The Great War did not end in 1918.
It went on as some predicted at the time, to go on for nearly a hundred years, making it known by many in the aftermath as the second Hundred Years War.
Chemical Warfare went unhindered by the benefit of hindsight. The substances man developed became more efficient and more deadly. Some poisoned the earth itself, leaving the land barren and the soil untillable. Others twisted and mutated the land, and the animals (and humans) inhabiting them into disgusting abominations. It was as if nature itself was corrupted, the old gods crying out in anguish for the damage wrought upon it. There were even gases that lingered beyond the limits of what was theoretically possible. One such gas pocket was recorded as remaining in the same spot for over 30 years.
Europe was decimated. Worse yet, the effects of the poison in the land spread to even places untouched by war.
Through all this, you were killed. Perhaps by gas, a gunshot from the enemy (or a friend), the creatures of corruption, or maybe the famine that has hit the continent.
You awaken underground, as you begin to suffocate, instinct takes hold, and with unnatural strength, you claw your way to the surface. You begin taking in mouthfuls of air reveling in the simple fact that you are alive. You are aware of a red mist surrounding the shell hole that you have found yourself in. As you calm down, you see a man standing not too far from you. Wearing a strange mask and holding a staff, he pulls a book from underneath his cloak. He addresses you:
"State your name and previous occupation."
"What?" you reply.
"Another idiot. Alright, think really hard about your past and tell me these four things."
1. What is your name?
2. What country did you owe allegiance to?
3. What theater of war did you fight in?
4. What was your position or rank?
"Hurry it up, I don't have all day," he says.
He plants his staff in the ground and writes something in his book. Presumably your answers to his questions. Satisfied, he loudly closes the book.
"Well, that wasn't so bad," he says.
He puts the book away and looks up at you. An image flashes through your mind of a time long gone(pic related). He chuckles.
"Wonder how you'll fare without a horse. Hey, maybe you'll get lucky."
He plants his fists into the ground. The earth seems to swirl around his arms. He retrieves a saber, an old mauser 1898 carbine, and an infantry pack. All these items are absolutely caked in mud.
"Not the kind of equipment you're used to I imagine."
He throws them at your feet.
"Watch out for those Serbs, eh? They're not the kind of people to let go of a grudge. Even now..."
He retrieves his staff and climbs out of the hole. The smoke dissipates and he is gone.
What do you do now?
You run your hand over the saber, it's edge is rather dull, but it cuts all the same. A black ichor runs from your wound. You feel some discomfort but not any real pain.
You offer a prayer.
You then sigh. What do you do now?
You still haven't forgot the people that (probably) did you in. You'll be keeping an eye out for them.
You get out of the shellhole gear loaded, sword sheathed, and carbine in hand (checked, loaded, and hopefully still functioning) and are met with the marred visage of a city. You are standing near the train station, or rather, the remains of one. This is where death took you, whatever it was that did it.
Ruma. Partisans. In friendly territory. Would be deep behind enemy lines for them. Impossible. Couldn't be done. Yet it did. A gas cloud came. There weren't enough masks. There didn't need to be, there shouldn't have been a cloud. There shouldn't have been monsters.
You cautiously set off towards the old headquarters. A crude bunker of sorts. It is in poor condition from what you can tell.
You stand at the entrance. What do you do?
"Karoly Hadju, Hussar of the BR1 Cavalry Brigade," you say in German.
He looks surprised. He opens the door and looks out, surveying the area. Satisfied, he pushes you inside and shuts the door.
You look around the room and see 4 other soldiers. One of them is heavily bandaged.
"Looks like the Honey Gas has cleared. You're lucky for one without a mask. You said BR1, right? BR1 was passing through here when the attack hit, but that was several weeks ago. Are you our reinforcements coming back from Sarajevo? We sent out a call but they were under shelling so we weren't sure it made it through."
What should you say?
"I...I think I was killed during the attack. I was met by a man in a strange mask who carried a staff. He asked me some questions about my background in the military and then disappeared into some red mist." you say to him.
The soldiers look at you. The young one with confusion and the others with revulsion.
The officer however, grins.
"Give me your hand," he demands.
He unsheathes his knife and pricks your finger, drawing the familiar black ichor.
His smile widens.
"Yes, yes, this is very good."
He turns to his men, "Men! We have found the solution to our problems!"
"This man is a Trench-Walker!" he shouts.
He turns to you, "Which means my friend, that you are now a very difficult man to kill now. For a dead man anyways."
"Come, sit down an eat, you'll need your strength. You're going to take Auer and Schmid to hit the bakery in a few hours. We need to catch them before they can move again."
