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    Void quick start rules Void quick start rules Document Transcript

    • Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Credits http://fearthevoid.com Created By Forums, Information, Downloads christopher Dorn robert Glass WildFire LLC matthew Grau 23321 SE 291st St. fraser McKay Black Diamond, WA 98010 mike Vaillancourt www.wildfirellc.com Written By Black Sky christopher Dorn www.blackskystudios.com robert Glass First Printing. ©2012 WildFire LLC. Creative Com- matthew Grau mons License; Some Rights Reserved. The Void and fraser McKay the Cthulhu Saga are trademarks of WildFire LLC. All stephen McQuillan Rights Reserved. All characters, names, places, and text herein are copyrighted by WildFire LLC. References to IP/Line Developer the works of H. P. Lovecraft are from and remain in the matthew Grau public domain. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Editing Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported jonni Emrich, matthew Grau 2 License. Art Direction & To view a copy of this license, visit: Graphic Design http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ mike Vaillancourt or send a letter to: Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA. Layout & [What this means is that you are free to copy, share, and Typesetting remix the text and artwork within this book under the matthew Grau following conditions: 1) you do so only for non-com- mercial purposes; 2) you attribute WildFire LLC; 3) you Cover Art license any derivatives under the same license. For spe- trevor CLAXTON cific details, appropriate credits, and updates/changes to this license, please see: http://wildfirellc/cclicense.] Interior Illustration Jonas Andreassen, Marco Caradonna, Daniel Chavez, Empty Room Studios, Tom Garden, Zach Graves, David Hammond, Alex Iglesias, Marco MazzonI, Blake McDer- mott, Sean McMurchy, Oleg Saakyan, Adam Schumpert, Marek Tarnawski, Chris Tilstra, Mike Vaillancourt, Frank Walls WildFire Management matthew Grau fraser McKay Thanks To • The Gen Con 2010 Referee Coordinator: Bob Arens • The Gen Con 2010 Referee Team: Bob Arens, Todd Frazee, Dave Stoeckel, Charlie Wong • Matthew Sprange, for asking us to mix Lovecraft and Traveller, which became The Void.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Table of Contents (A) Kinetofayetophobia 4 (1) Introduction 17 (2) Overview 20 (3) Intro Adventure 32 (4) Characters 58 (5) Skills, Qualities, Talents 62 3 (6) Rules 70 (7) Gamemastering 90Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • A KinetoFayetophobia That’s all there was to it. The solar No time to lose, Anastasia did the system was going to hell in a hand- one thing she could. She grabbed the basket. biggest locker she could find, way to- wards the back, and dove into it. For- It’s funny the thoughts that oc- tunately, she could lock the door by curred when being chased by dozens putting her hand through one of the of tentacles that kept bursting out of holes. She didn’t figure the thing was the walls and floor, one by one. Each smart enough to work a digital lock. lashed out at Anastasia, trying to gain purchase on some part of her Her Bandit pistol wasn’t going to body to do only god-knows-what. do much when the time came, but it was all she had. The thing had al- The wriggling, sour-smelling, slimy, ready claimed her Blizzard subma- 4 boneless limbs brought out a primal chine gun back outside. She looked fear in her, the kind that makes the frantically around the container for back of your legs go numb and your anything that might help, but there knees go rubbery. The kind Anasta- was nothing. Then, she froze. sia had to choke back with every last shred of her will if she wanted to live The first slender tentacle gently through this madness. wormed its way through one of the holes, about hip height. It probed Right, left, right – it didn’t matter its way through, cautiously but de- anymore. In her panic, she’d totally liberately. The second wasn’t far forgotten the layout of this tragic behind, this one much thicker than little building stuck deep in the Mar- the first. It could barely push its way tian outback. She hoped desperately through, but barely was enough. The to find another door out, so that the fear gripped Anastasia again, much thing might get caught up in the build- worse this time. She grabbed hold of ing long enough for her to get clear. a cargo strap, just to help keep her from collapsing. Charging through the only door she could see, her only way forward, More tentacles followed, backlit by it was marked storage. Looking the lights of the storage room which around, this was probably the last poured through the holes. She hoped door she wanted. There was no oth- they weren’t going to notice her er way out. The room was filled only – hoped against all hope – but she with storage lockers, but that wasn’t knew better. In a few seconds the the worst of it. The doors to the lock- probing monstrosities would zero in ers weren’t solid – they had holes in on her and rip her limb from limb. If them. she was lucky.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • 5 One of the larger tentacles inched the other side, closer every moment. its way towards her. The tip touched The command came from her brain her uniform and slowly slithered its to fire the gun, but something short- way up. If terror hadn’t already para- circuited the thought en route. lyzed her, the smell would have made Anastasia vomit. Another came from This was a hell of a way to die.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Suddenly, the storage room ex- the bright lights of the casinos. Its ploded with a bright orange light and mayhem felt like home. she could smell burning flesh. The tentacles spasmed and began to Coming back from the restroom, yank their way out of the locker. The she practically melted into the chair. room lit up again, but this time some “Finally,” she said. “A hot meal in a of the flames shot through the holes civilized place.” in the locker, singeing Anastasia’s eyebrows and bangs. The last of the Marcus looked carefully around tentacles slithered out and she was the room, taking in each person in thankfully alone. turn, which was something he did ev- erywhere he went. “I ordered for you Anastasia kicked the hot metal while you were gone.” door as hard as she could. Her com- bat boot took the worst of it, but the “Thanks,” she replied. “I didn’t want door shot open. The wriggling things to wait. I’ve missed Asian food so were withdrawing into the ground as much. What did you order?” 6 a figure shot another burst of fiery death at them. It took a minute for Marcus smiled. “It’s a surprise.” Anastasia to overcome her shock to figure out who it was. “So I’ve been correlating the data and this isn’t good.” Felius had his It was Felius, who looked downright nose in his computer again. funny – a bookworm with a flame- thrower. What the hell. It wasn’t the Anastasia took a sip of her water. weirdest thing that she’d seen today. It was nice, properly recycled water. He just sat there, grinning like an “When is it ever good?” idiot. “The reports show that bodies No time to waste, Anastasia kicked have been going missing from the her legs to get the numb out of them. morgues with regularity. There’s al- most a pattern to the body-snatch- “Look what I found,” said Felius. ing. It appears that two cadavers, more or less, are stolen from differ- Anastasia pointed at the hole in the ent parts of the colony every week ground. “Look what found us. Let’s and have been for a little less than get back to the rover so we can call in three months now.” an airstrike. I’m not taking any more chances.” Marcus frowned, his eyes on other things. “Necrophiliacs wouldn’t need • • • • • bodies with that kind of frequency. That leaves cults and…” It was good to be back on Gany- mede. She was born in Troy, under “Ghouls,” finished Anastasia.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Just then, the food arrived. Felius inside job or that the perpetrators had ordered what many had come were using the access tunnels in the to call “white people chicken,” while city to get around. Either way, Anas- Marcus’ tastes tended more to- tasia and her team still didn’t know wards the exotic – Echizen jellyfish, what they were up against. which can be toxic if not prepared properly. Which is something Anas- While Marcus positioned the lo- tasia had forgotten when she asked cal authorities to keep surveillance him to order for her. on any of the two dozen people who might possibly be insiders, Anastasia There it was – san nak ji. A live oc- was stuck with the fun job of crawling topus on a bed of vegetables. Anas- through the access tunnels. Fortu- tasia knocked the chair over jumping nately, Felius was sitting at a remote out of it and away from her “dish.” terminal with the city plans at his fin- gertips. “Take it away!” she shouted at the waiter, who promptly fell all over him- “At the next intersection, turn left,” self to remove the offending delicacy. he said. 7 He bowed and disappeared. Whoever built Troy at least had the Anastasia composed herself and sense to make it easy to get around, sat back down. Marcus looked at her, even for the maintenance staff. The shocked. “What’s wrong with you?” hidden corridors were big enough for a person with gear to stand up “Kinetofayetophobia.” in – as well as being big enough to transport dead bodies through. They Even Felius was stumped. “Kineto- also had softly glowing lights through- fayetophobia? What the hell is that?” out the tunnels. They may not have illuminated everything, but they were “Fear of moving food. It’s the clos- enough to get around. est phobia that translates to tenta- cles. Remember the thing on Mars?” Anastasia reached the intersec- tion and turned left, only to be greet- Marcus picked up a chunk of jelly- ed by darkness. “Is there any reason fish with his chopsticks. “They’ve got the lights should be out in this part of phobias for everything, don’t they?” the grid?” “Everybody’s scared of something.” “Hold, please,” She could hear Fe- lius typing. “Okay, I don’t see any com- • • • • • plaints or repair requests. Accord- ing to the system, no one knows the The locals had already tried setting lights are out. The other utilities are a trap, but had no luck. That meant working just fine. Is the rest of the the body-snatchings were either an electricity on?”Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • “I’m not going to lick my fingers to sickly sweet smell of rotting flesh. The find out, but I can hear the lines hum- green light of her glow-stick slowly re- ming. Can you turn them back on?” vealed something she did not want to see. “Oh no.” More typing. “Huh. Looks like some- one has taken that system complete- “What? What is it?” She could ly off-line.” hear Felius pulling out his sidearm. Anastasia pulled out her pistol and Though she covered her mouth, snapped a glow-stick to life. The cor- Anastasia said, “Don’t go anywhere. ridor ahead glowed a sickly green, a Stay put.” color that always reminded her of ei- ther Halloween or radioactive waste. This room was much larger than it Neither was particularly comforting first appeared. Whoever had stolen right now. “Well, if someone’s taken it the corpses had brought them here. off-line, then someone’s up to some- Over a dozen dead bodies in various thing. Call Marcus and let him know states of decay were arranged in an 8 what we’ve found. But Felius, don’t go almost reverent fashion. Some were anywhere.” hung on the walls in carefully con- sidered poses. Some were placed Fortunately, she knew from expe- in compromising positions that sug- rience that Felius had no problem gested things that made Anastasia multi-tasking. sick. • • • • • Stepping further in, she eventu- ally found something that made it all “Wait. This isn’t on my schemat- clear, or at least as clear as it was ics.” going to become. There, on the oppo- site wall, was an altar, made of bone Those were not the words Anasta- and other unidentifiable things. sia wanted to hear. “Then where am I?” She thought she smelled some- “Felius,” Anastasia finally spat out thing funky. after a couple tries. “It’s not ghouls. I’m sending you images of the altar.” Felius stammered. “Uh… uh… you… you’re off the grid. I don’t know why “Oh no,” she heard him respond. there would be tunnels that aren’t on “We need to get the locals mobilized.” the schematics. These are supposed to be the map for the entire city. I got “I’ll stay here, just in case whatever them from the city mainframe!” sick bastards did this come back.” Anastasia stepped into what looked From behind her, Anastasia heard like a spacious junction room, but a voice that made her skin crawl. paused when the smell hit her – the “Too late. We’re here.”Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • She whipped around in one practiced mo- tion and squeezed the trigger, aimed right in the face of the portly, sweaty man licking the curved blade. The gun didn’t fire. She pulled the trig- ger three more times. Nothing. The man snarled. “Must be magic.” Without missing a beat, Anastasia jabbed a knife hand 9 into his trachea. The man stumbled back- wards into another, choking violently. She didn’t need a firearm to make sure these low-lifes paid for their crimes. This was careful when opening the overhead not Anastasia’s first barbecue. compartments as things may have shifted during flight. Thank you for fly- • • • • • ing Warden airlines. Welcome to the Eye.” There was a satisfying thunk as the Knight’s Errant corvette formed Powering everything down, Anasta- hard seal with the dock. Welcome sia zipped up her suit and headed for to Warden Prime, also known as the the airlock. Marcus and Felius were Eye. The gigantic space station hov- already waiting for her. ered over Earth and was the primary center of Warden operations for the “Man, is it good to be back in civili- entire solar system. zation!” said Marcus, smiling. “If the Captain’s feeling generous, maybe Anastasia cued the comm. “La- we can get a vacation day to go plan- dies and gentlemen, please stay etside. It’s the perfect time of the seated until the captain has turned year for the beaches in Ibiza.” off the fasten seatbelt sign. Also, beGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • “Hanging out and getting burned by “Absolutely not, sir,” replied Mar- the sun while having smelly salt water cus. sprayed on you sounds like a blast,” added a particularly sarcastic Anas- Calado turned and assessed his tasia. “I’m sure the Captain will see underlings. “The report got here that as an important use of our time.” weeks ago, so we can skip most of the BS. Any new thoughts?” “I don’t even know how you call yourself human. What do you think, “Always, sir,” began Felius. “We put Felius?” our heads together on the trip and came up with several hypothesis. As usual, it took Felius a few min- However, given the facts, it seems utes to realize someone was talking like it was Primoris Nox. Not many to him. “I’m sorry. What?” other cults would be that organized and want to play with that many dead “Figures,” replied Marcus. bodies.” 10 And with that, they walked out of The Captain poured himself a glass the docking area and into the busy of water, but didn’t bother to sit halls of the most notorious space down. “Cults, huh? Monsters I get. I station in the solar system. like monsters. They’re ugly and nasty and you know you should shoot them. • • • • • Cults are full of people and people are devious. They’re hard to root out. Too Captain Calado was waiting for bad we can’t just hook everyone up them in a debriefing room. The heav- to a lie detector and flush them out.” ily scarred man stood staring out the window at the Earth below. He was “We believe we broke the back of the kind of man that made people that particular cell. The morgues on wonder whether or not he was boil- Troy should be safe again. Until the ing with anger on the inside. The next time,” said Anastasia. patchwork color of his hair, which couldn’t decide if it was black or gray, “Well, the locals will be keeping an didn’t help. eye on things in the meantime. On to new things for you. So, which do you Marcus made a happy sound as he want first – the good news or the bad grabbed a seat at the conference ta- news?” ble. As the only one of the three that was from Earth, it made him nostal- Anastasia almost laughed. “Let’s gic – homesick even. hear the bad news first.” “I never tire of the sight. Do you, Calado turned to look back out Agent St. Croix?” over the beautiful blue planet. “I knowGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • I promised you a rotation on the inner ideal for colonization. The surface is planets, but something’s come up. I covered with giant impact craters. need you to go right back out again.” Ursa, the only colony on the planet, has been constructed in one of Anastasia saw Marcus twitch. them.” Too much time on the outer planets made him unhappy. She never really “Ana, this is your neck of the woods. understood why. What do we need to know?” asked Marcus. “Something’s up on Callisto,” con- tinued Captain Calado. “Local scien- The moon loomed larger every tists thought they read something minute and they were about to break strange in the atmosphere. They atmosphere – though the thin layer thought the epicenter was in one of of carbon dioxide and molecular oxy- the impact craters. Naturally, they gen didn’t really mean anything in went out to see what they could find terms of entry. Anastasia kept her and never came back. The readings hands on the controls. “It’s a bed- look real. The data has already been room community mostly. People do 11 uploaded to your ship.” tours elsewhere in Jupiter space and then come back to homes here. Marcus put down his glass. “Sir, It’s quiet. If you don’t live there, there why us? I mean, isn’t there someone isn’t much of a reason to go there.” closer?” The former cop in Marcus started “Believe it or not, Agent St. Croix, to show through. “Okay, so I’m as- this is a busy agency. We don’t al- suming that means low crime. Any ways have the luxury of sending who racial tensions to worry about?” is closest. You’re between cases and Agent Kiss is Jovian. Any other ques- “No. Callisto has about eighty thou- tions?” sand residents who do whatever they need to keep Ursa a nice place to live. “What about the good news?” Most of the crime is drug smuggling, asked Anastasia. domestic disputes, or minor property crime, with the occasional drunken Calado snorted. “Since when has assault. Honestly, it’s some of the there been good news?” biggest bang for your buck property- wise anywhere in the outer planets.” • • • • • “Thanks,” replied Marcus. “I’ll re- As they approached the Jovian member that for when I retire.” moon, Felius read statistics off his comp, like he always did. “Callisto is “Get yourself geared up, smart the outermost of the Galilean Moons, alec. The locals don’t like disturbanc- with low enough radiation to make it es and they’ll view us as exactly that.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • You’ll have to do some fancy talking pattern baldness, if such a thing to keep them happy.” hadn’t been cured. He approached and held out his hand. “Welcome. I Oblivious to the rest of the con- am Lieutenant Ismo Jarvi, Head of versation, Felius chimed in. “Wow. Ursa Security. Governor Amarnath There’s a subsurface ocean more asked me to greet you.” than 100 km down. Is anyone re- searching that? Could that have any- Marcus stepped up to shake his thing to do with these readings?” hand, smiling disarmingly. “Pleasure. I’m Agent Marcus St. Croix. This is Anastasia brought the Knight’s Er- Agent Felius Fickerwith and Agent rant into Callisto’s airspace, slowly Anastasia Kiss.” descending over the frost-capped peaks surrounding the massive cra- Jarvi turned and ran his eyes up ters. “There’s a small outpost that’s and down Anastasia. “Kiss? Is that been digging and taking samples, but intentional?” it is really radioactive down there. 12 I’m no scientist, but it seems like it Though she wanted to immediately wouldn’t have anything to do with bathe herself, Anastasia knew that what we’re looking at.” you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. So, she gave him one of her Up ahead, she could see the giant best smiles, the kind that typically dome of Ursa. She cued her comm. got men to do what she wanted. “It “Ursa Spaceport, this is Warden ves- should be, but it’s actually Hungar- sel Edge of Dawn requesting docking ian.” clearance.” Jarvi looked pleased, so Marcus “Edge of Dawn, you are cleared for took the opportunity. “So, Lt. Jarvi. docking on pad five. Welcome to Cal- We have no intention of making your listo.” life difficult. We’ll make our way to the site and get out of here as soon as • • • • • we can.” They hadn’t even gotten out of Jarvi tore his eyes away from An- the docks before Ursa Security met astasia long enough to relax. “That them. Just to make a point, there is wonderful news. We’d like to mini- were five of them. Another warm mize your exposure to the population. Warden welcome. Our citizens prefer a quiet life, one unhampered by the kind of concerns The one that was clearly in charge Council agents like yourself most of- led the pack. He had a round face ten represent. We’ve prepared the and the kind of eyes that lied. In the gear you’ll need on our end, so gath- past, he looked like the kind of guy er up the rest of what you’ll need and who would have suffered from male we’ll escort you there.”Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • There wasn’t much choice, so the three Wardens went back into their Knight’s Errant and headed to the armory. Marcus snorted. “For once, I wish these colo- nies weren’t so wor- ried about whatever crap they’re worried about and start wor- rying about what’s really going on. They do have bigger prob- lems.” 13 “That would make our job easier. Ex- cept that it’s also our job to make sure they don’t know what’s going on,” re- sponded Felius. • • • • • Anastasia was the first to the rim and what she saw there made her The place in question was several gasp. This only served to make the hours journey from the colony. The other two scramble to join her as rover took them as far up the side of quickly as possible. What they saw the crater as possible, and it was on was not lost on them either. foot from there. The extremely low gravity of Callisto made it both hard- It didn’t take a genius to recognize er and easier for them to get up the that something very strange was slope. They each wore heavy weights happening. A thick, swirling mist filled on their ankles to maintain some the crater about halfway to the top. traction, and grapple guns and ropes They could see the shadows of some- allowed them to reach the lip of the thing growing up out of the ground crater with only some small fuss. For- – maybe stalagmites or even trees? tunately, it was the middle of the day Either would be way out of place. Even or the whole thing would have been worse, there were sounds. Noth- nearly impossible.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • ing lived on the surface of Callisto, Marcus wasn’t far behind. “What so there should be no sounds other kind of atmosphere? Can we breathe than the ones they were making. it?” Something also seemed to be glow- ing down there. Felius held his hand up and closed his eyes, the way he did when he was They stood in awed silence for a asked too many questions at once – moment. Finally, Anastasia was the not something that happened infre- first one to speak. “We’re going to quently. “One answer at a time. How have to go down in there, aren’t we?” is this possible? I don’t know and it will take a lot more research to get Without waiting for an answer, she even close to an educated guess. took her first steps down towards What kind of atmosphere? The kind the bottom of the crater. that can support life, just not ours. Open your helmet now and you’ll as- • • • • • phyxiate.” He paused, thoughtfully. “Better than explosive decompres- 14 It felt a little like diving underwater. sion, I suppose.” Going under the mist layer was more than any of them could have expect- “Great. Let’s review. Life and an at- ed. mosphere.” Marcus was getting agi- tated, as he did when trouble loomed. Felius stepped up to the gray trunk- “Don’t we have enough to leave and like thing before him. It had delicate call in a better equipped team?” tendrils splayed out from the nearly eight-foot top. Felius answered his question by ignoring him and walking deeper into “Don’t touch it!” cautioned Marcus. the crater. Felius turned and frowned. “Do He walked about another ten feet I look new?” He took out a scanner and stopped. The others joined him, and nudged the thing. The tendrils quickly discovering what had grabbed swayed as if caught in a breeze. Felius’ attention. That plant was only “Whatever it is, it’s alive. Wait, that the first. They were entering what ap- could mean…” peared to be a forest. An alien and foreboding forest, but a forest none- Anastasia and Marcus stood theless. back while Felius did something that looked very technical. He then waited “Should we be taking samples or patiently, until his comp beeped. “The something?” inquired Anastasia. mist layer is actually an atmosphere.” Felius shook his head. “I’m not “What? How is that even possi- touching anything until we’re on our ble?” asked Anastasia. way out.”Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Anastasia lifted one of her feet and Meanwhile, Anastasia walked over noticed something she’d missed in to investigate the speckled growth. her shock. Things felt heavier. “Uhh, Again, it felt like she should be un- guys? Why does it feel like I don’t derwater someplace like Europa to need the leg weights anymore?” be seeing things like this. However, something caught her eye behind the The other two finally noticed as fronds – several somethings, in fact. well. Felius took off his weights and Gently nudging the plants aside with tried to walk. It wasn’t bad. “The gravi- her assault rifle, she saw a patch of ty is definitely higher in here. I’d guess football-like objects, set upright in the about half a G. And before you ask, I ground. Each was white and rough, have no idea how that can happen.” with an almost vein-like texture. Anastasia and Marcus followed “Tell me these don’t look like eggs,” suit and shed their weights. The in- she said. creased gravity made it much easier to press forward. Felius was up like a shot. “Oh no. Of all…” 15 There appeared to be many small- er plants, if one could call them that, Before he could finish his sentence, growing amongst the bigger ones. It something large charged through was as if what they were seeing were the alien forest near them. Anas- only the first shades of much larger tasia took a defensive stance and things to come. looked every which way, trying to find the thing that was most likely mom. Not much further in, they came The others drew their firearms, too, to what appeared to be a stream, preparing for what they knew was though the liquid flowing down it the inevitable. seemed to have a silvery sheen on its surface. There was some kind of From out of the mist, something thick growth near the bank of this wriggled. Several meaty, green ten- stream, with blue and pink speckled tacles, tipped with black talons, mov- fronds, perhaps a little like ferns. ing with sinister purpose. Anastasia However, the texture was wrong – could feel the chill creeping up the more leathery. back of her legs. Felius was the first to the stream. “Not this again,” was all she said He knelt carefully down near the before opening up with her assault edge, sticking some kind of device rifle, its blaze lighting up the alien for- into it. The surface tension of the est with flash after flash. liquid was much greater than that of water and he had to push a little Yup. The solar system was going to harder than normal. hell in a hand-basket.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • 1 Introduction 2159 AD. It is a good time to be powers that be. Mighty corporations alive. The nations of the world still ex- marshal their resources to send teams ist, but they have become more civi- to figure out how such things might lized. Countries resolve their disputes be harnessed for profit. The Unified through the forum of the Unified World Council sends out special teams World Council. Colonies of mutual co- of sanctioned Wardens, whose job it operation exist throughout the solar is to ascertain the new threats to hu- system. We have stretched to the edge man life, to learn everything they can of our known world. about them, and fight them wherever they are found – now with greater and But, alas, it is not to be our time. greater frequency. Something approaches, a thing on There are also those who believe an orbit from far away. Seemingly dark the murmurs of madmen, who have matter, this object is known in obscure listened to the occultists who point to prophecy as the Chthonian Star. It is a forbidden books and forgotten proph- thing that has been traveling through ecy. They are the ones who believe that the universe on its oblique trajectory humanity is a young race and there are for millions, if not billions, of years. It much older and darker things in the is a part of the natural cycle of things, universe, so-called deities and their on its eon-long orbit. Now, again, it is minions who care nothing for the chil- awakening things long thought lost dren of men. They confront the horror or dead, things that have slumbered that is looming, looking to the past, awaiting its return. trying desperately to make the world understand in the present. It begins slowly. Colonists begin to notice unusual things throughout It is true. These are the end times. the solar system. Then people begin The Old Ones are waking up and what to disappear. Then entire settlements. we thought was our solar system is Ships go missing. However, it isn’t long making itself home for its returning before the unspeakable horrors that masters. The monstrous races that have awakened can no longer con- serve them are coming back out to tain themselves. Moons thought dead help prepare the way. Humanity is as such as Callisto come to life, producing many always thought – temporary alien ecosystems never before seen by stewards of this part of the galaxy at man. Things stir in the distant Kuiper best, parasites at worst. Belt. It is something that cannot be denied and people change their lives All this from the influence of a body knowing that there are dangerous and that is still millions of miles away. As terrifying things in the dark. the Chthonian Star marches ever on- ward, things are only going to get Such phenomena naturally become worse. Who knows what will happen something of intense interest to the when it is finally here?Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • The Game The Void supports playing pretty The scope of The Void is contained much any kind of Character, but steers to a fantastical purview that is still fa- players towards playing as Wardens, miliar to us – our solar system, from agents of the Unified World Council Mercury out to the frontier of the Kui- special commission. That way, your per Belt. Earth is still the center of the Characters already have reason to universe, home to all mankind, but travel around the solar system and the millions of people dwell in colonies resources that allow them to do so. and space stations spread throughout the solar system. Spaceships travel be- Creative Commons tween the worlds, using technology The Void is licensed under the Cre- that propels them from world to world ative Commons Attribution-NonCom- in a matter of months, instead of years. mercial-ShareAlike license. For more in- formation, go to creativecommons.org. Despite the fact that the nations of the solar system are united in a way This means that you are free to never before thought possible, the share electronic versions of The Void vast distances that separate the colo- and that you can create your own of- nies of humanity create a sense of iso- ficial derivatives – being supplements, lation. The journeys through the black optional rules, or what have you – to are long and lonely. There are many share with others. who find this isolation difficult to deal with, especially given the things that However, there are several condi- now roam in the dark. tions that go with that. You must at- 17Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • tribute your derivative works to us, us- Characters – or the legacy of a family ing the legal text found in the front of lineage – that have all shaped the way this book, also attributing the people of things in their own age. who created The Void. You also may not make any money whatsoever off Influences of your sharing of The Void or of your Nothing is created in a vacuum. derivative works. You must distribute There have been several excellent your derivative works under this ex- movies that the creative team would act same license, so that others must like to site as influences in developing follow the same rules. After all, this is The Void. a license. This means that we still own and will protect our intellectual prop- Alien erty, but that we want you to come This movie needs no introduction. play in our sandbox with us. We know It’s the story of a corporate crew in- you’re going to come up with cool structed to touch down on an unin- things for The Void and we want to habited rock to investigate the crash enable our community to produce as of an alien ship. They bring back a much material as we can. creature who must kill a host to be born. Just one such alien was enough We want to post the best material to kill nearly every member of the Nos- that people create under the Creative tromo’s crew. H. R. Giger’s alien design Commons license. We’ll post it to the scared the heck out of most of us as downloads section of our web-site so kids. that others can find it and use it with their games. Event Horizon A ghost story in space, the story fol- Send your Creative Commons cre- lows a crew sent out to Neptune to ations to creativecommons@fearthe- discover the fate of the Event Horizon, void.com. PDFs and word processing a ship that’s been missing for years. It documents are preferred. If your file is was equipped with an experimental above 10 MB, please use a forwarding gravity drive that was supposed to al- service like YouSendIt. low it to fold space-time in an effort to cross vast interstellar distances in an The Cthulhu Saga instant. It didn’t work as planned and You may have seen the Cthulhu Saga the ship comes back alive from a place logo on the cover and wondered what that can only be described as hell. it was. The Void product line is but one in an overall saga that is designed to Ghosts of Mars take place through multiple points in Police are dispatched to a mining time. The Void is but the first of a series outpost to transport a notorious crimi- of games that take place in the same nal on a nearly terraformed Mars. They universe and the same time-line, each arrive to discover dead bodies and a highlighting an exciting era. In the bunch of strangely acting miners. It end, you will be able to play multiple turns out the former inhabitants ofGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Mars were capable of surviving as pos- sessing microbes and are very territo- If You Downloaded This Book rial. Since we’ve adopted the Cre- ative Commons license for The Outland Void, that means that you can An old-school Sean Connery film, legally download this book for this movie shows a more realistic pic- free. Awesome! However, there ture of colonization. It follows a mar- are some realities that go with shal assigned to a corporate mining such things. If you decide you outpost on the Jovian Moon of Io. love The Void and you play it Drugs have become a part of the pro- but never give us any money for ductivity cycle and they are beginning our work, that’s a problem. We to cause miners to go mad and die. gauge the success of a line by its Naturally, the corporate masters don’t sales. If we don’t have enough want such a thing coming to light, so revenue to tie to The Void, then they hire hit-men to take care of the we’re going to kill the line be- law. cause we’re losing money mak- ing it. If you love it, please buy Pandorum something. Otherwise, we all A couple crewmen wake up from lose, and that sucks. hibernation aboard a giant spacecraft with little recollection of who they are or what they’re supposed to be do- ing. It seems that the ship has been overrun by horrifying creatures who hunt the survivors for food. Worse yet, the reactor core is about to overload and blow everything to smithereens. On top of that, there are surprises for which not even the crew is ready. The Pronoun Game In this book we use he, him, and his when we’re talking about people playing the game. Alternating pronouns within the same book makes it feel like the book is written for two dif- ferent audiences. The masculine pronoun is the current standard and – though the times may be changing – we’re used to seeing it. We mean no offense to our valued female audience. 19Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • 2 Overview Welcome to the overview of The genre has become especially popu- Void. In these pages, you’ll get an idea lar in video games, with franchises of everything you need to know to like Resident Evil or Silent Hill. Survival play the game. horror means that your Characters are almost always going to be in peril The Game and fighting for their lives. The world The Void is a game about humanity’s of The Void is a dangerous place and spread into our solar system and the it will require that players are careful horrors we discover as we go there. It and clever if they want their Charac- is an exciting mix of Lovecraftian hor- ters to survive. ror and hard science-fiction. The Solar System The Void is also a special genre of The Void is set in our solar system, horror known as survival horror. This just a few hundred years in the future. Let’s take a look at how our solar sys- tem has developed. Mercury: Conquering the Dead Planet Mercury is a small dead world – a rock in space marred and cracked by ages of meteor impacts. It slowly rotates like a pig on a spit under the punishing heat of the Sun. The tem- perature variance on any given day be- tween the dark and roasting sides range between -315ºF and +800ºF. Building a sustainable colony here would be next to impossible un- der these extreme conditions. So, why would anyone want to invest so muchGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • time and expense to come here in and well within the range of the sun the first place? The answer is mining. that is generally held to be friendly to Though dead on the outside, Mercury life, Venus has a decidedly hellish sur- harbors a wealth of natural metals and face with high winds and temperature minerals below her surface. Invest- in the hundreds of degrees – no mat- ment in a colonial mission to Mercury ter if you are on the day or night side. would naturally be dangerous and Despite these conditions, however, it risky, but that was a risk the Chinese is a world that has extensively felt the government was willing to take. Luck- touch of humanity. ily for them, the unconquerable dead world had one Achilles heel, one place Five corporations control Venus, where humans could land in relative under the nominal authority of the safety. Venusian Administrative Body. Each corporation has utter autonomy and The Chao Meng-Fu crater, located authority within their colony, with on Mercury’s southern pole, is the only each colony having its own set or rules location on the planet that remains and regulations, customs, holidays, mostly in the shade throughout an en- and so on. However, outside of the col- tire day – thus the temperature stays ony, including any mining operations relatively constant. It was here that the those colonies may claim, the VAB has Port Tian colony was established as the the final authority. While the Venusian only human presence on Mercury. Life Administrative Body is supposed to be here is spartan and simple, with very apolitical, its rulings are generally tilt- little in terms of creature comforts. ed in favor of whichever corporation Nobody goes to Mercury unless they currently has the most influence. have business here - at least nobody who wants to live a comfortable life- Nearly all aspects of life on Venus style. Yet there is wealth to be had for occur underground. With the high those brave enough to join the drilling temperatures, scouring winds, and operations that sink further and fur- corrosive environment of the surface, ther toward the planet’s core. A miner subsurface colonies have been by far might be able to return home to Earth the cheapest method of colonizing the with a small, dream-building fortune planet in the long term. Most of these after a few years of hard work. That is, colonies can trace their roots back to of course, if he doesn’t disappear first the initial mining operations of the among the dangerous labyrinth-like corporations, but, for the most part, tunnels of Mercury’s mines. those mining operations have moved to other areas of the planet. Despite Venus: this, these colonies offer comfortable The Earth That Wasn’t environments with wide caverns mod- Venus has one of the harshest cli- eled much like the parks found on mates in the solar system. Despite be- Earth, giving them an open-air feel. ing only a bit smaller than the Earth There is never mistaking, however, 21Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • which colony you are in, for nearly ev- and there are no population controls ery corridor you walk down, napkin in place. It will only be a matter of you wiped your face with, and glass time before overpopulation becomes you drink out of has the associated a problem again – or at least it would corporate logo emblazoned across it. were not things awakening in the gal- axy that are helping to thin the herd. Earth: Birthplace of Humanity Compared to the rest of the solar The nations of Earth are still pretty system, though, the Earth is paradise. much as they have been, though some Large cities and population density borders and centers of power always make it very safe and the natural ecol- shift. The threat of terrorist nuclear ogy of the planet is where human- strikes and the nuclear devastation of ity was meant to exist. That, however, Port Klang in Malaysia woke the world does not mean that the strange hap- up. Modern nations have become penings in the rest of the solar system more civilized and choose to resolve have not found their way to Earth. their disputes through the forum of the Unified World Council – a power- Mars: ful cooperative body that has replaced The Red Money Pit the impotent United Nations. 112 years ago, the first permanent settlement was created on the surface Fortunately, the Earth suffers no of Mars. In the beginning, the mining more from the threat of ecological di- operations on Mars produced better saster. The damage done during the than anyone ever hoped. Jobs were 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries was plentiful and calls to Earth for more halted and, in some cases, reversed. and more settlers brought shuttle af- However, the Earth has been damaged ter shuttle of people hoping to cash in and a person from the 21st century on the prosperity. The original colony would find the world to be quite dif- expanded and smaller settlements ferent. Air quality has recovered, but began to spring up in areas that could climates have changed permanently be easily protected from meteor and in many parts of the world. There are radiation damage. places where it is not safe to travel outside without special suits, where However, this did not last. The dig the thinning or non-existent ozone no sites all began to encounter a material longer protects life from dangerous in the ground that was incredibly hard solar radiation. Many species are per- to drill, blast, or bore through. The ma- manently extinct, though cloning ef- terial was useless to the miners, as no forts labor to bring some of them back one could find anyway to profit from it. – to little avail. Worse yet, all indications showed that this material was present all over the On the other hand, pushing people planet. out to live on other worlds has helped ease the threat of overpopulation. Tourism, the second largest money- People still have not learned, however, maker for the planet, was beginning toGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • lag behind the more exotic locations ellites and giant red eye. It’s too bad found on Ganymede and Io. However, for them that the reality turned out to Mars had one final message to the be far less fascinating than they had people of Earth that thought that life hoped. could be restored to the Red Planet. Two years ago, the moon Diemos radi- The planet itself is home only to two cally shifted orbit and swung into the large floating gas mines. Most workers path of Phobos. live on Callisto and come in month- long shifts. The real excitement of The impact shattered the moons Jupiter is found on the four Galilean and blanketed the orbit of Mars with moons – Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, millions of particles of space debris. and Io. Much of the debris rained down in a hail of meteorites that peppered the Callisto’s most distinct features are planet for days on end. The location of the numerous and massive impact the colonies in low-lying areas saved craters that cover the surface. This them from the worst of the damage. The dust storm created by the impact of so many meteorites continues to blan- ket the planet to this day. Solar collectors struggle to collect the little sunlight the sneaks through the clouds above. Jupiter: The Cyclopean Giant It is the largest planet in our solar system, so large that it is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets combined. The gas giant known as Jupi- ter has captured the imaginations of sci- ence fiction writers and explorers alike, with its massive sat- 23Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • is where many of those working on has begun to change – like it was de- other Galilean Moons and Jupiter live, veloping an atmosphere. and it is best described as a bedroom community. Saturn: The Greater Malefic Europa is home to a giant under- Out there, beyond the treacher- ground saltwater ocean, kept warm ous rim of the Asteroid Belt and the by the magnetic influence of Jupiter. It great orbit of Jupiter lays the heart of has conditions that resemble the deep mankind’s new frontier – Saturn. Her oceans of Earth, complete with its own many rings highlight the moons that life and ecosphere – the first extra-ter- are home to a rising civilization. Over restrial life discovered in the history of three million residents of the Republic man. The lifeforms survive by chemo- of Saturn live and work here, striving synthesis, similar to the black smoker daily to build their lives around the environments of Earth. promise of a free and independent world. Opportunities abound here Ganymede is the largest moon in for the adventurous of heart and the the solar system. The moon’s primary ingenious of mind. Rapid growth has trade is tourism and entertainment. It created a strong economy built on in- is, for lack of a better analogy, the Las dustry, manufacturing, mining, tour- Vegas of the outer planets. Visitors can ism, and perhaps the most important enjoy casinos, shows, and restaurants, of Saturn’s commodities – agriculture. as well as low-gravity skiing, snow- It might seem ironic that the world in boarding, and the like. the solar system named after the Ro- man god of the harvest would actually Io is rife with geological activity, deliver on the promise of her name- with many mountains and volcanoes. sake. However, the fact remains that Bunkers that shield visitors from the Saturn has evolved into what is called intense radiation provide staging the breadbasket of the outer planets. grounds for those who wish to come and climb the majestic mountains in a Ice harvesting has become an im- low gravity environment. It is the des- portant industry among Saturn’s tination of the rich, thrill-seekers, and moons, especially the brilliantly white those who already dwell in Jupiter’s Enceladus with its giant plumes of orbit. sprayed ice shot majestically into space from massive geysers on its However, there have been some southern pole. Other moons like Rhea unusual reports in and around Jupi- play host to huge manufacturing ter space. Gas miners in the upper plants and ship yards that allow Sat- atmosphere of Jupiter report seeing urn to produce bio-domes, shuttles, shadows of things floating in the alien transports, and other necessary com- clouds. Scientists on Europa claim that ponents that sustain the colony. Satur- the “fish” they’re studying have been nian colony structures and merchant acting differently. Perhaps most un- vessels are not uncommon among the usual is the way that a part of Callisto Outer Worlds.