A couple of posts back I talked about rebooting settings to create new campaigns and while I was thinking on the topic of reboots I stumbled on a D&D 5e character sheet in the style of Fallout complete with art of Vault Boy and my mind got to turning on how I might run a fallout tabletop mini-campaign.
Right now, I don’t have the time or bandwidth to create a whole campaign (even a short one) set in Fallout’s retro future wastelands but that doesn’t stop me from contemplating it. A lot. Fortunately for me I have this blog that gives me an excuse to dabble in it even if it never hits my table.
As I’ve said before I’m a sucker for a good character sheet and whomever put the fallout sheet I found together did an excellent job (link)…BUT…They used 5e pretty much unchanged. Don’t get me wrong 5e is a great game, I’ve had fun playing it the few times I’ve had the opportunity so this isn’t me calling out the newest version of D&D as a bad game. It’s just not the engine I would use for a Fallout game. It doesn’t feel like Fallout to me, D&D is just too heroic.
Not that I would probably use the new rules from Modiphius either. Again not because its a bad game in this case it’s back to I don’t have the band width. Learning a new ruleset for a one-shot or short-shot mini-campaign seems like more work than I want to put in right now.
So despite just saying I don’t have the time my dumb brain decided, “Ooooh! Let’s plan a Fallout mini-campaign and even make a character sheet! That’ll be awesome!”
First step then was deciding on a ruleset to use. Normally, I default to the Cypher System, or Genesys, which has a perfectly good Fallout theme but, no. my brain wasn’t having any of it. The rules I would theoretically use needed to be something SPECIAL (yeah, that pun is intentional. You’re welcome.)
If you’re looking to capture the right feel in a reboot the rules and character sheet can be used to immediately set the right tone. Fallout needs to be dangerous and gritty. We’ve been playing Delta Green and I recently grabbed a copy of the 7th edition of Call of Cthulhu (CoC) so the d100 based rules of Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying (BRP) were firmly in my mind as I started my planning. Call of Cthulhu has a reputation, many players who have never cracked a cover of a CoC know the investigators are fragile in both mind and body. Not a terrible place to start a Wastelands game.
So, I got to thinking about the character sheet and googled some Vault Boy images and decided to forgo the normal BRP attributes and skills. Instead I opted for the “SPECIAL” attributes (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck) and a short custom skill list derived from the skills used across the various video games.
Once, I had a rough character sheet (with borrowed art from the internet) I started to think about the sort of story I’d tell. Come back in two weeks and I’ll lay out a few of the key details I’d focus on to properly reboot Fallout 4 as a tabletop mini-campaign.