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Old 03-15-2010, 02:38 AM
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Default Encounters and Descriptions for Last Submarine

Encounters and Descriptions for Last Submarine

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For those of you who found that you had to do that little bit of extra work for the Last Submarine module, I offer up my own encounters and descriptions. BTW, please bear in mind a certain degree of artistic license and possible plagiarism. This is not intended for serious publication but simply was used by me with my players. James Axler's Deathlands series (particularly "Dectra Chain", "Pilgrimage to Hell" and "Seedling" were used), Herman Melville's "Moby Dick", Harlan Ellison's "A Boy and his Dog" and Robert R. McCammon's "Swan Song" were all made use of. "The Day After" was also a source of inspiration.

1. The road to New London: under a lead colored sky they march. The highway is a junkyard of wrecked hulks and frozen, scavenger gnawed corpses. Now and then a slinking canine shape or two dart across the road, a whining growl heard from them. Crows caw and circle in the cold air. Leafless trees seem suspended in time. Beyond the road, the occasional small town or farm seems to be strewn like litter. In the distance here and there smoke can be seen from a fortified farmstead.

2. New London arrival - Cold snow blows over the ruins on the edge of town. Past a low skyline of rubble, bits of heavy masonry or the shells of long scavenged vehicles two big solidly girded bridges can be seen. There are a few sturdier structures here and there but few with four walls and a roof. Here and there in some areas there is a faint haze of smoke. Now and then a dog barks or the lonely sound of a gull crying can be heard.

3. A scavenger - Old man with rheumy eyes and a dirty grey beard peering from under a shapeless hat, his clothes old, patched, stained and filthy. Lumpy boots on his feet, the gait of an old bird. He has a heavy walking stick with nails stuck through one end, and a satchel bag over his shoulder. Answers to the name of Stan. He is armed only with the stick and a knife, he has a bit of salvage in his bag (he has a bottle of aspirin with two left, some dry cat food in a Ziploc bag, some spooled up strands of scavenged electrical wire, a pair of pliers, an old Zane Grey novel he is using as toilet paper, and some water that was boiled a few days ago and has a musty flat taste. He knows that there are people living on the old Sub base, that there are others living in other parts of New London. Most folks died either in the long cold winter or in the plague recently. Coughing hacking puking plague. Bad plague. He’s just lucky,he guesses.

4.As they pass along the ruined streets there is a sense that they are being watched. Perusal reveals fearful eyed ragged people peering at them here and there from amid shelter in the ruins. These people scurry into the shadows if at all pursued, regardless of the manner in which it is done. Only the helpless or those like themselves are actually approached, those who are well armed are regarded with fear and dread.

5. The bridges. A local gang called The Metal Masters commands one bridge, the one main highway bridge closest to the New London Naval Base. By command is meant that they are basically living on it at one crucial end. They have wrecks of vehicles, shelters and such combined to make a sort of small encampment/shanty town. A kid called Robin, hard faced, hard eyed but perhaps only about 17-18 runs the gang, which are all roughly his age or a bit younger, of which there are eighteen. They are armed with an assortment of pistols, crossbows, bows and hand weapons, roughly 12 armed with pistols and a couple of .22 hunting rifles. Faced with a well armed group they will warily back down if they take some hits, but will otherwise ask for a toll, which would basically amount to roughly 10$ equivalent in current trade per person. The truth is that this gang, one of the few remaining in the area, are getting rather hungry and desperate, since almost no one around has anything worth stealing anymore. If they are given reason to they will negotiate or bug out.

6. Crossing by river:
part 1- From the shoreline, the wharfs and docks along both sides of the river can be seen. Some are damaged. Ice chunks float in the river, and also other debris. There are a few boats tied up. If one is stolen, people nearby are on watch and may have dogs, a stealth roll is required target 7. However, one can be hired; extended families of salvagers and fishermen guard their place on the river jealously and they are as difficult to approach as medieval castles, however some arrangement can be made. If they are given the TW2000 price of a boat (100$ for a small simple rowboat or canoe, $5,000 for a small sailboat or large launch, 10 for a small motorboat and enough fuel to get across and back, 20 for a large motorboat) they can simply have it, since it would be in trade goods this would be more than enough to provide. For say fresh water for a day or food for two they can get ferried over. No renting. If this happens the fisherman is a grizzled pair of brothers called Jerry and Eric, both wirey men who are Yankee silent and are armed with double barreled shotguns. They live in an old house not far from their dock which is heavily fortified with tires, sandbags, parts of vehicles.

part two - Crossing by river: They head for a largely damaged and ruined dock area, going right up to the shore, warily, calling out as they approach. Apparently this is politeness and also a way of avoiding getting some nervous bastard to shoot at you. Gulls are stirred to the air by this. The houses nearby are mere heaps, much of the more valuable timber taken, only really heaps of plaster and useless broken concrete and brick and small pieces of glass left. The fishermen will remain for only a short time, they will expect to be paid more. If asked why they are not working, they shrug and reply that they really just check traps.

7. The Naval Base - Near the remains of a building’s wreck can be seen two largely intact structures, which are a naval museum and a naval hospital. Both are now occupied. There is wreckage everywhere else, and what appears to be a refugee camp. Torches whip on the cold wind. A makeshift town of card board boxes, broken down automobiles and trucks, tents and trailers can be seen. A sort of raggedy ass militia exists, which consists of people with shotguns, hunting rifles, knives, axes, makeshift clubs, who form up tensely seeing the group approach. This is at a fair distance by day, about 300 yards by night. A middle aged man in a dirty brown raincoat and woolen cap, of the sort of rawboned build that does well under privation, shouts, “Stay back! We don’t want no trouble here!”, aiming a Winchester 30-06 at the group, while another man wearing the remains of a USAF uniform, his face splotched with keloid scars, aims a .357. A thin woman with stringy hair, sunken eyes in a threadbare coat that might once have been very handsome tensely aims a Remington 700 at them. She will stare at any attractive or even just clean and healthy looking women in the party with hatred.

8. If approached reasonably or with a white flag a red bearded man wearing a leather coat and a leather forage cap who claims to be Steve Pogue comes up, toting a Mossberg 500 12 gauge casually. He is gaunt faced. Pogue used to be a security guard for an armored car company after leaving the US Army. He is not interested in joining anything. He has a bleak sense of duty, recently enhanced by dealings with the monks. He will explain that the monks and others have taken over looking after the very sick in the hospital. Pogue doesn't know much in the rumor department; he arrived about a week and a half or so ago among a group of refugees and when revealing his employment history was begged to take charge of what passes for a camp militia.

