Decided to give this freedom fighter campaign a go starting last evening. I’m still sorting this out in my head so I guess you get to watch me do it in real-time.
I’m using Delta Green/Call of Cthulhu rules, with the house rule that players can come up with their Bonds (NPC relationships) on the fly as needed. So far this has been used twice, to establish a base of operations each time (they kinda fucked the first one up already which is a little impressive in a way).
I’m not currently planning on adding any of the supernatural weirdness that game was made for, but the equipment and skill lists are pretty much perfect for this and there’s PTSD rules baked in.
Pretty much every mechanic in DG is based on a roll-under percentile mechanic, so that’s how I’ll be approaching Secrecy, War Weariness, and Public Support. Secrecy starts at 100% and goes down as the PCs make contacts and build up a reputation. War Weariness starts at 0%. Public Support also starts at 0%, but goes from -50% to 50%. This is because I don’t think I’ll ever need to roll under it, I’ll just be using it as a bonus or penalty to other rolls.
The setting is Northern Kovakistan, a fictional country somewhere in eastern Europe, which has been invaded by America Inc sometime in the near future. The PC cell’s major goals at this early stage are to get some cash and connect with a larger terrorist network to gain access to intel and equipment.
The party has already done a few things that affect these three scores. In order of occurrence:
1. They robbed a store for bomb-making supplies.
2. They killed the store owner.
(Even if 1 & 2 aren’t linked back to the PCs, it hurts Public Support for the revolution in general when civilians are targeted. Secrecy refers to the PC cell, but Public Support is for the whole movement.)
3. They did manage to not only blow up an American convoy without any direct civilian casualties, but also to get the explosion on film.
4. They betrayed the only bond which had been established at that point, Pizza Josef, who was the employer, landlord, and possibly illegitimate father of one of the PCs, and got him arrested in connection with the convoy attack.
5. They staged the attack literally right outside their base of operations (although i think the original plan was for the bomb to go off inside the restaurant which… well fuck Josef I guess).
6. They completely abandoned that base of operations.
5 and 6 would normally both be pretty extreme adjustments but in this case they mostly just cancel each other out. Although they would probably have left some clues behind… I’ll have to get them to make a Forensics check at the top of next session to see how well they cleaned up. If the check fails, Secrecy goes down by the same amount the check fails by.
4 is easy. The party set Josef up to take the fall, he knows it was them, and is gonna tell the Americans everything he knows even before they start torturing him (which they will do anyway). The strength of that bond was 13%, so Secrecy is gonna take a 13% hit. This represents the value of whatever intel Josef was able to give the interrogators. If the bond had been stronger, he would have known more about the PC, so the Secrecy rating would suffer more of a penalty.
1 & 2 are definitely going to directly affect Public Support, which will indirectly affect Secrecy. For now I’m just going to say that each fuckup (including multiple fuckups in the same event) results in a 5% penalty. So this puts Public Support at -10%, which means a 10% penalty to Secrecy.
3 will increase War Weariness. Once the PCs release the video, it will also increase Public Support. Five soldiers died in the attack, so War Weariness is now at 5%.
(This is a little unreasonable, in reality tens of thousands of soldiers need to die in vain for the civilian population to start caring, but I’m only counting deaths directly caused by the PCs and you can always assume there’s a lot more going on in the setting than just what they’re up to and besides it would take forever even to get as high as 50% otherwise.)
So now I need to make two out-of-game rolls to see what’s going on in the world.
The PC cell’s Secrecy rating is currently 77%. I rolled 03, so the authorities are not yet onto them. Every time this fails, the occupying force will get one step closer to the PC cell by connecting some dots about their activities or interrogating one of their contacts or something similar.
The War Weariness of America Inc is at 5%, so a 93 tells me that nationalist jingoism is doing quite well thank you very much. If I ever start rolling under this, dissent will start growing in the occupiers’ homeland, germinating in academia before spreading to the voters and eventually the politicians and business leaders.
Oh, if you’re curious, these are the pregens I threw together. We ended up with an engineer, an ex-secret police inspector for the deposed Kovakistani regime, a burglar, a journalist, and a smuggler for this session. No one went for the shock troop or the paramedic.