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Old 08-14-2020, 06:31 AM   #11
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: A wine-dark void (campaign idea)

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Originally Posted by Aldric View Post
Would gliders work for that ? if the ground below is so hot, there may be updrafts that can keep them up for a while, even let them get close to the enemy and come back, of course something could go wrong, or a glider could be damaged...
There should absolutely be personal gliders available, styled after wings (and likely incorporating feathers, perhaps of swift-falcons), and you could have heroes using them to dive off one ship, catching thermals from the salt flats below, and swooping onto the deck of an enemy ship to engage. Yes, I whole-heartedly support this, and wish I had thought of it myself.
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:07 AM   #12
dcarson
 
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Default Re: A wine-dark void (campaign idea)

The Gandalara books by Randall Garrett and Vicki Ann Heydron are set in the basin of a dry Mediterranean Sea in the distant past. The locals are probably a offshoot of humans since they have protective fur from the sun and a low water metabolism. Would amke a useful other culture that can't interact heavily, humans can't take the heat and dry, they can't take the low pressure and the cliffs are a major effort to climb. Trade can occur at places like the passes between islands.

First one is https://www.amazon.com/Steel-Raithsk...dp/B07KY4BW6N/

Down in the Bottomlands by Harry Turtledove is also set in a dry Med.
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:56 AM   #13
lwcamp
 
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Default Re: A wine-dark void (campaign idea)

So many excellent ideas!

Magical floating seeds sound delightful! We can't really use hydrogen, because of the solar-powered heat rays. It would make battles more of a long-range affair of setting the other guy's ship alight rather than heroic clashes of bronze armed and armored warriors. But harvesting lift-seeds for the air galleys fits right in.

And of course we need Daedalus-style wings, so elite troops can swoop around and try to spear each other, or launch daring raids against other airships. Naturally, these wings would be vulnerable to the heat rays, because Icarus.

Heat rays probably won't do a lot of damage. Treat it like projecting a 1-hex area of fire: 1d-2 large area burn damage. Good for igniting houses and crops and low-quality troops. But shiny bronze armor can get a +1 to DR against heat rays, because shiny! And I like the idea of protecting your ship with a polished shield. Maybe a shieldeer can make an attack roll to reflect the heat ray at another target! And of course they only work when the sun is shining. Attacks on cities might occur during cloudy weather, just after dusk, or just before dawn, in order to avoid the larger heat rays a fixed fortification can mount.

Muscle-cranked propellers - perfect! Fits the air-trireme to a "T".

Other thoughts - brass steam-powered colossi (I know that's a Latin plural rather than a Greek one, but my Greek isn't good enough to get the right term. I guess I'm a barbarian.) Take the Colossus of Rhodes, give it a couple of pilots, light a fire in it to give it life, and have it stomp off to defeat your enemies.

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Old 08-14-2020, 10:04 AM   #14
whswhs
 
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Default Re: A wine-dark void (campaign idea)

The Greek is kolossos/kolossoi.

I recommend settling on a uniform convention: either the accurate transliteration of Greek that sometimes turns up in academic material, or the older Latin transliteration that tends to substitute Latin endings for Greek and that will look more familiar. For the type of campaign you want the latter may be better.

But if you want accurate Greek, you can look up many Greek words on Wiktionary by typing in the customary Latin form.
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Old 08-14-2020, 10:07 AM   #15
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Default Re: A wine-dark void (campaign idea)

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Take the Colossus of Rhodes, give it a couple of pilots, light a fire in it to give it life, and have it stomp off to defeat your enemies.

Luke
Isn't that what Talos was?
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Old 08-14-2020, 10:25 AM   #16
whswhs
 
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Default Re: A wine-dark void (campaign idea)

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Isn't that what Talos was?
My understanding is that he was an automaton, without human pilots.
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Old 08-14-2020, 10:40 AM   #17
lwcamp
 
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Default Re: A wine-dark void (campaign idea)

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Isn't that what Talos was?
I knew there was a Greek story of a giant automaton! I just couldn't remember the name. This half-remembered story was part of the inspiration. Thanks!

We can make the kolossoi piloted, because it adds interest to have human agents. Also add in an engineering team to keep the steam engine going, maintain the linkages to the limbs, and so on. This way, we can have our heroes conduct boarding actions against an enemy kolossos, and other such heroics. The original Talos would have been their inspiration, but without a divinity around to spark their life, the Greek philosophers used their steampunk-philosophy to make their own imperfect copies.

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Old 08-14-2020, 10:44 AM   #18
lwcamp
 
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Default Re: A wine-dark void (campaign idea)

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
The Greek is kolossos/kolossoi.

I recommend settling on a uniform convention: either the accurate transliteration of Greek that sometimes turns up in academic material, or the older Latin transliteration that tends to substitute Latin endings for Greek and that will look more familiar. For the type of campaign you want the latter may be better.

But if you want accurate Greek, you can look up many Greek words on Wiktionary by typing in the customary Latin form.
Excellent. Thanks! I love the aesthetic of the traditional Greek words, so I'm personally inclined to use them rather than the Latinized versions just to maintain that feel. When the PC's go visit that aggressive expansionist empire conquering the Italian peninsula, they can break out the Latin forms.

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Old 08-14-2020, 10:45 AM   #19
Kale
 
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Default Re: A wine-dark void (campaign idea)

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
There should absolutely be personal gliders available, styled after wings (and likely incorporating feathers, perhaps of swift-falcons), and you could have heroes using them to dive off one ship, catching thermals from the salt flats below, and swooping onto the deck of an enemy ship to engage. Yes, I whole-heartedly support this, and wish I had thought of it myself.
Hostile boarding aside, a small glider riding thermals could be a good way to transfer people or carry messages or small objects between ships underway. A glider could also be dispatched to scout something at lower altitude, then ride thermals back up to the ship.
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:34 PM   #20
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: A wine-dark void (campaign idea)

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Heat rays probably won't do a lot of damage. e
Are you aware of Matt Rigsby's Fantasy Tech? There are multiple items fitting your interests. Specifically including Archimedian heat rays and I think Wings of Daedulus too.
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