Category Archives: Settings

3 Generations After The End: Monsters

This article is part of 3 Generations After The End, a post-apocalyptic setting suitable for any role-playing system.

Ratfolk

"Ratty" by Peter Seckler (CC-BY-3.0)

"Ratty" by Peter Seckler (CC-BY-3.0)

Ratfolk are intelligent enough to use tools, but remain sufficiently feral that they can rarely be reasoned with.

Ratfolk usually attack any creatures that invade their territory (which is usually a sewer beneath a crumbling city). They love water, and live in half-submerged nests stuffed with scavenged food and belongings.

In combat, they prefer to swarm enemies.

Ratfolk Warrior
Level 1
D&D/Gamma
World 4E
Savage
Worlds
FATE Apoc.
World

Strength 13 (+1) d6 +0 0 Weird
Dexterity/Agility 17 (+3) d8 +1 1 Hard
Constitution/Vigor 13 (+1) d6 +0 0 Cool
Intelligence/Spirit 10 (+0) d6 +0 0 Sharp
Wisdom/Smarts/Will 10 (+0) d6 +0 0 Hot
Charisma/Per 10 (+0) d6 +0
Speed/Pace 6 6
Initiative +3
HP/Toughness/Health 24 [12] 6 5
AC/Parry 15 5 +1 1
♣ Spear (at-will) Attack
…damage
+6 vs. AC
1d10+3
d6+3 +1 3
♥ Perception/Observation +5 d8 +1
D&D/Gamma World Fortitude 13 Reflex 14 Will 13
FATE Aspects Life in the Sewers (1)

Lizzies

"Lizmyst" by Peter Seckler (CC-BY-3.0)

"Lizmyst" by Peter Seckler (CC-BY-3.0)

People exposed to strange energies mutate into these small, savage, lizard-like humanoids with limited intelligence.

Lizzies are smarter than, say, ratfolk and have their own primitive societies. Clans of ten to fifty lizzies are usually led by a shaman who performs bloody rites and leads the clan on raids for sacrifices and slaves.

That is the other problem with lizzies: they love collecting slaves, who do much of the heavy lifting in lizzie societies before being sacrificed to their inscrutable gods.

In combat, lizzies prefer to stay at range, using their slings to great effect. The clan’s shaman will also attempt great feats of magic.

Lizzie Scout
Level 3
D&D/Gamma
World 4E
Savage
Worlds
FATE Apoc.
World

Strength 13 (+1) d6 +0 1 Weird
Dexterity/Agility 17 (+3) d8 +1 1 Hard
Constitution/Vigor 13 (+1) d6 +0 0 Cool
Intelligence/Spirit 10 (+0) d6 +0 0 Sharp
Wisdom/Smarts/Will 10 (+0) d6 +0 0 Hot
Charisma/Per 10 (+0) d6 +0
Speed/Pace 6 6
Initiative +3
HP/Toughness/Health 24 [12] 6 5
AC/Parry 15 5 +1 1
♣ Dagger (at-will) Attack
…damage
+6 vs. AC
1d10+3
d6+3 +1 3
♣ Sling (at-will) Attack
…damage
R15, +8 vs. AC
1d8+4
R12/24/48
2d6
+1 3
♥ Perception/Observation +5 d8 +1
D&D/Gamma World Fortitude 13 Reflex 14 Will 13
FATE Aspects Feral Cunning (1)

 

Lizzie Shaman
Level 5
D&D/Gamma
World 4E
Savage
Worlds
FATE Apoc.
World

Strength 10 (+0) d6 +0 1 Weird
Dexterity/Agility 12 (+1) d6 +0 0 Hard
Constitution/Vigor 8 (-1) d6-1 -1 1 Cool
Intelligence/Spirit 11 (+0) d6 +0 0 Sharp
Wisdom/Smarts/Will 19 (+4) d10 +2 0 Hot
Charisma/Per 15 (+2) d8 +1
Speed/Pace 4 3
Initiative +5
HP/Toughness/Health 70 [35] 8 8
AC/Parry 17 4 +2 1
♣ Staff (at-will) Attk
…damage
Reach 2, +10 vs. AC
2d6+6 phys. & stunned
d8+3 +2 4
♣ Crystal Blast (enc.)
…damage
Close burst 2, +10 vs. Ref
3d8+4 physical
R12/24
2d6+2
6
♥ Perception/ Observation +4 d6 +0
D&D/Gamma World Fortitude 16 Reflex 16 Will 18
Regenerate 5
FATE Aspects Magical Energy Field (1)
Special Ability: Crystal Energy Blast: Targets up to 3 creatures; +3 on the attack. Usable once per fight.