9. The hospital is lit by oil lamps where crucial and by torchlight or daylight where not. The hospital is attended by brothers of the Franciscan order and also by anyone else able to help. The men and women here are wearing worn and stained garments, either old nurse or doctors’ smocks, habits, robes, etc. No weapons are permitted inside. A fierce eyed monk called Brother Dominic insists. He will request aid from them, and will be somewhat contemptuous unless some sense of the mission’s importance is conveyed. He will then reveal what he can. Basically a Father John O’Grady was one of the few anyone locally knows who could definitely say he was present when the mob swarmed into the base. He had gone to try to remonstrate and by sheer miraculousness averted personal harm. However he has gone on to Boston, hearing of the presence of evil there. Apparently, according to merchants and refugees from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the gangs have taken over most of Boston and are vying for control amongst themselves.
(note: alternate tale, for those like me using a supernatural subplot: people have begun burning their dead in fear of them rising, hungry for blood. Apparently these are no zombies but cunning monsters with devastating strength and the ability to vanish at dawn and rise again at dusk. So they say.) This could also be simply added as a strange rumor.

10. None of the subs at the museum work. However much of their useful parts were stripped, their remains are used as shelters or as means to store fresh water or fuel. Local industry…such as it is…is largely salvage, making methane, using the methane to boil water and cook food. They sell some of the salvage to fishermen from the outer banks who come in now and then to trade for methane, since it is cheaper here (though of lower quality) than in Rhode Island or Cape Cod. They don’t know when the next fishing boat will arrive, but they are largely from the UBF and the UBF has a trading post in Providence, Rhode Island.

(Note: there were four mini subs on display as well as the USS Nautilus, which has had what working or salvageable parts removed from it)

11. Shelter for the night: the monks have provided a sort of way house in a Quonset hut. Among other refugees the players may find some rest for the night. In the night the soft sounds of a lullaby, the liquid rustlings of sex, and moans of the weary and despairing are not enough to keep people from their sleep…There is a sort of ‘road code’ established that forbids stealing under such circumstances. Many here are just grateful to be under a roof and safe from obvious harm. The militia, such as they are, patrol the immediate area of the base, torches and weapons clutched fearfully against the terrors of the night.

12. Note, this encounter can take place any time the gm needs the players to be moved around in a ship. This may be the one that drops by to do a little trading before moving on northward.
30. A 3 masted whaler is at dock! Painted black with white piping, the painting rather weathered but clearly done fresh in the last while, with people moving on her decks and by her docks. Goods are stored in the forehold under the forecastle, then the casks for oil, beside that towards the stern the blubber room and beneath that the lower main hold. The steerage area where most of the crew rest, and the galley near there. Then direct to the bow the Captain’s cabin and stores below. On the main decks the windlasses that are fore and aft, the try works pots on the main deck, and the quarter deck above that. She is called the Salvation, her Captain being Pyra Quadde, a strange rather ogrerish woman who carries a steel shod cane and comes from a queer clannish part of Nantucket. (I described her as looking like Anthony Quinn in drag) Her crew include: Cyrus Ogg (First Mate) Jack Walsh (Second Mate) Donovan Flynn (Third Mate) Kenneth Hill (Ordinary Seaman), Jacob Dyer (Ordinary Seaman, a lunatic) and Mr. Ten (Harpooneer, his real name being Don Philips, a half blood Wampanoag, so called because he constantly scored ten for ten in a harpooning constant when he used to be part of the tourism company on Nantucket). The crew consists of a total of about 45, and there are enough rifles and shotguns for all of them. The ammunition is kept locked away normally though there are always four sentries with rifles. On the deck there are .50 caliber machineguns bow and stern, as well as two swivel mounted M60s. There are also a few other women aboard, Cobie Kasson, Patryce Wilson, Ina Hay and Lourdes Domingo, who are all fairly tough working class women, one way or another. Like many here this was almost an accidental way of living. For instance Cyrus Ogg was a sailing master for a rich guy who has long since vanished. Patryce Wilson was US Navy, stranded when everything went kaput. Kenneth Hill just happened to have done some serious sailing including for fun and adventure signing up on a National Geographic tour involving a Clipper ship. Only Pyra Quadde however is a mystery. What is known of her is that she was a museum curator on Nantucket, and one of the things she had as part of her responsibility were several tall ships that were at harbor, most not truly seaworthy. She was the widow of a wealthy industrialist and suspected in the early years of the war that the ships might come in handy. In the end three were put to sea, two of them made for whaling, the other made for merchant work. She has a high place in the UBF, and aboard her ship she is supreme ruler. For a fee (roughly $50 per person in trade goods), proving of useful skills and agreement to work passage, or else agreement to sign up for service with the UBF marines she will transport.
(Note: I haven't actually put down stats for the amount of ammo or arms for the simple reason that this is not meant to be a violent encounter. My players simply have booked passage. While they have stated that they are operatives for Civgov they just showed their regular orders which are to establish contact with local communities and to check for signs of various epidemics.)

To be continued with: The Road to Rhode Island.

DeaconR




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Targan

DeaconR, you ole' savant you. I strongly suspect the next part of my campaign will be the beginnings of the Last Sub modules. This stuff you have written is great, really atmospheric. And of course you know that we share a love for supernatural themes in our campaigns. I intend to use at least some of this material, so thanks a lot. I have a sense of sadness, though... I suspect some or all of the Metal Masters will be sacrificed to The Blanket (I just have this feeling), and the sailing ship and its crew - lets just say that if they don't tow Po's line, I reckon they will end up flotsam and jetsom. I'll let you know how it goes (LOL).

Targan





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DeaconR

Thanks for the compliments, Targan.

About the ship: I would suggest that making the UBF a very tough organization not to mess with is a very important aspect of this module. And really, fifty bucks equivalent of trade is not much when you consider how much resources each player probably has. My players got aboard in exchange for a health and comfort pack. (basically in my game stuff like makeup, deodorant, toothpaste, etc are luxury goods worth a lot in trade)

DeaconR





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Targan

We are of an accord with the value of trade goods. And I agree that the UBF is a very tough organisation, but the UBF is where it is due to the absence of a more powerful force in its AO, and the tacit approval of one of the governments (MilGov, isn't it?).

I do my damndest to roleplay NPCs accurately, and I certainly don't kowtow to Po's player, or to Po in-game. But the problem is that the vast majority of NPCs just have no idea what they are dealing with when it comes to Po. The best possible outcome from the UBF's perspective would be for negotiations to go horribly wrong the very first time that organisation meets Po in person, and for one or more decent sized rounds of ammunition to tear through Po's ultimately frail body (what joy that thought brings me, gives me a thrilling little shudder just thinking about it). Because I can virtually gaurantee you, if Po realises what the UBF is about before they realise what he is about, the UBF won't stand a chance. Po and his cult (sorry, unit) are absolutely ruthless and completely lethal.

