Paizo Tours the USS Nimitz

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A few weeks ago I gave Pathfinder fan and friend of many of us here at Paizo, Paris Crenshaw, a tour of our office. Last Saturday, Commander Crenshaw returned the favor by giving a bunch of Paizonians a tour of his workplace, the USS Nimitz!

The weather was quite frightful—pouring rain and freezing winds—but inside the supercarrier was delightful. Paris gave us an amazing tour, assisted by Lieutenant Commander Lucas Jung, RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32.


Approaching the USS Nimitz on the pier at the Naval Station in Everett, WA.

We paused for a group photo up in the flag mess where the Admiral's staff dines.

We stopped by the Admiral's office where the décor included a table whose surface was covered in challenge coins.


The fact that Pathfinder Society Challenge Coins would be totally awesome was not lost on any of us.

How can you knot be impressed by this fancy rope-work!

Winding our way through the ship we got to see the nerve center where the fleet is monitored from, the tactics center, and some other fancy control rooms. The banks of computers, switches, radar screens, and buttons made a truly impressive sight to behold, but sadly, no pictures allowed.

It was a good thing Paris and Lucas were there to show us around, as the interior is easy to get lost in.


Looking down the length of the ship.

Scuttle holes allow for emergency access in case regular exits are blocked.

Possibly the most exciting part of the tour was getting to go up to the pilot house, the bridge, and the air traffic control room at the very top of the ship’s tower. While we couldn’t sit in the Admiral’s chair on the bridge, we did get the opportunity to sit in the Air Boss’s chair and see what he sees from his perch in the air traffic control room.


Sutter feels the need, the need for speed.

Myself and my son Mikey by the USS Nimitz bell.

Everyone had a wonderful time and we are incredibly grateful to Paris and Lucas for showing us around. It was quite an amazing experience! (And of course, we left a nice big box of rulebooks for the crew to enjoy in their library after we left).

Sara Marie
Customer Carebear

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Contributor

Great blog. Thank you for donating the rulebooks for the sailors.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

What a great story. I also think it is road trips like this that help fuel the imagination. My guess is you might have left the tour thinking of how you could translate some of what you saw into some Paizo products.


That's awesome!

Grand Lodge

Be ready for Pathfinder Aircraft carriers of the inner sea region.

The Exchange

I served on the Nimitz back in 92-95, when they were across the Sound in Bremerton. I recognize a couple locations in your photos, but the commander obviously has access to places a lowly nuke did not, and I probably had access to places he didn't :)
but yeah I remember being intimidated by its size when I first reported aboard. You used to have a two week course called FAM&I that all aboard had to take to learn where you could go and where you couldn't.
But after a while it just becomes routine, part of the landscape. Its surprising what you can get used too.

Liberty's Edge

Chernobyl wrote:

I served on the Nimitz back in 92-95, when they were across the Sound in Bremerton. I recognize a couple locations in your photos, but the commander obviously has access to places a lowly nuke did not, and I probably had access to places he didn't :)

but yeah I remember being intimidated by its size when I first reported aboard. You used to have a two week course called FAM&I that all aboard had to take to learn where you could go and where you couldn't.
But after a while it just becomes routine, part of the landscape. Its surprising what you can get used too.

Chernobyl, thanks for your service. I was stationed aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) when I was in the Navy back 95-96. I was an electronics tech and had to go all over the ship to maintain different electronic systems.


Small gameworld, Chernobyl. I was on Nimitz from 91-95 in AIMD's calibration lab.

You might remember me as the worst cal tech in the Navy.

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

I was lost on an Carrier while taking a tour many years ago. It was in San Diego. I just remember getting separated from the tour group and being found by an angry officer.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Hopefully, that officer was more angry at the tour guide than he was at you, Caleb.

I don't think I lost anyone on the tour. We got all of our badges back, at least. Paizo will have to let me know if someone has been missing from work since the tour. ;)

It was an honor and a privilege to show off the NIMITZ to the Paizo team members, that day. And their thoughtfulness in bringing books for the crew was phenomenal.

Thanks, again, folks! And I hope those who celebrate it have a very Merry Christmas!

Scarab Sages

FAWESOME!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So that's what a customer service carebear looks like, and her son looks good enough to eat.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I second Aberzombie's FAWESOME!!!!!!!!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Awesome story!

Sarah, your son is adorable: I'm an expert, having my own adorable Mikey at home. :D

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Very cool. Did they take you to a berthing space so you could appreciate how the sailors live? That's quite an eye opener for a lot of civilians.

Ah, coffin racks, how I miss you...

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I recognize most of the Paizo family in the group picture, but who's the woman in blue on the left side?


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Those pics brought back memories. I was aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt from 2000 to 2003.

About the coin thing, it's more of an Air Force thing than it was ever a Navy thing.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Chris Mortika wrote:
I recognize most of the Paizo family in the group picture, but who's the woman in blue on the left side?

That's Judy's squeeze Jessica—Paris kindly extended the offer of a tour to spouses and kids as well. :D

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber
CalebTGordan wrote:
I was lost on an Carrier while taking a tour many years ago. It was in San Diego. I just remember getting separated from the tour group and being found by an angry officer.

Was it on the Midway?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

This blog post is full — FULL — of awesome. :-D


Paris if your duties ever take you and the Nimitz to Sydney, let us know and I am sure that a few of us will buy you a beer if you have time.


I'm sure the Air Boss was nice but the real air traffic control happens in the Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC). :)


Served aboard the USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) from 2000 to 2003. Quite a lot of fond, and not so fond memories. The thing I miss the most is being out to sea at night. When you are in the middle of the Atlantic, the night sky is just amazing to behold.

The Exchange

Fletch wrote:

Small gameworld, Chernobyl. I was on Nimitz from 91-95 in AIMD's calibration lab.

You might remember me as the worst cal tech in the Navy.

Sorry, I worked in #2 plant, in Reactor Dept. I had little to no interaction with anyone from AIMD. Our jobs just didn't cross...

Merry Christmas!

The Exchange

William Sinclair wrote:

Very cool. Did they take you to a berthing space so you could appreciate how the sailors live? That's quite an eye opener for a lot of civilians.

Ah, coffin racks, how I miss you...

yeah, the 4" thick mattresses I don't miss at all.


Soluzar wrote:

Those pics brought back memories. I was aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt from 2000 to 2003.

About the coin thing, it's more of an Air Force thing than it was ever a Navy thing.

I can't speak to Air Force or Navy, but they are quite common in the Army. I was always under the impression that it was a military-wide custom, at least in the U.S.

I think they would be an incredible addition to Pathfinder:

Challenge Coin
Caster Level: Varies by level of Coin
Description: When presented by one PC or NPC to another, the character being presented with the coin must either present their own coin of higher Caster Level or be forced to drink one beverage of the Presenters choosing.
Creation: Craft Wondrous Item, Command

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Thanks for the invite 8th Dwarf! I don't know if I'll be that way anytime, soon, but if I do, I'll definitely let you know. I've had the pleasure of visiting Sydney a few times. It's definitely one of my favorite places in the world.

The "challenge coin" is what other services call them. I used that term because that's how most people know them. In the Navy, we usually refer to them as "command coins" and they are given to individuals as a special memento of a visit to the gifter's command.

I like BioNaut's idea for a special coin item, though. ;)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is a great blog post! I grew up an Air Force brat, and my entry into Dungeons and Dragons was only made possible in my small town in Michigan due to the fact that Wurtsmith Air Force Base was also in said small town, and had enough "Flyrods" on base who played to support a gaming store in Oscoda, Michigan, a town two hours away from any mall.

Grand Lodge Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paris Crenshaw wrote:


I like BioNaut's idea for a special coin item, though. ;)

Already ordered for PFS and included in the updated Guide 4.3 ;-)

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

the Haunted Jester wrote:
CalebTGordan wrote:
I was lost on an Carrier while taking a tour many years ago. It was in San Diego. I just remember getting separated from the tour group and being found by an angry officer.
Was it on the Midway?

I can't remember. This was summer of 2002, maybe 2003. The ship seemed to be having maintenance or construction going on at the time.

The officer that found us was clearly mad, but was polite as he could be considering he found two teenagers wandering around. We were actually just trying to find our way off the ship so we wouldn't get in trouble. He was about to personally escort us off the ship when the tour guide showed up. They talked in private for a moment, the officer not happy with the guide, and then we were showed the rest of the tour.

It was enjoyable and pretty darn cool. One of those would be an epic floating mega-dungeon if someone could ever write up something for a ship that colossal.

Sovereign Court Contributor

CalebTGordan wrote:
the Haunted Jester wrote:
CalebTGordan wrote:
I was lost on an Carrier while taking a tour many years ago. It was in San Diego. I just remember getting separated from the tour group and being found by an angry officer.
Was it on the Midway?

I can't remember. This was summer of 2002, maybe 2003. The ship seemed to be having maintenance or construction going on at the time.

The officer that found us was clearly mad, but was polite as he could be considering he found two teenagers wandering around. We were actually just trying to find our way off the ship so we wouldn't get in trouble. He was about to personally escort us off the ship when the tour guide showed up. They talked in private for a moment, the officer not happy with the guide, and then we were showed the rest of the tour.

It was enjoyable and pretty darn cool. One of those would be an epic floating mega-dungeon if someone could ever write up something for a ship that colossal.