Arachnoid

'Skutt' by Peter Seckler (CC-BY-3.0)

'Skutt' by Peter Seckler (CC-BY-3.0)

These mutated creatures are actually quite sentient, and are slowly building their own subterranean kingdom. They occasionally burst to the surface, attacking human outposts for food and slaves (which may be the same thing).

Though sentient, they are not particularly intelligent, relying on brute force tactics and numbers. Tales are told of a telepathic device that allows the arachnoids to mold slaves into mindless fighters.

Arachnoid Soldier
Level 3
D&D/Gamma
World 4E
Savage
Worlds
FATE Apoc.
World

Strength 15 (+2) d8 +1 1 Weird
Dexterity/Agility 17 (+3) d8 +1 0 Hard
Constitution/Vigor 12 (+1) d6 +0 0 Cool
Intelligence/Spirit 10 (+0) d6 +0 1 Sharp
Wisdom/Smarts/Will 14 (+2) d8 +1 0 Hot
Charisma/Per 11 (+0) d6 +0
Speed/Pace 7 8
Initiative +6
HP/Toughness/Health 35 [17] 6 5
AC/Parry 18 6 +1 1
♣ Poison Claw (at-w)
…damage
+8 vs. AC
2d8+3 physical &
ongoing 5 poison
d8 and
poison
+2 3
♥ Perception/ Observation +6 d8 +2
D&D/Gamma World Fortitude 14 Reflex 16 Will 14
At-Will Standard Action: Leap: The arachnoid shifts up to 5 squares and makes a slam attack against an adjacent creature: +7 vs. Reflex, 2d6+6 damage.
Savage Worlds Special Ability: Leap: The arachnoid jumps up to 8. Adjacent characters must succeed on an Agility roll at -2 or take 3 damage.
FATE Aspects Spider Leap (1)

Trill, the Carnivorous Plants

'Carnivorous Plant (Tattoo Design)' by Paul Stratton (used with permission)

'Carnivorous Plant (Tattoo Design)' by Paul Stratton (used with permission)

Trill are dangerous because of their stealth. They lay out their tentacles–each dozens of yards long–along the forest floor, where they appear to be normal roots. When a meal approaches, the tentacles grip the trill’s prey and, secreting a dulling poison, pulls the struggling creature towards the trill’s sticky mouths.

Trill
Level 7
D&D/Gamma
World 4E
Savage
Worlds
FATE Apoc.
World

Strength 16 (+3) d8 +2 2 Weird
Dexterity/Agility 19 (+4) d10 +3 0 Hard
Constitution/Vigor 13 (+1) d8 +1 0 Cool
Intelligence/Spirit 8 (-1) d6-1 -1 0 Sharp
Wisdom/Smarts/Will 16 (+3) d10 +2 1 Hot
Charisma/Per 10 (+0) d6 +0
Speed/Pace 6 5
Initiative +10
HP/Toughness/Health 75 [37] 10 8
AC/Parry 22 7 +3 1
♣ Tentacle (at-will) Attk
…damage
Reach 2, +11 vs. AC
2d8+5 phys. & immob.
d10+3 +3 4
♣ Consume (enc.) Attk
…damage
Grabbed enemy, +9 vs. Fort
3d10+5 physical
2d6+5 +4 6
♥ Perception/ Observation +4 d6 +0
D&D/Gamma World Fortitude 19 Reflex 20 Will 19
FATE Aspects Lashing Tentacles (2)
Special Ability: Tentacle Grab: +3 to grab creature.

Demon

'SuborgMauler' by Peter Seckler (CC-BY-3.0)

'SuborgMauler' by Peter Seckler (CC-BY-3.0)

Occasionally, a wizard will get the bright idea to summon a demon to help around the house. It never ends well.

