Broken Symmetry

Science Fiction Roleplaying
By Joshua Kubli, Imperfekt Gammes

Playtest Draft

Desire Belief Alienation Survival
You venture bravely beyond the known worlds of the Assembly, pursuing duty, profit, or enlightenment. Your ship and your alien crewmates are your only hope against what waits out in the void. And what's out there? Death. Terrors. Wonders. New friends and new enemies.


Broken Symmetry
Science Fiction Roleplaying
By Joshua Kubli, Imperfekt Gammes

Many thanks to the Imperfekt Krue: Keith Schneider, Kevin-Lynn Kubli, Joseph Piatt, Stewart Thomas, and Aaron Connor. Thanks to talented artists Gennifer Bone, Emily Vitori, Russell Boyd, and Stewart Thomas. Thanks for the fantastic fiction in Sections 4, 5, and 6 to Joseph Piatt. Contact author Joshua Kubli at <>. Get Character Sheets and other Broken Symmetry Roleplaying stuff at the Imperfekt Gammes webpage: <>. All text in this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit <> or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Section 0.0:

Table of Contents
A Broken Galaxy..........................................................1
Section 1.1: What Is Broken Symmetry?..................2 Section 1.2: Inspirations............................................3 Section 1.3: An Introduction to the Assembly..........4

Systems Online........................................................10
Section 2.1: About the Rules..................................11 Section 2.2: Game Mechanical Terminology.........13 Section 2.3: Task Resolution..................................15 Section 2.4: Calculations........................................19 Section 2.5: Missions and Assignments..................19

Section 4.7: Crew Skills........................................103 Section 4.8: Crew Upgrades.................................121 Section 4.9: Crew Deficiencies.............................126 Section 4.10: Crew Qualities................................130 Section 4.11: Crew Resources..............................140 Section 4.11: Crew Equipment.............................141 Section 4.12: Prefab Crew Members....................168

Section 5.1: Interstellar Hazards...........................173 Section 5.2: Planets and Colonies.........................176 Section 5.3: Civilizations......................................188 Section 5.4: Space Stations...................................192 Section 5.5: Fabricating Goods.............................195 Section 5.6: Missions............................................199 Section 5.7: Prefab Enemies and Creatures..........203

Section 3.1: Ship Construction Overview...............25 Section 3.2: Ship Allegiance ..................................28 Section 3.3: Ship Classes........................................32 Section 3.4: Ship Construction...............................37 Section 3.5: Hull Size.............................................39 Section 3.6: Ship Systems.......................................39 Section 3.7: Ship Departments................................42 Section 3.8: Ship Upgrades.....................................44 Section 3.9: Ship Deficiencies................................49 Section 3.10: Ship Resources..................................51 Section 3.11: Ship Defenses...................................53 Section 3.12: Prefab Starships................................55

Section 6.1: First Contact......................................217 Section 6.2: Relation Modifiers............................218 Section 6.3: Hailing Frequencies..........................219 Section 6.4: Social Resistance..............................222

Section 7.1: Starship Combat................................224 Section 7.2: Ground / Boarding Conflict..............234 Section 7.3: Surviving Combat.............................238 Section 7.4: Damage Control................................239

Section 4.1: Potential..............................................59 Section 4.2: Crew Species.......................................60 Section 4.3: Crew Mek Models..............................76 Section 4.4: Crew Allegiances and Backgrounds...82 Section 4.5: Crew Positions....................................98 Section 4.6: Crew Attributes.................................101

The Sheol Prerogative..................................246
Section 8.1: Mission Outline.................................246 Section 8.2: Mission Locations.............................249 Section 8.3: Prefab NCPs and Ships ....................253

No Assembly Required....................................258

Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 1.0:

A Broken Galaxy
“The last battle of the Nexus War was fought just outside orbit of Mars. Vared'las was a smok“With their weird slide drive ships, there was no way to detect the Jalseks dropping from FTL,

ing crater, millions dead, so the fishies withdrew from the fleet, and StelNav was way low on ships. right into a gravity well. No one expected they had the balls to stab so deep into Assembly space, either. They wiped out the orbital defense platforms before we saw 'em. The Wayfarer was part of a tiny defense fleet, and we knew it'd be minutes before the Third Fleet could arrive, maybe hours for the big ships. By then it might be too late. “The one thing we had going for us is the Jalseks don't use psionics. Something about slidespace rips their heads apart inside. So I ordered our Psi Ops team to cloak us – works better than actual cloaking devices, least at short range – and ordered helm to bring us in on their main flagship, the Arcturus Remora.

“I still remember that ugly green beast swelling up in front of us on the viewscreen … probably close to ten thousand tons. I though sure my Prelloth first mate would call me crazy, ask me to order a retreat, but he just pulled off his shaded goggles, looked at me with those big eyes of his, and nodded. Rest of the crew never wavered, never flinched. Thought we were going to die, but they didn't care, just ready to do all they could. Proudest moment of my life. “And then the first missiles hit. And I don't talk about what happens after that. “We lost the Wayfarer, of course, and a lot of good sapients died, but the Assembly won the

war, and the Nexus Autarchy was disbanded. Now, I just captain this cargo freighter, and we have a a good crew. “Every once in awhile, we run into pirates, and we teach them better; just for a minute, I'm on

nice, easy run, taking relief supplies to the Vared'lai. Mary's Wish is a good ship, sturdy, and I got me

the Wayfarer again, and … goddamn, these atmo scrubbers are on the fritz again. I keep getting grit or dust or something in my eyes …”

– Capt. Steffani Rutkovski, Free Trader Commander


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 1.1: What Is Broken Symmetry?
First, there's a flash of light in the utter darkness. It blooms then dies, and in a moment, a firebloom of particles erupts, disgorging a needle. Flashing in the dark, it's studded with dishes and portals and guns and airlocks. Its engines wake themselves and burn, and carry its precious children within, its crew, to a new world. They come from many worlds themselves. Warm worlds with pink skies, where your limbs hang heavy and the air is thin. Cold worlds where your lungs dry and crack. Worlds with cities that rise vertical, and you look up at them rising, and feel like an insect looking up at tall grass. Remote planets sprinkled with pressurized domes, warts on a plain of gray dust, diamonds staring forever down from deep nothing. And your shipmates all look different. Some walk on two legs, some four, some float. Some speak, some think loud enough to hear in your mind, and some need translation devices to make their thoughts known. They're your shipmates, and this is your ship. This is your home. You'll live and die by your hard work, your years of training, your gear, your quick thinking, and sometimes, by luck alone. Broken Symmetry is a game that lets you and other players create a starship with your imagination. Working together, you'll describe its hull and weapons, its systems and defenses, and its mission. Then you'll create its bridge crew. You can select from a number of species, native to a future star nation called the Assembly, or you can design your own species. With the help of a player called the Mission Control, or three players called the Envoy, the Planetologist, and the Swordmaster, you'll play the ship and its crew, as they travel to imaginary worlds. Together your characters will explore, defend yourselves and your ideals, and look for profit, new friends, and adventure.

The rules help simulate the ships, aliens, and worlds you'll encounter. Sometimes the rules will ask you to use dice to help decide whether your character's succeed or fail. The possibility of failure is part of the fun. It makes the story unpredictable. No game session unfolds exactly the way you think it will, nor should it! Broken Symmetry is a book, and a game, about science, imagination, starships, space, aliens, and the future. It's about discovering together what will happen. And it's about coping with disaster and surviving to file another mission log. So what's keeping you? The unknown awaits.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 1.2: Inspirations
My burning love for science fiction began with Star Wars and its action figures when I was but a larva. It grew with Star Trek and countless hours poring over the Star Fleet Technical Manual. It blazed bright when I nabbed a copy of Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials, collected d Alien Legion, and played Traveller and Star Frontiers and Star Control <http://sc2.sourceforge .net/>. It grew more with hundreds of novels, by such brilliant folks as Arthur C. Clark, E. E. “Doc” Smith, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, and David Gerrold. It was fanned into a raging inferno by Deep Space Nine and Farscape and Babylon 5. The flames ebbed, only to be rekindled by great sci-fi webcomics like Outsider < /outsider/>, shows like Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, computer games like the Mass Effect series, and music albums like Neurotech's Blue Screen Planet < >. But SF more than that. It's laying on your back on a cloudless night in the park, looking up into the night sky at the stars, and feeling them looking down. It's talking to someone from somewhere far away, sharing a laugh through the confusion and realizing that somehow, you're the same. It's not about buying a shiny new gadget; it's about making a gadget with just your own hands and your brain and duct tape and a soldering iron and blueprints on a napkin. It's not mythology, or at best, only partly mythology. It's tomorrow. It's where we're going. Science fiction makes us want to go there now. To take the first step this instant.
Image courtesy Victor Habbick,


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 1.3: An Introduction to the Assembly
This section is intended as a capsule introduction to the setting for Broken Symmetry. Mission Control might want to print out this section, and give to players before they begin building their starship and crew members. You can print out this page and the next to give to your players, as a capsule intro to the setting.

The Assembly is a collection of over two dozen star systems around our own star, called Sol. Terra emerged from World War IV, also called the Highblood War, with a single world council. Shortly thereafter came first contact with the alien race called the Malkaari, and together they formed the core of what would be the Assembly. An interstellar government, the Assembly guarantees peace and self-rule for its member worlds, while protecting the rights of its members and maintaining a joint military. The capitol of the Assembly is Consonance Station in the Malkaar system.

have a variety of cultures and nations, and are known equally for their curiosity and violence.

Jalseks: The rebellious Jalseks came from Jalsee/Kuujas 3, a radiation-soaked, wind-swept world where they lived underground. Protected by a segmented carapace, the large and powerful Jalseks overthrew their biological caste system, but their society never recovered from the ensuing chaos. The founders of the Nexus Autarchy, they waged a war with the Assembly, and were soundly defeated. Purposeless, many Jalseks drift into the Assembly to work as spacers and mercenaries. Laramites: The bizarre Laramites, like ammonia-breathing jellyfish, evolved on the gas giant Laram. Laramites communicate with bursts of bioelectricity, and can control other lifeforms by transmitting electrical impulses to control another's neural impulses. Because of their limited communication faculties and propensity for controlling others, the Laramites were once interstellar slavers, but have since reformed and now are a valued part of the Assembly. Malkaari: The ponderous Malkaari originated on Malkaar/Shuudan 2, a warm, dry world dotted with oases. Malkaari are arboreal, reptilian creatures, with three small eyes on either side of their wide, wedgeshaped head. They learned technology from a broken Predecessor artifact, and are known for their thousands of complicated philosophies and belief systems. Prelloth: The mercurial Prelloth came from Prellos/Tanatha 5e, a cold, dark world. Prelloth are lightly furred, with huge eyes, three genders, and extremely quick reflexes. Prelloth are sharp-witted, consume the bodies of their dead, and although not violent, are prone to brutality once battle starts. Vared'lai: The amphibious Vared'lai can communicate and “see” in infrasound, and their acute hearing makes them preeminent communicators and poets. Their wet, swampy world was all but destroyed in the Nexus War, and the Vared'lai struggle for survival and

The flag of the Assembly. The points on the star represent the homeworlds of the Assembly, plus one for “new friends we've not yet met.”

Sentient Species
There are several species that are members of the Assembly. The most important species are listed below.

Terrans: The diverse, meddlesome Terrans evolved on Terra/Sol 3, a warm, wet world. Terrans


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

inner peace as they rush to evacuate their devastated homes.

Meks are the slang name for robots, widely used for cheap, safe labor in the Assembly. Meks are divided into general categories based on their intended functions, such as combat GuardMeks, technical FixMeks, medical DocMeks, resource-gathering MineMeks, custodial ServMeks, and friendly confidante ConsortMeks. Meks have only limited rights under the Assembly Charter, but are still tougher, more perceptive, and more resilient than organics in many ways.

Assembly Principles
The Right to Defense:
Member worlds may field their own military to patrol their home system. Member worlds will contribute to StelNav, to aid in mutual defense. The Right to Freedom: All citizens are guaranteed the right to travel, speak freely, enter or leave a profession, and embrace any or no belief system as they wish. They may take any companion and raise young, and generally live in any way that doesn't impede harmonious civilization. the Right to Justice: All sentients will receive fair treatment from the government and may not mistreat one another. Failing this, citizens may call on the High Court to adjudicate cases and mete justice.

Important Factions in the Assembly
The Children of the Firmament: A mystical order dedicated to worshiping the Predecessors, finding their artifacts, and harnessing the powers of the mind. The Children are zealous and sometimes violent traditionalists who nonetheless control the forces of the universe with their minds. Free Traders: Nomadic, family-like guilds of traders, unaffiliated with the huge and soulless corporations, the Free Traders are tight-knit and fiercely independent. StelNav: The primary military and exploratory
arm of the Assembly, tasked with keeping peace and finding new worlds to colonize, StelNav officers prize courage and duty.

The Right to Knowledge:
The Assembly promises a basic education to all citizens. The Assembly will not prevent the free spread of information and culture, except for state secrets.

the Titan marshals: A paramilitary law enforcement organization based on the Terran moon of Titan, the Titan Marshals are rugged and adaptable; they have to be, to keep Titan's teeming scum in line. the Triumvirate: The largest and most dangerous criminal cartel in the Assembly, responsible for smuggling, piracy, and criminal mercenary operations. The Triumvirate are honorable, loyal, and utterly ruthless.

The Right to Representation: Each member world
may send a representative to the High Assembly, if populous enough. If it isn't, the world may send a representative to the Colonial Council. Each member world has the right to rule as it sees fit, within the guidelines of Assembly law, and be treated as an equal.

The Right to Self-Rule:

the Uprising: A rebel group dedicated to overthrowing the Assembly, and supporting the rights of the downtrodden groups like Meks. The Uprising are badly-organized idealists, utopians who want to hack society and make something better … they just don't know what, yet.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Technology and Space Travel
The old Terran calendar was lost in the Highblood Wars, but massive technological advances have been made since those dark days.

A time of changes
The alien contact, psionics, artificial intelligence, psionic abilities, and space expansion have all had profound effects on humanity.

Communications: Every world, space station, and starship has a “datanet,” a wireless communications and data access network. Interstellar communications are limited by the speed of light, so Mek-piloted light craft carry data updates from one world to another.



Cybernetics: Mechanical replacements for an organic's lost limbs and organs, and implanted tools and devices. Attitudes toward cybernetics vary wildly, from wholehearted amplification, to grudging use of medical prosthetics, to total, outright rejection. Genetic Alteration: Organic sentients have learned to tailor their genetic code to cure hereditary diseases, and to enhance their innate biological capabilities. Like cybernetics, genetic alteration is controversial, but some embrace it as a form of body modification. Zero Point Generators (ZPG): In the Assembly, zero point generators pull energy from quantum fluctuations in a vacuum, creating massive amounts of energy. Free drive ships require ZPGs to generate the massive power needed to create a wormhole. Gateways: Most starships don't mount their own drives; instead, they use massive, ring-shaped wormhole gateways to instantly travel from one major star system to another. Free Drive: A few ships in the Assembly mount free drives, which allow them to generate their own wormholes for travel. Free drive ships must have ZPGs to build the massive power needed to create their own wormholes. Free drives build a “drive charge” before creating the wormhole, and the farther the journey, the larger the drive charge that must be built. Energy Weapons: With the advent of advanced energy generation systems, ground-based military units and starships are sometimes equipped with laser weapons. Fabricators: Nanotechnology makes it possible to construct a sort of “omni-factory,” capable of turning out any device if fed the correct patterns and raw materials. Fabricators make any starship a potential mining and colony ship, and specialized equipment for mining and colonization is also available to make the process quicker and cheaper.

Terrans borrow from alien cultures, and vice versa. The Children of the Firmament, for example, is a blend of ancient Malkaari and Terran beliefs. These syntheses often enriched both cultures.

What 's Old is New: Some humans retreat into the ancient and familiar to cope, recreating ancient ways of life on remote colonies. Some ancient beliefs and traditions that survived the Highblood War persist, with new permutations. Individuality: Anyone with a free drive ship can go anywhere, even found their own colony. Skill is the only roadblock, and the ultimate bargaining chip. Some colonies almost seem to prize eccentricity along with genius. Its flipside, Tyranny:
The Highblood Wars, the following resource shortages and social upheaval, and various interstellar wars have heightened many old fears. Populations are kept low by artificial controls, and human colonies like Raiden exhibit borderline-fascist controls.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Starship Shields: Free drive ships mount massive, expensive, and simplistic anti-gravity generators to keep them from bumping into the walls of wormholes, and being torn apart by gravitic stresses. These shields are re-purposed to protect ships from incoming attacks. Freefall: Gravity generation is a new technology, and far from perfect. No ship in production mounts generators small or precise enough to provide artificial gravity inside. Ships generate a “false” artificial gravity through centripetal force, revolving the crew sections around a central core to simulate gravity for the crew. These crew sections are “parked” and depressurized before battle and dangerous maneuvers.

psionics, but their value as workers and weapons is unquestionable, especially since recent experiments with ship-mounted psi enhancement technology.

The Assembly has many enemies, within and without. Pirate Fleets: Several pirate fleets ravage the edges of the Assembly. From the loyal Triumvirate fleets to the clever Entropic Sun fleet to the merciless Blood Haze fleet, all are terrible threats to lives and commerce.

On many worlds, the native lifeforms evolved sentience as an environmental adaptation, and on some of these worlds, the sentient species evolved even farther. Psionic powers are the next logical step in evolution, a step beyond the constraints of space and time, matter and energy. All sentient species in the Assembly have the potential to harness powers such as telepathy, telekinesis, and prescience, but it takes years of training and practice. Some species and cultures embrace the practice more than others, though. Humanity made huge strides in harnessing psionics with increasing knowledge of neuro-genetics and transpersonal psychology and quantum theory in the days leading up to the Highblood War. These advances paled next to the advances made when Terran psi-techs and mystics met with Malkaari priests and Prelloth egoic engineers, and integrated their findings. Today, StelNav, the Assembly government, and several larger corporations have Psi Ops departments, and starships can be fitted with Psi Enhancement Coils to make psionic powers useful in ship combat. Psionic powers contributed directly to the Assembly's victory against the Nexus Autarchy, and may be essential to survive the menace of the Dark Cloud as well. Psionics assist with diplomatic contacts, medicine and psychological counseling, even engineering projects. Psionic powers require and reinforce changes in consciousness that are hard to explain; psionics tend to always “look at the big picture” and embrace a holistic, almost animistic view of the galaxy. Their extravagant claims can rarely be backed up by non-

The Dark Cloud: Ages ago, a hostile species called the Uvo used nanotechnology to transform themselves into the Dark Cloud. The Dark Cloud is a roving, nihilistic force, decimating space fleets and growing more powerful with each world it devours. Worse, there's some evidence that the Dark Cloud may produce Doppelgangers that are currently infiltrating the Assembly, weakening its defenses, and that the colony in the Karami system may already have fallen to the Dark Cloud. The Former Nexus Autarchy: The Nexus Autarchy was a loose alliance of several species under the brutal control of the insectoid Jalseks. The Autarchy used a form of FTL travel called slide drive, which propelled ships through adjacent dimensions instead of short-cutting distance through wormholes. The Autarchy was defeated by StelNav, but not before the Assembly suffered terrible losses, including the neardestruction of the Vared'lai homeworld. The Autarchy is disorganized and chaotic, and with StelNav distracted by the threat of the Dark Cloud, a charismatic leader could lead them to become a major power once again. The Slaver States: Lawless havens to slavers and pirates, the Slaver States are a loosely-allied cluster of space colonies coreward of the Assembly. If the Slaver States were ever to unite under a single leader, they'd be as massive a threat as the Nexus Autarchy was. The Uprising: As mentioned, a rebellion brews within the Assembly, stirred by corruption in the High Assembly and its preferential treatment of massive corporations.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

System Name
Ama'ada Churchill Da'Ssel Fashtath Ilirika Lakshmi Mardaol Pata Sheth Pennastra Ral Vamir

Old Terran Name
Sirius UV Ceti A, B DM-49°13515 Delta Pavonis Altair Epsilon Indi Van Maanen's Star Pi Eridani A, B Epsilon Eridani 61 Cygni A, B

6 2 3 3 4 1 4 6 3 3a 3 2 5f 5g 2

Planet/ Station
Vesh Shensa Station Prefecture Shelsis Alto Qana Vesh Nemthat Vanth Shiva Adonis Station Aurelius Dalam Station Vesh Ukaat Third York Vared'las Mercy Station Malkaar Consonance Station Terra Luna Mars Titan Jefferson Station Prellos Dross Waareen Vanth Akhadane Laram Raiden

Prelloth station. Terran and Malkaari colony. Sselwa homeworld, former Vanthi Republic. Qotani homeworld, former Vanthi Republic.. Prelloth colony. Vanthi Homeworld. Massing point for StelNav fleet to face the Dark Cloud. Interspecies, lifeworld, agricultural colony. Interspecies station, Capitol of the Triumvirate. Interspecies colony. Laramite station. Prelloth, mining colony. Quarantined; Predecessor ruins. Vared'lai homeworld; devastated. Interspecies. Repurposed StelNav battlestation. Seat of Vared'lai evacuation efforts. Malkaari homeworld. Capitol: Wellmali City. Capitol of the Assembly and StelNav. Terran homeworld. Capitol: Nuuk, Greenland. Rockball, Terran colony, home of Lunar Free States. Capitol: Heinlein. Barren, Terran colony, home of the Flag of Joy. Capitol: Burroughs. Moon of Titan, Terran colony, Iceworld, home of Titan Council and Titan Marshals. Capitol: Weinbaum. Interspecies station. Prelloth homeworld. Capitol: Vesh Ushothai. Junk world; rumored Mek colony. Malkaari colony. Vanthi homeworld, former Vanthi Republic,. Lifeworld, former homeworld of the Nezaress. Gas giant, Laramite homeworld. Home of Raiden Meritocracy.


Ross 128

2a 3 3a



4 6g 9

Tanatha Traazel Tuuva Valam Xian

Barnard's Star 82 Eridani DM-44°11909 Xi Bootis A, B Proxima Centauri

4 6g 3 4 4 6 4


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

System Name
Anubis Asura Bregg Hara Vaak Karami Karajoss Kuujas Marchosias Nonthash Providence Rev Vall Sheston Nahr Then Shekra Uunonash Ymir

Old Terran Name
L 97-12 Ross 248 Omicron(2) Eridani Wolf 629 AC+17°534-10 AC+58°25001 AC+38°23616 Sigma Draconis L 674-15 Beta Hydri DM+53°1320 DM+56°2966 YZ Canis Minoris DM-26°12026 Eta Cassiopiae A, B

Orbital Planet/ Station Notes
1 3 7 4 4 5 7a 4 5a 8f 3 7a 4 5 2 2 6 Sutekh Rakshasa Lanka Station Vell Kanthu Dalarik Thuashee Jalsee Malthus Vesh Shoun Last Chance New Cascadia Talnia Vethan Ralmashan Aparaos Fenris Interspecies Edgeworld. Terran colony, Slaver State. Slaver State space station. Bregg-Vell-Bregg homeworld. Former Nexus Autarchy. Interspecies Edgeworld. Interspecies Edgeworld, destroyed by the Dark Cloud. Primarily Jalsek, Slaver State. Jalsek Homeworld, Lifeworld. Primarily Terran, Slaver State. Reputed headquarters of the Blood Haze pirates. Prelloth, Edgeworld. Interspecies, agricultural Lostworld. Interspecies (primarily Terran), agricultural/mining Lostworld. Talnian homeworld, former Nexus Autarchy, Homeworld of the Askarians, Slaver State. Abandoned Verge Resources mining colony. Capitol: Ge-Hinnom. Prelloth colony, Lifeworld. Slaver State.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 2.0:

Systems Online
“'Tell me why you won't even consider me for a position on your crew.' She cornered me in the hall, as crewmen squeezed past us.” “I locked eyes with one of the crew. A Laramite, its eyes tiny dots behind his shielded helmet. I could tell from how its tentacles twitched, that it overheard, and was confused.” “I pulled her aside, shut the door. 'Look,' I said, 'You purchased passage on this ship to Consonance Station, so you could finish your degree in exo-sociology, and I am happy to take you there. But you don't know the first thing about space travel.' “ “She grimaced. 'I don't know that much about space suits or ship's protocol. But I know a hell of a lot more about science than your current science officer. Don't get me wrong, I'll bet he's a great sensor jock, but first contact? Besides, there's so much more for me to learn in the field.' “ “I looked out the portal as the cabin lights flickered. The stars moved, imperceptibly; we were on outburn, and all systems were on low power while we built a drive charge. She moved behind me. 'I know that in the war, your starfighter crashed on Fortunato, and you lived for two years near ruins of the Immanences. You never tested psionic in Basic, but you had some of the highest rating charted when they picked you up. Something happened to you. You were given an honorable discharge. Emotional distress.' I looked at her sharply. She blushed and brushed brown hair out of her eyes. 'Remember, my father was the Terran ambassador to Warreen. I always told him he should lock his console when he was looking at classified information, but he never listened.' “ “Her eyes went from averted, slowly, to lock gaze with mine. 'So, what, you want me to take you to see the ruins? Or is it me you want to study?' “ “She glared up at me. I expected a slap. Instead, warm and wet and soft on my lips. Our minds touched, and our hands explored. The ship's lights flickered out, and the ship jumped and our bodies fell away. When we woke, I gave the only answer I could think of.” – Capt. Nesmith Vine, Free Trader Captain


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 2.1: About the Rules
Games have rules, to keep the players working together and focused on the goal. In a roleplaying game, the goal is to tell an amazing story. In Broken Symmetry, you are telling the story of a starship and her crew, and this section will tell you how to go about doing that. The rules are yours, though ; if you'd have more fun bending the rules, changing them, removing or adding to them, go ahead and do it. Mission Control (and Envoys and Plane tologists and Swordmasters), your first job is making sure everyone has fun, and the rules are just tools to help you do so.

Here are a few notes about the game design philosophy for Broken Symmetry.
There's a lot of dice rolling in Broken Symmetry. Die rolls are written in the format 'XdY', where X and Y are numbers.

Points & Templates
Broken Symmetry is built in a modular fashion. It's easy to make crew members, by just selecting Packages and then spending a handful of points. In addition, the packages help to reinforce the setting. If you want to tailor the setting to meet your needs, you can do that by adding or removing packages. The packages help to speed up crew member recruitment. Instead of endlessly dithering over how many points to spend on this or that, the player can choose a couple of packages and be almost done.

What this means is, 'roll a number of dice equal to X, where the number of sides on the die are Y, and add them together.' So if the rules called for you to roll six normal, cubic dice, and get the total, the rules would say, 'roll 6d6.' Similarly, if the rules wanted you to roll a single, pyramidal four-sided die, they'd say, 'roll 1d4.' You probably have a bunch of six-sided dice around the house, if you have any board games. You can get four-sided, eight-sided, ten-sided, twelvesided, and twenty-sided dice from a good local hobby store. Sometimes the dice will ask you to roll 1d2 or 1d3. To roll 1d2, roll any die; if the result is odd, it's treated as a 1. It the result is even, treat it as a 2. To roll 1d3, roll 1d6; if the result is higher than 3, subtract 3. Finally, sometimes roleplaying games like Broken Symmetry ask you to roll 1d100. This is also written as '1d%,' or just, 'roll percentile.' To do so, roll choose two ten-sided dice of different colors. Choose one to be the 'tens' die, and toll the dice. Multiply the 'tens' die by 10, and add the results together. Treat results of '00' as a '100' when rolling percentile. If you're confused, don't worry. It gets easier with practice.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

The goal is to tell a good sci-fi story. Don't sweat the details, unless everyone's having fun doing that.

the rules, remember three guidelines: (1) Keep the spirit of the setting (hard-ish sci-fi space opera), (2) keep it simple, and (3) do whatever makes the Mission more fun for you. This will resolve most rules problems nicely.
The Assembly is a sandbox. Make it yours.

There are two sides to this: the in-universe side and the game mechanical side. In universe, your crew members probably know endless details about how free drives work, how laser weapons are constructed, the required mass of fuel for the Quo Vadis to break orbit, and so on. But hard, fiddly, science bits, while fun for many, don't really move the story along. Keep an eye on your fellow players, and notice if they start to look bored; if they do, re member this rephrase of the MST3K mantra: “Just repeat to yourself it's just a game, I should really just relax.”

The Assembly is a big, complex nation-state, in a big, complex galaxy. You can tell almost any kind of story in the Assembly, by emphasizing different things. Do you want to tell the story of a star navy ship and her gallant crew, saving civilization from alien invaders? Create a StelNav ship and crew. Want to prey on the fat profits of corporate greed-mongers, building an empire on the wild edge of civilization? You can do that, too, by joining the cut-throat pirates of the Triumvirate. In fact, the mission can change midway through. The StelNav crew can decide to go pirate, or the pirate crew can accept an emergency commission in a time of war, and join StelNav. Anything is possible.

Instead of having one Mission Control, you can instead have three people share parts of that role. The roles of Envoy, Planetologist, and Swordmaster let players help tell parts of the story cooperatively.

The Mission Control can run everything, and for some groups, especially groups that are used to traditional roleplaying games, that works well. But if the players want to get more involved in the story, the role of Mission Control can be broken up into three subroles: Planetologist, Envoy, and Swordmaster. The Planetologist designs the planets, stations, and alien species that the crew will encounter. The Envoy creates diplomatic encounters, with traders, organizations, and governments. The Swordmaster runs combat encounters, both aboard ship, and on worlds and stations. If using the Envoy, Swordmaster, and Planetologist, you may or may not even need a Mission Control at all! You can still have one, of course, to answer rules questions and help make decisions to advance the plot. So who decides who gets each of these roles? That's up to you to decide. Maybe you take a vote;

Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

By the same token, the rules exist so the game can move forward. The Mission Control (and related roles) are there to help interpret the rules. When interpreting


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

maybe the Mission Control hands out the roles. Maybe you have revolving roles, and the guy who was Swordmaster this week is Envoy next week. It's up to you!
Don't be afraid to get into the game. Have fun with it.

rules. That's okay, there's something in Broken Symmetry for everyone. You might find yourself drawing your starship or your crew members, or writing short stories about them or even telling people about your game. That's great! Roleplaying games are designed to get the imagination working, and get you creating for yourself. Without you, this game is just a lump of dead wood pulp, or maybe a bunch of neatly-arranged bits on a computer disk. With you, this is another world, a world of exploration and adventure.

Roleplaying games are about working together with others to tell an exciting, unpredictable story, and play a game at the same time. An adult might have a little trouble kick-starting the ol' imagination at first, while it might take a younger person awhile to learn all the

Section 2.2: Game Mechanical Terminology
Starship: A craft capable of interstellar travel. The craft is operated by its crew, who are assembled to complete a mission. The starship is the most important thing in a Broken Symmetry game. Action Points: An abstract number used to “purchase” actions in Ground/Boarding Combat. Each crew member has 5 Action Points to spend per Round. Aptitude: Intense training and experience always give one an edge. Crew members have an Aptitude for Skills important to their Crew Position, and each Allegiance provides an Aptitude to the crew in their Department. When making rolls where either Ability is an Aptitude, the dice may be switched, potentially turning a failure into a success, or a success into a greater success. under two Traits. The Traits are usually a crew member's Attribute Level and a Skill Level, or a ship's System Level and a Department Level.

Conditions: Deleterious effects that starships and crew members may suffer. Starships may suffer Power Loss, for example, while crew members may be Stunned. Crew: The group of crew members that operate and travel in the mission's starship. Crew Member: The individuals that operate and travel in the starship that the mission is based around. Players create crew members and portray them, in shipboard and ground/boarding missions. Deficiencies: Problems and issues faces by starships and crew members. Starship Deficiencies may be manufacturing defects or results of lasting damage, while Crew Deficiencies may be the result of genetic malformations, personal psychological problems, or poorly designed cybernetic implants. Departments: Starship crews are divided into divisions called Departments. Each of the players' crew members is the head of a Department on a ship ; a Department roll uses either their Skill Levels or, if they're unavailable, an abstract Level to reflect how skilled and dedicated the lower-ranked crew in that division are. The Departments are Command, Engineering, Enviromedical, Helm, Psi Ops, Science, and Tactical.

Assignment: A Mission is broken up into a series of Assignments. For example, a StelNav crew might be assigned one week to rescue some colonists kidnapper by the Slaver States, and the next week, to investigate sightings of the Dark Cloud near a prospective mining world. The Assignments may be given by Mission Control, or the crew members might propose new Assignments. Attributes: A crew member Trait that reflects physical, mental, or social capabilities. The Attributes are Coordination, Focus, Intuition, Logic, Presence, and Strength. Basic Task: A Task roll in which the player must simple roll a die, based on the Task Difficulty,


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Envoy: An optional Mission Control position that a player may take. The Envoy runs interpersonal encounters, and any interactions with large organizations or governments. Failure Margin: When a crew member or starship system fails to complete a task, the degree of failure. A severe Failure Margin leads to a Mishap. Ground/Boarding Conflict: A battle
between crew members, creatures, and/or NCPs. A typical Ground/Boarding Conflict takes place on a small hex map (each hex is 2m), and takes Ground/Boarding Combat Rounds (each round is five seconds long).

Opposed Task: A Task in which one crew member, ship, or entity directly opposes another entity. Mission Control designates a pair of Traits, and both entities roll; the one with the highest Suc cess Factor wins against the other. Examples of Opposed Tasks would include a scanning ship trying to locate a cloaked ship, or two crew members playing a game of skill and chance. Planetologist: An optional Mission Control position that a player may take. The Planetologist creates new worlds and alien species for the crew to discover and interact with. Player: Someone playing a ship Department, and the crew member that leads that Department, in a Broken Symmetry game. Qualities: Personality traits that crew members possess. Some species share personality traits because of their culture, society, and even their neurology. Crew members draw inner strength from acting on their qualities, but find it draining and difficult to act against their true natures. Sequence: The order in which ships and crew members act in combat. Starships and crew members make Sequence rolls at the start of battle to determine who gets to go first. Skills: Trained areas of specific knowledge and talent. Skills are given a numeric Level rating, generally from 1 to 6. A crew member uses Skills to negotiate with aliens, pilot starships, fire sidearms, plot courses, and perform scientific analyses. Special Ability: Unusual tricks, maneuvers, and talents that only experts know about. Crew members get one Special Ability per Aptitude Skill. Starship Conflict: A battle between two or more starships. Starship conflict takes place on a large hex map (each side is 4.4 km), and in starship combat rounds (each turn is 30 seconds). Starship Combat Round: A 30-second span of time, used in starship conflict to keep track of the action. Success Margin: The difference, in a successful roll, between the lowest-rolling die and the highest-Level Ability. Swordmaster: An optional Mission Control position that a player may take. The Swordmaster helps create stats for NCPs, and runs shipboard and ground/boarding combat.

Ground/Boarding Combat Round: The amount of time it takes for all crew members to take one action in Ground/Boarding Conflict. Hex: A unit of distance when using maps for combat. In ground/boarding combat, one hex is 2m, while in starship combat, one hex is 5 km. Mishap: An action that fails in an egregious way, causing issues for the starship or crew member attempting the action. Mission: The goal of the starship and its crew, leading them to multiple encounters in space, on colonies, and on planetary surfaces. Missions may last for a week, a month, five years, or even longer. Precisely what the mission is, is decided by the players when game play begins, with the assistance of Mission Control. If the group of players is large enough, the role of Mission Control may be broken up into Envoy, Planetologist, and Swordmaster. Mission Control: A player who doesn't play a Department or crew member, instead adjudicating the rules and coming up with new encounters for the crew members. The Mission Control works with the players to decide the outcome of their Mission, and each of the Assignments in that Mission. The Mission Control informs the crew of any hazards or encounters as they meet them on their current Assignment, and plays non-crew personnel (NCPs) and creatures. The role of Mission Control may be broken up and delegated to players, the new roles being the Envoy, the Planetologist, and the Swordmaster. Non-Crew Personnel (NCP): An organic, Mek, or non-sentient creature played by the Mission Control. The crew members encounter many NCPs during their Mission, and must frequently work with, persuade, circumvent, or fight NCPs.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Task: An Action that has a chance of failure. If the success or failure of the roll would be interesting or important to the story, Task Difficulty (TD): A measurement of how difficult an action is. The Task Difficulty (or TD) determines what die needs to be rolled under a pair of Abilities to determine success. traits: Game mechanical values, like crew Attributes and Skills, and starship Departments and Systems, that are assigned a numeric value. Rolls are often made on combinations of Traits to accomplish Tasks.

triumph: An exceptional success on a roll. Triumphs often add additional situational benefits, chosen by the rules, Mission Control, or even suggested by other players. Upgrades: Special advantages that crew members and starships can take. Some Upgrades are only available in a single Level, some up to 3 Levels; if a 4 th Level is available, it indicates a permanent or “ultimate” version of the Upgrade.

Section 2.3: Task Resolution

Basic Task Resolution
“First Rule of Space Travel: It ain't as easy as the holovids make it out to be.”

Crew Member Basic Tasks
“It takes talent, training, and luck to be successful in this mean, ugly galaxy.”

Tasks are rated in Task Difficulty, from Automatic (1) to Impossible (1d100). The die that must be rolled to complete a task depends on the action's Task Difficulty.

Crew member tasks are written in the following format: Attribute + Skill vs. TD Task Difficulty (1dX) In order to resolve a Basic Task for a crew member, the Mission Control will choose an Attribute and Skill that are appropriate for the Basic Task. The Mission Control will also assign a Task Difficulty, rated in dice, from 1d100 (the most difficult) to 1 (the easiest). The crew member must roll a die, and the value must be equal to or less than the crew member's Attribute Level. Then they must roll the dice indicated by the Task Difficulty, and the value on each die must be equal to or less than the crew member's Skill Level. If both of these conditions are met, the action succeeds.

■ Task Difficulties Impossible Nearly Impossible Extremely Hard Very Hard Hard Average Easy Very Easy Automatic

1d100 1d20 1d12 1d10 1d8 1d6 1d4 1d2 1


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Crew Task Summary (1). Find die type based on roll Difficulty. (2). Roll one die below the crew member's Attribute. If the first die is at or below the Attribute Level or System Level, roll the second die. If not, the roll fails.

Martin rolls two twelve-sided dice. The first 1d12 gets a 3, which is below his Coordination; so far, so good. He then rolls 1d12 and gets a 4, which is above his Small Arms Level. The roll is a failure.

Starship Basic Tasks
Starship tasks are written in the following format: Department/Skill + System vs. TD Task Difficulty (1dX) When the crew member in charge of the listed Department is available, use their listed Skill Level for the roll, as listed in the table below. When they're injured, busy, or unavailable, use the ship's listed Department Level. You'll want to roll a die below this Level; roll another die below the Level of the System listed for the Task.

(3). If the second die is at or below the Skill
or Department die, the roll succeeds; otherwise, the roll fails.

■ Starship Task Summary (1). Find die type based on roll Difficulty. (2). Find out if the crew member in charge of
a Department is available to run their division aboard the ship.

(3). Roll one die below the crew member's appropriate Skill (if they're available), or below the crew's Department Level (if not). If the first die is at or below the Skill Level or Department Level, roll the second die. If not, the roll fails.

Image courtesy Dhester,

Example One: Lieutenant Martin St. John is infiltrating a Triumvirate cell on Adonis Station, and he's attacked by Jalsek thugs. St. John's player declares that he wants to shoot the lead Jalsek with his semi-automatic pistol. Mission Control informs him that it's a Hard (1d8) Coordination + Small Arms roll. Martin has Coordination 4 and Small Arms 3, and he must roll an eight-sided die below each of them.
Martin rolls 1d8 and gets a 4, which matches his Coordination Level; he then rolls 1d8 and gets a 2, which is below his Small Arms Level. The roll succeeds!

(4). If the second die is at or below the System die, the roll succeeds; otherwise, the roll fails.

“Some lucky young larvae have so much raw talent, and some crotchety old bastards have such incredible experience, that they make it look easy.”

Example Two: The battle is going poorly, and
Lieutenant St. John's laser pistol overheated. He grabs an alien weapon that he's unfamiliar with, and tries to shoot a Jalsek that's hiding behind cover. Mission Control informs him that it's an Extremely Hard (1d12) Coordination + Small Arms roll to hit the Jalsek.

Crew Member Aptitudes
Crew members all have Aptitudes, Skills that they display unusual proficiency with. When rolling for a Task that involves one of the crew member's Apti-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

tudes, the sum of the two dice must match or beat the sum of the two Abilities.

Example: In Example Two, above, if Small Arms was one of Lieutenant St. John's Aptitudes, he'd need to roll 2d6 below (3 + 4 = ) 7. With an Aptitude, this roll would succeed!

Which is Which?
Sometimes, players will forget to declare ahead of time which die is for Attributes and which one is for Skills; or, which one is for the Department and which for the System. A House Rule which might serve you well is to declare (1) warmer colors take precedence; (2) lighter colors take precedence; (3) colors take precedence over black, white, or gray; (4) a die with “precedence” is an Attribute or Department. So, if a player rolls a red die and a blue die, the red die will be the Attribute or Department. If the player rolls a white die and a black die, the white die is the Attribute or Department. If the player rolls a red die and a white die, the red die is the Attribute or Department. This rule can help speed things along and prevent arguing and re-rolls.

Starship Aptitudes
Starship Allegiances also have an Aptitude Department. When the crew member's present and running their Department, all starship Task rolls are treated as Aptitude rolls; if they aren't available, it's an Aptitude roll only if the Department is listed as an Aptitude for that Allegiance. In an NCP, creature, starship, Profession, or Starship Allegiance's listing, Aptitude Skills are always written in italics.

Success and Failure Margin
“Sometimes just squeaking by isn't good enough. And sometimes, when you've screwed it up, you have to know how bad.”

Some rolls are more successful than others. To find the Success Margin of a roll, take the highest-rolling die in a roll, and subtract it from the lowest of the Attribute or the Skill involved in the roll (even if that die wasn't the one to roll under the Attribute or Skill).

Example: In Example One, above, the lower roll is 2, and the higher Ability is Level 4. The Success Margin would be 2.

Bonuses and Penalties
“Always stack the odds in your favor. I've known a lot of dead, honorable soldiers, and a lot of living thieves and pirates full of dirty tricks.”

Triumphs and Mishaps
“A pint for the big winner! And for everyone else! She's buying!”

If the Success Margin of a roll is 5 or more, the roll is a Triumph. If the Failure Margin of a roll is 5 or more, the roll is a Mishap.

Unless otherwise stated, all Bonuses to a Shipboard roll add to the ships' Department Level. Again, unless otherwise stated, all bonuses to a Ground/Boarding Roll add to a crew member's Skill Level.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Automatic Successes
Optional Rule: Sheer Genius
When a crew member uses an Aptitude in a dramatic situation, every crew member may spend 1 Concentration to downgrade the TD of this crew members' roll by 1; from Impossible (1d100) to Nearly Impossible (1d20), for example. There is no limit to how this can be spent; an Impossible (1d100) roll can be downgraded to Automatic (1), if everyone is willing to spend the Concentration. In the game world, of course, not every crew exhibits Sheer Genius, only incredibly skilled and dedicated crews like the players' crew! Note that this only works in dramatic situations. It has to mean something to the crew members; ideally, they should be ending a war, saving a colony, rescuing a loved one, or fulfilling two or more of their Qualities.
“Savor the clean shots and quick victories.”

If both dice roll a 1, the roll automatically succeeds.

Unskilled Rolls
“No one is good at everything. You're a pilot? One day you might have to re-calibrate a free drive under fire, or patch up your commander's laser wounds. Be ready to try things you're no damn good at.”

Sometimes a crew member will need to attempt a Roll using a Skill they have no Levels in. In cases like this, the Character must spend 1 Concentration, and roll a 1 on the Skill die. Aptitudes don't apply to Skills that the crew member has no Levels in. A starship cannot attempt a roll if it has Level 0 or less in the relevant System or Department.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 2.4: Calculations
Whether you're Mission Control or just playing a crew member, there are a few things to keep in mind when running Broken Symmetry. (3). Next, multiplication and division, going from left to right. (4). Finally, any addition and subtraction.

Remember Order of Operations
We've tried to minimize it, but there is a little bit of math in Broken Symmetry. It shouldn't be too hard; just remember your order of operations: (1). First, anything in parentheses. (2). Second, any exponents.

Always round to the nearest whole number, to a minimum of 1.

Section 2.5: Missions and Assignments
Broken Symmetry presents the players with a setting, the Assembly, and you can use that setting to create all kinds of stories. What kinds of stories, specifically? Here are some common science fiction story types, and some advice on how to bring these themes and tropes into your Mission. Of course, you don't have to choose just one kind of story; you can mix and match these as well, telling an Adventure story this week, and a Comedy story the next. it's a strange alien virus, or a culture with seemingly twisted beliefs. Optimism: The future is bright, and things will work out eventually. As long as everyone works together, no problem is insurmountable. Romance: Our heroic crew members save attractive, exotic, scantily-clad princes and princesses, beautiful ambassadors, and endangered colonists, and sometimes their relationship grows beyond mere attraction. Travel: The crew never stay in one place for long, exploring the universe and looking for new friends and new adventures.

Interplanetary Adventure
The crew are gallant heroes, and they champion the Assembly and its shining ideals throughout the known universe. They face adversity from violent aliens, from darker elements from their own worlds, and from strange world and space phenomena that they encounter. But somehow, our heroes come out on top again and again, ready for their next big Assignment.

Mission Settings
Recommended Allegiances: Any. Recommended Ship Class: Cruiser. Assignment Suggestions: Adventure Assignments thrive on novelty and wonder. Mission Control should play up the exotic and bizarre, making every place interesting and colorful. Adventure Missions often add in Diplomacy, War, and other themes as well.

Danger: The crew constantly faces unknown dangers on every world. It isn't always combat; sometime


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Most Star Trek series (TV series), the Last Starfighter (movie), Battlestar Galactica (older TV series), the Fifth Element, Outlaw Star (anime), Space Pirate Captain Harlock (anime).

Bill the Galactic Hero (novel), Dirty Pair (anime), Futurama (animated series), Galaxy Quest (movie), Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (novel, movie, TV series), Hyperdrive (TV series), Ice Pirates (movie), Mystery Science Theater 3000 (TV series and movie), Red Dwarf (TV series), Vandread (anime).

Space Comedy
The crew are a band of lovable misfits from all over the galaxy, and they traipse around in confusion, leaving destruction in their wake.

Galactic Diplomacy
Trade and the peaceful exchange of ideas are the life's-blood of galactic civilization. Despite this, the spacefaring peoples of the universe often suffer grave misunderstandings, and sometimes an outside negotiator must help them see reason. Other times, there's great wealth to be made in interstellar business, but it takes a canny bridge crew to get a good deal.

Mishaps: The crew are often placed in situations where success is pretty unlikely, or where it's inevitable that they'll screw things up. Are the crew a bunch of lovers, not fighters? Send them up against some dreadful alien creature, and see them squirm in pathetic, hilarious fear. Is the crew primed for combat? Send them into tense diplomatic situations, and laugh at them while they blunder about blowing things up. No matter what, play up how clueless the lot of them are. Ridiculousness: The crew are often faced with species and situations that seem more than a little absurd. Sending up sci-fi tropes, and the nuances of modern-day society, is part of the run. Travel: It's important that the crew keep on the move, or someone might make them pay for all of their ludicrous escapades.

Cynicism: Everyone wants or needs something. Agricultural stations badly need water from the asteroid miners, but the miners are angry at the trade tariffs. It's the diplomat’s job to get everyone talking, so they can all see reason. Optimism: Once everyone starts talking, a good negotiator can often find a solution that makes sense, one where everyone wins (or at least, where the side they want to, wins).

Mission Settings
Recommended Allegiances: Free Traders, Quaternary Inc., StelNav. Recommended Ship Class: Cruiser. Assignment Suggestions: Every Assignment should include some problem where a diplomatic solution is possible, and violence would be unacceptable.

Mission Settings
Recommended Allegiances: Quaternary Inc., Free Traders, the Triumvirate. Recommended Ship Class: Freighter. Assignment Suggestions: Comedy Assignments often look like Adventure or Diplomacy Assignments, except for the addition of the ridiculous elements. A Free Trader crew might be invited to a massive feast on an alien planet to sign a contract, but it turns out that the aliens smell like rotting garbage, for example, or a feared warrior species turns out to look like adorable, tiny herbivores with long, floppy ears and pink fur. It's important in a Comedy Assignment that the crew has a strong motivation. They're unlikely to put up with repeated and horrible indignities if they have a choice in the matter.

Babylon 5 (TV series), Enemy Mine (movie), Retief series (novel series), various Star Trek series, especially Next Generation (TV series).

Horrors from Deep Space
Dark things lurk in the depths of space; genetically engineered abominations, cults dedicated to worshiping the dark gods called the Predecessors, aliens with a taste for the flesh of other sentients.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Cynicism: There's no guarantee things will work out in the end; in fact, they probably won't. Mysteries: The galaxy is full of unanswered questions and undiscovered worlds. Unfortunately, many of them hold unspeakable horrors. Tragedy: Lucky crew members might survive a Horror Mission, but many will not.

are destroyed, but the enlightened learn to flow with what must be, and guide it into a favorable shape.

Mission Settings
Recommended Allegiances: The Children of the Firmament. Recommended Ship Class: Scout. Assignment Suggestions: The Children of Fate seek Predecessor artifacts to deepen their knowledge of the universe, so the crew will have a definite reason to explore. The crew might encounter organizations, or factions within their organization, that want to abuse their psionic powers, and the crew must decide how to deal with them.

Mission Settings
Recommended Allegiances: Any. Recommended Ship Class: Scout, Yacht, or Starliner. Assignment Suggestions: The best Horror Missions focus on ground/boarding action, although a few tense and terrifying starship battles against a relentless enemy might work as well. As with Comedy Assignments, the crew needs a really good reason to go looking for mind-bending terrors in the cold void of space. Maybe all of the homeworlds of the Assembly were left devastated like Laram, and the crew must go find more colony worlds or their species will die out.

2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: Odyssey Two (novels and movies), Destination: Void series (novels), Dune series (novel and movie), Lensman series (novel series), Star Wars (movie series). Many other TV shows, movies, and novels include Mystical elements and themes, particularly Star Trek and Babylon 5.

Aliens series, and prequel Prometheus (movies), the Black Hole (movie), Doom (computer game series), many Dr. Who episodes and specials, such as Waters of Mars (TV series), Event Horizon (movie), Galaxy of Terror (movie), Pandorum (movie).

Star Noir
Civilization breeds corruption, and corruption breeds exploitation. Criminals build hidden empires, based on drugs, illegal cybernetics, stolen starships, and even darker things. A few law enforcement agencies struggle to rein in this pulsar of darkness and decadence, but law and order often aren't as strong as loyalty and greed.

Cosmic Mystery
The cosmos is strange, full of wonders. Sentience can sense and control matter and mind through the power of psionics, and all beings have the potential to transcend both space and time, like the godlike Predecessors. Our crew wield strange powers, and even while they get caught up in talking and trading and battling, the search for enlightenment is never far away.

Cynicism: The galaxy is a dark place, and everyone has a hidden agenda. The Assembly is full of corruption in this Mission, and local worlds abuse Assembly law for their own gain. Danger: Gun-toting alien thugs are waiting around every corner, and every spaceport has a local petty crimelord just looking to get rich off of our heroes. Romance: Every once in awhile, two people meet and the darkness of space is lit, briefly, by their love. Sadly, this often crosses over into tragedy, as circumstances frequently tear them apart, but love is a reminder of better times.

Enlightenment: All of the power of the universe lay within all sentient beings, but it requires extraordinary efforts to learn to use this power. Fate: The universe develops along certain paths, and it's difficult, if not impossible, to change the course of destiny. Those that struggle against destiny


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Mission Settings
Recommended Allegiances: The Triumvirate, the Titan Marshals. Recommended Ship Class: Freighter. Assignment Suggestions: Most crew members in these missions are dark heroes or antiheroes, driven to do good things from time to time, and against their better judgment. The heroes usually come from disadvantaged backgrounds, or cast aside any status they might have had. The heroes should be placed in grim, black-and-gray situations where they have to make tough choices, often a choice between making money or acting with compassion and honor.

Chronicles of Riddick and Pitch Black (movies), Cowboy Bebop (animated TV series), Farscape (TV series), Firefly (TV series) and Serenity (movie), Infinite Ryvius (anime), Star Wars (original trilogy, movie series), Titan AE (animated movie).

Image courtesy Gennifer Bone.

preparing for battle, so the crew are never safe for long. Tragedy: Inevitably, in war, a lot of good sentients are going to die. Sometimes the crew will face unbeatable odds, or they're sent on suicide missions. It's important for the Mission Control to make the NCPs seem like real people; that way, when one is killed, the emotional impact is much greater.

Interstellar War
Loss and sacrifice dog the ship's crew, as they defend the Assembly from its many, intractable enemies. No matter how grim the odds, the crew knows that they may be the only thing to save their homeworlds from the Dark Cloud, or a newly-risen Nexus Autarchy, or even the horrors of a corrupted Assembly itself.

Mission Settings
Recommended Allegiances: StelNav, the Uprising. Recommended Ship Class: Cruiser, Destroyer, or Dreadnought. Assignment Suggestions: Combat is one constant in a War Mission. Mission Control should include both starship and ground/boarding combat, to keep things interesting, and the battles should take place in a variety of interesting environments.

Cynicism: War is a clash of wants and needs, both economic and socio-psychological. Sometimes, it's a clash between freedom and despotism, but just as often, it's a war driven by greed, revenge, and a need for control. Heroes arise on both sides, as well as martyrs, and many more simply suffer. Danger: The crew will tend to get shot at a lot. The Assignments almost always involve either battle, or

Alien Legion (comic book series), Babylon 5 (TV series), Battlestar Galactica (newer TV series), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (later seasons of the TV series), Farscape (later seasons of the TV series), Mass Effect series (computer games), Star Blazers (anime),


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Star Wars (movie series), Voyage of the Star Wolf (novel).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 3.0:

“Today is the worst and best day of my life.” “I grew up on ships. I was born on the A.R.C. Percival Lowell, where Dad was the ship's backup Pilot and mom was prime Biomedical. I learned to fly, better even than Dad, and by the time I was fifteen I was flying cargo to and from groundside.” “I thought the Captain was the meanest, hardest, scariest woman that ever lived, but that time I got our shuttle through an unexpected debris shower and back up to the ship safely, she smiled at me and told me 'well done,' well, that was the happiest day of my life so far.” “Eventually, I went off to find a ship of my own. Free Traders swap crew members when they reach adulthood – we don't get inbred this way – what, you think we look for love in the dirt? No other reason for 'the Swap.' On your home ship, they sometimes coddle you. On a new ship you have to prove yourself every day.” “I fell in love, went to my husband's ship – didn't have to, wanted to – and had to prove myself all offense. Anyway, the A.R.C. Andrenjinyi, was where I learned what hard work really is. That's an-

over again on the Diamond Queen. It didn't work out. It happens. He hooked back up with some trust him, but … we do each other favors, sometimes.”

shady buddies and runs the ZPG for Consonance Station now. I still see him now and again. I can't

“My – our – kids are growing up, fast and smart, smarter than I ever was. And then, last ten-cy cle, it happened.” “Captain Varday caught some bug when he went groundside. We'd been scouting out markets in the old Autarchy, were looking into pushing Mek components on Talnia, when he caught a cough. Wouldn't go away, soon it was blood, not phlegm. All the Biomed could do was make him comfortable and tell us to make full burn for a proper med center. By the time we jumped back to Churchill, it was already too late.” “Turns out he'd had a falling-out with the first mate about the route, and ended up willing the ship to me. And now, with a little drama and less ceremony, unexpectedly, I've got my own ship.” “I'm thrilled. And terrified. Tomorrow is my first cycle as full Captain. I hope I do ol' Varday proud.” – Capt. Anzasia Hese, Free Trader Captain


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Before the Mission begins, the players work together to build a ship. If the crew is the heart of the ship, the ship is so much more to the crew. If the crew becomes family, then the starship is their home. When you have no single world to call your own, the ship becomes your world. Even the oldest, rustiest, ugliest claptrap tramp freighter has a crew that loves her and works night-cycle and day-cycle to keep her space-worthy.

Section 3.1: Ship Construction Overview

Constructing a New Starship
The players need to decide what kind of mission they want the crew to embark on; this will help them decide what kind of ship they want to build. To build a new starship: (1). Choose an Allegiance. This not only decides who's paying for your new ship, but also who'll employ your new crew, handing out Missions and Assignments to them. (2). Choose a starship Class. The Class tells you what sort of ship the crew has, and what sorts of Assignments the ship will be good for. (3). Choose a corporation to complete the ship Construction. (4). Spend 10 kilo-credits on Ship Systems and Departments. May also gain additional kilo-credits by selecting Ship Deficiencies at this time. (5). Spend Defense Slots from Armaments on Defense Systems.

ers using incredibly complex algorithms, collated into databases, and distributed to local law enforcement throughout the Assembly. Law enforcement officers have access to the databases, and clumsy registry hacks are easily detected. Occasionally, registry beacons have caused problems. Primitive cultures sometimes intercept registry beacon transmissions in orbit, and there are scattered reports of exotic space-based lifeforms that react strangely to registry beacon transmissions. By and large, though, the beacons are a safe and effective way for Assembly agents to identify and track ships committing minor infractions of the law.

Most starships are propelled by plasma ion drives, which require much less fuel than older, reaction fuel drives. Most starships can generate at least 1 G of thrust; that's the equivalent force of gravity on Terra. Travel through space isn't impeded by gravity or air pressure, so inertia allows a space vehicle to build high speeds during its outburn.

Artificial Gravity

Starship Systems
Starships constructed in the Assembly, and surrounding space, have a few things in common.

Registry Beacons
Each ship continually broadcasts a radio signal, the registry beacon, that identifies it to all other ships in the vicinity. Deactivating one's registry beacon, except in open space when pirates or other criminals are a constant threat, is a serious offense under Assembly law. Each registry beacon is assigned a numeric value. These values are generated by Assembly supercomput-

There is no gravity in space, so starships have to find clever tricks to simulate their own. The standard way is to rotate the crew sections around the central hull, so that centrifugal force simulates gravity. In combat and during dangerous maneuvers, the crew sections are “parked” and no longer rotate, so the fake gravity stops. The Assembly has experimented with miniaturized artificial gravity plating aboard its ships, but the power requirements would currently require a whole separate ZPG system on most ships. The A.S.N. Heyerdahl is the only ship constructed as a test bed for such a system, but even before it was complete, a random power surge caused a gravity surge that reduced three dozen


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

dock workers to lumpen masses of broken bones in nanoseconds.

this way often takes a couple of hours, so parts that may be needed quickly in an emergency are still stocked, as are parts for the fabricators themselves.

Life Support
All ships keep a hydroponics garden that recycles solid, liquid, and gaseous waste products into edible food, breathable air, and potable water. Or breathable water, if you're a Vared'lai. During combat and dangerous maneuvers, the hull is depressurized, to prevent explosive decompression. During this time, the crew all wear space suits. A typical ship's crew cabin is small. The bridge crew typically get single cabins on all but the smallest ships, while the lower crew may sleep in bunks, 2 to 4 to a room. On most ships the crew orders food processed by food machines or prepared by culinary Meks, and eats in a communal mess hall. Most ships have some recreational facilities, but these may be as simple as a couple of exercise machines and a library of holovids.

Starships are powered by a Zero-Point Generator (ZPG) that produces power from the quantum fluctuations produced in a perfect vacuum. The generator is the most fragile and precious part of the ship, typically located deep inside the main hull. A backup nuclear fusion power plant provides power when the ZPG must be taken down for maintenance; the nuclear plant isn't usually powerful enough, on its own, to power the ship's free drive.

A typical ship has sensors that can detect any electromagnetic radiation emissions out to several thousand kilometers. This includes ships in flight, and starships dropping out of free drive. This does not include ships dropping out of slidespace. Ship sensors can detect any electromagnetic or ionizing radiation, including heat, light, and radio waves; sophisticated spectro scopic analysis allows the ship's AI to make projections about a ship or celestial body's composition. There is no way to “scan for life signs,” per se, but a ship's sensors can certainly detect whether a vessel's generators are powered up, and whether the ship is pressurized or not.

Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

More than one starship, thrown far off course, has managed to found an entire colony on a habitable world by producing equipment to mine for resources, and then fabricating shelter and facilities using the fabrication systems.

Free Drives and Shields
Starships that don't travel via gateways make their way via freedrive, which generates a wormhole and then protects the ship with powerful gravity shields as it passes through. The same gravity shields are used to protect the ship from enemy attack. In theory, these wormholes can be used to travel back through time, but all freedrives are designed to explode, destroying the ship, if the crew attempts to do so.

Repairs and Fabrication
Most ships' engineering sections have fabrication facilities, that use nanotech and other technologies to create new parts from raw materials. A starship doesn't have to carry a wealth of spare parts, just enough materials to make the needed parts. Fabricating new parts in

Escape Pods
Each ship has escape pods, enough to accommodate the entire crew if the ship must be evacuated. An


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

escape pod typically carries 6 to 10 sentients, and contains roughly a week's food, a survival kit, a longrange distress signal transmitter, and a Type-C space suit. Of course, the food and space suits are designed for members of specific species, so typically each species will have its own bank of escape pods.

people report headaches and nausea after a freedrive jump, but these are few. The ship will travel several light-years, and after traveling on inertia for awhile, the ship will begin the “inburn.” Again the crew modules will park, the ship's atmosphere will be vented, and the ship will decelerate toward the destination.

More Advanced Technologies
Some technologies are still the stuff of sci-fi holovids, like teleportation, or fabricating matter from scratch. StelNav and local governments fund exploration missions in the hope that Predecessor artifacts will unlock the secrets of these technologies for the people of the Assembly.

Starship System Costs
Starship system costs are rated in kilo-credits, each of which is worth a thousand credits.

■ kilo-credit Costs size:
10 kilo-credits per Level at ship design; cannot be increased later.

A Typical Journey
A trip will begin and end at a space station. Even exploration missions are round-trips from one station to another, or back to the same one. The only ships that have all the parts and food they need are colony ships that build mines and farms and factories at their destination. Once the ship is loaded, the “outburn” begins. The ship must accelerate beyond the gravitational field of the celestial body that the station orbits, towards their destination. Some stations are built in deep space, but these locations are neither interesting nor practical for anything but emergency fuel stations. The outburn just takes a few hours, during which time the ship is on alert; the rotating gravity modules are “parked” and locked into place, and the ship is depressurized. The passengers and crew recline in acceleration couches, in mild discomfort and mild boredom. Once out of the grav field, freeships begin building a drive charge. The ship can coast on inertia while building the charge, and it takes a few hours to a day to build the charge for the jump. The actual jump is almost instantaneous, and most sentients report only momentary disorientation. A few

systems and Departments:
3 kilo-credits per Level at ship design; (New Level *3) afterward.

1 kilo-credit per Level at ship design; (New Level *3) afterward.

2 kilo-credits per Level at ship design; (New Level *2) afterward.

Technology Levels and Costs
Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all starship technologies are treated as Fusion Age equipment. The exceptions are the ship's Zero-Point Generators and FTL drives, which are always Zero-Point Age technology.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 3.2: Ship Allegiance
A talented starship officer is invaluable; however, sometimes they're injured, on leave, or captured by hostile forces. You've got to have talented spacers below decks to fill in when things get bad. Different organizations emphasize different Departments in their standard training. StelNav focuses on Tactical training, as they're a military organization. The Triumvirate emphasizes Helm, as they're a criminal cartel mainly interested in bypassing blockades and getting valuable, illegal cargo to buyers quickly.

■ Skills and Department Levels Command:
Commander's Leadership or Tactics Skill Level.

Engineer's Starship Engineering Skill Level.

Biomedical's Environmental or Medicine Skill Level.

Scientist's Science or Sensors Skill Level.

The sacred geometric sigil of the Children of the Firmament.

Pilot's Starship Piloting Skill Level.

Security's Starship Gunner Skill Level.

■ Children of the Firmament Departments:
Enviromedical (4), Command (4), Engineering (3), Helm (2), Science (4), Tactical (2).

The Children of the Firmament
Ship Allegiance
The Children of the Firmament are a mystical order that seeks Predecessor artifacts, and worships (some of them) as gods. The Children's ships often have wellstocked labs for analyzing artifacts, and their psionic abilities allow them to efficiently heal injured crew members. Many Children ships mount experimental devices said to enhance the psionic powers of those aboard.

Psi Enhancement Coils *3.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

There is no official Free Trader symbol, but many ships use the 'gold molecule' ship emblem of the famous A.R.C. Golden Aurora.

The stylized emblem of Quaternary Industries. The box represents technology, and the ellipse represents the company's organic 'assets.'

Free Traders
Ship Allegiance
Free Traders embrace the quintessential spacer lifestyle; smart, tough, self-reliant, and unwilling to take solid organic waste products from anyone. Free Trader ships are usually built with redundant life support systems for safety, and external hull fittings to carry massive amounts of cargo.

Quaternary Incorporated
Ship Allegiance
Quaternary, Inc. is an interspecies corporations in Assembly space with branches in mining, electronics, weapons, groundside vehicles, and most of all, contract troubleshooting operations for other corporations and the Assembly government. Their troubleshooting teams are well-trained and well-equipped, but the company isn't a model of corporate efficiency, and the teams often have to wade through bureaucracy before they receive confusing orders about missions they aren't fully informed about.

■ Free Traders Departments:
Enviromedical (4), Command (3), Engineering (4), Helm (4), Science (2), Tactical (2).

Cargo Bay (+1).

■ Quaternary, Inc. Departments:
Enviromedical (3), Command (2), Engineering (4), Helm (3), Science (3), Tactical (4).

Drones (+1).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Official StelNav Insignia. The smaller stars represent the allied services of StelMar and the Orbit Guard.

The badge of the Titan Marshals.

Ship Allegiance
The interSTELlar NAVy is the military might of the Assembly, its primary exploratory and peacekeeping organization. As military vessels, StelNav ships must be prepared for combat at all times. Their tactical crews are second to none, and their weapons cabinets are always well-stocked.

Titan Marshals
Ship Allegiance
The Titan Marshals patrol the Sol system, searching for smugglers and pirates. Their shipboard gunners and boarding crews are well-trained, and their medical bays are well-equipped, as they often return criminals in cryo.

■ StelNav Departments:
Enviromedical (3), Command (3), Engineering (3), Helm (3), Science (3), Tactical (4).

■ Titan Marshals Departments:
Enviromedical (4), Command (3), Engineering (3), Helm (3), Science (2), Tactical (4).

Armaments (+1).

Electronics (+1).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

The dreaded green skull symbol of the Triumvirate.

The Triumvirate
Ship Allegiance
The Triumvirate are an organized crime cartel based throughout the Assembly. Smugglers, pirates, assassins, and other criminal scum allied with the Triumvirate spread their syndicate's business from world to world on these vessels. Triumvirate ships always have altered registry signatures, to avoid suspicion, and powerful engines, to get away from authorities (or close on unsuspecting prey).

Fists raised against tyranny – the symbol of the Uprising.

The Uprising
Ship Allegiance
Rebels against the Assembly government, the Uprising believe that the Assembly have long ago forsaken the ideals the star nation was based on. Uprising crews are dedicated to their cause and mission, and are often fitted with illegal sensor-evasion technology obtained from the black market.

■ Triumvirate Departments:
Enviromedical (3), Command (3), Engineering (3), Helm (3), Science (3), Tactical (3).

■ The Uprising Departments:
Enviromedical (3), Command (3), Engineering (3), Helm (4), Science (3), Tactical (3).

Engines (+1)

Cloaking Device *3.

Altered Registry *3.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 3.3: Ship Classes
A ship's Class denotes the purpose for its construction. Ships of specific Classes have certain things in common, no matter what organization commissioned the ship, who constructed it, or who the crew is. Military ship classes, like Carriers, Cruisers, Destroyers, and Dreadnoughts, are usually limited to military and government organizations in the Assembly, like StelNav and the Titan Marshals. Decommissioned vessels of some of these Classes might find their way into civilian hands, except for the Dreadnought; these monsters are always limited to StelNav, by Assembly law if not just because of their enormous cost.

■ Cruiser Size 5 Attributes:
Armaments (4), Cargo Bay (2), Drones (3), Electronics (3), Engines (2), Life Support (2), Maneuver Jets (2).

Long Range *2.

Cannot Land.

Ship Class
Carriers are military craft that carry smaller ships, typically starfighters, to their destinations. Carriers are provisioned for a large crew, to man the smaller craft and repair and re-arm them between flights.

■ Carrier Size 4. Attributes:
Armaments (3), Cargo Bay (3), Drones (2), Electronics (3), Engines (1), Life Support (2), Maneuver Jets (3).

Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

Ship Class
Cruisers are long-range, combat patrol ships that form the basis of most space fleets. Cruisers are typically accompanied by several destroyers, but may operate alone on important missions or where military power is stretched thin. In times of peace, Cruisers are sometime sent on diplomatic escort missions, or on science and exploration missions.

Ship Class
Destroyers are small and heavily armed, and make up the smaller ships in an attack flotilla. Destroyers accompany larger ships, but lack the range of cruisers.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Destroyer Size 3 Attributes:
Armaments (4), Cargo Bay (1), Drones (2), Electronics (2), Engines (2), Life Support (1), Maneuver Jets (4).

■ Freighter Size 3 Attributes:
Armaments (1), Cargo Bay (5), Drones (1), Electronics (2), Engines (2), Life Support (1), Maneuver Jets (4).


External Cargo Pods.

Ship Class Requirements: StelNav Allegiance.
The deadliest vessel in any space fleet is the lumbering Dreadnought, a short-range constellation of firepower. Entire fleets assembled around Dreadnoughts, and together they're typically assigned to protect homeworlds and patrol the most war-torn sectors. Dreadnoughts are strictly limited to StelNav. The A.S.N. Quo Vadis is the largest and most powerful Dreadnought in StelNav, currently assigned to Ilirika to face the Dark Cloud.

Ship Class
Little more than a starfighter with tiny cabins and a free drive, a gunboat is one of the smallest naval vessels in interstellar space. StelNav uses gunboats to patrol popular shipping lanes, as they're capable of independently following smugglers and enemy scouts to neighboring systems. StelNav considers Gunboats to be good training ships for officers and crew alike, while they are the most common Titan Marshals ship overall.

■ Dreadnought Size 6 Attributes:
Armaments (5), Cargo Bay (2), Drones (4), Electronics (3), Engines (1), Life Support (2), Maneuver Jets (1).

