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Escape Vault 99: A Dungeonalia Inspired Fallout Adventure

Escape Vault 99: A Dungeonalia Inspired Fallout Adventure

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Project Blog by darkdanegan Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

In the Fallout universe, a "vault" is an underground, self-contained, and often heavily fortified shelter designed to protect a population from the devastating effects of a nuclear apocalypse. These vaults were constructed by the Vault-Tec Corporation, a fictional company within the Fallout universe. Each vault was intended to house a specific number of people and was equipped with advanced technology and resources to sustain its inhabitants for an extended period. However, the true purpose of many vaults was often shrouded in secrecy, as Vault-Tec conducted various social experiments on the residents. These experiments ranged from testing the effects of isolation and resource scarcity to observing how different societal structures and ideologies would manifest in the confined spaces of the vaults. As a result, some vaults became settings for unique and often dystopian scenarios, contributing to the complex and intriguing narrative of the Fallout series. What better for a Dungeonalia narrative campaign?

This Project is Completed

A Day Like Any Other?

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A Day Like Any Other?

“WARNING. WARNING. PLEASE EXIT THE VAULT IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. WARNING. WARNING. PLEASE EXIT THE VAULT IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL..”

You wake with a start, heart racing. You open your eyes and are greeted by a blurry, swimming view of the room, lit only by the flashing crimson glow of the emergency lighting. What time is it? What day is it? That information is not in your sphere of awareness, just the flashing lights and the wail of the klaxon. Vision slowly coming into focus, you look across the bed and can see your spouse being thrust into consciousness in exactly the same way. Disorientated, alarmed, and looking to you for confirmation. “Is this happening?”

It doesn’t make any sense. The bombs only dropped two years ago. You weren’t supposed to be released so soon. Exiting the vault was something that should have been planned, prepared for. There should have been meetings. And training. And a gradual acclimatisation. You had barely gotten used to vault life.

Something must have gone wrong. Had radiation breached the vault? Had the enemy won the war?

Designer's Note #1

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One of my open but ‘back burner’ projects is planning a solo campaign for Fallout Wasteland Warfare (slow burn project here). I want to create a tabletop experience similar to playing the Fallout video games using the Fallout Wasteland Warfare system and rules. There has been some prep, but the campaign has yet to begin.

All good Fallout games (ok, except perhaps the BEST game…lol) start with you as a Vault Dweller, emerging from the vault which has kept you safe from the nuclear fallout following the Great War. Not safe from the nefarious citizens of your own state mind you, but you don’t know anything about that at the start of the game!

So to get my campaign started, I needed to come up with a ‘vault exit’ scenario. The OnTableTop Dungeonalia challenge inspired me to make this part of the story into a proper narrative campaign. Rather than start the campaign with the first foot into the wasteland, instead I will start it with a full on dungeon delve (undelve?!).

Fallout Wasteland Warfare has an “Into the Vault” expansion which can handle all of the procedural generation of the vault (dungeon) itself, but it is designed for seasoned crews to discover, enter and explore a vault, rather than brand new ‘level 1’ campaigners to find their way out. This project will aim to create just that.  I will need to figure out the scenario rules for the game, and also the story.  My learnings from games like Five Parsecs From Home is that the two can go hand in hand. I love using game mechanics to create an emergent story, so my view is that I can part write, part play, and in the process create a campaign that others could play too.

Back to the story.  All is not at it seems for our adventurers. They will need to work out what is going on. Everything they thought they knew is completely and utterly false!

One Last Look

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Action: Choose a name for yourself and your spouse. Feel free at this stage to choose an appropriate miniature to represent each of you if you have them available (the Sole Survivor models from Modiphius are ideal but don’t let that limit you!). You were married before the War and were accepted into Vault 99 as a couple.  Having had a brief military career, you were appointed as Head of Security, whilst your spouse was the Head of Science. You were so proud to be considered among the elite of local society and valuable enough to secure a place in Vault 99. There was not room for everyone, so most were not so lucky, and their fate is very much unknown.

You both pull on your Vault 99 jumpsuits and prepare to leave. You don’t have much in the way of possessions, but you grab the personal trinkets that you do have and leave your quarters.

Surprisingly you do not see anybody else around. You decide to check on some neighbours, in case the inhabitants hadn’t heard the alarm, but each and every room is empty with the door wide open. Where is everyone? How could they have left already?

There is no sign of immediate danger. The air seems clean, oxygen is still flowing from the ducts as usual. There are no voices, shouts or gunfire.

“I think we should look for supplies before heading outside..” you suggest.
“Yeah, hunna percent, we have no idea what’s out there. Are there weapons?”
“All we have in Security are stun batons. We were told there are proper weapons somewhere, but the Overseer was the only one who could access them – that was never shared with us”
“Ok, well a stun baton is better than nothing. Any armour?”
“Yes, there is some basic armour in the security lockers, it was provided in case we needed to quash any unrest amongst the residents – follow me”.

You quickly make your way around the vault, checking for anything useful. The Security lockers do indeed yield a stun baton each but the armour is all gone. Why would the others take the armour but not the weapons?  Unless they had access to the REAL weapons…

There is one last curiosity to satisfy. You make a dash for the Overseer’s office. Upon entering you are not surprised to discover that the office is empty in terms of personnel, but significant to note is that the Overseer’s computer terminal has been smashed into a million pieces. There will be no clues gained from the Overseer’s personal records.

One Last Look

“What the hell happened? This doesn’t make any sense.”

“WARNING. WARNING. PLEASE EXIT THE VAULT IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. WARNING. WARNING. PLEASE EXIT THE VAULT IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL..”

You decide you may as well head for the exit. Checking any rooms you pass on the way, you only manage to find a couple of stimpaks and some water in a medical cabinet. Still no signs of any personnel or any explanation for the emptiness in the Vault.

You make your way along familiar corridors to the vault door. The door that was sealed behind you two years ago. The door you have stared at every day since, wondering about the world outside. The Overseer had received limited information through Vault-Tec. The War was swift but radiation levels were high. All other information was “classified”.

You approach the lobby and the door is already open. The light streaming in is so bright you can’t see anything outside. You notice that the air seems remarkably cool.

“WARNING. WARNING. PLEASE EXIT THE VAULT IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. WARNING. WARNING. PLEASE EXIT THE VAULT IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL..”

You and your partner take each other’s hand, look into each other’s eyes, and take a deep breath.

“Let’s see what’s out there…”

One Last Look

Designer’s Note #2

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So our Vault Dwellers are about to leave the vault… or are they? It wouldn’t be a long scenario if we left it here now would it..?! Their dungeoneering is adventure is far from over. They are about to find out that it hasn’t even started..

We’ll get back to them soon, but there are some more Designer’s Notes to cover.

When I started thinking about the overall project, I had to decide where to set my campaign. I imagined that my fallout game could fit within the canon Fallout universe. Modiphius’ miniatures range covers all of the factions and key characters from Fallout 4, and many from the other games. I wanted to ensure it wouldn’t be out of place if these factions and characters turned up in my campaign, and do my best to stay true to the official canon. So, to make @Warzan proud, I decided to game in the gaps. Someone online made a map showing the locations of all the existing Fallout games. And I’ve found my gap. The Cincinnati region around the Kentucky/Ohio border!

Designer’s Note #2

Another important part of the Fallout universe is the specific vaults that events take place in. I searched the Wiki to find a vault number that didn’t exist in the current canon, nor planned in any known upcoming media.

