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T2K-aka hell on earth

This is going to sound strange, but one of the factors i have always liked about T2K is the fact that for once, there is a role playing game that has no real concequences (if spelled wrong
lol) and what i mean by that is, i know of a group that literally did what ever they felt like, when they wanted to do it. the best story of that group that i remember is....they rolled into town with a hay wagon, with about 1/2 dz bodies hanging from it, followed by a m109a3 (self propelled howitzer) they crowded the villigers into the local church they pulled back and dropped arti shells on the church til it was gone, then instead of looting the town they just drove on. from what i got told the gm got so tired of everything pshycotic that they were doing that eventually the russians, polish, german and american troops called a ceasefire, just to hunt them down. now while i have had pshyco groups, i never went that far, so never had any real problems., just my two cents
Oh, there's always consequences. They may not be immediate, but they come sooner or later.

It sounds like the players were basically marauders.

Even Poland in T2K isn't complete anarchy. There are plenty of organized groups... NATO/Warsaw Pact remnants, independent groups. All depend on farmers for their survival.

So there's a group of asshat PCs with a hay wagon and SPA? How many times do they get to wantonly kill the locals before somebody with about 500 troops and a half-dozen armored vehicles decide to do a marauder sweep? Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide... The locals sure as hell won't shelter them.

And yeah, by 2000, everybody hates marauders. You'll see NATO/WP units engaging in temporary ceasefires to wipe-out a common menace. These punks never should have gotten that far. The PCs that weren't killed immediately would end their lives kicking and peeing from a hangman's noose.

The Ref let the players get out of control. I would have let them get away with it a couple of times, maybe more if they were smarter and kept moving. But soon enough the hammer would fall.

Even -- especially! -- in an anarchic situation, there will always be somebody smarter, with more men and equipment than the players. It's up to the Ref to provide direction to the campaign, not to let the players run it.
oh trust me, i heard the results, after about 3 months of this, the nato commander started talking to the warsaw pact commander, and both agreed these people needed to be stoped. from what the guy said it actually settled everything down in europe to the point it was rebuilding about 5 years ahead of the story line. chuckles, something about having 10,000!!!!! troops all hunting your lil butt, tends to make people dead, lol
I have to side with Dracos on this one. T2000 did not have any sort of inhabitions built into the system, it just sort assumed that Americans would stand up and do what is right. This was especially fun when the game was played on the other side of the Iron Curtain, whereby, players took the opposite viewpoint and would routinely organize hunting parties.

Once I ran a quasi game, in which a crazy American Green Beret had locked himself in Drac' castle in Transylvia. Hungarian Special Forces with help from the Ukranian 4th Armoured Division had to dislodge him without destroying the precious national heirloom.

Because the Green Beret had a tactical nuke and basically kept the villages in line with fear. Merging the the villagers was not an option. And, every night, he would send out his "ghouls" to harvest the best of village (alcohol, women, drugs, food, etc.). Eventually, it led to a dungeon crawl in the secret recesses of the castle.

But the challenge even after the GB was dead was how to set up a system of government that would not simply repeat the errors of the old.
There's an old saying:
"You can outrun a cop, but you can't outrun his radio."

I've ported T2K over to Cyberpunk, which has an Empathy stat. High Emp PCs usually find it difficult to commit atrocities.

T2K works best with a Live Campaign, actions should cause reactions. My PCs cleared the town of Tarnobrzg of thugs and helped with a local health issue. Later the were bounced by a Polish patrol but let go, they were identified as the men who'd fought to save Polish nationals. Similiarly, if you rob, rape or murder, it *will* get out. Soon the locals run at the sight of you, and fleet young men bolt to the nearest garrison to tell them that the evil maruaders are there. Some players like this, alas.

While I'm loathe to inflict my personal morals on anyone, if the PCs are war criminals and beat off the OPFOR rear area security forces enough, they call out the big guns.

