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Old 11-23-2008, 05:47 PM
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Default "Operation Reset" and "The free city of Krakow"

Bona nit!


I've just begin a new Twilight:2000 campaign with the "classical" setup, with the characters being members of the 5ht Infantry Division (Mechanized). Well, my campaign does not start with the group isolated in Poland after the failure of the NATO offensive but with the beginning of the offensive itself. If the group survives to the collapse of the 5th ID, this time I've convinced myself to use some of the Twilight:2000 original adventures that have fallen to my hands instead to write new adventures myself. So, I've been taking a look at my Twilight:2000 material, beginning with the "Free city of Krakow" module.


Although I think it is a good module, with good information about Krakow and the surrounding area, the plot regarding "Operation Reset" has never convinced me. My problem is with the magical device able to duplicate the action of any pre-war computer chip destroyed by the EMP effect. I feel that such a device doesn't match in the realistic atmosphere of Twilight:2000 and that it seems too much forced to try to create any interest about it in a group of survivors from the battle of Kalisz who have just arrived to Krakow. I know that I can avoid the "Operation Reset" plot. I've run "The Free City of Krakow" module once, with the players (members of a deserter Soviet Army division) trying to rescue their kidnapped general. Now I'm looking for new ideas and opinions. So...have you used the "Operation Reset" to introduce your characters to "The Free City of Krakow"? Have you used your own plot? Which one? Any impression (or substitute) to the "Reset" device?
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:58 PM
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I replaced reset with something similar to the Linux operating system. Except rather that it being a development of Linus Torvalds it was a development of a Polish Grad student who was working in field of Cryptography.

The power of the operating system was its light weight, platform portability and scalability. If the project was completed it would have allowed the massive scaled computing necessary for cryptography to be performed behind the Iron Curtain with available relatively weak chips (due to the restrictions on imports).

The post war strength of the OS is it allowing the reuse of many lower powered computer chips (such as those found in video games) to replicate higher capacity CPUs.

In other words the operating system would allow many undamaged dormant chips to be clustered together to regain some of the prewar computing levels.
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:11 PM
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I haven't played or GMed FCOK before. I currently GM Pirates of the Vistula and I added RESET as a plot device. Perhaps it is even more far-fetched than the RESET concept from canon but for my campaign, RESET is plans for a cold-fusion device. The prototype was destroyed in the raid to recover the plans and kidnap the Polish scientists who developed the device (they didn't survive the operation).

I figure an almost endless supply of clean energy would go a loooooong way towards aiding in a post-war recovery. Such a RESET device would be just as, if not more, valuable than a "universal chip".

As for FCOK, there are a lot of other plot hooks in the module and one could create a lot of encounters/"quests" for PCs in the city. I once saw a PbEM archive on-line where the PCs set up a radio station servicing the city. It sounds weird, but it was pretty well done.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:19 AM
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I'm with kato13 here. Although I understood how the Reset device theoretically worked, I was never really comfortable with using it as a plot device. I like the OS idea better, and am planning on cribbing it for the next time I run T2k.
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:21 AM
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I have recently returned to GMing T2K, and started with the original storyline. I do give the players a completely free rein, and give myself headaches as a result

Anyway, after much detouring from Kalitz they finally arrived in Krakow more from realising via intel that it was the only safe place to go at that time. I did use the Operation Reset storyline and one of the players had a CIA operative and I had pre-written some background linking his reason for being there with Reset. However I did juggle things about just to make things more interesting and took a few liberties with the 'Randy' npc's survivability and houdini like abilities so as he became a thorn in the side of the players. The hate of the players of such a betrayer makes a good arch-enemy. I agree it is a little too 'scripted' a storyline - depends on your group - but we had a lot of fun. They were more keen to nail Randy than their actual real goal.

I do tend to let the players do what they want and let the plots and storylines develop from there with the actual scenario as the spine. Krakow for me, in this regard, is more of a base of Ops with a hotbed of rumour/contacts and r+r for my group atm.

As for the original question - I guess you can change the electronics/plans to whatever you feel comfortable with. My group are now in Warsaw causing havoc itching for a way to get back to the UK...more headaches for me
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caradhras
I do give the players a completely free rein, and give myself headaches as a result
I'm afraid I'm in the same situation here. One of my group of players get used to this kind of campaign. Usually I think one can get better results with a free rein campaign, but it clearly implies an additional effort for the GM and a higher level of implication for the players. Twilight:2000 and the old modules are well suited for this kind of campaign, though. And I must recognize that sometimes I run a plain, guided and light roleplaying session, like someone who is taking restorative therapy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caradhras
Anyway, after much detouring from Kalitz they finally arrived in Krakow more from realising via intel that it was the only safe place to go at that time.
I agree that the better way to "guide the thoughts" of the players to Krakow especially in a "free rein campaign" is the image of the city as a "safe place" to take a rest and think what to do next.
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:49 AM
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I was thinking about a post-apocalyptic equivalent of the german World War II Enigma device. Perhaps some kind of new cyphering machine suspected to exist by the NATO high command in the transmissions issued during the New Warsaw Pact counteroffensive against the III German Army push towards the Baltic Coast. The New Warsaw Pact, worried about the anarchy and growing numbers of deserting units in the Western Front, tries to reunify the communication protocols and establish a common cyphering method for the loyal units. Nothing revolutionary, but interesting enough to motivate the "Operation Reset".

But I'm not completely convinced by the idea.
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:45 AM
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Now this is one of the main questions I actually had at the front of my mind when I signed up here.

Being pretty excited about running a 'classic' Polish campaign, Operation Restart gave me some pause when I first read it. Firstly, I though involving the players in some sort of intrigue that made them key players was a great idea, but I did realize I'd want to tweak a few things to make it comfortable to run. The specifics behind what exactly Restart is was one of those details I identified that would need some tweaking. I thought the device, as initially described, seemed a bit fanciful, but I wasn't sure. I'm a bit of an old dog who never learned anything more than the basics of how to use the computer system and platforms and software apps, never mind all the behind the scenes nuances, so I would never want to paint a picture in an area that my players (most of which have historically been very computer savvy) might feel they're suspension of disbelief slipping.

I've got to say that the ideas I've seen thus far, especially the idea of Reset being details about a new, scalable OS, are great. I think most players would be able to grasp the importance of such technology for the rebuilding and war efforts of their nation and how deadly and fortuitous a position they're in as holders of the papers.

Definitely good food for thought!
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:38 AM
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Sautations after some time "lurking in the shadows"

Although never confortable with the alternate computer device as described in the "Free City of Karkow", I've found a picture which could be interesting for those who are going to run this module without important modifications.

It's from the TV series "Revolution". I've only seen the first chapter some weeks ago, but yesterday I remembered that a system someway equivalent to the reset device was shown.

Perhaps, it can be useful for someone:

Name:  operation_reset.jpg
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:29 AM
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Hello:

I never liked the Operation Reset theory so I changed it something more interesting... a chemical formula for a synthetic fuel alternative... much more valuable.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:39 AM
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I do not remember playing "Reset" when I played. As a self styled "Geek" with 30+ years in computers, the idea of a new type of chip did interest me when I read the module.

Per v 1.0, the war starts 1995. Right at the start of the deployment of Windows 95. I could see Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc being "drafted" by the US military fairly quickly to come up with new hardware/software to assist the US, NATO and the Chinese. Maybe "Reset" could be a prototype that was sent forward in 1996-1997 for real world testing? Maybe a Spetnaz team captures the prototype during the chaos of the 2000 offensive? Maybe our heroes are sent to retrieve said prototype?

My $0.02

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Old 09-27-2013, 07:46 AM
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Hmmm... I've just wanted to post the picture.

Well, reviving and old thread is always a pleasure.

Ei Mike080, Reset could be Steve Jobs and Bill Gates themselves!

In someway, Reset is too important to the bosses and too meaningless and risky to the characters. From the point of view I use to referee the game and knowing my players, they would throw away the blueprints after having buried the poor Lieutenant Schaeffer. I mean, you have depicted, game to game, the situation in a post-apocalyptic world, the character are isolated and fighting for their own survival and they found... a way to turn on the old computers! (TACHAN!)

"Ok, guys, one more effort! What are you looking me in that way? I know, I know... We 've been fighting for four years; no news from home since the last year; we are short of ammunitions and supplies; nobody knows that we are alive and nobody will do anything to help us... But it's not about us. I'ts about all those databases and silent hard drives, it's about all those bits and bytes trapped in burned chips. Now, we have a real cause to continue fighting for..."(insert here the sound of five weapons in full automatic fire).

I suppose that Reset must be important for the characters to take the bait.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:41 PM
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Bill Gates I could understand but Steve Jobs?
Despite all the hyperbolic praise that's been heaped on him since he died, Jobs did very little work as an inventor but gained his main success as an entrepreneur and marketer. It still amazes me that Jobs get praised for doing the same sort of thing that Bill Gates gets criticized for
Steve Wozniak was the real inventor and it's not often mentioned that Jobs ripped off Wozniak on their first job together but that Wozniak forgave Jobs.

In my view, Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak would be the "prize". At the time that T2k is set, Jobs was the owner/CEO of The Graphics Group. This organization had been part of the computer division of Lucasfilm and went on to create CGI movies. In 1995 it changed its name to Pixar.
Again, Jobs was clever enough to invest in someone else's work and produce some good product from it but again, he was not an inventor but an entrepreneur and marketer.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:45 PM
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In retrospect, I think one of the really interesting-for-a-GM elements of Krakow and the Black Madonna were that both plot pieces:

1. just fall into the players' laps (well OK, in BM, they have to go into a haunted cave to get it) early in the module.
2. it's really, really powerful, but not in the hands of the PCs. They have to find and befriend someone else with connections, to make it useful.
3. There are at least four other groups, who would really, really, like to get their hands on whatever it is...
4. But those groups don't know it's the PCs that have it. Yet.

