Wednesday, February 1, 2012

GASLIGHT scenario development

A stinking cold isn't exactly helping me at the moment. With inflamed sinuses and my right eye streaming like Niagara Falls, it's a task and a half trying to do anything. Still, I've managed to make a start on preparing the upcoming GASLIGHT scenario.

I've had these rules for some time, but this is the first occasion I've decided to play them. They do require a modicum of pre-game preparation, in the shape of character development. A good and useful tutorial can be found at Dr. Vesuvius' Axis of Naughtiness blog. 

GASLIGHT allows for the creation of Main Characters (MCs). These have four basic types, in ascending order of potency:- Veteran, Leader, Adventurer, Hero. By rolling a d20 and consulting the chart, the player assigns numbers to the attributes of Shoot, Scuffle, and Save. The higher the number the better, as these will be rolled against in the course of the game, and various modifiers come into play according to circumstances. 

MCs also get Skills, again rolled randomly. Heroes, being the most accomplished, get two; every other MC type gets one. Most of these skills are advantageous in some way - skill at shooting, using melee weapons, observation, etc. A few are detrimental, such as Drunk, Yellow, Clumsy, and so on. MCs can lead units, or be unattached. Only MCs have the Save attribute, allowing a figure to roll to avoid potentially damaging or deadly results from an encounter. All other figures are treated as Extras, having just Shoot and Scuffle attributes. When hit - they die.

In my case, I rolled the following attributes for Willoughby Pond, Merchant Adventurer. Shoot: 12  Scuffle: 15  Save: 14  Skill: Tough. The rascal has an average shooting ability, but he's quite tasty in hand-to-hand combat. Useful with his fists, no doubt. In game terms his Tough characteristic means he won't die the first time he fails a Save roll, and he ignores the effects of disease - useful if trekking through the African bush. 

He'll have a coterie of troops with him in the shape of Sunny N'Sher's mercenary tribal warriors. Sunny himself is rated as a Leader, with the following attributes:- Shoot: 13  Scuffle: 13  Save: 11  Skill: Natural Leader. He will lead his men, all with Shoot 8 and Scuffle 9, and, because of his charisma, all prepared to go to the wire for him.

The Kumyonda tribe has expressed an interest in providing Pond with a site for his trading post. All he has to do is reach the area and build it. The Kumyonda chief has assigned a couple of warbands to patrol the area against the rival Ukrazi tribe's interference and to escort Pond's expedition to safety if necessary. Unfortunately, the chief selected the local equivalent of Harry Flashman to lead them... 

Kumalonga is a strapping fellow, with Shoot 14, Scuffle 12, a Save 15. Unfortunately his Skill rolled up as Yellow. To quote the phrase used in the GASLIGHT rulebook, "he wouldn't walk up to an angry baby with a rattle."   

Pond has a history of bad blood with the local Ukrazi tribe. They have gotten word of his plans to establish a trading post in the territory of their bitter rivals, the Kumyonda tribe, and are prepared to voice their displeasure. Ukrazi tribal warbands have set out to catch and punish Pond and all who help him. Their attributes are Shoot: 6, Scuffle: 10. 

I'm planning to make a vehicle for Pond's expedition in the shape of a Spottiswoode-Gallant Steam vehicle of some kind. Perhaps one of these...

Vehicles have their own capabilities under the GASLIGHT rules. These are rolled on a chart, or can be selected by the umpire to fit game requirements. The capabilities are Save (the vehicle's armor protection), Speed (whether Sailing, Steaming, or Swimming), Start (to get the blessed thing rolling in the first place) Sustain (to keep the thing moving), and Spin (its maneuverability - or otherwise).

The little vehicle above has the following capabilities, all randomly rolled. Save: 14, Steam: 10, Start: 14, Sustain: 19, Spin: 45 degrees. On the whole, it's a fast, reliable vehicle, but about as maneuverable as the average barn. 

The Ukrazi tribe lack any steamy conveyances of their own, but that's not to say they're without resources. I have a few ideas for an equalizing unit, but will say no more for now.      


Bluebear Jeff said...

I'm glad that Pond is an "Adventurer". I found in my games that the "Hero" class is just too powerful.

I look forward to your write-ups.

-- Jeff

A J said...

I think the same, Jeff. My inclination was to make him an Adventurer from the get-go. Pond is powerful enough to last a while, but not overwhelming.


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