Monday, August 1, 2022

The Best Case Scenario 1.1: Any Day Now

    Check the sidebar under "Houserules" for the most up-to-date ruleset!

    Maybe ten, maybe a dozen games of Best Case Scenario have been run by several DMs for an assortment of players. The game functions. It's even pretty fun (I've run three four sessions myself and enjoyed it, and the players probably enjoyed it as well, not that I asked them). But there are a few developments we've thought of, and a few tweaks and rules complications I want to include. I'm going to write them out here as a mostly-unsorted list of modifications and additions to the rules found in this post.

    Many people in the Eastern Depot of the mage-ciphered and backwards-written secret GLOG Discord have helped with brainstorming and playtesting, but I'd like to specifically thank friends-of-the-blog Archon, Xenophon of Athens and semiurge for their contributions.

Source: in image.

Mission Classification and Generation

    Missions in Best Case Scenario are rated on three-level scale corresponding to the discretion required to complete them:
  • CLOSED-EYE is for missions civilians should never even realize happened. Plain clothes, silenced weapons, small groups, absolutely no rocket launchers.
  • OPEN-EYE is for missions where fireteams can operate openly while under false pretenses. Strap on your body armor and your AR-15, slide a cowboy hat on your head and a fake police badge in your wallet, and get ready to say "nothing to see here folks, move along". Consider this short film in the SCP universe.
  • THIRD-EYE is for missions where there is no danger of civilian involvement, or where the stakes are so high that civilians become expendable. Consider this short film in the SCP universe.
    As with Object Classes on the SCP Wiki, these don't correlate with how dangerous the mission is. They correlate with how expensive the mission is going to be, and how much of a headache the Rules of Engagement are for the fireteam involved.

    Here's an example of a dangerous C-E mission: your team has to capture a telepath with the ability to inflict aneurysms with eye contact, he knows he's being hunted and is trying to hide in the crowds at Times Square, you must catch him alive. Here's an example of an easy T-E mission: a cult with a compound in the Mojave Desert is preparing to summon a Great Old One, they're six miles away from the nearest public road, roll in there with attack helicopters and armored vehicles and blow the place to Hell. Those are both off the top of my head, for free, for you and whatever use you want to put them to.

    CatDragon of the platinum-cored Werthers Original secret GLOG Discord assembled this here random generator to give you a mission prompt. I've used the generator a few times to good effect.

New Equipment and Budget

    There were a few oversights, a few obvious missing pieces, and one or two balance problems (like the machine pistol being the best choice in most situations). With counsel from others the weapon list has been updated. For ease of use, inventory is now based on slots. Every character has 5 slots and all guns are listed with the amount of slots they take up.

    Concealable (can be worn under clothing, can be drawn and fired with one hand. Assume it takes at least a round to retrieve a weapon from concealment. You cannot attach underbarrel grenade launchers or shotguns to concealable weapons).
  • Semiauto: Takes priority, -1 to Attacks at medium range, no long range. 16/15 ammo. 1 slot.
  • Revolver: Takes priority. 6/6 ammo. 1 slot.
  • Machine Pistol: Takes priority, cannot Aim, no long range. 21/20 ammo. Automatic. 2 slots.
  • Concealable Melee (knuckles, e-tool, knife, tomahawk): Takes priority, +1 to Attacks at melee range, no other ranges. No ammo. 1 slot.

    Large (can be concealed in a golf bag or a guitar case or the like if need be, takes time to retrieve if concealed, must be operated with two hands).
  • Assault Rifle: 31/30 ammo. Automatic. 2 slots.
  • Sharpshooter Rifle: Ignore range penalties. 21/20 ammo. 2 slots.
  • Shotgun: +1 to Attacks at short range, no long range. 6/5 ammo. 2 slots.
  • Grenade Launcher: 1/1 ammo. 2 slots.
  • Large Melee (sledgehammer, battle axe, katana, pitchfork): +2 to Attacks at melee range, no other ranges. No ammo. 1 slot.

    Bulky (cannot be concealed without being dismantled and stored in a case).
  • Antimateriel Rifle: +1 to Attacks, ignore range penalties. 6/5 ammo. 3 slots.
  • LMG: +1 to Attacks when Suppressing. 201/200 ammo. Automatic. 3 slots.
  • Flamethrower: +2 to Attacks when Suppressing. No medium or long range. Can only be used to Suppress. 3/3 ammo, Suppression only uses 1.

