A couple of years ago, my group started a Spycraft game. The game was pitched as a hardboiled, hard sci-fi, Neuromancer-style cyberpunk game. We have the best equipment: Personal stealth wing suits, laser-guided micro-missile-firing guns (which were basically soundless, 8th generation night vision goggles with smart-linked HUDs), we have it all. To a man, all of our characters are hyper-professional special ops types with rigorous training and years of field experience.
So in the second session of the game we are supposed to HALO drop into a top-secret Chinese research and development facility in a southern China demilitarized zone. Our mission is to kidnap or rescue some scientists, depending on who you talked to. We leap from the plane and dive head first into the night. The entire group botches our piloting roles and we miss the target by almost a mile.
Now outside the perimeter, we group up and try to formulate a plan. The GM announces that we see an armored patrol car on a security detail. At once, we assault the vehicle, killing its two passengers and taking their uniforms. The plan becomes the old “steal the uniforms and get past the gate with charm” bit. We drive up to the gate and start sweet talking the guards. There was only one problem.
None of us are Chinese. None of us even speak Chinese. None of us are even Asian.
We have this international group of characters which includes an Irish sniper, a Russian explosive expert, an American of Israeli descent with an IQ so high that he is borderline precognitive. But none of us saw any holes in this plan…
A horrible firefight ensued which we somehow survived. Sometimes there is just no justice for a GM.