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Homegrown Campaigns


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I'd like to know how many people have created, refereed and/or played in homegrown campaigns that are at least in part based on Traveller.

I ask because I'm considering the creation of my own homegrown campaign, with Traveller - backround inspiration and mechanics, a little Star Trek (well, I used to be a Trekkie. I don't know what happened, honest!) - certain elements such as ftl sensors and communicators - and more Transhuman Space (cybershells, biotech (especially bioroids) and AI, but not uploading and little cybering) and Honor Harrington (inspiration for ships and theme) mixed in. I'll write it up and see what I can post - if anyone's interested give me a nudge.
Im playing in a T20 Game that originally started as a TNE game. We accidnetly discovered a way to go across the dimesions to other realities.... its still very dangerous as we could get stranded. Its kinda different but still very fun. The fun part was getting back in the first one. We ended up in the StarTek univers... :D :confused:
I'm working on a campaign for my game. It's centered around Terra, and human expansion outwards. I want the flavor to be like the classic SF of the twenties to the fifties. This is an idea that I've had in the back of my head for years, and I'm just now dusting it off again now that I've got the new version of Traveller.
What I did was to create my own sector so I could use the existing equipment and such and then based the sector aways from the known part of the imperium so I could set up my own political, social and other problems without interference from the OTU.
I've been running for about 2 years now a campaign set in the year 50 (in a quite altered timeline). Imperial Expansion initially moved coreward in order to encompass the Vilani area and avoided Rimward expansion until it was of sufficient size to deal with any Solomani strongholds that may have survived the Rule of Man.

Set in the Zarushagaar sector the players are the crew of the IISS vessel ISV Callona and are forward scouts for the expansion process. Over time while contacting old worlds they have heard rumours of another empire in the area. The Navan Federation.

Now they know this federation exists as they have met elements of it's fleets and scout services. Unfortunately a crashed scout vessel on a monastary planet (the Navan Federation is a Religious Autocracy) caused what the NF perceived to be as the fulfillment of a prophecy and have now started the expansion of the federation that they have held off on for many centuries.

So this NF is expanding now for the first time in over 500 years, it's fleets are being geared up and it is taking over neutral systems in it's growth. Unfortunately the Imperial Navy is not ready and hasn't enough ships in the area, and the new Sector Duke has just moved to the area to take up his capital only 4 parsecs from the current NF border.

Naval Intelligence is trying to get as much info as possible and the Scouts are more and more being used as spies against NF systems.

The NF are not being portrayed as sever bad guys though, just the enemy. Their religion is actually very tolerent, if people don't wish to convert that is fine, the NF religion is supreme but does not stomp on others beliefs as long as they don't try to convert people.

Political rifts will emerge between the Navy and government on both sides as well as they descend into war between competing empires and the players may well end up having to make a choice as to which side they wish to fight for.

In a nutshell. There is a site supporting this campaign but it isn't updated as much as I would like.

A Fire Upon The Deep
Your settings are very interesting! Keep 'em coming!

To clarify (like butter, if you've seen it you'll know), what I meant was a campaign using some of the tech and the feel, but without using the OTU as such - though if it gives you seeds (this species being based on the Zhodani, that on the Aslan, and etc.), that's quite fine. But since I originally said just "homegrown campaigns," keep the alternate TUs coming!
I'll get back to you when I get mine done.
Well there is my Star Kingdom Campaign. Why it ended up called this I don't know as all my players started on Earth, capital of the United Nations of Humanity. I used the dot maps for the Solomani Rim but redid most world stats and introduced a number of relic stargates. This game ran for a number of years, it is currently in recess as I am doing some work on the Banners Sector for a PE game I am currently running.

I will be putting more on my site in the future however.

Here's the initial write-up of my setting, as (basically) jotted down in my notebook (I don't have a website, so I'd have to use either here or email). It's not fully thought out, in terms of aliens, but it covers most of this and parts of the two nearest Milky Way arms.

