Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

[Ex3] Advice for Running a Seafaring Campaign Needed

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [Ex3] Advice for Running a Seafaring Campaign Needed

    Hi all,

    I've got a fresh group of players (mostly new to Exalted, all oWoD veterans) who are interested in running an exploration-focused seafaring campaign in an as yet unconfirmed location. We've run through most of chargen (intimacies, charms and freebies still to go), and we have the following characters:
    • Ex-slave sorcerer Zenith who broke out with a lot of his fellow slaves and a ship when he Exalted, with something of a history with fire
    • Brash Dawn Martial Artist, who tends to think with his trousers
    • Teacher/Hoarder Twilight, who had her library burned down
    • Crafter/Shipwright Twilight, who fled after being caught stealing things from her former master
    • Night with an as yet unspecified history and character
    Only the Zenith was confirmed as having his own ship at this point, but I think at least the Night may also be considering having one of his own as well.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to run a campaign like this? I've run relatively sedentary campaigns in the past with other games (mostly VtM), and I'm not totally sure how to run a highly mobile campaign like we'd get in a seafaring setting. Anything I need to consider in terms of how to manage the transition from place to place while ensuring story continuity, in particular? Any particular wrinkles with Ex3's naval combat system that I need to be aware of and/or houserule? I've tried searching through here and Google, but I can't find much.

    Any advice would be awesome. Thanks!


    A Not-Quite-Newb's Read-Through of Ex3 - my thoughts, notes and trials and tribulations with the Exalted 3rd edition rules.
    Ex3 Reference Materials - currently includes an ST screen, common actions sheet, weapons reference sheet, character creation summary and mortal QCs reference sheet.

  • #2
    I'd look into some journey stories (Especially Sinbad, but there's a lot out there about weird islands and such). Also, make sure everyone has Salty Sea Dog...Method? I think? I don't have my core open. First Sail charm is incredbily useful.
    I'd also keep them in a grounded part of the sea/set of islands. At least for a bit. And maybe establish a home port?


    I did a lot of homebrew over here. PEACH.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yea I've had issues with the sail rules.

      1) Everyone aside from the Captain essentially sit on their ass and do nothing. How do we involve other characters? Who knows! The rules don't even cover that! I made a sci-fi spaceship ruleset that expands on the original and makes naval combat more involved for everyone on board the ship, but I haven't made a vanilla conversion for that.

      2) Sail combat takes forever to resolve. And by forever I mean someone wrote a script to play out a sailing battle between two mortal captain's with a base dice pool of 8 and it took over 50 turns. Even if ships retreat upon taking damage, this is a damn long time. My advice: Instead of using threshold successes over your opponents roll each captain makes his positioning roll and gains an amount of momentum flat. This does sound dangerous, but even if a captain has enough momentum for a maneuver they still need to beat the other captain's roll to make the maneuver successful. I tried this in my sci-fi spaceship game that user naval rules and things were much, much faster.



      Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
      Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

      Comment


      • #4
        There was a 1e book called Savage Seas that has tons of info about sailing in Creation, so it would be worth looking into.

        When I ran a sailing game, what I mainly did was let them travel around the West solving problems. I also created a random island idea generator to help get my inspiration going, which I’ve posted here before.

        http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...or-for-exalted


        ....

        Comment


        • #5
          well, the west is an obvious location... though, with solar charms around then travel distances shouldn't be that much of an issue, so you can keep things broad


          but:

          The city-ship the Densic - it's in the scroll of terrestrial direction west. Could be an interesting 'home base' - or recurring merchant location to sell loot and buy new stuff.

          if up in the north, oh snap - you're suddenly caught in the ice! What do? And did you bring warm clothes? Did your crew? Will their toes freeze off? Will a Varajtul canibal raiding party attack you in the dead of night?


          If in the west, then the demon-pirates of the Lintha are obvious for encounters, recurring villains, big bads... but lets make things interesting: The lintha has plenty of humans, or lintha that look 'human enough' to not get noticed - and oh hey... that passanger who you brought along? Ya one day in the middle of the ocean she asks to talk to the captain and starts making demands. Did the lintha attach demonic limpet creatures to the hull under the waterline? Will those things chew through the hull and sink the ship if you don't cooperate? Will you cooperate? Can you fix the hull fast enough to counter the limpets?

