Friday, November 16, 2012

Traveller Sandbox: The System Function Table...

Good Afternoon, All:

In any Traveller campaign, any major system should be known for something it does, some function that it fulfills in interstellar society. Identifying that core function helps Referees to paint a picture of the system that makes it stand out in the players' minds over the course of the campaign. Remember, we're building a setting we can game in, and so the focus for this exercise lies in creating elements we can later use in our sessions to promote adventuring opportunities for our gamers.

With a nod to the City and Town Activities table in An Echo Resounding, I offer the following table for determining System Function. As before, I've included what I believe are common Traveller tropes for system functions, based on character creation rules and world generation system elements. However, your Traveller Universe may be different from mine regarding those underlying assumptions. If you come across an entry that doesn't seem to fit your needs, please feel free to change it for your own personal setting development.

In addition, some results require specific Trade Codes in order to fit the world in question, while others cannot exist on worlds with certain Trade Codes. Likewise, some require the presence of a specific type of base or starport, or perhaps the lack thereof. Ultimately, if you feel the description doesn't fit the UWP, then feel free to generate another System Function.

Table: System Function
d66System Function
11Academic Institute
12Advanced Scientific Research
13Agricultural Producer
14Anti-Piracy Efforts
15Architecture and Civil Engineering
16Banking and Finance
21Center of Diplomacy
22Civilian/Military Vehicle Production
23Communication/Information Hub
24Computer/Robotics Production
25Displaced People Reservations
26Espionage and Security
31Exceptional Artisans
32Freedom of Religion
33Heavy Industry
34Hive of Corruption
35Martial Ethos
36Media and Journalism
41Medicine and Biotechnology
42Militant State
43Mutual Defense Policy
44Personal Services
45Prison Planet
46Psionic Services
51Rare Resources
52Regional Capitol
53Starship Production
54Strong Cultural Identity
55Strong Polity Identity
56Strong System Identity
62Transportation Services
63Vigorous Trade
64Weapons Manufacturing
65World Corporation
66Referee's Option (Unusual Exports)

Using the table above, I generated three possible System Origins, one each for the three cultural hubs we're using as examples.

For Jengu (2407 A79A89C-B Amber Zone), I generated "Hive of Corruption". That doesn't fit with a Law Level of 12, so I rolled again to get "World Corporation". I interpret this to indicate that the world of Jengu is now at the mercy of a world-wide corporation, or even multiple ones. Given that the government form is impersonal bureaucracy, I'm inclined to use the multiple world-corporations concept. Given Jengu's foundation as the haven for a secret society devoted to a non-traditional approach to medicine and healing, perhaps the bulk of these corporations grew in support of that philosophy. Here's a world where health and medicine are of significant importance, from the underlying culture to the current economy.

Koyane (2706 A5699EF-B Amber Zone) received the result of "Personal Services". This normally reflects classic service industries, such as barbers, caring for children or the elderly, funeral arrangements, etc. In a world descended from Japanese culture, which an extremely high Law Level, it makes sense that a structured society based on politeness and enforced courtesy would evolve. This places an emphasis on the role of personal services, because the high level of social protocols requires a high level of customer service. This would make Koyane a great world for the training of personal servants, diplomats and courtesans, among other things. From a gaming perspective, it also creates situations where polite characters are rewarded, and impolite characters are arrested and punished severely, almost out of proportion to the nature of the crime.

I generated "Advanced Scientific Research" for Sutekh (1707 AADA846-B). Given that we discussed the concept of corporate research and development being an emphasis for Sutekh in the alternate origin story, we can salvage some of that here. In addition to growing as a center for interstellar trade, corporate interests began locating their R&D divisions on Sutekh proper. The world rapidly developed an infrastructure to support the advances that had been brought forth, producing an environment that continues to support advanced and applied scientific research. The University of Sutekh is known throughout the Beta Quadrant for the quality of their science departments.

Our final secondary step in developing Cultural Hubs for the Beta Quadrant setting is to determine the system's primary challenge. In my next post, I'll introduce another table, inspired by the City and Town Obstacles table found in An Echo Resounding. We're almost done with this step!

With Regards,

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