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London Indie RPG Meetup Group Message Board › "Ship Rats"/ "Sea Rats"

"Ship Rats"/ "Sea Rats"

James J.
HartJesper
London, GB
Post #: 293

Thinking about creating a game around the "Hornblower" genra, with players , being characters on a british ship of war.

The Frigate (Insert Name here),

Each character will have a central flaw, that Davy Jones will use to try and drag em down into his lockARR!

Thinking about mechanics,



  • I want the mechanics to run around the game Bluff The Rules
  • I want people to determine how much their inner monster affects them, and the higher the value of such a thing the bigger the benefit, but also gives a higher risk of being damned to davy jones locker.
  • And I want the end scene to be fixed around the sinking of the ship the characters are all workingon.



Any Ideas/concepts are much appreciated.

james
James J.
HartJesper
London, GB
Post #: 294
Characters

Starting with most needed, to those not neede but can be added in for more players.


  • Captain
  • Sailor
  • Cabin Boy
  • Leitenant
  • Midshipman
  • Stow Away


End States

What are you doing in the end freeze frame, as the ship is sinking/running aground.

These are very fluid at the moment?? Suggestions wanted, only six end states wanted.


  • Dead
  • Dying
  • Swimming
  • Killing(Striking the blow)
  • Locked in Brig
  • Rowing Away in a boat

James M.
user 19705081
London, GB
Post #: 10
Have you seen the Dirty Secrets RPG, which also uses Bluff/Liars' Dice rules? It might be an interesting model to consider for this... or perhaps not, as Noir Detective Fiction and Salty Sea Stories make for strange bedfellows.
A former member
Post #: 1
Just an idea on the name, "Between the Devil and the sea". All credit to Edgar Rice Burroughs for the quote, I'm reading the second collection of his John Carter of Mars stuff.
James M.
user 19705081
London, GB
Post #: 11
What if...


  • Your final end state is determined by the bidding you make during play. Tie each state to a number on the dice, e.g. 1=Dead. During play, record the 1s you bid, the 2, the 3s, etc, e.g. if you bid "Three 1s" at any time, that gets recorded as as 3 points of 'Dead', so at the end of the game, you get the outcome you have the most points recorded for; in a tie, you get the lowest ranked of the two outcomes.
  • You can add 'monstrous dice' to your pool before rolling, using your character's traits and the narrative; after any roll though, when dice are revealed, the results are on your 'monstrous dice' are used to determine other negative outcomes of that roll.


Is that the sort of ideas you're looking for?
James J.
HartJesper
London, GB
Post #: 300
What if...


  • Your final end state is determined by the bidding you make during play. Tie each state to a number on the dice, e.g. 1=Dead. During play, record the 1s you bid, the 2, the 3s, etc, e.g. if you bid "Three 1s" at any time, that gets recorded as as 3 points of 'Dead', so at the end of the game, you get the outcome you have the most points recorded for; in a tie, you get the lowest ranked of the two outcomes.
  • You can add 'monstrous dice' to your pool before rolling, using your character's traits and the narrative; after any roll though, when dice are revealed, the results are on your 'monstrous dice' are used to determine other negative outcomes of that roll.


Is that the sort of ideas you're looking for?


Thats exavtly the kindof ideas I'm after,

Before someone else mentions it, and I lose credibility,

I was thinking that maybe, everytime you lose a resolution, you lose a dice from your end dice pool. At the end you get to roll however many dice you have in that pool and can decide from those results what state you wanna be in.

So the more impact upon the game you have been having, the more control over your end game you have (you can still kill yourself if it makes sense if you want).

OR perhaps it would be better that everytime you lose a resolution you get a dice in your end pool, therefore if you have had less impact on the game (less chance to dictate what has happened) you have a larger chance to dictate what happens to your character at the end. This should encourage players to go into resolutions even with a lower chance of success, with a small payoff for losing almost??

Example

During a 3 player game there have been 8 resolutions (arbitrary number)

Player One

has won 3, lost 4

Player Two

Has won 3, lost 1


Player Three

Has won 2, lost 6

Version 1

Player One gets X-4 dice

Player Two gets X-1

Player Three gets X-6

Player two gets more control, even though he has done least in game.

Version 2


Player One gets 1 + 4 = 5

Player Two gets 1 + 1 = 2

Player Three gets 1 + 6 = 7

Player 3, 1 get rewarded for taking part in many tests.

