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A Four Deck Bionicle Ship for TTRPGs

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It feels surreal finally posting on BZP after over a decade of lurking. Nice to meet you all. A few months ago, my friends and I started a TTRPG using RSG's system. The RPG started on Metru-Nui a few hundred years before Lhikan's team came to prominence. Eventually the game was meant to turn into a globetrotting adventure aboard an ancient ship. Part of the mystery of the game would be unwinding the ship's backstory, why it exists, what it was made for.

Now, our RPG ended before it could really begin; school started, RSG changed the system too much (no blame being thrown onto RSG btw, the game system is still in development right now, we should've waited until the system was complete), you all probably know how most campaigns end.

However, I put a lot of work into developing the ship that we were going to explore the MU with, which was going to be called The Lava Hawk. It had four decks, fully fleshed out stats, unique mechanics, a unique backstory, everything. I'd like to lay it all out here in case anyone finds it interesting. I'd like to share what I made with you all. I may decide to adapt and continue our campaign as an epic some time in the future, or maybe my group will actually continue or campaign, so I won't be posting the full-fledged DM backstory description of the vessel. Instead, I'll be posting the package I sent to everyone in the party. First up was an in universe description Great Archives entry on The Lava Hawk.

-------------------------------------------------- THE LAVA HAWK ---------------------------------------------------
----------                                      Ancient Modified Freighter                                      ----------

Accessing The Great Archives Database . . .
Please Enter Security Code: ****************
Welcome, Archivist. Please enter the file you want to access: File Index = 0439607329-C
Access Granted.

NAME:         The Lava Hawk
CLASS:         Unknown
OWNER:         Toa Mahanga
OPERATORS:     The Toa Agni
TYPE:         Heavily Modified Light Freighter
ACTIVE:         Unknown - Unknown | 98,022 M.N.C. - Present
LENGTH:         29.33 Bio (132.0ft = 40.23m)
BEAM:         27.33 Bio (123.0ft = 37.49m)
HEIGHT:         10.67 Bio (48.00ft = 14.63m)
DECKS:         4
MAX CREW:     9


AC:        8  [1 Pilot]
        10 [1 Pilot + 1 Copilot]
        11 [1 Pilot + 2 Copilots]

SPEED:        3.704 Bph (16.67mph = 7.451m/s) [1 Pilot]
        7.407 Bph (33.33mph = 14.90m/s) [1 Pilot + 1 Copilot]
        11.11 Bph (50.00mph = 22.35m/s) [1 Pilot + 2 Copilots]

ACCELERATION:   1.111 Bph^2 (5.000mph^2 = 2.235m/s^2) [1 Pilot]
        2.222 Bph^2 (10.00mph^2 = 4.470m/s^2) [1 Pilot + 1 Copilot]
        3.333 Bph^2 (15.00mph^2 = 6.706m/s^2) [1 Pilot + 2 Copilots]

HANDLING    -9 [1 Pilot]
        -8 [1 Pilot + 1 Copilot]
        -6 [1 Pilot + 2 Copilots]

SIZE:        Colossal

CARGO CAPACITY    82.96 B^3 (7560ft^3 = 214.1m^3)

============================== [MOUNTS] ==============================
FORMAT:     Ranged
KEYWORD:     Instillation
AMMO TYPE:    Kanoka Disks
STYLE:         INT
SIZE:        Large
CAPACITY:    High Capacity Disk Launcher
RANGE:        Long Range 
MOUNT STYLE:    Half-Turret
QUALITY:     Continental 
IHP:        25
DAMAGE:        4d8
CAPACITY:    24 rounds
RELOAD:        8AP
RANGE:        180/720ft
MOUNT STYLE:    180deg Fore
REPAIR:        DC 8
AC:        12


    [OBSERVATION DECK] One Aft Mounting Point

    [BRIDGE] Three Pilot's Chairs
    [MESS HALL] Starboard has a Refridgerator, Oven, and Several Cupboards. Port has a Viewscreen, Dining Table with seats for nine, and a Pinball Machine titled 'VORTIXX VORTEX'



    [CREW QUARTERS] Two beds per room, in bunk configuration, and one chest for each crewmember. Each room has its own porthole
    [CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS] One King Sized bed, four chests, and a wallmounted viewscreen with the ships' Nav-Data on constant display. There are also three large windows on each side of the cabin

    [ENGINEERING] One large generator that powers the whole ship, and three large batteries that act as a backup. If an engineer wanted to service the jet engines, he would walk out onto the catwalks above the cargo bay and open one of the access panels that runs along the walls.