The other thing is that Po's party seems to be focussing on its water ops capability lately. Secretly boarding and taking over ships is just the sort of thing Lt Commander Jones loves to do. Failing that, Po's psuedo-Kiowa Warrior would be just the thing for reducing a sailing boat to tinder from several kilometers away. I guess we will just see what happens.

Targan





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DeaconR

Hm. BTW, it is Civgov that the UBF deals with, albeit Civgov doesn't really have any resources of significance in New England apart from the UBF. Omaha is a long way away.

Actually here's a thought: you don't need to make it all about violence. Just say have the ship have to go through a really horrifying storm. Something that Po can't control. There are many ways for NPCs to be important.

I also can't help but think of the Deathlands series, where mortality for very tough people is brought home. All it takes is an off pack of rations (resulting in food poisoning to the point of near death and delirium) or a toothache (if you've ever had a tooth or jaw ache you know how completely awful it is). One character, one of the toughest in the series, gets bitten by a fly and the wound becomes infected and he falls into a fever while the others are trying to figure out how to deal with the eggs laid in his cheek.

DeaconR





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Targan

Yeah, a storm! Oooh, I like that one. There was a storm on the way across the Atlantic during Op Omega, but that bastard Po survived that one. Can't survive them all though, can he?

Whatever takes Po, it has to be quick and massive. The Blanket makes other kinds of injuries/illnesses temporary. As Po has access to nautical assets already, I doubt he would need to trade anything with the sailing vessel anyhoo. And if it is CivGov the UBF deals with, well, that seals it then, dosn't it? The UBF is not long for this world in my campaign. He he.
__________________
"When all was said and done, much more was said than done"

"It doesn't matter whether you succeed or fail in a task, as long as you look good trying"

Targan





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thefusilier

That is just impressive DeaconR. Very well written which gives a sense of atmosphere and greater appreciation to getting into the game. I also agree with the mortality directed at tough characters. I remember reading The Stand, and one fellow died because of his appendix, and nobody knew how to help him. I've used examples like that to keep my players aware of how tough the world has become to survive in.
From reading your stuff here, I am looking forward to anytime I can run a New England game, or simply be part of one. Well done.

Oh yeah... "the liquid rustlings of sex", I had to laugh at that one.
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The Fusilier

thefusilier





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graebardeII

Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
Yeah, a storm! Oooh, I like that one. There was a storm on the way across the Atlantic during Op Omega, but that bastard Po survived that one. Can't survive them all though, can he?

Whatever takes Po, it has to be quick and massive. The Blanket makes other kinds of injuries/illnesses temporary. As Po has access to nautical assets already, I doubt he would need to trade anything with the sailing vessel anyhoo. And if it is CivGov the UBF deals with, well, that seals it then, dosn't it? The UBF is not long for this world in my campaign. He he.



Well storms have a way of seperating persons from their goods, if not their lives. Perchance the blanket will pisadear in the storm?

graebardeII





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DeaconR

Thanks a lot fusilier, I appreciate it. Lol, I actually stole that phrase from Whitley Strieber in "WarDay".

Well Targan if your Milgov fanatics are going to start a war, why not just do the Apocalypse Now thing? Who would take on a well armed party directly unless you had an advantage? If I knew it would be conflict I'd just make the conflict a pain in the neck, impossible to entirely ignore. Like coming under sniper fire at moments of investigation, having locals hide when they see them coming, that sort of thing. In fact I think that it is groups like yours that are the reason why my players so often have to be blatantly friendly just to talk to local civilians...

Part II: The Road to Rhode Island

If the players have no vehicles (groups coming from New York are unlikely to have unless they have a way of getting use of working bridges or an amphibious vessel of some kind) will have at least a two to three day journey on foot from New London to Providence, Rhode Island, which is the most likely place to get ship transport to Boston.

1. Bleak empty farm country, with patches of forest here and there. There is an encounter with a derelict vehicle, the trailer of a big rig, which was left after being stripped of anything that could be of possible use. It could make useful shelter for the night.

2. The ruins. This is the best place for shelter from the wind. Approaching it appears to be the remains of a town. However, if they do camp there there is a strange tribe of children led by one called Mark, a boy of perhaps 8, shaggy haired, dead eyed, who will direct them in trying to steal all that they can. This is not much, and they are terrified of soldiers. If anyone is helpless they may help them, if people are friendly they back away like semi-tamed animals. They are only armed with knives, slingshots and sharp sticks and remains of tools. Trying to chase the children in among the ruins and the tunnels they have made beneath them is very difficult and actually dangerous. Apart from possible cave ins of rubble there is the danger of running into a rat pack of savage children. It should be a difficult roll to detect the children, unless the players are being really paranoid. Genuinely compassionate efforts will discover that these children were being evacuated when the column of buses were hit by a gang of marauders. The children managed to flee in the confusion and wandered, terrified until they came to a place of shelter.
Note: compassion has its rewards. Gifts of medecine or food to the children and great patience will be rewarded with information about what lies ahead, as the children often watch unseen from the trees or the ruins as people go by on the road.

2. Hidden among some trees and bushes is an encampment based around a two and a half ton truck, which has a canopy and a tow trailer, containing a portable machine shop. Renz Boydson, his wife Mitzy, his son Jack (Jack is flash blinded from the Thanksgiving Day Massacre, has a bandage over his eyes and is perhaps 10.) George, Renz’s brother, is also present along with his woman, Val. These are somewhat ragged but decently covered up people with patched up but solid boots, mended woolen mittens and hats, and all are armed. One 12 gauge Remington 2B, One Ithaca 12 gauge pump, one Remington 700 30-06, one AR-15. There are also two pistols, which are switched around depending on who is driving or needs them for short range work; these are a .38 police special and a Sig/Sauer 9mm. They are cooking dog stew, there are some bones nearby buried along with the head; the hide was urinated on and left to dry. Renz is in about his late thirties, a skinny wirey sort of guy with a dark beard and dark eyes; his wife Mitzy is a sharp featured woman with lifeless hair who was once pretty. George and Val are both people who are stocky-strong. George is on watch; it requires a 7 success for recon to get past him. They have enough fuel to get to Providence and then about ten clicks, and if approached decently will make room on their truck. Inside they have bolted benches down and have made gun flaps as well, as well as a bolted ladder up to a hatch in case there is a problem. The ladder is made so that it folds up to the roof of the rear box of the truck. Inside they have some food, most of which is preserved stuff like dried meat and fish, jam jars of jelly and pickled vegetables, a few battered cans of food, and about forty liters of boiled water. There are about twenty five rounds of ammo per weapon. As people go they are not bad folk, they are decent to one another and would be glad of extra protection if the players are not hostile.

