I met Brian in 1999 at PentaCon. He sat in on one of my Gamma World games, and while I attended that convention, every year we would get together and play Gamma World, a game we both really enjoyed. In 2000 when I was setting up my gaming website, he offered to include his Gamma World campaign settings on the Gamma World pages. Not too long ago I reconnected with him on LinkedIn, and asked if I could continue to include his campaign setting on my newest gaming website, and he approved. We haven’t gamed together for fifteen years, I imagine if we had the opportunity to meet up, he would enjoy running or playing a Gamma World session or campaign.
His first gaming group played Gamma World and chose the location for their setting, naturally where they lived at the time, Fort Wayne, Indiana… so, presented here for you today is The Apocalypse set at the longtime home of TSR and WOTC’s Winter Fantasy Convention, Fort Wayne, Indiana, known in Gamma World as Wayun.
Wayun – ( Fort Wayne, Indiana) 2471 A.D.
Campaign Material & Information
The Black Swamp
The Huron Event left in its wake several huge areas of devastation. In a zone to the southwest of Lake Erie, detritus had destroyed the artificial drainage. This area, the Great Black Swamp, began to revert to its pre-pioneer condition: a vast fen. Action was swiftly taken, however, and cleanup efforts began. Robot labor was sent to remove the dead trees and other organic debris. Several individuals decided that more was needed to protect the natural potential of the area. They used gene splicing techniques on common oaks and maples, adding mangrove features to allow them to survive in a swampy environment. These tailor-made trees were seeded at locations around and within the Swamp so as to encourage their spread. As with the rest of life during and after the Final War, the trees mutated beyond the original conceptions.
The Black Swamp today is a vast area of almost flat terrain. The area is much like the Everglades: a shallow, slowly moving sheet of water lies upon the ground. In the worst places there can be a meter of water over another two meters of mud, the whole behaving like quicksand. Great trees stand on exposed roots, like southern mangroves. Fish as well as land animals can be found throughout. In a number of places, low hills rise above the general level of the land. These higher places are dry enough to support artificial construction. Note though that the water table always lies within two meters of the surface of the ground. Rarely, a higher ridge interrupts the horizontal tableau. Shallow lakes, sluggish streams, a few really flowing rivers characterise the water bodies to be found here. The rivers have a wide floodplain, waist-deep in water, on both sides of the river proper. Much of the area should be treated as if it were seaside – a strange mix of land and water, not quite either, with a combination of traits from both. Amphibious creatures, fish-based mutants, hoppers, swimmers, and fliers / gliders predominate. There are very few walkers here. Light reaches the surface (the branches are not that thick) but line-of-sight is short, so most sounds and calls come from unseen sources. This effect can be played for mystery or for horror, if desired. Even where the view opens up – say at a lake shore – the only thing to see is more trees and hanging vines.
Water covers the surface for most of the year, save for the height of summer (about two weeks in early August). Then a deep layer of mud replaces the shallow layer of water on the ground. The only time there is a reliable solid surface is in the depths of winter. Most seasons, travel in the swamp is almost impossible.
In spring, an epic amount of water and mud appears, generated by the snowmelt and rainstorms. The thaw usually comes at the beginning of March. The total depth of mud and water can be enough that a pack beast is drenched up to its saddle skirts. Tales are told that, after a day in the Swamp, a pair of pants will be so caked with mud that they will stand up with nobody inside ’em.
Summer means swarming hordes of mosquitos. To ward them off you have to perspire in thick clothing, mittens, and headwraps. Or pay for mosquito netting and a beekeeper’s suit. Near buildings, smoke hugs the ground from smudge pots, lit to keep away mosquitos, but still making people into hams in a smokehouse. At night, the sound of millions of insects is joined by that of thousands of frogs, and a few Gator, Terl, or Parn. The most prevalent summer affliction is the dreaded ague, or swamp fever, which flattens its victims with soaring fever, deep chills, and violent shaking. Oddly, it is rarely fatal.
