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Frozen Skies: Expanded Airship Rules Ideas

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 08:00
So running a Frozen Skies campaign gives me the opportunity to try stuff out beyond the typical scope of a one shot adventure. One of the ideas that I wish to develop and playtest is expanded rules for airships and combat involving them. This will of course feed into Skies of Crimson, the next book that is planned for Frozen Skies.






Aircraft vs Airship

Mentioned under the Airship Combat rules is that weapons over a certain size are able to hurt airships, meaning the options of an aircraft are pretty limited. Have a few ideas to address this as discussed below.

Called Shots - Basically works the same as normal ranged combat; characters can target specific parts of the airship. This would incur a -4 penalty on the Shooting roll and can target the following locations; Engines, Controls and Weapon Mount. This attack inflicts the effects described on the Airship Critical Hit Table in Frozen Skies for the locations, but it doesn't actually inflict a wound on the airship.

The idea here is that the aircraft would be disabling the airship rather than killing it outright.

Gas Cells - Another idea I'm toying with is something that could allow aircraft to actually hurt an airship; targeting its gas cells.

Targeting the gas cells would grant the attacking aircraft a +2 on its Shooting rolls, though I am toying with the idea of halving the airship's Toughness for these type of attacks. Gas cells would then suffer wounds as per the normal damage rules, additionally the airship will begin losing height at a rate of 1d10" per wound. Also, gas cell wounds inflict a -1 penalty on Piloting skill rolls like normal wounds and this will be cumulative with the airship's regular wounds and other modifiers. The fourth and each successive wound thereafter should be considered as wounds on the airship itself, potentially meaning that the airship will be losing altitude at a rate of 6d10" per round.

This method means its easier for an attacking aircraft to do but it requires a greater effort.
Categories: Company News

Frozen Skies Session Zero: Taking Flight

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 08:30
Some back I mentioned about running a Frozen Skies campaign, recently had a character creation session or 'Session Zero' if you will. Partially because we had a new player and partial because it had been a while since we last played anything Savage Worlds related, we did a short combat to get to grips with how everything works. So this week's post will be a rundown of the characters and an after action report of the brief combat. Going forward, I'll be alternating between campaign posts and Utherwald Press related posts.


Cast of Scoundrels

We have a crew of five characters who are to brave the frozen skies of Alyeska, complete with their own airship (more on that in a bit). They all hail from a diverse range of different backgrounds and, in one particular case, different countries.

Alex Sondheim - Petty street thug, grew up picking pockets and extorting shopkeepers.

Herbert Schilling - Former doctor's apprentice from Lindun, recently finished national service posting at Calharrow.

George Page -  Served in the Royal Aero-Marines, now heavy weapons specialist and secondary pilot for the group.

Jack "Tag" Rollews - Mercenary pilot and mechanic, originates from the Coalition.

Sebastion Jones - Sharpshooter.

As stated earlier, they have an airship; The Waylander

She's an old Rover-class scout airship that saw service during the Great Darmonican War and got sold off after the armistice. It sports hooks to mount a pair of fighter-reconnaissance aircraft to extend its patrol radius and for self-defence. Additionally, it boasts a pair of gun turrets armed with twin 50-cal machine guns. 

At present they have a single escort aircraft; A Blackforge Marauder that's been named "Gilias".

Smoke Street Shootout

After character creation was done and the players had sorted out their airship, we had a bit of time to run through a bit of combat. This was partially to get used to the rules again, partially to show how the system works for Herbert's player since he's new to the group and to tabletop RPGs.

The scenario was pretty straight forwards; the group ran afoul of a street gang that outnumbered them two-to-one.

Jack's player got lucky and received a Joker in the first round of combat, but elected to hold their action. Herbert's player ended up going first, got into cover behind a truck and fired off a shot from their rifle. George was next, firing a burst from his machine gun whilst Alex edged closer to the thugs and fired his revolver. Jack and Sebastion broke into a nearby building with the intent of using the upper floor as a sniping point. By the time the thugs went, one of them had been Shaken (and would remain so). The return exchange of fire from the thugs was terrible, so a good bunch of them decided to leap-frog through some cover in order to get to George and Herbert. The thug leader fired his weapon, which produced a beam of light rather than a bullet, at Alex.

Round two saw Herbert getting a Joker and going first again, this time downing one of the thugs. George's efforts with the machine gun put down a couple more thugs. Jack and Sebastion reach the upper floor, Jack then spotted for Seb by using his pair of binoculars. Allow Jack to do a Notice roll, a success and each raise then gave +1 to Seb's Shooting roll (IIRC he got a raise and so Seb got +2 to his own roll). Seb then fired at the thug leader and managed to roll 24 on his damage roll, the thug leader managed to do a Soak roll but was left with two wounds. Alex then moved up to do a melee attack on the thug leader and...failed.

The thugs continued to move forwards, but their shooting was just as ineffective as it was during the first round. The thug leader spent a benny to remove Shaken and proved just as bad in melee against Alex. Due to time constraints we had to call it quits there, though everyone seemed to enjoyed it.

