Would you play in a game that was kind of Mouse Guard meets Rendezvous with Rama?
Basically, a colony ship built to human scale and of questionable origin, populated by intelligent mice or other such creatures.
I'm still thinking about the details, but I'm thinking the backstory would probably be something in a Stephen Baxter style, where the inhabitants were originally humans/humanoid aliens/whatever and reengineered themselves into tiny creatures in response to a societal collapse in order to survive.
I would play the shit out of that. Have the humans who ran the ship degenerating due to some horrible radiation that also started making the lab rats smart. Lab creatures escape and start to form social groups over generations, the humans become lumbering monsters manning the ship through hideous rituals they no longer understand that take place in the background while the forming tribes of smart-mice scavenge and explore the ship.
>One human not only survived, but became even more intelligent and strong.
>He attempts to figure out how to redirect the ship while coming to terms with the rest of the ship going mad.
>Due to the lifespan of mice going from one to five years, he becomes known as the Griever over the course of a decade, and is slowly becoming more and more unhinged.
>He sees the mice acting strangely as signs of his madness, and seeks to destroy them as a result.
>lumbering monsters manning the ship through hideous rituals they no longer understand
I kind of get some Vangers vibes from this. You ever play that game? It's hard to explain how weird/engaging it is.
The backstory includes a species made out of the combination of humans and aliens by uncontrolled bioweapons, with somewhat humanlike intelligence but compelled into ritual cycles by twisted hive alien instincts.
I did play Vangers. The top down race combat rpg thing? Disregard Ellopods, obtain beebes. That was a strange ass game. I put the sound track on a tape and sped it up to make really primitive fast electronic music when I was a kid.
I was also thinking an old scifi book The Ballad Of Beta-2 by delany.
You know what else is on a spaceship? Robots.
You know what tiny creatures like mice can do? Climb inside robots.
Gentlemen, we have the technology. We can put a mouse inside a mecha, in space.
>One quick Google search for "Rendesvous with Rama" later.
Holy dick that sounds so fucking tight. I've already wanted to play in Mouse Guard as is. Putting them in space to explore a fuck-huge starship is just- I don't even know. Do that shit, yo.
I'm wondering if Mouse Guard mechanics would work. The "seasons" kind of thing could work for the general scale of stuff, but I'm wondering if it would need to be tighter/more detail to work a bit better with scifi themes.
Joke option: GURPS Lilliput base rules
That'd be neat, but I'd personally nix the idea of making them having been human/aliens or whatever. Just make a setting with smart mice who discover some weird shit. Because I figure it'd be pretty fucking silly trying to explain why humanoid beings would ever find a reason to turn themselves into creatures less capable of tool use and other disadvantages willingly.
To crib from Vangers, the weird decedents of humans had seasons that were integrated into their cultural practices as well as reproduction, eggs and larva being raced from one end of the world to the other, often named after old human words. The space ship the mice are on could have seasons based on rotation of the ship, or cold seasons when the insulation wiring starts to fail and they go on a quest to stop the long winter that effects even the manbeasts.
Dust by Elizabeth Bear is probably a decent example of a decaying world ship with semi understood technology and odd cultural practices as a result.
If going that far, I'd make them weird Mote in God's Eye-style mutants or something rather than human, with ambiguity as to whether they were ever human at all, or if the mice have somehow ended up inhabiting part of an alien ship.