By Ivan Sorensen
While Five Parsecs is written as a solo game “out of the box”, it features a lot of tools that are usable in a game mastered campaign. This functions much as a role playing game, with a Game Master (GM) controlling the action and usually commanding the bad guys while one or more players progress through an ongoing narrative.
Today, I want to take a moment to talk about some scenario ideas you could use in a GM’ed game and how they can be enhanced using some of the tools in the Appendix in the back of the rulebook:
Scenario Idea 1:
The players must make contact with an undercover agent in a crowded street scene.
The GM sets up the table with lots of urban terrain and as many civilian minis as they can put their hands on.
To find their contact, they need to move their characters around the table and pass a Problem Solving test (p.152). Success means they can check every civilian within a number of inches equal to the Initiative die they were assigned and the GM will reveal if any of them was the agent.
However, the scenario runs on a time limit: Every enemy phase, the GM counts down 1D6 points from 20 (p.168). Once the clock runs out, an enemy team shows up and the civilians will start running around in a random panic.
For additional fun, the GM has marked on their notes that some of the figures on the table have unexpected results: One is a criminal and if checked, will pull out their gun and start shooting because they suspect the players are bounty hunters. One is a thief who will try to steal from the players. A couple will be rolled up using the Neutral Characters table (p.172) and may be talked into helping if a fight breaks out.
Scenario Idea 2-4:
The agent introduces the players to a secretive organization that is at odds with two other organizations (each created as a Faction using the p.168 rules).
The goal of the organization is to recover an alien artifact. The players are given a list of locations (some of which belong to the rival organizations) to raid and can choose how to proceed.
The missions may involve the Intrusion, Rescue and Searching rules (p.166 and 167) and between battles the Faction rules may be applied.
Scenario Idea 5:
The players have discovered all the information and it is time to go grab the artifact before the enemies get there.
This is the big climatic battle so the GM gives the players extra troops to accompany them and goes all out for the final battle: Environmental hazards (p.166), tough custom enemies created specifically for this scenario and sets the entire thing inside an abandoned research facility with a doomsday device counting down (using the p.168 time limit again).
I hope this helps you visualize how a campaign could play out to create a really memorable and exciting experience on the gaming table, without requiring a ton of work.