Traveller ATU: Early Colonization: Sample Sub-sector

Early Colonization: Sample Sub-sector (3/32)

see the “World Generation” post


To save rolling for system placement and physical stats I took the Vland sub-sector data from the OTU and ditched everything but  placement and physical stats.

current map:

Early Colonies Map V1


General Points

The aim is a sandbox setting with something for players to do in any direction but instead of detailing everything just have a general picture of what is happening in the sub-sector.



There is no trade in the classic Traveller sense. It is almost all tech and spare parts from the home world to the colonies in exchange for whatever exotics the world produces.



The home world can get all the basic resources it needs from its own system and so there generally isn’t a market for common resources however every world – every settlement colony at least plus some others – will have at least one exotic resource that can be sold on the home world for a decent price – not necessarily a great price but enough to pay for some tech.

In theory the home world can (and often does) produce or simulate anything exotic from other worlds that is popular enough to make it commercially viable however there is always a market for the genuine article as well.

This exotics for tech trade is not yet big enough for home world corporations to bother with but it supports a few Free Traders and subsidized Merchants.

Exotics can be anything unusual: blue wood, pets, giant berries, dinosaur milk etc

A settlement colony of pop 3 or above will have at least one exotic resource extraction site and possibly some processing also.

Resource extraction colonies are generally only set up where refueling is already available for some other reason (as star ships are expensive early on).

A supply colony with a pop code of 1 (C1) will generally mean it is just a supply facility whereas pop 2-3 generally means a resource extraction operation has developed as well.

A secondary colony with a pop code of 1 (D1) will generally mean it is a research colony (with a scout service refueling outpost) whereas pop 2-3 will generally mean there is a resource extraction operation there as well, taking advantage of the scout outpost.


Homo Astralis (Travellers)

Many of the personnel working off home world are engaged with the various home world agencies

  • colonial service, scout service, navy etc

but many of them choose to stay off home world after they muster out.


Free Companies

The cost-benefit calculations for resource extraction in the colonies doesn’t compare well with the wealth of opportunities already available in the home solar system so the big corporations don’t bother (yet) and so a lot of commercial activity is conducted by Free Companies – groups of individuals who pool their mustering out benefits to set up a venture somewhere, for example:

  • take over the contract for a supply colony from the colonial service as the frontier moves ahead
  • set up a resource extraction type operation either on a settlement colony or elsewhere
  • security companies


Filling Blanks

Adventures can be filling in blanks, for example supply colonies that don’t have resource extraction – patrons might want resource extraction possibilities investigated, security provided or sites cleared for a new colony.


Navy / Marines

Destroyers in home system, orbiting B4+ size settlement colonies (common) and orbiting Red zone worlds (common).

Colonial marines based in home system. At any one time an average of two troops may be out on bug hunts – animal threats usually, often insectoid or gigantic – or occasionally larger multi-troop operations on  Shudi or Pyam.



The home world has mega corporations involved in exploiting the home solar system but early on there is no incentive to look outside.

However some of them will buy a jump-capable corporate yacht which travels around the settlement colonies to get early notice of any new discoveries. If a settlement colony reaches size B4 or B5 corporations will often open a small office and base their yacht there instead of the home world.

Ambitious out-system corporate acquisitions executives have been known to get up to shenanigans.


Terra Forming

Prime settlement sites are defined as world stats size 4+, atmos 6-9, hydro 4-8

Some of these will be rejected also because

  • taint in the atmosphere
  • too dense atmosphere
  • runaway global warming
  • ice age
  • erratic orbit
  • jump shadow

and unless they have hostile and dangerous native life rejected prime sites (BF) are assumed to have one of these problems.

A prime site with a potentially fast (c. 100 years) terra formable problem will be terra formed (or initially have a research colony experimenting) by the colonial service. Khula in the sample sub-sector would be an example of this.


Commercial Terra Forming Contracts

Worlds which don’t fit the conditions for a prime settlement with atmospheres 2-5 or hydro 0-1 or 9-A can be sold to corporations or wealthy individuals in exchange for long term terra forming. As the process is very expensive and may take thousands of years to complete there is no near hope of profit so the world itself is not charged for – the planet is signed over in exchange for the contract to provide a minimum level of active terra forming reverting to the home world on default.