Thoughts: Range and cover modifiers do have a big impact, plus it was nice seeing the players thinking tactically.
Categories: Company News

Kickstarter Update

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:37
OK, Frozen Skies Kickstarter update time.
Right, that magic word...FULFILMENT
We've pretty much finished checking through for typos and errors, now its a case of doing the last few corrections and edits before finalizing the files prior to them being uploaded to DriveThruRPG. There will probably be bit of a delay since the files will be needed to be validated by DriveThru, once they've been approved see can then see about sending out copies of Frozen Skies.
So now would be a very good time to ensure that your Kickstarter details are correct, a survey should go out at some point in the next few weeks so that the process of fulfilment can be done. The focus will be on getting Frozen Skies out, after that we can turn our attention to the rest of the Kickstarter rewards.
Oh, and theres another magic word....FEEDBACK
Released a Kickstarter draft PDF of Frozen Skies via a Backer-only update a few months back, have asked for feedback whether theres any changes needed to be made. Now is the last chance to get that feedback in.
Categories: Company News

The Gwentshire Chronicles: The Mist-Bound

Mon, 05/07/2018 - 08:30
We're returning to the County of Gwentshire and taking a look at a few ideas concerning the Mist-Bound. This group of entities serve as sentinels, standing guard against otherworldly beings trying to break through the weak point in reality located in Gwentshire. Doing things a little differently this week by having this week's post up on Patreon before it goes live on the blog.    The Mist-BoundThe Mist-Bound are a group of five entities who guard the rift in the walls between worlds and stop otherworldly beings from slipping through. They are widely believed to have been druids who underwent a ritual to become the Mist-Bound, something that is said to have occurred before the Roman conquest of the British Isles. Normally they are very covert, preferring to conduct their eternal duty away from Human eyes. On the few occasions that they have materialized before a person, there has never been more than five of them and they all appear as cloaked figures surrounded by mist. There doesn't seem to be a clear leader and generally they all seem to be male, though one is said to to be female from the tone and accent of their voice. They seem to have some sort of relationship with the spectral black hound 'Grim Jack'. Its not clear whether the hound is a servant of the Mist-Bound or an ally, but no known hostility between the two has been recorded. Its only on very rare occasions that Grim Jack has been seen in the company of the Mist-Bound. Over the centuries the Mist-Bound's power has been steadily eroded, first by the raise of Christianity and then later by the destruction of ancient sites beginning during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century. Decline in the Mist-Bound powers has meant a weakening of their vigilance on the Gwentshire rift and greater chances of things being able to slip through. A spite of 'weirdness' in the 1970s was said to have been caused by a housing development destroying a key site, something that forced the Mist-Bound to enlist the aid of mortals. The Neopagan movement has seen a revival of the Mist-Bound's strength and power, thus allowing them to catch more of the smaller beings trying to slip through the crack between worlds. However, Human activity has been a threat to the Mist-Bound is likely to continue to be so.
Categories: Company News

April 2018 Update

Sun, 04/29/2018 - 13:46
We're over a quarter of the way into the year and its looking like Frozen Skies will soon be ready. Though still a bit quiet on the events front and other big announcements, but there is a little bit of news there. Plus there is other Frozen Skies related news that may be of interest to folk.


Frozen Skies

Some of the backer rewards in the Kickstarter was some extra content in the book; had a couple of people in particular choose the "Create Your Own..." pledges. We've had to chase these people, but we've have now received responses from them and working to inter-corporate their rewards into the book.

Don't like to commit to any firm dates as of yet, though hopefully by mid-May we should be in a position to start fulfilling Kickstarter rewards. It just depends on how quick the artist is and how long file approval takes via DriveThruRPG. As ever, we'll try to keep you guys posted.

Events

Not much to say, going to be another year light on events and staying close to home.

At this year's Diceni in Norwich on Sunday 6th May, print copies of the Frozen Skies Setting Primer can be found on the stand belonging to Trinkety. Utherwald wasn't able to get a place this year, but I know the lass behind Trinkety and she'd offered to stock the Setting Primers.

An event that I'm hoping will have an Utherwald Press presence this year is another local show; NOR-CON on the last weekend of September.

And Finally...

Quite some time back I mentioned about the possibility of running a Frozen Skies campaign.

Seems that will finally be happening in over a week's time, though tad earlier than I had initially planned. General gist of the campaign is that the characters are part of a crew of freelancers working for a logging company, this will give them a springboard to start from and allow them to decide that they want to do. Though I do intend for them to get caught up in....stuff.

Since the players are liable to see this post, I can't give out much more in the way of details. Though I'll try to post fortnightly updates on the campaign.
Categories: Company News

The County of Gwentshire

Sun, 04/22/2018 - 00:41
As the Gwentshire Chronicles setting idea seems to have been a big hit I've decided to do a follow-up post. Its a general overview of the County of Gwentshire, noting places of interests. It also gives a rough idea of the geographic layout of the county along with little glimpses at its history.

Expect further posts as I explore some concepts for the setting, though people have asked about cross-generational stuff.


The County of Gwentshire

Gwentshire is a small English county located in the South-West of England, close to Bristol.

It is bisected by the River Gwent, which flows north through the county into the Bristol Channel. The county town and administrative seat is the town of Gwentford, straddling the River Gwent in the rough center of the county. Gwentford is home to Moore Barracks, the depot of the Gwentshire Rifles and boasts some light industry. A railway line runs east to west, crossing the Gwent at Gwentford where branch lines split off to serve the rest of the county. Aside from the light industry round Gwentford, the county is rural with flat coastal plains giving way to more hilly terrain the further south you go.

Places of Interest

Gwentford - County town and administrative seat.

Gwentford Castle - Built by the Normans on the site of an earlier Anglo-Saxon fort. Damaged during the English Civil War and never properly repaired, was used as an army barracks until Moore Barracks was built in the early 1800s. Used as a prison during the latter half of the 19th Century until the so-called 'New Prison' was built in the 1890s. Despite plans to turn it into a museum it stood empty for much of the 20th Century, though was used as a PoW camp in both World Wars.

Potterstead - Main port in Gwentshire and located at the mouth of the River Gwent.

Lombe - Village in the south-eastern part of the county and host to Lombe Hall, the country seat of the Snell family (least up until the 1930s).

Ashenbury - Located south-west of Gwentford, west of the River Gwent and just north of the Weston Hills.

Ashenbury Tor - Sandstone hill close to the town of Ashenbury and nestled in a crook of the River Gwent, site of a prehistoric hillfort that was later used by the Romans.

