This book is, in many ways, a continuation of Supplement 13: Starport Encounters. Whereas that book provided a ready toolkit for referee’s to flesh out starports with ships, crews and passengers, Supplement 15: Powers and Principalities does the same with the forces and organisations that control the planets players land upon – the corporations, governments and religions.
Not all participating democracies will be identical. Each will have its own eccentricities and nuances. The same applies to the corporations players will take jobs for or purchase from. Not all agricultural companies are run the same way, after all.
By using the provided corporations, governments and religions in this book, referees will be able to populate their universes with the minimum of effort, ensuring now that not only every starport is different, but the world beyond its gates remains vivid and alive in the minds of the players.
The goal is to make every planet in your campaign unique and interesting, and Supplement 15: Powers and Principalities will do just that with no extra work on the part of the referee.
To this end, this book covers three key areas where referees can always use a little help.
This part of the book provides a broad range of public and private companies with which to populate your Traveller universe. No longer will your players need to buy equipment from, work for, or invest in, faceless, nameless businesses – you need only pick an appropriate corporation from this supplement.
Probably one of the most important features of a given world (beyond whether one can breathe the atmosphere) is the ruling government. The rulers of a world dictate the laws by which one must abide, the attitude of the natives to visitors, and frequently the basic philosophies by which everyday life operates. Governments provide players with a wide variety of challenges and adventure opportunities, in addition to being valuable background colour.
Religion is almost universally intended to answer The Great Questions; Who are we? Why are we here? Life is incredibly common (in the Traveller universe). Most people now take this for granted, but philosophers, scientists, theologians and mystics still debate why such an unlikely event has happened on so many worlds. There are many popular explanations for why life is so widespread. Some credit the Ancients, a semi-mythical species that died out millennia ago. Others invoke deities and supernatural intervention. Some raise Life itself to godhood, believing that Life called itself into existence out of the very fabric of the universe. Others go farther, believing that our universe is but one of many such living (or even dead) universes. Most sophont species develop religions during their climb to civilisation.