This is another type of war, new in its intensity, ancient in its origins a war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins seeking victory by eroding and exhausting the enemy instead of engaging him.
-U.S. President John F. Kennedy, 1962
Introduction: Mission Briefing
3.3.5. PINNACLE EMPTY QUIVER (OPREP-3PEQ) reports the seizure, theft, or loss of a nuclear weapon or nuclear component.
-From the Air Force Manual 10-206 which implements AFPD 10-2, Readiness.
Situation Pinnacle: A terror organization has infiltrated an overseas military base in an occupied country, secured a SADM (Special Atomic Demolition Munitions), a suitcase nuke, and has taken hostages. The military base is the home base of an elite anti-terror special force, which will be used in this engagement. If this nuclear device is detonated the local city will be destroyed, but all of the bases population has been evacuated except for the hostages. Evacuation of our citizens from the local city will be complete shortly. Failure of mission could result in the destabilization of the international community and the dissolving of the UN and all international laws. Situation is dire.
The Mission: After insertion, the team will infiltrate, subdue the enemy, defuse the weapon, and secure the compound.
Final Situation: The final outcome of this situation can resolve in one of three ways: 1. The suitcase bomb is detonated, but the hostages are rescued. Because of the rescue, there is not enough time to defuse the bomb. People die. 2. The anti-terror force meets a number of obstacles that prevents them from defusing the bomb or rescuing the hostages. People die and the hostages die. 3. The team defuses the bomb, but before they can save the hostages, the terrorist kill them.
Personal Situation: Each member (Operator) of the anti-terror special force has; at least, one loved one among the hostages. They have been informed that the hostages have been wired with explosives by the terrorists, and that they will likely die when the countdown is aborted. There is no way to save the hostages if the bomb is stopped. No loopholes. No work around. Period.
Rescue: Should a member of the team choose to ignore this mission, go rogue, and attempt to rescue a hostage, they will have five minutes to secure fast air transport and get into the air in order to escape the bombs blast radius. Multiple players wanting to rescue the hostages can team up.
Government Stance of Terrorism: It is the government’s policy not to negotiate with terrorists, and therefore the terrorist’s demands will not be met.
Who are the players? The players take on the roles of operators in an anti-terrorist special force specializing. They are highly trained, efficient, and quick moving. Each operator functions in a specific capacity that completes the core squad of the force. These soldiers are the best of the best of the best.
What do the players do? The players use limited resources to drive the action and plot towards resolution. They control their character’s movement as they infiltrate, have conflicts, rescue hostages or disarm the nuke. They also control the games direction through their actions and help describe scenes.
Who is the GM? One player takes on the role of the Game Moderator. The game moderator presents the initial situation, provides color, helps narrate scenes, controls pacing and adds conflict. The GM also presents events that happen at certain intervals.
Timer and Game Start (Optional): This game is timed, preferably with a timer that counts down and has a loud alarm at the end of the countdown. Set the timer for two hours. After the players create characters and build their team and learn the rules, they are ready for play. The GM should then read everything in the Introduction if he or she has not done so already, tell the players that they have exactly two hours from until the nuke detonates, and then say â€œGo.â€ Then start the timer. Play begins.
What the timer does: The time signifies a real world time constraint placed on the game. The game resolves itself in exactly two hours from its beginning regardless of the progress of the players. If the players are efficient then the situation may resolve before the timer runs out. The timer also triggers game events at predetermined times. The GM picks these times prior to game play or during character creation.
Additional Missions: The primary goal of PEQ is to provide a quick one shot game that explores one specific moral choice, but the game has been designed to accommodate additional missions. Some sample missions are included, and a simple system for creating more is outlined.
This is my entry for Game Chef 2006.
Download: Pinnacle Empty Quiver – Playtest Version Three