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Old 03-31-2016, 08:52 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default [ATE] Farming example

Main street
An example of ATE farming in a hostile climate.


- climate conditions make the local environment barely capable of supporting life.
- late TL 8 early TL 9 start.
- initial resources where a small farming town. Including a rural supply store, local railway line, maybe a dozen small stores, a landfill and a small supermarket.

- well off community by ATE standards
- tried to make the crops/animals modular so they can be altered as desired to suit the game.
- a similar system could be set up in a high rise building, a new water source would be required though.


- local river
- town was a crossroads plus service street layout
- 2 or three commercial buildings that are more than 2 stories tall.

Surrounded by a high wall constructed from railway iron posts and salvaged metal there are two towers built from a grain silo and a power pylon at each end of this well fortified farming community.

Upon entering through a short tunnel with heavy doors at each end you come out into an open space, your first impression is glass, lots of glass. The next thing you notice is pipes of all sizes going on all over the place.

- water
- sun light
- wood
- lime stone
- Sulfur (presumably from car batteries)
- Salt and refrigeration technology


- Spring, the town's spring is a reliable but small source of water. It is piped to a small artificial Wetland of about 90 square feet. That acts as an additional filter and an indicator of the water's quality.
- River, the river is the most bountiful of the town's water sources. It is also the most polluted. The exact composition of the pollution varies due to events further up the catchment so the purification is time consuming. The residents of main street use a combination of bacterial filtration to remove heavy metals (bacteria sourced from manure slurry), a limestone gravel filter to reduce the acidity and solar powered steam distillation using a parabola lined with broken mirrors.
- Bore, the town has a bore that requires a large amount of power to operate. The water as a result of rain acidity has become super saturated with iron. This is filtered by showering the water onto a sand filter and then passing it through a second activated charcoal filter.
- Rain, the rain fortunately is only slightly acid so it is run over limestone gravel to neutralize the carbonic acid, the CO2 given off by this reaction is saved to cool the radiation detector. The radiation detector is used when there is a westerly blowing.

Crops, most seed was salvaged from the scrap bin behind the supermarket or from one old ladies garden.
- potatoes
- Capsicum
- Tomatoes
- Carrots
- Beans
- Shallots
- Basil
- Cauliflower
These crops are grown in tubs behind windows in the old buildings all along main street's east-west main street. Every roof has either had a green house built on top or the roof has been replaced with glass.

The biggest "field" is in the old single story steel clad warehouse located behind the old farm supply store.

The open field crops are grown on low walled raised beds over a waterproof base. Each plant is protected from the elements by a car window, house window or clear plastic container (for example a water cooler tank)

Other features of Main street
- central composting storage
- methane extraction plant (salvaged from the landfill)
- chemistry plant (only in the most improvised sense)
- alcohol distillery
- small generator powered by a concealed water wheel

Indoor crops
- mushrooms, using the compost and the heat generated from the methane plant. Mushrooms are grown year round in every indoor space that doesn't get enough light for plants to survive. They store well when dried.

- Pigs, distributed in as many buildings as possible are the town's pigs. They are descendants of high food conversion efficiency breeds that where farmed near by. They are fed carrots, eggs, mushrooms and any other surplus food.
- Chickens, fed cooked root vegetables, snails, worms.
- Fish, fed worms, snails, pig skin and other miscellaneous protein rich food. Usually housed in salvaged baths
- Snails and slugs, fed green leafy parts of the crops. Farmed in moist rooms on trays.
- worms, fed on compost-able plant material.

The livestock produce
- Pigs; meat, blood, leather, offal, bones, fat, manure, gelatin, tendons.
- Chickens; meat, eggs, feathers, offal blood.
- Fish; meat, fertiser, manure, bones.
- Snails; protein, manure
- worms; protein, worm cast.

Regular doses of lime would be required to manage the PH of the manure.

Of the three main fertilizer elements, phosphorus and potassium would be easy to recover from the wastes and the manure system produces lots of nitrates

A lot of the methane would be used to provide heat for chemical processes and cooking food.

