Thursday, 29 January 2015

Now Boarding The Selene

The Final Voyage of The Selene is a little structured freeform game I came up with over 3 years ago, in response to playing and being impressed by Witch: The Road to Lindisfarne and now I've put a bumper edition of the game up for sale on Drivethru. I plan for this to be the first of many short, simple games I release commercially as pdfs this year, along with plans for extra material for The 'Hood and another RPG project which I'll deal with in my next blog post.

The bumper edition of The Final Voyage of The Selene includes the original game booklet and the dozen Role & Agenda cards it came with, but I've also written an accompanying booklet about the development of the game and how to get more from it, plus a dozen new, never-before-seen Roles & Agendas.

In the game, everyone takes on a Role, which is a passenger or crew-member on-board an interstellar ship making its way back to Earth from the outer reaches of human-colonised space; after introducing their Role, everyone then gets dealt a secret Agenda, which puts an unexpected spin on their character concept and gives them something to strive for during the voyage.

Roles
Every Role gets an Authority, which is a narrative event that the character can compel to happen once during the story: the original six Roles had Authorities that engaged directly with the situation itself, but amongst the new six are some meta-Authorities which change the structure of play.

Lieutenant Kazarian is the head of security on-board The Selene, with a troubled military past and a nose for contraband being smuggled on-board. Their Authority allows them to confiscate any item from any other character.

Doctor Tsien is the ship's resident physician, but they have health problems of their own and are having second thoughts about signing on-board. Their Authority lets them quarantine any other character for a period of time.

Ambassador Masiri is a diplomat taking a journey back to Earth, with guilt over the peace talks they have presided over and their own marriage weighing heavily on their head. Their Authority lets them rally the general crew of the ship under their leadership to protest a decision.

Juve Mahler is a youthful stowaway, running from their past to a hopeful future on Earth. Their Authority lets them learn the skills of another character well enough to at least partially perform their function.

Professor Carris is a mature academic who has dabbled in some potentially unethical work, risking their own wealth in the process. Their Authority lets them discover a previously unknown natural phenomenon on the voyage.

Finally, Chief Pryce is the chief engineer on-board The Selene, whose addiction may have started to interfere with their work. Their Authority lets them switch off any of the ship-board systems for a time.

The first of the new Roles is Inspector Ital, an agent of an interstellar law enforcement body, but they may be implicated in crimes that will interfere with their own investigation. Their Authority lets them see what one other player character's Agenda is.

Purser Ehrlich is responsible for the day-to-day administration on-board The Selene, but prone to human error in both their personal & professional life. Their Authority lets them deny anyone else access to a particular area of the ship for a time.

The Spouse is the marital partner of another player character, so that needs to be agreed before play begins; the terms of that marriage and how they feel about their partner are their most pressing concerns. Their Authority enables them to make their marital partner do one thing exactly as they instruct them to do.

Courier Kerenski is a professional envoy, but their current package is giving them problems, not the least of which is the nature of who they are delivering it to. Their Authority lets them temporarily disable another player character in combat.

Artiste Bahk provides ship-board entertainment, but their star may be fading, even if their most over-enthusiastic fan disagrees... Their Authority lets them inspire another player character to discard their current Agenda and choose a new one.

Last of all is Synth Rho-88: this artificial life-form has been a disappointment to its creators and is heading to decommission. Its Authority is tied to its nascent empathic abilities, which forces all other player characters in a scene to reveal who the target of their Agenda is.

The Final Voyage of The Selene is a game I've had a lot of positive feedback on and, as it's a GMless freeform, I've had the pleasure of being able to play it as well as facilitate it, which is a rare opportunity for me. If you do purchase the Bumper Edition, I'd be delighted to hear any feedback, comments and questions you have.