A nice (and free!) Apocalypse World Engine supplement, Impulse Drive gives a set of archetypes that would be useful for the Referee to put into play – or the Players to learn from and alter for his own use.
From the RPGNow listing:
Impulse Drive is a Powered By The Apocalypse hack about making a living on the fringe of civilized space, inspired by Fiction such as Farscape, Firefly, Mass Effect, Star Wars, and many others. Play bombastic, volatile archetypes in a flexible setting that is crafted by all the players as you play.
Tracker, Hunter, Bloodhound. You’re known for your tenacity and determination when it comes down to hunting your target. Whether you do it in the name of Law and Order or for the sweet jingle of guilders, there is little that can keep you between you and your target.
You’re a shadow, a ghost, a rumor almost heard. You’re an expert at overcoming security systems of all sorts and getting in where you shouldn’t. Perhaps you do it out of duty, perhaps it’s in search of the next big score, but when you set your mind on getting to something – or someone – you shouldn’t, you are well equipped to do so.
You’re the expert. Scientist, doctor, engineer, archaeologist, anthropologist, whatever your field is, you know just about everything worth knowing, or you know how to find out. You’re a master of technology and intellect, and bring your deductions, reasoning, and knowledge to bear on any situation.
Many tell stories of your Order. Myths and folk tales of wandering seers and knights guiding events with your far sight and meting out justice or keeping peace with your strange, ancient weapons. And there is you. Trained, but perhaps not tested. It is your task to go out into space and find yourself.
Life in the Galaxy comes in all shapes, sizes, societies, and cultures. But most aliens are just people, with reasonably similar drives and motivations. But you’re different. Fundamentally different from the others in a way that makes you entirely Alien to them. Perhaps it’s your unusual physical form, or that you do not possess a physical form at all! Perhaps you are AI, or a sentient spaceship, or a drone for a hivemind species. Perhaps you’re a unique, strange member of a common species. Whatever it is that sets you apart, it makes you unique and Alien to all around you.
Yeah, you’re a criminal, and everybody knows it. But there’s light years’ difference between knowing it and proving it. You’re Slick, smart, and more than a little cocky. You have a reputation for getting in where you don’t belong, and acquiring what isn’t yours. You have shady connections in numerous seedy underbellies. The only reason you’re not filthy stinking rich is just bad luck, certainly not bad impulse control.
You’re the wild one, the loose cannon, the mad dog. You’re a cosmic storm waiting to erupt and tear everything apart. You barely keep your dark, destructive emotions in check, and when you unleash them you leave nothing but debris behind. You live with all of your emotions and passions bubbling at the surface, and others are either drawn to your violent magnetism, wary of your explosive rage, or certain you are just plain crazy.
You’ve seen the violent side of space for most of your life, and it had hardened you and honed you to a razor’s edge. Few have more experience at fighting and controlling the battlefield than you. Where others may be overwhelmed by the horrors of battle and space, you shrug, pick up your weapon, and stride once more unto the breach.
The Space Master
At the centre of the unfolding drama are a group of interesting and volatile characters, played by the other players. Orbiting them is everything else, played by you. Friends and enemies, ‘innocent’ bystanders, exciting locations, and tense situations that challenge the characters’ strengths and weaknesses. You will be hordes of scum and villainy, oppressive enforcers of authority, and alien mysteries or threats.
You will exult in the other players’ triumphs, and join them in lamenting their suffering. You will do all of this, but mostly, you will join the other players as you explore the galaxy you create together as you play to find out what happens.
Sounds interesting to me!
(And… it’s free!)
“The only reason you’re not filthy stinking rich is just bad luck, certainly not bad impulse control.” – Well, it’s hard to sense trouble coming when you are the trouble…