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Perhaps the most amazing example nus proper is Veronica Station – the of the Republic of Saturn’s achieve- mining facility run by John Paul Wesley ments is Titan. It is here, under the to extract molecular hydrogen from orange sky and dense atmosphere of the atmosphere. The space station is Saturn’s largest moon, that great cit- a patchwork of various components ies and mammoth farming bio-domes and sections from a number of failed have arisen. Cassini University, located attempts to set a mining rig in orbit of within the capital city of Cassini, is fa- Uranus. mous for it schools of Planetology and Organic Chemistry. The city of Chronos The moons of Uranus have all been has become one of the most impor- set up as mining and prospecting re- tant trade centers in the Solar System, gions, where independent contrac- built on the need to transport Titan’s tors and corporations obtain deeds wealth of agricultural goods off world. for mining rights from Wesley. Law is The fact of sustainable colonies on officially maintained by the internal Neptune and Uranus can be directly security supplied by the Wesley family. attributed by some degree to the suc- The reality, however, is that the local cess of the Saturn colony. prospectors and corporations will deal with suspected criminals internally. In Uranus: fact, the region has the lowest report- The Frozen Wasteland ed theft rate of anywhere in the solar For years, the Uranus sector had system, but that only means that little been nothing more than a junction crime is reported. Being much like the point for transports off to the lucrative gold rush towns of the old west on diamond mines of Neptune or the vast Earth, law is very often handled as an expanse of the Kuiper Belt beyond. personal matter between prospectors. Even then, that was only when the orbital alignments worked out. That Neptune: all changed when the Wesley family The Point of No Return founded the hydrogen mining facility Neptune, the last planet of our so- from Veronica Station. The Wesley fam- lar system, so far into space that it is ily obtained the rights to the moons thirty times the distance of the Earth surrounding Uranus and has offered to the burning Sun. Wind is a near con- them to independent prospectors or stant on Neptune – the average daily corporations to do with as they will. winds range from 45 mph to nearly the speed of sound. Unsurprisingly, The surface of the planet is not ac- the only colony on Neptune’s surface tually a surface at all, but a mix of wa- is underground – or under the thick ter, ammonia, and methane in a thick ice layer, which has baffled scientists. liquid form. Despite its large size, the Beyond it lies only the Kuiper Belt, a gravitational forces of Uranus are actu- place filled with only dwarf planets ally less than that of Earth, so it would and miscellaneous chunks of rock. It’s be possible to land on its surface if it no wonder it is a frigid, inhospitable was solid. Given that Uranus has no world, where only the greedy or des- solid surface, the only colony for Ura- perate would dare set foot. 25Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Salacia is the primary and only col- expeditions have never made to the ony on Neptune It is powered entirely surface and those that did never last. by geo-thermal taps, utilizing the ex- Even satellites and probes last only a tremely hot core of the planet. At first few hours at best before their signals glance, it would seem amazing that are lost. Pluto wishes to be left alone anyone would want to spend the large and thus far humanity has found itself amounts of money and incredible ef- a distant observer. In recent years, that fort required to maintain a colony on observation has increased ten-fold. Neptune. Posterity or curiosity hardly seem reasonable motivations. The The small dwarf planet has always answer is simple – Neptune produces been a bit of an enigma in the solar diamonds, the most precious gem in system. Its orbit sneaks in and out of the solar system. Salacia is a joint op- the Kuiper belt and is tilted, running eration of the European Union and the north and south of the ecliptic plain. Rhodes Company – a firm with long There has never been a satisfactory roots in the diamond business and the explanation of this oddity. More re- fabulous wealth that goes with it. cently, however, the small world has begun exhibiting even more bizarre Over the last few years, strange and inexplicable behavior – the or- things have become commonplace on bit of Pluto has been changing. The Neptune. Many people have started change was small at first, but it seems to have intense nightmares, some of to be increasing. Its velocity has also which have induced homicidal fits in shifted, sometimes speeding up and otherwise normal folks. Insomnia (or sometimes slowing down. There is sleep aids) are an epidemic. People no known cause that science can find also have started to go missing from for its behavior, though many a great time to time, without any trace – some minds have set to the task of finding it. believe there’s a conspiracy afoot. On top of all that, there are those who Even with this new development, claim to have heard eerie distant travel to the world is strictly forbid- sounds through the surface flurries, den. Even its moons are off-limits. like the songs of whales. None of these Inevitably someone will again make facts are advertised by Rhodes – it the attempt to land on the world, to would be bad for business. force from it the secrets that it hides, and inevitably those same someones Pluto: will transmit screams of terror into the The Enigma dark void before they too go silent. Across the solar system nearly every Pluto will surrender its secrets when it planet and moon has felt the pres- is ready, not when we demand it, for ence of humanity. Not so with Pluto. Pluto has no time for our needs. The planet has made it clear that it wishes to be left alone. There have Kuiper Belt: been attempts, many of them, over The New Frontier the years. However, with each attempt Past the distant planet of Neptune comes screams and then silence. Most lies a thick band of rock, dust and iceGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • known as the Kuiper Belt. Many dis- – they have to be to survive. They are miss this region as nothing more than also freer to pursue their dreams than another asteroid field, but those peo- anywhere else in the solar system. The ple do not truly understand the scope Unified World Council has no say out of the belt. Despite being far less here and even those corporations that dense in most areas than the better have staked a claim out here, such as known belt of rocks that sits between the massive 4G Enterprises, under- Mars and Jupiter, the Kuiper Belt stand that they will never have any in- dwarfs its inner system cousin in its fluence beyond the walls of their own sheer population of rocks and ice that stations. slowly drift through it. For this reason, the Belt has become the new frontier Technology of the solar system. The Void is set a couple hundred years into the future. In terms of its in- For those who are brave or, depend- fluences, the setting is approximately ing on who you ask, foolish enough to equivalent to the technology present- venture that far out, there lies a great po- tential to truly make your mark on the solar system. Many explorers have found massive deposits that have netted them finder’s fees that allowed them to retire in style. Many more, however, have simply vanished nev- er to be heard from again. While there is great promise in the Belt, there is also great danger. So far out is the Kuiper Belt that even a small emergency can turn deadly. Un- like the inner sys- tem, there is usually no help to be found. Those who make their living in the belt are truly self-reliant 27Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • ed in such movies as Aliens or Event ed reality is commonplace, and in fact Horizon – though confined to our solar necessary for many aspects of society. system. Robotics and nanotechnology have taken over manufacturing, as well as Space travel is perhaps the single many menial jobs, forcing people to most important technological ad- become educated to take on more vancement in the setting. Transit skilled professions. drives can propel ships across the void at speeds formerly not possible. Medical technology has advanced Travel from Earth to Neptune takes to a point where nearly all hereditary only several months instead of twelve disease has been cured. There are few years. Passengers must seal them- illnesses that plague humanity. Even selves in suspended animation inside limbs and organs can be replaced specially designed gravity-mitigating through limited cloning technology. chambers to survive acceleration and People live longer and are healthier deceleration – which means they un- than ever before. fortunately lose time every time they travel, unaware of what might occur in Weapons are still predominantly the vacuum in the interim. chemically- or magnetically-propelled, though computerized advancements Computers have continued to be- make them more accurate, powerful, come smaller and more powerful. and capable than ever before. Despite People travel with small portable the detente that exists in most places body-computers that are capable of in the universe, it is still not a period of feats that seem like magic. Augment- peace. Therefore, the powers that beGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • still spend exorbitant sums of money processing information and evidence on weapons research, so the technol- in order to draw conclusions. They are ogy of “defense” continues forward. also trained to extract useful informa- tion out of people. Researchers are the Characters book worms, educated in the occult The Void supports playing pretty and other disciplines in order to draw much any kind of character that one conclusions and sift through data for might expect in the setting, but steers that which is useful. Regardless of spe- players towards playing as Wardens, cialty, all Wardens are combat trained, agents of the Unified World Council have a basic knowledge of the occult special commission. That way, their and the inhuman enemies they must characters already have reason to face, and a basic education in cults. travel around the solar system and the resources that allow them to do so. Wardens are typically sent out into the field in teams of three to six. A While many associate aliens with sci- small team is composed of one of each fi, all characters in The Void are human, specialty, while a larger team typically with some variation based on world or has three Enforcers, two Investigators, colony of birth. and one Researcher. Wardens have an array of resources The UWC Wardens at their disposal. They are given their The UWC Wardens are a govern- own spaceships, which usually house mental agency created to deal with a team, support crew, and shuttles, as the strange things that are emerging well as mobile labs and arsenals. They in the solar system. They have three are allowed to carry sidearms in their primary duties. First, they are charged everyday investigations, and have ac- with investigating all reports and man- cess to assault rifles, explosives, and ifestations of the unknown through- combat armor. However, it is their duty out the solar system. Second, it is their to keep things quiet and hidden, so it responsibility to eliminate unknown is rare that Wardens appear with any- or occult threats to the people of the thing that isn’t concealable – unless solar system. Their third, last, and per- the situation is already dire. haps most distasteful duty, is to keep the unknown and occult a secret from Since Wardens are not a widely ad- the population at large. vertised agency, they maintain quiet offices in all civilized corners of the There are three primary specialties in solar system. Warden presence is typi- which Warden field agents are trained cally received with some level of open – Enforcer, Investigator, and Research- arms by the colonies and it is expected er. Enforcers focus on combat, trained that the authorities in all parts of the in many different kinds of weapons solar system will cooperate, though in order to most effectively eliminate this is not always the case. The solar resistance. Investigators are the de- system is a big place and those far tectives of the Wardens, focused on enough out don’t always feel that the 29Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • law strictly applies in their case. The tend with, and one many are resigned Wardens, however, are afforded nearly to as their eventual fate. Either that or absolute authority by UWC charter, death, for many a Warden has met an though they rarely have need to use it. unspeakable and violent end. In some cases, Wardens must also have the strength to enforce their authority, Character Components because some of the powers that be, Characters in The Void are made up far out there, won’t afford them the re- of several key pieces. They have attri- spect and latitude they deserve. butes and skills, which are common- place to modern roleplaying games. The Wardens maintain a network of They also have qualities, which repre- space stations throughout the solar sent innate advantages and disadvan- system, from which they stage their tages (with several that are specifically operations. Warden Prime, also known flavored for the unique setting), as well as the Eye, sits above the Earth. A as talents, which represent cool things monolith in the sky, this labyrinthine help defind Character even further. To- structure is the primary headquarters gether, they create diverse Characters, of the Wardens. Beyond the Eye, War- even among all Warden groups, with den 1, also known as the Umbrella, plenty of room to customize and grow. floats in orbit around Saturn to service the outer planets and protect the pre- Characters grow through a free- cious agriculture of Titan. It is of similar form method of point-based character size to the Eye, but designed as a gate- development, powered by Advances. way and emergency station for those missions going further out. To service the inner planets, Warden 2, known The Basic Rules as the Nugget, hovers in geosynchro- The Void uses six-sided dice, in dice nous orbit above Mercury. It is a small pools. In general, any time you want station, hastily deployed to provide to try something that is a challenge, some kind of support to Mercury and you will roll a number of dice in a pool Venus. The Lighthouse, more formally equal to the approriate Attribute plus known as Warden 4, sits far out in the Skill – both of which are rated on a Kuiper Belt, exploring, watching, and scale of one to five. That means you’ll listening for anything that might be at be rolling between two and ten dice the edges of the solar system. for your Tests. Work as a Warden is perilous. War- When rolling for a Test, each die that dens must travel from one side of the comes up a five or six is considered a solar system to the other, facing threats Success. You need to get between one of which man was not meant to know. and five Successes to accomplish your It can be a very dark job. They must task, where two is Average and three undergo regular psychological screen- is Hard. These Tests may be modified ing, for the dangers they face readily by your Character’s Qualities and/or erode one’s grip on reality. Insanity is Talents. a price which many agents must con-Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Combat Overview • Creeping Dread – there is al- Combat uses opposed Tests, where ways a feeling that something every defender is given the opportu- isn’t quite right, and it only gets nity to defend against those attacks worse the more a person dis- of which he is aware. If you equal or covers what is really going on. exceed your opponent’s Defense Test, • Fear & Insanity – the reality of you’ll hit and he’ll take damage to his the universe is usually too much Health. for people to face. As they do, they lose themselves to the Characters have a certain number of fight-or-flight instinct, and points they can take before they die, eventually lose touch with real- but there are levels of hurt in between. ity altogether. As things get hurt, they begin to take • Futility – fighting against the penalties to their Tests and movement awakening horrors of the uni- speed. verse is, in the end, pointless. The things humanity now faces The Void also includes basic so- are simply too powerful. There cial combat, so that you can labor to is no way they can win. change someone’s mind when it is • Isolation – the solar system is a important. Having someone in your big place with lots of nothing group who specializes in social com- in between settlements. It can bat is a good idea. take weeks or even months for help to arrive. People are on their own. The Teaching Adventure • Tragedy – things do not often Included in this book is a teaching turn out well for those who face adventure. It is designed to help you cosmic horror. Many things are learn the game as you play, so that sacrificed, including minds and you don’t have to spend a lot of time lives. Some such sacrifices are learning before you jump right into difficult choices to make. the game. • The Unknown – what human- ity collectively thinks it knows The teaching adventure in this about the universe is a very Quick-Start book also includes four small slice. They have chosen fully statted Characters, each of which not to look further for fear of is ready to play. what they might find. Now, the unknown has come looking for Themes them. Much of what people In terms of tone, The Void explores face is a complete enigma many of the themes common to Love- craftian stories and games. As a GM, you may want to think about how you want to incorporate them into the feel of your game of The Void. 31Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • 3 Intro Adventure To Serve Special Notes This section won’t appear in every and Survive scene, but contains special notes and advice to new GMs. It will include page This is an introductory adventure for references, rules examples, and sug- four new Wardens. The Wardens have gestions for changes. recently completed their training and must investigate the disappearance of Note to the Players: If you want to a freighter, the Pandora’s Hope. Start- play through this scenario, or you ing at Warden Prime, they travel to think your GM may want to run this ad- Mars where the Pandora’s Hope was venture for your group – PLEASE STOP launched to begin the investigation. READING! Don’t spoil the surprises for From there, the investigation will con- yourself and your friends. tinue to the final destination of the freighter – a mining colony on Chiron. Note to the GM: While your players are reading through the Character Gamemasters will find scene-by- options, skim through the adventure scene descriptions, special notes to quickly, making sure to at least read help jump into the action quickly, and the At a Glance sections. The more seeds for expanding this investigation prep time you have, the easier this will into a springboard for a longer cam- be. Have fun and don’t sweat any mis- paign. takes that come up along the way. Each scene is laid out in the follow- ing format: Training’s Over At a Glance At a Glance This section provides a brief synop- The Characters are called up to War- sis of the scene action to help Game- den Prime – the main outpost floating masters skim the entire adventure above Earth. Captain Roland Dearborn quickly. assigns them to investigate the disap- pearance of Pandora’s Hope, a freighter For the Players which lost communications just past The classic “boxed text,” GMs should Saturn. The Wardens have arranged read this text aloud directly to the for transportation to Mars, where the players. It describes the scene from an freighter embarked. in-character perspective. For the Players Behind the Scenes After the last few weeks of train- This is the primary section for Game- ing in the Himalayas, you’ve come masters, including all of the extra infor- mation about NPCs, their motivations, to learn that there are places left and flow of events before the players on Earth which can be just as begin to influence things. desolate as the Martian outback.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • With the training exercise com- the freighter, and armed with that plete, you’ve received orders to information go to Chiron to discov- report to the Eye. er why communications were lost. Are there any questions?” Warden Prime, as it’s officially known, floats in orbit above Earth. Behind the Scenes From this vantage point, the War- Captain Dearborn will answer any dens monitor activities across the questions that he can for the Wardens, though there isn’t a lot of information entire solar system. Getting called available. This group was chosen be- in means that Command has an cause they were finishing a training assignment. Your team is loaded rotation, and were readily available. into a shuttle and the entire trip The Wardens did not want to pull in only takes about half an hour. a team from the outer system blind, which is why their team is being sent Captain Roland Dearborn is to Mars first. waiting for you in the briefing room. He is an older Brit with a Pandora’s Hope stern military bearing. The freighter is a modified freighter with increased engine systems for long haul shipping. It registered with “Wardens, good morning. Please Martian control as carrying food-stuffs take a seat. I will keep this briefing and supplies (air scrubbers, spare as short as possible.” parts, etc) for Chiron base, and return- ing with ore from the mining colony. With a few strokes on the key- The freighter has a crew complement pad in front of him, several images of thirty souls. project on to the vidscreen. Communications were lost just be- “This is the freighter, Pandora’s fore it was scheduled to pass Saturn. Hope. She launched from the Mar- The standard flight time should have it tian orbital elevator 84 days ago arrive at Chiron in four days. It is pos- on her way to a mining colony on sible if the engines were pushed, that it could have arrived today. Chiron. All communications were lost seventeen days ago.While that Transportation is disturbing, it’s not unheard of.To- As this is the team’s first mission, day, we lost communication with the Warden command is booking all the Chiron mining colony. of the transportation throughout the mission. The Characters can adjust the “Your mission is to go to Mars, plans that are laid out for them, but investigate if anything got on board will have civilian on-lookers through- out the assignment. Command does 33Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • not tell them, but this is a form of test ly anything that is needed to uphold to see how the young Wardens handle the charter. The need for secrecy of- their discussions and contain knowl- ten keeps Wardens from showing up edge of the threats. On future assign- armed to the teeth until they are ready ments, Warden command may give to engage a threat. This can be a good the team a transport to move them reminder for players that sidearms are around. better choices than assault rifles and heavy body armor, when travelling The Wardens have booked passage and talking with civilians. for the Characters on a regular sched- uled transport between Earth and The Red Planet Mars, which leaves in several hours. The trip from Earth to Mars takes an At a Glance average of fourteen days. During the Having arrived on Mars, the charac- trip, all passengers must be in grav ters begin investigating the Pandora’s bed stasis for acceleration and decel- Hope and its crew. The investigation eration – which is the entire trip. can take them from the Docking Port at the top of the space elevator, to the Extra Gear Mariner Valley colony on the surface. If the characters want any extra gear, they can requisition supplies on For the Players the Eye. Depending on how large the Disembarking the ship at Mars, gear is, and how dangerous it is, they may be cautioned against tipping there are signs for the Dockmas- their hand to the civilians. There is also ter’s office, Longshoreman’s Union, a Warden station on Mars which they and Transit Centers. While the will be able to requisition supplies transport docked in the tourist from, once they have a better grasp on section, it is clear that most work what they may be dealing with. on the station is done with the freighters. Holoprojectors show the Special Notes news and weather information for The Wardens have three ground the Mariner Valley far below, along rules: with a projection of the space sta- 1. Investigate Unknown or Occult tion, tethered to the ground by a threats. massive elevator cable. 2. Contain and eliminate the threats. 