JP On Gaming

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

[Kinda Review] Mothership RPG: simple, quick, and deadly sci-fi

This past Sunday, ActionMan and I traveled "up north" to Clarksville TN for a game of Mothership.

Now let me preface this post by saying that I had COMPLETELY forgotten about the system, I believed we were going to play some 5e. But no.

I heard about this event from one of the local RPG group and got in contact with Joe (the GM) signaling my interest. The original event was scheduled to happen just before Xmas but that got canceled by the frost wave. Dang I'm still cold thinking about it.

Joe presented ActionMan and I with the system, a d100 system. Character creation took about 15 minutes with explanation. And we were off into space.

Mothership puts the players in the roles of sci-fi horror. VERY influenced by the two films in the Aliens franchise, (There are TWO films) and the Predator movies. It joins lovecraftian and survival horror with sci-fi. It is a great system to play through movie horror.

So you are not 40k-style space marines used to mowing down hundreds of monsters while chanting for the Emperor. This is average joe in space trying to survive. Very Movie-style characters having to deal with issues.

ActionMan (playing Q8T the android) and I (playing Dirk McGrit the teamster (think tech/ worker)) had to investigate what was happening in a moon base where the Company was sending us as replacements personel.

Survival horror was front and center. Not overly gory, but many "OH CRAP! moments that had us try and get out of this place.

That Joe... He managed to leave us hanging on a cliffhanger! GAH! I still don't know if we will survive!

The PDF for the game is free! My favorite price! You can check it out on

So some personal highlight:
- Character creation. Simple, elegant, quick
- Very story-game style where skills are not overly deterministic ("as long as you can justify using your skills, you can use it").
- The system is extremely simple: d100, doubles are crit success or fumbles.
- The stress system is an way to represent that your character is not as cool and collected when things begin going wrong.
- Gritty.

In the end, I have to say I really enjoyed this system. I personally see it more as ideal for one-shots or convention games. I will keep an eye for those whenever I attend an event.

Big thank you to Joe.

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