Building New Communities

A wacky, wily game of postapocalyptic peril.

Building New Communities

Postby Havard » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:05 pm

Do any of the edtions of Gamma World have rules for building and maintaining new communities on the ruins of the old world? How would you handle something like this in a game?

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Re: Building New Communities

Postby Cthulhudrew » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:44 pm

I'm guessing you're wondering if there is something kind of like the Dominion rules from BECMI, or Kingmaker rules from Pathfinder (or similar, like Birthright, etc.) The only versions of Gamma World that I am intimately familiar with are 3E and 4E. Based on that, I'm going to say the answer is "not really."

3E and 4E describe the various Tech Levels of settlements in a post-apocalyptic era, of which the PCs homebase is going to be one. 4E doesn't have too much beyond that, save for a 20 page section detailing a specific campaign area that could be used as the PCs starting region. 3E doesn't have a developed campaign section, but it does provide details of how PCs increase their status among their home communities through roleplay and acquisition of wealth, as well as some general guidelines on economics.

Both editions also include sections on the various NPC factions (Cryptic Societies) that have influence in and around the PCs home bases. I would have sworn that 3E had rules for increasing the Tech Level of a community through spending XP (in the manner in which PCs improve their own abilities), but I either imagined it or just can't find it right now.

There aren't any mass combat rules or rulership rules or anything; as the games stand, all of that would have to be improvised or roleplayed.

That said, I've kind of always wondered about how well/whether any of those kinds of rules would work in a GW setting or not myself. I haven't ever seen any adaptations of them, though I've looked. Theoretically, the Dominion rules could probably work well with minor adaptation. The War Machine and Siege Machine rules would probably need to be looked at pretty closely, though, as the different abilities available to characters via mutations as well as wildly varying tech levels could make some major mathematical changes with just minor additions of certain types of mutants or small amounts of tech level V firearms.
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Re: Building New Communities

Postby pauldupuis » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:27 am

Reestablishing civilization (a modern technical civilization) in Gamma World would be a huge undertaking. Our world today is based on a huge, globally interconnected supply like. Consider a simple pencil - the rubber in the eraser comes from tropical areas where rubber plants grow, the graphite is mined in one area, processed in another, the wood still another, the paint of the brand letter still another. Consider the transportation to move the components to where they need to go. The infrastructure for communication and manufacturing - communication, electricity, water, sewer and so on. Literally, thousands of people all over the world work so that you can buy a pencil.

Of course, you may be able to scavenge materials for while to help, but ultimately, you have to start at the very basics of agriculture efficiency so that you can feed an increasing population, so that you have enough people to allow people to begin to specialize, and on and on. Those people have to be kept safe. Medical infrastructure development becomes important to keep people alive longer to pass along their knowledge and skills and prevent infant mortality. Look at a picture of just one lab in a modern pharmaceutical company and see how many different instruments and tools are present - all of which require their own supply chains and infrastructure.

Much of the rapid advance of all technologies over the last several decades has been driven by information technology - computers and networks. A lot of preceding work is needed before they could be recreated. Clean room technology for manufacturing facilities for chips, screens, storage, etc. is essential. The number of things these days that even the simplest items of "civilization" are dependent upon is mind boggling.

Centuries of effort at least. Possibly millennia.
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Re: Building New Communities

Postby Cthulhudrew » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:47 am

All good points. I think I took Havard's question to mean rebuilding communities along the lines of more traditional societies rather than advanced ones. The sorts of feudal farming communities and tribal societies that tend to be the mainstays of the post-apocalyptic setting of Gamma World. Doing so, perhaps with the backing of some degree of advanced or salvaged (possibly even just repurposed) technologies, as opposed to trying to completely get technology infrastructure and economies back and operating at modern day levels.

The former is much more doable in game terms than the latter, as you point out.
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Re: Building New Communities

Postby BlackBat242 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:55 am

Also consider "community" in a sociological context - the mechanics of what they do to live, and what tech they do (or do not) have, are distinctly secondary to the social bonds and interactions between members of the "community".

How do you get a disparate group of mutated humans, mutated animals, and maybe pure-strain humans and even mutated plants to consider each other "friends"/"neighbors", to care about each other, and to work cooperatively to maintain life and health?

Why are they working together?
What is the goal of the "community" - just survival is only the beginning, as soon as the basic needs are met, there will be a "looking outward", and a desire for a group identity and purpose. How they reach consensus is a major part of the process.

It is comparatively easy to maintain such a group once formed - but the initial gathering and development is the part that would require expansion.
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