[Uncharted Worlds] A space-opera game of exploration and debt

edited June 2014 in Story Games
What is Uncharted Worlds?
Uncharted Worlds is a Space Opera roleplaying game built upon the Apocalypse World rules. It’s inspired by the big, bold, larger-than-life space-faring epics like Mass Effect, Firefly, Star Trek, and by games like Traveller, Masters of Orion, Starcraft (and a bit of Galaxy Trucker).

Mankind has spread across the galaxy, fracturing into a thousand different cultures and societies, yet is still bound together by the vast galactic web of debt and favor. Wealth, duty, loyalty, agreements and servitude drive the politics of the civilized worlds and fuel the wars that span the stars. Debt makes the galaxy go ‘round. All the while, the myriad factions look to the ever expanding frontiers of inhabited space, seeking wealth, resources and prosperity among the unexplored systems beyond the next event horizon.

But the universe is full of harsh, deadly beauty. From asteroid fields of crystals discharging lightning, to incandescent radiation curtains. From the starry vacuum of space to the rainbow patterns of planetary acid clouds. From majestic, earth shaking behemoths to the delicate gossamer parasites. The galaxy can be a very dangerous place indeed; and only the brave, foolish or suicidal dare venture to uncharted worlds.


Uncharted Worlds is a game of exploration and inter-faction conflict. The players are the owners of an interstellar vessel, travelling from world to world with a handful of crewmen, exploring new and dangerous worlds, trying to pay off their debts while earning favor with the new factions they encounter.

Uncharted Worlds v0.81 available here

The Principles of Uncharted Worlds:
- Embrace the deadly beauty of the galaxy
- Each new planet is unique and full of interest
- The ship is home, the crew is a dysfunctional family
- Debt makes the galaxy go ‘round
- Everyone has someone pulling their strings
- Paint in primary colors

Game Info
- Powered by the core Apocalypse World rules
- Build your own character archetype by combining Origin and Careers
- Players design the factions that will populate the story
- Design a starship as a group and pilot it to wherever the stars take you

I’d appreciate any thoughts, questions, suggestions or criticisms. Obviously this is just a small part of what I want to put together, as you can see by the “table of contents” in the document, but the pieces and fundamental rules are there in this Alpha version, and I'll be starting play-tests this week.
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Comments

  • I like the Traveller-esque character creation a lot, but I think I'd need to see the factions and ship rules to see if it all really works together. Some really neat ideas in there, though and I imagine post GenCon more people will be interested in commenting.
  • For Harm I would suggest d6/3 instead of d6-3 for unarmed, d6/2 instead of d6-2 for improvised weapons, and d6 instead of d6-1 for melee weapons, simply because it would suck to actually succeed at a combat roll, only to fail to do even 1 point of damage.
  • edited August 2013
    Hm, I obviously need to make it way more clear that it's always a minimum of 1 for the damage. My bad, will rewrite that for the next version.

    (An Unarmed attack would do 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 3 damage. Small chance of bypassing even 1 armor with unarmed, but you could in theory get a solid knee to the groin or punch to the throat or something.)

    Thanks for the comments so far! :)
  • A quick word of thanks to NathanBlack who cross posted this over at StoryGameWorld. Check it out if you haven't already.

    In design news, 0.53 is well on its way, lots of small corrections and fixes in preparation for tonight's first playtest (so excited!). Starship play rules are causing me a bit of concern; I feel like the "on foot" rules are already pushing the borders of complexity, and I'm worried that having new Moves specifically for the space ship systems might be too much. We'll have to see.
  • edited August 2013
    Yesterday I had a very long and productive playtest of character creations with several people over G+. It was a fascinating exercise which completely destroyed the Faction creation and the mechanics of Debt *sob*.

    BUT! That’s a good thing. We hit on those problems right away, and felt how they weren't as elegant as they could be. We spent a good ~3 hours taking things apart, referring back to the Principles, and spitballing a lot of good ideas (many of which were awesome but too math heavy or not the right fit for the *World design philosophy of Narrative First). I'd like to give a big shout-out to the playtest group, who are all too lazy to sign up to this site (seriously guys? seriously?)

    Inter-character connections
    First thing is that character creation needed something to tie the team together. Originally, I had planned on the factions filling that role, giving players shared backgrounds/animosities. However, this ended up not working nearly as well as I hoped. Instead, the new plan is to leverage the Principle of “The Ship is Home, the Crew is a Dysfunctional Family”, by having players choose a bond with the ship itself. "Why are you on this ship, anyway?". For example:
    • ____________ is the heart of the ship. The crew gets along better when they’re around.
    • ____________ is the only one who knows how half the systems work.
    • ____________ is on the run. Their enemies are now our enemies, whether we like it or not.
    • ____________ was rescued at some point in the past, and they've stuck around ever since.
    • ____________ has nowhere else to go. They've since ingratiated themselves.
    • ____________ wants to learn. The enthusiasm is infectious… and often quite useful.
    • ____________ is acting as an observer and advisor on behalf of a specific faction.
    There are a LOT more, but the general idea is when you create your character, you also want to define your relationship with the ship by choosing one of those or coming up with your own. Which brings us to the next point.

    The ship as a character
    In addition to being the home of the dysfunctional family, the ship also needs to be its own character. I wanted the idea that each ship is slowly shaped and retrofitted with pieces that make the crew more comfortable and productive. That’s why each skill you choose when creating your character also gives you a piece you can add to the ship. The ship, in essence, is the sum of the players. Thus, the ship is a team-built character.

    This also gives me an avenue to work on ship combat/actions. Since the ship is a character, it’ll have its own Ship Moves which the player characters can use. Its stats, skills, armor, weapons, gadgets and such will all be built by the players collectively at character creation. Each of the ships stats and skills would be driven and controlled by a different player (which gives me ideas for PowerRangers/Volotron type game but let’s not go there focus focus).

    Next up: Factions and Debt.
  • "That’s why each skill you choose when creating your character also gives you a piece you can add to the ship. The ship, in essence, is the sum of the players. Thus, the ship is a team-built character"
    Goddamn brilliant.
  • edited August 2013
    Factions – Tear ‘em down and rebuild
    This was one of the big "collapses" during the playtest. I swear, it was like watching one of those controlled demolitions in slow motion.

    Originally, I had planned to have players invent 2 Factions and then “pass them around the table” so that people could fill in the details. While this did kinda work to create the factions themselves, it had quite a few big problems. First was that it didn't necessarily build a strong connection between the players and the faction. It was just a bunch of facts, and affected the players as much as I am affected by the KGB. Secondly, it was just too many factions to keep track of for the GM and players. Thirdly, that much off-the-bat definition ended up making the factions feel… muddy. Finally, it put too many restrictions on the GM. It was generally agreed that factions, as they are now, did not work. So back to the drawing board!

