Space Adventure RPGs

Does anyone want to pitch me on Coriolis?

I only heard the name before and only learned a few things about it today. Any fans of it who think it's the greatest thing ever and want everyone to know why?
I wouldn't call it the greatest thing ever, but if I were to run a game in the space adventuring segment, Coriolis would be my choice. I like the flavour and the Year Zero system typically works well enough for me (it's probably my preferred system family, especially for medium-crunch games).
It's notable, though, that Coriolis is one of the earlier implementations and I probably wouldn't run it without a few house rules. Also, there is not too much adventure content outside the big campaign (Mercy of the Icons), at least not in English, and the campaign a) partly feels a bit rail-roady and b) is currently missing the last part. The latter is in the works, though, and despite these imperfections, I still look forward to either play or run the game in the coming years.
 

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aramis erak

Legend
Does anyone want to pitch me on Coriolis?

I only heard the name before and only learned a few things about it today. Any fans of it who think it's the greatest thing ever and want everyone to know why?

The setting is described as Arabian Nights in Space. I have only read about it and it seems rife with RP and adventure opportunity.

I have played a few Free League games and enjoy the year zero system. In various games you build a dice pool for testing out an event. Typically, rolling is only done for important things. I find the system does a good job of sitting back and staying out of the way. If you desire something more tangible and crunch rules heavy like D&D or GURPS, you probably wont like this system.

I have it, haven't run it. Have read it. It's close to other YZE games, but not quite the same

The claim of Arabian Nights in Space is a bit of an exaggeration, or more mildly, an aspiration that I don't feel is likely to be delivered without everyone playing being on board; at least, that's on a first read basis, it reads more as The Unauthorized Chronicles of Riddick RPG than 101 Arabian nights. A couple of elements make me go "WTF‽‽‽" Religion seems much more important than I recall in 101 Arabian Nights... and Vin Diesel has said Chronicles drew inspiration from 101 Arabian Nights. Still, the roots are there, it just may take a bit of effort to find them.

It's got this one weird element to it - that of a fantasy religion - that on first read pulls me away from an Arabian feel I would expect either pre-Islamic Arabian henotheism¹ with local deities for every system, or one or both of Christian and Islam, possibly corrupted forms; instead we get a polytheist faith with mechanical effects... The 9 "Icons" - a synchretism of Islamic, Catholic/Orthodox³, Mormon², and pantheonist practices.

The 9 are: The Messenger, The Dancer, the Gambler, the Deckhand, the Merchant, the Judge, the Traveler, the Lady of Tears, the Faceless One. The faith borrows bits from a bunch of places... the illos for several of the Icons look Indian, not Arabian. A Mormon-style mission, but specifically to the frontiers. An Islamic style pilgrimage, clearly borrowed from the Islamic Hajj. A ramadan-style fast. Catholic/Orthodox style confession to clergy. Obligation to life-bond (essentially marry; it's implied to include LGBTQ, but not explicitly stated. Annual requirement for temple declaration of the creed of the faith. Giving of Alms, as in Islam. Twice daily prayer kneeling on a prayer rug - clearly Islam inspired, but reduced. Blessings of places and vehicles being done by the faithful themseves - this may be drawn from Catholic/Orthodox tradition, or from the ordination of almost all Mormon males and the Icon faith extending that to the women as well.

The ship rules are similar to Alien's - but not quite the same. 5 hull sizes, limited number of module slots. Hyperspace has to be entered with everyone in cryostasis or comas... being awake is potentially lethal. Having a chapel, a priest, and taking time to pray are all mods to hyperspace calculations... If you've played alien ship combat, it will feel familiar. Maintenance is more a cost rather than a serious risk issue.

The mechanics make religion quite the thing in the game.
The push mechanic is not called that, but it's present. and called "Praying to the Icons." It generates a darkness point (GM metacurrency). Preperatory pray will give you a bonus die on the reroll when you later have the character pray to that icon, or 2 if said prep was in a chapel; it lasts the session. It's not clear if you can prep for multiples.

