I'd had an idea for a game:>A group of wayward Wanderers (the PCs) find themselves invited aboard the last train bound westward by the engineer (the DM) in the hopes of finding some last bastion of civilization out there at the end of the tracks.>As they stop here and there along the way, the Engineer asks the Wanderers to leave the train in search of food or water or supplies, to investigate the area or try and find any new Passangers (NPCs) who might want to join them.>There's no turning back once they've set out on their journey, not that there's much to turn back for as they make their way across the depopulated vastness of the countryside, moving ever onward toward that dreamlike goal.Would this idea work? If so, what sorts of tasks would the DM Engineer give the PC Wanderers? What would they find along the way? What NPC Passengers would they pick up? What would they find at the end of the line?
I like the concept. I could see each session having a really nice structure if you had enough time to work it out.>Some time on the train to talk with the other PCs and NPCs on the train>Given a new mission by the Engineer when the train stops>Go through a self contained map of the area searching for supplies and potential survivors >Probably need to make it back to the train before it's forced to leave without themMy one question is, what is the main threat in this setting?
Stop fucking railroading me, DM
I adore the idea, sidequests of fixing up the train, running into societies built in train stations...>>53918561Biggest problem being if the pc's are all like "Fuck the train yo"
>>53918561>There's no brakes on this rpg train...
>>53918561Pic related.To contribute; what about the rails? Maybe the train has to travel at a snail's pace with a party scouting ahead to make sure the rails are intact / free from major obstruction?This scouting role would be perfect for the P.C.s, as well as having them looking out for ambushes because perhaps the train carries huge amounts of stuff for trading wherever it stops?Also; I'm stealing this idea and there's nothing you can do to stop me.
>>53918498I think that the main threat could be more of an existential one in that there really isn't anything left for the Engineer or Wanderers to go back to, wherever they've come from. They might be able to survive on their own for a while, perhaps for a very long while, but civilization has collapsed and they wouldn't be doing much more than surviving. By going on this rail journey, the DM and PCs are building something of a community aboard that train.I think an interesting way to end the campaign would be for there to be no last bastion of civilization waiting for them at the end of the line, but if they've worked hard and gotten enough NPCs to join them, they'll discover that they've brought civilization with them.
>>53918626That's all well and good, but what is threatening the lives of the players? Is it just bandits and raiders? Monsters of some kind?
>>53918645They would have various mundane concerns, like having enough food, water and medical supplies to support themselves and any NPC Passengers they pick up along the way. That alone would keep them hustling along for much of the game. Also, their train would be a big, relatively slow-moving target as it chugs along across the countryside, and may attract bandits like you suggest. As for monsters, there could be a supernatural angle to it, though I hadn't considered it yet.
>>53918645Bandits, raiders, running out of supplies, all possible sort of delays and accidents, whatever caused the apocalypse...
>>53918694>>53918697I'm just trying to see it from a gameplay scenario. The dwindling supplies and needs for repair are fantastic, I like it a lot, but something else more tangible and direct would be needed to always have the players on their toes when they're off of the train. I think for now, we should just have that threat being bandits, so we can focus more on the train related details and story elements without worrying about any apocalypse details or threats that feel forced in.
>>53918755You'd want the bandits to be more than just faceless goons, I'd imagine. Give them personalities and motivations beyond the normal pillaging and plundering that sometimes goes on in these post-apocalyptic games. Maybe one of them has a Captain Ahab complex and comes to consider the train to be his Great White Whale. Maybe a pair have a kind of Bonny and Clyde relationship going. Some of the bandits may still be good enough to let board the train as Passengers.>>53918621The train would definitely be forced to travel at a sub-optimal speed due to track damage and obstructions, so having a set of forward scouts, maybe equipped with one of those rail-trucks might be a good idea. They can take it off the tracks and use it to drive about the towns they stop in to.
>>53918645>>53918694How do your Players feel about interparty conflict? You could totally run this like the Mountain Witch, where they are keeping secrets from each other and have reasons to hate one another.You could also run it like Paranoia, where the Engineer is just as much of a threat to the players as the world outside.Also, you should watch pic related.
What about vidya like Convoy and Skyshines Bedlam, those node-to-node rougelike style games? Surely there is some inspiration there. Also what system are you thinking of using for all this op?
>>53918755On top of them being more than just faceless goons, have them play completely different. One group might be a bunch of wild men on horses that keep harassing the train before jumping in to try and salvage whatever they can, another may be a particularly clever set of bandits who plan to force it to stop by blowing up a certain part of the track and then forcing the train to surrender, another may just straight up have set a "friendly" town but actually it's a hijacking station where the entire town is filled with machine gun nests and snipers and what have you. There are many ways you can have interesting bandits.
>>53918856A little interparty conflict would not be out of place, given that they're going to be cooped up with one another for long periods of time and may not have known each other before the Engineer and the Train brought them all together. It might be an interesting idea to ask each player to come up with a secret for their Wanderer that the character would not want anyone else to know about.The same thing applies to NPC Passengers aboard the train as well, and it could very well be that not everyone that gets invited aboard the train is a good person who has the well being of the rest of Train at heart.
>>53918926>>53918849I really like this. Having each encounter as a unique thing instead of just random mobs to deal with has so much potential. Hell, you could even space them out enough so bandits are a threat, but for all the players know they could go a whole session without getting into a single fight. You'd want a group that's really up for some solid RP.
Oh, by the way, OP, check out a fairly interesting game called This War of Mine (based on the Yugoslav Wars), and The Final Station (which is quite literally this idea we're getting at). There's some stuff in it that you can definitely use for that idea.
>>53918967Exactly. They'd be less "random encounters" and more like a series of setpieces and storylines, some of which may be one-shot affairs unique to different stops along the line while others might have longer-lasting effects on the lives of the Wanders and Passengers.For instance, running afoul of one bandit leader and sufficiently angering him will turn him into that Captain Ahab analogue, causing him to follow and harass the train for miles, even to the detriment of his own men's wellbeing.
Oh, an idea I just had if you'd rather a more freak-like game (more leaning towards Fallout than STALKER): have the Engineer die throughout the story multiple times and always come back in a slightly different outfit.
>>53918453Isn't this the premise of Metro Exodus?
>>53919051I'd actually thought that the Engineer might die part-way through the campaign. He'd be built up as the DM/DMPC, an older father figure or mentor to the player characters who doled out tasks and missions, guarded the train and provided instruction when necessary.And then he dies, perhaps in a raider attack, perhaps just from old age or some sickness he'd been hiding from his Passengers.The Wanderer PCs would be left then to figure out how to conduct the train, how to manage their time and resources and how to deal with the NPC Passengers and the bandit attacks and everything that comes with driving this rolling beacon of home across the country.
I actually kind of want to run this game now and develop the setting deeper and deeper.Also the idea of having this go on multiple campagisn with multiple trains but the same engineer would be very interesting.
>>53918453Sounds like a cool concept. You'd need to have a plan for when things go "off the rails" so to speak.But otherwise a lot of the suggestions are pretty cool.
>>53918453>What sorts of tasks would the DM Engineer give the PC Wanderers? What would they find along the way? What NPC Passengers would they pick up?- A tree across the tracks needs to be cleared by the PCs to let the train pass. Upon closer inspection, it looks like the tree had been purposefully cut down to block the railway. Did someone plan an ambush?- While stopping to refuel, the PCs are sent out to scrounge for food, water and whatever supplies they can find. They discover that the town is not quite dead, however, and get into trouble for looting.>While traveling at night, the PCs spy a great many lights burning off in the countryside, some distance from the railway. Could it be civilization out there? Is finding out worth traveling so far from the train?>An NPC becomes a passanger on the train, in part by saying that she is a doctor and has medical supplies with her. It becomes known, at the worst time, that she is actually a veterinary doctor.>Over the course if the campaign, the train gets divided up into makeshift living quarters with each PC and NPC getting their own small section to decorate and personalize however they see fit.
>>53919451>>53918561"What is railroading" and "what does it mean to go off the rails" are interesting questions, especially in regards to this particular idea. I think that a big part of it would be establishing the setting and the players' expectations right from the beginning.The world has ended. There is a Train. The Engineer promises to take you Wanderers someplace better than where you were. You have to help make that happen and pick up other Passengers along the way. Good luck.I think that you also have to make the Train appealing, to a certain degree. The Train represents safety and civilization. It becomes home.>>53919533Nice ideas!>>53919444How deep to you plan on going?
>>53919682Well, mostly explaining why the world has ended - I like the idea of a cold age - and why the train is leaving - possibly to escape this massive blizzard that's coming and doesn't seem to stop. Also developing a few towns and how they communicate with one another and the train conductors. Kind of give a sense of the train being the work of more than just an Engineer with a Train and more of an organization thing - but the players don't have contact with that organization.
>>53918453I'd play in this campaign
>>53919758You know... that actually puts me in mind of an old setting that I'd been toying with long ago..The long and the short of was that there had been some sort of "white apocalypse" that had turned the country into a winter wasteland. Those that remained lived in huge fallout-shelter cities sunk deep into the ground.Because of the blizzards that almost constantly raged on the surface, these bastions of civilization were all linked together by a rail network hardy and heavy-duty enough to survive exposure to the elements.It all had a sort of retro-tech vibe to it, and a big part of the setting was that some of the shelter-cities' systems were beginning to fail, having outlived their designed operating life by the time the events of the campaign would take place.
>>53919533Looks like I messed up my formatting.>The train passes into a long, long tunnel, forcing the PCs and NPCs into the dark for a time. When they emerge again into the light, it is discovered that an item of personal value to one of the characters as been stolen.>The train stops in a small, rural town that still has a few farmers and scavvers managing to eek out a living. While doing some trading, the PCs discover that the town is regularly raided by bandits and could use some help.>With a rainstorm whipped up around the train and no plans on stopping anytime soon, the PCs and NPCs decided to open up some of the stranger crates and trunks they'd been saving in the baggage car for a rainy day.>While exploring a seemingly abandoned town, the PCs catch the unmistakable scent of really good barbeque being cooked by someone who really knows what they're doing somewhere really close by.>While rolling through raider territory, one particularly crafty and stealthy goon manages to sneak aboard the train. His goal is to try and steal whatever he can and disconnect the last car, escaping inside as the train moves on.
