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Pan-Galactic Empires: Defining the Broad Strokes of the Setting

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2024 issue.

Generation and dissolution. Coöperation and conflict. Expansion, contraction and stagnation. These are the major themes–not just of nations or even worlds–but entire galactic civilisations, and both the referee and those sometimes cruel and capricious instruments called dice can determine the fates of trillions of living beings!

This is a new set of rules, an add-on to the Traveller experience, enhancing–but not replacing–the rules set forth in the main rulebook, allowing the referee to create an in-depth historical-political background for a campaign stretching back many thousands of years, chronicling the interactions of various sentient races throughout the galaxy. This is accomplished by a series of dice throws tied to tables which allow the creative adjudicator to generate not only various gigantic, interstellar civilisations, but also determine how they expand and, more importantly, in what way species react when they first encounter one another at the borders of their developing empires.

All that is needed are some ordinary six-sided dice (two will suffice), a large sheet of paper and an ink-pen. Having a pencil and eraser on hand will also prove beneficial, as the referee may decide to write annotations in need of alteration or deletion at some future juncture, and, although a compass is not required to draft concentric circles and divide the figure equally into various portions, it would make one's final product much more orderly and quite visually appealing when it comes time to apply the results of various calculations. With those tools at one's disposal there's no corner of the cosmos that cannot be detailed and filled with life!  This aspect of the game is ideal for solo play, as no participants are needed. It is helpful to think of these rules as a marked expansion of the traditional role of Scout, but whereas he is assigned the task of exploring and charting subsectors (a mere 80 hexes at a time–naught more than a trifling mote in comparison to our grand designs!), the referee will be responsible for the overall socio-political landscape of the entire galaxy.

Galactic Cartography, An Introduction

A galaxy, as seen from above, may be represented as a flat, more-or-less perfect circle divided into four quadrants of equal dimensions. The quadrants are named Alpha (?), Beta (?), Gamma (?), and Delta (?), in clockwise fashion, beginning with the upper right-hand division (as if on a clock, spanning 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock) and so on. Thus, from the 3 o’clock position to 6 o’clock lies the Beta Quadrant; from 6 o’clock to 9 o’clock the Gamma Quadrant; and lastly from 9 o’clock to 12 o’clock the Delta Quadrant. Each quadrant is further subdivided into four hexadecants (that is to say, “half-octants”, being in turn a quadrant equally divided). Furthermore, a quadrant is partitioned into eleven subdivisions emanating from the dense core to the tenuous edge of the galaxy’s disk. Thus a galaxy is divided into 176 discrete sectors in which intelligent races may reside. Note that these rules apply a different meaning and scope to the word “sector” than in the core rules for Traveller; it is fitting therefore to refer to these large areas as galactic sectors. The resultant diagrammatic representation of a galaxy strongly resembles a spider’s web.

The disk of our own Milky Way Galaxy is approximately 100,000 light years (LY) in diametre and roughly 1,000 light years thick. If we imagine for a moment that all the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy (estimated very roughly to be 300 billion) are to be uniformly distributed in each successive partition, we arrive at a staggering 1,704,545,455 stars per (galactic) sector. What are the odds that this sum is home to any life whatsoever, be they single-celled organisms living out their lives in a mere puddle, vast floating colonies of seaborne algae tossed about on surging saline swells, shelled rovers scudding blindly over a lightless and slimy sea-bottom, or rather complex, multi-cellular entities capable of sublime intellection?

Questions abound, but still no answers can dispel the oppressive gloom of Mankind’s ignorance. How many of a sector’s stars have planets spinning in a stately dance that they may bask reverently in their sun’s life-giving warmth? How many harbour life at any given stage of evolution? How many of those madly hurtling orbs of gas or rock are home to life with the capacity for cogitation, and what even smaller number of planets can be reckoned to have swimming within their alien seas or wandering over wind-scoured continents creatures of sentient kind who have honed the technology to venture into the immense frontier of deep space? Do these things share with us a common shape? Have they any appreciation of love, or are they goaded solely by the lash of hate, and—if neither extreme has the capacity to touch their innermost nature—would this pose as a blessing or a curse? Can they thrive in an element not unknown to our philosophy, or must they make their domiciles in places wracked by flames both sulphurous and tormenting where our fragile, terrestrial forms dare not tread?

