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Theoretical question about the Fallout Universe and Vampire: The Masquerade

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  • #16
    Given the level of blasts going on, it wouldn't be surprising if a great many torpored vampires got shaken awake by all the bombs going off. I guess the main character using that little nuke launcher would count as a snooze button then?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
      Well, if we're having the conversation, the comparison becomes a bit important for a couple key reasons. The Fallout universe had a far greater level of proliferation and raw numbers of devices, but devices on whole were much weaker and dirtier than the real world. Most, if I remember right, were sub-kiloton devices which means apart from epicenters and heavily-targeted areas -- military bases, urban cores, sites of strategic and symbolic importance -- most infrastructure would be left intact, if not heavily irradiated. The majority of people who died, didn't die to the explosions, but rather the effects of acute radiation sickness and exposure in the days following the exchange...which is a hell of a lot worse than an instantaneous, painless death to a thermal pulse or overpressure wave.
      First I've heard of it but I'm not 100% familiar with the material like I used to be. Thing is though, alot of stuff we associate with near-extinction events or nuclear winter may be tied to yield (its not clear cut though, and like many scientific fields there has been dispute over what exactly qualifies for such criteria, nevermind the yields.) There's also a difference between tactical and strategic weapons - its the strategic weapons you worry about, not the tactical. And whether the devices are 'dirty' or not depends on the kind of reaction/nuclear weapon design (pure fission or thermonuclear can be dirty, whereas pure 'fusion' less so and fallout arguably has both.) There's also the fact certain kinds of destruction (environmental, hard target, whatever) are also going to be tied to yield (qualities of a nuclear explosion - like the percentage of energy devoted to thermal, blast, or the different kinds of ionizing radiation can change greatly with yield, as well as the duration of the fireball, its size, and the various radii for damage effects.)

      Then there's the fact that energy output and 'effectiveness' aren't always linear. One thing we've learned with nuclear weapons is that multiple smaller-yield warheads can often be as devastating or moreso than a single, unitary one. So even if the yield goes down - if all else is held equal - the numbers go up. That gives you greater distribution, and it means that for a given tonnage (explosive and/or mass) of nuke, you can cause more death and destruction.. up to a point. Certain targets (hardened ones, etc.) are going to need bigger yields.

      And then there's all the nuclear tech that 'isn't bombs but is still nuclear' like power sources and the like, which if damaged/destroyed will contribute their own catastrophes (and likely contributes to the pollution and radiation hazards. 'nuclear' can go just beyond fusion and fission to all manner of things...)

      And as CtPhipps noted, Fallout is directly patterened after the 50s-60s era 'atomic age' hype which means that their views on nukes tended towards the optimistic - you'd consider nukes answers to almost everything. Like 'peaceful' nuclear demolitions devices. It also means its rather unlikely they'd be packing total tonnages far lower than what modern forces have gone for. We've reduced nuclear stockpiles because we're AFRAID of nukes (the same way nuclear power has remained limited despite its potential over fossil fuels as well..)

      Edit: Its also probably worth pointing out that as far as Great Maelstroms go, even without considering the direct impact of the nukage itself that sheer numbers of deaths - either in a short period or over a prolonged one - can be a trigger. Epidemics were one cause of pre-Nuclear Great Maelstroms (prolonged death), whereas with the 5th Maelstrom the combined (rapid) deaths from both bombings seemed to be a trigger.

      Which means that any Fallout-like setting with WoD background is set up to deliver its underworld a double-whammy of catastrophe, probably far in excess of what actually happened with the Sixth Maelstrom.

      Edit again: An interesting example of how the mania and thinking of nukes the 50s-60s (and even in the 40s) and how it differed today can be found on the nuclear secrecy blog:

      In Search of a Bigger Boom

      The article is mainly interesting for charting the mad optimism of Edward Tellar and things like his 'backyard' 10,000 megaton nuclear bomb proposal. That's the exact kind of thinking you could expect from Fallout. lol
      Last edited by Mister_Dunpeal; 09-08-2019, 11:32 AM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Mister_Dunpeal View Post

        Snipped, for length's sake.
        Most of what we know about the universe's backstory comes from the FO1 and 2 manuals, and the Fallout Bible as written by Sawyer and Avellone. The FO Bible has been declared non-canon, but the reality is Bethesda pulled a "Disney Star Wars EU" with it so they can file the serial numbers off, cherry-pick, and use material without giving credit (or royalties) where due. The FO Bible is essentially non-canon in name only, and if nothing else New Vegas pushes old-guard Fallout lore and material into the post-Bethesda era in a way that can't be easily ignored, given the game is itself a canon source.

