Author Topic: The long road campaign pitch  (Read 3219 times)

Teapot

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The long road campaign pitch
« on: August 18, 2019, 05:16:28 AM »
So in the future I’ll try red Markets on my gaming group again. This time I’ll try to have more plot.

What I’ve come up with is a cross country game. Loosely inspired by The Legend of Mother Sarah, the takers were on a school trip to D.C. as students or school workers when the crash hit. In the time between they’ve been working odd jobs in the recession and sending bounty to an enclave in California where their (first) dependents are. They’ve been approached by someone who’s got a line on some kind of JOLS in Northern California. The patron can even get them a truck in the loss and guide them through some of the final job.

In the game, milestones are gone, replaced with travelstones, having to fill up the truck to drive to the next enclave. There would also be three non-job sessions. The first one being (the chapter from the novella) escaping the recession to the first enclave where the truck is waiting. And two travel hurdles, getting through the Sierra Nevada range, and ducking murder gangs somewhere on the Great Plains.

Mechanically each taker has one defendant from the migrant spot. Anyone who wants to be latent gets a free crit fail on an infection check and other spots might need a bit of tweaking but not much. I'll assume cults have infiltrated free parking and fenceman can be unchanged or renamed as goon, a roach earned their roachness getting there and surviving etc. The group gets a free truck with a full tank, still costs upkeep and fuel as normal.

With their traveling life, some jobs transporting open up as well. I’m thinking they have a starting job waiting in the first enclave. The idea here is to make kind of a cross between a travelogue, a wandering hero, and a race. To that end there'll be some pressure on them to get to the CA enclave before something bad happens to their families. Similarly they'd be able to visit all the big famous enclaves from the published stuff and other APs.

So how’s this for a pitch?

LordSkys

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Re: The long road campaign pitch
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2019, 04:30:52 PM »
I seriously love that idea! I have had problems with players only ever wanting to play "Lost for Life" characters, munchkin-ing their way around the enclave and surrounding Loss. (They just earned their second - Rep Spot for murdering a rival crew who were attempting an undercut as of last session.) I think the idea of making the milestones convienant plot threads that continue the story much more enticing. I may steal that for the current game since none of them are investing in retirement anyways.

They are very interested in continuing the plot of the story though, so this may be the kick in the pants my crew needs.

Fine, you don't want to retire a character? He needs to have some goal in life or else he will eventually die. One thing most players should understand is that there is always the happy ending, but that comes only with retirement.
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall" - Confucius

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Freebird

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Re: The long road campaign pitch
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2019, 10:12:18 PM »
I love it! I've had similar ideas based on taking a river trip down the Missouri to get to the Recession. Keep us posted as you develop it!
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Teapot

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Re: The long road campaign pitch
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2020, 11:58:35 AM »
I have been working on this, the first thing is distance jobs, things the takers can take as side-gigs as they travel. These things are meant to pay out some bounty but only be doable on the travel sections of the game.

Delivery, someone has a package, it's big at 2 haul but if you don't ask questions and deliver it to somewhere further out west they'll pay you 2d10 bounty. If the pay is over 10 bounty however it's not a secret that you've got it and it's worth something.

The more advanced version is the returning package. It comes from either the DHQS or the Moths. Either way it's intended for Ubiq city or there abouts. It's a big box of fairly sophisticated computer parts, the kind you can't fab even with a fancy 3d printer. The parts are either really useful infrastructure replacements that the Moths need or really useful infrastructure replacements loaded with malware that the DHQS wants the Moths to use. Either way the takers are hired at each enclave to move it further along but won't be told what it is or where it's ultimately going until Trabajo. If it's legit, the DHQS will pick up their trail and start looking for them/putting up a bounty. If it's a trap the DHQS will make a show of looking for them and use it as an excuse to make trouble at enclaves after the takers leave.

Second is the relay stations. There are a few places where autonomous number stations are just sitting there sending out numbers to tell someone what to do. but a few of these have broken. Plus they're under observation so anyone who shows up to fix them gets made. Plus it's dangerous but requires some decent technical skills. So let's send independent contractors in and not pay for their healthcare. Each one is a leg or two out of the takers' way and pays 2d10 bounty. Each of the sites are placed out of casualty reach and set up to be protected from the elements. However they're just platforms and only one person can work on them, everyone else has to stay grounded. Fixing them is easy enough, just make an appropriate roll (profession or repair). It's noisy work though and the  rest of the crew can expect mobs wandering out of the trees or even bandits coming by to se what the fuss is. The problem comes when the Moths or DHQS makes the takers as agents and starts following them. Either org will try to get the takers to snitch on their boss (they can't it's done anonymously). Failing that they'll try to get the takers to install some kind of surveillance package. If they get caught betraying anyone it'll be a new enemy and -rep spot.