    [GUN PLATFORM] One Fore Mounting Point, currently occupied by a Ka-Koronan Double Barreled Kanoka Launcher
    [CARGO BAY] A large room intended to hold cargo, currently empty. One Aft Mounting Point on the external side of the Cargo Bay Door. Has volume of roughly 82.96 Bio cubed.

    [WINGTIPS] One Mounting Point per wing.
    The Lava Hawk was retrieved by Toa Mahanga from the catacombs beneath Ka-Koro, a small hunting village on the Southern Continent. The Lava Hawk was given its name by Taramea, a Ta-Matoran of the same village, because of the ship's passing resemblance the heavily armored birds of the same name. After being discovered by Toa Mahanga, it made a four-day journey from the village, located in the Black Rock regions of the Southern Continent, to Metru-Nui. On its way, it stopped at Makuta Gorast's fortress on the Tren Krom Peninsula, where Toa Mahanga was advised to take the Northeastern Passage to avoid Zakaz as far as possible. [1] Apparently, the ship's navcomputer is incompatible with any of our databases, and so cannot accept any of The Archive's currents maps of The Universe. Currently, the ship's navdata only consists of The Southern Continent, The Northern Continent, and Metru-Nui. [2]

    While Toa Mahanga and his newly formed Toa Team, the Toa Agni, were off taking care of a murderous group of Skakdi terrorizing one of the lower class Le-Metru districts, the ship was scanned and recorded into The Great Archives. During my initial appraisal of the vessel, I was surprised to discover that The Lava Hawk is an incredibly ancient model, hitherto undocumented in The Archives. Its builder is also unknown, having no serial number in any Metruan format, or any other recognized format for that matter. If it is possible to count it, a large number "Six" is painted onto the ship's rudder. [3] The Archives have sent this "serial number" and the ship's specifications to our correspondents at the Xian Industrial Index and the Steltian Institution of Records, but we have little hope of further information from them, as the two states are currently engulfed in a cold war with one another.

    To further discern the ship's origins, an inspection has been made by both Pekka and Golyo, the leading Po-Matoran experts on foreign architecture. Pekka believes the ship to be Old Zakazian in origin, because of its elegant design and the yellow tint of its protodermis. However, he also notes that the ship is uncharacteristically large for an Old Zakazian design [4]. In any case, the island's inhabitants infamously went mad over 70,000 years ago, so it will be impossible for to reach out for any confirmation from the Zakazian 'historians'. On the other hand, Golyo suspects it to be of 11th century Xian craft, because of the ship's aggressive build and high modularity, though he admits that the yellow tinted windows, recreation room, and three pilot configuration are uncharacteristic of the Vortixx, who have been always been frugal no matter which century they were in [5].

    In addition to the inspections by Pekka and Golyo, Tiribomba, the Ta-Matoran protodermis expert, was consulted to give his opinion on the ship's dermic composition. Tiribomba concluded that the ship's hoods were made of a very durable form of protodermis unknown to him, almost organic in nature [6]. In a response to this, Kotu, Ga-Metru's expert on crustaceans, was consulted. In her report, she confirmed that the hoods of the ship were organic, having similarities to those of the shell of the Manas Crabs, a species until recently thought to be extinct. In addition, Kotu discovered that the ship's air bladder is taken from a Great Temple Squid, and not made of an artificial fabric [7]. The discovery of Great Temple Squids being used in the ship's construction paired with Pekka and Golyo's appraisals puts the ship's construction squarely in the northern half of The Universe, though it is impossible to further empirically discern its origin at this moment. As the ship is made from some organic components, it is possible to use carbon dating to determine its rough age. According to scans, the ship is somewhere between 90,000 to 100,000 years old, dating its construction sometime between 8,000 on the Metru-Nui calendar, or possibly at 2,000 B.M.N.C, which is 2,000 years before the founding of the City of Legends itself! 

