Legends of the Second Age
Genre: Cinematic (Anime-style) Fantasy
Long ago, when the world was still whole, the land and the heavens were wracked by a titanic conflict called the Godswar. A war between the Gods and Titans. In the final stages of the war, as they neared defeat, the Titan’s took revenge on the world they believed had betrayed them. They directed all of their power at the world, all of the hatred and anger, and the world itself was shattered by the force of the magic unleashed. The world broke into a thousand pieces, each drifting through the skies. Scattered across them were the survivors of the Godswar. Slowly, the mortal races began to rebuild under the guidance of the Gods. Two thousand years have passed since then and war once again threatens the world. A prophecy has arisen; five young individuals will join forces to reunite the shattered pieces of the world. But there are those willing to go to war to prevent any change to the status quo.
This is an action adventure style fantasy game, with just a hint of animé or Japanese-style fantasy CRPGs. There’s a mixture of technology and magic present. Alchemical steam turbines, early firearms, clockworks and rifles, cannons, crystal power sources, and intelligent constructs. In some cases, magic will be used to duplicate modern day technology.
All the characters (who are between 14 and 16) have grown up together on a small sky island, having lived on the island for most (if not all) of their lives. The island itself is small and peaceful, far away from the bustling heart of civilisation. There is only a small village on one end of the island and a small cluster of farmhouses (where the character’s live with their families) on the other.
The characters are:
- Kael – a 16 year old Skyboarder
- Daedalus – a 14 year old rookie mage and tinkerer
- Maddie – A 15 year old blacksmith’s daughter
- Kenichi – a 15 year old trainee ranger only a few months away from taking the guild exam
- and Victoria – a 15 year old “bad influence”
Character creation took two weeks due to player absences. This worked to the game’s advantage since we only had one copy of SWEX (and a copy of the old hardback). It meant that we could take time to create the characters and be sure they all fit into the game.
A couple of changes were made to character creation. Because character’s in anime tend to be more powerful than they ought to be, I allowed players to ignore any rank requirement other than Legendary for their free Human edge (its a humans only fantasy setting). All other requirements still stood. We also decided that the Boating skill referred to any skyship or flying vehicle that used wind as a means of lift or propulsion. Piloting referred to powered flight that used mechanics, alchemical steam turbines or straight up magic. Character creation went well. Two of the character’s started off with an Arcane background. Kael’s Skyboard was determined to be a product of “Weird Science” and Daedalus took Sorcery.
One thing was kept from the players and that was that each of the character’s would begin play with a custom Arcane Background called “Exemplar” on top of anything they bought at character creation. The Exemplar edge gave them 2 powers selected by me and 10 power points (which stacked with Daedalus’s sorcery but not with Kael’s Weird Science). Each Exemplar edge was themed towards one of the five elements of the setting.
- Kael – Metal (Wall Walking, Intangibility)
- Daedalus – Water (Analyse Foe, Healing)
- Maddie – Metal (Armour, Warrior’s Gift when using bladed weapons)
- Kenichi – Wood (Entangle, Shapechange)
- Victoria – Fire (Leaping, Quickness)
Any Exemplar power that had a range of touch was changed to Self (with the exception of Healing)
The week between the end of the chargen and the 1st session, I printed of DnD4E style powercards using the Magic Set Editor program (PDF of cards found at http://www.box.net/shared/ra4n6y2i8r). I did a card for each power, each Arcane Background, and a couple of the custom items that player’s requested at chargen (a sunstone and spellstone for Daedalus, and a Krull-style glaive for Kenichi)
Once all that was done, all that was left was to actually run the game. 🙂
Game started off early on a weekend morning and the character’s got to describe their morning routine. Maddie went down in to the village to open her father’s smithy, Kenichi went hunting down in the small woods that ran along the side of the island. Daedalus (who is Kenichi’s cousin) got breakfast. Vicky went off in pursuit of Maddie and Kael went for a morning “run” on his board.
