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Old 04-30-2023, 12:57 PM
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Default Campaign Report: Kaserne on the Borderlands

I've mentioned this before, but only as an aside in other discussions. Figured it would be worth kicking off a thread.

Since January, I've been running a semi-regular campaign. On the surface, it's using the 1e timeline and 4e rules, but... other things (some heavily inspired by Later Days) are happening to the PCs and the world around them.

As a means of compiling GM notes, a task at which I typically do a crappy job, and also for the benefit of players who don't make any given session, I've been blogging each session and each set of downtime action. The blog is on my site at https://libellus.de-fenestra.com/; the header on that page includes a link to a list of campaign-specific posts in chronological order.

Enjoy.

- C.
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Clayton A. Oliver Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson

Last edited by Tegyrius; 04-30-2023 at 02:33 PM. Reason: fixed a borken link
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Old 04-30-2023, 03:27 PM
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I've been reading Tegyrius. I'm up to 15th July.

For everyone else, there's been a bit of combat, and a lot more world building or non-combat events than i'm used to.

I like the way the players have the map revealed to them as they explore.
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Old 04-30-2023, 05:09 PM
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Yep. Most of the players are from my college gaming group, which largely orbited around the original World of Darkness games. Two are USAF veterans who had limited prior familiarity with previous editions of T2k; the rest have no military background. This isn't a group that's going to lean heavily into a traditional combat-heavy, militaria-heavy T2k campaign, so I try to drive my GMing style toward their strengths and interests.

- C.
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Clayton A. Oliver Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson
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Old 05-13-2023, 08:45 PM
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I've finally caught up, and I am enjoying the read, thanks for these!

What are you using for the village's farming and food rules?
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Old 05-14-2023, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adm.Lee View Post
I've finally caught up, and I am enjoying the read, thanks for these!

What are you using for the village's farming and food rules?
An overly-complicated spreadsheet.

The 4e rules for food production aren't deeply simulationist, but it seems to me that hunting and foraging are short-term solutions. The real sustainable way to keep a team (or community) alive is the cropland base facility (p. 134). Because "cropland" feels awkward when I type it a lot, I'll use "field" to refer to the basic unit of agricultural production (without trying to figure out what "one cropland" or "one field" means in actual land area).

When I set up the village, I decided it had about one field per permanent resident, three dairy cows, and about a dozen pigs. Hand-waving this worked for a while, but when I mentioned harvest season was coming, my players got a lot more interested in food supply (I told you I had an atypical group). A bit of math that I didn't record, along with some arbitrary decisions, gave me the village's current food supply. I then did some cursory research into the Polish planting and harvest cycle for major crops. This let me allocate the fields by crop, and from that, I could determine the amount of effort needed for planting and harvesting.



Mu ultimate goal here was to make food a background concern but not the dominant issue facing the team.

I maintain a separate spreadsheet for tracking downtime activity (and some other daily events and logistics). Unless a PC is on light duty or otherwise unavailable, I assume they have three shifts of activity each day. My players give me varying levels of input and I roll for anything requiring it (a high level of player/ref trust and a strong social contract help at my table are helpful here). Here's an example from earlier in the campaign:



You'll note that some of the downtime tasks have fractional completion notes. For tasks that the book says require "one week," I require 20 shifts of work; for tasks measured in days, I convert each day's effort to 3 shifts.

This brings us around to the harvest spreadsheet (told you it was overly-complicated!). When I set this up, I ran some numbers on how many of the villagers were able-bodied enough to contribute full effort to working the fields. Based on this, and assuming that most of the village is involved in daily farming, I figured out how thin they'd be spread each month. Further assuming that each villager has INT d8 + Survival d8, this gives me what the NPCs are actually rolling for each month's harvest, including assistance bonuses. If a PC puts in the 20 shifts of harvesting a field, I roll their INT + Survival rather than those of the NPCs. Here's what July's results looked like:



... and looking at this, I see I completely failed to include the animal fodder in the harvest math. Enh. I may or may not re-work that - it's not as critical as animal food.

Also, as I worked on this, it became evident that 4e has no rules for food preservation. Under rules as written, any food produced without industrial means will spoil in a week. I'm assuming that by 2000, surviving communities have figured out such arcane technologies as canning, curing, smoking, salting, and pickling, so the villagers are doing a great deal of food preservation off-screen to ensure everyone makes it through the next three seasons...

