What’s All This? – Campaign Basics

astro02I’ll be running a face to face (in NYC) RPG campaign set in a future post-apocalypse world loosely based on 1970’s science fiction. We’ll be using the game Apes Victorious, an OSR-style RPG from Goblinoid Games. It’s a fairly simple system, similar to old-school D&D. It’s designed to run Planet of the Apes style games. You don’t need any experience to play. Newbies are more than welcome. I’ll be posting material for the players and anyone interested in the game here.

You can get the free PDF version of the game (without the art) at http://goblinoidgames.com/index.php/downloads/.  The actual full-art PDF and paper version are worth buying at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/196062/Apes-Victorious

You’ll play a group of 1970s astronauts, soldiers, and scientists who have volunteered for Project PAX, a benevolent scientific organization dedicated to rebuilding the world after a feared future apocalypse. Their plan was to cryogenically freeze teams of volunteers along with food, supplies and high-tech equipment. After any global disaster, they would re-emerge, and help to rebuild the world, better than it was before. You are one of those teams.

We’ll be running the game in a style of an an old-fashioned hex crawl (What’s a hex crawl?). You’ll be exploring a radically changed environment, and braving strange dangers such as mutant creatures, humanoids, and of course – apes! Players can advance in ability and skill,  and have a chance to change the game world. Experience points, in this game will be granted for discovery and good deeds,  rather than combat.
We’ll be using all sorts of old-school ideas: wandering monsters, encumbrance, resource management. I’ll be posting details as the game progresses.

We’ll be scheduling games through the Manhattan Gamer’s Guild Meetup



What is PAX?PaxLogo
PAX is a international organization of scientists and government officials who had believed that human civilization wouldn’t survive the Twentieth Century. They weren’t certain what the nature of the apocalypse would be, or even when it would happen, but they were determined to help humanity survive.
Their plan was to build a series of underground bases, stocked with the tools, equipment, and knowledge to rebuild the world. In each base, several teams of trained volunteers would be cryogenically preserved. When the base computer determined the conditions were right, a team would be awakened. Each base was given a greek letter designation (Gamma, Epsilon, Omicron, etc.). The players in this campaign would be assigned to PAX Gamma.
For reasons of security, each team would not be told where the bases were, or which one they would be placed in.
Pax Base
A PAX base consists of several spherical modules, each designed to resist terrible geological stresses. They each have their own individual atomic power sources, designed to last for millennia. They are connected by flexible corridors, designed to be self sealing if severed.
There are several modules, each with it’s own function:
Cryogenics: This is where the characters will wake up. There are up to thirty cryotubes here (it varies by base). They can wake up any of the others at any time.
Supply: Most of the food supplies & water processing equipment is here. There are also seeds and fertilizer for agriculture if needed.
Medical: With the advanced medicine here, an injured person can gain up 4 hp per day.
Science Labs: With the advanced computer tape libraries here, add -1 to any science rolls.
Vehicles & Heavy Engineering: This is the largest module. It contains several kinds of vehicle – sea, air, and land. They are all atomic powered.
Every base, once activated, sends out a automated radio signal. It can be detected several miles away.
PAX Alpha
The headquarters for the PAX Project. This base would be several times larger than the other bases, containing hundreds of people, and all the supplies, equipment, and information needed to restart a technological civilization.
PAX Mission Objectives:
  • Explore the future Earth, and record all ecological, cultural, and physical changes.
  • Determine the nature of the catastrophe that ended civilization.
  • Assist any survivors in rebuilding civilization.
  • Contact PAX Alpha, or any surviving PAX bases.

Revised Version of New Character Classes

I’ve collected a list of alternate human classes for Apes Victorious into a Apes Victorious New Classes PDFlogan11

This is a cleaned up and revised version of a file I’ve done previously.

I’ll be using the classes developed by David Baymiller at the blog The OSR Library. They include Soldier, Scout, and Scientist. I’ve modified the Soldier class slightly – the ability to identify Underdweller tech only applies to weapons in my version.

New Human Classes

I’m also included another, more powerful version of the scientist class from K-Slacker at Mutants & Magic

Apes Victorious; Scientist Class

I renamed K-Slacker’s version of the scientist class to Super-Scientist to distinguish the two.

I’ve also added a class of my own – the Engineer



First Session – Character Creation

Our first game session will be Wednesday, Feb 21st. In our session Zero last week, we created some characters. For those who couldn’t make it, here are the character creation rules, so you can create your characters now if you wish.

In this campaign we’ll be starting with human-only characters.


For generating your stats, you will be rolling 3D6. You ran roll your six numbers first, and them assign them to any stats you wish.


The Apes Victorious book only has one human class – Astronaut. You can choose this one if you like.

For the purposes of this game, we’ll be also be using some optional classes not in the book (note we will allow scientist characters, but not super-scientists).

Optional Human Classes

Engineer Class

For those who haven’t created a character yet, we already have an Engineer and a Soldier. You can create a character ahead of time,  if you like.

Also, I’ll be at the location early on Wednesday (around 5:30) if you want to create a character before hand.



Engineer Class


Requirements: INT 9Far_Out_Space_Nuts_Bob_Denver_Chuck_McCann_1975
Ability Adjustments: None
Prime Requisite: INT
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum Level: None
Attack As: Astronaut
Save As: Astronaut
Engineers may use any weapons and armor.