Darkness points are the GM only metacurrency. Pushing gets them, they can be spent on a variety of what will in later games be extra success spends. NPC reactions also spend them. THe GM can use them to make gear disappear. Or to cause weapon issues (ammo, misfire), have more NPCs show up, put bystanders in danger, and more.

It's worth noting - 1's do not do special things. They just aren't successes.


Mechanical Differences
1's don't do damage on pushes.
GM is semi-weak GM - many things require Darkness Point spends
16 skills, half of which are not useable unskilled.
1×⚅ is limited success, >2×⚅ is triggering the critical success level. Simple success is 2×⚅.
Modifiers directly alter number of dice.
Since the release of T2K, it's important to note it's the d6's only side, not the dice step side.
3 short scenarios in the back, not the 1 mid-length one of many later ones.
The mission generators aren't as concrete as those in Alien or Blade Runner, despite the game having similar scope to Alien.
Money is tracked as money, nor abstract resources.
Die Roll for initiatve (some flavors use cards).
Action Points instead of Fast/Slow (Alien, Vaesen) or Move/Action (MYZ)
HP = Str+Agl, Mind Points = Wits+Emp. (Various other flavors have different ones


notes:
¹: Henotheism: worship limited to one god, but acknowleging many others may exist and even be valid, but not for the henotheist to worship.
²: By Mormon, I'm including all of the groups deriving from the Restoration by Joseph Smith, not just the LDS. No denigration is intended to any of those; Mormon is simply the most intelligible term for them as a clade.
³: most especially the Coptic, Maronite, Assyrian/Chaldean, and Ethiopian churches, including those in the Roman Communion and the Coptic Orthodox Communion, plus the Assyrian Churches.
 

Yora

Legend
I started reading Coriolis, not having any real clue what to expect of the system.

First impression: This has so muc art, it's probably more like only 100 pages of actual text than the scary looking page count of 390.

Second impression: The basic mechanics feel a lot like a hybrid of Stars Without Number and Scum and Villainy. Which I both like. This might actually be something I would enjoy to run.
 

Mezuka

Hero
I started reading Coriolis, not having any real clue what to expect of the system.

First impression: This has so muc art, it's probably more like only 100 pages of actual text than the scary looking page count of 390.

Second impression: The basic mechanics feel a lot like a hybrid of Stars Without Number and Scum and Villainy. Which I both like. This might actually be something I would enjoy to run.
The book left quite an impression on me when I first browsed it at the local store. Having so many beautiful illustrations helped sell the setting. Before each session I look at them to put me in the right frame of mind.
 

Yora

Legend
It appears I have already completed reading the game system. I think I dare call it a rules light game compared to most games that are out there. A game that I would run without complainig if I had a group of players asking for it.
But I think this appears to be primarily a campaign setting with some simple rules, compared to other games that are game systems first with a basic samble setting attached.

As someone really into creating new settings and using them for multiple campaigns, the rules of Coriolis don't make a big impact on me. They are looking absolutely fine, but they are also not exciting. A decent pick, but I am not seeing anything tonp draw in people who are already happy with SWN or SaV. Not that SWN is particularly exciting as a system either. I'd say they look pretty interchangeable other than one being 1d20+modifiers and the other being Nd6, count all 6s as successes.

And even as someone who always complains about the GM sections in every rulebook, this one reaches new heights in the "barely even existing" category.

Still got to read the setting section that makes up 60% of the book. That looks indeed like a treat.
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
As someone really into creating new settings and using them for multiple campaigns, the rules of Coriolis don't make a big impact on me. They are looking absolutely fine, but they are also not exciting. A decent pick, but I am not seeing anything tonp draw in people who are already happy with SWN or SaV. Not that SWN is particularly exciting as a system either. I'd say they look pretty interchangeable other than one being 1d20+modifiers and the other being Nd6, count all 6s as successes.
Homebrewing my own settings is the biggest draw for me as a GM, I love that kind of creative work. Games that are directly integrated with a defined setting never attracts me. I appreciate it when publishers of game systems provide an example setting using it's rules, but as a requirement to playing game, you must use the given setting, keeps me a 10 pole length away. I never use the default setting.
 

