Archive

Traveller ATU: Early Colonization

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

see the “World Generation” post

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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.

http://travellermap.com/?x=-8.707&y=64.107&scale=45.2578125

current map:

Early Colonies Map V1

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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.

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Trade

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.

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Exotics

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Corporations

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sub-sector Gazeteer

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

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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

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

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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)

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  • 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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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

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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.

30s-alien4

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)

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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.

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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

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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

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

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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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Early Colonization: World Generation (wip)

generating a sub-sector that fits the early colonization theme

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Campaign Sector

My baseline is  the standard rule that ship needs major maintenance annually and if it goes beyond that limit it starts to take increasingly difficult drive failure rolls every month (or every jump) and at the start of colonization (and for some time after) only the home world has the facilities to do this. This gives an exploration limit of 6 months out and 6 months back (or 12 jumps) or 12-72 hexes depending on drives and as a lot of the early ships involved will have J1 and J2 drives the limit is more like 12-24 hexes.

There will be various ways round this in individual cases but let’s say 24 hexes is a reasonable approximation for the extent of colonizable space available for early colonization before bases / colonies capable of large ship overhauls are built.

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A close approximation to this amount of space would be a 6×6 grid of subsectors with the home world in the center – actually in one of the corner hexes of one of the four sub-sectors that makes up the core – which creates three rings of sub-sectors around the home world: the central core and an inner and outer ring of sub-sectors around the core.

outer outer outer outer outer outer

outer inner inner inner inner outer

outer inner corre corre inner outer

outer inner corre corre inner outer

outer inner inner inner inner outer

outer outer outer outer outer outer

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Pick one subsector for the campaign start, this could be one of the core subsectors or one of the inner or outer subsectors depending on preference – note direction to home world.

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Subsector Generation

  • blank subsector
  • if the chosen subsector is th eone with the home world then add home world system in the inner corner of the sub-sector
  • use standard UWP for the home world with class A star port, prime physical stats e.g. 767, TL10 or TL11, pop 9 and whatever govt type and law level you want
  • roll for presence of star systems in other hexes as usual
  • initially mark all systems as X
  • roll physical stats for each system

colony UWP form: name-system code – physical stats – native sentient code – colony code

name is initially just the hex number

system code is first letter of colony code

e.g. 1415-B-666-0-B2

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System Code
  • A home world
  • B settlement colony
  • C refueling colony
  • D secondary colony
  • E refueling outpost
  • X nothing

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Subsector Population DM

applies to all rolls for settlement colonies and colony population in the subsector

  • core subsector DM+1
  • outer subsector DM-1
  • early DM-1

so

  • early: core DM+0, inner DM-1, outer DM-2
  • late: core DM+1, inner DM+0, outer DM-1

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Native Sentient Species

roll 2D6 for native sentient species

  • atmosphere 6-9: 2-5 none, 6-9 sentient, 10-11 hunter gatherers, 12 special
  • atmosphere 4-5: 2-7 none, 8-10 sentient, 11-12 hunter gatherers
  • atmosphere 2-3: 2-9 none, 10-12 sentient
  • size 0-3 DM-2
  • hydro 0 DM-2
  • hydro A DM-2
  • else 12+ sentient

sentient species on world with atmosphere 0-3 or A-C are either underwater (if possible) or weird science natives

  • sentient: ape-like
  • special: could be basic farming or herding or something exotic

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Native Sentient Reaction
  • 2-5 hostile
  • 6-8 neutral
  • 9-12 friendly

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UWP Code
  • none 0
  • hostile sentient 1
  • neutral sentient 2
  • friendly sentient 3
  • hostile hunter gatherers 4
  • neutral hunter gatherers 5
  • friendly hunter gatherers 6
  • hostile special 7
  • neutral special 8
  • friendly special 9
  • hostile weird A
  • neutral weird B
  • friendly weird C

reference

  • hostile: 1, 4, 7, A
  • friendly: 3, 6, 9, C
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Settlement Colony (B)

select prime systems (where size 4+ / atmosphere 6-9 / hydro 4-8)

roll for settlement colonies 8+

  • atmos 6: DM+4
  • atmos 7: DM+2
  • atmos 8: DM+2
  • atmos 9: DM+1
  • hostile natives: DM-2
  • friendly natives: DM+2