Rumors on the road: Renz and family will tell them that stories are told of Rhode Island and Mass that are downright creepy, but they’ve never gone lately to Mass, mostly between New London and Providence is their route. Mostly farms at that though they go to Providence for market purposes. They will tell them that the Governor still runs a little of the state, but life is hard in there. Food is scarce; everyone who works or is supported by a worker according to some kind of government work plan or other gets food but it is always barely enough. Black marketing is a forced labor offense, hanging for serious offenders or repeat offenders. There are road gangs and marauders in the upper part of the state, and the State Troopers and militia have been forced to cut back patrols. All the local merchants go armed.

3. Note: if this is done it is not truly faster, it still takes at least two days as they stop at a couple of farmsteads along the way. However this can be an opportunity for the players to do some trading at the Moody farm and at the Summerisle Farm. The Moody farm is basically a chicken farm, and much of the daily work now is scavenging enough for the chickens to eat. There is a scurvy look to the extended Moody family. Also an oddity if anyone choses to notice; there are about fifteen men ranging from 14 to about 50, and only four women, one of whom is in her forties, two in their either mid twenties or early thirties, (hard to tell with the weariness and look of hard work) and a fourth in her late teens. The oldest woman looks distracted and smiles faintly. The youngest is very pretty and very obviously not part of this burly rather round faced farm family. It is explained if anyone asks discreetly that an outlaw biker gang hit the farm while most of the men were hunting down a dog pack. Three men who had stayed behind were killed, as were two of the farm women. The rest were taken away. They never did find them. That was over a year ago. They later ambushed another group that a couple of the farmers hunting had spotted, and killed them all, rescuing three women. (two were badly injured in the fight when they panicked and ran into the firing, and did not live) The oldest woman was found later, having fallen out in exhaustion from a group of refugees, who asked if they would take her in. A peculiar polygamy exists, in which 3-4 men were chosen randomly to rotate on a weekly basis being ‘husband'.

It is possible to trade ammunition or other equipment for some fresh food from this farm.

4. Labour camp near the center of Rhode Island. Dead looking pines and ashes line the road and are dotted groups of forest near farm country that looks abandoned. Trails of smoke are at least several clicks inland. Eventually however a haze of smoke and a faint buzz from distant Providence can be heard. The road goes along before the woods give way to bleak rolling land that might once have been ploughed hillsides. Now, it is a snow covered waste, interrupted by black trees twisted into what look like agonized shapes. Clustered along both sides of the road ahead are what appear to be perhaps three hundred weather beaten clapboard shacks. Muddy alleys cut between them, and smoke curls into the bitter air from stovepipe chimneys. (if at night, lanterns glow from behind windows insulted with yellowed newspapers and magazine pages. Skinny sore spotted dogs how and bark and whine. Across the road and up a ways are a heap of charred timbers with snow softly falling and covering the ruin. A few thin children in ragged coats peep out. A thin faced black woman in a ragged coat (Glory) may talk to people who do not seem hostile. She has an oddly regal air about her. She lives in one of the shacks. Inside there are pieces of bright woven rug on the walls, a stove constructed from pieces of appliances and based around an automatic dryer, with a car’s radiator grill for a grate and aluminum pipe for a vent. Smoke leaks through giving the room a yellow haze. Wind howls thinly. A pinewood table has snippets of cloth, scissors, sewing needles and the like and a basket holds some scraps of cloth. Also there is a shelf with a meager supply of medicines. An oil painting of Jesus is on the wall. A little boy (named Aaron, about six) is the only other resident. There is a soup made of weeds, rat meat and a little precious salt on the stove. Glory will tell them that this is a work camp, that refugees may labor for their daily bread (her mouth twists ironically) and some shelter. Others include: Anna McKay, Gene Scully, a girl named Katie, Zachariah Epstein, John Gallagher are the only others with much spine. No one has much to eat. Basically because Epstein, Gallagher, Scully, and Anna were all experienced with tools one way or another they are in charge. Katie helps Glory out. Basically they are supposed to be waiting for a thaw that has not come. Since then very little food has come. There are a number of people sick from melting snow for water, and one of the men, Rusty Weathers, was wounded by some kind of big cat and the claw wounds are festering. Glory has tried using rendered urine and burning wood to clean the wounds but they keep getting infected again. A member of the 43rd MP Brigade, Corporal Bud Bryce, is supposed to be in charge of security, but he only has five rounds left for his M16 and a single clip for a 9mm pistol. (he is also somewhat bitter at having found that his Brigade moved on after an unpleasant encounter with the Governor's militia. He has however wisely just removed his unit patch and kept doing whatever dirty jobs he is given) Apart from that people have made use of sharpening hand tools and have made slingshots out of what they could make.
These people if helped will not be able to contribute much in the way of information beyond that a form of martial law exists in central Rhode Island, and that the Governor is neither for Milgov or Civgov. If seen with them local authorities are suspicious of the players since there is a danger of the labouring class part of the population rising up out of sheer ravenous desperation.

5. Outskirts of Providence: Wood framed houses can be seen with smoke coming from chimneys. A Church steeple, USA marked trucks parked on a softball field, a red cross banner hanging from the side of what appears to be a high school, cars and tents and campers in every available looking parking lot or field. There are a couple of outlying buildings, a motel and a highway patrol barracks which are used as forts, in effect, each with a platoon of state militia in them. Most of the state militia are just kids, who somehow look small in their worn out BDUs and overhanging helmets, most of them with extra warm clothing added. Once announcing themselves the characters will be taken to General Gaspard, who will ask their intentions. Gaspard has offices in the state house. A duty officer, Captain Megan Flannery, who was a history professor before the war, will show them in to the General, who will prefer to deal with them himself and not casually let them see the Governor.

Note: Providence does have a downtown area, though the small group of tall buildings are not much used as the power is largely used for essential industries and the two functioning hospitals. The state house is a magnificent domed building that resembles the London Museum or the Capitol Dome in Washington, and lends an air of authority to the government in spite of its reduced range...

Most motorized vehicles belong to such essential industries as medecine, food production, and the military. However there are public buses that are used to transport people in the central area of town. These are no longer sleek vehicles and rather resemble those commonly seen in the Third World before the War, with bluish smoke belching out and people wanting to climb onto the roof.

However most transportation is by bicycle (a bit iffy if the game is set in Winter like mine) or by animal. It is far from uncommon to see horse, mule or ox carts clip clopping down the streets. For shorter journeys people just walk.

