Friday, November 16, 2012


In the mid-90s, I wanted to run a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi game. The characters would be survivors of an orbital bombardment. Their world had descended into anarchy and was at a low tech-level (8 or 9) as a result. Most survivors had organized themselves into rival cadres. The PCs’ goal was to survive long enough to eventually get off-world and wreak vengeance upon the forces that brought ruin to their home. I wrote a bit of fiction to help illustrate the setting for the players.


     It’s a typical day amid the rubble that was once a thriving metropolis. Most begin with a variation of the following speech by Cadre Leader Liam "Patch" McKenzie,

     "Well, it appears that our stores of ammunition are almost completely gone. Say, could you explain to me what is the point of having weapons if we don't have any freaking ammo?! I thought you were the assistant quartermaster! Get on this and get on it now before those maniacs catch us with our pants down. I, for one, don’t plan on going into a firefight armed with an empty weapon! What would you have me use? Harsh language? Get out there and find some ammo, now. I said now! What the hell are you still doing here?!”

     Might as well get to the task of scrounging ammo, [Scrounging Per/E] because there’s no sense pondering the series of events that led to your homeworld being blasted by orbital bombardment. Most quartermasters’ assistants [Rank 1 +5] get their job because of keen administrative skills, but not you. Nope, an innate ability to find usable goods amid the twisted metal and plasti-crete of the city made you invaluable to your cadre. [Ally Group (100% starting PC cost, 100 members, Appears Almost All of the Time) +180; Duty Almost All of the Time, Hazardous) -20]

     In his rare good moods, your cadre leader jokes that you could scrounge up a virgin in a whorehouse. That always makes you laugh. When you ask if you could test that theory out, however, you get chastised. Whatever.

     You put on your ballistic vest, goggles, helmet, grab your scrounge bag and make sure your weapon is ready to rock, then head for the exit. You locate the old elevator shaft that leads out of your shelter and begin the long climb up. After a few minutes of effort you make it to the remnants of a parking garage. You chat with the sentries at the perimeter for a few minutes before heading out to your favorite hunting ground.

     Over the past few weeks you have pulled some decent goods out of an area that might have been a retail center before the warheads fell out of the sky. Fortunately, opposition from a rival cadre [Enemy (Medium-sized, Formidable, Rarely Appearing) -15] has been nonexistent, but you know that good luck doesn’t last forever. It’s only a matter of time before an enemy patrol, or some depraved, starving Scaver ambushes you.

     Scavengers, Scavers for short, are pretty scary to deal with. Completely insane, they are known to do some pretty sick stuff to their victims. It’s not enough that they rip you apart, but they insist on doing “things” to your dead body. Nasty. Better make sure a round is racked into your auto pistol. Any Scaver pervert that messes with you will get his head ventilated by some 10mm caseless ammo. [Guns (Pistol) DX/E]

     Your favorite scrounging area is about two hours from your cadre’s base. Since you’re still recovering from a flu induced by a strain of the VX virus delivered by the orbital bombardment, you decide to take a short break about half-way there. [-2 Hit Points from toxic damage caused byt the virus] You find a shady spot, drink some fluids and interact with an old holo-mag for a few minutes. The power cells of most holographic magazines only last a few months, but with some tampering [Electronics Repair IQ/A] this one has lasted a few years. It’s your prized possession because it depicts images of the offworld possibilities you hope to one day obtain.

Stats for Weapons and Armor
GU90 Machine Pistol, 10mmCLP, Dam 3d pi+, Acc 2, Range 180/2,000, Weight 3/1, RoF 3, Shots 30+1(3), ST 10, Bulk -2, Rcl 3

Reflex Tactical Vest, Location Torso and Groin, DR 18/7, Weight 9

Reflex Pants with Storage Pockets, Location Groin and Legs, DR 12/4, Weight 3
Assault boots, Location Feet, DR 12/6

Tactical Goggles, Location Eyes, DR 10

Light Infantry Helmet, Location Skull, DR 24, Weight 3

     Many thanks to Peter Crafts for illustrating Rubble. Please visit his online gallery at

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