Thursday, 29 August 2013

IKRPG 2 : The A-Steam

It's that time again!  With Kings, Nations and Gods on it's way, the time has come for...  Another IKRPG campaign!  This time around, I'll be focussing on the city of Corvis and, more specifically, the trenches just north of it - the party is going to be an Unorthodox Engagement Team seconded to the 95th "Gravediggers" Trencher Company.  Unlike my last campaign which was aiming for fairly gritty gangland combat, this is going to be closer to a mash-up of every 80's Action movie and adventure TV series ever - The Expendables meets the A-Team, big, loud, bombastic and just a bit silly!

Now, unlike before, there aren't going to be a series of set groups to interact with, so I'm going to start by highlighting the key support NPCs, their backstories, archetypes/careers and roles, and possibly even put up pictures!  Also unlike last time, I don't have the actual models yet, so I'll be putting up the minis I'm GOING to use and replacing them as I finish 'em off!

Captain Reb Steele
(Human Mighty Cutthroat/Military Officer/Trencher)

Commander of the UET division of the 95th, Captain Steele is a career soldier who wants nothing more than to get out into the field and take back the Thornwood from the Khadorans.  Sadly, as a full officer, he's been relegated to a glorified desk job, handling the briefings, debriefings and general admin of several teams of younger (and, although he'll never openly admit it, fitter) soldiers.  Having been fighting Khadorans and their hired mercenaries for the better part of three decades, Steele no longer trusts anything even passingly Khardic, and certainly doesn't trust the latest ceasefire; an attitude not helped by the total lack of communication since the joint Cygnaran/Khadoran operation into the Thornwood.

He also looks like a TOTAL badass...

As stated, Reb Steele is responsible for the unit's briefings and debriefings, but he also takes it on himself to be personally responsible for his team's wellbeing, up to and including verbally abusing, mocking and understating his charge's victories like any proper, caring Trencher commander does.  In return, he gives the best - as long as his soldiers get results and stay on the fairly straight and narrow, the base is stocked with good booze, the finest recreation and the loosest men and women, and while there is no mission, he has a long-standing understanding with Watch Commander Helstrom that his troops' minor infractions in Corvis itself will be overlooked or dealt with internally.

Sergeant Tyler "Father" Brown
(Human Gifted Arcane Mechanik/Priest of Morrow)

Sergeant Brown is an oddity in the military - an ordained priest who is also a soldier AND a trained mechanik.  Having grown up around a Morrowan church he is totally immersed in the religion and despite having an irreverent streak a mile wide, he takes his ministry very seriously.  A firm believer in the concept of the volition, he has no problem making weapons for the military, trusting those who wield them to make the personal choice to use them to defend rather than attack, and at least incapacitate cleanly and painlessly.

Really hope I can find a copy of this mini, he's near enough perfect...

It's an important rule on the base - you do NOT mess with Father Brown.  While he's always incredibly cheerful, slow to anger and has never kept a grudge in his life, he's also a full six and a half feet tall and built like an ogrun, so common sense says to keep him on your good side.  Even when happy (which is always), he cuts an imposing figure - his body is covered in tattoos of both religious and military significance, and he frequently goes around shirtless while not in his workshop to show them off.  It's important to note that he is not riled by religious mocking - he's worked with soldiers nearly his entire life.  He has also taken the time to learn basic Menite, Dhunian and even Thamarite lore and will happily debate religion at length, as well as officiate basic ceremonies for religious soldiers (if the other parties are comfortable with a Morrowan priest.  Many Menites aren't).

As far as interacting with the team goes, Father Brown is the division's armourer and, along with Sly (see below), he creates arms and armour of both a mechanikal and mundane nature for his units.  He has a regular supply of most common Cygnaran military weapons (want a military rifle?  He has military rifles...) and ammo, as well as decent supplies of armour.  If you get on with him, he's not above doing some custom jobs up to and including mechanika, and "The Father's blessings" are some of the most sought-after items in the 95th.

Corporal Slyzzagzuragmelekharun "Sly"
(Gobber Intellectual Alchemist/Field Mechanik/Investigator)

Where Father Brown is loud and booming, Sly is quiet and often comes across as slightly wound up.  As Brown's crew chief, Sly's main focus is to keep the other mechanics and blacksmiths in the group on track with a level of focus which, for a gobber, is close to torture. Still, he knows this post is not meant as a punishment, and has thrown himself into it, trying to find as many things to do as possible. As part of throwing himself in, he has trained himself to observe everything that goes on inside the camp and can, for a price, give vital information on internal matters.

This remains one of my favourite models to paint. It's just so silly...

Highly intelligent, brimming with energy and eager to please, he is able to cobble most mundane items in a day or so and, so long as he likes you and you don't mind that they look fairly ramshackle, you can get good, cheap gear from him. Unlike Father Brown, the stuff that Sly makes while he's tinkering around are FOR the the owner, not just requisitioned for a mission, and certain soldiers in the division can get incredibly well equipped on a relatively tiny budget.

Lieutenant Drake Jaeger
(Human Skilled Explorer/Pistoleer/Ranger)

The CRS representative for the division, Lieutenant Jaeger is almost perfectly designed to observe without being observed. Short, thin and athletic, he can pass through knotted woodland and marshlands as easily and as invisibly as level fields. He rarely talks above a whisper and, even then, prefers to listen than talk. While he himself is from a fairly normal small town, he has a certain affinity with the groups around Corvis, and is at home trading with swampies, swamp gobbers and even some of the gatorman tribes in the area.

Bowlcut is CRS standard issue.

Jaeger lives for information and, unlike Sly, his area of expertise lies outside the camp. For the price of new information, he is willing to share his knowledge of the nearby marsh or get you in contact with some of the surrounding tribes. He'll also supply recon information for missions, although that doesn't require direct contact with the soldiers themselves.

Lieutenant Cat Campbell
(Human Gifted Arcanist/Cygnaran Warcaster/Soldier)

The first warcaster brought to the UET division, Lieutenant Campbell was a journeyman to an almost entirely unremarkable warcaster that got killed, unsung, during the siege of Northguard. While she has seen and done things that would make a veteran twice her age think twice about a career in the military, she has encountered a problem with the bureaucracy - she never formally completed her journeyman tour, and is therefore still technically an apprentice. She was recruited by Captain Steele fairly quickly upon her arrival in Corvis with the intention of trading a spot on a UET for the promotion she needs to become a fully-fledged Warcaster.

Nothing fancy, but that's what you want from a kickass Warcaster!

While the other members of the UET division are there to provide logistics, administration and off-field support, Lieutenant Campbell is there for a single reason - to provide more firepower. While her control currently only extends to her arms and armour, she is getting more and more powerful by the day, and even just another handcannon in the team lineup can be the difference between life and death in the field. To her credit, she continues to dutifully take orders from people who should be her juniors, hoping to one day get a promotion and the operational freedom she craves.