Candles and lanterns are the most common sources of light in homes. With a reduced population, some families have pooled resources to have a house with a fireplace or better still a wood burning stove so that they can have some warmth when it is cold.

Food is scarce. People eat a lot of the fish that they buy from the UBF, pickled, dried, in stews and soups most often. Dried oats and corn also form staples for food. People have a pinched look, there are few stout or stocky people in Providence save for those naturally inclined to look that way.

Entertainments are important: people need some way of looking away from the troubled world they live in now and then. A good example of entertainment is plays and concerts. It is not uncommon to find buskers at the markets or public areas as well. This is enjoyed much more than it used to be.

In addition to all of this, Providence is partially a war zone. The sound of firearms popping off, the fact that part of downtown is crumbling or actually in rubble indicates the gang problem.

Providence is a tired city. The average person is rather worn out looking, clothing often mended and ill sorted, people are thinner than they might be and have a weary look. Illness is common, but medecines are not. Some people actually live and sleep at work, unless they know for certain their family/friends will be looking after their belongings. Things are desperate enough for people to do anything, though martial law makes them avoid obvious crimes.

Information: people can find out about the 43rd MP Brigade, about the UBF and about general conditions here.

DeaconR





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Targan

Again, great work DeaconR. Keep it comin'. I love the marauder children! Thats just gotta freak players out. The folks with the machine shop seem well-armed, is that because their equipment allows them to maintain their weapons and reload ammo? In my campaign Po has always seemed willing to at least talk to the remnants of pre-war governments, so there is hope for negotiation in the Providence area. I am really interested in your take on what happens to the the 43rd. Po badly wants to contact the Brigade's Intel Officer, as she is supposedly the senior DIA operative in that AO.
__________________
"When all was said and done, much more was said than done"

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Targan





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thefusilier

Yes, well done as the first. I'm definately saving this.

I don't have Last Sub "yet" and don't remember if the challenge articles mentioned it, but anyone know what was written about the Westover and Otis Air Bases? I know about the MP Brigade, did the bases collapse afterwards as well?
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Last edited by thefusilier : 12-30-2005 at 01:45 AM.

thefusilier





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DeaconR

Targan: yes, it is partly the machine shop and also that they trade for ammunition as well whenever possible.

This is what I have along with what the module presents for the fate of the bases in the area.

1. Fort Devens: abandoned. I presume that in some emergency or other that people at the Military Intelligence College and other groups were simply mobilized at some point and that the MPs, who had been there, had stripped it of everything of major value, leaving the rest to the scavengers.

2. Westover Air Force Base: I have represented this base as having just sort of collapsed. The air national guardsmen not already assigned overseas or what have you would have been unable to get their planes in the air, and would have in my opinion after not being properly paid or supplied have simply drifted away home.

Here's something. Most of the people I know when quizzed about "what would you do if (end of civilization scenario insert) happened?" hardly ever think of actually looking up military bases. Why would they? Cities are incredibly rich with resources, as the scavenging thread suggests. So in fact in my game it is possible to find a couple of planes or helicopters there that could be repaired if you had the parts and the skills and fueled up if you had the fuel. The place overall looks deserted and stripped of things of value. And most scavengers would in my opinion be looking for things they could readily use or sell.

Anyway, that's besides the point. The famine's increase has resulted in New England being plagued by cannibal bands called "Eaters" who are almost like dements in the way they behave. Is this from the results of their diet, physical or psychological? Who knows? Who really cares? They are a macabre, disturbing bunch, not really tied together save in the sense that they are people who got so desperate that they lost all sense of humanity or morality and are eating other people. Such a group are currently occupying the AFB in my game.

A good depiction of such a group swelling into a large marauder band can be found in either the Challenge Article "Rifle River" or else in the novel "Lucifer's Hammer" by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. In both cases there is a justification for the cannibalism found in a perverse religion.

3. Hanscomb Air Force Base is occupied by the 43rd MP Brigade, who have strung out 23 clicks worth of concertina wire, trip flares, and other traps. They also occupy the Quabbin Resevoir and have set up a firebase. A shanty town of people who trade or work for the MPs is nearby, named Fortston after the commanding officer.

4. Woods Hole USCG station and the research station there have been taken over by the UBF.

5. The USCG have withdrawn from Providence and from New London and have consolidated at Newport, Rhode Island, rather discreetly given the circumstances. This I took from the Challenge Article "Rifle River". The Commandant of the USCG Academy is in command, having withdrawn about 400 of his cadets. They have posession of one cutter and the sailing ship Eagle as well as smaller craft, and one Seaguard helicopter.

6. Otis Air Force Base was among a number of positions that fell to mobs of hungry desperate people during the dark days' beginnings. Like the New London naval base, it is only occupied by a scrabbling handful of refugees.

7. South Weymouth Naval Air Station is occupied by a female led gang, the Black Widows.

Note: the fate of the 1st US Army and component units. Along with CINCLANT this command has vanished. The fate of the latter is depicted in Last Submarine however I would like to present some more info.

First of all, I have never liked having ANYONE at Norfolk following the strikes, so I have crossed it off my list. Instead, I looked at info in Last Submarine which states that the commander in chief, Atlantic, is in New London at the time of the riots. Since there are two significant naval bases in New England and with other ports near Virginia destroyed or impossible to maintain control over I assumed that with some viable naval assets that the C in C Atlantic went to take command over them. This also raises something of a question of what exactly happened with Operation Omega, but I'll deal with that elsewhere.

The First Army and the Atlantic Fleet commands, the garrisons in New York, everything, fell apart in the last year or so. All commands north of Pennsylvania/Maryland are independant ones for pratical purposes.

In my game, because of this and also Military Region III being on the verge of collapse in most areas those who are still loyal have simply aligned themselves with whatever viable commands still exist. My players are essentially working with the Milgov Command at Cape May but had professed loyalty to Civgov. There are a lot of oddities like this on the East Coast, where the higher politics are kind of left by the wayside while practicalities dominate.

In my game, remaining viable commands in New England/Maryland/New York/Pennsylvania/New Jersey are:

Milgov Command at Cape May, including the 78th Infantry Division at Fort Dix and the naval and USAF assets there.

228th Signal Brigade at Frederick, Maryland. (thinking of evacuating)

28th Infantry Division's remnants in Pennsylvania, mostly centered around Harriburg but also in other areas of southern Pennsylvania. I took an idea or two from a PBEM campaign called "The Bloody Bucket" (http://members.tripod.com/~Acoustic...2k/bbintro.html) which is done by a very good gm from what I can see, but really it is that the 28th returned home being made up of Pennsylvanians after Operation Omega. However the situation there is overwhelming; marauders, devastation, refugees.

