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The Insurgency - New Skills Required ?


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I am currently working on an old project, a science fiction campaign about an insurgency on a

remote colony planet that has been invaded from space, with the characters as members of a

resistance movement against the invaders.

Since BRP does not yet cover that kind of scenario well, I will have to adapt some material and

rules from other systems, mainly Mongoose Traveller (science fiction stuff in general) and the

Free Mars supplement of the Babylon 5 RPG (rules for underground movements).

To adapt the rules that BRP does not yet offer, I will also have to either expand some of the BRP

skills, or to introduce a few new ones, namely: Propaganda, Reconnaissance, Recruiting, Tac-

tics.

Propaganda would cover the political activities of the resistance movement, especially the me-

thods to win new supporters for the movement and to turn the population against the invaders.

Reconnaissance would be the skill required by the guerilla arm of the resistance to scout enemy

positions, determine enemy troop strenght and equipment, and thelike.

Recruiting would also be a "guerilla skill", used to turn sympathizers of the resistance into new

members of the fighting arm of the movement.

Tactics would be the skill used to determine whether the guerilla unit manages to stage an am-

bush, to withdraw in an orderly fashion after a hit and run attack, and so on.

It seems that Propaganda and Recruiting could perhaps be specialties of Persuade, and Tactics

could probably be included in Command and/or Strategy.

Reconnaissance requires the Perception skills, Stealth and something like Knowledge (Military),

and it seems that it would be less complicated to treat it as a seperate skill instead of an entire

cluster of skills.

Please let me know what you think about it, and also if other skills useful for this kind of setting

come to your mind.

Thank you. :)

[Apologies for the ugly smiley ...]

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Here's some quick thoughts.

I had to create a Tactics skill for Cthulhu Invictus. You're welcome to to borrow it if you like (feel free to ignore references to Sanity Loss -- however, if you're working in a morale system, you might want to substitute that for the sanity references).

Tactics (01% or 25%)

This skill indicates the investigator’s knowledge of military tactics and how to implement them. To recall the tactics used by Caesar in the Gallic War, an investigator would use the Empire skill, but to implement those same tactics with a group of legionaries,

he’d use Tactics. If Tactics is part of an occupation’s skill list, the investigator has a 25% base chance. If not, the starting percentile is 01%.

An investigator who makes a Tactics roll before engaging in battle receives a +10% to his combat rolls for the duration of the combat. The bonus is lost if he suffers Temporary Insanity.

Reconnaissance could possibly be a combination of Knowledge (Military) and Stealth. As a combined roll, failing one or another could have different, yet equally disastrous results.

The same could go for propaganda. A combination of Knowledge (Politics) and Persuade. Fail the Knowledge (Politics) part and your insurgents accidentally put together adds drive their potential recruits into the arms of the enemy, especially if they succeed at the Persuade roll.

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Can you give me an example of how you would use these skills? I having trouble grasping the concept of distilling 'reconnaissance' down to a single roll - surely reconnaissance is an adventure, not a roll?

"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb

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Can you give me an example of how you would use these skills?

Imagine that resistance movement scout sitting high up in a tree and watching an invader pa-

trol march by in the distance. When the scout returns to the rebel camp to report, he is expec-

ted to know how many invader soldiers there were, in what direction they marched and how

fast, what weapons and equipment they had, to which unit they probably belonged (based

upon their uniforms and gear), and so on. To do this, he needs Stealth (or, in this case, Hide)

to avoid being discovered and Knowledge (Military) to make sense of what he sees.

There are of course reconnaissance missions that would be adventures, for example sneaking

up to an enemy camp to get the informations, but there are also the more simple tasks like

the one mentioned above.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Imagine that resistance movement scout sitting high up in a tree and watching an invader pa-

trol march by in the distance. When the scout returns to the rebel camp to report, he is expec-

ted to know how many invader soldiers there were, in what direction they marched and how

fast, what weapons and equipment they had, to which unit they probably belonged (based

upon their uniforms and gear), and so on. To do this, he needs Stealth (or, in this case, Hide)

to avoid being discovered and Knowledge (Military) to make sense of what he sees.

Err, so why not use those (plus perhaps a Spot Hidden to garner additional specific nuances)? If these elements are important to the game, breaking them out in to separate skill rolls seems to foreground them in the appropriate way - if they aren't central then why bother inventing a new skill that is largely a duplication / specialisation of existing skills to cover them all?

Personally I think I'd just tailor the profession list (there's no scout in the core book for example) and may be give the players some additional notes on appropriate uses of existing skills, maybe widen a few skill definitions even, rather than create new skills.

Cheers,

Nick

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Err, so why not use those (plus perhaps a Spot Hidden to garner additional specific nuances)?

This is what I intend to do, but when starting the thread and before Cjbowser's post I was un-

sure whether to handle it with a seperate skill (one roll only) or a combination of skills (now

two or three rolls).

The main reason is that there will be many situations where the scouts will be NPCs, and I dis-

like to waste gaming time on rolls for NPCs, effectively playing the game with myself instead of

with the players, and so to reduce it to one skill with one roll seemed tempting.

However, the way proposed by Cjbowser does not require much more effort and models the si-

tuation better, because it allows for cases where the scout succeeds in gaining the information

but is spotted (and perhaps tracked ...), or where he is not discovered, but fails to bring back

the information.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Late to the party, but I agree with the use of existing skills in combination to produce the desired results as this can already be modelled within the rules as they stand. I am also incredibly wary of introducing new skills unless absolutely necessary. Skill bloat is one of the memories of my early houseruling days which I would much rather forget ...