Demons are solitary creatures; they never work with others, even their own kind. Most of the demons summoned so far have been brutes, intelligent enough to take direction and exchange a few words.

Demons prefer to charge into battle, howling and dominating enemies with their glowing eyes and slashing at the rest.

Demon Skinflayer
Level 9
D&D/Gamma
World 4E
Savage
Worlds
FATE Apoc.
World

Strength 21 (+5) d12 +4 3 Weird
Dexterity/Agility 18 (+4) d10 +3 1 Hard
Constitution/Vigor 19 (+4) d10 +3 0 Cool
Intelligence/Spirit 18 (+4) d10 +3 0 Sharp
Wisdom/Smarts/Will 20 (+5) d12 +4 1 Hot
Charisma/Per 15 (+2) d8 +2
Speed/Pace 6 5
Initiative +13
HP/Toughness/Health 380 [190] 10 8
AC/Parry 24 7 +3 1
♣ Claw (at-will) Attk
…damage
Reach 2, +15 vs. AC
3d6+5 phys.
d10+5 +3 4
♣ Scream (at-will.) Attk
…damage
Close burst 5, +13 vs. Will
2d6+5 psychic & stunned
3d6+2 +3 6
♣ Dominating Gaze (minor at-will)
…damage
Ranged 20, +13 vs. Will
1d10+5 psychic & dominated
3d6+2 +3 6
♥ Perception/ Observation +10 d8 +2
D&D/Gamma World Fortitude 23 Reflex 22 Will 22
Foul Aura: If an enemy starts its turn within 5 squares of the demon, the enemy takes 5 damage.
FATE Aspects Horrid Thing From Beyond (2), Brute (1)
Special Ability: Scream: Attack all nearby creatures with +3.

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3 Generations After The End: The Races

Borderline Biennale 2011 by Abode of Chaos on Flickr

This article is part of 3 Generations After The End, a post-apocalyptic setting suitable for any role-playing system.

3 Generations After The End (3GATE) is designed to be a primarily human-centric setting. That’s great in a lot of ways. Humans are the dominant race in most RPG settings, and are certainly the stars of most modern media. It’s easy for us to relate on a common level with them, as well as imagining them competing in a fantastic world.

However, many systems also support the idea of multiple player races and 3GATE is easily expanded to include those.

After humans, the Beastmen are the most prominent race. Created by the early wizards after the great apocalypse, the beastmen are powerful men and women infused with bestiality of nature. Some are still under the control of wizards but many still escaped to the wilderness, forming their own tribes. Many races are naturally suited for beastmen as they already represent creatures who are part man, part animal. Minotaurs, lizardfolk, shifters, and thri-keen are all excellent choices. If you want to get creative, take a good look at the mechanics for the race and re-skin for different animals as needed. Gnolls are an excellent template race when playing D&D 4E. They get bonuses for hunting in groups, and their feats allow them to become excellent trackers or gain a natural claw weapon. These traits could be used to represent any number of animals in the world.

Beastmen are also naturally suited to working in a mixed party. Some are already allied with the wizards, while others have a natural reason to oppose them, so humans from either area could find reasons to work with them. They’re less naturally suited to the cities of the techno-priests, but in fantasy your characters are already exceptional. They could be converts, prisoners working toward release, or maybe they were an experiment left behind and freed by the priests.

Hayden Panettiere is a Cyborg by J (mtonic.com) on Flickr

Depending on the level of artifact technology you want to play with, the techno-priests offer another great race idea, that of the robot, cyborg, or android. The warforged of D&D, the gearforged of Midgard, and the giant robot of Big Eyes, Small Mouth are all great mechanics to use for these races. You could be a new creation, an experiment of the techno-priests and the ultimate representation of man’s worship of technology. Perhaps you were found and only recently reactivated. Many high tech labs would be outside of the city and in secret locations, leaving you to ally with the first willing humanoids you can find. You may even have been around since the apocalypse, remembering the old world. Talk to your GM about this option first. Many things from the past may need to be a secret to allow proper exploration and discovery. Maybe your character was a simple worker drone before, and never learned of life outside a three block radius, or it could be that years of poor maintenance have ruined your memory, giving you glimpses of the past in short, confusing bursts, making you a modern oracle.

