37) You are agents in a special unit of the Imperial/Federal/Commonwealth Space-Naval Investigative Service "specialising" in shallow-cover operations against space-pirates, space-smugglers, space-terrorists, and spies. Becasue of the need to work undercover you get to be quirky, undisciplined mavericks who really look as though there is no way they could be in a paramilitary unit. Some of you may be former Space Marines recon snake-eaters, ex-Space Navy VAWL (vacuum, air, water, land) snipers, vice cops, and fashion models. Perhaps even a trained intelligence officer. Naturally, you have to contend with the planetological peculiarities, bizarre society, and perverse government of each planet of the week.
38) You are free-lance travel writers, moving from world to world in search of gonzo and schlock material for blog entries or Rolling Meteorite: drug experiences, musical gigs, extreme parties, and orgies a speciality. Naturally, you have to contend with the planetological peculiarities, bizarre society, and perverse government of each planet of the week.
39) You are xeno-physicians, xeno-surgeons, xeno-dentists, xeno-almoners, and frankly veterinarians on a mercy ship in space. You travel from natural disaster world to plague spot world to war-world; healing the sick, succouring the afflicated, and causing hilarity to ensue. Naturally, you have to contend with the planetological peculiarities, bizarre society, and perverse government of each planet of the week.
40) You are a team of agents of the Special Homeland Alien Defence Organisation, equipped with a modicum of captured alien technology, defending Earth (played, in a bold casting move, by the USA) from alien infiltration. You visit the location of the week to investigate a UFO sighting or weird event, discover any alien operation involved, and terminate any threats to peace, order, and good government.
41) You are a crack counter-terrorist operations team of the Imperial/Federal/Commonwealth security service, investigating suspected or possible Meresian operations, sleepers, and agents of influence and neutralising the ones that turn out to be real. Ideally, you do so without tipping Meresian Intelligence or Meresian Covert Operations how much you know about their operations or your sources and methods. Naturally, you have to contend with the planetological peculiarities, bizarre society, and perverse government of each planet of the week.
42) You are a resistance cell on a planet occupied by the Meresian Empire during The War. You struggle to sabotage the Meresian war effort, gather intelligence for the Federation/Empire/Commonwealth, smuggle escaped POWs and political fugitives to safety, hide inspiring Resistance propagandists, disseminate Federal/Imperial/Commonwealth propaganda, and distribute explosives etc. without (a) being caught by the efficient and brutal Meresian Secret Police, (b) unnecessarily provoking brutal reprisals, (c) being exposed by the clumsy and insecure Federal/Imperial/Commonwealth Secret Operations Branch, or (d) being "expended" to support an operation by the ruthless Federal/Imperial/Commonwealth Secret Intelligence Service.
43) You are fugitives from a false accusation or the vengeance of the Space-Mob, fleeing from world to world in pursuit of the one-armed man, the evidence that will clear your name, a means to destroy the mobster who put out the contract on you, and/or a safe place to hide. You are pursued by a very determined hit-man or Imperial/Federal/Commonwealth marshal or both, or simply have a contract/warrant out for your murder/arrest or both. Naturally, you have to contend with the planetological peculiarities, bizarre society, and perverse government of each planet of the week.
44) You are badge-wearing, gun-carrying building inspectors from the New York Department of Buildings (or the equivalent in some other, even older metropolis). You investigate and retire problems with gateways into the past or future or cracks into parallel universes that show up in or between the ancient geomantic buildings of the great city. You also rescue anything that disappears into them, deal with and ideally return dead or alive anything that come through them, and occasionally deal with things released from crypts, problems to do with changes to the city blocking or releasing the flow of geomantic energy, etc. etc.
45) You are medical officers, nurses, colourful SNCOs, civil affairs officers etc. in the hospital regiment/company of the Xth division/regiment of the Federal/Imperial/Commonwealth army or space marines. You are deployed to worlds afflicted by plague, disaster, or even invasion by the Xth to cure the sick, heal the injured, and engage in hi-jinks. Naturally, you have to contend with the planetological peculiarities, bizarre society, and perverse government of each planet of the week, and occasionally the militarism of your line-officer comrades.
46) You are engineering or E&M engineering officers, colourful SNCOs, civil affairs officers etc. in the engineering and/or recovery regiment/company of the Xth division/regiment of the Federal/Imperial/Commonwealth army or space marines. You are deployed to backward, disaster-hit, and war-ravaged planets, or ones that are being invaded by the Xth to [re]-build hospitals, roads, teachers' colleges, dams and canals, ports, spaceports, and support military ops. Naturally, you have to contend with the planetological peculiarities, bizarre society, and perverse government of each planet of the week, and occasionally the militarism of your line-officer comrades.
47) You are undercover reviewers for the Michelin Guide, Lonely Universe, Travellers' Aid Society, or Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. You travel from planet to planet visiting tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants, and star-ports, subjecting them to surprise stress tests, rating them, and writing entries for your travel guide. Naturally, you have to contend with the planetological peculiarities, bizarre society, and perverse government of each planet of the week — and write them up for the information of tourists and amusement of readers.
