State of the world

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Deprecated setting elements have been usually rejected in favour of other submitted settings elements and have been abandoned. Therefore deprecated setting elements are no longer considered to serve as guidelines for the creation of quests, NPCs, factions & locations.


Here are some of my ideas for what the game world should be like 20 years after the war.This is now captured as at Setting, and is now considered out of date.

Contents

Population

1-5% of current. Note that this means ~100,000 people in Norway, for example. We obviously are only modeling 1 in 1000 or so in the game. I guess we could drop to 0.1% if we get jiggy with the germ bombs.

Technology level

Basically there are two types - "pre war" tech (i.e, they had it in 1988) and "post war" - newly developed industry. The pre war stuff should be old, rare and often poorly maintained, but the shiznit when it's in good condition. Post war stuff is crude, plentiful, unreliable and probably dangerous to the user.

Power

Sparse electrical power, maybe 10% of communities that have the proper expertise and resources. Small caches of refined gas/diesel/propane. Coal mining in some locations, peat and wood burning ubitiquitous. Rare hydroelectric or geothermal. 1 (max) place with some working solar panels or nuclear power plant or something. Steam engines are OK, but can be overdone.

A community with an excess of foodstuffs could be making fuel (and booze) - grade ethanol and/or biodiesel, but this should be uncommon and the product very expensive.

Weapons

I am trying to devise a rather deadly combat system. Which means that practically, we need to limit firepower of characters. To me it seems reasonable that there is NO modern ammo production, only small caches of unused ammo and powder. Old cartridges can be easily reloaded and steel/lead ammo is pretty easy to make... but you need the powder and that's "pre war"

I like the idea of a "black powder" manufacturing industry - it only requires sulfur, saltpeter (ammonium nitrate) and charcoal. C'mon, Kirk made some during his fight with the Gorn!. The weapons are simple (basically just tubes) and some method of priming them (priming caps might be another small industry). They go "Boom" and give of great gouts of smoke.

Much of the fighting should be done with "muscle" weapons, sword/axe/club/rock/spear/crossbow. There should be a few prewar reproduction weapons of high quality (maybe even a couple museum pieces), but also small industries/forges to make reasonable weapons. Improvised hand weapons are the norm (fire axe, machete, baseball bat with nails, rebar club, knives)

Explosives should be VERY rare (and highly unstable... just like you Ken) because I find them either unbalancing, unrealistic or both.

Vehicles

Almost all animal or human powered. Skis and sleds. Carts and wagons. I think a few motorvehicles would be allowed (but see fuel restrictions). In general I am in favor of a car being some kind of "special mission" item which works for a while then blows it's head gasket or something equally fatal. I would definitily like to see some resurrected soviet war machines.

Climate

This has been stated many times before, but what I think works best is an tundra/taiga/alpine game world. The northernmost reaches might be glaciated or ice packed, but the south will have a thaw and growing season. The band in the middle is cold, but some hard farming/hunting can be done. In the frozen wastes, you have to stay near the sea to survive off of sea life (or eat things that eat fish, like birds and polar bears). I will do some more work on this when I get the chance, but take a map like this one: http://www.worldbook.com/wb/Students?content_spotlight/climates/european_climate or these: http://printable-maps.blogspot.com/2008/09/map-of-climate-zones-in-europe.html

And drop them down a level (Subarctic -> Artic, Humid Continental -> Subarctic, Humid Oceanic smaller and colder)

Seasons

We need them. At least "Freeze" and "Thaw". Either the artists will hate me (2x work!), or the programmer who tries to figureout how to "snowify" terrain will. Maybe we can come up with some innovated ways of dealing with this.

Weather

Snow. It should snow. There should be blizzards. It should suck to get caught out in a blizzard. Being able to predict the weather (read the sky) will be a useful skill. The days temperature (lows and highs) should be important, at least during winter or in tundra areas.

Wind, Rain and mud are also good. Fog could be interesting. It would be great to have a realistic weather generation system that depended on the seasons... but I'll setting for some kinda random markov chain where tomorrows weather is a function of todays.

Wilderness/Environment

War is hard on plants and animals, but not as bad. With the primary controllers of the environment devastated and still fighting each other, the forests (mostly coniferous) and animals make a resergence, bringing northern europe slowly towards it's primoridial origins. Obviously, in the more tundra areas this will not be as big a factor. The good news is: Happy hunting!

Plants / Vegetation

Obviously this is going to depend on the climate, but lots of pines and confer forests (although trees won't be too big after 20 years). Whatever the local plant life, it will be pretty overgrown over cities (those that are rubble or buried in snow)

Useful plants

Dried brush and wood can be burned for heat (or power!). Lots of plants are edible, especially if you are really, really hungry. Plant materials can also be used for crafting (rope, cloth, building). Some herbs might have medicinal properties.

Animals

Dogs and cats go native; wolves, bears, deer, moose make a comeback. Reindeer! Polar Bears! And the Swedish national bird, the mosquito.

Stuff can escape from zoos too... (Siberian tiger?) Most animals will be edible. They should also be a source of useful raw materials (leather, sinew, horn) for making stuff.

Friend Animals

AKA "Dogmeat". Dogs should be pretty useful friends. Pack animals should be the way to move stuff around.

Mutated Animals

Take it easy on this... I am OK with cold-adapting some stuff (wolley mammoth, furry apes) even if it stretches credibility a bit.

Food

You need it or you die. Communities need to have some plausable food supply to support ALL their population. I will send out some guidelines about how much food you need to live (starvation vs. standard rations, etc.). This is why we have to think deeply about 10m snow packs 365 days/year. People would just starve out. Pre-war food (and liquor) would be highly valued luxury items, but most of the food would have to be fished, hunted or grown. Growing mushrooms underground is OK is small doses.

Drugs

People like the drugs! They need to escape. Alcohol is the primary luxury of humanity. Other, more exotic stuff is available rarely. It should almost never have a positive game effect on a character. No "buffouts" or "jet".

Economy

Primarily barter based, but I think we need some form of "change" for PC/NPC bartering interactions (like bottlecaps in FO) We had some debate on this somewhere in the Mechanics forum and I couldn't see any pre-war item being common and useful enough to use as specie. The best idea of the lot I thought was to use powdered "staples" like sugar, flour, salt, pepper (or as above, black powder)... I am not sure we want to go the "Waterworld" path and make "dirt" a valuable commodity... but let's not reject it just yet.

These items are nice because they are obviously useful to everyone (foodstuffs, usually) and they can be measured infinitesimally (using a scale... every character would have a little scale and funnells to measure stuff). I think it would make a nice baroque touch.

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