Adapting Van Buren (Workshop - Complete on Page 30)

Discussion in 'Fan Art/Fan Fiction' started by Atomic Postman, Jun 5, 2021.

  1. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    To help me think about this, I just wanted to go through the most likely (to me) story flow of the campaign.
    • You escape Van Buren. At this point, the party has no motive other than survival. They head either to Grand Junction or Denver, more likely Grand Junction on account of the Rail Nomads.
    • They resolve the Iron Rivers problems. At this point, they've probably been attacked by the first wave of Eyebots and are aware of the full detail of the situation, and have the vague locations of the Prisoner 13s marked on their maps. From here they could go to New Canaan (Golden Spike and sort of close to White-Liner), Boulder, or Denver. Most likely it seems to me is Denver, since they've already considered going there and it has a 13.
    • They go to Denver. Meet Boulder Dome trucker. Meet Boulder Dome salvagers. Meet Truecoaters. Meet Hangdogs. Since fully completing Denver is probably beyond their capabilities at this point, they complete some stuff and then head up to Boulder since it has a 13 and sounds civilized.
    • They hang around Boulder, become aware of the FEV problem. Resolve some of the questlines here before they have to go find the ZAX, having the option of Grand Canyon or Vault 29. Possibly return to Denver at this point with a few levels under their belt. Between Grand Canyon and Twin Mothers, Twin Mothers certainly seems more likelysince its far closer.
    • Run through Twin Mothers, Vault 29, Nursery. Players could get the data can from Vault 29, but would probably opt to go to the Nursery instead. Here they resolve the New Plague questline. At this point there is some risk it seems to me of the players heading to Grand Canyon - they're on the right side of the Colorado, it's pretty close by, it has a 13, it has an alternative source for the data can, and they've just been told about it by the Biters.
    • But it seems more likely that they would return to Boulder to wrap up the more pressing New Plague aspect, and consequently get Xian. Though this raises the question - is there any reason to fix the Boulder ZAX at all, aside from altruism? They already have access to a cure. Is Xian withholding until you fix ZAX itself so that the children can be defrosted? I'll go under that assumption. At this point the player wraps up Denver. They then have the choice of heading towards either New Canaan or Grand Canyon. New Canaan has the advantage of being in sort of close proximity to a 13, Golden Spike, and the fact that they've already been told about it. Personally this doesn't seem be the better of the two, but for the sake of argument lets assume they head towards New Canaan.
    • Encounter Burning Springs, resolve that, head to New Canaan. But it's perhaps worth noting that as far as I can see there's no real motive to complete the New Canaan questlines other than getting gear and levelling - the only thing really of interest in Utah at this stage from a main plot perspective are the 80s, and no real interaction with the Canaanites is required for this. So assume they do complete New Canaan to level up, then go to the 80s. The most natural route from here is towardsArizona - in addition to all of the reasons discussed above, they've now been more formally introduced to it by the Expedition.
    • At Magnum Chasma. If the players still need access to the data can, they either do a bunch of stuff for Caesar (which sends them running all over the place) or they head straight to Alexandra and the Desert Rangers.
    • Complete the Desert Rangers one way or another, get access to Alexandra's Prison-Boy. The next lead (ignoring the need to return to Boulder Dome with the data can if not done already) isn't super obvious, but in terms of proximity and player knowledge (introduced by the Legion and the Rangers) is Ouroboros.
    • But from Ouroboros, I'm not sure what the most reasonable route is. Ignoring all of the new proposed changes and going off of the original version, the hooks are the Prison-Boy signals of Mable and Gant. None of the factions (with the very small exception of Scorpions Bite, but this is very minor) are presaged anywhere else - the player could only learn about them in New Mexico proper. So it seems like the most likely place for the party to head is either Rebirth or New Mariposa. Lets assume they try Rebirth first, as its the closer of the two.
    • I'm going to run through Rebirth in a level of detail.
    1. Possibility one, they sell themselves into slavery. Either they end up in Sub-Level 3 or Sub-Level 1. If Sub-level 3, the only option more or less is stealth, fighting, etc to get out in a blaze of glory, get to Sub-Level 1 with Mable and get out. If Sub-Level 1, there are two possibilities: Run out with Mable, or talk your way down to Sub-Level 2 and get Green's quest.
    2. Possibility two, they attempt to scale the fence. They either end up in Sub-Level 3 or Sub-Level 2. If 2, they take Green's quest. This is a simple hop from Rebirth to Moab and a dungeon, not much to it. You return, you go down to Sub-Level 3. Either you bug the terminal or you agree to work with the good Dr. if you're a ghoul/ghoul scientist. If you do the former, I suppose Green lets you take Mable out of gratitude? And similar in the case of the latter (though it is odd that "working with him" doesn't actually lead to anything.)
    3. Finally, you either find a substitute red head slave for Otto, or you just try to kill him and take her. In the latter case, the t%1b guys come out, and you're pretty much boned and have to run, or fight if you can. In the former case, not much to say other than that I don't think any redheads or redhead slaves have been actively set up prior, so its just a matter of getting lucky at Magnum Chasma or Heartbreak Hotel, or finding someone random. Maybe Redhawk's daughter is a redhead?
    • I want to note before moving on - the DoD holotape has not been established at all, you first mention it in the Lone Mesa section, but the concept has not been introduced at all prior to this point. So players at Rebirth wouldn't even know they're looking for it. In any case - Rebirth doesn't establish any actual leads. Only thing the players have to go off of is the last Prisoner 13 - Issac Gant.
    • At New Mariposa, the players can either try and kill the three mutants or work with them. If they work with them to conquer Red Dawn, they can either instill division among the Red Okies, or go to the Biters and get the artillery working. If you go to the Biters, then you need to go to the Scaven-Pickers, first via returning to Rebirth. You get the shells, conquer Red Dawn, and get Gant and the last Prison-Boy. Only now could you learn about the Brotherhood. Most of the resolutions to Rebirth involve you getting the DoD holotape already, so the only reason to go to the Brotherhood is if you didn't already get it.
    Or Rebirth - maybe this could be the "working with Dr. Clarke" option, getting him the data from ZAX. Only if you do this will he decrypt his DoD holotape and give it to you.

