Traveller My 3I World Stats

World Stats – Government Types



The Traveller world generation system wasn’t written specifically for the 3I setting so although the govt. types are fine if you’re rolling up a sub-sector from scratch they’re not tailor made for the 3I – in particular I want a clear distinction between natives and colonies and between standard colonies and contra colonies. On the other hand I don’t want to change any of the canon planetary govt. codes cos it’s a pain.

So instead I’ll make minimal changes to the standard govt. code table so I can still use the canon data and than add secondary tables for the distinct world types so the result will be a composite of the two.


Modified Govt. Type Table

0 no govt
1 participatory democracy
2 company / bureau
3 self perpetuating oligarchy
4 representative democracy
5 feudal tech
6 captive/colony
7 balkan
8 corporate oligarchy
9 bureaucratic oligarchy
A popular autocracy
B unpopular autocracy
C popular oligarchy
D unpopular oligarchy
E totalitarian autocracy
F totalitarian oligarchy

The main changes are

  • swapping “company/bureau” and “participatory democracy” in the table so “company” is slightly more frequent
  • type 2 “company” now includes 3I orgs like research, imperial reserve admin, academics etc
  • replaced “civil service bureaucracy” with “corporate oligarchy” (think “Blade Runner”) at 8
  • changed some of the later labels to be less specific so they can mean multiple things e.g. military autocrat or religious autocrat


Colony Tables

As described in the “Native or Colony” post systems with a pop of 5- are colonies and systems with a pop of 6-8 *might* be colonies. Once it is decided if a system is a colony the next question is whether it is a standard colony or a contra colony. This is subjective but generally the system’s position and world stats point at which:

  • more trade, higher tech -> standard colony
  • less trade, lower tech, remoteness -> contra colony

Once the type of colony is decided there are two tables, one for the contra colonies and one for standard 3I colonies that can be used for inspiration when writing up the system and going beyond the UPP. If the canon govt. type in the UPP maps onto one of the govt. options on the colony table then use that otherwise roll on the table and use the result in combination with the government type in the UPP data.

For example if the system looks like it ought to be a standard colony but the govt type in the UPP is 8 (corporate oligarchy) and a roll on the colony table gives “Free Company” then combining the two results might give you: a Free Company started the colony but was taken over by a corporation when it grew successful – instant conflict if the takeover was recent or ongoing.


Contra Colony Table (pop 5-)

roll D6+pop-4

  1. Backwoodsmen (Fremen) (type 2: participatory democracy)
  2. Charismatic Leader (ideological cult) (type A: charismatic dictatorship)
  3. Charismatic Leader (religious cult) (type D: religious dictatorship)
  4. Charismatic Oligarchy (elders: religion/ideology) (type C: charismatic oligarchy)
  5. Republic (Fremen) (type 4: representative democracy)
  6. Self-Perpetuating Oligarchy (started as one of 1-5) (Self-Perpetuating Oligarchytype 3)


3I colony table (pop 5-)

roll D6+pop-3

  1. Belters (resource extraction) (type 1 Participatory Democracy)
  2. Claim Owners (resource extraction) (type 3 self-perpetuating oligarchy)
  3. 3I bureau (research, colonial office, imperial reserve, penal etc) (type 2: company/bureau)
  4. Free Company (resource extraction) (type 4 Representative Democracy)
  5. Company/Corporation (type 2 company/bureau)
  6. 3I Nobles (type 5: Feudal Technocracy)

where free companies are democratically organized commercial ventures like Belter collectives.


Pop 6-8 Systems: Successful Colony or Stunted Native (or “Elf” Native)

The world stats and position of the system may naturally point to which type a system but as an aid you can give a system a score based on these factors:

pop 6: +1 3I colony, +1 contra colony
pop 7: +1 native
pop 8: +2 native

minimal trade: +1 contra colony, +1 native
low tech: +1 contra colony, +1 native

good trade: +1 3I colony
high tech: +1 3I colony

prime atmosphere + low tech: +1 native
prime atmosphere + mid tech: +1 native
prime atmosphere + high tech: +2 native (Elf)

bad atmos + low tech: +1 contra colony, +2 native (if modified)
bad atmos + mid tech: +1 contra colony, +1 native (if modified)
bad atmos + high tech: +1 3I colony

so for example say a system is pop 6, low trade, low tech and (bad atmosphere + mid tech) then its score would be

  • contra colony: +1 (pop) +1 (low trade) +1 (low tech) +1 (atmos) = 4
  • 3I colony: +1 (pop size) = 1
  • stunted native: +1 (low trade) +1 (low tech) +1 (atmos) (if modified) = 2 or 3

so final score would point at contra colony (or stunted native if modified)

(nb this is just a guide to help the GM make stuff up – if the GM has an idea already then use that.)