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Population
  • D6-1 population
  • 0: marked for colony
  • 1: advance team
  • 2: colonial service base
  • 3: first colonists
  • 4: stable colony
  • 5: self-governing

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UWP Code
  • settlement colony B + population code
  • rejected prime colony site BF

rejected colony sites are still classified as B as BF colonies have special rules

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optional

  • settlement colonies that form a chain you may want to re-arrange population numbers so population decreases as you move further from out

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Refueling Colony (C)

Once the settlement colonies are identified select the systems that make up the most logical route between the colony system and the home world that would be needed for refueling stops.

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Population

roll D6 for population code

  • 1-3: 1
  • 4-5: 2 (small alternate colony also)
  • 6: 3 (large alternate colony also)

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UWP code
  • C + pop code

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Secondary Colony (D)

other types of colonies mostly not intended to develop into a self-sufficient world

for example

  • research colony
  • resource extraction colony
  • terraforming colony
  • military base
  • penal colony
  • reclusive colony

select the systems that aren’t already marked as A, B or C

roll 8+ on 2D6

  • n = number of hexes away from A, B or C system -1
  • (adjacent hexes DM-0, 2 hexes away = DM-1, 3 hexes away DM-2 etc)
  • DM+2 native sentient
  • DM+2 adjacent to home world
  • DM+1 exotic atmosphere

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Population

roll D6 for population code

  • 1-4: 1
  • 5: 2
  • 6 3

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UWP Code
  • D + pop code

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Refueling Outposts (E)

In the same way that colonization service refueling colonies are used to link the settlement colonies; the scout service is used to provide refueling services to alternate colonies – at least the official ones.

Make a chain of refueling outposts to D colonies.

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Population

roll D6

  • 1-3: 0
  • 4-6: 1

pop 0 outposts are are automated

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UWP code
  • E + pop code

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Amber/Red Zones (wip)

option 1: Space Survey Level:

  • base astrogation data – needed for jump, short survey – pathfinders
  • full astrogation data –  needed for safe in-system travel, longer survey, main astrogation anomalies marked
  • complete survey: all astrogation related anomalies investigated and/or marked – rangers

so red could represent the first level and amber the second maybe

option 2:

  • red: systems with a hostile native lifeform, BF systems with hostile sentients are likely to be active combat zones
  • amber: any system with an exotic atmosphere or any BF system without hostile sentients – rejected prime settlement site implies some kind of unusually hostile environment

Red zones don’t imply travel to the system is restricted although if there are active military operations underway specific planets or regions might be restricted.

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Early Colonization: Character Stats

see “Traveller Character Stuff” category

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Genetic Screening

minimum physical stats = min (7, home world TL-5, Soc)

and

minimum int = min (7, home world TL-6, Soc)

in this setting the home world is TL10 so that reduces to min (5, Soc) and min (4, Soc)

so

  • minimum value for str, dex, end = min (5, Soc)
  • minimum value for int = min (4, Soc)

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Edu

max Edu = Int

max starting Edu = min (Int, Soc)

so a character with Int 8, Soc 4 would have a max starting Edu of 4

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Max Skill Ranks

max skill ranks = highest stat + lowest stat

skill-0 and skill-1 count as 1 rank, skill-2 as 2 ranks etc

character with UPP 777777 would have max skill ranks of 14 which could be:

  • 14 x skill-0 or skill-1
  • 4 x skill-2 and 6 x skill-1
  • 2 x skill-3, 2 x skill-2, 4 x skill-1
  • or any combination that adds up to 14

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Early Colonization: Careers

scouts, colonial service, navy, marines

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Common

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Career DMs

Each career has two stats that give a DM+2 and a DM+1

These DMs apply to all stages: enlist / survival, promotion, commission.