    The ship's age has attracted the interest of several of Ko-Metru's premier theologians. In particular Kantai, a scholar who specializing in the Artahkan and Karzahnian myths, believes that The Lava Hawk may be one of six ships from an obscure myth from the book of Matamua. In the myth, it is said that Artahka, Lord of the Afterlife, had noticed that many matoran were damaged before they had finished their duty to Mata-Nui. In a response to this, he created six ships for his brother Karzahni, Lord of the Underworld. Artahka commanded Karzahni to use the ships to carry damaged matoran from the mortal plane to the realm of Karzahni, where Karzahni was to fix them and send them back to finish their destiny. However, Karzahni was greedy, and instead used the ships to kidnap matoran to be used as his slaves. When Artahka found out about Karzahni's sins, he was enraged. He cursed Karzahni, casting him into the Field of Shadows. The six ships were filled with all the damaged matoran, who were sent back to the mortal plane to live the rest of their lives [8]. Even to this day, young matoran are told by their mentors to not be naughty, or Karzahni would return, and take them to his kingdom to be used as a slave. Kantai believes that The Lava Hawk is one of the six ships from the myth. He cites the ships age as a primary piece of evidence. Along with this, he points to the large "Six" engraved on the ship's rudder and Manas shell being used in its construction [9]. Manas shell is important because the crabs were said to be the brutal servants of Karzahni [10]. If this ship is the same as one of the ones from the myth, it would go a long way in proving that Karzahni and Artahka actually existed, having massive implications for the city's religion. Many Ko-Metruans are already convinced that the ship is the same as the one from the myths and have taken pilgrimages to the ship's docking platform to pray against the return of the Demon King [11].

    If the ship is of divine construction, the ship's exceptional speed and craftmanship would be another piece of supporting evidence. Matau, The Green Devil himself, along with Toa Mahanga and the Marka the navigator officially tested the ship's flight capabilities. It was found that the ship could reach a maximum speed of over 11.11 Bph and had a maximum acceleration of 3.333 Bph^2 [12], statistics that even the fastest of Metruan ships could never hope to reach. The only things that The Archives has on record faster than The Lava Hawk are Toa extremely adept with the Kanohi Kakama, a Kanohi Dragon, or a Terrain Crawler. On top of The Lava Hawk's speed, the ship has five mounting points compatible with the standard mounting point system; one fore, one two aft, one port, and one starboard. Only the fore mount is in use at present, being occupied by a cheap South Continental kanoka launcher, apparently a parting gift from Ka-Koro.

    Finally, Shu, the genius Le-Matoran engineer who headed the Level 7 Kanoka Lift project and a personal friend, spent a day examining the peculiar ways that The Lava Hawk gains its lift. While modern airships gain their physical lift from a combination of Level 7 Levitation and Weight Increase Kanoka, The Lava Hawk utilizes only Level 2 Kanoka, explaining why it needs to employ alternative forms of generating lift. During flight, the ship gains most of its lift from a pair of large, static wings on either side of the hull. The wings have been molded according to an ancient, crude method of "foiling" the wings. The shape of the wings artificially controls the airflow around the wings to make the air pressure below the wings greater than the air pressure above it, providing enough lift to keep the ship aloft. While landing, The Lava Hawk folds its wings into a vertical position, relying entirely on its airbladders and low level Kanoka to lower it to the ground safely. While inefficient, the ship seems to have no trouble following standard Metruan air traffic policies, so its construction has not been altered to keep up with modern standards [13].

    Overall, the ship is an anomaly, and has stirred many debates among the archivists as to its origins. Unfortunately, as the ship is private property it cannot be claimed and preserved by The Great Archives. A supreme pity. While Toa Mahanga assures me that he and his teammates will treat his ship with the upmost care and respect, I somehow doubt that the Skakdi or other, more nefarious members of Makuta's creation will. While the ship is out on an away mission with the newly formed Toa Agni, I will be attending a debate with Whenua and Tehutti about where we believe it could be from. Personally? I believe it is of Xian origin, the speed and sheer amount of mounting points (likely for guns) are a dead giveaway.


