18 Jan 2001 0800H. Washington DC. Ford House Office Building.
Dawn cast a cold, murky light through the clouds above the silent ruins of Washington DC.
However Moss and his team remained in darkness, deep inside the seismically-damaged Ford House Office Building.
Amid the search for SRS docs, video tapes, and floppy discs, Wojciech encountered a New America soldier and dropped him.
When the New America regular went down, two of his comrades were nearby.
One held his Ingram SMG around the corner, waving it down the hallway, sending a burst of 10 rounds toward Wojciech.
The other – armed with an AC-556 – used the covering fire to dart for the doorway nearby, and tossed a frag grenade.
The Ford House Office Building was hammered by two nearby nuclear ground bursts. While the building was mostly shadowed from the blast effects, the localized seismic tremors damaged many of the city’s structures still standing. The Ford Building was no exception.
The team found right away the Ford House Office Building was badly compromised, and would have been surely condemned in peacetime. Structural damage was evident everywhere, with sprung doors, wall settling and collapsed interior features. The use of explosives while inside could further weaken the building’s integrity.
I devised a quick roll table to decide the secondary effects of explosive use. A chain reaction was possible, as more and more structural members give way.
I borrowed the concept of Exploding Dice from Savage Worlds (and other RPGs): Roll the max number on a die, roll again and add the result. If max again, roll once more, and so on…
Explosion Results in Unstable Building
|1||Ceiling fixtures fall, doors pop open (1d6 head or arm damage from fragments)|
|2||Structural members fall, wall/floor collapses (1d10 damage to one hit location)|
|3||Total collapse in 5m radius (5d10 damage in 2 hit locations, roll DIF AGL or be pinned in one location)|
|4||Exploding die! Roll again. Collapse diameter increases by 5m every pip: 10, 15, 20m… Roll of 4 explodes again! (and again?!) A few unlikely consecutive rolls could pancake the whole building.|
Champion and Boss NPCs
Twilight 2000 v2.2 (Reprint book and PDF available at DTRPG) has a rule for High Initiative Characters (page 194):
Characters may achieve Initiative levels higher than 5. Any character with a current Initiative higher than 5 receives an extra action each turn. This action is conducted in the Initiative step equal to one-half of the character’s Initiative number (rounding fractions down).
The effects of this rule are enormous in terms of game balance. Characters with an Initiative of 6 or higher shoot first and twice as often.
[Can they MOVE twice per turn? Rules As Written (RAW)… YES they can. Anybody reaching Init 6 or higher in Twilight 2000 is suddenly an Olympic-class athlete! At our table, I’ve already ruled against this, because it’s ridiculous.]
Bizarrely, Elite(!) NPCs only have Initiative of 5. So no extra actions for any of the stock NPCs. The rulebook helpfully notes you can use standard character generation to make custom NPCs (and so get a higher Initiative that way). But I’m not doing chargen for NPCs who are just going to get whacked during the scenario! Please.
Our campaign has gone on long enough that several PCs have Initiative 7, and they can mow down the opposition quickly and reliably. Mostly I’ve been content as GM to send large numbers of attackers at the party, presenting a challenge in that way.
However this crew of New American soldiers on their DC mission are their special operatives. But “Elite” just isn’t Elite in Twilight 2000, alas.
I’m starting using to use two new types of NPC templates beyond Elite. It’s simple. Champion NPCs have Init 6, and Boss NPCs have Init 7
The NA with the Ingram actually scored a potential hit with his automatic fire. [I’d penalized him for “not looking”, treating his burst as one range band farther, costing him 3 rounds from his 10-round burst.] The hit location for Wojciech’s leg was behind cover, however, and the 9mm round didn’t penetrate.
The thrown hand grenade missed, and deviated into an adjacent room. [I rolled on the secondary effects table mentioned above, and got a 2, meaning moderate structural damage. Nobody was in the immediate area.] The frag detonated, causing localized wall and ceiling damage.
Moss moved his men forward to support Wojciech, but methodically, not wanting to get flanked from another direction. Some doors in the hallway were sprung, while others remained closed.
Automatic fire, and a grenade were enough to prompt Wojciech to fall back. [Remember, Player CANNOT see what is under the gray fog of war, but YOU can!]
[Unknown to the party, Michael the NA boss realized his team were stuck in a cul-de-sac here on the second floor. He tossed a grenade at a partition wall to create an exit for his team. I rolled a 4 on the Explosion Effects table – Exploding Dice! – So I rolled again, a 3. Ugh. This got big.]
The party felt the building tremble as a whole section of offices collapsed just to their north. It felt like the entire building was going to come down, but it stopped. [The NA faction was decimated, however, leaving several NPCs injured and pinned under rubble, including Michael the leader.]
Big Barna Aron kicked in the nearby door, revealing two NA troops. Both had been watching the door, but their attention had been diverted by the collapse just to the north, where pinned men cried out for help.
Barna ended the NA with an AC-556.
GDW moved forward to engage with his M240 MG, but completely missed the guy with the Ingram, who wisely retreated. [Recoil is rough when the MG is not on a bipod.]
It was an anticlimax after that. The Fire Knights quickly mopped up the few remaining isolated and demoralized NA soldiers, securing 3 prisoners.
Their leader had escaped, however. Left behind was his worn King James Bible, inscribed with the name Michael LaPorte. Moss was sure this was the man he knew as “Brother Michael”, a New America troubleshooter.
It seemed that New America had pulled out. Whether they had secured SRS intel was unclear, but perhaps interrogations of the three prisoners would answer that question.
The party was able to find more SRS cache materials, enough to call the mission a success. With all due haste, they withdrew from the Ford House Office Buildings, and left the radioactive graveyard that was Washington DC.