pirate airship

Did Not Hurt

I’m a new DM with a party of people who, largely, are also fairly new to DnD. My party was trying to get hired by this airship pirate captain. The wizard deep gnome, who had never played before and had missed the first session, was trying to prove he could be useful on board an airship.

Wizard: I can…do magic…

NPC Captain: Oh yes? Show me.

Wizard: [OOC] Uh…what spells do I have that will look impressive? If I cast Blade Ward, and someone throws something at me it won’t hit me, right? 

Me: *doesn’t respond, paging through PHB trying to find the spell for reference*

Wizard: Yeah okay, I cast Blade Ward.

Me: So…you draw this complicated sort of design in the air with your finger to cast it. There’s no visible effect yet, it just looks like you’re waving your hands around. The captain raises an eyebrow, unimpressed.

Wizard: I say “Now, I need someone to throw something at me.”

Sorcerer: I IMMEDIATELY jump up and throw my ENTIRE plate full of muffins and a butter knife at him.

Me: *having by now found the spell in the PHB* Okay. So. The spell doesn’t actually stop anything from HITTING you. The plate, the burnt muffins, and the butter knife all crash into you, bouncing off and rolling all over the floor. However, due to the spell, you take no damage.

Wizard: I point to the butter knife that bounced off my head and say, “See? Did not hurt.”

NPC Captain: …Do you have any OTHER…skills?

2

Design commission to @pocketseizure for both, Zelda (Twilight Princess) and Ganondorf (Wind Waker) - I don’t usually take design commissions but having the opportunity to make some new unofficial designs for both characters looked too much fun to pass by. 

I suggest you go read their little screenplay about their speculative, airships and sky pirate themed timeline for more information and inspiration for these as well ! A second commission will feature both characters and will be made soon.

4

~Crew of airship pirates~

Gloria likes dressing up (she joined the crew for the promises of riches), but don’t underestimate her - she’s absolutely deadly with all weapons 🗡

Ceelie is a new recruit, but she’s already broken the hearts of half the crew 🥀

Silla is the navigator; she’s quiet but will still talk you into jumping overboard if the situation calls for it 💀

Cardinal spent the last four years stranded on Langkawi island, but picked up a thing or two (mainly an extensive collection of Very fancy knives) before being picked up ⚔️

20 minutes into the first session of my players’ first campaign and pirates attacked their airship.

Bard: I’m gonna seduce the captain. (Successfully seduces the pirate captain) Hey captain dude uh you’ve got a uh. Really big ship.

Captain: You know what they say about guys with big ships, right?

Bard: They have a lot of money

While this is happening the rogue sneaks up behind the captain to kill him but instead of just stabbing him, he tries to shoot him with an arrow and misses.

Captain: What was that????

Bard: (Grabs the captains face and pulls him close) HEY DON’T LOOK OVER THERE! CHECK THIS SHIT OUT!

The bard then did a death drop in front of the captain to distract him and the rogue suplexed him off the side of the air ship. The rest of the session went about the same.

anonymous asked:

Hi! I'm not sure if this qualifies as a 'fight' question, but I've run out of places to go for help. So if you answer, I really appreciate it. Fantasy world. MC, trained military, is trying to plant a tracking device on a pirate airship. He originally hid the tracker in a lure of special cargo. Events happen last minute that force him to keep the tracker on his person and get it aboard the ship that way. My problem is, how he-or me as the writer-get him to be taken prisoner. Thank you so much.

Well, he’s on a pirate ship and he’s… not a pirate.

Here’s something to know about pirates or anyone who spends lots of time alone in a small enclosed space: they know each other. In particular, pirates are rather loose and democratic organizations. They’ll know if they’re taking on new crew, and they’ll know who that crew is. If he’s found aboard their ship (and he will be), he won’t be able to pass himself off as one of them.

Criminals who run successful raiding operations aren’t stupid, especially those who’ve managed to keep at it for any length of time and are difficult to track. They live outside the law, they are outside its protections, and they know what the punishment for their capture will be. (Usually, it’s death.) This goes for every single member of the crew, not just the captain or their leader. Pirates generally get treated as stupid in vast swaths of media. They’re not. They’re smart. Many of the pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy were ex-navy of one sort or another. Many of the pirates making up this crew will be former sailors trained by a branch of the same military your MC comes from. They know what a military man looks like. Their survival is dependent on avoiding authority, and tackling those isolated targets they can successfully take. A criminal needs to be able to spot a policeman, including one in plainclothes. Their ability to continue operating depends on it.

So, how does this guy get captured?

He’s not a pirate, and hasn’t convinced them that he’s their new recruit. (At this point, he can’t. Too short on time. Too late. They’ll know who their new crew are.) He’s trapped in an enclosed space, aboard a ship, that is probably in the air if he able to stay hidden after they took off (as they’d almost certainly slit his throat before leaving if they found him). He has nowhere to go, no way to get off that doesn’t involve encountering enemy pirates who will recognize him as a stranger and an enemy.

