I’ve been collecting some of the various worlds and variations for Cepheus Engine, the open-source, OSR version of Traveller.
In the traditional Traveller/Cepheus game the PCs travel through various solar systems like the crew of a old-time tramp steamer – picking up various jobs and having adventures.
Over the years, the rule set has been used for all sorts of different worlds and genres, much like the D20 system has.
These are some of my favorites:
Back in 1978 there was an anthology series founded by Robert Lynn Asprin called Thieves’ World. A number of prominent fantasy authors from time wrote a series of stories set in Sanctuary – a crime-ridden, edge-of empire fantasy city. The stories shared the same location and were encouraged to use each other’s characters in their own stories. It was relatively successful and had many sequels.
In 1982, Chaosium put out an boxed RPG supplement for Sanctuary. It was a lovely physical production, with fold out maps, GMs and player guides. I believe it is currently out of print.
It contained stats for all of the major characters from the books for all of the popular RPGs of the 90s – AD&D, Adventures in Fantasy, Chivalry & Sorcery, DragonQuest, D&D, The Fantasy Trip, RuneQuest, Tunnels & Trolls, and strangely enough – Traveller.
It justified putting Sanctuary in a sci-fi world this by suggesting Sanctuary was on a fringe, low tech planet (it even gets a UPP). The magic in Santuary was either remnants of an ancient technology, or a mysterious local phenomenon unrelated to rest of the universe. Alternately, Sanctuary didn’t actually exist and was just a virtual world that the players could pay to visit.
Judge Dredd (Mongoose Traveller edition)
There have been many versions of the British dystopian comic book. In 2009, Mongoose put out a version of Judge Dredd using the Traveller rules.
In character creation, players only have one career path to choose from – Judge. Rules and stats are given for all of the traditional gadgets, weapons, and vehicles found in the comic.
I’ve had fun running this one, and even created my own fillable character sheet.
This a world by Paul Elliot, published by Zozer games. It’s a space adventure game inspired by 80’s movies like Alien & Outland (I call it the CRT Future aesthetic)
It’s a big 307-page book full of careers (Roughneck, Corporate Agent, Spacer), and it’s full of details of menacing corporations, near-future tech, and possible scenarios.
The game designer Michael Brown has made a bunch of small games, many inspired by preexisting properties, all using the Cepheus\Traveller rules.
This is a neat little one-page based on the old 1970s sci-fi show – Space 1999. The Moon, along with a human moon base, has been transported though space to an alien sector. PCs play the astronauts exploring their new environment, and encountering weird aliens.
Blades of Tyri
This is a planetary romance game inspired by the old Barsoom novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs and other “Sword and Planet” authors. The players are humans of Earth who have been marooned on a primitive alien world to have swashbuckling adventures.
Wings over the World
I’m fascinated by this one. It’s based on a very specific genre – Things to Come – the movie adaptation of the H.G. Wells short story. It’s about a worldwide aerial police force helping to rebuild a post apocalyptic world.
2 thoughts on “Alternate settings for Traveller”
not sure if this qualifies as “alternate worlds for Traveller” (you could argue these are completely unrelated settings that happen to use the Traveller rules), anyway please consider:
* Mercator (Ancient Rome Traveller) https://gondica.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/mercator-the-roman-traveller-rpg/
* Worlds Apart (This is really very close to Classic Traveller, except your ship is travelling in a large fantasy archipelago instead of among planets) https://www.nobleknight.com/Products/Worlds-Apart-Traveller
Thanks for these. I was familiar with Mercator, but hadn’t seen Worlds Apart before. I just got the free no-art version at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/105341/Worlds-Apart–Free-Version