If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
HalC
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If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby HalC » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:52 am

What if we didn't have the Third Imperium? What if, out of the blue, Marc said "no - you can't use it no more".

(I know I know, he can't do it and even if he did, you'd still use the Third Imperium just out of sheer cussedness - but bear with me here)

What book series would you use in lieu of the Third Imperium, and how would you tweak your game universe to comply with the book series.

For instance. Rissa Kerguelun as a book, when I purchased it brand new, was FUN. It had all of the right elements - space travel, Pirates (ok, so the reputation for one pirate in particular was a wee bit off center, but still!), new worlds, Earth Transformed, and the UET (gotta read it to understand the reference - but the line goes something like "That's why there is only one latrine in all of the EUT!")

In any event, FTL is such that there is a time dilation effect such that spacers who travel in space a lot, have two ages, their chronological age, and their real age. It has a rip roaring evil government to go up against, and the Earth's world government is not a government that endears itself to any but the Totalitarian minded people.

https://www.amazon.com/Rissa-Kerguelen- ... f.m.+busby

So, what would YOU run if you couldn't use the Third Imperium?

:)
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:54 am

I use Traveller for all kinds of settings. That's the beauty of career templates.
Sigtrygg
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby Sigtrygg » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:09 am

I only run one game in anything close to the OTU - a proto-Spinward Marches campaign based around the adventures of the Oberlindes Lines Merchant cruiser Bloodwell. I use S:3, early TAS news items pre FFW, library data and rumours from A:1 Kinunir through to Twilight's Peak.

I do not use anyone elses' version of the Spinward Marches - so no MgT or GT Spinward marches details about worlds I want to detail matter.

My longest running campaign is a long night planet of the week adventure that has been going on off and on for decades now, the long night in question owes more to Foundation (although I have never read the books), Dumarest, and the diaspora of humanity in the Dune universe post god emperor. I do use some OTU tropes as background - there was an Imperium but they have no idea which one for example.

I have used Traveller to run games in many settings derived from books, TV series or movies: Blake's 7, Stargate, Star Trek, Star Wars, Deathworld, Stainless Steel Rat, Known Space, Hamilton's Night's Dawn, Commonwealth and Fallen Dragon, Family D'Alembert, GURPS Terradyne, Julien May's books… the list could go on for a while.

The one that stands out is the Culture rip off I run - I can justify just about anything scenario-wise in that setting.
Condottiere
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby Condottiere » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:54 pm

It's the setting for me, since there are better representations of skillsets and character generation.
steve98052
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby steve98052 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:03 pm

I have some ideas about a setting of my own creation, which I devised for writing rather than gaming. In it, humanity spread from Earth soon after the development of faster-than-light travel in massive cryogenic colony ships, complete with ecosystem starters. Pioneer teams went to the surface first to activate terraforming (mostly a matter of seeding the oceans with photosynthesis microorganisms), mapped out initial land use, claimed the best resources for themselves, and waited for the terraforming to allow the surface shuttles to carry the frozen colonists and ecosystem starters to the surface.

Meanwhile back on Earth, the people who didn't board the colony ships became restless, and forced an end to colony ship construction. Starships were already mostly a Martian industry, but the hostility toward colony ships starved the flow of colonists, and the technology to build small ships hadn't been developed, so Mars turned back to intra-system ships, and making itself a better place. Earth eventually devastated itself with war and war-driven famine and epidemics, and turned inward.

The most successful of the colonies, New India, advanced the development of faster-than-light travel to allow smaller ships, and quickly became the center of non-Earth human civilization, and before long the imperial capital. It carefully guarded the secrets of small faster-than-light travel (mostly to keep it from Earth, which New India regarded as warlike barbarians), but conceded the big ship game to Mars, which it regarded as the First Human Colony and a worthy equal (and useful watchdog over Earth).

Like Traveller, my New India setting has travel limited to the speed of a starship. It's a largely benign empire focused mostly on trade.

Other sophonts exist, but I've only thought through one, called "thermophiles" by humans because of their heat tolerance. They're mostly immobile, and reproduce mainly by division, with some genetic exchange by way of gene carriers resembling Hiver larvae. A hundred or so years ago, it was fashionable to build small starships so that a thermophile served as the engineer for an otherwise human ship, but the practice fell out of fashion because of standards conflicts that were never satisfactorily resolved. Numerous century-old starships remain in service, because most thermophile engineers like their engineering compartment homes (and dislike moving once they're settled somewhere, because their size makes them only barely mobile) enough to keep the old ships working in spite of the difficult spare parts market.

- - -

The 2300 setting would be worth a look. I wish there were more material for it.

- - -

I like the Jack Vance space empire setting, but there's so little detail about how it works that it would only work as a game setting as a source of detailed worlds and great characters. Just don't look there for more than a few decent women characters. Vance is an old-timer, and most of his books were written before he caught on to the idea that women could be significant science fiction characters too.

