For the next five-day blitz, I’m re-imagining the Arioniad.
The Arioniad was a solo testbed campaign I ran from 2009 to the cliffhanger ending in 2013; the characters stayed the same, but the rules and setting changed around them (the in-game reason for that was explained in the cliffhanger).
The campaign was one of those deleted in the Great Blog Purge of 2015, but I miss the characters and would like to play with them again. I considered reconstructing the previous game from such offline notes as remain, but on rereading those, I discovered that the game was much better in my memory than it was in reality; so re-imagining it is.
As before, the campaign has two objectives beyond simply being fun; first, it’s a testbed for new rules, and second, it’s a way to flesh out the setting.
I was never happy with the various settings Arion and Company adventured through in their last outing, so I’m moving them into the Dark Nebula, which I am happy with, at least for the moment. On the rules front, we’ll start with the current editions of Savage Worlds (characters, combat, starships) and Larger Than Life (game master emulator); over time, I intend to try 5150, Mythic, and Scarlet Heroes as the emulators, and 5150 and maybe other games for the characters and combat piece.
The Star of the Show
Arion is a stock Pilot archetype from Savage Worlds Deluxe, with his extra skill point used to buy Knowledge: Astrogation d4. This gives him all the skills you need to operate a Small or Medium starship under the SW Science Fiction Companion; Knowledge: Astrogation, Notice, Piloting, Repair and Shooting. For dramatic reasons he is a native of Maadin, but we will meet him on Mizah. His gear is a kevlar jacket, a 9mm Glock equivalent, and a knife, which leaves him with $50.
One mistake I made last time was to assume that the Crew listed for SFC ships was the actual crew complement, but in fact that is the space available for crew and passengers (SFC p. 40). So, rather than build a custom ship for Arion and his friends, I’ll use a stock Light Freighter (SFC p. 49). This is called the Dolphin, and has an AI, which statistically is a better astrogator than Arion, although he has a better chance of success at anything else. As it was fun last time, the ship also has a Repair Swarm – a group of fist-sized metal spiders that handle maintenance and other chores. This uses the Swarm statblock with Repair d6 added.
Looking through Larger Than Life, I can see that he is best represented by a Rep 5 Star (all PCs begin as Rep 5) with the Steely Eyes attribute – I shall exercise the option of not dicing for a second attribute as it may conflict with his SW character sheet. His profession is obviously Pilot, which means he moves in the Exotic circle, and he uses the Adventurer reaction tables. I decide he lives in the Docks area of a Metropolis, specifically Erdemir Spaceport on Mizah, with the other five areas of the locale being in Zonguldak. For travel purposes he will always use a Tramp Steamer (the Dolphin) if possible.
I preload the PEFs (Possible Enemy Forces) he will encounter with NPCs from last time; Dmitri, Schrodinger, Timon, assorted thugs, Coriander and Berenice.
As normal for my solo SW adventures, bennies refresh every 4 posts and advances occur every 10; since I number the posts, I don’t need to track anything else.
Oh, and all my solo characters have a theme song; in Arion’s case, it’s The Traveller by Joe Satriani.
“Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.” – Listen With Mother