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rubble-and-ruin.jpgIt is twenty years after the end of the global wars. Our world lies in ruin. Once-great cities are now nothing more than shattered hulks populated with bioengineered soldiers, giant rats, and rogue robots. This is the world of Rubble & Ruin, a setting inspired by the classic post-apocalyptic fiction of the 1970's and 80's, where players take the role of prospectors searching the rubble for surviving technology.

Here you'll find a description of the ruined city and its denizens, a bestiary, information on hostile elements, common trade goods, and sample gangs. Character generation includes six cultures, seven new races, and a section for biomodifications, cybernetics, nano-psionics, and dozens of new failings. Spot Rules for barter, firearms, the building of and fighting from cars, and the prospector’s best friend; the common dog. Also includes two full-length adventures.

By Rich LeDuc. 130 pages. Published by Chaosium April 2010.

Edited by Trifletraxor

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Hi gang,

Oh this looks *very* cool. I've been running a PA game set in my old stomping grounds of Orange County, CA for a couple years now off and on---more off than on---and am looking forward to cadging bits to drop into my campaign. Of course it'll have to wait til payday :(

Best,

-Ken-

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OC got shorted just because I was running in El Segundo and Long Beach – still I would hope you find some interesting material. I tried to present the background in a “city neutral” format, with El Segundo as an “example”. My hope is that each GM can build their own ruin using the book as a guide rather then a “setting”.

Let me know how it works out for you.

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Oh the tragic tail of the Rubble and Ruin PDF. So when I did the layout I used an application called Scrybus which is an open source application that had all sorts of accolades at the time when I made the layout-software decision (and please note that this was my first book so I really had no background to guide my decision). So I did the layout and sent a PDF to Chaosium – they put together the file to send to the printer which worked great, and a PDF to go on-line. Unfortunately, the on-line PDF had issues – the Scrybus-generated PDF would not accept the objects Chaosium needed to add for the electronic version of the document (actually, it took them, but it knocked large blocks of text off their pages and rendered the book unreadable). I have tried everything I can think of to fix the problem at my end (short of getting a new application and doing a complete redo of the layout), the advise from the Scrybus forum boiled down to “get a new publisher”, and so we are left with hoping that Charlie can find a solution at his end. I asked about the problem two weeks ago and extended my offer to help in anyway I can and Dustin reassured me that they are working on it.

I have this feeling that the answer is going to be that I will need to do a complete new layout in another application – but I have not yet brought myself to do that.

I will post here as soon as I know anything new.

Sorry for the inconvenience (I assure you, I want you to be able to get my book). Also, I can assure you that I will never do another layout in Scrybus.

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Adobe is your friend! :-D

Do you have an XML or rich text version? You should be able to import that into InDesign to save some time if you can get into Adobe. Also, I picked up my version cheap at this online store; http://www.softwaremedia.com/

I am hoping they have the CS5 upgrade soon; I'm sure it's just a matter of time.

I look forward to PDF release...

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Richard,

the Powers you have in the R&R rules, are they conform with the Golden Book? I mean, did you use the Super Powers rules or were they designed more by a use of common sense?

I am asking because I want to use them with an other setting where I allow other parts of the Powers system of the main rule book - and I do want them to "cooperate" ;)

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A good question – the powers in Rubble and Ruin were developed (for the most part) long before the new core rules and are the result of my pig-headed running of basically the same world over 25 years. Thus, they play well with each other (at least in my hands) – but when I ported them to the core rules I did not try to balance them against other powers.

A lot of the powers converted exactly to the Book in Yellow, but many of them are grossly under powered. For example someone playing a nano-psionicist in a world with core psionics will be shorted – the psionicist will be able to do a lot more then a nano-psionicist. On the other hand, in a world without other psionic powers, nano-psionics are great; you can see into the next room, TK small objects, or heal wounds etc.

Most of the biomods should match the core rules point for point (but I think I did reduce the costs on a few below core costs).

If you are using damage by hit location then the cybernetics give more benefit then reflected in their cost, but this benefit is balanced against a lack of natural healing. So, in a game where characters can pop into a repair shop between encounters, the cyborgs are likely to be over-powered relative to other core powers. In the rubble finding parts to repair damaged cyber-limbs is a constant hassle for the powerful cyborgs characters.

