Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fallout: Factions of the 'Mouth

Before the Great War the city of Portsmouth was a small urban port and manufacturing center on the Ohio River. It was protected from the river by its infamous floodwall (which politicians were always trying to beautify with murals and things). During the Great War a group of Chinese commandos and Communist sympathizers attacked the USEC Uranium Enrichment Plant in a nearby county. This caused a meltdown and bathed the surrounding counties in radiation.

Many died in the war or were unable to survive its aftermath. Humanity (and the mutants that came from it) found ways to survive. While the port of the ‘Mouth may not be that busy anymore, there are still survivors in the city and its surrounding areas. Notable settlements outside of the city include Rotway, The Burg, Little Beijing, and Blood Gravel.

These are some of the major factions and groups of the Glowhio River Valley and The ‘Mouth. Not everyone belongs to one of these organizations, but many do.

Glowing Bears - The Glowing Bears are a collection of ghouls that live in the remnants of the city’s university. Because the school is next to the floodwall (which is why it was referred to as Floodwall Tech before the Great War), radioactivity is higher here than in other parts of town. The group has a large number of scientists and inventors, though most of what they create is impractical, useless, and/or dangerous. The group is lead by the Dean and allied with the United States of Hancock.

The People - The People like to think that they are the last bastion of civilized humans in the world. In reality, they’re a collection of uber-conservative bigots descended from the old money of the city. Well the leaders of the People are at least, the group has all sorts of cronies who do their dirty work in order to get back to the “good old days.” The group teaches that moral values and having the biggest guns are the proper path to salvation. While not necessarily openly violent to other factions, members of the group often have superiority complexes and can be hostile to other natives of the ‘Mouth, especially ghouls like those in the Glowing Bears. A majority of the leaders of the group live in the nearby gated community of Burg. However, the leader of the group Mr. Hayes (aka the Voice of the People) and his most trusted followers and cronies live in the Marting’s Tower in the heart of the ‘Mouth. It should be noted that the People also have several docks along the river.

The United States of Hancock - This group is a collection of freedom lovers. Founded by a descendant of the original John Hancock, the USH fights to better society. To do this they often gather junk and components for the scientists of the Glowing Bears. In addition, the leader of the group has a “fight hard/play hard” attitude and the group is just as likely to search an old vinyard for wine as they are to mount a raid against a hostile raider camp. A very open minded group, the USH counts non humans among its numbers, including two domesticated deathclaws, Lu and Cammy, and a robot, Skeets. While not officially a citizen of the “nation,” the DJ known as Livewire is a great supporter of the group.

The Crabtrees - Even before the fall, the area surrounding the ‘Mouth was a pretty rural place. The were many backwoods families, but none were as prolific as the Crabtrees. Strangely enough, the family has thrived since the fallout of the Great War and has expanded its territory. Much of the land to the northwest of the ‘Mouth is “owned” by the Crabtrees. An odd mix, the family contains humans, FEV, and even a super mutant or twelve. Some think that the government used part the family to test mutagens and that this made the group resistant to the radiation. The family is dangerous and has many subclans. Some of these families like to trade with outsiders, while others like to steal husbands and wives to add to the breeding stock. Most denizens of the ‘Mouth try to stay clear of the group (though there is a descent minority of the urban groups that have Crabtree blood in their veins). While many of the subclans rules themselves, all defer to Pa Crabtree, the clans patriarch. As a note, the group is perhaps infamously known for its Radshine. This homemade drink is made from distilled corn, local flora, and water straight from the Glowhio (which helps ferment the drink and gives it the delightful glow, even when it’s in your stomach). The USH loves the stuff (as do some of the People, at least secretly).

The Red Dragons - The Red Dragons are the descendants of the original Chinese commandoes and the American sympathizers that attacked USEC. The survivors fled south and eventually “conquered” the small town of Lucasville. The group intermarried with their captives from the town and renamed it Little Beijing. The group then sought to establish themselves a new niche in the post apocalyptic world. They have become traders and their heavily armed caravans travel far and wide. They have even made a deal with the swamp dwelling Crabtrees that live in the “Bottoms” of Little Beijing. While there are some that still blame the group for the state of the world (especially the Voice of the People) others realize that they are just people trying to survive like everyone else. The town has no official leader and despite the fact they’re traders, still have a very communist society, where things are shared among the people.

Blood Gravel Slavers - While there are many raiders and raiding group in the area, the Blood Gravel are the most organized and least hostile. Rivals to the Red Dragons, the members like to think of themselves as business men. However, they are slavers and raiders, in general. They maintain the settle of Blood Gravel, which is located in an out of the way quarry. Here they sell their “merchandise” and hold gladiatorial games, including mutant cockfighting.

The Working Girls - The working girls are a small but notorious group in the ‘Mouth. They are local prostitutes that also serve as assassins and mercenaries. Led by the beautiful, Goldy L., the group maintains neutrality and works the streets of the ‘Mouth.


  1. Great post! Years ago I did the same kinda thing but with a classic fantasy setting for my hometown - Chillicothe. Did you ever do any more with this? It looks perfect for a Mutant Future/ Gamma World style campaign.

  2. Honestly I haven't. I've got a hundred ideas but I'm living in Columbus and my gaming group is in Portsmouth, so I only get to game once a month or so, and when I start this game I want it to be a regular thing.