RAF Ludsgate - Aerodrome built in the 1920s, acquired by the RAF in the late 1930s as part of its pre-WW2 expansion programme.

The Levels - coastal plain and wetland area forming the northern half of the county.

The Weston Hills - Range of limestone hills that dominate the southern half of the county, boasts many gorges and combes as well as a few caves.
Categories: Company News

Setting Idea: The Gwentshire Chronicles

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 01:55
Whats this? Another Setting Idea and entry on the 'Would Like To Do Someday' List?!

Been toying for some time with the idea of a British supernatural/horror setting, but so far I've struggled with a way of making it stand out. Recently I believe that I've finally cracked it; One location (a fictional English county) but with the option of different time periods.

Basically means that a game in the setting can be set at any period throughout history, from Roman and Medieval times through the Victorian period to the World Wars and 21st Century.


Setting Name: The Gwentshire Chronicles

Elevator Pitch: Exploring the weird, supernatural history of a fictional English county.

Genre: Supernatural horror, historic.

Inspiration: Lovecraft, Doctor Who.

Overview: The Gwentshire Chronicles is set in the fictional English county of Gwentshire, which is analogous to the northern part of Somerset.

This part of England in real life has always had bit of a weird and mystical reputation going back to prehistoric times, stone circles and Glastonbury Tor being the prime examples. Within the Gwentshire Chronicles, the supernatural is going to have a strong and forms a sort of 'mythos' based round the county of Gwentshire. There will be key elements of the Gwentshire mythos thats consistent across the various different time periods, but other elements will change to reflect specific periods. Dark creatures may terrorize lone farms and villages at night, but gradually these creatures will retreat into the hidden and forgotten places as the domain of Man expands outwards.

As for the mythos itself, I have a couple of ideas.

The first is the demonic or spectral entities known as 'black dogs' found primarily in the folklore of the British Isles. Some are said to be harmful, others guide and protect wayward travelers. There is going to be a black dog in Gwentshire known as 'Grim Jack', usually regarded as an omen of death. Though Grim Jack would be known to fight evil spirits, its unclear whether he's good or evil as he does not go out of his way to protect people. He is, however, known to hunt down people who commit crimes such as murder within the borders of Gwentshire and would otherwise escape justice.

The other idea was creatures, or even entities, known as the the 'mist-bound'. Running with the idea that mist is common in Gwentshire regardless of the time of year, generally there is stuff that reside in it. Thinking that Gwentshire is actually a weak point in the wall that separates our world from the spirit world, meaning that things slip through (hence all the supernatural stuff). The mist-bound are actually sort of guardians or sentinels, basically trying to prevent stuff slipping through. Due to human activity disturbing or even destroying certain sites throughout the county, the mist-bound's power gradually gets eroded and so they're forced to let the smaller stuff through so they can focus on the much bigger threats.
Categories: Company News

Alyeskan Gazetteer: Grimsport

Sun, 04/08/2018 - 03:19
Alyeska is home to be many settlements; some little more than mining camps whilst others are fully fledged towns. Most were founded either in areas rich with natural resources or close to readily available water. All usually have some sort of reputation for good or ill; Grimsport sits within the latter.


"A Most Dour And Decrepit Town"

The town of Grimsport sits at the mouth of the Grimsby River, which flows eastwards from Wicked Antler Lake to meet the sea on Alyeska's eastern coastline. The town was founded by the Grimsby family who gave their name to the river, the town and the whaling company that was Grimsport's major employer. Though the Grimsby family is now all but gone, the last male heir is believed to have been killed during the Great Darmonican War, and the town seems to be in terminal decline.

Grimsport has always had a bit of an ill reputation, the Grimsby family is said to have left the Home Isles under a dark cloud and some dare say that the family was cursed. The townsfolk themselves are a insular bunch and extremely unwelcoming to strangers, even to the point of outright rudeness. Whaling ships typically only unloaded the fruits of their labours at Grimsport, then sought a different port to take on supplies and for the crew to enjoy some shore leave.

Today, Grimsport is a decrepit looking town. The whaling industry effectively collapsed with the outbreak of war and Grimsport gradually went into terminal decline. Grimsby Hall, the seat of the Grimsby family, lies neglected whilst the whaling company factory is a blackened shell after a fire a couple of decades previously. An air of decay with streets of dilapidated buildings, seemingly half of which have any sign of human habitation.

Grimsport's only real contact with the outside world is the rickety old bus that runs from the town to Purpleflint and back three times a day, though the town does boast a small airstrip originally maintained by the Grimsby Whaling Co. There is also a two-man Air Police detachment, though this is rotated every three months and is an unpopular posting as its considered a punishment detail. The detachment's main role is to function as a point of contact for search and rescue efforts during an emergency, though they are alerted via a landline telephone so that they do not have to main the radio round the clock.

Services wise there is a rundown hotel that contains the town's sole restaurant and bar. There is also a combined general store and post office, a remnant of the old Great Northern Trading Co. This store is run by a Mrs Jenkins, a war widow and the only friendly face in town. Mrs Jenkins' husband died during the war, but she has maintained a cheerful disposition and is willing to impart advice to newcomers.

Due to Grimsport poor reputation, most aviators tend to turn down jobs that involve the town. As a result such jobs tend to offer double pay as an incentive, even for something as simple as a mail run. That may seen enticing to player characters who'll probably consider it 'easy money' even if they suspect a catch. Smuggling is another option due to the town's remoteness and the lack of interest from the aforementioned law enforcement.