        That said...

        You're missing two key things. First, fallout is mostly composed of neutron-activated particulate matter, not fission products or residual fissile mass. The "dirtiness" in this case correlates to free neutrons released by the reaction, and the determinant factor of the amount of fallout is the altitude of the blast; lower altitude, more fallout, up to and including ground and underground/water bursts. The US's three dirtiest tests, if I remember right, were Sedan, Castle Bravo, and Crossroads Baker -- for precisely that reason. Tsar Bomba was a "clean" detonation despite being 50 Mt, because it was detonated at an altitude of two and a half miles.

        Second, the effects of a nuclear bomb don't stop at the blast, and aren't limited to fallout. They're hardly unique to nuclear bombs, but firestorms are a bitch especially considering that firestorms' vortices are certain to release radioisotopes created by the blast that weren't by the overpressure wave.

        To what you're referring when you mention using multiple, smaller devices are really two different phenomena. The first is cheating the inverse-square law by distributing the same destructive power over a wider area by using smaller devices. The second is the way nastier one -- exploiting the Mach effect to exponentially increase overpressure waves' force -- a key feature of MIRV and MARV design, even though their primary purpose is to defeat anti-ballistic missile systems.

        EDIT: Also, with regards to my first post, to what I was alluding was any Great Maelstrom that might be caused by such a nuclear war would likely be way worse than one would assume. If it happened today, you'd have a few hundred million, billion tops, die instantly to nuclear blasts because comparatively few people would die that way. Then a billion or two in the next few hours as more die to firestorms or succumb to traumatic injury from the blasts. Then another 1-3 billion over the course of a week or two to exposure, radiation sickness, infection, secondary violence, or succumbing to wounds. The longer that goes on, the more horrifically those who die, do die.

        Gotta remember, the ferocity and scale of maelstroms don't just correlate to death and destruction. They correlate to the level of pain, suffering, hatred, and violence in the skinlands too. The point the bombs fall, and the people who die instantly? Those are the good days, and the people who die instantly are the lucky ones. Sure, the outbreak would be unlike anything that came before, but it would get exponentially worse from there.
        Last edited by Theodrim; 09-08-2019, 01:58 PM.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Shakanaka View Post
          I got a question about a few things that have been mulling over my mind. How would the Vampires adapt to the Fallout Universe? Would it be more easier for them to survive since kine society is more nebulous and anarchic? Would it be like the Dark Ages again where they semi-openly ruled like last time? Or would they be more on the ropes due to Laser Rifles being a common weapon wastelanders can use (most damning being Plasma based Weaponry)? Also what new Sects will emerge in the new wasteland? I doubt the Camarilla would be needed anymore since mankind has lost any real organisation (besides the NCR or more dubiously the Legion) so the justification of the Sect to ensure Vampiric society isn't exposed is kinda moot now.

          Sure the Hunters would still be around, they wouldn't be as organized as the Society of Leopold or other organizations Pre-War. Also how do you think Vampires could survive in the Vaults? The other dwellers would begin noticing that a few of the population never die of old age and look the same as they first stepped in. Realistically I'd think only Nosferatu can pull it off as they are the masters of underground stealth and subterfuge. Other clans.. I don't know. What do you think?

          Considering a significant portion of humanity was blasted back to the stone age, re-adapting shamanistic beliefs and ancient superstitions, I imagine that the Consensus would have shifted dramatically. Magic world probably make a triumphant return to the world after the bombs fell, because most of the survivors would be either tribal savages, or isolated pockets of civilization.

          Remember that Vault-Tec never actually expected the nukes to happen, so practically all of their Vaults were actually designed to be human testing facilities for various experiments. Most of which turned out horribly and lead to the deaths of everybody inside. So you can't count on them being a means of preserving modern humanity in the way we came to recognize it.

          As for the Nosferatu, they could probably find a similar life style to those of Ghouls and Super Mutants. Sure, people are afraid of them, but those who aren't needlessly aggressive have been shown to find tolerance within various settlements. Even gaining employment opportunities, if they have the right skill set. Besides, Ghouls and Super Mutants are likewise semi-immortal, as there are some of them who are so old, they've been around since before the war over 200 years ago.

