Crew as Character

Here is a design question for the group –

If you were going to create a crew sheet in a similar manner as a character playbook, what would the actions be? I’m interested in reconceptualizing cohorts through crew actions. Personally, I’d have less than 12. I’m thinking along the lines of:

Hunt (spy?)


Trying to do something like this with a combined Crew/Character playbook. XD Though in this case it’s for a living ship.

I’m going with 4 actions atm (each sorta jankily mapped to 3 of the 12 actions) that are related to Sailing, which the ship can be specialized in. I think for Blades, I’d just crunch down to ratings in each of the attributes (or possibly 2 ratings in each attribute, one for actions and one for resistance)?

Hmm, 12 seems like a lot for a crew. It doesn’t seem like it would have the same need for granularity as a character does? Many of the things you’re listing seem like they’d be group actions by the members of the crew in vanilla Blades.

Personally I’d go with more like 4 actions in a single category. One for moving, one for fighting, one for figuring things out, and one for communicating maybe. Resistance would work the same as for a character of course.

Knowing what you need it for would help. If it’s a ship like @michelle192837 it’s relatively easy, you just need cool and thematic words for the setting.

Thanks – I playtested using “ship actions” for a hack and it didn’t work that well. It reduced player / character agency. I switched to having the ship traits give quality or potency to specific actions based on how they were used by a character or cohort (or group action).

Now, I’m playing with the idea of a “Syndicate” playbook – Along the lines of Band of Blades, the players have a board of directors type role, and also an elite reaction team (the character playbooks). So, a scale trait would give a specific number of downtime actions that the syndicate can take and the action ratings are used to actually take that action. So, it might be influencing society or a government to consider a certain action, reaching out through a network of informants to acquire information, developing a technology project, infiltrating an institution, assaulting or sabotaging a rival, etc.

It may also be possible to create playbooks for “division heads” that are all based on how they can use cohorts within their division…

Right now, I’m just playing with ideas for potential use as a secret organization or criminal organization in a modern hack, or as a guild or King’s council crew type in a fantasy hack.

I’m currently looking at doing something like 6-8 “ship” actions and 2-3 “crew” actions for one hack. So players only have a few stats, and the ship has most of them.
Currently the ship (which is a quadrupedal mech) has
Mark: Scanning and shooting
Haul: Moving itself and dragging/lifting things
Build: Engineering and terraforming
Power: Enhance other systems, charge up big abilities.
Defend: Activate internal security.
Analyze: Do science.

and the crew (players) have just
Scramble: Move from one station to another within the Walker
Fight: Battle within the Walker
Fix: Repair damaged systems.

I definitely agree with ebrunsell that having the ship itself do actions is probably going to take too much away from the characters. So my primary idea is that only crewed stations can use their action. So the player actually at the “Mark” station is the one who would roll to shoot.
It is something I put together for a playtest but I haven’t gotten a group together to try it in play yet.

My experience with ship actions might be because I didn’t have enough. It got so that only a few characters had things to do during a airship combat - fire the guns or fly the ship. Once in a while, someone could fix some damage. Most airship fights ended in boarding actions - and those were awesome.

I’m leaning more towards a band of blades style role / campaign phase for an organization, but I want to try other approaches too.

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Yeah, I’m hoping hostile terrain (that requires lifting with Haul and terraforming with Build) and a variety of interesting enemies that can get inside your ship will make it more interesting.

Boarding is definitely where the fun is in a traditional RPG where characters have lots of their own actions and equipment.