Sunday, September 25, 2016
Post Apocalyptic Domain Level Play Thoughts
I've been thinking lately about the minimal presence of domain level play in post apocalyptic games. A key factor is no doubt the survival oriented nature of post apocalyptic life. However, establishing settlements and rebuilding society is often a key theme in post apocalyptic fiction, so it occurred to me to give some thoughts on the subject. For game play, I think that the players are going to want the experience of four levels of structure in their games. The earliest level of structure is beginning adventures, out exploring the wasteland, scavenging ruins, etc. After some levels of this, I think they're most likely going to want to establish a home base where they can store the accumulated stuff they've scavenged, have a sense of security, protect their loyal followers, maybe make some money in some sort of trade, etc. At somewhat higher levels, this will evolve into controlling and operating a wasteland settlement (though some games make settlement management and improvement part of their basic play). Beyond this, once they've got a secure, growing settlement, they're going to want to expand their borders. which brings us to domain level play.
Naturally, I've been looking at various systems of domain level play, notably BECMI's Companion Set rules, and ACKS modifications to that system. I think there are several usable things that can be used from each system, and some things which can either be discarded, or modified to reflect the post apocalyptic setting. I'll admit, I prefer BECMI's somewhat more detailed domain resource breakdown as opposed to ACKS' more abstract system. Detailed resources means that the domain is going to possess some things and need others to grow, which encourages play directed toward trading what you have for what you need. Having something to help specify the resources makes it easier for the GM and players to know what they have and what they lack. Of course, in a PA setting, the resource breakdowns will be different, so that will have to be taken into account.