    First thing’s first, back to the Principles. For anyone wanting to make their own game, I can’t stress how important it is to write out your Principles. It is an amazing tool that will keep you on the right path, providing inspiration and consistency. In my case, the Principles I want to build up are “Everyone has someone pulling their strings” and “Paint in primary colors”. We’re playing with Space Opera, here. We want organisations and factions that are easy to grok. Bold, primary color type things, that fill their roles in the story with gusto. Star Trek’s Klingons and Mass Effect’s Krogan are honorable and barbaric, Firefly’s Alliance and Farscape's Peacekeepers are despotic and civilized, etc.

    I’m toying with a Fiaso-eque faction generation, where each player names one faction on an index card, gives it a broad role in the galactic setting (space pirates, planetary government, system police, etc), and passes it to the player on their right. That player gives a one-liner about their character’s defining moment, event or mission with that faction, and passes it to the right again. The third player gives a one-liner about how they were involved in that event in some way, either directly or indirectly. I'm hoping this will tie the characters to the faction and each other more clearly.

    Up next: Debt
  • Hey, I'm not lazy, I was waiting for account approval.
  • Anyway, I think the right answer on Faction creation may still be something pretty close to what you have now. The problem right now is that Reputation is a scattershot combination of "fact about faction" and "relationship to faction". So perhaps instead, you'd do a Column A/Column B approach, so you'd choose from a list (or create freely within the same concepts) of "Faction X is [characteristic]" and "I have [relationship] with Faction X," independent of one another, to create the WHOLE thing.

    Actually as I think about it, they may not even need to be coupled that way at all, but it strikes me as a natural minor evolution of the existing idea. I honestly like the underlying CONCEPT of having it be similar to DW's Bonds because it feels good and it's obviously not overly complicated. I think I fear over-complicating this function particularly because the Factions, and the Debt the characters owe them, are a huge part of the game, so while you may want pretty of flexibility, you also want the Faction generation system to set the hooks deep. Having the system be too complicated would create the same end result as the current prompts being too narrow: inadequate player buy-in to that relationship.
  • Are factions fronts?

    Are ship moves sex moves?

    Why or why not please.
  • Are factions fronts?
    Factions aren't fronts, though they can be part of one. Honestly I haven't put much thought into fronts, per say; it's an aspect of Apocalypse World/Dungeon World I didn't really use all that much. Factions are just groups that serve as allies or antagonists for the PCs.
    Are ship moves sex moves?
    Hah, oh dear, no. Ship Moves are things the crew can coax the ship to do during hazardous situations like dog-fights or dodging through debris fields or making dangerous landings. But I think I get what you're asking; the characters and npc crew are going to be cooped up on this ship together, there are bound to be changes in the way they interact over time. It's certainly something that would add an extra helping of dysfunction into "the ship is home, the crew is a dysfunctional family". I'm not sure if I want to codify it into an actual move, though, especially since I don't have any system of Hx or Bond.

    Thanks for your questions, good food for thought!
  • I'm really liking the collaboratively created character of The Ship. What I'm wondering, is will everyone have the same level of access to Ship Moves? Like if my guy is High Tech-Scientific he would probably be better at say, repairing the ship. Will Ship Moves use character stats? When you attempt to jury-rig the ship, roll+tech or separate Ship-like stats?
  • edited August 2013
    A good question, and one I've been toying with for a while now. It feels like the ship should have stats; it's an easy way to measure the effectiveness of the engines, weapons, sensors, etc. On the other hand, it's true that certain people will be better at performing certain tasks.

    I feel the divide happens between "I will do this to/in the ship" and "I will get the ship to do this". In your example, jury-rigging the ship would likely be a Patch Up roll; it's the character doing something to the ship. On the other hand, if the character was using Transfer Power (an as-of-yet- non-existent Ship Move that gives a +1 to another ship system) from engineering, it would probably use the ship's 'Power' stat (or whatever Stat I come up with). Basically, no matter how good the engineer, if the ship's power systems aren't up to snuff, the Transfer Power might not work (all together now: "I canna duu et Captain! She canna take tha load!")

    The advantage is that it allows everyone to pick a station and act, not be relegated to something because they're "the face" or "the strong one". The disadvantage is that this does remove a bit from the character's mechanical in-game strengths and weaknesses, but I would hope that narratively, players would gravitate towards stations that they feel their character would be good at.
  • Can a crewman use a forward point to improve a ship roll? [And thus impact a ship roll]
  • edited August 2013
    Crushing Debt

    This is the trickiest one, because it’s such a fundamental to the setting as a whole. More than anything, I wanted Debt to feel like it was woven into the fabric of life in the galaxy. I wanted it to be practically inescapable, not something that can be ignored or circumvented, something that drives desperate decisions and causes tough situations, something that snares the players. I want to feel the strings (‘everyone has someone pulling their strings’) of inter-faction politics. Debt should be an insidious antagonist in the story.

    BUT! It has to be somewhat elegant in implementation. It has to not require a lot of book-keeping and mathematical gymnastics. And the way Debt is gained and lost must feel organic within the gameplay. So yeah, tall order.

    For a long time I toyed with Favor and Debt being separate but inter-related. However, this led down a rabbit hole of dodgy math and weird edge cases that ended up being more complex to conceptualize than just counting coins. Which is a Bad Thing ™. So I’ve returned to the idea that Debt and Favor are opposites; you can’t gain one while you have the other. While you are indebted to a faction, any Favor you would gain is instead removed from your Debt. Conversely, any Debt you incur while you have Favor with a faction merely erodes that Favor.

    So here’s what I have for the new debt mechanics + the 3 primary debt/favor moves. I’ll post the thought process that went into the design of each move tomorrow.

    Debt/Favor rules v2.0:
    Debt and Favor are mutually exclusive stats that range from 0 to 4. Every point of Favor gained with a faction reduces the Debt with that Faction by 1 first until, you have no more Debt with them. Every point of Debt gained with a faction reduces your Favor with that Faction by 1 first, until you have no more Favor with them.