It surely behooves the novice progenitor of all bioforms in this vast stellar aggregation to ponder these matters of both science and sentiment, suffering not one obviate the other. The referee is free to answer these queries and many more in his own campaign and thereby provide a most thrilling setting for the players in which to explore and flourish. Who is to say that the players’ alter egos cannot ascend—by virtue of their innate courage and resourcefulness—from Scout or Scoundrel, Merchant or Marine up to the exalted pinnacle of the Emperor’s gilded throne around which His Imperial Majesty’s innumerable subjects orbit like faithful satellites?

Populate the Four Galactic Quadrants

Now that there is a clear idea as to how the galaxy can be charted, it is time to find out how many intelligent, jump-capable species may inhabit each quadrant. Examine the below tables and follow the instructions given. Afterwards, when the quadrants have been assigned a number of intelligent, starfaring species, further throws will place each race in a hexadecant and then in a galactic sector. Later, as the civilisations expand by founding fledgeling colonies, they will stretch out through space. When conditions require, they will meet with Others, and all-important First Contact Reaction throws will be called upon to decide if their interaction is beneficial, neutral or detrimental to one or both parties.

Number of Intellingent, Starfaring Species per Quadrant

To begin the referee throws on Table 1 to ascertain how many species live in each quadrant. However, if he is comfortable with more randomness in the process of generation, he may opt to first consult Table 1a, whereby the he may apply a –1 or even –2 DM to the either or both axes of Table 1 if he desires even fewer intelligent species per galactic quadrant. Alternately, he may apply a positive DM if he wants a galaxy teeming with sentient races.

For example, the DMs can be applied to the four quadrants differently: no DM for the ALPHA quadrant, a +1 DM to the BETA quadrant, a –1 to the GAMMA quadrant, and a very generous +2 DM to the remaining DELTA quadrant. Furthermore, the application of DMs may likewise be the product of random generation given in Table 1a below:

For the “Density” columns in table 1, UD=Ultra-Dense, SD=Super-Dense, VD=Very Dense, D=Dense, A=Average, S=Sparse, VS=Very Sparse, SS=Super-Sparse, US=Ultra-Sparse.

Table 1: Number of Species


?1D? 8 7 6 5 4, 3 2 1 0 -1
-1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
2 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0
3 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0
4 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 0
5 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
6 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
7 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
8 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
Throw 1D first along the horizontal axis of Table 2 to determine density,
then throw another 1D for randomness.
Throw four times in all to populate the galaxy.
Table 1a: (Optional) DMs for Number of Species
2d6 DM for Table 1
2 –2 DM (to one axis*)
3 –2 DM (to both axes)
4 –1 DM (to one axis*)
5 –1 DM (to both axes)
9 +1 DM (to one axis*)
10 +1 DM (to both axes)
11 +2 DM (to one axis*)
12 +2 DM (to both axes)
* If the above instruction is to apply the modifier to only one axis,
throw 1D again to determine which:
     1, 2 or 3 = Density Axis
     4, 5 or 6 = Randomness Axis.

Write lightly and in pencil the number of species outside the galactic circle near each quadrant. Next we shall find out in which hexadecant each species dwells and later still in which distance band.

A galaxy may have no known intelligent, starfaring races or as many as forty-four in all. On average there will be two to three in each quadrant, provided that no DMs have been applied. In the case of a Very Sparse quadrant, there is a fifty percent chance that the region will be vacant of intelligent, starfaring life, but in the event a Super Dense quadrant is obtained, every possible throw will result in at least one and as many as ten such races. Who knows, perhaps there is a strange law of the cosmos that only one intelligent species is meant to live in a galaxy and no neighbor–whether friend or foe–with whom to interact. If that is the case the sole occupants are free to expand their domain unhindered, but also unable to form bonds of friendship.

Needless to say, the larger the number of races in the galaxy, the greater the chance that they will contact one another in a briefer measure of time, than were there only, say, one such species per quadrant. If the referee wishes to have a campaign with a large number of different beings endowed with the ability for advanced thought and a means of interstellar exploration, he must be prepared for the complex interactions among them in the course of their inevitable expansion. Keeping detailed notes while these rules are applied will reduce the chance of confusion arising, and give the referee ample inspiration for his campaign’s ancient history and current socio-political atmosphere.

Before we move onward and detail the placement of races in hexadecants, distance bands and finally sectors, a short interlude on differing kinds of life is in order.