If I was doing the whole thing from scratch I’d want to take account of the main points that came out of the “Generic: Government Types” post:

  1. War pushes cultures towards Monarchy/Aristocracy and peace towards Oligarchy/Democracy.
  2. The scale of a society – both in terms of population numbers and physical area – make certain forms of government more difficult to maintain. Technology can counter-act this.
  3. Once a stable state has been reached i.e. where both war and peace and technology and scale are in equilibrium – whether bronze age tech and small city state or industrial tech and large nation state – then human nature tends to generate a cycle of government types due to corruption and revolution.

The last point was called Kyklos by the Ancient Greeks.

According to Polybius, who has the most fully developed version of the cycle, it rotates through the three basic forms of government, democracy, aristocracy, andmonarchy and the three degenerate forms of each of these governments ochlocracy, oligarchy, and tyranny. Originally society is in anarchy but the strongest figure emerges and sets up a monarchy. The monarch’s descendants, who because of their family’s power lack virtue, become despots and the monarchy degenerates into a tyranny. Because of the excesses of the ruler the tyranny is overthrown by the leading citizens of the state who set up an aristocracy. They too quickly forget about virtue and the state becomes an oligarchy. These oligarchs are overthrown by the people who set up a democracy. Democracy soon becomes corrupt and degenerates into mob rule, beginning the cycle anew.

And the table would go something like

colony section:

0 no govt
1 contra colony – freedom
2 contra colony – cult
3 contra colony – belters
4 3I bureau (research, reserve etc)
5 resource extraction – 3I free companies
6 resource extraction – 3I corporation
7 feudal technocracy (3I admin / military)

native section:

8 monarchy
9 tyranny (bad monarchy)
10 aristocracy
11 oligarchy (bad aristocracy)
12 republic
13 democracy (bad republic)

but too much hassle



World Stats – Glisten Gazeteer

As an example of how it all works together I’m taking the ideas from the series of posts in the “3I World Stats” category and then applying them to all the systems in the Glisten sub-sector of the Spinward Marches.

Traveller Map for the world stats

My Trade Map for Spinward Marches for the trade info

Click to access spinward_canonports_routes_map.pdf



Sometimes the combination of data connected to a system causes a particular result to jump out. Sometimes a die roll on one of the random tables does the trick – other times leave the system blank for a while and come back to it.

Given the nature of jump travel there should be lots of dull tide-locked low population refueling truck stop type systems – not everywhere has to be exotic. However I want a few pulpy / exotic systems per sub-sector.

If there are canon sources for any of these systems I’ll use that or merge it with what I come up with here. This post is just about applying my world stat rules of thumb to the Glisten sub-sector as an example.

Uses the tables from “World Stats – Government Types”

  • the government type table
  • the colony type tables
  • the “native or colony” scores


Sub-sector Gazeteer

Step 1: Trade Network

  • identify alpha system(s) – A star port, high pop, high(est) tech
  • identify hinterland systems – A or B star port within 6 parsecs
  • draw hinterland trade routes
  • draw long distance routes to other alpha systems
  • identify truck stop systems along the trade routes
  • everything else is boon dock

Step 2:

  • list of colonies (pop 5-)
  • decide if contra or 3I colony based on world stats and trade network
  • low/mid tech and/or off trade routes = more likely contra colony
  • high tech and/or near trade routes = more likely standard colony
  • if canon govt type matches one on the colony table then use as is otherwise roll on relevant colony table and use that in combination with canon data

Step 3:

  • list systems that are mid pop (6-8)
  • use the scoring system to figure out which are successful colonies and which stunted native systems

Step 4:

  • list systems that are high pop (9+)
  • these should all be native
  • although native generally just means a very old successful colony

Step 5:

  • make up stuff that fits

Step 6:

  • add something unique that could be turned into a hook



1st step divide systems into three groups of

  • pop 5- (colony)
  • pop 6-8 (successful colony or stunted native)
  • pop 9+ (successful native)

and then further sub-divide the pop categories into tech categories

  • low tech (5-)
  • mid tech (6-8)
  • high tech (9+)

(should probably add an “imperial tech” category)


Low Pop & Low Tech

Bicornn E563576-2
  • off trade route (see trade map)
  • minimal trade (E star port)
  • prime atmosphere
  • pop 5
  • balkanized
  • tech 2

An undeveloped system with a prime atmosphere requires an explanation – some form of tide-locked leading to limited available land will be my fall back position on that if there’s no other reason in the world data.

Low tech and low trade indicate a contra colony. Roll on contra colony table gets participatory democracy – so Freedom types. Combine that with the balkanized result in the UPP and you might get the idea of multiple small democratic townships.

Exotic hook – they could have developed some kind of Spartan survivalist ideology- Darwinian ideology, fight each other to keep pure.


Low Pop & Mid Tech

Centry E422447-7
  • boon dock
  • minimal trade (E)
  • very thin atmosphere
  • pop 4
  • democracy
  • high law
  • tech 7

Trade situation implies contra colony. A low value planet no one else wants would fit that also. Democracy and high law might imply a pacifist group.

Some special living arrangement due to atmosphere – tunnel into sides of hills.

