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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 November 2nd, 2011, 08:28 PM
Ciphertest Ciphertest is offline
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Default Starting a new Traveller campaign.

Hello all,

I'm new to the Traveller system, but thought I'd share the development of my upcoming campaign with you to get some good feedback, and generally just have people to bounce ideas off of that aren't my players.

I'll start by saying that while I haven't ever played Traveller (in any incarnation), I have been gaming since the late 80's. I cut my teeth on the old Basic D&D black box (with the red dragon on the cover) and have recently been running a campaign using Fantasy Flight Games new Warhammer Fantasy RP system of which I a big fan. I'd say that my preferred style of play falls somewhere between the old school (random encounter tables, percentile die rolls, random character creation) and the newer school (cards, tokens and other shiny components used to support whatever I'm playing). What with my Warhammer campaign winding down and wanting to take a break from the fantasy genre for a bit, I decided to look into science fiction games and happened upon Traveller.

In addition to the above, I've also just watched the entire Firefly series for the first time and am absolutely enamored with the whole setting....and so have decided to model my own Traveller campaign after a combination of the Firefly/Serenity setting and some of my other favorite Sci-fi, including the Alien universe.

I've decided to use the Mongoose published rules as they seem the easiest to pick up without having to use the bland and boring d20 rules-set, and they have a distinctly old-school feel that I've been craving of late.

As for the setting, I'm using the majority of the background info found in the Serenity RPG but am pushing the timeline forward half a century...introducing a minor humanoid alien race to the 'Verse and allowing for the use of limited FTL travel via a series of "jump gates" controlled exclusively by the Alliance. The gates will allow for the players to travel to more distant star systems that have just begun to be terraformed, allowing for more Alien-esque type worlds (think LV-426).

I'm also incorporating hit location rules of some sort, though I have yet to decide which ones (I've found several home-brew systems on the web).

I'm also keen to use THIS software to map the campaign. I run my games at our local university library, and have access to some nice multi-media conference rooms that would be perfect for displaying slick star charts like these.

I'll keep everyone posted on further developments. In the mean time, feel free to share any tips or ideas you may have. All input will be greatly appreciated!
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 09:30 PM
Xenon Xenon is offline
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so, it sounds like you intend to run a commerce and crime game, where the Law controls travel between system.... which implies that when the players are on the run from the law, they are then stuck in that star system.

considering the risk, smuggling through the jump-gates must be quite profitable. and the reduced number of worlds means that there are fewer ports, and thus fewer opportunities to make case the legal way.

Plan ahead for the playings being on the run from the law on the wrong side of a gate. it sounds like something that will happen.

if FTL is done by gates and not ships, then you need to design your own ships (no jump engine, often a more simple computer, less fuel, and small craft can go to other systems).
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 11:48 PM
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On the lighter side, with no jump drive nor jump fuel, you should be able to turn a profit at MGT book rates for cargo. (they're well under profitability as written.)
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 06:14 PM
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Astrosynthesis is wonderful. But it'll take you a long while to create a subsector using it, if you include world write-ups, maps and so forth. Fun, but it will eat up time.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 06:54 PM
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Any chance you live in southern California? I'd love to be in your game.

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Old November 3rd, 2011, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenon View Post
so, it sounds like you intend to run a commerce and crime game, where the Law controls travel between system.... which implies that when the players are on the run from the law, they are then stuck in that star system.

considering the risk, smuggling through the jump-gates must be quite profitable. and the reduced number of worlds means that there are fewer ports, and thus fewer opportunities to make case the legal way.

Plan ahead for the playings being on the run from the law on the wrong side of a gate. it sounds like something that will happen.

if FTL is done by gates and not ships, then you need to design your own ships (no jump engine, often a more simple computer, less fuel, and small craft can go to other systems).
For the most part, yes. The players will most likely be free traders of some sort and while they will try to find honest work, most available jobs will be shady to some degree or another.

