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Frozen Skies Session 5: "Trust me, I'm a drunk!"

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 05:30
After a break off over a month, the crew of the airship Waylander are back flying the Frozen Skies!

For one reason or another, the entire group hasn't been able to get together over the past month. One session got cancelled and the following ended up being a Savage 40K one-shot, but the whole crew is back in Alyeska. The group seemed to be happy getting back into the swing of things, though one of the players has ended up changing characters (more on that in a bit). This week, though slow to begin with, was a fun session.


Departures

After a quick recap, we picked up from where we left off with the crew still in the pirate haven of Broken Spires. Upon receiving the 'Love Interest' Adventure Card, Tag's player immediately plays it and asks that its the leader of the Banshees; Captain Natasha 'Tash' Rogan.

Cue another meeting with the female sky pirate, who states that she looks forwards to working with Tag in the future. Tash also gives the crew one of her planes, which gets put to good use later on. Whilst this meeting (and the logistics of putting the new plane on the airship) takes place, George heads into town followed by Alex. Before the game George's player had expressed that they wished to change characters, so George was effectively leaving the crew. Alex decided to follow, then waited until George entered a dark alley and straight up murdered him before looting his corpse.

Upon returning to the airship, Alex told Tag that he'd found George dead in an alley. Despite Tag's suspicions, Alex managed to bluff it that he had nothing to do with George's untimely demise. With a new plane, but a crewmember down, the crew of the Waylander departed Broken Spires and Tag managed to pilot them through the maze of twisting canyons without mishap.

A Brew o' Trouble

Following their departure from Broken Spires, the crew picked a spot in the wilderness to put down for the night. Whether from brain damage or to help with the pain of his injuries, Herbert got hold of some liquor and ended up getting blind stinking drunk. Both Alex and Tag were still injured from the gunfight with the poachers, Tag in particular wasn't very happy as he was the worst injured. But Herbert's state of intoxication wouldn't be known until the airship came under attack by Cloudhaunts.

With their respective characters out of action, Herbert's and George's players took over some of the Extras that made up the rest of the airship's crew and manned the two planes. George's player used the siren of the Banshee's plane to keep the Cloudhaunts Shaken whilst Herbert's player used his plane's propeller to deal with a few of the critters after they'd attached themselves to the Waylander's gasbag. Sebastian and Alex manned the two top turrets, whilst the rest of the Extras manned the 50-cal MGs that Tag had fitted. Tag used the airship's klaxon to scare the Cloudhaunts off of the airship, making them easy prey for the two planes.

The critters managed to grapple onto the Banshee plane and did enough damage to inflict a wound on the aircraft, though they failed to do the same to the Blackforge Marauder flown by Herbert's player. The creatures only managed to cling onto the Banshee plane for a single before they got thrown off, some of them got shot and killed by the Marauder, the remainder were finished off by Alex in the airship's turret.

With the threat dealt with, Tag went and sought out Herbert for an awesome bit of role-play; Herbert got chewed out by Tag for being drunk as Herbert was the crew's only medic and some of the crew were wounded. Herbert then got confined to his quarters with a load of coffee to sober up, Tag then went to his own cabin to rest. Some time later Herbert went to the airship's infirmary, then attempted to use the Scavenger Edge to find a bottle of alcohol. I ruled that he would only find it if a roll of six came up on a d6...which it did.

Herbert also had the Big Mouth Hindrance, so we went with him shouting out "Yes! Booze!" and alerted the rest of the crew. Alex, by this point, had sneaked up behind Herbert and knocked him out for six hours before having the medic dragged back to his cabin. Tag was furious when he found out and went to have words with the medic, threatened to kick him out of the crew but still gave the doctor one final chance in another bit of brilliant role-playing.

An Egg In Hand

The crew returned to Taran's Bluffs and informed the camp foreman Mosley that they were only able to recover three of the Dragonhawk eggs (truthfully it was four...). Mosley admitted that he didn't see how many the poachers had stolen, but was hopeful that the eggs would help make the Windryders cease their attacks on the camp. The eggs were loaded onto some trucks, the crew invited along, and the convoy traveled a handful of miles into the surrounding forest.

The convoy came to a halt when a group of figures were spotted in the trees, though Tag got a high enough Notice roll to spot a pair of Dragonhawks. Mosley had all the engines killed and instructed everyone to keep their hands where they could be seen. A female Windryder stepped forward (Tag's player wished he'd kept the Love Interest card) and introduced herself as Narine before asking why they were there.

Tag said about the eggs and the canvas cover pulled off each one, causing some excited chatter amongst the Windryders. Narine ordered a couple of her people to go check the eggs, once satisfied she thanked the crew. She also offered them payment in the forming of tipping them off about the location of a crashed plane, though she called it a "metal bird with broken wings".

After handing back to the airship, the crew set off once more towards Bowerstead Post but flew over the location Narine had told them about. Again it was Tag who got the best Notice roll and spotted a big, four-engine aircraft under the trees. They set down their airship and went over to the crashed aircraft, finding it to be a military transport plane that seemed to have been there for quite some time. Inside the wreck they found crates filled with Ancient Terran devices, which they were in the process of loading onto the Waylander when we had to end the game due to time.

Thoughts

As I said earlier, it seemed to be a good game and fun was had by all.

Alex's actions could potentially cause the crew issues when they return to Broken Spires, but thats in the future. George's player was OK with what happened to George as he was going to be bringing a new character in. There is still the consequences of the group's earlier actions which will come into play very soon, but I'm kinda going with the idea of the players rope to hang themselves with when it comes to their character's actions.

On the subject of consequences, as I understand it the crew will be selling the location of the glimmer rock cave they came across to a mining company. This is good as it'll set up some plot for later on in the campaign, plus other stuff is starting to fit into place.

Going forwards, I'd like to start incorporating some of the ideas and advice from the Up to Four Players guys. I like their take on the Chase rules for Savage Worlds and theres a couple of more general RP ideas that I like to try out.
Categories: Company News

Forsaken Space: Wreck Generator

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 05:30
This week we're continuing with revisiting the other settings in the works from Utherwald Press. Taking the spotlight this time round is Forsaken Space; scavengers braving haunted wrecks in a SciFi Horror setting.

To help kickstart your ForSpace games, heres a wreck generator.


Spaceship Wreck Generator Table

You'll require use of the Savage Worlds SciFi Companion, the table uses the different ship sizes found in that book.

To use this table, first draw a card from an action deck and compare the result.

Clubs - Alien
Diamonds - Civilian
Hearts - Military
Spades - Science

1 - Small
2-4 - Medium
5-6 - Large
7-8 - Huge
9 - Giant
10 - Gargantuan
Jack - Behemoth
Queen - Levitation
King - World Killer

Black Joker - Sentient, the vessel is alive in some fashion either through an advanced AI or is a bioship. Draw another card.

Red Joker - Hazard, the vessel contains a major hazard such as a radiation leak or had its crew killed via a virus, etc. Draw another card.
Categories: Company News

Cold War Skirmishes: Flashpoint Belize

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 05:30
Continuing on with taking a look at other settings and products that Utherwald has in the works. This week it is the turn of Cold War Skirmishes and we'll be taking a look at a potential conflict that almost erupted in Central America during the early 1970s. As ever the post will feature a overview of the military situation, offer adventure ideas and suggested NPC stats.


A Latin American Oddity

Unlike most of Latin America, the area that became Belize (known as British Honduras 1862-1973) did not fall under Spanish control. This was partially due to the decentralized society of the Mayans, who inhabited the area, and its lack of resources. There was some attempt at Spanish settlement, but English pirates proved to have greater success. Spain did attempt, a number of occasions, to expel the British settlers but grudgingly allowed them to remain after suffering an embarrassing defeat in the Battle of St. George's Cay.

