Khonshu Alpha

A #Dungeon23 RPG Project

A band of MET agents have taken over this section and are using it as a processing center for the people they capture and behead. They've made occasional raids on the Children of Thoth, and have a few prisoners. They use the Maglev shuttles to send the heads to the City of Skulls.

Response: If the players make any loud noises (explosions or gunplay) in these areas,it will attract attention from the MET agents in #19, #5, and #18.

Week 3 Map

15. Plaza: A circular room with a stagnant pool of water in the center that was once a fountain. Once-ornamental trees around the pool have grown wild and stretch to the ceiling, wrapping around each other in a complex web.

Flickering UV lights in the ceiling provide energy for the plants.

There are two MET agents in collection bodies lurking the upper branches. They are guarding the doors to 5, waiting for people to snatch up.

16. Maglev Station #2: This maglev station is a fully functional version of the station in #6. There's a control pylon that can be activated with a yellow bracelet to summon a train. It will arrive in 2d6 minutes. A Computer 10+ roll can also be used to call a train.

17. Junction: two corridors meet here. There are blood trails leading from the plastic curtains leading to the Chop Shop (#19), down to the Property Storage room (#20). Sounds of loud machinery are behind the curtains.

18. Maglev Station #1: This maglev station is fully functional. There's a control pylon that can be activated with a yellow bracelet to summon a train. It will arrive in 2d6 minutes. A Computer 10+ roll can also be used to call a train.

The MET agents have using this train to send heads to the City of Skulls, so a Computer 10+ can find the exact coordinates of the MET base.

There's a stack of about 8 MET head cylinders here. There's a 2 in 6 chance a MET agent is here loading the heads onto a train.

19. Chop Shop: The floor and walls of this room are covered in splashes of blood. There are eight operating tables, each with restraints. The tables are each equipped with a vial of cryo-chemicals and complex machines. The machines are beeping and whirring, making it difficult to hear anything.

There are 3 Medical MET agents here, working on 5 captured Children of Thoth, each strapped to a table. The victims are all heavily sedated.

If not stopped, the MET agents will behead their victims, and place their heads in cryo-chambers.

20. Property Storage: Several rows metal shelving, each containing plastic-wrapped packages of personal possessions. When the MET agents behead someone, they temporarily store their possessions here. Everything is neatly wrapped and labeled with the ID number MET has assigned each head. MET has every intention of restoring the possessions whenever the “patients” are revived.

Blood Trails lead though this room to #21

21. Body Dump: The MET agents have modified this room to dispose of the bodies. There is a slick metal chute leading down into darkness. The floors and walls are slick with blood.

The chute leads to the Fertilizer Processor room on the Agricultural Level.


by Norton Glover – [email protected] E-Mail: [email protected] RPG Blog: Polyhedral Nonsense #Dungeon23

Many locations and facilities aboard the Khonshu Alpha are secured with electronic locks. They were usually opened with combinations of retinal, brainwave, and DNA scans of the original crew. As the crew are all long dead, access is only available with security bracelets.

The bracelets are small ribbons, that wrap around the user's wrist and are secured magnetically. They come in various colors, each indicating what level of access they provide.

Most AIs can determine the location of anyone wearing a bracelet, and receive basic biological information about the wearer (heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) Most people are unaware of this feature.

Bracelets by Color

Yellow: Basic tourist access. Used to access maglevs, cornucopia machines, and recreational facilities.

Yellow Plus: Looks like a yellow bracelet, except with a light blue stripe. They were originally issued to passengers who had small children. Provides the ame access as yellow bracelets, but adds access to certain nurseries and playgrounds.

Orange: Assigned to lower level maintenance personnel. Can be used to command cleaning and repair robots, and enter most service areas.

Red: Generally assigned to security staff and emergency personnel. Allows the wearer to command all robots (except military), and enter weapons lockers, detention centers, and other high security areas.

Blue: Allows access to anything involving air locks or spacecraft. Usually assigned with another bracelet.

Indigo: Assigned to Engineering personnel. Allows access to ship's drives, life support, and virtually all systems.

