My RPG – Machinations of the Space Princess – was featured on Game School. Listen to me take Satine Phoenix through the game, and talk about the design philosophy and decisions behind it.
After they’ve finished messing around in Bone Temple – perhaps engaging in the various side-quests available there – Saxon will be ready to head out to Fort Over (a Monarchy outpost) where he intends to trade the fertiliser and other goods he’s traded for here at Bone Temple.
This is a hike of about ten miles, cross country (one country, one urban encounter chance).
Hiking in the Wasteland
The average human foot speed on good ground (paved) can be as much as 4mph if you’re fit and in a hurry. Travelling in the wasteland is unlikely to go at such a pace though as caution is needed and even the old roads are littered with rubbish, abandoned vehicles, fallen trees and thick undergrowth. It’s best to assume a normal foot-speed of 2mph at best. With each hex rated as a five-mile space, that means two-and-a-half hours to travel a single hex. In our journey above, assuming no distractions, that’s five hours of travel. Autumn/winter days – depending on the weather – have 8-10 hours of useful sunlight – or 3-5 hexes on foot. Mounted speeds (Brahmin, tame Radstag or horse) double this, and the few remaining off-road vehicles can maintain a safe average speed of 20mph and helicopters or vertibirds have a cruising speed of about 200 mph.
Arriving in Town
Much of the ruined town in which Fort Over is situated is still wild and untamed ruin, but within the centre of the ruin is The Chantry (the redoubt of the Monarchist forces) and this is surrounded by a fortified area that houses the population. Beyond this area the town is a ruin, but there are plenty of places to explore and plenty of side-quests to go after should the players be so inclined.
Saxon will be very pleased with their help and will pay them a further 25 caps each for helping him haul his cargo into town. He’ll then let them know that they’re on their own from here in, though he now considers them… acquaintances (Saxon doesn’t really ‘do’ friends. He’ll be staying at the Fallen Angel
Locations in Fort Over
Fort Over is a low level, disliked posting for soldiers and agents of The Monarchy. Low on the totem pole they are not high in priority for food, supplies or good soldiers. It’s even considered to be something of a punishment posting.
Population: 2500 (1 Knight, 1 Noble, 20 Yeoman, 100 conscripts, 20 support staff, 2358 civilians).
History: Former light-industrial, army town and commuter overspill.
Notable Features: Monarchy outpost, relatively unlooted outskirts, well defended.
Economy: Imports fertiliser, scrap, charcoal. Exports electronics, ammunition, weapons.
The Chantry is an old shopping centre with a ‘Y’ shaped concourse on a single level. One opens out onto the high street where the market is, one towards the old church and one marks the entrance to the car-park which is really a part of the chantry.
Sir Wilbur Pickles, Knight of Fort Over, quarters in an old coffee shop near the centre of The Chantry, close to repaired glass light-well where there’s plenty of light and rows of planters growing pre-war vegetables. The rest of the old shop-fronts and the ‘backstage’ areas are the lodgings for the Monarchy garrison here and the storage areas for their supplies – most of which are controlled via the Hermes warehouse.
The lower levels – the old service tunnels beneath the Chantry – are damp and largely unused. They regularly get infested with Uranifish which need clearing out, something for which The Monarchy prefers to use mercenaries for such duties, digging around in the dark and the wet. Some scrap and material may remain down there and burrowing uranifish bring in things from other tunnels.
The Library (Inside the Chantry)
The old library was largely ruined in the war and its aftermath, but older and more valuable (intellectually and financially) items survived as they were away in storage, as did the library’s microfilm stores of old news stories and other, limited, locally oriented material. Baronet Giles Hanforth, down from the capital and serving as an archivist for the Monarchy has come here to catalogue the stocks and to send anything worthwhile back to the capital. Sir Pickles is paranoid about his presence and feels undermined and threatened by the presence of someone of Giles’ rank.
Side Quest I
The Baronet has some concern that the old local newspaper may have some material embarrassing to the Monarchy from the pre-war, something that only ghouls really care about. Still, to deal with any potential problem he’s willing to pay 200 caps in scrip for someone to clean out the old newspaper office and bring back electronic, paper, film or microfiche supplies that remain there.
Side Quest II
After they’ve done a few missions and side quests within Fort Over The Baronet will call them to a private meeting. He has sensitive intelligence material that needs to be taken to the Monarchy outpost at Alfred’s Crater and can’t trust the Monarchy soldiers here due to the local commander’s paranoia. The message is an encrypted, unmarked holotape. Decrypting it – (Near Impossible) – reveals that it is an offer of parley to the Monarchy from a group within the Aldermasters.
Hermes (Inside the Chantry)
The Hermes building was both a shopfront and warehouse, using automation and masses of stock of similar items in order to sell fast and cheap as well as offering home delivery. That was then, now it is the main stores and armoury of The Monarchy fortress that is The Chantry. They’ve managed to repair and refurbish the system with their limited resources and now the whole warehouse is a nest of robotic arms and conveyors that can grab and deliver arms, armour or resources from the store with startling rapidity. The terminal that controls this is locked (Really Difficult) but could be subverted to deliver material to the rear of the store or made to attack the handful of support staff inside. The stores contain 500 person/days of food and clean water supplies and enough armour and weapons to replace the equipment of every soldier based in the Chantry.
The Barracks (Inside the Chantry)
The barracks for the soldiers are also set up within the chantry, inside the spaces in the old stores. Metal tubes have been crammed through the backs and ceilings to act as chimneys for cook fires and sleeping bags and purloined beds provide crashspace. Two units of soldiers claim a storefront each, while their Yeomen claim an upper or lower level to split between them – rank having its privileges.