Whilst Player two has not gotten involved (maybe because he has not had a chance o not wanted to), but when she has, they have had almost a full impact each time.)
James J.
HartJesper
London, GB
Post #: 301


Characters will have several options to add to them, the more options you add from the list, the more positive traits you can have (they have to be linked to the sentence you take).

On top of this each character chooses one of the deadly sins as their inner demon. The more sentences someone takes the higher the value of their inner demon.

Each roll a player makes he rolls demon dice as well, giving an advantage, but each third six from demon dice places a player a step closer to Davy Jones Locker.

Any ideas for sentences for each player, like those examples below would be great.


Captain



  • You are of a higher substance than these low life scum, make sure they know there place.
  • They are all out to get you, they want your ship, you'll show them, did that leitenant just give you weird look.
  • You have worked your way up from a merchants son, this is your chance to show everyone what you've got.



Sailor


  • Last night you were enjoying a nice pint of Porter, now you awake with the leitenant shouting at you to go up the rigging, with Portsmouth disapearing from view.
  • Your father, grandfather, great grandfather were all sailors. Look where that got them...
  • Imagine, the prize money you'd get from the Spanish/French for this ship intact. $$$$$ The weather is better there aswell.
  • Women aren't allowed in the navy, you'll show them you're as good as them.




Cabin Boy


  • Think of those heros, on the high seas, what adventure awaits me out there.
  • The captain is godlike, he is the greatest example of mankind you have ever seen
  • Your whore mother, told you that an officer on board is your father.



Leitenant


  • If you prove yourself, they will have to promote you to captain
  • Its war, and in war there are casualties, and promotions, if the captain were to...
  • The only way to teach a sailor a lesson is to flog him almost to death. and there are some real sinners here. You should know you press ganged them


Midshipman


  • GLORY FOR THE EMPIRE/LONG LIVE THE KING, we will sink every ship that we come against for Britannia.
  • You come from a reputable family of captains and admirals, dont disgrace the family name.
  • I hope we dont see another ship I don't wanna die!!
  • I have never seen a ladies ankles, let alone sinned with one. But god that sailor is handsome and rugged.



Stow Away



  • Spain/America/France is where a man/woman can make there fortune.
  • I will not go away for murder, by the time they realise I'm aboard I will be safe.
  • My husband is at sea all the time, I will make sure he spends time with me.
  • My chance to get away from slavery.



James J.
HartJesper
London, GB
Post #: 302

Prologue.


The Americas are being fought over by several nations, each laying a claim upon the rich resources available overseas.

The Great British Empire is at the height of its power, with arguably the best navy in the world. men in this age are not made great by accomplishments, but are born either great or beneath contempt.

Have you been lucky enough to been born on the right side of the poverty line. Are you eager to prove yourself worthy of your position within the navy that you were born to?

Or are you one of those in the lower decks where you must fight your way to glory in the name of the empire to earn that prize money, and scrabble your way out of the depth of poverty?






The sun lies on the horizon (ambiguous between dusk/dawn), and HMS -------- is slipping beneath the waterline. A cannon rolls off the deck into the sea, sinking with a screaming seamen entangled by rigging to it.

Some officers are being taken prisoner, dropping swords upon the deck.

Seamen are being shot on the deck, some are taking their chances in the sea.

A small row boat is slowly rowing away from the scene.

A captain stands at the bow of a ship victorious.

Bodies float around the sinking boat, with the debris, whilst shark fins are seen approaching from a distance.




As the man attached the cannon drowns, sinking towards Davy Jone's locker, he sees the events that led him to this point in time, and the people who brought him here. This story has That Sinking Feeling. (Potential name).


Feedback?

James J.
HartJesper
London, GB
Post #: 307


Bids:

In a Conflict Bidding on Certain Numbers will mean you have to use certain actions to escalate the situation.

1's Are wild and cannot be bidded.

2 :- Davy Jones/ The Sea

3- 4 : Weather / Violence

5 -6 : Character Traits/Secrets

Not sure I got these in the right direction, perhaps if you bid on sixes that shoudl be davy jones, and Violence/Weather is just fives.

While Trait/Secrets should be amin driver therfore anything bid on a 2-4 would be related to these.

James

James J.
HartJesper
London, GB
Post #: 308
Between the Devil and The Sea


The Americas are being fought over by several nations, each laying a claim upon the rich resources available overseas.

