Saturday, August 27, 2016

Steamboat Deck Plans

This one might be a bit of a stretch, insofar as the intended subject of this blog is concerned, but I thought I'd share it anyway. I'm a fan of the comic series The Sixth Gun, which kickstarted an RPG last summer. Inspired by that, I drew up deck plans for a river steamboat.

1. Pilot House
Perched atop the riverboat is this small cabin from which the pilot controls the vessel. To that end, there are a number of features in this area, such as a speaking tube that leads to the boiler room; a wheel for the ship's rudder; pedals that activate the ship's bell and steam whistle; and the like. The walls of this room are mostly glass windows, proving a commanding view of the surrounding water and terrain.

2. Promenade
Located around the main, middle and upper decks are these open areas, enclosed by waist-high guardrails. They provide a place for passengers and crew to take in some fresh air and to enjoy the scenery through which they are passing. There are also staircases leading to decks above and below each area.

3. Bathrooms
While the size and relative comfort for each of these areas varies from deck to deck, their features are pretty much standardized. There are toilets, sinks and showers for those who visit them.

4. Crew Quarters
Each of these rather spartan accommodations is furnished with a bed, a storage locker (underneath the bed) and a sink. Each member of the crew does have one's own room, though.

5. Elite Cabins
Along with the furnishings found in the crew quarters and standard cabins (Areas 4 and 7, respectively), each of these rooms also boasts a writing desk and chair.

6. Cargo Hatches
On the main deck of the vessel, in the bow and stern, these broad (ten feet by ten feet) hatches provide access to the lower deck. The one in the bow opens into the boiler room, providing a means of loading the endless supply of wood needed to fuel the steam engine, while that in the stern grants egress for goods and supplies, along with any passengers' belongings that can't be stored in the cabins.

7. Standard Cabins
These rooms are outfitted in the same manner as the crew quarters, detailed above.

8. Dining Hall
Nine wide tables, surrounded by eight chairs apiece, dominate the center of this room. It is here, of course, that meals are served. Since not all of the passengers and crew can be seated at the same time, passengers who are booked into the elite cabins are given priority, followed by other guests as well as the crew. When entertainments occur, the tables can be left in position (such as for gambling events) or removed to the cargo hold below (for music, dancing and the like).

9. Boiler Room
The most striking attribute of this area is the heat. Since it takes a lot of burned fuel to power the steamboat, the boiler room is always smoldering. The huge boiler dominates the center of the chamber, while stacks of firewood line the outside walls. A team of laborers is located here at all times, ready to follow orders delivered via the speaking tube from the pilot house above.

10. Kitchen
Only slightly more tolerable than the boiler room, this is where all of the food for the passengers and crew is prepared. There is a broad cooking stove that shares a wall with the ship's boiler, along with a pair of broad tables for preparing food. Doors from this area lead into cold and dry storage rooms, which are kept stocked with food and beverages.

11. Cargo Hold
All manner of goods, supplies and other items can be found in this cavernous space.

12. Sternwheel
People don't normally come back here. In the event that it becomes necessary, however, then the Judge is encouraged to make it into a difficult and dangerous situation.

Detailed here are some of the characters who can typically be found aboard a riverboat.

The person who provides the money behind the operation can be either idealistic or ruthless, or a combination of the two. Usually, running a successful operation requires balancing the desires of the owner against the technical ability of the pilot and engineer.
Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Boating d4, Gambling d4, Investigation d6, Knowledge (History) d6, Notice d4, Persuasion d6
Charisma: +2, Pace: 6”, Parry: 2, Toughness: 5
Edges: Charismatic, Rich
Hindrances: Impulsive
Gear: Fancy suit, pocket watch, box of cigars

Hotshot pilots have a reputation throughout the American frontier for taking daring risks and, most of the time, succeeding at them. They are often flamboyant and even arrogant individuals, but their specialized skills makes others tolerant of this.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d4, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Boating d8, Fighting d4, Guts d6, Knowledge (Area) d6, Notice d4, Repair d4, Shooting d4
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 4, Toughness: 5
Edges: None
Hindrances: Arrogant, Overconfident
Gear: Clothing, Colt Navy .36

The engineer is second only to the pilot in importance aboard a steamship. He is in charge of stoking the boiler fire and making sure that there is as much steam as possible—but not too much, lest it cause an explosion.
Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Boating d4, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Science) d8, Notice d4, Repair d8
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 2, Toughness: 5
Edges: Scholar
Hindrances: Bad Eyes
Gear: Clothing, pocket watch, spectacles, tools

When it comes to hauling cargo, helping force the steamboat past obstructions, foraging for wood and similar tasks, these are the men for the job. They can be a rough and surly bunch, but they give respect to those people who show it to them.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Boating d4, Climbing d6, Fighting d6, Notice d4, Shooting d4, Swimming d6
Charisma: -2, Pace: 6”, Parry: 5, Toughness: 7
Edges: Brawny
Hindrances: Mean
Gear: Clothing, Bowie knife, chewing tobacco 

These women tend to be polite and agreeable, but not necessarily servile. Some are content with a life of relative freedom and a decent wage, while others dream of meeting someone who can take them away from it all.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Knowledge (Area) d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Stealth d4, Streetwise d6
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 2, Toughness: 5
Edges: Alertness
Hindrances: Curious
Gear: Uniform

Here's a link to a PDF version, too. 

Steamboat Deck Plans PDF


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