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Author Topic: Masterminds, and linked serials / Season Creation?  (Read 1759 times)
Merxiless
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« on: January 18, 2012, 08:25:45 AM »

I've got Spycraft 2.0, and trying to run it, but I'm trying to create a linked Season of 7 session "serials", using:

1.0 Core Rules Spycraft, Mastermind, and Pointman/Fixer Guide.

I'm getting lost in how many minions per encounter, what their gear is, etc.

It ends up being a bunch of notes, that I keep haivng to change because I'm sort of lost on what affects what  costs in Mastermind points. I thoughtI had it, then Pointman changed it.  Spycraft 2.0 seems a lot simpler but not a whole lot of dirction on "How to write the thing in chunks, break it down into traps and buildings and such."

I started with this:
Agent Team X 3 (each 2nd level)
I figured make it slighlty tougher, assume they level every three levels. Maybe that is implicit with Mastermind Agendas...Dunno, i'mtrying to figure it out.

Base: 85 MP
Medium Season 7 Serials
90 for serials 1-3 +270
95 for serials 4-6 +285
100 for serial 7    +100

Total 640

team of 3 characters, Season MP decreased by 20% (not tallied, just noted for later.)


Pointman / Fixer Guide

                Cost    Budget  Bonus
Mastermind: 7th Level   35   60   +2
Henchman         40   +2
Foil            40   +2   A former Teammate of the Agents. Gun Bunny - Always heavily Armed.
Foil            40   +2   Wild Card, Agenda not Threat or Agency, but linked. Thrill/Danger Seeker.   
Foil
Minion            25   +2   single gp 5 or indiv gp 2 vehicles.
Wealth    (5-Above Avg)   40       
Technology (Level 6)   24
Loyalty (6 levels)   24
Influence (4 Levels)         32
Scope  = 4 Small National Threat   

Threat (Resources = 4) Cost 12 MP total.



Mastermind HQ heirarchy level 4
Location: Black Market Arms Dealer's Freighter
Bonus: One minion type, plus minions stationed at the Freighter, or fielded from the freighter carry non-assualt, non-sniper rifles.
Freighter with many compartments, 5 key locations:
bridge, engine room, main hold, mastermind's personal chambers, helo hangar for flight or escape.

Heirarchy 3 Nerve gas deployment -  Check "The Shop Book"
Abandoned Military Warehouses.
Secrecy 2, personnel 2 security 4 - Abandoned Building in large city.
part of an old base, not well maintained cover identity, shipping.
warehouse, dock/wharf, security center to hold / torture captured agents with creepy basement and batteries.
main garage for trucks?

Heirarchy 2 Hardened Killers - a minion type may inflict critical hits as if they were special NPCs.
Paramilitary Training Camp.
 Public Building in Rural Area
a barracks bldg, classroom/messhall building, firing range w/ tiny armory, obstacle course, river, rope bridge, chasm.

Heirarchy 1 Fleet Support
1 Minion Squad gets up to 3 GP of vehicle gadgets or weaponry/ordnance.
Concealed air strip
Secrecy 0, personnel 2 security 4  Public Air Strip in major city.
airstrip, maintenance hangar, aircraft parking area, control tower.

CONQUEST AGENDA P. 104 1.0 pointman/Fixer guide

Rogue Nation Mastermind - p. 109, Pointman / fixer
Loyalty might be low. WMD might be significant.
influence moderate - favors from a handful of allies.
modest intelligence service.
henchmen range from a few government figures to the occassional experienced military or espionage officer.
minions are typically low level, appearing in large squads, most sites have high personnel levels and lots of crossfire.
most of the violence is carried out at arm's lengthg through intermediaries.
 or takes the form of overwhelming military action. siezing ojectives before anyone can react, and then cementing position vs retributive strikes.

belligerent and quick to react to any error made within it's territory, they move with extreme caution outside their borders, always aware of their image on the world stage, and how to manipulate it to their best advantage.


Central HQ - Secrecy 3 Entry DC 15 - Private or abandoned building in rural area.
Personnel: Level 2    4
Security: Level 4   12         
 
Serial # 1
Henchman Level 4    8  Hired for a plausibly deniable single Job. Personable, and Amiable.
Minion Level 2       2


Squad Size of 9  < ** THIS SEEMS LIKE A HECK OF A LOT OF BAD GUYS
Protective Goggles, Rag-tag irregular militia clothes, T-shirts, Tennis shoes. Cover  to cover move +1 Defense.

STOPPED HERE< COMPLETELY LOST
Serial # 2
Henchman Level 4    8 Rejected as a Spy candidate, landed job with threat. Maverick. Does it his own way.

Serial # 3
Henchman Level 4    8 Freelancer, in it for the money only. Vengeful in the extreme.

Serial # 4
Henchman Level 4    8 One last job before is allowed to retire. Precision, just enough to do the job no more.

