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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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  #1  
Old December 27th, 2016, 08:15 AM
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Default The Long Night

Over the years myself and many others, have made the observation that the Long Night is an ideal setting for Traveller (I have an on again, off again campaign that uses it as the default).

Consider this, Is it the Long Night between the ROM and the 3I? Is it the Long Night that followed the release of Virus and eventual collapse of the fourth Imperium? Is it a Long Night following the collapse of the fifth Imperium?

Doesn't matter.

There are rumours there was once a mighty interstellar empire of mankind in this part of space.

There are pocket empires, one of which is where the PCs may come from - keep it off board if you like. On the borders are the frontier worlds that are months away comm-wise beyond them is the true unknown.

Go trade/explore/fight in mercenary actions/take on evil megacorporations/conduct piracy/discover new races/discover the ruins of old civilisations/encounter Vargr, Aslan, Hivers, Ithklur, K'kree/a pocket empire of evil mind reading scum/a pocket empire of enlightened psionic masters etc etc.

And think on this.

PCs discover a derelict ship fitted with tachyon cannons:
PC1 "Lol, they don't exist in the Imperium setting"
PC2 "Which Imperium, the first, third or seventh?"

Note - for tachyon cannon substitute: wormhole network, stargates, warp drive, ansible etc. whatever you want to include.
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  #2  
Old December 27th, 2016, 09:26 AM
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A period of intense anarchy, widespread tragedy, and interstellar disaster between the fall of one major polity, the Second Imperium or Rule of Man, and the succeeding polity, the Third Imperium.
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It was a period where worlds were cut off from one another, technology was lost and the population on many worlds simply failed to survive.
The idea of the Long Night is almost impossibly illogical. The Traveller interstellar trade paradigm and the way starships function wouldn't have as much an effect as the story claims. Trade doesn't extend that far and only some very hi-tech worlds completely dependent on deliveries would have had a widespread effect and gone under. Granted, it lasted more than 1700 years, but most worlds would never be dependent on anything farther than 6 parsecs. Pocket empires would have sprung up all over to replace the over-arching government.

It would be like people all of a sudden forgetting how to fix automobiles, or make breakfast.

And all it would take to fix it all is a long lived Engineering/Mechanic 'Bot. Or about 1000 of them.
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Last edited by Spinward Scout; December 27th, 2016 at 09:43 AM..
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Old December 27th, 2016, 09:51 AM
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Currency can be based on the Refined Hydrogen Standard, one Credit backed by two kilogrammes of refined hydrogen.
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Old December 27th, 2016, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Spinward Scout View Post
The idea of the Long Night is almost impossibly illogical.
I agree, but it is no more or less silly than a lot of the other stuff found in canon.
There was a Long Night between the ROM and the declaration of the Third Imperium, I don't think we have ever been told the true story or reason for it.
A Long Night post Rebellion/Hard Times/Virus makes a lot more sense then a fourth Imperium being up and running as if nothing happened after only a century or two.
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The Traveller interstellar trade paradigm and the way starships function wouldn't have as much an effect as the story claims.
The we don't know the whole story - because it happened. As to the trade paradigm, we have speculative trade for PCs but nothing to cover the interstellar trade model of the Vilani Imperium, Rule Of Man etc so we don't know how it worked.

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Trade doesn't extend that far and only some very hi-tech worlds completely dependent on deliveries would have had a widespread effect and gone under.
High TL worlds would be the least likely to go under.
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Granted, it lasted more than 1700 years, but most worlds would never be dependent on anything farther than 6 parsecs.
Most worlds and systems should be entirely self sufficient...
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Pocket empires would have sprung up all over to replace the over-arching government.
They did. Some lasted a long time, others fell as quickly as they rose.

