GamePrep: ConsOps, 2.03

We did not get as far as I expected, so a lot of the stuff I had in mind for 2×02 in Jerusalem still stands. Before we get to that, thought, we have to deal with their capture of BALDR and getting out of Port Said.

I’ve sort of determined that the PCs are hiding out in containers somewhere in Port Said, with BALDR in a different one which they’re monitoring via cameras (probably using something like this). What the PCs have not determined is that he has a tracking device implanted in his foot (just under the ankle); I’d initially started leaning toward having it be an explosive charge in the head ala Mission Impossible 3, and, in fact, it may still be a charge for later.

As to the container location, Dungeon Fantasy 16 added the whole “make a survival check for campsite, then pick from the three options available – comfort, concealment, and LOS; critical success gives all three, regular success grants two, and a failure gains just one. We used that but substituted the Professional skill, Tradecraft, and the PC who rolled it succeeded, then opted for concealment and LOS. Initially, he said this would be a storage facility, but my perusal of Port Said did not turn such a spot up so I suggested using the containers. Given that this is TL8+, LOS probably includes cameras of some sort – see before-mentioned linkage regarding the usage of cell phones.

There was also some debate about the next step – obviously, I need them to go to Jerusalem, but at least one of the PCs made some valid arguments about ‘continuing the mission’ and following up on the leads for the next step. With that in mind, I’m going to have BALDR’s cell receive some text messages, one of which is going to explicitly refer to HEIMDALL (though it uses his “Jerry Melendez” identity) moving to secure the ‘briefcase’ to point them toward Jerusalem. Clearly, said case was crafted by MacGuffin Arms.

When I started hashing out the next step following the events of the previous session, my main thinking was “I need to remove BALDR because he knows things that could derail my plot if the PCs learn them too soon” so, as stated above, I’d contemplated him having the explosive charge in his head ala MI:3, but that would set a dangerous precedent in that the PCs could never really take anyone alive to interrogate them which would lead to them never bothering to try. So then I started thinking “just have the bad guys show up and blow up the container he’s in with a RPG” but a brief discussion with the core GM of this campaign (currently a player, but I tapped him for advice since this is his campaign; I’m just guesting in it) made me realize that could irritate the players as well. Instead, I’m going to turn this into an escort mission!

  • First Aid was provided to BALDR by the interrogator as part of his angle, which brought him to 2hp. This puts him squarely in the half-Move, half-Dodge category (Move 3, Dodge 4). I don’t anticipate him avoiding rounds coming his way.
  • So … the PCs will detect the bad guys (going to use the Spetsnaz troopers from stats I published in the last game prep) in the area. They arrive via boat – probably an Inflatable Boat from B464 … although top speed for that is only 24mph. I guess I could use a speedboat (also B464) which has a top speed of 40mph … again, not a lot. More on that later.
  • By the time the Spetsnaz guys are detected, they are spread out all over the area, obviously trying to locate the PCs, although the PCs should be able to determine that they arrived via the Canal, indicating boats. Naturally, the logical presumption on the part of the players will be that they are here to rescue BALDR; thus, they are unaware that this is a different faction here to kill BALDR. I’m presuming that the PCs will want to get BALDR out of here so they can continue to interrogate him (but they may surprise me by just shooting him in the head or abandoning him to these guys with an eye on following them; in the latter case, they should see these dudes straight up execute him without hesitation.)
  • Operating with the presumption that the PCs attempt to bug out, they should quickly come under fire from the Spetsnaz dudes who are rather indiscriminate in who they shoot, an indication that they’re not here to rescue BALDR but to bury him. Again, logically, the PCs are going to make for the car that Vega, their wheelman stole, so I’ll have to neutralize that somehow, probably with a convenient RPG attack that not only blows up the car but definitely alerts everyone else in the city that something is going on! Now it’s a countdown – how long until Egyptian forces arrive? And in what flavor?
  • During this flight, BALDR will need to take a round or two and go down. Should they actually seem to be on the verge of making it to the boats, a sniper should hit him, although I’d rather it be more natural.
  • So, pushing the PCs toward the boats, this leads to a water chase which is why I’m thinking speedboats instead of inflatable ones. There could be some additional firearms present – maybe the PCs have to whack a couple of dudes along the way? Where do the other speedboats come from? Don’t worry about it. They came from off-panel. And then, Egyptian coast guard boats using something like what the American Coast Guard deploy can show up and complicate matters even worse.

But this chase should eventually culminate with the PCs making good their escape from Port Said, which then leads into the Jerusalem stuff I stated in the previous game prep post.

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