Some stuff lacking details in the OTU

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Some stuff lacking details in the OTU

Postby Somebody » Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:05 pm

While I generally like a "loosely detailed" OTU some stuff could do with a bit more or alternative concepts and ideas. Since my english is not up to writing an article for S&P here are some ideas (feel free to add more/comment)

TAS

Travellers Aid Society is little more than a "library service" and "ticket generator" in the current incarnation. Partially due to the fact that it is given to some PC as a "benefit" while others do not get it. The potential behind it is quite big but for that it needs a different set up IMHO

+ Delete the "TAS membership" benefit (Give cash instead) and make it a "campaign background element" instead

+ Flesh out TAS to a "gentlebeings in space" club

+ Make the "free tickets" into a more generic benefit

+ Make TAS membership something of a pension fund for the members providing lodging, some free money and services

+ Make TAS the center of a campaign, have the PC all be members in the classic "If I tell that in my club" sense

Spacers Guild

We never get details on how a spacer hires crew and how he checks qualifications and backgrounds. Traditionally there have been guilds and similar organisations doing the rating and providing reputation. Same the other way round, the organisations rated captains and ships. They also provided some social safety nets for the crewman.

+ Generate a loose network of guilds and a way to exchange data

+ Have some set of rules/guidelines how to rate a person that takes distance/travel time into account

+ Have some "benefits provided" and "duties owned" information

+ Provide plot hooks and concepts to tie them into play, offering service for a ships master "a long way from home"

+ Maybe make them "cross border" so they even work into Solomanie or Sword Worlds space

System defences and the orbital cloud

The system defence as shown in MegaTraveller has some problems. I.e on one hand we have "Imperial Free trade starport" and otoh we have "COAAC controling space 10D to ground". And there is always the question of "who protects a ship in transit". Another problem is the general lack of orbital structures. With extremly cheap access to space (For less than 1MCr you can go into orbit since a Air/raft can make it) at TL10+ there should be a lot of stuff going on and most biggers systems should have a orbital port or two. Same for other planets in a system

+ Some defence set-ups for systems of various "protection level" would be nice

+ Clean up the problem shown above

+ Who/what defends an empty system (Starport X) that lies along a J1 main? Are there any structures

+ Provide a set of space stations/orbital infrastructure not only for the main world but also for the gas giants

+ Plot hooks, scenario ideas (DS5 and B9 or so)


Filters for the Empire

The empire can be (and has been) seen through different "lenses" by Traveller from "perfect and unbribabel(GT)" through "distand and neutral-bening(CT)" to "rotten and dying/corrupted(MT/TNE)" Why not provide different lenses giving people "variant OTU" without changing timelines and critical plots.
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Postby justacaveman » Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:54 pm

TAS has been a bit vague before. I've always treated it as a sort of Secret Society that does covert ops for the Emperor. Helping travelers is only its cover story. IMTU some of TAS memberships are actually decided by the Emperor and are primarily used to check intelligence gathered by other sources. Most of the membership is completely in the dark about TAS's goals, and are merely used for cover. Some however are recruited to gather intelligence, and if they prove reliable and resourceful, may be recruited as covert operatives with more active assignments.
Last edited by justacaveman on Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Somebody » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:38 pm

justacaveman wrote:TAS has been a been vague before. I've always treated it as a sort of Secret Society that does covert ops for the Emperor. Helping travelers is only its cover story. IMTU some of TAS memberships are actually decided by the Emperor and are primarily used to check intelligence gathered by other sources. Most of the membership is completely in the dark about TAS's goals, and are merely used for cover. Some however are recruited to gather intelligence, and if they prove reliable and resourceful, may be recruited as covert operatives with more active assignments.
There is ABSOLUTELY no base for that. If you want imperial spys that is what Imperialines is for
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Postby justacaveman » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:47 pm

That's what they want you to think.
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Re: Some stuff lacking details in the OTU

Postby Dark Lord Skippy » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:30 am

Somebody wrote: + Flesh out TAS to a "gentlebeings in space" club
In MTU, it always has been. I think it works best that way.
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Re: Some stuff lacking details in the OTU

Postby Somebody » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:26 pm

Dark Lord Skippy wrote:
Somebody wrote: + Flesh out TAS to a "gentlebeings in space" club
In MTU, it always has been. I think it works best that way.
I agree. Would be nice to have some stuff on that since these "clubs" are a mostly british concept. Some ideas can be gleaned from movies/miniseries (In 80 days around the workd, Die another day) but more stuff would be nice.
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Postby Ishmael » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:46 pm

or perhaps the TAS is the remnant of an older society (Octagon Society?) much as the...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_ ... r_of_Malta

are the remnants of...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_Hospitaller

