Press "Enter" to skip to content


Please or Register to create posts and topics.

Recruiting crew for the B.S.M. Pandora maiden voyage !

Page 1 of 8Next

The Departement of Alien Lifeform is recruiting a crew for the Biological Survey Mission "Pandora". Well paid and totally totally safe mission.


After the success of our Andromeda Conquest PBEM (though I got crushed by the snails), I am looking for 5 to 6 more players to play in multi in "The Wreck of the B.S.M. Pandora", a 1981 game for Apple II, port of the SPI boardgame of the same name. I don't think I will do a full article, but it is a particularly interesting game as it is :

  • Possibly the first survival RPGish game on computer, with stats, equipment, remote-controlled robot and total-system-shutdown-imminent,
  • For sure the first SPI port on computer,
  • Interesting as heck !
  • Semi-cooperative. In that, players lose together, but one player may win more than the other.

An interesting article on the board game.  Note it is NOT a 1:1 port.

Sadly, it will be Play-By-Email (like Andromeda Conquest), NOT forum-game (like Galactic Gladiators), as it is successive turn-based with action points (eg you can open a door, find something you don't like, and decide to retreat - something you cannot really do in a forum game).

Every turn will have to be described with some text on the forum. Of course, you don't have to say EVERYTHING, right ? It can happen that you, err, forget to mention some parts.


Edit :

  • The manual can be found here.
  • I wrote a short recap of the rules here
  • The AAR/playthrough starts here



Dayyalu has reacted to this post.

Sign me up! What am I signing for? No idea!


I'll need some guidance as to where I can find this game and run it, the last time I played some retro games was more than 10 years ago, I got no idea how this works now.

The Wargaming Scribe has reacted to this post.
The Wargaming Scribe

Porkbelly signing up! <puts on redshirt>

The Wargaming Scribe has reacted to this post.
The Wargaming Scribe

I'm of course in, having a great experience in high-risk low-reward spaceship settings.


also what's a erobot

I don't like how it sounds

The Wargaming Scribe has reacted to this post.
The Wargaming Scribe
Quote from Andnjord on 23 March 2022, 22h38

Sign me up! What am I signing for? No idea!


I'll need some guidance as to where I can find this game and run it, the last time I played some retro games was more than 10 years ago, I got no idea how this works now.


We used and will use AppleWin, which makes it absolutely trivial. Basically :

  • Download AppleWin 1.30.8 :

  • Use this handy recognition guide. AppleWin basically uses 3 buttons :



Check that it works, and voilà, you are ready for a total wreckage and short-term memory loss.


Andnjord has reacted to this post.

I want in, it sounds interesting!

I'll join and complete the full 7-memeber crew allotment.

Quote from DDG Ahab on 28 March 2022, 23h06

I'll join and complete the full 7-memeber crew allotment.

Woot ! With you and Argyraspide are actually 6, where I had put the threshold !

I leave one more day, and off we go. I recommend you all play at the game at least once, so you don't get totally lost and we don't all die ;).

@strange-fellow @captaingrimlock - you would the natural 7th Guest :).

Strange Fellow has reacted to this post.
Strange Fellow

Do I have to play intelligently? Because that's a deal-breaker.

Anyway, you almost had me at erobot (I was about to assume the position), but I think I'll have to pass this time.

Quote from Strange Fellow on 29 March 2022, 17h40

Do I have to play intelligently? Because that's a deal-breaker.

Anyway, you almost had me at erobot (I was about to assume the position), but I think I'll have to pass this time.

Your loss, the more I test the game, the more I realize how fun it can be in a Dwarf Fortress way.

There has been an accident on the B.S.M. Pandora

A. Recovery steps :

The crew must :

1. Avoid panicking. The Main Computer has probably started a total shutdown sequence, which needs to be interrupted, and there is no time to panic.

2. Repair all the major system pods to "Yellow" or "Green" status

Major system pods are the :

  • The Power Pod
  • The Enviro Pod
  • The Control Pod
  • The Navigation Pod
  • The Computer Pod

3. Restart the ship systems at one of the following :

  • Control Pod
  • Navigation Pod
  • Computer Pod

The better the condition of the 5 main pods, the more likely that the restart will be successful.

[note that in the boardgame, failing a restart actually accelerates a shutdown - not clear if the same in the computer port]

4. Bring back all the alien species, minus those you had to kill, back in their restraining pens.



B. Moving around :

The accident may have caused some confusion among the crew so here is a recap

Movement : Trivial

At any time :

- X : Check your stats, including carrying capacity (the rest should not change much, though check it at the beginning to know whether you ll be the person who fixes stuff, the person who fights stuff or the person who dies in a corner),

- L : List what you pilfered

- E : Examine an item you have (for condition)

- U : Use an item you have. Including a weapon.

- H : Heal yourself inefficiently

- D : Drop everything you have.


When next to an item/suit :

- G : Get the item (or don the suite)


When next to a door :

- S : Use the build in scanner to check what's on the other side of the door. Expensive in movement points because the UI is just that terrible. Some of you will prefer to pray and open the door.