Lydia E310430-7
  • boon dock
  • minimal trade (E)
  • remote
  • harsh planet – trace atmosphere / desert
  • oligarchy
  • pop 4
  • no law

Strange place to have a colony so a definite candidate for an odd / exotic location. Roll on contra colony table = religious dictatorship so add that to oligarchy and make this a religious contra colony led by a council of elders, harsh conditions = penance maybe – so say some of the prisoners from the Imperial Prison on Mithras developed a penitential cult and after release some go to live as monks on Lydia (a bit like Alien 3).

Inhabitants live in sealed vaults left over from some earlier dead colony or planetary catastrophe near a dead sea with lots of old bones and coral. Monks are known for carving coral jewelry which is rumored to bring luck, occasional Free Trader brings spare parts and new inmates in exchange for the coral.

(Ghosts of previous inhabitants or some other creature/thing down in the deep wells.)

(Coral maybe has some minor psionic effect.)

Mithras C8B5568-8
  • 3I subsidized trade route
  • some trade (C)
  • truck stop
  • nasty atmosphere
  • pop 5
  • captive government

Easy one as specified 3I prison planet. Population is prisoners and guard ruled by Glisten.

Subsidized trade routes imtu are where the 3I subsidizes trade that wouldn’t otherwise exist, in this case the long route to Five Sisters generally involving 3I refueling stations and subsidized merchants. The 3I station in Mithras system is an orbital station above the prison planet.

Prison admin complex like an oil rig, prison blocks involve a central column and a series of globes containing the cells. The column turns and the globes are raised and dropped under the sea.

Cthonian (Cthulhu Mythos) type creatures live at bottom of Chlorine sea under great pressure. Move higher to breed, young live nearer surface until they grow.

Famous artist lives on abandoned research version of one of these columns.

Melior D540466-7
  • boon dock
  • minor trade (D)
  • harsh: thin atmo / desert
  • pop 4
  • captive govt

Trade situation implies contra colony but captive govt. implies controlled from outside most likely from Glisten somehow so maybe a contra colony taken over by Glisten because of some problem or other or a non-commercial 3I colony. Roll on both colony tables for a hint: contra table = religion, non-contra table = company.

Say Melior originally had native desert population but planet gradually dried up. Most of the population moved to Glisten over time. Meliorite religion/culture involves making a pilgrimage back for special occasions and a company from Glisten runs the pilgrimage trips and effectively runs the planet.

Planetary population is made up of small groups of natives, company workers and transient pilgrims.

(Yearly mass pilgrimage or small individual ones for things like baptism, wedding, burial?)

Romar B550456-8
  • main trade route
  • moderate trade (B star port)
  • truck stop
  • naval base
  • crappy planet: tainted/desert
  • feudal technocracy = 3I related govt
  • tech 8

A crappy planet on a main trade route implies a truck stop system so say the B star port and naval base are orbital stations servicing and guarding the merchant ships traveling between Glisten and Pax Rulin. The orbital station is the fief of an Imperial Baron.

Roll on 3I colony table = free company (Belters) so the presence of the orbital station lead to Belter free companies operating on the nearby planet while using the orbital station as a base. Tech 8 so say the planet also has a surface facility with some boat repair capability. Resource extraction not profitable enough for big corps but okay for free companies (assume people in free companies want freedom more than wealth).

As a noble fief maybe chunks of the surface are allocated as knight’s fees to various off-world nobles so the Belters have to pay a license fee to the Baron’s office.

The resource extraction is probably mining but could be something else.


Low Pop & High Tech (3I colony or exotic contra colony)

Grote A400404-B
  • off main trade route
  • was remote but now on 3I subsidized route to Five Sisters
  • A star port (valuable trade)
  • harsh planet: vaccuum/desert
  • pop 4
  • no govt. (family)
  • high tech

A remote, crappy planet which still has A star port = very unusual and possibly shady.

Roll on 3I colony table = company/corporation and combine with family govt.

Grote is the home of the Grotean bio-engineering corp owned and operated by the Grote family, all world inhabitants are company employees, and all employees are clones of the founder: Gustavus Grote (they wear masks). Lots of robots also.

The corporation have their own shipyard and a small fleet of ships for transporting their products: highly expensive custom bio-engineering and life-enhancing implants and symbiotes. A lot of what they do is amoral to the point of evil but they are allowed to operate as they occasionally do illegal work for the 3I. Not everything they do is sketchy; for example they are responsible for the famous bio-engineered version of song dragons.

Weiss A626464-B
  • hinterland trade route
  • extensive trade (A star port)
  • very thin atmosphere
  • pop 4
  • captive govt
  • high tech

A class A star port on a hinterland trade route means the planet produces something very valuable. Hostile environment. Captive govt. implies Glisten. Roll on 3I colony = feudal technocracy which fits captive govt, an Imperial Baron with a bunch of Knights.

So a resource extraction planet exporting to Glisten – high tech facility, industrial robots, population live in domes or underground.

