Main story by NineOfHearts and Dave Matney

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Submitted storyline.png This article covers a submitted storyline.

Submitted storylines have been fleshed out in detail and are ready for review by the other developers. Once they have been reviewed and agreed upon, they become established storylines.


An alternate history / post apocalyptic story set in, roughly, 2008-2010 which features multiple age-based storylines that exist independent of the war between the Estonian/Latvian/Lithuanian national socialists (ELL) and the Kaliningrad Soviet enclave (KSE), as well as mostly independent from each other.

The game is presented as a chapter-based story.

Contents

Goals

  • Immerse the player in a world that feels alive and active without the PC's involvement, but allow the player to feel as though decisions they make effect the world.
  • Develop a non-linear story that has literary merit, that will bring the player back for more.
    • Develop multiple story lines that interact with each other, but can also be played independent of each other.
    • Incorporate other draft story lines, as possible and as appropriate.

Unique gameplay

  • This story is based on the idea of expanding alternate endings to full "alternate storylines." From character creation all the way through game play, the players actions will change factors within the game from things as small as NPC interests, to whodunit, to which canonical storyline the PC is initially set to play. This will provide a unique game for every time the game is played, as well as remove obvious turning points for deciding the ending.
  • The player and the world age with the passing of chapters, for example Chapter 2 is at least 1 year after Chapter 1, and Chapter 3 at least 1 year after Chapter 2, ect. The exact amount of time that passes will be determined later, and will be uniform across the storylines.

Background Information

  • Setting used as general setting.
    • Addition: Given the abundance of water sources, steam is widely used to heat buildings and power machinery.
    • Addition: Societies tend to "build down", utilizing the natural insulation of the ice and snow, as well as the existing pre-war buildings. It's not uncommon for entire communities to exist below the surface, with little more than a flag or small house above the snow's crust to mark them.
    • Addition: Climate: After 20+ years of nuclear winter (somewhere around Chapter 3), the world starts to thaw out.
  • Ex-Soviet Baltic region story used as general overview of the regional economy and politics.
    • Addition: ELL is the leading provider of coal in the region.
    • Addition: ELL utilizes orphans for child labor.
  • Ageism. With the world being completely changed within the last two generations, ageism has become more of a problem than sexism or racism. For example, younger people think anyone older than the war is crazy when they talk about things like summer and grass.

Worldwide Storylines

For the purpose of progressing the story, and inter-storyline continuity, this is a run down of what happens between the ELL, KSE, and other world factions, as well as the state of the world, by chapter. (The exact amount of chapters is undecided, but assumed to be between 3-4)

Climate

Chapter 1

  • Frozen.
  • About 10 meters of ice and snow.

Chapter 2

  • Frozen.
  • About 10 meters of ice and snow.

Chapter 3

  • The world starts thawing, ice-and-snow structures dripping down around their heads.
  • Anywhere between 7 and 9 meters of ice and snow.

Chapter 4

  • Rapidly thawing. Towns built on, or within, the ice and snow start to collapse. Snow shoes are required to stay above the slush, nd pre-war ruins are becoming visable. Submarine Town is completely destroyed as the sub sinks into the Baltic Sea.
  • Anywhere between 3 and 7 meters of ice and snow.

ELL

Chapter 1

  • Generally docile. The player will learn of them through talking to NPCs, but they show no interest in the player.

Chapter 2

  • Word of The Oldest surviving reaches the ELL, and they issue a bounty on his head.

Chapter 3

  • Start recruiting unincorporated towns and minor factions to their side
  • Plans to attack the KSE start forming.

Chapter 4

  • War. ELL marches on KSE. The unincorporated townships are caught in the middle.

KSE

Chapter 1

  • Generally docile. The player will learn of them through talking to NPCs, but they show no interest in the player.

Chapter 2

  • Word of The Oldest the KSE, and they start looking to recruit him to their side.

Chapter 3

  • Start recruiting unincorporated towns and minor factions to their side
  • Plans to attack the KSE start forming.

Chapter 4

  • War. KSE marches on ELL. The unincorporated townships are caught in the middle.

Player Storylines

There are a small number of age-based starting points the player can chose in the character creation process. (It is undecided whether this will be an obvious choice.)

  • Young (14-22) Starting as a teenager who escaped from an ELL labor camp, the player must find their way in the world while trying to maintain a good relationship with The Oldest.
  • Adult (22-38) (Currently unwritten, and may be split into two storylines.)
  • Old age (38-50) Player is a veteran of WW3, living as a Mercenary. (Early development stage)

Video Idea: At the start of the game, regardless of which storyline is selected, this video will play.

  • Internationally recognizable stock footage from the 1940s-today plays in reverse chronological order (going back in time), over about 10-20 seconds. Most will be high-speed, though some of the more recognizable videos will play, in part, at regular speed, with sound.
  • The screen goes black, and a voice of a British woman speaks up, explaining the back story, of the United States and the USSR being in a state of pre-war tension following the events of WW2 and the rest of the Cold War, WW3, the bombs falling, and the rise of the ELL and KSE. Pictures depicting the events are shown, then it fades out to start the starting video of the storyline.
    • For the sake of suspending disbelief, it shouldn't be obvious where the real history stops and the alternate history begins.

Young Storyline

Prologue

The events of the prologue take place in an ELL child-mining camp, five years before Chapter 1.

  • Video: (Still black) The sounds of clinking and metal screeching against metal are heard. A faint light dimly outlines the silhouette of a child’s back. The camera zooms in to reveal the grimy face of a small child whose eyes are narrowed in deep concentration. A whistle shrieks, snapping the kid out of his trance. Other children are seen getting up and shuffling along at the direction of several large men shouting at them. They appear to be indifferent to the mayhem. The boy looks away as a guard walks over and grabs the child's arm. The man lifts up the child, by the wrist and wrests a key out of one of his many cargo pockets, jams it into the shackle pinning the boy to the wall, and twists it until the lock snaps open all of the while taunting the youth in a raspy voice. Noticing that the child has not looked at him, the man goes into a furious rage, throwing the boy to the ground and is ready to pummel him when a second guard stops the first. "Knock it off. Don’t waste the kid. Gotta use ‘em before we lose ‘em. You know they’ll be dead soon enough." (The screen focuses back onto the child and fades into white)
  • The prologue continues, and acts as a tutorial for the game and the early parts of the prologue, covering obvious things such as movement, using items and the inventory, and basic combat (most of the tutorial can be skipped). The player is free to wander around the "slave quarters" of the mining camp, where they can learn a few things:
    • The Oldest is the unofficial leader of the slaves. When guards are being civil, which is rare, they'll go to him to work things out. He is also the PC's older brother.
    • All the slaves are orphans.
    • The ELL has stockpiled enough materials to start manufacturing munitions, and plans to use the labor camps to do that, as well. The process will undoubtedly be dangerous, with a high casualty rate, because the proper equipment isn't available.
    • The living conditions of the labor camps are horrible, and not one of the slaves are happy there. The guards are abusive, and there are rumors of them raping the female slaves.
  • The only part of the tutorial which can't be skipped is the combat tutorial, which only lasts a few rounds. The PC and another slave start fighting over something, and a guard breaks them up. He tosses the PC aside, and takes the other slave away, saying he's warned the slaves against fighting, and now he has to make an example. He forces the slave to kneel, and executes him in front of the rest of the slaves.
  • The Oldest decides that he's had enough, and when the guard leaves, he gathers the slaves and tells them it's time to escape. He has a plan, and has been stockpiling warm-weather clothes for this very reason. After "lights out" the children leave.
    • The player will play through the escape, sneaking past guards. The children are mostly unarmed, and the guards will call for help if they feel threatened.
      • During the escape, Mother, the labor-camp's nurse, will approach The Oldest and insist that she's coming with him, citing that one of the female slaves is pregnant with a guard's child, and The Oldest isn't prepared to handle that, where she is. He reluctantly accepts and she escapes with the group.
  • Once the PC escapes, move to Chapter 1.

Chapter 1

  • Video: The narrator explains that The Oldest was able to lead the escaped slaves to the City of Orphans, where they were able to scavenge enough canned goods, as well as hunt for extremely small game, to survive five years, as well as grow from 30 to about 50 Orphans. The city has remained undiscovered by the ELL by playing off local superstition that this particular set of ruins is haunted, and the ELL has come to believe all the escaped slaves died to the cold, and have stopped searching.
  • The player will be able to explore the City, and will have to talk to the Orphans to find The Oldest (this must happen every time the player returns to the City, because The Oldest moves around a lot), but once the player does, The Oldest will confide in the player that their food supplies are almost gone, and that his scouts have seen trade caravans traveling to and from the ELL. He wants you to somehow get food from the trade caravan, either by attacking or trading, to return it to the City.
  • The player won't be able to ambush the caravan, leaving only the options of returning to the City empty handed (The Oldest will send the player back out, if that's the case), or to follow the caravan into the township. The traders will be more than happy to trade with the player, assuming the player has something worth trading (The Oldest should have given him something worth trading), and if the player mentions the City, the traders offer to trade with the city on a regular basis.
  • When the player returns, with the food, to The Oldest (after talking to Orphans to find him; the Orphans will want to know all about the world outside, too), The Oldest will send the player back out to find books on The Oldest's favorite ruler.
  • At this point, the story becomes free-roaming, and open ended.
  • The chapter ends when the player returns a book on the ruler to The Oldest. (Not as easy as it sounds)

Chapter 2

  • Unknown to the player, The Oldest starts kidnapping children from nearby townships. At first it was to save a handful of children who were being abused by their parents, but eventually it moved to an obsession that all children would be better off living in the City.
  • The chapter ends with The Oldest banishing the player from the City of Orphans. The Oldest is concerned that the player interacting with the other Orphans, and telling them about the outside world, is making them want to leave the City to find their own way. Also, he is concerned that the player wants to take his place as the leader of the City.

Chapter 3

  • Near the end of the chapter The Oldest meets with the KSE to discuss the City of Orphans joining them in the fight against the ELL. During the meeting, they're ambushed, and The Oldest is able to make it back to the City. He feels incredibly betrayed, and his dementia that all adults are evil pushes him over the edge. He calls everyone within the City into the Castle of Riga to explain to them that anyone older than him (he believes he's about 19 or 20) is inherently evil, and they must purify the City of their taint. He doesn't give them a chance to leave, but instead calls for them to all be killed. Most of the Orphans "younger" than him, and even some of the ones "older" than him agree (the older ones sacrifice themselves to the cause. A handful of "older" Orphans are able to make it out of the city, and at least one of them (possibly Mother) finds the player and begs the player to return and to stop their brother.
  • If the player can subdue The Oldest without killing him , the Oldest will begin plans to march on ELL, to save all the children from the labor camps, and any townships on the way. If The Oldest is killed, Mother will start the planning.
    • The player can confront The Oldest or Mother about the kidnappings, but may or may not be able to stop them.

Chapter 4

  • The City of Orphans marches on ELL.
    • From tZee: Why does The Oldest lead the children to war if he's gone to such efforts, like kidnapping, to protect them?

Important NPCs

  • The Oldest: The PC's older brother, leader of the City of Orphans, and wanted criminal of the ELL.
    • Mother: Former ELL labor-camp nurse who now acts as a mother figure and nurse for the City of Orphans.
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