We are in the final episodes of the setting build we have done. We wanted to touch on a few more topics before we put this season in the history books. So a starting adventure is a big deal. It is supposed to give a general feel for what the setting is supposed to do. Well at least the biggest and most broad strokes. It can also be a springboard for more ideas that will hopefully lead to a campaign that you and your friends will have fun playing for a long time to come.
So the things we think about are the big themes we are wanting to start with. Some of them are very big concepts and as such we need to lay the groundwork early for them. A thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to bring all the themes into a game. Focus on just one for now, Are we going to go with Isolation or something else?
We need to have just a few locations for the adventure, like 4 or 5 areas. If you keep it tight then you can dive into the people that populate the areas. Not every area will or should have people. This is a massive ship that is seeing its decline. Sometimes the environment should be its own character. Those spaces should feel unique and not like the rest of the areas.
An opening adventure would whet the appetite of the players and introduce major parts of a campaign world that will come around in the main campaign. There is no need to try to make the first game, or introductory module, connect to a larger campaign, save having it reflect things that may be more universal in the game itself.
For my part, I want to introduce several biomes of the Eden ship, requiring players to go to at least one area they have not been, introduce at least two factions on the Eden Ship, preferably not directly tied to the biomes involved, and have at least one dangling mystery by the time it is done. This last piece could be the springboard to a new adventure, the start of a campaign, or a recurring gag but something won’t be fully tied up in a neat bow by the time I am done.
My plan would be to introduce a quick adventure or plot revolving around unexplained power usage that is messing up the balance of the Eden ship’s systems. Command is understandably perturbed that plans are not going off as intended, but who is benefiting from it? This leads to the possibility of a smuggling ring from the old chunks of the ship through to the Engineering section. An experiment has gone a little off the rails, so they needed extra supplies.
This framework means I can introduce politics in the command structure, exploration in ferreting out the smuggling ring or the Engineering stores, and combat because somebody will throw a punch somewhere along the way. The themes of resource management and scarcity drive this plot but the balance of power on the Eden ship is what really shapes it.
Getting started, especially when you already have an environment so dense can be tricky. Before just picking a starting point, see what your players are playing. Are they a mix of tech and muscle? Maybe an away mission or an investigation to a part of the ship that has lost communication with the greater whole. Are they mostly muscle, maybe have them serve as an escort to the ambassador to a newly discovered race? Science heavy? How bout working to decrypt some new data or stop an alien tech virus incursion.
The biggest thing is to give them an adventure. Something tough, for sure, but fun for the players (could be a right nightmare for their characters). The post apocalypse has to be hard for the people that live in it, not the players who play in that world. Losing all the time isn’t fun. Remember that not all victories have to be total victories. Your shuttle could get away from that asteroid field, but you lose some vital materials or data in the process. You could successfully fight off that incursion, but no one noticed that wee bug that was left behind.
Remember that you can’t lose all the time and your victories don’t have to be perfect but they have to strike that balance. We won, but what’s that shoe, and when is it gonna drop.
Zendead – Dracula the Netflix Series is really neat and full of cool ideas.
Joules – Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman.
Guard-a-Manger – Rachmaninoff, The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43. The 18th Variation is the most famous or at least most frequently listened to part of Rachmaninoff’s work. Take some time to put on headphones, or a fantastic home sound system, shut off outside distractions and notifications, and lose yourself in a work of classical music. Jot down anything you want when you are done, but make that length of time sacrosanct and focused as best you can.
Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae
Whenever humans collect in any numbers they do a few different things. One is they create groups or cliches, and another is they start talking. Once people start talking they realize that they are all alone in a big universe that doesn’t care if they survive or not. So like in the early days of mankind people start telling stories and some of them are made up.
Once a story is told a few times it starts to take on a life and quality all its own. This is the birth of Urban Legends and the new myths of mankind in a ship heading to a new star. So what are some of these myths? We are going to show you a few that have sprung up in the last 20 years or so.
