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Two years ago, a four million year long war ended. The Autobots won and the Decepticons lost, although of course, everything is more complicated than that.

 

In the years since the final surrender of the Decepticons and Megatron going missing, the planet of Cybertron’s long-dormant techno-ecosystem has come alive, covered in strange phenomena and wildlife that makes life outside of cities difficult. Optimus Prime left the planet, bequeathing two halves of a shattered Matrix of Leadership to his two protégés, Bumblebee and Rodimus, because he felt that his presense as a wartime commander was serving as an agitant to the populace. The various non-aligned Cybertronians who left Cybertron rather than pick a side have begun to return home, having heard the signal deep in their sparks when Cybertron came alive.

 

A resurgent Decepticon rebellion was put down, but in the aftermath, all Autobots and Decepticons were either forced to renounce their factions or be exiled from the cities, led into the wastes by Bumblebee. To try and understand what ails the planet, Rodimus set out with a crew to try and find the mythical Knights of Cybertron and their forgotten knowledge – but his ship was presumed destroyed due to a mistimed quantum jump. However, he recently returned to Cybertron along with Optimus Prime, to stop a millennia-old plot by the long-forgotten Primes trapped in a dead universe, an attack on the capital city of Iacon by an ancient city-sized unkillable Transformer, and a mad plan by former Senator Shockwave to collapse space and time to hold the present of Cybertron in stasis forever.

 

In the aftermath – with Starscream as elected ruler of Cybertron, with Bumblebee having died trying to stop Shockwave, and with the recently returned Megatron seemingly renouncing Decepticonism and joining the Autobots – everyone is trying to figure out what to do next.

 

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Cybertron’s leaders have been contacted by a neutral space station willing to host peace talks. The station, named the Unfolded Nebula, is a massive artificial moon overseen by the Galactic Council, and its leaders are interested in seeing a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Cybertronians – mostly because it’ll stop them from infiltrating other planets and establishing outposts.

 

The station is a long ways away, and so requires a high powered, fully crewed quantum ship to get there. Hardworking Cybertronian scientists have succeeded in creating a sister ship of sorts to the Lost Light, the most advanced exploration vessel in the Cybertronian fleet. It will need to be crewed by a mix of diplomats, scientists, dedicated warriors and the like, and due to both the commitments of command and political controversy, none of the most highly ranked Autobots or Decepticons will be on board.

 

This ship is called the Nova Praxis; you are its crew. The future of the Cybertronian race rests in your hands. No pressure, right?

 

FAQs:

 

What is the basic premise of the game?

You’ll be crewing a ship that is comprised of Autobots, Decepticons, and unaffiliated Transformers, and taking this ship from Cybertron out to the Unfolded Nebula station in an attempt to get peace talks between factions and the rest of the galaxy formalized. The ship is a long ways away, and so the crew will need to be mostly self-sufficient; you’ll need dedicated warriors (though after four million years of war, everyone can take care of themselves in a fight) as well as scientists, medics, diplomats, and any other job you can think of that would fit on any long-term mission.

 

What system will you be using?

Fate: Accelerated Edition. Details below. It is available via pay-what-you-want PDF here. A print copy is five dollars and 45 pages long.

 

What kind of robots can we bring on board? Any special powers?

You can be an Autobot, a Decepticon, or an unaffiliated Cybertronian (nicknamed a NAIL – non-affiliated indigenous lifeform – by Autobots and Decepticons, a name they consider derogatory.) Special powers are permitted, within the fiction’s remit – details below.

 

What version of the dozen or so Transformers continuities will this be using?

In broad strokes, the IDW comics version of Generation One. Tonewise, expect it to be close to More Than Meets The Eye; some comedy, some exploration, some dramatic tension, some firefights.

 

In the event of contradiction, we’ll be going with my version of events. A short glossary of Transformers terms, history and culture follows.

 

Can I play a pre-existing character?

If you want to, though ideally I'd prefer to keep the major characters off-screen for this game. You can play a new character with a pre-existing name, as long as it's not too famous.

 

How many people are you looking for?

Six to seven, with space for more, permitting.

 

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It will work pretty much like it does in the Fate Accelerated book, but we’ll be using six Aspects instead of five:

 

  1. High Concept. Summarize the overall idea behind your character in a sentence. This tells me what kind of stuff you want to get up to and excel at.
  2. Trouble. What trips your character up? This tells me what you want your character’s most common recurring problem to be.
  3. Alt-Mode. What does your Transformer turn into?
  4. Regular Aspect. Some aspect of your character’s role in the story we’re making that you want to come up as an asset, a liability, or both. Typically these have a short story – a few paragraphs – from whence the aspect originates. You can write these on your own, or collaborate with another player.
  5. Same as 4.
  6. Same as 4 and 5.

 

Stunts are the same as in FAE: three stunts, default refresh of 3, with the character able to trade Refresh for stunts on a one-to-one basis for every stunt past three.

