Category Archives: Fluff/Inspiration

In My Traveller Universe …

My relationship to Traveller is … complicated. Classic Traveller was the first tabletop RPG I bought, but I was never really comfortable with its rules. I skipped MegaTraveller and eventually got Traveller New Era. As with Classic Traveller I was extremely excited about it, but most people I knew at the time weren’t sharing that enthusiasm. I also had a hard time wrapping my head around some of the rules back then.

Eventually I met people online and in real life who shared my love for the Traveller roleplaying game. I even got to experience Traveller as a player for the first time a couple of years back. Unfortunately the GM at the time preferred using basically everything but the official Traveller rules.

During all these years I kept chasing a dream: I wanted to run a Traveller campaign either in an original universe or a modified Third Imperium setting using official Traveller rules. For a while Classic Traveller or Traveller: New Era were the most promising candidates when it came to mechanics. In the end the Cepheus Engine, or rather its more streamlined edition called Cepheus Light, got into my focus. It’s not really an “official” Traveller game, but I guess it’s close enough. So I’ve found some mechanics I could get behind.

But the bigger problem has always been the setting. I’ve had countless plans, conflicting ideas, and in the end I usually threw everything into the bin. Recently I watched a video (see below) from the latest GaryCon where Marc Miller talked about Traveller and especially his plans for a future setting. In his talk he mentioned the “Republic of Regina” which gave me an idea. What if I take the Spinward Marches, get rid of the Imperium, the Zhodani, and in its place establish a few pocket empires. I don’t even need to rework the whole Marches, a couple of jumps around Regina for example are a big enough playfield for any campaign.

Marc Miller talks about Traveller

And since I am throwing canon out of the window I can also get rid of basically all of Traveller history and aliens. In my Traveller universe, there are only humans, who originated from Earth and built many small empires in space. Because of the long distances and the lack of FTL communication large empires never were established.

Aliens existed in this setting only in the past (or outside of charted space). The Marches are littered with ruins and there might even be derelict space ships drifting in the void, but the sapient life is limited to humans and uplifted species like perhaps dolphins and chimpanzees.

Last but not least I need a good idea on how to get the players motivated to travel around and do stuff (aside from trying to make a buck by trading). I am not interested in running a tramp freighter campaign. I want action, excitement, mysteries, that kind of stuff! So I am stealing an idea from the Perry Rhodan series. In this German novel series existed a privately-funded and quite mysterious secret service focused on keeping peace and balance in the Milky Way Galaxy. This United Stars Organization is the perfect patron for the kind of campaign I’d love to run. It’s also not unreasonable that such an organization would recruit former military types or members of the Scout service.

At the moment this is just another idea, but I think, it’s at least an idea which compromises between my various conflicting goals. It retains some elements of the original Third Imperium setting, I don’t have to reinvent the whole Charted Space from the ground up, but it’s still different enough to be called my own. Hopefully I can keep myself motivated for just enough so that I can do some prep for an actual game session! At the moment the mere thought of running a game is still anxiety-inducing, but I really want to get back to GMing, so I have to jump that hurdle eventually. Wish me luck!

#RPGaDay 2019, let’s do this one more time! (Days 1 to 4)

You all know the drill by now. I drop off the face of the Earth for a year, and come August when the stars are right, I awaken from my slumber and crawl back to the blog to share my stories and ideas form RPG a Day. Now it is #RPGaDay2019, and I’ve been doing this since 2015. Here is the first post from #RPGaDay2015.

Back then I posted most days, but for the last three years, I’ve been doing video entries for RPG a Day. In recent years I began to do two posts for each day, one in Spanish for the Desde la Fosa YouTube channel, part of an RPG project here in Puerto Rico with a couple of friends, and the English videos I would post in my personal YouTube channel. I’ve always collected them here in the blog, and I plan to do it again this year.

For #RPGaDay2019, the creator Autocratik changed things around, and instead of phrases or questions each day. Instead, we have one-word prompts that give participants leeway on how they interpret the concept and their response. It’s been great and reading the posts and watching videos form participants I can tell the format has been a success.

What have I written about? Continue reading #RPGaDay 2019, let’s do this one more time! (Days 1 to 4)

Recommendation: Kestrel Investigates

I guess Monday is a good day for off-topic posts. But what I am about to share with you, is just too awesome. I recently stumbled upon a web series called “Kestrel Investigates” about a British paranormal investigator called Agravain Kestrel and his elusive cameraman Mike. At first glance it might look like just another shaky paranormal investigation video blog on YouTube, but instead it’s a very British satire of the genre. In my opinion it’s brilliant!

Two series have been released at this point, and series three is currently being worked on. I have enjoyed every single episode tremendously and I can’t wait to see how the story of Agravain and Mike continues after the cliffhanger ending of the second series!

And to give this post some RPG-related spin, you can watch it as inspiration for the “The Unexplained” tabletop RPG. You can check out my review of said game here.