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It would be like people all of a sudden forgetting how to fix automobiles, or make breakfast.
Not quite - how many people do you know who can fabricate replacement parts and fix their smart phones? Fixing a truck powered by an oii burner is not the same as being able to manufacture parts for the Space Shuttle

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And all it would take to fix it all is a long lived Engineering/Mechanic 'Bot. Or about 1000 of them.
I understand the sentiment, but the Long Night is canon so we may as well use it for all it is worth.

Last edited by mike wightman; December 27th, 2016 at 10:57 AM..
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Old December 27th, 2016, 10:59 AM
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Currency can be based on the Refined Hydrogen Standard, one Credit backed by two kilogrammes of refined hydrogen.
No it can't.
Refineries are too cheap to build compared with the return you would get if you are making your own hard currency.
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Old December 27th, 2016, 11:05 AM
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With the setting's default approach to travel vs communications, big empires take a lot of work. The Long Night (the only one with that name) as well as the Virus Night (1100s) and the post 4th Imperium era (1300-ish to 1900) are periods when no one rises to that challenge.

While it is called The Long Night, it is easy to miss that this is not a meta-game term, but what the natives of the setting call it. The Vilani for whom it was the only period in the last 11,000 years that they did not rule over all they could reach; the Solomani who watched their largest empire crumble. No one else uses the term, because it wasn't a night for them.
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Old December 27th, 2016, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by GypsyComet View Post
With the setting's default approach to travel vs communications, big empires take a lot of work. The Long Night (the only one with that name) as well as the Virus Night (1100s) and the post 4th Imperium era (1300-ish to 1900) are periods when no one rises to that challenge.
I agree completely.

It may be worth reminding people that during the 1105+ setting worlds in the Spinward Marches not on an x-boat route or trade route may not be visited for quite a while unless they invest in their own subsidised merchantmen.

Quote:
While it is called The Long Night, it is easy to miss that this is not a meta-game term, but what the natives of the setting call it. The Vilani for whom it was the only period in the last 11,000 years that they did not rule over all they could reach; the Solomani who watched their largest empire crumble. No one else uses the term, because it wasn't a night for them.
You mean like the dark ages - which were not dark or even remotely uncivilised or without learning and progress.

A Long Night setting is a time between large empires, with plenty of civilisation and technology and trade, but also a lot unknowns beyond the little empires.
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Old December 27th, 2016, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
Not quite - how many people do you know who can fabricate replacement parts and fix their smart phones? Fixing a truck powered by an oii burner is not the same as being able to manufacture parts for the Space Shuttle
Well, think about it like this:

In the Imperium, every starport except E has some sort of ship-building/repairing capability. In the fallen Vilani Empire/Rule of Man, did all of the Techs, Mechanics, and Engineers disappear or forget how to do their jobs? Did none of them semi-retire and become teachers? Did the Universities just go away? Were there no unsold ships at the Ship Sale Lot to cannibalize parts from? Did all of the technical manuals get erased or burned? Did the Imperial Encyclopedia get erased? Were there no expert robots to help? Did all of the Libraries crumble? Were there no backups? Did people forget how to learn?

If the answer is "No", and I can't see it being anything but "No", then something else happened. And the official story isn't the true story.

I just can't believe that in 1700+ years only Cleon I was brave enough with the only equipment to go from world to world and say: "Do you want to join our Interstellar Club"?
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Old December 27th, 2016, 12:13 PM
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And yet the Long Night is there in Imperial Library Data for all to read...

so we need an explanation.
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Old December 27th, 2016, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
And yet the Long Night is there in Imperial Library Data for all to read...

so we need an explanation.
The winners write the history books?

During the Rebellion, ArchDuke Norris had false information placed into the Imperial Encyclopedia that was sent out through the Spinward Marches. Cleon I could have done something similar. But that would have to be a massive undertaking to erase/change the records of thousands of worlds. So it would have to be built into the updates and new editions of the Imperial Encyclopedia. Which eventually replaced each worlds' record of history.

Cleon's propaganda machine could have started it to make him look even more like a hero, and Cleon might not even have known.

Five generations later (about 200 years), would anyone even know what happened?
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