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View Poll Results: What's your favorite T2k MacGuffin?
Dirigible 3 15.00%
RESET 1 5.00%
Black Madonna 8 40.00%
Social Security Records 2 10.00%
NBC Weapon/Launch Codes 0 0%
Gold Bars 1 5.00%
Carl Hughes 0 0%
Iranian Crown Jewels 0 0%
Satellite Data Tapes 1 5.00%
Other (please specify in post) 4 20.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07-19-2020, 08:32 PM
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Default Favorite T2k MacGuffin

MacGuffin: An object or device in a movie or a book that serves merely as a trigger for the plot. (Oxford Languages)

There are several such devices in published adventure modules for Twilight 2000. What's your favorite? After you vote, please explain your pick.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2020, 08:51 PM
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This is a great idea for a poll I'm really interested to read people's responses.
I wish that the T2k games I was involved in lasted long enough to reach the McGuffin stage but sadly they were typically too lethal for characters to survive long enough. The games just weren't enough fun to sustain a campaign so they ended before we could get into those various modules.

Having said that, I wanted to run a T2k campaign where the PCs hear rumours of a crashed Luftwaffe C-160 Transall supposedly laden with German ration packs and ammunition. The aircraft and its cargo did exist but it had crashed in remote woodlands and nobody was entirely sure where it was. I wanted to use it as a way to encourage the PCs to explore the region, the lure of food and ammo I believe would be sufficient to get them to do so.
So in that sense I think it qualifies as a McGuffin - so in that sense, I voted "Other".

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 07-19-2020 at 08:51 PM. Reason: updating info
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:46 PM
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I want to say B-52, but I haven't written that bit yet...
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:48 PM
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Then there's the pair of Hind's just sitting about....
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Old 07-19-2020, 11:06 PM
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I vote for the Black Madonna. Even if you don't roll right into the "Going Home" supplement, then the whole Poland supplements give you a good chance to be in position long run to become the power behind some major player and establish a long range government going forward. Complete with being that power player's fixer with all the benefits of home, hearth, and food that comes with it.
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Old 07-20-2020, 02:46 AM
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Has to be the Black Madonna. The entire concept just makes sense on a number of levels, and doesn't feel like the macguffin is something forced or an artificial deus ex machina. I also like that it veers away from the 'last' trope - last working computer, last submarine, etc etc. For sure the Black Madonna is unique, but for very different reasons.
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  #7  
Old 07-20-2020, 08:02 AM
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The best MacGuffin is probably Black Madonna, but my personal favorite has to be the dirigible from Airlords of the Ozarks.
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:13 AM
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Definitely a tie between the Madonna and the technical information that the Popoviches were bringing back with them in Med Cruise - and given the name Operation Prometheus you have to assume it was some kind of ability to generate energy like cold fusion
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  #9  
Old 07-20-2020, 09:35 AM
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Default RESET

Crap! I just noticed that Social Security Records are on the list twice. That means I missed one- arguably the most MacGuffin of all T2k MacGuffin's (but not necessarily the best)-

RESET

Sorry guys. I can't believe I botched it.
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  #10  
Old 07-20-2020, 09:51 AM
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RESET is the uber MacGuffin if the whole offensive really was launched just to provide cover to get it
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Old 07-20-2020, 03:02 PM
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Default RE-SET's Back, Alright!

I figured out how to edit the poll, so RESET has been added.
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  #12  
Old 07-20-2020, 06:55 PM
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I have a hidden WW2 supply/repair depot floating around with several Panther tanks plus a Nazi loot convoy that includes, among other things, the Amber Room.

Pity the poor group that finds it and then tries to keep it to themselves!!
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Old 07-20-2020, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olefin View Post
RESET is the uber MacGuffin if the whole offensive really was launched just to provide cover to get it
*sigh*
No. It really wasn't. That's clear when you examine the bigger picture as I did some years ago, and there's absolutely no evidence to support that claim.
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  #14  
Old 07-20-2020, 10:46 PM
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Oh I know Leg - but even the original Krakow module floated that idea as why the offensive was launched - to provide cover to get Reset.
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  #15  
Old 07-20-2020, 10:57 PM
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As a rumour.
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If it moves, shoot it, if not push it, if it still doesn't move, use explosives.

Nothing happens in isolation - it's called "the butterfly effect"

Mors ante pudorem
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  #16  
Old 07-21-2020, 09:47 AM
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Default Pope MacGuffin I

I tried to run a campaign in Austria. The MacGuffin was the body of Pope John Paul II, being transported from Rome to his home town in Poland. I was inspired by Rainbow 6's awesome write up of the Swiss Guard in T2k.
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  #17  
Old 07-21-2020, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I tried to run a campaign in Austria. The MacGuffin was the body of Pope John Paul II, being transported from Rome to his home town in Poland.
VERY cool idea! WAY more imaginative than the stuff I usually come up with.
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Old 07-21-2020, 03:36 PM
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I preferred Black Madonna to Reset, but both are close. I really enjoyed both MacGuffins as something Really Powerful, but there's no way the PCs can use it-- they HAVE to give it to someone else for it to realize its value.

The dirigible is one I have to run with sometime, though, I've become an airship fan in the years since. I just need a group that will commit to the time that a T2k game will need.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:40 AM
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Name a T2K adventure or any adventure for that matter in an RPG that doesn't revolve around a McGuffin? I think it's almost an RPG trope?
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  #20  
Old 07-23-2020, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Weiser View Post
Name a T2K adventure or any adventure for that matter in an RPG that doesn't revolve around a McGuffin? I think it's almost an RPG trope?
I'd say Going Home or Escape from Kalisz, neither feature a McGuffin really.
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurken View Post
I'd say Going Home...
The train?
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If it moves, shoot it, if not push it, if it still doesn't move, use explosives.

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  #22  
Old 07-23-2020, 07:49 PM
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Macguffins are positive and negative.

A positive one you want to have.

A negative you don't want other people having. (The briefcase in Ronin)
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:32 PM
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I'm lucky in that I'm GMing a MERC campaign in Africa. My players take missions to get paid so they can eat. Occasionally, that payment can be unique like the time they were paid in DIAMONDS and that other time they got to "raid" a UN supply depot in exchange for a "side job" that the UN commander needed done "off the books." Burt Gommer (Tremors II) would have been proud!
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
I'm lucky in that I'm GMing a MERC campaign in Africa. My players take missions to get paid so they can eat. Occasionally, that payment can be unique like the time they were paid in DIAMONDS and that other time they got to "raid" a UN supply depot in exchange for a "side job" that the UN commander needed done "off the books." Burt Gommer (Tremors II) would have been proud!
After playing Far Cry 2 I wanted run a session like this.

I posted a quick game outline over at the T2K Fb page:

Quote:
The premise is that some former troops are contacted by their respective governments to act as advisers for a rebel group in a fictional country and try and overthrow the current government. Once on the ground they realise that the intel they've been given is totally wrong and the situation is far more complex than they were briefed. After a bit of scene setting where they start to realise that they're probably not on the side of the angels (obviously there simply isn't any in this situation) a factional struggle kills the rebel group's leaders and the new leaders have other backers. As this is post-Glasnost I'd probably pick some other nation than Russia as 'bad guys', probably a fictional one as regional governments often fostered rebel groups in each other's territory. (Liberia was infamous for this).

A loyal soldier gets them a warning that the new rebel leadership has targeted them for arrest. Some of the group will be executed as a spectacle and the rest extradited to the rebel's backers for intel. The executed will probably be the lucky ones as the backer's methods of interrogation are similar to those of Idi Amin's.

In true T2K fashion the advisers have to get to an extraction zone with plenty of betrayal and conflict as well as the possibility of using their skills to do what they consider is correct on the way as they're no longer considered 'employed'. Behind them and pushing the plot is a horde of various factions in technicals displaying various levels of the brutality that marked the regional conflicts of that era.

The players start in a situation much like the end of the 5th ID; grabbing whoever and whatever they can and beating feet. The infrastructure in front of them is destroyed by the war and they may even end up cooking fuel.

Worse they may now be seen as something of a liability by their own backers; the shadowy organisations that put them in theatre. How this develops would depend on the plot.

Of course all is not lost. There was some very good people in the area in that time and they might be able to help out. However it would inevitably be a tangled situation as these helpful groups or individuals tried to liaise with each other to provide help or guidance.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:14 PM
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Default African MacGuffins

That sounds like a pretty kick-ass campaign concept, Chalk. I went through a big mercs in Africa phase a couple of years ago. Read a bunch of books about merc ops in the Congo, Sierra Leon, Angola, the Wonga Coup...

Really gritty stuff. It got rather depressing after a while. I had to stop.

Lot of MacGuffins in Africa. Diamonds in Sierra Leon, oil in Angola, Coltan (for cell phones) in Congo. After watching a doc on Netflix (can't remember the name), I briefly wanted to run a game where the mercs were protecting Mountain Gorillas from both sides in a civil war. "Guerillas in the Mist" never got past the conceptual phase.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:45 PM
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For our group? It was gold bars, so our GM came up with a rumor of gold in a bank, and so....cue "Burning Bridges" from Kelly's Heroes.

Reset was a background while we were in Krakow-had a few fire-fights with people who thought we had the documents.
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  #27  
Old 07-23-2020, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
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Really gritty stuff. It got rather depressing after a while. I had to stop.
Exactly the same here. Too close to reality.
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Old 07-24-2020, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
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The train?
Not always. The group I played with accidentally missed the train totally so we went to Bremerhaven in our merry convoy of assorted vehicles. I didn't even know about the train until I read the Going Home module after the campaign!
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  #29  
Old 07-24-2020, 07:38 PM
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Africa has a lot of possible MacGuffins that work both for MERC and for V2.2.

Players in Kenya could be part of Operation Harvester gathering material for the war effort as part of the US military.

Or they could be mercs and dealing with guys like Rick Blaine in Mombasa who pays for "items" that he can sell for a very high price to the right buyer. Or being paid by the LRA for things like black market fuel or spare parts for their vehicles or gold or gems that can be traded for what they need.

Or be both and have their eyes out for "items" while they are part of an Operation Harvester mission- i.e. a la Kings Ransom.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:15 PM
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Default Grey Area

Technically, I probably didn't use the term MacGuffin correctly in the OP/Poll, but there's definitely a difference between "an object or device in a movie or a book that serves merely as a trigger for the plot" and a mission like "gather stuff", or a patron that sends the character on missions, like "the collector". A MacGuffin is almost always one really important thing. How and/or why it's important usually doesn't matter to the character charged with finding/retrieving/destroying the thing, but it still manages to drive the main plot line.
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