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DC Assault


FTJoshua
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First, if the NSA Psi-Kittens don't take out the team, NO NUKES! A fuel-air explosive will work just as well and leave DC inhabitable after the rebuilding.

 

Second, in the next campaign, ask the PCs to be government muties trying to deal with the backlash as the public prejudice was proved right and mutant militants are Ruby Ridging the hell out of the attack on Damage Inc.

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A soft option

 

If you don't want to kill your PCs off, you can have them get thrown out by an independent hero team. Something like a thinly disguised version of the X-Men (preferably one of the "classic" lineups) would be appropriate.

 

Of course, the PCs would then be handed over to the government, who would take a very dim view of their activities, but escaping isn't necessarily impossible. At that stage, you will be running a supervillain campaign.

 

I have to say that it sounds like your campaign is spinning out of control. It might be time to negotiate an end to it and start again. By negotiate, I mean, convince your players that it's time to retire their characters after a Last Big Epic, which hopefully won't involve their ignominious deaths.

 

Sod it. It's time for an Alien Invasion. All of humanity versus the Slimy Bug-Eyed Monsters. That should flush away most of the anti-mutie stuff.

 

Alan

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Why not let it succeed? Not simply have the world against them, instead let people believe them when they promise utopia. The campaign will be lots of fun as ther PCs attempt to deliver on their promises without alienating the people. Ruling the US (or the world) can be a thoroughly thankless and difficult and endless task. Eventually they will willingly surrender power.

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Originally posted by ZootSoot

Eventually they will willingly surrender power.

I agree with Zoot. If they take over the US, they deserve what goes with it. Letting them win would be the most evil thing you could possibly do to them, and I'd handle it like this:

 

"Excuse me, Mighty Man, but here are those figures on farm subsidies and pork barrel projects you needed."

 

"Sir? The Boy Scout troop from Kalamazoo is here. The photographer should be here in 5 minutes. One of the scouts says he's a big fan of yours."

 

"Lady Justice, the senators from Wyoming insist on an immediate meeting to discuss Federal highway spending. That shouldn't take more than an hour."

 

What your players don't seem to realize is that by siezing control of the country, their characters have just transformed from superheroes into politicians. Don't forget the Law of Unintended Consequences, either. End farm subsidies? Sure, and bankrupt 50,000 small family farms. Be they socialistic utopians or reactionary tyrants, how long do you think it will be before the heroes are fighting amongst themselves about policy? Three game sessions of this kind of stuff and they'll either abdictate or commit suicide. :D

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Guest WhammeWhamme

Lemme get this straight.

 

The US Military ambushed the PC's, tried to kill them, killed their family members, and you think they shouldn't go to war?

 

Whether they're likely to win or lose, they should definately fight, and go full out. If that's not what you intended, well...

 

Since you set up the war, let 'em win it.

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Re: DC Assault

Originally posted by FTJoshua So what kind of defenses/offenses would be brought to bear in this scenario? Assume there is nothing more high tech than what we publicly know the military has, or might have. Or, do you think they would succeed?

Launch the Inter-Continental Ballistic Man!BCing you

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FT, the debate between taking the PCs down and letting them win and deal with the consequences, raises an interesting point for me: which would the players find the most interesting? I realize that you want to retain game-world logic in the situation, and that the players could use an object lesson on the consequences of their actions; but this is still a game which is ultimately supposed to be fun, and unless this group is out of control or you plan to cut them loose, you don't want to run them through a situation that they'll utterly hate. So, what direction do you think will satisfy them most? Do you think they'd like to go out in a blaze of glory bringing the confrontation to a head? Would they find running the country an interesting challenge? (You might want to consider leaving them an "out" if the tedium or constant rebellions get to them, like retiring their characters to NPC status.)

 

If the players are set on this, perhaps you can persuade them to take a different tack, like setting up a "mutant underground" to protect mutants from the "normal" population and work for greater rights and recognition for mutants - a more benevolent version of Magneto's program. If the attack on Washington does fail, representatives from such a nascent group might contact the PCs for help. This could lead to different kind of campaign, more in the "hunted X-Men" vein, which might be more to the liking of your players.

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I'm still a little confused here...you said that the PC's were lead to a remote locale in order to minimize damage so what in the name of Zues's butthole were their 'loved ones' doing there?!?!? I get the assault on Washington(Which, unless they are the only supers in the world should fail miserably, especially if you have an uber-villian who would not see this action as being in his best interests, i.e. Doom, Luthor, Dr. Destroyer, Magneto, etc.), but if they are loved ones then why are they at the fight in the first place? I can see if the 'bad guys'(US Gov. in this case) brought them, but if the supers themselves had a hand in it then they shouldn't be mad at their own stupidity. BTW as soon as supers came on the scene in any sane world there would immediately exist some kind of task force to keep up with the strengths and weaknesses of all known supers at least in America, and they would posses the abilities to exploit both. This doesn't mean a catch-all deus ex machina kind of thing(At least be clever and inventive), but it might be a good time to introduce said group. The reason I say this is because once this arc is finished, if they do happen to rule America(cringe), then this campaign is over...they ruled the US sooooo either they are eliminated or removed as a factor in the world as super heroes, but I can't see them going back pulling cats out of trees.

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You know they could actually win. Powered People who are anti American Govt coming out of the paint work from both the U.S and around the world. The planes are rocketing towards the P.C's and then The Arab super man bursts through them fuel igniting itself in a suit of engulfing flame ALA human torch.

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As others have said. The massed forces of the United States Military should take out almost anyone. How many Bricks even can take autofire 3d6+1 AP, +1 stun? (25mm on bradley, 4 or so to a platoon)

 

combined arms tactics should shred most supers unless they find a way to make really innovative use of cover.

 

ANd the classic .50 sniper rifle to the head becomes a serious threat when there are 50 of them within a kilometer.

 

how about the newish shaped charge round from tanks. Accurate to 4 or 5000 meters(4000 fps) and capable of penetrating about 1/2 meter of steel.

 

a battery of 155 howitzers doing a time on target attack. 18 shots each leveling anything within 20 meters that is not heavily armored, falling within say a 50 meter square.

 

proximity fused anti aircraft rounds

 

Laser guided 155 mm howitzer rounds with armor

 

against combined arms tactics, unless they are on Superman's level, they are toast. and even if they are, you know the spooks have plans to deal with them. If they don't the campaign needs smarter spooks.

 

Originally posted by WhammeWhamme

Okay. If there's just the military (read: no superhumans), and you just threw everything at them, then they should win. If you didn't, they're being arrogant and need to be stomped.

 

If it's not just the military, well...

 

Don't pull out the 'silly' rules constructs.

 

You don't need to.

 

Heck, have them stopped a tel/precog. Might wanna *try* and save your campaign...

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Originally posted by D-Man

First -- in a world with super beings the government probably has a few on the payroll. If they don't, they probably have access to a number of super beings they feel can be trusted to varying degrees if the need arised.

 

Yes they would and if I WERE the government (and in my campaign I am) I'd have some plainclothes Supers... no flash... invisible power effects and frighteningly lethal.

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Originally posted by gewing

As others have said. The massed forces of the United States Military should take out almost anyone. How many Bricks even can take autofire 3d6+1 AP, +1 stun? (25mm on bradley, 4 or so to a platoon)

 

combined arms tactics should shred most supers unless they find a way to make really innovative use of cover.

 

ANd the classic .50 sniper rifle to the head becomes a serious threat when there are 50 of them within a kilometer.

 

how about the newish shaped charge round from tanks. Accurate to 4 or 5000 meters(4000 fps) and capable of penetrating about 1/2 meter of steel.

 

a battery of 155 howitzers doing a time on target attack. 18 shots each leveling anything within 20 meters that is not heavily armored, falling within say a 50 meter square.

 

proximity fused anti aircraft rounds

 

Laser guided 155 mm howitzer rounds with armor

 

against combined arms tactics, unless they are on Superman's level, they are toast. and even if they are, you know the spooks have plans to deal with them. If they don't the campaign needs smarter spooks.

This brings to mind a problem that I have no idea if it has been addressed in 5th Edition - area affect attacks that are picking a target hex that a rapidly moving figure "might" move through at the right time for the attack to take effect. It bugs me that military hardware that affects areas just seems to automatically hit the streaking superheroes. Perhaps, a perception roll would be good for the targeting to pick the right hex for superspeed man to go through?
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Originally posted by Agent X

This brings to mind a problem that I have no idea if it has been addressed in 5th Edition - area affect attacks that are picking a target hex that a rapidly moving figure "might" move through at the right time for the attack to take effect. It bugs me that military hardware that affects areas just seems to automatically hit the streaking superheroes. Perhaps, a perception roll would be good for the targeting to pick the right hex for superspeed man to go through?

 

Or a perception roll with a -1/5" velocity.

Then the Eqipment could buy targetters to offset the penalty somewhat based on the type of target the weapon was designed to foil.

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Again, awesome posts, thank you. No choices made yet but I'll post them when they happen.

 

As far as the ambush goes, the gov't set out to kidnap all the loved ones to bait the heroes; the heroes were tipped off to this and got almost everyone to safety, but a few stragglers were left behind; these stragglers were then used as bait.

 

Re: fun. Of course fun must come first. I'm not sure if the campaign is out of control or not. Sometimes it seems like it. But other times it is so rich with roleplaying and storytelling. Now that you mention the fun/game aspect, I wonder if the PC's would actually enjoy winning? They've always been a hard-luck lot and seem to enjoy it that way (the players do anyway; the PC's might disagree).