Violet: Quite rare, only available to ship's command staff. Can be used to command any robot, enter any area, control any system. Supposedly the only way to enter Khonshu Alpha's bridge.


by Norton Glover – [email protected] E-Mail: [email protected] RPG Blog: Polyhedral Nonsense #Dungeon23

Maximum Efficiency Transit

After the Malfunction, when the network of AI systems began to fall apart, an obscure emergency plan in the ship's archives was activated. The plan, and the AI that administered it, was the Maximum Efficiency Transit (MET) program

In the event of a massive life support failure, the idea was to cryogenically store all passengers. Resources were limited, so it was more efficient to just store the human heads. The plan was to sever the head of each of the ship's passengers and place the heads in cryogenic chambers. When the Khonshu Alpha was out of danger, and arrived at a suitable destination, new bodies could be grown, and the passengers revived.

Once the MET AI was activated, it started its project of beheading and storing all humans. Most people were obviously reluctant to have their heads removed and frozen, so MET used security bots to capture what MET saw as “reluctant patients”.

Eventually, MET recruited humans into its cause. The agents of MET believe that they're the only hope at saving the people of Khonshu Alpha. In a show of faith, they have their own heads removed, and use advanced robotic bodies to move about. They can switch between bodies for different purposes.

Bands of MET agents wander the ship, founding bases and outposts. They capture and “process” as many people as they can, until local resistance grows too high, or they run out of passengers to “save”.

The City of Skulls

Supposedly all of the frozen heads are sent to a central depot. No one outside of the MET knows exactly where it is. Outsiders commonly call it the City of Skulls.

If someone is taken by the MET, it's possible one could find the City of Skulls, retrieve the victim's head and (with appropriate technology), get them a new body.

MET Robot Bodies

MET agents have several bodies they can choose from.

Collection Body

A humanoid torso attached to a scorpion-like base. These units are used to capture passengers. There is a cage on the scorpion body's back used to store prisoners. Net Gun (4) Entangle, Stun Baton 2D Stun Endurance 10, Lifeblood 30, Armor 4

Defense Body

A squat, humanoid body. Heavily armored. These are used to defend larger MET bases Blaster (10) 5D Endurance 15, Lifeblood 40, Armor 10

Medical Body

A crab-like body, bristling with medical tools and arms, most notably a sharp pincer used to remove heads. Scalpels 1D, Pincers 4D Endurance 10, Lifeblood 25, Armor 2

by Norton Glover – [email protected] E-Mail: [email protected] RPG Blog: Polyhedral Nonsense #Dungeon23

This area is immediately below the Central Plaza of the Maglev Station (#2). It usually accessed by someone falling or climbing down from #2

This area is almost entirely automated. Various robots examine anything falling down the luggage chute, process it, and store it.

The principal danger is from the various robots. There are “treasures” to be found in the Unlaimed Luggage (#10) and High Security(#11) areas.

There are hidden luggage corridors between the Luggage Return room (#13) and other areas of this level. Week 2 Map

8. Entrance Shaft: A circular chamber with a rotating platform in the middle, and a conveyor belt leads south to #9. Anything falling from above will take 2D damage when it hits the platform. Anyone on the platform can make a DEX 8+ roll to jump off before the conveyor belt takes them to #9.

9. Luggage Handling: The luggage conveyor belt continues down this corridor. Anything on the belt will be prodded and probed by three robot arms. Treat this as an attack, if there's a person on the belt. There are four arms, so there will be four attacks.

Anyone on the belt can make a DEX 8+ roll to jump off before the arms attack.

There is a Mark I security bot on guard here. It will ignore anyone in this room, unless they try to interfere with the belt, or the robot arms.

If the security bot goes below 5 lifeblood, it will summon reinforcements from #13

After the robot arms, the belt splits into two tracks. Anything that is actual luggage will be sent to #14, everything else will be sent to Unclaimed Luggage (#10)

10. Unclaimed Luggage: Anything that cannot be identified by the robot luggage handlers in #9 will be sent here. Robot luggage spiders have sorted centuries of junk and detritus into several neat piles. The robot spiders (12 in all) cling to the walls until needed.

