After looking back at my Little Black Book Traveller ’77 tabletop roleplaying game—which doesn’t have a default setting—I set out to make my own subsector for adventure. I decided to use Cepheus Engine Deluxe for my core rules because it is the updated version of Traveller and closest to the 1977 version. Besides, many of the subsector generators online use algorithms that just weren’t there in 1977!
For those not familiar with the Universal World Profile (UWP) below this is how you decode it:
- World Name / hex / UWP / Bases / Trade Tags / Notes
- UWP A123456-T
- A= Starport
- 1= World Diameter (Earth = 8)
- 2= Atmosphere (Standard = 6)
- 3= Hydrographics (% water covered)
- 4= Population (order of magnitude)
- 5= Government
- 6= Law Level
- T= Tech Level (TL)
You will see below that all my world names are generic tags. When I’m worldbuilding the names of worlds are one of the last things I do…if I get around to it. More often than not the tag suffices. One mark of a great adventure is when your players are leaving the planet and ask, “So, what was that place that nearly killed us?”
In the B’rron Subsector Jump-3 is the longest jump drive possible. To build Jump-1 drives takes TL9, Jump-2 is TL11, and Jump-3 is TL13. In combination with the starport rules for ship construction (only A-class starports can construct starships; B-class can construct system ships, and C-class can only do small craft) this means not every polity will actually be able to build starships. As you will see, building Jump-3 ships is actually limited to only two planets throughout the entire subsector.
I assumed that the B’rron Subsector was settled long ago and allegiances were established amongst worlds one parsec (1 hex) distant from each other. This created six major political entities.
Here is the B’rron Subsector. [Subsector map generated using https://campaignwiki.org/traveller/edit…with hand drawn embellishments!] The subsector map shows three loose groupings. The Coreward Cluster with the two worlds of the Stra’zer Arm, the Bradii Reach, and Amiltin Reformation. The Central Worlds consist of the Dun’i’gan Federation, Dr’ke Arm, and Quinto Expanse. There are also four “independent” worlds without allegiances though one, a high population and high technology world ruled by a religious dictatorship, lies at the rimward edge of the subsector.
Stra’zer Arm (Green border)
- SA-1 / 0101 / D665735-1 /Research Base / Agricultural, Garden, Low Tech, Rich
- SA-2 / 0201 / B522A78-7 / Scout Base / Water World
Late in the design process I decided that the Sta’zer Arm is an alien empire. I haven’t defined the alien…yet. The worlds within B’rron Subsector appear rather poor. Why SA-1 is not a Red Zone is unknown. The jump-3 trade route between SA-1 and the Bradii capital is a very recent development and drawing interest as it is the only known jump-3 trade or communications route in the whole subsector.
Ship Construction – 0201 TL7 System Ships
Amiltin Reformation (Blue border)
- AR-1 / 0104 /E9A7552-7 / Non-Water Fluid Ocean, Non-Industrial / Gas Giant
- AR-2 / 0203 / X9A0348-7 / Research Base / Desert, Low Pop / Gas Giant / RED ZONE
- AR-C / 0303 / B796ADA-A / Naval Base / High Pop, Industrial / Capital
- AR-4 / 0403 / E635554-9 / Non-Industrial
- AR-5 / 0503 / C443778-8 / Scout Base / Non-Industrial / Balkanized
Led by the religious dictatorship on AR-C, at TL10 the Amiltin Reformation has the technology but not the shipyards to build starships. There are rumors of a secret research project on AR-2 (Red Zone, and nobody believes there is only an X-Starport or that the tech level is 7).
The balkanized AR-5 has become a planet of intrigue. Lying two parsecs from both the Amiltin Reformation and Bradii Reach capitals, the planet nominally owes its allegiance to Amiltin. However, several groups on the planet openly advocate alignment with the impersonal bureaucracy of the Bradii Reach, which has the Amiltin religious dictatorship on edge.
Ship Construction – 0303 TL10 System Ships
Bradii Reach (Orange border)
- BR-C / 0401 / A72AA98-F / Naval Base / High Pop, High Tech, Industrial, Water World / Gas Giant / Capital
- BR-2 / 0501 / E454677-7 / Agricultural, Garden
- BR-3 / 0601 / D595886-5 / Low Tech / Gas Giant / RED ZONE
- BR-4 / 0701 / AAA59AA-D / Naval Base / Non-Water Fluid Oceans, High Pop, High Tech / Charismatic Dictator
- BR-5 / 0801 / C31478A-8 / Scout Base / Ice-Capped
With the highest tech level planet in the subsector (BR-C TL15), Bradii Reach should easily dominate. The shipyards in BR-C and BR-4 are the only yards in the entire subsector capable of building Jump-2 or Jump-3 starships.
The charismatic dictatorship on BR-4, just a step behind in technology (TL13), believes they are the rightful leader of the Reach and is willing to fight for that recognition if necessary. This tends to keep the capital focused inward instead of outward, much to the relief of the Amiltin Reformation.