The 19th Century saw pressure from the United States, under the Monroe Doctrine, for Britain to relinquish its holdings in Central America. Though whilst Britain did yield in some areas, it produced in 1854 a formal constitution for what became the Colony of British Honduras in 1862. There remain a strong American reluctance over the existence of the British colony, one that would last well into the 20th Century.

Unfriendly Neighbours

From 1821 the neighboring country of Guatemala has claimed part or the entirely of what is now Belize. This territorial dispute saw frequent flare-up of tensions, passions and tensions do run high in Central America as was proven by the 1969 Football War between El Salvador and Honduras. A treaty was signed in 1859 where Guatemala agreed to recognize British Honduras in return for Britain to build a road connecting the two. The dispute was then largely forgotten until the 1930s when Guatemala started claiming that the 1859 treaty was invalid because Britain had failed to uphold its end of the deal by not building the road.

In 1948 Guatemala threatened to invade and forcibly annex the territory, Britain responded by deploying two companies of troops. But the invasion threat never materialized, though Britain decided to permanently station troops in the colony. Guatemala would periodically mass troops on the border, but nothing further would develop. 1958 saw pro-Guatemalan Belize Liberation Army fighters cross the border, plant the Guatemalan flag and exchange fire with British troops before being arrested.

Attempts were made in the 1960s to negotiate an agreement, the US was asked to mediate and President Lyndon Johnson drafted a treaty that would give Guatemala effective control over the territory. British Honduras responded with riots. Talks would continue on and off as tensions flared and Guatemala threatened to invade, particularly as British Honduras made move towards independence. 1975 saw Britain, in response to the massing of Guatemalan troops on the border once again, deployed a large number of troops supported by artillery and fast jets which defused tensions. Guatemala suffered from troops desertions at this time in addition to an earthquake which put paid to its attempts to annex the territory.

Opposing Forces

The British

Britain typically kept a company of troops in British Honduras, though this would be reinforced with additional forces during times of tension. Additionally, a pair of frigates would be on station in the Caribbean as part of the Royal Navy's West Indies Station. The carrier HMS Ark Royal would be deployed in 1972 to deter Guatemalan aggression and a flight of Harrier Jump Jets would later be established. Whilst the British forces were a well-trained, equipped (for the early '70s) and professional force, they only maintained a small garrison and it took time for reinforcements to cross the Atlantic.

Equipment

L1A1 SLR
Sterling SMG
Bren 7.62mm
General Purpose Machine Gun
81mm mortar
Wombat Anti-tank
Harrier Jump Jet

The British also had access to F-4 Phantoms and Blackburn Buccaneers from HMS Ark Royal in the early 1970s. Though their only viable weapon against Guatemalan aircraft was 2-inch unguided rockets.

The Guatemalans

Guatemala had an army that was well trained by Latin American standards, its elite troops were even trained by the US military, but alot of its equipment dated from WW2. The Guatemalan military did enjoy support from both the CIA and US Military Assistance Programme.

Equipment

The Guatemalan Army used virtually the same infantry weapons as the US Army did in Vietnam, though its a little unclear on precise vehicles used. The M8 Greyhound armoured car and M113 APC are confirmed to have been in Guatemalan service (and still are), there was supposedly tanks and the best fit I can find is the M3 Stuart. Walker Bulldog light tanks were given to Guatemala in the early '80s.

Air assets included the Huey, P-51 Mustangs and Lockheed T-33s.

Adventure Ideas

If actual war had broken out, most battles would probably be squad or platoon sized skirmishes with perhaps one or two company level battles. The British, to begin with, would be at a disadvantage with having to wait on reinforcements which could be held up if the US denied use of its airspace for troop transport flights (which it did). The Guatemalans enjoyed greater mobility and potentially, if things went far enough, widespread support in the Americas. There probably would've been pressure from the US to end the fighting, but its difficult to say who's side the US would've backed as the US would've had to chose between allies.

Local British commanders, given lack of resources, planned to harass Guatemalan forces in hopes of buying time for reinforcements to arrive. Though if the sole international airport fell, the British would've resorted to guerrilla warfare in the jungles of Belize. There would be plenty of scope for squad level actions which would probably have been the mainstay of the conflict.

For the Weird Wars aspect, the region is riddled with Mayan ruins amidst the thick jungles with unknown creatures lurking among them. This potentially could see both British and Guatemalan patrols battling each other as they are in turn stalked by unseen sinister foes. Another angle could be British desperation in the form of trying to enlist the aid of an army of undead pirates to fight the Guatemalans.

Stats

The Experienced Soldier stats in Savage Worlds Deluxe would be a good basis for both British and Guatemalan soldiers as both were roughly equal in training and professionalism. Though due to the British Army's focus on marksmanship, it is recommended that British soldiers have the Marksman Edge.
Categories: Company News

The Gwentshire Chronicles: Ald Jack

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 05:30
With Frozen Skies out I can relax a little and turn my attention to other setting ideas, something that I intend to do every so often. This time its the turn of the Gwentshire Chronicles, chiefly a look at another of the key characters in the setting; Ald Jack


A Hound of Blackest Night


Common in English folklore are so-called black dogs, regarded as demonic entities by some and benign beings by others. One of the more well-known of the black dogs is Black Shuck, which roams the East of England and is said to have inspired the Sherlock Holmes story ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’.  Shuck, as he is sometimes known, is said to protect souls as much as he causes them harm.
Needless to say, Gwentshire was going to have its own black dog in the form of Ald Jack.
When I originally pitched the setting idea, he was going to be called ‘Grim Jack’. But the Old English word for ‘old’ seems a better fit and helps define Gwentshire’s relationship with the hound. Jack is agnostic, a little like the legendary Black Shuck, in that he’s just as likely to be a foe for the characters as he is an ally. He’s also just as likely to ignore the characters and purpose his own agenda.

Just like the Mist-Bound, the origins of Ald Jack are uncertain. It is believed that he has been around since Pre-Roman times, archaeological evidence found throughout Gwentshire would seem to support this. Surviving historical texts held in the archives of the Gwentford Shire Hall include a number of references to Ald Jack over the centuries and at least one brewery has used his name for a beverage.

To use Ald Jack, use the stats for a Hellhound from the Horror Companion. Add the Champion Edge and Tracking d6.
Categories: Company News

Brokers of Secrets

Mon, 07/23/2018 - 05:30
This particular post was going to be another installment of the Frozen Skies campaign I'm running. However, half the group wasn't able to make and so the session got cancelled. Hopefully in two weeks time it'll be the next bit of the campaign.

In the meantime, I've had to think of a different topic for this week's post...


Brokers of Secrets

As has frequently been stated before, Alyeska is home to a wide range of individuals from different backgrounds and of different professions. Among these there are a handful of secretive persons known as Brokers of Secrets.

These independent individuals make it their business to know any and all information of value, if they worked for a country they would be called spymasters. They collect information and then sell that information to the highest bidder, preferring to remain neutral by accepting coin from those willing to pay. They'll sell critical information to a client, though at the same time they'll happy sellout that client if the client's enemies pay well enough.

The Brokers are the source of high profile jobs, so they tend to be selective with whom they do business with. Though typical Brokers charge a fair amount for their fee, which functions a sort of passive filtering by discouraging bandits and ruffians. Occasionally they do contract so-called 'small fry' for jobs on behalf of clients, normally jobs that require effective nobodies to complete.

Brokers are often regarded as eccentrics, though they are wise enough to surround themselves with bodyguards. They amass a fortune, thus allowing them to fund a small army of bodyguards and maintain their own private compound. To further aid in defending their persons they acquire a few tricks and gadgets only known to them.
Categories: Company News

Rogue's Gallery: The Tundra Wolves

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 05:30
There are many sky pirate outfits in Alyeska, ranging from little more than bandits with a couple of planes through to successful gangs with their own airships. A group known as the Banshees have already been covered and have even made an appearance in the Frozen Skies campaign that I'm currently running. Another gang that has featured in the campaign and have only been mentioned previously; The Tundra Wolves


Honour Among Cutthroats

At first glance the Tundra Wolves seem like just another gang of sky pirates, though closer inspection reveal some surprising facts.

