This thread contains the game introduction, list of characters and other useful information for the Mars 1900 game
In the closing years of the 19th century, an expedition into the frozen wastes of the Canadian arctic finds a relic beyond comparison: a massive disc-shaped vessel which is eventually determined to be a flying apparatus built with technology advanced far beyond that of British, by common consensus (of everyone who counts, which means the British) the most technologically advanced nation on Earth.
The Empire transports the flying disc to Britain at considerable cost, and the Empire´s top scientists immediately begin studying it. They determine that the flying disc must have originated from Mars, and that it had spent many centuries, perhaps several millenia, lost in the arctic. Amazingly, the disc is still functional, and the scientists discern its controls to the point that they can send it back to where it came from.
In 1899, the British Empire sends an expedition to Mars on the flying disc, hoping to establish contact with the Martian civilization that built it, or to take possession of whatever is left of the civilization if it no longer exists – which appears likely, as there are no reports of Martian visitors to Earth in recorded history. The expedition consists of the best and brightest of the British Empire, plus a number of outsiders representing the rest of humanity on this enterprise.
The flying disc departs Britain in late November 1899 and reaches its destination on January 10th, 1900. The player characters are members of the expedition.
This is a fictional Mars, not the real one. It is cold, but the climate is manageable with warm clothes; the air is thin, but breatheable.
Not much is known about Mars when the expedition departs. It is assumed to be older than Earth, a cold, probably very dry desert world; the astronomber Giovanni Schiaparelli has spotted a number of canals on the surface, but these are exceedingly hard to verify, and no definite map of the canal network – or of anything else on Mars – exists.
Expedition leader: Professor Jonah Caine (NPC)
Professor Caine´s assistant (male or female, scientist, naturalist or engineer)
Security Officer (Royal Army officer)
Security Detail (6x Royal Army enlisted, 1x Royal Marines enlisted)
Scientific Team (6x scientist or naturalist)
Engineering Team (4x engineer or inventor)
Diplomatic Mission (ambassador and 2x assistants)
Medical Team (2x doctor or surgeon)
Chaplains (1x priest of the Church of England)
Guides (3x wilderness experts)
Foreign Representatives (6x foreign Dignitaries – USA, France, Germany, Russia, two others)
Press Representatives (5x journalists and writers)
Except for the foreign representatives and up to half the scientific team, engineering team, guides and press representatives, the members of the expedition are citizens of the British Empire, either from Britain itself or any of the Dominions.
Professor Caine´s assistant and up to one third of the scientific team, engineering team, the ambassador´s assistants and press representatives can be female.
All non-British characters are in some way in the employ of their own and/or another foreign government with orders to acquire more information about Mars and its native civilization (and their technology) than the British Empire is willing to share; the same may or may not be true of some of the British characters.
Fitness: strength, speed, agility
Health: toughness, endurance
Dexterity: precision and manual skill
Perception: alertness, reflexes, senses
Intelligence: logic, reason, problem-solving
Will: determination, discipline, bravery
Education: knowledge, understanding
Charme: charisma, force of personality
Each character has either one „Exceptional“ and one „Good“, or three „Good“ abilities, plus either two „Poor“ or one „Abysmal“ ability; all other abilities are „Average“.
Officer: leadership, military tactics
Naturalist: field scientist (biology, geology, archeology, paleontology)
Scientist: lab scientist (physics, chemistry, math)
Inventor: cutting edge technologies (flight, electricity, difference engines)
Engineer: use of regular technologies (steam and internal combustion, explosives)
Scholar: profound knowledge of a specific field (e.g. medicine)
Dignitary: diplomacy, etiquette, negotiation
Outdoorsman: survival, tracking, hunting
Journalist: gathering information, writing
Rogue: deception, stealth, spycraft
Each character has a Main Role, a Secondary Role and up to three Interests. They are better at their Main Role than at their Secondary Role, and better at either than at any of their Interests.
Interests can be picked from the list of Roles, or can be anything else a player can think of (and that I approve of), such as Athlete, Singer, Gambler or Mountaineer.
„Rogue“ cannot be picked as a Main Role. Note that all non-British characters MUST pick „Rogue“ as either their Secondary Role or an Interest to reflect their activity as spies; British characters who pick „Rogue“ are either in the employ of a foreign government, or work for the British government to hinder the foreign spies of the expedition.
Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards. Sir Frederick Hoyle
Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
Man has earned the right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone completely bat**** insane. xkcd #556
Just like people, stars can be very important without being terribly bright. Phil Plait, "Bad Astronomy"