          Then there's the undead mer-people of the pelagials, with their undersea capital of the city of Shinning Reefs. Underwater frankenstein undead creations? tentacles, tentacles everywhere! An undead giant squid with a hundred tentacles!

          realm civil war? how far has it progressed? Are realm houses fighting for control of island fortresses and colonies? Will you help one side over another, or destroy both? Will there be a dynast desperate enough to accept anathema assistance? Will you mind that the colony the dynast controls is one of the few iron mines in the region? ....and its operated with slaves? have any of your buddies recently been taken as slaves?

          sunken luthe, if you're willing to open that can of worms


          there are many fun things you can run in your ocean-going game


          Malfeas F'Tagn - go check out my epic MLP/Exalted crossover "The Scroll of Exalted ponies" @ Fimfiction

          Comment


          • #6
            I've toyed with the rules of Creation's Seven Seas in the past, treating different the bodies as having different Spirit Courts and thus different rituals and religious requirements for sailors. I also ran a game in the Dreaming Sea that had a certain amount of naval stuff to it. Let me know if any of that might be helpful, I can leave it here.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for all the advice people, it's been really helpful. I think I have Savage Seas in a bundle I bought somewhere, will have a gander, and any more provided would be great.

              Quite a few charters are looking to have Sail, so Salty Dog Method isn't a huge thing to ask.

              One particular problem I can see is that of antagonists. Is it worth having entirely episodic tons, or can long-running adversaries be maintained? If so, how?

              In terms of location, we have one player possibly leaning towards wanting a coffin on the southwest, but that may not be final as anywhere can probably provide the colonial Caribbean style that he says c he finds interesting, although I imagine that could be anywhere in the West.


              A Not-Quite-Newb's Read-Through of Ex3 - my thoughts, notes and trials and tribulations with the Exalted 3rd edition rules.
              Ex3 Reference Materials - currently includes an ST screen, common actions sheet, weapons reference sheet, character creation summary and mortal QCs reference sheet.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                One particular problem I can see is that of antagonists. Is it worth having entirely episodic tons, or can long-running adversaries be maintained? If so, how?
                I think you can do a good mix of episodic foes, but having one or two reccuring menaces is bound to be cool too.

                One that I think could work well is something like a Realm admiral trying to secure the area for her House. I'd give her enough ships and ressources so that it'd be hard to go for her directly as soon as she appears, so that there can be a sort of battle of attrition between her and the PCs : sometimes they are pushed back by her full might and manage to get a few kills here and there, capture a ship or two, and sometimes she is soundly defeated, loosing a port or part of her fleet... over time she would come to see the circle as a thorn in her side that she has to take care of personnally, leading towards a final confrontation with her and the rest of her forces (hopefully by then the circle has enough ressources and allies on their side to make it even).


                If you like Ex3, you can support Holden on Patreon!
                Chains of Silver and Blood, my current Ex3 campaign.
                I do maps for your games!
                Images 1, Images 2, Landscapes 1, Landscapes 2 and Musics from Creation.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good old Star Trek might be a good source of inspiration.

                  There are some aspects of ship to ship combat. And some aspects of ship to ship threat. But most of the time the drama is aboard the ship or on an away team.


                  Check out Momentum Exalted!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you are seeking more inspiration consider The Odyssey - epic adventures you could periodize as part of a "getting from A to B" story arc.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Several things to consider when running a game involving ships:

                      1) What is the draft of the ship?

                      A ship's draft is the depth a ship's keel projects below the surface of the water. It determines the depth to which a vessel can safely navigate without getting its bottom torn off by the seabed, and different types of ships can have different drafts, as well as the same ship having different drafts depending on how heavily-laden with cargo it is. Approximately speaking, the deeper the draft, the more seaworthy a ship will be in deeper and rougher waters.

                      Let me give you some examples:

                      Let us say your ship is laden with heavy cargo on a trading expedition. You are gonna have to skirt around that shallow reef, due to your vessel sitting low in the water..... and run the risk of pirates swarming you in vessels with lighter drafts, who can move in and out of the reef at will.