Kodan, The Metruan Chronicler. “[Toa Mahanga Arrives From Southern Continent].” The Wall Of History 2 Jan. 98,022MNC.: Carving.

The Lava Hawk's NavComputer. 1/1/98,022MNC.

Midak, Onu-Metruan Chief Aeronautical Archivist. An Initial Study of The Lava Hawk. Onu-Metru: The Great Archive's Public Database, 98,022MNC. Digital.

Pekka, Po-Metruan Historical Architectural Carver. “An Archaeological Inspection of The Lava Hawk.” Carver Bi-Monthly Vol. 608141 (98022MNC.): 61–77. Carving.

Golyo, Po-Metruan Historical Architectural Carver. “The Lava Hawk Viewed From a Historical Architect.” Carver Bi-Monthly Vol. 608141 (98022MNC.): 78–96. Carving.

Tiribomba, Ta-Metruan Protodermis Expert. Lab Results on Dermic Composition of The Lava Hawk. Ta-Metru: Protodermis Quality Control Labs, 98,022MNC. Digital.

Kotu, Ga-Metruan Crustacean Biology Teacher. “A RAHI LOVER'S NIGHTMARE! LAVA HAWK FOUND TO BE MADE OF DEAD RAHI! SECRETS OF THE ANCIENTS DUME DOESN'T WANT YOU TO KNOW! [A Biological Report on The Lava Hawk's Composition]” Ga-Matoran Across Metru-Nui Vol. 600894 (98,022MNC.): 1–56. Print.

New Dume Edition. 4th ed. Vol. 2. Ko-Metru: Ko-Metruan Theology Ministry, 93066MNC. Carving.

Kantai, Ko-Metruan Theologian. “A Study of The Lava Hawk: Finally Evidence of Karzahni's Six?” Mata-Nui's Universe 728128 (98,022MNC.): 1–35. Digital.

New Dume Edition. 4th ed. Vol. 1. Ko-Metru: Ko-Metruan Theology Ministry, 93066MNC. Carving.

Kodan, The Metruan Chronicler. “PRAISE BE TO MATA-NUI! [Dozens of Worshipers Visit Holy Vehicle].” The Wall Of History 4 Jan. 98,022MNC.: Carving.

Matau, Le-Metruan Daredevil, Ga-Metruan Navigator Marka, and Ka-Koronan Toa-Hero Mahanga. “Velocity and Acceleration Test Data for The Lava Hawk.” Jan. 6 98,022MNC.: Digital.

Shu, Le-Metruan Aeronautical Engineer [Level 7 Kanoka Lift Leader]. A Physical Exploration of The Lava Hawk. Le-Metru: Motohub Weekly, 98,022MNC. Digital.

-------------------------------------------------- THE LAVA HAWK ---------------------------------------------------
----------                                                   End of File                                                     ----------

Archivist, would you like to save this file to your external storage chip? [Y/N] Y
One Moment . . . Saving File Number 0439607329-C to your external storage chip
Saving complete.
Would you like to continue to search the Great Archive's Database? [Y/N] N
Have a wonderful day.


The first reference in Midak's report on The Lava Hawk, Chronicler Kodan's report, was actually a real piece of inuniverse fiction written for the game's players. One of the comic side plots we had going on was the competition between  Chronicler Kodan, writer of the most popular Wall of History in Po-Metru, and Chronicler Kapura, who was the writer of the alternative Wall of History in Ta-Metru. Kodan was a more respectable, well-to-do reporter, while Kapura was a conspiracy theorist. Kapura would write something slandering Kodan's integrity as a reporter, then Kodan would drop snobby hints in his WoH articles about how inferior "some" Ta-Metruans were to Po-Metruans. Eventually the joke expanded into having actual inuniverse articles written by the pair that served as a humorous record of our game sessions. The inuniverse article in question was written a little bit before Kodan's personality as a snob was fully developed, so it's a lot more dramatized than what he usually wrote. Despite that, the article is important because it expands upon how The Lava Hawk was discovered by a party member.

[Toa Mahanga Arrives From Southern Continent]

By Kodan The Chronicler


Mahanga crouched at the edge of a cliff overlooking the vast fields of his savanahh homeland. His hunting party had just decided to head back to their village after yet another unsuccessful day. His Jade armor was scuffed and scratched from years of going without repairs. He looked at the rest of his friends, all either Le or Ta Matoran. They were were in similar states of disrepair, brandishing splintering bows and wearing tattered rags. 
    Mahanga's stomach rumbled, longing for food. He fingered the string of his bow and thought of the past. It had not always been this way. He remembered a time when Ka-Koro, him home nestled in the valley at the center of these mountains, had seemingly endless food. Back then it was protected by Toa Waka, their Toa of Fire. He would lead the hunting parties and return with bounties of food.
    But that was then, and this was now. Turaga Waka was in no shape to lead another hunting party after he expelled his energy protecting the village from freezing many winters ago, and the Koro's supplies were running thin. If Mahanga's party or one of the others could not bring back food soon . . . well, he didn't want to think about it. His musings were suddenly interrupted by a yell of fear from one of his friends.
    A band of marauders had ambushed Mahanga's party! Mahanga let off two shots from his bow at the bandits, then took off higher into the mountains with the rest of his band. The group ran into a cave. Not wanting to continue the chase, the marauders collapsed the entrance to the cave, leaving the hunters to starve. Mahanga decided to search for a way out. He walked for what felt like an endless number of bio, holding his lightstone out in front of his body. The tunnels wound around and around, in and out, all the while filling Mahanga's ears with an absolute, total, maddening quiet.
    And still he pressed on, until he saw a light in the distance. With a reinvigorated sense of excitement, he hurried towards the light. Finally, he reached the light. It was a large spherical room, with a small shaft running from the surface to many kio beneath the room. Near the entrance to the room was a Toa Suva. On the far side was a pedistal with three objects on its surface: an ancient Kanohi Kamawai, a keystone, and a toa stone. Mahanga was shook, reminded of a legend told by Turaga Waka. It was foretold that one soul would find the long lost resting place of Toa Kamawai, said to be the legendary creator and namesake of the Kanohi. Whoever discovered the tomb would be granted the strength of the ancient hero, and be granted a ship that could defy gravity. This hero of prophecy would then travel to the City of Legends at the soul of the universe, and bring prosperity back to Ka-Koro. Mahanga had always thought that this was merely a tale that Turaga Waka had made up to give the more imaginative matoran hope, but the evidence to the contrary was right before his eyes.
    Mahanga knew what must be done. He slid the toa stone into the suva, and was filled with power. His limbs lengthed to nearly twice their normal length, he felt his muscles grow in size and strength, elemental engeries pumped new life into his veins; he had become a Toa. Mahanga looked over his new form, amazed at his new form. Looking around, he noticed that his body wasn't the only thing that had changed; his old hunting bow had transformed too, into an Airbow. It's composition was made of pure protodermis, neatly detailed as if a craftsman had made it by hand. It felt light in his hand, as if it were made for him.
    Mahanga then turned his attention to the Kawamai. Fitting the kanohi onto his face, he was granted the power of rebounding. Mahanga contemplated what to do next. Eventually, he noticed that the keystone was roughly the size of the hole in the ground. On a hunch, he dropped the keystone into the hole, waited for it to hear it hit the ground, then activated his mask power, pulling the key back to him. Gears that sounded as though they had not turned for a millenia began to grind somewhere below, and the shaft at the center of the room began to widen, letting more and more light from the outside into the cavern. Simultaneously, a platform began to rise from the depths, bearing an ancient airship. When everything had settled, the shaft to the outside had grown large enough to let the airship pass out to the surface.
    Quickened knowing that he had discovered a means with which to escape from the tunnel, Toa Mahanga hurried back to his friends, and told them what had happened. Amazed, the group boarded the airship and flew out of the tomb, emerging at the heart of Ka-Koro, where the old dried well had stood less than an hour before. The village rejoiced that night, with a celebration held in Mahanga's honor. The villagers were glad that it was one of their own who had rediscovered Kamawai's tomb, and wondered that they were alive to see the old prophecy fulfilled.
