Alexander Kent & Sloop of War

jedion357's picture
October 9, 2014 - 5:50am
Wayback 30 years ago I first read this story and loved it. Turned out there were 20 some books following Captain Bolitho from midshipman to admiral.

Sloop of War opens with his being posted to command a sloop during the American Revelulion. Note Bolitho is in the British navy.

I read about 8-10 of these stories before tiring of them- Kent's characters are a bit flat, sort of like the dwarves in the Hobbit, the book not the movie, but that was more of a convention of the time for the genre of literature he was writing in- the characters are what they do not who they are.

Still Sloop of War is a fabulous read and I'm currently rereading it.

However, I just realized that its a great bit of inspiration for a RPG adventure.

Encounter one is about convey duty and would result in a KHs battle.

Encounter two is an AD style action with possible KHs action with a headquarters company of British soldiers in retreat with gold bullion and a general who also happens to have a family member in government (lord in parliment) where Captain bolitho must take on an army Col. and company of Canadian woodsman and deliver them to the area where this general was last reported to find and rescue him form capture somewhere in the Delaware Bay.

I know that the novel builds to a final show down with the American Privateer "Bonadventure" which is encountered in the first combat but it also seems that Kent wrote in an episodic style that would let you chop up a book into episodes or encounters for a RPG sci-fi or otherwise.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Jaxon's picture
October 9, 2014 - 4:16pm

Putraack's picture
October 10, 2014 - 10:20am
Indeed, interesting. I sometimes play around with converting novel battles into game encounters.

I think I've read 1-2 of Kent's WW2 novels, but not any of the Bolithos. I have read Hornblower through twice, and am on my 2nd voyage through Patrick O'Brian's masterful series.

jedion357's picture
October 10, 2014 - 10:44am
Encounter 3 is interesting in that the big American privateer returns from episode 1 and the political hack general from episode 2 is back and Bolitho is caught between a rock and a hard place. I cant believe how much of the novel I forgot but then its been 25 years.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
November 4, 2014 - 10:51am
Just read "Stand into Danger" which is two books before Sloop of War. This one is not episodic like sloop of war and the hero is a mere 3rd Lt. on a frigate. It wiould make a decent enough action adventure RPG module: 30 year mystery of a missing treasure ship, spies and treachery, boat actions and desperate boarding actions and a finale naval battle, where a traitor and pirate gets his due.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!