Fallout Wasteland Warfare RPG Expansion Overview
Fallout Wasteland Warfare, as some of you know, is already an incredibly interesting and refreshing tabletop skirmish game thanks to the effort put into the games design by James Sheahan. The wealth of options afforded to the player whilst they fight for survival in the wasteland and grow their settlement is one of the games strongest features, whether it be searching through the ruins of an old building for a much needed piece of technology, or hacking into a nearby terminal to bring some turret defenses online to aid your settlement, the implementation of various mechanics for interacting with the game world immediately makes Fallout Wasteland Warfare highly engaging.
But sometimes, players want even more interactivity with the game. And other times, players want to step away into the world of pen and paper role playing games. Well now you can with the Fallout Wasteland Warfare Roleplaying Game Expansion, and I’m loving it. It isn’t a true roleplaying game in its purest form, however, just as the name implies, this is the Roleplaying Game Expansion for the tabletop game, and as such, incorporates a number of mechanics from it while expanding upon them considerably. So in order to play this expansion, it’s already assumed that you have access to the contents of the core game. Namely, the custom dice and the range finders. Miniatures are optional, but you’ll find the experience to be a much greater one if you have access to some because, unlike most games, you can transition from the pen and paper aspect of this game into a tabletop skirmish fluidly.
Taking the role of your DM/GM is The Overseer, the author and narrator of the story who will deliver the ongoing narrative to the players as they make their way through custom made, dynamically developing scenarios. They will be doing this with their custom made characters by building off of an archetype, which will help them slot neatly into the game world with minimal fuss. At the time of writing, there are 16 archetypes available to build upon, from the Chem Maker and Forager, to the Mr. Handy Type- 7. Don’t feel like using one of the archetypes? Then don’t! Try bringing over one of the units from the main game and talk it out with your Overseer to make more balanced adjustments, like how frequently X6-88 can use his Stealthboy.
A plethora of expertise skills will determine how functional you can be in the Wasteland, meaning every character has their own strengths and weakness. When building your character from an archetype, you get to choose some Expertise Skills as determined by their nature, with Foragers knowing how to track animals and prepare different types of foods, or Snipers with their fast moving, low to the ground athletics getting them into advantageous spots. After deciding on your archetype and uncovering your expertise skills, you gain two gifts and two scars. These can be anything ranging from being big brained and bright-eyed, to being an amputee dullard. Truly, the wasteland takes no prisoners.
Perks, of course, make a welcome return and serve to enhance the latent abilities of your character. Perhaps you’re naturally flexible and perform an acrobatic dodge to avoid incoming attacks, or maybe you served time in a gang as a heavy weapons operator and use your artillerist knowledge to prevent your weapon fire from scattering quite so far. After this, you pick a specialty skill and you’re good to go.
Given that this is an RPG, you’ll find yourself making skill tests at every turn, trying to worm your way out of a sticky situation or find the solution to a rapidly ticking timer as you hack a terminal wired to explode. Luckily, these can be easily resolved if the Overseer sets the encounter up properly. Using the various skill icons on display in the game makes the overall process markedly more straight forward, thus making the entire experience much more fun. A mad Psycho is charging you with a knife? Make a melee skill test, maybe throw in an accuracy dice to help you succeed if you’re particularly adept in a brawl.
Perhaps my favorite mechanic that blends the world of the RPG and FWW in proper would be the chase sequence. This can be played out on the game mat or on the page, and it represents the hot pursuit of a target. Perhaps it’s an informant who has fled the scene, or a thief on the run from you, a loyal caravan guard, the chase scene is a guided narrative event with moment-to-moment interactions being guided by the Overseer and the story they aim to tell. As each moment passes, players can move closer or farther away from the target as people block their path on streets, or doors are slammed and must be overcome. The skills and abilities that you bring to the table with your character can be used in creative ways here, because a good Overseer always says yes.
Got a shotgun and want to fire a blast into the air to clear the street, then you can do so with the proper tests, because loading and firing it while running between a milling crowd wouldn’t be easy. Or maybe you plan on putting your shoulder down and barging through the press of bodies, using your raw strength to forge a path, well it looks like you’re going to need a skill test on strength and possibly agility. The choices are yours, but choose wisely.
The Wasteland Warfare RPG Expansion is by no means a must-have item for fans of the game. Those looking for a dedicated pen and paper RPG have better future prospects, with Sam Webb, of Star Trek Adventures fame, leading development on a 2D20 RPG system that will go even more in-depth, and it’s coming next year! But if you’re looking to expand your Fallout Wasteland Warfare experience, or dip your toes into an RPG styled game mode, then the RPG Expansion is for you and comes heartily recommended from me.