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Sequence
  • enlist (first term only)
  • basic training (first term only)
  • gain term skill
  • survival (if fail then roll on survival table)
  • roll for commission *or* promotion
  • if commission gain commission skill (once only)
  • if fail commission then roll promotion
  • if commissioned or promoted gain promotion skill

muster out if not promoted or commissioned in the term

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Survival Table 2D6
  • 2-3 dead
  • 4-6 stat-2
  • 7-9 stat-1
  • 10 scars
  • 11 medal (Soc+1)
  • 12 scars and medal (Soc+1)

scars: first result is cool scars, second is scarred, third is hideously scarred

stat loss:

  • roll 1D6 for stat
  • if Edu long recovery no promotion roll but not mustered out
  • if Soc then some kind of scandal – no promotion, mustered out
  • if soc 8+ or scout then stat loss-1 replaced with cybernetics
  • if soc 8+ or scout then stat loss-2 replaced with stat loss-1 and cybernetics
  • duplicate cybernetic roll is stat loss-2
  • stat loss-2 no promotion, mustered out

cybernetics 2D6

  • 2 eye
  • 3 hand
  • 4 elbow
  • 5 shoulder
  • 6 arm
  • 7 spine
  • 8 leg
  • 9 hip
  • 10 knee
  • 11 foot
  • 12 skull plate

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Careers

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Scouts
  • career DM+2: dex 8+
  • career DM+1: int 8+
  • Basic Training Skill: Joat-0
  • Commision Skill: JoaT-1
  • enlist 8+
  • survival 8+
  • promotion 6+
  • commission 8+ (min Edu 6+)

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Colonial Service
  • career DM+2: Int 8+
  • career DM+1: Str 8+
  • Basic Training Skill: vehicle-0, steward-0
  • Commission Skill: Admin-1
  • enlist 6+
  • survival 6+
  • promotion 6+
  • commission 8+ (min Edu 6)
Skill Tables

personal table:

  • pstat (max 8)
  • mstat (max 8)
  • mstat (max 8)
  • melee
  • gun
  • streetwise

service skills:

  • vehicle
  • steward
  • guns
  • mechanic
  • technician
  • ship’s boat

advanced service skills (min edu 6)

  • survival
  • vacc suit
  • comms & sensors
  • medic
  • trader
  • admin

advanced service skills (fleet) (min Edu 8)

  • ship’s boat
  • gunnery
  • comms & sensors
  • engineering
  • navigator
  • pilot

commissioned skills

  • laser
  • leader
  • tactics
  • trader
  • admin
  • Soc (max 8)

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Early Colonization: Common Ships

The most common ships used by the Navy, Scouts, Marines, Colonial Service in the early days of colonization.

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Modified Drive Table

modified the early part of the table for TL10 and TL11 so early ships have lower jump range

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TL10 A B C D

100    2 2 2 2

200    1 2 2 2

300    # 1 2 2

400    # # 1 2

600    # # # 1

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Scout Service

The scout designs here are based on being able to restrict Drive A to J1 or M1 (instead of J2 and M2) to reduce fuel needs if desired.

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Scout Pathfinder

System astrogation survey

  • class SP
  • 100 dton
  • drives A, J2, M1 (restricted m-drive to minimize fuel) (15)
  • fuel 30
  • bridge (includes computer) (20)
  • 65
  • survey module (8)
  • small medibay (4)
  • small workshop (4)
  • LMS turret (4)
  • raft (in cargo hold) (4)
  • 24
  • 1 crew double stateroom (8)
  • life pod (1)
  • 9
  • Cargo 2

larger state room for long solo trips, can skim and refine fuel

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Scout Ranger Class

for anomaly investigation and ground survey away teams

  • type SR
  • 100 dton
  • drives A: J2, M1 (restricted m-drive to minimize fuel) (15)
  • fuel 30
  • bridge (20)
  • 65
  • small medibay (4)
  • LMS triple turret (4)
  • raft (in cargo hold) (4)
  • 12
  • 4 crew (16)
  • 4 life pods (4)
  • 20
  • cargo 3

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Scout Outpost

  • class AO
  • 100 dton
  • drives A, J2, M1 (restricted m-drive to minimize fuel) (15)
  • fuel 30
  • bridge (includes computer) (20)
  • 65
  • fuel refining (10)
  • small medibay (4)
  • small workshop (4)
  • raft (in cargo hold) (4)
  • 22
  • 1 crew double stateroom (8)
  • life pod (1)
  • 9
  • Cargo 4

provides refueling in early colonization – the outpost will set up by a supply of unrefined fuel and ships can come and take up to 20 dtons at a time from the outpost’s tanks – the outpost then refills

the fuel is provided free for scout service, colonial service etc – occasionally an outpost servicing a research colony or active exploration frontier will be used by a commercial ship passing through e.g. corporate yacht, and these can also be refueled but at the regular price

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Navy

The home world Navy starts off 99% orbital, planetary defenses and system boats with only a few picket duty 300 dton Destroyers capable of jump. Security is handled by the Shore Patrol (military police).

