Thursday 20 May 2021

Recent Post Apoc RPG Shop & Gaming

Mix of review and running my game with products mentioned in previous posts.

Recent Games
Have been alternating my stone age game when players low and we had a nice long session. Also running some solo stuff for planet psychon/brokenhill. Have an editor on Psychon book now. Players who are 15th lv in my stone age game are wary of facing anything with lowered numbers. Ive been running Mutant Epoch adventure stuff which has been pretty good. Aesthetics of body horror mutants and ruin porn are pretty compatible. I got a bunch of the day digs adventures and am hoping to read some later gamma world stuff to see how I could use it. Mutant Epoch, Fallout and Darwins world Mohave desert area stuff works pretty well in Australia with some map shifts.

The mutant epoch printed adventures use a choose your own adventure format to "help" the beginner which has some issues. Actually, the map labels mention page sections and it does work fairly well and players managed. The more I used it the easier it got. It's different to other adventures in presentation and takes a bit of getting used to. The tables under entries can be used to replay the same adventure in different ways (I make players roll). Also, the tables detail what each player finds but might trigger some vermin attack, a trap or some structural collapse while looting. So you can loot lots but risk encounters. 

So the solo character is a mutant trader lad who helped town tinkerer and Sherrif to become a looter with a blunderbuss to a merchant and now has a raider buggy and some more guns. Made travel amazingly faster and avoided various encounters and reached outer areas of Adelaide and hopes to sell broken sex robots at the best marketplace he could reach. Still has an hour at least through ganglands in semi flooded city ruins. While camped in Gawler I ran The Mall of Doom for Mutant Epoch which features an attack in a hotel. Its a bug hunt where the action starts immediately. The hotel is a good location. They ran out of hits and had to back off to heal but scored some loot and reputation. The next section driving through ganglands should be fun. Tried to join the wagon caravan until saw how slow they were compared to the buggy. Has agreed to go with a questionable courier in an armoured sedan.

My main gang having finished claiming a former minor political faction HQ from pre-war have been working for the warlord and running their gun and robot smithy shoppe in the walled settlers area of Silver City. Offered them to spy on a rival warlord town on a sporting event, investigate missing people near farm settlement (and investigate a local cult) and hunting raiders in the ancient mine tailings heaps. They chose option 2 and went to find farmers which led me to use 
Mall of Doom for Mutant Epoch. This had the party appropriately suspicious of the cult and they are currently scouting the ruined mall but moving to find missing people. The main guys are a gun-fu martial artist robot smith and the other a Cyan Galah abhuman martial artist and gunfighter good with improvised weapons. Found lots of guns and cool loot and barely a third through but might finish next session. The shop loot tables could all be recycled. 

I'm hoping on using some Darwins World stuff too and campaigns in a similar wasteland should work well.

I'm a bit interested in detailing subways under Broken Hill. A prewar vacuum tube line connected to three major coastal cities and some smaller lines to tourist attractions are possible places worth exploring and perhaps some could be re-opened as underground trade routes out of the sun. I've started adding some new skills for fun stuff too.

Some Gamma World Readings:
The furriest era of Gammaworld, 4th reinforced a few things in my mind. TSR of this era are more hit and miss and why at the time I quit it. Layouts and space use varies in quality and density. Overall they feel more padded than say GW1 so I never delved too deeply into them till I got POD versions. A series based in a region dominated by Bonapartist revolutionary animal mutants is an interesting choice and a serious attempt to detail the setting was made in this edition. I did not like the eyeball plant cartouches and headers and the page borders. Now I'm older the TSR font size of this era finally for me but between products space between lines varies. The gamma world family-friendly apocalypse ok for cold war teens reads mild vs often bleak and squalid Darwins World (played a bit straighter in grit) or Mutant Epoch with more Chronenburg body horror for mature audiences. I need to get this ed of rulebook because it seems to have setting stuff. Gammaworld makes a good basecoat for adding my planet Psychon stuff. 

I had 1st and 2nd ed gamma world adventure and I love the first two dearly as fave TSR adventures. Legion of Gold is my fave Gygax book and it has so many micro-adventures and a whole campaign region in a small booklet achieving far more than many others. GW2 with the chicken factory AI vs mutant chickens has so much humour and the tribal initiation quest stuff is great.

The Overlord of Bonpar GWA2
So there is a sourcebook of the Bonaparte region, the animal imperialists kingdom. Details on the land used in these adventures with lots of simple communities of the various size you could highjack. Lots of big towns neglected by many settings in this genre. Each gets notes on government or embassies or other quest finding hotspots. I like bunnytown for hoops and frogtown for groaks to trade between land and sea peoples. I think they could have overtly put adventure tips in every town (my players know they can find sidequests everywhere). An airforce base, a cave town founded by humans fleeing animal overlords, a volcano science base and other stuff. Compliment the other books here and good seed for a animal civilisation game. 

