Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Breaking In To Carlsbad Caverns

I posted a scenario to the Scion Wiki today (12/11/07), but am including the components here to preserve them from the editing hazards of the Wiki format. For the benefit of my future lawyers, and/or any crazed or vengeful Park Rangers or the Office of Homeland Security, I mention that this is a work of fiction. It is a scenario for the Scion RPG, a tabletop role-playing game. It would probably not be helpful at all in attempts to actually break in to Carlsbad Caverns in the real world.

Getting In
The park is open 363 days a year. Entry costs $6, and grants admission for 3 consecutive days. You can choose to take the walk-in path, or the faster and simpler elevator. But the collateral damage to this beautiful natural resource is likely to be bad enough without hundreds of panicked tourists getting in the way. A better idea is to sneak in at night while the Nemean Bat is out hunting, and tourists are sleeping in White's City. Then you can ambush the Bat when it gets back.

Distance from "Civilization"
From White's City to the park is less than a mile via the treacherous overland route that would work well for Scions with Epic Stamina. As an alternate route, there's also a scenic drive through the State Forest (don't let that title fool you, it's more scrub desert and badlands than forest) that covers 7 miles but is an easy ride or walk. About 2.3 hours walking for a typical human. If any of the PCs lack Epic Stamina, you'll want to keep track of how long they exert themselves and how much time it takes.

Sneaking In
Rangers are on-site even at night, and actively checking to make sure no one stayed around past the bat flight. They’re on edge ‘cause the Nemean Bat has been spotted once or twice and Rangers or late-night gate crashers have gone missing a few times. This is a contested roll of the PCs Dex + Stealth vs the Rangers Perception + Awareness. The Rangers get a few bonus dice to represent their knowledge of the land. Even still, they're probably only rolling around 8 dice.

In addition to dodging Ranger patrols, you'll need to hop the many fences and hike it in the long way, or break into the facility and power-up the elevator.

Hopping the fences
There's two fences denying access to the Caverns.
1st fence: This one's a little over head-hieght and easy to jump or climb. Dex or Str + Ath vs difficulty:2 Any character able to jump 3m up can pass it without rolling at the cost of taking 2 levels bashing (which they'll probably soak).
2nd fence: The second fence, which blocks access to the cave mouth, is much taller. The ground beyond it is lower, as well. Roll Dex or Str + Ath vs TN:5 Any character able to jump 7m up can pass it without rolling. To do so inflicts 5 levels bashing. This is falling damage, so it's piercing, but they can soak it as normal. Alternately, you can bend the bars to make opening. Doing so would take Strength+Athletics total of 9 or Epic Strength 2.

Breaking in to the Facility
Break a window: attack vs DV:0, Soak:0L/1B, 3 health levels to destroy (1 level cracks it)
Pick a Lock: Dex+Larceny difficulty:2
Disable Alarm: Wits+Electronics: difficulty:4 (failure brings 2 park rangers per success missed by)
Power-Up the Elevator: Wits or Intelligence + Academics or any Craft or Control ability that is even remotely related: difficulty: 3

The walk down
It's only 1.25 miles down to the big room, but it typically takes 1.5 hours for a mortal to walk that, due to winding paths and elevation changes. Add this to “walk to park” travel time to figure when fatigue kicks in if your PCs don't have Epic Stamina.

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