A slightly different take on the Quarantine

  • 4 Replies
A slightly different take on the Quarantine
« on: March 04, 2018, 12:50:04 PM »
The Quarantine is one of my favourite playbooks. The way the start-of-session move fills out the history of the Apocalypse, and feels like rediscovering the Quarantine's lost memories, is just beautiful in play.

When I first saw the details of the playbook, though, I was disappointed, because the Quarantine is some kind of highly trained soldier in stasis. I was hoping for a "fish out water" character who doesn't belong, kind of like the Mortal in Monsterhearts. I was never sure what to do about that, until I saw that some of the Solace's moves could actually work pretty well to create that type of interaction with others. I've borrowed a couple to create this:


My idea for a more "Mortal-like" Quarantine. Instead of being a soldier suddenly released into the world, you're an outsider, a seeker of truth, and a carrier of the values of the Old World.

Most of the playbook is as-is. However:

Your Name

You wake up with a name tag or badge. Do you remember your own name, or is this your only clue?

For your name, choose one of the following:

A regular, boring name from the Old World, a name that carries hope for the future,  the name of a former classmate, the name of a former coworker, the name of an old flame.

Your Background

You've just appeared from stasis; this is entirely new to you. You remember only glimpses - and barely, at that - of your past life. What is this place?

For "when you were released from stasis", choose [] a few days ago, [] a few hours ago, [] just moments ago.

Your Gear

You get:

* A token of the world you left behind (you detail)
* Three antique or high-tech items. Any valuable item might be worth as much as 3-barter, to the right people.
* Fashion suitable to your look (you detail).
* Other than your items, no oddments or jingle: you have to make your own way, right from the first session.

Choose 3 antique or high-tech items:

* A field reporter's bulletproof vest (1-armor).
* A filmmaker's high quality digital video camera (valuable hi-tech)
* An archaeologist's electronic handheld recorder containing encyclopedic knowledge (valuable hi-tech)
* A writer-librarian's small collection of books (antique valuable) you detail
* A doctor's suitcase of antibiotics, medicines, and experimental drugs (valuable)
* A private investigator's small-caliber personal pistol, with laser sight and fingerprint scanner (valuable hi-tech 2-harm close)
* To create your own, think of a profession which no longer exists and an iconic item

Your Moves

You get 3 Quarantine moves.

Favorite of the maelstrom: when you help someone who’s making a roll, take +1 to your Hx with them. When someone chooses to read a person with you as the subject, or any other move which allows them to ask questions in order to learn about your inner workings or lost memories, they can choose to gain +1 Hx with you, or to lower yours with them by 1, instead. 

Self-possessed: when you highlight stats, the MC doesn’t get to highlight one. Instead, you choose one to highlight for yourself.

Alive in the world: when you take your bearings in a landscape or a settlement, ask 1:
• Where could I hide here?
• If I had to make a stand here, where would be best?
• What does this place or these people have to offer me?
• How could I gain access to this place’s  or these people’s secrets?
• How could I gain the undivided attention of all present?
• How could I best become accepted as a part of this place or these people?
• What or who is the source of the most pain here?
Whenever acting on the answer requires a roll, take +1. If you make efforts to dig further into a settlement or group of people, roll+sharp. On a 10+, ask 2 more. On a 7–9, ask 1 more. On a miss, ask 1 more, but you draw unwanted attention, here and now.

A higher standard: at the end of the session, when you would normally choose a character who knows you better, instead, consider each of the other players’ characters and decide whether or not they were good people. All that were, tell them to add +1 to their Hx with you on their sheet. You can tell none of them, any of them, or all of them, as you see fit. If this brings them to Hx+4, they mark experience and reset to Hx+1, as always.
Eager to know: when you go to someone for advice, they must tell you honestly what they think the best course is. If you pursue that course, take +1 to any rolls you make in the pursuit. If you pursue that course but don’t accomplish your ends, you mark experience.

Inspiring: when another player’s character rolls+Hx to help you, they mark experience.



  • 415
Re: A slightly different take on the Quarantine
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2018, 03:56:05 PM »
Nice. I agree, the ex-soldier thing really limited the value of the Quarantine by default, but we played it out a bunch of different ways. Including in one instance, a vault dweller, and not the kind waking from stasis.

Re: A slightly different take on the Quarantine
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2018, 05:34:07 PM »
Nice! I'd love to hear more about that. Was the idea that the character had lived in isolation for most of their life, or what?



  • 415
Re: A slightly different take on the Quarantine
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2018, 09:07:13 PM »
Um. That wouldn't make for a combat-ready person from an older time..... so no.

It was fallout styled, so basically, a group of vault dwellers were subject to a crazy experiment, overseen by a robot overseer who spewed lies and propaganda about the outside world. So, the character had been living up to that point sealed inside a mini-ecosystem that strongly enforced a series of morals resembling the world as it was. With a twist.

Basically, there were only females born in the vault, and only females let in, and the robot instilled the concept that all men were evil, destroyed the world, and could never be trusted. While managing a scientific breeding program... that was basically trying to sculpt the perfect people. lol. Then it ran out of power and the whole thing collapsed, trapping or killing many of the population, save for the Quarantine who was a young girl, and her sister, that was abducted right after the event. So yeah. Old world morals, extreme phobia of half the population, and dumped unceremoniously into a post-apocalyptic world, desperate to find her family, and all needing to try to save anyone else left alive in the failed vault.

All the start of the session questions became what did the propaganda spewing robot overseer tell them happened, or stories of their ancestors. We didn't know any of this at first actually, we found out by asking these questions at the start of the game and building on the answers.

It was a 2 session for-the-hell-of-it game, and we didn't play it all out. But it was hilarious.

We just dumped a pipboy that had knowledge of the past, armor and weapons of super high caliber, and said the robot taught a military type self-defense class in the vault. (Which was more a scary vigorous super soldier murderer type program than actual self-defense...)

Re: A slightly different take on the Quarantine
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 11:35:42 PM »
That's fantastic! I like how it changes the premise of the playbook a fair bit while still retaining all the bits that make it what it is - it doesn't contradict the letter of the playbook at all, just its spirit (in a limited way). Very cool.