 

Special rules for FATE:

 

Your Alt-Mode: what a Transformer turns into. There are many kinds of alt-modes on Cybertron, ranging from the highly useful (military-grade tactical VTOL jet) to the handy (ground vehicle) to those of somewhat limited use (memory stick.) To balance them out, we’ll use the FATE point economy. Every time you see a problem that shifting into alt-mode could help with, pay a FATE point to invoke your alt-mode’s aspect and get an appropriate bonus or reroll.

 

Even a potentially less useful alt-mode is still considered more powerful than a non-Transformer of its type, and can be used as such. For example, Perceptor can turn into a microscope, and can use his alt-mode aspect for anything requiring magnification and careful study. Rewind can turn into a memory stick, and consequently has the most internal memory storage of any Transformer; he can recall historical archives with great accuracy.

 

If you run out of FATE points or for whatever reason don’t want to use them, we rule that your transformation cog is jammed or overheated, and is the reason why you can’t assume its shape.

 

Special Powers: Certain Transformers have powers and abilities beyond the norm, such as the magnetic powers of Windcharger, the teleportational abilities of Skywarp, and so forth. If you want one of these powers, here’s what you do:

 

  1. Take an Aspect that defines you as an Outlier in some way. This is more cultural than anything; many Transformers react differently around outliers than they do around regular Transformers.
  2. Take a stunt that defines your one unique ability. This is a once-per-session ability that you don’t need to use a FATE point to activate; activating powers more often can prove dangerous to the users, which is why Skywarp doesn’t just teleport enemies into the sun or why Windcharger doesn’t rip apart entire armies.

 

Alternately, if you want to play a triple-changer – a robot with two alt-modes instead of one – you can do so via taking it as an extra Alt-Mode Aspect above and beyond your default Alt-Mode Aspect.

 

To create a character and show how advancement works, let’s use the objective best Transformer: Hot Rod, later renamed Rodimus.

 

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Hot Rod’s player wants to play a Transformer who’s young at heart – a little rebellious, cocky and a daredevil. He writes down Daredevil Soldier Fresh in from Cybertron, to reflect Hot Rod being new to Earth and a leap-first-look-whenever type.

 

He sees Hot Rod as having an ego that’s prone to flattery, so he writes down Believes His Own Hype under his Trouble.

 

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His alt-mode is nothing too fancy, since he doesn’t want to be burning Fate points constantly on it. He sees Hot Rod as a speed freak of a sort – not necessarily the fastest Autobot, but an Autobot who loves going fast. He writes down Fast Roadster, which is good – then he thinks better of it and writes down Jacked Up Roadster With Flames On The Hood, which is even better, since it’s not too long but still evokes Hot Rod’s personality and distinct look.

 

Hot Rod, early in the war, was forced to implement a mercy-kill on an entire city rather than let its inhabitants be tortured, an act that to this day haunts him still. Hot Rod’s player writers Haunted by the Screams of Nyon to his sheet.

 

Hot Rod is prone to using flashy, wouldn’t-work-for-anyone-else tactics such as dropping in from orbit using a meteor shower as cover. When he stops to think things through, that’s when he falters. So Hot Rod decides that he’ll use Bold Moves From Here On Out.

 

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Finally, Hot Rod has a rivalry with his friend’s character, Kup, and decides to make this a personal aspect by taking an aspect based on Kup’s nickname for him. So Hot Rod is a Turbo-Revvin’ Punk in Kup’s eyes.

 

In taking approaches – how Hot Rod solves problems – Flashy leaps out as Hot Rod’s strong suit, at +3. His player sees Hot Rod as pretty speedy and not too weak in a fight or with his fists, so he selects Quick and Forceful as his +2 approaches. Hot Rod is no Perceptor, but he’s not a complete idiot, and he can be quiet when he has to – so he selects Sneaky and Clever as his +1 approaches. His weak spot is Careful at +0. Careful is not a word one describes Hot Rod with.

 

Finally, his player picks Hot Rod’s stunts. They are as follows:

  • Because I have Wrist-Mounted Turboguns, I get a +2 when I Forcefully Attack when engaged with multiple targets. Hot Rod’s wrist-mounted guns are good at switching targets quickly, though they are very flashy and very loud.
  • Because I Have a Souped-Up Engine, I get a +2 when I Quickly Overcome an obstacle when I get enough time to rev up into gear. Give Hot Rod enough straightaway, and he can get very fast indeed – just don’t ask him to turn suddenly.
  • Because I Love Giving a Speech, I get a +2 when I Flashily Create an Advantage when I’m trying to inspire my friends. Cheesy delivery and all, there is something about Hot Rod when he has time to talk to people that makes them fight a little harder. Just get ready to hear him say “until all are one” a lot.

 

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In play, Hot Rod has several adventures, but is landed in a lot of trouble when the Decepticon Swindle uses flattery to butter him up and blind him to a ruse taking place under his nose by referring to him as the creator of a new era of lasting peace – “Rodimus Prime.” This is the end of a minor milestone for Hot Rod. Feeling guilty over the fact that he believed his own hype, Hot Rod decides to swap Turbo-Revvin’ Young Punk for Will Move Heaven and Earth to Make Up For a Mistake, since in the next phase of his adventures, Hot Rod will be on his own, on a self-elected mission to find and retrieve the Matrix of Leadership, long ago stolen by Starscream.

