Actual Play, Game Designer's Workshop, GDW, Military, OSR, Post Apocalyptic, RPG, Twilight: 2000, Twilight:2000
In high school I was the “forever GM”. There were three other GMs in my high school, and each of them would rather play in my games than run their own, so I almost never got to play with my peers (I did play a lot with two older groups though).
So it wasn’t much of a surprise when at the beginning of the 1985-1986 school year one of my players (who’s older brother was one of the other GMs in the school) showed up with a new RPG he wanted me to run.
I made a LOT of characters for it, and ran a lot of solo firefights to get a hang of the system. Then I discovered that the real challenge of the game was book-keeping your way across Poland in slow-motion.
The first session of our campaign involved going through everyone’s gear and figuring out how much would fit on the few vehicles they had to escape from Kalisz. The rest just got left behind with a few grenades to keep the Soviet military forces from picking it up.
One day later the Humvee broke down and they didn’t have the means to fix it on the spot. The Humvee was towing a trailer full of ammo. More book-keeping to figure out how much of what they were taking for the next leg of the trip, camouflaging and boobytrapping the busted Humvee and trailer, and hoping they could get some spare parts in the next town.
Then they ran out of gas before getting to the next town. Time to break out the stills, make some alcohol, and switch the remaining vehicles from gasoline to methanol. Book-keeping ho!
It was the smoke from our distilling operation that attracted the attention of some Polish irregulars.
When they finally rolled into the next town, they had one person strapped to a gurney with a horrid gut wound, blood splatter over two others, a bad need for a transmission piece for the Humvee, and the discovery that the town was hosting a Soviet anti-aircraft vehicle and a dozen troops.
I never did return his copy of the game. It is sitting on the shelf behind me as I write this.
Twilight:2000 taught me that, in the right circumstances and with the right group, I had no issues playing an RPG with a lot of book-keeping.
And it REALLY taught us all a lot about sandbox play. Prior to this we understood the concepts of a sandbox game, but it was T2K that really hammered home how fun a well prepared sandbox (and the ability to improvise new material on the fly that meshed with the existing sandbox) can be to play and create.
The encounter tables include small settlements, and busted and abandoned hardware in addition to the standard fare of animals, people, and military forces.
It was that sandbox part that really had us coming back to the game. The campaign books in Poland were great nexus points for adventures, but there was a LOT of adventure to be had just travelling and avoiding the major military units still in play.
Ah Twilight 2000. I have fond memories of that one, mostly because, with the aid of another player, we totally broke the system, and had a lot of fun while doing it.
The seed of the destruction came with the realisation that we were playing the wrong game characters. Who we really should have been playing were Aftermath Characters 🙂
We proceeded to design up a pair of “Good ole boys” from the back woods who’d been drafted, but were still at the heart of things, a pair of redneck survivalists.
Our gear was lovingly crafted. We were wearing a mish-mash of camo from all sorts of places. All our rank and insignia markings were easily removeable. Our guns were generic M16s, we had bows and arrows, and we sat aside captured Polish war horses (Which we were happy to pay a 10x premium for) with an RPG-7 in the saddlebags.
We also had a meter of gold wire wrapped around each forearm, and hidden carefully in our backpacks was $500 worth of cocaine. (Both easily divisible, both having intrinsic value)
We played the intro module again, after TPK on 3 occasions with 3 different GMs in previous sessions.
The balloon went up. Things broke down, and we promptly split the party. Me and my co-conspirator, tore off our rank and insignia, waved goodbye to the rest of the “team”, still struggling to load a still onto a tracked AnitAircraft gun, and snuck past the polish irregulars towards the nearest major city.
Of course the rest of the team tried driving a massive AA gun through the woods, got caught by light and fast Polish horseback cavalry and got massacred. We two survivalists, just kept going.
A fun, but ultimately short session that goes to show that sometimes the trick is to subvert the rules.
Peter Randel said:
I’m backing the kick-starter for the new version. Have received the PDFs and hope to take my friends back to Poland this fall after a 30 year break form T2K 🙂
In 8th grade we played a mixed group of Nato and Wasaw pact deserters who’d had enough of the war and were just trying to get to Kraków safely. Everyone played 2 or 3 characters just in case (including the GM, who took all our vehicle rolls for himself so we were in civilian cars and a 2.5 tonne truck while his characters had a tank).
There was lots of blood and screaming, but no real casualties until one of the PCs got cholera… good times.
Gene Brode, Jr. said:
Whoa, wait a sec. You had humvee’s in the 80’s? JK. I played D&D around that time but never heard of this game. Sounds pretty fun.
I backed the Kickstarter for the new edition and couldn’t be more excited! I never played this back in the day but had some of the books.
Also I watched Red Dawn alot and even though they are not the same they kind of are.