Yora

Legend
That doesn't appear to be an issue with Coriolis, though. Because it is so light on rules, those rules are fairly generic and don't have much in the way of setting-specific assumptions baked into them. The icons stand out being both a cultural element and being represented in some abilities, but with how small or nonspecific the effects are, it looks very easy to reflavor.
Praying the the icon simply gives you extra dice to a roll. Paying for those dice by adding Dark Points to a pool that the GM can use to activate some special actions for NPC enemies doesn't have to be presented as something supernatural. You just ask for an advance on luck, which the GM will later come to collect.
I think Coriolis might actually need less work to be used as a generic system than Stars Without Number. SWN is most often praised for its random planet generation system, but those tables are so deeply tied to the setting that I found them useless for my own setting.

As a long time astronomy fan, I can see that the writer of the setting is not an astronomy fan.:giggle:
Doesn't hurt the setting or the game at all, since I don't see it affecting any events during play and it appears to be pure flavor text, but the cases where things were justified by astronomic phenomenons all made me thing "Write what you know". Because the people who do know about the subject will notice when you don't.
 

Mezuka

Hero
That doesn't appear to be an issue with Coriolis, though. Because it is so light on rules, those rules are fairly generic and don't have much in the way of setting-specific assumptions baked into them. The icons stand out being both a cultural element and being represented in some abilities, but with how small or nonspecific the effects are, it looks very easy to reflavor.
Praying the the icon simply gives you extra dice to a roll. Paying for those dice by adding Dark Points to a pool that the GM can use to activate some special actions for NPC enemies doesn't have to be presented as something supernatural. You just ask for an advance on luck, which the GM will later come to collect.
I think Coriolis might actually need less work to be used as a generic system than Stars Without Number. SWN is most often praised for its random planet generation system, but those tables are so deeply tied to the setting that I found them useless for my own setting.

As a long time astronomy fan, I can see that the writer of the setting is not an astronomy fan.:giggle:
Doesn't hurt the setting or the game at all, since I don't see it affecting any events during play and it appears to be pure flavor text, but the cases where things were justified by astronomic phenomenons all made me thing "Write what you know". Because the people who do know about the subject will notice when you don't.
You might enjoy The Atlas Compendium. You can generate missions and systems very easily. Coriolis Atlas Compendium - Free League Publishing | Coriolis | DriveThruRPG.com
 

aramis erak

Legend
It appears I have already completed reading the game system. I think I dare call it a rules light game compared to most games that are out there. A game that I would run without complainig if I had a group of players asking for it.
But I think this appears to be primarily a campaign setting with some simple rules, compared to other games that are game systems first with a basic samble setting attached.
The rules are only medium-light (2 of 5, not 1 of 5). The big difference mechanically for the player from Alien is in pushing.
THat said, the mechanics are streamlined while not truly rules-light, at least not if we grant that Risus is at most 1, D&D is 3 or 4, and Phoneix Command is 5...
It's not light enough for me to run without cheatsheets, but it's light enough to not need anything but the tables once familiar in play.
As someone really into creating new settings and using them for multiple campaigns, the rules of Coriolis don't make a big impact on me. They are looking absolutely fine, but they are also not exciting. A decent pick, but I am not seeing anything tonp draw in people who are already happy with SWN or SaV. Not that SWN is particularly exciting as a system either. I'd say they look pretty interchangeable other than one being 1d20+modifiers and the other being Nd6, count all 6s as successes.
There are significant amounts of setting element in the character gen. That certain generic mechanics (Pushing, in this case) are framed as character prayer is a strong. That character prayer is a standard modifier is also a huge whack of setting as rule. Those two are compelling rules elements. They're also easily ported out to other games.
And even as someone who always complains about the GM sections in every rulebook, this one reaches new heights in the "barely even existing" category.
By comparison to others, yeah, it's really short on the useful tables. That said, one can easily borrow from Alien or Traveller.
Still got to read the setting section that makes up 60% of the book. That looks indeed like a treat.
It's infodense, but lacking certain elements I'd like to know...
 

