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Traveller Chronicle - Vella Zabeth

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Star Viking Personality - Vella Zabeth was a short patron piece I did for The Traveller Chronicle magasine in 1995. Vella was the formidable captain of a J-2 Fat Trader, the Calibrader, and had no issue with taking on either the Guilds or the RCES if it looked like either was going to get between her and some TED trade or a bit of cold recovery salvage.

Pocket Empires

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pocket empires

Pocket Empires was a stunning book and probably the best CORE production for IG. The book was written by Andy, myself, Stuart, Jo and Joe, and we also recruited quite a number of play testers. The book set out the rules for creating and running pocket empires in Milieu 0. This was not really a role playing book - it was a far higher level game working at the world and multi-world level. There were rules for planetary economies, planetary development, empire building, war and integrating adventures into the big picture.

My piece was Expanding the Empire. I created the "Unilateral Meta-Task" as a way of letting players take over other worlds with a relatively simple, but rich, game mechanic. Players could launch a variety of offensives to take over another world, from the straightforward military offenive to things like subversion, trade, infowar, trade, religion, politics, aid, blockade, corporate take-overs or technologic domination. There were also rules for diplomacy, alliance building and even dynastic marriage.

Milieu 0

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Milieu 0

One of the first CORE creations for Imperium Games was Milieu 0. The work was done by an international team including myself and Andy in the UK, Michael Barry (Au), Stuart Dollar (US), David Elrick (Au), Jo Grant (UK) and Joe Walsh (US). Again everything was email and we had a real 24 x 7 development environment. Andy or I would write something. Mail it out to Stuart or Joe in the US. As we went to bed they'd start commenting on it and mail it on to Michael. Michael would get up, work on it, and mail comments back to Andy and I ready for the next day.

Milieu 0 was the main sourcebook for the Milieu 0 setting and showed Referee's how to run adventures in these early days of the Third Imperium.

My contribution was Chapter 3 - The First Wave. I know this because the chapter is credited to Vur Biddaden, an anagram of David Burden ( I leave it to you who wrote which of the other chapters). As its title suggests it deals with how the Third Imperium spread out beyond Core and the roles of Scouts, the Imperial Navy, the Imperial Army, the Marines.

Again the supplement was well recieved, one player saying "these are far and away the most useful sourcebooks yet for T4".

Milieu 0 was later repackaged with the corrected First Survey data to form the hardback Milieu 0 Campaign.

HIWG Documents

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When working for HIWG the standard unit of information was the HIWG Document, or HD. These are what you wrote and then put into the system to be circulated to anybody who wanted to read them. Everything to do with Gushemege started with 34xx. I probably generated 20 or 30 in my time, covering everything from subsector descriptions to company descriptions. Here is an (in)complete list.

  • hd3401 - Gushemege: Random Notes and Questions (David Lai)*
  • hd3402 - The Strephon Alternatives (David Lai)*
  • hd3403 - What is the Lancian Culture (David Lai)
  • hd3404 - Gushemege: 2nd Thoughts*
  • hd3405 - Gushemege Sector Map
  • hd3406 - Taapvaia Subsector Summary
  • hd3407 - Languages of Gushemege
  • hd3408 - Sector Duke Kirshaam Miikadgaa and his Family
  • hd3409 - Bibliographical Dictionary*
  • hd3410 - Fortune 12: Major Corporations*
  • hd3411 - Gushemege Fleet (*corrupt?)
  • hd3412 - Tansa Subsector*
  • hd3413 - The Lancians*
  • hd3414 - The Archipelago (Leighton Piper)*
  • hd3415 - Rure Subsector (Leighton Piper)*
  • hd3416 - Library Data: Gushemege Trailing
  • hd3417 - Travel Companies (Leighton Piper)*
  • hd3418 - Academic Institutions (Leighton Piper)*
  • hd3419 - Computer Augmented Behavioural Alteration (Leighton Piper)*
  • hd3420 - Religions of Gushemege
  • hd34?? - Tansa Subsector: TNE
  • aba001 - Neurotech and the Lancian Culture (J Duncan Law-Green)
  • sw04 - Gushemege Covert Security Bureau (??)
  • hd162.01 - The Fate of the "Real" Strephon

The documents were written betwen 1988 and 1992. All by me unless otherwise noted.

Most of these (those marked *) are collected together in this zip file.

Gushemege Sector

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Supplement cover

I spent several years as the History of the Imperium Working Group (HIWG)'s Gushemege sector analyst, naming all the worlds in the sector (with some help from Leighton Piper and later David Lai), and beginning to flesh out its history. I self published an A5 guide to the sector to the same format as the GDW Spinward Marches supplement, as well as releasing all the files to the HIWG. You can now find the data populating several web sites and astrogarphy programmes around the web - the best of which I've linked to below. When Milieu 0 was released by Imperium Games they totally ignored the HIWG work and gave all the worlds in every sector new names. But seeing as no-one ever really bought into the IG vision and Milieu ) almost all web references are still to the HIWG names. Interesting debate as to which are canon and which will be reflected by new GURPS and T20 material.

Good versions of the sector are:

Here are the key files taken from the Traveller Central site:

Software Applications (Web-based)

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