UWP Real or Not???

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Hey all! So I have a question about UWP codes. Are the UWP Codes an objective real view of the planet or are they some lies put out by some "in-universe" group or groups?

I am leaning towards UWP codes being useless for both players and Referees alike due to the fact that writers have abused the UWP system. UWP codes should always be the objective data as a game mechanic, not merely whatever the Scout Service felt like writing down for that planet on whatever day they reviewed the data. Arguing for the meta data argument, I would want the UWP data to be actually accurate for world-building. A Referee can always alter the codes later to reflect inaccurate "in-game" information, but as a Referee, I want to know what the actual numbers are for a world. Using Cordan as an example, they would have far more trade ships stopping at the planet, more food requirements, more production, more almost everything. It could be a High Pop balkanized world with massive trade networks. Or Drinax actually has an effective Class-D starport, but is still listed as Class-A. This has a major effect on the trade numbers, that are not reflected accurately in the UWP.

For example, Cordan in the Trojan Reach has a population code of 3, but the write ups for Cordan states that this is not the planetary population, but merely the "official" population, ie. members of the different Baronial Households, and not the general population. This is not the only example of this. It is merely the most recent example that I have come across.

Many systems in Traveller use the UWP Codes to determine other factors such as GWP, per capita incomes, trade codes, starport details, manufacturing capabilities, etc.

Can someone help Me out with this? It is making running a sandbox campaign within the OTU nearly impossible, without Me basically rewriting everything.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
MongooseMatt said:
Not lies... but sometimes they can be out of date or subject to interpretation...

I wish this were not the case. I as a Ref, I can make changes to the OTU on a system by system basis for MTU, then I know which UWP are "real" and which of "fabricated or out of date", but I prefer to have the OTU material be "real".

Since it is you that responded Matt (and you're awesome) I will add that I disagree with using "out of date starcharts" as an excuse for UWP inaccuracy. It works fine on remote systems that are rarely visited or that have no interstellar trade, but as those are not their "real" UWP codes, it makes it harder on Referees who wish to run games in the OTU. My players visit a planet like Drinax with it's "Class-A" Starport, then later on in the campaign, We discover the PoD books and We realize that We have not been playing in the OTU at all, because the "real" information on the "real" state of the OTU is not readily available to Referees or is just plain contradicted elsewhere. With old material, I can see this as just stuff missed during the editing process, but with stuff like Drinax, the "fluff material" in the PoD books directly contradicts the UWP, but is handwaved away by saying the the charts are out of date? Out of date to whom? It's been 200 years. Wouldn't ever ship that regularly operates in that part of space have actually accurate maps? I can understand that perhaps no Imperial Scout ship has been through in 200+ years, but Drinax isn't Imperial Space, so obviously their charts will be less accurate than the local charts, but local ships would be using local charts, not 200+ year old Imperial charts. Same for Aslan Space, Zhodani Space, Hiver Space, etc...

Sorry for the rant Matt and again thanks for everything that you and the guys at Mongoose are doing.
 

Rikki Tikki Traveller

Cosmic Mongoose
I always did UWPs are the Public info - when you get to the social stuff, it is very much "in the eye of the beholder", especially government codes...

AND they can be out of date. Remember the last "Grand Survey" of the Imperium is 50 years old - how much has Earth changed since 1970????
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Condottiere said:
Generalizations.

Also, it depends on who qualifies as citizens, or inhabitants, and how you count them.

None of which give Referees accurate information for world-building or game running. The entire UWP and trade system falls apart without an accurate UWP. As far as who qualifies as the population? That is easy, sophonts. You can give whatever BS in game reason to players for a UWP that the Ref has specifically altered to be inaccurate (for whatever reason), that is the Ref's prerogative, but giving the Ref bad information to start with is just wrong. If the UWP were only an "in game" thing created by whichever polity "controlled" that area of space, that would be fine and accuracy would be irrelevant, but it is not. UWP in Traveller is both an "in game" database, as well as an "meta-game" mechanic. It can not work for both if it is not presented accurately to the Referee.