    The following morning, Turaga Waka told Mahanga that it was finally time; Mahanga would go the the City of Legends, Metru-Nui. He told Mahanga to head due North until he saw glistening spires on the horizon.
    "I do not know what you will find on your travels, Mahanga," said the Turaga, "Much will have changed since I travelled to our universe's soul, all those years ago. You will finally encounter matoran of other elements. Some beings will help you, others loathe you. No matter what has changed, there is only one constant in this universe: a Toa's duty to protect the heart of Mata-Nui, The Matoran. To aid you in your quest, I leave you my old toa tool, my microdisk launcher. I was quite the mechanic back in my day, you see I added a net launcher and grappling hook function to it. You may not be very familiar with this weapon, but it should pack quite a punch if your foes ever get close to you. Now go, and do not look back. Return to us with aid, I fear we may not be able to withstand another winter."
    And so Mahanga lifted off on his ancient ship, christened The Lava Hawk after the birds he had been hunting only one day before. He had many adventures travelling north. Most notably, he made a shakey ally with the Makuta Gorast while helping defend her castle on the Tren Krom Peninsula, gained the ire of the residents of De-Koro by upsetting a very noisy group of birds when doing target practice from the airship, and made close friends with several Zakazan Skakdi while teaching them some of his techniques on hunting airborn rahi. Finally, after months of flying he saw it rising out of the horizon, Metru Nui. What adventures awaited him, in this city of legends, he wondered as he settled his craft down in a Le-Metruan airport. Would he really be able to help his old village out? What allies would he make? Filled with strange mixture of excitement and uncertainty, he took his first step off of The Lava Hawk.
So, that was all the inuniverse stuff written for the ship. In our actual campaign, we didn't get to use it for much. When we first used the ship, we parked it in a Po-Metruan canyon and snuck from the ship into a Skakdi base hidden in the craggy, uninhabited outskirts of the metru. We were planning on going back to use its forward facing kanoka launcher to blast open the front doors of the base, but that was when we stopped meeting for the campaign. I think after that the DM's plan was to have us set off on an adventure to Zakaz to figure out why there were Skakdi in Po-Metru, which would then lead to an expansive adventure spanning the entire universe. You know, that sort of epic RPG story. I'm all sad that it ended. Apart from the text-based stuff, we had a full Tabletop-Simulator map of the ship and the MU ready to explore.
Oh yeah! The MU map is almost 1:1 the one Bonesiii made. I love that map, it's pretty much my headcanon. We didn't model the legs because we weren't planning on going down that far.
image.thumb.png.4743ecb4302ea4769da541872c74855d.pngThe Southern Continent and the Northern Continent were pretty fleshed out for the campaign, since like half of our party was from one of these locations, and we also made locations for all of the abandoned Barraki Castles, so I'll post them here as an addendum. Wa and Pe-Koro were sister islets caught in a civil war, would've been a minor sidequest for the party to fix. Pe-Koro was also the former home of Vican.
On top of home-villages for our party, Kahlmah's Castle is at the peak of the Twin Brothers' mountain. Gorast's Castle was originally Mantax' Castle.
The floating island at the heart of Keetongu housed the fortress of Carapar.image.thumb.png.44d04728e24674f01bed40d32569d3d2.png
Barraki Ehlek once ruled from the center of Zakaz Lake. (It's partially submerged because Ehlek was an aquatic being)image.thumb.png.750f68f192c1d4e60c4e4d7c0e5b97a8.png
And finally, we have Pridak's fortress, converted from Stelt's greatest coliseum.
So yeah, that's the ship. If you have any questions about the ship or anything, we can do it below. One thing that I should note about this ship is that it was designed first in minecraft, then converted into a TTRPG map. RSG works on a 5ft grid system, while minecraft works on a 1m~3ft grid system, so we were planning to do unit conversions from the 5ft to 3ft system. If you want to use this design in one of your RPGs, keep that in mind.

Ooh, on top of that, the mount system was different from than RSGs since our ship was much larger than anything RSG allowed for. I don't actually know how the mount system works in the current RSG system, I'm waiting until the full release of v1.0 before I jump back into the system. If anyone from RSG sees this, good luck! I think it's a great idea to make a Bionicle RPG system, I'm really looking forward to the first full version!

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