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M*E*R*C*Y (2018)

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Publisher: (Web published)
Year: 2018
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4 pages
Size: Letter
English
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From publisher blurb:

“Dear Mom: Just got off a twelve-hour shift in Surgery. We had to operate on more than sixty soldiers today; twelve of them were mine. I lost two. They were just too blown up to go on. I don’t blame ‘em. They’re the lucky ones, the ones who don’t have to wade into bullets and plasma beams any more. Others aren’t so lucky; we get ‘em in pieces, put ‘em together like meat jigsaw puzzles, get ‘em back on their feet, and send ‘em right back into the meat grinder. Day after day, same thing. Sometimes I feel a little blown up inside myself… aw, frak! Another incoming casualty alert. Gotta go, Mom! Love ya!”

M*E*R*C*Y is a campaign setting for Cepheus Engine and other 2D6 tabletop RPG science fiction games (including The Original Science Fiction Roleplaying Game), inspired by a well-regarded dark comedy set during the Korean War broadcast on American television in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It largely takes place aboard a hospital ship assigned to duty as a M*E*R*C*Y (Multifunctional Exigency-Role Cruiser, Yeoman.) The heroes aren’t those that engage in space battles, explore ancient ultra-tech ruins, or perform armed feats of derring-do. Their heroics are performed in the confines of a hospital’s wards and emergency rooms, waging battles against injuries, inhumanities, disease…and madness. The prospect of an untimely death — of the body as well as the soul — is always possible.

Included are suggestions on tone, narrative, scientific rigor, and campaign scope; a mechanic to simulate the struggles to maintain one’s psychological health; adaptations of Cepheus Engine careers to the setting; a selection of NPCs; a writeup of a ship for use in the setting; and a Mission Generator complete with some examples of its use.

M*E*R*C*Y. A war to save the bodies and the mind while the universe goes to hell.

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