The Great British Empire is at the height of its power, with arguably the best navy in the world. men in this age are not made great by accomplishments, but are born either great or beneath contempt.

Have you been lucky enough to been born on the right side of the poverty line. Are you eager to prove yourself worthy of your position within the navy that you were born to?

Or are you one of those in the lower decks where you must fight your way to glory in the name of the empire to earn that prize money, and scrabble your way out of the depth of poverty?






Choose your destiny

Decide how monstrous your character is, although being more monstrous will give your chracter more control over their destiny, it can also be a hindrance.

Choose a monstrosity factor between 1 and 3.




Birth Rites

Roll your monstrous Dice

If a 6 is rolled, you were born on the right side of the poverty line (if no character rolls a six, the character with the highest value rolled is given this honour, if more than one characters roll sixes they can both be rich)

If a 1 is rolled (over ruled by a 6), you are born scum, if you are lucky you will live to the ripe age of 20, but don't count on it.





Status

There are several roles one can take on a ship of her majesties service, let the players decide from below.







Captain

You must be of high born status to start the game here, there can only be one captain

You have been given charge of this ship by his majesty the king personally, as your father is high ranked at court. This is your chance to gain the respect and honour of your father, as the second son you have been slightly neglected.

Add one to your monstrosity Factor, and roll an extra weakness.

Thoughts

These sailors are the scum of soceity, they are below you.

The ways of these sailors are strange to you, and you do not understand much of what they say.

There have been a recent spurt of mutinies on the kings shps, with sailors turning to what they beleive is a happier life of piracy, this is a constant threat.






Lieutenant


A maximum of three Lts can be in a game

If you are highborn , you have worked on a few ships before this and gotten here on merit.

The admiralty speak highly of you, the captain does not like the ambitious look in your eyes, or how you win the mens hearts with acts of bravery.


If you are scum , you cannot be a LT.

Otherwise, you will have worked your way up from a Sailor, a harsh and rare occurence it has made you bitter towards those below you. You punish the sailors harshly and often, the Cat is in your opinion the best and most appropriate punishment for any crime.





Midshipman

Two players may be Midshipmen

Highborn

You are young and untested, still trying to pass exams to become a Lt, you resent any Lt who has made it there from low birth. You come from a long line of Admirals/Commanders, and the captain is aware that his career could be halted if something bad was to happen to you, as your father is Admiral in the Navy.

Scum ; You cannot be a midshipman either.

Otherwise

From the middle class, your family has bought your commission, it has cost them a lot of money, most probably they can barely afford it, your uniform etc is all second hand. You hate those who have been born to their position especially the captain. Anyone who has climbed the ranks of their own accord has earned your respect.

No matter what birthright you have unbreakable faith in the british empire.





Sailor

You were having a drink last night at your local, when the press gang came in and took you (the type of pub will depend on your birth status), that bastard Lt has taken you from your family and livelihood. You awoke aboard already off the coast of Plymouth.

You want to get back home if possible, whether by murder and mutiny, or by hard work and redemption is your choice.

SCUM

If you are scum, you have joined her majestys service to get away from a crime you committed ashore the night before the ship left harbour. Hopefully they wont find her body until it is too late.

Is there someone on board who yo are after revenge from? Or someone who might recognise you?

Add three dice to your mostrosity Factor. And remember to take an extra trait related to your crime.






Cabin Boy

Only Scum can take this Your monstrosity factor changes to an innocence factor.

You are very young, you are a street urchin taken from the street by the Captain as an unlikely act of kindness. He is a god in your eyes, plucking you from poverty. You now have clean clothes, and warm food as well as a place to sleep. The sailors bully you, but that is because they are jealous of your position of favoritism with the Cap'n. You will not hear a bad word about him, and this has gotten you in fight in the past.

Your whore mother told you that the Lt was your father, before you left Plymouth, he does not know.





Every character starts with a weakness apart from the Cabin Boy!

Roll your mostrosity and Pick a result from below (The captain takes his two lowest results)

1 : Cowardice

2 : Gluttony

3 : Pride

4 : Avarice (Greed)

5 : Lechery

6 : Gambler




Every Character takes a Trait, this can be a personal item such as a love letter, a family heirloom.

Or it can be personality quirk.




These are your characters, mechanics to follow.

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