The Currents of Space III


There is very little information readily available about why and how everyone got here. Legend tells of a great Empire that spanned the stars (called in popular literature “The Ring Empire”.) The Ring Empire was destroyed in a series of wars that lasted for generations; then was the Interregnum and from the ashes grew the Consulate.

The years are dated from the year the Great Vault opened on Alphanor; the Vault was a time capsule revealing many secrets of the Empire, including the key to the Jump Drive and the location of many hidden caches of equipment and starships.

By CY 100 the Corridor was integrated into the Consulate. Then the first of the Zone Wars broke out.

The First Zone war started when a colony on Fatri (0108) was overrun and destroyed by Bugs in TE 105. A hastily assembled fleet jumped to the system and a series of battles fought to protect the main colony and starport whilst evacuation took place. The war ended in 110 with Fatri interdicted and declared a Red Zone.

The Second Zone war happened in 125 when across many worlds in the Corridor the multi-faceted jewels known as Lantyrns exploded into millions of shards; each shard being a Bug larva. The war lasted twenty years to 235. The trade in Lantyrns was declared illegal, immediately creating a huge black market for rich and unscrupulous collectors.

The Third Zone war broke out in 270; an illegal shipment of Lantyrns to Alphanor exploded into a huge Bug swarm. The planet was being evacuated when it was found that dormant shards were being carried off-planet; stuck to vehicle hulls and cargo. The evacuation was halted and the use of thermonuclear weapons authorised to sterilize the planet’s surface. Consular administration relocated to Neu Regari in 275. Alphanor is currently a Red Zone and an orbital station monitors the radiation levels. Questions are still being raised about the decision to bomb the planet.

The Fourth Zone war was fought in 290; the system of Matar (0207) requested help due to a Bug invasion from Xenan (0206). The 23rd Colonial Marine Division, supported by a Sword-class battlecruiser and a Mace-class assault ship attacked Xenan as intelligence had indicated it was a small Bug Hiveworld. The campaign was a disaster and the entire Division and its supporting ships are listed as MIA.

In 298 a wave of anti-government protests spread across the Naxos system. The People’s Sodality Party gained the secret backing of Corinth and arranged for Corinthian troops to land on the planet. They were double-crossed; the Corinthians seized power and declared that they were acting “on behalf of the lawful government of Naxos”. The Sodality Party went underground; adopting the slogan “Betrayed”, written in Cyrillic.

The current year is CY 300

If anyone is interested I’ll see if I can post a map


The Currents of Space II

Introducing Achernar

Ok, after a long excursion into the Ninth World of Numenera, let’s get back into space. First up is to generate a character. This is using LBB 1 and proper Traveller d6 (black with red spots).

ACHERNAR                     UPP: 697886            Age: 30                 Terms: 3                    Rank: 3

STR: 6/DEX: 9/END: 7/INT: 8/EDU: 8/SOC: 6

Skills: Rifle-1, SMG-1, Auto Pistol-2, Ground car-2, Tactics-2, Mechanical-1

Ok, not a bad start, slightly above average. The Army seems to be the best option that matches his skills.

Army, 5+ to enlist, (DM +1 for Dex 6+ and DM +2 for End 5+.) Throw 7+3 = 10, enlists easily and gains Rifle-1

Term 1: Age 22 / Survive? 5+ (DM +2 for Edu 6+): throw 7+2=9 / Commission? 5+ (DM +1 for End 7+): throw 4+1=5. Rank 1 (Lieutenant, gain SMG-1) / Promotion? 6+ (DM +1 for Edu 7+): throw 3+1 = 4, didn’t make Captain.

Reenlist? 7+; throw 7 exactly.

Eligible for 4 skills, gain +1 Dex (Personal Development), Gun Cbt (Auto pistol-1) (Service Skills), Vehicle (Ground car-1) (Education), Tactics-1 (Advanced Education)

Term 2: Age 26 / Survive? 5+; throw 6+2=8 / Promotion? 6+; throw 10+1 = 11, made Captain.

Reenlist? 7+; throw 9. Decides to serve another term.

Eligible for 2 skills, gain Gun Cbt (Auto pistol -2) and Vehicle (Ground car -2

Term 3:Age 30 / Survive? 5+; throw 7+2=9 / Promotion? 6+; throw 6+1 = 7, promoted to Major.

