25 October 2012

Metagame: The Counties.

So, I as you may well know by now am working hard on the Far Stars Sector and the Permatic Imperium setting. One of the things I have been working as again as you may know are the Astrogation Charts of the Imperium.

And I have that list of the Peerage of the Imperium with some details, but a lot of holes. For instance, at the time there were nine Count level worlds in the Imperium, so there are nine Counts in the Imperium. Only three are named, Daarnulud, Interhaus and Calais. Count of Calais is one of the Emperor's many Titles, Ranks and Offices. (He may use this Title in situations where he does not wish to be recognized as the Emperor officially so as to avoid a fuss or problems due to His Imperial and Royal status.)

Well, the other six Counties are yet to be named, but the planets are now marked on the Charts. I should say highlighted, check the bright spots. :D

County Seats of the Permatic Imperium. (circa 0150-0200 PIY)

I have [FS 0827] Ireaded marked as the Imperial Seat of County Interhaus. The Imperial Seat of an Imperial County (as opposed to a National County) is where the Imperial business is headquartered. So say you are an Imperial Deputy Marshal and you are hunting down a fugitive in the County Interhaus. When you bag your badguy and they get processed and see a Judge and possibly are sentenced to an Imperial Correctional Facility, all that Imperial Bureaucracy is done on Ireaded, Imperial County Seat (Interhaus). 

I have also marked out the Seat of County Calais, which of course is Permatic, no surprise there. It is also marked in the Royal Blue of the House of Kirosowa  The point is to later have all the Counties in the House color of whatever House has the County currently. Which leads into another point. 

Based on the Holdings of Count Rudolf Interhaus, I have decided that the standard Imperial County is expected to be at least eight worlds and include at least one Ag world, if not a couple or even a Ri Ag world. Basically, this world is set up so as to take the function as the County's breadbasket. 

So, as you might recall, Rudolf's father, mother and eldest sister were killed in the Winter Ball assassination attempt against the Emperor twelve years ago. It was this tragedy that cut short Rudolf's budding Career in the Imperial Navy and forced him into the Nobility and up to the lofty rank of an Imperial Count. His brother Walter is now the Duke, taking over their father's position which it was expected that their sister would inherit. Turns out if you look at the placement of the County Seats, perhaps another Count who had their County adjusted held a serious grudge. Ah, the heady scent of Court Intrigues. 

A couple of things to note are that oddly enough the Boothe Cluster happens to be eight worlds. The County Seats that are shown are those of the first one hundred and fifty years of the Permatic Imperium. There are quite a few worlds still waiting for the Imperial Bureaucracy to datamine stats for them to advise the Moot and His Imperial and Royal Majesty Vladimir the Second where the best locations are for new Imperial Holdings to be officially established, including new County Seats that might be created. The cool thing about this is it leave a bit of space for Referees to both have some nice stable, under table, free styling and profiling politics and some NPCs who can most def be used as Patrons for some scheme or another. Dangit, here I was trying to create a neato,, light, enlightened Imperium and here I have the makings of what at first looks like an attempt against the Emperor, but may in fact killed exactly who it was supposed to. Only the fact that Rudolf was standing behind Vladimir and was thus enclosed His Majesty's personal White Globe saved him from being killed as well. I wonder if Walter understands exactly where he might be sitting at the Moot. 

Wow, and this was just going to be a quick "Hey, while you are waiting for some in depth stuff, check out this groovy new map!" post and has now evolved into a true post about the Counts and Imperial Counties. Neato! (Yeah, I say "Neato" in print, kids. Because it is a cool word. Deal. :p)

