Submarine Town

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"Delta Town" by Gaspard.

(This entry has been reformatted to fit the wiki, but is otherwise unedited from the forum. Unless otherwise noted, all entries are from Gaspard.)

By: Gaspard, Sirren, and Zenbitz

Contents

General Information

Where is this located? What is the general purpose of the location? What is the day-to-day life like in the location? Is there anything particularly unique about the location?

History

WW3

The fictional delta class submarine <unnamed at this point> had left the dockyards of Leningrad (now: St. Petersburg) from a routine checkup and some minor repairs only a mere hour before the red alert call was radioed from land that informed the crew of the situation which was to escalate into the Apocalypse.

It was the ship's second voyage, it's maiden voyage being the one from the Severodvinsk Shipyard around Scandinavia through the Norwegian Sea to the Gulf of Finland to fine-tune the reactor and also fully restock on fuel, rations etc.

Hearing the transmission the ship went on alert, submerged and executed a protocol dealing with a situation like that, consequently it launched most of it's ballistic missiles in a single salvo. The ship was executing a maneuver to turn around and return to the Leningrad docks when the EMP blast from a nearby <Leningrad?> nuclear explosion(s) severely damaged it's navigational communications systems. The ship managed to surface but still could not avoid being marooned not too far from Leningrad but on the coast of --- <either Estonia (part of the Soviet Union) or Finland, depends on the necessity story-wise> part of the hull being driven into the rocky beach.

Of the crew of 133 men 130 survived and of the survivors half a dozen were severely injured during the shipwreck and died during the following days and weeks.

No radio transmissions for over two weeks - just static. Right after being cast ashore a group was sent to scout out the nearby area and found a semi-small settlement <population a couple hundred up to a thousand max>. A camp was set up. Equipment and rations were being unloaded from the ship, which was virtually intact, but unable to run again mainly due to the damage that the navigational systems had suffered, also the main drive was broken. The reactor was shut down and would have needed repairs before being able to be fully operational. The backup diesel-powered generators provided the electricity for various devices including the partly repaired radio and communications systems. After around a fortnight the first coherent radio transmissions were caught, but at first nothing in Russian and therefore incomprehensible to the crew. Finally a transmission from the underground bunker network in Leningrad - World War III had happened, the Apocalypse, and the world will never be same again. Leningrad was virtually no more and because satellites were not reachable (or perhaps shot out of the sky) very little info on the rest of Mother Russia or even the rest of the world.

Devastated, the crew of the marooned submarine, delta class, broke apart - some headed towards the Leningrad bunkers knowing fully well that it might be suicide because of the radiation and fallout, some joined the people of the nearby settlement (who had been reluctant and even hostile at first, but hearing the "news" and having seen the lights flashing in the night skies accepted the stranded soldiers as their own; and as there still had been vehicles in that settlement some of the men had left using those, but the locals were not eager to part with these and the scarce fuel was considered all but priceless.), some just wandered off in various directions either on foot or using the lifeboats from the sub in groups that varied in size, only a few stayed with the ship and started making the camp more permanent with hopes of perhaps one day getting the ship operable again. There were several suicides.

Immediate Aftermath

Those who stayed with the ship managed to get the reactor operable and stable again, but the sub was still far from being travel-capable. Eventually the reactor were shut down for the final time (for the time being Wink and enough atomic fuel was left over in storage to last for another 30 years. The men had been considering using the "leftover" munition to blow up the ship, but in the end decided against that - there was no enemy left who could use it against the Motherland which pretty much did not exist anymore either. No-one stayed, the sub was stripped of anything that could be screwed loose and carried and the men left - most of them joined those who had stayed with the people living in the nearby settlement. There men found partners and started their own families in time or led a solitary existence, doing their part to aid the community - a naval medic was invaluable in the coming rough times and so were the engineers to keep the rarely used but still important machinery running. The soldiers were also trained in combat, which became pretty much invaluable and secured the prosperity of the community when the raids were starting. Over the years there had been fights and even shootings among the soldiers and between the soldiers and the locals, but in the end those who felt rebellious were either shot or exiled or they committed suicide. And so - even more time passed and those people grew accustomed to the cold weather which got more severe every passing year.

Of the inhabitants of the aforementioned settlement obviously not all had stayed when the bombs had fallen. Right after (the Apocalypse) many groups left to find their families elsewere and after hearing proof of the Apocalypse from the submarine's crewmen there were also cases of suicide. Lack of new medicine and pretty much lack of anything from the outside world, which pretty much did not exist anymore, took a heavy toll, and the little graveyard behind the settlements little chapel grew bigger and sadder in too short of a time. Radiation poisoning did not help either, to which the people (obviously the submarine's crewmen too) were prone to when the winds carried radioactive matter into the area (although the weather had been "good" during the bombing and the winds directed away from our settlement - so the pollution was not too severe)

Current

A year or so before the game takes place some people along with the men who had been engineers and maintaining the sub's nuclear reactor decide to try and get the reactor up and running to provide electricity to the community. The sub was approached again and opened up <perhaps it had been covered partially or fully in snow and ice> and the reactor was started up again. Celebrations followed and everybody who had an electrical light (christmas tree decorations etc) brought it to the makeshift powerplant to light it up.

But there was a problem - namely the community was still too far from the sub to be of any use... Still, some people had decided to move closer to the sub, namely pretty much to live ON it. Shantys were built on and around the hull of the marooned hulk and it didn't take long to become a little community in itself that traded electricity (in the form of batteries) with the adjoining settlement where they all were originally from and some other (smaller) settlements that they traded/communicated with on a regular basis. Locals found it beautiful how the whole place was lit up during nighttime - it was a singular sight - the children who had been born after the war saw electrical lights perhaps for the first time in their lives.

There'd also be a taboo spot not far (or perhaps further away) from the 'powerplant' where the radioactive waste is stored

  • My reasoning with the reactor being up and running already would be such that it would take people (opposed to an individual) to keep it on-line. One man could perhaps, yes, get it running but it is definitely going to need supervision and at least competent 'specialists' to maintain it and also make minor repairs, when and where needed.
  • I thought that just a sub in the ice that you could do so much with - restart reactor, power up certain instruments, use perfectly functional on-board computers; in my opinion it would be
    • not too realistic - that's why I found it necessary to explain that the crew did not find it necessary to blow it up when they left, but would have in another situation, and why it was relatively easy to get the thing running after years (almost two decades) of deterioration in the 'hands' of harsh weather and time. if the crew had just left the sub and split after being washed ashore - the reactor could have been leaking , broken and open circuitry would get heavily oxidized etc...
    • a bit bland and cliche ? I have read my share of science fiction and stories in which perfectly functional crashed space-ships and everlasting power sources and equipment and stuff just lies around without change or degrading for up to millennia, then the protagonist accidentally finds it, accidentally activates it and accidentally manages to pilot/use the thing to achieve the goal that he/she was just happening to try to achieve :O

From Zenbitz: so you know there was an abandoned sub in Fallout 2 that never got modelled. It is being added to the Fallout Restoration Project.Not saying that's a deal breaker either way - but if you are going to be accused of ripping something off, you might as well make a silly homage out of it. Like maybe make it "The San Francisco"


Government

Is there a need for governing? Is there a local government, or does it rely on the help of a nearby township or faction? Who's the mayor? Sheriff? What about local guilds, if there are any?

Places of Interest

  • Taverns / Inns / Hotels / Hostels?
  • Shops?
  • Unique areas within this location, including other locations?

People of Note

Who lives here worth knowing?

Quest options

  • this is an excellent place for one of the factions mentioned in Egalor's story/setting draft (http://forums.parpg.net/index.php?topic=198.0) to hear of the nuclear power plant and it's probable location (the exact coordinates did not survive in the ships logs or damaged navigational systems).
    • that lost pre-war nuclear power plant could also be the source of raw material for the submarine's own reactor - thus lengthening the 30-year lifetime the sub's reactor has because then it would run out of fuel.
    • <there was one reactor operable near Paldiski, not far from Tallinn, in Estonia if I remember correctly; Leningrad one would have been damaged or in the severely radioactive zone, does Egalor perhaps know of more of them that were on the territories of the Soviet Union ?>
    • From Sirren:
      • I'm also for the "find more fuel for the reactor" sub plot. It'd give more chances for the player to scavange pre-war dangerous places, such as well, nuclear plants and maybe nuclear missile sites (many officers belonging to both parts refused to launch their warheads during false alerts. AFAIK last time was in 1982/4, a Soviet commander had some four warheads coming on his screen.. He refused a direct order to launch becouse he knew it was a system glitch..).
      • At first I preferred the idea of having the player find a real nuclear plant. I must admit that the idea of putting back on line a ship reactor really fits a "salvage what you can" game general mood.
      • Or: Keep the nuclear plant as a kind of bonus quest that only Science characters can complete. In this case the SubM reactor would be useful to gather knowledge. Generally speacking I'd go for the SubM for all other PCs.
      • This means I'm against the possibility of the SubM. villagers already running the reactor for electricity. They'd be famous in the region and not hard at all to spot.
        • From Gaspard:
          • Who said that you, as an outsider, will find it easy to actually access the pre-war tech already up and running in the sub? I would think that as the sub is the most-prized asset in the region the one's in control of it would protect it and use force if necessary. The sub could have turrets mounted on it's bridge and either the ex-soldiers originally of that very sub could still be holding on to their service weapons or the people from the settlement would have those which they had traded for with the soldiers leaving the area - and I really do think that this is a pretty formidable enemy in the mostly low-tech post-apoc setting this PARPG world was supposed to be
          • Proving yourself or talking your way on board would be the way to get your hands on the pre-war computer console beeping solitarily deep in that sub; sneaking in should be crazy-difficult due to 24h maintenance shifts and cramped corridors inside the sub.
          • Also, a character who REALLY excels at Sciences might be able to offer to optimize the reactor (Gecko power plant, anybody ?) in exchange for information.
          • And oh - the locals might be angry at first when you suddenly, and absolutely with no authorization whatsoever, activate their submarine's launchpad and launch the satellite into orbit. Then you'd have to make your way to the Television tower (which is possibly across the bay) and use the codes (you didn't forget to read that .txt file with the codes from the Recycle Bin equivalent on the submarine's console, did you ?) to connect with the satellite and use it's sensors.
          • Oh noes ! There happens to be a small village right on the ice under which the lost reactor should be, do you force them into the wintery wastes or do you find them perhaps another settlement who'd take these poor souls in ? And then.. decisions decisions.. Which faction should be allowed to start digging out the reactor in the first place ?
          • Blast them all, I'll tell no-one and just start walking further south - to warmer and hopefully more peaceful lands...
    • From Zenbitz:
      • OK, I am getting a little sick of repeating this. There are many previous posts on the subject. Dropping an atomic bomb OF ANY SIZE does not render an area uninhabitable for 20 years. Or even 5 years. People moved right back in to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The only way to get an area saturated with radiation is an accident like Chernobyl - where WASTE (i.e, long half-life radioactive material) is scattered about the country size.
      • A bomb has about 50-100 Kg of Uranium or Plutonium in it (and some amount of less radioactive Lithium and Tritium) - and it all gets FISSIONED releasing large levels of ACUTE radiation (alpha, gamma, neutrons)
      • Such a thing could happen in PARPG 2 ways:
        • A nuclear plant or radiocative materials processing plant was destroyed or suffers an accident a la chernobyl
        • Someone specifically manufactures and uses dirty "Cobalt" bombs - which in RL were theorized and maybe a couple buit, but never put in service.
      • So, if there is/was a nuke plant in Leningrad it could have
        • been destroyed (leaving a big radioactive pile - from the plant -not the bomb)
        • been shut down cleanly (in which case it could have been later looted, left alone, or gone to (c)
        • not destroyed, but suffered an accident during/after the war.
          • From Gaspard:
            • OK, sorry for that - I guess I've missed the point previously - should be added to the cliche's section on the Wiki perhaps(?), I was mainly driven by images of the Glow (FO1) when I imagined a 'heavily radioactive area' .
              • From Zenbitz: The glow makes sense if there was an atomic plant there.
            • BUT this was still Cold War we're talking about here - many (if not most) of the nuclear weaponry had more times of a greater punch than the one dropped on Hiroshima (during Cold War the kilotons were largely replaced by megatons, and that is crazy imo). I understand that this 'greater punch' would in effect just do more thermal damage during the initial blast. M.I.R.V.s (Multiple Independently targetable Reentry Vehicles))uring Cold War these at lest delta class subs carried those, so I guess they were popular enough.
              • From Zenbitz: This is just not how nukes work. Also, although some HUGE 20+ Megaton bombs were tested, the optimum seems about 1MT.
            • If this is true (greater blast + in case of popular use of MIRVs) Leningrad and it's surroundings might have been hit with more than just one bomb. When that is the case, then there would be a considerably larger amount of fallout in the area. And when the Leningrad Dockyards were hit (in general Leningrad/St.Petersburg has manymany canals and thus a lot of water) then the contamination in the area could be worse even - as those radioactive particles will enter porous materials with ease, impossible to decontaminate when the cleanup is not started soon enough.
            • But cleanup would not be possible or is nearly impossible and probable on a very small scale with the surviving population% we are considering for our game - thus wouldn't any unprotected humans still get a severe ENOUGH dose of radiation to not want to wander into the area, even after the 20 years of the blast ?
            • We could go unreal-fiction way and make areas like that still radioactive for the story's sake OR the urban legend way - most people with no or little understanding of nuclear warfare (like me Smiley) would still want to avoid the area, because it used to be the place where people would get sick and soon after die (stories from the first years of the post-war period - stories get around)
              • From Zenbitz: See, now you are thinking! Many bombed areas might become "haunted" or "taboo" but they are not likely to still be very radioactive.
            • Then again it would be easier and 'less of a hassle' (to make sure that the place is as contaminated then, 20 yrs after) I guess we could just have the Leningrad nuclear power plant 'splode too due to damage during the bombing or something similar.
  • military equipment from the submarine and the equipment the crew survivors had been keeping serviceable (rifles, ammo, radios(walkie-talkies?), medicine etc).
  • story-related or background story information on the submarine's computers and/or logs
  • missiles, torpedoes and/or heavy explosives for solving quests or just blowing up for fun/karma.
    • From Zenbitz: Actually it would be pretty hiliarious to have a 'red herring ' quest to try to utilize an unexploded nuclear warhead for some purpose. No matter how hard PC tries, he can't get it to activate (no codes, etc.) Those things are actually pretty secure. Also, I would expect that, if the sub reactor survived, the nuke engineers would eventually try to scavage the war heads to make more fuel (they would actually need to dilute it). Maybe to end the quest you have to convince the warlord who wants it that it works... then sneak off before he figures it out... OR better yet - you have to "sell" two of them - 1 to each major player in the local area so that they can have their own little "Mutually Assured Destruction" brinkmanship... I kind of like that as the "last" quest of the area (or one of them) where you slink back to some other part of the world...
  • delta-class submarines were capable of carrying and launching smaller space-satellites. Perhaps this juicy piece of pre-war tech could be either scavenged from the satellite or the satellite itself launched into the atmosphere to find a location or just pictures of the post-apoc world or for communications <of course only when the character has high enough tech aptitude...>
    • From Sirren: Your mini satellite proposal: If the player has to discover a new ice age is coming then this device would come handy, even if it's only a communication satellite.
    • From Zenbitz: This is a little out there. I mean, the rest of the world doesn't have light bulbs and you have a radio connection strong enough to d/l images? With 1988 tech? Still, it has some potential if not overdone.
      • From Gaspard:
        • Firstly, we're talking about military craft here - it's technology is probably superiour to anything in commercial use at the time. And in the 80s microwave radio relay technology was already in use, theoretically (as I do not know the specifics) even a pre-recorded video image could be relaid using that õ_õ no?
        • If the protagonist got their hands on a powerful laser then it's not too crazy to target the stallite with that to establish connections. I guess all this would have to be worked out if we're considering shooting satellites into orbit in the game
        • And secondly when you say that the rest of the world doesn't have light bulbs, I'd say you're exaggerating here, my friend. Lenin said already in the early 1920s or so that bringing electricity to every corner of the world is one of the top priorities. Or were you just exaggerating to make a point ? If you're worried about energy the Communications/Television tower would need to transmit anything like that then there could be a diesel-powered generator in it's basement that you have to get running first (and even before that you'd have to find some fuel for that)
          • From Zenbitz: Huh? I meant after WWIII...
            • From Gaspard: after WWIII... I still don't see the problem ? The satellite (which would be launched onto the orbit) would be powered by solar energy, and the energy needed for the transmission could be generated and concentrated to just power the instruments which deal with reaching the satellite. This, too, could be a problem that a tech-savvy protagonist might need to overcome either on their own or by finding outside help to reroute the power in such a way that it would not be lost or 'wasted' on unnecessary instruments in the Communications centre.
              • From Zenbitz: My point is just that it seems unrealistic (hi qubodup) to have any group in the game with enough spare power, tech, and expertise to be launching, controlling and communicating with spy satellites... It's not that they COULDN'T ... it just seems like an odd choice of resource expenditure.
                • From Gaspard:
                  • ah. well my thought with this would be that THEY, the caretakers of the sub, think so too. but the protagonist might find out (while hacking the sub's computer) that it is POSSIBLE, then chooses to do it - and sends the satellite into orbit.
                  • It might not be profitable in the long run and probably there wont be many people willing to maintain the link to it (asides from some loonies) because it wouldn't have too much practical use besides scouting out areas (which in itself would be useful to the survivors at one stage (find places where the environment is most friendly)).
                  • This satellite could be a special(/secret/extra) means of finding an important location and then becoming virtually useless for the player. Also periodically it would be 'out of range' if it is circling Earth. Could be that the satellite, when activated in orbit, would have a wait-time period or something. If it is not connected with specific codes during a specific time-frame it becomes dormant and useless to the player, who would need a new way to uncover whatever information which the sat. could have provided them with. Race against time.
                  • But then again... Yeah. If the thing isn't too convincing then let's just scrap it, unless it makes major sense plot-wise. Right now it really is a cool thing the player could do because it's - well - cool
                    • From Zenbitz: the sattelite quest seems very Fallout-like to me - and not in a good way. In a goofy "here is some weird hightech gimcrack which makes no sense in context, but hey, it's cool".
                      • From Gaspard: I must agree with you there.
                        • From Matney: You guys bicker too much.
  • the submarines back-up diesel powered engines could have been scavenged and attached (after serious modification and/or mixing with existing machinery/equipment from the nearby settlement) to a makeshift ferry or a sort of boat that might take the player across the water to another location for a large amount of money/for a service
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