Role Playing Game (1987). Game Designers' Workshop (GDW). Designed by Marc Miller, Timothy Brown, Lester Smith, Frank Chadwick.
2300 AD is a loose sequel to GDW's Twilight: 2000, referred to as Traveller: 2300 in the first edition, but renamed for the much improved 1988 second edition to prevent confusion with Traveller (1977). Three hundred years after the nuclear war depicted in Twilight: 2000, Post-Holocaust Earth remains politically fragmented, dominated by the nation states that avoided nuclear devastation. In a scenario reminiscent of the nineteenth-century colonial era, each of these states has founded its own independent interstellar empire. The geopolitical effects of the Victorian naval empires' dependence on oceanic geography are reflected in the way the setting's Faster Than Light technology (the "stutterwarp" drive) allows a ship to travel no more than 7.7 light years before it must enter the gravity well of a planet or star. As a result, exploration is limited to specific lanes in space, which are controlled by national alliances. The background's limited advances on twentieth-century technology (other than stutterwarp) and the realistic rules system give the game a gritty, near future feel. One interesting aspect of the setting is the inclusion of exotic Alien races such as the Kafers, which become more intelligent when they fight; as a result their culture is built around violence. Most of 2300 AD's aliens display such biologically influenced behaviours, an approach reminiscent of such Hard SF novels as Larry Niven's and Jerry Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye (1974).
Related works: Star Cruiser (1987 GDW) designed by Frank Chadwick is a starship combat Wargame set in the 2300 AD background; its design is heavily influenced by historic forms of submarine warfare, making use of the unique properties of the stutterwarp drive to justify the application of appropriate movement mechanics in space. Ships of the French Arm (1987 GDW) designed by Timothy Brown is a supplement which contains detailed specifications of additional spacecraft for use with both Star Cruiser and the original Role Playing Game. 2320 AD (2007 QuikLink Interactive) designed by Colin Dunn is a sequel to the first game set twenty years later, using the d20 rules for Traveller. 2300AD (2012 Mongoose Publishing) designed by Colin Dunn is a new iteration of the original milieu, presented as a sourcebook for the Mongoose version of Traveller. [NT]
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