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Author Topic: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game  (Read 3391 times)

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Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« on: January 02, 2014, 10:12:52 AM »
The Age of Skysail: A 17th Century Swashbuckling Airborne Adventure

Introduction-
As originally pitched by The Glyphstone:
Quote
Bioshock Infinite meets Pirates of the Caribbean. The Age of Sail never happened, replaced by the Age of Sky as colonialism and airship technology advanced hand-in-hand. Rather than send out expensive expeditions to colonize foreign soil, the great powers of Europe sent their air fleets to build flying towns and cities, laying claim to and exploiting the natural resources of the ground beneath them (and the primitive, land-bound natives who lived there). Control over the vast riches of Africa and the Americas depended on ownership of the floating fortresses above them, and with the dangers of long ocean voyages removed, gunboat diplomacy becomes as common as the more peaceful version.

The Year is 1620, war is brewing in Europe between the central powers and the east, as the Holy Roman Empire rips itself apart at the seams: Frederick V is backed by Spain and the Polish Confederacy, while Ferdinand II and his Bohemian supporters are backed by the Protestant Union (Bavaria, Denmark, Sweden, Saxony, etc.) and Ottoman Empire. England (and the Duke of Buckingham) fuels conflict in France by supporting Huguenot rebels, while Cardinal Richelieu schemes to secure his hold on the the young king, Louis XVIII through his Italian Catholic Mother, Marie de'Medici. All these machinations and maneuverings are fueled by the mad grab for resources across the Americas, Africa, and India, with European Skyships and Flying Fortresses allow them to carve up the less "civilized" world to their liking.

Managing these colonies and securing trade routes and supply is made possible thanks to the efforts of large joint stock companies such as the East India Company, The Dutch Colonial Venture Company, and the Franco-American Compact. These companies hold various charters and contracts with their national governments that allow them very nearly free reign abroad necessary to exploit whatever resources they can get their hands on. Pirate ships and fleets abound, competing with the private armies and navies of these massive companies, as well as the various mercenary legions whose fickle loyalty makes them little better than pirates themselves.

Amongst these multifarious factions, independence is hard to come by, but there are those who find a means by which to ply the skies with a degree of freedom; these Privateers hold letters of marque which officially sanction them to operate in the interest of the various great powers as agents, adventurers, spies, and emissaries, whilst preserving an air of "deniability".

System Information-
Fate Core Rules will serve as the base mechanics for this game.
Extras: Group Vehicle Wealth?

Application Process-
Please submit a character profile utilizing the following skeleton:

Code: [Select]
[b]Name[/b]: Your characters name (feel free to make it snazzy)
[b]High Concept[/b]: Feel free to throw out a couple different options here, remembering that your High Concept is your first Aspect
[b]Trouble[/b]: Your trouble, with a brief explanation of how you think it might apply in play
[b]Backstory[/b]: The Who, What, Where, When and How your character was born, raised, educated, trained, etc. Remember that country of origin (and religious affiliation) may affect the way NPCs and others interact with you. A couple of sentences, maybe a whole paragraph is all you need. Choose one Aspect derived from your backstory.
[b]First Adventure[/b]: Your character's introduction into the life of a privateer, whether that means officially receiving letters of mark from the monarch of your home (or another) country, or just setting out to make your fortune by any means necessary. Choose another Aspect from the adventure.

Feel free to throw out multiple potential Aspects you think would be good, and I'll be discussing them with each character individually. For a more complete picture, and to assist you in this endeavor, try to think of at least one way you would Invoke the Aspect and one way in which it could be used for a Compel against you. Include them, or pm them to me if you wish to keep some elements confidential.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 08:24:41 PM by chaoslord29 »

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 10:13:15 AM »
Politics
Major European Powers; Those with significant colonial interests, budding imperialist governments, and the strongest navies-
England: Virginia Colony, Plymouth Colony, Hudson Bay
France: Canada
Spain: South and Central America
The Ottoman Empire: The Barbary Coast and Near East
The Holy Roman Empire
The Dutch Republic
Portugal: Brazil

Contested Regions; Hotspots of activity where all the major players have some influence, but no major control
The Caribbean
West Africa
India
The South Pacific