- C.
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Clayton A. Oliver Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson
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Old 05-15-2023, 11:46 AM
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Really interesting stuff, Teg. I don't know how I feel about trying to manage that much info across spreadsheets as a Ref, but I'm happy that it seems to be working for you and your players.

Regarding food preservation, agreed that 4e could definitely use some official rules. In the meantime, I've found this supplement to be pretty handy (plus I worked with the author, Andre, on the Canon Plus supplement - he's a good dude).

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...0--Jars--Jerky
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Old 05-15-2023, 02:26 PM
Ckosacranoid Ckosacranoid is offline
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It has been very fun reading along every few days that I turn on the computer. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-15-2023, 04:49 PM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
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Thanks for all that, I will dive into it later.

First, though, "cropland"!? I looked yesterday, but for "field" or "farm"-- no wonder I was confused, and had to ask you what you were using!

{goes to shelves, pulls down rulebook}

Ahhhh, there it is.

I notice you don't have rye among the crops, I have a memory that that was a common crop in Poland-- I used it for color in at least one adventure.
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Last edited by Adm.Lee; 05-15-2023 at 04:54 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2023, 07:22 PM
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I probably don't have it because it wasn't listed in the growing season resources I was able to dig up with some cursory research. Next year's planting will probably have sugar beets, too, if Magda has her way.

Meanwhile, for those who are all caught up... the last block of downtime (20-26 August) and last Thursday's session (27-28 August) have seen a few different plot threads escalate.

- C.
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Clayton A. Oliver Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson

Last edited by Tegyrius; 05-22-2023 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 05-24-2023, 12:56 PM
Ckosacranoid Ckosacranoid is offline
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How far into the supernatural are you planning on going with this? Minor and really getting into it with werewolves and vampires and other things that most people would chuck up to weird drugs?
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2023, 05:10 PM
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I haven't fully decided yet. My players are starting to characterize the current level of weirdness as post-apocalyptic X-Files and that feels like the right place to keep it for a while.

- C.
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Clayton A. Oliver Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson
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Old 07-02-2023, 07:25 PM
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After a few weeks of blogging burnout, I went on a massive binge today and vomited forth five posts (some are backdated). This brings the blog up to current with in-game events, as combat in the Battle of Radom concluded last session. As always, here's the main blog page and here's the chronological index of campaign posts.

Coming up in the next couple of weeks: a post-battle summary of forces and captured equipment, introductions of all of the secondary PCs and NPCs who've been generated over the past month, and maybe some referee thoughts on how I ran this story arc.

(There are also some scheduled non-T2k posts from my back catalog.)

- C.
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Clayton A. Oliver Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson
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Old 05-08-2024, 07:42 AM
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And we're back! The campaign went on hiatus last August due to life events, and that interregnum lasted quite a bit longer than expected. We're back in action, though - and the blog is now caught up to the current state of play!

All game-related posts are indexed in chronological order here. If you're joining us for the first time or are a returning reader with more time than memory, start at the top and work your way down.

If you're coming back after reading up through the start of the hiatus, scroll down to the second horizontal line. You may want to start with Kaserne on the Borderlands: The Story So Far to refresh yourself. After that, the story continues in the successive links on the index page.

- C.
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Clayton A. Oliver Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson
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Old 05-27-2024, 10:03 AM
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In the most recent session, the team continues probing Radomsko and Radomsko takes exception.

Witchcraft and Rust.

- C.
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Clayton A. Oliver Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson
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Old 06-08-2024, 04:15 PM
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Agent Ellis takes a nice stroll in the city and shoots some home video. Cat hears a voice from the past. The team returns a stranded motorist to her family.

Ellis Takes a Walk
Transfusion

Then the team splits up to do some hearts-and-minds work in Kamiensk and do some more sightseeing in Radomsko.

Kamiensk Downtime and Radomsko Reconnaissance

- C.
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Clayton A. Oliver Occasional RPG Freelancer Since 1996

Author of The Pacific Northwest, coauthor of Tara Romaneasca, creator of several other free Twilight: 2000 and Twilight: 2013 resources, and curator of an intermittent gaming blog.

It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.
- Josh Olson
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