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.


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