Ashen Stars - Take 1
The system is Gumshoe, which, as the name implies is an investigative style game.
“You may cruise around the spacelanes waiting to respond to emergency distress calls. This activity, known as “swooping”, is looked down on by higher-end lasers, who pick and choose their missions. Through this procedure, a distress call is routed through a Combine outpost. The outpost then sends a proffer to all registered laser ships within hailing range. Each ship bids on the contract. The Combine authorizes the winner to proceed to the site of the call and solve whatever problem the locals report. The bid system takes into account the reputations of the bidding vessels, giving the scrubbers incentive to keep it honest. Or what passes for honest in the Bleed. "
— Robin Laws. Ashen Stars. 2011
The Combine (not to be confused with the Battletech universe), was a human centric galatic empire that covered a dense belt of solar systems known as the Wave. Less than a generation ago, the Mohilar arose from planets long thought uninhabitable and the Mohilar war started. The atmospheres of the Combine’s core planets, including Earth, were irreparably poisoned, billions died on both sides, and the economy of the Combine collapsed in a society that transcended the need for currency.
Seven years ago, the war ended, and the Mohilar vanished as quickly as they arrose. Little is remembered about them other than what they did, and fears remain high of their return. Barely able to administer its surviving core worlds, the Combine has abandoned central control over its far-flung frontiers. The Wave was renamed the Bleed, and you have become what constitutes authority in the frontiers.
You are supposed create the characters together for certain reasons that will become clear as you go through it. However, there are tings at least think about prior to the first session to “expedite” the process.
PreGame Prep — For the Character Creation Session
Other Useful Information
I’ll try and create a basic sheet describing the mechanics of the game. Some things you should be aware of are below.
The time increments are important in regards to knowing how to spend your pools. Pools refresh at different increments of time.
- Intervals – A variable stretch of time defined by the progress your characters make in advancing the story (acquiring a core clue.)
- Episodes – The amount of time needed to complete a single scenario or case.
- Downtime – Period between episodes
- Session – One game session
You spend points from your pools to modify your test rolls. Understanding when they renew is important to properly budget their use.
- Investigative Pool points are restored at the end of each episode (which means 2-3 sessions.)
- Health Pool – 2 points per day or restful activity (Wounded characters heal at a different rate)
- General Pools – 4 general pools can be refreshed by taking a time-out (2 quiet hours in a safe and familiar environment.) 2 Intervals must occur between time-outs.