Page 1 of 2

Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not Exe?

Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:46 pm
by Kingside_Bishop
Hello,

I am refereeing an online game of the Pirates of Drinax (hello to any of my players out there! :D), and have been reading up on everything and have just a few quick questions.

One thing I've been wondering about for a long time is why the Hierate/Imperium trade route bypasses the Exe system. The J2 route as described in Alien Module 1: Aslan is via Fist > Wildeman > Cordan > Argona > Sperle > Tech-World > Paal > Tyokh. See the below map:

Image

Wouldn't going via Exe (shown in yellow) shave a jump off the route?

As a second, related question... what does the colour of the dot on Traveller Map indicate? There are white dots (like Exe) and blue dots (like most other systems), but I am unable to tell what that means, and thought this might be part of the issue. And just to be sure, the little white dot above and to the right of each system's "main" dot indicates that this system has a gas giant, right?

Thanks for the help everyone!

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:24 pm
by GypsyComet
Main Dot Blue means a water-bearing world. Main Dot White means a Dry World. Main Dot shattered means an Asteroid Belt.

Little white dot up to the right means one or more gas giants.

Check the toolbar on Traveller Map (upper right these days) for a map key.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:24 pm
by DickTurpin
Exe is shown with a population code of 1, so there's just a few people on the planet. I don't know how they maintain a class B starport with so few inhabitants, but there is obviously too few people to make it a worthwhile trade stop.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:50 pm
by sideranautae
DickTurpin wrote:Exe is shown with a population code of 1, so there's just a few people on the planet. I don't know how they maintain a class B starport with so few inhabitants,
Weird. Good reason to redo the sys gen rules. Illogical oddities (at least seemingly) should be placed by the GM NOT the rules.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:09 am
by Reynard
Short sight human! World perfect to hide things! Good ship's dock and few people mean things unobserved. Great rest stop while waiting minor repairs to the laser burns on the hull, no questions asked.

Let them go around our side road.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:24 am
by phavoc
You can't always go by the planet population ratings. Remember that the starport is independent of the planet, and as such may not be counted as part of the planetary rating(s).

Pixie, in the Regina subsector, is even more of an anomaly. Less than a million people, it has both a Class A starport and a naval base. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but then again it's location is pretty strategic (plus a rumored Ancients site in the system). It's only really connection is out to Heya.

A well-thought out backstory makes for interesting combinations.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:11 am
by GypsyComet
phavoc wrote: Remember that the starport is independent of the planet, and as such may not be counted as part of the planetary rating(s).
That is the assumption within Imperial space, but does not necessarily hold in independent space.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:25 am
by Reynard
You either get as creative in background explanation as in Imperial Traveller situations or you decide your random roll is too random and 'correct' it. There is nothing in the rules saying random generation is absolute.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:35 am
by tzunder
Traveller has always been a game where the map was generated and then it has been explained after the event. It creates creative dissonance.

I would suggest that the starport was either there when the system had a much higher population (population collapse is very appropriate for Trojan Reaches), and is maintained somehow (fully automated systems?) but the Hierate has a reason not to go near.. like they really dislike robots (which seems to fit the canon) or they're banned (maybe Aslan are classed as enemies by the automated defence systems), or there is a weird biological reason..

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:55 am
by ieqo
Exe is described in one of the Drinax axdventures ("Treasure Ship" I believe, but since I'm one of your players I'm scrupulously refraining from rereading them). It is an automated refueling station staffed by a dozen or so GeDeCo employees. I would deduce that there is little to no system defense (making it the proverbial "bad neighborhood" regarding transient traffic), and quite probably fuel costs are higher than average.

Hmm. This is odd. Seems I have a sticky note attached to my monitor regarding this very topic:
Martin Krosse wrote:Exe is perfectly safe and under-utilized. There's no wait for docking, and the station staff are friendly, attentive, and attractive. I encourage every unescorted merchant to beat the crowds and take full advantage of all that Exe has to offer.
So there you have it: conclusive proof that trade on the Heirate Route should pass through Exe.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:56 pm
by sideranautae
tzunder wrote:Traveller has always been a game where the map was generated and then it has been explained after the event. It creates creative dissonance.
It creates an illogical and annoying setting. Always has.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:34 pm
by Reynard
And, of course, you will be totally remaking the world generator too.