Grimsport should be played as being more than a little creepy; there is a near-constant mist that engulfs the town and there is overwhelming feel of abandonment due to the rundown nature of the town. The locals will simply stand and silently stare at newcomers rather than engage in conversation, they also look similar to one another. The characters should feel like they're being constantly watched, perhaps even see half-glimpsed shadows, in addition to feeling that they're trespassing on unhallowed ground.
Categories: Company News

Rogue's Gallery: Kaelin Madigan

Sun, 04/01/2018 - 03:38
Alyeska is a land of ample opportunity; some toil the land for the fruit of the earth whilst others seek precious minerals beneath it. For every soul seeking to make an honest living, there are many who seek to part fools from their gold through dishonest means. Thieves and bandits are a common plight in civilized lands, but there is another kind of scoundrel that is on the raise who uses trickery and deceit to get what they want.

Kaelin Madigan is one such person, using every trick up her sleeve to fleece others out of their heard earn coin.





Kaelin Madigan

Kaelin didn't have an easy start in life, being born on a Genchi ghetto in the Aldwell District of Lindun. She never knew her father and her mother was killed during an air raid, the ghettos having received no provisions for the safety of their residents. Being orphaned at a young age was bad enough, but being a Genchi she could expect no help from the state for her welfare. The other families in the ghettos looked out for her as much as they could, though food, medicine and even clothes were in pitiful short supply as the Genchi were low down on the rations list.

It wasn't long before Kaelin started stealing food from shops and market stalls; sometimes she'd managed to get away with a loaf of bread, other times she got bruises from irate shopkeepers for her troubles. Through a mixture of trial and error she learnt that she had a knack for subterfuge, using deceit to swipe coins and ration books from unsuspecting victims. She soon put her skills to good use with a street gang, acting as a distraction whilst her fellow gang members went about the actual act of thievery. However, the gang ended up being busted by the law and Kaelin opted to skip town.

By this point the Great Darmonican War had ended and civilian shipping was starting to recover from the long years of war. It proved relatively easy for Kaelin to gain passage to Alyeska, a supposed land of opportunity she'd frequently heard others talk about. Whilst getting to Alyeska proved easy enough, Kaelin found that establishing herself there was another matter entirely. Her good looks had proven useful in the past and proved useful again as she managed to gain work with a certain madame as an escort.

From a string of wealthy clients she quickly learnt the etiquette of high society and useful tidbits from indulging in pillow talk with said clients. Before long she was able to work on a more freelance basis and had access to the few exclusive clubs and casinos that exist in Alyeska. She chooses her marks carefully, making sure that they're inebriated before she approaches them and thus more open to her advances. Later she engages in pillow talk in case her mark lets slip valuable information, then waits until he falls asleep before examining the mark's home. Personal papers, especially those relating to financial matters, she is particularly interested in and she uses a miniature camera to allow her to forge copies later on. She also looks for valuable items that she can secret out of the house and then fence.

Player characters may get hired by one of her victims to help catch her if the victim suspects what she has been up to. The characters may even get approached by Kaelin if they frequent upper end clubs and look reasonably wealthy with the intention of robbing them. On the flip-side, Kaelin may approach the characters to enlist their help with a potentially big score.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d8, Gambling d8, Intimidation d6, Lockpicking d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d10, Repair d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d8, Streetwise d8, Taunt d6
Charisma: +6; Pace: 6; Parry: 7(8); Toughness: 4
Hindrances: Greedy (Minor), Small, Wanted (Minor)
Edges: Acrobat, Alertness, Attractive, Very Attractive, Block, Charismatic, Dodge, Extraction, Level Headed, Martial Artist, Quick, Strong Willed, Thief
Gear: Revolver (12/24/48, 2d6, RoF 1, Shots 6, Revolver), Dagger (Str+d4)
Categories: Company News

March 2018 Update

Sun, 03/25/2018 - 00:39
Tis been a couple of months since out last update, so its kinda high time for a new one.

There is some news regarding the Kickstarter, chiefly how things are progressing on that front. There has also been some movement on the Cold War Skirmishes front as well. Finally, reports on the deployment of Utherwald Press later in the year.





Kickstarter

The bulk of the artwork for Frozen Skies is done, just waiting on a handful of pieces which have been delayed. Hoping that these final pieces will be completed in the next week or so, potentially allowing us to finalize the PDF by mid to late April time. If all goes well we may even be lucky enough to start shipping rewards early, it just depends on how things go.

The draft version of Act One of the Kickstarter exclusive adventure 'The Remmants of the Past' has already been shared with backers and work on Act Two should begin soon. Envisioning at least three parts to the adventure, which will be turned into a PDF once completed.

Cold War Skirmishes

A week ago I released a fan made adventure called 'Operation Thule', a Weird Wars style adventure set during the Falklands Conflict. The response to it seems positive, so I'll look into doing a fuller CWS book on that conflict.

For those who've not yet seen the adventure, the link can be found here; https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fa4WgFiR1pLMhJjlPBatvauJxnmFzA1W
Categories: Company News

Cold War Skirmishes: Blackburn Buccaneer

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 13:16
This week we're doing something a little different for Cold War Skirmishes, we're gonna try and stat up an aircraft.

Our candidate is the Blackburn Buccaneer, a British carrier-borne attack aircraft designed in the 1950s for the Royal Navy to counter a new generation of Soviet warships. Used by the Fleet Air Arm, RAF and South African Air Force seeing combat action in both the Gulf War of 1991 and the South African Border War. They also put in appearances at the US' Exercise RED FLAG from 1977 through to 1983.





The Blackburn Buccaneer

The Buccaneer (or 'Bucc' as it was nicknamed) was designed from the outset to fly at low-level in order to approach enemy ships' below their radar horizon, keeping the engagement to less than a minute before quickly flying out of range whilst its weapons struck. Following the demise of the Royal Navy's fleet carriers in the 1970s, a number of Buccaneers were transferred to the RAF where they were used in the maritime strike role as well as the overland strike role with RAF Germany. In 1972, Buccaneers of 809 Naval Air Squadron operating from HMS Ark Royal took part in a 1,500 miles (2,400 km) mission to show a military presence over British Honduras (now Belize) shortly before its independence, to deter a possible Guatemalan invasion. Other missions include supporting British peacekeepers in Lebanon in 1983 and then operations against Iraqi forces in the 1991 Gulf War, the latter conflict saw the aircraft being fitted with designator pods for laser-guided bombs.

