Mothership Sci-Fi Horror RPG 1st Edition Boxed Set

Created by Alan Gerding

Everything you need to play Mothership® in one terrifying box. Important Notes: * Pre-orders will ship after the Kickstarter ships (eta November 2022) * Pre-orders ship all together (we can't split up shipments and ship individual items) * Shipping will be charged when the Pre-Order store closes (eta November 2022)

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Aug/September Production Update, Timeline updated, Whitebox prototypese
23 days ago – Wed, Sep 14, 2022 at 05:47:06 AM

Hey gang,

A lot’s going on in the Motherverse so let’s dive in!

We just received our whitebox prototype from the manufacturer. What is a whitebox? It’s essentially an assembled version of all the components in the game without any printing. This is so that we can check for fit, quality, finish, that kind of thing, and make sure everyone is talking about the same thing before moving forward. It’s a big step for us! So, let’s look at the pictures and talk about the changes we’re making.

Here you can see the core set and the storage box, side by side. These are essentially the exact same size box, but with different art. The only change here is we’re thinking about increasing the box thickness just a bit to make it more durable and longer lasting. Right now it’s about the thickness of the original D&D box or the Traveler box, which is a little substandard these days.

Next you can see the five books: the Player’s Survival Guide, Warden’s Operations Manual, Unconfirmed Contact Reports, Shipbreaker’s Toolkit, and Another Bug Hunt that will all go into the Core Set. They fit nice and snug! We’ve even increased the page count on both the WOM, SBT, and UCR just through developing the books. More art, more content, more everything. It’s a lot to pack into this box.

Here you can see the core set Warden’s Screen and the poster underneath. We were able to upgrade the quality of the Warden’s Screen to have a full wrap-around here, so you don’t have any exposed edges, except at the folds, and even then it’s minimal. One change though, this is a Z-fold, and we want a gate-fold, so we’ll be updating that.

Beneath the box and screen you can also see the poster, which folds up really nicely. I’m going to be asking them about various paper types to see what our options are. Paper’s in a weird place globally right now, but so far I love what I see.

Laying on top of the box you can see the two punchboards. These don’t have any dies cut into them right now, we’re just testing thickness and that they fit in the box. Which they do and they look great.

The only thing you don’t see here are the dice and the bases for the punchboard tokens, which will go in ziplock bags on top.

We’ll be talking to the manufacturers about adding a liiiiittle bit more depth to the box so we can comfortably fit the dice and bases. We’re not sure if we’ll be able to fit all the punchboards assembled in the box, but we’ll take a look at it. Box size is one of the main costs of a game, so we have to be picky.

Next up we have the Deluxe Set, which looks great. Here you can see the box, which is going to be our first major change. It’s essentially twice as wide as the core set and the same depth, which is what we showed in our mock-ups. First, we’ll be increasing the thickness of the box both for durability but also to give it a more premium feel. Next we’ll be increasing the size of the box, likely both in depth, width, and height, and here’s why:

So, everything fits perfectly in the box, no complaints. But it’s all just loose in the box, it doesn’t feel very deluxe so to speak. So cost permitting  we’ll be adding in a plastic vacuum tray that holds the books nice and snug, which will add to the width and height a bit. If we can afford the increase in size and weight we’ll also add some wells in there to hold the dice and other components, similar to a board game. This will take some back and forth with the manufacturers to see what’s the best cost/feature balance, but we really want this deluxe box to sing, so we’re taking another whack at it to make sure it’s perfect.

Here you can see all the deluxe box components (except for the dice/token bases). We have larger token sheets, so we’ll be including more tokens in the deluxe set, more characters, maybe some more monsters or ships. And then of course it has a whopping EIGHT books: the Player’s Survival Guide, Warden’s Operations Manual, Unconfirmed Contact Reports, the Shipbreaker’s Toolkit, Another Bug Hunt, Dead Planet, A Pound of Flesh, and Gradient Descent. I really think with just this box you could easily run years and years of games.

We still haven’t charged cards so if during these updates you see something you like, you have plenty of time to go into backerkit and increase your pledge. If you’re not sure how to do that, or have any other questions, please feel free to e-mail Tyler at He’s been just awesome at getting back to people really quickly and walking you through any questions you may have. A total godsend on a kickstarter this large!

Timeline update

Unfortunately, we’re not going to hit our November ship date. Supply chain issues, manufacturing changes, adding new content into the game, have all stretched our timeline out longer than we would have liked. Our current plan is to release most (if not all) of the books to you digitally in November and then start shiping in Q1 of 2023. If any of that changes we’ll be sure to let you know.

