WWII era Skyships

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#21 Postby Kakaze » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:07 pm

Linked guns work great! Plus I'm thinking of using my flak cannons as suppressive fire obstacles (meaning they stay where they are put for a turn)

Anyone have any free figure flats they could link me? I found the Daring Tales flats, and they are good for the various nazis around, but I'd like a larger cast of about that time period.
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#22 Postby Kakaze » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:51 pm

Also, Timion- I'm using the Pirates of the Spanish Main rules which has a minus 1 for every inch of movement.

I'm probably just going to cut the penalty in half.
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#23 Postby Kodyax » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:52 am

Nice thread, I know I want Weird Wars and this gives me a few ideas for using that in a new way like combining it with aspects of Sundered Skies. The pic from Leviathans was recently posted to a Spelljammer group I am a part of on Facebook. I liked it there and I like it here.

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#24 Postby Kakaze » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:22 pm

My group has been playing a lot of fantasy. I think they've been finding it really refreshing to step out of the whole high magic universe and blow up Nazi's in a world that's they understand. Sure, there may be flying ships, but the basic dynamic of the world is pretty much the same as our 1937.
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#25 Postby Kodyax » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:43 pm

Nothing much that I can add here, it's a great idea and I know how I would do it if it were me running it, but I'm not and it's good to hear it's working out for you.

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#26 Postby Kakaze » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:48 pm

Well hell, I've been running it for a while and could use a twist. What would you do? Right now I've got the PC's interfering with Nazi plans in the Carribean and racing to find a legendary lost power source that the ancients called Orichalcum.

I'm going a little more Stargate pulp than Indiana Jones pulp. One of my players has told me he wants aliens to invade, so that might be happening in the distant future.
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#27 Postby VonDan » Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:13 pm

You don't have to use Aliens, in my pulp setting it's a secret war with invading dino-men from an alternate earth. There are random natural portals between worlds (ware the creatures of myth came from) and some "aliens" have tech to enlarge and stabilize a portal or make an artificial one. The dino-men have psychick crystal tech. The Anikim who outright invade in the modern era have 1950's style tesla looking equipment.

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#28 Postby Timon » Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:59 pm

Have them find this powersource, but it is actually fully engaged in powering a dimensional stabilizer-shieldthingy. The party inadvertently cause an invasion by taking it offline, poking it, looking at it without blinking etc. The nasties pour through the now activated gate, push back our heroes and fortify it. They could be evil twins from the Goatee dimension... :lol:
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#29 Postby jasales » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:32 am

Twist huh? How about this from my own Better Dead than Red campaign outline. Mars plans to invade earth but they are doing it by supplying the Nazis with high tech weapons and craft such as this:

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/11/ ... 72x315.jpg

Once the Nazis have done all the hard work (conquering, sending slave labor back to mars via rocketship), the martians shut all their gifted machines down and take over. At least that is their plan.

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#30 Postby jasales » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:30 am

Here is a papercraft model of a Nazi flying saucer.

http://www.paper-replika.com/index.php? ... mid=200738

And here is an article full of great ideas and pictures.

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#31 Postby Kakaze » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:46 pm

I realized that I wrote a whole long doc on this idea but never posted it anywhere. So, for your viewing enjoyment in its long form:

A Brief History of the Electromagnetic Air Vehicle

In 1915, the respected scientist Nikola Tesla invented the Electromagnetic Altitude Stabilizer. The EAS tunes in to specific resonances in the Earth's natural magnetic field to allow for low energy hovering. The earliest models of the EAS only allowed the user to tune in at a height of some 2000 feet above sea level, which gave the device limited application.
As the Great War ground on, however, the planners began looking for any possible advantage. Great floating towers were erected and anchored behind the lines, allowing weapons and fuel to be hoisted far up to the new airships. The crews who worked these ships had many colorful names for the new technology: Tessies, Buzzers, Clamps, and Ee Ahs, just to pick a few. The generals in charge ended up describing the ships as Electromagnetic Vehicles, or EMV's for short.
EMV's ended up only playing a minor roll in the war. The EMV's only saw action near the very end, as German lines collapsed under the assault of British armor and the weight of numbers from the fresh American army. However, the heavy bombing of the retreating German forces showed that the EMV would be a force to be reckoned with if the world ever came to war again.
The Twenties were a boom time for Nikola Tesla and the EAS. Great floating docks had been constructed across the world, allowing for the safe travel and trade through the sky. Tesla, on his way to becoming an extremely wealthy man, never slowed his inventive nature. He refined the EAS, first allowing for controlled descents down to sea level, then for the tuning in to new magnetic frequencies far above and below the original 2000 foot mark, and finally to allow for the EMVs to ascend freely.
These new inventions spread their way across the world through the Twenties, helping fuel the boom-time that followed the Great War. When Prohibition was enacted in the United States, mobsters bought EMVs to smuggle booze into America. As the criminal element began to see uses for the EMV, air piracy became common place. Merchants began arming their ships when government patrols proved ineffective, and many a bloody battle was fought in the newly forming trade routes.
The Great Depression only fueled this new boom in piracy. Desperate men and women took to the Sky Ways in hopes of finding food and riches. The national governments began building fleets of EMVs to combat the pirate threat, but this was hampered by their lack of funds and the difficulty in finding flying vehicles that could land anywhere or disguise themselves as regular sea-going ships.
The Thirties are a much darker time for the globe. The democratic government of Germany has been taken over by Adolph Hitler and his National Socialist Party. The Empire of Japan as been flexing it's military muscle in Asia while American adventurism in the Caribbean and Central America has lead to the collapse of the Spanish Empire. Currently, a brutal civil war is being fought throughout Spain.
A storm is coming, and all the world can see it. Sides are being drawn, but the old alliances have proven themselves to be fragile. Privateers and pirates stalk the world's air trade, fighting secret wars to determine the fate of nations. Which side will you be on?

