RPG Forums

Go Back   RPG Forums > Writing/Role Playing Section > Post Apoc Creative Writing

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #31  
Old 06-07-2023, 09:20 AM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default

Thanks, kc. I'm really pleased that you're enjoying it.

To clarify, on the HW roll to shoot the truck's engine, I rolled two d10s (i.e. two ten-sided die), but only got one success. IIRC, at least two of the ammo die came up 1s, so I didn't push the roll. On the next turn, I rolled 0 successes and at least three 1s. Just really bad luck.

-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 06-10-2023, 12:53 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default Christmas in July

It’s about 0630 hours on July 29th. The sun has crawled above the eastern horizon, disappeared into a low, thick overcast. The cloud cover has a sickly, greenish tinge today.

While the Diamonds wait for the last of the prisoners to reach the woods east of the POW camp, Sarge switches seats, leans forward so that he’s almost nose-to-nose with Captain Walker. The OT-64’s troop compartment is fairly spacious for an APC, but it doesn’t offer any real privacy.

“I’m not liking the idea of wandering the woods with 30 jumpy friendlies- makes blue-on-blue a real danger,” he starts, just above a whisper. “Plus, if Ivan’s going to go after ‘em, they’re gonna start by sweeping those woods. What if we zig instead of zag, head west, maybe even draw Ivan away from the prisoners?”

Walker considers the suggestion for a few seconds before responding, “Isn’t there a river just east of here? The Prosna, is it?

“Yes Cap'n, but Pole Position can swim.”

Walker removes her K-pot, slips on a Warsaw Pact-issue padded AFV crewman’s helmet, plugs into the vehicle’s intercom system.

“Willis, how long will it take to prep Pole Position to swim a river?”

There’s a pause, long enough that Walker wonders if the intercom is working. “Less than five minutes,” Grease finally replies. “Just gotta set up the trim vane, test the props- then should be good to go.”

“Okay. We’re gonna head west, look for a good crossing point,” Walker says.

Aside from a thin haze of smoke over the forest, beyond where the road enters the tree line up ahead, there’s been no further sighting of the Soviet reaction force. When the last of the freed POWs is out of sight, Grease executes a three-point turn, backtracks through the hamlet, before turning right on to a paved two-lane heading west, towards the Prosna River. The paved road stops about 460m from the river, but a dirt farm track leads from the terminus right up to the riverside.

It takes a while to find a spot where the slope of the both near and far banks is gentle enough for Pole Position to make ingress and egress with minimal risk of getting stuck. The Prosna itself is only about 12m wide- less than twice the OT-64’s length. It’s possible that the APC’s wheels won’t even leave solid ground during the very brief crossing.

After successfully crossing the Prosna and lowering the bow-mounted swim vane, the Diamonds head south, following a dirt path that parallels the winding river.

“What the… is that snow? In July?” Honeybear asks, from up in the gunner’s cupola. Nobody makes out what he says. A few gray flakes drift into the troop compartment through the open air-guard hatches.

“Button up! Everybody, button up now!” Bird shouts from the vehicle commander’s seat. There’s a scramble in to shut all of the roof hatches. For reasons beyond any of the Diamonds’ grasp of meteorology, it’s snowing ash- likely radioactive- that’s somehow managed to escape the upper atmosphere. It's not an unknown phenomenon, though. All of the Diamonds have heard of the infamous "rain of death". However, not everyone realizes what the danger was (and still is) until Pole Position is locked down, and there's a moment of relative calm in which to share information.

Between the ash and the already dim morning light, visibility through Pole Position's various view ports is significantly diminished. It’s hard to see beyond about 100m. Grease slows the APC and continues to follow the riverside tracks. A few minutes pass before Pole Position emerges from the ash fall as if having rolled through an ephemeral curtain.

“Are you feeling OK?” Sandy asks the team radioman. P.R. is staring at his upturned K-Pot, held in his lap, his face looking pale and waxy. “I think I’m gonna be sick,” he announces, just before vomiting into his helmet.

“Shit,” Sarge mutters, quickly removing his own helmet, into which he promptly joins P.R. in emptying his stomach.

Trapped in the close confines of the locked-down crew compartment, some sympathy vomiting inevitably ensues. For a couple of minutes, Pole Position plays host to a veritable puke-fest. P.R. and Sarge can't stop.

Walker looks meaningfully at Deacon, the team's de facto medic.

"Could be radiation poisoning," he offers.

“Willis, look for a decent place to stop,” Walker instructs over the intercom.

“Looks like maybe a church up ahead, ‘bout 300m; couple other small buildings too, maybe a road running east-west,” Grease responds.

“There’s some trees a little over to the right where we could set up and observe,” Bird suggests from the commander’s seat. Grease repeats this for Capt. Walker.

“Sounds good. Head for the trees, stop there.”


REF’S NOTES:
After discovering that I don’t have any playing cards that I could use to generate a random encounter with the Oracle at home (I know, I know, I could have just used the encounter deck, or used an app), I pulled another card from the encounter deck: Rain of Ash! Although the PCs were able to get “indoors” quickly, I decided to roll for Rad Attacks anyway. Only P.R. (2 permanent rads) and Sarge (2 permanent rads) failed their Stamina rolls (using only their STR attribute, since neither had the skill); the other PCs rolling d6s were very lucky (and Sandy & Honeybear both rolled successes on their two d12s). I went ahead and rolled to see if anyone gained permanent rads from the rad attack and, fortunately, no one did.


-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 06-16-2023 at 09:26 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 06-17-2023, 06:42 PM
kcdusk's Avatar
kcdusk kcdusk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 516
Default

Did the driver of Pole Position have to make a driving roll, to successfully swim the river?
__________________
"Beep me if the apocolypse comes" - Buffy Sommers
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 06-17-2023, 07:14 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcdusk View Post
Did the driver of Pole Position have to make a driving roll, to successfully swim the river?
I believe so. I don't remember seeing anything in the rules specifically about amphibious vehicle operations, but it seems like something that would merit a driving check as it's not really routine for most military vehicle operators, and would, IRL, require more skill than simply driving down the road would. So, I rolled for it.

-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 06-19-2023, 02:20 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default End of Shift 1, July 29, 2000

It’s hard to see much through the SKOT’s vision blocks, but it doesn’t look like it’s “snowed” here. From what Grease and Bird can observe without exiting the vehicle, the nearby settlement consists of an old brick church and less than a half-dozen other structures sitting astride a paved east-west road. There are no obvious indications of habitation.

Sarge and P.R. have both stopped vomiting, but nausea, dizziness, and weakness persist. Deacon does his best to treat them, but there’s not a lot he can do with the team’s scant medical supplies.

“Charcoal might help. If you can find or make some charcoal…” Deacon speculates.

“Gas masks and gloves,” Walker instructs the scout team (Bird, Honeybear, Sandy). “At least until we can get a look at the ground.” They exit via the SKOT’s rear doors which, being oriented vertically, are less likely to be retaining as many potentially radioactive dust particles as the horizontal roof hatches.

A close inspection of the earth and foliage in the vicinity of Pole Position suggests that this area didn’t receive a dusting of ash, so Walker authorizes everyone to remove their uncomfortable MOPP gear. Grease sets about rinsing Pole Position down with buckets of water from the nearby Prosna.

With Bird on point, Walker leads the scout team towards the hamlet. As they get closer, it becomes apparent that there’s been fighting here, although it looks to have taken place several months, if not years, earlier. There are several shell holes in the old stone church, including one that caved in most of its roof, exposing the interior to the elements.

Each of the settlement’s handful of buildings is given a cursory search; all appear to have been thoroughly looted. The only items of use that the scouts find are a fishing pole and a European football (i.e. soccer ball).

The scouts return to Pole Position with their meager haul of loot. Captain Walker spreads out the unit's map of the AO on the troop compartment floor. Her index finger traces the Prosna River south from Grabow, until it curls east just north of an east-to-west paved road. If Captain Walker is reading the map right, the hamlet they’ve just searched isn’t even on it.

“If we’re here, then we’re only about… 5 klicks south of Grabow, and Ivan. And I don’t like being so close to this paved road, especially when we know they’re looking for us.” She looks at Sarge, “You OK to travel?”

“Yes, ma’am,” McNulty grunts, failing to conceal his continuing discomfort.

Walker flashes a skeptical frown, but she doesn’t argue. “Question then is, where to next?”

Leaning over the 1:50,000 scale US Army map, Walker points out a highway running north-south intersecting their line of march on a westerly heading. If the Soviets are still trying to cut off escape for survivors of the 5th ID, that highway is probably patrolled aggressively. The woods the Diamond’s had been dipping in and out of for the past two days lie to the east.

“That leaves south,” Walker’s finger taps an irregular patch of dark green on the map. “This small forest is about 5 klicks from here. We could lay up there for a few hours, take a bit of breather.”

There are no objections. Grease drives the SKOT out of the thicket and turns east on to the road running through the hamlet. For the next half-an-hour or so, the Diamonds' driver follows a more or less southerly heading, using mostly unpaved country roads. The dark line of the forest is soon visible on the southern horizon. Pole Position rolls towards a small hamlet.

Up ahead, an old man- he must be at least 75- steps out from behind a stack of hay bales by the roadside and fires a single shot well over the approaching APC with what appears to be a bolt-action rifle.

A somewhat comedic standoff ensues- an elderly Polish David squaring up to an armored Goliath.

With Bird and Honeybear covering, Walker exits the vehicle; Deacon follows, helping P.R. to walk- the team’s translator is still weak and unsteady as a result of radiation poisoning. Introductions are made, and after a few minutes of back-and-forth, the Diamond envoys convince the old man that they are friendly.

Trembling with rage, the old man- Bartosz is his name- explains that marauders- Russian bandits is the term he uses- have been raiding small settlements in the district from their hideout in the forest to the south. There’re about 20 of them; they steal food, rape any females they can get their hands on, and kill anyone bold enough to resist. The nearest military garrison, 20km or so to the west in the town of Ostrzeszow, isn’t interested in doing anything about it, despite numerous entreaties. Bartosz has heard all this from survivors of nearby settlements, and he says that his village, Skarydzew, is almost certainly next on the bandit’s hit list. The old man claims to have fought the Russians back in 1939, and insists that he’s not afraid to do it again, even if he has to fight them all by himself. He promises the Diamonds all of the food and fuel they can carry if they help him repel the marauders.

Back at the SKOT, the team discusses the way forward.

“This isn’t our fight,” Sarge says half-heartedly, offering Walker a way out.

“You know Kurosawa? Seven Samurai?” P.R. asks. His question is met with shaking heads and blank stares.

“How about the Magnificent Seven? Steven McQueen, Charles Bronson, that bald dude from the King and I?” he tries again. This time, most of the team responds in the affirmative.

“They were the good guys, right?” Again, assent.

