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Author Topic: Setting Ideas: Brainstorming  (Read 38693 times)
zenbitz
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« Reply #75 on: March 11, 2009, 05:55:39 PM »

Agreed, .although I am willing to bend the rules in a minor way.  example: Mutant furry kangaroos (escape from zoo) = Tauntauns.

*Sigh*  You know that starts a slippery slope to lightsabers and midichlorians, right?  Wink

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Some of the Hoth sequence was filmed in Norway, in the area from the railway station Finse to the Hardangerjøkelen glacier.

I don't see how we can ignore that part ...
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Gaspard
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« Reply #76 on: March 13, 2009, 03:22:48 PM »

Probably not very original, but I've still been thinking that this 20 year period is a bit too short of a time for a post-apoc civilization to get back on its feet (or into a crawling stance even).

Couldn't the Player Character be the one who starts sort of 'accidentally' popularizing some of the 'cool' new elements in the game like flintlock pistols and some more advanced low-tech equipment and even philosophies.

20 might be a time when old or new stable trade routes are established and information and knowledge starts piling up systematically again. By that time there might be fanatics systematically scavenging old Universities and Science labs for old valuable tech and know-how.
PC could stumble upon characters like that through the game and aid them:
Perhaps there's a flooded sub-basement in a University and the scientist have deduced from some old maps that there should be an Archive of sorts under there and the PC happens to be the first guy with a truly devil-may-care attitude to actually strip and jump into the soggy pool of water with maybe only a crow-bar or a harpoon against mutated animal threats (makes me think of Beowulf and Grendel) and some well-packed plastic explosives to blow open a ceiling/floor to let the apocalyptic scientists into the archives.

Afterward as the game-time passes the Player Character might see that where the enemies used to carry clubs and crossbows at first then later they drag around primitive fire-arms and maybe makeshift flamethrowers or something. I mean Rock-It-Launcher is too much (unless its bigger and used to siege post-apocalyptic dungeons mwahaha)

In general 'shops' that sell guns and bows would be weird. A cooler thing would be if a crazy creative mind starts whopping together crossbows out of scrap materials and he makes one for you if you give him something in return (quest-for-item can be done too, but one has to be cautious with these, otherwise the game will become only about that Sad( )
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eleazzaar
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« Reply #77 on: March 13, 2009, 04:59:33 PM »

Probably not very original, but I've still been thinking that this 20 year period is a bit too short of a time for a post-apoc civilization to get back on its feet (or into a crawling stance even).

I don't know exactly what you mean by "back on it's feet", but IMHO anyone who survived 20 years already had most of the skills needed to survive in a post-tech world.  You have a pretty limited amount of time to learn how to feed/cloth/etc. yourself before you die.  And while there might be a lot of stockpiles of stuff around, it only takes the lack of one critical item to kill you.


Afterward as the game-time passes the Player Character might see that where the enemies used to carry clubs and crossbows at first then later they drag around primitive fire-arms and maybe makeshift flamethrowers or something.

Well, you generally expect your opponents in later game to be better armed, and generally more formidable.


In general 'shops' that sell guns and bows would be weird. A cooler thing would be if a crazy creative mind starts whopping together crossbows out of scrap materials and he makes one for you if you give him something in return...

What are you saying, there shouldn't be any guns?

I think the juxtaposition of guns and bows is interesting.  But they wouldn't just be 2 interchangeable commodities.  Guns would be (generally) cheap, and ammo very expensive.  Arrows wouldn't cost too much, and neither would a ordinary bow.  But a well-made bow would be quite expensive and uncommon, since there would be very few expert craftsmen around.  Most survivors would probably be generalists.

Sure, quests for special items are cool.
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Gaspard
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« Reply #78 on: March 13, 2009, 05:56:45 PM »

Probably not very original, but I've still been thinking that this 20 year period is a bit too short of a time for a post-apoc civilization to get back on its feet (or into a crawling stance even).

I don't know exactly what you mean by "back on it's feet", but IMHO anyone who survived 20 years already had most of the skills needed to survive in a post-tech world.  You have a pretty limited amount of time to learn how to feed/cloth/etc. yourself before you die.  And while there might be a lot of stockpiles of stuff around, it only takes the lack of one critical item to kill you.

by 'the back on their feet' I mean some old long(er)-range communication system has been restored or a new one set up (trade routes).
you do not share with anybody unless you have a roof over your head, food on the table, the basic needs have to be taken care of, right ? so for that to become stable it might take 20 years, no ?.
This is a prequisite for the following: 'new' knowledge starts piling up - how to survive in the wastes and how to adjust what is left from the world before to our advantage in the world we live in now. if something piles up then that could be traded for something that is more useful. You were/are history minor, right ? I'm basically talking about a Natural Economy getting set up - that takes time if it was not popular in the area before.
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Afterward as the game-time passes the Player Character might see that where the enemies used to carry clubs and crossbows at first then later they drag around primitive fire-arms and maybe makeshift flamethrowers or something.

