Tuesday 22 June 2010

Barbary Corsairs in Aeronef - A Clarification

Further to my previous post concerning wind powered Barbary Corsairs (now there is an image to conjure with!) I should perhaps clarify my position in respect of how I see VSF. My rules of choice for VSF aerial games are, of course, Aeronef. These rules provide a degree of alternative history ‘background’ within which the gamer is able to set their action. The descriptions contained therein also provide details of how Aeronef and Aerostat are powered and what materials are used for providing the all important ‘lift’. This is perfectly acceptable within the game system and adds the all important ‘flavour’ to the game.

For the wooden hulled vessels of the Barbary Corsairs I suggested that perhaps ‘Martian Liftwood’ (as described in the universe of Frank Chadwick’s outstanding Space 1889 VSF arena) would be a ‘the obvious choice’ for a lifting agent. This has caused a little stir in that this idea is strictly speaking the invention of the said 20th century rules writer (and all round rules genius!) rather than being a VSF period concept. At the time of writing I had not thought this idea through logically as, if memory serves me correctly, within the ‘Space 1889’ universe Liftwood only grows very sparingly on Mars and so finding it for use as a source of lift on Earth would be nigh on impossible and so the Barbary Corsairs would need to use other means to get their vessels off the ground. If using a purely Aeronef driven background then naturally I would not import ideas from another rule set without due consideration.

However, I mentioned Liftwood as within in my own VSF world I happily borrow and tweak ideas and rules from the appropriate genre wherever they may come from in order to drop them into the background where I am able. This is a personal thing as I am a self confessed inveterate rule/background tweaker! I am not in any way challenging anybodies copyright, intellectual property or ideas – I am just a gamer with a fertile imagination that is extremely grateful for all those rule writing denizens and authors that have given me a wonderful universe to play with!


Tony said...

I like your idea of a Barbary Pirate/Aeronef background. AS for the lift properties of different materials - I see no reason why you shouldn't 'invent' your own Turkish/Muslim material for lifting.

There was of coarse the huge Comet/meteorite that sank Atlantis and some believe that Atlantis was in the seas around Greece!

I also mix and match Aeronef and Space 1889 (plus others - try Forgotten Futures by Marcus Rowlands).

Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing the results of your labours.


David Crook said...

Hi Tony,

Many thanks for the kind words and support! That is a good call re the Atlantis meteorite and so the fallout of strange lift inducing elements etc would be easy to 'bolt on' to the exiting background - I may even look to the background of the Arabian Nights 'Magic Carpet' as a further source of inspiration.

I am also a huge fan of the modelling ideas you have created and yours is a blog of much inspiration so many thanks for dropping by and commenting on mine!

All the best,


Steve said...

Well you did say Barbary Pirates IN Aeronef and as I have always said there is enough C19th period ideas to use that I don't understand a default to using Frank's work unless in his universe (it would make sense that the desert areas of Mars and Earth might both have liftwood in Space 1889).

The idea that Martian ships are sailed cloudships is his in his game which is fine in his world but shouldn't be the default position for VSF as a whole.

At the time I didn't understand why he didn't use Cavourite of N-Grav or R-Matter from period VSF but I suppose you couldn't copyright them...

I do like the idea of Barbary Pirates IN Aeronef and there are easy lift ideas from period authors that would work as well.

David Crook said...

Hi Steve,

It was certainly not my intention to default to FC's VSF work in respect of Liftwood and I am sorry if that is how you perceived it. I was merely making use of his idea - in fact just commenting around it - in a sounding board kind of a way. I don't have any of the Space 1889 material to refer to although for my own personal use if I did and the ideas were sound I would have no hesitation in using them. After further consideration I will not be using the Liftwood concept in any event as I jave a far better alternative to use; details of which I will post later.

All the best,