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Old 05-14-2018, 08:54 PM   #1
jason taylor
 
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Default escort missions

Somewhere or other I read about a movie about a troop of samurai traveling through the West carrying a ceremonial sword as a gift to the US President. I don't remember the name of the movie and never saw it but I thought the idea intriguing.

But that brings up a foundation for this thread. What ideas do anyone have about escort missions?
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: escort missions

No particular thoughts, but the movie is Red Sun, starring Toshiro Mifune and Charles Bronson. Worth a look if you like spaghetti Westerns.
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:06 AM   #3
jason taylor
 
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Does anyone else have thoughts? Has anyone done an escort mission in a game?
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:08 AM   #4
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Isn't that a FedEx quest? Unless the sword is sentient and keeps trying to wander off...?

Which is a key aspect of escort missions - whoever you are escorting has their own ideas, which can cause trouble over and above external parties trying to interfere. 3:10 to Yuma might be a good example if we stick with Westerns... if the fun of a FedEx quest is refused deliveries and missing recipients, absconding and otherwise misbehaving (annoying people, fiddling with things etc.) charges is the fun of escort missions.

"I was a shepherd to fools ... causelessly bold or afraid. They would not abide by my rules, yet they escaped. For I stayed." (Epitaph on a) Convoy Escort Rudyard Kipling
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: escort missions

Ran a convention game one shot where the party had been hired by a dragon with a injured wing to get him safely back to his mountain lair.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: escort missions

In addition to the subject of the escort having their own thoughts and possibly causing problems, the subject is also not a carefully crafted character with as much effectiveness in the campaign as possible. An ambush is much scarier because the person being escorted is much more likely to die than any of the "adventurers" that are used to that sort of danger. Or the sword is more likely to get stolen from under their noses. The subject of the escort is much more vulnerable than the Player Characters.

It's really a good way to make the players deal with something less than ideal if you have players that power-gamed their characters skillfully. You don't have to use GM fiat to say "sorry, your power doesn't work here" (which would be unfair really). You can just say "This person doesn't have layers of DR and cat-like reflexes... and if they die... you don't get paid" (or whatever motivation is working). The players suddenly have to scramble to solve the problem of keeping the weak subject safe.

I've had some luck with it in running games. And it's almost always fun to give the subject an interesting personality.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:01 AM   #7
L.J.Steele
 
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A cinematic tradition is the thing you are escorting turns out not to be what Mr. Johnson told you it would be -- more dangerous, more ethically dubious, etc. I suppose Cook's Black Company books are akin to that genre -- the Lady is not what she first seems.

Or the PCs need to teach it life/survival lessons on route -- Star Trek TOS' Elaan of Troyius is a classic of that genre.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:01 PM   #8
Dr. Beckenstein
 
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I did it a few times as GM.

In Shadowrun, I reused the plot of "Narrow Margin", only aboard a maglev train that drove through Germany with 300 kph. The witness had to make a statement before the highest German Court.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrow_Margin

And in our old Gurps Traveller campaign, the captain of the free trader was hired to deliver a sealed suitcase to an unknown recipient. Who turned out to be the Duchess of Glisten. Inside the suitcase was a 3.500 year old Batman Comic Book for her library.
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:11 PM   #9
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I recall a movie with a FedEx plot where after getting through despite all the opposition, the twist turns out to be that they didn't have the real Macguffin, they were the fake diversionary mission expected to fail. Details in spoiler space:

Spoiler:  
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:26 PM   #10
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: escort missions

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptbutton View Post
I recall a movie with a FedEx plot where after getting through despite all the opposition, the twist turns out to be that they didn't have the real Macguffin, they were the fake diversionary mission expected to fail.
I remember that movie too, only it was called

Spoiler:  
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