Thoughtful Games

Glen the Inventor

Creates innovative technical solutions. Unorthodox. Always has the right tools for the job. Mechanical Engineering. Robots.

We all signed up for 20 years of working for the foundation, building the colony. They provide food and lodging and we promise to not run away. Like there is anywhere to run. With a big bonus paid out at the end and who knows what happens then? Who cares? The future is now.

On your mind

Explore these questions during play.

  • What invention or construction are you working on right now?
  • Who in the colony have you promised to take care of?
  • Who in the colony do you trust and admire?

Someone back on Earth

The previous player in the player order plays your connection back on Earth.

  • Your foster parent Adrian – a teacher who took you in from the streets and got you through university.


You haven’t told anyone

You may set a scene where you reveal this to another main character to re-roll one die (once per game).

  • Pills make life bearable. Don’t know what I will do when I run out.

Story seeds

Include one of these in your scene description when you set a scene.

  1. The flashing light from electrostatic bolts shooting across the sky
  2. A music box playing Ode to Joy
  3. Steady hands manipulating the inner workings of miniscule machinery
  4. A drone taking off into the Martian sky
  5. The constant low hum of a life support system
  6. An industrial grade exoskeleton offloading crates from a drop pod
  7. Shaking hands fumbling with a zip lock
  8. A solar panel covered with a fine layer of red dust
  9. A ceramic brick punctured by micro meteors
  10. A plastic jar with pills

Jar of pills


To set a scene:

  • Choose a story seed and describe the situation
  • State who is present in the scene and invite players to play characters in the scene
  • Say what the scene is about (or play to find out)

To play a scene:

  • Start the scene by saying Action!
  • Narrate and play out the scene until it has reached a satisfying conclusion.
  • End the scene by saying Cut! Help each other keep scenes short and sharp.

Music box


You will roll one die at the end of three chapters to determine how successful you are with your projects on Mars.






A mishap, misfortune, or setback



Not much to show for your efforts



Your hard work paid off



Great progress!

Main characters

  • Alex the Shepherd. Keeps a caring eye on everyone.
  • Brice the Explorer. Goes where no-one has gone before.
  • Francis the Specialist. Damn good with complex systems.
  • Glen the Inventor. Creates innovative technical solutions to problems.
  • Mason the Scientist. Sees what everyone else overlooks.
  • Shane the Visionary. The reason we are all here.


  • Adrian, Glen’s foster parent. A teacher who took Glen in from the streets.
  • Jade, Mason’s child. The grownup child of Mason from a marriage gone bad.
  • Kim, Shane’s spouse. The spouse of Shane to join with the next mission.  
  • Morgan, Brice’s sponsor. Has worked relentlessly for Brice to be able to go to Mars.
  • Sasha, Alex’s foster child. A kid with a fucked up crazy past for whom Alex is a role model.
  • Tony, Francis’ aging parent. So proud of what Francis has achieved.

Supporting characters

  • Evan (just Evan). Everybody’s friend. Medic.
  • Kelly the Hammer. Gets things done. Practical, efficient. Mining.
  • Lewis the Joker. Cracks jokes you have all heard before. Electrical engineering.
  • ‘Clockwork’ Robin. Reliable and always on time. Farming.  
  • Stacey the Kid. Wants to prove worthy to be on the team. Computers.
  • Terry the Veteran. Has seen it all before and has tried worse. Operate Heavy Machinery.
© 2021 Thoughtful Games