I've been hiding under the rock of new parenthood for too many years, and I finally got the chance to play some Muse with friends! I'm going to write up my experience here. If you're curious, the game can be downloaded for free here: http://benn.ca/muse
The original premise (Story Seed in Muse parlance) was a generation ship on its way to colonize Proxima b, something like 150 years in the future. The story's action started as the ship arrived at Proxima b, where the colonists didn't quite know what to expect because the probes they had sent ahead had inexplicably stopped working. The colonists had left Earth because humans had managed to irrecoverably destroy the Earth's environment.
Here are some important Wikipedia facts pertinent to the story: Proxima b is a newly discovered Earth-like planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Sun at a distance of 4.24 light years. Proxima Centauri is a "flare star", which means that it gives off occasional great bursts of x-rays, making for possibly very interesting wildlife on Proxima b. The planet itself would be a bit larger than Earth. Using a nuclear pulse powered ship (that is a ship powered by exploding nuclear bombs behind it) it would be possible to reach there in about 100 years.
We tried a new brainstorming rule that I'm experimenting with, and it helped us come up with a bunch of good ideas for the Story Sheet (which contains the main elements of the story). Here what we came up with:
Character: Jake Blacklock - an American sanitation engineer and microbiologist
Relationship: Secret member of the Gatekeepers of Eden, a cult that doesn't want humans destroying any more worlds
Goal: Stop colonization of Proxima b
Character: Su Yi Chen - Chinese, ship's captain, dual Olympic gold medalist in archery and biathlon, hobbyist beekeeper
Relationship: Dislikes Jake because he won't recycle humans in the waste disposal system (it's inefficient!)
Goal: Use Proxima b as a foothold to restore Earth
Character: Yivgeni Polotnik - Siberian Russian, proud multi-generational survivalist and gifted tech geek
Relationship: Has a crush on Jake, who is leading him on
Goal: Retrieve lost probes and solve the mystery of their disappearance.
Threat: Proxima Centauri is about to start a flare
Threat: there is a nuclear bomb missing from the ship's propulsion arsenal
Scene: Probe crash site on Proxima b
Scene: Ship's bridge, a zero-g environment where crew insert a computer head-jack and experience an Augmented Reality computer interface
Scene: V-Site (Vegetation Site) on Proxima b, where a forest was detected in the middle of a wasteland
Crisis Question: Will Su Yi colonize Proxima b?
Subplot Question: Will Yivgeni convince Jake to choose him over his mission?
[ADDED DURING PLAY] Subplot Question: Will Jake convince Su Yi that the crash site represents hostile aliens?
[ADDED DURING PLAY] Subplot Question: Will Yivgeni defeat the Jake/Thing?