Adam Dray’s image set – First thoughts

So Adam’s images from Itinerario led me to investigate the author
Jan Huyghen van Linschoten. To make a long story short, he basically copied top-secret Portuguese navigation charts, that helped the Dutch to gain a foothold into the East Indies. Even with the charts the Dutch could get to the East Indies, but the trip was perilous and many expeditions didn’t return, and thus my inspiration was born.

I want to frame the game around a Dutch ship headed to the East Indies. The crew will likely be fixed. Players will each choose a character to play and establish their character’s Links to home. Links to home can be used to reinforce the Bonds that a PC has with other crewmembers. So for instance you could show the locket with a picture of your sister to another crewmember while the two of you are sharing a drink one night, and this would increase the Bond that you have with that crewmember.

The scenes in which Bonds are strengthened are alternated with scenes in which the ship encounters dangers (i.e. being blown off course, running aground, storms, possibly starvation, or even mutiny). In these scenes the PCs will each deal with some portion of the crisis in some form of conflict resolution. Players can utilize other crewmembers within the conflict resolution and this will likely pull in a die equal to their bond size. If the initial roll fails, a crewmember’s die can be rerolled but only if that crewmember dies as a result of the resolution.

I’m probably going to build further around this initial idea. A lot of the thoughts around having a fixed cast, with the NPCs at risk of death is influenced by carry’s PCs and fodder.

Crossposted at my blog.

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Published in: on February 14, 2007 at 4:39 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dave,

    This sounds like a really cool game idea. I like the set crew that slowly gets killed off as play proceeds.

    I think you could have visits to other locales form part of the dangers that the crew must face. I recently read a book about Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe, and it was the places where the ships docked to get supplies and take a break where the nastiest complications emerged. Maybe some research on the waypoints along the route to the East Indies would provide some colorful locations to be visited along the way.

    Cheers,

    Eric

  2. Thanks for the tips Eric. I will definitely look into that.

    I’m glad you like the idea.

  3. I think you should have the option to sacrifice Links as well…burn the bridges that connect you to your home in order to make it to the end of the trip, and so forth. That could be really powerful.

  4. Great idea, very tight concept/scenario for the game. I’m reminded of the character relationships in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series. Here’s a thought: death is not necessarily the worst fate a crew member could suffer. Think of the psychological damage the loss of an arm or ostracism from the rest of the crew could have…


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