Population Classes

This rule-system is primarily concerned with sentient and starfaring lifeforms. However, the below listing provides other kinds of lifeforms:

Class 1: Unintelligent, non-sentient (or borderline-sentient) life. (that is to say, “animals”, “plants” and so on.)
Class 2: Intelligent, sentient life, not yet able to venture beyond their homeworld. (Humanity from its earliest origins up to and including the first half of the 20th century.)
Class 3: Intelligent, sentient and spacefaring life (though not jump-capable).
   Class 3A: spacefaring, but having not yet established colonies on other worlds and/or satellites in their system. (1950s to the early 21st century).
   Class 3B: spacefaring, and already having established colonies on other worlds and/or satellites in their system.
Class 4: Intelligent, sentient and starfaring life, subdivided into:
   Class 4A: invented/discovered jump-drive independently.
   Class 4B: received jump technology from alien species (either as a “gift” or reverse-engineering).
   Species in Class 4 (either A or B) can be further subclassed by their extent of expansion:
      Class 4Ai and 4Bi: Have effected interstellar travel but not beyond their home sector. These are, in effect, still occupied with the ongoing colonisation of their home sector.
      Class 4Aii and 4Bii: Have effected interstellar travel beyond their home sector.

Thus far (in the 20th and 21st centuries AD), Humanity would be in Class 3A. In the Traveller era, Humaniti would be in Class 4A, but depending on how you interpret the Zhodani Core Expeditions, it is unclear whether 4Ai or 4Aii.

Optional Rule: Non-Starfaring Species

The referee may opt to additionally generate lifeforms who are intelligent but not yet capable of interstellar travel (Classes 2 or 3). Each quadrant may be home to 3D such species. Therefore, if this rule is enacted, there will be an average of 10 or 11 such races in each quadrant, or a maximum of 18. These extra inhabitants of the quadrant may be eventually contacted by Travellers or left alone for a plethora of justifications, be they scientific or superstitious. Why are these to be avoided? Perhaps they are too belligerent to be included in any league of relatively peaceful, starfaring nations, or the referee may deign them liable to infect the general population with disease or an ideology inimical to the welfare of the current political power-holders. The choices are unlimited. Do not be afraid to come up with other explanations as to why these “lesser creatures” should be shunned.

And now let us return to a discourse on the further placement of species into subdivisions of each quadrant.

A Quadrant’s Hexadecants

Once the referee has determined how many intelligent, starfaring species inhabit each quadrant, it is now necessary to ascertain precisely where in the quadrant they reside.

A quadrant is divided into four HEXADECANTS numbered I, II, III and IV in the Roman character in clockwise fashion. To determine (from Table 2) which hexadecant a species is in, roll 1D6 twice.

Table 2: Hexadecant Selection

Second D6

1, 2, or 3 4, 5, or6
First Die 1, 2, or 3 I II
4, 5, or 6 III IV

Distance Bands

Roll 1D6 twice on Table 3 to find the distance band.

Table 3: Distance Band Selection

Second Die

1 2 3 4 5 6
1 Inner Core (IC) Outer Core (OC)
2 Midrange 1 (M1) Midrange 2 (M2)
3 Midrange 3 (M3) Midrange 4 (M4)
4 Midrange 5 (M5) Midrange 6 (M6) Midrange 7 (M7)
5 Inner Rim (IR)
6 Outer Rim (OR)

In our galaxy, each distance band is 5,000 light years (or ever-so-slightly more than 1,533 parsecs) wide, with the exception of the Inner Core which is less than half that.

In the table above, the abbreviation in parentheses matches the abbreviation in the ‘spider web’ diagram earlier in this article, to show the relative positions of the various bands. The distance bands may be grouped into ‘zones’ as follows:

Zone Distance Bands
Core Inner Core (IC), Outer Core (OC)
Inner Midrange Midrange 1 (M1), Midrange 2 (M2)
Center Midrange Midrange 3 (M3), Midrange 4 (M4)
Outer Midrange Midrange 5 (M5), Midrange 6 (M6), Midrange 7 (M7)
Rim Inner Rim (IR), Outer Rim (OR)

The distinction between the Core and Inner Midrange, or between the Outer Midrange and the Rim, may be hard to define. In any case, the distinction is left to the referee.

Any location within Midranges or the Rims can further be described as being situated in an “arm” or “inter-arm” and each arm may be given a name, for example (from our own galaxy) Scutum-Centaurus Arm, Orion Spur, Sagittarius Arm, Norma Arm, Perseus Arm and so on.

In documenting the placement of a species, one may state explicitly each component, for example:

Midrange 3

However, the above information can be more efficiently stated as Alpha-II-M3, signifying (in order) Alpha Quadrant, Second Hexadecant, Distance Band Midrange Three (placing it at between 15,001 light years and 20,000 light years from the galactic core).

