Today’s installment of the Let’s Study series for Fallout is an overview of the setting chapters of the game: Corporations of Pre-War America, Vault-Tec, and The Commonwealth.
Corporations of Pre-War America
This chapter covers the various powerful corporations from before the war, with each corporation receiving a short writeup of their nature and history, and how they changed after the war. In addition, each of the writeups also includes a section of how to use their presence in your game, with tips on how the landmarks they leave feel, and what kind of plot hooks work best when the ghosts of these corporations are the focus of your Quests.
The chapter covers a whole slew of differing corporations from various industries from Raw Materials and Energy like Red Rocket or Poseidon Energy, to Manufacturers like Nuka-Cola.
Of course, the mother of all corporations, Vault-Tec deserves its own chapter. Detailed are the Core Principles and Goals of Vault-Tec, a little bit of what happened to the vaults during the events of October 23rd, 2077, and perhaps most importantly for Gamemasters, a listing of several Vaults found scattered in the Commonwealth.
Each of these Vaults is given a location and short description, along with whatever experiment was intended for it’s inhabitants. Along with this is a description of what the vault looks like now, and who (if anyone) is in the Vault anymore and what happened to their original occupants.
Plots and Plot Seeds compose the rest of the chapter, helping gamemasters come up with Vaults of their own design, along with encounters to go with it!
This chapter covers the setting of Fallout 4: the Commonwealth. Key events and locations are detailed in this chapter, along with Quests that can be associated with each location. While the Quests are short blurbs, there’s enough of them here to certainly fill anyone’s Pip-boy To-Do lists.
Generic Commonwealth Locations are covered too, which is a nice touch as these can help in fleshing out locations if you want to run your game of Fallout in any of the other locations, like The Capital Wasteland, or New Vegas.
For those who enjoy them, there’s also a list of tables of Random and Weird encounters in the Commonwealth, which is a staple of the Fallout games.
The Fallout RPG is bursting at the seams with plot hooks and interesting ideas. The Quest ideas can be short or long, weird or straightforward, combative or negotiable, serious and funny… but all of them are distinctly Fallout.
I think it’s important to get players well aligned on what to expect from this game as it adheres very closely to the videogames, and as such it has quite the number of weird quirks that are unique to it. That said, I love it, and while it feels like a game that doesn’t really work for large overarching plots, it’s a fun hex-crawl-ish game that works well with shorter Quests and random encounters.
For our last section, we’ll be taking a look at the Gamemastering chapters and the sample adventure for Fallout!
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