Author Topic: BaseRaiders  (Read 74271 times)

Ezechiel357

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #120 on: November 24, 2014, 09:52:32 AM »
It is a very interesting idea. I can see three ways to go through the exploration: brute force (disassembling Deathbot one by one), brute hacking (since everything run on computer/IA) or... subtlety.

By Subtlety I mean decyphering the basic program which control the daily routine, and using this knowledge to safely plunder the base - possibly even with the help of the deathbot.

Keep in mind that it is my take on the base's exploration so it might not be your taste.
During the collaborative work and the research part, or latest after the first few hours of exploration in the base, the PCs should be aware of the three Paths of Plundering. But they will also be aware of the risk each Paths has:
- The Path of the Might (aka Smash 'n Bash): high likelyhood of collateral damage, high loss of loot due to heavy damage (material - like Deathbots, weapons and such - are destroyed, but also knowledge as precious databank are destroyed as well by high energy blast and whatnot).
- The Path of the Snake (aka AI subversion): by hacking the system, the PCs will likely preserve much of the physical loot, however, they need to crash somes IT systems permanently and will loose significant amount of data (cure to other illness that the Skull discovered during his search to Alzeimer's treatment for example).
- The Path of the Shadow: by understanding the basic routine, the PCs are able to make some slight change which gently triggers a different reaction from the program. For example, by putting paper or data in the system convincing that the cure has be found, the whole databank is decrypted and downloaded to the nearest public server (that the PC need to hack first hand to retrieve the data before it becomes public), by animating and controlling one Skull's clone's corpse, convincing the AI that he is the new body with Skull conscious and Deathbots should obey him or other subtle trick.

The way I would try to do it would be to prepare an organigram with several questions/decisions steps and the daily program (as you already plotted). And when the PCs acts, the reaction is pre-programmed. Through trials and errors (possibly painful  ;D), PCs learn the response and can lead the program to behave outside of his boundaries where PCs can turn it to their own use (how to trigger the "relocate the base", "backup essential data", "reconfigure the cloning facility to high-end automated hospital to apply Alzeimer treatment", and so on).

If the PCs come with a good idea, I would reward them with narrow but unlimited Useful aspects. An aspect that they can tag without Fate point, once a scene for specific application like "Revival process trigger", which gives them a +2 bonus to use the facility when treating wounds, "Gracious guests of DrSkull", +2 when exploring the base, "Defense Upgrade" +2 when using Deathbot to defend themselves.

Amongst the rewards/loot I could see:
- Stealth technology (at least Ascendant tier), snag: only for structure, snag: interfer with any tech beyond 21st century
- Semi-AI (to reflect the persistance of the AI, but also its lacks of autonomy: hard to hack (A), but limited decision making ability - major snag) - which would be still worth a lot of loot point as it allow to program a good level of autonomy, but is highly resistant to hack, and won't become sentient
- Possibly E to S level database on degenerative disease cures - it could be also used as one reason to plunder this base.
- Cloning facility: treatment (health) A, snag: can only be attuned to one person at a time (after all the Skull was looking to only cure himself)
- Advanced Deatbots (with Semi AI tech) - could become minions (S) for somebody able to take control of them, snag: designed for combat only
- Blueprint for various armour and adequate workshop (Repair, Dismantle, Workshop, Craft: S, snag: limited to weaponry and armor, snag: limited to "low" supertech (only physical weapon up to railgun, but no laser, phaser and other sci-fy gadget))

I tried to design those loot by keeping the feel that it was a supervilain, but too old to incorporate the latest tech in his design. A kind of "diesel-punk" master mind. That could be a way to explain/prevent hacking with usual computer: the system might be running on cogwheel and perforated cards.

Teapot

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #121 on: November 27, 2014, 12:51:11 AM »
I had three approaches possible, the easiest one was to sneak aboard during the Montana resupply stop. This one was fed to the players by their money man/fixer, it's the easiest way but only because the Dr was dead. The second entry point would be to infiltrate the clone lab as it dumps the corpses on Site 76, this has to be mid-air. The last way is to drop onto the top observation deck. There's a transparent dome there but the PCs could break through and coming from there keeps them a bit safer from the defenses.

For the mid-air entries, the main threats are the missile bots scuttling around the surface,. The second danger is the laser banks in the eyes and mouth, anyone attempting a direct approach will spend the trip being constantly shot at by anti-air defenses.

Learning about the robots is pretty easy, they run of modern computers but don't have true AI (After the robot StopGap came about AI fell out of fashion) instead following a series of flowcharts and "communicating" with sonar and laser communicators. Directly spoofing the communication would take a bit, either intercepting and decoding or paying an old employee  to help.

The fort stays hidden with its' stealth technology and by keeping a low profile the last three years. These days it mostly flies over Montana in a high altitude loop.

So far the loot so far is broken up into tech supplies, robots (in pieces or whole), the two labs, Dr. Skull's corpse and armor, the nice things in the observation deck and the trophy room.
Trophies include: angle wings, will happily grow into anyone who puts them on their back. Sluggo, the bat of Slugger, a vigilante from Kentucky, one of Omega's old helmets that Dr. Skull won in a poker game. The gun that kills and three Bullets that Don't Miss, from Red Hand, a joker like villain with a cowboy theme. Dr. Skull met him once and killed him on the spot (it doesn't matter, Skull wasn't the first and hell kept juicing Red Hand up and siccing him on the world.)

clockworkjoe

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #122 on: November 27, 2014, 02:03:09 AM »
Which approach did the players choose?

Teapot

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #123 on: November 29, 2014, 10:23:26 AM »
So for the game, I'm using the framing device where they found one of the money men for super villains and are using his knowledge and numbers to research fairly well hidden bases. They didn't do much external research so all they had to go on was a pair of properties, one was a big empty field in the middle of nowhere the other was an unused airstrip. They checked the small place and found the clone mass grave and two shovelbots.

They then went to the airstrip about twelve hours after the tankers dropped off the supplies (one tank of heavy water and one of organic mass for cloning).

They hid at the airfield and teleported in when the skull fort landed to take on water and mass. They then fought their way through a couple of floors, took a shortcut to the roof, cut into the Dr's private part of the observation deck, worked down through the trophy hall and came face-to-corpse in the dining area.

The ninja and vampire engaged the Dr's automated power armor, between the two of them triggering the proximity sensors they bought the guy with the magic enough time to contact the Dr's spirit. The wizard managed to convince the spirit to tell them the shutdown code for the armor (only worked because the Dr was dead).

Now they're coming to a deal with the de-seniled ghost to clone him a body and let him inhabit it in exchange for the cash he had left with the money man (about six years worth of taxes and 72 more visits from the tanker trucks.)

clockworkjoe

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #124 on: November 29, 2014, 02:47:44 PM »
That was rather benevolent of them. I'd imagine the average PC response to be something like hack the power armor, scrape the corpse out, put an air freshener in to remove corpse stank, and put it on the black market for sale.

Teapot

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #125 on: November 30, 2014, 12:21:48 AM »
Not really, the armor is a 200 point focus (not counting the black boxes only Dr. Skull can use) and it was kicking their asses a little bit. I think the vampire could have kept alive long enough to get in enough lucky hits if he needed to but it would have been bloody.

To add useful things to this post:
Three base raiding teams the PCs met:

The Elements
Two brothers, they bought wishes from a genie, one got fire powers and one got electricity powers. Joined by a college dropout lady who blew her grant on Agora and actualized her otherkin by turning into water.

MC Quick's posse
MC Quick is real fast, he makes music videos about base raiding, Sofia is a martial artist from Brazil and dancer while Stan has a head computer and calls himself the manager and brains.

Cosplay
A former magical girl is training some people because she thinks the spirits she fought are coming to America, she has a girl in power armor and a boy sorcerer. The former magical girl is pretty morose and still has PTSD but the two kids are living their dream.

Here's the news item I used in the last (failed) super game about the water girl:
This is who I am
A video, quickly pulled from youtube, shows a young Arabic looking woman claiming to be a college student in Idaho. She is naked in a bathtub and injecting herself with several syringes of blue liquid. During and after the injections she is talking about how she is a free water spirit and at last she can be the person on the outside that she is on the inside.
Then she melts.
Then she rises up as a woman made of water and moves to turn off the camera.
Most of the comments are about her tits. The rest are about otherkin being stupid with a few worrying that any crazy person can get super powers now.

clockworkjoe

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #126 on: November 30, 2014, 02:15:21 AM »
Quote
Most of the comments are about her tits. The rest are about otherkin being stupid with a few worrying that any crazy person can get super powers now.

