Recent Chat Activity (Main Lobby)
Join Chat

Loading Chat Log...

Prefer not to see ads? Become a Community Supporter.
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Brainstorming a Post-Apocalypse setting without atomic mutants

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Richardson
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,285
    Blog Entries
    30
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Brainstorming a Post-Apocalypse setting without atomic mutants

    Prefer not to see ads?
    Become a Community Supporter.
    Having read Mutant Future from Goblinoid Games and "Omega World" from Dungeon #94, I sort of want to do a post-apocalyptic setting. (Arguably, the campaign I'm lining up is somewhat post-apocalyptic, but still.) However, the idea of mutants created by atomic radiation is too hokey for me. I'm trying to think of other science-fantasy apocalypses that would generate some interesting non-human critters to fight. Here's what I've come up with so far.

    • Robots take over, a la Terminator.
    • Alien invaders that let us live for some strange reason
    • Lovecraftian nasties invade the Earth.
    • Warhammer-style mutants, although that alone doesn't explain why civilization fell
    • Zombies!!! (or an equivalent disease, a la 28 Days Later)
    • Genetically-engineered apes take over ("It's a madhouse!")


    Any other ideas?

    EDIT: I'm looking for ideas where humanity has regressed to a quasi-medieval state, but the ruins of our civilization (or one more advanced) yields some powerful artifacts. For example, humans might be able to make ammo, but making a modern gun is beyond their industrial capacity. Or perhaps, as in S. M. Stirling's Dies the Fire, modern technology simply doesn't work anymore, but Something Else has artifacts that work.

    Specifically, I'm ignoring the "magic comes back" scenario of Shadowrun and Earthdawn; limited psionics might be OK, but not fireballs. I want PCs to rummage around in ruins looking for powerful artifacts.
    Last edited by fmitchell; 01-31-2009 at 02:23 AM.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Beaverton
    Age
    42
    Posts
    446
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Here's a possible scenario.

    Starfall

    Earth's technology rose to the point where at last we reached out to the stars. Our technology, we thought, made us mighty. Meeting our nearest neighbors quickly disillusioned us.

    The aliens took almost a day to conquer the world. It took that long because the aliens sent only one ship. The aliens (we only ever called them Masters) had strange mental powers beyond all human understanding. Their will was simply irrestible. There was no great war. We simply handed them our world and smiled while doing it.

    Joyously, humanity converted earth into our own slave camp. The Masters set up cities (they found Earth's native atmosphere and conditions quite inhospitable) to oversee the work camps. The work they made us do was bizarre and incomprehensible. Mostly it involved setting up strange machines, farming native plant life and feeding it into the machines that converted organic material into impossibly heavy polished black spheres the Masters seemed to value and covet above all else. Their use was uncertain.

    Humanity lived like this for centuries. They bred us like livestock to suit their purposes. It seemed that humanity's days as a sentient, free species were over. How long before we were nothing but brutes doing the Master's bidding without even needing to be controlled?

    And then, the Masters went to war. One faction of the Masters fought another. The world went mad. A battle was fought in the orbit of Earth and flaming wreckage fell from the sky. Gigantic warships crashed into the earth at relativistic speeds. Millions died in the Starfall. The sky went dark. Cities were reduced to rubble.

    When at last the darkness cleared, the Masters were gone. Whether they had fled or simply all been killed none can say. As their mind control faded, a humanity that had never known anything but slavery awakened.

    And now the Earth is once more ours.

    Gary

  3. #3
    Soft Serve's Avatar
    Soft Serve is offline Cascade Failure FTW Community Supporter
    Player/GM: Either
    LFG: LFG
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    2,355
    Blog Entries
    6
    Downloads
    9
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    Here's a possible scenario.

    Starfall

    Earth's technology rose to the point where at last we reached out to the stars. Our technology, we thought, made us mighty. Meeting our nearest neighbors quickly disillusioned us.

    The aliens took almost a day to conquer the world. It took that long because the aliens sent only one ship. The aliens (we only ever called them Masters) had strange mental powers beyond all human understanding. Their will was simply irrestible. There was no great war. We simply handed them our world and smiled while doing it.

    Joyously, humanity converted earth into our own slave camp. The Masters set up cities (they found Earth's native atmosphere and conditions quite inhospitable) to oversee the work camps. The work they made us do was bizarre and incomprehensible. Mostly it involved setting up strange machines, farming native plant life and feeding it into the machines that converted organic material into impossibly heavy polished black spheres the Masters seemed to value and covet above all else. Their use was uncertain.

    Humanity lived like this for centuries. They bred us like livestock to suit their purposes. It seemed that humanity's days as a sentient, free species were over. How long before we were nothing but brutes doing the Master's bidding without even needing to be controlled?

    And then, the Masters went to war. One faction of the Masters fought another. The world went mad. A battle was fought in the orbit of Earth and flaming wreckage fell from the sky. Gigantic warships crashed into the earth at relativistic speeds. Millions died in the Starfall. The sky went dark. Cities were reduced to rubble.

    When at last the darkness cleared, the Masters were gone. Whether they had fled or simply all been killed none can say. As their mind control faded, a humanity that had never known anything but slavery awakened.

    And now the Earth is once more ours.

    Gary
    Nice...

    Who says you can't have Lovecraftian beasties, alien wars, humanity self-bombings, robots, and genetic super-apes in one campaign?

    But depending on if you do want a future civilization or not you could put it after that 2012 thing is supposed to happen. Aztec calender resets, and the world is supposed to end on December 12th, 21st, or 22nd, depending on which crazy website you visit. Maybe spirits broke free from a tomb and took with them humans they deemed unfit? Maybe Quetzocouatl (or however their primary gods name was spelled) actually decended from the heavens and took everybody he deemed worthy and left the rest of humanity to suffer? Entire cities could still very much exist but now be empty. Devoid of human life except the few that stayed there for refuge. But if Quetzowhatever took only the kind hearted humans and left everyone else here then your chances of running into a friendly neighborhood kid who wants to share his apple are at extremly reduced odds.

    This goes without saying that the players could then be any alignment. Evil = they were left there. Neutral = They're trying to figure out WHY they were left there, and Good = having been born there by two evil/neutral parents that you escaped from, or whatever other story you want.

    This leaves much more buildings open for crawling through, and gives the aztec culture as the reference for artifacts to be found. If you do want buildings to get destroyed and such, then say one nation blames another nation for their not having been raptured and they blow the crap out of that other nation. There you go, rubble piles that used to be cities!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Portland
    Posts
    722
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    IT is kind of along the idea of atomic mutants but you can have pesticides and genetic engineering gone wrong. Or you can go along the way of Children of men where women becom infertile and society collapses.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Jordan
    Posts
    5,177
    Blog Entries
    42
    Downloads
    1
    Uploads
    0
    some variant of von neumann probes. i suggest the wiki article, as it has some great seed ideas for a campaign, and is easily adaptable to any or all of the ideas mentioned thus far. =D
    Last edited by nijineko; 02-01-2009 at 12:31 AM.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Richardson
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,285
    Blog Entries
    30
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    The problem with the "Children of Man" scenario is that everyone dies off within a generation, unless we want to get spoileriffic. Let us assume, just off the top of our heads, that not everyone is sterile, and the few non-sterile people gather into small self-sufficient enclaves away from the general chaos. As the "old people" die off, the power grid goes offline, water and other utilities stop, gasoline and petroleum products become scarce. These enclaves might keep their own generator going on animal manure, but the first priority will be to raise their own food. Gradually they'll decay to a medieval lifestyle, with the occasional raid into the city. That's when I'd like to pick up.

    However, I still need interesting challenges, besides hostile tribes competing for arable land. Surviving aliens, Von Neumann robot invaders, and a last-ditch attempt to breed human-ape hybrids all work, although the first two could easily get too powerful for medieval humans, even with submachine guns, and human-ape hybrids get into "swarthy foreign invaders" territory.

    Another possibility is if the medieval-tech humans came from somewhere else:

    • Portals through time drag humans from various eras to the desolate ruins of modern civilizations, a la GURPS Banestorm. Who created the portals, and why?
    • Recycling an earlier idea, human colony ships return to the ruins of Earth, but lose everything but their lives when their ship crashes on re-entry. They must survive in a hostile landscape with only the clothes on their backs, a few salvaged low-tech tools, and what they dimly remember of primitive weaving, pottery, and metalworking.
    • Instead of our world, humans in some other world find the remains of an earlier, technological, and perhaps nonhuman civilization.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Portland
    Posts
    722
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    You can have a bunch of angry pissed off spirits. They might be intangible but they can possess both animate and inanimate objects for a time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins
    Posts
    4,174
    Blog Entries
    25
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    • Zombies!!! (or an equivalent disease, a la 28 Days Later)
    The Zombie Survival Guide, run fairly straight.

    The cause is viral, and the book even details symptoms at each stage of infection.

    A Class IV event (described in the chapter aptly titled "Living in an Undead World") could easily shut down industrial complexes, leaving what little of humanity remains in a relative Dark Age. (Even if it's "just" a Class III outbreak - wherein only a major metropolitan area is infected, rather than the whole world - the risk of containment breach could be a rather fun first or second act to a campaign.)

    All is not lost, as someone had the foresight to research previous outbreaks and has written a rather comprehensive (for its size, anyway) manual to ensure one does not join the ranks of the walking dead. Just make sure one of the survivors has a copy


    (Just got this book in the mail today. Glancing over it, there's a wealth of info to mine for various games ^_^)

  9. #9
    Soft Serve's Avatar
    Soft Serve is offline Cascade Failure FTW Community Supporter
    Player/GM: Either
    LFG: LFG
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    2,355
    Blog Entries
    6
    Downloads
    9
    Uploads
    0
    OH MY DAMN!

    Please tell me your running this online!

    And after that please tell me your not joking!

    lol I've already ran a game based on THAT SAME BOOK and I have it around here somewhere. It never took off and if it's online I would absolutely love to be in it, Max Brooks did a really good job with that book and I've read through it about 8 times SERIOSLY.

    I could even show you the freewebs site I made for it and everything. lol

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Jordan
    Posts
    5,177
    Blog Entries
    42
    Downloads
    1
    Uploads
    0
    your first die-hard fan. ^^ quick, start writing some supplements! ;D
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins
    Posts
    4,174
    Blog Entries
    25
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0
    Hah. It's definitely getting adapted for one-shot use (Dark Conspiracy, mainly, but I can see its rotting hand getting into some good ol' D&D); our Shadowrun group's currently in the middle of a similar zombiepocalypse (only with 28 Days Later style ragers instead of the shamblers), so me running it as an extended thing might have to wait :P

    Notes and details just might slip into the Tubes, though ... ^_^

Similar Threads

  1. Post-Apocalypse on the East Coast
    By Vulture in forum Modern / Universal System
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 10-07-2010, 08:53 AM
  2. [GURPS] January 26, 2009: Pyramid: Post-Apocalypse Style
    By PnP News Bot in forum News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-26-2009, 01:00 AM
  3. Atomic Age d6
    By Moritz in forum General RPG / Industry Discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-12-2007, 05:54 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •