Character creation session went well. Five players in total and a pretty interesting mix of characters forming the core of the Nimbus’ crew.
We’ve got a cross-dressing Captain (Constantine Sirocco) who rules more through force of personality than force of arms. Somehow he’s managed to piss off a NeoVictorian by the name of Jeremiah Belforet. Don’t know how yet, the player left the whys and whens up to me. Constantine’s younger brother, Xanatos, is the Chief Engineer. With his short temper, I dread to think how long the Nimbus’ poor engine will last under his “tender care.” But the kid is a genius mechanic so he should be able to hammer the dents out. These two PCs already seem to have a catchphrase, “I’ll tell mom!” which I suspect is going to be used to drive each other insane. Following on in the grand tradition of Leela of Futurama fame, our one-eyed Chief Helmsman, Zeke, has decided that depth-perception is for chumps. A born skysailor (or skypirate in less polite company), Zeke’s probably got more experience working on airship’s than the rest of the (PC) crew put together. The Nimbus’ Gunnery Sergeant is Jamie Torrent, a crack shot femme fatale with her own stalker. And last, but by no means least, the Nimbus has probably the only medically trained automaton in existence. Quite how Jonathan Neuffe, an Automaton Autocrat, came to be so well trained/programmed in the medical sciences is a mystery. And like all mysteries, he ‘aint telling. As well as being a doctor, he throws a damn fine right hook. There’ll be no messing about in his sick bay.
Character creation went smoothly enough seeing as we only had one copy of the book. In hindsight, I could have done with printing off more than just two copies of the Character Creation Cheat Sheet. I was pleasantly surprised to find that everyone had actually read the campaign blurb on the sign-up sheet. Normally, getting players to read anything about what sort of characters are and aren’t appropriate for a specific game is a chore so it was a nice change. By the time we got to sorting out Airship Skills, all the various skills were already covered by one person or another in the party so people were free to chose what they wanted; either enhancing a skill they already had or gaining a new skill to act as backup to another character.
Sorting out the schtick was relatively painless. After pointing out that bordello was disallowed (mainly due to the character’s ages) the player’s ran down the list quickly. After a brief discussion, they settled on Mercenaries. Not exactly the most unique choice, but a serviceable one. And to be honest, pretty close to how most “adventurer groups” could be described. I do sense trouble ahead, simply by the number of eyes that lit up when they saw Demolitions on the schtick’s skill list. 🙂
Finally we got to Airship Creation. When given the choice of using a tweaked version of the pre-statted ship in the book or customising their own stock Tigerfish, they immediately jumped on building their own. Zeke’s player took charge at this point, assembling a list of features and weapons grouped into either “neccessary” or “optional”. There was some back and forth, but they eventually settled on a design. The Nimbus is not as heavily armed as the Cordelia having two less cannons, and it only has one grappling hook launcher. It does however have a bow mounted Lighting Gun and extra armour plating. Being a Mercenary ship, they didn’t need to take any special features for their schtick, with the possible exception of a Sick Bay and Weapons Locker. They did pick up a Solid Rocket Booster for those quick bursts of speed during chases. Surprisingly however, they chose not to purchase any cabins so all the crew sleep in hammocks on the gundeck. No fancy cabin for the captain either (to the disappointment of his player). They still have 10ARPs of space which I believe they’re holding on to for any upgrades or additional features they discover they may need once play begins.
There was no time to go through the rules of the game with anyone, and no time to into any great detail about the setting, other then reiterating the campaign setup. There should be time for that in the actual first session.
Next time, The Tribulations of Scabby Jack
Just started running a new game on Tuesdays, Airship Pirates. The game is based on the music of Abney Park (although I have to be honest that it’s not to my tastes).
It’s 2150. The Earth’s recovering from the Great Apocalypse of 1906.
From the steampunk sky-cities of Isla Aether and High Tortguga come the airship pirates. You hoist the Jolly Roger, spin your propellers and take to the skies. Yours is a life of adventure, plunder and infamy.
The American wilderness lies below. Beast-haunted wastelands are criss-crossed by the tracks of freedom-loving Neobedouins. Armoured railroads connect the Emperor’s widely scattered domains.
In the walled, fog-shrouded cities, people huddle in forced Victorian squalor, lorded over by the upper classes. The Emperor’s clockwork policemen patrol the streets and the ultimate threat of the Change Cage hangs over those who would rebel. Rising from the dockyards, the frigates of the Imperial Air Navy patrol the clouds, hunting pirates and threatening the sky cities.
The game is based on an idea presented in the core rulebook. More information can be found on the website I’ve set up for the game.
