Flashlight Bearer

Has anyone ever tried hacking TB into a post-apocalyptic setting? Delving into ruins, hunger, salvaging, etc — it feels like all the ingredients are there…

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I have notes for "realistic’ post-apocalyptic (with and without zombies) and post-apoc wahoo science-fantasy. It’s a great fit with conditions and resource management.

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Right? It all lines up very neatly. I think it would be interesting to try a Gamma World style hack.

The boys over at Mordite Press have got some good rules for firearms and cover in their “Dastards & Desperadoes” western setting. It’s in The Grind zine. I’ll be liberally stealing from that. I’m working on skills for Scientist and Pilot as well as a Maker character class and rules for making the miraculous stuff known as “Tek.”

Also: rules for mantis warriors, mutant animals, psychics, cyborgs and radiation.

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That sounds fantastic- if you ever need an extra play tester, sign me up!

We ‘stole’ from the Aliens hack a bit, so in a way, Jared is just stealing it back (incidentally the Aliens hack has an excellent array of hi-tech weapons, not just pulse rifles) Also I’ve playtested some of Jared’s Tek rules with psychics/aminen/etc and a great time was had by all. There was a walrus-man with Whiskers-wise, and a cat-man warrior named Gorefield!

Ruins delving was a natural fit. It was a bit like scavenging junk in Fallout. There is the big question of balancing old tech and new tek. Don’t give your players all the toys right out of the box. Make them work for it, and then finding a flashlight will seem like a gift from the gods. It’s also good to make the tek feel like it has limitations or limited uses, to get across that they hail from a post scarcity society.

One more suggestion. Create a persistent town, one whose health lives or dies by the players actions. Give the Players a link to it that they invest in. In Mad Max movies and westerns the man vs nature theme often has town/society on the brink of collapse. It’s not just whether the murder hobos survive but if humanity it self survives. If you don’t act, everyone you know, everyone you care about is going to starve and die (or get eated).

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Fantastic thinking. Thank you for sharing that!

Had a crazy idea for ammo.

In a post-apocalyptic setting, ammo is just as precious as the other resources. Sure. But, tracking ammo on a character sheet is not fun.

For more of a Gamma World type of mechanic, maybe guns and ranged weapons have a single use. This doesn’t mean that they literally only have one bullet, but rather it comes into play at one climatic moment in the “movie.” Use it, and then it becomes an improvised melee weapon until you find more ammo.

One of the things I liked from the original Gamma World was that objects like a crossbow were strange and mysterious. If you could even figure out how to use such a device, there was probably only limited ammo.

A different idea would be to set dice on top of the weapon card to track uses. A pistol would have one die, shogun 2, and a rifle 3 dice. As you use them, throw a dice into the stack just like passing dice for helping. This keeps the abstraction of conflicts but feels more like tracking ammo without being simulationist.

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