Return to Kalisz

I just wanna shoot shit up in Twilight: 2000

Free League releases Twilight: 2000 this month. I’m running a short series of the game with a group I ran Twilight: 2000 for Gauntlet Open Gaming Con —two events ago. The group requested a continuation of that one-shot for October’s Gauntlet Open Gaming event. Tl;Dr —so we made it a short series of sessions.

The one-shot was a day in the life after the fall of Kalisz. The players made characters, or choose pregens and we play in the sandbox. That early game took place days after the town of Kalisz fell and everyone is on the run. The team was made up of a Polish medic, an American spook, and a Polish ranger. In this new session we wrap up the previous game’s thread and I present the new situation, a helicopter crash. Two helicopters fly low overhead of the encampment, one is going down, the other gets shot down. They are a day from the crash site. I steal the engagement concept from Blades in the Dark to resolve what the situation is when they get to the crash site. They get mixed results, they can set up safe, and they see armed groups including a marked-up hum-vee, one solo rifleman on a rooftop, and another set of folks on the second floor of a wrecked building hiding. The humvee goes straight to salvaging the first crash site. The PC team moved in the shadows of the neighborhood’s perimeter to get to the second crash site. The team’s spook provided recon info and overwatch.  I started a little scrap between NPC groups to get some recon checks - but my NPCs fail three checks and the spook remains hidden and out of sight. I was hoping to rattle him to start shooting or give up the high ground!! This probably all sounds super crunchy and tactical —maybe, but it doesn’t feel that way at the table. Twilight: 2000 is still the Year Zero engine underneath and AFAIC Free League has sandbox survival mechanics dialed to eleven, but this is not ASL. I’ll even say it’s not a skirmish role-playing game. Survival sandbox is what it says in the rules, and I was impressed with the narratives generated at the table during play. I’ve had fights over goats, dirty water, who gets meds, what gets traded and when do we walk away from a bad scene. Tone setting is your friend when you start this game.

Free Leagues puts out a Foundry VTT module and it was very nice to have. Hidden movement, interactive character sheets, rules references for everything, drag-n-drop bad guys ready to rumble!

For a set of players hoping to see some “action”, they played this encounter safe and smart. We had to leave it unresolved because of IRL schedules. Every round of the encounter was tense -no wasted space.  There is a mechanic where players can trade initiative cards if the characters can communicate. The party made HEAVY use of that rule, very smart!

What’s in the Helicopters? Who are the various armed factions in this very crowded ruined commercial block?

Play Fearless!