Despite her previous exposure to GURPS Traveller, I don't think phoenixalpha quite grasped the magnitude of the effort required to set up the background for Blood Red Skies, which I discussed a couple of days ago. So when I got home last night I popped open one of the several sites that show the Third Imperium and the various other major polities that make up Traveller's background...and drilled down until you could actually see individual systems, which gives you an idea of just how damn far it is from Terra to Vland, which is how far the victorous fleets of Earth eventually get in the Interstellar Wars period. Hundreds of parsecs. Fortunately, I don't have to do all that work, I just have to do a couple of sectors. With sixteen subsectors each, and about 20-40 systems in each one of those. It was at that point that she suggested going back to using handwavium.
I guess I could do that, but it would still feel like cheating. As an intermediate step, I did do some rough calculations to convert Imperium's resource units into megacredits, which would allow me to punt all the world building and budget calculations in favor of just figuring out the number of RU that the sector would generate and working backwards from that. This doesn't feel quite as much like cheating, but it's still a shortcut that doesn't feel right to me.
It occurred to me this morning that Traveller was originally designed with no societal information at all, just a very vague character generation system that allowed creative referees to set up worlds and universes modeled on popular SF novels. All the detail about the Third Imperium and the references to the First and Second Imperiums before it came later, as people called for more detail. In a sense, I'm reverse-engineering all the detailed stuff from the Interstellar Wars period and using it as a framework to build the setting for a novel. I shouldn't be surprised that it's taking so much work to redo all the things that Loren Wiseman and the crew at Steve Jackson Games have done to bring this piece of SF to life for the people who have wanted to role-play in that world but never quite worked up the nerve to build it themselves. Much less take a big chunk of H. Beam Piper-style SF and get it all over their Traveller stuff. ^^
I don't have any big plans for the weekend. I'm getting together with jamestrainor on Saturday and of course there's the board & staff meetings on Sunday, but that's about it. I'm open to suggestions.