48) You are inspectors of public morale and discipline, working for the Imperial Censorate or Commonwealth Inspectorate-General, as personal agents of the Connatic, etc. It is your job to visit worlds and planets under cover, to mingle with people in all walks of life, and to determine whether (a) the local government is treating its citizens in accord with Imperial minimum standards, (b) whether the attitude of the People is indeed as the world government is reporting it to the Empire/Commonwealth/Connatic, and (c) whether there is anything untoward occurring on the world that it is within the Imperial/Commonwealth/Connatical remit to put right, all in such a way as to get around any effort or tendency for misinformation to be reported through official channels. Naturally, you have to contend with the planetological peculiarities, bizarre society, perverse government, and possibly corrupt local agencies of the Empire/Federation/Commonwealth, of each planet of the week.
49) One of you is an eccentric (not to say erratic) but extremely gifted alien scientist. The rest are his rather bewildered human travelling companions. You flit from juncture to juncture in a teleporting time-machine, saving the multiverse with feelings.
50) One (or several) of you is (or are) notorious. You are a deposed emperor, the admiral who sterilised a world or exterminated a sapient alien race, a former genocidal tyrant or cannibal dictator, the former chief of secret police in a fallen or defeated-enemy regime, the inventor of AI robots, an apostate, a murder-cult leader, the author of a blasphemous novel, or an infamous serial killer. You have been mindwiped, rehabilitated, or officially vindicated, or your defection to the winning side was vital in the Commonwealth/Empire/Federation's victory in the War; but there is no world in the Commonwealth/Empire/Federation where the government will grant you permanent residency, or where the People would tolerate it if they did. The rest of you are the entourage of this notorious person or these notorious people: valet, bodyguard, food-taster, almoner, personal physician and brain-care specialist…. You wander from planet to planet, probably on space-liners. On each one you stay only as long as it's visa-waiver program or transit visas will allow. Once per quarter 100,000 credits is deposited in a numbered account at the Galactic Bank for your support: at a branch on yet another world, far from the last.
51) You are on a pilgrimage to visit all the worlds that the Great Guru visited in the course of his wanderings, to find the sites of his recorded deeds, and there to make the customary observances. The thing is that it has been centuries since anyone made pilgrimage to most of these sites. The planets' societies have become quirky and even bizarre, the governments repressive or lunatic; the sites are overgrown, or forgotten, or have been converted to uses that make them high-security or downright dangerous. And the Church isn't well liked everywhere any more.
52) As 51, but completing the pilgrimage will make one of you eligible for election — perhaps the only eligible candidate — to the vacant throne of the Patriarchal Pope. There are rivals — perhaps heretical in your view — competing to complete the pilgrimage and seize the papacy [first]; some of them are not above sabotaging you (nor, perhaps, you them). And far away the Cardinal Camerlengo is doing rather nicely as regent, and has all the resources of the Church at his disposal to keep the Papacy-Patriarchate vacant [for another term].
53) The Gallimaufrey (or perhaps it is the Connatic's Palace at Lusz, or the Commonwealth/Federal/Imperial sector HQ in Pegasus Sector) is a magnificent orbital habitat (or perhaps it is a monumental palace) where diplomatic representatives of a multitude of autonomous worlds in the Commonwealth/Federation/Empire (or perhaps independent interstellar states) gather for bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. Parts of it also function as tourist attractions. You are senior members of its staff: the major-domo, chief of security, chief of engineering, quartermaster, purser, chief steward etc. It is your responsibility to provide for the needs of the various diplomatic missions (members of which are often surprisingly parochial) and visiting heads of government and other VIPs, hose down their squabbles before anyone is killed or makes a diplomatic incident, and keep the espionage down to a dull roar.
54) Grosseteste College (or Barton Rogers Hall) is a residential dormitory at Oxford University (or MIT), on Old Earth — one of the most ancient and prestigious institutions of research and higher learning in the entire Commonwealth/Empire/Federation/Oikumene. It is one of few that specialises in accommodation for off-Earth (or even alien) students. You are the senior staff: the warden, the bursar, the senior fellow, the principal, the dean of students etc. It is your job to stand in loco parentis for hundreds of young adults from a multitude of different and often bizarre social backgrounds, to stop them from causing or coming to any serious harm while not coddling them, to manage their expectations of privilege, and to make sure to the extent possible that they study and pass their exams, all while most of them are away from their homeworlds and in a cosmopolitan environment for the first time in their lives. Also, you have to manage the college's endowment and preserve the thousand-year-old fabric of its buildings.
55) You are elderly members of the Interplanetary Club, firmly ensconced in favourite chairs on the window side of the Members' Bar. Whenever some young whippersnapper of an actually active explorer comes in with a tale of his latest expedition, why, you have better story of something similar but more impressive that you did or saw on one of your expeditions back in the Golden Age of Interstellar Exploration. Your tall and rather rambling tale is played out in flashback, probably using one of those newfangled narrative RPG that the young people have these days.
— Brett Evill
My SFRPG setting, Flat Black© My posts to this board are copyright under the Berne Convention. They may be quoted on the board with appropriate attribution. They may not be reproduced beyond the board except with explicit permission from me.
Last edited by Agemegos on Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.