Firstly they are the only known all-Sodkan sky pirate that exist in Alyeska; its members having come from either Sodkan families who'd settled in Alyeska prior to the Great Darmonican War or fled their homeland when the Holy Sodkan Empire collapsed. This Sodkans-only policy sets them apart from the other gangs, almost to the point of making them outsiders. But the Wolves' leader, Andrei Skirov, wouldn't have it any other way.

Thanks to their association with Petro Broklaw, the Wolves utilize a range of weird science gizmos which gives them an edge over other sky pirates. These gizmos help the gang sneak up on and then rob airships, something which the Wolves have specialized in doing. Among the gizmos that Broklaw is said to given the Wolves are darklight goggles, targeting scopes for their planes with unparalleled range and a device rumoured to be called a 'transdislocator'.

The Wolves exclusively target airships known to be carrying valuable cargo such as gold bullion or Ancient artefacts. Unusually they give some of their profits to the various downtrodden Sodkan communities in Alyeska, something that further steps them apart from other gangs and makes them also folk heroes.

Stats

Use the Sky Pirate stats from Frozen Skies, but change Smarts to d6 and then add the Weird Science skill at d6. Additionally, they also have the Loyal Hindrance.

Andrei Skirov has Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8. He also has Fighting d8, Piloting d8, Shooting d8 and Weird Science d8 as well as the Ace, Command and Command Presence Edges.

The Tundra Wulves are equipped similarly to Sky Pirates, but they have darksight goggles and transdislocator harnesses (teleport). Andrei also has a glimmer gun.
Categories: Company News

Frozen Skies Session 4: Unexpected Allies And Likely Foes

Mon, 07/09/2018 - 05:30
Go Forth With Session Four!

A full house again as Tag's player joined us after having to miss the last session, thus enabling much advancement and development of plot. These past couple of sessions have proven that great flexibility as a GM is required as what I had planned to happen and what ended up happening because of circumstance were two different things. Though managed to get things pretty close to being back on track in this last session, so feeling a little bit of a sense of achievement with that.


Meanwhile...

Last session saw most of the crew fall down a hole and enjoy an adventure of their own, Tag (mainly because his player wasn't there) didn't fall down the hole and so the start of the session was going through what he got up to. Seeing that he wasn't able to help the others, Tag opted to go and hire a new crew. He visited one of the nearby taverns, after spotting the female sky pirates from earlier enter it, and he spoke to the bartender about where to look for a new crew. Bartender informed him that most folk tended to gravitate towards one of the big established outfits, though there are still plenty of loners down by the air-docks who could be convinced to join.

Tag headed back to where the Waylander was berthed, found a crate to stand on and started a showman routine to attract potential recruits. Though he didn't have the Persuasion skill and thus had to roll it unskilled, I let him have a +2 bonus as he role-played his recruitment pitch. I then said a success on the roll would give him two new recruits and each raise would give him another recruit; he managed to get a couple of raises on the roll and so gained four new recruits. He got the new recruits billeted away on the airship and then set about drawing up plans for tackling the poachers.

One of the female sky pirates from earlier was spotted loitering around outside the airship, so Tag went over and spoke to her. The sky pirate informed Tag that her 'boss' would like very much to speak to him and asked him to follow her back to their own airship. Enroute, the sky pirate pointed out the skyship the crew had spotted when they first arrived in Broken Spires. She then pointed out an airship near to it as belonging to her outfit, then said that the skyship belonged to one of the local crime lords who've dubbed themselves 'Sky Captains'. She also told Tag that the Sky Captains were not people to be messed with and it was generally a good idea to steer clear of them.

Eventually Tag was led to the Banshees' own airship, the Raven, and taken aboard. Among the things Tag noticed were; a hanger fitted with 12 fighters that seemed to have some sort of box underneath their noses, the airship seemed to be maintained to near enough military standards and the crew appeared to be well disciplined in addition to wearing roughly the same basic uniform. He was finally taken to the quarters of the Banshees' leader who identified herself as 'Captain Rogan'. Having introduced herself, Captain Rogan said she'd heard about the misfortune of Tag's crew and that she had a proposition for Tag; She would help Tag in exchange for an undisclosed favour to be called in at a later date.

But first she wanted to know why Tag and his crew were in Broken Spires to begin with, which Tag told her was to do with a gang of poachers led by a certain Travis Perkins. Rogan admitted that she was aware of the gang, that they were independent and that she was more than happy to help take the poachers down. With support from the Banshees agreed, Tag was escorted out but he took the opportunity to take in as much details as he could about the Banshees' airship. Tag then did a recce on the poachers' compound and began hatching a plan.

An Unexpected Rescue

Out in the wilderness, the rest of the gang spotted a pair of aircraft that turned out to belong to the Banshees. The pilots informed the gang that they'd been ordered to look for them, this was part of the 'help' that Rogan offered. The gang were given a lift back to Broken Spires, though cramped and uncomfortable which required Vigor roll to avoid a level of Fatigue from Bumps and Bruises.

Tag and the gang were reunited, though the meeting was tinged with a pinch of awkwardness as Tag was prepping the new crew for the upcoming attack on the compound. Tag quickly filled them in on the plan, though it was clear that Herbert had a head injury (from the previous session) and so had to sit this one out (his player played one of the new NPC crewmembers).

The Raid

The first part of the attack on the poacher's compound was the Banshees' airship conducting a bombing run against three of the four guardtowers of the compound. The first tower was damaged and its occupants killed, the second tower was completely obliterated whilst the third tower was largely unaffected as the bombs went wide and hit the building Sebastian and a crewman were sniping from. Sebastian and the crewman sniped the fourth guard tower, managing to down one of the two guys within it and resulted in a drawn-out sniper duel for the rest of the battle.

The rest of the gang commandeered a truck and crash their way in through the gates of the compound, George manned a heavy machine gun fitted to the back of the truck and mowed down everyone in the courtyard. The others dismount and take cover by the trucks parked in the compound, all took potshots as Tag's other crew and a squad of the Banshees charged in behind the gang. George raked the loading bay of the sole building within the compound, gradually counting for a good number of the poachers. Tag's other crew supported the gang as they moved up to the center of the loading bay, the Banshees flanked round to either end of the building. Alex attempted an Intimidation roll which seemed to have marginal effects.

By this point Alex had taken a wound (guts on the Injury Table), plus Sebastian and his crewman companion were in a sniper duel with the survivors of the third tower. It was the Banshees who stormed the building and mowed down the surviving poachers, thus allowing for the gang to move in and help secure the building. When he entered the building, Tag called out for Travis to show himself and got a hail of bullets as a reply which did two wounds (again, guts result on the table). Tag then ordered everyone to open fire on Travis, it was the crewman controlled by Herbert's player who managed the 'killing blow' by acing his damage roll and brought the poacher low.

Travis managed to pass a Vigor and though he took an injury to the guts, it was only temporary. Tag ordered the crew to load what they could onto the trucks, which included five dragonhawk eggs. Travis' fate was to be brought before Captain Rogan who had him thrown into the brig to stew until she decides what to do with him.

The crew of the Waylander then made preparations to leave Broken Spires, though they were already forming plans to sell one of the eggs....

Thoughts

As I said earlier, things happened differently to what I had planned. Ultimately things got back onto track and the adventure is pretty close to being wrapped up as planned.

I had expected the group to seek to sell some of the eggs, especially when they learnt the value of the eggs on the black market. It looks like they'll try to sell at least one of the eggs and hand the others to the windryders. Least it seems that they'll get some interaction with the windryders.