    ACQUISITION (+Favor)
    When you make a major acquisition of goods or services, choose a faction that could provide them to you or provide you with the resources to obtain them, and Roll+Favor.
    On a 6-, something blocks or interferes with the purchase, the GM will tell you what.
    On a 7-9, you get what you were looking for, but you’ve overreached the limits of your favor, earning 1 Debt with the faction.
    On a 10+, you get what you were looking for, but there may be questions asked if the acquisition is suspicious, extravagant or odd.
    Examples of major acquisitions:
    - Supplying your ship with fuel, rations, power and maintenance.
    - Repairing the ship.
    - Replacing a component on the ship.
    - Major surgery.
    - Replacing, repairing and/or recharging all your gadgets.
    - Buying a 2-mod weapon or outfitting a squad with 1-mod weapons.
    - Buying a 3-mod Suit or outfitting a squad with 2-mod suits.
    - Buying several tons of domestic cargo for shipping.
    - Organizing a social/media/political event.
    - Throwing a massive party.
    - Hiring a new crewman to replace a previous crewman (gang, squad, lab techs, repair crew, followers, etc)
    COLLECT REWARD (-Debt)
    When you perform an important service for a faction, Roll-Debt.
    On a 6-, you merely gain +1 Forward to your next Acquisition roll.
    On a 7-9, your reward is great enough to grant you 1 Favor with that faction.
    On a 10+, you can instead choose to gain 1 Favor with a different faction, as long as the two factions are not hostile to one another.

    PAY THE PIPER (-Debt)
    Whenever you enter a civilized region of space, the GM will name 1-3 factions that have a presence in the area. Roll-Debt with each of those factions if you have at least 1 Debt with them.
    On a 10+, everything is fine; you can go about your business.
    On a 7-9, they may contact you with missions/requests/demands.
    On a 6-, they are demanding payment. Unless you immediately gain 1 Debt with another faction to placate them, they will interfere with you. How they interfere will be up to the GM, based on the type of faction they are and how big the Debt is. Placating them does not reduce your Debt with the faction, it merely gets them off your back temporarily.
    Examples of faction interference:
    - Political/social lockout
    - Docking/service delays
    - Administrative red tape/audits
    - Harassment
    - Detainment
    - Surveillance/spying
    - Vandalism
    - Defamation
    - Blackmail/extortion
    - Theft/piracy
    - Assault
    - Assassination

  • The first two moves seem kind of inert; they're just a bunch of numbers going up and down. Only the final move seems to complicate (or even interact with) the fiction at all. Maybe that's your goal, but I would expect to see far more interesting results, especially for Acquisition, and especially on 7-9 results. Is gaining 1 Debt really the most interesting outcome from 'overreaching the limits of your favour'? Surely something more could happen than that.

    Same goes for hits on Collecting a Reward. The best possible thing you can get out of performing a task for a Faction is favour with a different Faction? What about, I dunno, making an ally within the Faction? And an enemy on a miss? There seem to be a lot of overlooked opportunities here.


  • The first two moves seem kind of inert; they're just a bunch of numbers going up and down. Only the final move seems to complicate (or even interact with) the fiction at all. Maybe that's your goal, but I would expect to see far more interesting results, especially for Acquisition, and especially on 7-9 results. Is gaining 1 Debt really the most interesting outcome from 'overreaching the limits of your favour'? Surely something more could happen than that.

    Same goes for hits on Collecting a Reward. The best possible thing you can get out of performing a task for a Faction is favour with a different Faction? What about, I dunno, making an ally within the Faction? And an enemy on a miss? There seem to be a lot of overlooked opportunities here.
    Valid concerns! I’ll see if I can address them.

    The idea here is that these are not 3 ‘stand-alone’ Moves, but rather three moving pieces of a larger system. As you correctly pointed out, Pay the Piper is the main way the Debt system complicates the fiction (though I would disagree that it’s the only instance, more on that later). The other two Moves exist to feed this primary Move. The three are interrelated cogs in a larger machine; player choices and actions go in, consequences come out.

    - Acquisition: Acquisition is the primary way the players will accumulate Debt; Debt which will allow Pay the Piper to trigger more often and “hit harder”. The 7-9 result of “Gain Debt” is a long-game complication, rather than having an immediate impact. Also note that a 6- is possibly a narrative complication, not always a straight-out failure. That said, I admit I didn't write it all that well, and I’ll certainly reword it to be more explicit.

    - Collect Reward: This one is the carrot to drive players along. By gaining Favor, they can erase their Debt (remember that Favor and Debt are mutually exclusive and cancel each other out). However, the more Debt you have, the less likely you are to get enough of a reward to erase your Debt. It’s a Debt-Spiral (that a cynical part of me feels may be a little too close to reality, honestly).

    Erasing Debt makes it easier to get better rewards in the future from Collect Reward, and it lessens or removes the danger of Pay the Piper. And if you perform services for factions to whom you are not indebted, the Favor you gain with them allows you to use the Acquisition move more effectively.

    However, I do agree that the -6 needs to have a greater connection to the narrative, and that the reward for 10+ (considering how difficult it is to actually roll that when your range is +0 to -4) needs to have more choice involved. I feel that outright “allies/enemies” is bit too rigid for the system, but they need a bit more oomph.

    - Pay the Piper: This is where the “output” is, where the Debt system creates complications and stories and antagonists. Note that on a 6-, the player has the option to incur Debt elsewhere to temporarily save them from the consequences, but this is just another Debt-Spiral.


    So here are the 3 updated Moves:

    ACQUISITION (+Favor)
    When you make a major acquisition of goods or services, choose a faction that could provide them to you or provide you with the resources to obtain them, and Roll+Favor.
    On a 10+, you get what you were looking for, but there may be questions asked if the acquisition is suspicious, extravagant or odd.
    On a 7-9, you get what you were looking for, but you've overreached the limits of your favor, earning 1 Debt with the faction.
    On a 6-, something blocks or interferes with the purchase, which will have to be resolved before the acquisition can go through. The GM will present you with a difficult situation, hard bargain or greater cost.

    COLLECT REWARD (-Debt)
    When you perform an important service for a faction, Roll-Debt.
    On a 6-, you have not yet done enough to earn favor with this faction. They grant you +1 forward on your next Acquisition roll, and will present you with a new opportunity, task or service.
    On a 7-9, your reward is great enough to grant you 1 Favor with that faction.
    On a 10+, choose 1 of the following:
    • You gain 2 Favor with this faction
    • One of your allies gains 1 Favor with this faction
    • You gain 1 Favor with another faction
    • You gain 1 Favor and may request a new mission for this faction

    PAY THE PIPER (-Debt)
    Whenever you enter a civilized region of space, the GM will name 1-3 factions that have a presence in the area. Roll-Debt with each of those factions if you have at least 1 Debt with them.
    On a 10+, everything is fine; you can go about your business.
    On a 7-9, they may contact you with missions/requests/demands.
    On a 6-, they are demanding payment. Unless you immediately gain 1 Debt with another faction to placate them, they will interfere with you. How they interfere will be up to the GM, based on the type of faction they are and how big the Debt is. Placating them does not reduce your Debt with the faction, it merely gets them off your back temporarily.


