Tag Archives: FGU

Space Opera: The Terran Sector

An updated map of the Terran Sector for Space Opera, or in fact any other game using a 3D map. The map is a 200x200x200 Light Year cube, centered on the Sol System.  Ninety stars are shown. It is important to remember that this volume of space contains over 30,000 stars.  I have included a spreadsheet showing stellar distances. I would not print it out unless you have an A1 sized printer that can do floor plans.  As far as a description of each system – I will leave that up to those who feel they need one. I was going to just use standard Traveller for this task. There are some pretty cool system generators out there that can do this for you in seconds.

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If you would like a copy of the actual spreadsheet (or a blank for doing your own star sectors) then please contact me and I will send you a copy.

Terran Sector - Star Chart

And one with the main routes of some of the major starlines of the sector shown.

Terran Sector - Main Links

Here is a PDF of the Sector showing stellar coordinates and distances between systems in Light Years.  GURPS Space Campagin Terran Sector

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Space Opera: Terran Quadrant Map

I am a long time fan of Fantasy Game Unlimited’s Space Opera universe. I have done an earlier post on this game giving a brief overview of the background. It was an incredibly complex game system – so much so that I think that I only ever played one game using the mechanics and in the end we switched back to Traveller. But as I said, I loved the setting.

The module Star Sector Atlas 1: The Terran Sector came with a large fold-out map of the Terran Quadrant. For someone used to Traveller subsectors a gaming map encompassing 99,840,000,000 cubic light years was pretty amazing.  I have several copies of the original Quadrant map and wanted something electronic – so I knocked one up yesterday.

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I changed the format somewhat but tried to keep to the original as much as possible. I have added my own Hadrian Sector to the map – a post on the work on that Sector will be made in the next day or two.

For my new campaign I am using GURPS Space as the basis but like most things I do there will be a lot of hybridisation going on. For example, I have not decided on what system to use for planetary and system generation. For simplicity I was thinking of sticking with Traveller but I have since found some pretty cool GURPS Space generators that can knock out a million systems in no time at all.

Warning: This is a big file – the map is 4688×3632 pixels and is 1.25Mb in size.  The orange line is the approximate edge of the Orion Arm.  Galactic Centre is towards the right of the map.  The map is centred on the Terran Sector which is at location 000/000/000.

Distances are easily computed by simply applying the forumla: distance-three-coordinates

Or even more easily by going to this web site and putting in the numbers. For example, to compute the distance between the Terran Sector and the Hadrian sector (Terran 000/000/000 and Hadrian 600/000/300) plug those into the website linked to above and get 670.8LY.  Quite a haul in a cargo freighter crawling along at 10LY per day.  Over two months. Only a few weeks in a fast courier though.

Terran Quadrant

FGU Space Opera Roleplaying Game

Another blast from the past today.  Back in the early 80s I first discovered Fantasy Games Unlimited’s Space Opera science fiction role-playing game. A few friends and I sat down and tried to make characters.  It wasn’t hard so much as somewhat tedious.  Trying to figure all the pre-requisite skills for your Armsman became a chore when you wanted to get gaming.   We reverted back to using Traveller for character generation.

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However, I really liked the background of Space Opera – a mish-mash of science fiction staples of the time. There was the United Federation of Planets (obviously from Star Trek) but with a completely different style. There were Robert Heinlein’s Bugs from Starship Troopers. Hell, the Federation Marines were even called CAP troopers. The associated Sci-Fi Miniatures Wargame was called Space Marines (again long before Games Workshop tried to claim ownership of the term).   The Federation’s biggest enemy was the Azuriach Imperium, an evil totalitarian racist state that actually farmed and cooked intelligent aliens – Space Turkey.  I ended up doing what all good GMs do – I ran a Traveller game set in a Space Opera inspired setting. Converted lots of the ships over to Traveller versions and still have the paper deckplans.

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In a few years, there were a whole heap of material published. There were about half a dozen Sector Modules published. These covered most of the major power centres of the official Space Opera setting. My favourite is still the first – The Terran Sector.  Each sector encompassed a 200LY Cube. As much as I liked Traveller I really preferred the FTL used in Space Opera. It presented space in three dimensions as opposed to Traveller’s two dimensional hex-based star mapping system.

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All you needed was a ruler and a slide-rule/calculator (or your head if you were into that sort of thing) and you could determine distance between stars in Light Years on the map.

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Starship construction rules, like pretty much everything in this game, probably worked better if you were the guy who wrote the game.  Even looking at the official starship designs it was obvious that the authors fudged the rules something chronic. I have tried to retro-engineer some of the designs and they almost always don’t add up.

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I have collected every bit of official material published by FGU and sanctioned by them for this game. That even includes the Star Sector modules for a lost colony of humans who are enslaved and in rebellion against a race that look and sound like Klingons!  There are lots of published adventures as well to give you a feel for the setting.

If you like retro sci-fi I cannot recommend this game enough. If nothing else you will get a good laugh and have some fun reading through the various books. Originals are still available pretty cheaply from time to time from places like Noble Knight Games and of course from eBay. DrivethruRPG also sells PDF copies of most of the material – often at quite a discount.

UPDATE: I just found out on TMP that FGU are still in operation. Who knew? Here is a link to their site where you can still get product directly from the publishers themselves.

UPDATE 2: I have or am going to convert some of the ships from this game to Traveller versions with electronic versions of my paper deck plans. Keep an eye out for them.