RPG Forums

Go Back   RPG Forums > Role Playing Game Section > Morrow Project/ Project Phoenix Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-29-2017, 08:58 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 330
Default Prime Base, Old vs New

Still trying to chew through the Prime Base issues. Its like a wad of year old gum. My jaws keep getting tired!

I can see that with the date of the war changing the old Prime Base would get mothballed. Everyone there is frozen and the role goes to a much smaller facility that is primarily automated. I could see it being a distributed network type of facility, with several mutually redundant and interconnected nodes. That makes it much more survivable. I'm trying to figure out how such a facility would be designed, operate and fail.

To make the classical module more interesting I have a lot of options.
In one of the works cited as original source material Hiero's Journey the good guys (A Priest, A Princess, A Druid(ish) an Intelligent mutant bear a somewhat intelligent mutant moose and some sailors are attempting to find a huge "Pre-death" facility. They find one entrance at the same time the bad guys find another one. It becomes a race to search the facility AND not get discovered by the bad guys. Also the facility has some interesting "residents" to contend with.

there are a lot of groups that would be really interested in Prime Base
Krell
Slavers (if there are people in cryostorage)
Salvagers
The Scien from Desert Search
Breeders
Snake Eaters
Maybe some remote units from Damocles

That is just the short list

I could easily see a group digging around the site, knowing something is there, but not what when the players roll up on the area. Heck there was a mine there, maybe some prospectors are looking for the mother-load!

There might be antiquarians search for artifacts from the past to sell with a small dig that hits something far bigger.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-29-2017, 09:26 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,679
Default

it goes right back to an earlier point...Prime Base should never have been a module, rather designed as a larger sourcebook.

Every time I think I'm getting a handle on Prime, someone tosses in a "why the $&@(*$% didn't I think of that" item. Its aggravating to say the least!

The problem, as I see it, is that the Old TL bunch tried to put too much into Prime. It was the National Headquarters, it would monitor in real time, the destruction and breakdown of the United States, it would stockpile critical knowledge/material, the list goes on and on. But is all of this really necessary for Prime Base?

Would there not be a command base with its necessary personnel, supply and communications/computer support?

Would there not be a logistics base nearby (frozen) that housed the workshops, stockpiles and personnel?

Would the aviation unit be placed and frozen in a better location than a mountain meadow?

Would the rest of the "treasures" not be secured in a warehouse facility nearby?

Now I'm giving myself a headache!!!
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-30-2017, 12:05 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 330
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
it goes right back to an earlier point...Prime Base should never have been a module, rather designed as a larger sourcebook.

Every time I think I'm getting a handle on Prime, someone tosses in a "why the $&@(*$% didn't I think of that" item. Its aggravating to say the least!

The problem, as I see it, is that the Old TL bunch tried to put too much into Prime. It was the National Headquarters, it would monitor in real time, the destruction and breakdown of the United States, it would stockpile critical knowledge/material, the list goes on and on. But is all of this really necessary for Prime Base?
This comes down to a decision by the Project planning staff. Is it better to have a single "highly secure location: with all your eggs in it than spread those eggs around to a number of "less ideal" places? There is really no right or wrong answer as there are trade offs with either choice. In the distributed base model discovery of any one base before the war will quite likely result in the entire Project being compromised. Attempting to secretly construct a number of fairly large bases (as opposed to tiny bolt holes) is also tricky and leads to increased risk. If the planners criteria indicated that a very small number of locations would meet the needs for a large base they may have been forced to combined functions into a smaller number of multi function locations. If the construction resources were tight this could also have forced them into that direction. If instead they located numerous places bases could be built and hidden and had the ability to simultaneously construct several large bases they might have gone the other route.

In canon it would appear that the planners were constrained to build only 1 or 2 major bases for these or other reasons.

AS for there being no Prime Base module. In canon there has to be a PB adventure. Its loss is a cornerstone of the universe. How can this be ignored. It might not be the module originally written but there has to be SOME module dealing with this
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-30-2017, 06:35 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
I can see that with the date of the war changing the old Prime Base would get mothballed. Everyone there is frozen and the role goes to a much smaller facility that is primarily automated. I could see it being a distributed network type of facility, with several mutually redundant and interconnected nodes. That makes it much more survivable. I'm trying to figure out how such a facility would be designed, operate and fail.
I think you would need to spell this out more before I could comment. Bear in mind that I have not read 4ed but have had significant problems with most of what I have seen, but in terms of revising Prime Base I could see a lot of improvements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
To make the classical module more interesting I have a lot of options.
In one of the works cited as original source material Hiero's Journey the good guys (A Priest, A Princess, A Druid(ish) an Intelligent mutant bear a somewhat intelligent mutant moose and some sailors are attempting to find a huge "Pre-death" facility. They find one entrance at the same time the bad guys find another one. It becomes a race to search the facility AND not get discovered by the bad guys. Also the facility has some interesting "residents" to contend with.
First, PB does not need to be an adventure module. It helps, but it can be a sourcebook and be just as relevant.

