PBP Traveller TradeAndShenanigans
What comes after eleventy-eleven?
A Play By Post game of Traveller. Using Mongoose 2ed and set in the Spinward Marches just after the Fifth Frontier War. An eclectic group of PCs will seek wealth via Interstellar Trading and subsidiary Shenanigans.
Traveller is a series of classic science fiction roleplaying games by Marc Millar ET Al. There are a dozen versions. We’ll use the popular 2d6 second edition rules by Mongoose. Characters from Classic Traveller, Traveller 5th Mongoose 1st, or Cepheus, can easily be adapted for this game.
Traveller is distinguished by lifepath character creation. Success checks are based on 2d6 (Roll high). Typical die roll modifiers are skill levels and attribute bonuses.
The Spinward March is a border region of the Third Imperium, an 1100-year-old commercial trading empire dominated by Humanity, nobility, and megacorperations. The Imperium does not try to rule each world directly; they control Trade between worlds. Space belongs to the Empire.
Other races and interstellar governments are in the Sector. Humans, their distant relatives the Varger canines, the feline Aslan, and the mysterious psychic Droyne gargoyles are considered Major Races – they’ve developed Star Travel on their own and have expanded throughout Charted Space. Other races exist with their own particular gifts and oddities.
The fifth in a series of inconclusive wars between the Imperium and the rival Zhodani Consulate just ended. The client states of these empires were allies and battlegrounds in the war. Postwar, espionage and diplomatic intrigue between the former warring states continue unchecked.
In the wake of violent conflict, traditional power centers are weakened. Opportunity abounds for bold traders. Demobilization and corporate layoffs cut thousands of skilled but underappreciated individuals loose.
Player Characters have opportunities to seize prosperity, freedom, and power for themselves. These opportunities are not without risks…
The setting is the Spinward Marches circa Imperial Year 1111. The Fifth Frontier War recently ended and there is still considerable turmoil. To Spinward, the defeated alliance of Zhodani and Sword Worlds. Coreward are chaotic Vargar Extent states. Rimward, Aslan unlanded males seek lands.
The Sector Dutchess Daphene, Matriarch of Mora is upstaged by the brilliant upstart Duke Norris of Regina. It is a time for new ventures and for new social structures to replace the old.
Several of the Sword Worlds are occupied by Imperial Forces.
An isolated spur of the imperial x-boat network; until 940, it was a quiet backwater for marginal officials of the imperial bureaucracy. However, in 941, District 268 was opened by the decree of Margaret ll Glisten has since served as a base for the colonization of the new territory.
- Aki is a poor world with a population of over two billion. It has well-developed manufacturing and processing industries. Manufactured goods are a major export item. Its economy is barely growing and living conditions are not expected to improve in the near future. Food and water are rationed. This world designated as an Amber Zone. Caution is advised. Aki was settled from Deneb around 300, and converted to Aborism, a pervasive religion around 450. Religion and government remain separate. Offworlders find the planet uncomfortable due to the large population, mostly crowded into large cities, and because of the hostile attitude of Aborites to non-members. This changes rapidly if one converts. Most cities have large slum areas, and much of the population subsists on church or government doles. Most imports, with the exception of foodstuffs, are subject to a 10% import duty. All normal starship servicing fees are doubled, due to a government effort to collect Imperial currency to facilitate off-world activities.
- Crout is a lower-tech world with three billion population. The hinterlands are designated as an Amber Zone due to an active rebellion against the paternalistic government. However, the starport and port town are considered one of the safest and friendliest to traders, tourists and other travelers. A significant alien population of Llellewyloly exists on Crout.
- Egypt is a Ministry of Colonization training base. Several worlds in the Spinward Marches and adjacent sectors are under active colonization projects. Survival outside Egypt's domed facilities is a tremendous challenge for colonist trainees.
- Glisten is the subsector capital. The system has a population of eight billion. This population is scattered across one hundred-seventy-four (or more) dwarf planet in two co-orbital positions; a main-belt and an outer asteroid belt. The different belts have different lifestyles and rivalries. Glisten City on Gliss Ten is the system capital and largest city. Glisten is effectively a single high technology world; available technology is over the usual standards for Charted Space. It has well-developed manufacturing and processing industries. Glisten has colonies on Melior, Weiss, and New Rome. Glisten has the largest Port Authority staff in the Spinward march, as each inhabited world has space docks and other port facilities.
- Lydia is a former silver mine colony abandoned over a hundred years ago. It's a single sealed dome city. The low tech level is a function of the low population, they barely keep enough specialized knowledge to keep the life support systems going. Nothing left for any industry. What they do have is abandoned mining and ore processing machinery and a bunch of other old junk. It's now a junkyard, operated by scavengers.
