Earlier today, we drew a card from the Deck of Fate (a card with the Aspect Grounded). Then we created the Grounded! Table, a 1d6-1d6 FATE table in with 11 reasons why a starship might be grounded.
One of the items is the discovery that a bunch of kids on a grounded starship were themselves grounded - and that they went somewhere. Here's a scenario or campaign seed based on that outcome! My thinking for this scenario is very much influenced by my recent purchase of +Robert Bohl's fantastic indie RPG Misspent Youth, an SF RPG of youthful rebellion. You can get the free Eyebleed Edition PDF here, but I'd encourage you to get the print version too!
Part of the game's set up is that the players work together to create an enemy, The Authority, before they create their own rebellious youthful characters. The Authority has three attributes, a Vice, Victim, and Visage, as well as a need.
Grounded: Jailbreak! Scenario Seed
The Authority on the ship is the adult crew. The Captaincy is a clonal gerontocracy. The oldest capable adult is the Captain. The next most elder make up his Council, and take the most senior positions on the ship.
All the crew - adults, youth, and kids - are clones of The Man: the original owner of the huge merchant vessel, Galleon. He thought the best way to run a ship was to do it all himself.
The Man bought the cloning technology and the autodocs required to make more of himself. These are kept in a secure area far below decks. Only a few adults have access. The crew have carried on this way for 300 years now.
The adults act as interchangeable parents for the youthful members of the crew. As adults age, the cloning machine spits out baby-clones as replacements. Some adult crew members take hormones so that they can breastfeed the babies.
Teens mind the little kids. Adults mind the teens. Deprivation, isolation, boredom and lack of stimulation are the adults' primary tools of control. Nobody wants to be grounded.
There are a lot of dietary practices that make no sense to outsiders. There's no marriage. No relationships between the adults and outsiders, except for brief business transactions. No passengers, no guests.
Strictly business with outsiders. Just one big happy clone family.
That's the official line. But who wants to live in a straightjacket? Kids will steal a shuttle and run away when they can. Even kids who are grounded dream of a jailbreak. That's who the PCs play. They'll have to decide whether it's better to run away, or stay and fight The Man's secret plan (see The Need, below).
***Authority details: In this section, we describe The Authority's key attributes: its Vice, Victim, Visage, and Need. We also represent each of these attributes with an Aspect; the Aspects are in italics.
- Vice (i.e., The Authority's underlying motivation) is Fear - Their biggest vice isn't greed. Being a merchant ship is just a vocation. Being One Big Happy Clone Family; now that is an avocation. But if the youth run away, no more Big Happy Family. The crew will its lose coherence and functionality.Everything The Authority does, it's whole weird familial corporate culture, is based on the Fear that the family will fall apart (Trouble).
- Victim (i.e., who or what The Authority beats down, chews up, feeds on) is Humanity - On this ship, The Authority grinds down the next generation, the youth. Conformity is everything.
- Visage (i.e., what form The Authority takes) is Corporate - The Authority on the ship takes the form of a family-owned business. A merchant ship with an all-clone crew (High Concept).
- The Need is what The Authority wants, and what it would do without the PCs to stop it - The Authority's need is to put an end to runaways and youthful rebellion. They think the solution is to modify their clone line by creating a collective telepathic consciousness for the crew. They have started making experiments toward this end with A special batch of clones, which are hidden away in a sealed deck in the depths of the ship.