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Old 09-10-2008, 03:56 AM
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Default Mini-Adventure - Last Voyage of USS RAZORBACK (SS-394)

gstitz 07-24-2008, 08:02 PM I wrote this for a Twlight:2020 campaign that I had in mind that never got off the ground. I thought you guys might like to see it. With a few changes, it could be ANY small museum ship anywhere in the world...


Before the Twilight War, I would have never believed that a body could bleed so much and still be alive. Of course, since the nukes started going off, I’ve seen so much death that nothing about death surprises me much anymore. What DID kind of surprise me was that marauders even found this place. I mean, we wouldn’t have even suspected it existed if we hadn’t seen the smoke.

As the group is traveling down a road in the southern US, one of the characters spots a plume of smoke coming from behind a rock ridge that parallels the road. Alerted, the group notices vehicle tracks leading off the main road toward the ridge.

If they decide to investigate, they will quickly come across a large truck mired in a well-designed pit trap. All the tires are flattened by large, sharpened stakes. Three dead marauders are still in the truck. There is no way to drive around the scene, but by climbing over the large rocks on each side, the characters are able to proceed on foot.

Marauder truck – 5-ton truck with USMC markings crudely painted over. All tires are flat and one of the fuel tanks has been punctured. The other is approximately 1/3 full of alcohol fuel (40 liters).

(The truck can be returned to service, IF the tires can be repaired or replaced. It will take 3 days of hard work to get it out of the pit trap)

Marauder equipment – 3 assault rifles (2d6 magazines each) 2 helmets, fatigues, 1 pair good boots, 1 pair poor boots, 1 pair tennis shoes

The remaining marauders (group size +4) are trying to attack a well-defended homestead. Several outbuildings have been set ablaze. The defenders are in a series of trenches, and are carefully returning fire. In addition, someone is shooting from a bunker with a sniper rifle. If the group has radio interception gear, they will pick up bursts of static on a variety of random frequencies.

With the group’s help, the marauders are quickly overwhelmed. The survivors are suspicious but a quick offer of medical treatment will win them over, as one member of their group was badly wounded.

What IS it about marauders, anyway? Why do they always want to burn something? Not that I’m complaining. While they were busy torching the place, the LT was able to set up a nice ambush. They won’t be burning anybody else’s place down.

Once the fighting was over, we tried to see if there was anyone left to save. Fortunately, most of the women and young kids made it into their bunker. Several of the young guys died fighting the marauders, but one old guy in his 60s must have fought the whole time he was retreating into the bunker. Reminded me of a song I heard once, “he was shot in a couple of places and stabbed in a couple more”.

The old guy had a pretty typical farmer/survivor look, except for a blue ball cap he was wearing. He kept looking at me and trying to say something, trying to call me over, while Doc worked on him. Doc wasn’t really trying to save him, just trying to make the other survivors feel like we did our best.

Finally, when the old guy wouldn’t stay still, Doc called me over. When I got close, I saw the ball cap had a funny symbol on it and the words USS Razorback – SS-394 sewn on it. The old guy thrust in my hands and said,

“Blueprints…inside…spares… priceless…torpedoes…drydock”

After discussions with the survivors, the group learns about the existence of an intact, working submarine – USS Razorback (SS 394).


In 1970, USS Razorback (SS 394), a Balao-class submarine, modernized under the GUPPY IIA program, was sold to Turkey. She was recommissioned as TCG Muratreis (S 236).

In 2001, the Turkish Navy decided to decommission Muratreis, the last of the Balao class submarines they had purchased from the United States in the 1970s, as new submarines from Germany were finally arriving. A group of retired American submariners were able to convince the Mayor of North Little Rock, AR, Patrick Hays, that Razorback/Muratreis would be an ideal addition to the maritime museum he was planning. With the mayor’s support, the group, after much effort, was able to marshal enough funds to have Razorback/Muratreis towed across the Atlantic. She arrived in North Little Rock in 2004 and opened as a museum in 2005.

What makes Razorback special? She is one of only two museum submarines that were not modified for visitor access. Her pressure hull remains intact.

Now a submarine in central Arkansas might seem pretty useless, but in 2018, just before the unexpected start of the Twilight War, Razorback was in dry dock for a new paint job, funded by Erik Walton, one of the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune and a former submariner himself.