Vault 99 was the choice!

Designer’s Note #2

Specifically, I decided that the location of Vault 99 is a town called Independence, Kentucky.  You can see it half way down the left hand side of this map.  The rest of the area of this map is the wasteland to be explored by the adventurers on their future campaign.

Assuming they make it to the wasteland of course!  If Vault 99 has its way, they may not get that far!!

Designer’s Note #2

Into the Mystery

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Your starting crew.  Note: the updated Fallout Wasteland Warfare rules mean that you ignore the armour values on the cards and instead only use the values of equipped armour (in this case the vault jumpsuits).  Both characters are equipped with a jumpsuit, a stun baton and a stimpak.  At the time of writing the happy but confused couple are worth 321 points.  This will influence the quality and quantity of enemies they will encounter!Your starting crew. Note: the updated Fallout Wasteland Warfare rules mean that you ignore the armour values on the cards and instead only use the values of equipped armour (in this case the vault jumpsuits). Both characters are equipped with a jumpsuit, a stun baton and a stimpak. At the time of writing the happy but confused couple are worth 321 points. This will influence the quality and quantity of enemies they will encounter!
Into the Mystery

In addition to the core rules, this adventure utilises the “Into the Vault” expansion from Modiphius.  This is one of the simpler expansions to make use of as the only printed components you need are the cards to randomly generate the rooms.  You can print these on any printer, but I had them printed onto double sided card by Doxdirect so I just had to cut them out.  I also had the rulebook printed because I like a printed rulebook, but if you are comfortable with 1’s and 0’s you can squint at pixels instead.

Into the Mystery

The “Into the Vault” rules require you to choose a faction for the enemies that you will face, and then select ‘Major’ enemies (up to 2/3 of your starting squad value), ‘Minor’ enemies (up to 1/3 of your starting squad value), and ‘Critters’ (up to 1/4 your starting squad value). These are then generated randomly as you procedurally generate the vault during the quest.

Here we will use the Major, Minor and Critter as intended, but for the purposes of our story we’re not sticking to one faction! I’m keen to leave as much open, for the story to emerge, as possible.  Directionally, I know where the spine of the story is going for this adventure, but I know nothing about the world outside at this stage (which is the fun part of Fallout!)

On that basis, I am going to pre-select my ‘Minor’ enemies, without randomisation, as they will be key to the story, but will create larger pools for Major and Critter, using the points values as the only criteria, to create more surprises!

When I come to write up the scenario for others to play, I think I will leave the choice of enemies fairly open for the player to choose.  Not everyone owns every faction, and even fewer have them all painted.  I myself own most of the models, but the majority are in the ‘pile of opportunity’ so that has influenced my choices too for my own adventure.

Last thing to do before commencing the game proper is to name my characters.  I thought about naming them after myself and my wife in real life, but then wondered how I would feel if Mrs Danegan got gutted by a Deathclaw..!!  So to keep her safe I will name the male sole survivor Leeland, and his partner Lucie.

Battle Report - Part 1 (of 4)

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Main Quest: Discover the Secrets of Vault 99
(Optional) Find and Search the Overseers Terminal for Information
(Optional) Find and Persuade a Vault Dweller to Give you Information

Leeland and Lucie stepped into the brightness. They were expecting their eyes to adjust to the light, revealing the post-war outside world. Instead they revealed a bare bulb in the ceiling of a small room.

“What the hell..?”

The room looked very much like the rooms in their vault, just dirty and in a state of disrepair. There was a desk with a non-functioning computer terminal, and a filing cabinet. Something in the corner of the room moved.

“What was that?”
“It looked like some kind of insect, only much bigger..”

Leeland’s hand tightened on the grip of his stun baton, and almost immediately the critter they had seen scuttling into the corner rushed out with two more of their kind. They were upon Leeland in a flash, attempting to bite him. Luckily Leeland was able to evade the snapping pincers, and swing back with the baton. He managed to splat the creatures quite easily, and it was a few moments before he could catch his breath. “They look like cockroaches…only bigger…MUCH bigger!”

Battle Report - Part 1 (of 4)

“Where on earth are we?” asked Lucie. “How come the exit isn’t the exit?” She tentatively explored the room, opening a drawer in the desk and finding a bottle of Nuka Cola. She moved over to the filing cabinet and opened a drawer. “There’s something in here”. She put her hand into the drawer, before recoiling in pain “OUCH!” There was a piece of a large dead insect in the drawer, it looked like a scorpion tail, but much like the roaches was a lot bigger.

“That looks nasty,” exclaimed Leeland “could be infected. Let’s get moving”.

[So what happened in game terms? The first Feature Room drawn from the deck was “Control Room”. The room has two doors and two searchable. It had an “Occupant” so I added a Radroach swarm for them to face. Not a difficult test for them, but this is how Fallout games generally start. First searchable was a good find – Nuka Cola can be consumed to restore health points. Unfortunately the other searchable revealed a Danger card. Lucie failed the Intelligence Test, then failed a luck test and the result was the “poisoned” condition. This means she will take a point of damage each time she activates until the condition is removed. This is a horrendous start for her as it is not an easy condition to remove! I will likely have to hand-of-god something as a DM to sort that!]

Leeland and Lucie open the door at the opposite side of the room to which they entered, ignoring a door on the right. They step into a room which Leeland immediately recognises to be a Security room. He steps ahead of Lucie who is still nursing her damaged hand, and worrying about the red line now appearing around the wound. The other doors and windows to the room are already open so Leeland can see in all directions. To the right is a corridor with even more of those roaches. To the left a window revealed a restroom, and on a wall in that restroom was a first aid box. Ahead the door led into a corridor that appeared to be unoccupied. They set about searching the room, and were rewarded with a Pipe Rifle and a Cryo Grenade. Leeland didn’t recognise the weapon – it looked like something that had been cobbled together out of pieces of junk, but it was clear that it was functional. “Awesome! We can use this!”

[A dice roll determines whether the next room is a corridor or a Feature Room. In this case, the dice chose room. The Feature Room drawn was a Security Room. The dice decided that the room was unoccupied this time, with two searchables and an “incident” that was determined to be “All Doors Unlocked”. As the room was a security room, I drew from the item deck until weapons were drawn – hence the gun and the grenade. As the doors were open, the characters can see into the next sections as well, again dice rolls dictating the next rooms and their occupants. The little “c” token in the image below shows the position of a sign.  This is one way that players can get advance notice of what an upcoming room will be.  In this case I know the next room the character’s will encounter after turning right will be a Cafeteria. ]

Battle Report - Part 1 (of 4)

The downside of Leeland being able to see into the room with the radroaches was that the radroaches could also see him. In fact they seem to be as surprised to see him as he is to see them, and the nearest swarm retreated back into the corridor, blocking the other swarm from moving closer. Leeland aimed and fired his newly found gun, and was able to put some damage onto the closest swarm. “Leave this to me”, he called to Lucie, “go into that restroom and see if there is anything in the first aid box for your hand.” Lucie didn’t want to leave Leeland to the roaches, but saw the wisdom in his words and reluctantly ran out of the room, took a left into the corridor, then left again into the restroom. It was a grim sight in there, but the first aid box was unlocked. In it, there was only a vial of Med-X, a drug that can temporarily prevent you from taking radiation, but nothing that would help with the poison. “Damn!”.