>>53920278There are a lot of different scenarios that could work for an episodic sort of campaign like this.
>>53919682One incentive to picking up Passengers could be that when a PC dies the player has to pick the new one from the pool of Passengers. Maybe the players don't even have fixed characters but choose theirs for each mission among them, according to what specialty is needed?
This reminds me of Fear Equation. It's a game where you play as a train conductor running from a eldritch fog and darkness apocalypse. Not super original, but it's still miles more creative than most AAA games.Link: https://steamcommunity.com/app/428350Specifically, I really prefer the bandit and cold age setup that you're working with. The enemies in fear equation are either a bunch of "totally not Grues, seriously guys" or various other nightmare monsters. The bandits/cold age that you're using don't give as much of a cosmic horror feeling, and I don't think cosmic horror plays to the strengths of what you're trying to do here.However, there are some things I remember from fear equation that you might find interesting, related to what >>53918856 and >>53918950 were saying. In Fear Equation, the passengers on the train all have various beliefs about what caused the end of the world. Some thought that it was the Wrath of God, others thought it was a natural disaster. A problem big problem was keeping different faiths, ideologies, and beliefs from killing each other. The tradition theologians think the sufficiently advanced scientists are the reason the world ended. The sufficiently advanced scientists think that the occultists are plebs that need to be purged, etc. etc.If the engineer on your train is accepting people from every part of society, then it's inevitable that factions will spring up among the passengers.There's another concept from the game that you might be interested in. In Fear Equation, the conductor PC had the choice of power or not powering the various carriages. The bonus of powering a carriage is that you give people more room and they're less likely to cut each other's throats.OTOH, you had to use more fuel. Maybe you can set a minimum of a resource that the PCs need to get, and as the PCs exceed that minimum, the conditions in the train get better, while tension gets worse if they only skim the mission requirement.
>>53921116That's a pretty good idea, especially if you were planning on running this as a high-lethality sort of game, and having stable of characters to draw from could be a good way to bring some variety to the different stops along the line.Another angle could be that the NPC Passengers brought aboard the Train have various utilities that come into play at various points in the game. Picking up a doctor, for instance, might mean that the Wanderer PCs will be able to recover from more serious injuries they've sustained while fighting, can bring their expertise to bear to complete tasks, and can help keep the rest of the Passengers healthy.Also, I sort of like the idea that bringing a well-rounded group of survivors to the end of the line might be one possible win-condition for the game.>>53922805I like the idea of there being interpersonal conflicts, or at least that interpersonal conflict is something that the PC Wanderers will have to remain mindful of on behalf of the Engineer, for the well-being of the whole Train. While most game sessions might take place at various stops along the line, a good number should take place aboard the Train as it travels, and would focus on making sure that the Wanderers and other Passengers are getting along and have everything that they need.Improving the quality of life aboard the Train would also be a constant, driving force.
>>53918453That's not your idea, thats the plot to Metro: Exodus. You can't bamboozle me OP.
>>53924786Yeah, apparently there are several games based around this premise and my idea isn't as original as I'd thought!I just liked the idea of a game where all the characters have been brought together on a train in the belief that they're bound for somewhere better than the places they came from. I've also been interested for some time in a game where the players are forced to travel ever onward, and cannot return to the places that they've previously visited.
>>53920278>It looks as if a long section of track past a certain station has shifted and buckled, requiring the PCs to break into the old stationmaster's office to try and find rail maps that offer an alternate route westward.>A group of survivors have set up their tents alongside the tracks in hopes that a train might pass and offer them some sort of aid. It's up to the PCs whether or not they give them supplies or invite them aboard.>High above, a rare airplane has caught sight of the train and follows it for a time, waggling its wings and swooping low in what might be a sign of friendship or an attempt to alert the PCs to some hazard.>A huge storm blows up, threatening to derail the train if thy continue onward. However, if they stop to wait out the weather there is an equally likely chance that the tracks will wash out ahead of them.>The PCs catch staticky snippets of radio as they travel across the country, the different DJs they encounter providing insights into the dates of the towns and cities they pass along the line.
>>53918856I think the Snowpiercer angle might be fun here. The train is already well established and divided by class, with the upper crust near the engine and the PCs starting in the very back. Those in the very back are sent on dangerous missions to keep the train going. The PCs can try to work their way up the train or fight the system.I also like the idea of the Engineer becoming more unreliable/less stable over time.
>>53925878Another angle might be that some of the Passengers brought onto the Train are starting to set a stratified society like this up, and it's the Wanderers' job to decide whether or not they're going to allow this sort of thing to happen. Depending on the dispositions of the characters and their players, they may set themselves and the engineer up in the highest class position.
>>53925878>I also like the idea of the Engineer becoming more unreliable/less stable over time.This actually makes me think that the apocalypse that occurs is a supernatural one and I can imagine taking some inspiration from the "Sunless Sea" for it.>An eternal night has fallen over the world, but far over the western horizon there are still glimmers of light, evidence that many hope proves that the sun has not entirely disappeared from the world.>The PCs are passengers aboard one of the few trains that still cross-cross the dark and eldritch countyside, stopping at the various eerie stations and waypoints along the line as the chase after the sun.