 

Using Bold Moves From Here On Out and Will Move Heaven and Earth to Make Up For a Mistake, Hot Rod succeeds in getting the drop on a Decepticon asteroid base, downing Starscream and reclaiming the Matrix. However, during an attempt to escape, Hot Rod is shot through the chest and falls into deep space. Hot Rod’s wound is a serious consequence, but since he’s a Transformer and this is FATE, it’s only the end if he wants it to be, and Hot Rod’s player has ideas.

 

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This is a significant milestone, and when Hot Rod awakens, he’s boosted one of his approaches by one, mostly healed up the hole in his chest, and discovered that he’s crashed on an alien planet – and that somehow, not only did the Matrix heal him, but it’s embedded in his chest. Hot Rod swaps out Haunted by the Screams of Nyon for The Matrix Spoke To Me to signify that Hot Rod is attuned to the Matrix and a potential bearer. Through his adventures on the planet and using The Matrix Spoke To Me to jumpstart a rickety rocketship, Hot Rod returns to Earth, and returns the Matrix of Leadership to Optimus, who declares that from now on, Hot Rod will be called Rodimus.

 

This is a major milestone, and Rodimus renames his high concept – he sees Rodimus as having grown from his experiences but is still the same daredevil type, so now he’s a Daredevil Captain Assuming His First Command. He still Believes His Own Hype, turns into a Jacked-Up Roadster With Flames on the Hood, but is no longer haunted by the screams of Nyon and is no longer bound by his relationship with Kup. Instead, he claims The Matrix Spoke To Me and he Will Move Heaven and Earth to Make Up For a Mistake.

 

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Autobot: Formed by the decorated police officer Orion Pax as a way of reclaiming a pejorative applied to Cybertronians by other races in the galaxy; instead of meaning “automaton,” Autobots claim the name to mean “autonomous robot,” resisting the rigid caste system of Old Cybertron and believing freedom to be the right of all sentient beings. Formally recognized in the wave of Megatron’s destruction of the Senate and the assassination of Sentinel Prime. Used as enforcers by Sentinels’ successor, Zeta Prime, as a show of how the Senate had changed its ways; however, when Zeta Prime proved to be only nominally less corrupt than his predecessor, the Autobots temporarily joined forces with Decepticon insurgents to bring Zeta down, only to be betrayed by the Decepticons. Left for dead, Orion Pax recovered the long-lost Matrix of Leadership, a crystal containing the knowledge and wisdom of the Primal Lineage, and became Optimus Prime, leading the Autobots against the now out-of-control Decepticons.

 

You are an Autobot because: Mode Functionism was apartheid and wrong, and we reject it entirely, and the right to choose your own path is the right of every Transformer. But the Decepticons would threaten all of that – they don’t want equality through freedom, they want equality through tyranny, and they have wiped out entire species due to a misguided paranoia. For the sake of sentients everywhere, we have to stop them, on whatever planet they’re trying to infiltrate, in whatever way we can.

 

Decepticon: From their slogan, “you are being deceived.” The Deceptions were formed by the miner-turned-political-activist Megatron, a worker from Tarn who rejected the life laid out for him. Initially a pacifist, Megatron turned to violence after an encounter with law enforcement hardened his spark. The Decepticons fought against the corruption in the Senate, both in its original form with the killing of Sentinel Prime, and its newer form in the form of Zeta Prime. The Decepticons did not believe that the corruption in the Senate was the product of any one senator or group of senators, but that the institution itself, and all of the institutions of Cybertronian life, needed to be destroyed. Decepticons believe in a radical reordering of society where all Transformers will be considered equal; they also believe that all non-robotic life forms are both inferior to Cybertronians and a threat, and must be wiped out of the galaxy.

 

You are a Decepticon because: the problem was systemic, and the solution has to be systemic as well. The Autobots were co-opted by that system and must be purged with it. All flaws will be erased. All corruption will be cut out. In the glorious seventh phase of Megatron’s master plan, all will be equal. The other races of the galaxy would do to us what the Senate did, and we will not afford them the opportunity. If that requires their genocide, so be it – the boot cares not what the ant thinks.

 

Unaffiliated: the vast majority of Transformer life, just trying to get through the days and not attract too much attention. Caught up in the flow of events as the Senate began the Clampdown and the fighting escalated. Fled Cybertron when the fighting started; due to the extremely long lifespan of Transformers, you could have been up to literally anything in the intervening millennia.

 

You are unaffiliated because: Maybe you were a pacifist; maybe you didn’t see much to fight for; maybe you even made out well under the caste system and mode functionism. For whatever reason, when the war began, you fled Cybertron, and never looked back – until, four million years later, carried like a song over the subspace frequencies, you heard the words in your spark: “the war’s over. Come home.” You came home to find a wrecked world, and while the Autobots were victorious, you look around at a planet ravaged by warfare and hostile to your very existence, and ask if anyone won, and tell yourself: never again.