When in a pod :

- E : Examine the status of the pod

- P : Use the pod for whatever function it has (repair robot, display map, heal, restraint alien, ...)

- R : Repair the pod with your bare-hands. Only for the most intelligent of us

- U : Use a repair item, which may be smarter

- R : Restart the ship (if the pod is repaired)


When in front of a robot:

- E : Examine the status of the robot

- A : Attack the robot with your bare-hands. Good luck

- C : Take control of the robot

- R : Repair the robot. The controls are pretty much the same as for characters, with some options closed.

- U : Use a repair tool... or a weapon on the robot.


When in front of an alien:

- 1-8 : Run away (sometimes wise)

- A : Attack with bare fists, for the strongest (or most desperate) of us

- U : Use weapon (or other), for either kill or stun.

- G : Pick up a stunned alien. Only for the strongest, you may have to drop your equipment before that. For the heaviest aliens, bring a bot.


IMPORTANT : In case of accident, the BSM policy is to consider that every crewmen and crewwomen is responsible for the accident, and each of them will be prosecuted by the galaxy best lawyers. Except for that one crewman or crewwoman who will have contributed the most to the recovery of aliens and to restart the computer. That crewman or crewwoman will even be forgiven for, er, accident that may or may not have happened to the rest of the crew in their heroic action to save the company assets - these will be considered  as a negative contribution to the recovery of the ship.

Dayyalu, Strange Fellow and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
DayyaluStrange FellowArgyraspideDDG Ahab

(Got the mail and everything seems to work fine).

Piece of cake. I've survived this at least a dozen times, what's another ship full of alien horrors. Nothing. Bar that time on Zarathustra, but we don't speak of Zarathustra.

Out of the stasis pod, right on the .....

Wait, you can't do that

(My first test games were amazing, the many deaths of you are something of wonder. Check the friggin' doors before opening, guys. Check the doors.)


The Wargaming Scribe has reacted to this post.
The Wargaming Scribe

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz... refit the Traveller-class battleship with larger guzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz

Zzzzzzz.. our destroyers will go underwatezzzzzzZZZZZ !  UH ? What ?

What was this noise... something happened... but ... I can't remember anything... who ... where ?

... they told us to wait 2 minutes. I am sure *someone* will do *something*




Ah ! Finally ! Not sure what it means, but I guess it means the problem is solved !


Wait I don't think I am...


Uh Oh ! Better do something about this.


I THINK I remember I was part of a crew on a space ship... but I can't remember anything about what I was doing ...

An ID... Neema Stroff... Maintenance ? Hey, 5 minutes ago I was dreaming I was admiral of some Navy ! Apparently, I am a big gal, eh ! Wish I was smarter, though.

Uh... who let the aliens out of their pens ? Who let stuff on the ground ? The maintenance here is terri... ah, doh !

Well, let's grab that thing and hope the best for the alien. Ah, good, it is moving away ! A botkit. Could be useful to do my job.

Let's check the opposite room, but scan to make sure there is no alien. Nope, no alien. There is something on the ground... what is it ? A rig ? Useless for now, I can don one and carry my botkit at the same time anyway. Let's move toward the lift...



Dayyalu, Strange Fellow and 3 other users have reacted to this post.
DayyaluStrange FellowArgyraspidePorkbellyDDG Ahab

Well, this was not supposed to happen...

The last thing I remember was collecting geological data on that planet, whatever it was called. We are very far from it, now, so the name does not matter.
What I do know is that the situation is critical. If we do not manage to right this ship as soon as possible, we are doomed to die by starvation or asphyxiation. That is if the specimens do not get to us first. After all, they will also get hungry.

A brief test of my personal radio lets me know that it is still functional, and that our commander is alive and well, although a little shaken by the experience. He informs me he is headed for another level to explore further.

As for me, the only thing I know to do it to fall back on my training. I have a map of the ship, but it is not marked, and the aborted deep sleep has fogged my memory.

I will therefore map the ship as best I can and share the information over the radio with my colleagues, who are still recovering from the stasis failure.

As I head to the pod immediately north of ours, I spot Stroff in the corridor.
The Crew Pod contains a single Environnemental Rig, which is perfect for an EVA, but frankly rather useless to me at the moment. I elect to leave it where it is, but mark it on my map in case someone else needs it. Since time is of the essence, I do not bother performing a damage report on this pod, since it is not vital to our survival.

However, this pod does allow me to remotely control an Exploration Robot. That model is very basic, but will be ideal to cover more ground and gather more data on our current situation.

The Erobot happens to be on the level directly below, level 3. The first pod I direct it to scan turns out to be a Stage Pod, which we use to repair rigs. It is also home to a specimen of undetermined taxon and threat level. This little robot is no match for anything bigger than a Zorbian Honeyfly, so I decide that discretion is the better part of valour, and head to the pod immediately opposite.