    Hope that addresses some of your concerns! (That’s not to say I might not scrap the whole design if it doesn't hold up in playtests, hehe.) I do admit parts of Acquisition and Collect Reward needed more love, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.
  • Can a crewman use a forward point to improve a ship roll? [And thus impact a ship roll]
    (Sorry missed this question earlier)

    Sure, if there's a narrative explanation, I don't see why not.
  • edited August 2013
    Uncharted Worlds v 0.5.3 is up! As usual, I’d appreciate any comments, questions or suggestions! A huge thank you goes out to all those who have taken the time to playtest the game or read through and comment about it; your efforts have greatly improved the game.

    Patch Notes
    • Overhauled the Debt system
    • Changed the way initial factions are created
    • Added “Role on the ship” to character creation
    • Changed a number of abilities to leverage new Debt system
    • Fixed many small inconsistencies
    • Now published under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    • Cooldown of Survivalist skill reduced to 45/55/65, down from 50/60/70.

    Download Uncharted Worlds v0.5.3 here

  • Crushing Debt idea:

    I need to read all of the above more carefully, but one idea to have debt be both inescapable AND something that can be addressed by player agency would be to make it a front with a countdown; ignore it long enough and it bites you (generates a Threat), pay it down and the counter gets longer (you get the debtors off your back for a while), but it NEVER goes away.

    Something like:

    Every session the counter goes down by 1
    Every time you fix your ship, resupply ship supplies, or bribe some official it goes down by 1.
    Every time you complete a gig it goes UP by some value, depending on gig payout.
    If it hits 0 it generates a Threat and goes up by 1d4 (buying the players a little more time before shit hits the fan again)
  • Love the ship-building idea. I've been working on something similar that is narrowly focused on Traveller:High Guard ships/crews. I can't wait to see how this turns out.
  • Crushing Debt idea:

    I need to read all of the above more carefully, but one idea to have debt be both inescapable AND something that can be addressed by player agency would be to make it a front with a countdown; ignore it long enough and it bites you (generates a Threat), pay it down and the counter gets longer (you get the debtors off your back for a while), but it NEVER goes away.

    Something like:

    Every session the counter goes down by 1
    Every time you fix your ship, resupply ship supplies, or bribe some official it goes down by 1.
    Every time you complete a gig it goes UP by some value, depending on gig payout.
    If it hits 0 it generates a Threat and goes up by 1d4 (buying the players a little more time before shit hits the fan again)
    Ok, this is a really cool idea. It sadly doesn't work with the current design, since Debt/Favor is individual per character. However, I am totally keeping this idea in my design "bits box"; I'm currently running playtests, and if the individual Debt system doesn't work out, this would be a great mechanic for group-based Debt. Thanks!
  • edited August 2013
    Here’s a bit of a preview of what’s coming in v0.6: Spaceship rules. (Note: these are all still highly experimental)

    As previously mentioned, Spaceships will have stats of their own. They are characters in their own rights.

    Spaceship Stats
    - Maneuver. The ship’s acceleration, maneuverability and thrust. Used to pursue targets, evade threats, escape pursuit, traverse hazards and take off/land in dangerous circumstances.
    - Power. The ship’s reactor output, inter-system distribution and energy surplus. Used to redistribute power between systems and provide those systems with temporary bursts of excess power.
    - Shields. The ship’s ability to defend itself from direct attacks. Used to absorb lasers, disperse explosions, deflect small debris and ward against a variety of environmental and anomalous hazards.
    - Sensors. The ship’s senses, the range, accuracy and fidelity of detection. Used to scan targets, pick up signals, provide target locks, detect stealth, get readings and provide telemetry.
    - Systems. The ship’s miscellaneous systems. This covers all secondary stations and abilities that the ship has, such as tractor beams, air locks, docking clamps, life support, etc.

    The ship has Ship Moves associated with its stats. When making the ship perform an action in a dangerous situation, the characters use the ship’s stats and one of the Ship Moves and makes 1 choice out of the available options. Here’s an example of the Pilot Move with a ship that only has basic Star Drive:

    Pilot (+Maneuver (+0))
    When you pilot the ship in a challenging or dangerous situation, Roll+Maneuver (+0). On a 10+ choose 1. On a 7-9, choose 1, but the GM will describe a cost (time, energy, damage, etc) or a complication.
    - Take off/Land
    - Dock/Undock
    - Enter Atmosphere/Exit Atmosphere

    However, systems can be installed on the ship will improve these moves in some way, giving more options to this move. Various Engineering, Defensive, Computer and Structural systems will alter the basic Ship Moves in a variety of ways (Note: Weapon Systems are a bit different, and are not covered here). Here are some example systems:

    Combat Thrusters – Defensive System
    The as long as the ship has at least 1 functioning Combat Thruster for every 5 modules, the ship’s Pilot Move gains the following option: “Evade an incoming attack”

    Improved Propulsion – Engineering System
    The as long as the ship has at least 1 functioning Booster Engine for every 5 modules, the ship’s Pilot Move gains the following option: “Increase/decrease distance from another ship”.

    Booster Engines – Engineering System
    The as long as the ship has at least 1 functioning Stabilizer Drive for every 5 modules, the ship’s Pilot Move gains the following option: “Perform an extreme turn, climb, dive or other stunt”

    Stabilizer Drive – Engineering System
    The as long as the ship has at least 1 functioning Stabilizer Drive for every 5 modules, the ship’s Pilot Move gains the following option: “Hover/maintain position/maintain stability”

    Advanced Impulse Drive – Engineering System (max 1)
    The ship gains +1 to its Maneuver Stat

    Advanced Piloting Console – Computer System (max 1)
    The ship gains +1 to its Maneuver Stat when using the Pilot Move from this console

    Autopilot Program – Computer System (max 1)
    The ship gains +1 to its Maneuver Stat, and can fly itself in non-challenging situations

    The Modules mentioned in a few of the above systems are large sections of the ship, which can each accept 5 systems. So players can put their engineering systems all in the same Module and have it be their Engineering Bay, that kind of thing. If a small-ish ship took up 7 of its available System slots to make it as maneuverable and fast as possible, its Pilot Move would look something like this:

    Pilot (+Maneuver (+3))
    When you pilot the ship in a challenging or dangerous situation, Roll+Maneuver (+3). On a 10+ choose 1. On a 7-9, choose 1, but the GM will describe a cost (time, energy, damage, etc) or a complication.
    - Take off/Land
    - Dock/Undock
    - Enter Atmosphere/Exit Atmosphere
    - Evade an incoming attack
    - Increase/decrease distance from another ship
    - Perform an extreme turn, climb, dive or other stunt
    - Hover/maintain position/maintain stability

    As the ship gets damaged, components are taken offline, reducing the effectiveness and abilities of ship’s Pilot Move.