The jump gates will be few (perhaps no more than two) and will lead to a couple of different star systems. So I'm not expanding the settings area by too much. In addition, the newer systems have only just begun to be terraformed in the past couple of decades, so most are still uninhabitable and those that are, aren't pleasant places to live (think LV-426 in Aliens). So the players will rarely, if every make it out to these more distant star systems...maybe later in the campaign.

What would you all suggest I do about scaling the subsector maps to the size of the 'Verse?
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Old November 4th, 2011, 02:33 AM
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Personally, I use standard subsectors and sectors--I just use as many of them as it takes to cover the space I need for a campaign.

This allows me to re-use them or parts of them when I change the ATU's rules for another campaign. Waste not, want not.

I've used jumpgates myself a few times. Don't forget jump fees for those gates, plus the politics of the operators. They're as jealous and greedy as the folks who put castles on the riverways of Europe in the middle ages.

As to profitability, do a few trade runs yourself "dry" to see how the economics work out, then adjust the book's system as you see fit. As Aramis mentioned, it's botched in the RAW, unless you want a broken economy that eats the traders.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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for mapping the 'verse, you have the smaller earth-like inner worlds, and then you have the terraformed moons of the gas giants. the inner planets should be within an AU of eachother, with the different gas giants being 'close' or 'far' depending on their orbits. moons of the same gas giant are probably within 100 light-seconds of one another. add in an asteroid mining operation for good measure.

aside from those, there will probably be a few other stations further out, such as a research station outside the last planetary orbit. which is a good place to put military exercises, dangerous weapons research, and high-security prisons. not sure where you want to put your jump gate.

the gas giants would be a week apart at thrust 1, which creates a lot of room for trade if each of them has 6 to 12 ports of call. you can make them further apart simply by making the m-drive less effective. the outer gas giants moons would be the most recently terraformed, so they would probably still be desert or ice-capped worlds at low population, maybe low tech, possibly a few amber travel ratings. inner gas giants would be non-industrial worlds, due to lower population, probably with the oldest having become agricultural worlds. that leaves the core worlds as the high-pop industrial centers.

as long as you know where the orbits are, its not really necessary to map out the exact position of each world in the system. the scale of distance between the orbits of outer planets makes maps a bit complex as well.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 07:14 PM
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I guess since I'm going to use mapping software I might as well just skip using the native Traveller mapping rules.
What are everyone's opinions of hit location and critical hit rules? Anyone use'em? If so, what source did you pull'em from?
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Old November 6th, 2011, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciphertest View Post
I guess since I'm going to use mapping software I might as well just skip using the native Traveller mapping rules.
What are everyone's opinions of hit location and critical hit rules? Anyone use'em? If so, what source did you pull'em from?
I used the hit location rules in Traveller's Digest (I forget which issue). It noted that head hits could be assigned to Int and Edu as well as physical stats.

But generally, I don't bother unless someone asks.
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Archduke of Sylea (CORE 2118)
Duke of the Third Imperium (SPIN 0534)
Count Terra (SOLO 1827)
Count Gorod (REFT 1302)
Count of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2232)
Viscount of Adabicci (SPIN 1824)
Marquis of the Solomani Rim (SOLO 0606)
Marquis of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2410)
Baron of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2231)
Knight of the Iridium Throne (CORE 1434)
Sir William Hostman (OLDE 0512)
Sir William Hostman (DAGU 0622)
Knight of Deneb (REFT 2239)
Knight of Deneb (Spin 2532)
SEH w/Diamonds for Extreme Heroism - Battle of Boughene
MCG - Battle of Boughene
TAS: William Hostman (CORR 2506)
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IMTU ct+ tm++ tne tg-- tt+ tmo+ t4- t20+ to ru+ ge+ 3i+ c+ jt au ls pi+ ta he+ st+
Wil Hostman 0602 C539857-9 S A724
OTU: 95% 3i an+ au+ br- cpu dt f+ fs++ ge ih- inf j jf+ jm+ jt+ ls- n= nc+ pi+ pp-- tp+ tr+ tv- vi-- xb+-
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