This game uses space opera to tell an Age of Sail story about the crew of an Earth System ship on a cruise hunting for prizes. Here’s why we use space opera to tell Age of Sail stories: “cruise” and “prize” in the first sentence have very specific naval meanings. Hopefully by using space opera, those are the only two nautical words you’ll need to learn.
Cruise: A long deployment of about 6 months, typically to patrol a large section of sea with a good deal of autonomy.
Prize: In the Age of Sail, if your crew captured an enemy ship, the Navy might buy it from you, or sell it and give you the profit.
Using space opera, we don’t need to learn what futtock shrouds are or why it’s important to have them. But there need to be a few conventions.
Go here to see them (copy paste the link):
As for plot, I think each chapter will work like an episode of a television show. (Let’s hope it’s not a Fox show.)
I’ll start off with a general problem, and produce outcome guidelines that develop things in a TV three-act structure, but generally I’ll be looking for hooks in your characters, and following your lead.
Part of this is because on a cruise, your crew will have plenty of things to do. A star system in the middle of a war is awash with opportunities for adventure.
Part of this is to see what you become. Will you go rogue and become space pirates? Will you focus on the war and try to defeat Libra Corporation? Will you focus on prize hunting and go after bigger and bigger targets, growing your wealth and personal fleet? Will you become involved in politics or espionage?
The PCs take the role of the captain and lieutenants (of unspecified pecking order) of a small prize hunting warship in the Dorado system, looking for Libran merchant vessels, packet sloops, supply ships, and damaged warships to pick on and hopefully capture for Earth.
Anyone who plays the captain of the ship has to agree to play a captain who, realistically or not, greatly respects his lieutenants and treats them as equals, only stepping in to settle disputes. The captain of this ship has to be OK with their orders being questions, or with lieutenants speaking out of turn.
In short, choosing to play the captain limits your character’s personality options. Sorry, but if you want to play a selfish ass, a dictator, a lead-from-the-front sort, an impulsive bravo, or a take-charge kind of guy, play a lieutenant. The only way an RPG about the command crew of a starship can possibly work is if the person playing the captain plays them as a consensus builder.
The Sophie (named for Jack Aubrey’s cruising sloop in the Master and Commander books) is a small corvette. It has a small crew of indeterminate number. Email me the name and a 300-character or less description of a crew member under your command - an NCO, marine, pseudo-AI, ensign, or whatever. I’ll give you a 5-card asset for them to use to your benefit. When you play that character out, I’ll give you a new one. As a perk for the captain, to make up for the limited personality options, she or he can have two.
I included a few subplots for players who want to have hidden agendas. Don’t make a character who is genuinely loyal to Libra Corporation, though. That’s too much PvP for this game.
Hosted and narrated by:
Scenes played: 2
License: Community License