Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Apocalypse Avenue: Play Report #1 - Waking Up Is Hard to Do


Campaign: Apocalypse Avenue (Live Campaign, Savage Worlds. Books used include Core & Sci-Fi Companion)

Characters to Appear

Belloc (20 XP Seasoned Human) - Belloc is part of the 'Sleeper' program where the previous government had stored agents and vaults throughout the country for a plan to rebuild the world after a global disaster. He awoke to find his vault partially deserted and some of the supplies gone. His character build was well rounded, but with the Ace Edge made him a particularly good driver.

Neo (20 XP Seasoned Human) - Neo is part of the same program and was one of two (the other being Belloc) men awoken from the Sleeper program. He has a well-rounded build with no real emphasis on a skill like Belloc's Ace.

Bella (20 XP Seasoned Human) - Bella is a survivor in the Valley region and was not part of the Sleeper Program. She was found hiding in an old trailer near a roadblock around one of the cities in the Valley.

Objective: Investigate the signal coming from the town of Rockwell.

Events

-After character creation the session opened in medias res with Belloc and Neo heading to a signal they had heard. We hashed out a backstory, as I was vague on the details of the campaign. I had given an XP and the amount of money they could buy for starting equipment (5,000 a person). The idea was that they started out a little more skilled and well equipped to face a hostile world. The backstory soon formed thanks to collaboration by the players that invented the Sleeper program, they being frozen in a vault, and the equipment they had. I noted as an extra small hook for later that the vault had more men, but they had vanished, and the AI noted that they awoke early and abandoned the other two to their frozen state.

-As the party move along a Random Event card was drawn for traveling which revealed a 'Face Spade' (Enemy). As the party was moving towards the signal, they were attacked by a pack of motorcycle marauders. Belloc swerved his jeep so that the bikes might hit the broad side of the jeep and, well, I rolled a double-1 on the group roll. It was the biggest pile up of bikes I had ever seen. Men crashed into the side of the jeep, were hurled across or into each other- I imagined at that point the camera would slow down the action like a Sam Peckinpah movie.

-The party didn't find anyone really conscious after the wipeout due to low Vigor rolls. They made off with some rations, a couple of Colt .45 handguns, and ammunition before continuing to the broadcast signal.

-The signal was coming from the nearby town of Rockwell which was heavily nestled into the town. The signal identified that the hospital was serving as a 'rescue station' that had food and supplies for anyone who needed it. Both Neo and Belloc agreed that the signal was probably a trap, a lure for travelers into the clutches of raiders for enslavement or death. They decided to wait at night. 

-Meanwhile, they decided to search their packs for any information they might have had about the area- seeing as the game started in medias res and we didn't has out every detail. I had the party draw a card which came up with a Diamond event. I noted one of the items they packed was a map that showed a couple of sleeper vaults in the area. One of them was in the mountains nearby. They made a plan to check out the vault there after seeing to Rockwell.

-As night came close to the town to find that the roadway was blocked by a series of cement barricades. These could be passed by walking around them, but would require heavy equipment to move them out of the way for the car. The roadblock also included trailers that looked old and an abandoned diner. No activity within or throughout the camp. The pair decided to go on foot.

-As the party moved through they across the nearby river and bridge where they saw two figures in uniform stand near a vehicle, looking it over. Neo moved first, approaching slow and calling out to the humanoid shaped figures. The two figures turned and revealed pale eyes, scratches, and from their mouths issued a low moan "food..." They were not quite alive, but very active. As Neo retreated the zombie police drew their pistols and fired- yes, zombie cops fired guns.

-A brief firefight included both the zombie cops and drones that only shambled and clawed at the party. Of course, more gunfire drew more drones. So, after dispatching the vanguard, the party decided to run out of the area and back from whence they came. Eventually they returned to the roadblock with no zombies on their tail, just marauders searching over the Humvee they left behind.

-At this point, Bella's player came into the session as she was a little late arriving. The party dispatched the marauders without issue and soon met up with Bella. She explained as part of her backstory that she was a survivor who was waiting on her sister who went into the town, the sister never returned. The party filled her on events on the road ahead and instead decided to head towards the general area where the second vault was located at. Bella got into the jeep with them and off they went.

-The party made their way south near tip where the mountain range tapered off into smaller, less rugged hills. It appears that pre-war someone had the idea of creating their own lava chamber in this rounded mountain region. They had scourged the earth deep enough in previous times to tap into a magma chamber. This pit of the liquid was known as the 'Devil's Rift' according to the signs. The party also noticed signs that humanoids lived in this area. They decided to disconnect the Humvee from its starter to prevent someone from immediately starting the car and made their way up one of the foot trails to the rough area that they believed the vault was located at.

-They ended up finding the false rock wall face built around what appeared to be a quaint picnic area on a flat portion of one of the smaller parts of the mountain. From this bluff, one could enjoy the sights of trees and nature while they had their sandwich. From those lovingly carved stone walls, one could hold out on the party of 'Greenmen' - Orcish humanoids, mutants that turned their flesh green, their eyes red, and their teeth sharp. The party was accosted by a pack of these Greenmen, who demanded that the party surrender their property and would be released to the wild. Instead, the party fought back for a brief skirmish on the overlook. 

-After the skirmish, Neo was able to open the panel, have the retina scanner check his imprinted credentials and gain access to the vault. Inside the party had awoken the friendly Sleeper Program AI named Boddynock who welcomed them to his nearly completed, but ultimately unfinished vault. The unfinished part was that war broke out before Sleepers could be loaded in. That's when the party decided to setup in what they dubbed their new home.

After Notes

-A lot of this was hashed out without me having a lot of backstory prepared. The main parts I wrote down were the zombie encounters (which was a nod to a video game I was playing calling 'They Hunger'). I liked the idea that the campaign was sort of a goofy mix of post-apoc, mutant humans, and zombies.

-The players could have also played non-humanoids that were either from the corebook or ones we've made up for previous campaigns. Saurian and Rakashans were good to go, and races such as Orcs or Elves would be explained as mutated humanoids. In this session Bella, Belloc, and Neo's players opted for Pure Strain Humans.

-Boddynock, the AI, is based on one of my D&D characters. My first ever from back in the day. In this case he was just a helpful AI who ran the second bunker.


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