While writing and laying out the rules i've been wondering if i have the right approach on structure. Wastelander has a huge scope and to cover it all will be a mammoth feat. so far i've been working under the idea of splitting it into 4 volumes that gradually build in scope and focus on specific themes.
my worry is that i've separated the the different parts too much. as it stands a lot of the cool stuff (muties, zombies, psychics) won't happen until at least volume 2. they will get a nod in volume 1. i'm begining to think i should try to consolidate some stuff. i don't know. i'd like to spend time and give some character and depth to the basic archetypes but i'm worried people will be turned off if there's little in the way of Mutants, zombies and other stuff people normally expect in a post Apoc setting.
I think you should work on V1 & V2 a bit together so that it's a quick release after V1. I personally Love fluff, and I feel that can be the selling point for some people. If people fall in love with the story and universe they generally keep plays for a good time.
I also think that while the regular humans don't have the shock and awe, if done right and made into some really interesting groups with some unique looks I can't see them not being popular even after other volumes come out.
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I think the 4 volume seems fine but could use that thread of intergration between them all. but think about the actuall 'meat' of each area to expand on. If you want to include zombies for instance, do you mean just the rules for how a zombie moves attacks etc, or do you want to include warbands of wastelander necromancers and undead bikers etc... If it is just a few stats then I would think it best to include that kinda of stuff right off the bat, And have everyone happy they just bought a rulebook they can play with and not feel jipped. but if you intend to really beef out whast these new creatures can do and how/if they seriously affect the way in which one would play this game, then maybe keep them seperate.
My feelings is that I see wastlander as a portal in which TF and you can produce great minis and have THAT as the main draw of this product. "Keep your eyes open wastecases, the new radiated moisture farmers are coming soon from Troll forged miniatures...if you dare...." That kinda of thing. you can always expand later to include these creatures as PC's, but you should have tehm now as NPCs and or at least basic units and have 'army rules' for them later.
I'm mainly thinking of compatibility between volumes. i think the main thing i'm worried about is how to use the structure to tie the 3 separate elements of Core Rules, Campaign Rules and Background across the 3 elements?
I suppose that also brings up the question of the structure of the volumes themselves. to sum it up loosely i was going to arrange things in each volume as follows
Introduction/general 'world setting fluff'
Campaign Rules (inc. unit and weapon stats etc.)
Pre-made/Example Campaign Fluff (inc. special characters, NPCs, Factions, locattions
If i do go with the four volume structure i would probably include Muttie and Robot slaves as rare followers and Zombies as a random (but also rare) event and the zombie disease in the campaign rules. fluff wise i was thinking that the strain of zombie virus in the Blood and Dust 'grey wastes' area is less virulent than the strain found beyond the mountains (Strange Happenings) and is not transmited by the zombies blood or saliva so zombie plagues are almost unheard of.
In volume 2, set to the north west beyond the mountains i'd have periodic zombie epidemics. short lived strains of the zombie virus that spread and take affect quickly. I'd also have slower acting versions of the virus with a ghoul phase, where the virus acts like a cross between leprosy and syphilis and rots away the victims minds and bodies. these ghouls form outcast 'lepper colonies' and herd zombies to protect themselves (the zombies see the ghouls as kin and are docile around them) the final kind of zombie would be a Puppet, that is a psionically/magically animated body. puppets can range from rat skeletons to giant scrap golems. they are not as such undead. mearly animated
Models will basically fall into 2 categories om the tabletop, Independants and Units. Independants are individual models on there own and follow the full rules for models of their kind.Units are groups of multiple models that are treat as one for the purpose of game mechanics such as Ap, Actions and Psychology
In the campaign i dont see the rules for units really kicking in until players have forces containing 5-10 models. at first followers are treat almost the same as the PC/Gang leader. I imagine that the first followers will grow with the PC to have leadership skills of thier own. eventually one certain leadership skills requirements are reached the followers can hire henchmen and begin to form squads/gangs of there own. perhaps only 2-3 models in size to start but as the game progreesses these gangs will grow to regiments and armies with the original leader and members promoted to generals, seargents etc. all (hopefully) loyal to the Main PC.
Since a couple of you guys gave me a prod the other day (ice in paricular by making me aware of the revival of the mad max franchise, thanks mate!) i've redoubled my efforts on this project and been hard at work on the rules and fluff. I've decided to merge the majority of volumes 1-3 into the core rule book. this now contains the full game mechanics including vehicles and psionics, campaign rules, and rules and fluff for 60 ranged weapons, 25 armour and shield types, 15 vehicle types with 10 Upgrades. 15 Mounts/Beasts of burden, 30 follower types. numerous psionic powers and skills that will allow players huge scope in how they develop thier forces. there is also a varied bestiary covering a wide range of fauna, flora and psionic entities
The campaign rules will contain both a random campaign generator and a pre-made 'historic' campaign. which in the core book will cover the story arcs i had in mind for Blood and Dust and Strange Happenings. I'll probably release Steel Renaissance as a campaign source book (extending the historic campaign and fluff) whilst i work on Into the Void, which will be a full blown rules expansion (and due to the space combat rules i have planned it could even be considered a game in its own right) it will contain new followers, creatures, vehicles and games mechanics
Hmm, I still like the idea of 4 volumes. Will you keep it? Perhaps you could draw some parallels to the four different Spheres/Tires from Warspike. This doesn't mean that Wastelander needs to have Warspike rules, or even be connected to it.
The Volumes follow four different eras. Perhaps each era could also mean an increase in the scale of the game (but doesn't have to enforce this). Meaning the first volume is relatively low tech and could be played as a small scale skirmish RPG, akin to GW's Inquisitor game. The second volume is a bit further advanced and would be more akin to a tactical skirmish game, scale comparable to Necromunda/Gorkamorka/Warmachine. The third volume is further in the timeline, more advancements, more stuff found. Larger scale game, maybe even strategic elements in there. I guess this would be a 40k scaled game. The fourth volume is all high tech, and entering space. This would then include all sorts of wackiness. Strategy and politics/economics also get a greater role here.
However, this does not mean that you wouldn't be able to play small scaled games in the volume four universe though, it's just that volume four's emphasis lies on larger scaled games.
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I'm still not 100% sure on the final structure of the project. the core rules will allow scalable games of the sizes you suggest. I'll probably include the 'Blood and Dust' section of the campaigns along side them and briefly touch upon the geographic regions, races and factions in 'Strange happenings' and 'Steel renaissance' so that people know what to expect and can include things like zombies and mutants from the get-go. the actual plot sections of volumes 2 & 3 will probably be done as sourcebooks expanding on the brief outline given in the core book. Volume 4 will probably end up being a full blown expansion introducing the rest of the galaxy, rules for space combat etc. it's still a little up in the air. I know what i want to includ in the project overall but where to draw the lines between the sections is still something i'm pondering