3. Keep the population from finding Everywhere you look, the space out. is very organized and well-used. There are no vast expanses, or During this scene, the Captain can large waiting areas. The only sec- remind them of the three ground tion that looks like it is wide open rules. These rules give the Wardens is the center ring of the station. It vast authority throughout the solar is laced with storefronts on either system, and they can requisition near-Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • side, but has space for ten people walking side by side. Camera nodes Making Skill Tests jut out prominently, clearly showing A Skill Test is made by having that everything in the area is being the player roll a pool of six-sided recorded. dice equal to the appropriate Skill and associated Attribute. If the characters go to the Dockmas- Each die that comes up a five or ter’s office: six is a Success. If the total num- ber of Successes meets or beats Following the signs, it is easy to find the difficulty of the Test, then the Dockmaster’s office. It is a cramped the Character succeeds. This space with several uniformed men process is used for all Skill Tests. and women sitting at the back of the office with headsets on, monitoring Example: Alexis has a Investi- computers. At the front of the office gate skill of 2 and an Awareness two men are reviewing a schedule on (the Linked Attribute for Investi- a tablet and making changes. A large gate) of 4. She rolls 6d6 and gets a window shows the red glow of Mars, total of two fives and sixes on the blocked by a massive freighter and dice, generating two Successes. several shuttles. The difficulty for this test is Aver- age (2), so Alexis succeeds. If the The older of the two men looks up GM had ruled that the Difficulty at you and barks with a gravelly voice, was Hard, then Alexis would have “identification and travel papers... failed the test. please.” His ident-card was never scanned Behind the Scenes for transit to the surface. Mars is the primary investigation spot for the Wardens to find out what 2. The first officer, Commander Karl happened to the Hope until they ac- Roslin travelled with nearly half tually get to Chiron. If the Characters the crew to the surface and stayed get lost or feel that they don’t know at the Deimos hotel in the Mariner where to go next, they can contact the Valley. Having an officer planet- Warden outpost on Mars. The Warden side during shoreleave is not un- outpost’s field officer has been able to usual, especially with freighter track down some of the crew hang- crews. The first officer, oddly, outs during their shoreleave. spent extensive time in the hotel bar. 1. Captain Lee Quartararo primarily stayed aboard ship, but met with 3. The chief engineer (Commander the Dockmaster on the day the Nathan Adar) never left the ship ship berthed and the day it left. all. There are reports of several He was seen walking in the central shipments being brought on promenade of the space station. board the ship for him, but he 35Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • never set foot on to Mars or the ring where the station is spun for grav- station. ity. Dockmaster Higgins and his staff work in the office on a standard eight 4. The crew stayed predominantly hour shift, but will come into the office in the Mariner Valley colony. They on off hours to accommodate shuttles showed identcard scans at sev- arriving and departing. Like every- eral lower class hotels, bars, and where else on the station, space is a brothels. The medical staff took a premium and the office has a cramped day trip to Chloe (a Seven Sisters feeling. If the characters identify them- colony on Mars). The Chloe medi- selves as Wardens, Higgins will ask for cal chief reported that they volun- them to step down to the end of the teered in the clinic. counter to talk. He has a private office, but it is not designed for having more Visiting the Dockmaster than one person in it. The dockmaster The Dockmaster’s office is directly will doubt that the Wardens have any off of the promenade, along the outer secrets that they are going to share with him that cannot be told to his staff. He remembers the Hope berthing on the station. It was loaded with standard medical supplies and foodstuffs, along with spare parts for different pieces of equipment in the colony. Higgins spoke with the Captain at length during load- ing, as the Captian wanted to make sure that everything was balanced properly. Acceleration to the Outer System requires the entire crew to sleep in grav Type: Terrestrial Planet couches for a week, and it is not Size: Approximately 0.5 Earths by Mass the time when you want a con- Gravity: 0.375 g (Moderately Low) tainer to shift. Surface Pressure: 1 kPascal Surface Composition: Primarily a basalt rock base containing some silica glass. Surface covered in If they ask about the Engi- finely grained iron-oxide dust. neer, Higgins will unconscious- Atmosphere: Mostly Nitrogen (78%) and Oxygen ly rest his hand on his sidearm. (19%), with the remaining amount made up of He tells the Characters that Argon, Carbon Dioxide, Krypton, Neon, Nitrogen, Xenon, and Water Vapor Adar broke several laws during Surface Temperature: Around 4.4° C/40° F. his last stay on Mars. Because of Day: 24.6 Hours that, he is not allowed to utilize Year: 1.8 Earth-Standard Years any colony resources – includ- Satellites: Formerly 2, now a loosely formed ring. ing oxygen.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Higgins can provide a full manifest for check-in and assistance at the front of supplies that were loaded onto desk. The hotel also has a bar, called the Pandora’s Hope by the longshore- the Cosmic Lounge, and a restaurant – men, but will note that anything the Johnny’s. The lobby, bar and restaurant crew brought back from shoreleave all have a very open feeling to them, will not be listed. He trusts his men, which is different from the space sta- and strongly believes that if anything tion above. It is explained by needing went wrong on the ship it is either to be large enough to support the full Adar’s fault, or something that the hotel above them. The hotel has seven crew brought back. In addition to floors above ground, and a subterra- the manifest, the Dockmaster has the nean level where all of the support ac- flight plan on file. The estimated flight tivities (cooking, laundry, storage etc) time was eighty-eight days including a are completed. seven day acceleration and decelera- tion window. Asking around the hotel about Com- mander Roslin will be fruitful. All of the Dockmaster Higgins staff remember him, as he tipped gen- Dockmaster Charles Higgins is a erously. The concierge will direct the gruff, older man with a no-nonsense Wardens to either the Cosmic Lounge attitude about flight control and pro- where “the Commander held court” or cedures. He has a tendency to rant a jazz club several blocks over called about the dangers of space travel and the Rue d’Auseil. The bartenders will colonization to anyone who asks fool- point to a corner table, designed to ish questions. Higgins does have a seat eight, where Commander Ros- strong respect for authority, but be- lin sat for ten hours a day, reading lieves that authority without experi- the news, drinking, and talking with ence is a dangerous proposition. crewmembers. Throughout the day, crew members would come to him, Attributes: Awr 3, Clv 4, Dem 3, Gra 2, and ask for permission to do differ- Psv 3, Phy 3 ent activities or to be issued pay. The Health: 10 bartenders noted that there seemed Key Skills: Computer 4, Guns: Pistol 1, to be a bartering system, where the Law 3, Notice 3, Survival 2 crewmembers would need to provide Armor: Flak Jacket (5/2) something to the commander or make Weapons: ACC-62 Bandit (3d6) some kind of promise before being au- thorized or issued pay. It stood out to The Deimos Hotel them as very odd. The last two nights The Deimos Hotel is a nice, but not that Roslin was at the Lounge, a rat- luxurious, hotel which primarily serves faced man came to see him. He spoke ship’s officers and mid-level corporate with the commander for about twenty managers. It is a business hotel rather minutes and then they departed to- than a tourist one. There is very little gether. automation, due to the pressing need for jobs on Mars. At any time, there is If the Wardens request it, secu- a minimum of two concierges on duty rity footage from the lounge can be 37Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • viewed to watch Commander Roslin Visiting the club during the daytime, with the crewmembers and his un- the Characters will find it nearly aban- named guest. Digital stills can be doned. There is a small team of janito- transferred to a wristcomp. To transfer rial staff cleaning, and four bar-backs the entire security file will take an Av- working to restock the bar and kitchen erage Persuade Test. The Warden’s au- before the evening shift arrives. Show- thority will provide one free Success, if ing pictures of Commander Roslin will the characters show their badges. (See result in blank stares and no answers. below for more information on Social The rat-faced man will be identified as Tests and Legwork). Jackie Criswell. He is a regular guest and a friend of the manager. Rue d’Auseil At the height of the Mariner Valley Visiting in the evening, the club is colony, the Rue d’Auseil was a lively busy, though not packed. There are jazz club. In the years following the two bouncers working the door. The economic collapse, the owner began bouncers won’t allow anyone inside to try and borrow his way out of debt, with obvious weapons or body armor, finally ending up owing more than the though a knife or pistol under a coat club was worth to the local mafia. The is fine. Inside, a live band plays jazz mafiosos made a deal, give them all mixed with a little bit of monologuing of the profits and run it their way, and from the lead singer. There is a small they would let him stay on to collect dancefloor where patrons are groov- a small salary and manage everything. ing. Looking around the club (An Av- The local Warden outpost is aware of erage Notice Test), the Characters will this, but since it isn’t anything super- spot Criswell at the bar talking with natural, they let it be. If the Characters the bartenders as they work. ask the Warden outpost about the Rue d’Auseil, they will be told that it Criswell will not want to leave the is a mafia-front for money launder- club with the Characters, especially if ing, gambling, and drugs. There are they identify themselves as Wardens. hundreds of patrons each week, who They can choose to arrest him, but will don’t know about the mafia influence have to tell him why. Alternatively, the and are not involved in the gambling Intimidation or Persuade Skills may or drug trade. convince Criswell to talk with them in the back room of the club. Any active Identifying themselves as Wardens, violence against Criswell in the club will immediately set the attitude of will attract the attention of the bounc- all the employees to Unfriendly. (See ers. the Special Notes in this section and p. 80 for more details on Attitude.) The Interrogating Criswell – either po- Characters making it clear that they litely or through more direct means don’t care about the mafia activities, – will get Criswell to tell them that will begin to salvage the situation and he worked as the intermediary for a a Persuade Test can set the attitude deal between the Miners Guild and back to Ambivalent. Commander Roslin. The Chiron sta-Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • tion was being sent a supply of “Sub- Bouncers stance Thirteen.” It is illegal to possess These guys are what one might ex- on Mars, but the outer worlds and pect from a mafia-fronted club. corporate colonies haven’t prohibited it. The drug increases the metabo- Attributes: Awr 3, Clv 2, Dem 3, Gra 4, lism rate of the user for several hours, Psv 3, Phy 3 meaning they are more productive at Health: 10 physical tasks. The downside is that Key Skills: Guns: Pistols 2, Hand Weap- the drug makes the user exceptionally ons: Blades 2, Notice 4, Unarmed Com- tired afterwards so they sleep for ten bat 3 to twelve hours. The Miners Guild uses Armor: Flak Jacket (5/2) the drug to keep remote populations Weapons: Knife (1d6) under control, and limit risk of mutiny. Criswell doesn’t have any more of it, Research on “Substance Thirteen” he sent all four cases with Roslin and (an Average Computer or Hard Inves- Adar. Because drug trafficking isn’t tigate Test) supports Criswell’s claims. part of the Warden mission, he hopes The drug is illegal in the Inner System, that telling them will get the Wardens though prosecution from Mars out- to leave him be. As a bag runner for ward is almost non-existent. The side- the Mafia, he has enough legal ties to effects besides exhaustion, include beat the drug charges since there is no black-outs, amnesia, and sleep walk- proof that he ever had the drugs in his ing. possession. Special Notes Jackie Criswell During investigations, there will A rat-faced Caucasian man, Criswell often be a lot of talking with various is a bag-runner for the local mafia. He is people. Depending on the preference also secretly a member of the Children of the GM and players, this legwork of the Void, a murderous cult. Using – where the characters talk with con- his underworld connections, Criswell tacts and informants – can be done has managed to begin adding special in-character through roleplaying or substances into various drugs. None of by making Social Tests. While roleplay- the patrons or employees of the Rue ing is encouraged, the Social Combat d’Auseil know of his connection to the system is provided for groups that do Children. not have players who enjoy all of the talking, or for players who may trip Attributes: Awr 4, Clv 4, Dem 3, Gra 3, over their own words in ways that their Psv 2, Phy 3 Characters would not. Health: 10 Key Skills: Deception 4, Fraternize 3, Most NPCs begin at a Ambivalent Hand Weapons: Blades 2, Intimidate 2, attitude, though situational modifi- Occult 3 ers such as bias or previous violence Armor: None can change that. Page 80 has the list Weapons: Knife (1d6) of which skills can be used based on attitude. A streamlined way of do- 39Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • ing legwork is to have the Character sensation of drowning as the grav who is leading the discussion make a couch fills with fluid.The computer Test using the appropriate Social Skill screen above you displays a mes- against the base Difficulty. For every sage from Warden Command, Success equal to or over the Difficulty, “The nearest backup team is thir- they learn one additional piece of in- ty two days out from your call.” formation about the subject they were asking. With that final note, darkness Example: Andras is talking with the overtakes you. Bartender about Commander Roslin. He asks the bartender to describe his be- Behind the Scenes havior. She rolls 6d6 with three Success- There is very little to this scene. At es. The GM assigns an Average Difficulty its core, this scene is to teach the play- for the bartender’s attitude. Andreas will ers about long-term space travel. If the learn two facts about Commander Ros- Characters absolutely refuse to go into lin, one for the initial difficulty, and one stasis for the entire voyage, they can more for beating the Test by one Success. arrange for different transport, but it will take an extra week before the War- dens can arrange a shuttle with suffi- Next Stop, Chiron cient life support systems for the team to be in staterooms. At a Glance Armed with information about the The journey will take 84 days to Freighter, the Wardens arrange for complete, with the crew in gravstasis transport from Mars to Chiron. Due for seven days at the beginning and to the length of the journey, the only end of the journey for acceleration vessel they can secure quickly requires and deceleration. grav stasis. For the Players Danger on the Horizon Climbing into the grav couches, the crew helps you to attach the At a Glance The Wardens are awoken a few hours biomonitoring systems that will before arrival at Chiron. The transport watch as you are in stasis. They has slowed down to docking speed assure you that the systems are and is approaching the large asteroid. perfectly safe, running through an There is substantial debris trapped in internal script that they have told the gravity well of Chiron. thousands of passengers before you. For the Players Coming out of stasis, your body As the lid of the bed closes down aches as each muscle comes back over you, small lights turn on along to life with the sensation of pins the length of the bed. There is a and needles.There isn’t much timeGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • to adapt, as klaxons sound and through the debris and interfer- you feel the ship shake as some- ence. thing hits it. The voice of the cap- 5. The mining colony has sus- tain comes over the loudspeaker. tained substantial damage from the debris. “We are on final approach to 6. There are several hull breaches along the outer ring. Chiron. There is substantial debris. 7. The inner ring near the mine ap- Passengers please report to the pears to be undamaged. briefing room immediately. All crew 8. Primary power is offline begin decompression inspection.” throughout the station. In the Briefing Room An Average Engineer: Life Support Entering the large conference room, or Engineer: Power Systems Test will a viewscreen on the opposite wall tell the Characters that the mining col- shows a computer simulation of the ony should have backup generators vessel and Chiron. Debris from aster- in different sections that can be used oids is strewn across the thousand for short-term life support, while the miles between them. As the system primary generator is repaired. Many zooms in on the mining colony, the freighters have hand-crank generators computer dims the freighter docked to provide power for personal use if there and the majority of the station. ship-wide power is lost. There are no energy signatures com- ing from either. Attempts to hail the colony or the Pandora’s Hope return only static. Visu- Behind the Scenes al magnification shows the long range With the debris field, the crew will communication arrays have been de- be approaching very slowly to maneu- stroyed on the freighter, though short ver around the largest chunks. If the range communications should be pos- Characters request sensor sweeps or sible. Sensors are picking up a large specific information about the area, amount of radiation from the Hope, the crew will be able to determine the which could be interfering with com- following: munications. 1. The freighter docked at Chiron The captain will ask the Characters if is the Pandora’s Hope. they wish for the ship to dock, or to es- 2. The Hope is heavily damaged tablish an orbit above the colony and with multiple hull breaches. have the team do an EVA jump. Char- 3. It may still be pressurized inter- acters should remember the three nally if the crew was able to seal rules in the charter and, until they off the breaches. have ascertained what caused the 4. Primary engine systems are of- problems, presume that it will need to fline, but there is substantial be kept secret. If they choose to dock, radiation bleeding out. Back- the captain will obey the order but be up systems can’t be detected very cautious on the approach. 41Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • For an EVA jump, the vessel can ap- clearly labeled and do not re- proach the colony without docking. quire any technical knowledge From here, the characters will need to to operate. In combat though, make an Average Freefall Test to jump opening or closing a hatch across the gap and grab ahold of the takes an Involved Action. colony airlock. Cables can be used to create a tether line between Chiron Terror 101 and the vessel. If so, only the first War- den making the jump to secure the At a Glance tether needs to make the Freefall Test. Entering through the docking port, Anyone else can use the tether to pull there are no immediate signs of dan- themselves along the cable. Once ev- ger. Later into the colony, the Wardens eryone is secure on Chiron, the crew find corpses in partial vacsuits or with will disconnect the tether and back breathers on. All of the corpses have the vessel away to avoid the debris. been torn limb from limb. Aboard the colony, the loss of power For the Players has caused several obstacles which The colony is silent, except for the Characters will need to overcome. the sounds of breathing coming 1. The deck plates to stop provid- through the radio from your team. ing any sense of gravity. While Moving through the station, there working on Chiron, until power are no signs of damage or the min- is restored, Freefall Tests may be ers- – until you reach the habitat called for when traversing large ring. Here, miners are half into spaces, or performing complex vacsuits, and wearing emergency physical actions. breathers. It appears that there 2. There are no lights or life sup- was sudden decompression and port systems on-line. Spacesuits several of the miners were caught provide eight hours of breath- able air, which should be plenty in the vacuum. Looking closer, of time for the Wardens to scout many of the suits show punctures the area and determine if it is and the throats of several miners safe for their vessel to land. If were slit. The corpses are floating, the suit is breached, the inner preserved by the vacuum of space. suit will provide roughly one hour of breathable air. Addi- Behind the Scenes tional damage can reduce this When Pandora’s Hope docked, the time further. Because of only crew of the freighter was infected with the flashlights, GMs can apply Myriad (see p. 50) because of drug us- vision penalties for partial light- age. The myriad-infected crewmen ing. swarmed off the ship and began to 3. None of the hatches or door- slaughter all of the miners. During ways respond to the automatic their murderous rage, several small ex- sensors. Manual overrides are plosive devices caused emergency de-Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • compression. Damage response crews activated before the alarm could be Making Horror Tests sounded that the colony was under Facing horrifying or grue- attack. some scenes can require char- acters to make Horror Tests. This As the team moves through the is done by making a Persever- area, they will find extensive damage ance Attribute Test. Page 72 has to the outer surface of the colony. It a complete list of suggested is possible to seal several bulkheads Difficulties. Failing a Horror Test and block off areas that are exposed can result in momentary paraly- to vacuum. Until that happens, the life sis or on more serious failures, a support system will not be capable of need to flee the situation. re-establishing an atmosphere inside the colony. The lack of atmosphere is Example: Andras has come keeping the bodies from decompos- face to face with several miner’s ing, and has effectively freeze-dried all floating in zero-G, which have of them. been eviscerated. The GM de- cides the Difficulty of this Test is If the team searches the Habitat Easy. Andras rolls 4d6 and gets Ring for survivors and crew members, one Success. He has succeeded go to scene Any Survivors?. on the Horror Test and can act normally. If the team boards the Hope, go to scene The Other Survivors. Special Notes For the Players Each group will have their own Moving inward along the habitat threshold for the amount of gore and ring, you find something rather un- viscera that they prefer. If this is the expected – a sealed door with the first time the group has played in a pressure gauge showing green. On horror setting, the GM should gauge the other side is a sustained habi- the player’s reactions while describing tat. Looking at the colony map on violence and horror. It is important to not push too far beyond the comfort your HUD, the next room should levels of the player group. be a storage area, connected to the kitchen. Any Survivors? Behind the Scenes When the security force was overrun At a Glance and there were murderous psycho- The team finds a small group of sur- paths running amok, the galley crew vivors who have locked themselves gathered everyone who was eating in to the kitchen and storerooms. The and pulled them into the kitchen. From survivors are emotionally rattled and there, they manually sealed the doors at the edge of their sanity. and barred them so the hatches could 43Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • not be opened manually from the out first sealing the area will result in other side. For the last three months, sudden decompression of the storage they have been hiding here. They have area and galley. This will kill the survi- used hand-crank generators, taking vors as they do not have breathers or shifts, to keep enough power for the space suits. refrigeration systems and life support. The twelve survivors have been living Special Notes on stores designed to feed 200 people. This can be a socially heavy scene. Refer to p. 80 as needed to review in- The problem is that the survivors formation about Social Combat. All are all on the edge of a psychotic of the survivors are no longer well break from being locked in a confined and will need extensive psychologi- space. Add to that the horrors seen cal counseling to be brought back to just before coming in, the lack of any normal. If the Characters choose to cut response from calls for help, and you through the hatch, have them make a find a group ripe for madness. Once Hard Horror Test as they realize what they sealed the doors, the galley chief they’ve done. refused to open them for any reason. First there was banging and scream- The Other Survivors ing, then the pressure sensor regis- tered a vacuum. The screams stopped, At a Glance but there was still banging and scrap- The crewmembers of the Hope are ing against the door. The galley chief no longer what they appear to be. said it was the monsters – men who Beyond the infected crew, a Karrak’in had succumbed to space madness, (see p. 52) has begun eating through trying to break in. sections of the hull and made a nest for itself. By the time the Characters have arrived on scene, the survivors are a For the Players wreck. They are all still alive, but will Approaching the docking bay not respond to banging on the door and will begin to panic. Short range where the Hope is berthed, the comunications are impossible be- signs of violence become even cause of the radiation coming from stronger. Viscera floats in the Pandora’s Hope, but the Wardens can vacuum, and there are dozens of re-establish the