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Setting: Each of the versions of Traveller had one official setting, and others which were developed (usually by different publishers) to a lesser degree.

  • The designers set aside one sector (Foreven Sector) for no official development, so that referees could do what they wanted knowing that no future Official published product would later contradict what they had developed.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

Traveller began its 1977 existence as a universal game system with high ambitions to recreate any classic science fiction setting or theme. It was intended to empower referee-gamemasters to create what are now called ATU's or IMTU's. Traveller's first official setting, what is now called the OTU, started very modestly and grew gradually into the rich, highly detailed background that it is today.

Traveller Game Eras & Editions (1977-2019)[edit]

Traveller Game Eras & Editions (1977-2017)
Setting Dates Era Name (Milieu) Primary Setting Events Associated Game/s Game Edition Pub. Date
(-2404 to -2203) Interstellar Wars First Imperium (Ziru Sirka) & Interstellar Wars GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars 06th Edition 2002
(-2204 to -1776) Rule of Man Collapse of First Imperium & Rule of Man (Second Imperium) GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars 06th Edition 2002
(-1775 to 0) Long Night Collapse of Second Imperium & Long Night T4: Marc Miller's Traveller 04th Edition 1996
(-25 to 75) Milieu 0 Third Imperium Founding & Sylean Federation T4: Marc Miller's Traveller 04th Edition 1996
(985 to 1002) Milieu 990 Third Imperium & Solomani Rim War Traveller D20 07th Edition 1977
(1100 to 1117) Milieu 1116
Milieu 1105
Third Imperium Base (Original) Setting & Fifth Frontier War Classic Traveller & Mongoose Traveller & Traveller5 (T5) & New Traveller 01st/ 10th /11th Edition /12th Edition 1977/ 2008 /2013 /2017
(1116 to 1130) Milieu 1120 GURPS Traveller: Alternate Setting (Timeline with no Rebellion) GURPS Traveller 05th edition 1998
(1117 to 1130) Rebellion AKA Hard Times Collapse of Third Imperium (Rebellion) & Regency MegaTraveller 02nd Edition 1986
(1190 to 1220) New Era Reformation Coalition & Virus/New Era Traveller: The New Era 03rd Edition 1992
(1221 to 1300) Fourth Imperium Fourth Imperium Traveller: The New Era 03rd Edition 1992
(1221 to 1300) Milieu 1248 Fourth Imperium Traveller: The New Era 08th Edition 2006
(1301 to 1500) Collapse Collapse and Interregnum Traveller5 12th edition 2015+ (Future)
(1780 to 1840) False Spring The False Spring Traveller5 12th edition 2015+ (Future)
(1900+) Galaxiad The Galaxiad Traveller5 12th edition 2015+ (Future)

Traveller Game Settings (1977-2017)[edit]

Traveller Game Settings (1977-2017)
Game Version Game Edition Pub. Date Primary Setting/s Remarks
Traveller AKA Classic Traveller 01st Edition 1977 Primary Setting/s: Background (Campaign) Books:
The Spinward Marches Sector is a frontier region bordering the Zhodani Consulate, and site of the Frontier Wars. It also borders the Vargr Extents as well as some independent factions such as Darrian Confederation, Sword Worlds and unexplored space. This setting allowed for many different types of adventures.
The Solomani Rim Sector was a more developed region of space where the world of Terra is placed.
MegaTraveller 02nd Edition 1986 Primary Setting/s: Late in its existence MT introduced the Diaspora Sector, a part of Imperial Space that lies between all of the major combatants of the MT civil war. Diaspora was introduced in the Hard Times sourcebook that described the general state of the Empire and gave rules to simulate the 11 years of war between 1117 and the then current setting of 1128. It also described Promise and the surrounding worlds in detail.
Traveller: The New Era 03rd Edition 1992 Primary Setting/s: TNE starts in 1200 with an Empire in ruins. Set close to the Hard Time setting (Promise actually features heavily in the Storyline) the region was a badly damaged war-zone even before the Final War. The space close to the basic setting (Reformation Coalition) is well detailed and good maps exist.
T4: Marc Miller's Traveller 04th Edition 1996 Primary Setting/s: Traveller 4th edition (also refered to as T4) establishes Milieu 0 where the Core Sector is used as its setting. Set around the time of the founding of the Third Imperium (0 to 200), the setting focused on the Sylean Federation and its attempts to conquer or absorb the worlds around it. Given the depths of the Long Night, the setting included the classic 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) gaming style in an RPG.
GURPS Traveller 05th edition 1998 Primary Setting: Set in an "alternate" Traveller Universe in which Emperor Strephon was not assassinated, thus the Rebellion and subsequent Final War never happened, G:T added a lot of material to the classic sectors of the Traveller Universe while advancing the timeline about 15-20 years from the Classic Traveller set.

Three of the most relevant GURPS Traveller books are:

Spinward Marches where the {Imperium}, Zhodani, Vargr and more alien races interact.
Solomani Rim and its war-torn past.
Sword Worlds Confederation and its history.
GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars 06th Edition 2002 Primary Setting/s: GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars covers the 200 years of war, peace, and overwhelming change as the ancient Vilani Imperium falls to the upstart Terrans. In this time of conflict, the opportunities for adventure are more exciting than ever before! Forge new trade routes within the {Imperium} itself. Defend the homeworld from invaders during the Siege of Terra. Make first contact with alien races. Help guide the Terran Confederation in its expansion from a single planet to a sector-spanning empire.
Traveller D20 07th Edition 2006 Primary Setting/s: T20 introduced the Gateway Domain, one of the backyards of the Empire. A mix between {Imperial} worlds and various client states this is closer in basic feeling to the Spinward Marches while lacking the "big guys and old grudges" that are a common theme there.

Set in the 900s (about 150 years before Classic Traveller) it has a lower technology level. Add in that the Solomani Rim War is close enough by to draw away troops and attract Raiders and the result is a rather gritty and dirty universe along the lines of Babylon 5 rather than the relatively clean Spinward Marches.

Traveller Hero 09th Edition 2006 Primary Setting/s: Traveller Hero does not have a milieu of its own but instead covers several previous milieus including Milieu 0, milieu 1000, milieu 1116, the Rebellion and The New Era.
Mongoose Traveller 10th Edition 2008 Primary Setting/s: Mongoose Traveller returns to the "Classic" era and location, i.e., 1105 and the Spinward Marches. Although the Basic Rule Book has little setting background, the first supplement released was The Spinward Marches by Martin Dougherty.

Mongoose has also announced that the Foreven Sector will be the third party development area. Because of the Traveller license, third party publishers who wish to write Traveller materials will need to either publish through the Mongoose imprints or write their material to fit in the Foreven Sector.

Traveller5 11th edition 2013 Primary Setting/s: The Galaxiad, set in 1900 in Charted Space and beyond.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Traveller Version Terminology: Over the years, GDW employees as well as the associated Traveller community developed a number of terms and codes to signify what sort of Traveller universe they preferred.

These terms and codes include:

  • OTU: "Official Traveller Universe." Traveller as published. due to the number of alternate timelines now available, this term now tends to refer to the original Third Imperium setting from the years (1100 to 1117).
  • IMTU: "In My Traveller Universe". A reference to the particular customized game setting/rule mechanics used by any particular Traveller fan/player.
  • Traveller Geek Code: There is a special code for a player's IMTU (In My Traveller Universe) called the "Traveller Geek Code". It's a way of describing how your own Traveller universe is constructed (...and how it might vary from the 'official' OTU universe).

Major Traveller Publishers & Versions[edit]

Major Traveller Game Publishers & Versions (Editions)
Pub. Date Edition Alt-Hrchy Game (common abbreviation) Primary Publisher
1977 01st Edition T1 Traveller or CT Game Designers Workshop
1986 02nd Edition T2 MegaTraveller or MT Game Designers Workshop
1992 03rd Edition T3 Traveller: The New Era or TNE Game Designers Workshop
1996 04th Edition T4a T4: Marc Miller's Traveller or T4 Imperium Games
1998 05th edition T4b GURPS Traveller or GT Steve Jackson Games
2002 06th Edition T4c GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars or GT:IT Steve Jackson Games
2006 07th Edition T4d Traveller D20 or T20 QuikLink Interactive
2006 08th Edition T4e Traveller: The New Era: 1248 or TNE Avenger Enterprises
2006 09th Edition T4f Traveller Hero or TH ComStar Games
2008 10th Edition T4g Mongoose Traveller or MgT Mongoose Publishing
2013 11th edition T5 Traveller5 or T5 Far Future Enterprises
2016 12th edition T6 Mongoose Traveller 2nd Edition or MgT2 Mongoose Publishing

Library Data Referral Tree[edit]

Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information:

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.