Flight. It’s primal. It’s freedom. It’s joy. It’s a blatant disregard for the natural order of things. It’s also a core element to NPbF.
Flying vehicles are ancient things, many times rebuilt, which make their way across deserts and wastes. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes from the wooden hover ships of the Dorok to the Bumble Crows, Corvettes, and Gunships of Torumekia and the Autonomous States of the Periphery.
Flying Vehicles come in 2 “flavors” in NPbF: Incidental and Signature.
Sometimes the party just needs to get from point A to point B. These are transports and large vehicles that aren’t actually “owned” by the party or a specific player. They function more like locations than vehicles and usually consist of 1-4 Zones depending on size.
The whole vehicle gets a single Aspect to reflect what it is like ancient bumble crow or “liberated” corvette. Each additional zone might have it’s own aspect like forward flack cannon or aft hanger bay. That’s usually good enough to get the job done since Incidental Vehicles aren’t intended to get “attached” to your party and can be destroyed, lost, or stolen without much of a cost to the player characters.
Some Flying Vehicles have a bit more “character” and become integral parts of the story. In Nausicaä the two that jump to mind are The Valley Gunship and Nausicaä’s flying wing Mehve. These vehicles are part of the characters that use them and, as such, they get more narrative protection than incidental vehicles. They also function as a platform for an entire party to build something really cool.
Signature Vehicles are “bought” with Permission Aspects and stunts paid by members of the party. Any character that pays these costs gains access to all the Aspects and Stunts the Signature Vehicle offers. In NPbF skills don’t come from vehicles since computer guided targeting and autopilot are long lost technologies from a time before the 7 Days of Fire.
Signature vehicles get a bit of narrative protection. Since players devote parts of their characters to these vehicles the GM should’t lightly destroy them and should give provide some opportunity to repair, rebuild, or salvage a Signature Vehicle if possible. If the narrative makes destruction unavoidable, the characters get their aspects and stunts refunded at the next milestone. This can also be used to change aspects or stunts to reflect the shared tragedy of losing so important a piece of equipment.
Example Signature Vehicle
The personal flying wing of Princess Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is more an extension of her soul than a piece of technology. It’s intensely responsive, resilient, and an integral part of her character.
Aspects: One with the wind
- Nimble as a bird – You can use Pilot in place of Athletics while flying Mehve to catch items, overcome obstacles, etc.