Remember that this ruleset presupposes a galaxy similar to the Milky Way Galaxy in that its size is estimated to be roughly 100,000 light years in diametre. If the referee desires a galaxy of larger or smaller proportions the number and size of the distance bands will likely have to be adjusted as appropriate.

In our universe there are over 100 billion galaxies, but these tend to fall into certain large categories, as elliptical, spiral, lenticular, irregular and so forth. The so-called Hubble classification system, or “Tuning Fork” model, begins with elliptical galaxies of nearly spherical configuration (E0), becoming progressively more and more flattened (E3, E5, E7) until they begin to appear lenticular (S0)–these last possessing a disk structure around a central bulge, but no apparent spiral arms. Thereafter the model forks, as per the name, yielding various kinds of spiral (S) galaxies, one branch consisting of those lacking a “barred” centre (for example, Sa, Sb and Sc), and the other with a “barred” core region (sub-type B): SBa, SBb, SBc. Using this convenient model the inventive referee has at his disposal an appreciable number of examples of structures upon which to base his own imaginary galaxy.

These rules assume that improved jump technology can eventually be made available, enabling races to traverse much more spacetime than the standard maximum of six parsecs mentioned in the core rules. Assume that any given race may have access to a variety of travel technologies ranging from single-parsec jump-capable vessels to those whose engines are capable of leaps of many scores of parsecs or more across interstellar space. Such civilisations would neccessarily be more advanced than TL 15.

At the very centre of the galaxy is a super-massive black hole, appropriately called “The Beast”. It is to be assumed that any inhabited star systems at least fifty light years away from it are relatively safe and will not be consumed by it.

If the referee still feels that a sector, thus described is still too large a partition of the galaxy (and rightly so), he is invited to further create progressively smaller regions within the sector, as into four regions (or whatsoever methodology of appellation he desires) and again into subregions, being quarters and 16ths of a galactic sector, respectively.

Editor’s note: At the distance from the centre of the galaxy of our sun, each “galactic sector” on the ‘spider web’ diagram has a width of approximately 100 Traveller sectors. Each distance band (except for the Inner Core) is just under 40 Traveller sectors from inside to outside.

First Contact Reaction

Table 4: First Contact Reaction
2D6 Reaction Class Description
2 Inimical Savagely violent. Attacks without hesitation.
3 Strongly belligerent. (4+)
4 Very Militant. (7+)
5 Quarrelsome, hostile, pugnacious. (10+)
6 Withdrawn, inhospitable, xenophobic. (12)
7 Neutral Neutral, unconcerned, apathetic, cautious, hesitant.
8 Amicable Curious, fascinated, intrigued.
9 Pleasant, friendly, sympathetic.
10 Hospitable, cordial, benevolent.
11 Very welcoming, munificent.
12 Undisguisedly enthusiastic, ebullient.

Table 4 (First Contact Reaction) is the very essence of the entire ruleset, and with it the referee can determine how two or more civilisations interact with each other, be it amicably or inimically. There is also the possibility that, when two species meet for the very first time, they may not show any especial interest at all for reasons suggested by a throw of 7.

The number in parentheses is the likelihood of the polity showing immediate violence on a throw of 2D.

Apply a -1 DM for each local, starfaring enemy a contacted species has; and a +1 DM for each local, starfaring ally. All results less than 2 are to be considered 2; all greater than 12 are regarded as 12. The term “local” here signifies in same or contiguous distance band or hexadecant. Each sector has eight neighboring sectors surrounding it. Example: Beta-II-M4 and Beta-II-M3 are contiguous in the same hexadecant, while Alpha-IV-M3 and Beta-I-M3 are contiguous in different (but adjoining) quadrants and in the same distance band.

For sake of concise notation write I, N, or A for the general reaction followed in parentheses with the number thrown, e.g. A(9), or N, or I(3).

If the result obtained is 11 (very welcoming, munificent) or 12 (undisguisedly enthusiastic, ebullient) both civilisations have entered into a union or federation of their respective polities. Sometimes such unions encounter strained relations. For each turn throw 2D. If the result is 5+ the two have avoided misunderstandings or even hostilities and currently enjoy an amicable relationship. If the result is exactly 2, they go to war (see “Inter-civilization Conflict” below). If the result is 3 or 4 they must throw on the reaction table above but with a -2 DM.

