Fallout: Van Buren Worldbook (FINISHED - Map and PDF inside)

Discussion in 'Fan Art/Fan Fiction' started by Atomic Postman, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    This worldbook is both an effort to construct a campaign for the Vault Archives Fallout PnP system (for my own personal usage as DM), and also an exercise in collaborative worldbuilding for its own sake. Effectively, dump those ideas that were later recycled, reimagined, or outrighted contradicted in New Vegas, and further to construct a vivid landscape of "The East" in 2253, when Van Buren was originally set and 28 years prior to the events of New Vegas. This setting was constructed incorporating the ideas and design documents of Van Buren in addition to entirely novel ideas and twists. The goal is to create a Fallout world that is consistent in tone, that carries the torch of Van Buren, and that allows the players to shape a world with their decisions in a manner not constricted by the potential future of New Vegas. It’s a Wild Wasteland out there, and the right people in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.


    Though primarily written by me, this project came together thanks to the great creative feedback, input and copy editing by @Hardboiled Android and also feedback from @Dayglow Drifter

    The theme to this campaign is “Prisoners of Love” by the Ink Spots.







    @Morgan_ finally did that PDF conversion lmao
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
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  2. Dayglow Drifter

    Dayglow Drifter Mildly Dipped

    519
    Sep 25, 2018
    Proud to have contributed literally anything at all to this, sorry I had to move in the middle of everything and sorta dropped off for a while.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how things go as you playtest it out, I would be lying if I said I haven't also been tempted to take it for a spin as a GM as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
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  3. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    You'd probably get it going faster than I would considering I'm waiting to move states in 2022 before I start the campaign. Won't be till like spring or so that the ball gets rolling.

    I decided until then I'm going to host a one shot of some kind. Vault Dwellers in the Sierra Nevadas having to retrieve a power plant component and going through the Ciphers of the West who are very protective of their slice of mountain. Not sure if I'll do it online or rustle up some people locally, we will see.

    I also re did Albuquerque by the way, you might want to check that out since you mentioned it last time. New Mexico got a whole new coat of paint.
     
  4. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Excellent. I pinned it. This sort of thing was what I had in mind originally for the pnp community thing, too. Like, campaign books and settings as well as a world guide. Very, very nice.
     
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  5. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    So, situation report for the first (online) session of this worldbook in action as a tabletop campaign. @Hardboiled Android @Dayglow Drifter

    Our cast of characters for session 1:

    Clove:
    A mere child when the Oil Rig went up, they were raised by subsequently overprotective parents at Navarro who coddled them from even leaving the borders of Navarro, warning of the dangers of mutant contamination. When Navarro finally fell to the NCR and the Brotherhood, Clove's parents were killed and they were taken in by a band of surviving remnants, who holed out in the rural Sierra Nevadas, attempting to keep under the radar of the ever-growing NCR. Clove was sent East in 2253 with a primary objective of finding a suitable place for relocation of their small band (less than 16) of remnants, with a secondary objective of checking out the Cheyenne Mountain Complex for possible Enclave presence. Tags: Small Guns, Computer Science, Lab Science. They're a "soft", passive and highly germaphobic type who resents having been sent out into the filthy, scary Wasteland.

    Theme:



    Micky Silvers:
    A kid out of New Reno who wanted to be a Follower of the Apocalypse but never made the cut, instead becoming a money minded combat medic for the various gang wars of New Reno. Eventually saddling up with a mercenary crew under the employ of the Van Graffs seeking out treasures in the Rocky Mountains that could be the ace in the hole for stopping NCR expansion north. Unfortunately, Uncle Sam's eyebots had different ideas. Tags: Small Guns, First Aid, Doctor

    Theme:

    Johnny Boy
    Born into a band of nomads who salvage technology and sell it for well above their actual value, Johnny Boy has always been a freak of luck. Extremely bad and good luck have characterized his rocky life. Silver tongued, used to selling bullshit and talking his way out of deals gone wrong, he couldn't talk his way out of a raid by the slavers of Heartbreak Hotel on his nomadic band. They killed the men and enslaved the women, including Johnny Boy's sister, Rui, by a freak of luck Johnny Boy was too wounded to move but not enough to be killed, the bellhops believing him to be dead. By an even bigger freak of luck he was later dragged to a cave by a Mysterious Stranger who came, fixed him up, and left in a flash, without saying a word ()

    Tags: Small Guns, Prospecting, Persuasion
    Traits: One In A Million, Jinxed

    Theme:


    Micky, Johnny Boy and Clover awoke in Van Buren Prison to find themselves with a foggy memory of how they got there, my introductory monologue.


    “War. War Never Changes.


    In 2077, the storm of world war had come again. The details are trivial and pointless, the reasons, as always, purely human ones. In two brief hours, the Earth was nearly wiped clean of life. A great cleansing, an atomic spark struck by human hands, quickly raged out of control. Spears of nuclear fire rained from the skies. Humanity was almost extinguished, their spirits becoming part of the background radiation that blanketed the earth.


    A quiet darkness fell across the planet, lasting many years. Few survived the devastation. Some had been fortunate enough to reach safety, taking shelter in great underground Vaults. When the great darkness eventually passed, these vaults opened, their inhabitants setting out across ruins of the old world to build new societies, establishing villages, forming tribes. From the ashes of nuclear devastation, a new form of civilization would struggle to arise.


    Each of you are travelers of this new world, this Wasteland, but now you have been pulled into a mysterious crypt of the Old World before the bombs. Each of your memories are foggy, dreamlike. You recall blinding lights, thoughts in your mind that weren’t your own, yet commanded you all the same.


    You each have an individual but near-identical dream of standing in a rusted circular metal room before three great flickering screens. You have the sense you were being judged, a trial. Two of the screens presented inhuman caricature faces, one of an older man with wispy facial hair, a hat atop his head bearing stars and stripes. He is “Uncle Sam”, your prosecutor. The other a figure in a large coat and fedora, darkness obscuring their face. He is Red Menace, your defense. The third screen remained dark, barring a dim green triangular symbol, above it an ancient carving reading its name. It is Colossus, your judge and jury. Uncle Sam and Red Menace argued, but Colossus simply mechanically churned and whirred.


    Your recollections of the details are unclear: You are Victor Presper, Prisoner 13. Guilty of many crimes. You are not Victor Presper, you are not Prisoner 13, you are innocent and must be set free. Like a feverish nightmare, time seemed to pass at both a crawl and almost instantly. However, as each of you come to, heads aching and minds muddled, you will quickly realize that this was no dream.”


    They quickly discovered the long dead corpses of many others in their adjacent panopticon style cell block, and that they were seemingly the only ones sharing the number 13 and equipped with Prison-Boys, but none the less they found one person barely alive on the verge of starvation named Freddy. Freddy explained he and many others had been trapped in the Prison for many weeks, if not months, and had been working in the lower level factories in order to earn slip cards to get their food, but a few days ago something happened and all their cells ceased up.

    They moved into the central tower of the cell block and descended in an elevator, choosing to go to the CODE Learning Center, Gym, Cleaning Centre and Cafeteria floor (other options included Maintenance, Work Centre and Metro). They decided to split up and check different rooms. Clove went for the CODE center, where he found a classroom style room full of terminals, which offered to plug his pip-boy in for a quizz with the potential reward of either a recreation tape or a food ticket for a Level 1 beginner's quiz. The quizz (and its answers) were as such:

    Quiz:

    Q: Why Are You in This Prison?

    A: Because I made myself an enemy to the American way of life and all those who enjoy it, either through terrorism, general dissidence or gross disobeying of orders

    Q: What do you hope to gain from your sentence?

    A: Challenge, Opportunity, Discipline and Ethics

    Q: What are “American Values”?

