Thursday, April 14, 2011

Travelling and Trade in the Protectorates

Most adventures are bound to take place in the Protectorates: within the Imperial Reach, but not full member worlds; often off the beaten track and not always all that friendly. Some worlds lack full member status due to their lack of a single world government: some, because of a history of resistance to the Imperium or to foreigners.

Protectorate worlds should often have a frontier-y feel to them. They're not generally on major trade routes, certainly not the Imperial ones. They're not always as safe. At the same time, while they're under Imperial protection, that will often be limited to a brace of patrol cruisers or perhaps a destroyer on maneuvers. Travellers with a ship might have a freer hand with their vessel in such a system than that of a full member of the Imperium.

Citizens of the Imperium - that  is to say, of member worlds - sometimes have a provincial attitude towards Protectorate worlds, referring to them as "Proddies," or worse, "Outies" (fighting words, tantamount to 'traitor') There is a sense - sometimes true - that Citizens in trouble in a protectorate can call on the ambassador (or the Navy, or the Scouts) for help, and they'll be bailed out. It's not entirely uncommon for merchant vessels to avoid the spaceport entirely and trade in the outback, especially on worlds lacking active defense forces.

Considering that spacers and blue-skyers already have a lot of differences, it's not surprising how often Travellers get in fights.


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