Monday 27 August 2018

Setting Overview: Darkwatch

Darkwatch is the combination of two Setting Ideas; Forsaken and Deepwatch.

The core of Darkwatch is still the original idea for Forsaken, except I've decided to make subterranean elements a stronger part of the setting. Also envisioning Darkwatch to play as a reverse resistance campaign; the player characters are part of the occupation forces attempting to root out the resistance cells of the enemy forces still lurking in the city.

Welcome to the Darkwatch

As I said above, I view Darkwatch based games and campaigns to be the reverse of the typical resistance campaign. Though the city has been liberated, it is far from secure as enemy forces still lurk in the shadows. The player characters are part of a group called the Darkwatch, effectively the city watch and military garrison. Their job is to basically protect the city as it starts to rebuild and to secure it by hunting down the enemy remnants still within the city.

Also going with the idea that the war against the dark forces is still ongoing, so the characters will have to deal with sabotage and trouble from soldiers going to and from the 'front'. It could be as mundane as guarding a grain warehouse or as exciting as chasing across rooftops after an enemy spy. In addition to the military angle, the characters will be expected to deal with crime to help promote law and order in the city. From time to time they could also have to deal with deserters hiding out in the city or be sent to deal with bandits in the countryside surrounding the city.

The ultimate goal of a Darkwatch campaign would to be fully reclaim and secure parts of the city, whole campaign arcs could be set in a single district. There is the possibility of the characters finding treasure amidst the ruined buildings and tunnels of the city.

Monday 20 August 2018

Frozen Skies Session 5: "Trust me, I'm a drunk!"

After a break off over a month, the crew of the airship Waylander are back flying the Frozen Skies!

For one reason or another, the entire group hasn't been able to get together over the past month. One session got cancelled and the following ended up being a Savage 40K one-shot, but the whole crew is back in Alyeska. The group seemed to be happy getting back into the swing of things, though one of the players has ended up changing characters (more on that in a bit). This week, though slow to begin with, was a fun session.


After a quick recap, we picked up from where we left off with the crew still in the pirate haven of Broken Spires. Upon receiving the 'Love Interest' Adventure Card, Tag's player immediately plays it and asks that its the leader of the Banshees; Captain Natasha 'Tash' Rogan.

Cue another meeting with the female sky pirate, who states that she looks forwards to working with Tag in the future. Tash also gives the crew one of her planes, which gets put to good use later on. Whilst this meeting (and the logistics of putting the new plane on the airship) takes place, George heads into town followed by Alex. Before the game George's player had expressed that they wished to change characters, so George was effectively leaving the crew. Alex decided to follow, then waited until George entered a dark alley and straight up murdered him before looting his corpse.

Upon returning to the airship, Alex told Tag that he'd found George dead in an alley. Despite Tag's suspicions, Alex managed to bluff it that he had nothing to do with George's untimely demise. With a new plane, but a crewmember down, the crew of the Waylander departed Broken Spires and Tag managed to pilot them through the maze of twisting canyons without mishap.

A Brew o' Trouble

Following their departure from Broken Spires, the crew picked a spot in the wilderness to put down for the night. Whether from brain damage or to help with the pain of his injuries, Herbert got hold of some liquor and ended up getting blind stinking drunk. Both Alex and Tag were still injured from the gunfight with the poachers, Tag in particular wasn't very happy as he was the worst injured. But Herbert's state of intoxication wouldn't be known until the airship came under attack by Cloudhaunts.

With their respective characters out of action, Herbert's and George's players took over some of the Extras that made up the rest of the airship's crew and manned the two planes. George's player used the siren of the Banshee's plane to keep the Cloudhaunts Shaken whilst Herbert's player used his plane's propeller to deal with a few of the critters after they'd attached themselves to the Waylander's gasbag. Sebastian and Alex manned the two top turrets, whilst the rest of the Extras manned the 50-cal MGs that Tag had fitted. Tag used the airship's klaxon to scare the Cloudhaunts off of the airship, making them easy prey for the two planes.

The critters managed to grapple onto the Banshee plane and did enough damage to inflict a wound on the aircraft, though they failed to do the same to the Blackforge Marauder flown by Herbert's player. The creatures only managed to cling onto the Banshee plane for a single before they got thrown off, some of them got shot and killed by the Marauder, the remainder were finished off by Alex in the airship's turret.

With the threat dealt with, Tag went and sought out Herbert for an awesome bit of role-play; Herbert got chewed out by Tag for being drunk as Herbert was the crew's only medic and some of the crew were wounded. Herbert then got confined to his quarters with a load of coffee to sober up, Tag then went to his own cabin to rest. Some time later Herbert went to the airship's infirmary, then attempted to use the Scavenger Edge to find a bottle of alcohol. I ruled that he would only find it if a roll of six came up on a d6...which it did.