Back in the security room, the radroaches have gathered their wits and swarm in on Leeland. He manages to dispatch the closest swarm, which also has the effect of making room for the other swarm to move in. Leeland shoots and misses. Meanwhile Lucie, succumbing more and more to the poison, drinks the Nuka Cola [removing the 3 damage she has taken from the poison so far but adding one radiation damage]. She instantly feels a little better and explores the corridor. Thankfully, having learned her lesson, she explores more tentatively this time and on discovering a steel trap close to a computer terminal, she manages to leap back in time before the jaws snap shut. “That was close.” On closer inspection it was revealed that the trap was guarding another weapon, which she carefully picked up. It didn’t look as good as Leeland’s rifle [it was a Bolt-Action Pipe Pistol] but she now had a gun too. She races back to find Leeland still struggling with the radroaches. He was swinging his stun baton at them, as much in defense as in attack. Lucie drew her baton and joined the fray, doing some damage to the roaches. Finally, Leeland was able to finish them off [it was a god-roll – way too much for the poor roaches! See pic below!] and he and Lucie caught their breath having finally cleared the discovered rooms from enemies.

Battle Report - Part 1 (of 4)

Unfortunately for Lucie, the Nuka Cola was only a temporary fix, and the poison was starting to take effect once again. Leeland went back to explore the corridor that the radroaches were in but only got bogged down in a sinking floor. They must have been trying to chew their way out of there.. [a danger card revealed ‘sinking floor’ which means next turn Leeland suffers Difficult Terrain – ought not to be an issue other than slowing down possibility of finding a cure for Lucie].

“This is looking a lot like a full scale Vault”, suggested Lucie, “why would they build another right next to ours? And why is it in such a state?”
“No idea”, replied Leeland, “I don’t understand this at all”.

The confused pair followed a sign on the wall marked “Cafeteria” and opened a door at the end of the corridor and discovered another, long, corridor. This space was completely trashed and it was slow moving though it [‘levelled room’ = difficult terrain]. All the while Lucie was taking more and more poison. There was nothing of interest in the corridor and they opened a door at the end to reveal a large room which indeed appeared to be some form of long-deserted canteen. There was not much left in there to scavenge. They managed to jimmy open some containers but all they found was a bottle of moonshine, and a portion of something that looked like it was once perhaps some form of meat [‘squirrel on a stick’]. Due to Lucie’s condition, they agreed to keep moving, passing through the cafeteria into another corridor, where they were confronted by a wandering robot.

Battle Report - Part 1 (of 4)

“Protectron!” Recognised Leeland, “but is it in hostile mode or is it friendly?” The answer wasn’t long in coming as the Protectron opened fire with its hand laser. Leeland shouted to Lucie that their guns wouldn’t be as much use against the robot as their stun batons, with their energy damage, so they both rushed in. It was a tough fight with Leeland taking the brunt of the damage from the Protectron. He managed to find time to consume the mystery meat [squirrel on a stick], and despite its foul taste it did make him feel stronger. “Careful, these things can explode”, Leeland told Lucie, “be ready to run!”. Between them they eventually took the Protectron down and thankfully it didn’t explode, it just crumpled to the floor in a shower of sparks. Leeland, badly wounded, uses his only Stimpak to restore health.

[In theory a Protectron is a fairly low level enemy in the game, but what was becoming clear by this point was that brand new survivors, with very little in the way of armour, can take serious amounts of damage in the process of taking enemies out. The Protectron has an armour rating of 3 which meant it could cancel a lot of incoming damage. Our survivors however are only granted 1 point of armour from their vault suits. So, whilst the two of them together were able to despatch the Protectron over time, they both ended up carrying serious damage. They are going to need some luck, and thankfully the fates do indeed give them an opportunity..]

Lucie and Leeland limped to the door to the next room and opened it a crack to peer inside. It was a medical room! What luck! But not so lucky is that the room is not unoccupied. There are two creatures within that look as though they might once have been human [Feral Ghouls] desperately swiping their gnarled hands at a locked safe on one side of the room. There was zero chance of them doing any damage to the safe, but it did not stop them from trying! What on earth were they doing?

“What are those things?”, queried Lucie.
“No idea”, replied Leeland, “are they…human?”
“Whatever they are, they look hostile and are in the way of us getting some medical supplies, we need to deal with them.”
“Agreed!”

Battle Report - Part 1 (of 4)

Lucie aims and fires her pistol at the weaker looking ghoul, and damages it, but it doesn’t seem to notice. Leeland also fires at the other ghoul, and similarly the shots hit home but still the ghouls come on. Close combat now and the damage that the ghouls do also cause radiation damage. Both Lucie and Leeland are taking too much damage for this fight to last much longer. Hand to hand combat now, and the stun batons are working. The ghouls are eventually despatched, and Leeland rushes to the safe. Lucie is looking close to death now, she won’t last much longer. If Leeland can’t open the safe quickly it will be too late. [Lucie is literally on her last point of health. If she has to activate again she will take another point of damage from the poison and die. So Leeland needs to pass a lockpick skill check THIS turn!]. Leeland gets to work on the lock, years of security training directing his hands. With a click, the lock opens! He reaches inside.. “YES!” and throws a syringe to Lucie..

Battle Report - Part 1 (of 4)

Designer’s Note #3

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It got a bit close there for our survivor’s didn’t it? I think I needed as much of a breather as they did once they cleared the clinic and saved Lucie just in the nick of time! I’ll be honest, I made sure there was anti-venom in that safe, because the odds of it being there randomly was far too low! (More on that later).

I have now decided to run the battle and battle report in a couple of parts because:

1) I ran out of time on the day I was playing. It became clear that this will be a multi-dayer!
2) I don’t have a permanent space for gaming just yet so I needed to clear the table for dinner!
3) I learned a lot from the first part of the battle which will help me with the scenario design, and balance things going forward. This is part play through and part play test for me. The story so far has been everything I wanted, but without me GMing a few elements, the scenario would have been impossible. And my goal is to create an adventure that works without too many ‘hand of god’ moments.

So what have I learned from Part 1?

Firstly, the ‘Into the Vault’ rules from Modiphius are great, but they seem to be designed for an experienced, geared-up crew to take on. Whilst I used the points ratio for crew vs enemies suggested in those rules, it simply didn’t work with brand new survivors starting with no armour and little in the way of weapons. Whilst that might make for a thrilling 5/6 turn game, even low level enemies will do more damage than the crew can handle over the course of a long mission like this, unless they are tripping over stimpaks every 5 paces. This has been exacerbated with the updated Fallout Wasteland Warfare rules which now say that the characters have no armour value unless they have pieces of armour equipped. It might have been ok in the past because on character cards there was decent built in armour as standard, but this has been changed.

Couple of ways I could fix this:
1) Use the armour values on the cards i.e. the ‘old’ rules
2) Give them armour to start with. I gave them a stun baton, I could have given them some armour.
3) Weight the item deck more towards armour items to have a greater chance of discovery.
4) Keep the stronger enemies out of the game until the characters have ‘levelled up’ their armour.

