Thursday, July 28, 2016

Into the Seas, Darkly

Water, water, everywhere...
So when it comes to playtesting new rules, I like to come up with something unique just to give my players some fresh air and to kind of push the new rules in the background to see if they can fly without being too overly conspicuous. Our first try was the infamous Star Wars one shot that I hope to bring to the play report to the blog sooner or later.
Here is an example I thought up, but thought it was more appropriate as a campaign and since my players have been fairly entertained by the current Crown’s Hold campaign, I figured I’d share this in case anyone else might find use for it.
Into the Seas, Darkly
Premise: Sometime in the past, the modern world experienced a holocaust of an unleashed fury of bio-engineered plagues and rampant nuclear exchanges. The dry land has been contaminated with radiation and plague carrying mutants. The survivors of the apocalypse have immigrated to the seas to survive.
The few shattered survivors in battered flotillas of bound together small craft, massive cruise liners, freighters, and a few of the remaining military vessels that were not destroyed by the war. GPS satellites are no longer functioning, amount of settlements with someone who can navigate by the stars are slim. Fuel for the larger ships is long gone so other forms of traveling the seas have been developed. Massive sails and slave manned oar decks are common. Still, rumors of abandon off shore refineries that still produce fuel are abundant, yet no one seems to know exactly where they are.
Weapons: Bosses and their elite bodyguards are usually the only one with the ammunition available to carry guns, so make shift bows, spears, axes etc. are the norm.
Players’ Home vessel:
1.        Cruise liner
2.        Bound flotilla settlement
3.        Flotilla of smaller craft
4.        Former military vessel
5.        Cargo freighter
6.        Small merchant vessel

Home vessel community:
1.        Feudal
2.        Theocracy
3.        Anarchy
4.        Monarchy

1.        Off-shore refinery (d6: 1 operable, 2 repairable, 3-6 irreparable; d4: 1-2 abandoned, 3-4 occupied )
2.        Flotilla settlement (d6: 1-2 abandoned, 3 temporarily vacant, 4-6 occupied)
3.        Single survivor in tiny craft
4.        Mutated Sea life
5.        Land
6.        Submarine raiders
7.        Whirlpool
8.        Bad weather
9.        Shipwreck
10.     Pirate Flotilla
11.     Vessel
12.     Iceberg

Mutated sea life:
1.        Mega-whales
2.        Kraken
3.        Mermen (Deep Ones)
4.        Sentient fungal blooms
5.        Shark swarm (aggressive)
6.        Aggressive pigeons/ernes

1.        Atoll (unoccupied)
2.        Atoll (occupied)
3.        Island (unoccupied)
4.        Island (unoccupied)
5.        Archipelago (occupied)
6.        Archipelago (abandon)
7.        Continental shore
8.        Ice floe

Occupied by:
1.        Pirates
2.        Survivor community
3.        Plague-bearers (mindless fast zombies)
4.        Mutants (Victims of both the plague and radiation, most have kept their mental faculties)
5.        A secret refuge for the rich and powerful from the modern age
6.        Devolved survivors who are now cannibals
7.        Religious fanatics
8.        Mermen (Deep Ones and their hybrids).

Single survivors:
1.        Religious zealot
2.        Assassin/bounty hunter
3.        Spy for another settlement
4.        Plague bearer (infectious fast zombies)
5.        Mutant
6.        Exile
7.        Cannibal
8.        Pirate
9.        Madman
10.     Herald for another community
11.     Trader
12.     Wreck survivor

Things settlements are looking for:
1.        Trade
2.        Ammunition
3.        Converts
4.        Navigator
5.        Mechanic
6.        Electrician
7.        Gunsmith
8.        Agriculture experts
9.        Slaves
10.     Slaves
11.     Women
12.     Women
13.     Doctor
14.     Engineer
15.     Food
16.     Fuel
17.     Freshwater
18.     Medical supplies
19.     Repair materials
20.     Construction/repair materials

A few examples of what can be encountered at sea:
Cathedral of St. Neptune: The Black Cardinal Joseph Celeste runs his oar propelled oil tanker turned house of worship with an iron fist. Any survivors rescued by his minions are bound for the Holy Breeding Chambers if female, and males to the oars for ‘conversion.’ Any order, no matter how ‘sinful,’ is immediately performed by his elite guard of “Red Robes” who control the members of the congregation with unholy fear and the only working firearms on board. The Cardinal’s primary needs are for technological savvy ‘converts’ to keep his sea-borne cathedral running, and fuel to keep the electrical generators running. He has no desire to get the engines running, as the conversion of his rowers is an integral piece of their path to God and conversion into zealotry.
The Venture: One of the modern mega-cruise liners, plague broke out while far out at sea. A crew of mutants led by Eric Seven-eyes run the massive ship, using the hordes of mindless plague-bearers to overwhelm any opposition as they raid any occupied boat or settlement they come across. Having heard rumors of an operational off-shore refinery, he and his crew desperately hunt for it.
Fish Town: A conglomeration of almost a hundred sea vessels, from anything to dinghies to a small yacht, the float tied, taped, nailed, and glued together. The inhabitants all have an odd degenerate look to them, but those who mention they look a bit like the strange mermen that occasionally attack ships at sea, are quickly silenced.  Operating as a peaceful trading village on the high seas, it is also known as a place where baser services can be found, including drugs, alcohol, and prostitution.  While visitors are always welcome, it isn’t unheard of for a few to not make it back to their ship before they cast off. It is a recognized cost of doing business with the strange people. When Fish Town is encountered, the sea is always strangely still.

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