Occasionally, cholera raises its ugly head. This is an acute disease. The victim suffers from uncontrolled vomiting and diarrhea and his skin color changes. Usually the victim takes a few days to die, but severe cases have seemed healthy in the morning and died before sundown. The disease is highly contagious and apparently water-borne. Healers report that in a town of about 5000 inhabitants, it was killing 30 sentients per day at its worst, and eventually claimed the lives of 3000. This epidemic began in summer and raged unabated until the first winter freeze. Needless to say, the survivors fled, and the town was abandoned permanently.
Winter brings the only time a solid surface forms in the swamp – the mud and water eventually (early January) freeze. Even then, the unwary may fall through thin ice and discover themselves waist- to chest-deep in water (or mud) underneath.
During most seasons, a primitive road soon turns into a quagmire, mud as deep as a Brutorz’s chest. Taking a wagon into the Swamp is a fool’s errand: these conditions cut speed to an average of one day per kilometer. On more than one occasion, a traveller has come to a shelter so covered with mud that, were he to fall on the ground, he could not be distinguished from it. Animals carrying loads (including riders) move as if ‘Heavily Burdened’ but may not carry any more than ‘Unburdened’ loads. Trails can be indicated by use of ‘trailmarker trees’ – a scout will bend a branch of a tree horizontal, pointing in the direction to go from that point. Of course, staying on such a trail requires the traveller to recognize the trees, rather than go past them. He also must be able to maintain the proper direction. The rare shelter-building is the only place where a traveller can be anything other than cold, wet, and/or exhausted. For good measure, the Swamp is a refuge for roughnecks and troublemakers, and stopping at a ‘roadside inn’ could mean staying in a poor-quality building with a score of drunken thugs who will just as soon kill or rob the traveller.
All in all, the Black Swamp earns the description, “the multiple marsh maladies of mosquitos, malaria, mud, and miasma”
The whole place is a low-level health Hazard; each character suffers double the % chance to get ill if mosquitoes did any HP within the last 24 hours. Check daily. If the PCs fail their health checks they will get trench foot, malaria, fever, ague, or other similar diseases. In the worst cases of failure, the character has contracted cholera.
Every dawn and dusk (except in winter) there will be a ‘miasma’ – thick fog and bad smells – for 15 * 1d6 minutes. This is mostly harmless by itself, but adds atmosphere to the adventure. It smells vaguely like rotting vegetation, or spoiled eggs, or (rarely) like sulphur. As long as the miasma fills the air, all smell-based mutations cease to function.
· “quicksand” – deep mud under shallow water
· dry hillock
· thick tangle of plants in the way
· have an Accident (as in Omens)
· poison ivy, etc. are in the way
· signs of passage of a Kamodo – bit trees, foot prints, pathway in trees
roll a d6
1. some Eco-Freaks
2. Fen (ex-carp)
6. some Vegetarians
roll a d10
2. Ber Lep (encounter takes place at a small lake)
3. Ert Teldon (in rivers)
4. Fleshin – only near Lake Erie, otherwise no encounter
6. Herkel (in rivers) – once only per week
7. Narl Ep
9. Seroon Lou
The Town of Ft. Wayne
The Ancient’s city of Fort Wayne was located at the shortest portage between the Mississippi River basin and the Great Lakes, where the Maumee River (which flowed into Lake Erie) and the Little Wabash (which led into the Wabash, the Ohio, and then the Mississippi Rivers) are only a few miles apart. The city was once a transportation hub, but it is now just a large area of ruined buildings and overgrown forest greenery. Most buildings have long since collapsed or burned; of the remainder most are covered with vines etc. A number of especially constructed fortress/shelters, called Flak Towers, still stand.