The Lost Kids as they are called are ones that have been left by malice or accident in a section of the ship as it was being evacuated due to some problem. Parents will hear them crying in their sleep, if they can sleep after losing a child. Later a neighbor will catch a glimpse of them turning a corner in a dead end section of the ship. They will run to try to catch up with them so they can bring the poor lost kid home to their family. As they turn the corner there is no one there.
The parents might have a knock on the door to their quarters from what sounds like little hands. They look out and nothing is there. When they open the door there is a child about the same age as the one they lost. Standing on the other side of the passage and they look up to the adult and the face is gone. It is just a mask of flesh covering all the features of the face. But they hear a voice begging to be let in before the cold of space robs them of their will to get home.
The Bots are Learning
“The bots are learning”
OK just “water cooler kibitzing” but it seems to be more tenacious than other rumors. While the coding for the various autonomous drones around the ship is sophisticated, they are still just following their coding. But stories about the ‘bots acting strange are still being whispered from crew member to crew member. While there hasn’t been any recorded evidence of these events, anecdotal and hearsay accounts are numerous.
Stories of patrol bots being found far away from their programmed routes, with no reason as to the anomaly. Scouting drones just eerily freezing mid mission, responding to status queries with nonsense or eerie phrases like “It’s dark in here” or “Everythings Burning.” Assistive droids seemingly acting belligerent or contradicting an order.
Normally this would be chalked up to faulty coding or damage, but all recent inspections have not shown any damage to internal components and no corrupt code. Just superficial scuffing. And it’s a nightmare to track down the source of these stories and rumors. It’s always “I heard from crewmate so and so” or “I thought I read it in a memo somewhere.”
And cracking down on the rumors trigger the Streisand effect to an absurd degree. So the stories spread and change and grow.
It’s unfortunately having the side effect of putting everyone on edge. The crew is losing trust in the very technology that helps keep the ship together. Not trusting the data provided by the various ‘bots puts the crew in harm’s way. They don’t trust their robo-assistant to function properly. They’d quadruple check each robotic component to make sure it’s not going to act up.
Having a kid eying his father’s electric razor with distrust is the least of the ship’s worries
Sometimes you just need a little extra help, right? It’s one big closed system so it can’t really hurt anybody when you use it … and it had to come from somewhere inside the program. Look, I know you are worried about it, but it’ll be fine! The whole command sector uses it all the time.
It’s a simple little command to input at whatever terminal you’re logged into. Yeah, just a little code relic, a leftover piece of command access that they never got out of the ship’s system when it had to launch so fast. It just takes a little bleed off the scout ship’s launch, no big deal. Some kind of quantum power boost that gets around the system limitations and a little extra access to let you in where you need to go. Yeah, just use this passcode.
Don’t worry about it. They won’t come for you. There is no such thing as a code reclamation technician. It’s not true at all. No, there are no grey suited technicians behind every corner tracing the code. That’s crazy talk; where would they put the bodies if that’s what is going on? NO. It’s fine, I’ve been using it for the last month and nothing happened to me!
[There is always a myth or legend of access, but gotten through an underhanded way. Some sort of a hole in reality or in the systems that are controlling the world. When you reach into that power, you run a risk. These urban legends and myths are often associated with horror and the occult, but when it’s a spaceship lost in the depths of the stars, the allure of a little extra computing power is what will keep this urban legend alive.]
Zendead – The Wandering Earth on Netflix is a really neat idea. It is full of cool visuals as well as things to use for a massive ship type game.
Guard-a-Manger – The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell. Chances are that you have heard of Joseph Campbell, and maybe you’ve read his work about the Hero’s Journey before. While not the last word on the subject, the prevailing power of the Campbell Monomyth work shows how you can grasp the underlying power of legend and myth for your game.
Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae
Alien lifeforms can and should be well alien. While being alien is important, being too far removed from human makes them hard to relate to. So while in reality aliens could be most likely so different from humans that they might not even be recognized as life. For a game making them relatable is a very important aspect that we will have to add to them.
The tug at the corner of your thoughts is distracting. You have noticed this happening more and more as the days go by. What is that tug you feel? You aren’t sure but it might be the tug because you feel like you are missing something. What is it that you are missing? Also why does everyone around you seem not right? Things are not just a problem for you but for those you care about as well.
What is really going on inside that skull of yours? Well sometimes “life finds a way” as the old saying goes. This time life is a bit hard to accept with this form. Thought has given rise to life and how it propagates. This time the thought has come from something that mankind has only just really started to truly dive into. What it has done is give us this mental virus that is taking part of our higher function offline so it can use it to recreate the thought form that has given it life. What is going to happen if or when it all comes online?
Life is always something that humans have trouble putting out there. Past is it a solid? Is it a carbon or silicon based form of life that is also humanoid? These seem to be the big things that humans have decided are the way you can have other life forms. The universe is massive and still expanding so life is going to show up in ways humans might not really understand. What is the first law of thermodynamics? Well we know that part of the human mind is electrical nature. What if there was a race that was just energy? In comes the Rydilian’s as we have started taking to calling them.
What are the Rydilian’s? They are a race of pure energy. They do not have a form that is physical in a way that humans can really interact with them. As pure energy the big question humans have is can they be a way for us to advance? It is possible but communication is hard between the two. Because the number of them we have found is only two so far. Does this mean that that is all of them? No, we are pretty certain that there is more but they are not very forthcoming with information about themselves. Since they are energy they do not have a need for ships. They can travel at speeds we can not understand. So what do they have to offer us? Nothing that they are willing to explain to us. Maybe they are seeing if we are worth trying to help before they do anything.
Not all life forms are macroscopic and sapient. (Or malicious) One of the biggest journey changing discoveries was in the form of extraterrestrial anaerobic bacteria. Named after a science fiction author from the 20th century, these microbes have quite literally been a lifesaver to the crew. These bacteria are extremophiles and can survive in a variety of hostile environments. Additionally, they don’t rely on oxygen to survive. But what makes these microbial miracles so special is that their waste product is oxygen. They have extended the time of EVM, allowing the crew to make lengthy, yet vital ship repairs. They are now a key component for emergency medical packs. They’ve been used as catalysts to help keep certain experiments oxygenated. While these bacteria do require more study, the benefit to the crew and the ship has been immeasurable.
Little is known about these strange creatures. The crew has started to calling them “Star Jellyfish” due to their semispherical “heads” (maybe) and long tendrils. Their semi transparent bodies bend and warp light within themselves, creating a gorgeous tapestry of shapes and colours. They don’t have any observable mode of self locomotion, they ride the gravity waves produced by interstellar phenomenon. (Supernovae, quasar jets, stellar collisions, etc.) As majestic as these creatures are, it is best avoided to avoid them, or risk damage to personnel and craft. While possibly intelligent, these creatures seemingly operate by having a distributed nervous system not a central one. As such each part responds based on external stimuli with no overt coordination. When anything comes into contact with the Surfers, they immediately latch onto it with their tendrils, pulling it towards their translucent dome. The tendrils are incredibly sturdy. An elemental analysis of a broken tendril fragment shows a makeup of every known element, in some very strange configurations. But once something is pulled into its luminant dome, it disappears from view. It’s assumed that whatever was captured is broken down to its elemental parts and then integrated.
So while it is breathtaking to watch these magnificent creatures, do so at a safe distance.
It took quite a while to figure out why the mass distribution seemed to be off between the quadrants of the ship. Things were … close to expected mass but just different enough to require an adjustment here and there. It wasn’t until some poor Prophylaxis Phylum initiate was tasked with cleaning out the recycling ducts near Her Honor Kazuya’s quarters that the first hint of the Mycosapiods were discovered.
Unfortunately, we’ve lost the name of that initiate, likely due to some unavoidable mishap with “first contact” with the Mycos. It is hard enough to get all the factions going along with one plan, but when you are dealing with a distributed fungal consciousness, it is even more of a challenge. As best as the big brains aboard the Eden Ship can figure out, one of the little planet hopping explorations brought back a microscopic piece of fungus that started to replicate within the waste reclamation system. Combine this with an opportunity for unadulterated cosmic radiation and it has evolved into something .. else.
The signs of sentience were hard to notice at first, but rudimentary communication was eventually established even if it mostly amounts to marking territory as off limits, ensuring a specific amount of nutrient density for the Mycos, and their continued improvement on the reclamation and biological systems of the ship. The trade off has been almost seamless, save a few crew who wandered too far astray and were consumed by the Mycos. It’s certainly creepy enough to find the slightly pulsing blanket of fungus down a repair shaft, but recently reports have filtered back that Mycos are starting to form vaguely human shaped mushroom lattices.
Are they still evolving? Or is this what happened on whatever planet they came from? What can you manage to barter with this seemingly sentient ocean of connected fungus?
There is an old saying that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. How do you truly know who falls into which camp? While humans have formed affiliative bonds since time immemorial to help answer this in socio-political shorthand, other options have evolved in the cosmos. One benefit to the occasional trip to a planet when you escape the gravitic well of the ship is to find new ways that flora and fauna reflect and manipulate their biospheres. One such outing found an outpost of symbiotic insectoids that used the local flora as their “hosts.”
The jokes came quickly about how this was just like those old stories from back on Terra! This is another one of those movies or shows, or body snatching creatures! The jokes were not entirely wrong. The K’ltl`moria did require a host to survive for more than a scant few weeks, evolving on a lush world that was teeming with options. They identified a friend not by the shape of the host, but by the treatment of the host itself. While only a few dozen are currently aboard,they are a pleasant change of pace.
Gregarious and open, the K’ltl`moria seek out new experiences in these host bodies taken from the ailing and afflicted crew of the Eden ship. They enhance the metabolism of their host and have proven to be quite accommodating of the requests of the host bodies. The hosts own consciousness doesn’t survive the process, but so far there hasn’t been a rejection of a K’ltl`moria by a human host either. The long slow breeding cycle means it is decades before these dozens turn into hundreds, but when friendly and generous souls … even if they are insectoid souls …. Are trying to be helpful, how can you say no? A shame they didn’t have a better technological grasp than the Eden ship crew itself.
Zendead – If you are watching what is going on with #opendnd While I love lots of different games this is a big thing of our time right now. If you feel inclined please sign the letter and make your voice heard. https://www.opendnd.games/
Guard-a-Manger – Designers & Dragons. As you’ve likely heard, the TTRPG community is at a point of inflection as the future of the hobby is up for grabs. To best understand what futures may exist, one should study the past. The incomparable Designers & Dragons is a collection of books I would consult when preparing Card Catalogs to get a near encyclopedic overview of the history of the hobby and the large and medium sized companies and personages that made it up. Head over to Evil Hat today and pick up a digital copy of each of the four volumes.
Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae
We talked about different adversaries that were NPC’s but there can be other types of adversaries. Not all of them are people. Adversaries can fall into a few other categories as well. Part of what we are going to talk about are those this time.
This sounds kind of strange to include on a spaceship. This ship is old and not having been unkempt for a long time is starting to show signs of age. This is a very real thing when you think about a ship sailing between stars. The crew can not be put into a hibernation sleep or anything like that.
So not every location characters will adventure on will be nice and sunny earthlike planets. Actually none of them really should be. The worlds are and should be radically different from the planet we call home. Just think about your home solar system. There are planets that rain sulfuric acid that is almost boiling, to planets that rain diamonds. This is just the beginning of the hellscapes out there.