    What do you guys think? Any comments or questions?
  • Is "Systems" a necessary stat for ships? If it is just miscellany that most ships have (docking hatch, etc), how is one ship's better than another?

    Does only one player make rolls for piloting the ship? Are rules coming for gunners during ship-to-ship combat, or did I overlook them?

    The Debt portion of the game isn't particularly interesting to me. Do you feel like it could be stripped out in play pretty seamlessly?

    Overall this looks really cool and I'm definitely looking forward to playtesting later editions. You might also take a look at the Star Worlds hack Mark T is working on if you haven't already: http://www.story-games.com/forums/discussion/17755/star-world-apocalypse-world-hack-for-space-stories/p1
  • edited September 2013
    Is "Systems" a necessary stat for ships? If it is just miscellany that most ships have (docking hatch, etc), how is one ship's better than another?
    Systems is shaping up to be the most "add-on" of the stats; there are going to be dozens of things it can do, such as Tractor Beams, Salvage Arms, Boarding Pods, Probes, etc. The stat itself is a bit of an abstraction; you only need to roll it during challenging situations, so it's a measure of how responsive and efficient the system is (otherwise in routine situations there's no need to roll). The strength of the tractor beam, the accuracy of the salvage arm against a volatile wreck, launching the probe or boarding pod to avoid it getting blow out of the stars, etc.

    It's also the skill to use when trying to re-initialize the miscellaneous systems after they've been damaged: if your life-support goes out and an airlock is blown, you better hope your Systems have the resilience and performance to prevent massive, ship-wide decompression.
    Does only one player make rolls for piloting the ship? Are rules coming for gunners during ship-to-ship combat, or did I overlook them?
    Usually yes, though the ship can be upgraded with additional consoles if someone in the party wants to be a co-pilot (or co-shieldsman, or co-systems-operator)

    Gunner rules are currently nebulous; some of the person-to-person gunplay from the current playtest group has me re-designing a lot of shooty-related things (which is why 6.0 is a bit slow in arriving)
    The Debt portion of the game isn't particularly interesting to me. Do you feel like it could be stripped out in play pretty seamlessly?
    Sure, if you want to run a setting with a global currency (cred-sticks, etc), then the whole Debt/Favor thing can be more or less ignored. You'd have to set prices for various purchases, but it shouldn't be harder than a D&D game otherwise.
    Overall this looks really cool and I'm definitely looking forward to playtesting later editions. You might also take a look at the Star Worlds hack Mark T is working on if you haven't already: http://www.story-games.com/forums/discussion/17755/star-world-apocalypse-world-hack-for-space-stories/p1
    Thanks for your feedback! I'm thinking of running a G+ playtest when I come out with 6.0; if you're interested, ping me and I'll keep you abreast of the timing. Thanks for the link, too. I had spotted that thread once long ago, then promptly forgot to go back and read it in full.
  • edited September 2013
    After the last playtest, I’ve been looking at the way damage and combat is handled. The idea of wound slots and rolling for damage all felt very numerical, and lacked the breadth and variety. It also lacked an amount of realism, as all “hp-damage” systems do.

    On the NPC damage side, I toyed with a LOT of different mechanics, including damage charts and Moves for damage or extra choices in the Open Fire move (which is the standard Move for shooting at stuff). It just got more and more complex. So I went back to basics. I embraced the deadly nature of the galaxy, and I asked myself; what is the core mechanic of *World games.

    This is the new Open Fire move:

    OPEN FIRE
    When you fire at a target within your weapon's range, explain how you want to harm or affect them (within your weapon’s capabilities), and Roll+Mettle.
    • On a 10+ they are driven back, pinned, hurt, maimed or outright killed, as you described. If they have protection or mitigating circumstances (cover, armor, etc) the GM will explain how the damage is reduced or lessened.
    • On a 7-9, you get a reduced result, an unintended side-effect, and/or an additional cost for the attack (the targets get to shoot you too, having to unload your whole clip to hit, other enemies get to act, you cause property damage, etc)

    As for players, I saw Paul_T’s “harsher damage”, and what I liked about it is that it eschewed hit points and instead just added description after description, leaving it up to the narrative to decide the actual effect.

    SUFFER HARM
    When you would take damage, the GM will tell you the severity (Minor, Major, Critical or Fatal). Roll+Armor.

    • On a 6-, you suffer an injury of that severity and an injury of each lesser severity as well.
    • On a 7-9, you suffer an injury of that severity.
    • On a 10+, you manage to avoid or resist the majority of the damage, and only suffer an injury of a lesser severity (Minor deals no damage)

    The rule of thumb is that unarmed attacks are Minor, melee weapons are Major, guns are Critical, and heavy weapons are Fatal. Explosives have falloffs, so a player that’s close to a bomb might take Critical or Fatal damage, while a player further away would take Major damage from the blast, and a third player down the hall would take Minor damage from the shockwave, flames or debris.

    The whole thing is a lot looser and open to interpretation, but I feel it conveys the effects of combat better than “you lose 3 HP”. (Obviously this means I have to revisit how armor and weapons work, as well as re-write a number of skills. Ah well.)

    Thoughts? Questions?
  • Hi, I read through and I really like what I see. I have a few thoughts to throw out, for what they're worth:

    1) I like the Origin+Careers chargen, it has a bit of the Traveller feeling. What I can't help noticing is that there aren't any downsides to any of the origins or careers that I can see, not even ones like Artificial which I expected would have an associated flaw. I know "balance" is not a huge issue in Apocalypse-powered games, but in my experience with other games in the family, it's the disadvantages, problems and connections built into the playbooks that drive a lot of the early game and make the characters come to life.

    2) It all feels a bit generic -- it's very good, but there are an awful lot of generic space opera games out there that all use the same stock science fiction tropes. When I think of space-opera RPG's that stick out in my mind, they're games like Ashen Stars, Bulldogs! and the playtest version of Galactic that all gave a very specific setting and flavor. These constraints then made it easier for me as GM to come up with ideas.

    3) I feel like the factions are described too granularly, and that's going to cause trouble while running the game. In a particular game, a crazed Admiral of the Imperial Navy might be one influence, while Naval Intelligence is another, maybe working at cross-purposes. Since the interactions of factions and debt look like they'll drive the game to large extent, this is really important to get right. Having a list of suggested factions might, AW-style, help create an implied setting which groups can color in to suit themselves and avoid the paralysis of wide open choices.