Early exploration showed that some anomaly investigation and “bug hunting” required more fire power than a Scout Service Away Team and this led to the Colonial Cruiser ship design and the formation of the 1st battalion of colonial marines: – originally four squadrons of two troops with each troop transported on a colonial cruiser and intended to operate as an independent unit – the troop itself being a small 12 man platoon comprising: officer, sgt, 2 x heavy weapons specialists and 2 x four man rifle squads in an ATV or assault raft dropped into action via the cruiser’s cutter.

After the disaster at Shudi the Cruiser marine battalions were doubled in size to four squadrons of four troops each for faster casualty replacement. Also further battalion type structures and drop modes were investigated.

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Colonial Cruiser

400 dton warship: well-armed and designed to carry a troop of colonial marines to bug hunts.

  • 400 dton
  • Drives D, J2 M2 (45 dton)
  • Fuel 80+20 (100)
  • Bridge (20)
  • 165
  • Cutter (ATV or Assault Raft) (50)
  • Launch (20)
  • Medibay (8)
  • 3 x LMS triple turrets, 1 x torpedo (16)
  • 94
  • 14 crew (captain, xo, pilot, navigator, 4 engineers, 4 x gunners, 2 x medic) (56)
  • 14 marines (standard troop + cutter pilot and cutter engineer) (56)
  • Life Pods (28)
  • 130
  • cargo 11

#

Destroyer

300 dton picket duty – torpedo armed asteroid destroyer, home world has about a dozen

  • 300 dton
  • Drives D, J2, M2 (45)
  • Fuel 60+20 (80)
  • Bridge (20)
  • 145
  • 2 x Launchs (40)
  • medibay (8)
  • workshop (8)
  • 1 x LMS triple turret, 2 x torpedos (12)
  • 2 x torpedo magazines (8)
  • 76
  • 14 crew (captain, xo, pilot, navigator, 4 engineers, 4 gunners, 2 medics (56)
  • Life Pods (14)
  • 70
  • Cargo 9

###

Commerical

#

Corporate Yacht

Common resources are more profitably extracted from the home system.

Out-system exotics either have mass market appeal or a niche appeal. In the case of mass market appeal it is more profitable for the home world corporations to create a copy e.g. grow a popular exotic in an artificial orbital habitat, than ship it from the source world.

Some corporations have Outsystem Corporate Buyers (OCBs) whose job is to keep track of new exotics as they are discovered so their parent corporation gets the early bonus.

OCBs have been known to get up to shenanigans in pursuit of a good score and a promotion that will get them back home.

  • class Y
  • 200 dton streamined
  • drives B, J2, M1 (25)
  • fuel 40+10 (50)
  • bridge (includes computer) (20)
  • 95
  • meeting room (8)
  • office (4)
  • small medibay (4)
  • small lab (4)
  • 20 (115)
  • launch (20)
  • 2 x rafts (8)
  • 28 (143)
  • 4 crew (pilot, engineer, medic, steward (16)
  • 7 other OCB (double), assistant, gopher, technician/scientist, security x 2, driver/mechanic (32)
  • life pods (4)
  • 52 (195)
  • Cargo 5

OCBs are initially based on the home world but as settlement colonies reach B4 or B5 status corporation will start to open forward offices to base and base their OCB there.

###

Supply Ships

These exist in all services in many variations and as technology develops and larger ships become available many are sold off as surplus to commercial operations and Free Companies.

