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Old 06-29-2011, 07:13 PM   #31
lwcamp
 
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Default Re: Mars 1917

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Definitely. One of the main purposes of starting this thread was to get others' advice on that.
If the players end up liking their guns more than the ultra-tech ray gun gizmos, they might enjoy a duplicator - put a .303 ball cartridge in one of the chambers, some brass, lead, and organic material in the other chamber (with a bit of mercury to duplicate the primer), turn the crank for a while, and the machine glows with weird energies, spits out sparks and then opens up to reveal another .303 ball cartridge.

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Old 06-29-2011, 08:14 PM   #32
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Default Re: Mars 1917

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Definitely. One of the main purposes of starting this thread was to get others' advice on that.
One decision you would have to make is whether computer technology followed the path it did in our world. I can see lots of mundane TL 9-10 things, like portable computers, AIs, or satellites, being prized relics.

Eccentric AIs could be fun. Either they were written by decadent people, or they need a certain amount of skilled software maintenance which isn't available, or the hardware is damaged, or living through all those devastating wars and the loss of things they were supposed to be managing broke them. The decadent Martian commoners could debate whether they are thinking machines or trapped souls. (It would probably be good not to make it clear that everything is 'mundane' technology or superscience ... we tend to be too blase about marvelous technology today).

The L. Sprague de Camp essay on planetary romances which he wrote while planning the Krishna stories might be worth reading.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:46 AM   #33
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Default Re: Mars 1917

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Originally Posted by lwcamp View Post
If the players end up liking their guns more than the ultra-tech ray gun gizmos, they might enjoy a duplicator - put a .303 ball cartridge in one of the chambers, some brass, lead, and organic material in the other chamber (with a bit of mercury to duplicate the primer), turn the crank for a while, and the machine glows with weird energies, spits out sparks and then opens up to reveal another .303 ball cartridge.

Luke
Maybe there some kind of intuitive Technicians like in the 90ts game outcast ... who basicly can built things by the feeling of it and there for supply ammo. The Toth in "A Martian Odysse" has al so a nice Handgun, a glass needler driven by varpor, i totally suggest that storry for inspiration.

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Old 06-30-2011, 07:35 AM   #34
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Default Re: Mars 1917

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Do I need an establishing sequence in France to make the contrast?
Definitely. In fact, if your players won't rebel, lead them to believe the whole campaign is about WWI, and surprise them with the fateful encounter.


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... I want the PCs gradually drawn in to the plots and intrigues of a nearly-immortal caste ...
Julian May's 'Pleistocene' novels are a possible example of how such intrigue can be rolled out.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:14 AM   #35
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Default Re: Mars 1917

Man, this campaign concept is AWESOME. I'm already thinking of doing it as a sequel of one of my old - Vietnamesque - campaigns.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:51 PM   #36
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Definitely. In fact, if your players won't rebel, lead them to believe the whole campaign is about WWI, and surprise them with the fateful encounter.
After a few bad experiences both sides of the screen, I have gone off "bait-and-switch" campaigns completely. I might not say what the switch is going to be, but I always make it clear there is going to be one. Besides, I'm not in a position to dictate to any players that they play what I offer, and I don't think I'd get a quorum for a campaign of straight infantry combat on the Western front. I'd miss out on the players who want to swash their bucklers on Dying Mars, and disappoint the players who want to slog through mud and lead up the ridge at Messines.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:19 PM   #37
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Default Re: Mars 1917

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After a few bad experiences both sides of the screen, I have gone off "bait-and-switch" campaigns completely. I might not say what the switch is going to be, but I always make it clear there is going to be one. Besides, I'm not in a position to dictate to any players that they play what I offer, and I don't think I'd get a quorum for a campaign of straight infantry combat on the Western front. I'd miss out on the players who want to swash their bucklers on Dying Mars, and disappoint the players who want to slog through mud and lead up the ridge at Messines.
Yeah, been there, done that. Nowadays I always annouce there's going to be a catch at the campaign, and that some "extra" may be involved, so they can have a headstart in their expectations.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:00 PM   #38
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My thought was that the Martians once had a teleport network that is now just one of the many relics. Unknown to even its inventors, the "weapon" is actually a teleporter, but it didn't have the range to reach any other teleporters during the tests and just blew stuff up instead. By the time of the first combat trial, Mars and Earth had moved just close enough to make a connection (I believe Mars was at opposition early in 1916 and 1918). Unless they want to stay a couple of years, they only have until the Earth and Mars move away from each other again to:

a) get access to one of the teleporters that has the power to reach Earth
b) figure out how to connect to the Earth teleporter
c) come up with an explanation for the sudden appearance of Australians at a German secret weapon site
You might be interested in the Grim Tales adventure source book, Slavelords of Cydonia. It involves teleporting the PC's from Earth to Mars via a relic teleport network that requires an exotic fuel. The campaign is very bare on adventure details, relying on experienced GM's to flesh it out, but it gives three campaign hooks each for the archaic, modern, and post-apocalyptic eras of earth. Also, it features mindflayer/headcrabs among its lurking menaces to both worlds!

That book, along with a wealth of others, has set me to spending a lot of late hours dreaming up my own sword and planet campaign. Set around 1875, it will send a mix of Brits and Americans on a expedition up the Amazon and into the interior of Peru in search of some missing company men (Heart of Darkness style). No social nor wealth advantages/disadvantages allowed! They will mean little, as this trip into the wilds goes deep.

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Old 07-01-2011, 09:50 PM   #39
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You might be interested in the Grim Tales adventure source book, Slavelords of Cydonia. It involves teleporting the PC's from Earth to Mars via just such a relic teleport network.
I hate it when people steal my ideas before I have them.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:11 PM   #40
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Default Re: Mars 1917

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If the players end up liking their guns more than the ultra-tech ray gun gizmos, they might enjoy a duplicator - put a .303 ball cartridge in one of the chambers, some brass, lead, and organic material in the other chamber (with a bit of mercury to duplicate the primer), turn the crank for a while, and the machine glows with weird energies, spits out sparks and then opens up to reveal another .303 ball cartridge. Luke
May not need all the handwavium -- remember that the original loading for the .303 ball was compressed black powder. The bullet might be problematic but during WWI the French did make bullets out of solid bronze (the famous Balle D).

The toughest thing would be to make the primers (assuming you're reloading the original cases).

Using the duplicator gizmo to duplicate primers would probably be easier than using it to duplicate the entire cartridge.

Just for yucks, you could have the duplica-gizmo be semi-intelligent -- it keeps insisting on "improvements" in the cartridge design. Such as an individual safety on each cartridge ("just rotate the rim 45 degrees before firing -- oh, and if you leave it too long the safety will re-set itself." Or -- "I improved on that remarkably crude stuff -- whatchamacallit, "cordite" -- the new propellant is a high explosive and will produce about three times the muzzle energy." The Aussies will notice when the first SMLE goes boom . . !)
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