In the first half of 2009 a friend of mine went to a con in the USA (don't know where exactly), and brought back a great scenario which we played in the UK. I would like to know if anyone recognizes the scenario and/or the system we used to play it. I've Googled for this on several occasions since, but never been able to find it.
The setting was a sci-fi, future-of-our-world universe with some similarities to the setting of Firefly:
- the two main languages were English-derived and Chinese-derived
- there were two or three main political powers in the universe, two of which had an uneasy peace, or were maybe even at war.
I remember two of the PCs, one I played and another
- An ex-army tough guy (my PC)
- An idealist preacher
The PCs came on little cards, with backstory and minimalist stats (see below).
The PCs awoke from cryostasis in the repair area of the space ship, with an alarm going off. The alarm turned out to be the radiation-sensor warning (of the cryostasis pods? of the ship?). All the passengers on the ship had been put in cryostasis for the journey to another planet from earth. As the PCs explored the ship, they encountered a boarding crew from another ship, who turned out to be friendly, though deceptive about the actual cause of the accident.
Kind of spoiler to follow:
The ship had been blown in half by a nuclear rocket fired at the boarders by another vessel. All the other paying passengers had died when the main cryostasis racks had been blown apart. The boarders had deliberately hidden behind the passenger ship although they were aware of the consequences. They dressed this up to us as an unfortunate accident.
I remember the following with certainty about the system:
- There were only three attributes (something like Body, Mind and Soul)
- If your character background suggested a skill you had it automatically. Otherwise on a successful roll you could narrate a skill into existence.
- You made skill checks by narrating what you wanted to do and then rolling a d6. If you rolled a 6 you succeeded and got to narrate some extra detail of the story yourself.
So I got to speak 'Chinese' as I rolled well, so I narrated that weapons manuals were usually written in Chinese and so it made sense for me as an ex-army guy to know the language. I also created the fact that the ship had an online map which I could interact with by rolling a 6 whilst logging on to the ship's computer.
I don't remember exactly how the dice mechanic worked otherwise, though I have a feeling that if you rolled 1-3 (or 1-4) you failed, but you could add your attribute rating, maybe...
I know this sounds a bit like "Roll for Shoes", but the new skills did not come with ratings - you still used your three base stats, but it just became a fact that you had the skill in question.