Always remember, the rules are complete when nothing more can be taken away!

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Propaganda, reconnaissance and recruiting sound like applications rather then skills.

For Propaganda I would be looking at Persuade and Knowledge (Politics, Psychology, etc)

For Reconnaissance the Perception skills should be adequate.

Recruiting would be the same skills as for propaganda

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Yep, I agree - although this means some effort to adapt the systems I intend to borrow from

Babylon 5 and Traveller to make them work with a comination of skills instead of a specific

single skill, but this should not be difficult or time consuming.

The one exception is Tactics, here I still think that it is better handled as a new skill. It is dif-

ferent enough from Command, which I intend to treat as a leadership skill based more upon

personality and psychology than knowledge, from Strategy, which covers things like the war

aims, the "grand plan", logistics, politics and thelike, and from Knowledge (Military), because

Tactics has an element of creativity in addition to the knowledge of military standard proce-

dures.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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My advise would be to add a few skills like Observer, Recon, or Scouting(Military). Have that one unique skill cover it all, but have the player make a general roll and then have them make a details roll. If they just get the general roll, they they get some details but not specifics. If they gain the 2nd harder class roll, then they are able to come up with alot more details. Now I would also use another skill of "Cover" or "Hide", for the player to remain hidden from the military. Now there should be some good bonuses to not be discovered, because unless they are activiely searching they will not notice a lone concealed Forward Observer Scout, unless he's wearing bright Orange, standing up on a hill in the Open watching them and listening to loud music blarring. You'd be surprised what military forces will "mis" and just march on by unless someone will call notice to it.

Penn

Old time RPGer of +34 yrs, player/DM/GM.

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Scouts!

Yes, exactly - Bloodtree Rebellion is the board game I want to translate into a roleplaying set-

ting. :) :) :)

While I intend to change a few pieces of the background (the Mykin clone soldiers and the role

of Petrochem Orionid, for example), I hope to stay close to the general "feeling" of the board

game.

The main difference will be that in my setting there will be a number of other worlds, and that

both the actions of the invaders and of the insurgents will influence not only the opinion of the

inhabitants of Somber, but also the reactions of the other colonies: Atrocities by the invaders

will cause secret and finally even direct offworld support for the rebels, terrorism by the resis-

tance movement will close all doors on other worlds for them.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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My advise would be to add a few skills like Observer, Recon, or Scouting(Military). ...

Thank you, I will think about it. :)

If I did understand it right, this could be a single skill (e.g. Recon) to get a quick result for the NPCs and a combination of skills for the PCs to turn it into more of an adventure ... yes, I like

that approach.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Well I would define the new skill as either Forward Observer or Recon. Both would imply Military knowledge, and then both are slightly alike but slightly different in their task/job. Just pick a skill name and write up what you want it to do, then just have the player with the skill make two different skill rolls. The first roll for general details and the 2nd roll for specific details.

Penn

Old time RPGer of +34 yrs, player/DM/GM.

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Yes, exactly - Bloodtree Rebellion is the board game I want to translate into a roleplaying setting.

Don`t forget the whisper suit.>:->

MDK_by_cocor.jpg

Artist:cocor

What technology level are you planning?

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

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What technology level are you planning?

In Mongoose Traveller terms it will be around TL 9 / TL 10, a little higher for the invaders

and a little lower for the insurgents.

The invaders will be equipped with combat environment suits, flak jackets and helmets with

HUDs and communicators and sensors, and armed with Advanced Combat Rifles plus some

heavy weapons, up to combat vehicles like hovercraft and primitive grav tanks and some ar-

tillery.

The insurgents will start with no real armour and hunting rifles, and will have to improvise

or steal most of their equipment until they manage to import some stuff from offworld.

However, if I "borrow" most of the weapon stats from Traveller, improvised weapons can

be just as deadly as the invaders' military gear - a modern crossbow can silently kill a sol-

dier in combat environment suit + flak jacket, and make his rifle and ammunition available

to the rebel who shot him ...

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Hey if your "Freedom Fighters" know their terrain and etc, they can be quite deadly with old stuff and primitive tech weapons. Plus the primitive type weapons don't show up on scanners either. Just remember Vietnam.

Yes if the players are 2nd or 3nd generation colonists, the planet will be their home. That will give the rebels an advantage over the invaders. Sniping and ambushes will be very useful.

This adventure could work:A World Invaded

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

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Just remember Vietnam.

Yes, it is a good real world example, especially because my setting will also mostly be dense forest.

As for science fiction sources, I get most of my ideas from David Brin's "The Uplift War".

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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The way I handle NPC's is to give them application rolls rather then masses of skill rolls. Say you have an NPC who is handling the resistance propaganda operation. I would give him a Propaganda Application roll which would be an average of Persuade, Knowledge (Psychology), and Knowledge (Sociology or Politics). Cuts it down to one roll without having to resort to a new skill. Same would easily work for Scouting and Recruiting. Nice thing about it is that you can change the skills that contribute to the Application based on the situation. Say you have to do a beach reconnaissance, you add swimming and Knowledge (Hydrology), and recalculate the Application value. ready to roll.

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