Perhaps constructions such as those of the "octagon society" ( an order that has passed into history ) are really more like...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krak_des_Chevaliers

An organization that has the power and infrastructure to maintain bases on so many far-flung worlds, boast the rich and powerful as members, and have an old and venerable history would have to be quite extensive and powerful in its own right. Moreso than a simple "gentleman's club".
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Postby Somebody » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:09 pm

Ishmael wrote:or perhaps the TAS is the remnant of an older society (Octagon Society?) much as the...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_ ... r_of_Malta

are the remnants of...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_Hospitaller

Perhaps constructions such as those of the "octagon society" ( an order that has passed into history ) are really more like...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krak_des_Chevaliers

An organization that has the power and infrastructure to maintain bases on so many far-flung worlds, boast the rich and powerful as members, and have an old and venerable history would have to be quite extensive and powerful in its own right. Moreso than a simple "gentleman's club".
Hmm, gives a totally new meaning to the "membership for live" concept of TAS.
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Postby kristof65 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:56 pm

The way I'm looking to set up the TAS IMTU is going to be somewhat of a cross between the USO, AAA and Airline Frequent Flyer clubs.

Rather than one overall TAS, there will be a half dozen or so, each one run/sponsored by a different Megacorp with a slightly different twist on exact benefits available.
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Postby tzunder » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:34 am

I think you need MORE organisations. TAS is one great example, but frankly we could do with the guys at BITS or Mongoose doing a 101 Organisations book with non governmental, voluntary, charitable, political, mutual and other organisations.

Then I would allow TAS membership in character gen to mean any of the organisations in that book.

Of course they'd be even more useful as plot seeds, but with the PCs as members.
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Postby AndrewW » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:41 am

tzunder wrote:I think you need MORE organisations. TAS is one great example, but frankly we could do with the guys at BITS or Mongoose doing a 101 Organisations book with non governmental, voluntary, charitable, political, mutual and other organisations.

Then I would allow TAS membership in character gen to mean any of the organisations in that book.

Of course they'd be even more useful as plot seeds, but with the PCs as members.
There are some more organizations (kinships) in Alien Module 1: Aslan.
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Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:26 pm

tzunder wrote:I think you need MORE organisations. TAS is one great example, but frankly we could do with the guys at BITS or Mongoose doing a 101 Organisations book with non governmental, voluntary, charitable, political, mutual and other organisations.

Then I would allow TAS membership in character gen to mean any of the organisations in that book.

Of course they'd be even more useful as plot seeds, but with the PCs as members.
And you could define the organization using either the Agency rules in Agent or the Organization rules in Scoundrel. Personally, I like the Organization rules in Scoundrel better and there is no reason that they could not be used for legitimate organzations (like TAS) as well as criminal organizations.

So each time you get TAS as a mustering out benefit, you get a higher Rank within the TAS Organization and additional benefits/resources that you can use.
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Re: Some stuff lacking details in the OTU

Postby DFW » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:24 pm

Somebody wrote:System defences and the orbital cloud

The system defence as shown in MegaTraveller has some problems. I.e on one hand we have "Imperial Free trade starport" and otoh we have "COAAC controling space 10D to ground". And there is always the question of "who protects a ship in transit". Another problem is the general lack of orbital structures. With extremly cheap access to space (For less than 1MCr you can go into orbit since a Air/raft can make it) at TL10+ there should be a lot of stuff going on and most biggers systems should have a orbital port or two. Same for other planets in a system
Free trade (Imperial law) star port & COAAC aren't incompatible if you consider the treaties between world gov't and Imperium. Not sure what problem you are trying to solve with the Q "who protects a ship in transit". You mean out to 10 diameters? I agree about the lack of orbital structures around a high tech planet. Very ridiculous indeed!
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Postby Somebody » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:05 pm

Well, the treaties are never defined. Not even in the MegaTraveller COAAC supplement. So the questions that come up are

+ Can a local SDB/Orbital craft search a ship In System while said ship is on the way to the Imperial Starport but within COAAC's zone of defence

+ If yes, can they interdict the ship for stuff illegal on the planet but not illegal in the Imperium (I.e a "HollierThanThou" World interdicting a ship delivering the SUN/BILD etc)

+ How are access corridors, assuming they exist, handeled? Even more so on a "almost COAAC" world like Earth(1)


The question of "who protects the ship in transit" has two elements:

+ In case of an attack will both sides respond? What if the system "tolerates" the 3I (2), how do imperial SDB get to the ship

