A Pound of Flesh

Posted 01 Sep 2021 to Sci-Fi

A space station run by a criminal syndicate, with several powder keg situations unfolding.


What Is It

A 52 page adventure module for the Mothership rpg. It details a space station, governed by a crime gang that is losing control of their population. There are several situations unfolding, any of which could trigger violence and chaos on board. You can choose to include whichever ones you want in your play through. A good number of factions are described, with NPCs, goals and locations. There is also a toolkit for generating your own space station, with tables for rolling up its name, factions, structure, and more.

How I Used It

I used the space station as a location to visit in two Stars Without Number games. I ran a two-shot adventure using Starforged here.


The Good

  • Situations Escalate. Each of the situations provided start in Phase 1, and can advance to Phases,2 and then 3 depending on how far things deteriorate. Each location and NPC has guidelines on how things change in the different Phases. This makes the place feel dynamic and responsive and helps the sense of chaos unfolding on board as citizens and factions become more desperate.
  • Cool space religion. One of the factions is the Solarian Church. They are star worshippers who venerate a tree, distribute seeds to visitors, engage in meditative sun-bathing, and (spoiler) do some crime on the side. I will definitely introduce them into other sci-fi campaigns in the future.
  • Industrial Feel. The station and its underworld have a wonderful chunky, dirty and industrial vibe. This is not smooth plastic walls and carpeted floors of Star Trek, but rather the pipes and vents of Alien.
  • Cool Locations. Each of the following are outlined in 2-3 pages. A simulation den, where citizens go to escape reality. A cyberware surgery, where "used" parts are available. A bar-slash-brothel, where nobody knows your name. A toxic undercity where some weird malfunction is active. A hackers collective, where stolen data is traded. The Cage, a fighting ring run by the police force for dealing with criminals.
  • Great punchy style. No space is wasted with wordy fluff. Every inch of every page is used with succinct text or a useful diagram. It is written to be used at the table.

The Not-So-Good

  • Some maps difficult to follow. Some areas, such as the undercity are quite vast. So they used a flowchart style map to describe how the areas connect with one another. The map of the Burrows and Sink districts were difficult for me to understand. I just ran those areas narratively.


A great resource for any sci-fi game I am likely to run. The industrial style and the kinds of problems described in this space station are the sort I love to include in my games. I'll come back to this book repeatedly to draw ideas.



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