Joint Stock Companies; Though (mostly) loyal to their nations of origin, these new corporations control shipping, negotiate trade agreements rights, and conduct most of the 'on the ground' business associated with exploiting the native populations and their resources. They have their own fleets and armies (and agendas), exercising a certain amount of sovereignty on foreign soil as dictated by their charters with the rulers of the European powers-
The East India Company (British)
The Dutch Colonial Venture Company
The Franco-American Compact

Technology
Day to day:
Sail Power, Muzzle Loading Firearms, Touch-hole Cannons, Coffee, Tea, Heliocentric Universe (Earth Orbits the Sun), The Spinning Wheel, Graphite Pencils, Periodicals (News Papers and Magazines)

Modern Marvels:
Flint-Lock Firearms, Compound Microscope, the Thermometer, Medicinal Tobacco, Cavorite Flight Technology, The Reflecting Telescope, Chemistry (as opposed to Alchemy), the 'Flush' Toilet, Bank Notes (Paper Money), Ice-Cream, Refracting Telescope, Logarithms,

On the horizon:
Steam Power, The Scientific Revolution, Industrial Technology, Percussion Cap Firearms, Electricity, The Mercury Barometer, Calculus, Coke Blast Furnace, Rubber, Modern Steel

Cavorite Flight Technology-
Cavorite is the particular rare and volatile mineral ore that has provided for our age of Flying ships. Aeronautical (as opposed to just nautical) vessels utilize a combination of cavorite ore which (when wet) generates an anti-grav effect allowing a ship to fly, and balloons filled with C-Gas, a byproduct of cavorite refinement. Cavorite is highly unstable in it's natural state, and will combust violently when subjected to much more than a cool, static environment: there is enough explosive power in a handful of cavorite to blow off a limb if dropped from waist height, or exposed to an open candle flame.

Experiments with cavorite as a potential military technology had disastrous consequences ever since it's discovery in the early 1500s, and it was not until the end of the century and the efforts of Alexander Mason, whose process of refinement (now known as Masonizing) rendered it into a generally stable state, with the amazing property to create lift when exposed to moisture. The byproduct of this process, cavorium trihydride, displayed similar properties and in conjunction with an iron-cavorium alloy, Mason developed the first sky faring vessels, earning himself a lord-hood and revolutionizing exploration and warfare.

C-Gas is plentiful and easier to come by, but goes inert over time and is also highly flammable.  A cost-effective solution for smaller military vessels and merchants on a budget, the necessity of a balloon takes up space that might otherwise be used for more sails, not to mention the explosive potential it represents in combat situations.

Refined Cavorite by comparison is used to some degree on almost all full-sized vessels as part of the keel or hull of a ship and water pumped from any convenient source is used to wet it and send the ship aloft. Allowed to dry out, the ship will descend slowly, but otherwise the use of rudders and planes allow for combat maneuvering. Vessels which rely solely on cavaorite can be fitted with more sails and overall canvas, making them faster and potentially more maneuverable than balloon vessels, as well as better in a drawn out fight since they have less risk of explosive combustion. Cavorite Vessels are a symbol of wealth and power, with the largest military vessels (dreadnoughts), sky-fortresses, and floating colony ships have entire hulls or else solid cores of the purest cavorite.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 06:49:51 PM by chaoslord29 »

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 10:13:51 AM »
Reserved: Character Profiles & Applications

Submitted-
Lieutenant Catrina Donalda Fraser, "A Life on the Ocean Wave" (Pumpkin Seeds)
East India Company Man (kckolbe)
Jean-Jacques ("Jack") Alvey, Finest Ships Cook in the Skies (Jefepato)
Huckster Chinese Mystic (Hairy Heretic)
Approved-
"Lia" Li Yan, Silver Tongued Emissary to the West (mai)
Sir Humphrey Irving Battle, Master and Commander (SGTDAN )
Bastard Prince of the Skies (The Glyphstone)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 04:30:14 PM by chaoslord29 »

Offline kckolbe

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 11:51:26 AM »
So does anyone have a role they particularly want to play?  For example, I'd like to play either a merchant captain or navigator.

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 11:56:26 AM »
I think we should also establish if you, as the player characters would like to have your own ship which you all crew or are the crew of, or whether you'd like to leave the door open for having your own individual ships.