- - -

I love just about everything Ursula Le Guin has written, including her science fiction, but it's strictly sub-light, until the invention of the ansible (a word she invented), and the later invention of a faster-than-light drive that was unable to transport living things. Some of her worlds might be good gaming settings, but her science fiction setting in general isn't easy to adapt to gaming.

- - -

Similarly, I love the expanded New Sun universe by Gene Wolfe, but regard it as a difficult setting for Traveller-style gaming. The New Sun "Urth" setting would be great for single planet science fiction (with a strong flavor of "sufficiently technology advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"); it's such a good fit that a soucebook already exists. His Long Sun tetrology, set inside an enormous colony starship, would also be good for single-planet gaming. The starship is much smaller than a planet, but easily large enough for a game where nothing available to player characters can travel faster than a sailboat.

- - -

The Star Trek and Star Wars settings were significant sources of inspiration, and both have plenty of published detail for use as game settings, but the technology is too techno-magical (particularly in Star Wars) for a game that has more than a hint of Traveller feel.

- - -

Finally, both the Foundation galaxy and the Dune universe have plenty of room for Traveller-style gaming. They are, after all, part of the literary inspiration for Traveller. I don't think there's enough published material about either to provide a ready-made gaming setting, but they're rich sources for ideas.
TrippyHippy
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby TrippyHippy » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:33 pm

I'd probably just do some homebrew version of Star Wars mixed with Star Trek.
Outtasight!
HalC
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby HalC » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:48 pm

FOUNDATION could easily be a fun endeavor if...
ASTROSYNTHESIS were used in conjunction with it...

Imagine a 3D stellar Map, using mostly Traveller rules. Wouldn't THAT be something?!!!
dragoner
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby dragoner » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:15 pm

HalC wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:48 pm
FOUNDATION could easily be a fun endeavor if...
ASTROSYNTHESIS were used in conjunction with it...

Imagine a 3D stellar Map, using mostly Traveller rules. Wouldn't THAT be something?!!!
I have done exactly that with this map pack (download link): http://dragonersdomain.com/forum/downlo ... php?id=722

Example of a "subsector" - where the players are right now:

Image

Image

Image

I have thought about cleaning it up and putting on DTRPG for Cepheus Engine.
HalC
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby HalC » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:24 pm

The only problem with text messaging is that the tonal qualities of what I'm saying can't be made clear...


NIIIiiiiiiiiiiiccccccccceeeeeee!
dragoner
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby dragoner » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:42 pm

HalC wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:24 pm
The only problem with text messaging is that the tonal qualities of what I'm saying can't be made clear...


NIIIiiiiiiiiiiiccccccccceeeeeee!
Thanks. :)

It was a bit of work mapping and detailing out the closest 125 star systems to Sol/Earth. Right now I have a Traveller group I am running it for, and an M-Space game.
steve98052 wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:03 pm
I like the Jack Vance space empire setting, but there's so little detail about how it works that it would only work as a game setting as a source of detailed worlds and great characters.
Robin D Laws has a Gaean Reach RPG, I saw it at GenCon: http://site.pelgranepress.com/index.php ... n-reach-2/
Saladman
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby Saladman » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:55 pm

I'm already moving away from Third Imperium, so I suppose I'd stick with home brew.

But if I did have to pick a book series, I might do something with Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan universe. It's surprisingly Traveller-esqe, with stunners and plasma guns and grav cars. FTL is by wormhole routes, but with real-space travel to and from the wormhole points you can still get a week+ travel time. But the important thing is every world has something weird going on, even if only in the background, which I am now convinced is the secret to running Traveller.

In the vein of the last, it would even be interesting to go back to the original and use EC Tubb's Dumarest universe. That's where I first got the kick in the brain that every world should be weird and interesting rather than trying to smooth out the oddities of random generation. The downside is I haven't read nearly the whole series, and catching up on that to be true to canon would be a bigger commitment than homebrew.
NOLATrav
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby NOLATrav » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:28 pm

I’ve done very little in the Third Imperium, mostly one shots or quick campaign arcs with a definite end point. I’ve always been a home brew, roll it up kind of guy. Even more so the last few years with the preponderance of online generators available for everything from star systems to random gadgets.

My current campaign is a big mash up - OTU megacorps, Dune style Noble Houses, Firefly-esque colony worlds, a mysterious megastructure ala 2001 and an Ancients kind of mystery revolving around Terra’s oldest monuments - the Great Pyramids, Angkor Wat, Macchu Pichu, Stonehenge, etc.

Tons of fun with all kinds of ideas to explore and because it’s the frontier and the PCs are competent, they get involved in everything.
Old School
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby Old School » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:33 pm

Sounds awesome NOLA, would love to hear about their adventures.
NOLATrav
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Re: If we didn't have the Third Imperium to kick around anymore...

Postby NOLATrav » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:58 pm

Old School wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:33 pm
Sounds awesome NOLA, would love to hear about their adventures.
Thanks, OS. Not likely to post an epic campaign log such as yours and others as I'm a terribly undisciplined writer. But I'll try to post a few highlights here and there. Cheers

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