Last Updated: 2004/03/17

If you're looking for information about the old computer game go here.

Introduction

Wasteland is a post-apocalyptic role-playing setting that takes place on Earth in the year 2201. In Wasteland's timeline, the world was practically destroyed in 2064 when all the nuclear armaments of the world launched simultaneously destroying every major city on the planet. Three generations have existed since then and the new children have minor mutations due to the intense radiation. (Sorry, nothing cool like X-Men.) These people are under constant threat of death by several things including radiation, wild animals, and of course, other people. There is no longer a government to speak of, but there are a few areas where enough people have banded together to have strongholds. Most of the technology of the past was either destroyed or forgotten, and life for the survivors is very grim.

I created Wasteland from inspiration from several sources including Mad Max: The Road Warrior, and the old computer game Wasteland. By creating role-playing rules to govern the world it gives me the ability to exist in it through a character, whether by video game or pen and paper game.


Story

The world ended in 2064 a day called "Doomsday". Nobody knows why or how it happened, but all of the Earth's nuclear arsenals from every government all launched at the same time destroying the majority of the Earth. Nobody claimed responsibility, nobody knows who caused the death of several billion people. Some think it was the governments, some say it was a radical religious cult, others say a computer hacker caused it. Who ever it was, they had the ability to get past every major government's highest security to do it.

Because all the major cities were destroyed, many of the technologies of the past were taken with them. The majority of power plants, factories, and the Internet were eliminated. The few survivors have quickly adjusted to living in their new world. With all old forms of government destroyed, much of the world was thrown into anarchy. People now exist in tribes to stay safe. The stronger tribes have taken over the best of the remaining resources.

It has been one-hundred and thirty-seven years since Doomsday. There have been three generations since Doomsday.

The Bomb Generation were the people who were alive when the bombs went off. Most of them were killed. The second generation was the Survival Generation. Most of the Bomb Generation's children died during or shortly after birth because of the high amounts of radiation. Those who survived lived with horrible birth defects. The children of the Survival Generation were the Doom Generation. This generation has just reached adulthood. They have become slightly tolerant to radiation and have fewer life threatening birth defects than their parents, some of the mutations are even beneficial.


Character Creation

Before you can exist in the world of Wasteland, you will need a character to portray. There are a few technical aspects of building a character which include his or her attributes and skills. There are also story aspects of the character including his or her past and their psychological outlook.

Appearance, Alignment, Attributes, Mutations, Skills, Starting Equipment, History

Appearance

Your character's physical appearance, like his or her sex, matters little in Wasteland, but it allows you to tailor to character to what ever you want. Whether or not your character is good looking or not depends on their allure (see attributes - allure).

Alignment

A character's alignment is their psychological outlook on life. For the purposes of Wasteland there are two types of alignment, governmental and ethical. Alignment is a very important aspect of a character because it determines what your character would usually do in different situations.

Governmental

Governmental alignment pertains to how much your character likes laws and governmental involvement in the public's life.

Orderly - Implies that you prefer laws and regulations as well as a hierarchy of people.
Neutral - Means that you understand the benefit of laws, but you also understand their problems, so you remain neutral.
Chaotic - Those who feel that laws or restrictions are cumbersome and should not be placed on people are chaotic.

Ethical

Ethical alignment covers how your character thinks other people should be treated in contrast to themselves.

Good - Includes those that want the betterment of all people.
Balanced - Those who think that it is important for both good and evil people to exist in the world.
Evil - Anyone who thinks of their own benefit above all others.

Attributes

Attributes are a numeric representation of some of your character's physical and mental prowess. Your character has these attributes and they usually stay with your character for the majority of his or her life. Certain changes in lifestyle can effect them, also certain drugs or chemical influences will alter them as well. Each character has six attributes which include, Allure, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Perception, and Strength.

Attributes work on a scale on one to ten. One is the lowest rating where ten is the highest.

Allure

Allure is a combination of your looks, charm, and presence. It effects the way others will see you, and how well you can interact with people on a social level. People with high allure tend to make good diplomats, politicians, and con men.

