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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 February 15th, 2014, 07:27 AM
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Default Dark Nebula Variant

I have bought the Classic Traveller and JTAS CD-ROMs a few weeks ago, and so far this is an excellent bargain - a huge amount of material for the paltry sum of $35 (plus shipping). This has made me actually interested in the Official Traveller Universe (OTU), or, at least, a variant of it; too much good material to let it pass. On the CT CD there were also the various Traveller boardgames, in PDF format. One of them was Dark Nebula, a proto-traveller war-boardgame with the Solomani (Terran nationalists) set up against the Aslan (felid aliens with a Samurai flavour) over an area of space on the border between these two polities.

The interesting thing is that Dark Nebula presents a version of the Solomani-Aslan border region which is different from future depictions of the OTU Dark Nebula Sector; it is even rotated backwards (in the boardgame, the Solomani are to the Spinward and teh Aslan to the Trailing while in the OTU it is the other way around). It also presented a very interesting area of space.

Turns out that Andy Slack, in his Halfway Station blog, has already made this into a sci-fi setting, using GURPS Traveller and, later on, Savage Worlds and Stars Without Number. His creative application of the setting's features, as well as my discussion with him over his blog's comment system, have gotten my creative juices flowing. Here was an opportunity - a proto-Traveller, quasi-OTU setting ripe for the plucking. On one hand, this is "OTU" - and allows us to use the wealth of material presented by the Classic Traveller and JTAS CD-ROMs; on the other hand, it is non-canonical, so we need not be bound to the stifling limits of Traveller canon.

The Dark Nebula setting is also a perfect sandbox - it has two main polities and several independent worlds, as well as many independent worlds, and distinctions between habitable worlds, non-habitable worlds and systems with no mainworld planets (i.e. asteroid belts). There are enough worlds and enough space for a whole campaign, as Andy Slack has already run there for several years.

So I intend to build this as a potential sandbox as well. Note that my version of the setting is different from Andy Slack's setting, and uses Classic Traveller (CT) as a ruleset; it is set in January 5638 AD (late 1117 Imperial), with the Imperium mentioned only in passing (being very far from the Dark Nebula and a vague version of the MegaTraveller events used as background for the larger scope of things (in this case, Dulinor's coup led to him being Emperor, but some of the Great Houses rebelled and the Solomani used this opportunity of Imperial weakness to launch a lighting attack and liberate the rest of the Solomani Sphere from Imperial control).

Present in my version are mainly Solomani and Aslan humans, as well as two independent pocket-empires usually consisting of a combined Human-Aslan population. A few Droyne are also present.

A Note on Canonicity
Dark Nebula is not canon. I repeat: it is not canon in any way. It is vaguely set in the OTU, but in a variant OTU. Specifically, I use material and even CT adventures in a way suiting this particular version of the setting, sometimes in ways which are very different than those of canon. That is, some adventures set in teh Solomani Rim and the Spinward Marches are placed on this Dark Nebula map.