Edge Changes

Requirements: Novice, Agility 8+, Repair d4+
Aces are special pilots who have a deep bond with their particular ship. They get a +2 to Piloting/Driving/Boating checks when using their particular vehicle. They get a +1 when using any other vehicle. They can use Bennies to make Soak rolls for their vehicles at well. This is a Piloting check at -2 (canceling their usual +2). Each success and raise negates a wound and any critical hit that may have resulted from it.
In addition, an Ace is always tinkering with his chosen vehicle. Chose an edge from the list in PotSM and add it to your vehicle. This doesn't count against it's maximum.
If you're chosen ship is ever lost or destroyed, you may choose another. After 2 weeks of fiddling, you may add an edge to it as well.

Requirements: Novice, Piloting d8+, Command
This character has a Patrol sized EMV of his very own. It may have been purchased, inherited, or stolen. The character is responsible for the upkeep of the ship, hiring crew, and paying their wages.
If the ship's guns fire on the captain's action (either by the gunners or the captain going on hold), the gunners can ignore the Steady Hands penalty.
A ship's Captain may give his ship a Edge upon level up instead of himself.

AB: Field Engineer
Requirements: Novice
Skill: Engineering (Int)

You have worked closely with a national government for some time, developing technology for a war that seems inevitable. For your own reasons, you've decided that the life of a cloistered scientist isn't for you so you've struck out on your own.

You have access to devices that seem to be science fiction. Repeating rifles, propeller less flying machines, and incredible healing kits are all within your reach. These start out with less effective than the original power, but one can be upgraded with an Engineering check each time you gain an Advance. Two of the same power gains share any upgrades.

Malfunctions can be gotten rid of for one upgrade.

Finally, no power points. Each device has a small number of uses roughly equivalent to the number castings a 10 pp device could make. Recharging requires 1d4 hours of work, materials, and an Engineering check.

Sample trappings for Bolt: Prototype Assault Rifle. 2d6 dmg, ROF 3, 12/24/48, 10 shot clip. Each level up it can become one step closer to being like an AK-47, so increase either die type by 1 size, add +1 dmg, +10 to clip size, etc.

Sample trappings for Speak Language: Code Machine. Allows for the coding and decoding of communications. Decoding is a Knowledge (Cryptography) check made at -2 per communication, -4 if the code maker got a raise when creating his Code. Each Code Machine can create 5 single use codes and make 2 Decoding checks per day. Two Code Machines made by the same Engineer can speak without using charges.

Also, depending on your national background, you have access to fantastic ship upgrades that haven't reached the civilian sector. Every time you level up, you may make an Engineering check at -4 to apply this to a ship under your care. The GM might let you have one for free. They can't be stacked, but they don't count against the maximum for your ship.

American Holds: 50% increased cargo space. Americans know that warfare is as much about moving troops and material as it as about fighting.

German Guns: +2 to damage rolls. Limitations on the German military forced them to focus on quality over quantity in their military.

Russian Armor: +2 to base toughness. Russian armor, on the ground or in the air, is the best in the world.

British Sensors: +2 to Notice checks for detecting ships and skyships as well as doubling the range of detection. The UK has placed an emphasis on radio based detection and ranging.

Japanese Controls: +1 to Handling. The Japanese military has created some of the best skyships the world has seen, much to the amazement and fear of western powers.

More of these can be learned, but how? If you want to learn a new ship upgrade, talk to the GM and try to make an edge based off the ship edges in PotSM or try to steal the plans from the enemy. You might even be able to reverse engineer a ship that has the upgrade installed.

