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Author Topic: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft survival horror game [Resurrection]  (Read 727 times)

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Offline LtFoxTopic starter

Hello, folks. 

I was thinking of running a starcraft-themed game here, with a distinctive survival horror feel to it.  Here's the intro blurb, with application and character creation rules following.  Chronologically, this takes place just prior to the start of Starcraft 2.  This a resurrection of a game I ran for a while in the non-adult section, and am rebooting now here due to lack of interest over there and my own preoccupation with other matters. 


Far out on the fringes of known Dominion space lies the mostly unexplored world of Leviathan VII.  Survey ships have mostly passed this world by until now since it contained little in the way of usable minerals or vespene gas.  However, after small numbers of Zerg were confirmed there recently, a more detailed investigation was launched.  It was highly unusual to see zerg outside of the Char hive cluster these days, so a lot of people took note.  After more careful and detailed scans of the planet, a special energy signature was noticed.  It was highly unusual, though not entirely without precedent these days.  It seemed to come from some kind of Xel-Naga ruins deep underneath the planet's surface.

With this discovery, Dominion archeological teams with support from the military launched a full-blown investigation of the system.  The Leviathan system had a highly irregular sun which intermittently released large blast of radiation, so many figured that the sun was at the end of it's life, and that end was approaching fast.  Perhaps unnaturally so, which hastened the investigation.  No one wanted to be nearby if the sun blew, after all.  Only Leviathan VII was anything like habitable, the other planets were little more than rock.  The ruins were interesting enough to warrant a research base on the planet regardless of the zerg threat.  From all accounts, the zerg weren't moving that much on the surface.  Protoss ships had also been sighted, apparently following the zerg, which was yet another reason to hurry the investigation.  Everybody knew what happened to zerg-infested planets when the protoss were nearby.

The investigation was just starting to get properly underway, when something unthinkable happened:  Some radiation pulse spread from the sun blasted through the entire system, destroying many of the orbiting ships and forcing the rest to crashland on Leviathan VII.  It made no distinction between Terran, Protoss and Zerg either, anything that was moving in the space of Leviathan system was either destroyed or forced to land under bad conditions.  No takeoff had been successful from the planet since.

Now, you only have one goal:  To survive Leviathan VII and find a way off the planet.  You may not have much choice in your allies...  If you wish to survive.


Here's the deal:  I'm running the game using the extremely fast, fluid and rule-light PDQ rules, which are free and can be downloaded from Atomic Sock Monkey website under freebies, PDQ core rules.  Here's a direct download link:

Rules are very simple, PDF is only 13 pages. Character creation will use the following guidelines:

Name: Self-explanatory, I should hope.

Race: Terran or Protoss, which you take as Good (+2) Quality.  More on them below.

Profession: What your character does for a living.  Taken as another Good (+2) Quality.  Anything you can think of is okay, as long as it fits with the race.  This covers everything someone in that profession would be familiar with.

Other Qualities: You get 5 Good Quality ranks in addition to the 2 free ones above.  You can take them in whatever combination your desire, all separate or stacked to get better ranks.  You can stack them on race or profession Qualities as well, to get them to higher starting ranks.  You take one weakness at the rank of -2 Poor, like in the example.

What your character generally has with him/her.  In case of weapons, if the weapon is highly specialized or unusually high quality (common rifle/pistol is not) it gets an upshift for damage rolls.

In the case of some professions of Terrans and for all protoss, they may have access to armor.  All protoss are equipped with Plasma Shields, and some Terran military personnel are trained in the use of Powered CMC combat armor.  When wearing armor, all enemy damage is downshifted one rank and can further be used to completely negate a few hits as described in the rules.

Equipment bonuses, whether on weapon or armor, have no effect on hit chance, only when damage is calculated.

Background:  Short description of how your character wound up on Leviathan VII.

Description:  What your character looks and acts like in a short format.  Pictures can be added for reference.
A few notes on specific Qualities:

The protoss are an innately psionic race with a highly regimented caste system, which means that the only knowledge that all protoss share is related to their history and culture.  They can generally use all protoss-made technology, but have no universal combat training, thus cannot add this Quality to combat checks unless they are psionic in nature.  However, protoss can add this quality to all psionic-related checks and their total psionic level is calculated by adding race Quality to their Profession Quality, if profession is psionically focused.  This often gives protoss higher psi-indexes than humans.

The humans, or Terrans as they are usually called, are a versatile and adaptable lot.  They can often find ingenious solution on various problems, and are generally adept with all Terran technology.  They are also universally fairly hardy, and even the most bookish librarian can clout someone in the head with a book when properly motivated.  Terran can add this Quality to all combat checks.

Psionic (optional):
Only Terrans can take this quality, as all protoss are innately psionic.  This Quality represents above-average Psi-index in the user.  For Terran Ghosts, this is a mandatory Quality.  Characters with this quality can use psionic abilities to gather information or affect other minds, or resist other psionic attempts.  If Psionic Quality is Expert or better, the Character is also Telekinetic, with the ability to affect the physical environment with their abilities.

Infested (optional):
Your character, Terran or Protoss, has had an unfortunate encounter with the Swarm sometime in the past.  The zerg in one way or another left their mark in you, and you carry their genetic taint with you.  You are generally leaner, meaner, faster and just more aggressive.  You can add this Quality to all combat checks.  However, your appearance and disposition makes others of non-zerg disposition to view you with suspicion and disgust.  You take a downshift equal to your rank in this Quality to all social checks involving non-zerg.  The higher the rank of this Quality, the father the zerg infestation has progressed in you, both in physical changes and in mental shift.  At Master (+6) you are more than half zerg, and have trouble holding to a non-zerg thinking process, often prioritizing your more brutal urges and trying to link up with the zerg collective.

