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Submitted by SuperSayu on Fri, 01/15/2016 - 23:07

What follows are my notes on the concept of a Space Station 13-themed tabletop game, generally speaking in the vein of Zombies!!!. For reference regarding Space Station 13, see some of its branches: /tg/station, Baystation, Goonstation.

  • Before each game, an entire Space Station map is created arbitrarily by the players. The board is comprised of tiles:
    • Hallway tiles: 1x4, 2x4
    • Rooms: 2x2, 3x3, 3x4, etc
    • Shuttle dock points
    • Other/misc (solars, engine, etc): various larger sizes
  • Let's say there are 3-4 players. Each player draws 3 character cards, 3 job cards, and 3 faction cards. They play the character and jobs face-up in any order, and the faction cards face down (after looking at them). They place a player token of their color at the job start position for each character. If their antagonist or job cards specify equipment or spawn actions, draw the selected equipment or take the specified action. After assigning the factions to characters, they draw two objective cards for each character. They may only keep objective cards that match one of their factions; if they get an invalid objective they discard it and draw again.
  • On the board are progress trackers for each faction, whether or not anyone drew that faction. Players set the target points before the game starts; when the progress tracker reaches that score, it is considered full.
    • If any progress tracker is full, the faction's endgame begins. It may make the shuttle arrive, or it may start an Armageddon, in which all characters of that faction are revealed and must accomplish one last task to end the game.
    • When the shuttle arrives, characters have 6 turns to get to the shuttle or an escape pod. Unless their faction card says otherwise, characters left behind count as dead for the purposes of the player's score.
    • At the beginning of each round, any player may declare their allegiance to any faction not already claimed by another player. When they do, all players must play any completed objective cards for that faction from their hand. For each completed objective, the progress tracker for that faction increases by one.
      • The player who controls the Captain must immediately side with the Station and may never be sided with anyone else. This is true even if the Captain is a late-join character joining a player who normally controls antagonists.
      • If a Captain arrives late and someone else has already declared themselves aligned with the Station, the Captain steals the station allegiance and the other player becomes unaligned.
    • During normal play, players take turns, and in each player turn, they may take up to two actions per character. They may either use an ability from their character, job, or faction card, get an item from the room they're in, use a nearby machine, or interact with another character in the same room. (Some tiles are subdivided; you may only act on machines, items, and characters in your area)
    • Each character takes actions according to their objectives. A character with no objectives should "do their job" or "relax". Characters with access to dangerous items should not use them except according to their objectives unless their character or faction card says otherwise.
    • At the end of each player's turn, they draw an event card. If it is a major event, they may choose to either put it faceup on the board to be activated at the end of the round, put it facedown before them, or discard it. Only one major event can be set to be played, and only one can be kept in front of any player. If another card is set to be played, the event with higher severity is kept. Minor events may be kept in the hand and played like items or job abilities, but are spent when played. The severity of some events (and the effects of the event) is tied to a faction's progress track. Events may have several effects:
      • New characters may be created. This functions as it did at game start except they start on the arrivals shuttle.
      • New objectives may be added to the drawing player, or all players.
      • An "intercepted objective" may be played face-up on the table. Any player may claim the card at any time afterwards if they declare allegiance to the faction of the objective, or if they already are aligned with it. If someone declares allegiance to that faction but does not take the objective, it still counts towards the faction's progress tracker if completed.
      • Monsters may be added to the table. Monsters occupy a room and attack anyone who enters.
      • Random characters may be affected for better or worse. A random effects deck exists for these sorts of events, including disease, hunger, superpowers, faction changes, job changes, or a character may change owners.
      • Cyborgs may be added to the table. Cyborgs are pseudo-characters without objectives or jobs; they have access to the entire station and are not harmed by space or fire. The cyborg may either be normal or suborned; normal cyborgs may not harm other characters, and any player may claim a cyborg in the same room as one of their characters on their turn, allowing it to take actions immediately. Suborned cyborgs may harm characters, and the character controlling it may refuse to turn the cyborg over, or recall it to themselves on their turn if they have let someone else use it. You can only suborn a cyborg that was yours when your turn started.
    • When the game ends, player scores are calculated:
      • Completed objectives in your deck aligned with your declared faction: +2 (unless otherwise specified)
      • Completed objectives in your deck aligned with another faction: +1
      • Completed objectives in your deck, where you have no living characters in that faction, and you are not aligned with that faction: +1/2
      • Uncompleted objectives in your deck, if you have living character from that faction (including those left behind): -1
      • Having no living characters aligned with your faction: -5
      • A faction friendly to yours won (completed their tracker) - even if you also won: -3
      • A faction hostile to yours won (completed their tracker) - even if you also won: -5
    • The player with the highest score wins. In case of a tie, the players may share a win if their factions are friendly or neutral with each other. If the tied factions are hostile with each other, neither wins, and the next highest scoring player wins instead. No player may win unless their score is greater than zero.

    That last point is meant to suggest that players should always backstab each other--you never want to be tied with someone else!

    I can't go into an example right now but I would be happy to if anyone is interested to talk about it.