USCG at Newport, consisting of roughly six hundred USCG personnel.

USAMRIID, associated with the 228th Signal Brigade in Frederick. This biowarfare command is a bit skeletal now, and most of the units it has are scattered in the field gathering information.

DeaconR





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DeaconR

New Encounter (somewhere in Massachusetts):

The players see a boy, perhaps between 11-13 stumbling and running through a field not far off, looking over his shoulder in terror. He does not run well; in fact his stumbling, swaying gait suggests that he is exhausted. If watched for a bit he eventually slows to a staggering walk and eventually reels and collapses in the field.

Should the players approach him, he turns out to be ragged, inadequatly dressed for the weather in a much worn out and patched jean jacket, the tattered remains of cargo pants and a t shirt with a faded picture of the R&B star Fifty Cent on it. The boy has filthy dark hair and the grimy skin of someone who has not bathed in a while with the musky meaty odor to match; in other words, a refugee. He will whimper in terror if he begins to wake and sees the players approach.

His story:

My family and some other people left Boston a while ago...there's hardly any food there and the gangs either kill you or make you work like a slave. My...my parents and others heard there is this army base near Springfield--you have to work but at least it isn't run by crazy people...anyway, while we were breaking camp this morning these...people...came at us from all sides, screaming like....it was horrible...they got my folks...please, can you help us?

In the ruins of a small farming community are a group of Eaters. This is the nickname in New England for those who are so crazed by lack of decent diet that they have turned to the only animal big enough, common enough, and slow enough to catch without too much difficulty--man. Encountering them is like encountering a marauder group as far as numbers and weapons go (though for most New England encounters I may alter the weapons for civilian ones on a case by case basis) except that they are less interested in plunder than in food.

Thinking of the horrific encounters as depicted in "1492" or "Thirteenth Warrior" the gm should suggest this nastiness by if the players do go to help see if anyone has survived or can be rescued by having them encounter obviously human bones by fireplaces. They should encounter flesh on drying racks, see among the loot clothing and other personal things. I would place this in the ruins of a town so that there are many hiding places and lurking spaces.

DeaconR
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:39 AM
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thefusilier

Nice Keep it up!
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Targan

Nice idea for an encounter, but oh what a bummer! Once a group has moved towards large scale cannabilism they really are pretty far gone. Still, in my campaign Po and his cronies are pretty much into blood sacrifice. That's part of the way there, I think.
__________________
"When all was said and done, much more was said than done"

"It doesn't matter whether you succeed or fail in a task, as long as you look good trying"

Targan





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DeaconR

43rd MP Brigade Encounters

Huddled in the bunker, we had to keep moving to stay warm. It sure had turned into a cold winter. With the wind acting wild, the snow kept blustering in different directions, turning up eddies and miniature storms that flew into our face or would suddenly moan around from our backs.

We were part of a stretch of defensive positions above the main road approach to the base. It looked when approached like something from WWI, an imposing stretch of razor wire in divided rows, bunkers at intervals, observation towers...when you came in from patrol it was a grim fortress against the cold expanse of the fields and roads beyond it. In the distance was the firebase.

There were signs, the usual stuff, "Deadly force may be used..." but here and there where we hadn't gotten around to cleanup you could hear by day the cawing of crows and see rags and something you might recognize...maybe a fair bit if somehow someone had been 'lucky' enough to get past the mines only to be hit by a sniper or machinegun fire. Like a shrike's picnic. By now most local banditos and desperate refugees had learned or heard rumors.

That was why me and Joe were a bit surprised to see the party coming up the road...they wore a mismatched bunch of uniforms, and looked well armed. They were carrying a white rag on a stick...

Westover Air Force Base was an Air National Guard Base, the 439th Airlift Wing being posted there. The 16 C-5 Galaxies of the 337th Airlift Squadron were deployed in 1997 for support of overseas activities. Along with it most of the support units were also deployed.

MPs from the 169th MP Company were sent to reinforce the Marines of the 6/4th Marine Aircraft Wing and the 278th Medical Detachment,USA in 2000, and later the rest of the brigade arrived following the events as read in the module.



The 43rd MP Brigade has this TO&E

14 2 1/2 ton trucks
2 AEVs
24 HMMWVs with .50 Cal
15 M113 with .50 Cal
20 Assorted Civilian vehicles (mostly 4X4 or landrover types, but also six construction vehicles)
4 HMMWV Ambulances
32 M60 GPMG
45 M249 SAW
26 Mark 19 AGL

Units:
HHC 43rd MP BDE
HQ 118th MP BN
HHD 118th MP BN
115th MP CO
119th MP CO
169th MP CO
1207th TRANS CO
287th Medical Detachment, 804th Medical Brigade (Army)
Marine Air Support Squadron 6, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing
Headquarters, 25th Marines Regiment


A further set of character descriptions:

Colonel Dean Fort is a man with light grey eyes that can reflect light when he is good humored or be grimly cold when he is not. He is an angular faced man with thinning fair hair. In spite of his short stature he has a great deal of presence and energy. He wears barracks dress when in his office but most often like everyone else wears winter BDUs. He insists on members of his staff making a good impression by being shaved and clean.

Major Sandra Orwelle has short fair hair and is athletic in build. She has at times an unnervingly focused look, and tends to be very precise in her manner of speaking. While very respected, Major Orwelle does not invite casual conversation and has a tendency towards formality. She can be a coldly ruthless person, though her attractiveness makes it hard for some people to believe.

Major Eric Margin is a very pleasant looking man, rather attractive, with a quiet smile and an air of calm confidence. He is nearly always found in the main administrative building. He is always respectful to the Colonel, but in fact has been using his importance as the S-1 of the Brigade to make sure that he isolates the Colonel from what is really going on.

DeaconR





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Targan

Great, excellent, well done DeaconR. This is good. I am pretty sure (I am at work at the moment and not in proximity to my notes) it is Orwell that Po is keen to contact, as in my campaign she is the senior DIA operative in the area.
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"When all was said and done, much more was said than done"

"It doesn't matter whether you succeed or fail in a task, as long as you look good trying"

Targan





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DeaconR

In my campaign she is the senior DIA officer in the area too. She is also the Brigade S-2.

DeaconR





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thefusilier

Nice. Some questions (I dont have Last Sub yet).

Where does the 43rd TO&E come from? Last Sub or your own imagination? Do you know what a prewar MP Bde TO&E would be?

The marines at Westover, is that your imagination or was it in the book. What happened to them?
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DeaconR

I'm not entirely sure what it would look like. I got that from the TO&E of an MP company. As for Westover AFB having marines stationed there, that is on the AFB website, and I decided that they might well have had some people still there, since I don't imagine all air assets would be removed from the US. Of course in my game they are 'wingless'.