Well, the closest RW example back in the late medieval period were the Chinese bǎochuán, which I think would make an awesome setting for an adventure. Particularly if they're haunted or infested with monsters. But magic maybe could make an carrier sized version...


Tallknight1974 wrote:
Chernobyl, thanks for your service. I was stationed aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) when I was in the Navy back 95-96. I was an electronics tech and had to go all over the ship to maintain different electronic systems.

As Fletch said, small world. I served on the Vinson from 97-01, in A-Div.

Silver Crusade

Unexpected weekend blogs! Awesome show, Navy crew! :D

that ropework is rather humbling...


That's really cool. Those things are like floating cities. Did you get to see the engines? And PFS challenge coins would be great. I received a USS Philippine Sea challenge coin when I was a subcontractor working on the ship, they're fun to collect.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Bionaut, challenge coins are also quite common in the Air Force. Our tradition is for one airman to slap their challenge coin down on the bar or table at the "club." Then everyone has to pull out their own challenge coin and slap it down on the bar. The person who does not have a challenge coin with them buys a round. If everyone else also has a coin with them, then the person who issued the challenge buys a round for everyone!

My unit (103 ACS) makes up a special coin for each deployment.
Generally, commanders and generals have their own coins that they give out. Chiefs (E-9) and Shirts (First Sergeant) also often have their own coins.

Michael Brock, a PFS coin is a neat idea (I'd buy one). You could also make up Venture Captain coins (that have to be given/earned) and even 5-star GM coins (that require the requisite rating to purchase)!

-Aaron

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Itchy wrote:


Michael Brock, a PFS coin is a neat idea (I'd buy one). You could also make up Venture Captain coins (that have to be given/earned) and even 5-star GM coins (that require the requisite rating to purchase.

That would be a big frickin' cool deal.

Granted, there are only 20 of us who could buy the product ...

EDIT: We might just have to arrange for that ourselves.


Itchy wrote:

Bionaut, challenge coins are also quite common in the Air Force. Our tradition is for one airman to slap their challenge coin down on the bar or table at the "club." Then everyone has to pull out their own challenge coin and slap it down on the bar. The person who does not have a challenge coin with them buys a round. If everyone else also has a coin with them, then the person who issued the challenge buys a round for everyone!

My unit (103 ACS) makes up a special coin for each deployment.
Generally, commanders and generals have their own coins that they give out. Chiefs (E-9) and Shirts (First Sergeant) also often have their own coins.

Michael Brock, a PFS coin is a neat idea (I'd buy one). You could also make up Venture Captain coins (that have to be given/earned) and even 5-star GM coins (that require the requisite rating to purchase)!

-Aaron

That's pretty similar to the way the Army (or my Brigade, at least) used them: When presented with a coin at a banquet, dining out, etc., you respond with one of your own, if you have one. If both or all parties have them then it is decided by who presented the coin with the highest rank, e.g. I have a coin from my Colonel, but you have one from a Major General, so you win. That's why I said higher Caster Level :)

On that note, I have several coins without rank, as they were given as mementos by civilians I worked with.

And I think a floating fortress dungeon would be incredibly awesome!

The Exchange

Nickolas Russell wrote:
That's really cool. Those things are like floating cities. Did you get to see the engines? And PFS challenge coins would be great. I received a USS Philippine Sea challenge coin when I was a subcontractor working on the ship, they're fun to collect.

The engines are steam turbines, and no, no civilian tour would include that area (on a nuclear powered ship). Back in my day, even the ship's safety officer would not be allowed into the machinery spaces.

Liberty's Edge

My daughter is stationed on the USS Nimitz now (she just joined the Navy late 2012)...maybe she will pick up a core rulebook to read while she is there and be ready to play next time she comes home!!

She was reporting to duty about the same time this blog was posted...

Tim


Good luck to your daughter. Good or bad, its an experience to never forget.

Still can't get used to thinking about women on board. I served on the Nimitz from 85-89 (also reactor # 2) and they were just starting to try women on board. I think the area they set aside for women's quarters had a couple of marine gaurds outside, just in case.

Also fond and unfond memories, but when I transferred to San Diego for my last year to a sub tender, things really improved. If I could have stayed there, I would have reupped.

The Exchange

I was aboard during the ED-SRA after the 1993 WESTPAC, and that's when the modifications for women's quarters were installed. It took quite some getting used to seeing women aboard a combat vessel, but we were sheltered quite a bit by the fact that none of them were nukes (there would have been at least an 18-month lag to open up the nuclear training program up to enlisted women and put them through that pipeline) so I never really had to work with enlisted females. We did have some female officers in nuke-school though.

Congrats to you daughter, she's now on the oldest serving nuclear carrier out there. :)

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