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Author Topic: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread  (Read 3917 times)

Bedwyr

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Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« on: 08 February 2011, 15:31:07 »
If my players ever log on to BT, stay out of this thread.  Please. :)  This is for getting help from the online community hear as I work to become a better GM.
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Bedwyr

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #1 on: 08 February 2011, 17:28:32 »
Working title: Operation Northern Edge

Era: Jihad

Location:  Beginning in Tharkad City, Tharkad.

Time: From just before the last Whitting Conference in 3067 to the end of the Jihad.

Theme: A multinational group of mechwarriors tasked to provide security for the Whitting Conference under 2nd Star League colors gets caught up in the conflagration that begins with the failure of the new Star League.  With the sudden and near simultaneous attacks prosecuted against the major house nations and the invasion/interdiction of the WoB against Tharkad, communications become intermittant and marginally reliable.  Group member loyalties come into question as doubts about their nations' intentions mount.


Method: Chaos Campaign warchest system used for reward and supply tracking.  For now supply points may be directly converted to XP.  All game sessions will take the form of warchest tracks whether formally written or informal.  Bonus awards will also be given in smaller amounts as roleplay rewards.  See Paul's answer in the official roleplay question forum for further information.


Resources: JTP Tharkad, Chaos Campaign, AToW, TW, various TROs, DotJ, JHS: 3070 (and on), other track resources

Primary tools: SSW, Warchest Calculator, HMMap, Adobe Illustrator


Feedback very welcome.  I'll gladly use all the help I can get.
Alas poor Photobucket. I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.

noobk

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #2 on: 08 February 2011, 18:56:14 »
I think you mentioned in another thread you wanted your players to be Mechwarriors so you could blend CBT and AToW together to keep interest in the campaign, correct? I'm also assuming this from your notes above.

I'm going to assume also before you reply to this that my answer is going to be yes anyways and im going to continue on with an idea.  [notworthy]

Did you think about trying a different perspective on the battlefield? Instead of the view from the cockpit of a Mech which is the usual song and dance, the view from the eyes of say an infantry platoon, tank crew, BA pilots, ect? You can still keep the CBT aspect involved, and just switch things up only a smidge. Running potential battles with no mechs at all and so on. Also I can see it blending back into AToW rather easily.

But i'm also going to assume you and your players have talked about this and already came up with the idea of using Mechwarriors!  ::)

Bedwyr

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #3 on: 08 February 2011, 21:11:30 »
We're all RPG n00bs and yeah, I realize it's a cliched thing to do.  But this is what differentiates BT and I think is appropriate for people new to the world and who have only played a few mech combat games.  I think the non-mech aspects of the universe better fit people who are familiar with BT and want to dig into some different aspects.



Now that's not to say that it'll be totally cliched.  My hook into the thing is to take the flareups between nations that happened as the WoB snookered them to fight each other and make it into a microcosm in the group.  If they want to survive they'll have to hang together, but there will be tension and potential hatred between them as a constant undercurrent.  Lots of little things weaving through their story.
Alas poor Photobucket. I knew him Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.

noobk

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #4 on: 08 February 2011, 22:20:50 »
Unfortunatley I have a real crappy knowledge of anything Jihad, matter of fact my knowledge sucks on anything past 3052 really, besides individual mechs, the story i know nothing of really. I have not played catch up yet on the Jihad story as I am still reading old stuff!  :o

And yeah I am an RPG nub too, played a lil DnD back when I was a kid, did not really get into it since I discovered battletech shortly afterwards and never looked back!  ;D But I have AToW and it looks fun to say the least.

When you say the players will all be multinational Can i assume they are all from different houses?

Nightwinder

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #5 on: 08 February 2011, 22:26:29 »
One thing that's probably going to be quite hard to keep track of is trying to manage your players paranoia about what their parent nations are up to - a steady supply of post-its incriminating other group members/nations/contacts will be an invaluable resource.

noobk

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #6 on: 08 February 2011, 22:28:19 »
One thing that's probably going to be quite hard to keep track of is trying to manage your players paranoia about what their parent nations are up to - a steady supply of post-its incriminating other group members/nations/contacts will be an invaluable resource.

Let the propaganda begin!  }:)

Bedwyr

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #7 on: 08 February 2011, 22:57:38 »
Unfortunatley I have a real crappy knowledge of anything Jihad, matter of fact my knowledge sucks on anything past 3052 really, besides individual mechs, the story i know nothing of really. I have not played catch up yet on the Jihad story as I am still reading old stuff!  :o

sarna.net is a godsend of reference material.

Quote
When you say the players will all be multinational Can i assume they are all from different houses?

They chose their own, but so far I've got two Lyrans, one Kuritan, one Outworlds, one Marik, and--believe it or not--one Ghost Bear.  Lots and lots of justification on that one, but I figure having a warrior on loan indicates small glimmers Inner Sphere diplomacy and the Rasalhague merger to come.

Quote
One thing that's probably going to be quite hard to keep track of is trying to manage your players paranoia about what their parent nations are up to - a steady supply of post-its incriminating other group members/nations/contacts will be an invaluable resource.

Yeah, garbled communiques given the interdiction in space overhead plus the White-Out virus should provide loads of fun.  I'll be mostly telling the truth from the nations' perspective since the sourcebooks have loads of brilliant "in-character" information.  The hard part will really be managing the tension between pull and push.  They'll want to betray one another, but they just won't be able to given ongoing WoB drops, patrols, desperate cries for help, attempts to sneak off-world (with mechs), etc.
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Nightwinder

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #8 on: 08 February 2011, 23:12:18 »
If you can, let them betray each other... but wrangle it so that everybody is selling each other out at the same time.

"And now traitors, my elite team of Super CommandosTM will capture you for interrogation, and your 'Mechs now belong to my House!"

"That's nice, but MY team of Super CommandosTM came with WarShip support.  You were saying?"

*WOB Shadow Division rolls over all the backup teams simultaneously*

Bedwyr

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #9 on: 08 February 2011, 23:42:39 »
If you can, let them betray each other... but wrangle it so that everybody is selling each other out at the same time.

"And now traitors, my elite team of Super CommandosTM will capture you for interrogation, and your 'Mechs now belong to my House!"

"That's nice, but MY team of Super CommandosTM came with WarShip support.  You were saying?"

*WOB Shadow Division rolls over all the backup teams simultaneously*

That sounds more like:

"Ok, I'm Robbing the bank and buying Park Place."

"Ok, fine.  I'm robbing YOU *AND* the bank and putting 20 hotels on North Carolina Ave."

"Hey that's where I am and gimme my money back!!"

"No you give it back!!!!"

<pandemonium ensues>
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Nightwinder

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #10 on: 08 February 2011, 23:56:42 »
Never underestimate the ability of players to screw themselves over in the face of certain death.  Until we see what kind of absolutely ****** tangents they start going on (Ah, PC's you do the craziest things) remember to plan for the worst - like them trying to break into a Wobblie 'Mech hangar and install a virus to override the safeties on the fusion reactors, and then hijack a combat dropship wearing only a shiv and a smile.

Bedwyr

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #11 on: 09 February 2011, 00:02:42 »
Never underestimate the ability of players to screw themselves over in the face of certain death.  Until we see what kind of absolutely ****** tangents they start going on (Ah, PC's you do the craziest things) remember to plan for the worst - like them trying to break into a Wobblie 'Mech hangar and install a virus to override the safeties on the fusion reactors, and then hijack a combat dropship wearing only a shiv and a smile.

That's called the "Lulz Quotient".
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Rationalinsanity

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #12 on: 09 February 2011, 08:19:05 »
Never underestimate the ability of players to screw themselves over in the face of certain death.  Until we see what kind of absolutely ****** tangents they start going on (Ah, PC's you do the craziest things) remember to plan for the worst - like them trying to break into a Wobblie 'Mech hangar and install a virus to override the safeties on the fusion reactors, and then hijack a combat dropship wearing only a shiv and a smile.

The scary/saddening/hilarious part is when they roll well enough (or you roll poorly enough) and they actually pull it off. At that point I just put on some good background music and give them their reward.... and then try to find a good way to get the story back on track and silently curse the Random Number God.

Of course the best way to ensure a multinational team stays together is to unify them against a particularly great threat/repulsive character. I managed to get a FedSun, a Steel Viper and an ex-pirate (yes, my players are nuts) to get away from each others throat with a tiny application of a rather cheesed off Yakuza boss. Granted the resulting chase/fight turned into a combination of Grand Theft Auto and every Stallone film ever made* but it did unify them.

*And established the rule of never giving an adrenaline high Clannner the wheel of the escape car; especially when said "car" is actually a cement truck.

Bedwyr

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #13 on: 11 February 2011, 09:45:53 »
Ok, so the opening scene needs to establish two things: first, the conflict (political and personal) inherent in a team consisting of two Lyrans, one Drac, one Free Worlds dude, one Outworlds shmuck, and one Ghost Bear and second, the the need to hang together in a very very very (wheeze) very difficult time.

- Conflict:  How do I induce my friends to take ownership of the characters and emerge a little bit from their shells?  Obviously there needs to be some kind of gameplay mechanic involved.  And it needs to take advantage of preferences to both do a little acting/rhetoric and dice rolling.

- Motivation: There's the obvious political kind (Steiner/Kurita, Kurita/Outworlds, especially Marik/Steiner given the Marik is lance leader on the Lyran capitol) and then there's the less obvious (two are in debt, most are harboring some kind of secret).

- Session:  I'm thinking some kind of points/voting system as the party tries to air out its grievances Survivor style.  Everyone argues their point/s, then roll some kind of action check.  Party members who have a very small pool of points are obligated to give a point to someone besides themselves.  The best action check roll also awards a point.  We do this, I don't know, three times on different subjects?  The top two win some kind of practical bonus to skill checks for this gaming session and the next.  The others get some kind of penalty to skill checks.

Any ideas to flesh that out?



- The need to hang together:  Someone is after the group and listening in on the bar disagreement.  Something happens (after the argument is mostly spent) and

... thought to be continued, have to head out.  Ideas very very welcome.
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noobk

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #14 on: 11 February 2011, 09:58:47 »
Lemme see if I'm on point here and keeping up with the intro of the game.

1. There is a meeting going on on Tharkad among the Houses?

2. The players are bodyguards of the House officials during the meeting?

3. The meeting is then disrupted by a WoB attack?

Bedwyr

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #15 on: 11 February 2011, 12:03:10 »
Lemme see if I'm on point here and keeping up with the intro of the game.

1. There is a meeting going on on Tharkad among the Houses?

2. The players are bodyguards of the House officials during the meeting?

3. The meeting is then disrupted by a WoB attack?

Yup, refer to Dawn of the Jihad, Burning Fist chapter
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noobk

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Re: Bedwyr's Campaign Planning Thread
« Reply #16 on: 11 February 2011, 18:33:49 »
Alright so I read most of it, but did not finish, felt like i got the idea after a couple pages. It would be an interesting to start to get the back stabbing going if they are all outside the hall/meeting room when the attack happens. And from their the finger pointing would begin since no one really knew who started the attack.