To get on with it:

The Interstellar Republic ruled over half a Galaxy, and had for 3,000 years. After 2,700 years, it was beginning to strain at the edges, but the strain was ignored until a private scouting venture discovered the human species - the scouts barely managed to hold onto their lives and property, and returned, frightened, to the Republic with the location of Earth. After a long debate, the Republic launced an expedition and formally contacted Earth, which launched the human species to the stars. After 100 years, humanity was considered integrated, but its internal tensions had never faded - and when dissident humans joined or conflicted with dissident Republican factions, civil war erupted. Another hundred years passed, and the once-tl20 Interstellar Republic was ash and ruin. On those planets which had been able to support life, many remnants subsisted at tl8, and more had reverted to tl0. Only a very few areas - those farthest from the war - had even retained tl12, but a few managed to keep tl15 - those on the very fringes of the other galactic arms. The last bastion of Republican culture, the Manische Consortium, had retained the highest level of tl15 available, and only because it was in a stellar cluster which was rich with resources, as well as hasty planning once the end was obvious. Now, 16 centuries have passed since the ruin of the Republic, and the Consortium is expanding again, sending a few major and numerous minor expeditions both out into the unexplored reaches of the Milky Way and back into the wasteland that was its ancestor in a hope to recontact whomever it can - though what will be found is entirely a mystery.

The tech level of the Consortium is a middle tl15, but it involves more advanced computer and biological technology than the OTU, and takes some hints from both SJ Games's (?) Transhuman Space and GURPS Biotech, such as sapient AIs and genemods. FTL travel is a version of hyperspace, with a maximum travel range of J12. Most star vessels can do about J8, and have much more efficient power plants. Sensors also have a range of ten light-seconds, with military models having more. On the whole, most technology is more interactive, with an emphasis on both ease of use and sophont (both biological and artificial) control.
Oh yeah, one thing to keep in mind: the early tls are now: tl0: stone age only; tl1: bronze age; tl2: Iron Age/Imperial Rome; tl2: Middle Ages; tl4: Renaissance; tl5:1800s; and normal OTU tls from there.
The first Traveller campaign I ran started before there was an OTU (some time around 1978 I think). I generated half a sub-sector and then used the background from FanTac games Space Marine mini rules (just the humans, there were no alian races for Traveller then). I set the sector up as a colonial region, with each of the human powers having one or two systems all intersperced.

The players were the contracted crew of a Type A merchant, and it was initially just a 'merchant campaign', but after they had three random violent ship encounters in a row, I decided to go with the flow, and ran the rest of the campaign with them being unwitting smugglers. After 5 years of them running guns without their knowledge (and all the accompanying complications), the engineer decided to schedual the ship's maintenance at a local maintenance facility, rather than going to the company maintenace works. That's when they finally discovered the concealed compartments and some clues about what they were caught up in.

Unfortunatly, that's when that campaign ended. I was really looking forward to what they decided to do at that point. They had the option of continuing to operate with the company that hired them, quiting all together, or absconding with the ship (at least those were the options they were discussing at the end of the last session). It must have been as much fun for them as me because that campaign still gets mentioned now and then.

Just my experiance with Homegrown Campaigns,

I am in the middle of one now that is a combo of the classic Traveller universe and Call of Cthulhu. It's a continuation of sorts of an older campaign I created back in my CoC days. The campaign then revolved around humanity and it's last days on earth in a mad dash to try to get off planet to Mars because of the Old Ones waking up on the Earth. Humanity was aided by the Fungi from Yuggoth disguised as Grey Aliens(for their own strange reasons) by informing them of certain items and artifacts they would need to procure on the Earth to take with them to Mars in order to return to claim Earth in the distant future. The players played 2nd and 3rd string operatives that were running out on errands to get this stuff while the world went to hell.

The storyline continues with the few thousand that got off Earth and got to Mars trying to survive. After dealing with hinky stuff on Mars, and after several hundred years when the "stars were right" again (the initial reasons the old ones awoke was because of some man-made things that were done) the now secretive high council of Mars began the rites and rituals to lock the old ones away again. After several one-way trips to Earth, the world was primed again for human inhabitation, though it was severely tainted and a maddening place.

A thousand years or so go by, and Mars (the main base of operations now) figures out interstellar travel. [Insert similar Traveller timeline for early Earth exploration and Vilani wars]

During the wars with the Vilani, the Solamani (former Earth/Martians) and the Vilani are both getting desparate. The Vilani find some old ancient sites and discover an ancient AI with advanced tech and a willingness to aid the Vilani (as it allows them to openly grow their resources for the future desire of eliminating the entire species of humaniti... and everyone else for that matter). The Solomani, now being hit hard with a new enemy, turn to their dark past to the maddened ones living on Earth, many who have taken up the dark arts and who have been exiled to the nastiest places on Earth. The Solomani, forever tainting their leadership, employ the chaotic forces of the Old Ones, and the wars that follow wipe out both the Solomani and the Vilani power base and start the Long Night.

As a history, I have the Ancients actually going through something very similar. Two races of the ancients warred across the galaxy. One race opened a dimensional hole and brought what we call the "Old Ones" through to our Galaxy to destroy their enemies. The other race developed the AI to fight off the chaos. The wars destroyed both the races and released the "Old Ones" into the galaxy to seed their evil, and the AI to go into hiding and wait for a day when they could get an edge over the Old Ones and wipe out those who were left who had created them for their wars.

