Dead Planet

Posted 26 May 2021 to Sci-Fi

A violent incursion into the land of the living for the Mothership Sci-Fi Horror Roleplaying Game.


What Is It

A 52 page PDF, by Fiona Maeve Geist, Donn Stroud and Sean McCoy. It includes 4 adventure sites linked to one another, and the reader is encouraged to rip them apart and cannibalize the parts they like. Each adventure site can be used stand-alone, and each presents a different flavour of space horror. You have the bug hunt abandoned facility, the big monster in tight spaces, the crazy space colony, and the weird alien planet wilderness. It also includes tools for generating derelict spaceships. The suggested premise is that the PCs ship suffers a hyperdrive malfunction and they arrive in a system where weirdness is going on, linked to a nightmare dimension.

How I Used It

I have run "The Screaming on the Alexis" adventure site 4 times, in various sci-fi systems. "Tyrant Beggar Colony" twice. "The Red Tower" once. The wonderful d100 nightmares table has been useful in other horror games.


The Good

  • Tight writing, dense pages. Every single page has been carefully considered. Every word chosen with care to be evocative and trigger the reader's imagination.
  • Alexis starship map. The map of this derelict ship is fun to play. It's like a dungeon crawl in space, with a main corridor, multiple decks, and connecting crawl-spaces for the PCs and monsters to use. It's usable in many ways.
  • The Red Tower map. This abandoned facility on a planet was fun to explore. It has some verticality, with an exciting scene as the PCs descended an elevator shaft with ropes.
  • All maps have GM versions and unlabelled player versions. Love this, it made it easy to set up Roll20.
  • Cannibal colonists. Players loved this location. They got to meet NPCs and interact with the location, and gradually come to the realization that this place is pretty fucked up. I had to invent my own reason for the PCs to interact with the colonists. They had something the group needed.
  • Situations not plots. The adventure sites are presented, with information on the NPCs and goals. The rooms have expressive 2-line descriptions. Sometimes there is a clock ticking. This is the correct way to write an adventure site, so the GM can run it without trying to stick to a breadcrumb trail.

The Not-So-Good

  • Harpoon to pull ships? Sometimes you need a way to get the PCs to land their ship at a location they have no reason to visit. Sometimes you need to railroad them into the adventure. I get that. One of the factions on the moon (desperate bandits) apparently uses a giant harpoon to shoot passing ships and haul them down to the moon surface. That's metal. But it's also totally unbelievable for me, given space distances and speeds. Every time I ran this adventure site, I needed to come up with my own hook to get them there, and unfortunately bypassed some sections of the adventure site.


The adventure ideas and locations in this module are so iconic and fun, I don't think I could get tired of using them. This book was exactly my cup-of-tea and the ideas are presented in a format that is really easy to use at the table. Fully recommend.



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