- Mithras is an imperial exile prison. Convicted individuals are deported to the world where they begin life anew. Environmental conditions are harsh, but Imperial authorities point to Mithras as a showcase. Exiles banded together to form their own government. There is limited trade, but only through authorized traders. Many ex-prisoners are released as rehabilitated.
- New Rome an Imperial world in the Glisten subsector. Ruled out of Glisten system. Icy New Rome was a secondary world in what was called the Bellion System. In 86 a vindictive Imperial admiral dumped political exiles there. New Rome prospered and became the site of most of the system's heavy industry. Eventually, the majority of the system's population lived on New Rome and the system was accordingly renamed to reflect that.
- Bellion was settled by refugees from the fall of the Sindalian Empire. It had its own independent mini-empire, but in 165 the Third Imperium sent the Navy in. By 392 it and its economic dependents joined the Imperium en bloc. Like New Rome, it is administered as a dependency of the Glisten belts.
- Tirem is just one of the larger asteroids in the Incalescens Belt: there are another 247 "asteroids" with a size between 1 and 8, orbiting as a belt around the primary, Kinkos. Total population is over six billion, comparable to Glisten. According to the most common theory, the Belt is the result of the destruction of a small (size 22?) planet - perhaps during the Final War - with the resulting fragments forming a mass of small planets in orbit around Kinkos. Tirem is an elongated, misshapen brick of a world, with its diameter varying from 3000 km to 22,000 km. There is a thin atmosphere tainted with sulfur compounds. Riddled with tunnels, it remains one of the greatest sources of nickel, copper, and iron in the sector.The convoluted shape of the world - along with relentless "hollowing" by kilometer-wide mobile excavation complexes - contribute to the variable gravity on Tirem. Tirem minor planet belt is the center of Belter Freedom Allience activities.
- Tsarina has a tainted, very thin atmosphere and no surface water. It has a population of three million. Much of its terrain is dusty desert plains, swept by the thin winds driven by a short rotational period.
The sparsely settled region between Glisten subsector and Five Sisters subsector. Most worlds are independent of the Imperium. By Imperial decree, District 268 is open for Trade and Shenanigans.
- Mertactor is a lovely garden world with a short-sleeve breathable atmosphere. Technically in District 268, but currently associated with the more developed Imperial Glisten sector. About 10% of the population is Aslan, descended from a group of mercenaries employed by the Imperium around 950. They are pretty thoroughly assimilated. Mertactor has historical animosity toward its homeworld Mora. But its own governmental institutions are heavily influenced by Mora. While Mertactor is not a matriarchy, women traditionally get preference.
- Aleksander Berg of Tirem Captain and Owner Aboard IMSS Scant Regard
- Dame Sayaka Moon of New Rome retired Navy Captain
- Bridin Innes of Tierem Political Activist
- Baroness Éadaoin of Mertactor Influential Socialite
- Darion Blake of New Rome Ex-Marine
- Igliim of Tsarina Former Marine, Merc and Spacer
- John Fitzhugh of New Rome Art Curator and roguish adventurer.
- Arkesh Spacers a really shady trading company. has a nominal headquarters on Strouden / Lunion., Arkesh Spacers eschew regular bases, relying instead on independent contacts on many Marcher worlds to provide custom and maintain their vessels. These contacts include radical members of the Belter Freedom Alliance and even more shady people.
- Barrachi Technum is a diverse company which engages in Manufacturing, Finance, and Trade. BT operates out of Trin in Trin's Veil subsector and throughout the Spinward Marches sector and neighboring Trojan's Reach sector. BT is engaged in a bitter rivalry with McClellan Factors for control of regional shipping. Both see the many opportunities in the sparsely populated worlds of District 268 and parts of Trojan's sector, areas that are currently outside the Imperium. BT have dealt with the Senlis Foederate and Belgardian Sojurnate.
- Belgardian Sojurnate petty micro space empire in Trojan's Reach. Little more than scum and pirates. During the time of the Fifth Frontier War, Imperial Scout Aleksander Berg of Tirem stumbled across a fleet of actual warships they'd somehow acquired. This started a sideshow micro-war, more of a police action really, where our heroes were very heroic.
- Belter Freedom Allience political association active across Glisten Sector. Some activists are little more than pirates
- Imperial Navy A training ground for Imperial Nobility. They fly the Marine's taxis.
- Imperial Scout Service the Third Imperium's combination postal service, census bureau, and intelligence agency. Many love or fear their floral print bowling shirts. It's a short, short life in the scouts!
