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4/22/2019 5:32:20 PM
Posted: 4/22/2007 10:29:44 PM EDT
I used to play Dungeons & Dragons every weekend for years, until we moved. Had a great time.

Now, we've finally got another group going, with 8 people total. We've mostly been doing straight D&D 3.5.

It's been pretty clear from the beginning that we're all fans of post-apocalyptic storytelling, so I brought up the possibility of an RPG set in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust (we're all basically huge Fallout nerds) and everyone seemed pretty into it.

I'd originally planned to set it a few generations after the war, but after a bit of discussion, it looks like we've decided it'll be set immediately before the bombs start falling.

I've settled on GURPS 3rd Edition for the system, since I've got the books and have played it before. I know there are a lot of Twilight 2000 fans here, which I actually did consider, but it seemed too obscure. Besides, I don't want to have to buy anything. The game will probably be set in Pullman, WA.

The first thing I need to do is come up with a plausible enough backstory.

The timeline as I have it so far:

With public opinion very much against the Iraq war and President Bush, Hillary Clinton wins a narrow victory against republican candidate John McCain. Her first action is to force an immediate pull out of Iraq, which immediately descends into full-fledged civil war. So as to not appear completely soft on defense, she opts to continue the war in Afghanistan, for now.

June: Iran announces it has the bomb. Millions around the world watch on primetime TV as a mushroom cloud rises from the Iranian desert floor in their first test detonation.

July: President Clinton, forces a veto of a UN security council measure requesting the use of military force in disarming Iran, and sternly tells the world that "a diplomatic solution must be found at all costs". Israel, facing atomic destruction without the United States' backing, launches an all-out assault. Israeli F-15s level Iranian nuclear facilities, and the Iranian president and his ministers are assassinated by Mossad sleeper agents in Tehran. Islamic radicals whip the region into a firestorm of anti-Israeli hatred.

August: Fundamentalists spread antisemitic propoganda throughout the European Union, and riots in areas with high muslim populations lead to millions of Euros in damages and dozens of deaths. Moderate muslims are found dismembered, and several small-scale terrorist attacks are carried out as the radicals throw their weight around and spread their ideology the only ways they know how.

September: Al-Qaeda cells strike at financial institutions across the USA and Europe. Wall Street, among other targets, is leveled. While the bodycount is nowhere near that of 9/11, the attacks send the world economy into a tailspin overnight.

October: An alliance of muslim nations invades Israel. Backed into a corner and fighting for its life, the Israeli government responds by authorizing full use of its nuclear arsenal. Within hours, the enemy armies have been annihilated by Israeli tactical nukes, and almost all of the middle east's population centers - exluding the UAE, Turkey, and Kuwait - have been glassed. President Clinton expressed outrage at the "Israeli disregard for innocent life".

November: The European Union, racked by internal strife, dissolves. Pakistan's leadership having been decapitated by an Israeli strike on Islamabad, India immediately reinforces control over the Kashmir region, and annexes much of Pakistan. Relations between India and China begin to cool as the former asserts itself as a major world power.

January: The loss of several of the world's biggest oil suppliers has thrown the world into an unprecedented oil shortage, while those that survive are unable to keep up with the demand. President Clinton orders the national reserves tapped, trying to arrest the economy's downward spiral.

March: A group of terrorists detonates an atomic bomb of Iranian or North Korean origin in Boston harbor, levelling the city and killing hundreds of thousands.

August: By now the United States is in an economic depression far worse than that of the 1930s. Inflation is rampant, most people are out of work, and gasoline is many times more valuable than it was just two years earlier. The US, a net importer of food, can no longer afford the cost of importing foreign goods. Riots tear through major US cities unopposed.

November: The Chinese press for reunification with Taiwan. Taiwan's government has taken a nationalist bent in recent years, however, and talks quickly break down. China backs North Korea in expanding its nuclear arsenal, and Japan covertly begins work on a weapons program of its own in a bid to keep the ChiComs at bay.

December: China invades Taiwan. The island is quickly smashed into submission by the Chinese military, and the United States offers no resistance.

President Clinton, seen as a total failure by the public now totally disillusioned with years of Democrat rule, is soundly defeated by the republican challenger Sen. Gary Lynch. President Lynch launches sweeping reforms by forcing the country away from foreign oil by returning to coal and nuclear power, rationing food and gasoline, and instituting martial law in most major cities. Months of stability follow. Lynch's foreign policy grows increasingly isolationist throughout the year, which wreaks havoc with Europe and causes extreme friction with the rest of the world as he forces the country to become self sufficient again at everyone else's expense. The US starts to see its first major signs of recovery.


January: A skirmish between the Chinese Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force kills dozens. Both sides blame each other, and the US, breaking President Lynch's typical doctrine of worldwide nonintervention, deploys its military to reinforce Japan and South Korea. India and Russia look at the surge of Chinese militarism with alarm.

February: Its economy devastated by the loss of the US market and little way to feed its billion citizens or maintain its massive military, the Chinese communist leadership drafts a plan for the invasion of most of Southeast Asia, Australia, and eastern Russia. Their plan depends on the neutralization of the Russian and American nuclear arsenals. China already has operatives within the enemy command & control systems, and begins to distribute experimental biological weapons and suitcase nukes throughout enemy cities. China is confident it can win a conventional war by holding enemy cities hostage against any nuclear retaliation.

March: Russia, under President Putin, has rolled back all of the democratic reforms put into place after the fall of the old soviet union, and stocked the Russian government with his aging ex-soviet cronies, effectively rebuilding the old communist party. Putin soon throws off the empty shell of the "Russian Federation", and the new Soviet Union is formed.

April: April sees a nuclear standoff between the big three regional powers, China, the United States, and the renascent USSR, as well as North Korea, India and Japan. Kim Jong Il is still bitter about not seizing the opportunity and attacking South Korea two years earlier. Still, he thinks of President Lynch as weak and unwilling to commit to any real conflict, and with China backing him up, he sees no way he can lose. On April 4, he orders the invasion of the Republic of Korea. PRK artillery levels Seoul, and Chinese-supplied tanks pour over the DMZ.

The US 8th army is hammered hard by the communist forces and close to being overrun. At 1439, a North Korean warhead explodes over the US and RoK forces. Enraged, President Lynch orders the American military to respond in kind. Within an hour North Korea ceases to be, but not before launching several ballistic missiles in the direction of Japan.

One of the North Korean missiles, poorly engineered and constructed, suffers a failure in one of the gyroscopes that governs its navigation system and veers off course. Soon enough, it finds itself veering into Soviet airspace - and in doing so triggers a retaliatory attack against all of Mother Russia's rivals. NORAD watches as dozens of missiles streak across their screen, destined for China, Japan, India, Great Britain, France, the United States, and each nation, one by one, returns the gesture. President Lynch is safe in the air as the first ballistic missiles cross into American airspace. The United States' ballistic missile shield will destroy most of them - most, but not nearly enough. By the next morning, the world as we know it will have ceased to exist...
Link Posted: 4/22/2007 10:37:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/22/2007 10:39:16 PM EDT
Nice story.

Link Posted: 4/22/2007 10:41:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/22/2007 10:46:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/22/2007 10:54:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/22/2007 10:54:45 PM EDT by MonkTx]
Twilight 2000 and Gamma World already have the SHTF genre covered nicely.
Link Posted: 4/22/2007 10:55:59 PM EDT
DnD is so much fun. Never really got that into it though. For those that need a laugh.

Link Posted: 4/22/2007 11:01:16 PM EDT
This is actually less shit than I expected

Yeah whatever, but, if it gets people thinking about SHTF and preparedness when they otherwise wouldn't, and if it's a lot of fun in the process - what's the problem?

You know, a post-apocalyptic LARP would be pretty kewl. Like WWII reenacting with ARs and beamz.

That actually gives me a great idea. One of the major power groups in this post-apocalyptic world is a group of Waffen SS reenactors from Idaho whose collections of automatic weapons and "experience" in small unit tactics (not to mention the T-34 dressed up as a Panzer) has allowed them to stay alive throughout the inevitable social breakdown and massive violence...
Link Posted: 4/22/2007 11:02:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
Twilight 2000 and Gamma World already have the SHTF genre covered nicely.

Yeah, well, I've already mentioned why I'm not going with that.

Gamma world is pretty hilarious, though.
Link Posted: 4/22/2007 11:19:14 PM EDT
"The game will probably be set in Pullman, WA."

Ha! Just don't invade us over here in Moscow, we'll kick your ass. :)

-- Laurel
Link Posted: 4/22/2007 11:28:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/22/2007 11:28:51 PM EDT by Desdinova721]
One of the other guys suggested Pullman. The idea being, I suppose, that it's a relatively sparsely populated area, in the middle of farm country, and there's not all that much around for miles in any direction, which is good, because Fairchild AFB, Mountain Home AFB, and Hanford have probably all been nuked. It's also got the universities.

And it's also the only city in eastern WA none of us have been to.
Link Posted: 4/22/2007 11:29:01 PM EDT
I play D20 Modern with some friends every now and then. I'm the only one in the group who owns guns (though one desperately wants a Makarov or PA-63 for personal protection), so I'm the go-to expert when it comes to such things.

So far I've survived three zombie uprisings and martial law declared by after a socialist coup of the US that began with a bunch of gun owners and conservative politicians being rounded up for 're-education'.
Link Posted: 4/22/2007 11:35:04 PM EDT
Well, I'm really loving GURPS right now just for the flexibility.

The "party" is starting to come together: we've got a cop with a troubled past, a former US army medic and chemistry student, a mechanical engineer, and a WSU history professor who happens to be a korean war vet in his late seventies who speaks a ridiculous number of languages and is still a crack shot.

Way more flexible than D20.

I don't think we'll have any zombies. I did have to promise that this wasn't going to be "28 Days Later: the RPG".
Link Posted: 4/22/2007 11:48:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Laurel:
"The game will probably be set in Pullman, WA."

Ha! Just don't invade us over here in Moscow, we'll kick your ass. :)

-- Laurel

Damn straight, homie don't play that over here
Link Posted: 4/22/2007 11:50:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Desdinova721:

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
Twilight 2000 and Gamma World already have the SHTF genre covered nicely.

Yeah, well, I've already mentioned why I'm not going with that.

Gamma world is pretty hilarious, though.

My bad, completely missed that in your post.
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