Reign of Discordia?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
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Reign of Discordia?

Postby Gravmonkey » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:31 am

Has anyone mucked about with this yet? It looks interesting.
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Postby Morden » Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:02 am

I have, and I wrote it. What would you like to know?
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Postby Gravmonkey » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:09 am

I have, and I wrote it. What would you like to know?
IS this a 3I setting or post 3I or something different?
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Postby rust » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:28 am

Gravmonkey wrote: IS this a 3I setting or post 3I or something different?
It is something completely different, I do not see any connection with the
Third Imperium.
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Postby The Chef » Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:10 pm

it is its own gaming universe, with seperate races, ships, history etc.
are you absolutly sure sir it does mean changing the bulb!
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Postby Morden » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:58 pm

This seems to be one of the biggest points of confusion, and I admit that it doesn't help that the major (though now defunct) political entity in the setting is called the Stellar Imperium. Frankly, that term gets a lot of play in scifi these days because no one dares call their big evil galactic empire an empire after Star Wars and there are very few words that convey the same meaning in the English language, so you make do with the terms that are available.

At any rate, yes, this is not connected to the Third Imperium, just as Greyhawk is not the Forgotten Realms, or Firefly is not Babylon 5. The setting was originally created for the True20 rules system, but when we showed it to Mongoose, they liked it enough that they wanted to publish it through Flaming Cobra and felt that Traveller was a good fit. After weighing the options, I heartily agreed. Traveller handles space opera better than any other game system I've tried, and it makes sense since the system was designed specifically with space opera in mind.

The easiest way to sum up the concept behind the setting is that there is nobody able to pick up the pieces after the fall of the great (albeit corrupt, aggressive, and domineering) interstellar civilization. None of the setting's major species are unified among their own kind, let alone with each other, hence you have a situation where civilization has broken down on so many levels. On top of this, the region has recently lost a major war with a lizard-like species in the far reaches of known space, and they aren't very gracious winners. At this point they are militarily stronger. Fortunately, they are not a united force either, which might be the only reason that they haven't gone fully on the offensive to destroy the worlds of their former enemies. Despite their lack of singular focus, they have depopulated several worlds using a killer virus. In other words, what you have is absolute chaos!

Despite this, the setting is designed to accommodate- practically any subgenre of scifi that you can imagine. If you're into military scifi that's set aboard a large starship, there are still governments that have a decently sized military. If you're more into space commerce where the job is to get jobs hauling cargo and get paid, there's an entire region of space that relies on that, not to mention the fact that the primary systems are increasingly reliant upon smaller supply ships. If you're more interested in a cosmopolitan style space station that can lead to all sorts of adventures, there's several of those, the largest of which is the Rover's Beacon station at the border of human and Tallinite space. It also has space pirates, mega-corporations, small-scale wars, and much, much more going on.

This setting uses a lot of planets that are not Earth-like. It assumes that Earth-like planets are rare, and most of the ones that do exist tend to be a little too hot or cold to be comfortable for human life. Many of the major worlds would be completely uninhabitable if not for the artificial environments created by the species that settled them. Here, I draw on a lot of the classic scifi concepts from yesteryear, with the intent to give things a bit of a retro-feel. There were certain sources I looked to for inspiration for this, chief among them was the old Usborne Book of the Future.

A final note is that Gun Metal Games currently has a couple other books in production and there will be a fiction line supporting it, just as soon as I finish writing the novel I'm working on now. So there is support in the pipes, but you don't need to feel like you need to wait for official material. The setting is open-ended enough that you can easily import ships and alien races from existing Traveller sources. They may fill different niches within this setting, and you may need to jettison much of the original background information and give them unfamiliar names to get them to fit, but there's no reason that you can't use the rules for the species and ships that you already have.