Inside the submarine is stored the museum’s archives of over 2,600 blueprints originally used to build the submarine, including detailed blueprints of the diesel engines, which are basically the same as a diesel locomotive engine. The submarine’s engines are connected to generators, so they could be used to create electrical power. There are also complete (priceless) blueprints for the generators.

In addition, there are three torpedoes of two different types. All three have working engines, but only inert warheads. There are also complete technical manuals and blueprints for the torpedoes (including blueprints for “warshot” (i.e. live) warheads).

Finally, there are also hundreds of hand tools, power tools and even a priceless lathe and drill press.

In the right hands, these could become the basis for an industrial and/or military revival.

When the bombs started falling, work on Razorback ceased as workers fled for their lives. The only two men to remain on site were the “two Greg’s” – Greg Zonner, the Museum’s Executive Director, and Greg Stitz, the Museum’s Curator. Before abandoning “their” submarine, the two men made sure all of Razorback’s deck hatches were secure and watertight, locking all but one (the hatch in the conning tower) with chains from the inside. Then, they took sections of 36” sewer pipe and built a cofferdam down the “sail” to the conning tower hatch. Once they were sure the cofferdam was watertight, they flooded the dry dock to the brim, while keeping the dry dock gate closed. Razorback’s ballast tanks were left open, so she remained on the bottom of the dry dock. The dry dock filled up until only the top of Razorback’s sail was visible. Then, to top it all off, they put a small sailboat in the dry dock, moored it directly above Razorback’s sail, and sank it by bashing a hole in the bottom of the hull with an axe.

Their work done, the two Greg’s tried to make their way back home to their families.

To the casual observer, the dry dock appears wrecked and filled with muddy, mosquito-infested, stagnant water. While the masts of some unknown vessel stick up above the water, the effort to even determine what kind of vessel is at the bottom of the dry dock is more than any of the passing marauders have been willing to expend.

The machine shops have been stripped of anything useful and are occasionally occupied by passing marauders or even wild animals. A female alligator has built a nest in the remains of the sailboat. She has taught several groups of marauders to keep away from “her pond” - the hard way.

The Mississippi River has returned to its old ways, as if man had never tried to tame her. The various dams have either failed or been breached and most of the “flood control” levees have either collapsed or been bypassed as “Old Muddy” has sought easy passage to the Gulf of Mexico. In the spring, the River overflows its banks in many places, flooding thousands of square miles. In the late summer, especially in the current drought-stricken time, the river shrinks to a fraction of its “normal” size, and the land is parched and brown for miles on either side.

At flood stage, the area around the dry dock is anywhere from merely sticky to inundated, depending on the severity of the flood and the Mississippi flows freely into the dry dock. Only during a severe drought does the river fall far enough for the dry dock gate to be seen out of the muck. The shipyard is over 10 miles from the nearest town; far enough away that no serious attempt to settle the area has been made, despite the stout buildings, and only occasionally have marauders even made the attempt to investigate. After all, until recently, there was far easier prey to be found.


Raellus 07-24-2008, 11:37 PM Thanks for sharing this, Gstitz.

I like the idea of a couple of intrepid curators doing everything they can to "save" their boat. It would be pretty neat to go trapsing about in an old WWII-era submarine after the apocalype. Nautical campaigns appeal to me.

Odd coincidence that one of the characters in your module has the same name and job title as its author...

; )

The song you mention wouldn't happen to be by Jim Croce, would it?


Targan 07-24-2008, 11:53 PM Gstitz, that is a great read. It gave me chills. Did you have yourself in mind as the old guy with the blue cap?


thefusilier 07-25-2008, 04:24 AM Nice. If one were to use this for regular twilight2000, would it be possible? Or was the real life Turkish decommissioning/resale of the sub after 1996?


gstitz 07-25-2008, 08:46 PM By 2020, I will be nearly 60, and given the realities of post-Twilight War life, yes I figure I'm the "old guy". My boss, Greg Zonner is about 8 years older than me, so he would be pushing 70.

The scenario could certainly be pushed back to an original Twilight:2000 timeline. In reality, Razorback / Muratreis was still in service in 1996 (she was decommissioned in 2001), but you could easily "adjust" that date back to fit (decommissioning in 1984, moved to North Little Rock in 1986, having her 10-year drydocking in 1996).

