Voyage of the Nimbus – Session 4
Posted by blaster219
Trouble in Helium City, Part 1
Swooping out of the sky, the Nimbus bore down on their target. They had been hired to retrieve stolen property being carried aboard the Condor’s Flight, a Piranha-class airship crewed by smugglers who had left Helium City in a hurry. Catching the Condor by surprise, they quickly gave chase. The smuggler’s shed altitude and dropped into Palu Duro canyon.
Zeke slotted the Nimbus in behind the Condor as Constantine encouraged the crew. Xanatos tinkered with the engines, eaking out a few extra revolutions from the props. They banked and turned down the canyon’s twisty path; the Nimbus quickly gaining ground thanks to everyone’s efforts. As they neared, William sniped at the enemy ship from his position in the dorsal crows nest, his bow giving him a range that no one else had.
The Condor’s crew didn’t waste time returning fire. They fired a net at the Nibmus’ port engine, entangling the props and shutting the engine down. The ship slewed to the side due to the thrust imbalance. Zeke throttled back the starboard engine and yelled for Xanatos. The young engineer clambered out onto the port engine and started to cut at the net’s strands. It takes him a couple of minutes to clear the net and restart the engine and by the time he has, the Condor has pulled ahead.
Throwing open the throttles, the Nimbus streaks forward after the Condor. The smuggler’s luck runs out and they careen into a sandstone pillar, rebounding out across the canyon. The Nimbus, unable to avoid the collision rear-ends the smuggler, taking only minimal damage but ending up alongside the Condor. The two ship’s exchanged broadsides as Jamie used the grappling hook launcher to snare the Condor and reel it in.
Storm led the boarding action, leaping across to the Condor and laying into its marine contingent with his battleaxe; swinging it around like a barbarian warrior of legend. He quickly carved his way through the marines, earning himself the nickname “Slayer” from the Nimbus’ crew. The rest of the officers weren’t far behind with both Zeke and Xanatos leaping into the fray while Constantine, Jamie and the Doc sniped from the deck of the Nimbus. Even William got in the act.
The smuggler captain seemed to focus is ire on Constantine, aiming at him with a funky-looking handgun which turned out to be a pistol-sized version of a Lightning Gun. However, the weapon seemed to malfunction as the captain fired it, backfiring and dumping its charge into the grip instead of the barrel.
Meanwhile, the boarding party had made short work of the marines and had begun to engage the Condor’s crew proper. They proved no match for the Nimbus’ crew. Their will to fight deserting them completely when Constantine, William, the Doc and Jamie all fired upon the Condor’s captain. When the smoke cleared, there wasn’t much left of the perforated, punctured and scorched enemy captain. The surviving crew quickly surrendered. There was a dispute between Xanatos and Constantine over who should get the enemy captain’s Lightning Pistol. Constantine thought that as Captain he had a right to first pick. Xanatos argued finders keepers. Somehow Xanatos won the argument.
After recovering the stolen item, the Nimbus’ crew helped themselves to the Condor’s cargo. Constantine had agreed that the Nimbus could keep whatever cargo could be looted from the Condor in lieu of a regular cash payment, This turned out to be a shrewd decision as they were able to net just over a thousand helios in loot, plus the salvage cost of the defeated Condor. With their prize in tow, they returned to Helium City.
After making port in Helium City, the crew sold the Condor and its cargo. Constantine was already thinking big and was planning on acquiring a second ship, possibly a Barracuda. The crew was in good spirits, as they split up to enjoy their new-found wealth. Zeke went to a club to engage in some “gentlemen’s boxing” (read “fight club”). Constantine decided to splash out on some art visited a gallery. Jamie and Xanatos were dragged along but Xanatos stormed off when his brother told him in no uncertain terms that he wouldn’t allow him to drink inside the gallery. Constantine ended up with a rather … um … controversial piece. A water colour of Emperor Victor Joseph Hypocrates III cavorting with a pair of under-aged NeoBedouin girls who each possessed distinct feline characteristics (a fact made more controversial with the fact that the Emperor himself is only 13).
The next morning, as everyone sat down to breakfast someone was missing, Xanatos. Asking around the crew, they discovered that the last anyone saw of Xanatos, he was heading into a tavern. Concerned, they went looking and after some searching they found the tavern in question. A local mentioned that there’d been some trouble at the tavern the night before, some poor bastard had been taken to hospital and a boy matching Xanatos’ description had been dragged of by the police.
Wondering just what his brother had gotten himself in to, Constantine went to the local police station. He learns that Xanatos has been arrested and charged with attempted murder. It seems he got into a fight in the tavern and shot a man with the lightning pistol. They had a witness, a suspect and physical evidence (the gun), a conviction would be easy. There was no bail since Xanatos was considered … ahem … a flight risk being a skysailor.
Constantine sent the Doc to go check on Xanatos as he was worried that if he saw him, he’d punch his lights out. Leaving the police station he noticed someone sitting at a coffee bar opposite the police station. It was a NeoVictorian gentlement that Constantine recognised easily,Jeremiah Belforet. The man noticed Constantine standing outside the police station and he raised his coffee cup in mock salute, smiling slyly.
GM’s Commentary 🙂
Three comments this week. Firstly, I really need to look at the combat rules. I’m pretty sure everyone’s meant to declare their intentions, then everyone acts. I’ve gotten to use to combat systems where its declare-act-resolve all in one go. This seems to result in my poor NPCs getting completely smeared into paste when 4 members of the crew gang up on an NPC that’s already acted. As what happened this session with the smuggler captain.
Secondly, I didn’t realise how young the Emperor is supposed to be. I was assuming he was somewhere in his 20s, 30s, 40s, you know, an adult. So I figured that the painting that Constantine bought was controversial enough. Then, a couple of hours before the next session (I’m actually a week behind in writing these) one of my player’s mentioned in passing that the Emperor was 13. It’s apparently mentioned in one of the songs so I googled the lyrics and lo and behold, the Emperor’s a kid. This is a pretty significant background point that really should have been mentioned somewhere in the book. Another player mentioned that this RPG is aimed at fans of the Abney Park so they already know about the Emperor’s age. But more than half of my player’s haven’t heard of Abney Park before and are only playing due to the magic keywords of “steampunk” and “airpirates”. Hell, a couple of us don’t even like Abney Park’s musical style (not saying its bad, just not to our tastes). Still the upside to this is that it gives me the perfect reason to include dinosaurs now. After all, a thirteen-year-old Emperor might just thing that pterosaurs are “cool” and demand his scientists make some. 🙂 I’m totally not wanting to have flying dinosaurs attack the crew at some point. Honest.
Finally, an apology to Xanatos’ player. I had expected the fight against the Condor to go on for most of the session. But the player’s this week were unusually focused and competent 🙂 so I was stuck making stuff up as I went towards the end. This resulted in Xanatos getting arrested which had the unforeseen consequence of effectively side-lining the character for next week. Thankfully, the player was a good sport about it was okay with playing an NPC for the next session (William).
Next time Trouble in Helium City, Part 2