Sarge67
 member, 70 posts
Fri 18 Dec 2020
at 17:03
Interest Check, Hash out details, Recommendations, and stuff
So, I was glancing through different campaign ads on multiple sites when I came across a very interesting idea.  In regards to the U.S. Navy's policy of never reporting a submarine as destroyed or missing.  Instead they categorize the submarines as 'Still On Patrol' and every Christmas the U.S. Navy opens a radio link to each vessel 'Still on Patrol' wishing them a Merry Christmas and reminding them that they are never forgotten.
The sailor that posted that was seeking a person to run a D20 Modern campaign with that tradition as the core concept.  Here are a few ideas that I have, eventhough I'm an Army soldier and lack squid terminology.

1. Characters are the command staff for a modern day naval ship (either submarine or possibly a light destroyer) operating in the South China sea when a mayday emergency request is received by a Philippine Fishing boat, it was attacked by a torpedo (but the torpedo doesn't exist).

2. That same command staff are conducting passing through Midway when a mysterious storm whisks the ship to June 3, 1942.  What was supposed to be a lone mission results in increased Naval communications and morse coded messages. The military continues to acknowledge classified codes regardless of age so those in 1942 would still be active.


Now, I see these as short one story offshoots, so any ideas to help flesh this out or how to build these into longer campaigns?
steelsmiter
 member, 2120 posts
 BESM, Fate, Indies, PBTA
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Fri 18 Dec 2020
at 21:06
Interest Check, Hash out details, Recommendations, and stuff
quote:
a mayday emergency request is received by a Philippine Fishing boat, it was attacked by a torpedo (but the torpedo doesn't exist).

There is some ambiguity here. Do you mean
  • is classified
  • is from another timeline
  • is spectral/ethereal
  • something else?


quote:
2. That same command staff are conducting passing through Midway when a mysterious storm whisks the ship to June 3, 1942.  What was supposed to be a lone mission results in increased Naval communications and morse coded messages. The military continues to acknowledge classified codes regardless of age so those in 1942 would still be active.

So the modern ship is using a 1942 code, which it got because it was sent to 1942, where it used the code?

Also, is the scenario "what if they're actually ghost members on a ghost ship that still gets the calls?"
Sarge67
 member, 72 posts
Fri 18 Dec 2020
at 23:50
Re: Interest Check, Hash out details, Recommendations, and stuff
steelsmiter:
quote:
a mayday emergency request is received from a Philippine Fishing boat, it was attacked by a torpedo (but the torpedo doesn't exist).

There is some ambiguity here. Do you mean
  • is classified
  • is from another timeline
  • is spectral/ethereal
  • something else?


I'd think like a spectral/ethereal but the damage is real...I'd have to figure a way to make a ghostly incident capable of physical contact.

2. That same command staff are conducting passing through Midway when a mysterious storm whisks the ship to June 3, 1942.  What was supposed to be a lone mission results in increased Naval communications and morse coded messages. The military continues to acknowledge classified codes regardless of age so those in 1942 would still be active.

So the modern ship is using a 1942 code, which it got because it was sent to 1942, where it used the code?

Also, is the scenario "what if they're actually ghost members on a ghost ship that still gets the calls?"

And yes, the ship passes through a portal (probably a better way to describe it) which moves the vessel from modern day to 1942.

The Modern ship is not using the 1942 codes, but receiving messages with the old codes. Because the modern military stores old codes in a database (Intel units keep old codes and eventually reuse old codes) are capable of deciphering the messages.

Anachronist
 member, 41 posts
Sat 19 Dec 2020
at 00:31
Re: Interest Check, Hash out details, Recommendations, and stuff
I seem to recall a movie based on this premise?

A modern aircraft carrier transported to WWII? I recall the scenes with the jet aircraft splashing Japanese Zero's with clarity.
Sarge67
 member, 73 posts
Sat 19 Dec 2020
at 07:19
Re: Interest Check, Hash out details, Recommendations, and stuff
In reply to Anachronist (msg # 4):

That is where my second idea came from.  I thought it was almost like how the original poster (the sailor that wanted a game created) described some of his post.

I think it is possible to run a story or two, but it would be difficult to create a campaign on this premise.

Something that might be more viable would be a WWI or WW II Submarine crew hunting the waters of the Pacific or Atlantic near the North Sea. But would get old doing the same naval stuff.