Yora

Legend
Something that I feel being left unfortunately unclear is what kind of population scale the setting is supposed to have. The Coriolis Station is stated as having some 500,000 Zenithians living on it, 60 years after the original people split into two groups that stayed and went down to the planet respectively. How much is that of the total Zenithian population? Half of it? A tenth? A percent?
What about the Firstborn? Are they more or less common than Zenithians? Are there twice as many? Ten times as many? A hundred times as many?
Also, there are 36 system that are all have permanent populations, with 6 major inhabited planets. But there is still such population pressure that people are driven out to live as nomads on space ships?

Specific numbers don't matter, as no interstellar scale settings have them. But it seems really unclear what the population dynamics here are supposed to be.
 

Mezuka

Hero
Something that I feel being left unfortunately unclear is what kind of population scale the setting is supposed to have. The Coriolis Station is stated as having some 500,000 Zenithians living on it, 60 years after the original people split into two groups that stayed and went down to the planet respectively. How much is that of the total Zenithian population? Half of it? A tenth? A percent?
What about the Firstborn? Are they more or less common than Zenithians? Are there twice as many? Ten times as many? A hundred times as many?
Also, there are 36 system that are all have permanent populations, with 6 major inhabited planets. But there is still such population pressure that people are driven out to live as nomads on space ships?

Specific numbers don't matter, as no interstellar scale settings have them. But it seems really unclear what the population dynamics here are supposed to be.
The way I see the setting: It is a bit like the expansion to the West in the USA. There are frontier towns and settlements on all worlds (States) but the total population level of the Third Horizon is very low. The books and adventures don't add much info on population numbers. It is left to the GM to decide. For me the First Come are more numerous but their numbers are spread out. While the Zenithians are in lesser number but more concentrated around cities.

Nomads living on spaceship are idealists. They didn't move because of population pressure. They moved to flee a form of government they didn't like.

You will find more info on other systems in the Atlas Compendium and The Coriolis Community Atlas.
 
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Yora

Legend
I was just talking with someone about similarities and differences between Corolis and Traveller, and now I really want to go back to the point earlier made in the thread that there is no well established sci-fi setting in the way that there is for fantasy.

At least in the space of RPGs, there absolutely is at least one!

Traveller, Coriolis, Stars Without Number, Scum and Villainy. These are all only slightly different takes on the same underlying framework. The framework of Dune. Which also massively influenced Star Wars, and of course there's been half a dozen Star Wars RPGs as well.

These six settings are at least as similar as Middle-Earth, Forgotten Realms, and Dragonlance. How many science fiction settings have telepathic and telekinetic powers? At least these six all do. Excuse my ignorance about Traveller, but Star Wars seems to be an outlier by not having a jumpgate system for travel between systems.

And even the Mass Effect series sits very close to this cluster of archetypes and conventions. (And doing a quck check, Fading Suns too.) Though in many ways, it's also sitting halfway to another cluster of videogame settings consisting of StarCraft, FreeSpace, and Halo. (And their raging lunatic progenitor Warhammer 40k.)
 

Mezuka

Hero
I was just talking with someone about similarities and differences between Corolis and Traveller, and now I really want to go back to the point earlier made in the thread that there is no well established sci-fi setting in the way that there is for fantasy.

At least in the space of RPGs, there absolutely is at least one!

Traveller, Coriolis, Stars Without Number, Scum and Villainy. These are all only slightly different takes on the same underlying framework. The framework of Dune. Which also massively influenced Star Wars, and of course there's been half a dozen Star Wars RPGs as well.

These six settings are at least as similar as Middle-Earth, Forgotten Realms, and Dragonlance. How many science fiction settings have telepathic and telekinetic powers? At least these six all do. Excuse my ignorance about Traveller, but Star Wars seems to be an outlier by not having a jumpgate system for travel between systems.

