When I began to open my mind to the possibilities that Savage Worlds had to offer I felt encouraged to get outside of the fantasy “box” I had always been in as a gamer. The box was comfortable — and I liked the box — but it was time to play around with some new ideas. My first foray into “non-traditional fantasy” was to create a Post-Apocalyptic setting.
Wasted Years grew out of my love for computer games, primarily the Fallout series and the old Wasteland CRPG. The title was shamelessly lifted from an Iron Maiden song that I happened to be listening to when I sat down to write my first draft. Something about it resonated with me.
Mechanically I tried playing around with a couple of new ideas here. The Humanity statistic was an attempt to bring some tension into the game in the form of players toeing the line between becoming a monster vs. retaining agency. I imagined game sessions where people under extraordinary circumstances (in this case, the end of the world) are presented with survival choices that force them to interrogate their sense of what is decent and proper, and deciding whether or not to throw that away in the service of more practical imperatives.
I also really started to get into generators here. Something I’ve consistently embraced in my settings is the use of playing cards to generate encounters and situations on the fly. I figured since Savage Worlds used cards anyway for initiative, I might as well try and broaden the application of that prop.
While I never actually got the chance to sit down and run a session of Wasted Years, a few years back when Wasteland 2 was kickstarted I threw a copy out on the inXile message boards as idea fodder in the hopes that the spiritual father of my campaign setting would manage to find some small nugget to incorporate into their new game. I’ll pretend that they read it and thought it was really cool 🙂
At any rate, here is the latest version of Wasted Years for your free use. Have fun!