I hope this helps,

Rich

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Last night I caught the last few minutes of a Discovery Channel special called Pig Bomb about the problem of feral pigs in the United States and to me it seemed like there is some serious post-apocalyptic game potential in feral pigs. ( See this clip in particular: http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/pig-bomb-super-pigs.html ) As I am waiting for the PDF issue to be resolved, I don't know if this idea works with the post-apocalyptic world of Rubble & Ruin. Nevertheless, thinking about a game of A Boy and His Dog mashed with Pig Bomb did get me through my daily sit in traffic.

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Hi Richard,

thanks a lot for the answers, they do really help. I guess I will use your rules for the setting, they seem to be easy, fast and cool. If someone in my group needs something different, there is always the Core Rules I can refer to and make it match with the R&R rules - no problem.

Good you did mention the parts problem for cyborgs - this will help players to think about creating a metal monster ;)

I really love parts of your Monograph. Others just don't fit with my PA world, which is fine. One thing I do not really like is to use the hit location system as it tends to slow things down - but this is just our style.

Regarding the new skills I am not sure if they are skills of their own or if I will integrate them as part of Knowledge skills, it all depends on their definition.

The thing I did find a bit strange was to find 6 (!) different skills for "healing". There is First Aid, Trauma Medicine, Surgery, Physician, Health Care and EMT.

I mean, is this really necessary? And couldn't it be just specialisations of First Aid and Medicine?

But in the end it is only a matter of definition. I bought the game, so it's all mine and I am free to change things ;)

I love the simple version vor Cybernetics and Bio Modifications. Nanopsionics add flavour to the campaign and the system is easy as well.

The Trade system works and simulates bartering very well. Depending on the group it will add much flavour to the otherwise dry Bargain skill roll. It makes people feel really good if they did a real bargain. Or they will really tend to hang on the so-hard-to-come-by piece of equipment. I like it!

Th Risk system is different. In one way it make it possible to survive the otherwise deadly combat, but on the other hand it is completely different from the BRP main rules. I guess it will be good when using the hit location system, but it can be waived if you are using the Total Hit Points option fo the BRP book. Nevertheless it is interesting and a fast system to find a damage value for some improved or invented weapons.

And the hot spot of this monograph certainly is the rules for Cars. Not only can you build your own cars, no, there are new rules for chases and combat in the book as well! Loved that! Mad Max comes much closer now, and I can get rid of the 'Redline' rules I used so far. Nice work, thanks for that!

The Dogs training rules seem to be good as well, not overly complicated, but you tend to really get attached to the animal you 'create'.

Including a ruined city as main background for the setting was an awesome step. it really made the setting generic and easily transferable to an other region. Most PA settings are set in the USA, nice, but if you live in an other country you never get attached to it. So in my case I put it into the Brisbane area in Australia, and love it from the beginning. It's fun to ruin the area you live in, place the groups mentioned in the book on the map and draw borders on it. You get highest marks for this idea!

This was the thing that truly made the monograph realistic and generic. Without city or region names in the book it is too easy to put the setting anywhere, and the groups can be replaced easily with others.

Having the Boss' tavern and their occupants places a good starting point into the campaign where the PC's can find shelter and a place to sell things.

The Bestiary is ok, it gives some hints and ideas. Together with the BRP rules book it is easy to get a campaign ongoing for a long time. Including androids and robots was a necessary step I think and it is done well. The additional robotic Powers one can add makes every encounter different and surprising - and very easy. Loved it!

Unfortunately I was not able to have read the two adventures in the monograph, but they look interesting and are different enough to keep people interested.

I did't see the Enigma's thing at first, but they give a bit of myth to the setting and could keep players guessing for a long time. W13 ... loved the idea and will definitely use them :D

Hm, this was not intended to be a review and it really is not, but I just wanted to let people know how flexible the monograph is and that fragments of it can be used for many different modern games. It is an extremely versatile enhancement with many new aspects and ideas - Worth buying it!

The Appendix gives lots of Common Items lists, weapons, ammo, armour, cars, dogs and other stuff. Nice, so creating a world cane be don fast and out of the box.

