Yesterday I have put some more thought into my planned Traveller universe. The idea of using the Spinward Marches as a canvas for my … well … ideas. I also reached out to the Traveller community on the Citizens of the Imperium Discord server and asked for some advice. The community turned out to be very welcoming and helpful.
While browsing through my vast collection of gaming material I also stumbled upon Near Space by Stellagama Publishing. This small booklet contains Traveller/Cepheus stats for our stellar neighborhood. If you plan to run a 2d6 SF game in the near future, this could be the perfect resource.
While I still think my alternate Spinward Marches idea is still viable, I would love to work on a near-future, exploration-based campaign using Cepheus Light and Near Space as a basis. At the moment I am not sure whether I should put one or the other plan on hold for a while. Since I don’t have a deadline I could easily work on one project until I hit a dead end, switch to the other project, and return to the first ones when my creative batteries are recharged.
In regards of my Spinward Marches Pocket Empires campaign (damn, I need a better name for this), I was also wondering if using the Marches was actually such a good idea. If I create something interesting, I just can’t easily share it with the world because of copyright, trademarks and all that jazz. So perhaps I should instead create a sector of space inspired by the Marches. Since I basically just wanted to use the Marches’ “geography” after all, this is probably no biggie. Hmm, I think I have to ponder this for a while.
People also recommended a couple of Cepheus/Traveller products which I could use for inspiration: Outer Veil and Clement Sector have been mentioned several times and both look like interesting alternatives to the OTU. It’s also quite amusing that the Clement Sector setting shares its premise with the Ad Astra setting I wrote almost a decade ago.
Overall I am currently pretty excited about working on some SF stuff, but I also know that this excitement can easily turn into frustration. Having to struggle with mental health issues can be … well … a struggle. While I am in a much better place than a couple of years ago, things are still pretty glum some times. But at the moment the excitement is still burning bright in me. So let’s keep it that way! By the way, if you have any thoughts, advice, or questions, please post them in the comments below!
I forgot about Near Space! (I have that too.)
Michael Brown’s extensive range of 2d6 compatible supplements are also worth checking out. Most are small and range from adventures to mini campaigns (one is clearly based on Space 1999).
I’m excited that you are moving toward your dream of GMing a Traveller game, no matter which setting you decide to use (all that you have mentioned sound interesting to me and I would be happy to play in them!). Maybe just do some beginning notes on a couple of these possible settings to see what grabs you, then go back to the old GM advice from CT and The Traveller Book: Start Small. Map one subsector, with notes on your ideas of what lies beyond. Give minimal one-paragraph descriptions of the worlds in your subsector, enough to decide how they interact and to provide reasonable Library Data for the players. When you’ve figured out your first adventure or two, or story arc if you prefer, make maps and further necessary details of the worlds and systems that will be involved. Then START PLAYING! Let your campaign grow organically from there, following the maxim from T5 to Map Only As Really Necessary. Have fun, and keep us posted in your blog how it goes!