Setting

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Submitted setting.png This article covers a submitted setting element.

Submitted setting elements 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 accepted setting elements.

This is the current main setting proposal. Make sure you also check out the other setting proposals.

The game takes place in a realistic, grim, "present day" (ca. 2010) roughly 20 years after a huge global war (WWIII). The War started as a conventional attack in 1985 by Warsaw Pact forces into West Germany, Italy, and Scandinavia, but escalated rapidly into a world-wide conflict with the most terrible weapons of mass destruction ever conceived. Not only Nuclear, but Biological and Chemical warfare raged over battlefield that made no distinction between solider and civilian. Instead of burning each other out quickly, the Superpowers and their Allies became obsessed with Total War and utter destruction of their inhuman enemies. Only when literally the entire world's industrial capacity and military forces had been mobilized, committed, and ultimately destroyed 10 years later did the war grind to a halt. Economies and distribution systems already strained to support a massive war on a world wide front collapsed, billions had already died. The massive amounts of dust and soot from Gigatonage of explosives and 100,000 burning cites blotted out the sun, causing a Nuclear Winter. In the next 5 years, exposure, disease (both natural and artificial), starvation, and the savagery of the remaining men, conspired to wipe out the vast majority of those who managed to survive the war directly. Only a few hardened, grizzled, isolated groups see the dawn of a new millennium, possibly the last in human history. Still, (although in some cases literally bombed back into the stone age) the food supply began to stabilize and the most acute environmental effects fade over the next 10 years as people start to put the world back together. The Forests, wildlife and ocean life - free of the vast majority of human predation and interference - storm back to life, hardier and more resistant to the environmental insults done during the war years.

And then one year, just when things started to look up, Spring never came.

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

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).

Because of the large numbers of armaments manufactured and deployed during WWIII, actual military hardware - from small arms up to pretty heavy ordinance… but almost all of the ammunition is expended. Even a heavy machine gun isn't all that useful with 10 7.62mm rounds. Extremely well equipped bands or strong ports will exist - their primary purpose in game it to create "no fire" zones for the PC. It is not a difficult task to "hand load" recycled casings, but smokeless powder is very rare (burns easy, spoiled by water, extremely useful, hard to manufacture) and so are well machined slugs. Writers should consider such "military" hardware to be extremely unbalancing (if, for example, the PC got his hands on it) and should be strictly controlled and purposeful.

More organized areas may have a reasonably well developed "industry" for black powder arms. Unlike modern "cartridge" arms, both the ammunition (ball or shot and black powder) and the weapons themselves are not that hard to construct even with a major technological collapse. These weapons are low, smokey, inaccurate, and have a terrible rate of fire, but they will kill you dead at close range.

Explosives are very rare and often dangerous and unstable (because they are ~20 years old). Some "new manufacture" explosives (black powder based) are available but they are simply not that effective unless they are huge. While this might not be strictly realistic, explosives (and destructible locations) present a play balance not to mention graphics assets headache.

Vehicles

Muscle or animal powered vehicles (sleds, carts, pulks, even bicycles) are pretty common in the world and should not be overly restricted. Anything with an engine or that can traverse otherwise impassible terrain should be rare and worked into the story. At the extreme end someone might have managed to get a tank or APC running.

Climate

Northern Europe is in an extended post-nuclear winter state. Current theories hold that Nuclear-weapon induced cooling would fade after a few years. They were wrong. Northern Europe is 10 degrees C on average below what it was in the before time. The Glaciers are creeping south... but the sky is no longer filled with the great dust and dirt of the war... why won't it warm up? 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

There will be some seasonal variation. Either "Freeze" and "Thaw", or four full seasons. Either the artists will hate me (2x work!), or the programmer who tries to figure out how to "snowify" terrain will (particle effects)

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.

Extreme weather conditions should replace the radiation, like it was in the Fallout games, as a main hazard.

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 and may help the actor in certain situations.

Animals

Dogs and cats go native. Wolves, bears, deer, reindeer make a comeback. Polar Bears! And the Swedish national bird - the mosquito. Herd animals might migrate to more warmer and human-populated areas, thus becoming game.

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... Cold-adapting some animals would be OK, though: woolly mammoth, furry apes etc. Even if it stretches credibility a bit. Insects have a very short life cycle and might have made significant evolutionary changes in 20 years. Note that generally insects don't like cold weather.

Food

You need it or you die. Communities need to have some plausible 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 in 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". Any short-term positive effects a drug might have will later be counteracted with severe drawbacks and/or a period of detoxification when the character will suffer penalties. Depending on Stats excessive use of alcohol might result in a hangover.

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.

- Some other important items may be oil/gasoline, ammunition, perhaps wood, maps (by shevegen)

A discussion about Economy Discussion_Thread

Factions

  • There will be different factions
  • Some of them are in rivalry with each other

World Map

  • The game will play in Scandinavia, Northern Europe
PARPG world map

Time

  • The game takes place 20 years after WWIII ended ca. 2010. (The war goes on from ~1985-1990)

War (background)

  • WWIII occurred in 1985-1990 between NATO and Warsaw Pact, ~20 years before the start of the game.
  • Pre nuclear conflict could start as early as 1985 before the nukes start flying
  • Soviet ground forces penentrated Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark & Germany (and possibly central/southern europe as well)
  • Many tactical battlefield nukes were used
  • Many strategic (city, military base) nukes were used
  • Chemical and biological weapons were used in some areas (as useful to the plot of PARPG)
  • US / USSR collapse due to nuclear war; these events ended the war
  • Long and devastating world wide destruction wiping out 99% of population, 99% industrial capacity

Further Details (Proposals)

NBC Hazards (Nuclear/Biological/Chemical)

See: NBC_Hazards for more details (game mechanics)

  • Radioactivity will play a lesser role in PARPG. Extreme weather and environmental conditions are going to be the main hazard instead.
  • Large numbers of biological and chemical war heads were used throughout Europe in WWIII. These horrific weapons made large regions uninhabitable or unsuitable for growing food.
  • Radiation will reserved mostly for a few areas where we purposely want to have them, and backed up with some In-Character story, such as a power plant meltdown or dirty bomb. For example, there could be a snow covered field with lots of radioactivity, which may affect the actor in a very negative faction. But NPCs could warn him about these locations, or he could move with a Geiger-Müller tube (hand built geiger counter)
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