About 11 o’clock they all met up at the smithy for one reason or another. Daedalus looking for some scrap to tinker with, Kael was after a new bracket for one of his board’s lifter crystals, Vicky and Kenichi just to hang. Maddie’s father came down and took over the shop (throwing Vicky out at the same time). They decide to go down to the wooded plateau where Kenichi goes hunting in order to explore some of the old crystal mines. At this point, Daedalus casually mentions that Jenny heard that Kenichi likes Vicky. As in “likes likes.” Oh the teen drama.
At this point, I was asking them to make periodic notice checks whenever they got near the edge of the island. A small craft was “orbiting” the island from within a cloud bank. However, no one seemed able to roll above a three (except of couse for Kenichi’s pet hawk which unfortunately couldn’t speak to tell anyone).
They get to a likely looking cave and light their various light sources and enter. As they explore, they find lots of little crystals left embedded in the walls and ceiling, the mines haven’t totally played out but are still disused. Vicky notices that the wooden supports don’t seem exactly strong just as Daedalus sees a really cool looking crystal in the ceiling. Before he can be stopped he reaches up and yanks on it. The roof rumbles, the supports groan and the cave begins to collapse. AGILITY rolls are made to see who gets out. Everyone but Kael and Daedalus makes it. Maddie gets a raise so I rule that she was able to grab D and pull him out of the way in time. It takes several seconds for anyone to realise that their group of 5 has become 4. Just as K walks THROUGH the collapsed mine entrance coughing and spluttering. Kael had just manifested his first elemental power, Intangibility.
At this point, it should be mentioned that although the PLAYERS knew about their elemental powers, the character’s didn’t. At the start of the session I told them that after two weeks of trying to come up with a way for them to manifest their powers spontaneously, I had given up. It was up to them to figure it out.
After some humourous stone throwing, and skydiving into the ground, he rematerialised. K couldn’t wait to show this new power off at the next Stormjumping competition (an extreme sports version of skyboarding). Realising they were all covered in dirt and dust, they retired to a nearby pool for a bit of swimming. Cue some spirit rolls from the three teenage boys as their female friends got wet and splashed each other in a perfect fanservice moment (Kenichi failed and promptly got a nosebleed).
It was at that someone noticed (finally!) the ship circling the island. It was a few miles off and was generating great gouts of steam. This must mean that it was a Commonwealth ship (Common Knowledge rolls for the win) as they were the only country that uses Alchemical Turbines as a power source. Curious as to what a Commonwealth ship was doing so far from its home territory (and so close to their mortal enemy, the Empire) they decided to try and find out what type of ship it was. Daedalus remembered that there was a ship recognition guide in the school library and so the plan was made, for the first time in history a bunch of teens would break into school on a weekend to do some studying.
This was Vicky’s time to shine, easily picking the lock on the door to the small village school. The book was found easily and they identified the ship as a Kestral Class – Command and Control ship used by the Commonwealth to rely instructions to other ships engaged in fleet actions. An impressive feat of mental arithmetic from Deadalus showed that that the ship was circling the island once per hour and if his calculations were correct, they should be able to see it from the school by now. Grabbing the school’s one and only telescope they climbed up onto the rough and located the ship. It seemed to be signalling something using semaphore and flashing lights. None of the group can understand the signals so they decided to find someone who can. Naturally, this means breaking into the harbourmaster’s house to steal his book on semaphore signals which he obviously has.
As they cross the village, a small tyke runs up to Daedalus and tells him that their mum’s want them all home. Ignoring this they continue to the harbourmaster’s house. While Kael provides a distraction by showing off his Skyboarding in the market square, they break in. A quick search found the book but clumsly Daedalus struck again, knocking over a vase and smashing it in an almighty crash. The group fled the house.
Meanwhile, Daedalus was in the square showing off. On one of his more aerobatic manoeuvres, he spotted several shadowy shapes hidden in the clouds just below the island. Curious, he dived into the cloud narrowly missing crashing into the armoured hull of a skyship. As he frantically dodged out of the way, he peered through an open gun port and saw ranks of men readying their weapons and armour. There were at least 6 Commonwealth warships hidden in the clouds, each with over 50 armoured soldiers preparing for battle. In panic, he rocketed up out of the cloud and streaked through the market square screaming “The Commonwealth is coming!” Behind him, as one, the ships rose up out of the cloud and opened fire on the village.
