It was a struggle, but I did finally published Stellar Reaches 21 - with the Maps supplement. It’s primarily a personality issue, with some starships tossed in. There is a nice set of maps available as well, focusing on atmospheres and tech levels; Islam and the future is touched on as well.
Definitely useful for a Traveller Campaign.
While there will be many great things awaiting adventurers in the Far Future, one of the more annoying things will be comprehensive surveillance on all TL 9+ worlds.
This isn’t so bad in the low-tech Empty Quarters, but roleplaying on the better worlds or in more civilized space (especially high-tech, high-law societies) is going to be very annoying.
I was reading reviews on the final episode, Little House: The Last Farewell. Here, an evil railroad tycoon bought the land under Walnut Grove, where the story is set. Mr. Lassiter called in the Army, so the locals could not fight back. So, they destroyed their own town and walked away, singing hymns.
Now, that’s the kind of reaction I would expect of any Emptyhead worthy of the name. Of course, corporate drones can’t understand why anyone would do this; but some of the aristocrats who run the Imperium can understand where the locals are coming from.
When roleplaying in the Empty Quarter, remember that the inhabitants are passionately loyal to things that make no sense to Rational Men – “Why should anyone value a certain ball of rock over any other similar ball of rock?” – and they can and will act in unpredictable ways. They hold personal connections over abstract efficiency; they are quite willing to sacrifice personal interest just to spite an enemy; they are willing to remain uneducated (and un-indoctrinated) rather than change their culture to suit the Imperial Establishment. Freedom and honour, over safety and obedience, are the keys to understanding the Solomani in the region.
(The local Vilani and Bwap see things differently, but that’s another story for another time.)
A proper list can now be found.
What effect does this have in gameplay? Not much, except to add colour and flavour -recall that most Traveller spaceships have gravity. Highly detailed Traveller players and Referees can really enjoy the otherworldliness of space travel, though.
I was just nosing around the site North American English Dialects, Based on Pronunciation Patterns, when I considered making a language map for the Empty Quarter, like I did a culture and ethnic maps of Stellar Reaches #19.
In the end, I decided against it. Many of the high-pop worlds would have several major languages, and sector maps simply don’t have the granularity to handle this information. Interstellar trade languages are more useful, but we already know what that is: Anglic. The Transform dialect for Imperial Space, and the Julian dialect for across the Lesser Rift. The Vargr of the Ssilnthis Gap are not interested in trade.
Still, I will try to keep in mind that the major worlds have their own languages, and many long-settled minor worlds has had some serious language drift: and perhaps some genetic drift as well…