A downloadable Mothership adventure

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CW: darkness, tight spaces, marine wildlife, peril, bodily harm, extreme solitude

Thought space was full of horror? Try being trapped 70 metres underwater. On your own. In the dark.

THOUSAND EMPTY LIGHT is a psychedelic-xerox adventure zine that brings solo play to Mothership RPG (1E). Written throughout as an in-game corporate document, the zine takes the core game’s rules and builds a procedure for playing single handedly. It is a 36 page survival horror adventure, short story and universal solo toolkit all wrapped up into one.

The adventure casts the player in the role of a lamplighter hired by the HAZMOS service corporation. Their job? Enter an abandoned underwater tunnel on an uninhabited planet alone and restore power and light to each section. As they proceed, the player will discover that things aren’t quite what they seem.

This is an experiment in tabletop adventure design, requiring a healthy amount of interpretation from the player (a digital example play document is also provided). 

What's inside?

A Mothership solo procedure

The engine behind Thousand Empty Light, a simple procedure provides rules for how to play solo. This can easily be used for other Mothership adventures.

Unique xerox artwork

Grainy black and white artwork inspired by the heyday of the photocopier and spiked with unsettling psychedelia.

Twenty hazards

Readymade hazards including creatures, environmental effects and a rogue AI. Statblocks are provided for combat-able threats. These are designed for Thousand Empty Light but could be dropped into another adventure.

Five specialist items

Readymade pieces of specialist equipment to discover and wield during play.

Unfolding lore

Twelve pages of setting material including transcripts from the previous lamplighter which tell the unfolding story from section to section.

Unique PANIC table

Mothership’s Panic table has had a redesign to encompass problems related to decompression sickness and nitrogen narcosis.

Combined Systems Semiotic Standard

A d50 table of safety signs for determining narrative detail, inspired by Alien’s ‘semiotic standard’.

Lashings of dread, conspiracy and body horror

All the basis is there for you to embark on a deadly and terrifying tunnelcrawl.

Secret stuff

There are secrets to be solved in the zine which will lead you to discover more about the lore of the setting.

Extras

Soundtrack

There's an official soundtrack by Gus BC (Twitter / Instagram) and accompanying bonus module for this adventure called Sleeping in a Drowning Stone.

Sleeping in a Drowning Stone - tape cassette

Free download: Combined Systems Semiotic Standard

THOUSAND EMPTY LIGHT features a d50 table of safety signs for determining narrative detail, inspired by the ‘semiotic standard’ created for the 1979 Alien movie. This is designed to be useful as a solo oracle for Mothership and other sci-fi games generally, and is available for free below (under 'Download demo') .

Play example

A play example is provided to help with getting your bearings with this adventure .

Digital site

There is also a dedicated website courtesy of Beast to help with playing Mothership solo: https://beastnaylor.github.io/1000EL. This includes:

  • a reference sheet for THOUSAND EMPTY LIGHT's procedure
  • a randomiser for the Combined Systems Semiotic Standard
  • a random alien creature generator
  • a secret message decoder

Try before you buy?

There's a plaintext version of this adventure available for free (under 'Download demo'). Thousand Empty Light has been designed as a visual artifact so this version does not really compare to the full experience, but it will give you a good idea of what this thing is.

If you like what you see, please consider buying the adventure.

Physical copies

Real life copies of the zine will be available very soon from several retailers. Details will be added here.

Ratings & Comments

If you have enjoyed reading or playing this adventure, please consider leaving a rating and a comment.

Due to the way itch.io handles comments (it’s a bit broken), if you want to leave one please consider posting it with your rating AND also separately on the page itself

That way, other users who come to this page will be able to see it. Thanks!

Attribution

This product is based on the Mothership® Sci-Fi Horror Role Playing Game, published by Tuesday Knight Games. This product is published under license. MOTHERSHIP® is a registered trademark of Tuesday Knight Games. All rights reserved. For additional information, visit www.tuesdayknightgames.com or contact contact@tuesdayknightgames.com.

The title of this adventure was provided by Chris Bissette's Random Adventure Title Generator, and is submitted as part of the Random Adventure jam.

Purchase

Get this Mothership adventure and 148 more for $10.00 USD
View bundle
Buy Now£6.00 GBP or more

In order to download this Mothership adventure you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of £6 GBP. You will get access to the following files:

Alfred Valley - Thousand Empty Light pages v1.9.pdf 69 MB
Alfred Valley - Thousand Empty Light dust cover v1.0.pdf 369 kB

Download demo

Download
Alfred Valley - Thousand Empty Light - play example 1.1.pdf 62 kB
Download
Alfred Valley - Thousand Empty Light plaintext v1.9.html 69 kB
Download
Alfred Valley - Combined Systems Semiotic Standard v2.0.pdf 124 kB

Development log

Comments

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Any chance this will get another physical release someday?

There are still copies! I’m planning on opening up general orders on my site soon. Are you in the US? There will also be available from a few different retailers soon.

I'm actually in Canada, but i'd still buy a copy if shipping isn't too bad.

If not it'd be nice if we could get a pdf with the colour cover at least :)

(1 edit)

What a serious banger – theme and feeling are on point 🤘

As long as Alfred is still cool with it, would other folks with “hidden messages” be interested in sharing them here (or another, more clearly organised space)?

I'll go first and offer code #068
(moved it to the devlog)

It’s cool with me! To help organise these I’ve made a devlog dedicated to them. Please go ahead and post them there if you want.

Awesome, thanks ^^

(1 edit)

I have never been happier with a crowdfunded project I've backed. The core gameplay loop is intuitive and interesting and makes the scenario - essentially moving through a tunnel - feel open-ended and replayable. These components can certainly be ported to other Mothership scenarios or sci-fi horror games. 

Thousand Empty Light would be open to a number of different solo play styles, whether you want a single-session playthrough or to spend time further developing and exploring through journaling or recording audio reports in the log. This would also work for GM-less cooperative play. 

The accompanying soundtrack is great. The easter eggs/ciphers are a beautiful and thematically appropriate touch as well. While I am sure the physical copies are going to be lovely, it made sense to me to print this on the photocopier at work. Absolutely pulls off the corporate training manual thing.

I’m so glad that you’re happy with it. Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to leave a comment, I really appreciate it. Also I love that you put the office photocopier to work - top marks.

(+1)

First of all, well implemented tone and incredibly natural feeling resolution tools (in ORACLE and the Semiotic Standard).  Everything beyond that is into bonus points! The art, design, existing logs, dangling prompts… beautiful stuff. I hope Hazmos has some other contracts in other locations down the line!

Thank you for the great feedback. I’d love to do more with Hazmos in the future!

(+1)

Just got the final version today – this is so flipping cool. Completely immersive, wonderfully written and laid out. Just delightful. and spooky.

Thank you!

(+2)

Will you be offering late pledge options for the kickstarter? I love this project so far but missed the funding.

(1 edit)

In case you haven't seen it yet, pre-orders are available here via their website: https://www.hausofvalley.com/product/preorder-thousand-empty-light

(+1)

Nabbed it and a patch, thanks for letting me know!

Thanks for placing an order!