So, the Long Night goes by, the new Imperium is founded eventually, the Solomani and the Imperium are at war (993 or so), and the players come across a couple ancient sites wich start giving them a taste of the two evils which exist, and are again starting to poke their heads out again.

Though long, this is actually the very abbreviated version of all this.. hehe. I love hearing everyone else's versions of the Traveller Universe. Keep em coming!
Has anyone ever run a campaign set during the 1st Imperium? When Humanity makes first contact with it. What if first contact was made when the Vilani entered the Terran system? This is an alternate Traveller history. The Vilani make first contact during the early years of the 21st Century say in 2005 AD. The world looks much as it does today and then the spaceships land. Imagine the shoch when humans step out of these spaceships. How would the nations of the world react? This setting might make for a very interesting campaign. The Earth is just another technological backwater in the expanding first Imperium, one of those TL8 worlds.
Hmm... Has anyone used possibly Traveller tech, with mods as they see fit - same with aliens - and then created their own universe, taking very little or nothing from the OTU?
I have

The campaign I'm currently running is like that. I call it "A Sea of Stars". It uses real stars and their location 'munged' onto a standard 2D hex map. The rough shape of human space is a lazy reversed 'C'.

The setting is Earth, Earth has *just* entered TL10 (25 to 30 years production capable). I began creation of my campaign with an old (late 60s early 70s) NASA time-line I found years ago. This was the plan for what NASA intended to do back in the hey-day of unlimited budgets and congressional support. I modified it a bit and worked up to the year 2203, where the game begins (Jan 1st 2203 to be exact).

I modified tech to include a precurser FTL engine that randomized the jump distance from 0.1pc to 0.5pc, and had a 33% chance of some type of failure. Tech progressed from nucler rockets and ion drives, to fusion rockets, to plasma rockets and then, at TL10, to reactionless gravity drives.

I've got acceleration rules for the characters to handle G-forces since gravity plates are still pretty new and most ships are plasma rocket based without any form of artificial gravity.

In MTU humans have clonized all the star sytems either with colonies or outposts that are within Jump-1 of Earth or each other.

In MTU medical and computer tech are much, much higher than in Traveller. When I created my time-line I took what the next 'new things' folks project on the frontier and pushed beyond them.

While I have bio-tech in MTU, it hasn't entered into my campaign and the players don't seem intersted. Robots are helpers and don't really exist on any but the newer ships.

I have no aliens (as of yet) in game. They exist, and if the players wish to they can go exploring and find them. The 'governments' say none exist -- but secretly they have had contact....

I use missile rules and heavy weapons (I've created a post in the T20 section where I outline them).

My campaign begins about 5 years after the ending of a Civil War. The winner is the Terran Union, or earth, which wants to keep all of human space under one government.

I've altered tech significantly in the following:

TL-8 -> random jump-drive, uses batteries to store EP for a jump and not fuel. Effenciency of this engine begins at .1 to .5 pc per jump up to .1 to 1.2 pc per jump.

TL-9 -> next progression, researchers discover that the random distance of the jump is due to the energy transfer rate and the 'gas-drive' jump drive is created making, for the first time a Jump-1 engine. Refinements in powerplant (TL 9.25 to 9.5) and fuel tech give less fuel use for highly refined fuels. So, refined fuel becomes the norm not for the 'double jump' but for the added volume that a ship can bulid for. Warships are build to only use refined fuel and differnt colonny navies set up fuel depots in the deep space areas between the stars.

TL-10 -> in the middile of the 30 year long Civil War and sees the breakthrough in Gravatics spawnign the creation of gravity propulsed vehicles and gravity plates to generate artifical gravity. Earth is the only one to begin producing warships using this technology and the 7 on 1 odds of the Civil War now begin to turn the tide to Earth's favor.

Also, in TL10 refinment of the jump drive is done. Researchers begin replacing the fuel-dump method with the gradual charge of the jump capacitors from batteries. This tech is still new and ships are (in game) just beginning to be built using it. This rule replaces the need for fuel for a jump drive (though power plant and rockets still need fuel).

Game begins about 5 years after the end of the Civil War. All but 1 player are veterans of the war. Out of my current 4 players (soon to be 5) 2 are Union Veterans (one retired) and one other is Rebel (Tau Ceti Defense Force) -- and he's the one with the ship. Their ship is a 100T 'courier' That has dual 4G plasma rockets (which can provide 8G of thrust) and a J-1 Engine. It also includes a torpedo launcher and fuel scoops.

