Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Traveller Tuesdays - Crucis Margin

In deciding to concentrate these postings on the Crucis Margin sector, a little bit of overview might be useful, for anyone interested in following along.

The publication of the Crucis Margin sector has a little bit of a history to it.  It was written by Dave Sering, and originally published by Judges Guild, as part of their licensed Gateway Quadrant.  They licensed, from GDW, the rights to develop a quadrant of four sectors (Ley Sector, Crucis Margin, Glimmerdrift Reaches, and Marantha-Alkahest).  These were published, along with nearly 2 dozen other products (mostly adventures) set in these sectors.  You can get a pdf of the original product from RPGnow.

Then along came Joe Fugate from Digest Group.  He created a computer generated listing of all the sectors in the GDW Traveller Universe's known space.  Some years earlier, the Judges Guild license had expired.  Many GMs still considered the JG data to be "canonical" (and it still is, in My Traveller Universe - MTU).  But while Joe preserved the data from Ley Sector and Marantha-Alkahest (which has been renamed the Gateway sector), he changed the data for Crucis Margin and the Glimmerdrift Reaches. One of the things about this that has always bothered me, was that the political entities in the JG products matched the borders that were drawn in the Keith Brothers supplied map of known space from the original Library Data supplements for classic traveller.  If you look at the website Traveller Maps, you can see at the low resolution map of known space, those original political entities.  But if you zoom in on the detailed view of Crucis Margin and Glimmerdrift Reaches, you see that it was totally changed by Fugate's work.  It is a pity that it became the "canonical" version, copyrighted by both Digest Group and GDW. 

Fast forward.... A few years back, there was a D20 version of Traveller published.  I ran it for a while - it was okay, I just didn't love the D20 system well enough to give up the traditional Traveller system.  Anyway, the publisher put out a great book on the Gateway sectors - but it was based on the changes that Joe made.  The product, called Gateway to Destiny, is nevertheless quite impressive. So while it is a fantastic supplement, and has all sorts of great data in it, it does not preserve the original Judges Guild data on Crucis Margin.

Enough with the publishing history.  This is the beginning of a new weekly column for Gaming with Chuck.  Presenting and expanding on the original Judges Guild information is where this column is headed.  I plan to release a variety of data, in weekly dumps, on the Crucis Margin sector.

There are some web sites that deal with the Judges Guild version of the Crucis Margin sector.  Most inspiringly, is Jeff Rients' Gateway Quadrant wiki.  Lots of articles and "library data" on the worlds, polities, races and so on in the Quadrant, including all of Crucis Margin.

The Zho Base website has a really nice sector data presentation.

Finally, Joffre Horlor in New Zealand has an equally impressive presentation of the data for the sector.

All of this is a presentation variation (and a modernization of the maps, especially in the case of Joffre's website) of the material that first came in the guidebook from the Judge's Guild product.  Along with the guidebook, that product also came with a poster sized map of the sector.  I still have mine *somewhere* but not sure where.  Still, the many digital versions of the data that are available today are fine with me.

The first place to begin is the spinward-coreward quadrant of the Sector (for an intro to galactic directions, see this article).  This contains four subsectors, the two most coreward are Ark, and Negoiul.  The two immediately rimward of them are Mandin and Olsztyn.  Of these, we will present Ark first.

Here is a listing of the 27 worlds that make up the Ark Subsector.

Aiwo          0101 D685745-5    Ag                 702 Na
Boe           0103 B897896-A                       101 Na
Acier         0106 EAC4352-9    Ni                 820 Na
Yaren         0109 B4746B7-A    Ag                 310 Na
Baiti         0202 B475436-C  S Ni                 620 Sx
Anetan        0204 C663759-B    Ri                 603 Sx
Nauru         0206 C499454-A    Ni                 200 Sx
Masinloc      0209 D520313-A    De                 501 Na
Nibok         0302 C354888-B                       110 Sx
Masyaf        0304 E756425-7    Ni                 902 Sx
Gali          0306 D797543-9    Ag                 703 Sx
Koniek        0308 C567782-D    Ag Ri              100 Sx
Etzina        0401 A454979-E  N                    110 Sx
Nashchaug     0503 D000353-C    As                 914 Sx
Buada         0505 B232411-E  N Ni Po              110 Sx
Tasmilma      0507 C768646-A    Ag Ri              100 Sx
Arket         0508 A886989-E  N                    120 Sx
Vryheid       0510 C400310-D  S Ro                 605 Sx
Uaboe         0601 C965669-A    Ag                 110 Sx     f
Martre        0606 C343689-B    Ni Po              100 Sx
Ewa           0702 A200789-D    Va                 103 Sx     f
Abricot       0704 A97A899-E    Wa                 700 Sx
Babia         0707 E554173-8    Ni Po              800 Sx
Malini        0709 B86A989-B    Wa                 110 Sx
Aldrin        0804 E000453-A    As                 203 Sx
Genk          0807 C66A969-B    Wa                 700 Sx
Djebeha       0810 B400682-C    Ro                 115 Sx

