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> Post-Apocalyptic Modding, Magic Meets Mad Max
Dissonance
post Jun 22 2006, 07:54 AM
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I'll own up to it. As I'm currently unable to access my primary computer, I've been using my laptop to play a couple of my more favorite, /older/ games. And, well, Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 have been a couple of steady entries in my rotation. And, as you might guess from the Topic Description, I've got a bit of a thing for the desert-style survival theme.

I like SR4. I like its tests and so on. And I like the idea of playing an alternate-alternate history in which, say, Winternight was just a wee bit more successful than they were in the official history.

I've admittedly not put much research into the main game. Also, I've admittedly not put much thought into whether or not SR4 is a good system to use. I considered using the New World of Darkness, but it lacks the tribal-magic that I wanted to put into the wasteland. And the morality system is a goofy, goofy system.

I'm thinking that I'd like to keep the game vaguely, well. It might be in the same spirit of Shadowrun, really. The idea of down-and-out people running to keep alive, possibly making themselves badass in the process. But, well, I think I might want to give it a sort of Fallout flair.

I'm thinking that I'd reduce the commonality of magic. Switch it to mostly shamanic thing, with possible adepts and psionics (being represented by hermetics). Maybe replace the ability to summon mass number of spirit to ger, like, a potential ally spirit. Something you'd actually want to respect. A Familiar Plus, if you would.

Guns would be present, but I'd like to put more emphasis on throwing and oldschool projectiles. Archery. Arrows are cheap and craftable by most folks. Bullets, not so much.

Danger of radiation, dehydration, and, well. The occasional over-the-top wasteland raider gang.

I'd like to hear some thoughts from other people before I start working on rules all out the ass liek wo. Heck, I'd even be willing to listen to system suggestions. Frankly, I'd just like to start a thread that doesn't dissolve into the usual suspects leaping at each other's throats. Plus, well. Man. Wasteland. That's got to be worth a couple of points, right?
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Glyph
post Jun 22 2006, 08:19 AM
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The only major problem that I can see is that it is hard to justify hackers, riggers, and cybered-up sammies when guns are rare. So you want to make magic rare, but everyone will want an awakened character, since the only alternative is to play an uncybered mundane.

If you don't want an all-awakened party, you will probably either need to gimp the awakened characters somehow, or give extra build points or other advantages to the mundane characters. You could arbitrarily limit the number of awakened characters, but that could just lead to resentment on the part of players who don't get to play one.

Or... you could run it like some stories, such as Amtrak Wars, and have pockets of civilization remaining. Actually, that's fairly common in post-apocalyptic settings - either the subterranean group of military people who have retained some technology while the rest of the world has reverted to savagery (and plot to take over the surface world), or the fabled hidden city where they still have things such as running water and electricity. That way, you could have sammies or other techies who are renegades (or maybe agents) from such places.
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irinoxx
post Jun 22 2006, 08:40 AM
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Glyph is right.
I'll just add the possibility of banning pretty much everything at chargen, including magic, and allow any character to buy magic abilities through karma. This way, you get everyone on equal (low) footing from the start, and have your perfect harsh desert survival game.
Then players will naturally crave for power, and will actually have to make choices in game about wether to follow the magic or the cyber path. Some of them might even find out that in such an environment, they'll get great power by investing karma into contacts and friends instead of personal enhancement.
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PH3NOmenon
post Jun 22 2006, 01:06 PM
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QUOTE (Glyph)
The only major problem that I can see is that it is hard to justify hackers, riggers, and cybered-up sammies when guns are rare. So you want to make magic rare, but everyone will want an awakened character, since the only alternative is to play an uncybered mundane.

play fallout, it's basically the reference on post apocalyptic roleplaying...


Tech runs rampant in fallout, but the "good stuff" is limited to either vault dwellers or Brotherhood of Steel members...




When making SR into a post-ap setting, the best thing to do would indeed let everyone start out as mundane and uncybered.


As far as setting goes, you could let people do 'runs' for 'civilised' areas, the epitome of which should be raiding a vault, or you can let them hunt in the wasteland, join gangs, help small farmers communities... lots of options there...

If you want to keep the wireless bit of SR4, that'll require some serious tinkering with the history of SR though, advancing that particular technology enough to have it survive a nuclear holocaust...
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nezumi
post Jun 22 2006, 01:48 PM
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And what about cyberware? If guns are rare, I imagine wired reflexes 3 don't even come into the picture (well, maybe if you're a vault dweller. But you're not a vault dweller for much longer if you advertise you have cyberware available.)
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Nim
post Jun 22 2006, 03:20 PM
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Limiting magic (or at least, magicians) is easy: say that the nuclear devastation also carries a magical background count. Also, the poisoned landscape makes toxic spirits more common...make conjuring risky, with a chance of getting a hostile, uncontrolled toxic spirit if you don't roll well enough. You might as well keep the adepts - they'd probably fit in fine.

On an unrelated note, a shameless plug. If you like post-apoc games, you might take a look at Fallen Earth - upcoming post-apoc MMORPG. Several of my friends here with RPG writing credits to their names just got hired to write content for them. I think they're shooting for a release in early 2007.
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Xenith
post Jun 22 2006, 04:10 PM
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Post apocalyptic style has always been a favorite of mine...

In this case, you might instead either shoot the setting timeline ahead a bit.... Say.... 2080 or even 2100... and suggest several different reasons why things are the way they are... but also that no one is quite sure. Discovering the reasons could be as awe inspiring as simply surviving the mutants and rampant awakened species. Perhaps quite a bit of tech survived in pockets, its simply very dangerous or very hard to access it when you wander off the safe paths. While radio dead zones are common, hackers that double as riggers would be infinitely useful in such a setting as well. And Dead Zones don't have to be everywhere not upkept by the scattered remnants of civilization; especially along the safe areas. However, drones as radio nodes and sensor clusters become very useful in this respect. Also, many remaining areas would likely have security systems that are still active, making the hackers invaluable here as well. Awakened players would indeed have to struggle with Background count, strong in certain places, but not entirely rampant. And toxic spirits would certainly be a problem. (For background count, just lower the characters magic by the rating of the background count temporarily. This would affect adepts as well as spell casters and summoners.)
Cyberware and Bioware become rare beyond the basic ratings; it might be only a little hard to get Wired Reflexes 1, but its nigh impossible to get 3 and the same would go for the bioware version as well. Eye mods, ear mods, and toxin removal/resistance systems would be more commonly installed than most other implants.

Anyway, hope that helps a bit.
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Dissonance
post Jun 22 2006, 08:38 PM
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Ooh. Online post-apoc game? Me likey.

But, yes. I have slept, and now I've read some of your suggestions. I like the idea of switching things up just a little bit.

There'll still be a place for tech, certainly. Especially self-replenishing tech. I might have to switch a lot of the wireless stuff to wired stuff, and drones might have to get a kick in the ass, but there's still plenty of room for awesome driving tricks.

As for firearms? It might be that firearms aren't exactly rare, but bullets are. In that you wouldn't be able to just go down to the store and buy s'more. Arrows are significantly easier to make, and, well, more crossbows equals more goods.

Magic? I have no clue what I'm going to do here. I like the idea of switching it just so that instead of multiple spirits, you can basically summon ONE ally spirit for free. And actually make sure you're not, y'know, mistreating the thing so it doesn't piss off and do things.

Bodyware? I might have to pull a bit of a handwave. Autodocs? Why hello. Cyberware would be significantly easier to keep around, as the stuff is shielded against EMP attacks and so on. Bioware, however, has the tendency to rot. They'd be both pretty difficult to find, they would, but bioware would be a lot, well. More something. You'd have to find a facility that's still operational and bioware that's still FRESH.

I like the emphasis on the filtration systems. And I figure that dermal plating would be darn common. The OBVIOUS kinds of ware might see a sudden upswing. You might actually SEE somebody with the oldschool ruth sheathing.

Recap: Most stuff hard to find. Tech works, but more on the wired side instead of wireless, but there should certainly be possibilities for wireless infiltration because it's neat. Magic gets significantly toned down and some of the lesser used spells might get picked. No clue what to do with adepts. Plenty of desert terrain. Unsure of how to work up corporate influence. Who wants to see a post-apocalyptic arcology? I do.
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Butterblume
post Jun 22 2006, 09:47 PM
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Playing in the australian outback would almost perfectly suit your needs ;).

I recommend a look at Target: Awakened Lands.
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Toptomcat
post Jun 22 2006, 10:11 PM
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Players with 'ware in a setting like this are only a problem if you're decades into the cataclysm. If it happened yesterday, everyone who HAD cyber doesn't suddenly LOSE it. Players who start with cyberware can just have had it pre-apocalypse. Muscle replacements don't run out of bullets.
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Dissonance
post Jun 22 2006, 11:54 PM
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Interesting ideas. I don't have Target: AL, or Target: Wasteland, but I could certainly take a few cues from the very same. And, well, taking things I like from both Fallout 1 and Fallout 2. I'm liking that idea.

Now, for magic, I'm not entirely sure what I'd do here. I might go so far as to making everybody an adept with that one spell power from, what was it, SR2? Where you paid a magic point to learn one spell?

I still like the idea of ally spirits. Especially since I'm considering allowing folks to be toxic. No potency, as I'm inexperienced, but the idea of being, y'know. Irradiated totem animals good. Irradiated, mutated beasts from a wasteland hell that happen to be tender and loyal to their summoner? Also good.
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nezumi
post Jun 23 2006, 05:23 PM
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QUOTE (Toptomcat)
If it happened yesterday, everyone who HAD cyber doesn't suddenly LOSE it. Players who start with cyberware can just have had it pre-apocalypse. Muscle replacements don't run out of bullets.

They might not run out of bullets, but the rules assume you take it in for regular servicing. You can't really expect a ten-year-old cybereye to continue running as well as it did when it was brand new.
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Butterblume
post Jun 23 2006, 09:08 PM
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QUOTE (Dissonance)
I don't have Target:  AL, or Target:  Wasteland, but I could certainly take a few cues from the very same.  And, well, taking things I like from both Fallout 1 and Fallout 2.

For a fallout atmosphere, play in the australian outback. No radiation, but manastorms could have caused similar mutations. All other factors from fallout fit: struggling communities, raiders, water shortage, ammo shortage, tech is hard to get, (Para)critters, underground corp facilities ...
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