Following is the background I put together for a historical situating of Deep Carbon Observatory which I am running in person. One session down so far.
The year is 1713 and the War of the Spanish Succession was just settled by the Treaty of Utrecht. Great Britain, Portugal, the Dutch, and others successfully prevented France from consolidating a hold over Spain. The Faerie courts (unbeknownst to most common folk) meddled throughout the process, but seem to have vanished, not sending delegations to the final treaty negotiations. The Unseelie Twilight Prince had been seen as friendly to the British while the Seelie Summer Queen threw her lot behind the French. At the same time, strange Swiss machines were surfacing on battlefields and in other locations. British intelligence has tracked Swiss supply to the remote Lock River valley in the Low Countries. However, in the market supply of these Swiss devices seems to have ceased, and British spies report that the valley has flooded.
A group of infamous adventurers called The Crows, previously in the employ of France but now disavowed, have already been reported in the area. You are part of a privateer expedition financed by the British Crown. Your primary objective is to investigate the flood to find out if something has happened to the supply of materials used by the Swiss machinists, who had a relationship with the British. The secondary objective is to kill or (preferably) capture The Crows. As per standard privateering arrangements, all treasure or valuables discovered may be kept as spoils. Machines and armaments are to be kept out of the hands of the French Dynasts at all costs lest the fist of Tyranny descent upon the continent.
You need not be British, but if you are not you are most likely mercenaries included in the continental expedition.
Rules are Lamentations of the Flame Princess with the following modifications:
PCs begin at level 3. Increased funds for characters starting above level one is given on page 8 of Rules & Magic. In addition, you will begin with a retainer/attendant, which is a zero level character. If your main character dies, you can either continue playing as this retainer, or make a new character at your option.
Demi-human classes may be selected but should be re-skinned as humans (a halfling could be recast as a scout, and so forth).
Magic-users are renamed Occultists and may be either members of the hermetic order or hedge magicians. There are also Diabolists, but these worshippers of The Adversary are not available as PCs.
Clerics are renamed Rosicrucians and are members of an esoteric society dedicated to furthering the machinations of Heaven.
Non-occultist, non-fighter characters have an attack bonus of 1/2 level (round up).
XP will be awarded for treasure recovered as standard, and also for the completion of objectives (capture/killing of The Crows, furthering the aims of your current British patrons, and so forth). No XP will be awarded for combat or killing in general, however.
Reloading uses the firearms skill. This has a base of 1 in 6 for all characters, modified by attack bonus. To reload, spend a combat action, succeed on a dexterity check (1d20 less than or equal to score), and succeed on a firearms skill check. A firearms skill check may also be used to clean a fouled weapon (spending an exploration turn to make the check), or other firearms-related tasks.
The overloaded encounter die will be used for timekeeping.
Wow, that sounds awesome! If I still lived in Chicago, I’d be asking to join.
Huh, in the real world I was going to put it in Chile. It will be interesting to see how it goes.
Having re-read your overloading encounter die notes, I’m curious: do you use the same system for both dungeons and wilderness exploration? If so, do you treat results for the latter any differently?