NHCPI in reverse?

5150 Star Army, Star Navy, Fighter Command, New Beginnings and even CR3 if you're playing it as a Sci-Fi set.

NHCPI in reverse?

Postby Martian Banshee » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:57 pm

I've enjoyed SA, NB/UR, FS, and especially NHCPI, but there's been something "missing" in my games and I finally figured out what it is. Ultra-sneaky bastards pulling off major heists, like those of Oceans 11, Mission: Impossible, James Bond and even the Pink Panther.

Hell, five of my eight years in the Army were with Long Range Surveillance (LRRP was reorganized and redesignated in the late 1980s). LRS teams infiltrate the enemy's controlled areas to observe and report while avoiding detection, until it's time to exfiltrate.

The one 5150 RP book I haven't picked up is Back Alleys, Bright Lights. If there's rules for elaborate crimes in it, I'm set; can someone advise on this?

Otherwise, time to homebrew.
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Re: NHCPI in reverse?

Postby THW » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:47 am

This sounds more like a scenario book instead of rules.
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Re: NHCPI in reverse?

Postby shon maxx » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:44 am

In High Moon, Ed took the Raid/Defend rules and just modified them to use for a Bank Robbery. I tried it a couple of times, with monsters robbing banks, and it worked pretty well. Since most 5150 titles use Raids as well, you can just modify those to achieve your goal.

For games in which you're actually planning a heist and gaining information, Future Tales could work. It's set-up is similar to PI in that, instead of playing one individual encounter, you're going from scene to scene collecting clues. For performing a heist, you can play a 'Get the Item' story. Scenes can include scoping the location, questioning guards or those who spend their time in the vicinity, and gathering the tools needed to pull it off.

Instead of facing a Big Bad, the final Scene could just be you're actually pulling off the theft. I'd make one small change where each PEF is either a (1-2) Physical Challenge (rappelling through a sky-light), (3-4) Mental Challenge (sneaking past a guards, drilling a safe), or (5-6) People Challenge (bluffing or distracting a guard, using a disguise). You can also use the Big Bads for rival thieves, detectives determined to bring your little group to justice, or or maybe a corrupt CEO that needs to be knocked down a peg or two.

Just a couple of ideas that hopefully help.
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Re: NHCPI in reverse?

Postby Redmao » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:09 pm

Like Shon Maxx said, it all comes down to challenges.

Wanna sneak past the sentry to reach the hangar door, that's a challenge. If it is a dark area, maybe you can add a +1 to your REP, but if it's a well lit area, than subtract 1 from your REP.
Roll 2D6.
Maybe you made it, but the rookie that tagged along didn't and that guard turns around, ready for the Insight test.
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Re: NHCPI in reverse?

Postby Martian Banshee » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:33 am

Thanks for the ideas. The one thing I'm hung on is surveillance and silent alarms. I'm thinking of going with the "something's out there" PEF mechanic if a character is unsure (marginal number of successes) whether a security device is disabled. My view of sci-fi is very stealthy.
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Re: NHCPI in reverse?

Postby Redmao » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:06 pm

Maybe you could add the surveillance and alarms in a custom PEF resolution table.
Instead of just being enemies, it could be representing a camera that covers the area, an automated weapon or an alarm which would bring reinforcements in X turns.

Alarms or surveillance systems could be activated on a random event table following rolling doubles when activating?

Perhaps you could use ATZ's zombie movement for unalerted guards or robotic security drones.
Unaware guards could suffer from a -1 to their reps until they spot the enemy.
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Re: NHCPI in reverse?

Postby stryderg » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:36 pm

Keep track of a "Security Posture" value (2-6). 2= minimal security, 6= high alert
Start where ever you think it should. Face a challenge to do something sneaky. Pass 2d6 = no problem. Pass 0 = trigger an alarm. Pass 1=raise the security posture
Roll 2d6 vs Security posture, generate 0, 1 or 2 PEF's based on number of dice passed. You can do that every turn or after an event.
The higher the security posture, the more likely PEF's show up.
Diplomacy is the weapon of the civilized warrior.
-- A. T. Hun (Robert Aspirin)
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Re: NHCPI in reverse?

Postby shon maxx » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:11 am

If you’re using the battle board, you can have a pef resolution that results in doubles resolve as a random event. This event could either be a challenge (1-3) or interaction (4-6), though you can also use interactions for opposed challenges, like sneaking past a guard.

Just an idea.
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Re: NHCPI in reverse?

Postby Martian Banshee » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:26 am

Those are great ideas!

The zombie movement table for a "random" security patrol will be great with minor tweaking.
The Security Posture can be a modification of Investment Level which will fluctuate using the "something's out there" mechanic from PEF resolution.
I completely forgot about doubles triggering a random event - that's the frosting on top of the "uncertainty cake".

As mentioned earlier, this isn't a new game, it's scenario tables for NHC / Fringe Space. My goal isn't to create a new Job Offer table. It's to provide granularity and uncertainty to Raid scenarios in the form of Burglary, Assassination, Kidnapping, etc. "Don't Take My Ride" is a favorite scenario; I want to expand on that.
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Re: NHCPI in reverse?

Postby Redmao » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:05 pm

The Security Posture could also affect the guards' reaction time.
Guard duty could be a boring job, so like in FNG, they could start the game at a lower rep to represent that they are relaxed or playing cards until an alarm has been raised.
The Security Posture could be affected by the time of day, the weather or even the rep of the Big Bad/Enemy commander if you are using one.

As for unalerted guard movement, I'm wondering if it would be better to roll for a pattern or just a random direction?
The former might make the game feel like a video game where guards seem to be on a rail while the latter might make a guard leave his post and keep on walking.
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