So, I have yet to figure out who all the Canon Counts are and I have yet to figure out where to put the "open" County Seats. So, I have quite a bit of work to go, but this is the start of something I have been thinking about for some time. I think I will do a series of Imperial Seat Charts. Might be interesting for plots and stuff like this idea that some one at Court is still possible at large having committed High Treason for which there is still an open Warrant. (And now a brief note brought to you by the Imperial Ministry of Justice. :D Along with Sophonticide, Sophont Trafficking and Slavery, High Treason is one of those crimes that stays open and has no statute of limitations.) That person might also still have a secret beef against Rudolf whole damned House. And Captain Sir Darin Hawk, Baron Redsm's Player did say he'd like to play War of the Roses IN SPACE. I of course have my own cunning Referee Story Arcs I am starting to mess around with. Metagamewise, I have already had moments were the Psionics on the ship when it Jumped felt as Reality itself was modified while they were in Jumpspace. But, then again, Jumpspace and Psionics are not always such a good mix. Though evidence does seems to indicate that brief exposure to J-space may activate a latent psionic potential. It does not oddly enough say exactly what the percentage is compared to say the numbers that go insane, die, have body parts consumed by it. So, I don't know if I would try it, but it seemed to work for one Boothe, G/IISS, listed in what is said to be an unredacted snippet of the report. 

Sorry, if this post rambles around more than usual, been a very long day. I got some more hours in meatspace job, so have been falling a bit behind and I am tired and writing this extemporaneously.

So, back to the Counties. I am now off to fill out the County borders and mark the County Seats with an Allegiance Code for the TravellerMap Post function. Plus there is naming the Houses and Counties and so on and so forth.

I hope you enjoyed this and found it informative. And if some of you are using any of it in a game, let me know how it is working out. 

Well, here I close and proof, and edit, and proof again, and then an hour later it will look better. What, you say, by the time you get here the proofing and editing looks pretty damned sparse? Scroll up quick!  Pictures! Internets likes pictures. Makes Internet not so cranky. :p


PS: While I was proofing and editing and thinking I remembered I had a brief list of the original Great Houses of the First Imperium, or Volcker's Imperium. It turns out it was near at hand. So, for the curious, here is that list circa the First Imperial Year Zero (001-0000 VIY) or as I recall, about 2719 Common Era.  The Houses are color coded by the political (and often astrographic ties). The list is by no means complete as to all the players in the formation of the First Imperium, nor does it have a full list of all the Noble Houses. Again, while a House maybe listed in a particular faction it does not mean they are actually from that region. For example the House of Thornwood is a Terran House, but sided with the Alliance agreeing with their basic grievances with the Terran centric Federation.

The Outer Colonial Alliance: Volcker, Singh, Weiss, Thornwood, West, Rezuuna, Kirosowa.

The Middle Colonies: Daarnulud, Arkiasan, Jones, Shawnyc, Inter, al-Vlada.

The Terran Federation: Windsor-de Bois, Han, Black, Haus, Felglen.

22 October 2012

Update: FAR STARS Sector. Now with More Worlds to Explore!

Greetings Sophont,

As you might recall my dear reader I recently had the map for the Far Stars Sector printed. After hanging it on my wall, it did its job and inspired me to fill in more of the blank spots. If you might recall the last time we saw the map it looked a bit like this:

Chart of the Far Stars Sector (circa 0150 PIY).
Chart of the Far Stars Sector (circa 150 PIY).

Mostly it is a lot of systems that have nothing more than a notation that there is a system with a MainWorld in it. In fact, it looks as if the Far Stars were populated with mostly asteroid belts. This is an artifact of my using the UWP X 000 000-0 as a placeholder for a system to be generated in the future. Routes still need work and many of the systems need details. The Permatic Imperium still has many worlds outside the Purple Line, but inside the Red Line. 

All in all, compared to what I have done since, I think I will use this as the Chart for Imperial Year 150.

Now it looks like this:

Chart of the Far Stars Sector (circa 200 PIY).
Chart of the Far Stars Sector (circa 200 PIY).

Changes include the movement of the Purple Line to the Red Line, with the exception of the disputed worlds. Eliminated the border for the Dark Stars, since they aren't really a state. The Buffer States have taken a few more worlds and is disputing several with the Free Spinward States. The Thersis Confederation's border changed, but they end up a good chunk of the rim-trailing of the sector. Of course there is the addition of the Boothe Cluster. And last all the systems with a world have at minimum of World Size, so that Travellers know if there is world or belt in the system. Some of these worlds already have their Size, Atmo and Hydro generated, but only about half right now.

