Saturday, March 2, 2019

Classic Traveller Campaign: Supernova!

I'm going to be running a classic Traveller game with my biweekly face-to-face group. I tried this same idea earlier online but ended the game after 3 sessions because of a change in my schedule. I'm going to blog about my development process for the next few weeks.

Elevator Pitch

HD 147513, a white dwarf star in a binary system 42 light years from Earth, destroyed itself in Type 2a supernova, the most violent explosion in the universe. No space travel was possible for decades due to the gamma radiation. Earth was lucky, but the gamma radiation damaged the ecosphere and started a long worldwide depression. Earth has now recovered enough to mount a scouting mission to check on their colonies and outposts. 

The players have been recruited by the Union of Nations, successor to the United Nations. They get a scout ship, some star maps, advanced sensors, and the latest high-tech gear. Their mission is to explore the nearby stars and see what is out there. What survived? 


For me, the first step is gathering resources. My collection contains most of the classic Traveller books, plus most of the GURPS Traveller books. I'm going to use The Traveller Book for rules. Simple, easy to obtain (POD for $20 on DT). I will add Citizens of the Imperium for more careers, but I imagine most of the players will take the main five careers. Animal Encounters will surely be used. 

Subsector Maps
I'm not using the Imperium, but I want to use the stars near Earth, so what better resource than Solomani Rim for maps and UWPs? 

But wait. There is something better. GURPS Interstellar Wars. This is the Sol-area when the Imperium found them. There are stars listed as unexplored on the map. The tech level is lower. It's a perfect match for what I want. I'll ditch the politics, but keep the UWPs and some details of the systems. Make some small confederations and pocket empires.

But wait! There's more. One of the products from Stellagama Publishing, known for their support for the Cepheus Engine, is Near Space. Near Space has nine subsectors around Sol with scientifically accurate data on exosolar planets.

Another GURPS Traveller title, First In gives everything to know about the Scouts and exploration. How do you scan and chart a system? It also has an enhanced star and world generation system that provides additional details from the standard Traveller UWP.

I'll be using the Near Space maps and physical planetary data, pulling some specific planet details from Interstellar Wars, and then filling in the system details using First In's star generator. 

Deck Plans
One more thing from Steve Jackson. Deck Plan 5 Sulieman-Class Scout/Courier. These are pretty 25mm scale maps with either hexes or squares. Nice looking and come in three variant floorplans.

50 Starbases from Judges Guild will provide maps and random tables for when they try to land.

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