Herbert also had the Big Mouth Hindrance, so we went with him shouting out "Yes! Booze!" and alerted the rest of the crew. Alex, by this point, had sneaked up behind Herbert and knocked him out for six hours before having the medic dragged back to his cabin. Tag was furious when he found out and went to have words with the medic, threatened to kick him out of the crew but still gave the doctor one final chance in another bit of brilliant role-playing.

An Egg In Hand

The crew returned to Taran's Bluffs and informed the camp foreman Mosley that they were only able to recover three of the Dragonhawk eggs (truthfully it was four...). Mosley admitted that he didn't see how many the poachers had stolen, but was hopeful that the eggs would help make the Windryders cease their attacks on the camp. The eggs were loaded onto some trucks, the crew invited along, and the convoy traveled a handful of miles into the surrounding forest.

The convoy came to a halt when a group of figures were spotted in the trees, though Tag got a high enough Notice roll to spot a pair of Dragonhawks. Mosley had all the engines killed and instructed everyone to keep their hands where they could be seen. A female Windryder stepped forward (Tag's player wished he'd kept the Love Interest card) and introduced herself as Narine before asking why they were there.

Tag said about the eggs and the canvas cover pulled off each one, causing some excited chatter amongst the Windryders. Narine ordered a couple of her people to go check the eggs, once satisfied she thanked the crew. She also offered them payment in the forming of tipping them off about the location of a crashed plane, though she called it a "metal bird with broken wings".

After handing back to the airship, the crew set off once more towards Bowerstead Post but flew over the location Narine had told them about. Again it was Tag who got the best Notice roll and spotted a big, four-engine aircraft under the trees. They set down their airship and went over to the crashed aircraft, finding it to be a military transport plane that seemed to have been there for quite some time. Inside the wreck they found crates filled with Ancient Terran devices, which they were in the process of loading onto the Waylander when we had to end the game due to time.


As I said earlier, it seemed to be a good game and fun was had by all.

Alex's actions could potentially cause the crew issues when they return to Broken Spires, but thats in the future. George's player was OK with what happened to George as he was going to be bringing a new character in. There is still the consequences of the group's earlier actions which will come into play very soon, but I'm kinda going with the idea of the players rope to hang themselves with when it comes to their character's actions.

On the subject of consequences, as I understand it the crew will be selling the location of the glimmer rock cave they came across to a mining company. This is good as it'll set up some plot for later on in the campaign, plus other stuff is starting to fit into place.

Going forwards, I'd like to start incorporating some of the ideas and advice from the Up to Four Players guys. I like their take on the Chase rules for Savage Worlds and theres a couple of more general RP ideas that I like to try out.

Monday 13 August 2018

Forsaken Space: Wreck Generator

This week we're continuing with revisiting the other settings in the works from Utherwald Press. Taking the spotlight this time round is Forsaken Space; scavengers braving haunted wrecks in a SciFi Horror setting.

To help kickstart your ForSpace games, heres a wreck generator.

Spaceship Wreck Generator Table

You'll require use of the Savage Worlds SciFi Companion, the table uses the different ship sizes found in that book.

To use this table, first draw a card from an action deck and compare the result.

Clubs - Alien
Diamonds - Civilian
Hearts - Military
Spades - Science

1 - Small
2-4 - Medium
5-6 - Large
7-8 - Huge
9 - Giant
10 - Gargantuan
Jack - Behemoth
Queen - Levitation
King - World Killer

Black Joker - Sentient, the vessel is alive in some fashion either through an advanced AI or is a bioship. Draw another card.

Red Joker - Hazard, the vessel contains a major hazard such as a radiation leak or had its crew killed via a virus, etc. Draw another card.

Monday 6 August 2018

Cold War Skirmishes: Flashpoint Belize

Continuing on with taking a look at other settings and products that Utherwald has in the works. This week it is the turn of Cold War Skirmishes and we'll be taking a look at a potential conflict that almost erupted in Central America during the early 1970s. As ever the post will feature a overview of the military situation, offer adventure ideas and suggested NPC stats.

A Latin American Oddity

Unlike most of Latin America, the area that became Belize (known as British Honduras 1862-1973) did not fall under Spanish control. This was partially due to the decentralized society of the Mayans, who inhabited the area, and its lack of resources. There was some attempt at Spanish settlement, but English pirates proved to have greater success. Spain did attempt, a number of occasions, to expel the British settlers but grudgingly allowed them to remain after suffering an embarrassing defeat in the Battle of St. George's Cay.

