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BattleTech Player Boards => Fan Designs and Rules => Topic started by: monbvol on 26 October 2016, 19:46:13

Title: Fan A Time of War Adventures
Post by: monbvol on 26 October 2016, 19:46:13
So one of the things I've seen bandied about as a complaint is that there are not enough detailed A Time of War Adventures pre-made for GMs a bit crunched on time or creativity available.  So I figure why not give it a shot at coming up with a few myself.

Feel free to contribute your own adventures and please do provide feed back.

I only ask for ease of indexing/linking each post only contain one adventure.  That way it'll be a bit easier to direct people who need it to a particular adventure.

Almost forgot some clarifications.  I'm going to try and write my adventures to all be GM viewed only and thus only use [Author][/Author] tags to offer helpful advice or insert other information.

Also forgot a page reference for the Boss NPC template.  All page references will be to A Time of War unless specifically noted otherwise.

[reserved for future index of my adventures once/if I put up enough to need an index/]
Title: Re: Fan A Time of War Adventures
Post by: monbvol on 26 October 2016, 22:51:33
The Classic(save the Princess)
Intended group size:
Intended duration: Short(1-2 sessions)
Intended starting XP pool: 5,000 XP
Suggested skills: This will be a mixed adventure so the players should have a good mix of skills for getting into and out of trouble.
Era/Location notes: Any era and any world in the Inner Sphere, except Clan occupied worlds, should suffice for this adventure. Not suitable for a Clan group/setting.
Other notes: Now Clan characters can be permitted for this adventure on the understanding they will not be members of a Clan.  On that note this adventure will work best for either loyal retainers of a minor noble or mercenary oriented characters.  As such some care is suggested in what traits the players are allowed to start with.  While there should be a good few opportunities for combat players are encouraged to not use lethal options.

The setup
The heir to a minor noble[Author]Gender doesn't really matter, flip a coin if you can't decide or roll a die.  If you need a name for this family use Gates.  Again gender doesn't matter and use whatever method you used before if you can't decide.[/Author]. has been abducted.  The player group is quietly approached and given the mission.  For a mercenary group the payout is generous[Author]If you need a number 1,000,000 c-bills.  It is only 4-6 people after all.[/Author].  For loyal retainers minor land grants and titles are theirs for the taking[Author]Increase Property and Title by 1 each.[/Author].

So far no demands have been sent and the minor noble is convinced it must be one of his rivals.  He has also been able to keep the local media in the dark about the matter for now but how much longer that will last is up to you and the players.

The local constabulary is highly corrupt or inept and hasn't been able to come up with much of a lead on the case yet.

The one lead they have is a rumor that the heir was last seen in a bar near the space port in the main city.

Where to start
The obvious place to start is the bar.[Author]If you need a name call it the Three Wolf Bar.[/Author]  It is a seedy poorly maintained place but always busy when open thanks to being near the space port.  If the players go here first and start asking questions roll 1d6 and have that many Thugs from the NPC section of A Time of War[Page 337] decide they don't like the PCs nosing around and attack the PCs.

This fight will depend on what you rolled for the d6 and how well the players act as a team.  So some on the fly adjustments may be needed to get a desired outcome.  Either way I'd recommend the Thugs stick to fighting hand to hand unless the players escalate to using weapons.  Once weapons come into play the Thugs are highly encouraged to lose their nerve and try to find a way out of the fight.  Questioning the Thugs will lead the players to an underworld boss[Author]Marv the Mech if you need a name[/Author] who runs a club on the other side of town.

