Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Setting Up

The majority of the crew I'll be running Traveller with starting next year know very little about the game, let alone the canon of its Third Imperium setting. I view this as a good thing.
It enables me as the GM to focus on describing my campaign universe by what will be most important to the PCs and by anything and everything that's ever been included in Traveller.
As I stated in the synopsis I recently posted to my players via our Facebook Group:
The Traveller universe is freaking huge. Huge to the point where trying to explain the entire milieu here would not only be silly to attempt but wouldn't really help us get ready for the game. Instead, I am going to address the setting as it relates to the PCs at the start of the game.
I will include more detailed information on the whole of Traveller's 'Charted Space' setting for them in the Player Books I will be handing out to them (more on these in a later post).

The crux of the campaign will focus on...

TRAVELLER - Operation: Paladin

All the PCs will begin on a Trade Outpost Space Station in a slightly-off-the-beaten-path star system in the Spica Sector. Imagine the station as the starting line of a race or scavenger hunt. Once I say GO! it's completely up to the PCs where they end up from there. I reminded them, "Traveller is deadly and very like D&D in that not everyone has all the skills needed to survive".

My take on the Spica Sector is that it's a frontier sector located on the galactic rim. Half of it is controlled by the Galactic Imperium, although it is administrated and operated for the Imperium by the Solomani Confederation. The Solomani Confederation, although a 'subsidiary' government to the Imperium, is still very large and very powerful in it's own right. It is run from the planet Terra, the Confederation's capital, by the native Humans of the Sol System (hence Solomani).*

The other half of Spica is the domain of the bizarre aliens known as the Hivers and the equally bizarre Hive Federation. In some ways, the Hive Federation is akin to the Dominion of Star Trek.** There are different species with different jobs in the Federation but all serve under their benevolent masters, the Hivers. Now the Hivers aren't evil per se and they aren't considered a hostile power but there is something very strange about how they have expanded their influence and it might be worth investigating.*

In between the Solomani Confederation and the Hiver Federation is an unclaimed 'no man's land' of non-aligned colonies, unexplored worlds, pirate bases and other planets of interest that exist but their own laws alone.

Finally, rumors abound about an army of extremely advanced robots being constructed somewhere in the Spica Sector under the named 'Operation: Paladin'. Exact details are unknown and the stories vary wildly. While the name has been bandied about quite often lately, no one the PCs know is able or willing to say where the rumors originated.

Questions and comments are welcome. That doesn't mean I'll answer them all. ; )

Barking Alien

*When I say 'My Take' I am really just rephrasing or redefining things that have already been established. I felt the need to clarify some elements so as no to get the players confused between our campaign and variations on the canon resulting from the different editions of the game or different time periods within the background.

**This indicates a bit more extrapolation and adjustment on my part when compared to the Traveller canon.


  1. Sounds like a solid start. Are you restricting PC concepts at all?

    1. How dare you sir! Where is my pompous, white dueling glove?

      Why not ask if I am biting the head off of defenseless, baby animals?

      OK, serious time...No not really. I can't really think of a concept I would be against. The only rules are only two professions and tell me how they're combined.

      Example: Barbarian Diplomat

      "I was once a member of a primitive tribe on a Tech Level 4 planet until Imperials crash landed there. I made peace between the strange sky people and my tribe. They offered to let me see their sky city once they repaired their flying boat.

      I now know it's a Starship and we went to a Space Station. On the station I made many allies and people were impressed with my ability to understand and become friends with many different tribes of people, so now I do that for a company that explores new worlds."

  2. Clearly this Federation is building the robots as a prelude to war, and our heroes will need to discover a secret clone army commissioned years before by a mysterious figure ...

    I've never played or run over on the Solomani side of the galaxy so this should be an interesting read.

    1. The Solomani have been an important element of many of my previous campaigns but I don't believe I actually set any games within their sphere of influence before this.

      I am very excited by the opportunity to give them a closer look.