Mutant Master GWQ1
The first adventure is simple for a 50+ page book - two explorations one in a science museum with one of those employee hungry AIs (a variant on the theatre in older edition intro adventures). Lots of roleplaying opportunities I will admit. There is a red herring leading to a very bad trap and this is one occasion adventure recommends roll-up new ones which you gotta love in an intro adventure. The second part involves infiltrating a mutant gang that is too deadly to fight through and lets you set off a talking nuke. For a first adventure, it reads easy and would be easy to run from a good skim. A bit deadly though - the big trap scene especially could have other resolutions. The big scenes have style and roleplaying and problem solving emphasized to survive. I think I would have help for the trap scene or id expect players with weird powers to escape somehow even bribing guards or using a power to escape should be possible rather than TPK. It turns out to not have many choices really with lethal punishments for reasonable activity. It hands you stuff to wrap up the bad guy instead of assassinating them and set off several nuclear disasters on your first adventure seems unsustainable. He is a jerk villain, players need to meet or talk to before committing to finishing him.
All Animals Are Equal GWQ2
The second adventure is kind of one of the great RPG oddities. It describes a huge zoo complex full of mutant animals living off replicant food who have a kind of animal farm utopia. You could probably use your local zoo map easily. The human keeper descendants still work feeding and cleaning. Animals have a complex political life highly detailed with a constitution and various addendums over the years in practice. The text is denser line spacing and not many maps and stats for many animals. In the scope of this campaign, this city could be important for zoopremist (no humans) or Bonapartists (animals rule) and has so many furry animal roleplaying opportunities it could be a home base. It feels like I have to read this lots more to really use and I would walk away knowing more about this place than most of the countries of the world. I could imagine this as a garden of Eden where an AI or humans uplifted animals here for survival and make it a garden of Eden where lots of furry races originally came from. Now I could migrate here and pass a civics exam. You could LARP this adventure at a furry con. It has a good mix of humour, upsidedown post apoc society and straight-faced sincerity I like. It's like planet of the Apes meets Animal Farm in a zoo. I keep imagining a courtroom drama set here.
Home Before The Sky Falls GWQ3
This seems denser in layout than one and here you get to work with the army negotiating and battling mutant supremacists while a killer automaton runs loose. Not much art or maps. Way too many pages and I've had several digs through it and not grocking it so will possibly try again later. Brevity and utility are good features in a game product and including stuff you can use in your own games.

More recent Mutant Epoch PDFs Ive had a look at too
These are written a bit more open than the big printed adventures I am running. Still has some random room content/events which I am coming around to for a living dungeon. Tables let certain encounters activate or when you re enter something new is happening inside. The one-day digs are good short lair like episodes with a few pages. Some have bigger scope and seeds than others but they are interesting and offer variety.

Gun Station Gamma: a wilderness trek and explore a nuclear artillery battery. Has cybermutants inside and one of my favourite RPG maps I have seen in ages. Some good mutants and vatt grown rejects. Various outcomes for the villain too and ways to expand and who takes over if left intact. 

Lilac Towers One Day Digs 5: Features a luxury spa with degenerate inhabitants of an ancient buried hotel complex. Lots of horrible wet puppet mutants to explode with shotguns.

Hunt in the Dark One Day Digs 6: Hired to help hunt mutant rat serial killers who fled into a hole. Includes a bit of a convention centre and the hunt makes thorough looting harder. Explore hunt vs some bad guys and the bad guys you meet on the way.

The Ascent One Day Digs 7: Moon cadets crash and must survive on the surface to be rescued. A different sort of set-up and encouraged to shoot everything. Has an option to use as a campaign start too which is neat once you've done the savages playing with ray guns trope.

Baby Bapu One Day Digs 8: A fearsome trash troll is on a rampage, investigate why. Im reminded of the film Gorgo a bit. I like people learning to get along with monsters without killing involved. Might be a good way to get to know local common folk.

Wizard of the Waste One Day Digs 9: This has a desert area with a ruined station connected to a mini theme park with a wizard. Im sold. I could slip this in anywhere anytime. I might use this for the first DnD style wizard players meet.

Final Notes
I am hoping to slip in several of these and my own 3folds. Darwins world stuff will get a leg in too. Once Ive played a chunk and finished off certain writings will go back to more gonzo planet psychon stuff. Id like to have my Planet Psychon Book, Houserules and Broken Hill all finished at the same time but probably should press some smaller projects.

1 comment:

  1. I rolled up a random humanoid today with 2e rules. Ability scores were straight up average 10's, 11's, a 12. CON was 15 though! Rolling for hit points was fairly dreadful, only 41 HP, but when I rolled for my two physical mutations I got a 98% and a 99%! Pick 4 total good mutations!!! I got to roll for 3 mental mutations and got two defects; attraction odor and light dependance. The third was Heightened Physical- CON! So 71 HP and effective 18 CON vs. Posion/Radiation. Picking 4 physical mutations freely can make you a one tough son of a bitch and here is that list; Radiation Eyes, Regeneration, Skeletal Enhancement and Energy Metamorphosis. Now EM is dormant without Absorption, but I love the idea Scarzone Walker has an unknown power in him which could be awakened at any time. This and Furky the Peace Turkey are my back up characters for Kamanja the PSH I started Detroit Suck City with. I always expect every session to be his last, but the kid is tough, and bold. The other players are all Humanoids with impressive powers but I always seem to be the one leading the charge :(


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