    A: Life, Liberty, Property and the Pursuit of Happiness

    Clove did not get past the first question, however got VERY close on several occasions. Only after expending all their potential attempts for the day discovering the large textbook on the "teacher's" desk was an answer book with the brainwashing style answers required to proceed for each level.

    Johnny Boy meanwhile checked out the cafeteria, finding dispensers and overturned tables, as he found the dispensers, he was approached by a cowering Prisoner, Larry, who explained to him that they'd all been working in the lower factories of the Work Centre until a group of Prisoners under a man named Jax secretly organized a rebellion with makeshift spears made of broomsticks and scrap metal fashioned into spears. They'd succeeded - but many prisoners, if not most, died, and the remaining including Jax had been "Flashed" with CODE Eyebots sending their brains into a scramble. Larry hid and survived - but the others went stark raving mad and barricaded themselves in the cleaning area, within the showers, blocking the laundry chute. Thankfully, Johnny Boy had the good sense to run and stop Mick before he went alone into the Cleaning Area. They decided to RZ at the CODE Learning Centre, where they all at the same time attempted to login as Prisoner 13 to the CODE Learning Program - which churned Red Menace into action, causing this to play over the intercom:



    Following the trail of the music, they returned upstairs to the Cell Block, where they ascended the guard tower, using their combined strength as a team to wedge the sealed security door open, and entered the Security Hub where they found a dead Security Officer from before the War as well as a locker full of 10mm Pistols, they logged into the Security Hub and made first contact with Red Menace who informed them of their situation. From there, they deactivated their cardiac arrest protocols and debated over the three methods of escape Red Menace offered them - Clover ruled out as a matter of fact that they would not try the irradiated sewers (implicitly due to his fear of contamination) and they then debated the merits of facing Eyebots versus facing crazed Prisoners, of which they chose the latter, believing they could reason with them. They unlocked the cells, freeing Freddy. When they attempted to reason with the crazed Prisoners, the Prisoners did not like their (failed) attempt at Persuasion, citing that they bring them food or bring them the coward Larry to carve up and eat. Johnny Boy decided to pull his newly found 10mm Pistol and open fire, resulting in a battle that nearly killed them - Micky was severely wounded to the point of going down, only saved by expending his "Pip Point" playing his theme and auto-succeeding his death-rolls. Thankfully, the crazed prisoners failed their morale check after half of their numbers were downed and they fled into the showers in a frantic panic. So, they quickly headed down the chute with Larry, Freddy and themselves - passing a crazed Mr. Handy and escaping through a structural weakness into an old vehicular tunnel - emerging into the Wasteland with no supplies and a very wounded Micky, they decided to follow the signage to Grand Junction, seeking the closest refuge with hopes of food and medicine
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
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  6. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    Well, no big surprises here, but that's to be expected from the tutorial. Also, looks like the Ghoul dropped out? But in any case, I'm very excited that this is finally being put into action, especially now that the'yre about to get into more meat and potato stuff. I look forward to (I assume) your weekly updates.

    How was the experience of running the game online?
     
  7. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    The Ghoul is still in but he can't make it to the first two sessions - he's being introduced in session 3 as the herald of Red Menace's message and the "Prisoners Dilemma" plot

    And as for running it online - it lacked the theater I like of doing it in person but honestly it wasn't that different and running dice rolls and combat was actually way easier.

    And as for updates - they will indeed be weekly - look forward to next week when our favourite train hobos make their appearance:

     
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  8. Dayglow Drifter

    Dayglow Drifter Mildly Dipped

    519
    Sep 25, 2018
    Are you still able to get the soundtrack choices you want in there? I play DnD on Roll20 (new campaign started last week!) and I love it but really miss having complete control over what I play without like having to spend money downloading ambient tracks and stuff.
     