FORT WAYNE MAP FEATURES
Floodplain: The rivers flood once a year on average, as befits an area near the Black Swamp. Everything within a half-kilometer of a river is considered to be a floodplain. Buildings in the floodplain all have brown stains along the ground floor. Any below-ground floors are usually filled with mud. At GM’s option, these buildings are water-damaged (and may collapse if entered). A thick layer of mud covers all interior horizontal surfaces in these areas. The high-water-mark varies with distance away from the rivers: places very near the rivers may have watermarks up to three meters above ground level, but farther out it is only a few centimeters above the ground. Characters may fall and hurt themselves by tripping over half-buried obstructions in these areas. There is a (50-DX)% chance per Search Turn that a character moving at Fast Speed in these areas will find these hidden hazards the hard way, taking 1d6 damage.
Parks: Every time the PCs enter a park (green areas on the map), they have an automatic encounter with Zeethh.
Rivers: These are only two or three meters deep, with a few spots of up to five meters depth. During a flood, the rivers can rise by three meters throughout their length. The rivers are partially canalized; they are in a natural trough below the general land level, and levees had been built (usually 2 meters tall) above that. The levees have suffered the ravages of time, and breaks can be found every kilometer or so. The rivers abound with odd mutated life forms. Many of the creatures listed in the ‘Water’ Encounter Table live in the rivers, with 1d4 additional mutations. Industrial chemicals, radioactives, and other concoctions leak into the river from the ruined buildings. As a result, anybody swimming in, drinking from, or eating the dwellers within the rivers is exposed to Intensity 3d6 Poison AND Intensity 2d4 Radiation (unless they do something to purify it first). There are no bridges spanning the rivers. An improvised raft may be used to cross the water where there is no bridge, or the traveler may wade through. Under normal conditions, only rafts and canoes can float on the rivers.
Roads: Marked on the map are a number of important roads through the city. They were controlled-access, four-wide-lane divided highway (barricade medians, not grass strips) which should be familiar to players and GMs. Outside the built-up areas these roads are interstate-quality and construction. Movement on a road is at 150% of normal Speed. At GM’s option, roads in the floodplain may be covered in mud and weeds; this negates the movement bonus. Players will be very interested to know that, every hour they spend inside the Taboo Road (I-469), they are exposed to Intensity +1 Paralytic poison. To apply this, count the number of hours in a day the players were in town; the poison has that Intensity. If the players were in the town all day and all night, it is Intensity 24. Only creatures with IN 8+ are affected. The poison is a residue from the powerful nerve gasses that were spread over the city during the Final War.
Rubble: Vast parts of the city now consists of vine-and hedge- filled fields of rubble. Often this is of recent origin and is the result of fires that have burned part of the forest. There will be nothing of value in these areas since everything will be melted, smashed, or otherwise damaged beyond recognition. (Generous GMs may allow the PC’s to find 1d6 Curiosities or Baubles per March Turn searching rubble.) There are obstructions in the rubble. The players have a (40-DX)% chance of getting hurt, as under Floodplain.
Ruins: A few small areas and buildings survive in fair condition. These include the whole gamut of building types; residential, factory, university, and commercial. Though the city has been looted repeatedly, there remain rich treasure troves of Artifacts and knowledge about the Ancients.
Subway: Scattered about near the Flak Towers (usually along a road) are stairways leading down underground. These are access points to the subway, called the Metro, which is the only way in or out of most Flak Towers. These entrances lead to a security checkpoint, a 180 degree turn, another stairway down, a second checkpoint, another 180 degree turn, and then a subway station. (This does not apply in the floodplain, where the upper entrances are choked with mud.) GMs may use any subway with which they are familiar to supply needed details. The checkpoints look like a cross between a watertight compartment and an elevator; a person walks into a small opaque cubicle, and the door closes behind him. He is expected to present his ID (by whatever method the GM uses in his campaign) and, if it is cleared, another door in front of him opens, allowing him to continue. Failing to pass the ID check usually results in a shot of sleepy gas filling the cubicle and a summons for the nearest policebot.
These subways all connect downtown at a large underground Transfer Station. There are three major subway lines; one runs north-south; one runs east-west; the other line is configured like a loop and links the other towers in town. The subway tunnels are sealed against the elements (including floods). Trains still run, one every 15 minutes in most places. In the Transfer Station there is a train coming from somewhere or other every five minutes.