Serial # 5
Henchman Level 4    8 hidden mastermind, disguised. Moral, believes he's one of the good guys, and works to maintain.  Is a Secret Illuminati. For decades has run humanity. Takes all steps to maintian influence.  Paranoid, Believes that everyone is out to bring him down. Doesn't tolerate any disloyalty.
Nationalism, strives to shift his nation into th world spotlight.
Trigger happy. Believes violence is the solution to every propblem.

Actual mastermind for Serial # 5 is unavailable, "Scheming".  The look-alike  imposter, fastidious, neat and clean.

Serial # 6
Henchman Level 4    8 Native of a region important to mastermind operation. macho, hates being outdone.

Serial # 7
Henchman Level 4    8 Former Cold Warrior, works for Threat.complete sociopath, no empathy or value on human life.

I know I am screwing this up, But I'm  wondering if anyone has a consolidated procedure?

I don't want my effort at making this happen become "team whacked, let'splay 3.5 D&D." Because I made it too difficult.

I'm looking at the clue chain, going :

BRIEFING for Serial # 1:
A wanna be general from a small country has been shipping weapons in, for what purpose we got to find out. We think there is something going on at the airfield. A local contact in the area sent his in country handler a message, and set up for a meet, but didn't make the meet, and hasn't reported in for 4 days.

We don't want to cxompromise out agent in place who is in deep cover, so we are sending you three (Level 2, each) in.

Primary: Find the Spy, get his info and get himout if possible.
Secondary: Find out where the wepaons are going, and for what purpose

Briefing for Serial # 2
This is all good intel. Let's set up an ambush of the convoy....
Etc.

But I have no idea what enemy minion staffing is like or supposed to be. I'm guessing each has a level 4 Henchman?  So that would already be tough for 3 Level 2 agents to start, yes?

But thern minions, and some of them with rifles because of the armory?  Or does the rifle armory squad only come in on the assault on the armory scenario.  Ditto with the  Hardened killers?  Available until the training camp is toasted? or only defending it?

THANKS.


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Desertpuma
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 11:58:27 AM »

My best suggestion is to download some of the free modules from the now defunct Living Spycraft organized play. You should be able to find them in the Downloads section on the main Crafty page.

http://www.crafty-games.com/index.php?q=node/784

Download as many as you want and look through them for ideas on how to construct scenes. Keep in mind that in SC2.0 you only pay the price a squad or group of minions once. They are in equal number to the number of PCs.

I'll be happy to go over either Tundra or Lights Out considering I wrote them both and know the mindset I had for them if you want.
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Crusader Citadel

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Merxiless
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 08:13:01 PM »

So for example when there is a squad of minions encountered say every 10 minutes in a facility, then if there are three agents, there are three minions?

Then that makes it a very difficult encounter, yes?

Both of those modules look very detailed andresearched. Obviously lots of effort was put into them.

I'm just trying to get the procedure straight, with respect to masterminds and organizations.

I can write and order scenes and plot. What I'm trying to really accomplish is hang the frame of mechanics upon the plot so that when it happens out I don't have 1 guy of too low level, nor too many guys of high level, fighting the group.

I don't play 3.5, nor d20, I come from Traveller, Battletech, and Star Trek RPG so things like CR and XP per bad guy as a limit to the encounter are sort of new.



« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 08:24:00 PM by Merxiless » Logged

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Desertpuma
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 08:14:22 PM »

Certainly ... if you wanted to make your squad into a horde (which doubles the number of minions grouped together) you could do that as well.
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Crusader Citadel

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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 08:26:22 PM »

I think the difficulty is that 2.0 does the whole process very differently. My hope was to get the idea from 1.0 then translate level 4 Henchman into 2.0 stats, level 7 mastermind into a 2.0 level 7  evil bad guy.

And it's got changed procedures  even in the middle of 1.0 so it;'s not working too well.

Thanks for the fast responses, also.


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Desertpuma
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 08:28:31 PM »

Not a problem ... if you were to use the model for the SC2.0 mods that are out in the Download section, you'll see it is an average of roughly 300-500pts/scene
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Crusader Citadel

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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 10:36:50 AM »

I see that in the 2.0 xp awards section.

So that is the total for everything per scene.  Definitely a lot different.

I'm trying to write this so that 3 or 4 agents level 2 advance 1 level every 3 to 5 sessions, and then have a season break at just making level 4 to see if we want to keep on doing this.

max 500 XP per scene seems a lot less intuitive to me than the older way.    Thanks for the help and advice.


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Desertpuma
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 11:17:54 AM »

Not a problem ... keep in mind, the players only receive the XP value for the minions once, not for every time they face them.

You'll total up the XP of the obstacles they've faced off with, not duplicating that which they encounter multiple times, and then multiply it by their level as their XP for the mission. My suggestion is to just put a checkmark next to the ones they encounter and only award the XP at the end of a mission so you do not doubledip on the XP in some cases.