He gestures at the table. The food looks inviting and yet the soldiers are still glaring at you.
What do you do?
"I'm really out of it," you say as you sit down to eat, ignoring the stares of the soldiers.
"I can imagine," the officer says.
"So first off, what was the situation with the war when we got hit?"
"We've been holding onto Belgrade for the past year but the stubborn Serbs haven't surrendered. A line has been formed and held for 4 months at key points south of Belgrade. These points are Valijevo, Arandelovic, Svilanjac, and Pozarevac. With the gas essentially blocking off the east and corruption near the border of Montenegro, we just need to hold out until they run out of food which should be in a couple months. Our lines are secure, but Partisan actions have been getting increasingly desperate and thus increasingly effective at hampering our ability to resupply. Losing this train station, in addition to the gas surrounding this place, will cut off a major supply route to Belgrade. Which is why it's important we kill these serb bastards and reset the tracks while we wait for the gas to clear."
You pause for a moment. Absorbing the information while you eat.
You turn to the officer.
"As another point. What is a Trench Walker?"
"Ah, yes. A Trench Walker is a person that has died on poisoned land and has come back to life. A lot of people don't like Trench Walkers because they think they made a deal with the devil or that death is sacred or some other such nonsense. Mostly they don't like them because of some other...kinks and...abilities so to speak. It's, ah, best if you find those out on your own."
You finish your meal and relax for the moment. You have some time before you attack the partisans holed up in the bakery.
Do you want to do anything?
You set about cleaning and maintaining your weapons.
Your sword is sharpened and ready for combat.
Your rifle has been disassembled, clean and reassembled. The ammunition has been inspected and any bullets you had a bad feeling about have been discarded.
You head into a room serving as an impromptu armory. You see a large manner of rifles, a few swords and clubs, some pistols and submachineguns, three machineguns, an anti-tank rifle, and even a flamethrower. You grab some ammunition and a couple of model 24 hand grenades and head back out to the group. You consider requisitioning some of those weapons out.
You don't really feel any different. Perhaps a bit more colder than usual. However, you feel that there is some sort of resonance with the weapons given to you by the masked man. You're not sure what it means.
What do you do now?
You ask if you can grab a pistol from the armory.
"Anything but the Flamethrower, Anti-Tank Rifle, or the automatics," he replies.
You return to the armory and look through some of the pistols.
Amongst the pistols you see:
A high capacity Mauser C96
A stubby but reliable Dreyse Pistol
A standard Mannlicher Pistol
A powerful Rast Revolver
Which do you take?
You grab the Rast and some ammunition and secure it to a holster.
You return to the main room.
Auer and Schmid are standing by the door waiting to depart.
Corporal Auer is a man in his early 20s who looks like the war has not been kind to judging from his anxious disposition and eye movements. He holds a standard mauser rifle. He averts his gaze from you.
Lieutenant Schmid is an aging man with a scowl on his face. He cradles an MP18 in his hands. He looks at you with disgust.
"Best of luck, men," the officer says.
He opens the door. Schmid takes point and checks the area. When it's clear he signals you and Auer to follow.
You make your way to the block where the bakery is. The remains of the city are dead quiet.
Schmid stops your group. He turns and looks to you and Auer.
"Alright, we have a few options here. The Bakery is at the end of the block facing an intersection. We could approach from either side all at once, or try to attack them from both sides. If we decide to attack them from both sides, Auerer can follow Trench Walker here and I'll take the other end with my submachinegun."
Auer speaks up, "Maybe this guy can just walk in from the intersection and kill everything for us. Let him learn what it means to be an abomination."
"Well, Trench Walker, what do you want to do?"
"We'll come in on them from both sides."
"Alright, you two get into position. Strike when I open up on them. Sound good?"
Schmid nods and runs off around the other side of the block.
You and Auer creep towards the Bakery making sure to stay out of sight of the windows on the ground floor and second story.
Auer takes a quick peek inside and counts 5 men in the eating area with one going up the stairs in the back. They haven't noticed you. They don't even have a sentry on guard. However, you do not know how many are up stairs or in the back.
Now that you're waiting for Schmid, how do you want to proceed with the attack?
Grenade first, then advance to about 20 feet away from them and open up with the carbine. Tell the guy with the automatic gun to hold off for a few seconds until we're sure it's clear.
You see Schmid get into position but decide against having him open up first. You try to signal him but he doesn't see you.
You prime a grenade and toss it through the window (with such force as to smash the glass) at the table where some of the men were eating. The grenade impacts the back of one of them and explodes a few seconds later killing 3 of the men instantly. You and Auer open up on the other two men with your rifles and kill them.
