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Archive for "Aug 07 2009"

Campaign: Engines of Revolution

Campaign: Engines of Revolution
The High Concept: Steampunk Pirates vs. the British Empire

Rose grimaced and lowered her binoculars. Leaning down out from the crow’s nest she shouted, “3 Frigates, 15 miles Southwest, closing under power.” Grabbing the ‘nocs she returned to scanning the horizon – always circling back to the closing British ships.

On Deck Mike, captain of the Ineffable, cursed; and began shouting orders to make sail; leaning over into the hold he was surprised by the mess his mechanic was surrounded by, “How long til we’ve got power?”

Easy Pete looked up from the bird’s nest of copper tubes, junctions and valves. “Five minutes til half power, probably, but if we push it it’ll blow and that will take the last of the amber”

Mike fidgeted idly with the brownish yellow stone around his neck, “Just get me power”

“Land-Ho”, the cry from the Crow’s Nest drew Mike’s attention, “Due West” Mike looked up at the nest confused, grabbed his scope, ran to the port side of the ship and scanned the horizon.

“Thank God,” he whispered and then began barking orders – “Bring her about and make for that island, not too quickly, we want those frigate’s close – we’re a shallower draft and we may just be able to lose them. Pete! Don’t fire those things up til I give you the word.”

Many tense moments passed as the frigates began to close and the Ineffable approached the uncharted island. Rose continued to scan between the two while still sweeping the rest of the horizon. Then she saw something that made her blood run cold, the island began to slowly move towards them, hatches opening to bring guns to bear.

“Sir! That’s not an Island…”

Campaign in Brief:In the year of our lord 1730 Daring Pirates, Wise Rosicrucians, Impulsive Students, Bold Rebels and others fight in and around the Caribbean, against a tyrannical British Empire that, utilizing stolen technology has conquered the known world. OK, that’s very brief but it pretty much sums it up so on to a little history…

A Little History:
In the early 1600’s two manifestos were published throughout Europe, introducing the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross or the Rosicrucians and promising that soon this laudable order would reveal itself and help to bring about a Universal Reformation of Mankind combining Spirituality, Alchemy and Natural Philosophy. These manifestos and those that followed kicked off a fervor of questions and excitement across Europe that culminated in 1622 when the Brotherhood ‘revealed’ themselves publicly to the masses and privately to heads of state.

The Enlightenment:
The Rosicrucians brought with them advances in Science, Technology and Alchemy the likes of which the world had never seen, and asked in return only that their voice be heard and they be allowed to help. They did not end war but their advice, wisdom and diplomatic skills certainly helped prevent some conflicts and shorten or lessen others. They opened schools, helped the less fortunate, and recruited the talented into the Brotherhood that they might help more.

Wars of the Spanish Succession (The Throne Wars):
For nearly 80 years the world grew and thrived until 1700 when Charles II of Spain died without heir. The most direct and legitimate successor would have been Louis, le Grand Dauphin, the only legitimate son of King Louis XIV of France. The potential unification of France and Spain was viewed as a dire threat to the balance of power in Europe by pretty much everyone, and when Louis began to take steps to secure his position, Austria acted by invading Milan which fired the starter pistol on a series of wars that lasted for the next dozen years. Only England remained aloof and out of the conflict. Alliances were forged and broken, nations rose to prominence and plumetted to the very edge of defeat and through it all were the Rosicruiscians trying their best to stop the wars or at least mitigate their effects by the end of 1713 it began to look as if their cool reasoned wisdom was beginning to take hold, battles became less frequent, and more like skirmishes. The end was near and peace was again in sight.

British Invasion:
On October 21st 1714, as the wars has begun to burn themselves out, England made its move. The schools, training grounds and laboratories of Rosicrucians in England, Ireland and Scotland were raided, their contents seized and occupants slaughtered by the British Army accompanied by strange men and women who identified themselves as Palladists. Within days an Armada of amber fueled war ships crossed the channel and legions of British troops armed with fantastic weapons, built in secret, spilled across the continent. The war-ravaged nations of Europe were no match for this unexpected assault, the Rosicrucians did what they could to organize and arm Europe but it was too little, too late. Village by village, city by city, nation by nation, they conquered Europe and began spreading into Asia. Any place that harbored Rosicrucians was burned to the ground. By 1730 Britain ruled Europe, had made inroads into Russian and India and had all but destroyed the Rosicrucians…

The Rosicrucians:
The Brotherhood of the Rose Cross is all but dead, their numbers scattered and broken, but for a brief moment in history they were a bright and shining example of what mankind could achieve and those few that remain are resolved to reach for that again. To that end many have sought new students, to teach the secrets of their magic’s and technological achievements and/or joined with groups fighting the British.

Rosicrucian Technology:
Rosicrucian devices (and other devices created using the Weird Science Arcane Background) are powered by small generators containing specially processed amber. The amber is slowly (or sometimes quickly) consumed as the device operates. Rosicrucian Devices include such things as engines that can power sailing ships without wind, to modifications to traditional firearms, to practically anything that can be imagined.

Flying Ships?
Ask your GM, I haven’t decided yet…

Palladists:
The Palladists were a secret order of philosophers and arcanists who seek power through chaos and destruction; Having forged an alliance with George I of England they gained access to Rosicrucian Technology and helped him assemble, in secret, the forces he needed to conquer Europe. As soon as he ascended to the throne, they were ready to strike.

Character Creation:
Race: All characters are Human and begin with the normal Bonus Edge.
Attributes: Are Purchased as Normal
Skills: Are purchased as Normal
Edges and Hindrances: Edges and Hindrances are purchased as normal. The Arcane Backgrounds Magic and Weird Science should be available, principally to Rosicrucians, but variants and other backgrounds may be available at the GM’s whim.

Pirates of the Spanish Main:
If you have a copy of the stand alone game Pirates of the Spanish Main you should use that as the base game rather than the original Savage Worlds.

Deadlands: Reloaded:
If you have a copy of Deadlands: Reloaded it contains excellent examples of “Steampunk” technology suitable for plundering for this setting.

 

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