Flying Circus Ep 5: Into the Woods Pt 2

Reunited again after a tense romp through the Striges’ woods, somewhat battered pilots Francesca, Geneve and Zelig make a daring moutainside takeoff, get shortchanged by supernatural high-rollers, and brawl with the crew of muscle daddies who run the local slaughterhouse over a rent dispute.

Life in Maralto sure keeps you on your toes…

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If you feel like there just isn’t enough aeropunk fantasy adventure in your life, Erika Chappell is working her heart out to get Flying Circus ready to print. While you wait, check out her other games at Newstand Press.

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Pic is MM00005148x by Florida Keys Public Library on Flickr, CC A.

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Flying Circus Ep 4: Into the Woods Pt 1

With their rookie’s plane going down in tatters and the capabilities of their rotted adversary still unknown, Zelig and Francesca make a rough landing in the wooded glade. Things get complicated when Geneve and her crashed plane aren’t in the same place…

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If you feel like there just isn’t enough aeropunk fantasy adventure in your life, Erika Chappell is working her heart out to get Flying Circus ready to print. While you wait, check out her other games at Newstand Press.

8500182221_bdd438ba59_o

Pic is MM00005148x by Florida Keys Public Library on Flickr, CC A.

Making a Monster: The Striges

Sorry for broadcast delay folks, its been the traditional cavalcade of family weddings and sickness. In recompense, here’s some design notes regarding the last little arc of our Flying Circus game.

Though Flying Circus obviously draws very heavily from historical sources when it comes to how its planes operate, the setting has been from the beginning plugged as, I suppose, a kind of diesel-punk laced high fantasy. Now we were operating in an odd place here, as a lot of the setting info is not yet published and we had adopted a slightly alternative setting anyway. Not wanting to jump straight to dragons, I decided to bring in an alternative airborne creature.

Naturally, the solution came in the form of a strange multilingual pun.

Now, our setting Maralto draws heavily on Italian imagery, and the Italian word for witch is strega. We can trace the route of this word back to the Latin strix, for screech owl, and its distant cousin strige does in fact parse as “a bird of ill omen”, which could be seen as equivalent to the bad reputation that crows and ravens have in English speaking countries. So naturally this gets thoughts of psychopomp birds stirring around in my brain.

The Striges then, within our setting, are a kind of revenant. When a strong-willed witch or sorcerer dies and that death cuts short the great work of their lives, the screech owls of the ghost world may offer them a choice. Rather than carrying them on into the great unknown beyond death, the owl may bring their spirit back into the world, repairing the body in their own image and fueling it with a hunger for blood, vengeance and the shadowy magic of the netherworld.

With this flickering magic surging through their skeletal frames and between their grey feathers, the Striges are given a near immortal chance at vengeance or, more rarely, closure. Their shadow wings carry them as fast as a fighter plane, and the long claws on their fingers can tear horrific gouges in steel plate and flesh alike. Perhaps most alarmingly, these avian horrors seem beyond the reach of death; though they can most certainly be wounded and broken in the manner of mortal things, the shadows will knit them back together in time. There are rumours that only burial with full funerary rites in consecrated ground will spell a true end to these creatures, but given the rarity of priests willing to cooperate with such actions this remains speculation.

So there you have it. Our terrifying owl-channelling sky witches were based on an old Italian play on words and some bits of James O’Barr’s The Crow, with perhaps a smattering of the Strix from Vampire the Requiem. But ain’t it funny how inspiration works that way…?

Good hunting to y’all.

Paddy

Sacrifice by Paul aka howzey AN$ND

Sacrifice by Paul aka howzey on Flickr, CC A N$ ND

Flying Circus Ep 3: Birds of Ill Omen

After a bender culminating in some ill advised purchases, squadmates Francesca, Zelig and Geneve find themselves once again on the wrong end of debt collector’s attention. Despite not really understanding how the homeless mystic will pay them, they decide to take Drifty’s offer to clear the skies over the mountain pass… and run into the horrors of both Maralto’s magic, and its past.

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Flying Circus is a roleplaying game currently being developed by Erika Chappell, who has created a great many quirky and fun indie-games to date under the umbrella of Newstand Press. Check ’em out!

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Pic is MM00005148x by Florida Keys Public Library on Flickr, CC A.

Flying Circus Ep 2: Flying High Pt 2

With their victory over the pirate at the Pontoon having gone reasonably well, Zelig and Francesca return to the Span to conduct vital business and give Geneve a chance to recover from her crash landing. Naturally tensions manage to run hot as the stresses of the flight bubble over, and its anyone’s guess how those will shake out…

Play Episode

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Flying Circus is a roleplaying game currently being developed by Erika Chappell, who has created a great many quirky and fun indie-games to date under the umbrella of Newstand Press. Check ’em out!

8500182221_bdd438ba59_o

Pic is MM00005148x by Florida Keys Public Library on Flickr, CC A.