- McClellen Factors is a pure shipping and trade company, HQ on Mertactor and Trelaxion in District 268. They have a hypercompetitive attitude, typical of Mertactor merchants. Most of their current development is on areas outside the Imperium, but the company is lobbing Sector Nobility for expansion of Imperial Boundaries. Victory in the Fifth Frontier War make this possible, if not likely,
- Senlis Foederate petty micro space empire in Trojan's Reach. They claim to be strong supporters of the Third Imperium. However, they are little more than Scum and Pirates.
- Third Imperium In the Grim Darkness of the Fifty-Seventh century there is only the spiritual heirs of the British East Indies Company.
Wheels And Patrons
- Count Charlie Montbatten an elderly personal Envoy of the Emperor to the March Nobility. From Sanches in Core Sector. Has been and continues to a patron of several PCs. A linguist, but barely understands Belter Creole.
- Eithne nic Maire Mother of Baroness Éadaoin of Mertactor and senior Imperial Landed Noble of Mertactor and Mille Falcs in District 268.
- Lita Ahnan Warbaeun Count Charlie's aide. Might be a cyborg or android or something.
Contacts and Allies
- Ayeht Espihz Darrian refugee attached to Darion Blake of New Rome
- Professor Anachan of Glisten University, Vilani Professor of History, Academic advisor to the Pride of Aquitaine (Historical Recreation society, mostly of women who emulate Eleanor of Aquitaine as much as possible). Influenced Éadaoin.
- Andra Castami Actress and Historian. Wrote and acted in a major Historical Epic a few years ago, staring as Hillary Clinton. Keeps in touch with the Pride of Aquitaine, including Éadaoin.
- Juni'i Daveerra Businesswoman and former girlfriend of Éadaoin. former Vice-president of an intrasystem transportation company in the Glisten Main-belt, but currently an Operation Manager for Arkesh Spacers.
Rivals and Enemies
- Sala Abosh one of the Abosh clan merchant family. John Fitzhugh exposed Sala as a gun runner selling prototype weapons to both sides on a border war. She was cast out from the family business and is looking for revenge.
- Magnus Artelier former scout who abandoned the future Baroness Éadaoin of Mertactor on an exploration mission. Now a Lt. Colonel of Imperial Marines.
- Ciaran O'Doyl radical leader of the Belter Freedom Allience and estranged father of Briden's daughter Siobhan Innes.
- Senior Scout Derek Fleming a low-level spymaster who blackmailed John Fitzhugh John was forced to investigate who was supplying the weapons in the Abosh Affair. Fleming intended to have John stumble on to the evidence and then be killed by the suppliers. John managed to find the corporation that had supplied. John did an end-run around Flemming and bargained with Count Charlie Montbatten for his release. Fleming tried to send John a lethal severance payment.
- Marlo Genn managed a casino. John Fitzhugh stole 10K worth of credit from and the casino. then blackmailed Marlo to keep the money. Briden has gamed at his joint.
- Vice-Admiral Sir Lucian Shiishuginsa Commander of Glisten Navy Base. VERY old First Empire family, a distant relative of the current Imperial line and the Duke of Vland. An upper-class twit, Mildly competent in routine matters. Catchphrase: "Breeding Will Out!" Distains Dame Sayaka Moon of New Rome's lack of aristocratic lineage.
- Captain Dame Nicholle Hortalez Devious, cunning and actually competent, Nicholle uses her position in the Navy to further her house's interest. Feels mortally insulted by a prank played by Sayaka during their Academy years. Was likely behind having Dame Sayaka Moon of New Rome retired. The only fortune is that Nicholle has a lot on her plate, and Sayaka is probably not her only nemesis. Rumor is she's the brains behind Admiral Lucy. Supposed to have been reassigned to the Border Worlds commission.
- Ramon Kaarin Manguld; current whereabouts unknown. A former lieutenant of the Imperial Navy who embezzled Imperial Supplies. Sayaka uncovered and turned him in rather than take a cut. He was imprisoned but has served his time. No doubt, he's out for revenge if an opportunity presents itself. Last seen working with the Belter Freedom Alliance and his cousin Ciaran O'Doyl.
- Ex-Commander Lynn Kaagria Once a trusted friend of Sayaka. Blamed Sayaka for an accounting error to further her own career. Retired a few years back. Commander Kaagria got called back up for the war. They were in charge of a purchasing group at Mora/Mora. They encountered Éadaoin there. Now has a cushy job with a Ling Standard Products subsidiary.
- Ruuj Ghaashnuur a more than unusually aggressive Imperial Trader operating in District 269. Runs a slave trade ring out of Dallia.