Free adventure

As an apology for missing the deadline, we’ll also be releasing a free PDF adventure to everyone who backed (no matter what level) by Luke Gearing, tentatively called ORPHANS. The adventure has been written and will be moving to layout soon. The entire process is being handled by a separate team than those of us working on the boxed set, so it’s not setting our timeline back any further. We’re pretty pumped about this one and we think it’ll be a great new addition to your Mothership game. We’ll let you know when we have a release date for that in an upcoming update!

Until then, check out some of the newest WIP spreads. 


We’ve got some awesome new content up on our YouTube channel, including a few unboxing videos of some our amazing third party content, definitely give it a watch if you haven’t already.

Everything else

Other than that, we’ve still got Gradient Descent to get out to you, which hopefully I will get to soonTM, I know there’s a lot of you who have been looking forward to it. As always, thank you for backing, thank you for your patience, thank you for being such great fans! We can’t wait to get this game in your hands, and we’re excited to hear what you all think!

Until next time!

July Production Update
about 2 months ago – Wed, Aug 10, 2022 at 04:23:23 AM

Hey gang,

We had this update ready to go last week but then real life got in the way, so you’re getting a double August update!

Here’s what’s going on in the Motherverse:

  • Player’s Survival Guide: Art and writing are done, just waiting for final proofreading.
  • Warden’s Operations Manual: Implemented feedback from playtesting, now waiting for final proofreading.
  • Unconfirmed Contact Reports: Art is coming in and we’re laying everything out.
  • Shipbreaker’s Toolkit: Art is done! We’re now in layout and doing some writing (screenshot below).
  • Another Bug Hunt: Is in the process of being edited and laid out.
  • Gradient Descent: Editor turned this in and I’ll work on getting it into backerkit this week and out to all of you!
  • T-shirts: Ordered, waiting on UPCs so they can bag them and send them out to our warehouse.

We’re making a mad dash to get everything wrapped up so we can move on to the big proofreading process. Essentially we have to proof for a few things:

  • Language: This is spelling errors, grammar, that kind of thing.
  • Technical language: This is making sure that, say, all the Stat Blocks are formatting the same.
  • Design: This is making sure that all the styles match in all the core books (so if something is bold in one book it’s not underlined in another). But also things like killing widows and orphans (these are words or sentences that wrap around from one paragraph to the next or from one page to the next). Basically keeping all the text looking nice.
  • Page references: All the page numbers need to get finalized and then we need to make sure the references point to the right place.
  • Diagram consistency: Sometimes you have a table or a diagram and it needs to match what the rules say. If you update one you have to update the other.
  • Economic consistency: We have prices for the same things listed in a few places (like weapons being listed on the inside front cover of the PSG as well as in their own spread). Those have to match, but also all the prices need to scale correctly with everything else. This is one of the last things we’ll do as we match up medical costs with ship costs with shore leave costs with weapon costs and everything else.

How do we handle all of this? We’ve got an amazing editing team with a lead editor, some assistants, and a technical editor as well. Additionally, when we’re ready, we’ll be releasing the PDFs to the rest of you with a form to fill out for anything you all might catch. We’re not there quite yet, but we’ll have some place for feedback once we feel like we’ve caught everything we can.

This is version 11 of the Ship’s Manifest.

One of my favorite things about this is the Status Report on the left hand side. This basically tracks all the damage your ship has taken. Ship combat is drastically simplified in 1E and essentially every piece of damage you’ll take will either:

  • Take a system offline requiring power to be rerouted. When you reroute power you instead take a different system offline, forcing you to make hard choices about what you want to give up: Do you want your weapons or is life support more important?
  • Disable a system. This means the system is inoperable but can be repaired by crewmembers without needing to dock. This is a great chance for your repair minded characters to pitch in and jury rig something together to keep your bird in the air.
  • Damage a system. This means the system cannot be repaired outside of port. You’ll need to make it back to safety before the system can be returned to its fully functioning (you hope) status.
  • Destroy a system. The system is irreparably damaged and must be replaced (in port).
  • Abandon ship! So much damage has been done to the system that it has caused some kind of chain reaction forcing you to abandon the ship before the whole thing blows. With things like Engineering, this is easy to picture, with things like Comms, it’ll take a little imagination.
WIP Ship-to-Ship Combat and Evasion & Pursuit rules from the Shibreaker's Toolkit

I’m super proud of where we’re at with the ship-to-ship combat and evasion & pursuit rules.

