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The Great Dyson Interwebz Blackout continues again today. And with the weekend here, there is no chance of it being fixed today or tomorrow. Wish me luck, peeps!

It may have been mentioned in the past that I’m a fan of post-apocalyptic RPGs. I also recently started following James ‘Grim’ Desborough on twitter. Last month he did a contest over twitter and facebook and I won a copy of ’45 Hot Rod Retropocalypse.

45 Retropocalypse

45 Retropocalypse

What a fucking awesome name for a post-apocalyptic RPG.

The game setting is a pulp adventure game with the setting based on World War II having ended in an exchange of Axis and Allied superweapons in Europe. The game tries to mesh mechanics with “B Movie Reality” instead of aiming for some sort of real-world verisimilitude that rarely works well with the awesomeness that zany post-apocalyptic games deserve.

Oh, with rockabilly tattoos and custom-made hot-rods.

For this game, I’m going to need an awesome character. I’m looking for a Rock and Roll Rollerderby Chick with a knack for working on engines.

Characters are defined by X characteristics, each rated from 1 to 5. Like rating a movie, or playing World of Darkness (although 3 is human average here instead of 2 like in World of Darkness – I should write a short article about this one day, but I MUCH prefer a system that rates human average as below the half-way point of the game stats, since it is more interesting to rate things as “Poor, Average, Good, Great, Awesome” than “Suck, Suck Less, Average, Good, Awesome” – since PCs tend towards the higher end of the stat spectrum, it allows for more variety without this variety being about how much they suck, but how much awesome they bring).

The stats are Control, Resolve, Dexterity, Intelligence, Perception, Resilience, Resistance, Speed and Strength. The stats are then paired up into an active and a passive stat in each pair, and the two stats must be within 2 points of each other. Unfortunately there is no random chargen, so it’s off to the point-buy system for Judy “BlackHeart” Jones. I honestly don’t see her having too many flaws, but maybe she’s got a weakness for flattery and flirtation (a low Resistance). By not buying any stats at level 5, she ends up quite well rounded with few weaknesses. Her strongest stat pair is Dexterity / Speed, both at 4.

Then it is time to pick skills. Again, 70 points are spent with the same cost system as for ability scores. The resolution system involves rolling die pools equal to the stat and skill added together. You can also focus on a part of a skill, earning an extra die when applicable, and even sub-focus on a smaller part of the skill for an extra die again. There isn’t a set skill list, just a list of example skills. For instance, there is no brawling skill in the example list, but there is Melee. However, the sample character uses “Close Combat” as his general skill, with “Knife” as his focus. So instead of “Brawling”, I’ll follow suit and use “Close Combat” with “Fisticuffs” as my focus.

As a rollergirl, she needs Athletics at a fairly high level (4 again), focused on rollerskates. The greasemonkey aspect is represented with 3 levels of Repair, with focus on cars, and sub-focus on engines. The math bugs me here. For the same cost as Repair / Cars / Engines 3, I could just grab Repair 5 (the same 5 dice when repairing car engines, and not having to deal with only 3 dice for other repair tasks). But I’ll leave it like this for now.

As a starting character, Judy starts with 3 “Heroics”, which act as both Experience Points and Hero / Fate Points. With skills requiring the same XP cost to improve as ability scores, it seems that a player is better off improving stats to level 5 before spending Heroics on skills, which are more tightly focused than stats.

There are no rules for equipment, so the assumption I have is that you are expected to equip the characters to suit the game and their origins. So she’s got sexy clothes, lots of fishnets, a gun and a few bullets that she salvaged along the way, and a length of chain that she wraps around her forearm and fist when getting into trouble. And a bunch of wrenches and tools that hang off her belt.

Judy “BlackHeart” Jones
Post-apocalyptic RollerGirl

Strength / Resilience : 3 / 3
Dexterity / Speed : 4 / 4
Intelligence / Perception : 3 / 3
Charm / Control : 4 / 2
Resolve / Resistance : 4 / 2

Athletics / Rollerskates : 4
Close Combat / Fisticuffs : 4
Dodge : 3
Driving : 2
Firearms : 1
Intimidation : 3
First Aid : 1
Repair / Cars / Engines : 3
Security / Locks : 2
Streetwise : 3

Sexy Clothes
More Fishnets
.38 Special Revolver & 5 bullets
Length of Chain