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Author Topic: Adventure Hooks for a Pseudo-Steampunk World  (Read 1464 times)
Alain Raethorne
Zeppelin Captain
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United States United States


Browncoat and Firefly Flan


« on: May 24, 2008, 11:58:17 pm »

Fellow Rpg-ers, I request aid of you. I'm going to be DMing a game in a couple hours, and I need some adventure hooks. I've already got the main body of the adventure set up, but I just need some quick fill-in-stuff for it. The setting is a Real-Word Steampunk world, set between 1900-1920ish. The rundown of the world is as follows:

America- The west was conquered long ago, large metropolises have replaced most of the countryside. Both coasts are predominantly one never-ending city, while the middle of the country, while still developed, is less so and in some places technology has been violently rebelled against by the indigineous peoples.
 
United Kingdom (Just England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales)- a predominantly Protestant pseudo-theocracy. Ruled by the king, but the power really lies in his advisor's hands, a group of religious leaders form across the country. (They need a really awesome name though....and I've not thought of one yet). The country is technologically advanced, more so than Europe, but less so than America. London continues to be a massive city, both on ground, beneath it, and above it.
 
Europe- Still in the iron grip of the ancient Holy Roman Empire. Rigid theocracy, folks of other religions are generally not tolerated, if not downright violently harassed or 'expelled' from the borders of the empire.
 
Africa and Asia- Not got anything solid for these yet, but I have some ideas floating around.
 
South America-  Still sort of a "Lost Continent". Folks know it's there, but only the borders have been mapped. Explorers that venture into its depths are not likely to come back, and if they do, it's generally accompanied by a nice, one way trip to an asylum.
--------------------
 
Classes: Standard stuff, with a bit of retooling. Add things like the artificer from Eberron, and some classes from the Iron Kingdoms setting.
 
Races: I don't really want a bunch of crazy races. I kind want to keep it sort of similar to our world, but with a twist. Humans predominantly. Races like elves, gnomes, dwarves, and halflings are rare and generally considered myths. Races like orcs are sort of just savage humanoids, mostly used as slave labor. This, then, makes half-orcs sort of outcasts from the start.

Other Stuff: I'm including all the classics of the genre, airships, submarines, mad science, mechanical things hither and yon (Steamjacks included) and some space travel.
------------------------------------------------

Basically, The US and Russia (still a monarchy) are in a sort of Cold War-esque arms race, but tensions are building and the threat of all-out war is bcoming more of a reality. Border skirmishes have already erupted between Russia and Japan, which is one of America's allies.  Parts of the Holy Roman Empire are rebelling, and civil wars are on the way (Think of the Ottoman empire, the "Sick Old Man of Europe" in WWI). The UK is ally of America, and is generally opposed to the Empire. So, the stage is set between The US, the UK, and Japan, going to 'war' with Russia and The Empire.

I'm planning on setting the characters in some sort of predicament which will bring the war to them. Make it personal. Basically, if you guys have read Michael Moorcock's Nomad of the Time Streams series, I'm looking at the Steel Tsar as my main point of inspiration.

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"But Iron-Cold Iron-is master of them all."
chicar
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2008, 12:12:51 am »

some spying mission perhaps?
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The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
Capt. Michael Bedlam
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Captain of the SS Morpheus


« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2008, 12:18:17 am »

A trip to South America would be the one that I would want to do the most.  It really depends on the characters the players are using.  Rescue missions are always good.  Perhaps finding a ruined temple deep in the jungle that hints at more a lost city, long rumoured to be nothing more than a legend?  I think you can tell the kind of character I prefer....
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Carpe Deim
Alain Raethorne
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Browncoat and Firefly Flan


« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2008, 12:24:57 am »

Oh, indeed Captain. That's basically what I had in mind. Two of the characters are a couple of rogues (Think Bonny and Clyde) and the other character is a sort of a wandering preacher from Nor'East America. A trip to South America could be very interesting indeed....
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Jemima Annabelle Clough
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


When you're tired of tea, you're tired of life


« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2008, 12:41:37 am »

Th obvious thing that springs to mind is they discover a lost city complete with lost technology that proves the peoples of South America were far more advanced than given credit for. This technology, naturally, is still in some kind of working order, and how it's made etc suggests that the people who made and operated it knew of the wider world and defintiely travelled to Russia and Europe, as well as other places.