Offline kckolbe

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 12:04:13 PM »
I am completely okay with being captain of a small ship that is part of a small fleet.  Perhaps 1 average warship (Nao-equivalent maybe?), 1 small merchant ship with minor defenses, and 1 ship with NPC captain/crew for later plot hooks?

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 12:06:59 PM »
I think we should all be crewmembers of one 'PC' ship - under either a PC captain or NPC captain, to make keeping the 'party' (for lack of a better term) together easier on the GM. We can have another ship or two under NPC control as part of our 'fleet' if we like, though.

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 12:57:21 PM »
I'm inclined to say players should feel free to have your own ship, so long as it can be accounted for in their backstory and has a related Aspect; "Captain of the Sparrow" being your High Concept for example.

From there we can determine if you as the PCs want to be crewmembers aboard that vessel, but I think any more than two or three ships would get pretty cumbersome. Assuming no one wants to take the plunge as Captain, I was already thinking of having some sort of mysterious benefactor as the impetus for your little party coming together. Such an individual could readily provide you with a ship, or else, help to outfit one you already have.

Offline SGTDan

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Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 01:30:50 PM »
I think we should all be crewmembers of one 'PC' ship - under either a PC captain or NPC captain, to make keeping the 'party' (for lack of a better term) together easier on the GM. We can have another ship or two under NPC control as part of our 'fleet' if we like, though.

We should run it like Rogue Trader, I think if we allow people to have their own ships, it may get out of hand. Of course there is the possibility that this could be a privateer fleet where someone is the leader and sends others on missions, lets them loose etc. That's an idea at least.


Also Chaoslord, you missed a major colonial interest for England, Hudson's Bay Company in Canada.

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2014, 01:40:41 PM »
We should run it like Rogue Trader, I think if we allow people to have their own ships, it may get out of hand. Of course there is the possibility that this could be a privateer fleet where someone is the leader and sends others on missions, lets them loose etc. That's an idea at least.


Also Chaoslord, you missed a major colonial interest for England, Hudson's Bay Company in Canada.
I'm not familiar with Rogue Trader as a game on it's own (though I know the lore via 40k), so if you could elaborate a little, I know it would be helpful to me and likely the other potential applicants as well. I also don't want to rule out characters having their own ships if that's what they really want, though unless we're going to add in the optional rules for allies/sidekicks/minions it probably won't be anything bigger than a cutter or ketch.

Altogether, the party as a whole would be well suited to make up the crew of a sloop, brig, or schooner. If you want to be the officers of a larger ship, I'd say a brig or war or sloop of war is the best bet, and at most, a small frigate.

On the whole, I'm operating on the principle that skyships have to be smaller and lighter than their nautical historical counterparts actually were. Not to say that their aren't going to be larger vessels, just that I figure there's a much greater disparity between the smallest skyships and the biggest men'o'war.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 01:43:49 PM by chaoslord29 »

Offline SGTDan

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Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2014, 01:51:29 PM »
In Rogue Trader, you all fill out the command staff of a ship. Everyone has a different jobs on the ship such a navigator,logistics etc. All decisions on tend to be a joint venture however the Rogue Trader in charge (Captain of the ship) has the final say. You basically decide what missions to do, what trade deals to broker and all that stuff as you try to strike it rich.

Quote
Rogue Traders are given a writ from the Imperium, much like a privateers, to explore beyond the boundaries of Imperial Space. This writ passes to the Trader's descendants. The Rogue Trader and his family, and the vessels they command, which can comprise a small fleet in some cases, are exempt from many Imperial laws and regulations, but is still under Imperial scrutiny. Rogue traders that dabble too heavily in alien trade, or other "heretical" practices, could still be investigated and executed by the Inquisition.

How the wiki article puts it.

Quote
Your mandate is to go beyond the borders of the Imperium, to explore the unknown reaches of space, to seek out riches beyond measure, and to risk all to gain everlasting glory or eternal damnation. You stand at the threshold of unlimited opportunity. Stake your claim.

How the official website puts it.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2014, 02:13:21 PM »
Yup. It's basically playing the bridge crew of the Enterprise - captain, medical officer, engineer, navigator, gunner, etc., complete with away-team missions - but in the WH40K universe.

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2014, 03:11:40 PM »
That wouldn't be a bad way to go about it. But I wouldn't want to pigeon hole potential players into various roles. One of the draws of the Fate System after all is that you have totally freeform character creation. No classes or restrictions on the kind of character you want to build, and I'd like to preserve that as much as possible.

I think it's best if we avoid a captain-crew relationship between PCs. Let's assume that even if you're all on the same ship, you all have your own letter's of marque or contracts (or a lack thereof) with someone other than the captain of the vessel.

As of right now, is there anyone who would definitely like to play a Captain?

Edit:
After going over the Extras section in the Core rules a few readings, and a little thought on top, I'm thinking the ship should be treated very much like a character itself (as per there suggested rules for Vehicles). I can see the appeal of having a couple of different ships or a small fleet, but I think it will be more fun and dramatic if you all feel invested and have contributed to crafting a ship with Aspects, Stunts, and Skills all it's own; much like the Millennium Falcon, or the Black Pearl.

Basically, I want everyone to invest at least one Aspect (and possibly Stunt) which will be shared or mirrored by the ship itself. Depending on what that Aspect is helps shape your roll on the vessel, and suggests that the character who invests the most Aspects, Stunts, and Skills in the ship, will be the council.

Any thoughts, criticisms, complaints, suggestions?
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 03:57:25 PM by chaoslord29 »

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2014, 04:59:29 PM »
Sounds like a neat idea, If I understand it right - say, if I take the aspect 'Too Tough To Give Up', that might be reflected in the ship as 'Tough As Iron'?

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 05:10:41 PM »
Sounds like a neat idea, If I understand it right - say, if I take the aspect 'Too Tough To Give Up', that might be reflected in the ship as 'Tough As Iron'?

That's the gist of the idea, yes, though I would say the Aspect in question should probably be a little more pertinent or directed at the ship. Too Tough to Quit is great as an Aspect goes, but it's very much a personal thing and doesn't suggest a lot about your role as a member of the crew or a relationship to the ship itself.

Something like Iron Willed Master at Arms (as a High Concept) or "Don't Give up the Ship!" would be more of what I was thinking, since those pertain directly to the vessel, and might have accompanying aspects like Ole' Ironsides, Reinforced Hull or "This Ship Can't Sink"

So the ship should wind up having at least as many Aspects as there are PCs, possibly more if some characters want to invest more Aspects related to their ship. I'll give you guys a handful of extra Stunts as well or else allow some more regular stunts to grant specific boons to the ship.

The other issue is how to handle any crew besides yourselves, which to me suggests the Leadership skill should be available to anyone who wants to be an officer, perhaps with the Skill's rating applying to relative rank on board the vessel. So if you have Leadership at Great or Good, you outrank anyone else with a Leadership rating of Average or lower. The only reason I'm hesitant on this one is that PCs being able to give other PCs orders can become a sticky situation real quick.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 05:22:49 PM by chaoslord29 »

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2014, 06:13:47 PM »
Since we're dealing with airships, what phlembotium are we employing to allow flight? Maybe a fictional mineral/gas that can be mined and converted into airship fuel, giving the colonial powers one more valuable thing to explore for and fight over? I.e. Cavorite
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 06:15:10 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2014, 06:31:38 PM »
Since we're dealing with airships, what phlembotium are we employing to allow flight? Maybe a fictional mineral/gas that can be mined and converted into airship fuel, giving the colonial powers one more valuable thing to explore for and fight over? I.e. Cavorite

I wasn't going to bring up the potential for phlembotium until someone else did, particularly as part of their character concept or idea. I'm a big believer in the idea that character creation is the first step in fleshing out the world that's being created simultaneously. To that end, I pretty much just assumed that things were exactly like they would be historically, except seafaring = skyfaring. I'm willing to say that the exact mechanism for that is ambiguous and wholly behind the scenes (reduced gravity, subtle changes to lighter than air physics, the omni-utility of quantum indeterminacy, etc).

Basically, unless you want some sort of phlembotium substance to factor into your character concept or creation, don't worry about it. That said, if you have a cool character concept, let's say the equivalent of 17th century 'Mad Scientist' (Philosopher), and that requires some creative substances, technology, or the like, then go for it!

Considering that the part of the appeal of any sort of 'punk' setting is the use of technology that is ahead of it's time and more creative, I'm thinking we should also implement a system akin to Spirit of the Centuries allowing for Futurization and the like. That means answering the question of how much we want a sci-fi element to play a role in our setting.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 06:43:39 PM by chaoslord29 »

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2014, 06:43:10 PM »
Huh....you know, I'm going to do exactly that. Dibs!

Aaaand I've got it. The illegitimate grandson of the man who first discovered the lighter-than-air properties of __STUFF__ (I'll name it later), locked out of the family entitlements and forced to seek his own fortunes. High concept of 'Bastard Prince of the Skies', referencing his grandfather's nickname of 'King of the Skies'. Could be Invoked to remember some unusual property of ___STUFF___ that he read in Grandpa's notes or papers. Could be Compelled by someone who thinks he might have more wealth than he does or some secret knowledge about ___STUFF__.

Am I doing it right? It could be paired up against Black Sheep of the Family - the Family despises him for being a living reminder of infidelity in their lineage, and most go out of their way to make his life unpleasant when it's not too much effort...but blood is blood, in the end, and some of them will stand by him when something really serious comes up (and if he's willing to pay the price for crawling to his equally despised relatives).
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 06:48:07 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Jefepato

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2014, 07:00:06 PM »
I'm tentatively thinking of making a character who's the ship's surgeon (and possibly also cook -- my sources tell me those two roles were often filled by the same person, disturbing as that might be).  If I'm reading correctly, medical treatment is something you need a Lore stunt to do, right?

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2014, 07:15:43 PM »
Huh....you know, I'm going to do exactly that. Dibs!

Aaaand I've got it. The illegitimate grandson of the man who first discovered the lighter-than-air properties of __STUFF__ (I'll name it later), locked out of the family entitlements and forced to seek his own fortunes. High concept of 'Bastard Prince of the Skies', referencing his grandfather's nickname of 'King of the Skies'. Could be Invoked to remember some unusual property of ___STUFF___ that he read in Grandpa's notes or papers. Could be Compelled by someone who thinks he might have more wealth than he does or some secret knowledge about ___STUFF__.

Am I doing it right?

Ta da! You're doing it exactly right! You may want another Aspect related to the __STUFF__ to better reflect any actual education or professional or practical experience you have with the stuff, and giving us an excuse to flesh out more about what it is.

I'm tentatively thinking of making a character who's the ship's surgeon (and possibly also cook -- my sources tell me those two roles were often filled by the same person, disturbing as that might be).  If I'm reading correctly, medical treatment is something you need a Lore stunt to do, right?

Yeah, but we're probably going to re-skin lore as the Philosophy or Academics skill. At this point in history, Science isn't science. The term hasn't even really been invented yet, everyone is still operating on the neo-classical basis for learning, which is the doctor/philosopher (which is incedentally where the modern concept of the PHD or philosophiae doctor).

Ships' surgeons however rarely had such formal training. The role of ship's doctor actually having any kind of medical expertise doesn't become a thing until the 19th century if memory serves. The surgeon is usually either the cook or the carpenter, depending on whether you need some knife work done, or something sawed through  :o

Offline Jefepato

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2014, 07:57:25 PM »
Okay, ship's cook with a side order of stitching wounds it is, then.  I'll think a bit about background.

Incidentally, is there a skill for defining how many languages a character speaks?  I think the Dresden Files version had one, but I don't see it in Fate Core.

Offline SGTDan

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Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2014, 08:06:14 PM »
Hmm thinking of a concept, maybe a British Naval officer trying his hand at privateer business?

I can take Captain



Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2014, 08:46:28 PM »
So how many Aspects should we have by the end? The character block has High Concept, Trouble, Backstory, and First Adventure - should one of those also be the 'Ship' Aspect you want people to have? Or is the 'Ship' aspect a freebie?

Offline kckolbe

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2014, 09:11:51 PM »
So thus far we have

- British Naval Officer (which I will tentatively refer to as "Admiral" in case we have more than one ship)
- Bastard Prince of the Skies (shipwright?)
- Surgeon/Cook
- Merchant type (Me)

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Age of Skysail: Fate Core Group Game
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2014, 09:14:40 PM »
Tore between going with a Steampunk soldier type or with a social type that makes connections and works contacts.