There are three sub-categories of allure which include reaction adjustment, barter adjustment, and coerce adjustment. Reaction adjustment is used when making a reaction check with another person in the game. Barter adjustment is used when attempting to barter with another person, they will usually raise their prices by this amount. Coerce adjustment is used to adjust a standard coercion attempt when your character tries to talk another person into doing something for them.

Allure
Amount

Reaction
Adj

Barter
Adj

Coerce
Adj

1

-3

+20%

-6

2

-2

+10%

-4

3

-1

+5%

-2

4

-1

+0%

-1

5

0

+0%

+0

6

+1

+0%

+0

7

+1

+0%

+1

8

+2

-5%

+1

9

+2

-10%

+2

10

+3

-20%

+3

Constitution

Constitution is a measurement of how much abuse your body can take including stamina and will power. People with high allure tend to make good long-distance runners, boxers, and manual laborers.

There are four sub-categories of constitution which include maximum life points, maximum stamina points, hours to regenerate a life point, and healing rate. Maximum life points is the maximum amount of life points your character can have. Maximum stamina points is the maximum amount of stamina points our character can have. Hours to regenerate a life point is the length of time in hours that it takes for your character to heal a life point. Haling rate is the percentage altered from the normal healing time for wounds to heal when your character becomes wounded.

Constitution
Amount

Max Life
Points

Max Stamina
Points

Hours to
Regen LP

Heal
Rate

1

3

50

10

-20%

2

6

55

9

-10%

3

9

60

8

0%

4

12

65

7

0%

5

15

70

6

0%

6

18

75

5

10%

7

21

80

4

10%

6

24

85

3

20%

9

27

90

2

20%

10

30

100

1

30%

Dexterity

Dexterity includes your ability to physically react quickly to changes in your environment and your flexibility. People with high dexterity make good acrobats, pick-pockets, dancers, and racecar drivers.

There are three sub-categories of dexterity which include to-hit adjustment, acrobat adjustment, and speed adjustment. To-hit adjustment effects how well you can dodge an opponents attack. Acrobat adjustment is an adjustment added to whenever you make a normal acrobatic roll. Speed adjustment is added to a standard running roll.

Dexterity
Amount

To Hit
Adj

Acrobat
Adj

Speed
Adj

1

+4

-8

-3

2

+3

-6

-2

3

+2

-4

-2

4

+1

-2

-1

5

+0

+0

+0

6

+0

+1

+1

7

-1

+2

+1

8

-2

+4

+2

9

-3

+6

+2

10

-4

+8

+3

Intelligence

Intelligence includes your character's ability to learn and retain information as well as his or her common sense and wisdom. People with high intelligence make good scholars, computer hackers, and technicians.

There are two sub-categories of intelligence which include starting skills and maximum languages. Starting skills are the number of skill points your character gets when he or she first starts out. Maximum languages is the highest number of languages your character will be able to learn not the number he or she starts with.

Intelligence
Amount

Starting
Skill Points

Max
Languages

1

2

0

2

4

1

3

6

1

4

8

1

5

10

2

6

12

2

7

14

2

8

16

3

9

18

4

10

20

5

Perception

Perception includes your character's ability to notice anything out-of-the-ordinary as well as many things than most people don't notice. Good perception is useful to anybody.

There are two sub-categories of perception which include surprise adjustment and detect hidden adjustment. Surprise adjustment is added to a standard surprise roll. Detect hidden adjustment is added to standard detect hidden rolls.

Perception
Amount

Surprise
Adj

Detect
Hidden Adj

1

-6

-6

2

-4

-4

3

-2

-2

4

-1

-1

5

+0

+0

6

+1

+0

7

+2

+1

8

+4

+2

9

+6

+3

10

+7

+4

Strength

Strength includes your ability to lift and carry heavy objects as well as how much damage you can do with melee weapons. People with high strength make good fighters and body guards.

There are three sub-categories of strength which include damage adjustment, maximum carrying capacity, and feat adjustment. Damage adjustment effect how much extra damage is added to a normal melee attack roll. Maximum carrying capacity is the maximum amount of weight your character can carry around. Feat adjustment is added to a normal feat of strength roll.