    4) Careers: It jumped right out at me that you don't really have any "soft" careers: no obvious career for somebody who wants to play the emotional, caring side of the crew, like Bones McCoy or Counselor Troi or Inara. There's no obvious career for Lt Uhura, even! There's also no career for the guy who wants to be the captain of the ship -- that's an important enough role in the source material I think you should consider making it a career of its own, or have rules for creating an NPC captain if no one's into it.

    5) Ship and Ship moves: another thing I noticed is that the careers that are more ship-oriented don't really buff the ship any more than the careers that go along with being a passenger. It seems a little disappointing to create a Spacer character with Starfarer-Industrial careers and not get many more ship-related gimmicks than somebody who took the Clandestine career. I also really liked Orlando's idea of ship moves being like sex moves, and it would be awesome for each character to get a certain move that they can do shipboard that nobody else can do, to represent those scenes of downtime while the ship is en route to its next destination.
  • edited September 2013
    Thanks for the feedback! Lots of interesting stuff there, let’s see what I can address
    1) I like the Origin+Careers chargen, it has a bit of the Traveller feeling. What I can't help noticing is that there aren't any downsides to any of the origins or careers that I can see, not even ones like Artificial which I expected would have an associated flaw. I know "balance" is not a huge issue in Apocalypse-powered games, but in my experience with other games in the family, it's the disadvantages, problems and connections built into the playbooks that drive a lot of the early game and make the characters come to life.
    Hmm, an intriguing concept. Both my RL group and online group tend to dislike disadvantages, and obviously I write for the people I know. It’s certainly something I can look into, though, could be cool. However, having played both AW and DW, I feel like I may have missed the explicit, playbook-defined disadvantages/problems. Could I ask for an example? Maybe I’m just overlooking something obvious.
    2) It all feels a bit generic -- it's very good, but there are an awful lot of generic space opera games out there that all use the same stock science fiction tropes. When I think of space-opera RPG's that stick out in my mind, they're games like Ashen Stars, Bulldogs! and the playtest version of Galactic that all gave a very specific setting and flavor. These constraints then made it easier for me as GM to come up with ideas.
    Sad but true. It’s a product of the ‘history’ of the development. At first it was a Mass Effect hack, but then I discovered that someone with more clout/popularity was attempting the same thing hehe. It evolved into a Traveller hack (as evidenced by the character generation), and eventually evolved into a more generic frame. I certainly intend to apply a more well-defined/unique setting as things solidify, and the Factions and Debt is undoubtedly going to be the basis of it. I’m open to suggestions!
    3) I feel like the factions are described too granularly, and that's going to cause trouble while running the game. In a particular game, a crazed Admiral of the Imperial Navy might be one influence, while Naval Intelligence is another, maybe working at cross-purposes. Since the interactions of factions and debt look like they'll drive the game to large extent, this is really important to get right. Having a list of suggested factions might, AW-style, help create an implied setting which groups can color in to suit themselves and avoid the paralysis of wide open choices.
    Funnily enough, that’s just what I was toying around with this morning! I have a new playtest soon which includes new faction creation rules. The new rules try to emphasize the “Primary Colors” ideology of space-opera. I’ll report back about that.
    4) Careers: It jumped right out at me that you don't really have any "soft" careers: no obvious career for somebody who wants to play the emotional, caring side of the crew, like Bones McCoy or Counselor Troi or Inara. There's no obvious career for Lt Uhura, even! There's also no career for the guy who wants to be the captain of the ship -- that's an important enough role in the source material I think you should consider making it a career of its own, or have rules for creating an NPC captain if no one's into it.
    An interesting point. In my opinion, I’d say that Inara is a Priviliged Starfarer Personality. That said, one of the strengths of the system that I’m particularly happy with is the ease at which you can add a career path and exponentially increase the overall number of Archetypes. For example, while I personally wouldn’t want psionics in the ‘main setting’, adding a “Psion” career path would allow everything from Military-Psions to Personality-Psions to Clandestine-Psions. The question is; what is the ‘skillset’ of this “soft” career? Is it a form of leadership and fellowship? Empathy and diplomacy, maybe? Perhaps a split between the “star/artist/entertainer” of the Personality career, and a more diplomatic/empathic/verbal career. I’ll certainly look into it, could provide some new options.

    As for “captain”, I’m very hesitant to actually push that one player be a superior of another. I’ve had too many bad experiences with that; it pushes certain players into the background because they assume subservience, etc. In any event, I don't feel that captain needs a career path; a “Captain” could be a Military Personality or a Scoundrel Starfarer; it all depends on the ship, crew, and tone of the game.
    5) Ship and Ship moves: another thing I noticed is that the careers that are more ship-oriented don't really buff the ship any more than the careers that go along with being a passenger. It seems a little disappointing to create a Spacer character with Starfarer-Industrial careers and not get many more ship-related gimmicks than somebody who took the Clandestine career. I also really liked Orlando's idea of ship moves being like sex moves, and it would be awesome for each character to get a certain move that they can do shipboard that nobody else can do, to represent those scenes of downtime while the ship is en route to its next destination.
    Very true. Once ship rules are solidified and destruct-tested, I agree that a couple of careers could get ship-based skills. My fear is making skills that are very situational. If your skills are awesome in a ship and useless outside of one, it’s much harder to make a scenario in which you’ll want to go out and explore. And in ship-based situations, I’d like everyone to be able to do something useful, not just the ones with a ton of ship-based skills stealing the spotlight. It’ll be a fine line to walk, but I do agree that the Starfarer needs a ship-based move.

    Awesome feedback, great food for thought. Thanks again :)
  • Disadvantages (maybe complications would be a better word) are common in the AW playbooks: the Hocus, Hardholder, and Chopper have to choose both positive and negative traits for their stuff (cult, holding, and motorcycle gang respectively); there are more complicated examples, for example the Maestro D' starts with rivals and obligations, and the Operators starts with a bunch of jobs already going on that require attention, and the Faceless has very obvious complications built in.

    Also, the Hx system often implies negative things in the past that can come back to haunt you, the Faceless is one of the best examples of this, where the Faceless has done something awful with another character in the past and it's up to the players to come up with this awful thing.
  • Re: concerns of "generic" setting--

    I wonder if this is bad thing -- "Dungeon World" is a pretty stock "Sword and Sorcery" setting, the key is for the players and GM to help build the specific details and world that interests them. A stock scifi setting that draws from Firefly, Mass Effect, BSG, etc. would be great, because I could then modify it with my players (aliens or not? FTL travel or not? Zones of thought? etc etc etc) to build the universe we want to play in.

