Tuesday, October 19, 2021


A single-location setting that's been kicking around for a bit but that got brought off the back burner after being reminded of Dan's Great Screaming Hell.  With a few tweaks to big picture assumptions, this material is equally applicable to something closer to MOSH's implied setting. 


Orbital construction and ecological infrastructure AI gone rampant; driven into a solipsistic death spiral by a memetic virus carried in the EM radiation of the system's dying red sun.  Before retreating to cathedrals of computing substrate to think themselves to death, the builders awakened their human cargo and lesser machine intelligences: both too simple to comprehend the star's message and left without guidance.  Each megastructure/habitat has a unique and often horrible biosphere and many contain ruins of left by failed human and primitive machine civilizations. Many mutated beyond recognition; working to unknown ends. Space travel in-system is easy but slow; carried along by a laser network accessible with electromagnetic prayer. Proper ritual and sacrifice is critical: the gods have lasers.

INSPIRATION: Regular MoSh, Dan's stuff, Arnold K's stuff on the civilizations of the GLOG moon, weird science fantasy OSR things like Ultraviolet Grasslands and Electric Bastionland; Horizon Zero Dawn; K6BD, supernatural age of sail fantasy, etc.


The Pilot:
  1. Logic module; a metal box the size of a small dishwasher currently mounted to the interior of a laser steamer and connected to the spacecraft's system with optical cables.
  2. Diploma (natural philosophy); even machine minds need teaching; they're manufactured by remnant automated systems that don't provide training data.
  3. A trusty scribe (and a pair of hands for somebody without them); he's fourteen and just really excited to be here.
  4. Their scribe's belongings; that's just how apprenticeship goes kid.
  5. Wicker basket full of knickknacks (their scribe is sometimes asked to hold each item up to the camera).
  6. The corpse of a machine; methodically directed for spare parts at The Pilot's direction. 
  7. Several treatises on orbital mechanics, obscure mathematics, and optics.
  8. The ship's manifest; wax seal from the customs office at their last port of call (fake).
  9. A small bag of mysterious wire sculptures recovered from a delve; no obvious paranatural effects but feel dangerous.
  10. Clothes -- a cloth cover for their logic module embroidered with an agricultural motif.
  11. A hold full of improvised heat seekers -- these cost a fortune when you don't make them yourself.
  12. A handcart (used by their scribe to move them under gravity).
  13. A copper idol (music deity)

The Delver:
  1. Cermet battle axe (chipped); wrapped in machineskin. The butt is also a crowbar.  
  2. Parrying dagger with a broad double quillion and compressed gas charge; many machine remnants enforce ancient gun control laws for inexplicable reasons.
  3. Stick bomb; it's just a shaped charge attached to the end of a collapsible metal pole. Perfect for killing machines or making big holes in thin walls.
  4. Vacsuit in a heavy duffel bag stowed in a spare corner; embroidered with heraldry of the Cosmonauts' Guild.
  5. 100m of silk rope; it's hard to beat natural fiber for some applications.
  6. Wooden bead necklace; carved in the shape of gruesome tomb guardian spirits; good luck for grave robbers.
  7. A half-eaten flatbread stuffed with precious bloodfruit (tastes just like real meat) and less precious rice and spirulina algae.  Very spicy; microgravity does a number on the tastebuds.
  8. Hacksaw (blade slightly bent).
  9. Oracle bones.
  10. Checkbook (never used).
  11. Pulp paper sketchbook and pressurized pen; beautiful drawings, comprehensive dream journal (mostly nightmares), and foul language in the margins.
  12. Pet arthropod (pale, slightly translucent); tolerates vacuum for extended periods.  Surprisingly clever.
  13. Harmonica. 

The Lightcaller: 
  1. Heavenly Orb; a glassy object that provides a direct line to the insane machine/gods that run the laser infrastructure.
  2. Copper ritual knife; the gods must sometimes be appeased with blood.
  3. Heavy sleeping bag with straps for microgravity (down filling).
  4. Slide rule (for astrological calculations).  
  5. Bag with several strings of bead money engraved with the seal of a minor banking house (tungsten).
  6. Block of very expensive black tea in a beautiful wooden box. 
  7. High-proof spirits distilled from wood pulp and agricultural waste (bottle mostly empty).
  8. Soldering iron with lots of solder and several spare batteries.
  9. Electric water pipe (marijuana).
  10. Makeup kit and high-quality mirror made from a machine's laser weapon.
  11. Religious text; copied incantations recorded from the machine/gods.  
  12. Child's storybook; inside signed with best wishes.
  13. Fruit preserves (blackberry) and flatbread.


  1. Cool and flavorful. Have you considered turning The Pilot, The Delver and The Lightcaller into classes that I could steal from? I mean, get inspiration from?

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Their classes are Android, Teamster, and Scientist in Mothership's terms. If you're insyead coming from an ABCD template place, keep an eye out!