XCOM - Torg

graethynne
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XCOM - Torg

Postby graethynne » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:21 pm

I had a thought (as I am getting closer to having my players mostly spun up the rules, the setting, the cosms, the tone and playing through the Day 1s) adding a strategic layer to the campaign.

First a clarification - I am running a roster game so 2-4 times the number of players in the campaign than will be at any given game. Basically I email them all when I can run and the first six who commit are the team for that mission.

What I am considering is giving them a choice of a several missions at time. This gives the group that is playing a little input into what they are gonna be doing. It also allows me to "advance" things a little on missions they don't take up right away. Unselected missions will stick around for a little while, and another group might pick them up in the time line, but if they are left too long whatever the high lord was trying to accomplish might resolve, or at least advance. This could result in a new more challenging, or more vital, or both, mission popping up.

These missions would be a mix of DC published missions, other One Acts, and my own origional stuff, as well as the longer Mega Adventures (most of which start later in the year any). A number of the DC missions have larger strategic implications of course (like the oil rig in the LL book or the eternium ore metorites) and some could be developed (collecting the whole set of NE god talismans and so on).

Obviously this is a little more work, but what do you guys think? As a player would this be fun for you? As a GM would the payoffs be worth it? What can you add to this idea, and errors, mistakes, pitfalls can you foresee that I am foolishly overlooking?

Thanks!

Graethynne

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Atama
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Re: XCOM - Torg

Postby Atama » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:04 pm

How often are you running sessions?
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graethynne
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Re: XCOM - Torg

Postby graethynne » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:07 pm

Atama wrote:How often are you running sessions?


Ideal world? once a week.

Far more likely - 2ish every 4 weeks.

What should be easily maintainable - 3-4 every two months.

Graethynne

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Atama
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Re: XCOM - Torg

Postby Atama » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:15 pm

The reason I ask is that I am guessing it might be a challenge to prep for a session if you (A) don’t know ahead of time which players/PCs are going to be involved, and (B) which mission they are going to choose. I expect that you’ll need to get that info before planning, and that will take a little more time than if you had a continuous campaign with the same characters following a planned story arc.

But it’s an interesting idea. I hope it works out well.
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graethynne
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Re: XCOM - Torg

Postby graethynne » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:44 pm

Atama wrote:The reason I ask is that I am guessing it might be a challenge to prep for a session if you (A) don’t know ahead of time which players/PCs are going to be involved, and (B) which mission they are going to choose. I expect that you’ll need to get that info before planning, and that will take a little more time than if you had a continuous campaign with the same characters following a planned story arc.

But it’s an interesting idea. I hope it works out well.


Yup that makes perfect sense. The flow for a given session will look like this (I think)

Email group - Date ~ I can run who is playing.

Hopefully hit six yeses over the 3-4 days after.

Look at the mix of characters pick 3 missions
to put on Deck (possibly influence by prior
skipped missions)

Share those with the players. Have a consensus
locked in the 3-4 there after. Have better part of
a week to prep actual adventure.

But of course no plan survives first contact with the
enemy....errr players =D

Zackzenobi
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Re: XCOM - Torg

Postby Zackzenobi » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:55 pm

As a player I would love it.

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Count Thalim
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Re: XCOM - Torg

Postby Count Thalim » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:22 am

The group I have been running for each have 2 characters and which of them goes on a mission can change around. There is also a 4th player who is intermittent so I will have a DPC prepared for her to use if she is available.

It does work quite well as the mix of characters changes how they will approach different missions. The team of the All American Hero, Ex-Kanawa Special Forces and Big Game Hunter approach matters very differently to the Cat Burglar, young psychic and Cyber witch.
That means the game approach is always slightly different (Though it also means a lot of improv on the fly for me as GM)

I always set the mission they are doing, though I don't know which characters they will pick (Unless I have made a request beforehand, ie the Ex-Kanawa when they went to Japan to extract a former teammate).
Given that each mission will probably take 2 sessions to resolve (my timings anyway) that should give you plenty of time to prep it and get future ones bubbling away.

My only warning would be not to get carried away and try to do a mission with more than 6 players.
It sounds like it should be epic with the team coming together to defeat a really big enemy.
From personal experience what it turns into is a slog fest with so many cooks the roast gets turned into a soufflé with buttercream icing...
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Kuildeous
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Re: XCOM - Torg

Postby Kuildeous » Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:26 pm

I think it sounds super.

It reminds me of the Cassandra Files where the Storm Knights could follow up on some rumors. In this case, they’re given a briefing, and they choose based on their skillsets.

The risk of failure sounds rather threatening, like you simply wouldn’t run that particular mission because it failed. And that’s exactly what you should make the players think. Just because nobody chose to run Hostel Takeover doesn’t mean you have to shelve it and never run it. You play out the consequences of them ignoring it but run it later with a different hook.

I’m all for giving players some leeway in where to go. Sometimes they go in interesting directions.
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cloudshaper2k
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Re: XCOM - Torg

Postby cloudshaper2k » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:04 pm

I've done something similar with the 'let the players choose the mission'. However, I was presenting their possible options at the end of the previous session to maximize prep time. With this format, I'd recommend sending out the possible missions at the same time as you make the call to see who's SKs are going on the mission.

Honestly, letting the players pick the mission helps avoid the players feeling railroaded by whatever I had in mind and keeps the adventures within the realm of what they enjoy. For my old D&D campaign, I actually used a 'Wing Commander' style mission tree that gave them options for their next adventure based on things they discovered in game or events that happened when they weren't looking.


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