Moral Choices in RPGs

MGibster

Legend
Why were the PCs the only people among 10,000 who had a say in the fate of the city?

They weren't the only ones. The ruling council sent the PCs to investigate the alleged crash site of Air Force 1 in the Colorado Rocky Mountains in the hopes that they could find and recover the nuclear football. The PCs had a proven track record of successful missions on behalf of the rulers, and a small force was sent to avoid attracting the attention of the more numerous and better armed cyborg forces from the east patrolling the area.

The PCs were successful in recovering the nuclear football but one of them got cold feet on the way back home. He came to the conclusion that home city was just as bad as genocidal mutants and slaver cyborgs and decided they shouldn't have control of a nuclear device. So in the middle of the night, he crept through camp and tried to destroy it but was noticed by the other PCs and stopped in a most violent manner. The funny thing is that he actually failed to sabotage the NF. The NF was instead rendered non-functional by another PC who thought it was a good idea to add grenades to the struggle. So the PCs returned with a non-functional NF which the city tried and failed to repair. They were able to launch a nuclear device as the invaders approached their city, but the targeting was off and the bomb landed (mostly) harmlessly on a nearby mountain. The combined might of the cyborg and mutant forces overwhelmed the city defenses.
 

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MGibster

Legend
While that is fair, IMO that also weakens the campaign possibilities. T2k is about a war that is, or has, faded out. That brings us back to pure survival as a motivation, and that's a short-term game.
Almost all my campaigns are rather short and I don't envision Twilight 2000 being any different. Well, shorter than most perhaps. But I do think it won't take long for a game that's just about survival to get rather boring. So you really need to have some other goals in mind.

Anyway, my point is, while having a no-question enemy in the CoC aspect gives the campaign breadth, it will also give the PCs freedom for moral choices, because it will be easier to separate 'moral choice' from 'plot hook'.
While the Soviets aren't monsters, they're pretty much set up as no-question enemies. Red Army patrols won't generally hesitate to open fire on those wearing NATO member uniforms. And the Soviets have more soldiers, more fighting vehicles, and artillery than the NATO forces so they're a pretty serious threat. Even with a lull in the war, winter isn't so far away and everyone's going to need food.
 

dragoner

KosmicRPG.com
While the Soviets aren't monsters, they're pretty much set up as no-question enemies. Red Army patrols won't generally hesitate to open fire on those wearing NATO member uniforms. And the Soviets have more soldiers, more fighting vehicles, and artillery than the NATO forces so they're a pretty serious threat.
It feels like a wehraboo ww3 scenario, I mean Red Army is ww2, they are the heroes, they stop germany ... etc.; just not a well researched game imo.
 


dragoner

KosmicRPG.com
I don't think the book refers to them as the Red Army that's just me.
That's fine. It's me too, and I understand you are probably looking back with nostalgia towards a time when you were young. Except hindsight also gives a certain clarity, which in a way is weird, because the original was more of a comment on current affairs, and "the coming war" by Vietnam veterans, so there was a certain ambivalence there. This is just different, and I should not get drawn in by it, but I do.
 

MarkB

Legend
They weren't the only ones. The ruling council sent the PCs to investigate the alleged crash site of Air Force 1 in the Colorado Rocky Mountains in the hopes that they could find and recover the nuclear football. The PCs had a proven track record of successful missions on behalf of the rulers, and a small force was sent to avoid attracting the attention of the more numerous and better armed cyborg forces from the east patrolling the area.