Finally there are the deepest areas of the wild, where technology ceases to function, and the beastmen roam with unforgiving savagery. Few dare to tread here, and even fewer return to speak its tales. Since magic returned with the apocalypse, the secrets held here could be the source of the most fantastic racial options. Perhaps technology doesn’t function here because of magic’s rich veins. Fey lines could emanate from these zones, and perhaps their hearts are portals to other planes. One might stumble into cities of humanity’s mythic past: the mines of dwarves and gnomes, tree-top elven villages, or roaming tribes of goblins and giants. Like humans, members of these races may feel compelled to brave the unknown and explore the wastes outside their hidden sanctuaries. What happens when they leave, though? Does their magic change? Do they themselves become warped by the apocalypse? What grand creations might come into being if dwarven master craftsman were to work with the techno-priests?

Whatever you decide, use it to build the lore of your world, and have a grand adventure.

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3 Generations After The End: The Wolves of Thanatos

"Warrior Spirit" by Shane Gorski

This article is part of 3 Generations After The End, a post-apocalyptic setting suitable for any role-playing system.

When predators rise in the food chain and eventually hit the top, it is seldom that they remain in that place unchallenged. Given enough time, other predators will realize their potential and evolve into a threat to the complacent. The wizards of the World Reborn quickly asserted themselves as the dominant species across the devastated lands, but in many places across the lands there was no room for shared power; wizard fell upon wizard in desperate struggles to be the strongest among them. It is often when these wizards hunt alone that they fall victim to another predator, one that hunts them specifically.

Little is publically known about the Wolves of Thanatos, other than they seem to specifically target wizards throughout the wastelands. The few facts people have scraped together range from amazing to horrifying. Wizards have suddenly vanished in the night, even from their own lairs. The vast majority is never seen again, and looters who descend on the riches of the missing wizards say that, despite clear signs of a struggle having occurred, their libraries and artifacts are frequently intact. Their numbers aren’t known, nor has a base of operation been identified. The greatest question, though, is how they’re able to take down such immensely powerful beings where many have failed.

On only a few recorded occasions has a wizard returned from going missing, and in every case they’re found crucified to the gates of a city, butchered like a swine and with a look of unending terror on their faces. The reports from autopsies that are performed on the remains become locked away by the Techno-Priests and those who ask questions are either rebuked or jailed. Information among the common folk is little more than scary stories and rumors.

Those in the inner circles of the Techno-Priests, though, know much more about the Wolves than they’re letting on. The bulk of what is known has been chronicled by a Jocelyn Albrecht, a young Techno-Priest in training at the Grey City in The Valley. Thanks to her efforts, we now know that the Wolves of Thanatos are a band of fierce hunters who prey specifically on wizards. She also learned that they seem to have no political aspirations outside their own internal dealings, and their entire society is centered on the hunt itself. But, most significantly, she was the first to discover one of the secret hunting techniques of the Wolves: the ability to dampen magic.

The actual method they use to produce the mysterious liquid is guarded even fiercer than the knowledge of its existence, but the effects are now known through observation. The effects when introduced environmentally are profound: low concentrations of the liquid in the area and soil causes magic in the area to become significantly dampened. Successfully cast spells are weaker, and some fizzle before they can even manifest. Stronger concentrations intensified the effects. Robbed of their potent offensive and defensive abilities, wizards fall as if they were mere lambs.

Most intriguing was when the Wolves seemed to begin experimenting in the Assassin’s arts. In one situation observed by a spy planted in a wizard’s home, the wizard was drinking from a cup of tea when he suddenly choked and fell to the floor, shaking before going unconscious. The wizard recovered several minutes later… and his connection to the ley lines had been completely severed. He could no longer summon a light, let alone summon a creature or a lightning bolt. The spy recovered some of the tea, which tested positive for the dampening poison. We don’t know if the effect was permanent, though; the Wolves raided the lair hours later and the spy barely escaped with his life.

