Nautilus of Time: Sci-Fi One Page Shipcrawl Adventure

There’s a game jam over on itch.io about creating one-page sci-fi scenarios – the One Page Derelict Winter 2021 Jam. The creators are asked to follow these rules when creating their submissions:

  • The scenario must be system-neutral
  • It has to be set in a sci-fi (or science fantasy) universe
  • It has to involve a abandoned structure
  • It can only take up one page – single sided

I’ve just added by own contribution – The Nautilus of Time – a procedurally generated shipcrawl through a mysterious time traveling derelict spaceship.

Nautilus of Time Logo
Link to the project Itch.Io page

If you’ve ever seen Emmy Allen‘s Gardens of Ynn or The Stygian Library, it uses similar methods to create locations. The basic idea is that, for each new location, the GM rolls on a series of tables to determine the following about each location:

  • A location type (Medical Bay, Greenhouse, etc.)
  • An interesting detail about the location. (Zero-G, Weird Smell, etc.)
  • An event – something that happens – good or bad
  • Encounters – Some events will require the GM to roll on an Encounter table for Monsters or PCs

Every time the players descend to a new location the GM adds one to a Depth number. The GMs adds the Depth number to their rolls, which serves to open up new locations, events, and encounters on the tables.

Emmy Allen used a d20 for her tables, but since I was trying to fit everything on to one page, I used a d6. Even so, I had to pack a lot of text into a single page. I originally wrote everything in Evernote, but when I started to put everything on the page in Affinity, I had to strip out enormous quantities of description and flavor. If I ever expand on this, I’ll probably add it back in.

Take a look at it here. I made it PWYW, but don’t hesitate to download it for free, if you prefer.

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