An old, old idea of mine came back to me all of a sudden today, and now that I revisit it, I think it’s perfect for an Apocalypse World hack:
In countless numbers, the husks hang in the silent darkness of the space left behind after all the stars died. They slowly crumble into the void, keeping one another company as all that is left of the universe decays around them. A seemingly endless mass of these once-great arks and flagships house a seemingly endless number of isolated tribes, descendants of the crews and occupants that once piloted them, generations ago.
Yours is one such tribe. Your people have grown up knowing nothing but the ship and its stories. Maybe old Creakbones knows the stories that came before, or even that there was a before. Maybe you’re in contact with the tribe on that husk that you can just barely see from your remaining portholes, illuminated by the farthest reaches of your home’s fading lights. Maybe you’re one of the lucky tribes that has kept its hoppers in some semblance of function, and you can even get to that other husk. Maybe, just maybe, your own husk can still move, too.
But water is running low, and the graskevyns are pounding at the airlock. The ancestral leader has just died without an heir. Puddles of something oily and orange are bubbling from Below, and touching it makes your pee burn. The air got thinner and slimy in the old houses so you had to seal them up forever. Another husk is on a slow but certain collision course with yours, and you have no way to escape. And from the Place Beyond the Dark, It is calling your name and it’s getting louder and your skin is starting to flake on your thighs and you feel like you’re going to throw up but you haven’t eaten in days and ohmigodit’scomingrun…
Sufficiently Advanced is an Apocalypse World hack which takes place after the end of the universe. Empires have risen, warred, and destroyed each other, leaving behind nothing but a seemingly-infinite graveyard of spaceships, all floating near each other in the void. Generations of people have grown and died in these ships, the last remnants of the people who once occupied them.
Very heavily inspired by the movies Pandorum, Event Horizon, Screamers, and Serenity, this game uses most of the Apocalypse World rules as they are written. A few of the playbooks will be tweaked, and I think the Chopper won’t work at all. New ones would fit in well, one based on scavenging, one based on space-walking (and void madness), maybe more. Maybe some new Moves involving using and/or deciphering old tech.
I think I’m gonna take a break from the usual course of things and work on this one some more tonight.