It's been a rough week at work but an exciting one in my head. I've been dreaming of the Far Future again... in a world of sleak and speeding starships, long-snouted Bruxx adventurers, and the Solomani dream.
My favourite and largely unexplored part of the Traveller universe is the Solomani Rim. For those who are new to the setting, the Solomani are those humans descended from Terran stock and who, by and large, view themselves as the purest and highest breed of Humaniti in the Known Universe.
In short, the Solomani Cause is a racist vision. The Vilani humans, and other minor offshoots, are regarded as being inferior and ultimately destined to be ruled over by the Solomani. This happened once before, millenia ago, during the "Ramshackle Empire" which succeeded the First Imperium. Of course, ever since that Empire collapsed into The Long Night the universe has regarded this Solomani dream as just that... a pipe dream.
So, why am I attracted to the Solomani? It's not because I like the Cause so much as because I like the tension.
Paranoia and Conspiracy
I love conspiracy stories and the Solomani paranoia feeds this passion. The fact that the whole Solomani Rim sector is in a cold war situation, with tension between the Third Imperium and the Solomani Confederation, is exciting.
I imagine daring adventurers taking underhand freelance missions of espionage and maybe even sabotage. The thought of playing both sides against the middle is appealing to me as a GM. As a player, of course, the idea of never quite knowing where I stand is also quite attractive.
While the majority of Traveller players like the stability of the Core or the rough adventure of the Spinward Marches, I've always preferred the tension and civil hostility of the Rim. I guess what also appeals is the relatively spartan background details that exist. Certainly the writers have set-up the details a GM needs, but there are many, many gaps.
And then, there are always the Vegans...
Well... I was hoping to begin a slow and gentle setting exploration to scratch this itch. At least one of the readers here has expressed an interest in doing some brainstorming around Traveller, and it might be nice to use this to generate a campaign idea for future use.
All in all, with T5 looking so playable now, I am happy to allow a slight distraction. I doubt I'll get to play on the Rim anytime soon, but it'll be fun to at least set up the game for when we do.