Coming Along

After talking to my friends at High Shelf Gaming Podcast, I've decided to shift the game a tad from a solo campaign to a play-by-post campaign with two other players. I'll introduce them in good time, suffice it to say, I'll play the commander and captain of the ship, and they'll play the XO and the diplomat.

This will still be referee-less, and it's an interesting experiment for the three of us.

Speaking of referee-less, I was reviewing a number of Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society, and in particular the GURPs/Steven Jackson Games articles. In there, I found Matt Smith's articles on the various government types. In these, he describes in some detail the nature of the government types and then provides a series of tables for rolling up how that governing body primarily operates. This will help keep some randomness and variation in the many feudal technocracies that I've already rolled up for my Foreven sector.

I'll be using LegendKeeper to me …

Factions, Culture, and Government

The basic world generator in the Traveller core rulebook includes tables for factions and cultural differences (pgs. 219-223). In rolling up my Foreven sector, I have not determined those particular elements. Because factions can change pretty rapidly as their power grows or diminishes, I will be rolling--again randomly--for these characteristics when the ship enters the system. I think this will be important because it can greatly affect the diplomatic efforts of the Imperium in its effort to sway the local government to ally with it should war break out. Perhaps the rulers in the primary government of the planet want to eliminate a faction before offering to sign a neutrality statement or mutual defense agreement? Perhaps the culture of the planet has elements anathema to the crew and diplomat and they need to find some way to "work around it." Or--perhaps one of the factions is willing to ally itself with the Imperium in the hopes of rising to power.

The nature of the fa…

Rules for My Referee-less Game Play Writing

As I begin this referee-less campaign and begin posting (in a few weeks), I realized I needed to set a few rules for myself as it relates to blog posting.

For my normal writing process--the novels, short stories, and poetry I write--I'm an incredibly iterative writer. (I make no claims to uniqueness on this point.) If I followed the same level of iterations and "perfection" I expect in that for this blog, well, this blog would have very long sequences of no releases, etc. Therefore, I will have to be easier on my expectations for myself.

I will focus on short write ups of action as the game progresses. Additionally, I will live with the knowledge that I will write passages, sentences, and so on that I would have eventually revised or deleted in my normal iterative process. I will reserve the right to revise after release, but I will note revised text in brackets [] and deleted text in strikethrough. Whether I revise or not, however, I leave up to the whims of my schedul…

Tools for My Referee-less Play

Playing referee-less means you need to have ways of randomizing encounters, events, and so on without the specific knowledge referee would have in the game. One of the great things about Traveller is its rich, long history of random encounters and events and rolling up worlds and animals. So I'm going to make use of those tools.

That said, since I've never played referee-less before, so I'm going to feel free to adjust my practice as I move along. But here are some of the books I'll have for random events, etc., along with the basic rules.

Traveller Core Rulebook
High Guard
Central Supply Catalogue
Vehicle Handbook
Traveller Companion--I'll be using this for supplemental rules related to the environment, toxins, gravity, etc.
760 Patrons, 2nd Edition--One source of NPCs.
1001 Characters--One source of NPCs.
Animal Encounters--particularly the animal creation rules.
The Great Rift--Book 4, specifically, with the system generation rules.
Element Class Cruisers


So I had ambitious plans...and then the usual things got in the way. But I've begun in earnest in the past few weeks building out my Foreven sector. I built one system, Tavisol, almost randomly, ensuring that I had a couple of key components to it because I'm working on a con adventure set on it.

This then kept the process going, and I have several systems built in the Urnian subsector--the subsector that borders the Imperium. I had thought to revive my original idea of Ristoff plying the starlanes. However, with the release of Element Class Cruisers: Shipbuilder's Blueprints, I am going to take a different approach and run a solo bridge crew campaign.

The overall goal of the crew and ship is a goodwill tour the Imperium is sending through the sector. The tour is an attempt to ensure good relations with non-Imperial controlled space as tensions mount between the Zhodani Consulate and the Imperium (which leads to the Fifth Frontier War). To support the tour, of course, I w…

Etert Ristoff's Ship: Category One

After mustering out of the Imperial Navy, Etert decided to pursue a life amongst the stars and visiting new cultures and worlds by financing his way with mining. Using a couple of ship's shares and taking a large loan, he purchased a used Type-J Seeker mining starship, that he dubbed Category One. He fitted out the computer software with Intellect software for Astrogation, Engineering (both maneuver and jump drives), and Gunnery. That way, he can cruise the stars along, without taking on a crew. Some risk, of course, remains--software can't do physical repairs. However, Etert is confident and determined to go it alone.

Perhaps more radically, he has opted to leave Imperial space by taking in the Foreven Sector, seeking mining and money-making opportunities.

From a gaming perspective, I will be using random encounter rolls when entering the system, using High Guard's mining rules, etc. I will also use online generators for NPCs and the ALONe system for determining random out…

Etert Riffost--Traveller Character

I've rolled up Etert Riffost. Here's a screenshot of his character sheet.

Etert's UPP is: 556A73

Born and raised on Trin (A894A96-F) in the Trin's Veil subsection of the Spinward Marches sector. Etert grew up amongst the massive middle class on the planet. His father, Cor, rose to be a director in the Ling-Standard Products consumer products division, specializing in project management. His mother, Betz, served as an advisor to the mayor of Lancaster, the city the Riffost family lived. Betz eventually was elected as the attorney general for the city and was known as a tough prosecutor.

Etert grew up in a nurturing home. However, he tended to be a bit lazy in his studies, dreaming instead of heading to the stars. Gazing past the reflective debris ring of the moon that millennia ago was torn apart by gravitational forces, Etert dreamed of reaching beyond the system, beyond the Spinward Marches and, perhaps beyond the Imperium itself.

His laziness, however, meant that all…