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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 March 31st, 2019, 04:11 AM
kaladorn kaladorn is offline
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Default IMTU: Single System Traveller

I've recently decided to run an online SF game and, as usual, Traveller became the choice. But I want to be a little less crunchy given it's a play-by-skype/VTT game vs. a face to face. Streamlined systems work well in that environment.

I elected to look into Roll20 as the VTT and Skype or Discord may become our voice app.
I'm also looking at Epic Table as another VTT option.

The setting sees humans spread throughout the solar system, then discover a way to do interstellar jumps. Unmaned probes can be of middling mass, but the shielding and power to keep living things alive through Otherspace requires vast vessels (if you want to travel long distances at a jump) called Leviathans.

For the most part, early out-system colonization was small starter colonies on marginal worlds. None were truly self-sufficient - they still relied on the Terra system for dealing with emergencies and for top end AIs, cyber, uplift development, production of jump engines, and the like.

Then a probe a few hundred LY away discovered a system with TWO habitable planets with Earth-ish conditions and lots of other planets in the system to provide other resources. This was a bonanza.

As a result, Earth started shipping out a steady schedule of Leviathans with colonists and supplies and the ships were dissassembled at the other side.

The colony was built up on both mainworlds and a pile of habitats in orbit scattered around the system for science, research, and other purposes. Of course, balkanization persists as do different human cultures, so that came too.

Then, suddenly, Leviathans stopped arriving. Any ships sent back to Terra or the Inner Rim never returned. Nobody knows what happened. Some suspect an AI or cybernetic apocalypse. Others suspect an enemy attack. Some imagined a sudden unexpected solar event in the Terra system or a larger scale multi-system cosmic event. There just isn't any data, nor are there any more Leviathans that can make the jump home. One other idea is that something has went wrong with Otherspace and that's what is eating all the ships and that Terra is just fine, but inaccessible.

Horizon was on its own. A few other minor colonies in the cluster of stars Horizon is part of likely collapsed. They were never as big or prosperous as Horizon by 2 or more orders of magnitude.

Horizon, for its part, had more than 100 millions of inhabitants with a lot of science, tech, and a fair bit of manufacturing (minus the ability to build nanufacturies). They had enough resources to likely stand on their own but they'd miss Terra's massive ability to solve problems and provide ultra high tech manufactured goods.

To safeguard the survival of humanity (figuring they might be the last), they barred large scale scuffles in the system that could affect the biosphere or key infrastructure necessary to sustain humanity (beanstalk, key AI hubs, key manufacturing centers, etc). Everyone became at least partially occupied with figuring out how to survive over the long term without Terra (and to figuring out the new geo-political realities of no Terra).

Thus we have a system-wide game with system-ships (no space wasted on jump engines and stupid amounts of fuel) and chances to visit many polities on the two major planets and the dozens of smaller habs and research stations around the system.

The player's are opting for a campaign concept that is along the lines of Altered Carbon, Magnum P.I. or Firefly with a rich patron, options for lots of character types and the opportunity to go anywhere from the high end ultra rich locations to the most humble.

Like Magnum, the characters would not be about Money beyond what is needed to survive or have a good time now and then and would instead be essentially altruistic (some may still have an angle on making a few credits, like Rick in Magnum). This allows dilettante, space crew, agents, P.I., free traders, ex military, criminal, hunter, doctor, diplomat maybe even priest or sports hero. The unlikely or impossible might be corporate (ex corporate could work), barbarian, bureaucrat, pirate.

Adventures could cover a lot of locations and game types.Mystery, Rescue, Investigation, Travel, Friend In Need, Callback to help Police, Nation, etc. They might get dragged into things above their pay grade (like the crew of the Rosinante in Expanse).

Particular Rules Mods:
- No aliens, but there are uplifts, cyber-enhanced, and gene-mods
- No jump drive, but a fair bit of in-system travel
- Tech 9-12 with avg being 10-11
- No grav tech (spin habs! zero-g!)
- Weaponry mostly missiles, drones, railguns, both lasers, mass drivers, and a few fusion and plasma guns, maybe a P.A. style spinal but fewer than 5 ships would have that
- Personal weapons would be a mix of projectile (CPR, gauss, other), laser and maser weapons, and support weapons - gauss and lasers would be predominant miltech. Lasers can be auto or cartridge fed.
- No ship grav means no small vehicle grav - spaceplanes, interface shuttles, beanstalks, rotorwing, fixed wing, lighter than air, watercrat, submersibles, hover veihcles, flying cars (rotor) and so on
- Lock down spin habs in combat, depressurize ships.
- Ships crews make important roles for stewards + purser as well as supercargo and more types of ship's engineers (including life support, power plant, plasma drive, offensiv and defense systems, C4I and EW, etc)
- fighters are very short range and there might be 2 or 3 small carriers in the system, nothing big
- destoyer, frigate or corvete would be most common military craft, civ cargo ships vary from small courier up to bulk freighters (some using LASH or RO-RO systems), civ ship owneship rare (rich) as most are owned by govt or corps (lots of corps with lots of power)
- There may be some sort of alien stuff discovered one day, but so far none
- Probably use MgT's idea of 'campaign skill packages' to insure all key skills appear in the party

I'm feeling like this is going to play fairly different than standard traveller without the Jump Drives, but it will have a similar skill system (modified MT) and chargen (hybrid of many trav editions) and rules for ground combat. Space combat is likely to be handled more narratively than like a wargame. The uplfits and spin habs and no AG on ships will make for a distinct non-OTU feeling as well.

I'm looking forward to this. I'm working on finishing up chargen/skill system info to distribute to the players. I'll have to see who they generate and figure out an appropriate patron.

If I can recover it from a drive crash, I had done out the entire Far Horizon system in Astrosynthesis 3.0. I had all the habs, the main planets, etc. documented up. I don't know if the key files were backed up, so I may have to recreate, but that's a few tens of hours to redo.
"Tell them, that from this place we will deliver notice to the parliaments of conquerors that a line has been drawn against the darkness. And we will hold that line, .. no matter the cost." -- Cpt. Sheridan "The Long, Twilight Struggle"
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