“And we’re good guys, aren’t we?” Agreement, but somewhat grudging. The others can see where he’s going with this and most of them have mixed feelings about it.

“Then this is our fight.”


NOTES: Can you guess what random encounter I drew for the day's second shift? Leading up to it, I used the Quick Search rules to scrounge the church/hamlet without spending a full shift there. The d10 roll came up 98, giving the party two more rolls on the Scrap Table. This resulted in a fishing pole and a remote control. Since the latter doesn't make sense for the setting, I rerolled and the result was a football (which I ruled as a soccer ball, again given the setting). Grease was successful on his driving rolls, and Walker's persuasion roll (Helped by P.R.) was very successful, so Bartosz was convinced to trust the Diamonds, and ask them for help.

-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 06-20-2023 at 02:30 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 06-22-2023, 03:49 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default The Magnificent Few

July 29, Second Stretch

Bartosz gives the Americans a brief tour of the hamlet and introduces them to the rest of the village militia- all four of them, as it turns out (a grim-faced woman of about 25 and a teenaged boy, both armed with shop-built crossbows, a middle-aged man with a pump-action shotgun, and a Polish army deserter in his 30s, armed with a KMK). They share what they’ve gleaned from neighboring villages visited by the marauders. From their reporting, the Diamond’s get a sense of the marauders’ MO. The bandits come out of the woods around noon, rape and pillage until dinner time, then head back into the forest with their booty before the sun goes down.

The plan is relatively simple. When the marauders come, the hamlet’s defenders will be prepared to ambush them. The militia will guard the settlement’s eastern and northern approaches (least likely to be used by the marauders). Bird, Honeybear, PR, Sarge, and Sandy will occupy fighting positions concealed in a small wood at the hamlet’s SW corner, overlooking the marauders’ most likely route of ingress (the forest is 620m to the southwest). Pole Position, crewed by Grease (driver), Capt. Walker (gunner), and Deacon (passenger) will be located centrally, on-call near the village church. Those who are able spend the rest of the day preparing concealed fighting positions. Sarge and P.R. continue to rest and recover from their recent bout of radiation poisoning. By the end of the day, both are feeling considerably better, and are able to eat a light dinner (and keep it down).

July 30, 10:45 hours (2nd Stretch)

The marauders, 18 of them, amble down the road, conversing loudly, half of them carrying their weapons over their shoulders. They appear completely oblivious to the awaiting ambush, or any potential danger whatsoever. When the marauders are strung out along a slight jog in the road, roughly southwest 100m from the copse where the Diamond’s lay in wait, Bird initiates the ambush, dropping a machine gunner with a headshot. Honeybear mows down two more, including the bandit’s RPG gunner. Sarge, P.R., and Sandy all add to the carnage, scoring hits of their own. (The opening fusillade produces 4 KIA and 3 WIA, one mortally).

The survivors, caught in the kill zone, belly flop onto the road, half of them frozen in fear, the other half returning fire. P.R.’s head snaps back and flops face-first into the dirt. The team translator is completely unresponsive.

Sarge picks up the unit’s AN/PRC-77’s handset, shouts into the mouthpiece, “Diamond actual, send Deacon! P.R.’s hit. Over.”

At the same time, Honeybear takes a bullet to the left shoulder, knocking it out of its socket. He growls in pain, stops firing.

Only Bird and Sandy are still shooting. Bird misses his target- a RPK gunner in the bandits’ point element. Sandy lands a 40mm HE round near a cluster of rifleman at the rear of the enemy column, temporarily quieting them.

Capt. Walker relays Sarge’s urgent radio call for the team medic, then orders Grease to high-tail it towards the fighting over the vehicle intercom. As Pole Position starts rolling, Deacon hops out the back door and sprints into the woods. Grease pulls out of the village church’s grassy parking lot and races towards the action. Capt. Walker hunkers down nervously behind Pole Position’s DSHk- she’s only ever fired an HMG once- a US issue M2HB- and that was years ago, in training.

The marauders continue to return fire, burning through their ammo. A few take advantage of the lull in incoming to run for cover beside a low berm running parallel to the road along its southern edge.

The two sides exchange fire for the next sixty seconds. Honeybear fights through the pain of his dislocated left shoulder to pour fire into the kill zone. Bird coolly picks off several more bad guys. Sarge’s M16A2 jams. He clears it, but after the next burst, the rifle comes apart in his hands.

As Sarge slides P.R.’s rifle out from under his motionless body, the radioman cries, “I can’t move!”

“Hang on, kid. Deacon’s on his way,” Sarge says, trying to reassure the young man. The grizzled combat vet is worried, though- there’s not much the team’s amateur medic can do if P.R.’s hit in the spine.

The Diamonds’ marksmanship is better than the bandits’. Several more of the latter are hit, some fatally. When only half of the 18 bandits that walked into the ambush are still alive, panic starts to set in. Several of the survivors break and run- using a dry irrigation canal behind the roadside berm as cover- leaving a couple of stranded comrades behind.

Breathing hard from exertion, Deacon arrives and starts to assess the team translator. Pole Position arrives soon after. As Grease stops smoothly, Walker takes aim at a cluster of upright figures at the far end of the enemy line, squeezes the DSHk’s butterfly triggers. Much to her surprise, two enemy runners tumble like rag dolls, slapped down by 12.7mm rounds. A follow up burst is less successful- the path of the tracers show that she aimed too high.

The firefight is over in under two minutes. Twelve bandits lie dead in the roadbed or the drainage ditch. One bandit hiding on the far side of the berm plays dead, later surrendering when the Diamonds sweep the kill zone; another dies from shock and blood loss by the time Deacon arrives. Four of the fleeing marauders disappear into an irrigation canal that runs roughly south about 675m across an open field between the road and the forest. The Diamonds decide not to pursue them. Recovered from the battlefield: 1 PKM, 1 SVD, 2 RPK, 1 RPG-7, 1 AKSU, 1 GP-25, 7 AKMs, and assorted ammunition.


Notes:
The Diamonds successfully rolled Recon (Opposed) to Waylay the marauders, so the five PCs on the ambush team drew the first turns in the ensuing combat. I had the PCs with the lowest Recon skill doing something else in the hamlet, so rolled d8s (IIRC, I pushed and got two successes).

Although I’ve read scores of non-fiction combat accounts (and seen some pretty raw combat footage), I’m never quite sure how soldiers would react to being ambushed. I decided to use the oracle to help me decide how each marauder who didn’t fail a CUF roll would respond during the first round of the firefight. Red- helpful- results mean they would run for cover. Black- harmful- mean that they would return fire (low number cards meant un-aimed fire; high number meant dropping prone and returning aimed fire). Unfortunately, most of the cards I drew were black, high number or face cards. The OPFOR rolled well during round 1, resulting in critical hits to P.R. and Honeybear.

After a great start to the ambush, in round 2, P.R. took a crit to the dome. His K-Pot absorbed 1 point of damage, but three more got through. He rolled an 8 on the Crit table (Shattered neck). Since that qualifies as a lethal wound, I started the clock. P.R. was out of the remainder of the fight. Honeybear took a crit to the arm (the roll resulted in a dislocated shoulder). For the rest of the firefight, he rolled with a -2 modifier as a result of this non-lethal wound.

After the fight, I rolled recovery time. P.R.'s is 14 days; Honeybear's is 1 day. It looks like the Diamonds are staying put for a while.

Again, Bird’s M21 was a crit machine. Despite firing only one bullet per round, he scored a hit in every round but one (the 2nd), every hit a Crit. Snipers in 4e are deadly.

Again, I’m disappointed with the rules for grenade launchers. Even though Sandy rolled a hit on the targeted hex, AND a success on one of the two Blast D damage dice, since the four bandits occupying the hex were lying prone, they took no damage. Three of them failed their CUF rolls, though, so it wasn’t a total bust.

Captain Walker, despite rolling only a single d6 (since she doesn’t have any skill in Heavy Weapons), killed two fleeing enemy with her first burst of HMG fire (rolling 4 ammo dice). IMHO, someone with no skill, and with multiple negative modifiers acting against them, should have less chance of success than a single d6 roll, but I don't know how one could do that with the 4e system without depriving them of any chance of success whatsoever (perhaps equally unrealistic). 1/6 seems too high, 0/6 seems too low.

Grease and Deacon successfully pushed Driving and Mobility rolls, respectively, helping them get into position to help the engaged Diamonds relatively quickly (4-5 rounds). I’ve learned that separating teammates by more than 50m or so during combat is a very risky thing to do, as it takes friendlies out of the fight, skewing the combat action economy in favor of the OPFOR. Even one "lost" turn can greatly affect the outcome of a firefight.

Sarge rolled so many 1s during that firefight that his M16A2 lost all of its Reliability points and completely broke.


-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 06-26-2023 at 10:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 06-22-2023, 04:50 PM
kcdusk's Avatar
kcdusk kcdusk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 516
Default

Love the notes section. Thanks.
__________________
"Beep me if the apocolypse comes" - Buffy Sommers
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 06-25-2023, 03:41 PM
kcdusk's Avatar
kcdusk kcdusk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 516
Default

TBH i found writing my own creative writing section challenging. Reading the Diamonds story has been good.

I enjoy seeing both sides of the player/Ref fence. Whats the in game challenge, how do the players tackle it, what does the Ref mechanics of dice and modifiers look like?

How does the game tone compare to my own game / view of T2K?

I also like seeing how non-rifle skills are used in other games. For example using the drive skill to cross a creek. Or leadership to turn a battle. I know my own games end up combat heavy when running solo, so i am trying to add more non-combat encounters to develop a more rounded character.

I'm a little surprised this section hasn't attracted more attention. is it because everyones book marked the forum? So they don't see new posts in this section?

I have a scrap book of all my played out encounters. i've been doing some work to write it up, so others can comment (good or bad). I think its motivational to see what others are doing with the game.
__________________
"Beep me if the apocolypse comes" - Buffy Sommers
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 06-26-2023, 12:00 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default Remains of the Day

When asked to help move PR out of the shallow foxhole in which he’s slumped, unable to move, Honeybear reveals his own injury; the machine gunner’s dislocated shoulder is quickly, if painfully, popped back into place by Deacon. The medic tells Honeybear to take it easy and not use the injured arm for a few days; he’ll fashion a proper sling later. Sarge and Sandy help Deacon move PR while keeping the injured man’s neck immobilized, while Bird and Capt. Walker keep watch over the battlefield.

PR is strapped to a narrow door and, with the help of a few villagers, transported the village church where the Diamonds are lodging (an itinerant priest who used to hold mass there every fourth Wednesday and Sunday of the month was killed by the marauders in a different village a week or so ago).