Strength
Amount

Damage
Adj

Max
Carry

Feat
Adj

1

-2

50

-6

2

-1

75

-4

3

-2

100

-2

4

+0

150

-1

5

+0

200

+0

6

+0

250

+1

7

+0

300

+2

8

+1

350

+4

9

+1

400

+6

10

+2

500

+7

Starting Attributes

When a new character is created they are given 30 attribute points to distribute amongst the six attributes. This is enough points to have a 5 for each attribute which is a totally average character. You may distribute these values any way you want, but you must have at least a 1 on each attribute, and you cannot go above 10 on any attribute.

Mutations

Due to the terrible amount of radiation in the atmosphere every living thing has been effected by the radiation including humans. Although any large mutation usually results in death, some smaller mutations have slipped into the genetics of the people. Every character you create will have at least one mutation, and they may, if you choose, have up to four mutations total.

In order to give your character mutations, you must first choose how many you want. Then, for each mutation roll on the mutation chart to see what you get. Because of the amount of radiation nobody can tell what mutations a child will be born with and they are totally random.

#

Mutation Name

Mutation Description

1

Hampered Sense

-1 Perception

2

Heightened Sense

+1 Perception

3

Disfiguration

-1 Allure

4

Good Looks

+1 Allure

5

Dim Witted

-1 Intelligence

6

Critical Thinker

+1 Intelligence

7

Quick Healer

+1 Constitution

8

Slow Healer

-1 Constitution

9

Agile

+1 Dexterity

10

Clumsy

-1 Dexterity

11

Muscular

+1 Strength

12

Weakling

-1 Strength

13

Longevity

+10 Maximum Age

14

Short Life

-10 Maximum Age

15

Chameleon Skin

Start with 1 on camouflage skill

16

Partial Gills

You have the ability to hold your breath up to 5 minutes.

17

Webbing

Your hands and feet are webbed allowing you to swim very fast.

18

Infravision

You can see the infrared spectrum.

19

Claws

Very strong finger/toe nails. (+1 damage when fighting unarmed)

20

Reptile Jaws

Very strong teeth and jaws. Ability to bite through wood, rope, and plastic.


Life in Wasteland

Wasteland is a very dangerous place. How long your character can survive is determined by how safe you play and a little bit of luck. Because the world has become so deadly, you can expect to be injured an awful lot. In order to see how much damage your character can take, there are life points.

Life Points

Life points are a representation of how much of a beating your character can take before he or she dies. Maximum life points are completely dependant on your character's constitution. There are many ways to effect your life points.

Damage

Damage is incurred when your character's body becomes injured. Getting hit by a crowbar, getting shot, or crashing a car are all examples of things that will most likely cause damage. When damage occurs your character will lose life points. Losing life points is very painful, and puts your character one step closer to death. If your life points ever get to zero your character falls unconscious. At negative ten life points your character becomes critically injured, and at negative twenty life points or more, your character dies (see death).

Healing

You may get injured a lot, but you can also be healed. Your body will naturally heal itself over time. Your constitution's regeneration rate will tell you how many hours of rest you character must go through to heal one life point. Also, you can speed this process up if you have a skilled medic with you (see Skills - Medic). There are also certain drugs which can give you a temporary boost of life points.

Wounds

When your character takes a very painful injury they can become wounded. Wounds that aren't medically treated will cause continual damage to your character until they eventually die. Small wounds like scrapes and bruises are not important enough to qualify for a wound but larger inflictions like bullets and shrapnel will count as wounds. Any wound that causes heavy bleeding (internal or external) and won't heal on it's own is considered a wound. Because Wasteland isn't meant to be a medical game, all wounds (whether they are laceration, punctures, etc.) are treated in the same way.

When a wound is incurred it will begin causing extra damage one hour after it was made. For each untreated wound on your character they to lose one life point per hour. Once a wound is treated it must be retreated every day until it is healed or it will start causing damage again. Wounds can only be treated by a character with the medic skill.

Each wound is given a healing time which is the number of days it will take to heal the wound once it is treated. These days must have limited physical activity (very little work only) or they will not count towards the healing time. See the chart below for average healing times.