If the players did pull out weapons first it is highly encouraged that before they get too far from the bar that they get stopped by the local authorities and be hassled within the bounds of the local law.  Unless the players also escalate this they will be taken to police headquarters for questioning and lose a few hours in a holding cell, exactly how long will depend on who they call, as they will be allowed to contact someone about their incarceration.  If a player has an appropriate Connection trait and they contacted them instead of the minor noble they are working for roll 3d6 subtract the Connection rating and use the result as the number of hours before they are released.  If they contact the minor noble they work for roll 4d6 with the result being how many hours before they are released and their employer being angry and disappointed.  Mercenary characters will be informed that the bribes and fees to get them released are being deducted from the payout[Author]250,000 c-bills if they killed someone in the fight, 100,000 if all the Thugs survived.[/Author]  If there is a piece(s) of equipment you're already regretting letting the players have this would be a good opportunity to have it confiscated.  Indeed if the players had any gear that their Equipped trait does not allow it will be confiscated.  In the case of issued gear it will be held in a secure facility until the players are ready to leave planet or returned to their employer with a stern warning that if the players are caught with those items in public again that they will be arrested again.  For loyal retainers all rewards are negated.

If they do fight the cops and turn themselves into fugitives, well then I would suggest perhaps this was not the right adventure for your group or greater care be taken in the future about what Compulsions are allowed or are being played out without being on the character's sheet.  At this point their employer would be pissed and that there is now a 1,000,000 c-bill bounty on their heads.

Now as an alternative to the bar the players could be prodded to check the space port's security camera footage, or think to try that first.  If they do the use of the minor noble's name and explaining what the group is after will get them access to the camera footage, and a leaked news story in the media that will annoy their employer but not be a deal breaker.  After careful examination, Perception check with a -2 roll modifier, they will catch the reflection of the heir being escorted into a hover van in a window recorded by an external camera.

A trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles analogue and again using the minor noble's name with the same consequences as before, a 1,000 c-bill bribe, or if a player with Computers hacks their system with a Computers skill roll with a -2 modifier will find that there is only one hover van of the make and model in the video registered on the whole planet.  If you've guessed it leads to Marv the Mech good for you.

Marv the Mech
How exactly this goes down will depend on the players.

Getting help from the police will do nothing but waste the player's time.  They will say they've already questioned Marv the Mech and came up empty.

Peacefully gaining entry to his club will cost 100 c-bills in door man bribes for each player*, reduce bribe by 50 c-bills if female or if they have the gregarious or attractive trait.  Eliminate the bribe altogether for each player that has more than one of the previous traits.  Unattractive, Introvert, Handicap(if visible in nature), obvious prosthetics each increase the bribe by 50 c-bills.  This establishment[Author]The Divine Sin if you need a name.[/Author] is much nicer and better maintained.  Streetwise and Perception checks will catch all sorts of illegal activity going on in the club though, otherwise it'd be a rather respectable and nice place.  Roll a Perception check but instead of using the usual link attribute modifiers apply the appropriate modifier for each player's current Edge score.  A success sports Marv going into a VIP area.

*the players will be checked for concealed weapons and armor with a standard pat down.  Perception versus Stealth to conceal any weapons or armor with player failure meaning no matter what they are denied entry.  This is a known precaution taken by the doorman and no bribe will prevent it, the bribe is to get in the club at all.

Gaining access to this VIP area without causing a scene with a fight will again depend on the players.  A successful Acting versus Perception check with the bouncer at the door can get the players past the bouncer.  Failure will get the players tossed out of the club as a group.  4 Thugs from page 337 as the bouncers if it comes to a fight.

These Thugs also will prefer to fight hand to hand but if things are going against them they will use Stun Sticks or Autopistols.  Use whichever will give a better fight for the players.

If a fight does break out the club will clear out and Marv the Mech will be long gone.  Perception -1 search of the VIP area will reveal a concealed door that wasn't quite shut correctly in the back of the VIP area.  This door leads to another room and here in plain sight is a bunch of monitors showing security feeds of the club both inside and out.  If the players stop to check the security recordings they find that the hover van was stolen from Marv the Mech before the heir was abducted!  The proof is undeniable.

If the players managed to con their way in(or use the previous bribe formula for even getting in the club, either way they will be patted down again) Marv the Mech will be talking with two attractive women and it is obvious why he's called Marv the Mech.  He's a big man with some obvious prosthetics.

