Sunday, September 19, 2010

GM Flashback: After the Bomb - Gun Bunnies

In "GM Flashback" I talk about various campaigns that I have GMed over the years, some memorable and others that I would rather forget.  This week I am writing about a particularly fun After the Bomb adventure that I ran several years ago while I was living in Lowell, Massachusetts.  For all of you that are unfamiliar with the After the Bomb system, it is a Palladium Books system that allows for the creation of mutant animal characters, and has a feel similar to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The standard setting for this system is a post-apocalyptic future in which a society of mutant animals fights against the tyranny of the Empire of Humanity.

My group had just created a band of mutant animals consisting of a bunny, a chimpanzee, a badger, and a rhino.  These characters were part of an animal resistance movement designed to destabilize the human war-machine. Recently several animal outposts had been attacked by the Empire of Humanity and many animals had been taken prisoner.  One of the animals that had been captured was the bunny's husband, and it was that event that drove her to join the resistance. The group was assigned the mission of scouting out the area to the west in hopes of finding out what had happened their compatriots.

After traveling for several days on foot, the group came to the top of a ridge that overlooked a military fortification in the middle a forested valley.  The facility consisted of a large two-story building and a courtyard, surrounded by a fence and watchtowers.  Inside the courtyard were an APC, some jeeps, and a helicopter.  It also looked as if there was a recess bay with a lift build into the floor of the courtyard.

The group surveilled the base for a day.  They noticed that there didn't seem to be a large presence of military personnel, and at one point they observed mutant animal prisoners being escorted into the facility.  The players felt that this was likely the base where their friends had been taken and decided that they needed to act quickly to help rescue them.

The players devised a plan to breach security and gain access to the base.  First, the team would approach the facility and dig a tunnel under the base to the side of the building.  There, they would detonate an explosive charge and breach the wall of the building on a basement level.  They would then attempt to rescue any animals they could, create a diversion, and steal an APC, which they would use for their escape.  A good idea if all went as planned, but we know that never happens.

Everything seemed to be going well as the team descended into the valley and approached the base.  The badger began to quickly dig a tunnel from the forested area toward the large building.  The badger's claws and natural digging skills allowed him to dig a 50ft tunnel in a matter of only four hours.  At the end of this time, the badger dug his way to a concrete wall, which he assumed was the outer wall of a basement level.  The chimpanzee, who had be trained in demolitions, attempted to placed a C4 charge on the concrete wall and set a timer with enough time to exit the tunnel before it exploded.  This is where it gets interesting.  The chimpanzee player rolled a 100 for his skill check, which in my game is always a fumble, and a fumble on a demolitions skill is never pretty.  The chimpanzee accidentally bridged a connection on the C4 detonator as he attempted to set the charge, causing it to explode in his face.  The rest of the party was seized with terror as chunks of chimpanzee shot out from the tunnel and rained down on them.  Amazingly, the tunnel remained intact and the concrete wall had been breached.

A klaxon sounded as the blast alerted the base to the presence of intruders.  The players rushed into the tunnel and hoped they would find there friends quickly.  They found themselves in the middle of a research facility.  As they rushed from room to room they saw all kinds of horribly botched experiments involving the fusion of animals with cybernetic components.  The players encountered a series of automated defenses, including a ceiling mounted mini-gun, which they dispatched with the use of a couple grenades.  One of the players decided to hack into the facilities computer networks and download crucial research data that might be useful to the resistance.

After fighting a squad of human soldiers and researchers, they came across a room with a rabbit strapped to a chair.  Most of his body had been replaced with cyborg parts, including his arms and legs and half of his face.  The bunny character recognized this was her husband.  She was terrified and angered by what had happened to him.  She freed him from the chair, as he explained what happened to him and the other animals.  He told them where the others were being held, and the group rushed off to save them.

The group located the room with the remaining prisoners, dispatched the guards, and freed the remaining six animals that have survived experimentation.  They rushed to a large cargo lift, on which was a truck.  The bunny attempted to hotwire the truck, as ceiling opened up and the lift came to rest on the ground level in the middle of the courtyard.  Waiting for them was a squad of human soldiers and a large robot.

The rhino attempted to go toe-to-toe with the robot, while the badger laid down cover-fire with a machine-gun.  The bunny was having a hard time getting the truck to start.  The cyborg rabbit took out many of the infantry, by jumping into the high into air and landing on them.  The rhino realized he had bitten off more than he could chew, as the robot landed a gut shot that sent him flying into a stack of cargo crate.  Luckily, one the cargo crates the rhino landed on contained a bazooka and two rockets.  As the robot went after the cyborg bunny, tearing off one of his legs, the rhino loaded a rocket into the bazooka, took aim, and fired at the robot.  The explosion tore off a large chunk of the robot's armor plating, revealing it's sensitive electronics inside.  The badger noticed this, and capitalizing on this opportunity, ran up to the robot and jammed a live grenade into the exposed area.  The explosion caused the robot to collapse into a pile of rubbish.  Meanwhile, the bunny had managed to get the truck started, and they all loaded on board.

They crashed the truck through the base's gate and proceeded to drive back toward their home.  Soon, they heard the tell-tale sound of a helicopter in the distance, and a missile streaked past them, causing them to almost crash as the bunny swerved to avoid the giant crater the explosion had left.  The rhino loaded the last rocket into the bazooka, took aim, and BLAM, a critical hit!  The chopper came down in a flaming twisted mess.  The players had saved the day, and so ended a great adventure, as our characters drove off into the sunset.

Have you and your group had some wild adventures you would like to talk about?  Please tell us about them in our comments section.

1 comment:

  1. WoW !

    Thats sounds like a really good adventure !really love the way after the bomb expanded the TMNT universe and love all Post apocalyptic games, had to chuckle about the chimp !

    Poor bastard died a hero though !