Thursday, November 10, 2016

Adventure Thoughts II

Thoughts on Twilight 2000 adventures for use with Mutant Future.
I've been looking at different post apocalyptic game adventures for material I can use in Mutant Future games (hopefully without having to do a lot of rework to make an adventure playable). This time I thought I'd dig up some old Twilight 2000 adventures that I enjoyed back in the day and see what I could use from them.
First, some general caveats. Twilight 2000's setting has some basic assumptions that set the stage for their adventures. One of the biggest concerns is that most T2K adventures are geared toward overcoming the limitations of not having adequate supplies for the parties. This means that quite a bit of the material in these adventures is oriented toward how much and what type of equipment, especially the important aspects like water, food, ammunition, fuel, and medical supplies, can be acquired. Most of the time this methodology is tied into the game mechanics (which are fairly decent and workable) concerning scavenging, buying, and trading for supplies. The other basic assumptions of T2K tie more into the ideas that the PCs are either trying to survive or taking orders from some entity trying to rebuild (or conquer). This latter aspect can be kept or dumped as the GM desires when using these for Mutant Future or other post apocalyptic games.
Another general aspect of these modules is that they generally have some key features of utility that can be fairly easily transferred to other games without much work. First is that many of these have fairly good random encounter tables which can easily have substitutes of a more mutant nature plugged into them with very little work. On the downside, the same basic random encounter table is often replicated multiple times with minor variations of little note throughout each module, taking up often valuable space that could have been better used to flesh out the sandbox-like adventure settings. Second, the aforementioned scavenging/acquiring of parts and equipment sections, while quite workable, will probably need to be modified for the system of choice, especially if the GM isn't keen on keeping track of all the breakdowns and failures that the T2K system uses. The third item of note is the NPC motivation mechanics. T2K uses a motivation table based on the results of drawing two cards from a standard playing card deck, so GMs wishing to use this method will need to have the core rules in order to refer to the results. The last key feature is the extended use of rumor 'tables' (generally a list of regional rumors, with NPCs noting which rumors they produce and what methods work in getting those rumors. While the system is fairly usable for the adventures, there's often little outright false rumors, usually they're partially true or fully true, depending on the rumor. Some more 'red herring' or 'useless trivia' type rumors added to the list would further enhance their playability.

Airlords of the Ozarks
The basic premise of this adventure is that a quasi-religious group of militants, having acquired lighter-than-air and ultralight aircraft, have begun expanding their territory of control in the region of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, have a macguffin with which to defeat their military (MilGov) enemies, and all the associated baggage with their plans and doctrines. The basic concept is easy to modify, simply by making the group either pure human supremacists or pro-mutant (of whatever type) fanatics. The basic framework of the adventure is also fairly easy to move to any mountainous type region one would want to use. I do have to admit, the 'aircraft' information did seem a little light, fully supporting the given plot, but not quite giving enough material for the GM to easily provide alternate aircraft ideas and concepts to modify the specifics of the adventure. I'd probably also recommend adding some other racial factions to the mix to help develop the plot better, by giving the main opponent tiered goals in which communities they want to dominate or destroy.

Allegheny Uprising
By dropping everything but the most basic premise of this adventure, a lost government cache that everyone who knows about it is out to get, you can make a quite usable hexcrawl with the premise of a treasure hunt as the goal. Other than that, this one would probably require quite a bit more work to do anything with.

Armies of the Night
This adventure actually has some good plot points that can be used or ignored as desired; take a census of NYC, establish a presence in NYC for the party's employer (or affiliated group), find out what happened to previous expeditions with the same basic orders, find out where a shipment of gold disappeared to, set up and/or license salvaging operations. That's a lot of stuff that probably won't all be accomplished, but provides tons of useful directions to take. While a lot of useful big city, equipment caches, subway/underground notes, and NPC information is included, the total coverage of the NYC area is kind of lacking. Especially frustrating is the constant reference to the "Armies of the Night" of the title, yet little real utility, as there are only about 17 gangs or so detailed (Mau Maus, Disciples, Simbas, Suicides, Los Reyes, Los Cuchillos, Los Diablos, Los Borinquehos, Los Discipulos del Muerto, Hizzoner the Mayor's forces, Cherokees, Black Hand, Dragon Lords, the Duke's Militia; Harbor Pirates, Ferrymen, Easters, and Hudson Vikings), with little to go on for generating or using more. The inclusion of "Dements" though was a nice touch. While this is fairly useful for generating post apocalyptic ruined city adventures, it really needs more fleshing out on gangs (some random tables would help here), and probably more random tables for the various caches discussed. More information on the greater NYC area would have been useful too (especially since some of the information is dated due to when it was published).

City of Angels
This is a bit more disappointing than Armies of the Night, as the adventure included is pretty lame (deliver a letter to some guy's family, then end up having to hunt down family members that have been taken). The support material is also only fair, with the same limitations in gang presence as Armies of Night (only moreso). However this is somewhat offset by having some other factions (communities and the Mexican invasion forces) present in the region. There is some useful stuff to mine here, but it really needs another source to get some playability. I recommend Road Hogs from the After the Bomb/TMNT line, doing some mix and match (and fixing the Mexican equipment to less "soviet era" junk and more in line with what they actually use), and going from there.

Pirates of the Vistula
This is probably my favorite adventure for T2K, I totally loved the idea of traveling a river and the types of things you encounter along the way, all Huck Finn n' stuff, but with guns and explosives. While overall, T2K's 'aquatic' adventures are pretty lacking (mostly from reusing the same material from this adventure), you could probably incorporate the few other ideas found is such adventures as Gateway to the Spanish Main, Boomer, Mediterranean Cruise, Red Star/Lone Star, and The Last Submarine. This adventure is also fairly easy to transpose to any other large river system of your choice.

The Free City of Krakow
Another classic favorite, mostly for the intrigue presented in the city. With some work and name changes, you could use this as the basis for city-based adventures, though I'd probably grab Armies of the Night for some additional city structure, information, and random table goodness.

The Ruins of Warsaw
The 'sequel' to Pirates of the Vistula (itself a sort of sequel to Free City of Krakow), this is really only usable in it's basic idea of banding survivor groups together in order to stop the conquest of a post apocalyptic warlord.

Urban Guerilla
While a weaker adventure setting than Airlords of the Ozarks, this entry in the "New America" line was still a bit better than any of the other entries for usability. Otherwise similar to Airlords or Ruins of Warsaw with it's 'stop the conquest' of a "bad guy" group theme.