Thoughtful Games

Mason the Scientist

Sees what everyone else overlooks. Systematic. Rational in the face of danger. Biology. Medicine.

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? Maybe buy a large chunk of the planet and build ecospheres for Martian hybrid life forms. Maybe buy a return ticket to Earth just to see Jade again.

On your mind

Explore these questions during play.

  • What are you researching or experimenting with right now?
  • What are people back on Earth thinking about you?
  • Who in the colony do you respect and admire?

Someone back on Earth

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

  • Your grown up child Jade from a marriage gone bad.


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).

  • I cheated on my medical. I won’t live to old age.

Story seeds

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

  1. Seeds from a lotus flower
  2. A picture in a frame of someone young
  3. A large, analog clock dividing the day into 24 1/2 hours
  4. A hard lump under soft skin
  5. A green leaf unfolding over red soil
  6. The rusty taste of Martian H2O
  7. A guinea pig cuddled up in a hand
  8. A bowl of pink mealworms
  9. The crackling sound of a Geiger counter
  10. High oxygen breeze pouring from a metal grid

Lotus flower


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.



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.
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