View Full Version : DM Help Help me work out some interplanetary politics (Traveller)

2014-07-13, 10:06 PM
I've decided to run a game of traveller, set outside the Imperium. I've randomly generated a region which I've decided is near the Old Expanses, between the Hiver Federation and the Imperium, and the region turned out somewhat... interesting. Note there are no indigenous minor races, and that the population is mostly Solomani in origin (humans from Earth, and yes, there are other humans in the 'verse due to the meddling of ancient aliens).

There are two multiworld empires composed interestingly entirely of garden worlds, Grundland (3 worlds) and Holly (2 worlds), both of which have a maximum tech level of 6 (roughly world war 2 to 1960), an issue I have resolved with their closeness to Halbard (tech 10: interstellar) which has advanced technology but doesn't have the resources or manpower to feed itself or conquer a nice garden world like Grundland or Holly controls. They sell ships in exchange for food. Holly and Halbard are feudal technocracies, while Grundland is a representative democracy.

Lochran is space faring but non-interstellar, and may well be a source of adventure for enterprising travellers, being a balkanized world, but doesn't have much to recommend itself beyond that (decent hydrographics and size, limited atmosphere, no official starport).

Boulder is a low population world of only a few hundred people, and is a self perpetuating oligarchy with modest tech. I'm thinking it's possibly a pirate world, little more than a starbase that makes it policy not to ask from whence goods came.

New Rhine is a garden world stuck in the late iron age, no starport, modest population, direct democracy. I'm thinking there may be tension between them and Rutland, their immediate neighbor and a starfaring civilization. Rutland is poverty stricken, and I'm thinking that a rich and verdant world like New Rhine would have been a very tempting target. Rutland is an occupied planet, and I'm trying to figure out who's taken over and what connection that has to tensions with agrarian New Rhine, because I'm sure there's a story there.

Thousand Vards is the most advanced world in the region, being a tech 15 asteroid world. If the players have a lot of technology, it's almost certainly imported from Thousand Vards or the Imperium, and I'm thinking that the Vards are probably hard at work trying to maintain their local monopoly on Jump 6, advanced computers, and similar goodies. Fife is a world without a government and a population in the dozens, and I suspect that it may be a Vard scientific outpost. I'm thinking of making Fife a deathworld of sorts, extremely hazardous to colonize.

Tinburg is a Fluid Ocean world, covered in its entirety with a thick ocean of hydrocarbons. Given that the average tech level in the region seems to be around the era of the internal combustion engine, I was thinking Tinburg is sort of the OPEC of the area.

The ironically named Portal is a complete backwater, barely at bronze age technology, no starport. They're a technocracy, so I think there must be an upper class of people with a pipeline to the stars, importing advanced weaponry and tools and brutally suppressing technical innovation among the serfs.

Sam's world is really cool, in my opinion, a large world that has giant fissures. The atmosphere is thin on the surface and trapped in the fissures, and there are oceans down there teaming with life. It's another democracy, and seems to be pretty well off. Unfortunately, I can't figure out its interaction with its neighbors, and it's also tech 6.

Finally, Rampance is a poor desert world with decent technology, but not starfaring (tech 8). They're swamped under in a bureaucratic government with an obscene focus on law enforcement (law level 11, pretty much everything is illegal there). I'm wondering if they're a prison colony for some other group: ship 'em off and ignore them.

I'm trying to come up with cultural quirks and believable intergovernmental interactions, especially from the POV of a traveller crossing interstellar borders. For example, Grundland and Halbard have really tight knit relations, being dependent on each other for continued survival, so a crime committed in the one can get you extradited from the other relatively easily. Meanwhile, customs officers all over the place will double check any cargo shipped out of Boulder, as a known haven for smugglers and pirates. I'm trying to flesh out these worlds in more detail, come up with cultural quirks, tensions, and biases. There's a significant minority of Hivers and Vargr, and even a few K'kree and droyne, and I'm thinking that on some worlds nonhumans may be treated as subhuman, so there's that to consider as well. The whole region has a population of about 3 billion sophonts. Any advice is appreciated.

2014-07-14, 02:53 PM
So, having discussed it with some other folks I know, I have come to the conclusion that Sam's World produces a large number of natural pharmaceutical products which are distributed around the cluster, and the circumstances surrounding New Rhine and Rutland included an invasion which was cut short when Rutland was attacked and had a puppet government installed by the Vards, out of fear that Rutland might challenge their technological edge or cut off their largest food supplier.