And even the Mass Effect series sits very close to this cluster of archetypes and conventions. (And doing a quck check, Fading Suns too.) Though in many ways, it's also sitting halfway to another cluster of videogame settings consisting of StarCraft, FreeSpace, and Halo. (And their raging lunatic progenitor Warhammer 40k.)

Dune is not very well detailed. We played Dune 2d20 and the GM came to the conclusion that even though the novels make a great narrative when it comes time to fish for details to create adventures the books are empty of answers. No one knows, for example, where the Fremen technology comes from.
 

At least in the space of RPGs, there absolutely is at least one!
...
I feel the setting is maybe not as clearly defined as the fantasy equivalent, but there are definitely similarities (including that in many of these settings, you have a ship which serves as your mobile home base). For Traveller, though, I don't remember it having jump gates, at least not by default (I think it has jump drives).
 

aramis erak

Legend
I was just talking with someone about similarities and differences between Corolis and Traveller, and now I really want to go back to the point earlier made in the thread that there is no well established sci-fi setting in the way that there is for fantasy.

At least in the space of RPGs, there absolutely is at least one!

Traveller, Coriolis, Stars Without Number, Scum and Villainy. These are all only slightly different takes on the same underlying framework. The framework of Dune. Which also massively influenced Star Wars, and of course there's been half a dozen Star Wars RPGs as well.
Dune is a very weak influence in Traveller.

Dune's biggest element isn't the Empire nor its construction - it's the hydraulic despotism, a function which is utterly absent in Traveller and which isn't readily apparent in Coriolis. The Traveller Imperium explicitly owes a lot to the elements of Asimov's Foundation series, and Niven's Mote in God's Eye (part of the CoDo Verse series.

Dune also doesn't look like a big influence in Coriolis - at least, not in its big strokes. Dune is, largely, dominated by the hydraulic despotism element - "he who can destroy a thing controls a thing." The Dune setting's Imperium is quite different, actually, from the OTU one. All of the tropes of it in Traveller are also in the Imperium of Niven's end of the CoDoVerse; Most of them also exist in Asimov's Foundation. And in a few others, as well.

Traveller's key tropes -
  • an Imperium, ruled by an elected Emperor, who appoints all the nobles. (Not from Dune. That's Niven)
  • No communication faster than ships. (Dune and the CoDo both have this)
  • FTL travel takes significant time. (Foundation and Codo, but Not Dune)
  • Merchant captain-owners plying the spacelanes in independently FTL capable ships (Not in Herbert until Chapterhouse, but is in Foundation, OS Card, CJ Cherryh)
  • Main characters/PCs are in their second career or later (largely untrue for Dune, not really strong in the other works I've read of Herbert's, but very interestingly, part of Niven's, Heinlein's, and Doc Smith's main characters in a variety of their works).
  • Prison Planets (Straight out of the CoDo)
  • Local authority (Card's Enderverse, Foundation, CoDo Verse, weakly so in Dune)
  • slughthrowers in space.
It is also worth noting - none of the exemplar major literary characters are from dune.
CT Supp 4 said:
THE ANSWERS
Identifications of the heroes and villains given above are as follows-
1. Luke Skywalker, from Star Wars, by Gene Lucas.
2. James "Slippery Jim" di Griz, from The Stainless Steel Rat, by Harry Harrison.
3. Sargeant Major Calvin, from Sword and Sceptre, and The Mercenary, by Jerry Pournelle.
4. Senior Physician Conway, from the Sector General series, including Major Operation and Ambulance Ship, by James White.
5. Jame Retief, from the Retief series, including Galactic Diplomat and Retief's War, by Keith Laumer.
6. Lord Darth Vader, from Star Wars, by Gene Lucas.
7. Harry Mudd, from Star Trek.
8. Simok Artrap, from The Stars, Like Dust, by Isaac Asimov.
THE PREVIOUS ANSWERS
Traveller Supplement 1, 1001 Characters, contained nine characters from science-fiction, but did not carry identifications with the text. In fact. a corallary contest was run in the Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society asking for correct identifications.
The answers to those characters are-
1. John Carter of Mars, from Edgar Rice Burrough's John Carter of Mars series.
2. Kimball Kinnison, from the Lensman Series by E. E. "Doc" Smith.
3. Jason dinAlt, from the Deathworld Trilogy by Harry Harrison.
4. Earl Dumarest, from the Dumarest Saga, by E. C. Tubb.
5. Beowulf Shaeffer, from At the Core, and other stories of Known Space by Larry Niven.
6. Anthony Villiers, from Starwell, and The Thurb Revolution, by Alexei Panshin.
7. Dominic Flandry, from the Flandry Series by Poul Anderson.
8. Kirth Girsen, from the Killing Machine, one of five Demon Prince novels by Jack Vance.
9. Gully Foyle, from the Stan, My Destination, by Alfred Bester.
 

