Monday 23 December 2019

Frozen Skies: The Duskfall Run

So 2019 is drawing to a close and we head into the festive season, typically a time of giving. As this is going to be the final post of the year, heres a gift in the form of a new adventure that is also themed for this time of year. This adventure is set at the start of a period known as the Shrouded Days, a time of polar night in the far north of Alyeska marked by the Exodus as a large number of people head south.

Until the New Year, Happy Holidays!

The Duskfall Run

The adventure sees the characters flying the last aircraft out of a remote northern settlement just before the polar night engulfs the land in darkness. With a short window of opportunity to fly before both the dark, and weather, close in the characters very much have the odds stacked against them. Worse, an outfit of sky pirates have spotted the characters' plane and are giving chase when the adventure begins.

Adventure Setup

The adventure uses the Chase Rules from Savage Worlds Adventure Edition, primarily using the Range Increment for an airplane. It is suggested that 15-20 Chase Cards are used, though feel to free to adjust.

Opponents wise there are 5 Sky Pirate Extras and 1 or 2 Sky Pirate Aces, though for the purpose of this adventure the Extras' aircraft only take one wound whilst those flown by the Aces have the normal number of wounds. The Extras have d8 in Shooting and Piloting, in addition to the Rock and Roll! and Steady Hands Edges. The Aces have d10 in their respective skills and the Ace Edge. It is suggested to use the Trodai Fighter for the Sky Pirates, but again feel free to change this.

The characters own aircraft is an armed, fast light cargo plane.

Top Speed: 300 MPH; Toughness: 14 (2); Crew: 5; Climb: 15; Handling: -1; Size: 8 (Large)
Weapons: 2x Linked .30-cal Medium MGs (Pintle-Mounted Front), 2x Linked .30-cal Medium MGs (Turret, top)

Characters' goal is to outrun the Sky Pirates, whilst the Sky Pirate have to stop them.

Monday 16 December 2019

Operation Thule: After Action Report

Recently got to run my Operation Thule adventure that I released for SWAG, a Weird Wars style adventure set in the early '80s. It was also my first proper adventure that I've run under SWADE, which despite the changes from SWD felt like coming back to an old friend. Certainly made a nice change from the Rogue Trader game I've been running for the past few months.

The South Atlantic Conflict

Our adventure begins on the 22nd May 1982, not long after the British Taskforce managed to put troops ashore at San Carlos. The characters get called together by a Colonel Mcguire who explains that an enemy commando team has been spotted some miles to the east and intel suggests that this team may be looking for something, London fears it may be a weapon like mustard gas. The characters were given the chance to ask questions, assigned a Land Rover and told to prepare their kit before heading out.

The Squad

'Jock' - The 'not quite' Scottish sniper.

'Jones 79' - Mild mannered Welsh machine gunner.

'Lofty' - The short Cockney scout.

'Sparky' - The Royal Engineer sapper from the Midlands (though didn't come into play until later).

'Wings' - The commander with childhood dreams of being a pilot.

As the characters prepared to head out, they were interrupted by an air raid as a couple of enemy jets come in low overhead. Thankfully the jets were more interested in the ships off-shore and brave the hail of gunfire from the ground to do a couple of passes before withdrawing to the west. Once things had quietened down, the characters set off but they only had a couple of hours of daylight left and the sun was already quite low to the horizon.

The boggy and rocky terrain made the going slow, often forcing them to drive little more than five miles per hour. Though they ended up making better time than expected and civilians in a lone farmhouse gave the characters some pointers on what route to take along with some intel on enemy forces. Cheerfully sent on their way by the civilians, the characters reached the Wickham Heights mountain range not long after nightfall and set up a biovuac in a crevice in the rockface to use it to provide some shelter from the worsening weather conditions. Wings detailed a watch rota and they then settled down for the night.

 Wings and Jock took first watch, though had an uneventful few hours until they warily handed over to Jones 79 and Lofty. An hour or so later Lofty spots a creature moving around like a kangaroo and growling, though the noise sounded unlike a dog and no predators were known to be on the islands. Lofty informed Jones that he'd spotted something and that he was going to investigate, leaving Jones to rouse the others. The Cockney scout soon found some strange looking tracks, but had difficulty trying to actually spot the creature which slipped through the darkness unseen.

Suddenly Loft found himself being barrelled over by a creature only slightly smaller than he was, but was ferocious as any wild animal as it madly trashed and clawed at him. Hearing Lofty call out, Jones told the other two and hurried out to find his comrade with torch in hand. Seeing Lofty on the ground wrestling with some...creature, the Welshman calmly sets up his Bren Gun and blasts the creature off the Cockney with a hail of gunfire. Despite being dead, the creature was a disconcerting sight from what they could see from the light of their torches. Daylight didn't bring any reassurances and the squad decided to load the creature into the back of their Land Rover for specialists to take a look at.

After a new day had dawned, the characters set off again and only managed to travel a couple of miles down the track until a rock slide blocked their path. Wings ordered the squad to proceed on foot with Lofty scouting ahead, the scout soon topped a rise and spotted a couple of civilian looking Land Rovers along with a couple of enemy commandos outside of a cave entrance. Quietly slipping back, Lofty informed the rest of the squad what he'd seen. The squad moved up with Jock taking up an over-watch position on the rise whilst the others tried sneaking closer to the cave, though the enemy spotted them and opened fire. Wings was cut down in a blast of gunfire, though Jock got some revenge by taking down one of the enemy with a headshot. The second soldier was cut down with a hail of machine gun fire from Jones whilst Lofty tried taking out the Land Rovers with a grenade.

More enemy soldiers charged out of the cave, though a sergeant was downed by Jock who scored another headshot. Jones' Bren counted for some more enemy soldiers, whilst Sparky (played the person who'd been playing Wings) counted for another. There were two soldiers left in the entrance of the cave, Lofty tried throwing a grenade at them but was shot and killed for his efforts even as the grenade flew true and took out the two soldiers. With Jock remaining outside, Sparky and an injured Jones charged into the cave. Jones got cut down by a burst of gunfire from an enemy officer who'd been in the cave, though Sparky took the officer out with a shot from his SLR. Then a German, who'd been leading the enemy team, attacked by throwing a ball of energy at Sparky which narrowly missed. Realising the intelligence value, Sparky acted quickly and knocked the German out with the stock of his SLR.

All that was left was for the two survivors, Jock and Sparky, to stock of their situation, secure their prisoner and gather their dead comrades before radioing for an evac via helicopter. Inside the cave was a stone idol, one that curiously resembled a squid....

Monday 9 December 2019

The Iron Collective Revisited

This week it is the turn of the Iron Collective to receive the 'Revisited' treatment. Again this is another nation that I'm largely happy with how it currently stands, save perhaps for tweaks and refinements here and there. Though I do have an idea for a possibly big addition to the lore of the Iron Collective.

Mind Over Matter

The Order of the Great Machine has virtual control over all aspects of life within the Iron Collective, having completely rebuilt Sodkan society after assuming power in the wake of the Holy Sodkan Empire's collapse. The radical changes made by the Order are unheard of in other nations and strangely the Collective's citizens seemingly accepted them without question soon after the Collective was formed.

How, and why?

The secret of the Order's total control pre-dates the founding of the Collective, technically even the Great Darmonican War and possibly even the founding of the Holy Sodkan Empire. At some point in the Order's early existence one its members stumbled across data about the Ancient Terrans' methods of maintaining control over its slave labour force, something that was brought to the attention of the Order's hierarchy. It was revealed that the Ancients used a special chemical in the labourers' food coupled with a combination of radio signal based mind control and subliminal messaging.

It took a series of experiment before the Order managed to replicate the Ancients' technique and a plan was hatched to put the technique into action. By this point the Holy Sodkan Empire was embroiled in the Great Darmonican War and rationing was widespread, being particularly harsh for the Empire's working classes. The Order decided to take advantage of this situation by opening up soup kitchens in various towns and cities, the special control chemical being implanted in the food given out by the kitchens. Once the Order was confident enough that even people had eaten the tainted food, the next phase of the plan was put into action.

Radio transmitters and broadcasts were set up by the Order, gradually increasing in coverage as the soup kitchens were expanded. Soon enough those who'd eaten the tainted food were slowly being brainwashed by the Order, this was helped by widespread disgruntlement of the way the war was going and was something seized upon by the Order. Fuelled by the Order's efforts, unrest began to grow across the Empire as the Order sought to weaken the Imperial Government before seizing control.

The Blast and resultant death of Empress Polinia Serlov came as a surprise to the Order, though it wasted no time in taking over. With much of the citizenry under its control, the Order quickly instituted the Classification system to help realise its ambitions. Though it became apparent that some people were resistant to the Order's mind control techniques, prompting them being called the Unclassified. Whilst those who end up being Declassified stop receiving the tainted food that aids the Order's control over the person in question, usually resulting in people slowly been 'weaned' and thus breaking free of the Order's control. This is typically why the Declassified are either killed on sight or deported to a prison camp to prevent them from openly rebelling against the system.

Even foreigners eating the food within the Collective and staying within range of the many control transmitters are at risk of falling victim to the Order's control, giving rise to a number of so-called 'converts' within the past few years. There are rumours that the Order may be expanding its control outside of the Collective's borders, quietly subverting the populace of neighbouring countries.

Monday 2 December 2019

New Aircraft: Iolar Light Bomber

Another new aircraft, though this week I set myself bit of a challenge to recreate the de Havilland Mosquito or get as close as possible. Though its ended up being a slightly faster version of the Argentine I.Ae.24 Calquin Light Bomber, apparently an aircraft patterned after and is a 'look-alike' for the Mosquito.

I.Ae.24 Calquin

The Iolar 'Eagle' Light Bomber

The Iolar, or 'Eagle', Light Bomber came about as part of a Royal Aero-Fleet requirement for a fast, light bomber to conduct strike raids against enemy targets. It has a speed to match most fighters and decent armaments, though it has a pitiful payload by bomber standards. As a result the Eagle tends to be used for pinpoint strike missions in flights of at least four to six aircraft.

There is a degree of discontentment amongst the Air Ministry over the future of the aircraft; it entered service just over a decade or so before the Great Darmonican War and thus is still seen as an 'untried' aircraft despite its 20 years of service. There are those who thus consider it to be a worthless aircraft and are trying to have it scrapped without a replacement, though there are others who are championing the aircraft and are pushing for a more modern version.

Top Speed: 300 MPH; Toughness: 14 (2); Crew: 2; Climb: 15; Handling: -1; Size: 8 (Large)
Weapons: 4x Linked .50-cal Heavy MGs (Fixed Front)
1x pair of rockets, or
Bombs (8x Small or, 4x Medium or, 2x Large)