NOTE: The original intention was to spend a single session in idea-jamming and setting/character establishment, but it turned into two sessions as the player roster unexpectedly changed. Since our second meetup turned into more continued idea-jamming, I decided to include the details in this post so as to keep all the initial ideas collected in one post for future reference. Thus the information below has been modified to include the full range of development for both the 1-4 and the 1-18 game sessions combined.
We spent the first session hashing out the basic idea, and making the initial characters using the Alternity system. The follow-up session added Rachel to the roster (and goddamn is it great to have the old team back together!). I suspect the third session will bring in Melissa, as well.
Players Present: Nievita, Justin, Scott, Rachel (added 1-18), and Myself as GM.
The basic premise of the story is that roughly 200 years (maybe a bit less) in the future, Earth was in very dire straits. “Rockstar Astrophysicist” Felix Faust discovered that a comet was on a multi-thousand-year-old collision course with the Earth, and would clearly destroy all life upon it, if not obliterate the planet entirely.
Several plans were then set into motion, one of which involved the creation of Ark Ships to attempt colonization of some of the closest star systems. In the past centuries, several systems with potential for habitation had been discovered, but no further leaps toward creation of light speed travel had been developed. Advances had pushed the thresholds significantly closer to noteworthy sublight speeds, but still the precious threshold of light speed was out of humanity’s grasp. As such, it would take many years for these arks to reach their destinations, with generations passing them back on Earth. However, relativistic speeds would show only a fraction of that time having passed on the ships themselves.
“Legacy Alpha” is one such ship, sent out into the stars to try and give humanity a new home. It’s mission is to transport something over two thousand cryo-frozen colonists to a distant star system, and use the resources on board the ship (including the very components of the Ark ship itself) to build a new colony, with more ships to follow and bring more survivors from home. Accompanying the voyage was none other than Felix Faust himself! Skeleton crews of starship technicians would cycle in and out on shifts, keeping the ship running while it rocketed toward its destination. Every ten years, the rest of the colonist “ice men” would be thawed in rotation, and given scans and tests by Medics, to ensure their safety.
Having finally reached the far edge of the system it was destined for, the Legacy Alpha slowed down to a system speed, and automatic routines awakened more of the management crew. As the communications came back online (having been powered down during the Drift), a number of cached messages finally came through, reporting hardships back home, growing concern about the comets, loss of communications with other Arks, and then one final, disturbing message: “You’re all that’s left of us. Good luck out there, and God bless.”
Our story begins as the ship’s many systems power up again, and the crew is left to ponder this message.
Three Four characters were created: The Physicist, The Doctor, The Agent, and The O’Brien.
Each character enters the story with a Major Personal Secret! At first we debated keeping them as actual player secrets, but we decided it would be more fun if we all knew as players, and thus could together help create situations where those secrets were tested and put on the line. We also used Scott’s “Back Story Cards” to randomly add some more events and back characters to the mix. The results were pretty good!
The characters thus far:
Justin as “Felix Faust”
Basics: A rock star astrophysicist that everyone loves. Think: Neil Degrasse Tyson, but I’m guessing German. He has a TV show that he broadcasts weekly throughout the ship, educating everyone on Science. And he even took part of some of the “Dream Entertainment” systems set up to keep the “ice men” from going mad during cryo sleep.
Faust’s Secret: The Felix Faust on the Legacy Alpha is in fact a clone! When the Arks were in the final stages of planning, the real Faust realized that the only person who could ensure their success was himself. It was his mission, his idea, and there was still so much more he didn’t have time to document for others to be able to carry on. But he also knew he was needed on earth to continue working on other plans to save the planet. Plus there was no way he could communicate with the ships once they had launched and spun up to full-Drift speeds.
So he somehow managed to clone himself! He sent a clone of himself on each of the Arks, whose occupants were told that a lottery had happened and they had won his presence. The cloning methods had unexpected results, however, with the clone on the Legacy Alpha gaining enhanced Intelligence and other boons, and a few drawbacks as well. He knows that he is a clone, but no one else does.
Faust’s Card Draws:
- Miquiztli protected Felix from a suicide bomber in the last week, in a lift between levels. The last word the bomber spoke was “Disaster!” before exploding. Her psi shield prtected them both, but the bomber was obliterated.
- He, Marlana, and the SECOND captain (heretofore unmentioned) joined together to handle a massive issue threatening everyone. Command + Theory + Execution! Marlana learned that Felix was a toxin-resistant mutant (poison clouds threatened the scrubbers), while she shared an intense emotional moment, bonding them as friends.
