Wil Mireu wrote:
That would make way more sense that trying to extend the OTU into the 1300+ time frame.
As far as I can see it would be almost completely identical
to trying to extend the OTU into the 1300+ timeframe. The only real difference is that 1300+ has some real chronological continuity with what came before it, while your idea reboots everything in the 1100 era.
Nope, my idea is way more freeing. The reason is that no matter what year you pick, you are stuck with the astrography. You are stuck with where the various races are placed and how things are spaced.
Let me explain it this way. Let's assume you want to use a form of the Spinward Marches as your basis for this new setting. OK, that's fine, and it sounds like your assertion is correct. However, what you can do if you pitch the OTU is stick the capital of the main human empire in the adjacent sector to trailing of the main sector. You can move the Hivers and K'kree much closer so that you don't have to choose which major races will be found, but can use them ALL. As a corollary, you can massively condense space so that Relevant Space is just nine sectors (our new Spinward Marches, plus the eight surrounding sectors), rather than 30 or whatever. You can also modify your new Spinward Marches to change UWPs, world locations, whatever is necessary.
Also, who says it needs to be the equivalent of 1100? Maybe the max TL is 12 (or whatever magic number you want to use). You can do whatever you want.
Here is an example of what I am thinking. (This doesn't have to be the result. It is simply something I came up with off the top of my head to explain the idea.) Let's go ahead and use the Spinward Marches as the basis. Let's just keep it virtually unmodified. (I would modify it, but this lets us ignore that issue for now.) I will use the existing names of the surrounding sectors as they exist in the OTU, but obviously they would likely change. Despite keeping the names, everything about the surrounding sectors changes.
Deneb is dominated by the Imperium. The Imperium is a bit less than a sector in size, and it is displaced a bit spinward and rimward, meaning it occupies portions of four actual sectors. Gvurrdon is Vargr dominated, with Zhodani presence on the spinward edge. The Zhodani are about the same size as the Imperium; its heart is in Ziaf... with small pieces in Gvurrdon, Foreven, and the Marches. Foreven contains the K'kree, who stretch back spinward somewhat. The Aslan are in Trojan Reach, and also slide back spinward, meaning the Aslan and K'kree have a long, violent border region. Across Reft are the Hivers. They have a path across the Rift, and have settled worlds in the Rift. They act as peaceful traders (but we know the truth).
This allows you to have most of the neat features of the OTU, but repackaged to be smaller, more contained, and much more manageable. It is possible for characters to meet any of the major races without having to leave the Spinward Marches. The major empires are still large, but are much smaller than in the OTU. And none of this can be done in the OTU, as the astrography is set in stone. But, in this new setting, anything is possible.
Or, if you really want to go nuts, make a true recovery setting. The largest of the various empires is not quite two subsectors in size. There are multiple human empires, but also empires for the various major races, too. The leading TL is 12, but there are relic artifacts that can range up to TL 15 and 16. What is the difference between a 1300+ OTU and this? The fact that all of the major races can be present if we so choose. We are not limited by the massive setting of the OTU.
How about this: Take Reaver's Deep. Push the Imperial border back so that the Imperium, Solomani, and Aslan have no more than a subsector's worth of worlds. Leave the existing pocket empires. Define that the Aslan, Solomani, and Imperium are each a little bigger than a half a sector sized empire each. The result is a great setting of small empires that is familiar, but let's the various small empires have more influence and not just exist at the whims of the bigger empires. Sure, any of the big empires could crush a given pocket empire. But, at their minimal size, it would require so much effort they would become weakened and vulnerable to one of the other two rivals. It becomes a true cold war setting, rather than the artificially generated one. And, if you want, you can still throw in Zhodani, Hivers, and/or K'kree because you can define where they are coming from. They aren't automatically excluded from the setting because you can freely move them to where they can be useful.
That is what I am talking about. Use the best of the OTU, but abandon its weaknesses and limitations.