(B+ star port)

Windsor C783511-9
  • hinterland trade route
  • low trade
  • truck stop
  • average planet
  • pop 5
  • company govt

Standard truck stop colony on route to Weiss where tide-lock prevents extensive development. 3I Baron licenses a Free Company to run the star port which provides refueling and minor repair facility. Some minor resource extraction based out of the star port.

Inthe C100598-B
  • off trade route
  • low trade
  • harsh: vaccuum/desert
  • pop 5
  • impersonal bureaucracy
  • high tech

Trade situation indicates a contra colony. Tech implies 3I. Roll on 3I colony table = feudal technocracy combined with impersonal bureaucracy? Another penal colony – mining – less serious offenders than Mithras. High tech resource extraction.

Egypt BAC6567-9
  • hinterland system
  • moderate trade
  • truck stop
  • naval base
  • harsh: high gravity, horrible atmosphere
  • pop 5
  • captive
  • tech 9

Trade, tech and captive implies 3I colony ruled from Glisten. Given the position and the naval base maybe originally a border fortress now more of a support base and hinterland truck stop due to extension of 3I to Mille Falcs and Mertactor in District 268.

Orbital stations serving the trader route using ex military installations. Planet mostly uninhabited but extreme conditions will mean something weird about it so possibly hunters, scientists or something.

Wurzburg C795300-A
  • off trade
  • low trade
  • scout base
  • dense/tainted
  • pop 3
  • tech A

Scout training base – for what? Low trade = mostly supply ships and trainees plus maybe Scout Service runs corporate training programs also. A Free Trader in Glisten may occasionally be hired to take something/someone.

Trane C639422-B
  • off trade route
  • low trade
  • tainted, very watery
  • pop 4
  • company
  • tech B

Trade implies contra, tech implies 3I, canon type says company. Roll on both colony tables and see what seems to fit best. Roll on 3I colony table = corporation. Roll on contra colony = charismatic dictator

Planet has licensed high tech corporate aquatic resource extraction. 3I Baron maintains a villa for hunting trips.

Aster C86A410-9
  • remote
  • low trade
  • prime atmosphere
  • water world
  • pop 4
  • democracy
  • tech 9

Explanation for undeveloped prime atmosphere world is water and remoteness. Participatory democracy suits a mixture of free company / Belters licensing resource extraction claims from  a Banneret who lives on Glisten.

Mille Falcs B9A2469-C (not technically in Glisten subsector but ruled from there)
  • hinterland system
  • moderate trade
  • truck stop
  • naval base
  • bad atmosphere
  • pop 4
  • captive govt.
  • tech C

Naval base, position and captive govt. implies ruled from Glisten as border fortress. Overall authority for the system is held by the commander of the naval moon base.

Orbital truck stop above main world used as base for high tech resource extraction connected to exotic atmosphere – grav extraction facilities in upper atmosphere. Licenses to extract are Knight’s fees.


Mid Pop (6-8)

These will generally be colony populations that have done unusually well or native populations that are stunted in some way.

Scoring system from “Government Types” can be used to figure out which.


Low Tech:

Sorel E58569A-2
  • boondock
  • minimal trade
  • J1 truck stop to Bendor
  • dense prime atmosphere
  • pop 6
  • bureaucratic oligarchy + high law = strict govt
  • tech 2


  • contra colony: +1 (pop) +1 (low trade) +1 (low tech) = 3
  • standard colony: +1 (pop) = 1
  • native: +1 (low tech) +1 (low trade) +1 (prime atmos & low tech) = 3

contra colony and native score 3 each

Stunted Native, prime atmosphere but undeveloped due to heavy jump shadow. J1 truck stop orbits a distant outer rim gas giant. Small planet, dense, standard gravity, very mountainous, limited land surface, dense atmosphere leads to thick jungle in between mountains.

Ancients era native population at pop. limit for the tech level and culture – Empire of the Petal Throne type oriental bureaucracy – maybe Droyne / Droyne Hybrids or primitive humans with Droyne head masks. Maybe a hidden Ancient behind the scenes.

The planet’s problems make it perfect for a reclusive contra colony and there been numerous attempts over the centuries but they all fail due to insanity and murder.


Mid Tech:

Marastan D868772-5
  • main trade route
  • minor trade
  • truck stop
  • scout base
  • imperial reserve
  • prime atmosphere
  • pop 7
  • balkanized
  • tech 5


  • contra: +1 (tech)
  • standard: +1 trade
  • native: +1 (pop) +1 (tech) +1 (atmos) = 3

So stunted native, low tech so orbital truck stop deals with passing trade. Prime atmosphere so take reason for stunted population and tech from the high water result – held back by lots of low swampy islands.

Imperial reserve related to prolific island fauna and flora.

Caledonia C541636-5
  • boondock
  • low trade
  • thin atmosphere/low water
  • pop 6
  • oligarchy
  • tech 5


  • contra: +1 pop +1 trade +1 tech +1 (bad atmos & low tech) = 4
  • standard: +1 pop
  • native: +1 trade +1 tech +1 (bad atmos & low tech if modified) = 2 or 3

So successful contra colony.

