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Introducing new Players to the OTU?



I've got a group of experienced role-players
who have only played Traveller once or twice :( and then only for one-off scenarios where detailed background wasn't needed.

Following a one-off game I ran they are keen to start a campaign :D but I'm left with a dilemma; how to introduce them to the TU they will be adventuring in?

None of us have unlimited freetime ( Real World™, gets in the way

In other words, without having had players new to the OTU reading copious background material, what have GMs done to introduce them to the OTU?
Give them *characters* who don't know the OTU, eg ones from a world that's not had much interstellar contact.
excellent advice. and start them on an adventure that does not require interstellar travel. local politics, undercover government and industrial espionage between balkanized nations, isolated research stations, outright civil war or natural disasters - lots of opportunities exist in-system. introduce the imperium as being "that starport over there".
If you build it, it will get used... ;)

Let me know if you need any assistance with that, Crow,
Here's something I put together a while ago, based ;) on the intro to LBB4 mostly:

Traveller is set in the sectors controlled by the Imperium, a remote central government possessed of great industrial and technological might.
Due to the sheer distances and travel times involved it is unable to exert total control at all levels everywhere within its star-spanning realm. As a result, the Imperium allows a great deal of autonomy to its subject worlds beyond the central Core systems.

Here on the frontier, in a sector called The Spinward Marches, extensive home rule provisions allow planetary populations to choose their own forms of government, raise and maintain armed forces for local security, pass and enforce laws governing local conduct, and regulate commerce (within limits). The Imperium asks for respect for its overall policies, and for a united front against outside pressures.

Defence of the frontier is mostly supplied by local indigenous forces, stiffened by scattered Imperial Naval bases manned by small but extremely sophisticated forces.
Conflicting local interests are often settled by force of arms, with Imperial forces quietly looking the other way, unable to intervene in any but the most wide-spread disputes, which threaten the security or the economy of the area.

The Imperium also maintains the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service, equal in stature to the Imperial Navy and Army, whose duties include exploration of and beyond the Imperial frontier, on-going mapping and surveying of Imperial territory, and the maintenance of interstellar communications through its express boat network.
The IISS maintains bases and waystations on many worlds in order to facilitate its mission.

Moving within the safety of the Imperium are the merchantmen. Whether free trader or megacorporation bulk tranport, tramp liner or luxury cruiser, it is trade and commerce which is the life blood of the Imperium.

Your character, _______, has just mustered out having served __ terms in the ______.
You are on ________.

Adventure awaits.
I photocopied the chronology out of either the MT or Ref's companion or Imperial Encyclopedia and a page of the ships section out of the 1983 starter edition that talked about jump drive and used the CT S class as the example ship.
Originally posted by Scarecrow:
Hmmmm, if this were boiled down to it's essentials to make it a tad snappier and had some visuals added.... it might make a nice handout for Traveller newbs.
Yup...You put it together and "WE" will hand it out :D
Originally posted by Scarecrow:
Hmmmm, if this were boiled down to it's essentials to make it a tad snappier and had some visuals added.... it might make a nice handout for Traveller newbs.
Yes it's a good doc for n00bs. I also like Downport's foundation doc.
What about, some Holy Cow smokin' art. Mock-up from the FASA boxed deckplans and Rebellion Sourcebook with a few other things thrown in should get their interest peaked...unless, they are Hardcore Star Wars fans.
Everyone - thanks very much for the suggestions and ideas!

Much appreciated. I think I have several things I can use here.

I will probably introduce my girldfriend to Traveller quite soon. She doesn't have much role-playing experience (except for a little D&D several years ago), but she likes "choose your own adventure"/"fighting fantasy" gamebooks and fantasy and sci-fi literature, movies and computer games. She is also very open-minded.

She also likes daydreaming and inventing strange universes and beings in her head for fun - mostly by "speculative evolution" - that is, taking existing Earth creatures and trying to imagine their future evolution, and possible rise to sentience (she studies agriscience and livestock biology, so she's deep into animal evolution). The funny thing is that the societies she speculated for sentient canines and felines were remarkably similasr to those of Vargr and Aslan, respectively, and she've never known anything about Traveller before she've met me!

Now, what I want to do is re-introduce her to RPGs and to Traveller as well. I'm thinking about using a post-apocalyptic (though marginally inhabitable) world in my variant TNE universe as the starting point, give her "her people's" legends about the Imperial past, and let her encounter the rest of the post-OTU by herself. The rules, and the nature of refereed RPGs, are another matter - I'm thinking of writing a nice introductory document on them, especially my streamlined task system.
No need to go "post-apocalyptic" could be an experimental world laboritory from the days of the Second Imperium gone astray and then the Long Night kicked in.

