Saturday Seed ~ 72 (Brass & Steel)

In terms of televised entertainment I am a season behind those of you on the side of the Earth I consider to be normal, so I am just now running across the proliferation of steampunk references being used to spice up otherwise mundane programming. In belated deference to the accomplishment of getting the eyes of the bland to focus on something unique, however briefly, I have decided to plant this week’s Saturday Seed in the fertile imaginative garden of Brass & Steel. As with last week’s entry, this seed was originally used for a different genre (Fantasy), but I have repurposed it here in light of how it actually went and felt in play.

The Seed

A recurring villain is back, this time with a powerful submersible with which the blackguard is plaguing the shipping of your characters’ homeland(s). Bearing personal motivations, and the Hotaether-Driven wherewithal to deal with the threat better than the powers-that-be, a decision is made to act!

Planting the Seed

This seed requires the characters to have a recurring villain, or strong motivations to proactively seek to curtail the activities of this one on their own.

The characters will come into the possession of schematics believed to be for the prototype ‘Hydra’ class submersible, and the location of the villain’s secret docking facility, allowing them to plan a raid on the vessel and its insidious crew.

What’s going on

No two groups ever plan anything the same way, so you might think you will need to be prepared for cons, assaults, artillery, power armour, stealth, and dream-borne intrusions – some at the secret docking facility, some at sea, or something in-between these approaches somewhere in between at sea or in the facility. This is not entirely true.

A big part of this seed is about taking a moment to focus on the wonder and mystery of invention, and the effort to bring those inventions into the world.

The villain, smart and recurring type that he is, knows that it is only a matter of time before someone will show up to put holes in his plans and his submersible. He knew this even before he built his wonderful device, and so he did not just build a submersible weapons platform with sleek lines, potent weaponry, and real Corinthian leather… no… he built it with the idea of mating it to an airship docking collar and lifting mechanism, so that what does down, may also go up.

The Details

The villain will be hard at work stocking his larders and preparing to put to sea once the characters get wind of his nefarious deeds. Let them plan to their hearts’ content, but give them cause to want to enter the compound rather than tackle things at sea. If they do end up approaching this for an ocean encounter, see Plan B.

Give them a good run for their farthings as they enter the facility, and keep the secret of the submersible as long as possible, so that what will have been intended as a raid on a docked submarine, can suddenly transform before their eyes into the aeronautical escape of the villain aboard what has become his airship.

The submersible can attach itself and lend power to a semi-rigid gas-bag, with its own propeller and steering mechanisms, needing only the power generation plants of the submersible to render it mobile. Lightly armed, mostly for point defense, the addition of the submersible gives it decent firepower in the form of bombs, and cannons. Not a threat to any nation by any means, but a real terror as a pirate one can never be sure is at sea or in the skies.

As their plans suddenly need to shift to accommodate this hopefully unexpected change, players will need to act quickly and decisively in order to end this threat.

Plan B

Plan B is simple, and is a blanket contingency plan where the villain has several such docking facilities completely with airship attachments ready for him to use. Some are on stretches of deserted coastline; others are on small islands in the middle of nowhere.

If he is pursued, he will seek to elude capture, set a course for one of these facilities, and make good his escape with the much faster and more flexible options provided by air travel.

The villain, brilliant, and talented though he is, is not really a strategist or a pirate, but he is trying.

Subs, torpedoes, deck guns, brass, diamondpane view ports, razor-sharp rams, airships, huge propellers, docking collars and clamps, the elegance of air combat, and the threat to the innocents below…?  So much action awaits!

Enjoy~

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