Sunday, October 26, 2014

[Traveller] I Choose You - These Stars Are Ours!

Long Live the United Terran Republic!

I have decided: For now, if I work on Traveller for anything other than Outer Veil, I'll work on Vision #1 of Empire: These Stars Are Ours! Politics, patriotism, reconstruction, low-intensity war, trade and exploration; big ideas, big missions, big explosions when the dice are rolled.

Ruleset? Classic Traveller, and with all its quirks justified by this setting! Probably proto-Traveller in flavour. Starship rules will be definitely Book 2, where ship size actually affects your speed and where fighters matter, though with some added components (and maybe Laser Banks and Missile Bays). Big-scale combat will be inspired by Dark Nebula - that is, ships have beams and missiles, not spinal meson guns, but can do massed missile attacks. Chargen will be LBB1 + Citizens of the Imperium. Weapons will focus on Book 1, with some Book 4 inserts for good measure.

Traveller to the hilt! Death in chargen (well, your character fought in the Terran Liberation War. Worst war in Human history. People die there)! Marine officers with cutlasses and revolvers (actually snub revolvers)! Every PC is retired-military (well, almost every one)! Alien politics! Join the Terran Psionic Corps and unleash your mind on the alien enemy!

As for Ashes of Empire (AKA Vision #2), I have something planned for it, but it is much longer-term than this...

Long Live the United Terran Republic!
Reticulan in Space Suit
Reticulan Legionnaires
(Critical Mass Games Ygs Fighters)
Humanity has missed its chance to start its own interstellar state. In the hyper-consumerist 21st century, apart from a few privately-owned space tourist outfits and several abortive attempts at belt mining, we Humans did not pay much attention to space, preferring instead to focus on our day-to-day lives here on Earth. Space programs were cut back, and the single manned Mars landing in 2043 was never followed by any further exploration. But then the Reticulans came.

In 2082, several Reticulan (more particularly, House Thiragin) capital ships appeared in Earth orbit, sending a wave of smaller saucers to hover above Earth's major cities. Soon enough, through promises of advanced technology and access to vast wealth through interstellar trade, most Earth governments signed pacts with the alien visitors. In a matter of months, Earth was transformed from a chaotic collection of independent states
FSA Operatives
into one big client-state of the Reticulan House Thiragin, ruled by the Earth Federal Administration (EFA). A few Earthlings did resist this economic and political takeover, however, under the umbrella of the hastily-formed Terran Defense Committee (TDC), which, for several years, launched covert operations against the aliens and their collaborators, until hunted down and defeated by the EFA's bio-augmented Federal Security Apparatus (FSA), better known as the Men in Black.

While self-administered and allowed to build its own armed forces - mostly to serve as auxiliary troops for House Thiragin - Terra was under the alien thumb, its economy and resources exploited by the alien Thiragin, some of its people used by Thiragin scientists as lab-rats for various bio-tech experiments, and its soldiers send off to fight distant wars on the behalf of its alien masters. the EFA allowed relatively little freedom to its citizens, but, on the other hand, developed its own sphere of space around Earth with nine major colonies settled by Mankind, exporting goods to the Thiragin monopoly and the larger Reticulan Empire.

But then, in 2232, Humanity had enough. After a century and a half of subjugation, massive protests against the EFA's unfair tax burden and tyrannical practices turned into open rebellion on Terra and the nine major colonies. Out of the chaos, rose the United Terran Republic (UTR), which declared itself an independent state, and, soon after, called for the Reticulans' other thralls and client states to rise up in rebellion as well, towards a free Interstellar Republic.

Cickek Warriors
(Stan Johanssen Miniatures Draco Infantry)
The Reticulans responded by trying to crush this impudent uprising, sending their own Thiragin Huscarls as well as Cicek mercenaries and many other alien auxiliaries. Thus began the Terran Liberation War. Stubborn Terran military resistance, as well as diplomatic efforts, found, however, their success, as parts of the Cicek hordes broke off from their own, Reticulan-dominated client-state, forming what was first known as the Cicek Democracy and later as the Cicke Confederacy. The combined might of Terran troops and allied Cicek dissidents crushed, in 2239, House Thiragin's might, breaking through the defensive lines and approaching Zeta 2 Reticuli, House Thiragin's Sector Capital. Until then, however, the other Reticulan houses, content to see their Thiragin competitors embroiled in what was seen as a minor rebellion of barbarians and thus weakened, have not intervened. Only when UTR and Cicek Confederation troops were two jumps away from Zeta 2 Reticuli, the Empress herself sent her Legions, supported by numerous to crush the rebellion.

Ultimately, they failed. Fighting raged for two more decades, with the lines moving back and forth between the Terran-Cicek alliance and the Reticulan Empire, but, in January 2258, the fabled Terran Guard, supported by Colonial Troops and a heavy Cicek fleet, crushed through the Reticulan lines, captured Zeta 2 Reticuli and thus declared the entire Reticuli Sector (now Terra Sector) their own.

Terran Guard troops
(Khurasan Miniatures Nova Respublik)
The Empire had to capitulate. In June 2258, they signed a treaty with the UTR, recognizing its sovereignty, as well as its conquest of the Reticuli Sector, Furthermore, Terra forced the Reticulans' hand into allowing the various minor races close to Terran space to secede, if desired, from the Empire.

Now it is 2259. After almost three decades of war and one year of peace, a large part of the Terran military is being demobilized. Your characters were among those who were mustered out (anyone serving 3 or more Traveller terms have actually fought in the Terran Liberation War!). Opportunities for civilian, or mercenary life abound in the far reaches of Terran space. Between petty squabbles of newly-independent worlds and the two major powers' attempts to covertly exert their influence into the other's space, there is a big market for mercs, spies-for-hire, and, on the other hand, merchants opening up new markets on distant worlds. Adventures await!

Technologically speaking, the current Reticulan Empire is squarely at TL13, the UTR at most at TL12 for civilian applications with some TL13 military gear and the Cicek TL11 for the most part.


  1. I tweaked your flag a little. I hope you don't mind, it's just this thing I do. The first is the same as yours, but reformatted slightly. The rest are just variations on yours. I was just goofin' around. I don't care what ya do with 'em. :D

    1. Many thanks! I just love these! Especially the last two!