Tag's player wishes to acquire a bigger airship and go more independent (they're currently working for a logging company), though the legality of his and the groups' future adventures remain to be seen. They do have a job from Ardan Gowan waiting for them.
Categories: Company News

Challenge Accepted

Mon, 07/02/2018 - 05:30
Recently Utherwald Press reached over a 100 likes on Facebook.

To celebrate this achievement I offered to either an adventure, location, item or NPC based upon a one or two word prompt. I was expecting some interesting responses and I wasn't disappointed, though they were surprising all the same. So...


Organic Spacecraft

An interesting one, though not all that surprising given who posted it (you know who you are!).

Spacecraft automatically means we're looking at the SciFi Companion for this one. Decided to build it like a normal spaceship to begin with, though picking stuff that would make sense. Then to better reflect its organic nature, added in some special rules.

Drokzi Hive Ship

Gargantuan Starship: Size 24, Acc/TS 25/20, Climb -2, Toughness 67(25), Crew 3000
Notes: Artificial Intelligence, Armour x6, Electromagnetic Shielding, Garage/Hanger x6, Sensor Suite (Planetary), Torpedo Tubes x8, Targeting System
Weapons: Heavy Torpedo x112
Special Abilities
*Living Ship: Instead of a Repair roll to fix or 'heal' wounds, the ship uses the Healing skill to do so. It is assumed to have d6 for the purpose of this roll.
*Sentient Vehicle: See SciFi Companion p.92
*Regeneration: The ship can make a natural Healing roll once per day.

Cargo Cults

This was the other response, a particularly curious one. I have to admit that this one cause a bit of head scratching until I hit upon the idea of a religious order devoted to the safe transportation of goods.

The Conveyors of the Way, or simply the Conveyors, is an organisation that traces its origins back to the wars that once ravaged the lands that now form the Artian Confederation. The many wars waged between Tyland and the Holy Sodkan Empire saw trade disrupted within the Artian states and many towns and villages left upon the brink of starvation. Many concerned church leaders branded together and got tact approval from the commanders of the warring armies to run convoys through to the affected villages, though it still left the problem of bandits and highwaymen. A call went out to the faithful who processed skill at arms and they were taken on as effectively caravan guards, though they proved themselves more than capable fending off ruffians and seeing that the convoys got through.

The Conveyors have evolved a bit since then, attracting former soldiers and specializing in safeguarding certain goods. Though whilst there are certain factions they won't work and certain goods that they won't escort, the Conveyors do only ask for a modest fee. Once they've been charged with escorting a cargo, a Conveyor will guard it with religious devotion until it reaches its destination. There have been many stories of Conveyors giving their very lives to ensure the safety of the cargo that they were charged with protecting.

Conveyor

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Intimidation d6, Notice d8, Repair d6, Shooting d6, Taunt d6
Charisma: -2; Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 8 (3)
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Loyal, Vow (Minor)
Edges: Alertness, Block, Combat Reflexes, Counterattack, Dodge, First Strike, Quick, Quick Draw, Steady Hands, Two-Fisted
Gear: Revolver (12/24/48, 2d6, RoF 1, Revolver), sword (Str+d6), plate corselet
Categories: Company News

Frozen Skies Session Three: Beneath The Spires

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 05:30
Session the Third in the ongoing Frozen Skies campaign, one of the players wasn't able to make and I didn't want to run what I had planned without them. So put a few options to the rest of the group and it was decided to do a side adventure instead...well ended up being more of a mis-adventure.

Don't suppose I've ever seen so many failed rolls in a single game session.


Watch Yer Step...

We joined our intrepid heroes where we left them, leaving a tavern after attempting to start a fight between two rival sky pirates. Tag had made the crew leave the tavern and nodded a greeting to the leader of the Banshees sky pirate gang. The crew had gone on ahead with Tag trailing a short distance behind them, though this was where ill fortune struck the crew. Broken Spires is a town built on many different levels and on the side of a mountain, it is the sort of town that would give Health & Safety a heart attack. Many of the 'roads' are just wooden walkways maintained to the standard of what the townsfolk can be bothered with (which isn't much).

Crack.

The crew (bar Tag) had very little warning before the wooden planks gave way beneath them and dropped them a good 40 feet into an underground cavern. I allow everyone to make Agility rolls, though only Sebastian made a successful roll. Alex and George failed their Agility roll but also had a high enough Toughness to avoid taking any damage, Herbert took enough damage to end up Shaken. All four ended up with a level of Fatigue from Bumps and Bruises, meaning for most of the session they all had a -1 penalty on their trait rolls from this level of Fatigue.

After dusting themselves down, they discovered that they had no rope and that three passages led out of the cavern they'd ended up in. They decided to try and make their way out on foot, reasoning that somewhere there had to be an exit. They chose the left most passage and set off, managing to find a leg bone which they turned into a torch with a strap of cloth and some alcohol. After travelling for some time Alex was lucky enough to spy (just passed his Notice roll) an abrupt end to their path in the form of a ledge. Alex managed to stop the others from walking off this ledge, particularly since it was a large cavern of uncertain depth. They did find a normal ledge that led round the edge of the cavern, so with the lack of better ideas they pushed onwards.

Partway along this narrow ledge, Sebastian and Herbert ended up dislodging some rocks which fell into the cavern and the echoes of their fall reverberated round the cavern. These echoes were answered by the screeches of some strange creature. A couple of rounds passed with failed Notice rolls on both sides before the creatures, as it turned out to be a pair of Cloudhaunts, finally made an attack. One Cloudhaunt angled in on Alex, who had First Strike and whipped up his cane gun to shoot the critter in the face. The now dead Cloudhaunt's momentum meant it carried into Alex and squished him against the wall of the cavern. The second Cloudhaunt fell to Herbert's shotgun.

With both creatures dealt with, the crew pressed on once more and headed into another tunnel. Sebastian found some tracks in the dirt from rats, but thankfully no more critters put in an appearance. Eventually they came to another ledge, this time a cavern filled with glimmer rock crystals and a stream running through the middle of it. There was also a crevice in the cavern's ceiling which let in sunlight. Alex went full-on Spiderman and scaled the rockface up to the crevice and then out onto a snow covered landscape. The others, being considerably less skilled at climbing, opted to follow the underground stream in hopes of reaching the surface by a different route.

Up on the surface, Alex followed roughly the path of the underground stream and crossed over a ridge and discovered a small valley that contained a small lake. He also spotted a waterfall, which the others soon came across by following the stream. The waterfall fell from a small opening in a cliff and dropped down at least 10 feet into the lake, making it a little tricky for the others to get down. Sebastian went first, failed his Climbing roll but just managed to pass his Agility roll. Up next was George who also failed his Climbing roll, though he ended up Acing his Agility roll. Last was Herbert who, lacking the Climbing skill, decided to jump and just did an Agility roll which he managed to succeed with. The trio landed in the lake and I asked them to make Vigor rolls which they all failed, each gained a level of Fatigue due to the freezing temperature.

Luckily there was a small cave and some trees nearby, so they were able to find some shelter and get a fire going. They settled down for the night and took it in turns doing watches, Sebastian took the third watch and spotted a large figure approaching the cave before proceeding to rouse the others. They soon were able to spot that the figure was a large, muscular man wearing a bear skin cloak. The man saw the crew at the mouth of the cave and then started pounding across the snow towards them, Herbert got a shot off with his shotgun which seemed to have no effect upon the man. However, the man barrelled into Herbert and only managed to push him back a few feet in the snow.

Alex attempted to outflank the man, but was spotted and so quickly decided to hang back. George tried getting round the back of the man and stabbing him in the head, but failed miserably. Sebastian got a shot off with his rifle, but didn't seem to do much in the way of damage (the man manage to pass a Soak roll).