He looks at the players and tells them he knows why they are here.  He didn't abduct the heir, bad for business.  He directs the players to the aforementioned concealed room if they want proof.

If the players escalate to a fight use the Boss template(Page 339) but add 1 additional strength.  Marv the Mech enjoys beating people up but again if pushed he will use an autopistol to defend himself and 4 Thugs representing the bouncers using the aforementioned tactics will show up to join the fight after the first round of the fight.

The players if they spend enough time rooting around the video files eventually find another angle of the heir's abduction.

The better angle reveals which option you want to use clearly and that now that you're not looking at blurred reflections the abductor can be identified.

Again the players will be detained by local authorities using the same random delay method as before if it is the first time they are arrested if they broke out weapons.  Add another d6 and 100,000 in lost payout for incurred bribes and fees if it is the second time.

The new found footage though with the local authorities now having no choice but to be as competent as they can be identify the abductor in the video as the man at arms for another minor noble in a long standing feud with the player's employer.  He is specifically known to be stationed at the now rarely used family castle out in the mountains beyond the city.  The political nightmare this creates though ends the involvement of local authorities.

Higher authorities will refuse to get involved in such a trivial local matter, especially when the players are already in control of the situation.

So the players find the family castle easily enough.  If one or more of the players is a mechwarrior with their own mech the castle has a DRG-1N Dragon for each mechwarrior and mech in the player group.  Only include the mech if all four players are Battlearmor pilots with Battlearmor.

Watching the castle for a couple hours will reveal four roaming patrols with two Thugs each.  Perception -4 will reveal a Thug sniper on each corner tower, four in total.  Gear will be standard flak suits, autorifles for the patrols, and sniper rifles for the snipers.

This should be a tough fight.  Do not give the Thugs night vision gear and do your best to adjust the skills of any enemy mechwarriors so that this will not be an impossible fight for the players.  Terrain should be varied in elevation and forested to give the players plenty of cover to advance under using stealth.  Also do your best to space out the patrols so they can't cover each other too well and don't make them too brave in the face of enemy mechs or Battlearmor.

The family castle in Total Warfare terms will be a hardened structure that occupies 8 hexes with a center hex rising three levels with one basement level, each surrounding hex two levels tall with no basements, and a final one level tall hex jutting out to the south east that is a obvious combination garage and VTOL pad.

It will look impressive and if there were more of a enemy force present it would be a tough nut to crack but it is obviously also built for modern luxuries.

Assuming the players make it into the castle the fighting should now be all but over as there are only scattered servants that are doing their best to run away from the players or otherwise not get in their way.  It should take a while but the players should not have any difficulty finding the master suite and the heir.

[Author]So last choice you can either end the adventure here or use the classic forbidden love between two rival families angle.  Personally I'd have a hard time resisting going for a taboo relationship by finding the heir of the other family that happens to be the same gender as the heir you were hired to find here and present a real morale debate to my players and watch them squirm.  Either way I think that should suffice for my first offering for a pre-packaged adventure.[/Author]
Title: Re: Fan A Time of War Adventures
Post by: monbvol on 09 November 2016, 01:03:17
I have to admit I've been having a tough time coming up with new adventures to keep this project going.

The only good idea I've had for an adventure since writing up my first one went rather down the rabbit hole with so many branching off possibilities to be all but useless for a time strapped GM who just needs reasonably tight/self-contained adventures to run for their group.

So just might be longer than I'd like, and I'd imagine most of you would like, before I can get another adventure together again.

Which just means more opportunity for feedback on my first adventure.  :P
Title: Re: Fan A Time of War Adventures
Post by: Daemion on 14 November 2016, 11:01:13
Well, I can't post a specific module just yet, but I've had a few ideas from other sources.

Inheritance Lost and Found: One of the PC party happens to have an inheritance that has come to them, and now they must go fix things, upgrade things, and protect it from greedy neighbors. (Pretty much any FB city/kingdom-building game.)

Continent of Mystaria: (A Castleville adaptation): Party is sent to a region on a planet that has fallen silent. They land at the drop-port to find the whole region covered in mist. When they explore, they find people in some sort of stasis which they have to unlock, and then track down the source.

Title: Re: Fan A Time of War Adventures
Post by: Jonathan Cyr on 29 November 2018, 13:57:44
Our group did a similar version of this, adding star-crossed lovers as depicted in Royalty and Rogues. It took place on Antallos with several other mini-adventures woven into the arch. We added the following twists onto the "princess theme" you might enjoy: (1) Once she realized the party was looking for her, she sends them a threatening message. They realize she fled her father's house of her own free will and is pursuing a consensual relationship with the petty bandit, and their contract to "rescue" her is now null and void. If they continue to pursue her, she will inform authorities (MRBC, Comstar, etc.) that they have kidnapped her. Something that could get their merc licence revoked or at least put into question.  Now the unit was out all the transportation costs, etc. In the end, she got bored of whats-his-name and wanted to go back home anyway, (plus, Antallos is a real crap-hole.) (2) She was a talented Mechwarrior and came to Antallos with her Archer. (3) The pirates had been harassing a medical company operating out of Port Krin called Maverick Medical (MM). MM hires the party to escort them into the middle of the dessert badlands, (?) MM owns a forgotten underground factory making artificial organs since the 2nd succession war, a Self Automated Factory Environment (SAFE0071). The workers have been underground for several generations (and are now very, very cramped for space) after they were told of a nuclear strike (true) but also that they could not leave due to a poisonous atmosphere (false). They operate the factory for MM at a fraction of the usual cost. MM sends an annual representative with propaganda videos (paid actors) and other "Why We Fight" stuff including several documentaries from the brave soldiers using the organs, thanking the workers of SAFE0071 for their contribution to the war effort. The party discovered SAFE0071 when one of the workers escaped by tunneling out. (Scared the crap out of them. They could see the vibrations on the sensors but there wasn't anyone in front of them!) Plus the locals (think - the Hills Have Eyes) swore this region was haunted (due to an old hologram projector that was part of a ruined complex that turned on/off on a timer).

In the end, the party gave the princess a ride back to her home planet (which is now under invasion) and collected their fee, she kept her Archer, and they've made plans to return and relocate SAFE0071 to another planet.

Title: Re: Fan A Time of War Adventures
Post by: Jonathan Cyr on 29 November 2018, 16:09:02
Just in case people wanted more ideas for adventures, I also ran an adventure similar to "The Hangover"... The party goes out to a club on a new planet or city they haven't explored yet. A member of their unit buys the first round and roofies them in order to cover up a payment he needs to make to the local Yakuzza. Things get foggy and they wake up in jail on minor drunk and disorderly charges (200 c-bills each to post bail). Also, the NPC that roofied them is missing.  In their pockets are the clues they need to find/save him. (His mech, a Trebuchet, was stolen from a Yakuzza family and they want it back).

a key to a storage unit
a torn brochure to the aquarium
book of matches advertising a sleazy motel
menu from a greasy burger joint

As a GM, you can choose (or not) to play out things that happened the night before... for example: the party finds the storage unit. Inside is a beautiful black and gold Harley Davison hover bike, suddenly, Michelle "Shellshock" Rose has a vague memory of arm-wrestling a biker at the bar from the night before. She rolls a contest of strength and you can describe the event in foggy detail, or/and they can fight them... if she won against the bikers, the keys are in the bike and the bill o' sale signed over to her from a guy named "Oil-can"... if she failed the roll, the room is empty (or throw in another clue to lead them to the next location, etc.)