Say low water value = ice planet and population at limit for tech level. Original contra colony of low tech Fremen contras led by a chief relatively successful due to white fur of native creatures valuable enough to allow a gravpunk society – mix of low tech and some imported high. Over time original group separated into multiple clans ruled by clan chiefs.

Craw C573645-5
  • boondock
  • low trade
  • standard, tainted
  • pop 6
  • democracy
  • tech 5


  • contra: +1 pop +1 low trade +1 low tech +1 (bad atmo & low tech) = 4
  • standard: +1 pop
  • native: +1 low trade +1 low tech +1 (bad atmo & low tech if modified) = 2 or 3

Successful contra colony. Democracy ties into contra colony table option of Fremen Republic.

Arid planet? Herders? What taint?

Callia E550852-6
  • boondock
  • J1 truck stop
  • minimal trade
  • harsh: tainted/desert
  • pop 8
  • feudal technocracy
  • tech 6


  • contra: +1 low trade +1 atmos
  • standard:
  • native: +2 pop +1 low trade +1 atmos (if modified) = 4

Stunted native. Minor truck stop for J1 trade between Overnale and Egypt, bypassed by J2 and J3 trade.

Ancients era resource extraction, mined out now. Legacy population are bio-engineered desert natives, pop limited by harsh planet conditions. Feudal power but not 3I nobles – maybe a caste who control some  tech needed for survival – maybe automated legacy tech from previous era e.g. deep wells or something that work or operate on a dna imprint.

Tsarina D420636-7
  • boondock
  • minor trade
  • J1 truck stop
  • harsh: very thin atmosphere and desert
  • pop 6
  • oligarchy
  • tech 7


  • contra: +1 pop +1 low trade +1 atmos = 3
  • standard: +1 pop
  • native: +1 low trade +1 atmos (if modified)

Contra colony – govt type ties into option 6 on the contra colony table. Roll again to see what the original colony was = Fremen republic.

J1 truck stop system on route between Glisten and Bendor, bypassed by direct J3 route. The families connected to the star port used the money from the star port to set themselves up as an oligarchy.


High Tech:

Overnale B55467A-9
  • hinterland system
  • subsidized route to Five Sisters
  • moderate trade
  • thin/tainted
  • pop 6
  • balkanized + high law
  • tech 9

Trade and tech combined with pop 6 = successful 3I colony, harsh conditions = resource extraction and limited pop.  Roll on colony table for a hint = feudal technocracy. Combine that with balkanized and high law could be imperial noble, domed townships, resource extraction and a rebellion / terrorist situation.

Horosho C4378A6-A
  • main trade route to Pax Rulin
  • low trade
  • truck stop
  • very thin, tainted
  • pop 8
  • high priest
  • tech A

Native. Long ago heretic contra colonists from Crout. Pop and tech jumped with development of J2 drives and the opening of the route to Pax Rulin sub-sector through Romar.

Mertactor B562732-B
  • hinterland system
  • subsidized trade route
  • moderate trade
  • scout base
  • prime atmosphere
  • pop 7
  • oligarchy
  • tech B

Prime atmosphere = should have been colonized in previous eras and reached high pop. So if native then either population is limited by something or it had a recent reduction or it could be an “Elf” system (high tech + mid pop + prime atmos).

Due to position between Collace and Glisten say…c. 200 years ago before Glisten was part of the 3I a conflict between the Collace and Glisten clusters with Mertactor factions as proxies led to Mertactor being nuclear wintered. Since then Glisten joined the 3I and the border was officially established at Mertactor. Agreement that Collace moth balled its fleet and Imperial navy doesn’t go beyond Mille Falcs (scouts can).

Native + colony: lots of radiation in some areas, native planetary population centered around vaults with Overseers and various wastelander groups (cf. Fallout). 3I colony centered around space port on one continent.

New Rome B837866-B
  • hinterland system
  • moderate trade
  • very thin, tainted atmosphere
  • pop 8
  • captive govt
  • tech B

Moderate hinterland trade and high tech combined with a bad atmosphere implies a 3I resource extraction colony but pop 8 implies either very successful colony or native population. Moderate trade close to Glisten could be large volume of low value goods like meat or fruit. Odd name. Captive govt.

Originally contra colony of mid tech Fremen inspired by charismatic leader’s obsession with Rome. On planet they managed to develop something valuable that could be sold to Glisten – became successful. United Fruit Company from Glisten move in employing mostly Crout labor due to the thin atmosphere. Conflict between the by then tech 8 original colonists and the c. tech 10 UFC was used as an excuse by the 3I to take over and get both groups to swear to an imperial Baron.

Exotic: the problem and success of the fruit growing relates to weird native insect life.

Ffudn A41489D-C
  • hinterland system
  • main trade route
  • valuable trade
  • truck stop
  • trace atmosphere
  • pop 8
  • impersonal bureaucracy + extreme law
  • tech C

Trace atmosphere = not originally native so high tech resource extraction colony, domed or underground, valuable resource, colony became successful, turns into native population. Turned dystopian.