atmosphere in one of corpses in the hallways. Some ap- the adjacent rooms to the survivors. pear to have taken their masks off Once pressure has been re-estab- and begun feeding on the entrails lished, sound will carry through the of their victims – not realizing that walls. If this is done, the Characters they were suffocating in the void can make Persuade Tests to talk with of space. In the airlock, two bodies the survivors and explain the situation. Alternatively, they can cut through the float limply. Something appears to doors if they have the appropriate have melted their spacesuits from tools. Cutting through the doors, with- the inside, spreading from sternumGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • all the way down to a knee. With will simply keep eating. When pro- the suit eaten away, you can see voked, they release a chemical sig- organs and bone clearly visible nal an shriek which causes all of the within the cavity that used to be Karrak’in to destroy all living creatures their body. other than themselves. The upside is that the Wardens could try to provoke Behind the Scenes the Karrak’in and then flee, and have Moving aboard the ship, it will be- the creatures attack the infected crew. come immediately obvious that some- (Presuming they can reach the ship...) thing went horribly wrong on the freighter. Several of the grav couches Special Notes have been damaged with cracks and Inevitably, there will be conflict and burn marks as if large hammers and combat. Combat is broken in to rounds acetylene torches were taken to the to codify the process. At the beginning beds. There are still the corpses of crew of the round, every Character should members inside many of the beds. The roll Initiative. The GM rolls initiative for myriad-infected crew are adapted all of the bad guys or monsters in an to very low-levels of oxygen, and are encounter. Write down the initiative primarily feeding off the corpses to order from highest to lowest. This is get the necessary amino acids and the order everyone will act in the com- proteins to keep alive. Some of the life bat round. Finally, everyone takes their support systems are still functioning actions. to refill air tanks, which keeps the in- fected crew moving. During combat, every Character may take a Free Action, a Simple Ac- As the Characters begin to move tion, and an Involved Action. After through the ship, the Hope’s crew will every Character and enemy has acted, start to rally and attack the Wardens. repeat the process, roll Initiative, take Actions. (See p. 78 for more detailed The infected crew attacks like a ra- information on Combat.) bid swarm, with improvised knives, clubs, and spears. (Treat all damage as Characters also have Nixes and Fate 1d6, expect for special attacks) Many Points. Nixes can be used to re-roll any of the tools look like sections of the single Test. Fate Points are for Charac- ship have been ripped apart to create ters to use to save their lives in the face them. of certain death. For full rules on Nixes see page 92. Fate Points are discussed Beyond the infected crew, there are in full on page 93. several Karrak’in aboard the ship. They have been slowly eating their way Calling for Help across the freighter and have not in- teracted with the infected crew at all. At a Glance If no hostile actions are taken against It’s time for the Characters to report them, the huge spider-like creatures back what they have found. Options 45Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • range from restoring communications Making Combat Tests on Chiron, to using the transport’s • Initiative: Awareness + communication system. Reaction • Attack: (Weapon Skill) + Behind the Scenes (Linked Attribute) This scene doesn’t have specific • Defense: Grace + Defense text to be read aloud to the players because of the broad range of op- If the total of an Attack roll is tions. There are three basic options for equal to or higher than the De- communicating back to Warden Com- fense roll of the target, the at- mand: using the transport which the tack is successful. The more that wardens travelled on, using Chiron’s an Attack roll beat the Defense, communication system, or the Hope’s the more damage is done. The system. Each has their own trials and difference between the rolls is tribulations. called the Damage Bonus. The Transport • Doing Damage: (Weapon If the transport did not dock, the Damage) + Damage Bo- Characters will need to get back nus – Target’s Armor. aboard somehow. Their short range communications are being jammed Example: Alexis and Andras are because of the background radia- sparring, with full contact. They tion from the Hope’s reactor. Shutting roll Initiative, and Alexis gets one down the reactor will re-enable short Success, while Andras gets two. range communications. Otherwise, they will need to do another EVA jump Andras attacks first, because from Chiron to the ship. This is a Hard his initiative is higher. He uses his Freefall Test because of the debris and sparring knife and gets three Suc- the higher orbit which the transport of cesses. (Hand Weapons: Blades 2 hovering in. + Grace 5 = 7d6) Alexis attempts to dodge the blow and gets 1 Once on board, they can either use Success on her Defense. (Defense the bridge communication system, 2 + Grace 3 = 5d6). His attack which is in full view of the captain and was successful, and he earns a crew, to discuss matters with Warden Damage Bonus of 2 dice. Andras command, or send a message packet rolls 1d6 of damage for his blade, which will have a lag time in the mes- +2 dice for the Damage Bonus, sage. The message packet will, if all +1 die for his Physique, and -10 goes well, be answered in a few hours. points for Alexis’ armored coat. A Persuade Test can also be made to (3d6 = 14) Andras does 4 points of convince the Captain and his crew to damage to Alexis. leave the bridge while the Characters speak to Warden command. It is likely It is now Alexis’ turn to act. that the crew will have an unpleasant reaction if they learn the truth.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Chiron’s Communication System Warden Command will remind the The long-range communications characters to contain the creatures array is functional, but it doesn’t have aboard Pandora’s Hope and provide any power. When the Hope docked, it a cover story to the survivors aboard appears that the crew sabotaged the Chiron. If the Characters cannot come power relays. The primary generator up with anything, Captain Dearborn will need to bypass the damaged sec- will suggest a variation on the truth tions. This can be done with the spare – the crew suffered a psychotic break parts that were being transported on brought on by illegal narcotics. While the Hope, and a Hard Engineering: tragic, it was no different than an ad- Power Systems Test. It will take several dict on a rampage on Earth. hours to complete the bypass, then build up power in the reactor. Any sec- They are ordered to move any corps- tions that are sealed from the vacuum es of the miners or crewmembers on of space, will also pressurize and the to the freighter before releasing the gravplates will activate in sections that survivors, to avoid any possible con- are not bypassed. tamination or infection. Repairing the Freighter Special Notes Presuming the Characters have The infection can serve as a jump- managed to clear out the infected ing point for continued missions or crew members and Karrak’in aboard investigations for the Warden team. the Pandora’s Hope, there will be little Additional investigation into how the stopping them from ransacking the infection spread can be found in the ship’s holds for spare parts to fix the re- freighter’s logs. The First Officer spread actor. The long-range communications a few doses out amongst the crew, to array has been destroyed aboard the see how ship performance would be freighter, presumably by the Karrak’in. affected or improved. Unfortunately, The freighter’s transit drive though is there were Myriads (see page 50) in strong enough to leave Chiron and suspension within the drug. The drug make the journey back to Mars, or the has markings of the Cult of the Void, nearby Saturn and Uranus. To repair and it appears that someone within the fusion reactor shielding requires a the Martian underworld has joined Hard Engineering: Power Systems Test. with the cult. This connection can take Alternately, they can eject the fusion the Wardens back to Mars, to speak reactor into space with the emergency with Jackie Criswell and launch a long- systems. The downside to this, is that term campaign investigating the cult. without the fusion reactor, the freight- er will not have power for life support As a GM, foreshadowing events and systems and be incapable of pushing connecting things across missions, off the surface of Chiron. provides an overarching storyline and vision. While the events do not need Once the Wardens have restored to have blatant ties, hinting at them communications, they can call for and then allowing realization later will backup and report what happened. make the game more cohesive. 47Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Heading Home The Miner’s Guild is also sending out a new batch of miners and re- At a Glance pair technicians to restore the Chi- With communications restored, the ron base. It was requested that our Miner’s Guild sends out a repair team assets be removed before they ar- to fix the habitat. The Wardens are told rive – that means you have three to vacate before they arrive. A Warden- days to wrap anything up that you approved crew is dispatched to fly the freighter out, and the Characters are have left and get moving.We don’t called back for their next assignment. even want residual transit traces left for them to complain about. For the Players Thank you.” You receive a message from Captain Dearborn after he has With that, the message termi- had a chance to review the infor- nates. mation you transmitted to Warden Behind the Scenes command. He looks tired and has This is the end of the assignment. reading glasses on. If the Characters have anything they want to do on the mining base, or ad- “Well done Wardens. Seal the ditional hooks added by the game- hatches to the Hope and return master – such as what is in the mine to Mars for debriefing. I have ex- – now is the time to address them, and pedited a recovery team from the then get back for their next assign- Umbrella, to collect the freighter. ment. A Quick Note about the Characters There are four Characters included for this adventure – two Warden En- forcers, one Warden Investigator, and one Warden Researcher. However, they all each have other important roles as well. • In addition to being the Researcher, Phillip Boganda is the group’s doctor and engineer. He knows how to keep things, both animate and inanimate, running. • Alexis Vasquez is designed to be a straight-forward soldier. • Andras Votova is an agile fighter with some social skills and street smarts. • In addition to being the Investigator, Wei Li is socially capable and also the crew’s pilot. He also knows how to blow things up.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • 49Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Myriad “The whispers… they speak to you care more than anyone the host has too, don’t they? They didn’t make sense known before in their lives. Then, as at first, but they became clearer and the Myriad acclimate, the voices speak more entrancing as time went by. What to the glories about to unfold before glories have they asked you to perform? the faithful. While the Myriad can nev- How have you shown your love for the er completely take over their hosts, one who sleeps below? No. they can convince even the most No! No! I can see it in your strong-willed person to commit eyes, they don’t speak horrifying acts of depravity to you. You’re not in service to their unknown one of the chosen. masters. Not yet, anyway. Let me show This alone would them to you…” make the Myriad threat enough for - Final video re- humanity, but cording of an inter- they will not allow rogation of a murder sus- themselves to be pect on Titania. Neither caught. In such an the suspect nor the inter- event, the creatures rogator have ever been convert the energy seen again. in the host body, forcing it to be- Not all monsters come a dread- shamble through ful protoplas- the night with claws mic blob. If and horns. One of this wasn’t the most insidious bad enough, threats to humanity so the process far is a creature no larger of convert- than a blood cell. The Myr- ing the body iad seep into the blood turns it incred- stream of unsuspecting ibly acidic. The hosts and multiply until Myriad will attack they are able to influence anyone in the vi- the mind of their new cinity as long their puppet. To the victim, physical form re- it starts with whispers, mains intact. soft voices at the edges of the room. Mak- ing no sense at first, they seem toGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Myriad Game Statistics Size: Microscopic Habitat: Atmosphere of Uranus Average Attributes: Awareness 3 Grace 3 (as Blob) Cleverness 5 Perseverance 6 Demeanor 3 Physique 6 (as Blob) Average Statistics: Health As Form, 15 as Blob (15/30/45/60) Speed As Form, 18 mph as Blob Skills: As Host Weapons: As Host, Blob (8d6) Armor: As Host, Blob (15/7) Horror Factor: Average Special Abilities: • Adaptable – Myriad can survive in cold environments with thin atmo- spheres, like Uranus or Neptune, as well as Earth-like atmospheres. • Infection – A potential host must succeed at a Hard Perseverance Test when exposed to the Myriad. Once infected, the host must succeed at an Aver- age Perseverance Test to resist compulsion each day. The Difficulty for this Test increases to Hard after one week and to Legendary after two weeks. There is no known cure for Myriad infection. • Protoplasmic Blob – If a Myriad host is threatened and is forced to reveal itself, it will covert its host to a acidic protoplasmic blob. Anything that touches it takes the listed damage above. Myriad can convert back to their normal host form when the danger is gone. 51Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Karrak’in Game Statistics Size: 3’ across, 40 lbs. 1 m across, 18 kg Habitat: Space – Asteroids, Moons Average Attributes: Awareness 3 Grace 5 Cleverness 1 Perseverance 7 Demeanor 2 Physique 4 Average Statistics: Health 16 (16/32/48/64) Speed 18 mph Skills: Athletics: Brawn 3, Athletics: Coordination 3, Athletics: Fitness 3, De- fense 3, Freefall 3, Natural Weapons 2, Notice 2, Reaction 3, Stealth 3, Survival 2 Weapons: Bite (6d6 + Poison) Armor: Chitin (10/5) Horror Factor: Average Special Abilities: • Climber (x2) – Karrak’in can climb twice as fast as they can run on flat sur- faces, and can cling to sheer surfaces like an insect. • Hallucinatory Poison – Any Karrak’in bite that does damage to a person will deliver this poison. The victim must succeed at a Hard Perseverance Test. Those affected by the poison will soon begin to suffer mild hallucinations, which will ramp up to full-blown dissociative waking nightmares within an hour or so. Such victims will have difficulty making rational decisions or discerning friend from foe. This poison flushes from a person’s system in six hours – if he can survive that long. • Infrared Senses – Karrak’in can sense in the dark. • Void Dweller – Karrak’in can survive in thin atmospheres or the vacuum of open space. 53Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Phillip Boganda Ethnicity: African Homeworld: Europa – Europans are often careful, thoughtful, intellectual people, who are also quite curious. Age: 34 Profession: Warden Researcher Physical Description: Bald, Brown Eyes, Tall Personality Traits: Focused, Strange Attributes: Awareness 4 Statistics: Cleverness 5 Health 9 Demeanor 2 Speed 10 mph Grace 4 Walk 8 yd/turn Perseverance 3 Run 25 yd/turn Physique 2 Special: Fate Points1 Skills: Skill (Attribute) Rating/Pool Bureaucracy (Clv) 2/7 Communications (Clv) 1/6 Computers (Clv) 1/6 Cryptozoology (Clv) 2/7 Defense (Gra) 2/6 Drive: Wheeled (Gra) 1/6 Engineer: Basic Drives (Clv) 3/8 Engineer: Electrical (Clv) 2/7 Engineer: Life Support (Clv) 3/8 Engineer: Power Systems (Clv) 3/8 Qualities: Engineer: Transit Drive (Clv) 2/7 Double-Jointed Guns: Handgun (Gra) 2/6 Dream Void Investigate (Awr) 2/6 Internal Clock Language: English (Clv) 3/8 Luck (3) Language: Mandarin Chinese (Clv) 2/7 Phobia (Vacuum) Law (Clv) 2/7 Medicine: Physical (Clv) 3/8 Quirks: Medicine: Psychological (Clv) 2/7 Bartending (Clv) 2/7 Occult (Clv) 3/8 Whistle in Tune (Awr) 2/6 Reaction (Awr) 2/6 Science: Earth (Clv) 2/7 Talents: Science: Life (Clv) 2/7 Choose either: Deeply Weird or Know Where Your Towel Is Weapons: ACC-62 Bandit Pistol – 3d6 Damage, Mag. 9 Armor: Damage: Warden Armor (10/5) 01-09: Bruised (-1 to all Actions) 10-18: Battered (-2 to all Actions) 19-27: Hurt (-4 to all Actions, Half Movement) 28-36: Incapacitated (Unconscious) 37+: DeadGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Alexis Vasquez Ethnicity: Mexican Homeworld: Mars – Martians are often hardy and resourceful people, though somewhat resigned about life – possibly even bitter. Age: 29 Profession: Warden Enforcer Physical Description: Brown Hair, Brown Eyes, Muscular Personality Traits: Determined, Self-Righteous Attributes: Statistics: Awareness 4 Health 12 Cleverness 2 Speed 16 mph Demeanor 2 Walk 13 yd/turn Grace 3 Run 40 yd/turn Perseverance 5 Physique 4 Special: Fate Points1 Skills: Skill (Attribute) Rating/Pool Athletics: Fitness (Psv) 2/7 Communications (Clv) 2/4 Computers (Clv) 2/4 Defense (Gra) 2/5 Drive: Tracked (Gra) 1/4 Environmental Suit (Awr) 2/6 Hand Weapons: Blades (Gra) 3/6 Guns: Assault Weapons (Awr) 2/6 Guns: Handgun (Awr) 3/7 Guns: Longarms (Awr) 3/7 Heavy Weapons: Portable Artillery (Awr) 2/6 Qualities: Intimidation (Dem) 3/5 Fast Investigate (Awr) 2/6 Gifted Metabolism Language: English (Clv) 3/5 Nightvision Law (Clv) 2/4 Arrogant Notice (Awr) 3/7 Tormented Occult (Clv) 1/3 Orienteering (Awr) 3/7 Reaction (Awr) 3/7 Quirks: Stealth (Gra) 2/5 Juggling (Gra) 2/5 Tactics: Military (Clv) 1/3 Recite Movie Quotes (Clv) 2/7 Weapons: ACC-62 Bandit Pistol– 3d6 Damage, Mag. 9 Talents: Combat Shotgun – 5d6 Damage, Mag. 6 Choose either: Born in Freefall SM-12 Hornet SMG – 4d6 Damage, Mag. 16, Auto 3 (8 rounds) or Snake Eyes Combat Knife– 1d6 Damage Armor: Damage: Warden Armor (10/5) 01-12: Bruised (-1 to all Actions) 13-24: Battered (-2 to all Actions) 25-36: Hurt (-4 to all Actions, Half Movement) 37-48: Incapacitated (Unconscious) 49+: Dead 55Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Andras Kotova Ethnicity: Russian Homeworld: Ganymede – Ganymedans are often extro- verted and clever, no strangers to the ebbs and flows of nearly any strata of society. They are often also known for thinking several steps ahead and nearly always trying to work an angle. Age: 30 Profession: Warden Enforcer Physical Description: Black Hair, Hazel Eyes, Brooding Personality Traits: Cynical, Humorless Attributes: Statistics: Awareness 4 Health 10 Cleverness 2 Speed 16 mph Demeanor 4 Walk 13 yd/turn Grace 5 Run 40 yd/turn Perseverance 2 Physique 3 Special: Fate Points1 Skills: Skill (Attribute) Rating/Pool Athletics: Coordination (Gra) 2/7 Cryptozoology (Clv) 3/5 Deception (Dem) 2/6 Defense (Gra) 3/8 Drive: Military (Gra) 1/6 Drive: Wheeled (Gra) 1/6 Environmental Suit (Awr) 1/5 Fraternize (Dem) 2/6 Qualities: Freefall (Gra) 1/6 Nightvision Guns: Assault Weapons (Awr) 2/6 Rapid Recovery Guns: Handguns (Awr) 3/7 Darkness Magnet Guns: Longarms (Awr) 2/6 Tough (2) Guns: Special (Awr) 2/6 Vengeful Hand Weapons: Blades (Gra) 2/7 Heavy Weapons: Launchers (Awr) 2/6 Insight (Awr) 1/5 Quirks: Language: English (Clv) 3/5 Clean Spotlessly (Gra) 2/6 Law (Clv) 1/3 Car Knowledge (Clv) 2/4 Notice (Awr) 3/7 Reaction (Awr) 3/7 Stealth (Gra) 3/8 Talents: Streetwise (Dem) 3/7 Choose either: Double Tap or Tactics: Military (Clv) 1/3 Killer Instinct Weapons: ACC-62 Bandit Pistol– 3d6 Damage, Mag. 9 Armor: Combat Shotgun – 5d6 Damage, Mag. 6 Warden Armor (10/5) SM-12 Hornet SMG – 4d6 Damage, Mag. 16, Auto 3 (8 rounds) Flamethrower – 5d6 Damage, Mag. 15 Combat Knife– 1d6 Damage Damage: 01-14: Bruised (-1 to all Actions) 15-28: Battered (-2 to all Actions) 29-42: Hurt (-4 to all Actions, Half Movement) 43-56: Incapacitated (Unconscious) 57+: DeadGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Wei Li Ethnicity: Chinese Homeworld: Uranus – Uranians are often hard-working and tenacious, but are distrustful of newcomers and in the habit of watching their backs. Age: 33 Profession: Warden Investigator Physical Description: Black Hair, Brown Eyes, Stylish Personality Traits: Pragmatic, Unreadable Attributes: Statistics: Awareness 4 Health 10 Cleverness 4 Speed 14 mph Demeanor 2 Walk 11.5 yd/turn Grace 4 Run 35 yd/turn Perseverance3 Physique 3 Special: Fate Points1 Skills: Skill (Attribute) Rating/Pool Communications (Clv) 2/6 Computers (Clv) 2/6 Cryptozoology (Clv) 2/6 Defense (Gra) 2/6 Explosives (Clv) 2/6 Environmental Suit (Awr) 1/5 Freefall (Gra) 1/5 Guns: Handguns (Gra) 2/6 Qualities: Hand Weapons: Blades (Gra) 2/6 Common Sense Insight (Awr) 1/5 Eidetic Memory Investigate (Awr) 3/7 Peripheral Vision Language: English (Clv) 3/7 Persistent Injury (1) Language: Mandarin Chinese (Clv) 2/6 Law (Clv) 2/6 Quirks: Notice (Awr) 3/7 Identify Spices (Clv) 2/6 Occult (Clv) 2/6 Video Games (Awr) 2/6 Odd Jobs (Variable) 2 Persuade (Dem) 2/4 Pilot: Atmospheric (Gra) 1/5 Talents: Pilot: Spacecraft (Awr) 2/6 Either: Don’t I Know You or Reaction (Awr) 2/6 Wicked Smart Research (Clv) 2/6 Stealth (Gra) 2/6 Surveillance (Clv) 1/6 Armor: Warden Armor (10/5) Weapons: ACC-62 Bandit Pistol– 3d6 Damage, Mag. 9 Combat Knife– 1d6 Damage Damage: 01-10: Bruised (-1 to all Actions) 11-20: Battered (-2 to all Actions) 21-30: Hurt (-4 to all Actions, Half Movement) 31-40: Incapacitated (Unconscious) 41+: Dead 57Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • 4 Characters Your Character is your fictional in- Cleverness terface with the setting of The Void. Cleverness is a measure of a Char- This section will give you an overview acter’s intellect, ability to learn, and of what goes into Characters, as they memory. Cleverness is used for any pertain to the four Wardens presented learned Skill, including those that are in these Quick-Start Rules. technical and scientific in nature. Attributes Demeanor Attributes are a measure of your Demeanor is a measure of a Char- Character’s innate abilities and ca- acter’s social ability and force of per- pabilities. Each Character has six and sonality. It is not necessarily a measure they are rated on a scale from 1 to 5. of beauty or charm, which are better A rating of 1 is considered challenged, reflected by a Character’s Qualities, while a rating of 2 or 3 is average, and Skills, and Talents. Demeanor is used a rating of 5 is quite amazing. for any social Skill. Awareness Grace Awareness is a measure of a Charac- Grace is a measure of a Character’s ter’s sense acuity, keenness of percep- agility, manual dexterity, and finesse. tion, and intuition. Awareness is used Grace is used for any Skill that requires for any Skill requiring attentiveness, as bodily control, including those that in- well as for effectively utilizing ranged volve fighting in close quarters or get- weapons. ting out of harm’s way.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Perseverance Perseverance is a measure of a Char- Characters At a Glance acter’s endurance, stamina, and will- Attributes power. Perseverance is used for any • Rated on a scale of 1 to 5. taxing physical Skill, as well as to resist • A rating of 1 is severely chal- the effects of the horrible things that lenged, 2 or 3 is average, and Characters might experience. 