>>53918453Let's be real, you just want an excuse to copy paste Galaxy Express 999 onto a tabletop game.
>>53926280To be honest I've never seen it, though it's been on my list of "classics" to watch. What from that series would make good inclusions in a game like this?
>>53918453It's kind of like the Rogue Mistress adventure for Stormbringer. You're in a vehicle that stops at strange places where stuff happens.
>>53926147If you tie that with a bit of magic and that idea of the Engineer dying every session and coming back in a slightly different outfit, it's a damn good supernatural tech setting.By the way, if I were to pick a rough technology level, late 19th to early 20th would be my pick.
>>53926870>By the way, if I were to pick a rough technology level, late 19th to early 20th would be my pick.It might be cool to keep the timeframe a little nebulous. A little strange. The Train may be pulled by an early 20th century steam locomotive, but other trains they pass along the line may be from other eras like the one in the OP and the various people that are met over the course of the campaign could range from mid 1800s to the present day, cars and horse carts sharing the roads, modern radio and old record players providing entertainment. That sort of thing.
>>53926147>>53926870>>53926997I hadn't thought of it, but the game really could work in a more dark and mystical sort of setting.
>>53927139It could work on a sort of Fallout style of setting, for example, or even a Bioshock or Transistor-esque style. Man, that sounds like a fun game.I kind of want to run this but also play this.
>>53925583Have a few supernatural events:>As the train rolls on through a terrible thunderstorm, characters watching the skies can see huge, whale-like shapes slowly swimming amidst the stormclouds between lighting strikes.>Some of the stations that the train passes in the dark are crowded with weary figures, sad, shadowy travelers who want to board. Whether or not the train stops for them is up to the PCs.>The train enters a tunnel that not only seems to stretch on and on forever, but also seems to be twisting into a gravity-defying corkscrew the curved into it they travel through it.>Time, or at least the recollection of it, seems jumbled here and the NPCs have similarly unreliable recollections of their own pasts. The PCs' memories are only slightly better regarding their time before the train.>The train passes through a swamp full of impossibly tall, glowing mushrooms in which a variety of likewise luminescent fauna make their home, stopping to stare at the train as it rolls through.
>>53927938The basic premise can work in a more sci-fi or anachro-tech setting just as well as it works in a mystical or supernatural one.
Has this thread been archived?
>>53928616Not yet, no.
You may also look at, or at least read some of the documentation from, the pc game "Transarctica." It takes place on a train going back and forth between tiny settlements during a nuclear winter. Last I checked it was abandonware, but at least the manual should be available to read for fluff. Really cool idea building up here by the way, hope there's a story time in it somewhere down the tracks.
>>53918694Look, it's _really_ hard to have a system that makes players 'feel' resource pressure from things like food and supplies. I'm not sure I've ever seen a system that does this well.Any advice, anons? I have another campaign I wanted to run that also was supposed to try to use resource pressure (this time in space), but I was never satisfied with how to make the PC's actually interested to manage supplies and engaged enough to want to go out to find more.
>>53929093Came here to post about Arctic Baron, too.
>>53929195>>53929093That sounds like a really interesting source of inspiration, and I'll definitely take a look to see what I can find out there on the net. It seems like a wintry apocalypse is the one that many posters are gravitating toward.>>53929174It is a tricky problem.
>>53929174I tried with the PCs managing a town, and what I found really helped was actually _not_ letting the players make decisions by committee. Make one PC 'in charge,' and give them both the power and responsibility to keep things going and set priorities for the others.When things go great, the PCs get closer. When things go poorly (the townsfolk are getting restless because they don't have access to food or medicine), it's a good opportunity for forcing hard decisions and getting intraparty conflict
Do you guys think we could come up with a system for this sort of game? Plus some GM notes to help people that'd like to run this? I mean, we needed a few people to flesh out the ideas of bandits being more than just blank faces, besides that having notes on that sort of stuff helps giving GMs ideas.And if we're doing this, get some design notes on the damn thing, they make reading rules far more interesting
>>53931302We could assemble roll-tables for different stations, stops and hazards along the way.
>>53929728It might be possible to give every PC control without making committee decisions. Give every PC unilateral control of only one section of the train, and either the conductor GMPC works with overarching resource needs, or the party leader works on overarching resources. Maybe resource management could be something that the players could bring home and pass off to the GM a couple days later, so that the management doesn't take up game time. That sounds almost like homework, though.As others have mentioned, though, you'd need very specific kinds of players in order for this to be any fun.
>>53931588So, when there was that snowcrawler setting craze a few months back, I started playing with ideas about how mechanical, life support, navigation, etc on the vehicle would work and degrade over time based on whether or not they were stationed and how players spent their time day to day (maintenance, repair, faffing about, etc). I'm not sure I feel good enough about it to share it, but I'd be happy to write up the general ideas I had if there's interest / you think it's applicable to how you imagined running the train.