Also, the news is reporting a story about a party of drugged out crazies that broke into the aquarium (there is one of their missing cell phones in the bottom of the decapus tank they can try to retrieve, it has the number to a local cab company in the history). The burger joint they went to will call the police immediately and a local gang of thugs will recognize them as well. That sleazy motel they went to? Burned to the ground actually! Eventually they find clues that lead them to the casino where their party member was snatched. Also, someone won the door prize... etc, etc, etc.  Let your mind go wild.

They finally discover the location of the Yakuzza compound (and some retired 8th Ghost regiment pilots). Now everyone can jump in their big stompy robots and battle it out to save their troubled friend.
Title: Re: Fan A Time of War Adventures
Post by: Jonathan Cyr on 09 January 2019, 16:11:22
Periphery Encounter Idea:

The players could be stopping in a dead system to recharge, or maybe exploring lost ruins or ship-salvage on a rumor or old flight records. Either way, they receive a distress signal from a planet on a peculiar elliptical orbit, (they probably will not discover the orbit's nature until much later). Asteroid miners crashed here 200 years ago, the distress signal from their ship "The Albatross" is barely audible.

The world is called Ice Ball (or another name of your own choosing) and there isn't a single grain of sand on the surface. A layer of ice encapsulates the world's oceans, several hundred meters thick in some places. A specialized penguin type creature dots the surface, burrowing down to an unknown food source.  Even though the crashed ship was a loss, they got their mining drills working and created a vast tunnel system under the ice and down to the rich and plentiful oceans below. Although almost all of their tech has since broken down from use and disrepair, they accessed the rich fishing possible in the deep oceans and all manner of creatures provide what the survivors need. Skins for clothing, bones for tools, meat for eating, etc.

Their society is understandably strange. Out of the original seventeen survivors, the population has grown to a staggering 267 people. They govern by a council of nine, who strictly control 'mating' in order to reduce negative effects of their limited gene pool. They also use this control to award 'privileges' to those that support and favor them. The nine receive choice benefits over the commoners, due to their status, including extra food, luxuries, extra husbands or wives, servants, etc. Working firearms are rare but those that do work are in the hands of the nine's personal bodyguards. If you really need giant robots in your game, the mining mechs can still be functional as well and can be used to terrorize dissidents or scare the party away.

Bronson, a man who feels more comfortable learning and theorizing than carving ice holes and fishing, holds 'public school' at the crashed ship for the children of the community, teaching as much science and math as is possible. A single solar array powers an on board computer and powers the distress beacon. The council doesn't approve of some of the teachings that take place at the 'school'. The school takes away from fishing time, learning to dive deeply and creates all manner of crazy ideas like searching for land, contacting the rest of humanity and generally challenging their leadership. The party's technology will threaten to disrupt their power balance as well. They will want to buy it or destroy what they can't get.

Bronson is working on a theory, that Ice Ball is on an irregular orbit and will begin to approach the sun in a few short months. When this happens, Ice Ball will go through a change, plunging it into a melt phase that will last for several decades. The problem with this is that there will be nothing to stand on once the ice melts and anyone without gills will drown. Bronson is trying to spread the word but it isn't going well and the nine will turn against him... but he has the ear of many of the younger generation, and word has leaked out that their home is melting away.

Can the party convince the nine that they need to evacuate? Can they formulate a secret vote among the people? How many people can "The Albatross" hold and can it be made to float? How many people can the party evacuate and wont the nine try to stop them?

Possibilities are endless. Your characters may leave as soon as they see what a screwed up situation has formed here... or maybe Bronson will steal something they won't want to leave without in order to keep the party around longer. They may take several sessions to try to reason with the nine, practice fishing the giant squid-like creatures out of the water.

Maybe they will stay, set themselves up as gods and wear giant penguin feathers for all eternity.... who knows?
Title: Re: Fan A Time of War Adventures
Post by: Daryk on 10 January 2019, 19:07:06
That's sublimeā€¦ very nice!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Fan A Time of War Adventures
Post by: Jonathan Cyr on 14 January 2019, 13:35:52
Another strange Periphery Idea for AToW RPG: Of Dogs and Men

System 04500477: A virus was released (accidentally?) on a colony, many hundreds of years ago. The virus has little affect on the living population, except all children born thereafter never advanced beyond animal intelligence. No real speech, no tools, no clothing. "Manamals" if you will.

