Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Skyships: Rules of Engagement

Tis what all you fledging Skyship captains have been waiting for, rules for using Skyships in your games of Frozen Skies/Savage Worlds.

Use the Chase rules as found in the Savage Worlds Deluxe rulebook as normal, though use the Piloting skill as rolls concerning Skyships. Group crew rolls also work, each success and raise adding +1 to the captain's Piloting roll and a -2 penalty if they roll a 1.

Skyships also suffer damage like normal, though if they go Out of Control they do not suffer a Flip result (they suffer a Slip instead). On a Roll Over result the Skyship still performs a Slip but lists rather than roll over. Roll collision damage for everyone inside, those out on deck must make Agility rolls to avoid falling overboard unless they happen to be wearing a parachute.

Wrecked Skyships simply sink, typically at a rate of 6d6 minutes. It'll also drift 1d6" and the GM can roll 1d12 for direction. Characters can jump off a sinking Skyship long as they have a parachute.

Now, onto a sample Skyship...

B-Class Frigate

The B-Class frigates first saw service halfway through the Great Darmonican War as a replacement to the earlier A-Class that was in service at the beginning of the War. The B-Class were particularly good as raiders, typically operating in packs of three to provide mutual support to one another. If they managed to capture a prize one would take it under tow whilst the other two would act as escorts.

They have now steadily been replaced by the newer C- and D-Class frigates, as such many B-Class frigates have been assigned either to remote outposts or relegated to patrol duty.

Acc/TS: 3/10, Toughness: 13 (2), Crew: 10
Notes: Heavy Armour
Weapons: Deck Gun (Range 70/90/315; Damage 4d8; ROF 1 action to reload; Medium Burst Template; AP 25, Heavy Weapon), .50 cal machine gun (Range 50/100/200; Damage 2d10; ROF 3; AP 4, Auto, May not move, Heavy Weapon)

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Skyships of Alyeska

A sort of follow-on from a couple of weeks ago, this week we're taking a look at Skyships in Alyeska itself.

With Alyeska being a frontier land you can imagine that Skyships aren't exactly common here, there are few trade consortiums active in Alyeska mainly due to the storms that near-constantly wrack the Mhór Farraige (or Great Ocean) and the Continent's more local problems. The Skywrights Guild are presently the only ones to successfully and regularly operate a Skyship between Alyeska and the rest of Darmonica, thus providing the only reliable lifeline to the Continent. However many accusing the Guild of greed and hiding a secret route through the storms the Guild's Skyships do still suffer damage during the crossing, so at the moment the Guild crossing is only twice a week and their Skyships can regularly be seen docked for repairs. The Guild also owns and operates much of the facilities for handling Skyships in Alyeska, save for the one owned by the Commonwealth's military for its Skyship Squadron and one or two independents.

The Guild, in effect, has a monopoly.

This is due to the Guild keeping much of the knowledge of the technology behind Skyships a secret and the stranglehold they have on Liftorium or 'Lift Gas' as its known. Not only is Lift Gas needed in order to make the Skyships work, its effectiveness as a lifting agent gradually deceases each time it is charged and de-charged. It comes to a point where it ceases to work altogether after steadily requiring more and electricity in order to produce viable lift, ideally Lift Gas needs to be replaced before this point. The Guild has ensured that it is virtually the sole supplier of Lift Gas, chiefly by buying out the various mines and refineries needed for its production. There is a black market in Lift Gas, usually whats been siphoned from someplace and often of dubious quality.

At present there are only a handful of Skyships active in Alyeska, most of these are cargo ones operated by the Guild on behalf of the Aerial Corps. There are one or two operated by pirates or independents, though these aren't seen that often due to the resources required to keep these Skyships in the air. Finally there are the three frigates operated by the Commonwealth military named, Battleaxe, Brilliant and Broadsword respectfully. These Skyships form the Alyeskan Skyship Squadron and one can be seen on any of the following duties at any one time such as patrolling the Wulflands, patrolling the Alyeskan coastline and on station over Gravenberg.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

State of the Press September 2015

Been a while since I've done one of these.