As my Erobot makes its escape, he is initially followed by the alien creature. I race the little bot into Pod #6, not even bothering to scan it first... Thankfully, the alien wanders off into the corridor, and I can safely annotate my map further.
This is the crucial Enviro Pod. There is a powerful stunbomb here, but unfortunately the Erobot is far too weak to carry anything, so it will have to wait for a more competent user.
Time to check the pod's status. It is one of the five we need to get running in order to have a chance to get back home, so I hope it is in good shape.

Suddenly, everything goes wrong...

While I was piloting the robot over to the pod's console, the alien decided to enter the pod, make a beeline for the bot, and attack it.
I only had time to gather that the pod is in Yellow condition before the video feed changed to static.


Back in my pod, and having lost my little robotic friend, I decide to go back to the corridor and head the opposite way to the captain's. I notice a Medkit on the floor. I am tempted to grab it, but I am the sturdy type, and someone else might need it more.


As I am about to enter Pod 9, I freeze in my tracks. The corridor is occupied by a strange, elephantine creature. I wait a few seconds, and through the slit of the pneumatic door, I observe it stamping down the corridor and enter Pod #6.

The Wargaming Scribe, Strange Fellow and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
The Wargaming ScribeStrange FellowPorkbellyDDG Ahab

There would be whales, they said. As chief weapons officer, you'll get to man the harpoon, they said.

I don't know why I believed it. Throughout this cursed survey we've taken aboard specimens of scrods, flechers, blind pigs, and even a grendel, but not so much as one bloody cassock to mince. And now I've been awakened prematurely, two of my CO's have wandered off from this cold coffin warehouse to gods-know-where, and my petunias are missing. Damn Ensign Pulver and his endless insolences. He always resented having the duty of watering and sunning my plants and I am all but certain he threw them out the airlock. Never again will I set foot on these titanium Pequods. These scaphas caelestes. Let the gods have their chaos, and me my cetaceous ivory.

I had been blessed with ample wits and stoutness, but wanted for speed. Radio chatter from GSO Skraaling informed me that an envirosuit could be found in the crew pod directly to the north - perhaps I could make good use of it to perform some repairs in the depressurized parts of the Pandora, but more importantly, get my petunias back.

With drysuit in stowage, I heard loud thumps and panicked shrieking from the west, and shambled over to Skraaling's position as fast as I could on my ivory jawbone-leg.

The Wargaming Scribe, Dayyalu and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
The Wargaming ScribeDayyaluArgyraspidePorkbelly

It is pitch black. I open my eyes and the room spins gently above me.

My head is pounding like a Japanese Taiko drum. I need tea and have none. I can't remember anything at all from last night.. just like the time with that three-breasted pleasure dancer from the planet Phobos. Woke up with tubful of margarine down my trousers, the rest a blank.

No margarine this time, but I have a splitting headache and still have no tea. The room dips and sways a little but I manage to get up. I slip into my pink dressing gown and go in search of the rec-pod. I think that's on... erm, Level 1?

I stumble down the corridor, into the lift, and slap the Up button.
The button dings and I'm looking down Pod-Corridor 10. It appears to be full of strange little beasties.

I'm in no mood for this, and they know it. The beasties skitter away as I lurch toward them. There's party crap strewn all over the floor here.. a CompKit? Nope, not right now. But here's an ArmoRig.

I side-eye the beasties and they side-eye me back. Umm.. p'rhaps I better put this thing on. After a brief struggle it's on.. some of it's even on backwards. Anyway, I feel a bit safer now. I throw my pink dressing gown over the top and set forth in search of tea.

The Wargaming Scribe, Dayyalu and DDG Ahab have reacted to this post.
The Wargaming ScribeDayyaluDDG Ahab

Goddammit. I truly did not need that memory restoration failure. Whatever, I'm entirely sure my indepth knowledge of surviving in hostile spaceships is almost muscle memory by now. I will know what to do by instinct.

Let's fire up the cyberig and see what kind of build we went for...

Intelligence very high, defense high, stamina low.... I seriously hope I didn't go for a psionic build. Guys? Guys? Do you even know if there are psionic skills in this one? I mean, in the game? No, I'm not on antipsychotic medication, why do you ask?

Whatever. It's time to find some equipment, I'll take the turbolift and go to Level 3. Hope there's some good loot there... uhh, there's some kind of dwarf wolly mammoth here on Pod 7. Anyone of you read the manual? It's dangerous?



The Wargaming Scribe, Porkbelly and DDG Ahab have reacted to this post.
The Wargaming ScribePorkbellyDDG Ahab

Well, floor up or floor down ?

This is Teleman, level 1. There is a weird alien looking like a dragon, and another one giving me side-eye. I donned the combat armor, ready for the worst.

There is some kind of dwarf wolly mammoth here locked in Pod 7

Floor 3 it is.


OK, pod 7 is useless, except if you want to throw yourself into space. But I have no idea what the blooby thing is ? What I can tell you is that I am not getting any close to THAT.


Totally OOC question : How do you guys know what "position" / "role" each of us is supposed to canonically have on the ship. Some of you hints that it is somewhere. The tabletop game ? Sadly is down so I cannot check.

If I am the CO, given my mediocre intelligence, no surprise we got wrecked.

Page 1 of 8Next