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What Goes Up

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WhatGoesUp

(Or, Liftoff! meets Kerbal Space Program)

The Story

And so the small scale, less pompous gods made it manifest that whoever first traveled to the moon would meet one of their numbers there (Something about a timeshare), and have a prayer answered with no uncertainty, no tricks and no monkey's paw style shenanigans.


The greater races, the proud peoples and nations who had long shaped the world with their wars and renaissances were too busy to listen.


Instead, it was up to those considered less important to answer the call. For one, they were tinier and had an easier time of it...


The fluffy, bouncy rabitians who make up for their lack of opposable (or any) digits with friendship and magic.

The solid, stalwart and somewhat potato-like merbs, from that little desolate island that was their whole world until the Great Pillow Fight.

The obsessed, spazzy goblins, who in fairness have been wanting to go to space for many todays but finally got around to coming up with a semi-coherent plan.

The cold-blooded kobolds, who seem to emergently tuck'er in regardless of perceived stupidity.

The energetic kemomis, who figure that an enormous rocket booster is just the thing to put in the middle of an archipelago-wide pool party.

The childlike, communistic kenders, who... Actually, the kenders have all been shot into space for early tests, before the development of any reentry or landing system.

And so on and so forth...


Who gets there first? Find out. THE UP GOERS ARE READY! Brave spacederps cause and solve problems while on the ground meks and tinkerers develop ever stronger, bigger, less reliable vehicles at a breakneck pace. You will probably not go to space today, but fear not - the line may be long but it moves fast!


The Game

WhatGoesUp can be played as a way to spur cooperative fiction, as a board game in its own right, or as a way to include semi-realistic spaceflight in an existing RPG campaign in which the issue has arisen.

Unlike in Liftoff, flights happen simultaneously - R&D is done as the program develops, and Up Goers can encounter, dock, hit each other intentionally or not, and generally interact while whirling around the planet at unsafe speeds.

By default, there is very little automation involved! If you want to get something up there, a derp will have to carry it there.

If you are using this for a RPG, magic will probably be used for the first stages of Up Goers, but it stops working somewhere up in the sky. Fluff it how you will!

This can be a RPG, board game or play-by-post game in which each player writes about a page of fluff, and then condenses it into crunch actions. These crunch actions are fed into a fair dice roller to determine the outcome, which is then written about. And so on and so forth. Actual play sessions should last an hour or so, and involve occasional interaction between the races before, during or after the rolling.

Get the rules here!

Possible victory conditions

Optional space combat rules

Optional colonization rules

Optional underped (robotic) vessel rules

Solitaire or Cooperative game option - Stop The Rock!

Using this as a module in a larger RPG campaign

License: Creative commons 4.0 attribution noncommercial sharealike

(c) xkcd
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Page last modified on October 02, 2015, at 01:52 PM