#

Near Trader (Freight)
  • type AF
  • 200 dtons
  • drives A, J1, M1 (15)
  • fuel 20+10 (30)
  • bridge (20)
  • 65
  • 4 crew (pilot, engineer, medic, steward) (16)
  • 4 life pods (4)
  • 20
  • cargo 115

#

Near Trader (Personnel)
  • type AP
  • 200 dtons
  • drives A, J1, M1 (15)
  • fuel 20+10 (30)
  • bridge (20)
  • 65
  • 4 crew (pilot, engineer, medic, steward) (16)
  • 4 life pods (4)
  • 20
  • 20 personnel (80)
  • 20 life pods (20)
  • 100
  • cargo 15

#

Near Trader (Colonists)
  • type AC
  • 200 dtons
  • drives A, J1, M1 (15)
  • fuel 20+10 (30)
  • bridge (20)
  • 65
  • 4 crew (pilot, engineer, medic, steward) (16)
  • 4 life pods (4)
  • 20
  • 100 colonists (low berth / life pod) (100)
  • 100
  • cargo 15

#

Near Trader (Livestock)
  • type AL
  • 200 dtons
  • drives A, J1, M1 (15)
  • fuel 20+10 (30)
  • bridge (20)
  • 65
  • 4 crew (pilot, engineer, medic, steward) (16)
  • 4 life pods (4)
  • 20
  • 200 low berths (100)
  • 100
  • cargo 15

#

Near Trader (multi-purpose)
  • type A
  • 200 dtons
  • drives A, J1, M1 (15)
  • fuel 20+10 (30)
  • bridge (20)
  • 65
  • 4 crew (pilot, engineer, medic, steward) (16)
  • 4 life pods (4)
  • 20
  • 6 passengers (24)
  • 6 life pods (6)
  • 8 low berths (4)
  • 34
  • cargo 81

the ubiquitous Free Trader design derives from Near Traders sold off as surplus as more advanced ships became available

###

Early Colonization: Game Rules

Changes and Modifications for this ATU

###

Space Travel

Early space exploration shouldn’t feel too trivial, smaller ships, lower jump ranges and an “edge” which hasn’t been explored yet. At the same time want it to be as compatible as possible with the old ships and the original “feel”.

#

Drive Table

Tech level based drive tables can limit ship size and jump range while maintaining compatibility i.e. the table is from an earlier time and tech level.

Limiting the jump ranges early on limits the already explored range.

#

TL09 A

100   1

#

TL10 A B C D

100    2 2 2 2

200    1 2 2 2

300    # 1 2 2

400    # # 1 2

600    # # # 1

#

TL11 A B C D # E F G H

100    2 3 3 3  #

200    1 2 3 3  #

300    # 1 2 3  # 3 3 3 3

400    # # 1 2  # 3 3 3 3

600    # # # 1  # 1 2 2 2

800    # # # #  # 1 1 1 2

1000  # # # #  # # 1 1 1

1200  # # # #  # # # # 1

#

Navigation (optional)

Handwavium – jump requires large gravitational forces at both ends to work and needs at least one system to be fully surveyed to generate a jump path meaning:

  • ships can’t jump to empty space or from empty space (random jumps go to nearest system along same direction)
  • after jumping to an unexplored system need to survey it before jumping to another unexplored system

This handwavium creates a bit of geography making systems J2 and above harder to colonize early on.

Compatible with standard rules and OTU by simply saying they figured out how to do it later.

Requires the campaign sub-sector to have a lot of J1 connections to the home system – if not then ignore.

###

Classic Malfunctions

These can be used to construct an early exploration limit which fits the classic feel.

#

There are two malfunctions in the standard rules: drive failure and misjump.

  • drive failure 13+ with DMs for unrefined fuel, missing engineers and missing annual maintenance
  • misjump 13+ with DMs for unrefined fuel, inside gravity well, some unexplained advantage of scout/naval ships
  • unrefined 100cr and refined fuel 500cr
  • refined only available at A and B star ports

A 1:36 chance of either a drive failure or misjump using unrefined fuel seems too much of a risk for any commercial venture imo which would limit them to A or B star ports and travel between A and B star ports almost always involves stops at lower level ports. Travel away from refined fuel is viable for naval/scout ships because they have special DMs for no extra cost.

If special engines made scouts able to use unrefined fuel and they don’t cost extra then at a cost differential of 400cr per dton of fuel per jump you’d think commercial ships would simply buy them too.

So aim is to re-arrange all this to something which contains the same elements while feeling more consistent.

