Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Aftermath: Post Apocalypse Vault Dwellers

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Man-Hatin' Island residents survived the Great Crash by taking shelter in the dozens of underground Vaults scattered around wealthier parts of what was once New York city. Though each vault was designed to become a self-sustaining environment, every few years another Vault is forced to open it's doors to the Wasteland above. Self-sustaining or not, parts break down and irreplaceable resources such as medicines, spare-parts and robots are used up. Given enough time, even the most efficiently managed vault will eventually have to send scavengers to the surface to locate vital parts. In Aftermath, this is where your Crew of Vault Dwellers comes in.

In the forthcoming Aftermath rules, Vault Dweller gangs possess rare -and useful- technical skills while completely lacking any of the essential day-to-day survival skills possessed by the rest of post-crash humanity. Even small children can teach a Vault Dweller a thing or too about finding clean water.

Unlike other gangs, which might start with as many as five territories and resources, Vault Dwellers start with just one, the Vault, but it's the best starting territory in the game. However, the vaults resources aren't infinite. They need to be husbanded carefully or else the Vault Dwellers risking stripping out their territory entirely. The early game for Vault Dwellers is a desperate race to secure new territories and resources for themselves, while at the same time defending their precious home from other Aftermath gangs.

Vault Dweller gangs have to be especially careful not to leave any of their wounded behind. Given their technical skills and the relative lack of radiation damage to reproductive organs, Vault Dwellers are worth twice as much as other captured gangers and crewmembers when sold into slavery. Few captured Vault Dwellers are ever offered up for ransom as a result.

Vault Dwellers are also more susceptible to radiation damage than other Aftermath factions. Every time a Vault Dweller (including Robots) takes any radiation damage from environmental or weapon effects. they take an additional point of radiation damage. Cumulative radiation damage can lead to sickness, blindness, mutation and even death.

Here's a small selection of the troop types (Mark Copplestone miniatures I painted last night for play-testing) available to a Vault Dweller gang.

Vault  Crew Leader:
Known variously as Overseer, Director, President, Underseer, Lieutenant (or one of a dozen other titles) a Vault Dweller Crew is always led either by the Vault's actual leader in person or (if he's getting on  a bit) his designated successor.
Vault Leaders are capable leaders and managers, but lack the combat skills and ferocity of other Aftermath Crew/Gang Leaders.

Robot (not pictured):
The Vault founders were wise enough to know that the human memory is fallible, and thus left a number of robot minders to monitor and perform certain vital tasks in the Vault -everything from food preparation to teaching. These have since been reprogrammed to act in the communities defence. Robot gang-members are the only Vault Dwellers capable of using heavy weaponry, driving vehicles or operating man-portable heavy weapons in a starting Vault-Dweller gang.

Vault Dwellers are the typical inhabitants of a Vault. Skilled in maintaining and using advanced weaponry and other equipment, they are nonetheless lacking in close-combat and wasteland survival skills. Most even lack the skill to pilot any sort of vehicle or riding animal.

That being said, the Vault Dweller fights not for riches or wealth, but for the very survival of her home and family, giving the Vault Dweller guts and determination that few other starting gangers can match.
Vault Security Trooper: 
Vault Security Troopers have considerably more training and combat expertise than their neighbours. For the most part, they are the only Vault Dwellers with any training in close combat, though even that is somewhat rudimentary.

Vault communities are small, where every life is precious and every pair of hands has to do it's part to ensure the colonies survival. As such, Vault children are put to work from a very early age. In these darker times, with the Vault doors finally opened, every Vault Dweller capable of bearing arms is expected -and often called upon- to help defend their neighbours in times of need.

More Post-Apocalypse Vault Dwellers:
I have some more photographs of the 15mm Vault Dwellers I was painting for tonight's cancelled Tomorrow's War game up on the Lead Legion Painting Service blog. Including the runaway kids, Vault Scout and the Overseer's security detail that left the Vault to chase them down.


  1. This sounds like a very interesting premise for a game. I'm looking forward to more. Maybe if you haven't decided on a robot yet, you could take a look at EM4's plastic mechs. I think they make very nice Securitybots, and the price is great.

  2. That's a great suggestion. I already have a robot model on the painting table that I was going to use temporarily, but it doesn't quite have the right vibe: wheels? In a wasteland setting? Not very viable.

    I'll give those plastic robots another look.

  3. Hmm, on reflection the plastic mechs Copplestone made for Em4 are probably too high tech. But while I was on the site I spotted the humanoid metal robots with heavy weapons. Perfect. I think I might even have a few spare from my Terminator Project two years ago.

  4. Sounds good mate, if you want I'll be happy to give them a read over.

  5. Thanks Ace. I'm still working on getting them into a readable order, but when I do they'll be coming your way.