In hindsight, I should have done 2). I ended up doing 4) in Part 1, and it still got very very close to a TPK early on. And they need to encounter more than just radroaches! I don’t want to do 1) because I want the scenario to be compatible with the current FWW rules. For my playthrough I think I will do 3). I am happy with the story so far and don’t want to retroactively change things. This is the start of my Fallout adventure, and I am happy with the start. Also, we haven’t encountered the ‘Armoury’ Feature Room yet, and there will be armour to find there in the same way the Clinic had medical supplies. I will just hope that it is encountered soon!

To help this, I have curated a better item deck to have a better chance of finding things that will be useful for the crew. One of the challenges with FWW in its current state is that with all the expansions there are now soooo many item cards available, some quite exotic and specific to certain factions. To this end, recent expansions are suggesting curating item decks specific to certain locations to make them simpler but more thematic. I don’t want to make the deck too specific (too boring!) but I need to balance having a variety of things that can be found (which creates more uniqueness to a play through and therefore more story options) vs making sure the very green crew can level up in a sensible way.

So I went through all the cards and selected the ones that would typically be encountered in the early stages of a Fallout video game, and also removed duplicates. So the deck is still large but not too huge, and contains a variety of weapons, armour, food and meds, as well as junk items and other things. It will still require luck to pull useful items but the variance has been reduced. But sorry crew, you won’t be finding any legendary items or missile launchers!

It’s still a big deck - you should have seen it before 😅It’s still a big deck - you should have seen it before 😅

I will see how this goes for my playthrough, but I am seriously considering including some basic armour in the starting loadout for the crew for the shareable scenario. I think this is the simplest fix. They can still find better weapons and armour, but at least they’ll have a change of surviving until they do so!

Lucie getting poisoned from a ‘Danger’ card so early on was very very unlucky, but it is something that can happen. It is a reminder that the item deck needs to contain cures for poison, fire, etc. even if you don’t have enemies that can inflict those types of damage. Yes, I had to ‘hand of god’ her finding it at the right time, but thematically her and Leeland had found and cleared the Clinic, so I am quite happy concluding that they found the cure they needed in the place most likely to have it! The feral ghouls were a bit like end-of-level bosses in the end weren’t they?!

So Part 1 has been really useful in helping me to modify the scenario rules to make them more balanced, and I am looking forward to Part 2.

The other decision I have to make for Part 2 is whether, before I start, I am going to physically recreate the entire vault that we have discovered so far, or just start from the clinic and build from there. Whilst on one hand it would be great to have the spectacle of the whole layout on the table, it will be a lot of work, and what is the likelihood of me re-entering previous sections?

So I had an idea. Before I tore down the terrain from Part 1, I drew out the floor plan on some square paper. That way I now have a “map” of the vault which can be re-explored if necessary, but doesn’t require me to physically build it unless I need to.

The physical vault at the end of Part 1.  Battle Systems terrain perfect for creating the dungeon-like structure of Vault 99!The physical vault at the end of Part 1. Battle Systems terrain perfect for creating the dungeon-like structure of Vault 99!
I intend to make a prettier version, but this will help me to record the layout of Vault 99 and re-explore if necessary.  The red doors are ones that have yet to be opened!I intend to make a prettier version, but this will help me to record the layout of Vault 99 and re-explore if necessary. The red doors are ones that have yet to be opened!

Battle Report - Part 2 (of 4)

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Main Quest: Discover the Secrets of Vault 99
(Optional) Find and Search the Overseer’s Terminal for Information
(Optional) Find and Persuade a Vault Dweller to Give you Information

“That was close, TOO close.”

Lucie and Leeland spent a while in the clinic recovering from their ordeal and speculating as to what on earth was going on.

“I just don’t understand,” said Lucie absently. “We left the vault, yet we emerged into this place, which looks a lot like another vault.”

“It’s definitely a vault,” replied Leeland. “You can tell from the construction. It’s basically the same as our vault, only it looks a lot older.”

“But how can that be?” quizzed Lucie. “We went in through that vault door. None of this was here then.”

“Do you remember much about our admission to the vault though?” asked Leeland. “It was all so rushed. The threat of the bombs. Sirens wailing. We were transported in the back of that truck. It had no windows… Is it possible the last part of the ride was indoors?”

“I suppose,” agreed Lucie. “But I definitely remember the door closing behind us before we were taken through the corridors to the briefing room.”

“Me too,” replied Leeland. “And do you remember what you could see through the door as it closed?”

“I couldn’t see anything, it was just bright light,” remembered Lucie. “Presumably because it was darker inside?”

“A bright light,” repeated Leeland. “Like the one we emerged into earlier…”

The confused pair spent a while longer nursing their wounds and speculating about what was happening, but they couldn’t figure it out. Why is there another vault? Were those ghoul things PEOPLE? Is there a way out? All questions that would not be answered by sitting still, but they decided it would be best to spend the night in the clinic to ensure they were fully recovered before pushing on.

I set up the clinic in the corner, with plenty of fresh real estate to discoverI set up the clinic in the corner, with plenty of fresh real estate to discover

Neither Leeland nor Lucie slept very well but come morning they were rested and healed enough to continue. The exited the clinic through its other door and emerged into some form of storage room or work room, it’s purpose was hard to tell. The ceiling had collapsed making it dangerous to pass through but Lucie made it through unharmed. She thought she heard a gruff voice saying “I’m going to eat you”, but Leeland told her she was imagining things. [A failed lockpick test on one of the searchables revealed a ‘Danger’ card called ‘Dinner Time’ which would have been bad news if there was a Super Mutant nearby, but instead it was just the sound of a voice!]. Leeland also found a weapon under some pieces of collapsed ceiling – a flamer! Any damage to the weapon looked to be purely cosmetic, and this weapon could be useful if any more of those giant roach swarms turned up! Unfortunately his digging around to extract the flamer meant that another piece of ceiling came down and gave him a fresh injury. Nothing fatal [1 point of damage], but not a good start to the day! They pushed on into the next room. It seemed to be some form of computer room, with three large floor standing terminals which appeared to be partially working. There were indeed more radroaches between them and the next door.

Battle Report - Part 2 (of 4)

Seeing the perfect opportunity to test his new flamer, Leeland fired but missed the roaches completely. This weapon would take some getting used to. Learning from the previous fights with these creatures, Leeland drew his stun baton while Lucy fired in through the window. Seemingly better in hand to hand combat than wielding a gun, Leeland set about the roaches with his baton and Lucie followed suit. They finished off the roaches but not before Leeland had taken a couple more bites in the process [now carrying 4 points of damage]. They searched the room before moving on. A successful hack on one of the terminals opened a hatch in the wall revealing a compartment containing a Combat Rifle. Definitely an upgrade from the Pipe Rifle. Having survived the fight unscathed, Lucie took the lead in opening the door to the next room. A maintenance room. The room was empty, and Leeland followed Lucie in. They found a stimpak in an open crate but otherwise nothing of note. Lucie suggested that Leeland use the stimpak straight away but he assured her he would be fine for now.

The opposite door opened into a corridor. And there were people in that corridor. And those people, on seeing Lucie and Leeland in the doorway, immediately opened fire! [I finally rolled a 3 on the ‘occupant’ roll and this meant the pair had now discovered real people who could help them in their quest. Unfortunately these people are hostile until they can be subdued. For my scenario I decided that once both have been taken to half health, the crew can take Charisma checks to attempt to persuade the enemies to stop firing and talk.]

Battle Report - Part 2 (of 4)

Both of the hostiles were wearing Vault 99 jumpsuits, but Lucie and Leeland recognised neither. One, male, looked to be a security officer, he was armoured and carried a shotgun and a baton. The other, female, looked to be regular vault personnel, but she was still armed with a 10mm pistol.