TNE does a good job with setting the mood for many recovery of an Imperial past, you could disregard the Virus parts - although, that would make an "interesting" twist once they make their way to orbit...
Originally posted by kafka47:
No need to go "post-apocalyptic" could be an experimental world laboritory from the days of the Second Imperium gone astray and then the Long Night kicked in.
I meant a world so damaged by the Black War that only sketchy records of the Third Imperium remain on it. Sure, there were personal stories of the few who remained alive through the last 80 years or so of total chaos and devastation, but they are few and far between. The locals know of what the 3I was, in general lines, but this knowledge would quite obscure.

So it'll be Mad Max/X-File style until the interstellar part will be fully revealed (Star Vikings and my Unity of Gaia covertly fighting over the world, so it has some resources both polities want, but it is quite far from both to allow full military action); then she'll discover the facts of interstellar life as she'll encounter them. The idea is that of a TL6-7 "barbarian" being thrown into interstellar society, learning as she goes.

And besides, my girlfriend likes the Fallout and Wasteland computer games and their atmosphere...

TNE (or atleast my CT+-powered variant on it) was chosen over MTU because the OTU has alot of readily-available material that can be utilized without waiting for MTU to be developed. TNE-variant was chosen over the "Golden Era" since it is more dynamic and allows far more personal impact on the universe. MTU is a long-time investment, this camapign is intended to be a "here and now" fun one for the next year or two. And besides, there are no Aslan or Vargr IMTU...
I used the freelance traveller sheet with the following hand out
Gateway domain
A-Ley, B-Gateway
C- Glimmer drift d- Crucis

T.N.S. Pokka Day 5-993 (L-2627 Crucis Margin, Gateway Domain)
T.N.S. Newsflash as of Day 007 993 a Red Alert exists for all ‘the Reach’ planet systems and the Oytrip of Tubroyllufotyusk. All Travelers are reminded to pass on this information to next T.A.S. center.
The military command of ‘The Reach’ is still taking claims for the destruction of three launch boats and the destruction of the Free Trader Roche Coach and any other damage. On Day 1 of 993 during his to visit to the city of Pokka an assassination attempt was made on the Prince Andrew Sullivan Smith, who fourth in line for ‘The Reach’ royal line. This attempt was foiled by His Majesty Emperor Smith’s elite Death Dogs Marine Division.
Among the dead include Baron Emory Bordermarch, Ms Bordermarch, and the prince’s teacher Dr Tray Whisperspon. Six other civilians were killed along with two patrol officers. The wounded now number at seventeen. While this attack was going on a suicide run was made on the light cruiser R.S.S. Sword by O.T.S. free trader Sacred Life. Light damage was the result but in the resulting chaos at least three (seven according to our sources) launch boats and the Roche Coach fail to heave to and were destroyed
Prince Andrew from orbit in R.S.S. Sword thanked the good people of Pokka and administered the oath of fealty duty office to Baroness Alice Truemane.

Day 360-992 Turku (K-2329 Crucis Margin, Gateway Domain)
His Majesty Emperor Smith announced that unless the council accepts his budget for 993 that the construction of new fleet hull would be halted.
The band Moon Monkeys started the kick of their twenty fifth reunion tour with the ‘Last Liner to Chenachane’, ‘All out for Albox’, and “ Mad dogs and Imperials’. Band lead singer Davey Moon beam Zippo announce the tour would hold at least three concerts on each of planets and then precede Rimward to Chenachane and other points.

Day 200-992 Turku (K-2329 Crucis Margin, Gateway Domain)
Today is the fourteen anniversary of the joint proclamation Imperium and ‘The Reach’ declaring Coin (L-2525 Crucis Margin, Gateway Domain Day 200-978) a preserve for the alien race discover inhabiting the planet. The star base will stay only a D. A small number of academics will be hired to study the aliens. People for the Ethical Treatment of Aliens gave a ten thousand credit reward to fund the research. Five members of People of the Extermination of Aliens (formally Humans Against Toleration of eTs) were arrest while protesting.

Day 33 992 Gateway Domain
This is eleventh anniversary of the lost of Ebon Rapturous in Gateway space. Ebon Rapturous depart on a standard mail run. (Day 33-981)

Day 320 991 Solomani Rim
Officials are still looking for the infamous gun runner Lord Rami Ibe Izoid. Lord Rami was broken out a medium security by his kids the Terrible Twins Michael and Michelle Izoid. Forty more charges of murder have added to the Izoid family rap sheet. A 3 MCr reward has been added to reward prize for capture and prosecution of Izoid family. This brings the total reward prize is now 20 MCr.

Day 15 990
Scouts Wes Weber and Alice Harrington announce a discovery of artifact planet 60 parsecs Rimward of the Solomani Rim. Details follow.