To anyone not gripped with the paranoia of war, it is just that - old/lost tech that might still be maintained by, at this point, unknown and unseen peoples.

To those paranoid about war and spies, this proves that South America is working with Russia and The Empire against the USA and UK. And the fact that the 3 characters have been discovered there proves they are in league with the enemy.

The obvious follow on from that is they try to prove their innocence and the tech's credentials. However, if your players are anything like the lot I used to play with, they may end up either on the side of the enemy, or creating a third side of their own, and anyone they can convince to join in...
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Remember: Stressed backwards spells desserts
---
Fellow of the RS
Botanist and sometime adventurer
Wife of A E Clough
---
Flame throwing priestess of the really hot fire
Alain Raethorne
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Browncoat and Firefly Flan


« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2008, 12:43:31 am »

Mrs. Clough, I love the way you think.
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Jemima Annabelle Clough
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


When you're tired of tea, you're tired of life


« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2008, 12:59:54 am »

*curtsies* Thank you
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Alain Raethorne
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Browncoat and Firefly Flan


« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2008, 10:05:30 pm »

Well, the game went quite well. Especially for this being the first playtest of this world. I, and more importantly the players, thoroughly enjoyed it.

The game started with the two US diplomats (Rogue 1/Aristocrat 1) hiring a bodyguard in London, a down-and-out ex=preacher also from the US. They were on there way to Rome, to work out a peace agreement between the two countries. However, they were arrested in Munich, by what appeared to be soldiers of the Empire. Thrown in prison, they eventually escape with the help of their bodyguard, who lets on that he "wasn't always a man of God." (Think of Book from Firefly.) Apparently, he broke out, took out the guards, infiltrated a gun emplacement, and made off with a Vickers machine gun. And yes, he can operate and carry it on his own.

So they escape, and discover that their captors were not, as they thought, soldiers of the Empire, but part of a third-party group that sought to bring the US and the Empire into direct war with each other.
-------

So that was the first session, and hopefully it will continue to be this good.
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Jemima Annabelle Clough
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


When you're tired of tea, you're tired of life


« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2008, 12:14:37 am »

Sounds like a wonderful start
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Capt. Michael Bedlam
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Captain of the SS Morpheus


« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2008, 12:17:09 am »

Indeed.  Makes me wish I could play it.
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Alain Raethorne
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Browncoat and Firefly Flan


« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2008, 03:15:15 am »

Alrighty, digging this from the abyss of page 3....

I'm changing gears in this thread now. I'm working on implementing the adventure that Mrs. Clough outlined in an earlier post. I am wandering if anyone wants to assist with the write up of said adventure, and if anyone else wants to contribute at all to the game.

Mrs. Clough, Capt. Bedlam, I'm looking at you guys.

So who's in?
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Capt. Michael Bedlam
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Captain of the SS Morpheus


« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2008, 06:00:38 am »

I am more than willing to help out.  Where do you want to start?
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Jemima Annabelle Clough
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


When you're tired of tea, you're tired of life


« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2008, 12:42:34 pm »

I'd be happy to help out
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MechanicalMouse
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


A tall mouse with huge cogs!


« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2008, 10:53:30 am »

Just a quick run of ideas of the top of my head. These are adventure hooks, ie a way to start the game and bring the players to the mission with out dragging them there.

A character inherits something, somewhere. A house is good for a CoC type horror, or a car and have players Hijacked on the return journey.

A call for help. I always try to make sure my players have some kind of personal history, so thus they have people they would feel compelled to help. This works better if you've already brought this NPC in for a few previous adventures (it bonds the players to the NPC).

WAR! Have a full scale war between nations, its amazing how many adventures can be grown from turmoil. I don't like to drag players into an adventure, but In war many storytelling rules can be ignored. Hell its even better to have the players characters dragged from their beds by some shadowy government organisation.

Frame Job. Frame the characters, let them prove their innocence.

Or They ARE guilty. They're being investigated and they have to cover their tracks.

Have you ever read "Listen Up you Primitive Screwhead, the Cyberpunk GM guide". It is the best GM's guide I've ever read. Its all hints and tricks. Points out major pitfall all GM fall for. The most common is called "Westworld Syndrome", where players have a massive firefight in the street, and by next morning all the bodies have been cleanly taken away with zero repercussions for the players. It points out even if the victims were the lowest scum of Nightcity, the cops would still investigate and unless the players where very cautious they would be found.

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