“GET THEM!” shouted the security officer to his companion. “DIE, CODDLED SCUM!”

Coddled? Lucie and Leeland had no time to wonder what they meant by that, as bullets were zinging all around them. Leeland could see that their hands were shaking, making it hard to get a true aim. They were clearly petrified and firing wildly. This was good news. Leeland called on his training, steadied his gun and fired back.

“Aim and fire Lucie!” Leeland called to his partner. “We can take them.”

The woman who was less combat trained was downed relatively easily, she was out of the fight and hunkered in the corner of the corridor, while her companion continue to fire. With two against one, and the security officer still firing wildly, Leeland and Lucie quickly gained the upper hand, hitting him twice and nearly putting him down. [The threshold to be able to persuade the vault dwellers was quite easily reached in the end, but a Charisma check was still required. Lucie drank her moonshine which adds +2 to a Charisma roll, with some side effects that she’d worry about later, but it made the test successful!]

“STOP!” Shouted Lucie. “Leeland hold your fire! You, security man, we don’t want to hurt you, we just want to talk!”

“OK, OK!” Cried the security officer, dropping his weapon and holding up a hand. “We’re done, you win.”

Leeland made to lay his gun on the floor in an act of peace but the security officer stopped him. “I would keep that close if I were you. There are all kinds of horrors in this vault – no thanks to your lot. If you are unarmed you are dead.”

The woman was badly hurt but still alive and crawled over. “I….w-want answers….t-too. You t-talk….we t-talk..” she hissed through her pain.

The conversation started tentatively but it soon became clear that each party was as confused as the other, and the last thing any of them wanted was a fight. The vault security officer was called John, and his companion was called Kate. Due to Kate’s injuries, John led the conversation but Kate chipped in as and when she could. Leeland and Lucie learned that they had actually been living in a vault within a vault. John and Kate, along with their ‘outer vault’ compatriots were aware of the ‘inner vault’, but they were told that those that dwelled within were ‘special’ and one of the functions of the outer vault was to protect them. Hence the “coddled” moniker that had been shouted during their fight, a term that was apparently common parlance among outer vault residents. The outer vault had no idea who was living in there or why they were ‘special’ but it was always a source of aggravation for the outer vault inhabitants. Speculation ranged from the inner vault dwellers being high ranking government officials through to being deranged criminals who needed to be kept separate from society. The latter theory made no sense, given the nuclear bombing and resultant fallout would be an ideal way to rid the planet of such folk but, without answers, all theories gained traction.

John and Kate learned from Lucie that there was actually nothing particularly special about the inner vault inhabitants. They were all local to the area, being residents of Independence, Kentucky. It came as a surprise that Lucie and Leeland had absolutely no knowledge of the outer vault, and had assumed that the entirety of Vault 99 was the part that they inhabited.

It wasn’t until they had chatted for a while that the one staggering difference in worldview became apparent. Leeland and Lucie believed the year to be 2079. The Great War happened in 2077, and they had been sealed in the Vault for almost 2 years. However John and Kate insisted that the year was 2287, a full 210 years after the Great War. Initially each party assumed the other was lying, and the trust between them dipped significantly. But after a time each came to accept the other’s view, leaving them all thoroughly confused.

The conversation turned to the topic of their respective circumstances that had led to them meeting in this corridor some half an hour earlier. Lucie and Leeland explained that they had been awoken to the wail of the alarm and the instruction to exit the vault. They were surprised to find themselves emerging into the outer vault, having fully expected to be greeted by an irradiated wasteland. They then described their adventure up to this point, including the horrors they had seen along the way. John was not surprised by anything that was described, but understood how this might have been frightening for ‘coddled’ dwellers for whom the term was seeming more and more relevant!

John’s story was of great interest to Lucie and Leeland. He described how he had been born in the vault and had grown up as part of a small, but self-sufficient community in which each person took on a vocation for the good of the society. There was an elected Overseer in charge, but all of their instruction and direction came via electronic communiction from Vault-Tech headquarters. Vault-Tec were not hugely forthcoming with detail about the world outside, but they had told the first Overseer that the war against the Eastern threat had been won, but that due to the nuclear strikes, the world outside was irradiated and unsafe. Vaults would be informed when it was safe to leave. Subsequent Overseers had received messages to the same effect, fairly regularly until about 25 years ago. The incumbent Overseer was becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of communication and had apparently sent more and more frequent, more and more demanding emails to Vault-Tec requesting an update. None were forthcoming.

Then one day, about a month ago, the door to the inner vault opened suddenly and unexpectedly, and the inhabitants poured out brandishing weapons and dealing out extreme violence. They tore through the outer vault, looting any weapons or supplies they could find, and fighting anyone who stood in their way. They made it to the main vault entrance with as much loot as they could carry. Somehow they got the door open – they must had had some kind of code or hack for the door terminal. Then they disappeared into the world outside.

The outer vault inhabitants were stunned, but given they had no way of closing the outer vault door, they quickly realised that the outside air was breathable, and started to venture outside. Some never returned, and those that did recounted stories of the extreme horror of the post-war world. There were some people, and things that looked like they once were people. There were mutated creatures, and areas that were still highly irradiated. There was very little in the way of food, and no organised society that was in any way discernible. People fighting the world, and each other, in a desperate bid to survive. John and Kate were among those who had never been outside, instead feeling that they were better off in the relative safety of the vault until they had a better plan.

Leeland and Lucie listened to John with fascination and horror in equal measure. They couldn’t understand what they were hearing, any of it really, but particularly the part about this uprising from THEIR vault happening a month ago..

“When we went to bed two nights ago, everyone was still there. We saw them at dinner.” explained Lucie. “It was yesterday morning that we were woken by the alarms and found everyone gone?”

“Thirty d-days,” reinforced Kate. “Th-thirty l-long days… With that d-door open, and no way to c-close it, all kinds of horrors c-could g-get in.”

“We’ve been fighting them ever since,” finished John. “Hoping to keep the vault clear until we can find a way to keep them out. Or, until one of the others returns with news of somewhere safe to go.”

Leeland and Lucie couldn’t take it all in. None of it made sense. They sat in silence for a very long time..

After some time had passed, Lucie spoke up. “We need answers. The Overseer’s room, sorry, OUR Overseer’s room was trashed. There were no clues in there. Maybe if we can get to your Overseer’s room John, we can get some answers?”

“You’d better be good at computers,” replied John. “There are terminals in there but the security on them is top grade. We haven’t been able to crack them at all”.

“You are looking at the Coddled’s Head of Security and Head of Science,” said Leelend, brightening. “Get us there and between us we’ll see what we can do!”

John was hesitant at first, in particular not wanting to leave Kate, but she confirmed she’d be ok and would stay hidden while John showed them where the Overseer’s office was. She asked him to find some medical supplies while he was at it, and he saw the sense in that. So John, Leeland and Lucie made for the door..

