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Post Apocalyptic Fantasy


Monte Carlo

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Hello.

 

Although I don't really play much tabletop D&D anymore, I still tweak my homebrew campaign world. This is mainly because one day I will put it on a website for anybody who wants to take a look at it satisfy their curiosity and maybe use bits of it for themselves.

 

I won't bore you with too much of it. People who talk too much about their homebrew campaign worlds can be a bit like those people at work who tell you about their dreams, which invariably aren't as interesting / disturbing (etc) as your own.

 

It's a pretty old-skool, combat-heavy, low-magic type of place heavily influenced by old RPGs like RuneQuest and Arduin (see my previous post on the subject). However, the central premise, which I know isn't wildly original but is quite interesting is this:

 

Take one relatively vanilla, high fantasy world with magic and orcs and all that stuff. Then get a group of apocalyptic baddies to drop and fifty kiloton nuclear device on it (which they had obtained courtesy of extra-planar travel from a group of Soviet scientists in an alternative 1980's, some of whom came back with the apocalyptic baddies). So, yeah, I've thrown some Gamma World and Morrow Project (MP really reminded me of Fallout before Fallout was actually Fallout) but avoided anything remotely Darksun.

 

The world is a few hundred years after the bomb (which, of course, they didn't realise was a bomb). So, on to the point of my post:

 

What would you expect to see in such a setting, and why?

 

Cheers

MC

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The Soviet Union having lots of puppet governments on your post-apoc plane. Mostly with people worshipping the Gods of Communism, like Karl Marx and Vladmier Lenin. People not knowing much about the other plane from which they come from, but loving the Soviet Union due to its awesome technology.

Edited by SilentScope001
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I would tailor it around the conquest of the New World - where the Soviet would act much like the Spanish conqueres of that time. Setting themselves up as Gods due to their technology and then kill, plunder and murder any who went against them (and several who did). The bomb, in our reality, would be the various diseases the Spanish brought with them.

 

This way you could be telling an actual story through a different angle.

Fortune favors the bald.

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Cults. Lots of cults.

 

I was always more interested in post-apoc fantasy not so much as a setting you put your players into initially but something you use to pull the rug out from under them and change the rules at a base level to see what happens and how the players react. I was considering running a heavy-magic campaign (I'm a slave to the FR, unfortunately) and having the players either witness or enact a cataclysm that either negates magic entirely or severely scales it back in the gameworld. I also considered making the players some of the few people who could still use magic post-cataclysm, in effect making them something like superheroes amongst normal men (even more than they already had been, heh).

 

Not so keen on actually using atomic weaponry from modern times, per se, but any analogue doomsday weapon would work. What about a fantasy bomb that, instead of emitting deadly radiation, semi-permanently alters the magic cast in its area into wild or dead magic? Think mythals.

 

Another cool idea would be, instead of taking the easy way out and throwing interdimensional Soviet scientists in with an atom bomb, you have the bomb actually discovered in the world. Say, for instance, dwarven miners come across a never before seen glowing substance that seems highly magical but sickens those who come into close contact with it. Then some malevolent group kills dwarves and seizes magic metal. PCs pursue the malevolent group not knowing what's afoot, and by the end of the adventure the malevolent group has built a dirty bomb / atomic device and detonates it. Or you could have somebody trying to use the weapons to kill Gods, or something.

Edited by Pop
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I don't know if you've ever played LBA (Little Big Adventure) before Pop, but they idea of finding a bomb (or in your case finding weapons grade Uranium/Plutonium?) reminded me of a scene in the game where you come across some objects from Earth - a safety pin, some matches and those cotton thingies you put in your ear (the big suprise in LBA was that they were bigger than you were) - but I like the idea of someone actually uncovering a real build bomb. Mostly because this would force the players to react to the thing as though they don't know what it is - and the general mystery of how in the nine hells such a thing could enter the Forgotten realms could be quite interesting.

Fortune favors the bald.

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I have a cult based loosely on Ganstourm the Godslayer's (a mad half-orc warlord-chieftan) twisted take on Trotskyism after he spent a year in the wilderness with Major General Anatoly Susenov and his batman from the Urals, Sasha. The two Russians from the Nuclear weapons programme were a bit bewildered at first, but quickly found that life at the court of Ganstourm was remarkably similar to that of the Politburo, albeit with more horned helmets and drinking out of skulls.

 

Together they harnessed magic, radiation and strange long-forgotten technology to forge the God-Slaying weapon from which Ganstourm would take his nom de guerre. The existence of gods angered the Communist visitors strong atheist views and they enabled the half-orc to possess God-Slaying weapons. Ironically, exposure to the heavily radioactive weapons eventually slew Ganstourm, but not before he declared himself a living god and executed his Soviet friends for heresy.

 

Ganstourm's cult, The God-Slayers, think that by slaying the religious elites of other religions, they will ascend themselves to become divine. The Big Secret is the Ganstourm derived his powers from godless technicians. This is only known to the High Priest of the Cult, who worries about it quite a lot. He's like the Wizard of Oz. But bigger.

 

Magic-Users are very rare and only hail from areas where there were no radiation. Radiation, has, however, begat quasi-psionic powers unto a select few. Both psions and magic-users (even rarer, now only hailing from one protected city state that was relatively unaffected by the blast) are however directly blamed for the apocalypse and are ruthlessly hunted down by grim, uber-religious inqusitors. Anarchists plot nihilistic acts of terror is the basements of alehouses. Adventurers make fortunes hunting pre-war artefacts in long-forgotten dungeons and aboard the rusting hulks of dead gods. In the East, ranks of living dead relentlessly storm a huge defensive wall guarded by vast, mercenary armies.

 

I like all the ideas though. However, I'm keeping my mad soviet nuclear scientists, they amuse me.

 

Cheers

MC

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Personally I think it would be a lot more interesting to view the doomsday scenario as not a nuclear bomb per se, but Mao Tse-tung. Imagine the havoc he could cause in your average knights and eleves setting. Politics, not bombs, although obviously he would encourage the development of guns as a means for making illiterate yokels a match for knights and the bourgeouise (if that's how you spell it) magic guilds. Throw in him making pacts with demons against the gods (who I'm sure would like his revolutionary ideals) and bingo!

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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