April 11, 2019

Survive, Solve, Save for XP

The Martian

(In my experience, it’s been a little more like pick two,” but I’m too nice to my players.)

Mothership has an ethos of Survive, Solve, Save: Pick One.” This means players should face hard choices between surviving the mission, solving the mystery, or saving the victims. So why not reinforce this ethos for players by applying it to how they earn XP?

In the current rules, PCs gain 10 XP each session. So let’s mix it up: instead, PCs gain XP by Surviving, Solving, and/or Saving in a session. At the end of each session, the Warden evaluates the player characters’ actions and awards XP as follows:

Keep reading »
February 25, 2019

Mothership House Rules

Mothership: House Rules! (Based on the Alpha Zine Edition, 3rd Printing rules.)

Last updated: 2019-05-06

Having run several Mothership sessions for my pals, I’ve gone and tweaked a few things. Here are my current house rules:

Keep reading »
February 20, 2019

3 Androids for Mothership

Ash from Alien

Mothership has an Android” character class, which comes with a few stats and rules & very little detail beyond that. I like this a lot — it opens up space for Wardens and players to figure out how their own little space horror universe works. When one of my players makes an Android character, I ask what kind of android they want to play & make rulings accordingly.

The default Mothership Android is inspired by Ash from Alien, but I figure the galaxy has to be full of corporations experimenting with AI, robotics, genetic engineering, and all kinds of other stuff that could produce a variety of almost-but-not-quite humans. My Mothership universe blends ideas from Alien, Blade Runner, Neuromancer, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, and other Horror SF & Cyberpunk-adjacent media that feature vicious corporate criminality, body horror, etc. In keeping with that spirit, here are three Android variants you can use in your games:

Keep reading »
February 17, 2019

Mothership Warden Screen

Warden Screen

I love the layout of the Mothership Player’s Survival Guide, but as a new Warden I found myself flipping through it a whole lot at the table and wishing I could find the info I needed even faster. So I made a Warden Screen, and have hardly looked at the book since!

This has all of the weapons and equipment in the game, helpful references like what stats and saves players have, rule reminders, and important tables like Panic Effects. You’ll probably get the most use out of the first 2 pages — the third is mostly about spacecraft mechanics, though it does have a version of the critical hit table from Sean’s blog, too. My setup is I have the first 2 pages taped to a folded piece of cardboard, and I keep the third page on the table.

Keep reading »
February 17, 2019

d10 Reasons you’re in the Corporation’s pocket

Tyrell Corporation

While putting together a Mothership module, I wanted to ensure that the player characters would be motivated to carry out the mission, even in the face of the horrors to come. Here’s what I came up with — have each player roll 1d10 at character creation to find out why they’re in the corp’s pocket. The real horror was capitalism all along!

Keep reading »