FGU’s post-apocalyptic RPG Aftermath! is one such game. In my youth, Aftermath!, like most FGU games, was generally held to be an. Aftermath! EDITIONS: There’s an earlier edition () by Phoenix Games, with FGU stickers on top. The cover art is different: The man is drawn slightly. Aftermath! – The sun hangs low on the horizon illuminating the ruins of civilization with a bloody light. Is it the sunset of the e.
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Please browse through our FAQ before posting. We try to keep the lists below up aftetmath date with active subreddits and prune it from time to time. The above image is licensed under GPL 2. My thoughts on Aftermath!
Many people may not know this game, so I thought I would give everyone some info about it. I played since it was introduced in There are too many rules, too many special conditions and even the atermath fundamental activity, such has resolving player hits and damage takes an unwieldy number of roles to resolve. When I was introduced to Aftermath!
Usually it consisted of players firing their weapons or swinging weapons a few times and the enemy doing the same. So basically aftermah two-hour movie completely in bullet time, fbu is as tedious as it sounds. Player characters were also fairly complex with a skill list of 80 or so skills, 6 attributes that generated 18 different saving throws, seven talents which governed learning and effected skill choices. Characters were also rather squishy.
I used to say, “Even a veteran character could be killed by a punk with a lucky shot from a.
Combine these elements into one game that is difficult to learn with a cliff like learning curve and very unforgiving of player combat mistakes, that plays about as fast as a 10 person miniature tank battle. As a whole, if it were not for the positive elements of the game, it wouldn’t be worth even looking at. The first element that Aftermath!
The revolutionary idea was that players could increase their skills and their attributes over time, but their base ‘hit points’ and abilities did not go up with levels. Removing experience points from the game meant that players could no longer ‘hack-and-slash’ there way to new abilities. The Aftermath system that replaced experience was actually very simple. Players could increase their character’s skills by practicing them during ‘downtime’ between adventures or by using the skills successfully.
Attributes could be increased during downtime. A player that used lock picking skill often in the game would gain skill points in that skill through using it. Skills that were not used didn’t go up, unless they were increase during ‘downtime’. Downtime requirements meant that player had to find and store food, materials, weapons and ammo in order to buy downtime between adventures.
In practical terms, the Game Master removed food from their inventory and they designated skills they would increase, giving themselves the proper amount of points based on the time and other factors. This had many advantages, it gave players a reason to be out in the dangerous world of the Aftermath!.
T hey needed to find food, materials and a safe place for their next downtime. It was a very real motivation that every player could understand; it was survival at its core. The second element of the advancement system that Aftermath! A character gained a reputation based on their actions in the game. Reputation could be positive or negative in any number of free-form areas.
For example, if a character was seen shooting in a firefight and hit very often, they may get a positive reputation as a “good shot”.
However, if the character missed often, they may get a negative reputation as a “good shot”. This added another role playing avenue since the characters actions in the game could be used to develop their reputation. Were they quick tempered? Were they always looking for a bargain when trading?
Players had to carefully consider their actions in the game because their actions would be reflected in their reputations. They also had to cultivate their reputation in order to maximum its effectiveness. If the party were jumped by 3 bandits and killed them quickly in the wilderness without any witnesses, that would have no effect on their reputation because no one knew about it.
They would need to either leave one of the bandits alive to tell the story or tell some NPC a believable story when they were in a town.
Players needed both carefully consider their actions and cultivate those actions which they wanted to gain positive reputation in. This also acted as an excellent feedback system for players.
When characters had a bad reputation in Aftermath! If a player wanted to play murderhobo style of game play, then their reputation would quickly make it impossible to find anyone to help them in ‘downtime’.
Having teachers in downtime could increase a characters skill gains by a factor of 4! This gave the player a clearly defined reason to be more reasonable in dealing with NPCs.
While no player expected to be friendly, they were expected to build alliances with NPCs as part of their role-playing, often by completing quests for the NPC. The third element that made Aftermath! Because increasing skills and attributes didn’t make the characters much more powerful, the only possible way to become more powerful was through gear.
A more powerful gun and better armor went a long way to increasing a character’s survivability. A character would be a better shot, have better armor and medical supplies, but overall, they never moved to a higher class of “monster”. The same monsters they fought on day one would be very close to the monsters they fought after many weeks of play.