 

Brain module: A Transformer’s brain. Typically created second, after the spark is created. Houses the Transformer’s personality, psyche, quirks and memories. Part of Rossum’s Trinity.

 

Circuit Boosters: The Transformer equivalent of hard drugs. Uploading a circuit booster directly into your brain module is not recommended.

 

Combiner: the long-rumored ability of certain Transformers to merge into a single super-robot, using mass displacement technology to increase size and strength. Currently, there is only one working combiner – the Constructicon team, which recently lost a member and through experiments, replaced said member with the Autobot Prowl, a role the Autobot tells himself he has under control.

 

Rumor has it  that other combiners were spontaneously created out in the wastes of wild Cybertron, such as with the Autobot air team the Aerialbots; rumor also has it that all sides in the war tried, and are still trying, to perfect combiner technology. Combiner technology is not available at game start; however, you certainly could be the subject of experiments to try and create one.

 

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Conjunx Endura: Essentially, a Transformer’s most loved one. In human terms, a spouse. Transformers see gender and love differently than humans do; while many Transformers see the idea of a conjunx endura a bit silly, there is little discrimination against the practice, and no discrimination at all against whatever combination of genders the members of the joining are comprised of.

 

 

Creation Myths: They vary; the most common story is the tales of the old Gods. Primus, the warrior-god and the furnace of sparks; Mortilus, the god of death; Solomus, the god of wisdom; Epistemus, the god of knowledge; and Adaptus, the god of shapechanging. Mortilus rebelled against the other gods, and was killed by the other four, but not before wounding Primus who became the supercomputer Vector Sigma, trapping Solomus in the crystalline form of the Matrix of Leadership, and reducing Adaptus and Epistemus to the first transformation cog and brain module, respectively. Since the god of death had been defeated, it was said that no Transformer cold truly die. The first Transformers, gifted with sentience, wisdom, intelligence, adaptability, and immortality became the Knights of Cybertron, and left Cybertron to bring peace to the galaxy.

 

The Dead Universe: A “parasite” reality that attempts to feed on the known, “living” universe. It is said that Transformers that cross into the Dead Universe cannot survive outside of it, though exceptions exist, such as the ancient Cybertronian warriors Cyclonus, Scourge and Galvatron.

 

The Decepticon Justice Division: You can run, but you’ll just die tired. The Decepticon Justice Divison is a group of powerful Transformers that seek out deserters, traitors, or any Decepticon that is insufficiently loyal, and torture them to death by the most terrifying means imaginable. They are in many ways the firmest believers in the Decepticon way; no member of the DJD has ever deserted or stepped down. The Decepticon Justice Division’s loyalty to the Decepticon cause is such that even in the face of Megatron’s final stand-down order, they have continued to fight.

 

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Earth: Until the year 2002, just like any other planet that the Decepticons infiltrated and started to destabilize for the purpose of removing the native population and strip-mining the planet for resources. However, the discovery of several ancient Transformer artifacts on the planet – such as Ore-13, the rare “super-energon” – made Earth a crucial planet in the Great War, and the one known world that has managed to successfully drive off the Decepticons (with some help from the Autobots.) As a result, many Transformers are intensely curious about Earth; however, Earth’s people – still recovering from the impact of the war on their planet – are intolerant of the presence of Transformers, and Earth’s governments are themselves wary of the Transformers even as they attempt to find more of the missing artifacts that could change the course of human history.

 

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Empurata: An act of mutilation used by the Senate to replace a Transformer’s hands with difficult-to-use claws, weapons or hooks, and their expressive face with an emotionless countenance. Victims of empurata were more useful alive than dead, as an example of anyone who violated the Senate’s ever-more-regressive laws. It can be undone, but the process is as painful as the original operation, and many Transformers prefer to not relive the trauma – or prefer to wear it as a badge of honor for having made the right kind of enemies. Represented in game by taking it as an Aspect; can be a positive (built-in claws instead of hands, or no face to read your emotions with) and a negative (people have trouble figuring out how you feel, you have difficulty manipulating tools.)

 

 

Energex: a distilled form of liquid energon that causes inebriation in any Transformer that has disabled their fuel intake moderation chip. Encouraged by the Senate as a cheap way to keep the masses docile; still popular as a social drink, many years later.

 

Energon: a semi-solid energy matrix, typically pink or magenta in color. The primary foodstuff-slash-fuel of Transformers. Pure energon is naturally occurring only on Cybertron; when the energy reserves were exhausted, alternate sources needed to be located, using a variety of conversion methods to convert other sources of energy into energon.

 

Functionism: The belief in the Grand Cybertronian Taxonomy; belief that a Cybertronian’s life should be determined by whatever alt-mode they are given by fate or design, and that every shape serves a purpose. The foundation of the caste system, which is as follows: Disposable Class (essentially, slaves, thought to be barely sentient) Manual Classes (labor,) Scientific/Intellectual Class (academics,) and the Governing Class (self-explanatory.) Both the Autobots and the Decepticons rebelled against mode functionism; some unaligned Transformers still cling to it as a belief, but it is far less popular today.

