Survival, not war
In my other post, I mention Twilight:2000 is a survival game, not a war game. It says that upfront, and the mechanics reinforce this. It’s an open world. The players are pretty fleshed out on paper, but I don’t have a “feel” for them yet. In the early sessions of character-driven games, I like to focus on what a regular day in their life is about. In Twilight: 2000 that’s been burnt down, they will start the session with their last position overran, and they are on the run. This is good for me. I like to get how the core mechanics work in play fast with clear and easy stakes. As they travel, there will be recon, survival, foraging, camping tests plenty!
There are daily encounter rules; I’ll pre-roll and get those encounters in my head to start to put a narrative together, maybe 3-5 of them. This is to reduce the “New Game, First session” anxiety and smooth some choices out. Experience also tells me of these early encounters - one of these could be a recurring “sticky” piece of drama—something a GM can reincorporate in a later session for a nice payoff.
There’s a meta-event Twilight: 2000 alpha rules mentions called Operation: Reset. We don’t get much, but I’ll drop hints about it. The handout for players also mentions it. Mostly I’ll follow where the players go and get us familiar with the procedures for travel and building the dice pools this first session.
I’ll let a session cliff-hanger develop during play, or one of those encounters will act as a cliffhanger for the session. Session one is, Who are these characters? Who are they under pressure? Do they have a plan now that they are on their own?
That’s it. We’ll look at those answers to prep session two in the next post.
What the Players think
Now the amusing part for me over the past week or so is my three players have been going through the alpha rules planning for a tactical street-to-street war! There is worry over not having enough players, not having optimal builds to be a fire team, not being combat effective. I haven’t said much in those threads, intentionally adding to the worry and uncertainty. I think it’s good for this game!
I think this iteration of the Year Zero engine is fantastic for Twilight: 2000. While I like Forbidden Lands, its kissing cousin, FL, lacks the sense of urgency the drive Twilight: 2000 has. I’m thinking, how do you put that into FL?