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Venture up, out, and through!

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Pepper elf Banshee level 1

Rankstillfleeter minima nonfactor, subclass petty-G

You are a huge card game enthusiast from Guildship 439. You were trained as a Co. engineer. Your job is to open stiffworks (quantum gates connecting disparate points in timespaces), and to appraise and repair technologies discovered during the venture. Secretly, you despise the Archive: they don't care about the fate of humanity, only their technological toys—dangerous toys. What did they do to you? What did you see when you last snuck into one of the Minor Libraries?

LanguagesSpin and Elf Machina

ScoresCOM d6
MOV d10
REA d12+1
WIL d6
CHA d8
HEA 16 [maxCOM+maxMOV]
GRT 23 [maxMOV+maxREA]
DR 0 [no armor]



  • Environmental resistance (permanent) – You don’t have to breathe air, and you can withstand the wild temperature and pressure swings of the vacuum. You cannot survive strong acid, lava, astral hydrogen plasma, etc., any more than any other species.

  • Rationally designed (permanent) – You gain a permanent bonus of +1 REA. [already included]

  • Technorganic (permanent) – You gain a bonus of +2 to all tech rolls, except those regarding bug and Escheresque tech.


  • Dive (standard) – The ship is on fire—you have to get your party through the stuck bulkhead before the O2 combusts! (Or whatever!) This is your big getaway power. Burn 6 GRT and make a MOV check: if you succeed, you and some or all of your party make it out. You can bring 1 + your level humanoid-sized beings along with you to safety, or burn an additional 6 GRT to bring one additional being beyond your limit. Small sapient beings (0.5-M tall/long) count for half a slot; large sapes (3-M tall/long) count double; small pets (cat/beagle-sized) are free. If you fail your MOV check, you injure yourself for d6 HEA.

  • Jack (standard) – Use, alter, or repair tech. Burn XY GRT, where X is the type of tech (ranked 1–7, clank [medieval], bio [contemporary on-Spin], code [Ancient, Early Tephnian], force [High Tephnian], nano [Late Tephnian, Snakeman], bug [cryptocerid, heechee, mantid, mi-go], Escheresque) and Y is the level of complexity (ranked 1–6, simple, standard, complex, corporate, military, godlike). Thus, a force artifact of standard complexity costs 4 x 2 = 8 GRT to interact with. Once this cost has been paid, the artifact functions as designed, within reason. A laser (standard force) keeps firing until it runs out of juice, which is up to the GM to determine (e.g., d20 charges). Repowering requires access to the appropriate resources and an additional use of the jack power. Bonus item: instead of a standard envirosuit, you begin play with a perfect environment suit that you have repaired [already included]. This allows you to safely operate in the void for 36 hours.

  • Power up (free) – You use tools to recharge a technical object or being. Burn X GRT; a technical entity gains X GRT. This GRT can stack beyond her normal limit. You can also use this power to add charges to energy weapons. The cost to do so depends on their type: burn 2X GRT to add X charges to a personal weapon; 3X GRT to add X charges to an Ancient or High Tephnian naval weapon; or 5X GRT to add X charges to an alien or Late Tephnian naval weapon.

  • Tack (standard) – Open, close, or change the destination of a stiffworks. Costs and mechanics vary by the works. Open stiffworks remain open for 10 minutes per tack… usually.1



  • Javelin (1 clank) – d6 damage. 80-M range. Can be used as a melee weapon for d4+1 damage. 6 gl.

  • Warhammer (2 clank) – d8 damage. If you use this two-handed, add +1 to damage. 20 gl.


  • Defensive smoke trebuchet matrix (3 clank) – No DR, but +1 to dodge checks. Can be added to an exosuit. 100 gl.


  • Perfect environment suit – Environment suit that you have repaired. This allows you to safely operate in the void for 36 hours.

  • Some shit you’ve found, potentially useful – Firestarting kit, sumptuous but durable tent, wetan musical instrument of fine make (you can figure out how to play this only if you are a wetan or your REA or CHA is a d12), hot sauce. 5 gl.

  • Oddment – The Lance of Desperate Viridian: an intelligent, telepathic fungal brain with no interest in you or your friends.

Voidguilders (gl) remaining: 10

1 Typical tacking mechanics and associated GRT costs are:

  1. Ancient – Stiffworks from c. -100 MYA (i.e., those built by Virgin Dimenzion™, etc.) are technically either primitive and highly unstable tachyon drives (T drives) or more stable but much less useful quantum-entangling metamagnetic “loop” drives (Q drives):
    • T drives cost 16 GRT and require a difficult (7 or better) REA check to tack; these can be tacked to and from any point in timespace. Typically, T drives were used by shipping companies with military-grade shipware.

    • Q drives cost 8 GRT and require a standard (6 or better) REA check to tack; these can be tacked to and from preprogrammed destinations, or to and from stiffworks you’ve actually used before, or well-characterized and easy-to-tack stiffworks on hubworlds such as Spindle or Terra. Q drives were typically used at starports. Many preprogrammed destinations are utterly unknown to the Co. today.

  2. Spinside – Oft-used stiffworks on Spindle typically cost 2 GRT, no check required, to tack. This applies going out, but not always coming back: The primary stiffworks that connects Spindle to the colony of Darasan, for example, is easy to use Spinside, but requires enormous GRT expenditure on the Darasannais end to tack back.

  3. Provincial (i.e., stiffworks on a distant Carvolian colony world that has some contact with Spindle) – This is the “boring,” standard stiffworks. To tack it, burn 4 GRT and roll a REA check. If you succeed, you’ve tacked. If you fail, you may try again next
    round by burning another 4 GRT.

  4. Tephnian – Interfacing with a comm, make a dREA check, difficulty 7, and burn 12 GRT. Or use the access password (though you probably don’t know this). Or drip a single drop of nanite-infused Blood onto the sensor (though you probably don’t have any noble Blood on you). Any of these approaches will tack the stiffworks.

  5. Snakeman – Sacrifice a sapient life, then scar yourself, burning d20 -dWIL HEA, min 4.

  6. Heechee – Politely ask the gate to open, using your brain-like multi-tongue (though you probably don’t have one of these). Or think at the gate, politely asking it to open, and burn d20 -dREA GRT, min 3.

  7. Escheresque – Traveling “to” the Escheresque causes all non-extradimensional sapients, even purely informatic beings, to experience “Escheresque nausea” which deals d4 -dWIL +dREA GRT damage, minimum 1, and physically incapacitates you for 1 round. There are two ways to tack “to” the Escheresque:
    • If you have an Escheresque blade and can “activate” it (unfold it in N-dimensions), then you can use it to cut tack a stiffworks ex nihilo, from any point in the universe to any point the Escheresque and vice versa. (Importantly, you cannot use the blade to tack a stiffworks from any one point in the universe to another, nor from any one point “in” the Escheresque to another.)

    • If you don’t have an Escheresque blade, or can’t unfold it, you may be able to travel to the Escheresque at no cost via the cryptic foldgates puncturing timespace at various points. These are typically found at the depths of alien enigmadromes, in the hearts of stars, etc. Little is known by the Co. about the Escheresque, because few fleeters who travel there ever return to Spindle.

  8. Utterly mysterious – Some stiffworks do not sit within any known category…