 

The Functionist Council: Separate from, but related to, the Senate. While the Senate’s corruption was political, the Functionists’ corruption was that of zealots. In theory, they were very strict with application of the Grand Cybertronian Taxonomy; in practice, they were as hypocritical as anyone, granting alt-mode exemptions as political favors, and determined to destroy or suppress anything that didn’t fit their beliefs, such as “useless” alt-modes or the abilities of outliers. They were wiped out during the Great War.

 

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Gender: Transformers are sexless, but gender is a different story. Upon interaction with other races and the discovery of the notion of gender, many Transformers assumed gender identities that suited them, and the use of gendered pronouns slowly entered the language, where they persist to this day.

 

Holomatter Avatar: a projected matrix of solid light and sound that is used by Transformers to interact with species otherwise too small to imitate, such as humans. Costs a tremendous amount of energy, so holomatter avatars are typically either projected into the canopy of any vehicle that the Transformer assumes the shape of, or are projected at range using the external power systems of a ship or base.

 

Matrix of Leadership: A relic from a long-forgotten era, named the Matrix of Leadership because its bearers inevitably found themselves in a position of leadership, drawing upon the collective unconscious knowledge of the matrix of sparks within. Also called the Creation Matrix because of its ability to create life not bound by the vagaries of hotspots. Recent events have shattered the Matrix of Leadership, leaving only one half of a hollow husk behind.

 

Metrotitans: Giant, city-sized Transformers used by the Knights of Cybertron as living ships. One of the most famous metrotitans is Metroplex.

 

Outlier: Transformers who for whatever reason have developed a unique ability, such as limited telepathy or phasing out of sync with solid matter. Almost always found via hotspots; rumors of constructed cold outliers are thus far rumors. Outliers face social stigma from the non-affiliated Cybertronians; however, both sides on the Great War found them useful enough that neither Autobot nor Decepticon will as a rule discriminate against an outlier on their side. Represented in game terms by taking the “Outlier” aspect and an appropriate stunt.

 

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Point-One-Percenter: A rare superspark that glows green instead of blue. Always found via hotspots. Transformers created with these sparks tend to be significantly stronger than the norm. This is represented in game terms by taking the “Point-One-Percenter” aspect and invoking it whenever feats of strength are required.

 

Quantum engines: the means to travel faster than light. Called many names: spontaneity generators, cheat engines, moebius ships, etc. Jumps a certain distance before recharging by tricking the universe into thinking that it’s where it isn’t, thereby proving the falsehood true. (This is the least contradictory explanation possible.)

 

Rossum’s Trinity: The brain module, the spark, and the transformation cog. Unrestrained damage to one will cause the other two to shut down; however, if carefully removed, each component can be preserved without killing the Transformer. Of the three, the spark is most vulnerable and requires the most care upon removal; the transformation cog can be removed with the most ease of the three.

 

Seeker: Member of the elite Decepticon air group. Highly trained trackers and warriors. Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp are the most famous Seekers.

 

Shadowplay: science by which a cerebro-scientist or mnemosurgeon can interface with a Transformer’s brain and alter aspects of their personality. Used by the Senate via its cerebro-surgery arm, the Institute, to suppress dissent and alter the minds of dissidents.

 

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Shadowplay is in theory reversible by forcing the Transformer’s original personality to reassert itself; Optimus Prime and Megatron famously did this to reassert the original personality of Senator Shockwave by forcing Shockwave to remember their mutual friendships. Shadowplay is strictly forbidden by the Tyrest Accord and the laws of war; in practice, each side has found it useful on occasion, with Bombshell’s cerebro-shells useful for short term but total mind control, and various experimental weapons that fire thoughts have been used by Autobots as an alternative to lethal force.

 

Using mnemosurgery to read thoughts instead of altering them is considered marginally more humane, but is still banned except in limited circumstances.

 

Spark: a glowing, stable power-matrix that gives Transformers life. Essentially, a Transformer’s “soul” or “heart.” Sparks are created in two ways. The first is that they are harvested from a hot spot – a glowing patch on Cybertron’s surface, created by a pulsewave from the Cybertronian supercomputer, Vector Sigma. Sparks harvested in this way were nurtured to full strength, then place in forged bodies upon maturity.

 

These pulsewaves became less and less frequent as time went on, however, and this created a foil for the expansionist dreams of Nova Prime; he turned to the Matrix of Leadership, using its properties to splice out new sparks that were placed in pre-fabricated bodies, a process nicknamed being constructed cold. The unforeseen side effects of this program included an energon shortage due to so many extra Transformers, and discrimination against constructed cold Transformers by forged Transformers (and vice-versa, though with some exception forged Transformers tended to be the ones in power.)

 

A spark is part of Rossum’s Trinity. The energon around a spark casing is considered sacred by many Transformers; called innermost energon, a gift of which is given to friends or loved ones in times of trial.

