Monday, April 22, 2013

A Post Apocalyptic Extravaganza - Gearing up for an Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaign

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Post Apocalyptic gaming kicks ass and I haven't been doing enough of it. I've spent the weekend thinking about my perfect PA campaign. The setting would have to be off beat and high weirdness. This thought exercise started with Tim "Sniderman" 's Master List Of Available Mutant Future Products

I stared at that list for hours and went on line to speak with my friend Dave from Fishwife games. He's a bit of a lore master of things PA. He's been designing some of the best system less PA  products for over a year now. Stuff like this. 

I've been itching to use the Meat Lover's Guide To The Post Apocalypse in a PA setting. The question is what setting?  There are metric ton of worlds out there and I'm not going to use a single one of them. 
The Meat Lover's Guide To The Post Apocalypse
Take a look over HERE
Look for other fine Fish Wife Products HERE

The Single Best Post Apocalytic Source You've Never Heard Of

PA games are supposed to kick ass and take names but part of the fun is figuring out the background, technology level, etc. of a PA community. one of the best sources for this sort of thing is the Lindsay's Technical Manuals.  According to conversations with Dave again. 

"Seriously, since you have a blog and I don't.... you really need to do a follow up on the remaining suppliers of Lindsay's Technical Books... they are pretty much the answer to everything post apocalypse."

 Want to know how that little girl in Thundarr got that locomotive working? Probably with the above book. Sadly, the folks who were putting these out have since retired.
How do you think all of those weird artifacts seem to crop up that weren't manufactured before the great disaster came from?  

You can find them HERE

Whose Post Apocalyptic World?!? 

 I'm looking for a balls to the walls PA game that is going to capture my player's attention hold it and keep going. Cars, mutants, cool mutations, grind house feel, and  Saturday afternoon post apocalyptic gaming goodness. 
 There are two really well done rule sets. Set one is Mutant Future which has this going for it. "The game is almost entirely open game content, and a free trademark license allows anyone to publish materials compatible with Mutant Future." For me that's a huge plus.

 Bottom line you can get the game art free right over HERE
Then there is choose number two which Bill from Green Skeleton Gaming Guild turned me on to. According to the review on Rpg net 
"The Mutant Epoch table top RPG (hereafter referred to as ME) is a 246 page post-apocalyptic game by Outland Arts, and specifically by William McAusland. And it’s surprisingly good for being the result of one lone person’s post gonzo atomic gaming output. It’s also a dense tome of game and art, so strap yourself in while I try to do it all justice".  You can read the whole review HERE
I've recently renewed my ties with Mutant Epoch and took a look at the metric ton of support that they have for the game. 
The truth is that because of the way both games are set up its quite easy to switch between the systems if. A. Your inclined to do so and B. You need even more support for your PA gaming habit. 

I like to take a Chinese Menu approach to my gaming. Choosing from rules set A and rules set B. As well as mix in a whole bunch of other stuff. However lets not forget who got us here. Metamorphosis Alpha by James Ward is another option and works very well with both systems.
Metamorphosis Alpha
 You can still order the original grand daddy of em all right over HERE
 If you want to take the time to do a conversion of the games  Mr. Ward is a genius when it comes to design and encounters. I learned a lot from seeing his style in recent modules as well. But what I'm really itching to run is : 

This product contains everything found in the classic edition by James M. Ward and Christopher Clark plus a few extras not found in the standard edition.
* 20 full pages of additional gadgets and encounters
* a title to the actual station suitable for framing - you own it!
* a complete copy of the book as pdf on CD-Rom

There are only 50 of these bad boys on the market and I'm saving my pennies. Find out more right HERE Wait why I'm I telling you about this? Because it will be mine! 
James Ward needs his due when it comes to post apocalytic new and old school gaming. Seriously the guy invented the genre and continues to crank out some of the best adventures on the market. 

The Ellis Gambit 

If your a reader of this blog then you know back in the 90's, I was devouring the Outlanders books. Dark Goddess is prettty typical of the genre. 
Dark Goddess (Outlanders, #43)

Here's the plot according to good reads:  

 A doom vector Humanity's past lies buried beneath the ruins of near annihilation, concealed by a secret entity and its ancient blueprint to enslave mankind. But at the dawn of a far more treacherous new battle for domination, the war between humanity and its alien puppeteers is forged by a group of determined rebels whose forbidden knowledge of their inhuman enemy only begins to prepare them for what lies ahead....

grim footfall
In her chrysalis state, Baroness Beausoleil was a betrayer, a murderer, an arch foe of mankind. Now, her metamorphosis into Overlord Lilitu poses a far greater menace. But she needs human help in a plot to overthrow her brethren and seize control of the last remaining Anunnaki stronghold on Earth. Buried deep in the sands of the Sinai, a secret port can unleash the dangerous mysteries of an alien race--unless the Cerberus rebels can outwit a she-god with an army at her disposal...and the cunning and cruelty to wrest Earth for herself.

So why mention Ellis again? To rip off Outlanders? No not at all. See its like this. Mark Ellis is very good at creating setting, atmosphere, characters, etc. His latest book should be a solid blue print to all dungeon masters. Check it: 

 The plot: 
The Spur: Loki’s Rock. The colony world in the Orion Spur known as Loki wasn't so much lost as forgotten. In the 188 years since a world-wide catastrophe destroyed what passed for civilization there, Loki had become a savage wilderness of strange cultures, as well as being the sanctuary for every bizarre cult, mad sect and outlawed scientific discipline in the Sol 9 Commonwealth. Quentin Crockett, a Colonel in the department of OffWorld Operations leads a team of specialists to Loki to monitor, catalog, and if necessary, eliminate the myriad societies that sprang up in the wake of the global cataclysm. In their armored ACP Ambler, the team travels Loki, searching for the lost Terran Enclave, while fighting off not only wild beasts, and the wilder natives but also the ruthless schemes of a mastermind about whom they know practically nothing. In The Spur: Loki’s Rock, Crockett and his team contend with the bizarre native fauna, but also with resurrected Nazi supermen, flocks of flying piranha, and the denizens of the kill-crazy town of Loki’s Rock, led by the psychotic Django Bonner and his bloodthirsty hench-wench, Pagan.
Buy it over HERE
 Lets see about that blue print for PA grind house style excitement: Right bizarre planet, weird life forms, dangerous western style action. And more blood then you can shake a .40 watt plasma laser in the terra watt phase. 
Conclusion And Aftermath 

I'm going to write my own game setting bottom line and its going to be different then anything that's currently on the market. All of the above is balls to the walls blue prints to me. There are options to be sure but the bottom line is that this going to be old school.
Very sorry to anyone mentioned in the article about violating your copyright or trademark. That's not the intention and this is merely a piece of fan work.  More to come folks.  


  1. Great blog post Needles. I've said elsewhere that what I'd personally like to see is a post-apocalyptic setting that was generic western civilisation, instead of yet another post-apoc USA. The latter is fine for all those millions of Americans (and boy, aren't there a lot of them), but some of us aren't from there and don't get the same sense of connection to the setting. The truth is that there are basic similarities in every western nation, stuff that's generic enough to use as a setting in order to make it familiar to all, but not specific to a particular national group. Well, that's my dream. :-)

    Either way, I look forward to seeing what you come up with Needles.

  2. Great Post! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
    Have you looked at Other Dust? I know your a big SWN fan and with Other Dust you could easily mesh your Highwaymen Campaign with your PA Campaign.

  3. Sounds like a great idea for a PA campaign. I like my post-apocalypse to be over-the-top, as well. For a while I've been mulling a PA/spaghetti-western mash-up. Great stuff!


  4. Eric,
    I really want to thank you for your mention of my Fishwife Games stuff. This is a really great idea, regardless, and it has me equally interested in some of the other products in this list. I don't really consider myself a true "master" of the post apocalyptic genre, but I have enjoyed it for many, many years... whether in movie form, game form, or otherwise. It is generally my mission to bring that same enjoyment to my products.

    Thanks again and I'll be sure to keep directing people to your awesome blog.

  5. Jeez where to begin with the great ideas here??! First thanks for all the positive feedback.

    Dave - I know where your coming from my friend. "western nation, stuff that's generic enough to use as a setting in order to make it familiar to all, but not specific to a particular national group. Well, that's my dream." I've got some thoughts coming up specifically that address this. More to come and thanks for the great comments.

    Bill - I've got bits and pieces of "Other Dust" and I'm going for a possible connection but its going to be a tenuous one at best. I'm actually leaning towards Mutant Epoch believe it or not. More to come in the next day or so. Thanks for the support my friend.

    Ed - "PA/spaghetti-western mash-up" sounds like a blast my friend! We'll see what I've got cooking. Thanks

    Dave - No need to thank me and you've been keeping me pumped with some fantastic ideas. Fish Wife has been one of the best kept post apocalyptic secrets on the block. We'll see what I do to twist what you've come up with. More to come and thanks for the support.

    I'm surprised at all the great feed back we've received on this one. Thanks more to come in the morning.

  6. Cool to hear you are leaning towards Mutant Epoch, its a great game and needs more love on the interwebs! : )

  7. Its got quite a bit of what I'm looking for my friend. The game has quite a bit of love but that love seems very insular and within the game's home page. The Mutant Epoch game seems to have polarized quite a few of the OSR for some reason while I'm at a loss to understand. Its good to hear from you and thanks for the Excavator magazines you sent me. They are coming in very handy indeed.


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