The only other operator of the Buccaneer was the South African Air Force which acquired 16 aircraft in 1963, though further orders were blocked by Harold Wilson's Labour government in the late 1960s. The South African Buccaneers, like their British counterparts, were used in both the maritime and overland strike roles. SAAF Buccaneers saw active combat service in the 1970s and 1980s during the South African Border War, often flying close air support missions. Its ability to carry heavy loads over long ranges, in addition to being able to loiter far longer than other aircraft, made it ideal for the CAS role.

The Buccaneer featured a large internal bomb bay, capable of carrying a wide-range of conventional and nuclear weapons, plus four external weapons mounting points. The bomb bay itself rotated as traditional bomb bay doors could not be safely opened into the air stream at low levels and high speeds. Additionally the bomb bay could be configured to carry a fuel tank and many Buccaneers were used as 'buddy tankers' to refuel other aircraft. The hard points could carry bombs, missiles, rockets, fuel tanks or other equipment like flares, later development introduced electronic warfare and laser designator pods. 

Over its service life, the Buccaneer carried a range of self-defence systems. Early systems included chaff and flare ejectors, but later on ECM pods and radar warning receivers were fitted. Sidewinder missiles were another later addition, typically appearing on at least one aircraft in a 'Battle Formation' of up to six aircraft. A truly unique defence system for the Buccaneer was known as 'retard defence' which came about by accident. During an early Ex RED FLAG a Buccaneer was being pursued by a particularly determined F5 at low level and the Buccaneer pilot decided to drop one of his practice bombs, which proved enough to scare the F5 off. Post-sorted video analysis showed that if the bomb had been a real bomb, then the F5 would've been blown out of the sky by the debris. It quickly became standard practice for Buccaneers to carry four retard bombs in their bomb bays for 'air defence', which was called 'Retard Defence' and had the advantage that these weapons could be used if a target of opportunity was spotted whilst on a mission. 

Acc/TS: 20/322; Toughness: 17 (5); Crew: 2; Climb: 3; Notes: AMCM
Weapons: 4x 1,000lb bombs (internal)
4 × Matra rocket pods with 18 × SNEB 68 mm rockets each (external)
2 × AIM-9 Sidewinders for self-defence or 2 × AS-37 Martel missiles or 4 × Sea Eagle missile (external)
Up to 4x bombs (external)

Further Information

Wikipedia Article
Blackburn Buccaneer: The Last British Bomber
RAF Buccaneer - 12 Squadron Training Film - NATO OPEN GATE - 1978
Categories: Company News

Cold War Skirmishes: Dispatch #1

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 02:51
Recently took a break from Frozen Skies related topics and did a Cold War Skirmishes installment, one that seems to have been hugely popular. So this week figured I would discuss the current plans for the Cold War Skirmishes line. Basically covering what is being worked on and whats in the pipeline for the future.





Op THULE

I've already teased an adventure called Operation THULE which is set during the Falklands Conflict.

Op THULE is intended to be a Weird Wars style adventure that will see the characters going up against a Chupacabra ('goat sucker' in English) and a German commando who fought in WW2. It is going to be released as a Fan product, partially as 'proof of concept' and partially because my resources are limited until after Frozen Skies is finally released. Going by the tease alone it looks like it may get a positive response.

CWS: Falklands

If Op THULE does well then I'll see about producing something that covers the Falklands Conflict as a whole. Already plan to include a timeline, outline of battles, gear, NPC stats and some suggested Weird Wars style elements in addition to those for a more conventional military campaign. Thankfully, a good chunk of the legwork for this has already been done.

Odd Angry Shot

I've mentioned previously that I wish to do a CWS book that covers and the Australians and New Zealanders in the Vietnam War. My intention is still to produce this book, though not sure whether it'll be before or after the Falklands one but both will follow a similar format.

The Future

After the Falklands and/or ANZAC books are done I'll look at doing the first of the 'national' books that will cover a nation's military during the Cold War period. First up, since its the one I know the most about, will be one about the British Armed Forces. Then I'll move on to cover other nations and do linked 'conflict' books, but I don't have a particular order in mind. The US and Soviet books are obviously going to be the big ones, but the smaller nations are going to be interesting to do depending on ease of research.
Categories: Company News

Cold War Skirmishes: Sterling SMG

Sun, 03/04/2018 - 04:38
This week we take a break from Frozen Skies and do a Cold War Skirmishes installment.

We'll be taking a look at the Sterling SMG, the British Army's submachine gun that served alongside the L1A1 SLR for much of the Cold War period. It was used by a number of other countries in a number of different conflicts (including both sides of the Falklands War). Star Wars fans may recognize the Sterling as being the basis for the blaster used by Imperial Stormtroopers in the Original Trilogy.

As ever, brief overview of the weapon and modifications/variants.

Sterling SMG


The Sterling SMG was developed during the latter years of WW2 as a potential replacement for the famous Sten Gun and was even used in combat by British airborne troops before the end of the war. However, it wasn't until 1951 that it was decided that the Sterling would be adopted as the new SMG of the British Army.

There would be a number of different variants of the Sterling, though model changes were minimal throughout its development life. Variants include a suppressed version and a version chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO rounds intended to be used as an emergency standby weapon in case of attack during the Cold War. Canada, Chile and India produced their own licensed versions of the Sterling, the Indian versions are still in production for use by the Indian Armed Forces.

The Sterling also could fit a bayonet of similar design as that of the SLR, though it was rarely employed other than for ceremonial duties. The bayonet stats in the Savage Worlds rulebook would work just fine.