Portable food
- dried; mushrooms, fish, beans.
- Shallots, potatoes
- pickled; pork, eggs, capsicum.
- with enough surplus energy and water canning possible.
- Dried sausage treated with nitrates.

Other produce
- capsaicin and gunpowder weapons.
- ether, not long term sustainable
- gun cotton
- methane
- grouting (essential with all the glass to maintain)

Skills within community

- Chemistry TL6/7
- Animal Handling
- Engineering
- Farming
- Gardening (?)
- Vet (maybe)
- Cooking

Should fit a book of Eli or mad max setting, work in progress.
Anyone want more crunch?
Further examples?
- in the dark
- very small space
- depopulated world
- "homestead"
- nomads

Adding crunch, back of an envelope level of accuracy
- Assuming a late TL8 high yield potato variety with very few pests surviving, 50% of the space devoted to potatoes, the 300 by 200 yard walled off area produces two crops of maybe 80 tonnes each.
- Potatoes and beans are technically the same rotation when dealing with fungal challenges. So the growing medium is highly managed to maintain fertility and health.
- Beans are the next most common crop with an annual production of 8 tonnes, Individual bean plants are planted in almost every available space.
- The rest of the crops yield another 2 tonnes in total.
- The worms and Snails turn the approximately 100 tonnes of green matter plus scraps (including winter weeds) into 10 tonnes of protein and fat rich "slow meat" for chickens, fish and pigs.
- Mushroom production is in the area of 40 tonnes a year
- 120 pigs are reared for food per year, this consumes most of the mushrooms and 75 tonnes of potatoes, producing 6 tonnes of pork, (unsure of the estrus for pigs, presuming two litters a year)
- Overall the production is in the area of 100 tonnes of reasonably varied food per year. More than enough to support the population of about 100 people. Incredibly labor intensive.
- there is sufficient give in the system for Main Street to employ (feed) about 5 professional scavengers/salvagers/adventurers
Waiting for inspiration to strike......

Last edited by (E); 04-11-2016 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:02 PM   #2
Arith Winterfell
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Indiana, United States
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

That's really neat exploring the process of farming and how people would go about it.

Originally Posted by (E) View Post
Further examples?
- in the dark
- very small space
- depopulated world
- "homestead"
I myself would be interested in all of these explored.
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Old 04-02-2016, 08:49 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

Western Hills

Subterranean farming
- farming on the surface or in direct sunlight is no longer possible.
- the subterranean farmers ancestors had the opportunity to prepare
- long term food production will require artificial light.
- the "End" for this example is greatly increased UV (or microwave) output from the sun. Daylight is death as well as a great power source. You only go out at night.
- water is available and relatively pure due to filtration through rock.

Power sources, which ever power source is used it is assumed it is limited otherwise it is not really an ATE game.
- Chemical, finite so requires an external source, fuel, chemicals or biomass. Though a long subterranean path to a coal seam might be interesting.
- Nuclear, feels too bountiful for the setting, also seldom built underground near a large city.
- Renewable, solar (used in this example) other options include tidal and hydroelectric.

- It would seem likely that a more advanced infrastructure is required for two generations to have survived. They will need to be able to make replacement parts and probably mold plastic. This would seem to indicate a larger population, say 1000(?)
- Started with LED lighting but have been replacing it with standard bulbs since as they are easier to manufacture.
- to minimize heat build up in plants using photosynthesis the grow lights would be red/blue as green light is wasted in photosynthesis. The plants would look black instead of green.
- CO2 build up would be a problem, decomposing material generates a lot of it and there are few green plants to absorb it.

- A stable geological region located on the outskirts of a long established town.
- historic tunneling for minerals, WW2 defenses and civil infrastructure have provided the space for the settlement.

Rushing to down the ladder before the fatal rays of the sun illuminate the world. You enter the myriad of tunnels and chambers that make up the farming settlement of Western Hills. Water pipes, electrical conduits and fans decorate the ceiling. Moisture glistens on the walls and is collected in gutters in the floor.

- Fungi, a large range of mushrooms and Fungi are the backbone of the Western Hills farming system. The biggest limiting factor for many of the species of Fungi is the availability of a carbon rich substrate on which to grow. Four crops a year are grown. The growing chambers are full of shelves and kept insulated against the cold of the rock with a wide array of materials. Crude heat exchangers are mounted on the ventilation systems outside each growing chamber. Everything destined for eating would be exposed to a UV(b?) light source prior to harvest to generate vitamin D.

Crops requiring artificial light, these would be a small part of the diet.
- Numerous strains of Cyanobacteria, a source of fresh oxygen. Grown around submerged light sources. They also help fix the CO2 surplus.
- Crops that do well in artificial light and or hydroponics; arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, Chinese cabbage, corn salad, endive, escarole, garlic, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, leeks, mustard, New Zealand spinach, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, spring onions (scallions), sorrel, spinach, taro, turnips, and watercress.

- Pigs, fed mushrooms, mussels, insects and a bare minimum of green crops.
- Insects, harvested from manure chambers.
- Ants and/or termites that are fed Fungi
- Mussels, fed Cyanobacteria and used as part of the water system, they also act as a nitrogen fixer in this system.
- Fish, fed on mushrooms and ants/termites.

- The system would require constant thermal control. Keeping Fungi warm enough as well as preventing the plants from getting to hot under the lights.

- Carbon rich substrate, typically paper.
- Glass and electrical parts (moist environment would mean high wear)
- Sulphur
- Potassium
- External solar power
- plastics
- Firearm related supplies

- A range of Fungi
- Preserved food, dried Mushrooms, dried fish, Short lifespan preserved mussels, very few long shelf life vegetables, smoked pork.
- Range of products derived from plants, the limited growing space would make high value plants a priority.
- Incidental minerals
- Water
- Calcium carbonate and derived products (some of these are chemically useful).

Skills within the community
- Biology
- Animal handling
- Gardening
- Engineer, mechanical, mining, electrical
- Chemistry, Plastics
- Swimming,
- Herbary likely,
- Glass blowing (?)
Waiting for inspiration to strike......

Last edited by (E); 04-04-2016 at 03:32 AM.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:41 AM   #4
Minuteman37's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Kenai, Alaska
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

This is great (E) I'm defintly going to use these for my game. Hoping for a nuclear winter/ice age style example next!

Edit: Also the west hills kind of reminds me of a vault style shelter, but I get the feeling it's a bit to desperate for the safety and relative comfort I'd want to represent. Any chance we could see Higher TL (lets say 9?) shelter in better shape latter down the line?

Last edited by Minuteman37; 04-03-2016 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:47 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

These are very rich examples. I like them a lot.

I can imagine dropping them into a game, virtually unchanged, as detailed descriptions either of the PCs' home base, or of other settlements they come across during the campaign. I'm not certain that the player would want to go into this much detail about the precise farming methods all the time, but knowing that it was there whenever we wanted it would be really, really wonderful. And I think that we'd end up wanting to explore it, since we knew it was there!
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:04 AM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

Originally Posted by Joe View Post
These are very rich examples. I like them a lot.

I can imagine dropping them into a game, virtually unchanged, as detailed descriptions either of the PCs' home base, or of other settlements they come across during the campaign. I'm not certain that the player would want to go into this much detail about the precise farming methods all the time, but knowing that it was there whenever we wanted it would be really, really wonderful. And I think that we'd end up wanting to explore it, since we knew it was there!
Even if the players only learn about this stuff, peripherally, it adds an amazing sense of depth to the setting if you know what's on the menu at the local bar where they meet the old man or woman who plans to make them an offer they can't refuse.

Also, since this is a survival setting, identification of bottlenecks and shortages in local supply-chains and infrastructure can drive many, many adventures.

Moreover, if you know what surpluses one settlement has available, as compared to others, then you know how the local economy has started to shape up -- and that means you know where the merchants and traders come from and what they carry, and (roughly) how much each commodity is worth, relative to the others.

That helps a lot, when it comes time to add verisimilitude to a bartering session. :)
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after the end, ate, climate, farming, livestock.

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