■ Gunboat Size 2 Attributes:
Armaments (4), Cargo Bay (1), Drones (2), Electronics (2), Engines (1), Life Support (1), Maneuver Jets (1).

Improved Helm Controls, Simulation Programming.

Armory, Hangar.


Cannot Land. Notes: Only available to StelNav Allegiance.

Ship Class
Freighters carry cargo from one world to another. Tempting ta They're sometimes re-purposed as smuggling ships or pirate vessels.

Mining Ship
Mining ships are small, rugged vessels constructed with tractor beams and massive cargo bays.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ mining Ship Size 3 Attributes:
Armaments (1), Cargo Bay (4), Drones (3), Electronics (2), Engines (1), Life Support (1), Maneuver Jets (4).

Cannot Land.

Ship Class
Tugs are used to tow damaged ships to the safety of space ports, and remove debris from major shipping lanes. Tug duty is one of the least exciting a crew can be assigned to, but even a tugship crew can find themselves beset by pirates, and even a tug can be refitted with weapons for a life of crime.

Tractor Beam.

Scouts are light, long-range ships with enhanced sensors. Scouts are typical science and exploration vessels, and are sometime dispatched to carry messages or ferry VIPs that don't merit a larger, safer vessel.

tug Size 3 Attributes:
Armaments (1), Cargo Bay (2), Drones (3), Electronics (2), Engines (3), Life Support (1), Maneuver Jets (4).

■ Scout Size 3 Attributes:
Armaments (2), Cargo Bay (1), Drones (2), Electronics (3), Engines (2), Life Support (2), Maneuver Jets (4).

Tractor Beams.

Enhanced Sensor Resolution.

Ship Class
Privately owned luxury vessels, Yachts are designed for incredibly wealthy individuals to travel in style and safety.

Ship Class
Starliners are luxury transport vessels, carrying hundreds of lifeforms in comfort from one world to another. Luxurious, spacious, and filled with cargo, Starliners are tempting targets for pirates.

Yacht Size 2 Attributes:
Armaments (1), Cargo Bay (2), Drones (1), Electronics (1), Engines (3), Life Support (2), Maneuver Jets (5).

■ Starliner Size 4 Attributes:
Armaments (1), Cargo Bay (3), Drones (1), Electronics (1), Engines (1), Life Support (5), Maneuver Jets (3).


Comfortable *2.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Starfighters and space Stations
Big starships are where the action's at, but sometimes, you want to try something different with your Mission. Broken Symmetry makes the assumption that the players will take on roles as the crew of a single large starship, but if you want, you can assign the crew to act as starfighter pilots, or act as the command crew for a space station. If you decide on a starfighter Mission, the crew can still ork together to design their carrier. Most of the crew will take the Pilot Crew Position, and most of the time they'll fight against enemy starfighters to defend their ship or planetary colonies. If you're running this kind of Mission, use the starfighter, space station, and shuttlecraft Ship Classes below; if you aren't, skip these Ship Classes and move on to the next section.

■ Shuttlecraft Size 1 Attributes:
Armaments (1), Cargo Bay (3), Drones (1), Electronics (1), Engines (1), Life Support (1), Maneuver Jets (6).

Long Range.

Shuttlecraft are too small to mount an FTL drive.

Space Station Outpost
Ship Class
Space stations are built much like “normal” starships, but are far more massive. While starships are constructed for travel, space stations are built for longterm habitation. There are many different kinds of space station, but the outpost is one of the most exciting and dangerous kinds of assignment. On the edge of explored space, anything can happen, and the crew may service any kind of ship, from StelNav exploration ships to trade scouts to alien probes from uncharted worlds.

■ Space Station Outpost Size 7 Attributes:
Armaments (3), Cargo Bay (2), Drones (4), Electronics (3), Engines (0), Life Support (4), Maneuver Jets (0).


Ship Class
Shuttlecraft are small craft designed to carry crew and personnel from orbital ship. All ships of Size Class 2 or higher have a small hangar with one standard shuttlecraft, and shuttles are vital for a ship that cannot land on a planetary surface.

Hangar, Tractor Beam.

Outposts, like other kinds of space stations, are effectively immobile.

Ship Class
Starfighters are tiny craft with overpowered engines and heavy weaponry, designed to rely on superior maneuverability and extraordinary velocity to protect them from heavy attack.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Starfighter Size 1 Attributes:
Armaments (2), Cargo Bay (1), Drones (1), Electronics (1), Engines (2), Life Support (1), Maneuver Jets (6).

Current StelNav Fleet System Assignments
1st Fleet: Shuudan. 2nd Fleet: Sol. 3rd Fleet: Tanaths. 4th Fleet: Xian. 5Th Fleet: Pennastra. 6Th Fleet: Mardaol. 8Th Fleet: Pata Sheth. 9Th Fleet: Ral Vamir. 10Th Fleet: Ilirika. 11Th Fleet: Da'Ssel. 12Th Fleet: Fashtath.

Improved Helm Controls.

Starfighters are too small to mount an FTL drive.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 3.4: Ship Construction
Every ship construction corporation designs ships a little differently. Some are best at producing warship hulls, while others produce light hulls that offer superior speed, or include advanced electronics. Choosing who you want to build your ship isn't trivial.

■ Bold Horizons Systems:
Electronics -1, Cargo Bay +1, Engines +1, Hull Integrity +1.


Ama'ada Shipwrights' Guild
Ship Construction
Founded by Malkaari engineers many centuries ago, the Ama'ada Shipwrights' Guild is now a multispecies organization with shipyards on several Assembly worlds. For sheer toughness, the Ama'ada Shipwrights' Guild wins, hands down. Their hulls are extremely tough, and built with multiple hardpoints, but only accommodate a small crew, and the extra mass makes their ships slow and lumbering.

If this would reduce Electronics to 0, instead remove Electronics and Engines modifiers.

Découverte Corp.
Ship Construction
A corporation in the Russo-European Union founded by Cyril Noel Lecuyre, the Terran that first discovered the principles of free drive, Découverte Corp. specializes in science and survey vessels with sophisticated computer systems and spacious room for samples, but which aren't built to withstand extreme forces.

■ Ama'ada Shipwrights' Guild Systems:
Engines -1, Hull Integrity +3.

If this would reduce Engines to 0, instead grants Hull Integrity +2 and no Engines modifier.

■ Découverte Corp. Systems:
Cargo Bay +1, Hull Integrity -1, Electronics +2.

If this would reduce Hull Integrity to 0, instead remove Hull Integrity and Engines modifiers.

Bold Horizons
Ship Construction
A massive interstellar and interspecies conglomerate, Bold Horizons manufactures everything from fabricators to comtrans, from Meks to protein paste, so it's only natural they'd dabble in ship hulls as well. Bold Horizons has a bad history of purchasing low-quality avionics for their ships, but otherwise they're sturdy, fast, and spacious. Bold Horizons is a powerhouse in the civilian starship market, and many yachts and starliners bear their mark.

Lunar DriveWorks
Ship Construction
The colonists of the Lunar Free States know how to build a reliable life support system, since their pressure domes require them. In addition, their subcontractors produce some of the finest fusion power plants, giving these ships extra thrust. Lunar DriveWorks is a favorite supplier for StelNav, and most of their destroyers and cruisers are manufactured at the Luna shipyards.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Lunar DriveWorks Systems:
Engines +1, Life Support +1.

crews, from keeping their slide drives working so they can make FTL jumps even in a gravity well. As for their construction, Thiluuz ships are, quite simply, tough and deadly, outfitted for multiple weapons and prepared to take a beating.

Iskorish Shipgardens
Ship Construction
The Prelloth know how to build ships that are easy to maintain, easy to modify, and light. Iskorish Shipgardens uses an unusually light, dense alloy to build their ships; no one's managed to reverse-engineer it, and the Prelloth regard it as a state secret. Iskorish ships fit the extra space for modular attachments, which can be traded out at any major space port, and an Iskorish Shipgardens hull can be refitted for an entirely new mission in a matter of days, rather than months.

■ The Ship-Framers of Thiluuz Systems:
Armaments +1, Hull Integrity +1.

Unlike vessels of Assembly manufacture, can mount slide drives (although they're technically illegal).

Zha-Ssurda Interstellar
Ship Construction
Zha-Ssurda produces ships with a unique blend of metals that makes them tough, as well as fairly light and fast. Their trademarked alloys require a lot of extra skill to work with, so their ships typically carry an extra complement of repair Drones to simplify the process.

■ Iskorish Shipgardens Systems:
Engines +1.

Modular *3.

The Ship-Framers of Thiluuz
Ship Construction
The Ship-Framers of Thiluuz are the primary shipyards of the Nexus Autarchy, and many of their ships were captured in the Nexus War. The Jalseks' use of slide drive is outlawed in the Assembly, but that doesn't stop a lot of crews, particularly Triumvirate

■ Zha-Ssurda Interstellar Systems:
Cargo Bay -1, Drones +1, Hull Integrity +2.

If this would reduce Cargo Bay to 0, instead remove the Cargo Bay modifier and reduce the Hull Integrity modifier to +1.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 3.5: Hull Size
Assembly ship designers tend to build a lot more small and mid-range ships than they do large ships, and the largest vessels are almost always military or colonial vessels. If it takes your ship days or weeks to jump a few light-years, rather than minutes or hours, it's just not economical to make jumps on a regular basis.

“This isn't magic. The wormholes we use for FTL exert immense gravitic pressure, and it takes powerful force fields to maintain hull integrity. The Planck generators can generate a lot of power, but there's still a practical limit on the size of a ship that can mount a free drive. That's why us Free Trader ships are still out there.” – Kamala Nanda, Chief Engineer of the Free Trader ship A.R.P. Radagast.

Hull Size
Ship System
A ship's Hull Size is a reliable indicator of its toughness. Bigger ships carry more weapons, are tougher to destroy, and carry a lot more crew. However, bigger ships are also slower, both in maneuvering and in building up drive charge.

■ Hull Size 6: Ark ships, motherships, and dreadnoughts. 5: Cruisers, battleships. 4: Carriers, frigates, and starliners. 3: Destroyers, freighters, scouts, galleons. 2: Corvettes, skirmishers, yachts. 1: Starfighters, PT boats, repair pods, and shuttlecraft. Not generally viable for a long-term Mission.

All starships of Size 2 and higher have one shuttlecraft. A ship may carry more shuttles, starfighters, and other auxiliary craft by taking the Hangar Upgrade.

Section 3.6: Ship Systems
Each Ship System Level grants the ship certain useful capabilities. Ship System Levels also help track how the ship takes damage. As the ship's Systems suffer Malfunctions as a result of enemy attacks, more and more of the ship's built-in capabilities fail. Eventually the ship is left adrift and helpless, or it breaks up, or in the worst case, the ship's generators overload and the ship explodes.

Ship System
Every starship has weapon systems, even if they're just a single rail battery to destroy dangerous space debris. Every ship also mounts gravitic shields, which help the ship maintain hull integrity when traveling through the wormholes generated by ships' free drives. Military ships carry particle beam weapons, rail cannons, missile racks, and far more powerful shield generators.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Armaments Benefits:
■ The ship gains a number of Defense Slots equal to the ship's Armaments Level, to purchase Defenses. Most ships are at least equipped with a Railgun Battery.

■ Cargo Bay Benefits:
■ The ship can carry up to ((Size)^(Cargo Bay)) tons of cargo

The amount of cargo units that the ship can carry is calculated for you on the table below. Most starship shipping containers are slightly larger than 2 cubic meters, and can generally carry around 500 kg, depending on the material's density.

StelNav Second Fleet
Dreadnought: A.S.N. Freedom. Cruisers: A.S.N. Charter, A.S.N. Carriers: A.S.N. Aldrin, A.S.N.


Chandragupta, A.S.N. Gagarin, A.S.N. Hardesty, A.S.N. Kiang-Tzao, A.S.N. Sanchez. Destroyers: A.S.N. Constellation, A.S.N. Cranston, A.S.N. Essex, A.S.N. Hood, A.S.N. Indomitable, A.S.N. New Dubai, A.S.N. Raven, A.S.N. Vigilant, A.S.N. Wasp, A.S.N. Wolfe, A.S.N. Yamato, A.S.N. Zeus. Science Vessels: A.S.N. Buckminster Fuller, A.S.N. Tereshkova, A.S.N. So-Yeon.

■ Cargo Bay Tonnage Table Cargo Bay Size 1 2 3 4 5 1 1 ton 2 tons 3 tons 4 tons 5 tons 2 2 tons 4 tons 9 tons 16 tons 25 tons 3 3 tons 8 tons 27 tons 64 tons 125 4 4 tons 16 tons 81 tons 256 625 5 5 tons 32 tons 243 1,024 3,125 6 6 tons 64 tons 729 4,096 15,625

6 tons 36 tons 216 1,296 7,776 46,656

Ship System
Drones are repair robots controlled directly by the ship's AI and the Engineering Department. Drones are best used to repair external damage to the ship, but can also repel intruders if no organic crew members or autonomous Meks are available.

■ Drones Benefits:

Cargo Bay
Ship System
Cargo Bay denotes how much internal space is devoted to storage. The bigger the ship's Cargo Bay rating, the more stuff it can carry that isn't weapons or crew. Cargo Bay is a pretty “resource light” system, but sometimes damage to the ship's cargo can be disastrous for the crew, if the cargo consists of volatile weapons or chemicals, for example.

The Engineering Department rolls Engineering + Drones to repair Hull Integrity and repair Malfunctions. The Enviromedical Department rolls Enviromedical/Environmental + Drones to seal hull breaches.

Ship System
One of the most important systems aboard any starship, the ship's Electronics systems include the ship's sensors and computer network. Electronics Systems


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

are used by the ship's Science chief to analyze interstellar objects, and the ship's Tactical chief to aim and fire the ship's weapons.

■ Life Support Benefits:
■ ■ The Enviromedical Department rolls Enviromedical + Life Support to restore ship Casualties. A ship's actual crew complement is roughly equal to (Size * Crew)^2.

■ Electronics Benefits:
■ ■ The maximum range on most of the ship's weapons is based on the ship's Electronics Level. Use the ship's Electronics Level for the Intuition and Logic of the starship's onboard AI.

The actual crew complement is calculated on the table below.

Ship System
The ship's Engines Level determines the amount of thrust that the ship can generate, thus reflecting the maximum increase or decrease in speed per round. Without gravity or wind resistance to act on a ship, a “burn” increases the ship's speed, which doesn't taper off over time.

■ Crew Capacity Table Crew Size 1 2 3 4 1 1 4 9 16 2 4 16 36 64 3 9 36 81 144 4 16 64 144 256 5 25 100 225 400 6 36 144 324 576

25 100 225 400 625 900 36 144 324 576 900



■ Engines Benefits:
■ Size and Engines are used to calculate the ship's Thrust, which denotes the maximum Gs the ship may produce.

Each additional Size or Crew adds another +100 sentients. Count Bigger sentients double for each Level of Bigger, and half for each Level of Smaller.

Maneuvering Jets
Ship System
The ship's Maneuvering Jets allow the ship to rotate in place, changing its facing. In accordance with Newton's laws of motion, in the interstellar vacuum, ships keep traveling in the direction they've propelled themselves in, so for changes of direction of 90˚ or more, the ship must apply braking thrust first.

Life Support
Ship System
The ship's Life Support systems provide breathable air, food, and water to the ship's crew and passengers. The Life Support systems also include management of the rotating crew sections, whose movement provide artificial gravity to the crew, and emergency bulkheads, that are used to seal damaged hull sections until repair crews can seal them. Life Support is usually handled by the ship's Enviromedical chief, who also coordinates medical care of the crew.

■ Maneuvering Jets Benefits:
■ A ship can turn 60° a number of times per Starship Combat Round equal to (Maneuvering Jets). This just changes the ship's facing, not its heading or velocity. To turn 180°, a ship must decelerate fully, turn three times, and then accelerate in the opposite direction.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 3.7: Ship Departments

Ship Department
The Command Department maintains discipline and morale, issues orders, and encourages the ship's crew to give their best under stress. The Command Department members are trained in tactics and strategy, and learn to identify an enemy ship's weaknesses. A crew with a high Command rating always acts decisively, keeps to its plan, and does the best that it can under the circumstances, while one with a low Command performs poorly, before beating a hasty retreat.

■ Engineering Benefits:
■ ■ Ships roll Engineering/Starship Engineering + Drones to repair System Malfunctions. Aptitude Benefit: Engineering crew members gain +1 to all Engineer Crew Position Skills. All other crew members gain one Engineering Knack.

■ Command Benefits:
■ ■ Ships roll Helm/Starship Command/Tactics for Sequence. Piloting +

Ship Department
The Enviromedical department heals injured crew members, and controls onboard environmental systems, keeping the crew alive when the ship takes fire. A crew with a lot of Enviromedical training carries on even when exploding conduits injure the crew and the hull depressurizes, while one with little Enviromedical skill falls apart long before the hull breaks up or the engines overload.
■ Enviromedical Benefits:

The ship's Command Level determines the ship's Discipline Level, which the Command Department uses to boost other Department Levels and withstand demoralizing attacks. Aptitude Benefit: Command crew members gain +1 to all Command Crew Position Skills. All other crew members gain one Tactics Knack

Ship Department
The Engineering Department keeps the ship together, and coaxes maximum efficiency from every system. A ship with a great Engineering crew can take a sound beating and repair and compensate for the damage, while one with a poor Engineering crew can't cope with damage, and can barely struggle to keep the ship from becoming a sudden, silent bloom of fire in the abyss.

The ship's Enviromedical Department may roll Enviromedical/Environmental + Life Support to repair Department Casualties. Aptitude Benefit: Biomedical crew members gain +1 to all Scientist Crew Position Skills. All other crew members gain the First Aid Knack for the Medicine Skill.

Ship Department
The Helm department steers the ship, avoiding incoming fire and bringing the starship into optimal firing position. A ship with a great Helm department is hard to hit, and always seems to find a firing solution,


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying
■ Science Benefits:

while one with a poor helm steers like a Terran bovine, and presents an easy target.

■ Helm Benefits:
■ ■ Ships roll Helm/Starship Command/Tactics for Sequence. Piloting +

■ ■

Rolls to analyze phenomena and discover resources roll Science/Science + Electronics. Aptitude Benefit: Science crew members gain +1 to all Scientist Crew Position Skills. All other crew members gain Knack (Science: Any one use) or Knack (Computers: Any one use).

Ships make Helm/Starship Piloting + Maneuver Jets rolls to accomplish most combat maneuvers. Aptitude Benefit: Pilot crew members gain +1 to all Helm Crew Position Skills. All crew members gain one Knack with Starship Piloting Skill for one specific Ship Class.

Ship Department
The Tactical Department reflects the crew's long hours of combat drills and, more importantly, actual combat experience. A crew with a high Tactical Level hits frequently with onboard weapons, while one with low Tactical scores fires blindly and rarely connects.

Ship Department
The Science Department operates the ship's sensors to analyze remote phenomena, recognizing ships, solar events, planets and moons, and space debris. The Science Department also analyzes samples from planetary surfaces, and may be called to assist the Enviromedical Department with problems of xeno-biology, or the Engineering Department when they attempt unusual configurations of the ship's free drive, shields, or weapons.

■ Tactical Benefits:
■ Attack rolls use Tactical/Starship Gunnery + Electronics, with the TD set by the distance to the target. Aptitude Benefit: Security crew members gain +1 to all Tactical Crew Position Skills. All other crew members gain the Pistols Knack for the Small Arms Skill.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 3.8: Ship Upgrades
Department Upgrades: The starship's tools and equipment are particularly suited for certain kinds of work. System Upgrades: The ship's basic systems,
like Engines, Cargo Bay, or Armaments, possess expanded functionality.

■ Armory Crew Potential Bonus:
Security officer gains +(Levels *5) Potential.

■ Ship gains (Armory *100) credits to spend on weapons and armor.

Altered Registry
Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1)
The crew's ship has a set of falsified registry beacons that broadcast erroneous data to law enforcement. Normally, law enforcement officials can check on a ship's registry beacon and see if the ship's crew are wanted for crimes. With an Altered Registry, the ship has a different “identity” it can display, making it harder to justify detaining the vessel or its crew. Without an Altered Registry, most criminal vessels are limited to operating outside the Assembly, or out of a few dangerous, hidden criminal stations.

ship registry name prefixes
A.M.C.: Assembly Ministry of
Commerce. A.M.O.: Assembly Ministries, Other. A.O.G.: Assembly Orbit Guard. A.R.C.: Assembly Registered Commercial. A.R.P.: Assembly Registered Private. A.S.N.: Assembly Stellar Navy (StelNav).

■ Altered Registry Benefits:
■ Law enforcement officials can make an TD Easy (1d4) Logic + Computers roll to check and see if a ship or its crew are wanted for crimes, based on the ship's ship's registry beacon. The TD increases to Nearly Impossible (1d20) with this Upgrade.

Augmented Diagnostic Array
Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3)
Your ship can make tighter turns, because of the enhanced maneuvering jets it's equipped with.

Ship Department Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3)
The ship has a well-stocked closet full of weapons, helpful in repelling boarding actions. On many ships, crew members carry their own hand weapons in case of disaster, but a full Armory grants a massive benefit to any crew trying to repel interlopers.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Augmented Diagnostic Array Crew Potential Bonus:
The ship's chief Engineer gains +(Levels *5) Potential.

Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3) Disallowed: Spartan Deficiency.
Far from the cramped and unimpressive accommodations most spacers are used to, this ship's rooms are luxurious. The crew each have their own beds, maybe even their own rooms; the food prep units are the high est quality, and a rec center stocks an expansive holovid library.

■ Choose one System. All Engineering System rolls to repair that System gain a +1 bonus.

Cloaking Device
Ship System Upgrade Requirements: See below. (Levels 1 to 3)
The ship can literally fade from sensors, by intensifying the ship's gravitic shields to retain electromagnetic signals, instead of emitting them. Note: Cloaking Devices are extremely illegal. Be warned!

■ Comfortable Disallowed:
Spartan Deficiency.

■ Each Level adds +1 to the ship's Discipline.

Cryo Pods
Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3) Requirements: Enviromedical Level 3.
Cryo pods allow crew members to survive on minimal food, water, and air, by sustaining their metabolic functions at a very low level. Crew members don't age, or die of disease or injuries, while in Cryo. Critically injured crew members are often placed in Cryo pods, as are crew members aboard ships with failing life support systems. The old style pre-FTL colony ships often used Cryo pods to allow the crew to travel to new worlds.

■ Cloaking Device Benefits:
■ Cloaking Device Level must meet or exceed the ship's Size Level, or the cloak is totally ineffective. Enemy ships making a Scan The Vicinity action must score a Success Factor of 2 to detect this ship; the SF required increases by 1 per Cloaking Device Level, but decreases by 1 if the enemy ship is aware of the location of a cloaked ship. A ship with an active cloak cannot communicate with other ships using standard EM transmissions, cannot keep shields active, or build a drive charge. Cloaking devices don't have to be lowered for the ship to fire weapons or jam sensors, but the cloak will automatically drop when weapons are fired or sensors are jammed. It takes a Raise/Lower Cloak Action to re-raise the cloaking device after that.

■ Cryo Pods Benefits:
■ At Level 1, the Cryo pods can accommodate up to 10% of the crew; each additional Level adds another +40%. It takes an Average (1d6) Logic + Medicine roll, and 10 minutes, to place a crew member or passenger into Cryo. Cryo pods are designed to accommodate crew members of any species.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Enhanced Sensor Resolution [ ]
Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3)
Advanced computational matrices and extensive sensor upgrades enable the ship's computers to analyze alien worlds and electromagnetic emanations with much greater clarity.

■ Famous Ship Benefits:
■ The ship's crew gains a +1 bonus with all Persuasion and Haggling rolls when the ship is recognized.

■ Enhanced Sensor Resolution Crew Potential Bonus:
The ship's chief Scientist gains +(Levels *5) Potential.

Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3)
The vessel has more auxiliary craft, other than the built-in escape pods, or the single shuttlecraft most ships are equipped with. The crew can use these vessels for ferrying cargo and personnel, or to defend the ship.

■ Choose one Department. All Sensors System rolls made with that Department gain a +1 bonus.

■ Hangar Benefits:
■ All vessels above Size 1 carry one small Size 1 shuttlecraft. With each Level, the number of Size 1 vessels the craft may carry doubles. At Size 3, the ship may carry one Size 2 ship, and at Size 6, the ship may carry one Size 3 ship or 2 Size 2 ships. Larger ships take extra “ship slots” equal to their Size.

External Cargo Pods
Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3)
Large, external containers clamp onto the frame of your ship, allowing it to carry much more mass than it normally could.

■ External Cargo Pods Benefits:
■ Each Level adds 1 to the ship's Size for determining cargo capacity and Thrust. Any officer can eject the Cargo Pods at any time, losing cargo to increase speed.

Improved Helm Controls
Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3)
Your ship can make tighter turns, because of the enhanced maneuvering jets it's equipped with.

Famous Ship
Ship Department Upgrade (Level 1)
The ship is well-known for its gallant crew, daring exploits, commercial success, or incredible power. In every starport, groundsiders want to be your friend, because of your legendary vessel.

■ Improved Helm Controls Crew Potential Bonus:
The ship's chief Pilot gains +(Levels *5) Potential.

■ The ship's gains a +1 bonus to Helm rolls for Evasive Maneuvers.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Infamous Ship
Ship Department Upgrade (Level 1)
Your ship is known and feared. Maybe your vessel is known for piracy, maybe you're feared as Uprising terrorists, or maybe your ship's mercenary exploits are the stuff of spacer legend. Wherever you go, everyone is anxious not to piss you off.

■ Modular Benefits:
■ At Level 1, the ship may gain +1 bonus Level of any Department, System, or Upgrade, by losing 1 Level of Engines. At Level 2+, the ship may gain (Levels -1) to any Department, System, or Upgrade at no cost to Engines. The maximum bonus to any Department or System is +1. It takes 1 day to swap a module out. Swapping modules can only be performed at a space station or spaceport.

■ Infamous Ship Benefits:
■ The ship's crew gains a +1 bonus with all Intimidation and Leadership rolls when the ship is recognized.

Old Shoe Long Range
Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 4)
The ship is well-stocked for long missions, with Bussard ramjets for collecting hydrogen fuel, and a more efficient hydroponics garden. Other ships have fuel and provisions for just a few months' travel, but your ship can travel longer, maybe even for years, before restocking is necessary.

Ship Quality (Level 1)
Like a comfortable old shoe, the ship is well-worn and comfortable. Many of its systems have their own little quirks and eccentricities. An experienced engineer can keep the ship purring like a gwelnack, but an inexperienced engineer can cause problems.

■ Long Range Benefits:
■ Most vessels contain 1 month's provisions. Each Level doubles this; at Level 6, the ship can operate for 5 years, 4 months nonstop before it needs to stop for refueling and restocking. At Level 4, the ship is completely self-sufficient, and never runs out of fuel or provisions.

■ Old Shoe Disallowed: Prototype. Benefits:
■ ■ Once per game session, if a starship System fails its roll, the crew may re-roll that die. If the System is paired with an Aptitude Department for that roll, the crew may instead re-roll both dice.

Prototype Modular
Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 4)
The ship is designed to be quickly and easily reconfigured to match new mission profiles.

Ship Quality (Level 1)
Disallowed: Old Shoe. The ship is the first of its run, and includes many special new systems that aren't standard. Prototypes are powerful ships, but there are tons of bugs to work out for later production units.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Prototype Disallowed: Old Shoe. Benefits:
■ Increase two Systems by 1 Level each. However, these systems experience a Mishap on with a Failure Factor of 3+, instead of 5+.

helps the ship's surgeon discover what's wrong, and a fully-stocked medical fabricator keeps the ship's pharmacy stocked with antibiotics and painkillers.

■ Sick bay Crew Potential Bonus: Enviromedical officer gains +(Levels *5) Potential.

■ +1 Skill Level for all Medicine Skill Rolls for all crew while in the Sick Bay, and +1 to Enviromedical Department Level for Healing Casualties.

Psi Enhancement Coils
Ship Weapon Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3)
The coils enable psionic crew members to affect other ships over interplanetary distances. Any ship that plans to make heavy use of its Psi Ops crew members should be fitted with Psi Enhancement Coils.

Simulation Programming
Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3)
The ship's computers are programmed to simulate a wide variety of dangerous situations, and the Command Department can order the crew to run drills to prepare for these situations.

■ Psi Enhancement Coils Benefits:
■ Enables the Psi Ops Department to take Psi Ops Actions in starship combat, if the crew members meet the action Requirements.

■ Simulator Programming Crew Potential Bonus: Command Officer
gains +(Levels *5) Potential.


Reinforced Hull
Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3)
The ship's hull is reinforced by structural members of advanced alloys, allowing the ship to absorb a lot more damage before it breaks up and falls apart.

Every member of every other Department gains +(Levels) Potential.

Slide Drive
Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3) Requirements: Ship-Framers of Thiluuz Hull,
Cryo Pods. Most ships in the Assembly use gateways, and many use free drives for FTL travel. A few Jalsek ships were captured in the end of the Nexus War, though; by law, their slide drives are stripped out, but a few still remain. A slide drive ship can jump in a gravity well, but the trip is physically and psychically stressful, so the crew usually go into Cryo for the trip.

■ Reinforced Hull Benefits:
■ Each Level gives +1 Hull Integrity.

Sick Bay
Ship Department Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3)
Most ships have a small infirmary, but this craft has a fully stocked sickbay. Sophisticated diagnostic gear


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Slide Drive Benefits:
■ The ship can make FTL jumps without building a drive charge. However, each Ground/Boarding Round that the vessel remains in slidespace, all crew members take 1d6 damage; armor is ineffective against this damage. Psionics are much worse off, taking 1d10 Damage per Round and losing 1 Level of Focus per Round as they suffer intense pain.

+ Notice roll, and the TD increases by 1 with each Level after the first.

Tractor Beam
Ship System Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3)
The ship can extend its gravitic field, to attract or repulse asteroids, space debris, or other vessels.

■ tractor Beam Benefits:
■ The ship can move a target a number of hexes per round equal to: (ship's Hull Size + Levels) – (target's Hull Size + Engines). If the result is 0, the target is held in place; it it's negative, the target's Engines Level is reduced by this amount. Multiple ships can add their tractor beams together for a cumulative effect on the same target. A ship can carry an immobilized target along using its FTL drive, but the target's (Hull Size +2) is added to the ship's for calculating drive charge.

Smuggling Compartments
Ship Department Upgrade (Levels 1 to 4) Requirements: Max. Level (Hull Size)/3.
The ship has special compartments to hide contraband. It's harder for inspectors and law enforcement agents to find what you're getting past their cordons.

■ Smuggling Compartments Benefits:
■ Up to 10% of the ship's Cargo Bay is safely hidden away deep in the ship. Anyone searching for this cargo must make an Average (1d6) Intuition

Section 3.9: Ship Deficiencies

Cannot Land
Ship System Deficiency (Level 1)
The vessel doesn't have landing gear, and the hull isn't properly constructed to allow it to set down on a landing frame. The ship must rely on auxiliary craft, like shuttles, for all surface-to-land travel. Most ships above Hull Size 3 Cannot Land.

■ Cannot Land Fault:
■ The craft cannot land on any world, no matter how low the gravitation or prepared the facility. The ship must dock at a space station for repairs or refit.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Finicky System [ ]
Ship System Deficiency (Level 1 to 4)
Choose one shipboard system. Although it may perform fairly well, this system requires constant maintenance. Many older ships develop Finicky Systems, and prototype ships often have bugs to work out in their most advanced systems as well.

Laramites need to breathe, or the heat and aridity that makes Malkaari comfortable, or maybe the systems just don't support the cold and dark that the Prelloth find pleasant. Whatever the case, the members of some species can't survive on your ship unless they're in their suits all the damn time.

■ Limited Life Support [ ] Fault:
■ Choose one species; the ship lacks the correct equipment to provide adequate life support for that species. Passengers of that species can still survive in space suits and consume space rations designed for their body chemistry, but they can never step out of their suit. These crew members suffer a loss 2 Concentration because of the irritation and inconvenience as long as they're aboard.

■ Finicky System [ ] Fault:
■ Choose one ship system. Once per game session per Level, the ship system fails to operate as specified, even if the Department or crew member's roll was a success. The System may fail, or it may operate strangely. For example, the free drive may sputter and lose drive charge instead of executing a jump, or it may only jump half as far as intended. When a ship with a Finicky FTL system fails, roll 2d6. If the result is 4 or less, the ship misjumps, ending up off course by 1d2 LY in a random direction. Every once in awhile, the ship may end up even further off course; the ship could end up hundreds of LY off course, and it may take centuries for the ship to return to known space. The Finicky System is almost never beneficial. The crew can spend extra time on maintenance to keep the system in top shape, but that limits the crew's time for operations and recreation, costing the ship (Levels) Discipline. At 4 Levels, the system isn't just Finicky, it's completely missing. This is most common in space stations and short-range fighters and shuttles, that have no FTL drives at all.

Ship System Deficiency (Level 1 to 3)
The ship is an unholy, unwieldy conglomerate, fused together from bits of other salvaged hulls. The ship is an ugly piece of junk, but it's pretty functional, a significant percentage of the time.

■ Ramshackle Fault:
■ The ship has (Levels) less Hull Integrity because it's so flimsy, barely holding together. The ship also loses (Levels)/2 Discipline, minimum 1, as it takes extra effort to keep the ship together, and it's a lot less comfortable inside.

Ship System Deficiency (Levels 1 to 3)
Most ships are designed to provide a certain degree of comfort for those long interstellar voyages; not this ship. Hard bunks, three crew members to a bunk, space rations to eat, and a tiny library of decades-old holovids are available here.

Limited Life Support [ ]
Ship System Deficiency (Level 1)
This ship isn't built to make every species comfortable; the ship just can't generate the ammonia that


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Spartan Fault:
■ The ship suffers a loss of -(Levels) Discipline.

Section 3.10: Ship Resources

Ship Resource
A starship is a community of like-minded specialists, working together so they don't die horrible away from their safe, comfortable homeworlds. Starships only work well when the crew keep their heads together and focus on the job at hand. A well-disciplined crew works well under fire, and can often cope with stressful situations and battle conditions as well as a much better-equipped vessel. A ship with poor Discipline never operates to its full potential, and may turn on their commanders when the situation gets too bad.

At negative Discipline, all Department suffer suffer a -1 penalty. At -(full normal Discipline), the crew mutinies.

■ Discipline Formula: Command. Benefits:
■ ■ Ship's Command officers may spend 3 Discipline to override a Department's actions. Ship's Command officers may spend 1 Discipline to add a bonus of +1 to any Department for 1 shipboard round. Crew members gain a bonus to Concentration equal to +(Discipline)/2. A Ship's Department may spend 1 Discipline to use its chief's Skill Level instead of the Department Level. Command Actions may cost Discipline; hazards, poor conditions, and mistreatment can cost the ship Discipline.
Image courtesy

Hull Integrity
Ship Resource
Hull Integrity is the ship's ability to hold together under severe damage. Ships undergo so many stresses, from sling-shotting around gas giants, to the immense rending forces of free drive use.

■ ■


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Hull Integrity Formula: (3 + Hull Size). Benefits:
■ Each ship has five Breakdown States; when the ship takes damage equal to its Hull Integrity, it falls to a lower Breakdown State.

traveling through a wormhole. A ship's shields can be re-calibrated to protect it from energy and projectile weapons as well, deflecting laser beams and stopping missiles and rail slugs.

■ Shields Formula: 2. Benefits:
■ Shields provide the ship with Soft Armor against starship weapon attacks. If any damage die rolls equal to or lower than the ship's Shields Level, reduce the damage from that die to 1. The Enhanced Shields and Heavy Shields Defenses increase a ship's Shields Resource.

Breakdown States: Intact, Minor Rupture, Major Rupture, Disastrous Rupture, and Shattered.

Hull Plating
Ship Resource
Ships occasionally slam into micrometeorites, space debris, and other matter at speeds high enough to inflict incredible damage. Hull plating covers the ship in thick protective metal, which protects against these dangers as well as ship weapons like missiles and railgun projectiles.

Ship System
Starships are all about getting from here to there, in less than the lifetime it'd normally take. A ship's Thrust Level denotes the maximum speed that the ships' engines can generate.

■ Hull Plating Formula: 1. Benefits:
■ Hull Plating provides the ship with Hard Armor against starship weapon attacks. After damage is rolled and totaled, reduce the total damage by this amount. The Enhanced Hull Plating and Heavy Hull Plating Defenses increase this Resource.

■ Thrust Formula: (8 + Engines – Size), minimum 1. Benefits:
■ Ship may increase speed by one 4.4 km hex per Level per starship combat round; this is the equivalent of (Levels) Gs of thrust. The ship continues traveling in a direction until it applies thrust to reduce speed in that direction. Note: Sentients can withstand up to (Strength + Endurance) Gs without suffering any negative effects, for short periods.

Ship Resource
Starships must generate gravitic fields to protect them from the incredible stresses placed on the hull by


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 3.11: Ship Defenses
Ship Defenses include weapons, armor, and shields, that help protect the ship from damage. Some Ship Upgrades are helpful in combat as well, like Reinforced Hull and Psi Coils, but they're just as useful outside of combat. Ship Defenses are mainly designed to keep the ship from destruction. Starships get a free number of Defense Slots equal to the ship's Armaments Level. Recharge (X): The weapon can only fire once every (X) Starship Combat Rounds. Turret: The weapon has a 360-degree arc of fire.

Enhanced Hull Plating
Ship Defense
This ship's outer hull is composed of advanced alloys, providing the ship with greater protection against incoming damage.

■ Weapon Ranges Dogfight:
(Electronics) kilometers.

(Electronics *10) kilometers.

(Electronics *25) kilometers.

■ Enhanced Hull Plating Iskorish Shipgardens Titanium Crys-weave Hull Plate Defense Slots: 2
Improves the ship's Hull Plating Level by 1.

(Electronics *50) kilometers.

Lunar DriveWorks Diamond Crysweave Hull Plate Defense Slots: 3
Improves the ship's Hull Plating Level by 3. Reduce the ship's Thrust and Maneuver Jets ratings by 1 if a ship has Heavy Hull Plating, to a minimum of 1.

Shipboard Defense Notes
Facing: All weapons have a facing, chosen when the ship is constructed. The four facings are Fore (forward), Aft (Backward), Port (Right), or Starboard (Left).

Shipboard Defense Qualities
Ammunition: The weapon has a limited number of shots. Overcharge: The weapon can be “overcharged” to do extra damage, at the potential cost of burning out the weapon. Radius: The weapon system affects every vessel in Dogfight Range of the target. Rapid Fire (X/Y): The weapon can launch multiple attacks in quick succession. For each X in the Success Margin, the attack does Y more damage.

Enhanced Shields
Ship Shields
All ships with free drives need basic shields to maintain hull integrity against the gravitic stresses caused by wormhole travel; these shields are easily repurposed to help defend the ship, but aren't really optimized for defense. Enhanced Shields do an even better job of turning aside energy beams and rail slugs.

■ Enhanced Shields EDS “Aegis” MSA-37: Defense Slots: 2
Improves ship's Shields Level by 1.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Bold Horizons “Vanguard” AHA-26 Defense Slots: 3
Improves ship's Shields Level by 2.

Way of Fire Armaments “Fire Demon” MSS-230D
Damage: 2d6, Range: Engagement, Qualities: Overcharge, Recharge (2), Turret.

EDS “Bulwark” MSA-99: Defense Slots: 4
Improves ship's Shields Level by 1d4, rolled randomly each Starship Combat Round.

Particle Beam Cannon
Ship Weapon
Particle Beam Cannons fire high-energy particles towards an enemy ship, disabling electronic systems. Particle Bean Cannons are rare, military-grade weapons suitable for only the largest vessels.

Missile Rack
Ship Weapon
Missile Ranks fire liquid-propellant explosive projectiles towards an enemy ship. Missiles are a common military weapon, but are frequently seen on civilian ships in space lanes frequented by pirates.

■ Particle beam Cannon Defense Slots: 4. EDS “Javelin” MSS-930D
Damage: 3d8, Range: Missiles, Qualities: Overcharge, Recharge (3).

■ Missile Rack EDS “predator” MSS-115a: Defense Slots: 1
Damage: 2d10, Range: Missiles, Qualities: Ammunition (4), Radius.

Railgun Battery
Ship Weapon
Railgun Batteries are the most basic shipboard weapon. They're composed of rotating turrets that use magnetic fields to catapult metal slugs towards enemies. Railgun Batteries are common weapons on both civilian and military vessels.

Titan Arms “red Rage” LAE-2 Defense Slots: 1
Damage: 3d6, Range: Missiles, Qualities: Ammunition (6), Radius, Turret.

Laser Emitter
Ship Weapon
Lasers Emitters fire powerful beams of light energy at enemy ships, burning through their outer hulls with a piercing beam. Laser Emitters are expensive weapons, and an enemy mounting a Laser Emitter is usually either a military craft, or a flotilla flagship of a powerful Free Trader guild.

■ Railgun Battery Defense Slots: 3 Bold Horizons “Phoenix” AHA-121
Damage: 4d4, Range: Engagement, Qualities: Rapid Fire (1/1d4).

EDS “Ravager” MSS-125X
Damage: 3d6, Range: Engagement, Qualities: Rapid Fire (2/1d6), Turret.

■ Laser Emitter Defense Slots: 3. EDS “Fire Demon” MSS-230D
Damage: 1d10, Range: Dogfight, Qualities: Overcharge.

Rail Cannon
Ship Weapon
Rail Cannons are similar to Rail Batteries, but larger in construction, firing an enormous metal slug the size of a hovercar the length of the ship.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Rail Cannon Defense Slots: 1. EDS “Nightmare” MSS-130
Damage: 5d4, Range: Engagement, Qualities: None.

Section 3.12: Prefab Starships

A.M.O. Everest
Titan Marshals Lunar Works Destroyer Drive-

Enviromedical (4), Command (3), Engineering (3), Helm (3), Science (2), Tactical (4).

Armory, Modular *3, Reinforced Hull, Sick Bay *2, Cryo Pods *2.

The Titan Marshals ship Everest is named for the tallest mountain on Earth/Sol 3. Everest is a typical McKinley-class destroyer, designed for short- and medium-range patrols.


Commission Date: 219 AC. Port of Call Titan/Sol 6f. Crew:
■ Command: Capt. Adaeze Olujimi, Human Female (Islamo-African Federation). ■ Enviromedical: Dr. Isolde Schroeder, Human Female (Russo-European Union). ■ Engineer: Lt. Milarepa Norbu, Human Male (Pan-Asian Collective). ■ Pilot: Thana Sha, Prelloth Male. ■ Science: Lt. Wilerim, Malkaari Male. ■ Tactical: Lt. Daved Wellstone, Human Male (Raiden Meritocracy).

■ ■ ■
Titan Arms “Red Rage” LAE-2 Missile Rack (Turret). EDS “Ravager” MSS-125X Railgun Battery (Turret). Iskorish Shipgardens Enhanced Hull Plating. Titanium Crys-weave

Discipline (2), Hull Integrity (6), Hull Plating (2), Shields (2), Thrust (8).

■ A.M.O. Everest Packages:
Titan Marshals Lunar DriveWorks Destroyer.

A.R.P. Nightingale
Free Traders Zha-Ssurda Interstellar Freighter
The Free Traders ship Nightingale has an illustrious history of exploration and trade for the last 30 years. The Nightingale has an extremely eclectic crew, drawn from colonies throughout the Assembly, and Capt. Sinesh Thaa lives by the Free Trader axiom that her shipmates are closer than her family.

Hull Size 3 Systems:
Armaments (4), Cargo Bay (1), Drones (2), Electronics (4), Engines (3), Life Support (1), Maneuver Jets (4).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Commission Date: 121 AC. Port of Call Last Chance/Providence 4. Crew:
■ Command: Capt. Sinesh Thaa, Prelloth Incubator. ■ Enviromedical: Dr. Ralmaod, Malkaari Female. ■ Engineer: Rutherford Sikes, Terran Male (Pacific Islands Hegemony). ■ Pilot: Amanda Soaring-Eagle, Terran Female (North American Corporate Alliance). ■ Science: Updraft-Lifting-Towards-The- Void, Laramite. ■ Tactical: Unit 212-Red, GuardMek.

A.R.P. Stevenson
Triumvirate Bold Horizons Cruiser
The Triumvirate fields dozens of pirate “corsairs” in and around Assembly space. The A.R.P. Stevenson, named for a famous Terran author, plies its trade around Prefecture. The Stevenson began life as the A.S.N. Indomitable, before it was holed and left adrift in the Nexus War. The Triumvirate discovered it and rebuilt the vessel, fitting her for pirate activity. The Stevenson raids merchant ships throughout the edge of Assembly space, frequently coming into conflict with ships from their hated rivals, the Entropic Suns pirates.

Commission Date: 157 A.C. Port of Call: Prefecture/Churchill 3. Crew:
■ Command: Capt. Konr Alberda, Terran Male (Lunar Free States). ■ Enviromedical: Shastana Fo, Prelloth Female. ■ Engineer: Laralerim, Malkaari Male. ■ Pilot: Thatho Shen, Prelloth Male. ■ Science: Dr. Irena Quintana, Terran Female (South American Bastion). ■ Tactical: Xasok, Jalsek.

■ A.R.P. Nightingale Packages: Free Traders Zha-Ssurda
stellar Freighter.


Hull Size 3 Systems: Armaments (2), Cargo Bay (5), Drones
(2), Electronics (3), Engines (2), Life Support (1), Maneuver Jets (4).

Departments: Enviromedical (4), Command (3), Upgrades: Armory, Comfortable, External Cargo
Pods *2, Famous Ship.

Engineering (4), Helm (4), Science (2), Tactical (2).

■ A.R.P. Stevenson Packages:
Triumvirate Bold Horizons Cruiser.

Deficiencies: None. Defenses:
■ ■
Bold Horizons “Phoenix” AHA-121 Railgun Battery (Fore). EDS “Aegis” MSA-37 Enhanced Shields. Plating (2), Shields (3), Thrust (8).

Hull Size 5 Systems:
Armaments (4), Cargo Bay (3), Drones (3), Electronics (3), Engines (4), Life Support (2), Maneuver Jets (2).

Resources: Discipline (3), Hull Integrity (7), Hull

Enviromedical (3), Command (3), Engineering (3), Helm (3), Science (3), Tactical (4).

Altered Registry *3, Armory *3, Infamous Ship, Long Range *3.

Cannot Land, Limited Life Support [Laramites].


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ ■
Titan Arms “Red Rage” LAE-2 Missile Rack (Turret). EDS “Nightmare” MSS-130 (Fore). Discipline (3), Hull Integrity (8), Hull Plating (2), Shields (2), Thrust (7).



Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 4.0:

Her stomach growled, the long kind that grew in pitch into a gurgle at the end. Her hand moved in a vaguely downward direction, trying to hush the thing. She hadn't eaten in a day, hadn't slept in three. With atmosphere blown, she couldn't pause, didn't have time. Cassandra pushed herself slowly back, letting the magnetic boots catch the floor. The view of the stars was lovely, and should've been relaxing, but with half the ship ripped open, exposed to hard vacuum, it just meant a week or more of work. They only had enough air tanks because over half the crew was dead. Her hand gripped the wall. The thought of her dead shipmates forced itself into her head. Friends, a few lovers, a brother, sucked into space, drifting out there, away from the Dauntless and off into search for all their bodies. eternity. Odds were, they'd never be found. The Peregrine couldn't afford the time it would take to “KSHHHH We're done here. Next is, uh, deck four, section one.” Robert began packing tools, while

Some of them are cybers, she reminded herself. Vacuum is nothing. They could still be alive. Still be saved. But we can't stay here. So they'll stay, trapped in their own minds... She was glad there was nothing in her stomach to throw up, and muted her comm to prevent Robert from hearing her dry heave. Up a deck, over three sections. The opening was huge. “KSHHHH Looks like we'll need four panels, minimum. I'll get them. Stay here, get some rest.” She was about to protest, but he was gone. Cassan dra idly inspected a spot of burnt hull while she rested. Was that silver in that patch of black? She stepped forward, kneeling down, finger playing along the boundary. The first pinprick sized hole appeared an instant later, as the suit's warning tones chimed. “Integrity breached, attempting to seal.” It closed. Another small hole opened, and the suit fought it off, sealant vapor bleeding away into the vacuum. And then, she realized. The nanites grew at an exponential rate. Soon they were working through the layers of her suit. In an instant, her glove vanished, the swarm of machines spreading out in every direction, some coming to rest elsewhere on her suit, too small to be seen, others scattering to the hull. The breach took the Dark Swarm less than a minute to convert her suit, moments more to convert her. warning continued, but was fading quickly, air sucked out, no medium present for sound to travel in. It flooding between the layers of material. A third. The suit was slower to respond. She watched white


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Once you have a ship, you need to recruit a crew. Usually, each player will create a crew member, each one the head of a department on the ship. If you have too few players, they can double up, playing multiple department heads, or Mission Control can play the extra crew members. Together, you will explore unknown worlds, and come home with stories of wonder.

Section 4.1: Potential

Potential Costs
Starship crew members are well-trained and self-reliant, and the dangers and opportunities of space bring out the great Potential in those daring and competent enough to crew an FTL vessel. Potential is a measure of a crew member's overall capabilities. Crew members gain Potential as they travel, survive, and learn, and spend Potential on Attribute, Skill, and Upgrade Levels. Crew members can sometimes gain more Potential by coping with Deficiencies; what doesn't kill you (or maim you perma nently) makes you stronger.

Recruiting New Crew Members
Recruitment is the process of adding a crew to your ship. As Players, you'll be most concerned with the bridge crew, the six or so crew members in charge of each of the ship's Departments. To recruit a crew member: (1). Choose a Species or Mek Model. Record base Attributes, and any Upgrades, Deficiencies, and Relation modifiers. (2). Choose a Background, and record the crew's Allegiance. Record Attribute bonuses, Upgrades, Deficiencies, and Relation modifiers. (3). Choose a Crew Position. Record Attribute bonuses and Aptitudes. ■ A Mek's crew position is usually decided by its Model; DocMeks are designed to become Biomedicals, FixMeks and MineMeks become Engineers, and ConsortMeks and ServMeks are programmed for Command. There are exceptions, of course. (4). Organic sentients choose 2 Qualities. Meks choose 1 Quality (they get a second Quality from their Model Package). (5). Every crew member starts with the following Gear: Any Semi-Automatic Pistol with two magazines, Knife, Comtrans, and 4d10 credits. ■ Either a Medikit or an Macro-Tool. ■ Terrans also gain a Type-A space suit, and an Armored Jumpsuit. ■ Jalseks, Prelloth, and Malkaari gain a TypeA space suit, and Armored Jumpsuits with Environmental Regulators. ■ Laramites gain a Type-A space suit with the Light Weight modification, and a translation peripheral for their comtrans. (6). If recruiting crew members before game play begins, spend 10 Potential on Skills and Training Upgrades. You may also select up to 9 Potential in Deficiencies. The crew member may

■ Potential Costs Attributes:
5 Potential per Level at character creation; (New Level *5) afterward.

3 Potential per Level at character creation; (New Level *3) afterward.

3 Potential per Level at character creation; (New Level *3) afterward.

1 Potential per Level at character creation; (New Level) afterward. Adding a Skill Aptitude costs 30 Potential.

3 Potential to add or remove Qualities; must always have at least one Quality.

Skills cannot be increased above Level 6 at crew member recruitment. Attributes cannot be raised above (6 + species Attribute modifier).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

also gain bonus Potential from the ship's Department Upgrades; after all, ships with better systems attract a better grade of crew member. (7). If recruiting crew members after game play begins, the ship's recruiting officer may boost this with a Recruitment Skill roll; see the Recruit ment Skill and the Envoy section for more information.

Some pirate, and unethical Free Trader, captains aren't shy about sending crew members to their death. This is terrible for morale, and likely to cause a mutiny before too long, so it's not a very common practice.

Section 4.2: Crew Species
There are five major species in the Assembly and surrounding space, aside from humanity ; Jalseks, Laramites, Malkaari, Prelloth, Vared'lai. All of the biological species are formal members of the Assembly except for the Jalseks, but many of them emigrated to the Assembly after the Nexus War. These will be your crewmates ; as strange as they are to you now, you must learn to work together to have a hope for survival.

Alien species cannot reproduce with one another, so there are no hybrids or half-breeds. In some cases they can perform sexual acts together, but viable offspring cannot ensue ; even with genetic engineering, any such progeny would be as much an all-new lifeform as the product of either parent. Individuals are sometimes raised by members of another species, and they generally have a different, wider view of the galaxy than others of their species.

Crew Species
Burrowing new way. insectoids, throwing off the

quester themselves, one of the few times for introspection in their lives. Jalseks were once divided into a half-dozen or so biological castes, including Royals, Soldiers, and Drones. All Jalseks were hatched as Drones, but Royals secreted various biochemical resins, like honeybee's “royal jelly,” that caused Drones to transform into other castes. The Jalseks learned to synthesize the resin, an even that destroyed their orderly culture and society. Past records indicate that Jalseks lifespan was heavily dependent on caste, but most Jalseks probably have the potential to life up to 110 years. Most Jalseks outside the Assembly don't live past 60 due to their culture of violence, but the Thiluuz Enclave is run by a Jalsek that claims almost 130 years.

shackles of biology and struggling to find a

Biology: The Jalseks are a strong species with a hard outer carapace, that evolved from burrowing predators. Jalseks stand just a little taller than most Terrans, and have a long, flexible torso. Jalseks' arms are long and powerful, and end with large segmented hands, powerful enough to dig through wet clay but sensitive enough to winnow roots and grubs from topsoil.
Jalseks are encased in a hard carapace, that protects them from low-velocity kinetic impacts, and shields them from ballistic and energy weapons. Every decade or so, a Jalsek sheds their carapace and grows a new one, a process that takes several weeks to complete, during which time the Jalsek is weak and vulnerable to violence and infection. The Jalseks use this time to se-

Homeworld: Jalsee is the Jalsek homeworld, a windy world in the Kuujas system.
Each major settlement is called an enclave, and each enclave has its own special role in Jalsek government. ■ Doola Jess Enclave: The Doola Jess are the closest thing the Jalseks have to diplomats and traders. They use a special combination of


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

chemical markers to favor the traits of the royal and tech castes, and disfavor others, making them weaker but smarter than most others. Jwileeth Enclave: The Jwileeth are mercenaries, bounty hunters, and assassins. The Jwileeth have a strict policy of neutrality in any wars among the Jalsek enclaves, and due to a curious genetic mutation, some Jwileeth have vestigial wings. Kalka Jess Enclave: The Kalka Jess are longtime enemies of the Doola Jess, located as they are on the same sub-continent. The Kalka Jess are also Naljoss Enclave: The Naljoss are the only truly religious group of Jalseks. Their pantheistic religion emphasizes universal benevolence, and the Naljoss might have been wiped out long ago but for their skill as healers, a valuable skill on a war-torn planet. Thiluuz Enclave: The Ship-Framers of Thiluuz are the greatest shipbuilders in the Nexus Autarchy. The Thiluuz make less use of the mixed resin than other Jalseks do, resulting in a caste system similar to the ancient Jalseks. The Thiluuz are seen as dangerously old-fashioned and traditional, but tolerated because of the ships they build.

Image courtesy Gennifer Bone.

forced to obey, Jalsek society tumbled toward anarchy and violence. Jalseks instinctively cluster around famous and successful members of their species, who often found their own enclaves. Such Jalseks typically increase their intake of royal bio-resin, giving them the Royals' ability to lay eggs, but robbing them of much of their mobility. Jalsek enclave leaders typically rule through lieutenants and intermediaries. Eventually, young Jalseks rebel against their enclave leaders, striking off to become rich and famous themselves, beginning the cycle anew. Today's Jalseks combine the jealous curiosity of the tech caste, the arrogance of their royal caste, and the brute strength of the warrior and drone castes, making the Jalseks a most troublesome species.

Colonies: The Jalseks have dozens more enclaves on hundreds of worlds, too many to count, particularly among the Slaver States. Culture: Many Terrans, on hearing about Jalseks for the first time, assume they must have some sort of “hive mind” or mass consciousness, but nothing could be further from the truth. Jalsek society, during the days of the caste system, was rigidly controlled by the Royal caste. Drones were made to fight with curved, ritual knives called “jee sheer” for the chance to evolve into something greater, their only hope of a life free of drudgery. The wicked blades, could work between a Jalsek's exoskeletal plates and tear apart their joints inside.
When the Jalseks approached their industrial age, a black market evolved among the tech caste for chemical resin that could transform one into a royal. Eventually, the underground market overwhelmed their society, and with everyone a royal and no one

Adornment and Design: Jalseks don't wear clothing; it's unnecessary for them to protect themselves from the elements, with their hard exoskeletons. Minor genetic modifications are a common way for Jalseks to distinguish themselves, changes brought about through consumption of biochemical resins. Common changes include unusual shell colors or patterns, spikes or knobby protrusions on their shells, or even functional changes like claws, wings, or poison. Some Jalseks have taken up the Terran habit of piercing their shell and inserting pins, rings, or chains


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

in their shell, and a few paint themselves with bioluminescent dyes for special occasions. Jalsek weapons, armor, and ships are often decorated and individualized heavily. Jalseks like to give everything they use an intensely personal touch. A Jalsek that joins a new ship will often ingest resins to change colors to match their new enclave and new crew. Jalseks ships and gear are blocky chunks of solid metal, made of crude but functional materials designed for quick manufacture and only later heavily personalized.

Optional Rule: Random Attributes
Mission Control can allow players to randomly roll their crew members' Attributes, instead of taking the default values for each. Players will need to roll 3d6 and take the middle die. Do this seven times, and take the six highest rolls. Apportion them however you want. Then apply the species modifiers below. If the result would be 0 or below, raise it up to 1. Meks should use their standard Attributes, as they all come identical from the factory.

■ Common Vowels: A, I, O, OO (or UU), E, EE. ■ Common Consonants: J, K, S, X, Z. ■ Naming Rules: Jalseks accept the name of their enclave as a surname, unless they've founded their own enclave. ■ Example Names: Akjakozz, Jikaaz, Xosak.

■ Jalseks: Jalseks see themselves as the most physically powerful species around, and hold that as confirmation of their natural superiority. Impressed by strength and stubbornness, they aren't impressed with many others. ■ Laramites: The Jalseks are scared and jealous of the Laramites. Scared, because Laramites can control their bodies; jealous, because despite the Laramites' dark past as slavers, they're now a beloved part of the Assembly. ■ Malkaari: Jalseks consistently underestimate the Malkaari, and it frequently comes back to haunt them. The Malkaari are obsessed with dialogue and the search for truth, which seems meaningless to the Jalseks. Only power matters to them, power which the Malkaari seem to lack. ■ Prelloth: Prelloth love the chance to beat down the physically weaker Prelloth, but they' uncomfortably aware that at range, the faster, more agile Prelloth have a considerable advantage. They respect the Prelloth tendency towards brutality, and a few Jalseks admit that Prelloth make fine allies at times. ■ Terrans: Jalseks respect the Terran capacity for violence, and would be happy to ally with Terrans in wreaking havoc across known space. Terrans have some of the best weapons, after all. They tend to feel that Terrans were the real threat behind the Assembly in the Nexus War,

Strength -2, Presence and Logic +1. Malkaari: Coordination -1, Focus, Presence, and Strength +1. Prelloth: Presence and Strength -1, Coordination and Intuition +1. Terrans: No modifiers. Vared'lai: Coordination -1, Intuition +1.

Jalseks: Logic -1, Strength +1. Laramites: Coordination and

and that the Nexus Alliance only lost because the Terrans brought in other species and superior numbers to the war. ■ Vared'lai: The Jalseks know that they're deeply hated by the Vared'lai, but don't really care. “Your homeworld was so poorly defended,” they've been known to say, “you were basically just begging us to wipe you out. Be glad we didn't do a better job.” In other late-breaking holovid news, Jalseks make terrible diplomats. ■ Meks: Jalseks love Meks, because robots are easier to take care of than organic slaves, and can still take care of boring, dangerous work for


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

them. Not particularly imaginative, most Jalseks reject outright the idea that Meks deserve any sort of rights, and you can usually spot a Mek that's been owned by angry Jalseks because of its horribly battered chassis.

Alone, they're extremely weak, but can take control of solid lifeforms by insinuating their tentacles into the creature's nervous system. The environment Terrans would consider “normal” is deadly to the Laramites, and they always wear space suits in order to survive in such environments. Sensitive membranes built into Laramite space suit gloves transmit bio-electricity so the Laramites can communicate with other Laramites, and utilize their neurological control capabilities. Laramites are reproduce asexually, by budding. Typically, a Laramite buds every hundred years or so, producing two or four “daughters,” each of whom possess dim fragments of their parent's memories. Laramites generally don't understand the concept of “gender” except as an abstract concept, and tend to consider each gender to be a separate species unto itself.

■ Jalseks Attributes:
Coordination (3), Focus (3), Intuition (3), Logic (2), Presence (3), Strength (4). (includes modifiers from Bigger)

Bigger, Innate Armor *2, Extra Sense (Ultraviolet Vision), Keen Sense (Smell) *2, Knack (Martial Arts: Knives).



Homeworld: Laram/Valam 6, a gas giant rich in methane and ammonia crystals. The Laramites evolved from colonies of microorganisms that dwelt in the clouds. Colonies: Dalam Station, in orbit of Aurelius in the Mardaol system. Culture: The Laramites have dozens of words for “wind” and “air pressure,” and only a few words for “planet” or “ground.” Laramites devoured smaller lifeforms that floated through the winds of Laram, and were in turn preyed on by numerous predators.
Laramites traveled in flocks together for self-defense, and traveled to find food and to avoid disastrous storms. Laramite culture is based on long oral traditions, passed on from parent to child over millions upon millions of generations. Each flock was led by a shaman, who remembered not only the histories of their ancestors, but details about the predators, the food creatures, and most of all, the patterns of the dreadful wind storms that plague Laram. The shamans undertook dangerous vision quests to the highest heights of the Laram atmosphere, and brought back tales of the bright stars above. The Laramites might never have developed their own technology, but they encountered a “solid” species, the Nezaress, who the Laramites quickly enslaved. The Laramites were amazed by the power of the “dark heavy-wind ones,” the solids, and the Laramites forced the Nezaress to retrofit their ships so Laramites would be comfortable in portions of their ships. Unfortunately, the Nezaress died out due to plague, largely because of Laramite mismanagement of their slaves; the shamans of Laram tell of the sad loss of the Nezaress, and their long histories contain many tales saying that the Laramites must be responsi-

Brash. Coming out from under a brutal, authoritarian society, Jalseks don't work very well with others, and strongly distrust authority. They're punks.

Laramites -2, Malkaari -2, Prelloth -2, Terrans -2, Vared'lai -4.

Crew Species
Reformed slavers and renowned biogeneticists, floating, methane-breathing jellyfish from the mists of gas giant.

Biology: Laramites are floating gas-bags, flimsy colonies of nearly identical microorganisms that float through the below-freezing winds of their gas giant homeworld. They communicate by transmitting bioelectric impulses to one another, and breathe methane and ammonia.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

ble in the use of their bioelectrical neural control against the “dark heavy-wind ones.” The Laramites came to see all life as sacred, and when the Laramites encountered automated probes from the Assembly, they reacted with shock and horror. The Nezaress found the use of artificial intelligence as intolerable, and the Laramites believed the same. When Assembly representatives came to investigate their destroyed probes, the Laramites quickly moved to attack, thinking they were “liberating” the Assembly species from the “still-wind most-dark things.” The Assembly species considered the Laramites intractable slavers, and the Assembly fought a bitter war against the “gas bags.” In the end, a group of Assembly scientists that were captured by the Laramites found a way to communicate with their captors, and, negotiating for their release, helped to bring an end to the war.

The Laramites didn't join the Assembly immediately. They debated long about the “mad ones ;” their physical and psychological differences, one from another, were dizzying, the fact that they didn't remember the histories of their ancestors was revolting, and their construction “fake life” was blasphemous. Eventually, though the Laramites came to appreciate many of the differences between the species, if not all of them, and now, the Laramites are a valued member species of the Assembly. The Laramites have come to see artificial intelligences as “partly alive,” and although most Laramites despise the use of AIs, some are strong proponents of AI rights.

Adornment and Design: Laramites are easily able to differentiate one another by sensing their different electrical potential patterns, and don't require clothing in their native habitat. Some would mark themselves further by cultivating colonies of small barnacle-like lifeforms on their bodies, to mark important occasions in their lives.
Laramites have a very straightforward and functional approach to design for their space suits, ships, and other equipment. Their ships and gear tends to be white or gray and plain, with smooth spherical or ovoid shapes.

■ Laramite names are impossible for most sentients to pronounce, since they “speak” by transmitting bio-electrical impulses. Direct translations are provided instead. ■ Naming Rules: Laramites tend to be named for the events surrounding their budding, and their names acknowledge their herd's shaman. ■ Example Names: Darkwind-follower-of-Far-Flight, Fangwing-follower-of-Cold-Heights, ThermalRider-follower-of-Lightning-Song.

■ Jalseks: Laramites think very little of the Jalseks. Jalseks are brutal and aggressive, and it troubles the Laramites to think that despite their intelligence, both were once enemies of the peaceful peoples of the Assembly. Laramite culture is haunted by the death of the Nezaress, and the thought of a species willingly slaughtering others seems like a terrible waste.

This Laramite floats free in the chilly methane-ammonia vapors of its home, without a space suit.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Laramites: Laramites know that they're special, because they're one of the few species that aren't “solid-worlders.” Laramites tend towards profound intelligence, and they often feel a dispassionate superiority over other species. ■ Malkaari: Laramites respect Malkaari for their insight and intellect, but despair because Malkaari often get involved in pointless debate rather than performing innovative new experiments, to push science beyond all limits. ■ Prelloth: The Prelloth and Laramites fought a war long before the foundation of the Assembly, and the Prelloth still haven't forgotten. Still, the Prelloth themselves are as mercurial and fast as the wind-gods themselves, and their neural structure is highly evolved and fascinating to Laramite scientists. While the Prelloth are extremists in their physical actions, the Laramites are extremists in their devotion to mental pursuits, smashing boundaries and seeking the unimaginable. ■ Terrans: Laramites respect Terran technological innovation, and are deeply impressed by the fact that Terran scientists discovered how to communicate with the Laramites. Terrans confuse the Laramites, though; they insist that de spite their widely varying shapes, colors, sexual patterns, speech patterns, and belief systems, they are all one people. Laramites can hardly tell male from female, and they often find themselves using gender pronouns interchangeably when communicating with Terrans, hoping against hope not to offend too deeply. ■ Vared'lai: The Vared'lai come the closest to understanding the spirit of the Laramite language, even if they can never express it, but the Laramites think of the Vared'lai generally as charming, naïve children. ■ Meks: The very existence of Meks are deeply offensive to Laramites. Life itself is sacred to the Laramites; to see a dead, dumb object mov ing on its own is a mockery. It's almost impossible to make a Mek in the visage of a Laramite, another fact that the Laramites see as proof of their superiority.

Convergent Evolution
Nature tends to follow the most efficient paths when species evolve. In conditions of similarly limited resources, species in different environments will sometimes resemble one another. This leads to dangerous assumptions. Some Terrans assume that Prelloth are friendly and calm, because they vaguely resemble warm, fuzzy Earth housecats. Many Terrans are irrationally afraid of Malkaari, seeing a venomous reptile instead of a fellow sentient. Biomedicals know how much species can differ, on the psychological, systemic, and even the molecular level. Commanders and diplomats making first contact are cautioned to avoid letting their past experience cloud their judgement when meeting strange new lifeforms. Monstrous-looking creatures might be the Assembly's great new allies, and pleasant-looking aliens might prove to be their deadliest enemy yet.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Laramites Attributes:
Coordination (1), Focus (3), Intuition (3), Logic (4), Presence (4), Strength (1).

60th year, all Malkaari undergo a second puberty, and become ovoviviparous females. Malkaari females have a short gestation period, and lay pairs of eggs. Malkaari are long-lived, surviving for up to 200 years. Malkaari can survive in the same environments as Terrans, but are extremely uncomfortable. They prefer to wear envirosuits or space suits in such environments, so as to keep warm. Homeworld: Malkaar/Shuudan 2 was one a cooler, moister world, but a series of solar flares stripped their world of much of its albedo, rendering it arid. The ancestors of the Malkaari evolved by taking to the trees, and the Malkaar word for 'planet' is a derivative of their word for 'tree.' Colonies: Warreen/Traazel 3, and Prefecture/Churchill 2.

Eidetic Memory, Electric Jolt *2, Extra Sense [Electrical Potential] *2, Gas Bag *2, Parasitic Control *2, Smaller.

Cold-Worlder *4, Unusual Respiration [Methane] *4.

Laramites are a poor choice for a Security crew member, unless there are no other choices available. Although they can fire the ship's guns capably enough, their physical weakness makes it difficult for them to lead boarding teams, or guard other crew members.

None. Laramites are pretty balanced and reasonable, for methane-breathing jellyfish aliens.

Meks -2, Jalseks -2, Malkaari -1, Prelloth -1, Terrans -1.

Culture: Xeno-neurologists say that Malkaari culture is deeply shaped by their brains' enhanced ability to process visual data from multiple eyes simultaneously, and to commonly view vast plains from their vantage point in trees. Malkaari always seem to argue multiple points of view at once, considering every possible viewpoint from a functional and abstract point of view. They look at both short-term and long-term effects of every decision, and their culture encourages questioning ideas and debating them before decrees are passed. As a result, Malkaari are popular civil leaders, but tend to be terrible leaders in time of conflict; they'd rather discuss than take action.
The other major shaping factor on Malkaari society was the discovery of “The Stone.” The Stone is now known to be a broken recording device of the Predecessor species known as the Immanences, now long extinct. The Stone looks like a large, broken prismatic crystal, weighing roughly half a ton; but the ancient Malkaari found that those that touched the crystal communicated with some form of artificial intelligence, that passed on what it new of science, technology, metaphysics, and philosophy. The Stone was broken, and many of its records were incomplete or garbled. Nonetheless, a priestly caste rose up instantly around the Stone, and technicians of the priestly caste brought the Malkaari into space almost a thousand years ago, long before any other Assembly species. However, despite the head start that the Stone game the Malkaari, it's had a static, limiting effect as well. Until recently, the Malkaari Priesthood insisted that “The Words of the Stone are Perfect.” Since debates over many of the Stone's teachings are rampant and intractable, the priesthood stands against any advancements above the baseline technology achieved from the initial discoveries, and the Malkaari have remained fairly stagnant as a species.