#

Jump Warping Level (JWL)

Rationale – going in and out of jump space puts gravitational pressures on the ship that can warp it slightly and over time the warping can lead to catastrophic failure.

A JWL of 24 is considered the limit of safety which is 24 jumps (a year’s worth) with refined fuel. This creates an exploration limit of 12 jumps (12 jumps out and 12 jumps back).

The maintenance procedure involves a gravitational dry dock large enough to hold the ship which uses gravity fields to push the ship back to its original shape taking roughly between half a day to a day per JWL – average two weeks.

  • refined fuel: JWL +1 per jump
  • unrefined fuel: JWL + mass category per jump

so a 100 dton scout or 400 dton mother ship both add JWL+1 per jump if using refined fuel – using unrefined the cout still adds JWL+1 but hte 400 dton adds JWL+3 – so the scout ship’s exploration advantage is it’s size rather than special engines

#

Mass Category

The list of ship size categories on the side of the drive table

  • 100 dtons, MC = 1
  • 200 dtons, MC = 2
  • 400 dtons, MC = 3
  • 600 dtons, MC = 4
  • 800 dtons, MC = 5
  • etc

#

Drive Malfunction

Roll 2D6 if attempting a jump with either a missing engineer or a JWL over 24 – drive malfunction on a 13+

  • +1 per missing engineer
  • +1 per JWL over 24

#

A jump drive malfunction displays as gravitational distortion which warps the ship – if a malfunction occurs roll 2D6 for when it occurs

  • 2-5: on entry to jump space: 1-6 hits
  • 6-8: within jump space: 1-6 hits
  • 9-12: exiting jump space: 1-6 hits
  • if occurs on entry then take hits in jump space and on exit as well
  • if occurs within jump space then take hits on exit as well

ships may be destroyed depending on where the damage is

#

Random Jump

If the jump-drive, power plant or computer are wrecked on entry into jump space or during jump a random jump occurs.

(see book misjump).

#

Misjump

The book version of misjump is the random jump described above which is caused by a drive malfunction.

In my jump-drive handwavium the fuel is used to create the jump bubble

roll 2D6 if trying to jump with unrefined fuel or within the gravity well (100D) of a world

  • unrefined fuel DM+1
  • within 10D DM+4 per mass category
  • within 100D DM+2 per mass category
  • 13+ bubble doesn’t form, jump fuel lost, no damage
  • 16+ gravitational warping – as drive malfunction except definitely occurring on entry

similar if trying to jump in too close to a world (e.g. blockade running)

roll 2D6

  • unrefined fuel DM+1
  • within 10D DM+4 per mass category
  • within 100D DM+2 per mass category
  • 13+ bubble doesn’t deform properly, D6 hits
  • 16+ bubble doesn’t deform properly, major gravitational warping, 2D6 hits

###

World Stats

#

Atmosphere

I’m treating the atmosphere types as harder, more distinct categories based on the sequence of life stages of an earth-like planet.

  • Trace (1): planet cooled, continents and seas formed, microbial mats underwater, heavy radiation
  • Very Thin (2,3): continents dead, life in the seas, some oxygen and ozone, medium radiation
  • Thin (4,5): land life along coasts, life in the seas, more oxygen and ozone, light radiation
  • Standard (6,7): life, plenty of oxygen and ozone, protected from radiation
  • Dense (8,9): optionally treat as unbalanced gases, too hot or too cold, ice age or global warming

alternatives

  • if atmos 2-5 and size 3- can be standard but only at low altitude
  • if atmos 8-9 and size 9+ can be standard but only at high altitude

###

Characters

#

Psionics

I’m treating psionics as initially triggered by jump travel so it’s relatively recent – no institutes

Eventually enough people get it that psionics can be born as well – start of Zhodani faction as a faction within the culture (and maybe Solomani faction as a resction?)