For example, if you have a Pop 3 world with 10 million sophonts on it, the world still requires the same resources as a Pop 7 planet with 10 million sophonts. Getting the Government Type is 2D6-Pop. How can you do this if you do not have a "real" Pop UWP number? Then this effects the Law Level roll as well and from this effects all Traveller interactions with the planetary authorities.

Bottom line is that without "accurate" UWP Codes, nothing else (mechanically) in the Traveller system works. This even effects Background skills for character gen. It literally effects every aspect of the game directly or indirectly.

It is the job of the Referee to change UWPs to be inaccurate to fit the narrative of their TU. Published material should be accurate from a meta-game perspective, even if the information that the players receive is inaccurate.

Why would people outside of the Imperium, with no connection to the Imperium be using Imperial Scout Service charts anyhow? So unless Mongoose wants to create different charts for each polity and end up with a million different starcharts, just give Us the real UWPs and let Us change them afterwards, based on the needs of Our games.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Rikki Tikki Traveller said:
I always did UWPs are the Public info - when you get to the social stuff, it is very much "in the eye of the beholder", especially government codes...

AND they can be out of date. Remember the last "Grand Survey" of the Imperium is 50 years old - how much has Earth changed since 1970????

I don't care when the last Grand Survey was done. No one uses the Grand Survey data. The data that is used is based on location. Traders working the Drinax Chain in the Trojan Reaches won't be using Imperial starcharts. They will be using local charts. Unless you are telling Me that in 200 years, no one noticed that Drinax was bombed into oblivion and no longer has a Class A Starport and is now a blasted wasteland of a planet. The Imperial charts may not have changed in 200 years, but the charts used by every single local trader from Megacorp down to Tramp will have better charts than the travellermap. Even Imperial Megacorps working the Trojan Reach don't use Imperial Charts.
 

MonkeyX

Banded Mongoose
I kinda agree. If it’s supposed to be a game information mechanic then the UWP should be more accurate. I know I always look in the books or travellerwiki before the PCs go to a planet to try and avoid these issues. I know mistakes happen and consistency isn’t always easy to keep (Number One’s description in two Drinax books differed considerably) but the basic info should be correct.
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
I don't know.

Efficiencies due to levelling up the technological tree could kick in, making it less resource intensive to host the same population

Of course, those efficiencies could be passed on to other aspects of civilized living, like virtual games.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Condottiere said:
I don't know.

Efficiencies due to levelling up the technological tree could kick in, making it less resource intensive to host the same population

Of course, those efficiencies could be passed on to other aspects of civilized living, like virtual games.

Which does nothing to define if UWP is an "in-game" database or a meta-game mechanic. If it is an "in game" database, then publishers need to stop using it as a game mechanic. If it is an meta-game mechanic, then they need to call the "in game" starcharts and planetary codes something different to avoid just this type of confusion. Traveller as a game is built entirely on the UWP code as a meta-game mechanic. It uses this same mechanic of a short alphanumeric code for character stats as well.

So the problem is not actually the UWP codes, although those could use an update, it is the creative license being taken in the OTU calling the UWP codes an 'in game" concept to allow writers to be able to ignore the UWP when writing This is a huge problem since it alters all of the meta-game data that supports a functioning Traveller universe. If the writers don't like the UWP Code of a planet, change it! Do not just handwaive it away by saying it is an "in-game" database and is therefore innaccurate. I do not live inside the OTU. My dice rolls should not be based off lazy writing.

How can I, as a Referee, make a Law Level check when the Travellers arrive at a new planet, if I as the Referee does not know what the "real" Law Level number is? I do not care if the charts that the Travellers have access to is outdated or falsified, that is an "in-game" thing. It is the Referee's job to provide false information to the Travellers. It is not the UWP's job to give Me false information as a Referee.

So, to sum up... lol

I am a Referee. I am not a part of the game world. I need accurate date to run a game.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
MonkeyX said:
I kinda agree. If it’s supposed to be a game information mechanic then the UWP should be more accurate. I know I always look in the books or travellerwiki before the PCs go to a planet to try and avoid these issues. I know mistakes happen and consistency isn’t always easy to keep (Number One’s description in two Drinax books differed considerably) but the basic info should be correct.

