Plot idea for Judge Dredd


Justice Department has decided to build a waystation to Cursed Earth to help bring justice to the wasteland. Fort McGruder, as it is called, is not yet finished but mutant and other outlaw gangs are worried about the increasing presence of MC-1 judges that this new fort presents.

Different gangs decide to make an alliance and send a technically adept female spy to MC-1. She is able to get the schematics and guard details of the Fort McGruder and send the data forward before she gets noticed. PC judges will be dispatched to apprehend her and they will probably hunt her down and arrest.

Meanwhile the knowledge of her capture reaches a gang base and a young mutant with psi abilities and a weird weapon (something similar that Van Helsing had in the movie) that can be used as a melee and throwing weapon (that has great armor penetration abilities and when thrown return to his hand etc.) hires a TexCity smuggler and takes some of the gang members with him to go to MC-1. The smuggler (who is very proficient with all kinds of vehicles) manages to get the gang to MC-1 and the mutant has a vision that the spy is being transported from her initial interrogation place to hi-security isocube. They decide intercept the transportation to free her. This should result in a high speed chace with PC judges pursuiting the fleeing perps who should be able to make a narrow escape.

Maybe the Justice Dept can follow the perps for a little while when they emerge in the Cursed Earth but not for long and PCs are sent to track them down. If they are successfull they should find a large concentration of mutants and outlaws preparing an attack towards unfinished Fort McGruder.

At the final climax of the adventure there will be an attack against the fort.

The ideal situation after the adventure would be that at least the young mutant escapes and a large percentage of the gang members scatters only to regroup after a while and this time they want blood, blood of the PCs.

I hope this gets your creative juices flowing...

An interesting idea SnowDog, thanks for sharing.

We definitely need more adventures and ones that involve trips to the Cursed Earth as always welcome. I have a little constructive critism that I hope you take in the right way. It not meant negatively, as I love that you contributed this idea, and the idea itself is great... just needs a little tweaking.

In order to steal the plans for the fort, they would have to be a very highly skilled human. A mutant would not manage to survive unnoticed for long enough inside the walls of Mega-City One. Typically, that kind of theft would either be handled by an Sov-Block trained spy, and people in the Cursed Earth do not usually have the opportunity to gain such skills beyond spying in the wilderness. You'd have to think of a reason for that individual to have the skills needed to get into the City, break into a justice department building, hack the computer systems, and send a message either electronically (can be traced) or on some kind of Cursed Earth homing pigeon animal.

The idea is definitely worth exploring some more, and I thank you for your contribution. Keep up the great work.

Are you running a campaign at the moment?

Thanks for the feedback Arabin!

First of all, I am not running a game at the moment. In fact I am just an old JD fan who is testing water with adventure ideas before trying a new (to me and my gaming group) game system (I usued to run the old GW Dredd for some time years ago). So I don't even have the names of the characters not to mention stats ATM.

Second, who can guess where I "borrowed" the plot? :)

The spy is not a mutant or at least an obvious mutant. It's a good idea that she might be a Soviet trained operative, but being mostly a technical wizard she should be able to be captured even my novice judges. Another possibility is a highly skilled MC-1 citizen that believes in the cause of the mutants. Remember that not all of the gang will be muties, some are more or less normal humans who have fled to Cursed Earth...

The data will be probably downloaded to a some kind of robot that homes in to the gang base.
I can't think where you grabbed the plot from offhand... but I'm sure I'll kick myself when I find out.

I know modern trends in the real world mean that the problems between Mega-City One and Sov-Block to not get mentioned a whole lot anymore, but I still really enjoy bringing those into play in the game. You could expand upon the idea a little and say that a crack team of Sob-Block agents, maybe just patriotic mercenaries, want vengence as usual. What better way that organizing, training, and leading a band of Cursed Earth muties (and humes) to use guerilla tactics and perform hit and run missions. The first training or probing mission could be this destruction of the fort you mentioned, but it could lead to a large campaign where the judges try to track down the constantly moving mercenaries.

Of course, to do this right, we need to have the RG: Cursed Earth or something like it.

