Author Topic: Inspiration for your RPG adventures  (Read 4509 times)

Hamilcar Barca

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Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« on: 10 February 2023, 01:09:28 »
For those of you who need inspiration for your RPG adventures here are a few that I have run my players through. Use them whole or as inspiration for your own. First of all there are lots of ready made adventures out there for you to use. I don’t mean the official ones. Movies and books. I myself have stolen old movie plots wholesale. It’s fun as a GM to watch when one of your players recognizes the movie. Both of you can laugh at everyone else. You just need to update the technology.

I have used “Casablanca” more than once. The planet is newly taken by Steiner and there are two letters of transit signed by the local Precenter etc. Just watch the movie. You’ll get the idea.

Then there is the old Burt Lancaster movie “Valdez is Coming”. This works best if you can make the players think that he is only an infantry scout. Keep calling him a scout until he pulls out his hidden P-hawk.
There are lots of movies out there so take your pick. Like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and ”Kelly’s Heroes” these are great heist movies.
As for more shadowrun type movies there are two Robert Redford movies that fit the bill. “Sneakers” and “The Sting”. These only work for more experienced RPG groups.

Now for my latest campaign I have a few game tropes that I have used. The first job was to get the unit into the swing of things. The second was to encourage problem solving. The third was for a more RPG tabletop feel.

The Capellan Lord Vader (Baron?) has just put down a rebellion where he had borrowed two mech companies from house Laio. He had just given them back when he found that a small group of rebels had reopened an old star league base on Hoth. This planet was hit by an asteroid and is enjoying a new ice age. Lord Vader had just given his mech company to house Laio as payment so he needs a group of jumping mechs to cross the ice chasm and run past the infantry and field guns. If needed they may have Savanna Masters for the little flying things in the movie. There is a rugged ring of an old defensive wall preventing any non mech units to cross into the battle area. Lord Vader will pay a bonus if the unit does minimal causalities to his people. They are rebels but they are still his people. This bonus will be in the form infantry field kits and weapons from the stores that the rebels had. Maybe even some field guns if they go out of their way to save the lives of his people.

Next Lord Vader will hire the unit to raid a Marik research base. This will have to be done under the cover of a strike against a supply base. Must blow up factory before it begins production. Week guard expected. When arrive is given the option to steal the plans and prototype laser in research center next door. The center is working on blazers. May get a few lasers and one blazer as salvage after. Must take several blazers. Should get out before reaction force arrives. Lord Vader will give the unit a blazer in lieu of 100,000 credits. They can sell it for 200,000 credits. If they keep it they will find it does one less heat with one more hex in range 5-10-16. My bozos didn’t even check it out.
This is the contract profile.
Type Objective Raid. Length 3 mo. Command House preferred but willing to bargain off,   Overhead Negotiable.  Salvage Full – none expected. Support Negotiable. Transport provided.
The supply base is ready to transport over 60 cargo containers full of MREs. The orders are to destroy them to deny them to House Marik. This will be a serious crimp in their operations. The unit may steal as many as they like but they will incur the wrath of the very honorable Lord Vader. Remember these are 10 ton containers. They will need transport to carry them. My group managed to grab twelve. This should be the upper limit. Oh and they also stole office supplies.
Useful information about the rations
US 15 to 26 oz each. Two to Four needed per day per soldier. Weight 20 oz avg. case of 12 weigh 16lb 40oz day is 2.5lb  60oz is 3lb 12oz.
US style 1200 cases per container which is 4800 man days.     Sale 40 per case to buy 90
container sale price 48,000   

French 3.3lb or 1500g          5500 per container  Sale 20 ea. To Buy 50             container sale price 100,000   
British 2kg or 4.4lb      4250 per container Sale 15 to buy 35             container sale price 60,000
British 4 person vehicle daily ration    1000 per container Sale 75 to buy 165  Container sale price 75,000       
Random containers on a D6 1-3 US style, 4 British, 5 British vehicle and 6 is French.     

Marik Extraction Raid.
The agent offering the contract will have the commander sign a HUGE non disclosure agreement.
Minor lord (need to pick name) has won lawsuit for two dropships. They were used in domain defense and the major lord who “borrowed” them has refused to give them back. You must land on planet and using the access codes provided, steal both back. Both must be taken and causalities must be kept to an absolute minimum.
Offer is 500K to take the job. 1 million if you get one drop ship. 1.5 million more (3 million total) if you get both.
You will be transported to the space port via regularly scheduled commercial dropship. You may have some personal sent in ahead of time if you want. These will come in several weeks earlier on another commercial transport. The only weapons allowed will be side arms. These agents will have as much money as you want to give them.
The dropships will be one half to three Kilometers away from the transport bringing in the unit. They will only be separated from the civilian side by a chain link fence. There should only be routine security forces present. These will be mostly space/airport security including a possible swat team. Any garrison forces should be several miles and many minutes away.
It is crowded and busy in the dropships. It will take 3D4 minutes move to the bridge after entering the hold of the target dropships. The crew will be for the most part unarmed. It will take 2D6 minutes to input the codes to take over the command console of the ship. It normally takes an hour to take off from a cold start. This can be cut considerably by bypassing the safety protocols. You will be supplied two pilots familiar with these ships. His/her efficiency can be improved by assisting techs or aerospace pilots. Infantry will reduce the time to take over the ships.
The dropships are a Union and a Seeker.

My players attacked the problem two ways. One group of three pretended to be Comstar dangerous animal experts. You know Owl Exterminators a la Futurama. They were tracking dangerous owls. One had lost a leg and blamed it on the owls. These owls were stowaways on dropships and after breeding attack people. They even snuck a dead frozen own in on the Owl Exterminator Van they made, complete with light up plastic owl on top.
The other team of two, applied as dropship techs and then tried to poison the crew of the Union to simulate food poisoning. They were successful, too successful. After poisoning the crew they even poisoned themselves, unintentionally clearing themselves. The result of all this is below.

The effects of the raid were as follows.
Picture ID of the three “Owl Exterminators” was made by comstar.
The planet is now undergoing an economic downturn due to depressed dropship traffic. Both business and tourist numbers are down. There is now a panic about owls on the planet. Due to the dropship poisoning, all owls and other birds are feared as diseased. There are self appointed vigilante groups killing owls and any large birds in the city.
The reporter is pissed that the three made a fool of her. She is now investigating the three and the unit.
The comstar precentor is pissed because they used comstar’s good name and inspected his compound. This makes comstar look like they were involved. The precentor has also lost face with his superiors. At a minimum comstar is tracking the unit.
The lord that you “stole” the dropships from is upset. He is charging the three and the unit with:
1.   Ecco Terrorism: The whole owl thing. A dangerous and invasive species. Total fabrication by the unit.
2.   Bio Terrorism: Poisoning of the dropship crew.
3.   Economic Terrorism: The economic downturn.
4.   Impersonating Comstar Officials.
5.   Fraud: Advertising that they are tracking Owls because they are dangerous.
6.   Importing a dangerous animal (deceased).
7.   Grand Theft Dropship two counts

The unit now has a planet that they will be arrested on. The three PCs have a serious price on their heads.

And last here is something to test the moral fiber of your mercenary unit.
Test of Humanity. This is to test your players. The unit is hired in its entirety for a mission and receives very good terms. The mission will include all combat elements as well as much of the base defense personal as possible. This should be a raid or an attack not a defensive assignment. The reason for the wonderful terms is this a ruse. Just before or as soon as the unit lands it happens. A major disaster happens. I used a small meteor striking the hydro electric dam. The defending base is destroyed in the flood. The city is without power. Earthquakes happen because of the movement of millions of tons of water. The mission objective is nullified and the defending forces are scattered and out of it.
The point is the unit is now the sole functioning military power on the planet. There contract is now complete and they could leave without firing a shot. They could try to loot equipment from the destroyed garrison or steal from the populace. But there are civilian lives at risk. People will die if they do not assist. This will cost them money and resources. Their liaison will insist they leave and threaten to withhold payment if they don’t.
How altruistic are your players? Will they help people in need when it is against their interests? What will they do? Will they restore order or set up a field hospital or use a dropship to replace the lost power generator.  Back in the early 90s the merc unit in the game I ran thru the Kurita liaison in the brig for being dishonorable. They declared that as representatives of house Kurita they were obligated to assist those in need. They then did all three of the above and when the LARGE Davion relief force arrived they helped out for as long as was needed. Davion promised to pay for the time the unit spent there and for all supplies used. Kurita was happy as it made very good press. VERY good press since they took care to insist that they were doing what House Kurita would have insisted they do. What will your players do?

Have fun all!

Hamilcar Barca

Daryk

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #1 on: 11 February 2023, 08:28:59 »
Interesting ideas, all!  As far as rations, I have a thread on those too... :)

Hamilcar Barca

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #2 on: 11 February 2023, 11:24:51 »
The research on the rations was fun. The French rations were in so much demand during Desert Storm that the French troops were making a fortune selling them. My game group didn’t even read the labels and just grabbed containers at random. Missed the French section entirely.  :-[The were just so happy to find easy to sell loot.  :thumbsup:

Hamilcar Barca

Daryk

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #3 on: 11 February 2023, 12:41:29 »
That's hilarious!  :D

Prospernia

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #4 on: 30 August 2023, 16:24:46 »
I used classic science-fiction; sure, my players have read some of the Battletech-books, but, they didn't read, "We All Died At Breakway-Station".

Right now I'm reading a Dune-book, which, none of my players have really read.  It does have some gems like, annihilating an entire planet to kill the bastard of a former Emperor that could be a rival to the current Emperor; I don't know if House Kurita could even be that ruthless, but, the Emperor from ToG, is obscure enough, he can be. 

Daryk

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #5 on: 30 August 2023, 17:44:06 »
Which Dune book was that? ???

Prospernia

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #6 on: 02 September 2023, 11:59:10 »
So, I'm going to incorporate Salusa Secundus into the Battletech-Universe; probably position it near Earth, in Draconis-Combine space.  However, it will not be the homeworld of the ruling Emperor, but, a resource-poor planet, with several tribes fighting for its limited resources as per the books of its past.  House Kurita has difficulty keeping each faction in line, however, if taken off-world and separated from their kin, they are good soldiers of fanatical-devotion to the Coordinator, except when another faction from their homeworld is present; they'll try to eliminate their rival.


Which Dune book was that? ???

House Corrino

And since I've read on, they didn't annihilate a whole planet, just got rid of the bastard's estate and punished them for having a secret spice-cache.

Daryk

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #7 on: 02 September 2023, 12:11:22 »
Ah thanks... makes it sound like Astrokaszy! ;D

idea weenie

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #8 on: 02 September 2023, 18:27:49 »
So, I'm going to incorporate Salusa Secundus into the Battletech-Universe; probably position it near Earth, in Draconis-Combine space.  However, it will not be the homeworld of the ruling Emperor, but, a resource-poor planet, with several tribes fighting for its limited resources as per the books of its past.  House Kurita has difficulty keeping each faction in line, however, if taken off-world and separated from their kin, they are good soldiers of fanatical-devotion to the Coordinator, except when another faction from their homeworld is present; they'll try to eliminate their rival.


House Corrino

And since I've read on, they didn't annihilate a whole planet, just got rid of the bastard's estate and punished them for having a secret spice-cache.

For the Salusa planet, one idea might be getting certain tribes to be larger and controlling more territory with offworld aid, in exchange for turning them into proper Kurita culture with accommodations for the local environment.  You would have the tribes still fighting against each other, but they will be recognized and authorized fights rather than all-out combat.  All tribes would get offworld aid in exchange for good fighters, but the formal duels and 'cultural appreciation' would provide prizes as well and those prizes would be additional food, water, various tech items, etc./

By reducing the number of tribes the Kuritan forces can deploy them in more locations instead of one tribe per planet to prevent fights.  I.e. if there are 400 tribes on the planet and 400 Draconis Combine planets, then each tribe is sent to a different planet and can never leave (so if one planet has troops and another needs help, the Sardaukar have to be left behind rather than transporting them over).  But if the Kurita leader can reduce it to ~100 tribes, that means each tribe can be sent to one of four planets, letting Kurita move them around easier.

Keep this up with steadily reducing the number of tribes that do not conform to Kurita morals/philosophy/orders, and over several centuries you will soon have a unified planet under Kurita control.  When the local tribal leaders complain about this, explain that the tribal leaders do not allow fighting among their people unless specific rules are followed, so in the service of 'tribe' Kurita they have to follow certain rules.  The tribes that are being cast aside are those that are not willing to follow the rules.  Similar to kanly in the Duniverse.

Prospernia

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #9 on: 07 September 2023, 20:18:08 »
I just found inspiration in this:

https://airraiders1987.tripod.com/id1.html

I can see a hot-Mars ruled by four barons that have an, "Emperor", but, I'm thinking just how to divide a planet into fours, (North, South, East and West), equally, but then I realized it would be, "Equal", with each petty-baron taking what they could from their neighbors. So, the North and South have the water, but the East and West have the power (Solar-energy). 





For the Salusa planet, one idea might be getting certain tribes to be larger and controlling more territory with offworld aid, in exchange for turning them into proper Kurita culture with accommodations for the local environment.  You would have the tribes still fighting against each other, but they will be recognized and authorized fights rather than all-out combat.  All tribes would get offworld aid in exchange for good fighters, but the formal duels and 'cultural appreciation' would provide prizes as well and those prizes would be additional food, water, various tech items, etc./

By reducing the number of tribes the Kuritan forces can deploy them in more locations instead of one tribe per planet to prevent fights.  I.e. if there are 400 tribes on the planet and 400 Draconis Combine planets, then each tribe is sent to a different planet and can never leave (so if one planet has troops and another needs help, the Sardaukar have to be left behind rather than transporting them over).  But if the Kurita leader can reduce it to ~100 tribes, that means each tribe can be sent to one of four planets, letting Kurita move them around easier.

Keep this up with steadily reducing the number of tribes that do not conform to Kurita morals/philosophy/orders, and over several centuries you will soon have a unified planet under Kurita control.  When the local tribal leaders complain about this, explain that the tribal leaders do not allow fighting among their people unless specific rules are followed, so in the service of 'tribe' Kurita they have to follow certain rules.  The tribes that are being cast aside are those that are not willing to follow the rules.  Similar to kanly in the Duniverse.

The only problem I can see with that, is that it's such a slow process that takes not centuries, but millenniums; sure, one Coordinator can have that policy, but will it survive to his grandson?  From an anthropological-perspective, House Kuria is a blink of an eye.  And the planet, would look like a bunch of colonists that can't get along.  Being great-warriors takes a long time, with just a few, guys, having to be just a bit better than their neighbors, to get the resources they need to survive.

idea weenie

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #10 on: 07 September 2023, 21:09:49 »

The only problem I can see with that, is that it's such a slow process that takes not centuries, but millenniums; sure, one Coordinator can have that policy, but will it survive to his grandson?  From an anthropological-perspective, House Kuria is a blink of an eye.  And the planet, would look like a bunch of colonists that can't get along.  Being great-warriors takes a long time, with just a few, guys, having to be just a bit better than their neighbors, to get the resources they need to survive.

The on-planet governor would be doing their part to help with this, as having fewer tribal arguments to deal with will help out.  It also gives the ability to send troops where The Dragon chooses, rather than where the inter-tribal fights won't happen.

These rewards would be why the governor would not just reward good fighters, but also those that can study and show Kurita culture.  A tribe that can spare a few people to studying Kurita culture is already slightly stronger than its neighbors.  Favoring those that choose Kurita culture will speed up the extermination of the other tribes that do not bow to Luthien.

If two tribes can both agree to only fight each other at the permission of the planetary governor, this reduces the strain on them.  For example, assume two tribes each bordered by 5 tribes.  Normally each of the two tribes have to devote an average of 20% of their combat strength to each of their opponents.  But if the Kuritan governor can step in to regulate the fighting and the two tribes agree to it, this means they can put 1% of their strength on their respective border, and ~24.75% their strength on their other borders.  This will let them steadily overwhelm their neighbors, and the planetary governor will do their best to enforce these peace treaties (ritual duels).  By pairing up tribes like this all over the planet, the governor is finding the ones that will accept Kurita aid in exchange for obedience.

So instead of random fights, the governor first reduce it to one per week or month, and forbid deaths.  The next level might be once per quarter or year, and forbid grievous injuries.  it might eventually result in only the tribes on-planet allowed to fight, and any offworld tribal members are to accept the results of the duels (or the local garrison commander can allow it, within their own limitations).  Each step makes the tribes more 'civilized', and if the more aggressive tribes get removed in the process that is good for the Dragon.

Prospernia

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #11 on: 11 September 2023, 17:26:36 »
I can see that working for a bit, but, they are also good at infiltration, and perhaps, a Kurita-governor, is, in fact a member of one of the warring-tribes?

Prospernia

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #12 on: 11 September 2023, 17:33:57 »
And this map is inspirational; more that it's about the weather on a desert-world, in the same orbit and position as Earth, with the same axial-tilt.  It works will with the Battletech Compendium's Extreme Temperature-rules!!!


Daryk

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #13 on: 11 September 2023, 20:19:51 »
Hmm... looks like the northern hemisphere gets off lighter than the southern...

Prospernia

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #14 on: 11 September 2023, 22:20:45 »
Hmm... looks like the northern hemisphere gets off lighter than the southern...

The northern-hemisphere has more highlands, so, it gets colder up there, but, it has more water, which is a green-house gas that really makes it hot during the summer.

idea weenie

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #15 on: 15 September 2023, 18:43:54 »
The northern-hemisphere has more highlands, so, it gets colder up there, but, it has more water, which is a green-house gas that really makes it hot during the summer.

I'm just amazed that it gets the hottest at the poles during the summer time.  Wouldn't the heat be the highest where the sun is directly overhead?  The only way I can see that happening is if the planet has its poles pointing almost directly at the local star so its Tropic latitudes are over 45 degrees away from the equator.

Prospernia

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #16 on: 16 September 2023, 18:00:35 »
From this article:

https://theconversation.com/dune-we-simulated-the-desert-planet-of-arrakis-to-see-if-humans-could-survive-there-170181


Since the poles, freeze, they retain more moisture, so, in the summer-time, the greenhouse-effect of water-vapor heats up the poles more than the equator.


And the more I read about Salusa Secundus, the more it looks like it was a post-apocalyptic world, so, the original-inhabitants from that world is looking more like Mad Max or Dark Sun, then just a bunch of run of the mill colonists that colonized a resource-poor world.

Prospernia

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Re: Inspiration for your RPG adventures
« Reply #17 on: 29 September 2023, 22:05:53 »
Here's another map I recently found; it's of Pangea Ultima, Earth in about 200 Million years from now; all the continents will create a super-continent; it's hot: even the mountain-range orogeny, when North America slams into Africa, is at 30-degrees Celsius.  Any terrestrial-world with a super-continent should be called, "Bake", because that's what you're gonna do there.