Rawhead
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Location: Leicester, England

Birmingham (UK) Urban Renewal - My Campaign

Thu 15 Jan 2015, 14:08

Hi folks,
i thought i'd post up some of the details of the campaign I'm about to start running. Hopefully people will find it entertaining and maybe even useful for their own campaigns.

The game is going to be set in and around Birmingham (the UK one, not America) as that is where my group are all based, localising the setting was one of the biggest selling points of the game for me. I've spent quite a lot of time building a detailed satellite map of the area from Google maps, I was surprised at how big an area 20 miles square covered. I'm giving serious consideration to giving this map to my players early on - i think it will help reinforce that the game is local for them, and it will make for a great game prop. I just need to get the 8MB file onto a USB stick and see how much Staples want to extort from me to get it to at least A3 if not bigger.

The players Ark will be my old middle school - I wanted to use the school they went to they mostly went to different schools. By using my old school I can better work out the details of the buildings, it's also about the right size and being a 1 story building it won't give them too much of a tactical advantage. To spice it up a little I'm going to blast a nice big trench through the middle of the main building - some kind of aerial or orbital energy weapon caused a lot of damage to the school, and along with the ravages of nature the whole thing will be in pretty rough shape.
The school is set in a lot of green space, at the outer perimeter has a low metal fence - again nothing too fortified. The green space will work well if they want to start farming. If they want to reinforce and patrol the fence, it's actually a large perimeter so they may need to compact things lest they find themselves over stretched.
Water will consist of a broken water main in the shower block - just a trickle, but clean.

I'm considering putting a network of sonic devices around the outside perimeter of the school. These would have been installed when the Ark was initially setup, and be known to the Elder. Their purpose would be to deter wildlife, but they wouldn't stop a determined attacker (4D Wits attack). They'd be powered by solar collectors which would need maintaining - something the Elder would tell the secret of to only his most trusted chronicler or gear head.
This has a couple of plus sides : If the group come across a network of these devices elsewhere it would tip them off that they were approaching another Ark, and it's also an indicator that their situation had been prepared for, they didn't just fall off a boat. The down side is its a Lost rip off - so I'm still pondering.

In my next post I'll put up some details of the Ark NPCs. Please feel free to post any feedback, questions or suggestions. Cheers
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: Birmingham (UK) Urban Renewal - My Campaign

Thu 15 Jan 2015, 14:25

Cool :)

I googled Birmingham and it looks like a perfect location. I found some nice possible landmarks (I have no idea what they are but the names tell some): National Sea Life Centre, Thinktank Science Museum, The Custard Factory :D
Last edited by Fenhorn on Thu 15 Jan 2015, 14:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Tomas
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Re: Birmingham (UK) Urban Renewal - My Campaign

Thu 15 Jan 2015, 14:37

Welcome to the forum, Rawhead!

Very cool location, looking forward to reading more about the campaign. :)
Fria Ligan
 
Rawhead
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Location: Leicester, England

Re: Birmingham (UK) Urban Renewal - My Campaign

Thu 15 Jan 2015, 14:49

I found some nice possible landmarks (I have no idea what they are but the names tell some): National Sea Life Centre, Thinktank Science Museum, The Custard Factory :D
The National Sealife Centre is on the banks of a canal, and is one of those places where you can walk through tunnel through the middle of the tanks. If it somehow survived the Apocalypse, it could be cool :)

The ThinkTank museum is a big place, essentially a "hands on" science museum. Some of the older exhibits might be of use to a gear head.

The custard factory isn't as cool as it sounds i'm afraid, its just a big old building with a number of retail units in it.

Some cool locations I will be using include :
There's 2 football stadiums and there's a lot of rivalry between the 2 so i can wind up my players by destroying one :)
Spaghetti Junction - a lot of main roads and motorways converge into the same junction - I'm going to blow the whole thing up and turn it into a maze of fallen concrete and rebar.
Proof House - it's not well known but there's a firearms proofing house in Birmingham, a prime target for looting.

The only down side is that there's no really major water courses and it's land locked, so using the really cool passenger ferry as a market is out. There are a lot of railyards, so I might base it on a half sunken train instead.
 
Rawhead
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Location: Leicester, England

Re: Birmingham (UK) Urban Renewal - My Campaign

Thu 15 Jan 2015, 14:51

Welcome to the forum, Rawhead!

Very cool location, looking forward to reading more about the campaign. :)
Thanks Tomas - I only bought the book last Friday so this is definitely the quickest implementation of a game I've ever done. As soon as I told my group it was a sandbox game set in Birmingham with a lot of Fallout overtones they were hooked :)
 
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Peter
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Re: Birmingham (UK) Urban Renewal - My Campaign

Thu 15 Jan 2015, 16:05

_Very_ neat - I'd love to see that map.

