Major Race is a concept in the Traveller Universe to classify different Alien races, who supposedly developed the jump drive independently.
- 1 Description
- 2 History & Background (Dossier)
- 3 References & Contributors (Sources)
There is some disagreement about what makes a Major Race and exactly which species are Major races. A Major Race is generally defined as one that independently developed jump drive technology, allowing efficient interstellar travel. While it is in general agreed there are six Major Races, how they are defined varies a little. All races that are not Major Races are Minor Races by default.
Even within known space, this is understood to be a somewhat arbitrary distinction and something generally used for promoting the status of one's own race or diminishing another sophont species.
Seven of the original eight Classic Traveller Alien modules (those produced by GDW) focused on this commonly accepted list of Major Races.
- The eighth module was on the Darrians who at one point claimed to be a major race branch of Humaniti but were latter classified as a minor race.
- The Vilani, the missing race from the original Classic Traveller Alien modules were not covered in the Alien modules as they are assumed to be the standard humans of the Traveller Core rulebooks.
The Aslan are a bipedal species of feline appearance, slightly larger than a human. Aslan society has a strict code of honour and very strict gender roles. While at the time of the Imperium there was little or no dispute as to their status as a Major Race, during the Rebellion period it was alleged that the Aslan had attained jump drive through reverse-engineering a crashed Solomani vessel (similar to how the Geonee achieved jump technology -- see below), and allegedly and technically are thus not a Major Race.
2. Droyne (Ancients)
The Droyne short-winged bipedal race of reptilian appearance. Though the oldest of the jump capable races, the Droyne were the last to be recognised as such probably because they do not have any empires or regions controlled by their race. The race is scattered across known space. Droyne control some worlds but also share some with other races. The Droyne homeworld is unknown though it is speculated it is probably in the Spinward Marches Sector of the Imperium, as this is where the greatest concentration of Droyne worlds are found.
Scholarship late in the Third Imperium confirmed that Droyne were the same race as the Ancients. Also the Chirpers, originally thought to be a separate race, have been identified as a Droyne that have reverted back to a primitive form.
There are many Droyne governments and they tend to be variations on a Hegemony.
The Hivers are race based on six-fold symmetry. Of all the major races they both appear and think the most "alien" to most humans. Despite their name Hivers actually have a highly individualistic society. They avoid direct violence and war whenever possible , preferring instead to work behind the scenes via all forms of covert manipulation.
The Hiver government is known as the Hive Federation and bears some properties of a Confederation, as well as being as close to a stateless society as can be found in the major states of Charted Space. Most Imperial political scientists classify the Hive Federation as a Confederation with strong properties of anarchy.
Humaniti is the spelling used for Humanity in the Traveller Universe. When humans first reached out to travel to the stars most were very surprised to find they were already there. Three sub-species of humans independently developed jump drive technology and are therefore classified as Major Races in their own right. The major races of Humnaiti are: 4. Solomani 5. Vilnai, and 6. Zhodani.
The Solomani names derives from "Men of the Sol system." It is generally acknowledged that Terra is the original homeworld of Humaniti and that they were spread amongst the stars thousands of years ago by the Ancients. This, and the ease of which the Solomani defeated the Vilani in the Interstellar Wars are cited as arguments for the supremacy of pureblood Solomani by the Solomani Supremacy movement. In truth very few human gene pools have diverged much and with much intermingling of Solomani and Vilani peoples during the Rule of Man it is almost impossible to distinguish between Solomani and Vilani (and some of the minor human races).
The Vilani were the rulers of the Ziru Sirka or First Imperium, and that government was a Hegemony. However, the Vilani currently are a part of the Third Imperium. Some argue that the Ziru Sirka was actually a Federation with hegemonic properties.
The K'kree are a race having 2 arms and 4 legs reminding humans somewhat of Centaurs. They are herd animals and rarely found alone. They are militant and often aggressive herbivores with a disdain for all meat eaters.
The Vargr are a bipedal canine slightly smaller than a human. This species resembles Terran wolves because they are. Wolves taken from Terra were genetically manipulated by the Ancients to a bipedal form in an attempt to create suitable servants.
There are an incredible number of Vargr states, almost all of which are highly unstable and variable in government types. Vargr government is highly balkanized although if there were commonalities, they would be that Vargr tend towards the extreme ends of the government structure spectrum, either towards highly un-centralized government in the form of Confederations, or highly-centralized governments in the form of Empires with supreme autocrats. Vargr governments don't often form a more balanced government such as Federation, Unitary State, or a Hegemony.
History & Background (Dossier)
No further information yet available.
Various other races have claimed to be Major Races based on their interstellar travel ability. Some races were later proved to have not developed jump technology themselves but rather found and/or reverse engineered jump drives from Ancients sites or lost modern ships of other races. Other were discounted because their interstellar travel depended on non-jump technologies such as generation ships or sleeper ships using suspended animation.
The Darrians at one point claimed to be a major race branch of Humaniti but were latter classified as a minor race.
The Geonee claim to be a Major Race as they also developed the Jump Drive. Vilani research during the First Imperium showed the Genoee had reverse engineered the Jump Drive from an Ancient archological site on their home world.
The Suerrat claim to be a Major Race as they independently developed interstellar travel. However this was based on generation ships, not jump technology, so the claim is not accepted by other races who classify them as a Minor Race.
References & Contributors (Sources)
- Classic Traveller Supplement 8 Library Data (A-M)
- Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science