Bendor A756656-C
  • hinterland system
  • main trade route
  • valuable trade
  • truck stop
  • naval base
  • tainted
  • pop 6
  • feudal technocracy
  • tech C

Tide locked truck stop originally settled by Free Traders on the J2 trade route between the alphas of Glisten and Trin developed into a successful resource extraction colony. Descendants of the original twelve Free Trader families still control the fuel, water and air purification. Made Bannerets of the 3I in exchange for 50% cut to the empire.


High Pop (9+)


Mid Tech

Crout E4359CA-7
  • boondock
  • minimal trade
  • very thin, tainted atmosphere
  • pop 9
  • religious oligarchy
  • tech 7

Crouts are bio-engineered Ancients era natives, short, live in densely populated townships with houses stacked four high in circular rows around central temple/forum, peaceable, ruled by priesthood, tech gardening/farming surrounding each township. 3I ambassadorial colony.


High Tech

Aki B543987-9
  • hinterland system
  • moderate trade
  • thin atmosphere
  • pop 9
  • corporate oligarchy
  • tech 9

Native. Tech solution to the thin air long ago. Extensively developed solar system.

Very corrupt, lots of corporate intrigue, high grade 3I ambassadorial colony.

Tirem C7B5975-B
  • boondock
  • low trade (C)
  • very nasty atmosphere
  • pop 9
  • balkanized
  • tech B

doesn’t make a lot of sense

Glisten A000986-F
  • alpha system
  • extensive trade
  • asteroids/planetoids, vaccuum
  • pop 9
  • corporate oligarchy
  • tech F
  • probably described in canon

If no canon I’d make it an automated Ancients habitat tech that Vilani explorers found in the middle of a resource rich asteroid field.


World Stats: General Rules of Thumb


Bad Atmosphere + Low Tech

– could be aliens or modified humans


– originally higher TL colony that has since decayed


Okay world stats but only midpop and midtech

If native population and okay world stats why not high pop?

World has been held back for some reason.

Harsh World
  • may be harsh world but not in the world stats e.g. tide-locked world with limited land space
  • often domed along equators
  • often truck stop worlds especially from time when jump limited to J1 or J2
  • apparently c. 70% red dwarf stars could be like this
Missing Link
  • planet population is held back by tech level
  • tech level is held back by lack of a critical component like wood, coal or metal
  • component could have been used up before a collapse (natives ate the ladder on the way up)


High Pop + Low Tech (Native)

How is high pop fed with low tech = opportunity for exotic syfy explanation

  • specially adapted native alien
  • specially adapted bio-engineered human
  • automated legacy tech from previous (or same) colonization (Morlocks)
  • abundant food
  • if world not balkanized need exotic explanation


High Pop + Low/Mid Tech + Prime Planet

Why didn’t tech develop?

  • vital resource missing
  • religion culture
  • recovering from disaster
  • anomalies


Mid Pop + High Tech + Prime Atmosphere (Native)

Native “Elf” society.

Assume high tech is only reachable with high pop but after high pop + high tech is achieved some cultures allow their pop to decline to achieve ideal state where tech > pop.

This kind of society has high longevity, low reproduction and focuses tech on health.

Decadent “Dark Elf” versions.


Sub-sector Capitals

– if the capital is not the alpha system then the cluster was possibly incorporated by force and the local alpha is still hostile. The new capital was deliberately built up as an alternative power center (cf Alexandria)

– if capital is the same as the alpha then the cluster was incorporated peacefully


Sub-sectors without an alpha system

– the original alpha may have been trashed during conquest


Naval Bases

– military numbers are generally separate from world population


Robots, Automation and Genetic Engineering

vary by world stats


hipop & hitech

A system like this might either have

1) no robots for social reasons

2) lots of robots and lots of slums

the choice of which related to govt type and law level

lopop & hitech

could be lots of robots, automation or genetically modified critters

lopop & midtech

gravpunk version of above using imported hitech in combination with lower tech. for example land battleships with the weight supported by imported grav plates but the propulsion coming from steam or wind or solar or propellers etc.

lopop & extreme environment & bad atmosphere

industrial robots


Gravpunk Worlds

many midtech worlds are steampunk / dieselpunk / gravpunk with bits of second hand imported hitech used in combination with lower tech e.g. steamgravs.


Spinward Examples

Possibilities based on stats.

Regina/Pixie: Massive border naval base. Orbital station and planetary facilities but not on main world. Main world has low population prison.

Aramis/Paya: low pop A star port designated colony system

Aramis/Aramis: low pop A star port, capital, designated colony system

Aramis/Aramanx: ex alpha planet damaged in Imperial conquest

World Stats: Native or Colony

In the “Generic: Government Types” post, populations are assumed to be native and population size and tech both start low and increase more or less in tandem (as tech level generally limits maximum population size).

However in a Syfy setting a lot of the systems are likely to be colonies of some kind – particularly resource extraction or refueling stops between more important systems – and the normal rules relating to govt. type don’t necessarily apply to such colonies.

