Lady in Distress (part 1)

Posted: January 19, 2010 in Modern, RPG, Solo
Tags: , , , ,

So this is my shot at running through the Top Secret module TS-003 “Lady In Distress”.  I set out to run virtual players through as the GM.  In the end (or rather from the beginning really) I sort of half played, half GMed.  And you know what?  It was awesome!  I was able to seperate my GM knowledge from my character knowledge and somehow it worked.  And with key questions, I just referred back to Mythic.  It was lots of fun.  I’m not sure how it would work for something that wasn’t a dungeon crawl with pistols, but I’m very tempted to find out!

Here now, the Lady In Distress:

The mission as presented at the outset is that the team of agents is to make a raid on the compound of a terrorist trainer/recruiter, neutralize him and get as much intelligence as possible on the terror activities.  The thing is really rather prescient given the state of the world today (but more on that later).  The team is to be airlifted to the site, and then paraglide into the compound of the target.

While airborne a cancellation comes in.  The original mission is aborted, because there is a new, more dangerous threat vector.  A cruise ship, the MS Coronoa, has been highjacked and is making for Monte Carlo.  Aboard the ship is a bio-chemist with four bottles of weaponized virus.  The virus is highly toxic and transmitted by contact with the victim’s sweat.  It is vital that the ship be retaken and the virus retrieved before the ship reaches Monte Carlo, about an hour after the agents rendezvous with the ship.  (in tournament play it’s an hour exactly).  Good luck agents, briefing ends…

They sight the ship and the agents bail out.

They land on the ship.  Biggs lands between the stacks, Proulx lands forward of that beside the stack.  Both are on the roof of A Deck.  Drake lands on the roof of B Deck, on the top of the bridge.

Inside the bridge, Jeu, the terrorist leader is sitting.  Quick check reveals that he doesn’t detect Drake’s landing.

Biggs and Proulx link up.

Drake describes the inside of the empty disco, with minimal lighting and the rythmic flashing of the ceiling lights in the silent room.  Half drank drinks sit scattered on tables.  Beyond the disco she can see a stairwell both up and down.  Looking forward she sees the empty prominade deck below her and the empty anchor deck beyond that.  On the anchor deck is a visible hatchway.  Sneaking a look over the side she sees that she’s standing on the bridge and that there is a single male target there.  He’s dressed in vague military fashion, and if he’s armed, it’s not visible.  The assumption is that he is armed.  There are no visible enterances to the bridge.

Hang tight, Biggs and Proulx will reconoiter the aft section.

Going aft on the roof, they reach the end and discover the pool deck with a large swimming oval pool and tanning deck.  A quick glance over the side of the roof reveals that the ship is open to the interior of the deck from back here.  They return forward and boost Drake up to the top of A Deck and the three agents proceed aft.  They lower themselves to the pool deck to go inside.

Once on the pool deck, looking forward they see twin hallways running the length of the deck, with the flashing of the disco lights visible at the far end.  Both corridors seem cross connected and lined on the outside with doors, some ajar.  Proulx takes position in the first cross connecting hallway just inside the deck, while Biggs takes the left corridor and Drake the right.

The first room Drake passes has the door ajar and the lights off.  She ducks in and swings her flashlight around.  Signs of a struggle are clear, as are the bullet holes in the walls, ceiling and the bodies of the couple on the floor.

They continue to sweep forward.  Midway down the deck they encounter a set of stairs down.  At the bottom of the stairs is another corridor.  All is quiet.  They continue forward.

The agents cautiously enter the deserted disco.  Biggs calls Proulx forward.  Looking down the stairs they can see that there is another lounge or dining area of some sort, also apparently deserted.

They descend, checking for terrorists.  Seeing none they enter the area.  It’s a lounge of some sort with a large stage.  Visible evidence of a hasty departure is everywhere, from toppled music stands and abandoned instruments to half finished glasses of liquor and spilled snacks.

“The bridge is just forward of here,” Drake says.  “But there’s no enterance.”

“Plan B,” says Biggs.  “Kill the engines.  Stop those and they’re not getting to Monte Carlo.”

“They’ll be aft,” chimes in Proulx with his transport engineering knowledge.  “Lowest deck most likely.”

The team continues down.  C Deck leads gives them more corridors running fore and aft, with some obvious staterooms and guest services like a reading room.  D Deck deposits them again in corridors.  One door is labeled “Medical Clinic”.  Drake stops the team.

“Think they’d store the virus in the medical bay?”

Biggs considers for a second.  “Check, then catch up with us.”

(random event, NPC action, Open Evil)

Drake pushes through the entrance to the sick bay.  Almost immediately she hears voices.

“I don’t even know why you’re doing this.  What do you people think you can gain?  Do you think we’re just going to roll over?”

“Shut up and do your work.  If he dies, you die too.”

Drake draws her silenced Beretta M1951 and thumbs of the safety.  Directly outside the waiting room is an empty exam room.  She sneaks a peek around the corner.  Down a short corridor is another exam room.  Someone’s on the table.  There a doctor working and a woman with a Browning dressed similarly to the man on the bridge.  There is no clean shot and the guard is side on to the entrance.

She decides to try a sneak attack as outlined in the optional rules.  I rule that Dorita is a 5th level and Drake needs 40% or less as she’s at short range.  She rolls a 06 and hits, for 4 points of damage +1 for the 9mm round, and another +1 for getting her in the abdomen/lower back for a total of 6 points.  This counts as a “serious laceration” and means that Dorita looses 4% of her strength and coordination automatically.  The terrorist (Dorita) spins to fire, not even sure where the target is.  But Drake is faster and gets off another shot first.  She hits the terrorist in the leg for a light light puncture of 7 points +1 for the 9mm round, for a total of another 8 points.

