Derelict ship crawl concept – Intended for play with Strange Stars by Hydra Co-op
In the Instrumentality of Aom your worth is defined by your potential, and each of you has been found lacking. Your prefecture raised you in one of the machine-wombs of Aom, in your growth-coma state your muscles and mind developed, but your genetics were uninspired. Your digitized self has lived a million test recursions and the only role that suits you is that of a space scrapper.
Your cryo-pods clank in their bays. The crystalline fluid empties out slowly. Your eyes open for their first time to reveal a world much bleaker than the one you experienced through your hardlink. A message plays behind your eyes, you know that it is your purpose to assess and salvage. The convoy spits you out like the genetic leftovers that you are and burns off with bays full of other scrappers destined to earn their place in the Instrumentality of Aom or to die trying.
Running a pointcrawl:
At each node, players must be presented with an engaging encounter. After the completion of which, they must make an informed choice about which path to take. The choices they make should be difficult and have lasting consequences.
Room 1 – The Airlock
Are the systems running? Is there evidence of life? Are the lights on? Is there artificial gravity? Can you access the ship’s computer? Was this a human ship? Does the ship use a language that you know?
Gain access to the ship map. Open the sealed door. Identify the source of the airborne contagion. Identify the reason the ship has lost power.
One path might be obviously dangerous, there might be a blood trail or claw marks. Perhaps there is a missing section of ship. This should be the “direct” path. The other path should be the indirect path, it should be clear that this is more circuitous. It might also be unclear if this path actually leads to the desired destination.
Rooms 2 & 3 – The First Challenge (2-Direct or 3-Indirect)
How will the characters learn more about the ship. What happened here? What is the threat to them now? What resources remain on the ship?
Confront a lifeform. Overcome a defensive mechanism. Overcome a dangerous obstacle that resulted from the ship’s demise. Lose/use a key resource.
One path might involve direct confrontation, while the other might be a stopgap.
Rooms 4 & 5 – Can you commit to your course? (4-Confrontation or 5-Compromise)
How will the characters take command of the ship? How will the obstacles be overcome? Are the players hunters or hunted? What is the best case scenario? Can a hard choice come back to haunt the players?
Betray or be betrayed by a lifeform. Use a defensive mechanism to your advantage, at a great cost. Sacrifice one section of the ship to save another. Can a mistake be fixed?
One path is absolute victory at a great cost. The opposite path is submission of self or mission to a power that was greater than you. The middle path is compromise, neither side gets what they wanted fully.
Rooms 6, 7, & 8 – What is the end state? (6-Absolute Victory, 7-Compromise, or 8-Submission)
Will the sacrifices made to overcome this threat doom the crew in the future? What has the crew sacrificed for victory? When will the resources run out? What did the lifeform need from you, can you afford the cost? Which of your beliefs has been changed? Who or what did you betray to save yourself?
What does the ship look like? What are their final words? How does the world look now that you’ve been altered. What resource is the ship critically low on? What just appeared on the scanner? Was that an alert?