Monday 6 December 2021

December 2021: City of Rats

 We're coming to the end of the year and the Festive Season (at time of writing) is almost upon us!

This time of year it is typically customary to give gifts, so this is what this month's blog post is all about. Some years ago I ran a Savage Worlds campaign based on the video game Dishonored, something that I created a fan adaptation for. I've been wanting to run a follow-on game for some time, but we've had the Adventure Edition of Savage Worlds released since I originally ran the game. So my gift to folk this year is an updated version of my Dishonored fan adaptation for SWADE.


Savage Dishonored

There is plenty of resources elsewhere that covers the setting of Dishonored, so this blog post will be focused on the mechanics side of things needed to run a game.

Making Characters

Creating characters for Savage Dishonored is the same as the process is in SWADE, though the characters will be Human and there are some restrictions on Arcane Background (see below). For Hindrances, Edges and Gear consult both this blog post and the SWADE rulebook.

A Note On Arcane Backgrounds: There is only one Arcane Background allowed, The Outsider's Mark which is a reskinned Arcane Background Gifted. A character may select this with the GM's permission either during character creation or as an Advance later on. The difference is that improving a character's Arcane ability such as buying Power Edges or New Powers, etc is a separate Advancement track that requires a Whalebone Rune to be spent in order to get an Arcane related Advance. This is done to both reflect the rarity of those who bear the Mark of the Outsider and mirror the video game.

NPC Arcane users are recommended to use the Arcane Background (Magic).


There are no new Hindrances, but Bad Luck from SWADE is removed due to a variant of the Hard Choices Setting Rule being used that allows unlimited Bennies for the players (explained later under Setting Rules).


Luck and Great Luck have been changed to allow a character to have additional tokens of Momentum, detailed below under Setting Rules, up to a maximum of three tokens.

New Edge(s) include.

Ghost (Professional Edge)

Requirements: Novice, Stealth d8+

May reroll any Stealth rolls made.

Street Forager (Professional Edge)

Requirements: Novice, Spirit d6, Survival d6

+2 to Survival and Stealth in urban environments.

Voidsense (Weird Edge)

Requirements: Novice

Your character is able to sense when there is something marked by the power of the Void close-by, be it a rift or bone-charm. You may attempt a Notice roll at -2 to try and locate where this thing actually is, with a raise you gain an idea of just how powerful it is.

Credit to Zoltan for alot of the following.


Template: Teleport, p. 170
Blink is a Novice Power.
This power can only be used with Personal limitation.

Actually Blink is a very quick jump so if the hero tries to jump through hard objects like bars, chain link fences or even people, they will stop the motion and might damage him sometimes. But he can jump through glass which will break in the process. He cannot blink to places he cannot see.

Swapping places (+1):
You may change the position of your hero with his doppelganger within range. He needs to know that power to use this modifier.

Template: Speed, p. 167
This power can only be used with Personal limitation.

Only the Quickness modifier can be used.

Template: Dark Sight, p.
This power can only be used with Personal limitation.

Detects living animals and people in every direction, even through walls. Black and white sight except living beings who appear in orange.

Template: Telekinesis, p. 170
Trapping: black smoke tentacle

Small objects (-3 PP)
: Grabbing small items up to 2 kg (4 pounds) is cheaper.

Template: Darkness p. 164

Rank: Seasoned
Power Points: 3
Range: Smarts
Duration: 5
Trapping: summoning a void spirit 

Summons an invisible spirit from the void which looks like a kind of crystal and attracts the full attention of the targets. They became easy targets in a fight, the attacker gets the Drop against them. Targets can be humans and animals.

Anyone sees the spirit’s place must make a Spirit roll (at -2 if the caster got a raise on her arcane skill roll). Those who fail will stare at the place of the spirit and cannot do anything else. They don’t perceive the environment and forget everything after the Power ends. Those who succeed also can see a small vibration in the air and if they continue to watch — which is a very typical behavior — they must make a new Spirit roll.

The spirit can mesmerize targets within a Small Blast Template centered around it. However, items and people may cover the sight.

Marked people see the spirit and aren’t affected.

Medium visibility (+1)
: visible within a Medium Blast Template.
Large visibility (+2): visible within a Large Blast Template.

Rank: Seasoned
Power Points: 3
Range: Smarts
Duration: 5
The hero may possess an animal or human. Possession means the caster disappears and travels in the body of the victim. When the possession ends the target gets stunned and your hero reappears behind them. Small targets like rats won’t survive this process.

The hero cannot possess Mark Bearers. Those with magical talents recognize they are possessed, but they cannot do anything against it. The hero can possess fresh corpses or unconscious people. Other Powers cannot be used while possessing someone.

Template: Disguise, p. 158
The hero may steal the look of existing people from touch range. It can change only the appearance of the hero.

Modifiers cannot be used. Mark bearers cannot be deceived.

Template: Intangibility, p. 163
Rank: Veteran
Trapping: black smoke monster
This power can only be used with Personal limitation.

The hero cannot travel through walls, only through holes.

Rank: Veteran
Power Points: 6
Range: Smarts
Duration: one week
The caster summons a Blood Briar, a semi sentient vine-like void creature described below in Bestiary. They don’t like to be close to each other.

Rank: Novice
Power Points: 2
Range: Smarts
Duration: 5
Trappings: rats

Summons rats who attack the closest targets. An alternative can be summoning bloodflies. They occupy a small blast template size. See the Swarm enemy type p.189.

Rat Piper (+1)
: The swarm follows you and attacks everyone.
Two small swarms (+2)
Medium swarm (+3)
Large swarm (+4)

Template: Summon Ally, Mirror Self, p. 169

You may put a single command to the mind of your doppelganger when created, for example run to a certain place or attack a target. Otherwise, the doppelganger will follow you and will attack those who you attack.

With Blink, you may exchange places with your doppelganger.

Modifiers cannot be used.

