Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Things They Left Behind

HU/AtB Post-Human Setting

While poking at an AtB scenario I've been working on-and-off on for a few years (The Things We Leave Behind), I had the idea of turning the underlying theme into a game setting.  The following is the skeleton I've come up with.

Fantasy like post-human world where lifted species and AI creations (Player Characters) struggle to survive against the monsters (sentient machines and genetically engineered organisms) that “those who left” (humanity) left behind.  Some of these monsters are discarded tools, while others were meant to heal the world of the damage their forebears had wrought upon the Earth by tearing down the cities and buried infrastructures humanity had now abandoned, as well as repair the damage to the ecosystem.  Unfortunately, the lifted species and AI have started to move into the old cities and to reclaim the infrastructures as they try to claim the Earth as theirs, and so now have to fight the things “they” left behind.

The characters will need to defend against the beasts that want to destroy the areas they are trying to rebuild, as well as old tools that had been discarded and just want a place to rest peacefully. They will be sent to areas to scavenge and salvage the means to protect and grow the new civilizations populated by them, “the things ‘they’ left behind”. They will occasionally stumble upon some who worship "those who left" as gods and the things they left behind as their angels and demons doing their gods work.

Who will survive the things they left behind?
Who will dominate the things they left behind?
Who will defeat the things they left behind?
Who will control the things they left behind?
Who will be consumed by the things they left behind?

Will they return... for the things they left behind?

Friday, March 10, 2017

[IN THE NEWS] Invasion of the Radioactive Boars

As soon as I started reading this article (linked above), I could see this as something that could have happened in the years following the Crash once people started to reorganize.  Humans returning to their homes, towns and cities to find them now occupied by these strange mutant animals playing at being people.

I can see this as something Emperor Christian would say in rallies to raise the Empire of Humanity:

“It is not really clear now which is the master of the town, people or wild boars.  If we don’t get rid of them and turn this into a human-led town, the situation will get even wilder and uninhabitable.”
I've long tried to relate the Empires rational to fight against the anthropomorphic animals.  Most people try to equate Emperor Christian and the Empire of Humanity with Hitler and the Nazis, but I think it's closer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  One side (the EoH) sees the other (all anthro Animalkind) taking over the lands of their birthright.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Things We Leave Behind

 -- Under Construction -- 

This article has been a work in progress for several years. I will keep it as an active post to encourage discussion, and to keep it somewhere a bit more visible to encourage me to work some more on fleshing it out... Comments and questions are encouraged.

NOTE: This adventure is intended to be played by any level of experience, letting the players and the GM decide on the level of difficulty.  While this game was written to take place in and around Cardania, it was originally intended to take place anywhere in the world of After the Bomb, so feel free to relocate it to wherever your campaign is taking place.

Player Background

The local government is looking for volunteers for an expedition to a distant ruined city.  Pay will be the usual advance for a scouting mission (4000 Bucks), with a bonus paid at the end depending on what information is brought back.  When the characters are ready read the following:

You arrive at the address listed on the posters for the scouting mission, a typical low key two story government office building of little note located downtown.  Inside you are directed to a large conference room where you met by a mid level bureaucrat, who carries herself with the air of someone with a military background.

“Good day, everyone.  My name is Samantha Gree, Director of Frontier Operations and I have been placed in charge of organizing the mission you have gratefully volunteered for.  Earlier this week we received a report back from Specialist Devrin Chram, a frontier scout that was investigating the ruins of Gaius, a city that is said to be host to numerous hostile creations from before the Great Death.  It is also rumored to be... haunted.  Both of these are reason enough that most scavengers never go near the place, and those that do are said to never return.  Devrin requested to investigate the rumors and the ruins to see if there was any truth behind any of them.  His first report verified that there were numerous savage creatures lurking the ruins and the surrounding wilderness, and that there were no other signs other activity in the area.  His last communication with us was as he was preparing to enter the ruins; that was three weeks ago.  Last week we were able to tap into the game camera that he had posted at his camp, and pulled several images before the connection or the camera died.  The images we recovered have caused us much concern.  In the earliest images, you can see the ruins of Gaius as you expect them, but in the last few images it appears that several of the buildings have been… rebuilt.”

Gree hands out a number of printed images.  These images are all taken at a good distance (approximately 5 miles), from the top of a hill overlooking the ruins.  The last two images show three 10+ story buildings that look bright and shiny in the daylight, almost brand new, and another that appears to be in process of renovation (the lower portion looks brand new while the upper two thirds look as rotten as the rest of the ruins).

“Nobody can build buildings like that anymore, certainly none of the powers that currently threaten us. So, we want to know who is behind this activity and why.  If this is a new power, we need to know who it is and what their intentions are.

“We will be outfitting you with a transport and communications gear, as well as cameras and video equipment to gather as much intelligence as possible.  Do not engage whoever is behind this, we do not want to be seen as an aggressor on this mission; especially if they have the technology to rebuild a city.  It’s a well known fact that it’s much easier to destroy a city than it is to build one…”

Game Master Information

Following her briefing, Gree is open to questions from the characters.  Not much is known about the ruins other than it was one of the newer cities build during the last golden age of humanity before the Crash.  Ruins like these have been notorious as scavengers magnets, but this one was always deemed taboo.  Gree may not admit it unless pressed, but she has long wanted to send someone into the ruins of Gaius, and quickly agreed when Chram requested the assignment.  Gree’s interest were piqued as a young girl when she heard about the city from an old human who told her that Gaius held great powers from before the fall of humanity, but that it was all now guarded from the world by the ghosts of those who perished and the monsters that they had created.

Gaius is located over 650 miles away through rough country with few intact roads and even fewer standing bridges.  With the transport, it will take the characters roughly five days to pick their way to the edge of Gaius.  Maps of the area are of little use for navigation, except to show possible alternate routes when the one they are on turns out to be washed out or blocked.
If the group is inexperienced or not well equipped, Gree will issue weapons and ammo, in addition to the transport, and equipment. (See mission equipment section, later in the module)

The group may, if they prefer, arrange for their own transport to Gaius, but Gree will not easily agree to subsidizing the expense unless persuaded.

Scenario Information
Gaius was one of over a dozen autonomous tech city projects that were built around the world in the years leading up to the fall of the human civilization.  These cities were serviced and managed by autonomous drones and androids, and directed by the Central Civics Management System, an Artificial Intelligence system named Gaius, after the city.  Humanity, now unburdened by mundane bureaucracies in these cities, were freed to pursue academic, scientific and artistic aspirations, while Gaius managed all the trivial details of daily survival. When an EMP was detonated over the city during the Great Death, the AI was shut down and the system collapsed.

In the decades that followed, bands of militants, survivors, and scavengers destroyed the the city and the few remaining automatons that still tried to service it. Gaius soon fell into ruin.  The ruins are now populated by wild mutant animals from the surrounding wilderness as well as bioroids.  Bioroids were genetically engineered creatures designed for all manner of purposes--mostly recreation and entertainment, but also combat.  Several of these bioroids progeny still roam the ruins looking for prey.

Soon after entering the ruins, Chram encountered one of these bioroids and was hunted for several days before he finally escaped into the CCMS facility. Wounded and cold Chram repaired several systems, which inadvertently reactivated the cities AI, after which he was misidentified as an escaped bioroid and apprehended by the cities reactivated security bots.

Reactivated, and sensing the state of the city, Gaius has replicated new automatons to repair and rebuild the city, and hopes that once it is restored to its former glory, it will attract a new populace to serve and manage as it did before.  Already it has sent out a small number of drones carrying the message that “Prosperity and Security await in Gaius, the city of tomorrow!”

Previous Notes: Reports of new buildings being seen in the ruins of an distant city have officials wondering who is building them and why.

A colony of constructor bots have reactivated and are hard at work rebuilding an pre-crash city.  In addition they have rebuilt and reactivated the cities civil defence network which are ready to defend the city against any aggressive actions.


[NASA Clyde -]
[NAO -]


Monday, May 11, 2015

Traits and Flaws

I've been toying with the idea of adding some form of "Traits and Flaws" system to my games, and this is the preliminary list of what would be available.  Still not sure how to integrate it into the game, if all players would get a standard pool of points to balance the purchase, or tie it to the Bio-E system.

This is still a work in progress, I'm just posting it for comments or for others to run with.

Addiction - The character has an addiction to a benign or harmful substance, which will cause the character distress if they are unable to acquire it.

Adverse Reaction - Whenever the character is exposed to a trigger (object, food, pollen, sound, etc), the character experiences an adverse reaction of some sort.

Age - Character got either an early or late start on the road to adventure.  Either way, people (their teammate are no exception) rarely take them seriously due to their age.

Amputated - One or more of the character’s limbs has been amputated for some reason.  This may be compensated for with a prosthetic limb, but it is always an issue.  NOTE: Bionic or Biotech limb replacements negate this flaw unless they are also flawed in some way.

Awkward, Physically - The character has a tendency to trip over their own feet, roots, rocks, power cords, etc.  This can also note that the character has a difficult time due to their physical size.

Awkward, Socially - Try as they might, the character just doesn't mingle well in social settings.

Conditional - The character has an ability or power that can only be used/activated when certain conditions are met.

Cursed - A darkness follows the character wherever they go.  Whenever something good happens to the character, it is always offset by something equally bad or much worse.

Easily Distracted - The character is easily...SQUIRREL!

Distinctive - The character has a something that sets them apart for the crowd: a booming voice, a birthmark, fur markings, etc.  Regardless, the character does not have the ability to blend in. (Prowl penalty)

Hair Trigger - It doesn't take much to set this character off.  Anger management is not in their vocabulary.

Halfbreed - The character is a genetically engineered cross of two species that is prominently displayed in their appearance, and causes the character to be shunned and/or discriminated against.

Hidden Past - The character’s past has been deliberately hidden or obscured from them by agencies unknown, and they may feel compelled to uncover the truth.  This may easily be tied with the Cursed, Nemesis and/or Obsessed/Seeker traits.

Hunted - There is a price on the character’s head.  Wanted Dead or Alive.  This differs from Nemesis in that it is normally impersonal, and the hunter is only interested in the reward.

Impaired Sense(s) - One of the character’s senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell) is impaired somehow, requiring some sort of aid (if possible) to compensate for.  Alternatively, the character’s sense(s) may be so heightened, that their use impairs them.

Indebted - The character owes someone something that is difficult to impossible to repay, and they are constantly reminded of this fact.

Infested (rename?) - The character’s body is home to one or more colonies to nanites allowing them to purchase a number of Embedded Nanotech Systems. (I’m planning on this as a future project)

Mute - The character does not talk.  This doesn't mean that the character cannot talk, it’s just that they do not talk.  Character must be able to talk (speach partial or full) to take this flaw.

Nemesis - Someone for some reason has a rivalry with the character and is constantly interfering in the character’s affairs.  This may result in numerous confrontations, but will always lead to one ultimate showdown.  This flaw differs from Hunted in that this is based on a personal vendetta.

Obsessed/Seeker - The character is obsessed with the acquisition of a difficult to impossible to acquire object, person, location, or knowledge.

OCD - Not to be confused with the Obsessed/Seeker flaw, this character is obsessed with, or compelled to perform an act as to deal with anxiety, or to keep their perpetual anxiety in check.  If the character is unable to perform their rituals, things can get very unpleasant.  This flaw can be placed in check with the proper pharmaceuticals and/or therapy.

Phobia - The character’s has an irrational fear or dislike for a specific thing or group of things: dogs, dolls, heights, water, etc.

Prodigy - Amazingly, this character is a prodigy when it comes to a particular skill. That skill is automatically set to 80% and increases at +5%/level past the first, and may exceed 98%.  Weapon Proficiencies are treated as starting at level 5.

Shadowy Past - The character has a secret from their past that haunts them, and -- if it were to ever come to light -- would most likely destroy them or cause them no end of anguish.  This flaw cannot be tied to the Hidden Past trait as this flaw requires the character to know what is haunting them.

Significant Other - The character has an attachment to someone that they hold over all other considerations.  This could lead to severe complications if anything were to happen to their significant other.

Stalked - The character has one or more people who hang on everything the character does and says.  These fans will track the character’s exploits to the point of following them wherever they go, and even “taking souvenirs” when they get a chance.

Talented - This character just “gets it” when it comes to a certain subject.  Choose one skill group and those skills progress at 1.5 times as fast.

Trigger - There is something specific that will enrage this character.  Once this trigger has been tripped, the character will last out at the offender.

Unskilled - Try as they might, the character has a hard time getting the hang of things.  Skills progress at half the usual advancement rate.  This may be taken in conjunction with Prodigy.

Vulnerability - The character has an Achilles Heel, a weakness that can be either physical or psychological that can be exploited in combat.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Road Hog Character Background

Description: The Road Hogs are the biker gang that took control of all of the other northern biker gangs ("Join or Die") and now controls the western portion of what was Oregon State.  The character most likely joined the Road Hogs either as a matter of survival (once member of another gang), or in the quest for power and respect.  Anyone who leaves the Road Hogs will have a bounty placed on them that any Road Hog will gladly attempt to collect.
Apprenticeship: None (Road Hogs would rather force villagers to do the work)
Primary Skills: Mechanics: Basic, Wilderness Survival, four Physical Skills, three Weapon Proficiencies, two Pilot Skills
Secondary Skills: Select any five
Special Bonuses: +20 SDC, +2 PS, +2 PE
Money: 2D6 times 100 New Americorp Dollars
Equipment: Basic clothing and Road Hog leathers, two good quality weapons, and a vehicle worth $12,000
Relatives & Connections: The Road Hogs are a brotherhood of bikers and road warriors, and will have a 30% chance to recognize another 'Hog' not displaying their colors.  The motto "Join or Die" also carries with it the expectation that one is a Road Hog until they die, and they do not appreciate anyone who tries to leave the fold.