2 Mark I Security bots guard the doors to the High-Security area (#11).

If a player searches through the piles of junk for a half-hour, they can roll on the Junk Table to find a useful item. For every half hour, there's a 1 in 6 chance one of the security bot tries to question and detain them.

11. High-Security Area: If the robot spiders in #10 find anything dangerous or valuable, they store it here. The security bots that guard this room can only be bypassed with a blue or better bracelet, and the door can only be opened with a red bracelet or with a STR 10+ roll.

The following items can be found inside.

3 Stun-gas grenades 5 Auto Pistols 10 20-round magazine for Auto Pistol 1 Shotgun with 10 rounds Fusion Torch Cutter Tactical Armor Stun Baton (5) 10 knives 4 red bracelets 1 orange bracelet

12. Luggage Return: The conveyor belt brings any authorized luggage to this area. There hasn't been any authorized luggage in centuries.

A long defunct luggage robot stands here motionless. There are 4 small hatches, numbered 1 to 4. Each opens to a small shaft leading to one of the maglev stations above. They were intended to transport luggage, but a human-sized creature could crawl through them.

1 – goes to #18 2 – goes to #16 3 – goes to #6 4 – goes to ?

13 Robot Depot: There are rows of security, luggage spider, and repair and maintenance bots parked in neat rows. Other robots on this level can call upon them for reinforcements, if needed.

14 Robot Repair: A mechanical workshop, filled with gadgets and tools. There are two repair robots here designed to repair any robots that enter. Unfortunately their programming has corrupted over the years, and they will attempt to “repair” anything that enters. Treat as an attack

There's a tools locker with various tools: 2 Power drill 4 Flashlight 4 Fusion Torch Cutters 10 fuel cells

#Dungeon23 #KhonshuAlpha

Junk Table

roll d66

11 Maintenance Jumpsuit 12 Sunglasses 13 Leash 14 Night Vision monocle 15 Magnetic Boots 16 Helmet 21 Rope (3m) 22 Puzzle Box 23 Map of Recreation Level 24 Flashlight 25 Multitool 26 Medi-pak 31 Neuro-Pak 32 CBW suit 33 Fire Extinguisher 34 Yellow Access Bracelet 35 Motion Detector 36 Holographic Travel Guide (in a ring) 41 Bioscanner 42 Geiger Counter 43 Freeze Dried Rations 44 Chameleon Cloak 45 Shovel 46 Crowbar 51 Musical Instrument 52 Backpack 53 Autograpnel 54 Skateboard 55 Microtent (Sleeps 4) 56 Binoculars 61 Communicator 62 Electronics Kit 63 Fuel Cells (pack of 6) 64 Gas Mask 65 UV Sterilizer 66 Duct Tape

by Norton Glover – [email protected] E-Mail: [email protected] RPG Blog: Polyhedral Nonsense #Dungeon23

The large metal doors, built into in the false mountain, are opened just wide enough for a single person to enter.

This is the entrance to the station for the ship-wide maglev network.

Factions, People, and Items

Children of Thoth: Sect of about 40 would-be scholars who have devoted themselves for the study of pre-Malfunction technology. They've come to this station to access the Info-globes in the VIP Lounge (#3)

They're not actively hostile, but will not risk their lives or their researches to assist players. They're not likely to share information unless the players help them in some way. Perhaps dealing with the Efficient Transit League, or recovering an artifact from the Lost Luggage chamber might win them over.

Most of them are clad in tattered yellow jumpsuits, with illegible patches. They have terrible digestive problems due their entirely pork-based diet.

Orvis Deep: Eldest and wisest of the Children of Thoth. He's given himself the title of Professor, and leads the group. He's blind, but can see using a large night-vision monocular.

Info-Globes: A silvery globe with a built-in chair. They were used as terminals to access public ship databases. With the corruption of Khonshu Alpha's networks, they are exceedingly difficult to use. They require a Computer 10+ roll to access. Any information retrieved will be fragmentary at best.

