Our second game was “Welcome to Action City!” (a.k.a. Riverbank CA, “City of Action”) The real Riverbank has some fun locations. There’s a very 50’s looking downtown with an old movie theater and while now it’s an Industrial Park, there was an Ammo Plant. So in our fictional Fallout universe, it still is an Ammo Plant. The story goes that the radiation levels in the Central Valley are finally down to survivable levels. In the Fallout games the Wanderer and the Vault Dweller basically travel through what is now the Central Valley, but they don’t stop. Not because there’s nothing there, but because the Central Valley is like a fishbowl where pollution from the Bay Area settles (and incidentally, fallout from the War).
Looks pretty good, eh? The buildings are cheap HO scale buildings I got off eBay. I haven’t even done anything to them yet! I just got in some Dr. Ben’s weathering crud, so I’m going to experiment with making them more…Fallout.
So our intrepid Vault Dwellers, Ragin’ Ryno, Atomic Bob and Biff, discover a new radio signal claiming to come out of some place called Mo-town. (Modesto, CA) proclaiming the finally non-lethal radiation levels in the Valley. The DJ from KHOP who calls himself “The Wolfman!” announces the return of a local ritual called “Graffiti”.
“Baby, we’ve got a WORKING automobile! If YOU have a working automobile, cruise on down to MO-town! CARS, baby! We’ve got the ghouls working night and day to clear the Boulevard of debris, and we’re gonna have an old-fashion car cruise! Graffiti is BACK, baby! Spread the word! Now here’s Buddy Holly singin’ Peggy Sue. Thanks for listenin’ to KHOP! This is the Wolfman talkin’ aaWOOOOOOOO!!!!”
What the Wolfman doesn’t mention, and our intrepid adventurers won’t be aware of (unless they read this!) is the large population of feral ghouls and the Pharaohs, a ghoul Raider gang (with working motorcycles!). I ordered some bikes from 15mm.co.uk which look just like Fallout bikes, which look quite a bit (intentionally) like Judge Dredd Lawmasters.
Looks pretty good so far, eh? The ground tiles are from World Works Games. Some I’ve mounted on ‘For Sale’ signs, some are just paper. Eventually, I’ll mount them all so they won’t curl up and will stay put better.
The tire piles I got off eBay, and all they need is a little weathering. They come already black and they’re molded in one piece.
The telephone poles were a great purchase. Cheap, and effective. Most gaming setups, Sci-Fi and Post-Apoc anyway, don’t include such mundane items as telephone poles. I have two theories as to why this is. In non-destroyed scenery setups, the telephone wires theoretically need to be intact, which can interfere with moving minis around. I find that the inclusion of telephone poles with the implied existence of the wires is better than no telephone poles at all. My second theory is that the gaming scenery world is overly influenced by Games Workshop’s vignettes. See, in Britain, the majority of the telephone and power lines are run underground, so you don’t see them. But in America they’re all over the place, so when Americans set up a gaming board, even if it looks great and everything is painted (yeah, RIGHT! LOL) there always seems to be…something missing. Amazing what the inclusion of a few detail items like telephone poles, mailboxes, k-rails (a.k.a. ‘Jersey barricades’) can do. I’m making a butt-load of plaster k-rails, by the way. Not only are they literally everywhere in the U.S., they make great cover.
Not part of the ‘board’ you see two sets of “Stalingrad” barrel piles. I only ordered one, the other was supposed to be a different ‘ammo dump’, but it’s too late to return it. Bought on eBay again. I’ve got lots of barrels and stuff, so there will be some sort of ‘toxic waste dump’ scenario coming up shortly.
Another angle of the board. I really like the World Works tiles. It’s the Western themed pack. Under $10, +cardstock +ink, totally worth it. I recommend!
And here’s something I came up with: The Loot Card system
At first the group wasn’t too enthusiastic about the idea. Especially when I asked if they had some scissors and would you please cut these out for me…
But they seem to be a big hit. Eventually, I will have more cards, and will categorize them and have them in the right ratios. The idea is that whenever there is random loot to be had, instead of rolling on a chart, telling them what they got and then spending 15 minutes for them to write it all down and look up the stats, I just deal out some cards.
The cards will eventually have weight, value in Caps and if necessary, relevant stats on them. Most of the items in Fallout are consumables in some way, so the player just keeps the card paperclipped to their character sheet and hands it back when they use or sell it. It’s brilliant if I do say so myself. If there’s any interest, I’ll make these available when I’m done on as a .PDF file. When possible, I find a picture of an item someone from the LARP or CosPlay community actually made. I gotta say, it’s pretty cool how it worked out.
Well, I have an emergency trip to see the folks next week. No game, but I’ll try to post some pictures of the Dr. Ben’s Weathering experiments I’ll be working on this week. Stay tuned!