    Alternatively, you could just move Underpass to the south. That means the players have to pass through Glyphers, Scorpions Bite, or Red Okies. This draws them in to the conflict to some extent in a similar way to being drawn into New Canaan. Also just involving Ugly John in the tribal conflict - maybe he wants to know if there's any FEV under the Antfarm, or maybe he just wants to secure his power base. Alternatively, the tribes can be used to storm New Mariposa, or the Brotherhood.

    neat-o! I have two paragraphs I'd like to add, which I'll submit later for your consideration.
     
  2. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    My caveats would be this:

    The first is that the first eye-bot attack would not happen until the players have reached the Great Salt Lake or gotten into the heart of Denver. So, New Canaan is their early level area where they adventure or Denver (Which is meant to be manageable although an uphill battle for low level players) before they get the word from Red Menace - who would also tell them about the DoD Tape (A detail I stupidly forgot to add). That would come with the problem that they have no idea, nor does Red Menace, of where to find it. So it's shelved as a long term problem, all they know is that top level military bases might have it. The "Rebirth reveal" would trigger that clue for players with the DoD tape sat obviously on Clarke's desk. Gant would tell them the BoS has it in their locker.

    Secondly, the pings on the Prison-Boys are also not simultaneous as I think I mentioned somewhere in this soup of a thread - I would stagger the reveals slightly. After the reveal at New Canaan or Denver, White-Liner, Xian and Teethbearer ping for them. After those three it's Alexandra and Gaia (The 13 Daugher of Hecate at her temple which I think you may have forgotten) and after those two it's Isaac Gant and Mable. The railroady-ness of this is something I'll mull over in my head prior to the campaign, I don't think it is railroading since there are so many methods and choices to achieve things. Just a more linear momentum. It isn't a sandbox campaign.

    Thirdly, the motivation for finding the ZAX Can is that as far as the players are aware that's the only real method of curing the New Plague. They don't know about the Twin Mothers-Vault 29-Nursery miracle cure path. Similarly, they have the moral problem that if they don't, a bunch of kids are going to die in stasis and Boulder will fail as a gizmo-society without ZAX's leadership.

    Player story-arcs can also be very useful tools for this. I could instill motivation instantly by tying a player's personal goals to something in the Grand Canyon or New Mexico if I so wished. That is all stuff that we can't speculate on, but I'm just saying that's an extremely handy narrative tool.
     
