Traveller Ethos

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The Traveller Ethos is the idea that almost anything goes.

  • When trying to understand a Traveller idea or concept, MWM will invariably pick the least rulebound, least restraining option available, under most conditions.
  • The Emperor will not be fenced in unless absolutely forced to do so.
  • Some things may only be found as Niikiik Luur at the Galidumlar Dadaga.
  • Please don't take canon too seriously.
  • Please also see Traveller RPG Wiki.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

Traveller is a generic, universal RPG system. It can be used to simulate almost anything.

  • 1. It's loose and free because too much codification leads to simulationist gatekeeping.
  • 2. Traveller has a near fanatically nonconformist group of very passionate and all-too-often cranky grognard fans. The first generation of Traveller fans is aging and probably averages somewhere near or over 50yo in age.

At the same time, it is:

  • 3. Traveller is a specific setting, the OTU, with a very generalized yet firm set of canon, with definite boundaries and conventions including specific game mechanics and formulas for determining specific game results although many of the mechanics conflict and contradict each other. The story setting, the OTU, supersedes the game mechanics.
  • 4. It's ok to try and make sense of the generalities of the OTU. Just be aware that some other fans will almost invariably and very passionately disagree with you. And the publications are chocked full of conflicts and contradictions. Fans tend to be even more conflicted.

But that setting is Swiss cheese, it has more holes than cheese:

  • 5. Ask a question and in most cases, there is no definitive answer, not even a subjective one. And it's near impossible to find an answer because there are nearly 40 years and 2,000 publications to consult, more than any fan can reasonably research with only a dozen or so books to reference. Thus, the setting is constantly being re-invented and reinterpreted.
  • 6. A large part of the fun is in actually playing the game and searching out the mysteries and inconsistencies! It makes for great adventure!

Wiki Mission Statement[edit]

The Traveller setting is Swiss cheese, it has more holes than cheese. Please also see: Setting and Theme

However, part of the mission of the Traveller RPG Wiki is to explore and fill in as many of the holes in the swiss cheese as possible, trying to navigate the impossible line in-between under-definition and over-definition, acknowledging that:

  1. The level of detail or lack of detail in any specific interpretation of the OTU, in an ATU or IMTU, is entirely subjective and highly open to interpretation. A fan can choose at anytime what to use in his or her own games. It's simply impossible to please all of the people even some of the time. And yet part of the mission of the wiki is to please as many fans as possible.
  2. Another part of the mission is to build out the AAB Library Data articles here at the wiki and aggregate over 40 years and nearly 2,000 publications worth of materials with the highest level of quality possible meeting the vaunted goal of Classic Traveller to make possible the Galactic Encyclopedia, which is also known as the Imperial Encyclopediopolis.

Wiki Copyright Policy Goals[edit]

GET PERMISSION: The goal of the Traveller RPG Wiki is to never outright or wholesale copy from any published Traveller materials, but to use illustrative and clever images, excerpts, and quotes from published Traveller canon, with permission, to build a system reference here at the wiki as well as a setting reference for the Official Traveller Universe. So, go out and buy the original publications from Far Future Enterprises, Mongoose Publishing, or an officially licensed Traveller publisher.

There is no hard standard as to quantity, which might range from a few paragraphs to a few pages. The most important factor is to have the permission of the author / publisher / owner and to keep good communication. Do NOT proceed if you do NOT have permission. Ask. Ask again. When in doubt, hold out and do NOT proceed.

Wiki Setting Goals[edit]

STORY OVER GAME MECHANICS: Another goal of the Traveller RPG Wiki is to avoid dice modifiers, flux, or game mechanics specific to any one edition or version of Traveller. The goal is to tell a story and link together a multidecade tradition of science fiction RPG gaming, not dictate rules, insist on one interpretation of the OTU story, or tell any referee how to play their game. The wiki exists to support game play, be an electronic aide to referees, help organize research for Marc Miller and FFE, make research easier for other future writers & publishers, help players to learn the game, and in general to promote the fine art of science fiction roleplaying. It's there to support, assist, and inspire the community, not to dictate the boundaries of the OTU, but to share Marc's OTU preferences and provide suggestive guidelines to better understand what has come before.

If such game mechanic material is included on an article page, please place it on a Metadata subpage. There is a subjective line between what is setting game story content and what is game mechanic matter. The general principle is to leave game statistics in the original source books. Since much of the Classic Traveller material is now part of the setting, this can be highly interpretive.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

As of 2019 CE, Traveller has over forty years of publications including nearly 2,000 published products with more coming out every year. Keeping track of what is and isn't "official" or canon just about amounts to a fool's errand. Fans have literally been arguing over these matters for DECADES. Groups like HIWG and the TML made a fine art of discussing and arguing over Traveller. In as much as a central source for canon designation exists ...or can exist, the Traveller RPG Wiki serves that function. The bottom line is that Traveller is a very big universe and Charted Space has almost unimaginably large bounds. There is room for almost anything within the OTU.

Don McKinney, who served as the central lynch pin of the Traveller community for many years volunteering countless hours, wrote it most aptly as thus:

"So, the moral is, don't throw rocks at other Traveller settings. We're all in the same tent, 
...even if we imagine we're not."

Scope of Canon by Publisher[edit]

This is a rough graphical overview of Traveller canon in ASCI chart form:

                      LITERARY TRAVELLER CANON
| Scopes    |<---- Scope of Classic Traveller ---->|<----  Later Trav  ---->| 
| Canon     |         Primary Canon                |       Not Primary      |
| Timeline  |         -5 bya to 1115 TI            |       1116 to 1902+ TI |
| 2010's CE |         Traveller 5 (T5)             |       Galaxiad (1900)  |  
| 2010's CE |         New Traveller (MGT-2)        |                        |       
| 2010's CE |         Mongoose Traveller (MGT-2)   |           |     |      |         
|           |            MGT-2 = New Traveller     |           |     |      |         
| 2000's CE |         Mongoose Traveller (MGT-1)   |   GURPS   | TNE | 1248 |                                      
---------------------------------------------------|           |  T  |  S   |
| 2000's CE |         Traveller D20 (T20)          |           |  N  |  E   |         
---------------------------------------------------|           |  E  |  C   |          
|           |                                                  |     |  O   |        
| 2000's CE |        GURPS: Traveller (GT)                     | TNE |  N   |
| 1990's CE |        Lorenverse / Imperium Eternal             |     |  D   |
|           |---------------------------------------           |     |  A   |
| 1990's CE |   Marc Miller's Traveller (T4)       |           | TNE |  R   |
|           |---------------------------------------           |     |  Y   |
| 1990's CE |   Clay Bush Writing Corpus / HIWG    |           | TNE | HIWG |
---------------------------------------------------|           |------------|
| 1990's CE |               |                 |    |           |            |
| 1980's CE |   Classic     |  MegaTraveller  |    |   GURPS   |  C     GO  |
| 1970's CE |   Traveller   |      (MT)       |    |           |  T     JG  |
|           |   (CT)        -------------------    |           |        PP  | 

That final, open-ended column to the far right, labelled "Later Trav," represents secondary sources, including 1248, HIWG, Paranoia Press, Group One, Judges Guild, et al. Things from which good ideas can come.

Library Data Referral Tree[edit]

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

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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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.