Friday, 21 May 2010


Cover of GURPs Traveller: Humaniti by Loren K. Wiseman and Jon F. Zeigler

GURPs Traveller: Humaniti
Compiled and Edited by Loren Wiseman and Jon F. Zeigler

A lot of Traveller people don’t like GURPs as a roleplaying system and, consequently, never considered GURPs Traveller for their Traveller needs in the dark years between the fall of GDW, when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the Geese of Mong. Funny thing is though, a lot of other people love GURPs and play GURPs Traveller, as is evident by the very active GURPs Traveller board that Steve Jackson Games hosts. Interstellar Wars, the first GURPs Traveller product for GURPs 4e, did not, apparently, sell as well as was hoped and this has, sadly, rather put the kibosh on further Traveller products, but SJG still keeps much of their existing Traveller product line in print. GURPs Traveller: Humaniti is one such item and I was fortunate enough to pick it up a year or so ago from SJG’s excellent Warehouse 23.

For the Traveller fan, sixteen Human Minor Races are presented in Humaniti in sufficient detail to make for interesting, and alien additions to a Traveller campaign. Most of these Minor Races have appeared in earlier Traveller publications, such as the original Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society or Challenge magazine, but this is the first time that they have been brought together in one place and examined in detail.

The origins and history of each race are presented, along with their physiology and appearance. Languages; naming conventions; society and government; and technology and trade are all considered, and maps of the homeworlds of several of the races are included. Finally, each race is presented as a template for GURPs Traveller character generation, which is fairly easy to convert to other versions of Traveller with a little thought and some common sense. It should be stressed that this is a very rules-lite Traveller supplement and its value lies chiefly in its text.

I am very satisfied with GURPs Traveller: Humaniti and look forward to being able to introduce some of these Minor Races into my campaign.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Accidents in Astrogation: Gamelea Subsector #3

Gamelea Subsector
Gamelea Subsector consists of 17 systems, 16 of which are part of the Duchy of Gamelea and under Imperial control. The 17th system, Kalar-Wi, while nominally under Imperial occupation, is in the process of being returned to local rule under the terms of the treaty that concluded the Kalar-Wi War of 1103 – 1105.

The subsector has a population of 142.7 billion (1.427 x 10^11) sophonts of which 99% are human, or of human descent. The three minor races native to the subsector; the Kalar-Wi, the Rimbaur of Rimbaud II, and the Julnari of Julnar, only number some 92.3 million, of which 91 million are Kalar-Wi.

The most densely populated world in the subsector is Bryak with a population of 99.9 billion. The next most populous world is Gamelea, the subsector capital, with a population of 29.3 billion. The highest tech systems are Gamelea and Julnar with a Tech Level of 15 (F). Syndon IV is a Red Zone and an Imperial reservation. Interdiction satellites, deployed to protect the Tech Level 2 native culture, orbit the planet. The Kerak system was abandoned in the 1080’s, and its main starport mothballed, when the marginal mineral deposits paid out. This retrenchment caused the fragile economy of neighbouring Tulvan to slide into a three-decade long recession.

There are two main language groups within the Gamelea Subsector, Vriok - the main Kalar-Wi language spoken on Kalar-Wi and the worlds of the old Kalar-Wi Empire, such as Varch, Anthorann and Rimbaud II – and Imperial Basic – the standard language form of the third Imperium. Imperial Basic is further divided into regional dialects that are drifting apart through the natural evolution of living languages.

There are three main dialects of Imperial Basic:
1) Gamelea Imperial Basic: - spoken in the Gamelea Cluster (Kalath, Feor, Vanvlack VII, Gamelea and Ventura), and on Varch, Anthorann, Rimbaud II and Bryak. Both Anthorann and Bryak have strong local accents and the Anthorannis have picked up a lot of Vriok loan words after some 70 years of Kalar-Wi rule.
2) Cassingal: - a dialect of Gazolin Imperial Basic, Cassingal has spread over the coreward border of the Gamelea Subsector and is spoken on all the worlds of the Julnar Reach. Gamelea Imperial Basic speakers and Cassingal speakers can understand each other, though quietly laugh at each other’s accents and spelling conventions.
3) Nolgor Imperial Basic: - spoken on Canblyne and Gilanda and indicative of these two worlds cultural links to the populations of the Nolgor Run to Trailing of Gamelea Subsector.

Other minor languages include Kalton, the native language of the Rimbaur Minor Race of Rimbaud II; Arkord, the native language of the primitive humanoid Arkordi of Syndon IV; and Oloro, the native language of the amphibian Julnari of Julnar.