The neat part is, we REALLY DID receive a complete set of construction blueprints from the Turkish Navy (for the submarine only, no ordnance blueprints) along with the submarine. I have over 2,800 blueprints in the archive. The drill press and lathe on the boat still work.

Also, Razorback has not be modified for visitor access in any way. We use the original hatches and ladders on a daily basis, so this scenario IS plausible.


thefusilier 07-25-2008, 10:39 PM Saving this into my T2000 archives... thanks gstitz.


gstitz 07-26-2008, 08:01 PM Another possibility for this scenario is USS Cod, a museum submarine in Cleveland, OH. She is the only other museum submarine (besides Razorback) in the US that has not had large holes cut in her for visitor access...

Cod has been in Cleveland since 1976, so a drydocking in a small, out of the way shipyard anywhere in the Great Lakes region, or up a small river somewhere nearby, just before the Twilight War breaks out would be plausible.

Once nice thing about COD is that she is still in her WWII configuration, with a 5" 25-caliber deck gun and mounts for machine guns on her cigarette decks fore and aft of the bridge (assume NATO standard Heavy Mount for a M2HB or MK-19 GL).

The deck gun has a stainless steel bore, so you wouldn't have to worry about corrosion of the innards, just the movable parts, and the party would have blueprints for those...


rcaf_777 07-29-2008, 07:42 PM There some other Ships that might work

USS Intrepid (CV/CVA/CVS-11)

The fourth USS Intrepid (CV/CVA/CVS-11) is an Essex-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. Intrepid participated in the Pacific Theatre of Operations of World War II, most notably the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Later she recovered spacecraft of the Mercury and Gemini programs and served in the Vietnam War. Since 1982, Intrepid has been part of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City. Because of her prominent role in battle, she was nicknamed "the Fighting I", while her often ill luck earned her the nickname "the Evil I".

The USS Intrepid was launched on April 26, 1943 by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Virginia, and the fifth Essex-class aircraft carrier to be launched. She was sponsored by the wife of Vice Admiral John H. Hoover. On August 16, 1943 she was commissioned with Captain Thomas L. Sprague in command before heading to the Caribbean for shake-down and training. The Intrepid's motto upon setting sail was "In Mare in Caelo", which means "In the Sea in Heaven".

The Intrepid has one of the most distinguished service records of any Navy ship, seeing active service in the Pacific Theatre including the Marshall Islands, Truk, Leyte Gulf, and Okinawa. At war's end, she was in Enewetak and soon supported occupation forces providing air support and supply services before heading back to California.

During 1976, Intrepid was moored at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia and hosted exhibits as part of the United States Bicentennial celebrations.

Plans originally called for Intrepid to be scrapped after decommissioning, but a campaign led by real estate developer Zachary Fisher and the Intrepid Museum Foundation saved the carrier, and established it as a museum ship. In August 1982, the ship opened in New York City as the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. Four years later Intrepid was officially designated as a National Historic Landmark

Over the years, Intrepid has hosted many special events. On July 4, 1993, Intrepid was the site of the World Wrestling Federation's Yokozuna Bodyslam Challenge. She also annually takes part in New York City's Fleet Week, which celebrates the service of the world's naval forces. In addition to its function as a museum ship, the Intrepid serves as an emergency operations center for city and federal authorities if the need arises. She was towed to New Jersey just before the war for US by the US Navy as possible emergency operations center for Noforlk.

USS Growler (SSG-577)

USS Growler (SSG-577), a Grayback-Class submarine, was the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the growler, a large-mouth black bass.

Growler was laid down on 15 February 1955 by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She was launched on 5 April 1958 sponsored by Mrs. Robert K. Byerts, widow of Commander Thomas B. Oakley, Jr., who commanded the third Growler on her 9th, 10th, and fatal 11th war patrols. Growler commissioned at Portsmouth on 30 August 1958 with Lieutenant Commander Charles Priest, Jr., in command.

After training exercises off the East Coast Growler sailed south for her shakedown cruise, arriving at the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico, on 19 February 1959, after a brief run back to Portsmouth, she returned to the Caribbean Sea in March to train in launching Regulus I and II guided missiles. Growler returned to Portsmouth 19 April via Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and New London, Connecticut.

