Poor Amongst the Stars
These corridors and decks are all you’ve known your entire life. It’s all your parents knew, it’s all your children will know. As the ship you’re in glides through the cold black vacuum of space you have to deal with the reality of being Poor Amongst the Stars.
Poor Amongst the Stars is a setting for Malandros that takes the players below decks on a generational starship. Where other games focus on the heroic deeds of the senior officers, Poor Amongst the Stars is about the powerless and unimportant characters aboard ship. Their struggles to improve conditions, gain respect or find romance are the core stories of the game. Malandros’ superb dramatic interaction system turns the conflicts within a community that lives in a confined space into a compelling narrative.
The book places the players in control of the stories and makes the creation of setting central to the game. Every ship and every game is different as the players decide what is important to their stories and what gives the character's lives meaning. Are they humanity's last hope or a bold first step into interstellar space? Is the spaceship a utopia of science and technology or an over-crowded slum where the bare necessities are an everyday struggle? Poor Amongst The Stars allows the players to explore the best and worst of humanity in a unique setting. The book adapts the classic People You Meet and Signature Moves of Malandros from the streets of Imperial Rio to the corridors of your personalised starship.
Trapped in the vast darkness of interstellar space, humanity must find a new way to live. What will you discover when you play Poor Amongst The Stars?
The society aboard the ship is defined by the ship’s mission. The mission affects nearly everything, from the layout of the ship to what people are aboard.
Exploration and Research
The ship is a space bourne university that is full of academics and explorers. Its mission is to expand the frontiers of human knowledge. The elite of the ship’s passengers are highly educated and highly trained professionals dedicated to science. Supporting this works drive productivity aboard ship. There’s a great deal of uncertainty about the mission as the purpose is to explore an unknown destination. For those brought along as support staff, families or those that have dropped out there is little direction to life. The quality of the ship and its technology will be the best mankind has to offer but on a smaller scale. Expect a highly bureaucratic system of government with the scientists having authority over the crew.
Earth has become so crowded that people are desperate enough to try interstellar travel. Either government or private enterprise sold tickets to a range of people wanting to start a new life somewhere else. If the tickets were only expensive the passengers will be made of wealthy families who enjoy a good standard of living. A range of ticket prices or forced relocation will see a greater number of the poor aboard, making do in cramped conditions. The passengers are going to have a lot of complex reasons for why they wanted to leave Earth. It’s possible that the passengers could be of a single group that commissioned the ship. The ship itself will be good enough for government work and will contain a lot of equipment and supplies that will be only useful on planetfall. The crew are going to be mostly in command but there may be the beginnings of the civilian government that will guide the colony.
Something went horribly horribly wrong and everyone that could leave did. Survival of the species is at stake and this ship was one of thousands hastily built and launched. Little to no planning went into what the survivors might do once the journey was under way. There’s possibly somewhere to settle down at journey’s end but maybe the ship is fated to fly forever. The passengers will be from all parts of society no matter if they got aboard by lottery, bribery or violence. The trauma of losing of Earth and everything that was left behind will have had a lasting effect on the collective psyche of the survivor’s culture. With little time to prepare, the ship will be a rushed job and may be missing key components or important supplies. Technology will be limited to the simplistic and easily constructed. The crew will be in command of the ship but their authority derives from a government that no longer exists. There would have been no passenger organisation at launch.