                      Or, a real world example: the Norse Snekkja langskip had a very light draft, of only about half a meter or so (Norwegian snekkjas had deeper draft than Danish and Swedish ships), which meant they could sail right up rivers and estuaries, to attack targets that would otherwise be safe from rapid raiding tactics. Many other European ships of the time, like the cog (The norse-style longship was used pretty much across the entirety of north/northwest/northeastern Europe), tended to have much deeper drafts, which meant they couldn't go where the longships went, meaning the longships/knarr were superior in pretty much every location that didn't have a deepwater harbor set up.

                      2) What is the size of your crew, and relatedly, how much supply can you carry before you run out?

                      Generally, the larger your ship, the more crew you need, and the more space you need to set aside for supplies: food, drink, crew living space. That means; 1) you can carry less cargo, and 2) you might have to make shorter trips

                      Norse longships/knarrs tended to stay pretty close to shore, both because they, contrary to popular opinion, weren't really designed to be deepwater ships (The Baltic is pretty placid except for storms, so far as seas go, and Norwegian ships had deeper drafts for ocean-travel as a result), and because they didn't carry enough supplies to let the crew travel on them for long periods of time, because raiding vessels carried massive crews, and cargo ships set aside most of the hold for cargo. Longships tended to make landfall every night, so they could gather water and cook food.

                      The 'average' longship had around 20 rowing positions, meaning 20 oars on each side, and tended to carry 2 rowers for each oar (they would work in shifts of 2-6 hours a man), meaning a 100 foot long by 15 feet wide ship could have anywhere from 70-100 people on board. Throw in some booty, and there was no way the ship could carry enough resources for more than a few days travel.

                      3) The size of your crew pretty much directly translates into how combat-capable your ship is.

                      Most naval combat earlier than the Age of Sail was pretty much land combat, only on a ship. You have to remember that a ship is immensely valuable, even without any cargo on board, and generally effort was made to not sink or damage the ship in efforts to capture it. Therefore, boarding actions were generally the rule of the day: you try to kill the crew, not the ship.

                      So on and so forth.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Are you still looking for players? What is the format of play? Play by post? Discord?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Go watch The Pirates of Dark Water.

                          Now go read the Jack Aubrey books.

                          With a small cast, you wanna come up with interesting personalities and conflicts among the crew.


                          So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

                          The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
                          -Roger Zelazny

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've been a bit hesitant to bring it up, but in terms of inspiration, it's hard to avoid looking at One Piece. One of the reasons I kinda struggle with suggesting it, is because getting into it is a hefty feat. It's a series that's been on going for twenty years. It's a story about a island hoping pirate crew, that manages continuity, reoccurring antagonists and support characters outside the crew, and there's just same fun Exalted inspiration stuff in it (Zoro, Nami, Usopp, and Sanji are pretty solid for Solar inspiration as characters that are more insanely skilled rather than using overt supernatural powers).

                            It's popularity speaks for itself, and how you really can take a seafaring campaign and having it go on as long as you want.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                              Thanks for all the advice people, it's been really helpful. I think I have Savage Seas in a bundle I bought somewhere, will have a gander, and any more provided would be great.

                              Quite a few charters are looking to have Sail, so Salty Dog Method isn't a huge thing to ask.

                              One particular problem I can see is that of antagonists. Is it worth having entirely episodic tons, or can long-running adversaries be maintained? If so, how?

                              In terms of location, we have one player possibly leaning towards wanting a coffin on the southwest, but that may not be final as anywhere can probably provide the colonial Caribbean style that he says c he finds interesting, although I imagine that could be anywhere in the West.
                              If you're looking for something overarching, the Realm is an obvious source of antagonists. There are satrapies out there and, given the Realm's situation and how far the West is from everywhere else, several of those Satraps have likely decided to break away and carve out their own kingdom in the West. Or any number of other things.

                              You should also look into the various character's backgrounds. Is the person who owned the Ex-slave going to come after them? Who burned down the library, why, and do they want the Twilight dead? Is the Shipwright trying to prove something to the master or does the master want the shipwright dead? Did the dawn date someone he shouldn't or maybe he got into a martial arts fight with a dojo that has sworn revenge?

                              Alternately, point the characters at something. Give them a treasure map that requires getting readings from a bunch of passing islands. Or, at least that's to a location really far away, so they have to stop regularly for food and stuff.

                              You could also come up with a few options and ask which ones everyone likes or invite them to suggest things.


                              ....

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X