Map of MagLev station


1. Entry Hall: A long corridor lined with various 8m Art Deco statues of various Egyptian gods. There are flickering recessed lights in the ceiling.. Running down the center of the hall is a conveyor belt. It was originally designed for luggage. If anyone steps on the belt, it will activate, moving at a high speed down the hall into darkness.

2. Central Plaza: A large octagonal room. It's generally in darkness, but motion detectors will light up the room as soon as anyone enters. The walls are covered with flickering screens, flashing schedules for long departed trains, and a series of random images.

Any disturbance or noise in this room will attract 6 Children of Thoth guards from #3.

The conveyor belt leads to a shaft. Anyone still on the belt must make a DEX 8+ roll to avoid falling down a shaft to #8.

3. VIP Lounge: This is where the Children of Thoth have made their settlement. Crude tents have been set up here for sleeping. There are usually 30 Children of Thoth here at any given time. Due to their diet, this room smells terrible.

There's a functional restroom, that the Children use as a water supply.

One large tent contains the Library, a collection of scraps of paper where the Children record what they've been able to learn from the Info-Globes. Orvis Deep lives here. This tent is always guarded.

There are 3 functional Info-Globes here. Children of Thoth scholars working in shifts are constantly attempting to scour the ship's networks for any useful or interesting information.

4. Food Court: Originally a food court. The Children of Thoth have modified this area into a food production area. There are 20 clear cylindrical bio-vats used to grown cloned pork. The cloned pork looks like a Christmas tree made of pork chops. 3 Children of Thoth technicians monitor the machines at all times.

5. Grand Concourse: The main corridor connecting the train stations. Gold Art Deco patterns on the ceiling and walls.

The west side of the room ends at a double door. It's been locked with crude chains. 3 Children of Thoth stand guard.

6. Depowered Train Station: A platform of grey tile over a 3m drop to the maglev train track. There is no power in this room, and will be in darkness. The train tunnel extends into the pitch-black maglev tunnel system. This is how the the Children of Thoth arrived here, after wandering the Maglev tunnels for weeks.

7. Former Snack Bar: The doors to this room have been sealed shut. They can be forced open with a STR 8+ roll. The room has been infested with Mad Mold. The Children of Thoth have never tried to open the doors.

by Norton Glover – [email protected] E-Mail: [email protected] RPG Blog: Polyhedral Nonsense #Dungeon23

I've gone back and forth about what system I want to use for my Khonshu Alpha #Dungeon23 project. I discussed my options in a previous post.

After giving it some thought, I've decided to go with the Traveller option. Specifically the open version – the Cepheus Engine. I've been a big fan of this system for a while, and I've been promoting it as an option for OSR designers.

I decided that the simple 2d6, skill-based system is a much better fit for my sci-fi setting. The usual OSR mechanics like classes & levels seem like they'd just get in the way.

Since Cepheus is under a OGL license, I can include the basic rules in the final product (if there is one).

Rules Modifications

I'll probably make a few changes to the rules for this setting.

I'm not sure I'll need the somewhat complex career system for characters. I'm assuming the players will be starting out as Greenskeepers, so they'll have some base skills, and I'll give them a few points to buy some.

I'll also have custom list of Traits to match the setting.

As the players explore the ship, they'll probably get a chance to modify themselves (possibly unwillingly) with cybernetic and biological enhancements. I'll have to make my own list of these as well.

by Norton Glover – [email protected] E-Mail: [email protected] RPG Blog: Polyhedral Nonsense #Dungeon23

I'm still not 100% certain what system I'll be using, though I'm leaning toward the Cepheus Engine ( #CepheusEngine )

For this setting, I'm assuming the players will be Greenskeepers (see previous post ).

What did you do in the village?

  1. Healer
  2. Traitor Hawk hunter
  3. Shepherd
  4. Farmer
  5. Scholar (perhaps the only literate Greenskeepers)
  6. Toolworker – Basic mechanical skills

Why would you enter the portal?