Table 5: Differences in Physical Appearance
Degree Modifier
Noticeable -1 DM
Significant -2 DM
Jarring -3 DM
Drastic -4 DM
Profound -5 DM

Optional Rule: If two species are very similar in physical appearance, a +1 DM may be imposed to the reaction throw on Table 4 above. Conversely, if two species are very different the referee may wish to apply a negative modifier based on the superficial differences between two species. This is based on the human tendency to regard with suspicion, fear or hatred that which does not resemble us or fails to conform to our prior expectations.

Colonial Expansion

A civilisation may attempt to colonise a neighboring sector, provided it is vacant of any intelligent, starfaring species. Throw 2D. If result is 10+ colonisation was a success and it is to be assumed that their control extends throughout that sector. Apply a +1 DM if the species already has a successful colony in another sector. If a species has as many as five colonies they may receive a +5 DM to their colonisation throws. A polity may only make one colonisation attempt per game turn.

The neighboring sector into which the colony is attempting to settle is randomly determined, assuming that it is free and unoccupied. Throw 3D6 on Table 6 to select which adjacent galactic sector is selected for colonization.

Table 6: Selecting Sector for Colonization

Inward 3, 4 5, 6 7, 8
Same 9, 10 HOME 11, 12
Outward 13, 14 15, 16 17, 18
Roll 2d6 and find the result in the body of the table, then read
the headings for the row and column.
“Inward” indicates the next distance band closer to the core
“Outward” indicates the next distance band closer to the rim
“CCW” indicates the next hexadecant wedge counterclockwise
“CW” indicates the next hexadecant wedge clockwise
“Same” indicates the same distance band or hexadecant wedge
as the home galactic sector.

If they wish to colonise an already-inhabited sector they may either throw on the reaction table or initiate hostilities, receiving a +1 surprise DM on their conflict throw. A throw of 9+ means that they may settle in the sector, sharing it amicably with the indigenous population. However, sharing resources and space can prove a delicate proposition: each game turn that two polities share one sector they must throw on the reaction table at a -1 DM for the first turn; -2 DM on the second and subsequent turns thereafter.

A species may wish to recolonise a sector once destroyed by a previous conflict. Because resources may have become depleted or destroyed, colonisation will prove more difficult for the newcomers. A throw of 10+ signifies success at repopulating that once ruined sector. A ruined sector which cannot be inhabited must be marked “Barren Space” on the galactic map.

Colonial Independence

A throw of 9+ indicates that a colony wishes to become independent of the parent sector. If that colony makes a throw of 9+ they may become independent and must roll on Table 4 at a -2 DM to determine how the new independent polity stands with relation to the parent polity.

A colony may request or be offered support from another nearby polity, in which case the colony may add a +1 to their throw.

Inter-Civilisation Conflict

If two civilisations clash, each sector involved in the war must throw to determine who wins. Both sides throw 2D. Whichever polity receives the higher result is the winner of that conflict. A polity may apply a +1 DM per every sector controlled, which represents the greater availability of personnel and materiel with which to wage war. The vanquished party becomes a subject state of the victor, with the exception of a result where the loser has thrown 4 or more points fewer than the winner, in which case the defeated party is totally annihilated. A vanquished state must pay a heavy tribute to their overlords and cannot make any more expansions (colonies, or otherwise) for a number of game-turns to be decided by the referee.

A polity fighting two wars simultaneously or a war on two fronts suffers a -2 DM to their conflict throw.

Table 7: Refugees from Conflict
1D Percentage of
Sector Population
-1 <1%
0 1%
1 2%
2 5%
3 8%
4 11%
5 14%
6 17%
7 20%
8 23%

One consequence of conflict is the outflux of displaced persons from a troubled area. A warring, vanquished or even annihilated polity may have a number of refugees who try to find another place to settle. If the vanquished polity has any free, unoccupied or non-hostile neighboring sectors, the refugees may try to live elsewhere. On a throw of 7+ they are successful, otherwise they perish in the attempt to find a new home. If the vanquished sector is hemmed in on all sides by hostile sectors the refugees have no place to go and are deemed to suffer the same fate as any other population in their home sector.

The percentage of the original population which tries to flee from conflict can be determined randomly; positive or negative DMs may be applied at the discretion of the referee. The table to the right is one possibility for determination of refugee volume; the referee may adjust to suit.

Mensuration of Time

A game turn consists of a period of 1,000 years.

One full turn is required to colonise a new sector. Thus, provided that an imaginary galaxy is only inhabited by a single intelligent, starfaring species who already have more-or-less complete control over their home sector, it would take them—at the very least—175,000 years to expand throughout that galaxy.

