curse the darkness scenario: Soldiers

I said before that I wanted to put up a few scenarios for curse the darkness games (and actually, if anyone playtests the game and wants to send in your scenarios, I’d be happy to post them). So here’s another one.

I started thinking about this scenario a while ago, when it occurred to me that a lot of the curse the darkness games I’ve run have focused, or at least prominently featured, resource accrual and management. I think it’s appropriate and natural in a post-apocalyptic setting – money is useless as a currency even if currency were allowed. What’s of value is stuff you can use: food, medicine, luxuries like coffee, and so on.

But I think that, as focused as it is, curse the darkness is more versatile than that. And I think the key to unlocking that versatility is to divorce yourself from the larger setting (that is, the world as we know has collapsed) and to think in terms of what’s happening right now. What scenes can you imagine that are exciting, or that make you want to sit up and watch more closely? Here’s one attempt at such a scenario.

Where are you? We’re in Baghdad. The characters are soldiers, either Americans still left from the occupation (remember, as curse the darkness begins it’s 2012, but in the setting as written a lot of the initial destruction happened in the Middle East, so it’s reasonable to assume a troop presence), local military or whatever the players want. I personally think it would be interesting to play members of the same unit, just because it would make for interesting Memory Conversations later when folks die.

One question that would be important for this kind of scenario is how long after “the end” this is happening. Remember that, in curse the darkness, you have three broad options for the setting. I personally think this one works best as mid-apocalypse.

What just happened? A radio that hasn’t worked in weeks burst to life and ordered the unit to “fall back to the Monument to the Unknown Soldier and provide assistance-“, at which point it cuts off and won’t work again.

How are you following the rules? If we’re playing mid-apocalypse, the rules may not have been codified as such, but that doesn’t mean we can’t answer this question. I figure we’re following the rules by providing help to people that we see in immediate peril. See someone trapped by rubble, you save them, for instance. There’s no overall plan to follow the rules, since the characters don’t know them yet.

How are you breaking the rules? The rules are really easy to break if you don’t know what they are. The characters in this scenario are still working for their government and still probably opening professing faith and the like. Any of that is unwise and can rack up Between points.

What is the goal? If we’re playing a one-shot, the goal could be to get to the Monument and provide assistance to the command staff that’s trapped there (the Monument itself has been nearly leveled by Them). If we’re playing a multi-session game, the goal might be to do that and then get out of the city and back to a base somewhere.

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