I like the idea of a robo-homing pigeon though. It would have to return to a certain rock or dust bowl. That way the mercs could check the location each day for messages without risking giving away their base location.

OK, I am not yet going to reveal the inspiration for my idea but let's just say that one of the protagonists had some really weird powers in this film :D

The Sov-Block agent might be a bit too much for the starting Judges but maybe just a MC-1 citizen with high hacking abilities and some blackmarket hardware and software could do the same intrusion into the Justice Dept computer system (I assume that it is not totally closed system). On the other hand I don't know how high level character she would have to be.

On the other hand I like the idea that former Sov-Block agents are training the muties and humans to undermine the power projection of MC-1.

I wasn't thinking of it as a starting adventure really. I was thinking a little bit further along.

I'm not sure about how closed off the Justice Department computer system is, but I think you would need to have some very hi-tech equipment and a very high technical skill to have any hope of hacking in. If it was easy, they would be hacked all the time.

Of course, they could have an ellaborate plan like an organized black out of a sector by destroying a power station. In the short delay before power is re-routed from other sectors, they could plant an encoded device, that when the power comes back on, it sends a small amount of data at a time in order to remain undetected. The judges could discover is before the transfer is complete, but by then the sov-block agents have enough information on the location and security of the new base that they are able to act. The judges may not be able to trace exactly what was successfully transferred, only what was attempted...

OK, then it can work with high-end Sov agents. At first I thought that this could work as a starting adventure but you are right that this is too large a case for new judges.

Let's see what we have:

1) Unfinished Fort McGruder that will be a base for judges that patrol Cursed Earth. If this fort seems to be a success then other similar forts will be constructed. This will also be the target of the enemy.

2) Enemy spy who has managed to get her hands on the plans for the fort. This spy is either a Sov-Block spy or trained by Soviets.

3) A large gang of mutants and humans that is being trained by Sov-Block agents that remember the good old days and want to bring down MC-1.

4) Tex-City smuggler, dashing human male who can find a way to MC-1 and back. Very talented with all vehicles. He is in with only because of the money. Maybe he has some debts and is wanted by the law or criminals (or both!) in Tex-City.

5) A very idealistic young male mutant with psi abilities and a high-tech weapon that he has inherited from his father. He has a crush on the female spy and will do absolutely everything to save her.

6) A robo-homing pigeon that is used to carry the data from the spy to a certain location in Cursed Earth where the muties fetch it. When the agent has the data she will transmit it. Then the mutie gets a vision of her getting caught (and he sees who are the judges who capture her). So he gets the smuggler and some of the gang to rescue her.

7) The spy is very resistant to interrogation and so the interrogation takes enough time for the rescuers to get to the city. I don't know yet how much she reveals of the plan but when she is being trasported to isocubes the pat-wagon is being attacked by the gang. PC judges might be nearby and they will be called in to the site and they might give the perps a pursuit but the perps should escape.

8) PC judges will be part of the excursion towards the Fort McGruder and they might have to make a diversionary attack against the gang. In any case the battle will be quite epic and Fort McGruder might fall but the main thing is that the spy, the mutie and the smuggler escape to cause problems later. The same applies to Soviet trainers (at least some of them) and some of the gang members.

Heh, well it sound like a brand new idea, but by the time I read "A very idealistic young male mutant with psi abilities and a high-tech weapon that he has inherited from his father." it was a dead giveaway. The force is strong with this module.

Unitl I knew that you were thinking of that film, or trilogy, it seemed like a good idea, but I think you'd have to avoid some of the more obvious clues or your players would know exactly where the story was going.

It would make for an interesting Dredd story in 2000AD. We do have an interesting base here for an adventure though.

Actually... I just had another thought. What if it was not a fort they were trying to build, but an automated iso-block. A prison fortress with fully automated defense system where they could dump longer sentance criminals to keep the city iso-cubes free for petty criminals. They are always having problems with space in the cubes, so this would be a logical step. They could monitor the systems from the Hall of Justice in Mega-City One, but would otherwise not need to send any judges to man the place. It could have robots to clean the place and prepare food. They would be not be at risk of corruption so in theory, the place could be a huge asset.

