Mothership: Player's Survival Guide

Mothership: Player's Survival Guide

Sci-Fi Horror Roleplaying Game
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1eFirst Edition Core Rulebook

The Player's Survival Guide has all the rules you need to play, including Character Creation, How to Play, Violent Encounters, Stress & Panic, Shore Leave, Weapons and Equipment, and more! Everything has been streamlined with an eye to being fast and easy for new players to learn.

  • Updated, streamlined rules
  • Lightning-fast character creation
  • Tons of new gear

Mothership 1e

Teens (PG-13)

Mothership® is a horror game for mature audiences. It contains violence, foul language, some sexual content, drug use, and depictions of mental illness, trauma, stress, and panic that may not be suitable for all audiences. Please be advised.

Written by Sean McCoy

Edited by Jarrett Crader

Developed by Luke Gearing, Fiona Maeve Geist, Tyler Kimball, Nick Reed, Donn Stroud, and Sam Wildman

Illustrated by Ryan Barry, Jan Buragay, Abe Cerda, Jota Cravo, Daniel Francisco, David Hoskins, Patrick Loveland, Sean McCoy, and Zach Hazard Vaupen

Tuesday Knight Games


Sci-Fi Horror

Mothership® is built on a rules-lite d100 chassis with custom rules for Stress & Panic, streamlined mechanics for violent encounters, and a world-class easy-to-learn character creation system.

Streamlined Character Creation

Our early-release flow-chart character sheet has been upgraded and simplified to make character creation a breeze. All the rules for character creation fit on this one page, so making a character is as easy as 1, 2, 3 (...4, 5, 6, 7).

Back to Brutal Basics

We took feedback from thousands of players over the past three years and removed a bunch of edge-cases and weird one-off rules to get the game back to its brutal basics. Mothership® is a game that exists at your table, not in a book. 

Dead Simple Rules

So simple, in fact,  we printed them on the back of the book.

Essentially, Mothership® is a d100 roll-under system, where if you want to do something (or avoid something bad happening) you try and roll d100 under your relevant Stat or Save.If you roll under, you succeed. If you roll over, you fail and you gain 1 Stress. Stress accumulates, and then boils over in the form of a Panic Check.

Panic Checks

Whenever you roll doubles over your Stat/Save, we call that a Critical Failure, and you have to make a Panic Check.To make a Panic Check you roll a special die only used for Panic Checks: a d20 we call the Panic Die. If you roll under your total Stress, you Panic and look up what happens on the Panic Table. If you roll over your current Stress, then you keep your calm... for now.

The Panic table is one of the core elements of the Mothership® experience. Every roll has the potential to inflict a permanent Condition, which must be dealt with by seeking treatment during your Shore Leave. It's not all bad though, roll a 1 and you'll get laser focus and enjoy improved rolls for the next few minutes, which could be the difference between life and death.

Shore Leave

Mothership® is a level-less game. That means characters don't gain XP or level up. Instead, they take Shore Leave whenever they get a chance, blowing their hard earned credits at the closest Port. This allows them to convert their Stress into improved Saves. This means that whatever Stress doesn't kill you, will eventually make you stronger. During your Shore Leave you can also seek medical care or treatment for your Conditions. You can train up your skills, or just moonlight for extra cash.


Any encounter that turns violent can completely change the course of a game. Characters are weak by design, and can only take a few Wounds before dying. Each Wound can absorb a certain amount of damage before it's lost, and whenever a character loses a Wound they have to roll on the Wounds table.

Each category of Wound has its own column on the table, and any Wound is potentially deadly. This means players can't know if any given Wound will be their character's last. Avoid violence at all costs, and when it can't be avoided, tilt the odds in your favor as much as humanly possible.

Armor Points

To protect against Wounds and death, players will want to stock up on Armor. Each piece of Armor has a certain number of Armor Points. Any damage you take under your Armor's AP is ignored completely. But as soon as you take damage greater than your AP, your Armor is functionally destroyed and no longer provides protection. Yet another reason to make violence a last resort.