It is a tradition at Devil’s Tower, Wyoming, that every youth spend two years fending for themselves in the wilderness beyond the community before they are considered adults. Each year, the latest crop of hopefuls are given a wad of cash, command of an airship of their very own and told not to return for another two summers.
A ship, a crew barely ready for shaving and a hold full of rum. What could possibly go wrong?
This is a character I’m planning on playing in a 4th Edition Eberron game. He’ll be a 3rd Level Shifter, either Fighter or Monk class.
Born into a small tribe of shifters in the Eldeen Reaches, Kam spent his early childhood in a village deep within the forests. As the Last War raged elsewhere in Khorvaire, the Black Talon Tribe was mostly untouched by the war. Kam filled his days with fishing, playing with his friends and exploring the woods around the village. Kam was an only child and was very close to his parents. His father, the village chief was very protective of his son.
Towards the end of the war, the fighting began to move towards the borders of the Reaches. The village’s warriors left to join the other villages in order to repel the invaders. They believed that their village was safe, far from the frontlines. They were wrong. While the village was left relatively unguarded, raiders snuck over the border and attacked. Most of the women and children were able to escape, but Kam and his mother were not so lucky. As Kam hid, he watched as the raiders butchered those that hadn’t been able to escape. Then they reached his hut. From his hiding place, he saw one of the raiders kill his mother. Enraged, he leapt out of hiding and attacked the man, killing him. Before he could do anything more, another raider struck him on the side of the head knocking him unconscious. The leader of the raiders stopped his men from killing Kam, recognising the boy’s natural fighting ability was worth more than a few coin. He took the boy prisoner and left with the spoils of their raid. That was the last time Kam saw his home.
Kam was sold to a particularly cruel master. He beat and tortured the boy, chaining him up like an animal and forcing him into caged fights withmonsters and other slaves. After one particularly gruelling battle which Kam lost, his master lost a lot of money and ordered the boy whipped as punishment. However, tired of hearing Kam screaming for mercy, he strode into the boy’s cell, grabbed the boy’s tongue and cut it out, yelling at the boy that “speech is for people, not beasts like you!” Afterwards, Kam’s mind retreated deep within itself, unable to cope any longer with the abuses. The primal part of him, the part that is within all Shifter’s, took over and in order to survive, he became little more than an animal.
The years passed slowly for Kam who rapidly moved up the pit-fighting circle as his combat skills improved. Eventually, he was traded to an organised crime syndicate from Sharn in order to pay off a debt. Slavery and deathmatches of the type that Kam was forced to fight in were illegal in Sharn, but very lucrative. Thousands of gold pieces could be on every fight, and a fighter like Kam was worth a lot of money. Now fourteen, the boy began to be used as a deterrent by the syndicate. “Pay your debts or we’ll put you in the cage with the kid and let him go wild.” The bloodlust of the crowd was insatiable and the desire for blood and ever more violent battles drove the syndicate to abduct citizens from Sharn’s lower levels. This was what led a small band ofadventurers to the syndicate’s door. They had been investigating the disappearance of one of their comrades who had vanished while visiting the lower levels. They followed the trail to the arena but they found that their friend had already died in the pit, killed by a young Shifter slave, Kam. Luckily, one of the adventurers managed to convince her comrades not to take their revenge on the boy, but on the slave masters and owners of the pit. They freed the slaves and shut down the pit for good.
After being freed with the rest of the slaves, Kam’s future was uncertain. Traumatised by the years spent fighting in the pit, he was feral and barely able to communicate with anyone. He couldn’t remember anything about his past or where he had come from; nor could he remember his own name. “Kam” was the name given to him by one of the adventurers. Luckily, his rescuers took pity on the boy and allowed him to “tag along,” if only to keep him out of trouble. Over the next few months, Kam slowly recovered as his new companions learned to communicate with him through sign language. Everything was new to him, and he was often left wide-eyed with wonder when taken to a new place. Kam’s fighting abilities proved useful to the party, even if his newfound personality disappeared during combat, being replaced by his old animal self. A savage and uncontrolled fighter, he preferred to fight unarmed or with the aid of spiked gauntlets, a weapon that seemed particularly well suited to his unorthodox fighting “style.” Still, mentally he was on the mend. Kam is loyal to a fault to his new friends, showing them the same kind of devotion that a loyal dog might show to his master. He still has a lot to learn about how to behave in public, often acting shy or defensive around strangers. If anyone threatens him or his friends, his gentle nature is quick to disappear, and he once again becomes a savage attack dog.