  9. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013

    We're using discord for dice and audio so I can stream anything that's on YouTube
     
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  10. Dayglow Drifter

    Dayglow Drifter Mildly Dipped

    519
    Sep 25, 2018
    Hell yeah dude, I love the whole deal with character theme songs.

    As a passive observer I gotta say that Mick is my favorite character right now but that's just personal preference, as a DM I would be really proud of all the PCs and the players the work put into them.
     
  11. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Ironically Micky's player has had to drop out because of scheduling conflicts ( they couldn't play for over a month so we called it quits with them) so we've got two new players on board who I'll be running a duo session with and introducing them as a pair of Prisoner 13s from Cell Sector #2 in the first part of session 2, they're currently making their characters with me tonight.
     
  12. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Quick update, ran the Van Buren prologue for my two new players yesterday prior to today's session at Grand Junction.

    Our two new characters are Marked By War, a member of the Red Giants tribe from Monument Valley who left after it fell under the influence of Hecate. Melee/Survival/Throwing build.

    The other is Reverend Hill, a Desert Ranger Combat medic from Caliente Nevada. Much like Tycho in F1 he's an active member of the Rangers but has taken up wandering.

    They did a little better in the prologue than our first two players, they worked out an escape without Red Menace (they ignored Red Menace, fearing his music notifier), made makeshift weapons, answered the quizz and got some prison rations and busted open a vending machine of Nuka Cola. Thankfully they heeded Red Menace's final signal just before leaving and managed to shut off their cardiac arrest protocols just in the nick of time.

    They're about to run into the other Prisoners in the Rockies.
     
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  13. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Session 2 complete

    Half starving, the band met up in a Mexican stand off. Negotiating their situation before reluctantly deciding to trust eachother, heading West together to Grand Junction.

    Scavenging a town where the water mains had flooded leading to a quicksand style quagmire, the deft survival knowledge of Marked By War meant they were able to loot the ruins and avoid quicksand pitfalls in the process.

    When they approached Grand Junction they were met by warriors of the Santa Fe who told them they were expected, the tribe of 13 had been foretold by the Hobo Oracle. Welcomed in by the Santa Fe they were given food and beer, introduced to Breakman Wrench. They spoke with the Hobo Oracle who revealed he gets half true visions, and not entirely sure what they mean. Together they concocted that the arrival of the tribe of 13 would signal great harvest bounty, to which the Hobo Oracle agreed that sounded like a good story.

    The Santa Fe organized a feast and party for the Tribe of 13, Wrench asking them a sly favour to steal whisky from the brewery of the other clans. Reverend Hill, already blind drunk from drinking with the elderly Santa Fe, was feigned illness by Clover who smacked him up and rubbed him in mud, dragging him over to the Atchinson camp and creating a distraction as Marked by War and Johnny Boy snuck to find the hooch distillery. Johnny Boy spent his Pip Point to have mysterious (cue music stinger) gunshots leading the remaining Atchinsons away from the distillery - however as they filled moonshine bottles with hooch, they got greedy and decided to go back for more, getting caught by a returning Atchinson scout. Drunk and panicked they decided to bolt it full speed back to the Santa Fe camp, running straight past the catatonically drunk Reverend and the sober distracting Clover, who upon realizing they'd been busted, also ran.

    Returning with hooch in hand the Santa Fe welcomed them back and began square dancing with the victorious hooch thieves, the Santa Fe warriors forming a wall to block the angry Atchinsons.

    Each of them barring Clover getting blind drunk, Marked By War throwing up violently with his low tolerance, they passed out together in their boxcar.

    In the midst of the night, the 215 Vultures attacked, stealing away three Santa Fe children. Clover was awakened by the noise and woke the others, chasing the chaos they pursued the fleeing Vultures. Bypassing traps set in the woods, they came across the encampment of the Vultures in a pre war fallout shelter. Battle ensued, the Vultures entered a hostage stand off with the kids explaining their situation: they were starving and the deal had gone wrong. However a failed persuasion check meant they tossed the kids and tried to gun down the party.

    Through an accident of freak luck with Johnny Boy dislodging a roof pipe that both clubbed him and the Vulture leader, killing the Vulture leader and mortally wounding him (surviving only through luck of survival chance checks) , the rest whittled down the Vultures until they were three in number, failing their morale check they surrendered, Clover passing a persuasion check to get them to throw down their weapons and walk away. The kids, unharmed in the process.

    That's where we ended the session.
     
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  14. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Last session was a quick wrap up, they traded with the Iron Rivers and crafted basic items that would help them survive. They heard of the "Tar Walkers" tribe that has a village further along the highway as they left.

    So, they headed for Burham Springs

     
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  15. Dayglow Drifter

    Dayglow Drifter Mildly Dipped

    519
    Sep 25, 2018
    How do you run downtime/shopping sessions, out of curiosity?
     
  16. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Basically make sure everyone has something to do, even if it's minor.

    I have a bartering system in my rulebook but due to the Iron Rivers being tribals they don't use currency so trade was very RP heavy and arbitrary.
     
  17. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Today the party went to Burham Springs.

    They arrived and met with Phil's Crew. They accepted the mine job but almost immediately discovered the tied up New Canaanite in their closet, leading to a stand off. They talked things out however and agreed to the job. Upon learning of the Sheol's weaknesses and strengths, Reverend Hill and Clover set to work on creating an acidic gas using cleaning supplies and chemicals found around Burning Springs.

    After several failed Lab Science checks however, they expended their supplies. Their only replacements being located at a workers station in the borehole. So they descended, encountering a lone Sheol which very nearly absorbed Reverend. Thankfully killed by Phil's blowtorch. In the workers station they found a terminal which gave them a lore dump on HADES and the chemical composition of the HADES substance, which allowed Clover to better craft a more potent poison gas.

    Afterwards they had dinner with Phil's Crew. Joseph, the New Canaanite, appealed in private to Marked By War's tribal origin to help him help the Tar Walkers retake the place, to which he agreed. Together they concocted a plan with the others wherein Johnny Boy and Marked By War would pretend to go on a hunting trip whilst reaching a Tar Walkers camp and rallying them back. In the meantime, Reverend and Clover would stall Phil's Crew.

    However, Reverend decided to experiment with the gas, unleashing it at the entrance to the mine. This caused a great inhuman howling as a swarm of dissolving Gehennas shambled outward, the sight of this sent Clover into a panic attack (great RP btw). Reverend barely managed to fight off both Gehennas alone with Phil's stolen blowtorch, scoring two consecutive criticals that saved his and Clover's life.

    Meanwhile Johnny Boy and Marked By War convinced a band of Tar Walkers into helping them retake Burning Springs, and they began to march back to the mining town.

    In the aftermath, a recouperarting Clover spoke with Frank, the former Follower of the Apocalypse, who helped him dissect the Prison Boy taken off of Mike's corpse in an early session, discovering tracking devices sending lots of information somewhere.

    However, the disturbance with the gas awakened the Sheol...and the Gehennas are coming.





    That was where we ended the session.
     
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  18. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    Campaign's really heating up, very exciting stuff! Very creative solution on the players part, hadn't even considered that as a possibility.

    From the ominous ending - it almost sounds like Sheol might be coming to them, rather than vice versa? WOuld be particuarly exciting if it came in the midst of a standoff between Phil's Crew and the Tar Walkers.
     
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  19. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    The Gehennas and Molechs are coming en masse, I'm not sure if it would work for the Sheol Pool itself to ascend but it's certainly an idea.

    But yes it is the plan that they'll turn up right as Phil's Crew and the Tar Walkers battle it out
     
  20. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    Well at a minimum, they're probably better off for drawing all of the Gehennas and the Molechs. They have a fortified position on the surface, no constraints of space or fear of cave ins, and killing all (or most) up on the surface will make it simplicity itself to go down to the Sheol pit and defeat it.
     
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