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Old 11-27-2017, 10:43 AM
gbmaz gbmaz is offline
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Location: Los Alamos, NM
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Default Finally running a TMP game after 30 years

After a 30 year gap, I am finally running a TMP 3rd Edition game. I still have my near complete collection of the all the TMP stuff published in the 80's and have picked up the few things published since then. Last month I attended my 30th high school reunion and was reminiscing with some old buddies about playing TMP, and that got me inspired.

My regular gaming group (my wife and I joined a great Pathfinder group last December) had a big gap with the GM being out of town and assorted players being tire up due to recent job changes (2 of the players regularly drive almost 2 hours to come game). I had been talking about TMP for a while and 3 of the players were available about 3 weeks ago for the first session (two of them had created characters earlier).

Of course I started them out with Liberation at Riverton since it is a simple plot and this was the first thing I have run of any game for 30 years.

My little twists on the whole thing is that I ran it with a 2017 war date, and the team is a "Replacements" team. In my world as the run up to the war was coming the project decided to take members of the frozen reserve and place them as ad-hoc teams to bolster the teams in place. And the teams were made up of members frozen in a variety of eras. In this case early-mid 70's and mid to late 80's.

To add some further interest they were all individuals who, while very qualified, had some sort of quirk that kept them from being assigned to a regular team back when they joined the Project. Nothing disqualifying, but enough that they were not seen as a "team player". With a group that enjoys roleplaying, this has turned out to be a lot of fun.

The 3 PCs were placed with an NPC Team Leader who was frozen at the time of their placement in late 2016 and was to brief them on a variety of things, including the touch screen tablet accessory that was added to the Auto-nav. Unfortunately his cryo-tube failed and he did not make it....

Much to my enjoyment the players quickly got much more bought in than they expected and were hung-ho to take out the bad guys. Of course the 3 players are 2 PhDs and a MD, so they have to over think everything. Other than 1 encounter with a giant wolverine there was no combat in the first session. They managed to triangulate the position of the imp camp with RDF and a lot of patience. They then proceeded to stake out the camp for 3 weeks making observations and radio intercepts.

We played out the multi week stake out via text messages and e-mails, with the players asking questions and me answering them. I ended up typing up several days of radio intercept dialog and 2 pages of observations they had made. This turned out to be great fun, and I know I definitely impacted their productivity at work.

Fortuitously, the 3 weeks of in game observations corresponded with about the same amount of real world time and we played again this past Saturday. I ironically, this time we actually had no combat as they continued with 2 or 3 more hours of questions and planning.

A 4th PC joined up with the group as the lone survivor of a Mars Team that had been providing security for a large Ag team. He is a millennial Iraq/Afghanistan combat vet with a bit of chip on his shoulder. This led to some great role playing exchanges between him and the 70's era Viet-Nam vet. At one point he is trying to explain 9/11 and the war on terror and the 80's era characters ask him why they went to war with one of America's allies in the mid-east. Then they asked "So he was behind the 9/11 attacks?" which lead to some more great roleplaying.

The 4th player also did a great job of playing up his chip on the shoulder "I'm from a Mars Team" attitude. We now refer to this as "Mars-splaining".

More details to come when they actually attack the bad guys.
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:06 PM
Sprocketteer Sprocketteer is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2017
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Good to hear it!.
I'm still working on my game, ill health is getting in the way again.
Might be running it on roll20/twitch. Will have to see.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:29 AM
gbmaz gbmaz is offline
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If anyone is interested, here are the radio intercept transcripts I gave the players after they spent their first week staking out the camp.

There is also a page of descriptions of the camp from their first night of observations and then another of visual observations from the following week.

The observations are based on staking out the camp from the ridge east of the camp just past the fence line. Further inspection of Google Earth and top maps made me realize that observing from there is not real world accurate, but it served for game purposes.

Playing out the stakeout via text and e-mail was very effective for me and kept the players connected during a multi week gaming break.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Radio Intercepts Day 1&2.pdf (33.1 KB, 12 views)
File Type: pdf Radio Intercepts day 3-6.pdf (36.3 KB, 12 views)
File Type: pdf visual observation journal days 1-6.pdf (44.6 KB, 14 views)
File Type: pdf camp descriptions.pdf (34.1 KB, 14 views)
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:41 AM
gbmaz gbmaz is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Los Alamos, NM
Posts: 27

The other thing I did was load Gia GPS on my iPad and download the topo maps for the area around Grayling. I then marked the bolthole and caches as waypoints on the map.

This worked well as a tool and allowed for some fun roll playing of their 70s and 80s era characters trying to use the touch screen. I then used satellite imagery from Google on my laptop to follow along. Definitely less "theater of the mind", but immersive in its own way.

Since the players were not all aficionados of gun porn and military stuff I allowed reasonable Googling of stuff in game (but not maps), trusting them to filter out what a character from their era would know. This helps level the playing field when not everyone knows a bunch about weapons and explosives, but their characters would based on background and Morrow training.
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