And all of that sits on top of some pretty well-laid-out sandbox.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
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And all of that sits on top of some pretty well-laid-out sandbox.
Sure. They are good examples of sandbox. Many hours of good gaming can be squeezed of these two modules.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:37 PM
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I replaced reset with something similar to the Linux operating system. Except rather that it being a development of Linus Torvalds it was a development of a Polish Grad student who was working in field of Cryptography.
Related

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/y...ost-apocalypse
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:11 PM
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My Take on the Reset Materials
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:21 PM
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A great option for the flying carpet its kept out of sight so the PC only finds that it is like this until after they get a pilot and mange to get into the hanger.
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:14 AM
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From memory of Free City of Krakow, the Flying Carpet was based at the Wawel Castle. Back in 2010 I managed to spend some time wandering around there, specifically with T2k in mind.
I think FCoK had the helo in the main courtyard in a hangar but I recall thinking that there's not too much room for a helo the size of the Mi-17 as well a hangar. I would think it's easier to make a temporary shelter over the helo that you can remove when you want to fly the machine.

Regardless of how it's stashed though, unless you actually get inside the castle, you will not be able to see the helo because the castle walls are too high plus the castle itself is located on high ground and none of the nearby buildings are tall enough to see over the walls.
In short, you're never going to know they have a helo there unless you can actually get into the Wawel and see it for yourself.

However...
This was unknown to the writers of FCoK because if they had known, I feel certain they would have mentioned it. There are caves under the Wawel castle, they've been used in the past to get fresh water. They are the reputed lair of a dragon that caused a few problems during the reign of king Krakus until it was slain, either by his sons or a cobbler, depending on which bit of folklore you read.

Apparently there are a few entryways to the caves from the castle, the one for tourists to use when I was there in 2010 was in the west wall but there is also an entry point outside the walls and was the way the dragon entered and left the caves.
When searching any maps, look for Smocza Jama or Smok Wawelski for the general location of the concealed entry into the caves.
Google maps - Wawel castle, Krakow https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sm....9337576?hl=en

So... there is a way for the PCs to get into the castle without having to go through the gates but locals have known about the caves for hundreds of years so you can bet whoever is guarding the castle, has that cave entry guarded as well.
Still, it'd probably be easier to overpower a few troops guarding a cave entry than it would be trying to assault the castle gates...

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 10-15-2019 at 08:21 AM. Reason: spelling corrections.. again!
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:10 AM
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If I remember right the whole point of the Med Cruise was to get to the Romanian scientists who had a cheap power idea that MilGov could use to get the US back on its feet. You could possibly use that instead of RESET but make it be information that you have to gather that leads to the scientists location and what they have invented - thus you have a direct lead up to the Last Submarine Trilogy if you want your players to eventually get to that.

RESET would then be an incomplete set of plans or possibly the work of a coworker of theirs that came close to completion but needed those scientists to be able to complete the work. One leads to the other.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdnwolf View Post
Hello:

I never liked the Operation Reset theory so I changed it something more interesting... a chemical formula for a synthetic fuel alternative... much more valuable.
For instance an ethanol or biodiesel that would either allow it to be used for aircraft or that would get a lot more energy out of it or that could brew faster and allow for more fuel production in a lot less time. All of which would be of huge use considering how much Europe and much of the rest of the world has switched over to alcohol based fuels.
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Old 11-05-2019, 04:13 AM
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Krakow has been voted the best city break destination for a third year in a row

Old news. The PCs in my first campaign had the same opinion decades ago. Admittedly there were fewer cheap airfares and package deals back then, and if you failed to pay your bar tab you were enslaved, but still...
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:32 AM
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Old 12-08-2020, 08:50 PM
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My theory is Operation Reset is the plan to reactivate the ruins of the Loop from Tales from the Loop / Things from the Flood.
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Old 12-08-2020, 09:54 PM
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Someone was writing a 'blog that was their T2k campaign, narrated. They played the various modules, and got part of the way through Armies of the Night but it then went away...pity, it was a great read.

But, in his campaign, Operation Reset was a cold fusion device which I thought was a very neat alternative.
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Old 12-09-2020, 05:50 AM
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Oh man. Yeah. Later Days. Also notable for integration of Dark Conspiracy into T2k without breaking theme or mood.

For the newer readers - we've had a few threads on that blog over the years, including one where the referee and a couple of the players stopped by. Be prepared to lose a few hours...

- C.
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Old 12-09-2020, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
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Oh man. Yeah. Later Days. Also notable for integration of Dark Conspiracy into T2k without breaking theme or mood.

For the newer readers - we've had a few threads on that blog over the years, including one where the referee and a couple of the players stopped by. Be prepared to lose a few hours...

- C.
That was it. Later Days. God what a read. Pity it ended. And yeah, the Dark Conspiracy incorporation was brilliant. Just the kind of thing to tease along players who might not be wholly in to the "No, all it is, is that the world ended, and you're soldiers trying to rebuild it" vibe of "straight" T2k.
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