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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 24th, 2020, 11:15 AM
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Default Spacer Superstitions and other Quaint Customs

Traveller, even the OTU/3I, seems short on customs and (especially) supersitions--offhand, the Low Passage Lottery, private messages, and Jump Dimming (Vilani tradition) are a few that spring to mind.

Historically, however, cultures that deal with risky businesses--such as sailors, or flight--tend to have lots of customs and outright superstitions. Other notorious examples are found on many professional sports teams, such as "lucky bats," or uniforms, etc.

My question is: Have others developed such customs and superstitions?

One that comes to mind from RL is the WWII "belief" in gremlins: minor imps who bollox (particularly) airplanes. I can see this readily transferring to space travel, with various clans of gremlins (Glasses gremlins, who specialize in smudging glasses, for example, or desk gremlins, who mislay notes and paperwork, and so on), all the way up to Murphy's Gremlins (and possibly their bigger, meaner brothers and sisters, O'Toole's Gremlins).

So--any interesting ideas out there?
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Old June 24th, 2020, 01:32 PM
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one I came up with earlier in semi-related thread:

Starless: someone who was born in jump space. originally a term form the Church of Stellar Divinity (for whom, the holy link between a person and his divine star is the central tenant of their faith), but spread beyond the faithful of that religion into the generally accepted term for those born in J-space. Generally, their is common folklore acceptance that Starless people are... different somehow, but the exact nature of how they are different varies by sector and domain. very generally, the imperial core seems to view it as a negative thing, with vland sector seeing Starless as faithless or trustworthy, while Sylea sees them as unlucky. Coversely, the frontier sectors seem to be either neutral or positive, with the solomani rim sectors having reputation for being physically attractive, while Behind the claw the starless are seen as carefree, freebooting adventure-types.

While the medical science of stellar tech level societies is such that generally pregnant mothers can schedule to avoid jump travel near the expected date, the sheer numbers of people travelling, and the numbers of people travelling under time pressures that rule out waiting, still leads to thousands of Starless people being born each year.


another one, ive just made up:

Jump Ghosts: a type of apparition that is sometimes seen by people in jumpspace. Passengers and Crew of ships in jump have reported glimpses of people apparently walking down corridors that are empty on a second glance, or movement in the cargo hold after its been depressurised to hard vacuum. Often, these figures are discribed as being dressed in antiquated styles of clothes, often hundreds of years old of fashion.

Some maintain this is just the minds of humans cooped up too long playing tricks on them, but the phenomenon is not unique to humanti, but present in almost every intelligent spacefareing species, and supposed sightings are common enough that its hard to entirely dismiss the idea that they might be real. The Aslan hold that these sightings are our ancestors checking on us, seeing if we still live up to their standards. The Zhodani say they think these sightings are a manifestation of latent psychic potential, and what people see is some sort of "echo" of events on some ship in the distant past, but this idea has little traction in many rabidly anti-psionic imperial citizens.
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Old June 24th, 2020, 02:04 PM
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Exclamation Vargr Starship Superstitions

From the MegaTraveller Starship Operators Manual,

Old Salt has heard that Vargr Captains beat the first crew Vargr to show up for duty as a superstition analogous to Vilani jump dimming. The behavior is assumed to enforce charisma, pecking order, rank, authority and ensure discipline among the crew as well as grant good luck during a jump transit.

I keep that superstition with one or more of my Vargr crews, enacted lighter than a 'beating' but enough to know that the Captain is just superstitious enough.

Whether this act works or not is fairy floss.

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Old June 24th, 2020, 02:44 PM
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Aboard Solomani free traders, a ship’s cat will be a valued part of the crew, startling non-Solomani passengers when it suddenly streaks down a corridor in pursuit of rats or other non-terrestrial vermin.
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Old June 25th, 2020, 03:06 AM
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Default For the drive bay

Occasionally you can find, flexibly mounted to a bulkhead in a ship's drive room, a 5cm diameter metal sphere. Sometimes the sphere is decoratively painted to resemble a star of a specific spectral class, or has the outlines of some world's land masses, or just a pleasing pattern. The sphere is hollow, containing a coiled wire attached to the outer shell and a small metal or glass ball. Shaking the ball will cause the inner ball to strike the wire with a soothing chiming sound.

One variant incorporates a shard of Zuchai Crystal so that the chime will "ring" in resonance with the Jump Drive during Jumpspace entry.

Tradition says that this ball, if given to the ship's captain by someone who wishes him/her well, will protect the ship from mechanical problems. (It cannot be requested, nor purchased by any of the crew, or it will have no effect.)

These are known as Gremlin Balls.

Baoding Balls (Wikipedia)

Gremlin Bell (throttlexbatteries.com -- sorry, it was either that or urban dictionary...)

Last edited by Grav_Moped; June 25th, 2020 at 03:23 AM..
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Old June 25th, 2020, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxeskingofking View Post
Starless: someone who was born in jump space.
IMTU "Void-born", Void-born are often suspected as being psionically gifted.
Compare to homophone "void-borne", referring to lives lost in jumpspace mishaps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxeskingofking View Post
Jump Ghosts: a type of apparition that is sometimes seen by people in jumpspace. Passengers and Crew of ships in jump have reported glimpses of people apparently walking down corridors that are empty on a second glance, or movement in the cargo hold after its been depressurised to hard vacuum.
Reminds me of David Drake's RCN series. Quoting TV Tropes (link to page), "Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Too much time spent in the Matrix (the series' means of FTL travel, no relation to the film by that name) causes humans to hallucinate, though it's implied that in some cases they may be seeing into alternate realities rather than hallucinating."

Are those hallucinations after-images of the void-borne?

Last edited by wbuthod; June 26th, 2020 at 10:34 AM.. Reason: 1) removed oversized JPEG. 2) completed a thought
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Old June 25th, 2020, 12:50 PM
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The coyne ceremony of the Droyne. Grandfather introduced the ceremony to have the caste system of mature Droyne continue after they somehow lost it. A necessary crutch at the time, perhaps. But now? Thousands upon thousands of years later, it may no longer be vital, merely reassuring. By the time of 1248, the Droyne have a virtual population explosion going in the Reformation Coalition.
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Old June 25th, 2020, 01:07 PM
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Vilani burial practices as presented in Agent of the Imperium.

For one why only the pinkie?. Why not the bury entire body or go for total cremation?
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Old June 25th, 2020, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
So--any interesting ideas out there?
the jonah! a crewmember cursed by god who suffers no bad luck himself, but who brings bad luck to the rest of the crew.
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Old June 25th, 2020, 08:59 PM
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I sort of figure that there must be some sort of ceremony for a crewman's first jump, akin to the polliwog ceremony for someone's first crossing of the Equator by ship. That would occur in Jump Space, which would reduce the chances for outside the ship activities.

Another would be when a crew member is promoted and leaves the ship, where he has to take his former fellow crew mates out for a very expensive dinner, followed by a bottle of an appropriate spirit being dumped on his head.
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