With Bird and Capt. Walker providing over-watch from the woods and road, respectively, Sarge and Sandy sweep the ambush kill zone. Sarge corners a marauder trying to slink away on the concealed side of the roadside berm. When a couple of the village militia arrive on scene, there’s concern that they might summarily execute the captured bandit. Without PR to translate, communication is a real challenge. Bartosz speaks some Russian from his days in the Red Army, so he’s able to communicate with the captured bandit, but Sarge and PR have no idea what the Russian speakers are saying to one another. Instead of killing the captured bandit, or perhaps as a prelude to execution, the villagers put him to work digging graves for his 13 dead comrades.

An assortment of older-model Soviet small arms- as befitting deserters from a Category III motor rifle division- are recovered from the battlefield. Those marauders not killed at the outset of the ambush were down to their last magazine.

Later that day…

Walker, Sarge, and Deacon speak in hushed tones outside the door to PR’s ad-hoc hospital room.

“What’s the prognosis, doc?” Sarge asks.

Deacon shifts uncomfortably on his feet. He knows the appellation was used in good humor, but he still doesn’t appreciate when others over-inflate his medical acumen. The team’s amateur medic is already putting enough pressure on himself.

“Is his neck broken?” Walker follows up.

“Maybe. I can’t know for sure without an X-ray…” Deacon shruggs.

“But he’s paralyzed, right?” Walker asks.

“At the moment, yes- from the neck down. I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up too high, but the paralysis could be temporary. There was trauma, which means swelling- that could be putting pressure on the nerves in his spine, blocking signals, kind of like a kink in a hose. Right now, all I can do is keep him immobilized so he can’t do any more damage to his neck, and try to get the swelling down. I’ve given him some anti-inflammatories but we’re running low; ice would be really helpful, but I doubt this village has an ice machine…”

The village has neither an X-ray or an ice machine. For the latter, the best that can be done is cold compresses (a flannel soaked in well water). The nearest hospital is in Ostrzeszow, 16km (as the crow flies) west of the village. According to the militia, the city is playing host to a field hospital for Soviet casualties from the Battle of Kalisz, of which, it is understood, there are many. The idea of sneaking into the city to use an X-ray machine or kidnap a proper doctor is quickly dismissed, as is the notion of leaving RP there, trusting to the Soviets to take proper care of him, and proceeding to E&E without him. It is clear, however, that, given PR's present condition, the Diamonds are going to be staying put in the village for at least a couple more days.

Later, there’s some discussion about whether or not to track down and eliminate the four marauders that survived the ambush, but it’s decided that the potential costs of such an effort outweigh the benefits. At least one of the escapees is wounded, as evidenced by blood trails leading away from the kill zone. After the massive ass kicking they took today, the likelihood or their return to Skarydzew is judged minimal.


NOTES:
This "session" was mostly RP. The only random event here involved how the militia would respond to the prisoner. I pulled a card from the Oracle- the result was "mildly helpful". I ruled that this meant that the PCs would not have to be responsible for deciding the prisoner's fate. That wasn't quite enough guidance for me, though, so I pulled another card for NPC (militia) motivation- the result was "generous". I ruled that this meant the militia would not harm the prisoner. I've got the next day rolled up and outlined but I'll share it in a subsequent post, so as to keep the length of these reports somewhat manageable (and hopefully avoid a TLDR situation).


-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 12-24-2023 at 10:58 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 06-27-2023, 02:37 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default July 31, 2000

Deacon cares for PR as best he knows how, massaging and stretching the radioman's arms and legs every few hours. PR regains some feeling his upper body, then a hint of movement in his fingers. He cries tears of joy.

Honeybear has to be reminded constantly to take it easy with his injured shoulder. The rest of the Diamonds busy themselves around the village. Grease, as usual, works on Pole Position, starting by doing his best to decontaminate the APC, inside and out, with soap and water. After maintaining their personal firearms, the others sort the captured Soviet weapons based on condition. The diamonds keep the RPG-7 (with two HEAT rockets) and the PKM (w/ 100 rounds) for their own use; three AKs, the SVD, and the RPK are donated to the village militia, along with two full magazines for each weapon. The rest of the captured weapons (an AKSU, five AKMS, and an RPD) will be used for trade.

Keeping their promise, the villagers keep their American guests watered and fed, as well as keeping a brew on in the village still. The captured marauder is kept locked in a root cellar.


NOTES:
As per the Care rules on p. 74 of the Player’s Manual, Medical Aid rolls can be made once per day if a shift is spent caring for the injured character; if successful, that day counts double for time spent recovering. Deacon succeeded on his rolls for 7/30-8/2, so that will cut 8 days from the 14 days originally rolled for the injury on the Crit table, as mandated by the rules. I haven't rolled past August 2nd.

Bird will make several TECH rolls over the next few days to restore lost reliability points to the Diamonds’ weapons (p. 91 of the Player’s Manual).


-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 12-24-2023 at 10:58 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 06-27-2023, 02:38 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default August 1, 2000

Around mid-day, two riders are spotted approaching on horseback from the east. Both wear US-issue battledress and carry M-16 pattern weapons. Contact is made. The pair- a man and a woman- are stragglers from the 4th Squadron, 12th Cavalry (5th ID). For the past 13 days, they’ve been on the run, eluding Polish and Soviet Army patrols. The two riders started out with several others, but a couple of clashes with enemy forces since the “You’re on your own” transmission have winnowed the group down to two. They ask for food for themselves and their horses, and ammunition for their M4 carbines. Discussion inevitably rolls around to the two parties joining forces.

“We’re not going to hang around until you’re ready to leave,” the man says, upon learning of the Diamond’s delayed travel plans.

“What’s your rush?” Sarge asks, trying to keep his frustration under control.

“You haven’t heard? The big brass decided to pull US forces out of Europe; there’s gonna be a major evac, from some port in northeast Germany, end of the month, first come, first served. We’re fuckin' going home.”

Sarge and Walker both raise their eyebrows at this revelation.

“And how do you know about this… ‘major evac’?” Walker asks skeptically.

“We ran into a guy who hid out for a couple of days with a comms specialist from the 5th ID head shed.”

“So, hearsay,” Sarge says, nonplussed.

“You wanna take the chance he was full of shit?”

There’s an uncomfortable pause while both parties process this.

“I’m not going to order you to stay,” Walker says, breaking the silence. She knows full well that her unit can’t stop the Cavalry troopers from taking off if they’re really determined to do so. The Cav troopers expressions only reinforce this.

Sarge makes one last pitch with the “strength in numbers” argument.

“Bigger group means bigger target- and slower. We got a better chance on our own.”

The Diamonds command team discusses whether to grant the Cav troopers’ request for ammunition. Ultimately, Walker decides to offer the pair a trade; she doesn’t feel right letting two friendlies head off on their own without providing some potentially life-saving assistance. The two troopers are offered their pick of the remaining small arms captured from the marauders (not those previously spoken for), plus as much Soviet ammo as they can carry, for the pair’s carbines and remaining NATO-caliber ammo. The riders accept the deal. They take two AKMs (including the one with a BG-15 40mm grenade launcher attached), seven compatible mags, and two 40mmS HE rounds; in exchange, they hand over their M4s and four full STANAG magazines.


NOTES:
To determine encounters while the Diamonds remain encamped in Skarydzew, I’m using the Frequency rules and Stationary Encounters table on p. 36 of the Referee’s Manual. The Frequency rules suggest one encounter per shift. That seems reasonable when the party is on the move (they could run into stationary groups, or others on the move) or in a city, but not so much when the party is staying put in a small, isolated hamlet (technically, they can only “run into” another group that’s on the move). Consequently, I’m rolling the dice only once per day/every other day (?) from 7/31, as that seems more reasonable to me.

Anyway, the first roll called for a draw from the RED, but the result didn’t apply, so I ruled that as No Encounter for the day. On day two (D6+1), the result was 6, Stragglers. The D6 roll to determine how many stragglers appeared came up 2. The encounter suggests that the stragglers will attempt to steal from the PCs and leave at the earliest opportunity. That reminded me too much of the Murderous Bastards random encounter that I ran earlier in the campaign, so I omitted that part about stealing. I supposed I could have rolled an opposed Persuasion roll to convince them to stay, but that would have completely nerfed the encounter described by the rules, so I didn’t. Instead, I rolled to see if Walker (Persuasion C) could convince the riders to share any rumors that they picked up since the death of 5th ID. I awarded Walker +2 in modifiers for asking for something that didn’t cost anything (rumors), and outranking the people she was trying to persuade (CPT vs. SGT). Even rolling 2D12 vs. 1D8, she had to the push the roll in order to succeed. The result on the Rumor table was 9. I worked its contents into the dialogue.

Once again, I forgot to roll for Weather changes [for any of the shifts since the PCs arrived in Skarydzew]. Doh!


-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 06-27-2023 at 05:07 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 06-27-2023, 04:07 PM
kcdusk's Avatar
kcdusk kcdusk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 516
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
“You haven’t heard? The big brass decided to pull US forces out of Europe; there’s gonna be a major evac, from some port in northeast Germany, end of the month, first come, first served. We’re fuckin' going home.”


-
Wow! Great stuff!!
__________________
"Beep me if the apocolypse comes" - Buffy Sommers
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 06-27-2023, 04:09 PM
kcdusk's Avatar
kcdusk kcdusk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 516
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post

[FONT="Courier New"]NOTES:
To determine encounters while the Diamonds remain encamped in Skarydzew, I’m using the Frequency rules and Stationary Encounters table on p. 36 of the Referee’s Manual. The Frequency rules suggest one encounter per shift. That seems reasonable when the party is on the move (they could run into stationary groups, or others on the move) or in a city, but not so much when the party is staying put in a small, isolated hamlet (technically, they can only “run into” another group that’s on the move). Consequently, I’m rolling the dice only once per day/every other day (?) from 7/31, as that seems more reasonable to me.


-

I've been doing the same, only rolling once per stationary day. I've been ignoring the result if it doesn't fit.
__________________
"Beep me if the apocolypse comes" - Buffy Sommers
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 06-29-2023, 06:04 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default August 2, 2000

It rains for a few hours during the morning, so anyone not on guard duty tries to stay indoors. The rain lets up around noon, but overcast remains. It’s going to be a grey day.

PR continues his ad hoc physical therapy program supervised by Deacon. In addition to making continued progress with his fingers, hands, and arms, PR has regained some feeling and movement in his feet. His spirits have risen tremendously- he’s convinced that he will soon be able to walk again. He even insists that the team medic prop him up in bed (i.e. into a reclining seated position). Deacon is trying to temper his own optimism about his patient’s prognosis, but the medic’s hopes have risen as well. He now no longer fears that PR will experience significant, long-term paralysis.

At about ten hundred hours, a group of seven rain-soaked civilians arrives from the west. They hail from the neighboring settlement of Wygoda Plugawska, just under 2km west of Skarydzew, but have been squatting in the larger town of Doruchow (4.3km further west) for the past week, since the last marauder raid on their hamlet. The marauders took most of their home settlement’s food; what little the bandits left behind has since been consumed, leaving nothing until the upcoming harvest season. The people of Doruchow fed some of the refugees for a while, but that town is running low on food now too, so they were asked to leave this morning. The refugees have come to Skarysdzew to ask for charity, but are willing to work for it, and repay the food debt after the next harvest. With its new guests (i.e. the Diamonds) already providing more mouths to feed, Skarydzew is approaching a similar situation- provisions are running out faster than anticipated. Everybody’s about to go hungry, it seems.

When the refugees learn that Skarydzew’s American guests killed most of the marauders just two days prior, they grow animated, ask if a teenage boy was with them. The refugees explain that the boy was kidnapped from their village during the last raid- why, they can’t be sure. They beg the Diamonds to go find him and bring him back, even claiming that they heard that the bandits also had some American prisoners too. The Diamonds believe the part about the Americans is bullshit, laid on to give them an incentive to look for the civilian boy, but they agree to help anyway.

The Diamonds start by interrogating the captured marauder- something they didn’t see much use in doing, earlier. The process is complicated by the need for two translators- Bartosz translates Russian to Polish, and PR translates Polish to English (and vice-versa). The prisoner is in no mood to talk, but Walker is able to get him to admit that his group did indeed kidnap a boy for use as a camp “servant”; he also gives the Diamonds a rough idea of where his camp is located in the woods to the south.

“When we get there, make sure to identify your targets. We don’t want to hit the kid we’re trying to rescue, so no sprayin’ and prayin’, got it?” Sarge admonishes the rescue team, just before they set off.

The rescue team consists of Walker, Sarge, Deacon, Bird, Honeybear, Sandy, Grease, and one of the village militiamen with experience hunting in the woods. Any trail the marauders may have left has been washed away by the morning showers, so the team has rely on the prisoner’s directions and dead reckoning to locate the marauder campsite.

After about an hour of slow, cautious movement through the woods, the hunter, on point with Bird, indicates that he’s hearing voices from up ahead. Sarge gets the team on line and they begin a tactical advance towards the suspected campsite. 30m from the camp, Bird catches his toe on an exposed root, loses his balance, and falls forward; somehow, his "new" M4 carbine discharges a round when he hits the ground. The marauders are alerted. They drop prone, facing the danger, and open fire.

Deacon is already prone, making him a smaller target. Nevertheless, an incoming round grazes the medic's right cheek. Somehow, he manages to keep his cool and return fire. Just a few paces away, Walker staggers as a round pancakes against her PAGST vest. She falls forward, going prone, takes aim at her attacker, and squeezes of a few rounds. Both Diamonds score hits, although neither is aware of this at the time.

The rest of Diamonds go prone and start engaging targets. Sandy, Grease, and Sarge all miss theirs, but Bird and Honeybear eliminate two of the four marauders.

The opposing groups exchange fire for about 10 more seconds. The marauders are the first to cease fire, it turns out, because they are all dead. Two Diamonds (Deacon and Walker) are slightly wounded during the exchange.

The kidnapped teenager is found, curled up behind a tree, feet chained together. He’s filthy and badly shaken, but otherwise unhurt (at least, physically). The Diamonds seize the dead marauder’s weaponry (four AKMs w/ 3.5 mags, three RGD-5 hand grenades, and a few assorted knives/bayonets) and search the filthy bandit camp. Grease is a master scrounger- apart from some very dingy camping equipment, he turns up an Oriental carpet, a fire extinguisher [fully charged], and a Nintendo Gameboy hand-held video game console! (Batteries not included, unfortunately).

The party returns in triumph to Skarydzew with the rescued teenager and a carpet-full of loot. To show their gratitude, the refugees from Wygoda Plugawska share another rumor they’ve heard. A merchant passing through Doruchow told them that Krakow has declared itself a free city and is hiring soldiers of any nationality to join its nascent defense force. The Soviets are also supposedly hiring mercs to help them retake the city. Some of the merchant caravan guards were discussing signing on with one side or the other (probably whoever pays better) when they return to the area.


NOTES:
I finally remembered to roll for Weather changes! Twice a day seems more reasonable to me than four times a day (i.e. at the beginning of all four daily shifts).

This is encounter was built by rolling D6+2 on the Stationary Encounter Table. I rolled 7 on 2D6 to determine the number of refugees. I had to ponder for a while to figure out how to make this encounter fit into the narrative, but I’m satisfied with what I came up with. Since the party agreed to help, the refugees shared two rumors (I rolled twice on the rumor table). I tweaked the rumors a bit. One (R6) was the throw-away about the marauders having some American prisoners, the other (R2) was about the Krakow and the Soviets competing to hire mercs.

The rescue op started with a successful roll for Interrogation [pushed]- the prisoner confirmed the refugees’ story about the kidnapped boy. I wanted to use Bird’s Hunter specialty to try to track the marauders all the way back to their camp, but the morning rains washed away all spoor, so I scratched that. The opposed Group Recon roll to attempt to “Ambush” the camp failed 30m from the camp, so the engagement began at close range, and the marauders drew the first two initiative cards.

I didn’t use as many ammo dice in this firefight. The marauders were running low already, and the good guys were trying to reduce the chance of a stray round catching the kid they were trying to rescue. Deacon and Walker survived head and torso hits, respectively. Body armor is a real life-saver!

I used the Oracle to determine the condition of the kid and drew Seven of Diamonds (mildly helpful)- I ruled that this meant that the kid was unhurt and relatively healthy (at least, physically).

Since the marauder camp is relatively small, I ruled that the party could roll for Scrounging even though they spend less than a shift searching it. Grease rolled three successes (I even forget to add +1 for Help from another PC). I Googled “random gameboy game generator” and, low and behold, there’re a couple. I used the first one that popped up and the result was Streetfighter II (1993). Luckily, the Diamonds scrounged a couple of AA batteries a few days earlier. Let the games begin!


-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 06-30-2023 at 12:56 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 07-02-2023, 04:09 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default Strategy Meeting, Evening of August 2

The Gameboy is a real morale booster. Deacon commandeers it for 'therapeutic medical reasons', handing it off to PR so that the convalescing RTO can work on his fine motor skills. PR doesn’t mind the rotating cast of visitors, there as much to take a turn on the Gameboy as to visit with their injured squad-mate.

That evening, the Diamonds convene for a full team meeting, the main purpose of which is to determine a long-term course of action. Captain Walker starts things off.

“This village now has eight more mouths to feed. We can’t stay here much longer without putting our hosts in a bad spot. Once PR is back on his feet, literally, we’re leaving. Question is, where are we going? We need a long term goal. Otherwise, we just keep running in circles.”

Walker spreads out a large travel map of Poland on the table. It's poorly lit by candlelight. Her finger marks a spot, not even a dot on the map, about 6 or 7 kilometers south of Kalisz.

“We're right about here. Since Kalisz, we’ve been trying to keep moving east and south, keeping away from the FEBA, where the enemy has their frontline troops.”

“Worked out real great, so far,” Honeybear quips with a mischievous grin. Sarge half-heartedly shoots him a cross look; Walker can’t help but smile at the chorus of chuckles that follows.

“So just imagine what we’d run up against if we’d headed west instead,” Bird says, coming to Walker’s defense (not that she really needed it).

“Thank you, Corporal. In the last couple of days, we’ve heard some pretty interesting rumors. One: there’s a big evacuation of US forces from Europe leaving from Bremerhaven, Germany, end of this month. That’s about 690 klicks from here, as the crow flies."

Walker's finger traces a straight line between Skarydzew, Poland, and Bremerhaven, Germany.

“Second, Krakow, about 200 klicks southeast of here, has declared itself a Free City and is hiring mercs to beef up its defense force.”

“Just to clarify, what’s a ‘Free City’?” Sandy asks.

“Independent- neutral, not taking sides,” Walker explains.

“Like Casablanca in WWII,” PR adds to quizzical or blank looks. “Seriously? Bogart, Bacall? 'Play it again, Sam'? It’s an American classic!”

“Like Casablanca,” Sarge confirms (aside from PR, he's the only one present who's seen it).

Walker continues, “Now these are rumors, but they're all we have to go on. So, as I see it, our two options are start heading northwest, make for Bremerhaven, or at least friendly lines, or, head southeast, to Krakow. Option one is farther, and takes us back towards the front lines, but it does get us all closer to home. For Krakow, the reverse of all that is true. Questions, suggestions, concerns?”

“If we make it to Bremerhaven, and the rumor is false, we’re still back in friendly territory. If we get to Krakow and the rumor was false, then we’re 200 klicks further away from friendly territory than we are now," Sarge points out.

After a bit more discussion, a vote is taken. Bremerhaven wins.

-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 07-02-2023 at 04:27 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 07-03-2023, 12:52 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default August 3-4

Thursday, August 3, 2000 (roll +3 on SET)

At about noon, Grease, on sentry duty in the copse on the west end of town, radios in a sighting. Two vehicles - a Humvee mounting a Dishka HMG, and a military van of some sort- are approaching Skarydzew from the west. Both sporting Soviet Army tactical symbols (a “Z” perhaps?).

The Diamonds and the hamlet’s tiny militia have discussed what to do in this sort of situation. The Diamonds lay low (but ready to fight or run at a pinch), while the locals do the talking, sticking to a “this is just a sleepy little village; there’s nothing to see here” narrative. The vehicle-mounted Soviet patrol is met by one of the hamlet militia on the edge of the settlement. After a brief conversation (hidden Diamonds watch the exchange, but can’t hear what’s said), the two vehicles pass through town at a leisurely pace and continue on their way, heading east. Once the patrol is well out of sight, the militiaman reports that it was operating out of Grabow nad Prosna / Palaty, searching for NATO raiders believed to be running amok in the area (most likely, this refers to the Diamonds or the escaped American POWs). The Russians apparently bought the militiaman’s claim that no one in the hamlet has seen or heard of any Americans in the area.


NOTES:
To decide which Diamond was on sentry duty at the western OP, I rolled a D8- Grease got the job. I rolled opposed Recon and he won, so the patrol didn’t see him lurking in the trees. I treated the conversation between the militia and the Soviet patrol as a Social Conflict and rolled for Persuasion (opposed), with both parties rolling a single D8 (EMP C). The militiaman won, so he successfully bluffed the patrol, which went on its way, none-the-wiser, without searching the ville.



Friday, August 4, 2000

Arm around Deacon’s shoulders, PR is up on his feet and walking (shambling, more like it). His legs are weak and wobbly, but he’s regained a lot of strength in his upper body, and his fine motor skills are improving rapidly (probably thanks to Street Fighter II).

Later that afternoon, the militia “captures” a Soviet soldier on the northern approaches of the village. He’s in bad shape- bloody and delirious, barely able to walk or speak, and when he does talk, he doesn’t make much sense. His uniform is torn and dirty; his only weapon is a crude shop-built hand grenade of some sort.

Deacon fixes up the Soviet soldier as best he can, using supplies provided by the village. The Diamonds suggest that the villagers take the injured Soldier to the nearest Soviet garrison (Grabow) in order to earn some good will. The Americans offer to take the bandit EPW with them when they leave, dropping him off several kilometers away.

The Diamonds spend the rest of the day preparing to leave Skarydzew early the next morning. The villagers load the Americans up with as much alcohol fuel as they can carry, as well as a couple of days’ worth of food and fresh water- all that they can spare. It’s going to be tight until the next harvesters, but the villagers don’t begrudge upholding their end of the arrangement. They know it would have been much worse had their guests not eliminated the rapacious ex-Red Army marauders.


NOTES:
During the Diamonds’ stay in Skarydzew, I’d rolled all but one of the encounters on the Stationary Encounters table. The remaining encounter is Large Force, but I couldn’t think of a way to wedge that into the story, given that the village militia successfully bluffed the small patrol (the Scouts encounter) on Day +3. I don’t want to burn through the random encounter deck either so, for day five, instead of rolling for a fourth time on the SEC (adding +4 to the roll), I decided to see what kind of encounter I could create by drawing cards on the Further Elements Table. The results were 4 (Tired Soldier), 6 (Decayed), King (Bleeding), and 5 (IED). I was going to interpret Decayed as a case of gangrene, but since the next result was Bleeding, I decided that Decayed refers to the tired soldier’s state of mind.


-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 07-03-2023, 06:34 PM
kcdusk's Avatar
kcdusk kcdusk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 516
Default

During the Diamonds discussion, it felt like there were two options.
1) free city of krakow, or
2) something like Pirates of the Vistala/Going home.

I thought you'd end up going South, too Krakow. Only because i know you ran the Pirates game years ago.

Q how did you make the decision about which way to travel?
Q how do you feel heading in the same geographic direction as your Pirates game (is it more of the same?)?


I know i've said it before, but i only roll once per day on the stationary encounters table. Your explaining how you rolled and then turned the results into a story i think is valuable for new (even expereinced) solo players to see how this is done in practice, stringing random results into a cohesive story line. What you describe is very similar to my own games.
__________________
"Beep me if the apocolypse comes" - Buffy Sommers
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 07-04-2023, 12:15 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default Behind the Ref Screen

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcdusk View Post
During the Diamonds discussion, it felt like there were two options.
1) free city of krakow, or
2) something like Pirates of the Vistala/Going home.
A third option I considered was building a local base. This is the game concept that I find most appealing personally, but, ATM, the characters haven't found a place that they feel invested enough in to consider staying there long-term. This could change, however, as they continue their travels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcdusk View Post
Q how did you make the decision about which way to travel?
Q how do you feel heading in the same geographic direction as your Pirates game (is it more of the same?)?
I thought about rolling the dice or pulling a card for this decision, but I didn't want the choice of the PCs' ultimate destination be quite that arbitrary. "Consulting the Oracle" works for a lot of things in this game, but for a major plot point such as the party's long-term goal, I feel like solid reasoning is more of a necessity. To make the decision re destination, I debated the pros and cons of Krakow v. Bremerhaven in my head. I basically did a quick and dirty cost-benefit analysis, and then played it out IC. Ultimately, Sarge's point was the most convincing to me. I couldn't imagine any of the Diamonds voting for, "Let's drive 200km further behind enemy lines to join a Polish city militia that may or may not be recruiting American troops, or even exist at all, for that matter." It's too much of a gamble, and there's not a strong enough pull for any of them.

Again, random rolls or draws, or the consequences of future encounters could change the Diamonds' course/goals/destination. I just needed a general direction to get things rolling again. Who knows? They may still end up in Krakow.

So, yeah, the main reason the PCs decided to head north is that I think that goal makes the most sense, logically, and in terms of realism, at this point in the story. I have another, supporting reason for pointing the game north, but I don't want to spoil what might be coming up, so I'll let you in on it later, if and when the story has arrived at another significant IC decision point.

-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 07-05-2023, 01:54 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default August 5th, Morning-Night

The Diamonds leave Skarydszew just after sunrise. They work their way slowly but steadily north and east, sticking, as much as possible to back roads. By noon, they’ve driven roughly 25km and are approaching the town of Blaszki, which sits astride a major east-west roadway linking Lodz and Kalisz- very likely an MSR for the Warsaw Pact forces operating in the region. Bird spots an apparent ambush near a roadside petrol station; Grease successfully detours around it.

The Diamonds’ map shows a small forest on their current route, about 4.5 kilometers southwest of Blaszki. They plan to stop in the woods, pull off the road, conceal Pole Position under some foliage, and reconnoiter the way ahead on foot before sundown.

That afternoon, Bird and Sarge move north through the woods to get eyes on the town. Hearing voices in the trees up ahead, they stealthily sneak up on what appears to be a small campsite. Unaware that they are being observed, the civilians (who look to be hunters) sit around a small campfire dressing a freshly killed feral hog. The American scouts slink off back to the hide site. After a brief all-hands meeting, it’s decided to try to make contact with the group, see what they know about Blaszki and its environs . Bird and Sarge head back to the civilian campsite with PR and Sandy in tow; this time, however, the Americans are detected by the campers. After a brief but tense faceoff, PR persuades the Polish civies that he and his fellow soldiers mean them no harm. A deal is struck- an AKM and one full mag for information. The civilians report that Blaszki now lies in ruins, a casualty of the latest round of fighting (i.e. the Battle of Kalisz). No one lives there full-time anymore. The only inhabitants at the moment are a squad of Polish soldiers that run a checkpoint at the crossroads in the town. Allegedly, the Polish soldiers solicit bribes from civilian traffic. The civilians are not sure if the checkpoint is manned overnight, but they’ve seen no traffic on the highway after dark. When asked if there are alternate routes that cross the highway, the civilians explain that the fields and other roads in the area are still littered with all kinds of mines.

Bird and Sarge proceed to the northern edge of the forest. Blaszki is barely visible as a jagged silhouette on the northern skyline. Burned-out military vehicles, both NATO and Warsaw Pact, squat on the shoulders of the main road into town, tragic mileposts. Additional wrecks dot the surrounding fields. There was a mighty duel. A lot of soldiers- from both sides- died here just over two weeks ago.

Since the other north-south routes crossing the highway are apparently mined, the Diamonds decide to make a run through Blaszki after sundown. It’s probably too much to hope for, but maybe the squad manning the reported checkpoint will be asleep at their posts. If not, Americans might be able to bluff their way through the checkpoint- Pole Position is a standard-issue Polish military AFV, and PR’s Polish is good enough that he can often pass as a native speaker. Worst case scenario, the Diamonds might have to shoot their way through. According to the civies, the Polish troops don’t have any heavy weapons so, if it comes down to a fight, the Diamonds should have a firepower advantage.

After sundown, the Diamonds hit the road again. There’s not much of a moon up tonight, so visibility is limited, but Grease enjoys the benefit of OT-64’s driver’s IR equipment. The town, or rather what’s left of it, isn’t visible until the Diamonds are nearly upon it. Very little appears to remain intact. The main roads have been cleared, but rubble clogs the side streets.

The Diamonds spot the checkpoint first. Grease turns on the SKOT’s blackout headlights in an attempt to allay suspicions. The lone visible sentry doesn’t seem too alarmed at the sudden appearance of the approaching vehicle. Perhaps he recognizes its silhouette. As Pole Position edges closer, Honeybear waves a friendly, silent 'hello' from the gun tub; PR shouts from the air-guard hatch, “Zabieraj swoj tylek z drogi, glupek!” (Get out of the road, dumbass!) The sentry steps aside, salutes the passing APC with his middle finger, shouts, “Zwolnij, czubek!” (Slow down, nutcase!). Pole Position passes through the intersection unmolested, the ruse seemingly successful.

Wary of mines, the party stays on the main north-south road for another 4km before slowly taking a right turn and laying up for the rest of the night at an abandoned farmhouse.


NOTES:
This encounter includes a few random encounters from the deck that I’d pulled during previous sessions, but skipped as they didn’t fit prior situations. They are Empty Tank (the ambush at the petrol station that the party spotted and detoured around), My Kill, My Meat (the hunters in the woods south of Blaszki), and Cash is King (the Polish Army checkpoint in the town). To determine if the Polish soldiers manning the checkpoint were awake or asleep, I consulted the Oracle. The result was 9 (dangerous), so a watch was posted. Driving, Recon, and Persuasion rolls (most opposed) were successful, so the Diamonds were able to avoid combat. When I was younger, I probably would have sought it out, but seeing how dangerous combat can be the PCs that I’ve grown attached to, now I tend to try to avoid a fight whenever I can.


-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 07-06-2023 at 09:55 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 07-08-2023, 11:00 AM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default August 6, 2000

The Diamonds rise just before the sun, get back on the road. After a quick jog east, they turn north again, pick up the pace. It’s easier to see the road in daylight, so Grease gives Pole Position a little more methanol. The Diamonds continue to pass burned out military vehicles. Two out of every three are American models. Some of the blackened wrecks are still sitting in the road, indicating that this particular route hasn’t seen much heavy vehicle traffic recently. Pole Position rolls through an abandoned hamlet. The houses on the east side of the road are more badly damaged than the ones on other side. Among the char-stained exoskeletons of burned houses, rests a destroyed Soviet self-propelled gun, its blown-out barrel still elevated like some dried flower from an industrial nightmare.

As is his wont, PR periodically scans the channels on the SKOT’s integral radio. He picks up a fair bit of Russian and Polish transmissions. He can’t understand the former, but the latter are mostly brief and innocuous- the routine comms of an early 21st century military force at war. He slowly turns the dial…

“This is Diamond Regular One to northbound vehicle, come in. Over,” requests an English-speaking voice through a susurration of static. It carries hints of Louisiana bayou and desperation. “Diamond Regular One to northbound vehicle, please respond. Over.”

PR looks around, asks, “He talking to us?”

“Pick up,” instructs Captain Walker.

The caller says he’s a lone survivor from 1st platoon, Bravo Company, 4-6 infantry. He’s wounded and hiding out in a wooded area just west of an abandoned hamlet called Chlewo. 5th ID hadn’t established distress or confirmation codes prior to its dissolution, so PR goes old school with some American sports trivia.

“Diamond Regular One, who won the 1997 World Series? Over.”

“The [Kansas City] Royals,” the voice answers.

“How about the ’98 series?”

“There wasn’t one. The whole season got canceled.”

“I think we just passed it,” Sarge reports, consulting the map.

“Let’s go get him,” Walker says, decisively.


NOTES:
This is a combination of entry #6 on the Radio Chatter table and two draws on the Encounter Categories table. To be continued...


-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 07-08-2023 at 11:46 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 07-08-2023, 02:06 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default Combat!

Grease doubles back, parks Pole Position on the road, nose facing the woods where the alleged 5th ID survivor is hiding out. With Honeybear providing over-watch, Sarge, Bird, Sandy, and Deacon dismount and advance cautiously towards the tree-line. They find the lone survivor- he's unarmed, save for a pistol (M9), and he lost his K-Pot somewhere along the way. “I had to choose- radio or rifle,” he explains.

“Vehicles inbound from the north!” PR shouts from the starboard front air-guard hatch. The Diamond dismounts are 230m away from the SKOT.

A military convoy is approaching at a pretty fast clip. The lead vehicle appears to be a BRDM scout car. It’s trailed by a jeep-like vehicle mounting a tube-like crew-served weapon of some sort (probably a recoilless rifle), followed by a van and a 6x6 cargo truck.

Grease deftly re-orients Pole Position to face the oncoming threat- this makes the APC a smaller target, as well as facilitating re-boarding for the dismounts. Honeybear opens fire first, at just over 300m range. The burst produces a bright flash and brief shower of sparks from the BRDM’s small turret. The scout AFV slows and makes a sharp left turn, disappearing into the rubbled village.

The Diamond dismounts leave the main body of the woods and run towards a line of tattered trees oriented on a diagonal about 120m from the road (and Pole Position). Luckily, there’s already a slit trench dug there- a remnant of the battle that enveloped this area a little over two weeks ago.

The second vehicle in the convoy is now on point. The Tarpan Honker (a jeep-like Polish military vehicle) stops in the middle of the road 260m from Pole Position; its crew lowers the windshield and takes aim at the APC with an SPG-9 recoilless rifle…

PR and Honeybear are quicker on the draw. 12.7mm rounds chew through the Tarpan’s grille, while small arms rounds pelt the exposed crew cab, wounding the gunner.

Behind the Tarpan, the van takes a right and disappears into the rubbled hamlet. The 6x6 cargo truck stops in the road, dismounts a squad of infantry. The Polish riflemen (identified by their speckled, olive green uniforms) hit the ground running, following the BRDM and van into the ruins east of the road.

“They’re tryin’ to outflank us! Right side!” Walker shouts. This is supposition, as none of the Polish infantry are visible to any of the Diamonds at present.

The Diamond dismounts continue running towards the trench, Bird and Sandy outpace the others, but pay for their exertion with a twisted ankle and a pulled hammy, respectively. Eager to contribute, Bird takes a knee a few meters short of the trench; aims at the recoilless rifle gunner. When he pulls the trigger, nothing happens. The round is a dud.

PR and Honeybear both engage the Tarpan. PR’s M16A2 jams. Honeybear’s Soviet-made HMG proves more reliable. He hits the enemy jeep with another burst of 12.7mm rounds, killing the gunner and vehicle commander, and damaging the suspension. The Tarpan’s driver and loader are splashed with gore; traumatized but uninjured, both crouch down and try to make themselves as small as possible.

The cargo trucks- a STAR 266- turns right, stopping a few meters off road (now facing west). This unmasks a ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun mounted in the bed. The twin-barreled 23mm auto-cannon thunders out a long burst, directed at Pole Position. Fortunately for the Diamonds, the enemy gunner’s aim is off. The ZU crew begins to reload the auto-cannon.

Sandy reaches the trench, takes aim at the biggest threat (the STAR gun-truck) with her M203. The bulbous 40mm HE round traces a shallow arc through the air, exploding just above the STAR’s gas tank which, miraculously, fails to ignite. The gun crew, however, momentarily drops out of sight in the truck bed.

Assuming that the recoilless rifle in the Tarpan is no longer a threat, Honeybear rotates the SKOTs armored cupola a few degrees to the left, takes aim at the STAR gun truck. Roaring and spitting fire, the Dishka blasts apart the gun truck’s front left wheel and sends a 12.7mm round through its unarmored cab.

“Lets go get our people! Take us off road,” Walker shouts over the SKOT’s intercom. Grease complies immediately, accelerating smoothly into a tight left turn. Honeybear struggles to rotate the gun cupola fast enough to keep the HMG’s muzzle on target. Pole Position rumbles forward, off road, heading towards the scraggly tree-line from which the dismounts are still firing on the two visible enemy vehicles.

Just as it completes its turn, the enemy ZU-23-2 crew opens fire on the OT-64 SKOT. 23mm HE rounds explode against the right side of the SKOT’s troop compartment but fail to penetrate the Polish-made APC’s steel hide. A second or two later, the SPG-9 loader, now acting as gunner, fires the recoilless rifle at the moving SKOT. The rocket-assisted 73mm HEAT round leaps forth and fireballs against the ACP’s flank, burning a hole into its engine compartment. Somehow, the HEAT round doesn’t do enough damage to the SKOT’s engine to disable it. Pole Position continues to bounce across the field towards the friendly dismounts.

Honeybear was zeroing in on the STAR when Pole Position was hit (in fact, he assumes all of the hits were from the ZU). He squeezes the Dishka’s butterfly triggers and watches with satisfaction as green tracers streak into the ZU-23-2, producing several sprays of sparks. The STAR’s entire crew bails out, starts running east towards the ruined ville.

At this point, the Polish infantry squad and the BRDM-2 still haven’t reappeared. It’s not entirely clear what they’re up to, but they’re most likely still moving through the ruins on the east side of the road in an attempt to flank Pole Position’s last known position. The bulk of the surviving enemy force is now east of the road, rubble interposed between it and the Diamonds. Walker hatches a tactical plan to take advantage of the current situation.

Trailing a cloud of dust, Pole Position jerks to a stop behind the tree-line trench; Walker opens the rear hatches from the inside shouts, “Mount up! Let’s go!” Sarge echoes the order.

With the APC crew providing cover fire, the dismounts climb out of the trench and re-board the APC, Walker doing a head count. Sarge grabs the bound and blindfolded ex-Red Army by the LBE and tosses him out the back door. As soon as everyone is back aboard, Walker orders Grease to go. The driver steps on the gas and Pole Position lunges forward, heading west until he finds a gap in the trees, then hitting a sharp right turn to head north.

While the Americans were briefly out of sight behind foliage and a couple of farm outbuildings west of the road, the surviving SPG-9 crew dismounted their recoilless rifle, set it up pointing at the spot they expect the OT-64 to reappear.

As Pole Position leaves concealment and bounces across a fallow field, the opposing forces resume exchanging fire. Incoming rounds from small arms ping harmlessly off the Skot’s side armor and raised air-guard hatches. Sandy, standing in the right-rear air-guard hatch, spots the SPG-9 set up in the road. Before the enemy loader-turned-gunner can take another shot, he’s cut down by her rifle fire. Sandy’s rifle misfires just as her primary target falls, mortally wounded.

Having cut approximately 700m across the field, Pole Position reaches a dirt road branching off to the northwest from the main north-south [paved] road. As Grease maneuvers onto this branching road, the BRDM-2 announces its return to the fight by loosing off burst of 14.5mm fire at the retreating OT-64. The incoming tracers miss the SKOT gunner’s cupola by a few inches, but it’s so close that Honeybear instinctively duck’s down inside the troop compartment.

Now on a relatively firm, even surface, Grease puts the pedal to the metal, leaving the enemy in his dust (literally). The engine doesn't sound quite right, but it continues to do its job for the time being.


NOTES:
As mentioned in the last installment of notes, I prepped for this encounter by drawing cards and looking at the results on the Encounter Categories table. The first result didn’t of Crater didn’t make sense, given the AO; the second result was Military Convoy. Looking at my map, I couldn’t think of a compelling reason for a convoy to be travelling the stretch of road the Diamonds were using at the time, so I pulled a third card. The result was Military Patrol. I tried to make a story out of the latter two results but something was missing. I rolled on the Radio Chatter table and the result was a badly wounded American calling for help. That was the missing piece. I decided that there was a Polish 10th TD outpost in a large village up the road. This outpost hosts a mounted patrol tasked with hunting down American stragglers detected by an RDF team (the Ural van). This RDF team triangulated the wounded American’s position when he made contact with the passing Diamonds and dispatched the outpost's hunter-killer team consisting of a BRDM, Tarpan Honker with SPG-9, UAZ-452 RDF van, and STAR 266 gun truck carrying a squad of veteran infantry. This was the “military convoy” in the cards. I worried that this force was too strong, but I wanted this encounter to be both realistic and a serious challenge for the party.

This was my first shot at vehicle combat. Luckily, Honeybear drew an earlier initiative card than the BRDM-2 gunner, so the good guys got to shoot first. He made it count, hitting the BRDM’s turret and wounding the enemy gunner (who failed a CUF roll). I ruled that the commander ordered the vehicle into cover since it couldn’t return fire at that time.

For the SPG-9, which isn’t stat’ed in the rulebook, I used the numbers for 73mm AP (i.e. HEAT) ammo. I was really worried when the enemy gunner rolled a hit on Pole Position. When Engine came up on the damage table, I thought it might be the end for the Diamonds. Fortunately, the OT-64’s side armor held up, and the net damage wasn’t enough to destroy/disable the engine. For the ZU-23-2 hit on the SKOT, the result, luckily, was Ricochet.

Sandy hit the STAR with a 40mm grenade. The result on the appropriate table was Fuel Tank. I was hoping the fuel would ignite, but neither of the D6 blast dice showed six. The hit still made the gun crew go prone, though, effectively stealing their turn. Honeybear's second hit on the STAR resulted in a damage roll of Cargo. Was the ZU-23-2 cargo? It was the only object in the truck's cargo bed, so I ruled yes, and the burst (6+ damage) hit the ZU. That brought its reliability rating below zero, destroying it.

I rolled a lot of jams in this firefight- I risked pushing rolls to hit the enemy heavy weapons, trying to neutralize them before they scored punishing hits on Pole Position (which would have stranded the Diamonds). Bird, who’s usually a crit machine with his M21 (I haven’t kept track, but he’s racked up the most kills of anyone else in the unit so far, by a wide margin) experienced one of said jams, and didn’t score a single hit during the entire firefight.

Grease came up big on his Driving rolls. He always succeeded, usually earning extra distance, and only once needing to push (on the last roll of the firefight).

Bird and Sandy both injured themselves pushing Mobility rolls. Luckily, neither were hit during the firefight, so the -1s from the failed pushes didn’t really hurt.

I’m getting a lot faster Ref’ing firefights. I don’t have to look as much stuff up in the rules. The Ref screen and weapons cards helped with this, since I didn’t have to flip through the Rule Book half as much, and my ad-hoc combat tracker is proving indispensable.

This map shows the various unit locations at the time the engagement ends:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/ed...933013394&z=15

-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 07-08-2023 at 05:01 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 07-08-2023, 03:00 PM
Tegyrius's Avatar
Tegyrius Tegyrius is offline
This Sourcebook Kills Fascists
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 903
Default

Whew. That had the potential to go very poorly for your protagonists. It seems like good initiative results really carried the day.

Are you adding New Guy as another PC?

- C.
__________________
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
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 07-08-2023, 03:34 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tegyrius View Post
Whew. That had the potential to go very poorly for your protagonists. It seems like good initiative results really carried the day.
Yeah, my stomach sank when the SPG-9 hit Pole Position's engine. I immediately assumed a mobility kill- it was a huge relief when I compared the 73mm AP (i.e. HEAT) damage and the OT-64's side armor. Every time I rolled a hit on the enemy vehicles, I kept rooting for weapon or gunner kills, usually to no avail. It was pretty suspenseful. I can say that I enjoyed the suspense, now that the results are in (and positive).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tegyrius View Post
Are you adding New Guy as another PC?
I think so, at least until the party can find a relatively safe place to drop him off. By then, though, he might be too integrated to dismiss. Anyway, I rolled a D6 for his archetype (Officer), then rolled a D6 for his rank (1st Lieutenant). I'll probably roll a D10 and see what specialty the results line up with to determine what his Army branch is.

I forgot about the ex-Red Army maraunder POW until just now. I'm going to minorly RETCON him being tossed out during the firefight. He's tied up and blindfolded and doesn't know any more about the Diamonds than the Polish hunter-killer team hasn't figured out for themselves.

-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 07-08-2023 at 03:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 07-11-2023, 04:07 PM
kcdusk's Avatar
kcdusk kcdusk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 516
Default

Writing continues to improve.

Great battle scene and explanation in the notes.

Love that there was some vehicle combat. I'm always trying to add it to my game to use skills other than rifle, but am still working on doing it well.

I am new to the system but am liking the push rules. An extra chance for PCs at the risk of additional stress or injuries. I like the rule. And i like the decision making position it puts on players to have to make the decision to push or not.

This is becoming one of the better/best solo RPG write ups i've got in my short cuts.

Question: have you been using the included maps for your firefights? Or conceptual maps? Or hex grids over google map locations?
__________________
"Beep me if the apocolypse comes" - Buffy Sommers
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 07-12-2023, 02:39 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default

Thanks for the kind words, KC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcdusk View Post
Question: have you been using the included maps for your firefights? Or conceptual maps? Or hex grids over google map locations?
I use google maps and its integrated measuring tool (which gives measurements in Imperial units). I plug the measurements into a Google app that converters Imperial to metric. It's a bit clunky, but I'm used to it. I've seen folks insert hex grids over google maps locations, which would be more ideal, but it sounds more complicated to pull off than what I'm already doing.

-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 07-14-2023, 11:55 AM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default 8/6, Shift 2

Grease pushes Pole Position north, driving through mostly open farm country, dotted here and there with black and orange wrecks. The party passes several tiny farming hamlets along the way, some showing signs of recent habitation, others obviously abandoned. After traveling about 7.5km, the OT-64 approaches a patch of forest. Grease knows that his baby took several hits from large-caliber weapons during the firefight and he wants to inspect the damage. Similarly, Deacon needs the APC to stop moving and the troop compartment cleared out so that he can take a closer look at Lt. DeGrasso’s wound. Believing that two of the Polish army detachment’s vehicles were immobilized during the firefight they’ve just fled, Walker and Sarge decide that the risk of making a brief pit stop in the woods is acceptable.

Honeybear and Sandy, carrying the RPG-7 in addition to her M16/203, are tasked with watching the party’s back-trail. A still-wobbly PR tags along to handle comms. Bird and Sarge head deeper into the woods to scout out the road up ahead. They take Lt. DeGrasso’s radio- an AN/PRC-148 handheld, unusual outside of SF circles.

Grease gives Pole Position a walk-around, assessing the latest battle damage. He finds four shallow, sunburst-shaped gouges and one small borehole in the OT-64’s right side armor, the latter just over the the APC’s engine compartment. Grease pops the hatch, inspects the engine. Miraculously, the 73mm HEAT round didn’t do significant internal damage. It should continue to run, but it shouldn’t be pushed too hard. Grease estimates that it’ll take about eight hours of work to get the old diesel (converted to burn alcohol) back to optimal condition, relatively speaking.

In Pole Position’s vacated troop compartment, Deacon removes Lt. DeGrasso’s PAGST vest, lifts up the wounded man’s shirt. The damage is worse than it first appeared. Much worse. The bullet entered at the hip and didn’t exit- Deacon had assumed it was lodged in DeGrasso’s upper leg somewhere. Swelling and lividity in the patient’s lower belly indicates, however, that after entering near the hip, the bullet traveled up through his pelvis and into his abdomen, doing significant internal damage. DeGrasso seems to realize the true severity of his wound as well. Only surgery can save the man now, and that’s simply not an option under the current circumstances.

Deacon looks up, meets his patient’s eyes. Behind the man’s obvious weakness and pallor, he sees guilt. “You knew?” the medic asks.

Degrasso responds with a weak nod of his head.

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I thought you might leave me. I don’t want to die alone,” Degrasso answers, earnestly. Deacon wants to reassure the mortally wounded man, saying something comforting like, You’re not gonna die, or it’s gonna be OK, but lying feels like more of a cruelty than a kindness. A few seconds of awkward silence pass until the Chaplain’s Assistant asks, “Do you want me to pray with you?”

DeGrasso seems taken aback by the question. “In a minute…” he answers weakly. With more effort than should be necessary, the mortally-wounded officer removes something from his upper-left chest pocket. “Here. Get this to XI Corps. Do not let the commies get their hands on it…”

DeGrazzo passes Deacon a device of some sort. Deacon recognizes it as a 2gb Zip disk.

“What’s on here?” he asks, taking the disk.

“Don’t know. Wouldn’t tell you if I did. It’s important- that’s all…”

Meanwhile, Bird and Sarge scout the route ahead. The smell hits them first, getting stronger as they draw near to the northern edge of the woods. They hear the buzzing of hundreds of flies before they see the first of the corpses. A few meters inside the tree line, the scouts find a row of bodies, a dozen at least- their bloodstained cammies identify them a American soldiers. All of them lay face-down, hands tied behind their backs with items of their own clothing. Their boots have been removed, as have their weapons, ammunition, body armor, and LBE. They’ve have been dead for several days at least. Although the majority of corpses are mostly intact, animals have gotten to some of them, making an accurate count difficult. Bird and Sarge have smelled the corruption of death many times before, but they have to cover their noses and mouths to avoid heaving.

After making sure the area is secure, Sarge grimly says, “Let’s get their dog tags,” They go about the extremely unpleasant task in silence.

By the time the scouts return to the SKOT, DeGrasso is unconscious.

“Gutshot. He’s not gonna make it,” Deacon quietly announces.

Walker is looking at the map. “We shouldn’t stay here. If I had to guess where that Polish platoon came from, I’d say here, Goszczanow…” she stumbles over the name, “less than 5 klicks southeast of these woods. We need to a little more distance between us and them. There’s another main road across our route, about 3 klicks north of here.”

“It looks like there’s more patches of forest, ‘tween here and there. We could relocate closer to that road, get eyes on it. If there’s traffic, we can wait ‘til dark to cross,” Bird suggests.


NOTES:
No rules here. Just a bit of story-telling. I originally thought that Lt. DeGrasso would be joining the party, but I just couldn't get inspired to flesh out his character. I decided to kill him off instead, poor guy. The intrigue hinted at in this shift is a bit cliche and I honestly have no idea where to go with it, at this point.


-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 07-14-2023, 04:48 PM
kcdusk's Avatar
kcdusk kcdusk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 516
Default

I thought finding the bodies might have been a random card encounter.

i thought the zip drive might lead to operation reset or ....... there was a USA set module, about controlling the weather, can't think of it off hand.

hehe. love that its tough killing off a NPC/PC. Means you're invested.
__________________
"Beep me if the apocolypse comes" - Buffy Sommers
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 07-16-2023, 02:30 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default August 7th, 2000

Two days out of Skarydzew, the traveling food provided by the villagers is gone. The Diamonds have one day’s worth of rations left. The prospect of starvation rears its emaciated head.

On the outskirts of the next village of note (Liskow?), a large wooden sign is posted overlooking the road. It reads:

Głodni ludzie, kontynuujcie. Nie możemy wyżywić swoich.

PR translates for the others. “It says, ‘Hungry men, keep going. We can’t feed our own’.” The Diamonds decide that there is no use trying to negotiate. They pass through, eyed wearily by the townspeople. The local militia appears switched on and fairly well equipped with military grade small arms.

A few kilometers later, the Diamonds are flagged down by an American, one of sixteen it turns out. They are a gaunt bunch, closer to starving than hungry. They explain that they were turned away by the town the Diamonds just passed through. They ask- practically beg- the party for food. Walker explains that her squad is down to its last meal. The stragglers then suggest teaming up to essentially mount a raid on the nearby parsimonious settlement.

“Those assholes got plenty of food. They just don’t want to share it. You and us combine forces, that’ll change their minds.” Their leader, a brevet lieutenant, suggests.

“We’re not marauders, Lieutenant,” Walker declares, flatly. “We’re headed north, not south, and I suggest you do the same.”

The Lt. frowns, pauses but doesn't argue. “Why north?”

“We heard a rumor that US forces are pulling out of Europe end of August. Need to get to Germany before then, or else miss the boat,” Honeybear adds from the gun tub, hoping to help diffuse the situation.

“You got a radio?” Sarge asks the stragglers.

“Battery’s dead. Gotta spare?”

“Unfortunately, no.”

The two groups of Americans part on decent terms. The Diamonds offer to scout the road ahead (i.e north) a few kilometers and report back, mostly to assuage their own guilt from refusing to hand over the last of their food to foot-bound countrymen already gone a couple of days without.

The next settlement on the road is the polar opposite of the previous one. It’s smaller, and the villagers are almost too friendly. Their tiny militia is poorly equipped- a couple of shotguns and a pistol or two is all they have with which to defend themselves, but their larders are apparently full. They offer to trade food for better weapons. They even invite the Diamonds to stay- an arrangement involving an exchange of room and board for security.

The Diamonds want to keep moving, but a trade agreement is reached: the party will give five AKMs with 14 full magazines of for four (D6) days’ worth of rations, enough methanol to top off Pole Position’s fuel tank, and twelve shotgun (2D12) shells. The Diamonds tell the villagers about the 16 American soldiers they met on the road, just a few kilometers to the south, suggesting that this other group may be willing to provide additional protection for a spell, if the villagers agree to feed them. The villagers seem open to that proposition, so the party offers to backtrack, act as middlemen. Everyone involved is satisfied with the outcome. Before the Diamonds leave the next morning, the villagers warn them about what they will encounter if they continue to travel on the main roads north.


