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Solo Fate Adventure: The Fata Morgana (CYOA)

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I’ve been doing a lot of work this week on a game over at storynexus.com, and my brain is locked in Choose Your Own Adventure mode. So instead of a helpful blog today, we just have a fun little science fantasy story game for you to read through. Like any CYOA game, don’t try to read it start to finish. Instead, start at the beginning and when you make a choice that tells you to skip to another paragraph, go directly to that paragraph to resume reading.

During the game, you may be told that you receive achievements or acquire helpful gear. If you are told to make note of such things, write them down or simply remember how your story is progressing. If you come across a choice that requires an item or story element that you do not remember receiving, do not choose that option. Otherwise the story will not make much sense.

You will need a fate die (or coin) to play, as some choices require a roll. + is a success, and – is a failure. If you roll a blank face, you succeed on an EASY challenge but fail on a HARD challenge. The game is more fun if you do not cheat and just decide to succeed at everything without rolling a die. Also during this game you can gain Fate Points, which you can spend to change a single failed roll to a success.

Twine Version


00 You were raised on Melloon, a terraformed planet first colonized only 20 years before your birth. Not much interplanetary travel touches Melloon, but you are determined to leave and travel the universe. Space travel has always appealed to you, because…er…well why don’t you tell me? If there is nothing for you here, go to paragraph 01. If space travel is your romance, go to paragraph 02. If you decide to have a complicated back story to explain your reasons, go to paragraph 03.

01 The only person you have ever been able to depend on was yourself. Your parents were never around, and so-called friends either cheated you or let you down. Your skills have done about all they can on this barren rock, so now you have your sights set on leaving this place to find something better for yourself. Go to paragraph 04.

02 You dream of a life of freedom, beauty, and wonder. You want to boldly go where no one has gone before, or at least where no one will disturb you. Maybe you will do odd jobs as your own master and captain, or maybe you will just keep flying and never turn back. Either way, you live for the day that you can make that dream a reality. Go to paragraph 04.

03 Your parents were actually retired agents for the Interplanetary Secret Law Enforcement and joined this colony as a way to raise you away from the enemies their work had made. They trained you with the skills that they were taught so that someday you would be ready to answer the call of danger. But the call came early, and a terrible assassin named Jehem’s Pet took your parents from you. Now you must seek revenge, like all good orphaned player characters do. Go to paragraph 04.

04 Recently one of the big space travel companies, Mirage Galactic, has set up a development site on your planet. Rumor has it that they are developing a new type of starship, and that means this is your ticket off of Melloon. How will you attach yourself to this project? If you decide to train as a pilot, go to paragraph 05. If you try to get hired by Mirage Galactic as a technician, go to paragraph 06. If you decide to go the criminal route and plan to hijack the ship, go to paragraph 07.

05 Pilots are rare in these parts, so you figure that the easiest way to get yourself onto that prototype starship is to learn how to drive it. You sign up at Mirage Galactic and pour your life into the training simulators and manuals for the next few months. Remember that you are now a trained pilot and roll an EASY check to see how well you do. If you fail, go to paragraph 07. If you succeed, go to paragraph 08.

06 It makes sense that the best way to be a part of the project is to get yourself hired as an engineer to work on it. You have no experience working on space ships, but you are a clever mind and a fast learner. Your insights are sometimes considered out of the box due to your unique background. Remember that you have worked on this project as an engineer and roll an EASY check to get credit for your work. If you fail, go to paragraph 07. If you succeed, go to paragraph 08.

07 No one seems to appreciate your skills at Mirage Galactic since they have a pool of experienced candidates from all over the galaxy to choose from. But you are determined to make it aboard that prototype ship. You reach out to a rival company that offers to pay you a large sum if you hijack the craft and bring it back to them. They send you some equipment for copying ID cards, and you get a job at the Mirage Galactic facility as a janitor. Gain 1 Fate Point, remember that you now have a fake ID card, and go to the next section: The Test Flight.

08 One of the lead engineers notices your skills and pulls you in to work with her directly. She wants to see her work succeed, preferably from afar, and appreciates your passion for advancing the project. She promises to put a good word in for you to the project head, and you get an inside look at how the ship works (because you help design it). Gain 1 Fate point and go to the next section: The Test Flight.

The Test Flight

Now that you are integrated into the Mirage Galactic Melloon facility, you learn a bit more about the special project. Apparently this small 2-person craft will be equipped with an experimental cloaking device: the Norman-D. A, B, and C were all apparently failed attempts that lead to total crew deaths, which means they are selecting crews from a list of volunteers.

Roll a check for which position you are volunteering for. Each check is HARD unless you have the EASY requirement in parenthesis. If you fail your chosen check, go to paragraph 11. Success for volunteering to fly the ship (piloting experience) leads to paragraph 09. Success for volunteering to observe the cloaking device (project experience) leads to paragraph 10.

09 There is a favored pilot from an industrial planet that most of the management staff want to pilot their craft, but they have to officially leave it up to a simulator race. You score a perfect 42 on the race and finish ahead of that flyboy by a good 18 seconds. With the results so heavy in your favor, the staff has no choice but to appoint the obvious best pilot to their ship. Go to paragraph 13.

10 Due to the glowing recommendations of one of the lead engineers, your natural talents and hard work are not overlooked by the number crunchers and you are assigned as engineer of the ship. You will accompany the pilot on a test run of the vessel. Note your official position, then go to paragraph 12.

11 Alas this is only supposed to be a 2 crew test flight for the new prototype ship. They appoint a smug flyboy from another planet as pilot and a reluctant local scientist as the engineer. But you still have access to the project during the final stages of preparation, and you discover a small refrigerated cargo closet that you would be able to stow away in. But what is your plan after that? If you want to hijack the ship after it leaves, go to paragraph 14. If you just want to hide and enjoy the flight, go to paragraph 15.

12 The pilot assigned to assist you in the test flight is a flyboy from another planet. He is a decent pilot, but his ego clearly exceeds his skill. You pay little attention to the departure festivities, focusing only on the cloaking device attached to the rest of the engine. The test flight calls for 1 hour under cloak, and you initiate the device as soon as the pilot comes back to tell you that you are in orbit over Melloon. But the heat that the device generates is too fast, and one of the coolant pipes bursts suddenly by the pilot’s head, knocking him unconscious. Thank goodness he was in the engine room with you, or it might have hit you instead! But without a pilot, you might be in some trouble. Go to paragraph 20.

13 You are the pilot, and your face will be the one recognized if this test flight is successful. Due to some politicians pulling some strings, a second flyboy pilot is added to the crew last minute. Since it is a small ship with only 6 rooms, he will have to spend most of the flight with the engineer unless you need him. Which you won’t, because you are amazing. You quickly master the controls, since they are almost identical to the simulators that Mirage Galactic provides you for training. The moment of truth comes as the bay doors open, and you push the buttons that will finally take you off of the planet Melloon, hopefully forever! Take a fate point and go to paragraph 16.

14 You talk with a shady contact that represents Mirage Galactic’s “competition” and are provided with a laser pistol to help take over the ship. The contact promises a huge reward if you succeed and get them the prototype. Take a fate point and go to paragraph 15.

15 You hide in the storage closet with quiet excitement. No one thinks to search the small space before the ship launches. You were hoping for some takeoff g-forces or at least some atmospheric shakes, but the ship flies smoothly. You wait for a while, but with nothing to see and nothing to do the trip starts to feel boring. If you want to try and sneak out, go to paragraph 18. If you want to stay and wait, go to paragraph 19.

16 You are in constant communication with the Mirage Galactic Melloon control branch until you set a wide orbit around the planet Melloon. As part of the cloaking device test, you announce that the test is going to begin and then cut all communications. You turn the comm on and tell engineering that you are ready to start the 1 hour cloaking test. The engineer confirms and tells the flyboy to stop hitting on her. You decide to test the quarters for a quick rest since your job will not be needed for another hour. Go to paragraph 19.

17 There are two bodies lying on the ground: the flyboy and the engineer. Both have burns on their hands, and the man has burns on his face. They are both hurt and bleeding out. There is a first aid kit on the wall, but it only has one shot of emergency regenerative compound. You can only save one of them. And even then, the emergency regenerative compound will still keep that body unconscious.  Choose the pilot or the engineer and take a fate point for rescuing someone. Then find out you may all die anyway when you go to paragraph 20.

18 You sneak out and head for the airlock, which you remember has a window. You look out and see the beautiful sight of your home planet, Melloon, shrinking in the distance as the prototype ship sails into space. But then you hear a scream from the engineering room, followed by a loud bang. And suddenly the ship jolts with a sharp turn, and Melloon is no longer in sight. Concerned, you head to engineering and discover the pilot and engineer laying on the ground. There is blood everywhere, and steam coming out of the cloaking device. If you check the crew to see if they are alive or dead, go to paragraph 17. If you check the cloaking device, go to paragraph 20.

19 You continue to wait and fall asleep for a short nap, which is interrupted by a massive jolt of the spaceship. A warning siren blares, and the lights blink red to further impress upon you that something bad just happened. You run out and find your way to the pilot’s station, but no one is there. So you head to engineering and discover the flyboy and engineer laying on the ground. There is blood everywhere, and steam coming out of the cloaking device. If you check the crew to see if they are alive or dead, go to paragraph 17. If you check the cloaking device, go to paragraph 20.

20 You inspect the cloaking device and discover that its coolant system is using water instead of high quality H2O chemical compound it is supposed to use. You suspect sabotage, but it is also possible that the device is just flawed in design. If the heat builds up like this, the device will explode. And it will probably take the ship with it! Go to the next section: The Moment of Truth

The Moment of Truth

The cloaking device is faulty, and it is about to explode. There is no one left on the ship to help you, and the engine room is getting very hot very fast! You might be able to call for help from the piloting terminal at the other end of the ship, but you probably do not have the time to run there. You must stop this device from exploding! If you are the ship’s engineer, you can attempt to fix the device with a HARD check. If you succeed, go to paragraph 21. If you fail, go to paragraph 23.

