Name: The Outpost
Setting: An old outpost at the edge of a frontier in a space or fantasy environment.
Quick Summary: Your adventurers have been asked to investigate an outpost that has ceased all communication; what they find is a besieged and dishevelled encampment on its last legs. Food and supplies are short, defenses are cracked and visible in the distance is the lurking presence of the enemy.
Time is short, it’s too late to run. The enemy knew you arrived and closed up any gaps in their defenses, they’ve now encircled the encampment and waited to push the final attack. You have to defend with whatever you can repair, scavenge and muster.
After several skirmishes the future looks grim, but there has to be a way to break them, to crush their spirit and force them back. No time now, the next attack is coming but you will find a way… you have to.
Recommendations: This can work great as a one-shot or short campaign. Good solutions for the premise include providing a vital leader that, if killed, will cause the enemy to break. Alternatively, the players may convince the enemy that there are more defenders than originally thought, or that a secret advantage means they can’t break the forces within. This scenario works well as a gritty sci-fi, fantasy or medieval re-enactment. Some films as inspiration include ‘the Thirteenth Warrior’, ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ (the end siege of Jerusalem) or ‘Starship Troopers’ (where they defend the fort against the bugs).
Possible Systems: Once again any system you’re comfortable with works well for this one, but if running as a one-shot, simple character creation such as in a d20 or points-based system may be helpful.