Battle Report - Part 2 (of 4)

Main Quest: Discover the Secrets of Vault 99
(Optional) Find and Search the Overseer’s Terminal for Information
[COMPLETED] Find and Persuade a Vault Dweller to Give you Information

The crew searched the corridor before they left and found a military grade circuit board. No obvious use, but it might be useful as a trading item. John pointed out a sign on the wall which pointed to a Research Lab, confirming the Overseer’s office was further in that direction. Before that there was a corridor, and indeed through a side window they could see the Overseer’s room, but there was no direct access from here. Lucie searched the corridor, and whilst struggling to open a stuck compartment, dropped her gun causing it some damage [-2 penalty to hit from now on]. The compartment contained a vial of anti-venom balm though and therefore, given her earlier near-death experience, Lucie was overall quite pleased. Leeland also searched [the corridor “incident” was an extra searchable item] and found an undamaged camera. Again, no obvious practical use, but it might be worth something.

John took the lead into the Reseach Lab, opening the door and peering in. “Oh no,” he exclaimed. “Radscorpion!”

“Is there no other way round?” asked Lucie, touching the bump on her hand where the amputated piece of a similar creature had poisoned her earlier.

“No, this is the only way.” replied John. “We’re going to have to deal with it. We killed one before but there were more of us then. They are weaker against energy damage – use your stun batons!”

Lucie administered the vial of Med-X that she was carrying. The label said it prevented damage [+2 armour] and gave immunity to poison [for 3 turns]. She felt more confident having used it, and charged into the radscorpion, dealing it actual damage with her stun baton and stunning it in the process. The radscorpion shook itself to clear the stun and then lashed out as Lucy, but thankfully it missed. Leeland followed in, his first strike also doing damage to the creature but his second swing was wide of the mark. John couldn’t get close to the creature and didn’t want to shoot in case he hit one of his new found allies, so he moved to a stronger position in case he could get a clear shot in future.

 

Battle Report - Part 2 (of 4)

The radscorpion seemed to sense that Leeland was wounded from a previous fight and targeted him with his claws. He hit Leeland in the arm, doing him damage and Leeland could feel the poison seeping in. “Ouch!” he shouted. Lucy then attacked again and, outnumbered, the creature succumbed to the blows.

“Great work!’ yelled John. “Stay away from that thing though, it’s dangerous even when dead.”

Lucie knew this all too well and stayed well away from the crumpled mass of chitin and poisonous limbs. Unfortunately, her ability to find any danger in any place came to the fore again and she was stunned and took radiation damage from something nasty in a drawer [a ghoul hand and a failed luck test]. “This place is determined to kill me.”

Leeland had better luck searching in the lab and found a magnifying visor. “This will be handy for picking locks.” he noted. He also decided it was a good idea to use his stimpak before entering the next room, and Lucy threw him the anti-venom balm to cure his poisoning. [Leeland took a damage from the poison on activation, so even after using the stimpak he was still carrying one point of damage].

John led the way into the next room, the Overseer’s office, which thankfully was deserted. The crew rifled through the drawers and cabinets, and found some more anti-venom balm and some industrial solvent but no clues. Confident that there were no nasties lurking in the room, Leeland set about the terminal. Knowing a thing or two about computers and their various encryption methods, Leeland eventually bypassed the access code and logged in. “I’m in!”.

Battle Report - Part 2 (of 4)

Battle Report - Part 3 (of 4)

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200 years may have passed, but the terminals and their software had not advanced, so Leeland was able to hack his way in.200 years may have passed, but the terminals and their software had not advanced, so Leeland was able to hack his way in.

Lucie and John gathered round while Leeland browsed through the terminal’s menu, taking each section in turn and reading the contents in detail. Audible gasps were regularly heard from all three of them as the true secrets of Vault 99 were revealed!

I mocked up this Home Screen for the Overseer's terminal in the true Fallout style. All manner of juicy information awaits!I mocked up this Home Screen for the Overseer's terminal in the true Fallout style. All manner of juicy information awaits!

The crew spent a long time poring over all of the information in the terminal. It was all there. The reason for the inner vault, records of tests performed on its inhabitants, and the Overseer’s personal communications.

To summarise..

The inhabitants of the inner vault were sealed in before the outer vault was populated. The outer vault residents were aware of the inner vault, but only the Overseer and his close science team (and their subsequent generations) knew of its true purpose. Even the inner vault Overseer had no knowledge of this. He was also a test subject who naturally assumed the inner vault was all there was. He went to his desk every day to lead his underground society, following the procedures he was trained on, and actioning the limited instructions that came through from Vault-Tec.

However, it transpired that Vault 99 had been installed with some experimental cryogenic technology, and the inner vault residents were its test subjects. Vault-Tec had been working on cryogenic technology for many years, and had some success in putting subjects into a deep freeze and awakening them after a long period of time. However ‘thaw sickness’ was common, and some subjects didn’t fully recover all of their cognitive function. In rare cases, cell damage meant the subject did not wake up at all. It was therefore not considered safe for commercial use, and it was certainly not something a person would undergo willingly unless they had no choice.

A better solution was being sought, and Vault 99 was to test one such solution. Using a combination of drugs administered via inhalation of an odourless gas, and lowering the room temperature such that metabolism slowed almost to zero, but not so cold that cell damage was caused, the theory was that a person could be frozen and unfrozen repeatedly without suffering any noticeable ill effects or long term damage. It wouldn’t pause the ageing process completely, but ought to slow it such that it was almost imperceptible.

The scientists at Vault-Tec were so confident in this new technology that they claimed a person could be frozen and unfrozen, while they slept, without their knowledge. They petitioned for a live test to prove the theory.  Given the potential uses for such a technology, the Vault-Tec executives agreed to set up Vault 99 as a testing ground. The inner vault residents were to be subjected to this procedure, without their knowledge, for increasing durations of time.

The early tests were intended to induce a freeze for a few hours, gradually increasing until ultimately the duration was a number of years. Science staff in the outer vault would monitor the test subjects, using remote viewing technology, as they went about their days. They were looking for any signs that the residents were becoming aware of the tests, whether there were any noticeable behavioural changes, or whether their cognitive function became impaired at all.

The test logs showed that the trials were actually very successful. When the vault went to bed, the gas was released into the bedrooms. Once the subjects were unconscious, the temperature was lowered. The process was reversed a few hours later, and nobody seemed to notice. The occasional morning headache or grogginess was passed off easily enough as ‘one of those things’ and no-one became suspicious. Hours became days, days became months, months became years – it all went to plan. The scientists claimed victory, but Vault-Tec commanded that the trials continue, for longer and longer periods. A new generation of scientists were required as the first generation ‘retired’ and there were instructions as to how the Overseer would ensure that the ongoing secrecy of the project was maintained.

And so it was explained how two years for Leeland and Lucie had represented two hundred years of real time. Lucie was crying, unable to comprehend what she was hearing. John was agape. This was all new news to him as well. Leeland put an arm around Lucie as he continued to work through the terminal entries.

It was within the Overseer’s personal logs that the reason for the recent events became clear. As communications from Vault-Tec had dwindled over time, the Overseer had become increasingly frustrated. He was getting no news about the current state of the world or when it might be safe to be released. The inner vault Overseer (who was called Jeremiah Houston) had no knowledge of the outer vault, or its leader, but the outer vault Overseer (Frederick Love, 6th Overseer of Vault 99) became suspicious that perhaps the inner vault was receiving communication that he was unaware of. His attempts to remotely hack the inner vault Overseer terminal were clumsy and had actually alerted Jeremiah to his presence. Computer expertise dwindles as it is passed down from generation to generation in a closed environment, but Jeremiah still remembered the training he had received directly. He was a far superior technician and was able to reverse engineer the hack and gained a direct line of communication to Frederick as well as access to all of the information our crew were currently reading!

Jeremiah had demanded that the inner vault be released. Frederick had responded to say that his orders from Vault-Tec were non-negotiable, but even if he wanted to release them he had no way of doing so. The door was remotely controlled from Vault-Tec HQ.

A copy of the email was not on this terminal, but Jeremiah must clearly have written a very terse communication directly to Vault-Tec. In Frederick’s logs, dated only two months ago, was a high priority message from Vault-Tec saying simply:

 

Battle Report - Part 3 (of 4)

There followed a number of unanswered messages from Frederick to Vault-Tec, demanding answers, asking if it was actually safe to leave, how to communicate this to the residents, what was to become of the inner vault. It made for upsetting reading.

Next Frederick turned his questions to Jeremiah, asking what he had done, what he had been told. Again, no replies.

After that there were a number of redacted messages which ended abruptly, exactly 30 days after Vault-Tec’s bombshell.

“Can you access the redacted messages Leeland?” asked Lucie.

“No,” replied Leeland. “They’re gone.” He spent a while entering text prompts that Lucie couldn’t follow, and finally he said “I can tell you one thing though. The messages were redacted remotely. Not from this terminal.”

“But who would do that?” wondered John. “Vault-Tec?”

“Possibly,” speculated Leeland. “But if it was Vault-Tec, wouldn’t they have wiped the entire terminal? This is really incriminating stuff for them.”

“We may never know,” said John. “But I can fill in the rest from my perspective.”

John went on to explain that over the course of those 30 days, Frederick had started acting more and more strangely. He spent all day in his office, holding secret meetings with certain members of the vault personnel. Mostly the scientists but also influential members of the general populace. On that 30th day, the alarms had sounded, and Frederick’s voice sounded over the loudspeakers. He announced that the inner vault was about to be breached. The residents would emerge armed and hostile. All security should take position along the exit route and shoot on sight.

“And so we did,” recalled John. Adding more detail to the brief version of events previously shared. “The inner vault opened, the residents poured out in a surge of violence, and we fought. We fought for about an hour before we were overwhelmed. They were more prepared than we were and their mass of numbers pushed through each of our defensive positions one by one. There were many casualties. Those of us still in the fight broke and ran for the cover of adjoining passages as the hostiles made straight for the main door. When we finally came out from hiding they were gone. As was Frederick, the science team, and most of our vault compatriots. Only a handful of us remained, all as confused as each other.”

“The part I don’t understand,” said Lucie, “is how come this all happened without us noticing? Tell me again how long after this happened was it that we met you John?”

“30 days,” replied John. “We spent the first couple of weeks giving the fallen a decent burial, cleaning up the mess, and trying to find a way to close the door. With it stuck open, all manner of creatures started to find their way in. You’ve encountered some of them of course. We’ve been fending them off ever since. We were more than surprised when we saw you, thought you were the escapees who had come back to finish us off.”

“30 days?!” exclaimed Lucie. “We must have been unconscious that whole time!”

“Yes,” concluded Leeland. “Jeremiah must have found a way to gas our room from his terminal. Put us to sleep while he and his conspirators carried out their plan.”

“Jeremiah?” asked Lucie. “Why would he do that? And why just us?”

“Because,” continued Leeland, “he knew we would try to stop them…”

Battle Report - Part 4 (of 4)

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Main Quest: Escape Vault 99

[COMPLETED] Discover the Secrets of Vault 99
[COMPLETED] (Optional) Find and Search the Overseer’s Terminal for Information
[COMPLETED] (Optional) Find and Persuade a Vault Dweller to Give you Information

 

Shellshocked from what they had just learned, Lucie, Leeland and John exited Frederick’s office through the unopened door. The terminal had revealed a map of the vault so they knew in which direction to head, [the Overseer’s Office room card allows for a successful computer hack to reveal the next 3 sections of the vault. In this case a corridor, a reactor room and a utility room], but John resolved to come with them for the next part of the journey. He knew the way and also wanted to find a way to help Kate. There was an outside chance that a Vault 99 resident may have returned with news of a safe place where she could get medical assistance.

John led the way into the corridor. It was unoccupied, but there was a computer terminal in the corner. It was beyond John’s ability to hack, so he shouted to Leeland that his skills would be required and then moved to open the opposite door in the corridor. He opened the door and peered into the reactor room. There were two protectrons patrolling inside!

“Er, guys..” called John. “We have a problem. Two protectrons and they are hostile.”

Lucie recalled their previous close shave with just one protectron. “Oh no, how are we going to get past those?”

“There might be a way,” suggested John. “Protectron protocols can be controlled via computer terminals. My guess is that the terminal in this corridor might have a command to take them off hostile mode. We’ll have to do it quickly before they spot us, but with Leeland’s computer skills it might be possible”. [In the video games, in vaults, there are usually options to change the protocols of any robots or turrets. Finding a terminal can be an alternative to fighting the robots off. Indeed, turning robots to your side can actually help you against other enemies within, so this can often be a good plan. So I introduced that as an option here for a true Fallout experience!]

“I’m closer,” said Lucie. “Let me try”.

Lucie stepped into the corridor and across to the terminal, taking care not to become visible to the protectrons through the open reactor room door. She was no slouch with computers, but without the level of expertise of Leelend her attempts to gain access were unsuccessful.

“I’m coming,” called Leeland. “John, don’t move, one sudden movement and they’ll see you.”

Leeland joined Lucie at the terminal and after a couple of attempts was able to gain access. There was indeed a protectron control, and he was able to change their protocols from ‘hostile’ to ‘friendly’. There was an option to shut them down, but ‘friendly’ meant that they might be of some use in keeping any nearby critters at bay.

As a bonus the terminal also opened a nearby safe, and Leeland picked up a silencer mod for a gun. They all entered the reactor room that had been made safe, and searching it revealed a stimpak and a Radaway. They passed the stimpak to John to clear the woulds that he was carrying from their earlier fight. The Radaway was pocketed for future use.

They moved through to the utility room. In it were a number of crates which the crew searched, but they were all empty.

“We’re close to the exit now,” said John. “Anything useful in here would have been looted.”

The next room was a residential room, completely unoccupied, and again completely empty. [One of the searchables revealed a Danger card but Leeland passed a skill check and was therefore unharmed].

“The entrance room is through here,” said John. “We should be careful, the door is open, anything could be inside.”

Anything indeed. As the crew peered in, they could see the hulking shape of a huge monster just inside the vault door. [Deathclaw Matriarch!] It seemed occupied with something in the corner, and hadn’t seen them yet, but it looked impossibly dangerous. It must have been 8 or 9 feet tall, with claws on each hand that were as long as a human forearm!

Battle Report - Part 4 (of 4)

“Holy…”

John silently pointed to some piles of crates within the room. They could take cover behind those before the Deathclaw saw them, and see if weight of fire could bring it down before it could close the distance to them. John ran first and got behind the nearest crates, and readied his gun [took a Prepare action]. Lucie came next, taking position behind another set of crates.

“I’ve got a shot”, whispered Lucie.

“No, wait for me,” replied Leeland. “Let’s all fire at the same time.” But it was too late, Lucie took a shot. Her aim was true but the bullet bounced harmlessly off of the creature’s scaly hide. The Deathclaw reared up in surprise and turned its head towards the source of the attack. Wow it was ugly. To the crew’s surprise, the creature’s response was to retreat back further into the room. [Its AI roll resulted in the ‘Fall Back’ action].