Sterling SMG (12/24/480, 2d6, RoF 3, 34 shots, Min -, Notes: AP1, Auto)

Suppressed Variant:- -4 penalty on listen based Notice rolls to hear weapon being fired.

7.62 NATO variant (24/48/96, 2d8+1, RoF 3, 30 shots, Min Str d6, Notes: AP2, Auto)
Categories: Company News

Sodkan Imperial Remnants

Sun, 02/25/2018 - 14:58
Prior to the Great Darmonican War, the Holy Sodkan Empire was considered one of the 'great powers' of Darmonica and held sway over extensive territories. During the course of the war, the Empire suffered huge reversal of fortune and splintered into the Iron Collective and the Union of Sodkan Republics. There are many who mourn the lost of the Empire, there are also others who seek its restoration.


The Imperial Remnants in Alyeska

As territory controlled by a wartime enemy of the Empire, Alyeska may seem an odd choice for Sodkan Imperialists to establish themselves. Alyeska is a frontier land and the Commonwealth's hold isn't absolute (as Broken Spires will attest), meaning that there are places that the Imperialists can claim as their own. Whilst it means that they have greater freedom to act, it also means that they are also vulnerable to attack. For now, Commonwealth control over Alyeska seems to be a deterrence against the Iron Collective and the Imperialists view it as a necessary evil. 

The Imperialists' goal is the overthrow of the Iron Collective and the restoration of the Holy Sodkan Empire. However, there are many different ideas as to how that can be achieved. Presently the main focus is on hiring privateers to attack Iron Collective shipping, the purpose for this is twofold; the Imperialists get a cut of the plunder to help fund themselves and at the same time they learn a little more about the tactics of the Iron Collective. For this they rely on agents outside of Alyeska, though with the skyships of the Iron Fleet having been spotted in Alyeskan skies they've hired privateers closer to home.

Second option being explored is the idea of stirring up insurrections within the borders of the Iron Collective. The idea of the Sodkan people rising up against the Order of the Great Machine is as appealing as it is ironic, the Order effectively did the same thing in its rise to power. The biggest hurdle is providing support to the insurrections as it will have to come through the Union of Sodkan Republics. However, the Republics have been less than willing to back this idea and so the Imperialists have started trying to get their people into positions of influence.

The third and final option is also the most drastic: Forming a new Sodkan Empire in Alyeska. Doing this would put the Imperialists at odds with the Commonwealth, since not surprisingly the Commonwealth will react angrily. It would require a heavy commitment from the Imperialists as they would need to raise their own military and fight a costly war to achieve their goal. There isn't much support for this idea, but that support may grow if other options final to materialize in what the Imperialists want.
Categories: Company News

Rogue's Gallery: Fayra Lockwood

Sun, 02/18/2018 - 16:49
Whilst there are hundreds, if not thousands, of souls living in Alyeska only a few wield any degree of influence on the world around them. Some are in positions of power, others rely on might and bloodshed. There are some who are most subtle, yet their actions still send ripples across Alyeska and even beyond. One of these people is the Commonwealth's top agent in Alyeska and the Queen's personal troubleshooter; Fayra Lockwood.

Fayra Lockwood

Daughter of Lord Henry Lockwood, a noted Commonwealth adventurer and decorated soldier.

Fayra was born during the tenth year of the Great Darmonican War, her father was already widely renown and high decorated at this point. Lord Henry had been badly injured on a mission and was recovering at the time, though it would be some months before he was allowed back on active service. Sensing an opportunity, some Tylander agents attempted to put him out of action for good and ended up killing Fayra's mother in the process. Grief stricken and furious, Lord Henry slewed all but one of the enemy agents who very willingly handed himself over to the authorities and turned Crown's evidence. Not fully recovered from his injuries, Lord Henry led the efforts to neutralizing the Tylander spy ring in the Home Isles.

Once his anger had subsided, Lord Henry turned his focus to his infant daughter and vowed to teach her everything he knew. Soon as her father deemed her old enough, Fayra started learning the skills that her father deemed important enough for her survival. By the time she enrolled at the Royal Military Academy she was already highly skilled and was fast-tracked towards espionage. When she was finally cleared for operations she proved herself just as capable an agent as her father, if not more so. During her time at the Royal Military Academy she met the future Queen Lothwyn Cathmore and the two became fast friends. When Lothwyn succeeded her own father to become reigning monarch of the Commonwealth she invited Fayra to be her personal troubleshooter, which Fayra accepted.

Fayra arrived in Alyeska a couple of years ago and has been active protecting the interests of the Crown and, by extension, the Commonwealth. Her main efforts have been directed towards investigating the disappearance of the Lieutenant-Governor of the province of New Gwentia, which have led her to keep a close eye on Sir Broone Langworth (the Lieutenant-Governor of Eastern Alyeska). She works closely with the Governor-General Sir Douglas Fredrick-Davenport to head off threats that could threaten to destabilize Commonwealth rule in Alyeska. She could prove to be a major ally for the characters, though she can just as easily be a major enemy if the characters seek to destroy the Commonwealth's hold over Alyeska.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Driving d6, Fighting d10, Investigation d8+2, Lockpicking d8, Notice d8+2, Persuasion d6, Shooting d10, Stealth d8, Streetwise d8+2, Taunt d8
Charisma: +2; Pace: 6; Parry: 8; Toughness: 6 (1)
Hindrances: Loyal, Overconfident, Vow (Minor/Commonwealth)
Edges: Alertness, Ambidextrous, Attractive, Assassin, Block, Improved Block, Combat Reflexes, Dead Shot, Dodge, Improved Dodge, Elan, Extraction, Investigator, Level Headed, Improved Level Headed, Luck, Great Luck, Marksman, Mighty Blow, No Mercy, Quick, Quick Draw, Steady Hands, Thief, Two-Fisted
Gear: 2x Revolver (12/24/48, 2d6, RoF 1, Shots 6, Revolver), Dagger (Str+d4), Rapier (Str+d4), Leather Armor

Categories: Company News

Rogue's Gallery: Genchi Clubmen

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 02:19
A second Rogue's Gallery in a row?