Technological Advancement

Each game turn of one millennium throw 2D. If the result is 12 the civilisation has made significant technological advancements (TA) and receives a +1 DM bonus to both colonisation and conflict throws. Each successive turn in which advancements are made the polity receives an additional bonus of the same amount.

If a civilisation has conquered another polity which has a superior technology, it is to be assumed that the victors have acquired that more advanced technology and put it to use, and thereby acquire the higher bonus to their own colonisation and conflict throws.


A species rarely experiences a constant forward momentum free of adversity. Most civilisations encounter hindrances to their development, as political schism, religious fragmentation, civil war, protests, robotic revolt, slave rebellion, break-away states, disease, technological disaster (e.g., Virus from Traveller: The New Era), loss of (or social rejection of) technology (or the means by which to comprehend and/or use it) or catastrophic astronomical event (black holes, supernovae and so forth).

As a polity expands throughout the galaxy they must regularly make a Cohesion throw. Each turn a polity must throw 5+ to avoid or survive such disruptions unhindered.

If the throw is 3 or 4, the polity must address the concern fully and may not expand in colonisation for one game turn. If such an incident occurs and the polity is already engaged in warfare, that polity must suffer a -2 DM to their conflict throw (see above).

If the throw is 2, the polity must address the concern fully and may not expand for two game turns. If such an incident occurs and the polity is already engaged in warfare, that polity must suffer a -4 DM to their conflict throw (see above).

Optional Rule: Species Morphology

Table 8: Species Morphology
4D6 Morphology
4 Ophidian, Serpentine
5 Porcine
6 Ichthyoid, Piscine
7 Hive, Swarm, Nepheloid (Note 1)
8 Amoeboid
9 Plant, Fungi
10 Insectile, Vermicular
11 Ursoid
12 Canine, Lupine
13 Humanoid, smaller height and/or stockier build.
14 Humanoid, normal height and configuration.
15 Humanoid, greater height and/or thinner build.
16 Feline, Leonine
17 Equine, Hippoid
18 Ornithoid, Avian
19 other Mammalian, incl. Cetacean, Vespertilionid
20 Reptilian, Saurian
21 Amphibian
22 Arachnoid
23 Silicate
24 Strange, Unknown, Hybrid (Note 2), Artificial (Note 3), Other (Note 4)

Table 8 is provided as an option for those referees who desire some variety in the possible species (sentient, or otherwise) found in various reaches of the galaxy. It is constructed with the predominance of humanoids in mind. However it may be rearranged or expanded at the referee’s discretion.

(Note 1): from Greek ?????? (nephel?), “cloud”: that is, an entity which is composed of thousands to billions of minute individuals which—when separated from the whole—cannot function well or at all. Related to a swarm entity, though wherein each constituent is much smaller (perhaps microscopic) in size.

(Note 2): Categories listed may be called upon to form any number of combinations, whether of similar classes (Insectile and Hive) or of two distinct kinds (Plant and Amphibian). The centaurs of Classical Myth would obviously be a fusion of Humanoid and Equine; Medusa (whether portrayed as a giant serpent conjoined to a woman’s torso with a coiffure of adders, or the female form alone with ophidian tresses) can surely be no more difficult to conceive than a union of throws 14 and 4, and so on.

(Note 3): Robots, droids, cyborgs, nanomachines, computers, and so forth either having achieved independence from their biological makers, or perhaps are the only artefactual remains of an extinct biological race. Other exotic options could be sentient Dyson spheres or intelligent pseudo-planets or artificial satellites.

(Note 4): For example, entities whose fundamental substance is dark matter or dark energy. Mutants and shapeshifting aliens may conceivably fall into this category. Amoeboids may be envisioned to possess polymorphic capabilities.


It is not impossible that a single, profoundly expansive civilisation has successfully colonised the entirety of the galaxy, whether unopposed or by having obliterated their enemies or having absorbed any conflicting polities. If this occurs and the pangalactic empire has no neighboring galaxies within reach of their technology to emmigrate and recolonise, stagnation may occur for each span of two game turns (representing 2,000 years).

Throw 2D. If 10+ is the result the civilisation has developed the technology to cross intergalactic space and may do so as desired. If they have a Technological Advancement (TA) rating of at least +5 they may add +1 DM to the throw. If not, they must throw 2D again to determine if stagnation has begun. If the result of the second throw is 8+ stagnation begins and 1D sectors (determined normally) atrophy and die. Those dead sectors can never be repopulated again.