Just trying to come up with viable options if any.
Cubalibre
 member, 104 posts
 O.G. Gamer
 Nothing exists past 3.5
Sat 19 Dec 2020
at 07:49
Re: Interest Check, Hash out details, Recommendations, and stuff
In reply to Anachronist (msg # 4):

The movie is called "The Final Countdown", starring Kirk Douglas & Martin Sheen (not to be confused with the song by Europe).

The U.S.S. Nimitz is transported via a strange storm to December 6th 1941 - 24 hours before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Its crew (after trying to figure out what happened) have the chance via its superior jet fighters & armament to intercept the japanese attack & rewrite history.

A cult classic!
Cubalibre
 member, 105 posts
 O.G. Gamer
 Nothing exists past 3.5
Sun 20 Dec 2020
at 01:12
Re: Interest Check, Hash out details, Recommendations, and stuff
On the flip side of things, there was a Manga & Anime series in the early 2000s called "Zipang" about the captain & crew of the JDS Mirai (a guided missile destroyer) who after encountering a strange meteorological anomaly, find themselves the day before the battle of Midway.

The crew are divided on staying out of the conflict or assisting the IJN and saving the 3,000 Japanese lives that will be lost in the battle.
madkeeper
 member, 23 posts
Sun 20 Dec 2020
at 14:55
Re: Interest Check, Hash out details, Recommendations, and stuff
Sarge67:
2. That same command staff are conducting passing through Midway when a mysterious storm whisks the ship to June 3, 1942.  What was supposed to be a lone mission results in increased Naval communications and morse coded messages. The military continues to acknowledge classified codes regardless of age so those in 1942 would still be active.

Now, I see these as short one story offshoots, so any ideas to help flesh this out or how to build these into longer campaigns?


Adding my five cents...

a)  Perhaps the way to 'return home' is not so straight forward.  You could extend the life of the game by having the crew gather the equipment and knowledge needed to return... which takes them to many places/events along the way.  Especially if some of the supplies are in the hands of the enemy.  It is also possible that their arrival upsets the 'timeline' and they have to actively fix something that could have serious ramifications in the modern era.

b)  Alternatively, you could run the Midway scenario then after a debrief, the military might want to investigate & recreate these 'journeys'.  Queue up another scenario with the same crew.  As well as going back in time, perhaps there is the opportunity to go forward too.
Karack
 member, 172 posts
Sun 20 Dec 2020
at 16:46
Re: Interest Check, Hash out details, Recommendations, and stuff
here's another idea. it could either be a continuation of the above after you finish with those (or if the players fail and they all die), or you could just start one with this and run.

instead of a living crew transported through time or some such, you could play the crew of a sub lost at sea. you could even make up your own modern day or future sub so you (and your players) don't need to know any details of how past subs were lost if you don't want to.

Concept:


you're doing your typical day-to-day routine, not aware you were lost at all. then the call comes in on xmas, which is a first, and the players start putting it together. once they've rp'd through the initial discovery of their prior demise, they realize the barrier between this world and the next has broken down as more calls start coming through. the new calls are not directed toward them, but rather open calls back to shore command for help. i'd skip the whole code thing and just hand wave it as "they're ghosts and the transition allows them to communicate with those they have a connection with".

something supernatural is happening in modern day. maybe ghost-like enemies, maybe demons, maybe something else. regardless, modern day living crews are being overwhelmed. enter the players. as they're on eternal patrol, they still feel a duty to answer the call and protect their brothers and sisters at sea.

pros of this approach is that you can totally run it as a regular modern day navy game. the fact the players' characters are dead doesn't necessarily need to come into play. they can "kill" the opposing supernatural forces, and the enemy can "kill" them. the ship and its armament are eternal. thus torpedos and such are recreated automatically, perhaps over time or maybe they're never "expended" when fired. that solves the problem of needing resupply. on the other hand, you can also take advantage of the characters' ghostly nature and run some pretty cool supernatural elements as well. maybe they need to board an enemy's vessel. they could silently bring their sub up underneath and crew members could exit through the escape hatches (unaffected by the water or depth) and pass through the hull of the other ship. you could focus on the ship combat, and/or focus on the players discovering the advantages of being ghosts and what that means for hand to hand combat, espionage, etc.

in short, all the crews on eternal patrol become the front line versus this new threat, still protecting their country and families as they always have and always will.