Now Boarding

Now boarding for flight 475 from Earth to Mars. All flight preparations are now complete and departure is on scheduled for 20:00.

Now Boarding is a scenario for Crossroads background using Xaos rules. These are home grown systems in development by Matthew Caryl and Chris Snazell. As such things are still a bit... wooly at the moment. Hopefully this game can be run shortly before Christmas with 4 or 5 players and me (Matthew) GMing. Have a look at the rules, background, scenario, or character generation.


Xaos is intended to be a "rules-lite" system with a fast playing style which reflects stories rather than reality. Have a brief look at the rules or go to a full description.

  • Action resolution: (relevant attribute) + 2D6 >= (difficulty level)
  • Minimum/Average/Maximum difficulty level: 2/7/12
  • Ability range: -5 to 5, 0 average
  • Ability description: 0 average, 1 trained, 2 skilled, 3 professional, 4 expert, 5 master.
  • Automatic success: (relevant attribute) + 5 greater than or equal to (difficulty level), GMs discretion, no time pressure
  • Initiative: (relevant speed attribute)
  • Number of actions: 2 + (relevant speed attribute)
  • Phases: All first actions simultaneous, all second actions simultaneous, ...
  • Taking time: Doubling time taken reduces difficulty level by 1.
  • Fate point: Add +5 to a roll, even after the roll has been made. Gain a botch point.
  • Botch point: GM only, add -5 to a roll.
  • Luck attribute: Number of free fate points (for positive luck) or botch points (for negative luck) than can be spent per scenario/session.
  • Health levels: Active (take penalties for specific damage), Incapacitated (unconscious or nearly so, almost immobile), Dead (but may be brought back).
  • Soak attribute: Toughness or flexibility used to reduce damage.
  • Will-to-live attribute: Ability to hang on in spite of failed soak.


Crossroads is set some way in the future some 25 years after the first alien contact.

Alien contact does exist but there influence on average men and women is minimal. All official contact is mediated through WorldGov. On Earth their presence is restricted to tight zones around the base of the beanstalks. Mars has continued its "no contamination" policy and aliens are banned from landing. We have not incorporated aliens into society. They are accepted but uncommon.

We know five space fairing alien races. Lemurs are a cute mammalian race who travel in large mysterious ships. Machine people are indeed machines rather than people with a rather dominant position out among the stars. Custodians look something like crabs or spiders and claim to be looking for god. Antelope are a race of travellers who have forged some of the closest links with mankind. Kikatr a pretty, insectile race but seem fairly aggressive towards us.


Now Boarding takes place on a high speed flight between Earth and Mars. Flight 475 will only take 4 days to make the journey because it accelerates at one Earth gravity all the way. As a result it is extremely expensive. Both crew positions are taken by NPCs. Players are therefore likely to be passengers who can afford this flight or are having it paid for. If anyone wants to gain less orthodox access they must talk to me first.

Cargo space is also available on board. Low mass, high urgency shipments only given the cost.

Character Generation

Character generation involves fleshing out a character idea. The rules contain a full description, look at an example character, but first the procedure in brief.

  • Get an idea for your character.
  • Write the essence of your character down on paper. What makes your character different from all the other?
  • Add enough detail so that the GM can understand your character. Ideally create a biography for the character listing the when's, where's, how's, who's, why's, and what's.
  • Then the GM, with your help, will transform your character into a set of attributes.

While generating your character it might help to consider this list of attributes and questions.

  • Soak, Will-to-live, Speed, Perception
  • What is your job? Where does your money come from? Where did you learn you job and why?
  • What do you do outside of work? When did you start?
  • Who is your family? Who are your friends? What do they think of you?
  • What do you believe in? What are you searching for?
  • Have you ever been in a fight? Have you ever been in space? Are you a citizen or not?
  • If someone looks at you what do they see?
  • In one short sentence. Who is your character?