Monday, 2 December 2019

New Aircraft: Iolar Light Bomber

Another new aircraft, though this week I set myself bit of a challenge to recreate the de Havilland Mosquito or get as close as possible. Though its ended up being a slightly faster version of the Argentine I.Ae.24 Calquin Light Bomber, apparently an aircraft patterned after and is a 'look-alike' for the Mosquito.

I.Ae.24 Calquin

The Iolar 'Eagle' Light Bomber

The Iolar, or 'Eagle', Light Bomber came about as part of a Royal Aero-Fleet requirement for a fast, light bomber to conduct strike raids against enemy targets. It has a speed to match most fighters and decent armaments, though it has a pitiful payload by bomber standards. As a result the Eagle tends to be used for pinpoint strike missions in flights of at least four to six aircraft.

There is a degree of discontentment amongst the Air Ministry over the future of the aircraft; it entered service just over a decade or so before the Great Darmonican War and thus is still seen as an 'untried' aircraft despite its 20 years of service. There are those who thus consider it to be a worthless aircraft and are trying to have it scrapped without a replacement, though there are others who are championing the aircraft and are pushing for a more modern version.

Top Speed: 300 MPH; Toughness: 14 (2); Crew: 2; Climb: 15; Handling: -1; Size: 8 (Large)
Weapons: 4x Linked .50-cal Heavy MGs (Fixed Front)
1x pair of rockets, or
Bombs (8x Small or, 4x Medium or, 2x Large)

Monday, 25 November 2019

Keep The Home Fires Burning: Mortuary Troubles

This week we dip back into Keep The Home Fires Burning, a setting that we've only infrequently looked at. Trying my hand at an adventure in the KTHFB setting, something thats been kicking around in my head for a while. The basis overview is that the characters have been sent to a hospital where corpses have been stolen from the hospital's morgue, though the truth behind the thief is more horrible than the characters realise.


A Grave Matter

The characters are tasked by their superiors at the Home Office to investigate a spite of thievery of bodies from the Albion Hospital on Burke Street in London's East End. The Metropolitan Police has had little luck in solving the case and the authorities, fearing dark means being involved, dispatch the characters to try and get to the bottom of things.

At the hospital the morgue attendant, a teenage lad by the name of Robert O'Hare who'd lucked on being conscripted by turning 18 as the war ended. O'Hare appears to be nervous round the characters, he'll claim his anxiety is due to fear of losing his job and that his family had originally come from Dublin. His uncle is a respected surgeon at the hospital and had gotten Robert the position of morgue attendant in hopes of giving the lad some practical experience and encouragement to enter medical school. Robert is also the one who raised the alarm about the missing bodies, something which is confirmed by the police report.

The hospital is short staffed due to a mixture of wartime conscription and the flu epidemic causing the hospital to loose staff. What staff remain are overworked dealing with flu victims, whilst O'Hare is the sole morgue attendant but has to help out the other staff. The police suspected that the bodies may have illegally be taken for use as cadavers, but thus far enquiries at medical schools in the London area failed to support this claim. Though the police remain suspicious of O'Hare.

When the characters investigate the morgue, they won't find much unless they look real closely. Either by spotting wheel marks on the floor (possibly via a raise on a Notice roll) or exploring the rest of the basement area in which the morgue is located, the characters will find morgue trolleys being left in another part of the basement. O'Hare, if questioned, will state that these trolleys are broken and he'd put them there until they could be fixed or replaced. Investigating further will reveal no report has been made about these trolleys being broken and there doesn't seem to be an actual fault with any of them.

Searching the room with the trolleys will reveal some curious marks on the floor leading to a false floor covering a hole leading down to an unlit tunnel. The tunnel appears to be very old, perhaps medieval or even Roman in origin. The tunnel is also partially collapsed and cramped, barely big enough for a single person to crawl along. After a few hundred feet the tunnel opens up into a large cavern, here an overpowering rotten smell greets the characters. As they quickly discover, the cavern is home to a warren of ghouls along with what remains of the bodies they took from the morgue.

The ghouls had been stealing from the morgue for some time, though they were caught in the act by O'Hare one night. The lad, scared out of his wits by the encounter, pleaded for his life and managed to strike a deal where he would leave bodies by the false floor where the ghouls could get to them without fear of getting caught. Somebody higher up got suspicious when bodies started going unaccounted for, something O'Hare pass off as a simple matter of thievery but he is now scared of being found out.

Adventure Rules

Refer to the Setting Rules for KTHFB, count the morgue and basement area of the hospital as being Infection Rating 4. The characters' Immunity bonus (+1 per Rank) and a Germ Mask (+2) will help off-set the worse of the penalty on the Contraction Roll.

Weapons wise, it is suggested that the characters have access to pistols, revolvers and small melee weapons suitable for the period. Weird War One is highly recommended for weapon stats.

No full stats for O'Hare, though he's considered to have d6 for Attributes and Core Skills.

A Fear Check at -1 will be needed when the characters encounter the ghouls, likewise there will be 1d4+1 ghouls per character.

Ghoul

Ghouls are vile scavengers, feasting off carrion and unfortunate victims who cross their path.
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d8, Fighting d6, Intimidation d8, Notice d8, Survival d8, Stealth d10
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 8
Special Abilities
• Claws: Str+d4.
• Infravision: Ghouls halve penalties (round down) for bad lighting when attacking living targets.
• Keen Senses (Smell): Ghouls get +2 to Notice and Tracking rolls against living targets.
• Paralysis: Victims of a ghoul's claw attacks must make a Vigor roll at -2 or be paralyzed for 1d6 rounds.
• Undead: +2 Toughness; +2 to recover from being Shaken; No additional damage from called shots; Immune to disease and poison.

Thanks to Richard Woolcock for the Ghoul stats.

Monday, 18 November 2019

The Airman's Gazetteer: Colony of Orduesh

Little bit of a chance of pace, a return to the Airman's Gazetteer series to expand the world of Darmonica. This week is a look at something that has been mentioned previously; the Commonwealth Colony of Orduesh. This desert outpost is surrounded by hostile lands and border skirmishes are a way of life, yet the Commonwealth still holds onto it.

Source: RAF Museum

Desert Days

The Colony of Orduesh is centered round the city of the same name, originally part of the Holy Sodkan Empire but later acquired via treaty by the Commonwealth following a past conflict. It lies at the eastern end of the Mammut Sea, the Commonwealth's only port on that body of water. With the sea to the west, it is bordered on its three other sides by the desolute deserts of the Sultanate of Taramate has grown increasingly hostile to the Commonwealth in recent years.

So why does the Commonwealth maintains this outpost?

The answer is complex.

First and foremost is that Orduesh is a major source of Aerothium for the Commonwealth, providing lift gas for the aero-vessels of the Royal Aero-Fleet and Commonwealth aligned trade consortiums. There are a number of mines were the raw mineral is extracted before being shipped to the refinery in Orduesh City and processed into its gas form. Since it is of such a great strategic importance, elements of the Commonwealth's military guard both related facilities and shipments.

Orduesh is also strategically located, not only on the eastern end of the Mammut Sea but also for its proximity to the Union of Sodkan Republics. This enables the Commonwealth to better maintain relations and even trade with the Republics, in addition to providing a route for Commonwealth agents to get in and out of the Iron Collective. Though it does make the colony vulnerable to sky pirates operating out of the Republics.

Use In Games

Orduesh could provide an interesting alternative to Alyeska, there are more major factions at play and their respective interests clash with one another. There is conflict between the Commonwealth and Taramate, as well as occasional clashes with the Republics and sky pirates. There is also the chance of doing dangerous, but highly profitable, smuggling runs into both the Sultanate and the Iron Collective. Orduesh could also serve as the base for a campaign revolving round Commonwealth operatives taking action against the Collective or getting involved in the politics of the Republics.

Monday, 11 November 2019

New Aircraft: The Raven Fighter

Another week where I've found myself short on time to do a longer post, so instead its another new aircraft. This is suppose to be on the other end of the scale to the Trodaí Fighter that got featured last week, a new design in the setting that hasn't even reached the production stage. Hopefully it represents a more radical design that fits firmly in the Dieselpunk theme.

Source: Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces

The Raven


With the end of the Great Darmonican War there were many who saw an opportunity to try out radical new designs over tried and tested ones, though many of these valiant attempts were shot down with the drastically reduced post-war budgets available. The Raven was destined to suffer a similar fate, at least until the appointment of a certain Cathal Mulcahy to a senior position within the Air Ministry. Clan Mucahy had a controlling interest in the company developing the Raven, namely Whytemoor Aero-Engineering, and with one of their scions in the right position they were able to thus influence the Commonwealth's aircraft development and acquisition programmes.

Now suddenly made a priority and benefiting from increased funding, the Raven has reached the prototype stage with a number of models built for flight testing by the Aero-Fleet. Though the Commonwealth hasn't publicized its latest fighter design, others have most certainly gotten wind of it and have tried to get their hands on it. There are rumours of at least one model being stolen whilst in transit.

The Raven is a pusher-prop design with a pair of nose mounted 30mm autocannons. It packs a higher punch than the Hornet and is faster than the Kestrel, something that Whytemoor Aero-Engineering hopes will see the Raven being adopted as the Commonwealth's main fighter.

Top Speed: 300 MPH; Toughness: 11 (2); Crew: 1; Climb: 20; Handling: +2; Size: 6 (Large)
Weapons: 2x Linked 30mm Autocannons (Fixed Front)

Monday, 4 November 2019

New Aircraft: The Trodaí Fighter

Bit of a short post and a minor treat this week, though little bit of a challenge for myself. So this week's post features a new aircraft, one that sits between the Hornet and Kestral in terms of capability. This is deliberately intended to be an 'inferior' aircraft, a design long since chucked onto the scrap heap and thus more likely to be found in the hands of sky pirates than the Commonwealth's frontline fighters.

Source: World of Warplanes - Bristol Type 133

The Trodaí 'Warrior' Fighter


The Trodaí, or Warrior, Fighter is a Commonwealth design that pre-dates the Great Darmonican War and has long since been withdrawn from service as newer and better designs were introduced. Many ended up in scrapyards where they were sold to, or stolen by, private groups such as merc outfits or sky pirates. The Warrior appeals to many a small outfit as it is a simpler design compared to modern fighters and it was built in large numbers, thus spare parts are still easy to come by.

Top Speed: 320 MPH; Toughness: 11 (2); Crew: 1; Climb: 15; Handling: +1; Size: 6 (Large)
Weapons: 4x Linked Medium MGs (Fixed Front)
Notes: Improved Gunsight

Monday, 28 October 2019

Frozen Skies Update

This week is an update on the current status of Frozen Skies and its update to SWADE. Been posting ideas about some changes to the setting, haven't haven't covered the mechanics side of things all that much. So taking the opportunity to bring everyone up to speed on how things currently sit.





Status Report


Progress has been a bit on the slow side; a combination of SWADE finally being released, stuff going on with family life and the dayjob means updating Frozen Skies has ended up sliding onto the backburner. Though writing blog posts has helped to get some ideas down, least I forget them. Presently I can only say that the SWADE version of Frozen Skies will be out some point next year.

Either way, here is the current version of the updates though these will still change; https://drive.google.com/file/d/1H3Hrg-YoFCNUOTmNwmuWy36gRyySpM4h/view?usp=sharing

On a related note here, the Frozen Skies Jumpstart for SWADE will be updated soon as changes were needed to update some stats to bring them in line with the release version of SWADE.

What Else?


So folk should, hopefully, be aware that I've been going over and revising aspects of the setting. Changes include updating some Edges in addition to removing others and adding new ones. The Wulftouched Hindrance has been completely overhauled and now functions similarly to the Harrowed in Deadlands, which should make it more interesting to take.

Another big change is going to be Weird Science, chiefly how Ancient Tech devices will work now. Somebody suggested to run them like Ultra Tech in the SciFi Companion; effectively a -2 penalty for minor devices and -4 for major ones along with completely redoing related Edges. It got me thinking whether to include some sort of card based system to determine what sort of Ancient device the players come across, like Spades for Weapons, Hearts for Protection and so forth. This should help GMs create Ancient devices on the fly and make things exciting with the random factor and chance.