Second, introducing antagonists introduces one giant problem: someone else knows the location of Prime Base. If it is an entirely contained group (a cult that is sheltering there, miners who come across it by accident, etc) then there is a chance to eliminate the group (who therefore had better be uniformly hostile and worthy of execution!) and preserve secrecy. But if it is occupied or discovered by Krell or some other decent-sized group with communications, then the group finding PB is almost certain to be followed by the group abandoning, destroying, or otherwise losing PB. So if you want to include a group, go ahead and ensure that it is self-contained.

Personally, I like the idea of Morlocks. Perhaps some time after the war, some group got into the base, got trapped, but found a way to survive (emergency facilities, rations, etc.) and continue through several generations. The team is now contending with a group that considers the base their ancestral home, outside a religious concept, and actually knows the facility. Make them suitably awful, though.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-30-2017, 06:52 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
There is really no right or wrong answer as there are trade offs with either choice.
There are trade offs, but there is still a clearly right answer. All of these different functions have different classification levels within the scope of the Project, and grouping them together effectively reduces the combined facility to the lowest classification level.

Prime Base must serve as the national command authority, operating at the highest possible classification level. What classification level are the aerial transport ops running out of the attached air base? How hard is it for someone to get access to those operations and get the chance to observe that something bigger is also happening there? And that goes for every single function. It's why the White House doesn't double as anything else. Every single unclassified or lower-classified person who can see your doors or your people endangers the operation, especially when the operation doesn't need to be public in the first place.

We do embed top secret facilities inside lower-classified facilities in the real world, but we do that because we cannot otherwise camouflage the traffic associated with the TS facility. But PB, at least the command authority, does not need any traffic. It's a hole in the ground in the desert. No one needs to come within a hundred miles of it for it to do 100% of its job, so why give anyone any reason to do so?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
In the distributed base model discovery of any one base before the war will quite likely result in the entire Project being compromised. Attempting to secretly construct a number of fairly large bases (as opposed to tiny bolt holes) is also tricky and leads to increased risk.
(1) Boltholes aren't that small.
(2) When you already have hundreds or thousands of facilities, the relative construction risk of one huge facility versus a dozen small-to-medium facilities as not significantly higher, and the operational risks are MUCH higher, not to mention the risk of catching an unlikely nuke.
(3) The Project must have some way of addressing pre-war discovery. Unless they have a 100% success rate in all construction and recruiting and purchasing and everything else, they will need a way to silence witnesses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
If the planners criteria indicated that a very small number of locations would meet the needs for a large base they may have been forced to combined functions into a smaller number of multi function locations. If the construction resources were tight this could also have forced them into that direction.
If that is the case, you group facilities at the same classification level. You combine a logistics base with a power facility with a hospital. You don't combine your command base and your transportation hub.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
In canon it would appear that the planners were constrained to build only 1 or 2 major bases for these or other reasons.
In canon, the planners built PB, a backup, and 10 regional bases, plus numerous other large facilities (Delta, for example). There is nothing to indicate that they were forced to do so, other than that the authors made a decision for which they included little or no support.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-31-2017, 02:02 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 330
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
There are trade offs, but there is still a clearly right answer. All of these different functions have different classification levels within the scope of the Project, and grouping them together effectively reduces the combined facility to the lowest classification level.

Prime Base must serve as the national command authority, operating at the highest possible classification level. What classification level are the aerial transport ops running out of the attached air base? How hard is it for someone to get access to those operations and get the chance to observe that something bigger is also happening there? And that goes for every single function. It's why the White House doesn't double as anything else. Every single unclassified or lower-classified person who can see your doors or your people endangers the operation, especially when the operation doesn't need to be public in the first place.

