View Full Version : Creative minds needed- Long road through a post apocalyptic waste land

Kol Korran
2013-08-02, 03:27 AM
Hey folks! My group started a post apocalyptic game a little while ago, using the FATE system (though the system mechanics don't come into this). The setting is a post apocalyptic setting, and I'm a bit stumped at a 2 weeks travel through the wasteland the party might undertake next meeting. (Tomorrow! :smalleek:) I have a few basic ideas, but nothing grand, nothing that special.

A bit more background and about the characters as well:
The party are leading members of a little town in the middle of nowhere. The town was besieged by sort of ghouls/ mutants/ rabid zombies. the party has managed to break off their resistance, but learned that this menace is far more spread out. During all kind of trouble the power center of the otwn was also damaged. The marauders make it quite hard to farm and live a normal life.

The town seeks to get aid, and maybe the needed parts from the bigger town to the south, which is 2 weeks away. Caravans from it haven't arrived in awhile though...

I'm lacking for ideas for interesting things on the way to the town. there will be a fairly big (mildly polluted) river going to the town, but other than that it's an utter wasteland. Current (uninspired) thoughts:
- Something to do with raiders on the road.
- finding one of the caravan's remains, maybe some survivors or such.
- harassing attacks by the ghoul mutants.
- Perhaps people from another settlement making their way to the city, but with some conflicts with the party?

Thing is, I don't want to have "fights for the sake of fights", unless they are REALLY interesting fights, but I prefer to save that for other times. Mostly I'd like ways to interact with the characters' personality and concepts. A bit about the characters:
- A one armed preacher with some dark past, probably have been a raider. very concerned with the well being of his town. Equally skilled with his wit, machete and Remington.
- An arrogant, sarcastic, bastard of a merchant. very wealthy, looking out for number one usually. owns one of the caravans, wishes to make a power grab in his home town. Has businesses in the town they are headed for.
- The biker girl: a sort of a Lara Croft in a post apocalyptic world, expert mechanic, driver and shooter. Tends to get into trouble, and in a knowingly abusive relationship with the merchant. recently nearly died, quite shocked from the experience and her awareness of her own mortality.
- The mutant- sort of like the mutants in Fallout- big, strong, but he is quite gentle. a very withdrawn fellow, has a debt to the town leaders, expert at construction and... explosives. Gentle giant type of personality. I'd REALLY like to get this player more involved!

So, any ideas how to make this travel interesting? :smallsmile:

2013-08-02, 04:01 AM
Depends on how apocalyptic it was. :smalltongue:

If at least some tech is still around: A go-gang of rough-looking bikers on barely-working choppers surrounds the group. They challenge the party, not to a fight, but to a race. If the PCs win, they've made some allies, and maybe these guys will answer some questions about the caravans. If they lose, combat may result. I dunno, play it by ear. Chances are that if the PCs lose, but are good sports and gave it a good run, they might earn the gang's respect anyway.

If less tech is available, the above could change; maybe the gang has horses instead. :smalltongue:

Another interesting encounter could be a perfectly healthy fruit tree, growing just off the beaten path, in the middle of the wastes. Surprisingly, the fruit is fresh and free of any toxins or pollutants that the area has. No traps, no tricks, but I get the feeling the PCs are gonna be either curious or suspicious of it. :smallamused:

They could find the ruined remains of another place from before the apocalypse. Really depends on how far back the apocalypse was.

For a sentimental scene, you could have a stray dog befriend one of the PCs. :smallsmile:

2013-08-02, 07:53 AM
In addition to The Count's suggestions, I'd say make them paranoid. They know that no caravans have been getting through. They know that the town they are leaving has been attacked by mutants of some sort. They expect danger on the road.

Instead, make the entire journey (more-or-less) mutant/danger free. Have them roll survival checks (or the FATE equivalent, I am not familiar with that system yet) to get by without getting lost, gathering resources, rationing food, etc. Have them roll perception checks but they never see anything, at least nothing dangerous.

Roleplay out the entire two weeks, maybe roleplaying each day fully if you have the time (I'd suggest just glossing over each day, but the point is to make the length of the journey be felt, so that the players get more and more paranoid that they haven't been attacked). The biker gang that The Count suggested or any other "non-lethal" encounter can be thrown in there to keep it from getting stale, but I agree with you not to attack them.

Then, when they reach the big city that they are headed towards, they find that it has already been destroyed. A plague, mutant attacks, or some other disaster befell the town, and now they have to get to the next closest population center.

Some ideas for non-combat encounters, in addition to others already stated:

(mutated) animals that steal provisions from the party while they are sleeping or otherwise preoccupied. The catch being that these are scavenger animals, and are non-aggressive unless cornered.
A group of orphaned children holed up in a small camp of some sort- the second floor of a building, the side of a cliff, a natural cave network. The children might be aggressive at first, but really are just scared and hungry. The Players don't have the resources to help them right now, but might promise to come back with aid later.
Strange vegetation that produces hallucinogenic spores, causing anyone that gets too close to suffer delusions or even enter a trance-like state. The plant has creeping-vines that sap energy and nutrients from the victims it ensnares.
A powerful dust/sand storm blows through the area. The Players need to create an emergency shelter to wait it out.
Merchant caravan of opportunistic traders. They trade all sorts of goods, sort of like a mobile pawn shop. They may or may not get their inventory from looting dead bodies. Some of those bodies might not have been dead when the merchants did the looting...