The great design school, Astro U, as well as [FS 1334] Sugihara & [FS 1434] Unnessot along the rimward Red Line have been taken under the Imperial Banner. The worlds of Jowern and Nerver (IC) are claimed both by the Buffer States and the Permatic Imperium.

Eventually, I plan to have separate charts for each route type, Trade & Communications, Navies, Armies, and Marines. Another thing I need to add is some of the more important counties and of course the various smaller states that compose the Free Spinward States. 

It still needs more work, but I got quite a bit done. Also, I am digging the new TravellerMap Post look. Very cool and much more colorful. 

Behind the screen I am starting to figure out what the larger astrogation and political/military picture is. I do know that there is a large rift curving from the core-spinward to the rim-trailing. Rumor has it the across the rift are the domains of the kay. Looking at my tags, I see I now have fifty [T5 ATU] tagged posts. Time to go through them all and getting them organized. I also have been keeping track of the various search terms used to find this blog and it seems I should do some serious detail on the Imperial Army since that seems to come up a lot.

Just to let you know, for all this burst of productivity, I may be absent for a while. Fear not I will be back and I will try to keep posting stuff, the notebooks are getting filled for just such a need. 

Well, got to go and do meat space things.


18 October 2012

Update: More from Adventure A: The Abonai Venture!

Below is another example of the work going on these days. It is one of the Scenes from Act 1 where characters hustle for Patronage and get that last minute gear if they can just squeeze out another fanarking Cr 100. It features a Navy officer handing out jobs on an otherwise unassuming agricultural world. Sure the Imperial Navy did just stop off there after topping off on fuel and vouchering a sizable chunk of the products in the port for shipment to waiting customers, but as far as anyone knows Bohen isn't on the usual IN logistical routes.Not that it matters, Citizen, you said something about being interested in slavers did you? 

Act 1. Mustered Out, Appointments with Patrons.

Scene: Captain Everett Wellington, IN (KCE). Our heroes have heard tales of slavery and are running them down. Following up on these tales in certain circumstances results in a quiet encounter with the Imperial Joint Intelligence Service. They get more detailed SITREP and a Limited Imperial Warrant.

Slavery is still against the Imperial Charter and HIs Majesty wishes to put a stop to Abonai's use of it on a world of the Imperial Domains. The Navy wants the Depot. If the crew takes the Warrant the Navy will see to refueling the ship, rearming it within their limits, and other logistical assistance. IJIS itself will also give the characters some basic support such contact with Free Traders who have done business there and contacts with the Abonai rebels in the belt.


Captain Everett Wellington, IN (KCE). Captain Wellington is a protege of Admiral Neville Worthington. The Admiral holds a high-level office in the Imperial Navy's Logistics Command and is rumored to involved in the Navy's intelligence arm. The good Captain was groomed by the Admiral for his current billet with Imperial Naval Intelligence (Spinward). In this position he is tasked to gather, digest, analyze and report the latest intelligence with an eye for operations in the Free Spinward States. He is not only looking out for threat coming from one of the Free States, but he is also keeping an eye out for movements in to the area by Parthian forces and intelligence agents attempting to penetrate or test the Realm's defenses. He is serious about his work and doesn't have much of social life as far as anyone knows. He is also very closed mouthed and is skilled in dodging questions he can not answer due to the security constraints of his position. 

The actual Chart of the Far Stars Sector (circa 0200 PIY) proudly displayed on my wall.
And this is my new wall art. Cost an arm and a leg, lots of ramen, tuna and cheese in my future, but totally worth it right now. Not at all finished, but it does have the Permatic Imperium, the Parthian Remnants, and the Buffer States completed. The Thersis Confederation, the Free Spinward States, the Boothe Cluster and the Dark Stars still need to be finished, from generating UWPs and Extensions to getting Boothe's player to roll up Starports, Bases and TLs for his Discovery Worlds. The map also helped me as I thought it would visualizing what is happening on the large scale. I had an epiphany regarding X-Boats and why they have no Maneuver Drives (and am using a really good one off of the CotI T5 Private Forum), how armed forces can be moved about, and how His Imperial and Royal Majesty plans on taking back those worlds inside the Red Line. So yeah, it cost me, but much like many things in life, it is worth so much more because of that cost.