Ship Construction – 0401 TL15 Jump-3 Starships / 0701 TL13 Jump-3 Starships
In the last few generations, more and more politicians talk about a Central Worlds Confederation.
Dun’i’gan Federation (Yellow border)
- DF-1 / 0305 / X110400-6 / Scout Base / Non-Industrial
- DF-2 / 0405 / X787446-3 / Garden, Low Tech, Non-Industrial / Gas Giant
- DF-3 / 0406 / B466998-B / Naval Base / High Pop, High Tech
- DF-4 / 0505 / E596551-5 / Agricultural, Low Tech, Non-Industrial
- DF-5 / 0506 / C537751-7
- DF-C / 0507 / C996ACA-C / Naval Base / High Pop, High Tech, Industrial / Gas Giant/ Capital
By some measures, DF-3, with the B-Starport, could very well be the Federation capital. Maybe in a few generations, but for now the higher-tech DF-C—connected via communications route to the Quinto Expanse and Dr’ke Arm—remains the capital.
Like AR-5, planet DF-1 is another planet of intrigue. A member of the Federation, it lies two parsecs from the Amiltin Reformation capital and two parsecs from the high population and high technology DF-3. Amiltin sees it as a potential pathway into the Central Worlds while the Federation sees it as a defensive bulwark to prevent the spread of the Reformation.
The Dun’i’gan Federation is lukewarm to the idea of a Confederation. As they are dependent on others to build starships they fear they would be seen as the junior-most partner in any grouping.
Ship Construction – 0406 TL11 System Ships
Quinto Expanse (Red border)
- QE-C / 0509 / A7648C9-9 / Naval Base / Agricultural, Garden / Gas Giant / Capital
- QE-2 / 0608 / B4668C8-6 / Agricultural, Garden / Gas Giant
- QE-3 / 0709 / D676477-8 / Low Pop
The Quinto Expanse is fiercely independent, but is at risk of being overwhelmed by the higher tech Dun’igan Federation and Dr’ke Arm. QE-2, with trade route connections to two other polities, is often referred to as “Kasablanka”—a reference with an origin lost in time.
The Quinto Expanse has mixed feelings about a confederation. As a relatively small empire they feel a bit threatened by the Dr’ke Arm, yet they also seek allies as they fear the “rise of the Heresy.”
Ship Construction – 0509 TL9 Jump-1 Starships
Dr’ke Arm (Black border)
- DA-1 / 0803 / X492357-5 / Scout Base / Low Pop, Low Tech / Gas Giant
- DA-2 / 0704 / X241463-0 / Low Pop, Low Tech, Non-Industrial / Captive Government of 0706
- DA-3 / 0705 / D380200-5 / Desert, Low Pop, Low Tech, Poor
- DA-4 / 0706 / A373CCA-9 / High Pop, Industrial / Gas Giant
- DA-C / 0707 / B47AAA7-C / Naval Base / High Pop, Industrial / Gas Giant / Capital
- DA-6 / 0807 / D000553-A / Naval Base / Asteroid, Vacuum
Te Dr’ke Arm has two faces; the rimward worlds are relatively high tech and populous but the coreward worlds are extremely poor. The Scout base in 0803 serves as a forward outpost against the Bradii Reach. DA-2 is an early colony set up by DA-4.
The Dr’ke Arm is the greatest proponent for confederation, mostly because they see themselves as the natural leader.
Ship Construction – 0706 TL9 Jump-1 Starships / 0707 TL12 System Ships
- “Pirate” / 0107 / C200600-7 / Pirate Base / Non-Agricultural, Non-Industrial, Vacuum
- “Corp” / 0109 / E100510-7 / Corporate / Vacuum
- “Heresy” / 0210 / A565DDA-A / Naval Base? / High Pop, High Tech / Religious Dictatorship
- “Castaway” / 0309 / X410100-3 / Low Tech
The planet in 0107 is a known pirate stronghold.
Corp is known as a corporately controlled world, though where the corporation comes from is unknown. Some think the corporation and pirates are aligned…
“The Heresy” is the nickname given to an unknown religious dictatorship. Ship Construction – TL10 Jump-1 Starships.
The few people living on Castaway are not some primitive race, but the crew of a ship lost that “went native” and refuse to leave. There are rumors that this may actually be an elite special forces team from the Quinto Expanse sent to man a secret listening post to defend against The Heresy and pirates. Who knows?
The “intrigue” worlds at the crossroads of multiple polities are good locations for adventures. If the players want to trade, these are also good locations to work from. There is always great opportunity to get involved in the political or military machinations between various factions. There is also the rimward/spinward threats that seem very distant but…
Hmm…I wonder if a mercenary striker could find employment? Looks like Traveller Volume 4 – Mercenary is up next!
Feature image courtesy rpgknights.com
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