The Car Park & Crown Radio Over (Part of the Chantry)
The old car park that joins on to The Chantry stood up to the war pretty well. It was stripped of metal during the aftermath for salvage and as a result safety rails are largely absent, or inadequate. Old car wrecks were long ago cleared out and the car park is now used as a lookout post, motor pool, garage and the base for the town’s radio station and communications centre.
The lower floor contains the garage, where technicians work on the Boadicea motorcycles and Crecy armoured cars. Fort Over has access to six Boadicea motorcycles with sidecars and three Crecy armoured cars – used for mounted patrols. The remaining floors are kept empty, but ready (the car park being intended to be the final shelter and redoubt during any large scale attack).
The roof is the site of the radio tower, broadcasting Crown Radio Over (pre-war music and current propaganda) over a ten mile radius, while a secondary tower carries encrypted military communications over a twenty-mile radius – reaching as far as Alfred’s Crater.
The radio isn’t the best and uses a lot of valves and other electronic parts to keep going. Supplies are always low and the radio technicians offer a bounty on radio-related electronic parts scavenged from the town. There is an old home electronics depot on the outskirts of town which may have the parts they need if someone wants to scavenge.
Out the front of The Chantry and past the Gildhaul is the marketplace. Gildsmen and other traders (scrappers, ‘respectable’ raiders, Monarchy suppliers, farmers and tribals) set up here to sell and barter their wares. The Monarchy presence means that trade in certain supplies – such as heavy weapons, power armour and home-made chems is severely restricted and disapproved of.
Albert (Trader 4D, Big Lad 3D, Big Personality 3D, Penny-Pincher) is the best known of the traders, a big, hearty barrel of a man with a voice that rings out over all other noises in the market, shouting out offers on his wares – which are many, varied and random. “Tahn millimetre pisto-lays, two ferra ‘under-ed cahps!”
The Gildhaul is a a square, three-storey building that was protected from the worst of the blast-winds by the rest of the town. It’s old, red brick and was very well built in the past. These days it looks a bit shabbier, no windows, a big gaz-burning generator rattling away outside and feeding power to the rooms inside. The Gildhaul is run by the Gild traders and was intended as their waystation but few Gildsmen actually stay there, preferring The Fallen Angel. As a result the Gildhaul is now mostly a flophouse for traders, scavengers and raiders down on their luck and habitual chem users. A night in a communal flop-room (which is at least warm and has light) costs two caps, a private room costs ten, but they only have a handful. Chem dealers, pickpockets and thieves prey on the guests.
Jack – an Hussar warbot refitted for civilian use, acts as the bouncer at the Gildhaul. A legged chassis he’s capable of – tentatively – mounting the stairs but mostly just stays on the bottom level to give people the bum’s rush. Jack has a stutter, the result of a head injury (A republican sniper shot during the civil war).
Jack: Man of Iron 3D, Fisticuffs 4D, Ornery Bastard 2D, 2D melee armour, 3D projectile armour, 1D energy armour, Steel fists do x2+1 damage)
The Fallen Angel
A very, very old pub the Fallen Angel is tucked low between other buildings – which shielded it in the war – and is tucked down a side alley which saved it from casual looting. It’s run by a ghoul, Robin Oddfellow, who claims to have been around since before the war. He brews his own beer and runs a still to make what he calls ‘Eau de vie’ – which is a much nicer term than moonshine. Part of the building and the cleared-out old antiques store next door has been turned over to guest rooms. A stay overnight costs twenty caps, but is considerably more comfortable than any other options with real beds, oil lamps and charcoal burning stoves.
Robin Oddfellow (or is it Robyn?): Ghoul 2D, Innkeeper 3D, Excellent Liar 3D, Androgynous.
The High Street
The old high street is where most of the citizens of the town live – in the old storefronts, pubs, cafes and apartments around them. Old shipping containers from the backs of trucks, as well as shacks, huts and greenhouses added to the roofs and hanging over the street, shading part of it. It’s crowded, noisy, smelly, a hardscrabble existence – but a reasonably safe one. The high street section is protected by barricaded, empt buildings, streets cut off with welded barriers alarms and traps and regular patrols, both of Monarchy soldiers and mercenaries between contracts – though the pay is minimal.
Locations in Fort Over’s Outskirts
The town’s outskirts are a mass of housing and light commercial properties, in relatively good shape. They’re rich picking grounds for bands of scavengers and provide many hiding places for raiders. There’s also plenty of wildlife and ghouls and clearing and scavenging is slow going, paid for by the consolidation of the Monarchy holdings and the ambitions of the Gild.
An old supermarket directly outside Fort Over, The Tny was long picked clean but it’s a persistent observation post and staging ground for those thinking about attacking, infiltrating or stealing from Fort Over. It regularly needs patrolling, investigating and watching as a result.
The Tny Supermarket is currently playing host to a small gang of raiders who have been paid off by Republic agents to keep an eye on Fort Over and report back – it has been correctly identified as a weak point. They have a holo-recorder which records encrypted reports and a contact with a Republic agent who meets them once a lunar month during the period of the full moon.
The Commercial was the newspaper in the town before the war. Newspaper offices aren’t of particular interest to looters and the office still contains archives, rolls of printing paper and presses. A handful of ghouls (d6+1) nest undisturbed, in a dormant state, amongst the paper rolls in storage.