Map
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Old February 15th, 2014, 07:28 AM
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Worlds of the Dark Nebula Area (Kilrai and Vecinos Subsectors)
0104 Kindara C511753-A Non-Agricultural, Ice-Capped GG In
0105 Amani D7C6523-9 Non-Industrial GG In
0108 Vaxt B8786N6-9 Non-Industrial, Agricultural GG As
0202 Mir D730577-6 Poor, Non-Industrial In
0209 KUZU A8669J6-D Polity Capital; Aslan Naval Base GG As
0210 Ikona C1005L4-A Non-Industrial, Vacuum GG As
0305 Astek C200445-8 Non-Industrial, Vacuum GG In
0307 Bor C0008M5-C Asteroid, Non-Agricultural, Vaccuum GG As
0309 Xida B9A6H7-C Non-Agricultural As
0407 Rosa C1003G7-B Non-Industrial, Vaccuum, GG As
0409 BLATTA B0009H6-C Asteroid, Non-Agricultural, Industrial; Aslan Naval Base GG As
0410 Panas X730000-0 Barren, Poor GG As RED ZONE
0505 Simsek C501543-9 Vacuum, Ice-Capped, Non-Industrial GG In
0507 Pasar B7A0731-A Desert, Non-Agricultural GG In
0510 Enjiwa C320688-7 Poor, Non-Agricultural GG In
0602 Rim C564878-B Rich GG In
0606 Godoro A587777-C Rich, Agricultural GG In (Droyne world)
0704 Daanari C000511-9 Asteroid, Non-Industrial, Vacuum GG Ff
0708 Dno C7B7565-8 Non-Industrial GG Vt
0710 Valka B862852-B Rich, Polity Capital; Valkan Technate Naval Base GG Vt
0804 Hasara C100740-B Non-Agricultural, Vacuum; Federation Scout Base GG Ff
0808 Drax C330563-8 Poor GG Vt
0810 Ajo C200260-9 Non-Industrial, Vacuum Vt
0905 Taanga C201522-7 Non-Industrial, Vacuum; Federation Scout Base GGFf
1002 Simba E420313-7 Poor, Non-Industrial GG In
1005 Salia D530432-7 Poor, Non-Industrial; Federation Scout Base GG Ff
1007 N1 X000000-0 Barren, Asteroid, Vacuum Dark Nebula
1008 N3 E798000-0 Barren T-Prime GG Dark Nebula
1104 MIZAH A678943-C Industrial, Polity Capital; Federation Scout and Naval Bases GG Ff
1105 Kov D7A4655-7 Non-Industrial, Non-Agricultural GG Ff
1107 N2 E511000-0 Barren, Ice-Capped GG Dark Nebula
1108 N5 E100000-0 Barren, Vacuum GG Dark Nebula
1109 N4 X000000-0 Barren, Asteroid, Vacuum GG Dark Nebula
1110 Taida Na D0008CC-7 Asteroid, Vacuum GG In
1202 Omoro E6B0535-8 Non-Industrial GG So
1210 Osa C100575-7 Non-Industrial, Vacuum GG In
1303 Icat B720889-A Non-Agricultural, Poor GG So
1305 Gazzain C668687-8 Agricultural, Rich, Non-Industrial GG So
1308 Salan C5A0457-8 Non-Industrial, Desert World GG In
1310 Janibar C000414-9 Asteroid, Vacuum, Non-Industrial GG In
1406 Irbev C300423-A Vacuum, Non-Industrial GG In
1410 Karpos C8697C4-6 Agricultural, Non-Industrial In
1502 MAADIN A7979AA-D Industrial, Polity Capital; Solomani Naval Base GG So
1503 MECHANE B0009CA-C Industrial, Asteroid, Vacuum; Solomani Naval Base GG So
1505 Kamat D7A5678-7 Non-Industrial, Non-Agricultural GG So
1507 Bulan C686854-5 Agricultural, Rich; Solomani Research Station (secret) GG In
1508 Changha C530740-8 Poor, Non-Agricultural GG In
1510 Dudaki C00089A-7 Asteroid, Vacuum, Non-Agricultural GG In
1601 Avair D301437-9 Vacuum, Ice-Capped, Non-Industrial So
1602 Zloban D411698-8 Ice-Capped, Non-Industrial, Non-Agricultural GG So
1605 Llavia B1017BB-A Vacuum, Ice-Capped, Non-Agricultural; Solomani Naval Base GG So
1609 Eski C430888-A Poor, Non-Agricultural GG In

MORE TO COME.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 01:53 PM
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The Dark Nebula is not a polity - it is a certain "Bermuda Triangle" (or STALKER Zone) of space replete with spatial anomalies, dead research stations from the Second Imperium teeming with monstrous beings (and mad robots) and worse things. I might even make the area inaccessible to jump until the very recent time - in which the various powers will try to explore it to pry out its secrets.
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Old February 21st, 2014, 07:47 AM
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After posting my Dark Nebula variant on the SFRPG-Discussion Boards, I was asked on these boards by one of the posters: "Is there a reason that the planets in the Dark Nebula polity aren't inhabited or named?" So here is the answer, which is pivotal to the back-story of my Dark Nebula variant (i.e. non-canonical) official traveller universe.

