Traveller World Stats
The interpretation of Traveller world stats has three cases.
If you use the standard Traveller world generation stats you can get results that don’t seem to make sense, for example
– a system with no planet that has a population of billions
– a system with deadly atmosphere and a low tech level.
The solution to this problem is history or aliens.
One option is to add an alien species for each system that doesn’t make sense – for example a low tech species that is adapted to the deadly atmosphere of a system (or even one alien species per planet).
The second option is to add history – make up a succession of empires or mysterious ancients etc that can explain away any anomalies – for example a system with no planet and a large population could be the home world of a species destroyed in a past war with the only survivors living in habitats on the other planets in the system with enough industry to maintain the habitats.
It’s this that creates the three cases for world stat interpretation.
The Three Cases
1) Third Imperium Universe:
In the 3I the gist of the history and the distribution of aliens is already known so the canon world stats need to be interpreted within that context.
2) Roll Your Own Universe:
If you randomly roll up a sub-sector then you need to make up your own history and/or aliens so the sub-sector make sense.
For example in the Glisten sub-sector the Glisten system has the highest tech level and a huge population but no planet at all. Ffudn has a very high population also and the second highest tech but on a small planet with only a trace atmosphere.
So how come?
In the context of the 3I this has to be explained using the 3I’s history and aliens however if you imagine you rolled up Glisten sub-sector as a random sub-sector then you can roll your own history and aliens to explain it so for example you could say Glisten and Ffudn evolved separate species and space travel on standard earth-like worlds but in a devastating war both destroyed each other’s home world leaving the surviving Glisten population living in orbital habitats around other planets in the system and the Ffudn population living in a giant tunnel warren on a gas giant moon – both having enough industry in those artificial habitats to maintain those habitats.
However there’s also a third option.
3) History First:
If you want to set up a campaign with an implied history, for example
– an early colonization from a home world by one stellar species
– a re expansion of a once collapsed civilization over lost colonies
then the standard world generation method has to be adapted to suit the history.
The implied history of a re-expansion setting requires the players starting on the edge of the advancing interstellar civilization into a region of space which is emerging from a Dark Age so probably doesn’t have any interstellar societies: no class A star ports and possibly a max tech level and where population size is more limited by planet type and tech level as they would have had to be self-sufficient during the “Dark Age.”
The implied history of an early colonization campaign is initially no nearby interstellar species, only the home world has an A star port and all unexplored systems are Xs with zero population (unless pre-stellar aliens or a population seeded by an earlier star faring civilization). The only stats rolled in this case would be the physical ones.