Sci-Fi Fridays! Wanderers of the Outlands Part XV

Week 15… I’ve written a lot for my sci-fi Savage Worlds campaign, as these Sci-Fi Fridays! post prove. This time around the information is immediately relevant to the players. This is the rest crew of the ship they’ll be traveling on. I wanted to have a ship as a base of operations because it serves three purposes, first it facilitates travel to different worlds, something I think will benefit this campaign; second it is safe place where the characters can rest between adventures, but it has all sorts of adventure opportunities, like providing upkeep, getting supplies, etc. And lastly, it unifies the players; it is a reason for them to be together if they are the crew of a ship. On the flipside I did not want a single player to be the owner, or even to burden them with a debt of starship proportions. The solution was, they are the crew of the ship, and they have a salary and get a percentage of the earnings. With the exception of one character, who’ll be a passenger, all others are part of the crew of the Exeter.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, the ship we’ll be using is from a Future Armada product by 0ht: art and technology. They produce the excellent Future Armada and Armada Codex series. They give you a ship’s layout as well as a description of the ship and crew. Future Armada has d20 based statistics, but they are so simple that converting them to other systems (as I did for Savage Worlds) is really easy. Armada Codex has generic rules for the ships. They also include high quality maps that allow you to use the ships with miniatures.

They also produce Starship Maps Poster Images and have run various Kickstarters where you can get physical copies of the posters, as well as miniatures of the ships. Here is a link to their current Kickstarter. I own many of the Future Armada and Armada Codex products and have been a backer of all their Kickstarters, which have always been fulfilled in a timely fashion to my complete satisfaction. I f I sound like a fan, it is because I am! The ship images you see in this post are from the Future Armada: Exeter and I want to thank Ryan Wolf for granting permission for their use. These images are copyrighted by Ryan Wolfe. Check out his products, you won’t be disappointed!

And as long as I’m giving thanks, a BIG thanks goes to my dear friend Ramón Luis Rivera, he’s a longtime GM, very creative, and a terrific guy. He’s one of the people helping me flesh out this campaign. Many of the concepts in this post come from his ideas and e-mails we sent back and forth. I just polished it and made sure it fit the campaign. Cas and Eli are truly his metaphorical children. Thanks for your input into the campaign Ram!

Now without further ado, let’s get to what you are here for, the post…

The Crew of the Exeter

Exeter 01

Vincen “Cas” Sol Cassidy is a human of about 70 years of age, of average height but of sturdy constitution for his age. Captain of the tramp freighter the Exeter. During his youth he fought in a local war, but kept away from major conflicts after that, including the Great Galactic War. When asked he usually replies he is a “freer man than wars like”, a response he accompanies with his typical smirk.

He’s led a long, full life, with dozens of jobs and adventures, and has owned the Exeter for the last 30 years, earning his keep as a cargo hauler, transporting passengers and the occasional odd job. He’s been accused of smuggling, but charges have never stuck. Cas works hard and has invested most of his earnings right back into the ship since it had been out of the shipyards 15 years before he acquired it.

“Exeter? The lion rampant was on their flag, that’s what’s painted out there on the hull, the flag of the Exeter colony.”

Eli Sol Cassidy Moradi

Cas has a story of how he got the ship in a wager with a drunk Cerdiallian, and the ensuing chase through a Gas Giant as the system’s sun went supernova, but the ship’s documentation, proof of ownership and bill of sale tell a more pedestrian story. Still he takes good care of his ship, a “mature lady” in his own words, and he likes her like that. This Durance-Class tramp freighter is one of the lasts of this model still in operation after the war, when many were conscripted for supply runs by all sides. While the Exeter has integrated some of the later ship’s system technology developed after it left the shipyard, Cas stopped most large upgrades to the 45 year old ship some time ago, he claims there are reasons for this, but it’s mostly money, things have changed since he started this endeavor. Some systems are outdated and the ship’s mechanic works constantly to keep her running.

“The Exeter colony was a throwback settlement. My family believed humanity had lost its way through its undue reliance on technology… Funny seeing how the technology got them there, but I digress. They unloaded the ships and the destroyed them. I grew up on this idyllic fantasy, no climate control, inefficient insulation, granted we hiked to the lake and fished, so it was not all bad, until a corporation decided the only habitable planet on the system was needed as resupply station. The colony’s council refused their offers and soon we were classified as hostiles. I was seventeen when we fought the corporate security forces. With archaic weapons, no targeting computers, no armor, it was a slaughter. Those that survived quickly learned to adapt, we raided a security forces depot and fought fire with fire. How quickly we colonist left behind out convictions and embraced technology!”

Vincent Sol Cassidy on the Exeter Colony

Cas and his daughter used to run the Exeter, but she died some years ago. These days his partner is his granddaughter Eli Sol Cassidy Moradi, he calls her his “little princess” but most people simply call her Eli. While he rarely speaks of Eli’s grandmother, she tells the story of how his grandmother was the daughter of a rich and powerful Hyper Corp administrator and how Cas raised her mother on his own.  The old captain is very protective of his granddaughter and anyone eyeing or mistreating Eli is likely to end up in an escape pod in a desert planet.

Eli has not always been involved in running the Exeter, she lived away from her mother and grandfather for some years, only returning when her mother passed away. During that time she served a short stint in jail and developed the underworld contacts she uses to arrange for the occasional “odd job”. Despite her hard demeanor Eli is not stubborn, nor gives up easily, she’s used to thinking on her feet, speaking her mind, and gives short and precise instructions, which rubs some people the wrong way. If you want to keep your teeth, never ask her if she’s named Eli after the Elicentrifugal Capacitator in a ship’s trans-dimensional drive.

Despite all their similarities, and there are many, there is one area where granddaughter and grandfather differ; while Eli takes lightning fast decisions, Cas likes to consider all angles. Cassidy is used to being in charge because he is the captain, even when his orders are rambling and he takes forever to get to the point, he expects his crew and passengers to understand him even when he doesn’t understand himself. He knows a lot, not necessarily because of the wisdom age brings, but because of all he’s lived. Cas has certainly seen many wondrous and weird things. His memory can be prodigious and he can remember passengers that he transported twenty years ago. Cas cherishes every moment, every memory, specially about Eli and her mother. Eli on the other hand lives in the here and now; unlike her grandfather who is very charming and sociable, like a greasy politician, she only respects those who earn her respect.

“I have researched the Exeter colony, shortly after joining the crew. Captain Cassidy rarely gives specifics. I had to consult colonization records to locate it on the Rimward Expansion Region, during the third and last expansion. You know the story on how the colonists fought corporate forces the Captain tells. What he fails to tell is how it all ended. The colonists were defeated, rounded up and kept in hostile relocation facilities for months. They were little more than concentration camps. Some, the young, those strong enough to survive, were deported beyond the corporation’s sphere of control. Left to fend for themselves.”

Adham Tossel

If you ask Cassidy for advice he’s likely to tell you the story of when was part of the crew of a luxury liner where various exotic shows would be part of the entertainment, he met a magician, learned some parlor tricks, how to cheat at poker, and never to get in bed with a military officer’s wife. “Good times…” he will say, leaving you with a mysterious piece of wisdom probably having little to do with your original question.

Besides Cas and Eli, another member of the crew is Adham Tossel a former professor and xenoarcheologist that booked passage on the Exeter eight years ago to explore the alien ruins in her route and ended up staying permanently.

 Exeter 03