Also, it just looks cool. And it represents more Traveller Star System Generation than I have done up till now. Before when I had the new rules I did up some starships and generated a Subsector to the spinward of the Marches. Here I am working with a whole Sector, multiple states and powers and I am still not finished. Yikes, this playing for a living is hard work. 

In other Adventure news, I have the UWPs and Extensions done for most the worlds in the Adventure (and two that are reachable, but are not part of the Adventure, I only did them since a bit of them shows on the local map as it stands). A few already have write ups and need a bit more fleshing out. The others need a lot of work and almost all of them need their Stellar Data generated. And this just a mere dozen worlds of an entire Sector's worth. 

So next on the list is generating all the System Data, do a small write for each world, flesh out any significant Worlds such as ABonai Belt, do at least one Scene for each one and do write ups of major NPCs. Just the quick list. There are other things. Like I need some art and stuff.

Another bit added is the mysterious COSDET, mentioned in a later Act. It has a brief outline of the unit and a TOE for those into such things. 

Well, catch ya on the flipside.

16 October 2012

Update: Some Draft Bits for Adventure A as of 290-2012.

For those Sophonts following the progress of Adventure A: The Abonai Venture I have some actual work to show you. This is the cover my T5 ATU Adventure.

Draft Cover for Adventure A.

Below is the draft Table of Contents.

  1.  Credits. (Who did what.)   Page 1.
  2. Table of Contents. (Where to find stuff.) Page 2.
  3. The Cast. (Pre-Gen PCs, Patrons, Personalities)     Page 3.
  4. Synopsis. (What is going on.)   Page 3.
  5. Acts and Scenes. (What the PCs do.) Page 4.
  6. Rumors. (Some are true, some are not.) Page 9.
  7. Encounters. (How the PCs interact with Life.) Page 11.
  8. Worlds. (Where stuff happens.) Page 13.
  9. Sophonts (2≥ Sophont Races to meet.) Page 20.
  10. Library Data. (Info about the universe.) Page 23.
  11. Referee Only. (Things players weren't meant to know.) Page 25.
  12. Screaming Penny. (A starship for PCs without one.) Page 27.

Most (if not all) Chapters are minimally fleshed out. Most of the Systems have basic data, about half have more detailed info, the Voodgi are done and I have to create the Exotic Race that lives on [FS 0925] Redsm (a Bibiccian World), the Screaming Penny has no deckplans but is specced out, Starship Encounters for [FS 0724] Colony A are done,  All in all, it is looking like an Adventure.

Now to get me some time and players to test it out.

If you would like to check it out, playtest, make suggestions, proof or edit, do some artwork or render other pro-bono awesomeness, drop me a comment below or email me if you have my email addy. If you do work on the Adventure, you get at minimum credit and contact info (if desired).


15 October 2012

Metagame: A Small Bit Regarding Synthetics or Sophontoids

Since the Great Rebellion of the Dispossessed that preceded the Fifth Empire those Sophonts who are made, not born, have been considered Persons under Imperial Law. This has allowed synthetic persons or sophontoids to pursue careers throughout the various Imperiums that have come since the Great Rebellion.

Several of the those most popular careers for sophontoids have been in the realms of the courts and academia. It is here that a sophontoid's amazing abilities to data mine in real time come into their own. An decision handed down by a sophontoid judge would do Zhi Peng the Careful proud with the depth of citations. Such decision are generally handed down in two formats, the abstract and the annotated. The abstract decision contains the basic opinion and citations necessary to understand the court's ruling, while the annotated decision has precedence chains and links, the record of hearings and motions, evidence and briefs that allow a reader to throughly examine the ruling and the reasoning behind it. This depth is also found in the papers and books of those sophontoids that inhabit the lofty intellectual fields of the sciences. 