Argyle King

Legend
I would tend to agree that Star Wars is "space fantasy."

However, if you stick with Edge of the Empire (from Fantasy Flight Games) and focus more on the smuggling and such (as opposed to Jedi, Sith, and so-on,) it's a pretty good sci-fi game.

Maybe add in some Age of Rebellion if you want more rules for ships and space combat
 

Yora

Legend
Dune is not very well detailed. We played Dune 2d20 and the GM came to the conclusion that even though the novels make a great narrative when it comes time to fish for details to create adventures the books are empty of answers. No one knows, for example, where the Fremen technology comes from.
Neither are the SWN and Scum and Villainy settings. As are lots of elf-dwarf-orc-dragon settings.
The thesis is not that those setting are the same or have the same elements. But I think it probably wouldn't be too hard to make a list of ten or twelve items and every one of these settings will at least 80% of them.

  • Hyperspace Jumps
  • Humans only or Human-like aliens only (with very few exceptions)
  • Interstellar Ruling Caste
  • Single dominating galactic hegemony
  • Hwgemonial "super"-soldier army (at least by reputation)
  • Interstellar Industrial Corporations
  • World War 2 style space navies
  • Telepathic and telekinetic powers
  • Swords
  • Recovered from a past technological dark age
  • Space pirates and smugglers

There is definitely a pattern there.
 

I was just talking with someone about similarities and differences between Corolis and Traveller, and now I really want to go back to the point earlier made in the thread that there is no well established sci-fi setting in the way that there is for fantasy.

At least in the space of RPGs, there absolutely is at least one!

Traveller, Coriolis, Stars Without Number, Scum and Villainy. These are all only slightly different takes on the same underlying framework. The framework of Dune. Which also massively influenced Star Wars, and of course there's been half a dozen Star Wars RPGs as well.

These six settings are at least as similar as Middle-Earth, Forgotten Realms, and Dragonlance. How many science fiction settings have telepathic and telekinetic powers? At least these six all do. Excuse my ignorance about Traveller, but Star Wars seems to be an outlier by not having a jumpgate system for travel between systems.

And even the Mass Effect series sits very close to this cluster of archetypes and conventions. (And doing a quck check, Fading Suns too.) Though in many ways, it's also sitting halfway to another cluster of videogame settings consisting of StarCraft, FreeSpace, and Halo. (And their raging lunatic progenitor Warhammer 40k.)
Traveller is CLEARLY intended to spin off of the Galactic Empire as presented by Isaac Asimov in the stories that were collected as the Foundation Trilogy. Its not EXACTLY the same, jump technology is more limited and the history of the Empire is quite different, but VERY clearly Marc Miller read Foundation and Foundation and Empire, and then wrote Traveller's core rules! He did go a little harder into the 'Age of Sail' concept than Asimov did, who's milieu feels a bit more like a space version of Roman Empire.