Wound Type

Healing
Time

Stab wound

10

Crushing wound

15

Handgun bullet wound

20

Sub-machinegun bullet wound

20

Rifle bullet wound

50

Assault rifle bullet wound

60

Shrapnel wound

70

Acid burn

10

Radiation burn

20

Car accident

60

More information about wounds can be seen under Skills - Medic.

Death

When a character's life points reach negative twenty, they die. Death is final, and there is absolutely no way to bring a dead character back to life. The mortality rate in Wasteland is very low, so expect to lose characters fairly often.


Radiation

Radiation plays a very important role in Wasteland, because the majority of the world is still heavily radioactive. Radiation is hard to detect, all over the place, and very deadly. It can damage your character, wound them, and eventually kill them.

Because so many nuclear weapons were detonated at once, there isn't a place on Earth that wasn't effected by the radiation. All living creatures have been effected by it. Certain organisms with short gestation periods like bacteria and small animals have evolved very rapidly. Some aren't even recognizable anymore.

Detecting Radiation

Radiation cannot be detected by the normal five senses. Your character must be carrying a functional Geiger counter in order to measure the amount of rads in the area.

Radiation Poisoning

When your character enters a location that is radioactive and they are unprotected, they will not know it, but they are slowly becoming radioactive. As the days pass your character will start becoming sick and losing life points from the radiation. Depending on how strong the radiation was, and how long they were exposed to it. The amount of damage can be lessened by help of a medic, but exposing yourself to radiation is often fatal.

Protecting from Radiation

With the use of a Geiger counter you will be able to tell when you are entering an area of high radiation, which can save your life.

Although with a high constitution you will get some natural protection from radiation, you will need other means to protect yourself from the radiation of the world. The most common way to protect yourself from radiation is with a radiation suit. These suits are quite rare, but offer a high level of protection from radiation for a while. Radiation suits can only be used once before the must be destroyed.


Skills

In order for your character to accomplish anything beyond walking and talking, they must have skills. Skills allow your character to exist in the harsh world of Wasteland. Skills include you character's ability to hunt and fight, as well as their ability to drive and work with computers.

Your character starts out with skill points equal to that on their intelligence. New skills are gained through practice, experience, and training.

Each skill is learned on a five level system see below. All skills have a minimum intelligence level which your character must meet before they can acquire them. For each level beyond the first, you must have an additional intelligence point to reach it. For example, the skill brawling has a minimum intelligence of 1. You qualify for level one brawling if your intelligence is one or greater. In order to get level two brawling, you must have an intelligence of two, and so on.

Skill Levels

A player can have a skill from level one to level five. A zero means you cannot use the skill, one the lowest a five is the highest. In order to gain a level you must first find someone who is already skilled in the level you want to learn, and then have them train you. You can also learn a skill through research and experience, but it takes much longer.

0 - You know almost nothing about this topic.
1 - You have a general understanding of this topic as a whole, but you know very little of the more intricate aspects.
2 - You know enough to use this skill properly.
3 - You're quite good at this skill. You even know some of the more unknown things about this skill.
4 - You are amazing with this skill. You know all the ins-and-outs of this skill. There are few who can match you.
5 - You are one of the best at this skill and know everything about the topic. It's very difficult to reach this level.

Skills

Minimum Intelligence 1

Brawling - How well you can fight multiple opponents at once
Climbing - Your ability to climb walls, fences, ropes, cliffs, etc.
Club Fighting - How well you fight with club-like weapons
Foreign Language - How well you know a foreign language
Singing - Your ability to sing
Swimming - Needed to swim
Unarmed Combat - How well you can fight without a weapon

Minimum Intelligence 2

Boating - Your ability to captain a boat properly
Camouflage - The ability to move quietly and without being seen
Driving - How good of a driver you are
Gambling - Gives you the ability to understand games of chance, as well as how to cheat, and how to avoid getting cheated
Hunting - Helps with finding food in the wilderness
Knife Fighting - How well you can fight with knife-like weapons
Read/Write - Your ability to read and write
Throwing - How accurate your throwing ability is

Minimum Intelligence 3

Aviation - Your ability to fly planes, helicopters, and other flying machines
Farming - How well you can grow and cultivate plants, also helps to discern poison plants
Mechanics - Your ability to create and repair mechanical devices like cars, planes, boats, and various other hardware
Bows - How well you can fight with bow and arrow
Burglary - Includes lock picking, alarm detection and disarming, safecracking, and detecting and creating forgeries
Guns - How well you can fight with and maintain guns
Navigation - Very useful when deep in the wilderness

Minimum Intelligence 4

Bureaucracy - How good of a diplomat you are
Computers - Your ability to use and repair computers
Medic - Needed to treat wounds and injured people
Pyrotechnics - How well you understand explosives

Minimum Intelligence 5

Chemistry - How well you can work with chemicals
Cryptology - How well you can make and break codes
Physics - Gives you the ability to understand most aspects of the world around you in a better way


Encounters

An encounter occurs whenever your character meets other people or things. When you meet beggars, merchants, bandits, animals, etc. an encounter takes place. Any time when everything that is going on needs to be explained in detail an encounter occurs. There five steps to an encounter and they are: Surprise, Reaction, Actions, Combat, and Parting.

Surprise

Surprise checks are needed when your character and another being come in close proximity and one of the parties cannot see the other. This can occur when walking into a room, when making an ambush, etc.

To check for a surprise, roll a d10 for each party and add their collective surprise adjustments from perception. Whomever has the highest surprises the other. You may also add modifiers depending on whether one side is expecting the other.

Reaction

Reactions are the first impression of each party. To give a description of how each side sees the other, make a reaction roll for each party by rolling a d10. Add the collective modifiers to each side. To see how NPCs react to the party see the chart below.

Result

Reaction Description

-5

Instant attack

-4

-3

Utter hatred

-2

-1

0

Despise them

1

Total jerks

2

Seems like bad people

3

4

Seems strange

5

Nondescript

6

Seems okay

7

8

Nice people

9

Very nice people

10

Instant friends

11

12

13

Admiration

14

15

Absolute trust

Actions

At this point each side gets to decide what they are going to do with the situation. If one side surprises the other, then get an action before the reaction step.

Combat

If the encounter comes to blows, which they sometimes do, you will need to know how to perform combat. (See Combat).

Parting

After actions are made, conversations are finished, or people are killed or ran away, the encounter is over. Parting includes searching bodies, picking up items, healing comrades, etc.


Equipment and Money

Bartering

With the destruction of all major governments, most forms of money have become obsolete. People still have a fondness for jewelry and precious metals though. The bartering system is now the main way to get new equipment. The higher your allure, the better trade value you can get for your trades.

Items

Trying to find useful items that aren't radioactive is a difficult task in Wasteland. Only the third world countries were saved, and they didn't have very much to begin with. When you do find something of value consider it a treasure and keep it hidden, because there are many people out there who would kill you to have it. All items have a trade value which is a numeric equivalent to how important it is to most people in Wasteland.

Item

Value

Description

Handgun

800

A small firearm that is easily concealed and very effective.

Handgun Ammo

100

A bullet for a handgun. These are very rare.

Sub-Machinegun

1500

A small firearm with automatic firing capability.

Sub-Machinegun Ammo

150

A bullet for sub-machineguns.

Rifle

2500

A medium sized firearm. Difficult to conceal, but quite powerful.

Rifle Ammo

250

Ammo for a rifle.

Assault Rifle

2500

A medium sized firearm. Can be set to fire automatically.

Assault Rifle Ammo

250

Ammo for an assault rifle.

Grenade Launcher

5000

A medium sized firearm. Launches explosive rounds.

Grenade Ammo

600

Ammo for a grenade launcher.

Hand Grenade

700

An medium explosive device that can be thrown.

Rocket Launcher

6000

A large firearm. Launches explosive missiles.

Rocket

700

Ammo for a rocket launcher.

Dynamite

600

An medium explosive that must be manually detonated.

Plastic Explosives

700

C-4, a moldable explosive putty.

Club

1-20

Includes anything than can easily be wielded as a club including solid wooden clubs, metal pipes, crowbars, etc. The more durable it is, the more expensive it is.

Knife

1-20

Includes anything than can easily be wielded as a knife including broken bottles, metal knives, razors, etc. The more durable it is, the more expensive it is.

Bow

30

Usually made of wood or plastic. It shoots arrows.

Arrow

5

Fired from bows.

Crossbow

40

Usually made of wood or plastic. It shoots bolts.

Bolts

5

Fired from crossbows.

Sealable Bottle / Jar

8

Used for carrying liquids.

Backpack

15

Allows the ability to carry multiple items easily.

Food

10

One meal worth.

Water

5

One liter. Does not include carrying unit.

Compass

300

Very useful when trying to navigate.

Geiger Counter

2000

Tells you how much radiation is around.

Riot Armor

500

Was used by the old police for controlling riots. Made from durable light-weight plastics. Medium protection from fists, clubs, and knives.

Bulletproof Vest

1500

A form of protection once used by the police. Protects from most convention guns.

Flack Jacket

2000

A heavy armor used by the military. Protects very well against most convention weapons, as well as decent protection from larger rounds.

Military Kevlar

3000

A more recent armor that protects very well against bullets and many other types of weapons.

First Aid Kit

200

Includes enough equipment to treat minor wounds.

Surgical Equipment

800

Includes enough equipment to perform minor surgery.

Chemistry Equipment

1300

Includes enough equipment to perform minor chemical studies.

Gasoline

100

One liter. Highly flammable, needed to drive cars.

Diesel

100

One liter. Highly flammable, needed to drive diesel engine vehicles.

Motor Oil

150

One liter. Flammable, long burning, needed for all vehicle engines.

Antifreeze

25

One liter. Needed to keep vehicles from over heating.

Brake/Trans/Steering fluid

10

One liter. Regular vehicle maintenance.

Quad

10000

Very Small vehicle, poor gas mileage, slow, fairly easy maintenance. Very Little space.

Compact Car

20000

Small vehicle, good gas mileage, not too fast, fairly easy maintenance. Little space.

Sedan Car

30000

Medium vehicle, average gas mileage, fairly quick, average maintenance. Good space.

Sports Car

50000

Small vehicle, poor gas mileage, very fast, high maintenance. Very little space.

Pickup Truck

40000

large vehicle, poor gas mileage, fast, average maintenance. Lots of space.

Van

35000

large vehicle, poor gas mileage, not too fast, average maintenance. Lots of space.

SUV

45000

large vehicle, poor gas mileage, fast, average maintenance. Lots of space.

Plain jewelry

5-20

Includes jeweless rings, bracelets, small earrings, chain necklaces, etc.

Low-quality jewelry

30-100

Includes jewelry that has small jewels or cheap jewels.

High-quality jewelry

200-1000

Includes jewelry with large stones.


Combat

Fighting hasn't changed much over the years, there is still a lot of it, but now there are no police officers to stop anyone. Combat is something that most decent people try to avoid because it causes serious risk of loss of limb and life, but criminals and people who are desperate are often willing to fight you for your equipment. The biggest problem with combat in Wasteland is that it you get shot in a vital area, you're going to die.

Weapons

Unarmed - Punch, kick, bite, choke, etc.
Clubs - Pipe, Crowbar, Bat, etc.
Knives - Broken bottle, cooking knife, hunting knife, etc.
Arrows - Bow, compound bow, crossbow, etc.
Guns - Handgun, Sub-machinegun, Rifle, Assault rifle, etc.
Explosives - Dynamite, Grenade, C-4, Rockets, etc.

Armor

Riot Armor - Used by the police during riots. Made from durable light-weight plastics. Protects partially from fists, clubs, and knives.
Bulletproof Vest - A form of protection once used by the police. Protects from most conventional guns.
Flack Jacket - A heavy armor used by the military. Protects very well against most conventional weapons, as well as decent protection from larger rounds.
Military Kevlar - A more recent armor that protects very well against bullets and many other types of weapons.


© Copyright 2004: Dean Tersigni. All rights reserved.