I was skimming through the GURPS Traveller listing in Wikipedia. I admit, I was pleased to read this bit…
Until 1998 the original Traveller books had been out of print for over a decade. Also the small size and amount of the books meant there wasn’t as much information on the universe as many people would have liked. Steve Jackson Games has already printed more material for Traveller’s Imperium setting than Game Designers’ Workshop ever did, with more pictures, starship deckplans, and details of the game universe.
But I was brought up to a halt with this bit about the ‘new setting’
GT: Interstellar Wars is set almost 2500 years prior to the founding of the Third Imperium, with a default year of A.D. 2170. The humans from Earth finally invent a faster-than-light drive for their space ships. They soon make first contact with extraterrestrial aliens, and those aliens are human. The Interstellar Wars has the potential to be a much more dynamic campaign setting than the essentially static background of the Third Imperium.
This looks to be about right to me… except that no one ever wrote up stories for it. I happen to know that GURPS would have been pleased to publish decent material from the Interstellar Wars period while they still had the license.
And yet, I wrote up quite a bit of material for “the essentially static background of the Third Imperium” while I have written up nothing for the Interstellar Wars period. I used GURPS Traveller rules for an alternate setting (Stellar Reaches #15 and #15), and stuck an adventure during the Long Night (“Adventure: The Parable of St. Ram”, Stellar Reaches #23).
I’ve even put in material for the Traveller period I still gag on – after two whole decades have passed! – the 1201 period of Traveller: The New Era (“Hegemony, Republic, Duchy: Part VI”, Stellar Reaches #17).
But I’ve never felt any attraction to the Interstellar Wars era. A history of the period for the Empty Quarter, yes, in the “Hegemony, Republic, Duchy” series. However, that’s background material, and was not meant to be an era to be actually played in. Hint: no maps for spacefaring adventurers.
I would think that war gamers would like the era… but they can go straight to the Imperium game, “Traveller’s Little Brother”.
Going to the Imperium listing in Wikipedia, we get:
When Imperium was published in 1977, its scenario was not connected to any other game. GDW published Traveller in the same year, but Traveller was at that point a system for running adventures in a generic science fiction setting, with no established background. However, as the company constructed the Third Imperium as the default setting for Traveller, the situation in Imperium was retconned into the Traveller Imperium’s history; it became the First Interstellar War, the first of many wars leading to the overthrow of the Vilani Grand Empire of Stars (Ziru Sirka) by the Terran Confederation and the establishment of the Rule of Man.
What if, way back in 1977, GDW decided to set Traveller as the role-playing part of the Imperium board game, in the same ‘Interstellar Wars’ time period and setting?
Something to chew on…