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Classic Traveller Discussion on the granddaddy of them all, Classic Traveller!

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Old November 25th, 2005, 02:45 AM
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Later Traveller material has painted a picture of a stable, somewhat stagnant Imperium, in which the cause of the Rebellion (as shown in Megatraveller) was mainly the decay of the uper crust of the ruling class, namely the Duke- and Archduke- level nobility. The Civil War is also idealized as a clean conflict between Admirals over the Iridium Thrown.

Proto-Traveller paints a different picture of Imperial society, and of the true nature of the fabled "Pax Imperica".

A1 - The Kinunir
pp4-5: The Imperial has no problem with arresting and imprisoning (for life?) without even the pretense of a trial people who stray into an excavation of an Ancients site.

p5: "A young lady approaches the band hoping that they may help in the solution of her problem. Her father is both a noble and a senator, but has been missing since 1102. She has only recently learned that he is held prisoner by the Imperium itself in an orbital prison hulk at Pixie (0303)." Hmmm... disappearing people without notice...

p8: "The hulk, named the Gash (for its scrapped out drive sections) is a notorious political prison, with constant reports of torture and rights violations."

p8: "A retired shipyard worker remembers working at the General Shipyard during the construction of all four Kinunir class ships at that facility ... He remembers the severe labor troubles at the yard during that
period, and that the management was a band of slavedrivers."
Labor troubles, as we will see, is a recurring issue in the Proto-Traveller Imperium.

p9: "A mercenary captain says that he is en
route to Efate to join a mercenary operation locally organized to put down
a minor rebellion."
Rebellions and revolts, too, are a recurring theme.

p9: "A colonial official states that the Forboldn Project is lagging behind ... he will admit that it is because of social and civil unrest in that end (toward Efate) of the subsector."

p9: "A well-dressed young gentleman is found beaten in an alley ... Imperial subsector officials are pressuring him not to chart interdicted worlds."

p9: "Interdicted worlds are interdicted because the Imperium is trying to conceal its mistakes in social and political planning."

p9: "The Imperium has been suppressing political dissent in order to keep peace in the Regina subsector."

p9: "A recent uprising at Feri has cut the Imperial communication jump route from Regina to Efate."

p40: "The Navy is held to be more vindictive in its recommendations, using interdiction to punish local governments or to hide its own mistakes."

A2 - Research Station Gamma
generally speaking: The Imperial Naval Intelligence has no problem with secretly operating on an Imperial subject world, running an Imperial Research Station and abducting Chirpers to be used as experimental subjects in Psionics research.

A3 - Twilight's Peak
p11: "Dinom/Lanth. There is a revolution taking place at the moment, with each of the three major cities on Dinom isolated from the others."

p48: "Solomani sentiments differ, but there is a strong anti-Imperial faction along the Imperium's rimward border."
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Old November 25th, 2005, 02:45 AM
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Later Traveller material has painted a picture of a stable, somewhat stagnant Imperium, in which the cause of the Rebellion (as shown in Megatraveller) was mainly the decay of the uper crust of the ruling class, namely the Duke- and Archduke- level nobility. The Civil War is also idealized as a clean conflict between Admirals over the Iridium Thrown.

Proto-Traveller paints a different picture of Imperial society, and of the true nature of the fabled "Pax Imperica".

A1 - The Kinunir
pp4-5: The Imperial has no problem with arresting and imprisoning (for life?) without even the pretense of a trial people who stray into an excavation of an Ancients site.

p5: "A young lady approaches the band hoping that they may help in the solution of her problem. Her father is both a noble and a senator, but has been missing since 1102. She has only recently learned that he is held prisoner by the Imperium itself in an orbital prison hulk at Pixie (0303)." Hmmm... disappearing people without notice...

p8: "The hulk, named the Gash (for its scrapped out drive sections) is a notorious political prison, with constant reports of torture and rights violations."