DeaconR





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DeaconR

The UBF

The Cape Cod Canal is somewhat described in the book. I have added a garrison and support on either side of the canal. Basically this consists largely of the UBF marines stationed there and civilian support.

On one side this is a former Fish&Wildlife center, which has been beefed up with sandbags and reinforced rubble and rubbish, and has a garrison of a hundred UBF Marines. The nearby marina has four PBRs that have M60 MGs mounted. The shore area is largely flat, somewhat rocky, and is difficult to sneak through. On the other side is a small resort which has been similarly reinforced, and has a similar number of UBF marines. There is a small HQ on the eastern side which also has a number of civilian support staff of about 45. As far as land vehicles go there are 12 2 1/2 ton trucks and 4 land rover type vehicles, which have machineguns mounted on pintels. On the HQ side is a small arsenal, mostly just for local purposes.
Note: the eastern unit is on the northern end of the canal, and the western unit is on the southern end. Both units have watch towers. Those in the watch towers include snipers, who have starlight scopes by night. They also have a .50 cal and a 90mm Recoiless Rifle as backup.

On either side of the canal there will always be a Coastal Patrol Force ship in calling range. In both cases these are former police patrol boats armed with a Mark-19 AGL and a GPMG.

The UBF Marines wear general surplus BDUs which were largely raided from stores of supplies at places like Woods Hole, Natick and Boston. The Coastal Patrol Force wear a form of blue barracks dress, or in the present weather sweaters with the CPF patch on them with coats.

Encounter:
Town on Cape Cod: Faint mist, scent of the sea, gulls crying and a sense of sparse pine woods, rocks and lonely seashore. Mostly made up of white framed houses, with red roofs with rails along them. Roughly eight hundred buildings. Men in navy blue wool coats with old fashioned tin helmets and M16 rifles, part of a garrison of twenty five under Martin Harper, Lieutenant, UBF Marines (ex-State Police sergeant, a tough man in his mid thirties, no nonsense about him, his men being a sergeant and four corporals with similar experience and 19 younger men with considerably less but some decent training and eagerness. These all seem young, a bit thin for the most part) Shops include: Eleanor Goodman’s House of Relaxation, Dave Clay’s Cooperage, the Rising Flukes Inn, Stacy Wilde’s CPA and Goods Exchange, etc. It is a pleasant place, and the militia are more there to protect them against pirate raids and the like. It is also a serious harbor, and a number of smaller fishing craft as well as ones devoted to the Coast Patrol Force are present. There is an old fashioned lighthouse in operation, which is now in all cases along Cape Cod run by the CPF. Here oil rendered from various sea creatures, most kinds of sea food (lobster, oyster, fish), cranberry preserves, flour and the staple of every local inn--chowder--can be purchased or traded for. If players arrive in friendly conditions aboard the whaling ship they can be assured of a curious but friendly welcome.

DeaconR





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thefusilier

I don't have Last Sub yet, so I am lacking some background on this.

Where do all these machineguns and other high value military weapons come from? The only significant unit I thought was in New England was the MP brigade and its fragments would still be holding onto their weapons.

Second, I believe I may have asked this a few months ago but can't remember the answer. The sub ended up with the UBF? How did they come in posession of it?
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thefusilier





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DeaconR

John Carlucci, who was a lawyer and leader of the Fisherman's Union in the New England area, had gained a significantly greater authority in that organization by encouraging the belief that only by sticking together against all comers could they survive. It was a common (and not unrealistic, according to canon) belief that certain military elements were if not outright abandoning them certainly far more concerned with the war than with the welfare of civilians. He goaded a huge mob to swarm in human waves against the naval base at New London and during this confusion he and his men seized control of the sub.

Supposedly the submarine was undergoing repairs at the time. At any rate the book says that Carlucci only later actually took the sub from its riverine base to a secret location at the island of Nantucket.

Where did the weapons come from? Basically I am presuming that they were in some cases acquired the way that everyone gets weapons illegally in the USA or any country, but that they might also have gotten them by raiding other bases like the New London Submarine Base.

It must be pointed out that Carlucci has as loyal henchmen a number of ex military personnel, led by one of great capability.

DeaconR





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thefusilier

Is not the UBF allied with CivGov? But he organized an mob against New London and stole a sub?
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The Fusilier

thefusilier





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Targan

The UBF pays lip service to CivGov, the sub was formerly controlled by MilGov, and I doubt very much that the UBF told CivGov what they intended to do.
__________________
"When all was said and done, much more was said than done"

"It doesn't matter whether you succeed or fail in a task, as long as you look good trying"

Targan





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DeaconR

The UBF, Part II

While the campaign book suggests that Carlucci had any opposition on Cape Cod slaughtered or somehow removed, I considered that he must have had some influence on Cape Cod and the islands to begin with. I see him as a larger version of “Noz” from “Pirates of the Vistula” in that he is seen possibly as a dictator but as a necessary one in the face of starvation, confusion and fear.

Cape Cod has a number of important features. Provincetown has one of the best harbors on the North Atlantic coastline, and thus is the headquarters area of the Coastal Patrol Force. It is generally an important area for fishing and for raising cranberries, the most important local crop. Trading these foods is a major industry of the UBF. Another important area is Woods Hole, which was an area for oceanography and for Coast Guard operations. I considered that the Oceanographic Institute would in some fashion still be running. Why get rid of experts whose research could greatly benefit? Furthermore, NOAA had operations there as well. This is the science and research hub of the UBF. While things are a lot leaner than before, nevertheless it is important to do what weather prediction, ocean life studies and the like that can be done. I decided that the institute is somewhat smaller in terms of the numbers operating there, basically about a hundred scientists and assistants, and that the place partly pays for itself by maintaining a fish farm and spawning tanks. As well, it supports a couple of vessels used to help detect fish movements.

Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard have small populations to begin with, 6,000 and 11,000 respectively. Much of the local elite who did not flee elsewhere or fail to survive have ended up here, in some cases because they already owned property. They range from film stars to judges to politicians, however they have found themselves dependant upon Carlucci. Because there is a semblance of normal life (with some privations but certainly not as bad as most living on the mainland) they might mutter behind his back at his current posture of personal isolation and his dictatorial approach but it is merely grumbling. Nantucket itself is very much his private preserve.

An important consideration I had was this: where is Carlucci getting his supplies? Clearly to some extent salvage and goods come from the coastal areas he trades with, but he must have for instance access to fuel and ammunition. I decided that these are among his concerns. There probably is not enough to go around. Some of the boats might have been converted to alcohol fuel, while in other cases sailing vessels would be used.

