Saturday, February 15, 2014

A party of pack wolves

I decided to play a quick campaign using the After the Horsemen system. It is focused on the adventures of a group of three Pack Wolves.

Steve and Brent were bullies, plain and simple. Still, bullies that fight off raiders and wild beasts can be useful in a small settlement. That's why the people of Redstone, in the middle of the wasteland, tolerated them. Steve arrived with his mother at his early teens; she was taken an year later by a nasty infection. By the time he was twenty, a few road warriors came to the settlement, offering protection in exchange for shelter and food. Brent was among them, and acted like an older brother to Steve. A drinking, drug-using, fight-picking older brother, that is. 

Julius was the only survivor of a party of scavengers ambushed by raiders. He arrived at Redstone badly hurt, asking for shelter. In exchange, he offered a bag of salvaged items. After he recovered, Julius started talking about revenge against the raiders that nearly killed him. He also liked to tell people about the amazing ruins he had visited, filled with relics such as those he had brought. The settlement elders didn't like any of this: they feared that people might get hurt or killed pursuing these adventures. Steve and Brent, on the other hand, were very interested.

One night, "Big" Barton, son of one of the elders, was talking loudly to his friends about how scavengers were like carrion feeders, while settlers like the "good people" of Redstone would bring about a new civilization. This turned into an argument with Julius. Steve, who was never fond of Barton, turned it into a fight. Brent made it escalate into a wild brawl, with several people hurt. A week later, the three were expelled from Redstone with only a few of their possessions and some food and medicine.

Steve - Rep 5 Star / Pack Wolf / 26 years old
Attributes: Hard as nails, Brawler.
Skills: Fit 5 / Pep 4 / Sav 3
Items: Machine pistol, machete, 2 luxury items (decorated silver-coated tankard in the shape of a skull, lighter), 3 units of medicine, 6 units of food.

Brent - Rep 4 / Pack Wolf / around 35 years old
Attributes: Party animal.
Skills: Fit 4 / Pep 3 / Sav 2
Items: SMG, machete, 2 luxury items (party favors), 1 unit of food.

Julius - Rep 4 / Pack Wolf / says he's 32, but looks like 42
Attributes: Logical.
Skills: Fit 2 / Pep 3 / Sav 4
Items: Shotgun, pistol, 3 units of food.

The campaign objective is to guarantee their survival. Maybe they will find a new settlement to live in; maybe they will create a new group of scavengers. Forgive the lack of pictures, I used improvised terrain (outlines sketched on scratch paper) to keep the game moving.

Month 1
Having been expelled from Redstone, the group begins to wander the wastes. They meet some scavengers in the woods but each group follows their own way. [No involuntary encounters. I ran a Wandering encounter, finding a group of 5 friendly pack wolves. No other surprises, breakage or grunts leaving this month. Consumed 3 units of food. Brent consumed 1 party favor.]

Month 2
Two raiders ambush Steve, alone. One of them shoots a large pistol several times, missing. Steve jumps at him, chopping his arm off with his machete. The other raider tries to run away but is killed, too. The group decides to move further west. [I got a Bushwack invonluntary encounter with Steve against two pack wolves. Luckily, one of them had a Rep of 2. After that, I decided to travel to another location and did not run into any road encounters. ER lowered to 1. Consumed 3 units of food. Brent consumed 1 party favor. However, gained 3 food, 1 body armor and 1 BA pistol from the encounter. Julius got the body armor, Steve got the pistol.]

Month 3
The group decides to go hunting. In the woods, they meet an actual pack of four wolves. Steve hits two of them with a spray of his machine pistol. One is killed, the other flees but is shot by Brent. Julius shoots down another wolf and runs out of cartridges. The last wolf charges Brent and rips his neck. Julius charges it and is also defeated, before Steve can fire his machine pistol. [No involuntary encounters. However, the Hunting encounter went horribly wrong. Steve lost his two companions. He picked up the body armor and shotgun, and a total of 6 units of food.]

Month 4
Having lost his companions, Steve continues traveling to the west until he reaches a region where he starts finding tracks of people and some trails in the woods. Maybe he can find a settlement. [No involuntary encounters. I decided to move to another area, and rolled an increase in the ER to 2. Consumed 1 unit of food.]

Month 5
For a few days, Steve follows the tracks in the woods, and finds a small settlement. It has a single dirt strip with three makeshift buildings on either side. There is no one outside but he can feel them watching. He enters a building that looks like a store or tavern. A guy in a trenchcoat starts provoking him, and the argument turns into a firefight. Everyone else dives for cover while the two shoot their automatic weapons. Eventually, Steve kills the other man. He is arrested but manages to convince the local leaders that he was defending himself. [No involuntary encounters. I ran another Wandering encounter and found a settlement. It had six buildings: farm, tavern, police station, church, and 2 vacant ones. The defining moment when entering the tavern resolved as an enemy pack wolf. After the fight, I took a People challenge with a -1 modifier to avoid further problems.]


After five months wandering, Steve found the small settlement of Mauve. For the moment, he has been helping with the local defenders. However, many residents still do not trust him and it is uncertain if he will be able to become a permanent resident.

This short campaign was played in a single evening, using the campaign system from the After the Horsemen book. Quite fun and unpredictable... I might continue these advetures later, too.

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