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Have you contacted the Scribus people, or chatted on the support forums about this? Seems odd.

SDLeary

I have not contacted the Dev List – that might be a good idea. I did update to the latest version (which had noticeable improvements in the way it wrote PDF files), rebuilt the test file and sent it off to Dustin and Charlie to see if Scrybus quietly fixed the source of my problem. That was late last week and no word back from Charlie yet.

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Last night I caught the last few minutes of a Discovery Channel special called Pig Bomb about the problem of feral pigs in the United States and to me it seemed like there is some serious post-apocalyptic game potential in feral pigs. ( See this clip in particular: http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/pig-bomb-super-pigs.html ) As I am waiting for the PDF issue to be resolved, I don't know if this idea works with the post-apocalyptic world of Rubble & Ruin. Nevertheless, thinking about a game of A Boy and His Dog mashed with Pig Bomb did get me through my daily sit in traffic.

Pigs – how could I have missed pigs? Rubble and Ruin started life in the 1980’s as an Aftermath game, and a staple Aftermath “monster” was the razorback. I was going to respond to your post with something like “oh yeah, just use the Boar or Razorback from The Book in Yellow page XYZ” – but when I went to check the page number what do I discover? No pigs in BRP! What to do? No problem, just grab the stats from RQ3 – but I don’t find them there. What about Monster Coliseum (or whatever it is called)? Didn’t find them there – nor even in CofC... So I’m setting watching late night TV and brooding about how I failed to include the noble post-apocalyptic pig in R&R and thinking about how I will have to come up with stats on my own – when suddenly much to my wife’s surprise (that would be my non-gamer wife) – I shout out “pig riders”. I give you now my version of the Razorback – as adapted from the RQ1 Tusker.

Razorback

The wild boar is a cunning animal with a reputation of turning on those hunting it. They exhibit indeterminate growth (like a gold fish they can just keep on growing) and can develop to a monstrous size.

STR: 3D6+12

CON: 1D6+12

SIZ: 4D6+12

POW: 3D6

DEX: 1D6

Gore * 50% 2D6+2D6

Trample * 75% 4D6 to a downed foe

* The boar cannot gore and trample the same opponent in the same round.

Armor: 4 Point skin

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Wow – that was really nice to hear!

The monograph as written was the result of a great deal of play – I mean decades of fiddling with the core ideas of the PA setting; running games with these mechanics or those; fiddling and constantly trying to improve my “signature” PA game.

I wholeheartedly agree certain components put too much detail on this or that sub-area of the game. What I did when I wrote the monograph was I tried to create something that had both bits that were usable to the largest group of gamers I could manage and still playable as written. So, for example, the cybernetics and armor rules I had been using forever required damage by hit location, but for hit locations to keep the same “guns can both kill instantly or just scratch the PC a little” I needed the Risk system. Would I be offended if you dropped the parts you didn’t need and used core rules and a little common sense – not at all. Would I join you for a game where you were using your own combination of mechanics? In a heartbeat! My hope is that the monograph provides easy to use tools to allow you to put together your own PA game.

There are a couple of points that I want to respond to “for the record”.

The thing I did find a bit strange was to find 6 (!) different skills for "healing". There is First Aid, Trauma Medicine, Surgery, Physician, Health Care and EMT. I mean, is this really necessary? And couldn't it be just specialisations of First Aid and Medicine?

Two things here – first in my day job I am a senior scientist at “a major Midwestern medical school” so I felt a certain obligation to include a little more detail here – to have a reasonably realistic set of medical mechanics available within BRP for anyone who wants/needs them. As such Health Care is really just a detail added for anyone who cares, likewise for Surgery – I don’t think it will come up that often (except when some PC decides he/she wants to open a clinic – you laugh, just wait, it will happen).

Because of the scarcity of healing options, First Aid, EMT and Physician/Trauma Medicine are used to create a “scale” of healers. Everyone has a 30% chance of First Aid to fix those minor wounds. Some players will focus a little and take a -30% to gain the extra abilities of the EMT (EMT is effectively First Aid with a 0% basic and additional abilities like being able to safely move injured people). You could handle this differently of course. But then we get to the big guns, the physician/trauma doctor is a great person for a party that gets hurt a lot to have around – but given the restrictions on the skills it almost always requires a dedicated character. It allows the classic “fantasy” healer character – a dedicated character who can quickly get the group back in the game, but who has to be supported by a large and effective group.