That's what I've got so far but I'd like one to be more "personal" to the takers. Some kind of job where they have to go across the Loss and kind of make a difference to people instead of organizations. Has anyone got some suggestions for this?

Teapot

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Re: The long road campaign pitch
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2020, 04:45:12 PM »
Whelp, I'm running this in the next couple of weeks. I've got the starting part set out. I'm going to try and do a thing where the Takes assign points to skills, aptitudes, and buy gear in the moment. Either as they need or, in response to questions like "Who set up the deal with Lt. Harris?" Spend one point into Networking or Criminality.

Here's the first section I've got, it leads to Elevation, the first stop.

Session 0: The Recession to Elevation

Slums
The Takers live just outside of here. They'll be here next month if they stay though. Curfew is in effect though they've bribed a guard the let them through no questions. The guard tells them to ask for Hanson at the gate to Free Parking. Hanson isn't a person, it's the code the guards use to know this is a bribe giver and shake them down. Takers might lose something here. In the slums it's all gray prefab building, light comes out of most of them and they can hear sounds of the poor part of town. There are few trees and a lot of shady people out after dark. Everyone is either scared, up to no good, or both.

Free Parking
This is the place everyone's afraid of. For good reason. Curfew is in effect though that just means things are happening indoors. The area here is dominated by tents and cars. People have turned their cars into houses, several have the engine removed and use the hood as a second trunk. Getting to the guards at the end is pretty nerve wracking and the Takers will get jumped if they're not careful.

Guards
The Takers have arranged to meet corporal Lewis here who'll gladly give them a 15 minute head start on the bridge, even showing them where the mines might be. Who made the deal? The guards are unimpressed with anything the Takers have to say, these are 3 year veterans of the borderwall. They'll mock any reason to go out and joke at the Takers.

Bridge
Lewis is good to his word, but 15 minutes is only enough to dash across the bridge (bad idea, mines) so the Takers will have to start sneaking about halfway across the bridge. Foresight checks can remember where mines should be as well as Alertness and Athletics. Failed stealth checks might bring the stoplight and some casual firing from the guards the Takers just bribed.

Into the great wide open
Leg 1: Craterville
The remains of a city, almost everything has been hit by mortar fire and small arms fire. There are plants here trying to grow and few trees. The danger here comes less from casualties than guards across the river taking practice shots at anything moving. There are a few casualties, most of them are pretty badly broken from mortar fire or being winged by recruits on the wall. This covers about two miles before the destruction drops off. There is one encounter with an unexploded munition.

Leg 2: Back to nature
Here there be trees, as the Takers pass the ten mile mark, the constant destruction and monitoring lessens. Another small suburb is here but it's being reclaimed by nature. Lots of animals and plants thrive here. As do casualties though many of them are in motion drawn by the distant thunder of guns from the border. Somewhere in here the Takers should find a place to sleep. It will have surprise casualties. This part is about 50 miles. There should be two possible encounters with casualty mobs. There will also be two or three sites where large scale drone strikes happened. One failed enclave, a big box store with reinforced walls clearly gutted by bombardment Inside are a lot of a lot of self-control checks.

Leg 3: Deal
As the Takers get closer to the Loss proper they begin to see signs of human activity. This is the last 30 miles to Elevation. Looted stores and the remnants of gunfights. There are casualties and corpses here. The state of dress on both is different. Also here they'll meet “High Hat,” the last of a taker crew doing the first section of the jobline from Elevation. He's infected after a bad bite and about to kill himself. But he's got a plan. The Takers can take his (out of battery) Ubiq specs back to Elevation and give them to his Sister in law, Sarah, she'll be able to finish his job and maybe use the money for her and her son to make it to the Recession. It's all he's got. [Gives the party a positive rep spot.] The Takers will again have to find a resting place here.

Leg 4: New Home
The last couple of miles to Elevation, here the Takers see denizens of the Loss going about their business. Including a truck of ranch hands going home, a crew heading out on a job and scavengers going through a picked clean house. Casualties are common here but easily run from in the open spaces. The guards at Elevation won't be friendly but won't be hostile either. The Takers get one free night there sleeping with the Chaff and after that they're on their own. But they did make it in, not bad for Bait. They can pool and get a room to share as passer through though it won't last more than a month or so. Then it's time to learn about work and how to get it. Lots of bonus will for bait available here. Also the jobline from earlier is open.

Any suggestions?

SoCal Sweetheart

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Re: The long road campaign pitch
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2020, 10:55:55 PM »
Keep us updated on how it goes, the quest to get back to family is a really great framework for an RPG campaign and you've got a nice variety of settings and challenges, for them to get through.  I think a game focused on travel would be really interesting, too.

How do you plan to get around the lack of a safe Enclave for them to return to between gigs?