I'd note that there are a couple of well-regarded PbtA's out there, including one that is well-supported and does a fairly Traveller-esque Space Opera thing, Uncharted Worlds. There are also a LOT of other PbtAs that have various degrees of SF to them, some harder than others.
 

aramis erak

Legend
Traveller is CLEARLY intended to spin off of the Galactic Empire as presented by Isaac Asimov in the stories that were collected as the Foundation Trilogy. Its not EXACTLY the same, jump technology is more limited and the history of the Empire is quite different, but VERY clearly Marc Miller read Foundation and Foundation and Empire, and then wrote Traveller's core rules! He did go a little harder into the 'Age of Sail' concept than Asimov did, who's milieu feels a bit more like a space version of Roman Empire.

I'd note that there are a couple of well-regarded PbtA's out there, including one that is well-supported and does a fairly Traveller-esque Space Opera thing, Uncharted Worlds. There are also a LOT of other PbtAs that have various degrees of SF to them, some harder than others.
Neither are the SWN and Scum and Villainy settings. As are lots of elf-dwarf-orc-dragon settings.
The thesis is not that those setting are the same or have the same elements. But I think it probably wouldn't be too hard to make a list of ten or twelve items and every one of these settings will at least 80% of them.

  • Hyperspace Jumps
  • Humans only or Human-like aliens only (with very few exceptions)
  • Interstellar Ruling Caste
  • Single dominating galactic hegemony
  • Hwgemonial "super"-soldier army (at least by reputation)
  • Interstellar Industrial Corporations
  • World War 2 style space navies
  • Telepathic and telekinetic powers
  • Swords
  • Recovered from a past technological dark age
  • Space pirates and smugglers

There is definitely a pattern there.
half of those are absent in Traveller.

Traveller has as a line a large number of Aliens. None in the CT core, but by 1981, several were published humaniform but clearly not human.
There is no single dominationg galactic power. official maps of the Imperium are about 320×512 parsecs, the imperium itself is about 220×200 Pc. The Aslan hierate is 224×120 (triangular). The Zhodani Consulate is 120×120, roughly rectangular. The Hiver Federation and "Two Thousand Worlds (K'kree).
Traveller has no supersoldiers.
The Navies are age of sail, in core, and WW I in Bk5/Sup5/Adv5/Sup9, not WW II. Battleships dominate, not carriers.
There is no dark age of lost tech. There is a dark age of no/very low trade, but that's not the same. Even the Ancients still, technically, exist at TL 22+...
There's no established caste system; it's borrowed the Imperial Russian mode of increased social titles as rewards for service.

You're seeing connections that simply don't exist to the strength you claim, overgeneralizing. Quite likely by lack of reference to the original breadth of inspirations. Hell, I've only read half the list of inspirations. I do recommend a read of Lensman...

Marc's been very open about his sources. Dune's one I've not heard mentioned by Marc. (I have from one of the other GDW alumni.) It's possible he read the serialized version of Dune... but if he did, it didn't resonate with him the way the CoDo and Foundation settings did.

The CoDo influence is unmistakeable in Book 4: Mercenary, and explicit in Sup4's list. SgtMaj Calvin is from the CoDo verse. Early end thereof. Mote in God's Eye is the explicit inspiration for the black globe and white globe in Bk 5; it's the later end of the CoDo verse. (but if one wasn't aware of the conjunction, the Motie end (late end) of the CoDo can look very different from the Falconberg end (early end). The middle wasn't well developed.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I forgot to mention: It's very easy to add Dune influences into Traveller - Herbert, Asimov, Heinlein, Niven, and Pournelle all were very actively influencing each other. But what one adds from Dune potentially breaks heavily the mechanical limits of the game. Dune's Faufreluches caste system is very rigid, and upward movement across the various breakpoints requires marriage or adoption. THe Bene Gesserit have very limited psionics, and not a good mesh with Traveller's. The Navigators do not fold space; they feel the needed path out to safely have the heighliner's Holtzman field. The face dancers would be another.

It's also worth noting that, Traveller, as a collection of games, gets more broad and yet more focused every edition until MGT1. Which tried (and failed) to establish a pure mechanical system divorced of the OTU. The OTU tropes are baked into the character gen, including the promotion of social status into the nobility (thus avoiding being a caste system.)
 

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