Hi, and welcome to Generation, the Michaelmas '12 / Hilary '13 freeform game for the Oxford University Roleplaying Games Society. If you've never played any sort of roleplaying game before, hopefully this quick introduction will answer a few questions. If you're a seasoned player, a lot of this should be familiar to you.

One important thing to be aware of first: you don't need to read this entire website!

There's a lot of material here, and while we'd like you to have read as much of it as possible, you don't need to know all of it to start playing. Read what interests you and what's relevant to a character you might like to play. Good places to start are:

  • The Introduction to the ship — What's going on? Who am I? Why am I here? A starting place to read about the setting.
  • The Character Generation page — a guide to creating a character and bringing them to life within the game.
  • The Wiki page — A general guide to how the game is administrated.

How Do I Play?

Generation is a live roleplaying game — a style of game that sits somewhere between amateur dramatics and collaborative storytelling. You turn up, create a character to play, and then take on their role as you play the game. There are no scripts or lines, no set outcomes to what will happen — just a setting, a bunch of other characters to interact with, and some GMs to make sure it all runs smoothly.

Generation is a freeform live roleplaying game, which means that instead of narrating your character's actions during game sessions, or controlling your character through a controller, you actually perform them; you turn up each week, walk around and talk to other characters, make deals, trade news, gossip, diplome, eavesdrop and orate. This doesn't mean you need to be a great public speaker — just be able to speak as your character would.

For various reasons, combat and other harmful activities aren't generally possible during the meetings — if anything unusual has to happen which can't be acted out, the GMs will freeze the scene and describe what occurs.

Most importantly, roleplaying is about having fun and creating stories with other players. Absolutely no experience is required to play the Society Game and there will be plenty of supportive people on-hand to help if you have any questions. Just turn up and enjoy yourself!

What's Generation?

Every Tuesday during Michaelmas and Hilary terms, players meet in a room at Keble College. These sessions represent meetings of the crew of the Asimov, a generation ship carrying the last hope for humanity through interstellar space. At these meetings, players decide the fate of the ship through their words and actions — exchanging news and gossip, making plans, meeting with other important crewmembers, and discussing the running of the ship. The game is run by a team of GMs who will be on hand, usually playing NPCs or representing the ship's Computer, to offer help, advice, information and to keep the game running smoothly.

Each week between sessions represents one month in the game — and that's the period during which your character has the most freedom to act; you can travel throughout the ship, take action against other PCs, fight, trade and politic! Each week, we ask that players send in a summary of what they want their character to be doing in that month; the GMs will then judge the results of your actions and report back to you on how everything went.

There is a system for these downtime actions, detailed here — but don't feel you need to memorise it all. We won't be accepting downtime actions for the first week (which will be devoted to character creation), and we're more than happy to help you out if you're having trouble working out what you want to do in the early weeks!

The Generation setting is near-future science fiction, inspired by the works of Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, as well as Lord of the Flies, Alien, Portal and Red Dwarf. As a member of the new advanced crew training programme, you will be called upon to solve critical tasks, face unknown dangers, and deal with the ambitions of your co-travellers in order to keep the mission on course and keep humanity's last hope alive. To make your task easier, you can look forward to “assistance” from the shipboard Computer — and of course, your fellow crew members. Players will have the opportunity to influence the future of Humanity and perhaps even take control of their own destiny.

Style Guide

  • Generation is primarily a hard(ish) science fiction setting with a near-future technology level.
  • The game is primarily about the social interactions between the crew, and the society they build together to stand the test of time — we encourage players to engage with this as much as possible.
  • Character death is a possibility. However, murder is difficult, and there are extremely strong IC consequences — more creative ways of solving problems are likely to be more effective. We suggest that players keen to avoid this aspect of PVP carefully consider how their character engages in conflict and the consequences of their actions, or take steps to protect themselves from harm. Read more about this on the Conflict and PvP page.
  • For similar IC and OC reasons, we encourage players to avoid choosing overly destructive character goals.
  • We encourage players to achieve their goals by coming up with interesting and creative plans using the resources they have to hand.

What Does It All Mean?