    In the gear section, body armor has also been updated.
  • Soft Armor: -1 to Attacks against you, can be worn under civilian clothing. Lost when you are wounded.
  • Heavy Armor: -2 to Attacks against you, doesn't stack with soft armor. Lost when you are wounded.
  • Helmet: If the die in an Attack against you comes up 6, it is 5 instead. Destroyed when this happens.
  • Ballistic Shield: Provides moveable cover for one person.

    The Grenadier's special launcher is one of those big revolving ones. It has 6/6 ammo but is otherwise mechanically identical. The Sapper's extra gear does not count against his inventory limit.

    You can spend a point of Budget to give someone an extra piece of equipment, not just something weird like a flamethrower or a laptop. I thought I wrote that in the original post but I guess I waffled on whether it was useful or balanced and ultimately forgot.

Source: Trevor Henderson

Updated Combat Actions and New CO Resource

  • Attack. Roll a d6, add bonuses and subtract penalties. On a result of 4 the target is lightly wounded, on a 5 the target is seriously wounded, on a 6 or above they are dead. This is assuming mortal human enemies, of course. If you were using a gun, subtract 1 from your Ammo.
  • Burst. As an Attack, but with a +1 bonus. Subtract the die result from your Ammo. Only automatic weapons may Burst.
  • Suppress. Select up to a 45° angle as your target area. Those in or passing through the target area are Attacked unless they are in cover. Subtract 10 from your Ammo. Only automatic weapons may Suppress.
  • Reload. Swap out one magazine for another, replace a belt, or load a grenade or two shells into a grenade launcher or shotgun.
  • Interact. Push a button, open a door, grab some documents and shove them into a hip bag, or any other thing which necessitates a moment of attention and thus precludes staring down your ironsights with an itchy trigger finger.
  • Aim. Enter Aiming. While Aiming, all Attacks and Bursts roll 2d6 and take the higher result. Moving or taking any action besides Attacking (such as reloading) puts you out of Aiming.
  • Hide. Enter nearby cover or concealment. Targets in cover may not be directly Attacked, targets in concealment cannot be Attacked except by explosions or Suppression.
  • Sprint. Move an additional 3m. This movement may take you up a ladder or across a gap of of less than 3m.
  • Rally. Roll a d6 to calm a Panicked ally, succeeding on a 4 or higher.

    Your CO has a pool of a special resource called Command. He starts with 1/1 points and regains all points between missions. Command can be spent on effects for fireteam members who can see and hear their CO (the CO can almost always see and hear himself). I'll call these Ploys, because I was reading Kill Team.

    Basic Ploys any CO knows:
  • May take two actions instead of acting + moving.
  • May receive a wound one level lower than they otherwise would have.
  • May Attack a target that is concealed from them but not from the CO.
    Additional points of Command may be given as a reward for successful missions. Maybe you can get more Ploys as a reward too? Here's a few extra for that purpose:
  • May take priority with a large weapon.
  • May Sprint and make a melee Attack as one action.
  • May make a final Attack before they die.
  • May avoid damage from an explosion.
  • May roll two dice in an Attack and take the highest.