Schmid mouthed "What the fuck?" at you with a glare but provides overwatch. You and Auer move right at the entrance to the Bakery.
You hear no noise but know at least one other person was up the stairs.
What do you do now?
You sling your carbine over your shoulder and draw your pistol and saber. You start creeping towards the stairs as Auer backs you up and Schmid goes to clear the Kitchen area.
As you get to the stairs, the sounds of a submachinegun and pistols firing ring out from the Kitchen. Schmid emerges a moment later signalling that everything is clear. He reloads and goes to the stairs with you and Auer. Auer goes behind the kitchen counter to provide overwatch for the entrance.
You creep up the stairs and hear worried serbians speaking. You hear footsteps coming your way. One starts running towards the stairs, oblivious to the situation downstairs.
As he gets to the stairway entrance, you thrust your saber into his chest and wrench it outwards, cutting off his left arm as well.
You are momentarily surprised by the strength you exhibited in such a tight space but quickly regain your faculties and press on the attack.
As you exit the stairway, before you can react, a Serbian partisan shoves a bayonet into your stomach and pulls the trigger on his sawed off rifle. At the same time, another partisan fires his pistol into your chest.
As black ichor starts to seep from your rather uncomfortable wounds, the partisans grow pale. The ones in the back try to run away. The hands of the man clutching the bayonet lodged in your stomach start to burn. His skin starts to turn purple. He screams.
You cleave the head of the man who stabbed you and remove the bayonet from your stomach. As you gun down the man with the pistol trying to shoot you dead, Schmid comes up and guns down the partisans running into the back taking great care to avoid the puddle of ichor on the floor.
You and Schmid clear the rooms tallying up the total to 7 partisans dead. Not bad.
"Watch where you leave that black piss." remarks Schmid.
As you wipe the combination of blood and ichor from your eyes , you hear a machinegun firing from downstairs.
Rushing downstairs, you see Auer with a horrified visage furiously pulling the trigger of a now empty machinegun he had set up. By the entrance are two dead partisans and one particularly large one is standing in front of the counter where Auer set up nearly completely covered in black ichor.
He grabs Auer by the face and seeps the ichor into Auer's skin, shoving his thumbs into Auer's eyes. You and Schmid are frozen in horror as Auer screams and writhes in agony until he dies. The ichor drenched partisan tears his head off. He looks at you and smiles.
What the fuck do you do?
Well i thought about sticking a grenade on him and then pushing him outside, but he did seem fairly strong so I wanted to (literally) disarm him before trying to finish him wit a grenade.
The could still probably pull it out and throw it back at us, how about a long pointy stick with explosives on the end that go off when we hit them with it. Like impact sensitive explosives.
Or if we only have a time delay lit fuse, then stab him and hold him long enough with a (hopefully) long enough spear and BOOM!
I don't think we can run, if we do we probably doom our teammates to a horrible death plus there may be more enemies outside. We should deal with this guy and have our team mates cover the doorway incase any others come in.
You fire your pistol into his arm in an attempt to cripple it. You are only rewarded with more black ichor spewing out his arm seems hurt but is back to functioning moments later.
You charge him with your sword and cut down on him. More black ichor spews out but then he notices that you have some ichor of your own.
His grin is gone. His face is now contorted in rage and hate. He kicks you away and retrieves a hatchet from his belt beneath all the ichor.
"Ja ћy зaклaти aycтpијcки ђyбpe кao ти!"
The partisan shouts in his Serbian gibberish.
Schmid responds by trying to shoot out the partisan's legs with his MP18.
He swings the hatchet at you but is clearly outmatched by your military training. Your ichors constantly heal and burn one another but your sword strikes true.
He is still a very hard man to kill but there is really no contest. He collapses in a pool of both of your ichors. Still clinging to life, you hack him apart. You toss your last grenade in for good measure.
It explodes removing all doubt of the partisan's survival.
"What a mess," says Schmid looking over the ichor splattered room and the remains of Auer and the partisans.
"Help me get what's left of Auer and let's get going" he says as he lights a cigarette.
You hear sounds of movement coming from the floor. Some of the Partisan corpses drenched in ichor start to get up.
"Trench Ghouls, I suppose 'blood' causes that as well? Perhaps so," he says as he calmly executes the Trench Ghouls with his submachinegun.
You cover Auer's remains and carry them back with Schmid along with some of the partisan's guns.
"Could've used that fucking flamethrower," Schmid mutters.
You both return to the bunker.
Schmid knocks on the door and the officer opens the door.
"You're back!" the officer exclaims happily.
"I take it you were succesful?"
"Where is Private Auer?"
"That's his corpse right there," Schmid says.
The officer's happy demeanor instantly turns to anger.
He glares at you, his face is red.
"What the fuck happened!?!"
"You're fucking invincible you piece of shit! Why is one of my men dead!?!"
Schmid calmly replies, "One of the Partisans was a Trench Walker."
The officers anger fades from his face.
"O-oh, I see..."
"In that case, rest up Hajdu, you did good given the circumstances."
"They had a Trench Walker?" he asked himself as if he couldn't believe it. The officer walked away to his own quarters.
Schmid lays Auer's remains outside the bunker and then goes off into a corner to rest.
You do the same.
The Gas lifted from outside of Ruma a couple days later and the Austrians moved right in.
You and the other soldiers were given commendations. Auer's remains were returned to Austria.
The railroad was fixed and one of the main supply routes to Belgrade was open.
END QUEST #1
So thoughts? Constructive criticism appreciated. For future threads, would you rather stick with this character and setting or roll a new one as a contained story?
You could do it as chapters, following different people that suffer a similar fate all across history (or just the same war). You could even make old characters show up (maybe as mentors) in the new stories.
Short, but solid.
This guy hasn't developed much, so you could leave him without issue and just do one shots throughout your setting, doing several episodes for a character if they get interesting.
I'd be keen to see this again.
for your first thread you did pretty good, but when you run you should make sure you have a few hours free to get more posts in, it is really not a good sign for quests when they only reach 90 or so posts a thread.
I love the setting, and the potential carnage it implies, theres not enough of these alternate history ww1 sci fi trench warfare stuff.
What is the timeline, like what is the day/year, alot of the empires in ww1 could not sustain warfare for very long and >"One such gas pocket was recorded as remaining in the same spot for over 30 years." Implies that its 1914 or 18+30 atleast years since.
The quest was somewhat short and the wait times between posts were a bit long.
The lack of options for players to choose while relying on write-ins to be made before being agreed upon by majority of players tends to drag out the decision making process and decreases the ability for the quest to be more streamline.
>would you rather stick with this character and setting or roll a new one as a contained story?
I'd like to stick with the story and maybe we can roll a new one when our PC dies. Having new rerolls every quest tends to make attachment to a character very low and more likely for us to willingly send them off to be killed or not care much about investing in their development.
Overall I like this fairly much, I even started watching this https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB2vhKMBjSxMK8YelHj6VS6w3KxuKsMvT again in between posts.
A bit of both, I suppose I should use /tg/s diceroll system for when I do roll dice. I just don't want to get bogged down in numbers like some of the other quest threads I've seen.
>and decreases the ability for the quest to be more streamline.
Sorry it should read : and decrease the pace of the quest.
I'm not saying write ins are bad but only having write ins slows things down a bit.
I think dice should be incorporated, we don't need dice rolls for everything, only things that have a inherent risk or is dependent on alot of factors and unknowns, with a little luck thrown in.
Think what it would be like if we all agreed on an action but it ended up getting the PC killed. it be a bit of a slap out of the blue and some would feel that we got pushed into a situation where this could not be fairly avoided or to be unfair. With dice rolls, at the least we can say that it was not a pre-determined action and it was luck or chance+bad choices that resulted in the demise of our character.
I was originally going to do it after the war ended as people have to deal with the aftermath of 'The War to end all Wars' but I ended up getting into the Austrian during the war when first replier suggested it.
So I suppose, a lot of the info in the OP was just setting. "This is one of many stories from the Great War" or "This is one of many stories from the aftermath the Great War" it could really go either way. For this time period though? I'd argue late 1920s or 30s. Balkans are tough.
I'm not against it, I generally like the freedom of write ins or the chance to be able to edit or modify the choices we are given. I'm saying buy only having write ins we slow down considerable, and I want to add that in a new setting with not much back story or understanding if the setting, we would spend alot of time wandering around killing stuff before we find something interesting to do or some story we can follow.
Maybe next weekend if nothing comes up. But it'll be a lot earlier in the day. I kind of only did it now because I couldn't sleep. Speaking of which I should probably get some now.
Thanks for all the suggestions so far and I look forward to reading more in the morning!
I'm trying to say that with no options to choose from, we lack any drive towards anything interesting and are only playing towards what we can immediately stumble upon, which tends to make quests very short in both run time and number of quests that we will have.
For example, a few options we could have had at the start was a list of things we can pick from that we could put together to help generate our character or a direction we could head in that have planned content that could happen with or without us.
If you intend to run this again, it would be ideal if you set a more precise time or a way to communicate with the players, both would be most effective, so you don't risk losing your player base, or having a poor turnout.
G'night hope you decide on a d100 if you choose to implement dice.