          Radiation poisoning wouldn't be a problem for vampires, because their bodies keep regenerating back to a pre-determined state, though their victims might need to keep a bottle of Rad-Away to deal with second hand contamination.

          The Sabbat would probably form an alliance with the various slave trade factions of the wasteland, assuming that they didn't just establish their own organization and begin rounding up humans like literal cattle. With humanity already on the brink of extinction as it is, the Sabbat would not be able to carry on with their typical hell raising mentality, unless they wanted to starve themselves into torpor within a couple generations of rampant slaughter!
          Last edited by Nyrufa; 09-08-2019, 05:13 PM.

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          • #20
            A certain kind of Consensus, if it's matching what exists in Fallout, you have Ghosts, limited Psychic powers, super science, and Radiation/FEV mutation into higher life forms. Plus a few drops of Aliens! added for good measure. But, people would be more likely to believe that weird stuff is possible, so paradox may be dramatically weakened.

            One of the biggest problems for vampires would be travel, getting safe sunproof accommodation doesn't seem to be easy outside of the Vaults, underground and in the middle of a few of the larger buildings. So I think that the general kind of vampiric society would be isolationist, not unlike Dark Ages, where you keep to the "city" and travel is at a minimum.

            Yes, Nosferatu could fit in with many ghoul colonies, depending on how those (Feral) ghouls are reacting to the undead. I see the Necropolis being a major Hub for information gathering through the Nos, possibly even a hub for a primitive internet if they can start rolling out the infrastructure. The Vampire's main advantage in this era is a huge skill set of lost skills from a pre-war era. Since Ghouls and Synths can be accepted in to society, I think some would accept vampires openly being out, others might not, it could be a very interesting dynamic.

            Irradiated blood might be inedible to vampires, so it's an issue to consider- Super Mutants, Ghouls and the majority of animals in the wasteland may not be reliable food sources, emphasizing the need for humans to be taken care of.

            Many of the information gathering factions like the Brotherhood of Steel's scholars, or the Followers of the Apocalypse would go crazy finding the vampires that literally wrote the book on technologies, or were around at the time they were invented, especially older than "modern pre-war" ones that work just fine and can be more easily replicated.

            The interesting things to see in the setting, I believe, would be the sabbat hunting the antediluvians and other elders; how disciplines evolve in the new world; the role thinbloods can play

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Illithid View Post

              Irradiated blood might be inedible to vampires, so it's an issue to consider- Super Mutants, Ghouls and the majority of animals in the wasteland may not be reliable food sources, emphasizing the need for humans to be taken care of.

              Many of the information gathering factions like the Brotherhood of Steel's scholars, or the Followers of the Apocalypse would go crazy finding the vampires that literally wrote the book on technologies, or were around at the time they were invented, especially older than "modern pre-war" ones that work just fine and can be more easily replicated.

              The interesting things to see in the setting, I believe, would be the sabbat hunting the antediluvians and other elders; how disciplines evolve in the new world; the role thinbloods can play
              Ghouls and Super Mutants are still technically humans, they've just been heavily mutated, either through radiation, or the Forced Evolution Virus. I don't think it would be impossible for a vampire to feed upon them, but in the case with Ghouls, the vampire might become a Plague Barer, while in the case of Super Mutants, they would be capable of putting up a far greater fight than a normal human.

              If New Vegas was anything to go by, the Brotherhood of Steel is more focused on scavenging and stockpiling lost technology, to bother with reproducing it. It's their philosophy that mankind was not ready to possess old world tech, which lead to the apocalypse happening in the first place. So they made it their mission to travel the wasteland and hoard all the sci-fi technology to themselves. A mission which they are extremely aggressive when it comes to fulfilling!

              Unless they need to study technology in the field, it's very unlikely you'll run into any of their Scholars. You're more likely to run into a squad of Paladins, who will stick a plasma rifle up to your face and demand you hand over any advanced tech you're carrying. Or kill you on sight, if they realize you're not human.
              Last edited by Nyrufa; 09-11-2019, 09:14 PM.

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              • #22
                You are correct about the Ghouls and the Super-Mutants. The Ghouls are results of ridiculous levels of radiation, while its the Super-Mutants who you can blame on the FEV.

                You could still feed on both. Problem is if you're willing to feed on Super-Mutants you will definitely become a plague-bearer, and if you go regularly taking Ghoul blood into your own body eventually you'll be pinging rads so badly you'll be visible from the Archimedes II.

                ... wait a moment, that's a brilliant idea! A Glowing One who isn't even a Ghoul! :P

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                • #23
                  I wouldn't worry that much about Ghouls and Super Mutants. A lot of the stuff ascribed to them (or stuff like FEV in general) is such utter rubber-science that it might as well be magical. So what a magical disease could do to another magical creature is up to the individual's imagination.

                  And ghouled Super Mutants offer a whole new level of powergaming potential I suppose haha. Or Vampire-Supermutants! (I'm only half-kidding here.)

                  What I'd really be worried about is radiation. There's tons of examples in WoD where radiation is aggravated (sometimes its through magical intervention - like the Time of Thin Blood spirit nukes. In other cases, its not so clear that its magic radiation. Like the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.)

                  Just like lasers reducing people to ash on a critical hit don't pack a gigajoule of energy per shot, or the even more odd result of plasma weapons liquefying (less energetic - I've actually run across 'melting' temps for humans before, believe it or not. Even though humans are like 60-70% water usually.)

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Mister_Dunpeal View Post
                    And ghouled Super Mutants offer a whole new level of powergaming potential I suppose haha. Or Vampire-Supermutants! (I'm only half-kidding here.)
                    Does it make me a terrible person that during the last Fallout Masquerade game I ran I had a warpack of Sabbat Super-Mutants who used Protean to turn into deathclaws?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by GilbyTheFat View Post
                      You are correct about the Ghouls and the Super-Mutants. The Ghouls are results of ridiculous levels of radiation, while its the Super-Mutants who you can blame on the FEV.

                      You could still feed on both. Problem is if you're willing to feed on Super-Mutants you will definitely become a plague-bearer, and if you go regularly taking Ghoul blood into your own body eventually you'll be pinging rads so badly you'll be visible from the Archimedes II.

                      ... wait a moment, that's a brilliant idea! A Glowing One who isn't even a Ghoul! :P

                      I imagine radiation for vampires would have a similar result to Deadpool, in that your body regenerates faster than the rads can kill you. Or at least that's how it might have worked before V5. I understand that post V5, the regeneration is significantly less efficient than it was before?

                      Also, if I have my lore correct, not everybody can become a Ghoul. Only humans that possess a specific gene in their DNA can successfully undergo the process. And for the majority of them, it takes months of continuous neglect of medical assistance for the transformation to become irreversible. Only in rare case, where the subject is exposed to a tremendous amount of radiation at once does the transformation accelerate itself. Like the shop keeper from Megaton, who becomes a Ghoul if you blow up the bomb in the center of town.

                      I'm also curious as to how Super Mutants and Vampires would get along when it comes to reproduction. The FEV renders its subjects infertile, so they can only reproduce by subjecting more people to the FEV.

                      A Super Mutant is the very last thing you'd want to have as a ghouled servitor, however. From what I know about the setting, Super Mutants are already semi-immortal in the sense that they don't die from old age. Instead, they continue to grow bigger over time, until they eventually become the hulking Behemoths you can sometimes run into. Knowing that, I'm imagining a Super Mutant who accidentally misses their monthly supply of blood, and in the span of a couple weeks, he's bigger than a house!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post


                        I imagine radiation for vampires would have a similar result to Deadpool, in that your body regenerates faster than the rads can kill you. Or at least that's how it might have worked before V5. I understand that post V5, the regeneration is significantly less efficient than it was before?

                        Also, if I have my lore correct, not everybody can become a Ghoul. Only humans that possess a specific gene in their DNA can successfully undergo the process. And for the majority of them, it takes months of continuous neglect of medical assistance for the transformation to become irreversible. Only in rare case, where the subject is exposed to a tremendous amount of radiation at once does the transformation accelerate itself. Like the shop keeper from Megaton, who becomes a Ghoul if you blow up the bomb in the center of town.

                        I'm also curious as to how Super Mutants and Vampires would get along when it comes to reproduction. The FEV renders its subjects infertile, so they can only reproduce by subjecting more people to the FEV.

