Traveller & Prophet
Writer Brandon Graham’s rebooting of Prophet has been one of the most heralded events in comics this year – and with good reason. The series is fascinating, challenging, and original. A blend of very extreme science fiction elements, its narrative flows through worlds and environments that are consistently otherworldly and authentically both bizarre and genuine.
I thought about how great it would be to adapt to, or merely inspire, a Traveller campaign.
Into The Deep
Back when Traveller was first getting popular, its parent company farmed out sections (or, properly, “sectors”) of its giant map of space to individual companies and their licensees. These folks were then able to develop their own Traveller products within those designated areas. Each “sector” was made up of 16 “sub-sectors.” This distribution of “space” to other companies was known as “the great land grant.” The “Theta Borealis” sector was given to Group One. FASA got the “Far Frontiers” Sector. The Judges Guild got the Gateway Domain – which had a total of four sectors in it: Crucis Margin. Gateway Sector (aka Maranatha-Alkahest), Glimmerdrift Reaches, and Ley.
When all the companies went under, and their stuff went out of print, these settings obviously floundered. Some were redone completely – like the Judges Guild sectors. Others faded into obscurity. Of all of the “lost” sectors, the one that went to the industrious and prolific Keith brothers – William H. Keith, Jr. and J. Andrew Keith – and their short-lived “Marischal Adventures” company has always interested and intrigued me the most.
The name of that sector? Reavers’ Deep.
The Undiscovered Country
Some years ago, James Mishler produced some interesting materials to go with the Judges Guild’s “Wilderlands” campaign. This was not the only attempt at reviving this iconic D&D environment, nor was it the best known of these efforts. I have managed to obtain most, if not all, of his work in this area and was always impressed with his ideas.
Prince Valiant and D&D
When I look at my childhood and the books, films, plays, and poems that informed it, I sometimes see a jigsaw puzzle. Certain parts all fit together well. Each Oz book – those by L. Frank Baum and others – is a piece that snaps into place. The Narnia, the Tolkien, the Edgar Rice Burroughs – they all go together. Here and there, however, some pieces seem to be missing. Did they fall on the floor? Did they get stuck in some other puzzle? Did the missing pieces get thrown away by accident on some rainy afternoon?
Then what happens when you find the pieces again? I never saw some of this stuff before, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t fit.
Leaving Gygaxian Naturalism
So I went down to the local game store and bought my reprint of the AD&D (1e) Player’s Handbook. I was fortunate enough to find really, really nice copies of the other books in the original version of the series on eBay, and so I really only needed this one. I wanted to support the OSR, to show TSR they needed to start reprinting other things like this, and to have a copy that was better than the one I had been able to find.