Tag Archives: Law Level

Laws and Order

Traveller’s Law Level only shows one aspect of the law to  player characters. It only answers the question, “Can I take my assault rifle off the starport?”

Law level has a very American feel to it, in that it says what weapons you are allowed to carry. In Europe you’d hardly ever see a person with a firearm in the street, unless they were members of the  police or the military. Recent news video  showed protesters in the USA with rifles in front of a government building, yet the USA has well developed laws, so how would you resolve this?

If the US was a Traveller nation,  population is 328 million (2019), so that would be 8. The government type is 3 or 4, the law is … a problem. Lots of lawyers, a very well-developed legal system, but you can carry a rifle in the street? Law level 4 (no light assault weapons or sub-machine guns) seems right, but that makes the general law too low.

In the UK we have about 68 million people, (7),  The government type is again probably 3 or 4, the law is 8 or 9. This seems to fit better, but it’s still not accurate. The UK has different laws to the USA, but not different enough to have one as Law Level 4 and the other as 8.

Let’s imagine a TL 5 world. It’s actually the same level as the USA in the 1930’s, in that it has fairly well developed laws and culture. It has accepted a D Class starport not too far from the centre of government. The first traders start arriving and a group of adventurers wanders down the street with weapons and armour much better than the local police department (who only have Thompson SMGs and shotguns available).

The first law they write is “you can’t import higher tech weapons than we have ourselves”. There’s an element of protectionism in this too. If the Thompson SMG costs $225 (in 1930), you don’t want the same or better weapons imported at lower prices. If they are going to import better weapons, your government wants exclusive rights.

Inspection – Copyright Neil Lucock

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