What madness is this?

Its part of some ideas I've to further flesh out and develop the world of Darmonica to make it seem more like a living, breathing world. The recent Airman's Gazetteer series was part of this and so will be a few Rogue's Gallery posts. This week's post expands a bit on Genci culture and provides potential allies or enemies for the characters to encounter.






Ghetto Vigilantes

The Genchi are treated as second-class citizens throughout Darmonica. They are forced to live in slums and ghettos with the vast majority living below the poverty line. They are often accused of thievery and the law virtually never ever comes down on their side. Human gangs will frequently target Genchi ghettos or slums with a sizeable Genchi population, knowing that for the most part they can get away with doing so.

In response the Genchi have formed gangs of vigilantes to protect their homes, something that has sparked increasingly violent responses from Human gangs as well as the police. These Genchi vigilantes are often called 'Clubmen' due to the fact that most of them are armed with clubs, the main weapon that is readily and easily available to them. Other blunt weapons and even knives aren't uncommon, though its rare to see a fireman and even then its typically a pistol.

Most Genchi clubmen are young males, normally led by a handful of older and wiser males. Females aren't unheard of, but they tend to be the most vicious fighters. They style themselves as a street gang and will even name themselves. The Gaff Street Cutters of Lindun are a particularly infamous gang having been featured in Commonwealth newsheets and even debated about in parliament due to their street battles with the police.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Driving d4, Fighting d6, Notice d8, Repair d8, Shooting d6, Stealth d6
Charisma: -2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Outsider, Vengeful (Minor)
Edges: McGyver, Mechanic
Gear: Clubs, knives, occasionally pistols
Categories: Company News

Rogue's Gallery: The Black Talons

Sun, 02/04/2018 - 03:06
Herein we return to highlighting denizens and persons of note that inhabit the frigid land of Alyeska.

Whilst a great many good natured souls call Alyeska home, there are a few who bear dark stains. Bandits and sky pirates immediately spring to mind, the newsheets certainly help keep them front and center in people's minds. There is another group, a group infamous for its bloody reign of terror in the Alyeskan wilderness.

They are a band of Windryders who call themselves the Black Talons.

The Black Talons

Though there have been recorded instances of clashes between Humans and Windryders, typically they have been caused by the Windryders being provoked by Humans trespassing on or desecrating land scarce to the Windryders. Other times it has been the Windryders acting out of self-defence as Humans have raided a Windryder stead. Though recently there have been attacks against outlaying settlements by a ruthless band of Windryders.

The Black Talons.

They are a band of Windryders seemingly want on the destruction of Human settlements and can be easily identified by a burn mark on their left cheek. This burn mark looks like the rough shape of a bird's talons and a Windryder receives this mark when they join the band. Each member of the Black Talons has either suffered a perceived wrong committed by Humans or view Humans as invaders defiling Alyeska. They are considered outcasts by the various Windryder tribes, though that doesn't stop new members from joining.

Their leader Khargi is well known for his hatred of Humans, his tribe was wiped out by a gang of sky pirates who wanted the tribe's stead and dragonhawk eggs. It was he who formed the Black Talons after finding others who'd suffered at the hands of Humans and soon started raiding remote settlements and logging camps. They only use traditional Windryder weapons like bows and spears, so they limit their attacks to raids on lightly defended settlements with the intention of destroying or killing what they can. Some younger members have advocated for the use of rifles, but Khargi has rejected by brutally maiming the most vocal supporter for using these weapons.

Human characters, or groups with Humans in them, will most certainly encounter the Black Talons as enemies. Genchi characters' experiences will depend on how in favour of technology the Black Talons are in your game. Windryder characters will be mistrusted, but the Black Talons won't be openly hostile to them.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d8, Riding d8, Shooting d6, Stealth d6, Survival d6
Charisma: -2/-4; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6 (1)
Hindrances: Outsider, Bloodthirsty, Vengeful (Minor)
Edges: Beast Bond, Heart of the North
Gear: Bow (12/24/48, 2d6, RoF 1, Min Str d6), Spear (Str+d6, Parry +1, Reach 1, 2 hands), knife (Str+d4), leather armor

Khargi's Agility, Smarts, Fighting, Riding and Shooting all increase one die. In addition he gains the Command and Block edges.
Categories: Company News

January 2018 Update

Sun, 01/28/2018 - 04:28
First update of the new year.

The biggest thing is progress with the Kickstarter fulfillment, something thats taken a shift forwards and is probably of interest to a few people. There is a couple of other things that tie into the Kickstarter which some details about will be posted. Lastly there will be some stuff concerning what Utherwald Press has planned for this year.

Kickstarter

As mentioned above, the Kickstarter has seen a shift forwards with the signing of a few artists. Some preliminary sketches have been received in addition to one or two finished pieces. One of the pieces being worked on is located below and is of a female Genchi. If the artists maintain their current rate of work, then Frozen Skies may be out earlier than expected.


Act 1 of the Kickstarter exclusive adventure 'Remnants of the Past' is almost done, just need to finish off the Act in question and had NPC stats, etc. The first draft of this should hopefully be made available to backers within the next few weeks.

Alyeskan Tales Fiction Companion

Alyeskan Tales is getting a revamp and update.

Included in the new edition is a revised version of the Alyeskan Job story and a completely new story called Jinx. Kickstarter backers will be the first to get their hands on the PDF version before the files on DriveThru get updated.

