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Old 09-01-2018, 06:32 AM
Gelrir Gelrir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuke11 View Post
Without giving to much away. Did you find the description of the elevator shaft and entrance to the base odd as well? To me it doesn't add up and something is missing to how it is described.
MEDIUM SPOILERS FOLLOW

Keep in mind the outside cover mentions "the specifications, layout and personnel of Juliet Echo One."

The Morrow Base
  • The base does seem kind of a skimpy retread of Prime. The "find it and open things up" sequence seems odd, or maybe unlikely -- an awful lot of digging could go on, and the "find it with a metal detector" scheme seems to ignore all the other metal found in the rubble of a destroyed civilization. The area to be searched is almost 200 square kilometers.
  • The "time to vent nitrogen" and "time to revive people" aren't stated, though a mention of "eight hour increments" suggests that's the amount of time it takes; the scenario seems to want to keep the player-characters "at bay", instead of wandering around the base while the NPCs are thawing. What set of RPG player-characters that have searched, blasted, tunneled, rappeled, etc. will then wait for ... well, they don't know it's eight hours. "Let's just sit on our hands and see what happens."
  • Also, venting tens of thousands of cubic meters of nitrogen gas will be quite the spectacle on the surface.
  • And there's no "back door". The effects of sea level rise on the "big vehicle door" aren't taken into account.
  • The "fire stairs" seem to bypass some of the internal security. The floor plans conflict ... the "MARS" level map on page 109 shows stairs, but none of the later plans show them.
  • It seems the medical staff will be the first people the player-characters interact with ("The 24 Medical staff are the first to be revived when the base is activated."), for eight hours or so ... and the leader of that group is described as "loud, overbearing, arrogant and contemptuous of others' opinions." Spending eight hours working with/under him could be interesting - I don't have a problem with cranky Project members, but a lot more description of his views and reactions would be useful, since by the time anyone higher-ranking and more diplomatic has woken up, this guy may well poison the attitudes of the player-character group.
  • All in all, the Morrow base seems like a tacked-on "reward" for the player-characters after they've dealt with the war, earthquake, etc. -- or a way to entirely bail them out, if they're in over their heads.

The Daidalos Community
  • The Project involvement in "Daidalos" and the "obligation by the Morrow team to do what somebody's great-, great-, great-grandchildren tell you" seems weird; also the "we can't tell anyone at Daidalos that our great-, great-, great grandparents were part of a secret, high-tech organization (the Morrow Project) dedicated to surviving the Atomic War and preserving civilization, because they'll freak out" ... even though Daidalos itself is exactly that. A handout text document of the "orders given to the Morrow Project agents at Daidalos" would have been very useful, since the scenario seems to think these orders convey some sort of authority over Project members.
  • Page 72 seems to say that the likely player-character team (with two 20mm cannon-armed V-150 armored cars) was (besides the usual Recon stuff) to "establish the existence of the Daidalos research facility, and aid their efforts." Having the information known to the team, and their actual instructions, would be a very, very useful handout.
  • When the player-characters are taken for interrogation at Daidalos, if the "refuse to help in any way", or object to rough handling (which implies they get some), they are thrown in jail, where they rot until the town is on the verge of destruction -- up to 2 or 3 months later! Hmm. I don't have an objection to people mistrusting strangers, but the scenario doesn't seem to have much information on what happens if the player-characters don't go along with the script. Keeping members out of the town in one of their two V-150 armored cars, or leaving someone to watch their own vehicles, or breaking out of jail: not described as options.
  • If the player-character team does end up in custody, what their captors do with two armored cars and a lot of 21st Century gear isn't described. Their captors are reasonably tech-savvy, and would have the team's MPID cards.

Science
  • A major feature of the scenario turns on some sketchy geological science ... which is fine; but since the "evidence" and the "refutation" are all up to various NPCs, it seems kinda arbitrary. A particular NPC can be asked to "analyze the data" by the player-characters ... but I haven't seen anything that suggests the player-character team would believe this NPC over some other NPCs. Having a player-character geologist would change a lot of things; none of the pre-generated potential player-characters are geologists.
  • While I don't have a problem with it, one of the pre-gen MP characters barely graduated from high school, and spent 4 years working in a motor pool in the Army. That's fine, and he's an excellent mechanic ... but keep that in mind when your players describe their own non-college-educated Project concepts.
  • A Project NPC has spent two years in the desert with a PRC-70 radio, no Morrow vehicle, somehow monitoring the radio quite a lot -- and keeping the batteries charged. He's not listed as having any technical skills at all.
  • Sentient plants?

Production
  • The illustrations of people, vehicles, etc. are nice, though they don't often seem to be showing what's being described. See page 132 for an example: maybe those are Morrow team members, but what's that vehicle behind them? Maps of California and wide areas are very nice; the maps of towns and the inside of the Morrow base, eh.
  • The whole book is designed to resemble a set of manila folders, open on a wooden board surface. So, about 10-15% of the book is art surrounding the actual text -- the same two pieces of background art.

Things I Do Like
  • There is a lot to like and use here -- and IMPORTANT I haven't read everything in every chapter yet. There's a lot of cultural and personality descriptions of the "nations" in Southern California. There's lots of detailed "order of battle" lists for the various forces going to war as the player-characters arrive. Is there a mass combat system incorporated into the Fourth Edition? I also like that a couple of major fiction/gaming tropes are subverted by the actual events.
  • The authors seem to prefer the player-character team find a diplomatic solution to the war threatening the area. It's nicely not a hand-holding scenario -- here's the people, what will you do? -- and believably nigh-impossible to carry out completely peacefully.

I feel I will get my money's worth from this, and our players will enjoy it, but for our campaign a lot of reworking of the Morrow base will be needed.

Robert O'Connor, listed a content contributer, is presumably the same guy who made the excellent "North American Target List" and "UK and Western European Target List" documents for "classic" MP. I'm pretty sure he's the one who described the effects of the San Onofre reactor being destroyed.

--
Michael B.

Last edited by Gelrir; 09-01-2018 at 06:42 AM. Reason: realized the team has two armored cars
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