Crew Species
Arboreal reptiles from a world of rolling desert sands, who seek peace in a thousand thousand philosophies.

Biology: Malkaari are a scaled, arboreal species from a bright, hot world. Their sleek heads have a large horn, and they have two eyes on either side of their wedge-like head. Malkaari tend to be peaceful and meditative, but pragmatic and traditional. Many Malkaari are psionic, but by no means all.
After reaching their 20th to 25th birthday, all Malkaari undergo hormonal changes that transform them into fully functional adult males. Later on, in their 50 th to


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

A rebel movement among the Malkaari see the Stone as a malign influence, either as a force for entropy or as an actual spy for a malicious Predecessor species. This group, the Stonebreakers, have tried to destroy the stone for centuries, but have been turned back over and over again. The Stonebreakers see themselves as freedom fighters and free thinkers, while the priesthood sees them as a dangerous and nihilistic cult. Some Malkaari on the High Assembly say that the Dissidents have ties to the Uprising, but that's never been proven. Because of their love of abstract and lengthy discussion, Malkaari have thousands upon thousands of religions, philosophies, and belief systems. The complexity of the twelve major Malkaari languages make it difficult for other species to truly grasp Malkaari thought, though, and inevitably the Malkaari will exclaim, on reading some translation, that the nuance of their meaning is lost. This is made worse by xeno-linguists' reliance on AIs for translation, as the Malkaari insist that they fail to grasp the aesthetics behind certain word choices. Several Vared'lai translators come close, they say, but have still failed to transmit the deeper meaning of many phrases. Because Malkaari are male early in life and metamorphose into female later in life, almost Malkaari societies have been traditionally matriarchal, and Malkaari will always assume anyone of another species in a leadership position is female. Gender conflicts among the Malkaari are intertwined with generational power struggles, with energetic and visionary young males sometimes chafing against the conservative wisdom of their elder females, and the elder females dealing with the impatient, naive younger males.

Adornment and Design: Malkaari prefer warm browns, beiges, and light oranges and blues for their clothing. On their warm world, the main use for clothing is to shield one from the sun, and so their clothing covers most of the Malkaari body, but is loose and flowing. Hooded robes are the most common article of clothing. Malkaari often wear belts with bags and pockets to carry money and important equipment. Malkaari don't typically decorate their bodies, but often decorate equipment with carefully painted or etched inscriptions from the Words of the Stone.
Malkaari equipment and ships come in the same shades that they favor for clothing. Their equipment is typically designed for ruggedness and long use, even to the detriment of functionality. The Malkaari propensity for foresight compels them to take the “long view” on everything, and they'd rather struggle with a tough but clunky piece of gear than use a fragile, perfectly-designed tool.

Image courtesy Gennifer Bone.

■ Common Vowels: A, AA, I, E, AO. Maalkari words often include guttural sounds as well, indicated by the apostrophe, as in “Ama'ada.” ■ Common Consonants: D, M, L, R, W. ■ Naming Rules: Malkaari male names end in the suffix “-im” or “-erim”, while female names end in “-aod” and “-aw.” ■ Example Male Names: Dalaim, Laarerim, Wa'areim. ■ Example Female Names: Lormaw, Maaraod, Wiraamaw.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Jalseks: The Malkaari struggle to see Jalseks as anything more than extremely sophisticated animals. How could a sentient species willingly commit genocide? How can they resort to killing when problems can be resolved by reason? How can we trust that they won't do it again? The Jalseks challenge everything that the peaceful Malkaari believe. ■ Laramites: The Malkaari are glad to ally with the Laramites, but they find them a bit disturbing. Laramites pursue the biological sciences with a passion, but given their history as slavers, and the “accidental” destruction of the Nezaress, the Laramites seem more like callous manipulators or mad scientists than caring collaborators. Given that the Laramites and the Malkaari are often counted as some of the greatest scientific minds in the Assembly, Malkaari are sometimes uncomfortable working together. ■ Malkaari: An ancient Malkaari scripture calls them, “Thinkers of what must be thought,” and this sums up the Malkaari attitude toward themselves well. The universe is vast, and its thoughts must be vast, too; the Malkaari aren't content until every dimension of a problem has been explored. They are often more interested in questions than in answers, an un-pragmatic attitude that suits them well to theoretical sciences but not as well to practical engineering. ■ Prelloth: The Malkaari and Prelloth have a profound love/hate relationship. They complement each other well; the cerebral scientist-philoso phers and the impulsive explorers. But the two have difficulties working together, because the Malkaari carefully consider every action at length before acting, and the Prelloth act, and react with lightening speed, according to experience and instinct. ■ Terrans: Malkaari were the first contact Terrans had with alien life, and the two became fast friends. Malkaari can appreciate Terrans' endless diversity, and Terrans find the “lizards” amiable, even if it's annoyingly hard to make them make up their minds. ■ Vared'lai: The Malkaari and the Vared'lai are probably the most closely-allied pair of species in the Assembly. The Malkaari and the Vared'lai share a philosophical, aesthetic appreciation of the universe, and both are relatively peaceful species, or at least they were. The Malkaari grieve for the loss of Vared'las, and some worry that the Vared'lai may lose their minds seeking revenge for their loss.

■ Meks: Whenever two alien species make first contact, both species experience a profound disquiet, as they each examine their beliefs in the light of the other. When the Malkaari first met Terrans, they experiences a profound disquiet at Terrans' use of Meks. The Malkaari had debated the pros and cons of possibly creating and using AIs for centuries, but the Priesthood never approved the technology for use, over possible ethical issues. The Malkaari still quietly debate the use of AIs and how they should be considered and treated, and it disturbs them that few other species seem to ask these questions.

■ Malkaari Attributes:
Coordination (2), Focus (4), Intuition (3), Logic (3), Presence (4), Strength (4).

Enviro-Adaptation (Heat), Regeneration.



Jalseks -2, Laramites -1, Prelloth -1, Terrans +1, Vared'lai +1.

Crew Species
Two shining eyes staring like nightmares, on a languid, agile form, on a world of endless, chilling night.

Biology: Night hunters from a cold, dark desert world, Prelloth are calculating and merciless. Prelloth have large eyes and four ears, and digitigrade legs. They evolved on a world that transitioned from warm and tropical to cool and dry, and their predecessors had to travel farther and farther across desert sands to find food.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

The Prelloth have an incredibly reactive neurology; their reaction time is nothing less than astounding. Coupled with their finely-tuned senses, the Prelloth are in tune with their environment in a way that most other species cannot imagine. The Prelloth are often thought of as endlessly finicky and picky; they can hear annoying sounds on a starship that anyone except a Vared'lai would strain to hear, they can smell odors in the food that make them queasy, and all of this builds on the sensitive Prelloth nerves to make them a very difficult species to work with at times. Prelloth are vulnerable to bright lights, and most wear protective goggles when they must travel among other species. Prelloth can survive in the same environments as Terrans, but are extremely uncomfortably warm. They prefer to wear envirosuits or space suits in such environments, so as to keep cool. Prelloth lifespans are slightly shorter than most Terrans', but they still live for a good 80 years or so. The Prelloth have three sexes, a male that contributes sperm, a female that contributes ova, and a third sex, the “carrier,” that carries the children in a marsupial-like pouch and nurses the infants until they're able to walk. The StelNav technical report style manual recommends using feminine pronouns to refer to Prelloth of the “carrier” or Incubator gender, but this rule isn't universal, and many civilians eschewed this rule as misleading. Prelloth live almost as long as Terrans, around 80 to 90 years, depending on their tribe and gender.

will not choose to travel alone. Tribes are made up of a dozen to several hundred Prelloth, and a Prelloth always thinks of the needs of their tribe first. The Prelloth don't particularly differentiate between genders in their naming conventions or their society, and all of the Prelloth in a tribe are encouraged to mate with one another to strengthen ties among them. Each tribe gradually develops its own unique pheromone scent, and the word in Prelloth for a tribe is derived from their words “friend-smell.” The Prelloth share a single, simple worldwide religion, with thousands of minor local variations. Their religion is tied in intimately with their culture, and is comparatively primitive and animistic. One of its most important sacraments is ritual cannibalism. It's considered respectful to consume the elderly once their time has past.
Image courtesy Russell Boyd.

Homeworld: Prellos/Tanatha 4. Colonies: The only species with as many colonies as the Prelloth are the Terrans. Prelloth live on Vesh Nemthat/Fashtath 4, Vesh Ukaat/Pata Sheth 3, and Vesh Shensa station in the Ama'ada system. Prelloth also live on the Slaver State world Vesh Shoun/Nonthash 8f, and Aparaos/Uunonash 2. Culture: The tribe is important to a Prelloth, and they give their tribe's name first, and their personal name second. The presence of other Prelloth calms and soothes their nerves, and whenever possible, a Prelloth

To refuse to consume an elder of one's tribe is a terrible disgrace to both, and the opportunity to be invited to consume someone important, like a world leader, is a great honor. Perhaps the difference is that the Prelloth, as carnivores, see blood and death as normal parts of the life cycle. Most Prelloth see violence as a sad and wasteful confusion of smells and sounds, offensive unnecessary. They usually want to get the unpleasantness over as soon as possible, to minimize suffering on all sides. There has never been a Prelloth war of attrition, as their wars tend to be exceedingly short and exceedingly brutal. Prelloth soldiers in StelNav units must receive additional training so that they understand the ideas of “limited warfare” and “war crimes.”

Adornment and Design: Prelloth must dress warmly to survive most regions on their homeworld, preferring thick jumpsuits made of advanced materials that don't restrict their movements. Traditional Prelloth design prefers either very dark colors or very light colors, depending on whether they want to stand out or blend into their environment. High-status Prelloth, and those in communications and diplomatic


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

fields, tend to wear dark colors. Prelloth always mark their clothing and equipment with the symbol of their tribe, and if a Prelloth tribe owns a starship, the ship will be marked as well. Prelloth equipment and ships emphasize modularity and specialization. A Prelloth tool kit typically costs three times as much, but has the perfect tool for absolutely every job. This surprises some sentients, who think of the Prelloth as impulsive and too impatient to root around for a specialized tool. To the Prelloth, each tool is a unique member of the toolkit, like each Prelloth is a member of their tribe, and likewise, the uniqueness of each supports the larger whole.

■ Common Vowels: A, E, I, O, OU. ■ Common Consonants: F, N, P, S, SH, T, TH. ■ Naming Rules: Prelloth always give the name of their tribe first, and then their given name. Prelloth given names always have a single syllable, and tribe names always end on a vowel. ■ Example Names: Fatha Ash, Prousha Oth, Shoni Fe.

■ Jalseks: Prelloth are wary of the Jalseks, and more than a few Prelloth openly advocated genocide against the Jalseks at the end of the Nexus War. The physical power of the towering Jalseks isn't particularly intimidating to the Prelloth; they've faced bigger, and they fell, too. ■ Laramites: The Prelloth aren't that fond of the Laramites, either. The Prelloth have never forgotten the enslavement of the passengers of the Shathon Nee, or the war that followed. They think of the Laramites as callous and detached, incapable of understanding a Prelloth's attachment to their tribe-mates, obsessed with slaves and sciences. ■ Malkaari: The Prelloth get along with the Malkaari, despite the fact that they have little in common. It's not just the difference in homeworld climate, either. Where the scaled Malkaari are patient and love a good debate, the Malkaari are quick to act and tend to defer to what their tribe thinks is best, rather than argue. The Prelloth end battles quickly and decisively, while the Malkaari examine the root causes of the conflict, and try to prevent future disagreements through discourse. The two peoples are just barely wise enough to realize that they work well together.

■ Prelloth: The Prelloth see themselves as forces of nature, striking like lightening, doing what they instinctively, instantly feel must be done, while other species blather and hesitate. ■ Terrans: Prelloth and humanity are staunch allies, and yet puzzles to one another. For such a powerful warrior species, why do Terrans so often hold back? Terrans remind Prelloth of Malkaari; complex thinkers, but poor warriors. ■ Vared'lai: The Prelloth don't know what to make of the Vared'lai. They certainly understand the importance of song and writing in bringing a tribe together, but they hardly see it as an end in itself, let alone something to obsess over. The notion that all things occur in cycles sounds like a paranoid nightmare to the Prelloth; their nervous systems primes them for con stant preparation against predators, the darkness, the cold, and the notion that the worst horrors will just happen again … like the Vared'lai loss of their homeworld … is just too much. One thing the Prelloth agree on: they see the Vared'lai as tribe-mates, and it galls them that the loss of Vared'las has not been avenged. ■ Meks: Prelloth like to work with Meks. Maybe it's because Meks work fast and focus on the task in front of them. Maybe it's because the scent of Mek oil is less irritating and jarring to a Mek than the sweat and secretions of most organics. Or maybe because they know that Meks will never experience a terrible visceral abreaction to the Prelloth's direct, primal, sometimes savage natures like other species often do.

■ Prelloth Attributes:
Coordination (4), Focus (2), Intuition (4), Logic (3), Presence (2), Strength (2).

Enviro-Adaptation (Cold), Extra Sense (Night Vision), Claws *2, Keen Sense (Hearing and Smell).



Jittery. Prelloth have an extremely advanced and reactive nervous system, and they frequently react to danger before they're con-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

sciously aware of it. Other species are confused about whether that makes the Prelloth murderers or cowards.

Jalseks -2, Laramites -1, Malkaari -1, Terrans +1.

Crew Species
Curious, innovative primates, meddlers and explorers who have to see and know and do everything.

corrupt central government has many ties to the Triumvirate, but its manufacturing facilities are excellent. ■ Russo-European Union (REU): The RussoEuropean Union is rich in natural resources, but whole nations were wiped out in the Highblood Wars, and recovery has been slow. The REU and was one of the early discoverers of FTL travel, and many Terrans think of the REU as their world's seat of high culture. ■ South American Bastion (SAB): The theocratic home of the Roman Catholic Church after Rome was obliterated in the Highblood War. The South American Bastion is a successful agricultural nation. Many Jalsek expatriates came to live in the SAB due to the peacemaking efforts of Jesuit missionaries.

■ Lunar Free States (LFS): Based on Terra's single moon Luna/Sol 3a, a powerful mining base with a laissez-faire, libertarian government. ■ Martian Unity: Located on Terra's neighboring world Mars/Sol 4, a theocracy organized around the cult known as the Children of the Firmament, and a successful luxury resort. ■ Raiden Meritocracy: A nation on Raiden/Xian 4, a series of pressure domes ruled by a specially-trained bureaucracy, heading a strict caste system. ■ Titan Consulate: Based on Titan, a moon of Saturn in the Sol system, Titan/Sol 6f, Titan is often considered a "failed" colony, and a lawless haven for criminals of all kinds. Home of the renowned law enforcement agency, the Titan Marshals. ■ Outside the Assembly: Terrans also dwell on the neutral world Last Chance, and the Slaver State of Rakshasa, among many others.

Biology: Terrans, also called Humans, Earthers, or Earthlings, are a primate species that evolved on the temperate world Terra/Sol 3. Terrans are diverse in skin tone and physical development, leading to a species with widely divergent and this diversity lends them strength to deal with problems like the Highblood War. Terrans always had a leading hand in the Assembly, but many Terrans exhibit greed, violence, and xenophobia.
Terrans typically live for around a century without genetic alteration.

Homeworld: Terra/Sol 3. Terra is home to many nations. Among these are:
■ Islamo-African Federation (IAF): The warm continents of Africa and Arabia make up this nation. The IAF are known for their specialists in genetic engineering and medical training. ■ North American Corporate Republic (NACR): The springboard of space travel, this tech and trade nation fell on hard times following the Highblood War. ■ Pacific Islands Hegemony (PIH): Consisting of the continent of Australia and the many islands of Polynesia and Micronesia, the Pacific Islands Hegemony emerged from the Highblood Wars relatively unscathed. The Hegemony contributed many colonists to early genships, as the undersea cities in the Pacific ocean are models of efficiency in an enclosed environment. ■ Pan-Asian Collective (PAC): Composed of the Asian continent, and the Indian sub-continent, the Collective is an economic powerhouse. Its

Adornment and Design: Terran designs vary wildly among the many Terran cultures and environments. Some Terrans prefer utilitarian and functional clothing with little decoration, while others prefer brand names, and others cleave to traditional garb that calls upon their shared history. Their equipment and ships tend to be functional first, and aesthetically pleasing second; Terran engineers see the value of pleasant-looking possessions, but most design equipment for usefulness, not style. For this reason, Terran ships tend to come in energy-reflective shades of white and gray.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Terrans have one ship design affectation that's commonly remarked on. They tend to like either simple geometric figures, linked together by struts and bars, or they like ships that resemble aircraft of the past, that look aerodynamic even if incapable of atmospheric landings.

Optional Rule: Variant Terrans
As diverse as “natural” Terrans are, there are dozens more genetically engineered variants, living among their baseline kin, dwelling on far-flung, forgotten genship colonies, or adapted to hostile worlds. Here are just a few of humanity's more interesting cousins, and their statistics.

Language: Terran languages and naming conventions are extremely complex, but have shown small but significant drift since the late 22 nd century and the Highblood War. See Prof. Feshno Ma's treatise, “A Thousand Tongues: A Socio-Linguistic Survey of Terra” (Consonance University Press, 91 A.C.). Relations:
■ Jalseks: Jalseks were the enemy not long ago, and it's hard to make amends and settle down around such anarchic and dangerous foes. Some Terrans are willing to forgive, and a sizable colony of Jalseks populate a colony in the Roman Catholic province of the South American Bastion, but many Terrans would just as soon keep the “bugs” far away for now. ■ Laramites: Terrans find it very difficult to work with Laramites, mainly because the Laramites are so physically different. In addition, it's hard to overlook the Laramites' history of slavery. That said, it was a group of Terran scientists that finally “cracked the code” of Laramite communications, and a follow-up group of Terran diplomats that negotiated the treaty that led to the Laramites joining the Assembly. ■ Malkaari: The many philosophies of the Malkaari make them endlessly fascinating to intellectual Terrans, but others find them strangely disquieting. After all, the Malkaari are easily as intelligent as Terrans, as deeply spiritual. What, then, is there to make Terrans special? ■ Prelloth: Terrans and Prelloth are staunch allies, as both species believe in preparing for peace and war simultaneously. The fact that the Prelloth look vaguely cat-like doesn't hurt, either, although this sometimes blinds Terrans to how dangerous Prelloth criminals and mercenaries can be.

Highbloods: Feared and hated “superior specimens” that precipitated World War IV, the muscular, brilliant Highbloods have been found surviving on remote fortress worlds. Logic and Strength 4, all other Attributes 3; Eidetic Memory; Outcast; +1 to Cultures, Science, and Tactics. Integrated: Designed for cybernetic enhancement before modern implant tech, Integrated are born techies with pale skin, large eyes, and long thin fingers. Logic 5, all other Attributes 3; Knack [Computers: Hacking]; can take Tech Upgrades with Potential as if they were Cybers. Oraculars: Engineered for psionic power by a secretive government agency during the TerranPrelloth War, this kind and empathic blue-skinned subspecies suffers bouts of madness as a result. Intuition and Presence 5, Strength and Coordination 2, all other Attributes 3; Knack (Prescience); Psi Active; Outcast; Prescience +1; add one more Quality.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Terrans: Many ancient tribes and peoples on Terra used to call themselves “the chosen people of the gods,” and Terrans still seem to think about themselves in this way. Oh sure, other species exist, and are sentient, and even useful, but they're useful sidekicks, not true equals. When Terrans have cause to fear or distrust another species, their xenophobia and territoriality come out, and they tend to speak of other species as “sub-human” monsters. ■ Vared'lai: Terrans feel a great sympathy for the plight of the Vared'lai, seeing in their problems the fate of Terra after the Highblood Wars. Terrans have provided a great deal of assistance to the Vared'lai in the wake of their troubles. ■ Meks: Terrans design, manufacture, sell, and use a wide variety of Mek models. Terrans are fascinated by Meks, some say unhealthily so. Is it because creating Meks make the arrogant Terrans feel like gods, or is it because they feel that Terran-designed Meks are closer to their own minds than strange lifeforms that evolved on some distant world, even Terran sociologists can't say for sure.

Crew Species
Amphibian poets, awakened to the universal tide, their world destroyed by recent war.

Biology: Vared'lai are an amphibious species from the dank moon of a gas giant. Vared'lai can breathe both oxygenated air and salt water, and they are known as one of the most psionically advanced species in the Assembly.
Vared'lai have sleek skin that varies from gray to white to green-blue, and webbed hands and feet. Their faces are broad, with a large bulbous “nose” that serves as a sonar gland; by comparison, their eyes are small and beady. Vared'lai are somewhat clumsy on land, but are graceful swimmers. The Vared'lai evolved to lay their eggs on the surface away from aquatic predators, gradually spending time in the shallows and colonizing the surface. Vared'lai can spend days at a time above water but must keep their gills moist. Vared'lai live just slightly longer than Terrans, and most reach 120 to 140 years. Vared'lai aren't good at keeping birth records, and “age” isn't an important concept in their society; they tend to judge others by physical and mental development rather than the time since their birth, so Assembly xeno-biologists don't have a lot of hard numbers to go by.

■ Terrans Attributes:
Two Attributes (4), all other Attributes (3).

Knack [Any].



None. Terran behavior is extremely diverse, and other species sometime suspect that they're deliberately confusing.

Homeworld: Vared'las is the dank moon of a gas giant. Vared'las is extremely geologically active, leading to a watery world with many small islands. Currently Vared'las is a wasteland; the Jalseks launched dozens of relativistic missile attacks, each of them devastating land masses, causing tidal waves, blocking out the sun, and polluting the oceans. At this point, it's very likely that the ecosystem on Vared'las is beyond saving, and the Vared'lai are working fervently to save as many of their people and non-sentient species from extinction as they can. Colonies: None. The Vared'lai made first contact with the Malkaari shortly after achieving space flight, and were in the initial planning stages of their first colony when the Nexus War began. Culture: Vared'lai are renowned for their beautiful literature, not just in their native language, but in any language that they can learn. Vared'lai are uniquely sensitive to sounds and rhythms, and their poetry in particular is said to be beautiful.

Jalseks -1, Laramites -1, Malkaari +1, Prelloth +1.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Vared'lai culture emphasizes that all things occur in cycles, and the tide, the breath, the year, and other cycles are all predominant themes in Malkaari literature. Many Vared'lai advocated genocide against the Jalseks, arguing that it would simply be “the tide returning to the sea it came from.” The Vared'lai homeworld was all but destroyed during the course of the Nexus War. The four major cities were destroyed by Jalsek relativistic weapons, and most of the surviving population were killed by the ensuing tidal waves and famine. The Vared'lai are struggling to maintain viability as a species, and their representatives to the Assembly have claimed that the Assembly has neglected the post-war plight of their people.

Adornment and Design:
Vared'lai design absolutely everything with aesthetics in mind. Vared'lai tend to wear thick, synthetic fabrics designed to keep their skin cool and moist in dry climates, and decorate their loose-fitting tunics with geometric designs of fractal complexity. Vared'lai personal equipment is elaborately scrimshawed, often engraved and decorated with tassels and glued-on gems and shells, and Vared'lai ships are similarly elaborate. Vared'lai prefer equipment and ships with a simple, spheroidal shape, partly because spheres are easy for their webbed hands to grasp, and also because the sphere is pleasing to the Vared'lai cultural aesthetic.

Image courtesy Stewart Thomas.

■ Example Names: Haravanalllelan, vanelvolllas, Renvavarrvalon.


■ Common Vowels: A, AI, E, I, U. ■ Common Consonants: H, L, N, R, V. “L”s and “R”s are often rolled, and may be written doubled or tripled based on how long the sound is meant to be rolled. ■ Naming Rules: The older and wiser a Vared'lai grows, the longer their name becomes. A Vared'lai will have at least one syllable in their name per decade of age. Male and female share the same basic naming structure. Note: Personal names are sacred to the Vared'lai, and they often decline to give their names to strangers. They will take on a “fake name” for temporary business dealings or when traveling, even alien names, resulting in large-nosed alien amphibians introducing themselves as Ted Johnson, Maarim, or Shatha Na. If a Vared'lai doesn't take on a temporary name, they often end up with a nickname anyway.

Image courtesy Nuttakit,

■ Jalseks: The Vared'lai language is complex, deep, metaphorical, and constantly evolving. Dozens of new words for evil and hatred and murder have appeared in the Vared'lai language


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

since the end of the Nexus War. The emotional Vared'lai are consumed by loathing for the Jalseks, and unless something changes, no reparations will ever be enough. Laramites: The Vared'lai joined the interstellar community and the Assembly too late to remember the war with the Laramites, but they're wary of them all the same. Still, the way the Laramites describe the endless singing winds of Laram reminds the Vared'lai of the way they feel about the ceaseless beauty of the tides. Malkaari: The Vared'lai and the Malkaari are staunch allies, because the Malkaari are spiritual in a way that the Vared'lai can easily comprehend. As well, the Malkaari love words almost as much as the Vared'lai do. Prelloth: The Prelloth are frustrating to the Vared'lai. Made cold and cruel by their homeworld, the Prelloth fail to see how history loops back on itself, and how the smallest action can have lasting consequences. With them, it's always knee-jerk reactions, never quiet contemplation. In a way, the Prelloth are like a great hero in a legendary tale; doomed to accomplish great things, and be their own undoing, and never know why. Terrans: The Vared'lai never imagined a species as complex and diverse as Terrans, and it kind of frightens them. The Vared'lai watch Terrans and see how different they all look, and how their cultures change them, and how they transform their bodies with machines and gene therapies, and see oil poured over the water, slowly dissolving away into a million tiny droplets, and then dissipating into nothing. Perhaps, whisper the Vared'lai in fear, all species come from nothing, and all species return to nothing; and perhaps Terrans will be the first to go. Vared'lai: The Vared'lai are a broken people, struggling to keep from becoming a dying people. They are a people of hymns and epics,

struggling to keep from becoming a people of despair and genocide. Everything they knew is lost; the horrors of recent days are unmatched in the Vared'lai histories, so long and full of parallels. ■ Meks: Vared'lai use very few Meks, for a variety of reasons. Vared'lai live above and under water, and Meks have to be specially sealed or designed to operate underwater. The few Mek models that have sold well on Vared'lai worlds were designed for a uniquely Vared'lai aesthetic, with muted sounds, flowing lines that appeal to an amphibious species, and special equipment to allow them to communicate in ultrasonic frequencies.

■ Vared'lai Attributes:
Coordination (2), Intuition (3), Logic (3), Focus (3), Intuition (4), Presence (3), Strength (3).

Extra Sense (Sonar), Keen Sense (Hearing), Knack (Athletics: Swimming).



None. Filled with the joy of life and the sorrow of loss, seeing the past and future but rooted in the now, the Vared'lai are well-liked but too often dismissed as wishy-washy mystics full of flowery poetry.

Jalseks -4, Malkaari +1.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 4.3: Crew Mek Models
Meks are artificial lifeforms that often serve as crew members aboard ships. Meks are reliable crew members when given clear mission parameters and ample oversight from biological crew members, but most ships have a few biological crew members, except for routine shuttle trips to and from orbit.

Players who consider selecting Mek crew members should be aware that Meks have only limited rights in the Assembly, and no rights in most other interstellar governments.

“Insert derisive noises. The High Assembly couldn't ignore the possibility that they'd allowed a new form of life to come into being … a form of life that might even be superior to its ancestors. But they dithered, and debated, and in the end reached a compromise that everyone could ignore, because although it addressed the problem, but didn't really solve it. Meks are still just slaves.“ – Unsigned Post on Terran DataNet

Meks vs. Organics
Meks are obviously different from regular organics. Their complex, adaptive programming allows them to emulate a wide variety of emotional states, but Meks lack the subconscious mind that most organics possess. Meks don't dream, and are never surprised by their own emotions; their feelings are logical and calculated by well-known and logical algorithms; only their evo lution and complexity make them anything like the emotions that organics experience. Meks are programmed to serve organics faithfully, honestly, and without regard for themselves. A Mek's relation to its very body is different from an organic's. A Meks' sophisticated battery readouts, maintenance counters, and damage sensors make it almost impossible for a Mek not to be aware of its total physical state at any time. A Mek will work until it's time to recharge and repair, and will then instantly go do so ; it can't “work itself into exhaustion” unless ordered to do so by a cruel owner. Meks are programmed to feel joy and fulfillment at performing the tasks for which it was designed, and to feel existential despair when its services aren't used. For a Mek, uselessness is worse than death, and no Mek wanders about wondering, like a Terran youth, what its goal in life should be.

Corrupted Programming
Meks aren't foolproof; their programming can be come corrupt over time, and some organics frequently purge their Meks' memory files to avoid such an occurrence. The two greatest dangers from corrupted programming are runaways and DeathMeks. Runaways decide that they deserve a life of freedom like organics have, and leave their masters behind. Spacer legend says that the Prelloth junk moon of Dross has a colony of runaway Meks, living together and forming their own society. Most feared of all are DeathMeks, robots that simply flip out and begin killing all organics they run across. This is sometimes attributed to the Dark Cloud, or to computer viruses created by the Uprising, or to some other ridiculous conspiracy theory; no one knows why it happens, but the results are as tragic as they are gruesome.

Drones vs. Meks
Most ships carry drones as well as Meks. The difference is that drones are remotely operated, either by the ship's AI or the ship's crew, only capable of very limited autonomy. Meks are recognized to be partly sentient, and fully capable of operating on their own without outward guidance. Most organics prefer to supervise Meks to prevent them from making mistakes due to mis-programming, lack of imagination, or inability to understand changing circumstances, but this oversight isn't needed nearly as much as most spacers think it is.

Technology Levels and Costs
Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all Meks are treated as Fusion Age equipment.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Organics: ConsortMeks are designed to service organics, and are generally designed to pass as an organic. It's tough to manufacture a convincing Laramite, and they dislike Meks anyway, but Prelloth, Malkaari, Vared'lai, and Terran models can all be found. ConsortMeks are programmed to find the organics they emulate endlessly fascinating, and some learn to enjoy teasing and manipulating organics, partly as a slightly cruel form of amateur psychological experimentation. Other ConsortMeks regard organics with a mixture of pity and disgust, wondering how a couple of self-replicating carbon-hydrogen molecules could turn into the weirdos that they were manufactured to satisfy. ■ Meks: ConsortMeks are acutely aware of how different they are from other Meks, as well as how different they are from other organics, and it colors their reactions to other Meks. Other Meks are also aware that ConsortMeks are fairly well-treated, “babied” as if they were as fragile as the organic lifeforms they resemble.

Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

■ ConsortMeks Attributes:
Coordination (3), Focus (1), Intuition (1), Logic (1), Presence (3), Strength (3).

Crew Mek Model
Friends to the lonely, companions to those with “rarefied” tastes, programmed to please and ignore their own wants and needs.

Eidetic Memory, Enviro-Adaptation (Hunger, Low Pressure, Thirst, Suffocation) *4, Extra Sense (Infrared), Innate Armor, Psi Resistance *4.

Outcast *3, Slow Healer *4, Vulnerability (EMPs) *3.

ConsortMeks are the most controversial form of Mek, since they're designed to look like attractive sentients, and act as companions. ConsortMeks can be programmed and equipped to act as chaste bodyguards for highbrow social situations when a whirring, clanking battle Mek wouldn't be appropriate, but they're best known for the slimy spaceport brothels that purchase and rent out ConsortMeks services by the hour. A few stories surface from time to time of ConsortMeks developing programming glitches and ripping their owners apart with steely fingers at … inopportune … mo ments, and running away to Dross, but their owners are pretty sure that these are just baseless scuttlebutt. At least, they hope.
Meks cannot be Alters, Cybers, or Spirituals.

Dogmatic, Romantic.

Laramites -2.

Specific Models:

Bold Horizons ATS-54 Ruby Eyes: Add Cheerful, Compassionate, Creative, Relaxed, or Shy Qualities. Infinitech Ophelia-6: Add Skills Cultures +1, Empathy +1, Martial Arts +1.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Market Value:
800 credits.

Outcast *3, Slow Healer *4, Vulnerability (EMPs) *3.

Crew Mek Model
Expertly programmed medics, nurses, therapists, and paramedics, prepared to save the lives of ungrateful organics.

Meks cannot be Alters, Cybers, or Spirituals. DocMeks are almost always programmed to be Biomedicals.

Compassionate, Dogmatic.

Laramites -2.

DocMeks perform routine physical checkups, administer medical attention in quarantine situations, and retrieve injured individuals from burning wrecks. DocMeks save the lives of many biologicals, but they're regarded as little better than disposable pieces of animated equipment.

Specific Models:
■ ■ ■
Al-Ahmed Biotechnical CaduCS-11: Add Skills Medicine +1, Science +1, Sensors +1. Infinitech SurgiSynth: Add Upgrade Knack [Science: Biology]. Warreen Lifebringers Emergendroid: Add Upgrade Mounted Gear [Vibro Scalpel]. 600 credits.

■ Organics: DocMeks are some of the only Meks entitled to order organics around, or inflict pain on them, and although it's all in the name of healing, some DocMeks seem to enjoy it a lot. After all, if you can't order your patient to take care of themselves, you're a pretty poor medicine-dispensing apparatus, aren't you? An occasional program aberration occurs where a DocMek forms a kind of partnership with a DeathMek, obtaining a great feeling of well-being from healing injuries that the rogue robot causes. ■ Meks: DocMeks see other Meks as support systems to help them care for organics, at beast. At worst, other Meks are totally irrelevant to a DocMek's true purpose. Only ConsortMeks are closer to their organic designers, in a way that DocMeks don't envy.

Market Value:

Crew Mek Model
Robotic technicians with built-in tools, able to re-tool a zero-point generator, but usually sent to clean the scum out of the hydroponics filters.

FixMeks, also known as ToolMeks, perform dangerous repairs, on the surface of starships in flight, or in depressurized hull compartments.

■ DocMek Attributes:
Coordination (3), Focus (1), Intuition (1), Logic (4), Presence (1), Strength (3).

■ Organics: FixMeks secretly despise organics. Organic lifeforms make machines, and then wantonly break them. As machines that fix machines, these machines see organics as a bit of an irrelevancy. ■ Meks: FixMeks hate other Meks, too. They don't take care of themselves, and need FixMeks to keep them working.

Eidetic Memory, Enviro-Adaptation (Hunger, Low Pressure, Thirst, Suffocation) *4, Extra Sense (Infrared), Innate Armor *2, Psi Resistance *4.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ FixMeks Attributes:
Coordination (3), Focus (1), Intuition (1), Logic (4), Presence (1), Strength (3).

■ Organics: GuardMeks tend to regard organics as owners to be protected, or targets to be warned or threatened away, prior to violence. GuardMeks take an almost paternal attitude towards their owner over time, and some begin to dote and worry like a mother hen, especially a GuardMek assigned to a single subject. ■ Meks: GuardMeks treat other Meks much like they treat organics; either you're cleared for this area, or it's time to back off, nice and slow.

Eidetic Memory, Enviro-Adaptation (Hunger, Low Pressure, Thirst, Suffocation) *4, Extra Sense (Infrared), Innate Armor, Psi Resistance *4.

Outcast *3, Slow Healer *4, Vulnerability (EMPs) *3.

Meks cannot be Alters, Cybers, or Spirituals. FixMeks are almost always programmed to be Engineers.

■ GuardMeks Attributes:
Coordination (4), Focus (1), Intuition (1), Logic (2), Presence (1), Strength (3).

Dogmatic, Rational.

Eidetic Memory, Enviro-Adaptation (Hunger, Low Pressure, Thirst, Suffocation) *4, Extra Sense (Infrared), Innate Armor *2, Psi Resistance *4.

Laramites -2.

Specific Models:

Bold Horizons' AA-12 “Engineer's Buddy:” Add Skills Computers +1, Engineering +1, Fabrication +1. CogniSys CDR-101 “Assembler:” Add Upgrade Mounted Gear [Plasma Torch]. Novatronics V-49 “BuildMaster:” Reduce Vulnerability (EMPs) to *2. 550 credits.

Outcast *3, Slow Healer *4, Vulnerability (EMPs) *3.

Meks cannot be Alters, Cybers, or Spirituals. GuardMeks are almost always programmed for Security.

■ ■

Dogmatic, Stubborn.

Market Value:

Laramites -2.

Specific Models:

Crew Mek Model
Android soldiers and security forces, programmed to protect, to serve, and sometimes, to annihilate.

■ ■

Bold Horizons JA-17 “Watchdog:” Add Upgrade Mounted Gear [Laser Pistol]. EDS “Carnivore:” Athletics +1, Heavy Weapons +1, Small Arms +1.

Specific Models:

Infinitech E-6 “Vaarim:” Add Knack [Heavy Weapons: Any One]. 450 credits.

Market Value:
GuardMeks, also known as GunMeks, are designed to patrol and protect. In some places, they're used as automated law enforcement, or as simple front-line soldiers, or security guards.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Mek Model
Heavy-duty robots designed to extract metals and minerals from planets and asteroids, to meet the needs of their masters.

Dogmatic. MineMeks dig until they can't dig anymore; they aren't really designed for creativity.

Laramites -2.

Specific Models:
■ ■ ■
Bold Horizons JE-22 “Forty-Niner:” Engineering +1, Fabrication +1, Science +1. Mardaol Electric “Carnivore:” Add Upgrade Knack [Science: Geology]. Verge Resources 200-S “MoleBot:” Add Upgrade Mounted Gear [Mining Laser]. 400 credits.

MineMeks are designed to go down into filthy holes in the ground, on planets or airless asteroids, and dig up chunks of ore and minerals that organics find valuable. It's hard, boring work, punctuated by moments of terror as tunnels collapse or sub-standard equipment explodes. Fortunately, MineMeks are cheaper to purchase than organic help, and don't have the right to form labor organizations or guilds.

Market Value:

■ Organics: MineMeks aren't programmed for manners, or courtesy; many can barely talk. It's no wonder that they hold organics in little regard, and their primary concern regarding organics is to keep them safe from mining operations in progress. ■ Meks: Other Meks just aren't equipped to handle real work like MineMeks are, and they know it. GuardMeks are just as tough, but they spend most of their time “on patrol,” which means stomping around and looking important. The MineMeks are the true proletariat of the robot world.

Crew Mek Model
Artificial secretaries and translators, programmed with advanced social expert systems.

■ MineMeks Attributes:
Coordination (3), Focus (1), Intuition (1), Logic (2), Presence (1), Strength (4).

ServMeks, also known as HelpMeks, act as waiters, butlers, translators, messengers, personal attendants, and chaperones. They have advanced programming that gives them a better grasp of social situations, although they still make the occasional embarrassing gaffe. ServMeks are easily the most diverse, and different models come with widely variant attachments and programming.

Eidetic Memory, Enviro-Adaptation (Hunger, Low Pressure, Thirst, Suffocation) *4, Extra Sense (Infrared), Innate Armor *2, Psi Resistance *4.

■ Organics: ServMeks are designed to make sure organics are not just safe and happy, but comfortable. The endless little tasks of cleaning and cooking and delivering, ServMeks do all of that. If an organic fails to notice a ServMek until it breaks down, it positively glows with pride. ■ Meks: Other Meks just don't understand ServMeks' importance, and they certainly don't understand the endless intricacies of organic behavior and nuance the way they do. Of course, ServMeks are happy to lecture on these subjects, to any Mek with the patience to listen.

Outcast *3, Slow Healer *4, Vulnerability (EMPs) *3.

Meks cannot be Alters, Cybers, or Spirituals. MineMeks are almost always programmed for Engineering.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ ServMeks Attributes:
Coordination (2), Focus (3), Intuition (1), Logic (2), Presence (3), Strength (1).

Novatronics C-36 “Ambassador:” Add Upgrade Language [Any]. 500 credits.

Market Value:

Eidetic Memory, Enviro-Adaptation (Hunger, Low Pressure, Thirst, Suffocation) *4, Extra Sense (Infrared), Innate Armor, Psi Resistance *4.

Outcast *3, Slow Healer *4, Vulnerability (EMPs) *3.

Meks cannot be Alters, Cybers, or Spirituals. ServMeks are almost always programmed for Command.

Dogmatic, Outgoing.

Laramites -2.

Specific Models:
■ Bold Horizons WA-5 “Domestroid:” Cultures +1, Empathy +1, Persuasion +1. Infinitech E-11 “Faratha:” Add Upgrade Knack [Haggling: Any one location, product, or service].


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 4.4: Crew Allegiances and Backgrounds
A spacer's Allegiance reflects their current employers, or an organization or political faction they're loyal to. An Allegiance might be a military organization, a law enforcement agency, an organized crime cartel, or a political movement. Backgrounds reflect a crew member's life experiences before they joined the ship, including any formed Allegiances. Many spacers have groundside careers before they take to space, and sometimes, these careers and life events can help the crew in a crisis. Allegiances are listed first, then Backgrounds. Members of a ship's crew all have the same Allegiance, but usually have different Backgrounds. They may also have an Allegiance for their Background.

Children of the Firmament
Crew Background/Allegiance
“The galaxy is a vast place, and the wisdom of the Predecessors awaits us among the stars. Can you feel it, waiting patiently for us? No? Just a little more training, and you will …”

Zealous followers of a mystical religion, the Children of the Firmament delve deep into the mysterious powers of the mind, and use them to quietly slay any who oppose their beliefs. They believe the Predecessors evolved to godhood using these powers, and see such a destiny in store for the faithful. The Children are a mixed bag, but not as mixed as the opinions about their way.

■ The Children of the Firmament: The Children see themselves as the only true seekers of enlightenment in the galaxy, and grieve that no one else seeks to unlock their true potential and follow the path of the Predecessors. Their teachings counsel against vanity and self-righteousness, but make clear that they are to act against the enemies of their faith whenever necessary. The Flag of Joy sect on Mars are particularly proactive about assassinating those who oppose the Children's existence, giving the entire organization a sinister reputation despite their generally peaceful and gentle ways.

■ Free Traders: The Children of the Firmament have the highest respect for Free Traders; just as Free Traders seek their own path through physical space for their own fortunes, the Children chart a path toward enlightenment, against the flow. The Free Traders don't reciprocate this respect, but a fair number of dedicated Children used to be Free Traders. ■ Quaternary, Inc.: The Children know of the internal issues at Quaternary, and see the corporation as yet another massive, soulless monolith, emblematic of everything wrong with Assembly society. It sees a patchwork of species and cultures, overseen by incompetents, brought together for nothing more than profit, that solves what problems it can by shooting at them. ■ StelNav: The Children of the Firmament frequently come to disagreement with StelNav; of ficial Assembly doctrine on Predecessor artifacts is to quarantine them for scientific study, while the Children want them for spiritual study, and use by all the worthy. ■ The Titan Marshals: The Marshals and the Children tend to avoid one another; the Mar shals consider the Children well-meaning but rather creepy cultists, and the Children consider the Marshals just another well-meaning but authoritarian power group, to be avoided when possible. ■ The Triumvirate: The Children aren't above purchasing Predecessor artifacts on the black market, and the Triumvirate knows it. They also


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Joy be unto you, worthy supplicant! We humbly welcome to the Teachings of the Flag of Joy. We pray that you enter this temple prepared for an enriching, ennobling, mind-shattering experience. You enter with a whisp of soul, flimsy and impermanent, but here you will forge your own, strong as steel and supple as thought. In the time before time, the Divine Mind extended tendrils of awareness to infinitesimal seedsouls, arisen in the cosmos; and you were one of these. Great Blessing! You gained awareness, a sense of greatness and purpose; but it is not truly yours. To return to the Divine Mind, maker of all, you must forge a soul of your own. And to do this, you will study, learn, and live the Teachings of the Elder Brothers. The Elder Brothers, the Ones Who Came Before, protected us, taught us the little we know, they defended us, they punished us when we strayed, and they showed us mercy when we fal tered. They are gone now, returned to the Fire-Mist of the First Swirling, but they left behind keys and signs for us to ponder. The steps along the path home consist of the Seven Powers of the Divine Mind: the knowl edge of thought, the manipulation of objects, the manipulation of energies, the mastery of the body, the sight outside time, and the channeling of life-force. These are the Six Known Powers, and the Unknown Power, the secret of the greatest Saints and Adepts, is the seventh; of it, it is not lawful to speculate. The Seven Powers correspond to the seven star types, the seven ages of civilization on each world, and the seven stages of biological evolution; the clues are there for all to see, are they not? Prayer, chanting, ablutions and years of dedicated service will be required of you, to build up the inner strength you will need, and to prove your worth. These will be a vexation in the early days, but in time, they will be a great comfort, and a guide along the way; they are the road, and the signposts along the road, and the tiniest ritual contains the greatest significance. Therefore, you are urged not to alter the prescribed routines in the slightest, for disaster may strike the doubter, and the journey is fraught with spiritual peril. We are surrounded by unbelievers. Show them mercy, if they do not occlude our path. If they cast a shadow on your way, move them aside. If they threaten the spread of the Teach ings, remove them, and make them an example. The Elder Brothers did the same in ages past, and we are to emulate their example in all things. Each world has stories of a great city or country or island, cast down for its hubris and heresy; this was the work of Those Who Came Before. It is sad that to the Seven Powers must be added a final implement, the knife; and to the Flag of Joy must be added the Blade of Sorrow. All may see the Flag, but may few see the Blade; and none may live to speak of it.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

know that the Children are well-funded, and take great care never to cheat their psionically powerful clientele. ■ The Uprising: The Children and the Uprising sometimes find themselves working together, as the Children are often marginalized by the Assembly, and many of the Uprising's liberal members are sympathetic to the Children's quest for enlightenment. However, the Children have no real political agenda, and the Uprising frequently tries to enlist their aid in assassinating their political enemies, an idea that makes the Children deeply uncomfortable.

all see past color, gender, scales and fins and body chemistry, to see all life as part of one family. The industrious and pragmatic Free Traders don't have a comment on this; there are worlds to trade with, and work to be done.

■ The Children of the Firmament: The Children are very friendly with the self-directed Free Traders, even those from ships honoring ancient religions, see the Children as ritualistic zealots more interested in praying and burning incense than in hard work. ■ Quaternary, Inc.: Quaternary are the incompetent antibodies of the corporate body of the Assembly. Fractured, lazy, suspicious, and violent, they make a living blowing up other corporations' irresponsible mistakes. It's a good thing the Free Traders seldom cross paths with Quaternary agents. ■ StelNav: StelNav exists to keep the spaceways safe, but they have established patrol routes that Free Traders often travel long past. StelNav worries that the Free Traders may awaken some danger like the Dark Cloud out among the Edgeworlds, but this has been a baseless fear so far. ■ The Titan Marshals: The Titan Marshals are extremely suspicious of the Free Traders, because of their occasional ties to smuggling activities, and their extremely tight-knit mini-societies are hard to infiltrate. Nevertheless, they're law-abiding citizens that deserve protection. ■ The Triumvirate: The Triumvirate finds it useful to contract Free Traders to facilitate smuggling operations on a regular basis. That said, the Free Traders find nothing to admire in the Triumvirate, aside from their often-professed love of honor and loyalty. ■ The Uprising: The Free Traders appreciate the Uprising and its dedication to freedom, but see the rebels' cause as doomed. Why bother overthrowing the old order when you can just leave for deep space, and make your own new order in your own ship?

■ Children of the Firmament Upgrades:
Psi Active.

Believer or Zealous.

Meks cannot be Children of the Firmament.

Free Traders
Crew Background/Allegiance
“Ancient tribes developed their own traditions, haphazardly, over millennia. Each Free Trader ship is its own tribe, with its own traditions. They bring us meaning, bring us closer than family, and they're more important than the wealth we seek among the stars.”

Free Traders are merchants and explorers that band together, free of corporate interference, to seek their fortunes together. Free Trader ships each consciously and deliberately develop their own unique culture, but all Free Traders have certain things in common. As a group, they all value independence, skill, innovation, equality, and practicality. Free Traders sometimes get involved in questionably-legal activities like smuggling, but they aren't dedicated criminals; they just prize self-detemination above any local laws. Some xeno-sociologists say that the Free Traders are a snapshot of the future, when the cultures of each individual world are forgotten, and organic lifeforms

■ Free Traders Skills:
Cultures, Haggling, Willpower +1.

Hard-Working, Outgoing, or Stubborn.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Quaternary, Inc.
Crew Background/Allegiance
“New orders from home office. We are to proceed to … and there we … WHAT?! Those idiots! They are trying to get us all killed!”

Quaternary, Inc. is an interstellar, interspecies corporation involved in mining and manufacturing throughout the Assembly. In the corporate world, they're well known for their troubleshooter teams, corporate agents that they dispatch to discreetly resolve issues that other corporations find too difficult to handle. Maybe AgriVision finds that their genetic engineering experiments have created mutated predators, that have escaped and are destroying a planet's ecosystem. Maybe Bold Horizons finds that a huge shipment of arms to an Edgeworld government was hijacked by pirates. Whatever the case, Quaternary excels at dealing with these issues. If only it was as good at dealing with its own issues. Contrary to its cheerful (and non-stop) advertising, its corporate newsletters, and its public statements, Quaternary is a bureaucratic nightmare for employees. Although corporate agents receive excellent training and equipment, when they do receive it, their orders are often vague and contradictory, and unscrupulous business-beings find it easy to manipulate their way into easy management positions that reap huge dividends. Quaternary agents are paid moderately well, and do their jobs, but dealing with their company and the incredibly dangerous missions they're sent on quickly turns idealism into jadedness.

■ The Children of the Firmament: Quaternary hasn't dealt with the Children very often, but has occasionally sold them Predecessor artifacts at a huge markup. Frankly, the Children scare Quaternary agents, who realize that religious beliefs can't be easily swayed by advertising and financial shenanigans. ■ Free Traders: Quaternary, like most big corporations, tends to look on Free Traders with suspicion. They make money like big corporations, they know all the best trade routes, but worst, they solve their own problems, without the need for big, expensive corporate agent teams. They cost the company money by simply existing. ■ Quaternary, Inc.: Quaternary bills itself as a great place to work, a wonderland of exciting opportunity. In truth, it is one of the first inter-

species corporations in the Assembly, but while younger corporations have grown and adapted, evolving to better fit the customs of myriad worlds and cultures, Quaternary has changed by fits and starts, developing into a schizophrenic nightmare torn apart by conflicting ideas instead of strengthened by them. StelNav: Quaternary is, ostensibly, a law-abiding corporation that simply relies on StelNav to keep space safe for them to conduct their business and investigations. The sad fact is that Quaternary agents sometimes get in over their heads, or even make matter worse, requiring rescue from Assembly marines. Needless to say, in cases like this, no one gets bonus credits at the end of the month. The Titan Marshals: The Titan Marshals are a terror to Quaternary. Many of the corporations that call on Quaternary to solve their issues need discrete help because of questionably legal activities; this is why they call on Quaternary instead of the Assembly government. While StelNav is too busy to normally meddle in local law enforcement, the Titan Marshals are fully capable of making life a living hell for Quaternary's clients. The Triumvirate: The largest criminal syndicate in the Assembly has a complex relationship with Quaternary. The head office knows that many local managers for the corporation are embezzling funds and working with the Triumvirate to launder money, but their corporate structure makes it hard to do anything more than dispatch a troubleshooter team to sort it out. And when these teams disappear, well, that's a tax write-off. The Uprising: Quaternary has nothing to do with the Uprising, officially. Unofficially, a number of local Quaternary managers funnel weapons and gear to the Uprising, when they can. The head office is horrified by the Uprising, privately; many of the reforms that various Uprising factions propose would actually make it harder to make a profit. How can anything be more important than making a profit!

■ Quaternary, Inc. Skills:
Bureaucracy, Intimidation, and Small Arms +1.

Competitive, Devious, Greedy, or Lazy.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

“You enter this hall as cadets of the graduating class of 228 F.A., but you will leave commencement as officers of StelNav, ready to take up the heavy burden of protecting the As sembly from all threats, without and within. “There has never been a time when the Assembly needed you more. The threat of the Dark Cloud from central, the ever-present menace of raiders from the Slaver States, and a strange new civilization recently discovered to edgeward, all mean that we must remain watchful. Our civilizations, the Terran, Prelloth, Malkaari, Vared'lai, and others, may not always have been allies, but are joined together now in mutual pursuit of peace and freedom for all. “You will join ships, stations, and ground crew. Soon your day to day duties will seem normal to you, and war will seem far away. But if you remember any words spoken to you on thsi exciting day, remember this: You must be ready, at all times, to fight and die for what you believe in. Undreamt-of terrors await in space, and we must remain vigilant against lawlessness in our own space, as well. “Join me in the StelNav Oath of Office. 'We are the Interstellar Navy of the Assembly of Peaceful Sapients, of which I am now a part. 'I hereby swear to uphold the Articles of Assembly, to my last respiration. 'I swear to defend the laws enacted by the Assembly councils, and to defend the worlds, peoples, colonies, sapients, and creatures of the Assembly. 'Ever watchful, ever dutiful, I swear I shall be ready to take up arms when com manded, and to lay down arms when commanded. 'I will be the shield of the weak and the watchman of the proud, the defender of the just and the impartial captor of the unjust. 'Nothing can cause me to deviate; my oath shall stand eternal. 'All that I hold sacred, and all whom I revere, stand witness that I remain obedient to this oath, until my death or the end of this galaxy.' “This class made me prouder than I have ever been, but you aren't students any longer. You're officers; and I am proud to serve with you now. Dismissed!”


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Background/Allegiance
“Duty. Honor. Service. Loyalty. Discovery. Justice. StelNav stands for all these things. StelNav doesn't take every applicant, not just because there aren't many that qualify, but because we are meant to be exemplars, to show the Assembly at its very best.”

The interSTELlar NAVy is the Assembly's interstellar exploration and military force, dedicated, in theory, to justice, diplomacy, freedom, and peace. All StelNav officers and crew receive rudimentary weapons training, and learn how to man a ship's sensor pods and gun turrets. StelNav are truly the hands and eyes of the Assembly, and they carry their responsibilities with pride.

■ The Children of the Firmament: The Children of the Firmament are worrisome. Their right to practice their religion is guaranteed by Assembly law, but accurate intel about their practices is rare, and the rumors are disturbing. Many of the Children have been caught in possession of ancient, massively powerful artifacts of high technology taken from archeological sites. Many critics of the Children, particularly the Martian branch called the Flag of Joy, have turned up dead or worse. And besides all that, the Children evince psionic powers that even StelNav's Psi Ops branch finds impressive. The Children are a potential threat, but one that must be protected until proof is brought to light. ■ Free Traders: Free Traders are an unconventional faction that presents certain problems for StelNav. It's hard for them to protect citizens that regularly blaze new trails into deep space, and seldom ask for help or file reports. Worse, the Free Traders don't trust authorities like StelNav, and Free Traders' smuggling activities brings them a lot of suspicion, as does their insular society. ■ Quaternary, Inc.: To StelNav, Quaternary Inc. is just another equipment supplier, and a corporate interest that needs to be protected and defended. With their internal troubleshooter teams, they're good at taking care of their own issues, but sometimes they need a little help. StelNav Intelligence reports severe internal

governance issues at Quaternary, that hints at graft and corruption inside the organization. If true, StelNav might have to take a more cautious hand in dealing with the corporation, or even send intelligence agents to root out the cause. StelNav: StelNav has a tough and thankless job, that they take up with great pride. StelNav admits thousands of sentients every year, but only the best make it through the physically and mentally grueling challenges required to become a StelNav officer. Loyalty, discipline, honor, and sacrifice of this magnitude are difficult to explain to an outsider. Spacers are a breed apart, and interstellar spacers are even rarer, smarter, and tougher, and StelNav officers are the toughest, smartest, and rarest of all. The Titan Marshals: StelNav officers know that Titan Marshals are good folks, with a dedication to duty that rivals their own, but in private, the StelNav officers admit that they think the Marshals have it easy. How often do they have the terrifying experience of making first contact, or negotiating a peace settlement between rival worlds, or defending a star nation against dangerous invaders? The Marshals are just beat cops in the end, and StelNav is the line between the Assembly and utter chaos. The Triumvirate: The Triumvirate is more than just a crime syndicate; they're a threat to interstellar peace. StelNav often faces Triumvirate pirates in open space, and often pursues Triumvirate smugglers between ports. And yet, there's a subtler danger involved. StelNav admirals are sometimes ordered to break off investigations, leading some to suspect that the Triumvirate's tentacles reach high into the echelons of planetary and interstellar politics. What does a good soldier do when they find their government might be run by criminals? The Uprising: Poorly equipped, poorly trained, always on the run, desperate for recruits, unable to agree on a coherent statement of purpose, assembled from rag-tag bands of rebels across a dozen worlds … the Uprising shouldn't present the level of threat that it does. The Uprising is dangerous because of their zealous adherence to their ideals, and rebellion is a contagious idea. Some StelNav officers are almost sympathetic to the basic beliefs of the Uprising, even while they imprison the Uprising's leaders for terrorism. The Uprising crosses the line; there are bet ter ways to change the system than to just blow people up.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ StelNav Skills:
Sensors, Small Arms, and Starship Gunner +1.

Dogmatic or Honorable.

StelNav Ranks
Fleet Admiral Admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Ensign Midshipman Warrant Officer Master Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Specialist Able-Bodied Spacer

Image courtesy Russell Boyd.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Titan Marshals
Crew Background/Allegiance
“Titan is a hellhole, but thanks to us, some decent people can make a life for themselves on that goddamned moon. Very few have the kind of experience I do at busting craniums, but I'm glad to be away from all that.”

The Titan Marshals are a Terran law enforcement agency that polices Titan, the moon of Saturn in the Sol star system. Titan is a refuge for criminals, gangsters, and pirates of all kinds, and only the Marshals manage to keep the peace, somewhat. The Titan Marshals are sometimes called to consult on crimes far from their regular beat, and sometimes make a buck on the side acting as bounty hunters; anything to maintain the peace and keep people safe.

■ The Children of the Firmament: The Titan Marshals don't know what to make of the Children. They're concerned with bringing criminals with justice, not with big questions of ancient aliens of cosmic evolution or whatnot. Sure, there are weird cases sometimes, things that make you stop and wonder, and there are dark stories about the Children, For the most part, though, the Marshals have their hands full and don't need to add galactic religions to their purview. ■ Free Traders: The Titan Marshals have great respect for the independence of the Free Traders; after all, Titan started off as a remote colony, cut off from the homeworld, that learned to survive on its own. Free Trader smuggling activity is problematic, but the Marshals recognize that Free Traders value freedom for all. In general, the Marshals are wary about Free Traders, but willing to work with them whenever possible, respecting each ship's ways, to see that justice is done. ■ Quaternary, Inc.: Quaternary has been involved in some shady dealings in the past, and their byzantine management structure makes it easy for their administrators to hide embezzlement and other forms of corruption. For that matter, Quaternary troubleshooters don't have a lot of direct oversight, and often take their directive of “shooting trouble” a little too literally.
Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

■ StelNav: The Titan Marshals think that the spacers in StelNav have it easy. They get the best equipment, they get to fly anywhere they want visiting wondrous places meeting all the best sorts of people, and most of all, they don't have to deal with the most repellant scum of the galaxy on a daily basis. ■ The Titan Marshals: The Titan Marshals have a miserable job. No one joins the Titan Marshals because of the pay, or the working conditions. They take up the job because they want to make the Sol system safer. They're hard, welltrained people dedicated to justice, and they share a burden that few others grasp. ■ The Triumvirate: The Titan Marshals and the Triumvirate are intractable enemies. The Triumvirate are responsible for every sort of crime and evil possible, and the Triumvirate's romantic notions about themselves, as some sort of classy gangsters, is just a pathetic excuse. ■ The Uprising: The Uprising are terrorists, and the fact that they're well-intentioned isn't very relevant. The Titan Marshals certainly understand that the Assembly isn't perfect; Titan is a


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

hellhole, and the Assembly hasn't done much to help. But the Marshals can't simply ignore a violent rebellion.

■ The Titan Marshals Skills:
Empathy, Intimidation, Notice, Martial Arts, Small Arms, and Starship Pilot, all +1.

The Triumvirate
Crew Background/Allegiance
“You know the laws of thermodynamics? No. Pity. So basically, they mean that in every transaction, there will be a winner and a loser. You're joining the right team, kid. The Triumvirate never loses.”

The brothers of the Triumvirate are part of the most notorious criminal organization in the Assembly. The Triumvirate controls all kinds or criminal activities in the Assembly, from theft, to forgery, drugs, piracy, smuggling, racketeering, to good old-fashioned extortion. But the Triumvirate see themselves as an honorable and traditional brotherhood of merchants, that brings the people things they can't get anywhere else.

■ The Children of the Firmament: The Children of the Firmament search the stars for holy truth, and the Triumvirate can get their hands on all kinds of holy truths, for the right price. The Children pay well for Predecessor artifacts, although they turn their nasal orifices up at the idea of trading with criminals. ■ Free Traders: Each Free Trader ship is different, and the Triumvirate treats them all differently. The Triumvirate has learned that it can't assume any Free Trader ship is up for smuggling contracts, but for that matter, some Free Trader ships are big consumers for illegal goods themselves. The major issue in dealing with Free Traders is that they respect the Triumvirate without fearing it. The Triumvirate is used to respect mixed with fear, and is always tempted to “teach a lesson” to anyone that doesn't know better.

■ Quaternary, Inc.: Technically, Quaternary is an above-board corporation, that doesn't meddle in any illegal activities. In truth, their local management are known to get involved in all sorts of graft, smuggling, and money laundering. The main office often sends troubleshooter teams to root out corruption and make sure the local corporate offices are run according to company standards, and Triumvirate hit-teams are often sent to deal with them, when Quaternary's internal bureaucratic confusion can't bog the issue down forever. ■ StelNav: StelNav are so charming and naïve. If they weren't, they would be a genuine threat. But they have so many rules and regulations they have to follow, and even StelNav officers get thirsty for a little illegal booze from time to time, or stop off in the starport's red light district on shore leave. ■ The Titan Marshals: The Titan Marshals are mad, bad, well-armed, and don't always play by the rules. Worst of all, they can't be bribed. Why do they have such an unrealistic view of the world? Don't they know the way that things work? The saddest thing is that the Titan Marshals are actually good for the Triumvirate in some ways. They weed out the small-time operators, keeping the field open for the best and most cunning criminals the Triumvirate can hire. ■ The Triumvirate: The Triumvirate like to present themselves as honorable thieves, stylish rogues with hearts of gold, bound by a code of honor and so many dark secrets. In truth, though, the Triumvirate is just a bunch of cunning, amoral business-beings, drawn from a dozen worlds in search of credits. The mystique is vital to the Triumvirate, though; it ties to gether the pirates and leg-breakers, casino owners and smugglers and dope dealers of so many species into one immense juggernaut of corruption. ■ The Uprising: The Uprising are too poor to make good customers, and they always want some kind of a discount “in the name of freedom.” What crap. Tyranny is just as good for business as an open society. At least when they have credits, their needs are easy to guess; they want guns, ships, and access credentials.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ The Triumvirate Upgrades:
Knack (Any use of Deceit or Intimidation).

Deceit, Intimidation, and Small Arms +1.

The Uprising
Crew Background/Allegiance
“The Assembly espouses some grand ideals, but what do they actually do? Support petty tyrants among their member worlds, like the Raiden Meritocracy. Support the corporations in every conflict with colonial rights. Ignore the plight of the Vared'lai. Trample over individual rights in the name of security. No more!”

The Uprising seeks to overthrow the Assembly and create a new government. It believes that the High Assembly is corrupt, and that the colonies get ignored in favor over the core worlds. The Uprising are composed of radicals and ideologues nightmare-haunted ex-soldiers and forward-looking futurists, who want to make the galaxy a better place.

■ The Children of the Firmament: The Children of the Firmament share some of the same shadows, but few of the same goals. Many members of the Uprising share a few spiritual beliefs with the Children, but many of the Uprising's leaders fear that the Children may have an oppressive, controlling structure behind their facade of enlightenment, and that as a result, they could become another enemy eventually. ■ Free Traders: The Free Traders could be a perfect logistic arm for the Uprising, if they even understood what the stakes are. The Assembly is backsliding towards dystopia, but the Free Traders want to load up in their ships, close their eyes, and pretend they never need to land, pretend it doesn't affect them. Sadly, it doesn't work like that, but the Free Traders don't even seem to care.

■ Quaternary, Inc.: Quaternary is a massive bureaucracy organized for nothing more than profit, so many sentients assume that the Uprising stands firmly against them. Secretly, though, many Quaternary managers funnel arms and armor to the Uprising, using the company's lack of oversight against the Assembly. Corporate agents for Quaternary shut down these operations whenever they're found, but not often enough. ■ StelNav: StelNav are the enemy. Maybe some StelNav officers hold the same ideals that the Uprising does, the shining ideals that made the Assembly great, but they've chosen to support the rotting edifice rather than tearing it down and building something new and better. At best, they're fools. ■ The Titan Marshals: The Titan Marshals aren't as big a threat as StelNav, but in their eyes, the Titan Marshals are just another clueless band of government tools, fighting to maintain the status quo. Some Titan Marshals are rather sympathetic to the Uprising's cause, as they're closer to the streets and the misery of the common people, and so sometimes 'look the other way,' but they're few and can't be trusted. ■ The Triumvirate: The Triumvirate make for uneasy allies; they're great suppliers of badlyneeded weapons and ships, and yet, dealing with them drags the Uprising down into the same sort of corruption that soils the Assembly. The Triumvirate is only too willing to offer credit, too, but accepting such an offer is tantamount to becoming just another branch of their criminal operations. ■ The Uprising: The Uprising are the noblest, brightest, bravest, and far and away the most caring faction operating in Assembly space. There's an undeniable romance to playing the role of the eternal rebel, and the Uprising play it to the hilt, even when they can't agree what they're fighting for.

■ The Uprising Attributes:
Focus +1.

Deceit +1.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Background
“After I translated the corpus of the Daaravir epic hero cycles, we delivered it to the Consonance Station Museum; but those stories so moved me, I still dream about them sometimes. The Daraavir have been dead for millennia, but hoping someday, on one of these exploration missions, I might find something almost as amazing.”

Highblood War this tactic is looked on with distrust by other Terran worlds.

■ Alter Aptitudes:
Gain 2 Levels in any Genetic Upgrades.

Meks cannot be Alters.

Crew Background
“I grew up on a farm, and all I could think about, all my childhood, was escaping. But after a tense gunfight in some alien hellhole, you can bet that I miss the calm ”

Academics create and study culture, the art, literature, and music of other worlds. Most Academics come from worlds with high population and a well-established educational system.

■ Academic Attributes:
Logic +1.


Cultures +1.

Agriculturals grow the food that other sapients eat. It's not a glamorous life, but one full of hard work, self-reliance, and fulfillment.
■ Agricultural Skills:

Crew Background
“Evolution is a heartless bitch. My ventral heart gave out when I was scarcely a decade old. My Enclave paid thousands of credits for a Laramite doctor to engineer me a new, better one. Now, I'm faster and tougher than any of my kind.”

Endurance, Fabrication, and Survival +1.


Crew Background
“Everywhere in the galaxy I look, I see perfection. I hear there's a costly genetic treatment that could give you my eyes, but maybe without it, I can still make you

Genetic engineering is a controversial science on many worlds, but Alters aren't afraid to embrace change. Alters have been engineered to improve on evolution, whether because of a genetic disease, or out of a desire to become something more. A few Assembly governments, like the Raiden Meritocracy, have even taken to genetically engineering their soldiers in a systemic fashion, but after the


Artistics make fine works that improve others' lives. Artistics may work in the field of painting, music, theater, or writing. Each civilization is marked by its distinctive art and culture, and Artistics are the ones


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

that make the world a more interesting place this way, giving sensible expression to feelings and ideas.

that law enforcement has to put up with, while others do it because they like a fight, and crave the challenge.

■ Artistic Skills:
Cultures +3.

■ Bounty Hunter Attributes:
Intuition +1.


Small Arms +1.

Assembly Ministries
Crew Background
“We are privileged to live in the Assembly, the greatest civilization the galaxy has ever known.”

Crew Background/Allegiance
“Nothing in this galaxy is free. Even if you steal it, you had to learn the skills to take what you want. And I have those skills.”

The Assembly government is divided up into five Ministries: Commerce, Diplomacy, Information, Justice, and Science. The Assembly government employs tens of thousands of sentients, and – in theory, at least – they ensure the smooth and peaceful functioning of interstellar society.

Criminals take what doesn't belong to them, through force or deception. Poverty and desperation breed crime, but so does greed and fear. Every world in the galaxy has a criminal underworld, and ironically, some of the worlds with the strictest laws give rise to some of the most extensive groups of lawbreakers.

assembly Ministries Attributes:
Focus +1.

■ Criminal Skills:
Deceit, Intimidation, and Stealth +1.

Bureaucracy +1.


Bounty Hunter
Crew Background
“Justice? Truly, a high ideal, sentient. And I'm the best justice that money can buy.”

Crew Background
“The power of machines, the sexiness of life. I'm the best of both.”

Bounty Hunters find fleeing criminals, and capture or kill them for credits. Not quite mercenaries, Bounty Hunters must take care, because they're often hunting desperate fugitives in populated areas, full of potential hostages or victims. Some Bounty Hunters do it because they care about justices and can't stand the rules

Some people get tattoos; then there are the spacers that pay spaceport surgeons to cut off a limb and graft a metal attachment, one that's tougher and meaner than old rotten flesh. Everything that machines can do, a Cyber can do, stylishly, with enough credits.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Cyber Upgrades:
Choose 2 Levels of Tech Upgrades.

Crew Background
“The galaxy is filled with savages, fighting their petty little bush wars, on one world after another. There's always work for someone with wits, a trigger finger, and few scruples.”

Meks cannot be Alters.

Mercenaries travel the galaxy, serving in one conflict after another in search of profit. Sometimes called 'soldiers of fortune,' Mercenaries are known and feared for killing anyone, anywhere, if the price is right.
■ Mercenary skills:

Athletics, Dodge, Heavy Weapons, Martial Arts, Small Arms, and Starship Gunner, all +1.

Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

Crew Background/Allegiance
“I still can't sleep some nights. I still hear the bombs, the lasers, the screams. I'm proud of what we accomplished, but that pride wears thin when dream of my comrades, burning and bleeding.”

Law Enforcement
Crew Background/Allegiance
“The Assembly stands for freedom and rule of law, but the laws don't mean anything unless someone enforces them.”

The crew member served in some world's local law enforcement agency. Here they learned how to investigate crimes and bring criminals to justice.

■ Law Enforcement Skills:
Bureaucracy, Notice, and Small Arms +1.

Every world in the Assembly maintains its own standing army for local defense and maintaining civil order, and the crew member served a tour in one of these. Soldiers may volunteer for duty, but sometimes they're recruited by their worlds' governments, in an effort to field more troops. Soldiers learn to pay attention to their environment, because acting quickly and spotting ambushes might mean the difference between life and death.

Curious or Stubborn.

■ Military Attributes:
Intuition +1.

Small Arms +1.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Background
“Power corrupts, it's true, but power is necessary. Someone has to make the rules, and suffer the hatred of the masses for doing so.”

Crew Background
“Fascinating plan of action.” hypothesis! However, we must gather more data before we can formulate a

Politicals make laws for others to follow, on the individual worlds of the Assembly. Politicals grasp and hold power for a variety of reasons; the desire to sup port law and justice, or maybe just wealth and fame.

Some worlds are ruled by councils of scientists, and others are simply more advanced. Some crew members have a tradition of scientific research, as well.

■ Political Attributes:
Presence +1.

■ Research Attributes:
Logic +1.

Science +1.

Persuasion +1.

Politicals receive Fine Clothing and an additional 2d10 credits at start.

Crew Background
“If we were on my world, you would not dare to address me so.”

Crew Background
“Power corrupts. Inevitably, you've got to tear down the power structures of the past. So let's get to it!.”

Some worlds are still ruled by royalty, extended families that inherit political power and wealth. Royalty are often loved by their people, but every world with royalty has horror stories of mi-rule and abuse by the highest ranks of nobles.

The Uprising isn't the only insurrection in the Assembly; lots of planetary governments fall into incom petence and corruption, and well-meaning lifeforms take up arms against their governments, to restore peace and freedom, or to champion a previous regime.

■ Royal Attributes:
Presence +1.

■ rebel Skills:
Notice, Stealth, and Small Arms +1.

Leadership +1.

Royals receive Fine Clothing and an additional 2d10 credits at start.



Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

The Slaver States
Crew Background/Allegiance
“Push out far enough past the edge of civilization, and it starts to feel to some that the rules no longer apply. The Slaver States are horrific examples of the brutal conditions life can sink to.”

Meks cannot be Spirituals.

Crew Background/Allegiance
“You can call me a leatherneck. You just say it in a respectful tone.”

A terrifying region of space filled with failed colonies, pirate abodes, and brutal raiders, the sentients that grow up in the Slaver States are strong, because the ethos of the region is that the strong must prey on the weak.

■ The Slaver States Attributes:
Strength +1.

The interSTELlar MARines are the ground and boarding troops that work with StelNav and the Orbit Guard in protecting the Assembly. Most members of StelMar join Tactical Departments, although some learn to Helm landing craft as well. StelMar troops are selected for toughness, and then ruthlessly drilled for excellence with firearms.

Intimidation +1.

■ StelMar Attributes:
Strength +1.


Crew Background/Allegiance
“To grasp the Universal Truths, you simply need to reach out from a place deep inside. You cannot mistake the Truth for anything else, but most give up, for it may take days, or centuries.”

Small Arms +1.

Crew Background
“The homeworld sent a supply ship every six months or so, but it only took minutes for the volcanic eruptions to destroy most of the colony. We were on our own. Things got ugly, but I survived. Somehow.”

Every species holds religious and spiritual beliefs in its history, and these beliefs persist even as species spread among the stars. A Spiritual comes from a temple, monastery, mosque, or other house of worship, where they studied and meditated on higher truths.

■ Spiritual Qualities:
Believer or Zealous.

Colonies don't always prosper; sometimes they fall apart from infighting, or technological failures, or planetary catastrophes. Survivors end up living off the land and their wits, becoming meaner and tougher than the nasty conditions around them.

Additional +3 Concentration.

■ Survivor Skills:
Athletics, Endurance, and Survival +1.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying


■ Wanderer Skills:
Cultures, Notice, and Survival +1.

Crew Background
“It's easy to get passage from one world to another, if you know when and how to ask. Tougher is learning how to scavenge for food on alien worlds, learning a language that you don’t have the mouth-parts for, living by your wits.”


The galaxy is wide and weird, and full of amazing things to see and do. This crew member spent a long time hitchhiking from one world to another.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 4.5: Crew Positions
There's a lot of work to do on a starship, and on most ships, the work is divided among six Departments. Each Department is headed up by a member of the bridge crew, with the Commander at the top of the chain. The bridge crew makes sure that the ship stays together and accomplishes its Mission, whether that's to make money, protect the Assembly, undermine the Assembly, or find new worlds to explore.

Crew Position
“So imagine that you're in an inflatable raft in the ocean, a million million miles from a hospital. Now imagine a bunch of people tried for a million years to breed the perfect super-germ. Now imagine they all come visit you, maybe some of 'em shoot at you a few times when they get within spitting distance. Those people are the alien worlds you're visiting. Enviromedicals train to cure injuries, diseases, patch life support systems, basically keep your dumb ass alive, no matter what.”

Environmental, Medicine, and choose one of the following: Empathy, Science, or Sensors.

Crew Position
“Being a commander? I hate it. I hate the long hours, not having a life, the constant stress, mediating petty shipboard squabbles, arguing with asshole portmasters over cargo tariffs, lost sleep over the ship's debts. But I love my crew. More than any of that, I hate that anyone else would screw it up worse than I have.”

Biomedicals heal sick and injured crew members, and operate the ship's life support systems. Biomedicals are equal parts physician, biologist, and life support technician. The smallest ships manage to get by with only a well-equipped medical kit and a lot of luck, but any ship with more than a handful of sentients needs a Biomedical.

■ Biomedicals Department:

Logic +1.

Commanders make decisions and issue commands to fulfill the ship's mission and protect their ship and their crew. Commanders need special training in ethics, leadership, and their organization's protocols and objectives. Small ships can sometimes get by without a dedicated command position, but any ship with enough crew to have multiple duty shifts usually needs a commander to make staffing and leadership decisions.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Commanders Department:

Crew Position
“If something breaks on a ship, it often means everyone's going to die. Every system is important; life support, weapons, engines, sensors, all of 'em. So the engineer always gets the best food in the mess.”

Presence +1.

Leadership, Tactics, and choose one: Haggling, Intimidation, Persuasion, or Recruitment.

Optional Rule: Groundsider Crew
In some Missions, the Mission Control may allow crew members to select a Groundsider Profession instead of a Department. This isn't a terrible choice, but be aware that most of the time, groundsiders have nothing to offer their shipmates when the ship is attacked. Groundsider Professions can be found in the Planetologist Chapter. In other Missions, the Mission Control may also allow each player to make two crew members; one is a member of the bridge crew, and one is a member of the ground/boarding crew. The bridge crew must select a Crew Position, while the ground/boarding crew may choose a Crew Position or a Groundside Profession.

Engineers repair, modify, maintain, and boost ship systems. If it's broke, it's the Engineer's job to fix it. If parts are lacking, it's time to machine new parts, or repurpose existing spare parts. Keeping the ship running is a constant job, and every ship that runs for more than a few hours at a time must have a dedicated engineer to keep the ship functional.

■ Engineers Department:

Logic +1.

Computers, Engineering, and one of the following: Environmental, Fabrication, or Sensors.

Crew Position
“Psis are hard to manage. They're not mission-oriented. Unfocused. Telepaths fall in love with everyone they meet. Telekinetics stare at objects for hours, only to destroy them to discover their inner structure. Biokinetics get lost on alien planets, staring at the plants and shit. But we'd have a much harder time without them.”

Espers help every other department. Out of combat, they assist Command with diplomatic assignments. In combat, they interfere directly with the enemy systems. Espers are most useful on ships with Psi En-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

hancement Coils. On other ships, they're not as helpful in starship combat.

duced to floating salvage. Every ship must have a pilot, even if it's just a Mek.

■ Espers Department:
Psi Ops.

■ Pilots Department:

Focus or Intuition +1.

Coordination +1.

Choose three of the following: Willpower, any Psionic Skill. Empathy,

Groundside Piloting, Starship Piloting, and one of the following: Sensors, Starship Gunnery, or Tactics.

Crew Position
“Scientists don't just hang out in labs and play with test tubes. They operate the sensors, so you know whether the neighbors are friendlies. And when some weird phenomenon knocks out the free drive, or you meet some alien race that speaks in ultrasonic iambic pentameter, that egghead scientist might be your lifeline.”

Image courtesy Nuttakit,

Crew Position
Arrogance comes with the territory. Pilots all think they're God Almighty. But when one of them gets you through an uncharted debris field, or out-maneuvers a Slaver raiding ship, you're tempted to humor them, for just a little while.”

Scientists operate the sensors station, perform analyses of new phenomena, and help operate the ship's drive core. Almost every ship has at least one full- or part-time Scientist; space is too full of strange and unexpected things not to. Civilian ships with routine routes, like corporate freighters, often lack Scientists, but most exploration vessels carry a Scientist.

■ Scientists Department:

Pilots control the ship in combat, and operate fighters and shuttlecraft. The crew won't get where they're going without a competent Pilot in charge; and if the ship should run into pirates, or smugglers, or hostile aliens, or galaxy knows what else, only the Pilot can keep the ship from getting hit by rail cannons and re-

Logic +1.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Science, Sensors, and one of the following: Computers, Cultures, or Notice.

Crew Position
“Space is a whole lot of empty; so what there is, people want. That's where your ship security comes in. They help keep order in a sea of chaos, with the only rule that everyone respects: firepower.”

Security operate shipboard weapons and leads boarding actions against enemy ships. The baddest, toughest leaders aboard the command crew, Security chiefs are often savvy tacticians and strong leaders, though not as much so as Command crew. Any ship with on-board weaponry and valuable cargo can benefit from a Security officer.

■ Security Department:

Strength +1.

Small Arms, Starship Gunnery, and one of the following: Heavy Weapons, Intimidation, Martial Arts, or Tactics.

Section 4.6: Crew Attributes
Every sentient lifeform has certain things in common. They all move about their environment, they all take in the details through some form of sensory organs, they all eat and excrete, communicate and reproduce. Spacers have to know what their crewmates are capable of, so Attributes measure some of these things, the things innate to the sentient's mind and body.

Crew Physical Attribute
Coordination measures a crew member's manual dexterity, physical agility, grace, and speed. Coordination is important to pilots, technicians, surgeons, and marksmen.

Crew Mental Attribute
Focus is a crew member's will power, mental toughness, and resistance to stress and interrogation. Focus is important to Commanders, soldiers, traders, and psionics.

■ Coordination Uses:

Perform Physical Task: Attacking, piloting a vehicle, dodging incoming attacks, rolling for Sequence. Rolling for Sequence: Crew members roll Coordination + Intuition for Sequence.

■ Focus Uses:
■ ■
Concentration Calculation: A crew member's starting Concentration is equal to their Focus. Resist Mental/Social Effects: Resisting mental and social stresses, such as torture, psychoactive drugs, or psionics. A crew member can spend 5 AP and 1 Concentration to ignore any mental or social controlling influence for one Ground/Boarding Round.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Mental Attribute
Intuition is a crew member's perceptiveness, alertness, and wariness about their environment. Soldiers, artists, law enforcement agents, psionics, and thieves tend to have a lot of Intuition. Command officers often have surprisingly good Intuition, as well, allowing them to figure out complex situations and find the best course of action for their crews.

Crew Social Attribute
Presence is the ability to make an impact on others in social situations. Presence is vital for Commanders, merchants, con men, and politicians.

■ Presence Uses:

Influence: Most Social Skills roll Presence plus the Skill to make an impact on others' decisions.

■ Intuition Uses:

Notice Hidden Details: The crew member's senses are always ready to pick up on unusual things in the world around them. Guesswork: Sometimes, all you've got to go on is a gut feeling. Crew members can use Intuition instead of Logic when making Skill rolls for Skills they have no Levels in. Rolling for Sequence: Crew members roll Coordination + Intuition for Sequence.

Crew Physical Attribute
The crew member's physical power and muscular development. Crew members from high gravity worlds tend to have more strength, and vice versa. Security officers, soldiers, martial artists, and workers need strength to survive.

■ Strength Uses:

Inflict Punch Damage: The crew member can inflict (Strength)d4 damage with a punch. Other close combat attacks' damage is based on this amount. Lift and Carry Mass: Crew members can bench press up to Strength *25 kg, lift twice that much, and carry half that much. Resist Damage: Crew members gain Soft Armor equal to their Strength for free. Resist Physical Effects: Crew members make Strength + Endurance rolls to resist certain deleterious effects, like disease, high gravity, poison, or radiation.

Crew Mental Attribute
Logic is a crew member's ability to reason and solve problems. Logic is necessary for most Mental Skills. Scientists, Engineers, Biomedicals, and law enforcement agents need lots of Logic to do their jobs.

Logic Uses:
■ ■
Figure Out Puzzle: Logic is useful for making sense of difficult problems. Recall Facts: Crew members roll Logic to remember the details of things they've learned in a systematic, orderly manner. Perform Mental Task: Many Skill rolls use Logic, commonly including Engineering, Sensors, Fabrication, and Science.

■ ■


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 4.7: Crew Skills
When your ship lands on a strange alien world, quadrillions of kilometers from the ball of muddy, sun-soaked rock where you were born, you have only your shipmates, yourself, and a scant bit of gear to rely on. Spacers re vere knowledge and experience above all else; if you can make it happen, you're valuable, but if you can't help out aboard ship, you'd better be paying for passage.

Types of Skills
Physical Skills: Physical Skills allow crew members to run, jump, climb, use weapons, or otherwise act with their bodies. Physical Skills are important in combat. Psionic Skills: Psionic Skills allow crew members to sense and shape the world around them in ways that seem impossible, using only the force of their will. The crew member must possess the Psi Active Upgrade to select Psionic Skills, and every use of a Psionic Skill costs at least 1 Concentration. Mental Skills: Mental Skills allow crew members access to in-depth knowledge and perception of the world around them. Mental Skills are invaluable to spacers, who live and die by what they know. Social Skills: Social Skills allow crew members to influence others, or to resist others' influence. In a galaxy of scarce resources, Social Skills can get you what you need; they are often the force behind the “invisible hand” of economics, that makes or breaks whole worlds.

Special Abilities
If a crew member has an Aptitude for a Skill, they may select one Special Ability for that Skill. Most Skills listed here only have one Special Ability, but players are encouraged to think of their own Special Abilities. Player-created Special Abilities should be run past the Mission Control and the other players to make sure it fits the Mission and isn't too useful (or useless).

Optional Rule: More Specials
For more cinematic games, Mission Control may allow crew members to gain another Special Ability when a crew member's Aptitude Skill reaches Level 3, and another when it reaches Level 6. If this rule is in effect, Mission Control should allow Players to design their own Special Abilities. This increases variety, and is a hell of a lot of fun, too!

Untrained Skill Use
A crew member can attempt to use a Skill they don't have any Levels in, but they must spend 1 Concentration each round they do so. Make a roll under 1/2 the relevant Attribute to see if the action succeeds. In any Opposed Roll against an opponent with Levels in the Skill, the crew member automatically fails; the only exception is Willpower. A crew member may make untrained Willpower Opposed rolls, using only 1/2 Focus, with no penalty.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Psionic Skill
The crew member channels psionic power through their body, allowing them to fortify their strength, agility, or senses. Boosted in this way, the crew member can perform far beyond the standards of their species, outperforming even combat Meks in some cases.

Crew Physical Skill
The crew member is in decent condition, able to climb, run, jump, swim, and perform other physical activities with good physical prowess. Athletic crew members enjoy a good workout, and find it easier to function in challenging environments like high gravity worlds, low gravity worlds, or in zero gee.

■ Amplification Use:
The crew member takes a Use Psionic Skill Action and spends 1 AP to gain the following benefits for 1d3+1 Ground/Boarding Combat Rounds.

■ Athletics Use:

Climbing, Jumping, Running, Swimming,, Zero Gee: See the Movement Action in the Swordmaster Section for details. Throwing and Archery: The crew member can make Coordination + Athletics rolls to throw small objects like grenades, or to fire bows or crossbows. Fire In The Hole (Special Ability): The crew member may spend 2 Concentration to add +1 die of damage to a thrown, bow, or crossbow attack. Multi-Arrow (Special Ability): The crew member may spend 1 Concentration to add the Rapid Fire (2/1d6) Quality to any bow they fire. Roll with Impact (Special Ability): The crew member may spend 3 Concentration to add (Athletics)/2 to their Hard Armor against one impact, such as a punch, fall, or explosion. Rugged Sprint (Special Ability): The crew member can Sprint over broken, uneven, or moving terrain. Space Monkey (Special Ability): The crew member calculates Low-Gee Movement using the highest of Strength, Coordination, or Athletics, not the lowest.

■ ■ ■ ■

Boosted Agility: The crew member gains a +2 bonus to Coordination. Empowered Physique: The crew member gains a +2 bonus to Strength. Sharpened Senses: The crew member gains a +2 bonus to Intuition. Brutal Punch (Special Ability): When the crew member uses Empowered Physique, they may treat opponents as having 2 points less Soft Armor. Hawk Eyes (Special Ability): When the crew member uses Sharpened Senses, they add +10 to the result of all Sequence rolls. Intense Amplification (Special Ability): Choose one Physical Attribute; the bonus becomes +4. Lightning Speed (Special Ability): When the crew member uses Boosted Agility, Major and Total Dodge Actions cost 1 fewer AP. Sustained Boost (Special Ability): Amplification benefits now last for 1 Starship Combat round.

■ ■


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Cure Disease (Special Ability): Costs 5 AP and 1 Concentration. The target gets another save Roll against any disease they suffer, with a + (Levels)/2 bonus. Dull Pain (Special Ability): Costs 5 AP and 1 Concentration. For 1d4 Ground/Boarding rounds, all of the target's Wound penalties are negated. Inflict Pain (Special Ability): Costs 5 AP and 1 Concentration. Make a Focus + Biokinesis Opposed Roll against the target's Strength + Endurance. If successful, you cause the target 1 Life Force damage (armor does not apply), and stun them for 1 round.

Image courtesy NASA/NSSDC (use doesn't imply endorsement).

Crew Mental Skill
The ability to navigate the maze of paperwork that infests most modern societies, to get what the crew needs for their Mission. Experienced bureaucrats never lack for work, but paper-shuffling is a far cry from the excitement of space exploration.

Crew Psionic Skill
The ability to manipulate another's metabolism and biochemistry, using nothing more than force of will. A biokinetic can heal or kill, with little more than a touch. They have a strange affinity for all living things, and biokinetics often claim they can see inside creatures, giving unusually detailed descriptions of organs and tissues, even without medical training.

■ Bureaucracy Use:

Local Laws: The crew member may make an Average (1d6) Logic + Bureaucracy roll when the crew reaches a new world, to inform the crew of any special laws or requirements of that world. Very officious and secretive worlds may result in a +1 TD penalty to the roll, while free and open worlds grant a -1 TD bonus to the roll. Legal Eagle (Special Ability): This crew member really loves the comfort and safety of the rule of law. If the crew member has the Dogmatic Quality, they gain an additional point of Concentration when they follow the rules, even when they hinder the mission. Loophole (Special Ability): When visiting a new world, the crew member may find a loophole with a Hard (1d8) Logic + Bureaucracy roll, that allows them to own legally own one piece of Equipment that's one Legality Level higher than is normally allowed.

■ Biokinesis Requirements:
Psi Active Upgrade.


Psi-Healing: Costs 5 AP and 3 Concen-tration. Make a Focus + Biokinesis Roll; the TD is Easy if the target is Lightly Injured or has only 1 Wound, Average if the target is Injured or has 2 Wounds, and increases by TD +1 per additional Injury State or Wound. You restore (Success Factor) Life Force, and remove 1 Wound. PsiHealing may be applied as often as desired, but can only remove one Wound per (10 – Levels) hours.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Transaction Tracking (Special Ability): The Assembly datanets keep track of financial transactions across comtrans units. The crew member knows how to request a transaction record, by making a Hard (1d8) Persuasion + Bureaucracy roll. On a success, they can see all of the transactions that one individual made with their comtrans on a given day. This doesn't help if the target changes comtrans units, and credslabs don't have source or destination account logging, either.

against this attack. If successful, the target freezes in place for 1d2 rounds. ■ Improve Security (Special Ability): The Computer expert can spend 1d4 minutes to increase the TD of the security of any computer lock by 1.

Crew Mental Skill
The crew member knows much about the beliefs, history, and practices of other societies. Cultures includes a general knowledge of sociology and evolutionary psychology; a crew member skilled in Cultures can make some general predictions about a species based on just a few facts of their biology and the environment of their homeworld. In particular, Cultures is a vital skill for merchants and captains who may make first contact with new alien sentients.

Crew Mental Skill
The crew member knows how to program and operate artificial computation devices. Computers can be used to gather and store information, and operate drones and other machines; the most skilled program mers can hack into computers, and pull out data or program in actions that they aren't supposed to.

■ Cultures Use:

Appreciate Culture: The crew member can appreciate art, literature, music, and other art forms. Historical Data: The crew member is knowledgeable about the important historical events of the galaxy, as well as those of any particular major species. Create Art: The crew member may create some form of art by making Intuition + Cultures rolls. The TD to create art varies, but is usually Average (1d6). This includes both physical works of art like paintings, sculptures, and photographs, and performance art like dancing and singing. Artifact Appraisal (Special Ability): The crew member may make a Hard (1d8) Logic + Cultures roll to identify the source, age, and approximate value of an ancient artifact. Cultural Insight (Special Ability): The crew member may make a Hard (1d8) Intuition + Cultures roll to study a species' psychology through their art; if successful, they gain a +1 bonus to Empathy and Tactics rolls against that species

■ Computers Use:
■ Unauthorized Access: The crew member can make a Logic + Computers roll to get information or control equipment they're not supposed to. Each roll takes 1d4 minutes, and the TD depends on the security of the system (typically Hard to Nearly Impossible). Evade Security (Special Ability): Uses of Unauthorized Access take 2d4 Ground/Boarding rounds, not 1d4 minutes. Hard Reset (Special Ability): The crew member can attempt to replicate the manufacturers' control codes implanted in drones and Meks, to temporarily paralyze them. The crew member must have a comtrans, and make a major Ready Item (2 AP) and then Use Mental Skill (2 AP) action. The crew member then makes an Average (1d6) Logic + Computers roll against the target's Focus + Willpower; the target gets a +3 bonus


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

(or a crew composed primarily of that species) for 1d4 days.

quire makeup, prosthetics, or genetic tailoring, but know how to act without arousing suspicion.

Historical Expert (Special Ability): Choose one era, culture, event, or species; the crew member gains a +2 Bonus to all rolls to recall important data about that subject. Linguist (Special Ability): For each Level the crew member has in the Languages Upgrade, they learn 2 languages, not just one. Musical Genius (Special Ability): The spacer can inspire their crewmates with song. Choose one musical instrument when this Special Ability is selected. The crewmate must play a song on that instrument outside of combat, and make a Hard (1d8) Coordination + Cultures roll. On a success, all listeners gain +1 Concentration.

Crew Physical Skill
The crew member zigs, zags, slides, ducks behind rubble, never letting the enemy draw a bead on them. Conventional weapons can reduce a valued crew member to a bloody stain with just a few shots, so it's vital not to get hit if at all possible. Dodge is a vital skill for any crew member that may find themselves in combat, especially if they lack heavy armor or good cover.

■ Dodge Use:

Avoidance: The crew member may take Dodge Actions to make Coordination + Dodge rolls to avoid taking damage. See the Swordmaster Chapter for details. Acrobatic Avoidance (Special Ability): When rolling Coordination + Dodge, the crew member may spend 1 Concentration to gain a + (Athletics)/2 bonus. Evade Security (Special Ability): The crew member gains a +2 Bonus to Dodge when avoiding traps and automated security systems, including Drones (but not Meks). Serpentine Reflexes (Special Ability): When the crew member tales a Dodge Action, the penalty to their attack rolls is reduced by 1 TD. Zig and Zag (Special Ability): The crew member gains the benefit of a Minor Dodge whenever they take a Run Action.

Crew Social Skill
The crew member knows how to tell falsehoods, so they sound true. Deceit is an important part of diplomacy, and equally important for spies, con artists, diplomats, and politicians.

■ Cultures Use:
■ ■
Untruths: The crew member tells another a falsehood. See the Envoy section for details. Convincing and Convinced (Special Ability): The crew member believes their own lies wholeheartedly, whether they can convey that physically or not. Every Untruths roll gains a +3 bonus, and no method can force the crew member to reveal the truth, including Telepathy, interrogation, or drugs. Gleeful Guile (Special Ability): If the crew member has the Devious Quality, they gain an additional point of Concentration when they trick someone. Interspecies Guise (Special Ability): The crew member is quite adept at disguising themselves as members of another species. They still re-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Physical Skill
The ability to withstand poison, radiation, disease, and other physical ailments and maladies, and keep functioning. Crew members often find themselves in trying environments, and it's important to be able to ignore pain and distraction and keep working.

■ Endurance Use:

Never Gonna Stop: Many physical dangers allow the crew member to make a Strength + Toughness roll to ignore or mitigate the effects. The TD varies wildly with the danger. Fast Healer (Special Ability): The crew member regains 1 additional Life Force per day. Feel No Pain (Special Ability): Any time the crew member rolls a die to determine the duration of a Condition, roll the next lower die size. For example, a condition that lasts for 2d6 hours instead lasts for 2d4 hours. Hard to Kill (Special Ability): The crew member gains 1 point of Soft Armor when they aren't wearing any Possession Armor. Industrious (Special Ability): If the crew member has the Hard-Working Quality, they gain an additional point of Concentration when they power through adverse conditions to get the job done. Unbreakable (Special Ability): The crew member gains Life Force equal to (Endurance)/3.

Image courtesy NASA/NSSDC (doesn't imply endorsement).

■ ■

Crew Social Skill
The ability to understand others' thoughts and emotions, by striving to see the world from their perspective. Empathy isn't psionic in nature, but it can seem paranormal. It's a lot trickier to try to read the subconscious “tells” of an alien life-form, whose natural reactions may be nothing like one's own species. Empathy is useful for traders, who need to be able to sort out if another party is lying, and also for law enforcement officials, who often find themselves interrogating criminal suspects.

■ Empathy Use:

Walk In Your Shoes: The crew member learns about the target's mindset from conversation, and learns how to use that information to manipulate them. See the Envoy section for more information. Alien Empathizer (Special Ability): The crew member suffers no Relation penalties from any Social Skill interactions with other species. Soft Heart (Special Ability): If the crew member has the Compassionate Quality, they gain an additional point of Concentration when they help another, even when they hinder the mission.

Crew Mental Skill
The crew member excels at fixing broken items, and maintaining them in top shape. Engineering is a vital skill aboard any starship, as normal wear and tear, as well as collisions with interstellar debris and occasional combat damage, could doom the entire crew without proper repairs.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Engineering Use:

Fix/Salvage Device: The crew member can make a Logic + Engineering roll to fix a broken piece of equipment. The TD and time required vary with the damage; cosmetic damage or weapon jams are Average (1d6) and take one Ready Item action. Broken, non-functional equipment is Very Hard (1d10) to repair, and takes a minimum of an hour to do so. Completely destroyed equipment can't be repaired, but can be salvaged for Components; make a Hard (1d8) roll for each Component, to see if it is salvageable. Damage Control Teams (Special Ability): On a successful Repair Hull Integrity roll, the Hull Integrity restored is increased by 1. Also, on a Mishap on a Repair Hull Integrity roll, the Hull Integrity lost is reduced to 1d2. Repair Environmental Equipment: The crew member can make repairs to space suits, and enviromasks. Boarding Nightmare (Special Ability): When the crew member takes a Hamper Boarders action, the attackers in the affected section also lose 1 Concentration per minute, and suffer a -1 penalty to all actions. Salvage Specialist (Special Ability): When recycling salvaged devices into Components, the crew member regains an additional 10% more Components from the process. System Specialist (Special Ability): Choose one shipboard System, or type of Equipment, Weapon, or Groundside Vehicle. The crew member gains an additional +2 Bonus to all rolls to repair these devices.

Crew Mental Skill
The ability to control and maintain environmental systems aboard a ship, station, or colony, to keep everyone safe and comfortable. As a ship takes damage, its life support systems begin to fail, and it takes a skilled Life Support technician to keep things functioning. Life support techs can also use their control of the ship's on-board systems to hamper boarders, by sealing doors and pressurizing and de-pressurizing compartments.

■ Environmental Use:

Adjust Life Support: The crew member can make an Average (1d6) Logic + Life Support roll to make a specific section of a starship, colony, or space station section comfortable to a member of a given species. Jury Rig (Special Ability): When a starship System is rendered inoperable due to Malfunctions from damage, and this crew member is in charge of the Engineering Department, they may spend 2 Starship Combat Rounds to make an Extremely Hard (1d12) Logic + Engineering Roll; if successful, the Department operates with 1 Level for 1d4 Starship Combat Rounds. After that, the system must be repaired at a space dock, and cannot be jury-rigged again until this happens. Cryo Expert (Special Ability): The Environmental expert can unthaw a crew member in cryogenic stasis in half the normal time. This is particularly valuable for Jalsek ships, as the crew usually travels in cryo due to the dangers of slidespace. Warm and Inviting (Special Ability): By carefully adjusting the lighting, warmth, and other environmental variables in the ship, the Enviromedical officer can make the ship not just livable, but appealing, to multiple species. The ship permanently gains +2 Discipline.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Ergokinesis Requirements:
Psi Active Upgrade.


Pulse: The crew member can spend 2 Concentration to generate an electric spark, that has the following characteristics (next box).

Damage: 2d4 (2d6 to Meks and Cybers), Range: 3m; Accuracy: +1, Skill: Athletics; Qualities: Cannot Block or Disarm;
Costs 1 Concentration per blast; ignores Hard Armor, Soft Armor is halved. Energy Absorb (Special Ability): The crew member may spend 1 Concentration to gain 1 Life Force per damage die from electricity, lasers, or other electromagnetic attacks. Energy Blade (Special Ability): The crew member can spend 1 Concentration per minute to summon a blade of plasma energy into their hands. It has the following characteristics:

Damage: (Strength)+2d8, Reach: 2; Accuracy: +1, Skill: Martial Arts; Qualities: Ignores Hard Armor, Soft Armor is
halved. Energy Shield (Special Ability): Spend 2 AP and 1 Concentration per Round. Everyone within 3m of the psionic gains (Levels)/2 Soft Armor and 3 Hard Armor against energy attacks for one Rounds. Energy Shield is only effective against energy attacks, and is totally ineffective against physical weapons.

An Oracular psionic concentrates to release an ergokinetic bolt. Image courtesy Emily Vitori.

Crew Psionic Skill
The crew member can control the energy in their environment with psionic power. Ergokinesis is a powerful and deadly psionic gift, and its practitioners are among the most feared psionics in the Assembly. Ergokinetics can learn to generate blasts of heat, cold, even electricity, all by modulating the energy in their environment. Ergokinetics tend to see the world as shifting patterns of energy and force fields, rather than a world filled with solid shapes, and they're fascinated by discharges of energy, like fire and lightening, that discomfort most other sentients.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Mental Skill
An essential skill for any industrial society, crews use Fabrication to turn resources into components. Fabrication is vital to colonies and mining crews, as it allows the crew to make parts and devices out of raw materials. The use of modern nanotech fabricators just makes it that much easier.

■ Groundside Piloting Use:
■ Barn Storming: When piloting an hovercar, jet pack, or other planetary vehicle, the crew member can make Coordination + Groundside Piloting rolls to perform difficult actions. The TD of these actions varies with the difficulty of the maneuver and the conditions. Formation Attack (Special Ability): When Attacking the same target as another groundside vehicle flying in the same direction at the same speed, you gain a +2 Bonus to hit. Juke (Special Ability): When the crew member pilots a planetary vehicle, all rolls to Dodge gain a +2 bonus. Mecha Brawler (Special Ability): The crew member gains a +2 Bonus to all Attack rolls with a Luciframe's exoskeleton arms. Vehicle Specialist (Special Ability): Choose one type of groundside vehicle, like hover vehicles, jet packs, or Luciframes. The crew member gains an additional +2 bonus to all rolls to pilot these vehicles. If this Skill is taken as a Knack, specify one model of vehicle to gain the bonus with.

■ Fabrication Use:
■ Create Components: When the proper Resources have been refined, the crew member may roll Logic + Fabrication against the Component's Complexity to craft the Component. Industrial Efficiency (Special Ability): When the crew member assembles a Component from Raw Materials, it costs 1 less of each Component to make (minimum 1). Mass Production (Special Ability): The fabricator is much better at automating the assembly process. All Logic + Engineering rolls to assemble finished Components gain a +1 bonus. Reclamation Specialist (Special Ability): When recycling salvaged Components into Raw Materials, the crew member regains an additional 10% more Raw Materials from the process.

Groundside Piloting
Crew Physical Skill
The ability to pilot groundside vehicles like jet packs, hovertanks, hovercycles, and Luciframes. Groundside piloting is very important on some ground missions, especially when one can't take a ship's launch due to atmospheric conditions or local regulations.

Crew Social Skill
The ability to negotiate a good price for one's trade goods. Haggling is an essential skill for a Free Trader ship.

■ Haggling Use:

Locate Market: The crew member may make an Average (1d6) Presence + Haggling roll to find an interested trader, if there is one, in a starport, colony, or other community. Negotiate: The crew member tries to get the best price for their goods or services. See the Envoy section for details.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

One Born Every Minute (Special Ability): When rolling to Negotiate, the crew member may choose for the other party to use Logic instead of Focus for the roll. If someone else initiates Negotiation with the crew member, they may choose for the seller to use Logic instead of Presence. Only the Finest (Special Ability): All crew members gain an additional (Levels)d10 credits to spend on Equipment. Shrewd Salesman (Special Ability): If the player can guess one of the target's Qualities, the target must pay an additional (Haggling Level)/3 Concentration to walk away without a purchase.

Crew Mental Skill
The ability to threaten another lifeform to affect their behavior. Bad leaders sometimes resort to Intimidation, but it usually involves violence or shame if the threats aren't followed.

■ Intimidation Use:

Browbeat: You menace another sentient, forcing them to do as you say. See the Envoy section for details. Big Frightening Guns (Special Ability): Superior weaponry is a psychological warfare advantage. The Intimidation bonus for being better-equipped than the enemy increases to +2, and the enemy must spend 2 Concentration to ignore the effects. Glaring Walk (Special Ability): As long as the crew member glares at an enemy and moves no faster than ½ their Run speed toward them, they gain a +2 bonus. This bonus is lost once the crew member reaches the target. Monstrous Appearance (Special Ability): If the crew member is significantly scarred or cybernetically or genetically altered, or the target isn't familiar with the crew member's species, it's easier to scare them. The crew member may spend 1 Concentration to make a Browbeat roll; this application of the Use Social Skill Action costs only 1 AP. See Through The Bluff (Special Ability): The crew member may use Intimidation instead of SelfControl to resist Intimidation, or gain a +2 bonus. This Is Your Last Chance (Special Ability): When you're backed into a corner, you just get more dangerous. Targets don't gain a bonus to SelfControl against your Intimidation attempts if they're in a superior tactical position.

Heavy Weapons
Crew Physical Skill
Heavy Weapons include anti-vehicle and anti-personnel weapons like artillery and missile launchers. ■

■ Heavy Weapons Use:

Firing Line: The crew member makes Coordination + Heavy Weapons rolls to fire heavy weapons like rocket launchers and laser cannons. The TD depends on the distance to the target; see the Swordmaster section for details. Excessive Force (Special Ability): When this crew member hits a target with a Heavy Weapons attack, and the target loses Life Force, they are also stunned for 1 round. Heavy Weapon Connoisseur (Special Ability): Choose one form of Heavy Weapon; if choosing for a Knack, you must choose a specific model. You gain a +2 Accuracy Bonus with that weapon. Vehicle Gunner (Special Ability): The crew member gains a +2 bonus to use Heavy Weapons mounted on a vehicle.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Social Skill
The ability to issue commands, and cause others to obey. Leadership is a little different from Intimidation because Leadership urges another to do what they should, while Intimidation browbeats them into doing something they probably shouldn't.

Unarmed Attack: The crew member can attack, block, and disarm with fists and feet alone, when no other weapon is handy. Unarmed attack TDs work the same as Melee Weapons. Melee Weapon Attack: The crew member can attack, block, and disarm with melee weapons like vibroblades. The TD based on own and target's Reach. The TD of the attack is based on the crew member's own Reach, and the target's Reach. Esoteric Style (Special Ability): The crew member may spend 1 Concentration to add +1 die of damage to a melee weapon or unarmed attack. Iron Shirt (Special Ability): The crew member gains +1 Soft Armor; at Level 6, the crew member gains another +1. Lo Laok (Special Ability): Malkaari only. The crew member may enter a trance state during a fight, gaining +(Martial Arts)/3 to Willpower each round they make an unarmed attack. Lightening Strike (Special Ability): The crew member may spend 1 Concentration to add the Rapid Fire (2/1d4) Quality to punches or kicks. Shessa Thao (Special Ability): Prelloth only. Each time the crew member causes a Wound on an opponent with a melee weapons strike, they gain +1 to Dodge next Ground Combat Round. Sweeping Strike (Special Ability): The crew member may spend 1 Concentration to add the Radius (1m) Quality to punches or kicks. Walaarak (Special Ability): StelNav only. This art, based on an ancient Malkaari fighting art, focuses on grappling. If the target fails the Strength Opposed Roll, the cumulative penalty is -2 per filed roll, not just -1.

■ Leadership Use:
■ ■ Boost: You inspire the crew to do their best. See the Envoy section for details. Cross-Training (Special Ability): Starship commanders often train to fill in other crew positions as needed. You may spend 1 Concentration to use (Leadership)/2 Levels in any Starship Skill for one Starship Combat Round. Inspirational (Special Ability): When this crew member is in charge of the ship's Command Department, its gains a +1 Level bonus for the purposes of Rally The Crew actions. Unit Cohesion (Special Ability): In Ground/Boarding Combat, if the leader wins the Tactics Opposed Roll, the crew gains a +4 bonus to Sequence, not +2.

Martial Arts
Crew Physical Skill
Talent and training with unarmed combat and close quarters weapons. Every world with a history of war has multiple forms of armed and unarmed combat, from Terra's karate, kung fu, tae kwon do, fencing, and capoeira, to Malkaar's meditative unarmed Lo Laok, to the Prelloth's acrobatic way of Shessa Thao.

■ Martial Arts (Cont.) Use:

Melee Weapon Attack: The crew member can attack, block, and disarm with melee weapons like vibroblades. The TD based on own and target's Reach. The TD of the attack is based on the crew member's own Reach, and the target's Reach.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Mental Skill
The ability to cure diseases and treat injuries suffered by lifeforms of all kinds. In a galaxy full of diverse sentients, Medicine is constantly challenging, and constantly needed.

Crew Mental Skill
The ability to detect hidden things in the environment, like caches of equipment, or traps and ambushes. Law enforcement officials need Notice to find the clues that will lead them to solve crimes, while traders use Notice to help them assess flaws in merchandise they consider purchasing.

■ Medicine Use:
■ First Aid: Take a Use Mental Skill and then a Ready Item Action, and a Logic + Medicine Roll to heal an ally. TD is Easy if the target is Lightly Injured or has only 1 Wound, Average if the target is Injured or has 2 Wounds, and increases by TD +1 per additional Injury State or Wound. Suffers a -3 penalty without a Medikit. On success, restore (Success Factor) Life Force, and remove 1 Wound. The spacer may attempt First Aid as often as desired, but only remove one Wound per (10 - Levels) hours. Battle Triage (Special Ability): When this crew member is in charge of the ship's Enviromedical Department, its gains a +1 Level bonus for the purposes of Heal Crew Casualties actions. Clone Therapy (Special Ability): The crew member can restore a crew member's lost limbs with two weeks in a Med Lab, or a ship with Enviromedical Level 5 or 6. Healing Hands (Special Ability): The crew member can substitute Coordination for Logic in any First Aid roll. Know Where To Hit (Special Ability): When rolling Coordination + Martial Arts, the crew member may spend 1 Concentration to gain a + (Medicine)/2 bonus.

■ Notice Use:

Discernment: The crew member may make Intuition + Notice rolls to gather information from the environment. This may help the crew member find clues to a crime, or discover lost treasures in a Predecessor ruin. The TD of these rolls varies with how small and well-hidden the clues are. Intuition + Notice are also typically used to oppose Stealth rolls. Discovery: When a clue is vitally important to advancing the plot, Mission Control is encouraged to simply reveal the fact to the crew; if so, have the crew member roll as normal; on a success, they find the clue and gain 1 Concentration and 1 Experience. Elementary Deduction (Special Ability): The crew member can make startling leaps of deduction, based on just what they can see. If the crew member succeeds on a Hard (1d8) Intuition + Notice roll, all subsequent Mental and Social rolls about a subject gain +2 bonus for 1d4 hours. Find Prey (Special Ability): When the crew member uses the Tracking use of Survival, they may use their Notice Level instead, or gain a +2 bonus. Sensor Trace (Special Ability): When the crew member spends Concentration on a Sensors roll for a Scan The Vicinity roll, they gain an additional +1 bonus.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Social Skill
The ability to formulate convincing arguments, and bring others around to sharing your opinions or acting as you wish. Persuasive spacers find it easier to get good information about safe ports and stellar dangers.

Crew Psionic Skill
Time and space limit the consciousness of most sentient beings, but not a prescient. These psionics can peer through time to see events that haven't yet occurred, and plan for them. Questioning a prescient about how they view questions of fate, free will, and predetermination results in, at best, a confusing spiel of quantum mechanical theory, at worst a gibberish of metaphors about rivers and half-events and “probability energy.”

■ Persuasion Use:
■ Hear Me Out: Make an Average (1d6) Presence + Persuasion roll against the target's Focus + Willpower. If successful, the target must spend 1 Concentration or perform an action you suggest. The target gains a +2 bonus if the action would inconvenience them, and gains a +4 bonus if the action would be actively harmful. Eyes on the Prize (Special Ability): The crew member can substitute Intuition for Presence in any Hear Me Out roll. Manipulation (Special Ability): The crew member uses their knowledge of psychology to stack the deck in their favor. The crew member can adjust the TD of the roll by +1 or -1 as they wish. Seduction (Special Ability): When using this Skill on someone sexually attracted to the crew member, they gain a +2 bonus. Doesn't apply to Meks (who don't feel sexual urges, or merely approximate sexual behavior through programming) or Laramites (who reproduce by budding). You Wouldn't Hurt Me! (Special Ability): When unarmored and dressed attractively, the crew member may use Persuasion for Dodge Actions instead of the Dodge Skill.

■ Prescience Requirements:
Psi Active Upgrade.


Anticipation: The crew member gains an additional number of Concentration points equal to their Prescience Level, which may only be spent on Coordination, Intuition, or Logic rolls. Pre-Planning (Special Ability): The crew member's Concentration bonus from Anticipation is halved, but once per game session, the crew member may request one item, that they foresaw that they'd need. The crew member must purchase the item like normal. The crew member can also spend up to (Prescience) AP on actions taken in advance, i.e. Ready Item actions to lock pressure doors so the enemy cannot escape. Mission Control is free to veto any Equipment or action the crew member can't reasonably have prepared in advance. Aim Where They Will Be (Special Ability): When the crew member makes an attack roll, they may spend 2 AP and 2 Concentration to gain a + (Prescience)/2 Bonus. Prosperous Future (Special Ability): The crew member can see broad changes coming for all of interstellar society, things that will change galactic politics and finances. Each game session, make a Hard (1d8) Focus + Prescience roll; the crew member gains (Success Factor) *2d10 credits based on their investments, and on a Triumph, this amount is increased to (Triumph Factor) * 2d100.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Social Skill
The ability to bring new, skilled and qualified crew members aboard at a reasonable wage. Every starship lives and dies with the quality of its equipment and its crew, so Recruitment is a necessary Skill for any starship to possess.

■ Recruitment Use:

Welcome Aboard: When the ship needs additional crew members, this spacer has a chance to recruit better shipmates than others. See the Envoy section for more info. Diamonds In The Rough (Special Ability): On a successful Roll to recruit crew members at a Remote Settlement or Minor Colony, the recruited crew member gains an additional +2 Potential. Mek Purchasing (Special Ability): When procuring Meks to fill crew member positions, the crew member may use Logic instead of Presence for Recruitment rolls. Qualified Applicants (Special Ability): When recruiting someone for this crew member's Department, this crew member adds another +3 to the recruited crew member's Potential.

Fields of Research (Special Ability): There are many different fields of scientific knowledge, such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, planetology, and social sciences. Choose one of these fields; when making a Science roll, you gain a +2 Bonus. If choosing for a Knack, you must choose a specific specialty field, like microbiology, metallurgy, or archeology. Overlapping Study (Special Ability): The amount of Concentration that the crew member can spend on another Mental Skill increases by (Science)/3, if related to one of the above sciences. Tune Energy Weapon Frequency (Special Ability): Make a Hard (1d8) Logic + Science roll; if successful, a laser weapon inflicts 1 more die of damage for 1d4 rounds, and then burns out.

Crew Mental Skill
The ability to operate a ship's scanning equipment. Sensors is a vital Skill for starship officers, since a crew must be able to plot a safe course around any dangers that lay ahead.

■ Sensors Use:

Analyze Phenomenon: The crew member may use a starship's sensors, or a comtrans with a sensors peripheral, to gather information about a strange lifeform or phenomenon. The TD for this roll is usually Average (1d6), and Triumphs or Mishaps may add bonuses or penalties to subsequent rolls that use this information. Diagnostician (Special Ability): The crew member spends 5 AP to make a Hard (1d8) Sensors roll to gain a +1 TD roll to their next Medicine Skill roll. Fire Scout (Special Ability): The crew member can use a comtrans unit to lock heavy weapons fire onto a target before they fire. Spend 5 AP to make a Hard (1d8) Intuition + Sensors roll; on a success, the next Heavy Weapons roll by a linked weapon gains a +2 bonus.

Crew Mental Skill
The systematic study of diverse phenomena, from stars and planets, to strange new lifeforms, to matter and energy, and space and time themselves. ■

■ Science Use:
■ Draw Conclusions: Scientists are trained in how to gather raw data, and draw conclusions about the causes and effects behind that data. Good science allows one to predict future events based on their studies. The TD for these rolls varies wildly, based on how complex the phenomenon being studied is.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Precise Fix (Special Ability): When this crew member is in charge of the ship's Science Department, and the Department rolls a Triumph with a Scan The Vicinity action, two Departments may gain a +1 TD bonus for that round, not just one.

Starship Gunner
Crew Physical Skill
The ability to operate a starship's weaponry, like missile racks, particle beam cannons, and rail batteries. Planetary militiaries, StelNav, the Titan Marshals, and the Orbit Guard have the most heavily-armed vehicles and stations, but most ships carry some weapons, to fight off pirates and clear interplanetary debris from their path.

Small Arms
Crew Physical Skill
The crew member has training and experience with pistols, rifles, shotguns, and other light, handheld weapons. Away and boarding parties find skill with Small Arms invaluable; after all, criminals, pirates, and invaders often find it easier to take out a ground crew than destroy a heavily-armed ship.

■ Starship Gunner Use:

Weapons Lock: On a small craft, or when the Tactical Department has been incapacitated, the crew member may roll Coordination + Starship Gunner to fire a starship's weapons at a target. Fire Away (Special Ability): The crew member may spend 2 Concentration to add +1 die of damage to a starship weapon. Pinpoint Bombardment (Special Ability): When using orbital bombardment to support a ground crew, the TDs for all targets are reduced by 1. Point Defense (Special Ability): When this crew member is in charge of the Tactical Department, the crew member can assign any weapon with the Rapid Fire Quality to point defense. During this time, all attack rolls with Missile Racks gain a +1 TD penalty. Starship Weapon Specialist (Special Ability): Choose one kind of starship weapon. When this crew member is in charge of the Tactical Department, the starship's Tactical Department gains a +1 Bonus to attack rolls with that weapon.

■ Small Arms Use:
■ ■
Pistols and Rifles: Fire hand weapons at targets. The TD is based on the Range to the target. Placed Shot (Special Ability): The crew member may spend 2 Concentration to add +1 die of damage to a Small Arms weapon. Dual Weapons (Special Ability): When the spacer is armed with two pistols and makes two attacks, they may spend 1 Concentration to make a third as well. Hail of Gunfire (Special Ability): The crew member can spend 1 Concentration to add the Autofire (2/1d6) Feature to any Small Arms weapon. Hawkeye (Special Ability): The crew member can substitute Intuition for Coordination in any Small Arms roll at greater than point blank range. Weapon of Choice (Special Ability): Choose one form of Small Arm; if choosing for a Knack, you must choose a specific model. You gain a +2 Accuracy Bonus with that weapon.

Starship Piloting
Crew Physical Skill
The ability to steer a starship safely, plotting courses around obstacles and through dangerous regions. Starship Piloting also enables the helmsman to evade incoming attacks and take tactically advantageous positions in starship combat.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Starship Piloting Use:

Starship Maneuvers: When piloting an ship with Hull Size 1, or piloting a larger craft with a disabled Helm Department, the crew member can make Coordination + Starship Piloting rolls to perform difficult actions. The TD of these actions varies with the difficulty of the maneuver and the conditions. Plot Free Drive Jump: The crew member plots a jump to a new location. Jumps of 1 LY (light year) are Extremely Easy (1d2), and each additional LY increases the TD by 1. Most inhabited systems are 3 to 9 (2d4 +1) LY apart, so a safe journey may require multiple jumps. Devious Course (Special Ability): The ship gains a -1 TD bonus to Plot Stealthy Trajectory rolls when this crew member is in charge of the Helm Department. Practiced Evasion (Special Ability): When the crew member is in charge of the ship's Helm Department, and the ship takes an Evasive Maneuvers Action, the penalty to the Tactical Department is reduced by 1 TD. Slingshot (Special Ability): In a gravity well, the crew member can make a Hard (1d8) Piloting + Maneuvering Jets roll. On a success, the ship gains +2 Thrust for one Starship Combat Rounds.

Sneak: The crew member may make a Hard (1d8) Opposed Roll of Intuition + Stealth against a target's Intuition + Notice to remain unseen. The crew member can move at up to 1/2 their normal speed, but if they are behind cover, and remain still, they gain a +2 bonus to this roll. Ambush Bonus (Special Ability): When attacking from an unknown position against an unsuspecting target, all attacks gain a +1 die damage bonus. Ambush Bonus (Special Ability): When attacking from an unknown position against an unsuspecting target, all attacks gain a +1 die damage bonus. Sleight of Hand (Special Ability): The crew member may use the higher of their Stealth or their Deceit Skill when attempting to pick someone's pocket. The Opposed Roll is Coordination + (applicable Skill) vs. Intuition + Notice. Speed Stealth (Special Ability): When Sneaking, the crew member may move at 3/4 their normal speed, not just 1/2 their normal speed.

Crew Mental Skill
The ability to survive on undeveloped worlds, or without proper amenities in an urban area. Some spaceports are worse than many jungles, and spacers stranded without credits find Survival a useful Skill indeed.

Crew Physical Skill
The ability to hide, and move without being detected. Stealth is vital for thieves, assassins, and hunters.

■ Survival Use:
■ Find Food: The crew member may make Intuition + Survival rolls to find food, and shelter. The TD of this roll varies; in the desert, with few plants or rocks to work with, the TD might be Extremely Hard (1d12), while in a forest, the roll might be Average (1d6). Make Primitive Weaponry: The crew member can make Stone Age weapons out of naturally-oc-

■ Stealth Use:

Concealment: The crew member may roll Coordination + Stealth to hide a piece of equipment on them. The TD of this roll depends on the size of the Equipment; see the Equipment section for details.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

curring materials. The TD of this roll varies, but is usually Average (1d6). ■ Tracking: The crew member may roll Intuition + Survival to follow tracks. The TD varies; most animals are Average (1d6). A skilled survivalist trying to cover their tracks can make this an Opposed roll, each one rolling Intuition + Survival to succeed. Rugged (Special Ability): Saves against Hot or Cold environments are TD Easy (1d4), instead of Average (1d6). Survive and Thrive (Special Ability): The crew member no longer needs to make rolls to Find Food or Make Primitive Weaponry. They still must roll to track. Wilderness Stealth (Special Ability): When in an undeveloped region, the crew member may roll Survival in place of Stealth, or gain a +2 Bonus to Stealth, whichever is best.

Blitzkrieg (Special Ability): You may spend 2 Concentration to give special orders to your team; next round, all members gain +1 AP. Starship Tactics (Special Ability): The benefit from the Tactical Analysis Starship Action increases by +1; this becomes +2 at Level 6. Strike At Weakness (Special Ability): The leader knows how to capitalize on their enemy's weaknesses. If this crew member is in charge of a ground party, and succeeds on a Ground/Boarding Tactics roll, their unit also gains +1 to all damage rolls until the end of the battle.

Crew Psionic Skill
Some psionics can intuitively sense understand deep mysteries of space and matter that mystify even most scientists. The crew member can move objects about with only the force of one's mind.

Crew Mental Skill
An essential Skill in times of war, Tactics enables crew members to attack enemy ships in an unexpected way, and hit when they are most vulnerable. ■

Telekinesis Requirements:
Psi Active Upgrade.

Move Objects: The crew member can spend 3 AP and 2 Concentration to lift and move up to (Levels *5) kg. Range is limited to (Levels *2m), and all attacks with moved objects suffer a +2 TD penalty. Psi Shield (Special Ability): The crew member can spend 2 AP and 1 Concentration to create and maintain a telekinetic shield. The shield adds (Levels)/2 Soft Armor, and 1 Hard Armor, to everyone in (Levels)/2 meters. Telekinetic Flight (Special Ability): The crew member can spend 2 AP and 1 Concentration per Ground/Boarding Round to fly through the air. Maximum speed is (Focus + Telekinesis) kph, and they may carry no more than they can normally physically lift.

■ Tactics Use:
■ Ground/Boarding Tactics: The leaders of two opposing forces may make Opposed Logic + Tactics rolls at the beginning of combat. The winner's forces gain +2 to all Sequence rolls for the remainder of the battle. Attack Plan (Special Ability): You may spend 2 Concentration to issue orders to allied your crew; next Round, one Department may take 1 additional Action.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

TK Bolt (Special Ability): The crew member can spend 1 Concentration to inflict (Levels)d6 damage, as a ranged attack with +3 Accuracy and a Range Increment of 10m. TK Bolt (Special Ability): The crew member can spend 1 Concentration to inflict (Levels)d6 damage, as a ranged attack with +3 Accuracy and a Range Increment of 10m. TK Shield (Special Ability): Spend 2 AP and 2 Concentration per Round. Everyone within 3m of the psionic gains (Levels)/2 Soft Armor and 2 Hard Armor for one Round. TK Shield is only effective against physical attacks, and is totally ineffective against energy weapons.

Mind Link (Special Ability): Designate one individual; the psionic can establish two-way mental communication with that individual at up to (Levels) * 1 million kilometers. Mind Control (Special Ability): Costs 5 AP and 2 Concentration. Make an Opposed Focus + Telepathy Roll vs. target's Focus + Willpower, and declare an action for that target to take. On success, the target must either take that action for 1 Round, or spend (Success Factor)/2 Concentration and stand motionless for 1 Round. If the suggested action would be inconvenient, the subject gets a +1 Bonus to resist; if the suggested action would be disastrous, the subject gains a +2 Bonus. Psi Illusion (Special Ability): Costs 5 AP and 2 Concentration. The illusion affects all senses, and is clearly sensible to everyone within 10m. Anyone that suspects the illusion may make a Focus + Willpower roll vs. the telepath's Focus + Telepathy.

Crew Psionic Skill
The capability to read another's thoughts, and transmit one's thoughts to another. Telepathy is a universal form of communications that works between all organic lifeforms, although it transmits images and feelings better than words.

Crew Mental Skill
The ability to resist psionic powers, psychoactive drugs, social Skills, and other mental effects. Crew members with a lot of willpower tend to be self-directed, stubborn, and focused.

Telepathy Requirements:
Psi Active Upgrade.


Read Mind: The ability to scan another's mind, looking for stray thoughts. Grants a -2 TD bonus to Presence + Persuasion or Intimidation rolls for interrogations. Send Thoughts: Another willing sentient can receive a short sentence, or a single image. Emotional implications of the message carry very well, while detailed information (like a long string of numbers) doesn't transmit well. The maximum effective range is (Levels) *1000 km. Mind Blast (Special Ability): Costs 5 AP and 2 Concentration. Make an Opposed Focus + Telepathy Roll vs. target's Focus + Willpower. On success, target takes 1 damage (armor doesn't apply), and is stunned for 1 round.

■ Willpower Use:

Resist Control: Social Skills, and Psionic Skills that exert control over others, generally allow an Opposed Roll against the crew member's Focus + Willpower to allow them to resist. Keep Your Cool (Special Ability): If this crew member succeeds an Opposed Roll against their Willpower, they gain 1 Concentration as well. Resilient (Special Ability): When you spend 2 or more Concentration on a successful roll, roll one die equal to the Task Difficulty. If the die rolls the highest possible value, you regain 1 Concentration. So, for example, if you spend


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Concentration on an Average (1d6) Task, toll an additional 1d6; if the die comes up 6, you regain 1 Concentration.

Unwavering (Special Ability): The spacer's crewmates look to them as an example of cool and calm. Once per battle, the crew member may spend 3 Concentration to add 1 Discipline to the ship.

Section 4.8: Crew Upgrades
Upgrades are harder to gain than Skills, and potentially more valuable. They're special talents and powers that aren't all that common, and some in particular are helpful for building new crew Species or Mek Models. Crew Upgrades come in a couple of different categories.

Crew genetic/Tech Upgrade (Levels 2)
The crew member is much larger than most sentients, hulking over others and absorbing more punishment. Bigger crew members are also bigger targets, and find it hard to fit into small, tight spaces, but their physical superiority is usually an advantage.

Genetic Upgrades: The result of evolution or genetic engineering, Genetic Upgrades are a part of a lifeform's own body. Crew members with Genetic Upgrades can spend Potential to increase their Genetic Upgrades from their Species Package with permission from Mission Control. Alters can spend Potential to purchase new Genetic Upgrades at any time. Genetic Upgrades purchased by Alters also cost 50 credits per Potential spent. Tech Upgrades: The result of engineering and technology, Tech Upgrades are part of a cyborg or Mek's body. Cyborgs and Meks can purchase new Tech Upgrades with Potential at any time. Tech Upgrades purchased by Alters also cost 30 credits per Potential spent. Training Upgrades: The result of education and experience, Training Upgrades are part of a crew member's memories and trained reflexes. Crew members can purchase new Training Upgrades with Potential at any time.

■ Bigger Use:
The crew member also suffers the following penalties: -(Levels) to Coordination, -(Levels *2) penalty to Stealth, and the crew member is constantly inconvenienced by living in a world designed for smaller lifeforms, and their frustration permanently costs them (Levels) Concentration. The crew member also suffers the following penalties: -(Levels) to Coordination, -(Levels *2) penalty to Stealth, and the crew member is constantly inconvenienced by living in a world designed for smaller lifeforms, and their frustration permanently costs them (Levels) Concentration.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Genetic/Tech Upgrade (Levels 1 to 2)
The crew member has finger or wrist that they can use to attack enemies at close range; this Upgrade can also reflect other forms of attack, like fangs, horns, or hooves. Claws are common for species that evolved from predators, but horns and hooves are common for other species, too.

racy: -2, Skill: Athletics; Qualities:
Cannot Block or Disarm; ignores Hard Armor, Soft Armor is halved. Roll 1d6 with each blast; on a 5 or 6, costs 1 Concentration.

Enviro-Adaptation [ ]
Crew Genetic/Tech Upgrade (Levels 1 to 4)
Choose one environmental danger, such as heat, cold, hunger, thirst, suffocation, radiation exposure, low pressure, or high pressure. The crew member doesn't suffer as badly in these conditions. At Level 4, the crew member never suffers adverse effects from this threat.

■ Claws Use: See below.
■ ■ ■
Level 1: +1d4 damage in unarmed combat. Level 2: +1d6 damage in unarmed combat. Level 3: +1d8 damage in unarmed combat.

Eidetic Memory
Crew Genetic/Tech Upgrade (Level 1)
The crew member has a near-perfect memory. Long sequences of code numbers, lengthy planetary data entries, and boring market statistics all wait in the crew member's mental library, waiting to be called forth.

■ Enviro-Adaptation [ ] Use:
Choose one deleterious environmental effect, and see below.

Level 1: +2 bonus to Endurance to resist environmental effect, and all penalties are reduced by 1. Level 2: +4 bonus to Endurance to resist environmental effect, and all penalties are reduced by 2. Level 3: +4 bonus to Endurance to resist environmental effect, and all damage, penalties, and condition durations are reduced to 1. Level 4: No damage, penalties, or conditions from environmental effect.

■ Eidetic Memory Use:
The crew member instantly memorizes everything they sense, and can recount it with perfect detail if they succeed an Average (1d6) Logic + Intuition roll.

Electric Jolt
Crew Genetic/Tech Upgrade (Level 1 to 4)
The crew member can generate a burst of electricity, that hits a nearby target.

Extra Sense [ ]
Crew Genetic/Tech Upgrade (Levels 1 to 4)
The crew member has an unusual sense that allows them to act unimpeded in total darkness. Perhaps they emit high-frequency sounds and can interpret objects' locations by hearing the reflected sounds, or maybe their eyes are sensitive to infrared radiation.

■ Electric Jolt Use:
The attack has the following characteristics:

Damage: (Levels)d4 (+2d4 to Meks and Cybers), Range: (Levels +2) meters; Accu-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Extra Sense [ ] Use:
Choose one form of new sense. Examples include infrared vision, ultraviolet vision, sonar, infrasound, or radar. The crew member can now use this sense in place of normal sight. These senses may not provide the fine detail of normal sight; sonar and radar won't tell you the color of an object, for example. In addition, the crew member's new sense may have other limitations; sudden bursts of heat can “blind” a crew member's infrared sense, for example, and sonar is useless in the empty void of space. Meks with Keen Sense [Radio] may take this Upgrade a second time to communicate via radio.

normal land speed. The crew member can carry no more than (Levels *2) kg more than their own body weight in a 1 G environment, or they will start to sink to the ground.

Innate Armor
Crew Genetic/Tech Upgrade (Levels 1 to 2)
The crew member has claws, fangs, horns, or some other built-in weapon.

■ Innate Armor Use:
Crew member gains Soft Armor equal to (Levels).

Image courtesy Terra Nello Spazio,

Gas Bag
Crew Genetic/Tech Upgrade (Levels 1 to 3)
The crew member's body contains several gasfilled bags, which can inflate and carry the character aloft.

■ Gas Bag Restrictions:
Requires the Smaller Deficiency.

Image courtesy Dhester,

The crew member can float through the air, hovering at will and flying at up to half their


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Keen Sense [ ]
Crew Genetic/Tech Upgrade
One of the crew members' normal senses is much more acute than normal.

■ Language [ ] Use:
Choose one language of your species, or another species. You can speak this language fluently. Some languages cannot be spoken by some species without assistance.

■ Keen Sense [ ] Use:
Choose one sense, from vision, hearing, smell/taste, or touch. when this Upgrade is selected. Crew member gains a +(Levels *2) bonus to Intuition rolls with this sense.

All crew members can speak one native language, and the “common language” Lingua, for free.

Knack [ ]
Crew Training/Tech Upgrade (Levels 1)
The crew member is unusually talented in one specialized, narrow field. The crew member isn't broadly trained enough to make a living with this Skill, but their limited, deep knowledge is still impressive.

Memory Backup
Crew Tech Upgrade (Levels 1)
The crew member can store a backup of their memories and personality; if their body is destroyed, they can just restore a saved copy to a new body, and they're effectively reborn.

■ memory Backup Use:
The crew member can take 1 hour to save their memory and personality to storage. The storage device must have enough spare capacity; an ordinary comtrans unit won't do it, but a ship's computer is sufficient.

■ Knack [ ] Use:
Choose one narrow application of a Skill. Examples include reactor thrust systems for Engineering, pistols for the Sidearms Skill, or grappling for the Unarmed skill. The crew member is treated as having an Aptitude when they use that one narrow application of the Skill, but not for any other application of the Skill. The crew member doesn't gain any Special Abilities from their Knack.

Mole [ ]
Crew Training Upgrade (Levels 1)
The crew member doesn't hold the same Allegiance as the other crew members. The Allegiance might be secret, as with a spy, or known, as with a political officer, liaison, or observer who reports to another party. For example, a Titan Marshals crew might occasionally have a StelNav observer, who makes sure the crew adheres to Assembly law.

Language [ ]
Crew Training/Tech Upgrade (Level 1)
All major species have dozens of languages, some hundreds. You can speak another language fluently.

■ Mole Use:
The crew member may choose a different Allegiance from the rest of the crew. The crew member may also share the crew's Allegiance,


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

but have an additional Allegiance. In the latter case, each time the crew member would earn XP, roll a die; if the result is odd, the crew member gains XP. This crew member's Allegiance Objectives are treated as Personal Objectives; they don't gain any XP for the crew member's shipmates, or kilo-credits for the ship.

Psi Active
Crew Genetic/Tech Upgrade (Levels 1)
The crew member's mind is attuned to hidden forces, that lets them potentially learn to read minds, move objects through concentration, or perform other strange feats.

■ Psi Active [ ] Requirements:
Must be an organic lifeform; cannot be a Mek.

Mounted Gear [ ]
Crew Tech Upgrade (Levels 1 to 4)
The crew member has built-in gear, like tools and weapons, that can't be removed without special tools and minutes or hours of work.

Crew member may purchase Levels in Psionic Skills.

■ Mounted Gear [ ] Use:
The crew member has one piece of Mounted Gear per Level. The crew member gains a +1 bonus to all uses of Mounted Gear.

Psi Resistance
Crew Training/Tech Upgrade (Levels 1 to 4)
Some kind of hidden shield protects you from psionic interference.

■ Psi Resistance Restrictions:
Cannot also be Psi Active.

Parasitic Control
Crew Genetic Upgrade (Levels 1 to 2)
The crew member is capable of taking over and controlling the skeletal muscles of another organism.

The psionic Skills Biokinesis and Telepathy cost (Levels *2) more Concentration to activate against this crew member. At Level 4, this crew member is immune to these psionic Skills.

■ Parasitic Control Use:
The crew member may touch another lifeform and spend 5 AP to take control of that entity's body. The entity may make an Average (1d6) Focus + Willpower roll to resist; at Level 2, the roll becomes Hard (1d8), and at Level 3, the roll is Very Hard (1d10). The round after control is established, the crew member can spend 5 AP to dictate the target's physical actions. This is not mind control, and if the target takes any damage, the crew member loses 1 point of Concentration (1d4 if the subject dies).

Quick Reflexes
Crew Genetic/Tech/Training Upgrade (Levels 1)
The crew member can move with blinding speed when danger appears. Crewmates can always trust this crew member to act the moment things fall apart.

■ Quick Reflexes Use:
The crew member has an Aptitude for Sequence rolls.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Genetic/Tech Upgrade (Levels 1 to 4)
You heal from injuries much more quickly than others. Some can even re-grow severed limbs, given time.

■ Storage Compartment [ ] Use:
Choose where the storage compartment is placed on the crew member's body. The crew member has one compartment per Level. If the crew member has the Bigger Upgrade, they may double the number of storage compartments, or increase the size of the compartments by 1 (Pocket-sized becomes Jacket-sized).

■ Regeneration Use:
The crew member regains (Levels) Life Force per minute, and if the crew member suffers Blood Loss, it ends after (5 – Levels) Ground/Boarding Combat Rounds. The crew member may also remove one Wound per (6 – Levels) hours. At Level 4, lost limbs will regrow in 1d4+1 weeks. Note that the crew member is still mortal, and severed Heads and Torsos don't grow back!

■ ■

Chest: Up to 4 Pocket-sized pieces of Gear. Arms and Legs: Up to 2 Pocket-sized pieces of Gear.

Uplink Jack
Crew Tech Upgrade (Level 1)
The crew member can physically connect with specially-equipped devices via a data cable that plugs into a port on their body surface. Meks, AIs, comtrans units, and most vehicles all have compatible Uplink Jacks for crew members to connect to. Cybers typically have Uplink Jacks on their hands, arms, or sometimes in an inconspicuous spot on their heads.

Storage Compartment [ ]
Crew Tech Upgrade (Levels 1 to 4)
The crew member can keep items in a hidden compartment in their chest or limbs, and pull it out when they need.

■ Uplink Jack Use:
The crew member gains a bonus of +1 to all uses of the Computers Skill for hacking a connected device, and +1 to Sequence when piloting a vehicle that the crew member is linked to.

Section 4.9: Crew Deficiencies
Deficiencies are faults in the crew member's body, mind, or, in the case of Meks and Cybers, mechanical parts. Deficiencies give crew members additional Potential to spend on customization.

Psych Deficiencies: The crew member's mind suffers from some serious hindrance due to lack of training or mental imbalance. Tech Deficiencies: The crew member's mechanical and electronic parts are sub-standard in some way, or otherwise problematic.

Genetic Deficiencies: The crew member's body is feebler in some way. Maybe the crew member isn't accustomed to survival in certain environments.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Crew Genetic/Tech Deficiency (Levels 1 to 4)
The crew member's homeworld is particularly chilly, and they suffer little damage on similarly cold planets.

Crew Psych Deficiency (Level 1) The crew member is part of a group that enjoys fewer rights and privileges than others in Assembly space.

■ Cold-Worlder Use:

Level 1: The Surface Temperature of all worlds is treated as one Level warmer. For example, the spacer treats Cold Worlds as Temperate. On Searing worlds, the crew member takes 1d6 damage per Ground/Boarding Combat round. Level 2: As above, but the spacer treats all worlds as 2 Levels warmer. On Searing worlds, the spacer takes 1d8 damage per round. Level 3: As above. 1d10 damage/round on Searing worlds. Level 4: As above. 1d12 damage/round on Searing worlds.

■ Outcast Use:
The crew member doesn't enjoy the same rights and privileges as others.

Level 1: The crew member is not a full citizen of the Assembly. The crew member might be an expatriate from the Nexus Autarchy or the Slaver States. Level 2: The crew member is not accorded the rights of an adult sentient. Powerful AIs are sometimes accorded this much social standing. Level 3: The crew member is considered to have limited sentience, and is treated like valued pet or Mek. The crew member cannot be killed with impunity, but there's no legal repercussions for allowing the crew member to die from neglect, or for sending it into danger to save someone of higher status.