Trails: Travel inside the former built-up area is at half speed, as characters must pick their way over, between, and around obstacles such as fire hydrants, houses collapsed into their basements, trees, tangle vines, thickets, and fallen poles. Players may look for a street and follow it (this allows travel at normal speed); there is a 25% chance per hour that the street will be rubble-blocked.
Woods: Much of the city is overgrown with a jungle-like forest that closes in around roads, trails, house-ruins, and the remaining walls of larger buildings. In large areas the (normally) taller trees look like a giant hand swung an axe through them at the twenty-meter level, cutting them off roughly flat. Below that height, they are jungle-like stands often hung with creepers and vines. Visibility is decreased to one-half (round up) of normal.
Flak towers usually cover four blocks by four blocks on the ground, and are ten stories tall plus ten stories deep. Some were built with industrial or commercial purposes in mind, but most contain small residential apartments. Each apartment, should the GM need to generate one, is laid out like a typical two-bedroom apartment or a mobile home interior. If the GM wants a low-rent neighborhood he could use a hotel room for the standard apartment.
The Nazis built the first flak towers as a response to Allied bombing raids. During the Social Wars, the American Government decided to copy a good thing and added the latest technology. Flak Towers are a measure to provide part of the population with a place to escape attack from external enemies. (Later it was decided to protect critical industrial plants as well.) They were constructed of duralloy and other Ancient materials and protected by force fields. Automated weapons were mounted on the roof. All possible modes of attack, from truck bombs to cruise missiles to battle-armored infantry, were taken into consideration. No weapon commonly available to the PCs will allow them to blast their way in.
The next few paragraphs will describe the effects of an atomic explosion, because that is something with which the GM and players should be passingly familiar, and then will follow a discussion of how a flak tower is built to protect its inhabitants. Much of the technical material in this section was drawn from “The Effect of Nuclear Weapons”, published in 1957 by the U.S. Government. Remember, however, that the A-bomb was a primitive, inefficient device when compared to the weapons available in the Final War.
The largest component of damage from an A-bomb is caused by blast. When an A-bomb is detonated, a high-pressure air wave forms and moves outward at about the speed of sound. This accounts for half the total energy of the bomb. This shock wave has a very strong wind (tornado force) with it. After traveling a certain distance (determined by the energy of the explosion and the height above ground it was detonated), the blast wave near the ground will appear to be solely horizontal. Inside this range, buildings will be crushed down as well as yanked sideways by the blast wave; beyond it buildings are only pushed sideways. The blast wave does its damage by placing a sudden high load on the outside walls of the building, causing distortion (bending) of the walls. While the blast wave is engulfing the building there is a pressure difference between front and back walls, which causes the building to move; after it has engulfed the building it will press inwards equally from all directions. Naturally buildings with many openings (windows) will not be crushed but will have force applied to interior walls. The building is also subjected to high winds which tend to make anything not tied down into a high-speed missile.
The second component of damage is from thermal radiation, or heat. There is a brief burst of ultraviolet radiation and a longer blast of infra-red. This accounts for a third of the bomb’s total energy. The damage (all in burns) can be divided into flash burns (exposure to strong heat), and flame burns (where a fire actually starts). Oddly, small A-bombs start fires better than big ones, because the heat pulse is more concentrated in time. Since the thermal radiation moves at the speed of light and blast moves at the speed of sound, sometimes fires can be blown out or spread by the arrival of the blast wave. Blast-damaged buildings, of course, will not resist the spread of fire very well. Usually water mains are broken (where they enter each destroyed building), so even if the fire stations and equipment survived, the fire departments are helpless.
The third component of damage is nuclear radiations. These comprise only about 3% of the total energy of the explosion, but cause considerable problems. For our purposes, only gamma rays and neutrons are of interest. Neutrons are produced only within the atomic reaction (the explosion). It is possible to shield against neutrons, but certain elements work better than others. Alas, protecting against neutrons produces gamma rays. Gamma rays are produced continuously by the process of radioactive decay. They can be absorbed by almost any material; denser ones work better, and thicker walls have more effect. Gamma rays cause radiation sickness. Fallout is part of the radiation problem; it is best thought of as a long-term source of gamma rays.
The Flak Towers have a number of defenses against these effects. First and foremost, they have weapons emplacements on the roof, to shoot down delivery vehicles (missiles, planes, etc.) before the weapons they carry can detonate. The buildings have only energy weapons, chosen so as not to interfere with a force field. Primary weapons include VL Lasers and Gravity guns; there are also Mark VII Blasters and Black Ray cannon. The weapons’ programming has decayed over the years and they will shoot down EVERY flying object in line-of-sight. So there are no birds, or other flying creatures, within 10 kilometers of town. The towers also shoot at nearby branches swaying in the breeze, so the trees are cut off flat on a level with the top of each Tower for a kilometer or so in every direction. Towers do not shoot at immobile objects (such as other buildings).
A force field bubble normally surrounds each building. This offers immunity to gamma rays and neutrons and protection from flying debris. It was recognized that force fields can be overwhelmed, however, so backup systems were built in to protect against the various damage effects.
The walls are made of a composite material, which cannot be duplicated by any GAMMA WORLD manufacturing plant. It has a boron-iron alloy in it to absorb neutrons. It includes a duralloy mesh for strength and protection against energy attacks. It also contains a mesh of superconducting threads. This protects against heat and fires because superconductors are always the same temperature everywhere; the threads run underground and out into the bedrock, where the heat is transferred safely away from any people. The outside wall is very thick and massive to stop gamma rays. This material has a high ductility (a fancy term meaning the ability to bend and flex back into shape without permanently becoming bent or breaking). The outside surface is mirrored and reflects almost the entire electromagnetic spectrum with very high efficiency. As a side-effect, the towers can be seen for miles on a sunny day since they reflect the sunlight. The outside surface also has a mesh of wire-thin solar power collectors. There is enough total collector area to power the exterior defenses and keep basic lights and temperature control running inside the building.
Each tower is composed of many “blast-tight compartments”; in case the outside wall if it is breached, damage will be limited to part of the interior. The joints, and bracings are carefully crafted to distribute all forces down to the bedrock, thereby increasing the strength of the building. There are no windows to the outside, and walls facing the outside are plain and unadorned. The building itself is cylindrical rather than square as cylinders better distribute horizontal forces than do flat sides. The roof is dome-shaped for the same reason; the weapons are mounted on top and have a 360-degree view of the area. The material of the outside wall gets stronger when it is squeezed, but an internal explosion can literally take the material apart.
The Tower has one floor underground dedicated to life support. A recycling system, worthy of a spaceship, insures that fallout dust, airborne poisons, or germs released outside will not be inhaled. The Towers have food and water recycling systems also; this features a hydroponics garden to deal with€sewage.
The Ancients had found ways to stop radioactive decay (including fallout). Each Tower has several modified Disaster Robots which could clean up the area nearby (say 20 meters radius). Often the robots were stored in a nearby Metro entrance until needed. The robots also were programmed to clear firebreaks if necessary, 30 meters wide across the path of the fire.