Also just as another note, you can always use www.random.org and get up to 200 numbers ranging from 1-20 that arranged in columns. Just check off the numbers as you go down the list. Sometimes it can speed things up as you will only really need to roll damage and Action Dice values, plus those passive skill checks stay secret, especially for ones like Notice.

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Crusader Citadel

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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2012, 08:36:58 PM »

Thanks.  Yeah, it makes me wonder why If I have 5 squads of 3 guys each there is only XP for one of the enemy squads.

So that if I had 3 different squads of  enemy, they'd be triple XP total ( 3 roughly equal Squads) for the equivalent same mission.

There's some kind of disconnect there for me.

Granted if they are 300 XP and there's a 100 XP lock and a 100 XP trap, okay thgat's 500.

Just doesn't  seem right.

I'm still trying to work the magic in 1st, but the players have 2.0 PCs now so we can't easily revert back to 1st completely.

I think I understand objectives and critical objectives, as far as that goes.

Have a good weekend.
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Desertpuma
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2012, 08:42:36 PM »

5 squads of the same template NPC as minions is still one xp amount...

If it were 5 different template NPCs as minions, then it would be 5 different xp amounts.
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Crusader Citadel

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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2012, 05:21:40 AM »

Right, i am bemused as to WHY 5 squads of one template is one XP amount, when 5 varied squads get 5 squads of XP. I mean, design wise.

5 Squads of the same bad guys attack over the course of a scenario vs 5 Squads different  the latter deliver 5X the XP, same threat, relatively same danger.

* * *

I realize now one of my original mistakes was when looking in 1.0 main book, I did not see a specific line that said minion squad size for 1.0 varies by level of mastermind or henchman controlling them.

So for a mid length game like mine, they would be 3 or 4 minions if the Henchman was 4th level. (for my scenario # 1.)

I'm going to clean this all up and try to do an Example 1.0 Mission Design Thread, with page references and such over the weekend.

I don't know how many are out there playing Spycraft 1.0 but I definitely like the 1.0 equations and feel better for mission design.







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Krensky
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2012, 09:39:24 AM »

Because you get the XP for encountering the NPCs, not killing them. It's to not encourage sweeping the entire lair for every single minion.

Most XP should be coming from objectives rather then NPCs or Complications anyway.
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Right now you have no idea how lucky you are that I am not a sociopath. - A sign seen above my desk.
There's no upside in screwing with things you can't explain. - Captain Roy Montgomery
Merxiless
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2012, 11:21:16 AM »

Krensky that makes perfectly good sense, and is sonething I had not considered, since most off the things I run the players advance by completing the plot or mission.

I guess it's hinting to "Order of the Stick" type play where people just kill for the XP.

Yeah, we never did that, because each mission was usually a flat amount of XP, or a "3 missions to the next level" or "A flat amount of skill points per mission" kind of deal, despite any per encounter XP and such.

These are good answers and tips.

I'm making more progress on figuring this out. The minions squad thing was really a problem for me.



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Krensky
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2012, 11:42:37 AM »

One thing to remember is that a number of things in SC2.0 are there due to the demands of organized play.

It's been a while since I played any organized play games and Living Spycraft had a different player base then Living Greyhawk, but those times I did play or watch Living games there was a distinct vibe towards squeezing every single XP out of a scenario. It was sort of absurd watching a bunch of 8th level PCs chase down and curb stomp a single kobold that fled a battle.

FC handles XP bounties a bit more like you'd expect but is very explicit that overcoming the NPCs in any way earns you the bounty. So a fleeing goblin is worth the same XP as a dead goblin. If there's a reason the PCs need to kill or capture every single anklebiter, that's what objectives are for.

Of course, the base XP bounty for a NPC in FC depends on the number of characters on the player's side since it's Number of NPCs * (NPC XP / Number of Special Characters on team PC). Then throw as many or few NPCs at the party, with the norm being equal sides.
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We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming. - Werner von Braun
Right now you have no idea how lucky you are that I am not a sociopath. - A sign seen above my desk.
There's no upside in screwing with things you can't explain. - Captain Roy Montgomery
Desertpuma
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2012, 11:48:54 AM »

It's been a while since I played any organized play games and Living Spycraft had a different player base then Living Greyhawk, but those times I did play or watch Living games there was a distinct vibe towards squeezing every single XP out of a scenario. It was sort of absurd watching a bunch of 8th level PCs chase down and curb stomp a single kobold that fled a battle.

For Living Spycraft, things were as they are in FC for the most part. ... But yeah, curbstomping the runaways seemed to happen all too often. It was that mentality of "kick down the door - kill everything - steal its treasure". I curbed that in my home game to the point where if they killed someone they needed info from then they had to figure things out without the info. It took my players only a short time to start doing everything to subdue opponents so they could get info even when they needed to kill the enemy.
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Crusader Citadel

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