A lush, green apocalypse

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Ry

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A lush, green apocalypse
« on: January 18, 2011, 01:31:09 PM »
Whatever's happened in Apocalypse World, it precludes large-scale manufacturing and the agriculture base is pretty degraded.

But It's not necessarily irradiated, gray or visually bleak, right?    

Years on, Chernobyl is basically a huge nature preserve.  When humanity abandons a place, for whatever reason, it goes back to nature in ways that are pretty intense.

Does anyone have ideas on what a lush, green apocalypse would look like?  

Do I need rules changes to capture this kind of apocalypse?

Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 01:39:20 PM »
I've been thinking about this too, thinking of setting up a lush wilderness apocalypse that is maybe the result of a pandemic wiping out a lot of people.

In my mind, everything is overgrown and returning to forest. A while back there were some photo essays about abandoned parts of Detroit that are another place to look for inspiration.

I don't think you need any rules changes. The scarcities you emphasize when thinking of threats and fronts will be different (i.e. hunger and thirst may be easier to satisfy).

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Chris

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Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 01:48:58 PM »
I was actually looking at the Scarcity thread when I saw this. I've had two games die at the table and a friend is looking at his game wither because there just wasn't enough scarcity.

I don't know. Maybe it's a group think thing, but all the PC are a lot more chilled out and the stakes, in the literary sense, seem much lower, even if it's actually life and death. Play seems to become more about factionalization, with little city states vying over ideologies rather than survival. Pressures are internal rather than external, which isn't good or bad, just different. I don't know, maybe it's me, but I think it loses a little of the horror element that's built in.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 02:33:02 PM »
I'm very curious about a lush green Apocalypse World, and I think it could work, but you can't sacrifice scarcity.  It just doesn't have to be food and water you focus on.  You can focus on warmth, safety, women, medicine, etc.  Hell, you could have a scarcity of heroin.  The point is that you need a feeling of desperation, of living on the edge.  That can happen in a tropical environment, no problem.  What you can't have is a utopia.


I would highly recommend sticking to settings with strong implications of scarcity until the group was comfortable with Apocalypse World and you felt like a change of scenery.

Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 02:54:35 PM »
The first game I played was set in a pretty lush forest, where scarcity of food wasn't an issue. As MC I made up for it with an excessive amount of animosity between NPC groups. The PCs had plenty of stuff to do what with first trying to stop a war going down and then fighting dudes once they picked a side.

Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 04:38:16 PM »
We're playing a game where the world is more jungle/forest-y, but there are giant monsters everywhere, so I guess our main scarcity is safety.  Most of the PCs are monster hunters attempting to mitigate this scarcity.

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Ry

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Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 05:15:16 PM »
How many sessions, Nuke Bob?  How is it panning out?  Are relationships between humans sufficiently stressed?

Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 05:25:01 PM »
We're in the first session now.  The NPC running the hold has asked us to kill the Hocus, although a monster is doing a pretty good job of it already.  One of the team members is in the cult, so this will be an area of conflict.  I'd like to see if the hocus has enough power to try to overthrow the hold, which would definitely generate some tension.  The Faceless also went on a bit of a shooting/burning spree, so we may have to help him go into hiding.

Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 07:39:19 PM »
Lush can be poisonous. Maybe clean water is hard to find, and food that isn't carefully prepared is dangerous.  And maybe the survivors of the Apocalypse have no idea how to farm or gather effectively.

Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 09:03:47 PM »
Lush can also be either screamingly dangerous, with everything somehow custom-evovled to kill human beings, ala Harry Harrison's Deathworld, say, or perhaps enticingly irresistible, so that leaving the walls of the Hardhold unprotected from the smell of the trees means you Go Native and join the Ferals. The RPG Summerland give this angle a really interesting treatment and is worth a look if you want your Apocalypse lush, green, and psychologically creepy.

-JC

Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 09:14:18 PM »
The RPG Summerland give this angle a really interesting treatment

Oh, good call. I will have to go read it through again with "as an AW setting" in mind.

Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 03:23:25 PM »
Ry,

You're giving me an idea for an AW game, where some serious large-scale nuclear disaster (maybe like Chernobyl, maybe as the result of a way) leaves an area of the globe destroyed, scarred, twisted. The earth is barren, except where mutated and bizarre, powerful new lifeforms grow at alarming rates.

That's where the people of Apocalypse World live.

But the rest of the world? They've built a huge fence around this prohibited area, and are going on living their lives. No one and no thing is allowed to leave, of course, so there's not communication between the two worlds.

In some parts of Apocalypse World (a sort of natural reserve, or native reservation, one that nobody ever wants to visit), you can see the clouds of acrid smoke produced by the distant and unreachable Great Cities, billowing for hundreds of miles into the reserve.

Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 06:19:10 PM »
I'd second people's mentions of safety and add a mention of disease. Read some accounts of Japanese soldiers who got cut off from supplies in WWII on tropical islands, especially New Guinea. Everything there will make you sick or eat you or both if given half a chance. Not to mention it gives you a good excuse for a lower tech Apocalypse, as corrosion would be a nightmare.

This is all assuming "lush, green = tropical", where you might just mean forests and plants and what not. Naussicaa of the Valley of the Wind has huge, beautiful fungal forests growing in the radiation zones of a post-apocalyptic world, but they're super infectious/poisonous to normal plants and animals and they are full of giant bug monsters.

Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2011, 08:40:30 AM »
Hey there,
I have the same situation developing in my group and I think so far all the suggestions are great.  I would like to also add, weather.  In most games, weather is just a table to roll on and used to make actions more difficult; but I think in AP, they can be used to create crisis for groups.  Unfortunately, it might be a little heavy handed of the MC, because players might not feel like they had any choice or control.  So give them some time to react.  Additionally, there is always winter, that can easily be a countdown front.  Plenty and surplus for most months out of the year, but you need to store up for a few months of basically nothing.
 
Pete

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Chris

  • 342
Re: A lush, green apocalypse
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2011, 04:01:00 PM »
Yeah, weather follows the rules for anything else: announce future badness, make it part of a set-up before you make a hard move and if it's persistent, make it a threat as part of a front.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"