Not scheduled to attend any further events this year, aside from maybe some Frozen Skies one shots for playtesting (keep an eye on the Facebook page for details).

Next is going to be....interesting.

The girlfriend and I are expecting our first child in February, which is understandably going to have an impact on things. After some discussion we decided that, mainly, due to logistics we won't be attending UK Games Expo next year unless anyone has any bright ideas. Its a bit disappointing since its our biggest event.

We WILL be attending Diceni in Norwich and ExiliCon which is slightly further afield in Cambridge, both are one day events which we know don't present any problems with logistics.

There are also a couple of other events we're looking at, but its dependant on various different factors.


Slowly getting some funds sorted and got the artwork for Frozen Skies rolling again, though more on that in a moment.

Been looking again at Crowdfunding and the various different options on offer, increasingly I've been drawn to Patreon. Its Crowdfunding that works a little like a subscription service, you pledge however much you normally would like Kickstarter and this is effectively a subscription fee that gets paid on a regular basis. I'm looking at doing this for the blog posts and have a choice of whether its paid per post or per month, though I'm leaning towards it being a monthly payment. Ultimately any earnings from this will be put towards Frozen Skies.

People's thoughts and comments will be most welcomed on this.

And finally...


I mentioned artwork earlier.

So heres a WIP snapshot of the latest piece, a Windryder and their Dragonhawk mount.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Alyeskan Skyships Committee

In a previous post I talked a little about Skyships and vaguely stated how they worked.

Now its time to actually nail down the designs!

There are two primary inspirations behind the Skyships in Frozen Skies, namely the Iron Grip series of video games....

...and the sadly defunct webcomic Alpha Shade.

With Iron Grip the reasoning behind their airships is that the setting has a much higher level of Argon in the atmosphere, thus producing denser air and more static but frequent storms. Its basically zeppelins that they're using, but the denser air apparently means that they can built to be much larger and carry much more weight. Alpha Shade though never goes into any details, though there might be something in the printed collection but I've never had the chance to read it. As a result its anybody's guess, but it is a fantasy setting.

For the Frozen Skies Skyships I'm thinking maybe a cross between the above, at least for style and function. I've mentioned that Skyships use a gas called Liftorium to produce lift, which is normally lighter than air like Helium or Hydrogen. The idea that I'm currently running with for Liftorium is that it can be 'encouraged' to become even lighter. Skyships would have gas bags or 'cells' filled with Liftorium, though just barely enough for the craft to float. The gas cells have electric cables connecting Tesla Coils, when powered the coils produce an electric charge that energies the Liftorium which has the effect in making it a much lighter gas. Another idea I'm looking at is that degaussing can potentially screw up Liftorium's electric charge, so it could be used as a weapon in aerial warfare.

Now over to you guys for your thoughts and ideas.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Plot Points, Sandboxes and Tales of Savagery

Recently picked up and started reading through 50 Fathoms, widely regarded to be the best Plot Point Campaign around. Whilst it has been useful with ideas to help develop Frozen Skies I feel I should state how I see the setting working.

I've been asked a dew times whether Frozen Skies will be a Plot Point Setting.

Short Answer: No, not really.

Longer-ish Answer: Frozen Skies is really intended to be more of a Sandbox Setting where the players are free to do what they want with their craft of choice in Firefly style adventures. Their ultimate goal is to have enough coin to keep flying/driving/sailing and perhaps even enough to retire on.

That said there may be a handful of Plot Point Campaigns (indeed one is gradually taking shape in the recess of my mind), though whilst these probably will have an effect on the world they are purely optional as far as the GM is concerned. End of the day its the idea that the Plot Points represent bigger things that the players can it caught up in, indeed the one thats currently being brainstormed could shift the balance of power in Alyeska amongst other things.

Of course there will be more adventures much more like Firewater & Ice which whilst not much of an effect on the world if any, generally intended to be something a bit different for the players to do. It could be stuff like a bank job, a jailbreak or lost treasure.

Hope that helps to clear things up a bit.