The big thing was that we wanted something different than everything else out there. I also wanted something to model what I think is the most horrific part of ship to ship combat: the decision making process. Essentially, computers and scanners and everything else can handle the actual combat mechanics, but the decision about whether to stay and fight or flee is something only a human can do. This means that ship combat encounters are in many ways social encounters where you need to hail your enemy, negotiate with them, and figure out what they want, because death is a serious option.

Alan has been putting together some great video content on TKtv. I highly recommend his session checklist video linked here.

Thanks again for all your support and patience! We’re getting close to the finish line and we couldn’t do this without you. 

Also, if you’re in the Discord, we’re running a Lo-Fi Zine jam. 

Basically we’re encouraging people to make zines set in the world of Mothership and submit them to us by August 31. Maximum 16 pages but tri-folds, bi-folds, and regular old 8 page zines are also encouraged. The idea is that this is a zine that a character living in the Mothership universe would make: it’s entirely in character, no mechanics whatsoever. We’ve got a whole channel dedicated to it on our discord server, so pop on over. If you finish by August 31, then TKG will pre-order 100 copies from you at wholesale pricing to sell in our store!

Until next time, stay safe out there!

May/June Production Update
4 months ago – Sun, Jun 19, 2022 at 04:36:40 AM

Hey gang,

Sorry for the missed update in May, me and the family got COVID which really knocked us out. I’m just now catching up. Thanks for your patience.

Here’s what’s going on in the Motherverse:

  • Player’s Survival Guide: Art and writing are done, just waiting for final proofreading.
  • Warden’s Operations Manual: I’ve got some feedback to implement and then it should be good for final proofreading. We’ve gotten some amazing art for it though, which is screenshotted below.
  • Unconfirmed Contact Reports: Writing for this is done and we’re now in the process of waiting for art to get finished.
  • Shipbreaker’s Toolkit: Ship art is 90% complete and writing is in progress. The book has been blocked in and we’re statting out the ships now too.
  • Another Bug Hunt: Is in the process of being edited and laid out. We’ve got some cool layout to show you guys too, see below. Along with some art.
  • Gradient Descent: This is with our editor now and they’re working on the 1e updates. Will get that out ASAP.
  • T-shirts: These have been ordered!
Illustration by Zach Hazard

Below is some of the rough layout for Another bug Hunt! This is done by the marvelous Lone Archivist (Primeval, Tidebreak, What We Give To Alien Gods).

Layout by Lone Archivist

Otherwise, things are looking good. COVID really took it out of me, but we’re getting back on track now. Early reports on the WOM from early readers have also been really good, I’m excited to get it in ya’ll’s hands.

Alan’s been doing some awesome RPG videos on our YouTube channel, so if you’re itching for more content, check it out here.

Thanks so much for all your support! We love reading your AAR’s in the discord and we’ve seen some awesome 3pp content come out as well. We can’t believe how amazing you’ve all made this experience.

Stay tuned for next time, and stay safe out there!

Production Update for April
5 months ago – Sun, May 01, 2022 at 04:39:32 AM

Hey gang,

Getting a lot done this month at Mothership HQ. Here’s what we’ve been up to!


  •  Player’s Survival Guide has had a tune-up from the WIP feedback and some cool new art (see below).
  •  Warden’s Operations Manual now has a draft of writing and layout done. It is being looked at by our editor and dev team over the next couple of weeks.
  •  Unconfirmed Contact Reports has all its writing complete. We’re assigning art pieces out now and moving it into layout. We’re getting a plan in place to get the audio recordings of the snippets done now as well.
  •  Shipbreaker’s Toolkit has had a good pass on all its ship art and is moving into writing and layout now.
  •  Another Bug Hunt has just finished a writing draft and is now moving into layout. We’ve been playtesting it pretty heavily and early reports are great.
  •  A Pound of Flesh 1e WIP PDF will be released in the next week.
  •  Gradient Descent is getting edited next. We will confirm when the 1e WIP PDF will be released.
  • We’ll be ordering the t-shirts within the next couple of weeks. We'll be ordering plenty of extras, so don't worry if you haven't put your t-shirt add-on order into backerkit yet.
  • I’ve also been posting some content that’s been cut from the Warden’s Operations Manual over on Twitter. You can read a thread about my reasons for the cuts. 


