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Traveller RPG Background Premises[edit]

Traveller is a Role Playing Game, set in a science fiction setting. While the details of the setting and the game mechanics used to depict it vary from version to version (see versions), many themes are common across all versions.

  • There exists Faster than Light starship travel, but the speed of communication is the speed of the starships. The Traveller FTL system is a Jump Drive, a system which requires a week to travel between stars, regardless of distance. This was intended to give the feeling of the Age of Sail. All of the settings attempt to recreate more or less of the other features of this age.
    • Worlds are isolated but not alone. Empires from the large Third Imperium to the small Dawn League can render assistance to its members, but only after a significant delay. This places a premium on local resources to resolve problems.
    • The isolation of worlds and lack of quick communications produces a broad range of access to technology. Some worlds have flying cars and ubiquitous computing while the next world they are still knapping flint axes.
    • Information is at a premium. News from other worlds is always important.
    • Few people travel between systems, they don't see the need for or dislike the idea of being cut off from everything they know for weeks, months or years. People who are willing to take the risks are few in number.
  • Technology has not significantly changed humanity. There is highly advanced technology in Traveller, but it is not the primary focus of the adventures or the settings. The stories in Traveller revolve around the actions of people and how to resolve human problems.
  • Traveller characters tend to be older and more experienced, often from a military background.
  • Alien Races are not just humans in suits. Many space opera depictions of aliens are merely odd-looking beings with completely human personalities - effectively "humans in suits." While the Traveller universe is human centric, the aliens of the setting have distinctive cultures and do not always behave as humans would.