Tag Archives: Twilight Sector

John Lees

It wasn’t that long ago that I would never have imagined that so important of a friendship could be struck via the internet. Maybe that’s the way the future will be. That sounds like something that John and I would discuss via our almost daily emails. We talked about what the future would hold as much from a sense or curiosity as the desire to flesh out what had become our joint passion the Twilight Sector Setting.

At first it was odd that someone would buy into something not of their own creation with such passion. But that was a clue revealing the true genius of John. For it was in the perfection of the form not necessarily in its creation which was his special skill and frankly I’m not sure I could imagine any human who could be better at that task.

It was the happy accident of a chance internet encounter that lead to our friendship as well. I only had the pleasure of meeting John in person twice. Both occurred at GenCon, once in 2010 and again in 2011.  It was there I learned much about the man. As much as the internet has extended our reach so that a man in Flint, Michigan and one in Kansas City, Missouri might meet and exchange ideas I believe it is by meeting someone in person that you can take their true measure. It was here that I was introduced to John’s warm nature, quick wit and a palpable intelligence that could not be denied. I’ll be the first to admit that John could be prickly at times. His opinions he held dear but the beauty is that he always approached them with a determined logic. It was often disagreements that lead to our best work.

We were in the midst of just such an occurrence this week shooting emails back and forth discussing how best to approach a design issue. I received his last email at Midnight and by the next morning my colleague and friend was gone. John D. Lees passed away on October the 2nd, 2012. For me the world is a much dimmer place. A man who might have been unknown to many but who is the very embodiment of the best that is tabletop role-playing has left us.

Twilight Sector – A new TU

Cool, a new traveller product to review. 😎

First we need to understand that Twilight Sector is not located a few sectors rimward of the Solomani Rim. It is not even located in the Official Traveller Universe. It is located in an entirely new Alternative Traveller Universe.

How dare they? Heretics! 😉

Well, this is actually a good thing. I have hoped for a long time now that someone would dare to make a commercial product for a new TU. The reason for this is all the problems there are with the OTU and that there are always some whining canon-heads that complains when you try to do something creative.

There have been other attempts to create other alternative traveller universe to get around the problems with the OTU. Two examples are Proto-Traveller and Dark Hunter. I have even tried to make my own traveller universes. One based on the Elite game, and one based on history.

In the Twilight Sector Campaign Setting Sourcebook we get a very good description of the history of this universe and of the Major powers. There are also many pages of library data in the end of the book. This is very useful since it is a new setting, and no old library data can be used if you want to play in this TU.

There are a few interesting differences from the OTU. First, there are no aliens (but there have been one or more ancient races). There are mutants instead. Maximum jump range is 8 (not 6). There are also interstellar radio with messages travelling up to 8 parsecs in a week.

Since the book is called Twilight Sector, I would have guessed that it would be a bit like other sector books (Rim of Fire, Behind the Claw or Gateway to Destiny.) But it wasn’t. There is no full description of a traveller sector with maps and UPPs for every world. Instead we get a very good description of half a subsector (6 worlds and two space stations). That was a bit of a disappointment when I had hoped for something else.

One of the worlds described is a copy of Earth called Terra/Sol. Even though a copy of Earth seems a bit silly, I am looking forward to read about why and how it was made. The ancients in this TU must have been much more powerful than Grandfather in the OTU. Maybe even as powerful as Slartibartfast.

In the book there are many nice images. Some are in colour. Some (like the cover) are a bit sexist. The worlds described have nice isodecahedron worldmaps and nice system maps. But the subsector map is quite ugly and not at all of the same quality as the other illustrations.

I really hope that Terra/Sol games will publish more books about this interesting TU. I also hope that this will inspire other publishers to make their own Traveller Universes.

Twilight Sector

Image used with permission. Part of Twilight Sector Carnival at Atomic Array.

Want to learn more about Twilight Sector? Read on…

Drop by Terra/Sol Games today!

Review written as part of the Twilight Sector Carnival at Atomic Array.