One of the new games I’m running with my local is a post-apocalyptic actioner that has the working titles Warlords of the Wastes.
First: yes, I am aware it needs a better title.
But beyond that, I am running it with Riggers, the same engine that ran Dream Riggers and is also the system for Centre of the World (which also needs a better name . . . I have my failings).
Originally, as I prepared for WotW, I was looking at altering Riggers. I was going to include “gear” as well as a mechanic for consumables and for carrying capacities. It was starting to look dire, given my penchant for minimal mechanics and avoiding sub-systems.
I had my gear and carrying mechanics planned out and ready to go. I was looking at the very simple character sheet I was using and considered how to add in this new information. Two pages?
A two page character sheet? What the heck was I doing?
Yes, it gave me pause, and so I stopped and gave it some thought. Why did I want to run a post-apocalyptic game?
My touchstones for the genre are a movie series and a game series: Mad Max and Fallout. But if you look at the inspiration I previously provided (47 Ronin, the Anabasis, and Fallout), only one of those is actually post-apocalyptic.
So what was I trying to do?
As I had done with Sword Noir all those many years ago in an attempt to gain focus, I figured out what I wanted to deliver. What would this version of Riggers be about?
For Riggers in a “dead world” I wanted to explore those left behind when what we call civilization is lost. These characters are on the frontier of a new civilization, one in the midst of its own brutal birthing. This marks the return to the rule of the strong, but the grail of this game would be the imposition of justice rather than order. Strength can provide order, but from where will justice come.
Resource management is nowhere in there. And to be honest, while the shortage of consumables is a story point in both the Mad Max and Fallout series, that is not the focus. It is a narrative tool, and that is how I will use it.
So in the end, other than the list of available skills, there is no mechanical difference between my fantasy and post-apocalyptic games.
And so far, there has not needed to be.