For a little while, while I work on a OSR D&D Campaign.
Rockets and Mayhem “Privateers and Peril”: Story Four The Magnificent “as many as we can get”.
Setting: “The Abhva Triangle”, on the border of Quadrant III and IV of the Yami Belt (out past the regular MSN patrols)
One Scene of naval scale stealth and detection to find an Abhva transit route.
One Scene of disabling a Makara WarCruiser, to obtain the navigational data pointing back at where enslaved Janya and Kravyad captured in battle are being held before being shipped off to the closest (hidden) hiveworld.
One Scene of personal scale stealth and detection to get the assistance of the prisoners in the camp in staging a breakout.
- If previous scene is unsuccessful, go directly to combat (and a quickly diminishing pool of possible crew)
- If the previous scene was successful, a social scene for the recruiting of the hostages, and we go straight to the conclusion (success in this scene defines how many prisoners escape / sign articles of agreement).
The most significant population center in Wakal is known simply as “Capital”. An urbanized collection of residential, commercial, and (Technik) industrial use, Capital is located in the 15-km wide, half a kilometer-deep caldera of an extinct super-volcano on the southern continent.
The northwest side of the classes is broken up by irregular cracks hundreds of meters deep, with mixed use commercial and residential buildings climbing up and down those vertical surfaces. The northeast side is the mostly smooth downstream flow of long-cooled magma and serves as landing field, transshipment point, and sprawling home to the transitory gray market that calls Wakal home.
There are some extraction and refinery operations inside the caldera, using centuries outdated (and polluting) tech, but the bigger refineries are essentially city-states themselves, reachable through a well-developed and stable set of maglev corridors.
See also: Yami Belt Colony – Wakal
See also: Akash Dewan
In my imagination, somewhere between steampunk and Flash Gordon, there’s an Art Deco / Brutalist Nikola Tesla world of wonder, and that’s what I’m aiming for.
In addition to the background piece, and the story piece, there is a game mechanics piece where my jolly band of misfits and I resolve conflict and determine how chance interacts with the efforts of our protagonists. In the “tabletop role-playing game” context, I’m talking about the the game part.
We tried a few different systems before settling where we did. We looked at Slipstream, for the Savage Worlds system. We looked at Equinox / Match System. We actually tried out Rocket Age for a few sessions, but found there was a disconnect between the pulp excellence of the setting, and how effective the starting characters could be,
Which is where Fate Core (by Evil Hat Productions) comes in. Fate Core is definitely a lot more collaborative than the traditional RPG (as the gamemaster I have a plurality of discretion in the game, but not a majority), which was an is a pretty big adjustment for everyone involved. It’s also relatively setting agnostic, which means there are quite a few things tagged as “Extras” that pretty integral to *our* setting that we are left to work out the details ourselves (for better or worse, there are pretty frequent rules implementations that change how things work), such as technology, equipment, magic, wealth, and spaceships. As I said, some of the central set dressing of science-fiction.
But there is a sentence in the “What Makes a Good Fate Game” that a) really sold me on trying the system, and b) turns out to be practically true in a way that enables success to build upon itself. Specifically, “Whether you’re talking about fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, or gritty cop shows, Fate works best when you use it to tell stories about people who are proactive, competent, and dramatic.”
And that’s the state we aspire to.
Season Three will feature pirate corsairs out of the Free City of Hanuruha operating under letters of marquee and reprisal against the Abhva and Makara.
Minimally, a pair of Corvette class cruisers operating in the Belt during one of the regular void devil incursions. Captaincy for at least two primary characters, first officer slots for up to two more. Crews and operating expenses for the ships provided by the free peoples of the belt. Possibly social goals of roping independent Kravyad outposts in the Belt less than sanguine about the civilizing influence of the Janya into a military alliance.
TBD is what exactly is of sufficient value to be salvaged from incursions ships to make combat rewarding enough to justify the risk.
“Dark Matter” is invisible matter that tries to hold the universe together with gravity. “Dark Energy” is invisible energy that accelerates the dispersion of the universe.
Rockets and Mayhem is a set of stories set in a dwarf galaxy where dark matter and dark energy are as thick as molasses, yet as invisible as you would expect, until the enlightened souls of the residents sing in the correct key. My friends help me tell the stories. Mostly, to the extent that genre applies, they are retro-futuristic space-fantasy of a broadly utopian vision. Think “Star Wars”, but with better representation (and hopefully, characterization) of diverse humanity.
Not that we have any humans, per se.
Rockets and Mayhem, Series Two cast:
Q Proud Mary, a Raksasa ex-convict.
Rajan, a feminine Artisan caste Siddha.
Shiv, a counter-insurgency trained Artisan, previously associated with the Janya military.
All three are associated with Paladin, a commercial fugitive retrieval concern with limited law enforcement authority during the current (Third) War with the Ice Giants from Planet X.