It could be that the actual purpose of the fortress is kept under wraps during development, but with the secret being stolen by the sov-block agent, the Justice Department needs to step up construction and alter the security systems.

While the party of judges is investigating the hacking, leading them to a seedy shuggy hall, etc. the Justice Department could send some other judges to secure the location of the prison fort. The player judges do not have all the details, but gradually find out more and more, discovering that they have intentionally been kept in the dark. They could find out that a lot of the things they believed are really just hype from the upper echelons of the Justice Department designed to make them obey and uphold the law. This could be a great opportunity for their loyalty to be tested as they realize that perhaps the way the city is governed is not the best way.

When their investigations eventually lead them to the prison, they might meet up with the sov-block agents, get captured, and instead of being tortured... perhaps the sov-blocks agents try to turn them... slowly, but surely.

This could be a lot of fun if thought out well enough...

And we have a winner! :D

Of course the players won't know that the mutie's weapon is inherited so I don't know if this is too much knowledge (at least too soon). In any case the twist is that in this adventure the PCs take the place of bad guys.

I like the idea of that automated iso-cube but the fort is quite direct analoque for the Death Star.

I actually had two goals when I recommended the iso-cubes:

1) Find something that seemed to make more sense in the world of Judge Dredd... something I could really see them doing in the comics.

2) Still be able to use Star Wars as a source, but try to hide it from the players.

As I mentioned before, you can use the idea, but if you make it too obvious, then nobody will have any fun because it'll be too predictable.

Okay, I have not had access to JD comics for a while, so I didn't see why a fort would not make sense. I know that judges didn't have forts in Cursed Earth, at least in those comics that I had. I am curious to know why those iso-cubes would be more in line with comics. No offense, but I just want to know.

Yes, it's not good if players find out the source too early, on the other hand if you change enough of the plot then the players don't know what to expect even when they eventually find out the source of the adventure.

Anyway if you happen to run the adventure I am very curious to know how it works out.

SnowDog said:
I am curious to know why those iso-cubes would be more in line with comics. No offense, but I just want to know.

Well, of course this is just personal interpretation, but here goes.

The judges are often mentioning how tight space is in the iso-cubes. Since almost every citizen is guilty of something, they fill up quickly. It makes sense to have short term sentances carried out right in the city, but longer term doesn't have to be so close.

The Justice Department is usually undermanned to cope with the problems within the city and the crime running rampant there. It is highly unlikely that they would send a large enough force deep into the Cursed Earth and leave themselves even shorter staffed in the City. Why would they want to do so? Mutants, and those outside of the city are not under the protection of the Law, and only get dealt with if they do something to, or become a threat to the Mega-Cities.

The only way I can see them expanding is if they had an uncommon run of good luck, managed to actually get overstaffed, and decide to expand the city.

Although... I can imagine, if Mega-City Two was rebuilt, there might be a desire to create a fortified, tunnel all the way across America... but I doubt it'd work out that well. All it would take is on tyranasuarus rex to take a disliking to this solid tube running across the land and they would have serious problems. With the right plan, and motivation though, it could work... and then maybe have waystations at various intervals.

So basically, neither the iso-cubes nor the fort seem like a realistic idea, but at least I can justify the iso-cubes more easily. As a GM, I really need to feel comfortable with the "why" so that I can make my players believe.

Just an idea, from reading Snowdog's original outline of the waystation being there to help bring rule of law to the Cursed Earth. (great idea for a adventure, by the way!)

I don't know how much access you have to the newer comics, but this idea has surfaced recently in the Megazine with the Damned Ranger story - there are Cursed Earth Rangers who patrol the wasteland in teams.

The building could easily be a station for them to operate from - complete with hoverbike pool and links back to the City. I will have to dig out the last few Megazines to get more detail on how these rangers could work in the game as they seem to be a citizen force seconded to the Justice Department rather than actual Judges, but I could see thier introduction working well in the game world.

Thanks for your explanation. I see your point.


I have extremely limited access to new JD material because my comics shop doesn't order comics from UK anymore :cry: so I have not heard of the rangers. This Fort McGruder could very well be an outpost for those rangers as well. Thanks for the tip!