DeaconR





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thefusilier

Nice, keep it up, its quite interesting and useful.
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The Fusilier

thefusilier





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DeaconR

The Actual Encounter in Providence

As the whaler was moving up towards the Rhode Island coastline a radio message was received in the shack. Captain Quadde called us to the great cabin and said grimly, "Apparently food riots have broken out in Providence and Pawtucket. The Governor has asked the UBF for aid, and all available ships are going to render assistance. I'm hoping you will be able to help out..."

Local rivalries and suspicions are dropped in the face of one of the few safe areas in New England nearing the precipice of chaos. As the ship sails into Narragansett Bay past the small islands and wooded coastline, at first it seems relatively peaceful, if cold and chilly with wisps of mist flying past like ghosts. Gulls hauntingly cry out.

The Salvation finds itself docking up the river near a USCG harbour tug, police craft and civilian boats. There is a haze of smoke over the city and the sharp sound of rifle fire, sometimes the steady ripping sound of automatic weapons. The wild noise of crowds can be heard as well. Approaching the harbour docks barricades of militia and local police are trying to organize frightened citizens, carrying whatever posessions they can with them.

This could be played out as a food riot but in my game it will not be: it will be hordes of dements galvanized by one of the ancient vampires.

Regardless, the players are invited to a hasty conference with USCG, UBF and local militia officers. It develops that the Governor and members of the State Cabinet are at the offices still, and that the area around it is chaotic. They are in radio contact. With the situation so volatile, the ranking officer wants to evacuate them. Riot police and militia will attempt to clear a way down the flanking streets while the players (if they reveal their military background) will be requested to help get the Governor (and what staff they can) out. If the players ask a range rover type vehicle or a truck up to 1 ton can be lent, as well as common western small arms ammunition. Weapons such as shotguns, hunting rifles and police issue pistols are available. The vehicle will be about half full of alcohol fuel.

The streets are confusing and dangerous. They may encounter:

1. Burning wreckage. There is danger of further explosions as a wrecked vehicle lying on its side gouts flames and black smoke.

2. A large frightened mob. There may be dements among it, wild and bloody faced, urging them on. The mob will attempt to scatter if shown concentrated force in whatever fashion, but it is actually quite dangerous, as bystanders can easily be swept up by moving people, trampled or battered against buildings and vehicles.

3. Riot police fire gas grenades or gas mortar shells into an area, and the smoke drifts the players' way.

4. A lone dement, wearing a WWII gas mask and helmet and a greatcoat marches like some kind of humanoid insect down the street, carrying a long bloody iron candlestick. He pauses, turns and walks towards the players.

5. An eerily quiet street, strewn with broken glass and wreckage, obviously recent. The sound of weapons fire is faint and sporadic, and a chilly wind blows snow from buildings and vehicles.

6. A group of looters are seen, using a chain and hooks to rip the security bars off a store. They are scruffy thugs mostly and two of them have pistols while one has a shotgun, the other three having just hand weapons. If they see a well armed group they are likely to flee down an alley. However, if someone rashly shoots at them they will in sheer desperation shoot back.

One way to get into the building would be to use an underground passageway from another government building nearby, a library or a records building for instance. The sewers are another possibility, but of course dements and looters could be encountered, terrifying in the gloom.

An angry mob swirls around the main government building. There are likely to be two to three hundred of them. Are they dements? Simply hungry, angry people? It is almost impossible to tell. They are mostly thin, staring eyed ragged folk, most of them carrying hand weapons like baseball bats, golf clubs, axes, bricks, or whatever else might come to mind.

Inside, there are only a few militia members, running low on ammunition, some local police who are in the same situation, and terrified bureaucrats and political staff as well as the Governor and whichever Cabinet officers are preferred. The lower windows had been barricaded for security measures before, fortunately, and the doors have been braced with heavy antique furniture.

DeaconR





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DeaconR

In my last session my players ran into a scene out of the French Revolution when they arrived in the Government House in Providence. They had snuck through the sewers and then into a service access tunnel between government buildings to get in. However a mob had already gotten there first. They found elements of the mob pitching people out of windows, trampling on the bodies of dead Providence police officers and so on. After a brief firefight that the players won, they rescued several members of the State cabinet. They had to blow their way into another tunnel (the group's combat engineer did) and then fled the swarms of people who were trying to find any way into any official building.

Speaking with the Governor as the whaling ship took them to Cape Cod, they found in whispered conversation with him that he had a good guess as to where the submarine was. He warned them that Carlucci seemed very paranoid, seemed to not trust anyone anymore.

Arriving in Boston, they found that the air was hung over with a thick pall of smoke. A charnel reek was in the air, and carrion birds were everywhere. They found signs of some kind of last stand around the naval yards. Barricades broken down. Signs of fires and wreckage. Looting.

Their first major encounter was with a group with a dump truck and a 2 1/2 ton who seemed to be disposing of bodies. There were workers, wearing old stained coveralls and wearing paper masks, guarded by what seemed to be gang members, most of them quite young, armed with shotguns. An older guy, an arrogant black man in a handsome camel hair coat calling himself Winston warily asked the players who they were. The Royal Marine officer cockily replied that they were vampire hunters--a response that got them an audience with Dain Dangerous, the leader of the Razorheads.

In my scenario the Razorheads own the only large stretch of territory left in Boston. The area around it is rubble or corpse haunted ruins. Vampires have swarmed through Boston. They have granted a semi-kiss of life to the dead in order to create armies of flesh and blood hungry zombies. The Razorheads have granted protection to those remaining citizens willing to live under their rule.

Within a perimeter including the old city hall, Boston Common and other areas of downtown, with constant bonfires of rubbish and vigilant guards, Dain Dangerous lives like a hero out of a fantasy novel. He has added huge prints of Boris Vallejo and Frazetta to the handsome halls of the building, and has pretty young women in scanty clothing as servants. No one knows why the vampires have chosen to seriously attack Razorhead territory last. Recently the remnants of the survivors at Harvard fell to the vampires, and before that another gang in South Boston. Pockets of resistance remain. Rumors abound--how they spread no one knows--that the vampires take many prisoners to places like Salem and Lowell, to treat them as cattle.

Dain Dangerous holds regular gladiatorial matches at a small sports arena not far off. This is a form of 'bread and circuses" (as put aptly by the MI6 Agent in my group) and the players if making nice with him are invited.
Note: my inspiration and script for this comes from this site (Story titled "Suburban Gladiators")
http://www.apocalypsefiction.com/series.html

The players want to free Father O'Grady, who has already given them valuable information. Dain, in the manner of Emperor Commodus, likes sometimes to fight his own gladiatorial battles and may suggest a contest...
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