But in the end it is only a matter of definition. I bought the game, so it's all mine and I am free to change things

I would go a step further and encourage you to share your successes on this forum!

And the hot spot of this monograph certainly is the rules for Cars. Not only can you build your own cars, no, there are new rules for chases and combat in the book as well! Loved that! Mad Max comes much closer now, and I can get rid of the 'Redline' rules I used so far. Nice work, thanks for that!

The car construction is based heavily on the original Car Wars booklet transformed to 10 second combat rounds. It took some work for me to get use to car-fights in the BRP timeframe. I think it turned out okay.

Including a ruined city as main background for the setting was an awesome step. it really made the setting generic and easily transferable to an other region. Most PA settings are set in the USA, nice, but if you live in an other country you never get attached to it. So in my case I put it into the Brisbane area in Australia, and love it from the beginning. It's fun to ruin the area you live in, place the groups mentioned in the book on the map and draw borders on it. You get highest marks for this idea!

I like the idea of a generic setting that is customized to the game at hand. I arbitrarily restricted it to the US just to allow me to create a few broad “group names” like Free America. Every time a start a new game I carefully pick the location based on the type of action I want – my Rhode Island campaign had lots of boats and some underwater bits, while Chicago was endless expanses of flat rubble.

Having the Boss' tavern and their occupants places a good starting point into the campaign where the PC's can find shelter and a place to sell things.

It is a staple of fantasy games, but I like it in a PA setting – for certain campaign styles it is a fast and easy way to get into the game, and allows a players to have an anchor in the world were they can buy/sell and rest.

The Bestiary is ok, it gives some hints and ideas. Together with the BRP rules book it is easy to get a campaign ongoing for a long time.

I forgot pigs! See above.

W13 ... loved the idea and will definitely use them

I will refrain from telling old gaming stories – but I have used these beasties in a lot of campaigns. Okay, just one. A buddy of mine decided he was going to try gaming for the first time, and he comes to my game. Shinny new character in hand we start the evenings adventure – deep in a partially collapsed bunker a W13 swoops in on the party and grabs the new guy. One of the other players freaks out and empties a magazine from a submachine gun into the beasty – misses the monster and hits the PC killing him instantly. Okay, maybe you had to be there 

Hm, this was not intended to be a review and it really is not, but I just wanted to let people know how flexible the monograph is and that fragments of it can be used for many different modern games. It is an extremely versatile enhancement with many new aspects and ideas - Worth buying it!

Thanks! It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if you posted a review on some of the other gaming forums...

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Pigs: how could I have missed pigs? Rubble and Ruin started life in the 1980’s as an Aftermath game, and a staple Aftermath “monster” was the razorback. Adapted from the RQ1 Tusker, I give you now my version of the Razorback:

Razorback

The wild boar is a cunning animal with a reputation of turning on those hunting it. They exhibit indeterminate growth (like a gold fish they can just keep on growing) and can develop to a monstrous size.

STR: 3D6+12

CON: 1D6+12

SIZ: 4D6+12

POW: 3D6

DEX: 1D6

Gore * 50% 2D6+2D6

Trample * 75% 4D6 to a downed foe

* The boar cannot gore and trample the same opponent in the same round.

Armor: 4 Point skin

Brilliant!

Ages ago I played Aftermath. Can still clearly remember the cover of my friend's box set. Never encountered the Razorbacks back then. Vaguely remember the rats with developing sentience.

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Cool, I remember CarWars ... that was a real nice fun game. There was a good computer game years later, called Interstate. Ha! Love it!

The W13 remembered me on the movie "Dark side of the moon" where a junk robot used everything it could find to build a hell of a machine. There was a PA flick as well, where a women did find a skull in the Wasteland and brought it home. The thing then started to build together a death machine.

Anyway, like I said, the R&R book is so generic, it is possible to use bits and pieces of it in any campaign.