p8: "A retired shipyard worker remembers working at the General Shipyard during the construction of all four Kinunir class ships at that facility ... He remembers the severe labor troubles at the yard during that
period, and that the management was a band of slavedrivers."
Labor troubles, as we will see, is a recurring issue in the Proto-Traveller Imperium.

p9: "A mercenary captain says that he is en
route to Efate to join a mercenary operation locally organized to put down
a minor rebellion."
Rebellions and revolts, too, are a recurring theme.

p9: "A colonial official states that the Forboldn Project is lagging behind ... he will admit that it is because of social and civil unrest in that end (toward Efate) of the subsector."

p9: "A well-dressed young gentleman is found beaten in an alley ... Imperial subsector officials are pressuring him not to chart interdicted worlds."

p9: "Interdicted worlds are interdicted because the Imperium is trying to conceal its mistakes in social and political planning."

p9: "The Imperium has been suppressing political dissent in order to keep peace in the Regina subsector."

p9: "A recent uprising at Feri has cut the Imperial communication jump route from Regina to Efate."

p40: "The Navy is held to be more vindictive in its recommendations, using interdiction to punish local governments or to hide its own mistakes."

A2 - Research Station Gamma
generally speaking: The Imperial Naval Intelligence has no problem with secretly operating on an Imperial subject world, running an Imperial Research Station and abducting Chirpers to be used as experimental subjects in Psionics research.

A3 - Twilight's Peak
p11: "Dinom/Lanth. There is a revolution taking place at the moment, with each of the three major cities on Dinom isolated from the others."

p48: "Solomani sentiments differ, but there is a strong anti-Imperial faction along the Imperium's rimward border."
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Old November 25th, 2005, 03:00 AM
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A4 - Leviathan
p4: "Though the Imperial core may be decaying and to some extent introspective, in the Spinward Marches at least, the trading spirit still burns fiercely. Large multisystem cartels continue the ages-old Terran tradition of cut-throat trade rivalry for materials and their markets in and beyond the Imperium."

p10: "The Imperial banks are approaching a critical shortage of precious metals, notably iridium and platinum, and money metal prices are expected to soar. (Recent demands by industry are cited as the reason for shortages.)"

A6 - Expedition to Zhodane
Generally speaking, the adventure deals with corporate-induced slavery and with Imperial covert operations deep in Zhodani space.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 03:00 AM
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A4 - Leviathan
p4: "Though the Imperial core may be decaying and to some extent introspective, in the Spinward Marches at least, the trading spirit still burns fiercely. Large multisystem cartels continue the ages-old Terran tradition of cut-throat trade rivalry for materials and their markets in and beyond the Imperium."

p10: "The Imperial banks are approaching a critical shortage of precious metals, notably iridium and platinum, and money metal prices are expected to soar. (Recent demands by industry are cited as the reason for shortages.)"

A6 - Expedition to Zhodane
Generally speaking, the adventure deals with corporate-induced slavery and with Imperial covert operations deep in Zhodani space.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 05:24 PM
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I was looking over this and thought this is certainly the road to the Rebellion. I wonder at what time the Rebellion was conceived as an idea. Certainly, a residual New Left culture existed in the United States around 1977 plus with the glorification of Rebels Against the Empire in a major blockbuster film.

Plus, being on the cusp of the Reagan Revolution and the assassinations of the 1970s. Marc and company must have been thinking of all this things. Just when the situation seemed stable, they launched it in 1987, a less than revolutionary year even though there had been plenty of mini-Rebellions in the decade prior.

Listening to one of the creators of the Firefly RPG on a podcast, he cited the optimism of the Apollo Moon Missions and explosive creative outpouring of the 1960s as part of his inspirations. I wonder if they still haunt us today, which accounts for the appeal and popularity of CT/Proto Traveller because of a certain immaturity (I mean this a descriptor not as a slight) of the industry and SFRPGs at the time.

When I look over the early CT stuff, I find a game system that clones so much of the guerrilla wars of Central America being reproduced but just removed and called the Far Future. MT rather shattered that vision and replaced with a beloved Imperium that needed reform but was unable to do so, the result - disintegration. And if we don't look at Challenge that whole aspect was kinda swept aside in favour of something different.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 05:24 PM
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I was looking over this and thought this is certainly the road to the Rebellion. I wonder at what time the Rebellion was conceived as an idea. Certainly, a residual New Left culture existed in the United States around 1977 plus with the glorification of Rebels Against the Empire in a major blockbuster film.

Plus, being on the cusp of the Reagan Revolution and the assassinations of the 1970s. Marc and company must have been thinking of all this things. Just when the situation seemed stable, they launched it in 1987, a less than revolutionary year even though there had been plenty of mini-Rebellions in the decade prior.

Listening to one of the creators of the Firefly RPG on a podcast, he cited the optimism of the Apollo Moon Missions and explosive creative outpouring of the 1960s as part of his inspirations. I wonder if they still haunt us today, which accounts for the appeal and popularity of CT/Proto Traveller because of a certain immaturity (I mean this a descriptor not as a slight) of the industry and SFRPGs at the time.

When I look over the early CT stuff, I find a game system that clones so much of the guerrilla wars of Central America being reproduced but just removed and called the Far Future. MT rather shattered that vision and replaced with a beloved Imperium that needed reform but was unable to do so, the result - disintegration. And if we don't look at Challenge that whole aspect was kinda swept aside in favour of something different.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 05:43 PM
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The PT imperium was a mess. It was not an alabaster colossos (sp?) too big and too stable to adapt itself to the changing times; it was, instead, a crumbling empire past its prime, riddled with corruption and deciet, with the seeds of a revolution germinating deep within its rotting depth. It was not absolutely evil in the Star Wars (or general Hollywood) sense of the world; it was strong-armed, sometimes tyranical, occasionally benefitical, but forced into its current form by the laws of interstellar economics. I think it was far from an idealist vision of the future; it was a somewhat cynical, gritty nation-state in which economic interests came first and everything else - second. I think that CT has its roots in the disillusionment from the 1960's optimistic spirit, the rude awakening that came with the cancellation of the later Apollo and post-Apollo missions and with the Vietnamese hell; an awakening to the gritty and dirty reality of the waning (sp?) years of the Cold War, in which two monolithic empires - Capitalism and Stalinism - fought with greater and greater complications a series of bloody wars, while becoming more alienated from the masses than ever.

MT and TNE has idealized the Imperium; the CT reality was nothing but ideal morally, but an ideal environment for adventure.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 05:43 PM
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The PT imperium was a mess. It was not an alabaster colossos (sp?) too big and too stable to adapt itself to the changing times; it was, instead, a crumbling empire past its prime, riddled with corruption and deciet, with the seeds of a revolution germinating deep within its rotting depth. It was not absolutely evil in the Star Wars (or general Hollywood) sense of the world; it was strong-armed, sometimes tyranical, occasionally benefitical, but forced into its current form by the laws of interstellar economics. I think it was far from an idealist vision of the future; it was a somewhat cynical, gritty nation-state in which economic interests came first and everything else - second. I think that CT has its roots in the disillusionment from the 1960's optimistic spirit, the rude awakening that came with the cancellation of the later Apollo and post-Apollo missions and with the Vietnamese hell; an awakening to the gritty and dirty reality of the waning (sp?) years of the Cold War, in which two monolithic empires - Capitalism and Stalinism - fought with greater and greater complications a series of bloody wars, while becoming more alienated from the masses than ever.

MT and TNE has idealized the Imperium; the CT reality was nothing but ideal morally, but an ideal environment for adventure.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 06:22 PM
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I'm not fully convinced that A1-A4 presents evidence of a crumbling Imperium. After all these are reports from the distant marches, where the business of Empire is very messy indeed. Back in the Imperial core things may be quite stable.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 06:22 PM
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I'm not fully convinced that A1-A4 presents evidence of a crumbling Imperium. After all these are reports from the distant marches, where the business of Empire is very messy indeed. Back in the Imperial core things may be quite stable.
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