Wednesday 26 October 2016

The Cloud Runner

Back in the mists of time I put together a book of short stories called Alyeskan Tales, a sort of fiction companion for Frozen Skies if you will. One of the stories was called 'The Alyeskan Job' and concerned the crew of a cargo plane called the Grey Bonxie and was intended to be the beginnings of a series that would be called 'Tales of the Grey Bonxie'. Well time moves on and ideas change, prompting a retcon of the original Grey Bonxie idea.

So this week we're meeting the crew of the...

Cloud Runner

First off, tis an airship.

Its an old Rover-class scout airship that saw service during the Great Darmonican War, sold off after the armistice as the Commonwealth's military started winding down after the conflict. Despite being old, its a solid military design that features individually wired gas cells of Lift Gas for built-in redundancy and damage control. It also sports hooks to mount a pair of fighter-reconnaissance aircraft to extend its patrol radius and for self-defence. Propulsion is provided by four engines mounted in nacelles on the sides of the airship, the nacelles also feature 50-cal machine guns to provide extra defence capabilities.

Some point after the War's end the airship was acquired by a certain Artemis Stormwell, who named it the Cloud Runner, was used in a semi-successful career flying cargo all over Alyeska. With small profit margins the Cloud Runner these days features a far smaller crew than she did when she was in military service, likewise she only has a single escort aircraft that doubles up as a small transport plane.

The Crew

Artemis Stormwell - Effectively the Cloud Runner's captain, joined the Commonwealth Air Force during the War and had only just completed flight training when the conflicted ended. He was reduced to a Short Service enlistment as post-war cutbacks began and assigned to the Commonwealth colony of Orduesh where he transport planes over the sands of the Southern Wastes for three years before being demobbed. In an attempt to keep flying he went to Alyeska and signed on with the Aerial Corps, acquiring the Cloud Runner a short time afterwards.

James Midnightte - Served with the Royal Aero-Marines for a fair number of years and saw action during the War, though he is a quiet and reserved man who doesn't speak much of his time with the Rams (though he has stated that he was a sergeant). He has best been described as "an honourable man who's found himself stuck in a hive of thieves and cut-throats", though he remains loyal to Stormwell after rescuing him from a bar brawl (though is unaware said bar brawl was started by the latter cheating at a game of cards). Onboard the Cloud Runner he serves as a de facto First Mate and as an air gunner.

Gervase - The Cloud Runner's other air gunner and another former military man, believed to have served in the army as either a quartermaster or driver but little else is known beyond that. Has proven to be a good getaway driver, but is less than trustworthy and has bit of a drinking problem.

Kaya - The sole female member of the crew and the airship's mechanic, a very highly skilled mechanic capable of fixing almost anything with a few choice words and a whack or two with a spanner. She hasn't revealed her surname, though its believed that she had bit of a sheltered upbringing and is a bit naive about the ways of the world. Both Stormwell and Midnightte keep a close eye on her whenever she comes out drinking with the crew, especially after Gervase has a few drinks inside of him.

Nate Rawlons - Nate Rawlons is the best fighter ace in all of Darmonica, least that what he tells everyone he meets. Stormwell considers him a 'deranged, hot shot kid' whom the Aerial Corps forced upon him and wants shot of the young pilot. One thing for certain is that he is full of energy, but his state of mind is questionable at best as he seems slightly of phase with everyone else. Nate is suppose to fly the Cloud Runner's escort, a Drake heavy fighter converted to be a small armed transport, though Stormwell usually flies this aircraft and makes Nate man the rear turret.

Wednesday 19 October 2016

More Aircraft Thoughts

Work on Frozen Skies has admittedly slowed down a bit over the summer due to various factors, least with the blog I've still been able to produce content and ideas. The recent Fool's Errand adventure series is a prime example of this and I'm looking to do a few more adventures of varying lengths to give people more options to play with. Though this week's topic is prompted by a recent question over on the Savage Worlds Google+ group.