10 October 2012

Update: More teasery.

Greetings Dear Follower,

Today is another peek behind the screen. This time the local area for Adventure A: The Abonai Venture.

Some guesses at player's routes to Abonai Belt
As you can see, I scribbled on it a bit. The dark red is the first route, the light red is a branch off of the first route, the orange is the second route and of course yellow the third route. Why these routes? 

Because HI&RM Vlad 2 wants his Q-Ship back. And I now have numbers to convert Baron Hawk's actual Ship Shares value. Comes to quite a bit less than my work up got him. I wonder if I changed the rules again? :D

So what is Captain Baron Hawk getting? He is getting a ship that he used to own in a short lived Firefly game, the M/V Screaming Penny. I am working toward adding the Screaming Penny to the Adventure for the Ref to hand the players if they need a ship and don't pull one. Stop me if you heard this before, "Just so happens a patron has a ship and needs a crew.". 



Using a 600-ton hull, the SCREAMING PENNY class Far Trader is an high interstellar technology merchant ship running the starlanes in search of cargo, passengers and adventure. It is equipped with the Shaasagra-Inkesi siB258A2-j jump drive, the Speed-G of Rhylanor C35-G maneuver drive, and the Rivington, Ltd. H.5 power plant, and is capable of Jump-2 and 3G acceleration. Fuel tankage of 91 tons supports the jump drive and one jump-2 or two consecutive jumps at jump-1. Additional tankage of 13.5 tons supports one month of power plant operations. 

Adjacent to the bridge is a positronic computer Model/6 neu. There are four staterooms and ten low berths. There are six hardpoints; the SCREAMING PENNY has a commcaster, a missile launcher, two beam lasers and two sandcasters installed. (This class ship may have defensive screens, such as nuclear dampers or meson screens installed. When they do have such military grade defenses, it is only with some sort of prior approval from the powers that be.) There are three ship's vehicles, an enclosed air/raft, a mining buggy and a 20 ton gig. It has six pairs of grapples allowing it to use drop tanks to improve range or carry additional cargo of up to 210 tons (with possible reduction of jump range). Cargo capacity is 160 tons. The hull is a streamlined submergence hull built for the frontiers.
The SCREAMING PENNY class typically requires a crew of five: a pilot, an astrogator, two engineers and a freightmaster. Up to two gunners, two drivers, a medic and a steward may be added or the crew may function in that role when not needed. The ship can carry four high or eight middle passengers and ten low passengers. There are 22 tons free for the owner to customize. 

So that is some of the stuff I am working on right now. Also, there are a few topics jotted down in the notebooks that might get fleshed out and turned into blog fodder.

Hope you enjoyed this.


09 October 2012

Upate: Teaser Stuff.

Not much, but I do have this neato pic of the newly mapped Boothe Cluster.

The Boothe Cluster
The Boothe Cluster c. PIY 0200.

 Named after its now famous discoverer Gorman (Ajax) Boothe of the Imperial Scout Service. The two worlds that are named and fully detailed were actually contacted by a Joint IN/IS unit. The other worlds have yet to have their Starport and TLs generated. That will have to be done in the future. Two Agricultural worlds and one Desert world, but otherwise pretty general.

In other news, all the Imperial Domains now have at least a UWP, if not TCs and other stuff. Same goes for the Parthian Remnents. Still have to finish Thersis Confederation and The Free Spinward States.

And that is the state of things currently. Speaking of currently, I have company on the way over, so this will have to do ya for a bit. Still it does have pictures, okay, mapping.


03 October 2012

Update: Yep, you guessed it, some excuses.

Sorry my dear readers for my lack of posting, but I have been catching some extra hours at work and that is putting a damper on my writing these days.

I am working on a couple of things behind the screen, one of which is putting the final touches on HMS Herald and of course madly scribbling ideas for this and that in the notebooks.

I am hoping to have something for you either by the end of this week or next. Please be patient.

Thank you again for your patronage.