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Author Topic: Post-Apocalyptic Cowboys of the Wastelands  (Read 1751 times)

Wisithir

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Re: Post-Apocalyptic Cowboys of the Wastelands
« Reply #45 on: August 04, 2022, 09:24:48 PM »
Two questions:

Why should one care about realism on a game with talking chimps, psions and other mutants?

Without an industry to melt/forge/machine the guns how do you figure those would make a comeback?

I think it is more about consistent world building than realism, are the consequences believable and if they vary from expectation is this explained in the lore.  Talking chimps, psions and other mutants fall under willing suspension of disbelief, we don't have any in real life so accept the author's word that they work as described. When we do understand how something works, deviating from that pattern requires a justification of some kind to keep things plausible instead of nonsensical.

Firearms would produced by cottage gunsmiths instead of industrial manufacturing and would be made from easier to work materials like brass and iron instead of steel, aluminum, or polymer. Weaker materials would be suitable because of the lower pressure of black powder. It's not a net energy problem but a pressure curve, fowling, and clouds of vison obscuring smoke problem. I can elaborate further if such would be of any value.

GeekyBugle

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Re: Post-Apocalyptic Cowboys of the Wastelands
« Reply #46 on: August 04, 2022, 09:50:43 PM »
Two questions:

Why should one care about realism on a game with talking chimps, psions and other mutants?

Without an industry to melt/forge/machine the guns how do you figure those would make a comeback?

I think it is more about consistent world building than realism, are the consequences believable and if they vary from expectation is this explained in the lore.  Talking chimps, psions and other mutants fall under willing suspension of disbelief, we don't have any in real life so accept the author's word that they work as described. When we do understand how something works, deviating from that pattern requires a justification of some kind to keep things plausible instead of nonsensical.

Firearms would produced by cottage gunsmiths instead of industrial manufacturing and would be made from easier to work materials like brass and iron instead of steel, aluminum, or polymer. Weaker materials would be suitable because of the lower pressure of black powder. It's not a net energy problem but a pressure curve, fowling, and clouds of vison obscuring smoke problem. I can elaborate further if such would be of any value.

That's fine and dandy, and I would asppreciate further elaboration.

Now, here's the thing: How many people KNOW that gun ammo deteriorates over time if not correctly stored? Not that many I would guess, we know that guns withstand centuries even under sub optimal circumnstances, so, finding guns that work is a throw of a dice (two really), same for ammo in good state.

Smokeless powder fabrication is very involved and requires several previous steps. In the novel in my head I have a perfect explanation as to why some settlements have the means to elaborate it. This might end up as part of the lore, depending on which way I end up going.

But, again, modern revolvers do work with black powder since they don't need to move the carriage, etc. The range would be less of course, but I already have the range for Western weapons.

Let me expand a bit on the finding relics part:

The party goes to a city, it's overgrown with vegetation and full of mutant plants and beasts, maybe even some intelligent gator men. After avoiding/killing/whatever the oposition they find a police precint, go inside and find the cops weapons (some of them) then they find some ammo, roll to see how much and if it's in good state (or the GM does this when prepping).

Then they go to a museum, turns out it has some ancient vehicles (I know one such here in México city specialized in classic cars), well the tinkerer goes and makes sure one is in good enough condition, but there's no battery, now what? can they find the stuff needed to build one?

Or they find a steam tractor, well that's "easier" just make sure it's in good condition, fill it with water, find some wood/coal and you have a working vehicle that can drag the muscle car (or several wagons full of scraps they found).
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Effete

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Re: Post-Apocalyptic Cowboys of the Wastelands
« Reply #47 on: August 04, 2022, 10:27:41 PM »
Realistically, ammo does not keep that well, just look at how badly poorly stored surplus ammo behaves in real life. Firearms probably reverted to cap and ball or flintlocks in areas where percussion cap tech is too advanced.

Yeah, I'd imagine breach-loaded pipeguns would become far more common than pistols, revolvers, or god-forbid, automatics.

Two questions:

Why should one care about realism on a game with talking chimps, psions and other mutants?

One shouldn't. :)
The important factor in a post-apoc setting is finding the right balance on resource management, not the logistics on how those resources are replenished. The focus should be on maximazing fun, rather than trying to simulate a real world apocalypse. Characters with a Science skill should have a chance to produce black powder or other explosive from whatever the find in the world. Anybody with a mechanical press can make their own rounds (the only real concern is acquiring the primers, but that's easy to ignore for the sake of maximizing fun).

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Without an industry to melt/forge/machine the guns how do you figure those would make a comeback?