Well, you generally expect your opponents in later game to be better armed, and generally more formidable.
yeah, but this would be part of the backstory that explains the better equipment the more general folk like bandits and raiders carry around.
of course the militarist enemies and/or robots you might face in the end stages of the game have better weapons and equipment, but for that you'd have to go up to them and pick a fight.
In Fallout I found it annoying that when I'd donned my power armor and carried a combat shotgun the leather-clad raiders or bandits still ran at me with knives and peacemakers. If later in the game they had a reason to have better weapons and actually had them then the fights would have been more interesting than me just standing there and shooting them in the head one-by-one
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In general 'shops' that sell guns and bows would be weird. A cooler thing would be if a crazy creative mind starts whopping together crossbows out of scrap materials and he makes one for you if you give him something in return...

What are you saying, there shouldn't be any guns?

I think the juxtaposition of guns and bows is interesting.  But they wouldn't just be 2 interchangeable commodities.  Guns would be (generally) cheap, and ammo very expensive.  Arrows wouldn't cost too much, and neither would a ordinary bow.  But a well-made bow would be quite expensive and uncommon, since there would be very few expert craftsmen around.  Most survivors would probably be generalists.

Sure, quests for special items are cool.

sorry i presented my idea in a faulty fashion. I mean that having GUN STORES in general is weird in my opinion. One should find firearms either in (vary rare) untouched military equipment caches or a guy selling one-two firearms the most, but yes in general - less guns.
in the whole game there might be just ONE kingpin/ganglord who lets you browse his weapons cache of 'antique' pre-war weapons and maybe sell some to you.
the rest of the 'sellers' would be the aforementioned specialists who either maintain old weapons and items and then 'inventors' who come up with new ones from older schematics even (most primitive is bow, then someone comes up with crossbow, then someone uses better material in constucting a crossbow, then someone learns how to make cheap ammo for a makeshift flintlock or even a more primitive firearm) these inventors might sell their contraptions for you or trade them for new supplies (trash, old machinery). I'd think blacksmiths are back in action in a post-apoc setting, too.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #79 on: March 15, 2009, 02:53:39 AM »

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by 'the back on their feet' I mean some old long(er)-range communication system has been restored or a new one set up (trade routes).
you do not share with anybody unless you have a roof over your head, food on the table, the basic needs have to be taken care of, right ? so for that to become stable it might take 20 years, no ?.
This is a prequisite for the following: 'new' knowledge starts piling up - how to survive in the wastes and how to adjust what is left from the world before to our advantage in the world we live in now. if something piles up then that could be traded for something that is more useful. You were/are history minor, right ? I'm basically talking about a Natural Economy getting set up - that takes time if it was not popular in the area before.

"Necessity is the mother of invention".  I don't think it's that much of stretch to say that "some" stability would reoccur in 20 years.
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Gaspard
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« Reply #80 on: March 15, 2009, 10:23:20 AM »

nono of course. but for the different peoples to be ready to perhaps share what they have scavenged and gathered, that's a different story. I think someone mentioned that there should be settlements that might not want to let you in because they do not want to share any of their rations and even risk you deceiving them.
although yeah there could just be a settlement or two just as xenophobic as that
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eleazzaar
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« Reply #81 on: March 15, 2009, 04:37:35 PM »

"Necessity is the mother of invention".  I don't think it's that much of stretch to say that "some" stability would reoccur in 20 years.

Sure but "Necessity" doesn't always have children.  Complex civilizations have crumbled into savagery (or something approaching savagery) numerous times through history.  And certain hostile environments and/or cultures have keep certain people groups without "civilization" from the dawn of time till now.


What we call "civilization" fundamentally requires an excess of food.  I.E. food must be plentiful enough so that some people can get enough food for for themselves, their children, and to feed "specialists".  Specialists are the leaders, specialized craftsmen, inventors, artists, professional soldiers etc.  More complex societies generally require a larger excess of food, and thus a higher proportion of specialists.

In the USA as late as 1800 ~90% of the population was farmers.  This proportion is probably so high because of all the newly settled areas.  In the Middle ages the farmers are estimated to be from 80-90% of the population.

If we factor in 1) some amount of nuclear winter, 2) scandinavia is not the most food-rich part of europe, 3) 20 years is not enough time to make people expert at low-tech methods, you'll get a world were only a tiny percentage of work hours can be devoted to something other than food production and the basic requirements for survival.

So maybe 1-3% of people are available to devote themselves to leadership, specialist crafts, soldiers, tradesmen etc.

There's simply a limit on how complex a small society can get when 97+% of the people devote themselves to food production.


So for instance if your settlement is lucky enough to have a tailor, there's not room for someone else to sell his stuff.  If you want a new coat, you'll go to his house, interrupt his sewing long enough to agree on terms and go back to your work.  There won't be stores with otherwise idle shopkeepers waiting around to make a sale... except perhaps when someone has  monopolized a cache of some valuable pre-BOOM supplies and has the muscle to keep control of it.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #82 on: March 16, 2009, 05:59:20 AM »

I understand all you are saying elezzaar, but I don't get your main point.

My basic idea is this:
* For any settlement designed by writers/designers, we must state up front the "true" population (as opposed to the number of actual NPC models)
* There must be some "adequate" explanation for how this many people is fed, clothed, kept warm.]

So if you want a Post-apocaylpse-teeming-metropolis of 5,000 people - you need to fit in the farmers necessary to do this.

But speaking of  farming - I think we should try to work in some kind of "thaw" cycle in the seasons to give people SOME chance of eating.    Although, I think green houses would go along way.  They are not very high tech (given that you can scavange the clear plastic or glass) , but were not developed until the 19th Century (confirmed with some quick wikipedia - although some form of them existed in Italy in the 13th C!)
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Gaspard
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« Reply #83 on: March 16, 2009, 12:36:18 PM »

Huge greenhouses are used even today. Mass-producing vegetables for the.. well.. masses.. If one or two stayed intact or were not damaged too much during the BOOM then a settlement could have formed around it keeping the thing going (like the oil refinery people in Mad Max 2 Cheesy)If there's a power generator that could be kept going (Mad Max 3 - the pig shit >> methane gas Cheesy) then the production could be underground with special lighting.
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eleazzaar
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« Reply #84 on: March 16, 2009, 01:48:55 PM »

I understand all you are saying elezzaar, but I don't get your main point.

Hmm, i guess the whole thing could look like it was supposed to be a reply to your post, but it's not.  I used the quote more as a "jumping off point".


* For any settlement designed by writers/designers, we must state up front the "true" population (as opposed to the number of actual NPC models)

why?


So if you want a Post-apocaylpse-teeming-metropolis of 5,000 people - you need to fit in the farmers necessary to do this.

Yeah, going by the 97% food-production number that town would require nearly 500,000 farmers, fishermen, and hunters to feed it. (ignoring the possibility of pre-BOOM caches).  To put that in perspective, scandinavia currently has a population of about 25 million.  If we kill 95% we're left with 1.25 million.  So, such a town would require ~ 2/5ths of scandinavia's total post-boom population, and magical (or at least modern) transportation.   In other words, it ain't happening.  You can massage the numbers, but the metropolis is dead in paRPG.


But speaking of  farming - I think we should try to work in some kind of "thaw" cycle in the seasons to give people SOME chance of eating.    Although, I think green houses would go along way.  They are not very high tech (given that you can scavange the clear plastic or glass) , but were not developed until the 19th Century (confirmed with some quick wikipedia - although some form of them existed in Italy in the 13th C!)

Yeah, unless people are supposed to be fed only on fish, we need a spring and summer, even if they are shorter than now.

Greenhouses would no-doubt be highly valuable... and also highly vulnerable.  I don't know how effective greenhouses could be, but i would be rather suspicious of the idea all needed veggies could be provided to our survivors via greenhouses in an environment so cold that there never is a thaw.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #85 on: March 16, 2009, 06:04:23 PM »

* For any settlement designed by writers/designers, we must state up front the "true" population (as opposed to the number of actual NPC models)

why?
It's necessary information for the following.

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So if you want a Post-apocaylpse-teeming-metropolis of 5,000 people - you need to fit in the farmers necessary to do this.

Yeah, going by the 97% food-production number that town would require nearly 500,000 farmers, fishermen, and hunters to feed it. (ignoring the possibility of pre-BOOM caches).  To put that in perspective, scandinavia currently has a population of about 25 million.  If we kill 95% we're left with 1.25 million.  So, such a town would require ~ 2/5ths of scandinavia's total post-boom population, and magical (or at least modern) transportation.   In other words, it ain't happening.  You can massage the numbers, but the metropolis is dead in paRPG.

Sorry, El, I don't buy your analysis.   I can't say it's "wrong" just yet... but it doesn't pass the sniff test for me.  There were very large cities in medieval times.  Before the Black Death, London had a population of nearly 100,000.  It had a population of nearly 1,000,000 - pre-industrial times (1801), when the total population of England was ~7.5M.

I think the error is that the 90-97% is not all necessary to support the other 10-3%.  Some of those guys are super poor dirt farmers/sharecroppers who are just feeding themselves.

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Greenhouses would no-doubt be highly valuable... and also highly vulnerable.  I don't know how effective greenhouses could be, but i would be rather suspicious of the idea all needed veggies could be provided to our survivors via greenhouses in an environment so cold that there never is a thaw.

Well, look it up!  There are also hydroponics with florescent lights - but these obvious require some form of electricity.   I might consider putting in a single location like that - way up north where it was really cold, with a repaired hydroelectric or geothemal plant.
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eleazzaar
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« Reply #86 on: March 20, 2009, 04:10:49 PM »


So if you want a Post-apocaylpse-teeming-metropolis of 5,000 people - you need to fit in the farmers necessary to do this.

Yeah, going by the 97% food-production number that town would require nearly 500,000 farmers, fishermen, and hunters to feed it. (ignoring the possibility of pre-BOOM caches).  To put that in perspective, scandinavia currently has a population of about 25 million.  If we kill 95% we're left with 1.25 million.  So, such a town would require ~ 2/5ths of scandinavia's total post-boom population, and magical (or at least modern) transportation.   In other words, it ain't happening.  You can massage the numbers, but the metropolis is dead in paRPG.

Sorry, El, I don't buy your analysis.   I can't say it's "wrong" just yet... but it doesn't pass the sniff test for me.  There were very large cities in medieval times.  Before the Black Death, London had a population of nearly 100,000.  It had a population of nearly 1,000,000 - pre-industrial times (1801), when the total population of England was ~7.5M.

Well, i've explicitly said that i expect nuke-winter scandinavia to be less productive than the middle ages.  There's a big difference in the civ you can build with 97% of labor in food production, and ~80%.  Obviously we can fine tune that number to give us the results we want.  Though i think a rather low percentage of non-food producers works well  with our concept of emphasizing the struggle against nature.

But primate cities like London of the middle ages have some distinct advantages over post BOOM scandinavia.

* South England is always more fertile than scandinavia
* Primate cities don't just happen overnight, but are the result of (usually) hundreds of years of organization in transportation, commerce and political power.  Our post-BOOM scandinavia doesn't have a large area of political stability and a stable economic system.  There may bit a lot of pretty good roads still (even with bomb-craters compared to the middle ages), but not enough horses + Oxen to go around yet.



I think the error is that the 90-97% is not all necessary to support the other 10-3%.  Some of those guys are super poor dirt farmers/sharecroppers who are just feeding themselves.

Good point.  But IMHO the ratios are still generally useful.  Some of the people in any economy are going to be independent and not contributing toward the maintenance of others.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #87 on: March 20, 2009, 06:24:35 PM »

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Well, i've explicitly said that i expect nuke-winter scandinavia to be less productive than the middle ages.

I guess my argument is that it does not strain reality to think otherwise.  The writing team has some range of choice in how "civilized" we are 20 years after.    You can always make the boom/winter less bad so that more recovery can be done in 20 years.

In fact, the "winter/ice age" doesn't have to be montonically decreasing in avg. T in the pre-game period.  It could get "nuke winter cold" - then warm up (especially in the more populated latitudes), then start to cool of again as ice age initiates.

The key word there is could - I don't think we are locked in to a total lack of major towns, at all.
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eleazzaar
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« Reply #88 on: March 21, 2009, 03:21:03 AM »

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Well, i've explicitly said that i expect nuke-winter scandinavia to be less productive than the middle ages.

I guess my argument is that it does not strain reality to think otherwise.  The writing team has some range of choice in how "civilized" we are 20 years after.    You can always make the boom/winter less bad so that more recovery can be done in 20 years.

I'm just discussing  that as an average.  There would be a lot of variation in the "tech level"  of different parts of scandinavia, because:
* caches of useful stuff would be very unevenly distributed.
* knowledge would be unevenly distributed
* raw materials would be unevenly distributed, etc.

20 years is too short a time for things to even out.  Small chance details of who and what was where when the BOOM happened would have a huge impact on how (and which) people live 20 years later.


But i think there are lots of reasons to go with a generally rather low level of social organization in parpg.

* A single wanderer (or a small band) going around and being significant is a lot more plausible when society is small groups of mostly isolated people.
* * When you get large organizations: armies, lawyers, tax-collectors, rulers, police, there's not much need or room for a "hero" (or anti-hero).

* We can't fully build a big city.  It's less awkward in a lot of areas, to say that a place that is only one map and has 50 NPCs is a "village" than a "mighty metropolis".

* the whole "struggle against nature" is a lot more effective if most people spend most of their time surviving
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maximinus
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« Reply #89 on: March 22, 2009, 04:30:49 PM »

* We can't fully build a big city.  It's less awkward in a lot of areas, to say that a place that is only one map and has 50 NPCs is a "village" than a "mighty metropolis".

+1 True.

Please, let us not build somewhere with 30 NPC's and call it a city! In fact I think we have a good game template to avoid this kind of thing. I'm thinking mainly isolated settlements with interesting ruins / abandoned places nearby...
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