5 is quite amazing. • Awareness = sense acuity, Physique keenness of perception, and Physique is a measure of a Charac- intuition. ter’s strength and physical might. Phy- • Cleverness = intellect, ability sique is used for lifting heavy things, to learn, and memory. restraining people, and anything else • Demeanor = social ability and that requires raw physical power. force of personality. • Grace = agility, manual dex- Statistics terity, and finesse. Statistics are a few other important • Perseverance = endurance, details about your Character that are stamina, and willpower. derived from his Attributes. They in- • Physique = strength and clude how fast he moves, as well as physical might. how much punishment he can take. Statistics Health • Health is your Character’s lev- Health is a measure of a Character’s el of wellness and vitality. overall level of wellness and vitality. It • Speed is how fast your Char- represents how much physical punish- acter can move. ment he can take before he expires. Skills Speed • Skills are those things in Speed is a measure of how fast your which your Character has Character can move when the time been trained or educated. comes. • Rated on a scale from 1 to 5. • A rating of 1 is considered a student, 3 is considered pro- Skills fessional, and 5 is mastery. Skills are those things in which a Character has been trained or edu- cated. Each Skill represents a body of knowledge or a type of training in considered students, while those with which your Character has ability. Ev- a rating of 3 are considered competent ery Character starts with a number of professionals, and those with a rating different Skills, each rated on a scale of 5 have mastered the Skill in ques- from 1 to 5. Those with a rating of 1 are tion. 59Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • The list of Skills relevant to the Char- The list of Qualities relevant to the acters presented in these Quick-Start Characters presented in these Quick- Rules can be found on p. 62. Start Rules can be found on p. 65. There are three Skills that are impor- Talents tant for your Character’s ultimate sur- Characters also develop, most es- vival and every Character is given the pecially during play, special action- opportunity to acquire them during oriented abilities called Talents. These Character Creation. They are Defense, abilities might be something that al- which is used to avoid harm in com- lows your Character to attack twice bat, Notice, which is used to identify for a single action or that provides bo- harm before it has a chance to come, nuses to special social Skill Tests. Some and Reaction, which is used to deter- Talents are in play all the time, while mine when your Character can act in others must be Triggered (see p. 72). combat. The list of Talents relevant to the Qualities Characters presented in these Quick- Qualities are both good and bad Start Rules can be found on on p. 67. things that affect a Character’s every- day life and game play, but which can’t Quirks be easily defined as an Attribute or a Introducing quirky elements to Skill. There are two types of Qualities. Characters, especially ones that might Advantages are positive traits, while have use in the game from time to Disadvantages are negative traits.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • time, can foster a richer roleplay ex- perience. Characters have from two Characters At a Glance to five Quirks, each at a Skill rating Qualities of 2. These Quirks are often personal • Qualities are both good and in nature – perhaps even a hobby or bad things that affect a Char- kind of trivia – but the kind of things acter’s life. you may actually see using from • Advantages are positive time to time. traits. • Disadvantages are negative Special traits. There is one other piece to your Character that doesn’t fit neatly into Talents the other categories: Fate Points. • Talents are special action-ori- ented abilities. Fate Points Characters also have Fate Points, Quirks which are designed to keep them • Quirks are personal elements alive. Fate Points can be used to that foster a richer experi- catch a break when facing certain ence. death, or used to cancel a deadly at- • Characters have between 2 tack and heal them to keep fighting. and 5. Your Character begins with one Fate Point. Special • Fate Points are designed to keep Characters alive. • Characters start with 1. 61Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • 5 Skills:Qualities:Talents Skills Tactics: Military (Cleverness) Skills are the useful things your This skill covers understanding how to Character has learned how to do. They coordinate fighting forces on land or are listed here in alphabetical order, in the air. according to the type of skill. Each is listed with its most commonly used appropriate Attribute. Knowledge Skills Investigate (Awareness) Combat Skills This skill covers understanding how to Defense (Grace) look for evidence, clues, and informa- This skill covers being capable of tion trails, as well as how to analyze avoiding harm in conflict situations. data for meaningful patterns. Guns: Assault Weapons (Awareness) Language (Cleverness) This skill covers being capable of firing This skill covers being capable of submachine guns and assault rifles. speaking languages other than one’s native tongue. Choose one per skill, Guns: Handguns (Awareness) most prevalent being English and This skill covers being capable of firing Mandarin Chinese. pistols. Occult (Cleverness) Guns: Longarms (Awareness) This skill covers understanding the se- This skill covers being capable of firing cret and hidden world. rifles and shotguns. Research (Cleverness) Guns: Special (Awareness) This skill covers understanding how This skill covers being capable of firing and where to search for desired and exotic weapons, like flamethrowers. accurate information. Hand Weapons: Blades (Grace) This skill covers being capable of fight- Physical Skills ing with bladed weapons. Athletics: Coordination (Grace) Heavy Weapons: Launchers This skill covers being capable of ath- (Awareness) letic feats based primarily on agility This skill covers being capable of firing training. grenade and rocket launchers. Athletics: Fitness (Perseverance) Reaction (Grace) This skill covers being capable of ath- This skill covers being capable of effec- letic feats based primarily on endur- tively reacting when danger presents ance training. itself.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Freefall (Grace) Science: Earth (Cleverness) This skill covers being capable of func- This skill covers understanding the tioning effectively in microgravity or factors behind planetary formation zero-G. and planetary cycles. Scientific Skills Science: Life (Cleverness) This skill covers understanding the bi- Cryptozoology (Cleverness) ological factors behind all kinds of life This skill covers understanding unnat- and how life is sustained. ural creatures. Social Skills Medicine: Physical (Cleverness) Deception (Demeanor) This skill covers understanding how to This skill covers being capable of lying, diagnose and treat injury and illness in spinning half-truths, or conversation- people. ally steering away from tough topics or questions. Medicine: Psychological (Clever- ness) Fraternize (Demeanor) This skill covers understanding how This skill covers being capable of to diagnose and treat behavioral and blending into social functions and cir- mental disorders. cles of all kinds. 63Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Insight (Awareness) Technical Skills This skill covers being capable of dis- Communications (Cleverness) cerning other people’s personalities This skill covers understanding how and motivations. to use and foil advanced communica- tions equipment. Intimidation (Demeanor) This skill covers being capable of cow- Computers (Cleverness) ing another person either through This skill covers understanding how to browbeating of physical intimidation. use computers and, at higher levels, program them to do what you want Persuade (Demeanor) them to do. This skill covers being capable of con- vincing people to agree with you or do Engineer: Basic Drive (Cleverness) what you want. This skill covers understanding how to design and repair basic spaceship Surreptitious Skills drives. Streetwise (Demeanor) Engineer: Electrical (Cleverness) This skill covers being capable of sur- This skill covers understanding how to viving on the streets and navigating design and repair electrical systems. the shadier side of society. Engineer: Life Support (Cleverness) Surveillance (Cleverness) This skill covers understanding how to This skill covers understanding how to design and repair life support systems. observe the movements and actions of a subject, without him knowing. Engineer: Power Systems (Cleverness) This skill covers understanding how to Survival Skills design and repair power generating and distribution systems. Notice (Awareness) This skill covers being capable of no- Engineer: Transit Drive (Cleverness) ticing important things in one’s envi- This skill covers understanding how ronment. to design and repair spaceship transit drives. Odd Job (Variable) This skill covers being capable of dab- Environmental Suit (Awareness) bling from a broad base of knowledge, This skill covers being capable utilizing but being truly proficient in none. environmental suits of all kinds. Orienteering (Awareness) Explosives (Cleverness) This skill covers understanding how to This skill covers understanding how navigate planet-side. to effectively make and use explosives for traps or demolitions.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Trade Skills Whenever your Character is about to Bureaucracy (Cleverness) participate in something that is fool- This skill covers understanding how to hardy, your GM will make a secret Clev- work in administration and organiza- erness Test – if successful, he will warn tions. you about your potential mistake. Law (Cleverness) Double-Jointed (1) This skill covers understanding law, Your Character’s joints bend extra law enforcement techniques, and liti- far. He gets one free Success to any gation. Grace-based Test in which his double- jointedness might give him an advan- tage. Vehicle Skills Astrogation (Cleverness) Dream Void (2) This skill covers understanding how to Your Character, given what is now in navigate the solar system. the universe, is fortunate – he is one of those rare people who doesn’t dream. Drive: Wheeled (Grace) He cannot be plagued by nightmares, This skill covers being capable of driv- nor is he susceptible to the influence ing wheeled land vehicles. of the Old Ones in his sleep. Drive: Military (Grace) Eidetic Memory (3) This skill covers being capable of driv- Your Character commits things he ing military land vehicles. sees and hears to memory, and it sticks. He has a nearly photographic recall, Pilot: Atmospheric (Grace) giving him two free Successes for Tests This skill covers being capable of pilot- involving remembering things he has ing rotor or fixed wing terrestrial flying read or experienced firsthand. vehicles. Fast (2) Pilot: Spacecraft (Awareness) Your Character is faster than he This skill covers being capable of pilot- looks. He gets a bonus of +1 Die for ing all kinds of spaceships. Reaction Tests, and can move one full category faster in terms of Speed. He Qualities also gains one free Success on any Test of the Athletics: Speed Skill. Qualities are those things about your Character that can’t be easily Gifted Metabolism (1) summed up by Attributes or skills. Your Character’s body processes foods, drugs (including alcohol), and Advantages poisons better than other people. He gains one free Success for Persever- Common Sense (2) ance Tests to resist the effects of poi- Your Character has a sense when a sons, toxins, or drugs. course of action or inaction is foolish. 65Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Internal Clock (1) than usual and is capable to take an Your Character has an intuitive sense extra four points of damage at each of the passage of time, even when un- Wound Level, for an overall total of 12 conscious. He always knows what time extra damage before death. it is, usually within about 10 minutes. However, this internal clock is set to his Disadvantages time, not necessary the clock time of Arrogant (1) the planet or colony he is visiting. Your Character thinks he’s great, but others don’t necessarily agree. He suf- Luck (1-3) fers a penalty of -1 Die to all Social Skill Fortune smiles on your character. Tests, except Insight and Intimidation. At Luck/1, you can re-roll one Test per session and take the better result, at Darkness Magnet (3) Luck/2, you can re-roll two Tests per The dark things of the universe are session and take the better result in drawn to your Character. It is almost each, and at Luck/3, you can re-roll as if he is a cosmic beacon for hor- three Tests per session and take the rible things. Even if he tries to avoid higher result. the things in the shadows, they will somehow find him. It is difficult for Nightvision (2) him to live in civilized areas and he Your Character can see better in dim most often finds himself on the fringes lighting than other people, and halves of society. Unless he is resourceful and any environmental penalties due to combat-trained, it is likely his lifespan darkness or obscuring conditions. will be short. Peripheral Vision (2) Persistent Injury (1-3) Your Character can see things in Something happened to your Char- more detail throughout his field of vi- acter that impairs normal physical sion, and is capable of making Tests to function. Perhaps there’s some com- notice things on the periphery of his plication that has prevented physi- vision that other people would miss. cians from operating or replacing or- gans or limbs, or maybe he lost a body Rapid Recovery (2) part and something happened to pre- Your Character heals twice as fast as vent regenerative therapy. normal, regardless of mode of treat- ment. This only applies to physical At Persistent Injury/1, this means wounds only. he suffers a penalty of -1 Die to any Tests that would be influenced by the Tough (1-3) injury (such as to Notice when miss- Your Character can take more pun- ing an eye). At Persistent Injury/2, this ishment than others. Each level of increases to a penalty of -2 Dice, and Tough adds twice that many points to to a penalty of -2 Dice at Persistent In- the Character’s Health. For example, jury/3. a Character with Tough/2 is treated as having a Health four points higherGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Phobia (1)* doesn’t even have to have actually lost There’s something that scares the or been wronged, he only has to per- daylights out of your Character. Most ceive he has. He suffers a penalty of -1 times, phobias are of simple and natu- Die to all Social Skill Tests, except for ral things, some of the most common Insight or Intimidation, when dealing being acrophobia (fear of heights), with the person upon which he wish- arachnophobia (fear of spiders), claus- es vengeance. Furthermore, he must trophobia (fear of confined spaces), make a Perseverance Test not to take entymophobia (fear of insects), or action against the person, whether scotophobia (fear of the dark). When- through verbal abuse, attempted hu- ever a Character is confronted with the miliation, pranks, legal action, or even object of his fear, he suffers a penalty physical violence, each time he is con- of -1 Die to all Tests until a couple of fronted with them. minutes after the object is no longer an issue. Talents Slow (2) There are those unexplainable For some reason, your Character knacks that people seem to naturally moves much slower than most would have, which help define who they are. expect. He suffers a penalty of -1 Die Those things are defined as Talents. As to Reaction Tests, and moves one full you choose your Talents, notice that category slower in terms of Speed. He many of the Talents suggest a certain also suffers a penalty of -1 Die on any type of personality trait that go with Test of the Athletics: Speed Skill. them. Choose your Talents carefully, as they mold who your Character is in a Tormented (1) very real sense. Your GM may choose You Character is the kind of person to deny you the bonus from a Talent if that wrestles with inner demons. He you do not incorporate these aspects may suffer from tragic self-doubt or into your Character on a regular basis, have psychological scars from some even the ones that aren’t so nice. sort of abuse. In any event, what is normal for him may not be normal for Born in Freefall other, well-adjusted people. Though Requires: Freefall Skill being Tormented does not have an im- Your Character doesn’t need to Test mediate effect on social interactions, it for basic moves in freefall or micro- is difficult for such people to maintain gravity, and gains two free Successes long-lasting romantic relationships. to any other Tests he must make. Those who’ve known Tormented Char- acters for any length of time will re- Deeply Weird gard them as strange or damaged as Requires: appropriate Skills well. Your Character gets one free Suc- cess for Cleverness-based Tests when Vengeful (1) analyzing or using alien life or technol- Your Character doesn’t take los- ogy. ing or being wronged very well. He 67Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Don’t I Know You? free Success to non-Scientific or Tech- Requires: Savoir Faire Skill & Trigger nical Skills based on Cleverness. Your Character has the amazing abil- ity to create relatedness with strang- Character Advancement ers. You gain one free Success for So- Like most modern roleplaying cial Skill Tests of a friendly sort with games, The Void relies on a more dra- the person in question, for purposes of matic, less realistic form of character this one interaction. advancement. Characters are awarded Advances at the end of every play ses- Double Tap sion, which they can bank and eventu- Requires: Appropriate Gun Skill & Trigger ally spend to increase or purchase new Your Character can make a free sec- Attributes, Skills, or Talents, and to ac- ond, non-auto shot at same target. quire or dissolve Qualities. Killer Instinct Regardless of other costs and re- Requires: Combat Skill & Trigger quirements, there are two maxims that Your Character knows how to hit are applied to anything on your Char- where it hurts and this one attack ig- acter Sheet – you may only improve nores any of the target’s armor. something by one point at a time and you may never improve the same Know Where Your Towel Is thing two game sessions in a row. Your Character is an expert and pre- pared traveller, who is simply more This goes for acquisition as well – prepared than others. In any one situ- you can’t acquire a new Skill two ses- ation per session, you have access to sions in a row, or new Talents two ses- a needed piece of gear, even when sions in a row. You need to give your it isn’t listed among your Characters Character a little space to acclimate. possessions. It can even be something that is unlikely for most other unsea- Improving Attributes soned travelers to have packed. It is possible through training and luck to improve your Character’s At- Snake Eyes tributes. You must increase your Attri- Your Character has the ability to ren- butes incrementally, so you can’t just der his inner self as frightening as the skip from an 2 to a 4 without also in- world around him. He has the ability creasing to 3 in between. to delay the onset of any Horror Effect for 2d6 turns – though he will suffer In order to improve an Attribute, you the full effect once this duration has must have spent time in-game doing passed. As a side effect, he gains one the kind of things that are required to free Success to any Intimidation Tests. train the Attribute in question. You will also need to have your GM’s approval, Wicked Smart as to whether or not you’ve put in a Requires: Training in skills to be used convincing amount of in-game energy Your Character is generally life- to warrant the increase. smart, not book-smart, and gains oneGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Improvement Advance Cost Acquiring New Talents Characters will also develop many From 1 to 2 2 new individual Talents as they grow. To From 2 to 3 2 acquire a new Talent costs 2 Advances. From 3 to 4 3 This new Talent should be relevant with how you’re playing. From 4 to 5 4 Modifying Qualities Learn a New Skill Sometimes your story will give your There are always new Skills you’ll Character the opportunity to acquire a want your Character to learn. In order new Advantage or finally lose a Disad- to learn a new Skill at 1, you’ll either vantage. Check in with your GM when need to spend the in-game equivalent you think either of these might be of 20 hours studying and training or appropriate – if he approves, you can 10 hours with a qualified teacher (any- spend the advances below to do so. one with the Skill at 3 or greater). Once you’ve done that, spend 1 Advance Your GM may also assign you new and you get the Skill at 1. Disadvantages during play. You don’t have to pay for them, but you also The Odd Job skill is a special case, don’t get any new additional points since it covers such a wide array of for Advantages from them. knowledge. It takes twice as long to learn and costs 2 Advances to get the Skill at 1. Cost Advance Cost 1 Point 2 Improving an Existing Skill 2 Points 3 In order to improve one of the Skills your Character already has, you must 3 Points 4 have spent time using that Skill in- game recently. You must improve your Attributes incrementally, so you can’t just skip from an 2 to a 4 without also increasing to 3 in between. Improvement Advance Cost From 1 to 2 1 From 2 to 3 2 From 3 to 4 2 From 4 to 5 3 Again, the Odd Job Skill is a special case – it costs twice as much. 69Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • 6 Rules Pretty much everything you’ll want Task Difficulty to do in The Void will be covered by Tests, which determine whether or not Easy 1 you succeed or fail when it matters. Average 2 Tests are made by rolling a number of Hard 3 six-sided dice as determined by things Very Hard 4 on your Character Sheet, trying to get as many fives and sixes as you can. Legendary 5 Skill Tests Tests When you want to do something that requires training, you’ll need to Successes make a Skill Test – the most common Whenever you roll dice for a Test, type of Test in the game. you are rolling to get what are called Successes on each individual die in Once you’ve determined which Skill your pool. Each five or six you roll makes sense, roll a number of dice counts as a Success. equal to the Skill’s rating, along with the appropriate Attribute’s rating. Difficulties This will typically yield a dice pool of Before we can talk about how you between two and ten six-sided dice. make Tests, we need to talk about Dif- If the number of Successes you roll is ficulties. Everything you try to do has equal to or greater than the Difficulty, a certain level of difficulty associated you succeed. with it. One thing might be easy, while another is just plain hard. To reflect Skills are paired with the most this, The Void uses a scale of numbers likely Attribute that you’ll use. How- that reflect the difficulty of the task. ever, sometimes you’ll be trying to do something that makes more sense us- Whenever you need to make a Test, ing a different Attribute – go with the your GM will tell you the Difficulty, one that works best. based on what it is you’re trying to do. When you make your dice roll, you’re Unskilled Tests going to want to get a total number Sometimes you’ll need to try doing of Successes that’s equal to or greater something that your Character is not than the Difficulty. skilled at doing. If your GM says that you can try it – not all types of things Here are the levels of Difficulty and can be attempted by something who the number of Successes you need. isn’t trained – then you’ll make a differ- ent type of Skill Test. You’ll really onlyGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • be able to succeed at fairly easy or routine things, but sometimes you’ve Tests At a Glance got to try. Difficulties To try something when you have no • When you need to make a Skill, roll only a number of dice equal Test, your GM will tell you the to the appropriate Attribute’s rating. Difficulty. Only sixes count as Successes for this • When you make your dice roll, Test. If your total number of Successes you need to get a number of is equal to or greater than the Diffi- fives or sixes that’s equal to or culty, you succeed. greater than the Difficulty. Complimentary Skills Skill Tests Sometimes you’ll need to try do- • When you want to do some- ing something that your Character thing that requires training. isn’t specifically skilled at doing, but • Determine which Skill makes he’s got a skill that’s close. For exam- the most sense. ple, your Character may not be able • Roll a number of six-sided to specifically shoot a pistol, but he dice equal to the appropriate knows how to shoot rifles. Your GM Skill and Attribute ratings. will allow you to use that the com- • Every five or six is a Success. plimentary Skill as if you had a rating • If your total Successes equal of one lower in it (with a minimum of or exceed Difficulty, you suc- one). Your GM will be ultimately de- ceed. termine if the Skill you want to use in- stead will work – sometimes they will Unskilled Tests and sometimes they won’t. • When you want to try some- thing when you have no Skill. • Roll dice equal to the appro- Attribute Tests priate Attribute. Sometimes you’ll need to do some- • Count only sixes as Success. thing that is covered by your raw abilities alone. There are many things Complimentary Skills in life that rely on your natural gifts, • When you want to try some- rather than what you’ve learned over thing when you have no Skill, the years. but you have a Skill that’s close. Once you’ve determined which At- • If your GM allows, you can use tribute makes the most sense, roll the complimentary Skill for a number of dice equal to twice the the Test, as if you had a rating appropriate Attribute’s rating. If your one lower in the appropriate total number of Successes is equal to Skill. 71Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Epic Fails If you ever roll and all of your dice are ones, it’s an Epic Fail and things fall apart in a spectacu- lar fashion. Your GM will tell you just how bad things are. Hail Mary Sometimes you may need to at- tempt a Test that is at a Difficulty that is above your capa- bility. There is still a slim chance you may succeed. When you must attempt a Test at a Difficult that re- quires more Suc- cesses that you are capable of generat- ing based on your dice pool, roll your or greater than the Difficulty, you suc- pool anyway. If you ceed. succeed on all of your dice, you may roll another die. If that one comes up Triggers a six, it counts as a Success and lets Triggers are special effects that are you roll yet another die. You may con- built into certain Talents that must be tinue rolling as long as these extra dice Triggered in order to do their magic. come up sixes. This may allow you to succeed at tasks far beyond your abil- When you roll a minimum of one ity in times of extreme need. Success more than you needed to suc- ceed, you may choose to activate an Contests appropriate Trigger. You may only acti- Sometimes the thing you’re trying vate a Trigger if you have succeeded at to do will meet with the resistance of the Test in question, and you may only another living thing. When this hap- activate one Trigger for each action, pens, you’ll engage in a Contest to try regardless of how many are available. to beat your opponent.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • When you engage in a Contest, both you and your opponent make Tests At a Glance your rolls, whether they’re Skill or At- tribute Tests. Whoever gets the high- Attribute Tests est number of Successes wins. If you • When you need to do some- tie, roll again until someone wins. thing covered by raw abilities alone. Your GM might give you an extra • Roll a number of six-sided dice die or take away one of your dice in equal to double the appropri- your Contest if you or your opponent ate Attribute’s rating. have some kind of advantage. • Every five or six is a Success. • If your total Successes equal or Extended Tests exceed Difficulty, you succeed. Sometimes the thing you’re trying to do is something that’s going to Triggers take a lot of time and effort. If this is • Triggers are special effects the case, make three Tests. If you suc- that are built into certain Tal- ceed at two out of the three, you suc- ents. ceed overall. • When appropriate, you may activate a Trigger when you get one more Success than Teamwork you needed. Sometimes the thing you’re trying to do is something where your friends Epic Fails can help you out. In order to do so, • If you ever roll all ones, things your friend must have a rating in the fall apart in a spectacular fash- skill that is a minimum of one lower ion. than yours. If this is the case, you get a bonus die for that Test. Contests • When something you’re trying Special Tests will meet with the resistance of another living thing. • You and your opponent make Horror Tests Tests. Whoever rolls more Suc- Characters in The Void run into cesses wins. some very scary things. Sometimes • Ties re-roll until someone it’s situations that are frightening wins. and sometimes it’s the things that go bump in the night. Your Character’s Extended Tests reaction to such things are simulated • When something you’re trying by Horror Tests. to do will take time and effort. • Make three Tests. If you suc- Whenever your Character has a ceed at two out of three, you chance of getting scared or runs into succeed overall. a frightening creature, he must suc- ceed at a Horror Test to prevent his 73Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Horror Difficulty Tests At a Glance Disturbing Easy Teamwork: Scary Average • Sometimes friends can help. Terrifying Hard • Each must have a minimum Nightmarish Incredibly Hard rating of one lower than your Mind Shattering Legendary Skill rating. • You get a bonus die to the If your Character succeeds at his Test. Horror Test, then he processes the fear without adverse effect. He will not Special Tests At a Glance need to make another Horror Test for this particular stimulus at this time, Horror Tests: whether it be situational or creature- • When something might scare induced. your Character, you must suc- ceed at a Horror Test or be However, if he fails, he suffers a Hor- afraid. ror Effect – to determine how he re- • Horror Tests are Perseverance acts, roll two dice and consult the Hor- Attribute Tests against a Diffi- ror Effects table. culty provided by the GM. • If you fail, you suffer a Horror Effect. To determine, roll 2d6 2d6 Horror Effect and consult the Horror Effects 2-3 Mess Your Pants table. 4-5 Run Away Screaming • If a scary thing is something 6-7 Shriek Like A Little Kid the Characters must face with any regularity, the GM should 8-9 Freeze only call for Horror Tests the 10-11 Faint Dead Away first half dozen or so times. 12 Fight Instincts Kick In (Foolishly) fight or flight (mostly flight) instinct from being triggered. Explanation of Effects There are six primary effects some- Horror Tests are Perseverance At- one in the throes of fear can suffer, and tribute Tests, against a Difficulty pro- none of them are pretty. vided by the GM. Terrifying creatures have a Difficulty already associated Mess Your Pants with them, to make it easy. Your Character is so scared he loses control of his bodily functions. He has Here are a few general Difficulty urinated or defecated in his pants guidelines for horror that is situational (possibly both). In addition to the dis- in nature: comfort and potential for later embar-Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • rassment, he cannot take action for ger flight. However, whatever scared two turns. your Character forced his primal fight instinct to kick in instead, and now he Run Away Screaming must attack the thing that scared him Your Character is so freaked out with a terrible rage. If it is a situation that he wants to get as far away from that triggered this reaction, he must the thing as possible. He can take no flip out in a fit of rage that is partly other action than to run in the op- directed against the situation and posite direction away from the thing partly just insanity. He regains control that scared him, and he will scream of himself after the stimulus is either unless stifled. He will keep running dead or gone – or until one to six min- until he either feels relatively safe or utes (1d6 minutes) have passed, or he that he has a reasonable chance of has taken at least 10 points of dam- hiding from the thing. Then, after be- age. ing still for a few moments, he can be- gin to take conscious action again. Becoming Accustomed It is possible to face a situation or Shriek Like A Little Kid a creature so many times that it los- Your Character is so scared he starts es its fearful barbs. If such a thing is to scream. These screams are the something the Characters must face panicked shrieks of the terrified. He with any regularity, referees should cannot stop shrieking for six turns, only call for Horror Tests the first half a though he can begin to take other ac- dozen or so times. After that, the only tion again after three turns. way the situation or creature should inspire fear again is if it is presented in Freeze some way that is out of the ordinary. Your Character’s psyche is so over- loaded by the experience that he freezes up. He can take no action for Combat three turns, not even to make a sound. The Void is a game of survival horror He is literally frozen, even if he suffers and that means that there are many damage at the hand of aggressors. things in the solar system that will be actively trying to kill your Character. Faint Dead Away There are also times where you will Your Character is so freaked out that want to either enforce your will (or re- he can’t take it anymore. He blacks sist the will of another). The rules that out and crumples in a heap on the follow cover both sorts of conflict – floor. Unless someone wakes him with Physical and Social. smelling salts or a stimulant of some kind, he’s out for the next 10 minutes Physical Combat to an hour (1d6 x 10 minutes). Physical combat is split up into a series of five second-long turns, in Fight Instinct Kick In (Foolishly) which everyone involved in the com- The fight or flight instincts are close- bat gets to do something. ly related and most fearful things trig- 75Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • The Combat Turn You may choose to hold your action Each and every turn of combat fol- to see what others are going to do – lows these simple six steps: you can choose to act on any lower ini- tiative. You only need to tell your GM 1. Each participant makes an Initia- when he announces it. tive Test for the turn. This is an Awareness + Reaction Test. 2. Take Action Each turn, each participant can take 2. In descending order of Initiative, one Free Action, one Simple Action, each participant acts. Each can and one Involved Action. On your ini- take one Free Action, one Simple tiative, you get to take all three Actions Action, and one Involved Action and resolve them in whatever order each turn. you want. 3. To attack a target, a player must Free actions are anything that can succeed in a Contest. The attacker be done quickly and generally re- makes a Test using the appropri- quires no real concentration. Simple ate Skill + Attribute for the weap- actions involve some effort and take a on he is trying to use. bit of time. Involved actions generally require a Character to concentrate on 4. The defender then makes a Test the task at hand. Below is a list of dif- using Grace + Defense. ferent actions and how they are clas- sified – if you wish to do something 5. If the attacker’s total equals or not on this list, work out with your GM beats the defender’s total, he hits. how to classify the action. 6. If successful, the attacker gets Free Actions include: to add an additional die of dam- • Ducking age for each Success he beats his • Shouting a someone or speaking opponent by to the damage roll, a short sentence which is reduced by the target’s • Surveying the situation armor (if any). • Taking a couple of steps (less than a yd/m) 1. Initiative Tests • Using a Skill to identify a creature Initiative determines who gets to act in what order. To determine your Ini- Simple Actions include: tiative for the turn, make a Test using • Aim an attack Awareness + Reaction. Once everyone • Draw or put away a weapon gets to start taking action, play goes in • Dropping something order from highest Initiative to lowest. • Taking cover In the case of ties, the combatant with • Move at Walking Speed the higher base Reaction goes first. If • Opening an unlocked door those are somehow tied, each com- • Reload most weapons batant rolls one die until one of them • Skill Tests that don’t require full at- rolls higher than the other. tentionGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Involved Actions include: • Attack • Break Away from Close Quarters • Move at Running Speed • Skill Tests that do require full at- Combat At a Glance tention • Reloading heavy weapons Physical Combat • 1. Initiative Tests – make a Test 3. Attacks using Awareness + Reaction. The solar system is a dangerous The turn goes in order from place and sometimes you’ll want to highest to lowest. end something before it ends you. • 2. Take Action – each partici- Attacking something requires three pant can take one Free Ac- things: a weapon of some kind, some tion, one Simple Action, and skill with that weapon, and being in one Involved Action each range to use the weapon. To attack turn, resolving them in what- a target, you must make a Test using ever order he wants. the appropriate Skill + Attribute. • Free actions are anything that can be done quickly 4. Defenses and with little concentra- Unless an attack is from surprise, ev- tion. ery Character gets to defend against • Simple actions involve some every attack that comes at him. To do effort and take some time. so, make a Test using Grace + Defense. • Involved actions generally require that the Character Cover concentrate on the matter In order to survive real firefights, at hand. particularly those that involve auto- • 3. Attacks – To attack a target, matic weapons or especially deadly you must make a Test using creatures, you’ll need to utilize cover. the appropriate Skill + Attri- Each type of cover provides you with bute. a Bonus number of dice to your De- • 4. Defenses – To defend fense Test against those it would pro- against an attack, make a Test tect you against. using Grace + Defense. • Cover may provide you with Here are the different types of cover a number of bonus Dice for and the Bonuses they give you: your Test. • 5. Determine Success or Failure – If the attacker’s total Suc- Cover Bonus cesses equals or exceed the Diving and fighting prone +1 defender’s, he hits. Partial cover (from 25-60%) +2 Complete cover (from 61- +3 99%) 77Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Partial cover might include hiding of dice equal to the weapon’s dam- behind a short wall, a post or small age rating, along with Bonus dice that tree of some kind, or furniture. Com- come from your overall Success, and plete cover might include ducking add it all together. For each Success by down behind a car or shooting from which you beat your opponent, you behind a wall. do one additional die of damage – ties do not yield additional damage. This 5. Determine Success or Failure total is reduced by the target’s armor If the attacker’s total equals or beats (if any). the defender’s total, he hits with the attack. If you are attacking with a close quarters weapons, such as your fist, a 6. Doing Damage dagger, or the like, you can add one Once you’ve hit an opponent, you more Bonus die of damage for every get to roll to see how much damage two points of your Physique. you do with your attack. Roll a number Taking Wounds Whenever some- thing is hit in physi- cal combat, it takes a certain amount of damage. That dam- age is translated into wounds. Every Character (or monster) has a Health Characteris- tic. He then has this number of points in each of the four Wound Levels: Bruised, Battered, Hurt, Incapacitat- ed. If a Character takes more damage than four times his Health, he’s dead. Each Wound Level has its own penalties that are applied to the Char- acter in question once he reaches that Wound Leve.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • The penalties associated with each Wound Level apply to all Actions the Character takes, whether in or out Combat At a Glance of combat. They are not alleviated Physical Combat until the Character is treated for his • 6. Doing Damage – Roll a wounds. number of dice of damage equal to the weapon’s rating. Armor For each Success by which If you’re wearing armor, it will re- you beat your opponent, you duce the amount of damage you do one additional die of dam- take from each attack. When you age. take damage, immediately reduce • Taking wounds – Each Char- the amount of damage you take by acter has four Wound Lev- its protection. However, armor has els, each equal to a number two levels of protection. It starts at of points of damage equal its maximum protection. Once you’ve to his Health rating. Each been taken enough damage to be Wound Level has penalties Hurt, the amount of protection it of- associated with it. fers is cut in half. If you are reduced • Armor – Reduce the amount to Unconscious, your armor has been of damage you take by the rendered useless. rating of your armor. • Fate Points – each Char- For example, a full suit of Warden acter has one Fate Point, armor reduces damage by 10 points. which can save from cer- Once you take enough damage to tain death. If spent to avoid be Hurt, the protection of the armor an incapacitating or killing drops to 5 points. If you take enough blow, that attack’s damage damage to be rendered Unconscious, is ignored and you imme- it won’t provide anymore protection diately heal another 3d6 until it is repaired (or replaced). worth of damage. • Healing – Once hurt, you Fate Points can heal Naturally, with Every Character has one Fate Point, First Aid, or with Medical which you can use to save your ba- Attention. con. These are unique to Characters, • Naturally = 1 Health ev- as NPCs and monsters don’t get to ery 2 Days. use them. Fate Points can be used in • First Aid = 2d6 Health im- two ways. mediately, and 1 Health every day. The first way is to avoid certain • Medical Attention = 4d6 death (such as falling off a tall build- Health immediately, and ing or being flushed out an airlock). 2 Health every day. This will only work if you and your GM can work out a reasonably believable, if amazing, way that your Character 79Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • survives the experience. Your GM may If you have no other choice than rule that you take some sort of dam- to heal naturally, you’ll get back one age, though it can’t be enough to inca- point of Health every two days of pacitate or kill your Character. game time. The second way is to avoid a blow If you can be tended to by someone that would render your Character un- who knows first aid and has access conscious or dead. The Fate Point ne- to a fully-stocked modern first aid kit, gates that attack that would do this you’ll immediately heal 2d6 damage. sort of damage and treats it as if the You’ll then heal at a rate of one point attack missed completely. You also of Health every day of game time. get to immediately heal 3d6 points of Health, as it looks like the wounds If you can receive full medical atten- you’ve already suffered aren’t as bad as tion by a qualified professional with you thought. If this brings your Char- access to modern medical facilities, acter from Hurt or Unconscious, it also you’ll immediately heal 4d6 damage. bring his armor back to the appropri- You’ll then heal at a rate of two points ate level of effectiveness – it too was of Health every day of game time. not as badly damaged as you thought. Special Modifiers All Characters begin with one Fate Point. Once a Fate Point is spent, you Aiming get it back the game session after Taking time to aim a projectile next. You’ll be without one for one weapon is something you want to do complete session, so be careful. when you have the freedom to do so, because if anything happens to Healing disrupt your Character while aiming Once your Character has been hurt, he loses all benefit. Otherwise, any there are three ways in which he can Character who spends a simple Action heal – Naturally, with First Aid, or with aiming gets one free Success on his complete Medical Attention. Medical next attack. If you spend two simple advances have made it so that people Actions on two successive turns, he can heal at much greater rates than to- gets two free Successes on his next day, but healing naturally still takes a attack. However, if he is hurt between painfully long amount of time. the time he takes to aim and when he makes the attack, the bonus is lost. Wounds Penalties Bruised -1 die Penalty to all Actions. Battered -2 dice Penalty to all Actions. Hurt -4 dice Penalty to all Actions; reduced to half Speed & Armor. Incapacitated Character falls unconscious.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Automatic Weapons Some weapons are designed to Combat At a Glance fire at a high rate of fire. If you’re fir- ing on single shot with an automatic • Aiming – One simple action weapon, resolve the attack as normal. gives you one fress Success When firing on automatic, your at- on next attack, as long as not tack requires one additional Success disrupted. Two over two turns than usual, but you add the weapon’s gives two free Success, and Auto value as a number of damage three over three turns give dice. The Auto value will also tell you three free Successes. the number of rounds firing on auto • Automatic Weapons – At- consumes – in general, it will be about tacks require one more Suc- half of a full clip. cess than usual, but you add the weapon’s Auto value as a Charging number of damage dice. If you can reach an enemy with • Charging – If you can reach an your maximum Run Speed using an enemy at Run Speed, you at- Involved Action this turn, you may tack at a -1 Die penalty. If you charge him. This gives you a free at- hit, you do one extra die of tack at a -1 die Penalty, but if suc- damage. cessful will do one extra die worth of • Epic Fails – If defending, your damage. This applies to attacks that Defense equals 0. If attacking, are unarmed or using hand weapons your attack not only fails, it only – guns do not gain benefit from messes up your weapon so it charging. is useless this combat. • Escaping Close Quarters Com- Epic Fails bat – To break away from There will be times that you roll an close quarter combat, engage Epic Fail during combat. If you roll an in a Grace Contest with each Epic Fail for your Defense Test, your combatant. If you win, move Defense is treated as if it were 0 for Run Speed away. the turn. If you roll an Epic Fail for your • Ganging Up – If two combat- attack, your attack not only fails, you nat surround an enemy, each also somehow mess up your weapon get a bonus of one free Suc- in such a way that you can’t attack cess. Three or four is two free. with it for the rest of this combat. • Guns in Close Quarters – You can use handguns at a -1 Die Escaping Close Quarters Combat penalty. When you’re already engaged in • Obscured Targets – Partially close quarters combat, it isn’t so easy obscuring is a -1 die Penalty, to get away. If you try to break away, truly obscuring is at a -2 die you must engage in a Grace Contest Penalty. with each other combatant. This is an Involved Action. If you win, you can move your Run Speed away. Other- 81Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • wise, you’ve wasted your Involved Ac- fense Test against your attack. If either tion for the Turn and must stay in the misses, they are hit by the attack. combat. Static Targets Ganging Up Sometimes you’ll want to shoot at Sometimes you’ll either be sur- something that isn’t alive. Taking a rounded by foes, or you and your allies shot at a static target is a shot against a will close in on a particular enemy. If regular Difficulty instead of a Contest. two combatants surround an enemy, they each get a bonus of one free Suc- Range Difficulty cess to their attacks; if three or four combatants surround an enemy, they Short Easy each get a bonus of two free Successes Medium Average to their attacks. Long Hard Extreme Incredibly Hard Guns in Close Quarters Once an enemy closes to close This Difficulty may be modified by quarters, you would normally choose the size of the target. In general, espe- to use your hand-to-hand combat or cially small targets will be one level of hand weapons skills. However, you Difficulty higher, while especially large can still use your handguns, but at a -1 targets are one level of Difficulty lower. die Penalty to your attacks. In any case, your GM will let you know. Obscured Targets Suppressive Fire Naturally, attacking a target nor- There may be situations in which mally requires a clear line of sight be- you’ll want to fill an area full of bul- tween you and it. However, there will lets to slow your opponents down, be times when you’ll want to do some- instead of trying to harm them. Auto- thing in obscuring conditions, wheth- matic weapons are the most effective er they be in smoke, fog, darkness, or in these situations, but any gun will do. something similar. If the conditions make sight difficult (partially obscur- Your attack will encompass a 45° arc ing), such as light fog or dusk, you suf- in any direction. To accomplish this, fer a -1 die Penalty to those Actions you must succeed at an Average Guns that require sight. On the other hand, Test. All combatants that are moving if the conditions are truly obscuring, through the field of fire must succeed like in heavy smoke or darkness, the at an Average Defense Test, or take Test Penalty increases to -2 dice, but damage equal to one round from the again only for Actions requiring sight. gun – with no bonus damage. Regard- less, if you succeed, all combatants Shooting Into Combat must slow their advance. If you choose to shoot at an enemy that is embroiled in close quarters The amount combatants in that area combat with another – ally or other- are slowed is shown by the following wise – they each need to make a De-Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • table, depending upon whether or not you’re using an automatic weap- on and whether the area is open area Combat At a Glance with lots of room to move, or if it is confined with little room to maneu- • Shooting Into Combat – All ver. enemies in close quarters combat must make a Defense against your attack. Suppressive Fire Amount Slowed • Static Targets – Shooting Auto – Open 50% something at Short range is Auto – Confined 75% Easy Difficulty, at Medium is Average, at Long is Hard, and Semi – Open 25% Extreme is Incredibly Hard. Semi – Confined 50% • Suppressive Fire – All combat- ants moving through your 45° Surprise arc must succeed at an Aver- Sometimes, a defender will be com- age Defense Test or take dam- pletely unaware that they are about age equal to one round with to be attacked. If this is the case, the no bonus damage. You must defender does not get to make a De- succeed at an Average Guns fense Test against that attack. As long Test. Enemies slowed by an as the attacker’s Test yields one Suc- amount shown on opposite cess, it will hit and do damage – treat- page. ing every Success as bonus damage. • Two-Handed Attacks – Attack with two weapons at the Two-Handed Attacks same time at a -1 die Penalty. If you are skilled in the use of a weapon (have at least a rating of 1 in the appropriate skill), you may be able to use two of that weapon at Social Combat the same time. Naturally, the weap- There will be times when you’ll ons in question must be the kind of want to try to enforce your will on an- weapons a person can use two of at other person, or when someone else the same time. Daggers make sense, will try to force their will onto you. as do handguns, but shotguns or ma- Social combat involves pitting social chine guns do not. skills against each other to see whose social pressure prevails. If you can wield two weapons at the same time, you can attack with both Everyone you face will have one of of them in the same turn for an In- four attitudes toward you – Friendly, volved Action. Both attacks are made Ambivalent, Unfriendly, or Hostile. So- at a -1 die Penalty. cial combat affects each of these atti- tudes differently. Your GM will let you know what a Character’s or NPC’s at- titude is when it becomes important. Just as in real life, most people in nor- 83Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • mal circumstances will be ambivalent Which skills you can use depends toward you. upon the target’s attitude: Each of the four attitudes means Attitude Social Skills that the person in question will be- have a certain way, within certain Friendly All boundaries: Ambivalent All Unfriendly All, except Fraternize • Friendly characters are nice, open, Hostile Only Deception or and helpful, in general. Intimidation • Ambivalent characters don’t feel one way or the other. They’ll be polite or cordial, but may or may Which skills require Contests also not be helpful. depends upon the target’s attitude. • Unfriendly characters are rude, Any social skill not listed is likely to closed off, unhelpful – or simply have the immediately desired effect, scared – in general. as long as the intent is not outrageous. • Hostile characters actively seek to cause harm – or are terrified or insane. Attitude Skills Requiring There are six social skills and each Contests provides a different type of result: Friendly Deception, Intimida- • Deception allows you to spin false- tion, Seduction (if not hoods and make people believe predisposed) whatever you want them to be- Ambivalent Deception, Intimida- lieve. tion, Persuade, Se- • Fraternize allows you to seamless- duction (if not predis- ly blend into casual social situa- posed) tions without arousing suspicion, avoiding awkward situations. Unfriendly All • Intimidation allows you to cow Hostile All someone else into giving you what you want. • Persuade allows you to convince Exchanges Social combat is divided up into Ex- someone of something, whether changes, instead of turns. Exchanges it’s a point of view or a course of are much more fluid and take as much action. time as is realistically needed. During • Savoir Faire allows you to seam- an exchange, each party gets to take lessly blend into formal social situ- their social action. There is no initiative ations and to negotiate. or turn order in an exchange – all ac- • Seduction allows you to manipu- tions occur simultaneously. late members of the opposite sex with promises of sexual congress, spoken or unspoken.Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • 1. Choose Your Desired Effect Your first step will be to determine what skill you can and will use, and Combat At a Glance what you want your desired outcome to be. Make that test, using the appro- Social Combat priate Skill + Attribute. • Everyone you face will have one of four attitudes towards 2. Insight you – Friendly, Ambivalent, Whenever someone is trying to ma- Unfriendly, or Hostile. nipulate someone else, the defending • Friendly characters are gen- Character makes a Test using Perse- erally open and helpful. verance + Insight. If you equal or beat • Ambivalent characters gen- your opponent’s Insight total, then erally don’t feel one way or you get to wear down his will. the other. • Unfriendly characters are 3. Shift Attitude generally closed off and Once you’ve overcome a person’s unhelpful. psychological defenses, you get to • Hostile characters generally shift their Attitude one step closer seek to cause harm. to pliability. If the person is already • There are six social skills that Friendly or Ambivalent, then go to affect interactions – Decep- Step 4 – whatever it it you were trying tion, Fraternize, Intimidation, to do succeeds, within reason. If the Persuade, Savoir Faire, and target was hostile, they move to Un- Seduction. friendly, and if Unfriendly, they move • While skills you can use de- to Ambivalent. Once a target is Am- pends upon the target’s at- bivalent, one more successful Test will titude. yield results. If you choose to spend further Exchanges to increase your Exchanges target’s Attitude to Friendly, then the • 1. Choose Your Desired Effect results will be more to your liking. – Determine which skill can and will you use. 4. Determine Effect • 2. Insight – Defend using Per- Once you’ve won enough Contests severance + Insight. to shift your opponent’s Attitude to • 3. Shift Attitude – If you win, Ambivalent, your GM will determine shift Attitude one step closer what sort of effect you’ve had. Ob- to your desire effect. viously, moving someone from un- • 4. Determine Effect – Your GM friendly to ambivalent using seduc- determines the effect of the tion won’t yet produce the desired Attitude shift, if any. result, but you’re one step closer. It should be obvious what attitude a person will need in order to do what it ers. If a Character spends the time to is you’re trying to do – Ambivalent in move a target’s Attitude to Friendly, many cases, through Friendly in oth- even though only Ambivalent would 85Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • have been necessary, then the GM will would change your opinion about determine the more favorable result him. People don’t tend to walk away that has been produced by the extra from social situations and immedi- work. ately question how they feel about the other people involved, unless neurosis Once each person who has chosen is in play. to be a part of the Exchange gets to go, then a new Exchange begins until Stalemate it is over. Social situations can end in stale- mates, where neither party is ready to Determining Attitude give in to the other. This occurs if, dur- As a player, when you enter a social ing the same Exchange, both parties situation where your Attitude may be shift each others’ Attitudes to Friendly. required for Social Combat, you should Both parties realize that they’re not work with your GM to determine what going to be able to outdo the other your likely Attitude is towards the – or that they have no desire to ma- people in question. Please be realis- nipulate the other person – and the tic when doing this – it’s unlikely your exchange ends. They cannot continue Character is going to be Unfriendly or social combat unless something hap- Hostile towards everyone, just so you pens to change their Attitudes about get the rules benefit of them having to one another. work harder to manipulate him. Most people in life are simply Ambivalent to Intimidation & Torture one another, unless there is a personal The use of the Intimidation skill is a connection, social circumstance, or little different, in that it pretty much prejudice involved. can’t shift a person’s Attitude to Am- bivalent or Friendly in the conven- Epic Fails tional way. After all, you are somehow There will be times that you roll an browbeating, threatening, or outright Epic Fail during social combat. If you causing physical pain to another per- roll an Epic Fail for your Insight test, son to force them to take a course of you simply fail in your defense. if you action you desire them to take. When roll an Epic Fail for your Desired Effect, a person who is being intimidated or your social attack not only fails, you tortured reaches Ambivalent, they will give your opponent a +2 die bonus do something that they are against, to his social actions against you this but that doesn’t have terrible con- Exchange – or next turn if he’s already sequences. When that same person gone. reaches Friendly, they will do whatever it is you wanted them to do out of fear. Recovery Additionally, you gain +1 die bonus to Once you’ve ended an Exchange, such Contests for every die of damage your Attitude towards the person in you do when torturing a person dur- question remains pretty much the ing an Exchange. same, unless something happens thatGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • Survival Combat At a Glance Gravity Very few places in the solar system Social Combat provide the type of gravity to which • Epic Fails – On Insight Test, humans are accustomed. Whether it equals a fail in defense. For be outside the gravity ring of a space- Desired Effect, attempt fails ship or on the surface of a Jovian and the opponent now gains moon, gravity other than 1G will af- +2 die Bonus for this Ex- fect the way Characters act. change. • Recovery – Once Exchange is Low Gravity over your Attitude remains Within our solar system, there are the same, unless something three classifications of planetary grav- happens to change opinion. ity. Moderately low gravity planets • Stalemate – If both parties are those that hover around 0.9G, shift each other’s Attitudes to such as Venus or Uranus. Low gravity Friendly, the Exchange ends. planets are those that hover around • Intimidation & Torture – When 0.4G, such as Mercury and Mars. Ex- shifted to Ambivalent, sub- tremely low gravity planets are those ject will do something they that hover around 0.15G, such as Cal- are against. At Friendly, they listo, Europa, Ganymede, Io, and Titan. will do anything. You get +1 die to Contests for every die When on moderately low gravity of damage you do. planets, Characters lift and carry 10% more, jump and throw 10% further, move and climb 10% faster, and can Survival At a Glance endure 10% more (with the exception Gravity of sleep deprivation). • Low Gravity – At around 0.9G, Characters lift, carry, jump, When on low gravity planets, Char- throw, move, climb, and en- acters lift and carry 50% more, jump dure an increased 10%, at and throw 50% further, move and around 0.4G an increased climb 50% faster, and can endure 50% 50%, and at around 0.15G, more (with the exception of sleep de- twice as much. privation). When on extremely low gravity planets, Characters lift and carry twice The Saturnine moon of Enceladus as much, jump and throw twice as far, has such low gravity that it should be move and climb twice as fast, and can treated as zero gravity. endure twice as much (with the ex- ception of sleep deprivation). High Gravity There are few places in the solar system where Characters are going to 87Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • experience gravity higher than 1G. The In most situations, success at an surface of Neptune is 1.14G, and if one Average Freefall Skill Test will negate were to go towards the core of Jupiter these penalties. and Saturn gravity would dramatically increase. Tension Points As a group, you and your fellow When on Neptune, Characters lift players have access to a pool of Ten- and carry 10% less, jump and throw sion Points each time you sit down 10% less far, move and climb 10% to play. These Tension Points are very slower, and can endure 10% less (with important, as they allow you to affect the exception of sleep deprivation). the game in beneficial ways when you really need the help. For an average When approaching the core of Jupi- four-hour session, you’ll usually have ter or Saturn, Characters lift and carry a pool of five Tension Points. You can half as much, jump and throw half as spend them for one of five benefits, far, move and climb half as fast, and with varying costs. can endure half as much (with the ex- ception of sleep deprivation). Re-Roll One Roll 1 Tension Point Zero Gravity By spending one Tension Point, you In zero or microgravity, such as in can immediately roll again and take space or one smaller asteroids, moons, the better result. You can do this mul- or dwarf planets, Characters can have tiple times and choose from multiple a difficult time moving around. Ships results for one single roll. have lines and hand-holds to help people move around, but anyone Look What I Found who wants to get around well must be 1 Tension Point trained in the Freefall Skill. You can spend one Tension Point in order to find an item that is particu- Normally, a Characters Speed is larly needed, such as a box of ammo, halved and he suffers a -2 die Pen- a first aid kit, a flashlight, food, or the alty to any Tests associated with get- like. This item must be something that ting around or even manual dexterity is relatively common and appropriate (things float around, too). Energized for the setting in which it is found. deck plates and objects designed to Force GM Re-Roll interact with them halve these penal- 2 Tension Points ties. For two Tension Points, you can force the GM to re-roll any roll and Any type of movement also requires take the worst result. You can do this a surface from which the Character multiple times. can push off. If the Character finds himself in an awkward position or fails Get a Clue to get to his destination for whatever 2 Tension Points reason, he can spin out of control. If your group has gotten off track, is lost, or is in need of critical informa-Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • tion they didn’t get at the appropri- ate time, you can spend two Tension Survival At a Glance Points and your GM will give you the information you need. Gravity • High Gravity – At around Help From An Ally 1.14G, Characters lift, carry, 2 Tension Points jump, throw, move, climb, and If there is a plausible explanation endure an decreased 10%. for how a Character, either another • Zero Gravity – Normally, players’ or an NPC, can immediately Speed is halve and Charac- come to your aid in a time of peril, two ters suffer -2 die Penalty to Tension Points can make that happen. moving or manual dexterity. Energized objects halve these Extra Fate Point penalties. Movement also re- 3 Tension Points quires a surface from which If your Character is out of Fate to push off. Normally, an Av- Points, you can spend three Tension erage Freefall Test will negate Points to instantly buy and spend one. these penalties. To spend Tension Points, the ma- Tension Points At a Glance jority of the group must be in agree- ment. However, each time you spend • Normally, for a four-hour ses- a Tension Point, the GM gets it. As sion, you get five Tension he accumulates Tension Points from Points to spend as a group. your expenditures, he can save them • One Tension Point allows and spend them in ways that will be you to re-roll on roll or find detrimental to you. That’s why they’re something that is particularly called Tension Points – they build the needed. tension. You’ll only want to use them • Two Tension Points allows when you really need them, as each you to force the GM to re-roll one carries a price for its use. on roll, to get a clue you need, or get help from an ally when Tension Points do not carry over in trouble. from session to session for players. • Three Tension Points allows Any that are unspent at the end of a you to get an extra Fate Point. session are lost. • Expenditure requires majority agreement. • Spent Tension Points go to the GM, who will spend them to hamper you later in the game. 89Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • 7 Gamemaster Running a game of The Void has whose done a mess of Odd Jobs could plenty of its own specifics and nuance. conceivably try, let them use it. They You need to know how to best man- should never be able to do anything age the some of the particular rules of that requires specialized knowledge, the game, including Difficulties, the like something someone who was Odd Job Skill, Nixes, Fate Points, and truly trained in such a Skill could do. more. This chapter will help guide you Furthermore, it should never be an for all of these rules and more. educationally intense Skill, such as En- gineering or Science, nor should it be This chapter also presents you with a Physical or Combat Skill, such as Ath- some guidelines to help you design letics or Guns. your own adventures, including a dis- cussion of the survival horror genre, You may want to limit the number three-act structure, the Old Ones, of Characters in your group who have magic, awarding your Characters, and this Skill. Once players find out what it more. does, they usually want to buy it – it occurs as a free way to try to do the- In general, this chapter should arm ings their Character normally can’t do. you for being an effective Gamemas- It doesn’t make sense for most, or ev- ter of The Void. ery, Character in your group to know this Skill. Assigning Difficulties In general, the best way to deter- Nixes mine the Difficulty for a given task is to For an average group of 3 or 4 play- assume that Average Difficulty is how ers, they’ll get a pool of 5 Nixes to use the average person trained in such between them. Each Nix allows them a skill would perceive the task. The to cancel a die roll and lets them roll key here is that the average person is again. This die roll can be any die roll in someone who is trained in the skill in the game, including the damage they question – a competent professional. do with an attack. However, they can never cancel your die rolls. The Odd Job Skill The Odd Job Skill represents some- If you have a bigger or smaller one with a broad base of general group, you should give them a bigger knowledge, but not specialized knowl- or smaller pool of Nixes. For 1 or 2 play- edge. It represents someone who tin- ers, give them 3 Nixes, and for 5 or 6 kers, and requires special handling. players, give them 7 Nixes. In general, Odd Job allows a Char- Likewise, the number of Nixes acter to make Tests for many Skills should be modified if you are play- he doesn’t have. If you think the situ- ing shorter or longer sessions. Cut the ation is something that someone number of Nixes in half (rounded up) if you’re only playing for a few hours,Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • and double it if you’re playing for more like 8 hours. Nixes are some- thing special that only the players have access to, but you may want to give one or two to major villains. These are the kind of Characters who are meant to be the most dangerous challenges in your story. Fate Points The world of The Void is deadly and Fate Points are one of the few things that can help Char- acters stay alive when they’ve found themselves in un- fortunate situations. outer door can’t open. If he’s about to One Fate Point will cancel a deadly fall off a giant cliff on Mars, perhaps attack and heal a Character – those he falls fifteen feet and grabs a hand- rules are self-explanatory. hold or falls to a ledge below. There are always ways out of whatever was However, they can also be used to going to kill the Character, no mat- help a player avoid what might oth- ter how thin, and feel free to put it to erwise be certain death. It is your job the group to explain it – as long as it to work with the player to come up doesn’t take up too much game time. with some kind of feasible explana- tion of how he survived, and survived Once spent, a player has to go in such a way that he is not just imme- one full session without that Fate diately put right back in mortal peril. Point. Again, if you’re playing longer If he’s about to be flushed out the air- or shorter games, you may want to lock without an environmental suit, modify this time frame. For sessions perhaps the controls jam so that the 91Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • that only last a couple of hours, you no matter what they’ve faced in the may want to make them wait another game, and it always takes just as long two or three sessions before it comes to get them back. back. For longer games, like 7 or 8 hours, you may want to give them the Awarding Advances Fate Point back next session. Advances are what allow players to improve their Characters over time, Sufficiently advanced Characters, and for them to take on greater chal- the kind who you’ve taken to hell and lenges. Many GMs think that things back and they’ve managed to survive, which help a Character improve is a may be the kind you’ll want to give a reward for that Character’s achieve- second Fate Point. It’s entirely up to ments. The philosophy of The Void is you, but if you feel they’ve become different – Advances are a reward for epic enough, give them the second players playing the game. There’s a lot point. However, Characters should that goes into creating and breathing never have more than 2 Fate Points, life into a compel- ling Character and negotiating all of the life stuff that goes into commit- ting to a regular play group. Please keep that in mind that when reward- ing your players. Some game sys- tems suggest dock- ing a disruptive players’ Character advancement for their behavior. The philosophy of The Void is again differ- ent. Please don’t dock a disruptive player’s Advances – confront him in an honest fashion. Af- ter all, it’s just good sportsmanship. In general, you award players aGuy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • fixed number of Advances each time item or supply that should normally they play. This rewards the player be found where they are searching. for playing, instead of how “well” he played, as well as providing a way for Force Player Re-Roll players to plan their Character’s ad- 2 Tension Points vancement in predictable ways. You can force a player to re-roll any roll and take the worst result. You can We recommend that you award 1 do this multiple times and choose Advance each time you complete a from multiple results for one single session, assuming a session that’s ap- roll. proximately 4 hours long. If you play sessions that are only a couple hours Give Key NPC Fate Point long, award 1 Advance every other 3 Tension Points session. If your sessions that are more If you have a monster or NPC who like 8 hours long, award 2 Advances is important and you don’t want them per session. to die, you can spend three Tension Points to instantly buy them one and GMing Tension Points spend it to keep them alive. Players get a pool of Tension Points every time you sit down to play to- Note that Tension Points cannot be gether. For a normal sized group (3-4 spent to negate each other. Whoever, players) in a four-hour session, give player or GM, initiates their expendi- them a pool of five. They can spend ture first is the one who wins and get them to help them out in times of to execute on their desires. need, but each point they spend goes to you. Once in your possession, you Now while the player pool of Ten- can spend them to foil the characters sion Points does not carry over from later in the adventure. session to session, and all unspent points are lost, the same is not true You can spend them for one of four for you. As the GM, you get to hold benefits, with the following costs: onto your Tension Points until the ad- venture is complete. If you’re playing Re-Roll One Roll a much longer game, then you get 1 Tension Point to hold onto a single batch until the By spending one point, you can current story arc is complete. While immediately roll again and take the you can save all of them until the fi- better result. You can do this multiple nal confrontation or scene and make times and choose from multiple re- that moment particularly difficult and sults for one single roll. horrifying for the characters, you will probably be better served by pepper- Deny ing them throughout to create more 1 Tension Point moments of greater tension. You can spend one point in order to deny players from finding a needed 93Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9
    • ™ The Award-Winning Roleplaying Game Carries On! The storytelling game of aliens, mecha, and eldritch horrors 2085. Humanity faces extinction. Alien insects from the edge of our solar system, long hidden behind the façade of reality, descend to enslave us. Hordes of unspeakable horrors roll out from Central Asia, laying waste to anything in their path. The church of the fish-god scours the world for lost occult secrets to unleash terrible forces. Dead gods awaken and turn their dreadful eyes toward the Earth. And within hides a cancer, eating away at the very heart of the New Earth Government. This is the Aeon War. This is the time of CthulhuTech. • Core Book designed to get people playing fast • Includes ready-to-play stories • Epic evolving metaplot designed to put Characters in key places for world-changing events • Visually stunning artwork and high quality full color books • Written for mature audiences, this game pulls no punches 2009 ENNIE AWARDS Best Cover Art – •Gold Winner* Best Supplement – *Gold Winner* Best Production Values – *Nominee* Best Interior Art – *Nominee* Best Game – *Nominee* 2008 ORIGINS AWARDS Best Game – *Nominee*Guy Armand (order #4065473) 9