Ground Zero: An Original Post Apocalyptic Setting

Ground Zero is the first custom Savage Worlds fan setting created by the hosts of the SWGMH Podcast.

The Setting Series episodes of the SWGMH Podcast demonstrates how to build custom settings from the ground up using the Savage Worlds Deluxe core rulebook.


What Is Ground Zero?

Ground Zero is a post apocalyptic action setting inspired by the Mad Max film series and other novels, movies, and videogames in the genre.

The nuclear holocaust that leveled civilization and plunged Earth into a second Dark Ages is never fully explained. It may have been a war between countries, a reaction to an alien invasion, or an artificial intelligences bent on genocide. It’s intentionally left up to you to decide.

Forty years later, North America (and maybe the entire world) is a chaotic and dangerous wasteland of massive deserts. The lingering ruins of major metropolitan cities are still bathed in lethal levels of radiation. Decades of radioactive fallout have resulted in widespread mutations; multiple limbs, super strength, and psychic abilities are relatively common among humans, animals, and plants alike.

Dangerous sentient, semi-civilized species of animals and plants compete with humans for survival.

Mutated humans are savage and tribal, relying on raiding parties and slavery to survive.

Both humans and non-humans have lost most knowledge of pre-apocalypse history and technology, which inhabitants of Ground Zero refer to as Lost Tech and The Beforetimes. Current technology is quasi-medieval. While automobiles and modern firearms exist, few are experienced enough to identify or use them. The only group with significant knowledge of The Beforetimes are those that survived the apocalypse— and most of them live in underground vaults or bomb shelters.


What Can You Do In Ground Zero?

Ground Zero player characters include apocalypse-adapted humans known as Surface Dwellers, mutated humans, and unmutated subterranean humans (Vault Dwellers).

Characters may explore ancient ruins and strange post-apocalyptic societies to gain knowledge of The Beforetimes, amass wealth and power from Lost Tech, take jobs as mercenaries and bounty hunters, or race across the country in souped-up cars dispensing wasteland justice.

Common adventures involve protecting fragile post-apocalypse societies, gathering gas or parts for vehicles, retrieving pre-apocalypse “relics”, or the mere struggle to survive in a wasteland beset by sentient gun-toting apes, post-apocalyptic warlords, gigantic mutant animals, radioactive zombies, and so on.

A recurrent source of conflict in Ground Zero is the rivalry among societies, or semi-secret societies with firmly held ideologies. Some societies seek the extermination of all mutants, and vice versa. Other rivalries may involve attitudes towards Lost Technology, with groups of “Archivists” or “Restorationists” who want to preserve or rebuild pre-apocalypse society in conflict with “Luddites” who want to destroy it, and “Seekers” who want to find and use it for the purposes of world domination.


Where Can I Get Ground Zero?

After we conduct the streaming actual play episode of the Savage Worlds GM Hangout (On Air!), a full package will be available for download here on the Sin City Savages website. It will include an updated copy of the setting, pre-generated characters, a one sheet, and the materials you need to run the game as a one shot or the start of a campaign.


Until next time…
Keep rolling and Stay Savage!

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