In Ashen Stars (formerly GUMSHOE Space), every PC has a warpside role and a groundside role. Warpside, you can take on the role of pilot, gunner, erngineer, comms, stratco or medic, doubling up where necessary. During starship combat, each role has an important part to play and meaningful choices to make. As well as the usual sequence of maneuvers, feints, weapons and repair choices, players can choose special gambits highlighting their roles – the engineer can re-rout off line subsystems and the comms expert jam the opponent’s internal comms.

Players can spending points from their own pools,but also spend ship’s resources to improve their chances at every stage. This brings us to the ships schematic which I envisage being placed in the middle of the table stacked with tokens representing the ship’s pools.  As you snatch tokens to boost weapons fire or make emergency repairs, the ships resources deplete, and you might even find yourself depleting pools your fellow crew-members might need later.

This schematic is based on Ralf’s example map for Cosmographer described here.

A PDF is here.

SCHEMATIC fancy post

Here is a five-minute rough by Jérome of a race called the durugh for GUMSHOE Space (or should I say Ashen Stars)?

durugh_colloThe Durugh

Other species may instinctively recoil at your twisted features and hunched physiques, but you durugh certainly came in handy during the Mohilar War. Your ability to briefly phase between dimensional layers made your people ideal spies and infiltrators. A once-despised enemy of The Combine, your people initially threw in your lot with the Mohilar when war broke out. Your much-derided penchant for double-dealing proved indispensable when your martyred former king, Ukshqa, used his access to the Mohilar mothership to discover their genocidal plans for your race after the Combine was defeated. Thanks to the Bogey Condundrum, due credit for the defeat of the Mohilar has been taken away from you. Still, you are sure that the durugh were somehow instrumental to victory. Although a small faction of durugh want to go back to the old ways and fight the Combine, a new majority seeks peaceful union with it. Since then you have learned that the universal tolerance espoused by the Combine is more ideal than reality. The durugh were the primary foes of the Combine peoples for generations, and old perceptions die hard.

The war, and Ukshqa’s great sacrifice, worked great internal changes on durugh society. Its old hierarchical structure, based on a rigid class system and enforced by brutal punishment, has fallen by the wayside. Now all the classes can perform the dimension phase, making a police state impossible to maintain. Each durugh world has fallen into its own unique anarchy, some more benign than others. The future is wide open, assuming you don’t all backstab each other to death first.

Translation devices often render durugh speech as sibilant, high-pitched or whiny. They undermine even your most lofty expressions. Despite years of effort the technical breakthroughs needed to remedy this flaw remain elusive.

You range between 127 and 168 cm in height. Dense musculature and bone structure makes you heavier than a human of equal health and the same height. Your fingers are disproportionately long and thin, you thumbs thick and partially bifurcated. Durugh tend toward pale complexions and dark hair.

Durugh names sound, at least as rendered in English by translation devices, like a cross between Latin and Assyrian. Pick a name from the list in Appendix 1 (p. 286), or invent one that sounds similar to those.

Boosts: Decryption, Explosive Devices, History (Durugh), Downside, Negotiation; Filch, Preparedness, Surveillance, Infiltration

Suitable Drives: Altruism, Avenger, Chronicler, Comradeship, Entrepreneurial, Exploration, Faith, Footloose, Justice-Seeker, Nowhere Else To Go, Professionalism, Pursued, Programming, Role Model, Scientific Inquiry, Sexual Adventure, Something To Prove, Tech Hound

Unique Drives:Phase Rider

Species-Specific  Abilities: Phase

Cybernetic Compatibilities: Breadbox, Handgun, Interface Tranducer

Cybernetic Clashes: Aidkitter, Berserker, Episealant

Viroware Affinities: Aggravator, Peacepipe, Chameleon, Dominator, Mr. Grey, Snakehisser, Stiumulust, Scrambleface, Scrambleface Ultra

Viroware Susceptibilities:Grobig, Proprioception Booster, Tiresias

Which is the best title for the forthcoming GUMSHOE Space?

Which is the best title for GUMSHOE space?
Ashen Stars
Deep Space Marshalls
Into the Bleed
Stellar Justice
Translight Patrol free polls



You are a genetically and cybernetically altered being, originally from human stock. You are the results of super-soldier experimentation undertaken during the Mohilar War. In all likelihood, you served in the war. If not, you’ll need to explain why you didn’t, which you can either do immediately or reveal at an appropriate moment in the course of the series.

If you’re like most of your kind, you consider yourself a new species, homo amplius. About 70% of cybes fall into this category. Cybes of this persuasion seek to build their own settlements and cultures. If you count yourself among them, you envision a utopian cybe society based on the principles of self-determination, mutability of body and soul, and personal freedom. Attempts to found such societies have proven rocky so far. When outsiders point this out to you, you might reply that human societies you’re doing much better than homo sapiens was a single generation after it first evolved. Among fellow cybes you might be willing to admit that the tenuous social connections fostered by Cybe ideology make for volatile societies—especially when the innate aggression installed in your genes by Combine geneticists is taken into account. You are nonetheless determined to lay the foundations for a perfect society. Since the cybes intend to render themselves effectively immortal through additional modification, they’ll be living with the results of today’s political developments for centuries to come. If you’re a member of this dominant faction, you call yourself an amp or evolver.

About one in ten cybes consider themselves to still be human. They resent the notion that they might be anything else, reject political separatism, and seek full integration with human societies. Other cybes contemptuously refer to them as “vestigials”; they call themselves “integrationists” and label the so-called amps as “transers.”

Cybes can reprogram their abilities at will, at the cost of personality drift; see the Neural Rewiring ability, p. 53.

Translation devices render your speech patterns as slightly stilted and robotic. You may speak in a staccato rhythm or a montone, or avoid the use of contractions.

Cybes abandon their human names to affirm their identity as a separate species. Their names are metonyms: English words that reveal their (self-perceived) best qualities or capabilities. They may seem blunt or boastful to others. Older cybes append the vowel u to the English word, which stands for Unit. Younger cybes drop this convention. Pick a name from the sample list of on p. 273, or use it as inspiration for a similar name of your own invention.

Boosts: Culture (Cybe), Bullshit Detector, Virology

Suitable Drives: Altruism, Atonement, Avenger, Bleedism, Chronicler, Combinism, Comradeship, Derring-Do, Entrepreneurial, Exploration, Faith, Hotshot, Justice-Seeker, Nowhere Else To Go, Professionalism, Pursued, Programming, Role Model, Scientific Inquiry, Tech Hound

Unique Drives: Integrationist, Social Engineer

Species-Specific  Abilities: Enhancement Integration, Neural Rewiring

Cybernetic Compatibilities: All

Cybernetic Clashes: None

Viroware Affinities: All

Viroware Susceptibilities:None