Growler then proceeded to the Pacific via Norfolk, Virginia, Key West, Florida, and the Panama Canal, putting in at Pearl Harbour on 7 September to serve as flagship of Submarine Division 12. At Pearl Harbour the guided missile sub participated in a variety of battle and torpedo exercises as well as missile practice before beginning her first Regulus Deterrent Mission. On this mission, who lasted from 12 March to 17 May 1960, Growler departed Hawaii with a full store of Regulus II sea-to-surface missiles, armed with nuclear warheads, and patrolled under a strict cloak of secrecy. Their patrols could last two months or more at a stretch and required them to remain submerged for hours and even days, which at first hardly seems difficult when compared to the patrols of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, but was a strain for the crew of a much smaller diesel boat. It is traditional that the log entries for 00:00 (midnight) on New Year's Day be made in verse. On 1 January 1961, during Growler's second patrol, Lieutenant (J.G.) Bruce Felt wrote: "Not our idea of fun and good cheers/But doing our job to ensure many New Years."

From May 1960 through December 1963 Growler had made nine such deterrent mission patrols, one of which, the fourth, terminated at Yokosuka, Japan, on 24 April 1962, as the Navy displayed one of its newest weapons.

Returning to Mare Island, California, Growler decommissioned 25 May 1964 and was placed in reserve. She was moved to the Inactive Fleet section in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 August 1980, and was scheduled to be used as a torpedo target. However, on 8 August 1988, Congress awarded the hulk to Zachary Fisher, Chairman of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. In 1994 she was taken up by the US Navy and is being overhaul for speical duty in Europe

USS Edson (DD-946)

USS Edson (DD-946) is a Forrest Sherman-class destroyer of the United States Navy, named for Colonel Merritt “Red Mike” Edson USMC (1897–1955), who was awarded the Medal of Honour while serving as Commanding Officer of the First Marine Raider Battalion.

Edson was launched 4 January 1958 by Bath Iron Works Corp., Bath, Maine; sponsored by Mrs. M. A. Edson; and commissioned 7 November 1958, Commander Thomas J. Moriarty in command.

Edson called at Ciudad Trujillo and Caribbean ports while conducting shakedown training en route to Callao, Peru, where she lay from 18 to 21 February 1959 delivering supplies for the U.S. Embassy in Lima. She reached Long Beach, California, her home port, 2 March, and through the remainder of the year perfected her readiness with exercises along the west coast. On 5 January 1960 she sailed from Long Beach for her first deployment in the Far East, during which she patrolled in the Taiwan Straits and took part in amphibious operations off Okinawa, and exercises of various types off Japan. On 29 April, she rescued three aviators from Ranger (CVA-61). Edson returned to Long Beach 31 May for an overhaul which continued through October. Edson spent the remainder of 1960 conducting training off San Diego.

Edson served as plane guard for carriers on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf, participated in Sea Dragon operations, patrolled on search and rescue duties and carried out Naval Gunfire Support missions during the conflict in Vietnam. On 17 June 1968 she apparently took friendly fire from the US Air Force, along with several other U.S. and Australian ships.

The Edson served as a museum ship at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City from 30 June 1989 until 1996 when she was take back into service by US Navy for service with Task Force 34

USCGC Tamaroa (WAT/WMEC-166)

USCGC Tamaroa (WAT/WMEC-166) was a United States Coast Guard Cutter, originally the United States Navy salvage tug USS Zuni (ATF-95). Following the USGC custom of naming cutters after Native American tribes, she is named after the Tamaroa tribe of the Illiniwek tribal group.

She was one of 70 built in her class for the US Navy. She saw action in World War II, including the Marianas, Philippines, and Iwo Jima operations. After the war she was transferred to the USCG. She was involved in the landmark tort case, Ira S. Bushey & Sons, Inc. v. United States, 398 F.2d 167 (2d Circ. 1968), in which the United States was held vicariously liable for the damage caused by the Tamaroa to a dry dock after an intoxicated seaman opened dry dock valves, causing the ship to list and slide off its blocks.

The bulk of her USCG career was spent patrolling the seas, working in drug interdiction, and fisheries protection. She rescued both the crew of the yacht Satori, as well as the crew of a downed Air National Guard helicopter. She was also the first vessel to arrive at the sinking Andrea Doria.

