Epic Traveller Campaigns. Which is Best?

Traveller has several long-running and expansive campaigns. Which is your favourite and why?

  • The Pirates of Drinax

    Votes: 43 69.4%
  • Deepnight Revelation

    Votes: 6 9.7%
  • Mysteries/Secrets of the Ancients

    Votes: 10 16.1%
  • Skandersvik

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • The Order of Prometheus

    Votes: 2 3.2%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


Staff member
Travellers and Referees alike approach the Charted Space universe in different ways. Some prefer one-shots, others linking adventures together to form a single campaign. However, Traveller also has several long-running and (very) expansive campaigns now available.

So, we must ask ourselves the deep, moral question. Which is best?
Amongst the grogs I know Pirates of Drinax is rated as one of the best sandbox campaigns ever published. I'm 3 years in and still have much play left (to be honest I've only used half the actual adventures, much has been stuff I've made up).

Secrets of the Ancients is a very different campaign - enjoyable in its own way (especially the high tech level stuff) but can be something of a railroad (if the players do/don't do this then the adventure is over).

I've found Skandersvik doesn't meet the play style of any groups I know and it can be quite difficult to keep people engaged.

I've not run Deepnight or Prometheus
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I don't actually run any published campaigns per se. So, for me, the value of published campaigns and adventures is in their usefulness as components for things that would happen in my campaign. Large sandbox campaigns like Pirates of Drinax provide far more ways to use the material than tighter plotted campaigns.

I have all of those campaigns and I have stolen ideas/locations/npcs from all of them. But the more sandbox they are, the more of it that I'll likely find a way to use.
On the other hand, if I was ever going to actually run a "this game we are doing this published campaign", then I would consider something like Deepnight Revelation the best, because it is the one least like something I could easily write myself. All the logistics, organization, crew management, and info on running a long exploration mission that you get in Deepnight Revelation or Project Bayern would be a bigger difference maker for me than the plots of the other campaigns.
I voted for Drinax, which our group has been playing for more than a year. However, the players have veered WAY off the map, so to speak. In addition to home-brew material, our awesome referee has managed to incorporate adventures such as High and Dry, Theories of Everything and Death Station into the larger campaign. When we left off, the crew was about to take part in the Exodus adventure, while our Harrier undergoes repairs on Acis. So, it's a bit of a stretch to say we're even playing Drinax at this point. Expansive campaigns seem more enjoyable, there's flexibility for players and referees, when the content includes opportunities to insert smaller adventures into the action, and vise versa.
Secrets of the Ancients is useful to players and GMs just for providing a deep background to the Charted Space setting - it is useful as a setting supplement even if you don’t play it.

Deepnight Revelations is truly epic, which would be ideal for a long term and invested group, but it takes some set up. It is probably the most impressive overall in terms of sheer content though. Skandersvik is Vikings in Space, from what I know but it isn’t something I have experienced (even though I own the book now). I haven’t experienced The Order of Prometheus at all. Bayern could count as a contender if you include 2300AD material, and it is a another deep exploration campaign like Deepnight in a way, but scaled down into more hard sci-fi proportions.

But Pirates of Drinax has become iconic as a campaign for this particular iteration of Traveller. It is the most accessible and sets a tone that any gamer can get into, while its sandbox nature gives it a lot of repeatability. More action orientated than cerebral though, which might throw a few people.
I've yet to read Prometheus or Skandersvik. Of the remaining three, Drinax has by far the most potential - and Deepnight has a bunch of plot holes and poorly chosen rails that render it less than epic.
I think Drinax wins because of its structure. It's not a railroad. Instead, it's more of a loose framework. It encourages player agency. Deepnight Revelation is good, but the nature of the expedition favours a more linear style of play. I know you can add various side missions, but there is a definite sense of progression towards a clear goal. Secret of the Ancients is the most restrictive, providing little support for adventurers who wander off- script.
tbh, I don't even put Skandersvik or Prometheus in the same category as Drinax, Ancients, or Revelation. They are just long adventures.

As far as Ancients goes, Mysteries is pretty flexible, but Secrets is pretty linear. We'll see if Wrath recovers some of that "plot with some space to breathe" that Mysteries has or is a breathless rush like Secrets.
I think a menu of both one-shots and campaigns is good. As Boondock said before in this thread, "Expansive campaigns seem more enjoyable, there's flexibility for players and referees". The open structure of Drinax makes it very playable. This also holds true for "Mysteries on Arcturus Station". "Mysteries" is open-ended, with characters that become part of a my longer campaign.
There are great things about most of the campaigns, though I haven't read 'Skandersvik' or 'Order of Prometheus'.
There are also faults with every one of them.

I honestly felt Drinax was Pirates of the Caribbean in SPAAAACE, but then I'm not a huge fan of Mongoose's Trojan Reach. There's a real'Buck Rogers'-ish feel to it for me.

Deepnight was 'epic with a capital E'... While it kind of ended with something of 'thump' instead of a 'bang' for me, it delivered on everything it promised and more. And hey, it wasn't 'baddies from the Core' right? ;)

The Ancients is also seriously E for EPIC... but in this campaign the PCs become so powerful that it would be difficult for the ref to adjudicate the campaign. I mean, when you're squaring off toe-to-toe with Grandfather, getting into trouble with Naval Intelligence is just a traffic ticket...

The Traveller Adventure was the absolute perfect sandbox campaign for Traveller. The dangers were understandable and realistic, the rewards were reasonable but still worth working for, and the campaign shined a light on one of the backwaters of the Imperium.

Heavy handed hint: I would really like to see a campaign on 'The Traveller's Adventure's' scale in a subsector away from the Marches and maybe even outside of the Imperium. A subsector in Mendan Sector where the players deal with the Julian Protectorate, the Empire of Gashikan, and Vargr culture would be AWESOME.
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