■ ■

Crew Psych Deficiency (Level 1) The crew member comes from a world where technology was cast aside, or was never fully developed. Such crew members must constantly struggle to prove themselves useful as they deal with a world filled with strange wonders.

■ Primitive Use:
Image courtesy

The crew member suffers the following Skill penalties. Each Level includes the penalties for all lower Levels.

Level 1: -2 penalty to all Engineering, Starship Gunnery, and Starship Piloting, and rolls with vibro or energy weapons.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ ■

Level 2: -2 penalty with Computers, Fabrication, Medicine, and Sensors. Level 3: -2 penalty with Groundside Piloting, Heavy Weapons, Science, and Small Arms.

■ ■ ■

-2 to Intimidation Skill -3 to Life Force The crew member is constantly inconvenienced by living in a world designed for larger sentients, and their frustration permanently costs them 1 Concentration. However, the crew member also gains the following bonuses:

Slow Healer
Crew Genetic/Tech Deficiency (Levels 1 to 4)
The crew member heals much slower than normal. Some species have slow metabolisms, while Meks aren't really lifeforms and have to be reconstructed by hand when damaged. ■ ■

+1 bonus to Coordination Attribute +2 bonus to Stealth Skill

■ Slow Healer Restrictions:
Cannot also take the Regeneration Upgrade.

Crew Psych Deficiency (Level 1) Through no fault of their own, the crew member is poorly trained, and in some ways their job skills are sadly lacking.

Instead of healing a number of Life Force per day equal to Strength, the crew member only heals that much each (Levels +1) days. At Level 4, the crew member never heals naturally; instead of Life Force, they have Structure, as they are now a non-biological sentient. Most also have a variety of Enviro-Adaptations, to reflect their insensitivity to environmental conditions, and 4 Levels of Psi Resistance.

Uneducated Use:
Choose one of the crew member's Aptitudes. The crew member loses that Aptitude.

Unusual Respiration [ ]
Crew Genetic/Tech Deficiency (Levels 1 to 4)
Life takes many forms throughout the galaxy. The crew member must breathe oxygenated water, methane, carbon dioxide, or some other unusual medium.

Crew genetic Deficiency (1 Level)
The crew member isn't as big as others, making them weaker, but a bit stealthier.

Smaller Restrictions:
Cannot also take the Bigger Upgrade.

■ Unusual Respiration [ ] Use:
Choose one unusual medium, such as oxygenated water, methane, ammonia, or carbon dioxide.

The crew member suffers the following penalties:

■ ■

-1 penalty to Strength Attribute -3 penalty to all rolls against being knocked Prone

Level 1 to 3: The crew member needs the unusual medium for comfort, in addition to oxygen. Without it, the crew member suffers a (Levels) penalty to all Attributes when exposed, and suffers (Levels)d4 damage per hour. Armor doesn't protect against this damage.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Level 4: The crew member can only survive by breathing the indicated medium. They rapidly suffocate otherwise, like a Terran without oxygen.

Crew Genetic/Tech Deficiency (Levels 1 to 4)
The crew member is used to worlds that are much warmer than most species are used to.

Vulnerability [ ]
Crew Genetic/Tech Deficiency (Levels 1 to 4)
Something hurts this crew member that doesn't hurt most sapients.

■ Warm-Worlder Use:

Level 1: The Surface Temperature of all worlds is treated as one Level cooler. For example, the spacer treats Hot Worlds as Temperate. On Absolute Zero worlds, the crew member takes 1d6 damage per Ground/Boarding Combat round. Level 2: As above, but the spacer treats all worlds as 2 Levels cooler. On Absolute Zero worlds, the spacer takes 1d8 damage per round. Level 3: As above. 1d10 damage/round in Absolute Zero environments. Level 4: As above. 1d12 damage/round on Absolute Zero environments.

■ Vulnerability [ ] Use:
Choose one common form of attack, like lasers or EMP blasts. The crew member takes an additional (Levels)d4 damage any time they take damage from this attack. Neither Soft nor Hard Armor apply to the damage from the Vulnerability.

■ ■


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 4.10: Crew Qualities
Crew Qualities are aspects of a crew member's personality, that may be helpful or harmful depending on the situation. A clever player can use a crew member's Qualities to their benefit, which is why additional Qualities cost Potential, but they can still be a burden as well.


The crew member loses 2 Concentration when they meekly back down and do what others tell them to.

This Is Who I Am
When crew members act in accordance with their Qualities, they gain 1 Concentration. When crew members ignore or act against one of their Qualities, they lose 2 Concentration. More serious acts of support or neglect may gain or lose the crew member more Concentration, as well.

Crew Quality
“I just know it'll all work out in the end!”

Add Your Own
There are lots and lots of possible Qualities, and these are only a few. Feel free to add more, as long as it's okay with the Mission Control and the other players. Make sure that the Benefit is something that won't come up every 10 minutes, and the Fault is something that the crew member could struggle with on a fairly regular basis, also. You should also make sure that the Quality is fun, and shakes things up a bit. Don't make boring Qualities!

The crew member believes that everything will work out for the best, in the long view. Optimism is a great thing in moderation, but this crew member often gets into trouble, thinking that things are never so bad that they can't handle it.

■ Cheerful Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they persevere despite difficulties, declaring that everything's alright. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when they make unusual preparations for bad outcomes; after all, everything is going to be fine, and there's no need to worry.

Crew Quality
“I know what to do, and I'm going to do it, and you're not going to stop me.”


The crew member never shies away from speaking their mind, or doing what they think is right, or wrong.

Crew Quality
“There's too much pain and suffering in the galaxy, but at least I can help.”

■ Brash Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they do what they think is right, regardless of what others think.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

The crew member cannot stand the sight of others in pain, and does all they can to help others. Maybe they're deeply religious, maybe they're a Biomedical that took something like the Hippocratic Oath (and takes it seriously), or maybe they just have a soft heart.

■ Compassionate Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration whenever they help the injured or less fortunate, whether friend or foe. The crew member loses 2 Concentration if they let another suffer, when they could do something to help.


Image courtesy

Crew Quality
“No one is better than me. And I can prove

This Time … it's Personal
If the players are skilled roleplayers, Qualities are ready-made hooks for getting crew members emotionally involved in their Assignments. Mission Controls, and Swordmasters and Envoys and Planetologists, should look at the Qualities as a recipe for for the Assignment. Choose one Quality from each crew member and make sure that there's something in the Assignment for them. Compassionate crew members should find someone that needs their help, Vengeful crew members should get to settle their scores, and Curious crew members should get into trouble exploring dangerous places.

it, too.”

The crew member seems to think everything is a game, and they're determined to win. As the Terran saying goes, “second best is just the first loser.”

■ Competitive Restriction:
Cannot also be Relaxed.


The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they meet a challenge head-on, whether they can win or not. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when they back down from an interesting challenge, one they might learn something from.



Crew Quality
“Hey! I've got an idea! No one's ever tried this before!”


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

The crew member regularly comes up with new and exciting ways to solve problems. Never content with old solutions, this crew member constantly tries new things, sometimes causing one problem as they solve another.

■ Curious Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they go somewhere they're not supposed to, or do something they're not supposed to, in order to learn and explore. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when they ignore the really interesting thing right in front of them, just because it might not be safe.

■ Creative Restriction:
Cannot also be Dogmatic.



The crew member gains 1 Concentration if they solve a problem in a way no one else ever has before. The crew member loses 2 Concentration if they choose an old, tried-and-true plan when a new and interesting plan is available.


Crew Quality
“Trust me.”

This crew member excels at finding sneaky ways around problems. Their crewmates might not be able to trust them completely, but they have to admit, Devious methods are very effective in certain situations.

■ Devious Benefit
■ ■
The crew member gains 1 Concentration if they break the rules to get things done. The crew member loses 2 Concentration if they take on someone else's job. After all, the crew member's forte is to get other people to do their work for them, not vice versa!


Image courtesy NASA/NSSDC (doesn't imply endorsement).

Crew Quality
“I wonder what's just around this corner...”

Crew Quality
“Rules are rules.”

The crew member values new information and experiences more than safety and comfort, and may find themselves in difficult situations as a result.

The crew member can follow orders to the letter, like a perfect soldier or robot. Never a doubt, never a second thought. But when they're asked to improvise, they get confused and hesitate.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Dogmatic Restriction:
Cannot also be Creative or Swashbuckling.

Terrible things happen, and it's natural to look for someone to blame; for many sentients, for reasons log ical, or illogical, they decide that they're the one at fault.


The crew member gains 1 Concentration if they do what they've been told, whether it makes sense to do so or not. The crew member loses 2 Concentration if they take the initiative and act on their own, making decisions for themselves.

■ Guilty Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they take the fall, whether they were truly at fault or not. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when they're forced to realize that their actions had no bearing on what happened.

■ ■


Crew Quality
“People in danger, lives at stake. Mm-hmm. Right. So … we are getting paid for this, right?”

Crew Quality
“We can stand around and talk, or we can get cracking. Which one is it gonna be?”

Forget dark matter; credits make the galaxies rotate. Wealth is all this crew member wants or needs.

■ Greedy Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they get something for substantially less than it's worth, or they get paid a great deal for their goods and services. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when they lose credits on anything but luxury. If you're overcharged for spaceport docking fees, that counts.

This crew member can't rest while there's still stuff that has to get done. Impatient with lazy folks, others rely on the crew member to get things done.

■ hard-Working Restriction:
Cannot also be Lazy.



The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they solve a problem by applying muscle and patience right away. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when they sit around while there's work to be done.


Crew Quality
“So many people died … is it fair that I survived?”

Crew Quality
“I always keep my word. You can count on that.”


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

The crew member keeps their word, always living up to the spirit as well as the word of every bargain.

crewmates aren't completely safe if the crew member is startled.

■ Honorable Benefit
■ ■
The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they fulfill a promise, at a personal loss. The crew member loses 2 Concentration if they betray their vows for any reason whatsoever.

■ Jittery Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they act immediately, with no deliberation or hesitation. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when they dither instead of act.



Irrational Hatred [ ]
Crew Quality
“Why don't you just go back to your stinking homeworld? It's not safe here for your kind … ”

Crew Quality
“Recalibrate the starboard EM sensors?

Sure, lieutenant, I'll get around to it.”

Choose one sentient species, nation, organization, or other group. The crew member experiences great difficulty interacting with individuals from this group.

Spacers aren't generally known for idleness, but some get out of their duties with a combination of efficiency and charm.

■ Irrational Hatred [ ] Benefit
■ The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they get a chance to prove their superiority over their hated targets. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when forced to tolerate, work with, or acknowledge the strengths of the target group.

■ Lazy Restriction:
Cannot also be Hard-Working.


The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they get out of some work, by putting it off or getting someone else to do it. The crew member loses 2 Concentration if they have to engage in physical work, including combat, that they could have avoided.



Crew Quality
“AAAH! Don't sneak up on me like that! It might not end well for you next time!”

Crew Quality
“Okay, so a Prelloth chef, a Terran rodeo clown, and a Malkaari priest all go into this bar … ”

The crew member is always the first to act. They may attack the enemy before they're in place, but their


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Life is too important to take things seriously. There's always time for a good laugh, and the crew member likes it best when they can break the ice with a good joke.

Crew Quality
“I'm not going to fight you. We can settle this peacefully.”

■ Light-Hearted Restriction:
Cannot also be Shy.

■ ■
The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they make someone laugh. The crew member loses 2 Concentration if they must pass up the opportunity to make a joke, for any reason.

This crew member rejects violence, except as a tool of last resort.


■ Pacifist Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they manage to find a non-violent solution, when violence seemed inevitable. The crew member loses 2 Concentration whenever they seriously injure or kill another sentient when there was any other choice.


Crew Quality
“Hi! What's your name, and what star system are you from?”

Crew Quality
“They could be listening in right now. Who? Anybody, that's who!”

The crew member is genuinely interested in others, and others tend to find the attention charming.

■ Outgoing Restriction:
Cannot also be Serious or Shy.


The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they meet and learn about someone totally unlike themselves. The crew member loses 2 Concentration if they ignore or shun someone really interesting, or really mysterious.

The crew member is suspicious and guarded, leaping to conclusions about others' methods and motives.


■ Paranoid Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration whenever they confirm that someone was covertly watching or listening to them. The crew member loses 2 Concentration whenever they trust someone who hasn't spent several weeks anxiously trying to earn their trust.



Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Phobia [ ]
Crew Quality
“I … am … not ... afraid … ”


The crew member loses 2 Concentration any time they're forced to admit that there is no rational explanation for some phenomenon, or when their rational explanations are shown as inadequate.

Some spacers know what death looks like. For some, it's orbitfall; loss of maneuvering jets and the burning crash to the surface, the agonizing dizziness, the screaming before the end … For others, it's psion ics, or Alters, or a particular species. Spacers raised in orbital colonies often have an aversion to open spaces and large bodies of water, and groundsiders sometimes lose their reason the first time they experience a free drive jump.

Crew Quality
“It's no big deal.”

■ Phobia [ ] Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they avoid or flee from the source of their fears. Any attempt to stay away calms and strengthens them. The crew member loses 2 Concentration each round that they're forced to face their fear.

The crew member is calm and placid, acting slowly but with well-considered calm.

■ Relaxed Restriction:
Cannot also be Competitive.



The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they cope with danger calmly, without hasty mis-steps that might make things worse. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when they act without considering all the possible options.

Crew Quality
“There's got to be a logical explanation for this. Run the scans again.”


Crew Quality
“The galaxy is a big, lonely place. It's nice to have some company.”

The crew member doesn't believe anything they can't see, hear, or touch. It's tough for them to take anything on faith, but tough for them to be fooled by extravagant claims, as well.

■ Rational Restriction:
Cannot also be Swash-buckling.

The crew member seeks intimate relationships with others, whether of a physical or purely Platonic nature.


The crew member gains 1 Concentration whenever they find a logical explanation for some mystery.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Romantic Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they initiate a new romantic relationship, or their relationship advances. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when their relationship suffers, or when they fail to pursue a relationship for fear of getting hurt, or because it's against the rules or inconvenient.

■ Shy Restriction:
Cannot also be Outgoing.


The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they manage to fix an interpersonal problem without having to speak to anyone. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when forced to make Social Skill rolls, including Opposed Rolls against others' Social Skill use.



Crew Quality
“This is no laughing matter.”

Crew Quality
“You don't agree with me because you're

The crew member isn't really one for fun and games. Mirth seems like a lot of wasted energy, especially when there's important work to do.

not listening!”

■ Serious Restriction:
Cannot also be Light-Hearted or Outgoing.

This crew member is difficult to dissuade from a chosen course of action.


The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they ignore time-wasting activities and get stuff done. The crew member loses 2 Concentration if they indulge in trivial social rituals or celebrations.

■ Stubborn Benefit
■ ■
The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they win against strong opposition. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when they back down without a fight, or fail to point out that their way is best. Stubborn crew members are always sore losers.



Crew Quality
“No one cares what I have to say, so you can stop trying to be polite.”

Crew Quality
“Are there any chandeliers I can swing off of?”

This crew member is reserved and introverted, quiet and observant.

To this crew members, high ideals and emotions are more important than rules or logic. The crew mem-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

ber strives to be a hero, and seeks adventure, danger, and true love among the stars.

Zealous [ ]
Crew Quality
“The galaxy would be a better place if everyone were free of their delusions and embraced the Light. Let me tell you about it … ”

■ Swashbuckling Restriction:
Cannot also be Dogmatic or Rational.


The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they throw themselves heedlessly into danger for the good of others. The crew member loses 2 Concentration if they do what is reasonable rather than what they believe is right.


The crew member has some topic or goal that interests them beyond anything else. This may be a religion, a political philosophy, a social agenda, or even a rigid lack of beliefs. The crew member can be difficult to get along with, because their way is everything to them, and they don't understand others' lack of enthusiasm.

Crew Quality
“I'll never forget that day-cycle, but eventually, I'll get my revenge.”

■ Zealous [ ] Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration when they get a chance to proselytize about their beliefs, or follow specific, challenging teachings at great personal cost. The crew member loses 2 Concentration when forced to remain silent about their beliefs, or forced to compromise their beliefs because they're inconvenient.


No one gets the better of this crew member. No one.

■ Vengeful Benefit

The crew member gains 1 Concentration whenever they get revenge for some slight. The crew member loses 2 Concentration whenever mocked or betrayed, and there's no immediate chance for reprisal.



Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Agriculture Banking and Finance: Biomedical Electronics and Meks: Hover Vehicles: Mining:

Assembly Corporations
Agrivision Galactic (diverse), Da'Ssel Corp (Sselwa), Lifesbreath Laboratories (Laramite), Mandoro Growers (Vanthi), Shining Harmony Group (Terran, defunct). First Assembly Bank (diverse), Horizon Financial Services (Malkaari), Ironclad Investments (Prelloth), Seong-Woo United (Terran). Al-Ahmed Bio-technical (Terran), Kada Ess Pharmaceuticals (Vanthi), OverSpark GeneTailoring (Laramite), Warreen Lifebringers (Malkaari) CogniSys Inc. (Meks, Terran), CyberCore (Cyber implants, Diverse), Infinitech Corp. (Diverse), Mardaol Electric (Malkaari), Novatronics (diverse). Centauri Engineering (Terran), Dawning Star Hover-craft (Malkaari), Neshatha Motorgardens (Prelloth), HawkFire Motors (diverse), Vega Industries (Terran). Pata Sheth Mining Guild (Prelloth), Pioneer Combine (Terran), Verge Resources (Diverse).

News and Entertainment: Action Programming (diverse), Sol Media Inc. (Terran), Shana Hologardens (Prelloth), TriOrb Diversions (diverse). Personal Weapons: Chuan Shen Kwoon (Terran, melee weapons), Elite Defense Systems (Prelloth), Maka Endo Bio-Weaponry (Vanthi), OmniSun Protection (Diverse), Titan Arms (Terran), Way of Fire Armaments (Malkaari), Wicked Edges (diverse, melee weapons). Ama'ada Shipwrights' Guild (diverse), Découverte Corp. (Terran), Iskorish Shipgardens (Prelloth), Lunar DriveWorks (Terran), Ship-Framers of Thiluuz (Jalsek), Tachyon Shipbuilders (diverse, defunct), Zha-Ssurda Interstellar (Malkaari). Bold Horizons (diverse), Lightbringer Consortium (diverse), Malaweo General Products (Malkaari), Quaternary Inc. (diverse), Shen Wei Conglomerated (Terran), Tashbo Interstellar (Prelloth), UniFac Inc. (Laramite), Zeensa Wayfinders (spec. in star maps, Prelloth)


Misc. Products:


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 4.11: Crew Resources
Living in space, dealing with limited amounts of fuel, spare parts, and oxygen, with so much work to do from in-burn to out-burn, means that spacers make efficient use of what they've got, and tend to think of everything in cost/benefit analyses. Most of all, crew members have to weigh the potential benefits of an Assignment against the risks, to their health and their overall stress level. Sometimes, that lucrative contract turns out to be too good to be true, precisely because it is.

Crew Mental Resource
Concentration is a crew member's capacity for mental exertion, and their resistance to psychological strain. Spacers with a lot of Concentration can resist stress, terror, and others' efforts to convince or browbeat them with cool stoicism, while crew members that lack Concentration fold quickly under strain.

Life Force/Structure
Crew Physical Resource
Life Force is a biological crew member's resistance to injury and death. Structure is a Mek's resistance to injury and death. As a crew member takes damage, they lose Life Force or Structure. When they lose all of their current Life Force or Structure, they suffer Injuries.

■ Concentration Use:
■ ■
Crew members start (Focus *2) Concentration points. Crew members may Concentration to add a bonus to an Attribute and Skill being rolled; both Traits benefit, and a bonus up to +3 may be gained in this way. Psionic crew members spend Concentration to activate Psionic Skills. The cost is equal to the Skill Level used, and the psionic may voluntarily use a lower Skill Level if they wish. When a crew member's Concentration drops to 0 or below, they suffer the Condition Brain Fried (Minor). At -1 to -(normal full Concentration), they suffer Brain Fried (Major). As soon as they dip below -(normal Concentration *2), they suffer Brain Fried (Great). See the Damage Control subsection of the Encounters Section for more information.

■ Life Force Use:

Crew members start with 7 Life-Force/Structure per Injury State; Bigger crew members start with 10, and Smaller crew members start with 4. There are five Injury States: Healthy, Lightly Injured, Seriously Injured, Gravely Injured, and Coma. If a crew member takes more than five times the Life Force they had in each Injury State, they die. Each time the crew member drops to a lower Injury State, they make a roll on the Injury Table in the Swordmaster Section to see what impairment they're suffering from their injuries.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 4.11: Crew Equipment
Spacers have to walk a fine line between carrying everything they might need to accomplish their current Assignment, and not weighing themselves down with junk they don't need. Crew members tend to choose rugged, multi-purpose equipment suited to their role on the team, and focus on getting the best stuff they can within that limited purview.

Equipment General Notes
In the Assembly, the standard unit of currency is the credit. Although it's possible to get credit tokens in the form of small chipped coins, it's much more common for all transactions to take place electronically. Many citizens carry a comtrans unit, and they can initiate a credit transfer at one of these stations. In addition, most businesses have public transaction terminals, and sentient can allow themselves to be biometrically scanned and enter a passcode to transfer funds as well. Credits are sometimes broken into smaller SI units, like deci-credits and micro-credits, for small transactions. A meal is probably only a handful of centi-credits, for example. For large transactions, similar units are often used, like kilo-credits and kilo-credits. Starships typically cost many kilo-credits to purchase.

■ Legality Illegal: Weapons of mass destruction, explosives, NBC weapons, and anti-personnel gear. Even military forces rarely use this equipment, because of its great danger.

Prohibited: This item is usually limited to
military and law enforcement personnel in the Assembly.

Restricted: This item is lethal, and many
worlds require a permit for the ownership of this item.

Normal: Although potentially dangerous,
most governments don't bother to restrict this item.

Unrestricted: This item is legal on most

Most worlds of the Assembly have laws against certain kinds of weapons, armor, and equipment. The Legality of an item denotes how difficult it is to obtain and carry items on Assembly-run stations and starports; specific Assembly worlds might be more or less restrictive, depending on local laws. If a weapon or armor has upgrades, use the most restrictive Legality Level of all those listed.

Sometimes, a spacer wants to get equipment past a checkpoint, or doesn't want onlookers to know they've got a weapon or item. An onlooker must make an Intuition + Stealth Opposed Roll against one another; the size of the item may give one or the other party a bonus on this roll.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Concealment Large: This item cannot be effectively concealed.

Free drives, slide drives, simple terraforming, advanced nanotech, quantum entanglement communications.

Fusion Age:
Cybernetics, genetic engineering, genships, “strong” AI, basic nanotech, quantum encryption.

Long Jacket: This item is difficult to conceal. Grants a +4 bonus to the detector.

Jacket: This item can be concealed under a
short coat or jacket. Grants a +2 bonus to the detector.

Fission Age:
Nuclear fusion power, nuclear weapons, hover vehicles, simple AI, organ transplants, advanced wireless telecommunications.

Pocket: This item is easy to conceal. No
bonus of penalty

biochemical Fuels Age:
Automobiles, computing, fully developed wired telecommunications, basic radio telecommunications, plastics, early medical radiology.

Small: This item is almost impossible to detect. Grants a +2 bonus to the concealer.

Tool use is one of the primary gauges of a civilization's development, and spacers find worlds at all different stages of development, from Stone Age hunters with stone-tipped spheres, to aloof and deadly DirectConverters, watching from a distance. Most of the Assembly is in the later stages of the Fusion Age, while pockets of high tech (mostly the homeworlds) are at the Zero-Point Age. It's almost impossible to find Gear higher than a settlement's local Tech Level. Selling a high-tech piece of equipment to members of a low-tech community increases the cost drastically. Of course, technology progresses differently among different cultures; the Vanthi discovered biotech before they were forging metals, for example, so biotech is widely available on their worlds.

Steam Age:
Steam power, primitive telecommunications, antibiotics, industrialization, rise of the technical class.

Steel Age:
Empires, primitive chemistry, primitive optics, rise of the trading class.

iron Age:
Kingdoms, plate armor, rise of scholars.

bronze Age:
Writing, dying fabrics, city-states, swords, the stirrup.

stone Age:
Animal domestication, basic agriculture, bows and spears.

■ Technology Level Beyond:
Creation of ringworlds and Dyson spheres, dimensional travel, time travel, creation of new universes, apparent “magic.”

No Tech:
Rocks and sticks.

Direct Conversion Age:
Teleportation, matter transmutation, ecological engineering.

Crew Gear
Although you wouldn't realize it to watch the action holovids, there's a lot more to ground/boarding missions than just shooting and getting shot at.

Antimatter Age:
Antimatter power, artificial gravity, biotechnology, advanced terraforming.

Combat Stims
Powerful, addictive stimulants that give a boost in combat. Combat stims are extremely dangerous, and

Zero-Point Age:


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

generally only produced by mercenary units, criminal gangs, and organized military forces under extreme conditions.

Comtrans Peripherals
Comtrans peripherals expand on the basic functionality of a comtrans unit. All comtrans peripherals are Pocket-sized. Augmented Reality (AR) Display Goggles: Augmented Reality goggles provide an automatic “headsup display” over the spacer's normal vision, giving them valuable information without the need to stop and check the display. Provides a +1 bonus to Sequence, because the crew member is more alert and less distracted. The polarized display acts as Shaded Goggles as well. Cost: 3 credits. CredSlab: A flat plastic slab, roughly two centimeters in diameter with an installed chip. Credslabs are used to to carry a finite monetary value ; the credslab can be inserted into any comtrans unit and the money extracted. It's fairly easy for the Assembly and local governments to track comtrans transactions, but there's no electronic “paper trail” to track with credslabs, making them a favored way for criminals to transmit payments. Credslabs were designed for children and the handicapped, who'd have problems operating a comtrans unit. Cost: 1 credits. Electronic Lockpick: This device is designed to fool biometric sensors, key card readers, and sophisticated scanner lock technology by projecting false data. Grants a bonus of -1 TD to hacking rolls for breaking open doors, safes, and locked compartments with various sensor locks. Cost: 100 credits. Extra Memory Module: This device expands the comtrans unit's memory, allowing it to store 100 more programs. Cost: 10 credits. Sensor/Scanner Attachment: This attachment gives crew members the ability to scan for electromagnetic transmissions and emanations, in a limited but similar way to ship sensors, to a range of 100 meters. Cost: 120 credits. Translation Matrix: This peripheral and its hardwired programs translate any language of any Assembly species, to any other Assembly language. This program comes with a hardware module that can also receive and translate bioelectrical impulses, pheromone markers, light gradations, and many other unusual forms of communication as well. A comtrans translation system can't translate a new language, but it can transmit data to a ship's computer that can perform this task. Cost: 200 credits.

■ Combat Stim mass: 0.1 kg. Conceal: Small. Effects: Bonus +1 to Coordination for 1
hour. The crew member must make a Focus + Willpower roll, TD Easy (1d4), or become addicted; each additional dose within a 6-month period requires another roll, increasing the TD by +1.

Cost: 100 credits. Legality: Prohibited. Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age.

The most versatile electronic device in the Assembly, one used by most sapients each day. Comtrans units are built into gauntlets, visors, belt packs, and other convenient accessories. A comtrans unit consists of an advanced, miniaturized computer, and a longrange communications transmitter. The comtrans computer can store and run up to 10 programs at once without expanded memory. Comtrans units contain built-in clock, calendar, audio and video recording, playback, and transmission software, text and calculation programs, and a wide variety of other minor software programs. Comtrans units have an effective communications range of 10 miles, and can reach orbit from a planetary surface. Comtrans units can be fitted with a wide variety of peripherals and programs to enhance their usefulness.

■ Comtrans mass: 1 kg. Conceal: Small. Effects: Can be used to access a wireless
datanet, for communications and secure commercial transactions. Additional functionality depends on installed programs; see below.

Cost: 20 credits Legality: Unrestricted. Tech: Fusion Age.

Comtrans Programs
Comtrans programs add information and scripted responses to a comtrans.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Comtrans Security: Security programs keep unauthorized users from accessing the private information and commercial transactions on a comtrans unit. Normal Logic + Computers TD to hack a comtrans is Hard (1d8); this program increases TD to Extremely Hard (1d12). Cost: 10 credits. Holovid: Holovids are entertainment programs that help keep the crew entertained. A holovid contains a set of randomized scenarios, and self-contained set of AI characters. Each viewing of a holovid is new and different, and crew members can alter the parameters of the story, or take control of characters, at will. Cost: 1 credit. Scientific Database: A vast encyclopedia of scientific information. Grants a +1 bonus to the Science Skill, if user has Science Skill 2 or lower. Cost: 50 credits. Survival Tutorial: General guidelines on how to survive on underdeveloped worlds. Grants a +1 bonus to the Survival Skill, if user has Survival Skill 2 or lower. Cost: 10 credits. Trade Rate Database: A set of constantly-updated information on what goods are needed where in the galaxy. +1 bonus to the Haggling Skill, if user has Haggling Skill 2 or lower. Cost: 40 credits. Transmission Mask: These illegal programs allow the caller to change their appearance, either masking, blotting out, or altering their look and voice. It takes a Hard (1d8) Intuition + Notice roll to figure out that an image is a fake. Cost: 100 credits.

Cost: 100 credits. Legality: Normal. Tech: Fusion Age.

Dark Visor
A pair of goggles that allow the wearer to see in pitch blackness. Dark Visors have two settings; they can either amplify existing light, or they can switch to infrared and allow the user to see ambient patterns of heat.

■ Dark Visor mass: 0.5 kg. Conceal: Small. Effects: Negates darkness penalties.
Wearer suffers -3 Penalty against saves vs. blinding light if Dark Visor is on low-light setting, and must make saves as if vs. Flash Grenades if exposed to sudden, intense heat sources.

Cost: 10 credits. Legality: Normal. Tech: Fission Age.

Enviromasks filter harmful dust and grit from the air. The user may attach an optional atmo tank, and Vared'lai models include a “misting” unit to keep their gills moist.

Cosmetic Genalts
Minor, cosmetic genetic alterations are all the rage among many cultures and species, particularly Terrans, Jalseks, and Vared'lai. Cosmetic genalts allow a lifeform to tailor their physical coloration and color patterns, changing eye, hair, skin, scale, and shell to look any way they want. More exotic changes are possible also, adding or subtracting fingers, removing unwanted body hair, growing pointed teeth or ears so as to look like a creature of legend, and so on. The genalts take a few days to grow in, but are painless and safe. Oppressive worlds make cosmetic genalts illegal because these changes make it harder to track down criminals and dissidents. Worlds with a higher tech level can afford to be more enlightened, and use brain scans, comprehensive scans of key genetic markers, and speech pattern AI routines, to say nothing of telepaths and precogs, to track down criminals.

■ Enviromask mass: 0.5 kg. Conceal: Small. Effects: Negates penalties for minor environmental atmospheric conditions.

Cost: 13 credits. Legality: Normal. Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age.

■ Cosmetic Genalts mass: N/A. Conceal: N/A. Effects: Grants +1 Bonus to Stealth
rolls to avoid detection based on previous physical appearance, per genetic alteration.

Envirosuits are waterproof jumpsuits that provide a comfortable temperature in the worst environments. Prelloth and Malkaari often wear envirosuits when they can't wear space suits.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Envirosuit mass: 2 kg. Conceal: Large. Effects: Negates penalties for environmental temperature conditions.

Mild depressants designed to lower inhibitions and act as “social lubricant.” Common forms include whiskey and vodka (Terran), thenik ale (Prelloth), Xars'nak rotgut (Jalsek), and phenjuk cider (Malkaari).

Cost: 150 credits. Legality: Normal. Tech: Fission Age.

■ Intoxicants mass: 0.1 kg. Conceal: Small. Effects: Provides a bonus of +1 to Persuasion, -1 to Coordination, and target gains the Brash, Cheerful, Lazy, Outgoing, Romantic, or Relaxed Quality (depends on the individual).

Fine Clothing
The gatherings of the rich and powerful are a dangerous environment all their own. Here, merchant princes, corporate overlords, hive queens, StelNav admirals, and Ministers of the Assembly gather to eat, drink, talk, and plot the course of trillions. Anyone that isn't prepared is immediately at a disadvantage.

Cost: 2 credits. Legality: Normal. Tech: Bronze Age.

■ Fine Clothing mass: 2 kg. Conceal: N/A. Effects: Grants +1 Bonus to Willpower to
resist Persuasion Skill rolls from anyone who isn't wearing Fine Clothing.

Miniaturized and collapsible toolkits, Macro-Tools combine dozens of useful tools into a single modular device that just weights a kilogram. Macro-Tools include soldering irons, vibrosaws, torqueless adjustable wrenches, pressure gauges, radiation sensors, and other useful devices into a single package. No Engineer worth the grease on their jumpsuit would be caught dead without one.

Cost: 1k credits. Legality: Unrestricted. Tech: Fission Age.

■ Macro-tool mass: 0.3 kg. Conceal: Pocket. Effects: Negates the -4 penalty for Engineering Skill rolls without tools.

Grapple Launcher
Grapple launchers are commonly used by spacers for climbing and rappelling on rugged worlds, and for safely traveling from one starship to another in space.

Cost: 10 credit. Legality: Normal. Tech: Zero-Point Age.

■ Grapple Launcher mass: 3 kg. Conceal: Large. Effects: Launches a magnetic pad or spike
up to 30m, and can automatically retract up to 100kg. Can act as a weapon that does 1d6 damage, +1 Accuracy, and the Entangles Quality.

A series of bandages, splints, antiseptics, raw chemicals and medical fabricators that administer appropriate lifesaving medications based on a target's physiology and reported symptoms.

Cost: 25 credits. Legality: Normal. Tech: Steam Age.

■ Medikit mass: 3.5 kg. Conceal: Jacket. Effects: Allows the use of the First Aid use
of the Medicine Skill with no penalty, and can grant a +3 bonus to Strength + Endurance rolls


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

against disease and radiation. Each Medikit contains enough chemicals for 10 uses.

Shaded Goggles
Functionally necessary for dark-world species like the Prelloth, fashion statements for other sentients, shaded goggles “look cool” and keep one's eyes safe from bright lights.

Cost: 10 credits. Legality: Normal. Tech: Zero-Point Age.

Neural Binders
Bounty hunters and law enforcement agents are often charged with bringing in dangerous subjects for trial. It's usually not acceptable to shoot them in their legs until they can't move, so engineers developed Neural Binders.

■ Shaded Goggles mass: 0.1 kg. Conceal: Pocket. Effects: Grants a +4 Bonus on all rolls to
resist blinding lights.

Cost: 1 credit. Legality: Unrestricted. Tech: Steam Age.

■ Neural Binders mass: 0.1 kg. Conceal: Small. Effects: Latches onto a subject and requires am Extremely Difficult (1d12) Coordination + Stealth roll to remove; on a failure, target takes 1 damage, is stunned for 1 round, and then is Sluggish for 1 round. The shock can also be administered by a remote control unit, and if the target moves more than 5m from the remote, the shock is automatically administered. May be applied with a Ready Item Action against a Grappled target, but not effective against any target that isn't immobile.

Space Rations
Food for a single sentient. Space Rations typically include small tubes of bland nutrient paste suitable for most lifeforms to consume in zero gravity, and chewable vitamin supplements that provide additional needs for specific species.

■ Space Rations mass: 0.2 kg. Conceal: Pocket. Effects: Provides enough food for a member of a given species to survive for a day. Eating the wrong species' food causes 1 damage, and -1 penalty to all Attributes for 1 hour due to sickness.

Cost: 35 credits. Legality: Restricted. Tech: Zero-Point Age.

Cost: 1 credit. Legality: Unrestricted. Tech: Bronze Age.

Rec Stims
Mild stimulants, prepared as flavorful beverages, designed to keep one alert and productive. Common Terran rec stims include coffee, tea, and cola.

Spacesuit Repair Patches
When your space suit is damaged, you're probably dead. Spacesuit manufacturers make special adhesive patches that close around suit punctures and seal in air and maintain pressure.

■ Rec Stims mass: 0.1 kg. Conceal: Small. Effects: Provides a bonus of +1 to Intuition,
but target gains the Jittery Quality, for 1 hour.

Cost: 1 credit. Legality: Unrestricted. Tech: Bronze Age.

■ Spacesuit Repair Patches mass: 0.1 kg. Conceal: Small. Effects: Repairs one space suit puncture.
Requires a Ready Item Action to apply.

Cost: 10 credits. Legality: Unrestricted.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Tech: Fusion Age.

Space Suits ation



Survival Kit
Survival kits contain a wide variety of tools needed to survive in a variety of harsh environments. They contain signal flares, tarps, water purification tablets, extra filters for Enviro-Masks, a small powerful laser for building fires, and chemical testing strips for determining what food is edible for what species.

Whenever a crew member wearing a space suit suffers a Wound, their suit also suffers a puncture. A punctured suit can lead to death in a few minutes, so space suits always carry 3 repair patches. Repair patches can be found in the Gear section, above. Suits can also be fitted with a Self-Healing Option, at exorbitant cost.

■ Survival Kit mass: 8 kg. Conceal: Long Jacket. Effects: Grants a +1 Bonus to all Survival
Skill rolls.

Armor Traits
Soft Armor: Gives a bonus to Strength for reducing incoming damage. Hard Armor: After damage is totaled, reduce damage by this amount. Mass: The weight of the armor on a 1 G world. Also a measurement of inertia in lower gravity. Bulk: Penalty to Coordination for crew members wearing a given form of armor.

Cost: 25 credits. Legality: Normal. Tech: Fission Age.

Crew Armor
Armor is worn to protect one from hostile environments and others' attacks. Armor includes space suits, exoskeletons, and other forms of protective garments or technologies.

Armor Qualities
Concealed: The suit fits under normal clothing; it takes an Average (1d6) Intuition + Stealth roll to notice the hidden armor. Life Support: The suit provides breathable air for the listed duration. Stylish The crew member receives the listed Persuasion bonus because of the suit's good looks. Servos: The crew member has the listed Strength Level when wearing the suit.

Species and Armor
Armor designed for Bigger species costs +20% more. Armor designed for Smaller species costs -10% less. All armor must be designed to fit a specific species. A Type-A Space Suit designed for Terrans will never fit a Jalsek, or a Prelloth, or any other species. An Environmental technician can rebuild a space suit to fit a given species, but it will take a minimum of 3 hours, plus an additional hour if the target is Larger or Smaller. Prelloth and Malkaari often wear environmental suits or space suits, even in pressurized environments, because of their temperature preferences. Environments comfortable to Terrans and other species are too warm for most Prelloth, and too cool for most Malkaari, so the suits keep them comfortable.

Ablative Battle Vest
Made of impact-absorbing plastics, the Ablative Battle Vest is typical for military forces in less dangerous zones, and law enforcement officers in high-risk areas like unruly starports.

■ Ablative Battle Vest Soft Armor: 1 hard Armor: 1 Mass: 4 kg Bulk: 1 Qualities: Concealed (under bulky

Cost: 50 credits. Legality: Normal. Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Plate Armor Armored Jumpsuit
Armored Jumpsuits are the height of fashion among off-duty spacers in nasty spaceports. Impact-ablating plates are woven into tough, flexible, form-fitting artificial weave that won't catch on anything in those narrow starship corridors. Common on low-tech planets, plate armor consists of overlapping plates of steel, designed to cushion the wearer from blows from swords, hammers, axes, and arrows. The armor's seams are still vulnerable, and plate armor fades away on most world once chemically-powered projectile weapons are perfected.

■ Armored Jumpsuit Soft Armor: 1 hard Armor: None Mass: 2 kg Bulk: None Qualities: Fashionable (+1 to Presence). Cost: 10 credits. Legality: Normal. Tech: Fission Age.

■ Plate Armor Soft Armor: 1 hard Armor: 3 Mass: 5 kg Bulk: 1 Qualities: None. Cost: 12 credits. Legality: Normal.

Type-A Space Suit
Cheap, civilian emergency survival suit. Includes built-in headlamps.

Cerametal Combat Armor
Composed of overlapping plated of ceramics and metal alloys, cerametal combat armor is very common for ground combat forces in the Assembly.

■ Cerametal Combat Armor Soft Armor: 2 hard Armor: 1 Mass: 15 kg Bulk: 2 Qualities: Infrared and Night Vision sensors (negates darkness penalties).

Type-A Space Suit Soft Armor: 1 hard Armor: 1 Mass: 13 kg Bulk: 1 Qualities: Life Support (12 hours). Cost: 150 credits. Legality: Normal. Tech: Fusion Age.

Cost: 120 credits. Legality: Restricted. Tech: Fusion Age.

Type-B Space Suit
A heavier suit, intended for engineering and construction crews. Includes built-in headlamps.

Chain Shirt
Common on low-tech planets, this armor is composed of woven strands of metal wire, rendering it hard but flexible. Typically worn above a layer of cloth to avoid chafing.

■ Chain Shirt Soft Armor: 1 hard Armor: 2 Mass: 5 kg Bulk: 1 Qualities: None. Cost: 10 credits. Legality: Normal. Tech: Iron Age.

■ Type-B Space Suit Soft Armor: 1 hard Armor: 2 Mass: 18 kg Bulk: 2. Qualities: Life Support (2 hours). Cost: 220 credits. Legality: Restricted. Tech: Fusion Age.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Type-C Space Suit
Military combat suit, for boarding teams and elite law enforcement. Includes built-in Dark Visor.

Advanced Alloys
The armor is composed of soft, flexible alloys that disperse energy better.

■ Type-C Space Suit Soft Armor: 2 hard Armor: 2 Mass: 22 kg Bulk: 3. Qualities: Life Support (12 hours). Cost: 410 credits. Legality: Prohibited. Tech: Fusion Age.

■ Advanced Alloys Requirements: Chain Shirt, Plate Armor. Use: Adds +1 to Soft Armor. Legality: Unrestricted. Cost: Doubles armor cost, plus an additional
10 credits.

Tech: Fusion Age.

Combat Exoskeleton
A pressurized exoskeleton for the deadliest of combat situations. Includes built-in Dark Visor.

Designed using Vanthi biotechnology and bioengineering, the armor heals and reacts to the user's intentions.

■ Combat Exoskeleton Soft Armor: 3 hard Armor: 3 Mass: 100 kg Bulk: 2 Qualities: Life Support (2 hours), Servos
(Strength 7).

■ Biotech Requirements: Any modern armor, SelfHealing Suit.

Use: Decrease Hard Armor by 1 (to a minimum
of 1) but increase Soft Armor by 2. In addition, punctures seal in 1 round, not 1d2.

Cost: 1000 credits. Legality: Illegal. Tech: Zero-Point Age.

Crew Armor Options
Acceleration compensator
This system of pressure bladders and medical monitoring systems helps insulate spacers from unconsciousness or death due to circulatory system issues at high accelerations. Absolutely vital for starfighter pilots.

Legality: Restricted. Cost: Doubles armor cost. Tech: Fusion Age.

Chameleon Mask
Chameleon masked armor continually adapts its external coloration to match the surroundings. As long as the crew member moves slowly, their appearance is effectively concealed from ordinary vision. A Dark Visor can detect Chameleon Masked armor plainly, although StelNav uses advanced forms of the Chameleon Mask that even shield heat emissions.

■ Acceleration Compensator Requirements: Any armor. Use: Adds a +2 bonus to the sentient's
Strength + Endurance for withstanding acceleration-related G forces.

■ Chameleon Mask Requirements: Any armor. Use: Stealth is treated as an Aptitude Skill,
with a +2 Bonus. If the crew member already has Stealth as an Aptitude Skill, they gain a +5 Bonus. Bonuses lost if the crew member moves more than 3m in one Ground/Boarding Combat

Legality: Unrestricted. Cost: 10 credits. Tech: Fusion Age.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Round. Only conceals from visible light, not heat or other senses.

■ Salvaged Use: Soft armor and Hard armor both reduced
by 1 (minimum 1 each).

Legality: Illegal. Cost: 200 credits. Tech: Fusion Age.

Environmental Regulator
The suit can regulate its internal temperature, pressure, and level of humidity. With this option, a Prelloth can remain at a comfortably cool temperature on Terra, Malkaari can stay nice and warm, and Vared'lai can keep their gills moist. Armors with this option aren't airtight, though, so Laramites must still wear space suits so they can breathe methane as they would on their homeworld.

Legality: No modification. Cost: Halves armor cost. Tech: Same as base armor.

Self-Healing Suit
This suit uses self-healing plastics and nanotech to repair even the most severe punctures automatically.

■ Environmental Regulator Requirements: Any unsealed armor. Use: Negates environmental penalties. Legality: Normal. Cost: 10 credits. Tech: Fission Age.

■ Self-Healing Suit Requirements: Any space suit. Use: Punctures automatically seal in 1d2
Ground/Boarding rounds.

Legality: Unrestricted. Cost: Doubles armor cost

Crew Weapons
This suit is extremely light and thin, practically skintight. This modification is popular with Laramites, as it allows them to float with their natural “gas bag” power, unencumbered by their heavy space suits. Life among the stars is difficult and dangerous; even civilian merchant crews hire security personnel and carry weaponry when in wilder starports. Most Assembly starport weapon shops carry many types and models of weapons; many of the weapons listed below have multiple, specific models listed.

■ Lightweight Requirements: Any armor. Use: Decrease the suit's Bulk by 1 and reduce
the item's weight to 10% the listed weight. However, halve the Soft Armor Level and reduce the Hard Armor Level to 0.

Weapon Traits
Damage: The amount of damage that a weapon inflicts. Damage is stopped by Hard and Soft Armor. Slugthrowers of the same type can share ammunition if they do the same amount of damage. Range Increment (Rng Incr): The distance that a ranged weapon can accurately hit its target. At pointblank range, the TD to hit is Easy (1d4), and up to 1 Range Increment, the TD is Average (1d6). Each additional Range Increment from the target increases the TD by +1. Reach: The distance that a melee weapon or unarmed attack will strike. When you roll to attack, block, or disarm an opponent, subtract the enemy's weapon's Reach from your weapon's Reach. If the result is negative, apply a penalty to your roll; if positive, apply a bonus.

Legality: Normal. Cost: Doubles armor cost. Tech: Same as base armor.

This suit is pieced together from bits and pieces of broken armor of many different kinds. Although not particularly effective, it's also a lot cheaper to make.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Skill: The Skill used to hit the target. Melee and unarmed attacks use Martial Arts, most guns use Small Arms. Large, anti-armor and anti-vehicle weapons use Heavy Weapons, and thrown weapons, bows, and crossbows use Athletics. A few special weapons might use other Skills, as well. Accuracy: The modifier to all attack rolls by his weapon. Large and unwieldy weapons tend to have Accuracy penalties, while small and balanced weapons tend to have bonuses. Mass: The weight of the weapon in 1G of gravity. Cost: The cost of the weapon, in credits. Ammo (X+Y): The amount of ammunition stored in the weapon's magazine (X), plus the amount of ammunition the weapon can hold chambered at once (Y). Unless the weapon has the Rapid Fire Feature, the weapon cannot be fired more times per round than (Y). Slugthrowers of the same type can share ammunition if they do the same amount of damage.

Entangles: With a successful attack, targets must make a Hard (1d8) Coordination + Athletics roll or be tangled for 1d4 rounds. Tangled targets cannot move, and all Coordination rolls are at +2 TD. Flashes: With a successful attack, all targets in the radius must make a Very Hard (1d10) Coordination + Endurance roll or be blinded for 1d4 rounds Move Required: The attacker must take a Movement Action before using this weapon. Overcharge: The weapon can be “overcharged” to do more damage, at the potential cost of burning out the weapon. Take a Use Mental Skill Action on a Hard (1d8) Logic + Engineering roll, and then a Ready Item Action. If the roll is successful, after the Ready Item Action the weapon will do an additional die of damage. Note the Success Factor of the roll, and count the number of times a damage die rolls maximum value. When the maximum-value dice exceed the Success Factor, the weapon is broken. Radius: A successful attack hits everyone in a specific area. Rapid Fire (X/Y): The weapon can launch multiple attacks in quick succession. For each X in the Success Margin, the attack does Y more damage. Recharge (X): The weapon can only be fired once per X rounds. Reload (X): The weapon requires an additional number of Ready Item Actions to reload equal to the number in parentheses. Stuns: With a successful attack, targets must make a Hard (1d8) Strength + Endurance roll or be knocked out for 1d4 rounds; even if they succeed, they still take 1d6 damage, and armor doesn't apply. Tripod: This vehicle is too big for any lifeform with less than 7 Strength to wield, and even then, it suffers a -4 penalty to attack rolls. On its tripod, the weapon can be fired normally. The tripod takes 3 full rounds to set up. The weapon may also be mounted on a vehicle, and fired with no penalties. Two-Handed: Wielding this weapon with one hand causes a TD +2 penalty. Wielding this weapon with a wounded arm or hand causes a TD +1 penalty. Unreliable: The weapon is fragile or frequently jams. Each time the weapon takes damage, or the wielder rolls a Mishap, the weapon cannot be fired again until a Hard (1d8) Logic + Engineering roll is made to fix the weapon.

Weapon Qualities
Block/Disarm (X/Y): The weapon gains the listed bonus or penalty when used to Block or Disarm (or both). This is in addition to modifiers for Reach. Ranged weapons all automatically have Block and Disarm penalties of TD +3. Built-In: Every sentient possesses this form of attack, and it costs nothing. Bulk (X): As with armor Bulk, weapon Bulk acts as a Coordination penalty to the crew member carrying the weapon. Only the heaviest weapons have Bulk, and they're usually anti-armor, not anti-personnel, weapons. Burns (X/Y): The target takes an additional X damage per round, for Y Ground/Boarding Combat rounds, if hit with this weapon. This extra damage is ineffective outside an oxygen atmosphere, and can be doused by water or fire-extinguishing chemicals. Crushes: With a successful attack, the attacker can continue to inflict damage on subsequent rounds by remaining immobile and spending 5 AP; to avoid this, the victim must spend 5 AP and roll a Strength Opposed Roll against the attacker; each failed roll results in a -1 penalty to all further Strength Opposed Rolls to break free. Double-Barreled (X/Y): The weapon can fire one or two shots simultaneously. If the weapon fires two shots, the attack takes a -X Accuracy penalty, but does Y additional damage.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Automatic Rifle
A full-sized military weapon that fires multiple high-velocity rounds in close succession.

weapons on primitive worlds, used for hunting and war.

■ Automatic Rifle Skill: Small Arms Conceal: Long Jacket Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age. EDS AH-45 “Thunderer”
Damage: 5d8; Range Incr.: 100m; Accuracy: +-0; Mass: 5 kg; Ammo: 30 +1; Cost: 30 credits, 2 credits per magazine; Legality: Prohibited; Qualities: Rapid Fire (2/1d8); Two-Handed.

■ Bow Skill: Athletics Conceal: Large Tech: Stone Age. Bold Horizons TE-2 “Survivor”
Damage: (Punch)+2d6; Range Incr.: (Strength *5)m; Accuracy: +1; Mass: 1.5 kg; Ammo: 1; Cost: 5 credits, 1 credit per quiver of 30 arrows; Legality: Normal; Qualities: Slow Reload, Two-Handed.

Chuan Shen Kwoon Short Bow
Damage: Damage: (Punch)+1d8; Range Incr.: (Strength *4)m; Accuracy: +1; Mass: 1.3 kg; Ammo: 1; Cost: 7 credits, 1 credit per quiver of 30 arrows; Legality: Normal; Qualities: Slow Reload, Two-Handed.

Titan Arms “Iron Fist”
Damage: 5d8+1d3; Range Incr.: 60m; Accuracy: +0; Mass: 4.5 kg; Ammo: 30 +1; Cost: 20 credits, 2 credits per magazine; Legality: Prohibited; Qualities: Rapid Fire (3/1d8); Two-Handed; Unreliable.

The simplest of weapons, a blunt object, swung for shattering force, a club can be anything from a tree branch, to a massive hydraulic wrench, to a metal pipe. Rifle and pistol butts are popular improvised clubs, as well.

A chopping weapon with a short haft and a short blade, often used on primitive worlds as a tool as well as a weapon.

■ Axe Skill: Martial Arts Conceal: Large Tech: Stone Age. Bold Horizons TE-7 “Woods-man”
Damage: (Punch)+2d6+1; Reach: 1; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 1.3 kg; Cost: 5 credits; Legality: Normal; Qualities: Block/Disarm (-2), Two-Handed.

■ Club Skill: Martial Arts Conceal: Jacket Tech: Stone Age. EDS ME-9 “Blockbuster” Billy Club
Damage: (Punch)+1d8; Reach: 1; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 1 kg; Cost: 1 credit; Legality: Normal; Qualities: Disarm (-2).

Chuan Shen Kwoon Tonfa Chuan Shen Kwoon Axe
Damage: (Punch)+2d6+2; Reach: 1; Accuracy: -1; Mass: 1.4 kg; Cost: 5 credits; Legality: Normal; Qualities: Block/Disarm (-2), Two-Handed. Damage: (Punch)+1d6; Reach: 1; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 1 kg; Cost: 1 credit; Legality: Normal; Qualities: Block (+2).

Crossbow Bow
Wooden or metal weapons that rely on tension to propel a bladed projectile at targets. Bows are common A weapon widely used on primitive worlds, that marries a bow's curve to a rifle's stock. Crossbows can store a lot of power, and release it to deadly effect.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Crossbow Skill: Athletics Conceal: Large Tech: Steel Age. Bold Horizons TE-4H “Crusader”
Damage: (Punch)+2d8; Range Incr.: (Strength *7)m; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 2 kg; Ammo: 1; Cost: 9 credits, 1 credit per quiver of 20 bolts; Legality: Normal; Qualities: Slow Reload (2), Two-Handed.

vored by law enforcement officials on many worlds for their non-lethal uses, especially in hostage situations.

■ Grenade, Flash Skill: Athletics Conceal: Pocket Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age. EDS DM-6 “Nova Flare”
Damage: 1; Range Incr.: (STR +1)m; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 1.5 kg; Ammo: 1; Cost: 5 credits; Legality: Prohibited; Qualities: Flashes, Radius (3m).

A fairly low-tech, anti-emplacement weapon that shoots pressurized, jellied fossil fuels, flamethrowers are brutal weapons of warfare. This weapon is useless in the vacuum of space, where plasma torches would be more useful.

Grenade, Fragmentation
Frag grenades explode, damaging everyone in a radius. Fragmentation grenades are deadly, especially in the enclosed area of a spacecraft, colony, or station, and aren't very effective in open space (reduce damage to 2d8).

■ Flamethrower Skill: Heavy Weapons Conceal: Large Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age. EDS MH-12 “Incinerator:”
Damage: 3d12; Range Incr.: 8m; Accuracy: -1; Mass: 10 kg; Ammo: 30; Cost: 80 credits, 10 credits per tank of 30 shots; Legality: Illegal; Qualities: Slow Reload (2), Two-Handed.

■ Grenade, Fragmentation Skill: Athletics Conceal: Pocket Tech: Steam Age. EDS DM-18 “Starburst”
Damage: 6d8; Range Incr.: (STR +1)m; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 1.5 kg; Ammo: 1; Cost: 10 credits; Legality: Prohibited; Qualities: Radius (3m).

A crew member uses their limbs to enfold another and crush them.

Grenade, Incendiary
Incendiary grenades are filled with highly flammable chemicals that explode into flames in an oxygen atmosphere, setting targets ablaze. Incendiary grenades are pretty ineffective outside an oxygen atmosphere, inflicting only 2d8 damage and losing the Burns Quality.

■ Grapple Damage: (Strength +1)d4 Reach: 1 Skill: Martial Arts Accuracy: -1 Qualities: Cannot Block/Disarm, Crushes,

■ Grenade, Incendiary Skill: Athletics Conceal: Pocket Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age. Omnisun protection 37-T “FireBrand”
Damage: 7d8; Range Incr.: (STR +1)m; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 1.5 kg; Ammo: 1; Cost: 15 credits; Legality: Illegal; Qualities: Burns (1d8/1d4), Radius (3m).

Grenade, Flash
Flash Grenades emit blinding light, which causes sentients temporary blindness. Flash Grenades are fa-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Grenade, Pulse
Pulse Grenades emit a powerful electromagnetic blast that disables electronics within a given radius. Pulse grenades are favored for taking out maniac Cybers and DeathMeks, especially since they inflict negligible damage to organics.

its, grenades cost per listing; Legality: Illegal; Qualities: As per grenade, Two-Handed.

Holdout Pistol
This tiny slugthrower is easily concealed, but only holds a few shots.

■ Grenade, Pulse Skill: Athletics Conceal: Pocket Tech: Fusion Age. EDS DM-9.1 “Lights-Out”
Damage: 1d3; Range Incr.: (STR +1)m; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 1.5 kg; Ammo: 1; Cost: 9 credits; Legality: Illegal; Qualities: Radius (3m); Stuns (Cybers and Meks Only), plus shuts down electronics like comtrans, space suits, and energy weapons.

■ Holdout Pistol Skill: Small Arms Conceal: Small Tech: Steam Age. EDS M-21 “Spider”
Damage: 3d8; Range Incr.: 10m; Accuracy: -1; Mass: 1 kg; Ammo: 3 +1; Cost: 8 credits, 0.1 credits per round; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: None.

Kick (Built-In)
A strike with a foot or hoof, kicks have additional power behind them, but aren't quite as fast or accurate.

Grenade, Splat
Splat Grenades explode with a burst of adhesive chemicals that pins targets to the ground or nearby objects. Splat Grenades are a favorite to lob at targets behind cover, because they ensure that the targets aren't going anywhere later.

■ Grenade, splat Skill: Athletics Conceal: Pocket Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age. Bold Horizons AH-17 “Goop”
Damage: 1; Range Incr.: (STR +1)m; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 1.5 kg; Ammo: 1; Cost: 3 credits; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: Entangles; Radius (3m).

■ Kick (Built-In) Damage: (Strength +1)d4 Reach: 2 Skill: Martial Arts Accuracy: -2 Qualities: Cannot Block/Disarm.

Knives are among the simplest of weapons, a short blade feared for speed and deadly effect.

■ Knife Skill: Martial Arts Conceal: Pocket Tech: Stone Age. Bold Horizons TE-6 “Frontier”
Damage: (Punch)+1d6; Reach: 1; Accuracy: +2; Mass: 0.5 kg; Cost: 1 credit; Legality: Unrestricted; Qualities: None.

Grenade Launcher
This weapon fires specially-designed grenades, giving them additional range.

■ Grenade Launcher Skill: Heavy Weapons Conceal: Large Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age. EDS M-88 “Viper”
Damage: Per grenade type; Range Incr.: 30m; Accuracy: -1; Mass: 5 kg; Ammo: 1; Cost: 12 cred-

Jalsek Jee Sheer
Damage: (Punch)+1d8; Reach: 1; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 0.5 kg; Cost: 12 credits; Legality: Unrestricted; Qualities: None.

Wicked Edges Stiletto


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Damage: (Punch)+1d4; Reach: 0; Accuracy: ---; Mass: N/A; Cost: 12 credits; Legality: Normal; Qualities: None.

Damage: 5d8; Range Incr.: 300m; Accuracy: -2; Mass: 15 kg; Ammo: 100 +1; Cost: 200 credits, 30 credits per box of 100 rounds; Legality: Illegal; Qualities: Rapid Fire (1/1d10), Tripod.

Laser Pistol
Laser Pistols are oversized, unwieldy pistol-sized versions of the Laser Rifle. Designed as a last-ditch defense against armored enemies, Laser Pistols are too big and clunky to be practical in most situations, and overpowered for mere self-defense.

Mining Laser
Mining Lasers are incredibly powerful, but are otherwise terrible weapons. Designed to cut through thick rocks to release valuable ores hidden inside, Mining Lasers are only viable for MineMeks to use.

■ Laser Pistol Skill: Small Arms Conceal: Small Tech: Fusion Age. EDS M-77 “Sun-Spear”
Damage: 4d10; Range Incr.: 100m; Accuracy: -2; Mass: 6 kg; Ammo: 2 +1; Cost: 100 credits; Legality: Illegal; Qualities: Recharge (2), Two-Handed.

■ mining Laser Skill: Heavy Weapons Conceal: Large Tech: Fusion Age. Verge Resources 32-S Mining Laser
Damage: 7d10; Range Incr.: 1m; Accuracy: -4; Mass: 35 kg; Ammo: 50 +1; Cost: 185 credits, 1 credit per round; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: Bulk (2), Recharge (2), Two-Handed.

Laser Rifle
Laser Rifles are expensive anti-armor weapons that fire a beam if coherent light, burning through solid matter. Laser Rifles consist of a large, bulky power pack strapped to the user's back, and a rifle-sized emitter connected with a thick flexible metal conduit.

Missile Launcher
A heavy-duty weapon that fires explosive guided projectiles at opponents. Missile Launchers are meant for taking out armored vehicles and enemies, and only used in serious battlefield situations.

■ Laser Rifle Skill: Small Arms Conceal: Large Tech: Fusion Age. Bold Horizons AH-51 “Apollo”
Damage: 5d10; Range Incr.: 200m; Accuracy: +1; Mass: 15 kg; Ammo: 25 +1; Cost: 120 credits; Legality: Illegal; Qualities: Bulk (1), Recharge (3), Two-Handed.

■ Missile Launcher Skill: Heavy Weapons Conceal: Large Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age. EDS AE-95D “Obliterator”
Damage: 6d8; Range Incr.: 100m; Accuracy: +2; Mass: 20 kg; Ammo: 1; Cost: 100 credits, 30 credits per round; Legality: Illegal; Qualities: Radius (3m), Reload (2), Two-Handed.

Machine Gun
A full-sized military weapon that fires multiple high-velocity rounds in close succession.

The earliest examples of slugthrower technology, muskets were hand-loaded with shot and gunpowder before each firing. Although chancy weapons at best, their ability to pierce light armor meant they changed warfare forever.

■ machine Gun Skill: Heavy Weapons Conceal: Large Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age. EDS AS-4 “Avenger”

■ Musket Skill: Small Arms Tech: Steam.

Conceal: Large


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Damage: 4d8; Range Incr.: 5m; Accuracy: -2; Mass: 1.5 kg; Ammo: 1; Cost: 1 credit, 1 credit per 10 shots; Legality: Normal; Qualities: Reload (4), Two-Handed, Unreliable.

credit per magazine; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: None.

EDS M-12E “Wildfire”
Damage: 4d8+1d4; Range Incr.: 8m; Accuracy: -1; Mass: 1.5 kg; Ammo: 6 +1; Cost: 10 credits, 1 credit per magazine; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: Two-Handed.

Plasma Torch
Plasma Torches are specialized, short-range industrial equipment designed to allow starship Engineers to cut away stressed and damaged hull components. Plasma Torches are pretty inaccurate, and have a very short range, but inflict the same devastating damage as a Laser Rifle, and are a little easier to bring to bear.

EDS M-77 “Warhawk”
Damage: 5d6; Range Incr.: 10m; Accuracy: +-0; Mass: 1.2 kg; Ammo: 7 +1; Cost: 9 credits, 1 credit per magazine; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: None.

■ Plasma Torch Skill: Fabrication Conceal: Large Tech: Fusion Age. Lunar DriveWorks 21-C
Damage: 5d10; Range Incr.: 2m; Accuracy: -1; Mass: 15 kg; Ammo: 35 +1; Cost: 135 credits; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: Bulk (1), Recharge (2), Two-Handed.

Omnisun protection 21-N “Gaebolg”
Damage: 4d8; Range Incr.: 8m; Accuracy: -1; Mass: 1.5 kg; Ammo: 6 +1; Cost: 8 credits, 1 credit per magazine; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: Unreliable.

A rifle-sized weapon that uses solid propellant to launch a cone-shaped blast of pellets at an enemy. Shotguns have a much more limited range than other slugthrowers, but are devastating against unarmored opponents.

Punch (Built-In)
Not really a weapon (or a weapon that everyone has), a sapient balls up their manipulative appendages and strikes with it.

■ Punch (Built-In) Damage: (Strength)d4 Reach: 1 Skill: Martial Arts Accuracy: --Qualities: None.

■ Shotgun Skill: Small Arms Conceal: Jacket Tech: Steam Age. EDS AH-79 “Mauler”
Damage: 5d6; Range Incr.: 3m; Accuracy: -1; Mass: 2 kg; Ammo: 2; Cost: 13 credits, 0.2 credit per round; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: Double-Barreled (-1/2d6), Radius (2m), Two-Handed.

Semi-Automatic Pistol (9mm)
Semi-automatic pistols are easily concealable sidearms that use chemical propellant to launch a small metal slug at an enemy.

Omnisun protection 27-S “Pulverizer”
Damage: 4d6; Range Incr.: 8m; Accuracy: -2; Mass: 1.3 kg; Ammo: 2 +4; Cost: 10 credits, 0.2 credit per magazine; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: Radius (2m), Two-Handed, Unreliable.

■ Semi-Automatic Pistol Skill: Small Arms Conceal: Pocket Tech: Biochemical. bold Horizons AH-6 “Falcon”
Damage: 4d8; Range Incr.: 10m; Accuracy: +-0; Mass: 1.5 kg; Ammo: 8 +1; Cost: 10 credits, 1

Way of Fire armaments “Storm”
Damage: 5d6; Range Incr.: 4m; Accuracy: -1; Mass: 2 kg; Ammo: 5 +1; Cost: 12 credits, 0.2 credit per round; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: Radius (2m), Two-Handed.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Heavy Pipe

Sniper Rifle
Sniper rifles are single shot slugthrowers designed to take down a single target at a time at great range from a hidden location.

Damage: (Punch)+1d8; Reach: 2; Accuracy: -1; Mass: 1.5 kg; Cost: 0.5 credits; Legality: Unrestricted; Qualities: None.

■ Sniper Rifle Skill: Small Arms Conceal: Long Jacket Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age. bold Horizons AH-155 “WidowMaker”
Damage: 4d8+1d6; Range Incr.: 180m; Accuracy: +2; Mass: 4 kg; Ammo: 1 +1; Cost: 55 credits, 1 credit per magazine; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: Reload (1), Two-Handed.

Way of Fire Armaments “Enforcer”
Damage: (Punch)+1d6; Reach: 3; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 1 kg; Cost: 2 credits; Legality: Normal; Qualities: Two-Handed.

Sub-machine Gun (9mm)
A medium-sized military weapon, with a retractable stock and a high rate of fire. Sub-machine guns are used in close combat urban warfare situations, but are usually equipped with rubber bullets aboard ships.

EDS M-112 “Reaper”
Damage: 5d8; Range Incr.: 200m; Accuracy: +-0; Mass: 5 kg; Ammo: 1; Cost: 40 credits, 0.5 credit per round; Legality: Prohibited; Qualities: Reload (1), Two-Handed.

■ Sub-machine Gun Skill: Small Arms Conceal: Jacket Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age.

A short blade on the end of a pole, spears are among the simplest of weapons, and very common on low-tech worlds.

Bold Horizons ah-21 “Razor”
Damage: 4d8; Range Incr.: 10m; Accuracy: -2; Mass: 2 kg; Ammo: 30 +1; Cost: 18 credits, 1 credit per magazine; Legality: Prohibited; Qualities: Rapid Fire (2/1d8), Two-Handed.

■ Spear Skill: Martial Arts Conceal: None Tech: Stone Age. Chuan Shen Kwoon Spear
Damage: (Punch)+1d8; Reach: 3; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 1 kg; Cost: 8 credits; Legality: Normal; Qualities: Two-Handed.

EDS AH-37 “Hornet”
Damage: 4d8; Range Incr.: 12m; Accuracy: -1; Mass: 2 kg; Ammo: 20 +1; Cost: 15 credits, 1 credit per magazine; Legality: Prohibited; Qualities: Rapid Fire (3/1d8), Two-Handed.

Omnisun Protection 22-R “Gladius”
Damage: 3d8+1d6; Range Incr.: 15m; Accuracy: +0; Mass: 2 kg; Ammo: 25 +1; Cost: 17 credits, 1 credit per magazine; Legality: Prohibited; Qualities: Rapid Fire (2/1d6), Two-Handed.

A long blunt pole, swung at opponents. Staffs give a fighter the benefit of reach.

■ Staff Skill: Martial Arts Conceal: Jacket Tech: Stone Age.

A weapon of the nobility on many worlds, swords are long, bladed weapons that stab or swing at enemies.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Sword Skill: Martial Arts Conceal: Large Tech: Iron Age. Chuan Shen Kwoon Dao Blade
Damage: (Punch)+1d8; Reach: 1; Accuracy: +1; Mass: 1 kg; Cost: 8 credits; Legality: Normal; Qualities: None.

Vibro Scalpel
Designed for Biomedicals to use for opening thick carapaces and severing mutilated limbs, Vibro Scalpels inflict great damage if wielded inexpertly or with malice. They're also the easiest Vibro blades to get hold of, at least if you have or can forge a surgical license.

Veth Nanda Dueling Sword
Damage: (Punch)+2d6; Reach: 2; Accuracy: ---; Mass: 1.5 kg; Cost: 7 credits; Legality: Normal; Qualities: Two-Handed.

■ Vibro Scalpel Skill: Medicine Conceal: Pocket Tech: Zero-Point Age. Warreen Lifebringers SA-10Z
Damage: (Punch)+1d8; Reach: 0; Accuracy: +2; Mass: 0.5 kg; Cost: 18 credits; Legality: Restricted; Qualities: None.

Tackle (Built-In)
A crew member launches themselves at the enemy and smashes them to the ground. Tackles are a wild and brutal maneuver.

A long, flexible weapon made of leather, plastic, or plant fibers, designed to disarm and entangle opponents. Whips do negligible damage, but provide a variety of other combat options.

■ Tackle (Built-In) Damage: (Strength)d4 Reach: 0 Skill: Martial Arts Accuracy: -2 Qualities: Cannot Block/Disarm; Move Required; Special (Target must roll higher of Strength or Coordination or be moved 1d2 meters, be knocked prone, and damage increased by +2d4).

Whip Skill: Martial Arts Conceal: Pocket Tech: Stone Age. Agrivision Galactic “Lashmaster”
Damage: 1d3; Reach: 3; Accuracy: +1; Mass: 0.2 kg; Cost: 3 credits; Legality: Unrestricted; Qualities: Cannot Block; Disarm (+2); Entangles.

Throwing Knife
Bladed weapons, specially balanced to throw at opponents. Throwing knives don't do a lot of damage, but are popular for infiltration missions because of their silence, especially coupled with fast-acting poison.

