Thursday, February 18, 2010

[My Collection] Aftermath!

I started playing D&D in 1978, growing up in Washington, D.C. When my family moved to the other Washington a year later, my brother and I met other gamers and played other games, including Fantasy Games Unlimited Aftermath! (1981) by Paul Hume and Robert Charrette.

I'm an unabashed fan of the post-apocalyptic genre. Rebuilding society or just being a bandit in a world that is now (or near-future) with a complete breakdown of society due to some sort of world war is great fun.

Aftermath! falls straight into that genre. Other PA games published during the late 70s/early 80s were Metamorphosis Alpha/Gamma World, and The Morrow Project. While Gamma World/Metamorphosis Alpha were more wild-and-wahoo, science fantasy, and The Morrow Project more modern military-esque game, Aftermath! was the first PA game that had gritty, gritty complexity.

Heroic Worlds describes Aftermath! as follows: "Postholocaust system featuring complex combat rules for contemporary and near-future weaponry. Players who appreciate the subtle differences between various types of firearms will probably enjoy these rules."

The Wikipedia entry has this statement: One fan commented on a forum... "I've heard legends about early games like Aftermath, which were said to cause bleeding from the eyes due to the sheer complexity of their rules."

Yes, Aftermath! was complex, had a system overburdened with sub-systems that slowed game play down considerably. Character creation took a long time, combat was very deadly (but alternately very humorous - called shots to damage location 12, the crotch, was a common joke, at least among my fellow gamers) and even a simple fire-fight took hours to run through. It was the crunchy system, well before GURPS came on the scene in 1986, but it was a lot of fun.

I played it pretty steadily from about 1981 to when I last ran an Aftermath! game in 1995 (I was living in Portland, Oregon, during grad school and it went slow but pretty good). Since then, I've only used it as reference.

Aftermath! had a number of excellent supplements, including:
  • Scenario Pack 1: Into the Ruins - The City of Littleton (1981),
  • Scenario Pack A1: Operation Morpheus - The Ruins of the Univeristy (1982),
  • Scenario Pack A2: Sydney: The Wilderness Campaign (1984),
  • Adventure Pack K1: The Empire of Karo (1984), and
  • Campaign Pack C1 - The City State, Chicago and the Illinois River Valley (1987).
Fantasy Games Unlimited still publishes this game and have added a couple more supplements to the lineup, including Aftermath! Technology (1992, 2008), Aftermath! Survival Guide (2008) and Aftermath! Magic (2010).

Aftermath! is considered, in my estimation, one of the best resources for a post-apocalypse RPG. Don't use the system but use the info if you run a post-apocalypse game.


  1. I am a big fan of Aftermath (and even more so, with Morrow)

    I am relatively certain that I have every Morrow project release in existence, though I can;t see myself ever playing it ... the fan base is pretty narrow.

  2. Ooh, nice! And hey, the books are even available in PDF form and for darn cheap to boot!

    Off to download and pillage ideas for my Rifts:2112 setting...

  3. Yes, Aftermath! is an excellent resource and I am glad that there are still many fans around. I noticed Timeshadows even mentioned it on her Feb 8th post. And the modules are all good products.

    Morrow Project has had several new supplements in the past few years, American Outback and Fall Back (check out the Timeline website). I haven't added them to my collection but I plan to at some point. An expected 4th edition of the game was supposed to be published sometime in 2005 but has been delayed (vaporware?).

    Give the Morrow Project a try. Use your favorite system instead of the one in the book. I'd use Savage Worlds, but in the past I've used GURPS and BESM.

    Also, the prices for FGU products at DriveThruRPG are excellent! I'm going to have to buy some.


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