About (5e Fallout Supplement)
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What is Fallout?
The Fallout Setting, if you can believe it, is based on Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game and its sequels, a series of computer games developed by Interplay Entertainment. It was initially created due to a copyright dispute regarding Wasteland. As such, it bears many similarities.
The world of Fallout is roughly based on futuristic and post-apocalyptic ideas of the 1960s. Shiny flying robots spark and sputter; bulky, dual-rotor helicopters lie rusted in disrepair; colorful, blocky rifles meant to fire laser beams explode in the user’s hands. A mainstay of the series is its references to pop culture and satirical view of the Cold War.
How Do I DM Fallout?
In building a campaign using this setting, conceptualize the complete plot in 3 arcs. In the first arc, players are given a small but lengthy task to solve as they begin to understand the horrors of the wasteland. This task could include tracking down a water chip, recovering and delivering a lost package, or finding your dad. The solution of task one often reveals a much larger conflict: the people you were getting the water chip for are kidnapped by the Enclave, the package’s contents hold the power to turn the tide of a bloody stalemate, your father is the head of a large but incomplete project that can change the face of the wasteland. Finally, arc 3 typically consists of destroying the faction you have villainized.
One should not stray away from death and difficulty while using this setting. The wasteland itself is hostile and dangerous. Items should be handed out rarely, prices should be steep, and challenges encountered shouldn’t always be immediately solvable. In those that are, there should be 3 ways of solving them. Most problems can be solved with violence, but this is usually the least profitable option. Skill checks are the ideal solution, but often have high DCs and require an observant eye to determine. Finally, and usually the most interesting solution, is discovering background information on the problem to bypass the aforementioned skill check. An example is given below:
I want to enter a Brotherhood of Steel bunker to get my hands on their technology. I could shoot my way in, but then some of the technology would be destroyed and I could die. I could pass a difficult Arcana check to unlock the door, followed by a handful of Speech or Stealth and Sleight of Hand checks to sneak through and steal the tech. Finally, in a nearby location, I could recover a dead recon team’s mission logs and return them to the base, making an easy Speech check, to gain access to the base.