|"Can we mount guns on this?" - an actual player question.|
The patron is Stephanos "Steffi" Trendheim, son of one of the ruling Barons of Stavanger. He's competing in a 100-hour endurance race across the wilderness of Stavanger, to Oasis and back. The race must use only TL-6 equipment, so no contra-gravity or rocket propulsion.
The gang's first task was to assemble the airship, a semi-rigid airframe with Helium envelopes for lift. They set to work with limited time, but got the ship air-worthy, passed the time trials and entered the race.
During the build phase, everyone received a Rumor on a 3x5 card. Some pointed to possible future endeavors, but may were signs of trouble ahead: bribery offers and a death threat to lose the race; a bribe to take out a competing racer, and even to take out the patron!
In the air, they got off to a good position in the field of eight racers, each representing one of the Baronies: Arendal, Hokksen, Levanger, Namsos, Plancourt, Sandvika, Trendheim, and Ulstenvok.
During the first leg of the race, the trouble started when the ship began to lose lift. Investigation of the envelopes found two Lamprey Pumps had been attached to the envelopes. These were mechanical pumps forcing the helium out. (Envelope internal pressure is close to external atmo pressure, so the envelopes won't 'leak' like a balloon) Removing them meant swinging from safety cables attached to the catwalks above the pumps - at 4,000 m above the desert floor!
At the same time, it came to light that Longfinger was also putting holes in the envelope with his claws - he had gotten the death threat, and so claimed to be acting out of self-preservation. His player had already stated that Longfinger was not readily trusting of others, as part of his backstory.
This revelation caused some tension among the players; but as referee I was fine with it - here was some actual role-playing!
McGee mkII finally agreed to not throw Longfinger overboard, especially after Steffi learned about the incident and threatened to fire any crewman who killed another crewman.
Next time, the airship (now in first place!) will arrive at Oasis, a desert city and the half-way point. There's a mandatory 12-hour stop here, so the crew can get back on the ground, find supplies, get some R&R and of course, run into more trouble.
Stay tuned. What sorts of complications could they run into? I picture Oasis as being a Casablanca-type town, or the Wild West crossed with Vegas.