More Aircraft Thoughts

Been thinking about expanding on the aircraft rules a bit, namely with more modifications and manoeuvres.

Cargo Space

Looking to handle in a similar fashion to 50 Fathoms, as in the aircraft can carry as many 'units' of cargo that it has space for. What I have down at the moment for a Cargo Space modification is that it costs £25 and takes up one aircraft space, though technically there is no limit. Obviously it means that bigger aircraft can carry more cargo than smaller aircraft, so I foresee Heavy Fighters and Bombers generally being used as cargo planes. That said a Light Fighter could be modified as a fast and armed courier, flying small but valuable cargoes.


Another thing that I like to add to the aircraft combat rules is more manoeuvres to help flesh it out a bit more. I will probably go through the existing manoeuvres and see if any of them need modifiers to the Piloting rolls for them.

Immelmann - An Immelmann is effectively a 180 degree turn achieved by the aircraft climbing up and then looping over. In order to pull this off in game terms, make a Piloting roll with a -2 penalty. Success means you've pulled this manoeuvre off, failure means the aircraft goes Out of Control.

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Alyeskan Tales: Fool's Errand Part 4

Here be the fourth and final instalment of the Fool's Errand series of adventures.

We have seen our heroes sent out to the Wulflands to retrieve an item only for the job to go south when a rival crew and some even less friendly critters showed up. Forced to return empty handed to their crime lord employer, our heroes were given the chance of redemption (in their boss' eyes at least) and tasked with recovering the item. Their chase has led them on a path of peril to the Bastion Peaks and to the hive of scum and villainy known as Broken Spires...

Act Four: Showdown At The Spires

Whether its Karla or the Rival Crew that the players are after, a raise on a Streetwise roll with a -2 penalty will led them to a tavern where their target is located. Regardless of whether its Karla or the Rival Boss leading them, there will be d4+2 thugs (use stats from Part 1). If the players try using diplomacy then use the Social Conflict rules in the SWD, though the players will suffer a -2 penatly on their rolls due to being outnumbered. Otherwise go straight to combat.

The thugs will try to swarm the players, though the fight will go out of them if they lose over two-thirds of their numbers. The Rival Boss will hang back until half his men are down at which point he'll enter the fray, though if the thugs' leader is Karla she'll hang back for a couple of rounds before trying to sneak out of the tavern. After 2d4 rounds of combat the door of the tavern will explode, treat this as a Medium sized blast that does 3d6 damage and its centered on the door. This heralds the rival of a squad of ten (10) black-clad, armoured and SMG armed soldiers led by a similarly attired officer who's orders are to liquidate everyone in the tavern and take the item. Obviously the players' goal is to get the item and get the heck outta dodge with as few bullet holes as possible.

Any surviving thugs will fight the soldiers, though this will be the only luck that the players will have as it'll give them a window of opportunity to grab the item. If Karla/Rival boss are still alive then they would've fled into one of the upstairs rooms, especially after the soldiers arrive. They hand over the item with only a small amount of encouragement (right now they'll be more interested in saving their own skin), explain that its an Ancient Terran artefact (hence why everyone is so interested) and if left alive they'll alert the soldiers to the fact that the players now have the item (because they're such a nice person).

Once they've recovered the item the players can attempt to leave, though any surviving soldiers will attempt to give chase (use the rules for a Standard Chase). Once outside the tavern the players will be greeted with a scene of chaos; a aerial brawl is being raged above the streets of Broken Spires and around a gray coloured zeppelin that sorts a large black anvil on either side. A Knowledge (Criminal Underworld) roll will reveal this as the mark of the Blackforge Consortium, a crime synidcate that is infamous throughout Alyeska and isn't a very good sign. A squadron of 14 Kestral fighters sporting similar markings are busy engaging whatever aircraft the locals of the Spires can get airborne at short notice, though it does mean that the airfield is largely untouched and a number of aircraft (including the players' own cargo plane) are still intact.

Once airborne in their aircraft of choice (their own or otherwise) a pair of Blackforge fighters will give chase as the players try to escape. Run this as a Dogfight chase that ends when the two Blackforge fighters are lost and/or destroyed, though there is a -4 penalty on Piloting rolls due to the terrain round Broken Spires. If the players somehow survive then their next job is to head back to Ferret and collect their reward, though if they mention the Blackforge Consortium then the crime boss will want shot of the item soon as and task the players with taking it to a fence who can sell it on. Otherwise Ferret will organize an auction for the item, though that will be an adventure for another day.


Aircraft, see; Aircraft of the Commonwealth Air Force 

Blackforge Soldier

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Intimidation d6, Notice d8, Shooting d8, Stealth d6, Survival d6, Throwing d4
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 8 (2)
Edges: Bock, Combat Reflexes, Marksman, Quick
Hindrances: Vow
Gear: SMG (12/24/48, 2d6+1, RoF 3, 30 shots, AP 1, Auto), Bayonet (Str+d4), Flak Jacket (+2/+4, Covers Torso)

Blackforge Officer - Wild Card

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d10, Spirit d10, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Battle) dd10, Notice d8, Shooting d8
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 8 (2)
Edges: Command, Hold the Line!, Nerves of Steel
Hindrances: Vow
Gear: Machine pistol (12/24/48, 2d6-1, RoF 3, 30 shots, AP 1, Auto, Flak Jacket (+2/+4, Covers Torso)

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Alyeskan Tales: Fool's Errand Part 3

Part Three of the Alyeskan Tales: Fool's Errand series.

Originally commissioned to retrieve an item from a ghost town in the Wulflands, the team have found itself betrayed after said item was stolen from them. Facing a crime lord's wrath unless they could get the item back the characters have been on the trial of the thief, though they have learnt that there are other interested parties also looking for the item.

Now the character's path leads them to the Bastion Peaks.

Act Three: At The Mountains of Trouble

The trial will lead the characters to the small mining town of Arran Crag, nestled amongst the foothills of the Bastion Peaks. Arran Crag is a rough and ready town, the salt mine being the main source of employment in the town. It is also a company town and law enforcement is handled by a company hired sheriff rather than the Royal Alyeskan Air Police, though the sheriff is more interested in making sure that the mine runs smoothly and tends to turn a blind eye to activities that don't disrupt the mining. Because of this the town gets frequented by sky pirates and criminals alike, making Arran Crag a sort of gateway to Broken Spires.

Both Karla and the Rival Crew passed through the town, a Streetwise roll at a -2 penatly (plus any Charisma modifiers) will confirm this as much. However finding anyone who knows the location of Broken Spires will take a Streetwise roll with a -4 penalty, even then the person will only give up the info if the players complete a job for them; retrieve some goods from a nearby cave.

The cave itself is a couple of miles outside of town and the characters can easily hire a truck to use, they'll need some form of vehicle to carry the goods back to town. The only problem is that the area surrounding the cave as recently been claimed by a pack of eight wolves led by a Pack Alpha (use the wolf stats from the SWD rulebook, Pack Alpha is a Dire Wolf and a Wild Card). Clearing out the wolves will make the job easier, but isn't required if the characters are smart and use a distraction to draw them away from the cave.

After returning to town with the goods they'll be given directions to Broken Spires, though the flight through the mountains will be difficult and hence a -4 penalty on any Piloting rolls. Enroute through the mountains the players will be attacked by a pack of Cloudhaunts, run this has an Extended Chase as the characters attempt to get clear of the creatures.


Cargo planes are a common sight in the skies over Alyeska, presented below are the stats of a typical aircraft.

Acc/TS: 20/120; Toughness: 12 (2); Crew: 4; Climb: 0; Handling: -1; Notes: Light Transport