Ever think it might be easier to find a scifi RPG that does suit you rather than reminding us how much you don't like any edition of Traveller and will generously create Traveller: The Perfect Edition?

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:36 pm
by Kingside_Bishop
Thanks for the input, everyone. :) And thanks to Ieqo for not rereading the adventures lol!

It seems the consensus is there there is no good (ie confirmable) reason for the trade route to avoid Exe, unless it's that there is insufficient population to support good trade -- which isn't too valid since the value of the route is only in exchanging goods between the Hierate and Imperium, not in making trade stops along the way.

So yeah... I'll deal. :)

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:20 pm
by Reynard
Remember too this region has a tragic history from two hundred years back. Exe may have been damaged severely and still recovering. Some organization may be trying to induce trade and maybe colonization by upgrading the old C class facilities to B thus encouraging traders to switch to a shorter route. It's hoped population will follow. As of now Exe is fairly low key. Ships do pass through like a trucker's stop but regular commercial traffic is still waiting for a solid port.

Certain... elements find that arrangement most accommodating.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:31 pm
by JBRocky
sideranautae wrote:
tzunder wrote:Traveller has always been a game where the map was generated and then it has been explained after the event. It creates creative dissonance.
It creates an illogical and annoying setting. Always has.
Yes I does, but it can also give you gems of opportunity.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:51 pm
by sideranautae
JBRocky wrote:
sideranautae wrote:
tzunder wrote:Traveller has always been a game where the map was generated and then it has been explained after the event. It creates creative dissonance.
It creates an illogical and annoying setting. Always has.
Yes I does, but it can also give you gems of opportunity.

So can a broken neck. It can also create a lot of needless work for the GM. :roll:

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:14 am
by Kingside_Bishop
Reynard wrote:Remember too this region has a tragic history from two hundred years back. Exe may have been damaged severely and still recovering. Some organization may be trying to induce trade and maybe colonization by upgrading the old C class facilities to B thus encouraging traders to switch to a shorter route. It's hoped population will follow. As of now Exe is fairly low key. Ships do pass through like a trucker's stop but regular commercial traffic is still waiting for a solid port.

Certain... elements find that arrangement most accommodating.
Indeed, and the charts can often be badly out of date as is the case with Drinax itself... Plenty of reasons to go with then, I was just wondering if there was something in the map I was missing.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:19 am
by tzunder
sideranautae wrote:
So can a broken neck. It can also create a lot of needless work for the GM. :roll:
Then don't play in the 3I.
Create each system in your setting by hand or rewrite the system gen to avoid the bits that bug you.
Or use the GURPS Space system and then write the UPP in Traveller.

I like the dissonance.

Now on topic.. I'd trust GeDeCo at all times with my life. There are no hidden agendas there at all. No sirrah Bob!

[I've run Pirates of Drinax... mwha ha ha]

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:44 pm
by Reynard
I do very much like that little change Mongoose made with an option to base the starport off the world population. Also the Space opera/Hard science rules. I wonder how much different the 3I universe would look if those rules existed in Classic Traveller.

For fun, look at your favorite 3I sector. Take the number needed to generate a world's starport from the table on page 180, subtract 7 then add that world's population value.

Drinax starport A = 11. Minus 7 and plus 4 equals 8 for a starport C. Big difference.
Exe starport B = 9 or 10. Minus 7 and plus 1 equals 3 or 4 for starport E.
This might fit better for independent Traveller universes where there is no Imperial starport network that explains some odd discrepancies between the port and the world. Drinax's background perfectly flavors the stats. Traveller allows for imagination.

Re: Trojan Reach: Hierate/Imperium Trade Route ... why not E

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:36 pm
by Rikki Tikki Traveller
That was precisely the intent of the rule when I suggested it (others did too). It absolutely should not be used in any region where there is an interstellar government that can/does control trade/starports.

However, is backward reaches (or with the Vargr or Aslan regions), it is a nice alternative that really does tie the trade to the population in a way that the random rolls of the original method do not.

The Spinward Marches are OBVIOUSLY not completely randomly generated per the world generation rules to begin with, so if Marc Miller can do, why can't you?