Flying Circus: Playing Chess

For those following along on our playtest of Erika Chapell’s Flying Circus, I have enclosed a dossier of the three rogue pilots operating out of the Span. Hopefully it will prove useful to your further inquiries.

Geneve Schmidt appears to be the newest addition to the group, and despite rank inexperience as a combat pilot she has displayed an unusual knack for ambitious and highly creative feats of engineering. Origin currently unknown, but her dress and speech modality would suggest one of the far southern farm holdings, potentially Zuhaus or Fiore. She currently flies what appears to be a heavily modified Barbierri Asino, though what put it into her mind to attach those engines to a battered cropdusting biplane, or indeed where she got them at all, remains a mystery. Known Weaknesses: Cannabis and romantic novels.

Zelig Weiss is an exile from Greyreach, one of the insular fisher communities clinging to the southwestern cliffs. Despite presumably having vacated that community after trespassing their strange edicts, Weiss still presents as one of their priests, though the legitimacy of this is unknown. With the aid of his alarming follower who goes only by Nyx, Zelig operates a scarred but serviceable Caruso Scorpione. It might not be top of the line anymore, but the light cannon in the waist mount of these attack planes can still tear down a fighter or brain a skywhale with equal ease. Exercise caution. Known Weaknesses: Opium and Prayer.

Francesca di Flores we have a little more information on, though her early exit from the military stronghold on the other side of the mountains leaves clear records somewhat lacking. We know that she departed with several squadmates, though they took very little equipment with them, though rumours surrounding the unregistered departure of Striker, a clockwork built from the remnants of her former commanding officer have cast some suspicion over their actions. Between them,  however, they still have access to a fearsome asset; a fully operational Martinelli Biscione monoplane fighter. There might have been better tuned fighters built in the last decade, but good luck finding one. Known Weaknesses: Amphetamines and compulsive exercise.

So far this little crew have limited themselves to minor strikes against pirate forces, but in the hub that is the Span the scope and strangeness of work they might find is limited only barely by their ambition. Time will tell.

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Pic is Dornier Do X by Tom Wigley on Flickr. CC A. 

Flying Circus Ep 1: Flying High Pt 1

With Dandy’s return to the table, the Liberation Industries crew dive in guns blazing to playtest Erika Chappell’s Flying Circus, the game of high passions and deadly airplane combat in a fantastical post-apocalyptic world.

In the turbulent seascapes and scattered settlements of Maralto, squads of pilots fight for glory and the adulation of the masses. The problem is that currently Francesca, Zelig and Geneve are all a long way from home, dirt broke in the merchant towns of the Span, and have just been robbed. A pirate raid could not have come at a better time…

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Flying Circus is a roleplaying game currently being developed by Erika Chappell, who has created a great many quirky and fun indy-games to date under the umbrella of Newstand Press. Check ’em out!

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Pic is MM00005148x by Florida Keys Public Library on Flickr, CC A.

Don’t Rest the Dead Ep 3: Don’t Rest the Dead Pt 3

With their exhaustion building and their ties to the world of the living growing ever weaker, the two Corax agents make the final descent into the surreal guts of the haunted factory, ready to face whatever echoes of the past and present remain.

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In case the title didn’t make it completely obvious, these sessions were played using Evil Hat’s Don’t Rest Your Head, a tension-pumping horror game of insomnia, delusion and unreality. Definitely worth checking out.

Incidentally, in the little debrief at the end of the session we spend a fair bit of time talking about a little module by Jason Morningstar, The Rooftop Necropolis of the Blood Mummy, which is also worth a read if you’re in the mood for a unique fantasy setting.

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Pic is memento mori by kaelin on Flickr, CC A SA.

Don’t Rest the Dead Ep 2: Don’t Rest the Dead Pt 2

After a messy encounter with a projection, Henry and Tyler limp on into the depths of the ghost ridden factory, in search of the truth and their missing compatriot. But as the ghost-world around them gets more nightmarish and pervasive, will they survive long enough to understand?

Play Episode 

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In case the title didn’t make it completely obvious, these sessions were played using Evil Hat’s Don’t Rest Your Head, a tension-pumping horror game of insomnia, delusion and unreality. Definitely worth checking out.

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Pic is memento mori by kaelin on Flickr, CC A SA.

Don’t Rest the Dead Ep 1: Don’t Rest the Dead Pt 1

After a previous investigation went catastrophically wrong, Corax Incorporated “cleaners” Tyler and Henry are sent in to deal with an abandoned industrial complex’s ghost problems. But with their own souls already tiptoeing on the edge of the abyss, will they be able to resolve the horrors of the past?

Play Episode

Download Episode

In case the title didn’t make it completely obvious, these sessions were played using Evil Hat’s Don’t Rest Your Head, a tension-pumping horror game of insomnia, delusion and unreality. Definitely worth checking out.

5442173759_485ab6eabf_o

Pic is memento mori by kaelin on Flickr, CC A SA.