07 – Rad Times in Torrington
(Apologies in advance for the long post. The dice decreed a lot today…)
Charlie Roxx was on last watch before morning, and had a long time to think. “We should go back and grab scraps from the truck in Crestone.” he declares. “We’d be heroes if we took them back to Tau.”
Steckel’s thoughts were also on the unfinished vehicle. “You know, if we find the right parts, I can get that thing running. This place seems to be less run-down than Crestone, I bet we can find what I need.”
Mariah grunts. “So let’s get this straight – you spend a few days on the surface and now you’re some kind of expert on Ancient machinery? Give me a break!”
Steckel slyly replies: “Well Mariah, I have many talents you are unaware of, some which you might not be able to appreciate, some that you definitely would!”
Either ignoring or missing the innuendo, Mariah speaks: “Well, we’re here, might as well try to find what we can. That’s our mandate.”
Jack nods, content with this suggestion from his comrades. “Let’s see what we can find here…”
You set out into Torrington and begin combing the Ancient ruins for anything of use.
(The referee rolls some dice for your fifth day in the wastes, and appears surprised at the results.)
(I assume you’re all searching. Given the 9″ movement of your slowest party members, you’ll get three ‘scavenging turns’ today. First set of scavenging checks – Jack gets a natural 20, Mariah rolls 17+5=23, Roxx gets a natural 20 (!), and Steckel rolls 15+7=23.)
(The referee rolls for hazards; Mariah takes 3 damage. Jack recovers a roll of duct tape, Mariah gets 6 mechanical parts, Roxx finds a gold wedding band, and Steckel finds 3 electrical parts.)
You scrounge through the remains of an Ancient shopping mall, finding a number of items of interest. Mariah manages to reopen her arm wound while fishing pieces out of a garburator.
(Second set of scavenging checks – Jack gets 13+10=23, Mariah rolls 4+5=9, Roxx gets 1+5=6, and Steckel rolls 11+7=18. The referee rolls for hazards; Steckel takes 1 damage. Jack finds 8 mechanical parts.)
After lunch, you decide to search some smaller shops closer to centre of town. You do not find much of interest, and Steckel gets a blister from the heavy manual work.
(The referee rolls an Awareness check for the party. The result is 14+10=24; success.)
Realizing that this area has already been thoroughly scavenged, you take a brief break to regroup. The weather is shifting, and you pause to judge the new conditions. Ominous black clouds are blowing in rapidly from the west. As you watch them approach, the temperature noticeably drops, and you begin to shiver.
In the distance, white flakes obscure your view of distant ruins. “Is that… snow?” asks Steckel.
“Not snow.” says Jack. “It’s fallout. This is a rad storm!” (Silent Jack has been reading previous Expedition Team reports, and recognizes the signs!)
Cursing your luck at being so far from last night’s camp, you begin searching for safe shelter of any sort.
(Another Awareness check; this one comes up 5+10=15. Fail!)
One nearby building – once a small clothing store – is constructed from cinder blocks with few windows or doors and intact walls & roof. The fallout particles are starting to blow down the street now! Quickly entering the building, you push through the decayed racks of dresses and take cover in what was once a storage closet in the back.
The rad storm hits with full force now, with howling winds rattling your shelter. The cold draft chills you to your bones, and the fine weather of the previous day seems like a dream now. You begin to understand the dangers of life on the surface.
“Sh*t.” says Roxx. In a shaking hand, he holds up his rad tab. (Each of you was provided with a rad tab before leaving Tau.) The tab, once creamy white, now blisters with yellow and orange spots. Even here, you are receiving a dangerous dose of Creep!
(The rad tabs let you make another skill check to avoid Creep exposure. This will be a Lore check; you get 5+8=13. Another fail – get ready to suck back some rads.)
“The drafts are bringing in the fallout!” shouts Steckel. “Quick – push the debris up against the walls in this room to keep it out!” You work together, desperately grabbing old cabinets and shelves from the main shop to fortify your position.
It’s not enough. Huddling in your shelter you watch with increasing horror as each of your rad tabs shifts from white to yellow to orange to crimson red. The storm continues to rage outside throughout the night while you soak up the Creep.
(Fortitude saves; you need 20+. Silent Jack rolls 15+1=16; Mad Mariah gets 4+5=9; Charlie Roxx rolls 16+5=21, and Steckel gets a natural 20! Jack and Mariah now have ‘Mild’ Creep contamination, but Charlie and Steckel resist it. In itself, mild contamination has no detrimental game effects, but you’re one step closer to mutation!)
(In addition, Mariah and Steckel each recover 1 hp overnight.)
By dawn, the storm has passed. Your rad tabs do not grow any darker; you have survived the Creep. You climb atop the building to survey the surroundings; Torrington is now dusted with fallout, but the radioactivity seems to have decayed to safe levels.
The morning sky is an unnatural pink, and you suddenly feel like a refugee, alone and lost on the surface of a strange new world…
(What are your actions?)