The PCs were successful in recovering the nuclear football but one of them got cold feet on the way back home. He came to the conclusion that home city was just as bad as genocidal mutants and slaver cyborgs and decided they shouldn't have control of a nuclear device. So in the middle of the night, he crept through camp and tried to destroy it but was noticed by the other PCs and stopped in a most violent manner. The funny thing is that he actually failed to sabotage the NF. The NF was instead rendered non-functional by another PC who thought it was a good idea to add grenades to the struggle. So the PCs returned with a non-functional NF which the city tried and failed to repair. They were able to launch a nuclear device as the invaders approached their city, but the targeting was off and the bomb landed (mostly) harmlessly on a nearby mountain. The combined might of the cyborg and mutant forces overwhelmed the city defenses.
I tend to see the lone PC's point. Adding further nuclear strikes into a post-apocalyptic scenario doesn't seem like the most civilised thing to do.
 

MGibster

Legend
I tend to see the lone PC's point. Adding further nuclear strikes into a post-apocalyptic scenario doesn't seem like the most civilised thing to do.
They were facing an existential threat in the form of both genocide and enslavement which I think we can all agree aren't very civilized in and of themselves. All of the PCs understood their city was no match for the combined might of the mutants and cyborgs and none of them voiced any concern about recovering the nuclear football so it was very surprising when one of the them just up and decided to sabotage the plan. I was using a published adventure and I often wonder how many other groups had something similar happen. None that I've heard of. I've never had a PC condemn thousands of people to their death before so at least it's a fun conversation piece.
 

MGibster

Legend
That's fine. It's me too, and I understand you are probably looking back with nostalgia towards a time when you were young. Except hindsight also gives a certain clarity, which in a way is weird, because the original was more of a comment on current affairs, and "the coming war" by Vietnam veterans, so there was a certain ambivalence there. This is just different, and I should not get drawn in by it, but I do.
I sometimes say Red China as well, a phrase from before I was born which was often used to differentiate mainland China from what the US referred to as the legitimate government in exile in Taiwan. I expect a modern audience for Twilight 2000 will not relate to the subject matter in the same way people born in the 60s or 70s might have. And the fact that it's made by Swedes instead of Americans probably changes things as well.
 

Almost all my campaigns are rather short and I don't envision Twilight 2000 being any different. Well, shorter than most perhaps. But I do think it won't take long for a game that's just about survival to get rather boring. So you really need to have some other goals in mind.
Hence my love for CoC. But I also tend towards long campaigns.
While the Soviets aren't monsters, they're pretty much set up as no-question enemies. Red Army patrols won't generally hesitate to open fire on those wearing NATO member uniforms. And the Soviets have more soldiers, more fighting vehicles, and artillery than the NATO forces so they're a pretty serious threat. Even with a lull in the war, winter isn't so far away and everyone's going to need food.
I wouldn't think either side would hesitate to open fire. But I get your point.
 

They weren't the only ones. The ruling council sent the PCs to investigate the alleged crash site of Air Force 1 in the Colorado Rocky Mountains in the hopes that they could find and recover the nuclear football. The PCs had a proven track record of successful missions on behalf of the rulers, and a small force was sent to avoid attracting the attention of the more numerous and better armed cyborg forces from the east patrolling the area.

The PCs were successful in recovering the nuclear football but one of them got cold feet on the way back home. He came to the conclusion that home city was just as bad as genocidal mutants and slaver cyborgs and decided they shouldn't have control of a nuclear device. So in the middle of the night, he crept through camp and tried to destroy it but was noticed by the other PCs and stopped in a most violent manner. The funny thing is that he actually failed to sabotage the NF. The NF was instead rendered non-functional by another PC who thought it was a good idea to add grenades to the struggle. So the PCs returned with a non-functional NF which the city tried and failed to repair. They were able to launch a nuclear device as the invaders approached their city, but the targeting was off and the bomb landed (mostly) harmlessly on a nearby mountain. The combined might of the cyborg and mutant forces overwhelmed the city defenses.
Ah, that makes a lot more sense.

I would boot a player for that stunt (trying to wreck the football). The time to make a moral choice is when the job is offered, not after the PCs have invested time and risk. At that point,. the football was the property of the group, and the PC had no right to deprive the others of their share.

Of course, I have a permanent and unbreakable rule banning PvP, to include theft from the party.
 

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