Ranoc: Find the Lost Colony

Background: Five years ago, a small flotilla of ships set sail from the nation of Zitheral for the newly-discovered land of Gemenohee in order to establish a colony. No word has been heard of them since.

Set-up: Lady Bonita d'Ambrall, the adventurous and stubborn daughter of a minor baron, is funding an expedition to Gemenohee. Her betrothed had been on the prior expedition, and she aims to be reunited with him or die trying! She has procured the services of a ship and its crew, and is seeking like-minded companions.

The Ship: The ship is a merchant vessel named the Gentle Swan, a 75-foot long, two-deck, three-mast caravel with a crew of around 40 men, a two-deck forecastle, and a three-deck aftcastle. The ship captain has only recently acquired cannon: six three-pounders mounted on the railing of the main deck for defense against pirates; because the Swan is a merchant vessel, it was not designed with gunports on the lower deck. The Captain and Lady Bonita have private cabins in the aftcastle; the ship's officers and many of Lady Bonita's passengers are sharing cabins in either the forecastle or the aftcastle. The rest of the crew share hammocks on the lower deck.

Lady Bonita: She is a young woman in her late teens (17 years old) who stands a mere 5' 3" tall, with bright green eyes, auburn hair that falls to her waist when she lets it down from the stylish design it is usually worn in, and an extremely haughty demeanor. She wears elaborate dresses which are completely unsuited for ship-board life, a lot of gold and silver jewelry set with emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and topazes, and carries an edged rapier on her belt. Hidden in her purse is a single-shot pistol. As surprising as it seems, she is proficient with both weapons! She comes across as a typical stuck-up rich kid (which is essentially the truth). In her mind, anyone who is not nobility is beneath her.

For all of her spunk and determination, she does not really love her betrothed. She's more pissed at him for running off and leaving her behind when he left on the original expedition than she is worried about him.

She has Appearance (Beautiful), Fashion Sense, Jealousy, Selfish (12), Status 3, Stubbornness, and Wealth (Wealthy); she also has Guns/TL4 (Pistol) at 12 and Rapier at 13.

(Lady Bonita is a possible PC, should anyone wish to play her.)

The Captain: Captain Burke is a career sailor, having spent much of his 40+ years at sea. He runs a tight ship, expecting his crew to be competant and to follow orders. He tries to be fair and reasonable, listening to any suggestions his officers and crew might have, but he does make it clear that he is the final authority on board ship. He and his officers (which may include one or more PCs) have access to a small number of muskets.

He has Merchant Marine Rank 5 and Status 1; he also has Shiphandling/TL4 (Ship) at 14.

PC Information:

We will be using GURPS Fourth Edition for the system. GURPS Lite is available for free to those who have not yet used the system; Basic Set: Characters is also available for download, for a reasonable price. Don't hesitate to ask me for help, as I can give additional information. The Ranoc Muskets-and-Magery Renaissance Fantasy world setting, including all racial templates we will be using, is available for download as well, in both MS Word (2.6MB) and Adobe Acrobat (1.4MB) formats.

Starting Point Value: 150
Disadvantage Limit: -75, including any reduced Attributes/Secondaries and -5 for Quirks.
A Weapons List is available to select from.

The PCs: Player characters may be either sailors on the Gentle Swan or part of Lady Bonita's entourage. PC positions on board the ship include: sailor, cook, boatswain, carpenter, physician, navigator, and weather wizard. PC positions among Lady Bonita's entourage include but is not limited to a number of warriors, a cartographer, and a few slaves to tend to Lady Bonita's needs (read: whims).

The First Mate should have Shiphandling/TL4 (Ship), Merchant Marine Rank 4.

The Second Mate should have Shiphandling/TL4 (Ship), Merchant Marine Rank 3.

The Third Mate should have Shiphandling/TL4 (Ship), Merchant Marine Rank 2.

The Boatswain (pronounced "bosun") should have Freight Handling/TL4. Is often the Third Mate; if not, add Merchant Marine Rank 1.

The Carpenter should have Carpentry/TL4 and/or Mechanic/TL4 (Sailing Ships), Merchant Marine Rank 1.

The Navigator should have Navigation/TL4 (Sea). Often is the Second Mate; if not, add Merchant Marine Rank 1.

The Physician should have Diagnosis/TL4, First Aid/TL4 and/or Esoteric Medicine/TL4, Pharmacy/TL4 (Herbal). May also have Empathy, Power Investiture, or Magery, and some Healing College spells; or have Alchemy or Herb Lore, and know how to make some healing potions (particularly those that help deal with seasickness).

The Cook should have Cooking.

The Weather Wizard should have some level of Magery and spells from the Weather College (includes Air and Water prereqs).

Sailors should have Seamanship/TL4.

The Cartographer should have Cartography/TL4. May also have Navigation/TL4 (Land) and/or Mathematics/TL4 (Surveying).