After she was de-commissioned from the USGC, she was donated to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City, but she never made it. The US Navy quickly recomissioned her for harbour defence duty, she was later added to Task Force 34


DeaconR 07-29-2008, 08:03 PM Thanks RCAF for putting up those examples. I wish I had had them and this scenario when I was running my campaign still, I would have really enjoyed it. There's something very touching about the story. One thing I've always enjoyed about the better TW2000 scenarios is the human element, which you've captured very well. I think that this is a lot better than the grab the missiles scenario in "Last Submarine".


Trailer_Park_Jawa 08-13-2008, 07:16 PM Hi gstitz,

When you say large holes are cut into the sub for visitor access, I'm assuming you mean in the internal passageways? So does this mean the USS Pampanito in San Francisco is off the list?

Nice work!



gstitz 08-13-2008, 09:03 PM Hi gstitz,

When you say large holes are cut into the sub for visitor access, I'm assuming you mean in the internal passageways? So does this mean the USS Pampanito in San Francisco is off the list?

Nice work!


No, I mean BIG holes cut through the PRESSURE hull.

Yes, PAMPANITO is off the list.

In fact, EVERY museum submarine is off the usable list, except USS COD and USS RAZORBACK.

They have ALL had some kind of hole cut into the pressure hull, either in the top or in the side, for visitor access. RAZORBACK and COD are the two exceptions. We both have full watertight integrity (or pretty darn close to it).

The rest could possibly be used as surface ships, assuming that the deck guns could be made operational (or could be replaced with more modern ordnance). The exceptions to this would be U-505 and USS ALBACORE. Both had holes cut through the SIDES for visitor access.

Most of the historic surface fleet have had their props removed at some point. INTREPID retained hers until this most recent overhaul and ORLECK (a destroyer) had hers until this summer. Of course, a good GM can always ignore this minor detail...

Another thought is that USS TEXAS, a pre-WWII dreadnought and USS OLYMPIA (part of the "Great White Fleet") might be two of the vessels most easily usable in T2K. Both are very low tech, meaning easy to operate & maintain on a T2K industrial base. I think OLYMPIA is still set up as coal burning, even. Neither vessel had computerized fire control, navigation, etc. to be burned out by EMP. But I digress...

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Old 01-09-2018, 08:00 AM
Olefin Olefin is offline
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actually the USS Pampanito is on the list of possible useable submarines - still doing research but she is fully capable of surface operations and has a single working torpedo tube and her engines would be capable of moving her under her own power - the question is more would she be able to submerge operationally and to what depth - definitely not her full range but even enough to fully submerge the ship would make her better than no subs at all

From what I have found so far the modifications that were done to have visitors access her were done by removing the torpedo loading hatches and adding railings - and per their website those changes were made with the ability to restore the sub's hull integrity fully - i.e. they didnt cut holes thru the pressure hole as they have done with other submarines - thus at the very least you have a viable surface ship that could be armed with 40mm and 20mm guns and her deck gun could be made operational as well.

Basically even if she couldnt submerge fully she would still be quite an asset in 2001 for a USN that didnt have much in the way of operational ships in CA.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:17 PM
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Raellus Raellus is offline
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It's an interesting idea, but wouldn't a surfaced sub only be able to operate in calm seas? From what I've read about submarines, I get the impression that they are not well suited for operating in heavy weather. In fact, isn't it dangerous to do so?
Author of Twilight 2000 adventure modules, Rook's Gambit and The Poisoned Chalice, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, the gear-book, Baltic Boats, and the co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

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Old 01-09-2018, 03:01 PM
Olefin Olefin is offline
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The Germans operated them on the surface during WWII as did the US in heavy weather - and this is a WWII submarine not a modern one.

About the only real concern in heavy weather was that it could cause issues with water going down the hatches if they were open - but you could dog the hatches and the crew on top would have to open them to get back inside

wouldnt be a very fun ride for sure but remember that WWII submarines were not really undersea vessels - they were more adapted for surface operations than today's subs - which is why they had deck guns and AA guns

the scenes in Das Boot of the subs operating in one hell of a storm on the surface are accurate - that wasnt just movie magic - but again it would be one hell of a ride - and I sure wouldnt want to try serving food for sure
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