The Fallout series has been around since 1997. That’s near on 20 years! When it was first released, I was in a mandatory introductory computer class. You know the kind where they give you a day to learn how to work a mouse? I sat in the corner and loaded my copy of Fallout on the school’s computer and proceeded to play through the semester. At some point my teacher noticed and when she found out I had loaded it onto the computer all by myself, she gave me an A for the class and permission to explore the wasteland, annihilate radscorpions, and search for the elusive water chip my vault needed so badly instead of learning how to use a keyboard.
Being a big fan, I am always on the lookout for more exciting Fallout goodness and recently I made a discovery that had eluded me for years. J. E. Sawyer, project director and lead designer of Fallout: New Vegas, designed a Fallout tabletop roleplaying game!
It’s unofficial and sadly neglected, but for a roleplayer like me, it was pure joy to discover! Lots of people have been working to adapt Dungeons & Dragons, G.U.R.P.S, and other existing RPG systems for Fallout, but Sawyer’s game, called Simple, was designed specifically for the series. It uses a simplified version of Fallout’s notable S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system, sans the Luck stat. Sawyer first started working on the system in 2004 using a Wiki page. He never finished and sadly the page has since been shut down and erased. There is some hope though. A few intrepid sites sought to archive pieces of the Simple system and you can still find details at Nukapedia, a Fallout wiki.
Other plucky designers created Fallout: PNP. The game system returns the Luck stat to its rightful place in the stat block and uses an action point system similar to the video games. Driven by percentile dice, this system allows you to explore the wastes of Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout: Tactics as a human, ghoul, super-mutant, deathclaw, robot, and even a dog.
You can still find a PDF of the game here and while it is considerably outdated, it is a playable system and gives us a look at what gamers can put together for the love of their fandom. You can also find a version of PNP that is prettier and cleaned up, but in the streamlining process, it lost the ability to play the some of the non-human races. Sorry Dogmeat. You can check out Paweł Dembowski’s PNP here.
I’m hoping in the future, someone will create an official system, but until then I’ll rely on current systems like D&D to run my Fallout games. Heck, the character sheets already exist thanks to redditor LiquidArson!
What systems would you use to play a Fallout roleplaying game? Have you ever played in a Fallout LARP? What kinds of characters do you want to play? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Image Credit: Bethesda
Image Credit: Interplay Entertainment, LiquidArson/Imgur