©2010 Frank Anderson, Jr.
Gamma World is considered to be science fantasy, so I guess the first science fiction role-playing game I played was Traveller. This was the little black boxed set with the three digest sized books, and I loved that game! I loved playing it, and running sessions. Even though we didn't describe it as such back then, it was, and still is I guess, a great sandbox game.
The players in my Traveller campaigns were always hoping they could get their own starship. ( And so was I, when I played. ) That was the equivelant of a really great magic sword for a fighter in a fantasy game. If you had a starship you could go anywhere, as long as you had the funds. It was expensive to own a starship, especially if you were making payments. So most of the time between adventures we would haul cargo, buy and sell merchandise, and ferry passengers from one system to another. We were shooting for a million credits in our account. Plus, in one campaign we would do the occasional "odd job", or run a scam on somebody. My favorite scam was when we seeded an asteroid with valuable ore, and sold the location to someone. Of course they eventually found out it was bogus, and we had to pay a hefty fine. Thankfully, one of our player's characters had legal skill, and that kept us out of jail.
I remember that we would always check what a system's status was before embarking on a journey. If it was an Amber Zone , then we would wonder what we could get away with there, and if it was a Red Zone , then all bets were off! Of course it worked both ways. You could get away with a lot in a Red Zone, but you were also in a lot more danger.
If I ever run a Traveller campaign again, I would create two new zone designations. Black Zones, and Grey Zones, which I'll discuss in Part 2 of the Traveller Series.
Check out the Traveller Wiki ! Much coolness! So until next time, keep that vacc suit close by, and steer clear of Red Zones! Unless of course, you are looking for trouble...