There are a few acronyms used throughout the website which might be a little confusing if you've never played before. Never fear — help is at hand! And if you're confused by anything, feel free to email us on to ask questions!

OOC or OC — Out of Character. Events and circumstances in the real world. For example, Generation sessions take place OOC at Pusey Room, Keble every Tuesday in term.
IC — In Character. Events and people in the world of Generation. For example, Generation sessions take place IC in the Forum, the great meeting hall at the heart of Asimov's social life.
GM — Game Master or Game Moderator. Us! The team of people who write, run and maintain the game for your playing pleasure. The first place to turn if you have a question.
PC — Player Character. You! The characters that Generation players create and represent in the fictional world. You will usually play the same PC every week through the course of the game, though you may switch or retire a character if you get bored.
NPC — Non-Player Character. Us again! Important characters (such as other ACTP members, heads of Departments, and the like) who are present at the meeting but played by a GM. NPCs will usually vary week-to-week, and GMs will often play several NPCs during a game session.

What Should I Play?

Having a good concept for your character — including some character goals — is the most important part of creating a character for Generation.

How Do I Come Up With A Character?

There is a system of skills and quirks to help get an idea of what your character is good at and where they stand — but this is merely a way of representing your ideas. Almost any character can attempt almost any plan — if your character has the appropriate skill, they are more likely to succeed. Pick skills and quirks that support the sorts of things that think your character might do during the game.

For inspiration, try checking out the Departments page, or seeing if one of the Factions take your fancy. You can even build a character around a series of Quirks — for example, who is your Incompetent Ally, and do they have anything to do with why you're being Pursued? The answer could be the inspiration you need to bring your character to life.

Alternatively, turning to fiction is often a good idea. If you’re trying to think of ideas you might like to play with, it often helps to check out books, movies and games with similar themes. While we ask you not to play a character taken directly from elsewhere, there's plenty of inspiration to be found.

If you’re still having trouble, please feel free to ask the GM team or other players for help or inspiration. We can help you develop a character concept you already have, suggest groups which need extra players, or find a concept you can get stuck in to. In addition there’s almost always a veteran gamer or two looking for an in-game cousin, student, spouse or deadly nemesis to play alongside!

What Sorts Of Goals Can My Character Have?

This is a tricky question to answer. We don't want to restrict people's creativity, and we want to work with you to develop an appropriate character concept, but there are a few goals that aren't very compatible with the game. If your character has one of these things as a goal, we'd like to have a chat with you because the odds of you completing these goals are very slim (if not impossible) because of the way that the game has been designed, and you will probably fail. These goals include:

  • Anything seriously destructive - e.g. blowing up the ship, massacring other characters.
  • Seriously messing with Computer - e.g. assuming control over Computer, destroying Computer.
  • Inventing anything completely new, tech wise - e.g. building a faster-than-light drive for the ship from scratch.

So what sorts of goals can you have? Plenty! Most things you can think of that fit in the setting are probably okay. It's also worth thinking about your character's goals in terms of their aims, rather than their specific plans. Some example goals might be:

  • Figuring out a way to preserve yourself to survive until/beyond landfall.
  • Creating an ideology and having it spread to most parts of the ship, becoming a significant part of humanity's cultural heritage.
  • Become incredibly rich and/or powerful, and form a dynasty that stands the test of time.

The ones above are far-reaching, but less epic goals are obviously also possible, including:

  • Becoming the best NGF player that ever lived.
  • Successfully breeding champion fighting lizards.
  • Get promoted to the Head of a Department.

As always, please contact the GM team if you have any questions. We're happy to talk through character concepts, what is and isn't possible, and answer any other questions you might have.


Costume is by no means mandatory, but some people like the excuse to dress up as their character. Even if you don't want to wear a full costume, it can be fun to use 'phys-reps' (or 'physical representations') for things like cybernetics. Take a look at the Fashion section, and feel free to email us if you want any ideas.

Contacting Us

The GM team can be contacted by emailing

Alternatively, come grab us before the start of a session, and we'll be happy to chat.

introduction.txt · Last modified: 2012/10/09 16:22 by gm_gemma
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