The 2740's (the distant Third Imperium's calendar speaks of the -1770's) were well within the waning years of the Rule of Man, marked by significant political, economic and social instability. The old, stagnant Imperium, with a thin layer of Terran rule superimposed on it, was going to hell in a handbasket. Soon enough, in 2746, the dreaded Twilight, and, later, the Long Night, would engulf known space, leading to almost two millennia of barbarism and decay.

But instability has its perks. The failing Terran Empire was no longer a coherent government body, and those with connections and a clout could apprehend budgets, resources, even whole worlds, and get away with it in the chaos. Research Unit #72 was one such group of people (in this case, scientists) with clout, and, indeed, they managed to appropriate funds - stolen from the decomposing corpse of the Second Imperium - undreamed of by scientists of more civilized times. With that money, they moved to the deep Spinward-Rimward frontier, to the scantly explored Dark Nebula, to be free from the moral and political constrains of the Core. And there they worked wonders. At least, they tried to.

They tried to develop technologies which will save the failing Rule of Man from its inevitable collapse - artificial intelligence, cybernetics, genetic engineering, and, especially, new technologies for interstellar travel and, theoretically speaking, communications.

The latter technology reached a place that even the great scientists of the Solomani Confederation were unable to replicate, but at a price. On November 3rd, 2747 AD, The Event occurred. Experimental stationary jump coils on the world known today as N3 fired as part of a planned experiment. But they caused an unexpected effect. In an instant, all five star-systems of the Dark Nebula were torn from their place in the Space-Time Continuum, and hurled, through jumpspace (or a similar parallel dimention), as a whole, not in space, but in time. For a whole year, local time, these systems were in limbo - disconnected from our universe. But then they burst back into Real Space - almost three millennia, in Real Space dates, after their disappearance. For that time, the Nebula was a dead zone - an area of space where no solid bodies could be seen, and where anomalies in the Space-Time Continuum endangered any ship entering that space.

In August 5638 AD (1117 Imperial), suddenly the N4 star of the Dark Nebula appeared on the night sky of Taida Na, re-lighting the old cloud (this means they have appeared in real-space a few years before, as it takes the light of N4 a few years to reach Taida Na). Soon enough, rumours have reached both Solomani and Aslan ears that the worlds of the Nebula, hinted upon in legend, are back. And now, their technological treasures are ripe to the plucking, though still ripe with Space-Time Continuum anomalies, mutated animals, crazed survivors and a mad, mad AI.
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Old February 21st, 2014, 01:58 PM
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I like it. Very much. Almost enough to work on the small ATU I have.

Though as always I think the Confederation and the Heirate should be a few systems larger - if the 3I has 2 whole sectors and be poking a few systems into the bordering subsectors, then they should have a sector and bordering sub sectors.

That communications thing makes me think of HPGs (hyper pulse generators) from Battletech, another universe which I like - though I suspect that FASA may have had some inspiration from Traveller in it.
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Old February 21st, 2014, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jame View Post
I like it. Very much. Almost enough to work on the small ATU I have.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jame View Post
Though as always I think the Confederation and the Heirate should be a few systems larger - if the 3I has 2 whole sectors and be poking a few systems into the bordering subsectors, then they should have a sector and bordering sub sectors.
Both polities have quite a lot of size off-map, several Sectors each mayhap... But left vague intentionally as in this sandbox I care relatively little about the rest of the universe (other than a ver general background).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jame View Post
That communications thing makes me think of HPGs (hyper pulse generators) from Battletech, another universe which I like - though I suspect that FASA may have had some inspiration from Traveller in it.
The main inspiration for The Event comes from STALKER (computer games), as well as the Lost TV series where the Island was hopping through space and time.
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