Seeing the normally over confident Daedalus running away, and with cannon fire exploding around them, the rest of the group decided to “screw this for a game of soldiers” and ran too, jumping onto a horse and cart and fleeing. Sadly, no one had either the Drive or Ride skill so it was a short journey. After narrowly missing plowing through panicked villagers, the cart struck a low wall and flipped over several times, sending the group flying. They each took damage (a single wound), except for Maddie. As she flew through the air, liquid metal engulfed her body creating a protective layer (manifesting the Armour power). D’s leg was broken (although only taking one wound, a severe injury was good flavour for what happened next) with the bone sticking out the side. Clutching the wound, his hands glowed and he manifested the Healing power, completely healing the broken bone. He was able to repeat this feat on the gash to the head that Kenichi had suffered. However, despite repeated attempts he was unable to heal Vicky’s fractured rib. Behind them, one of the ships had landed at the docks and was unloading troops.
Kael, having calmed down, came back at this point and the reunited group heading down onto the wooded plateau where they hoped the tree’s would provide some cover. They plan was to follow the plateau along the side of the island, climbing up at the other end next to the farm compound where they all lived. Unfourtunatly, the cliff path down into the plateau was in full view of one of the attacking ships which opened fire. The cannon balls struck all around them, showering them with rock chips but causing no injuries. However, one of the cannonballs struck the cliff just below the path and just below Kenichi. The explosion threw Kenichi off the path and off the side of the island, he plunged into the clouds. Kael dived off the path after him but lost him in the clouds. Fearing that they had just lost their friend, they were surprised when a hawk flew out of the cloud, landed on the path and turned into Kenichi. He had just manifested the Shapechange power.
They hurried down the path, across the plataeu and climbed back up to the farm compound.
It was deserted, there was no sign of their parents, the horses were gone. A note tacked to the back of the front door told Daedalus to gather his friends and head to the old barn. Look under the straw. Kael found a small leather pouch containing a crystal with a hexagonal cross section and strange runes etched on it. A note said that he might need this and “not to wait for us if we’re not back in time.” They headed to the old barn and looked under the strawpile. They found a trapdoor that led to a curving stone staircase. The staircase opened up into a large chamber beneath the barn, the roof of which was made up of the wooden floorboards of the barn above.
Inside the chamber they found a small skyship, no sails, no steam vents, no gas bag, only a pair of slender crystal turbines on outriders. An imperial design. The nameplate along the side read “HMS Hurricane” and Kael remembered that a ship called the Hurricane had been stolen from the Imperial Fleetyards 14 years ago and never recovered. If he remembered correctly, it was a prototype for a fast courier ship. The front and back loading ramps were down and by the rear one were several bags waiting to be loaded the contained clothing and a few possession. On the ship itself was a few crates of food. Apart from that this ship was empty and unfurnished. There was no sign of their parents. Looking around the chamber they say that machinery was connected to the roof and it looked like it opened or retracted. Along one wall was a heavy metal door. On the bridge of the ship was a hexagonal slot just next to the controls. The crystal that Kael had found looked like a key.
They heard voices above, and the sounds of people moving around. Keeping quiet, they realised that it was Commonwealth soldiers and they were looking for THEM. Kael put the crystal in the slot and the ship started to power up. Displays lit up and one of them reported that an unknown ship was blocking the drydock exit. It asked him if he wanted to use the “Emergency Egress System”. Without hesitation he clicked on yes. The metal door groaned open revealing a darkened tunnel going down at a 45 degree angle. The cradle the ship was resting on started to tilt upwards, lining the ship up with the tunnel. As the crystal turbines reached full power, the clamps were released and the ship began to accelerate down the pitch black tunnel.
Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2009, in Aerial Fantasy, Legends of the Second Age, RPG General, RPG Setting and tagged actual play, anime, fantasy, game, manga, roleplay, rpg, savage worlds. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.