Players never felt that they were over powered for a specific enemy. Superior firepower and combat tactics where the key to victory each time.
This also helped deemphasize combat as a way to advance characters. This also added another negative element to game play. Since characters were never over powered, there was ffgu a chance that a character would meet and unfortunate accident and die as the result of player or game master actions.
It was very common for a new player to end up with a dead character by the aftermatj of their afteemath session.
Veteran players knew to hide behind objects while shooting, to limit their exposure to different enemies by controlling the lines-of-sight and to limit their targeting to enemies they knew they would have a high chance of success with, it usually took a bit for new players to grasp those ideas after playing other less intense games. The second negative from the player point of view was the time it took to create a well thought out character.
On average, it took about 4 hours to create a character the first time. The enormous amount of skills and the fact that there was very little randomness in the character creation process meant that a new player would have a steep learning curve when creating their first character. The character process started the allocation of their ability and talent points.
No random roles for attributes meant that characters could be allocated any way the player wanted. Each attribute has a level called an Attribute Group. This was overly important because an attribute of 24 was significantly less powerful than an attribute of 25 due to 25 being in the next group.
Realistically, there was little difference in most attributes between 16 and 24, expect for the effect on saving throws, and many attribute saving throws were never used in game play.
As it turned out there was a sweet point for speed and dexterity that greatly affected combat effectiveness. If speed was too high aftermaty relation to dexterity, a player would be saddled with being able to act first, but each action taking very long in combat. For veteran players, this could mean that one player would be able to do one or even two combat actions in the time it took for a ‘faster’ player to take one! That meant that while two players opened fire in DAT Detailed Action Time aftermaath, very much like bullet time, one player may get one shot, may start a second shot, while the other player stand frozen in time, then suddenly that player vgu be able to fire three shots very quickly.
These types of consideration, added to the players need to understand their decisions in character creation, mean that a player arrives at their first session aftemath a character that they have a lot invested in. Since more times than not, that player will watch that character die in that first session, the Aftermath!
We learned to give new players disposable characters for the zftermath few sessions to avoid the inevitable. Yet another issue is that the game has six attributes and seven talents, but these are not well distributed through the skill list. Some attributes and some talents are used very often, some are rarely used. Since all aftermaht in Aftermath! Raising the Natural talent has very little effect on the character’s skills and almost zero use in the game.
However, there are a few Natural talent based skills, that gain greatly from the Natural talent, so a play needs to choose attributes and talents based on their skill choices. That often meant going back and adjusting attributes and talents and recalculating skill point. For a new player, this bordered on some sort of mathematical level of hell.
Once the new player got past the character creation nightmare, aftermqth were introduced to the aftrrmath rolling nightmare of combat. Each hit resolution could require three or four roles, two chart lookups and a bit of math to determine hits and damage. These roles couldn’t just be made, there were several steps in between, often fgi lookups and then armor value determinations, which again, weren’t simple addition, there was a formula.
This chart may be found online as the Aftermath! It is almost laughable in its size.
Aftermath! – Post-Holocaust Roleplaying – Wayne’s Books RPG Reference
So with all of these negatives, it would seem that Aftermath! I was determined to learn how to play this game effectively and inthe solution presented itself with the invention of the personal computer. I realized that many of the issues with the game were procedural, the activity of rolling hits and damage simply took too long to hold players attention.
The personal computer could be used to do much of this number crunching and random rolling making Aftermath! Once we introduced the Apple ][e computer to the mix, the game picked up speed and became something far better than anyone anticipated. Player were able to create characters in about 20 minutes, and were able to tweak those characters any number of times to maximize their skill scores.
Hit roles were reduced to one BCS Base Chance of Success calculation and roll, having the computer do the remaining calculations. Things that were impossible to roll and calculate because of time constraints, such as spraying a room full of enemies with bullets, were now simple to calculate.
Freed from the crushing constraints of the math and multiple roles, table lookups and such, players found the remaining elements were simply the role playing elements like building reputation and game master created adventure. Combat could be also resolve very quickly, wasting very little game time.
No longer was Aftermath! Combat was greatly deemphasized and no longer hogged the majority of game time. The result was levelless game play that revolved around role playing.