Post-apocalyptic Europe

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These are some rough notes for a setting in a post apocalyptic Europe.

The game would have your character set initially in Britain an Island off mainland Europe, small enough to walk across the island on foot given enough time, yet large enough and positioned in such a way to have a varying climate across the island.

The adventure would be set a few years after the nuclear event. Small groups have been set up around the country, mostly scavaging on the remnants of what is left from civilization. Cities are still mainly no-go areas due to the prevalence of lying corpses, contamination and disease. You can go into them, the rewards are potentially great, but so are the risks.

You are the sole survivor of a small community of less than 10 people, including your wife and children, who all died through exposure to an infectious disease. You were the only one to be immune to the disease but are not a carrier.

You have to try and initially survive and then build a life for yourself in this new world. You begin with a small stock of food from your community, but only that which you can carry in a back pack. You may also have some randomly selected weapon, ranging from a baseball or cricket bat to a shotgun with limited ammunition.

You can try and find another community or try and survive on your own by finding supplies of food, tools or weapons. You can learn skills from others or from books you find. Those skills will help you find a place in the communities you encounter or see you rejected.

Keeping healthy and uninjured will be a priority, especially if you are going it alone. Fleeing or avoiding combat should always be an option. The main risk will be other people, packs of feral dogs or more rarely wild animals or zoo/wildlife park survivors.

There should he a limited number of people with medical skills, but they should be locatable within a reasonable time. Either attached to a community or roaming to a known location. It should always be possible to discover the location of a medical person through talking to others you meet. Vague rumours about them being in such and such a place should be guaranteed to be true if the player really needs medical treatment. The game should try and be fair in giving the player opportunities to stay alive.

Most travel will be on foot, though there is the possibility of using other forms of transport (bicycle/car). The latter will be limited due to lack of fuel supply. Fuel should be a commodity in short supply, but communities may have found alternatives for power generation. Communities will normally be based around a strong figure with a driving obsession: to be self sustaining, to scavenge all they can, to rape and pillage or to set up a form of dictatorship with other communities bowing down to them.

Communities will either be static or nomadic. A nomadic community will move between a number of fixed points to make them more sustainable within a game context. They can be either peaceful or violent and will react to lone strangers in different ways. Some will be welcoming, some hostile, others will expect you to prove yourself in some kind of challenge/combat. Roaming gangs will be attached to no fixed point but will be hostile, they may appear out of nowhere, generated for a particular quest so will not follow the rules of normal communities. Though once the leader is defeated it may be possible for them to devolve into loners who will then become more friendly, or take the player as their leader.

There will be other lone roaming survivors, and again these can range from helpful individuals who with travel with you for a limited time and share skills, or those who simply want to loot your still warm corpse.

As the story progresses you should become something of a focal point for the communities you encounter, either seen as a positive or negative presence. As the story progresses you should become something of a unifying force, either as leadership material to bring communities together into a larger society or as a hate figure bring them together to eliminate you.

Society should go through several distinct phases of development, which will allow eventual travel to europe and beyond. The scope of this will likely be limited to resources available to the project, but might be considered a long term goal.

There should be forking storylines where outcomes depend on your actions. And certain plotlines should only be available if your actions have given you a certain reputation.

The game should allow the character to play as anything from a lone psycho/looter to a community leader. Though the former is likely to lead to an early death. Communities will in the end increasingly tolerate known friendly loners.

I think that Britain is a good start for a PA story because of the prevalence of PA stories set there that can be mined for ideas for storylines.

A few examples: John Christopher - The Death of Grass John Christopher - Empty World John Wyndham - The Day of the Triffids (+ several adaptations) Simon Clark - Blood Crazy Terry Nations - Survivors (+ 3 BBC series from the 70s and a new one recently) John Eyers - Survivors: Genesis of a Hero David Moody - Hater Christopher Priest - Fugue for a Darkening Island

Those are off the top of my head so can probably add a few more given time.

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