###

Tech Levels

#

Ships
  • TL9: fusion, grav, M-drive
  • TL10: J-drive a,b,c,d
  • TL11: J-drive e,f,g,h

TL10 is the default in this ATU, maybe TL11

#

Weapons & Armor
  • TL6: rifle
  • TL7: auto-rifle, flak jacket
  • TL8: advanced rifle, cloth, mesh
  • TL9: laser weapons, combat armor
  • TL10: advanced combat armor, reflec
  • TL11:
  • TL12: plasma weapons, battle dress

where

  • flak jacket: partial ballistic cloth – heavy armor
  • cloth: full body ballistic cloth – bulky heavy armor
  • mesh: light version of cloth reinforced with internal mesh – light armor
  • combat armor: improved cloth – heavy armor
  • advanced combat armor: combat armor with improved laser resistance – heavy armor
  • reflec: mesh with improved laser resistance – light armor

#

  • standard civilian: flak or mesh, kinetic weapons
  • colonial service: mesh, kinetic weapons
  • navy: mesh, kinetic weapons
  • standard military: combat armor, kinetics
  • marines: advanced combat armor, lasers
  • scouts: mesh or reflec, kinetics or lasers

###

Ship Design
  • fuel refining: 10 dton blocks
  • medibay: small/standard/large 4/8/16 dtons
  • workshop: small/standard/large 4/8/16 dtons
  • laboratory: small/standard/large 4/8/16 dtons
  • survey module: small/standard/large medibay 4/8/16 dtons
  • #
  • turrets 1 dton fire control + 1 per weapon (capacitors, reloads etc)
  • single turret 2 dton, double 3 dton, triple 4dton
  • torpedo 4 dton
  • torpedo magazine 4 dton
  • #
  • life pods 1 dton
  • human low berth 1 dton
  • livestock low berth 0.5
  • #
  • naval crews are often double the minimum needed
  • computer dton is subsumed within the bridge

evac

  • ships legally need life boats or life pods for all crew – some will have both, some have life boats and a few extra life pods
  • human low berths are combined low berth / life pod – generally for colonists
  • standard low berths are for livestock but can be used for humans at some risk
  • medibays have 1, 2 or 4 medical low berths

survey modules:

  • small -> basic astrogation survey – planetary objects
  • standard: full astrogation survey – as above plus space anomalies
  • large: orbital planetary survey

fuel refining:

  • variable sized blocks – minimum 8 dtons
  • each block is half holding fuel tank and half purification plant
  • can purify a full tank in 6 hours
  • 8 dton block can purify 4 dton per 6 hours
  • 80 dton block can purify 40 dtons per 6 hours

###

Ship Combat

Unlikely to happen but weapon types may be used in other ways

  • book missiles are now torpedos – large, c. cruise missile size
  • torpedo bay has three torpedos, torpedo magazine has 2 reloads
  • turret missiles are small flare/chaff type missiles to confuse enemy sensors
  • missiles and sand have 3 shots and a reload of 3
  • missile fired gives DM-2 to be hit that turn
  • beam energy weapons do 1-6 hits
  • sand is fired to counter energy weapons
  • sand disperses energy – reduces hits by 1-6
  • 4 x weapon points can be combined into a medium laser (power 4 at close range, 1 at medium range)
  • 16 x weapon points can be combined into a heavy laser (power 16 at close, 4 at medium, 1 at long range)

###

 

Early Colonization: Setting Aim

The aim of this setting is a frontier campaign rather than an exploration campaign so it’s not about the first scout ships leaving the home world but a time after colonization has been going on for a while but not long enough for the colonies to develop major cities, industry fleets etc so it has a more Firefly type feel.

###

Desired End Result

The end result of the random world generation for early colonization should be something like:

  • settlement colonies: usually standard atmos, pop 0-5, low level manufacturing ability, reliant on home world for their tech
  • supply colonies: refueling colonies along the route to settlement colonies
  • secondary colonies: research, terra forming, exotic resource extraction, penal, religious, military etc (settlement and supply colonies may develop separate secondary sub-colonies)
  • native sentient life: common on standard and dense atmospheres, uncommon on thin and rare otherwise
  • sentience level: monkey/dolphin/ant level intelligence common, hunter gatherer uncommon, special rare
  • weird science sentient life: unnatural creatures (on both habitable and uninhabitable worlds) – rare
  • anomalies: weird science anomalies – uncommon,  Cthulhu Mythos anomalies – rare

monkey/dolphin/ant sentience level = mda level

hunter gatherer level = hg level

sentience level “special” = farmer upwards

###