- 1 Known Space
- 2 Sectors
- 3 Worlds
- 4 Earth
- 5 Starships
- 6 Characters
- 7 General Background
A communally created Traveller setting for Google Hangout games.
See here for further details.
Lots of fun has been had over on G+ with hangout based games of D&D and near D&D, with players with characters made up in any number of different systems dropping in and out of various GMs games more or less on a whim, GMs linking different campaign worlds, running games in other people's homebrew settings, all kinds of unholy inter-game miscegenation and perversity.
While there have been some Traveller games run, there hasn't been the same buzz. The closest thing to it has been Jez Gordon's Star Wars game, with ever changing parties drawn from a moderate sized group of characters.
Traveller ought to be ideal for the Flailsnail style of play – PCs are space bums, liable to turn up on any planet anywhere (any GMs pet planet/subsector) and dive into the first outrageously daft money making scheme dangled in front of their snotty noses by a patron (whatever evil scheme the GM has up his sleeve for this session).
But things have got a bit chaotic in the Flailsnails looniverse – I have to say I roll my eyes whenever a mutant race/sub-class undead amphibiod PC whips out a ray gun these days. So rather than colliding universes, how about a loose-ish collaborative meta-setting thingy in which a GM can concoct some pretty outlandish planets and scenarios, but which maintains some internal coherence and puts some limits on the crazy?
Known Space 2312AD
Tech level maximum 12
Guns and lasers, no (or very, very few) twerps turning up in power armour with a plasma cannon and wasting everything in sight.
State of play with spooky powers is as it is today, the province of a lunatic fringe, charlatans and conspiracy nuts. Doesn't happen, won't work, and if your cousin's brother-in-law's mate's sister reckoned she saw some twit levitating on Epsilon 5 it was because she was high as a kite on Cake (THE party drug of the 24th century). Of course if the GM wants to deploy them then that's just fine, as long as they are in the hands of some drastically alien villain NPC, but see below...
The human race has bimbled across a good couple of thousand cubic parsecs of the galaxy and has found some alien ecosystems with suitably oddball animals, but no actual intelligent alien civilisations. There's arguments as to whether species A is actually intelligent, and whether humans would recognise an alien civilisation if they saw it. But no blokes in furry suits and bandoliers making bear noises, no people in fake tan with corrugated heads, humanity it appears is alone. Of course there almost certainly will be alien civilisations out there someplace we just haven't met them yet.
As with psionics, aliens should be something truly spooky and out of this world, and first contact fraught with strangeness and unguessable hazards and complications, not something you meet by the zooload down at the local bar.
Not that many people have managed to successfully stick silicon into themselves in Known Space and most of those only did it to replace genuinely injured and damaged parts of the body. I have no idea of how real science is really doing at splicing electronics onto nerves, but in the Known Space setting it's dubious and unreliable and the people that do it are regarded as a bit wrong in the head and to have eaten too much Cake.
Human beings in the 24th century are no better organised than humans now. World governments? Only on worlds of a million or fewer people of the same general origin, otherwise there is bound to be several rival statelets, factions, commercial exploitation enterprises etc.
When the human race made jump drive work every country on Earth launched colonisation missions, mostly grabbing land on the same few vaguely inhabitable planets. Then it got cheap enough for corporations to have a go, then every separatist, religious, extremist, utopian, libertarian, authoritarian and otherwise misunderstood gang of loons leapfrogged the lot and plunged into the void looking for a place to set up their dream society away from anyone else. Some worked, some didn't. Any world in known space could have any kind of society on it, usually several, and usually at loggerheads with each other, if not actual war.
Genuine interstellar wars have been few and far between, but plenty of Earth states and alliances and the more established and populous off-world colonies are geared up with space navies. With Known Space so vast and sparsely populated and so many colonies having hostile planetbound rivals to fend off there hasn't been much call for them as yet.
A world of your own
When a player generates a PC he generates a home nation and sketches in a planet for that PC too, all of which will become setting canon, to be drawn on by any later GM or player if they so wish.
I only know Classic 1ed Traveller and Mongoose, but any Traveller ruleset should in theory be permissible, and if reliable conversions from other sci-fi systems can be made then lets use them.
Only one mapped sector so far
An alphabetical list of worlds detailed so far.
In 2312AD Earth is still the centre of the human universe, and I have no better idea than the next man as to what is likely to have happened to it in the next couple of hundred years. Players and GMs will be free to make up whatever stuff they like about the history of their own nation or district, and how this affects Known Space at large.
(UK readers feel free to argue the toss over this version of our future history, nothing is set in stone)
The UK is no more. Scotland, Wales and Ulster all went their separate ways over the course of the 21st century, and although initially still 'united' under the Crown, Scotland and Wales became Republics, and Ulster joined the Republic of Ireland. Even within England there is devolution with regional parliaments (the legacy of the last Labour government ever back in the 22nd century) in the north west, northeast, Yorkshire and the north midlands, the Midlands and the southwest. England left the EU while the other parts of the British Isles stayed in, and there is agitation amongst the outlying regions to ditch the rump English parliament and become independent EU states.
Interstellar colonisation has added half a dozen new regions to England, one of which has successfully rebelled and become an independent state in its own right and a couple of others are on the way. The regional governments have even set up colonies of their own independent of the main English effort - visitors to the joint Geordie/Scouse/Tyke outpost on New Elmet are so baffled by the local argot that they refuse to believe they are in an 'English' colony at all.
The Royals are still going, but there is agitation even in the conservative south for a Republic, possibly because Prince George, the heir, has married a Jamaican and spends most of his time in Tibet hanging out with the Panchen Lama, and resigned rather than go and do his duty as a Royal Star Navy officer putting down the New Berkshire rebellion on the planet Orion.
There will be some.
And some of these.