Setting Information.   Posted by Janus.Group: public
 GM, 5 posts
 We all imagined
 A better future
Wed 8 Apr 2015
at 02:23
Setting Information
Game Genre: Epiphany is sci-fi horror adventure set in a distant future. Players will take on the role of crew members living on board the S.S. Janus. Life on board is divided into periods of waking and artificial dreaming (Epiphany), which are in many way both equally real and equally relevant to the story.

The Seed Ship (S.S.) Janus
Our Ship was not created to be comfortable or beautiful. Despite all of our technological advances,  The Janus is a practical machine, designed to keep the crew alive through adverse conditions, and very little else. There are no creature comforts to speak of, save the few personal touches that crew members have added over the years. Time has passed since the ship first launched - how much time is unclear, but the metal flooring feels worn down and softened by the passage of many feet, and the walls rattle more than they used to. Corridors are narrow, lined with pipes that spit hot steam into the claustrophobic and muggy environment.

It was not deemed important to build a beautiful or comfortable ship, since most of the crew are kept in stasis for the vast majority of their journey through space. There are 500 crew members on board, but only a tiny fraction are awake at any given time. The ship A.I. has sole determination over who is awake, and who is in kept in stasis. It is not at all uncommon to wake up after hundreds of years in stasis, to find sections of the ship damaged by some unknown calamity that you were simply not woken to deal with, or to find some small touch of home added to a familiar hallway with no idea who put it there or why the A.I. allows it to remain.

There are several primary rooms and sections of the ship that are designated for crew use:

  • EPIPHANY Subsystems - The physical room holds stasis pods for each of the 500 crew members. While in stasis, each crew member enters a shared consciousness (EPIPHANY)  that simulates dreaming.
  • Engineering - Contains the engine room and access to the primary ship systems, including the A.I. Core
  • Recreational Zone - Consisting of a dreary cafeteria, a generic religious space,  and a small exercise area. Connected to the hydroponics bay.
  • Medical and Research - Labs designated for the analysis of specimens, and maintaining the survival of the crew.
  • Docking Bay - Contains a battle-damaged, small vessel for short range exploration; several heavily worn space suits; and various equipment for planetary exploration, sample collection, etc.
  • ARK Modules - Much of the ship is taken up by large storage pods that crew rarely access unless there is an emergency situation. These pods include animals in embryonic stasis chambers; an extensive seed vault; a growing forest to produce oxygen for the ship; and other stored assets that preserve pieces of Earth for terraforming and historical/ cultural preservation purposes.

Standard Issue Equipment
  • Clairvoyance (TM) Implant: Every crew member has an ocular Clairvoyance(TM) implant, that provides immediate access the ship’s computer systems from any location. The display is a visual augmented reality overlay, which can be shared with other crew members who have the same implant and access level. The implant itself resembles a contact lens that is fused to the iris, but it can only be removed surgically.  For crew members who find the interface fatiguing or distracting, there is also a hand-held tablet device that serves the same function.

    Access to certain subsystems is restricted to authorized personnel only.These restrictions ensure that only personnel with enough training and expertise are given access to mission critical systems. No one wants the janitor reprogramming the navigational systems, after all.

    These implants remove the need for physical interfaces and control panels for most ship systems, and help to secure the ship from possible invasion, mutiny, or sabotage.

  • Walkabout Suits: Specialized suits designed for hazardous environments such as unfamiliar planets and walking on the outer hull of the ship. The suits come with a helmet, gravity boots, onboard oxygen supply and radiation protection. Most of the suits are kept in the docking bay for away missions or hull repairs. However, there are also individual suits placed at strategic locations throughout the ship, in case there is a sudden hull depressurization, radiation leak, or other emergency situation.

  • Personal Items: Feel free to have some small personal items that are stored in a small crew locker, or that are represented by minor cybernetic implants. Equipment you need to do your job such as medical supplies, lab equipment, tools for mechanical repairs etc would generally be shared amongst all crew members since different people are awake and active at different times. However, if you want to have a "lucky" socket wrench that only you are allowed to use, that is fine also.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:10, Sat 25 Apr 2015.

 GM, 9 posts
 We all imagined
 A better future
Tue 12 May 2015
at 03:46
A list of frequently asked questions about this home-brew setting. I don't have a 100% firm vision for this universe. I am evolving the building blocks of the game as people send me character ideas. However, there are probably some things that should remain consistent so that we can all make characters that live realistically in the same universe.

This list will expand as I work with players on adapting their character concepts.

1. What is our basic level of space travel technology?

This is a lonely universe, with civilizations young and old separated by the vast emptiness of space. While I do plan on addressing alien life forms, there is no interstellar trade network (or if there is, humans are not part of it). Traveling through space is difficult and time consuming, and most vessels utilize some kind of stasis system for long voyages. Faster than Light travel, as far as we know, is an impossibility.

2. What about aliens?

Without a doubt, there is intelligent life in the universe. Humans have intercepted a few stray transmissions and long-range probes. Throughout the past century, there have been whispered rumors of alien dissections, and brief frightening encounters on remote outposts. However, aliens live a long distance away from us and contact is very challenging and unpredictable.

The S.S. Janus does occasionally encounter alien life forms, due to its prolonged time traveling in space. It is very possible that you have already encountered an alien civilization during your voyage on the ship, but (most likely) you did not meet any aliens before leaving earth. However, if you weave me a story that fits into this "lonely universe" motif, I will absolutely work with you to make the concept viable.

3. What does this setting "feel" like in general?

The influences for this game are things like Alien, Dark City, Dead Space, The Wool Trilogy, Numenera, and Stargate Universe. I want the basic structure to be science-fiction with a strong psychological horror element. However, there are also aspects of dreamscapes and fantasy, especially in the Epiphany stasis system and while exploring other planets.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:49, Tue 12 May 2015.