Monday, June 18, 2012

IHW: Pigboats update!

I started work last week on a starter scenario for In Harm's Way: Pigboats, to be either included in the game, or downloadable - I haven't yet determined which. This is the most-asked-for addition from the beta-testers. The reason is that Pigboats adventures/issions are structured differently, and this adventure will serve as a template for groups preparing their own missions.

It will be called Turmoil in Truk, and will be based on and around the Truk Islands in the Carolines. Truk was Japan's major base in the Central Pacific, and the line Japan-Saipan-Truk-Rabaul was the main materiel distribution and staging line in the Pacific. Truk is a group of heavily inhabited and developed islands, surrounded by an enormous atoll with five major passages through.

As a Situationalist GM, I have a lot of trouble with writing scenarios. Railroads are just *out*, and prepping a sandbox is boring and tedious. The Situationalist way to prep is to give NPCs as vectors, and assign them goals, personalities, and resources. Thing is, most of the readers will have no idea what to do with these vectors. I have to slot them in with an explanation on how to use them.

For example, a supply convoy is coming into Truk. I would need to establish the composition and starting point of the convoy and its escorts, the *resources*; describe the convoy leader and his second in command - in case the leader is killed, the *personality*; and give their orders, the *goals*.  I would need to do this for the Japanese Naval Task Units temporarily  in Truk, the Naval Garrison, and the Army Garrison. Maps will show geographically the gates and funnels things must flow through in the islands.

I also need to do this for the base in Pearl Harbor, for the period before the mission, defining the Base admiral, Squadron Commander, and a few other sub commanders, both friends and rivals. Then I need to formulate the orders for the submarine itself, allowing the commander to implement them as he wills. there will also be some ULTRA messages which can be thrown in as needed.

A lot of work to do - far more than I normally prep, as all I need to GM are resources and cryptic notes. Arrgh! And probably it will all be ignored to run a linear plot or used to build a true sandbox! :D


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