THIS WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE TRAVELLER MAINING LIST:
A Really Evil Idea For A Traveller Campaign
by Leslie Bates, age 42
Over 10,000 years ago, a species called the An or the Anu discovered the jump drive. Over a period of about two centuries they explored and colonized twelve uninhabited worlds in nearby systems. They also discovered and colonized the planet Earth, which they called Ki. The native intelligent species, the Humans, were genetically modified and used as laborers on Ki and on the other Anu colonies.
Then something happened. A disaster, a civil war started by a dissident faction, or an invasion by a hostile species, called the Hunters of the Dawn, destroyed the Anu civilization. On Ki, a remnant of the Anu called the Anunnaki continued to dominate the natives until about 2000 to 3000 BC.
On Suhurmash, one of the Anu colony worlds, the surviving Humans have developed a high-tech civilization. By reverse engineering Anu relics they have begun to build their own jump ships.
The player characters are the crew of the first ship to reach the planet "Ki." While attempting to land at the site of the last known Anu colony on Ki, their TL-9 ship is fired on by two F-15's of the United States Air Force. After landing and meeting the locals, the crew is brought to the local leader. (You know, the guy with the mustache.) Who will be happy to help repair the ship in exchange for help against the attackers.
The date on the local calender is March 15, 2003.
Have a nice day.
The PC's ship is a 40 year old type unarmed M subsidized merchant operating under an academic or corporate charter, their government didn't know and certainly wouldn't have sanctioned the expedition to Earth.
Suhurmash, the PC's homeworld, was politically unified before it hit TL 4 and only has about a dozen 100 ton armed couriers for use in SAR/courier missions.
Borrowing a page from the Glen Larson SF universe construction handbook, the 12 other Anu colonies were named for the 12 signs of the zodiac, in Sumerian.
Then today I had these thoughts:
Even more fun:
Your group of PC's could be a special op's unit that breaks into what the spooks believe is a WMD facility. What you actually find is a disk shaped starship (100 to 400 d-tons) with clear signs of missile damage. The surviving guards tell you that the crew was taken away.
You now have to go out and find the crew.
Since we are borrowing a page from the Glen Larson SF universe construction handbook. We are naming the 12 other Anu colonies for the 12 signs of the zodiac in Sumerian. Here is the list of names as given by Zacharia Sitchin.
Guanna = Taurus
Mashtabba = Gemini
Dub = Cancer
Urgula = Leo
Absin = Virgo
Zibaanna = Libra
Girtab = Scorpio
Pabil = Sagittarius
Suhurmash = Capricorn
Gu = Aquarius
Simmah = Pisces
Kumal = Aries
Shamelessly stealing from Glen Larson again, we note that during the destruction of the Twelve Colonies that the Capricans were the least incompetent of all the humans, therefore we shall say that a high tech human civilization arose on the Anu colony world of Suhurmash. I originally favored Procyon as the location of this world, but I'm beginning to think that Tau Ceti may be better.
The dominant power on the planet during the TL4 period was the Adaman Empire, which was named for its founder, a humble herdsman who was called upon to lead his people out of...well...you get the idea.
Through a process of warfare and dynastic marriage, the Adamans had effectively unified their world before the development of the TL 5 military technology that made the First World War on Terra such a fun time for all. It also meant that the occasional re- equipping of "The Warriors" tended to be an exercise in keeping up with the civilians. As a result, Caprican...er...Adaman ironmongery is strictly LB Book One, nothing from Mercenary or later works.
As the Adamans ranged far and wide over their world they found smashed cities and fossilized remains of Anu as well as of humans. Adamans who built telescopes would see visible ruins of domed cities on the moon of Suhurmash. Needless to say, as soon as it was possible the Adamans sent several expeditions (with essentially Soviet level technology) to explore those ruins.
In the 100th year of the Unified Empire the first explorers found well preserved (by archaeological standards) examples of Anu technology, which the Adamans proceeded to reverse engineer.
With their first starships they began to explore and colonize the systems around them. Usually they found more ruins, sometimes with primitive Humans or Anu in or near them. They also found the Anu home world. Which had taken so much damage in the final cataclysm that the atmosphere had reverted to Type A-Exotic.
In 167th year of the Unified Empire, the first Adaman ship had reached the world listed on the ancient Anu charts as "Ki." To their horror they found the major nations of Ki fighting a planetary scale war with weapons that the Adamans had never even dreamed of. (Most of the army of the starfaring Adaman Empire at the time was still using lever action black-powder rifles and muzzle loading cannon.) The Adaman government immediately interdicted Ki and began a surveillance program.
Two bases were established in the system. The primary base was on the fourth planet. The forward surveillance post was set up on the satellite of Ki, which on the ancient Anu charts was called Kingu. This post with its supporting spacecraft was called the watch unit.
In 169th year of the Unified Empire, the watch unit observed the detonation of a nuclear explosive device in the desert of the minor northern continent. Shortly thereafter two more nuclear weapons were detonated over cities in a chain of islands off the eastern coast of the main northern continent.
As the nation on the minor northern continent began further atmospheric testing of nuclear bombs, the watch unit began to carry out a more aggressive surveillance program.
In 171th year of the Unified Empire, a 20 d-ton launch crashed in the desert outside of a nuclear bomber base on the minor northern continent. The Imperial leadership basically freaked out and forbade the use of such aggressive watch tactics in the future.
It was now feared that the inhabitants of Ki would reverse engineer Adaman technology and turn their attention to the skies of their world.
In 193th year of the Unified Empire, an expedition from the minor northern continent of Ki landed on a relatively flat area of Kingu. The commander of the watch unit at the time, who was named for the founder of the Empire, made contact with the Kian astronauts and basically read them the riot act.
The Kians would be permitted to send five more expeditions to Kingu, those expeditions were forbidden to land anywhere near the forward watch unit base or any Anu ruins on Kingu. Furthermore the Kians were forbidden to send manned expeditions to any other planet of their own system. Having heard the ruling of the watch unit commander, the two Kian astronauts were permitted to return to a water landing on Ki. The junior member of the Kian landing party was later compelled to seek psychiatric help.
Much to the annoyance of the watch unit the two dominant nations on Ki proceeded to launch manned orbital stations and send robot probes to the other planets. One robot from the North-Main continent came too close to a Adaman ship near the inner moon of the fourth planet and had to be destroyed. Another robot probe entered orbit around the largest gas giant in the system and effectively prevented its use as a refueling site.
During this time there was a great amount of acrimony on Suhurmash concerning the re-equipping of the armed forces to a higher tech level. The Warrior class by this time had taken the view that warfare was essentially an exercise in studliness. Even though the conversion of the army to TL 6 self-loading rifles and general purpose machineguns, which were basically copies of Kian weaponry, had gone relatively smoothly in spite of the usual griping about ammunition wastage and girly calibers. The army had virtually blocked the adoption of such "cowardly" weapons as grenades, mortars, and indirect firing artillery.
When the high command attempted to introduce the assault rifle, even those officers who were aware of the military technology situation on Ki refused to go along with the adoption of "kiddie- caliber" guns. Basically believing that the Kian adoption of such infantry weapons was an exploitable mistake.
As for combat uniforms, the prevailing belief in the armed forces was that a warrior could not be too flashy in appearance.
The one bright spot in the military picture was that the Cavalry arm was happy to trade in their riding beasts for the newfangled fighter spacecraft. Which were basically a beefed up version of the standard pilot trainer that was fitted with a pulse laser.
In 226th year of the Unified Empire, a privately owned Adaman ship broke the interdiction and attempted to land near the site of the last known Anu colony on Ki.
I'm finished droning now.