>>53918453I saw the new Metro 2033 trailer too, OP.
You could totally have cool events, like murderer on the train, who did it? It's cliche, but I like it. I Like this setting
>>53932269This sounds like a good idea. Go to it, anon!
Giving this a bump real quick, working on some random station generator tables.
>>53918453Pretty gay desu that's way too generic
Station Appearance>1 - Modern terminal>2 - System of tunnels>3 - A tiny brickhouse and a big platform>4 - Platform floating over water>5 - Huge, classic terminal>6 - Charming woodhouse and small platformCondition>1 - Mostly alright>2 - Recently abandoned>3 - Completely decrepit>4 - Occupied by a paramilitary force>5 - Occupied by a mob of religious fanatics>6 - Upside downPeople on the station>1 - No one>2 - A family>3 - A group of friends>4 - A few groups waiting for a train>5 - Enough people to fill a wagon>6 - Absolutely packed with peopleAny other trains in the station?>1 - No trains>2 - Yes, a few, but abandoned>3 - Yes, a few, and in good state>4 - Yes, a lot, but abandoned>5 - Yes, a lot, and in good state>6 - One train - an exact copy of your train - down to the people in the windowHere, a few random station generator tables
>>53932269Please, go ahead on! I remember those threads fondly and would like to hear what someone's made of them!
>>53928616>>53928927How 'bout now?
>>53936078Also, another post-apoc train pic.
>>53935975>>53932836Alright, typing up a general explanation now. It'll take me a bit though.
>>53918453>Windshields not fixed>Lights are undamaged but not onYeah no, that train ain't going anywhere
>>53936279>>53936214 hereJust a friendly bump - almost finished with the write-up.
>>53935975>>53932836 Here goes.
>>53937957>>53937957I like this a lot. It's simple and easy to understand, and the way you've presented it has a lot of flavor. I wonder if it can be expanded and adapted to include some sort of social metric that takes the well-being of the NPC Passengers into account. Maybe it could be adapted into something like this:>[LOCO]>The state of the Train's locomotive, the means by which it heads ever Westward.>[CARS]>The state of the carriages which make up the Passengers' living and working space onboard.>[COMM]>The means by which the Engineer, Wanderers and Outsiders communicate with each other.>[WEAP]>The weapons and armaments that Wanderers and Passengers can use to defend themselves.>[LIFE]>The quality of life aboard the Train, including food, medicine and creature comforts for all.>[MOOD]>The overall mood of the Engineer, Wanderers and Passengers aboard the Train.
>>53938975Thank you! Yeah, I tried to make it in response to the other vehicle / ship systems I saw that were really, really interested in simulating minutia like raw tonnage and impulse. Fun for many players, but I've never found that level of detail to compelling.I think it'd be great to adapt the ideas - that's part of why I thought to ask if people were interested for the train concept. I think it could definitely work for abstracting psychological states of the passengers, etc. I would personally need a bit more time and thought to see how something like 'wear' or 'repair' would make sense, but I think you're already off to a good start.
where da hood, where da hood, where da hood at!?
>>53935397Personally I'd go for percentile dice and make some options more likely than others.
>>53943561>Something huge and invisible stalks the trainyard.
>>53942155Hmm, that makes more sense, actually.
This shit is good; if I had a group I'd run this. Would you use a currency system or pure bartering?
>>53918453>The Engineer invites your party to the dining carriage for brunch>You assume your seats before a darkened stage, the general rumble of the locomotive muted slightly by the chatter of the diners>The lights go up, revealing a pair of solitary revellers, boasting a lone piano>Idle chatter quickly falls to silence, the train rumbles ever onwards, one of the performers opens his mouth...."Have...you...ever had to take a shit on a train?"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEv6dqVPLSM
store.steampowered.com/app/435530/The_Final_Station/It's like Final Station but without zombies and 8bit graph
>>53946915You know, I'd say both. There may be holdouts in some or the towns that the train stops at that are better off and still have hope that the country will bounce back. These folk may still ask for bills and coins in exchange for good and services. Other people in other places may be more willing to trade and barter for what they need.
>>53918602I could even see that working pretty well for a little arc or two, in this sort of game it would make sense to keep track of food and water, and if they start getting further away from where the tracks were (presumably civilization) it's going to get more and more scarce until they get so desperate they're begging to get back to the train again.
>Up in the turret, you can see the desolate wastelands for miles around. Some movement to the north catches the eye, but any chance for a closer look is erased by a rather impressive explosion. The source makes itself known as it passes overhead, and two seconds pass before you hear the F-16's engine roar.>The cold is bloody awful, and its icy grip fogs the mind along with most of the landscape. However, the voices you hear about a hundred metres away sound too real to be imagined.>As you arrive at your next stop, you are greeted by the sight of an terrifyingly large cannon. You wonder if you really want to know where it's aimed.>The next station appears to be adorned with the tanned furs of mutants, with the gate itself being supported by two taxidermed monstrosities. The outpost's guards, heavily armed and armoured, scan you from nearby rooftops. These chaps do know how to make an impression, I suppose.>The silent blizzard falling through the night catches you off guard when you find human teeth in the snowflakes.>The ghosts of the past make themselves known to the Train's Travelers, with an immense battle starting as you cross a blasted hellscape.>As you pass through a city, you can clearly see an enormous amount of tracers fired at something hidden in the clouds. The fact that you can hear screams coming from above is not helpful, and the lads point out that the shots come from all around the city.
