Monday, July 28, 2008


So, the usual thing happened.

I wanted to do something with Traveller (the original game, I mean; I still refuse to call it "Classic". It's not Coke, you know.) I've loved this game for years. It was the first boxed rpg I bought that wasn't from TSR (which actually makes it only the second boxed rpg I bought, after Top Secret; when I got Moldvay and Cook I just got the rulebooks, shrinkwrapped.)

I didn't want to do something with D&D, because I don't really grasp "adventures" with D&D. You don't have "adventures", you have a dungeon.

But Traveller, I thought, would have something.

The result?

Weeks later, and I now have more supplements, more rulebooks (I got The Traveller Book and the Starter Traveller boxed set, both sadly long out of print). I found lots of good stuff online.

I created characters.

I created starships.

I created 3 different spreadsheets to use in designing starships.

I created (using software found online) two entire subsectors and a bunch of animal encounter tables for some of those worlds.

And it all adds up to nothing.

So, last night, I sat down with Book 3 and a pair of dice, and created a world.

C342444-8 NI, Po. No bases, no Gas Giant.

Not much of a world, you might say.

I haven't placed it yet, but it must be along a trade route of some sort, or it would just never be visited. There's really nothing to do there.

It has a thin, tainted atmosphere. Can I do something with that? If so, what?

It has a representative democracy for a government. Can I do something with that? Why yes, I believe I can.

There is an election coming up. For as long as people can remember, these elections were great fun, with the majority party imposing its will on the minority party until they got too fed up with it and rebelled, overthrowing the incumbents and voting in their own scoundrels. And then the cycle repeats.

But this time, things are getting bad. In addition to the usual political tricks, there is an undercurrent of genuine violence. People are getting hurt, and people are getting angry.

The Port Captain suspects offworld influence, but can't prove anything; he's busy shoring up the entrances to the Starport in case full blown riots break out.

...and that's as far as I've gotten.

Any comments gratefully accepted. I may not get this done by the end of the month (Three days? No sweat! Yeah, right!) but at least I'm trying.


Jeff Rients said...

I'm hurting this time around, too. I've got a map. I HAD a couple pages of notes, but they disappeared as a result of my wife and I cleaning up the place a bit. No I've got next to nothing and the deadline looms.

Max said...

Dangit fellas, me too! I'm tempted to type up and roll with what I've got, since the idea was to make a three parter and I have the middle part almost finished...

So, my sympathies, Coffee, Jeff.

re: adventure ideas: Dunno the Trav universe well, but it occurs that maybe "offworld influences" is a red herring, though the instigators (anarchists? mobsters?) *are* operating from orbit. Is that feasible in Traveller, tech-wise?

Will Douglas said...

Yes, Max, that's entirely feasible.

One thing I'm toying with is the format from the supplement 76 Patrons, where for each situation there was a setup and then six options. The referee could just pick one, or roll a die, and then even if the players had read the book, they couldn't be sure which option was chosen.

So your suggestion could very well be one of those. Thanks!

And Jeff, I'm perversely glad that you aren't doing well on this. You're one of the guys I really look up to. (I have your dungeon UXT in a binder and I swear I'm going to run that one someday...)