The Vault

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Day After: The Rough Scetch

My initial idea for the "official" background story of Road Warriors is not entirely unlike that of Games Workshops old boardgame/minigame hybrid called 'Dark Future'. In it, the world hadn't totally gone down the drains (although, in Road Warriors, it must go down the drains) but instead was more set in a pre-apocalypse era.

In it, roving gangs duelled out on the highways and interstates of a bleak and scarred America following a great ecological disaster (and possibly the lure of dark gods) and sets the tone for a rather classic cyberpunk backdrop. Following an act which allowed for the privatisation of the police, the world was quickly turned into Patrolled Zones, where the high and mighty could afford protection and the rest was reduced to NoGo's - areas simply left to the whims of anarchy and man's nature. It is this nature that I'll attempt to focus on in the setting of Road Warriors, although I will make certain bends to suit my need for Robots, Mega-Corps, Bikers, V8-Interceptors and possible Alien encounters!

Brave New World
It all started with a bang.
A bang in the 150 kilotonne range.

The worlds superpowers, or possibly even the MegaCorps finally went mad and launched an all out nuclear attack on, well, anything that moved really. Fortunately for the world, not a whole lot of the old nuclear arsenal was up to any good when it was finally fired - which left many areas unfried.

Unfortunately, the areas that got fried were all densely populated areas, leaving the death-toll to a staggering amount until there was nobody left who cared to count. People, at large, cared more for their own survival than the untimely deaths of others.

All over the world, people started to adopt a new cultural background, depending on how they survived, where they survived and in some cases, when they finally lost it. Most remote areas were not hit by the initial strike, nor one of the countless petty wars that sprung up in it's wake. In general, people went on with their lives, in these remote areas, as if nothing had changed. Oh sure, they wouldn't be able to get any hollywood blockbusters or even be able to surfe the Internet. However, they had a civilised way of life. Others, were not so fortunate, and had to live like maggots of a dying world outside of these fabeled Rad-Free cities.
This made for the following types of cultural backgrounds:

Civ's - Civlised people, at least, that's how they view themselves. They were lucky enough not to be targets of an inbound strike, and carry on living as they have always done - although at a lot more basic level than before. They consist mostly of larger cities who survived intact in a lush green country side and carried on doing their jobs, even though the state tumbled down.
They still have faith in Democracy, the old ways and the rebuilding of the state. Others like to think of them as naive, until they realize that the Civ's are the ones with all the tech - and they're not afraid to use it either.
They will more often than not, form small bands of officers and soldiers who will attempt to bring back some stability to the Wasteland.

Nomads - Often the by-product of truckers, bikers and others who drove wheels for a living, these people tend to care more for their vehicles themselves. They survive entirely by scavenging supplies, whilst others have set up transportation buisnesses, seeing as they are some of the few with the expertice and the will to travel the wasteland.

Scavengers - The bold few who dared to dwell in and nearby the cities where anarchy reigned supreme in the days following the Megadeath. Although they meek out dangerous and hazardeus lives in the Rad-Zones, they nevertheless supply the whole world with rare to find items of a time long forgotten, making them invaluable to the Bartertowns that have sprung up in and around Intersections and Key Locations for trade following the Megadeath.

Vaulties - The lucky few who managed to climb down and into the special Fall-Out shelters, constructed just in case of such an attack, have now finally ventured back into the Wasteland, prepared to terraform it and turn it into its former glory. But due to their highly technological advanced made during the Fallout, all other groups are really anxious to steal their technology, which makes them very weary as to who they'll trade with. However, they still need to know the lay of the land and will often send out scouting parties to gather intelligence on their sourrounding neighbourhood.

MegaCorps - Nothing, apparently, will make anything stop the juggernaut moneymaking machine that is the MegaCorps. Surviving in their own Shelters, they waited until after the Fallout to establish new and bold footholds on the scarred land. There are a number of MegaCorps still alive and active post-Megadeath, and they're always looking for new buisness ventures which makes them a rather common sight out in the wasteland.

Renegades - Mutant Scum and Wretched Villans - For every pro, there's a con. And in the world of Road Warriors, then there are those who just couldn't, wouldn't or weren't allowed to settle in their new-found culture. These are known, commonly, as Renegades and range from the overtly mutated scavengers who survived the purges of the Civ's or the disillusioned Vaulties trying to carve a new empire miles from their technocratic society they once belonged to.

That's it for now. These archetypical factions will not have any game-effect per sé but allows for players to adopt a team for their Road Warrior gang which should help a bit in constructing a gang. It was intended to keep it as free and open-ended to allow for player-creativity in their construction of their Gangs.

Personally, my gang (The Desert Rattlers) consists of Renegade Vaulties, fed up with the technocrats and are now out to gain a foothold and reclaim their old vault for themselves. In due time of course.

Next time, I will detail the actual powerstructure of the Wasteland, as well as some highlights on 'Caps, Highways and Law & Order. Till then.

Happy Gaming!

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