|Hyperlite: The Sirius Treaty|
The Hyperlite rules are Traveller OGL based, though have had to be adapted for The Sirius Treaty setting. Anyone who knows Traveller will take to it like a duck to water: melee rules have been extended, the skills have been adjusted, and there is a new skill category "Familiarity" which governs how well a character understands alien technology. Though characters play humans, there are five other starfaring species, four of whom are signees to the Treaty and potential competitors for resources and "Precursor" artefacts - machines left from ancient, long-gone, advanced, starfaring civilisations. Tech Levels have been shifted to allow a finer grained separation of older technology, and the maximum TL is 10 (not to be confused with Traveller's) 10.
But the TL of a planet is set by the "Invigilators", a group of cybernetically enhanced refugees from all the starfaring species who are tasked with making sure the tenets of the Sirius Treaty are not broken. This treaty was signed by all the major starfaring species and has strict constraints on what technology can be used on a planet: it must not exceed that used by the natives themselves. Neither can the natives be influenced by the offworlders to improve their technology. Violators are dealt with extremely heavily.
Character generation is done the same way as Traveller, and ends up being just as much fun, but characters end up still in service, attached to a squad of the United Nations of Earth Sirius Treaty Special Forces (UNEST-SF). All characters end up with two or three invisible augments (subcutaneous comms, Liphe-cyte*), and most end up with an assortment of additional augments, whether cranial implants (library jacks, AI assistants) or body upgrades (Subdermal armour, jacked-up reflexes, combat implants, etc). Career options include Academic, Colonists, Corporate, the eponymous Idler, Law Enforcement, Star Marines, Star Navy, the UNEST-SF and Prisoner (an enforced career option) with, of course, assignments beneath them such as Field Researcher, Sheriff's Office, Enforcer, Scouts and Penal Battalion.
The skill set is somewhat smaller than standard Traveller but operates in the same way. Science skills have been pulled into fewer groupings; Melee and Ranged combat skills have been extended to support ancient weapon groupings; Tactics supports different ways of combat; and Language skills are _really_ useful. Familiarity is a flexible and easily learnt skill (in the right setting) that presupposes a character is not particularly au fait with an alien species technology, customs, methods of interaction, etc. It is a skill that applies to all other skill checks, making up for any penalty.
Combat has been extended to support melee a little more - Traveller is great for light-fights but we found it a little bland close-to. Used with or without battlemats, the rules now allow for a constant shift as combatants try to gain advantage. A wide range of ancient weapons has been added, as well as those used by a range of TLs. And, of course, we've included the Invigilators ortillery should anyone violate the treaty (and be spotted).
Background is included, of course, though is not needed for a player to play (I've found that players want to hear loads of it, though). A little bit of scenario building advice is included, as well as the alien/beast building rules. And, of course, there is a little about the perilous nature of interstellar travel, carried out via foldspace drives and which is potentially lethal to the people actually going through foldspace (everyone starts with a foldspace survival implant, too!). To emphasise the action takes place on-planet we have purposefully _not_ included starship combat or design rules, but intend to put this in a supplement should there be a demand for it. This has actually meant we have more space for other, more relevant things, too which has been a blessing.
The campaigns and games we've had have been great fun, driven by a competition between the starfaring races to gain an advantage on Treaty-controlled worlds. The active threat of the Invigilators hanging over people's heads really governs play with players trying to work out ways to stitch up the other species when they find that they, themselves, are being framed. The characters typically try to answer the big questions: What is on this planet that makes it worthwhile to the UNE? What resources or Precursor artefacts are here? Why are the other Treaty species on-planet? Why did the Precursors die off or disappear? And, of course, what does this piece of Precursor technology do?
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