A downloadable roleplaying game

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You’ve been stranded on a hostile planet.

Your goal is to make it back to your ship.

Alive, if possible.

This is a game about astronauts stranded on a planet.

The planet is controlled by an immense machine spirit named Ida.

Ida hungers. She demands nightly sacrifice in the form of technology.

The only way to escape is to forage through the mountains of abandoned ships for spare parts. Ships like yours.

If you can gather enough parts, you can attempt an escape. Until then, your days look the same.

Explore a ship. Take what’s useful. Manage stress, avoid strain and harm.

When things get too heavy, all you can do is remember the better times.

Flashback to when you joined this crew. To when you fell in love.

To your first mission and your new friends. To when things weren’t quite so dire.

Two days ago you crashed landed on this terrible world. Ida is the name of it. Or at least, that’s what you initially thought. Now it seems that Ida may not be the planet at all, but the name of the sentient machine spirit that controls (IS?) the planet.

The ruins on the planet are ancient crashed space ships. Some of them jut out of the rotten ground like crooked spires or derelict beacons. Many are still full of strange, alien technology. Technology that can be used… or harvested.

Each night, Ida demands sacrifice. Sacrifice in the form of technology. You’ve made these sacrifices each night for the past two days. And Ida seems appeased.

But supplies run low, and night is coming on…

How does it work?

Close Encounters is inspired by games like Numenera and Hellapagos. Each day you will explore ships for strange pieces of ancient technology powered by orbs. You can use these to help you explore, or save them for later.

As you overcome obstacles, you will accumulate Stress. Too much Stress turns into Strain. Too much Stain turns into Harm. Too much Harm kills you.

Remove Stress by having a flashback to when you met your crewmates, or to an earlier, simpler time. To when you fell in love or first become friends. To the first fight, the uncomfortable bunkmate assignment, the time you were there for each other.

But if you let that Stress get too high, it becomes harder to remove. The easiest way to repair Stress or Strain is by spending an Orb... but each night every crew member must sacrifice two Orbs or be eaten by the machine spirit Ida. 

Gather enough Orbs and you can attempt to repair a ship and try for a risky escape.

Will you survive Ida? If you do, how will you be changed?


Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

In order to download this roleplaying game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Close Encounters.pdf 894 kB
Close Encounters Plaintext.pdf 2 MB
Close Encounters Plaintext.txt 24 kB

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Download demo

Character Sheet Dark.pdf 213 kB
Character Sheet Light.pdf 83 kB

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