There was one feature of the Flak Towers that was not maximum-safety, but (because of the propaganda utility) was included anyway: the interior walls (not load-bearing or blast-resistant walls) were made up in neo-Federal architecture. Inside, public spaces in a tower look similar to a Courthouse, Congress’ Capitol Building, or the Lincoln Memorial (to give just a few examples). This was to emphasize the presence of the American Government. The false fronts were usually constructed of a styrofoam-like material that would crumble if damaged, and not shatter into harmful missiles to wound bystanders.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Listed in this section are separate points of interest around which the GM may wish to build separate adventures within Wayun. No attempt has been made to list all the interesting buildings or areas in the city and an inventive GM will find many potential additional places not covered here. Points of interest include:
Adams Center Landfill – The area bounded by the river and the three roads used to be a hazardous waste disposal site. The management of the facility had no desire to be a good neighbor, nor did they act in any semblance of good faith; they did NOT use the normal cleanup methods of which the Ancients were capable. As a result, any creature which crosses this area is exposed to Intensity 5d6 Poison and Intensity 2d6 Radiation. Roll for every 10 minutes or fraction thereof spent in the indicated area. The river also has these contaminants (Intensity 1d6 each) for a kilometer downstream. This area is one huge artificial hill; it slopes up steeply to a crest in the middle. It has a number of runoff gulleys carved into the surface. These gulleys cut into the hazardous wastes which compose most of the mound. The normal forest is not found in this area; instead some sickly weeds (and some stage bushes, if the GM has that material) are the only plants to be seen. The GM may wish to place some plants that are Immune to chemicals, poisons and/or radiation in the area also.
Baer City – commercial/office This Flak Tower has only five stories above ground. The bottom floor requires extra security clearance to get in; this is the management and control area for the Airport.
Bloomingdale – The Metro station to this Flak Tower has been sealed beyond the PC’s ability to enter. The walls and doors show an amount of bump, blast, and burn damage. Most of the bumps seem to have come from inside the building. If the players spend a lot of time near the building (sleeping overnight in the station) they will hear eerie thumps coming from inside it. The thumping can be heard from the outside world.
CityGov – This former Flak Tower was blown up from inside. The interior is a rubble-filled crater; the walls are shredded, and the roof is gone. This building truly deserves the name “Bones of the Giants”. Anybody dumb enough to climb into the crater will find that the bottom is quicksand. Metro riders can use the station to change trains, but the station is cut off from the rest of the building by huge chunks of concrete.
East End – Each floor in this industrial Flak Tower is 2 stories tall. Five extra floors are dug into the ground (giving a total of ten going down and five going up). Each floor has 16 sections with machinery and assembly lines inside. Each section was for a different company, each making different products. There is not enough power inside this building to start the machinery. In the basement is one huge room of machinery; this was the Magnavox Superconductor Wire plant.
Fort Wayne Country Club – recreation This building is opulently furnished and features every type of exercise facility imaginable (including an Olympic-sized pool in the basement). This building is two stories tall with a basement. It is, in essence, a mansion built for dozens. Holograms cover the exterior walls, which give the illusion the walls are not even there. There are no weapons to be found inside.
Glenbrook – When your shopping mall is the busiest in northeast Indiana, you can afford to armor-plate it yourself. It has the tough outside wall of a flak tower, but not the other attributes. This building is two stories tall with one floor of basement; it is irregularly shaped (GMs should use any interior-hall shopping mall he is familiar with). The Metro station is connected by escalator to any convienent large open space in the lowest floor. The interior has been looted before, but not on any systematic plan, so a vast quantity of stuff still remains.
La Rez – This Flak Tower was a low-rent district. It is covered, inside and out, with grafitti. It has bullet (and other weapon) holes in the interior walls. Portions were burnt; some areas have collapsed floors and ceilings. Holes have been made in all levels. There are no working Artifacts in here. The bottom five floors are so rubble-filled as to be impassable.
Lakeside – residential The lower parts of this Flak Tower (and the Metro station) are in the same shape as La Rez. The floors above ground were not damaged.
Lincoln Tower – This building used to house one of the most important banks in the Midwest. The lobby fills the ground floor; it is both roomy and ornate , and decorated in 1920’s art deco style. Inside, everything above the third floor is typical offices. The top two stories are weather-damaged empty framework; there is an outdoor balcony with a great view of town on the top floor. The building looks like a small version of the Empire State Building; it is 20 stories tall. Flak Towers will not fire at anything on the balcony.
May Gravel – This area has no buildings (any more), but is occupied by a number of huge forest-covered hills. The hills rise perhaps 30 meters above the normal ground level. The sides are steep and made of loose gravel. The hilltops are a vantage point and (fairly) secure place to encamp.
New Haven – This building is a Flak Tower. Skeletons and mummies can be found throughout inside, all contorted as if in pain. Most of the basement was a grocery store. The canned foods (only) are still edible – the climate control acted as a preservative. Artifacts found inside will be in good condition. There will be no weapons.
Parkview Hospital – medical This building is a Healer’s fantasy come true. There are faint traces of a Red Cross painted on the roof (if anybody can get above the building to see it). Every medical Artifact imaginable – from tongue depressors and stethoscopes to a Life Chamber – can be found in here. In the sections containing the most complex equipment, every bed has a PSH skeleton in it. The patients in less-complex areas were able to get up and leave, so these areas are corpseless. There is a storage area (in the basement) with huge amounts of every Artifact drug known, and thousands of Medikits. The computers running the various life extending machines were sabotaged with a ‘cyberbomb’ – a super computer virus. The computerized items in the hospital cannot be repaired due to the cyberbomb’s effects. Note that connecting a cyberbombed item to a functioning computer will cyberbomb it, too, and render it also useless.
St. Joe – This residential Flak Tower had shoddy construction; it leaks. Any day it rains, there is a base 50% chance that all powered defenses (force field and weapons) stop working until the rain stops. There are molds and mildews and a few mobile mutated plants inside. The biggest encounter inside is a huge mutated millipede. (It will try to taste PC’s as if they were a new variety of plant; if they fight back it will turn around and scuttle away. GMs must invent further details.) All Artifacts found here will be in bad condition. Naturally this Tower will not protect its contents against attack any more.
Southtown Mall – the mall building has been destroyed by fire. The parking lot (grey on the map) is intact; this huge flat space is not overgrown.
Waynedale – This Flak Tower is in mint condition, inside and out. The GM should increase the normal quality and quantities of Artifact rolls made in here. One upper-floor apartment (and the hallway outside) has a golden-hued light, rather than the normal white lights. A bookcase in one bedroom contains items (books, computer disks, loose sheets of paper, etc.) which look much like the GM’s GAMMA WORLD materials. Any examiner who looks the materials over will find a rough draft of this city description, and character sheets that describe the PC’s as they were when newly„generated.
West Side – This industrial Flak Tower is in the same shape as La Rez. Signs indicate that American Electric’s force field manufacturing plant used to be in the basement.
University – The students rioted because “the poor” were, but they forgot to provide themselves with real weapons. Everything breakable has been, but this Flak Tower suffered no serious damage. Bullet holes and shrapnel marks can be found in most walls. This building’s exterior is intact but the interior is a mess. Half of this building is lecture halls, and a quarter (mostly the top levels) is laboratories for various physical sciences.
Ft Wayne Childrens’ Zoo – This area is a park. It does NOT have Zeethh. The robots in charge of maintenance still move about the grounds. They will try to capture any Mutated Animal characters they encounter. If the GM has the “All Animals are Equal” module, he may place it here, instead of using the normal park descriptions
The Huron Event
In addition to the campaigns and attacks of the Final War, several catastrophic Events also marked its course. All these Events were man-made, and quite intentional. Each being a part of carefully prepared plans, the perpetrators maximized destruction and confusion on the target, while minimizing their own expenditure of effort. One such Event was the Huron Event, named for its location.
Following the pioneering work of Charles Hapgood, who theorized the whole crust of the Earth could be made to move over the core, the Ancients had invented a powerful mechanism which could create stresses within bedrock, deforming or breaking it over a large area. The theory said that this could loosen the crust and displace it, but the results were not entirely predictable in advance. This device was found to be very useful when detonated on asteroids or other similar uninhabited astronomical bodies where the Ancients wished to mine minerals. It was usually called a “geology bomb”.
Before the Final War, the Mid-America Industrial Zone was a designated area for important war manufacturing plants. The American Government had noticed that it was easier to defend Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio – which are in the middle of the continent – than it was to defend the manufacturing region of the Northeast. The Great Lakes would provide cheap transportation and an uncluttered view to detect incoming attacks.
A geology bomb was placed and triggered near Sault St. Marie, Michigan, targeted at the Mid-America Industrial Zone. The Earth’s crust did not displace, but the results of the detonation were still catastrophic.
The first result was a 700-kilometer long fracture of the Canadian Shield, running north-northwest along the Canadian coast of Lake Superior. The rock to the east side of this fault rose, forming a low, difficult mountain chain. The movement of the ground also formed a depression in northern Ontario, into which flooded waters from Hudson Bay.
The second result of the bomb was a crumpling of the bedrock in southern Ontario. This took place over a 120 kilometer zone. It was accompanied by earthquakes and has led to some geothermal activity.
The third result was a depressing of the ground from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Gary, Indiana. This area, near the Lake Michigan shoreline, sank below the level of the lake.
The fourth result of the Event was less dramatic, but far more widespread. Earthquakes associated with the bedrock movements reverberated across the region. Another geologic result was the recharging of mineral ores in the areas that were most disturbed. Iron, copper, and other such minerals were forced up from deep within the Earth to points near the surface. Once located, the veins can be used as a source of raw materials.
The most deadly result, however, was the creation of a number of water-mounds, great bodies of displaced lake water. There was no wave crest, such as a tsunami would have (so far as can be known). But a huge mass of water, tens of meters high and moving as fast as a man could run, inundated everything in its path. The victims would have seen ever-rising floodwaters (rising at several inches per minute) stretching back to a blue horizon of water which quickly rose into the tree-tops.
A small water-mound moved westwards across Lake Superior and drowned Duluth, Minnesota. It was minimal – at least compared to the others. In Lake Michigan, another small water-mound flowed from the Mackinac area to Green Bay and over the city beyond; it rebounded and headed south-south-east. It drenched the lower levels of Chicago and also flooded the Grand Rapids-to-Gary sunken area, mentioned above.
The greatest water mound was in Lake Huron. A hundred-kilometer-square area of lake bottom was raised well above water level. All the water over it moved downhill; it poured southward from the northwestern part of the lake. This formed a water-mound hundreds of meters high. Some of this mass of water washed into Saginaw Bay and changed the shoreline, redirecting the bay from south to southwest. Much of the mound washed over southern Ontario. More went through the straits of Saint Clair (dredging away Windsor, Ontario and its hinterland) and into Lake Erie. Upon reaching the Ohio (south) shore, it pushed inland, drowning every living thing in its path. This area was one of the population centers of North America, and may have held 50 million people.
A special situation was created in northwest Ohio, the former “Black Swamp”. The water here washed up to the farthest extremities of the old swampland – across the Indiana border – and left debris behind to clog the drainage ditches so laboriously dug over 50 years (1830-1880) and carefully maintained ever since. The swamp promptly returned.
Successive waves poured into Lake Erie. The lake rose and covered Erie, Pennsylvania and Buffalo, New York. It then went over the Niagara Escarpment on a 40-kilometer front. In this area, the enormous flood was slow enough that individuals had an opportunity to flee to high ground and save their lives. Niagara Falls was eroded back several kilometers by the water. The falls now are colored blue, not white, because of the huge volume of water falling over them.
All the Great Lakes still show the after-effects of this Event. The bed of Lake Huron has less volume than before the Event (obviously). What used to be northwest Lake Huron is dry land, connecting Lower Michigan directly to Ontario. Lake Erie is nearly level with Lake Huron. Lake Ontario may, due to subsoil changes, eventually flow into the Hudson River instead of the St. Lawrence. Lake Superior lost some area to the new mountains along its east edge. It now flows into Lake Michigan. This Lake is now land-locked, and has become slightly salty. The water level has risen from its previous norm, and has reached a point where evaporation equals intake. So the lake is surrounded by swampy ground, but it will flood no further land.
Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2019 by Brian Judt, all rights reserved. Permission is granted to use this information, and the maps for personal (non-commercial) use only.