Scenario Ideas


A while ago I mentioned running A2089 for a few people in my regular group. Though due to various things that didn't come to pass, but after one of the people who I'd mentioned it to brought it up the other day, and as w're running out of things to play at the moment, I've been mulling over scenario ideas, and decided to share them and see what people thought.

The basic premise is that the players all come from similarly aligned nations, and are just about to graduate from mech pilot school. However, they've got a few last exercises to pass first. One of which, a mock take and hold, forms the setting for the intro scenario. The pcs go in alone, with instructors keeping a watchful eye on them via satelite and other passive observational means.

'Hostile' forces are going to be cadets from a different school, with different faction alignments. The idea is that the two schools have a friendly rivalry, what with being in neutral counties, which they pass on to the students through exercises such as this. Usually, nothing bad comes of it, but there's a first time for everything.

The mechs that they're piloting have been outfitted with training software, on top of the regular software, that simulates weapon systems and damage taken. With all the mehcs involved being part of a small network that just passes this info from computer to computer. That's all it does, and it can't easilly be used to gain any advantage in the exercise. Though it can be over ridden with a bit of work.

Unbeknownst to most people involved, the npc cadets are being funded by some shady figure who has an interest in the pc cadets not graduating, either because they screw up really badly, or because they're dead. Said individual would also like to get his/her hands on the mechs that the npcs are using. To this end, the npcs will have deactivated the traiing software, and made their weapons live, as soon as they were away from the instructors.

Things should proceed from there, with the pcs discovering during an early skirmish that things aren't as they should be. Either because one of them picks up the live weapons on a sensor, or when they get shot at the first time. It'll be then upto them to either get the hell out of dodge, calling in the instructors for help, which'll most likely cause them to fail the exercise, or to arm their own weapons and try to stop the renegade cadets.

There's a few ways things could go, depending on what the pcs do. 1. They could fail totally, and be kept at the academy for another year or so. 2. They could recapture the other training mechs, by forcing the npcs to abandon them and make their escape some other way. 3. They could capture the npcs as well as saving their mechs. I'd prefer not to have #1 happen, as it'd pretty much bring everything to a halt, unless they manage to persuade their instructors that it wasn't their fault. Either way, whether the npcs escape or not, the person who was paying them is going to resurface later on, and continue to hinder the pcs.
Other possibilities:

The players surprise the NPCs and attack.
When their system does not register a hit they suspect cheating. Comms officer discovers NPCs are off line. If they can hack into the other meks they may find live weapons, if they can reactivate the training software it will automatically alert instructors and disable the mek.

They are attacked and take real damage.
They alert the instructors and attempt to evade the NPCs. This would be the proper course of action, the school has a great deal of money invested in the Meks and would prefer the students to be safe.
Evasion or non combat disabling (hacking) the enemy could count as a successful exercise. If they can evade after taking damage give them a reputation bonus. A bit more starting money would be in order, when outmatched they have they have demonstrated responsibility instead of wasting their equipment.

They disable an NPC Mek (probably HtH fighting) and arm themselves.
When the instructors find out what they have done they are expelled from the academy. By arming themselves they have broken several rules and jeopardized the safety of other students in the training area.
If they win the scenario several key instructors vouch for them, effectively graduating. They gain a reputation bonus among other Mek pilots but employers see them as reckless Reduce starting money by 10%. When seeking contracts apply a modifier, positive where aggressiveness and combat is priority, negative when following orders is essential.
Failure results in a negative reputation. They start with less money and employers think they are unreliable. Most missions will be low priority and PCs are seen as disposable. The may however raise their reputation with a good record.

The characters are unable to fight back and defeated.
A neutral result. The NPCs and their backer misunderstood the academies policy. The characters could not be expected to win against an armed opponent when unarmed, they get a re test. A future mission will involve the NPCs and the characters get a bit of extra backing from the academy for that mission.