Other Products & Events

Hoping to get a Cold War Skirmishes PDF out around April time that covers the 1982 Falklands War. Included will be details on the conflict, timeline of events, gear and Role Play suggestions. Its intended to be a PDF-only product and so will likely be available as Pay What You Want.

The Odd Angry Shot book, that covers the ANZACs in Vietnam, is still intended to be released. More details on this possibly later in the year.

As for events this year its not certain whether I'll be attending any.

Local show Diceni is back on this after, though its format is being changed and I've been given no guarantees that I'll get a spot. NOR-CON later in the year another local show I'm hoping to do, though that'll be only as a trader.

On the national level there is UK Games Expo, but at the moment it seems the only way I'll be able to attend is spend the entire weekend running games (well enough to qualify for the free hotel room). There is also suppose to be a UK based Savage Worlds convention, but I need to look into that.

A pipe dream at the moment is attending one of the US conventions, probably GhengisCon which I've heard has a big Savage Worlds presence.
Categories: Company News

The Airman's Gazetteer: Back of Beyond

Sun, 01/21/2018 - 16:48
Now that the 'core' nations of Darmonica have been covered we come to the last entry in the Airman's Gazetteer series; The more distant but relatively unknown reaches of Darmonica.

The major powers of Darmonica are aware that distant lands lie well beyond their borders, though the details are sketchy at best. Some lands have been discovered and explored a little, others are only known thanks to travelers from foreign parts. There is also the prospect of remnant enclaves of Ancient Terrans waiting to be found.


The Back of Beyond

As already mentioned, there is the vast wasteland known as the Southern Wastes that forms the southern border of the Sultanate of Taramate. It is an inhospitable land, where few dare tread, and widely believed to contain numerous Ancient Terran ruins. It is not known how far these wastes reach, but its suspected to be many thousands of miles. The Darmonican powers did establish a number of naval waystations along the coast, though most of these were either destroyed or abandoned during the Great Darmonican War. These waystations remain, but none of the Darmonican powers have expressed any desire to reclaim them. Presently only the Commonwealth is best suited to re-explore the coastline by mounting an expedition from its colony of Orduesh.

To the south of Alyeska lies another continent that is currently known as Colonialis, another vast land that hasn't been fully explored. Most of its coastline has been mapped thanks to various efforts made by the Darmonican powers. The interior has seen few attempts at exploration, early expeditions were hampered by inland cliffs and the inhospitable terrain. The settlements that do exist are located along the coast, but attempts have been made to push further inland after aircraft came available. The interior of Colonialis is dominated by vast deserts and deep jungles inhabited by savage and outlandish creatures. After early disasters, the interior settlements have been established on top of peaks and plateaus. These settlements have been nicknamed 'aerie towns' and being located above the ground has proven to be the best defence against the creatures that inhabit Colonialis.

Finally there is the lands that lie to the east of the vaulting mountain range called Serlov's Bulwark. Not much is known about these lands, save for the few strangers that have come from the eastern lands. Surviving historical records of the former Holy Sodkan Empire report clashes with invaders that forced their way across the Bulwark, though they were beaten back before they made it too far into Sodkan lands. Between the prisoners captured from these incursions and the previously mentioned strangers it is known that a vast kingdom lies beyond the mountains, but these eastern folk have refused to reveal more than that. Without a proper name, many in the Darmonican nations have dubbed this unknown kingdom the 'Forbidden Empire'.

Each year many from the east brave Serlov's Bulwark and settle in the 'western lands', though after the rise of the Iron Collective many of these strangers now take a more southerly route to reach the Union of Sodkan Republics. They've spread out across the various nations of Darmonica, though the great majority of them reside in Sodkan lands. It is believed that Madame Orla's mother was "of the east".
Categories: Company News

The Airman's Gazetteer: Pamdinia

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 17:12
Nestled to the south of the Artian Confederation is one of Darmonica's few surviving small countries; Pamdinia.

Wedged in between the Mammut Sea to its south and the Odin Mountain Range to the north, Pamdinia is a long but narrow country with few natural resources. It managed to stay neutral during the Great Darmonican War, primarily due to its status as a major trading partner of the Sultanate of Taramate and the strong Pamdinian Navy.


The Pamdinian Republic

Pamdinia is very much a maritime country, its has a long coastline and its land borders are mostly mountainous which forced the country to look to the sea. It established trading routes across the Mammut Sea to many ports and gradually became the nexus point of trade between the northern Darmonican countries and the Sultanate to the south. The construction of the Trans-Pamdinian Railway provided an alternative land route between the Kingdom of Tyland and the Holy Sodkan Empire than going through Artian territory. The Trans-Pamdinian Express was a popular train service linking east and west thanks to Pamdinian neutrality in numerous conflicts that engulfed Darmonica.

The Pamdinians are well known for their extensive maritime trading routes, their long standing neutrality and their strong navy. Though recent upheavals have effected them; trade was greatly affected by the war and the reshaping of power in Darmonica. The once friendly United Provinces (now the Coalition) have turned into fierce rivals, Tyland has fallen under Artian influence, trade with Sodkan lands to the east have fallen sharply and now the Artians are coveting relations with the Sultanate. With reduced access to raw materials such as coal and iron, the Pamdinian Navy is in danger of losing its superiority. The Pamdinians have started retrofitting their ships to use oil, a resource that they do have good access to and one that is increasingly becoming more important.

Wary of the prospect of another major war that could engulf Darmonica and even drag Pamdinina into it, the Pamdinians have been pushing for what they call 'The Darmonican League'. It is intended to be an intergovernmental organisation with the goal of preventing future wars and setting international disputes via peaceful means. The idea has support from the Free State and some Sodkan Republics, though its biggest support will come from the Commonwealth which has openly welcomed the idea but has yet to former any firm commitment to it. Potentially the League could usher in an era of lasting peace for Darmonica, though its a case of getting the idea off the ground.
Categories: Company News

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