In my mind, one of the most sort of GM-geeky fun aspects to this game is that mental inventory of your home town trying to figure out which landmarks to use and what state they'll be in. :)
Check out my BoL heroic migration period hack - Barbarians of the Dark Ages
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Rawhead
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Location: Leicester, England

Re: Birmingham (UK) Urban Renewal - My Campaign

Thu 15 Jan 2015, 16:16

Peter - I'm more than happy to share the map, if you send me your email address in a PM i'll get it across to you. I've got one of the roads and one of the satellite images, each one with a 1 mile grid overlay.
 
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SirBulle
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Re: Birmingham (UK) Urban Renewal - My Campaign

Thu 15 Jan 2015, 16:38

Sounds like an awesome idea!
Proceed to tell us about what happens!

Regarding the lack of water, it's quite possible that the canals have flooded over and by that you get alot more water.
The feeling of the city being in ruins is reinforced by that as well.
An extra big bomb crater could be an little lake.
Blown sewers could have formed new lakes from nowhere.

I think it is easier to play if the world have changed dramatically. That way the small things that remind you about the old times get funnier.
 
Rawhead
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Location: Leicester, England

Re: Birmingham (UK) Urban Renewal - My Campaign

Thu 15 Jan 2015, 17:03

SirBulle - there are rivers and lakes in the area which I was planning to expand on to turn into swamps and the like, but nothing really big enough to fit a passenger ferry or an oil rig without stretching suspension of disbelief a little too far. But it's simple enough to change the rig and ferry into other structures, so i'm not too worried :)
 
Rawhead
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Location: Leicester, England

Re: Birmingham (UK) Urban Renewal - My Campaign

Fri 16 Jan 2015, 14:34

Here are my key NPC bosses for the Ark :

“Whitey” Sahul – Boss
Appearance : Sahul is a striking albino woman with long white hair. She dresses simply but well, she wears no jewellery but always has a nice knife tucked into her waistband.
Personality : A very passionate woman, she is quick to both shower affection and mete out harsh punishments. Her tempers are legenday about the Ark, if she feels betrayed or even just slighted she will stop at nothing for what she sees as (usually harsh) justice.
Activities : Sahul’s influence in the Ark is mostly found in the shadows. If something is happening in private, the odds are that she’s getting something out of it.

Gerlick – Boss
Appearance : Heavy duty work coveralls with dozens of pockets and pouches filled with almost random odds and ends. Gerlick has only one leg (having lost the other to Zone Ghouls), a reinforced mannequin leg acts as an impromptu prosthetic and he leans heavily on a walking stick made up of scrap parts (hidden inside the cane is a single shot scrap rifle, very hard to spot).
Personality : Prone to nervous twitches, Gerlick is otherwise and enthusiastic and friendly individual. If you bring him a new piece of scrap or even an artefact, his eyes light up like a child at Christmas.
Activities : Gerlick oversees the Junkers in the Ark who work with him more out of a sense of friendship and comradeship rather than a boss.

“Mom” Toulk - Boss
Mutation :
Appearance : Toulk is a heavy woman who looks older than she is, lending her a motherly look hence her nickname. She’s never seen without her large housecoat which has been patched and reinforce with leather in places.
Personality : Outwardly Toulk presents herself as the Mother of the Ark and professes to act in the interests of everyone. Underneath she’s a devious schemer who would sell out anyone if would grab her an ounce more power in the Ark – as long as there weren’t any witnesses.
Activities : Toulk organises the collection and distribution of water and grub throughout the Ark.

Sarpan - Boss
Appearance : Sarpan is strikingly tall, and his freshly shaven head adds a solemn element to his image. As the head Chronicler in the Ark, he wears long grey robes that he does his best to keep clean.
Personality : Softly spoken and solemn, Sarpan guards both the Elder and the Dawn Vault with a religious passion. If either were harmed, Sarpans response will be swift and merciless.
Activities : Sarpan is head Chronicler of the Ark and guardian of the dawn Vault.

Jendry – Boss
Appearance : Jendry is always dressed for the outdoors, always dressed in his hooded cloak of dark greens, brown and grey.
Personality : A very organised man, not one to take unnecessary risks. Jendry is friendly in his social interactions, but methodical and calculating when it comes to his responsibilities.
Activities : Jendry oversees the Arks perimeter and expeditions into the Zone.

Insaw – Boss
Appearance : Insaw is very non-descript, he has a knack for fading into the background.
Personality : Unfailingly pleasant, but he will always politely argue his own case and never backs down. Deep down he’s a long term schemer, willing to be overlooked but always in the background waiting to make his move.
Activities : Insaw runs the Cult of Eden in the Ark, and informal and largely overlooked organisation. Whilst not completely secret, nobody in the Ark but Insaw realises how large the cult is nor the influence he is growing. As stories of Eden filter into the Ark, his position will become stronger and stronger.

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