 

At the moment, my instinct is to give them plenty of legitmate, in-character, in-the-moment warnings from other NPC's. Then if they insist on going through with it, I needed those first few posts about what I should plan for in terms of security, response, etc. After THAT...

 

Well, we do have one idea: We were going to bring in one or two other people for the night who like role playing but not combat, and have them play senators/congressmen, etc. The PC's would present their case, and the NPC-players (with nothing to lose or fear) could really hammer the PC's into being specific about their plans. It seemed like an awesome role-playing opportunity, and heck, the PC's might even beg off after five hours of questions they can't answer.

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Originally posted by FTJoshua

Again, awesome posts, thank you. No choices made yet but I'll post them when they happen.

 

Just as a WEIRDLY appropriate aside, if you've never watched Babylon 5, the 4th season (I think) dealt with a revolution against a VERY corrupt Earth Government and how the sides played out... it was very logical... it might be worth it just for the research.

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If/when things get out of hand, since they enjoy being hard-luck cases then they can lose but not be killed. Escape to a sewer, or some other way out of the situation after the fact. This way now they are hunted and distrusted by a great many people. If a villain is used to help defeat them then it becomes even more of a challenge. How do you get the government and regular people to see that a villain is now pulling the strings when you are seen as the villains. The government will cover everything up and call the players a bunch of conspiracy nuts who watch too much T.V. The villain is now pulling the strings of the government and may start up a 'wholesome' family entertainment hour with subliminal messages. How do you get people to believe in the real conspiracy when you're considered a nut?

 

If the government is corrupt (which sounds like a reasonable bet since they kidnapped innocents to use as bait), then the players will need to somehow get popular support. Have them be defeated when they try it on their own, they may be strong, but they can't just walk into the DC call the government corrupt show some videos and say see. They need to move the people and others to realize the government is corrupt, except now they may be distrusted and hunted.

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I think Lord Liaden is on the right track...this seems like more of a out-of-game issue than an in-game one.

 

As I understand it:

 

1) One PC is a loose cannon.

2) To do something about this one PC, the government (the "local government", who is that exactly?) set up an ambush, kidnapping DNPCs ("loved ones", whatever :)) of many of the PCs.

3) Big fight, PCs win, DNPCs killed.

4) PCs declare intent to take over country.

 

In performing #2 and #3, you the GM sent a message to the PCs: "The government is at war with you and is willing to play dirty." The government acted like a supervillain. Why shouldn't the PCs retaliate? If the ambush was something that the government as a whole approves of, then attacking the government as a whole seems reasonable. If the ambush was created by some sort of rogue official, then revealing that person to be a bad guy should vindicate the PCs in the eyes of the rest of the government, at least to some extent.

 

At any rate, it seems like you, the GM, feel that they are taking a wrong course of action. What courses of action do you feel are more appropriate? What is the correct way to respond to this situation?

 

If you feel this would really be suicide, then any PC with Tactics or appropriate KSs should know that. If the players ignore those warnings, it could be that they are dissatisfied with the game and are trying to create an incident that will make it "your fault".

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Guest WhammeWhamme
Originally posted by gewing

As others have said. The massed forces of the United States Military should take out almost anyone. How many Bricks even can take autofire 3d6+1 AP, +1 stun? (25mm on bradley, 4 or so to a platoon)

 

combined arms tactics should shred most supers unless they find a way to make really innovative use of cover.

 

ANd the classic .50 sniper rifle to the head becomes a serious threat when there are 50 of them within a kilometer.

 

how about the newish shaped charge round from tanks. Accurate to 4 or 5000 meters(4000 fps) and capable of penetrating about 1/2 meter of steel.

 

a battery of 155 howitzers doing a time on target attack. 18 shots each leveling anything within 20 meters that is not heavily armored, falling within say a 50 meter square.

 

proximity fused anti aircraft rounds

 

Laser guided 155 mm howitzer rounds with armor

 

against combined arms tactics, unless they are on Superman's level, they are toast. and even if they are, you know the spooks have plans to deal with them. If they don't the campaign needs smarter spooks.

 

All this would be fine, but the PC's just got hit with an all out attack to take them down; that should have been as nasty as it could get (on the grounds that 'there is no such thing as overkill, just enough kill').

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From the sounds of it they got hit by a limited black operations strike force that had good weapons, but poor leadership and planning.

 

A few choppers, fighters, and special operations soldiers, while scary, are a drop in the bucket. All the military will do is say: it would appear they were underestimated. Lets turn up the heat from warm to hi-hi and boil them like lobsters. The problem they have is that they have no contingency in place, and as soon as they take the building over they will have forfeited their mobility analong with the intitiative.

