My original conception of Skyjack was centered around what would be fun to do. My short answer was electropunk aerial swashbuckling. This has been evolving for some time, but I want to turn back to the root and talk about characters. If you played in this setting, what could you be? What could you do? What role could you fill in a party?
The “traditional” party for this setting is the crew of an air courier ship. The players might be a private enterprise, air pirates, part of a larger business or a government team. Regardless of origins or motives, a ship’s crew has a few common roles.
Captain: The captain calls the shots, organizes the crew, grants bonuses and deals with officials. Captains have to be skilled fighters, able to fly a ship, negotiate a deal and most of all have strong leadership skills.
Mechanic: In a world of scavenged technology, few people are as vital as a mechanic. The mechanic keeps the ship together and makes repairs to the hull and frame. Mechanics can’t deal with core components like the generator or engine, but they’re handy with a wrench and duct tape. Mechanics are usually tough figures on their own, and probably handy brawlers.
Sage (name tentative): Sages know high technology. They do what mechanics can’t – keep the power supply running, fuel use processing and engines firing. Sages always try to improve their education through books, lore and teachers, as well as collecting high technology. They’re mostly academics, but often have a small assortment of powerful gadgets. Sages might be institutionally trained or a grassroots freelancer.
Toughs: In the dangerous skies of Skyjack, every ship needs at least one guard. They’re as often friendly with the captain or other major crew as they are mercenaries. Toughs might be burly heavy weapons experts, or refined academy-trained swordsmen. They often double as a cargo hand.
Salesman: Any private enterprise needs someone to make deals, negotiate prices and find work. Salesmen are internationals, familiar with the major ports and dealers. They also know local laws and pirate codes. They’re usually dangerous sorts all their own with a pistol tucked in every cuff. Some might be clean-cut professionals while others are rough traders.
Pilot: Every ship needs a sky jockey. If anything, pilots are ballsy. They come in every shape and attitude, from cool efficiency to wild recklessness. Most pilots also know a thing or two about mechanics, and might have a military or pirate background.
Spiritist: The fuel source in Skyjack has pseudo-spiritual properties, and plenty of spiritualists abound. Sages usually find spiritual use of fuel a waste of resources, but many shrewd captains find their presence valuable. Spiritists might have sway over natural phenomena, healing powers, or other supernatural skills derived from the setting’s fuel. They’re usually esoteric and down-right strange, but each is different. One might be a monastic disciple while another is an animistic hedge wizard.
That’s it for now. The list can always use expanding.