Repairing Technology
Engineers can repair broken technological devices.
For broken technology from their own time, Engineers have a base chance of 30% to repair it, +5% per level, up to 95%

For any Underdweller or other advanced technology, engineers have a base chance of 10% to repair, +5% per level, up to 95%

For primitive technology, like the apes use, engineers have a base chance of 60% to repair any technology , +5% per level, up to 95%

Modifiers to Repair Roll
Without a tool kit                  -10%
Heavily Damaged                  -20%
Missing Parts                          -25%
Created by Engineer             +15%

Understanding Advanced Technology
To simply understand and use Underdweller technology. Their base chance is 55%, +5% per level.

Building New Technology
Starting at level 3, Engineers can, given appropriate resources, build devices or machines on their own. They’ll need adequate tools and materials. The chance of creating a machine successfully is 25%, +5% per level

Modifiers to Building Roll
Blueprints available                   +10%
Manufacturing Facility              +15%
Jury-Rigged                                    -10%
Higher Tech Level                       -20%

Wilderness Travel Rules

This campaign will be a hex-crawl. The players will be traveling across a hex-map, mapping as they go, and encountering various dangers during the journey.

These are the rules we’ll be using for wilderness travel. They’re modified versions of the Apes Victorious rules and some stuff from Labyrinth Lord, and the Black Hack.

Humans will normally be able to travel 24 miles a day on foot. They’ll need to rest for 1 out of six days when traveling in the wild.
Movement Type
6-mile Hexes
On Foot
On Horseback
 Travel Modifiers:
Rough, hilly, woods                                        -1/3
Swamp, thick woods/jungle, mountains     -½
Roads, clear terrain                                        +½
Forced March*                                                 +½
*Characters must rest for one day after every day of a forced march.
The party has a resource die for food when traveling. It starts off as a D8. Every time they fail a foraging roll (or fail to forage) they will need to roll the food resource die. If it is a one or two, the die drops one type (d8>d6>d4). After rolling a 1-2 on a D4 the players are out of food.
After two days without food, each player will lose 1 Strength point each day until it reaches 3. At 3, the player dies.
Desert Rules
In wastelands and deep deserts, the players will also need to keep track of water. They will start off with a  d8 resource die for water. They have to roll each day to check how the water supply is holding up. When the die is depleted after D4, they will be out of water. The only way to get water is to find an oasis or other water source. Foraging will not help.
After two days without water, each player will lose 2 Strength points each day until it reaches 3. At 3, the player dies.
Restocking Food
If the players return to the PAX base, or anywhere else that will allow them to stock up on food, they can restock to full D8 level in food and water. To start off, they can refresh up to 10 times until the PAX base is out of food. If the players find a new source of food they can increase this level. If they can find 10 multiple regular sources of food, the base can be self-sufficient, providing infinite refresh. The PAX base already has a permanent water source.
We’ll be using the standard foraging rules in the Apes Victorious rule book (page 48)
Passing through hexes that are radiation can cause damage, based on the level of radiation and time of exposure.
Radiation Level
1 per week
1 per day
1-3 d6
1 per day
1 per turn
4-6 d6
1 per turn
1 per round
7+ d6


Optional Human Classes

In the original Apes Victorious books, you can only choose astronauts, if you want to play as human. In this campaign, we’ll be using other human classes.

I’ll be using the classes developed by David Baymiller at the blog The OSR Library. They include Soldier, Scout, and Scientist.

New Human Classes

I’m also considering using another version of the scientist class from K-Slacker at Mutants & Magic

Apes Victorious; Scientist Class

I’ve put all of these into a PDF file in the same format as the original rule book: New Apes Victorious Classes – PDF

I renamed K-Slacker’s version of the scientist class to Super-Scientist to distinguish the two.





Fictional Inspirations

The following is a list of some of the fictional influences on the campaign. I’ll have links to the more obscure ones. I’m not expecting players watch all (of any) of these, but they do give an idea of the tone we’re trying for.

Planet of the Apes

This is the most obvious one. One of the primary influences will be the 1970’s movies,smostly the first two – Planet of the Apes, and Beneath the Planet of the Apes

Genesis II

A 1973 TV pilot from Gene Roddenberry. A man from the 20th century is frozen and woken up in 2133 after a apocalypse. The idea of a organization called PAX is stolen directly from this.
YouTube Link (Full Movie)     Wikipedia Entry

Planet Earth

This is Roddenberry’s second try at the same concept. This one is probably closest to what the campaign is aiming to be like, with PAX teams exploring and trying to better the world.

YouTube Link (Full Movie)     Wikipedia Entry

Strange New World

Roddenberry’s last attempt at this concept. In this one, the PAX team are astronauts who returned to Earth after a long sleep.

YouTube Link (Full Movie)      Wikipedia Entry

Logan’s Run (1976 Movie)

YouTube Link (Trailer)       Wikipedia Entry

Logan’s Run (TV Series)

YouTube Link (Trailer)       Wikipedia Entry


Youtube Link (Trailer)      Wikipedia Entry

Ark II
Children’s TV show
Youtube Link (Full Series)      Wikipedia Entry