Pipeguns are super simple to produce. All you need is a steel pipe and some way to seal one end. There was a story from about 6 years ago or so about a "no questions asked" gun buyback program in Texas. A guy built a bunch a functional shotguns out of gas pipes and 2x4s for about five dollars each, then sold them to the government for 100 bucks each.  8)

With the possible exception of the black powder, simple guns (muskets) can be built from scavenged materials.

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So, either only revolvers, and bolt action rifles (are there still lever action ones being manufactured?) and shotguns would be in use, for those black powder was enough at the begining.

Yes, lever-actions are still being made. They're still very popular in shooting competitions.

GeekyBugle

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Re: Post-Apocalyptic Cowboys of the Wastelands
« Reply #48 on: August 04, 2022, 10:43:56 PM »
Realistically, ammo does not keep that well, just look at how badly poorly stored surplus ammo behaves in real life. Firearms probably reverted to cap and ball or flintlocks in areas where percussion cap tech is too advanced.

Yeah, I'd imagine breach-loaded pipeguns would become far more common than pistols, revolvers, or god-forbid, automatics.

Two questions:

Why should one care about realism on a game with talking chimps, psions and other mutants?

One shouldn't. :)
The important factor in a post-apoc setting is finding the right balance on resource management, not the logistics on how those resources are replenished. The focus should be on maximazing fun, rather than trying to simulate a real world apocalypse. Characters with a Science skill should have a chance to produce black powder or other explosive from whatever the find in the world. Anybody with a mechanical press can make their own rounds (the only real concern is acquiring the primers, but that's easy to ignore for the sake of maximizing fun).

Quote
Without an industry to melt/forge/machine the guns how do you figure those would make a comeback?

Pipeguns are super simple to produce. All you need is a steel pipe and some way to seal one end. There was a story from about 6 years ago or so about a "no questions asked" gun buyback program in Texas. A guy built a bunch a functional shotguns out of gas pipes and 2x4s for about five dollars each, then sold them to the government for 100 bucks each.  8)

With the possible exception of the black powder, simple guns (muskets) can be built from scavenged materials.

Quote
So, either only revolvers, and bolt action rifles (are there still lever action ones being manufactured?) and shotguns would be in use, for those black powder was enough at the begining.

Yes, lever-actions are still being made. They're still very popular in shooting competitions.

Okay, now picture this:

characters start with either a home made "gun" or a bow, they go on an adventure, they find some revolvers, rifles, compound bows, and ammo, now they have some +1 "vorpal swords". This gives them faster loading weapons (except the bow, that's the same), increased range and accuracy.

In what was the city's university they recover some lab equipment because the tinkerer wants it. Then they go to some factory and find some chemicals.

On some museum they find a steam tractor, maybe an electric generator or some other stuff, they can find a way to take it all or to call for help to transport everything back to town.

Sounds plausible enough?

Could be several different adventures too.
Quote from: Rhedyn

Here is why this forum tends to be so stupid. Many people here think Joe Biden is "The Left", when he is actually Far Right and every US republican is just an idiot.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

Wisithir

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Re: Post-Apocalyptic Cowboys of the Wastelands
« Reply #49 on: August 05, 2022, 12:04:46 AM »
The examples provided are mostly plausible. My only question is why these resources have not been looted in the years since the fall, as to be available for the party to harvest. I would postulate a "brain scorcher" effect that zombieffied humans until countermeasure could be developed by the emergent psionics. The intelligent lizard race was not effected by this and thrived in the human free areas while venerating pre-fall tech and collecting artifacts in their temples. Thy had lots of time to hoard but not use the good stuff, and now the adventures are guaranteed to find some goodies when tomb raiding.

Hardest part for the adventures would be keeping their toys running as spare and consumable parts for pre-fall tech are unlikely to be produced in the post-fall world. Pre-fall guns are probably best handled like magic wands. They require a specialty to operate, have a chance of failure, are rarely found with full charges, and require further specialization and equipment to repurpose incompatible wand charges or recharge from scratch. Pre-fall sport bows make garbage war bows. The draw is too light, as in a foam dart gun is not a varmint hunting air rifle. However, there will be lots of pre-fall components to make excellent crossbows out of.

Much of my own interest lies in how the post-fall world functions out side of the time capsule dungeons as scavenging has diminishing returns and eventually rebuilding is inevitable. A short term example would be shelf stable food; there is only so much to be salvaged before new food has to be grown.

Accurate depictions of real word constraints is not a requirement of a game, but I prefer not to world build counting on player ignorance and have my world collapse under the slightest unforeseen scrutiny. There's no harm in having players learn something about the real world from playing a game. Conversely, a pulp game is more concerned with emulating the genre than replicating reality, but it then strives to be true to genre instead.