He’s going to be taken captive. There’s one of him, and many of them. The only question left is how to get him out of the situation, instead of falling to his death by many thousands of feet when they chuck him overboard.

The real question for you is not: how is he taken captive? It’s: what reason do they have to keep him alive?

If he’s really lucky, he ditches the tracker before they find it on him and can make up a believable story. If he’s sort of lucky, they chuck the tracker overboard and lock him in the brig. If he’s super unlucky, then he’s going over the side and it’s “goodbye, MC”.

Stowing away is not an act with a lot of great career options ahead.

If you’re really having trouble coming up with ideas, I’d take a step back and go research pirates. You’re shortcomings here are based a lack of understanding for your MCs opponents. If you have a character getting caught, then the actor is the enemy. Those are the characters you need to focus on. It’s easy to assume that one character (the main character) is the driving force of all action, and because you (the writer) are most closely associated with them you see most of the situations from their perspective. However, this will catch you when you’re trying to write fight scenes or any kind of story action that relies on other parties to drive your story forward.

Spend some time with your villains. Figure out how the pirates function, how they work, what their command structure is (if they have one, lots of pirate ships were democratic with their captains voted in), and how they’re functioning. If you’re basing these pirates on the Golden Age of piracy, it might behoove you to look at history. The behavior of the pirates was often a direct response to the military/naval organizations of the time. The British Navy, for example, was well-known for being tyrannical and naval captains were given carte blanche over their crew. The Chain of Command was god, and their word was the ultimate law. It didn’t matter how mad, nightmarish, or suicidal the choice may be. If you ended up with a sadist as an officer, there were few appeals and you were at their literal mercy. The rules were strict. Many pirates were sailors fleeing that abusive lifestyle.

Take some time to figure out how your pirates function, how they live, what their ship looks like, etc. If you’ve gotten stuck, it’s usually because you’re focusing on the wrong characters. Spend some time with the ones who discover your MC and take him captive. That should get you back on track.

-Michi

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Sega Dreamcast

I hated middle school. There’s a whole swath of memories I’d rather do without as far as the years 1999 through 2002 are concerned. There is, however, one memory I hold near and dear to my heart during this time frame. After reading about it in magazines and being really excited for it, my mother took me to Toys’R’Us one evening to get me a Sega Dreamcast. We brought that puppy home with a copy of Sonic Adventure, hooked it up, fired it up, and took it all in. As the opening cinematic played on my TV, Mum said “It’s like playing a movie!”

Boy, if we only knew what games would go on to look like now.

The Dreamcast was, and to this day remains, my all time favorite console. It’s the swan song of a company that was perhaps a bit too ambitious for its own good, a marvel of gaming technology many years ahead of its time, and home to some of the best and most unique games to ever come out.

At the time of its release, the Dreamcast was the most graphically powerful console on the market. Sony’s Playstation boasted 32-bit graphics, and the Nintendo 64 had double that, at -wait for it- 64 bits. Dreamcast had double of that: 128 bits of beautiful graphics, thanks to the GD-ROM, a proprietary disc format born from squeezing every bit of memory out of a regular old CD as was physically possible, before DVDs and Blu-Ray became as ubiquitous as they are today.

Even the method of memory storage was unlike its competitors; the standard memory card for the Dreamcast was the Visual Memory Unit (VMU), a cross between a memory card and a Gameboy that let you manage data and download minigames to extend the functionality of many games. The only other thing like it that I can think of being made is Sony’s Pocketstation, and that never saw the light of day outside of Japan. You would not believe the number of button-cell batteries I burned through caring for Chao on the go.

Of course, all of the fancy tech and cool gadgets wouldn’t amount to much if the games on offer weren’t fun at all. Tiger’s Game.Com bragged of being a versatily console and handheld device, but the games for it all stank like a fragrant dog poop laying on the sidewalk on a hot Floridian summer day. Thankfully, fun games were something the Dreamcast had no shortage of, even in the brief few years that it was on the market, a slew of which I’d like to bring attention to.

Sonic Adventure 1 & 2

Maybe they haven’t aged as well as I’d like to think, but DAYUM if these weren’t some fun games back in the day. Sonic has always struggled with 3D, but the first attempts at true 3D Sonic games remain quite novel. The first Sonic Adventure had different play styles for each character, some of which were great (Sonic and Gamma, for me at least), others…not so much (the less said about Big, the better), in addition to, for its time, an intricate plot with each character’s story intertwining and playing out differently depending on which character you’re playing as.

Sonic Adventure 2, meanwhile, streamlined the gameplay and improved upon some of the first game’s flaws, cutting out the non-platforming related stages (aside from the treasure hunting stages, which are a touch better than in the first game). It’s story was also very compelling, being one of the darkest storylines in the entire series; government conspiracies, weapons of mass destruction, fucking murder! Maybe that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think we can all agree that SA2 handled “dark and gritty” a lot better than Shadow the Hedgehog’s stand-alone game.

