Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Frozen Skies Ideas April 2017

As playtests take place and I check through what I've written for Frozen Skies I've discovered that theres been bits I've missed by accident or stuff that I could add. So this week is a couple of items that could be useful for characters in Frozen Skies even if they have specific uses. Where possible I've tried to use existing rules for Savage Worlds, but where I haven't been able to find anything suitable I've had to come up with my own experimental rules.

(The FatBoy Slim album reference below will make sense, honest gov'nor!)

Better Living Through The Chemistry

Millfields Mines - Fable 3
Peppermint Bomb

The Peppermint Bomb has been around for quite, created for use against Wulvers and originally required a fuse to be lit before throwing. Thankfully the design has been improved to use a fuse from a hand grenade, but it still functions the same as its always done.

It works just like a hand grenade in that can be thrown, though it can be used as part of a trap. When it explodes it produces a Small Burst Template that remains in play for 2d6 rounds. Any Wulver caught within the Template or enters it immediately ends their movement and makes a Spirit roll at -4, a failed roll means they're Shaken. Whilst they remain in the template all Spirit rolls are at -4 and they must make a Spirit roll to avoid being Shaken, though if it makes them become Shaken they do not suffer any wounds if they are already Shaken. If the bomb lands directly on a Wulver then the templates moves with the Wulver until it expires.

Range: 3/6/12

Wulf Bait

Wulf Bait was designed to lure Wulvers to a certain spot, but it also works on wolves and other canines. When used place a Large Burst Templete which lasts for 2d6 rounds. When within 6 inches of the template Wulvers (and canines) must make a Spirit roll at -4 at the beginning of their turn, failure means that they must move into the area covered by the template. On successive turns until the template expires Wulvers have to make a Spirit roll at -4 to try and avoid the effects of the template.

Regardless of whether they're affected by the templete or not Wulvers suffer -2 to scent based Tracking rolls whilst within 6" of the template.

Like the Peppermint Bomb it can be thrown or placed.

Range: 3/6/12

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Alyeskan Tales: Things Never Go Smooth

The last real big piece of writing left to do for Frozen Skies is the adventures section, I'm mulling putting in Firewater & Ice in addition to Fool's Errand. But I still need some more adventures and an adventure generator. This week I'm looking to partially address the former.

Things Never Go Smooth

"It never goes smooth! How come it never goes smooth?" - Mal - Firefly
Ferret approaches the group with a simple job offer; he wants some goods collected from a small town in the Alyeskan Outlands. When they arrive in the town they're meant to meet up with a contact of Ferret who'll hand over the goods.

However, there are one or two compilcations.

You can choose any of the following options or draw a card from the Action Deck to determine the type of complication, then roll a die for the specific problem. Drawing an Ace means you roll on BOTH tables.

BLACK - Problem lies with Ferret's contact.
Roll 1d6
1. He's in prison.
2. He's dead.
3. He's the 'guest of honor' at a big town dinner (i.e. cannibals).
4. He's in trouble with a rival gang.
5. He's skipped town.
6. He's incapacitated.

RED - Problem with the goods.
Roll 1d6
1. They've been lost (i.e. plane crash).
2. The authorities have them.
3. A rival gang has them.
4. They're locked up where Ferret's man can't get to them (i.e. warehouse or the cellar of a tavern).
5. They're in a cave outside of town 'guarded' by some animals (i.e. bears, wolves, etc).
6. Ferret's man has sold them on/got the wrong items.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

April 2017 Update

We've over quarter of the way into a year that seems to be rapidly galloping by as various things start coming together and begin to bear fruit. Certainly feeling that I'm hell of alot closer to finally getting Frozen Skies released to the point where I'm partially-excited/partially-scared by the prospect. Also being a new month and all figured its high time for an update post.

State of the Press

Estimate the writing on Frozen Skies to at least be 90% done; still got the adventures section to complete, add in extra content in places, check through to make sure everything's correct and tweaks on things such as Bestiary stats or Gear prices. Currently exploring my options for proofreading/editing and if everything goes to plan I *should* hopefully have Frozen Skies sent off for layout at the beginning of May. After that it hoping the timings are good to make sure that I get copies ready to sell at the UK Games Expo at the beginning of June, may be a close run thing.

Other than that the main artwork is done, just having another artist do some character portraits to finish off. Though I am still looking for somebody to do a Wild Card Symbol.

In closing, a little treat in the form of some artwork.

Female Windryder/Genchi
Garian Hist WIP

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Vehicle Combat: Sword vs Tank

After revising the Cloudhaunts recently, one thing I noticed is that there doesn't seem to be much regarding vehicles and melee combat. This is fairly important since Cloudhaunts attack vehicles (aircraft in this case) and only have their claws to attack with. Obviously a means of handling this needed to be thought of, something that sparked off one or two other ideas.

Vehicle Combat: Sword vs Tank

Crimson Skies - Preview Comic
 As stated previously Cloudhaunts attack aircraft, normally en mass to in order to force it to crash via sheer weight of numbers. Since a vehicle technically doesn't have a Parry I've had to go with something else, ended up going with the pilot's Piloting skill -2 as the TN for Cloudhaunts to get in order to attack an aircraft.

Then I got thinking about how the aircraft's pilot would be effected, critters clinging to and clawing at his aircraft is going to cause problems. Did think of going with a flat -2 penatly for Piloting rolls, but figured that something based off the Ganging Up rule would probably work better. So the pilot will get a -1 penatly to his Piloting roll for every creature attacking his plane, though to a max of -4. This makes Cloudhaunts that little bit more of a threat whilst at the some time make for a more dramatic game as the players try to shake them off their aircraft to reduce the penatly.Course some of this would be useful for dealing with Skyjackers trying to board the aircraft, least the penatly and the following maneuver;

Shake (-1 to -4): The pilot can try jinking his aircraft in order to shake loose whatever is clinging onto their aircraft. A success and each raise will throw off one of the clingers, perhaps even reducing the pilot's penatly if enough of them are thrown off. The modifier depends on how many creatures are clinging onto the aircraft. If the roll is failed, the pilot goes out of control as usual.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Cloudhaunts Revisited

Almost a year ago I posted about a creature called a Cloudhaunt, recently looked over it again decided some changes are warranted. Some of its special abilities have been changed and I've changed its description since I wasn't happy with what I had. Hopefully it means a much better creature for games of Frozen Skies.

An Aviator's Nightmare

Winged Rat - Mutant Epoch RPG


Still going with the idea that Cloudhaunts are typically found in packs and attack aircraft en mass, latching onto said aircraft and proceeding to rip it apart. Another tactic that they employ is lurk inside clouds, thus justifying their name, and then ambush unsuspecting aircraft.

Apperance wise now going with a scrawny, attenuated rat-like thing with two metre wide ragged wings and a whip-thin four metre long tail.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6(A), Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d12, Stealth d10
Pace: 0; Parry: 5; Toughness:5
Special Abilities
*Bite/Claws: Str+d6
*Whip-Tail: Str+d4
*Flying: Pace 8, Climb -2
*Aircraft Attacker: When attacking aircraft the TN for Cloudhaunts to hit is the pilot's Piloting skill -2. Cloudhaunts are considered to have the Steady Hands Edge for this attack.
*Cloud Stalker: Gains +2 to Stealth rolls whilst inside a cloud.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Regal-class Skyship

Talked a fair bit about Skyships, but haven't really said much beyond how they work. Thus far I've posted about the Bayleaf freighter and the B-class frigate, this week I'll be posting another Skyship in the form of the Regal-class light cruiser (which has been mentioned previously).

Regal-class Light Cruiser

CAS Viceroy on a rare visit to the Alyeskan skies.


The Regal-class was commissioned roughly halfway through the Great Darmonican War, designed as the Commonwealth's answer to enemy commerce raiders and incorporating technological advances made earlier in the conflict. One of the features the class was notable for was the use of oil-fired engines rather than coal-fired ones, making them one of the first Commonwealth Skyships to do so. The lead ship of the class, CAS Regal, was the first to begin construction but suffered damage during an enemy raid that delayed her launching and allowed her sister ship CAS Viceroy to be launched first.

For much of their wartime career, the Regal-class Skyships were employed on extended patrols over the waters of the Commonwealth's Home Isles. Though they were also used as convoy escorts and occasionally raids on enemy targets, CAS Sovereign was lost in a raid upon a Sodkan Lift Gas refinery. Probably the most noteworthy action of the Regal-class was the Second Battle of Lindun when the Skyships Archduke, Marquis, Regal, Regent, Viceroy and Viscount directly engaged enemy bomber streams by firing flak from their main guns.

Post-War they have continued their patrol duties, this time against sky pirates who lack the means to take on a Skyship.

Following stats based upon Weird Wars.

Acc/Top Speed: 3/12; Toughness: 50 (20); Crew: 570
Notes: Heavy Armour; scout planes(1), catapult launched.
Weapons: 8 x 6" guns in 4 turrets.
AA Rating: 2d6 (18 x 40mm in 5 open mounts, 2 x 20mm in 2 open mounts, 12 .50 cal MG).

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Got Gear?

Work progresses on Frozen Skies and the various sections get completed in turn. Some are virtually complete save for editing and proofreading, others require a little bit of work to bring them up to scratch. The gear & goods segment falls in the latter section and is our topic for this week.

Currency


The main currency in Frozen Skies is the Commonwealth Pound (ease the pound symbol '£' will be used), at present the currency looks like what is listed below;



*Penny:- 1 copper
*Tenpence:- 10 copper
*Quarter-pound:- 25 copper
*Half-pound:- 50 copper
*Pound:- 1 silver
*Half-crown:- 5 silver
*Crown:- 1 gold

Basically works out as a penny being £0.01 and a Crown being £10, the rest should be easy enough to figure out. Its likely this may get revised, probably with the coinage above a Pound being retcon to being paper money. 

Got a little bit of work to do regarding prices for various items, part of this has involved researching 1930s exchange rates. Ended up coming up with the following exchange rates for people wishing to convert Savage Worlds or even Deadlands Noir dollars to Frozen Skies pounds.

SW; £1=$50
DLN; £1=$5

Gear & Goods

Currently I stated starting funds to be £250, though this may end up being changed to better reflect prices. Regardless heres updated list of goods with actual prices, though these may get revised.


Common Gear

Clothing

Boots £1
Dress, simple £1
Flight jacket £3
Gloves £0.20
Hat £0.60
Overcoat £3
Pants £0.50
Shirt £0.50
Shoes £0.40

Equipment

Battery £0.01
Binoculars £5
Camera £1-£17+
Crowbar £0.20
Doctor's Bag £4
Film roll, camera £0.04
Flashlight £0.20
Handcuffs £0.40
Lamp, oil (1 pint) £0.04
Lighter £0.20
Lockpicks £10
Radio, vacuum tube £6
Tire, truck £0.80
Tools, repair kit £2
Wristwatch £1-£5

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Skykin

Some time ago I mentioned there was an off-shoot of the Genchi called the Skykin, who still still feel the lure of the skies as felt by their Windryder cousins. This week we'll take a closer look at them, see how they live and how they would interact with player characters. In addition, there are one or two suggestions for playing a Skykin character.

The Skykin 
Airship - aninael

As stated previously the Skykin are an off-shoot of the Genchi, though there are very few if any differences between them. Skykin share the same physical appearance as their Genchi brethren (and Windryder cousins), though the Skykin are probably the most overt about it. They retain the kindred traditions as well, though thats where most similarities end. The Skykin have developed into a nomadic culture that roams through the skies on airships, typically an aerial convoy of Skykin airships carries an entire kindred.

Regarded as the gypsies of the skies, the Skykin are forever moving and never staying in one place for any length of time. It is know that they get by either through bartering or plying their skills as stunt flyers, though some say that there is a marked increase in petty theft when Skykin are in town. Some Skykin have been known to get work as pilots, a surprising number have even joined the military to fly but admittedly only on short short enlistments. Though a handful of Skykin aces are know to have existed during the Great Darmonican War, however these flyers are usually part of a specially raised Skykin unit. Skykin flyers more commonly fly with independent outfits, some have been known to fly with air pirates.

Player characters are most likely to encounter Skykin in the form of one of their air convoys, typically a handful of zeppelin style airships protected by a motley collection of ramshackle fighters. Skykin aren't exactly in the best state of repair, some employ sail power or are towed by other airships when their engines finally give out. Alot of Skykin airships have been modified in some way with no uniform pattern, leading them to be referred to as 'junkers'. The Skykin do occasionally carry passengers, though it has to be worth their while. Skykin will never go out of their way to attack somebody, they prefer to flee than fight and so are unlikely to engage in combat with player characters. That said they still defend their homes if attacked, though a lone Skykin may be encountered with a group of air pirates.

Mechanics wise Skykin are the same as their Genchi brethren, save they take a d6 in Pilot rather than Repair. They share the Genchi and Windryder mistrust of others, plus they also mistrust authority but as said above some have joined the military.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

March 2017 Update

First post in March and little bit of a short one.

Really a quick look at how things are shaping up regarding Frozen Skies and plans, such as conventions, for the rest of this year. In addition I'll be doing a follow-on to last week's post in relation to feedback received.


Frozen Skies

Estimate the writing is about 90% done, mainly involves finishing off some sections as well as some spit and polish. Give people the mostly complete bits to look at and have received a generally positive response as well as some excellent feedback. A HUGE thank you to all those who offered their services in this regard.

Got a couple of pieces of artwork currently in progress, once they're done it'll be a case of seeing whether they're enough. Having the Skyship picture redone as I'm not entirely happy with how the previous one turned out. Also I need to see about getting a map done to go in the final book.

Conventions

Thus far this year only the UK Games Expo in Birmingham (UK) has been booked, though looking at doing NORCON in Norwich (UK) again. When I last went to UKGE in 2015 I ran a Frozen Skies game, though haven't made up my mind whether I wish to run anything this year. But I am hoping to have the book ready in time.

Ideas Feedback

Had some great suggestions on improving some of the Edges and Hindrances that I post last week, the updated ones can be found below.

Bad Reputation (Minor/Major)

One way or another, either by not completing jobs or simply selling off the cargo, you've earnt yourself a poor reputation as being unreliable. When making a Charisma based roll you get a -2 penalty, as Major this increases to a -4 penalty. In addition you get no upfront payment as a Minor Hindrance and 25% less reward money as a Major.

Cannot be taken with Good Reputation.

Good Reputation

Requirements: Seasoned
The opposite of Bad Reputation, you've got a rep for being reliable and honest when it comes to getting jobs done. You gain a +2 bonus when doing a Charisma based roll. In addition you get 25% extra reward money.

Cannot be taken with Bad Reputation.

Excellent Reputation

Requirements: Veteran, Good Reputation
As above but with a +4 bonus and 25% extra on the upfront payment for a job.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Frozen Skies Ideas Feb 2017

As work progresses on trying to get Frozen Skies finished and released this year ideas crop up for new content and options. The fluff side of things is mostly nailed down save for a bit of polish here and there. On the other hand a bit of work is still required on the mechanics, primarily character creation options. So this week I'm presenting some Edges and Hindrances for feedback.


Hindraces

Bad Reputation (Minor/Major)

One way or another, either by not completing jobs or simply selling off the cargo, you've earnt yourself a poor reputation as being unreliable. When making a Streetwise roll to find a job you get a -1 penalty, as Major this increases to a -2 penalty.

Cannot be taken with Good Reputation.

Wulftouched (Major)

Whilst you were still in the womb you were infected when a Wulver bit your mother, though it didn't seem to have any effect growing up though you gained a reputation for being bit of a wild child. As an adult you find it difficult to control your anger, something that has caused no end of trouble.

At the GM's call during a situation involving extreme stress make a Spirit roll and make a note of the result. Should you fail three such rolls in a row your character loses control as the infection takes over and you transform into a Wulver. The process takes 1d6+1 rounds after which your character will attack friend and foe alike.

Edges

Good Reputation

Requirements: Seasoned
The opposite of Bad Reputation, you've got a rep for being reliable and honest when it comes to getting jobs done. You gain a +1 bonus when doing a Streetwise roll for jobs.

Cannot be taken with Bad Reputation.

Excellent Reputation

Requirements: Veteran, Good Reputation
As above but with a +2 bonus.

Scentless (Weird)

Requirements: Novice
For reasons unknown Wulvers have a hard time trying to track you. When trying to detect you, Wulvers must roll Notice at -4 in order to do so.