Friday, January 25, 2013

Traveller Sandbox: Game Mechanics Support...

Good Afternoon, All:

Step Nine, the final step in the process of developing a sandbox setting for the Traveller Sandbox Experiment, is to review the setting and see if there are any rules additions I should introduce, such as new careers, alien species, event tables, etc. Here's also where I might create tables for rumors and other items that could prove to be of interest later. Below is a simple list of the things I thought of as I reviewed my notes:

  1. Alien Species: "The Thulians, a scholarly alien species from Amaterasu (Segin 3110 B688735-A), have become enamored with the collection of data at the Ksitigarbha Institute, and have practically taken the planet by storm. Driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, many well-to-do Thulians make a pilgrimage to Jizo at least once in their lifetimes."
  2. Bestiary: Creating creatures common to the setting, or important to one or more of the world descriptions, would be good to do here. The first example that comes to mind are the mizuchi, lethal parasitic creatures common to Prishiboro's jungles.
  3. Career Event Tables: For the really industrious, one could develop new event tables for each career path. I'm probably not that industrious, though.
  4. Career Path: The Librarian-Explorer career path covers those researchers, data collators and field archivists common to the Ksitigarbha Institute, located on Jizo. It seems like a small group, perhaps too focused, but if I want to create something unique for character development, this one is a good choice.
  5. Contacts, Allies, Rivals and Enemies Table: Personalizing this table on page 76 of the core rulebook will help emphasize a gaming experience in the Beta Quadrant, as opposed to a more generic Traveller setting.
  6. Homeworld Tables: Generating a simple table to randomly select a homeworld within the Beta Quadrant insures that player-characters fit in the setting.
  7. Life Event Tables: Developing new Life Event tables based on the setting allows characters to quickly link to elements that will immerse them into the game more quickly.
  8. Patron Encounters: Generating a few patron encounters that emphasize setting elements will help create go-to scenarios that build on the Beta Quadrant experience for players.
  9. Random Encounter Tables: Much like Life Event Tables, Random Encounter Tables based on the Beta Quadrant help both players and Referees with immersion. These would replace one or more of the tables found on pages 81-83 of the core rulebook.
  10. Rumor Tables: To facilitate the use of the Beta Quadrant setting, a nice rumor table could help encourage player-characters to investigate one of the many interesting locations throughout the region. If I am feeling industrious, I'd do one per subsector, or perhaps one per polity.
  11. Starships: The Black Ships of the Kobe Clan are an example of some new starship types that could be constructed specifically for the setting.

While the above may sound like a lot, it helps to remember that all of this doesn't have to be done at once. Honestly, some of it doesn't even have to be done if you're okay with using the standard tables found in the core rulebook. For all intents and purposes, I'd probably only address the Alien Species, Bestiary, Homeworld Tables, Patron Encounters, Random Encounter Tables and Rumor Tables, if I were doing this for a home game, at least at first. As an experiment, I'm inclined to stick to that more limited list, and then see if I get inspired to do more along the way.

Hope This Helps,

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