The first sessions was about 2 hours of character generation and about 3 hours of role-playing. During character generation I ran each character through their prior-history as it would fit into game time-line. Starting worlds were random, from a chart I created -- 1 was Earth borne, 2 were Earth Asteroid borne and 1 was Tau Ceti born. Each of them had a major 'secret' giving to them during character generation. It was up to them to make the adventure -- and, they did choosing to follow up on one player's secret and having a good reason for each and every character to be involved....quite nice and a lot of fun in fact...
I really enjoyed reading about Eric Anderson's campaign. I started something similar a few years back using the New Era rules. It was a generations campaign that started in the 1950's with the start of the space program and the Roswell crash. Each generation had a life span of a few adventures. The whole human push into space was fueled by a conspiracy with Greys and other secret organizations. Each generation pulled back the curtain a little more. It climaxed after the Virus with the discovery of the original race.
For anyone developing a storyline starting in the near future or even during the space race I would suggest the Writer's Digest Sci Fi writers series. They can be used to add a good amount of realism
The Maranan Cluster:

We do things a little differently here...

Our mapping is what you call 'Jump Six Mapping.' A subsector has 127 possible systems, and there are 127 subsectors per sector.

We encounter nebulae, empty space, and all star types from X0 (black holes - 0.01% chance) to type T9 (Methane Dwarf stars).

Our jump drive is an extrapolation of gravity control technology. The J-drive creates an asymmetrical singularity around the ship, with the degree of asymmetry determining the distance and direction of travel. Asymmetries that would provide greater than Jump-6 are extremely unstable, and almost always promote disastrous results - if they don't 'blow out' the J-drive engines before an actual jump.

Psionic ability it tolerated, albeit barely; "Don't ask, don't tell" is the watchphrase for the psionically endowed. Reactions are more moderate than in the old Imperium.

So far, the Travellers have encountered only humaniti, but there are clues that other races exist. For instance, part of a derelict starship (the bridge and computer section) had seats that were a little smaller that would be comfortable for a human, with a slot in the back where a tail might go...

There is a neighboring Vilani culture that refuses to allow 'foreign' traders within it's borders. They do export foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, and other organics, while importing inorganic technology. Their tech level for their products exceeds the TL9 rating of the Maranan Cluster.

Technology and gamerules are out of Classic Traveller, although the year is 1248 on the Imperial calendar. This best simulates a 'recovering' culture.

The campaign has started out in an area 7 parsecs across, encompassing 12 systems. The characters are part of a culture that survived the Virus. Now they are going out to find any remnants of the Imperium - whether governments or artifacts. They do not even know if the 3rd Imperium still exists or not.

"The unexamined life is not worth living, so don't even tell me your name.
I started building my "Decatur Unity" milieu a bit more than 20 years ago. As originally developed, the main setting is sector-sized with an "empire" of about 100 systems in the center of the sector, several smaller polities (3-15 systems) and a lot of independent/non-aligned worlds. I used the somewhat cliche "post-diaspora/long night" model; these worlds were settled by humanity long ago in most cases, and just recently have begun moving out of the "dark ages". I used standard Traveller TLs, but capped things at TL 13.

I ran several adventures in this setting while in the Army, did some more work on it for a little while, then put it (as well as Traveller) away around 1989 or so. Blame Shadowrun. ;)

Recently it's all been dug back out and the main background is undergoing some revision. The government of the Unity is no longer feudal in nature (/rant on: why do so many people who espouse personal freedom flock to the banner of feudalism? /rant off) but the exact shape of the government is still a work in progress.

Oh, and outside the borders of the sector is a large, possibly alien empire which is aggressively expanding in this way. Travellers down in the rim-spinward regions may run into them...

The technology is going to get some attention also. It's beyond *my* capability to suspend disbelief to ignore the advances and promises of biotech, information technology and nanotech, to name a few. I'm planning to raid my Shadowrun materials (the SF parts anyway) and GURPS rather than re-invent the wheel.

Hard to say when/if I'll try to recruit players. Right now it's mostly serving as an outlet for my creative juices. I still have a couple of adventures put together, none of which should be too dependent on the stuff I plan to revamp to matter. (Who cares if the offended NPC is the Planetary Commissioner and not the ruling Marquis?)


I've begun getting mine into Microsoft Office. I'll post it back here in the next couple of months.

Lightsenshi, I'm all eyes (no sound here, so I must read...) for your campaign.

And a very belated welcome to jappel!