This has been a fun setting to work on and I believe that it has a long future ahead of it.
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Postby Gravmonkey » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:16 am

That sounds really interesting. I'll definitely check it out.
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Postby dmccoy1693 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:44 am

Morden wrote:this is not connected to the Third Imperium, just as Greyhawk is not the Forgotten Realms
I hate to nitpick, but I believe that Greyhawk and FR were actually connected through the plane of shadows. But that is a completely different tangent. Back to your regularly scheduled discussion about a really cool setting.
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Postby Techno-Guru » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:31 am

Hmmm, sounds interesting. I might have to give this another look.
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Postby Morden » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:18 am

dmccoy1693 wrote: I hate to nitpick, but I believe that Greyhawk and FR were actually connected through the plane of shadows. But that is a completely different tangent. Back to your regularly scheduled discussion about a really cool setting.
Actually, now that you mention it, there is the theory that every conceivable reality exists in one of an infinite number of parallel universes. So, if you can just figure out how to cross over to a parallel universe, you could indeed connect the Third Imperium with Reign of Discordia. Of course that would be in an unofficial, non-trademarked, non-corporate sponsored way (please don't sue us!). ;-)
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Postby AndrewW » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:39 am

Morden wrote:Actually, now that you mention it, there is the theory that every conceivable reality exists in one of an infinite number of parallel universes. So, if you can just figure out how to cross over to a parallel universe, you could indeed connect the Third Imperium with Reign of Discordia. Of course that would be in an unofficial, non-trademarked, non-corporate sponsored way (please don't sue us!). ;-)
No problem, just use the dimensional manipulation powers (like dimensional portals) available in Book 4: Psion.
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Postby HumAnnoyd » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:24 pm

Could you tell me more about the alien races you have in Reign? One of the only gripes I have with the 3I is that the main aliens are "Dog" people and "Lion" People. I am interested in seeing what other options you may have come up with.
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Postby Morden » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:34 pm

HumAnnoyd wrote:Could you tell me more about the alien races you have in Reign? One of the only gripes I have with the 3I is that the main aliens are "Dog" people and "Lion" People. I am interested in seeing what other options you may have come up with.
Absolutely! I wanted the aliens to run the gamut from the familiar to the truly bizarre, and I definitely wanted to avoid making any of the aliens races dog or cat people. My initial approach was to construct a generator with a number of different species traits that can be observed here on Earth as well as some outlandish ideas thrown into the mix. What I found is that as I took those ideas and worked with them, the more they began to resemble real-Earth creatures. This really wasn't intentional, but I think speaks more to the diversity of life on this planet. So that said, the major races are as follows:

Lamogos: This is a species that looks and acts very similar to humans, though their skin tones are mostly in the blue range, with a few that range into the greens. They tend to have the same mental capacities as humans, but their homeworld is authoritarian and they tend towards aggression in their dealings with others. I wouldn't describe them as an evil race or world, but let's just say that their track record on the "human rights" of native species is not good.

Tallinites: This species is insectoid in nature. Their homeworlds are dominated by hives. Individuals can leave their hives, but they usually feel as though they're drawn back to the hive when they're away. They tend to be orderly and peaceful towards other species, but are terrifying when provoked. They fight most of their wars against one another. Like many races in Reign of Discordia, they can only communicate with other species through a translator box.

Relarra: Think giant crab people. They originate in an aquatic environment and they require encounter suits to survive out of water. As a species, they are great engineers and they design the highest environment suits for any species. They were originally discovered by the humans when a member of their race was mistaken for food. Their temperament is mostly peaceful, though they use their size and their exoskeleton to their advantage in combat.

Sangor: Kind of the junk builders of the interstellar society, this is a strange race that is composed of a flat, fleshy body, eyes in multiple places throughout their bodies, a pair of beaks for mouths, and slim spindly legs. They are extremely good at deconstructing technology and making their own versions, though they tend to be second-rate at best.

The last two are not intended for player characters:

Gaieti: Super advanced, enigmatic, and plantlike, the Gaieti's motivations, intentions, and even their society remains a mystery. What is known is that they usually do not interfere with the affairs of other species.

R'Tillek: The largest threat to civilized space, the R'Tillek are best described as intelligent dinosaurs. They exist in their massive tribal ships and, five years ago, brought the Stellar Imperium to its knees. Today, they have a nasty viral agent that they use to depopulate the planets of their enemies, and the populations of certain planets have been utterly decimated by it. At present, their goals remain uncertain as the attacks tend to be random and spread out over time.