The Backerkit is still open and will remain so for a while. We’ll post another update before we run credit cards.

Speaking of BackerKit, we got a lot of confusion with the release of the Dead Planet WIP PDF I wanted to clear up.

First, a lot of you may have gotten double e-mails about the release. Setting up digital distribution for this big a project in BackerKit can be kinda wonky and I’ll admit I’m not an expert at it.

Backerkit digital distribution

You can see here that there’s a few different “distribution rules” about who gets the Dead Planet PDF. If you ordered a print or PDF copy of Dead Planet you got one and if you ordered a copy of the Deluxe Set (which is also included in the Megabundle) you got one. There’s some overlap there occasionally with how the items are set up in BackerKit, so you might get two e-mails. This is normal, the files aren’t different. Hopefully we’ll clear that up in the future, but if it happens again with A Pound of Flesh, just roll with it.

Second, some of you are confused as to why you didn’t get the Dead Planet PDF. Those are only going out to backers who backed at the Deluxe/Megabundle pledge tiers or added on Dead Planet in Backerkit. If you didn’t do either of those, you didn’t get the Dead Planet PDF.


If you’re still confused, please email us. We continue to do our best to be responsive and active in the comments. Unfortunately, we can’t always get to them. We appreciate your patience and want to remind you; if you have a question you need an answer to, please email

Last but not least, thanks again for being our backers and general fans of Mothership. We really appreciate your continued enthusiasm, patience, and support. If you’re itching for more Mothership content in a bite-sized bit, you can always check our YouTube channel. This last week Alan did a sweet video on designing violent encounters, I highly recommend you check it out!

WIP Screenshots

Here's a few screenshots from the work we've been doing for the Warden's Operations Manual and the Player's Survival Guide.

Player's Survival Guide - Medical Care & Skill Training
Warden's Operations Manual - Building Your Campaign
Warden's Operations Manual - Campaign Frames
Warden's Operations Manual - Setting the Stakes & Player Agency

Production Update - Work in Progress Ship Art
7 months ago – Tue, Mar 15, 2022 at 05:30:19 AM

Hey gang,

It’s been an exciting month here at Mothership HQ. Here’s what’s going on in the motherverse!


  • Writing and development are progressing on schedule.
  • We’ve got some cool new art for the Shipbreaker’s toolkit.
  • The 1e conversion of Dead Planet will release around April 1st with A Pound of Flesh releasing roughly a month later.

The Core Books

  • Player’s Survival Guide: We’ve gotten great feedback on the WIP PSG and have a clear idea what changes we’ll be making. We’ll circle back to this book closer to print time once all the other books are almost 
  • Warden’s Operations Manual: Writing and layout continues on this one (I tend to write directly into InDesign, so I’m usually laying out a book as I write it).
  • Unconfirmed Contact Reports: We have the descriptions of all the monsters written and the writers are now working on creating the “snippets.” Snippets are the in-world first person accounts from non-player characters.This includes first hand documentation, notes, rumors, etc. that you can plug directly into your game.
  • Shipbreaker’s Toolkit: Our ship designer and illustrator has started pumping out the designs for this and we couldn’t be more stoked. The Mothership ships in this book walk a fine line between hard/soft sci-fi, really making them stand out. They also tend to look more fragile than we’re used to seeing ships look in most sci fi media, which will combine nicely with the very dangerous ship to ship combat rules we’ve been playtesting.

Another Bug Hunt

Another Bug Hunt will contain somewhere between 4-5 one shot adventures that string together to create a nice short campaign. Three of these adventures (by Luke Gearing, Alan Gerding, and DG Chapman) have had their first drafts completed and are in playtesting now. Layout development has started as well and we’re excited to show you some example spreads in the next update.

1e Conversions

  • Dead Planet (DP): This one is being worked on now and should be ready for PDF release around April 1st.
  • A Pound of Flesh (APOF): This will come after DP and should release around May 1.
  • Gradient Descent (GD): This one is on hold until DP finishes up and then we’ll put it on the calendar.

Everything else

  • Samples of the t-shirt have come in and they look/feel great. Patches are designed. Everything else is either waiting on another product to be designed, or is in development. Currently, we’re feeling great about our progress!
  • The Backerkit is still open and will remain so for awhile. We’ll post another update before we run credit cards.

We continue to do our best to be responsive and active in the comments. Unfortunately, we can’t always get to them. We appreciate your patience and want to remind you; if you have a question you need an answer to, please email

Otherwise, good luck out there in the void!