JP On Gaming

Thursday, July 21, 2022

[Campaign Fails] One fist killed Twilight: 2000

A big thanks to Ryan-A for bringing this back to my memory. It has been a while since I thought about that game or that story.

It was the 1980s, I must've been around 14 or 15 years old when someone brought the original Twilight: 2000 RPG by GDW to school. It was an odd game.

For those who do not know, it is 2000AD, and the East-West war shook Europe (and the rest of the world, but we played in Poland). Tactical nukes where sent by both sides. The bombs leveled a lot of cities and turned others into radioactive wastelands. The old orders and regimes collapsed, and a new post-apoc order rose. Mercenaries from a collection of countries banded together to prey upon the land and well... do what mercs do.

My buddies Marc-P and Patrick-D were very much gung-ho players who really appreciated using heavy weapons on things, firing m-60s and grenades at anything that moved.


However, that was around the time when I began to think there was more to RPGs than shooting stuff and killing monsters. That story mattered and that we could do cool stuff. My friends weren't "quite there yet," and I could not quite explain how and what I wanted to do with the game - not that I think they would've been on board.

So the party had 4 people: Marc was an American heavy weapon specialist, Patrick had a French Canadian demolition expert, there was another guy (I can't remember who) but he has a Canadian rifleman. And I was a Russian Medic/ Intelligence officer (I took it because we needed a lot of languages).

The Plot

So I can't remember who the GM was, I thought it was Philippe-B. Our mission was simple: We were holed up in Poland without gas or money for our vehicles. Then this warlord came to us with an offer. He wanted us to extract this guy in that village. The NPC had information he wanted. We would get a premium if we could get that information.

We manage to scope out the town, get some great intel, and discover that something isn't quite right. The bad guys were not acting as expected: they had all shiny new American gear, spoke English, and had like a bunch of missiles and stuff. I told the guy about it, but all they were excited about was the new Rolls Royce car and the large gas tank.

I could see them salivating as they imagined the explosion they could do. I think I was also excited about it, as a great way to cover us as we fled...

Well I don't really remember the details of the operation but things turned south:
We got the target out (he did not want to come with us).
The guys opened up on the gas tank early
There was another firefight at the entrance as we stole the car.

The Game (and I) Die

In the end, we were in the car flying over bad Eastern Europe road in a car riddled with bullet holes. The target was bleeding. I was screaming for the driver to slow down so I could save him but they didn't care. Bringing the target would get us paid. I wanted to know about that strange outfit.

I pulled my pistol at the driver and ordered him to slow down.

Then Marc who was riding shotgun declares he will punch me in the face.

Okay that's fair. We roll dice. He hits.

His base damage double the amount of hit point I had on my head.

So my head exploded.

Followed massive arguments (mostly on my part) about how that made no sense. In the end, I was dead.

That was the last time I played TW2000. Yeah, I took my ball and went home. I was pretty unhappy.


The game ended then and there. It started something of a feud between the guys and I, which we resolved only much later.

To make things worse, I spoke with the GM later and he was super happy that someone "got" the many hints he had in there about something more happening. He was excited for us to do more than blow things up randomly. He never told me what he wanted to do or what his plan was.

It is something that haunts me to this day... Decades later.

It may be just as well because I can dream of what could've been. From that day, I planned to reveal only what is happening when players discover it. Everything else is...

Well it didn't happen, just as I said in the previous post: What Would've Happen To [NPC]? from mid-May 2022.

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