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💯 {Staff Pick} Some Stuff about Classic Traveller

CK!

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IME, the player facing setting whether playing with only the 3LBB or with all of the 3I setting has always been the same: a collection of semi-random independent worlds that present whatever situations the Referee desires.
While on a very practical level I agree with this notion, I can't quite see it as being accurate in the face of actual published text.

To take one example:

The 1981 edition of the rules introduce the notion of Travel Zones (Amber and Red). These are worlds noted by the Travellers Aid Society as being dangerous.

In the setting specific materials of the Third Imperium, hover, Red Zone became an entire world or system interdicted by the Imperium.

Let's be clear about what this means: there is an adventure on a world, and the interstellar government is already there in some form to prevent you from getting to it.

That is a very large presence and effect of the Third Imperium. It is well beyond the scope of a collection of independent worlds.
 

Marc17

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The rebellion that flattened the Imperium was MegaTraveller, and apparently never went down well either.
That makes sense, and I didn't care much for MegaTraveller either. All I can really remember from the one time we played it was that all the characters, including the ones I rolled up, ended up as admirals, generals, or ridiculously high ranked with noble social standings to the point that the only adventure I could really come up with for such a group on their own ship was they were running from some sort of powerful interstellar conspiracy trying to hunt them down.

The 1981 edition of the rules introduce the notion of Travel Zones (Amber and Red). These are worlds noted by the Travellers Aid Society as being dangerous.

In the setting specific materials of the Third Imperium, hover, Red Zone became an entire world or system interdicted by the Imperium.
Point is taken. You can also look at psi which went from being "public opinion about psionic is extremely negative" to flat out being outlawed in the Imperium. Still how much system interdiction or being outlawed meant was up to the referee in both cases. I like looking at the ramifications of the original rules by themselves and favor siding with that in most cases.
 
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CK!

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Point is taken. You can also look at psi which went from being "public opinion about psionic is extremely negative" to flat out being outlawed in the Imperium. Still how much system interdiction or being outlawed meant was up to the referee in both cases. I like looking at the ramifications of the original rules by themselves and favor siding with that in most cases.
I go even further:

Terms like Jump Drive, Travellers aid Society, and The Psionics Institute are all empty sets the rules offer me so I can extrapolate from them.

The details, for example, of the Psionics Institute, are but one application of the notion. Others examples would be the Bene Gesserit or the Jedi Oder, both of which fall under the label "Psionics Institute."
 

solarpunk

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You can also look at psi which went from being "public opinion about psionic is extremely negative" to flat out being outlawed in the Imperium. Still how much system interdiction or being outlawed meant was up to the referee in both cases. I like looking at the ramifications of the original rules by themselves and favor siding with that in most cases.
That might have been a attempt to eliminate psi from the setting; it is "magic" really, and I have never seen a psi character run that wasn't over or under-powered. Luckily in the rules and the setting psi is pretty modular and can be dropped easily. I do agree that most of the 3I text is fluff or story, and doesn't have to affect the players. For me the biggest bummer about the 3I setting were the Solomani being pseudo fascists, it sort of put a damper on the whole Solomani Rim.

A long night setting could be cool, but I would have liked an original Interstellar Wars period built off the Imperium game too, have Earth not be fascist and have the whole of the rimward portion of the Orion Spur to develop.
 

CK!

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That might have been a attempt to eliminate psi from the setting; it is "magic" really...
I don't think Miller would have included Psionics in the rules if he didn't think it should be a viable part of any setting. And the reason he thought that was because the inspirational SF had TONS of Psionics in it.

Them notion that "Traveller had Psionics because D&D had magic" comes from people who read different SF than Miller did... and not because of D&D.

Of course, using them or not is a choice the Referee should make. But that's my thesis for pretty much all the rules in Classic Traveller.
 
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Anfelas

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It was the fan base that interprets the Solomani as fascists - if you read the actual source material then you reach a different conclusion.

The Solomani faction that ruled the Third Imperium for several hundred years was certainly elitist, but the old earth empire and the myriad of other polities that make up the confederation are not fascist.

Remember that the original alien module concerning the Solomani is written from the Imperial perspective and as present their enemies in a negative light.
 

solarpunk

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Them notion that "Traveller had Psionics because D&D had magic" comes from people who read different SF than Miller did... and not because of D&D.
I have never heard this before. ISTR Miller saying he wrote Traveller with D&D sitting on the desk in front of him, and that they had been playing D&D a lot. It wouldn't be surprising that Traveller's psi is a direct result of D&D's magic. In the 80's and 90's, psi was a hard sell to serious sci-fi fans because of people like Uri Geller and spoon bending, it was just easier to drop from the game.

It was the fan base that interprets the Solomani as fascists - if you read the actual source material then you reach a different conclusion.
IIRC the original module called them "Human Supremacists".
 
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CK!

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It was the fan base that interprets the Solomani as fascists - if you read the actual source material then you reach a different conclusion.

The Solomani faction that ruled the Third Imperium for several hundred years was certainly elitist, but the old earth empire and the myriad of other polities that make up the confederation are not fascist.

Remember that the original alien module concerning the Solomani is written from the Imperial perspective and as present their enemies in a negative light.
A lot of people miss the fact that most of the setting material was established through unreliable narrators.

Miller has stated bluntly the whole argument about Major Races is a bunch of bigots sitting around discussing how to make other races less than them.
 

Anfelas

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IIRC the original module called them "Human Supremacists".
Written by a Third Imperium author...
read the actual text and you reach a very different conclusion.

GDW wrote Traveller supplements from an Imperial viewpoint, reading between the lines is what brings their setting to life. I think it was intentional since you had a lot of very clever game designers writing this stuff.

Sadly a lot of fanon took it at face value :(

The Imperium is a lot more authoritarian and fascist than the Solomani Confederation.
 
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CK!

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In the 80's and 90's, psi was a hard sell to serious sci-fi fans because of people like Uri Geller and spoon bending, it was just easier to drop from the game.
Absolutely.

But the thing that a lot of people who approached the game in the 80s and 90s forget is that Traveller was written in 1976-1977.

While including psionics (It's fun, why not!) as the "magic" from D&D is sort of a no brainier, it was already in the SF fiction Miller drew from.

Tubb's Dumaret series, Bester's "Stars My Destination," Vance's Planet of Adventure series, Herbert's "Dune" and countless others all contain character or institutions with Psionics abilities.

Post-Traveller publication SF with psionics includes, of course, Star Wars and Firefly.
 
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