Combining the effects of their dampening poisons and brutal combat techniques with tactics that border on terrorism, the Wolves of Thanatos ride a thin line between being praised as saviors of the populace from the wizards and deeply feared for their horrific and extreme methods. Many wonder what will happen if all of a region’s wizards are slain, driven into hiding or move on to less hostile lands. Will the Wolves move on, or will they remain and look for new prey? Without knowing who they are or what their true purpose is, speculation runs rampant.

Tune in for the follow-up article later this month, as we dive deeper into the Wolves and learn about them from the inside.

 

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3 Generations After The End: Tomas’s Kingdom, Stronghold

This article is part of 3 Generations After The End, a post-apocalyptic setting suitable for any role-playing system.

The Eggshell

Tomas’s kingdom is entirely surrounded by a wall, which is no mean feat in this world. Near the roads, the wall is solid stone ten feet high; out in the wilderness, it’s mostly pieces of scrap tied together and barely comes up to a man’s chest.

This is the Eggshell, so named because it protects the precious life within it. Every road into Stronghold passes through large gates and guard houses set in the Eggshell. The guards stationed here can inspect anyone or anything, and often abuse their privileges.

Bif is a typical guard: broad-shouldered and narrow-minded. He’ll sift through belongings and find ways to claim valuables as “suspicious.”

Wom

The capital of Stronghold, Wom is a town of bustling activity. It was a civilized town before the Blast, too, and the old stone buildings that form the center of Wom have been fortified into a castle, complete with a circular wall and a foul-smelling moat.

Wom also has an arena. One day a week, beasts are raced in the morning, and human teams play aggressive ball games in the afternoons.

Most crimes in Tomas’s kingdoms are punished by forced gladiator combat. Once a month, all criminals are brought to the arena and fight to the death. The survivor returns next month. If a criminal lasts for more than a few months, he or she is put against increasingly large teams of enemies and eventually killed.

Tomas’s Army

Make no mistake: Tomas’s army is probably the best in the world. He forged a rabble of bandits into a hard military unit, conquered the towns that now make up Stronghold, and built his followers into an army.

The army is divided into three levels:

The Guard are the lowest level. All able-bodied men (12 to 30 years old) are forced to serve in the Guard for six-month terms every three years. Their training is minimal by Tomas’s standards but world-class outside. Any member of the Guard has an iron will.

The Fists are chosen from the Guard to live out their lives in the Army (and rarely have a choice in the matter). They train daily and are feared throughout the land. For the past five years, they’ve been the center of the Project.

The Fists are actually Tomas’s biggest problem, as they are the most restless. They need new enemies to fight.

The Blades are Tomas’s personal bodyguards. Every Blade is hand-picked from the Fists as an example of some extreme: bravery, loyalty, might. They’re an odd lot, but they’re fanatically devoted to Tomas, and any one could easily defeat a dozen normal men.

The Project

Tomas is building. A lot. Fortifications and towers are going up all over Stronghold. Only Tomas and the Blades know what it’s all for.

Plot Hooks

The PCs are sent by a wealthy metal trader who sent his youngest son to work in Stronghold for six months. That was two years ago.

The PCs find a dying man who claims that the buildings are being constructed in a magical pattern that, when completed, will summon a demon that will give Tomas tremendous power but will destroy the valley in the process.

The PCs find a dying man who claims to have been attacked by one of Tomas’s Blades. He says that Tomas’s actual goal is to build an unstoppable army.

The PCs are captured on a pretense and brought to the arena for the monthly gladiator fights.

Tomas

Archetype: Stern general

Actors to imitate: Z from Men In Black, that guy who always plays Wyatt Earp

Behaviors: Stand straight, frown, bark orders, speak in straightforward English

Goals: Find out if the PCs are a threat or useful.

What he’ll say: If Tomas doesn’t see the PCs as threats, he’ll hold nothing back.

He sees himself as the only sane organizational force in this part of the world. The wizards are insane and insanely dangerous, and nobody else is strong enough to protect a lot of natural humans. He has no problems with mutants themselves, but he’s afraid that humanity will mutate further into complete monsters, and that civilization will never be able to recover.

He readily admits that he wants to invade Shedra’s domain, defeat her armies, and kill the witch. He sees her as a threat.

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3 Generations After The End: The Valley

3 Generations After The End is a system-agnostic post-apocalyptic setting that we’re developing here at the Gamer Assembly. This article describes the default play area.

The Valley

~ KOLGRIM: Venture into the Blackened City - CH7 ~ by Rising Damp on Flickr

~ KOLGRIM: Venture into the Blackened City - CH7 ~ by Rising Damp on Flickr

The Valley’s a hard place. Harder than most.

The Gray City hulks on the western horizon, of course; can’t miss that. The aging towers house the Priesthood and their supposed civilization. They’re safe enough amidst the crumbling asphalt and filtered sunlight, between the giant flying lizards roosting in the roofs above and the crawling scavengers of the sewers below. May the ratfolk never learn how to organize.

­Outside, it’s your choice between Tomas and Shedra. Tomas rules his kingdom with ruthless efficiency, more towns and armies sprouting up every month, it seems. Life in his kingdom is tiring but hopeful: he’s built a pocket of real living that keeps many dangers out.

Shedra the Witch pays little attention to her subjects. They pay a lot of attention to her, and to her cloaked priestesses. The latter roam the streets, occasionally comandeering people and their gear for strange rites. No reason is given. Whole families can disappear overnight.

This is the price paid for the magical barrier that keeps hostile creatures from entering Shedra’s kingdom. This barrier must also warn Shedra when anyone enters, as strangers quickly earn a visit from her priestesses, who learn the strangers’ business…or kill them. Her kingdom isn’t as prosperous as Tomas’s, but it’s a little easier. For a price.

Their kingdoms are surrounded by the Wilds, a savage forest filled with even more savage creatures. Hell, the plants themselves will kill you. And that itself is strange. Those few who’ve lived outside of the kingdoms or the city will tell you that the things living in that forest don’t make sense, and don’t live anywhere else. It’s like they were made in there. By someone. Or something.

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3 Generations After The End: An Introduction

'In the end all shall be still and silent' by Rising Damp on Flickr

'In the end all shall be still and silent' by Rising Damp on Flickr

Welcome!

3 Generations After The End is a small post-apocalyptic setting that the Gamer Assembly will be building over the month of January. Expect to see monsters, locations, and plot hooks that you can use for your own campaigns.

We’re deliberately keeping 3 Generations After The End generic, and in fact, each monster will include stats for D&D 4E, Gamma World 4E, Savage Worlds, FATE, and Apocalypse World. We have quite a few articles planned.

Meanwhile, here’s an introduction to the world:

The Apocalypse Introduced Magic

The sky collapsed. The sun vanished. The moon cracked. Waves plunged the cities into the sea. Airplanes fell from the sky.

And the wizards, warlocks, and witches of olden times returned. These may be related.

The wizards (which is what most people call those with magical ability) soon retreated into abandoned labs and created armies of strange beasts and beast-men. These creatures could not be controlled, and many of whom still survive in bands around the world.

Wizards Are Powerful And Feared

Though quite a few low- to medium-powered wizards live scattered around the world, the public imagination views wizards as super-powerful, quasi-immortal beings who can mold reality to their will and rule their fiefdoms with absolute authority.

Wizard-ruled kingdoms are usually theocracies, basically large and organized cults devoted to the will of the wizard ruling them. Those involved are rarely happy about this, but those who disobey are quickly discovered and sacrificed to demons (or worse things).

Techno-Priests Control the Cities

Within the crumbled cities of yore, the Priesthood has arisen to preserve the technology of the past. In some places, they are merely the preservers of vast archives of knowledge. In others, they subdue and rule the others who live in their cities, demanding tribute and sacrifices.

The cities themselves are marginally safer than the wilderness, but hold unique dangers. Winged lizards nest on the roofs far above, while ratfolk scurry through the sewers. Old parks are now farms struggling to coax even mutated vegetables from the tired earth.

Savage Nature Abhors Technology

The deeper one presses into the wild forests and jungles of the world, the less technology functions. Vicious, powerful creatures live deep in the wild places. Rare is the non-wizard who can survive in the wilderness.

Regions Are Controlled By Wizards Or Warlords

Open, habitable spaces–the farmlands of old–are usually split up into small nation-states, each ruled by a wizard or a warlord. Technology has regressed to a subsistence level of food production, scavenging, and trade. Remnants of the old world are used for shelter and raw materials.

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