We do embed top secret facilities inside lower-classified facilities in the real world, but we do that because we cannot otherwise camouflage the traffic associated with the TS facility. But PB, at least the command authority, does not need any traffic. It's a hole in the ground in the desert. No one needs to come within a hundred miles of it for it to do 100% of its job, so why give anyone any reason to do so?



(1) Boltholes aren't that small.
(2) When you already have hundreds or thousands of facilities, the relative construction risk of one huge facility versus a dozen small-to-medium facilities as not significantly higher, and the operational risks are MUCH higher, not to mention the risk of catching an unlikely nuke.
(3) The Project must have some way of addressing pre-war discovery. Unless they have a 100% success rate in all construction and recruiting and purchasing and everything else, they will need a way to silence witnesses.


If that is the case, you group facilities at the same classification level. You combine a logistics base with a power facility with a hospital. You don't combine your command base and your transportation hub.



In canon, the planners built PB, a backup, and 10 regional bases, plus numerous other large facilities (Delta, for example). There is nothing to indicate that they were forced to do so, other than that the authors made a decision for which they included little or no support.
I'm pretty sure you and I would disagree on pretty much everything
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-31-2017, 03:23 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 330
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
There are trade offs, but there is still a clearly right answer.
That depends upon your beginning conditions. The resources and such of the project are never clearly stated in canon. Its operating parameters are foggy, at best. If we all start from the same set of conditions, then there "might" be one right answer. There might not be.

I doubt that if everyone on these threads stated their beginning parameters they would be close to anyone else's. They would also be so complex as to take months to put into writing. You know things I don't (never having been much of a commo guy) and I would like to think I know things you don't.

Everything is a tradeoff, everything. Not everything is a zero sum game though. Sometimes you can get a win/win, or get a solution that is considerably better on many factors than other solutions. One thing we don't know, especially in classic, is what information Morrow had. I've always felt that there are an infinite number of Morrow game Universes, Timeline just wrote about the one they thought was most interesting in which to game. There are some where the war NEVER happens (the characters wake up in a utopia!). There are some where all of humanity is wiped out. There are a rainbow of ones in between. In some the Mission goes exactly as planned. In others it is even worse than the game universe. In 4th edition there is a comment that a rumor exists that perhaps Morrow knew the project would fail in the 3-5 year time frame and sabotaged the wakeup himself.

It may well be that Morrow was able to look through a wide range of these timelines and noted that in a vast majority having a Prime as indicated in the canon was often more successful than having a large number of smaller bases. One thing I'm certain of is that in all universes Morrow Project planners ran a huge number of simulations and based a lot of their decisions on the results. We don't know the basic information of those sims. It is possible that such gaming led the planners to choose the route in canon.

YMMV. Everyone's project is different. I may not have all the answers but I do know that there is almost never one perfect solution for a puzzle as complex as setting up MP. Look at the Apollo Program. There were so many ways to skin that cat. The way NASA chose worked, but other paths could have been as, or even more, successful!

Heck the location of Prime Base might have been down to luck. Perhaps the Morrow Project diggers hit an unexpectedly huge series of caverns and decided to put a number of functions in them because it was cheaper, easier, quicker and more secure during the construction phase than building at multiple sites. Perhaps they suddenly had to put all their eggs in one basket because they had the hole open and were afraid the war would start before they could get any other bases built. There are a lot of valid reason why this could have happened in this particular timeline.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-01-2018, 01:09 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 330
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
.

Second, introducing antagonists introduces one giant problem: someone else knows the location of Prime Base. If it is an entirely contained group (a cult that is sheltering there, miners who come across it by accident, etc) then there is a chance to eliminate the group (who therefore had better be uniformly hostile and worthy of execution!) and preserve secrecy. But if it is occupied or discovered by Krell or some other decent-sized group with communications, then the group finding PB is almost certain to be followed by the group abandoning, destroying, or otherwise losing PB. So if you want to include a group, go ahead and ensure that it is self-contained.

Personally, I like the idea of Morlocks. Perhaps some time after the war, some group got into the base, got trapped, but found a way to survive (emergency facilities, rations, etc.) and continue through several generations. The team is now contending with a group that considers the base their ancestral home, outside a religious concept, and actually knows the facility. Make them suitably awful, though.
Morlocks might work. I see a number of ways that other searchers would not develop into the situation you describe. They might not know where the base is, but are willing to follow a hunch that the players' party must be headed to some serious treasure and follow them. The "antagonists" might actually not be bad guys, maybe they are the kind of people the Project would hope to recruit.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.