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The Shavian Empire and Foible Federation Campaigns - Genesis of the Campaigns

Long, long time ago,
I can still remember how the first game stirred my soul...

-- Doug & Kirsten Berry, "The Traveller Saga" (filk)

Labor Day 1977. GenCon West, San Mateo, California. I was sitting by the pool between D&D games when Wayne Shaw, my regular Dungeonmaster (and the guy who first introduced me to FRP games) showed me a red-trimmed black box he'd picked up in the Dealer's Room. "It's a new SF game called Traveller, by the same guys who put out En Garde. Sort of like (Ken St Andre's) Starfaring, but much more hard-edged."

A month later, the school year had started. I was in the dorms at Cal Poly Pomona, continuing my FRP gaming at Cal State Fullerton a few miles to the south. Expeditions Limited, the on-campus FRP game club (and a very good one, c.1976-1980), was back in action, and Wayne and Don Rollins (another DM in the club) were giving this new SFRPG a try.

In late 1977, Wayne & Don started running two separate Traveller campaigns in the same universe, separated by about two subsectors of unexplored rifts. The rationale was that Wayne's "Empire Campaign" and Don's "Federation Campaign" were independent successor civilizations to a prior Galactic civilization after a Long Night. Neither knew of the other at the start of the action. (Naturally, the first game session involved a 36-hex misjump from the Empire into the Federation...)

Since space-opera SF has so many "empires" and "federations", here "The Empire" and "The Federation" will be called "The Shavian Empire" (after Shaw) and "The Foible Federation" (after Don's fan/pen name of "Foible").

Here we present the Shavian Empire and the Foible Federation, two Traveller campaigns from that Burgess Shale period. May they provide a glimpse into that long time ago in those Traveller galaxies far, far, away: