No Mutants Allowed Let's Play: Wasteland

Discussion in 'Wasteland Discussion' started by Tagaziel, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003

    Welcome to the official No Mutants Allowed Wasteland Let's Play feature!</center>

    <center>What is a Let's Play?</center>

    A Let's Play is a narrated playthrough of the game, aiming to give other people the opportunity to discover its story, setting and characters. It differs from walkthroughs in the fact that it focuses not on gameplay, but on plot, setting etc.

    This particular Let's Play will be primarily screenshot based, with the occassional video and other interactive elements.

    <center>Sounds great! But, uh, can I participate?</center>

    Although the Let's Play author retains control of the Let's Play, without your input this project might as well wither and die.

    First, the Ranger party in the game will be composed of characters posted by forum members. Post a quick description of the character, along with anything else you'd like for the LP author to include (such as desired specialization, skills, goals and everything else) to get included. Characters will be selected in the order of posting and slots they fill.

    Didn't make it? Don't worry. Chances are, the game will wipe out some characters in the party (those desert cacti are nasty), opening up slots. Death is permanent!

    Of course, everything else is welcome. Recommending choices, locations to visit and people to kill is welcome.

    <center>Go for the assault rifles</center>

    In order to give a glimpse into how the game plays and the story evolves, we'll be taking the path of the noob. Which means that, yes, we are going to fuck around with pistols, rifles, SMGs and grenades.

    <center>Let's Play updates</center>
    * Update 1: The Background
    * Update 2: And They're Off!
    * Update 3: Of Men, Dogs, Engines and TRADITION!
    * Update 4: <s>Of Dead Children, Varmints And Four Angry Men</s> Why People Should Learn To Follow Orders
    * Update 5: Rats in the Bar
  2. Dracon M'Alkir

    Dracon M'Alkir Vault Senior Citizen

    Jul 19, 2004
    Ranger Filecard 0000.76A8F#DELTA

    Birthname: Alexander Vassili Neftzovich
    Country of Origin: Former Soviet Union
    Former Employment: KGB Retainer
    Codename: "Optimalus"
    Specialization: Special Ops

    Brawling: II
    Perception: IIII
    Assault Rifle: II
    Silent Move: III
    Picklock: II
    Bomb Disarm: II
    Safecrack: II

    Background: Soviet missiles do not distinguish between friend and foe, all are enshadowed alike under the pluming mushroom clouds. Just as the atomic winds throw fallout and dust across the land, so shed too, are old allegiances, identities, and lives. Emerging from the devastation, by mere chance, a new world awaited this ex-Soviet assassin, now turned mercenary. The Desert Rangers were an obvious choice, as they now presented the only surviving quasi-military group within the region. They are also possibly the only method of communicating back with the motherland, if it still exists.
  3. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    <Center>Update 1: The Background</center>

    <center>What's Wasteland?</center>

    I'll let Mobygames start:

    The game itself is a classic RPG, featuring skill-based combat (fairly brutal too), imaginative enemies and a rather hard to follow plotline that relies on exploration, dissecting every sentence and filling in the gaps yourself. So basically, it's very much like pen and paper roleplaying games.

    <center>What happened?</center>


    Relations between the United States and the Soviet Union gradually deteriorated over the years. While the US involvement in the Drug Wars (1987-1993) and the expansion of NATO to include African states contributed to the process, the real problem was the Citadel. The Citadel was an ambitious American project, intended to build a full-fledged space station in Earth's orbit. The Soviet Union claims that this installation was merely a disguised military launching platform alarmed non-aligned countries, leading to a diplomatic crisis. As no solution could be reached, negotiations broke down and the Soviet Union declared war upon the United States and her allies. The conflict polarized the world. The United States were joined by NATO and puppet right wing governments set up during the Drug Wars, forcing the remaining countries worldwide to join the Soviets. In six short weeks only Switzerland, Sweden and Ireland continued to declare themselves neutral nations.

    The war escalated very fast. The United States were engaged on multiple fronts, stretching their forces thin. The weakened state of the American military was used by the Soviet Union and China to launch a surprise attack on American soil, invading the southwest. Overwhelmed by the invasion, American forces had to fall back, surrendering the coastal states to the enemy armies. However, the combined Russo-Chinese military was unable to effectively wipe out the American forces, which soon struck back, bolstered by reinforcements coming in from the east. The two armies clashed in battle near Needles, a small city in eastern California. The invasion ground to a halt.

    Nobody knows who pressed the button first. Some say that it was a panicked response to a distress call broadcast by the Citadel Starstation and the satellites across the world falling silent. Others believe that the holocaust was triggered by men driven mad by their lust for power. But regardless of cause, the war brought human civilization down, killing millions and placing the survivors in the Dark Ages again.

    On the same day that the U.S. and Soviet Union were attempting to extinguish each other, a company of U.S. Army Engineers were in the southwestern deserts building transportation bridges over dry riverbeds. As the nuclear holocaust took place, they sought shelter in a newly-constructed federal prison. Expelling the convicts (all of whom were condemned to death) to the surrounding deserts, they claimed the prison as their own. Over the weeks that passed, they invited the neighbouring small survivalist communities to join them. As the settlement grew and scouting parties ventured beyond the surrounding deserts, scouts reported that other communities survived the atomic maelstrom.

    Inspired by their success, the inhabitants of the former prison took it upon themselves to help other survivors rebuild and establish new lives. Following in the tradition of Arizona and Texas Rangers a century before, they took the mantle of Desert Rangers.

    For nearly a century the wasteland seemed largely peaceful, if violent and dangerous at times. But dark clouds gather on the horizon and old ghosts come to life to threaten the world once more...

    Note: Vigilant readers will notice that the above background largely differs from the backstory provided by the manual. That's because it's a composite of what is stated in the manual and what is actually included in the game. The game features remnants of the Russo-Chinese invasion (many elements in Needles, nationalities available during character creation etc.), while no mention is made of either the Citadel or the satellites disappearing. Thus, I've decided to write down the backstory, trying to include facts from both, ignoring what obviously doesn't fit. A possible in-universe explanation is that Karl Allard (in-universe author of the manual backstory) was born after the War and didn't have access to historical data. That or the manual was written way before the game was shipped.

    <center>Coming up next</center>

    The Rangers begin their journey, using a completely random character generation system.
  4. kgreene

    kgreene First time out of the vault

    Jan 30, 2006
    Well I wanted to do a little more research on what exact skills and so forth I might suggest but for now I'll just put in general skill types.

    name: bolts (insert better name here :) )

    In general, he is a tech guy. Any science, computer, mechanical, or repair skill is his forte. He should know some general first aid though. In fact everyone should have some general first aid skills if any of us want to survive.

    extended back story:
    Back before the nuke, his great great grandfather worked as a research scientist in a government research facility. Either due to the extreme stress or the secret and bizarre nature of the work, he had a nervous breakdown. He disappeared from the facility and fled to live in isolation in a commune in the desert and assumed a new identity. However, he took some of his research with him. Rumors of this research have been passed down through the generations. He has become obsessed with searching for the hidden research facility and for any clues as to details of the research done there. Because of this he has volunteered for the mission to investigate the happenings in the wasteland....
  5. Cold Zer0

    Cold Zer0 Still Mildly Glowing

    Aug 6, 2004
    My fondest memories are with the pre-made party of rangers. I was 8 years old when I played it for the first time on my C64 and so I didn't dare trying to change any of the skills.

    I vote for Snake Vargas to be in the party and let's get this party running :)
  6. Relentless666

    Relentless666 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Dec 23, 2008
    I've never played this game, so this sounds fun!


    A Desert Ranger who gets the job done. Pretty good with guns or knife. His Apache roots give him some knowledge in cryptozoology (That's a skill in this game, right?) and first aid.

    He has a pet iguana named Moxie. Also, he can't swim.
  7. batfax

    batfax First time out of the vault

    Apr 18, 2012
    Been a lurker for years, and all this excitement over Wasteland 2 gives me an excuse to finally register! Sign me up for the Ranger's reserves.

    Name: Alfred Flynn

    Gender: Male

    Nationality: U.S.

    Skills: Melee and Diplomacy skills such as pugilism, brawling, and confidence along with the usual myriad of things like climbing.

    Background: Once a known gentleman boxer, Al has decided to start a new life and join the Rangers to pick up new skills, meet new people, and solve new problems. Though he has those diplomatic skills (for the few situations they work in the Wasteland) he's not above getting his hands dirty with a crowbar to the head.
  8. 34thcell

    34thcell Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Sep 22, 2008
    Name: Cell Block


    Skill focus: pugilism, brawling and climb

    Gets the job done and/or dies.
  9. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    Not so much an update, but a quick rundown of Ranger candidates so far:

    # Optimalus - spec ops (I'll alter slightly the bio, the game's set 99 years [but a month ain't one] after the war)
    # Bolts - mechs
    # Vargas - whatever he's up to
    # Bison - COMBAAAAAAAT
    # Alfred Flynn - pugilism/social
    # Cell Block - grunt

    The first four will form the initial party, with the next two acting as backup (keep posting characters, this is planned to be a permadeath LP, meaning characters that die stay dead).

    I will be expanding their personalities, hopefully not straying too far from the original poster's idea.
  10. Sub-Human

    Sub-Human -

    May 31, 2011
    Will this be text-only? ;)
  11. Dracon M'Alkir

    Dracon M'Alkir Vault Senior Citizen

    Jul 19, 2004
    This is going to be so awesome.
  12. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    <center>Update 2: And They're Off!</center>

    We're beginning our adventure in Wasteland with a party of four characters, suggested by our posters (with one change - I switched Snake Vargas for a female, codename Czaress, to avoid this becoming a Ranger sausage fest, plus, there's one or two opportunities strictly for female characters). Our team (Ranger Advance Team 5) is effectively the Bad Company of the Ranger Center, relegated to investigating an unspecified series of disturbances in the desert:

    Optimalus - Ranger descended from Russian invaders. Team leader, specializing in combat, opening doors and disarming bombs. Known for liberal use of alien languages. Assigned to RAT5 due to a clerical error.

    "For some odd reason, I believe that someone up there hates my guts. "

    Bolts - resident techie, knowledgeable in medicine, all manner of technological matters and toasters. Degraded and assigned to RAT5 for pulling a nasty prank in the machine shop that nearly set the entire place on fire. And for incredibly lame puns.

    "Just because I'm Bolts doesn't mean I'm nuts."

    Bison - Native American Ranger, proficient in all combat disciplines. Eschewed training in swimming in favour of punching people in the face. Including the drill sergeant.

    "I mean, wasteland is a desert, right? What do I need swimming for in a desert? Right, Moxie?"

    Moxie is Bison's pet iguana.

    Czaress - assigned to RAT5 as backup, this Russian female soldier has a reputation for being unkillable. Think a female Rasputin. Degraded to private following an incident with the Chief Ranger.

    "He should be glad I didn't take his fingers."

    The character system in the game is based on a modified MS&PE (Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes) system penned by one of Wasteland's lead developers. It includes primary statistics, a wide array of skills and a simple, yet elegant combat module, basing on d6 (six-sided dice). There are seven primary statistics: Strength, Intelligence, Luck, Speed, Agility, Dexterity and Charisma, which govern several of the skills available in Wasteland.

    Apart from these there are two other, secondary statistics: Skill Points and Max Constitution. The former are used to learn and increase skills, while the latter represent the maximum number of hit points a character has. SP are gained by increasing Intelligence, while MaxCon is increased directly.

    Skills are the focus of the system and the game. As one lizard put it, good skills mean everything: as long as you have a high skill level, you can finish the game with lousy stats (barring, of course, Intelligence; a high IQ is necessary to learn advanced skills necessary in the endgame).

    Each skill starts at level one and costs a varying amount of skill points to learn. Basic ones only need one skill point, while more advanced ones require two or three. They develop throughout the game and increase with use, which means that while it is possible to raise them in libraries, it's superfluous, as they can be increased just as well in the course of the game.

    Apart from increasing skills by practicing them, characters also earn experience that counts towards character levels. Experience is gained both in combat (double if kills are made with melee weapons, which is why our Rats may run around bashing rodent skulls in with crowbars and assorted equipment) and through using skills. This system is exploitable, though balanced somewhat by level requirements that increase linearly.

    Now that we have our characters all decked out and ready to take on the Wasteland (Optimalus has a low MaxCon, though it can be remedied with armor), time to leave Ranger Center and take on the world!

    "We are sending you out to investigate a series of disturbances in the desert, Private."
    "Yes sir. Uh, what are we supposed to be investigating, again?"
    "I said, a series of disturbances."
    "Ok, but what kind of disturbances?"
    "Disturbing ones."
    : "Uh... ok."
    "Check in with the quartermaster for your gear."
    "AK-97s for everyone?"

    Every character starts with a basic weapon (M1911 .45 pistol or a VP91Z 9mm pistol), a crowbar, a knife and some random assorted items.

    The world is presented from bird's eye perspective. Player characters move on a square grid with varying amounts of time per step. The main map has one, single encounter table, so we're not going to encounter enemies relevant to the nearby location.

    Steeping out of the center, we happen upon the first enemy in our endeavour to save the Wasteland: a Wasteland Warrior.

    Bison: "I'm gonna feed you to my pet iguana!"

    Combat in Wasteland is a peculiar type of turn based combat: characters act in turns, with sequence determined by the Speed stat. However, it seems that actions are calculated simultaneously and even if you manage to kill something in the beginning of the turn, they often manage to peel off a final shot before expiring. This isn't a problem in the beginning, but becomes a definite issue late game with Xenon cannons and the like.

    The player gives orders to characters in his party: designating targets, fire modes (the only difference between a recruited NPC and a Ranger is that you don't get to choose the firemode for the former), switching weapons, running etc. Looks like I forgot to equip everyone with their weapons, so they're going at him with Fists. Time to fix that.

    In the time it took us to switch weapons, Bolts got clobbered. No biggie. Now we're armed and...

    "Dinner time, Moxie!"

    Thank you Bison. Killing enemies in melee yields double the experience.

    With that problem out of the way, time to head on.

    "Where to?"
    "Highpool. It's a small settlement to the west, in the mountains. Can't say much about it, even the Ranger manuals ignore it.
    "It's a small settlement formed out of the pre-War Camp Highpool. It was pretty self sufficent then, so when the Big One came, the campers and adults simply stayed behind and built a community from scratch. It's pretty nice as far as settlements go. No one tries to kill you every five or six steps. They also have their own water supply and agriculture."
    "I take it there are kids as well as adults there?"
    "Obviously. Do you think kids alone would be able to keep the place alive if they were kicking out everyone over sixteen for no real reason other than rule of cool?"
    "Point taken."

    Highpool's pretty much the only place you can safely sleep out in the open. Given that Bison and Optimalus took a beating (two more Wasteland Warriors) it's a good idea to rest.

    In Wasteland, the Esc key doubles as Cancel as well as Rest. Each keypress will pass time, making macros (a blessing of the PC version) a good way to quickly heal your party.

    A lot of exposition in Wasteland is delivered via text cues, making exploration (in the manner of stepping on absolutely every square and smacking into every wall) a must.

    "Recommend we visit the shop to offload the unnecessary."

    This big building houses the first shop we ran across. Perfect to unload useless items we start with.

    There are two basic types of shops: general stores that deal in non-combat items exclusively and weapons stores that buy and sell weapons. This one in Highpool is the former. We offload our hand mirrors and matches here, as they don't have any uses. Well, except for matches, these have an obscure, unique use.

    "Hey, look at this door. Wonder if Mr Jumbo is in."

    "Leave it alone, Bis--"


    "Why do I even bother..."
    "Might as well check the room."

    You see several handwritten notes on the desk. One note is cash accounts with the Rail Nomads. Another outlines sneak-attack plans against desert marauders. This last note seems odd since it clearly assumes only two attackers against many. One note is a reminder to put a trapdoor over the cave across the creek. Another is about hydrophobia.

    "This is interesting. Something about a trapdoor over the cave across the lake... The rest is just general notes."

    "Yeah, used to hear stories about the Camp before the War. Mind the bed, it's an, uh, scum pit."

    Juvies don't take kindly to us barging in. They don't attack you, though. They can only be engaged if you initiate an encounter and deliberately attack them. Though it yields a mangler (a weird AT weapon), let's hold out on infanticide.

    According to the decryptor, there should be an opportunity to look around Mr Jumbo's office by using a key hanging on the wall. No idea how to trigger it, though.

    "There's a note here."

    A note tacked to the wall says:
    -- cave
    -- adults: raid outlaws
    -- Jackie
    -- Bobby's dog?
    -- fix water purifier

    "Looks like we have found a... disturbance."

    "Let's ask around, maybe we can find Bobby or Jackie."

    Heading out, we look around southern Highpool.

    First up is the Workshop.

    "Let me ponder this for a moment..."

    "Aha! We need a new engine here and I can use it to fit Highpool's purifier."
    Bison: "Where do we find an engine? This is a Wasteland, after all."
    "The Rail Nomads might have them. Of course, they're... an odd bunch."
    "We have our next destination then. Let's check out the rest of Highpool first, they aren't going to die of thirst if they wait another day or so."

    Skill checks are divided into two: active ones, invoked by the player (for example, Bolts had to use his IQ on the purifier to figure out what's wrong) and passive ones, like this one here: the game checks the player character stats and skills to see, if they should be able to eg. find a cache.

    Ah, loot. We find a spare VP91Z pistol, some 9mm clips and a leather jacket. Oh, and cash.

    "Dibs on the jacket."
    Bis: "But--"
    "I have a feeling we'll all be wearing them by day's end."

    The jacket gives Optimalus a whooping one point of AC. This is nice, as each point of AC shaves off a single dice from the damage calculation. This is quite useful and makes every point count.

    Heading out, we visit what's probably the cheapest hospital in the game. Exams allow the player to identify what kind of disease the character has and cure it. Since diseases stop health from regenerating via rest, they're quite dangerous to a low and mid level party. Outside of that, they serve no practical purpose.

    Hospitals also heal HP, but they're pretty useless - resting nets the same effects, for free. Unless you really want to role play.

    "I see a kid over there. He seems kind of iffy."

    "Can you tell me anything about Jackie?"
    Kid: "I told Jackie to keep clear of that cave!"
    "What cave?"
    Kid: "The cave is over behind the bushes but we aren't supposed to go there. Don't kill my dog Rex, okay? Please?!"

    And he runs off. It's impossible to ask him more than two or three questions, as he always seems to run away.

    "Looks like we have a situation. Jackie is missing, probably in the cave, and there's some kind of dangerous canine on the loose."
    "Why else would we have a reason to kill it?"

    Now's decision time.

    Where should RAT5 go next? The obvious choice is to have them head over to the cave and look for Jackie. Alternatively, we may opt to fix the purifier. Or just push in Bison into the creek for laughs.

    Note: I'll add detailed character sheets tomorrow.
  13. Dracon M'Alkir

    Dracon M'Alkir Vault Senior Citizen

    Jul 19, 2004
    *clappa clap clap clap* :clap:

    What a start! :D

    I will let the forum members decide where the party should go next, but by the looks of things, if Highpool has outstanding debts to the "Rail Guys" (sp?) assuming they're not going to want to just part with an engine for the water purifier.. it might be worth it to check out the cave first, maybe they can pick up something valuable in there to trade to the Rail guys. :twisted:

    Edit: Oh, and since we're doing color 50x50 px icons, and this version of said character is supposed to be a descendant, I figured, why not:

    "Leather jacket included."
  14. kgreene

    kgreene First time out of the vault

    Jan 30, 2006
    cool... Bolts thinks we should check out the cave... then of course look around for an engine to help out highpool.

    While we're here, we could always take a dip in the water...
  15. Sub-Human

    Sub-Human -

    May 31, 2011
    Nice! True, checking out the cave makes the most sense. So is killing kids (for future references, Russian people don't actually) ;)
  16. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 3, 2003
    Gotta check out the cave first.

    Great stuff, Tagz.
  17. batfax

    batfax First time out of the vault

    Apr 18, 2012
    The cave... the cave of wonders.
  18. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    The next update is en route. Here are the start character cards:





    A clean Ranger profile card can be downloaded here:

    The next update needs to be formatted and will be posted tomorrow/on Friday, Tagztime.
  19. Sub-Human

    Sub-Human -

    May 31, 2011
    Looking good.
  20. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 3, 2003
    Nice one. Very pen & paper-esque.

    Looking forward to more.