Least thats a few ideas I have, but I'm welcome to suggestions.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Tyland Revisited

By now most folk should be aware that part of my efforts to get Frozen Skies updated to SWADE is going through and revisiting some of the lore of the world. This has included tightening things up a little or completely overhauling and revising others. This week is the turn of the Tyland Free State.




For Freedom And Past Glories!


On the whole, I'm pretty happy with Tyland's history and current situation. There is little I wish to change about a once proud nation that has fallen so low and suffers the humiliation of occupation by a foreign power. I'll delve deeper into Tylanish culture, though that is not the subject of this week's post.

There is a change that I do wish to make to the situation in Tyland, well technically two changes. The first of these is play up a civil war aspect with various factions vying for power with frequent skirmishes. The second change ties in alot with the first, make this civil war a proxy war between the Commonwealth and Artian Confederation as the two former wartime allies have different views concerning the future of Tyland.

Both powers covertly support different functions, usually to undermine the other and also the Provisional Government. Those in authority consider a war between the two nations quite likely, so they seek to influence and dominate what is effectively a buffer state. There are strategic implications that are taken into consideration, especially as the Free State would give the Artians air bases much closer to the Commonwealth's Home Isles from which to launch raids.

So where does this leave Player Characters?

Well they could get directly involved in things as agents working for either the Artians, the Commonwealth, the Free State or one of the militant groups. Heck, they could form their own group and fight for whatever cause they want in what could be an interesting mix of war and politics. The more nefarious could simply partake in activities of questionable legality by smuggling in supplies or even trying to sell arms to one or more of the militants. They could also exploit the chaos for their own ends in other ways by looting banks and mansions.

Hopefully this will all make the Tyland Free State more interesting and provide some fodder for games.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Darkwatch: Savage Threats

In which we returnth to the war-ruined city of Ravenscroft and brave its darkened streets with the men and women of the Darkwatch. This week we take a look at some of the threats and foes that the Darkwatch faces and the ways and means that the Darkwatch has come up with to counter said threats.

Source: Defoe - 2000AD


The Savage Dark


Reeks

One of the biggest left behind by the city's former occupiers is the Reeks, though also called 'stiffs', 'walking corpses' and the 'animated dead' (zombies by another name). They are a constant problem lurking in the ruins and tunnels of the city, a danger to the unwary and a tiresome foe for the Darkwatch.

The dark forces that previously held sway over the city weren't content with leaving a few dozen reeks to plague the city's new occupiers, they sent a step further and created a number of booby-traps using the reeks. The most favoured booby-trap tactic is devices dubbed 'Necro Bombs' which have been placed in graveyards or so-called 'reek pits'. These devices are either triggered by an array of conditions or are set to a timer, though they do detonate they unleash a wave of necromantic energy that resurrects the corpses in the immediate area and raise them as reeks.

So counter this, the Darkwatch sets up incendiary devices, called 'coffin mines', triggered by trip wires round a site suspected to contain a necro bomb. Usually a flare is rigged up, the intention is for the flare to alert local Darkwatch forces.

Shades

There is a big question over who or what the Shades are, but it is generally agreed that they serve as the assassins and infiltrators of the dark forces that only recently occupied Ravenscroft. They are able to move unseen from shadow to shadow, hence their name, and the first a person knows of their presence is the sharp edge of a dagger. They have been associated with unexplained deaths and mysterious 'accidents' that have plagued Ravenscroft's contribution to the continuing war effort.

To date, the only real effective of trying to combat the Shades is the use of guard hounds who can at least warn of a possible Shade in the area.

Remants

Left behind by the dark forces as their armies abandoned the city, the Remants are the dark forces foot soldiers who've taken to guerilla warfare to contest control of the city. They are split into cells who seemingly operate independently of one another, but appear to co-ordinate their efforts. They're reliant on supplies smuggled into the city, something that the Darkwatch has struggled to deal with, and raiding the new supply warehouses for the armies now being staged through the city.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Landships!

Little bit of a short post this week, working overtime at the day-job and thus I have less free time. This is an idea that I've had brewing for a while and a question on the Unofficial Savage Worlds Discord prompted me to finally post it. Hopefully this will give people more options and ideas for their Frozen Skies whilst expanding the availability of land vehicles.

Source - Keith Thompson

Iron Beasts


Landships are another weapon of war that found themselves being made surplus to requirements following the end of the Great Darmonican War. Many of the Landship fleets of the various nations were drastically reduced as armies adapted to peacetime budgets, so many machines being scrapped or sold off. Much like war surplus aircraft, many landships were snapped up by private ventures and merc outfits.

Alyeska's Wulver problem has proven to be a renaissance for landships far as the Commonwealth is concerned, their armoured hulls able to turn the claws of the fiercest Wulver. Ex-military landships have been in great demand, they're rugged and easier to maintain compared to aircraft. A few enterprising persons have looked at the possibly of constructing purpose-built civilian models.

Landship

Size: 9 (Huge)
Handling: -2
Top Speed (MPH): 25
Toughness: 24 (8)
Crew: 4 (2+10 if transport variant)
Notes: Heavy Armor, Tracked
Weapons: Varies; Any combination of turret-mounted cannon up to 76mm, Medium and Heavy machine guns on pintle mounts.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Rogue's Gallery: The Kenworth Street Runners

Oh hey, something else that hasn't been done in a while.

This week's post showcases potential allies or foes for the player characters when they've attracted the attention of the authorities. It is also a powerful group that's not to be trifled with, similar in some respects to the Agents and Rangers from Deadlands.


The Commonwealth's Long Arm


The Kenworth Street Runners are a detachment of the Garda's Special Branch, stationed in the Alyeskan capital of Morrdun. They are independent from Alyeska's Air Guard, something that sometimes puts the two groups at odds especially as the Runners rank above the lawmen of Alyeska. Another cause of disgruntlement from the Air Guard is that its own force of detectives are restricted to investigating crime, whereas the Runners deal with matters of national security and conducts investigations to protect the Commonwealth from perceived threats of subversion.

As Alyeska's own lawmen are considered a colonial force, the Runners can ride roughshod over the Air Guard's investigations if the Runners believe it would affect the interests of the Commonwealth. As the Runners are part of the Commonwealth Garda, they have the backing of the Home Isles and by extension are answerable to the Queen of the Commonwealth rather than the High Lord of Alyeska. Again, this helps strokes tensions.

On a normal day-to-day basis, the two forces keep their distance. The Runners only interfere with the Air Guard if a case crops up that concerns the national interests or the Air Guard arrests suspect who is on the Runners' watch list. The High Lord may request the Runners take over an Air Guard investigation, though the Runners aren't obliged to honour the request and will take on the case just to be polite.

Use In Games


As stated above, the Runners are meant to be used when the player characters attract the attention of the authorities. Generally this would be if the PCs get caught up in a spy ring, get their hands on a state secret somehow or get accused of treason. They're not a group to cross lightly and can cause a heap of trouble for the PCs. On the other hand, the Runners could be potent allies for the PCs if an opportunity arose with the influence alone that the Runners are able to bring to bear.

Kenworth Street Runner (Human, Detective)

Rank: Legendary (24 advancements)
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Athletics: d6, Common Knowledge: d6, Driving: d6, Fighting: d8, Intimidation: d6+2, Notice: d8+2, Persuasion: d6, Research: d8, Shooting: d10, Stealth: d8, Taunt: d6, Thievery: d6+1
Pace: 6, Parry: 7, Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Driven (minor), Ruthless (minor), Stubborn, Vow (minor)
Edges: Alertness, Block, Calculating, Charismatic, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Double Tap, Investigator, Killer Instinct, Level Headed, Marksman, Menacing, Rabble-Rouser, Scholar, Streetwise, Strong Willed, Thief
Weapons: Revolver (2d6+1, 12/24/48, RoF 1, AP 1, Shots 6)