August 8 (Shift 1)

Taking a calculated risk, the forewarned Diamond party approaches the town of Malanów. The vegetation in the area is unusually sparse and drab for this time of year- it’s as if winter has descended early, but only on this particular section of Poland. The surrounding fields are fallow, inhabited only by scattered tufts of stunted yellow grasses, interspersed here and there with a few heartier weeds and nettles. The first stands of trees the party pass by are bare, then blackened. A couple of kilometers on, windrows of deadfall lay where patches of forest once stood, the ranks of trees lying with their tops pointing roughly south.

The first vehicle the Diamonds see appears badly weatherworn but otherwise intact, simply abandoned. Further on, they pass the burned out husks of military trucks, rusty rims ensconced in the pavement. What appeared from a distance to be whitewashed stones dotting the roadsides turn out to be human skulls, bleached by many suns. Further still, some vehicles lay on their sides, a few smashed like empty soda cans. The impression one gets is that a child giant, in a tantrum, has strewn his toy box full of army vehicles around the sandbox and then completely forgotten about them.

All this time, everyone is riding buttoned down inside Pole Position. Grease detours around the obliterated Polish town, avoiding the impact crater itself and the worst of the surrounding radioactive hotspot.


NOTES:
These episodes were strung together after a couple of days of writer’s block. I’d draw one random encounter that didn’t seem to fit the situation as it left off after the last. I did this several times. Each subsequent draw seemed to make things more muddled, not clearer. It took me a couple of days of thinking/imagining to put together a logical, coherent story from the disparate random encounters. It all came together this morning. I made a few rolls and voila, here are the results.

The part about the parsimonious town was generated by drawing cards on the Settlement Problem & Attitude table in the Solo rules. The results were Refugees (Problem) and Hostile (Attitude). I cribbed the idea for the billboard outside of the town from a favorite photo from the USA’s Great Depression.

The second element was from the Random Encounter card, Watcha Got? I’d already played out a couple of “desperate stragglers” scenarios earlier in the campaign so I tried to handle this one a bit differently. The third element was from the Buying and Selling Random Encounter Card. This village was willing to trade food for guns and ammo. I decided that the Diamonds would try to cut their own deal with the villagers, then attempt to broker an arrangement between the civilians and the hungry stragglers the party had recently met. Stringing the last two encounters together required some Opposed Persuasion rolls. Fortunately, they all went the PCs’ way.

Lastly, Ground Zero. First, I had to find a spot that either side would expend a tac-nuke on, and it had to make sense based on where v1 canon has units positioned in the summer-fall of 2000. The only place that came close to fitting those criteria is Malanów. Jed McClure's Poland hexmap index (https://static.squarespace.com/stati...xmap_index.pdf) has proven invaluable during the course of this campaign. I can just type in the name of a settlement near the party's line of march into the search box and if it's described in canon, there it is. Once I had a target worked out, I decided that it made no sense that friendly villagers wouldn’t warn the party about a tactical nuclear strike crater less than 10km from their hamlet, directly on the party's line of travel. So, I made the party aware of the danger zone well before they arrived on scene. However, I wanted to try my hand at describing what the landscape around such a spot would look like, so I had the party skirt the area, as opposed to avoiding it entirely. Since the rules state that rads are halved for those inside a vehicle and the party is deliberately avoiding the areas of strong and extreme radioactivity, I’m ruling that no Rad Attack took place during the shift it takes to detour the area.


-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 07-16-2023 at 06:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 07-20-2023, 01:40 AM
kcdusk's Avatar
kcdusk kcdusk is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 516
Default

As explained in the 4e thread, i think repeating random encounters is ok. For instance in your game, running into refugees or parties of USA soldiers - will come with different results depending on the cards (helpful, aggressive, sneaky, etc). And i think most encounters for example will be these "run of the mill" running into friendly or suspicious civilians, other on-the-run friendlies or enemy patrols. So i am in favour of double-ups or repeat similar encounters.

Although i admit you do a better job of non-combat encounters, i think even if they don't make sense, well - that's the T2K world. I think you need to make the randomness of it fit. Otherwise, your only accepting cards/encounters that fit your view - that fit your story line - you are almost taking the randomness out of it. And i think this is a big part of the T2K story line. Not knowing who is friend or foe.

Or even the story making sense! Escaping from Kalitz! It is chaos, so i say let the encounters be gamed as they crop up.

A bit like me, its not until my party is out of food will they mingle with villages for example. Its only when they are forced too. This is something i am trying to do better at, non-combat encounters. They are important, they can be deadly or awkward, but i think they are essential. And by forcing my own PC to socialise, i know it is adding to my game. More than just combat - recover -combat which is a bit = DnD dungeon crawls.
__________________
"Beep me if the apocolypse comes" - Buffy Sommers
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 07-21-2023, 11:00 AM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern AZ
Posts: 4,248
Default August 8th, Shift 2

The deer leaps from the trees, tries to clear the road in a single bound. Grease hears an impact, but Pole Position is too sturdy to feel it. Through the driver's vision block, a brown blur, there and gone in less than a half-a-second. Honeybear has the best view. He catches movement to his right front, tracks the final phase of the deer’s suicidal lunge. Clipped on the fly by the 14.5 ton APC, the animal cartwheels through the air, lands hard on the other side of the road.

“You just hit a deer!” the team's machine gunner (and cook) calls. It’s still twitching.

Grease brakes instinctively.

“There’s our dinner,” Bird drawls, monotone.

Pole Position is parked in the road, about 10m northeast of a culvert that crosses a narrow canal running northwest-to-southeast. About 200 meters northeast of the SKOT, the road disappears behind a small cluster of ruined residential buildings, the edge of a what appears to be an abandoned village. To the west of the road is a thickly wooded area.

Everyone is standing outside the vehicle, stretching their legs. Some watch Bird put the badly injured buck out of its misery, others don’t.

“Fuck, Bird, why you gotta use a knife?” Sandy asks, looking away.

“Cuz Ivan can’t hear a knife from a mile out.”

“Are we lucky or was that deer just really un-lucky?” PR asks.

“Guess that depends on who you ask,” Grease answers.

“Oi there!”

Eight heads turn almost as one.

A man stands in the road, about 200m north of where Pole Position is parked. None of the Diamonds noticed where he came from. His cammies look vaguely American, but they're not. He wears a white brassard around his raised left arm.

“British Army! You lot Yanks?” the man calls…

The speaker is Sergeant Bill ‘Topper’ Hudnall, formerly of the BAOR’s Special Observation Post troops. He’s currently operating as part of a group of around two dozen partisans, mostly Polish. They’re loyal to the NATO-aligned Polish Free Congress but operating independently at the moment. They lost contact with the PFC about a fortnight ago, after it was pushed out of Poznan by PACT forces. The partisans’ current base of operations is in the village of Ruda, a small settlement tucked into the forest between Turek and Konin. Those two towns are currently garrisoned by troopers from the Soviet 89th Cavalry division. Topper and a detachment of his guerilla comrades were laying in ambush the major east-to-west road which doglegs through the abandoned hamlet just up the way.

Topper glances at his wristwatch. “We’re about to head back to camp. If Ivan’s not showed up by now, he won’t be coming through today. You fancy paying a visit?”

“Have you met any other Americans?” Sandy asks the question on all of the Diamonds’ minds.

“Yeah, a few, about a week ago. They was heading north, like yourselves. Had a Humvee. We tried to recruit ‘em, but they weren’t interested.” Topper answers.

The Diamonds accept the invitation, and both groups head off for the partisan camp…


NOTES:
So I’ve been struggling a bit with how to move this campaign forward. I also feel like the campaign was getting a bit repetitive. Move, encounter a village that needs help, cut a deal (fight for food), rinse, and repeat. I too like the random nature of hex crawling, but it was starting to feel "desperately random" (name the film!). With the exception of the recent fight with the Polish hunter-killer team, the last few times I’ve drawn an encounter involving combat, the party has rolled successfully to avoid it. I’ve grown somewhat protective of the PCs, so I find myself trying to duck fights whenever possible, or only fight if the PCs have the upper hand. If I was playing with or running a game for other players, this pattern of would probably get boring after a few sessions (at times, it felt a bit stale to me). I found myself feeling the need to contrive a scenario where the PCs would be forced to fight, and do so without an advantage.

I tried using the tables in the Solo rules to give me a starting point. The results weren’t particularly helpful or inspiring, so I went back to the random encounter deck. I drew Outnumbered. In order to make that scenario work, I had to find a road in the Diamond’s path that the Soviets would use to move a supply convoys. Then I needed to find a spot where the party wouldn’t be able to quickly retreat- their MO- upon meeting the Soviet convoy. I spent a lot of time studying the Google Map satellite images of Poland to find a location that fit the bill (this is a downside to using Google Maps instead of 4e travel and combat maps). It was taking so long to find a spot that meet all of above criteria that I almost gave up and shut down the campaign until next summer. Instead, I went back to the Solo tables and drew some playing cards. Again, the results (Animal, Active) seemed unhelpful. But then inspiration struck. I imagined the SKOT hitting a deer and that gave me a reason to stop Pole Position and get all of the PCs out of the vehicle. Combined with the map location I found, this situation would have forced the party to engage in at least a few rounds of combat against a superior force.

I started the fight and the Soviets dew first initiative. The engagement opened at 200m. The BTR exchanged fire with Pole Position; the enemy’s BTR missed, rolling two 1s- the rules state that this means running out of ammo (already?), but I ruled it a jam instead, believing that to be more realistic (also, the net effect is the same- in either case, the NPC gunner has to spend the next round of combat not shooting). Honeybear missed the BTR with his first burst of Dishka fire. Originally, I had the partisans appear at that point and ambush the convoy. The Diamonds basically waited and watched before making contact with the partisans after the firefight was over (I was dictating that the Soviets lost). That felt a little too Deus Ex Machina to me so I stopped the combat and did a little Retcon.

I introduced the partisans because I want to give the PCs a purpose other than just getting to Bremerhaven in the hopes of going home. The partisans are going to try to persuade the party that the right thing to do is help the people of Poland eject the Soviet occupiers and overthrow the puppet Polish government, bringing freedom and democracy back to Poland. Even if they don’t persuade the PCs to join them long-term, the Diamonds will agree to help the partisans ambush a large Soviet convoy. I might have to improvise some rules for mass combat or come up with a reason to split the groups, as a 30 v 40 battle is going to be too unwieldy to handle.


-
__________________
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:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...--Rooks-Gambit
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ula-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...nia-Sourcebook
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...liate_id=61048
https://preview.drivethrurpg.com/en/...-waters-module

Last edited by Raellus; 07-26-2023 at 06:23 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 4 (0 members and 4 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 01:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.