[Sea Travel] Ship in Storm Ars Magica Minigame?

Alrighty, this hit me late at night.

I've got my Journey to the Levant coming up. I know there will be most likely two storms in it. One, the last one, will result in a shipwreck.

The first one, however, is going to be it's own thing, with no major narrative issue.

Perhaps it's playing the excellent Battlestar Galactica game that has me thinking this way, but I thought perhaps the storm could be transformed into some sort of minigame of some sort.

We're going to have three mages, a thief immune falling, and a nun who can talk to animals on this trip.

My thoughts.

  1. Dig up deckplans for a ship likely to ply the Mediterranean. Use this as a board/visual aid.
  2. Work out a long list of "Things that can go wrong in a storm."
  3. Make sure these various things have various solutions. This perhaps involves a way for the nun character to accrue "points" towards a miracle as she prays or otherwise aids the efforts of others via some sort of watered down version of the rules in the Divine.
  4. Work out a rules set for the stats of a ship. Write up ways the "List of things that can go wrong" can mess with the ships' stats. Stats might be "Crew", "Sails", "Food/Cargo", etc."
  5. Work out a small rules set for the appearance of these problems over time (The storm lasts X turns) in an escalating fashion so that tension and a sense of the storm overwhelming people feels evident, as well as a slow attrition of the ships stats/resources which the mages/companions can try to assuage with magic/damage control.

This is all a bit nebulous right now, and will require some preparation and the creation of some "Storm Cards", but I thought it might get the feel of a ship in the midst of a storm beset by problems on many fronts.

That said, feedback, thoughts, or ideas for things that could go wrong would help kickstart this idea. Whatever I put together, I'll PDF and post here for the use of all.

A couple of ideas:
A crewman is washed overboard.
Cargo in the hold comes loose and slides around. The now-unevenly distributed weight causes the vessel to list to one side.
Animals tethered to the deck panic and come loose, adding to the chaos of the storm.
St. Elmo's fire appears at the tips of masts, beams, swords, cattle horns, or anything else on deck that ends "sharply". (This could be an opportunity for some vis-grabbing amidst the chaos.
Lightning strikes the mast, setting it on fire. While the fire is not large, it could easily weaken the mast making it more likely to break in the storm.
A magical sea creature is washed onto the ship with a large wave. This could be a neried, curious to see who is out in such weather. Alternatively, the creature could be dangerous to those on board.

Now it is the time to watch master and commander :slight_smile: There is a nice storm scene there.


Oooh, good idea on the Master and Commander front.

Also, LIST maybe become some sort of stat.

Groovy. Now to find some sort of deck plans. I'm guessing, rather than cogs, I should be looking at whatever Venetian merchants were floating about in.

You could also watch Airplane :slight_smile: . Perhaps the captain and other important members of the crew come down with some temporary debilitation, meaning that the PCs might have to take over.