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Old May 11th, 2016, 10:22 AM
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Default Canon 4. Variations on a Theme

Rules. Consider that Traveller has two parts: rules mechanics which would affect all settings, and setting-specific rules. This has been discussed to death, and it has been resolved to my satisfaction. Your mileage may vary.

An example of those rules mechanics is the Scout Service. Non-Imperium settings need to deal somehow with the presence of Scouts in their universe, due to rules mechanics.

An example of setting-specific rules would be the existence of megacorporations. Rules mechanics (usually?) don't tie megacorps into the game -- usually setting text, such as Library Data, does that.

Third Imperium Settings. Now consider that the Third Imperium has variations.

Consider that it has OFFICIAL variations, and unofficial ones. The Lorenverse is a CANONICAL variation (put that in your pipe and smoke it!). Some people who love the Lorenverse but feel defensive about it -- perhaps due to a misplaced feeling by some who prefer the original TU -- would go so far as to label the "O" TU the variant. But I digress.

Now consider the unofficial variations. In the interest of sounding like a snob, I'll call them "accidents" in the sense that Aristotle uses the term -- their characteristics don't change the fact that they're about The Third Imperium setting. These accidents occur from rules mechanics as well as setting-specific rules.

Variations on a Theme. Finally, then, consider that each rules set defines its own variation on the Third Imperium setting. Each is self-consistent and detailed enough to run years of games. And each has a slightly different flavor.

Consider this a strength of Traveller.

The Challenge. The challenge, then, is not to unify all of the settings -- this may in many cases require changes to the core rules that the variations live in. No. Instead, treat them as niche ecosystems on the same planet.

The challenge, then, is to identify key variations on the theme of the Third Imperium, where each has something different to offer, so that the newcomer can make informed choices, and us old grognards can clearly promote Traveller well.
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