Second round saw both the man and Sebastian getting Jokers, a simple d6 roll-off saw Sebastian going first who got a head shot off and did another wound. Since we're using the Gritty Damage Setting Rule, I rolled on the injury table and rolled Blind but that didn't effect the man that much. The man, in turn, pummelled Herbert and left him with a Brain Damage result from the injury table. Alex moved behind the man and fired his cane gun at point blank range into the small of the man's back, Acing both the Shooting and damage rolls. Even after his high Toughness of 11 was taken off, the man still received four wounds from Alex's attack. By this point, much like the rest of the group, I had no bennies left and so couldn't do a Soak roll.

With the giant of a man defeated, the gang were still stuck in the middle of nowhere presumably not far from Broken Spires...

Thoughts

What was suppose to be a improvised adventure, clubbed together at the last minute, seemed to go down as a big hit. Though bad dice rolling for everyone meant that bennies got burned through at an almost scary pace.

I'll need to speak to Tag's player to see what he would've gotten up to, but I have a couple of ideas there. Hoping to give him the chance to earn some XP before the next session so that he stays about even with the rest of the group.
Categories: Company News

Frozen Skies...Now Airborne!

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 11:21
Frozen Skies has, after at least seven years of work, been released.

Can be found in PDF and many different print options at RPGNow/DriveThruRPG.

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/242075/Frozen-Skies
Categories: Company News

Rogue's Gallery: Marauders

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 05:30
Alyeska is home to many outlaws; the most infamous of these are the sky pirates that have been romanticised by the newsheets. Bandits aren't unheard, though they are not seen as exciting and tend to receive considerably less attention in the press. Then there are the motorcycle raider gangs known as 'Marauders'.

HOT OFF THE PRESS! Frozen Skies will go on sale this coming Wednesday!!


On Steads of Steel & Oil

Bandits have plagued Darmonica for centuries, typically peaking in activity following major conflicts as thousands of soldiers suddenly find themselves released from service with no job to turn to. Bandits have also moved with the times, the evolution of mechanised warfare saw increased demand for technical skills and thus resulted on a large number of those with a mechanical aptitude. The rise of the aircraft has seen many gravitate towards the sky pirate outfits that have emerged over time, though there are still those who remained earth-bound.

Marauders are outlaws who prefer to conduct their nefarious activities on the ground, usually with a motley collection of vehicles. Most marauder gangs have a couple of trucks and a fair few motorcycles, some may even have sidecars. They typically target trains, lightly armed convoys, trade caravans and even small settlements on occasion. Even the military has found that it isn't immune to marauder attacks and so has had to assign precious manpower to guard convoys and supply dumps.

Marauder

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Driving d8, Fighting d6, Intimidation d6, Notice d8, Repair d6, Shooting d6, Throwing d6
Charisma: -2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6 (1)
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Mean, Wanted (Minor)
Edges: Ace, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Steady Hands
Gear: Revolver (12/24/48, 2d6, RoF 1, Revolver), machine pistol (12/24/48, 2d6-1, RoF 3, AP 1, Auto), knife (Str+d4), leather armor

Marauder Truck

Acc/TS: 6/26, Toughness: 8 (3), Crew: 1+2, Weapons: 2x machine guns (40/80/160, 2d8, RoF 3, AP 2, Auto)

Marauder Motorcycle

Acc/TS: 12/30, Toughness: 7 (1), Crew: 1 (+1), Weapons: 1x machine gun (if motorcycle has sidecar)
Categories: Company News

Frozen Skies Session Two: Flying Murder Hobos

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 05:30
Continuing on from the last session, our intrepid band of layabouts find themselves lurching from one spot of trouble to another. Along the way they make contact with Alyeska's criminal underworld, get blacklisted from drinking establishments, add a town to their 'never visit again' list and end up in the sky pirate haven of Broken Spires.

Oh, and a possible date with the law in the immediate future.


Job Done...Or Is It?

After completing their supply run to the logging camp at Taran's Bluffs, the crew of the airship Waylander head back to Bowerstead Post to collect their payment of 20 sovereigns (the main currency in Frozen Skies) each. Bowerstead's foreman, Hardwick, says he's heard about the Windryder attacks at Taran's Bluffs and that his superiors are going to be breathing down his neck about operations being forced to cease at Taran's Bluffs. So Hardwick orders the characters to head back to Taran's Bluffs and deal with the problem, offering to pay 25 sovereigns to each character.

Tag and Alex went and tracked down Ardan Gowan in order to speak to him about selling the weapons they'd salvaged from the sky pirate planes. Ardan offered to pay half-price for the guns, round 75 sovereigns, but needed a day to get the money together. Tag and Alex agreed to meet up with Ardan the following evening at Ardan's warehouse. Ardan also mentioned if they wanted some extra work, strictly off the books, then he might have something for them. They also spoke to Hardwick about getting an extra crewman for the Waylander, Hardwick managed to rustle up a guy called Mick who would act as a gunner on the airship.

The following day the crew stayed at Bowerstead, Tag spent the time up-armouring the Waylander to add a little extra protection. Evening time rolled around and Tag got the rest of the crew to drag the weapons to Ardan's warehouse where the exchange went without a hitch. About the job offer Ardan had, he said seek him out in a couple of days. Tag then went to one of the saloons in Bowerstead and hired himself five extra hands and equipped them with rifles and ammo, effectively starting his own merc company.

Back To The Bluffs

Another night was spent in Bowerstead before the crew headed back out to Taran's Bluffs, though Tag brought them to the site of the third crashed plane. Though somebody had gotten there before them; the pilot had been buried, anything of value removed and the wreck put to the torch. Tag just shrugged his shoulders and got back in the airship to continue their journey, though they ended up being forced to detour due to a storm/blizzard (Random Encounter). At the Bluffs they checked in with Mosley, who stated that the Windryders had become wary since the machine gun the crew left had been setup. But they still haven't been able to resume operations and so Mosley would be happy if things got resolved as quickly as possible.

The characters asked about the men who came through the camp just before the attacks sorted, they received description of the men and their plane. It was concluded that the men were probably poachers who'd stolen some dragonhawk eggs, thus angering the Windryders. The characters also learn that some of the workers overheard the men talking about going to the town of Aran Crag to the west. After detailing a couple of their hired guns to stay at Taran's Bluffs, the crew set off once more into the wild blue yonder.

Go West!

Heading west they came across a merchant airship with a fighter escort (Random Encounter again), who exchanged greetings and news. A while later, the salt mining town of Aran Crag came into sight. Leaving Mick and the other three hired guns on the Waylander, the rest of the crew split up to see what information they could find in town about the poachers.

George visited various stores in the town to see what he could find out about dragonhawk eggs. He managed to learn how big they usually are and that 'rich toffs' generally paid alot of money for them. None of the shopkeepers knew whether there were anyone in town with that sort of money, but the only guy came close was a director of the mining company who lived in town in his mansion.

Herbert and Sebastian visited the least rough looking bar they could find. Herbert has the Big Mouth hindrance and soon as they had walked in, Herbert called out "Hi, we're looking for poachers! Is there any poachers here? Does anyone know of any poachers?"

Silence.

Then the scraping of a heavy wooden chair as it gets pushed back and the bar's doorman got to his feet before stomping his way over to the new arrivals. He made it clear in no uncertain terms that Herbert and Sebastian ought to leave. Sebastian did so, dragging Herbert alone with him.

Tag and Alex had better luck at the airfield where, through a generous donation to the widows and orphans fund, they discovered that the poachers did stopover in the town to refuel their aircraft. However, the poachers filed a questionable flightplan but one of the airfield guys did get a glimpse at the plane's cargo and confirmed that it was wooden crates and nets. Heading back to the airship to wait for the others, Tag and Alex spotted a guy hanging around and spoke to him. The guy identified himself as a trader of a sorts called Harold and suggested that they needed to speak to certain members of the crew about keeping their mouths shut. Another sizeable donation to the widows and orphans later, they had learnt where the poachers were most likely heading and took Harold up on is offer of a 'small errand'.

Words were had when the rest of the crew arrived back at the airship and together they set off to a nearby small town to do Harold's errand.

Smalltown Sojourn

Harold's errand involved meeting a guy in a nearby town and picking up some goods that Harold wanted, basically ran the 'Things Never Go Smooth' adventure from the Frozen Skies book. Rolled on both tables so that there were complications both with the guy the characters had to meet and with the goods they were to collect.They rocked up at the town, went into the sole saloon and asked about the guy they had to meet.

They got told he was dead.

He'd been filled with lead a couple of days previously after he got caught cheating at a game of cards, though he owned a small warehouse. With no better option, the crew went and checked out the warehouse but found it locked. Alex had a go at a bit of Lockpicking and the roll he got meant he literally just had to turn the handle. Inside they found some crates, George found one containing what looked like a highly advance but ancient looking technological device (Ancient Terran Artefact). Alex meanwhile rummaged through the officer, looking for shipping records and also emptied the safe whilst he was at it. Sebastian kept watch outside and saw a group of men emerge from the saloon and heading in the direction of the warehouse.

Realizing that they were now on the clock, Tag ordered everyone to check the crates and load anything of value on a motor-truck. Of particular interest was a bunch of rifles, couple of SMGs and a 9mm pistol. Being the only one with the Driving skill (even then a d4), George jumped in the driver's seat and attempted to smash his way through the doors. Two bennies later he managed to avoid absolutely failing and put his foot down, by this time the group of men were right outside the doors as the truck came smashing through them. One managed to jump out of the way, but the others weren't so lucky as the truck drove over the top of them. The survivor ended up being shot by Sebastion (potentially resulting in a very interesting conversation with the law at a later date).

They loaded the crates onto the airship in double-quick time and hurried back to Aran Crag. They handed the artefact over to Harold, who gave them their money back and some advice on getting to Broken Spires. Before leaving, they made another donation to the widows and orphans fund and all records of their visit to Aran Crag mysteriously vanished....

To The Spires!

The route to Broken Spires is long and difficult, involving flying through mist shrounded twisting canyons. Tag rolled three Piloting rolls, though had to spend a benny on the third one to avoid a mishap. Their first glimpse of Broken Spires was described as a town that would give health and safety a heart attack.

On approach to the town, they spied numerous airships that belong to various different sky pirate gangs. They also spotted a skyship which, unsurprisingly, Tag wanted to avoid angering the owners of. After finding some place to dock their airship, they were greeted by a clerk. Tag gave a false name, a small donation and the clerk responded. "Welcome to Broken Spires Mr Smith."

This time they decided to stick together, mainly so that they could ensure that Herbert kept his mouth shut. It was decided to head into one of the better looking taverns they could find, hopefully to reduce their chances of getting into trouble. Inside where a couple of sky pirate gangs; one all-female and the other looking like viking pilots with a white wolf's head logo on their jackets. Tag quickly directed them to the bar, ordered drinks for the crew and spoke to the bartender. The bartender confirmed that there was a gang of poachers in town and they were led by a guy called Travis Perkins.

With the information they needed, Tag directed the crew to leave the tavern. However, Alex had already asked the bartender to take a round of drinks over to the viking pilots and say that the drinks were from the all-female sky pirates. Fearing a bar brawl, Tag got the crew outside where they waited to see what would unfold. The viking pilots let out a cheer at unexpected free drinks, couple of them think to try their luck and wonder over to the all-female sky pirates. Female sky pirates object to the unwanted attention and introduced their feet to somewhere personal before leaving, the rest of the viking pilots started howling with laughter.

Outside, Tag nods at the female sky pirates and their leader returns the nod before her gang walked off down the street. We then finished things there with the characters preparing to visit the poacher's compound.

Thoughts

Think I'm starting to get a feel for what the group is going to do, though they now have a few options to explore.

The incident with the motor truck could cause them trouble later on, but I understand that the characters will be taking steps towards 'damage control' (ie, they're planning on repainting the airship). Herbert's Big Mouth is probably going to get them in trouble again and again, especially if they have a run-in with the law.

Tag starting his own merc army is something that I am going to need to deal with at some point, though the characters' actions so far have given me a couple of ideas there.

Going forwards, airships are probably going to have two different Toughness stats for the gasbag and control cabin/gondola respectively (like in the Pulp Gear Toolkit). Hopefully we'll get some more aerial combat soon, so it'll be interesting to see how that works with the rules ideas I've had.
Categories: Company News

Update June 2018

Mon, 06/04/2018 - 05:00
Bit of an exciting time at present as Frozen Skies finally comes together. So the main topic this week is the timeline for Frozen Skies' release. Additionally, I'll talk about future plans which include future products, etc.


Frozen Skies
Working through Kickstarter fulfillment at the moment, hoping to get print copies out to backers in the next week or so. Couple of weeks after that Frozen Skies should be going on general release (roughly late June/early July time).

Initially selling through DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, but I am looking at options to get Frozen Skies into stores. I'll post details on this as it develops.

The next book for Frozen Skies will be Skies of Crimson, which'll have a focus on sky pirates and airships. After that, I wish to explore the world of Darmonica in more detail. This means the possibility of other books covering different parts of the setting.

Savage Worlds Black
There is meant to be a new version of Savage Worlds due out later this year, though as I understand there isn't going to be major changes. I may end up doing an errata PDF for Frozen Skies if anything needs updating for the new edition, it just depends on what actually changes.

Other Projects
Ran a poll recently on social media asking what people wanted to see next out of the various setting ideas I had. I've listed the settings below in order of popularity.

Forsaken Space
Darkwatch
Cold War Skirmishes
The Gwentshire Chronicles
Keep The Home Fires Burning

What I'm considering doing is producing demo-kits for these settings, which will most likely be Pay-What-You-Want PDFs. This would allow me to get something basic out for the setting and then see how well each one does. 
Categories: Company News

Frozen Skies Session One: Getting Airborne

Mon, 05/28/2018 - 07:30
After the 'warm-up' session a couple of weeks back, the group began its first proper session of the campaign. This was where the group got their characters established and how they worked (or not worked) together as a team. It was also interesting in that there was some unexpected aerial combat, though more on that later on.


Welcome to the Outlands

Play started with the characters being established as freelancers working for a timber company called Outland Lumber Co. Description and a little of the backstory of each character was then shared as well as their starting location of the company town of Bowerstead Post.

They were called into the office of the town's foreman and told that they were being given a job to deliver supplies to a logging camp located near a twin pair of hills known as Taran's Bluffs. The list of items was food, medicine, new tools and some mail for the loggers based at the camp. They were also approached by a man, Ardan Gowan, who asked the characters to deliver a small package to a workman called Tolbert. Jack refuses to take the package until Ardan reveals what it is, in the end Ardan reluctantly opens the package to show that it is a small wooden box containing peppermints. Alex decided to do a search based Notice to make sure nothing was hidden in the box, a high roll turned up nothing but the peppermints. 

After they'd finished loading their airship, the characters set off to the logging camp. All seemed to go well until a trio of specks appeared on the horizon...

Dogfight!

The specks soon turned out to be medium fighters aiming to intercept the character's airship. Jack took the airship's controls whilst the others fought among themselves over who was manning what turrets, ultimately George took the front turret, Alex the rear turret and Herbert manning the turret of the Marauder still attached underneath the belly of the airship. Jack threw the airship into a tight bank round, swinging the airship round almost 180 degrees. George fired off a burst from the twin 50-cal MGs in his turret and scored two hits on one of the fighter, though only one did enough damage to inflict a wound. The fighter's pilot failed both their Out of Control and Bail Out rolls, something that would set the standard of my dice rolling for the evening.

Herbert and Alex fired off bursts from their respective turrets, though only Alex scored a hit but failed to do anything more and the pilot just managed to stay in control. One of the fighters tried shooting the airship's engines but missed (will explain at the end), the other managed to do a Jink manoeuvre to improve its Evasion (thus stopped Herbert from doing much against it) but failed to do much with its shooting.

Next round saw Jack throw the airship into a tight turn, causing the two fighters to overshoot. One of the fighters tried doing an Immelmann turn to bring itself back around and failed miserably, but managed to stay in control (as well as burning through all my GM bennies). The other elected to try a much more sedate turn. Both fighters ended up falling victim to a burst of fire from the turret Herbert was manning, both pilots failed to bail out (one completely failed on a 1). Once again it was just the airship and the open sky.

White Wolves

At Jack's insistence, the characters went to investigate and then salvage what they could from the fighters they had shot down. Upon finding the crash site for two of the planes the characters discovered that the planes were Kestral medium fighters, both had a picture of a white wolf's head on the fuselage. The pilot of the first wrecked plane they came across was death from a broken neck, though he wore a pilot's jacket with the same white wolf picture on the back and a necklace of wolf teeth.

Jack and Alex checked out one of the other crashed fighters, finding the pilot still alive, trapped and firing potshots at them with a revolver. Jack managed to duck into cover behind a handy tree whilst Alex ran over, rested the end of his cane gun on the edge of the cockpit and pulled the trigger. Needless to say, the pilot wasn't able to make much of a response after that. Regardless, the characters salvaged the guns and ammo from both crashed fighters whilst noting the location of the third. 

Jack helped himself to a jacket from one of the dead pilots, noting the white wolf picture. The group as a whole didn't seem to be too fussed that they'd been attacked by sky pirates, then again they had shot the planes down with ease. Regardless, they re-boarded their airship and Jack bolted two of the salvaged machine guns to either side of the airship. They then continued back on track to the logging camp at Taran's Bluffs.

Trouble With Windryders

Arriving at the logging camp they found it under a state of siege, barricades set up all around it as well as stockades. They were greeted by the camp foreman. Mosley, who explained that the camp had recently started suffering attacks from the local Windryder tribe. He went to explain that it was unusual and shortly before the attacks started, a group of men came through the camp in a hurry. Mosley asked whether the characters could help and Jack offered to trade Mosley one of the salvaged machine guns with some ammo, eventually managed to barter it for a key and some bottles of whiskey.

Alex went and tracked down Tolbert to give him the peppermints they'd been asked to deliver, receiving Tolbert's thanks and an explanation that the mints was one of the few 'luxuries' he could get out in the wilderness. Herbert went to see whether he could lend any assistance to the camp's doctor whilst Sebastion and George ended up unloading the supplies from the airship.

Once the airship had been unloaded, and despite Mosley's plea for help, Jack decided that the group should head back to Bowerstead Post now their 'job' had been completed. Jack argued that Mosley wasn't 'their' boss and so he could only ask them to help, additionally Jack wanted to get paid. So they departed Taran's Bluffs, leaving a fair number of disappointed people behind them.

Thoughts

For the air combat segment I allowed the players to have an Evasion stat on the airship, Jack's high Piloting skill of d10 meant that the sky pirates struggled to hit the airship (though my bad dice rolling was a big factor as well). Going forwards any and all airships are going to have a TN of 4 like normal Shooting attacks, but I'm otherwise happy with how the air combat went.

Additionally, its looking like some sort of incentive/orders from the boss is going to be needed to get the characters to go on certain adventures. Jack's player is playing the character as being bit of a douche, I just need to be aware of this for the rest of the campaign. Though Jack's player is looking to make more modifications to the airship, some of which I may be able to incorporate into future Frozen Skies related material.

The sky pirates with the white wolf symbol has given a potential plot hook to use later on, though remains to be seen how they handle future 'jobs' from Ardan Gowan.
Categories: Company News

Frozen Skies: Expanded Airship Rules Ideas

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 08:00
So running a Frozen Skies campaign gives me the opportunity to try stuff out beyond the typical scope of a one shot adventure. One of the ideas that I wish to develop and playtest is expanded rules for airships and combat involving them. This will of course feed into Skies of Crimson, the next book that is planned for Frozen Skies.






Aircraft vs Airship

Mentioned under the Airship Combat rules is that weapons over a certain size are able to hurt airships, meaning the options of an aircraft are pretty limited. Have a few ideas to address this as discussed below.

Called Shots - Basically works the same as normal ranged combat; characters can target specific parts of the airship. This would incur a -4 penalty on the Shooting roll and can target the following locations; Engines, Controls and Weapon Mount. This attack inflicts the effects described on the Airship Critical Hit Table in Frozen Skies for the locations, but it doesn't actually inflict a wound on the airship.

The idea here is that the aircraft would be disabling the airship rather than killing it outright.

Gas Cells - Another idea I'm toying with is something that could allow aircraft to actually hurt an airship; targeting its gas cells.

Targeting the gas cells would grant the attacking aircraft a +2 on its Shooting rolls, though I am toying with the idea of halving the airship's Toughness for these type of attacks. Gas cells would then suffer wounds as per the normal damage rules, additionally the airship will begin losing height at a rate of 1d10" per wound. Also, gas cell wounds inflict a -1 penalty on Piloting skill rolls like normal wounds and this will be cumulative with the airship's regular wounds and other modifiers. The fourth and each successive wound thereafter should be considered as wounds on the airship itself, potentially meaning that the airship will be losing altitude at a rate of 6d10" per round.

This method means its easier for an attacking aircraft to do but it requires a greater effort.
Categories: Company News

Frozen Skies Session Zero: Taking Flight

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 08:30
Some back I mentioned about running a Frozen Skies campaign, recently had a character creation session or 'Session Zero' if you will. Partially because we had a new player and partial because it had been a while since we last played anything Savage Worlds related, we did a short combat to get to grips with how everything works. So this week's post will be a rundown of the characters and an after action report of the brief combat. Going forward, I'll be alternating between campaign posts and Utherwald Press related posts.


Cast of Scoundrels

We have a crew of five characters who are to brave the frozen skies of Alyeska, complete with their own airship (more on that in a bit). They all hail from a diverse range of different backgrounds and, in one particular case, different countries.

Alex Sondheim - Petty street thug, grew up picking pockets and extorting shopkeepers.

Herbert Schilling - Former doctor's apprentice from Lindun, recently finished national service posting at Calharrow.

George Page -  Served in the Royal Aero-Marines, now heavy weapons specialist and secondary pilot for the group.

Jack "Tag" Rollews - Mercenary pilot and mechanic, originates from the Coalition.

Sebastion Jones - Sharpshooter.

As stated earlier, they have an airship; The Waylander

She's an old Rover-class scout airship that saw service during the Great Darmonican War and got sold off after the armistice. It sports hooks to mount a pair of fighter-reconnaissance aircraft to extend its patrol radius and for self-defence. Additionally, it boasts a pair of gun turrets armed with twin 50-cal machine guns. 

At present they have a single escort aircraft; A Blackforge Marauder that's been named "Gilias".

Smoke Street Shootout

After character creation was done and the players had sorted out their airship, we had a bit of time to run through a bit of combat. This was partially to get used to the rules again, partially to show how the system works for Herbert's player since he's new to the group and to tabletop RPGs.

The scenario was pretty straight forwards; the group ran afoul of a street gang that outnumbered them two-to-one.

Jack's player got lucky and received a Joker in the first round of combat, but elected to hold their action. Herbert's player ended up going first, got into cover behind a truck and fired off a shot from their rifle. George was next, firing a burst from his machine gun whilst Alex edged closer to the thugs and fired his revolver. Jack and Sebastion broke into a nearby building with the intent of using the upper floor as a sniping point. By the time the thugs went, one of them had been Shaken (and would remain so). The return exchange of fire from the thugs was terrible, so a good bunch of them decided to leap-frog through some cover in order to get to George and Herbert. The thug leader fired his weapon, which produced a beam of light rather than a bullet, at Alex.

Round two saw Herbert getting a Joker and going first again, this time downing one of the thugs. George's efforts with the machine gun put down a couple more thugs. Jack and Sebastion reach the upper floor, Jack then spotted for Seb by using his pair of binoculars. Allow Jack to do a Notice roll, a success and each raise then gave +1 to Seb's Shooting roll (IIRC he got a raise and so Seb got +2 to his own roll). Seb then fired at the thug leader and managed to roll 24 on his damage roll, the thug leader managed to do a Soak roll but was left with two wounds. Alex then moved up to do a melee attack on the thug leader and...failed.

The thugs continued to move forwards, but their shooting was just as ineffective as it was during the first round. The thug leader spent a benny to remove Shaken and proved just as bad in melee against Alex. Due to time constraints we had to call it quits there, though everyone seemed to enjoyed it.

Thoughts: Range and cover modifiers do have a big impact, plus it was nice seeing the players thinking tactically.
Categories: Company News

Kickstarter Update

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:37
OK, Frozen Skies Kickstarter update time.
Right, that magic word...FULFILMENT
We've pretty much finished checking through for typos and errors, now its a case of doing the last few corrections and edits before finalizing the files prior to them being uploaded to DriveThruRPG. There will probably be bit of a delay since the files will be needed to be validated by DriveThru, once they've been approved see can then see about sending out copies of Frozen Skies.
So now would be a very good time to ensure that your Kickstarter details are correct, a survey should go out at some point in the next few weeks so that the process of fulfilment can be done. The focus will be on getting Frozen Skies out, after that we can turn our attention to the rest of the Kickstarter rewards.
Oh, and theres another magic word....FEEDBACK
Released a Kickstarter draft PDF of Frozen Skies via a Backer-only update a few months back, have asked for feedback whether theres any changes needed to be made. Now is the last chance to get that feedback in.
Categories: Company News

The Gwentshire Chronicles: The Mist-Bound

Mon, 05/07/2018 - 08:30
We're returning to the County of Gwentshire and taking a look at a few ideas concerning the Mist-Bound. This group of entities serve as sentinels, standing guard against otherworldly beings trying to break through the weak point in reality located in Gwentshire. Doing things a little differently this week by having this week's post up on Patreon before it goes live on the blog.    The Mist-BoundThe Mist-Bound are a group of five entities who guard the rift in the walls between worlds and stop otherworldly beings from slipping through. They are widely believed to have been druids who underwent a ritual to become the Mist-Bound, something that is said to have occurred before the Roman conquest of the British Isles. Normally they are very covert, preferring to conduct their eternal duty away from Human eyes. On the few occasions that they have materialized before a person, there has never been more than five of them and they all appear as cloaked figures surrounded by mist. There doesn't seem to be a clear leader and generally they all seem to be male, though one is said to to be female from the tone and accent of their voice. They seem to have some sort of relationship with the spectral black hound 'Grim Jack'. Its not clear whether the hound is a servant of the Mist-Bound or an ally, but no known hostility between the two has been recorded. Its only on very rare occasions that Grim Jack has been seen in the company of the Mist-Bound. Over the centuries the Mist-Bound's power has been steadily eroded, first by the raise of Christianity and then later by the destruction of ancient sites beginning during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century. Decline in the Mist-Bound powers has meant a weakening of their vigilance on the Gwentshire rift and greater chances of things being able to slip through. A spite of 'weirdness' in the 1970s was said to have been caused by a housing development destroying a key site, something that forced the Mist-Bound to enlist the aid of mortals. The Neopagan movement has seen a revival of the Mist-Bound's strength and power, thus allowing them to catch more of the smaller beings trying to slip through the crack between worlds. However, Human activity has been a threat to the Mist-Bound is likely to continue to be so.
Categories: Company News

April 2018 Update

Sun, 04/29/2018 - 13:46
We're over a quarter of the way into the year and its looking like Frozen Skies will soon be ready. Though still a bit quiet on the events front and other big announcements, but there is a little bit of news there. Plus there is other Frozen Skies related news that may be of interest to folk.


Frozen Skies

Some of the backer rewards in the Kickstarter was some extra content in the book; had a couple of people in particular choose the "Create Your Own..." pledges. We've had to chase these people, but we've have now received responses from them and working to inter-corporate their rewards into the book.

Don't like to commit to any firm dates as of yet, though hopefully by mid-May we should be in a position to start fulfilling Kickstarter rewards. It just depends on how quick the artist is and how long file approval takes via DriveThruRPG. As ever, we'll try to keep you guys posted.

Events

Not much to say, going to be another year light on events and staying close to home.

At this year's Diceni in Norwich on Sunday 6th May, print copies of the Frozen Skies Setting Primer can be found on the stand belonging to Trinkety. Utherwald wasn't able to get a place this year, but I know the lass behind Trinkety and she'd offered to stock the Setting Primers.

An event that I'm hoping will have an Utherwald Press presence this year is another local show; NOR-CON on the last weekend of September.

And Finally...

Quite some time back I mentioned about the possibility of running a Frozen Skies campaign.

Seems that will finally be happening in over a week's time, though tad earlier than I had initially planned. General gist of the campaign is that the characters are part of a crew of freelancers working for a logging company, this will give them a springboard to start from and allow them to decide that they want to do. Though I do intend for them to get caught up in....stuff.

Since the players are liable to see this post, I can't give out much more in the way of details. Though I'll try to post fortnightly updates on the campaign.
Categories: Company News

The County of Gwentshire

Sun, 04/22/2018 - 00:41
As the Gwentshire Chronicles setting idea seems to have been a big hit I've decided to do a follow-up post. Its a general overview of the County of Gwentshire, noting places of interests. It also gives a rough idea of the geographic layout of the county along with little glimpses at its history.

Expect further posts as I explore some concepts for the setting, though people have asked about cross-generational stuff.


The County of Gwentshire

Gwentshire is a small English county located in the South-West of England, close to Bristol.

It is bisected by the River Gwent, which flows north through the county into the Bristol Channel. The county town and administrative seat is the town of Gwentford, straddling the River Gwent in the rough center of the county. Gwentford is home to Moore Barracks, the depot of the Gwentshire Rifles and boasts some light industry. A railway line runs east to west, crossing the Gwent at Gwentford where branch lines split off to serve the rest of the county. Aside from the light industry round Gwentford, the county is rural with flat coastal plains giving way to more hilly terrain the further south you go.

Places of Interest

Gwentford - County town and administrative seat.

Gwentford Castle - Built by the Normans on the site of an earlier Anglo-Saxon fort. Damaged during the English Civil War and never properly repaired, was used as an army barracks until Moore Barracks was built in the early 1800s. Used as a prison during the latter half of the 19th Century until the so-called 'New Prison' was built in the 1890s. Despite plans to turn it into a museum it stood empty for much of the 20th Century, though was used as a PoW camp in both World Wars.

Potterstead - Main port in Gwentshire and located at the mouth of the River Gwent.

Lombe - Village in the south-eastern part of the county and host to Lombe Hall, the country seat of the Snell family (least up until the 1930s).

Ashenbury - Located south-west of Gwentford, west of the River Gwent and just north of the Weston Hills.

Ashenbury Tor - Sandstone hill close to the town of Ashenbury and nestled in a crook of the River Gwent, site of a prehistoric hillfort that was later used by the Romans.

RAF Ludsgate - Aerodrome built in the 1920s, acquired by the RAF in the late 1930s as part of its pre-WW2 expansion programme.

The Levels - coastal plain and wetland area forming the northern half of the county.

The Weston Hills - Range of limestone hills that dominate the southern half of the county, boasts many gorges and combes as well as a few caves.
Categories: Company News

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