Saturday, December 5, 2015

Journey of Jack, Day One (Apocalyptia Solo Playthrough)

I've posted about Apocalyptia before, back when all that existed was the Beta. I think I did. I mentioned that before, right? No? Okay, well I was thinking it then. I remember visiting the forums and suggesting the inclusion of a tutorial or example for character creation and combat. The forum seems to have gone missing but I recently found the game released in it's 1st Edition and those things are in it, so I wanted to re-visit it. Of course we all know that means I need to do some solo gaming, so I made Jack as a sort of basic kind of wanderer. His adventures are written like a journal, which is a different style for me and I like it a lot. Very different and not that great for some genres but Post-Apocalypse chronicles are always interesting to me for what they suggest - namely, that the writer has survived the events being chronicled. Anyhow. Here's my entry for Jack's first day, in which he meets some Amazons on patrol and gets to shoot church zombies...

I finally set out from Highland this morning. There was decent salvage but, as usual, there was also a fairly large community of squatters. You’d think people would figure out that more people in one place just means attracting more walkers but… Stuck to the highway 70E and made good time, traveled over twenty miles until I rounded the bend and spotted a whole squad of Amazons armed and out for a stroll. Having just drank the last of my water, I offered to trades those few 9mm rounds I still had for a bit of drink. Cautious at first, they really opened up once they saw the bullets. Apparently they hadn’t been in touch with any of their people in quite some time and had all but run out of supplies themselves. Water they had, at a nearby outpost. They also had an offer for some work, if I was interested. A guy like me, alone, invited to help out eight desperate ladies? I pinched myself just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. The leader, a pleasant gal named Addie who was dressed in fatigues and a tank top, motioned back to the West a ways and said they were planning on doing a scavenge run in the afternoon. She said if I wanted to tag along as extra support I could have my share of salvage and then maybe spend the evening back at the house. Of course, she was filling my water bottle from her canteen as she was saying this, but I don’t know that it mattered - I’d be crazy to refuse. We got the bikes and then headed into the center of, I’m not making this up, Mulberry Grove. There were some houses on the way in but we all pulled up to the post office, circled round, and started off in teams. I was assigned to work with Amie - a really grumpy older woman who looked like she’d rather shoot me than help me look for loot. “Some guy gives us a couple bullets and suddenly he’s supposed to be my friend?” Right. We basically stayed as far apart as a team could and still be called a team. We spent about an hour looking through one of the churches down the street. Not surprisingly, it was occupied - with half a dozen walkers. They’re nothing much on their own, but in groups like that it can get dicey. Amie and I took three each, with some double-taps. It’s usually not a great idea to go shooting like that without backup. I knew I only had 2 rounds left in my pistol, but these chicks were all carrying submachine guns and we could always hop on the bikes if we needed to bug out in a hurry. I found a staff, a duffel bag, a working wristwatch, and a mess kit. The upgrade from my ratty pack was welcome and I suppose the kit was nice too but… well, there’s not much call for a watch these days. And a staff is just a fancy name for a big stick. Still, not the worst haul I’ve had. Amie was pretty secretive about the things she scored, if any, but I think we reached the step above shoot-each-other-at-the-earliest-convenience. A good close quarters shootout will do that to folks. After checking in with Addie, we were told it was time to leave. An hour was about fifty-five minutes longer than you usually want to spend in any kind of town anyway, and we weren’t the only ones making a racket - no telling what lovely beasties were on their way to investigate. It didn’t seem like there was much left worth looking for in Mulberry Grove. I did help dismantle one of the cars parked in someone’s driveway - it would’ve normally taken me an hour but I had help. We scored a couple pieces of semi-useful wiring and valves. The ladies assured me they could use the parts at the outpost. We made it back in time for dinner and, lucky us, someone had found an unopened box of Twinkies. Those things are still good - it’s the perfect combination of preservatives and excessive packaging. They set up watch and I got to enjoy a good night’s rest for the first time in a long time.

I did some behind-the-scenes rolling as usual but didn't bother including it here because, well, it was messy. More messy than I'm used to. I also didn't use a random generator for the first day, which means I was satisfied with the amount of random tables and prompts that the system suggests for encounters and such. I used it for the second day though, and I'll post that once I get it cleaned up a bit. I really suggest Apocalyptia for anyone interested in something like Left 4 Dead or The Walking Dead (presumably... I've still never watched it) where the potential for hordes of Lethal Things is high and the atmosphere is grim. Did I mention the book is formatted like a military manual? Yeah. It is, and I think it adds to the experience - especially the slightly edited pictures where the soldiers are shown doing moves on other soldiers, but the other soldiers have been slightly zombified. It's neat. Fits well with the Max Brooks books.

With Brightest of (Two Bullets Left, Jack...) Greens,


  1. I totally understand about the journal style of game write-ups fitting post-apocalyptic settings. The first (actually, only) character journal I ever made was for a solo Twilight 2000 (1st ed.) campaign. I fear I lost the notebook it was in years ago.

    1. Thanks for being my first comment ever! :) And I've had to revise my approach a bit to things. Tracking stuff is complicated at first. I kept all Jack's story (Day 3 is particularly exciting) but I also started another story in the same setting/map to try some minor tweaks. It's a process.