Ship Rules

There are five major ship sizes, each corresponding with the ship sizes presented in Pirates of the Spanish Main. From smallest to largest, they have been renamed Patrol, Corvette, Destroyer, Cruiser, and Dreadnaught. Each of these size categories can be further customized into making specific ships exactly the way they are presented in the in PotSM.

If these are to be used combat involving the normal table-top rules, double the armor and toughness values of the ships, Increase the weapon damage by 3 die types, and double any other bonuses. The Machine Gun is roughly similar to an M2 Browning, so base range changes off of the relative distance change there. Speed should be pretty ridiculous as well.

Combat happens at one of three heights: Low, Cruise, and High. These are the strongest magnetic resonances and so are the ones that EMVs can travel at. It costs 2 acceleration to go up and one to come down. It can only go up one altitude level in a round.

If a ship wants to go up two levels, it needs to do a Speed Climb maneuver. This is a piloting check at -2. Failure causes the ship to go out of control.

Crash Dive (-2 per level): An EMV can drop levels with out using it's acceleration, even over it's top speed. Each level changed adds one to the ship's acceleration for the round, but incurs a piloting check at -2 per level changed. Failure causes the ship to go out of control. Rolling Dip causes a crash at Low altitude or 2d6 damage to all crew who aren't properly belted in (Agility checks if they changed stations that round or were trying to Repair).

Noticing the approach of other EMVs should be pretty difficult. On tabletop, the range should be something like 25/50/100, with binoculars halving the range penalties.


There are many different makes and models of EM-Fighters. They all have the same basic stats. For double the cost, they can start with an Edge from the ship edges in PotSM. Fighter weapons cost double the normal price, but can be mounted one at a time. Fighter weapons, being hard mounted to the ship, can only fire forward. However, the pilot may ignore the either the Unstable Platform negative or the Multi-Action Penalty associated with piloting and shooting in one round.

Acc/Top Speed: 6/8; Handling: +3; Toughness 6(1); Crew: 1; Guns: 1; Cargo: 0; Cost: $1000; Rarity: Rare

New Weapons

Weapons must be placed in pairs on Ships. Fighters may mount one at a time, but they are fixed forwards.

(1/2 slot) Machine Guns: ROF 3, 2d4+2 dmg, AP2, range 3/6/12 (these are primarily anti fighter weapons).

(1 slot) Howitzer: Solid Shot 3d6+1 dmg, AP 4, ROF 1, 8/16/32 range OR Flak Round 3d6 dmg, 8/16/32 range, +2 to shooting, but can cause friendly fire within 2 squares on a roll of 1.

(2 slots) Torpedo: 3d8+1 dmg, AP 8, small burst Template, 10/20/40
These are mini-buzzers that take multiple rounds to travel to target. They have an acceleration of 6, a top speed of 8, and a toughness of 5. Every round it travels, a shooting check must be made vs the target's range from the Torpedo. Success means it travels true at max acceleration, failure means it deviates +/- 2 inches to either side. These things aren't terribly bright though. They can't change altitudes, explode when they get within 1 square of any non-Fighter EMV regardless of the target, and randomly pick a new target on when the shooting die comes up 1. If one explodes directly above or below it's target, it causes half damage to the Altitudes one above and below. They are set not to explode within 3 of their firing ship.

(2 slots) Fighter Bay: This allows for the docking, repair, and refueling of one EM-Fighter. Launching and recovering fighters requires the help of two crew inside the ship who can't do anything else that round without incurring a multi-action penalty. Launching requires a simple piloting check, while landing is at a -2. These are effected by the crew's multi-action penalty.


Rocket Packs:
Weight: 10 lbs, Pace: 20, Climb: 5, Acceleration: 10, Toughness: 7, $300 bucks
Its got an EAS in it, so it can hover at any of the major altitudes for 10-12 hours.
It has 5 rounds worth of Acceleration in it. Anything other than level flight requires a piloting check. Ascending or descending altitude levels requires one round of acceleration and a Piloting check at -2.

Weight: 8 lbs, Cost: $250
Its the size of a backpack and has a hand cranked radio attached. Good for line communication within the range of the horizon (40 ish sq miles) but can receive communications from anything.

Tool Kit:
Weight: 5 lbs, Cost: $250
All the tools you need to perform a repair check without negatives.

First Aid Kit:
Weight: 3 lbs; Cost: $70
Bandages, clean water, alcohol, maybe even a bit of morphine. Good for patching up in the field, but doesn't provide long term care bonuses. 3 uses of combat healing supplies.

Doctor's Bag:
Weight: 6 lbs, Cost: $300
First aid supplies and some long term care supplies. Adds +2 to natural healing rolls if there's a doctor around to use it. 10 uses of combat healing supplies.
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