SSO is a card driven game of co-ordination, planning and action management in a world of brutal sci-fi survival. It will place from one to six players into a narrative driven world of tension and desperation telling stories of knife-edge escapes pulled from sources ranging from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.
SSO tells the continuing story of the S.S. Omega, a space ship tasked with a mission vital to the survival of humanity, a ship with a mysteriously absent crew. Players take the part of a rescue team that must guide the Omega to the completion of its mission. Players will investigate the deserted ship, uncover the catastrophic events which befell it and pilot the ship to its destiny.
Players win or lose independently, but if the ship shuts down or runs out of oxygen all crew will die and all players fail. Players can work together to increase the ship's oxygen supply, repair its failing systems and complete missions triggered by the Challenge Deck. Of course, limited oxygen is only a problem if there are too many people breathing, and players are free to conclude that death of the many can mean survival for the few, or the one.
- Co-op play but separate winners, sacrifice yourself for the good of the group, or betray them in your best interests.
- 1-6 players, but only one set of rules whether the player count is 1 or 6.
- Modular stories with non-set paths for huge replay value but a deeply emergently narrative game.
SSO's base set builds a ship and provides players with the crew to investigate it, but its story is driven by the game's "Challenge Deck". Each Challenge Deck consists of a series of cards, built and balanced to tell a specific narrative of terror and survival aboard the Omega. The Challenge Deck is entirely modular and can be slotted out and replaced for endless replayability, depending on whether players wish to be wiped out by a malicious computer, hunted by a former crew mate or suffer the brutal assault of an unknown life form. In fact, game play tension can be vastly increased by using the random Challenge Deck selection process such that players never know which death will befall them until it strikes.
SSO's Challenge Deck represents any of a range of vicious, aggressive, deadly threats to the players. It will shut off locations when they are their most crowded, vent oxygen when it is most precious, attack the morale of the crew when they are at their lowest ebb, and pick off members of the team when they are at their weakest. Players will unite as a team against this seemingly conscious enemy or be torn apart to attempt piecemeal survival in the face of its terrors.
SSO is a game for 1-6 players; all rules are the same for solo play as for multi-player games. A game will last 45-90 minutes depending on player experience and decisiveness.
The game ends when either no crew remain alive or the Challenge Deck is exhausted. If no crew remain the mission has failed, all players have lost and humanity is doomed. If the Challenge Deck is exhausted all players with remaining crew are glorious heroes apt to have statues raised in their honour, they also win.
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