In addition to these, there are hundreds of lesser races that come from backwater worlds. Most of them were subjugated by the Stellar Imperium at one time though the average citizen of the former Imperium had no knowledge of these activities. These species are beginning to drift into mainstream society, though many of them remain bitter about what was done to them.
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Postby Techno-Guru » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:04 pm

Morden wrote:Absolutely! I wanted the aliens to run the gamut from the familiar to the truly bizarre, and I definitely wanted to avoid making any of the aliens races dog or cat people. My initial approach was to construct a generator with a number of different species traits that can be observed here on Earth as well as some outlandish ideas thrown into the mix. What I found is that as I took those ideas and worked with them, the more they began to resemble real-Earth creatures. This really wasn't intentional, but I think speaks more to the diversity of life on this planet. So that said, the major races are as follows:

Lamogos: This is a species that looks and acts very similar to humans, though their skin tones are mostly in the blue range, with a few that range into the greens. They tend to have the same mental capacities as humans, but their homeworld is authoritarian and they tend towards aggression in their dealings with others. I wouldn't describe them as an evil race or world, but let's just say that their track record on the "human rights" of native species is not good.

Tallinites: This species is insectoid in nature. Their homeworlds are dominated by hives. Individuals can leave their hives, but they usually feel as though they're drawn back to the hive when they're away. They tend to be orderly and peaceful towards other species, but are terrifying when provoked. They fight most of their wars against one another. Like many races in Reign of Discordia, they can only communicate with other species through a translator box.

Relarra: Think giant crab people. They originate in an aquatic environment and they require encounter suits to survive out of water. As a species, they are great engineers and they design the highest environment suits for any species. They were originally discovered by the humans when a member of their race was mistaken for food. Their temperament is mostly peaceful, though they use their size and their exoskeleton to their advantage in combat.

Sangor: Kind of the junk builders of the interstellar society, this is a strange race that is composed of a flat, fleshy body, eyes in multiple places throughout their bodies, a pair of beaks for mouths, and slim spindly legs. They are extremely good at deconstructing technology and making their own versions, though they tend to be second-rate at best.

The last two are not intended for player characters:

Gaieti: Super advanced, enigmatic, and plantlike, the Gaieti's motivations, intentions, and even their society remains a mystery. What is known is that they usually do not interfere with the affairs of other species.

R'Tillek: The largest threat to civilized space, the R'Tillek are best described as intelligent dinosaurs. They exist in their massive tribal ships and, five years ago, brought the Stellar Imperium to its knees. Today, they have a nasty viral agent that they use to depopulate the planets of their enemies, and the populations of certain planets have been utterly decimated by it. At present, their goals remain uncertain as the attacks tend to be random and spread out over time.

In addition to these, there are hundreds of lesser races that come from backwater worlds. Most of them were subjugated by the Stellar Imperium at one time though the average citizen of the former Imperium had no knowledge of these activities. These species are beginning to drift into mainstream society, though many of them remain bitter about what was done to them.
To begin... meh, it's more often then not easier for the general audience to accept the idea that the Earth, with its massive and diverse biosphere, contains lifeforms that could be just as easily found somewhere out there in some way, shape, or form.
Other then that, not bad. I'm reminded of a few old PC games. Most noteably the Star Control series from the early 90's. Great game with some truely creative lifeforms.
Have to say the Relarra and Sangor would probably be my first two choices in the setting. I like technical races for some odd reason.
As for the last two species you listed... they sound cool but I was never particularly wild about the idea of having races "not intended for player characters." More so in my current group then my past ones, some one would want to be a Gaieti sage or a R'Tillek warrior.... :roll:
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Postby HumAnnoyd » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:16 pm

Interesting. I like the diversity. I might just pick this up when I get paid again.
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Postby serene_muse » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:35 am

Got this in the Haiti Aid Bundle.

Like it. It's very much, to me, like Star Frontiers with a desh of Lightspeed for Traveller. Which is a good thing. It's not too serious, nor too silly and while it's not the Third Imperium setting, it's easy enough to grasp and play while still having some nuances.
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Postby serene_muse » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:47 am

While I don't tend to confused this setting with the Third Imperium setting, I have confused it with another MGT setting out (or in the works) by the CthulhuTech guys. Or is Reign of Discordia that setting? :oops:
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Postby Morden » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:55 am

serene_muse wrote:While I don't tend to confused this setting with the Third Imperium setting, I have confused it with another MGT setting out (or in the works) by the CthulhuTech guys. Or is Reign of Discordia that setting? :oops:
Nope, no relation between the Cthulhutech people and the RoD people. RoD is my own personal sandbox. Part of the reason it exists is because I wanted to give myself a nice space opera sandbox to play in after the Babylon 5 novels license didn't pan out for Mongoose (I was starting work on one for Mongoose once upon a time). Now that the B5 RPG is dead, I'm doubly glad I did this. Cthulhutech is a cool setting, but it's totally different thematically.
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Postby FentonGib » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:23 pm

Firstly, hi everyone, am new (though have been reading this forum awhile, only just registered).

I bought the Reign of Discordia book (Mongoose) a while ago, Morden might remember me as I sent him an e-mail with a couple of queries about populations that he very kindly settled for me.

Just want to say that I'm new to Traveller, and will be starting my first campaign soon. As such, I actually obtained the PDF versions of the 3rd Imperium books (Spinward Marches and Rift Sector) as well as Reign of Discordia (which I later purchased on hardback). It only took one quick-reading for both myself and all my troupe to get excited about RoD. The setting is so open to possibilities, and has so many different plot angles and factions that it's a goldmine of possibilities. I am already including the Vargr and the Darrians in my game - I just need to decide how to politically incorporate them - I'm edging on having the Vargr being relatively scattered with few worlds of their own except Lair, and the Darrians became minor members a long time ago seeking protection from the Sword Worlds and Zhodani. I effectively added that part of the 3I map to the area below earth on the RoD map (since human region is at the bottom of the map). Other than this minor political decision, it has been easy to plan the incorporation of elements that I've liked from various sources.

Though there's no mention of it in RoD, I also plan to use the concept of the Ancients in my game.

In short, it's a great starting point, and easily modifiable.

What I do think could have been better (sorry) is the section on the races. It gives decent basic info, but the races are a little too odd to appeal to many of my players for a mixed-race game. I like the R'Tillek and Gaieti as races, but the inclusion of stats for Gaeti but no information at all on their species kinda left me wondering what to do with them... I'm assuming, and hoping, that further expansions (which I'm dying to come out) will add more races and/or explore them in depth. Also hoping that sector maps come out - the book seems to leave this totally open to you except for the star map which kinda makes you have to realise about 1/10th of an inch is a 1 parsec hex...

A little more information about the operating practices of the Stellar Imperium would have been nice too. Gives a good history, and the current situation is nice, but knowing what kind of things they did regularly and the actual structure would definitely have helped plan the state of affairs now. But this is left open to you.

Love the Lamogos and Rover's Beacon alone has great plot angles.

Heartily recommend it.
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Postby Morden » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:53 am

Hey FentonGib,

Right now we aren't sure exactly what's happening with Reign of Discordia, though we are committed to seeing new material released for it in one form or another. To recap, we've had issues getting new material from certain (to remain unnamed) freelancers, there have been issues with art, and other unforeseen difficulties that have made supporting this setting problematic.

I can advise you on a couple things. First, certainly feel free to add new races into the mix. If the race isn't an inherently major presence, then they can fit into the blank space between star systems. On the other hand, if by nature, they command a number of star systems, or you just can't imagine them under the heel of any stellar government, then it would work best to leave a little room in between the RoD systems and the new ones you introduce.

Aside from that, I can offer little advice about the Gaieti at this time. Keep them mysterious, have them appear only in low numbers, don't let the characters examine a corpse, and make their actions more or less benevolent. There's definitely more in store for them, but it's too early in the life of the setting to give away their secrets. They will feature prominently when fiction tied to the setting is finally released.
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