Saturday Seed ~ 70 (Rapture)

This tiny little seed is the first of a few that I have been thinking about for Rapture – a curious and compelling game if ever there was one.

The seed
A space hulk of early vintage, ravaged by time and celestial circumstances drifts into the system. The characters are pulled away from other tasks of importance to handle the problem.

Planting the Seed
Use of this seed will require the characters to be involved in spatial operations on a military, governmental, or corporate basis, and likely to be tasked with the investigation, reclamation, redirection, or destruction of an early, and possibly inhabited ship. Proper use of this seed will require leading the players toward cooking up lots of theories and explanations, and pitting them against the clock, taunting suggestions, and actual threats.

The Details
It does not seem entirely dead in space although the signals obtained are neither consistent, nor clear. Investigation is required. If nothing else, the drifting hulk must be moved from any course which could cause it to interfere with normal spacing lanes and outposts. T

First impressions may lead to awe, as the exterior of the enormous ship has been so ravaged by time, debris, and Lord knows what else, that it is scarcely identifiable. It does not respond to hails per se, but does emit signals, light, heat, trace gases, and other signs of use, or possible survivors. Every indication is given that there are survivors aboard, but that there may be no means to broadcast a reply, or no awareness that rescus have arrived.

The brutalized condition of the ship’s exterior will require forced entry and exploration.

Only Named Characters will survive such an excursion.

Initial boarding squads simply vanish, and are never to be seen again. It is best to have at least one (2 feels right) set of extras be tasked with boarding prior to the Characters attempt.

Challenges for characters aboard the hulk encompass many tense physical, technical, and intellectual problems, dangers, and complications in the initial stages. It is from these that the GM will need to build memorable action sequences while the slower and more delicate process of forming reactions and realizations goes on in response to the lack of life yet sense of being preyed upon by the ship. As these challenges ensue, let the deserted and empty ship before them serve as a blank slate on which to imply, but never show, suggestions of horror, depravity, and loss. Let the hints and references you drop lead the players into wild speculation, while you commit to nothing but an empty ship with no sign of life, death, injury, or survivors.

If extras accompany the Characters, provide situations where the group is slowly forced to divide itself into small teams, and build toward mysterious disappearances without traces for those extras.

The Characters will come to believe that they can come and go as they please and players will need only be tested by the mundane but still threatening dangers of this weathered vessel… and their own capacity for Fear. The longer they stay, the more convinced they will become that something is aboard… something they cannot quite see, or sense, or grasp.

If they depart, evidence and conscience may lead them to conclude they have abandoned helpless survivors, hiding for reasons not yet, nor likely ever to be, known. If they stay, they may crack under the strain of fear. If they attempt to destroy the vessel, the size of the undertaking, not to mention the possibility that hidden survivors aboard may die in such an event may eat at them. The struggle to redirect the vessel to a safer course, will salve most of those fears, but leads to longer periods spent aboard, and the opportunity for the use of the ship to recur.

What is going on
The longer the Characters stay to investigate, the more likely that strange disappearances are to spread to their own vessel. Ultimately, they may be stranded and adrift with the hulk. Worse, should this happen, they will find that nothing but screams and groans answer their attempts to communicate with their superiors. Such an outcome, may even convince them that they have been taken to a lifeless universe devoid of their kind, with something just around the corner awaiting a lack of vigilance…

In the end….

…only you will know the truth.

Speak your piece~

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