So the first step in deciding govt. type is deciding whether the world type is:

native + colony



Traveller only has a few aliens in 3I space that are unconnected to the Ancients so “native” here will generally mean a colony from a previous space empires that has become native over thousands of years and critically could have had at least one tech and / or population crash in that time so their current state could be anything from stone age to space age and any possible govt type.

A planet with a native population i.e. one that has potentially had thousands of years to grow ought to have a large population (9+) unless it has been limited by technology level or the harshness of the planet.

Taking earth as an example then Traveller population code 9 (billions) became possible at a tech level of around 8 but a population code 8 (hundreds of millions) had been feasible over a broad range of tech levels.

So population 9+ = native

  • pop 9+ and mid/high tech would be the standard successful planet
  • pop 9+ and low tech might  require an exotic explanation for how such a large population can be sustained at low tech levels


pop 9+ = definite native
pop 6-8 = possibly native



If very large populations are generally assumed to be “native” then very low populations (5-) can be generally assumed to be a colony.

Colonies can be associated with a dominant star faring species / civilization or be contrary to it. A “contra colony” will be made up of people trying to get away from the dominant civilization.

High tech colonies will be more likely to be 3I related and low tech colonies more likely to be contras.

The kind of 3I connected colonies referenced here would be: navy or scout bases, some element of the non-executive parts of 3I like prisons, nature reserves, research facilities etc and commercial colonies (usually resource extraction of some kind) whether noble, corporate or free company (Belters).

Contra colonies include cults of various kinds, historical fanatics, ideological fanatics, simple living clans, freedom orientated groups and the kind of Belters too anti-social even for Free Companies.

low pop (5-) definite colony
mid pop (6-8) possible colony

contra colony
  • more likely to be low/mid tech
  • more likely to be off the main trade routes
3I colony
  • more likely to be high tech
  • more likely connected to the trade routes


Pop 6-8, Native or Colony?

Populations of 6-8 can be native or colony. The general rule of thumb being they are either colonies that have done unusually well or natives who have done unusually badly.

Successful Colony (mostly pop 6)

Requires explanation why the population is higher than most colonies.

  • prime colony – a colony being green housed by the 3I e.g. building a fortress system on the border or opening up a trade route. These systems will be primed by ship loads of colonists from the core under 3I’s Colonial Service.
  • resource extraction colony where the resource is particularly valuable or labor intensive
  • contra colony that got lucky
Stunted Native (mostly pop 7-8)

Require an explanation why the population never reached higher levels if they’d been around thousands of years.

  • harsh planet – population is limited by something in the world stats: size, poor atmosphere, water world, desert etc
  • okay planet with hidden flaw – population is limited by something *not* in the world stats: strange orbit, tide-locked, lack of critical element like wood or metal
  • okay planet with cultural restriction – religion or ideology restricts tech
  • population recovering from a catastrophe

tide-locked is particularly useful as planets with nothing obviously wrong with them can be set to that.

One exception to the idea of stunted native is the “Elf” form of native society, prime planets that currently have mid pop & high tech, where the population had reached high pop & high tech in the past and then consciously decided to let the population decline until it reached an ideal balance. These societies are (or were) focused on medical high tech and as a result have high longevity and low reproduction.

In my 3rd Imperium a necessary condition for a utopian society is tech > pop so “Elf” societies can be utopian (as high tech > mid pop) but if boredom and decadence set in they can also turn dystopian e.g. fantasy genre “Dark Elves”.


Native + Colony

In the context of govt. types this is where a population that meets the conditions for “native” has been brought into the empire of one of the dominant star faring polities so the colony part is the military and executive colony of the empire on that planet.

This can mean either that the planet has a native govt. type modified by the presence of the Imperial colony or that the 3I colony is the govt. type.

The main deciding factor whether a native system becomes native + colony will be the trade network map.

Most of the Alpha systems (high pop + high tech) within an empire will be native + colony – a native base population and a 3I military / admin population plus some of the more important systems along the main jump routes between the Alpha systems.

(As the Alpha systems would generally have run their own pocket empire before the 3I showed up they may have done the same thing to nearby worlds in their hinterland before the 3I showed up.)

Outside the 3I there might be systems with native + multiple competing colonies, for example a planet with a large native population and both a 3I and Zhodani colony on the same world.

(nb Many systems with a native society could also have colonies which aren’t relevant to government type e.g. a large mid tech (not space faring) planet might also have a 3I mining company operating on an outer moon but that won’t effect govt. type.)



  • Pop 5- = colony (standard or contra)
  • Pop 6-8 = successful colony or stunted native (or Elf native)
  • Pop 9+ native (or native + colony)




key point: a lot of earth like worlds spent most of their time as

  • barren land, barren sea, CO2 atmos, no ozone, extreme radiation
  • barren land, microbial life bottom of the ocean, CO2 atmos, little ozone, high radiation
  • barren land, ocean life, very thin oxygen, low ozone, medium-high radiation
  • coastal land microbial life, thin oxygen, medium ozone, low-medium radiation
  • land life, ocean life, thin oxygen, high ozone, low radiation

which could be treated as

  • trace
  • very thin, tainted
  • very thin
  • thin, tainted
  • thin


Standard Atmosphere

Atmosphere 6 is the standard atmosphere which humans are adapted for and worlds with this type of atmosphere are denoted as Prime worlds.



Tainted can mean anything from a minor to a major problem. If a planet had a large population then it is generally minor. If a planet has a low population then it is probably major.


OTU Problem

In the CT world gen rules atmosphere type has no effect on population size and the original Spinward data and that data is based on the CT world gen I need a reason why type 6 planets weren’t favored while worlds with bad atmospheres can have billions of people.

IMTU Solution

In early exploration finding Prime worlds was the goal and other worlds were colonized simply as stepping stones.

However as Prime worlds are rare most of the humans in various forms seeking them out ended up spending centuries living in artificial domed habitats on all the worlds in between and people gradually came to see domed living as normal, if not preferable. By TL12+ most people prefer artificial habitats to natural habitats and live in domes even on atmos 6 planets. Only a minority of back to nature types prefer natural living. Hence preference is no longer given to Prime worlds only worlds with a good source of hydrogen and oxygen.

Alternative Solution

Change World Gen so atmosphere has an effect on population, something like:

population roll D6

atmos 0-3 DM-2
atmos 4 DM+2
atmos 5 DM+0
atmos 6 DM+4
atmos 7 DM+2
atmos 8 DM+2
atmos 9 DM+0
atmos 10+ DM-2

hydro 0-2 DM-2
hydro 3-4 DM-1
hydro 6-8 DM+2
hydro 9+ DM-2


Atmosphere Codes

0: vaccuum

1: trace

2: very thin, tainted

3: very thin

4: thin, tainted

5: thin

6: standard

7: standard, tainted

8: dense

9: dense, tainted

A: exotic

B: exotic corrosive

C: exotic insidious

(exotic: thin low, ellipsoid, dense high)



occasional list of exotic atmosphere types

Carbon Dioxide (Earth Archean Age)

warm & cloudy
atmosphere: carbon dioxide
seas: carbonic acid
lots of small continents
volcanic around the continent edges
lots of seas and lakes

rare raw materials around the volcanic rim?

domed and requiring manufactured oxygen and water but abundant sources of components

can be terraformed by adding photosynthetic microbes that will convert carbon dioxide to oxygen


atmosphere: chlorine

seas: hydrochloric acid

chorine based photosynthesis

yellow-green haze


World Stats: Star Ports and Trade

I’m treating Star Port class as an indicator of trade value. The actual star port class will generally follow the trade value more or less but in a flexible way.

See the “My 3rd Imperium: Trade Network” post for more details


A = extensive trade

B = moderate trade

C = low trade

D = minor trade

E = minimal Trade

nb treat as order of magnitude differences rather than linear


with rules like that and a trade network map like this

Click to access spinward_canonports_routes_map.pdf

then you can tell a lot of things about a system at a glance


Alpha Systems

Class A star port, high population, high tech – these are the trade hub systems and will generally have a strong 3I presence, lots of fleets, lots of interstellar trade ships plus most of the system planets and moons colonized also so masses of in-system shipping as well.

Hinterland Systems

A and B star ports within c. 6 parsecs of an alpha system signify systems that produce something the alpha system wants in exchange for tech.

Truck Stop Systems

Systems with C, D, E star ports aren’t part of the main trade network but if the system is on a main trade route between more important systems these systems will generally be truck stop systems providing refueling and repair facilities for passing merchant ships. Sometimes the truck stop portion is on the system’s main world but more often there is an orbital B grade space station that acts as a truck stop for the merchant ships, refueling etc. All stops on main trade routes have refined fuel. These truck stop space stations often act as a base for Belters.

Boondock Systems

Systems with C, D, E star ports that aren’t part of a main trade route. Free Trader territory.


Glisten Examples

From my trade map

  • alpha system: Glisten
  • hinterland system: Aki
  • truck stop system: Windsor
  • boondock system: Caledonia


Special Cases


Class A star ports with low population

A class A star port like this might represent the standard book description or one of a variety of B+ star ports.

For example
1) ship repair but no shipyard (population 5-6)
2) only a shipyard (population 4-5) (company town or 3I)
3) B+ facilities and only seasonal production (population 1-3)
4) B star port enhanced by government or military presence (population 6-7)
5) combination of space station and planetary facilities (any)
6) systems with a particularly valuable trade good


Star Port C, D, E on a seemingly developed world

The star port only represents the value of interstellar trade and doesn’t mean the system has nothing to sell only that they have nothing to sell which a nearby system needs. So potential explanations:

  • system doesn’t have much in tradeable goods
  • system has regressed – maybe recent conflict of catastrophe
  • isolationist system

A high pop, tech 9+ system like this could potentially have well developed solar system trade and system defenses.