Dorita fires but the shot flies over Drake’s head.  Drake fires again, hitting the terrorist square in the chest.  The woman drops like a stone, dead.  Drake enters the room cautiously, weapon ready, to find the doctor crouched in a corner.  On the table, the unconcious patent doesn’t move.  Drake reports to the team.

“19 to 61.  Scratch one.  Holding doctor and patient hostage.”

“Roger that, 9.  No alarm sounded.”

Drake turns to the doctor. “Who are you, and what is going on?”

(to be continued…)

  1. Monele says:

    Sweet! Any insights on how you did things? How much did you use Complex Questions for example? Now I’m curious to see how these PCs fare 🙂

    • greatoldone says:

      Strangely enough I didn’t use a lot of complex questions. I guess because I was both player and GM. On stuff like the Medical bay, because I knew what was in there, that I left as a yes/no thing for Mythic. Things start to get a little busier later when we get more NPCs in play, and that calls for more complex questions, but here the PCs were very mission focused so it was much more yes and no type stuff.

      I also tried to think like a player when I was playing. “Okay, if I had a real GM and was faced with this, what would I do?” I was lucky in that the TS rules cover off stuff like alerting guards and the like. The module even randomizes where the Agents land when they parachute in, it just happened that my three were fairly closely grouped.

      I tried to think like a GM when working the NPCs, but again, turned to Mythic (and Une) where questions came up that were perhaps better answered by the all-knowing, all-seeing, totally neutral randomizer. And because most encounters were short and involving the exchange of lead projectiles, there was very little need for discussion! 😉

      I’m anxious to try this again and see how another module plays out. I have a few D&D modules I’ve never played but would like to. I find those, though, tend to be much longer than this one. It helped, I think, that this was a GenCon or RPGA tournament module, so it’s a one session, 3.5 hour play period and that’s it, not an extended multi-session campaign module. Yeah, thinking about it now, I think that’s probably one of the biggest bonuses to playing this, it was well contained, and very directed. On rails, but fairly wide ones.

  2. Mark Bruno says:

    Excellent write up! I look forward to reading the rest.

    One question I have regarding the Mythic GME: Did you just stick with the Fate Chart for player emulation or did you also utilize some of the other tools, such as Random Events, Lists, Chaos Factor and the like?

    • greatoldone says:

      Thanks, next part should be up shortly…

      I did use the other tools from Mythic. Because I used the Mythic Apprentice it automatically generated the random events for me (which is nice). I don’t get many but one I got was when Drake was going into the sick bay, and it was what lead to the terrorist threatening the doctor.

      I haven’t really used the chaos factor here, because there’s sort of a “pre-determined outcome” because it’s a module, so I didn’t think that moving the chaos factor would help me. Normally in more “random” games, I do use it though.

      And as for lists, because of the closed nature of the setting, and the fact that the module has nice lists of all the NPCs involved, I did use those very often. Whenever I needed an NPC for something I just rolled on the list, and that was the one.

      I also used the Une NPC generator as you’ll see later on, and that really added some fun elements around the NPCs…

      • Mark Bruno says:

        Thanks. I’m just picking your brain here because I’ve never used the GM Emulator before and I’m very anxious to start using it with a pre-written module for All Flesh Must Be Eaten.

        So, with regards to random events. When you rolled one via the Fate Chart, did you try to keep the outcome within the framework of the pre-written adventure or did you allow yourself to go off the beaten path, as it were?

      • greatoldone says:

        That sounds like a lot of fun! I’ve been tempted a couple of times to pick up All Flesh Must Be Eaten…looks like it’d be a hoot to play. When you do run the module, let us know how it goes!

        As to the random results…the ones I got lent themselves well to the module as it stands. The direct impact was quite obvious to me, but I would have no problems expanding beyond the written scope of the module if something like a “new NPC” result came up. In this case I’d make it a passenger or crewman that the terrorists missed or something like that. Maybe even a John McLain type like in Die Hard, depending on what the actual result was.

        The context I use is that if I were GMing the module I wouldn’t hesitate to stick in stuff like that, so I Mythic should too. But within reason. You can’t have it go so far off the module’s rails that you end up in the desert from your place on the cruise ship. And I think this applies more to modules like this that have a very specific outcome on them (save the ship, rescue the princess, stuff like that) rather than just dungeon crawls, for the simple reason that there really are rails to be kept to, and a station to reach at the end.

      • Mark Bruno says:

        Okay, one last question 🙂

        Did you utilize threads?

      • greatoldone says:

        Threads are the one thing I’ve never had much success with. I find I usually end up with a half a dozen open threads, and no way to close them… but that might just be me! 😉

  3. Tim says:

    Enjoyed the write up. Recently found my stash of Top Secret and James Bond materials. Have been considering using the modules as basis for skirmish wargaming/lite rpg (pulp wargaming rules work well for spy romps). I’d like to use mythic to fill in the blanks.

    • greatoldone says:

      I have to admit, I love my old 80’s games. Sure they’ve got some great stuff now, but TS and JB? They were awesome games. Shame they’re not still in print. Did you know there’s a Facebook Top Secret Group?

      If you do try the skirmish/lite RPG, I’d love to hear how it works and how you go about it! Sounds like a great idea!

  4. Running this in April using the Savage Worlds ruleset. Thanks for your write up.

    • greatoldone says:

      Thanks for dropping by! I’d be interested to compare notes…I converted the the module to SW but haven’t had the opportunity to run it for my group yet. Did you directly convert the terrorists to SW?

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