Click to magnifySo it turns out even Apollo astronauts can't escape red tape! This is a supremely cool artifact from the Apollo era space missions--it's the customs form that astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins had to complete on their return home from the moon.
This is something I'd LOVE to incorporate into a game, being the inclusion of an at-the-table artifact, plus seeding endless options for role-playing. Is the form filled out correctly? Some bureaucrat is not going to like that and this could mean anything for the PCs:
- Delay in travel makes for a stay at a local space hotel or stop at a cantina (1d4 days)
- PCs are detained, quarantined, questioned, tortured, mind-melded for information (1d4 days)
- PCs are not allowed on-planet and are refused entry to the dock at the spaceport in question
- PCs are welcomed for bringing much needed (whatever the cargo is) but then sentiment turns when it's not enough for the populous
- Forms get mixed up or are forged by a corrupt official, fingering them for a crime they didn't commit (stolen goods, breaking embargo, etc.)
- The form falls into the hands of local merchants who are looking to snuff out competition at the source--with the suppliers
- Forms attract all manner of criminal element trying to "rob a train" and the PCs are the protectors of said cargo
- Forms are a way of stealing PCs identities, ship registration, and mission info so they can be offed and replaced
- Guards are unable to read the forms (either because of smudges, missing data, whatever) and PCs are held and added to a "watch list"
- Nothing really, it's just a record of the cargo, but it's held onto and comes back to haunt them later
And so forth....