                        A Super Mutant is the very last thing you'd want to have as a ghouled servitor, however. From what I know about the setting, Super Mutants are already semi-immortal in the sense that they don't die from old age. Instead, they continue to grow bigger over time, until they eventually become the hulking Behemoths you can sometimes run into. Knowing that, I'm imagining a Super Mutant who accidentally misses their monthly supply of blood, and in the span of a couple weeks, he's bigger than a house!
                        Kindred are naturally dead and in stasis, so I couldn't see radiation killing a Kindred. The Glowing One joke was about a Kindred drinking so much Ghoul blood (in this case a radiation Ghoul, not a blood Ghoul) that they just end up giving off so much radiation its visible.

                        You could probably do Kindred Super-Mutant reproduction in a few ways. One could be that the FEV doesn't do anything to the Super-Mutant's childe because they can't be mutated beyond the point of Embrace, and its done in the standard fashion. Another could be that being Embraced by a Kindred with FEV in their blood means the childe then mutates over time into a super-mutant post-embrace due to the weird synthesis of FEV and Vitae. I wouldn't want the embrace to become possible through mere transmission of FEV-laced vitae, cause that would become a royal nightmare of over-population by vampires (what with Super-Mutants already having a mindset before the Embrace that they must spread their state to any human they can find), not to mention that if FEV could in that case become capable of taking on the embrace properties of Vitae it could potentially lead to Kindred deathclaws (I recall FEV is also responsible for them), and that's no bueno.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by GilbyTheFat View Post
                          Kindred are naturally dead and in stasis, so I couldn't see radiation killing a Kindred. The Glowing One joke was about a Kindred drinking so much Ghoul blood (in this case a radiation Ghoul, not a blood Ghoul) that they just end up giving off so much radiation its visible.

                          You could probably do Kindred Super-Mutant reproduction in a few ways. One could be that the FEV doesn't do anything to the Super-Mutant's childe because they can't be mutated beyond the point of Embrace, and its done in the standard fashion. Another could be that being Embraced by a Kindred with FEV in their blood means the childe then mutates over time into a super-mutant post-embrace due to the weird synthesis of FEV and Vitae. I wouldn't want the embrace to become possible through mere transmission of FEV-laced vitae, cause that would become a royal nightmare of over-population by vampires (what with Super-Mutants already having a mindset before the Embrace that they must spread their state to any human they can find), not to mention that if FEV could in that case become capable of taking on the embrace properties of Vitae it could potentially lead to Kindred deathclaws (I recall FEV is also responsible for them), and that's no bueno.

                          Honestly, I think the Tzimisce would develop an avid interest in the FEV and Super Mutants, being that unnatural evolution is kind of their thing.. The Super Mutants are also responsible for the creation of Centaurs, which they made by chucking a bunch of random species into an FEV pool just to see what would happen. The result is the creatures merged together into some kind of nightmarish abomination, which is strangely loyal to the monsters who created it. In that regard, they are similar to Vozhd!

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                          • #28
                            Two words: Radioactive. Bloodlines. Imagine if the Zeka met Tzimisce met the Samedi.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post


                              Honestly, I think the Tzimisce would develop an avid interest in the FEV and Super Mutants, being that unnatural evolution is kind of their thing.. The Super Mutants are also responsible for the creation of Centaurs, which they made by chucking a bunch of random species into an FEV pool just to see what would happen. The result is the creatures merged together into some kind of nightmarish abomination, which is strangely loyal to the monsters who created it. In that regard, they are similar to Vozhd!
                              Meh.

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                              • #30
                                Think the main thing is how much harder for Kindred to now move about wasteland society unnoticed. Considering that the average settlement has a significantly low population, if a Kindred messes up (Getting seen feeding, breaking local laws, etc.) they'll have to move town entirely as most settlements aren't big cities where they could lay low. Also the settlements would be spread very thin, so the new sects that emerge will always be at war to secure feeding grounds for themselves. Major post-war cities (Shady Sands, Hub, Vault City, Megaton, New Vegas, etc.) would be hotly contested. In a WoD Fallout cross-over, I'd think Gangrel clan would be the new kings.

                                With Animalism, they can mimick the new deadly animal life and become 10x more deadly. The big stretched of civilization between settled dwellings would be perfect for them. I'd see them more focused on the Mid-West as it is the least populated though. (Imagine a low gen Gangrel Mesthuselah waking up and taking a liking to the new Cazador creatures? *shivers*)

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