Frank Filz's Wine Dark Rift Classic Traveller Campaign
This is a Traveller campaign where the PCs are mostly ex-military or had other interesting previous careers, all having mustered out on the same world, or having made their way there. One of the characters in a group probaly has mustered out with a ship, but if not, there are options to acquire a ship, or even just travel from world to world looking for adventure. The characters will seek out patrons, look for damsels in distress, find alien ruins to loot, try to take over worlds, find fortune through piracy, or anything else that the players might want to do. The key is that the PCs are group of people restless with the confines of imperial society and have found their way to the frontier to seek fame and/or fortune.
The Wine Dark Rift is a region of space at the edge of the Imperium (not to be confused with The Third Imperium from GDW's setting). the Imperium has grown over large and it's ability to project itself out on the frontier is not what it could be. In fact, there are worlds outside the Imperium that used to be more under the control of the Imperium. In this region, patrols are few and piracy is definitely a concern. Due to the low frequency of patrols, pirates most often prey on commerce at the larger starports. Outside the Imperium is a large number of worlds to explore. The rift poses a barrier to travel with almost no ships capabable of better than Jump-2 out here on the frontier. Even the imperial worlds must be self sufficient as communication back to the Imperium core takes so long and resources are so scarce. This leaves lots of room for adventuresome souls (travellers) to go out and make their own mark.
See the map at the bottom of the page for a larger map and a link to the "sub-sector" map (the region is actually two standard Traveller sub-sectors PLUS an additional few hexes in each direction.
I will be using Classic Traveller 1977 Books 1-3 (with some text taken from 1981) along with some house rules:
There are four versions of Classic Traveller (1977 and 1981 boxed sets, The Traveller Book, and Starter Traveller), and any version can serve fine as a reference for play. From a player perspective, which version of the rules you have will not be of too much concern. The changes to character generation from 1977 to 1981 are minor and any version is acceptable. My house rules document indicates what changes have been incorporated (but don't worry, if you rolled using 1977, you will be just fine, if appropriate, I'll have you roll some additional skills and if you achieved Rank 5, and additional mustering out benefit). The house rules document also shows how the weapon damage has changed. Everything else is stuff that will be dealt with as we play (and most of the rest of the changes that may or may not be incorporated affect GM procedures).
Having a copy of the rules is not absolutely necessary, but ff you don't have your own set of the books, I suggest one of the following paths to acquire a copy if you desire:
Characters generated using Supplement 4 - Citizens of the Imperium are also possible, however, as called out in the house rules, I have modified the skill tables:
If you care to delve into the differences between rules sets, the following document will be of interest:
I have been taking a lot of Christopher Kubasik's ideas to mind (and the other folks who have also been posting in the same vein), so reading his blog (Tales to Astound) will be useful for getting a feel for where I cam coming from. Jeffro originated the term Proto-Traveller to label the idea of using the original three books as a basis for play. Many of us who follow that movement incorporate bits from other sources, but the goal is the game contained in the original three books.
Here is a starter blog post that may help in understanding the style of play I hope the game will run with:
I do want to emphasize some aspects of play that are relevant so we are all on the same page of expectations:
I will leave it up to the players to add more definition as to why they know each other, but I think that should be a given (or if someone is unknown the group, the players have primed things so we don't play the "we all meet in the bar and get into a fight). I'm assuming someone will muster out with a ship and the group has an interest in exploring the sandbox and figuring out what they can make of it (trade, trying to find a world to exploit, just wandering, whatever).
Automated character generation resources if you don't have the means to roll up your own characters:
Another option for character generation if you don't have the rules, or don't want to play the mini-game yourself: Give me a few specs on what you would like to play, and I will roll up a few characters for you attempting to meet your desires. If you give too many specs, I will likely not be able to meet them all (or even come close)... No specs is fine also, I'll have fun rolling up a few characters and you can pick the one you like the best.
Each play group has a Google Document where I keep character information and other campaign information:
For more reading, see my Traveller Reading List. There are additional documents I have written, and links to many blogs by people also interested in Proto Traveller. There is a short listing of blog posts near the top to help folks get started.
A larger map of the starting region (the map is also a link to a PDF showing the full region of the setting of play):
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Page last updated May 16, 2017
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