 

Transformation cog: The motorized system that interfaces with the brain module and is powered by the spark, enabling the Transformer to change shape. Part of Rossum’s trinity.

 

Triple-M (or, the Militant Monoform Movement): Transformers who rebelled against mode functionism and the very idea of alt-modes to begin with. Have surgically removed their transformation cogs and replaced them with dummy cogs. Represented in game terms by taking “Monoformer” as your alt-mode instead of selecting an alt-mode aspect; many “monoformers” face discrimination, since the ability to transform is often considered unique to Cybertronians and sacred.

 

Tyrest Accord: Even in war, there are laws. The Tyrest Accord was an Autobot code of conduct governing the application of the law in times of war. Recently, however, Chief Justice Tyrest had a nervous breakdown and attempted to kill all constructed cold Transformers in the universe, believing them to be predisposed towards sin. He was stopped by Rodimus and the crew of the Lost Light.

 

The Wreckers: Autobot Special Forces. The squad with the most guts, the most glory, and the highest casualty rate. Like Kelly’s Heroes, if Kelly’s Heroes turned into Tiger tanks instead of driving one. Suffered heavy losses recently when taking down the Decepticon sadist Overlord; by the time they were ready for redeployment, the war had ended.

Edited by Charlotte

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I am totally in. Already talked with Char a little about concept. Need to finalize it still.

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Fantastic work! I will have to think about what to play.

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So I count Long, Noir, Max, AP and Seahawk, as per chat discussions. Do we have any more, before I turn to outside sources to fill out the roster?

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I need to work on my game, I've not even done one inch of a background. I'm bowing out.

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Okay, so: I count Noir, Long, Abyss, and Max, and that'll be the player portion of the crew, unless anyone wants to join up (I can take three more.)

 

I'd like to get characters all finalized by this coming Friday, which is May 29th. If you need help, ask!

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Good news: everyone's character is in!

 

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There are, however, a couple of redundancies, and while I don't have a problem with them, players might. So: if at all possible, post your characters in this thread so we can all see who we're going to be playing with, and then people can decide if anyone wants to make any changes or not.

 

Thanks for getting all your characters in on time, gang!

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*Steeples fingers* So... when do we blow this energon treat stand?

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Hiyo, newcomer here. I was wondering if there's anyway I could join this game? I've been a longtime Transformers fan and it looks pretty awesome

 

(Please forgive me if I am going about this in a completely wrong way)

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I have actually been looking for a sixth to round out the cast, so: welcome to the game!

 

Please let me know if you have any problems with character creation.

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IronLady, I do want to get this game started sooner rather than later, so sooner is better when it comes to getting concepts written down and your character hashed out. Thanks in advance!

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Yes I'm sorry. Had to go to a funeral, but I'm back now. I've pretty much got a complete concept done and I can start on gen ASAP

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Unfortunately, IronLady has dropped out. Sad to see you go, IL!

 

I'm looking to get this game going by Friday, June 12th. I'm still open to up to two new players, but you need to get your characters in to me very quickly indeed.

 

In the meantime, glance over the characters thread and see if there's any problems you see coming up, or any connections you might form. There's only so many Cybertronians and you've all been around for millions of years, so the probability that you fought alongside - or against - each other is high, or that you may have otherwise crossed paths.

 

We start soon! Promise.

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A note on posting.

 

Initially - as in, until blastoff and everyone's somewhat settled - I'm going to have to wait until every player character has had a chance to weigh in before moving on. So I have to request of all players, at least at first: post frequently, and post promptly. If something gets in the way, that's fine - just let me know about it.

 

Once the ship's on its way, my usual rule applies: if a player takes longer than a week to respond when given an opportunity, I will check in and see if there's an issue, and if after two weeks I still don't see any posts, I will sadly have to let the player in question go.

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Sorry! I'm just sort of realizing how I actually know nothing about the Transformers. I thought I did at first, but I had no idea how much stuff there was to know.

 

And of course, I always want my opening post to be big and flashy and...blah blah blah excuses excuses.

 

Anyway, I am sorry. Working on it now. It will probably not be very flashy, because I am having to write for characters I know almost nothing about, but I will at least set the scene for you to fill in on. :)

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Seahawk: waiting on all the 'bots reporting to Optimus to report to Optimus (or to not report) so that I can get a sense of who's in the room.

 

SalmonMax: I can help with questions, if you want. I should be in chat later this evening. 

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Character Writeups:

 

Heatwave

 

Faction: Unaligned.

 

Appearance: Red and grey bot on the large side. Gentle but firm demeanor.

 

What he did during the war: Opting out of picking a side, Heatwave has wandered the galaxy instead, offering services as a freelance "search and rescue" robot. He carefully avoided taking sides in the great war. His most noteworthy feat was coordinating the hundred-years-long evacuation of a planet whose sun was unexpectedly expanding.

 

Altmode: Commonly a rescue vehicle equivalent to a fire truck.

