Apocalypse Then: Playing AW in the Civil War era

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DannyK

  • 157
Apocalypse Then: Playing AW in the Civil War era
« on: September 03, 2013, 08:37:52 PM »
Hi, getting back into gaming after exams and I've been on a Civil War kick (American Civil War, the blue and the gray, brother vs brother etc), and it struck me that it was pretty darn apocalyptic and you could totally set an AW game in someplace that saw heavy guerilla action like Bleeding Kansas or Tenessee or Kentucky, or, if you want more of a deep South flavor to your chaos, Georgia during Sherman's march.  I've been thinking about pumping up the chaos with something like "Vicksburg flu" wiping out half the population or zombies or a just a nightmarish War Between the States that keeps going and going, with more and more destructive weapons and tactics, until the civilians are equally terrified of both sides' armies and things have gotten weird and steampunk.  But I'm not sure any of that is necessary, since it was disastrous enough in the historical version. 

Any way you situate it, there's a setting of chaos, violence, scarcity, and crumbling authority, raging ideology and people shooting each other for minor reasons or no reason at all.  If the game goes well, there might be a sequel in the weird west.  For most of the playbooks, I think I can get along without huge changes, maybe adding a little steampunk or Southern Gothic flavor to the settings depending which playbooks people use and how they use them. The Brainer and Savvyhead might be a little tricky since they're both using the lost technology of the ancients, but maybe the Brainer could be reskinned as a Mesmerist or just a creepy occultist.  The Chopper and his gang are mirrored pretty well by a guy leading a rogue cavalry unit or something like Quantrill's raiders, outlaws on good horses with guns.  The Driver maybe becomes a horseman or scout, with more emphasis on freedom and riding the range and less on cool cars.  Also, he doesn't get "My Other Horse is a Tank."  I'd love to reskin one of the playbooks for the railroad, but it feels like something that needs its own playbook, or maybe a specialized Savvyhead or Operator.  Among the LE playbooks, the Faceless and Maestro D' fit perfectly, the Solace and Touchstone could be tied in to liberation and the Underground Railroad beautifully.  The Quarantine, probably not unless you want to imagine some Revolutionary War hero who got put into suspended animation by Benjamin Franklin to sleep until the Republic faced its greatest crisis.  That might be a little weird. 

Finally, for Civil War AW, along with the usual character creation options, you also have to choose one more:
Facial Hair: Clean shaven, enormous sideburns, enormous mustache, enormous flowing beard and mustache, pointy chin-beard, pointy mustache and chin-beard, [your favorite general or politician here]
These days, some of the players may be able to say that their character has the same beard they do with perfect historical accuracy. 


Re: Apocalypse Then: Playing AW in the Civil War era
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 11:59:23 PM »
Have you looked at The Regiment? That might make a good framework for a Civil War campaign if it's military focused.

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DannyK

  • 157
Re: Apocalypse Then: Playing AW in the Civil War era
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 01:24:10 AM »
I like The Regiment, and might even steal some stuff from it for the game, but I really want it to be a game about life during and after the Civil War, not about fighting it.  Like Cold Mountain, where the protagonist spends most of the book just trying to get home after deserting, and finds everything fucked up when he gets there.

Re: Apocalypse Then: Playing AW in the Civil War era
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 06:43:50 AM »
I would love to see a Revolutionary Quarantine in that sort of game with mad science left over from the founding fathers. Of course, once you go that route, you have to watch out because we all know Benjamin Frankenstein flew a kite in a thunderstorm so that he could capture lighting to reanimate corpses.

Re: Apocalypse Then: Playing AW in the Civil War era
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013, 01:42:47 AM »
Or one could give it a twist and make the Quarantine come from the future. His amnesia would be used to prevent "meta-gaming" and historical "spoilers". Though that would be tricky still.

Re: Apocalypse Then: Playing AW in the Civil War era
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2013, 02:39:20 PM »
The core moves of the Quarantine work fine for any old soldier or veteran.
I'd suggest, removing stasis and past and replacing them with something else.

My preference, thematically, would be to make it a veteran of a previous war (I suggest the Mexican-American as the time frame works out pretty well).
Replace stasis and past with something relating to the ghosts of your personal history along with trying to adapt with a changing world.
Maybe the Quarantine is someone who had thought they'd seen enough violence, so they holed themselves up from the world, I dunno.
Maybe replace Eager to Know with Oftener Right, maybe.

Anyhow, I hope you keep working on this, I dig the idea!
- Alex

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Lukas

  • 53
Re: Apocalypse Then: Playing AW in the Civil War era
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2013, 08:59:47 AM »
I'm now thinking of doing the same for post-Black Death Europe. The Brainer becomes the Witch, the Chopper, the Condottier, the Battlebabe, the Masterless Man, etc.