RPG Philosophy

Mothership just published [November ’22] a new Work In Progress ruleset referred to as “First Edition” that I am working from. It doesn’t even have page numbers yet. I don’t “know it” word for word like I did ADnD in 1983. What I know is thousands of hours of science fiction movies and several game systems. ADnD, Traveller, Call of Cthulhu, & Mothership0. When I “think RPG” it is in Advantage/Disadvantage format and the plot is usually a trick, a trap, a target, and a treat.

Joining In – It doesn’t matter if you don’t know a specific background from the vast amount of relatively new publishing – I use a Dune/Empire basic background I wrote a few years ago [in which Princess Leia became the Empress]. I ask that the players know it’s only a parlor game and take the time to work with each other and the stat block you rolled. I don’t start the air-supply timer during regular, open-face, gameplay. I might say, “this station is clean as hell”, or “this is a sleek Cowboy Bebop looking galleria”, or “this station is very Blade Runner acidic-gritty, rundown-unsealed [keep your mask closed, timer is on]”.

Characters do die outright, though I usually ‘go easy’ on the wounds/bleeding. If your char is dead, we can ‘wake up a clone’ of that char, we can ‘inhabit’ an NPC and take it over, we can ‘wake a sleeper’ from my “magic cryo-tubes” [a West March idea wherein an unknown number of unknown player characters with unknown stats are ‘frozen’ until the player can attend]. The DM outline is to acquire larger ships and a couple of planets far from Sol. Hopefully we’ll build up to a dozen players and more. The DM self-insert is the ship AI, unreliable allies experiencing near-awareness from great age. A ‘new’ crew may feel an eerie, quiet ship, unable to explain what has happened.


Do I play RAW [Rules As Written]? Not as far as I can tell. I have the perception that this is your story on my vague outline. I like to hear how the PCs perceive and react to situations that suddenly turn very deadly. My Dungeon Mastering is from Traveller and Cthulhu. Yes. I regularly convert CoC scenes to SciFi. You may be ‘tasked’ with something that becomes something very different when you get there.

Is this OSR? I’m not sure I ever left the ‘old-school’. I never appreciated Min-max Pathfinder type stuff. I never got into putting on voices and acting out scenes the DM wrote. There is a school of thought that rolling the dice all day is NOT what is intended – we only roll for crisis-action-time [like when I started playing in ’79]. As in the RAI, failures result in panic tables. Two types of rolls: Attempt [Stat] or Reaction [Save]. Failure causes stress points to build. Tension builds. When Panic ensues, we do get TPKs. A scenario, running light, can be done in 3 to 3.5 hours.

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