There are pockets of these 'manamals' on this world, living in caves (or city ruins even). Hunting and gathering while avoiding predators. They can be violent but are more prone to shows of intimidation (whooping, throwing rocks, chest beating - like a troop of angry chimps.) Females may come forward trying to calm antagonists. There is nothing that can be done to reverse the virus' effects. They live to a max of 45 years... life sucks.

There is wild game on the planet, hunted by an apex predator which is a wolf like creature (think the hyena things from Riddick). The wolves will on occasion, hunt and eat the 'manamals' as well. Such an incident may prompt the party to intercede.

The star league cache on the planet (or whatever other treasure you decide) is guarded by an AI unit that governs 100 kilogram robot quads, dedicated to assist specialized infantry troops in combat (like the 'dogs' from Boston Scientific, but with a pulse laser mounted on the back). The unit was intended to be self sustaining, capable of a variety of repairs and maintenance on the "Dog-droids", but in time, most of them have broken down. It's up to you how many are left still operating.

The AI Unit had some issues understanding what happened to the people that no longer talked to it or gave it orders. It wanted to assist them but was no longer able to communicate. Furthermore, it eventually ran out of memory and overwrote much of it's core programming, trying to preserve the most recent and relevant data.

 The wolf-creatures on the planet were able to communicate with the "dog-droids" by howls, asking for assistance with hunting, grooming, etc. Visually, they are similar in appearance and within a nano-second, the AI made the call that the reclusive, non-communicating,  bipedal humanoids were NOT humans, but the wolf-creatures that used rudimentary signals and had strong family / pack groups WERE certainly the 'humans' they were created to assist. AI now serves the best interest of the pack.

They may see signs of the wolves, encounter a wounded, dead or trapped one, etc. But eventually, the party will  discover the hunting pack with a dog-droid stroking the back fur of a dominant male. Considering how perplexing a sight this will be to behold, they should react with curiosity. (Or just curse the succession wars and flee the planet!)

The 'dog-droid' will follow the lead of the alpha wolf, maybe some warning shots with the laser at the party will suffice to protect the pack from the PCs (intruders). In the end, if any members of the pack are harmed... (wait, did the party rescue that wayward pup from a ravine? .... will the pack hear it's cute little yelps?) ...the AI will send droid dogs in force to eliminate the threat to the pack & someone is going to get hurt.

Only if the party can find and access the AI central unit (...or maybe using wreckage of a dog-droid), will they be able to convince the AI that THEY are the humans. In a nano-second, the tables will flip. It will be unapologetic and very 'matter of fact' but the AI will immediately stop seeing the wolf creatures as friendly and return communicating with normal speech.

Other things to consider:
1) droid dogs may self destruct if tampered with.
2) droid dogs will NOT leave the planet or the facility they were programmed to guard (your party will want one).
3) is the virus still active? and is the party now infected? (Don't break your campaign. If your party has a doctor in it, he should be seeing red flags popping up all over the place.) A beacon may warn the party in advance of the 'quarantined' world and they may approach with NBC suits, sealed power armor, etc. This will make getting injured more serious and scare the crap out of them.
4) Hooks: distress signal, ala Star Trek, of course. Star League cache, maybe a hospital and research facility. Other hooks could be an automated radio message from an AI farm, stating that the seasonal harvest is ready for pick up. Grain is sorta valuable, at least.  The party may see an island in the ocean that looks a little too round and perfect (though it's got a few trees on it) It is actually a crashed Lion Dropship, the top half forming a perfectly smooth spherical island. The bottom compartments are flooded and the mechs ruined but the upper 4 bays are partially salvageable... if they can get them back up and running, pilot them out, and don't forget 'Nessi' who lives in the engine room.