Archive for November, 2013

A-Z: What’s Infesting these Ruins?

November 29, 2013

No ruins are complete without something nasty dwelling within, just waiting for the chance to eat unwary wastelanders.

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What’s Infesting these Ruins? (roll 1d30)

  1. Arachnomorphs – Giant mutant bugs (spiders, ants, scorpions, etc.); their hive probably extends deep below ground
  2. Bandits – A desperate gang of bandits; poorly armed
  3. Cannibals – Why eat canned dog food when you can eat people?
  4. Dog Pack – A pack of wild, starving dogs; hungry enough to attack even a group of people
  5. Eels – Mutant electro-eels, swimming through shallow water, or perhaps evolved to burrow through the earth
  6. Feral Men – Devolved humans, regressed to the point of savagery; hostile towards technology
  7. Giant Creature – A giant mutant snake, or an alligator, or whatever…it just wants to eat you
  8. Hive – Strange mutant (or alien) bug-creatures; their hive is filled with squirming cocoon pods
  9. Infected – The place is packed with infected people, driven mad by their affliction; don’t let them touch you
  10. Jellyfish – A colony of mutant, flying jellyfish adapted to life on land; careful, they’re hard to see in the dark
  11. Killbot 2000 – An old military robot lurks within, set to autonomous extermination mode
  12. Leeches – Millions of them; individually not much harm, but in large groups they can drain all your blood within minutes
  13. Morlocks – Using these ruins as a surface-level outpost; look for a hidden entrance to their subterranean city, somewhere nearby
  14. Nano-swarm – Little black dust-devils, one moment twirling about at random, the next engulfing you and disassembling your atoms
  15. Ooze Colony – A slimy pool of sentient goo, eager to add you to its collective consciousness
  16. Pathogen – A sentient pathogen, looking for hosts to control…why is Bob acting so strange lately?
  17. Quail, Killer – They seem harmless enough
  18. Raiders – A hardened band of bloodthirsty techno-raiders; these ruins are probably their base
  19. Slavers – The worst of human scum; watch out or they’ll add you to their ‘inventory’
  20. Spawn – Of Shoggoth
  21. Tentacles – Tentacles thrust forth from every nook and cranny; the heart of the mutant beast must lie deep at the bottom of the ruins
  22. Ticks – Swarms of giant ticks, eager for your blood
  23. Ubermen – Genetically engineered super-soldiers, remnants of The Last War
  24. Vermin – Mutant rats with the intelligence of humans, if not the form…and they hate you
  25. Worm – Giant flesh-eating worms; they’re blind, but they sense vibrations in the ground, and detect body heat
  26. Xenomorph – Strange alien monstrosities, inimical to human life
  27. Yellow Dust – Spores of a brain-eating fungus, exploding into a cloud at the slightest disturbance
  28. Zombies! – Cannibalistic ambulatory dead, victims of an Ancient biological weapon from The Last War
  29. Roll twice on the list
  30. GM’s pick

Junkyards of the Ancients

November 27, 2013

The Ancients left behind vast tracks of land littered with refuse and garbage, material they considered broken and useless.  But what was junk for the Ancients is a potential treasure trove for post-apocalyptic wastelanders.

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Junkyards of the Ancients

  1. Tire Dump – Literally mountains of discarded tires, perfect for building settlement walls or making tread-armor for your wasteland legions
  2. Covered Landfill – Erosion and blast damage reveal a gold mine of useful salvage; start digging
  3. Wrecking Yard – Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of rusting vehicles…a great source of spare parts and scrap metal
  4. Nuclear Waste Depositary – If you can get through the heavy blast doors you’ll find all kinds of fun, glowing material to play with
  5. Superfund Site – Hazardous to your health, sure, but a plethora of useful chemicals, provided you find a way to extract them from the soil
  6. Municipal Dump – Like a landfill, only not disguised to look like a park; there might even be a few rusty bulldozers still sitting around
  7. Aircraft Graveyard – A vast field filled with discarded aircraft; they make great shelters, and a good source of scrap metal
  8. Recycling Center – Excellent source of raw materials: metal, plastic, paper, cloth, even discarded electronic devices
  9. Mothball Fleet – Mountains of metal for the taking, and a ship can make quite a formidable fortress
  10. Robot Mortuary – Facility for the decommissioning of obsolete robots; plenty of parts and maybe even find some repairable Mark VII Deathbots!

Wasteland Anomalies

November 24, 2013

Again, building off of yesterday’s post, here’s a list of wasteland anomalies/strange occurances:

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Wasteland Anomalies

  1. Eternal Stationary Tornado
  2. Perfect Circle of Corpses
  3. Space/Time Warp
  4. Zone of Silence
  5. Icy Chill on a Warm Summer Day
  6. Globe of Perpetual Darkness
  7. Radio Signals from the Distant Past
  8. Dancing Water
  9. Ghostly Shadows from the Apocalypse
  10. You Get the Feeling You’re Being Watched
  11. Wasteland Mirage…that You Can Actually Walk To
  12. Time Stutter
  13. Localized Electrical Discharges
  14. Was That Town There Yesterday?
  15. Intense Magnetic Disruption
  16. Spatial Rift
  17. Missile Suspended Mid-air…Forever
  18. Field of Quaking Rocks
  19. Voices Out of the Ruins
  20. A Vision of the Apocalypse

What’s in the Wasteland? – Unusual Locations

November 23, 2013

A follow up to yesterday’s post on random wasteland locations.

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Unusual Wasteland Locations (roll 1d20):

  1. Massive Glowing Crater
  2. Insanity-inducing Alien Portal
  3. Apparently Empty Field, Enclosed by a Chain-link Fence
  4. Smashed Alien Ship
  5. Giant Sealed Blast Doors
  6. Step Pyramid, Humming with Power
  7. Mothball Fleet, Resting on the Dusty Plains
  8. Kaiju Remains
  9. Operational Nuclear Power Plant
  10. Unexploded ICBM
  11. Battlefield of the Ancients
  12. Breached Military Bunker
  13. An Aircraft Carrier, Where it Shouldn’t Be
  14. Inoperable Mobile Assault Fortress
  15. Destroyed Alien Outpost
  16. Ancient Gladiatorial Coliseum
  17. Hidden Geo-thermal Plant
  18. Forbidden Ancient Research Facility
  19. Remote Satellite Uplink Facility
  20. A Wasteland Anomaly

What’s in the Wasteland? – Random Wasteland Locations

November 22, 2013

The Ancients left behind many mysterious structures.  These amazingly durable artifacts dot the wastelands, home for some, a potential jackpot of Ancient technology for others.  Whether they’re occupied, and by who, is left to the GM’s imagination (or, perhaps, a future random table):

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What’s in the Wasteland? (roll 1d20):

  1. Ancient Farmstead
  2. Abandoned Ghost Mine
  3. Lost Highway Diner
  4. Mysterious Walled Compound
  5. Empty Missile Silo
  6. Heavily Fortified Granary
  7. Walled Outpost, Beneath a Freeway Overpass
  8. Dilapidated Trestle Bridge
  9. Infested Suburban Housing Development
  10. Sentinel Watchtower
  11. A Forest of Windmills
  12.  Imposing Warehouse Store, Surrounded by a Sea of Asphalt
  13. Long Dead Convoy
  14. Rural Airfield
  15. A Lonely House
  16. Jetliner, in the Middle of Nowhere
  17. Endless River of Rusting Hulks
  18. Skeletal Sky-Towers of the Ancients
  19. Forlorn School House
  20. Something Unusual

Don’t Starve

November 8, 2013

DS_old01My latest addiction, between classes and homework, has been a little gem of a game called Don’t Starve.  It’s a sandbox survival game set in a weird, alternate world that mirrors our own in some ways, but is quite bizarre in others.

As you can probably guess from the title, the primary objective is to simply not starve, though there are plenty of other hazards in the world (monsters, winter, more monsters, burning up in a forest fire you started, and so on).  I believe there’s also an end-game objective to confront the villain of the game (Maxwell) and escape bizzaro-world…but I’m not 100% sure because I haven’t gotten anywhere close to that yet.

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Yes, you can set entire forests on fire.

At first glance it appears to be silly and cartoony, something for kids.  But there’s actually a considerable amount of depth to the game, allowing for a wide variety of survival strategies.  The game also features a fairly intricate crafting system where you use the items you gather to make things that help you survive.  Better weapons and armor, advanced structures for more food options, farms, science-y objects and even magic.  Oh, and perma-death.  It’s a game where you’ll die a lot, but hopefully learn a little more each game so you get a bit further along.

When you start, you wake up in the strange land with nothing but the clothes on your back.  However, by the end of the first day you should be able to gather enough food to get by for a few days, as well as materials to make axes and picks, and wood for a campfire.  And you’ll need that campfire…you don’t want to be wandering around at night without a light.  After a few days of scouting the world you should find a good location to build a base camp and get to work building the items and gathering the resources you’ll need to survive.

A well-established base camp.

A well-established base camp.

You basically have three stats: Hunger, Sanity and Health.  When Hunger reaches 0 you start losing Health, and when Health reaches 0, you’re dead.  Night gradually reduces your Sanity, as does eating certain foods, traveling through ‘worm tunnels’ and confronting the terrors of the dark.  As you lose Sanity, you start to see hallucinations and the world takes on a darker aspect.  If your Sanity goes low enough, you can actually fight and kill your hallucinations (and gather a resources from them, as well).  I assume when Sanity reaches 0, you lose, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet.  There are a variety of ways to replenish your stats, though the primary means is by eating more complex foods (using an item you craft, the Crockpot, to make them).

You’ve got about 20 days of Summer to gather resources, and then Winter sets in.  Food becomes much more scarce during Winter, and the days are shorter, so you have less time to gather and you lose more Sanity during the longer nights.  Farms stop working, so you have to rely mainly on food you stocked up during Summer and whatever you can hunt during Winter.  Oh, and keep an eye on that food…it’s perishable, so make sure you eat it before it spoils (eating spoiled food causes you to loose Sanity, too).

Though you’ll probably die frequently, the longer you last the more XP you get, allowing you to unlock new characters with different abilities.

As for myself, so far I haven’t starved to death.  Mostly I’ve been killed by various monsters, and I froze to death in one game.  I have yet to make it through a full Winter (my record is 30 days), but I’m still having fun experimenting and trying different things.

If you’re looking for a light computer game with some depth and a lot of re-playability, you may want to consider giving Don’t Starve a try.  It’s available on Steam for about $15, though if you’re patient it’ll probably go on sale sooner-or-later.  Cheers!

P.S.:  Here’s the Wiki, to give you an idea of how much there is to the game.

Update:  MY current record is 90+ days.  I’m in the middle of my third winter and have established a pretty good system for surviving.  Time to move on to bigger challenges, like exploring the underworld.


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