Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Traveller Sandbox: The Exploration Site Origins Table...

Good Afternoon, All:

Every exploration site was created for a reason. In the published Traveller Universe and those inspired by it, the mysterious sites that the players get to explore are often created by sentient beings, either recently or in the great and distant past (generally speaking, the Ancients). On other occasions, they are natural structures such as cave systems that have been exploited by sentient beings for a given purpose. Aside from extensive animal lairs, I agree with that concept.

With a nod to the Ruin Natures table in An Echo Resounding, I offer the following table for determining Exploration Site Origins. Please note that it contains what I believe are common Traveller tropes for exploration site origins, based on character creation rules and other system elements found in the core rulebook, but 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.

Table: Exploration Site Origins
d66Exploration Site Origin
11Abandoned Colony
12Ancient Site
13Animal Lair
15Asteroid Ship
16Cavern System
21Communication Center
22Corporate Headquarters
23Crashed Starship
24Foreign Consulate
25Frontier Outpost
26Government Facility
31Isolated Spaceport
32Medical Center
33Mining Colony
34Naval Base
35Noble Estate
36Outlying Settlement
41Pirate Base
42Planetary Defense Silo
43Prison Complex
44Psionic Institute
45Religious Temple
46Research Facility
51Scout Base
52Secret Base
53Space Station
54Temporary Encampment
55Terraforming Plant
56Tourist Resort
61Trading Post
62Training Center
63University Campus
64Wartorn City
65Wildlife Preserve
66Referee's Option (Unusual Site)

Using the table above, I generated three possible site origins, one each for the three Exploration Sites we're using as examples. (One of these is a Red Zone, so we can use that table, too.) Here are the three worlds I've chosen to explore:

Mudhava (Segin 2414 E526330-6): Starport Class E (Frontier); Medium (Low-G); Very Thin (Tainted); Wet World; Low Pop (9,000); Self-perpetuating Oligarchy; No Law; Pre-Stellar Tech. No Bases. Trade Codes: Low Pop. Non-aligned.

Prishiboro (Segin 2810 E596568-5): Starport Class E (Frontier); Medium (Low-G); Dense (Tainted); Wet World; Mod Pop (200,000); Colony/Captive World; High Law; Industrial Tech. No Bases. Trade Codes: Agricultural World, Garden World, Low Tech and Non-Industrial World. Jengu Alliance.

Tajimamori (Segin 2608 X410244-8 Red Zone): Starport Class X (Interdicted); Medium (Low-G); Trace; Desert World; Low Pop (300); Representative Democracy; Mod Law; Pre-Stellar Tech. No Bases. Trade Codes: Low Pop. Koyane Shogunate.

When considering Mudhava (Segin 2414 E526330-6), I generated "Pirate Base". Okay, we have a noble family reigning over nine thousand people, with no true laws in place regarding offworlders, at least. Perhaps the only way they survive as a colony is through trading with pirates. Although there are no bases in the UWP, I may go back and add a Pirate Base to represent the use of this system as a port of call for pirates, given their status here. A pirate base provides a great source for adventures and exploration, due to the accumulated treasures of starships and outlying colonies that could be help in storage here. Perhaps a collector could hire the party to recover a stolen item... hmmm, the seeds are already coming to me. Heck, this even suggests a nice background detail: Among interstellar pirates, Mudhava is known colloquially as "Mud Haven."

For the garden world of Prishiboro (Segin 2810 E596568-5), I rolled "Wartorn City". Noting that Prishiboro has a Government code of 6 (Colony/Captured World), this fit perfectly with the concept that perhaps this planet has recently changed hands from the Koyane Shogunate to the Jengu Alliance during the most recent war between these two polities. My imagination ran with that idea: The world of Izanagi originally belonged to the Koyane Shogunate, but after capture during the Jengu-Koyane War (or whatever I call it later), it was renamed as Prishiboro by the Jengu Alliance. (Both names come from a primary god of their pantheon, and each lost their wife, though by different means. It seemed a nice tie-in to use the two names in conjunction.) The system originally had a much larger population and a better starport, but after a planetary bombardment by the Jengu fleet, the best places to land a ship are now abandoned parking lots. The primary city was destroyed, but the ruins of the city are now scavenged by survivors of the planetary assault as well as off-world raiders. I'll likely need a good MacGuffin to bring player-characters to this world, but the opportunities for exploration look pretty good, just on this small bit alone.

For the desert planet of Tajimamori (Segin 2608 X410244-8 Red Zone), I came up with an Exploration Site Origin of "Secret Base". Because it's a Red Zone, I also came up with a reason for that status, which turned out to be "Electronics Disruption". (Okay, originally, I rolled "Wildlife Preserve" but that didn't fit the UWP.) Now I can combine those two, and come up with an idea like the following: Travel inside the system of Tajimamori is dangerous due to unusual electromagnetic-gravitic interference that disrupts unshielded and even poorly-shielded electronic systems. While the Koyane Shogunate claim that it is due to a natural phenomenon, the truth is that the system is actually a secret military base researching weapon technology, which is generating the interference. Ah, the joys of exploring a secret military base in search of advanced weapon technology brings a cackle to my lips... I mean, it prompts interest in writing a cool adventure or two for future player-characters in this setting.

Already, these three worlds are shaping up for some very interesting opportunities for exploration, but we're not done yet. We still have two more sub-steps in this process to go: Exploration Site Traits and Challenges. Next post, we look at Traits and see where that takes us.

With Regards,

1 comment:

Kobold said...

Pull factors for going to Prishiboro might include looking for someone who has gone to the bombed-out city and then disappeared (captured by mutants or slavers or the new government or by vault survivors emerging from the safety of their shelter).

Alternatively, the players may have a connection with the planet - great aunty left Prishiboro as a child but her family fortune is in the ruins of the family manse in the city.

Or even a professor-friend has found hints that a researcher at Prishiboro University had achieved a break through in Jump tech research and her notes and prototype are still in the ruined university.