LefferDP
 member, 1 post
Sun 21 Nov 2021
at 18:32
Savage Worlds SWADE + The Morrow Project
Hey, this is my first attempt at a forum-based RPG, though I've had a lot of experience in other formats. It seems like the strength of forum games is the ability to merge role-playing and relatively involved planning without the two stepping on each other for time like in a real time game. Looking for interest, thoughts, and anything I may have overlooked.

I really like the Morrow Project setting, but the rules try to be too technical in some areas (combat and getting shot) without really fleshing out others (everything else?). So my goal is to keep the setting but just put in SWADE to generally simplify everything.


Setting

In the 1970s, average people who show remarkable moral character are approached to join a project to save humanity by a mysterious organization. The Morrow Project as it is called, seeks to train and cryogenically freeze a first responder force that will awaken a few years after nuclear Armageddon to get the United States on the right path.

The game itself would start with a training arc where more of the mysteries of the Morrow Project are revealed and then eventually move on to the modules themselves. Maybe it would involve switching between teams at some point.

(There exists more setting material out in the world, but mostly I'd hope it would be conveyed in game to the PCs as part of their training.)


Tone

Hopefully we can weave something between pulp and gritty realism. Our sliding scale of cynicism is firmly in the idealism side of things. The players themselves would probably need to have some interesting in interpersonal roleplay and thoughful planning, often of a military nature, though obviously not everyone in the group would need to go hard in every direciton.

Sure, this is a game set in a post nuclear apocalypse United States, but it sees the PCs as capable of actually affecting meaningful change for the better rather than scrabbling over scraps. It sometimes addresses real-world issues similar to Fallout, but instead of absurd humor it tries to thread a bit more grounded path. (Not that there won't be joking, the world itself just doesn't typically have Liberty Primes screaming about Communism)

Racism and sexism exist, but the Project itself tends to be very egalitarian (especially for the 1960-80s), though post-apocalypsic societies vary.


System

As stated before, I don't like the actual Morrow Project RPG system much, but it does provide a decent basis on what the "feel" of a Morrow Project game should be. Savage Worlds seems to meet a lot of that, while removing concerns about muzzle velocity or hit locations.

Unlike most Savage World games I've played, the setting means the modern firearms, ally rules and vehicle rules become more important. We would probably use the Gritty Damage rules, More Skill Points (though more on characters later), and Skill Specialization.

With regards to Skill Specialization, the original Morrow Project assumes the PCs learn to shoot every gun and drive every vehicle the project has, but goes out of its ways to differentiate the various sciences. I think that makes good sense, the team compositions mean you may have an entire team of scientists that need to be differentiated. The default listing is Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, but I think something like "Geography" is necessary to make new maps / track weather conditions and the like. Is there a better name for this? Might also divvy up Academics to emphasize the more relevant parts like Psychology, Anthropology, etc, but still uncertain there.


Characters

I've done some work on a program to generate a group of random individuals that represent a cross-section of 1970s America based on census data (name, age, race, location, occupation, immigration status, etc.) and I was thinking generating a list of maybe 100 people entering the training program for the Morrow Project that the players could then take on the role of one of them.

My intention is to provide the players with a limited amount of initial skill points, and their human Edge, to represent their civilian life and then have them go through the Morrow Project training where they gain more directed skill point investment (alternate Core skills, essentially) and their other starter edges.

My intention for the RtJ would be: Choose a character from the roster as a base, tell me in a paragraph or so what good deed(s) they did that got them noticed by the Morrow Project (even if it seems like they couldn't have noticed).

Each team would be 4-6 players, with some potential expectation of character and player turn over between arcs.


Thanks in advance for any feedback.
jamat
 member, 722 posts
 P:5 T:7 W:0 F:0 B:3
Sun 21 Nov 2021
at 18:50
Savage Worlds SWADE + The Morrow Project
sounds really interesting......i had the original morrow project rules and loved the setting so i'd definitely like to give it a go
Tancred
 member, 36 posts
Sun 21 Nov 2021
at 19:04
Savage Worlds SWADE + The Morrow Project
I'm not familiar with the Morrow Project, but have played some Fallout in my time, so a new twist on the post-apocalyptic genre sounds interesting.

It sounds like you have already put a lot of time and thought into organizing the game -- good for you! :)

I've played some SWADE games here on RPoL, but have not worked in a character-creation context for quite some time. So I would be pretty rusty on the nuts and bolts aspect, at least at first.

I would definitely be interested in a game of this nature.

Cheers,
~T.
evileeyore
 member, 592 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Sun 21 Nov 2021
at 20:37
Savage Worlds SWADE + The Morrow Project
I love the Morrow Project (setting, I've never actually seen the mechanics oddly enough), though for me, the game thrives more when the Project is a backdrop3 and the game starts with the PCs waking up and having to get out of a vault that is "about to depower".  So it's a slight scramble to get gear, get doors open, get vehicles moving (if there are any in that vault), get info of the few working computers, even harvest databanks (datatapes, drives, punch cards, disks, 3D storage crystals, etc1) for later investigation.

And then the team has to investigate this new world they awoken into and figure what caused the fall, why did they "wake up late"2, where everything "went wrong"2, how are they going to "rebuild", can they even rebuild, etc.



1 - I've been in a handful of different tech level Morrow Project games... one of my favs had us being 80s dudes waking up in a facility that had clearly undergone several tech advances (holographic interface devices and 3D data storage crystals, fusion pulse laser weapons, anti-grav hover vehicles, blackhole grenades, etc - it was a Gamma World/Morrow Project crossover).

2 - Like, I laugh, but has there ever been a Morrow Project that didn't have the Project fail somehow?  It seems to be a running trope it shares with Fallout, the Vaults do not open at the correct time, the project leadership went off the rails, or 'something' went horribly askew or wasn't accounted for int he grand plan.  It works though, so... yeah, engage Trope Deployment!

3 - Though a "training montage" start up so we all know each other and have a set of "preconceived notions" would also work as long as it doesn't linger too long on the "setup".  For me Morrow Project is all about the exploration of the new world, not "what we did in the before time to try to get ready for the fall".




Tancred:
I'm not familiar with the Morrow Project, but have played some Fallout in my time, so a new twist on the post-apocalyptic genre sounds interesting.

Morrow Project is an old twist.  ;)

It predates Fallout by about 25 years.

This message was last edited by the user at 20:40, Sun 21 Nov.

LefferDP
 member, 2 posts
Sun 21 Nov 2021
at 21:06
Savage Worlds SWADE + The Morrow Project
In reply to evileeyore (msg # 4):

My intention with the initial training was twofold:

1) Teach about the Morrow Project stuff in advance so everyone generally knows what they're supposed to expect. There's a some interesting lore in the backstory and I'd like to do some "show not tell" with an info dump.

2) The teams are supposed to know each other and have some team building prior. I know there are ways to kind of get around that, but taking civilians and turning them into organized recon/combat/science teams are a good way to get into the mindset of the game and get to know the characters so when the shit hits the fan you really don't want anyone to die.


That said, I agree that long term the game really needs to focus on the post-freeze stuff. The training is more interesting as prologue to the later things. It exists largely to make the later portions contrast more / be more threatening.
DBCowboy
 member, 74 posts
 Played rpgs since about
 '81 (D&D Basic ed)
Sun 21 Nov 2021
at 21:56
Savage Worlds SWADE + The Morrow Project
Enjoyed Morrow for years though I don't think we used the rules as written exactly.  I'm also trying to learn Savage Worlds so would definitely be interested in a game that combined both.

Question: What about PSI abilities?
LefferDP
 member, 3 posts
Sun 21 Nov 2021
at 23:14
Savage Worlds SWADE + The Morrow Project
DBCowboy:
Enjoyed Morrow for years though I don't think we used the rules as written exactly.  I'm also trying to learn Savage Worlds so would definitely be interested in a game that combined both.

Question: What about PSI abilities?


I've thought about this a bit. I think the plan would be to allow the Arcane Background (Psionics), but require characters to choose from the six Psionics types the Morrow Project uses. Each type has a power unique to it, and then the player can justify a secondary power. This psionic type is then a specialty on the Psionics skill type. Players can take the New Powers Edge to gain another type of psionic powers, but further investment is required to be as good as their starter power.

Psionics Types (Linked Power): Entropkinesis (Deflection), Extra-Sensory Perception (Farsight power at -2 until Seasoned), Telepathy (Mind Link), Reform (Healing), Telekinesis (Telekinesis power at -2 until Seasoned), Teleportation (Teleport power at -2 until Seasoned)

The Morrow Project rules seem to want characters who start with Psionics to be a little worse at it than those that acquire it later, at least to start (You know, otherwise why aren't they using them in day to day society). So I'm thinking of limiting them 5 power points to start, but granting the Soul Drain edge to help make up for it.
evileeyore
 member, 595 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Mon 22 Nov 2021
at 17:39
Savage Worlds SWADE + The Morrow Project
LefferDP:
That said, I agree that long term the game really needs to focus on the post-freeze stuff. The training is more interesting as prologue to the later things. It exists largely to make the later portions contrast more / be more threatening.

Sounds great to me.  My only "as long as" is as long as the training doesn't take more than a few months of real time, like if you start the game in January 2021, ideally I'd like to be waking up to "after the fall" by June 2021 at the latest (taking any slow posting, vacations, etc, into account).  If we're taking a few weeks or a month on each stage of "team building" and "Morrow Project building" that's just fine for me (or less!  If your plans are "a few days of posting for each stage", you won't disappoint me).
GreenTongue
 member, 1051 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Mon 22 Nov 2021
at 17:50
Savage Worlds SWADE + The Morrow Project
This does sound very interesting.
About all I know about "Morrow Project" is the name and that it is about frozen specialists finding that they are "Too Late" but making a go for it anyway.

I'd be alright just reading a summary of "The Plan" and then doing the wake up.

With the slow pace of PbP games, "Flashbacks" could be done as needed to inform of details that apply to the current situations.