Waste Space is a game set in the far future, where the human race has taken refuge in large, derelict space stations around the galaxy. Earth is but a distant memory; humankind lives on the scraps and crumbs left behind by a once great civilization that has crumbled to dust centuries ago. People make do with the debris and spare parts they can find; remnants of when humankind lived in a technological paradise. Our Golden Age is over; all that’s left is bits and pieces.
The stations would be isolated from each other if it wasn’t for one communications protocol that is still functional, simply called the Network. It is not perfect; as with everything else in the Waste Space, technology is a luxury. But when it works, it enables the stations to keep in contact and work together to better the lives of their inhabitants.
The players are a rescue/investigative team sent out to investigate why certain space stations no longer are in contact with the main Network. But the team isn’t your typical tight-assed space marine crew; teams are often made up of people who have nothing else in their lives, people who really need the cash or really need to get away from something. Usually, they’re an undisciplined rag tag group of people that are forced together to keep stations up and running.
The reason for Network dropouts are many; sometimes, the problem is simply technical, but most of the time, there’s something dangerous or weird going on, and more often than not, it is not a pretty situation.
Living in space stations has a peculiar effect on people. They tend to get weird and unpredictable. Sometimes, the inhabitants of a station decide to cut the connection to the Network because of social issues; maybe they have started a fanatic cult. Maybe some power-hungry maniac has taken control of the station somehow. Maybe the technicians who took care of Network maintenance have all been killed off under mysterious circumstances.
A lot can go wrong on a space station, which means that the rescue team needs to have a wide range of skills. Sometimes, what’s needed is smarts and knowledge, sometimes the situation calls for social intervention . And sometimes, inhabitants need to be taken out of the equation the hard way.
When the team enters a space station that hasn’t been in contact for a while, they’d better be ready for anything.