On the Citizens of the Imperium forums I stumbled upon a thread about a very cool idea how to run Traveller. It’s called Proto-Traveller and refers to a campaign mostly based on the material released in the original Traveller rulebook and just a few supplements.

The OTU is huge, pretty complex, and somewhat overwhelming – especially for new players. So why not reduce it to the basics? In a Proto-Traveller campaign there are no capital starships, the various star empires (including the Imperium) are much smaller, the focus is on frontier opportunities. There are even Proto-Traveller concepts which are even more minimalistic. Some people just use stuff from the core rulebook which means there’s only the Regina subsector.

I was never someone who follows rules – especially in RPGs – that slavishly. So if I ever run a Proto-Traveller campaign I doubt I’ll follow what was written in the abovementioned thread to the letter. I would probably use Mongoose Traveller instead of Classic Traveller anyway. But the idea of a smaller Traveller universe with only small spaceships and small pocket empires is extremely tempting. Using this premise you can probably get people to play Traveller much easier than to scare them away with endless amounts of lore.

What do you think? Would you play in a Proto-Traveller-ish campaign, or do you prefer to go all out? Please share your thoughts below.