Reenlist? 7+; throw 4. Discharged

Eligible for 2 skills, gain Tactics-2 and Mechanical-1

Mustering Out

Eligible for 5 rolls due to service and rank.

Cash: 2 rolls, 20,000

Benefits: Low Psg, High Psg x 2

Now to rationalise Achernar’s career. He was in the Army, but his high survival throws suggest that he wasn’t front-line combat. He trained with auto pistol and ground car and tactics (a broad field). This suggests to me that he was an undercover operative, possibly operating in the Hellas Worlds or the Bright Empire, observing the military build-up. I’ll decide this later. It could also explain why he suddenly left the service – his cover was blown. It’s difficult to reward undercover operatives; his pay-off was the High Passages.

The Currents of Space 2016

A new year, a new start to solo gaming. Numenera is going well with the Wayfarers, but I don’t to play that as a solo Game as well. I’ve dusted off Traveller, specifically Classic Traveller (LBB reprints with some of the bits cleaned up).


The main reasons for this are: –

  1. a) Nostalgia. Traveller was the second RPG I bought, back in 1978 with my birthday money (the LBB box set with the “mayday” message.) I was expecting D&D in space and so was a little knocked out by what I got. Still, character generation was (and still is), FUN! Do you go that extra term and risk everything? OMG, I’m getting old and my stats are going down (bearing in mind to me at that time, anyone over the age of 30 was old). Unfortunately, my gaming friends were all D&D fanatics and wouldn’t look at it.
  2. b) Book 1 said Traveller could be played solo, but didn’t say exactly how. I rolled up a few characters and started to develop a solo system based on a semi-random flow chart. Eventually it settled down into the system I still use. The system doesn’t do all the work for you, it is designed to make you think and set up situations you might not have considered. Over the years I have added bits to it (for example; I roll two Story Dice to get some idea of an NPC’s character), but the core is the same.
  3. c) It is important to write things down as they occur; this is your personal history. It also provides continuity and it is scary sometimes how the game seems to take on a life of its own, with events ‘just falling into place’ (and past events providing justifications for present actions and incidents). In the example below, perhaps during the mini-scenario starting with the offer of an illegal cargo of drugs, Judson shoots and injures a police officer in getting away. Years later, that same police officer might turn up as a Chief Inspector when Judson is brought in on a minor charge. And he’s got a long memory.


Let’s take Judson Deathdancer, ex-Army, newly mustered out on Neu Regari. (Go to 1.)

At (1), having assembled all characters, go to (2).

At (2), Judson has to pay Upkeep equal to Cr10 × Soc2. Now throw 1D. A 6, so he goes now to (5) Healing.

At (5), he can heal if necessary, or pay for a prolonged stay in hospital, or buy medikits or drugs, etc. Judson wants some Slow Drug; depending on the law level of the world you may have to set up a mini-scenario using bribery, streetwise, etc. Perhaps the cops get involved? Do as much detail as you want and play it out. At the end, throw 1D. A 1, so now go to 7 (Event)

At 7, throw D66 on Event Table; throw is 66, (offered illegal cargo, drugs.) Aha! In his earlier dealings trying to by the Slow Drug, did Judson come to the attention of the local crime boss and chief pusher? Is he being offered a job as a courier, or being set up as a fall guy? Roll up some characters for who’s involved and design a scenario, then play it out…

(Incidentally, all of that was rolled as I typed it, so none of it was pre-planned to ‘make it fit.’)

  1. d) The setting is my own; much as I like bits of the Third Imperium (I wore out my original LBB of ‘The Kinunir’ from sheer use; it is patched together with sellotape), I think that now too much has been written about it. My setting is the Alphanor subsector Rimward of Consulate Space; parts of the subsector are unexplored, parts are settled, there are various human cultures at odds with each other and (of course) there are bugs. The Bugs of the ‘Starship Trooper’ films. More on the setting later. Timeline is about 1000 years in the future, so the current year is 3016 (Andy, this is a total conincidence!)
  2. e) As a point of interest, I did submit the original system to White Dwarf in (about) 1980 but it wasn’t published. I tried to get it printed via ‘Dungeons and Starships’ in Birmingham, but was told that “no-one would be interested in a solo system for Traveller” and finally subbed it to GDW for the “Journal”, but it was rejected. C’est la vie.

More to follow when I get the Game underway. Again, the Game will be called “The Currents of Space”.