Template: Bolt, p. 156

Rank: Novice
Power Points: 2
Range: Smarts
Duration: Permanent
Corpses disappear including their non-metallic equipment and body parts.

More targets (+1)
: The power may affect more than one corpse for 1 additional Power Point each.

Rank: Legendary
Power Points: 5
Range: Smarts
Duration: 1 hour
Trapping: a painting
The hero can create a gate to the Void that everybody can use.

Template: Havoc, p. 162
Trappings: wind, scream

Shockwave (+1)
: it deals 2d6 lethal damage in addition.


Just like in SWADE, characters get 500 coin to spend on gear.

General Equipment

Burglar's Tools, 50 coin, 1lb.

-2 Thievery without them.

Cheater's Tools, 30 coin, 1lb.

Free reroll when attempting to Cheat during a Gambling roll.

Climbing Gear, 50 coin, 10lb.

Allows the user to ignore up to 2 points of penalty when climbing. 

Concealing Clothing, 50 coin (though any concealing clothing that works in any environment are much more expensive), 4lb.

Grants +2 Stealth when worn in specific environment or +1 Stealth if made for any condition.

Disguise Kit, 50 coin, 8lb.

Grants free reroll on Performance rolls while using a disguise.

Fine Clothing And Accessories, 150+ coin, 10lb.

Forged Papers, 50 coin, - lb.

The better quality or rather the document being forged, the higher the cost.

Gives user +1 to Persuasion, +2 if high quality, when attempting to convince some official. The target can attempt an opposed Notice roll to spot that the document is a fake, the TN is the character's Persuasion result.

Physician's Kit, 50 coin, 1lb.

-1 Healing without it.

Spyglass, 100 coin, 1lb.

+1 Notice at range.

Tinkerer's Tools, 200, 5lb.

+1 to Repair on mechanical items.


Armored Mantle Coat (Torso), 120 coin.

+3 Armor, Min Str d6, 15lb.

Helmet (Head), 20 coin.

+3 Armor, Min Str d4, 3lb.

Masks worn by the Overseers only cover the face.

Treated Cloth, 60 coin.

+1 Armour, Min Str d4, 3lb.


Crossbow, 100 coin.

10/20/40, 2d6, AP 2, RoF 1, Min Str d6, 5lb.

Cudgel, 10 coin.

Str+d4, Min Str d4, 2lb.

Grenade, 70 coin.

4/8/16, 3d6, MBT, 1lb.

Grenade, Chokedust, 70 coin.

4/8/16, Special, MBT, 1lb. 

Those caught within the blast template must make a Vigor roll (at -2 with a raise) or be Distracted and Vulnerable.

Knife, 20 coin.

Str+d4, Min Str d4, 1lb.

Knuckledusters, 10 coin.

Str+d4, Min Str d4, 1lb, Don't count as a weapon for Unarmed Defender.

Pistol, 150+ coin.

12/24/48, 2d6, AP 1, RoF 1, Shots 1, Min Str d4, 3lb.

Rifle, 300+ coin.

24/48/96, 2d8, AP 2, RoF 1, Shots 1, Min Str d6, 8lb.

Sword, 50 coin.

Str+d6, Min Str d6, 2lb.

Wristbow, 120 coin.

5/10/20, 2d4, AP -, RoF 1, Shots 1, Min Str d4, 2lb.


Bolt (Standard), 4 coin apiece, 1lb.

Bolt (Incendiary), 30 coin apiece, 1lb. Notes: Counts as Heavy Weapon and deals 2d6 damage even if fired from a Wristbow, may also set a target on fire with a SBT.

Bolt (Sleep), 20 coin apiece, 1lb. Notes: Deals no damage and is completely negated by metal armor, requires a Called Shot to be used. Those hit by this bolt must make a Vigor roll (-2 if hit with a raise) or fall asleep for one hour.

Bullet (Pistol), 3 coin apiece.

Bullet (Rifle), 5 coin apiece.

Setting Rules

Hard Choices & Variant Bennies

This adaptation makes use of the Hard Choices Setting Rule, though a key difference is that the players are allowed unlimited bennies to encourage them to spend bennies. In addition, there are two additional types of bennies used.

*Momentum:- When used, Momentum tokens work like a typical bennie but do not grant the GM a bennie and players may only have one Momentum token at a time (additional bennies normally awarded by Luck, Great Luck, etc count as Momentum tokens but do not count against this limit). They also do not reset at the end of a session/adventure.

*Chaos:- Chaos tokens are bennies that can be used to double any trait roll (even after a roll was made). They may also be used to reroll a critical failure, granting a +2 bonus in the process. However, when used the GM gains two bennies for each Chaos token spent. Just like Momentum, they also do not reset at the end of a session/adventure.


Key to the Dishonored setting are bone charms, talisman carved from whale bones that provide lesser or greater powers. There are bone charms known as so-called 'corrupted charms' that incur a negative effect. Regardless of their actual type, the Abbey of the Everyman has banned their use and possession of a bone charm is considered a crime.

Bonuses and, sometimes, special effects are always passive abilities. No Power or any other ability that requires an activation can be incorporated into a bone charm. To use a bone charm you must wear it on your person, typically hidden under clothing. The amount of bone charms that you can benefit from any one time is the number of your character's Ranks plus one, a Seasoned Rank character would be able to benefit from three charms.

The Occult skill can be used to not identify bone charms, giving the character an idea of what effects are given, but also to craft new charms. Crafting requires a day work and costs 50 coin plus material, though the effects of the charm need to be decided and declared before work begins. A standard bone charm only requires a success, more powerful ones need a raise on the crafting roll. A failure means the charm gets made, but the GM chooses a negative effect thus turning the charm into a corrupted charm. Critical Failure just means the whole project fails with all materials involved consumed in the process.

A Networking roll at -4 can be made to try and acquire bone charms from less than honest sources.