 

What they saw was nothing. I'd handle them this way:

 

1. Declare martial law in the DC area and begin an evacuation.

2. Send in an entire mechanized division to seal the area.

3. Call in the entire special forces regiment from fort bragg.

4. Put an entire airwing up for control of the skies.

5. Put choppers with vulcans and hellfire missiles in the air around the capitol building, ring it with bradely fighting vehicles and troops with grenade launchers and man portable rocket launchers.

6. Call in my government super-type experts for an analysis.

7. Use any supers I have at my disposal in conjunction with special operations personnel to flush them out into the open.

8. If that fails I use cruise missiles to force them out by dropping the building on them.

9. Hit them with thousands of autocannons, rockets, and grenades.

10. Call the public works guys in to clean up the red smear.

 

If I didn't want to make such a scene I might give them the sewers as an out and then fill it with VX gas, followed by napalm, followed by supers in my employ, or I would control their route of escape so I could pick another place to engage them.

 

If they did manage to break through the lines I certainly wouldn't be so stupid as to have that be my only line of defense. I would use the forces now behind them, and those in front of them, to drive them into a non-urban area where extensive use of cluster bombs, napalm strikes, and cruise missiles could be brought to bear. I might even be tempted to hit them with VX gas out in the open. The problem I see is that people in superheroic settings often assume "normals are inconsequential". That's not really true. The heroes don't have the resources, logistical werewithal, expansive resources, or tactical experience of the armed forces.

 

If its a matter of the government falling they might even go so far as to push the button. Get the heroes to a fairly remote area and hit them with a small tactical nuke [say 100KT].

 

One thing the heroes could do, however, would be to control their situation by having one or two of them dig for the evidence they need while the others make their stand. Its still jail time, but it gets them off with lighter sentences, and maybe a pardon.

 

I'm confused about some things though:

 

If it was the local government why did the heroes attack the federal government? The feds, presented with evidence, become allies. I don't get that part.

 

If it was the local government, where did they get that kind of firepower?

 

If it was the federal government or a shadow organization -- did they just seriously underestimate the heroes, or did they have a lack of intelligence?

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Originally posted by D-Man

I'm confused about some things though:

 

If it was the local government why did the heroes attack the federal government? The feds, presented with evidence, become allies. I don't get that part.

 

If it was the local government, where did they get that kind of firepower?

 

If it was the federal government or a shadow organization -- did they just seriously underestimate the heroes, or did they have a lack of intelligence?

 

 

The initial attack was authorized by the State of Arizona, which used Federal resources. Due to the small scale of the operation, it didn't really hit much radar in Washington. Little ops like this are probably fairly common in our campaign if threats are big enough. Esp. with the downfall of the IMPs, the military has had to step up its internal presence to deter mutants. The Feds are NEVER allies; they are following the will of the people, and so far, it seems a majority do not want mutants around, period. The PC's hope to change that. Using force might not be the best way. That is one of the reasons for their planned "Assault." They are confident if they can prove to the public that they mean to do good, then the Feds will have no choice but to follow along.

 

The assault team did underestimate the heroes a little -- so did the GM. (Plus Pathos's energy blast was pretty well aimed at the jets meant to do the heavy damage...) But the PC's played well, too and worked as a team.

 

The "attack" on DC may not necessarily be an attack; it's still up in the air exactly what the PC's will do. They appear tired of the fight always coming to them. They've been kicked around by Senators and Congressmen doing shady things for a couple of years now. They seem to feel they can do a better job running the country, and be sure everyone is "truly free," mutants and humans alike. That's the main goal; they're really fighting for true equality.

 

However, they are fully aware they can't go in guns blazing. If they can get in without actually killing anyone (which would be miraculous with this bunch), then maybe--maybe--some people will listen. But I still think the approach is all wrong.

 

(Sidebar: There is a Texas senator who the PC's know for a fact is a mutant, who has been organizing mutants behind the scenes to fight major threats to security, like REX [our "Viper"]. But they refuse so far to divulge their plans to him because he's a senator, and can't be trusted. Cripes, what's a GM got to do?)

 

The in-game issue is that these PC's have been kicked while they were down for years now. There has also of late been a spate of "higher powers" trying to "teach" the PC's about being good guys. That works once in awhile, but lately it got out of hand (heavy-handed GMing; everyone who plays in our groups also GMs). In turn, the PC's have become frustrated, since they HAVE saved the world time and time again, only nobody knows or cares. (Similar to X-Men I think in that way.) So now they figure (some of them, anyway, the rest are just along for the ride) that they can do the most good at the seat of power because, hey, what's ever stopped them?!

 

I hope that clears some things up; let me know if there is more I can add.

 

Also, I'm not sure when the adventure will happen; it looks like it's in my lap at the moment, and pulling together all these ideas and figuring out what's best for A) Fun and B) the campaign is going to take some doing!

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