwark against the expansionist superpower. When that need collapsed so did the client.

The players were going to be part of the crew of a superpower cruiser. An ex-confederate battlecruiser had broken internment, smashed the units watching it, gathered a small flotilla, attacked a rival world, and disappeared. The whole peacekeeping operation was in an uproar and the superpowers were pointing fingers. The players' ship would be on the flotilla's trail trying to prevent more attacks and bring the flotilla to justice. I called the campaign 'Stern Chase' and figured I could run it in 8 -10 with 2 - 3 sessions per month. The campaign's secret was that the flotilla wasn't interested in revenge or restarting a war. The attack on their 'enemy' had been a diversion to allow a raid on a naval depot. The flotilla and its dependents were attempting to cross the rift and start over.

Hope all this nonsense is of any help.

Have fun,
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 09:09 PM
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I created two settings, and have run adventures in both. However, I'm not really satisfied with either, as much because a lack of interest and imagination held up development as anything else.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 09:24 PM
Liam Devlin Liam Devlin is offline
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Stofsk--in our TU (the Ursula Campaigns U-1-3), we established the existence of an alien race known as the D'Kelva (created & all rights to Bryan Gibson, Traveller illustrator & author, & Ancient on this forum) out in the Reft being put to genocide by the Island States (subsectors J& K) in what they & a transcorporation from the Imperium, backed by the Duke of Cyril (we discovered much, much later in U-2).

Our Duke Norris was a widower in this time period (post FFW) and had a daughter by this tragic marriage, not a self-made, femme-gendered clone as per MT-canon. (Thank the Stellar Divinity she looked like Mom!)

In U-2 the climax had the balkanized clans of the D'Kelva unite and and head out and smash the Amondiage Navy (TL-D) with captured Imperial jump tender vessels they'd taken Carrying their higher tech, (but Non-jump) fast warships.

On the player's end, their exposure of genocide reached the Imperial ears, and Norris & Strephon had the Imperial offender's (the Duke of Cyril & his patron-in chief Archduke Dulinor) removed, tried, and executed (the former was chased to the border of Ley and committed suicide).

The U3 campaign was a nobleman's-level of play in the post-'Vengeance War'(as the D'Kelvan war vs. the offending Isalnd powers was called) era Spinward Marches. The D'kelvan Freehold was established, and rather than kill all of their enemies (man-woman-child) the D'kelva stayed their vengeful claws/hands, and took over the balkanized region.

Our "U-4" campaign actually takes place 80-90 years later, in 1210, the new era, in the Wilds of what had once been a rear echelon area for the federation of Ilelish (this time, lead by Isis Dulinor, the former disgraced archduke's daughter). We play Lucan up as a bigger villain for history more in tune with MJD's vision in 1248.

Our core of the crew misjumped in 1112 five parsecs shy of Uxors from Usani/Deneb thanks to a bomb attempt to kill one of the crew off aboard the Hermes-class 200dton Long-Range Scout ship IISS Temerity. 98 years later, we awaken in Uxors, and had a perilous refueling, and then encountered the vast silence and wreckage of the Final war here..

They have since seen the xenophobic survivors hiding from remnant vampire fleets on Mieniept, and the brave former IISS descendants on Pit Stop, as well as met a handful of Free Traders at their annual Rendezvous there, and are preparing now with their new ship SS Hecate's Moon, "to go and see what's out there"...

We have added a Vampire Pocket empire (nest is a better word) for villainy, the Naag'la'taal--freed TL-G cybernetic 6-legged hunter-seeking 'bots of the D'kelva (no, they too were not immune) who struck back at their masters, and failed in their coup, but fled with 12x jump ships & their surviving members in 1133 out into this region..

The Regency & Freehold stand poised to invade the region, and cleanse the Naag & AI-Cym 'nests' out. Corewards of the region, the Usdiki-Trade Federation is slowly expanding outwards...

A Human pocket empire is emerging, and the players are at the ground floor of watching it occur/ shaping events themselves..

Lotta fun, must go now! TY Stofsk! [img]smile.gif[/img]
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 11:26 PM
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Yes, I created my own setting way back in the 1980s and have every intention of doing so again in the reasonably near future.

'Cept you'll have to pay for it. [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img]
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 11:38 PM
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Originally posted by stofsk:
By that, I mean "In part or in whole divorced from the OTU, effectively a new universe albeit using the familiar Traveller trappings."
Depends what you mean by "with the familiar Traveller trappings".

I used FF&S to design the technologies, the TNE space combat rules for battles in space, along with various world building rules from various editions, (and used the alien generation rules in GURPS Uplift, and some ideas from GURPS Space and other GURPS books) and mixed that all together to make my own setting which bears no resemblance whatsoever to anything in the OTU.

As a result it's got no week-long jump drives, no anachronistic star-spanning empires, none of the alien races... so I can't really call it 'Traveller' at all despite using some of the books from the game.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 11:54 PM
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When I bought my first set of LBBs, the OTU wasn't really anywhere near as fully fleshed out as it is now, so we had to make our own settings.

My first setting was basically "here's earth, we've got J-drive, go and see what's out there". No 3I, no Zhos, no Centaurs, No Hivers ( ), no Doggies, no Aslan, no Drone, no Soli Rim/Confed.

But it was never quiet......
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