+ Who protects the ship between COAAC (10D) and 100D? Is there a permanent 3I presence in system that can do? What on low TL worlds with enough tech to be interesting (i.e our Earth)

(1) We could put up quite a missile/orbital defence with 1960s systems like Safeguard or Galosh but it would be restricted to "nuke the violator"

(2) The alternative being a Tigress "dropping by" for a Life-Action RPG of "Star Wars IV"
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Re: Some stuff lacking details in the OTU

Postby kristof65 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:23 pm

DFW wrote: I agree about the lack of orbital structures around a high tech planet. Very ridiculous indeed!
IMTU, I've always assumed that every Class A or B and most Class C starports are divided into an orbital Highport, and an on the ground Lowport, with the bulk of the actual facilities being at the Highport, unless there is a compelling reason for them to be on the ground.
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Postby DFW » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:32 pm

Somebody wrote:Well, the treaties are never defined. Not even in the MegaTraveller COAAC supplement.
They've been defined for decades in original material that defines the Imperium. It is the basic fabric of the setting and is assumed.
Somebody wrote:+ Can a local SDB/Orbital craft search a ship In System while said ship is on the way to the Imperial Starport but within COAAC's zone of defence
Yes, while enforcing Imperial laws. Safety inspections, etc.
Somebody wrote:+ If yes, can they interdict the ship for stuff illegal on the planet but not illegal in the Imperium (I.e a "HollierThanThou" World interdicting a ship delivering the SUN/BILD etc)
Not if going to or from the star port.
Somebody wrote:+ How are access corridors, assuming they exist, handeled? Even more so on a "almost COAAC" world like Earth(1)
See current air traffic control system and extrapolate from there.

Somebody wrote:The question of "who protects the ship in transit" has two elements:

+ In case of an attack will both sides respond? What if the system "tolerates" the 3I (2), how do imperial SDB get to the ship

+ Who protects the ship between COAAC (10D) and 100D? Is there a permanent 3I presence in system that can do? What on low TL worlds with enough tech to be interesting (i.e our Earth)

(1) We could put up quite a missile/orbital defence with 1960s systems like Safeguard or Galosh but it would be restricted to "nuke the violator"

(2) The alternative being a Tigress "dropping by" for a Life-Action RPG of "Star Wars IV"
A: The Imperial navy can enforce Imperial High law. Pretty simple.

B: Who ever has the closest assets responds.

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Postby rust » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:45 pm

DFW wrote: They've been defined for decades in original material that defines the Imperium.
Which original material do you mean ?
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Postby kristof65 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:46 pm

Somebody wrote:Well, the treaties are never defined. Not even in the MegaTraveller COAAC supplement. So the questions that come up are
With 11,000 worlds, it's going to vary so much from world to world, system to system, sector to sector that I don't think you can really define a "standard" for the Imperium. What may be the standard in Spinward Marches sector may be handled completely differently in Core sector and yet a third way in Vland sector. I think the only constant is that the local Imperial authority will interpret the 3I's mandate to control space as they see fit.

I think a good real world analogy are the overlapping law enforcement jurisdictions in the US. In most places in the US you have overlapping city, county, state and federal law enforcement. In large urban areas, you may even have multi-city/county task forces. How they interact, where their territory ends and who can handle what type of cases are so muddled that they almost always have to be handled on a case by case basis. FREX, the FBI can't simply walk in and take over a local case unless they're either asked to by the local jurisdiction OR there is an element to it that involves interstate relations - FREX, a burglary ring that steals from local stores is strictly a local matter - right up until they start selling their ill-gotten gains across state lines, in which case the Feds can take over. Stealing in one city and selling the stolen goods in another is often 2-3 different crimies - burglary in one city, selling stolen goods in the other, and possibly even trasporting stolen goods in one or both cities (and any in between).

Interagency agreements can muddle the waters even further. In a lot of places in the US, law enforcement can actively follow into a neighboring jurisdiction - FREX, crossing the California-Nevada border doesn't mean the cop trying to pull you over for speeding has to stop and let you go at the border. But in other places, crossing a city limit may mean exactly that.
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Postby DFW » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:14 pm

The complete write up of how the 3rd Imperium is set up law wise (all sectors) starts on page 13 of the Spinward Marches. Goes into quite a bit of detail.
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Postby rust » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:18 pm

DFW wrote:The complete write up of how the 3rd Imperium is set up law wise (all sectors) starts on page 13 of the Spinward Marches. Goes into quite a bit of detail.
The only Spinward Marches supplement that I know to be decades old is
the original Classic Traveller supplement, and there I do not see much
detail concerning treaties between the Imperium and its member worlds ?

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