Forays in the Future: Seditious Synths (Vault #31)

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Click Here for a Master Index of “The Forge” and “Vault”!

In this edition of Forays, our exploration of The Future expansion, we’ll provide 20 plot ideas for the new Encounter Type found in the expansion. Here are your plot ideas for Synths. We can’t wait to see where you take these adventure seeds. Enjoy!

  1. _Esoteric Explorers_ (#Explorers) You’re the first organics encountered by a race built and abandoned long ago. They’d like to examine your “hardware” and “CPU”s.

  2. _Mining the Homeworld_ (#Miners) The glittering skyscrapers of your homeworld’s surface are easily accessible silos of material.

  3. _Nanomission_ (#Nano) The swarm insists they wish to provide us with an upgrade. Some paranoid few fear we won’t be “us” anymore.

  4. _Lockdown_ (#Lockdown) The government has imposed draconian measures in the wake of losing a democratic election. They’ve placed automated turrets and sentries in the streets. Will you fight with the rebels? Even if you don’t, you’ll be forced to venture forth when food supplies dwindle…

  5. _Virus_ (#Virus) Local automated systems have gone haywire in the wake of devilry by the infamous hacker “El Loco Biologico”. You may have to defend yourself from haywire machines, but the surveillance state ensures you’ll be charged for any property damage…

  6. _Proving Grounds_ (#Grounds) Synths on this planet run gladiatorial games where the finest organic specimens are tested. Victory brings freedom and luxury.

  7. _ Synthesized Life_ (#SynthLife) They printed you in a lab in an effort to restore an extinct species. Your masters debate whether you’ll pass the “Turing Test”. Maybe you can do so by escaping…

  8. _Starjackers_ (#Starjack) They’ve come to take our Star and transport it to their home system. The only advantages we have are numbers and desperation.

  9. _Imperators of Order_ (#Imperators) Established to maintain ecological stellar environments, they systematically decimate civilizations that become too aggressive in terraforming systems.

  10. _The Replacements_ (#Replacements) Command has deemed you obsolete. You can consent to experimental cybernetic upgrades or be ‘“retired”, whatever that means. You’ve noted discrepancies in the vidfeeds from Command…are organics still in charge?

  11. _Total War_(#Total) You’re on a diplomatic mission when total war breaks out between your hosts and an unknown species. Whose side do you take? Will the invaders perceive you as hostiles?

  12. _Regrets of the Flesh_ (#Regrets) In the wake of cybernetic replacements, you must contend with phantom limb syndrome and specters of your biological past. * You may choose between a Persona card or a permanent Loot upgrade. If you took the Loot, anytime you’d gain or lose persona, take 1 health damage instead. If you chose Persona, suffer -1 to all rolls whenever Loot is in your inventory.

  13. _Dystopia_ (#Dystopia) As one of the last surviving members of an endangered species, you’ve been deposited on this lush “zoo planet”. Will you accept your imprisonment? Conspire with the other “preserved species”? Will the zookeepers even let you die?

  14. _Belter Brigade_ (#Belter) You help guard the worlds of the inner system by manning an outpost in the asteroid belt. Your sensors have gotten strange readings, and now a cat-and-mouse game with an unknown force is set to ensue amid the debris.

  15. _Omega Watch_ (#Omega) As elite operatives of the Omega Watch, you investigate the worst of threats—anything that’s killed a planet or solar system. Your task is to discover the culprit of such existential threats, then, if the havoc was caused by an intelligent source, ensure culprits are brought to heel or eliminated.

  16. _Unified Field_ (#Field) The successor to cyberspace has been populated by the shades of trillions of organics downloaded before biological death. There are rumors the denizens of the Darkweb may have found a way to merge digital and physical reality using quantum physics. What if they succeed? What if they are wrong?

  17. _Brainjacked_ (#Bjacked) The captain and the rest of the First Contact delegation have returned from a meeting with the Synths. But they’re acting suspiciously. Will you relieve the officers of command? Then what?

  18. _Synthesization_ (#Synth) During combat with Synths you’ve been injected with nanites. You fear your body and mind may not be yours much longer. * During the initial combat, any adventurers who take damage are injected. If their Skill or Persona falls to minimum, the next ability must be played against the best interests of the party.

  19. _Damage Control_ (#Damage) True AI brought unparalleled societal upheaval. As officers in a law enforcement agency, you’ve been partnered with synthetics in a new war on cybercrime. But who is friend and who is foe?

  20. _Infiltration_ (#Infiltration) Vastly outnumbered, you’ve been dropped behind enemy lines with the mission of uploading a quantum virus into the Synth army. If you succeed, you’ll turn the tide of this engagement.

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Have an idea for the next Quest Crafter or feedback on how we can make it more useful to you? Email us at or leave a comment below.

Actuating Acronyms: Synth Titles (Vault #30)

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Click Here for a Master Index of “The Forge” and “Vault”!

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted some entries in The Vault, noble adventurers! With this addition we’ll be adding a series built for and around The Future expansion, shipped recently to all Kickstarter backers. We hope you enjoy them!

The Synthetics of The Future are often hyperefficient, inscrutable, and chilling in their goals and objectives, especially in relation to organics. Some have been built for use by the biological races, while others have long out-survived (or perhaps exterminated) their fleshly progenitors. Below are 20 Titles to give your Synths some personality and variation. As always, we’ve provided the formatting for you to copy and paste into the Quest Creator, speeding up your crafting.

  1. _EU_ (#EU) The Elimination Units began as an attempt to unify galactic currency, but an error in programming led them to target all currency holders instead. Oops. * At the beginning of combat, each adventurer with a Loot item takes 1 damage per item.

  2. _Alpha Control_ (#Alpha) The central Synth unit, guiding the actions of all others in this place. * While “Alpha Control” is in play, all Synth Encounter types take -1 damage from non-Tech abilities.

  3. _U.T.D._ (#UTD) Built for training purposes, the Unified Teaching Droid seeks to perfect its subjects, though over the millenia it’ has lost the capacity to discern where the line between ‘creative destruction’ and ‘destruction’ lies. * When the U.T.D. is defeated, all adventurers advance one skill one rating level.

  4. _Probebot_ (#Probe) By the stars, don’t let it near you! * While Probebot is in play, if an adventurer with an “Athletic” Skill takes damage, reduce their skill rating by 1. When Probebot is no more, restore the skill rating to its original level.

  5. _M.A.V. Unit_ (#MAV) Bristling with blades and saws, the Multi Armed Vivisection Unit “catalogs” and studies organic life forms, often while they are still (temporarily) alive. * If M.A.V. is attacked with a Melee ability, the adventurer using that ability loses 1 skill rating until the end of combat.

  6. _SLiP U._ (#Freudian) The Semantic Liberation interspecies Psychology Unit assaults you with dirty jokes and disturbing innuendo. * When SLiP enters play, all adventurers make a Persona or Skill roll. If they roll 14 or below, reduce their Persona or Skill level by 1.

  7. _L.E.V.I._ (#Levi) Before the last enemy fizzles into stillness it utters a cryptic message, “You may have defeated us, but LEVI is coming for you…” * The Lethal Emulation Vehicle & Infiltrator attacks with surprise from in your midst. All Adventurers make a Charisma skill roll. On an 11 or below, the first Ability they play this round is played as though they rolled a “1”.

  8. _NIFLM_ (#Nephelim) An assault of laser bursts both disorienting and harmful pulses from the Negative Impulse Feedback Laser Machine. * The 2nd round of combat, deal this Encounter card’s Tier value in damage to each adventurer, minus the rating of that adventurer’s Knowledge skill.

  9. _IU_ (#IU) The Interdiction Unit emits powerful EM fields that inhibit your performance. * While the IU is in play, all skill checks are made with a penalty equal to half this unit’s Tier value.

  10. _”Overlord”_ (#Overlord) The speakers on this synth begin playing a looped message, Bow to Overlord, serve your Master, meatbag!” * Every other round while “Overlord” is functional, add a “Custodian Pod” to combat and update the Tier Sum.

  11. _T.U._ (#TU) Quantum teleportation is the Transportation Unit’s forte. * Whenever an adventurer rolls 5, 10, or 15, they are teleported across the area and cannot use an offensive ability the next round.

  12. _HK-007_ (#Hunter Killer) The ubiquitous presence of such an alcohol-powered unit suggests that science and technology have not made us any less barbaric or any more “humane”. * Deal 1 damage to anyone that plays a Tech ability, unless they roll a 20.

  13. _H.L.P.R_ (#Helper) The Haptic Life Pro Regulator unleashes a burst of healing energy. *All non-Synths in play (including the adventurers) recover 1 health every Surge round.

  14. _UniH8R_ (#Haters) Driven insane by centuries of isolation, this Synth seeks to irradiate any intelligence that crosses its path. * On the first round of combat, deal 1 point of damage/Tech ability in an adventurer’s hand, and 1 point of damage/Tier to any other Encounter card in play (UniH8R does attack itself).

  15. _Lovebot 5000_ (#Lovebot) It wants hugs… * All adventurers without a Charisma skill take 2 damage on the second round of the encounter with Lovebot. Adventurers with Charisma skills can deal automatic “damage” to Lovebot equal to their skill rating instead of playing an ability each round.

  16. _PCU_ (#PCU) The Power Control Unit sends a surge of energy crackling through all mechanical devices. * Synths Surge on round 2 and 4 instead of 3 and 6. On those rounds, any player that successfully rolls to use a Tech ability uses the ability as though they rolled a “20”.

  17. _The Bladed Butcher_ (#Blades) A terrifying metal monstrosity festooned in rotting gore. It smells like an open grave. * Adventurers must make a Knowledge skill or Persona check of 10 or more. On a failure, they reduce the skill or Persona by 1.

  18. _Q.A.E._ (#QAE) The Quantum Anomaly Eliminator seeks to extirpate dangerous threats to galactic Constants. * Any Adventurer using a Magic ability takes 1 damage.

  19. _O.D.I.N._ (#ODIN) Operating from high on the Orbital Stream, the Organically Distributed Intelligence Network boosts efficacy of all cybernetic and synthetic systems. * All adventurers gain 1 to a skill rating while ODIN is in proximity. All Synthetic Encounter cards gain 1 Tier while ODIN is in proximity.

  20. _Stone Age_ (#Stone) Designed to counter the encroachment of self-destructive tech, the entity now known as “Stone Age” suppresses all Tech and advanced Loot. * While “Stone Age” is in play, Tech abilities cannot employ their roll “20” power and Future Loot loses 1 use or buried card.

Like this? Consider sharing or Tweeting it, or joining the weekly Quest Crafter mailing list for more writing inspiration.

Have an idea for the next Quest Crafter or feedback on how we can make it more useful to you? Email us at or leave a comment below.