Ripping Air Yarns

Ripping Air Yarns

Featuring “The Phoenix”

Setting Notes

These pulps deal with air piracy, espionage, sabotage, smuggling, etc.

Pulp Examples

  • G-8 and his Battle Aces

  • Bill Barnes

  • Kerry Keen

Helpful Clichés

  • Aviator/Aviatrix

  • Spy

  • Gadgeteer

  • Explorer

  • Bootlegger (Smuggler)

  • Flying Ace

  • Foreign Legionnaire

  • Marine

  • Military Veteran

  • Soldier of Fortune/Mercenary

  • Trusty Greasmonkey (Mechanic)

  • Gambler

  • Bon Vivant/Dilettante/Socialite

Sample Character

John Scipio – “The Phoenix”

  • Masked Avenger (4)

  • Daredevil Aviator (3)

  • Crack Airplane Mechanic (2)

  • Lucky Shots [] [] []

  • Personal Aircraft (as per Sidekicks rule in the Risus Companion) – “The Phoenix”

    • Tri-phibious Fighter-Bomber Made From Salvaged Airplane Parts (3)

Backstory (Tale): As a young man, John Scipio was fascinated by the miracle of flight, in its youth even as he was. At the age of 15, John managed to find a way to France and joined the Lafayette Escadrille, a squadron of American pilots flying for the French government in the Great War.

Although he was not a pilot when he arrived, and served in a variety of subordinate roles in the squadron, he displayed an aptitude for flying and due to losses was soon pressed into flying in the waning days of the war. After the Armistice, he could not satisfy his hankering for flying stunts, so he joined up with a barnstorming tours at air shows.

However, the tours proved to not be a steady income producer, so John started a business as a commercial air courier. One day, John was flying over the U.S.-Canadian Border when he was attacked by air pirates. His plane was forced to crash-land. The pirates raided his cargo while John lay unconscious and bleeding. They left him for dead, but he survived. Finding an abandoned airfield, he began building a fighter-bomber capable of landing on land, water, or ice. Once it became operational, John dubbed it “the Phoenix” and set off to find the air pirates. When he meets them again, “The Phoenix” will have the upper hand, and the air pirates will be put out of commission – permanently. Until that time, John has adopted the identity of “The Phoenix” after his aircraft. Although he is determined to make the pirates pay, John takes on spies, saboteurs, and smugglers, fighting crime while he searches for his sworn enemies.

The plane bears no markings other than an illustration of a phoenix rising from the flames.

House Rules

Vehicle rules – Compare cliché of pilot with cliché rating of aircraft. Use whichever dice is higher for rolls. This simulates two things: A good pilot can get the most out of even a bad aircraft, and a good aircraft can make an average pilot better.

Creation: Use “Sidekicks and Shieldmates” rules from Risus Companion Questing Dice Another Advanced Option presented in The Risus Companion is Questing Dice. This option allows a player to spend one of his cliché dice to purchase up to five (5) Questing Dice. Each one can be used to supplement any roll related to a particular quest that the character may be on. For example, using the above sample character, John Scipio, instead of spending one die to purchase three Lucky Shots, we buy five Questing Dice. The limitation is that these can only be used to supplement rolls related to his quest of discovering the air pirates who tried to kill him. However, they would not always be used in rolls related to his vigilante cliché.