Both games also featured a mini-game that could prove to be just as addicting, if not more so, than the games proper: Chao Gardens. Chao were little, adorable water monsters that players could raise like virtual pets, their popularity likely owed in part to the ubiquity of other virtual pets like Tamagotchi near the end of the millennium, as well as how easy-going and casual raising a Chao was compared to a Digi-Pet that would not wait for you to clean its shit up: you can enter and leave Chao Gardens freely, and you wouldn’t have to worry of your Chao dying of neglect in your absence. There’s also very deep mechanics at work for raising Chao, with their growth and evolution depending heavily on how well you raise them, what animals you give them, and what fruits you feed them, all so you can have them participate in races. The aforementioned VMU also expanded Chao functionality considerably, letting you raise them anywhere you wanted.

Shenmue

My relationship with Shenmue, these days, is very much that of a love-hate relationship. On the one hand, Shenmue popularized two aspects of gaming today that I loathe; Quick-Time Events, and over-blown game budgets (this game would’ve had to be bought by every DC owner TWICE before it could break even). On the other hand, there’s no denying that this game was a labor of love by Yu Suzuki. The attention to detail in Ryo Hazuki’s hometown of Yokosuka is staggering. Everything you can imagine can be interacted with, down to the last dresser drawer in Ryo’s house. Every resident of Yokosuka was unique from the others and had their own behaviors that they would go through, unlike every other NPC in the town, or other games for that matter. The story may be a tad formulaic, and most of the voice work left something to be desired, but the world of Shenmue was one that was very fun to explore.

Plus, this game introduced me to Space Harrier. If that’s not a good thing, you tell me what is.

Jet Set Radio

I had to convince my mother this game wouldn’t turn me into a graffiti-painting delinquent. It was a hard sell, but it paid off, and boy am I glad it did.

Jet Set Radio is very much unlike other games, then and today even. This was the game that helped to popularize cel-shaded graphics; the thick black outlines around the character models made this game look like an anime come to life, and eventually paved the way for the wicked-awesome graphics we see today from Arc System Works with Guilty Gear XRD and Dragonball FighterZ. The idea of playing a roller-blading hooligan throwing tags around the city and evading the police was also unique, and kept players on their toes as techno music accompanies their shenanigans. The game was a bit on the short side, but was challenging and fun enough that multiple playthroughs were warranted.

Making my own graffiti tags was also quite the timesink.

Phantasy Star Online

I may be a late bloomer to the Phantasy Star series, but it has become one very dear to me for helping me meet some of my closest friends (Hi, Tara!).

Phantasy Star was a series of JRPGs by Sega meant to compete with other big franchises like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. The original PSO, on the other hand, is an online multiplayer dungeon crawler that would change the course of the series from that point forward. As interstellar colonists investigating mysterious phenomena on an alien planet, players would delve into unique locals with characters they would create themselves to slay monsters, collect valuable items, and unravel the mysteries of the planet Ragol.

The original PSO is also very notable for its attempt to break the language barrier with a unique conversation system. While good ol’ fashioned keyboards remained in vogue, players also had the option of constructing sentences to transmit to other players in the area or party in those players’ native languages. Using this system, you could send a message saying “Help! This dragon is too powerful!”, and your friend in Japan would read it as “助けて!この龍は強すぎる!” It may not have seen much use, since players are more likely to congregate and play with those that can speak a common language fluently, but it was very kind of Sega to provide the option.

One thing that gets me straight in the feels is something from the original beta trailer for this game: “The world of Phantasy Star Online lasts for an eternity!” It is not uncommon for trailers and developers to hype games up with hyperbole (just ask Peter Molyneaux), but this is a statement that has held true for PSO! Even after the last official server for the last iteration of PSO shut down in 2008, private servers continue to run the game to this day, ensuring that the world of PSO truly remains eternal. Even with a proper sequel Phantasy Star Online 2 proving to be a pop culture staple in Japan, the original PSO remains one of the most beloved and enduring MMOs in history.

Skies of Arcadia

I’ve got friends who would skin my hide and leave me to hang like the Predator if I didn’t mention this.

Just about every console since the NES has a JRPG, and the Dreamcast is no exception. While Phantasy Star shifted towards MMO territory, those hoping for a sweeping single-player adventure still had Skies of Arcadia. As the daring sky pirate Vyse and his motley crew of adventurers, players fought to stop an evil empire from awakening an ancient evil while flying across a world of floating continents in a kickass airship. This game is among the most challenging JRPGs in the genre; a clever mind and strategic acumen are needed to survive battles with other pirates, monsters, and rival airships. The world of the game is also incredibly beautiful; I personally think it has much in common with Castle in the Sky, my favorite Hayao Miyazaki film. The soundtrack compliments the game incredibly, and is a joy to listen to by itself.

There are plenty of other games that made the Dreamcast incredible, but this article is long enough as it is, so I’ll have to give those games their proper due later. Suffice to say, though, the Dreamcast is a historical console that remains one of the most beloved in the history of the medium, not only by myself, but by hundreds of thousands of gamers the world over. It may have only been on the market for a few years, but it is said that the brightest stars are the ones that burn out the quickest.

And make no mistake, the Dreamcast is one of the brightest stars there ever was.