The Glittering Trumpet of Kutaraja

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Renegade Jennys and Boilerplate Jacks cover

A game of Renegade Jennys and Boilerplate Jacks.

Game pitch

So there I am, curled up in the crawlspace between the two private drinking rooms, trying not to breathe too loudly.
In the room on my right is Cut Nyak Dhien, conspiring with her nationalist friends on how to hijack the airships of the Achehnese fleet once the Dutch attack. In the room on my left, Suraphan Phisut, the Thai ambassador, is meeting with who-the-hell knows, detailing his plan to get into the royal treasury once the Dutch blockade turns back into an invasion force.
And of course it’s all I can do to keep General Koëler pinned and quiet. What is it about Dutch military men that they can’t hold their liquor? The man had no idea what kind of danger he was in.
Of course, neither did I...

Kutaraja, capital city of the Sultanate of Aceh, has lived under siege by Dutch invaders for five years. Something is about to break, and it's no coincidence the picaros have just arrived in town. The Court of Kutaraja features daring heists and bold thievery, the messy politics of monarchy and imperialism, and courageous hope in the face of certain doom.

Airships, steamworks, sorcery, skullduggery. Politics, crime, espionage, and the occasional good deed. Renegade Jennys and Boilerplate Jacks is a game of outcasts surviving in an unhinged, steam-powered world. Taking its cues from Firefly, Blake's 7, and Farscape, this roleplaying game invites you to play disreputable steampunk heroes in a world that's already tried once to throw them away.

The game may start in the Sultanate of Aceh, but expect it to also visit the ruins of Angkor Wat, the ancient city of Samarkand, the Princely State of Hyderabad, and, perhaps, the ruins of lost Atlantis itself.

The game is deliberately non-Eurocentric and non-colonialist. A lot of it covers the fun bits of the 19th century world that the Europeans either didn't pay much attention to, either because they didn't have much influence or what was there didn't fit with their worldview. (The irony of the game being written by one white Western man and run by another hasn't escaped me.) This is also a playtest of the rules, so there may be playtest credits for players in this game. The game is written by Josh Roby, whose credits include Smallville, Full Light, Full Steam, and Tribe 8.

Same page Description

  • Who prepares the story? The GM preps a situation with NPCs and interesting hooks. PCs and NPCs just do what seems right at that moment. This might or might not lead to a good story.
  • What can players contribute to the story/setting? Their character's thoughts, actions, and backstory, plus occasional story bits when they spend a resource (such as whimsy cards or hero points) or make certain kinds of rolls, subject to GM's approval.
  • The rules will be followed come what may (it's a playtest as well as hopefully a fun game).
  • Player characters are expected to work together. Major conflicts might erupt and never see reconciliation.
  • How brutal is the game? Whenever I miss a roll – and sometimes even when I make it – I want the situation to escalate.
  • Doing the smartest thing for your character's survival sometimes isn't as important as other choices.
  • After many sessions of play, during one session, a player decides to have her character side with an enemy. This is: a meaningful moment, powerful and an example of excellent play.

Characters

(Includes Exemplars swapped after session 2)

Lady T

Lady T

(played by Angelika Walkusz)

Actor: Uma Thurman from Kill Bill

Exemplars

Eye-jewelled ring of power (2d)

White-skinned statuesque lady (4d)

Shining hearing-enhancing earrings (3d)

Ancient Quick white katana (3d) (From The Spoils trick)

Classes

Mondaine (d6)

  • Familiar Face
  • Belle of the Ball

Duelist (d8)

  • Taunt
  • Riposte
  • The Spoils

Approaches

  • Grace (d8)
  • Reason (d6)

Languages

  • Fluent Arabic
  • Fluent English
  • Broken French
  • Fluent Mandarin
  • Broken Spanish
  • Broken Russian

Lokinelle Bennu

Loki

(played by Maz Moran)

Actor: Siobhan Fahey from Shakespear's Sister

Exemplars

Otherworldly magical greatcoat (3d)

Eclipsing Cunning moonstone sword (2d)

Porcelain smiling morrigan (4d)

Classes

Theurgist (d8)

  • Secrets of the Universe (keywords: starlight, phoenix, shadow)
  • Arcanovore
  • Dispel

Duelist (d6)

  • 30 Paces
  • Weapons Master

Approaches

  • Grace (d8)
  • Reason (d6)

Languages

  • Broken Arabic
  • Fluent English
  • Broken French
  • Broken Mandarin
  • Fluent Celtic
  • Fluent Hebrew

Charlene "Charlie" Buer

Charlie

(played by Sarah Schiff)

Actor: Lana Kane from Archer

Exemplars

Coat of many things (3d)

Steel-capped suede boots (2d)

Tanned feisty femme-fatale (4d)

Classes

Hustler (d8)

  • Confidence
  • Misdirect
  • Sleight of Hand

Midnighter (d6)

  • Trophy
  • Contacts

Approaches

  • Misdirection (d8)
  • Force (d6)

Languages

  • Fluent Arabic
  • Fluent English
  • Broken French
  • Fluent Mandarin
  • Broken Spanish
  • Broken Swahili

Mohit Madan

Mohit

(played by Robin Poole)

Actor: Hrithik Roshan

Exemplars

Hydraulic hand grapple (2d)

Electric gun blade (3d)

Encrypted scroll case of Mambo Violine (2d)

Beautiful blessed wooden arm (4d)

Copper-skinned stubbled colossus (4d)

Bandamasa, a talking wise-ass rainbow snake (3d) (from Totem spirit trick)

Classes

Revolutionary (d8)

  • Damn the men
  • Unite!
  • Manifesto

Spiritualist (d6)

  • Old ways (Keywords: plants, decay)
  • Totem spirit

Approaches

  • Force (d8)
  • Misdirection (d6)

Languages

  • Fluent Arabic
  • Fluent English
  • Broken French
  • Broken Spanish
  • Broken Swahili
  • Fluent Hindi

Ports of Call

Details of the places the picaros went to and were going to visit.

Session writeups

There's also a writeup thread at UK Roleplayers.