The corporations who do it are those who seek future profit in the terra forming field – so in a way it is corporate research.

The individuals just want to own a whole planet.


Noble Titles and Outsystem Law

The first wealthy individual who bought a planet on a  terra forming contract called himself King Gogmagog and wrote his own planetary laws suited to his sadistic hobbies.

As a result the home world added two new clauses to the terra forming contracts.

One: no historical titles that implied completely separate sovereign legal authority like: King, Emperor etc. The maximum title allowed was Duke and the Duke remained a citizen of the home world owing loyalty to the home world.

Two. if a planet created its own set of laws some legal minimums were required to be inserted

  • homicide had to be illegal with a self-defence, defence required
  • sex crimes had to be illegal
  • slavery had to be illegal
  • etc

A lot of latitude was allowed under a general clause saying home world authority could be re-asserted if “natural justice” was transgressed on a regular basis.


Sub-sector Gazeteer

Aim: a comment or two about each world as a potential hook


Home World (A)

Used Vland as home world – system code A (reduced TL)

  • 1717 Vland A967A9A-A

home world uses standard UWP

hook: patrons, contracted cargo and passengers


Colonial Service UWP
  • colony code letter-physical stats-native code-full colony code
  • example B-797-0-B4


Settlement Colonies (B)

Nine other worlds satisfied the conditions for prime worlds – 7 succeeded on their rolls and became B colonies, two failed their rolls to become BF worlds.

rolling for native sentients and population produced the settlement colonies:

  • 1718 Kirma B-797-0-B4
  • 1719 Sazisi B-586-0-B3
  • 1915 Giinam B-565-0-B5
  • 1918 Kusheggi B-596-0-B4
  • 1920 Inkha B-797-2-B1
  • 2113 Ishala B-866-0-B3
  • 2211 Irila B-568-3-B1

(re-arranged some populations to be highest, nearest the home world)


  • Giinam (B5) is, or is in the process of becoming self-governing (pop 5)
  • Kirma and Kusheggi are stable colonies (B4) probably with a subsidized merchant or two now the population has grown (pop 4)
  • Sazisi, Ishala (B3) run by the colonization service; some resource extraction (pop 3)
  • Inkha and Irila (B1) too small for resource extraction – Colonial Service supply ships (pop 1)
  • settlement colonies of size 4+ eventually get a couple of Navy destroyers on station and a ground base with spare crew etc
  • Inkha and Irila have neutral and friendly sentients respectively

Irila’s sentient: sea surface dwelling man-sized (100kg) insectoid triphibian social grazers, friendly, claws, no armor, life cycle involves land somehow: swim eating krill, wings to escape sea predators, migration to land sites for breeding.


BF colonies

If a prime colony site has been rejected it will be because there is something seriously wrong with it – hostile sentients if they exist or otherwise environmental.

  • 1919 Khula B-575-0-BF Amber
  • 2319 Shudi B-766-4-BF Red

If sentients are the problem the colony is marked as a Red zone.

If the environment is the problem the colony is marked as an Amber zone.


Supply Colonies (C)

there are three supply routes from the home world to the settlement colonies

  • vland-shinla-kipii-giinam-isbudin-ishala-irila
  • vland-tauri-kusheggi
  • vland-kirma-sazisi-dusu-inkha

these routes require the following systems as supply colonies:

  • 1816 Shinla C-560-0-C3
  • 1817 Tauri C-430-0-C1
  • 1819 Dusu C-9E4-0-C1 Amber
  • 1916 Kipii C-430-0-C2
  • 2013 Isbudin C-9C5-0-C1 Amber


  • Dusu and Isbudin have exotic atmospheres, Amber zones
  • Shinla has resource extraction (pop 3)


Secondary Colonies (D)

eight secondary colonies rolled, D1 generally means a research colony with a scout service refueling outpost especially if there is a native sentient, D2 or D3 generally means a resource extraction site also – eight have native sentients