  1. Boredom
  2. Glory
  3. Forgetting a failed romance
  4. You need to find someone, you think they entered the portal and disappeared.
  5. Curiosity
  6. To protect another character.

What is your relationship with the other villagers?

Each player must relate one tale about an experience their character had with each one of the other characters.

Other Stuff

I'm also thinking of creating a few other things:

  1. A D66 name table, all based around the kind of flowers and weeds you might find in a park.
  2. Equipment packages
  3. If I ever decide on a system, a custom character sheet. (I love making those)

by Norton Glover – [email protected] E-Mail: [email protected] RPG Blog: Polyhedral Nonsense #Dungeon23

Here's how the campaign will most likely begin.

What the Players Know

The tribe known as Greenskeepers have lived in this peaceful valley since before the days of the Malfunction.

They live in simple huts around the ancient Gazebo. Since the cornucopia machines function only sporadically, they grow crops; mostly nuts, berries, and rice-weed. The shepherds and their dogs protect their gagglebird flocks and meat-squirrel herds from the ever-hungry Traitor Hawks.

Their valley is a thirty kilometer circle surrounded by impassible, unclimbable mountains. There are ancient metal doors built into the mountains, seemingly impossible to open. Some believe they were forged to keep demons out, while others believe they are sacred passages to the afterlife.

Centuries passed in this Arcadia without significant events, until a few days ago...

One afternoon, the entire sky briefly grew dark, and the skies were filled wild arcane symbols and booming voices. The Greenskeepers cowered in their huts until the nightmare ended. After the skies returned to normal, one of the gagglebird shepherds returned to the village in terror. While she was tending her flock, she noticed that one of the metal doors had opened slightly, just enough to admit a single person. She dared not enter, but felt a warm metallic breeze, and saw a flickering lights beyond the portal.

Some of the braver villagers are considering entering the portal to discover whatever lies beyond...

The Truth

The Greenskeepers have long since forgotten that their “valley” is a ship's park. The sky above them is a holographic projection. The Greenskeepers themselves are the descendants of the long-dead park personnel trapped here, after the Malfunction sealed off this section of the ship.

A random glitch in the local network has opened one of the blast doors, allowing access to the rest of the ship.

by Norton Glover – [email protected] E-Mail: [email protected] RPG Blog: Polyhedral Nonsense #Dungeon23

Way too early for this, but I made some covers based on some free templates I got over on Pixelbuddha –

Khonshu Alpha Covers

by Norton Glover – [email protected] E-Mail: [email protected] RPG Blog: Polyhedral Nonsense #Dungeon23

The primary inspiration for Khonshu Alpha was Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World. These were seemingly inspired by mid-20th century pulp sci-fi. This is a world where radiation gives almost instantaneous and useful mutations, and where ancient technology consists of Flash Gordon-style ray guns. This gives those games a more science-fantasy feel.

For the Khonshu Alpha project, I wanted to go in a slightly different direction. I'd like it to be inspired by more recent 21st century “hard” science fiction (I'll probably throw together an Appendix N at some point).

I want a setting that's rich and full of wonders, but not quite the pulpy free-for all that the older games had. I'd like the technology and creatures to be a little more in line with real world science. Basically I want to provide a fig leaf of plausibility pasted over the sci-fi nonsense.

i.e. Radiation doesn't give you superpowers, it gives you cancer.

So I'm going to limit the technology tropes in Khonshu Alpha to the following:

Technology that won't be in Khonshu Alpha

Simple Artificial Gravity – No grav plates Psionics Hyperspace Drives Ray Guns FTL Communication Time Travel Force Fields Extreme Mutations – No laser beam eyes.

Technology that will be in Khonshu Alpha

Nanotechnology Robotics Biotechnology Cybernetics Artificial Intelligence Von Neumann Machines Cognitohazards Mind Uploading Cryonics Virtual Realities

My hope is that limiting myself in this way, will force me to be a little more creative.

by Norton Glover – [email protected] E-Mail: [email protected] RPG Blog: Polyhedral Nonsense #Dungeon23