On earth, the ozone layer protects us from harmful high energy radiation. However that protection is absent in the cold void of space. One of the side effects of radiation on organic life is mutations. And some of the expected protections were either in part or wholly missing. People were herded onto the ship without going through the standard medical scan and quarantine. That, combined with insufficient medical supplies and staff, was, for lack of a better word, a petri dish for disaster. Under normal circumstances virus mutations, while relatively rapid, do follow a general expected timeframe. While mutations can be accelerated (gas attacks during WW 1 were blamed for the increased lethality of the flu pandemic), interstellar radiation caused mutations to go haywire. Trying to sequence the genome of the rapidly evolving viruses was a sisyphean task. Creating retrovirals, antibiotics, and even palliative treatments have been nearly impossible. Deep disinfecting and maintaining a sterile environment isn’t possible. We can only hope that as the Hyper Virii continue to mutate, that our own immune systems develop mutations that allow us to fight off whatever we may contract, as well as prevent the possible cytokine storm that may result from a hyper reactive immune response.
The ship’s mission, when it launched, was to transport humanity to a possible new home. The journey would take time and those that first left earth wouldn’t live to see humanity’s new home. But over time, new generations of humanity wouldn’t know what it was like to live on a planet, to see a sunrise, to live in relative security and comfort. All they would know is a nomadic existence, a subsistence existence. The drive and intent to find a new home for humanity initially was born from the desire of the initial passengers aboard the ship. However with each subsequent generation, the drive and intent slowly gives way to myth and tradition. “Why are we headed to this star to settle a planet”? “Because that is what we’ve always done.”
Over time the mission itself may be challenged, or even abandoned. Why keep making your way towards a planet? There’s a cool nebula over there and we’ve never seen one shaped like that before.
Zendead – Take time for yourself. Rest and recover. The holidays are over but rest might have been in short supply.
Joules – Good Eats/Alton Brown’s Youtube Channel/Quarentine Quitchen
Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae
Last time we talked about the maps for the ship. This time we are going to talk about maps of things outside the ship. Are there a lot of different kinds? Yes there are. You could have planetary maps so think about maps of the earth. You could map those types if you and having a few in your back pocket might not be a bad idea. This setting has exploration as a theme to it.
Speaking of exploration, having maps that are of even bigger areas like solar systems are also a good thing to have. These might seem silly to have but they can be used in a pinch if you want to have a solar system for characters to explore. This is a map that we will have a few different examples of. Finally the biggest area that has to do with a setting like this are star maps and they have just the locations of solar systems in them. These will not have all points of light in them. This way if you want to have more things in a section you can just add them. The point of this is to have lots of options.
There are a few different locations online to get these types of maps. In addition to a few of the planet maps, we will have a solar system or two and a star map as well. These will be able to be used as is or as idea jump points for your own stories in the setting of the Eden ship.
Additionally, checking out star maps from NASA or the European Space Agency can give a layer of realism and narrative stability.
Maps are things we will not do in a battlemap format. Those are really big and generally only useful for small scale things. If you want to have some The folks over at BattleLords have some deck maps for sale they are really nice and great for this type of thing. There will be more links in the notes with ones we have found.
So since we are not wanting to just sit and think about those types of maps. What other types are there for a ship this big. The easiest are general locations of things so a map might have the sections and the areas they control. You could even dive in tighter still and have faction maps within each sector. Also having a general layout of the ship will give players a true understanding of how big a ship like this would have to be.
Maps are important because they convey a lot of information to players and GM’s as well and in this ship some places might be highly defined if you want to use them a lot and not as much where characters never go.
As we talked about a bit last time, the locations in and around the ship are easy focal points for adventure. This time we are going to add a few more locations and at least one will be from beyond the ship and its sphere of influence.
Fighter Bay 2
Fighter Bay 2 is for the Fold Drive Wing, also called the Polo. While it might seem that a fighter wing bay would not be a place that much happens on you would be mistaken. The Polo Boys when not flying missions tend to hang out here working on their ships. While most of the pilots are not able to make major changes to the ships they have found ways to tweak and fiddle with them. The wing is the smallest one in the fleet since they were not able to create the number of fold drives that they wanted before the launch. This wing is only eight strong now. Two ships have had mishaps over the years.
The ship’s bay is big for the number of ships in it. That is because they are the pilots that get to jump away from Eden and look for fuel and supplies. Fold engines use a special type of ionized element that is not common. Polonium is that element and it is rare so the fields that keep it from having radioactive leaks must be maintained. So if things here were to go sideways then you never know what might happen.
CB 549AJ is a super earth sized planet but the sun that it revolves around is much too cold to have life on as we know. The Polo Boys scouted it fast since there isn’t much fuel left for the fold drives. Water supplies are getting low at present but this Celestial Body shows hope for being able to get the water needed. The hydroponic fields will also be needing the other minerals that should be found on a planet this size. While it will not be able to set down, there is the option of getting some supplies and getting back on track.
There is an atmosphere but it is very thin. Its major component is Fluorine gas, at 85% and Nitrogen makes up the majority at 10.2%, and Oxygen is only at 3% with a few other gasses present. The ambient temperature of the planet is around -55⁰ C at the equator. The poles get much colder in the range of -300⁰ C. The water that is there might be under a sheet of Fluorine liquid which is highly dangerous for humans. What kind of creatures, if any, can survive on this toxic ice cold ball of hell.
The Gene Cradle
The Gene Cradle is a part of the Life Science Section on the ship. While it seems like the main cradle would be massive it is only part of the full genome of the crew and animals humankind are bringing along to the new world. The biggest part of the cradle is filled with the genomes of humans. It is kept frozen in the hopes that that will keep the genes that have been sequenced from getting damaged by radiation. The biggest thing is though that the people on the ship are also having babies, They are the ones that are bringing the most mutations into the ship.
The Cradle is made up of the freezers, the massive computers and storage for those genomes that they were able to download to the ship. In addition there are the tanks that are capable of rebuilding the dna while that is just part of the process these tanks contain free nucleic acids and nanobots. In this state the tanks can not be corrupted by the cosmic energy that sometimes gets into the ship. But what if there was someone that had ideas on how humans and the creatures we bring to this new world will be shaped to fit it or their idea of how to fit in.
The collegium was meant to serve as the ship’s seat of diplomacy and politics. Unfortunately not enough people made it on the ship to make efficient use of the space. The space was then designated to be a place of learning. Students attend lessons, engineers share discoveries, navigators update the star maps, and security and military run tactical simulations. The Collegium is equipped with various holo emitters (large and small scale both), terminals, and various recording devices. Pretty standard. What made the place special was its full modularity. It doesn’t take long to re-configure the space to an amphitheater, planetarium, war room, even an all school classroom. Each wall piece is attached to a modular arm with 360 degree rotational capabilities. It is a simple matter to program in a new configuration, and within a few moments, the room has been reset. As the voyage continues, the uses for this room will probably expand exponentially. And hopefully the children will stop sticking gum under the chairs.
Crazy Paytons Discount * Bazaar
While Crazy Payton’s Discount * Bazaar doesn’t have a defined location, it definitely has become a fixture on the ship. (and yes the “*” is part of the name. since what type of bazaar is up to the whims of its proprietor.) The Bazaar pops up randomly in different areas of the ship. The items proffered are equally as random. Although, they do always follow a theme. One day it may be snack treats, another may be random technical gewgaws. A month ago, the Bazaar hosted the first “Doomsday Tuesday” sale. (Security is still trying to run down all the contraband that was sold.) While the proprietor is definately crazy, they’re not stupid. Keeping physical items front and center is risky (Contraband in the open? Are you out of your mind) and dangerous (ok who pushed the on button on the 4th dimension doomsday device). The items for sale are all digitally displayed. If an item catches your interest, you select its digital simulacrum. An encrypted payment prompt is then displayed. After payment is sent and confirmed, you’re given a location as to where to pick up your item. (Some of the old timers call it a “dead drop” location.) And as mysteriously as it appears, the bazaar vanishes. To this day, no one is sure who “Crazy Payton” is, as they have gone through great lengths to hide their identity as well as their stock from well trained prying eyes of the ship’s security.
“It’s not safe out here. It’s wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it’s not for the timid.” – Q from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”
Liquid water is almost impossible to find in space. For water to remain liquid, specific pressures and temperatures must be present. Else it either freezes into ice or sublimates into a gas. Which makes the hydrosphere one of the greatest mysteries discovered thus far. It’s a free standing sphere of water, a kilometer across. Readings have not been able to identify any natural or technical reason for its existence. It’s just… There. No external forces have been identified that would allow the hydrosphere to remain entirely liquid (gravitational/radiation and the like). And no external forces seem to affect its shape for long. It kind of “snaps” back into shape. Like a rubber band. There is no reason under the current understanding of physics why this would happen. Analysis of the water has found that it is similar in makeup to the comets that once orbited our solar system. However, the strangeness of the Hydrosphere precludes the ship from harvesting the water. Or messing with it in any way, shape, or form for that matter. There’s something out there causing this, and right now the ship has way too many other issues to consider. It’s best to leave something that can break the laws of physics well enough alone.
Zendead – Syrinscape I haven’t talked about it recently but I do still love this audio soundboard. I use it all the time with my daughter’s game I am running. I will be doing more with it again soon.
Joules – Untitled Goose Game – Be Goose. Be Jerk. Honk Honk!
Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae
Locales are a thing that you must have in a game. We are going to talk about a few in this episode. They can help to create backdrops for action as well as places that NPC’s push characters.
The printing bays are a series of places that have 3d printing bays. They can print anything from plastic junk all the way to parts for the ship. It is possible if the materials are present to print any part of the ship. The printing mediums are growing, they started with plastic and some aluminum. There was also concrete as well as some ceramic. Now they are able to do a few materials that Eden has run across since being out past the Kuiper belt. The bays stretch a big section of the area near the habitable section that is close to the outer shell of the ship.
While it is a big section and capable of creating huge things for the ship it is still bound by the greater needs of the ship. So corners have been cut and steps forgotten so now the shielding is suffering because of it. This has been how the printers were one of the first groups to show signs of mutation in the gene lines. In the early days after the ship first deployed it was a place on the ship that was almost constantly running to keep up with the demands of the crew. This was also why they have lost the least knowledge at least until recently.
Asteroid km5719 or at least what is left of that rock is caught in the wake of the ship. It is being mined and used up for everything that it can supply to the ship. It is just too big to bring into the biggest bays at least for now. That is going to be where it sits soon though. Mining on a rotating and speeding rock is dangerous at the best of times and these are not those times. The center of this rock is something both new and scary.
Inside the center of this rock is the degenerated form of life that is not something humans would classify as life. It is liquid-like, more like a non newtonian fluid that is starting to wake up from its slumber in deep space. The after effect of so much motion on it is what is going to “wake” it up. The rock is one of the few things it is not capable of melting. There might be more but since no one has seen this life yet there are many mysteries. It looks like a silver fluid once the shell holding it breaks and it leaks out into the ship. Maybe sections will fall to it, maybe it will die from contact with humans. Only time will tell.
Navigation Sub bridge 1
Sub bridges are in a few locations on the ship mainly since a ship this size might have issues. So people created redundancies for some of the critical features of the main bridge. Also each sub bridge has a low functioning AI to network with the main bridges AI. This creates a way for info to be passed quickly even if the main bridge comes back up or goes down. While the main bridge has the best of the proper stations like Navigation the sub bridges do not get the second best they get a very low ranking person that knows how to do what needs to be done here.
The Nav Sub Bridge 1 is a perfect example of this. The best 5 navigators are on rotating shifts for the main bridge and the next 5 are on this bridge. The second nav sub bridge is the next 5 so we are seeing a rapid loss of skill and knowledge. This bridge runs usually a bare bones crew because there hasn’t been a need to have a full crew going in all the time. There are even times when it is empty so it could be a way to have a villain mess with things on the ship. More of these things will come later though.
The Quiet Room
No matter where in the ship you happen to find yourself, there’s always some background noise. The thrum of the engines, the small electric fizzling of debris being vaporized against the shields, the mild creak of the ship’s superstructure during velocity changes. However there’s one room in the ship that’s absolutely bereft of sound. No ambient ship sounds ever enter this room and no sound escapes the room into the ship proper. And no one knows why it’s there. Folks just call it “The Quiet Room.” The schematics for the ship were partially corrupted during its emergency launch. But this room’s existence is indeed deliberate. The placement is definitely strategic. The distance ratios between critical areas of the ship and this room are also seen in orbital harmonics, the golden spiral, and some well known Pythagorean triangles.
However the captain declared investigating the nature of the room carries too great of a risk. The standing orders are to leave the room alone except in the most dire of circumstances. No one wants to risk running a tensile strength scan which triggers a harmonic resonance that tears the ship apart. So the materials, construction method, tolerances and so forth are unknown. So the quiet room remains an enigma. This has given rise to a plethora of rumors, suppositions, and theories. Some have a more scientific nature. Like the room being a sort of universal vibration damper to prevent constructive interference. Others have a more esoteric bend, like the space being haunted by the souls whose voices have been silenced. Whatever the true nature of the “Quiet Room” is, the crew, either out of safety or superstition, gives it a wide berth.
The rigors of space travel definitely have an effect on the crew. Both physically and psychologically. The medical team, driven by necessity, worked with the engineering team to build a set of zero gravity sensory deprivation pods. These pods are attached to the outside of the ship when not in use. When active, the pods are “dragged” behind and to the side of the ship. The pods are tethered to the ship with an umbilicus cable that powers and supplies the pod. The pod’s simple design, reduced shielding surface area, and lead infused carbon nanotube construction material offers supreme protection from cosmic rays, micro meteors, and the 3 degrees kelvin vacuum of space.
The pods also may be filled with a limited selection of liquids for additional therapeutic/medicinal effects. (for example: Saline, water, healing biomaterial suspended in hydrogel) Away from the artificial gravity of the ship, these pods provide a sterile, isolated, environment for risky surgical procedures (usually robot and AI assisted) or post injury convalescence. These pods also serve as sensory deprivation tank to provide necessary psychological treatment. They’ve also housed various scientific experiments from time to time.
The pods have extra shielding to stop random high energy particles from penetrating the pod, keeping the technology and occupant safe. Additionally, the pods have been used as makeshift bunks for extended EVA jobs.
While initially conceived to function as an off the ship therapy pod and medical theater, Sense Dep has become an indispensable location to many of the ship’s various roles.
After research and countless simulations, an idea gets physical form in Prototyping. (This is different from the fabrication bay where tested and approved designs are made on an as needed basis) Originally the space was used to build and test new tool designs, basic repair solutions, and improvements for the ship. Over time, the scope of the prototyping lab expanded to include integrating terran technology with alien technology. This carries an elevated risk since resources are scarce and the alien tech may be destroyed during prototyping and testing. Not only that, the various fabrication machines may be damaged trying to integrate or modify alien tech with our own. Standard procedure requires that each part of the fabricators have a replacement on hand. However these replacement parts have a tendency to “walk.”. Pilfered by less scrupulous individuals. (Thanks Jazz).
Even though the lab is under constant monitoring, the user must confirm that all spare parts are present and accounted for before and after using the lab. They also must test and calibrate each machine before and after prototyping. (Even the machines they don’t intend to use) Any variances and anomalies must be brought up immediately. (Honestly, the ship’s armory has less security than prototyping.) It’s become terrifyingly apparent over the years that the Prototyping Lab is vital to the continuing survival of Earth’s remaining organic life forms. Since survival is predicated on adapting, evolving, and overcoming.
Zendead – Horrified a fun co-op board game where you hunt down the monsters of Universal Pictures. Played it with the family and we had a fun time.
Joules – Cult of the Lamb – You’re a cute little lamb. You’ve been ordered by a demon to start a cult and gain power. Then fight the bishops of the old gods and destroy them. A cute and horrific mashup of a roguelike dungeon crawler and resource management.
Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae