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Give details - why is the game system a good fit? What matches the Fallout setting?

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As this is a game-recommendation question, please adhere to the FAQ, the rules for subjective questions as outlined in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective and our rules for game recommendations. All responses must cite actual experience or reference others' experiences!

As this is a system-recommendation question, please adhere to both the FAQ and the rules for subjective questions as outlined in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective and on our Meta. In particular, all responses should be based on actual experience and contain references and examples whenever possible. –  mxyzplk Aug 13 '13 at 17:20

11 Answers 11

up vote 11 down vote accepted

GURPS RPGGEEK is almost always a great answer. I would suggest it if you want a 'crunchy' Fallout experience. You asked for specifics, so here they are:


In Fallout, you can encounter futuristic robots, WWII firearms, 1980's computer systems, barbarian villages where the pinnacle of technology is the plow, and nomads who's crowning achievement is the pointy stick. GURPS has always had support for multiple Tech Levels. It'll support PCs from any of those tech levels interacting with equipment from any of those tech levels.

As mentioned above, Fallout was designed for GURPS originally, so it's got a lot of meaningful weapon variety. In GURPS, there are many different variables in weapons, so you can have two semi-automatic pistols without them being the same except for their descriptions.

Aside from weapons, GURPS has good rules for computers, armor, vehicles, medicine, and pretty much everything else.


GURPS allows you a lot of freedom to create mutants, a big part of the Fallout appeal. Designing new races is pretty straightforward, so you could have templates to make all those things you encounter in Fallout recognizable, but not all the same. Ghouls (Is that what those irradiated guys are called? Can't remember.), giant animals, supermutants, vampires, murkloks (?), etc..


For a GURPS Fallout campaign, I'd recommend the following books in addition to the core:

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There is a Fallout PnP system that uses the exact system in the computer games. Which, luckily you can find in No Mutants Allowed.

Whenever I play Fallout in tabletop environment, I use those rules. It is much more Fallout-ishy than anything else

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I found the Fallout PnP system, but...can't say I'm a huge fan of it for anything other than the background information. Thanks anyway, though, it certainly fits the requirements I listed :) –  YogoZuno Dec 16 '10 at 0:00

Interesting trivia, Fallout was originally designed using Steve Jackson's GURPS. Sadly the corporate relationship fell apart. There is a pretty good GURPS fan conversion though.

Also, Darwin's World is a d20 game inspired heavily by Fallout, and Exodus: Post Apocalyptic Roleplaying was originally specifically "d20 Fallout" before some kind of problem with the licensing.

So if you have a soft spot for GURPS or d20, both are good fits - explicit conversions, large player base, and many other supplements and sources to draw from.

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There is a Savage Worlds version of Darwin's World too if you want different mechanics. –  Yianes the Sneak Aug 15 '12 at 3:14

As much as I hate seeing people answer their own question, here's some results from my own research, in case others stumble on this topic...

Deadlands : Hell on Earth - A good, quick system. Rewards player participation, and self-moderation of disadvantages. Supports differing levels of technology, but no concrete rules for a lot of high-tech items, like computers. Some setting-specific rules and character types, but easily adapted.

Twilight:2000 - No support for mutants, but lots of realistic millitary rules, and radiation effects. The first edition was pretty bad, but the second edition was a fairly simplistic system, using d20s. Good support for modern skill sets, but the character generation rules might suffer a little in a true Fallout setting.

Aftermath - a really old-school post-apoc game. The basic set had details of many different apocalypses.

d20 Modern/Future/Post-Apoc - It's d20 3.5. What else needs to be said? Nothing specifically supporting Fallout, but reasonably good generic rules, if you like class-based systems. Can be good for introducing players familliar with d20 mechanics.

Gamma World - A little too fantasy-oriented for Fallout. The high-tech gadgets and mutants are of a different style to Fallout, but at least there is plenty of variety. The latest version is even less crunchy than the previous ones, and would suit Fallout even less.

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It's absolutely OK to answer your own question! Thanks for adding what you found! –  yhw42 Dec 16 '10 at 22:00
Indeed. If you liked what you saw, you might be interested in trying Savaged Fallout (savagefallout.blogspot.com). I'm mixing and matching it with Darwin's World Savage Worlds for a game this weekend. For a bit more gonzo, there's Johnatan Tweet's Omega World (classless d20 and a bootlegged Savage Worlds conversion). –  Yianes the Sneak Dec 14 '12 at 16:21

A fan conversion of the much-beloved Gamma World game for the Savage Worlds system.

SW has its fans and its detractors. I haven't played it yet. The upshots from my perspective are: SW has a ten dollar break-in cost to get the rule book, and this Gamma World conversion is both well-done and useful for people interested in a Fallout game. Just in case you like FREE and CHEAP as options.

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Cyberpunk 2020, although long out of print, is a skill-driven RPG with an appropriately lethal combat system. The rules on cyberware and the Net might not be appropriate for a Fallout-derived setting, but everything else would be a good fit.

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Don't forget the freely available Mutant Future from Goblinoid Games, a retro-clone of Gamma World.

The game supports both old style weaponry as well as mutant humans. Your GM can leave out the spidergoats if he wants.

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We've played Exodus for a couple of sessions so far and we are really enjoying it. It's Fallout with the serial numbers filed off. (Apparently, they didn't do a very good job on that, due to the lawsuits involving the game.)

Exodus uses the d20 system with a ton of new material that sticks very closely to the source material. Chances are, if you chose a Perk in one of the games, it's now either Trait, Feat, or Talent. Character creation is pretty free-form. You select a Background and Profession, which give you access to class skills and bonus feats. (You also 'tag' three skills, which always gives you access to them and you can advance them above the normal rank cap.) Then you choose either the Offensive or Defensive class.

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The lawsuits aren't over IP violations that would suggest a poor job filing off the serials; the lawsuits are by the RPG publisher for damages suffered when their license was annulled due to Interplay never actually owning the rights needed to grant the license. But otherwise, +1 for a spot-on game for this question, and from experience to boot! –  SevenSidedDie Jan 21 at 17:55

I always thought Deadlands would be a good fit. You would have to re-skin its magic system to be discarded tech or mutant powers though.

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Or Deadlands:Hell on Earth, which is a post-apoc game already... –  YogoZuno Dec 16 '10 at 0:00

http://www.therubberduck.net/fallout.html Also has some homebrew adventures that are very nicely done, built on top of the proposed system that never made it to the light of day.

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Jags is rules heavy, system agnostic but has a setting with source books and all that is wacky postapocalyptic (but way more high-tech than fallout). Might be worth a look. Also, it's free. But I have not tried it.

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