Popular Bonecharms

  • Agility: +1 to Athletics rolls.
  • Bitter Blood: Bloodflies/rats avoid your hero when possible and attack only close to their nests.
  • Bloody Mana: Suffering a would level restores 3 Power Points.
  • Boar Skin: +2 to Soak, Injury, and any other rolls to survive wounds.
  • Calmness of Whales: +1 to Fear checks and any rolls to resist effects that provoke strong emotions, especially taunts.
  • Cat Eyes: Dim and Dark lighting penalties are halved (but not Pitch Darkness).
  • Elongated Power: The duration of a single, chosen Power lasts 50% longer. A 5 round duration will extend to 8 rounds. Every Power requires a separate bone charm.
  • Expansive Spirit: +2 to the maximum Power Points.
  • Familiar Scent: Wolfhounds cannot smell the hero.
  • Harming Void: +1 damage when using Powers.
  • Leviathan's Breath: Doubles the time the hero can spend underwater without drowning.
  • Malfunction: Nearby constructions used by enemies malfunction with 10% chance. Guns don’t fire, grenades don’t explode. This affect enemies who aim the hero.
  • Power Slash: +1 melee damage.
  • Separation Trauma: Hosts are rendered unconscious when you leave them using Possession.
  • Shadow: +1 to Stealth rolls.
  • Spirited: The hero heals slowly a Wound every day.
  • Spiritual Pool: The hero restores 2 extra Power Points per hour.
  • Tougher Allies: Allies summoned by the hero have +1 Toughness.
  • Twist of Fortune: Critical Failures turn into raises instead.
  • Underwater: +1 Movement when swimming (so an average hero may move 3+1” every round), +1 to
  • swimming Athletics rolls.
  • Unnerving Target: Enemies have +1 to difficulty when shooting at the hero.
  • Vengeance Suffering: Unsoaked Wounds grant the hero a Momentum token.
  • Vitality: +2 to Vigor rolls against poison and diseases. It affects sedatives as well.
  • Void Surge: There is a 10% chance the Power they use don’t cost Power Points. Heroes cannot use Powers without having the appropriate Power Points.
  • White Friends: White animals are friendly and won’t attack your hero unless the hero attacks them.
  • Zephyr: +1 Pace.

Black Bonecharms 

  • Bloodfly Alchemy: The first ranged attack which would hit your hero transforms into bloodflies. Can be used once per day.
  • Cornered Animal: +2 to melee damage rolls for every Wound the hero currently has.
  • Fickle Beasts: Summoned beings in the vicinity of the wielder turn against their summoner. Summoned Followers are the only exception.
  • Hardiness: +1 Toughness.
  • Whirlwind: Quicker melee attacks +1 to Fighting rolls. 

Corrupted Charms 

  • Bad Smell: Animals hate your hero. Dogs always bark at him. When combined with White Friends, white animals are only cautious.
  • Conspicuous: -1 to Stealth rolls and guards pick the hero more often for routine check.
  • Costly Effect: Every Power use costs another 1 Power Point.
  • Delayed: The hero must discard Action Cards of 6 or higher draw another until they have an Action Card of 5 or less (though Jokers are kept). Whilst using this charm, the Quick Edge cannot be used.
  • Doom of Machines: When you roll a 1 on the wild die using any machines, the machine fails and must be repaired. This includes even pistols and grenades. When no trait roll is required you still need to roll a wild die.
  • Exhausting Contact: When the hero uses Powers and rolls a 1 on the wild die, the hero gets a level of Fatigue.
  • Fragile: When the wearer gets a wound, roll a d12. A roll of 1 means the bone charm is destroyed. Soaked wounds don’t count.
  • Frailty: -1 Toughness
  • Leviathan's Smell: -1 to social rolls. The smell of whales can be suppressed by intense fragrance but the overused scent isn’t pleasant either. Intimidation isn’t affected.
  • Omission: Suffer a -1 penalty when attempting to use a Power.
  • Periodic: The bone charm works only during the day or the night.
  • Slow: -1 Pace.
  • Slow Restoration: Power Point regeneration is halved.
  • Unlucky Fighter: -1 to Fighting rolls.
  • Unlucky Shoot: -1 to Shooting rolls.


Blood Briars

Huge and aggressive supernatural plants summoned from the Void. They lash out at and sometimes grab any nearby enemies that they detect. When destroyed, their remains disappear.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4 (A), Spirit d6, Strength d10, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d10, Notice d6+2
Pace: 0; Parry: 7; Toughness: 7
Edges: Alertness
Special Abilities:
• Size: 1
• Tentacles (1): A blood briar has one tentacle action and Reach 6. It may lash for Str+d6 damage.


The black and red coloured bloodflies can grow as big as 25cm (10"). They prefer warmer climates, thus they found in the southern climes of the Empire. Bloodflies build huge nests, similarly to hornets, usually on walls but occasionally they build small ones on the corpses of their victims. They require fresh corpses to lay their eggs  that hatch after a very short time. Bloodflies are peaceful alone and aggressive in groups. They are attracted to rapid motion and sounds. Fire is deadly to them. The nests are flammable and their wings can be easily destroyed. Their stings may cause bloodfly fewer and multiple stings can be deadly.

Use stats for a Swarm in SWADE, though fire does an additional +2 damage to them. Anyone wounded by a bloodfly swarm must make a Vigor roll or be Stunned, failure on this roll requires a second Vigor to avoid being infected by Bloodfly Fever.

Clockwork Soldier

Extremely expensive and deadly constructs sought after by the rich and powerful across the Isles. Costing a king's fortune, these mechanical sentinels are a status symbol of both wealth and paranoia.

Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d6, Spirit d4, Strength d12+4, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d10, Intimidation d10, Notice d8+2
Pace: 7; Parry: 7; Toughness: 13 (3)
Edges: Alertness (Sensors).
Special Abilities:
• Armor +3
• Blade Arms: Str+d8 damage.
• Construct: +2 to recover from being Shaken; ignores 1 point of Wound penalties; does not breathe or suffer from disease or poison and don’t Bleed Out.
• Extra Arms: The machine can attack twice per round.
• Fearless: Machines are immune to Fear and Intimidation.
• Hardy: The clockwork soldier does not suffer a Wound from being Shaken twice.
• Jump: The machine can jump 3” as part of its movement. In can jump up to 2”.
• Size 3 (Large): The clockwork soldier stands 10′ tall.
• Very Resilient: Can take two Wounds before they’re Incapacitated.
• Weak Point, Head: A successful Called Shot to the head can decapitate the machine if the hero wants it. It won’t get wounds but becomes blind and attacks the direction from which it was attacked. In the following rounds it moves and attacks that direction. But it receives a -4 penalty for all attacks. If attacked from another direction it turns and attacks that way. 


Undead hounds summoned by occultists to serve as tireless guards. Normally encountered as a dog's skull upon the ground, but when an intruder is sensed nearby it will transform into a terrible beast. Even after destroying the creature, it returns within 1d6+1 rounds if it's skull is still intact.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4 (A), Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d8, Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d10+2
Pace: 8; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6
Edges: Alertness
Special Abilities:
• Bite: Str+d6.
• Fear (-2)
• Resilient: Can take one Wound before it is Incapacitated.
• Speed
: d10 running die.
• Undead: +2 Toughness; +2 to recover from being Shaken; no additional damage from Called Shots; ignores 1 point of Wound penalties; doesn’t breathe; immune to disease and poison.


Guards can be found all across the Isles, either as hired swords or enforcing the law as part of the Dunwall City Watch or the Serkonos Grand Guard.

Rookie Guard
: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Athletics d6, Fighting d6, Intimidation d6, Notice d6, Shooting d6
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Gear: Sword Str + d8.
Some guards in Gristol wear gorgets and helmet (see Gear above).

Veteran Guard
: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Athletics d6, Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d8, Shooting d8
Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6
Edge: Investigator, officers will have Command and other similar Edges.
Gear: Pistol, sword and armor.

Officer Guards will be Wild Cards.


Use Swarm from SWADE.

Tallboy (Wild Card)

The infamous silt walker used during the Rat Plague, Tallboys are dangerous foes to tackle.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Athletics d8, Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Shooting d10
Pace: 3; Parry: 5; Toughness: 10 (4)
Edges: Combat Reflexes, Free Runner

Gear: Their incendiary bolts cause 2d6 fire damage when hit and in the following round. 3d6 with a raise. Range: 12/24/48.


Witch is the catch all name given to magic practising individuals, especially those who form a coven to pool their knowledge and power.

: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Spellcasting d6.
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Edge: Arcane Background (Magic)
Powers: Blink; Thorns or Windblast with scream trapping.
Gear: Sword Str + d8 

Inner circle
: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d8, Spellcasting d8.
Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5
Edge: Arcane Background (Magic), Power Points x2
Powers: Blink, Blood Briar, Thorns, Windblast with scream trapping.
Gear: Sword Str + d8
They often use Blink in combat.


Use Dog/Wolf from SWADE.

Monday 1 November 2021

November 2021: Desert Days

 I've posted about the world of Darmonica beyond the shores of Alyeska, ever-expanding the overall setting of Frozen Skies. One of the things I've posted about has been the Commonwealth Colony of Orduesh, an outpost located in the southern deserts. This week we're going back to this little outpost and exploring some options to expand your games of Frozen Skies.

Fly the Scorched Wastes

Flying what's known as the Southern Wastes offers it's own set of challenges both like and unlike what aviators in Alyeska's chilly climes encounter. Heat and thirst will take it's toll on the unprepared whilst sand wrecks havoc on machinery. For the former keep the Heat and Thirst Hazards in mind, whilst the latter I'm toying with the following rule.

Due to the sandy nature of the Southern Wastes, all Repair rolls on machinery are made with a -1 penalty (though a shuttered hanger or workshop negates this). Similarly, mechanical equipment requires a daily upkeep Repair roll (with the aforementioned penalty) but each raise grants a whole where this roll is not required. Failure requires another Repair roll and d6 hours to fix the piece of equipment, a Critical Failure requires a proper hanger or workshop and d6 days to rectify the problem. 

If the piece of equipment was caught in a sandstorm, this inflicts another -2 on Repair rolls.


Similar to Alyeska, the Southern Wastes are dotted with Ancient ruins and mining outposts in addition to boasting large swaths of unexplored territory. The Wastes are also host to border skirmishes between the Commonwealth and the Sultanate of Taramate and efforts by other Darmonican powers to woo the latter, thus giving some options for diplomatic or even spy based plots.


The most obvious foe would be the Sultanate which is openly hostile to those found within it's borders without permission, obtaining a permit for safe travel is a venture in of itself.

But what about beasties lurking in the desert sands?

One creatures I'm currently brainstorming is one that I've taken to calling the Burrower, simply because it spends most of it's time under the sands. This creature would be a predator and thus the Southern Wastes' counterpart to the Wulvers of Alyeska, though what type of creature I have yet to decide upon. It is tempting to make it a giant sand worm, but I'm considering some sort of mammal.

Another idea I'm mulling is desert dwelling Windryders, almost as a tie-in to Alyeska.

So, thoughts and comments?

Monday 4 October 2021

October 2021: Savage Skies

 Recently had the chance to do a one shot where we ended up running an air combat for Frozen Skies, again it seemed like the air combat rules had a solid foundation and the hex grid certainly seems like the way forward. That said, it was also an opportunity to get some more feedback from my players and brainstorm ideas for possible revisions and improvements. As it turned out there were some good ideas to make movement more clearer and keeping it true to the Fast Furious Fun motto of Savage Worlds.

Fly the Savage Skies!

Think I'll the post air combat rules for Frozen Skies as they now stand with the recent revisions, especially for new people who have only just stumbled upon this blog and/or the Frozen Skies setting itself.