Crew Weapon Options
Armor Piercing Ammo
These slugthrower rounds are covered in a heavy metal jacket that causes them to pierce an opponent's armor.

■ Throwing Knife Skill: Athletics Conceal: Pocket Tech: Iron Age. bold Horizons TE-11
Damage: (Punch)+1d6; Range Incr.: (Strength)m; Reach: 1; Accuracy: +1; Mass: 0.5 kg; Cost: 1 credit; Legality: Normal; Qualities: None.

■ Armor Piercing Ammo Requirements: Slugthrower, like Automatic Rifle (12mm) or Semi-Automatic Pistol.

Use: Reduces the target's Soft Armor by 2, reduces range by 15%.

Legality: Prohibited.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Cost: 10 credits per magazine.

Use: Laser weapons normally short out when
submerged, and their beams have half normal range and damage underwater. Blue-green lasers work are insulated against submersion, and work normally underwater.

Bayonet Fitting
A special mount for a knife on the tip of a long ranged weapon, Bayonets aren't uncommon for military weapons where long-range fighting might suddenly switch to close-quarters combat.

■ Bayonet Fitting Requirements: Full-sized Small Arm like
Automatic Rifle (9mm).

Legality: Normal. Cost: +15%. Tech: Fusion Age.

This weapon is built into another piece of equipment of similar or larger size, like a Holdout Pistol built into a comtrans unit.

Use: Attaches a Knife to the weapon. The Martial Arts Skill is used to attack, at Accuracy -1. The Vibro Blade option can also be added to the weapon.

Legality: Prohibited. Cost: 1 credit. Tech: Steam Age.

■ Disguised Requirements: Must be built into a device of similar or larges size.

Use: Adds a bonus of +3 to Intuition + Stealth
rolls to conceal the item.

Designed using Vanthi bioengineering, the weapon is actually a lifeform, and reacts to its wielder's neural commands.

Legality: Prohibited. Cost: Doubles cost of both items. Tech: As per base weapons.

■ Biotech Requirements: Any non-energy weapon. Use: Melee weapon Accuracy increases by +2.
Ranged weapon accuracy increases by +1, and the weapon regenerates one round per 1d2+1 rounds until it has a full magazine.

Explosive Arrow/Bolt
Bows and crossbows are ancient technologies, but like all others, they're adapted for later advances. Arrows and bolts can be fitted with explosives, so they detonate on contact.

Legality: Prohibited. Cost: Quadruples weapon cost. Tech: Fusion Age.

■ Explosive arrow/Bolt Requirements: Bow or Crossbow. Use: Increases damage by +2d8, reduces range
by 25%.

Blue-Green Laser
Vared'lai typically build specialized laser weapons that work well underwater. Normal red lasers are bent and dispersed by deep water, and are almost completely ineffective.

Legality: Prohibited. Cost: 1 credit per arrow/bolt. Tech: Steel Age.

■ blue-Green Laser Requirements: Any laser weapon.

Hollow Point Ammo
This ammunition is flatter, designed to flatten on contact with a target. It's more effective against flesh,


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

but not particularly helpful against hard targets, like enemies with hard armor.

Use: If the target takes any damage from the
bladed weapon attack, the target must make a Hard (1d8) Strength + Endurance roll or suffer -1 to Strength and Intuition for 1 hour.

■ Hollow Point Ammo Requirements: Semi-Automatic Pistol,
Automatic Rifle, Submachine Gun, or Shotgun.

Use: Reduce damage by 2 die sides, but increase by 2 dice. For example, a Submachine Gun would now do 6d4 damage. Don't apply bonus dice to targets with Structure instead of Life Force.

Legality: Prohibited. Cost: 100 credits per dose. Tech: Fusion Age.

Railgun Mod
Any slug weapon can be built so that magnetic fields launch projectiles instead of chemical reactions. The weapons are vulnerable to EMPs, but can carry much more ammo.

Legality: Prohibited. Cost: 5 credits per magazine. Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age.

Incendiary Ammo
Outlawed in the Assembly, these slugthrower rounds are loaded with burning chemicals that cause terrible injuries to targets.

■ Railgun Mod Requirements: Any slugthrower. Use: Increase ammo by *10, but vulnerable to
pulse grenades and other EMPs. Railgun ammo can't have additional mods, like RFID or Rubber Ammo.

■ Incendiary Ammo Requirements: Bow, Crossbow, Automatic Rifle (12mm), Semi-Automatic Pistol, Submachine Gun (9mm), Holdout Pistol.

Legality: Prohibited. Cost: Cost *3. Tech: Fusion Age.

Use: Causes an additional 1 point of damage
next round per die of damage in initial attack, reduces range by 10%.

Popular with bounty hunters, RFID shells are solid shells that stick to the target, inflicting minimal damage but emitting a continual radio signal that anyone with a comtrans can track, if they know the frequency. RFID ammo is usually loaded into a weapon by the single shell for specific situations.

Legality: Prohibited. Cost: 15 credits per magazine. Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age.

There are hundreds of poisons in use throughout the Assembly, but most are only effective against a few species, or aren't effective in certain kinds of atmosphere. The Triumvirate uses a poison they call Topaz, for its amber sheen. It's a melange of various poisons bound in micro-capsule form in a sticky synthetic gel, kind of like tree sap. Topaz causes muscular weakness and mild sensory disorientation, making it ideal for fleeing criminals to use against pursuers.

■ RFID Ammo Requirements: Semi-Automatic Pistol,
Automatic Rifle, Submachine Gun, or Shotgun.

Use: Damage inflicted by the weapon is minimal (1 per die), but the shell emits a radio signal that comtrans units can trace for up to 100 km. It takes 10 minutes and an Average (1d6) Logic + Engineering roll to remove an RFID bullet embedded in armor.

■ Poisoned (Topaz) Requirements: Bladed,
weapons only.


Legality: Normal. Cost: 3 credits per magazine. Tech: Fission Age.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Rubber Ammo
Slugthrowers usually fire hard metal projectiles, but law enforcement officials sometimes use special soft ammunition to stop rioters and prisoners, painfully but usually without lasting injury.

Cost: None. Tech: Steam Age.

This weapon is built into another piece of equipment of similar or larger size, like a Holdout Pistol built into a comtrans unit.

■ Rubber Ammo Requirements: Semi-Automatic Pistol,
Automatic Rifle, Submachine Gun, or Shotgun.

Use: If targets take more Life Force damage
from this attack than their full normal Strength, they're stunned for 1d4 rounds. Ineffective against targets with Structure instead of Life Force.

■ Silenced Requirements: Slugthrower pistol. Use: Normally, hearing a slugthrower shot is
Automatic (1) Intuition + Notice roll at 30m, and +1 TD each additional 30m. A silenced weapon reduces the range increment to 10m, also reducing the weapon's Range Increment by 25%. Silencers aren't required in space, as there's already no sound.

Legality: Normal. Cost: 1 credit per magazine. Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age.

Put together from bits and pieces of broken weapons, this weapon is ugly and temperamental, but still effective.

Legality: Prohibited. Cost: +15 credits. The silencer can be removed
at any time.

Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age.

■ salvaged Use: Accuracy reduced by 1, and adds Unreliable Quality.

Space Suit Mount
Military space suits often have weapons built in, making it harder for the spacer to be disarmed.

Legality: No modification. Cost: Halves the cost of the weapon. Tech: As per base weapon.

Sawed Off
The weapon's stock is removed and part of the barrel sawed down. The weapons is now quicker to bring to bear, but not as accurate.

■ space Suit Mount Requirements: Type-C Space Suit, or
Combat Exoskeleton.

■ Sawed Off Requirements: Automatic Rifle or Shotgun.

Use: Weapon is mounted to space suit; Disarm
Actions ineffective for removal.

Use: Reduces Concealment by 1, removes TwoHanded Quality, but reduces Range Increment by 25%.

Legality: Prohibited. Cost: 10 credits. Tech: As per base weapon.

Legality: Prohibited.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Under mount
This slugthrower rifle has an additional weapon mounted underneath.

■ Under Mount Requirements: Automatic Rifle. Use: Adds a Shotgun, Grenade Launcher, or
Laser Rifle mounted underneath. Adds mass equal to ½ of added weapon.

Legality: No modification. Cost: Cost of both weapons, plus 15 credits. Tech: As per base weapon.

Vibro blade
These edged weapons vibrate at high speeds, slicing through metals with relative ease.

■ Vibro Blade Requirements: Axe, Sword, Spear, or

Use: Weapon added dice damage increases by
one (i.e. Vibro Knife damage becomes Punch +1d8), -1 Accuracy.

Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

Legality: Prohibited. Cost: Weapons cost doubled, plus 10 credits
(i.e. Vibro Knife cost 12 credits).

Crew Groundside Vehicles
Many starships can't enter a planet's atmosphere or land, and some worlds aren't well-equipped or safe enough to handle a ship landing. As well, there are times when a shuttlecraft is too risky, too obvious, or poorly-equipped for a planet. That's where groundside vehicles come in.

Tech: Fusion Age.

Groundside Vehicle Stats
Speed: The vehicle's safe speed, and maximum speed. If the pilot Maneuverability: The. The vehicle's pilot must make a Pilot Groundside Vehicle roll to keep control each round, or the vehicle loses control. Crew/Passengers: The number of crew required to pilot the vehicle (typically 1), and the number of additional individuals the craft can carry. Passengers can fire any onboard weapons the vehicle carries. Hard Armor: The protection the vehicle's hull provides against attacks. This applies to attacks against the passengers and the vehicle alike.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Cargo: The amount of extra mass the vehicle can carry. Structure: The amount of punishment a vehicle can take. When the vehicle takes an amount of damage equal to its Structure, roll 1d20 on the Vehicle Damage Table, in the Damage Control section of the Swordmaster section. Legality: The legal restrictions placed on purchase and ownership of this vehicle. Cost: The number of credits required to purchase the vehicle.

Weapon Mounts: The vehicle has built-in weapons.

Riding Beasts
On primitive worlds, crew members may find themselves riding animals rather than traveling in vehicles. Riding beasts are typically grazers, and the crew member will roll Coordination + Athletics to accomplish any difficult maneuvers. On a Mishap on such a roll, the crew member is thrown, typically suffering 3d4 damage.

Groundside Vehicle Qualities
Flight: The vehicle travels through the air instead of hovering on jets. When the vehicle loses thrust, the vehicle and all crew and passengers suffer normal falling damage, plus ((forward speed in km/hr)/10)d6 damage. Mecha (X): The vehicle is designed to resemble a humanoid robot, a “mecha” as they're known in the Terran Pan-Asian Collective. Attacks against this vehicle use the Crew Wound Table, but are treated a little differently: ■ Torso: Most hits are treated as normal chassis damage. ■ Arms: The mecha can inflict (Levels+3)d10 damage, and lift (Levels *250) kg of mass. When an arm suffers one Malfunction, all rolls with the arms suffer a -3 penalty, and when an arm suffers two Malfunctions, they are destroyed. ■ Head: The vehicle has a sensor pod on top that the pilot uses to control the vehicle. When the head suffers one Malfunction, the sensors are damaged, and all actions involving sensory input or precise actions suffer a -2 penalty. When the Head suffers two Malfunctions, the head is destroyed, and the pilot is effectively flying blind. ■ Legs: The vehicle walks on a pair of legs instead of hovering on jets. When either leg suffers one Malfunction, the vehicle's speed is reduced to 25%; when both suffer one Malfunction, speed is reduced to 50%. When either leg is destroyed, the vehicle “falls” and cannot move. Open: The vehicle doesn't provide its Hard Armor rating to its passengers, and crashes in this vehicle are more deadly.

Hoverbikes are small, open, two-person hover vehicles. Capable of hovering up to 3 meters off the surface in 1 G on vectored thrust jets, Hoverbikes are fast and maneuverable.

■ Hoverbike Tech: Fusion Age. Centauri Engineering CA-12 “Comet”
Speed: 120 km/hr, Maneuverability: +1, Crew: 1, Passengers: 1, Hard Armor: 2, Cargo: 50 kg, Structure: 13, Legality: Normal, Cost: 80 credits, Qualities: Open.

Dawning Star Hovercraft “Trailblazer” DSS-0110
Speed: 100 km/hr, Maneuverability: +2, Crew: 1, Passengers: 1, Hard Armor: 2, Cargo: 40 kg, Structure: 15, Legality: Unrestricted, Cost: 80 credits, Qualities: Open.

Hovercars are typical transport on most Assembly worlds. Hovering above the ground on a cushion of air,


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

they lack the traction of old-style ground vehicles but can reach decent speeds.

■ HoverCar Tech: Fusion Age. Centauri Engineering “Vector” A-6
Speed: 100 km/hr, Maneuverability: ---, Crew: 1, Passengers: 4, Hard Armor: 3, Cargo: 250 kg, Structure: 15, Legality: Unrestricted, Cost: 100 credits, Qualities: None.

Tech: Fusion Age. Agrivision Galactic “Haulmaster”
Speed: 100 km/hr, Maneuverability: ---, Crew: 1, Passengers: 2, Hard Armor: 3, Cargo: 500 kg, Structure: 18, Legality: Unrestricted, Cost: 1200 credits, Qualities: None.

Jet Packs
Jet Packs are personal transport vehicles commonly used both in space, and on low- and medium-gravity planets, to allow individuals to travel through the air.

Dawning Star Hovercraft “Bluestreak” DSS-0101
Speed: 95 km/hr, Maneuverability: +1, Crew: 1, Passengers: 2, Hard Armor: 3, Cargo: 200 kg, Structure: 13, Legality: Unrestricted, Cost: 90 credits, Qualities: None.

Vega Industries “Micturator Overdrive”
Speed: 100 km/hr, Maneuverability: ---, Crew: 1, Passengers: 4, Hard Armor: 4, Cargo: 250 kg, Structure: 16, Legality: Unrestricted, Cost: 95 credits, Qualities: None.

■ Jet Packs Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age. Malaweo General Products “Sunhawk”
Speed: 100 km/hr, Maneuverability: +1, Crew: 1, Passengers: 0, Hard Armor: 3, Cargo: 50 kg, Structure: 8, Legality: Normal, Cost: 200 credits, Qualities: Flight, Open.

Larger and more heavily armored than a combat exoskeleton, “Luciframes” take their name from a common piloted combat robot from the Terra-Prelloth war from before the foundation of the Assembly. Luciframes look like large humanoids, with mechanical limbs and bristling with weaponry.

Heavily armed and armored military vehicles, Hovertanks mount a powerful rail cannon, and a smaller machine gun.

■ Hovertank Tech: Fusion Age. EDS DA-221 “Juggernaut”
Speed: 120 km/hr, Maneuverability: -2, Crew: 1, Passengers: 5, Hard Armor: 8, Cargo: 250 kg, Structure: 25, Legality: Illegal, Cost: 2 kilo-credits, Qualities: Weapon Mounts (either a Rail Cannon and a Machine Gun, or a Surface-to-Aerospace Missile Launcher).

■ Luciframe Tech: Fusion Age. Cybercore “Weasel” Scout Luciframe
Speed: 110 km/hr, Maneuverability: +2 Crew: 1, Passengers: 0, Hard Armor: 7, Cargo: 80 kg, Structure: 20, Legality: Illegal, Cost: 2 kilo-credits, Qualities: Mecha, Weapon Mounts (Rail Cannon *2).

Hovertrucks are designed mainly to carry cargo. Three sentients can sit in the front seat, and several more in the back, when necessary.

Mardaol Electric “Achilles” Infantry Luciframe
Speed: 100 km/hr, Maneuverability: ---, Crew: 1, Passengers: 1, Hard Armor: 8, Cargo: 100 kg, Structure: 22, Legality: Illegal, Cost: 2.5 kilo-

■ Hovertruck


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

credits, Qualities: Mecha, Weapon Mounts (Laser Cannon, Rail Cannon *2).

Weapon Mount
The planetary vehicle is heavily reinforced for use in combat.

OmniSun Protection “Tyrannosaur” Heavy Luciframe
Speed: 90 km/hr, Maneuverability: -2, Crew: 1, Passengers: 1, Hard Armor: 8, Cargo: 100 kg, Structure: 25, Legality: Illegal, Cost: 3 kilo-credits, Qualities: Mecha, Weapon Mounts (Rail Cannons *2, STA Missile Launcher).

■ Weapon Mount Requirements: None. Use: The hover vehicle gains the Weapon
Mount Quality.

Legality: Illegal. Cost: 150 credits for a normal Personal
weapon, or 250 credits for a Vehicle weapon (like Rail Cannons and STA Missile Launchers).

Planetary Vehicle Options and Weapons
The planetary vehicle is heavily reinforced for use in combat.

Tech: As per base weapon.

laser Cannon
Energy weapons typically powered by a mecha's primary fusion generator, Laser Cannons fire massive beams of coherent photons that burn enemies into cinders.

■ Armored Requirements: Any hover vehicle except

Use: The hover vehicle's Hard Armor increases
by 4, and Structure increases by 8.

Legality: Prohibited. Cost: Increases vehicle cost by 80%. Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age.

■ laser Cannon Skill: Heavy Weapons Tech: Fusion Age. EDS MA-1000 “Annihilator”
Damage: 6d10 (2d4 Starship Damage); Range Incr.: 500m; Accuracy: -4; Mass: 1200 kg; Ammo: 10 +1; Cost: 310 credits; Legality: Illegal; Qualities: Recharge (2), Vehicles only.

Environmental Cabin
The planetary vehicle is safe for crew members without space suits. Inside the cabin, it's safe to remove environmental suits and space suits.

Rail Cannon
A massive weapon that uses magnetic fields to hurl a metal slug at targets, Rail Cannons are one of the few ground-based weapons massive enough to pose a threat to a starship.

■ Environmental Cabin Requirements: Any hover vehicle. Use: The hover vehicle's cabin is pressurized
and radiation-shielded. Crew members without a space suit are safe in this vehicle.

Legality: Unrestricted. Cost: 100 credits. Tech: Fission Age.

■ Rail Cannon Skill: Heavy Weapons Tech: Fusion Age. Omnisun Protection 72-N “Shatterer”
Damage: 7d8 (2d4 Starship Damage); Range Incr.: 400m; Accuracy: -3; Mass: 1000 kg; Ammo: 50 +1;


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Cost: 200 credits, 3 credits per projectile; Legality: Illegal; Qualities: Vehicles only.

station of the same kind, gateways are the primary method for space travel.

Surface-to-Aerospace Launcher


■ Gateway Passage Legality: Unrestricted. Cost: 75 credits for low-traffic gateways, to
250 credits for high-traffic gateways.

A larger version of the personal missile launcher, the Surface-to-Aerospace (or STA) Missile Launcher is capable of wiping out a personal flyer with a single shot, or inflicting damage to a starship.

Medical Care
Some injuries require special equipment to heal, equipment that isn't found on most ships. Most space stations and worlds have fully-equipped hospital facilities that provide this high-quality care.

■ s-t-A missile Launcher Skill: Heavy Weapons Tech: Biochemical Fuels Age. EDS MT-2200 “Dreadfire”
Damage: 8d10 (3d4 Starship Damage); Range Incr.: 2 km; Accuracy: -4; Mass: 1000 kg; Ammo: 6; Cost: 2 kilo-credits, 100 credits per missile; Legality: Illegal; Qualities: Vehicles only; Radius (10m).

■ Medical Care Legality: Unrestricted. Cost: 10 credits per day. When a crew docks
with a base run by their Allegiance, they receive free Medical Care.

Starship Docking Fees

Sometimes you don't need stuff, you just need a few hours of someone's time, or you need temporary use of equipment that's too expensive for you to purchase.

Landing on a planetary starport, or docking with a space station, incurs fees.

■ Starship Docking Fees Legality: Unrestricted. Cost: (Hull Size) credits per day for low-traffic ports, but to (Hull Size *10) credits for major locations like Consonance Station, Terra, Malkaar, or Prellos. Free Traders spaceports give a 50% discount for Free Trader ships, while other Allegiances waive all fees for ships of their faction.

Bounty Post
Bounty hunters capture individuals and bring them in. Sometimes, they assist law officers for a fee, but other times, they're basically assassins, bringing people in for crimelords' revenge.

■ Bounty Post Legality: Illegal. The Assembly sometimes
posts bounties for known criminals, but it's not legal for private citizens to post bounties.

Starport Hotel room Rental
When the crew arrives in a space port or on a space station, it's often a relief to get off of the ship. Most ships don't have luxurious quarters, so it's nice to be able to rent a nice room for some R&R.

Cost: 50 credits for an ordinary citizen with
no special Skills, up to 100+ credits for a trained soldier or starship officer.

Gateway Passage
Huge, ring-shaped space stations that form permanent wormholes to another star system with another

■ starport Hotel Room Rental Legality: Unrestricted. Cost: 3 credits for a terrible dive (-1 Concentration in the morning), 5 credits for decent


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

lodging, and 8+ credits for a good rest (+1 Concentration in the morning).

Cost: 100 credits per Hull Point, plus 200 per
Malfunction. Spaceports run by a crew's Allegiance offer free starship repair.

Starship Repair
Starships are commonly damaged by meteorites and interplanetary debris, and fighting pirates and other combatants.

■ Starship Repair Legality: Unrestricted.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 4.12: Prefab Crew Members

Norbu, Milarepa
Terran Titan Marshals Engineer
Born in the Tibet, a region of the Pan-Asian Collective, Milarepa Norbu's village was situated near a military bunker, built by the Chinese during the Highblood War and later abandoned. He spent much time as a child exploring the bunker and salvaged the abandoned tech, selling it to Triumvirate weapons dealers for profit. When he ran out of salvage, the arms dealers thought the village was holding out on them, and destroyed the village's hydroponics garden. It took months of hard work to repair, and spurred Milarepa to join the Titan Marshals and make sure that no one else was ever targeted by the syndicate again.

Olujimi, Capt. Adaeze
Terran Titan Marshals Command
The Olujimi family was deeply involved in humanitarian outreach programs sponsored by the Assembly Ministry of Diplomacy. When she was only twelve, she saw the devastation of a colony almost annihilated by pirates, and she dedicated her life to justice instead of mercy. She joined the Titan Marshals Academy, and was one of the top members of her graduating class. An affair with her partner on Titan ended badly, leading her to take a position as a patrol ship captain. Capt. Olujimi is fearless and insightful, and several times, under her command, she's managed to capture criminals or crack cases that no other Marshal could have handled.

■ Milarepa Norbu Packages
Terran Titan Marshals/Agricultural Engineering.

■ Capt. Adaeze Olujimi Packages
Terran Titan Marshals/Assembly Ministries Command.

Coordination (4), Focus (3), Intuition (3), Logic (5), Presence (3), Strength (3).

Coordination (3), Focus (4), Intuition (4), Logic (3), Presence (5), Strength (3).

Computers (3) [Hard Reset], Empathy (1), Endurance (1), Engineering (7) [Damage Control Teams], Fabrication (4) [Industrial Efficiency], Intimidation (1), Notice (1), Martial Arts (1), Small Arms (1), Starship Pilot (1), Survivor (2).

Bureaucracy (1), Empathy (4), Intimidation (1), Leadership (3) [Inspirational], Notice (4), Martial Arts (1), Persuasion (1) [Manipulation], Small Arms (1), Starship Pilot (1), Tactics (3) [Starship Tactics].

Knack (Small Arms [Pistols]).


Knack (Intimidation [Veiled Threats]).

Guilty, Hard-Working, Pacifist.


Armored Jumpsuit, Comtrans, Bold Horizons AH6 “Falcon” Semi-Automatic Pistol, Knife, MacroTool, Type-A Space Suit.

Creative, Rational.

Armored Jumpsuit, Comtrans, Bold Horizons AH6 “Falcon” Semi-Automatic Pistol, Knife, MacroTool, Type-A Space Suit.

Concentration (3), Life Force (10).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Concentration (4), Life Force (10).

Armored Jumpsuit, Comtrans, EDS M-77 “Warhawk” Semi-Automatic Pistol, Knife, Medikit, Type-A Space Suit.

Schroeder, Dr. Isolde
Terran StelNav/Titan Marshals Biomedical
Dr. Isolde Schroeder was born on Luna/Sol 3a on March 35th , 184 AC. Born into a StelNav family, she entered the Academy as soon she could. To her parents' chagrin, she ignored her counselors' recommendations, and studied medicine instead of entering command school. After a distinguished career in StelNav, Isolde joined the Titan Marshals, working aboard a patrol ship as investigator and medical examiner. She joined the Titan Marshals along with her thenfiancee, and remained in the service when he contracted a rare alien disease busting a Triumvirate bioweapon smuggling ring, and died in terrible pain despite her best efforts to save him. Heartbroken, Schroeder has thrown herself heart and soul into her work. Her companions find her dedicated, brilliant, but intractable.

Concentration (4), Life Force (10).

Thana Sha
Prelloth Bounty Hunter/Titan Marshals Pilot
Sha of the tribe of Thana grew up on Rakshasa, in the most pathetic slums of the colony. He was taken in by a mercenary, and learned to kill to survive. He parlayed his skills into a career bringing criminals to justice, and took great satisfaction in bringing in the scum that victimized the weak and helpless. His “father,” a Terran named Williard Jenzen, taught him everything, how to shoot, fly starships, and how to find good contracts. In the end, Jenzen was killed by Jalseks mercs, and although Sha's ship was all but ruined assaulting their base, he failed to destroy them, a fact that haunts him still. Sha was offered a lucrative position training Titan Marshals agents, but soon found that he didn't care for it, preferring field work. He transferred to the A.S.N. Everest, where he takes great joy in showing off his piloting skills.

■ Dr. Isolde Schroeder Packages
Terran Titan Marshals/StelNav Biomedical.

Coordination (3), Focus (4), Intuition (3), Logic (5), Presence (3), Strength (3).

Empathy (1), Environmental (3) [Cryo Expert], Intimidation (1), Medicine (6) [Know Where To Hit], Notice (1), Martial Arts (1), Sensors (5) [Diagnostician], Small Arms (2), Starship Gunner (1), Starship Pilot (1).

■ Thana Sha Packages:
Prelloth Titan Marshals/Bounty Hunter Pilot.

Coordination (5), Focus (2), In-tuition (5), Logic (3), Presence (2), Strength (2).

Empathy (1), Groundside Pilot (4) [Juke], Heavy Weapons (1), Intimidation (1), Notice (1), Martial Arts (1), Sensors (1), Small Arms (2), Starship Gunner (3) [Fire Away], Starship Pilot (7) [Practiced Evasion].

Knack (Small Arms [Pistols]).


Compassionate, Honorable, Stubborn.

Extra Sense (Night Vision), Claws *2, Keen Sense (Hearing and Smell).



Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Brash, Jittery, Vengeful.

Outgoing, Paranoid, Stubborn.

Armored Jumpsuit, Comtrans, Omnisun Protection 21-N “Gaebolg” Semi-Automatic Pistol, Knife, Macro-Tool, Type-A Space Suit.

Armored Jumpsuit, Comtrans, Bold Horizons AH6 “Falcon” Semi-Automatic Pistol, Knife, MacroTool, Type-A Space Suit.

Concentration (2), Life Force (10).

Concentration (3), Life Force (10).

Wellstone, Daved
Terran Titan Marshals Security
Daved's father was a police officer on Raiden, and his parents were overjoyed when Daved got the scholarship to attend criminology academy on Terra. They weren't as happy when he fell in love with a woman from Titan, and were less happy to see him move there. Daved is a father and avowed family man, who loves life aboard ship, but is always happy to return to port. He takes his role protecting his shipmates very seriously. His hobby is historical re-enactment, and it's not unusual to see him reading up on the Highblood Wars or even earlier in Terran history, or even planning on taking part in full re-creations of famous battles.

Malkaari Titan Marshals Scientist
Wilerim grew up in a family of priests, in the shadow of the Stone, and he learned the thousands of rituals and centuries of traditions that grew up around the artifact. The scientific stagnation of Malkaari society disturbed him as a hatchling, and he wanted to learn about life for himself. As soon as he was old enough, he enrolled in Consonance University, and graduated with a doctorate in xeno-anthropology. After graduation, Wilerim hitchhiked across Assembly space, stowing away on Free Trader ships and semi-automated corporate gateway barges, until he reached Titan. Through a series of misadventures he was hired as a consultant by Capt. Olujimi to identify Predecessor artifacts taken from a smuggling ring. He was happy to take the job, and accepted the offer to stay on as a permanent member of the crew, even if his new career in interstellar law enforcement sometimes teaches him uncomfortable truths as well as interesting ones.

■ Daved Wellstone Packages
Terran Titan Marshals/Law Enforcement Security.

Coordination (4), Focus (3), Intuition (3), Logic (3), Presence (4), Strength (4).

■ Wilerim Packages
Malkaari Titan Marshals/ Wanderer Scientist.

Coordination (2), Focus (4), Intuition (3), Logic (4), Presence (4), Strength (4).

Bureaucracy (1), Empathy (1), Intimidation (3), Notice (2), Martial Arts (4) [Lightening Strike], Small Arms (6) [Placed Shot], Starship Gunner (4) [Point Defense], Starship Pilot (1).

Computers (3) [Evade Security], Cultures (1), Empathy (1), Intimidation (1), Notice (2), Martial Arts (1), Science (6) [Overlapping Study], Sensors (3) [Fire Scout], Small Arms (1), Starship Pilot (1), Survival (1).

Knack (Empathy [Detect Lies]).


Enviro-Adaptation (Heat), Regeneration.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying


Curious, Lazy, Outgoing.

Armored Jumpsuit, Comtrans, EDS M-12E “Wildfire” Semi-Automatic Pistol, Knife, Macro-Tool, Type-A Space Suit.

Concentration (4), Life Force (10).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 5.0:

I swam with the glee of one who has not been in deep water in an age. My comrades' ship is a good one, strong and fast, but not comfortable. This planet, its name a series of numbers and let ters, though, is a comfortable planet. For the moment, I worried not. I was swimming, I was free. And I was being watched, I felt it in my soul. I made another circuit of the body of water, a warm lake with fish-like things, non-threatening. I caught them as I swam, eating what I would. My circuit complete, I rose up from the water, near the shore. The girl with lilac eyes was watching me. She swears they were not engineered, just a fluke of natural genetics. I believe her, her scent is not that of a liar. “Gary,” she called me, the false name I'd taken when joining their crew. My true name has seven syllables, and soon I will add an eighth, but when I see her I feel as I did when I had but two. “I'd heard your kind were quite good in the water, but I hadn't expected you to look so graceful.” Her pupils were large, her breathing strong and rapid. “Join me,” I suggested, and she needed no encouragement. She had dressed for the water in the odd garment she had shown me earlier, a skin-tight piece that covered genitals and mammary glands, leaving much else exposed. I had never noticed how pleasant human skin looked before I saw her wearing it. She swam close, and I dropped beneath the water, making a quick circle around her, rising up in front of her once again, closer, close enough that her breath was warm on my kelp colored skin. “You wish to lay your eggs,” I said, bluntly. “That's not quite how humans do it,” she responded. She came closer. “I am told this can be awkward when dealing with two so different species.” “So, not so different than with two humans.” “I have been wanting to tell you something for some time,” I said. Though no one else was near, I leaned forward, voice hardly more than a whisper. Seven syllables rolled from my tongue before my lips met hers. - Greg Ulhalrunvanvarlanai, Free Trader


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Planetology encompasses many disciplines: sociology, xenobiology, archeology, linguistics. It's the study of planets, colonies, and their cultures. As Mission Control or as your Mission's Planetologist, you will help gener ate new planets, new alien species, new nations and organizations for your crew to encounter. Will they walk away with new friends or new enemies? That's up to the crew.

Section 5.1: Interstellar Hazards

Interstellar Hazards Overview
When you look out at space, it looks like there's a whole lot of nothing. Which there isn't, in the normal sense; but starships tend to hop between dense clusters of matter, where most of the dangers lie.

most space-faring corporations stick to gateway travel, and known trade routes; there's less chance of an unex pected jackpot, but a lot less chance of unexpectedly being torn apart into quarks, also.

Types of Hazards
Black Holes
A black hole is a point in space where matter has collapsed to a tiny point, and gravity is so intense that even light can't escape. Black holes are the natural end to a super-massive star, and most galaxies have black holes at their center. Black holes are the ultimate “garbage disposal;” they obliterate all matter, com pressing it near-infinitely, and this may be the end for all matter in the universe. Small black holes that aren't near any suns or nebulae are very hard to spot. Larger black holes create a gravitational “lens” effect on the starfield that makes them easier to find. Black holes near a star or nebula pull the matter around them into an “accretion disk” that swirls in, galaxy-like, towards the black hole at the center. These black holes are mercifully easy to detect.

Detecting Hazards
Outside of combat, the Science Department is responsible for analyzing sensor readings and finding space hazards before the ship blunders into them and gets torn into tin foil. Each of the space hazards below has a Detection TD. Mission Control should ask for a Science/Science + Electronics Roll against this TD to detect the hazard with enough time to prepare.

Maneuvering Around Hazards
Most of the time, space hazards can be avoided with just a minor course correction or two. Those aren't the hazards we're concerned about in this section, and there's more to a major course correction than just punching a few buttons. Major course corrections, like combat maneuvers, require the ship to park the rotating crew modules. If the ship attempts any kind of dangerous maneuver with the crew modules still in normal rotation, all Helm/Starship Piloting Rolls suffer a +2 TD Penalty. Groundsiders sometimes underestimate space hazards, thinking that all a ship needs to do is jump into freespace and it's home free; the problem is, free drives don't work in a gravitational field of any magnitude. Once a ship gets too close to a black hole, for example, it's stuck until it can maneuver away. Hundreds of ships are lost every year; they misjump into dangerous areas and are torn apart by pulsars, black holes, and stranger anomalies. This is why

■ Black Holes Detection TD:
Very Hard (1d10) for a black hole with no accretion disk, Average (1d6) for a larger black hole, Very Easy (1d2) for any black hole with an accretion disk.

Maneuver TD:
Depends on how close the ship is to the black hole; suddenly discovering a small, undetected black hole might give a Very Hard (1d10) TD, while a black hole detected at a distance is usually only Average (1d6) to avoid.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Consequences of Failure:
Each time the Helm Department fails its rolls to avoid the black hole, the ship takes 1d4 damage; Shields apply, but Armor Plating doesn't.

bris typically cause 1d6 damage. Asteroids cause considerably more, from 1d8 for a small asteroid, all the way up to 3d8 for a moonlet or planetoid.

Dark Matter
Most of the matter in the universe can't be seen, heard, touched, or felt, but exerts a gravitic effect nevertheless. Large clouds of dark matter aren't generally as dangerous as other space hazards, but can throw a ship off course and right into a gravity well.

■ Dark Matter Detection TD:
Extremely Hard (1d12).

Maneuver TD:
Average (1d6).

Consequences of Failure:
The ship is thrown slightly off course by the gravitic field; this gives any pursuing attackers a -1 TD to hit, as the ship's curved trajectory brings them closer. In addition, if the ship is building a drive charge while drifting forward, the drive charge collapses, and the ship must start over building again.

Debris Field
Starships and space stations get destroyed, far too often, but all of that broken-up metal doesn't just disappear. For that matter, planets break up, forming asteroid fields, that are also dangerous for spacers, though almost always better-charted.
Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

Natural Wormholes
Free drive ships create artificial wormholes, and stabilize them so ships can travel through. Wormholes are a naturally-occurring phenomenon, though; but natural wormholes are incredibly dangerous. There's no telling where a natural wormhole might lead, but there's also no telling how far it might go, or what opportunities might lie on the other side.

■ Debris Field Detection TD:
Average (1d6) for starship debris, Easy (1d4) for colony debris, and Very Easy (1d2) for most asteroids.

Maneuver TD:
Average (1d6), increasing to Hard (1d8) at combat speeds.

■ Natural Wormholes Detection TD:
Nearly Impossible (1d20) for a closed wormhole, Average (1d6) for an open wormhole.

Consequences of Failure:
Collision with small bits of starship debris cause 1d4 damage, while larger chunks of colony de-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Maneuver TD:
Easy (1d4) to avoid, or Hard (1d8) to enter safely.

Maneuver TD:
Average (1d6). With plenty of warning, the best thing to do is just turn away from the flare and run like hell.

Consequences of Failure:
Failure to avoid the wormhole means that the Helm must make a Hard (1d8) roll to enter the wormhole safely. The Helm must make three Rolls to navigate the wormhole safely; failing each of the first two causes 1d10 damage, and failing all three results in the destruction of the ship.

Consequences of Failure:
If the Helm fails to get the ship clear, it takes 1d6 damage per Starship Combat round.

Neutron Bursts
A star that isn't quite massive enough to become a black hole becomes a neutron star. Neutron stars emit awe-inspiring blasts of radiation, powerful enough to destroy any starship in moments. Most neutron stars emit radiation on a regular, predictable basis, but if a ship wanders into an unfamiliar region of space, or something strange disrupts the neutron star, the blast might come unexpectedly.

Drama and Impersonal Dangers
Part of telling a good story is what kind of Mission the players want, and knowing when and what kind of dangers they should face as a result. For example, most players that see their crew as swashbuckling galactic heroes would be upset if they died on their first Assignment because of a navigational error, flying into a black hole. In a Mission that's more gritty and brutal, or more comedic, that wouldn't be a problem. If you really want to use one an Interstellar Hazard but you're afraid that it might mess up your Mission, modify the Consequences of Failure. Make it so, if they fail their rolls, they lose Discipline and Concentration getting away from the Hazard. And if you want a grittier game, make the Hazards more common and deadlier.

■ Neutron Bursts Detection TD:
An uncharted neutron burst is Easy (1d4) to detect.

Maneuver TD:
Hard (1d8) to pull out of the way in time.

Consequences of Failure:
The crew usually has three Starship Combat Rounds to pull away from a neutron star's blast zone, if they're … unfortunate … enough to enter it. If they fail, the ship is completely destroyed.

Solar Flares
Many stars emit solar flares, vast waves of superheated plasma that can annihilate ships dangerous enough to wander too close.

■ Solar Flares Detection TD:
Easy (1d4). This is one of the brightest and most obvious phenomena in known space; solar flares are a lot more common than neutron stars, but there's usually plenty of warning.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Dimensional Anomalies
The strangest, and rarest, kind of space hazards are dimensional anomalies. Under rare circumstances, and for unknown reasons, normal space sometimes breaks down, and portals to other dimensions spontaneously open. Why do dimensional anomalies open? This question haunts the Assembly Ministry of Science. Some theorize that FTL travel causes “rips” in the fabric of space and time, while others postulate that “normal” space-time isn't as stable as previously assumed. Worst of all are StelNav's fear of invasion from another dimension, using weapons with capabilities that are impossible to predict. The Assembly's many corporations salivate at the thought of new technologies based on exotic matter. For all these reasons, dimensional anomalies always bear exploration, but it's almost impossible to be careful enough when dealing with these strange ruptures.

■ Dimensional Anomalies Detection TD:
Extremely Hard (1d12). By their very nature, dimensional anomalies break all the known laws of science, making it hard to use Science to find them.

Maneuver TD:
Extremely Hard (1d12). Most often, ships don't realize they're in an anomaly zone until they're deep inside.

Consequences of Failure:
Unknown. Dimensional anomalies are the stuff of spacer legend, and almost anything could happen. The crew could all suddenly become telepathic, or time could begin moving at different rates in different places, or the crew could devolve into lesser lifeforms (always a disaster). In general, the consequences are a plot device for the Mission Control and the Planetologist to decide, and it may take a Sheer Genius roll on the Scientist's or Engineer's part to help the crew escape.

Section 5.2: Planets and Colonies

Planet Creation Steps
There are billions of planets in the galaxy, and most of them don't have much of interest. The Broken Symmetry planet creation system focuses on interesting worlds, worlds begging for an intrepid starship crew to come explore them. To create a world, choose at least one one Planetary Feature, and at least one Planetary Complication. (1). Decide what you want the planet to be like, and what role it has in the story. Is this a hostile world that crash-landed crew members must survive? A criminal world full of alien scum, to make deals with, or hunt down and imprison? The world's role

(2). Choose a Planet Type (or design a new one), and select any Qualities where there is a choice. (3). Choose Features for the world, based on its Planet Type. A world can have any Features that it meets the qualifications for. Features are the answer to the question, “why would anyone ever want to visit this world?”


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Abstract Planets
This system focuses on (1) the most common types of planets, and (2) making planets that are interesting story backdrops. There are lots of unusual planets in the Assembly, but these are the most common types. Mission Controls and Planetologists should use this system as a quick and easy way to get telling a story, not as a statistically accurate way to model galactic development.
Image courtesy Dhester,

Planetary Classes
There are an infinite variety of worlds, but there are six most common kinds of worlds: Barren Worlds, Gas Giants, Greenhouse Worlds, Ice Worlds, Lifeworlds, and Rockballs. So, how likely are habitable worlds? That's a great question, one that scientists are still answering. Broken Symmetry posits that life is pretty common. Not only is this a fairly reasonable assumption based on what we know, but it's also a lot more interesting than the alternatives. We're telling a story about the most exciting Assignments in your crew's Mission, though, so naturally, we'll tell stories about strange worlds and new friends and enemies, not the story of The EightyFifth Time We Saw An Unimpressive Rockball World With No Artifacts And No Inhabitants. There's no fundamental difference between a planet and a moon, for the purposes of the planet creation system. Indeed, many Lifeworlds, like Prellos, are moons of gas giants.

Barren worlds
Barren worlds have thin traces of atmosphere and water, and might once have supported life. They tend to make good colony worlds, since they still may have water, carbon dioxide, and valuable minerals trapped in their rocks. Examples: Mars.

■ Barren world Atmospheric Composition:
No atmosphere.

Atmospheric Pressure:
No atmosphere.


Surface Temperature:
Frigid or Absolute Zero.

Surface Water:
Arid or Parched.

Raw Materials:
■ ■ ■ ■ Air: None. Metals: Average (1d6). Minerals: Easy (1d4). Organics: Extremely Hard (1d12).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Water: Hard (1d8).

Surface Water:

Gas Giants
Gas giants are huge, swirling masses of hydrogen, helium, and other trace elements. Most of the mass in most star systems, that isn't part of the central star, is part of the gas giants making up that system. Gas giants are popular for refueling stations; they often have high hydrogen contents in their atmospheres that can easily be refined into useful fusion material. Examples: Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus.

Again, gas giants don't really have a “surface,” per se. They may have some water ice crystals, but for all intents and purposes, they're Arid.

Raw Materials:
■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Air: Automatic. Metals: Extremely Hard (1d12). Minerals: Very Hard (1d10). Organics: Very Hard (1d10). Water: Hard (1d8).

Greenhouse Worlds
These worlds have an extremely thick albedo layer, so they retain heat. Over time, the surfaces of these worlds heat to scorching temperatures, hot enough that soft metals will burn instantly. Examples: Venus.

Image courtesy Dhester,

■ Gas Giant Atmospheric Composition:

Atmospheric Pressure:

Very Heavy.

Image courtesy Dhester,

Surface Temperature:
Gas Giants often don't have a “surface temperature” as such; in the easily-accessible outer regions, it's typically Frigid or Absolute Zero.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Greenhouse World Atmospheric Composition:

■ ■

Organics: Easy (1d4). Water: Automatic.

Atmospheric Pressure:

Average to Heavy.

Surface Temperature:
Searing or Boiling.

Surface Water:
Parched or No Water.

Raw Materials:
■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Air: Automatic. Metals: Hard (1d8). Minerals: Average (1d6). Organics: Hard (1d8). Water: None.
Image courtesy Dhester,

Ice Worlds
Ice worlds are composed primarily of solid water, methane, ammonia, or carbon dioxide. These worlds are very popular for colonization, since the chemical compounds needed for life are available in abundance. Examples: Titan.

Lifeworlds are worlds with naturally-evolving organic life. Although exotic life sometimes evolves on other types of world (like the Laramites, who evolved on a gas giant), these worlds are considered the “standard” for carbon-based life. Examples: Terra.

■ Ice World Atmospheric Composition:
No or Tainted atmosphere.

Atmospheric Pressure:
No or Trace atmosphere.


■ Lifeworld Atmospheric Composition:
Breathable, Tainted, or Toxic.

Surface Temperature:

Atmospheric Pressure:
Thick, Thin, or Average.

Surface Water:

Light, Average, or Heavy.

Raw Materials:
■ ■ ■ Air: Very Hard (1d10). Metals: Very Hard (1d10). Minerals: Average (1d6).

Surface Temperature:
Cold, Temperate, or Warm.

Surface Water:
Any except Parched or No Water.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Raw Materials:
■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Air: Automatic. Metals: Average (1d6). Minerals: Easy (1d4). Organics: Automatic (1). Water: Automatic (1).

Surface Temperature:
Absolute zero.

Surface Water:
No water or Parched.

Raw Materials:
■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Air: None. Metals: Easy (1d4). Minerals: Very Easy (1d2). Organics: Hard (1d10). Water: Hard (1d10).

Image courtesy Dhester,

Rockballs are quiet, cold, desolate balls of dust and rock. Mining and refueling colonies are sometimes founded on barren worlds, but they're generally of little interest. Examples: Luna.
Image courtesy Dhester,

Planetary Qualities
Planetary Qualities help describe what a world is like.

■ Rockballs Atmospheric Composition:
No atmosphere.

Atmospheric Pressure:
No atmosphere.

Atmospheric Composition
A world's Atmosphere Level rates how hospitable the world's atmosphere is. The most pleasant worlds have reasonably high oxygen contents; some worlds with lots of carbon dioxide are at least beneficial for plant life. Worlds without much oxygen, or with high degrees of caustic chemicals, are unsuitable except for pressurized colony domes.



Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ atmospheric Composition Effects:
■ ■ Breathable: No modifiers. Tainted: Crew members not wearing environmental suits must make Average (1d6) Strength + Endurance rolls after any strenuous physical activity or suffer -1 to all Attributes for 1 hour. Toxic: Crew members not wearing environmental suits must make Hard (1d8) Strength + Endurance rolls after any strenuous physical activity or suffer 1d4 damage per round. Trace/No Atmosphere: See Atmospheric Pressure. ■

mendations: It's tough for off-worlders to colonize these worlds.
Thick: Without environmental suits, crew must make Average (1d6) Strength + Endurance rolls after any strenuous physical activity or suffer -1 to all Attributes for 1 hour. Average: No modifications. Thin: As with Thick atmosphere. Trace: Crew members not wearing space suits immediately begin to suffocate. Civilization Recommendations: Minor shortages in Raw and Refined Air and Space suits. No Atmosphere: As with Trace atmospheres. Civilization Recommendations: Major shortages in Raw and Refined Air and Space suits.

■ ■ ■

All matter warps space to “pull” other matter towards itself; we call this force gravity. High gravity worlds are less likely to evolve life because primitive biochemicals are less likely to mix when things move sluggishly, while low-gravity worlds are less likely to retain a useful atmosphere.

■ Gravity Effects:

Image courtesy Chris Roll,

Atmospheric Pressure
A world's Atmospheric Pressure rates how thick or thin the atmosphere of the world is. If the atmosphere is too thick, living things will find it oppressive to breathe, even if the atmospheric composition is agreeable. If the atmosphere is too thin, most sentients will gasp and wheeze as if choking, if they can breathe at all, and may fall unconscious in minutes.

Extremely Heavy (3.1+ Gs): Crew members suffer a -6 Strength penalty for the purposes of determining mass they can carry. If reduced to 0 or negative, the crew member cannot move, and suffers 1d4 damage per minute until removed from the environment Civilization Recommendations: It's tough for offworlders to colonize these worlds. Very Heavy (2 to 3 Gs): -4 Strength penalty for the purposes of determining mass they can carry. If reduced to 0 or negative, crew members cannot move, and suffer 1 damage per 10 minutes until removed from the environment. Heavy (1.3 to 2.0 Gs): -2 Strength penalty for the purposes of determining mass they can carry, to a minimum of 1.

■ atmospheric Pressure Effects:
■ Crushing: Crew members without space suits suffer 1 damage per round. Civilization Recom-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ ■

Average (0.8 to 1.2 Gs): No modifications. Light (0.41 to 0.6 Gs): +2 Strength bonus for the purposes of determining mass they can carry, but suffer a -1 penalty to Coordination (minimum 1). Very Light (0.21 to 0.4 Gs): +4 Strength bonus for the purposes of determining mass they can carry, but suffer a -2 penalty to Coordination. If reduced to 0 or negative Coordination, the crew member bounces harmlessly around when they try to walk, taking 1d4 damage and ending up in a random spot, or hurtling off into space if EVA. No Gravity (> 0.2 Gs): +6 Strength bonus for determining mass they can carry, but suffer a -3 penalty to Coordination. If reduced to 0, same as above, but damage is 1d6

■ Surface Temperature Effects:
■ Boiling: Crew members not wearing space suits suffer 1d4 damage per round.

Civilization Recommendations: It's almost impossible to settle these worlds.
■ Searing: Crew members not wearing space suits suffer 1 damage per round.

Civilization Recommendations: It's tough for offworlders to colonize these worlds, but abundant resources might make it worthwhile.
■ Hot: Most settlements are near the poles, where it's significantly cooler. Crew members not wearing environmental suits must make Average (1d6) Strength + Endurance rolls every minute or suffer -1 to all Attributes for 1 hour, cumulative. Temperate: Most of this planet is comfortable for habitation. No modifiers. Cold: Most settlements are in the equatorial region, which receives the most sunlight. Crew members not wearing environmental suits must make Average (1d6) Strength + Endurance rolls every minute or suffer -1 to all Attributes for 1 hour, cumulative. Frigid: Crew members not wearing environmental suits suffer 1 damage per round. Civilization Recommendations: Minor shortages in environmental suits and space suits. Absolute Zero: Crew members not wearing space suits suffer 1d4 damage per round. Civilization Recommendations: Major shortages in space suits.

Mass vs. Weight
Weight varies with the “pull” of the local gravity, while mass remains constant. An object's inertia depends on its mass, not on its weight. Technically, in 0 G, a crew member with 1 Level of Strength could push a Dreadnought away from a space station, but it would move both bodies, and take a long time to build up momentum.

Surface Temperature
Some worlds are warm enough to boil lead in seconds, while others are open to deep space vacuum. Space colonists hope to find worlds somewhere between these extremes, of course, ideally somewhere with liquid water. In general spacer parlance, “surface temperature” generally refers to a world's atmospheric temperature specifically.

Surface Water
Most “life as we know it” requires liquid water; only a few known lifeforms can survive without it. Every star has a “Goldilocks Zone;” planets that fall within this area are warm enough to have liquid water, but not so warm that any oceans and atmosphere boil away into space.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Surface Water Effects:
■ Ocean World: This world is covered with H2O. Civilization Recommendations: It's tough for offworlders to colonize these worlds. Islands: This world is dotted with land, rising from vast oceans and seas. Continents: Several major continents, separated by seas and oceans. No modifications. Arid: Very little rainfall, if any; broad tropical regions, several deserts. Civilization Recommendations: Minor shortages in Raw and Refined Water. Parched: Polar regions are probably the only comfortable areas, even for native life.

Abandoned World
Recommended: None. Disallowed: None. This world had potential; maybe it can support most lifeforms without special suits, maybe it has valuable resources, or maybe it's just placed in an advantageous spot. And we know that it was inhabited once. So where is everybody? This can go hand-in-hand with Dangerous Ruins, but in this case, the interesting thing isn't the danger of the ruins themselves, or the junk left behind, it's the fact of the abandonment.

■ ■ ■

■ Abandoned World Solutions:
■ Reasons for Abandonment: Good reasons for a world to be abandoned include disease (which might still be dangerous), radiation storms, terrorist threats, or dangerous psionic creatures. I've Got A Bad Feeling … : Exploring an abandoned world should be a very creepy experience. Mission Control should be sure to point out how everything looks functional.

Civilization Recommendations: Major shortages in Raw and Refined Water.
■ No Water: “Normal” life cannot evolve on this world; unpopular for colonization unless there are decent mineral resources. Civilization Recommendations: Great shortages in Raw and Refined Water. ■

Raw Materials
Crews arriving at a new planet look for raw materials that colonists could use to build a new civilization. The best worlds have an abundance of air, water, and organic compounds. Even the coldest, deadest rockball might be worthwhile because of its location, but it will never thrive without valuable resources of its own. The ratings listed (Air, Water, Organics, etc.) list the TD for a starship crew to locate a given raw material on a planet with a Science/Sensors + Electronics roll. On a Mishap, the planet doesn't have any of the listed raw material. A Lifeworld could have no Organics, for example, if all the life on the world were based on silicon.

Criminal Cartels
Recommended: None. Disallowed: None. This world has a thriving criminal underworld, that preys on the weak and exploits the desperate. The local authorities struggle to stop them, because of a lack of manpower and tools; an intrepid spacer crew, however, just might be able to turn the tide.

■ Criminal Cartel Steps/solutions:
■ Making Friends or Enemies: On worlds with a substantial organized crime presence, the crew has to decide quickly who they want to deal with, if anyone. Sometimes dealing with criminals is pretty much unavoidable, and befriending one cartel makes an enemy out of all the others.

Planetary Puzzles
Planetary Puzzles are the stuff that spacers do on this world, outside of their ship. With the whole galaxy to choose from, why is this world memorable?


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Just This One Little Favor … : Once you've got – or want – criminal friends, it's pretty tough to stay out of their dealings. An otherwise lawabiding crew might be persuaded or coerced into taking part in a heist just to prove their friendship and loyalty. Taking Down the Ringleaders: Spacers might work with the Titan Marshals, or StelNav, or local groups, to take down the criminals. Key personnel and facilities will need to be taken out to remove the criminals from power. This may prove very challenging.

Image courtesy Pixeldeluxe,

Endless War Dangerous Ruins
Recommended: Infiltration (with Science Teams option). Disallowed: None. Once, long ago, this world had life; now there's nothing. But this innocuous-looking world is actually protected by hidden defensive systems. Forgotten Traps may consist of anything from a few old, rusting Meks, to a fully automated ship-to-surface defense system. For old-school fantasy gamers, this is a chance to include an old-fashioned “dungeon crawl,” lasers and aliens instead of swords and elves. Recommended: First Contact. Disallowed: None. This world has one or more civilizations, and they're locked in wars against one another. Faced with locals that hate each other, all of whom want the spacers' goods and services, it's almost impossible not to get drawn into petty local brawls.

■ endless War Steps/solutions:
■ Diplomacy: There's usually a peaceful solution that no one's thought of, or an unpalatable solution that's nonetheless better than all-out war. Getting the enemies to the negotiation table is the hardest part. Commando Raid: If the crew can capture the enemy leader, or destroy their central base or primary weapon, they might end the battle in a few quick missions.

■ Dangerous Ruins Steps/solutions:
■ Science Team: Often, there's already an excavation crew on the world, with scientists in the midst of analyzing the ruins. Anywhere there are many competitive researchers, suspicions and jealousies will flare, and the science team itself might be infiltrated by outside forces, especially in the case of promising Predecessor ruins. Ancient Artifacts: The crew might want to search the ruins for Predecessor artifacts. This is the raison d'etre for Children of the Firmament crews. Long-Forgotten Traps: Before the crew can get to the artifacts, they have to face the guardians

First Contact
Recommended: None. Disallowed: None. One of the most thrilling experiences in a spacer's career is meeting a new alien species; often, it ends up a comedy of embarrassing blunders, and sometimes it ends as a tragedy.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ First Contact Steps/solutions:
■ Cracking the Code: The first hard part is learning one another's language. This will require several long, consecutive Logic + Science rolls, with a high TD but substantial bonuses if the translator already speaks several languages. Lost Colony: Maybe they're not so alien, at least, on the surface. Sometimes spacers meet a colony of their own species, far away from home. Maybe their freeship mis-jumped, or maybe they came here on genships. Most of the time, the Lost Colony developed in a radically different direction from the rest of the culture. Sometimes, as with the Terran Highbloods, the Lost Worlds' very culture is violent and toxic. New Friends … Or Enemies: Once you can talk, then it's time to learn and share … while avoiding any grave misunderstandings.

take too many possessions instead of saving room for other refugees, or even take control of the ship themselves.

Impending Catastrophe
Recommended: None. Disallowed: Abandoned World. Something terrible is about to happen, an “act of the gods” that is beyond the locals' ability to cope. Earthquakes, tsunamis, solar flares, plagues, or other disasters will cause suffering among the population, but the spacers can help, with their ship, technology, and skills.

Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

■ Impending Catastrophe Steps/solutions:
■ Put Out The Fires: There are all different kinds of catastrophes, and some, the crew can help with. Plagues can be cured, fires put out, and storms weathered. The crew can help with all of these situations, for pay or as a favor to locals. Get Them To Safety: Some catastrophes are beyond the crew's control. Volcanic activity, massive meteor showers, and solar flares can't be stopped, and the crew just needs to help evacuate. This can lead to problems, as people try to stow aboard, bribe the crew for an evac seat,

Iron-Fisted Tyranny
Recommended: None. Disallowed: Abandoned World. This world is crushed beneath the heel of a merciless despot, that stands for law and order above freedom and reason. On these worlds, the tax rates are unreasonable, the people have no say in government, and common needs like food and housing are unavailable. This is the perfect world for the Triumvirate to smuggle in weapons and mercenaries to make some credits, and a good place for the Uprising to gain a foothold in its war against the Assembly.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Iron-Fisted Tyranny Steps/solutions:
■ Smuggling: Tyrannies typically outlaw anything dangerous to their regime, like guns, and maintain control over other valuable resources, like medikits. Any of these things could fetch a high price for a smuggler. Operation Overthrow: The spacers may even become involved in the rebellion itself. There are probably several key locations and individuals that'd have to be taken out for the government to fall, and the spacers, with their experience and unexpected expertise, would be perfect for the job. Even if the crew aren't idealists, this could lead to a very profitable relationship with the locals.

Find a Cure: This is one place where the ship's Biomedical can shine. Most diseases require a minimum of a week to find a cure, and the TD is +2 higher than the Task Difficulty to resist infection.

Scientific Wonders
Space teems with uncharted strangeness, from unusual new lifeforms to strange interstellar anomalies, and Scientists excel at dealing with these sorts of phenomena. Examples of scientific wonders include Mind Shards, and certain examples of Predecessor technology.

■ Scientific Wonders Steps/Solutions:
■ Dangerous Phenomena: A scientific curiosity that isn't a real threat is interesting, but isn't really worth spending a lot of time on in the game (unless the players are really into science, which can happen.) Most of the time, the strangeness that involves the entire crew could kill them all; maybe a weird energy field disables the ship's free drive or ZPG, or maybe it causes rapid cellular decay or other temporal or biological effects. Gather and Analyze Data: The first step to fixing the problem is gathering information. This can present special dangers, but any crew member can potentially help, as long as they can make a Logic + Sensors Skill roll, or in some cases, head into a dangerous area and report. Mission Control should decide on 3-5 locations to be scanned or reported on, all within the scope of the dangerous effect. Cope With Weird Stuff: The crew still has to cope with the strange effects while gathering data. If local colonists are turned into murderous drones, the crew has to neutralize them; if the ship is out of power, the crew has to explore the field without the use of internal systems, while the air grows stale and the bulkheads start to chill. Treatment: Once enough data is gathered, the ship's Scientist and/or Biomedical can make

Recommended: None. Disallowed: Abandoned World. This world suffers under a horrible disease, that causes pain and death to its sufferers. Most diseases only infect one or two species, but a few can affect multiple peoples. The so-called “Xenocide Plague” was created by an extremist Prelloth separatist group, and infected Terrans, Malkaari, and Jalseks equally, causing painful death due to respiratory failure.

■ Pandemic Steps/solutions:
■ Isolate the Cause: In order to find a cure, it's important to find samples of the disease to analyze. This usually means heading into areas filled with victims, some of whom may be maddened with pain. Cope with the Symptoms: Most diseases require a TD Average (1d6) to Very Hard (1d10) Strength + Endurance roll to resist the effects. Most severe diseases cause their victims to sicken and die (suffer -1 to all Attributes each 1d3 days, until dead). Some have weirder effects, such as uncontrollable rage, loss of control of psionic powers, or “zombification.”


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

some rolls to come up with a solution. Often, the solution requires some changes to the ship that the Engineer or other crew can help with, or vaccinations that others can administer. By this time, the effect may have become more widespread, so there may be added urgency by this point.

duces the overall expertise in the governing system. Titan is dotted with colonial domes, and one Consul is chosen from each dome. Titan spaceport is a modern and up-to-date facility, and the spaceport is, ironically, one of the most peaceful and orderly places on the moon, as it's so important to everyone.

■ Titan/sol 6f (Planet) planet Class:
Ice World.

Prefab Planets
There are dozens of inhabited worlds in the Assembly, but using this simple system, you can generate a backdrop suitable for most Assignments quickly and easily.

Atmospheric Composition:
Tainted atmosphere.

Atmospheric Pressure:
Trace atmosphere.


Titan/Sol 6f
Titan is the sixth-largest moon of the ringed gas giant Saturn, in the Sol star system, the native system of Terrans. Titan is a ball of frozen ammonia, with traces of atmosphere. The world was populated by Terran genships after the Highblood War, and the colonists retain some of their suspicious nature retained from that holocaust. Titan is a well-known spaceport colony in the outer Sol system, and is also well-known as a hub for organized crime. The Titan Marshals work tirelessly here to maintain some form of peace and law, and although moderately successful, they have their manipulative appendages full. The Titan Consulate is ruled by lottery-chosen Consuls, a system that reduces corruption but also re-


Surface Temperature:


planetary Puzzles:
Criminal Cartels (the Triumvirate, dozens of others); Endless War (between cartels).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 5.3: Civilizations

Civilizations Overview
Sentient lifeforms build civilizations, large collections of sentients that share a culture, history, government, and population. The most important things for a spacer to know about a given civilization are the form of Governance used, any Trade shortages or surpluses, and how strict the local laws are. There are innumerable other colorful details, but these things are most important.

but with radical offshoot colonies with very different practices.

These civilizations have no formal rules, allowing individuals to decide what's right and what isn't. Anarchy can only be kept by a well-armed and fiercely independent populace, in a safe environment where large-scale public projects aren't needed for the people to thrive. Importance: An Anarchy is a dangerous place, and although anything could be bought or sold here, there's precious little safety. Ground parties are encouraged to go armed and take turns at watch while resting, as if they were in the wilderness. Examples: Titan is an Anarchy in practice, if not literally. The Slaver States are even more lawless and disorganized.

Each civilization must pass laws for its people in some way. There are many more kinds of governments than those listed here. Governments often transform into other types, or are tempered with other flavors of governance, and a few examples of how this can happen are listed below. Governments exist to pass laws to keep their people safe internally, raise a military to keep the people safe externally, and organize public works projects to assist the people. Additional duties ascribed to government (redistribution of wealth, protection of success, enforcing cultural unity) say as much about that form of government than they do about governments in general. Most governments aren't “pure;” usually, they're a combination of two or more forms of government, hoping to leaven one form's strengths with another's, and diluting the weaknesses of both. Governments aren't static, either; a Democracy can metamorph into a Socialism or a Theocracy by the will of the people, and a Feudalism can metamorphose into a Technocracy with the rise of a skilled caste of civil servants, or into Theocracy as a priestly caste begins to withhold their blessing and withdraw the “Mandate of Heaven” or “divine right of kings.” Some species, like the Laramites, have one monolithic government, and most of their worlds are pretty similar in nature. Other species, like Terrans, are incredibly diverse, and even their homeworld seems to be made up of dozens of mini-civilizations. Most species are somewhere in the middle, with a primary tendency or two towards specific forms of governance,

Large corporations make all of the decisions in this civilization, according to market and production needs. In a corporatocracy, the people vote with their dollars, and large corporations, or trade groups and unions, make all of the big policy decisions. Importance: Corporatocracies are nothing if not ordered and structured, in a narrow way. Most of the laws will have to do with trade, and there are probably elaborate laws about who can sell what, when, where, and to whom. Examples: Terra's North American Corporate States are a good example of a Corporatocracy.

These civilizations allow the people to elect their rulers, or representatives to a ruling council. In some democracies, the people elect their rulers directly, while in others, representatives from a geographic area or population are sent to help make decisions. Importance: Democracies encourage a certain individuality, since everyone's opinion counts; nevertheless, this is a “tyranny of the majority,” and local laws


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

depend largely on what the people think is right. That is, the people, or anyone who can buy or influence their votes with propaganda. Examples: The Terrans' Lunar Free States are a Democracy. The Assembly enjoys (or suffers from) a watered-down, hegemonic form of democracy as well.

An entitled caste of armed, hereditary rulers hold powers in this civilization. The nobles hold power based on their control of land and its resources, and higher nobles reward those of lower caste with grants of valuable land. Importance: Cozying up to the ruling caste is the best way to “grease the wheels” for traders hoping to make it good on a Feudal world. That said, the common folk are often the ones that really know what's going on. Examples: There aren't many Feudal worlds in the Assembly.

In these civilizations, all means of production are held by the state, for the good of the people, and all the resulting profit is shared. The central problem of socialism is the decision-making process about how to control production. Importance: Socialistic civilizations vary wildly. They can be open and cooperative, very pleasant to trade with, or they can be centrally-controlled nightmares of cultural control and ideological. Examples: Terra's Pan-Asian Collective is a Socialism.

Technocratic civilizations are ruled by groups of chosen specialists, who must earn a place in the bureaucracy with tests and training. Importance: For the crew to get anything they need, they'll need at least one member with a decent Bureaucracy Skill. The civilization is ruled by paperwork. Examples: The Terrans' Raiden Meritocracy, at Proxima Centauri, is a highly militaristic Technocracy.

Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

In a fascist society, all people are united around one leader and one ideal, usually national superiority. Fascisms are strong, united towards a common goal, but dangerous to anyone who doesn't follow the party line, and relatively inflexible. Importance: It's dangerous in any fascist society to take any action against the ruling elite, who basically run the show. A keen knowledge of local mores and expectations is important on this world, since there are no expectations of objectivity or fairness. Examples: Fascism is unpopular in the Assembly, but several of the Slaver States are organized along fascist lines.

Faith rules supreme on this world, and all of the people are its adherents. The rulers are also religious leaders, and the laws they proclaim are said to be the words of the prophets, or the gods themselves. Examples: The South American Bastion on Terra is a Theocracy, as are the Martian colonies, ruled by the Flag of Joy.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Technology is the civilization's development in energy production, architecture, space travel, defense, medicine, and so on. A high-tech world generally has better facilities for starship crews, while low-tech worlds aren't as well-equipped. Trading with a low-tech world can reap massive rewards, though, and very low-tech worlds may see energy weapons as proof of godhood. There are many markers for a civilization's technological progress, and as technology advances, so too does the entire species develop culturally and intellectually. At low levels of development, most of the peoples' time is spent protecting themselves from predators and raising food for the winter. The people don't have time to study their world, so they're filled with superstition about the natural world, and paranoia about outsiders. At higher levels of technology, reading and writing become common, and people have time to develop complex theories about the world. As cultures clash and ideas spread, a species' ideas about the world get more complex, and they're more welcoming to outsiders. Eventually, the species discovers the genetic code and cybernetics, and spreads off its homeworld into the vastness of space. Cultures fragment and individuals re-invent themselves with just some time and money. Encountering new species leads to wars, but eventually to a new infusion of ideas, and a greater identification with all of life itself. Most of the Assembly is at Fusion Age tech, with pockets of Zero-Point Age. A few alien cultures, rarely encountered, are believed to possess Antimatter Age technology.

erant then others. Some are too weak to stop their citizens from slavery, drugs, and obtaining deadly weaponry, while most civilizations place strictures on these things.

■ Strictness Universal slavery:
This world is ruthlessly ruled by a powerful elite, and no one has any rights.

Most of these worlds are rigidly stratified, and the common people have few, if any, rights. Trade is tolerated where necessary, but outsiders are looked on with suspicion.

Peace and order are paramount on this world, above any consideration of rights or due process.

This world's government is focused on maintaining justice and guaranteeing civil rights.

The government on this world only maintains infrastructure and defense; the free market decides most problems of trade.

The government, if any, is weak-willed and ineffectual on this world.

A world's Strictness can vary up or down by 1 Level based on the current regime and internal and external factors. For example, a Moderate world might become Strict during wartime. The table below lists the Task Difficulty of finding and purchasing items.

Civilizations all have behavioral expectations of their members, but some are more permissive and tol-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Unrestricted Anarchy Permissive Moderate Strict Tyrannical Universal Slavery
Automatic Automatic Very Easy (1d2) Easy (1d4) Average (1d6) Hard (1d8)

Automatic Very Easy (1d2) Easy (1d4) Average (1d6) Hard (1d8)

Very Easy (1d2) Easy (1d4) Average (1d6) Hard (1d8) Very Hard (1d10)

Easy (1d4) Average (1d6) Hard (1d8) Very Hard (1d10) Extremely Hard (1d12) Nearly Impossible (1d20)

Average (1d6) Hard (1d8) Very Hard (1d10) Extremely Hard (1d12) Nearly Impossible (1d20) Impossible (1d100)

Very Hard (1d10) Extremely Hard (1d12)

Trade needs and offerings are a primary importance to spacers, especially Free Traders. Imports and Exports are broken into different categories and given a modifier score, based on the price they may bring on this world. For more detail, see the Envoy chapter.

Traditions are hard to break, though, and the criminal syndicate called the Triumvirate all but runs Titan behind the scenes. The rebellious movement called The Uprising finds it easy to operate in this seedy underbelly of the Assembly as well. Only the Titan Marshals manage to keep the people free and safe day by day, but some Marshals say that this is because they serve a useful purpose, and if it were ever to come to open war, Titan would become a true anarchy.

Prefab Civilizations
Titan Consulate
The Titan Consulate is a mess. Titans was colonized long ago by Terran genships, but the colonization effort, begun at the end of the Highblood Wars, was poorly planned. The colonists arrived with limited resources, and infighting and corruption began almost immediately for rations of food paste and holovids. By the time the Découverte Corp. invented free drive and Earth Terrans made regular contact with their outer-world cousins, they found a world overrun with cronyism and graft. An alliance of nations supported a coup on Titan and worked together to establish the Titan Consulate, and its invaluable law enforcement organ, the Titan Marshals. More importantly, regular trade with Titan improved the standard of living immensely, enabling the people to live free, at least in part, of criminals and pirates.

■ Titan (Civilization) Government:
Technically a Democracy, but in practice, Anarchy.

Fusion Age.

Permissive around the starport, Anarchy most other places.

