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Playtest: Steel and Steam Session 1

Today we ran the first session for our Steel and Steam campaign setting, and while no actual dice rolling occurred, it was quite the adventure.

I was joined by +Xavier Ho, +Cameron Gates, and +Jacob Poss as we began creating what would turn out to be a very strange campaign setup indeed.

The setting was first explained, and the basic premise of the game suggested:

You are members of the crew of the Skyship 'Hell's Reach', an re-purposed ex-military prison transport that is now a salvage ship. You take the lucrative jobs that no one else wants, and for good reason. Your jobs take you away from the safe comfort of the airways and down into the dangerous environs of the surface world to salvage the remains of skyships, cities, and whatever else you can find down there.
After this, some initial ideas tossed around until we settled on an epic scale game (I'm thinking starting small, then ramping it up) with two issues:

  • We Pissed Off Lord Wyles Filchborne IV, Influential Lord and Court Official (Current Issue)
  • Return of the Dragon of Wrath (Impending Issue)
So, Lord Filtchborne was out to get them for some past deed of theirs (perhaps pointing out just how bad his name was?), and at some point the Dragon of Wrath (one of the seven Dragons of Sin) was going to turn up and ruin everyone's day. To make things a little more interesting, Jake suggested we add something else:
  • Trouble at Every Turn
At that point I couldn’t help but grin.
Next stop was tossing together some characters, as everyone had a lot of cool ideas and wanted to get them down. Eventually we came up with:
  • Helmut Richthofen (Jake); Reformed Air Pirate that was held up in his previous career by his Inconvenient Morality. He is a master swordsman and totes around a nice big Zweihander.
  • Rick Balance (Xavier); A Fenrian Engineer who was raised by Pantheran traders in Rurick, who desired to be a sculptor. He was dragged in to being the ship’s engineer when Helmut had him do some work on his sword, and liked his work so much that he hired him. The engineering work he does does work, but he has no idea why.
  • Agdan Stonefist (Cameron); A Goliath Warrior Caste Exile who was sent away from his people after he broke taboo and broke into the Inner Sanctum of the Voice (Goliath religious leader). Such a crime would normally be death, but in doing the deed he saved the Voice’s life, and thus the penalty was reduced. He tends to be the Shoot First, Ask Questions Later kind of guy, especially when Guns are a Goliath’s Best Friend.
With the motely crew assembled (the Captain was to show up later), we then moved on to putting out some Faces and Places, eventually getting:
  • Lord Wyles Filchborne IV; Influential Britannian Lord and Court Official the group pissed off from a previous endeavour of theirs.
  • Captain J. T. Braken; Helmut’s previous Captain who want’s his revenge for insubordination that resulted in the death of most of Braken’s crew.
  • Black Kat; Pantheran trader and information broker, knows a little something about almost everybody.
  • General Fang; Ex-Thulian General that now runs his own mercenary company, the Silver Fangs. Owe’s the crew one or two favours, but doesn’t have to be happy about it.
  • Free City of Rurick (The Wandering City); unlike most other cities established on floating earth nodes, Rurick was left untethered and free to drift around as the air currents took it. When necessary the city could be tugged into a certain course by specially designed Skyships. It has become a hub of trade and multiculturalism in the region, and if you’re looking for something, you’re probably going to find it in Rurick.
  • Vyksport (Anything You Want, At The Cheap); location of Lord Finchbottom’s operations, and home of 3P (Port Port Port), an alcoholic beverage that turns out to be better as a cleaning agent, lubricant and fuel than it is to drink.
With that, we closed the session, leaving the players to finish off their characters and me to decide what madness to inflict upon them. I’m probably going to flesh out some more locations and minor NPCs, but this takes us off to a great start.