31 January 2018

Adapting Fantasy Materials

From GT: Starports
On the OSR Google Plus Community, which has lots of good ideas, I found "20 Port Town Encounters" from Red Dice Diaries. Taking a look at the entries, I found many of them easily translatable to Traveller.

While the Black Ocean of Space is far different from the Blue Oceans of Earth, the workings of both seaports and starports are going to be similar. Cargo moved, and an interface between lands. The crew of a ship after a long journey is going to be looking for something different. Stevedores and longshoremen will move cargo. While some of the encounters are more early modern in origin, like a fortress firing a noon-gun, even a starport may have some sort of daily ceremony, if only to break the workday up. A side-show, as seen in the opening of The Message, is another thing you could have as a random encounter.

One of the themes I find implicit in Traveller is how humanity has not changed much over time. A setting over three thousand years in the future, where wars are still fought, societies divided and fighting among themselves, and yet still curiosity to grow and change. So I feel fine in borrowing from fantasy settings. In this case, a place where societies meet is going to be relatively similar over time. As for it being a D20 table, are you really a role-player if you don't have a collection of polyhedrals?

15 January 2018

A Traveller's Guide to Peraspera/Sol (SR 2028)

From https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/multimedia/images/red-dwarf-planet.html
One of the many minor worlds circling Red Dwarf stars in what is known as the Outback of the Sol Subsector, Peraspera/Sol is a relatively low population backwater with little to recommend it to most visitors. A cold world with an exotic atmosphere and fluid oceans, the center of the system is in orbit of the main world, rather than on it. Despite these setbacks, the population manages to subsist off of a local diet.

Peraspera was first settled during the Interstellar Wars, as a Terran Research station. During the Rule of Man, the system was abandoned with the exception of a skeleton crew supporting a small refueling depot and minor search and rescue during that time. For the Long Night, there was the occasional long term attempt to maintain an operational base there by both the Terran Mercantile Community, and the early Old Earth Union, but it largely was an empty system with an automated beacon for accurate navigation. The wave of prosperity that proceeded the Third Imperium to the Rim allowed the for the construction of the First Orbital Complex and the development of material processing equipment from the Fluid oceans and Exotic atmosphere. As a resource extraction colony in a hostile environment close to major worlds, Peraspera never developed it's own culture, as many families seek to return to Terra or Prometheus rather than live there permanently. During the Solomani Rim War, the Tenth Orbital Complex surrendered rather than fight, as the lack of manpower and dependence on the Orbital Complex made any battle in the system a forgone conclusion. The local government remained in power under a Military Governor until 1063, when civilian rule was reintroduced. An Eleventh Orbital Complex was completed in 1115, replacing the over century old Tenth.

As a small, extraction dependent economy, Peraspera is unusually dependent on its larger neighbors, Terra and Prometheus. Much of the population is on four year work contracts to a few chemical production companies, and thus, it leans younger than average, with fewer families present than expected. The government is largely unresponsive to their needs, as  could be expected from a mining area. The population is about split between the Orbital Complex at 30% and the world itself 55%, while belting operations are present and support 15% of the population. Despite restrictive weapons control laws, society is accepting of those passing through, with conforming to the norms of the work-group is seen as essential for those there on contract.

As mentioned above, the world is largely dependent on resource extraction. There are several specialized chemical companies present on world, with links to Delgado, General Products, and Ling-Standard Products. Sternmetal Horizons is also present with a small office, with a few other independent concerns. GSbAG operates a small craft yard and overhaul facility at the Orbital Complex as well. Approximately 15,000 belters work the two asteroid belts. While some agrarianism is present in the surface habitats, one of the major industries on the Orbital Complex is hydroponics, with imported carniculture as the primary protein supply. The wealthy can obtain high quality food products from Terra and Prometheus.

Law, Government, and Military
At this time, the government is classified as a "Self-perpetuating Oligarchy" by the IISS. It is largely run by the representatives of the resource extraction corporations and leading figures from the various cities on the surface, as well as the Orbital Complex. Theoretically, voting rights for the legislature may be obtained after 10 years 'clean' residence, as in no major criminal record or public dependence, but this rarely occurs, and it keeps the government in the hands of the elite. The nature of the envriroment leads to a moderate law level, with restrictions on firearms on the Orbital Complex and the world itself. In the Belt, however, there is defacto Belter Custom ruling. Planetary Defense Forces consist of the System Patrol and the Guard. The System Patrol has a single Dragon class SDB of 400 dTons, the Adzel, four 50 dTon Customs Cutters, and a squadron of Iramada type fighters. The Guard is a single battalion of local veterans and mercenaries. Present in the system is a small Imperial Navy Station, including a reinforced company of Marines, and usually present is a Patrol Cruiser from either the Imperial Navy's Sol Subsector Fleet or the Duchy of Sol's Patrol Force.