Well, the Internet doesn't change after Ragnarok.

I really like the groups. Cosplay is a great hook. Once I finish writing up Sparkles, I'll run another Base Raiders game and I'll see if I can incorporate some of this.

BTW, If you want, I'd be happy to post some of your material on the Base Raiders website.

Teapot

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #127 on: December 01, 2014, 01:37:33 AM »
Sure, I'll make my write-ups fit for public consumption and pass them on to you.

Also report from last week, the base building is FUN, even for the dude with almost no useful skills.
We came up with: Back in the 80s Harrison Ford went a little crazy and built a Rebel Base on an iceberg he thought was Hoth. While he managed to move on with therapy and forget about the base, it wasn't left empty. A group of penguins who had come into contact with the Panglos fungi and psychicly bootstraped themselves up moved in. Just in time too because a "borg cube" crashed there, only they were totally not a copywritten alien but an original one. Anyway, being a hivemind is really bad when you land in the middle of a growing flock of psychics, the genocide was kind of accidental but at least the penguins could salvage some of the cube for build mecha to better defend their homeland.They'll need them too because the Scientologist apparently now desire the iceberg.

Ideas sadly left out on were a jedi yeti cult, Darth Fanboy, cyber narwhals, the fortress being a trap for Tom Cruise (and thus powerful anti-psychic defenses) and the base being in "alternative New York".

So yeah, lots of fun. 10/10 would build again.

Ezechiel357

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #128 on: December 01, 2014, 07:49:29 AM »
Last Friday, I run TaskForce Darknet - I had to drop one of the two planned sessions, and I thought the investigation part would be easier to introduce a guy new to RP (in general, not only FATE).

Their team:
- Mr Gold, a mummy made from several canope vase, thus with personality issues, but also one aspect was "One of me should know about it". Resistant, put not a fighter. He is a pharaoh (or several bits of them) and his main power is "Aura of Enobled Presence" (a good chunk of the social trappings, including Resources).
- Eckart Busy-Hand, the goblin tinkerer described earlier ("The machine whisperer").
- The Old Cop (but player was almost non existent, two actions for the whole 3 hours games - if you have any tips how to handle this kind of player, you are welcome)
- The voodoo priest (ex-snakeoil salesman, turned real voodoo priest). He is carrying the Eye of Legba (notice + 2xextra, menace, with the flaw "Evil Eye") and the Hand of Baron Samedi (Advanced Minion, must be soaked in blood (at least minor consequence), and also "Wandering Hand"  - those loas are frequently lustful bastards, a bit like some Greek gods). Played by the new player.

Their contact was Professor White, as both the voodoo priest and the pharaoh purchase frequently strange, esoteric items for their own needs or business.
After the initial briefing, the voodoo priest toss me a Fate token saying "Since I was, and still am in the selling of artifact of dubious nature, Rebecca was twice my client. She bought from me a (fake) hand of Glory. I should have her phone number.
It sounds legit and well presented.
So using the phone number as their initial pice of intel, after some cross referencing, using Facebook pictures and other elements, they were able to get her address in Greenwich village (I found appropriate for the relatively wealthy student).
They went there (in the middle of the night) and after some minor shenaniggans and use of the supernatural charming ability of the pharaoh manage to get her trust. They played on the fact that the drug was adultered to induce strong depency and urge her to stop and let them treat her. She gobbled everything (against a roll of 10, there was little she could do not to believe them).
She showed them Agora, the emails with Lukas, his phone number and such (and of course identifying Bamph for "Arnold").

They also brought her to the pharaoh manor (something between the Wayne mansion and the Playboy mansion  ;) to make sure they would be able to treat her in case of dangerous symptoma. I give that to them, they played the theme well, till the end, so she never doubt them.

Before calling it a night, they contacted through Agora Lukas, to organise a purchase of Bamph.

In the morning, they got a response from Lukas asking for a downpayment, and gave them a number from another burner phone.

The Old Cop using his contacts and fate point was able to get Lukas files. After more research, they found his location in a blue collar suburb (I am not familiar enough with New York to give an actual name).

They went there and spotted easily the FBI van. The Goblin crafted some spying Pigeons-bots (Notice + range with his variable power) to both spy the house and the agents van. He snuck under the van, did some clever tinkering, and off the van left on a panoramic tour of the neighborhood with two confused agents.
They broke easily in Lukas house (empty at the time) searched it. According to the scenario, there is not much to find in the house except the scuba gear and the TP vector (the cross and arrow in the basement). I added a little roll of 100 dollars bills hidden under a woodplank for emergency use, a labtot with mostly encrypted data (Agora discussion, business email, plus some downloaded ocean maps). They vacate the premise before the van completed its scenic drive, putting everything back as it was (except that the goblin got a Fate point because of his issue "Can I touch ?"). It ended up not mattering because they decided they did not need to confront Lukas.

Using the information they gathered, they were able to pinpoint relatively accurately the base location.
The goblin spent the night refitting the "Barge of Râ" (the pharaoh' yacht) into something suited to underwater exploration. And this is were we left, as they were about to knock at the base's door.

Yes, they never contacted Professor White to share the info and did not realise that they were doing more than what was originally requested (identify the vendor - not even locate him). I believe they were not considering raiding the base without telling the Professor, but more using "player's logic" to interpret the order as "find the base where the drug is coming from".

Feedback:
- With the right skills it was easy for the PCs to get to Lukas, then to the base. A group more methodic could take up to two sessions at most. Keep in mind that I had to introduce both the system and the world as well as "coach" a new player. So I would say, quite an easy investigation, but perfect for introduction. A well-oiled team could solve it in two hours.
- One the most seasoned player found it straightforward, yet entertaining. But not really challenging. Truth to be said, they have very good combinaison of skills for an investigation, but they are less well suited for direct confrontation.
- Handouts were excellent (except that I will need to translate them in French since their English was so so, and I ended up having to translate the whole FBI initial briefing -hand out #2). I was almost disappointed that I could not use all the handouts due to their decisions and actions.

Ross, I will send you (I hope tonight) the list of typos I found in the initial draft.

clockworkjoe

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #129 on: December 01, 2014, 05:29:37 PM »
Sounds like you had a great time. Taskforce Darknet is meant to be on the easier side - it is an intro adventure after all.

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #130 on: December 01, 2014, 06:13:05 PM »
Sounds like that went just about right. Glad the adventure went well for you.

Ezechiel357

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #131 on: December 02, 2014, 02:20:04 AM »
Quote
Taskforce Darknet is meant to be on the easier side - it is an intro adventure after all.


In fact, I believe it could be used as well for a non-super introduction. Of course, it means the PCs needs to have the right set of investigative skills and any confrontation will be more challenging. On the other hand, even if they are caught by the FBI, since they would not be super, they won't risk much (except possibly being charged of trespassing).

Then, when they report to their contact, he/she can give them patches to complete the mission in Boiler Point. Once this is done successfully, as a reward, they can get permanent powers.
That way they have an opportunity to try temporary power and the players can test if it is what they want, and once they get the final reward, they can tweak or change it to their satisfaction.

trinite

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #132 on: December 02, 2014, 01:53:14 PM »
Gonna start some Base Raiders this Saturday with my wife and my brothers over Skype! Woo! First session is just going to be character creation, and defining some campaign aspects, but I'm looking forward to it.
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Claive

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #133 on: December 04, 2014, 04:45:46 PM »
Alias:  The Protagonist
Name: Steven Nettles
Nationality: American
Race:
DOB:
DOD: -
Height: 5’8
Weight: 180 lbs
Appearance: He looks like a grizzled 40’s detective.

Known Superhuman Abilities:
Shows up unexpectedly and tends to survive in spite of the odds.  "I need a Hero" and other "thematic" music seems to play more often than it should on the radio when he is around, it tends to jam nearby communications, also sometimes a weird voice can be heard describing things just before or after these broadcasts.

History: Steven is a teenage product of a broken household.  In a way he is an everyman for the current generation.  He is exceptionally empathetic, which may or may not be the reason why “The Narrator” chose him as its Psion.
   
“The Plot” is an Extradimensional Entity / Eldritch Horror that wishes to control all reality and use it for entertainment by continuously creating clashes between “Good” and “Evil”, “White” and “Black”, “Blue” and “Orange”.  If it has its way it will abolish all free will in the universe and we won’t even know that it had happened.  It has a hard time interacting with our reality directly, so it created “The Narrator” to act as a go between (like we use a screwdriver as a go between for our hands and a screw).  Be warned, “The Plot” enjoys a wide array of genres from tragedy to high adventure to alien concepts we don’t have names for yet.

“The Narrator” is a servant of “The Plot.”  It seeks to manipulate people into dramatic conflict.  It gathers information and uses it to providing motivation for its various pawns to fight one another (or just other groups). 

The Ideal put strong wards in place that held the Narrator in check, preventing it from communicating with mortals and therefor limiting the damage it could do.  Those wards are fraying and when the stars are right, he can push  past the wards and tune into our reality’s cosmic radio frequency.

“Heroically” is defined as entertaining “The Plot.”  Villains can act “Heroically” for this purpose, so long as it is high drama or leads to high drama, usually. 

Aspects
Super Soldier: Can hear the voice of the narrator.
Background: The Show must go on!
Conviction: I have to live up to the Hype.
Aspect: Isn’t that a little… meta?
Aspect:  Live fast and leave a good looking corpse.
Aspect: Learn three things man wasn’t meant to know before breakfast.
Complication [MInor]: Existential Ennui
Complication [Major]: Tropes made manifest

Skills:
Great (+4): Presence
Good (+3): The Voice of the Narrator (S)
Fair (+2): Deceit, Resources, Contacting
Average (+1): Drive, Pilot, Shooting

Base Refresh  Minus Power tier Minus Gifts: = Adjusted Refresh

Unique and Strange Skills:
The Voice of the Narrator
Power Tier: Superhuman (-2 refresh)
Complication [MInor]: Existential Ennui
Complication [Major]: Tropes made manifest

Examine + Unusual : The Narrator + Range, Information + Unusual: The Plot, Research + Unusual: The Plot (3-2-4)
Initiative [Physical] (2)
Notice + Unusual (1-0-1)
Cost: 10 skill points (6 trappings, 2 connections, 5 Extras, -3 drawback)
Description: You can hear the things the narrator says (as far as you are concerned, the narrator is a disembodied voice that only you can hear).  (This isn’t actually the D.M. and while it thematically “breaks the 4th wall” it really doesn’t).  If the Narrator wants you to find a clue he will often say something like “and the hero found a clue in the villain’s desk!” Giving you an idea where to look. If he is being very kind, he might warn you of ambushes before they happen, by announcing “And unbeknownst to the hero!  He was walking strait into an ambush!”  If you don’t actually DO the things he says, he can become upset or sullen.  He may warn you of an ambush, but he wants you to walk into it anyway.  If you choose not to search the desk for the clue he wanted you to have, he might say things like “and the hero decided after two weeks, TO GO BACK TO THE DESK AND FIND THE BLOODY CLUE!” or move along to another plot thread.  You can hear it even if you go deaf. 

You don’t own the narrator.  It talks when it wants to.  It exists independently of you.

"No labyrinth is inescapable" -Gantz

Jace911

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Re: BaseRaiders
« Reply #134 on: December 05, 2014, 05:11:47 PM »
Quote
So life went on, the Ideal lost interest in looking for and tracking the giant radar resistant skull fort and Jessep deteriorated faster than he thought. In the end he died in his power armor. However at this point even his armor was fully automated. So for the last two years, every morning it gets up, carries the corpse to the breakfast room, after half an hour it takes him to his lab where it idles without command until lunch, then off to the control deck for an hour and back to the lab until dinner. After that the armor walks to the study, sits next to a box of cigars and pours an empty bottle of red wine into a dirty wine glass while the sunset fills the room. Then it runs a clean cycle on the corpse and walks him to bed.

Holy shit I'm totally stealing this. That's fantastic.