Friday, July 22, 2011

Wasteland Wanderer: the Solo Scenario

In this solo scenario for Mutants and Death Ray Guns, you control a group of survivors that must cross the post-apocalyptic wastelands. Maybe they have to bring supplies or information to some distant settlement, or maybe they are on a quest to find something or someone. In any case, they must leave the relative safety of their village or citadel and brave the dangers of the wastes.

The wanderers
To start this scenario, create a party of four characters using the standard MDRG rules. They can only be humans, mutants or robots and at least one of them must be human. For each human on the party beyond the first, you are entitled one reroll of equipment (on any character) when creating your party. Note however that mutants and robots may allow special options in some encounters.

Scenario structure
This scenario is played as a series of six random encounters, rolled on the encounter table. After each combat encounter that you win, you may use the Survival Table from the book to find out the fate of your figures defeated in combat. If all your figures are defeated in combat, you lose the scenario. If some of them flee, you may go on with those. You win the scenario if your party survives their sixth encounter. At this point, they manage to complete their travel without further incidents.

You have the option to rest after the second and fourth encounters -- maybe your party found an oasis, cavern or abandoned building that is safe enough to stop for more than a few hours. If you do stop to rest and you have less than four party members, you may opt to roll a die to check if you meet someone who will help you. On a 1-2, a mutated animal joins the party. On a 3-4, a mutated plant joins. In either case, roll for mutations normally but not for equipment. However, resting also has a drawback: each time you pause to rest, you must use the Upkeep rules from the MDRG book to feed your party.

House rules
This scenario was planned and tested with 28mm figures in a 2'x2' board. It is a smaller board than usual for MDRG games in this scale, and this is intentional, to keep the encounters fast. However, two modifications are applied to the rules on morale checks:

1. The morale check for losing half of the starting number of figures is replaced by a check when a figure is the last one left on the warband. This is due to the warbands' small sizes in this scenario.

2. When a figure fails a morale check, it may flee towards the nearest cover if possible, even if it is farther than the nearest board edge. If the figure is forced to make another morale test right after that -- for instance, the first one for a gruesome kill and then a second one for being the only figure left on the warband -- then if it fails the second check, it must flee to the nearest board edge.

Encounter table
This is the encounter table for this scenario. Roll 2d6, add the results and check below. Note which encounters have already happened on your current game and which you have won. On a repeated result, reroll. Note that you can voluntarily flee from an encounter, unless it's the sixth one (in which case you lose the game.) Doing so increases the encounter count but does not remove the rolled encounter from the list, since it was not won.

2Special encounter A: Caravan
3Special challenge A: Radioactive pool
4Easy encounter A: Scavengers
5Medium encounter A: Raiders
6Hard encounter A: Military
7Medium encounter C: Mutants
8Easy encounter B: Beasts
9Medium encounter B: Wretched
10Hard encounter B: Monsters
11Special encounter B: Traveling merchant
12Special challenge B: Robotic facility

Victory points
If you win the scenario, use the following table to calculate your score. If you don't reach and win the sixth encounter, you lose the scenario with a score of zero.

Each easy encounter won5 points
Each medium encounter won10 points
Each hard encounter won15 points
Each special challenge encountered5 points
Each special encounter0 points
Each surviving starting party member5 points
Each rest skipped10 points

Board setup
All combat encounters use a 2'x2' board (for 28mm miniatures.) Roll a die to determine the number of terrain pieces to use: 1 = one piece, 2-4 = two pieces, 5-6 = three pieces. Pieces should be buildings, boulders, dense woods, i.e. line of sight-blocking and impassable terrain. Each piece should fit in a 5"x5" square.
Divide the board in four areas, roll a die to pick where to put each piece. On a 5-6 put it in the center. Each area and the center should have at most one terrain piece so if you roll the same place for another one, roll again. For instance, I roll for my first terrain piece and get a six, placing it on the center of the board. Then I roll a five for the second one. Since there's already a terrain piece on the center, I reroll.

To deploy your warband, assign numbers 1-4 to each side of the board, then roll a die to select the edge from which they will enter. Place your figures as you like within one Short from that edge. After that, follow the rules to determine enemy composition and deployment. Roll for initiative as normal.