  3. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Also worth keeping in mind that in my system, a day of travel requires rations to survive - which costs money. Flying around the map is costly unless they make money or have stockpiles of food. That may guide their reasoning also.
     
  4. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    Got it re:Red Menace. One thing I might suggest - maybe have Red Menace only reveal the DoD tape at a later date than the initial contact? Spaces things out firstly. Secondly my concern is that their might be some temptation on the players part to head directly from Denver to Cheyenne Mountain - anyone in Colorado who you're running this game for would be tempted to go down to Cheynne Mountain in the first place, and that would only be made worse by the knowledge that they need a super secret holotape from some super secret base. Radiation does pose a barrie but I think they may try to find a way to circumvent this. So I think its better to just remove that temptation and introduce the DoD holotape fairly late in the game, since it is the last key.

    Oh I did forget about this, thanks for the reminder. All the more precedence to just introduce the DoD holotape later.

    (I did remember Gaia to be clear, its what I was alluding to when I said that Ouroboros is the next natural lead)
     
  5. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    The reveal should come later you're right as it ties into a detail that had also slipped my mind, the reason they need it in the first place is because Uncle Sam has been making constant repairs and upgrades to the Prison and it is no longer a leaky rusted hulk.
     
  6. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Also @Hardboiled Android it should be noted that the party can freely walk into New Mariposa and Gant is working on the ZEUS generator in the center of town pretty openly. He's just under careful watch and not allowed to leave.

    I could go the VB route and have a defected Knight or Scribe that wanted out but not Luddite turn up somewhere else - natural point would be helping in the running of the Nutrient Farms in Boulder Dome. Unrelated to the 13 questline but he can mark it on the map regardless.

    Los Alamos is flagged as a potential location for the DoD holotape by Gant too but he writes it off due to the total destruction disguise. So they should learn of Rebirth and the BoS at similar times and with more concrete evidence of the tape at Lone Mesa - they'd be strongly incentivized to check out the BoS and ultimately they have to go to Rebirth anyway for Mable.
     
  7. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    I liek this, though problematically it might push the players to go to New Mexico too early
     
  8. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Maybe but it's easy enough as the scribe warning that New Mexico is real trouble. Cazadores, Deathclaws and Super Mutants. Signal enough that it's a high level area.
     
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  9. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    I'm linking the hairbrained mosquito project of Malpais Army Depot and Antfarm under an Old World statewide project called Project Darwin. Something has clicked for me and New Mexico is coming along together well. Revised edition of NM might be coming tonight.
     
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  10. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Updated section of Nexus (Fused Watchers Section and Nexus section together, with the Luddites at Nexus as a sub-heading.)


    Important Characters of Nexus:
    upload_2021-7-23_18-38-34.png


    Quetzel: The tribe’s leader and keeper of the Moon Stones, moon rocks kept in storage at the visitor’s center which they revere as holy artefacts. He believes in Mia’s interpretation of the Nexus religion – he’s old enough to have waited a long time with nothing to come of it, and the visions he saw with her are the first instance of ‘magic’ he’s ever seen. Endless years of star-gazing stretched before him and contorted to a center: the Goddess Hecate. His mid-life crisis of doubt and weariness has been totally manipulated.

    Orion: Quetzel’s youngest son, covered in tattoos with Orion’s Belt proudly across his chest. He is convinced that Mia and her Goddess are evil. He saw visions of fire, death and gore. Effectively, he had a bad trip. He wishes to rid the Watchers of the Luddites and those he believes they attracted. He believes it is his duty to protect the future of the tribe. He believes that the Scorpion’s Bite could be of assistance, since they would no longer be taking tithe from Nexus in the face of Hecate.

    Idella: Idella Hill, recruited into the Brotherhood at a young age when she had the foresight to bring a nearby chapter unique technology she had discovered. She comes from a tribal background. Once she, believed the Brotherhood saved her from that life, now she believes they took it from her. She believes Hecate is the way forward and that once the negotiation takes place, they can leave the Brotherhood to rot behind them.

    Brother Devon: Leader of the Unseen Brothers and the only one who comes out in daylight. Behind his hulking power armor, his voice is sharp, brief and jittery. He believes that the Brotherhood don’t just need to be abandoned, they must be destroyed. He’s not as naïve as Idella and knows the Brotherhood upon getting the armory key would simply hunt them down to the last. He just wants the Stealth-Boys first.

    Mia: Daughter of Hecate from Ouroboros. Sent out into the fringes for her more uncouth matter of dealing with things, she’s aware of the potential power that these former Brotherhood could hold in the war effort against the Son of Mars. She has dug her fangs into Nexus, and will not let go. Even if it means by force.

    Quests at Nexus:
    upload_2021-7-23_18-38-59.png


    Establishing Connection: Negotiating the deal between the Lone Mesa Brotherhood and the Luddites in the exchange of the Armory Key for the Stealth-Boys and the CODE technology.

    Scrambling: Ridding Nexus of the Luddites and Hecate requires two things: The first, getting rid of the Unseen Brothers. This can be done through direct force or by providing them with Stealth-Boys from Malpais Army Depot. The second, ridding the Luddites, the Daughter of Hecate, and her accompanying Sons. Again, this can be done through direct force, or Orion will suggest an idea. He knows that the Scorpion’s Bite had searched the area on their last tithe for “space rocks” which they had kept just about hidden – they need them in some sort of rivalry with the Red Okies. Perhaps this can be leveraged to request assistance, in conjunction with the news that they will be replaced as tithe takers by Hecate and her minions.

    Killing the Frequency: The Unseen Brother, Devon, knows that Elder Brixley and Head Paladin Deering will carry with them authorization keys to overload the generator of their bunker – standard protocol for all Brotherhood Chapters in the face of total defeat. It’s simply a matter of using them. This will ensure that the Brotherhood don’t follow them up. If this is done and they are given Stealth-Boys, they will provide the party with a radio to signal them should they need help, and they can turn up at the Siege of Van Buren.
     
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  11. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Section 3: Malpais Army Depot
    upload_2021-7-23_18-39-49.png

    Pre-War History:

    Malpais Army Depot was a middling Army base constructed in 2022. That was until 2050 – when along with other facilities such as Sierra Army Depot in California – it received a major investment and reinvigoration. A whole new war effort had begun. It took on the manufacturing and storage of state-of-the-art weaponry and armor. By the 2070s, with the destruction of Douglas Air Force Base it was working in conjunction with the air-force to test and develop better air-craft for heavy-load military equipment, in addition to being the home of a new iteration of what was dubbed Project Darwin: Utilizing animals to undermine Red China. The new iteration after the heavily redacted failure of the previous was to utilize mosquitos as delivery methods for biological weapons. MAD requisitioned a ZAX Unit as was standard for bases taking on such heavy research projects, but they were curiously denied and instead told to use human staff only.

    To compensate for the whole new stresses on the base, the MAD’s CO General Barnes requisitioned an additional project for the sake of himself and the staff: cryogenics from the Boulder Dome up north in Colorado. The idea was that if the “Big One” ever occurred, he and his boys could lie dormant and protect the base in the post-nuclear collapse upon awakening. This was granted, despite warnings from the Boulder Dome science team that post-cryonic syndrome still did not have a resolution, with the simple response of “You eggheads will figure it out.”

    By the time the “Big One” finally came, they had not. But General Barnes and his men took to the cryogenic chambers regardless.

    Post-War History:
    upload_2021-7-23_18-40-34.png

    As the Wasteland has taught us: wildlife and radiation don’t mix well. Wildlife infused with biological toxins created in a lab and radiation, well, that’s even worse. The mosquitoes in the lab have mutated along with the toxins, now spilt into bubbling pools across the research level floors, becoming monstrous dog-sized “Mozzies” (as they’re referred to by the Scaven Pickers). These Mozzies fix themselves to the back of a host animal (they seem to prefer humans) and connect their probiscis to the brain stem, pumping the body full of the neuro-toxic chemicals. The host, now a symbiotic “Mozzombie” becomes full of the stuff, replacing most of their blood with a luminescent orange fluid as the Mozzie has created a flesh-farm to produce nutrients for itself. In the meantime, the host will retain some higher brain functions – enough to go on the aggressive and defend itself, even using weaponry it once used in its past-life.

    This has now become the fate of various Scaven Pickers on the surface as well as General Barnes and his men below. The Mozzies slowly cracked open the cryopods and used them as bio-nesting grounds for their eggs, transforming the frozen soldiers into icy Mozzombies, who now patrol the base in full armored gear, shambling with rifles in hand on their old patrol routes as the Mozzies continue to feed.

    The base itself is still flush with weaponry and even a squad's worth of T-45 Power Armor. Largely untouched however due to its robust automated defense systems. On the surface, a small airfield lies adjacent to the base where parts for an experimental aircraft can be found.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
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  12. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    I've also renamed the anti-BoS crew as catch-all "Exiles" with luddite and Unseen Brothers being the sub-groups within. Luddite is no longer a capitalized terminology. I think it fits better. Also adds some nice George Lucas pottery with the exiled group found in Fallout 1.
     
  13. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    You're right, this really is starting to come together.
    Great character write-ups here.

    A thought on the quests: I feel like the alliance-dynamic is a little bit screwy here. At least as it was discussed earlier, the rivalry between Scorpions Bite is essentially a proxy war between Scorpions Bite and the Red Okies, since the Red Okies are fairly interested in joining Caesar's Legion in the future. So it feels like it would make more sense for Orion to suggest the help of the Red Okies, whereas it would be Mia or one of the Exiles that would suggest to you to get help from the Scorpions Bite. Now of course there should be a lot of flexibility for the players to play out the tribal war in New Mexico, and these alliances are not static or definite (except that the Red Okies and Scorpions dont like eachother) but it seems like this is the way it should be presented. I should also add to make sure that part of both the Biters and Okies quests is to get the Glyphers on side.

    Connecting the Antfarm to the Mosquitoes is a stroke of pure genius, well done. And replacing the clumsy Bethesda name "Project Cloacina" with "Project Darwin" not only sounds a lot better, it's a fantastic Wasteland connection. Perhaps as the third rung in this ladder, Project Darwin was also being studied partly in Los Alamos, though taking second fiddle to other projects of course. And Project Darwin had nothing to do with the ghoulification, but it is the basis for Clarke's experiments - and if you have a ghoul in your party, he will after the uranium ask you to get him that data, please. And this is the longest shot of them all and probably no, but I wonder if maybe Ugly John (who presumably is also interested in Project Darwin) could be convinced to join Rebirth.

    Though I should note (and this might be me just misinterpreting your phrasing) don't make it so the Antfarm was under a different Project than the Mozzombies, make them (and Molerats) all part of the same big initiative.
     
  14. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    You're right in that I screwed up the alliances. Red Okies should be the pro-Orion path. Also means it dovetails nicely with a restored Brotherhood and a surviving Red Okie - prime for the New Vegas timeline.

    Also I was actually ahead of you, or rather we're of same mind, in that it's now Ugly John who wants the fusion tech from Moab (to run the ZEUS generator without Gant) and now Col. Green and Clarke want that research data, of which they were in the know about because they were the ones who authorized the nuke deployment and organized the cover for it as a Los Alamos lab test.

    And I'm not sure how it came across in the phrasing but the idea is after the nuke cover up, Darwin was moved to MAD (hence the no ZAX rule)
     
  15. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    Though a thought on that - how/why does the Brotherhood move to the Boulder Dome in this version?

    That works great.

    Oh OK. To be clear the concept isn't that Project Cloacina (now Darwin) was at the Antfarm entirely, but it was a national program with other facilities throughout the country.
     
  16. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    It would be an ending slide result. A restored Lone Mesa Brotherhood would eventually seek and find a fully restored Boulder Dome and take it over to turn into their next reclusive bunker. For the same reason as always: technology. One of those endings like House with the Kings where you did everything right but it stings you. Casts even further doubt on the morality of the hardcore BoS. Could happen if the players mess around for long enough, but unlikely.

    It also doesn't have to. The BoS that the Legion find can be stationed at Lone Mesa.



    It's as simple as saying the New Mexico branch of the project was moved to MAD.
     
  17. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    Fair enough, it doesn't really make a difference
     
  18. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    It's not finished and I'm calling it a night here, but this is what I've got so far. Not much left to go.

     
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  19. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    Like you said, it's really coming together.
     
  20. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Yeah something just seemed to click earlier, in large part thanks to your ideas. I do like how we've got this progression of the party from nobodies to classic fallout wanderers, to soldiers in this Arizona war and then getting to a level where the party are the ones moving chess pieces around. It's a nice escalation in the factional politics.
     
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