Mapping the initial subsector of space for my forthcoming Dark Age SF game has proven to be a great deal of fun. Sitting down over the weekend to with a classic-style Traveller subsector hex grid (10×8 hexes) and rolling to see which locations contain star systems is a particular kind of pleasure.
While I have decided to build my own SF Otherverse, I am nonetheless heavily influenced by my decades of love for Traveller which began sometime around the late 1970s. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve rolled 1d6 per hex on a subsector map to find out which places have worlds, but I couldn’t help but return to this game I love for another spin around the block.
That said, I remembered that Comstar Games published the excellent Traveller 1248 books back around 2012 and the first book contains some natty rules for adjusting your standard Traveller subsector map to account for the collapse of Imperium. I decided to use those rules to atrophy my own subsector’s worlds and create some cool setting details. The decision has proven fruitful and I am excited to see how it all feels in play.
Going forward, I aim to add “Roll up another world” to my list of Tiny Prep options for this game. I find that running through the eight or ten dice rolls needed to quickly generate a new subsector world is relatively easy on my tired brain. Rather than trying to imagine some 30-50 unique entries to the setting, Traveller provides a useful random process that then can be leveraged to inspire situations worthy of play.
All in all, so far the process is feeling positive and the prospect of building the Otherverse one star system at a time is exciting. I think past attempts have revolved around trying to create everything in a limited period of time and led to frustration and burn-out. From the get-go this time I have decided to do things in increments. It’s an approach I highly recommend.