The air combat rules presented here are a more tactical alternative to the vehicle combat rules found in Savage Worlds and it's supplements. Biggest difference is that these rules require the use of a hex grid, thus giving them more of a tactical/wargame feel. There are a few changes to the rules for vehicle combat in Savage Worlds, but these are down to the use of a hex grid and can be adapted for use with other settings involving combat between fighter craft.

The Basics

Due to the use of a hex grid, scales work a little differently with these rules.

To get the speed of an aircraft, divide it's Top Speed by 60 and round up to get it's so-called 'Hex Speed' which is the number of hex squares it can move.

For weapon ranges, divide these ranges by 30 and again round up where needed.

Optional Rule: As a way to help speed things up, you can use the so-called Wingmen rule.

This divides aircraft into one of two categories, Aces who are Wild Cards and Wingmen who count as Extras under the normal Savage Worlds rules. The difference is that the Wingmen aircraft count as having two less wounds, so a base of one wound plus an additional wound for each size category above Normal/Medium. This means Wingmen have less staying power compared to their Ace counterparts, thus making them a bit easier to take-out and keep things moving reasonably quick.


All aircraft are required to move at least half their Hex Speed, moving any less requires a Piloting roll to avoid the aircraft stalling and going Out of Control.

Turning requires the aircraft to have moved one hex square before turning, once this is done the aircraft can then change it's hex facing and finish the rest of it's movement. Only one turn is allowed per aircraft per round and may require a roll with modifiers as shown in the picture below, but is considered a Free Action.

Changing the hex facing by one does not require a roll. Changing the aircraft's direction by two or more hex facings is subject to a penalty of -2 per hex facing beyond the first, so -2 for two hex facings and -4 for three hex facings (the highest penalty and is effectively a 180 degree turn).

Boost: A pilot can move his aircraft an additional 1d3 hex squares if he wishes. Though the pilot then suffers a -2 penalty to all their other actions when boosting their aircraft speed. This penalty is reduced to -1 by the Steady Hands Edge (similar to the penalty for running).


The following maneuvers from the Savage Worlds Chase rules can be used for air combat in Frozen Skies with the necessary adaptions noted. For opposed Piloting rolls the aircraft with the higher Climb value (if used) gains +1, this increases to a +2 if the Climb value is doubled that of the other aircraft.

  • Evade: No change.
  • Flee: Change references to Chase Cards to Hex Squares.
  • Force: Change reference to 'same Chase Card' to 'adjacent hex squares'. Bump is changed to the target being moved to an adjacent hex square with a random facing chosen by the foe who caused the Bump.
  • Ram: No change.


Frozen Skies still uses the regular Savage Worlds for vehicle combat with respect to Recoil, Unstable Platform and modifiers due to Weapon Ranges, etc. Shooting still requires a TN of 4 to hit and is, of course, still effected by modifiers.

Fixed Weapons fire in a straight, whereas Pintle-mounted and Turret-mounted weapons fire in a cone and circle respectively.

Monday 6 September 2021

September 2021: Lionheart

 As summer gives away to autumn and the final few months of the year, perhaps a good time to announce a project I've begun which I hope to have finished before the year's end. It's a supplement for Cold War Skirmishes that I hope to release via the Savage Worlds Adventurer's Guild on DriveThruRPG and may form the general format for CWS related products going forward. 

Oh and SWAGtember III: Return of the SWAG Bundle is how out. Check it out to find a ton of great community created content and my Operation Thule adventure.

 What is Lionheart?

 Lionheart is a supplement for my Cold War Skirmishes line that covers the British Forces during the Cold War period. The name references both Richard the Lionheart from English history and also the big NATO exercise Lionheart that took place in 1984.

As stated, the supplement's focus is on the British military during the Cold War era which I'm defining to be from the end of the Second World War in 1945 through to the start of the First Gulf War in 1991. This gives a time frame of some 46 years during which the British Forces saw constant action whilst undergoing changes in organisation, equipment and tactics. What this means content wise is an overview of structure and gear in the form of both weapons and vehicles with the focus on the British Army, though there will be a mention or two regarding the RAF and the Royal Navy.

Vehicles are going to be the bulk of the content and there is a surprising amount even going with what was actually used, so I'm going to focus on what was used on the frontline and thus more likely to be used by player characters. Aircraft wise, I'm probably going to restrict it to helicopters and light aircraft just to keep myself sane.

I'm including a draft below, which is far from finish due to stuff needing to be added along with the formatting needing to be sorted and pictures/artwork needing to be sourced. Though I am curious what level of detail people would like me to go into? Aka what years stuff was in service, etc?

Thoughts, comments and feedback muchly welcomed.

*Lionheart Draft*

Monday 2 August 2021

August 2021: Alyeskan Gazetteer - Scrapper's Island

 Certainly been a while since we've had a Gazetteer post, so probably high time that was addressed. As ever this serves to explore the untamed wilds and expand the map of Alyeska, thus providing more fodder for people's games of Frozen Skies. In this month's entry we take a look at one of many ventures that failed to live up to their investor's expectations.

Scrapper's Island

Scrapper's Island is located in the Needles, north of Theda Air Station

The island has been used by fishermen for decades, originally being known as Dirgen's Landing since time almost immortal. Things changed with the end of the Great Darmonican War and the large amounts of war surplus flooding the market as the various militaries demobilised their forces. One enterprising businessman, a certain Sean Holden, sought to take advantage of this situation.

Spending no small amount of coin, Holden acquired the deed to the island and set about having a smelting plant and workers' housing constructed. Back in the Commonwealth's Home Isles he tendered contracts for disposal of surplus military equipment with the view of having it then transported to his island factory. It was Holden's intent to break up the equipment for salvage, either as spare parts or melt down the metals to be re-used for other purposes.

With a workforce in place, a few shipments en-route and operations already underway Holden was convicted for fraud and his assets within the Home Isles were seized by the Commonwealth authorities whilst Holden himself was imprisoned. Without it's main driving force, Scrapper's Island never achieved it's full potential. With no paychecks looking to be forthcoming, many of the workers upped sticks and left leaving those too stubborn or unable to leave.

Though looking mostly abandoned, Scrapper's Island continues in a state of limbo acquiring a tickle of junk that is broken down for spares by the so-called Scrappers that remain. The smelters stand silent, never really being used for their intended use as the island because more of a junkyard where various companies in Alyeska dispose of unwanted equipment.

Use In Games

Scrapper's Island could serve as the destination for a crew tasked with delivering a shipment of obsolete equipment, likewise the crew could visit the island in search of spare parts to make some repairs on the cheap. They could also be sent here to find something on behalf of a rich patron.

Monday 5 July 2021

July 2021: To Pay Donn's Toll

 This month we're back in the world of Frozen Skies with a look at an idea for some background lore for the setting. The genesis of this stems from a recent discussion about the portrayal of the afterlife in fantasy settings and various different cultures. Focusing on the Commonwealth here whose beliefs are rooted in Celtic mythology but altered and adapted to fit the setting. 

Donn's Toll

Kinda playing on a number of different sources here for inspiration, though the main basis is the Celtic Otherworld believed to both be the realm of the gods and also of the dead. This concept of the afterlife known as the Otherworld I plan to carry over into Frozen Skies, though this Otherworld is also believed to be the home of various spirits like the fey thus making it, in some respects, similar to the Feywild in D&D. 

Passage to (and sometimes from) the Otherworld is conveyance via a ferryman, so alot like Charon in Greek mythology. Though in this instance the ferryman is based more of the Irish god of the dead Donn, just with a boat instead of a horse. With the Commonwealth's homeland being a bunch of islands I figured the ocean would have an influence on the cultural beliefs within the Commonwealth, hence the ferryman of the dead angle here. On a slight tandem here, funeral ships (for either burial on land or cremation at sea) could be popular amongst important families with ties to the ocean.

I like the idea of the Banshee from Irish folklore as a female spirit who heralds somebody's death, usually by wailing. Though I wish to expand on this, but keep the core idea of the Banshee being a herald of death. For the Frozen Skies version of the Banshee I'm thinking that when somebody dies, she either sings or wails depending on how good or bad the recently mortally challenged person was. This would then act as a herald for the person's spirit when it arrived in the Otherworld.

Another thing that I wish to incorporate is the Wild Hunt, least the concept of otherworldly hunters chasing after souls of the dead. My version would be led by a figure dubbed the 'Horned King' and the hunt itself targets the souls of those who have been bad in their lifetime. Course the idea here is that the soul is repeatedly hunted down depending on how bad they were, thus creating cycles where the soul is hunted down until they are considered to be 'cleansed' of their sins in life.

And that's what I have, though some parts may change as it gets refined and polished up.

Monday 7 June 2021

June 2021: State of the Press

 Good grief, almost halfway through the year.

We're now heading into summer (or winter for those readers residing in the southern hemisphere) as signalled by it not raining for more than five minutes here in the UK, so it seems like a good enough excuse for an update on things. It'll be a short post, covering Frozen Skies and some personal stuff that still effect things.

Frozen Skies

One of the big changes with Frozen Skies is that I've managed to enlist some outside help, mainly to provide an extra set of eyes and opinions to counteract how much of Frozen Skies has been developed in relative isolation. For me this is great as I finally get some sort after feedback prior to going to print, thus hopefully leading to a much improved product when that happens. Obviously, that's a boon for everyone concerned.

The biggest change has been to make the Weird Science Arcane Background a NPC only thing, Weird Science was the only Arcane Background in the setting and it was hard justifying it. So now for player characters, Weird Science is effectively just the gizmos and devices side of things rather than powers. Weird Science would still remain a valid skill to operate said devices, though to acquire them a character would have to seek out a NPC mad scientist.

Another change is the inclusion of some alternative rules for air combat, which are just that; an alternative. The hex grid based more tactical rules are being kept, though GMs and their players are gaining more options to use. Whilst not being a be all and end all, it is hoped that this will provide greater choice for people wanting to play Frozen Skies.

Gonna try and get the revised SWADE update document, 'Frozen Skies Black Ice', done by the end of the month so that people can see the actual changes and thus provide feedback on them. As for the final product, I still can provide no ETA on that.

Personal Stuff

A potential boon/spanner in the works (depending on POV) that I've mentioned previously is that I'm currently in the process of joining the Royal Air Force. Needless to say, joining the British military can be and is a drawn-out process with the various steps being spread out over a period of a few months. As you can imagine, a global pandemic has slowed things down as well.

I'm currently at the Medical stage, though I did my actual medical back in April I failed on eyesight and need to re-do this section after acquiring a pair of glasses. Once this is done I have one more stage to get through, the Pre-Joining Fitness Test, before I finally receive a start date for recruit training. Presently I'm waiting on the medical to be re-booked, frustrating as the delay is it does mean more time to work on fitness and I'm currently estimating that it will be October time when I go off to recruit training.

As I said previously, hope to have something more substantial out for the SWADE version of Frozen Skies by the time that happens.

Monday 3 May 2021

May 2021: Clan of the Fallen

 This month we return to the world of Frozen Skies by building some background lore, something that could possibly be used in games of Frozen Skies. It builds upon the clan society of the Commonwealth that I was aiming for, in addition introduces a plot angle for people to play with. Hopefully it'll be something that folk will find interesting and, if the reception is good, I'll see about doing more of these lore/plot-hook posts.

The Fallen Clan

Clan Kendrick's name is oft-spoken with disgust and mistrust, the clan having fallen from grace since the events of the Finklegate Coup. Disgraced, the surviving members of the clan found themselves as pariahs far as the Commonwealth was concerned. With much of their holdings, wealth and influence gone the clan eventually re-established itself in Alyeska where it gradually rebuilt it's fortune. As a sign of it's revival, Clan Kendrick had Dunfalk House built as it's new clan seat a few miles outside of Gravenburgh in Alyeska.

Still reviled by society at large, unsurprising the clan retains deep-seated bitterness and resentment of how the Coup played out. Having long coveted the throne, Clan Kendrick has frequently sought opportunities to help it achieve it's ultimate goal. One such opportunity presented itself in the form of Banrigh (Queen) Lothwyn II whom the clan paired with one of it's own scions to be a suitor when the then young Lothwyn came of age.

Despite taking the young man, Cathal Kilmartin, into her confidence the Banrigh fell for another. The identity of this other suitor is unknown as it's deliberately been kept under wraps, though publicly it is known that Lothwyn is dating somebody. Needless to say, this has frustrated Clan Kendrick no end. The clan has spent a great deal of effort and coin in trying to identify who this person is, though they've had limited success other than a real nugget of information; they regularly travel to Broken Spires to indulge in a spot of gambling.

With this critical clue to go on, the clan has despatched agents to the pirate haven to watch out for whom the Queen's mysterious lover might be. Additionally, Clan Kendrick has hatched plans to dispose of the mystery man and has been seeking a suitable outfit of freelancers to use as the scapegoat. A number of outfits have been hired by the clan, through proxies of course, with the aim of testing their worth before the clan put it's plans into action.

That said, the clan has remained highly cautious of the Queen's uncle and Ard Tiarna (High Lord) of Alyeska; Viktor Cathmore.

Monday 5 April 2021

April 2021: Forsaken Revisited

 For a while I've had ideas for other settings beside Frozen Skies, settings that I've posted about time and time again. One of these has been a Dark SciFi that I'd dubbed Forsaken Space, which revolved around a single system where wrecked spaceships seem to be drawn to. Though I'm mulling going into a different direction with it, hence this post.

Welcome to Forsaken

I want to take a similar approach to that I've taken with Frozen Skies, start with a location and then build upon it from there. In this instance it'll be a planet, possibly named Forsaken though that might change, either way it's a heavily industrialised world with millions living in so-called hab-clusters. In some respects these hab-clusters are similar to the hive cities of 40K.

The world itself is under the nominal control of the galaxy spanning Terran Imperial Conglomerate (TIC), but I'm 50/50 between it being our own galaxy or another. My train of thought was that Humanity was finally able to spread across the stars after discovering naturally occurring wormholes, though these wormholes each operate on their own open/close cycle which makes interstellar that much more complex. There could be some wormholes that are open for a very long period and thus form part of regular trade routes, others are only open for a brief time prompting a sort of 'gold rush' when they do finally open.

This of course means that travelling from A to B could potentially involve pin-balling halfway round the galaxy depending on how good your timing is. You've probably realised the limitations with this method of interstellar travel, particularly how it hampers fleet movements, etc. To this end I'm toying with an idea of an experiment with FTL travel that went disastrously and tore a hole in the walls of reality, prompting invasions by other-wordly entities in what is known in setting as the Rift Wars. A combination of all of the above means most worlds are effectively isolated, a lone candle against the black.

Of course all this is subject to change, some elements may get altered as I develop the setting further. But I'd welcome thoughts and comments so far. 

Monday 1 March 2021

March 2021: Bravo November

 This week is bit of a break from Frozen Skies, instead we're focusing on one of my various other setting ideas. In this instance it's the turn of Cold War Skirmishes, a project that covers the Cold War period between 1945 and 1991. The aim is to cover various nations and conflicts, particularly the lesser well-known ones. This particular post is something I've planned to do for a while and concerns a Chinook helicopter in British service; Bravo November.

Bravo November

Bravo November was one of thirty Boeing CH-47 Chinooks ordered for the RAF in 1978, the actual helicopter (military serial ZA718) being received by the RAF in February 1982. In April 1982 Bravo November (from her radio code BN) was loaded onto the MV Atlantic Conveyor in response to the outbreak of the Falklands Conflict. Bravo November happened to to be airborne when the Atlantic Conveyor was tragically sunk, taking much of the task force's helicopter support with it, but Bravo November managed to land on the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes.

Bravo November ended up being the only serviceable heavy-lift helicopter for British forces during the duration of the conflict, whoever there was no spares, service manuals, lubricants or even tools for the helicopter. Even so, it was able to carry some 1,500 troops, 95 casualties, 650 POWs and 550 tons of cargo. 

The first of four Distinguished Flying Crosses for pilots flying the helicopter was awarded during the Falklands Conflict. Piloted by Squadron Leader Langworth on a night mission, the helicopter landed in the sea at around 100 knots. Spray from the impact flooded the engine intakes, but Langworth and his co-pilot managed to get the aircraft airborne once again. However, Bravo November suffered some fuselage damage along with a lost antenna and even the co-pilot's door when the crew considered bailing out of the ditched aircraft. Loss of the door meant the crew weren't able to navigate or communicate with ground forces, yet keep flying until the end of the conflict and received a replacement door from a captured Argentine Chinook.

The second DFC awarded was earned during the Iraq War, the aircraft being the first British helicopter to land Royal Marines ashore to size oil-pumping facilities before they could be destroyed by Iraq froces. Bravo November was flown by Squadron Leader Carr, who had to fly at 100ft or less with restricted visibility due to the dust kicked up by American armoured forces.

Third and fourth DFCs were awarded during the Afghanistan conflict. The first by Flight Lieutenant Wilson who remained on duty for a 24 hour period making frequent flights to ferry both reinforcements and wounded troops. Final DFC was awarded to Flight Lieutenant Fortune who received a head injury from a ricocheting bullet whilst attempting to land in a 'hot zone' whilst attempting to rescue wounded troops, the helicopter also received numerous hits. Fortune managed to stay in control of the aircraft and fly the injured soldiers back to base, though following day mechanics found that Bravo November's hydraulics had completely seized up.

Bravo November remains in service to this day and was the subject of an exhibit at the RAF Museum London. More info can be found *here*.


Size: 12; Handling: -2; Top Speed (MPH): 180; Toughness: 20 (2); Crew: 4+55
Notes: Helicopter; Weapons: 2x Med MGs (Fixed Left or Right), 1x Med MG (Fixed Rear)

Lucky: Bravo November has two Bennies for it's crew to use for any Piloting roll or to Soak Wounds against the aircraft.

Monday 1 February 2021

February 2021: Frozen Skies Thoughts

There are times when the inspiration particle strikes and hit upon an idea whether something would work in a RPG project of mine, be it Frozen Skies or something else. In this instance it's a couple of things from Deadlands Lost Colony that I'd like to adapt for Frozen Skies. Whether I'll be able to include them in Frozen Skies remains to be seen, though I'll go over what they are regardless.

Gear & Availability

One of the things that I wish to do with the SWADE update for Frozen Skies is to reinforce the frontier feeling of the setting, part of which I feel can be addressed by adjusting prices of various pieces of gear. Revamping the currency and prices is on my list of changes to make, if anything to make it easier to adapt from other SW settings.

Something Lost Colony does is have gear rated for availability ranging from Common through to Very Rare. A Networking roll is used to find a particular item, this roll is modified by the item's availability and the modifier of the population size in a particular area. This means a Common item would be easy to find in one of the big and well-trafficked settlements, whilst a Very Rare item would be extremely difficult to track down in a remote mining camp. 

In Frozen Skies this would mean stuff like bolt-actions would tend to be rated as Common, whilst stuff like machine guns, etc would be edging more towards Rare territory. Would be interesting to see how this works in practice, though I'll see about releasing a stand-alone document with the availability added in for various items for folk to try out.

Adventure Generator

Frozen Skies' own Adventure Generator as it stands is something I'm not happy with, it certainly feels like it could do with a major overhaul. The one in Lost Colony would probably be what I'd go with, looking like it's more simpler to use and more efficient with how it generates an adventure.

You have three categories; Objective, Obstacle and Complication. You draw an Action Card for each one, the card's value determines the result whilst the suit could how the characters are drawn in or influence behind the Obstacle. Certainly heck of alot less in the way of tables and rolls than what currently exists for Frozen Skies.


Objective: Ace of Diamonds - The characters find themselves in the middle of a battle whilst trying to make some money to keep their craft going and food on the table.

Obstacle: Seven of Hearts - The characters are competing against a rival group as a disease, or other health-related issue, come into play.

Complication: Six of Diamonds - Only non-lethal means are allowed either due to weapon laws or some hazard, though if the characters are willing to part with some hard-earned cash they may be able to resolve their troubles.

That certainly took alot less effort to do, the only real hard work is to string this into an adventure that works. Taking the above example this could be the characters running into a rival group in a bar where weapons aren't allowed and a brawl breaking out. Where's the bar? Perhaps in some mining settlement that the characters were delivering the medicine to, the brawl could've been started by a sick miner wanting to skip the queue or accidentally provoked somebody. Needing to replace some broken down parts, the crew had to take the job despite the outbreak but some of the payment could be loss being given as a bribe to appease the local authorities in the brawl's aftermath.

A few ideas, some of which could be expanded upon to round out the adventure even more. Certainly thinking this could be the way to go, though question remains whether I'll be able to adapt this for Frozen Skies.

What do you guys think?

Monday 4 January 2021

January 2021: Through The Looking Glass

 New Year, new post.

Hopefully bit of an interesting read to start off 2021, namely some alternative takes on the setting of Frozen Skies. Some of these stem from ideas I've had over the years as I developed the setting, others were suggestions offered by folk who had come up with their own interpretations. All of these are pretty fair game for folk to use for their own version of Frozen Skies, though if there is overwhelming interest in a particular one I may see about developing it further.

Islands In The Smog

One of the very very early ideas (pre-2010) I had for what eventually ended up becoming Frozen Skies was floating islands in a void similar to Outland in World of Warcraft but alot more Steampunk in nature. Sundered Skies for Savage Worlds covers this niche pretty well, as does the Warbirds RPG, so it's gonna be tricky to be original here.

That said, if I was to do a version of Frozen Skies based on this concept it would be to have the world slowly drowning in a toxic smog. The survivors would be forced to build new settlements on the tops of mountains to try and stay above the smog, making air travel necessary as the sole means of getting about. Could work as an alternative history version where the Blast created the smog which has been getting larger ever since.

The Kurg

This stems from another early idea, probably right back when I first started designing my own RPG setting. It was basically this horde-like army called the Kurg that was overrunning large parts of the world, proving to be difficult to stop. I had envisioned the Kurg being from a militant society, possibly their own empire, that was set on world conquest. Ultimately this idea got shelved as the setting underwent various revisions until what became Darmonica finally emerged.

If I did the Kurg today in Frozen Skies I'd probably have them be an subterranean species (think something like the Locust Horde in Gears of War) who have captured parts of the surface world, again requiring a dependence on air travel for the surface dwellers. The focus would probably be more combatting the Kurg, attempting to re-claim the surface and perhaps even striking back against their subterranean lairs.

Then again I have teased another power in Darmonica residing in what is considered to be 'uncharted lands', could be the Kurg....

Alternative History

This is something that I've had folk suggest, either as how they've run their own games or comments on how 'real' I've made the world. Basic idea is an alternative version of North America, granted Alyeska is the old Russian name for Alaska so there is some merit. Could do this as either Alaska merging with Canada rather than joining the US or North America being under British control similar to Harry Turtledove's The Two Georges novel.

Real question would be what changed from our own world and timeline?

Downside would be alot of elements I've included in Frozen Skies wouldn't work and I feel this idea would be more restrictive creativity wise as it simply wouldn't be a blank canvas. Whilst alternative history is interesting, I feel there's only so much room you've got to work with.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well, thats the different ideas I had. Let me know what you think.