Friday, March 25, 2011

Hero Traveller - First Peek

So here is my first draft of the starting world for the Hero Traveller game I'll start after the Southern Reaches PCs achieve 15th level.  I've randomly generated the starting sector (Akab Sector, but it is my homebrew universe, so don't bother trying to look it up) and am now writing blurbs for the planets,  I started with the starting world because I have definite ideas about how I want it to be.  After this, I'll let my imagination wander from the rough outlines randomly rolled up with the Stars Without Number game system.

So here it is: Maresfield, home system for the player characters:

Maresfield  0605  B765544-12 Ga Ht

Once home to manufacturers of luxury starships, Maresfield stayed relatively unified after the collapse despite (or rather because of) its low and dispersed population.  The generally favorable weather of the world and a cultural gardening hobby allowed the populace to establish a sustainable food supply quickly after The Crash and avoid any major starvations.  In the last 12 years Maresfield has reactivated the orbital spaceport and begun refurbishing/repairing the starships abandoned in-system in the last days of The Crash.  This was made possible by the invention of The McGuffin (see below).

Home to three custom starship design houses, dozens of custom parts designers and luxury manufacturers, and a minor luxury hotel industry, Maresfield maintained a small but well educated population prior to The Crash.  The wealth of proprietary data and artisan starship designs led to a modular and semi-isolated planetary compnet, which incidentally kept the [VIRUS] at bay long enough to safely preserve a great deal of engineering data past the end of the war.

After The Crash, the hodge-podge of ship and subsystem manufacturers pooled their talents to find a way to defeat the [VIRUS] as the [VIRUS] attacked their livelihoods by destroying the market for luxury and custom starships.  Fifteen years of halting research eventually resulted in The McGuffin, a device containing software able to purge a system of the [VIRUS] and load a rudimentary operating system in its place.

There are two limitations to the McGuffin.  The first is that the action of purging a system of the [VIRUS] also wipes out all previous data housed on the system in question.  This was unavoidable due to the severe virulence of the AI-based computer virii.  The second is that some of the components in the McGuffin require exotic elements not available in the Maresfield system.  The existing McGuffins were built using spare parts on hand after the Crash, but the previous "just-in-time" supply train no longer exists and the original source world has been beyond contact for decades.  Locating a new, closer, supply is a priority for all explorer ships leaving Maresfield.
So, thoughts and feedback?


  1. You could make the "rare element" required for the McGuffin the same thing as required for a Jump Drive Core - so the inhabitants of Maresfield had to make a choice: a) deal with [VIRUS]; or b) retake the stars. Appears they wisely chose "A" and are now working on "B"

  2. For those unfamiliar with Traveller nomenclature: Maresfield 0605 B765544-12 Ga Ht

    ...means this:

    Maresfield is the name of System located in subsector mapping coordinate 0605. The system may contain many bodies, but the main inhabited world has the following statistics:

    Starport class B - this world can repair and maintain starships, but is only capable of building, from scratch, non-jump capable ships - for now. Probably a result of damage from [VIRUS] and the need to scavenge old tech to get things up and running.

    Size 7 - the diameter of the planet is around 7,000 miles. Roughly equivalent to Earth.

    Atmoshpere 6 - a standard breathable O2/N2 atmosphere with no appreciable taints or other issues that would require respirators or outside respiration augmentation.

    Hydrographics 5 - about 50% of the planet is covered in liquid water. Earth has a 7.

    Population 5 - a sentient population of hundreds of thousands. Earth is in the 9-10 range.

    Government 4 - representative democracy. This is the dominant government type on the planet. Earth would be 7 - Balkanized.

    Law Level 4 - this is the level of weaponry that local police would be comfortable with people having. Personal Pistols (though not ones designed to avoid scanners), Rifles, Shotguns, Long Bladed Weapons and Daggers are all permissible. Explosives (grenades), poison gas, laser weapons, military assault weapons, RPG's (not games), and submachine guns are all prohibited.

    Tech Level 12 - This is the fairly common standard TL for the Traveller setting - with the highest being TL 15. Earth, currently, is around TL 9 (higher on some - like computer science, lower on others - like fusion power and spaceflight engines)

    There also appears to be a Gas Giant (Ga) in the system, which is incredibly useful for refuelling ships. The Ht designation I am unfamiliar with.

  3. IIRC "Ht" means "high tech", meaning the tech level is above a certain point, 9 I think.

  4. I like the rare element being part of both the jump drive and the McGuffin, but might still go with two different elements. Need to mull that over.