Effete

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Re: Post-Apocalyptic Cowboys of the Wastelands
« Reply #50 on: August 05, 2022, 12:07:20 AM »
Okay, now picture this:

characters start with either a home made "gun" or a bow, they go on an adventure, they find some revolvers, rifles, compound bows, and ammo, now they have some +1 "vorpal swords". This gives them faster loading weapons (except the bow, that's the same), increased range and accuracy.

In what was the city's university they recover some lab equipment because the tinkerer wants it. Then they go to some factory and find some chemicals.

On some museum they find a steam tractor, maybe an electric generator or some other stuff, they can find a way to take it all or to call for help to transport everything back to town.

Sounds plausible enough?

Could be several different adventures too.

Yeah, that sounds perfectly fine to me.

GeekyBugle

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Re: Post-Apocalyptic Cowboys of the Wastelands
« Reply #51 on: August 05, 2022, 12:42:37 AM »
The examples provided are mostly plausible. My only question is why these resources have not been looted in the years since the fall, as to be available for the party to harvest. I would postulate a "brain scorcher" effect that zombieffied humans until countermeasure could be developed by the emergent psionics. The intelligent lizard race was not effected by this and thrived in the human free areas while venerating pre-fall tech and collecting artifacts in their temples. Thy had lots of time to hoard but not use the good stuff, and now the adventures are guaranteed to find some goodies when tomb raiding.

Hardest part for the adventures would be keeping their toys running as spare and consumable parts for pre-fall tech are unlikely to be produced in the post-fall world. Pre-fall guns are probably best handled like magic wands. They require a specialty to operate, have a chance of failure, are rarely found with full charges, and require further specialization and equipment to repurpose incompatible wand charges or recharge from scratch. Pre-fall sport bows make garbage war bows. The draw is too light, as in a foam dart gun is not a varmint hunting air rifle. However, there will be lots of pre-fall components to make excellent crossbows out of.

Much of my own interest lies in how the post-fall world functions out side of the time capsule dungeons as scavenging has diminishing returns and eventually rebuilding is inevitable. A short term example would be shelf stable food; there is only so much to be salvaged before new food has to be grown.

Accurate depictions of real word constraints is not a requirement of a game, but I prefer not to world build counting on player ignorance and have my world collapse under the slightest unforeseen scrutiny. There's no harm in having players learn something about the real world from playing a game. Conversely, a pulp game is more concerned with emulating the genre than replicating reality, but it then strives to be true to genre instead.

The places were hot zones for the bioweapons?

I like the lizard people bit.

I was planing on writting GM advice on almost those terms, with a few differences, mostly that if you can shoot a home made musket/stingy gun you can use a revolver, and of course they weapons must not have a full charge or have a roll involved and probably need the tinkerer to look them over and tinker with before they can be used, and the ammo could be a dud.

A coumpound bow is better than short bows and even some long bows, especially the lighter ones, try, not a candle to war bows or to the japanese longbows.

Pulp isn't a genre, it's a style and a mind set, one of the components is the handwavium and unobtanium. Other is the B&W morality, characters larger than life... It also isn't a time period.
Quote from: Rhedyn

Here is why this forum tends to be so stupid. Many people here think Joe Biden is "The Left", when he is actually Far Right and every US republican is just an idiot.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

Effete

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Re: Post-Apocalyptic Cowboys of the Wastelands
« Reply #52 on: August 05, 2022, 12:51:47 AM »
The examples provided are mostly plausible. My only question is why these resources have not been looted in the years since the fall, as to be available for the party to harvest.

Any number of of isolated instances can explain why a particular school /hospital /museum /etc. has not been looted yet. This doesn't require a setting-wide conceit to justify. The resources don't even need to be in their "proper" place. For instance, perhaps they were looted by someone, but now they sit neglected in an abandoned settlement. As I mentioned in a previous post, the only real concern should probably be the impact such an item would have on the balance or tone of the game. If the GM is fine with the player having an item, then any believable contrivance can introduce the item.

Quote
Hardest part for the adventures would be keeping their toys running as spare and consumable parts for pre-fall tech are unlikely to be produced in the post-fall world. Pre-fall guns are probably best handled like magic wands. They require a specialty to operate, have a chance of failure, are rarely found with full charges, and require further specialization and equipment to repurpose incompatible wand charges or recharge from scratch. Pre-fall sport bows make garbage war bows. The draw is too light, as in a foam dart gun is not a varmint hunting air rifle. However, there will be lots of pre-fall components to make excellent crossbows out of.

Yes. Resource management is more important than the logistics of how they get replenished. Cars are going to be exerywhere. Acquiring a working car is not going to be a problem. KEEPING the car working (gasoline, oil, tires, other parts) is where the focus should probably be placed.

I also recommend the Jëorg Sprave youtube channel for tutorials on how to make simple and very powerful slingshots and crossbows from basically junk materials.

Quote
Much of my own interest lies in how the post-fall world functions out side of the time capsule dungeons as scavenging has diminishing returns and eventually rebuilding is inevitable. A short term example would be shelf stable food; there is only so much to be salvaged before new food has to be grown.

This seems to be tbe general principle behind any post-apoc setting: short-term survival with a long-term goal of generating stablity. The longer the game goes on (i.e. higher levels), the more difficult scavving might become. Game focus would shift to settlement building, crop cultivation, and essentially "tower defense" of the resources the players spent the early game collecting. This can flow in tandem with whatever the ultimate end-goal of the campaign is (i.e., find the cure for X disease, re-establish a functioning government, repel the alien invasion, whatever).

Quote
Accurate depictions of real word constraints is not a requirement of a game, but I prefer not to world build counting on player ignorance and have my world collapse under the slightest unforeseen scrutiny.

Eh, that's probably why it's best not to try to flesh these things out in too much detail. The less you explain to the players, the more they will try to fill in the blanks themselves. Avoid overly-detailed macro explanations; keep the game focused on the here-and-now.

GeekyBugle

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Re: Post-Apocalyptic Cowboys of the Wastelands
« Reply #53 on: August 05, 2022, 01:14:35 AM »
The examples provided are mostly plausible. My only question is why these resources have not been looted in the years since the fall, as to be available for the party to harvest.

Any number of of isolated instances can explain why a particular school /hospital /museum /etc. has not been looted yet. This doesn't require a setting-wide conceit to justify. The resources don't even need to be in their "proper" place. For instance, perhaps they were looted by someone, but now they sit neglected in an abandoned settlement. As I mentioned in a previous post, the only real concern should probably be the impact such an item would have on the balance or tone of the game. If the GM is fine with the player having an item, then any believable contrivance can introduce the item.

Quote
Hardest part for the adventures would be keeping their toys running as spare and consumable parts for pre-fall tech are unlikely to be produced in the post-fall world. Pre-fall guns are probably best handled like magic wands. They require a specialty to operate, have a chance of failure, are rarely found with full charges, and require further specialization and equipment to repurpose incompatible wand charges or recharge from scratch. Pre-fall sport bows make garbage war bows. The draw is too light, as in a foam dart gun is not a varmint hunting air rifle. However, there will be lots of pre-fall components to make excellent crossbows out of.

Yes. Resource management is more important than the logistics of how they get replenished. Cars are going to be exerywhere. Acquiring a working car is not going to be a problem. KEEPING the car working (gasoline, oil, tires, other parts) is where the focus should probably be placed.

I also recommend the Jëorg Sprave youtube channel for tutorials on how to make simple and very powerful slingshots and crossbows from basically junk materials.

Quote
Much of my own interest lies in how the post-fall world functions out side of the time capsule dungeons as scavenging has diminishing returns and eventually rebuilding is inevitable. A short term example would be shelf stable food; there is only so much to be salvaged before new food has to be grown.

This seems to be tbe general principle behind any post-apoc setting: short-term survival with a long-term goal of generating stablity. The longer the game goes on (i.e. higher levels), the more difficult scavving might become. Game focus would shift to settlement building, crop cultivation, and essentially "tower defense" of the resources the players spent the early game collecting. This can flow in tandem with whatever the ultimate end-goal of the campaign is (i.e., find the cure for X disease, re-establish a functioning government, repel the alien invasion, whatever).

Quote
Accurate depictions of real word constraints is not a requirement of a game, but I prefer not to world build counting on player ignorance and have my world collapse under the slightest unforeseen scrutiny.

Eh, that's probably why it's best not to try to flesh these things out in too much detail. The less you explain to the players, the more they will try to fill in the blanks themselves. Avoid overly-detailed macro explanations; keep the game focused on the here-and-now.

I couldn't agree more.

And the last part? Pure handwavium, that's how you manage these things.
Quote from: Rhedyn

Here is why this forum tends to be so stupid. Many people here think Joe Biden is "The Left", when he is actually Far Right and every US republican is just an idiot.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell

Effete

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Re: Post-Apocalyptic Cowboys of the Wastelands
« Reply #54 on: August 05, 2022, 01:27:54 AM »
And the last part? Pure handwavium, that's how you manage these things.

Pretty much!  8)