The Third Imperium lacks the strength it once had... according to the original Spinward Marches.
It didn't really come as a surprise when the Imperium imploded with the assassination and rebellion, the seeds for it were in the earliest GDW Traveller releases. If MgT ever advances their timeline to the rebellion era I hoe they learn some lessons from what MegaTraveller did wrong.
I hear you there. One thing I hope that gets done, is to have some means of a campaign game much like Supplement 12, outlining events and such for the making and maintenance of Dynasties. If they do have a six way (or how ever many differing factions of the Civil War, it's been a while since I read up on it) - they should set it up such that the resources and skills of each faction can be used as a foundation for a meta-game. How many remember "IMPERIUM" the board game? THAT would be an AWESOME game concept and design in my opinion. Fifth Frontier War played double blind would also be a FUN game. Heck, maybe someday, I'll dust off the rules, and set it up for an online game. But, that's for another day perhaps.
In the end though - having a campaign set of rules to resolve the civil war means that the whole thing doesn't bog down and cause people to lose interest. The civil war takes a given amount of time, the writing is placed on the wall, and various factions wheel and deal until the war is brought to a conclusion. Alternatively? Members of the Moot, stricken by the Black War concepts utilized by the various fleets, meet one last time to dissolve the Imperium entirely, fearing that what was supposed to work and preserve the peace, instead has only made things worse. Then an era of "Pocket empires" can arrive and the various fractures of the Imperium become smaller states.
So many differing ways to go to be sure!
Before I forget, this is from T5 page 693 on Fiefs...
"A Title (Lord, Lady, or a local equivalent) reflecting possession of the land, and the accompanying responsibilities as the final authority to which locals may appeal for the righting of injustice (this authority may be locally delegated)."
Elsewhere, on the same page, it has this to say...
"A Land Grant differs from ordinary ownership of land; it confers specific rights and privileges on its holder. These rights include:
over one Terrain Hex (6,500 square km) on a world and an associated income based on taxes and production. Economic Control is similar to governmental control: the ability (within reason) to create law and behavioral expectations; the ability to control who can occupy the land (and pay rent or taxes).
of one Local Hex (approximately 65 square km= 6500 hectares= 16,000 acres)."
Note: Being able to approach an Imperial Noble who is the holder of the title of enfeofed land, can be approached for righting of wrongs. Note too, that such a noble is the FINAL authority. This is at odds with the fief being a property of a world government, where the world government itself is often deemed to be the final authority over its citizens/subjects. You can't have two final authorities where the Lord is the final authority, and the World Government is the final authority!
Now for the other thing...
If a "hex" that is granted to a Noble is 6,500 hectares or 16,000 acres (at 640 acres per square mile, this works out to 25 square miles (or roughly a five mile by five mile area!). What happens to individuals who are born within that 5 mile by 5 mile area? Are they legally residents of the World itself, or are they legally residents of the Fief itself? For those who want to say "Yes" to both questions - then you have to ask "Who has jurisdiction over those born in that area?" Both the world and the Fief Holder can't have joint jurisdiction without there being turf wars. As in all things, such a joint jurisdiction has to be resolved one way or another. Either the Lord is the final authority, and can thus forbid the local government from intruding, or they can't. Either they hold sway over the land they own, or they don't. The fact is, Economic Control indicates that the Lord can create/craft his own laws for his own fief.
So, Fiefs are Land Grants - granted by the Imperium itself by means of the Emperor. Said land comes into the Emperor's possession how? By treaty? If so, what were the terms of the treaty? By outright ownership as a sort of Embassy? Again, not spelled out in the book, but not an outlandish expectation based on what was written on page 693. The Lord is the final authority of the land he holds, he can enact economic laws much like a government can, and can determine who is or is not permitted to settle within his acreage.
What do we have in human history that even comes close to this approach? THAT is what I'd like to see this thread do - open a discussion where people point out the issues involved, and try to offer solutions, and sort of act like a debate...
Make a position, outline why you take that position as a sort of "show all work" kind of approach. Some who read this thread may say "hey, there are some good points being raised in this thread, and I like them and will adapt them for use with my campaigns. Some will say "hey, I don't like approach A, but I like approach B - because the author(s) of approach B laid out a convincing argument."
In the end? This is more about raising the issues, giving GM's a tool for which they can construct their game universes and run them. Having some fair idea of what being a Noble Family is/does in the Imperium, coupled with the rules from SUPPLEMENT 12: DYNASTIES might make for a game world worth investigating.
For those who think the whole thing is a monumental waste of time? Don't waste the time reading it.
For those who want to see where this ends up or see the various conclusions drawn - I say, join in, roll up your sleeves, and contribute to how you THINK the Imperium should be run. As ever, don't be afraid to examine ideas you DON'T like simply because - seeing what you don't like might give you inspiration to realize what it is that you DO like. Sort of like when an Artist uses a pencil to draw a line and suggest a shape, or another artist uses a brush and shades a background black, highlighting the shape via the contrast in white not being black.
As I've told my daughter about dating: Dating any guy is not a waste of time. If he has traits you like you learn what you're looking for by means of those traits you liked. If you find traits you didn't like, it helps determine by its opposite, what you are looking for, or what you're trying to avoid. Same here I think.