+1
 

Sigtrygg

Emperor Mongoose
Do you know what one of my earliest Traveller disappointments was?

Opening S:3 The Spinward Marches to see that there was a TL16 world, Darrian. Ok it was described as old etc, but it is TL 16. Just imagine all of those new toys a group of Travellers could get hold of.

Then we find out Darrian has a true TL of 13 to 15, buys a lot of stuff from the Imperium at TL15, and only possesses relic TL16 stuff and can't make any more so Travellers are out of luck.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Sigtrygg said:
Do you know what one of my earliest Traveller disappointments was?

Opening S:3 The Spinward Marches to see that there was a TL16 world, Darrian. Ok it was described as old etc, but it is TL 16. Just imagine all of those new toys a group of Travellers could get hold of.

Then we find out Darrian has a true TL of 13 to 15, buys a lot of stuff from the Imperium at TL15, and only possesses relic TL16 stuff and can't make any more so Travellers are out of luck.

As a Referee, My main concern with that would be how having an inaccurate TL in the UWP, would drastically effect how I as a Referee would portray the world, as well as playing havoc with any economic data for the area. As a Traveller, I'd complain a lot about how the last place We bought new starcharts ripped Us off selling us bogus charts...lol...
 

ShawnDriscoll

Cosmic Mongoose
MasterGwydion said:
As a Referee, My main concern with that would be how having an inaccurate TL in the UWP, would drastically effect how I as a Referee would portray the world, as well as playing havoc with any economic data for the area. As a Traveller, I'd complain a lot about how the last place We bought new starcharts ripped Us off selling us bogus charts...lol...

Traveller isn't Map of the Hollywood Stars.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
ShawnDriscoll said:
MasterGwydion said:
As a Referee, My main concern with that would be how having an inaccurate TL in the UWP, would drastically effect how I as a Referee would portray the world, as well as playing havoc with any economic data for the area. As a Traveller, I'd complain a lot about how the last place We bought new starcharts ripped Us off selling us bogus charts...lol...

Traveller isn't Map of the Hollywood Stars.

Sure it is. You think the Aslan have unified star charts? Each corporation of large enough size maintains their own star charts as well, from an "in-game" point of view. When you move into a new area, you need new charts, just like on boats in the current era. This is because the local charts will be the most up to date charts for the local area and I am sure there are scam artists out there selling fake, altered, out of date, or otherwise fraudulent star charts.
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
It's ingame shorthand, but I think for general consumption, since Imperium institutions and organizations should have far more detailed reports.

You could say that having a stated technological level, and being tagged as industrial, cements that technological level.

By itself, all you can draw are implications from the metrics.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Condottiere said:
It's ingame shorthand, but I think for general consumption, since Imperium institutions and organizations should have far more detailed reports.

You could say that having a stated technological level, and being tagged as industrial, cements that technological level.

By itself, all you can draw are implications from the metrics.

If it is just "in-game shorthand" then it is useless for worldbuilding and actual out of game recordkeeping.

and you can not even draw implications from the metrics, unless the metrics are the "real" number and not the "propaganda" number.
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
That's why information gleaned from other supplements tends to be so impactful, in understanding the situation on the ground.

Each planet deserves it's own supplement, or a gazetteer.

But I rather suspect it's a question of resource allocation.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Condottiere said:
That's why information gleaned from other supplements tends to be so impactful, in understanding the situation on the ground.

Each planet deserves it's own supplement, or a gazetteer.

But I rather suspect it's a question of resource allocation.

but by that logic, there is no system at all. Or am I missing something?
 

Condottiere

Cosmic Mongoose
Possibly the size of the potential customer base.

I don't keep track on Dungeon and Dragon sales figures, though I understand it's going through a resurgence, but supposedly large enough to support various other publishers and their writing staffs in bringing out supplementary material, if not, I suppose, licensed to produce more material on existing settings.

Chartered space is fairly large, and probably at best, you can generalize about what's going on, or focus narrowly on certain areas and events.

Certain aspects of Traveller, such as hardware, are fair game, for more intensive scrutiny.
 
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