Encounter descriptions
Beasts: Your party meets a group of beasts of the wasteland - wolves, giant rats, slimes, you name it. Roll one die to see how many: 1-2 = 2 beasts, 3-4 = 3 beasts, 5 = 4 beasts, 6 = 5 beasts.
Beasts are Q4+, C2. Roll one die to assign a special ability (a single roll for all of them): 1-2 = poison, 3-4 = tailslap, 5-6 = nothing.
Beasts are deployed one Short away from the edge opposite to the one your warband is entering from. Place them so that they have the clearest possible path towards your warband. They will start all in base contact with each other and will charge the closest targets, with up to two beasts on the same target. If you win this encounter, you may gain one food point for each slain beast.
Caravan: Your party meets up with a large caravan that's also roaming the wasteland. Unfortunately, they're not going in the same direction as you. If you wish, you may let one of your party members go and replace them with another. Maybe the leaving member met someone they knew, or the caravan master paid more for their services; the new member might have been lured by the promise of adventure. Choose the type of new member: human, robot or mutant, and roll normally, except for equipment. You get to keep the equipment the leaving party member had. Note you don't have to set up a board for this encounter and it always counts as "won" whether you swap a party member or not.
Military: some sort of post-apocalyptic paramilitary force, or maybe remnants of some army. Either way, these guys are tough and they don't trust outsiders. Roll a die to find out how many there are: 1 = 3 enemies, 2-4 = 4 enemies, 5-6 = 5 enemies. All are human and have base stats of Q3+, C2. Roll one die for each soldier: on a 1-3, they get Sharpshooter, on a 4-6 they get Free Disengage. Roll once on the gun table from the book for each enemy. Also roll a die for each, to determine extra equipment: 1-2 = roll on the armor table, 3 = roll on the grenade table (1 grenade), 4-6 = nothing else. Military are deployed 1 Short into the board from the edge opposite to the one your warband enters, in a row leaving 1 base distance from each other. Imagine that you're looking at the board from that edge and roll a die. On a 1-3 they will deploy from the left, on a 4-6 they will deploy from the right. Military will always prefer using cover and ranged fire and will try to flank your warband when possible. Winning this encounter allows you to pick up one weapon and one item (either one armor or grenade) from defeated soldiers.
Monsters: new predators that wander the wasteland. These creatures are Q4+, C4 and one of them will be a pack leader with the Savage rule. All have the Heavy Armor rule. Amount, deployment and behavior are the same as for the Beasts encounter. If you win this encounter, you may roll one die for each monster defeated. Each result of 1-3 grants one food point.
Mutants: a group of mutants, mutated animals and plants. Roll one die to see how many: 1-3 = 3 mutants, 4-5 = 4 mutants, 6 = 5 mutants. Regardless of their physical appearance, all are Q4+, C3. One of them will be a psyker: roll on the mental mutations table until you get a useful power. The rest will have one physical mutation each, roll on the physical mutation table. Now roll one die for each mutant's equipment: 1-2 = nothing, 3-4 = vicious club (+1 to melee), 5-6 = roll on the gun table. Deploy them like the Military. Mutants are disorganized: they will evenly split on all targets. Upon winning this encounter, you may loot one weapon from the mutants.
Radioactive pool: if you have a mutant character in the party (not mutated animal or mutated plant) they detect the irradiated zone from far away. They scout the area and find a safe path for the group. What's more, you may roll a new mutation for that character.
If there are no mutants, each character must make a Quality check on three dice. For humans, failing on all three causes death; failing two worsens Quality by 1 until they rest. Robots are destroyed upon failing on three dice, but suffer no ill effects otherwise. Mutant animals and plants lose 1 Quality until they rest if they fail on three dice, and no other effects on one or two failed dice. Note you don't have to set up a board for this encounter and it always counts as "won."
Raiders: gangs of criminals that attack anyone else in the wasteland. Roll one die to see how many: 1 = 2 raiders, 2-3 = 3 raiders, 4-5 = 4 raiders, 6 = 5 raiders. Base stats are Q4+, C2. One of them will be a Leader, with Q3+, C3, the Hand to Hand Specialist skill and a gun (use the gun table.) For the others, roll a die: 1 = nothing, 2-3 = vicious club (+1 to melee), 4-6 = roll on the gun table. Deploy like Military. Raiders like to gang on targets with lowest combat scores. The ones with ranged weapons will move in firing even from 3x distance and then try to keep at a optimal range. Winning this encounter allows you to loot one weapon from the raiders.
Robotic facility: the party meets a mobile robotic defense facility. If the party has a Robot, they manage to interface with the facility's systems with no ill effects. The facility mistakes the robot for one of its drone servitors and grants it additional equipment (roll on the robotic features table.)
If the party does not include any robots, then each character must make a Quality check on three dice. Failing all three means they were attacked and killed by the facility's defense systems. Note you don't have to set up a board for this encounter and it always counts as "won."
Scavengers: sometimes these will ambush travelers and steal their equipment. Roll one die to see how many: 1-3 = 2, 4-5 = 3, 6 = 4. Base stats are Q4+, C2. Roll one die for each to determine equipment: 1-3 = nothing, 4-5 = vicious club (+1 to melee), 6 = roll on the gun table. Deploy like Military, behavior is the same as Raiders. Winning this encounter gives you one roll on the equipment table.
Traveling merchant: your party meets with a traveling merchant on an armored truck. You may swap up to three guns, armor or grenades: select the item you want to trade, make a new roll on the corresponding table and replace the former. You also trade the junk you've been collecting on your journey: make two equipment rolls and pick one to add to your party. Note you don't have to set up a board for this encounter and it always counts as "won."
Wretched:a mob of the Wretched that roams the ruins. Roll one die to see how many: 1-2 = 4 wretched, 3-4 = 5 wretched, 5-6 = 6 wretched. Deployment and behavior is the same as Beasts. Winning this encounter doesn't grant you anything.

Closing remarks
Since this scenario depends on random encounters, it is possible that some combinations become too easy or hard. Remember that in case of difficult odds, it is possible to voluntarily flee the board, unless it's your sixth encounter -- although this will certainly reduce your possible total score. Also note that the harder encounters grant better rewards, so sometimes they may be worth the risk.


Monty said...

Wow, this sounds good, looking forward to your AARs!

Sin City Snowman said...

Wow, this looks absolutely awesome! Can't wait to read the batrep, not to mention give it a try myself!


clig76 said...

Great stuff here! This is exactly what I was looking for. I'll read the bat rep later tonight.