>>53952504I like the mixture of mundane and magical at work here.
>>53952504This reminds me of some of the illustrations from the train accross the wasteland section of the Dark Tower Book 3 in my copy.
I know that Metro's done it, but this premise might work for Fallout too.https://youtu.be/m5Q-owvLpOE?t=4m30s
>>53918697The Beta Uprising...
I think that the best thing about this setting is how easy it can be adapted to be a purely technological setting or lean towards a more dark fantasy type, all while operating from anything to mid-1800s to today's day, which means there's plenty of ground to cover. It's perfect for whatever would be the equivalent of a zombie apocalypse if it was written by Jules Verne.
>>53937957bless you anon. I'm going to steal this for an upcoming campaign. It's a Cowboy Bebop/Firefly sorta Space Western, and I was looking for a simple way to do maintenance.
>>53952504This is what I thought the thread would go like desu but I was probably biased by OPs image (i really liked the mood) and playing stalker/dead space lately. I lack the time and experience to be a DM but I'm going to propose something like this for the next campaign:>Set after WWIII in Europe (dunno if western or eastern but following the tracks eastern towards "virgin" or uncontaminated land >Railroads are kept more or less functional by crumbling automatic machinery, ever repairing and rebuilding (this gives the option to hack one and create missing tracks on battlefield scarred scenery>Population is pretty scarce but this varies wildly, city ruins that didn't get too nuked are thriving more or less but most of the landscape and water bodies are still pretty contaminated so few people moving around>Military drones and defense systems are still functioning more or less and roaming the land/sea/air like they're still at war, so we could get allies or blown depending of uniform and equipment shenanigans>There're some hard to describe mystic/magical fuckery too. Creepy creatures and situations increase as the players get further and further into the wilderness>As railroads connect stuff there's always something to investigate or scanavnge>military bases>automated factories going out of control>research stations full of "monsters">cozy small towns>shady cities And the most important thing of all for me I guess>that pic related feel of adventure
>>53924786Even train on his picture is Russian.
>>53920278>>While exploring a seemingly abandoned town, the PCs catch the unmistakable scent of really good barbeque being cooked by someone who really knows what they're doing somewhere really close by.Fuck me I'm having flashbacks to The Road
>>53918856Not a fan of snowpiercer as a movie, but it's got some interesting concepts.Train to Busan would be some really good inspiration.
>>53962389I'd play your game.
Yep, I can consider myself inspired to write a campaign/map now. Good work, /tg/
>>53928157>The PCs' train passes another train traveling in the opposite direction, likewise loaded up with survivors looking for someplace safe, making them question what awaits them at the end of the line.>In the depths of a particularly dark night, bereft of moon or stars, the passengers begin seeing shapes, long, sleek and darker than black, racing alongside the train as it crosses the wide prairie lands.>One new passenger has taught the others how to play a peculiar but rather thrilling card game, and invites the PCs to join in the fun, revealing that he was a cardsharp in another life, long ago.>While passing through a short tunnel, all the lights go out and a tormented shrieking fills the train. Afterward, many passengers report the feeling of having been grabbed and shaken by cold hands.
>>53918602>Biggest problem being if the pc's are all like >"Fuck the train yo"Don't play with tards?
>>53963142I think about that scene in Book of Eli whenever I hear "Ring My Bell".
>>53918453>Would this idea work? I think so and would love to play it.>What sorts of tasks would the DM Engineer give the PC Wanderers?Like you described the usual find survival supplies tasks would be airly common but maybe you could also have the Engineer tell the PCs about some local legend of the stop and send them to investigate it.>What NPC Passengers would they pick up?Really whoever they like or whoever wants to join the train and has the ability to make themselves useful. Could be interesting to have a passenger mysteriously show-up one day during a long non-stop stretch with nobody remembering where the passenger got on. (They are a stowaway who somehow hopped on the train when it was at full speed.) What would they find at the end of the line?No idea. Some kinda of land that reflects how they acted on their journey? If they were kind and helped all they could along their way they will find themselves in a land of plenty filled with good natured people. If they were cruel, callous, and pragmatic the end of the line is a sparse place where survival is always difficult and the people of the land will shank you the moment they think you will deprive them of resources.
this got me thinking what kind of world would i use for this setting because the only options from irl are pretty much russia i think and post apocalyptic futuristic earth where trains for some reason mattered?how about building a setting for it? some grimdark shit like dishonored
>>53967894sorry nvm i forgot u can go to different countries by train irl
>>53967382I really like the idea of interspersing semi-realistic post-apocalyptic survival with surreal and otherworldly episodes. Was that sad-eyed girl a phantom passenger or did she somehow slip on and off the train between stops? What was it exactly that chased the PCs through that cornfield? How have we passed the same town three times? That sort of thing is great, to me. I also like the idea that the "Place at End of the Line" should reflect the choices that the PCs made over the course of the game. Each little act of kindness and nobility counts toward the PCs' final "score," making the place they wind up better.And you know...If you wanted to get REALLY mystical...The train could even be taking the PCs to the afterlife...
>>53967894The real question is the scale of your travel. A train ride, given the speed discussed in the thread, from France to Ukraine seems like it'd take about a month and a half at most (21 days if you walk the distance according to Google, increased because you make stops and have to scout ahead sometimes and also shenanigans on the way). So where could you set it in a way that your campaign lasts 6 months ingame time? Or more? France to India then China? Also what's your pacing, does a session cover an ingame day? Or is it more contextual?
>>53970491The way if figured it was that all there is available is a yard shunter or early steam loco or something, so it has a max speed of 8-20mph, in addition to stopping for supply, repair, scouting, track preparation and rest. So that makes any long journey into a feat, really. Also needs a reason you wouldn't just do it on foot though.
>>53972287>>53970491Right. The engine isn't going to be the sleekest and fastest, and it isn't going to be hauling the cars that it's meant for or traversing the track it was meant for either. There will be dead ends and detours and plenty of other happenings that impede its progress.
>>53972287I figure the reason is ease of travel. You could go on foot with your camp packed in your backpacks, but a train gives far more shelter, doesn't need to be packed and repacked each day, and can move while you sleep.
>>53974234A train means you can store a lot more too, and you have a far more defensible position against raiders.
>>53969817>The train could even be taking the PCs to the afterlifeAs much as I love this concept I think we can all see it is playing a dangerous game. Not enough foreshadowing and your players will call bullshit and be left feeling unfulfilled. Too many or too precise hints will have people knowing exactly what you are trying to pull.I would still be totally down for this style of game and keeping things semi-mystical is a great idea.When it comes to the idea of trains in an ambiguously/truly post-apocalyptic world I would be remiss if I did not mention the webcomic Stand Still Stay Silent for the quieter moments (pages 109-122) and when shit hits the fan on a train (142-175).
>>53918453>train has scheduled stops like metro or some such>PCs must manually activate the train to leave area>switches are in dungeons or at least hard to get to>PCs can also explore areas around stations in search of food, water, or various loot, but straying too far can dangerousthat's all I got, don't know if someone already said something similar (didn't wanna read everything) but this is a system in which stops are mandatory and the engineer can tell the PCs what they're looking for and isn't in control of the whole "go find blank" system so it seems more real as opposed to: "let's stop here, go get food and water."
>>53977698>>53974234The train essentially becomes a rolling settlement, allowing you to transport a little slice of civilization across the country in search of a proper place to settle down.
>>53966875>The train must pass over a bridge that has been damaged on one side in order to proceed onward, and the engineer asks for everything and everyone to be shifted to the opposite side of the train for the crossing.>One of the new children brought aboard the train has been gaining the reputation lately of having prophetic dreams that seem to come true. The latest one she's had involves the PCs getting ambushed by bandits in a parking lot.>While out hunting for salvage, the PCs run across another group of scavengers after the same piece of tech or crate of supplies. They do not want to fight over it, but instead suggest that they compete for it in a game of skill.>While passing through the train on the way toward the engine, the PCs will sometimes find themselves entering the same car they'd just left moments before. The passengers in that car are just as mystified as the PCs by this.>Some variety of wild creature or mutant animal has taken a liking to the train and its passengers, and despite the PCs' best efforts seems determined to remain aboard as some sort of combined pet, mascot and guard dog.
Y'know; it occurs to me that Red Markets would be a good fit for this scenario (or vice-versa).A group of takers operating out of a mobile, train-based enclave.
>>53980906>A post-apocalyptic entrepreneur asks if he can couple his rolling resupply to the back of your train in exchange for a half-price discount on anything he's got for sale. Additionally, the man's an able scavver and a good shot with a rifle.
>>53980394>A sudden cold snap drops the temperature down to dangerous lows that the old train's heating system isn't able to handle and the PCs need to disembark to find some more coats and blankets or a way to fix the heat.>The engine hits something big in the night that scrapes and scrabbles along the side before disappearing into the darkness too quickly for anyone to see it. The next day, its long claw marks are found down the side of the train.>The train makes a stop at an old tourist town along the side of a clear blue lake that is safe, if overgrown and abandoned. It's decided that everyone aboard is given "shore leave" to enjoy some R&R before they have to move on.>Every man, woman and child aboard begin having the same nightmare in which they derail along a tight curve, just past the next station, everyone perishing as the ensuing fire engulfs the train and burns it away to nothing.>The engine is running low on diesel, but the next town with a fueling depot appears to be the battleground of three warring raider groups. Run at full throttle, the train can probably make it through unharmed, but that fuel...
> Steel wires are strung from metal rails across the track, they look organic.>The track ends at a sealed gate, the passengers must find a way to open it.>Unholy messengers see the train as an omen of the reapocalypse and must possess it.>The train must cross a narrow crumbling bridge, you risk quite a lot by crossing it fully loaded.>A Fire starts in one of the carriages, you risk the entire train going up if you don't disconnect it. >You discover an abandoned fully operational train, no inhabitants can be found.
>>539184531) Rail is pretty fast. Not blitzing fast, but you can cover entire continents within weeks2) Rail has the misfortune of being bound to... rails. Should a part of railroad be damaged, not to mention lacking bridges, you are fucked.3) You also need fuel, even if you technically can run on water and wood or cooking oil.In short - cool idea on paper, but for relatively short-lived campaigns. Also, you are literally railroading.
>>53987183weeks - as in: two.
>>53918453This'd be a great "Syndicated TV" game. Each couple of sessions could be the players dealing with a different type of apocalypse. Maybe one stop is a demonic presence killing the survivors who are holed up in a church. You could deal with themes of faith in the end and such. Do a zombie one, maybe just a raider one
>>53987183I think that your first point is mitigated by your second. Because there may be damage to the rails and the bridges and tunnels, the train is forced to proceed more slowly and carefully across the country than it would have normally, pre-apocalypse. Plus, the train itself would be older as well, and would not be able to reach the same top speeds with the same safety that it once did.Both your second and third points become part of the challenge of keeping the train running and rolling on toward its ultimate destination. They may have to back-track and find ways around obstacles, and they may have to scav and scrimp and make sacrifices to supporting a large number of NPCs traveling with them toward whatever waits at the end of the line.As to the fact that the game is literal railroading, I don't think that's a bad thing. The players would be going into this game knowing that it would largely be focused around using this train as a mobile base, and they would presumably be okay with this or we wouldn't be playing it at all. Also, I like the idea of using the train's "ever-westward/eastward" and "no turning back" giving the game a sense of motion and consequence.>>53987227I like the sense of variety here.
Because we've already talked about it I this thread:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HAOzlzg7-Y
As campy as it might be, Kōtetsujō no Kabaneri might also work as inspiration for a more violent sort of apocalyptic train scenario.
I'm >>53962389 and just finished the second session (and last) using this idea. Convinced two others to come as the other two were sperging about >muh fantasy. Two short sessions of 3h down and I've learned a lot of shit I can't let people get away with it:>not letting them start near the conflict areaThey just equipped the train with nato stuff until arriving the russian front, then send off a horde of drones, waited the battle off and send the surviving units on a distraction move to scavenge and deck out the train into a russian one and...>into a fucking rocket/ramIn insight I shouldn't let them do this>they just sanic the fucking other half of the map until the urals on the "red rocket" (sic.)>when the fuel ran off they settled the train where it died and just wanted to use it as a town Then I just ended it and talked with the dude that usually DM us to make a real campaign as despite the shenanigans they seemed to like it and all had fun with the setting.>tfw I'll now be a only an adviser >>53989914That's pretty interesting, I'll ask him to add something like that in a research base as those zombies with the armored heart look more engineered/bow gone wrong than normal ones
>>53991383It sounds like a learning experience to be sure, but at least it was an enjoyable one.
I think that this is the kind of adventure that could go REALLY well but it needs the right type of players to do so and you kind of need to have a Session Zero to get everyone on board with the idea.
AnonHere's a thoughtGiant Cannons. On the trainJust a thought
>>53995544Or armored trains in general. With armaments, of course.
Did somebody say armored trains?
Choo choo, motherfuckers.
All aboard the Rape Express. Next stop: Rapingsburg.
>>53918453Sounds cool AF. Potential encounters could be: >Tracks are totally trashed, so you spend a long time tracking down the materials, tools, and equipment to install several dozen yards of track>Chase scene where motorized raiders try to board and take control of the train. See Mad Max: Fury Road and wild west-style train robberies. >Searching areas for food, supplies, parts, fuel, etc. >There's another train on the same track as you, coming in the opposite direction. Threat of either crashing or deciding who needs to back up. >Reaching some area where the locals have blockaded the tracks and refuse to let you by until you pay a toll of some kind. >Finding dead-ends in the tracks and having to backtrack to turn-offs to try to make progress West. >"No Tickets!"; train takes on passengers it doesn't want (too many mouths to feed, troublemakers, etc), and you need to figure out how to handle it. Kick them off or not?>A brutal conductor whose basically a bouncer/thug somewhere in there. >Maybe reaching a point where you need to decide whether to ditch the train entirely for another mode of transportation.Also, as a point of reference, NYC to San Francisco, by rail, would take about 3 days, but that's in a non-apocalyptic setting. With the likely blocks in the tracks (wreckage, blockades, tracks destroyed), maybe consider making the journey like 2 weeks long.
>>53996983 and othersAs far as I know, you can travel from western Europe into Asia by at least 2 different routes. Firstly the trans Siberian line and secondly the orient express (yes, it still exists). The problem however, is that AFAIK at the Russian border you need to switch rail gauge, and thus modify the train or find a new one.Alternatively, if you are so inclined, you could travel from Germany to thereran without changing rail gauge.Another setting problem is that railways and especially railway bridges are of strategic value, and if the apocalyptic setting is based on military conflict, you should expect a lot of bombed out tracks and bridges.On less negative note, there is some beautiful art of a post apocalyptic Amsterdam central station but I can't post it since I'm on phone