Scott as “Bryan Johnson”
Basics: A totally ordinary, nondescript, unremarkable fellow, aside from his amazing medical skills and top-notch intelligence.
Johnson’s Secret: He’s an android! A really advanced creation, perfectly human in appearance and interaction protocols. Much like the doctor in Alien, he is also reporting to some Unknown Shadow Entity that has of yet been designed. Mechanically, we just made it simple and used the Mechalus race instead of Human, as the Android Creation Rules are super complex.
Bryan’s Card Draws:
- When the Church and Security came into conflict, Scott chose the Church, for contacts! He chose the Church, who wanted to hold services nearby, and security disagreed.
- At the launch event, FELIX saw BRYAN JOHNSON talking with Senator Quimby, including personal physical contact! Faust vowed to observe and take note.
- MARLANA suspects his shady past – she suspects him of being lecherous, because he spends a lot of time with certain female patients. The truth of this is that those particular patients are the only successful psi experiments from the cryo tanks!
Nievita as “Miquiztli”
Basics: A PSI/Div representative on the team, capable as a field agent in high-risk situations, and skilled in both weaponry and espionage.
Her Secret: She is actually a Psi-conditioned agent of the “Authority” – so conditioned, in fact, that it physically pains her to act against them. Drama! I haven’t worked out the full details of the Shadow Agency, but it will be most exciting…
Miquiztli’s Card Draws:
- Miquiztli avoids med bay ever since THE THIRD CAPTAIN was re-frozen post-arrest. She’s still in there, and Miquiztli can still hear her psychic slowed-down scream, even now, echoing throughout the med bay
- (UNFINISHED) “you and PC (melissa) used to spend time together at PLACE. What mementos do you keep from that time in your lives?”
Rachel as “Marlana Spencer”
Basics: “Miles O’Brien, but buff” was the basic character pitch. A grease-gear of high skill, Marlana joined the crew just barely in her twenties, and has aged to early thirties in the years of rotations since. She has something of a wicked temper and distrusts authority, but her “all for love” outlook makes her a passionate and dedicated member of a close team. She packs one hell of a right hook, too.
Her Secret: Marlana was selected by a skill-based lottery to be on this first ship, but it was a single ticket only. Her six-year-old son would have to be left behind! Unwilling to let this happen, she bribed ship security to get him a place onboard in the youth crew. She still owes security greatly for that, a debt that lingers with unspoken menace so far.
Due to the fact that adolescent youths and younger were not allowed to be cryo frozen, the youths that came on board were kept awake, educated by a ship teacher, and assigned to groups and tasks. After her son (Marlo) proved himself especially capable, he was assigned to special security duty, receiving more active shifts. Because of these events, Marlo is actually now a few years older than his mother!
Marlana’s Card Draws:
- During “THE THIRD CAPTAIN’s” breakdown, Marlana exposed her to her son! That captain was secretly experimented upon, the first latent psi captain, and she started going crazy! The doc BRYAN JOHNSON vehemently denied her insanity (as he was programmed to do), but Marlo (late teens at this point) told superiors, and that led to both the Captain getting Jail-Iced while Marlo got a commission to security.
- She owes SHIP SECURITY because they smuggled her son on board at launch – he wasn’t initially registered!
- Suspects Byran of being lecherous! Seems he spends MORE time with females -and in truth, that’s because ONLY women have been successful in psychic modification while sleeping. !!! And this is made even more intense, because her son is the ONLY natural psychic on the ship, AND a male!
Melissa as… Unknown?
“???”’s Card Draws:
Factions, Events, and Game Jam Results
Melissa still needs to create a character. We could definitely use someone with leadership skills, to unify the team and provide direction.Maybe more combat skills could help, as right now we have two Mega-Geeks, a kinda-Geek boxer, and a Combat Psi. Also, only one character so far has Zero-G skills, which can be extremely handy with some of the challenges I plan to introduce.
Also? It could be fun for one or two o the characters to be religious or spiritual in some way. Not magically empowered, no, but an honest true believer in something spiritual. Religion vs Science can be a great conflict tool!
DATA TO BE SORTED:
SCOTT’S PLOT CARDS:
○ Medical Bay
○ Mess Hall
○ Launch Ceremony
○ The Final Transmission
○ “The Third Captain” – when the third captain went bonkers very shortly into her term
○ The Church
○ “The Shadow Group”
○ Ship Security
○ (UNKNOWN 4: THE DISASTER CULT)
○ “The Captain”
○ A Councilor
○ Marlo Ghazan Spencer