Shadows Over Sol is the latest setting from the Tab Creations Collective. Conceived of late in 2009 as part an initiative to explore the boundaries of what was possible in the Saga Machine system, Shadows Over Sol is the second setting released for the game, and the first to take Saga Machine into the realm of science fiction and outer space.
Space & Horror
Shadows Over Sol borrows themes and elements from the horror genre, in addition to the science fiction genre, and in many ways space is the perfect setting for horror. Space is alien, isolating and quite hostile to human life. It gets characters outside of their comfort zone, separated from all the usual safety nets that they could normally fall back on in society. This isolation forces characters to take matters of survival into their own hands, even if those hands aren't an expert at the task.
Using space as a set-piece for horror provides a variety of tools and features that can be used to further the mood of horror as the player characters struggle to survive: Communications could be cut off. Life support could begin to fail. Sensors could be damaged. Thrusters could be sabotaged, leaving a ship a long, long voyage home. Unexpected things could happen while a character is in hibernation. And, of course, there could be things out there.
Shadows Over Sol is a setting filled with many competing interests, shadowy organizations and secret conspiracies. All of these groups have the need for small bands of agents to covertly do their dirty work, any one of these groups might hire the player characters. Out there in space a thousand things could be happening, all unknown to the population back home — a population that wants to stay fed and comfortable in its ignorance.
Shadows Over Sol by default assumes that player characters are members of one of these freelance teams, working for different organizations. This gives the game master a structure to build sessions around—missions on behalf of one of these entities — and player characters the agency in deciding which missions to take and which organizations they feel comfortable working for. Naturally, however, more dangerous missions come with greater rewards. But even the more innocuous-seeming mission could have unforeseen deadly twists lurking in the darkness of space.