This may end up a bit redundant to the discussion in bartmoss' Milky Way thread below, but I didn't want to clutter up his map thread with it.
I am tinkering with a space op game, based on d6 with elements from Traveller (and influenced by Wing Commander and Privateer). I'm trying to decide how to approach the "charted space" map to be used.
I had considered just using the old WC maps, which are very well-detailed. However, they depend on jump points/wormholes, and I don't want interstellar travel to have that restriction. I'm trying to preserve much of the Traveller "age of sail" communication limitation. So, there will be a semi-magical set of spacelanes that will enable double-rate jumps , but only along those lanes. There will only be a few of these- maybe 5 in the whole charted area (which will look like a Traveller sector map, with each of those sectors containing a sector map and its 16 constituent subsectors... so all of charted space (which I don't intend to map at once, of course) will contain 256 subsectors).
I've been intrigued by using a constellation map as the basis of the map of charted space, sort of superimposing that on top of the Trav-style sector map for the overview, and using the real stars as guideposts in the sectors and subsectors. So for example Orion might stretch across a sector or two, with other (fictional) systems scattered around as normal. This seems to be the general approach of the Solomani sector in Original Traveller- Castor and Pollux, Sirius, etc. are scattered around randomly.
My general question (although I'm happy for any input) is: would this approach turn you off or break your suspension of reality? Would you be so distracted in looking at a constellation map and thinking "Hey, Sirius isn't that far from our solar system" or "it's 87 jillion light years to Alpha Whatever"?
I'm thinking it would be interesting to have the constellation map as the artistic/campaign/strategic level depiction of the various empires, and still being able to use the Traveller hex maps for game purposes.
Thanks for any input.