For some odd reason, I seem to be writing a post-apocalypse pencil and paper RPG. I was wondering if I could get your thoughts on a few things.
The general idea, I think, is that this world will be one in which there has been a die-off of humans. I am not thinking about a full-scale nuclear/biological warfare exchange so much as environmental degradation combined with, perhaps some global pandemic. I am thinking that the catastrophe itself happened, I don’t know, something like 50 years from now and the game itself takes place perhaps 300 years from that point. The basic idea is that the die-off would have happened close enough to now that the tech level would be familiar to modern gamers, but far enough ahead that you could sprinkle in an occasional element not in play today. Also, while there would be issues of environmental poisons and the like, and while most of the cities would have fallen to ruin, you wont have radioactive craters or that sort of thing.
Anyway, here are some questions.
I am thinking that the vast majority of folks around will be human, however in terms of ambiance you pretty much really need Mutants. Now, I don’t want to fall into the Gamma World trap with mutants. Honestly, while making mutant characters was kind of fun, one has to admit that they were nowhere near plausible and sort of stupid. So, how should I handle mutants? I am thinking of some sort of edge/flaw system where edges have to balance flaws. Any thoughts on this? Specifically, what would be reasonable edges and flaws?
[li]Understanding of tech in general:[/li]
In general, what do you think that people 300 years after a major die-off of humans would be like? Figure that during that time all communication and distribution networks will have broken down. Figure further that it may have only been the last 20 to 30 years that people have been able to focus much past base survival. Would anyone still be able to read (assuming that they could find a library with intact books)? What tech knowledge would have survived? Would any tech left over still work?
While I recognize that barter would probably be the rule of the day, how should I handle this for the characters in a way that would not totally bog down the game and be irritating, but still be sort of different and plausible?
There is a lot more, but as this is getting pretty long I think that I will let this serve as a jumping off point then take it from there. As always, thanks for any thoughts that you may offer.