Saturday, February 15, 2014

Traveller: Dark Nebula

I have bought the Classic Traveller and JTAS CD-ROMs a few weeks ago, and so far this is an excellent bargain - a huge amount of material for the paltry sum of $35 (plus shipping). This has made me actually interested in the Official Traveller Universe (OTU), or, at least, a variant of it; too much good material to let it pass. On the CT CD there were also the various Traveller boardgames, in PDF format. One of them was Dark Nebula, a proto-traveller war-boardgame with the Solomani (Terran nationalists) set up against the Aslan (felid aliens with a Samurai flavour) over an area of space on the border between these two polities.

The interesting thing is that Dark Nebula presents a version of the Solomani-Aslan border region which is different from future depictions of the OTU Dark Nebula Sector; it is even rotated backwards (in the boardgame, the Solomani are to the Spinward and teh Aslan to the Trailing while in the OTU it is the other way around). It also presented a very interesting area of space.

Turns out that Andy Slack, in his Halfway Station blog, has already made this into a sci-fi setting, using GURPS Traveller and, later on, Savage Worlds and Stars Without Number. His creative application of the setting's features, as well as my discussion with him over his blog's comment system, have gotten my creative juices flowing. Here was an opportunity - a proto-Traveller, quasi-OTU setting ripe for the plucking. On one hand, this is "OTU" - and allows us to use the wealth of material presented by the Classic Traveller and JTAS CD-ROMs; on the other hand, it is non-canonical, so we need not be bound to the stifling limits of Traveller canon.

The Dark Nebula setting is also a perfect sandbox - it has two main polities and several independent worlds, as well as many independent worlds, and distinctions between habitable worlds, non-habitable worlds and systems with no mainworld planets (i.e. asteroid belts). There are enough worlds and enough space for a whole campaign, as Andy Slack has already run there for several years.

So I intend to build this as a potential sandbox as well. Note that my version of the setting is different from Andy Slack's setting, and uses Classic Traveller (CT) as a ruleset; it is set in January 5638 AD (late 1117 Imperial), with the Imperium mentioned only in passing (being very far from the Dark Nebula and a vague version of the MegaTraveller events used as background for the larger scope of things (in this case, Dulinor's coup led to him being Emperor, but some of the Great Houses rebelled and the Solomani used this opportunity of Imperial weakness to launch a lighting attack and liberate the rest of the Solomani Sphere from Imperial control).

Present in my version are mainly Solomani and Aslan humans, as well as two independent pocket-empires usually consisting of a combined Human-Aslan population. A few Droyne are also present.

A Note on Canonicity
Dark Nebula is not canon. I repeat: it is not canon in any way. It is vaguely set in the OTU, but in a variant OTU. Specifically, I use material and even CT adventures in a way suiting this particular version of the setting, sometimes in ways which are very different than those of canon. That is, some adventures set in teh Solomani Rim and the Spinward Marches are placed on this Dark Nebula map.

Setting Basics
Dark Nebula Map (Kilrai & Vecinos Subsectors)

Worlds of the Dark Nebula Area (Kilrai and Vecinos Subsectors)
0104 Kindara C511753-A Non-Agricultural, Ice-Capped GG In
0105 Amani D7C6523-9 Non-Industrial GG In
0108 Vaxt B8786N6-9 Non-Industrial, Agricultural GG As
0202 Mir D730577-6 Poor, Non-Industrial In
0209 KUZU A8669J6-D Polity Capital; Aslan Naval Base GG As
0210 Ikona C1005L4-A Non-Industrial, Vacuum GG As
0305 Astek C200445-8 Non-Industrial, Vacuum GG In
0307 Bor C0008M5-C Asteroid, Non-Agricultural, Vaccuum GG As
0309 Xida B9A6H7-C Non-Agricultural As
0407 Rosa C1003G7-B Non-Industrial, Vaccuum, GG As
0409 BLATTA B0009H6-C Asteroid, Non-Agricultural, Industrial; Aslan Naval Base GG As
0410 Panas X730000-0 Barren, Poor GG As RED ZONE
0505 Simsek C501543-9 Vacuum, Ice-Capped, Non-Industrial GG In
0507 Pasar B7A0731-A Desert, Non-Agricultural GG In
0510 Enjiwa C320688-7 Poor, Non-Agricultural GG In
0602 Rim C564878-B Rich GG In
0606 Godoro A587777-C Rich, Agricultural GG In (Droyne world)
0704 Daanari C000511-9 Asteroid, Non-Industrial, Vacuum GG Ff
0708 Dno C7B7565-8 Non-Industrial GG Vt
0710 Valka B862852-B Rich, Polity Capital; Valkan Technate Naval Base GG Vt
0804 Hasara C100740-B Non-Agricultural, Vacuum; Federation Scout Base GG Ff
0808 Drax C330563-8 Poor GG Vt
0810 Ajo C200260-9 Non-Industrial, Vacuum Vt
0905 Taanga C201522-7 Non-Industrial, Vacuum; Federation Scout Base GGFf
1002 Simba E420313-7 Poor, Non-Industrial GG In
1005 Salia D530432-7 Poor, Non-Industrial; Federation Scout Base GG Ff
1007 N1 X000000-0 Barren, Asteroid, Vacuum Dark Nebula
1008 N3 E798000-0 Barren T-Prime GG Dark Nebula
1104 MIZAH A678943-C Industrial, Polity Capital; Federation Scout and Naval Bases GG Ff
1105 Kov D7A4655-7 Non-Industrial, Non-Agricultural GG Ff
1107 N2 E511000-0 Barren, Ice-Capped GG Dark Nebula
1108 N5 E100000-0 Barren, Vacuum GG Dark Nebula
1109 N4 X000000-0 Barren, Asteroid, Vacuum GG Dark Nebula
1110 Taida Na D0008CC-7 Asteroid, Vacuum GG In
1202 Omoro E6B0535-8 Non-Industrial GG So
1210 Osa C100575-7 Non-Industrial, Vacuum GG In
1303 Icat B720889-A Non-Agricultural, Poor GG So
1305 Gazzain C668687-8 Agricultural, Rich, Non-Industrial GG So
1308 Salan C5A0457-8 Non-Industrial, Desert World GG In
1310 Janibar C000414-9 Asteroid, Vacuum, Non-Industrial GG In
1406 Irbev C300423-A Vacuum, Non-Industrial GG In
1410 Karpos C8697C4-6 Agricultural, Non-Industrial In
1502 MAADIN A7979AA-D Industrial, Polity Capital; Solomani Naval Base GG So
1503 MECHANE B0009CA-C Industrial, Asteroid, Vacuum; Solomani Naval Base GG So
1505 Kamat D7A5678-7 Non-Industrial, Non-Agricultural GG So
1507 Bulan C686854-5 Agricultural, Rich; Solomani Research Station (secret) GG In
1508 Changha C530740-8 Poor, Non-Agricultural GG In
1510 Dudaki C00089A-7 Asteroid, Vacuum, Non-Agricultural GG In
1601 Avair D301437-9 Vacuum, Ice-Capped, Non-Industrial So
1602 Zloban D411698-8 Ice-Capped, Non-Industrial, Non-Agricultural GG So
1605 Llavia B1017BB-A Vacuum, Ice-Capped, Non-Agricultural; Solomani Naval Base GG So
1609 Eski C430888-A Poor, Non-Agricultural GG In


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