This is an adaptation for Trophy Gold in order to play through Mothership modules or otherwise change the genre setting from the assumed dark fantasy to dark/horror sci-fi. I’ll outline the character creation changes and how that ties into the players’ ship and ship creation. First, what’s different between a base Trophy Gold and this Trophy Gold x Mothership quick bash:
- Player characters no longer have Rituals. However, Rituals could easily be added back in; these could look like highly specialized skills that nonetheless carry risk or, perhaps, tap into the weirdness of the horror element of the setting. Coming straight from Mothership, however, the characters have nothing but their Skills and Equipment.
- There is no more Additional Equipment—PCs will have to select each of the pieces of Equipment that they take in their loadout (née backpack). This is to put more of a constraint on the characters on incursions and mirror Mothership’s equipment mechanics...that being said, there’s no reason Additional Equipment couldn’t also be added back in, like Rituals (Found Equipment remains and works the same).
- The characters no longer have Drives or Hoards. The mechanics here shift almost totally to the characters’ ship, for which the individual Hoards instead represent a piece of the Debt that the PC group owes for their ship (Burdens remain the same). I’ll talk more about the ship after going through character creation.
- Occupations and Backgrounds, Backpack Equipment and Gold have different names: your character’s Occupation (and Background) are represented by their Class; Backpack Equipment is called Loadout; and Gold is now Credits. Aside from character creation, these categories function the same as base Trophy Gold.
- Finally, Mothership’s “Player’s Survival Guide” is referenced a handful of times and I want to be clear up top that the guide is available as a pay-what-you-want PDF.
- To create a character, players should choose a Class, Loadout, Trinket and Patch.
- Choosing a Class will give you a set of Skills to take, choose from or open choice from the initial list of Skills (this initial list of Skills is only used for character creation—in-game, Skills are learned the same as they are in Trophy Gold).
- Choosing a Loadout will give a themed selection of items, of which you’ll choose three-five to start with.
- Choosing a Trinket will fill one of the slots in your loadout; choosing a Patch adds a cosmetic detail to your character that carries no mechanical benefit or detriment.
- Teamster — take: zero-g and mechanical repair, pick one: heavy machinery or piloting, pick one Trained Skill and pick one Expert Skill.
- Scientist — pick two: biology, hydroponics, geology, computers, mathematics and chemistry, pick one Trained Skill and pick one Expert Skill.
- Android — take: linguistics, computers and mathematics and pick one Expert Skill.
- Marine — take: military training, pick two Trained Skills and pick one Expert Skill.
Linguistics, biology, first aid, hydroponics, geology, zero-g, scavenging, heavy machinery, computers, mechanical repair, driving, piloting, mathematics, art, archaeology, theology, military training, rimwise, athletics, chemistry.
In order to take an Expert Skill, you must have at least one of the prerequisites listed in the parentheses.
Psychology (biology), genetics (biology), pathology (first aid), botany (hydroponics), planetology (geology), asteroid mining (geology, zero-g, scavenging or heavy machinery), jury rigging (scavenging or computers), engineering (heavy machinery, computers or mechanical repair), hacking (computers), vehicle specialization (mechanical repair, driving or piloting), astrogation (piloting), physics (mathematics), mysticism (art, archaeology or theology), tactics (military training), gunnery (military training), firearms (military training or rimwise), close-quarters combat (military training, rimwise or athletics), explosives (military training or chemistry).
If vehicle specialization is chosen, a particular vehicle needs to be selected, like “frigate,” “car” or “fighter jet.” Brief descriptions of Skills are given on page five of Mothership’s “Player’s Survival Guide,” but Skills should be open to interpretation by the GM and players as they are in Trophy Gold.
Choose a Loadout and then choose 3-5 items from that Loadout to begin with.
- Excavation -- crowbar, hand welder, laser cutter, body cam, bioscanner, infrared goggles, lockpick set, vaccsuit, mag-boots, short-range comms.
- Exploration -- rigging gun, flare gun, first aid kit, vaccsuit, long-range comms, survey kit, water filter, locator, rebreather, binoculars, flashlight, camping gear.
- Extermination -- heads-up display, body cam, short-range comms, stimpak (2), electronic tool kit, extra magazines (2).
- Examination -- scalpel, hazard suit, medscanner, pain pills (5), stimpak (2), cybernetic diagnostic scanner.
Most of the items do what you’d expect or follow their descriptions in Mothership’s “Player’s Survival Guide,” but some have been converted to suit Trophy Gold’s mechanics.
- Stimpak -- Roll a light die even if you don’t have the appropriate Skill or, possibly, Equipment (basically brute force it). Addictive.
- Pain pills -- Temporarily reduce Ruin by 1 until you return to town. Addictive.
Trinkets & Patches
Please reference pages 19 and 20 in Mothership’s “Player’s Survival Guide” for D100 tables for trinkets and patches, respectively.
Finishing these steps, you will have a Mothership character ready for play in Trophy Gold’s system.
Ships Ships are like a shared character that all players are responsible for. Ships have the following sections: Debt, Maintenance, Damage, Primary Modules and Secondary Modules.
Debt is equal to 50 Credits x the number of players—if there are four players, the characters will collectively owe 200 Credits for their ship. The need to pay this off (though without a deadline) replaces the individual characters’ Drives and Hoards.
Maintenance works like the individual characters’ Burdens—it begins at 1 and goes up as the characters purchase and upgrade modules. If Maintenance goes unpaid after the characters return to town, a number of Conditions equal to the amount of unpaid Maintenance should be added to the ship. These Conditions can be cleared by paying all of the Maintenance the next time the characters return to town. (Maintenance is non-cumulative, however; they do not have to back-pay Maintenance to clear Conditions.)
Damage works like the individual characters’ Ruin—it begins at 0 and is increased through Combat or Risk Rolls or as appropriate for the narrative. It can be repaired when in station at the rate of 1 Damage for 1 Credit. (The GM could decide to make ship repairs more costly given the size and materials needed, but keep in mind that a ship’s Maintenance will incur a regular cost that is meant to abstract the maintenance of the ship.)
Primary modules are the required modules for the ship to function: the life support, command, thrusters, engine and frame (“frame” represents all the other bits like airlocks, landing gear, etc.). The initial 1 Maintenance comes from the upkeep for these modules, however, a ship should not have only primary modules. Primary modules can be individually upgraded for 1 Maintenance per upgrade.
Secondary modules are the optional modules that characters can install in order to make their ship more functional and comfortable: the jump drive, computer, galley, weapons, armor, medical bay, cryochamber, living quarters, barracks, and science lab. Generally, these modules work as expected, but please reference pages 27-30 of Mothership’s “Player’s Survival Guide” for more information (especially concerning jump drives and the particular weirdness of faster-than-light travel in Mothership).
Weapons and armor work like the individual characters’ Combat Equipment—installing weapons permits the ship to participate in Combat Rolls for ship-to-ship combat and installed armor can be marked off to avoid increasing Damage (armor is unmarked when returning to town). Secondary modules can be individually purchased and upgraded for 1 Maintenance per purchase or upgrade.
Ships use the same rolls as characters use; Hunt Rolls could abstract travel through particularly dangerous systems or long distance journeys, while Risk Rolls could be used for quick-thinking piloting or evasive maneuvers to avoid combat.
There is a small change for the Combat Roll: the ship will always roll at least one Weak Point, but it can roll more depending on the number of Conditions the ship has. If a ship enters combat with two conditions, it should roll three Weak Points total; just the same, if a ship gains a Condition in combat, it should roll another Weak Point.