This is a typical subsector listing, presenting the Name of the planet first.  The next column (four digit number) is the Hexagon number on the sector map.  The next column is the very important Universal World Profile (UWP), which lists, in order:
Starport type
Planetary Size
Law Level
Tech Level

A nice article describing the UWP, along with links to definitions for each of these statistics, can be found at the Traveller Wiki.

The next column lists whether a Scout base (S), Naval base (N), or Both (2) is present.  Following that are trade codes, important for trade.

Next up is the three digit code describing some world specifics.  The first digit is the Population multiplier.  The UWP Population code gives the base 10 value for the population (for instance Genk/0807 has a population code of 9 - which means 10 to the 9th power.  It's population multiplier is 7, which means that the population of the Genk/0807 system is approximately 7 x 109 or 7,000,000,000 (seven billion) people, throughout the system.   The second digit is the number of Asteroid or Planetoid belts in the system.  The third digit is the number of Gas Giants in the system (very important, for frontier refueling).

Genk/0807 is slightly smaller than Earth, with a size code of 6 representing a mainworld planetary diameter in the range of 8,800-10,399 km (which, assuming a standard Earth-like density, suggests a slightly lower gravity).

The atmospheric code of 6 indicates a Standard, human breathable atmosphere (no specific taints or pollutants on a broad basis).

The hydrosphere has a code of A, or 95%+ of the surface of the mainworld being covered by water.

Further examination shows that there is a Tech Level of B, which is "Average Stellar" - meaning a society and economic base that is quite comfortable not only with space technology, but with starships and stardrives.  It is quite probably that there are all sorts of bases and colonies spread throughout the Genk/0807 system.

From looking at their UWP code for Government, we see that it is a type 6, which represents a captive (or colonial) government.  It would be up to the Referee to determine the story behind this government, but a reasonable glance at the subsector reveals that Genk/0807 is near Malini/0709.  They are both planets in the interstellar government of Sphere Fenix.  It is likely that Malini (or one of the government bureau on Malini) has conquered Genk, and treats it as a colony, or some sort of captive client world.  That Malini only has a population of 1 billion, and Genk has 7 billions is interesting.  Malini is also a water world, same tech level (B), but a better Starport, indicating a better starship manufacturing and support facility.  That Malini has a government that is a civil-service bureaucracy makes the possibility very interesting.

Finally, looking at the Law Level for Genk (a 9) it is quite a strict, and harshly controlled society.  Perhaps a Prison planet?  But it does have the same Law Level, for instance, as Malini - which is being considered as the patron world for Genk.

The final column gives the political affiliation.  Most of the planets in the Ark subsector are in Sphere Fenix, but some of the planets are unaffiliated.  From the original Judges Guild write up, we know this about Sphere Fenix -

Sphere Fenix was original settled by a very diverse group of refugees from the collapsing First Imperium. During the Long Night, these fugitives flourished into a series of mini-states. About 500 Imperial dating, a series of small but bitter wars broke out. In 724, the three surviving states declared peace on each other and met to discuss unification. Though the precise details of governmental structure took over 28 years to develop, Sphere Fenix dates its birth from that meeting. Though internal unrest has occurred since, the overall prosperity has continued to increase. A mutual defense treaty was signed with Ramayan in the 8th century Imperial. Technical assistance is received from Imperium military services and Imperial security is rumored to have great influence. In spite of having fought in no major wars in centuries, military prowess is high and it has become traditional to serve a term or two as a mercenary in one of the surrounding sectors, especially the Marlan Primate.

Writeups like these on the worlds of Ark will follow, at least the interesting worlds.  Along with it, I intend to publish details on Patrons, Ships, Locations and Missions.  Hopefully it will be fun.

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