On the Mothership RPG Discord, we have a channel calledq #hive-mind where somebody suggests a topic and folks contribute an example until we have 10. Then we start a new list. This seems like a common thing among OSR-ish communities, and the results eventually get published by Tuesday Knight Games in a free zine.
I wrote up a few of my own lists for fun – these do not come from the community. Let me know if you use any of them in your games!
- Short circuiting, everything electrical they touch is shorted out
- Emotion chip malfunction. Can’t stop crying.
- Violent reaction to seeing cats
- Off-by-one errors to all calculations (skills are subtracted from the attributes rather than added on rolls)
- Partial amnesia (factory reset)
- Only speaks in binary (sounds like static)
- Does not recognize presence of organics and attempts to shut off life support
- Head continually spins on neck joint
- The existence of the rest of the crew is a threat to the mission. They must be terminated.
Kinds of undead astronauts
- Vacc suit containing a corpse begins to move on its own
- Consciousness uploaded into an android
- Reanimated by space fungus
- Electrodes inserted into nervous system allow for remote control
- Skin charred by engine radiation, still they walk
- Once rigor mortis sets in, any contact with water animates that limb
- Ship lost 30 years ago is on approach and maneuvering to dock, but no lifesigns detected on board
- Corpses committed to space lurch into motion when touched by unfiltered sunlight
- Recipients of transplanted organs begin to hear whispers from the deceased donors
- Their face can be seen in the last computer terminal they used, mouthing the words “HELP ME”
Mysterious alien devices
- Planisphere of stars seen from the Galactic Center
- Generates 3.14159 L of pure H2O every hour
- Takes two DNA samples (regardless of species) and merges them together randomly
- Pair of silver orbs that transmit whatever smell is detected by the other one, regardless of distance
- Audibly amplifies the heartbeat of any living thing touching it
- Abacus but the rings are made of pure energy
- Lens that allows you to visualize every person in four dimensions, as if you had recorded them moving on long exposure
- Living matter in the shape of the Mandelbrot set
- Every 7.3 hours, this object repeats a short phrase in an unknown language.
- Dodecahedron that emits a burst transmission when exposed to vacuum