Enter Podpolkownik Sigorski and his rather frightening men from the GROM. 'GROM' is an actual unit, the absolute meanest the Polish government can field. In T2K they stop sabotage parties, but if the PCs draw their attention it's probably curtains.

GROM stands for 'Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno Mobilnego' or 'Operational Mobile Reaction Group' in English. The GROM troops are elite, their kit is top notch and their skills are formidable. They are amazingly well trained, and in RL handle counter terrorism. In T2K they live to kill murdering swine who victimise civilians, shoot/torture prisoners or commit sundry other war crimes.

These are not dumb orcs, they are the match of any Special Forces in the world (the Green Berets speak highly of them, as does the UK SAS) and their attacks are sudden, confusing and lethal. They will demolish PCs main strengths first, usually in a stealthy manouvre, and then combine firepower on sections to obliterate the foe before disappearing.

Once players encounter the GROM, they tend to remember that the T2K world has more than one way of biting back.
I have to agree that there is going to be a pervasive sense of lawlessness - it is a post-WWIII world after all. That doesn't mean that players should engage in wholesale rapine and pillaging just because they can, unless that's the kind of campaign everyone wants to be involved in. I think people should remember that while the T2K world is hard and brutal, no matter what miltary forces you're playing as, your characters are still (or were) professional soldiers and there's still some of that ingrained in them. After years of having the Rules of Engagment (ROE) and Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) beat into my brain (so to speak), I'd have a very hard time in that sort of campaign.

As for being able to run that kind of campign, I think it would be a lot harder than people think for all the reasons everyone has listed before me. Additionally, with the hundreds of thousands dead soldiers through the course of the war, there's a lot of weaponry floating around. Any unit waltzing into a village to confiscate food or supplies, or to do worse, shouldn't be suprised when to locals commence firing on them with AK-74's. One nasty trick our GM pulled on us in a similar situation was to find the local villagers not only heavily armed, but using some damn good tactics against - most of the men were not only native to the village, but they were also part of the regional Polish reservist Army battalion. And the village wasn't just their home, it was their cantonment, and they sure fought like it. It just goes to show that if the players get out hand, the GM has ways of "helping" them remember that even in T2K, you're not necessarilly free to do whatever you want.

If a group is trying to play on the straight and narrow, but has a player or two who wants to act like Huns invading Europe, and the GM and players can't get them to take a hint, you could always roleplay a resolution as a last resort. In the last group I played with, most of us were current or former military members, so we played the campaign of soldiers trying to do their job despite the world they were stuck in. We had one player who joined us, and his goal as we later learned was to simply steal, kill and rape wherever he went. Eventually, after his character shot an elder of a village we were negotiating with for food and fuel because "he looked at me funny", my character knocked his out with a butt-stroke to the head. My character then assembled the village, held a summary court-martial for the offender and shot him on the spot. This was unfortunately something the rest of the playing group and GM had earlier agreed upon as a last resort. The character's player was, to say the least, not very happy about and after explaining to him for the hundredth time as to our style of play, our campaign goals and his constantly unacceptable playing style, he left in a huff and never returned. It was lousy situation all around, but the group was better off - especially since players who were drifting to that extreme during each session got the message. I'm not saying that our characters never did anything questionable or outright illegal, we just didn't make it the focus of the campaign, and afterwards everybody finally agreed on how we were going to play. While we did drive someone away, we could have easily just tossed the guy but we didn't want to lose a player. We were trying to get him to see that even in fantasy world, there are consequences and hoped he'd be part of the group, but he had his idea of fun and it didn't jibe with ours.

Long story made short, people can play any type of campaign you want, but the terrorizing raider campaign isn't really sustainable because: most people don't want it or can stomach it, most people get bored with it or because the GM and/or other players have myriad ways to show that it can't last or they take steps to stop it. Whatever you do, just make sure everybody's on the same page and have fun - it's a game after all!!!