Pay and Play
The Monitor Celestra is a pay-and-play event, aimed at players that don’t have the time or inclination to spend scores of hours preparing a costume and going to group-workshops weeks or months before the game. It’s a professionally run scenario for a mature audience who expect the best quality of props, gamemaster assistance and writing available and are prepared to pay for the privilege. The ticket price includes a the game, a written character, a uniform on loan if you play a uniformed character, food, off-game sleeping arrangements, character-specific props and a pre-game workshop as well as an afterparty. The game is set in a real naval vessel redecorated, propped and lit to look and feel like a ship from the first Cylon War.
The Celestra is a ship in a constant state of crisis and conflict. There will be little room for solitary introspection or menial tasks. Active players will have no difficulty filling the 32 hours of active gameplay with constant drama and high emotion. The pace might be intimidating to players used to slower fantasy-games but once you get into the habit of constantly seeking out new dramatic scenes we believe everyone will enjoy having a game jam-packed with high-stakes interaction.
The Monitor Celestra is a casted game. You sign up for a A, B or C class of character. The ONLY difference between the character classes is the prize of the costumes worn during the game. There is no qualitative difference in the writing or the amount of influence the characters have. As an example the officers and crew of The Celestra (Class B) have far more hands-on power over The Celestra than any colonial character (Class C) and any corporate suit (Class A) has more potential influence over the shadowy agenda of the HERMES project and the fate of The Celestra than either of the aforementioned. After signing up as a class you will be casted by the writers and Game Masters as a pre-written character within that class. This means we try to maximize the fun of each player by giving them a well-designed challenge. The only exception to this rule is the group of 5000 SEK+ crowdfunders that invested, and risked, their hard-earned money in the early stage of the project. These players have greater influence over their character choice and we will listen a lttle extra carefully to their wishes.
A life-sized spaceship simulator
While The Celestra is nowhere near the size of a Battlestar, she does boast a mind-bending array of sensors, missile launch tubes, heat sinks, a tylium reactor, air-scrubbers, solium exhausts, sublight thrusters, navigational computers, FTL-drives, safety valves, DRADIS stations, tactical targeting matrices, refuse processors, personnel record stations and scores of other systems that must be overseen and maintained. These duty stations will be active parts of the game, emulated through the use of a local network of a dozen or so custom-built consoles and screens communicating with the gamemasters outside the ship. Everything a player does at a station has a potential consequence for the game. We want to give players the freedom to steer and manage The Celestra as they see fit, prioritizing the scant resources available to have her perform as they will it.
This means we are putting major effort into creating interfaces and systems with the look and feel of a Galactica computer system. As well as surround-sound, atmospheric effects, mechanical interfaces, custom keyboards, pyrotechnics and fun systems to make you feel like you really are controlling an antiquated spaceship in an unexplored part of space.
The functional computer systems, pyrotechnics and the real-time sound feedback are just a part of the gameplay used to bring the Celestra to life. The Monitor Celestra will use simple and very physical systems (rules) to emulate fistfights, mexican standoffs, radiation, limited resources, flashbacks to civilian life in the colonies before the attack as well as Cylon Projections to emulate that Gaius/Six psychodrama. Expect nothing even remotely like “no touching”, hit-points or rock-paper-scissors; The Monitor Celestra is a Nordic Style What You See/Feel Is What You Get - style game, so expect a fair bit of physical exertion, snuggling, half-contact brawling, and plenty of action.
Naturalistic Science Fiction
While The Monitor Celestra is fairly liberal with the canon of the reimagined Galactica series, we religiously adhere to the Ron Moore´s core vision of Naturalistic Science-Fiction and the series constant commentary and exploration of real-world political and philosophical issues.
We take as-given the idea that traditional space opera, with its stocky characters, techno-double-talk, bumpy-headed aliens, thespian histrionics, and empty heroics has run its course and a new approach is required. That approach is to introduce realism into what has heretofore been an aggressively unrealistic genre. Call it "Naturalistic Science Fiction."
There will be no aliens, no technomagical solutions to problems and no stereotypical hero/villain characters. Science in the game will be somewhat simplified to create a playable game, but based on 21st century theories rather than make-believe gizmo’s, subspace communication and black-hole-bending Trek-like shenanigans. The Celestra will feel more like a lonesome submarine in space than The Enterprise and the actions of the real people that make up her crew will be the only thing that stands between survival and destruction, not some deflector-shield or failsafe Cylon-detector. If you are interested in the details of our approach to hard science we recommend the book “The Science of Battlestar Galactica”.
In interviews Ron Moore often refers to the reimagined series as a show about post 9-11 America. Questions like “why do they hate us?”, “where is the border between national security and all-out fascism”, “who is a freedom-fighter and who is a terrorist?” and “is torture ever justified?” constantly take center stage. While these questions still hold relevance, especially in the US and middle-east, we intend to update the political and philosophical thematics to explore issues relevant to early 21-century Europeans. We have no intention of shoving a message down your throat, rather exploring a theme and fuelling exciting hard Sci-Fi drama with a hefty dose of real-world issues.
This is a game about being, and staying, alive in a time when racism, cultural prejudice and ethnic thinking return to the mainstream political agenda. It’s a game about our irrational fear of The Other. A game about never being able to go back home. About escaping one kind of oppression just to run into another kind - dressed up in a different costume and in different words - in your adopted home. But also a game about the hope of a new life in a new environment. Of escaping stifling tradition and intolerance to reinvent yourself and society on the ashes of the old world.