Thursday, May 5, 2022

The Weirder Frontiers of Space - OSR Commentary - Outpost Mars By Paul Elliot From Zozer Games For The 2100 Space rpg

 "2017 – astronauts set foot on Mars.

20 years later colonisation has begun, mining is in full swing, and the goals of scientific research are becoming muddied with profit and survival. Competing factions are growing stronger, and the engineers and scientists of the United Nations Space Co-ordination Organisation are finding that even they are not immune from the petty politics of the red planet."

"Outpost Mars is a TL 8 setting for the Cepheus Engine roleplaying game set on this newly-settled planet. Players take the roles of scientists, engineers and explorers going about their business of investigating Martian phenomenon and avoiding death or serious injury while doing so. "

"The real story  focus, however, is on the player characters and their motivations.  Trapped on Mars, working in isolation with the other player characters in the team, games will pick up on and revolve around a character's personal interactions with his team-members. On their rivalries, secrets, hidden agendas, lies and on their mutual interests." 

Outpost Mars from Zozer Games could be used completely out of context as a  different colony world out on the fringes of the Blackness of interstellar space. This is going to pick up from this blog entry here.  The struggle of the lowely spacers to establish a colony on a Mars like world with zero budget comes on the heels of some of the high profile missions of Hostile  Compared to the megacorporations missions this points up the fact that space exploration & exploitation is a richman's game. 

Space is mindbogglingly big and its easy to see a mission to a Mars like planet taking a very long time. Due to  einsteinian physics we can see these petty factions of the Space 2100 rpg still being a problem within Hostile universe. Yes, this is even with hyperspace in the Hostile rpg.  Because of fact that  spacecraft's missions take hundreds of years to get to their destinations. Slap a hyperdrive on a space 2100 space craft with heat venting for the radiation & you've got another faction in 2d6 space ready to go or attack depending upon the campaign. 
For the Earth Sector rpg of Independence Games there's even more confusion as factions that haven't been operating for hundreds of years suddenly find themselves at odds with peaceful colonies. There could be an entire campaign of different frontier era explorers at each other's throats. This sorta of campaign could be a repeat of the Age of Sail from Earth all over again. Could any megacorporation afford the waste of life that this would create?! Absolutely not! There might be specialized diplomats whose job it is to defuse these sorts of situations due to uncounted missions from Earth reaching their final destinations on the frontiers of space. The collapse of the wormhole in the Clement Sector saw to that. 

And those frontiers of space are dangerous unto themselves as we've seen in Far Horizon from Zozer Games. The legacy of Tartarus is going to be a whole cloth piece of urban space mythology. Now add in the legends of phantom armies of colonists and the roughnecks that might stumble across them?! Sounds like something out of a bad urban legend until these colonists are camped outside your colony's door. The frontiers of space are very weird indeed. 

Outpost Mars for Cepheus Engine  From Zozer Games
 Is Available Here 

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