Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Classic Traveler - Using Subsector Creation rules for...

So… did you think I was done talking about Classic Traveller??? Huh??? Did you? Nope, I’m not. Today I want to start talking about the subsector mapping rules that are used their and one possible application that I see for them in a different sci-fi based game.

Over the last couple weeks, I have been pretty busy, but I have gone back to the Classic Traveller books a bit more as I have been exploring a new game on my horizon – Rogue Trader. I know that game has been out for a while, but hell, like I always say, I’m slow. Sorry. Rogue Trader was another of my purchases back during Christmas and I can say that I love it so far. Everything about the Core book is over-flowing with awesome, except for the fact that they don’t really give a clear and easy way of making a portion of space for you to send your starships hurtling through.

So, for that, I opened up my Classic Traveller PDF and gave things a look see. I really like how easy it is to make a Subsector using Traveller. You use an 8x10 hex grid, some dice, and a couple pages of tables and rules and you have yourself pretty much everything you need. Once again here, I love the fact that so much of the Traveller experience is so easily randomized. Not having so spend hours upon hours pondering over the composition of the universe makes me feel a very, very big sense of relief.

The other really nice thing about this rules system is that so much of the Subsector and World creation rules is not based around any mechanics, but rather around fluff and story mechanics. Apart from the presence of Gas Giants, which provide a benefit for starships in refueling, which might not work so well in Rogue Trader, the majority of these rules are very fluffy and provide an easy way to describe not only planetary and stellar systems, but also a great way of figuring out the composition of the world’s within those systems. Whether you are rolling for planetary population, government, atmosphere, or whatever, you can make your world simply and easily and relatively mechanics free.

Translating all this over to Rogue Trader then simply becomes an application of 40K terms and Rogue Trader Mechanics. Once a world gets generated, all you really need to do is figure out what kind of world that would be – is it a death world? A hive world? Maybe neither. Maybe that world is an imperial world and has military installations of the Imperium of Man. You can do pretty much whatever you want with the Classic Traveller Subsector creation rules, which provide a great baseline for conversion into Rogue Trader. The Universe, after all, isn’t that much different. Though the Rogue Trader version might use distance in a different way, nothing fundamentally has to change there either; honestly, all that you would really need to do is sprinkle some threats around your Subsector which are 40K in theme and you are rolling.

For all those Rogue Trader players out there, you will want to go back and give the Classic Traveller rules a try if you are going to GM. If you are a fan of Classic Traveller and are thinking about playing a new sci-fi game, you might want to pick up Rogue Trader and try it out.


  1. Very cool idea! With a tweaking of the tables, this could work really well for any space based sci-fi game...

  2. Interesting to see the rules used for a different game.

    For faster subsector generating, take a look at my Random Subsector Generator.