If you are not the ship’s engineer, you can attempt an EASY check to shut the cloaking device down. If you succeed, go to paragraph 22. If you fail, go to paragraph 24.

21 The more you look at the cloaking device, the more you are convinced that the design was never meant to function for more than an hour without destroying its self. But your brilliant mind can see the flaws and the intent of the device. You grab some tools and hardware and figure out how to vent the heat to the rest of the ships systems, so that it is giving you hot water and heated seats rather than a singular buildup of explosive energy. The cloaking device can only function for about a day before the excess heat has to be dumped, but it works without endangering you now. Take a fate point for your amazing ingenuity and go to paragraph 25.

22 The device is integrated into the system with a lot of metal and wires and panels. You have to cut some of those wires to shut off its power supply and then shock it with enough electricity to fry its interior hardware. The device will probably never work again, but to be honest it was not working very well in the first place. The important thing is that the ship does not explode and you are alive. Now you just have to decide what to do with yourself. Go to paragraph 25.

23 You do your best to make the device work, but to no avail. Not only is the design flawed, but you are certain that someone knew it would kill you because they made sure it could not easily be shut down. There is no stop button on the device. Roll an EASY check to shut the cloaking device down manually. If you succeed, go to paragraph 22. If you fail, go to paragraph 24.

24 Nothing you try seems to work, and the engineering room is as hot as an old fashioned boiler room now. Desperately, you grab a spare metal pipe and just start beating on the cloaking device with all of your might. The steam burns your face, and you are pretty sure that you are going to have a distinguishing scar left over. But the cloaking device is no match for your brute savagery, and you pound it into a pulp of wires and twisted metal. Go to paragraph 25.

25 The ship is no longer in danger of exploding, and the ship its self can still fly. So now that you have survived a near-death in space and can see the planet below. What will you do with the ship? Make your choice and roll your final check. They are all Easy if you are the ship’s pilot, or Hard if you are not. If you fail the check you chose to roll, or if you want to go back to Melloon, go to paragraph 26.

If you wish to give the ship to Mirage Galactic’s competition, go to paragraph 27. If you wish to steal the ship and keep it for yourself, go to paragraph 28.

26 This experience has shaken your desire to leave Melloon. You open communications back up to Mirage Galactic and, with their guidance, return the prototype ship to the planetary base. Despite the traumatic experience, you are still met with congratulations and gratitude from the administration and ground crew. The surviving crew member is not expected to wake up from their coma for another 3 years due to the extent of their injuries, and so you are offered a chance to fly on the next test ship (after ALL the bugs are worked out, of course). They are hoping to make a bigger ship that can handle a full crew: the first of a model series called the Fata Morgana. And you are in the lead to captain that vessel, when the time comes of course. THE END

27 You fly away from everyone that was expecting you to blow up and meet the rival corporation at predetermined coordinates. They are very grateful for the new prototype ship and dissect it as best they can. Their engineers uncover proof that Mirage Galactic really did sabotage the project. Since they could not get the cloaking device working in time, the planned to have the ship explode and collect insurance on the damage by blaming the dead crew. This new corporation, Telonato Interplanetary, promises that they will do no such thing and offer you a job piloting their own prototype vessel with a newly designed light speed engine: the Fata Morgana. THE END

28 You disappear into darkness and absorb the majesty that is the universe. You explore and discover the wonder of stars, nebulas, and planets that fill the galaxy. Eventually, you do have to stop at a station to refuel and load up on supplies. Now that you have your own ship, and possibly an angry corporation hunting you down, it is time to decide what your future plans are. And possibly check to see if that one unconscious person on your ship will ever wake up. If you decide to settle on a new planet, go to paragraph 29. If you decide to hire a crew and captain the ship to take on odd jobs, go to paragraph 30.

29 You fly around for a long time, searching for a new place to call home. Eventually you settle on a planet on the outer rim where space travel is not unheard of but generally consists of supply trade ships. Technically you kidnapped a member of the ship’s original crew, so to make it right you marry them. The two of you adopt a child together and make lives for yourselves. Maybe you can have a peaceful life now. But if things ever take a turn for the worst, you still have that ship, which you named the Fata Morgana, tucked away in a cave. You know, just in case you ever feel the need to go where no one else has gone before. THE END

30 A few months after your trip, you hear news that Melloon was evacuated when that solar system’s star went nova. Apparently the star got so hot that it burned the land and boiled the seas. It’s a sad tale, but a nice reminder that you made the right decision. You already have the galaxy’s top pilot and a top-rate engineer as part of your crew. You are hoping to get an addition onto your ship, which you have named the Fata Morgana, to carry a bigger crew and maybe some larger cargo. Any job is fine, so long as it keeps you flying the free skies. THE END

Author: Burn Everything Gaming

Website that mostly produces Actual Play Podcast as well as game reviews and other musings on the topic. Hope you enjoy.

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