Thursday, September 30, 2010

[Aftermath!] GURPS Operation Morpheus: The First Session, Part 1

Session One: Part 1: "Close To Me" (March 2104)

Important People: James (S), Bill (C), Bob (E), Alexis (C)

Important NPCs: Stephanie Shaw MD, Uni Survivors Council Chair and Medical Division Head, Nick English Ph.D. Computer Science, Council Member and Information Technology Head, Ted Gilly MBA, Council Member and Resources Management Division Head, Lt. Mike Garrison, Council Member and SU Militia Commander, Capt. Adele Droblas, Royal Australian Army, Council Member and Commander Sydney University Regiment, Andrew Greenberg Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Council Member and Science Division Head, John Seth, Resources Management Division, Food Collection Lead, Fred Johnson, Resources Management Division, Heavy Equipment and Transport Lead, Jay Richardson MS Computer Science, Information Technology Division, History and Current Events Lead, Matt Borselli Ph.D. Physics, Science Division, Equipment Collection and Supply Lead, John Dougherty, Information Technology Division, Background Information Lead, the recently thawed Miles Dayton, Rich Johnson, Amanda Hayes, and John Ritter.

Because James, Bill, Bob, and Alexis have not yet been assigned to their regular work group, they are assigned to work with Jay Richardson to sort through a whole-lotta computer files, emails and hard drives to assemble a more complete history of the Ruin. They are at this job for at least a week before they are called into the Uni Survivors Council on March 21, 2104.

There, they are brought up to speed on the community and some of their questions are answered. They are told that this community is committed to working to rebuild Sydney and the rest of Australia. The Council Chair, Dr. Stephanie Shaw, asks them to form Troubleshooting Group B (TG A is assigned to Miles Dayton, Rich Johnson, Amanda Hayes, and John Ritter) to explore the rest of the university grounds and gather needed supplies and equipment. The Council gives them some leeway to do what they need to do, with a partial (but not complete) list of necessities, as follows:

1. Information: History of the Ruin, Current Local Information, and Global Information
2. Key Cards: Civilian and Military
3. Control of the University Central Defense Computer (UDC)
4. Control of the University proper: All buildings and building computer systems
5. Foodstuffs and Hydroponics Equipment
6. Weapons, Armor and Ammunition
7. Medicine: especially a Plague Serum if it exists
8. Vehicles and Armor
9. Allies

There are two different kinds of key cards, civilian and military. Civilian Key Cards are color-coded and Military Key Cards are metal coded. All Key Cards follow this convention: /. Civilian key cards are colored along the ROYGBIV color coding (Red/7, Orange/6, Yellow/5, Green/4, Blue/3, Indigo/2, and Violet/1). Red/7 is the lowest security grade (7th Level - lab techs, teaching assistants and similar occupations) and Violet/1 is the highest (1st Level - department heads and senior personnel). Military key cards are colored along metal coding (Copper/7, Nickel/6, Sodium/5, Cobalt/4, Iodine/3, Silver/2, and Gold/1). Copper/7 is the lowest grade (7th Level - military rank privates) and Gold/1 is the highest (1st Level - military rank senior staff officers and generals).

The council gives them each a civilian key card (most receive an Orange/6 Key Card and one of them gets a Blue/3 Key Card), and whatever basic weapons (each gets an M16A2 and Glock 17), police armor (each gets standard police riot gear but one gets a suit of military-grade armor) and any other equipment that they need.

Group A and Group B are housed on the first floor of Anderson Stuart bunker, each in a separate living area that can be sealed for quarantine, each with a private vehicle lift to the surface Anderson Stuart building.

End of Part 1


  1. First blog I think I ever commented on. A rare find an Aftermath! site. I look forward to more on Op Morpheus and your other excellent Aftermath! posts.

  2. Hey Mike,

    Have you played Aftermath! and Operation Morpheus? Check out my past Atomic Thursday posts as well (The Aftermath! D.C. Campaign notes are available - no actual play but setting information).

  3. Yes and Yes (used as a start 3 times). Those past posts are great.

    I'll admit I typically fudged the DAT and often replaced the damage multipliers for melee weapons with dice.

  4. Mike,

    I'd be interested to hear more about your Aftermath! experiences, especially how you used Operation Morpheus.

  5. Here's a bit how I used Morpheus.

    First I like how you have players wake up into an existing organization that provides them with some structure should they choose to go with it.

    I use OP Morpheus set 100-150 years after the end and where the players are typically the only ones up.

    I add in much more devastation in the levels, and access to some goods right away. Basically they were volunteers who went in for a 5 year sleep, but the virus hit while they were in and they were kept “frozen.” The first time I ran it the players just woke up and had to scramble about. Last time I did it differently, basically what I intend to do next time, which may happen in the next year.

    I ask players to make a character that would be motivated enough to volunteer for a 5 year sleep. Broke college student, petty criminal, policeman who thinks what if the criminal wakes up later like in the movies, etc. The players go into the average Joe chambers.

    I also have serious criminals, etc. and astronauts, etc. in other chambers. Then of course there is the chamber commandeered by the last remnants of the government, with the high security and warbot.

    I keep the extra devastation, but add in gear near-by. A couple of the sleep chambers have been modified to gear storage chambers. Arrows point you to it. First thing is to survive revival; if you fail you lose a bit of some physical attribute. I have ways the players can avoid this but want to drive home the messed up nature of this cold sleep and if they revive others willy nilly they may die.

    In addition to food, medicine, etc. I put a couple firearms in the control room along with info. A message about the end and the changes to security they made (i.e., it warns about the robots). Alas one of the mob got in to the control chamber and killed the scientist leaving the message but not before the citizen also was killed.

    The players find out that the gear and stuff is not for them but the medical A-team that was supposed to revive in 5 years and set things right. Alas the A team’s sleeper chamber row malfunctioned as did many of the others over the years. This way there is a limited selection of NPCs they could revive. Access to other chambers is going to be highly problematic.

    I always place a couple communities near “The Lab,” but The Lab is largely ignored. The auto defenses make it too deadly and after decades people just ignore it. This way the players can leave without being noticed. I warn them that it may be hard to get back in once they leave, but the driving force is there is little food in the building and roaming the campus shooting at food (I actually set mine at a military facility) is a good way to trigger the auto defenses.

  6. Very cool. I found that running the OM module straight was frustrating - it became a huge dungeon crawl. Adding the community that the PCs work for was necessary to give them allies and friends they're willing to fight and maybe die for in a world that is totally unfamiliar to them that just wants to kill them and take their stuff.

    I also made the Central Defense Computer want to have people in charge again but unwilling to just let anybody take over - so most of the stuff the PCs did during the game was to see how they operated while under close (and mostly unknown) scrutiny of the CDC. Could they be the ones to take over and start running the show again? Perhaps.

    I like your idea of having supplies stashed nearby if not using the community start. And that things were really chaotic at the end, including the lack of food that leads the PCs out into the wild and wholly world.

    I didn't set my previous OM games on anything but universities, usually in the PNW, Seattle or Portland. This campaign was the first I ran fully in Syney in a long while.

    If you ever decide to post any Aftermath! write-ups in a blog somewhere, let me know!

  7. No blog at the moment. I'm retooling some of the stuff I used for Aftermath! for Atomic Highway. The setting, factions, etc. are still the same. Mostly on the Radioactive Ape Design boards.

    Like you latest post on Session 2. I thnk I'll have to try to figure out which robot that is. :)


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