Aftermath! I have that game, bought it a year ago or so. I must say, the amount of brain put into it is awesome. It can be compared to Darwins World, which is a bit similar in some aspects. But Aftermath is unplayable ... If life was a game, Aftermath would be the rules ... *lol*

I never really looked at the bestiary though. And pigs?! I mean, really, pigs? Hm. OK, we have killer kangaroos here and the evil Tasmanian Devil in the south that I would fear ... but pigs? A wild boar is really a challenge, but a pig ... except as seen in Silence of the Lambs II. Anyway ;) I fear huge dogs and dingos more. 8-)

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wow. I knew boars are scary. In Germany we had them ruining our backyards during the nights. They are about 3m long and about 1.2m high. Scary I tell you. The ranger captured them and brought them away. They said a normal hunting rifle would not kill them, it would only make them more vicious.

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From the Infonomocon:

That is not dead for which new versions come,

And with strange eons unknown bugs go numb.

---------------------------

Charlie said my latest test rebuild of R&R with Scrybus did not show the problem – I will resubmit the entire document soon.

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Couple of things. First off, great book! love the PA setting and the way you have made it both generic and detailed, as mentioned above. And the included adventure The Vent Fan was excellent!

Couple of technical questions.

1. What is chud armor made of?

2. In the cybernetics it talks about the limbs having 2 points of layering armor, and 6 points of ballistic. I could not find where this is explained. Is this in the BRP book? Does that mean its 6 points versus bullets, and 2 points for all other damage? Its the 'layering' term the same as the AV?

And to make sure I am on the right page, Kevlar II armor has AV/Risk of 2/11. That means that you reduce bullet 'risk' by 11, but against melee damage it provides 2 points?

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Couple of things. First off, great book! love the PA setting and the way you have made it both generic and detailed, as mentioned above. And the included adventure The Vent Fan was excellent!

Thanks! There is so much variation in post-apocalyptic literature and (IMHO) so little in PA gaming – I was trying to do something new.

Couple of technical questions.

1. What is chud armor made of?

I have always imagined the chud taking steel belted tires and painstakingly crafting the rubber-steel mesh into some form of flexible melee armor. The main idea is that these guys are spending hundreds of hours lurking in their holes doing nothing but trying to perfect the craft of converting common material from the ruin into body armor. Alternatively, you could have them manufacturing the best slashing weapons, or some other useful item that takes some skill and a lot of time.

2. In the cybernetics it talks about the limbs having 2 points of layering armor, and 6 points of ballistic. I could not find where this is explained. Is this in the BRP book? Does that mean its 6 points versus bullets, and 2 points for all other damage? Its the 'layering' term the same as the AV?

R&R uses three kinds of armor; layering, non-layering and ballistic. Layering and non-layering refer to BRP p.261 and the special rule of layering armor. Basically (as I read it) you can have one layer of soft (or layering) armor and one of non-layering. As an aside, I have always allowed two layering armors if anyone wanted to that.

Ballistic armor comes from R&R p.47. Basically melee armor provides negligible protection against modern firearms – true fact, try it someday – instead to stop bullets you need ballistic armor. Ballistic armor has the property that it either effectively stops a bullet, or it provides almost no protection. That is Type I ballistic armor will stop a .22 round but provides almost no reduction in penetration to a rifle bullet (this is measured using a ballistic gel and measuring how deep a given round will penetrate – then you put the armor over the gel and fire again). To simulate this in R&R ballistic armor will either remove all of the risk of a bullet or failing that, it will only reduce the risk by one point.

So you are exactly correct. The “layering” property of cybernetic armor implies that cyber armor of 2/6 under, say, synthaweave (5/0 AV) will protect for 7 (2+5) points of melee damage and 6 (6+0) ballistic.

And to make sure I am on the right page, Kevlar II armor has AV/Risk of 2/11. That means that you reduce bullet 'risk' by 11, but against melee damage it provides 2 points?

Correct!

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Thanks for the explanation. That was what I figured but wanted to be sure. If I had read the entire book I wouldnt have had to bother you with these questions. I just found it! I have no idea how i can look through something so many times and continually miss a page......

That being said, one more question: Chud 3 is listing has having an AV of 6/3. The '3' is the 'Risk' reduction?

Edited by Redstone

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