    It's kind of the same reason I'm not as crazy about the "Debt" system in this game -- it writes some of the backstory for me. If I WANT that to be a part of the game/universe, cool, but I hate being locked into too much before I start. Give me sandbox, I'll build the castles.
  • edited September 2013
    Oof, good points for both a more defined and more sandbox approach. I'll have to mull that one over a bit more before I can come to a conclusion.

    In the meantime, version 0.5.4 is out, with an entirely new combat system, new injury rules, new weapon and armor rules, and a bunch of Skill changes to the various careers. I also threw in change to the Faction Creation rules. If you guys have a chance to check 'em out at some point, I'd greatly appreciate your continued feedback; the stuff you guys have provided me so far has been a huge help.

    Download Uncharted World v.0.5.4 here

    0.5.4 Changelist
    - Changed Step 1 of Faction creation
    - Changed Open Fire move
    - Changed Launch Assault move
    - Added Suffer Harm move
    - Changed Harm rules
    - Removed Health/Wounds rules
    - Changed Armor rules
    - Changed Weapons rules
    - Changed following skills:
    - - Hacking (Scientific, High-Tech) - Replaces "Calibrations"
    - - Calibrations (Starfarer) - Replaces "Spaceworthy"
    - - Heavy Lifting (Military, Spacer) - Replaces "Armored"
    - - Special Ammo (Military) - Replaces "Weaponry"
    - - Toughness (Military, Frontier)
    - - Scrappy (Scoundrel, Frontier)
    - - Survivalist (Explorer, Frontier)
    - - Harder (Cybernetic)
    - - Faster (Cybernetic)
    - - Stronger (Cybernetic)
    - - Interrogate (Clandestine)
    - Fixed numerous tpyos
  • @samtung:

    See, I like Debt, because to me it is a setting cliche. Traveller, Star Wars (Hans vs Jabba), Firefly, etc.

    Now, to me Debt seems more about the Ship (doing questionable jobs to avoid losing your ship, making a deal with the devil to buy needed repairs) but i can see a more personal approach.
  • I really like the idea of Debt being tied to the ship, because it makes intuitive sense -- too much debt and the repo men come after your ship, or it gets impounded and you're stuck on some awful little planet, willing to take the worst imaginable gig in order to get the credits to get your ship out of hock and get into space again.
  • Space anarcho-syndicalism, I see.
  • edited September 2013
    A few iterations back, I toyed around with the idea of Ship debt as opposed to individual character debt. While it did unify the team, it also lessened inter-party dynamics. With an individual Debt/Favor, players can be "I'll get the component from AstroMining, they owe me" or "Guys, I can't go against StarSword Navy, they're already breathing down my neck." In play, it ended up being a very nice dynamic, informing a lot of desperate decisions. Last playtest, I presented a simple choice between completing a delivery for their employer, or handing over the delivery to another faction that 3 of the players had Debt 3 with (3 out of 4, to be clear, so pretty damn high). They sold out their employer for a chance to alleviate some of their worst Debt.

    For example, with individual Debt, it certainly can create situations like this. "The money was too good!"
  • Could the Ship (as another 'character') accumulate Debt too? For shared costs like refueling, repairs, upgrades, etc. Otherwise, a specific character probably needs to take on Debt to pay for this stuff- but I can see how that would be a source of inter-party tension. Along those lines, I think the 'ships share' of takings used to be a thing amongst privateers and the like, for maintenance.

    If so, do you have a defined Captain role, where the ship is 'theirs' in some way (decision-making or ownership)? Perhaps that's a tradeoff in the Captain book- it's your ship, but it's Debt is also yours. Maybe they get to be accountable for the ships' Debt, in addition to their personal Debt. Jabba was after Han specifically, not Chewie as well.
  • edited September 2013
    Yeah, the fact that the individuals in the ship have to decide how best to divide purchases is part of the inter-player tension, and makes for some nice moments ("Look, I can't go buy anything on this station. We're in Better Tomorrow space. They'd flay me alive if they knew I was buying stuff from their affiliates before paying back what I owe them.")

    I'm kinda wondering how to handle captaincy; I've had bad experiences in the past with having one player being higher up in a hierarchy than one or more other players. So far my base assumption is that the Crew are more or less equals (player crew, that is; the players could have subordinates that fill out the crew; mechanics, scientists, followers and such), and as such all have an equal say in the way the ship is handled. The idea is that the Ship's "Debt" is the sum of the problems caused by its Crew's debt. When a faction decides to impound the ship or take pot-shots at it, the ship is suffering for the Debt of someone onboard.
  • Part of the genre as I see it is that the Captain doesn't have much actual sway over his crew he is a leader, not a commander. In Firefly Mal was the Captain, but most of the time the crew acted by consensus (or bickering). Sometimes Mal would DEMAND fall in line, but more often that not that would strain his relationship with the crew.

    Maybe give the captain a special move: "Lay Down The Law" that he can use to "strongly encourage" people to get in line, but would come at a cost (Strings in Monsterhearts?)
  • edited September 2013
    Hmmm. Good point, and gives me an idea:

    Perhaps a Loyalty ranking, which ranks the other players from highest to lowest. So when a decision needs to be made, someone who's high-up on the Loyalty list can "pull rank", in a story sense (not mechanically). It's not a 100% "you have to do this" (because telling players what to do sucks) but it will at least guide their decisions. It makes someone a de-facto captain, rather than de-jure, by being at the top of other player's Loyalty lists. (Wash is not as loyal to Mal as he is to Zoe, but Zoe has Mal on the top of her Loyalty list, so Wash rarely disagrees with Mal if Zoe has a say.) Also, the "top" of a Loyalty list means little if the character is self-centered and/or treacherous (Jayne has Mal on the top of his Loyalty ("I didn't rat YOU out"), but that loyalty is as shallow as a puddle).

    At the end of each session, each player can increase the Loyalty with one person and/or decrease it with another, allowing them to shuffle things around based on what happened in the session. If the person at the top of their Loyalty list led them astray or pulled rank on something stupid, then they just lost that respect. If someone low on the Loyalty list did something awesome for the character, then the Loyalty increases.

    This works well with the Principles of "Everyone has someone pulling their strings" and "The ship is a home, the crew its dysfunctional family". Once the ship rules are in place, I'll give this a whirl.
  • Dude, make a relationship map part of your game! Then, make rules that build on the relationships. Then, you have a crew and getting your way can have its cost.
  • edited September 2013
    Dude, make a relationship map part of your game! Then, make rules that build on the relationships. Then, you have a crew and getting your way can have its cost.
    How would this work mechanically? I can imagine mapping relationships for thematic aid, but could you expound a bit?
  • Yeah, Paul, I'm not sure what kind of relationship map you have in mind, and I'd be fascinated to learn more! Heck, if you have an example, it would be awesome.
  • edited October 2013
    Idea: In your Loyalty List, put you character's OWN name somewhere on the list. You can do all sorts of things with that. And/or maybe have advancement moves that allow you to stick other things in the list; The Ship, Money, Fame, Addictions, etc and maybe give bonuses or special moves or something.

    Move: Married to the Sky
    Add the Ship to your Loyalty List. If you put the ship's welfare before someone ranked lower than the ship, gain 1 xp and move the ship up one level on the Loyalty list. If you do something that would harm or endanger the ship, drop it down one level on the Loyalty List.
  • @Archangel3d - I did it one way with Undying.

    What you might take from this is showing interdependencies between the crew by means of a play aid and mechanical tie-ins. If you're trying to balance out control so that there's not just one person in charge who is above the rest, then you might draw from Strings (Monsterhearts) or debt/pecking order/coerce (Undying - inspired by MH).

    The reason I suggest making R-maps part of your game is that it serves as a constant, visual reminder of the obligations between characters. If this sounds interesting, you'll probably want a mechanic that is less volatile than strings and less heavy-handed than debt/pecking order/coerce. Tailor either to meet your game's design goals.

    Here's an example R-Map.
  • edited October 2013
    Ooooooh. Very nice. I have no idea yet if I can fit this in the overall design, but it's dang interesting! Thank you!
  • edited October 2013
    Brief update, since it's been a while: I've been running a number of playtests on v 0.5.4 in the hopes of finalizing the combat system. So far so good. Spaceship stuff has been slightly side-tracked because the issue of Crews came up and I felt it deserved to be addressed.

    So this is the design for the Crews so far, and a new Standard Move (subject to change, obviously).

    COMMAND (+Influence)
    When you issue a command to a group that is inclined to follow your orders, Roll+Influence. On a 10+, they follow those orders to the best of their ability, though they may suffer costs or complications based on the difficulty/danger of the situation. On a 7-9, as above, and their disposition or effectiveness is also reduced in some way (demoralized, panicked, exhausted, disgruntled, injured, etc). Future attempts to Command this group suffers a cumulative -1 until their complications/issues have been addressed.

    Command allows you to order your own crew around, and it allows you to deal with hired mercenaries, refugees, military assistance, temporary allies, etc. The final results of them following orders are purposefully left to the narrative.


    Crew: Engineers (Industrial Career)
    You have the loyalty of a handful of engineer NPCs. Give three of them names and short 2-4 word descriptions of their personalities. The engineers can be Commanded to perform construction and repair projects. Choose 1 additional general trait for them.

    Crew: Scientists (Scientific Career)
    You have the loyalty of a handful of scientists NPCs. Give three of them names and short 2-4 word descriptions of their personalities. The scientists can be Commanded to perform research and development projects. Choose 1 additional general trait for them.

    Crew: Soldiers (Military Career)
    You have the loyalty of a handful of soldier NPCs. Give three of them names and short 2-4 word descriptions of their personalities. Choose a firearm with 1 upgrade; each of the soldiers is equipped with that weapon and standard armor, and can be Commanded to engage in tactical combat. Choose 1 additional general trait for them.

    Crew: Gang (Scoundrel Career)
    You have the loyalty of a handful of gang member NPCs. Give three of them names and short 2-4 word descriptions of their personalities. The gang members are armed with simple melee weapons and pistols, and can be Commanded to engage in destructive and/or criminal violence (assault, brawling, mugging, vandalism, etc). Choose 1 additional general trait for them.

    Crew: Followers (Personality Career)
    You have the loyalty of a handful of NPCs. Give three of them names and short 2-4 word descriptions of their personalities. The followers come from a diverse background; choose 2 general trait for them.

    The "Give three of them names and short 2-4 word descriptions of their personalities" is just for the start of the game, just to get things rolling and give the GM a starting point; the rest will be defined and named during play.


    General Traits:
    • Sidearms: The crew is equipped and trained with small firearms, and can be Commanded to engage in limited combat.
    • Medical Training: The crew is trained in first aid and equipped with trauma packs, and can be Commanded to provide basic medical aid to multiple victims or assist in emergency procedures.
    • Social: The crew is socially adept. In situations appropriate to their personality and sophistication, they can be Commanded to interact and entertain a group of people over a period of time, improving dispositions.
    • Intimidating: The crew is imposing in some way, you decide why. Most people tend to avoid interacting with them or angering them, and are distinctly uncomfortable in their presence.
    • Disciplined: The crew is especially disciplined and dedicated. They don’t question orders and quickly recover from the -1s of reduced disposition and effectiveness. They only take Commands from you.
    • Political: Choose a faction. The crew has ties to the hierarchy/command structure of that faction. They can be Commanded to interact with that faction in your stead, granting +1 to any Rolls involving Debt or Favor with that faction. However, their loyalty is divided between you and that faction.
    • Subtle: The crew can be Commanded to lay low, disappearing into the woodwork, unnoticed until they are needed.
    • Workforce: When in civilized space, the crew can be Commanded to find temporary jobs, earning you +1 to your next Acquisition roll.
    • Etc, etc etc


    I'll be uploading v 0.5.5 later in the week, and possibly having an open call for playtesters for a one-shot game on Google Hangout later in the month
  • I love the Command move, and the new crews. I like how now the ship/character creation rules scale from everything to a small ship with only 3-4 crew, to a big ship with 3-4 bridge officers, each with thier own sub-command.
  • edited October 2013
    Thanks :)
    And yeah, the bridge officer thing is definitely the Star Trek influence at work. People need their Red Shirts
  • fun house-rule idea: within each crew team (mercs, engineering, etc), have each player claim one character and flesh in out (back story etc). Then if you need to zero in on that team's exploits you can zoom in on that team and have the players take on those roles.

    "Explosion in Engineering!"

    "Jim, have your team take car of that!"

    (zoom in on Engineering and play out the repairs)
  • edited October 2013
    Dude, make a relationship map part of your game! Then, make rules that build on the relationships. Then, you have a crew and getting your way can have its cost.
    This is a neat idea. What would be really cool is if you could create a little diagram (or even drawing of a ship) that showed the relationship between the PC's, any major NPC's, and the gangs associated with the ship. This could be Uncharted World's module that goes in place of Hx, Bonds, or Strings.

    Optionally, you could also use this to determine damage locations during ship combat -- instead of determining damage logically from the outside in, determine it based on affiliations and what's important. That way, when Jim's character starts a fight that ends with the explosive decompression of my space boudoir, it feeds right back into the fiction instead of just being a negative modifier on a scanning roll or something. If you want to be nasty, let the crews serve as ablative armor for the sections, so you can burn through redshirts in a thematically appropriate manner.

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