  • 1716 Enaa D-300-A-D1 Red
  • 1813 Khusher D-646-2-D1
  • 1820 Kha D-86A-8-D1
  • 2016 Zurrian D-563-3-D1
  • 2019 Lobode D-554-2-D1
  • 2120 Pyam D-799-7-D1 Red
  • 2314 Dangasha D-550-5-D1
  • 2416 Liisurkhish D-562-8-D2

Enaa is a Red Zone for a hostile weird; Pyam for a hostile sentient.


all eight have native sentients which implies a research colony is likely

  • Liisurkish has (pop2) so research colony and something else, probably resource extraction
  • Liisurkhisn and Kha: neutral specials
  • Pyam: hostile special – red zone
  • Lobode: neutral sentients
  • Zurrina: friendly sentients


Dangasha: D-550-5-D1

earth-like atmos 5 -> dead land, live seas -> underwater or coastal  -> but hydro 0 so -> underground -> generally need water for standard life -> world mostly glaciated, dry sea separates poles near equator -> giant caverns under the glacier edge at the equator created by melt water -> giant lakes and seas under the ice -> mini climate in the caverns evolved life -> native hunter gatherers evolved from small amphibian omnivore eating cavern goop and fish -> gorges carved out into the central zone by erosion and cavern collapse allows access to outside -> radiation -> groups near outside evolved sentience fighting each other -> hunter gatherer level + primitive goop farming -> spears -> less evolved groups (ape-like intelligence) deeper in the caverns further away from radiation.


Domed colonial service research colony in equatorial zone near cavern entrance. Scout outpost with landing pad adjacent.

Hook: something valuable far back in the caverns under the ice? (heart of darkness) or transport something way back in the caverns (Fitzcarraldo)


Enaa D-300-A-D1 (Red Zone)

Adjacent to home system, explored early, best planet is a small airless rock, system marked as no value and not fully surveyed until later. Anomaly discovered – planet has a massive crater from an asteroid strike, a hole in the middle of the crater and a mass of tunnels under the crater surface. Anomaly first investigated by a scout pathfinder who was killed, followed by two members of a scout away team sent to investigate his loss followed by three members of a colonial marine troop sent to investigate what happened to the away team.

Current status is watch mode – destroyer and a research ship from the Navy’s secretive xeno research branch – weapons division orbit the planet with various kinds of sensor. They have seen the creature but want to observe.

Creature is a color out of space that crashed with the asteroid and is stuck because it can’t feed. Built the tunnels as a defensive nest. Say, draining the blood of the six victims so far has got it to say 6 psionic power out of 12, needs 12 to jump.

Hook: maybe color is strong enough to mentally manipulate research leader in orbiting ship to bring bait – the players – to feed it.


Khusher D-646-2-D1

research colony / neutral sentient

earth-like world in thin atmosphere phase -> sea life, barren continents -> use animal encounter method -> sargasso seas -> large floating islands of photosynthesising microbial mats and seaweed -> small 6kg social triphibian eaters (marine meer kats) -> nest inside mats -> developed basic sentience through complex language -> highly aggressive and voracious flying piranha however don’t recognize human scent -> sargasso mats can be walked on except where they can’t -> fall covers human scent -> oops

research colony has main site with scout outpost and separate small projects including preliminary terra forming test by farming more sargasso mats

hook: if ship, hired to transport some equipment / a boat to one of the research groups


Refueling Outposts (E)

the systems needed to join the main routes to the secondary colonies are

  • 2017 Tahaver E-769-0-E0
  • 2117 Uri E-313-0-E0
  • 2216 Ashbakha E-672-0-E0
  • 2316 Kagush E-736-0-E0


  • Tahaver, Uri, Ashbakha, Kagush: E0 – all automated


Remotes (X)

1811 Anaam X-424-0-X0
2115 Zedu Gisla X-533-0-X0
2320 Gidapisek X-200-0-X0
2412 Ansin X-563-0-X0
2419 Nasha X-200-0-X0



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