Lore and Setting Details and Such

    Every SCP-alike needs some weird guys to fight with over who gets the magical television that lets you talk to Martian ghosts. Here's a list dreamed up in the coup-resistant GLOG Discord:
  • Final Directive: A faction of the U.S. intelligence community which believes that global thermonuclear war occurred sometime in the 1980s and we live in a collective hallucination generated from sheer denial. Intend to wake everyone up by causing an actual nuclear war. Not our problem, unless they're using anomalous means, in which case it becomes an urgent problem for us specifically.
  • The Agency: Possibly the European branch of our organization, or perhaps a peer rival (a non-organization group with similar access to information and resources), or maybe time travel is involved. They operate just like we do.
  • Resurrectionists: A decentralized group, loosely in communication with each other, of necromancers and grave robbers who graveyards and cemeteries as free sources of supernatural power. 
  • Children of K'nit Xaun: A cult of those born of fertilizations from a clinic run by a now-discredited and scandalized doctor who tampered with the sperm supply. Believe themselves to be the next step of humanity, and demigods whose father is older than the world itself. Presumed to be a black-budget project escaped into the wild.
  • Black Museum: Hostile antagonists (non-organization with knowledge of the supernatural) who interrupt organization operations to steal paperweights (anomalous objects) or kill and bag spookums (anomalous objects). Presumed to be at least a peer of the organization, though they have never attempted contact, and captured agents either crack cyanide teeth or suffer total end-of-biological-life with no obvious cause.
  • Fleshgod Inheritors: Somewhere between a cult and a street gang, collecting and eating pieces of Stel Alune, an ancient superorganism. Authentic pieces of Stel Alune are rare and difficult to find, but luckily (for them) Inheritors grow identical organs in their own bodies after consumption.
  • Fleischwulf: A post-neo-nazi gang with attached eccentric academics and garage inventors. Believe Hitler was a little off-base: rather than history being an eternal conflict between primordial races,  it is an eternal conflict between beautiful, ingenious Artifice and rampant, repugnant Nature.

Source: in image.

General Notes and Clarifications

    Fireteams are superhumanly coordinated. They can advance or attack without needing to spend precious seconds screaming at one another or fiddling with radios. This power is a pretty significant advantage for the players, and as the DM you should lean into it. NPC biker gangs and cultists should be overly cautious, wasting time hiding behind cover, or overly aggressive, charging out into danger and gunfire. They should have trouble with tactics more advanced than "run at the enemy", "stay put", and "flee", and they should bark at one another to keep players informed of these cunning stratagems. Making common mooks dipshits serves the shared fantasy of the game twofold; it lets the player-controlled elite black-ops fishmen killers be very good at killing fishmen, and it provides a starker contrast when your elite black-ops fishman killer gets eaten alive by a Siberian Antigorilla which suddenly flew out of the dark and grabbed him.

    Lowering the threshold also gives you more room to be creative. A dozen pipewrench-and-pistol wielding gangbangers in an abandoned car lot make for a simple encounter, but you can flex your DMing muscles a little and put one of them on the roof of a building in cover with a rifle, or plant some IED booby traps around for the PCs or their enemies to stumble into. Makes combat with fireteams just as competent and well-equiped as yours feel dangerous and interesting. I haven't been doing this, but you should do as I say and not as I do.

    Numerical bonuses are additive, e.g. the Semiauto gets a -1 to Attacks at medium range, and Attacks at medium range have a -1 penalty, so that's a -2 total. Extra dice are selective, e.g. if you have one thing that lets you roll an extra die and take the higher (like Aiming), and another thing that lets you roll an extra die and take the higher (like a Ploy), you roll 3 dice and take the highest.

    BCS takes place in an alternate universe where hand grenades and grenade launcher grenades are the same thing.

    You can attach underbarrel shotguns to a shotgun. This lets you fire an additional 5 shots before needing to reload, because the underbarrel shotgun is an effective and a versatile tool.

    COs are immune to Morale loss in any form. They aren't scared when monsters appear, or when things explode — hold on a moment, this is a good opportunity to enumerate situations which call for a Morale check:
  • When a member of a fireteam dies, all survivors check Morale.
  • When someone in cover avoids being hit by a frag grenade, they check Morale.
  • When someone in cover avoids being hit by Suppression, they check Morale.
  • When members of a fireteam spot a spookum they didn't expect (because they weren't told there would be any or because they were looking for a different one), they check Morale. They can then warn other members.
  • When a fireteam realizes they have wandered into a timewarp/living dream/anti-reality/haunted house, all members check Morale.
    The DM may call for additional Morale checks as he sees fit.

    Since the rules for Morale and Aiming have changed a little, here are updated versions of the marksman and chaplain roles:
  • Marksman: +1 to Attacks while Aiming. If Invested, +1 to Attacks per round spent Aiming, up to a maximum of +3.
  • Chaplain: The first Morale check in a mission is automatically passed. If Invested, the Chaplain automatically succeeds at Rally checks once per soldier per mission.

    I promised that I would post some missions, and I intend to keep that promise at some nebulous point in the undefined future. Here are two missions from Archon to keep you entertained in the meanwhile.

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