Lufbery Circle

The World

The world consists of inhabitable mountain ranges and plateaus above a dead desert. It is inhabitable but desolate. The inhabitable locations are high and isolated like islands, thus why air travel is so important.

Small aircraft called awyren (rens, for short) are the most common. They are typically two seated and have long range, but low cargo capacity. They are maneuverable and rugged. They don't need much space to take off or land. Lufbery Circle is a fantastic world, so awyren do not need follow real world flight characteristic. In general awyren are about as capable as late WWI fighters except they are tougher and can manage some VTOL type capabilities. They need fuel, but their ranges are very high.

Aircraft using the same principals as awyren scale up to about the size of large cargo planes, but larger awyren tend to be slower and less maneuverable.

Even bigger airships exist. Larger airships, called awyrlong (long) function like naval warships. They are similar to large zeppelins, but much more efficient, heavier, and stronger. They scale all the way up to battleships, but there are also lightly armed transports. Another common type is the flying dock, a repair and salvage ship. Most awyrlong carry at least a few awyren.

The larger mountain ranges and plateaus are controlled by nations, who have built large airforces. Some also control armies. In addition to these are Rovers, freelance pilots tied to no particular nation. Most take on contracts from various small nations or communities, and in some cases larger nations that have reasons not to be directly involved. There are also many ruins of older civilizations, mostly in the desolate desert from when the world was a greener and lusher place. Rovers raid those occasionally, despite some religions viewing them as sacred.

The players will generally take the role of a Rover group, trying to survive in the larger world.

Character Creation

Lufbery Circle has several advanced options for character creation to represent individual characters. Additionally, each Pilot flies with a Navi, a second character created by another player in the campaign. Lastly, the group as a whole creates the Base and its Owner, a special location and NPC for the party. Lastly, you help the GM build the Adversary, a major recurring opponent for the game.


Each Pilot starts with Panache 6 and Skill 6. When creating your Pilot, you have seven slots to spend on Talents. These represent bonuses to certain kinds of actions. Each Talent has a description that refers to what kinds of actions it benefits. For each slot you spend on a particular Talent, you get +1 Skill for actions relevant to that Talent. No single Talent can have more than three slots devoted to it. If you can explain how an action is relevant to more than one Talent, you get the bonus Skill from all relevant Talents.

Each Pilot also has a Weakness. This is described similarly to a Talent but instead of granting bonus skill, when the Pilot attempts an action related to their Weakness they cannot spend Skill on it.

Talents and Weaknesses should be specific enough that they cannot always be used. A Talent for Racing is acceptable, as is a Talent for Close-in Fighting. A Talent for Fighting would be too broad. Similarly, a Weakness in Fighting would also be too broad. A Weakness in Deception or Killing, however, would be acceptable.


In the world of Lufbery Circle, almost no one flies alone. Controlling an awyren on your own is a very difficult task, so Pilots fly with a Navi. In most cases the Navi sits behind the Pilot and manages such things as fuel mixture, communication with other awyren, and navigation.

Each player works with another to create Navis for each other. When your Navi is with you and working on your behalf, you get two bonus Skill. This cannot represent a Navis have four slots for Talents and one Weakness. When attempting an action related to your Navi's talents, you get bonus skill. In most cases, even if your Navi is not with you, you can still gain this bonus skill due to their actions on your behalf off screen. However, when an action is related to the Navi's Weakness, the Navi cannot help you. You do not gain their usual two bonus Skill.

The Base

Once everyone has a Pilot and a Navi, the group works together to describe their base. This can be anything from a mother airship to a mountain top base to your favorite bar next to a ramshackle airstrip. The base also has an owner. The owner is a special NPC. If the Base is ever lost, the party gets to create a new base by the end of the next session. The base has a few special functions. Design Note - to be determined.

The Adversary

The Adversary is a special NPC opponent that the GM controls and has special choices for. The Adversary is built like a Pilot. They have Skill and Panache, Talents and Weaknesses. Additionally the choice of Talents and Weaknesses helps the players tell the GM the kinds of things they would like to see in the game.

The Adversary may work for or even lead the bad guys in a game, may represent his own unique threat, or may even be more of a rival rather than an out and out enemy.


Lufbery Circle uses the combat rules from Red Eagle, modified to be used for task resolution outside of combat. In addition to the more complex character creation, there are some further options for out of combat actions.

Design Note - these will be added later.

The Name

A Lufbery Circle is a defensive tactic invented in WWI and named after French-American ace Raoul Lufbery. He didn't invent it so it's unclear how it picked up his name. The idea is that a group of slower/less capable aircraft will form a horizontal circle when attacked by faster/more capable opponents. It gives the slower planes an advantage since it's hard to put yourself into a position to attack one aircraft without getting in the sights of another. Over time, the term has shifted to become a synonym for a close turning engagement, what people tend to think of as a classic dog fight. In the game, the players are typically skilled pilots, but as part of small freelancing groups are also underdogs in the larger world, so the name is a metaphor for their situation as well.