2300AD is a role playing game that I have admired from afar for a very long time, and have finally persuaded some friends to play (with me GMing).
A key part of a good SF RPG is the background – futuristic enough to be fun but close to now and limited enough to have texture, and avoid the genericism that plagued Traveller (when you have seen one A988786 planet, you have seen them all).
2300AD is wonderfully limited and ‘hard’ and a key part of this is the realistic near-star list, the only problem being that the list of stars near to Earth has dramatically changed since the ’70s. My trawling of the intertubes has however discovered a wonderful website by a chap who refers to himself as the Evil Dr Ganymede, and this includes a wonderfully scientific updating of the near-star list, which also involves moving a bunch of the colonies in the rules around, because the stars they were round have moved in the intervening period.
I’m going to use his list rather than the canon one, because the accuracy appeals to me. I had decided to start my players in the Chinese Arm, because the Ebers appeal to me, and because the French Arm is a bit over-used. So the first step for me has been to take the maps on his Chinese Arm page and hand-draw my own ‘tourist’ map for the arm, showing the pertinent features that the players need to know in tube map style. So here it is: