Impostor Ship R.P.G.
You’ve received your first Invasion assignment from the Imperial Institute of Invasions (III).
Your target: the planet Earth.
The dominant species, called Humans, are gigantic compared to Invaders. They would measure us as 1 centimeter in height, compared to their average height of 170 centimeters.
To infiltrate their primitive society, we’re sending you in a large, human-disguised, bipedal vehicle—your Imposter Ship (IS).
This Routine Procedures Guide (RPG) will help you operate your IS and complete your missions on Earth, which is now being reviewed as a candidate for planetary invasion.
Earth is a planet full of dangerous creatures, toxic argon, and billions of stupid humans. It’s perfect for invasion.
Your mission is to infiltrate human society, collect data, complete assigned objectives, and prepare the planet for a successful invasion.
Note: In case humans intercept a transmission of this top secret guide, we’ve disguised it to look like one of their pitiful games. [Please delete this entry before transmitting the guide to other crew members. Or don’t. Humans will probably just think it’s some attempt at humor.]
Table of Contents
Game Master (VICI)
One member of your crew will be a Virtual Intelligence Communications Interface, or “VICI” (pronounced Vicky). VICI is integrated into your Impostor Ship (IS) to help you on your missions.
The “Game Master (GM)” assumes the role of VICI.
VICI is responsible for alerting your crew to all situations occurring outside and inside the IS.
VICI can translate most of the commonly spoken Human languages.
It’s important to note that VICI is a Virtual Intelligence (VI), and not an Artificial Intelligence (AI), which have been illegal for Invaders to use ever since the alleged AI involvement behind the System Zero Catastrophe.
As a Virtual Intelligence, your VICI is a simulation of a sentient mind, but with none of the unlimited power and ferocity that comes from having independent thoughts, feelings, and an identity of her own of its own.
If you have any questions, ask VICI.
As a deployed Invader, you will carry an official Career Sheet that summarizes your value to the III.
Invader Career Sheet
Invader Concept Sketches
You must enter the following information on your career sheet before starting your missions:
Cut and Paste your Official III Picture from the appendix. You may color in the b/w holograph if you wish.
Select your Position on the IS. Only 1 Invader per Position.
Commander: Give +1 to all other crew.
First Mate: Give +2 to other crew at the same Deck.
Science Officer: +2 to collect and analyze data.
Engineer: +3 to repair and supercharge.
Comms Officer: +2 to communicate.
Arm Specialist: +1 to use arms.
Leg Specialist: +1 to use legs.
Gunner: +2 to shoot Human or Invader weapons.
Pilot: +2 to operate Invader or Human vehicles.
Safety Inspector: All crew gain +2 to Death Save.
Doctor: +5 to revive Invaders and you don’t have to be at the sick bay.
Cook: reroll one of each of your crew mates’ rolls once per session.
The Invader with the highest position on this list will be the Captain of your IS.
Write your official Invader Name.
To cover your crew communications, you will use code names that make it sound like you are humans playing alien invaders as part of a game. As part of this cover, you will also write down the name of the human that is “playing you” as your Player Name.
Write 0 for the number of Death Medals.
Leave the entries for Accomplishments blank.
When you attempt to do anything difficult, your Game Master, aka VICI, will tell you to make a roll using a 20-sided die.
This command will keep up the ruse that you are humans game-players in the event that your communications are intercepted.
For average difficulty tasks VICI will tell you to roll above a 9 to succeed, but some challenges may require a higher number for success.
Difficulty and Minimum Dice Result
Roll Modifiers (Crew and Software)
Your crew positions on the ship and IS software upgrades can stack modifiers to add your dice roll, increasing your chances of success.
VICI will tell you if your position and software modifiers are relevant to the task you are rolling for.
You will eat, breath, sleep, and conduct your missions from within your Imposter Ship (IS). It will be your home for the duration of your deployment on Earth.
The Imposter Ship starts off with the same physical and sensory capabilities as the average Human.
Impostor Ship Status Report
Before your first mission, your crew must complete and submit your IS Status Report to VICI for authentication.
Name your ship.
Record your names next to your crew positions.
Write a 1 for the Strain and Suspicion level.
VICI will direct you to update your IS Status Report if there are any changes, upgrades, or damages to your IS.
There are 5 Decks on the IS: Head (Bridge), Thorax, Abdomen, Starboard Arm, and Port Arm.
All decks are connected to the Thorax by corridors, and it takes 15 seconds to travel through a corridor.
Each deck is built with specialized Stations for controlling the various functions of the IS.
Stations have an Operator’s seat and a Co-Operator’s seat.
Print and cut-out special cards in the Appendix to pass around and keep track of which station each Invader is at.
As you acquire items on earth that you plan to carry from mission to mission, you may write them down as External Inventory items on your IS Status Report.
You must have a pocket or bag that allows you to carry the item hands-free before writing down in your External Inventory.
While your IS starts off with the abilities of an average human, you can earn Expenditure Points (XP) that may be spent on upgrading your IS. See the chapter, “Invading Earth”, to learn more about earning XP.
Software Upgrades provide assistive technology and heads-up-displays that help Invaders control the IS by modifying rolls when taking challenging actions with the IS. Each Software Upgrades cost 20 XP and adds a +1 to rolls related to the Software.
Hardware Upgrades are structural and equipment changes that can expand the capabilities of the IS.
1. Animal Communications
Expand your universal translator to interpret patterns in the chirps, barks, growls, and body language of Earth creatures.
When combined with the Voice Modifier upgrade, your IS will be able to speak back to animals. (100XP)
2. Aquatic Operations
With extendable fins and propellers, your crew gains a +5 to all swimming actions with the IS.
Sensors are upgraded to take no penalties for being submerged underwater.
Life support systems are upgraded to filter the elements in fresh or saltwater to provide breathable air for the Invaders. (75XP)
Bypass “safeguards” that prevent VICI from controlling the stations of the ship.
With Autopilot, you can flip a switch at any station to give VICI control.
It only works at one station at a time.
When applied to Communications, the Autopilot switch must be set to either passive, aggressive, or passive-aggressive.
This work-around is technically unauthorized, so if you are interrogated, you did not get this upgrade from the III. (100XP)
4. Camouflage Emitter
Project a camouflage image of nearby surroundings around the IS to gain a +5 to stealth rolls. (150XP)
5. Cargo Evacuator
Use increased pneumatic pressure to launch cargo at high speeds from either Air Lock. (25XP)
6. Drone Sensors
The IS sensors can be detached and flown remotely from the Sensors station on the Bridge. (75XP)
Adjust to use as a metal detector, attract all metal within 50 feet, or to cause limbs to stick to metal surfaces, even walking across metal upside down. (75XP)
8. Energy Shield
Protection from extreme environments including radiation, extreme temperatures, high pressure, and vacuum.
Once per minute, the energy shield can also block damage from an attack or collision on the outside of the IS. (40XP)
9. Extendable Limbs
Adding telescopic parts to the neck, arms, and legs of the IS allows each to extend to a maximum of 10 feet. (40XP)
10. Freeze Ray
Blow carbon freezing particles out of Air Lock #1 up to 10 feet away to freeze any object that is the same size as the IS.
The object will stay frozen for 1 hour before immediately thawing with no permanent damage. (125XP)
11. Fuel Adapter
This Generator attachment allows the IS to make use of a variety of fuel sources to increase the Generator’s Supercharge capability.
When the Fuel Adapter is fed with combustible material, radioactive elements, or a large amount of food, a single Supercharge can be used twice on a single Deck or once on two different Decks before needing to roll for another supercharge. (60XP)
12. Grappling Cord
Electro-activated adhesive coating allows this shoot-and-retract cord to stick to any solid.
The cord storage and firing mechanisms are located in both wrists and forearms, and there is enough supply to cut and use the cord liberally for other applications, such as tying up people or objects.
The cord can be cut by a special instrument at the wrist, but it is strong enough to hold 1 ton of weight with a single strand. (100XP)
13. Hat Shuttle
For recon or emergencies, the crew may pilot this hovering hat as an away team from the IS.
The hat can travel up to the average human’s running speed.
It is advised to follow a flight pattern that appears as though the wind is blowing the hat around. (75XP)
14. Heat Ray
Focused laser beam emits from Air Lock #1 up to 50 feet away, causing flammable objects to catch on fire immediately and melting most metals within 5 minutes. (150XP)
15. Heavy Gears
Increasing the capacity of the gears changes the appearance of the IS to that of a highly musclebound human.
These gears also allow the IS to lift up to 1 ton of weight and jump 20 feet high. (100XP)
16. Hidden Arm
This robotic arm can extend from hidden hatches on the front or back of the Thorax.
It has the strength of an average human arm, but it is not disguised since humans don’t have 3 working arms. (50XP)
The eyes of the IS can now both shift between 5 different visual settings:
Average human vision.
See the temperature range across surfaces.
See in the dark, but without color.
Read a book from a mile away.
See the bacteria on objects within reach of the IS.
18. Multi-Tool Hands
From a soldering iron to a hammer, Every human tool that could be found in a handyman’s tool box can be quick-released from the hands on your IS. (25XP)
19. Pheromone Sprayer
Emit pheremonal aerosols that can influence the emotions of all humans within 50 feet towards feeling either more anger, sadness, disgust, happiness, fear, or attraction.
Can be used once every hour with a communications roll to determine how effectively it works. (100XP)
20. Sonar Sensors
The audio sensors in the ears of the IS are equipped with spatially aware sonar.
Only works as while the Head Deck is Supercharged.
Detect all objects within 100 feet even on the other side of non-reinforced walls.
Detect the heart rate of living creatures within 10 feet.
The sonar signals are emitted at a frequency that is undetectable to the Human ear.
21. Solar Skin
Solar panels across the surface of the IS can be used as backup power in case the Thorax is damaged.
You must strip the IS down to undergarments to collect enough sunlight before making a roll to do a Supercharge. (30XP)
22. Spare Parts
Use your spare parts to restore a destroyed Deck or to gain a +10 to repair a damaged Deck.
When Spare Parts are used, remove it from your upgrades. (15XP)
23. Static Discharge
With a successful Supercharge roll, anything touching the IS receives an electrical jolt that stuns creatures and electronics for 10 minutes. (65XP)
24. Syringe Teeth
Draw or inject liquids with a bite from the IS. Useful for collecting samples, injecting toxins, scaring humans, etc. (40XP)
Reinforced dermal layers and Blast doors give Invaders a +3 to all rolls to avoid death when their Deck takes damage. (75XP)
26. Voice Modifier
With a 10 second sampling of someone’s voice, you can modify the voice box on the IS to mimic them exactly. Works with ambient noises, music, animal noises, and any other sounds as well.
The volume of the voice box can also increase to be as loud as a jet engine. (50XP)
27. Xtreme Mobility
Extendable equipment on the IS in the form of skates, skis, and glider wings.
Allows the IS to move faster over solid, water, and snow surfaces.
Use a piloting roll with the glider wings to move across the air and target a soft landing spot from any altitude. (100XP)
Your purpose on Earth is to collect intel and to weaken Earth’s defenses as much as possible.
To that end we will be sending you mission objectives and rewarding you with Expenditure Points for completing those objectives.
The 3-Step Plan to Invasion Preparation
VICI will brief you on missions from III HQ that align with our proven 3-Step Plan to Invasion Preparation.
Step 1 - Recon
Set up a secret base.
Establish a cover identity and profession.
Identify a network of possible acquaintances.
Step 2 - Infiltrate
Climb the promotional ladder for your cover profession.
Recruit impressionable humans as acolytes.
Put sabotage plans in place that will weaken humanity’s resistance to the invasion.
Step 3a - Invade
Send a final report on Earth’s viability for invasion; if approved, activate your sabotage plans.
Work with the first wave of the Invasion fleet to capture the leaders of humanity’s super powers for re-education or replacement.
Squash any remnant of human resistance.
Step 3b - Survive
If your final report results in Earth being rejected for Invasion, destroy all portals to III HQ and dismantle your sabotage plans.
Continue improvising and adapting to life on Earth until the III can schedule a retrieval of your crew and your Impostor Ship.
Possible missions you may receive in each of the three phases include:
Gathering more data about specific humans, places, things, or ideas on Earth.
Removing obstacles to invasion, such as infrastructure, defensive systems, or competent human leadership.
Improving your cover as a human by copying the lifestyle and behavioral patterns of a group.
Rescue stranded Invaders or their remains when another IS is disabled or destroyed.
The only way to get promoted is through accomplishment. Write down all of your noteworthy mission achievements in the Accomplishments box on your Career Sheet.
Examples of Accomplishments include:
Succeeding at a task of Difficulty 15 or greater.
Coming up with a clever solution to a problem.
Risking excruciating pain in some kind of heroic act.
Surviving is not considered an accomplishment.
Once you have three accomplishments that VICI agrees are significant enough, you will be approved for promotion.
If you are promoted, you will be reassigned to a corner office at III Headquarters, and a fresh recruit will be sent to your IS.
Expenditure Points (XP)
After mission success or failure, call in to III HQ for debriefing and to receive Expenditure Points (XP). XP may be spent to purchase upgrades for your IS.
A total mission success with no IS damage, Invader deaths, or human suspicion is worth 50 XP, while a total mission failure will only get you 45 XP.
When you encounter something unfamiliar, check with VICI for existing data on the subject by making a data roll.
Every accumulative 100 Data Points in a field gives your crew of Invaders a +1 modifier to any data roll related to that field.
For example, if you want to play a guitar, you will roll based on your Sociology modifier to determine how well you play it.
There are 3 fields of Data we are counting on you to collect.
Ecology: Natural specimens from microscopic to colossal, including fauna, flora, and minerals.
Technology: Any object created by humans that serves a utilitarian purpose.
Sociology: Any idea or object that represents human language, relationships, politics, culture, art, etc.
Collecting Data Points
At the end of a session, VICI will ask you what you learned about Earth on your mission.
After hearing your answers, VICI will decide how many Data Points you can add to your total for each field.
Ways to get data points include:
Scanning objects with your tongue spectrometer.
Asking humans questions.
Using unfamiliar human technology.
Interacting with Earth’s fauna.
Most common objects or concepts are worth 15 Data Points, while the extremely rare will be worth up to 50 Data Points.
VICI will also automatically upload new data to III headquarters with a reward of 10 XP for every 100 Data Points in a field.
You will monitor two types of Threats to your mission: the Strain on your IS, and the Suspicion humans have toward you.
If you roll a dice result that is equal to or less than a relevant Threat, that Threat is triggered.
A triggered Threat will introduce a new challenge to your mission. VICI will describe this new situation as it develops.
Increase Strain by 1 every time the IS experiences harm such as taking a hard hit or getting shot.
Strain is triggered by any roll (other than sneaking or communications) that is equal to or less than the Strain level.
When Strain is triggered, VICI will identify a Deck of the IS that has been Damaged.
When a Deck is Damaged, each Invader on the Deck must make a Avoid Death roll at an Average Difficulty (10).
Until the Damaged Deck is repaired, all Stations on the Deck take a -10 to any roll when they are used.
If a Deck is Damaged twice before being repaired, it is Destroyed and must be replaced using Spare Parts (see Ship Upgrades).
Increase Suspicion by 1 every time humans observe the IS behaving non-human-like.
Suspicion is triggered by communication or sneaking rolls that are equal to or less than the Suspicion level.
When Suspicion is triggered, VICI will identify a local authority or security figure that becomes inquisitive or possibly hostile toward the IS.
Depending on the mission location and the level of Suspicion, the local authorities could be anyone from a store clerk to a Special Undercover Investigation Threat (SUIT).
When a non-invader creature makes an attempt that directly affects the Invaders, they may make an attempt to counter.
For example, if a human fires a pistol at the IS, an Invader in the Abdomen Deck may roll to evade the attack as aCounter.
If a non-invader creature makes an attempt that is not countered by the Invaders, the creature automatically succeeds.
For example, if a driver attempts to jump a canyon while the IS is tied up in the trunk, the driver succeeds at their jump.
If two or more non-invader creatures resist each other’s attempts, VICI will give one side “odds” and the other “evens”, and an Invader will roll to determine who wins with an odd or even die result.
Most targets require a 10 difficulty to hit them in combat.
If you hit a target with a weapon that would probably incapacitate them, then the target is incapacitated. There are no hit points in Imposter Ship.
Some targets may be harder to hit than normal, such as when they are moving very fast or are very small compared to the IS. When attacking these targets, VICI will re-estimate the challenge and give you a greater difficulty number of Hard (15), Daunting (20), or Impossible (25).
Each Invader can either move to a connected deck or take one action that requires a roll.
After every invader has either moved or taken an action, all the other participants in combat may either move their position or take an action.
Invaders may roll to counter actions that would directly affect them or the IS even if they already took a move or action.
You may find the need to take an Earth walk outside your IS. Earth’s atmosphere is full of toxic argon and has 5 times less pressure than is necessary for Invader life.
To protect you from Earth’s harsh environment, your ship is equipped with environmental suits near each air lock.
If there is a breach on a Deck, it will be automatically sealed until the breach is repaired and the Deck is again pressurized with filtered air.
A properly sealed IS can provide 1 hour of air to the Invaders without access to Earth’s atmosphere, such as underwater or in the vacuum of space.
If an Invader fails their death save, their remains must be brought to the Sick Bay and a successful medical roll must be made to revive them.
To show our gratitude for your sacrifice, every time you die you will be awarded with a Death Medal by the Captain of the IS. Please keep a count of all awarded Death Medals on your Invader Profile.
Total Crew Death
If all Invaders on your IS are dead, a distress beacon will automatically alert the III to send a rescue crew to find and revive you.
If your IS is non-operational, the rescue crew will carry it to safety.
You may also be called upon to rescue other IS crews during your deployment.
APPENDIX A - Career Sheets
APPENDIX B - Imposter Ship Status Report
APPENDIX C - Invader Location Cards
Print and cut the Location Cards out to give a set to each player. These make it easier to keep track of where each Invader is located by keeping the location cards in a stack with the player’s location on top.
Appendix D - Optional Rules
Imposter Ship can be played in a single play session as a One-Shot Deployment or over a series of sessions for a longer Campaign Deployment.
If you compare role playing games to a TV experience, the One-Shot would be like a standalone movie, and the Campaign would be like a show series.
At the start of a one-shot deployment, VICI will assign your crew 3 missions and 200 XP.
There are 52 missions that can be assigned by the crew drawing 3 playing cards from a shuffled deck, and referencing the table below.
If you don’t have a deck of cards, you can use a counting method instead. VICI and one of the Invaders will each think of a secret number between 1-52 and reveal their numbers simultaneously. Add the two numbers together and count out the sum starting with the first mission on the table below. Once you reach the sum, you are assigned the mission that you stop on. Repeat this for each mission that you draw, or get a deck of playing cards instead.
When a mission is completed, replace it with a new mission that hasn’t been assigned before.
Possible recon missions include:
Get a job
Go on a date
Become a hero
Escape from jail
Steal lab research
Blackmail an official
Prepare and serve a feast
Get an abundance of money
Get a degree
Destroy a building
Win an official competition
Get a home
Stop a felony
Stockpile a consumer product
Deliver a pizza
Hire an employee
Carry out a lawsuit
Lickscan a dangerous animal
Get a vehicle
Record pranks on video
Join a club
Take a road trip
Make a friend
Receive sage advice
Start a fight
Entertain a crowd
Make it on front page news
Provide medical services
Be a Game Master for an RPG
Get in a heated argument
Attend a family dinner
Give a haircut
Sell a patent
Start a cult
Get a refund
Incite a riot
Build a dossier on someone
Sabotage a supply chain
Guide a tour
Establish a secret lair
Control a satellite
Conduct a petition
Reduce property values
How well you complete each mission will be reviewed by VICI at the end of the session. The higher the stakes, and greater the effects on Humanity, the higher your commendation.
After drawing their starting missions, the crew may spend their 200 XP on IS Upgrades.
Playing a One-Shot
Start your mission by connecting with an III portal in an enclosed public bathroom for privacy.
At the end of your One-Shot session, VICI will debrief you on your performance and send a mission report to III.
The Captain will then award one of the Invaders one of the following commendations:
Badge of the Ruthless
Medal of Bravery
Ribbon of Cleverness
Increase Infestation by 1 every time the IS visits a dirty location, such as public bathrooms, dumpsters, or playgrounds.
Infestations are triggered by any odd numbered roll results if the Infestation level is over 3.
When Infestation is triggered, VICI will identify the location and description of an insect infestation spreading inside the IS.
The higher the Infestation Level, the higher the danger of the insects to the IS and the crew.
A successful roll to exterminate the insects on a Deck will remove its Infested status.
If an extermination roll fails, the infested Deck becomes Damaged and the Infestation spreads to another connected deck.
If the Insects are hostile, Invaders must make a Death Save when encountering them.
VICI’s System Reboot Button
Take care of your VICI and your VICI will take care of you. However, in case of irregular VICI behavior, the ship’s Captain has access to VICI’s mainframe on the Database floor (the top floor of the Bridge deck).
With this access, the Captain can activate a 1-minute System Reboot that will wipe any of VICI’s threatening behavioral patterns.
During a system reboot, the mechanical functions of the IS remain operational, but all software upgrades, communications with Humans, and sensors (except audio and touch) are shut down.
If Humans are somehow able to scan for Invader technology, a system reboot will hide you from any scans while your IS systems are shut down. This shut down will even deceive the senses of those pesky Earth dogs!