ZX Spectrum – my model 1bis

I have donated my ZX Spectrum to the Internet Museum. Other stuff for Spectrum I donated was a light-pen, two joysticks, a MIDI-interface, a printer and lots of games.

ZX Spectrum Internetmuseem
Using this computer, I wrote a few programs for Traveller.

I wrote a subsector generator that also could be used as a space trading game using LBB book 7 rules. That subsector generator also created names for the planets. Some of the planets (and planet names) in the Zhodani Base version of the Foreven Sector was created using this generator.

I also wrote a generator for animal encounters using LBB book 3 rules. Some of the animals in the encounter tables for the Trading on PYLKAH was created using this generator.

Moon AlertI also played lots of fun games. Lots of these games had science fiction themes. Moon Alert that is a Moon Patrol clone is a games I enjoyed.  In Moon Alert, you drive in a moon buggy. You must jump over or destroy obstacles and avoid being shot by (or destroy) the aliens.

galaxiansAnother classic game I played a lot was Galaxian. This is a lot like Space Invaders with the added complication that the aliens not only drops bombs but also try to make fast suicide attacks. To score the highest points you must kill a formation of two red and one yellow when they do a suicide attack. First the red ones and then the yellow one. This is a game that I also played a lot on arcade machines.

But the most interesting and Traveller like game I played was Elite. But I think I must write a separate post about that game and the evolution of it. Now I play Elite: Dangerous which is the most recent version of Elite.

The Major Races in an ATU setting

There are six major races in the Official Traveller Universe. All are very well described in a number of books in different Traveller rules versions. This is a good source of information to help you with the races for your own Alternate Traveller Universe.

The problem with the major races in the OTU is that they all are placed in the OTU and a few of them may be difficult to re-use your own ATU. Described below are my opinions (in alphabetic order) why the races may be good or problematic for re-use in an ATU.

There are lots of reasons for creating your own ATU. One reason may be that you are bored with the OTU, another that you don’t like all the conflicting canon and another reason may be that you just want to create your own universe.

Alsn CoynAslan:

Aslan are a race of catlike aliens. Even though that might seem like a sci-fi cliché, the Aslans are well described and would probably work well in an ATU with only some minor changes.

The Aslans have been described at about the same time as the Chanur novels was written. It is difficult to guess what cross contamination that has occurred. My guess is that it was in both ways.

The DroyneDroyne:

Spoiler warning! Mark the hidden text below to make it visible.

The Droyne is one of the most important races in the OTU. They (as the Ancients) transplanted humaniti to many worlds in charted space. If you don’t want this in your ATU, then the Droyne cannot be the ancients.

The Droyne is well described and would work well in an ATU as an old mysterious race. You may want to ignore (or change) the secret part that is hidden above.

Hiver CoynHiver:

The Hivers are the starfish aliens that actually are starfish. They are also good at manipulating other races to do what they want. They are also very good at mathematics and use a base-6 system. Their computers and robotics are very advanced. The Hivers don’t like ground combat and use other races to help them with that.

The Hivers could work well as a strange race in an ATU setting.

HumanitiHumaniti:

There are the Solomani, the Vilani and the Zhodani and lots of minor human races. In the OTU all human races (except the Solomani) has been taken from Earth a long time ago and they have then evolved independently. This may seem like a stupid idea to re-use in an ATU unless you are a trekkie or likes von Däniken.

Humans from Terra (Solomani) can be borrowed from the OTU. But these are not the good guys, so you may want to change them.

Other human races will be more difficult to re-use in an ATU.

K'Kree CoynK’Kree:

These are horsemen or centaurs. In the early versions of Traveller, they were actually called Centaurs. I think they can be a good foe in an ATU with their vegetarianist agenda.

Big strange races like this (with strange motivations) usually work best as NPCs.

VargrVargr:

In the OTU these dog people are uplifted Terran dogs. Although Vargrs are one of the best described races in Traveller, they belong in the OTU and cannot really fit into an ATU as they are described.

If they are uplifted in another way than in the OTU or if they are not actually dogs (just like the Aslan are not cats) then they could work.

Summary:

Works well: Aslan, Hiver, Solomani, K’kree

Problematic: Droyne, Vilani, Zhodani, Vargr

 

State of the Base

What has happened at the Base in 2014? A lot of things!

Highlights

The top highlight of 2014 was the 23 entries in the 76 Patrons Writing Contest. :-) I’ll hope we can beat 23 entries in 2015. Sponsors are Welcome!

Another highlight was the opening of the Amber Zone web-site.

Site Stats

I have about 5700 proper visitors each month. That is about 40% more than last year.

The 5 most popular posts on the blog was:

  1. Spherical Space Ships (3)
  2. T5 Review (1)
  3. Oh my God, it’s full of Tables! (5)
  4. Traveller RPG playlist for Spotify (new)
  5. What makes a subsector popular? (new)

The only post from 2014 on this list is Traveller RPG playlist for Spotify.

The 5 most popular pages on the blog was:

  1. Free pdf-files (3)
  2. Random Subsector Generator (5)
  3. Maps and Data (1)
  4. Amber Zone (new)
  5. The Spinward Marches (4)

The 5 most popular search words/phrases for finding the blog was:

  1. traveller rpg pdf (new)
  2. traveller rpg (1)
  3. zhodani base (2)
  4. spinward marches (new)
  5. the zhodani base (new)

We can see that the pdfs are popular. Both in searches and in the popular pages list.

To-do List

Looking back at last years to-do list I can see that I haven’t done everything of what I planned to do. But instead I opened the Amber Zone web-site. If I had more time, I would have done more.

For 2015 I plan to do the things I didn’t have enough time to do in 2014. Maybe, something else as well. I have some plans, but I cannot say anything yet.

Pulp-O-Mizer State of the Base

Zhodani Base Awards 2014

Welcome to the Zhodani Base Awards 2014! 2014 has been a very good year for Traveller. There have been lots of new publications.

The first category is “Best Cover“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Cover” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2014 is: Power Projection Fleet : From BITS

There were lots of Traveller products with nice covers this year. Lots of love for all nice covers.

Next category is “Best Fanzine or Online Magazine“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Fanzine/Online Magazine” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2014 is: Freelance Traveller

Freelance Traveller has once again proved that they are the best fanzine by publishing monthly issues with lots of good contents for free.

I really like the new Imperiallines. Looking forward to the next issues of this one.

Next category is “Best Adventure“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Adventure” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2014 is: Cirque from From Greylock Publishing

There were lots of fine Traveller Adventures for different settings published. Cirque is a fantastic but unorthodox adventure in classic style.

Next category is “Best Ship or Deckplan“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Ship or Deckplan” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2014 is: 2300AD: Ships of the French Arm : From Mongoose 

There was lots of fine ships for Traveller published this year. Lots of great new designs with good art from the small publishers. But this year, my favorite was from Mongoose.

Next category is “Best ATU Product“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best ATU Product” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2014 is: Grand Safari : From Gypsy Knights Games

GKG wins with some nice adventures. But next year I would really like to see more interesting ATU products from other small publishers.

Next category is “Best OTU Product“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best OTU Product” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2014 is: The Traveller Adventure : From GDW

The Traveller Adventure is one of my favorite adventures (except the beginning that is problematic). When it was re-released the other OTU products couldn’t beat it.

Better luck next year 13Mann. I really like your products.

A final bonus category this year is “Best Free Traveller Product“. The nominees are:

The winner of the “Best Free Traveller Product” category of the Zhodani Base Awards 2014 is: Three Blind Mice : From 13Mann Verlag

Now, go and download all of the free Traveller Products. Why? They are free!

And the winner is…

It was very difficult to pick the winners of the 76 patrons contest this year. Even more so than last year. There were 23 good entries to choose from.

However, I thought one of them was a bit better and more playable than the others. It also had some nice feel-good qualities. In this Patron you get to know the locals at a very British island. Maybe you will be sitting in a small pub, talking to the major of the village. There are so much more that can happen in the contest entry I am thinking about. Things that don’t fit the 1000 word limit. The winner is of course The Oncoming Storm by Library Bob. Well done and Congratulations!

Second place goes to The Bank Job by Mark McCabe. Third place goes to Game Time by Sifu Blackirish.

  1. The Oncoming Storm (by Library Bob) $70
  2. The Bank Job (by Mark McCabe) $40
  3. Game Time (by Sifu Blackirish) $20
Another Winner - Image from wikimedia - Public Domain
Another Winner – Image from wikimedia – Public Domain

Thanks to all who participated! The winners will be contacted.

All your base are belong to us