Back in the reactor room, the Protectrons responded to the sound of gunfire. They exited their patrol routines and started moving through the utility room, towards the residential room and on the way to the entrance..

Leeland rushed into the entrance room and joined Lucie at her shoulder. The Deathclaw was starting to make some very angry noises. He decided to take a shot while it was still seemingly confused by what was going on. It was a tough shot into cover, and it missed.

Lucie fired twice again, proving a much better shot than Leeland she hit both times. One of the shots bounced off in the same way her first attempt did, but the other shot found a fleshy part and actually seemed to hurt the monster. [The critical meter on Lucie’s rifle was charged and the shot did extra damage and gained an armour break. Even with the Deathclaw’s huge armour value, one damage crept through].

The Deathclaw again seemed surprised by the attack and initially shrunk back again. It was definitely now realising that it was under attack and its attention was fully turned onto the crew. It moved forward cautiously, staying in some cover behind the partition in the room. It seemed intelligent. It knew it needed to protect itself until it got in range to make a charge. John and Leeland fired but to no avail. There was no way they were going to bring it down before it closed the distance to them. Their vault suits would be no match for those claws. The crew each looked at each other in desperation. John saw Leeland and Lucie look at each other and mouth some words which he could not quite make out. From their faces it looked like a loving goodbye… He teared up at the sight. He thought of the life he’d led, and the future he’d never see..

The Deathclaw threw its arms wide and set to launch into a charge. The crew braced themselves for impact. However, just as the creature was about to move, it was distracted by movement out of the corner of its eye. The protectrons had arrived! They bimbled in towards the Deathclaw, firing from their hand lasers. The lasers didn’t appear to be causing much damage but the robots had grabbed the creature’s attention. It let out a huge roar which struck fear into the hearts of the humans in the room, but the robots were unphased. [Deathclaw Roar is actually a ‘weapon’ the Deathclaw is equipped with, but it only works on humans!]. The robots bravely placed themselves between the Deathclaw and the crew. Their weapons were not powerful enough to bring the creature down, but they might be able to hold it for enough time for the crew to get some more shots at it.

Battle Report - Part 4 (of 4)

Buoyed by the protections appearance, and Lucie’s earlier success with her rifle, the crew redoubled their efforts. They fired with everything they had. Yes, there was a chance they would hit the plucky robots instead, but it was a chance they had to take. This was their only hope.

The Deathclaw charged the lead protectron, and with one swipe of its mighty claw it took a huge chunk out of the robot’s metal torso. Sparks flew everywhere but the robot was not down. [3 of its 7 health taken with that one swipe!]

The crew all opened fire and sent a hail of bullets towards the Deathclaw. They aimed high to reduce the risk of hitting the protectrons and the plan was working. Yes, a lot of shots missed the creature, but only one hit the robots. The creature was wailing loudly and flailing its claws wildly. But still the protectrons held, gamely firing their lasers and not letting the Deathclaw past. Gradually shots found their way home, and the creature was taking damage. The Deathclaw howled in frustration, but still the protectrons held.

“Aim for the chest!” Shouted John. “It’s bleeding!”

The shots rained in as the protectrons held the monster back. At last it stumbled, it fell, and then with a final thrash of its tail, it went completely still.

For the longest time, the crew stayed rooted to the spot, weapons raised, in case the Deathclaw wasn’t completely finished. But as the blood continued to pool around it, and its tongue lolled from its jaws, they gained confidence that the ordeal was over.

Finally, they had an opportunity to look up at the open door and contemplate leaving. They could actually see the world outside. It was, as they expected, a wasteland. But it would be home now. Leeland and Lucie climbed the ramp to the open door, hand in hand. They were about to see sunlight for, as they now knew, the first time in two hundred years.

Battle Report - Part 4 (of 4)

Leeland took one last look behind before he and Lucie stepped through the door.

Battle Report - Part 4 (of 4)

“Shit,” he thought. “I’ll tell Lucie about that later… a LOT later…”

THE END

 

Main Quest: To be continued…

[COMPLETED] Escape Vault 99
[COMPLETED] Discover the Secrets of Vault 99
[COMPLETED] (Optional) Find and Search the Overseer’s Terminal for Information
[COMPLETED] (Optional) Find and Persuade a Vault Dweller to Give you Information

Epilogue

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Well, that was intense wasn’t it?  I don’t know about you but I’ve grown quite attached to our adventurers.

I strongly suspect we haven’t seen the last of Leeland and Lucie.  Nor John and Kate for that matter.  There is a wasteland to explore and there will be safety in numbers!

That’s all for another day though.  For now the dungeon exploration is complete. I am sure our heroes will stumble across another vault though, and it will be interesting to see how they get on when they are levelled up and better equipped!

For now, let’s wrap this up.  There were some areas of Vault 99 left unexplored, but we had quite the adventure in the parts we discovered!  Here is the schematic as encountered by our crew:

Epilogue

Who knows, maybe one day I’ll build out this vault properly in three dimensions?  The Battle Systems terrain served me well, but imagine a fully structured layout like this!

The Playable Scenario

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Here is the final, shareable, playable scenario that was created via this part playthrough, part playtest. There are some modifications to my playthrough, incorporating the learnings from it.  My hope is that this now works as a standalone adventure than anyone familiar with Fallout Wasteland Warfare can play!

Click on the pdf link above to download the full scenario!Click on the pdf link above to download the full scenario!

And finally…

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And finally…

Finally, to finish off Dungeonalia 2023/4, some actual hobby!  While I was playing through my adventure, I decided I really wanted a proper vault entrance for my ‘dungeon’.  The Battle Systems terrain was great for laying out the rooms and corridors, but the vault entrance itself is a really iconic image in Fallout.  I found this one on Etsy.  The STLs are from the Atomic Shelter Kickstarter by M3Studios, and printed via commercial licence by Gray at Woofoo Workshop.

The kit arrived way faster than expected (I didn’t expect it to arrive before the end of my adventure) so I was able to use it for the last scene in my scenario, albeit unpainted.

I only decided to do a Dungeonalia project half way through the 3 month duration, and it turned out that I had bitten off a bit more than I could chew with the adventure/scenario itself and finishing on time.  So I prioritised getting that finished, but having now done so I decided to get some paint on it before February comes to an end!

Firstly, I added 3x1mm magnets to the pieces so that they hold together securely in use, but don’t require permanent assembly.  The kit comes with the holes to do so, which is very useful.

Then I primed it with black spray (Spectre Black from TT Combat), and then a light dusting with a silver spray from Army Painter.

Then some simple airbrushing.  Russ Grey (Citadel) to give a blue/grey tint to the walls.  Then Vallejo Burnt Umber to weather it down and make it look dirty and old.  I used a Citadel yellow to give some industrial colour to the railings, and dirtied that down as well with Burnt Umber.  I also used some blue and green speedpaints through the airbrush onto the vault door itself to give it a kind of reinforced steel look, but again using Umber to make it look old and post apocalyptic.

And that’s it.  I popped some of my bits and pieces in it for some photos.  Perhaps next year, I’ll work on adding to it with some more prints from that same Kickstarter… we’ll see!

For now I am happy to call this project closed.

And finally…

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