Monday, 12 August 2019

Frozen Skies: Mariners of the Air

Aaand we're back to Frozen Skies.

This is an idea that I've been considering for some time, mainly as an alternative way to managing NPC crewmen in the Frozen Skies campaign that I ran but struggle to come up with something at the time. Currently preparing to run a game in a different setting and system, one that involves spaceships and a degree of crew management. This other game prompted a train of thought and I've think I've come up with something that'll work for Frozen Skies.

Mariners of the Air

This is intended to be an optional set of rules that builds upon the Wealth Rules in SWADE, targetted at hose who like a little bit of bookkeeping and wish to have airships with sizeable crews. These rules come in two parts; Wealth Pool and Crew.

The Wealth Pool is a Wealth roll for the character's airship and works in a similar fashion. It starts at d4 but the characters can increase it by 'investing' in the collective wealth pool by transferring a die of their own Wealth to the Wealth Pool. In gameplay the characters can use the Wealth Pool instead of their own Wealth for trying to buy items, though the Wealth Pool is also used to make a once a month Upkeep roll for the airship. This roll represents the general upkeep of the airship, buying spare parts, fuel and supplies for the crew and works the same way when buying things. Though if the Wealth Pool goes 'broke', then the characters must transfer a die each of their own Wealth to avoid a mutiny by the crew.

Crew is, unsurprisingly, the crew of the airship. They start with a collective trait die of d6 for the relevant trait rolls they may be required to make (Shooting, Piloting, Repair, etc). This trait die (or Crew Rating) can be increased one step by reducing the die of the Wealth Pool by one, like downgrading the Crew Rating can increase the Wealth Pool as a lesser crew cost less in wages. The lowest Crew Rating will impose a -1 penalty on the Upkeep roll that will build up over successive months to a maximum of -4 if the Crew Rating stays at this level, representing the increased upkeep costs with a poorly trained crew.

Crew Rating

Incompetent - d4 - Upkeep rolls incur a -1 penalty that increased by -1 per month (to a max of -4) that the crew remains at this rating.

Competent - d6

Crack - d8

Veteran - d10

Elite - d12

Monday, 5 August 2019

The Gwentshire Chronicles: Crostwick Combe

A third Gwentshire related in a row? What madness is this?!

On little bit of a roll with ideas for the Gwentshire Chronicles setting, this week it is a location. Since Gwentshire is meant to be roughly located where North Somerset is, it shares some geographical features with its real life counterpart. One of those features is a combe, effectively a small valley through which a watercourse does not run. In Gwentshire there are many combes, the most notorious of which is Crostwick Combe.

Crostwick Combe

Officially, Crostwick Combe does not exist.

It isn't marked on any maps and the scientific refuses to accept that it exist as no proof of its existence has ever been found. It is suppose to be located in the Weston Hills in sight of the Iron Age hill fort near the hamlet of Medbury, but many have searched and have found no trace of the combe. The locals, the older folk in particular, have stated; "To find the combe, let the light of the night be your guide."

Many have gone searching at night with little success, only a handful of people have claimed to have found the combe but have never been able to find it again. The only to actually find the combe is to use the light of the full moon and follow a path highlighted by the moon's glow. In the combe lies a pond up against a cliff, with a inscribed stone on the far side of the pond at the base of the cliff. What is actually written on the stone is unknown as nobody has been able to get close enough to read it and it is also partially obscured by plant growth.

The pond is said to be the residing place of the Old Wise Woman of Crostwick, called a mystic by some and a witch by others. Nobody knows who, or what, she is and it is stated that she's claimed to have been in the combe since "long before the Eagle marched across these lands."

Regardless of the truth behind the Old Wise Woman, many seek her out for answers to their questions. Answers she gives, though despite being truthful they are open to interpretation. She will only answer one question from a person and an ancient ritual is required to summon her in the first place.

Using Crostwick Combe

The only real reason that the player characters would have for visiting the Combe is to see the Old Wise Woman, though finding it and summoning the Woman would be an adventure in itself. Only allow one question per character, though the Woman's answers are a little vague but they will have a ring of truth about them. This can be a way to give big clues to the characters regarding other adventures or villainous NPCs.