 

Artemis

 

Faction: Autobot

 

Appearance: Large grey-and-yellow robot. Has a stern demeanor (the bad cop to Heatwave's good cop.)

 

What she did during the war: Artemis is a M.T.O - a made-to-order soldier, literally born on the battlefield and infused with one of the remaining cache of sparks spliced from the Matrix during the Silver Harvest. She excelled at high risk operations and keeping her squad adequately defended. Towards the end of the war, she was most famously recruited into the Wreckers, and has survived enough missions to place her in the top ten percent of Wreckers recruits in terms of missions completed. (Granted, considering the famously high-risk near-suicide missions the Wreckers take part in, there's a real sharp drop-off past the 11% mark.) Now that the war is over, she has decided to sign on with Heatwave as his XO since she doesn't know what else to do with her life.

 

Altmode: Armored personnel carrier, using mass displacement to grow large enough to carry a few other 'bots.

 

Weapons of note: Has a shaped hard energy shield in her left forearm that, when activated, is large enough for her to hide behind and defend other 'bots with.

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I'm having some trouble with the inhibitors. In fact it feels a little problematic. Time to drive the point home.

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Since people are having some problems with the notion of inhibitor chips, a few things:

 

  1. If you choose not to have the chips attached, I have plans in place for that decision. It may mean you wind up split into two groups for a bit, but this is PBP and a group split is not the kiss of death.
  2. The inhibitor chips are for the duration of the ship being open to the public, as stated by Heatwave. It's to ensure that a shooting incident doesn't happen, and considering that the majority of the public coming on board for the tour and ceremony (and the vetting for potential crewmates) has been in a shooting war for four million years and a lot of those people have a grudge against at least one other person who will be on the ship, I don't think Heatwave's point of view is entirely out of left field. (But it is informed by him being neutral in the conflict.)
  3. They are inhibitor chips only; no explosives, no restrictions on alt-mode unless your alt-mode is itself a weapon - and even then, you can turn into it, you just can't fire. They prevent the usage of onboard and integrated weapon systems.
  4. Most Transformers were not, in fact, born with weapons - they are typically modifications made to the frame later on, and even then, there are many non-combatants in Transformers lore with no integrated weapons at all (off the top of my head: Tailgate, Swerve, Rung, Nautica, and Rewind.) So it's not as sacred to the Transformer way of life as it may seem (Now, the Decepticon way of life, that may be a different story - they have relatively few non-combatants, though they do exist.)
  5. In the event that the ship gets attacked, there are plans in place for that too, but Heatwave hasn't gone into them. His plans are available on request.

Hopefully that clears things up and people start posting soon.

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Yeah that was made clear to me OOC, I'm sure Seahawk will get savvy quickly.

 

Also all of Seahawk's weapons are external. She has a actual rifle and her Torpedo-Missile launchers are wing-mounted.

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Algorithm, High Lift: It's been a week since I posted something you had an opportunity to respond to, so this is the one week check in. If you have any problems with the game or outside of it that are preventing you from posting, please let me know.

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Not exactly a problem, just a little craziness. Getting summer plans taken care of, and some overtime and some drama IRL. :)

 

I'll be posting tonight. Sorry, I hadn't realized so much time had gone by since my last post.

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High Lift, Algorithm: It's been a week since you had a post from me you had a chance to respond to, so this is the one week check-in.

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Redline, Arsenal, Raker: It's been a week since you had a post from me that you had a chance to respond to, so this is the one week check in.

 

This is beginning to turn into a recurring problem, so if there are issues with the game, please tell me about them. I can't do much about them unless I know about them.

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Personally, the only thing near an issue I see is dragging out some things which just slows everything down. Like we all agreed to be chipped before we came to the ship (2 weeks ago), so it would have moved things along much more to have totally cut the 'stand around waiting to be chipped' scene, especially since none of us know our 'number' or how long it will take IC or OOC.

 

I think people are not exactly sure what they even supposed to be doing/posting right now. I know I am confused.

 

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I'm going to be housesitting for the next week, so posting may be a bit scarce. When I get back, I'll take stock of the game and decide if I want to continue running it.

See you all on Saturday, or thereabouts.

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Back from housesitting, so here's where things stand.

One thing I set out to do when I started up my last couple of games was to lean hard on player agency; players and their characters would drive the plot. Not to the extent that there would be no premise to the campaign and no general direction, but to the extent that if players didn't want to do something, I would always try to do my best to accommodate them. I wouldn't lay down any kind of railroad; what I would have in mind in terms of plotting would be limited to "if the PCs don't do anything, X, Y and Z will happen."

However, looking back, the last couple of games I ran this way inevitably folded, and the one that I ran with a strong plot and sense of where it was going (Unlikely Prophets) petered out as soon as I gave the players a lot of downtime and freedom of choice. It may just be that games with that level of freedom just don't work as PBPs, or at least, don't work the way I run them. Right now I've heard from more than one player that they aren't sure what to do, and this came as a surprise to me since I feel I have provided a lot of options – but options the players don't know they have the right to take may as well not exist, or alternately, there may be enough options that option paralysis has set in.

So going forward, there are three options:

  1. I can continue to run it as a game where the players drive the plot. This will require players who take the initiative – that will go and look for things to do and who have goals in mind that they will attend to even when the fate of all of Cybertron is not in immediate question. This doesn't require any changes on my end, but it would require a change in player outlook – or perhaps a better term would be a clarification of the kind of outlook that's necessary.
  2. Switch to a more heavy-plot campaign. There are elements of this already – the group are all members of a crew that has a single goal, and they're not going to turn around and open a taco stand on the first planet they see. But currently I've given a wide range of options within that remit. I could narrow it down, giving player characters official assignments on board the ship and then moving quickly to the next significant event.
  3. A third option is that I shut it down entirely, and this is tempting to me because running a game just doesn't seem rewarding to me any more. The reason I switched Unlikely Prophets to the aforementioned downtime-and-player-initiative setting was because my players were repeatedly requesting more downtime and less driving plot, so the player-driven-versus-railroad-plot dichotomy may not be a factor at all – I might just suck. I've got a writing career that is starting to take off and I have thus far encountered very few frustrations and problems with my editors; by contrast, in gaming, I seem to be encountering nothing but frustrated players who get angry with me. I'm seriously considering putting this hobby on hold to concentrate on that. But if people want to give this another go: I'll give it one more shot.

So that's where I am. What do you all think?

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I prefer a plot driven game, myself.   Downtime is nice, once every six months or so, to serve as training time and character exploration.   there can still be downtime for this in plot driven stories as time is something the ST controls how it moves.but it need not be time where it derail the plot.

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Plot driven

but at the same time it sounds like you don't really want to continue and if the game is going to be a distraction to you then I'd rather just move on instead of spending effort on something that's going to grind to a halt in a few weeks anyway but then I dont have a real investment in the world or anything i basically joined to play  a game and lend support

If you feel you can continue I am all here.

And i forgot to switch accounts this was posted by nina just to be clear

Edited by MAGE20 ST

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Plot Driven

 

"options the players don't know they have the right to take may as well not exist, or alternately, there may be enough options that option paralysis has set in."

That sums it up in a nutshell. Options that are obvious to the GM/writer of the post may not be so obvious to the players/readers.

And I can only speak for myself (but I get the impression from others too) that we are waiting for the game to really 'start' in earnest  i.e. actually leave on our mission and get to the main plot/story.

Nina makes a point though. Only run the game if you want to to. If it is a distraction, then shelve it for later. Otherwise, I know I am here and willing to play, but would like more clarity/guidance (at least until the game really gets rolling).

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I can continue to run it as a game where the players drive the plot. This will require players who take the initiative – that will go and look for things to do and who have goals in mind that they will attend to even when the fate of all of Cybertron is not in immediate question. This doesn't require any changes on my end, but it would require a change in player outlook – or perhaps a better term would be a clarification of the kind of outlook that's necessary.

I am open to this, but hampered by the fact I know almost nothing of the greater part of the lore of the universe. I sort of hoped that having my character coming back from an extended absence would sort of cover that, but it does make it hard for me to take initiative on my own. I have to lean pretty heavily on other PCs to provide direction, at least this early in.

Switch to a more heavy-plot campaign. There are elements of this already – the group are all members of a crew that has a single goal, and they're not going to turn around and open a taco stand on the first planet they see. But currently I've given a wide range of options within that remit. I could narrow it down, giving player characters official assignments on board the ship and then moving quickly to the next significant event

This would help me in the short term at least, and give me time to assess and learn before requiring me to make decisions on information I don't have, and am not sure how to get. :)

A third option is that I shut it down entirely, and this is tempting to me because running a game just doesn't seem rewarding to me any more. The reason I switched Unlikely Prophets to the aforementioned downtime-and-player-initiative setting was because my players were repeatedly requesting more downtime and less driving plot, so the player-driven-versus-railroad-plot dichotomy may not be a factor at all – I might just suck. I've got a writing career that is starting to take off and I have thus far encountered very few frustrations and problems with my editors; by contrast, in gaming, I seem to be encountering nothing but frustrated players who get angry with me. I'm seriously considering putting this hobby on hold to concentrate on that. But if people want to give this another go: I'll give it one more shot.

Dude, if your heart's not in it, don't torture yourself. I don't know that anyone's -angry- at you (I'm definitely not), but I've never yet seen a game that can continue if the GM is not seriously, wholly committed to it. And that's not to blame you, or say you should be committed. The inspiration's there, or it's not. If it's not, sometimes it can be recaptured, but not often. If you want to try, I'm down to try. If you'd rather focus on other stuff, that's totally fine. No hard feelings on my part at all. I have some idea of how tricky games are to run. The times I've tried, it's not gone well. I'm in no place to judge. :)

 

 

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Plot-driven has it, so I'll give this one another shot.

So to ensure I can plan ahead: give me a roll call if you're still interested, and if so, which job on the ship you're interested in (or, if you don't have one you're keen on, suggest your own.)

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