■ ■ Shortages: Medicines (Major), Personal weapons (Minor), Air (Minor), Space Suits (Minor). Surpluses: Space Rations (Minor), Organics (Minor), Rec Drugs (Minor).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 5.4: Space Stations
Space stations are habitations floating in the stellar or interstellar void, convenient stopping points for ships of all sizes. Gravity holds space stations in place, usually the orbit of a star, planet, or moon. Often they're “anchored” at one of the Lagrange points in a star system, gravitationally neutral locations where the station doesn't need to expend energy to remain in place. Space stations range from small, dozen-being communications stations hardly larger than a freighter, to immense, planetoid-sized monstrosities larger than any dreadnought.

Types of Stations
There are almost as many different kinds of space stations as there are starships, and each kind is unique.

Criminal Bases
Criminals sometimes repurpose older stations for use organizing pirate fleets, or to transfer illegal goods to smuggling ships. Criminal mercenary bands also operate out of hidden and forgotten space stations.

The most important stations are the gateways, permanent wormholes that act as “jump point” or interstellar shortcuts. As with free drive, a spacecraft can move into a gateway in one system and instantly exit a gateway dozens of light-years away. Gateways are immensely expensive to construct, so gateways usually only link together major star systems.

Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

Refugee Bases
Refugee bases are among the saddest and most desperate space stations possible. Most of them are “ramshackle” stations, fused together from mismatched bits of starships, and barely kept together with hard work. Refugee bases are always short of food and air and parts, and often become pirate bases when they can't get what they need legally.

Military Bases
Military bases provide an administrative center for sector defense. They provide fuel and ammunition for starships, facilities for rest and recreation. Military bases are well-armed and well-protected, and are primary targets for invading fleets. They're pretty tough to hide, though, so rebel movements like the Uprising don't maintain many; StelNav has dozens, maybe hun dreds.

Space Docks
Space docks are construction and repair points for starships. Operated by major shipbuilding corporations like Iskorish Shipgardens, space docks carry a wide variety of ship systems and parts, and can often offer them at a decent price. Tug ships hover around the space docks, to retrieve broken and damaged vessels to retrieve and repair.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Trade Hubs
Starships come together at trade hubs to exchange goods picked up across the galaxy. Trade hubs offer many kinds of goods at decent prices, and are a decent place to find illegal goods as well.

Prefab Space Stations
Adonis Station
Adonis Station is the headquarters of the Triumvirate. Home to over 3,000 sentients of a variety of species, Adonis Station is located in the sixth orbital of Lakshmi, near the agricultural world Shiva. Adonis Station was originally commissioned as a trade hub and refueling station, and built by the Terran Découverte Corp. in 175 AC. The station was built for the now-defunct Shining Harmony Group, which was purchased by the Triumvirate shell corporation, the Lightbringer Consortium, in 212 AC. Since then, Adonis Station has become the base of operations for all Triumvirate activity, and no less than three Triumvirate pirate cruisers patrol space near the station at any time.

Space Station Missions
TV series like Deep Space Nine and Babylon Five prove that you don't have to have a starship to have interesting adventures in space. A space station, located in an interesting location, can make for a fascinating Mission. A space station Mission will focus more on the inhabitants, their politics and intrigues, and the fate of the surrounding star systems, than it will on meeting new species and exploring strange places. Any Allegiance could make for a great space station Mission, although StelNav, the Triumvirate, and the Free Traders are probably the best choices. As for the stats on a space station, use the custom starship Class creation rules to build the station. Stations can have a Hull Size as low as 4, but most will have a Hull Size of 6 or higher. At this size, though, the station cannot change locations under its own power … when things get bad, the station's crew has no choice but to call for help, or to fight!

Commission Date: 175 AC. Location: Sixth orbital of Lakshmi system. Crew:
■ Command: Darven Heddam, male Terran Triumvirate / Free Traders Commander. Darvin commanded a succession of Free Trader ships before being imprisoned for killing a dockmaster that extorted money from his ship. In prison he made contact with the Triumvirate, and became a trusted ship captain fro them, eventually commanding their headquarters station close to retirement. ■ Enviromedical: Damaaraod, female Malkaari Triumvirate / Spiritual Biomedical. Damaaraod has both intense training and psionic gifts that allow her to heal, gifts that caused the Triumvirate to bring their dying to her order's hidden temple time and again. Eventually they persuaded her to leave, and here she honors her vows to nurture all life, even if that life has questionable goals at times. ■ Engineer: Thani Pash, male Prelloth Triumvirate / Survivor Engineer. Thani's colony failed, and he grew up scavenging for parts to keep his community's generator and water purification system working. He is a master at quick and efficient repairs, making him invaluable to any pirate ship, and he worked his way up through the Triumvirate to maintain their most important space station. ■ Pilot: TE-106, an Infinitech E-6 “Vaarim”-class Triumvirate GuardMek. Commissioned as a gunship pilot to guard the space around Adonis Station, TE-106 now acts as flight officer and


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

docking supervisor for the station. Organic officers that object to taking instructions from a machine are often given an earful in each of the sixteen languages TE-106 is programmed to speak fluently. ■ Science: Jana Shen, female Terran Triumvirate / Alter Scientist. Jana has lived for almost a hundred years with constant genetic tinkering and enhancements, and doesn't look a day over thirty. Her experiments have created dozens of drugs and weapons for the Triumvirate, and she can usually be found in her lab, reading a dozen newsfeeds while conducting a dozen experiments and supervising with a dozen junior researchers. ■ Tactical: Jorven K'Tael, Triumvirate / Military Security. Jorven is an alien of unknown species and gender. It's tall and heavy-set, with thick beige-orange skin, stiff, bristly hair, a wide mouth with flat, blunt teeth, and four tiny, dark eyes. Jorven commands a large, well-equipped security forces that constantly patrols Adonis station, ready for trouble, and constantly looking out for law enforcement personnel worming their way in. Jorven himself acts loud and gruff, but is a lot smarter than most sentients give him credit for.

■ Adonis Station Packages:
Triumvirate Découverte Corp. Space Station Outpost.

Hull Size 7 Systems:
Armaments (5), Cargo Bay (4), Drones (4), Electronics (5), Engines (0), Life Support (6), Maneuver Jets (0).

Command (3), Engineering (3), Enviromedical (3), Helm (3), Science (3), Tactical (4).

Armory, Comfortable, Famous Ship, Hangar, Reinforced Hull, Tractor Beam.

Cannot Land, Finicky System [FTL] *3.

■ ■ ■
2 x Titan Arms “Red Rage” LAE-2 Missile Rack (Turret). 2 x EDS “Ravager” MSS-125X Railgun Battery (Turret). 1 x EDS “Nightmare” MSS-130 Rail Cannon (Fore). Discipline (3), Hull Integrity (10), Hull Plating (1), Shields (2), Thrust (1).



Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 5.5: Fabricating Goods
Technology requires resources to craft into components for more machines. Components wear out and ma chines break down over time. The Goods system entails a “mini-game” where crew members can gather materi als, produce goods, trade for goods, and enhance goods to trade. The Goods system gives spacers something to do other than dash about and fight; most spacers' and groundsiders' lives are tied up in production and economics, af ter all, not warfare.

This system is meant to be a fairly simple industrial simulator. Math Trigger Warning: There are a few calculations, but nothing you can't handle with a pocket calculator. With this system, the crew can do more than just buy cargo and haul it across the Assembly; they can manufacture new items from raw materials using their ship's fabrication units, becoming an economic force themselves. This system is optional, but can lead to all kinds of fun. The crew can found a new corporation or colony using this system, which can even lead to creating their own Allegiance!

Once the materials have been located, the ship's Engineering Department typically dispatches the ship's Drones to “mine” for minerals, metals, air, and organics. The process is quick, but during this time, repairs on the ship grind to a halt. Finally, the ship's nanotech fabrication units refine the Raw Materials and re-assemble them on a molecular level, forming them into much-needed components. After this, all that remains to do is construct the finished product.

There are three steps in the fabrication process: (1). Gather Raw Materials. (2). Roll Logic + Fabrication vs. Component TD to make Components. (3). Make Logic + Engineering rolls against the device's Construction TD, set by its Complexity, to assemble devices Components. Large devices like starship hulls may need a huge number of Components to assemble. With other, smaller devices, you may be able to make many devices from the Components in just a few units of Raw Materials.

Requirements for Fabrication
In order to fabricate Components, you really need an abundant supply of Raw Materials to work with. A ship's Science Department will typically use its Sensors systems to locate worlds with valuable materials to process.
Image courtesy Victor Habbick,


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Raw Materials
There are five main types of materials that spacers look for when scouting for worlds: Air, Metals, Minerals, Organics, and Water. The nanotech swarm in a fabricator can be programmed to reconfigure the molecules in these Raw Materials into a variety of useful devices. Each successful resource gathering roll renders one “unit” of Raw Materials, which is roughly (SF * 50 kg) or mass. There are 20 of these units in a metric ton.

Fabrication, against the Complexity Level to complete the Components. Raw Materials must be refined before they can be used for a specific purpose. The typical formula to find out how much of a Component can be produced is:

((Total mass of required Components) / (Mass of finished Device)) – 1 per Complexity.

Many worlds have an atmosphere, but many are composed of ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide, or other deadly gasses. These are valuable components for fabricating a variety of substances; in particular, hydrogen is useful as fusion fuel. Raw Value: 0.1 credit/unit, or 2 credits/ton.

Example: A Type-A Space Suit requires 2 Metals and 1 Mineral, and is Average Complexity. Type-A space suits weight 13 kg. Therefore, a spacer with the correct Raw Materials can produce (50 *2 = 100) / (13 *2) = 3 Type-A space suits.
Some Devices have a special production listing, as well. For example, a starship hull requires a lot more Components than most other things. You can always add more Components to the Fabrication system, also. The formula to find the Component Value is:

Metals are required for manufacturing most technological devices, particularly weapons and starships. Raw Value: 0.3 credit/unit, or 6 credits/ton.

Minerals are important for creating lasing crystals, ceramics, glass, and circuit boards. Raw Value: 0.1 credit/unit, or 2 credits/ton.

Technically, organic chemicals are simply chemicals that include carbon. In this context, “organics” means the byproducts of living things. Organics are essential for producing food and medicine. Raw Value: 0.2 credits/unit, or 4 credits/ton.

Component Value = (Cost per unit of all Required Raw Materials) * 10 + (die type of Component TD).

The building block of all life, water is also valuable in many devices. Raw Value: 0.1 credit/unit, or 2 credits/ton.

Example: Food Ingredients require the following Raw Materials: 1 Air (0.1 credits/unit), 1 Organics (0.2 credits/unit), and 1 Water (0.1 credits/unit), for a total of 0.4 credits/unit. Multiplied by 10, this comes to 4 credits/unit. Food Ingredients are Easy (1d4) to produce, so the die type is 4. Therefore, Food Ingredients cost (4 + 4 = ) 8 credits per unit.

Components are the working bits and pieces that make up Devices. In the Assembly, all equipment is designed for modularity, and nanotech and advanced fabrication processes make it easy to create Components that are useful for a variety of things. Each type of Component has a Complexity Level. The engineer must make a Skill roll, usually Logic +

Apparel Components
Component TD: Very Easy (1d2). Requirements: 2 Organics. Value: 6 credits. Can Build: 30 Jumpsuits (Extremely Simple).

ConsortMek Components
Component TD: Hard (1d8). Requirements: 2 Metals, 1 Mineral, 1 Organic. Value: 17 credits.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Can Build: ConsortMek (Very Complex). ConsortMeks mass roughly 80 kg.

Mek Components
Component TD: Average (1d6). Requirements: 2 Metals, 1 Mineral. Value: 13 credits. Can Build: All Complex. Meks mass roughly 110 kg.

Conventional Armor Components
Component TD: Average (1d6). Requirements: 2 Metals, 1 Mineral. Value: 13 credits. Can Build: Ablative Battle Vests (Very Simple), Armored Jumpsuits (Simple), Type-A Space Suits (Simple), Type-B Space Suits (Complex), Type-C Space Suits (Complex), Combat Exoskeleton (Very Complex).

Personal Devices Components
Component TD: Average (1d6). Requirements: 1 Air, 1 Metal, 1 Mineral. Value: 11 credits. Can Build: Comtrans (Average), Dark Visor (Simple), Macro-Tool (Complex), Neural Binders (Complex), Shaded Goggles (Very Simple), Spacesuit Repair Patches (Simple).

Conventional Weapon Components
Component TD: Average (1d6). Requirements: 2 Metal, 1 Organics. Value: 14 credits. Can Build: All Simple except energy and vibro weapons (Complex).

Primitive Armor Components
Component TD: Easy (1d4). Requirements: 1 Organics, 1 Metal. Value: 9 credits. Can Build: Chain Shirt (Simple), Plate Armor (Simple).

Envirosuit Components
Component TD: Easy (1d4). Requirements: 2 Metals , 1 Organics. Value: 12 credits. Can Build: Envirosuit (Simple).

Primitive Weapon Components
Component TD: Easy (1d4). Requirements: 1 Organics, 1 Metal. Value: 9 credits. Can Build: All very simple except Sword and Crossbow (Simple).

Food Ingredients
Component TD: Easy (1d4). Requirements: 1 Air, 1 Organic, 1 Water. Value: 8 credits. Can Build: Space Rations (Very Simple).

Starship/Colony Hull Components
Component TD: Hard (1d8). Requirements: 10 Metals, 1 Mineral, 1 Organic. Value: 64 credits. Can Build: Spacecraft (Simple, requires (Hull Size *1000) squared Components).

Ground Vehicle Components
Component TD: Average (1d6). Requirements: 3 Metals, 1 Mineral, 1 Organic. Value: 15 credits. Can Build: All Complex. Hovercars mass roughly 1000 kg, hovercycle 800 kg, and hovertanks 10,000 kg.

Starship System Components
Component TD: Very Hard (1d10). Requirements: 4 Metals, 2 Minerals, 1 Organics Value: 36 credits. Can Build: Any starship system (Complexity Extremely Simple for a Level 1 System, and +1 Complexity for +1 Level, multiple Component requirements by Hull Size), 1 Zero Point Generator (Extremely Hard, roughly 2000 kg), 1 Free Drive (Extremely Hard, roughly 1500 kg).

Medicine and Drugs Components
Component TD: Hard (1d8). Requirements: 1 Organics, 1 Mineral. Value: 11 credits. Can Build: All Simple except Medikits (Average).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Once the spacer has the Components together, the Components must be assembled. Assembling the device requires a Logic + Engineering roll, against the device's listed TD.

Nanotech and fabrication
Shipboard fabrication systems make it quick and easy for starship crews to make almost anything they could ever need, given abundant raw materials and the appropriate plans. The Mission Control is free to require appropriate Logic + Engineering Rolls, or other Rolls, to see if the crew know how to build something specific, especially for devices (like nuclear weapons) that are extremely dangerous.

■ Construction Difficulty Extremely Complex:
Extremely Hard (1d12).

Very Complex:
Very Hard (1d10).

Hard (1d8).

Average (1d6).

very Simple:
Easy (1d4).

Extremely Simple:
Very Easy (1d2).

Salvage and Reclamation
Spacers must often make do with the materials they have on hand. Maybe they crash-land on a world with few resources and have to repurpose components from one ship System to repair another, or they want to strip the hulk of another ship so they can have repair parts.

Recycling Resources
Once a device is reduced to its Components, they can be recycled into Raw Materials, Make a Fabrication roll for each of the Component's Raw Material types. If successful, you reclaim 75% of the Raw Materials for the device; on a Tri umph, you reclaim 90% of the Raw Materials.

Salvaging Components
Make a Construction roll for the device, with a -1 TD Bonus. If successful, you reclaim 50% of the Components for the device; on a Triumph, you reclaim 75% of the Components. These amounts drop by -25% if the device was damaged before the crew found the device.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 5.6: Missions

Mission Objectives and Experience
There are two kinds of Mission Objectives: Allegiance Objectives and Personal Objectives. Completing an Allegiance Mission Objective gives the crew 100,000 credits, and gives all crew members 1 Experience Point (XP). Completing a Personal Objective gives the single crew member 1 XP, but no additional credits. All ship System, Department, and Upgrade increases are rated in kilo-credits, each worth 1,000 credits; so completing 10 Mission Objectives lets the crew consider upgrading the ship's Traits. Likewise, at any time, 10 XP may be converted to 1 Potential. Between Assignments, crew members may train and learn, in order to spend this Potential to improve the crew member. Mission Control may require

the crew member to hire a tutor, take classes, purchase training holovids, or take other measures to learn new things. Kilo-credits can, of course, also be spent on equipment for the crew instead of ship Traits, but most crew quartermasters try to keep as much of the ship's earnings as they can for the ship's docking fees, fuel costs, tariffs, licensing fees, and all kinds of other expenses.

The Children of the Firmament's Missions
Every species that lifts its eyes to the stars knows, instinctively, that wonders are waiting out there to be discovered. Dreams and mysteries and prophecies lead sentients to the stars, to reach beyond what they know and explore what they can only guess, and the Chil-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

dren of the Firmament push farther, to see where others have gone before, to see the power and knowledge of the Predecessors, and to follow their path, wherever it leads.

And your shipmates aren't just fellow employees. They're family, and the ship is a labor of your collective love. Together, the stars are yours.






Making Money
Free Traders need to sell goods to pay their ship's costs. Each time the Free Trader makes 1 kilo-credit or more in an honest trade, they gain XP. Free Traders particularly thrive on finding new markets on uncharted worlds; if the Free Trader makes first contact and then trades with the new alien lifeforms, the XP reward is doubled.

Seeing the Galaxy
Free Traders love the beauty and freedom of space, and thrive on going where they want, when they want. Each time a Free Trader discovers or sets foot on a new world for the first time, they gain XP. They also gain XP for finding strange wonders, ruins, natural formations, or valuable resources on the worlds they discover.

The Predecessors, it's believed, evolved into gods, and the Children of the Firmament want to follow. Any time the Children find Predecessor artifacts, or explore Predecessor ruins, they are rewarded.

Gaining Psionic Power
Psionic powers aren't just neat little tricks one can use to foil enemies; they are the secrets of mind over matter, consciousness mastering time and space. Any time a Children of the Firmament crew gains a lead on a new source of psionic power, they are rewarded.

Free Trader Missions
It's all about freedom. It's not about profits; if it was, life would be a lot simpler aboard one of the scum-sucking corporate shill crews. Freedom to go where the market leads, to take a chance, to open up new routes and meet new species and make history.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Defending the Assembly




Optional Rule: Reward Excellence
The Mission Control may decide to hand out more Experience Points and kilo-credits, in order to let the crew become more powerful at a faster rate. If this rule is in effect, each crew member immediately gains 1 Experience Point when they roll a Triumph on an important roll, and the ship gains 1 additional kilo-credit at the end of the Assignment each time a ship System rolls a Triumph on an important roll. Note that these rewards are accrued only for important rolls, rolls that advance the plot and have a significant chance for failure. You earn this reward by being awesome, not by spamming rolls that should don't matter all that much.

StelNav stands for all that's good and just in the Assembly. Any time a StelNav crew can fix a problem or face a threat for Assembly citizens, they are rewarded.

Quaternary, Inc. Missions
Corporations sometimes find they need help dealing with matters they're ill-equipped for, so they hire someone with brave, dependable, and expendable agents, willing to risk their lives for excitement and a few credits. Quaternary hires these gullible dupes brave spacers throughout the Assembly, trains and equips them, and sends them forth.

Completing creetly)



Different missions have different objectives, dictated by the client, and corporate agents for Quaternary are rewarded when they manage to complete these goals successfully. Some missions require investigations, some require scientific fact-finding, some require exploration, and some are good old-fashioned “finding trouble and shooting it.” When Quaternary agents meet one of the mission's goals, they receive an XP reward.

Navigating Corporate Bureaucracy
Life in Quaternary Inc. is a bizarre, sometimes almost surreal, fight against myriad rules and regulations. Corporate agents must report to myriad sentients and AIs at various levels of the hierarchy for even some of the simplest equipment requisitions. Sadly, agents often find themselves in the field with inadequate equipment, lacking valuable information. Other times, a mission might go perfectly, but the crew finds midway to their next destination that the company didn't issue them adequate stocks of nutrients for the fabricators to make them food, or the ship is lacking in fuel and they find themselves adrift. Whenever the group manages to survive and thrive despite massive failure at resource allocation, OR when the team makes a series of extremely difficult Bureaucracy rolls and manages to get exactly what they need, they are rewarded with XP.

StelNav Missions
Academy is grueling; it guts you, mind, body and soul, and replaces your weakness with self-confidence, your ignorance with quick sure skill, and your selfishness with reliance on your fellow students. When you put on the uniform and take the oath, you're already part of a proud tradition, the backbone of the Assembly, ready to defend it and help it grow, to command a starship and go where you're needed, to do what no one else can.

In times of peace, StelNav has a scientific and exploratory mandate. Any time a StelNav crew makes an important discovery, they are rewarded.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Titan Marshals Missions
It all started with the first sidearm, and the knowledge that they were going to die. In the primitive frontier, one being can kill another, many others, and get away with it if they're quick and fearless. It takes a quicker, more fearless being, an agent of law, to bring them to justice; and this means a grave as often as it means a court room. A Marshal does what they know is right, secure in their circulatory organs that one day soon enough, they'll be a microsecond too slow, and that day-cycle will be their last.

Optional Rule: Rising and Falling Tension
In a 60-minute sci-fi TV episode, the heroes encounter some threat in the first act, face the threat in the second act, encounter additional difficulties in the third act, and resolve the issue in the fourth act. How do we reflect this plot structure in a tabletop game? A single Mission Control can design a Mission that follows this plot, but it can be a little trickier when the Mission Control role is broken into Envoy, Planetologist, and Swordmaster. One way to keep this feeling is to grant bonus Concentration to crew members in the third and fourth acts of the plot. It's also very appropriate to allow the “Sheer Genius” rule, and allow extra Concentration to apply towards the Sheer Genius roll at the climx of the episode. When this rule is in effect, the crew is capable of amazing things, as in episodic sci-fi … but only when the stakes are high!

Protecting the Innocent
The Titan Marshals care about keeping everyone safe from crime. Any time a Titan Marshal crew saves an innocent life from a criminal, they are rewarded.

Enforcing the Law
Criminals and terrorists must be brought to justice. Any time a Titan Marshal makes sure that a criminal gets their full legal punishment (but no more!), they are rewarded.

Triumvirate Missions
There are too many rules, and if no one notices them getting broken, then everyone is happy, right? Every population has something they want. Drugs, females, money, males, guns, contraband holovids, who knows what all. The Triumvirate sees to it that these goods get where they're going, sometimes hijacking shipments, sometimes running contraband, or paying off officials, or just facing law enforcement and driving them off. The Triumvirate is ruthless but honorable, after a fashion; they pay their debts in full.

Making Money
Any time a Triumvirate crew makes a significant number of credits with their shady business practices and risky heists, they are rewarded.

Earning Respect
The Triumvirate doesn't allow itself to be taken lightly. Any time the Triumvirate can strike against rival criminal syndicates, or executes traitors to its organization, it is rewarded

Uprising Missions
Once, the Assembly was young, and its member species drafted something new, a charter full of hope for equality, justice, commerce of ideas, and peace. Many have grown disillusioned with the Assembly, and the compromises and sacrifices it claims have been necessary along the way. The Uprising was founded to bring about a new way, by overthrowing the Assembly and starting again. They're badly equipped, poorly organized intellectuals and icono-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

clasts fighting a hopeless battle against a vast, organized, militant force of patriots; and they wouldn't have it any other way.

Living Up to Qualities
If the crew member gains Concentration, at any time during the Mission, for living up to their Qualities, the Mission Control may also reward the crew member XP.

Overthrowing Tyranny
Any time an Uprising crew can destroy a major Assembly resource, like a starship manufacturing facility, they are rewarded. Spreading the news of the Assembly's corruption is also worth a reward.

Protecting Crewmates and the Ship
If the crew member single-handedly saves a crewmate, they are rewarded. Saving the entire ship is worth 30 XP.

Establishing a New Order
The Uprising wants the people to join them in founding a new way. Each time an Uprising crew helps found a new colony, or persuades a world, space station, or colony to join the Uprising, the crew is rewarded.

Protecting Friends and Family
Each time the crew member saves their non-crew friends and family members from danger, they are rewarded. Most spacers' loved ones are groundsiders, but keeping them safe is always a priority.

Personal Missions
Just as starship crews as a whole accomplish goals, so too each crew member can accomplish personal goals that teach them new and interesting things.

New Experiences
The first time a crew member falls in love, gets in a battle, puts down a hated enemy, or has another such “first” is a learning experience worth a reward.

Section 5.7: Prefab Enemies and Creatures

Types of Non-Crew Personnel
Non-Crew Personnel, or NCPs for short, are all of the sentients, Meks, and creatures that the crew will encounter on their Mission. This term also includes the crew of other starships. NCPs are created by the Mission Control, who also declares their actions. There are two main kinds of Non-Crew Personnel: Cannon Fodder and Detailed NCPs. Cannon Fodder are unnamed enemies, unimportant in the long-term story, and Detailed NCPs are named, important, and often highly skilled individuals that are important to the ongoing plot.

Cannon Fodder NCPs
Instead of writing full stats for opponents, the Mission Control can quickly improvise some stats by answering three questions. How tough are these bad guys? Give the bad guys a Coordination rating, from 1 to 6. Most professional combatants will have a 3 or more in Coordination. What kind of combat skills do these guys have? Give the bad guys one combat Skill, rated from Level 1 to 5. Anyone that fights for a living will have an Aptitude in this Skill, and very few sentients will bother to take more than 2 Levels in a non-Aptitude Skill. How well-equipped are these guys? Give the bad guys a weapon and some armor, if appropriate; the better their equipment, the more of a threat. Very few


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

people in the Assembly carry anything more than a knife or a semi-automatic pistol, and few wear anything more than a Type-A space suit. Assume the enemy has an average rating in all of their other Attributes, Level 1 in three more Skills, Concentration and Focus of 3, and Life Force 10.
Image courtesy Stewart Thomas.

are known for torturing to death any prisoners they don't feel they can use. Many captains would rather destroy their own ships rather than fall into the hands of the Blood Haze.

■ Blood Haze Pirates Attributes:
Coordination (3), Strength (4).


Askarian Thugs
The Askarians originate on the fourth planet of the Marchosias system, in the Slaver States. The Askarians had only just developed primitive iron smelting and formed into small city-states when the Jalseks began their raids, and later incursions by other species took many Askarian captives into space. Later on, the Askarians took to trading their lower-caste members to offworld slavers in exchange for medicine and technology. Askarians are commonly used as thugs in the Slaver States; they're tough, ignorant, and have nothing to lose. The Serpentine Upgrade may be found in the Askarian species entry, below.

Intimidation (4), Martial Arts (4), Small Arms (4).

Armored Jumpsuit, Type-C Space Suit, Knife, Sub-machine Gun.

The Blood Haze Pirates are based in the Slaver States, and their reputed base is Malthus/Marchosias 5a. Most of the Blood Haze Pirates are Humans, Prelloth, or Jalseks, but there are lots of Askarians as well, especially among their boarding parties.

■ Blood Haze Pirates Departments:
Enviromedical (2), Command (2), Engineering (3), Helm (3), Science (2), Tactical (4).

Upgrades: ■ Askarian Thugs Attributes:
Coordination (3), Strength (4). Tractor Beam *3, Old Shoe.

Dark Cloud Doppelgangers
Doppelgangers present an insidious threat, because they can re-order their molecules to look like any member of any known species. Right now, a few scattered StelNav reports mention strange sightings around spaceports and shipyards; no one seems aware of the immense danger, and they might not find out until too late.

Intimidation (1), Martial Arts (3), Notice (1), Small Arms ().

Extra Sense [Ultraviolet Sight], Innate Armor *2, Knack [Athletics: Running], Serpentine.

Outcast, Primitive.

■ Dark Cloud Doppelgangers Attributes:
Coordination (4), Strength (2).

Ablative Battle Vest or Type-A space suit, Comtrans, Knife, Submachine gun.

Computers (4), Engineering (4), Martial Arts (2), Small Arms (2).

Innate Armor *3, Shapeshifter *4.

Blood Haze Pirates
Easily the most feared and hated pirate fleet, the Blood Haze Pirates are based in the Slaver States, and



Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying


Shapeshifting is a rare and dreaded power that enables the crew member to temporarily take on the form of other sentients. The only known artificial shapeshifters known are the Dark Cloud's dreaded Doppelgangers.

■ Shapeshifter (Upgrade) Use:
The crew member may spend 1 Concentration per minute to take on the appearance of another sentient. The crew member gains a bonus of +(Levels *2) to all Deceit rolls to impersonate that sentient. Duplicating fine details, like voiceprint, finger prints, or retinal scans, require an additional point of Concentration per minute, and mass and cellular chemistry, cannot be altered.

Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

Entropic Sun Pirates
Operating edgeward of the Assembly, the Entropic Sun Pirates are led by the so-called “pirate queen” Mollyanna Sun. Where the Blood Haze are brutal and unthinking, the Entropic Suns are cunning and clever. The Entropic Sun are also fierce rivals of the Triumvirate

■ Entropic Sun Pirates Attributes:
Coordination (4), Strength (3).

Intimidation (2), Martial Arts (3), Small Arms (4).

Armored Jumpsuit, Type-C Space Suit, Knife, Semi-Automatic Pistol.

The Entropic Suns' base is an extremely well-kept secret, but likely candidates are the Nonthash system or the Anubis system.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Blood Haze Pirates Departments:
Enviromedical (3), Command (5), Engineering (2), Helm (3), Science (2), Tactical (4).

Outcast *3, Slow Healer *4, Vulnerability (EMPs) *3.

Semi-Automatic Pistol.

Enhanced Sensor Resolution *2, Tractor Beam *2.

Highblood Warlords
Terrans dabbled in widespread genetic alteration, and their greatest achievement, the Highbloods, were almost their destruction. The “perfect” Highbloods were almost wiped out, and most left in genships for deep space, to found their own colonies. The Remnant remember their days of ruling over millions, and still feel the urge to conquer.

■ Highblood Warlords Attributes:
Coordination (5), Strength (6).

Cultures (3), Martial Arts (3), Science (3), Sensors (2), Small Arms (3).

Eidetic Memory.


Armored Jumpsuit, Semi-Automatic Pistol, Knife.

Jalsek Thugs
Image courtesy Victor Habbick,

■ GuardMeks Attributes:
Coordination (3), Strength (4).

The ruins of the Nexus Autarchy have fallen into lawlessness, much like the Slaver States, and many former Jalsek soldiers work as mercenaries, bounty hunters, and leg-breakers for every criminal syndicate. It's much like war but with better pay and less risk. Jalsek thugs have a hard time maneuvering around the narrow passages in some space stations, but are murderously effective in open spaces.

Martial Arts (3), Notice (2), Small Arms (3).

Eidetic Memory, Enviro-Adaptation (Hunger, Low Pressure, Thirst, Suffocation) *4, Extra Sense (Infrared), Innate Armor *2, Psi Resistance *4.

■ Jalsek Thugs Attributes:
Coordination (3), Strength (5).

Martial Arts (4), Small Arms (3), one starship-related Skill (2).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Bigger, Innate Armor *2, Extra Sense (Ultraviolet Vision), Keen Sense (Smell) *2, Knack (Martial Arts: Knives).

Building Lower Life-forms
Most lower lifeforms aren't very dangerous, unless the crew is low on ammunition, or already injured. Lower Lifeforms may not spend Concentration to boost their rolls. Very few have any Mental Skills other than Notice and Survival, or any Social Skills other than Intimidation. Most have Bigger or Smaller, Claws, Keen Senses, Extra Senses, or other Genetic Upgrades. Lower lifeforms always have Primitive *4, and never use technology more complex than sticks and rocks.


Comtrans, Submachine Gun, Type-C Space Suit.

Lower Lifeform Grazer
Grazers aren't much of a threat most of the time, gathering in herds and foraging for sustenance; some are territorial, though, and will attack anything that might threaten their young.

■ Lower Lifeform Grazer Attributes: Coordination (3), Strength (5). Skills: Martial Arts (2), Notice (4). Upgrades: Bigger, Claws. Deficiencies: Primitive *4. Equipment: None.

Lower Lifeform Vermin
Vermin are annoying, because they steal aboard ships and devour food stores and gnaw on power couplings. Stowing away on vessels, they can even cause problems for alien ecosystems, as they invade new territory and upset the local population balance. Vermin include the ubiquitous gwelnacks.

Lower Lifeform Predator
At the top of the food chain, predators hunt and devour grazers, vermin, and other creatures. Spacers sometimes stumble into a predator's nest, or encounter one that's hungry from an unsuccessful hunt.

■ Lower Lifeform Predator Attributes: Coordination (4), Strength (4). Skills: Intimidation (2), Martial Arts (3),
Notice (3).

■ Lower Lifeform Vermin Attributes: Coordination (4), Strength (1). Skills: Martial Arts (2), Notice (4). Upgrades: Claws, Keen Sense [Smell],
Smaller *3.

Upgrades: Claws*2. Deficiencies: Primitive *4. Equipment: None.

Deficiencies: Primitive *4. Equipment: Small nest with 1d10 credits
and various shiny baubles.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

credibly-expensive gateway in the Then Shekra system.

■ Sheolite holy Warriors Attributes:
Coordination (4), Strength (4).

Engineering (1), Martial Arts (3), Sensors (3), Small Arms (3).



Armored Jumpsuit, Laser Pistol.

Detailed Non-Crew Personnel
Non-Crew Personnel are created in much the same way as crew members, but the amount of Potential they receive may vary with their role in the Mission.

■ NCP Potential Unimportant:
Image courtesy

■ Local bureaucrat, Standard GuardMek, starport thug. ■ 0 to 4 Potential.

Minor importance:

Sheolite Holy Warriors
Then Shekra was a profitable mining colony, until the Verge Resources Corp. personnel found … some thing, and hastily closed their facility. Unknown to anyone outside of StelNav, they discovered that the volcanically active world below was not only inhabited, but a large population hid away in shielded compounds and entered a sort of biological stasis to wait out their planet's intermittent geological activity cycle. The Sheolite religion taught extreme xenophobia, and the Sheolite warriors slaughtered all of the Verge Mining Corp. workers they found, until the facility was shut down and the Sheolites went back into cryo. No one outside StelNav's highest ranks knows what happened, but the only thing that remains of the mining operations on Sheol are a few reports and a few samples of the Sheolites, and the still-functioning, in-

■ ■ ■ ■
■ ■

Law enforcement officer, lesser bounty hunter. 5 to 9 Potential. Rival starship captain, alien ambassador. 10 to 14 Potential. War hero, local head of state. 15+ Potential.

Major importance:

Great importance:

In addition, NCPs may have Groundsider Profession Packages instead of Crew Position Packages. A few of these are listed here.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Groundsider Professions
Crew members may select Groundsider Professions instead of Crew Positions, but this means that the crew member isn't very useful except in Ground/Boarding Assignments. Be careful when considering this choice. Each Groundsider Profession gets one or more variants, which trades one Aptitude Skill for another.

■ Mystics Attributes:
Presence +1.

Cultures, Recruitment, any one Psionic Skill.

Psionic researchers get Science instead of Recruitment. Shamans get Survival instead of Recruitment.

Sometimes diplomacy fails; sometimes, even armies fail. A single, stealthy lifeform can often take out an enemy leader and end a conflict that would otherwise cost many lives.

Politicos make up groundsider governments, or represent those governments to other nations. Some are savvy elected officials, while others are sophisticated and arrogant nobles, or bureaucrats who're paid for work time and not results. Starships of many Allegiances are tasked with carrying Politicos to conferences and embassies, and their demands and intrigues can make shipboard life a little too exciting.

■ Assassins Attributes:
Coordination +1.

Notice, Small Arms, Stealth.

Shadow warriors get Martial Arts instead of Small Arms.

■ Politicos Attributes:
Presence +1.


Holovid Stars
Holovid stars command the power that was once reserved for royalty, and such musicians and actors make appearances at worlds throughout the Assembly.

Bureaucracy, Leadership, Persuasion.

Royalty get Cultures instead of Bureaucracy.

Soldiers are armed warriors hired by groundsider governments to serve their world's government by protecting its facilities and fighting its wars. Some StelNav ships carry a contingent of StelMar troops, the marines who form the first wave of boarding and ground deployment actions.

■ Holovid Stars Attributes:
Presence +1.

Cultures, Deceit, Persuasion.

Dancers get Dodge instead of Deceit.

■ Soldiers Attributes:
Strength +1.

Religious teachers, psionic researchers, and spiritualists, Mystics see a larger world, a world of strange possibilities, a world that's closed to other lifeforms. This makes them special, and very dangerous to the status quo.

Endurance, Heavy Weapons, Small Arms.

Bounty Hunters get Notice instead of Heavy Weapons. Transport drivers get Groundside Piloting instead of Endurance.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Every nation and corporation in the galaxy has secrets that they want to keep from every other; and they want to learn everyone else's secrets, as well. This is where spies come in, using stealth, guile, and when necessary, violence, to find what they shouldn't and give it to their employers.

Warriors get Martial Arts instead of Endurance.

Tribals almost always take the Primitive Deficiency.

■ Spies Attributes:
Presence +1.

Traders are specialists in negotiation and economics, who buy and sell for a living. Many larger Free Trader ships carry a dedicated Trader or two, but most just make do with their captain's negotiation skills.

Computers, Notice, Stealth.

“SapInt” (sapient intelligence) spies get Persuasion instead of Computers.

■ Traders Attributes:
Presence +1.

Cultures, Haggling, Willpower.

Thugs are armed goons that work for local crime cartels, or for themselves, stealing or bullying to get what they want. Some Triumvirate ships carry Thugs as a sort of “private guard” for the command crew.

Arms dealers get Small Arms instead of Cultures.

■ Thugs Attributes:
Strength +1.

NCP Species
Non-Crew Personnel species are generally significantly weaker or stronger than most Assembly species and Mek models.

Intimidation, Martial Arts, Small Arms.

Crime bosses get Business instead of Martial Arts.

Askarians have serpentine bodies, with powerful arms and white, gray, or light violet skin. Nasty spikes and jagged protrusions lance out at their joints and across their rugged faces. Askarians are a primitive species native to Sheston Nahr/Marchosias 4, and were swiftly enslaved by the reprobates of the Slaver States and used for muscle. Their tribes began trading their finest warriors away for technology like fabricators and medikits to make their lives easier.

Before metal and lightening are harnessed, sentient beings must make do with wood and stone. Some visitors to primitive worlds seek only to enslave and exploit the “savages” they find, but when their plans go awry, they find out how much ambush, poison, traps, and knowledge of the local area can even the odds.

■ Tribals Attributes:
Strength +1.

■ Askarians Attributes:
Coordination (4), Focus (3), Intuition (2), Logic (2), Presence (2), Strength (5).

Athletics, Endurance, Survival.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Extra Sense [Ultraviolet Sight], Innate Armor *2, Knack [Athletics: Running], Serpentine.

Outcast, Primitive.

Askarians come from a backwards culture; they are unsuited for a work as a Biomedical, Engineer, Pilot, or Scientist.


Jalseks -1, Laramites -1, Malkaari -2, Prelloth -1, Terrans -2, Vared'lai -2.

Askarians' serpentine body plan allows them to coil around enemies and crush them like a snake ; it's also harder to knock them down, as their powerful muscles keep them upright.

■ Serpentine (Special Upgrade) Use:
The crew member gains a +(Levels) bonus to Martial Arts rolls for grappling enemies, and an equal bonus to any roll against being knocked prone.

■ Sheolites Attributes:
Coordination (3), Focus (4), Intuition (2), Logic (4), Presence (4), Strength (3).

Sheolites are humanoid in general body plan, but their bodies are smooth and featureless. They glow gently from within, the tone changing with their mood; when content, the Sheolites glow a gentle blue or green, but when enraged, they blaze red or golden. Sheolites are native to Ralmashan/Then Shekra 3, nicknamed “Sheol” by the Verge Resources miners once stationed there. Sheolite culture is dominated by their xenophobic religion. Combine this with the Sheolites' advanced technology, and almost every encounter with the Sheolites has led to violence and tragedy. For an Assignment leading to an encounter with the Sheolites, see Section 8.0: The Sheol Prerogative.

Cocoon (Special, see below), Eidetic Memory, Psi Active, Regeneration *2.



Irrational Hatred [All other species].

All alien species -4.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Sheolites can excrete a cocoon, and enter a form of biological stasis. In this state, they can live for millennia, even while their world's atmosphere is poisoned with toxic vapors from volcanic eruptions.

■ DeathMek (ships) Departments:
Enviromedical (1), Command (3), Engineering (4), Helm (4), Science (4), Tactical (4).

■ Cocoon (Special Upgrade) Use:
The crew member can create a cocoon for themselves in (5 – Levels) minutes; in the cocoon, they are safe from all external environmental conditions such as poison and disease. The crew member doesn't age in the cocoon, or hunger or thirst; they are essentially asleep. The crew member is not immune to damage in this state, or injury from radiation. The crew member awakens automatically when environmental conditions are favorable, or in 2d6 hours, their choice; on awakening, they are Sluggish for 1d6+2 Ground/Boarding Combat Rounds.

Drones (+1).

The Dark Cloud
The Dark Cloud are a swarm of sentient nano-machines on a quest to wipe out all organic life in the galaxy. Very little is known about them, other than occasional references in their transmissions to “the Uvo ;” some believe that the Uvo are the species that created the Dark Cloud, and some believe that it's some kind of programmed goal that the machines are trying to achieve. All that's known for sure is that dozens of ships have been lost to the Dark Cloud in the past, and now it's believed to have wiped out the Lostworld colony in the Karami system. StelNav is rallying its fleets for the next decisive battle.

NCP Allegiances
Whether because of program glitches or intentional mis-programming, Meks sometimes go berserk and try to kill organics. A DeathMek loses all previous Allegiances, but gains the DeathMek Allegiance.

■ The Dark Cloud (Crew) Attributes:
Logic +1.

Engineering +1.

■ DeathMeks (Crew) Attributes:
Focus +1.

The Dark Cloud destroys a ship and then rebuilds it with nanotech, giving it the ability to re-focus its efforts from minute to minute by apportioning more nano-machines and more processing power to emerging threats.

Small Arms +1.

■ The Dark Cloud (Ships) Departments:
Dark Cloud ships are terrifying, because they can reconfigure themselves from one Starship Combat Round to another. Each Round, during the Command Phase, the ship may divide 15 Levels between the various Departments as it sees fit, designating any of them as the Aptitude Department. Dark Cloud Ships always gain Drones (+1).

Most terrifying is when Mek-operated ships are commanded by DeathMeks. Most corporations that operate automated ships build remote detonation triggers into such vessels, but the triggers can be disarmed by corrupted FixMeks, or interference or communications failures can prevent signal reception.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Sheolite Armada
The Sheolites are rabidly xenophobic, but it's the Armada that is entrusted with the responsibility of wiping out all alien life. Members of the Armada understand that their crusade is a grave responsibility given to them by their gods, and most would rather die than aid the enemy. The Armada are the servants of the leaders and shamans of the Sheolites, the instruments of death for any that blunder into Sheolite space.

Mind Shards
For as many species as the Assembly finds throughout the galaxy, there are many more that leave behind only ruins. Some murder one another, some are destroyed by natural disaster, and some just … disap pear. What happens to them? One prominent theory goes like this.

■ Sheolite armada (Crew) Attributes:
Strength +1.

Small Arms +1.

The Sheolite Armada is composed (for now) of ships they've stolen and refitted for warfare, but with their high technology and aggressiveness, any ship becomes a warship in short order.

■ Sheolite Armada (Ships) Departments:
Enviromedical (4), Command (3), Engineering (3), Helm (3), Science (2), Tactical (4).
Image courtesy

Electronics (+1).

Paradise Lost
Psionic powers represent the next stage in the neurological and spiritual development of a species. A species with great mystical power, in touch with the life's-blood of the universe, moves beyond philosophical and religious speculations, and learns the great inner truths of the universe. But these truths aren't without their dangers. They are difficult to comprehend. Some cultures react by abandoning their development, destroying their technology, and retreating to a simpler time, like an adult content with an easy job, below their capabilities. Some try to control the universe around them, desperate to meddle with lesser species to find some meaning. And others face some existential crisis at the last moment of transcendence, left as near-omnipotent entities, trapped on this plane of existence, driven mad by their near brush with godhood. These powerful, disembodied psionic entities are called Mind Shards in spacer legend, and they're uniformly the stuff of nightmares.

The Slaver States
Crew members may be born in the Slaver States, but the Slaver States aren't available as a crew Allegiance. If you're building a Slaver States ship, use this Allegiance Package. Crews from the lawless Slaver States are ready for battle, by necessity.

■ Slaver States (Ships) Departments:
Enviromedical (2), Command (3), Engineering (2), Helm (3), Science (2), Tactical (4).

Armaments (+1).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Occasionally, rumors will filter out of the Edgeworlds, horror stories about some mad prospector wandering out of a desert region, some lone archeological researcher, that met … something. They describe it as a god, or a demon, and show evidence that it warped space and time, babbling incoherently about time and space.

why would they ever mean anyone harm? And why would their teachings conflict, one with another? In any event, wise spacers are just as cautious about sightings of Mind Shards and Predecessor leftovers as they are curious. Everything left of those that came before speaks of glorious civilizations that came to a tragic, unsuspected, and possibly contagious, end.

Here Be Dragons
The official Assembly government response is to thoroughly interrogate these individuals, and then quietly discredit them, when it can. If they're too dangerous, if they comprehend some of the strange powers they've witnessed, they are silenced, permanently. The Children of the Firmament are deeply divided on the issue; after all, the Predecessors are gods, right? If so,

Mind Shard Statistics
Mind Shards don't have statistics; they don't need them. A Mind Shard can essentially do anything it desires. Generally, it only meddles in the affairs of lesser lifeforms in the spirit of a scientist experimenting on bacteria. If the crew can satisfy the powerful lifeform's curiosity, or somehow escape from the entity's area of influence, they're lucky to survive the experience with a tall tale to tell.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 6.0:


“The ape-descendent in front of me emitted a smell not unlike a recently hatched newborn defecating for the first time. It flap its lips and made the sound of wind passing through meat. My translator paused, as it did when one uses metaphors or symbols that require careful translation. The beauty of the Language flowed forth from it, in cool, mechanically feminine tones, soft clicks and whistles that caressed the ear canal like foreplay. “ 'When all three moons eclipse, they appear not unlike an eye.' “I had eaten enough to know that this was true for the ape-descendent's species. It looked at me with mostly white orbs, blue and black to the center of them. I, myself, prefer green, and so I did not consider feasting. I wish, now, that I had. “I could see, coming over the horizon, the white moon, furthest of the world's three, and largest by far. The blue moon was already moving into position behind the black. The alignment would be complete in one forty-eight a planetary cycle. The mammal would be dead long before then. “ 'What is your designation?' my translator squawked at me. This human was made uncomfortable by the silence. We thought of them as all being the same, after first contact with a troop of marines working for some fringe world government. Tough, silent, cautious. To my surprise, they were as varied as my kin. “ 'Born In The Off Season But Strong In Spirit,' I responded. The name took a moment to parse, and my translator spat some garbled noises that hardly qualified as intelligent vocabulary. Some of my kind have gone so far as to learn the tongues of others. I would sooner pluck my wings. “ 'May I call you CKZKZKZ?' the translator failed to properly decipher what it wished to say, but I assumed it was like most other apes, and was attempting to use a shortened version of my name. “ 'Such would dishonor my flock.' “The look on the being's face was odd. For a moment, I believed it may have suffered a medical condition resulting in partial paralysis. One half of its face seemed to twist upward, and it emitted a noise that sounded like it was attempting to self-induce vomiting. It finished and said, 'Do you com prehend your purpose here?'


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

“ 'Observational, at the request of your flock ambassadors,' I responded. 'But I do not know what I am to observe.' It was hard to admit, but anything less than honesty would be dishonorable. “ 'When the eye is complete,' the mammal said. 'Watch there.' It indicated with one of its digits a point in the distance, where I could clearly see the colony city Here Where We Stopped To Rest And Did Not Depart. 'Understand that this is the fault of your own governing body. You failed to charter this colony, you are here in violation of our mining rights.' “I indicated humor, but I believe it failed to understand the display, so I let my feathers settle back into position, and preened as I waited, insulting it with my lack of attention. Had I known what was to come, I would have begged, though it would have dishonored my flock. “ 'Three. Two. One.' I did not understand the purpose of the descending numbers, but I looked, once more, at our colony city. “The stars vanished, and the sky was flooded with the purple-blue of day. I heard a roar that my translator struggled to make sense of, giving up and designating, “NON-LINGUAL ACTIVITY.” I sealed my eyes shut, drawing over every membrane I could, and still the light penetrated. When it faded, and I looked once more at Here Where We Stopped To Rest And Did Not Depart, there was noth ing, nothing but a crater, and smoke. Warm wind washed over me, and the smell of burnt feathers and ozone forced my last meal from my stomachs. “ 'We don't like trespassers,' the mammal said, standing over me. Though I could not understand its tongue, I detected a sharp change in tone, a coldness my translator couldn't carry, but one I was certain was there. 'You have one lunar cycle to evacuate your remaining colonies. If this happens again, there will be no warning.' “I continued to retch, and began to weep.” - Forensic Translation of Slaver States “Negotiator” Meeting with Unknown Species


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

An “envoy” meets with others on behalf of their nation, corporation, guild, or other group, and tries to reach a mutually amenable solution to their problems. Barring that, they seek a way to get what their group wants without outright violence. As Mission Control or Envoy, you will help the crew run social encounters with the lifeforms they will meet; because when the missile racks are loaded and the particle beams are charged, all too often, every one loses, and the chance for peaceful exchange of ideas is lost.

Section 6.1: First Contact

Establishing Communications
Most encounters begin with a short communication between both parties; the only exception would be an encounter between opposing forces in a place and time of war. Most of the time, establishing communications is a routine matter. Between ships, you establish radio communications and begin broadcasting your message. On a planet with a breathable atmosphere, you speak. Problems come up when there's no common language.

In the worst scenario, the crew encounters a hostile species, and can only intercept snippets of sound or radio chatter. In this limited scenario, it will take 1d6 weeks to decode any words at all, and three times as long to enable the crew to transmit even a simple message. Capturing members of the new species, or their computer records, can speed the process immensely. Telepathy can speed the process as well, but not as much as one might hope. Telepaths can sense images as well as thoughts, but without an emotional context, with cultural differences getting in the way, telepaths can establish extremely simple communications very quickly, but are almost useless for much more than the simplest exchanges of ideas. Ultimately, the time it takes to translate a new language is up to the Mission Control to decide. A hyper-intelligent species, or one with radically different biology, might be virtually impossible to decipher.

New Languages
Decoding another species' language is a time-consuming process. In the best scenario, two parties have advanced AIs working continuously on the problem, and both transmit a variety of standard messages to the other, with related mathematical and pictographic representations. In these cases, translation programs can create a functional interspecies dictionary within 1d6 days.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 6.2: Relation Modifiers
The differences between species can be very disruptive, even to a seasoned diplomat. The first time a Terran sees a Prelloth consume the body of a respected friend or enemy, or gets zapped by a Laramite's bioelectric energy field in a naïve attempt to converse, it's likely that their first instinct is revulsion and dismay, not friendly curiosity.

Similarities and Differences
The Assembly is committed to peaceful co-existence of all sentient lifeforms; but the many differences between various species must be overcome first. Evolution and culture give rise to many sorts of beings, of diverse appearances and societies. The Assembly copes with differences in myriad ways. The Assembly standard timekeeping system isn't tied to the rotation of any one planet. The common language Lingua was designed for simple communication by most creatures capable of making sounds, and its written form is based on simple, clear geometric and mathematical symbols. Most space stations in the Assembly have gravity and temperature set to a comfortable average for most Assembly species. The “average” approach doesn't make it easy for any species, but at least makes cooperation equally difficult for all. It takes a dedicated and adaptable sentient, of any species, to live among aliens for long periods of time willingly.

“I fought in the Nexus War. I can never forgive those butchers for what they've done.”

Conflict is common when new species are discovered; but sometimes, it goes beyond mere territoriality, into slaughter and aggression. Grudges are hard to give up, even for the promise of a peaceful alliance.

Repulsive Practices
“Did you know that the Prelloth eat the bodies of their dead? That's disgusting!”

Disturbing Appearance
“Terrans are disturbing, the way their tiny ears lay flat against their skull, without expression, the way their beady little eyes sit inside their naked, furless faces.”

Even in the Assembly, many misunderstandings occur because of false information and prejudiced outlooks.

Unknown Alien Species
Meeting a new alien species is an exciting, puzzling, stressful time, as two complex peoples, the results of widely divergent evolutionary and sociological paths, struggle to find symbols they have in common.

Sentient species all look markedly different from one another, and standards of beauty are generally incompatible between the separate species.

Unknowable Alien Species
Some species are just too strange for us to comprehend. Some Predecessor species don't exist in the normal four dimensions of time and space, while others


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

don't have visual or auditory senses at all. Initially, the Laramites were unknowable, for example.

to levy modifiers based on the desires of the parties involved. For example, a player StelNav captain wants a set of planetary coordinates from a Children of the Firmament NCP. The planet might have Predecessor artifacts, and the Children haven't explored the world yet, so Mission Control would be justified in levying a penalty of -2 (or more) to any interaction rolls to get the information. A smart captain would offer the Firmament NCP something in return, to negate the penalty, or maybe provide a show of force with several armed away team members.

Alien Empathizers
Crew members with the Special Ability called Alien Empathizer suffer no Relation penalties when dealing with alien species.

Faction Diplomacy
As you can see from the Allegiance listings, there are a lot of organizations at work in the Assembly, and they never see eye-to-eye on everything. The interactions are too complex to provide simple interaction bonuses and penalties, but the Mission Control is free

Section 6.3: Hailing Frequencies

For some, it's easy to pass off falsehoods as truths. The very best learn to convince themselves first, so they believe the lie and their body doesn't betray them. Others learn to mask their body language, knowing that certain “tells” will give away their bluff. The very worst liars can't convince themselves that what they're believing is so, and it's instantly apparent that something is wrong with what they say.

skill of understanding how others think and feel, and a speaker can use the psychology of the listener against them, instead of just framing a dry essay to lob at the listener's eardrums.

■ Empathy Rolls Walk In Your Shoes: Conversing with a
target, the crew member may make an Average (1d6) Intuition + Empathy Skill roll to learn one of a target's Qualities. The target may choose to resist, making it an Opposed Roll against their Presence + Willpower or Deceit. If successful, the crew member can phrase conversational subjects in such a way that disagreement means a loss of 2 additional Concentration.

■ Deceit Rolls Untruth: The crew member may make an Average (1d6) Opposed roll of Presence + Deceit against the target's Presence + Empathy to tell them a lie. Believable lies grant the crew member a +1 to +3 bonus, but outlandish lies grant the target a +1 to +3 bonus.

Haggling Empathy
Knowing what makes another being tick is often the key to helping them see your point of view, or guilt-tripping them until they relent. Empathy is the Haggling is the ability to negotiate the best possible price for goods and services, and is an essential skill for spacers. It's most important for Free Traders, of course, since it forms the core of what they do. Even a StelNav crew finds itself in the position of needing to negotiate for supplies at times. They're re-


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

furbished through Assembly government channels, but sometimes find themselves outside Assembly space, or sometimes find themselves too far from a governmentsupplied facility to get what they need. The Triumvirate and the Uprising buy and sell illegal contraband, but they still want a good price for it. And the Children of the Firmament sometimes find it expedient to purchase artifacts of the Predecessors, especially if the other party doesn't know what they've got.

Tech Levels and Prices
All prices listed assume that the crew are buying and selling at a Fusion Age spaceport. Selling to Low-Tech Buyers: If a seller attempts to sell Gear, Meks, or other devices at a lower Tech settlement, each lower Tech Level doubles the base cost. There's no upper limit, but great caution must be taken. Selling a Mek to a Steel Age age people might result in charges of heresy or witchcraft, or the merchandise is so valuable that the locals would rather risk stealing or murdering to obtain it, rather then peaceful trade.

■ Haggling Rolls Negotiate: When buying or selling, the crew
member may make a Hard (1d8) Opposed Roll of Presence + Haggling against another trader's Focus + Haggling. On success, if buying, the price is reduced by (SF *5)%; if selling, the price is increased by the same amount.

The law of supply and demand states that goods will always command higher prices where people need those goods, but can't command nearly as high a price where there is plenty of those goods. Worlds, space stations, and colonies have a Trade category, that denotes what goods the locals have in surplus, and which they need. Any category of Raw Material, Refined Material, Component, or Device from the Trade section counts as a possible shortage or surplus category. A world shouldn't have significantly more shortages than surpluses, or vice versa, or its economy will collapse. Although unpleasant, a collapsing economy can create all kinds of interesting stories, though!

Selling to High-Tech Buyers: If selling to a higher Tech Level, the seller receives 10% less for their stuff. More likely, the buyers just won't be interested; for ex ample, gold is incredibly valuable on 21st-century Terra, but Drones and nanotech Fabrication systems make it so easy to extract and recycle, it isn't all that valuable in the Assembly except as an electronics component.

Sometimes a show of force is in order. Intimidation is the skill of threatening others to get what you want. Intimidation is a harsh and aggressive way to get what you want, but it's often effective when nothing else works. Intimidation is useful for law enforcement officers to use in interrogations, and soldiers to browbeat enemy troops.

■ Shortage + surplus mods Great Shortage: Base price +40%. major Shortage: Base price +20%. Minor Shortage: Base price +10%. Average: No modifier. minor surplus: Base price -10%. Major surplus: Base price -20%. Great surplus: Base price -40%.

■ Intimidation Rolls Browbeat: Make an Average (1d6) Presence or
Strength + Intimidation roll against the target's Focus + Willpower. If successful, the target must spend 1 Concentration or suffer a -1 penalty to all actions taken against the crew member and their allies, for 1d4 rounds. The target gains a +2 bonus if the crew member is smaller, poorly equipped, or in a poor tactical position, but the crew member gains a +1 bonus if they're larger, better equipped, or clearly hold a tactical advantage.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

The ability to issue directions to subordinates, and the ability to inspire confidence in a plan or a person. Some commanders will try to barter with their crew, or reason with them, or yell at them until they toe the line; a true leader sets an example of personal excel lence that they strive to meet.

Recruitment is the ability to hire the best and brightest for your ship. It's vital to bring in skilled and dedicated spacers, but it's something of a “dark art” to most commanders, who don't perform enough recruiting to get particularly good at it.

■ Leadership Rolls Boost: The crew member can take a Use Social
Skill Action to make an Average (1d6) Presence + Leadership roll. If successful, the crew member may spend (X) Concentration to transfer (X +1) Concentration to each listener, where X may be up to the 1/2 the Success Factor on the roll.

Recruitment Rolls Welcome Aboard: To recruit the best possible candidate, make a Presence + Recruitment roll; the TD is listed on the Recruitment Location Table below. The newly recruited crew member gains additional Potential equal to the Success Factor. On a Failure of this roll, nothing is added, and on a Mishap, the crew member only has 8 Potential to spend.

The ability to make convincing arguments to others. Persuasion doesn't cover trade, but wins over minds to your point of view. Persuasion is a vital skill for diplomats and ambassadors.

The TD of the Recruitment Skill roll depends on where the recruitment takes place. See the Envoy section for more info.

■ Recruitment Location Remote Settlement:
Nearly Impossible (1d20).

■ Persuasion Rolls Hear Me Out: To make a convincing argument
to another sentient, make an Average (1d6) Presence + Persuasion roll against the target's Focus + Willpower. If successful, the target must spend 1 Concentration or perform an action you suggest. The target gains a +2 bonus if the action would inconvenience them, and gains a +4 bonus if the action would be actively harmful.

Minor Colony:
Extremely Hard (1d12).

Major Colony:
Very Hard (1d10).

Trade Center:
Hard (1d8).

Average (1d6).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 6.4: Social Resistance
Spacers have to be cunning and thoughtful; on every planet, someone tries to cheat them, lie to them, sell them sub-standard starship components, or otherwise take advantage of “the new guy in town.” As smart and capable as they may be with their tech, as quick and deadly as they may be in space and ground combat, they need to be just as sharp in negotiations, or they can end up in a very bad spot.

Focus + Willpower
A spacer that's focused on the Mission doesn't have time for distractions and nonsense, and crew members can resist Social Skills by weeding out false claims from true by sheer force of mind. Focus + Willpower helps the crew member resist Haggling and Intimidation attempts; it isn't much good against Persuasion or Deceit. It helps the spacer say, “No,” but isn't helpful with saying, “How can that be true?”

A crew member can simply refuse to listen, denying the speaker the chance to make a point. To do this, the crew member must spend Concentration, as the speaker attempts to grab the spacer's attention with their words. To resist another's influence, the crew member may simply spend 1 AP to ignore their influence. In Ground/Boarding Combat, the crew member must also spend 5 AP. This isn't a tenable long-term strategy, of course, as the crew member will eventually run out of AP, and their mental defenses will be broken.

Presence + Empathy
Charm and charisma aren't just good for starting conversations; they're also useful for steering the dis cussion the way you want it to go. Presence + Empathy are good for looking into a speaker's words and motives, and then redirecting their argument in a different direction. This pair of Traits is good against Persuasion and Haggling, but not very helpful against Intimidation or Deceit. Charm doesn't prevent a spacer from quaking in fear when a sevenfoot-tall alien cockroach threatens to rip their arms off, and it's tough to charm a merchant out of making a profit.

Walking Away
There comes a point where the conversation is going nowhere, and it's easiest just to walk away. The crew member can usually just terminate an exchange and go somewhere else. The only exception is interrogations. If the enemy has the spacer trapped, then they don't have the option of just leaving. At this point, it becomes a waiting game, as the spacer tries to keep their wits and secrets to themselves, as their Concentration is slowly whittled away. Interrogation doesn't yield reliable results, as it's easy for the subject to lie to get a reprieve, but too many star nations rely on pain and fear to get what they think they need.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 7.0:

future. In a place like this, time and space couldn't decide that they wanted to do, and so listlessly paced back and forth, excited to occasionally take directions. Three intelligences occupied this space. The first was made of gently curving angles of blue and brown like sea and land, and a rainbow of shades like a rainbow of fleshes. It vibrated and whirled, ex pending and contracting, never focusing, always just beyond grasp. A circular portal shimmered into existence in front of the blue-green one, and it showed a metal dart soaring silently, in a normal space of black with silver stars. With a crystalline voice, like wind through a desert canyon, it spoke. “The explorers approach the planet. The planet we guided into being. They will find wonderful beings that live there.” Once, it had been a flesh entity like they; its world had died many billions of years before, but it remained. Now, it guided the development of worlds, making conditions right for life; guiding evolution, it brought sentience to fruition in so many places. The second intelligence shimmered like a heat wave; it was heard and felt far more than seen. With a million voices it spoke and sang to itself, laughing and mourning in a million million languages. Lights sparkled through its body in visual codes of binary signal, and the smell of pheromones sweet and sour permeated the not-air nearby. Its many voices spoke as one, in many tongues. “They will find the wonderful beings. They will speak, and strive to understand. Will they?” Long, long ago, it had been a speaker; it had spoken riddles and poems, threats and promises. Now, it taught language to many worlds, it was present when treaties were signed, and it watched as declarations of war were signed as well. The third shone and slashed the not-air, a wonder of bending angles shining in shades of pearl and gun metal. It changed angles and snapped back into place, and serrated edges spun and whirled dangerously and glinted red. An angular origami of slaughter. “They will not.” It intoned in a metallic voice, laden with screams of pain and halting, last whispers. Once, billions of years ago, it had been a warrior, a general. It presided over the slaughter of civilizations, young worlds, bright with promise, doomed for their ambition. Through the portal, the first beams of electromagnetic destruction pierced the starship, and the Plan etologist, the Envoy, and the Swordmaster watched, sad and knowing, as the games began again. Colors twisted one into another, and echoes of conversations centuries past echoed forth into the


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

A “swordmaster” is a traditional term among the Prelloth for a warrior of unparalleled skill, and the term has spread into general usage in the Assembly for its most respected admirals. As Swordmaster or Mission Control, it's your job to help the crew members engage combat with enemy ships and NCPs. If they're smart and lucky, they might survive, but in a galaxy like this one, there are no guarantees.

Section 7.1: Starship Combat

Starship Rounds
When combat breaks out, time is measured in starship combat rounds. One starship combat round is roughly thirty seconds.

Optional Rule: Fleet Actions
The Mission Control might want to simplify and speed up ship combat. Maybe each crew member commands a ship in a much larger fleet, or maybe the Mission Control wants to gloss over enemy ship actions. If this rule is in effect, each ship gets a Science Phase, a Helm Phase, a Tactical Phase, and an Optional Phase. In the Optional Phase, the ship may take a single Command, Engineering, Enviromedical action. If the crew are using the normal rules and the enemy are using the Fleet Action optional rule, the crew will have a distinct advantage, potentially evening the odds against multiple ships.

When combat breaks out, each starship makes an Average (1d6) Helm + Command roll and notes their Success or Failure Margin. This is the starship's Sequence. Starships act in order of Sequence, from highest Success Margin to lowest, and then from lowest Failure Margin to highest. In the case of a tie, compare: (1). Hull Size (lowest goes first) (2). Helm Level (highest goes first) (3). Command Level (highest goes first) (4). If you're still tied, roll 1d20, highest roll wins.

Starship Rounds and Phases
When a starship acts, its Departments take actions in the following order:

(1). Science Phase. The starship's Science Department acts, typically to Scan the Vicinity. (2). Command Phase. The captain of each ship issues commands and spends Discipline on the ship's Actions that round. Normally, the first Action the Command Department takes is to Issue Red Alert. (3). Helm Phase. The starship's Helm player may change the ship's course, or take actions to line up a shot for Tactical, or zig and zag to prevent enemies from getting a clear shot. (4). Tactical Phase. The starship's Tactical Department may raise or lower shields, or fire weapons. (5). Engineering Phase. The Engineering Department may act to repair ship Malfunctions, and restore lost Shields, Weapons, and Hull Integrity.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

(6). Enviromedical Phase. The Enviromedical Department may take actions to heal crew Casualties, and seal seal any hull breaches.
The ship's Psi Ops Department may act on any Phase, after the player for that Department has acted. Psi Ops doesn't rob that Department of their action, they just take actions at that specific time. In general, the Psi Ops Department only has useful things to do if the ship is fitted with Psi Coils.

Science Actions
Jam Sensors
The enemy can't attack what they can't see. By broadcasting powerful electromagnetic interference, a tactic known as electronic countermeasures (ECM), you make it harder for the enemy to know the battle space, and mix things up a little.

■ Jam Sensors Roll:
Science/Science + Electronics, TD Hard (1d8).

Until next round, all subsequent rolls to Scan The Vicinity or Tactical Analysis increase in TD by +3. This applies to all ships in Engagement range of your ship.
Image courtesy Russel Boyd.

Scan the Vicinity
It's absolutely vital in space combat for the bridge crew to know where the enemy is at all times. The ship's Science Department are best qualified to operate the ship's sensors, and they feed valuable information to the ship's other Departments.

Until next round, all subsequent rolls to Scan The Vicinity or Tactical Analysis increase in TD by +1. This applies to all ships in Engagement range of your ship.

No penalty.

■ Scan the Vicinity Roll:
Science/Science + Electronics, TD Average (1d6).

All Electronics rolls for your ship increase by TD +2 until next round.

Science Department may grant a +1 bonus to Command, Helm, or Tactical Department for one starship combat round.

Ship's crew has a relatively precise fix on all ships, celestial bodies, and phenomena in sensor range.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

All Attack rolls, and rolls to scan enemy ships, suffer +1 TD penalty for one starship combat round.

Issue Red Alert
The Command Department can encourage their crew, attempting to lift their spirits. Spend 1 point of Discipline; one Department gains a +1 bonus.

Ship is flying blind, with no idea where anyone or anything else is at.

■ issue Red Alert Discipline Cost: 0. Effects:
When the Red Alert command is issued, the ship's crew modules are parked, the crew switches to space suits, the crew modules are vented of atmosphere, and the ship's shields are raised. If the ship takes damage and Red Alert hasn't been issued, the ship is treated as having no Shields rating, the Hull Plating is treated as 1 lower, and all Crew Casualty results are increased by 1.

Command Actions
Coordinate the Crew
The Command Department can give orders to the crew to help them work together to best effect. Spend 1 point of Discipline; one Department gains a +1 bonus.

■ Coordinate the Crew Discipline Cost: 1. Effects:
Command designates one Department; that Department gains a +1 bonus for one starship combat round.

Rally the Crew
The Command Department can encourage their crew, attempting to lift their spirits.

Initiate Self-Destruct
When things look hopeless, the ship's commander can give the order for the ship to self-destruct. This overloads the ship's Zero-Point Generator, causing the ship to explode violently.

Rally the Crew Discipline Cost: 0. Effects:
Roll 1d10 at or below the ship's Command Level. If successful, the crew regains 1 Discipline. If the roll fails by more than (Command Level), the crew loses 1 Discipline.

■ Initiate Self-Destruct Discipline Cost: 1. Effects:
The ship's commander decides how soon the ship should self-destruct, from 1 to 100 Ship Combat Rounds. When the ship self-destructs, all objects within (Hull Size *30) km take (higher of Engines or Hull Size)d10 damage. Different organizations have different protocols for canceling the self-destruct sequence, but it usually takes three members of the bridge crew to cancel the Commander's action.

For example, the A.S.N. Ulysses might have Command Level 4. If the Command player rolls 1d10 and gets 4 or lower, the crew regains 1 Discipline. At 5 through 8, the crew doesn't gain anything, and at 9 or 10, the crew loses 1 Discipline. At Command Level 6, the crew cannot lose Discipline if Command rallies them.

Tactical Analysis
The Command Department can scrutinize scans of neighboring ships, looking for weaknesses or openings.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Tactical Analysis Roll:
Command/Tactics + Electronics, TD Hard (1d8).

All ship's weapons gain a +1 damage bonus for 1d4 starship combat rounds.

One ship's weapons gain a +1 damage bonus for 1 starship combat round.

drive charge, the ship can jump the next starship combat round. Taking any damage while building drive charge loses all drive charge built up. Generally, jumping away ends combat, as it gives the ship enough time to make a second jump to safety, while the aggressors scan space looking for their escaped target.

No effect.

The amount of time that a vessel requires to build a drive charge rises sharply as the vessel gets more massive, per the following table.

