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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 December 17th, 2011, 05:56 PM
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Golan2072 Golan2072 is offline
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Lightbulb Re-Imagining the OTU

Disclaimer: What I propose here ISN'T the OTU per se and SHOULD NOT be viewed as a challenge to it, its history or, heavens forbid, Marc Miller's ownership of it. This re-imagination is done under the Fair Use guidelines and involves only Classic Traveller rules. Any opinion expressed here is just MY opinion and not The Truth(TM). Also, note that canon wars DO NOT belong to this thread. Feel free to discuss my speculations, however!

For some reason, when I had too much time on my hands, I picked up the Classic Traveller Books 1-3 reprint book from the shelf and thumbed through it. Then I began thinking about a re-imagined OTU, keeping parts of its spirit and ideas while making the whole thing much more playable. These thoughts have also been inspired by our previous attempts at Collapsing the OTU and Collapsing the OTU History.

The 'proper' OTU has some good drawing points to it - interesting cultures and history and several good adventures set in it (such as Twilight Peak and Leviathan), not to mention tons of inspiration to draw from. However, the OTU's weaknesses include massive, almost unmanageable size, an enormously long timeline, a large amount of action above the scale of what the PCs could meaningfully affect, and so on.

The basis of what I'm trying to do here is the universe implied in Classic Traveller Books 1-3, Adventures 1-4, the Double Adventures and Supplements 1-4, re-interpreted and re-mixed according to my own imagination. Inspiration also comes from sci-fi/space-opera sources such as Herbert's Dune, Anderson's Van Rijn, Niven's Known Space, Star Control II and a little bit from Babylon 5 and Firefly/Serenity.

I'll be using CT-LBBs 2-3 technology progression (in which you get J6 at TL9 but larger jump-capable ships in higher TLs); small ships; and NO empty-hex jumps (so astrography matters). This would be Proto-Traveller.

Let's start from the universe itself. I propose a universe in which the entire Known Space, including some unexplored space, would fit inside a 3x3 sector grid. While loosely inspired by OTU astrography, I've tried to give each sector a feel of its own and a "space opera"-sounding name (these are the Imperial names, of course; alien names may vary).

The Empire (AKA Imperium) dominates the Imperial Heartlands, the old Imperial sector where the new Imperial capital of Sylea and the old Impeial capital of Vland shine among the starts. The Imperial family rules the Imperial Heartlands on its own, with the emperor's first-born son or daughter being Duke of the Heartlands; each of the eight Major Noble Houses controls one of the peripheral sectors, or, at least, whatever space the Empire holds in it.

Deneb Sector is the Empire's latest acquisition, a bustling frontier threatened by the Outrim Coalition (AKA Barbarians), a wide but loose alliance of humans, vargr and minor races who inhabit the sparsely-settled subsectors to the coreward and Trailing of the Imperial holdings in Deneb. Droyne presence is quite intensive in this sector, as are Ancients sites, and rumours speak about a City of the Ancients, full of profitable artifacts, hidden somewhere to its coreward-spinward.

Sagittarius Sector is home to the Vargr, a chaotic species of uplifted Terran canines (probably uplifted by the Ancients). The Empire controls only the most rimward subsectors in this sector, but they are heavily garrisoned because they serve as the only corridor bypassing the Great Rift and connecting the Heartlands to Deneb.

The Centaurs, who call themselves K'Kree, inhabit several subsectors in the Trailing part of the Antares Sector, and tensions etween them and the Empire are quite high, as they see humans as potential predators out to feast on the soft, sweet Centaur flesh. Another small polity there is the Julian Protectorate, a humano-vargr polity formed in defence against Centaur raids.

Crucis Sector is a backwater, bisected by the Empty Quarter, and luckily so, as it serves as a buffer zone between the aggressive Centaurs of Antares an the scheming Hivers of Spica.

The Hivers, strange and unfathomable starfish aliens, reside in the trailing-rimward part of Spica Sector. Relations with the Empire seem to be quite good, as the Hivers trade high-tech robotics and electronics for various organic goods, but no one knows what the Hivers really are up to (especially when they carry a screwdriver and a mop! :twisted.

Sol Sector is the birthplace of Humanity, the centre of the Rule of Man of days bygone and the scene of a cold war between the Empire and the United Terran Republic (AKA Solomani), a small but militant human polity. The fact that Terra itself is occupied by the Empire doesn't help to ease these tensions, either.

Canopus Sector is where the Cicek live, proud alien warriors who resemble inteligent, warm-blooded (and hot-blooded, too!) tokay geckos with some mammalian an avian characteristics. An intense web of honour, pride and tradition prevents their males from tearing each other to pieces (except for in limited tribal wars, that is), while their (comparatively) more relaxed females serve as their merchants, scientists and explorers. Some Cicek tribes ally with the Empire; others don't care; an yet others are hostile to it; a few even ally with the UTR.

The Great Rift is a big extent of empty space, actually starting within the spinward side of the Heartlands. It separates the Heartlands from the spinward part of the Great Rift sector, as well as from most of the direct contact with Canopus and Deneb.

Adventure lies on the frontier; intrigues awaits in the Heartlands.



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