If I don’t get sick of writing this blog or die, someday I’ll do a sci-fi Ela story. I heard 5 Parsecs from Home was pretty cool so I preordered the 3rd edition a while back. Several weeks after it was released and everyone else bought a copy in stores, I got my pre-order copy. I’m not bitter about it.
I haven’t gotten into it too much but on first glace it seems pretty dope. To the interest of no-one, here’s what this future sci-fi story crew might look like 5 Parsecs style.
We start of course with Ela, who will be a baseline human because that’s what she is. Her background will be Peaceful High-Tech Colony because I want her to have +1 Savvy. Savvy is basically a catch all for everything you do that’s not combat, kind of a mix of wit and charm and skillfulness. Her motivation will be REVENGE because Duke Eaglevane must die no matter what the genre – this is the Ela singularity. Her class will be Artist.
Next up we have her not-faithful not-sidekick Martialla. She’ll be a mutant which means her background is automatically Lower Class Megacity, which sounds about right for the Ela-Martialla relationship pattern. I don’t want her motivation to be the same as Ela’s and there is no rescue my relative option so I rolled and got Survival. Works for me. Her class is Starship Crew since she’s traditionally an able sea(wo)man.
Then we have faithful trustworthy old Blue. He will be a Stalker because they’re blue aliens. No other reason. His background is Military Outpost because that’s his thing. His Motivation is Loyalty. Does Ela deserve his loyalty? Sometimes more than others. His class is Soldier.
That’s it for our old stand-bys so let’s get into some random generation. A 5 Parsecs crew is six people normally.
First up we got a Bot. That’s it, bots don’t roll for anything else, they’re just bots. I shall call the bot Enhanced Learning Android or E.L.A. The backstory is that Ela found an old C3-PO in a trash heap and fixed it up to be her handmaiden, (not) human shield, and general helper. Not 3 Laws Safe at all.
Next up I roll an ‘Oddity’ and rolling again on the oddity chart we get Emo-Suppressed. This is not your niece who doesn’t have any money to go to Hot Topic, they’re someone who’s been nerved stapled to get rid of emotion beyond those needed for survival. Because of this motivation is automatically Survival. Rolling I get a background of War-Torn Hellhole and a class of Troubleshooter. No need to get fancy here, this guy was clearly a special ops dude on murder planet 8000 and he didn’t want to feel anything anymore so when he got out of there he had them Eternal Sunshine him. I shall call him Spock. Death Spock. No, Doc.
For our last crewmember I once again get Oddity and Emo-Suppressed, sometimes procedural generation gives you a lot to work with sometimes it doesn’t. Rolling a background of Giant Overcrowded Dystopia City and a class of Scientist. It’s tempting to have the two emos have a shared background but I’m going to pass. I’ll say that this person was trying to use science to un-dystopia their home and in desperation to be better at science to save the world underwent a treatment to enhance their logic that had the side effect of snuffing out their emotes. When they didn’t have feelings anymore they realized that they didn’t care about helping their city anymore. Backfired! She shall be called Valeris.
Origin of the group is that Ela hired everyone and their “reputation” is Starport Scum. Going through the gear isn’t that interesting (unlike the rest of this, zing!) so I’ll just touch on a couple equipment things. I rolled an AI companion which will be the Extended Linguistics Algorithm or E.L.A – the hilarious mix-up dialog practically writes itself!
The gear doesn’t have to be assigned to anyone, it’s all mish-mash mix’em up but based on the rolls in order Emo man #1 got a boarding saber and a blade for weapons which I’m going to stick with. This dude was nucking futs on the battlefield of his warzone/home, running around twin-swording it like there was no tomorrow. Even though is brain has been stamped the rage still lurks below and his swords call out for blood.
I don’t know yet if the rules allow for double pistolero action but I gave Ela both the beam pistols I rolled anyway because that’s a total Ela move. One of them has a laser sight. Pew-pew! That’s the mic and if you don’t hear her she’s got a back-up mic, know what I mean? She has also the cyber-arm because robot arms are totally SCI-FI.
So we have Ela and her quest for vengance, one person who’s loyal to her, a robot that obeys her, and three people that have no ambition beyond survival. That does sound like a crew Ela would assemble – no reason to get things all confused with other people having their own hopes and dreams. Good work random die rolls!
Normally you roll for a ship as well but if/when I ever actually work on this I’m going to go with the no ship option because that fits in with the standard “Ela” has been left for dead in an unpleasant place. Speaking of let’s roll for the starting planet and we get Ice World. Perfect. Ela has been stranded on Hoth and has to find a way off world to get on the trail of that dastardly Duke Eaglevane.