Sample character: Protoss Zealot

Race: Protoss +4 Expert

Profession: Zealot +6 Master

Exceptional Shields +2 Good
Reflex enhancements +2 Good
Not very suave -2 Poor

Plasma Shields

As you can see, this Zealot is a combat machine, specifically for close combat as Zealots use psi-blades in combat.  He has not received additional psionic training beyond his natural talents, as he focuses exclusively on combat.  That also means he isn't of much use outside of it, as his weakness in comversation shows.

For most combat checks, he would have +10 to attack (profession + race for psi-blades) and +10 for defense (profession again, but no race, as he has no psionic defenses.  The remaining +4 come from his speed and above-average shields.)


That's all the info for creating characters.  I'm looking for 2 to 4 new players for now, if there's any interest or questions, feel free to post.  For my previous two players, please repost your characters into this thread.  I'll put out more info on where we'll be continuing in the coming days.  Expect the pace of the game to be slightly slower than before, as it's not guaranteed I'll be able to post every day.

Let the mayhem begin!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2011, 07:59:50 AM by LtFox »

Offline Wintercat

Re: Descent into Insanity - A Starcraft game using PDQ rules [Resurrection]
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2011, 09:49:55 AM »
Still interested, have to dig up my old character for this though.

Basically, a scientist that was studying both xerg and protoss samples in a science vessel that crashed, managing to get himself partially impaled by several small shards of some sort of a psi-crystal, and also zerg sample's infectious blood. Infected, yet also bonded with the crystal, he's gonna have a hell of a lot at hand trying to maintain both his sanity and the dominance of his human side.

Just an example of a weird idea that is possible with ths interesting setting that is Starcraft's world.

EDIT: Found the character sheet.

Terran Xeno-Researcher
Daniel Catseye, Terran (Mostly, at least) Xeno-Researcher

Race: Terran +4 Expert

Profession: Xeno-Researcher +6 Master

Zerg Infested +2 Good
Protoss Crystal-Touched +2 Good
Unstable Mind -2 Poor

Sidearm: Shell-Breaker Revolver
Dissection Knife
Pocket Analysis Tool



Daniel is a young Terran man, with a brilliant scientific mind but one fatal weakness that seems to work against him. He is not one to hate the alien species, but rather a curious personality about them. Xenos are interesting to him, to the point that the higher-ups considered him an asset in studying the alien relics and captive alien specimens. However, he showed empathy towards these, going as far as to supply bits of meat to a caged Xeno at occasions, earning some worried muttering he was not fully loyal to the humanity as a whole. He was observed, but kept close because of his usefulness in deciphering data from what was acquired.

When the mission suffered its greatest disaster, and the ship fell from the orbit, its crashlanding caused Daniel suffered a personal tragedy as well. He was examining two samples brought aboard the ship, one of a highly advanced Zerg lifeform contained within a tank, another containing a damaged crystal which seemed to belong to the Protoss, but unlike any he had been able to examine before. Both of these valuable artefacts were lost in the crash, when their tanks shattered and the crystal shattered, both piercing and killing the Zerg-specimen and piercing Daniel in his chest, his his left leg, and through his right arm.

What scared him most is that when he tried to pull the crystals out, after recovering from the initial shock, the parts in his hands shattered, the rest sinking into the flesh as the skin felt it was boiling. He lost consciousness, disturbed by an odd dream he could not yet make any sense of. What he recalled was a burning heat all around him, and then a shaking that brought him awake again. There was no signs of his wounds, but he knew that it was not natural. Just how unnatural it was only came apparent when he ran his pocket analyser over his own form, and began to develop the first -symptoms-.


Short, military hair cut keeps the black hair in order, and a white labcoat covers his body. He replaced the tattered one from the crash with a new one, careful to burn the old one with the blood that was crystallizing on its surface. His body was previously rather lithe and almost scrawny, avoiding the mess hall and the grunts due to not wanting to run into trouble. After the incident he has noticed the bodymass is shifting slightly, seeming to be changing him a bit more sturdy, a bit more powerful. Whether this is a good thing or a bad one he isn't sure.

He has noticed a few other symptoms of change in him. His eyes have a slight glow in them, they dont at least yet show up alarmingly, but in the dark he no longer has to use a flashlight to read a book, and that's not something he could pass off as a joke to a collague. His eyes are gaining luminance, a growing light within them. He prefers to wear dark shaded glasses for this reason, but his vision problems have corrected themselves, his eyes are even keener than before.

Daniel has also noticed his fingernails have come off, replaced with what appears to be a bony claw to them. These are as dextrous as his fingertips, and as short as they are now they might pass off a glance from a distance, but closer examination would surely find these as odd. For this reason, he covers them with gloves. He doesn't like shaking hands either, or being touched, given the changes that have started. Long labcoat, and gloves, have helped him keep his state hidden so far.

As the rare survivor on the survey vessel, a rare survivor that didn't have a mountain of steel around them when they fell, he's got a bit of explaining to do about how he came through alive while some scientists are a splatter on the wall after the fall.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 10:02:09 AM by Wintercat »