flotsam and jetsam for the mothership rpg, by quadra
2020-05-12

Warped 01.07: Inside The Iblis

Iblis Overgrowth

The crew of the IMV Grasshopper meet the big players on the Iblis’s Crown space station and agree to board the ancient colony ship Iblis on a clandestine search-and-rescue mission. Will they find who they’re looking for? And what’s this fruit” they keep hearing about?

Keep reading »
2020-04-21

Warped 01.06: Iblis’s Crown

The Iblis’s Crown

The crew arrive on the city-station to a smoke-filled hangar with a burning ship inside. They investigate the station, look for work, meet some colorful characters, and hustle them in holographic bar games! Also, a new player joins the crew.

Keep reading »
2020-04-15

The Ypsilon 14 Terminal

Ypsilon 14 Terminal

In the Ypsilon 14 Mothership pamphlet module (available on DTRPG and itch), there’s a terminal with some fairly important functions. Since I was going to run it over Discord with video + chat, I fleshed out the terminal interface so my players could type commands into chat and I could play as the terminal by copy-pasting stuff back to them (I just improvised errors, confirmations, etc.) It went over great, and if you’re running Ypsilon 14, especially online, this may be useful to you!

Keep reading »
2020-03-22

Warped 01.05: The Card In The Warp

The Iblis & Iblis’s Crown

Fleeing with the stolen ship, the crew sleeps in hyperspace as the android 02BZ maintains course. But he soon discovers that he is not alone…

Keep reading »
2020-03-08

Warped 01.04: Cleanup

Viscera Cleanup Detail

After the weird psionic bloodbath on the RSV Fidanza, the crew has some downtime. It took them two days to get out here, and if they don’t report back soon, Tannhäuser R&D is going to send someone to find out what happened. If they’re going to help the surviving test subjects, they need to fix up the ship and cover their tracks before Tannhäuser shows up.

Keep reading »
2020-02-24

Warped 01.03: In The Deep End

Ju-On

The crew search for the rest of the test subjects, the data, and the provenance of the severed arms. Along the way, they panic, hallucinate, and panic some more. Will they follow through with their cursed mission, or abandon it and earn the ire of the Tannhäuser megacorporation? Olivia’s player is out this time, so her character returns to guard the ship they came in on, and another new player joins us, taking over Janice Nyman, the Marine that the crew rescued from the mental domination of Test Subject 03.

Keep reading »
2020-02-17

Warped 01.02: Enemy Of My Enemy

Star Wars Battlefront 2

The crew continues to explore the dim, flickering halls of the RSV Fidanza, wonder about all the missing limbs, question their loyalty to the Tannhäuser megacorp, muck about with computers, set everything on fire, lose control of their bodies, and maybe even make a few friends! A new player joins us this session, taking over one of the Marine NPC allies.

Keep reading »
2020-02-12

Warped 01.01: Fidanza

Alien Cryochamber

The first session of the home campaign that I run. These after-action reports are organized into seasons and episodes. The first 3 episodes contain material that I am currently compiling into a small module.


The RSV Fidanza, a Tannhäuser Corporation research vessel secretly operating in a remote star system, has stopped transmitting its heartbeat signal. No distress signal, or signal of any kind, has been received since. Tannhäuser R&D has dispatched a small crew on a clandestine mission to investigate and recover all test data from the ship.

Keep reading »
2020-01-27

Mothership Character Sheet

Character Sheet Header

Last updated: 2020-04-09

The original Mothership character sheet is among the best pieces of layout design I’ve seen in RPGs, combining an excellent character-creation flowchart with a very usable gameplay aid. However! After running the first season” of a campaign and using my players as playtesting subjects, our needs gradually deviated from what the original sheet accommodated, and I found a few tweaks I’d like to make. Plus I wanted to learn from the master by picking apart Sean’s original and see if I could find ways to improve on it! Update: Now with a form-fillable version!

Keep reading »
2019-04-11

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 »
2019-02-25

Mothership House Rules

Mothership: House Rules! (Based on the Alpha Zine Edition, 3rd Printing rules & errata. Note that these house rules are compatible with the current state of playtesting and my playtesting character sheet)

Last updated: 2020-03-23

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

Keep reading »
2019-02-20

3 Androids for Mothership

Ash from Alien

Last updated: 2020-04-21

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 »
2019-02-17

Mothership Warden Screen

Warden Screen

Last updated: 2019-02-18

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 »
2019-02-17

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 »