Some more WIP shots of one of my favourite of all Traveller vessels – the 50Dton Modular Cutter. I was first introduced to deck plans for this ship in Supplement 7: Traders and Gunboats.
In recent years I got the GURPS Traveller supplement dedicated to this vessel. One of the better GURPS Traveller books, it is chock full of plans for cutters, cutter modules for every application and jump shuttles for moving modules from star system to star system.
First off, plan views of the modular cutter showing the vessel with and without a module attached.
Side on views of the same vessel with a crewman for scale.
Coming next – deckplans and some of the more common modules encountered.
Credit – crewman from Brook West (c)2002.
Finished these last night. Hope you can get some use from them. For Traveller players, fuel storage is in wings. MS Paint is a pretty simple tool but I am quite happy with the results I got from it.
I had fun doing this, although it took longer than I thought. Might crack out a bulk carrier next.
I got bored painting and decided to draw a star ship. This is my version of the Type A2 Far Trader from Traveller. Deck plans will follow. All done in MS Paint because I cannot figure out how to use almost any other paint package. The style is hopefully a bit like the ships that this guy draws. He does some of the best deck plans around – I love them. I hope he goes along with the idea that imitation being the sincerest form of flattery because I copied his style as much as I could with the drawing package I have. A few cut and pastes from his png files as well. The guy is a master.
The Type A2 Far Trader is a small merchantman that carries four crew, six or so passengers and cargo.
The eagle-eyed among you will notice that it bears some resemblance to the Denoba class from Space Opera. No apologies.
I was going through old files on my laptop and found a deck plan I did of a 600Dton Aslan Clan Transport. I think I copied it from a picture in the GURPS Traveller rulebook. The great Traveller sci fi artist Jesse de Graf did this wonderful image of the vessel.
Here is the deckplan. Hope it comes in useful. Note: the crew module has two levels. Only one level shown on the plan for the FTL drive.I also did a version in case you use FTL drive in your game rather than the Traveller Jump Drive.
I was playing with Google Earth and using overlays to create a spherical view of my fantasy map. These are the results. I was going to add clouds and sun effects but for some reason I now cannot get Google Earth overlays to cover the entire globe with the image. More experimentation necessary. I forgot to take the equator line off the map too. Oh well. Just noticed that.
Southern Polar Ocean
Northern Polar Ocean
I have always enjoyed map making. I have decided to get back to work on my fantasy world that has been kicking around in one form or another – mostly on paper – for decades. I am sure every GM has one or two of these tucked away in a folder.
First off the blank that I will use for all subsequent maps. Maps drawn with MS-Paint and PAINT.net.
A map showing basic topography and labels.
One of the best sites on the internet for people who play or just love the Traveller RPG is Traveller Map. This site hosts an incredible collection of official and unofficial Sectors for the Traveller science fiction role-playing game.
Now the really cool thing about this site is that you can use features to produce your own Sector maps as either JPG/PNG or PDF files. You have to format your sector information into two separate files – a file containing information on worlds in the standard Traveller format, and a meta data file with instructions to the site to draw borders, name political entities and to draw trade routes and so on. I have had this sector sitting around in a software package called Galactic 2.4 (by Jim Vassilakos) for years and extracted the data it for the maps shown below.
The Data file will look something like this:
The Meta Data file will look something like this (this is a snip of the first part):
Once you have these things you plug them into the POST/API form and you can produce all sorts of flash Traveller style maps.
A full Sector Map: Rim Worlds Sector (reduced 50%)
For more detail you can produce a single subsector map. In this case Subsector H from the Map above:
And a very useful tool is the ability to produce a map showing all hexes within n-radius of a specified hex number. In this case Hex 2622.
All these maps can be produced in printer friendly mode (drops the black background or a grey scale). You can also drive the scale down to show world UPPs (Universal Planetary Profiles) on the map. If you have Traveller sectors that you have in some other system (Galactic 2.4, Heaven and Earth, etc) then it is easy to use that data on TravellerMap.Com. Give it a go – you wont be disappointed.
I had a few suggestions as to how to improve the map. Changing the size of the system symbol to give a more 3D effect, changing lines for the different jump routes and what drawing package I used. I will answer the last question first. I used a freeware package called PAINT.net. It is a souped up MS Paint that allows the use of layers. In the maps below there are different layers for the background, the grid, systems, system names and jump route.
So, here is the Map Mk11. First off, a map with no Jump Routes shown.
The next map shows Jump 1 routes. There are three clusters of systems that are Jump1 apart – mini-Mains as it were.
When the Jump 2 routes are added every system in the Sector is reachable. While typing I noticed two more J2 links I missed. No wonder the Vilani forbade the secret of the Jump2 drive from subject races.
When you add the Jump3 (and higher) Routes, the speed of communication and travel opens the Subsector up.
I hope you like these changes and perhaps can see a use for them if you give 3D mapping a go for your own Traveller games.
I was first introduced to the Traveller role-playing game in 1977. It has been one of my favourite role-playing games ever since. From the early days when our parties seemed to consist of nothing but psychopathic nutbars who spaced passengers and stole their belongings, to sector spanning adventures that involved lost starships and halting a Zhodani invasion fleet outflanking the Spinward Marches – I have pretty much played and GM’d all of what Traveller is capable of being – and I am still not tired of it. However, ever since I first played the game the only thing that bugged me was the two dimensional system mapping that was used.
This is a Traveller Sub Sector Map – The Aramis Subsector from the iconic Spinward Marches region of the Official Traveller Universe. For a larger map of the entire region see the great Zhodani Base – a treasure trove of fantastic Traveller resources.
As you can see it is a two dimensional representation of a region of space encompassing an area of some 8×10 (80 square parsecs). Interstellar travel in Traveller is done by ships equipped with Jump Drives. Each hex being a ‘Jump’. Depending on technology levels Jump Drives can move a ship between one and six hexes (or jumps). Conveniently, all Jumps take about a week, give or take. Now, it nowhere specifies that the distance between two systems one hex apart is exactly one parsec so the standard 2D map can be viewed as a type of interstellar railway system map.
Now after many years of playing Traveller I have a heap of starship deck plans and designs already made – using the Classic Traveller module Book Five: High Guard. I didn’t want them all to go to waste. I have decided for my next Traveller game to use a three dimensional Jump map. I have played with this before and tried stacking hex maps but it is ugly and all those hexes do my head in. I have gone for a Sub Sector (or Sector) of 10x10x10 Parsecs (give or take a few).
On this 2D map the systems are located by their positions in three dimensions. For example, the Koenig III System is located at 1-0-6 (6 being the the third dimension). I have marked Jump Routes up to J3 (although not all of them) to save time later but to work out the distance in parsecs to any other system, all you need to do is a bit of really basic math. For example, the navigator of a starship wants to plot a course from Koenig III (1-0-6) to Gambetta (2-2-6).
You just need to us this formula:
For the example above:
Distance = √ ( ( 2-1)² + (2-0)² + (6-6)² )
Distance = √ (1² + 2² + 0² )
Distance = √ (1+4+0)
Distance = √ 5
Distance = 2.236 = The ship has Jump 2 engines installed so can make the jump in one go.
Now using this system I am making the arbitrary assumption that a ship with Jump 1 engines will go up to 1.999 parscecs, with Jump 2 engines 2-2.999 parsecs and so forth.