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Old 11-10-2011, 08:23 AM   #1
Onkl
 
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Default Endzeit - Community Resource Management in an RPG

Hi guys

First off, I know that double postings are not allowed. Unfortunately I am unsure wheter to post this in the generic Roleplaying or the GURPS forum… but I guess the generic one fits better… anyway, thanks for reading!

I would like to pick your brains for ideas regarding a post-apocalyptic campaign I named Endzeit (End time). The nature of the apocalypse is not yet decided on - a meteor strike, nuclear war, zombies, global warming… but I think that is not that important at this stage.

The PCs would all play humans that were born after "the event" took place. They would not know the world as it was before.

At first, the goal of the campaign would be to help your community survive by gathering, stealing, dealing… resources. Be it water, food, building materials, weapons, ammunition, valuables, luxury goods…

The PCs should, at first, play the "task force" who helps the mayor (NPC) achieve his goals who acts as a benevolent dictator in the best interest of the community. Later, one of the PCs could become the new mayor (or the group as a whole could become the "high council", whatever) and guide the community through the post-apocalypse.

For the "normal adventures" or the "missions", I would use GURPS as a ruleset because that is my standart "go to" system that I like and know best.
So if the "high council" decides to conquer a neighbouring community, I would use the GURPS Mass Combat rules to find out wheter they are successful or not. I write this to show you that when my players want to conquer a neighbouring community, I would like them to have rules they can rely on and if they have the right kind of resources and a little bit of luck be successful, likewise they can fail, if they plan poorly or have incomplete information about the enemys strength.

My main problem lies with the resource management and how to model that. Of course there is the possibility that I, as a GM, could just "invent" how the community struggles or prospers depending on how the PCs carry out their missions. But I would rather have a ruleset that I can apply to these situations. In my experience it is nice for the players to have some "anchor" they can rely on regarding rules and also know before hand that if they fail to make a deal with the neighbouring community for food, half of their population will starve to death during the winter.

Even GURPS with its many supplements and rules expansion does - to my limited knowledge - not offer a ruleset to determine how many resources a society uses and produces. I might be wrong, but that's why I post here.

Unfortunately my horizon regarding board games is limited. Would it be possible to take the rules from a games like Settlers of Catan - which I have never played, just popped in my mind - and usem them as the resource management part of the game?

What game or ruleset would you recommend for me?

Do you have any tips regarding my idea?

Have you GM'd a game like the one I envision, how did it turn out?

I would very much appreciate your insight.

Thanks

Onkl

ps. Reading through the text I wrote I'm not sure I was able to make the point I intended to. English is not my first language and it is sometimes difficult to express in a way to bring my point across...

Last edited by Onkl; 11-10-2011 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Endzeit - Community Resource Management in an RPG

World Tamer's Handbook for Traveller: the New Era is a workable system for colony buiding...
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Endzeit - Community Resource Management in an RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
World Tamer's Handbook for Traveller: the New Era is a workable system for colony buiding...
Thanks, I found it on Drive Thru RPG and am downloading it right now.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Endzeit - Community Resource Management in an RPG

Have a look at Apocalypse World by D. Vincent Baker. It's a good system built to run Apocalyptic games. But even if you have no interest in the system then it has great advise on how to capture the feel of post apocalypse in games.

EDIT: About running it in GURPS. GURPS is a great system for games that are built as small unit tactical missions. Or overtly political games. I'm not sure it's a good system for Resource Management or running a town. But having said that I can't think of a system that has that built in. I think even Apocalypse world mentioned above just has a "things are getting worse" meter but no hard numbers.

Last edited by Gorkamorka; 11-11-2011 at 04:06 AM.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Endzeit - Community Resource Management in an RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorkamorka View Post
Have a look at Apocalypse World by D. Vincent Baker. It's a good system built to run Apocalyptic games. But even if you have no interest in the system then it has great advise on how to capture the feel of post apocalypse in games.
Thanks, I bought the PDF and am waiting for the author to send it to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorkamorka View Post
EDIT: About running it in GURPS. GURPS is a great system for games that are built as small unit tactical missions. Or overtly political games. I'm not sure it's a good system for Resource Management or running a town. But having said that I can't think of a system that has that built in. I think even Apocalypse world mentioned above just has a "things are getting worse" meter but no hard numbers.
I'm not a systems geek. Next to GURPS I only played AD&D. Recently I had a look at Pathfinder and bought Death Watch (WH40k).

So, the only system I know and could use for a post-apocalyptic game is GURPS. As far as I know, there is no GURPS supplement for resource management or running a town.
That said, I think I was not able to make my point clearly in enough in my original post.

I want the resource management and town building aspect to be an important part of the game, but a part that takes place mostly between gaming session. When we actually sit down together at the table, I want to run a "normal" RPG game where the players get confronted by a problem that arose from the decisions the players made at the end of the last session regarding resources and town management, eg. At the end of the last session the group decided to build a new well and lay pipes to irrigate more farming land. So now the adventure could be, that the surplus food attracted more immigrants and the town now needs building material. So the mission for the players would be to get those building materials and construct new housing for the citizens... or, if I want to give them a social challenge and political role-play, they would have to convince the natives that the town needs to grow and that they should help the new arrivals get settled...

That said, after having a look at the traveller supplement I think I can modify the system presented there to help me guide the players through the town building effort.

It's still a vague concept and I already once failed in GMing a setting like the one I described. But that was owed due to the fact I wanted to do to much in the first GURPS game I GMed after a long absence.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Endzeit - Community Resource Management in an RPG

If you use A-world, please let me know how it goes (PM). I'm dying to run this system for my players, but I have to clear the backlog of other systems to try first.

If you are interested in hearing more about Apocalypse world then The Walking Eye podcast did an actual play/review/interview with the author.
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Endzeit - Community Resource Management in an RPG

Well, it entirely depends on the amount of handwavium you want in your game.

I don't know that there's a single system that will tell you what you need to know. Even establishing how much labour, land and seed goes into getting your community fed varies enormously by tech level, locations, culture and half a dozen other factors. HARNMANOR is a good look at doing it in a detailed way for a medieval setting.

If you were to extend using GURPS to the higher level game you would want the leaders of your community to make rolls (on a seasonal? yearly? basis) on at least the following skills:

Administration
Agronomy
Diplomacy
Leadership
Merchant
Politics

Each of these areas (and I'm sure there are some I've missed) has potential going for very well or very badly.

And that doesn't tell you how much of your wealth you should spend on military production or how much of your time and personnel you should divert to luxury goods you can trade.

If you don't want to try to build a system then you might look at REIGN which is a game designed to run campaigns of 'lords and leaders'. The company rules from there could be used as a cap system with something like GURPS providing the 'agents and operatives' level. Very full of handwavium though.
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