Cheap & Cheerful & the Deus Cinema
The Cheap & Cheerful was a huge supermarket, virtually a department store. In the aftermath of the war many sought shelter and supplies here but succumbed to fallout. As a result it is utterly infested with ghouls – many of which tramped there out of some instinct after they succumbed – and has a relatively large amount of untouched supplies. Split over two floors, the store has a lower floor of food supplies (many of them subject to the same preservation processes familiar from Fallout) while the upper floor is full of all sorts of home-store junk of all kinds. The floors are virtually littered with dormant feral ghouls.
Above and behind the Cheap and Cheerful is a pair of elevators and a stairwell leading up to the Deus Cinema. The cinema is in a similar state to the Cheap & Cheerful, overrun with ghouls, though it has little of interest to most looters other than stale popcorn.
The old college buildings, attached to a ruined leisure centre, are the base-camp for many of the scavengers that work the town. The college building and its classrooms act as barracks for the varying bands of scavengers, who are – by no means – friends. They mark themselves and their claims with coloured paint to designate what belongs to who, then haul it back for processing. Smaller junk is heaved into the old swimming pool for sorting and picking, while larger scrap is broken up in the old pond between the college buildings or restored before sale.
CuppaCo Tea Factory
CuppaCo was one of the leading tea companies before the war and had a major manufacturing and distribution point in the town. The factory is a virtual ruin and has been heavily looted for tea, picked clean over and over but there may still be some stray teabags here and there. The research part of the building, secured behind a Near Impossible passcode remains untouched, nobody has resorted to blasting through the wall… yet.
The experimental section still contains a supply of preserved tea as well as some experimental brews. Both Baronet Giles and various scavenger crews have their sights set on procuring that tea and it will command a considerable amount of money on the market.
People & Enemies
Sir Wilbur Pickles
Knight of the Realm 4D (Arrogant, snooty, superior)
Politically Alert 3D (Staring eyes)
Master & Commander 4D (Cruel taskmaster)
Health Threshold: 5
Royal Enfield Ray-Rifle MkI: 1D+2 damage and 1 radiation point on hits.
Royal Enfield Ray-Pistol MkI: 1D damage and 1 radiation point on hits.
Sabre: x3 damage
Interface Suit: 1pt against all attacks and radiation.
FAO1AR Power Armour: 4D Melee, 4D Ballistics, Energy 1D, Radiation 1 point. Bonus Die for Strength-based rolls.
Baronet Giles Hanforth
Noblesse Oblige 3D (the common touch)
Researcher 4D (short sighted)
Ghoul 2D (Slightly Glowing)
Health Threshold: 2
Royal Enfield Ray-Pistol MkI: 1D damage and 1 radiation point on hits.
Dagger: x2 damage
Noble’s Undersuit & Fine Clothes: 1D against all damage.
Monarchy Conscript Soldiers
Conscript 2D (Grumbling)
Peasant 2D (Sun-burned)
Grudging 2D (Stubborn)
Health Threshold: 4
Royal Enfield LMR (Low Material Rifle): 1D+2
Body Armour and Tin Helmet: 2 points Melee, 2 points Energy, 1D+1 Ballistics.
Monarchy Yeoman Soldiers
Free Man: 2D
Command Presence: 2D
Professional Soldier: 3D
Health Threshold: 3
M72 Gauss Rifle: 1D+2, Armour Piercing
Body Armour and Tin Helmet: 2 points Melee, 2 points Energy, 1D+2 Ballistics.
Monarchy Support Staff
Free Man: 2D
Professional Soldier: 2D
Health Threshold: 2
PPK12 Gauss Pistol: x1D+1 damage, Armour Piercing, Full Auto.
Body Armour: 1D+1
The morning after the night before the party find themselves approached, first thing, by a one-man caravan (A brahmin with shit tied to its back and – perversely – leather armour). The caravan is run by Dennis Saxon, a one-man eccentric trader (who can be used as a replacement character if anyone has died).
Dennis has a proposition.
“Merry meet my friends! You seem down on your luck, yet uncommonly clean and healthy. Perhaps you’d care to listen to a little proposal over a meal. I caught a rabbit this morning…”
He holds up a three-eared rabbit by its rear legs and grins.
Dennis’ proposition is fairly simply. He wants to open up more trade with Bone Temple, who are usually remarkably hostile to outsiders and only begrudgingly go along with The Monarchy or anyone else at the best of times. They dig at this site though, most notably the excavation at the hill.
Dennis wants to deal with the tribals here, jack their shipment of bones and then to return to Bone Temple presenting it as though it’s a favour – their people having been attacked by raiders (a half truth). If the players already dealt with the tribals – fantastic – otherwise Dennis will help them and travel with them to Bone Temple to speak on their behalf.
Assuming they can complete this without trouble, they can proceed to Bone Temple with Saxon and make their introductions.
Bone of Contention, Part Two
Bone Temple is the remnants of a small market town, mostly the old church and the old town centre. It is defended by a big chalky earthen bank around part of the old town, its entrance via a tunnel under an old railway bridge. A carriage, pushed into place over that entrance provides cover for a cadre of tribal warriors armed with bows and spears, to defend against wildlife and raiders. The area around the town is dotted with pit-traps, snares and other nasty traps to dissuade interlopers.
Saxon will be able to persuade the warriors to let the group in, with the bones, and will use the opportunity to form a grudging relationship with the Bone Temple Tribe.
Population: 240 (80 warriors, 160 non-combatants).
History: Former market town.
Notable Features: Earthen defences, Temple, Watermill, the Bone Temple Stink.
Economy: Imports bone, food, charcoal. Exports: Water, fertiliser, glue, meat.
Bone of Contention, Part Three
Saxon will pay each of them 25 caps from his reward and will offer them more if they’ll escort him in transporting the cargo he’s buying in from the Bone Tribe to Fort Over in a couple of days. While he’s got the Tribe in a good mood he wants to capitalise on it. That leaves them free to explore and to do some ‘side quests’.
Bone Temple Locations & Side Quests
The guards are amongst the best the tribe has and aren’t impressed by outsiders. They will be scornful, rude and ask what claims to heroics the characters have – and that’s not going to be much at this point. If they want to impress the tribe and be considered an honourary ‘brave’ then…
Sidequest: There’s a white radstag, twice the size of a normal one, somewhere in the surrounding fields (first random radstag encounter they have after taking this mission). If they kill it and bring its corpse back the warriors will be impressed and make them honourary members of the Bone Tribe warrior caste. This will give them free, independent access to Bone Temple without Saxon and is worth a Experience Dice.
The temple is an old church, plastered white with chalk and clay and bound and covered with animal and human bones, inside and out. Preach, the tribal shaman, resides here with his apprentices, giving blessings, ritually painting the warriors with chalk and bonemeal, and preaching the Bone Tribe creed, which is broadly anti-technology and about ‘Waste not, want not’ and ‘Make do and mend’.
Sidequest: Preach loves rare bones to add to the temple. Those of exotic animals, unique mutants and reknown enemies can be traded in for 10 caps and an Experience Dice each.
The Round is the central part of the town, an old roundabout surrounded by old shops and apartments. All have long since been cleared out and made into a communal living space. A great roof of tanned radstag hide covers the whole round, giving it the feel of a giant, stinking circus tent. The tribals work hard here, boiling down bones into glue, grinding bones into meal, all for their limited trade with other locations. The place stinks from the constant boiling and cooking, the smoke and the fine powder from the grinding.
Limited trade also goes on here. The Tribals don’t have a lot to trade but they do have jerky, glue, spears, bows, arrows and some scavenged materials from the uninhabited part of town. The characters can equip themselves with bows, arrows and spears, but more complex weaponry will have to wait. The Tribals don’t make them.
An old pub, the Hart is now covered in antlers from the many radstags the Tribals have killed over the past century and more. The whole place is now communal living, but very crowded.
Sidequest: The old cellar is locked up, infested with 2d6 uranifish that the warriors see it as beneath them to kill. The residents would be very grateful if the characters cleared it out – it hasn’t been explored and cleared in years, though occasionally it’s opened – just to be sure. If they do clear it, they’ll be rewarded with 10 caps, and will be allowed to keep the contents of the cellar. Most of it has been eaten and destroyed by the uranifish, but 2d6 bottles of ginger beer remain. Along with an old double-barrelled shotgun and a box of 12 shells.
An old tourist spot the wheel still turns here and is used by the Tribals to grind bone down into dust for sale as fertiliser. Grass is also woven by the women and elderly into sacks here, which are then used to store the fertiliser ready for export. The wheel is rattling and grinding, on its last legs, and the people there are very protective and defensive of it.
Sidequest: The wheel needs machine parts, which is against the teachings of Preach and the Tribal’s deliberately primitivist lifestyle. Those who keep it running are willing to make an exception. There are machine tools and parts in the technology centre of the old school – outside the defensive walls – but the school is overrun with 3d6 feral ghouls distributed throughout it .
2. A fire breaks out in The Round.
3. The waterwheel breaks down, but is repairable.
4. An angry warrior takes exception to one of the characters and demands satisfaction in a fistfight.
5. A band of 1d6 charcoal burners arrives to do trade, putting everyone on edge.
6-8. Raggedy tribal children trail around after the characters, curiously.
9. A patrol of Monarchist soldiers 1d6 conscripts and a yeoman, turn up to collect their tithe. The mood is sour.
10. A tribal takes a fancy to one of the characters and tries to woo them in their primitive fashion.
11. Preach is conducting some sort of ritual at the temple.
12. The town is under attack by d6+1 raiders, trying to get in through the front gate.
Roll 2d6 for location
2. Hi-Radiation spot (re-roll).
4. Road (clear).
5. Road (ruined cars).
6-8. Ruined building.
9. Intact (looted) building.
10. Intact (relatively unlooted building).
11. Old encampment.
12. Old checkpoint.
Roll 2d6 for encounter
2-3. 1d6 Uranifish (interior), radroaches (exterior).
4-5. 1d3 wild dogs. 
6-8. 1d6 scavengers.
9-10. 1d6 Feral Ghouls.
11. 1d6 Raiders
12. 1d6 Monarchy conscripts, plus a Monarchy yeoman.
. Dennis Saxon – Itinerant Trader
Wasteland Trader: 3D (Unimpressed)
Loner: 2D (Narrow trait, he’s a bit of a jack of all trades)
Gild Member: 2D (Technically neutral)
Negative Trait: Enormous racist (never fails to use a racial slur for ghouls and mutants)
Health Threshold: 4
Dennis carries a Browning 9mm automatic (13 round capacity, x1D damage) in a thigh holster and carries a knife (x2 damage).
He wears a shabby long coat and a battered bowler hat and has a long, scraggly beard.
His brahmin carries a bunch of basic trading materials (about 500 caps worth) – bags of charcoal mostly – and enough jerky, water and berries for 7 person/days of food. He also has an impressive collection of boardgames and a deck of cards.
Dennis is a trader who, up until this point, has preferred to work alone. It makes him seem less threatening to people and gives him access others can’t have. He hails from a town and a group called Gild in the east, a neutral trading group that moves about the wasteland.
A Note on Money
Trade via the Merchant Marines with other nations, including as far flung as the American Wastelands, has made the bottlecap a currency in the British wasteland as well. Bottlecaps have an approximate equivalent value to £5 in 2015 money. Both The Monarchy and The Republic issue pound notes, each note is worth about £1 in modern value in its home territory and half that in the other territory. Caps are a universal currency.
 Feral Ghouls
Abomination: 3D (horrific looking).
Feral: 3D (animalistic and violent).
Radioactive: 1D (immune to radiation, successful melee attacks also do 1 rad).
Health Threshold: 5
Claws and teeth: x2 damage.
Feral ghouls, if searched, are carrying…
1. d6 Cigarettes/d3Cigars
2. A shiny trinket, worth a few caps.
3-5. Random junk.
6. A bottle of ginger beer.
Dog: 3D (animal behaviour and senses).
Pack Beasts: 2D (good at working as a team).
Hard-bitten survivor: 2D
Health Threshold 4
Bite: x2 damage.
Having emerged from their bunker (at location 1 on the map where the three rivers join), the characters find themselves in the midst of a copse atop a chalk hill. The first thing they need to do is to find shelter, water and food. The bunker’s power has run out and it is now slowly filling with water (since the pumps are no longer working) meaning it is flooding.
Once they clear the copse they’re greeted with an arresting view.
A slate grey autumn sky hangs over valley between two bone-white hills, sparsely covered in scrubby brown grass and mutated weeds. A muddy lake lays in the shelter of the valley, fed by a small river, surrounded by the shattered remnants of an old village, most of its buildings long since ruined, but its church’s square steeple stubbornly still pointing at the sky. Atop the hill opposite is the blasted shell of a manor house and carved into its side, in glaring white chalk, is some sort of excavation. Night is drawing in, you’ll have to act fast if you want to claim food and shelter tonight – perhaps somewhere from which to explore.
This is an exploratory adventure, so there’s no real order to it. The goal is to explore and clear the village and to survive the night in something like comfort.
The Copse Hill
The hill that houses their bunker is sparsely covered with trees. A few mutated blackberries, hazelnuts and mushrooms are to be found here and there, enough for 1 person/day of food if they spend a great deal of time gathering them up (30 minutes assuming they split the party and there are 4 of them, roll a random encounter if they do).
Further across the hill are some dilapidated old farm buildings and the rusting hulk of a British Atomics tractor. It’s nothing now but scrap. A couple of sacks of nitrate fertiliser remain sealed and safe in a corner of the cobweb-encrusted barn.
The Mansion Hill
The wrecked mansion sits behind an overgrown wall that remains relatively intact – if covered in brambles and ivy. Past the wall the mansion is a ruin, but it is a neat ruin, not overgrown, no weeds, a pristine gravel path leading to the ruin of the house and the more intact garage building.
The main house’s roof has collapsed in and it is little more than a heap of rubble surrounded by grand walls. One pile of rubble has been moved back and forth several times but this is Hard to notice. Beneath that pile is a set of metal stairs beneath what was once the kitchen, leading down to a cellar. The cellar is stocked with old wine and spirits – no food – as well as three adult skeletons in fine clothing, immaculately cared for by Leicester, the butler robot. An old emergency fusion generator continues to keep the cellar cool, lit and air conditioned. A robot charging station also occupies one corner, fed by the generator.
The garage houses a British Atomics Gallant family roadster with the vanity plate ‘Cheese1t’, it has no fuel and is only still pretty on a ‘skin deep’ basis. The engine is rusted solid and its fusion battery is missing (used to keep the generator going).
The mansion as a whole is guarded by Leicester, a paranoid butler robot who will brook no intruders.
The Church Building
The church building is surrounded by graves, but all of these look to have been dug up over the years, the bones missing. A few ancient, twisted yew trees survive to this day and while the church no longer has windows, it seems relatively secure. There’s even a tiny flicker of firelight coming from inside.
Inside the pews are long gone, a stinking fire of bones, wood and brahmin dung burns away in the centre of the old church, surrounded by three members of the Bone Tribe, who are complacently sitting around the fire, trying to keep warm, and cooking a couple of squirrels.
They are enraged by the presence of the characters, screaming at them as blasphemers and leaping to the attack with flint knives, spears and a bow.
The church is draughty – lacking windows and doors – but keeps the worst of the rain off. The two squirrels – along with some other scraps of jerky and other food they have (contaminated of course) provides two person/days of food.
[NB – If offered any particularly rare or lovely bones they might accept a peaceful approach]
The Bone Mine
The gaping hole in the side of the hill, at the bottom of the slope, far beneath the mansion, is a ‘bone mine’. Shortly after the war a plague spread across Britain’s farm animals, wiping many of them out and survivors were forced to make a cull. That mass of cattle and sheep were buried here. A rich vein of bones for the Bone Tribe to dig out. Their picks are here (antlers mostly) along with a wagon loaded down with animal bones. A brahmin grazes thistles and scrub nearby.
The Village Shop
Long-ago looted, the village shop is mostly a collapsed wreck, rusted tills, soaked shelving. Only the back storeroom is intact and that locked (Moderate). If forced or picked there’s a mostly cleared-out storeroom, though there’s still a couple of bottle of Nuka Cola and Blighter’s Ginger Beer, a bottle of scotch and a few packs of Rudyard’s snack cakes. Enough for two person/days of food.
d6 Uranifish (see previous adventure) lurk in the main, collapsed section, feasting on the wooden shelving and other rotten remains.
The Doctor’s Office
The Doctor’s Office is relatively intact, though its doors are missing and leaves and twigs have long flooded in. Under a pile of leaves in the reception office is a locked terminal (Moderate) which contains a diary from the village doctor describing the aftermath of the bombs and a riot of sick villagers who smashed their way into the office. He claims to have saved what few supplies he could by stuffing them behind the radiator in the waiting room. Sure enough there is a tin containing bandages, antiseptic, a dose of Radaway and two Stimpacks behind the radiator. Radaway removes d6 points of radiation. Stimpacks immediately heal a level of harm.
The Village School
Partially smashed, the remaining half of the school is a nest of 2d6 Uranifish. If they can be dealt with the intact classrooms contain a few patches of ancient carpet, masses of Uranifish eggs, a few old children’s toys and a couple of intact children’s books high on a shelf.
The Wrecked Houses
Most of the village is a mass of wrecked houses that could be picked over, but contain only rusted and rotten junk – and bricks. The larger houses play host to d6 uranifish but, otherwise, there’s no sign of life nor anything much worth searching out.
The lake is a stagnant mass of radioactive sludgy water at all. A few mutated wading birds pick around the edge. An island in the middle has a couple of dead trees and a little rowboat on it. Swimming out to it will cause d6+1 rads, but the boat has intact fishing gear – though getting a fish out of this lake is Near Impossible and its very radioactive when you do.
d6 Bloatflies hover over the water and will only attack if anyone tries to cross or takes a crack at them.
The river is very low and shallow. It’s fresher than the lake, but not by much.
Random Wasteland Encounters
Roll for a Wasteland Encounter every five miles in the wilderness. You get one on a 5-6.
Encounter location d6
1. Ruined village.
2. Ruined farmstead.
3-4. Open ground.
2. d6 Tribals
3. d6+1 Tribals and a brahmin cart
4. 1d3 wild dogs.
5. Harmless wildlife encounter: (1-3 radcrows, 4-5 wild radsheep, 6 radstag)
6. Harmless wildlife encounter: (1-3 glowcrows, 4-5 wild brahmin, 6 radstag)
7. Harmless wildlife encounter: (1-3 glowcrows, 4-5 wild radhog, 6 radstag)
8. d6 refugees/settlers
9. Monarchy military patrol d6 conscripts +1 yeoman.
10. d6 raiders in camp.
11. d6 raiders laying in ambush.
12. Wandering trader and two guards.
13. Mounted monarchy military patrol 1-3 – Two Boadicea motorcycles and sidecars (4 yeomen) 4-6 – Crecy Armoured Car (6 yeoman).
BoneTemple is a ruined town and the home of the Bone Tribe.
An outpost of the Monarchy, Fort Over is a minor posting amidst the ruins of an old town.
. Leicester the Butler Robot – A BRCA-J1 unit, considered a classic. Leicester is a legged model in British racing green, sporting a glued on monocle, a bowler hat and a black plastic moustache. Armed with a long-barrelled shotgun and ten spare shells he valiantly attempts to fight off any intruders and the rose garden has several intruders he has killed, buried in the rose garden. He hides out in the garage hoping intruders will go away and attacks if intruded upon.
Man of Iron: 3D (Clanking, whirring, heavy)
A Classic Design: 2D (Shiny green paint)
I live to Serve: 2D (Polite, butlery mannerisms).
Health Threshold: 3
Armour: 3D melee, 3D firearms.
Leicester is armed with a 12 gauge, double-barrelled shotgun capable of ‘semi automatic’ fire (letting off the second barrel).
His robot claw-hands can do x2 damage.
. The Bone Tribe
The Bone Tribe claims Bone Temple as their home and base of operations. They are a relatively civilised tribe who owe fealty to the Monarchy and to Fort Over. Despite this, they lay claim to certain sites as holy – including this village. The Monarchy stays clear (there’s nothing of value here) and lets them do their thing.
Tribal Warrior: 2D (Ritually scarred, smeared white with chalk)
Religious Fanatic: 2D (bone charms)
Primitive Survivor: 2D (bad teeth)
Health Threshold: 4D
Armour: Hide – Melee 1D.
Flint knives: x2
Flint spears: x3
Bloatflies are hideous, flying, gigantic, mutated flies that barf acidic and poisonous vomit.
Small & Fast: 2D (bobbing and weaving constantly)
Disgusting: 2D (smell so bad)
Fat & Hairy: 1D (look so ugly)
Health threshold: 1
Armour: Chitin – All 1 point.
Vomit: 2m range, x3 damage, if it does any damage the poison does another d6 damage against Health Threshold on the following turn.
Bloatflies (and uranifish) provide 1 person/day of food for every three that are killed and harvested, but it’s disgusting.
The players should create a diverse bunch of pre-war people with a variety of useful skills for the aftermath. Military, scientific, construction and farming-qualified people are to be preferred. Armed guards from the Defence and Science Technology Institute have turned up at their assorted doors and insisted that they come along and that their country needs them. Whatever arm pulling, bribery or threats need to have been made in order to make this work. They are gathered together and loaded aboard a medium transport helicopter, painted in pale, anodised blue with the RAF roundel superimposed with a lightbulb and [DSTI] font beneath it.
Besides the two military pilots they are accompanied by two doorgunners, manning Light Support Weapons, an RAF general and a dapper, suited and hatted, member of the DSTI.
While they’re flying they get a brief rundown of what’s going on.
DSTI: “Welcome aboard, you’ve all been conscripted in accordance with the current Emergency Powers act, we’re terribly sorry that it has to be that way, but needs must eh? The thing is…
General: “The thing is, at this point, it’s only a matter of time before the balloon goes up between the Yanks and the Chinks, and that means things are going to go for a Burton for the rest of us as well.”
DSTI: “Uh… quite. Yes, the Americans and the Chinese are bound to resort to atomics at this point and as a key ally of the Americans and allowing them to be based here, we’re likely to come in for a fairly direct attack. As such certain contingencies such as the bunker program have been put forth, as well as more radical solutions.
General: Technical boondoggles, promising the bally Earth and delivering nothing more like.
DSTI: Project Moses is one such project and The Professor has requested volunteers for testing. That’s where you come in. I assure you that you’re extremely unlikely to be harmed in the process.
General: Quite, several dogs have survived the process unscarred so far.
DSTI: Anyway, a grateful nation appreciates your help.
After a short period in which they can useless ask questions, most of which will be met with a curt ‘top secret’ or ‘need to know’, the helicopter lands in the dim autumn light in a wooded area atop a rolling, wooded green hill somewhere in the south of England.
A bunker sits here, a single storey concrete and brick building with a pair of RAF guards standing outside, moving to attention as the general and his guests get off the helicopter and make their way to the pad. The general moves to tap a pass code into the console and one of the guards follows in after them, holding up the rear.
While there are side doors, the general and DSTI representative, having shown ID to another guard behind a security desk, pass straight on to the end of the corridor where another passcode is entered into an armoured airlock which they cycle, pass down a steep set of stairs deep into the hill.
A large central room filled with mixed vegetation and lit with bright ‘natural light’ bulbs seems out of place here, a few DSTI brainiacs in labcoats testing the soil and collecting fruit. The DSTI rep may happily and cheerily tell them “We’re working on long-term survival…” as they pass directly across and through another double-set of airlock doors into the area marked ‘science wing’.
Here they’re greeted in the corridor by a man in a wheelchair with a robot voice that emerges from the chestplate. The chair has a single robot arm, terminating in a human-looking robotic hand with which he will enthusiastically shake hands. He’s always accompanied by his assistant, Susan.
Professor: “I am professor Nebogipfel, which is why everyone simply calls me The Professor. I do apologise about the manner in which you were brought here, but you’re now passing from the military to a more… understanding jurisdiction.”
The characters will be put into blue, skintight flight suits, as used by RAF atom-jet pilots (these provide 1 point, not dice, of protection against all attacks) and subjected to a battery of blood test, medical examinations and other indignities but – on the other hand – they will also be given tea and scones. The only explanations they will get will refer to ‘interesting implications stemming from recent discoveries in Aldermaston’ and some handwavey references to tachyons.
After all the testing they will be ushered into the ominously titled ‘testing chamber’, filled with the hum of powering up devices. Through an armoured glass window they can see the Professor, Susan, the General and a bunch of other technical staff moving around.
The Professor will, after a while inform them that: “We’re just about ready to start…” and then he’ll cut off the intercom. Through the window they’ll see a soldier rush in and talk to the general, shock on everyone’s faces and then the general leans over and switches the intercom on.
General: “The yanks and the Chinese have gone nuclear. We’re at war. This facility is now under direct military control. I’m calling a halt to this experiment. All resources need to go to continuity governance and the preservation of this bunker and its personnel…”
He’s cut off by the angry professor. The door to this chamber is still shut as they angrily face each other, with the soldier moving to intervene and Susan also angrily interceding. All in silence through the window. The Professor’s robot arm lashes out and crushes the General’s throat, the guard pulls his pistol, Susan gets in the way, there’s another flash of a gun going off and the Professor’s robot hand slams down on the console.
There is a blinding flash of blue light and then, darkness…
It takes a moment for their eyes to adjust, but when they do they realise that they’re standing in the same chamber, but it is stained and old, the terminals spotted with rust and non-functioning. The glass window to the next room is grubby but intact, but the only light is coming from very small, yellowish emergency lights around the base of the floor. The door is ajar…
Exploring and leaving the very changed facility has its challenges…
Chrono-Chamber (upper left): Dilapidated machinery, rust-spotted and non-functional. The delicate circuitry is corroded beyond repair, many parts are entirely unidentifiable and various chambers contain the residue of strange glowing chemicals of unknown kinds. It simply isn’t going to work. The door to this chamber is ajar, but rusted and hard to move. At some point in the distant past someone has made a campfire in the southern part of the room and there are some charred bones where something was cooked.
Control Room (lower left): The machinery here is mostly intact, but not running – the whole base being on emergency power. Only a small terminal has power but is locked out with a Really Difficult passcode.
The log there tracks events since the war. The general, Susan and the Professor all died in the initial confrontation and only the mutual need to survive kept the scientists and military from going at each other’s throats. Twenty years of monotony faced the survivors, which included a few latecomers from above, pushing supplies to their limit over the twenty years they remained below, with three children being born amongst the civilian population and two military personnel being executed for ‘fraternisation and insubordination’. The final entry describes them gathering their remaining supplies and setting out to meet up with the ‘Continuity Government’ in 2097.
Research Lab (Right): This room has been methodically stripped of portable equipment and supplies and retains only the rust-spotted hulks of larger equipment such as sterilisers, centrifuges etc. A terminal here is locked with a Hard passcode, and contains some notes on Project Moses. The aim of which was to apply science to the principle of time travel – one way, into the future. According to the notes the time portal should have transported the subjects 20, 200 or 2000 years into the future – after the main atomic aftermath – with a margin of error of 10%. This means they could be anywhere from 18 to 2200 years into their future (it’s 2287 according to the chronometers in the terminals).
Hallway: The Professor’s old, powered wheelchair sits at the end of the corridor, empty. Its atomic batteries still work and though it isn’t suited to all-terrain travel and only has one arm it could be used as a very primitive vehicle. When ‘worn’ the wheelchair provides 3D of armour against melee and ballistic attacks, 2D against energy attacks. The robot arm does x3 damage. Otherwise there’s just scrap, broken glass and other trash piled up back here.
Hydroponics (northern section): The plants here are long dead and the water, while stagnant, is pure an uncontaminated. It tastes bad, but won’t do you any harm. Some fungus and mould grows in here, the fungus could form a meal in a desperate pinch – enough for 1 person/day of food (roll a d6 1-4 edible, 5 psychoactive, 6 poisonous 2d6 damage). A couple of the UV bulbs are recoverable.
Civilian Bunk Room (southwestern section): Nothing but ancient mouldy beds and a handful of science magazines read to death and damp and mouldy.
Civilian Mess (southern central section): Microwave cookers and water taps are built into the wall. The taps provide a bare trickle of stagnant but safe water. The microwaves don’t work. A few items of cutlery and crockery remain.
Civilian Ablutions (southeastern section): Ancient toilets, showersand cisterns, there’s potable water in them – but would you? The decontamination chambers have been smashed with something.
Hallway: Ages ago some child appears to have covered the walls with scrawlings in crayon and pen depicting trees, flowers and people in white coats.
Military Stores (northern section): Almost entirely cleared out these massive stores now harbour only a few empty boxes marked ‘egg powder’, ‘dehydrated rations’ etc. 2d6 ration packs (each a person/day of food) remain in various corners along with a single box of Rudyard’s Apple Pies. The stores also contain the military control station and radio, by which it once kept in touch with other bunkers and local traffic. The radio gear has been sabotaged. Amongst the control station remains a Royal Enfield Penfold Revolver with five remaining, chambered rounds. This one’s rusty and has reduced damage (x3) and a penalty to hit of -1.
Military Ablutions (southwestern section): A bunch of toilets, mostly intact and full of potable water. Some bleach and soap remains, shoved into a corner.
Military Barracks (southeastern section): A bunch of mouldy old beds and pitted formica tables. Microwaves (non functioning) and water taps (with a trickle of safe but stagnant water) are here.
Hallway: Stuffed with junk and trash, but nothing of any specific use.
Life Support Gardens: Long dead and rotten, only mould and mushrooms remain (though a few seeds that could germinate remain in the soil). Some of the wood from the small trees and bushes could be used, it’s not too rotten once you get beneath the bark. Unfortunately for our players, a nest (2d6) of giant, radioactive silverfish have nested here and will viciously attack, concentrating on anyone carrying food.
Above Ground Blockhouse
Hallway: Choked with leaves and twigs, soaking wet, thick with mud. This has been open to the elements for some time. A wrecked looking defensive turret hangs from the ceiling, dripping water. (The turret houses a .38 automatic pistol and a drum of 50 rounds. It can be scavenged while not active), but is hard to reach, being up on the ceiling. The security desk is a wreck. At the far end is the airlock to the outside, full power must be restored (or some other, clever method to open it. Opening the airlock and emerging wins this mission, for 2 experience dice.
Decontamination Chamber (northwest): Smashed, wrecked, filled with leaves and detritus – and the skull of a long-dead fox.
Men’s & Women’s Ablutions (far northwest): Smashed and wrecked toilets, the water in these is brackish and contaminated with radiation.
Ops Centre (southwest): Long abandoned, the stations are so rotten with rust you can push a finger through the casings – if you fancy tetanus.
Life Support (southeast): These ancient machines stopped working some time ago, but a fusion cell is still plugged in to the power centre, providing the bare minimum of power keeping the terminals and emergency lights going. Full power override can be enacted, but will only last an hour or so before the cell burns it – it’ll also turn the turret on which will fire two shots per turn at anyone in its range with 2D of skill and the second shot taking a penalty dice.
Administration (northeast): Whatever was once in here is now a soaking, rotten mass of mould, paper and wood.
With the outer airlock open there is a sudden rush of cold, wet air. The light from outside is blinding even though, as their eyes adjust, they realise it is the honey-yellow of autumn, rather than the brightness of summer. Outside is the same old top of the hill, thick with trees now, parts of the block encrusted with roots and heavy with moss. Fallen trunks lay everywhere, the leaves are shin deep. Most of the trees here seem old and dead, the newer growth twisted and shrunken, covered in lumps and cysts of bark, coated with fungus. Piles of animal bones and straw dollies have been left near the door… some sort of offering perhaps? The rusted hulk of the old helicopter sits on its crumbling pad, smashed by fallen trees.
Welcome to the English wasteland.
: Rudyards was a company that made irradiated snack cakes and other treats that could, hypothetically, remain fresh forever. Amongst other things Rudyards made Apple Pies, Battenbars (miniature battenburgs), Pre-Creamed Scones, Eccles Cakes and Fruity Cake Bars – amongst others.
: The Penfold is a Royal Enfield revolver, chambered for .38 and issued to rear echelon staff in combat placements. It holds six bullets, does x1D damage. The design is unusual in that the barrel runs closer to the centre of your grip, hypothetically increasing accuracy. It resembles the Mateba.
 Uranifish (giant, radioactive silverfish): Uranifish can be found wherever there is damp and wherever there is starch or sugar. They do a great deal of damage to anything containing glue, starch or sugar and will also slowly chew their way through wood. When especially hungry they will attack and kill anything that wanders into one of their nests.
Scavenger: 2D (keen senses)
Survivor: 1D (quick, darting movements)
Atomic Monster: 1D (Immune to radiation)
Health Threshold: 4
Armour: 1D melee, 1 point against anything else.