The 19th Century saw pressure from the United States, under the Monroe Doctrine, for Britain to relinquish its holdings in Central America. Though whilst Britain did yield in some areas, it produced in 1854 a formal constitution for what became the Colony of British Honduras in 1862. There remain a strong American reluctance over the existence of the British colony, one that would last well into the 20th Century.

Unfriendly Neighbours

From 1821 the neighboring country of Guatemala has claimed part or the entirely of what is now Belize. This territorial dispute saw frequent flare-up of tensions, passions and tensions do run high in Central America as was proven by the 1969 Football War between El Salvador and Honduras. A treaty was signed in 1859 where Guatemala agreed to recognize British Honduras in return for Britain to build a road connecting the two. The dispute was then largely forgotten until the 1930s when Guatemala started claiming that the 1859 treaty was invalid because Britain had failed to uphold its end of the deal by not building the road.

In 1948 Guatemala threatened to invade and forcibly annex the territory, Britain responded by deploying two companies of troops. But the invasion threat never materialized, though Britain decided to permanently station troops in the colony. Guatemala would periodically mass troops on the border, but nothing further would develop. 1958 saw pro-Guatemalan Belize Liberation Army fighters cross the border, plant the Guatemalan flag and exchange fire with British troops before being arrested.

Attempts were made in the 1960s to negotiate an agreement, the US was asked to mediate and President Lyndon Johnson drafted a treaty that would give Guatemala effective control over the territory. British Honduras responded with riots. Talks would continue on and off as tensions flared and Guatemala threatened to invade, particularly as British Honduras made move towards independence. 1975 saw Britain, in response to the massing of Guatemalan troops on the border once again, deployed a large number of troops supported by artillery and fast jets which defused tensions. Guatemala suffered from troops desertions at this time in addition to an earthquake which put paid to its attempts to annex the territory.

Opposing Forces

The British

Britain typically kept a company of troops in British Honduras, though this would be reinforced with additional forces during times of tension. Additionally, a pair of frigates would be on station in the Caribbean as part of the Royal Navy's West Indies Station. The carrier HMS Ark Royal would be deployed in 1972 to deter Guatemalan aggression and a flight of Harrier Jump Jets would later be established. Whilst the British forces were a well-trained, equipped (for the early '70s) and professional force, they only maintained a small garrison and it took time for reinforcements to cross the Atlantic.


Sterling SMG
Bren 7.62mm
General Purpose Machine Gun
81mm mortar
Wombat Anti-tank
Harrier Jump Jet

The British also had access to F-4 Phantoms and Blackburn Buccaneers from HMS Ark Royal in the early 1970s. Though their only viable weapon against Guatemalan aircraft was 2-inch unguided rockets.

The Guatemalans

Guatemala had an army that was well trained by Latin American standards, its elite troops were even trained by the US military, but alot of its equipment dated from WW2. The Guatemalan military did enjoy support from both the CIA and US Military Assistance Programme.


The Guatemalan Army used virtually the same infantry weapons as the US Army did in Vietnam, though its a little unclear on precise vehicles used. The M8 Greyhound armoured car and M113 APC are confirmed to have been in Guatemalan service (and still are), there was supposedly tanks and the best fit I can find is the M3 Stuart. Walker Bulldog light tanks were given to Guatemala in the early '80s.

Air assets included the Huey, P-51 Mustangs and Lockheed T-33s.

Adventure Ideas

If actual war had broken out, most battles would probably be squad or platoon sized skirmishes with perhaps one or two company level battles. The British, to begin with, would be at a disadvantage with having to wait on reinforcements which could be held up if the US denied use of its airspace for troop transport flights (which it did). The Guatemalans enjoyed greater mobility and potentially, if things went far enough, widespread support in the Americas. There probably would've been pressure from the US to end the fighting, but its difficult to say who's side the US would've backed as the US would've had to chose between allies.

Local British commanders, given lack of resources, planned to harass Guatemalan forces in hopes of buying time for reinforcements to arrive. Though if the sole international airport fell, the British would've resorted to guerrilla warfare in the jungles of Belize. There would be plenty of scope for squad level actions which would probably have been the mainstay of the conflict.

For the Weird Wars aspect, the region is riddled with Mayan ruins amidst the thick jungles with unknown creatures lurking among them. This potentially could see both British and Guatemalan patrols battling each other as they are in turn stalked by unseen sinister foes. Another angle could be British desperation in the form of trying to enlist the aid of an army of undead pirates to fight the Guatemalans.


The Experienced Soldier stats in Savage Worlds Deluxe would be a good basis for both British and Guatemalan soldiers as both were roughly equal in training and professionalism. Though due to the British Army's focus on marksmanship, it is recommended that British soldiers have the Marksman Edge.