Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)

  • 14 Replies
Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« on: September 04, 2014, 08:05:58 PM »
Evil of the Stars is a sci-fi horror game about an isolated expedition that discovers something with the potential to destroy humanity as we know it. Kinda like The Thing, Event Horizon, the Alien movies, or even Prince of Darkness.

It's related to an older game of mine called Black Seas of Infinity, which you can read about in the Eschaton sub-forum on this very site (currently in the swamp). Recently, I finished enough of the bits and pieces that this game needs so I decided to finish a rough first draft. It's not complete, but whatever. I finished the stuff that I wanted to finish. I think.

Anyway, you are welcome to look at it.  THIS IS LINK RIGHT HERE

Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 12:18:31 AM »
This hack is a blast, I tried playing a Europa Report / Sunshine  style 1 shot with a new group and it was a-amazing.

The one thing I felt missing was a role for a pure science guy. Academics- Science or something like that, the usual absent minded crazy rocket scientist or something. I understand that you lean towards action rather than horror or MacGyverisms :P


Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2014, 07:15:44 AM »
Great! What kind of eschaton did you have?

The pure science guy is an Academic Technician. You probably want to go Ivy League or Marxist to get the absent-minded, and then pick Highly Skilled if you don't want to do much with machines. It might not be super-obvious, but Technician doesn't just mean mechanic or radio operator! All scientists use instruments, especially physicists, because they study things you can't see, like heat, electricity, gravity, and tiny particles.

Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 09:11:52 PM »
A totally no fantasy team of astronauts is passing through a wormhole without them knowing... They end up in a mirror solar system and getting hit by a solar flair . That was the eschaton. The fact that everything looks like home but its not and there is NO way back. I used the eschaton moves for malfunctions on sensors and stuff so that they had to get back to "earth" pretty close to anticipate was really going on.

The better parts:

a) Deny the existence of something that your expertise tells you should impossible.- We had 3 Academics a technician/relief/soldier and I propably spammed that near the end.

b)Insider - This proved both boon and bane. The best part was the moment it went close to space blood opera when the academics/soldier guy revealed to them that he knew everything all along. He had less funny nonetheless knowing the eschaton the moment he took that option, so I decided to work with him as the de facto leader of this expedition, maybe that wasnt the best choice.

I m  pretty sure I missed a lot of important parts of this game due to the narrow concept of the game (4 men in space ship) and the fact that everyone was new to PbtA. I also had to work out something for fight for the most part of the game since there was nothing to use violence. We did use it on the last part when almost all of them had disorders (so fight meant messing with things, like head banging on the panels after failing to repair them). 

Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 03:25:34 AM »
Ha! I'm pretty sure you missed a lot of important things about this game because I didn't actually explain them!

Sounds like you had fun anyway, though! The mirror universe is a good one. Pretty brutal, too! Interesting use of Insider, I should think about that one.

Deny the existence of something your expertise tells you is impossible was directly inspired by Sam Neill in Event Horizon. Even after he starts seeing things, when it happens to somebody else, he's like "that's impossible, you're crazy."



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Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2014, 12:01:22 AM »
Well, hotdamn, Johnstone!  You're so good at pushing my buttons, I think I'll have to run this game!

Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2014, 03:49:24 PM »
I realy like your Alpha PDF as an example of hacking AW. The use of thematic fonts, the layout of the pages with the tables, examples, playbooks and questions are appealing in its minimal design, enriched with the punctual use of illustrations. It will be interesting for me to see the progress of the files and beeing able to analyse your designdecisions. Thank you for sharing your work.

Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2014, 09:04:52 PM »
Man how are you coming along with this? I got the urge to look it over today and it's really really good! What have you got so far for the Eschaton's mechanics?

Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2014, 03:19:11 PM »
Oh, I haven't really done anything more on it. I've been working on Debtrunner, the non-horror part of the trilogy. I had originally wanted to finish playable drafts for all 3 games with the new mechanics (the ones in Evil) before going further with any of them, but Debtrunner is kind of kicking my ass.

Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2014, 05:50:08 AM »
What's your trilogy about?

Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2014, 08:02:39 AM »
Well, originally it was about doing 3 different takes on sci-fi using the same basic rules, with a few basic moves swapped around. Black Seas of Infinity is essentially Evil of the Stars, but in a social context (not isolated) and with the PCs being farther along the badass cyberpunk spectrum. It's supposed tohave 4 different optional setting add-ons (like 1 for social networking rules, 1 for psychic powers, 1 for building machines, and 1 for eschatonic symbiotes), but I've only got stuff written for the first of those and I dunno how well they work.

And Debtrunner is basically Traveller, but focused more on the map-building rules and speculative trade rules from original Traveller, which I wrote more complicated versions of. Uses mostly the same basic moves, the vantage thing, plus the social networking rules, but no stress or injury tracks. It kind of moves farther away from the other two the more I work on it.

Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2015, 04:11:07 PM »
After reading most of Deptrunner, i think some Summery or Concluding Table would be nice to catch the vast amount of options in a easier to use form. I felt abit lost at the many detailed options and tags, and their influence on trade. I felt similar lost when I read tremulus. But maybe its only me who is bad at remembering and tracking tags and shortforms...?

Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2015, 11:52:26 PM »
Yeah, the current organization of Debtrunner is terrible, but then again, I don't really expect someone else to try running it at this point.

Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2015, 08:07:14 AM »
Ha! I tried to test run it in its character and sector creation phase and I realy felt a bit overwheled. I am happy to send you a report on a new version. Going back and forth was a bit tiresome in the beginning and I lost track of the taggs. Evil of the Stars was much more accessable to me in its more progressed form as you posted it here.

Re: Evil of the Stars (sci-fi horror)
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2015, 06:29:35 PM »
Oh, the final sector creation system will still be overwhelming, then, I can't lie about that (sorry!). But there will be pre-made sector components, so you can play without having to make a sector. I've made so many just testing the system, so that's not a big deal. I've got 1 or 2 really big sectors (12 x 25 hex, I think) and 8 or 9 little sectors (9 x 9) that can be stuck together to create a bigger map. And a couple in-between sizes. They are all at different levels of done-ness and reflect different states that the rules have been in, but I like making them, so I will probably include some in the next version.