Monday, July 04, 2022

Savage Gamma World #1

Our tale begins when our heroes: Batte, Rex, and Vik (see PC profiles here) were called into the hut of Ah Meng, the mutant orang-utan who was the head of the village of mutants living in the desert. Three weeks ago, Ah Meng told them, Kong, Mary Juna, and Yapapa were sent on a mission across the Barrier Peaks to find a new place for the villagers to settle, but they had not returned as anticipated. Now our heroes will have to undertake the journey to the west and to find their friends and complete the mission.

Taking what food, water, and salvaged materials the village could spare, our heroes followed the course of the old highway that humans constructed across the Barrier Peaks. After two days, they came at last to a lake near its summit. While trying to get water from the lake, the party was attacked by tentacled-shark mutants, but with Batte's fear-inducing powers they were able to drive the sharks off and refill their bottles.

The next day they followed the course of the river that led from the lake down the western slope of the Barrier Peaks. From their vantage point they could see that the river led to a long valley below, where there was more vegetation and settlements.

That night, while camped by the river at the valley floor, our heroes were interrupted by a deer-headed mutant fleeing from pursuers. After ascertaining that the party were not with "the Army of Dawn", the mutant introduced herself as Amaltea, and handed them a map and bade them to bring it and a small metal box to Truffaut's bar marked on the map, and then continued its flight to draw the pursuers away.

Soon the party saw three mounted men charging towards Amaltea. Using Batte's fear-generating power and Rex's paralysing gas power, our heroes managed to defeat the pursuers, and take their weapons and ammunition as loot.

Amaltea thanked our heroes, and revealed that she was a scout for Truffaut, a mutant bear who ran a bar and settlement a day's walk tot he north. Concerned about the rise of the Army of Dawn, an expansionist force operating out of the town of Dawnsville in the west. Dawnsville was a nondescript town like many others in the valley, but a year ago it began to convince surrounding settlements to come under its banner, and recruit an army armed with firearms, and create a whole economic system using bullets as a form of currency. Truffaut had sent scouts to find out more about them, and after weeks of work, Amaltea had learned that the Army of Dawn operates a few factories runned by slave labour. Our heroes learned that mutants matching the description of their friends had been seen being led by slavers to one Oscar Battenburg's trading post a week prior.

Our heroes accompanied Amaltea to Truffaut's bar, where they were welcomed by the mutant bear. Truffaut gave our heroes more information about the Army of Dawn, and gave them some salvage equipment to help them rescue their friends.

Our heroes traveled westwards to Battenburg's trading post, and arrived in the evening two days later to see slaves being led to an airship owned by the Army of Dawn, but their friends were not among them. Our heroes counted at least four mutant minions with Battenburg, a human. They decided not to risk a confrontation, and instead came up with a scheme to pass themselves off as buyers, using the salvage they have received from Ah Meng and Truffaut. After the airship had departed, our heroes approached the trading post, with Rex wearing costume jewellery and perfume, Batte swinging a make-shift incense censer, and Vik in attendance with a teapot filled with cactus tea. Announcing himself as Rexona, Rex asked to buy an ape mutant and a couple of plant mutant. Battenburg at first said that they were out of stock, but when Rex declared that he was a rabbit of means, Battenburg revealed that he did indeed have an ape mutant, and asked for a price of 300 bullets. Rex bargained the price down to 210, and soon Kong was led out and handed to them.

When they were out of earshot of the trading post, Kong told the rest that they had been ambushed by Battenburg's slavers two weeks ago and taken to the trading post. Mary Juna was sold to a group of psychics known as "the Brain Trust", and Yapapa was sold to a munitions factory owned by the Army of Dawn, while he was kept by Battenburg, who intended to field him as a champion is a prize fight organised by the Army of Dawn.

Armed with the information and the map from Amaltea, our heroes resolved to travel to the munitions factory to free their friend.

Prepping and Running the Game

This campaign is based on the Mutant Year Zero module The Gray Death, but instead of setting it in a winter landscape, I have transplanted the campaign to a post-apocalyptic California valley.

There were two combats in the session, the first being with the sharktopus at Lake Isabella, and the second with the Dawn cavalry. The Dawn soldiers in the module are depicted wearing WW1 British helmets style, which is the look my Warzone Imperial figures sport. Both fights were short, due to the PCs' powers, which on the one hand was a little disappointing, but on the other hand allowed the players to feel that their characters were heroic.

I had planned the session for 4 characters, but as Kong's player had to drop out last minute, I modified the plot to have Kong and two other potential guest player characters being captured by slavers in an earlier mission. This gave the players an extra motivation to complete the campaign instead of just turning around and going home once they learned about the situation in the valley, and also allowed me to direct them to the various locations in the module.

One of the fun part about this campaign (at least for me) is the use of random salvage loot/equipment. By chance the players rolled up items which were "posh" but seemed useless, like costume jewellery, perfume, incense, and a tea set, but the common theme among these items prompted them to come up a way to save Kong that didn't involved a fight with Battenburg and his slavers. Again I was a little disappointed, as I had actually generated stats and mutant powers for the slavers, but the way the players pulled off their rescue was quite cool.

1 comment:

pancerni said...

Gamers always add spanners to the works. Bless 'em.