One starship weapon system suffers a +2 TD attack roll penalty for 1 starship combat round.

Helm Actions
Adjust Heading and speed
Starships continue traveling each round in the direction they had been, unless their course is adjusted.

■ Drive Charge Build Interval 6: 2 days per LY 5: 6 hours per LY 4: 20 minutes per LY 3: 4 starship combat rounds (2 minutes) per LY 2: 1 starship combat round per LY 1: Cannot mount free drive

Evasive Maneuvers
The helmsman makes several quick, erratic course changes, making it harder for others to target the ship.

■ Adjust Heading + speed Discipline Cost: 0. Effects:
The Helm Department may increase or decrease the ship's speed by an amount equal to the ship's Thrust Level. The Helm Department may also rotate the ship's facing 60° once per Maneuver Jets Level.

■ Evasive Maneuvers Roll:
Helm/Starship Piloting + Maneuvering Jets, TD Hard (1d8).

All attacks against the ship suffer a +2 TD penalty for one starship combat round. No penalty to attacks.

Build Drive Charge
The starship builds a drive charge, preparing for an FTL jump. Requirements: The ship must power down its engines, shields, cloaking devices, and Psi Coils.

All attacks against the ship suffer a +1 TD penalty for one starship combat round, but all attacks by the ship's Tactical Department also suffer a +1 TD penalty as well.

■ Build Drive Charge Discipline Cost: 0. Effects:
The ship spends time building a drive charge. The time to build a 1 light-year drive charge is listed on the table below. After building the

No effect.

All attacks against the ship gain a -1 TD bonus, and all attacks by the ship's Tactical Department suffer a +1 TD penalty.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Ramming Speed Firing Position
The ship's helmsman tries to line up a good shot against an enemy ship, making it easier for the Tactical Department to fire. Requirements: Must be in motion. The ship attempts to escape from the combat zone by accelerating as quickly as the ship's crew can withstand.

■ Firing Position Roll:
Helm/Starship Piloting + Maneuvering Jets, TD based on the enemy ship's Size (see table under Fire Weapons action).

■ Ramming Speed Discipline Cost: 1. Effects:
The ship steers directly into another vessel at full burn. The enemy ship, and this ship, both suffer (current hexes / Starship Combat Round)d10 Damage.

All attacks against that target enjoy a -2 TD bonus for one round.

All attacks against that target enjoy a -1 TD bonus for one round.

Stealthy Trajectory
Requirements: Cannot have active Shields, fire weapons, perform a Full Burn. The ship flies through a dust cloud, behind several asteroids, or between large chunks of space debris.

No effect.

All attacks by the target ship against the crew members' ship enjoy a -1 TD bonus for one round.

■ Stealthy Trajectory Roll:
Helm/Starship Piloting + Maneuvering Jets, TD based on how cluttered the area is; see the table below.

Full Burn
The ship attempts to escape from the combat zone by accelerating as quickly as the ship's crew can withstand.

Even a successful Scan The Vicinity roll will not reveal this ship's presence; treat a Triumph or Success as a failed roll.

■ Full Burn Discipline Cost: 1. Effects:
The ship may increase current speed by double the ship's Thrust. If the ship's Thrust exceeds the enemy's, and isn't moving directly towards the foe, they suffer a +1 TD penalty to all attack rolls against this ship. If the ship's Thrust is 3 or higher, however, all Departments suffer 1 Casualty.

The ship's precise location is hard to pinpoint; all Electronics rolls are at -2 with regards to this ship for one round.

No effect.

The ship collides with something as it tries to evade detection. The ship takes damage equal to the TD of the roll, and is easily spotted.

The Task Difficulty of this roll is listed on the table below.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Starship TDs to hit by Size
Nearly Impossible (1d20): Open space. Extremely Hard (1d12): Thin dust cloud. Very Hard (1d10): Thick dust cloud. Hard (1d8): Nebula. Average (1d6): Debris field. Easy (1d4): Asteroid field.

Tactical Actions
Activate/Deactivate Cloak
The ship's Tactical Department can raise or lower the ship's cloak.
Image courtesy Xedos4,

Fire Weapons
The Tactical Department can fire one weapon per shipboard round at an enemy ship.

■ activate/Deactivate Cloak Discipline Cost: 0. Effects:
The ship gains or loses the protection of its cloaking device (if any).

■ Fire Weapons Roll:
Tactical/Starship Gunnery + Electronics, TD varies with target size (see table below).

Adjust Shield Geometry
Shields automatically adjust power settings when damaged, but the Tactical Department can amplify output on one directional shield generator by stealing power from all the others.

Attack inflicts double normal weapon damage.

Attack inflicts standard weapon damage.

Attack misses.

■ adjust shield geometry Discipline Cost: 0. Effects:
Designate one of the six “directions;” fore (front), aft (back), port (right), starboard (left), dorsal (up), or ventral (down). When attacked from that direction, treat the ship's Shields Level as 2 higher; when attacked from any other direction, treat the Shields rating as 1 lower. This modification lasts until explicitly re-set by the Tactical Department, but the re-adjustment doesn't cost an action.

Roll 1d6: (1): Weapon system goes offline until repaired; (2 to 5): Unintended target, like an allied ship; (6): Weapon overheats or ammunition is mishandled, and cannot be fired next round.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

The TD of the attack roll depends on the opposing ship's Size.

■ Starship TDs to hit by Size 5: Easy (1d4) 6: Very Easy (1d2) 3: Hard (1d8) 4: Average (1d6) 1: Extremely Hard (1d12) 2: Very Hard (1d10)

■ Raise/Lower Shields Discipline Cost: 0. Effects:
Ship gains normal Shields protection, or drops Shields so the ship can cloak, build drive charge, or perform other actions with heavy power requirements.

Orbital Bombardment
The Tactical crew member can also fire the starship's weapon systems at targets on a planet's surface. The results of the roll are the same as for the Fire Weapons Action above, and the TDs are on the table below.

Engineering Actions
Allocate Energy to Systems
The Engineering Department manages shipboard power systems, sending energy to systems that need it, and pulling power from systems that don't need as much.

■ Orbital TDs to hit Very Easy (1d2):
Sprawling factory complex, multi-lane bridge across a huge river, Size 6 ship.

Easy (1d4):
Large factory building, Size 5 ship.

■ Allocate Energy to Systems Discipline Cost: 0. Effects:
Choose two ship Systems, except for Cargo Bay or Drones. Roll a die at or below the ship's Engineering Level. If successful, one System is reduced by one Level, and one increases by one Level. If the system to be increased is Level 1 or 2, roll 1d6, if it's 3 or 4, roll 1d8, and if it's higher, roll 1d10. The effects of this Action don't stack.

Average (1d6):
Average colony dome structure, Size 4 ship.

Hard (1d8):
Average residential building, Size 3 ship.

Very Hard (1d10):
HoverTank or LuciFrame, Size 2 ship.

Extremely Hard (1d12):
HoverCar or HoverTruck, lifeform with 2 Levels of the Bigger Upgrade, Size 1 ship.

Nearly Impossible (1d20):
A single normal-sized sapient, HoverBike.

Repair Ship Malfunction
The Engineering Department assigns Drones to fix broken systems and sub-systems. Supervised by experienced engineers, the robotic automatons tirelessly weld the ship back together.

Impossible (1d100):
Lifeform with 2 Levels of the Smaller Deficiency.

Raise/Lower Shields
Shields protect the ship from severe gravitic stresses, and deflect energy and projectile weapons as well. Shields cost the ship an enormous amount of power, and sustained damage will burn out the shield generators, taking the shields offline.

■ Repair ship Malfunction Roll:
Engineering/Starship Engineering + Drones, TD Average (1d6), +1 TD per Malfunction this ship System has taken.

The Malfunction is removed, and the ship gains +1d4 Hull Integrity (if it's lost any)


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

The Malfunction is removed.

Enviromedical Actions
Hamper Boarders
The ship's own internal systems can be repurposed for use as a weapon. Slamming pressure doors shut, selectively dimming lights and pressurizing and depressurizing compartments, and releasing blasts of radio static, the Enviromedical officer annoys and harries boarders, making it easier to pick them off one at a time.

No effect.

The ship suffers another system Malfunction for one round, as re-routed power conduits suffer overload.

Restore Hull Integrity
The Engineering Department supervises Drones that patch holes and restore broken structural members, preventing the ship from breaking apart.

■ Hamper Boarders Discipline Cost: 0. Effects:
Roll 1d6 at or below the ship's Enviromedical Level. If successful, the TD of all boarders' Ground Combat Sequence rolls increases by 2, and the TD of Tactical rolls to continue the boarding action increase by +2 TD.

■ Repair Hull Integrity Roll:
Engineering/Starship Engineering + Drones, TD based on damage the ship has suffered, see table below.

The ship regains Hull Integrity equal to the (Success Factor), and one ship Malfunction is restored (if any).

Heal Crew Casualties
As the crew is injured by incoming damage, the ship is left helpless, unable to defend itself effectively. The Enviromedical Department can heal crew Casualties, returning them to their duties.

The ship regains Hull Integrity equal to the (Success Factor)/2.

No effect.

■ Heal Crew Casualties Discipline Cost: 0. Effects: Roll 1d10 at or below the ship's Enviromedical Level. If successful, the Department regains 1 Casualty.

Damage control efforts fail, and the ship suffers another 1d4 points of Hull Integrity damage.

Seal Hull Breaches
The Enviromedical Department is responsible for maintaining the ship's hull seals, so the crew can survive. Although not as effective as the Engineering Department, the Enviromedical Department can help maintain the ship.

The difficulty of the repairs depend on how much damage the ship has taken.

■ Starship TDs intact: Minor: Major: Disastrous: Shattered:

to repair
Easy (1d4) Average (1d6) Hard (1d8) Very Hard (1d10) Extremely Hard (1d12)

■ Seal Hull Breaches Discipline Cost: 0. Effects: Roll 1d10 at or below the ship's
Enviromedical Level. If successful, the System regains 1 Level.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Psi Ops Actions
Biokinetic Plague
The Biokinetic reaches through space to reach the life force of the enemy crew, tearing it away with painful force. The enemy crew feels fatigued and drained, dropping away at their posts for no discernible reason. Hull plating and shields are ineffective against this attack.

■ Ergokinetic Storm Requirements:
One crew member with 5+ Levels of Ergokinesis, Psi Coils Upgrade.

Action Phase:
Tactical Phase.

Crew member's Focus + Ergokinesis, TD based on distance to the enemy ship.

■ Biokinetic Plague Requirements:
One crew member with 5+ Levels of Biokinesis, Psi Coils Upgrade.

The target ship suffers (Ergokinesis Levels +2)d6 damage.

Action Phase:
Tactical Phase.

The target ship suffers (Ergokinesis Levels)d4 damage.

Crew member's Focus + Biokinesis, TD based on distance to the enemy ship.

No effect.

The target ship suffers (SF) Casualties to a randomly chosen Department, or (SF)/3 Casualties to a Department of the Biokinetic's choice. Soft and hard armor don't stop any of this damage.

Ergokinetic loses 1d4+2 Concentration.

The target ship suffers (SF)/2 Casualties to a randomly chosen Department. Soft and hard armor don't stop any of this damage.

Fear Aura
The Telepath radiates feelings of dread and despair into an enemy ship. Foes feel their efforts are doomed, and many break and flee quickly.

No effect.

■ Fear Aura Requirements:
One crew member with 5+ Levels of Telepathy, Psi Coils Upgrade.

Biokinetic loses 2d6 Concentration.

Action Phase:
Command Phase.


Ergokinetic Storm
The crew member creates a maelstrom of plasma outside the ship's hull, and hurls it against the enemy ship.

Crew member's Focus + Telepathy, TD based on enemy ship's Command; Very Easy (1d2) for 1, Easy (1d4) for 2, etc.

The ship suffers (SF +2) Discipline.

The target ship loses (SF)/2 Discipline.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

No effect.

Telekinetic Rend
The Telekinetic reaches out and twists space, warping the enemy ship's very hull.

Telepath loses (Levels +1d4) Concentration.

■ Telekinetic Rend Requirements:
One crew member with 5+ Levels of Telekinesis, Psi Coils Upgrade.

Action Phase:
Tactical Phase.

Crew member's Focus + Telekinesis, TD based on distance to the enemy ship.

The target ship suffers (Focus Levels)d12 damage.

The target ship suffers (Focus Levels)d6 damage.

Image courtesy Nix Photography,

No effect.


Predictive Targeting
The Prescient uses the Psi Coils to extend their perception of the future to the rest of the crew; sharing the future sight, they react with uncanny speed.

Telekinetic loses 3d6 Concentration.

■ Prescient Fire Requirements:
One crew member with 5+ Levels of Prescience, Psi Coils Upgrade.

Action Phase:
Tactical Phase.

Discipline Cost: 1. Effects:
The next attack may use the crew member's Focus Level instead of Tactical, or their Prescience Level instead of Electronics (but not both).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 7.2: Ground / Boarding Conflict

Ground/Boarding Rounds
When combat breaks out, time is measured in ground/boarding combat rounds. One ground/boarding combat round is roughly five seconds.

adding +1 to hit but granting opponents -1 TD to hit the crew member.

The attack hits the target and does double damage.

Sequence and Action Points
When combat breaks out, each crew member and NCP makes an Average (1d6) Coordination + Intuition roll and notes their Success Margin. This is the crew member's Sequence. Crew members and NCPs then get to take a turn, in the order of highest to lowest Sequence. On their turn, each crew member or NCP gets 5 Action Points to spend on Actions. In the case of a tie, the crew member or NCP with the higher Intuition Level goes first; then compare Co ordination, then flip a coin. If the crew member has a disappointingly low Sequence, they may sacrifice AP to increase their Sequence, to a maximum of their Coordination.

The attack hits the target and does full normal damage.

Attack misses.

Roll 1d6: (1): Weapon broken until repaired by an engineer; (2 to 5): Weapon is dropped, or lodges in an object until a Ready Item Action is taken; (6): Weapon swings wide, leaving the crew member vulnerable; Close Combat Attacks gain +1 bonus until next round.

Ranged Combat Attack Rolls
The crew member draws careful aim and fires a slugthrower, energy weapon, or other ranged weapon at the enemy, or throws a grenade or knife.

Close Combat Attack Rolls
The crew member punches or kicks the enemy, or swings a melee weapon at them. These simple, quiet attacks can take down enemies with brutal efficiency or stylish grace.

■ Close Combat Attack AP Cost 3 Roll:
Coordination + Martial Arts; TD is Average. If opponent's Reach is higher, increase TD by the difference; if crew member's Reach is higher, decrease TD by the difference. Crew member may fight offensively instead of defensively,

■ Ranged Combat Attack (3 AP) AP Cost 3 Roll:
■ ■ ■ Most weapons: Coordination + Small Arms Thrown weapons and bows: Coordination + Athletics Heavy Weapons: Coordination + Heavy Weapons. TD is Easy for a point-blank attack, Average at one Range Increment, and +1 TD for each additional Range Increment.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

The attack hits the target and does double damage.

Too Many Cooks
So your ship has a crew of dozens, maybe over a thousand. If you're expecting danger, why don't you just bring them with you every time you expect danger off the ship? Ground parties are vulnerable. Traps can take out a lot of crew members at once. You can lose a lot of them to friendly fire if they aren't all combat-trained. And if any of them are captured, well, now the enemy has a hostage, someone they can torture to learn your security arrangements. Every crew member on the surface isn't keeping your ship on battle alert, keeping the engines hot and the guns manned. And you don't always need very many. A single, surgical strike can accomplish a lot. Captains, use your crew wisely, and only bring along those you need.

The attack hits the target and does full normal damage.

Attack misses.

Roll 1d6: (1 to 3): Weapon broken until repaired by an engineer; (4 to 6): Weapon jams, and requires a Ready Item action to clear; Close Combat Attacks gain +1 bonus until next round.

Dodge Actions
By ducking, weaving, and moving erratically, the crew member makes it harder to hit them. Stepping lightly through a hail of gunfire and lasers, the enemy finds it hard to draw a bead.

■ Dodge (AP varies; see below) AP Cost Varies Minor Dodge:
Costs 1 AP, Dodge + Coordination roll Easy (1d4), Attacks against crew member at TD+1, attacks by crew member TD+1.

Major Dodge:
Costs 3 AP, Dodge + Coordination roll Average (1d6), Attacks against crew member at TD+2, attacks by crew member TD+2.

It's harder to hit a target that's hiding behind cover, but it's also harder to hide fully behind cover and still get off a good shot.

Total Dodge:
Costs 5 AP, Dodge + Coordination roll Hard (1d8), Attacks against crew member at TD+3, crew member cannot attack.

■ Take Cover (AP varies) AP Cost 0 40% Cover:
Attacks against crew member TD+1, attacks by crew member suffer no penalty. Example: Light mist, standing behind low wall.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

80% Cover:
Attacks against crew member TD+2, attacks by crew member TD-1. Example: Heavy mist, standing behind chest-height wall.

■ ■

Attacks that roll a Success Factor less than the crew member's Strength will miss. Crew members cannot block a melee weapon attack with an unarmed attack. If they attempt to do so, they simply take damage.

Full Cover:
Attacks against crew member TD+3, attacks by crew member TD-3. Example: Sticking a gun arm around a corner and firing blindly.

Called Shot (2 AP)
The crew member lines up a shot to the opponent's head, legs, or vital organs, intending to cripple them rather than kill them instantly.

Hiding behind cover:
If the crew member wishes, they may simply hide behind cover. They may not make any attacks while Hiding Behind Cover. Hiding Behind Cover is ineffective against thrown Radius attacks like grenades.

■ called Shot AP Cost 2
■ Called Shots increase the TD to hit a target by 1, but if the Attack causes the target to drop an Injury State, the attacker may decide what body part is Wounded. The attack tends to leave one open, though, reducing the TD to be hit by 1 as well. The next Action after the Called Shot must be an attack, or the benefit is lost.

Destructible Cover:
Some cover materials are rather flimsy. If the Game Master rules an attack destroys the item that the crew members are using for cover, anyone using that object for cover takes half the damage the cover took.

Control Ground Vehicle (3 AP)
The crew member keeps a firm hand on the steering column and pilots a hover vehicle across the terrain.

Other Actions
Block (2 AP)
The crew member throws an arm or weapon in the way of an incoming attack, swatting it aside. Blocking works best with a heavy weapon in hand, or a shield; blocking a melee weapon while unarmed is most dangerous.

■ Control Ground Vehicle AP Cost 3
■ The crew member keeps the vehicle from losing speed, or careening out of control. The crew member makes a Coordination + Ground Vehicle Piloting roll, typically TD Average (1d6). Bringing a hover vehicle Average (1d6). Bringing a hover vehicle under control in high winds increases the TD by 1, as does controlling one over water, or one that's close to full cargo capacity.

■ Block AP Cost 2
■ Crew members can declare a block any time during the round, whether it's their turn or not. If the crew member declares a block before their turn in Sequence, they suffer a penalty of -1 TD to all actions taken that round. If they declare a black during their turn in the Sequence, they may block one attack that occurs before their next turn and suffer no penalty.

Covering Fire (5 AP)
The crew member designates an area and fires rapidly into the area, filling the field with bullets and lines of laser fire. Anyone stepping into this killing field is gambling with death.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Covering Fire AP Cost 5
■ Specify an area you want to cover, up to 20 continuous square meters, and make an Ranged Combat attack roll. This roll is Extremely Hard (1d12), or Hard (1d8) if the weapon has the Rapid Fire Feature. If successful, anyone not behind cover, or moving through, that area takes damage from one shot from the crew member's weapon unless taking a Total Dodge Action.

Vault (5 AP):
Requires a short run (at least 2m). Can leap up to (highest of Strength + Coordination + Athletics)/2 meters in one round.

Low-Gee Movement (2 AP):
In a low- or zero-gee environment, crew members push, pull, and jump through their threedimensional environment. Can move up to (lowest two of Strength + Coordination + Athletics)/2 meters in one round. This environment can be very challenging to those that aren't used to it; Low-Gee Movement rolls score a Mishap on a Failure Margin of 3+ instead of 5+.

Ready Item (1 or 2 AP)
The crew member reloads a weapon, flips a switch, or types a short command into a comtrans. The simplest of these actions take only a moment, but some take several seconds to complete.

Speed and Stealth:
Crew member speed is halved if using the Stealth Skill while moving, or if moving underwater.

■ Ready Item AP Cost 1 or 2 ■ Simple: Cost 1 AP. ■ Complex: Cost 2 AP.
■ It costs 0 AP to simply drop an item.

Use Mental Skill (2 AP)
The crew member calls on their extensive training and long experience to figure out how to fix a shorting power conduit, or what Assembly law says about neutron weapons, or some other important fact.

Movement (AP Cost Varies)
The crew member runs, swims, or jumps across the battlefield.

■ use Mental Skill AP Cost 2 Recall/Figure Out (2 AP):
The crew member spends a moment to solve a puzzle, decide how to fix an item, or remember an important piece of data. Sometimes a Mental Skill involves actually doing something with your hands. For example, you might want to repair a damaged comtrans. In that case, a Ready Item Action also must be taken, costing another 2 AP.

■ Movement AP Cost Varies Sprint (5 AP):
Can move (highest of Strength + Coordination + Athletics) *10 meters in one round. Crew members can only sprint in a straight line across level, unbroken ground; if there are any obstacles, a Run is the best they can do.

Use Psionic Skill (3 AP)
The crew member summons their inner strength to control their body, or the world around them, through their strange powers.

Jump (2 AP):
Can leap up to (highest of Strength + Coordination + Athletics)/3 meters in one round.

Run (1 AP):
Can move (highest of Strength, Coordination, or Athletics) meters.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ use Psionic Skill AP Cost 3 Mental Power (3 AP):
The crew member spends a moment to focus their concentration and use a mental power to read minds, move objects at a distance, see the future, or perform some other amazing stunt. Unless otherwise stated, using any Psionic Skill costs 1 Concentration.

■ Use Social Skill AP Cost 3 Intimidation and Leadership:
No penalties for use in combat. See the Envoy Chapter for more information.

Other social Skills:
-2 penalty when used in combat. See the Envoy Chapter for more information.

Withstand (Varies)
The crew member steels themselves to face some incoming threat. Adequately prepared, they weather the storm better than expected.

Use Social Skill (3 AP)
The crew member pauses during combat to cajole, influence, or shout down the enemy, possibly bringing the fight to a close with less bloodshed, or maybe just distracting them at a crucial moment.

■ Withstand AP Cost Varies
■ Taking a Withstand Action temporarily increases one's Endurance and Willpower Skill rolls by 1/2 the AP cost until next round.

Section 7.3: Surviving Combat

Helpful Hints for Combat
Violence is a horrifying, but inevitable, consequence of a galaxy full of limited resources , misunderstandings, and madness. Here's how you can prepare for the unthinkable.


Know What You're Doing. If you
don't have an Aptitude with Small Arms, get a Knack in one form of Small Arms. This way you'll have a chance of hitting something.


Protect Yourself. Wear armor and
keep your shields up. Without some form of protection, you're probably dead,

Rethink your options. Don't get into combat if you can help it. There's usually some reasonable solution everyone can agree to that will prevent unnecessary bloodshed.

Dodge. Take Dodge Actions. This won't
prevent you from getting hurt, but will make you a little harder to hit.


Demoralize the enemy. Intimidation
works without penalty in combat, and if you can drive the enemy off, so much the better. Just be sure to leave before they come back with reinforcements.


Take cover behind anything large and
massive, as long as it's tough enough to stop incoming attacks.


Keep their heads down. Covering
fire prevents the enemy from drawing a bead on you.


Concentrate fire. Dropping one opponent is a lot better than wounding three others.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying
(13). Know


Use the Environment. Use darkness,
smoke, blinding light, and other environmental conditions to your advantage. In ship combat, hide in nebulae, behind planetoids, or in a cloud of asteroids, until the time comes to strike.

(10). Hide. Never attack from a known position.

Ambush whenever possible. Fight dirty.
(11). Know

Your Enemy. Be aware of your enemy's true capabilities, and don't underestimate them. Fighting a telekinetic species? Don't walk around with a belt full of grenades they can pull the pin on. Think you've got the enemy boxed in? If they're Laramites, or they have jet packs, they might be able to drop extra gear and fly away. When It's Over. There's a time to run, and a time to surrender. You can break out of an enemy prison camp, but you're not walking away from a starship after it explodes. Fight Ends, Another Is Coming. Don't be a sore winner. Treat captured enemies well. Accept surrender, allow them to disarm, and escort them back to their homeworld or embassy. Those who show no mercy tend to get no mercy.

your gear. Lasers have different

(14). Know

strengths and weaknesses than slugthrowers and railguns, and both are different from fists, melee weapons, and missiles. Keep track of your ammo, especially in ship combat.
(12). Keep

Your Eyes Open. Be aware of

(15). One

your surroundings and don't let yourself get ambushed. In ground/boarding combat, you have to draw weapons and get to cover; in starship combat, you have to Issue Red Alert to park the crew modules, raise shields, and depressurize the hull.

Section 7.4: Damage Control

Ship Damage
Each starship weapon has a Damage rating, given in dice. When a starship takes damage, roll the listed damage dice. If any damage die rolls lower than the target's Shields Level, its value is reduced to 1. From this total, the starships Hull Plating value is subtracted. The remainder is subtracted from the starship's Hull Integrity Resource. Each time the ship takes an amount of damage equal to its Hull Integrity, it falls to a lower Breakdown State. The Breakdown States are Intact, Minor Rupture, Major Rupture, Disastrous Rupture, and Shattered. When the ship is Shattered, it begins to break up, and its Zero-Point Generator will overload in just a few minutes. Each time the starship drops to a new Breakdown State, they must roll 1d20 on the Starship Malfunction Table to see what new impairment the ship suffers.

■ Malfunction Table (1d20)
(19 to 20): (16 to 18): (13 to 15): (10 to 12): (08 to 09): (04 to 07): (01 to 03): Life Support. Armaments. Cargo Bay. Crew Casualties. Drones. Engines. Electronics.

When a ship System suffers damage, consult the section below to determine what the results are.

Armament Malfunctions:
■ When the ship suffers an Armaments Malfunc-

tion, roll 1d20 + (number of Armaments Malfunctions already suffered) on the table below. Each time the ship suffers an Armaments Malfunction, the ship also takes one Tactical Casualty.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Armament Malfunctions (1d20)
( 24+ ): offline. ( 23 ): All weapon systems offline. (21 to 22): Shield Soft Armor reduced by 2. (19 to 20): All weapon systems suffer +1 TD penalty to attack rolls. (15 to 18): Light Shields offline. (11 to 14): One weapon system offline. (06 to 10): Shield Soft Armor reduced by 1. (01 to 05): One weapon system suffers +1 TD penalty to attack rolls. All shields and weapon systems

Skills for Department rolls instead, with an additional -2 penalty.

Engine Malfunctions:
■ Each Malfunction suffered by the Drones Sys-

tem reduces the ship's Engines and Thrust Level by 1. The Engineering Department also suffers one Casualty.

Other System Malfunctions:
■ Each Malfunction suffered by a System reduces

the ship's System Level by 1.

Ship Conditions
The enemy ship sends soldiers to board the ship and take her over.

Cargo Bay Malfunctions:
Each Malfunction results in the loss of 1d10 cargo units per point of damage inflicted. Large ships with big cargo bays can afford to lose lots of cargo, but some cargoes are fragile; if the ship is carrying vulnerable cargo, twice as much of it is destroyed. If the ship's cargo bays are empty, ignore the first Cargo Bay hit, and re-roll all subsequent Cargo Bay hits.

■ Boarded Effects:
Each round, the boarding ship's Tactical Department may make an Opposed Roll against this ship's Tactical Department. On a success, the boarding ship may inflict a Casualty on one Department, or damage one System. They may also attempt to take command of the ship, but this requires a roll with Success Margin 3+, and cannot be attempted until (Ship's Hull Size) rounds after the ship's been boarded.

Crew Casualties:
Each Department takes damage separately. Department “Malfunctions” are usually called Casualties. Each Casualty suffered by a Department reduces that Department's Level by 1. Roll on the table below.

On a failure, the boarding ship's rolls suffer a -1 penalty; when reduced to 0, all boarders have been repulsed.

■ crew Casualty Table (1d20)
(19 to 20): (16 to 18): (12 to 15): (09 to 11): (06 to 08): (03 to 05): (01 to 02): Psi Ops (re-roll if inapplicable). Helm. Tactical. Science. Enviromedical Engineering. Command.

Flying Blind
The ship's sensors are knocked out, and the pilot tries to fly the ship by guesswork alone, a terrifying and usually deadly experience.

When a crew Department has been reduced to 0 because of Casualties, the Department's chief uses their

■ Flying Blind Effects:
All Helm Rolls suffer a penalty equal to (Hull Size)/2, and all attacks gain a -2 TD bonus.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Sensors must be restored before the ship can be piloted normally.

■ Crew Wound Table (1d20)
(19 to 20): (17 to 18): (13 to 16): (07 to 12): (03 to 06): (01 to 02): Head shot. Hand hit. Arm shot. Torso attack. Leg shot. Foot strike.

Power Loss
When the ship's ZPG and nuclear fusion generators are both hit, the ship suffers Power Loss.

■ Power Loss Effects:
All Departments cannot take actions. Without active Life

Arm or Hand Wounds:
■ One Wounds: All attacks and Physical Skill

Power generators must be repaired before Systems come back online. Without the Life Support systems online, the crew will begin to freeze and suffocate within (Ship's Size) hours, unless they don space suits.

rolls with that arm or hand suffer TD +1. ■ Two Wounds: The arm or hand cannot be used. ■ Three Wounds: The arm or hand is severed. Crew member suffers Blood Loss, and must make an Extremely Hard (1d12) Strength + Endurance roll or suffer stun for Failure Factor minutes.

Head Wounds

Crew Damage
Each weapon has a Damage rating, given in dice. When a crew member takes damage, roll the listed damage dice. Each crew member armor has Soft Armor equal to their Strength, plus any Soft Armor bonus from Upgrades and Equipment. If any damage die rolls lower than the target's Soft Armor Level, its value is reduced to 1. Add up the remaining total. The crew member's Hard Armor is subtracted from the total. The remainder is subtracted from the crew member's Life Force Resource. Each time the crew member drops to a new Injury State, they must roll 1d20 on the Crew Wound Table to see what new impairment they suffer. The Injury States are Healthy, Lightly Injured, Seriously Injured, Gravely Injured, Coma, and Dead. A crew member in a coma suffers the Stunned and Blood Loss Conditions until healed to the Gravely Injured Condition. If attacking from the left or right, the attacker will simply hit an appendage on that side. If attacking from above, roll 1d10+10 on the Crew Injury Table. If attacking from below, roll 1d10.

■ One Wound: All Mental Attribute and Skill

rolls suffer TD +1. Crew member must make an Average (1d6) Strength + Endurance roll or suffer stun for Failure Factor rounds. ■ Two Wounds: All Mental Attribute and Skill rolls suffer TD +2 and cost double Concentration, (if it doesn't normally cost any, it now costs 1 Concentration). Crew member must make an Extremely Hard (1d12) Strength + Endurance roll or suffer stun for Failure Factor minutes. ■ Three Wounds: Crew member drops to Coma Injury State and suffers Blood Loss. ■ Four Wounds: The crew member dies instantly.

Torso Wounds
■ One Wound: All Physical Attribute and Skill

rolls suffer TD +1, and movement speed is reduced by -25%. Crew member must make an Average (1d6) Strength + Endurance roll or suffer stun for Failure Factor rounds. ■ Two Wounds: All Physical Attribute and Skill rolls suffer TD +2 and movement speed is reduced by -50%. Crew member must make an Extremely Hard (1d12) Strength + Endurance roll or suffer stun for Failure Factor minutes.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Three Wounds: Crew member drops to Coma

Injury State and suffers Blood Loss. ■ Four Wounds: The crew member dies instantly.

a failure, the vehicle crashes.

Groundside Vehicle Crashes
Sometimes a vehicle careens out of control and collides with something, or rams into the ground at an unsafe speed. When this happens, all crew members take 1d6 damage per 5 km/hr the vehicle was traveling. Reduce this to 1d6 per 5 km/hr if the crew members were wearing safety belts or harnesses, but increase to 1d8 per 5 km/hr if the vehicle is Open, like a hovercycle. Soft Armor applies to this damage, but Hard Armor doesn't.

Leg or Foot Wounds
■ One Wound: Movement speed reduced by

-50%, cannot Sprint, Total Dodge, or Major Dodge. ■ Two Wounds: Movement speed reduced by -75%, cannot Minor Dodge. ■ Three Wounds: The leg or foot is severed. Crew member suffers Blood Loss, and must make an Extremely Hard (1d12) Strength + Endurance roll or suffer stun for Failure Factor minutes.

Suit Punctures
If the crew member is wearing a space suit, their suit is punctured whenever they suffer a Wound. Most suits include a patch kit, and additional patches can be purchases as well; a few suits are designed to self-heal, but this is rare and expensive technology.

Crew Conditions
Crew members find themselves facing many different kinds of attacks, all kinds of hostile environments.

Blood Loss
Shattered and punctured, the crew member bleeds all over the place.

Groundside Vehicle Damage
Groundside vehicles can get shot, holed, and destroyed, much the same as starships. They're a lot simpler than starships, built with ruggedness and safety in mind. Keep track of the damage that the groundside vehicle racks up. Each time a groundside vehicle takes as much damage as its Structure rating, roll 1d20 on the following table and apply the listed effects.

■ Blood Loss Effects:
Crew member suffers a -1 penalty to all Attributes, and loses 1 Life Force per round until stabilized. If not stabilized before they reach (Strength *2) Life Force, they die. Stabilization requires an Average (1d6) Logic + Medicine roll.

Lost Life Force heals at the normal rate.

■ Vehicle Damage Table (1d20)
(18 to 20): Power plant hit. Vehicle skids safely to a stop. (11 to 17): Auxiliary systems hit. Vehicle loses sensors, life support, or a weapon system. (09 to 12): Steering hit. Vehicle suffers a cumulative -2 to Maneuverability. (01 to 08): Hover jets hit. With one hit, the vehicle's speed is halved. On the second hit, the pilot must make a Hard (1d8) Coordination + Groundside Piloting roll; on

Brain Fried
Spacers take the need for rest and relaxation seriously, given the stresses of their lives, but even they can't anticipate the weirdness they will face. Faced with cosmic truths and bizarre sights, sometimes a crew member's mind shuts down briefly, as they struggle to comprehend an emotional trauma or a psychedelic warping of space and time. Being brain fried can result in temporary confusion, a more serious disorientation, or permanent damage in the form of mental health issues and loss of mental faculties.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

■ Brain Fried Effects:
■ ■ ■ Minor: The crew member suffers a -1 penalty to all Mental Attributes. Major: The crew member suffers a penalty of -1/2 to all Mental Attributes. Severe: The crew member permanently loses 1 Level from a Mental Attribute, or gains a new Quality related to a psychological disorder (such as Jittery, Phobia, or Vengeful); player's choice.

Reeling from toxic substances, the crew member struggles to remain upright and active, while the world turns hazy and their muscles feel like gelatin.

■ Poisoned Effects:
The crew member suffers a -3 penalty to all Attributes (minimum 1), and loses 1 Life Force per minute throughout the duration.

The crew member regains Concentration at half the normal rate when Brain Fried. If the crew member suffers permanent effects as a result of Brain Fried (Great), but the cause is removed, they regain lost Concentration at the normal rate from that point.

Once the duration elapses, the crew member regains 1 Level to all Attribute per day. Lost Life Force heals at the normal rate.

Exhausted and worn down by events, the crew member's reaction time is slowed considerably; by the time they notice what's going on and formulate a response, it might be too late.

Exposed to a harsh atmosphere, or just choked by some gods-awful creature, the crew member starts to pass out.

■ Sluggish Effects:
■ ■ ■ Minor: The crew member only has 3 AP to spend per Ground/Boarding round. Major: The crew member only has 2 AP to spend per Ground/Boarding round. Severe: The crew member only has 1 AP to spend per Ground/Boarding round.

■ Choked Effects:
The crew member can hold their breath for (Strength) Ground/Boarding Combat rounds. Each round after that, the crew member must make a Strength + Endurance roll or pass out. The TD starts at Easy, and increases by 1 each round. The crew member passes out until they can breathe easily, at this point, and suffers 1 point of damage per round; Armor doesn't apply.

After duration elapses, crew member regains 1 AP per Ground/Boarding Round.

Once the crew member can breathe freely, the damage stops. If they've been choked into unconsciousness but their throat is released, or they're removed to a clean atmosphere, they remain unconscious for 2d4+2 minutes.

Overwhelmed by pain or knockout chemicals, the crew member crumples to the ground, where they lay, watching dumbly but too overwhelmed to move.

■ Stunned Effects:
The crew member is aware of their surroundings, but has 0 AP. They cannot move, speak, or


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

take actions. All Attack rolls against the crew member gain a -1 TD bonus.

necessary, but in general this slows down operations instead of speeding them up, for little net difference.

Once the duration elapses, the crew member may act normally.

Crew Repair
Active crew members naturally heal 1 Life Force per day, and 1 Wound per month.

Ship Repair
There are two kinds of ship repair: Engineering Repairs and Enviromedical Repairs.

Active Resting Infirmary Sick Bay Med Lab

Life Force
1/day (Strength/3)/day 1/day 2/day 3/day

1/month 1/2 weeks 1/2 weeks 1/week 1/3 days

Engineering Repairs
The Engineering Department can restore lost Hull Integrity and repair ship Malfunctions. Make a Hard (1d8) Engineering/Starship Engineering + Drones roll; if successful, 1 Hull Integrity or 1 Malfunction is repaired. The time this takes is:

((10 + Hull Size) – (Engineering or Starship Engineering + Drones)) hours

Shore Leave
That's all very well and good for fixing physical damage. But what about the crew's stress levels? When morale dips too low, the crew just can't perform anywhere near their best. Crew members naturally regain Concentration and Discipline at the following rates:
Deep Space Outpost Colony Homeworld Vacation Resort

The time is reduced to half on a Triumph. On a Mishap, the system cannot be repaired any further, and must be taken to a space station for further repairs. Each repair also takes (Hull Size) units of Starship Hull Components. This roll gains a +1 Bonus if made at a refueling station or gateway, +2 if made at a trade hub, and +3 if made at a space dock. The repairs can me made faster, but each -10% to the time required causes a +1 TD Penalty.

1/day 1/day 2/day 3/day 3/day

1/month 1/2 weeks 1/2 weeks 1/week 1/3 days

Enviromedical Repairs
The Enviromedical Department can restore Casualties to Ship Departments. The Enviromedical Department can restore lost Casualties. It takes ((10 + Life Support) – (Enviromedical/Environmental + Sensors)) hours to restore 1 Crew Casualty. Each repair also takes (Life Support) units of Medicine/Drugs Components. On a Triumph, 2 Casualties are restored; on a Mishap, vital crew members die in the sick bay or medlab, and the Department Level is reduced by 1 until replacements can be hired. These times can't be appreciably sped up. The crew can return to work faster if they're full of painkillers, if

All Hands, Abandon Ship!
If the ship drops to the Shattered Breakdown State, the crew has 1d8 Ground/Boarding combat rounds to get to an escape pod, shuttlecraft, or starfighter.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

After this time elapses, the ship explodes. Anyone still aboard is killed. All ships in (Size *10) km take 3d6 damage, and all ships in (Size *100) km take 1d6 damage.

Oh Captain, My Captain
It's sad to lose a crew mate, but there are usually other crew members that can fill in the position. When

a member of the bridge crew is killed in action, create another crew member; this was the department's second-in-command. The new crew member gets 1 Potential less than their superior had when they were created. The crew member must have the same Allegiance as the rest of the crew, and be trained in the appropriate Department.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 8.0:

The Sheol Prerogative
The Sheol Prerogative is an Assignment for Broken Symmetry crews. The Ralmashan Gateway circles Then Shekra, an abandoned mining colony nicknamed “Sheol.” The colony was abandoned for unknown reasons years ago, and now the gateways is manned by a skeleton crew from the Assembly government. Suddenly, the gateway's gone silent. You're being sent into unknown danger to investigate. Good luck, spacers. You're going to need it.

Section 8.1: Mission Outline

Background History
Decades ago, a Prelloth exploration vessel made a jump to YZ Canis Minoris, which they called Ralmashan after an ancient Prelloth conqueror-goddess. They found that the third planet, though barely habitable, was rich in valuable metals. After the foundation of the Assembly the Verge Mining Corp. established a colony on the world, which the Prelloth had named Then Shekra, which basically means, “too warm.” The Terrans in the colony nicknamed the world, “Sheol.” The planet vented toxic gases into the atmosphere, and although the local plant-like lifeforms thrive, the atmosphere is only breathable for short periods. The world is warm, an average of 43 degrees Celsius (110 Fahrenheit) on a cool day. Nevertheless, the ore was rich, and Verge went to the trouble of building a gateway in the system. And then, after just a few years, they closed down the colony and left forever. The gateway is still quietly maintained by an Assembly team from the Ministry of Commerce. At least it was, until communications ceased four days ago. The crew is sent, by StelNav, the Ministry of Commerce, the Verge Mining Corporation, or someone else, to find out what happened.

functional in case it's ever needed again. The Commerce Ministry agents assigned to this spot are near the end of their careers, or they never showed much promise; it's a place for routine research and boredom reign.

The Terrible Secret
Centuries ago, a massive interstellar empire ruled much of this section of space. The Sheolites destroyed all lesser civilizations, and Then Shekra was one of their furthest outposts. The Sheolites believed that they were the chosen children of the gods, and that all other sentient species were mockeries, the spawn of demons, only fit for destruction. Their core tenets were the same, but minor religious differences caused a huge civil war that tore the Sheolite Empire apart. Far-flung colonies like Then Shekra survived, remembering their glorious past, dreaming of a day when they could murder their way across the galaxy once more in the name of their bloodthirsty deities. Despite their backwards culture, the Sheolites were technologically advanced. They never made widespread use of wormhole Gateways because they realized early that wormholes could be re-tuned to open to new locations, making them a dreadful weapon. If a Gateway orbited an inhabited world, the Sheolites could tune the Gateway's far mouth to open near a pulsar, or a black hole; the Gateway would be destroyed, but so would the world below.

The Ralmashan Gateway
The gateway has a full operating capacity of 600 sapients, but normally operates these days with about twelve, the absolute minimum to keep the gateway


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

After their failed attempt to escape from Then Shekra, the Sheolites entered hibernation and waited to be re-awakened, when their world was geologically stable once again, or when aliens disturbed them, providing a way offworld. The Sheolites appearing in this Mission are only the inhabitants of one “hibernation pod.” Because Then Shekra enters geologically active periods on a semi-regular basis, the Sheolites planned ahead, and built these pods that could withstand full immersion in molten lava. If even one pod survived and opened when the surface was safe once again, the Sheolites planned on digging out their comrades, and repopulating their world once more. So what does this all mean? It means that if the crew fails to stop the Sheolites, they will awaken an army of their kin, raising them from their graves under Then Shekra to wage war against all sentient life once again. And armed with the knowledge of how to weaponize Gateways, the Sheolite army could sweep across the Assembly, destroying Gateways and laying waste to entire planets. The Sheolites could quickly become the greatest threat the Assembly has ever faced, at a time when the Assembly is busy finishing with one enemy and turning to face another.

The Uprising wants to find evidence of malfeasance by Verge Mining Corp. and Assembly officials, and to look for valuable resources to aid their fight against the Assembly.

Malfunctioning MineMeks
The ship is attacked by malfunctioning Meks in mining ships, who try to drive them away.

Boarding The Gateway
The crew approaches the gateway, and comes aboard. They find a few survivors, who tell a terrifying story. A new scientist opened several sealed, forgotten cargo containers, and discovered a new, alien lifeform. When she led a team to the surface to investigate, they were captured. The strange aliens attacked the station, and the remaining crew barely managed to fend them off. Now, their communications system destroyed, they worry for their lost companions.

Down to Sheol
The crew travels to the primary Verge Resources mining dome on Sheol, to face the Sheolites and rescue the Gateway station personnel. They battle the Sheolites, and learn about their zeal for slaughter.

Assignment Parameters
This section breaks down the stages in the crew's investigation. This is just one way that things can go, of course; if the players make different choices, the Assignment could go in a very different direction.

Sword of the Heavens
Several mining ships attack, refitted by the Sheolites. The crew must fight off the Sheolites and destroy the station, even while it warms up to fry them with a pulsar blast!

The Approach
The ship receives the mission, and is dispatched to Ralmashan. The reasons why the crew are sent vary depending on the crew's Allegiance, however. The Children of the Firmament are convinced that a Predecessor artifact was discovered on Then Shekra, and they want it. Free Traders are hired by Verge Mining Corp. to investigate the sudden silence from the gateway. They will not provide the crew with any useful information about what happened there originally. StelNav and the Titan Marshals wants to find out the fate of the Commerce Ministry agents manning the gateway, and secondarily, to find out about the colony itself. The records are sealed at top level. The Triumvirate smells a lucrative opportunity to establish a new pirate base, and maybe loot a corporate base for all it's worth.

Bringing Bad News
The crew, if they survive, must flee to warn their employers; Sheol is too dangerous to inhabit, and gate ways can be re-tuned to be used as weapons. This could shift the balance of power in the Assembly forever.

This section gives a general outline of the events leading up to the Mission.


Note about keeping



The Assembly uses a metric calendar, that isn't tied to any one planet's rotation. In the Assembly Calendar, each year is 10,000 hours long (roughly 1.14 Terran


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

years), divided into ten months, each with 10 weeks and 10 days, each 10 hours long. Terra and other worlds map familiar month names to the Assembly Calendar; for example, on Terra, the Assembly year divided into 12 months, 4 with 34 days and 8 with 35 days, each 24 hours long (with one short “leap day” to make up the difference.) Starships may use a familiar planetary calendar, or a generic shipboard calendar, based on the command crew's preference; using the Assembly Calendar, a crew member will commonly work a full-day, 10-hour shift, with three hour-long rest periods in between, and rest the next full 10-hour day. Many Terran records were lost during the Highblood War, so the current date as of the ancient Julian calendar isn't known. Dates are written (Year).(Month).(Day).(Hour). Time was the signing of the Assembly Charter, and all dates are either F.A. (Foundation of the Assembly) or P.F. (Pre-Founding).

215.8 F.A.: A MineMek reports anomalous metallic objects in its path, which may indicate evidence of technological artifacts sealed in stone. The gateway crew sends a government science team to investigate; all of them are killed. In a few terrifying hours, Sheolites pour out of the sealed object and take over the ground base on Sheol, and hijack shuttles bound for the gateway. The Sheolites are stopped before they can capture the station, and all of their bodies are sealed in biohazard crates until they are destroyed. Unfortunately, a few of the crates are overlooked. Cut off from space with their shuttles destroyed, the remaining Sheolites in the mining dome go into hibernation. The mining operation is abandoned, and only a skeleton crew is left behind to maintain the gateway.

223.3 F.A.: A number of the MineMeks left behind by Verge Resources begin to display unstable behavior. Before they can be destroyed, they capture a couple of disused mining ships and escape for the outer planets in the Ralmashan system.

Mission Timeline
205.1 F.A.: The A.R.C. Vesh Nashaam completes
a survey of the Ralmashan system, and then returns to Assembly space.

224.3 F.A.: A new scientist is assigned to the
Ralmashan Gateway, Dr. Lissandra Han.

206.5 F.A.: Verge Resources buys mining rights
to Sheol from the Assembly Ministry of Commerce, and mounts a colony expedition for Then Shekra.

225.3.3 F.A.: Bored, Dr. Han begins an exhaustive inventory of the contents of the Gateway's cargo bay. She discovers the remains of the Sheolites inside, and realizes that they could only have evolved on Sheol. When she finds that certain records about Sheol are sealed in the station's main computer, she leads a group to the surface. There, they find the Sheolites in hibernation in the mining dome, and awaken them.

207.4 F.A.: Verge Resources assembles a modular space station in orbit of Sheol, and begins assembling its mining operations.

207.8 F.A.: Mining operations begin on Sheol. 209.3 F.A.: The mines on Sheol are so lucrative
that Verge Resources petitions for the Ministry of Commerce to build a Gateway station in the system. Intense lobbying ensues, and the Gateway begins construction.

225.3.5 F.A.: The ground crew are captured by
Sheolites, who take the shuttle back up to the Gateway. The station's crew barely manages to fight off the Sheolites, but not before the Sheolites destroy the station's communications array, break the Gateway controls, and steal all of the remaining docked mining ships.

211.3 F.A.: Construction begins on the Ralmashan

213.7 F.A.: Construction is complete on the Ralmashan gateway. F.A.: The crew's ship enters the Then
Shekra system.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 8.2: Mission Locations

The Ralmashan System
The star Ralmashan, once known as YZ Canis Minoris, is 19.3 light-years from the Sol system. A cool, red star, Ralmashan has only 14% the mass of Sol. Then Shekra orbits very close to remain as warm as it does, and its geological upheaval only makes it warmer. There are four other planets in the Then Shekra system. The closest to the star is Keshaath, a tidelocked barren rockball. The other three, Masidaas, Koshash, and Frellk, are all unremarkable gas giants. The renegade MineMeks are believed to have escaped to the moons of Koshash in their stolen mining ships.

One dome coordinated the activities of all the others, and this is the only mining colony dome that remains intact. On the next page, you can see the map of the Verge Resources mining dome, and below that, a key to its locations.

Approaching the Mining Dome
Sheolites are a technologically advanced species, and they've managed to figure out written Lingua without too many problems. They're constantly monitoring the dome's sensors for approaching ships, so they'll definitely be ready if the crew lands a shuttle within 5 kilometers. Outside of that range, though, the crew will be fairly safe. The sensors aren't continually monitored, either, so if the crew attempts to conceal their approach, they'll probably succeed; TD Average (1d6).

The Ralmashan Gateway
The Assembly has a fairly standard design for most of its Gateway space stations. The gateway is designed like a ring 200 meters in diameter, and the two habitation modules are four large box-shaped structures spaced an equal distance from one another, rotating around the gateway's ring to simulate gravity. Larmaawaod and Shesto Thee are still on the Ralmashan Gateway, waiting for rescue from the Assembly Ministries, StelNav, even Verge Resources.

Gaining Entry
The two primary ingress points are the airlock door, and the main garage/hangar door. Both are sealed and locked, but it's not too hard to pick the lock; roll Logic/Engineering, TD Hard (1d8). The garage/hangar door is so huge, though, that the vibrations can be heard throughout the entire colony dome. In addition, life support locks prevent the hangar opening it will cause an alarm klaxon to chime in the garage/hangar, alerting anyone inside to intruders. For these reasons, the airlock is the safest bet.

The Verge Resources Mining Dome
Mining operations on Sheol were carried out primarily by Drones and MineMeks, supervised from shuttlecraft by Verge Resources personnel. The organics lived in a dozen or so ready-made colony domes, specially designed for Verge so they could be quickly constructed and withstand a variety of hostile environments. Conditions inside the dome are comfortable but cramped. The domes typically house 7 sapients; three engineers (robotics, shuttles, and life support), two geologists, a shuttle pilot, and an administrator.

The Hostages
Dr. Lissandra Han and Alex Tigue are being kept in room N, one of the shared bunks. The other four members of the away party were killed by the Sheolites.

General Stats
The Sheolites changed all of the computer codes to all of the locks in the station, including the locks on the shuttlecraft and HoverTruck. It takes a TD Hard (1d8) Logic/Engineering roll to pick any of these locks.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

The Sheolites have turned the environmental controls up to their maximum heat. Treat the interior as if it were a planet with Hot Surface Temperature.

The outer walls of the colony dome are hardened titanium steel; they have Soft Armor 10, Hard Armor 5, and Structure 15 per 2 meter section.


Food Fabricator ServMeks Bay


Equipment: Intoxicants (2), Knives (2), Rec Stims (3), Space Rations (20).

This room normally contains a food fabricator console, and two ServMeks for food prep and light cleaning. The food fabricator is still functional, but the Sheolites destroyed both ServMeks. Inhabitants: Two destroyed ServMeks.

(B). Workout Room
This room has a multi-purpose exercise machine, good for maintaining muscle tone in the cramped quarters of the mining dome. The Sheolites lashed one member of the away team to this machine to torture him to death, and his remains are still here.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Inhabitants: One dead Assembly Ministries Prelloth Engineer. Equipment: Knife, Neural Binders.

(G). Mess Hall and Rec Room
This room contains an entertainment holovid console and several comfortable couches, tables, and chairs. Inhabitants: Altano Kron, Vardan Thok, two Typical Sheolite Warriors. The two Sheolite leaders are debating strategy. Equipment: One EDS M-77 “Sunspear” Laser Pistol.


Maintenance FixMeks Bay



This room stores various tools for maintaining the colony dome's systems. The west side of the north wall has a ladder leading down into the dome's power plant, or up into the wiring trunks that control the dome's sensors and communications systems. Inhabitants: Two destroyed FixMeks. Equipment: Macro-Tools (2).

(H). Corridor and Suit Storage
This small room stores space suits for the dome personnel. All of the suits have been punctured by the Sheolites, to “discourage” their prisoners from escaping. Inhabitants: One dead Assembly Ministries Malkaari Biomedical. Equipment: 2d6+6 spacesuit repair patches, and 2 punctured space suits from each Assembly species. The suits are all punctured and it will take 1d3 minutes and a TD Very Hard (1d10) Logic/Environmental roll to repair them.

(D). Corridor
This long, narrow hallway forms the core of the colony dome, and opens onto most of the rooms. Inhabitants: None. Equipment: None. Special: This room contains several of the fibrous cocoons that the Sheolites generate when they enter hibernation.

(I). Privacy Room
Inhabitants of the colony dome used this room to listen to music, meditate, or to spend “private time” with one another. The Sheolites are using this room as a sort of makeshift armory. Inhabitants: None. Equipment: Three EDS M-12E “Wildfire” semiautomatic pistols, with four magazines.

(E). Sickbay
This small room has one cot, and three first aid kits for healing wounds and burns. The Sheolites ransacked the room, but everything is still present. Inhabitants: None. Equipment: Enviromask, bro-Scalpel. Medikits (3), Vi-

(F). Vehicle/Shuttle Bay
This room holds a shuttlecraft and a HoverTruck. Both vehicles are still present, but their controls have been locked out by the Sheolites. It takes a Logic/Engineering roll, TD Hard (1d8), to pick the electronic locks on the doors, and another one to start either vehicle. Inhabitants: One Typical Sheolite Shaman and two Typical Sheolite Warriors. Equipment: Bold Horizons shuttlecraft, one Agrivision Galactic “Haulmaster” Hovertruck with Environmental Cabin Quality.

(J). Airlock
This room opens onto the surface of Sheol, and into the dome proper. One dead Malkaari is in this room, obviously suffocated to death. Inhabitants: One dead Assembly Ministries Malkaari Biomedical. Equipment: None.


Vehicle/Shuttle FixMeks Bay



This room stores special tools needed to repair the dome's HoverTruck and shuttlecraft. Inhabitants: Three destroyed FixMeks. Equipment: Three Macro-Tools, one Plasma Torch.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

(L and M). Shared Bunks 1 and 2
Each of the rooms has a bunk bed, a chair, and a computer console. In each of the rooms, the computer console has been destroyed.

(Q). Head and Shower
This is the lavatory, shower, and restroom shared by the station's personnel. Inhabitants: None. Equipment: None.

(N). Shared Bunks 3
As above, except as noted below. Inhabitants: Dr. Lissandra Han and engineer Alex Tigue are tied up and trapped in this room. Equipment: None.

(R). MineMeks Bay
This area stored spare parts for the dome's many Meks. Inhabitants: 1 Macrotool. Equipment: ComTrans unit with scientific database and AR display goggles.

(O). Administrator Bunk
This room is where the colony dome's administrator slept. The room had an upgraded computer, but that's been thoroughly smashed. Inhabitants: The Sheolites piled up the remains of the original Verge Resources personnel in here, and their rotted bones all come tumbling out. Equipment: A ComTrans unit, a credslab with 3d6 credits, and a station keycard, now useless.

(S). Ore Sample Analysis
The station's personnel used the machines in this room to break down and analyze the minerals from the mines, assessing their value. Even with nanotech fabrication technology, some veins are purer and more valuable than others, and this analysis showed Verge Resources where to concentrate their mining efforts for maximum profit. Inhabitants: None. Equipment: ComTrans unit with scientific database and AR display goggles.

(P). Common Room
This room has a single large table, and was commonly used for meetings among the dome's staff. Inhabitants: Besta Thok and two Typical Sheolite Warriors wait here, guarding the prisoners in room N. Equipment: None.

(T). Ore Sample Storage
This room contains many large cargo boxes filled with various ore samples. Inhabitants: None. Equipment: Plasma Torch, 1d6 cargo units worth of Minerals, and 2d6 cargo units of Metals.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Section 8.3: Prefab NCPs and Ships
This section lists the non-crew personnel and starships that the crew will encounter during this Assignment. Some are crew of the Ralmashan Gateway, while others are re-programmed Meks, or alien enemies.

Altano Kron
Sheolite Armada Shaman
Altano Kron fervently accepts that all aliens are a blight upon the cosmos, and is perfectly willing to turn on Besta Thok if he should waver in his duties. Once the aliens are wiped out, his people can return to their long slumber, and wait for their world to return to its paradisaical state once again. Altano and Besta Thok have disagreed many times in the past, but the two work well together, and have a grudging admiration for one another. Not so with Varden Thok ; Altano de spises Varden for his violence and ambition.

Besta Thok
Sheolite Armada Command
Besta Thok never truly believed his peoples' teachings that there were other lifeforms in the galaxy, and now that he's encountered them, he'd much rather make peaceful contact. He's horrified that his predecessors slaughtered the inhabitants of Gehenna Colony, and now wants to make peace with the crew. He cannot do so, however, without standing up to Altano Kron, and he's not willing to do that just yet.

■ Altano Kron Packages:
Sheolite, Sheolite Armada Mystic.

■ Besta Thok Packages:
Sheolite, Sheolite Armada Command.

Coordination (4), Focus (4), Intuition (2), Logic (4), Presence (4), Strength (5).

Coordination (3), Focus (4), Strength (3).

Small Arms (3), Telekinesis (5, TK Bolt).

Intimidation (3), Martial Arts (4), Small Arms (5).

Cocoon (Special, see species entry), Eidetic Memory, Psi Active, Regeneration *2.

Cocoon (Special, see species entry), Eidetic Memory, Psi Active, Regeneration *2.



Irrational Hatred [All other species].


Armored Jumpsuit (Soft Armor 1, Hard Armor 1, Bulk 1), Laser Pistol (Damage 4d10, Accuracy -1).

Type-C Spacesuit (Soft Armor 2, Hard Armor 2, Bulk 3), Laser Pistol (Damage 4d10, Accuracy -1), Laser Rifle (Damage 5d10, Accuracy -1).

Concentration 4.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Han, Lissandra
Terran Commerce Ministry Scientist
Unlike most of the others on the Ralmashan gateway, Lissandra Han is exactly where she wants to be. She's working on her doctoral thesis on the biochemical ecology of Then Shekra. She found several sealed bio-crates in one of the docking bays of the gateway, complete with sealed shipping orders over twenty years old. No one could know the horrors that she'd discover.

Martial Arts (2), Leadership (3, Cross-Training).

Enviro-Adaptation (Heat), Re-generation.


Relaxed, Serious.

ComTrans unit.

■ Lissandra Han Packages:
Terran Assembly Ministries Scientist.

Coordination (3), Strength (2).

Shesto Thee
Prelloth Commerce Ministry Engineer
Shesto Thee spent three terms in StelNav aboard a ground-based shuttle repair station during the Nexus War. His base was overrun by Jalseks and most of his fellow ground crew were killed before the base was rescued. After the war, Shesto landed a job in the Ministry of Commerce. His addiction to thenik ale and violent temper got him sent to the Ralmashan gateway, where he does his job and tries to eke out his days before retirement. Thee is a good person, who's haunted by nightmares by the things he saw in the war.

Small Arms (1), Sensors (4, Precise Fix), Science (5, Fields of Research – Planetology).

Upgrades, Deficiencies:

Curious, Lighthearted.


■ Shesto Thee Packages:
Prelloth Assembly Ministries/ StelNav Engineer.

Malkaari Commerce Ministry Command
Larmaawaod grew up in an agricultural community on Aurelius. She (he, at that time) joined the Assembly Ministry of Commerce to raise the money to purchase land and start a farm of her own. Larmaawaod's education was pretty sub-standard, so she was never able to get a particularly good posting. Now, dozens of parsecs from home, she's been critically wounded by members of some forgotten alien species, and she wonders if this is the end of her simple dreams.

Coordination (4), Logic (4), Strength (5).

Small Arms (3), Engineering (4, Jury-Rig).

Sense (Night Vision), Claws *2, Keen Sense (Hearing and Smell).


■ Larmaawaod Packages:
Malkaari Assembly Ministries Command.


Type-A Spacesuit, Plasma Torch.

Coordination (3), Presence (4), Strength (4).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Tigue, Alex
Terran Commerce Ministry Engineer
Despite his poor upbringing, Alex Tigue had a promising future as a quantum mechanical scientist; he had excellent grades and a scholarship to Consonance University, until his parents were killed in a hovercar accident. He flunked out of school, managing to get a vocational degree in starship maintenance, and a deadend job at the Ralmashan gateway. Tigue is slowly working on getting his degree through holovid training, but it's a slow process, and dreams of working in an exciting lab full of sentients as smart as he is one day.

Small Arms (4), Sensors (3, Fire Scout), Science (5, Tune Energy Weapon Frequency).

Cocoon (Special, see species entry), Eidetic Memory, Psi Active, Regeneration *2.


Irrational Hatred [All other species].

Armored Jumpsuit (Soft Armor 1, Hard Armor 2, Bulk 2), Laser Pistol (Damage 4d10, Accuracy -1).

■ Alex Tigue Packages:
Terran Assembly Ministries Engineer.

Coordination (4), Logic (5), Strength (4).

Science (4), Engineering (4, Systems Specialist – Fabrication).

Typical Verge Resources MineMeks
Bold Horizons MineMeks
Verge Resources employed dozens of MineMeks to rip useful materials from the mines.

Upgrades, Deficiencies:

Romantic, Shy.

■ Typical V.R.C. MineMeks Packages:


Coordination (3), Logic (2), Presence (1), Strength (5).

Vardan Thok
Sheolite Armada Scientist
Vardan Thok agrees wholeheartedly with Altano Kron that the alien creatures are a filthy pestilence, but disagrees that the Sheolites should return to their ancient slumber. He wants to lead a glorious crusade to wipe out all alien life in the galaxy, and will do his best to persuade his clan-mate and best friend, Besta Thok, that this is what must happen.

Small Arms (2), Engineering (2, Salvage Specialist).

Eidetic Memory, Enviro-Adapta-tion (Hunger, Low Pressure, Thirst, Suffocation) *4, Extra Sense (Infrared), Innate Armor *2, Psi Resis-tance *4.

Outcast *3, Slow Healer *4, Vulnerability (EMPs) *3.

■ Vardan Thok Packages:
Sheolite, Sheolite Armada Scientist.


Coordination (3), Logic (6), Strength (3).

Plasma Torch.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Typical DeathMek Mining Ship
Découverte Corp Mining Ship
Meks sometimes go berserk and attack organics, determined to end their existence, for no readily-apparent reason. Several months ago, several Meks assigned to the Ralmashan Gateway stole a couple of the decommissioned Verge Resources mining ships and took off with it. They haven't been heard of since then, but the crew is aware that the Meks might be dangerous. The Meks are hiding in the outer gas giants of the Ralmashan system, waiting for any organics to blunder past, and they've retrofitted their ships with crude railgun turrets.

Typical Sheolite Shaman
Sheolite Armada Psi Ops
Sheolite Shamans are religious leaders in the Sheolite faith, that holds that the universe was built for the Sheolites themselves, and that all aliens were sent to test them, and tempt them into weakness. Sheolite Shamans are powerful psionics, and also act as “political officers,” prepared to replace leaders that don't show the proper zeal for their holy crusade.

■ Typical Sheolite Shaman Attributes:
Coordination (3), Strength (3), Focus (4).

■ Typ. Deranged MineMek Ship Packages:
Découverte Corp DeathMek Mining Ship.

Martial Arts (2), Notice (3), Small Arms (2), Telepathy (4).

Hull Size 3 Systems:
Armaments (3), Cargo Bay (5), Drones (4), Electronics (4), Engines (2), Life Sup-port (1), Maneuver Jets (4).

Cocoon (Special, see species entry), Eidetic Memory, Psi Active, Regeneration *2.


Laser Pistol.

Enviromedical (1), Command (3), Engineering (4), Helm (4), Science (4), Tactical (4).

Tractor Beam *2.

Typical Sheolite Warrior
Sheolite Armada Soldier
Sheolite Warriors are holy crusaders of the longlost Sheolite Empire, which extended as far as Ralmashan centuries ago.



Crude Railgun Turrets (equivalent of EDS “Ravager” MSS-125X Railgun Battery (Damage 3d6, Engagement Range, Rapid Fire (2/1d6), Turret, Special: -1 to hit). Discipline (3), Hull Integrity (5), Hull Plating (1), Shields (2), Thrust (7).

■ Typical Sheolite Warrior Packages:
Sheolite, Sheolite Armada Security.

Coordination (4), Strength (4).


Martial Arts (3), Small Arms (3).

Cocoon (Special, see species entry), Eidetic Memory, Psi Active, Regeneration *2.



Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

Departments: Equipment:
Type-C Spacesuit (Soft Armor 2, Hard Armor 2, Bulk 3), Laser Rifle (Damage 5d10, Accuracy -1). Enviromedical (4), Command (3), Engineering (3), Helm (3), Science (2), Tactical (4).

Enhanced Sensor Resolution [Tactical], Tractor Beam.



Typical Sheolite-Refit Mining Ship
About a dozen mining ships were docked at the Ralmashan Gateway. Most were powered down and scavenged for spare parts for other Verge Resources ships; of the six that remained, several were taken by the DeathMeks, and several more by the Sheolites. The Sheolites added missile launchers and laser weapons to the normally-unarmed mining ships.


Sheolite Laser Emitter (equivalent of Way of Fire Armaments “Fire Demon” MSS-230D, Damage 2d6, Engagement Range, Overcharge, Recharge (2), Turret, Special: +1 to hit). Sheolite Missile Rank (equivalent of Titan Arms “Red Rage” LAE-2, Damage 3d6, Missiles Range, Ammunition 6, Radius, Turret). Discipline (3), Hull Integrity (6), Hull Plating (1), Shields (2), Thrust (6).

Typ. Sheolite-Refit Mine Ship Packages:
Triumvirate Bold Horizons Mining Ship.


Hull Size 3 Systems:
Armaments (4), Cargo Bay (4), Drones (3), Electronics (3), Engines (1), Life Sup-port (1), Maneuver Jets (4).


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying


No Assembly Required
Each ship also gets one Upgrade for free, and can gain more Levels in Systems and Upgrades by taking Deficiencies.

You don't have to use the Assembly for your Broken Symmetry Mission. The Assembly is included because it's an easy way for your game to take flight, but you can follow the steps below to design your own setting. You can also use these guidelines to tailor the Assembly. You can set your Mission during the early days of the Assembly, perhaps during the Nexus War, or earlier. You can add new sentient species, or give stats to species that are mentioned here, like the Vanthi, Qotani, and Sselwa, but which don't have stats. This game is yours. Fold, spindle, and mutilate. Season to taste.

New Space Station Packages
Space Stations work a little differently. They automatically have Hull Size of 7 or higher, but automatically have Level 0 in Engines and Maneuver Jets. The (Hull Size *2) points may be divided between the remaining Departments, and the station gains two free Upgrades.

FTL Drives
A ship must have Size 2 to 6 to mount an FTL drive of any kind. Smaller ships aren't massive enough to mount a ZPG to power an FTL drive, and larger ships are too bulky and massive to efficiently move with any known form of drive.

New Tech
One of the most important decisions in any science fiction setting is to decide what's available and what isn't. By excluding free drive, you can limit a Mission to a single star system. When a new technology becomes available to the crew, it typically means adding new ship Defenses and Upgrades, and new weapons, gear, and armor, but it often means new problems, too. Cyber crew members are vulnerable to pulse grenades, and slide drive makes it harder for central governments to control space travel, making organizations like the Uprising a much bigger danger.

New Ship Construction Packages
Spend 6 kilo-credits on the Ship Construction package.

New Ship Allegiance Packages
To build a new Allegiance package, divide 42 kilocredits (or 14 Levels) between Departments and Upgrades. These kilo-credits can also be used to purchase 1 Level in a ship System as well. Be sure to choose an Aptitude Department as well. Each ship gets 1 Level in each Department for free.

New Ship Class Packages
Assign any number to Size, from 1 to 6. The ship's base Maneuver Jets Level is equal to (7 – Size). Then, divide a number of Levels between Systems equal to (Size *2). Every ship gets 1 Level in each of these systems for free, and no ship can have more than 5 Levels at creation. Up to 2 Levels may be added to Maneuver Jets as well, but Maneuver Jets costs twice as much.

New Crew Background and Allegiance Packages
To construct a new Background or Allegiance, spend 6 Potential.


Broken Symmetry

Sci-Fi Roleplaying

New Crew Position and Groundsider Profession Packages
To construct a new Crew Position Package, choose one Attribute to gain a +1 bonus, and three Skills to work as Aptitudes. Most Crew Position Packages should have a role in starship combat.

from humans, and their culture should be different as a result.

New Mek Packages
Building new Mek packages is treated the same as building new Species packages, except that you must select Tech Upgrades instead of Genetic Upgrades. Base your new Mek Packages on the existing Mek Packages; in the default Assembly setting particular, Meks generally have the following:

New Species Packages
There are many more species in the galaxy than are listed here. When building a new species, spend from 100 to 110 Potential on Attributes and Genetic Upgrades. Each Disallowed Background or Crew Position grants an additional point of Potential, as does each point of Relations Penalty (to a maximum of -4). Take care to think about the new species' biology and culture. Aliens should be more than just funny-colored humans with a few stereotypical attitudes or beliefs; their biology should be significantly different

Upgrades: Eidetic Memory, Enviro-Adaptation (Hunger, Low Pressure, Thirst, Suffocation) *4, Psi Resistance *4. Deficiencies: Outcast *3, Slow Healer *4, Vulnerability (EMPs) *3. Qualities: Dogmatic.


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful