"What is a RPG?"

posted by Wapole Languray Original SA post


Several generations have passed since Doomsday when the
Earth was wracked by the Final War. Our forebears told of
the devastation, of the great pillars of ash and flame, of the
clouds of manmade pestilence, of the waves of strangely scented death.
All the marvels our ancestors had striven to create, their towering edifices
of steel, concrete and glass, the lore stored on their webs of computers,
were torn asunder, rent and lost. Many died, man and beast alike, and
the Earth was tortured and twisted. Many more died during the Years of
Dark Ice that followed.
As heat and light returned, those few survivors began to establish
themselves anew, communities began to slowly grow again, both to
protect and nurture or to seize and pillage, for both are paths of survival.
Nations were gone, survival was paramount, trade was scant. What
useful implements of the Before Time that could be safely salvaged were
quickly hoarded and cherished, for future generations, for survival, for
protection and predation.
The damage and poisoning of the Earth was reflected in the warped
flesh of animal and man. Many were born with hideous mutations to
the horror of their parents. Most died, others were cast out, only a few
were nurtured or endured. Over time, the number of mutants has slowly
increased, reluctantly accepted in some places, still reviled in others.
Fortified settlements are scattered across and beneath the blasted
landscape now, linked by the battered roads our ancestors made. Road
warriors in their armed and armored vehicles guard these places of
civilization, escort the mighty trade rigs that ferry goods and people
between those settlements that trade. Raiders assault these in their crude
vehicles, steal and slaughter, constantly test the defenses of the towns
and homesteads nearby. The weak, the foolish, quickly fall to their
This is a time of hardship, of rebuilding, a time when scavengers
pick at the scraps of the Before Time, a time when might too often
means right. But it is also a time of hope, for Humanity has endured
and the Earth begins to very slowly mend. The future will again be
wrought by our hands, for good or ill.
- Daniel Turing, Lore Keeper of Redtown

Welcome to Atomic Highway, the High-Octane Post Apocalyptic RPG!

It’s got action!




Yes, this is basically Mad Max the RPG, though it’s a lot more than just that. With a wee bit of homebrewing, which is dog simple in this game, you can also turn it into an RPG version of: Planet of the Apes, Kamandi the Last Boy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Metro 2033, Borderlands, Fallout, Left 4 Dead, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and pretty much anything else that involves lots of action, some survival elements, and weird unnatural mutants or similar things. If any of this interests you, Atomic Highway and its supplement Irradiated Freaks are both free on Drivethrurpg, so grab it and read along if you want!

Now I’m going to get the “What’s an RPG?” chapter out of the way, because nobody really cares about that stuff right? Well, you should, because this game actually has a good one! See, Atomic Highway is meant to be a very beginner friendly game, so instead of just saying what an rpg is it shows you how one works in play via a goofy ass short comic!

Next time: A View Out the Window: The Default Setting!

A View Out the Window

posted by Wapole Languray Original SA post

A View Out the Window

The second chapter is just a quick overview of the default setting of the game, a semi-generic Mad Max-y Post-apocalypse. The interesting thing is that this is a chapter for Players, not GMs. There’s another chapter later that’s all about customizing the setting to suit your tastes. This intro just helps people who might not be familiar with this sort of setting get into it, so there’s less alienness for people who didn’t watch Mad Max.

Now, I hate to do this but, this chapter sucks. It’s either useless information or facts that make the game less fun if you use them.

Basically roughly defined types of civilization in the wasteland. I’m skipping this because it’s useless. Sorta. everything here could be combined with content in the character creation chapter, so I’ll just cover it there.

Terrible Setting Crap That Is Boring Or Bad

I don’t want to give the impression that this is a bad game, it isn’t, this whole chapter is 7 pages and is totally skippable. Heck, the game flat out tells the GM later to overhaul the setting, so yeah. I mostly don’t like it because the information is useless or for some baffling reason un-fun.

Okay, that’s it. As you can see, not much of a chapter. The next one is a few pages of player advice, which is nice! Simple stuff, communicate with other players and GM, make sure your character will fit in with the adventure, make sure you bring your dice and sheet and stuff to games, its supposed to be fun so don’t be a dick. Even tells you to be descriptive and involved in the game, and to talk to the GM and players if you’re not having fun. Atomic Highway definitely feels like it was written for people who’ve never played an RPG before, and makes an effort to tell you how to play beyond just the rules.

Now, it’s time to get to the real neat stuff!

Next Time: Buckle Up! Creating Your Character

Buckle Up!: Creating Your Character Part 1, Man or Manimal?

posted by Wapole Languray Original SA post

Buckle Up!: Creating Your Character Part 1, Man or Manimal?

Now we get to the GOOD stuff for both books. Creating your character in Atomic Highway is fun and damn quick if you know what you want and is definitely the highlight of the Player section of the book. Some notes though, this chapter I will be combining things from Irradiated Freaks, a supplement that massively expands the mutation system for the game because there’s no reason to cover them seperately. Also, I’m going to be using art from the game sparingly. It’s not bad, just a bit… boring.

This is a good example of the typical art. It’s amateur but still nice. The biggest problem is that art isn’t where it would be relevant so I either scan through the whole book looking for appropriate stuff, or just find other images that illustrate the section better, which I will. So, look forward to that. Irradiated Freaks will have art though, because it’s much less Deviantart-y and more freakin’ badass. Enough words though, let’s get started with Part 1: Species!

So, first step in making a character is Species. If you wanna play a normal human, just move along. Just move along. The other options are Humanoid Animal or Plant, and no they are not furries. Yes, there are vaguely anthropomorphic creatures in an RPG that are NOT Furries, shock and awe. Don’t believe me, well let’s check ‘em out!

Now, Species besides Human is basically just a big pack of Mutation options which I’m going over individually when we get to Mutations. Instead I’ll just give an overview of what makes each “species” special compared to humans, and post the kicking rad Irradiated Freaks artwork.

Each Little Bird That Sings: Humanoid Animals
Pretty much all humanoid animals have some sort of enhanced senses, some sort of dulled senses, natural weapons like teeth and claws, a lot are colorblind. I’m just pointing out the more interesting abilities each type has instead of listing Dull Sense (Vision) a million times.

Birds basically all have the ability to fly unless otherwise noted, have natural weapons in the form of beaks and/or talons/claws, good eyesight and hearing, weak sense of smell, and are more fragile than humans.

Pretty much all of them are cold-blooded (Ectothermic).

Each Little Flower That Opens: Humanoid Plants
These guys are fucking weird. Pretty much all of them are slow and photosynthetic, and can root themselves to the ground, but beyond that it gets gonzo.
Bramble: Grow edible berries, are spiney.
Cactus: Spiney, some can grow edible food, all can store water.
Eggplant/Pepper/Tomato: Grow food.
Fern: Giant Salvinia and Mosquito Fern are buoyant, Fiddleheads grow food.
Fungus: Can produce spore clouds Stinkhorns stink, toxic mushrooms produce toxic sap.
Seaweed: aquatic and buoyant.
Shrub: Gooseberry and roses grow food, all are spiney.

Stinging Nettle: Irritant bristles.
Sundew: Acidic grip, have an extra tentacle arm, and are covered in sticky globules. Ew.
Tree: Big and tough.
Tree, Baobab: Big, tough, stores water.
Tree, Edible Fruit/Nut: Big, tough, grows food.

Venus Flytrap: Acidic bite.
Vine, Climbing: Some grows food, others grow poisonous fruit. Have extra “arm” vine, and prehensile feet. Can climb walls.
Water Lily: Aquatic and buoyant.

Geeze, those are a lot of words, now to find out what they mean!

Next Time: All Things Weird & Wonderful: Mutations and Psychic Powers!