So, the game is on this link. http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/70124/Atomic-Highway---Post-Apocalyptic-Roleplaying
Granted, it does require registration, but is free otherwise.
Now, keep in mind before even opening it - large parts of it are things you don't need to read. Actually, that would be the majority of it
! We're using a system that's meant for post-apocalyptic games, "Mad Max" style, for a modern action game. (It's got the advantages of being free, and being aimed towards novice players. Also, it's got all the rules you need for a modern action/adventure, what you actually need is to skip the rules for mutations and stuff).
So, after downloading, you only need to read pages 16-33 and 61-75 (I'm pretty sure people on this site don't need to read the "what is roleplaying, what's a GM and what's a player" explanation on pages 4-7 by now
After you read them, that's it for now, you can get to creating a character! Hopefully, what you read might give you character ideas - or you might already have an idea about the kind of character you want to play. Either approach works. Just create a character and describe her according to the rules.
But yes, of course, we're going to customize the skill packages. So, Natural skills for a modern setting are slightly different (that's what everybody would have).
And of course, Rearings and Pursuit skill packages require some clarifications, especially the Gear. Don't bother "rolling on tables", when the rules say - just write down whatever you think makes sense for your character.
Also, I make a change to the Customize package).
First, add Natural skills. These are things that everybody in the West knows, or you're just assumed to have a natural talent for.
Replace the list in the book with the following: Athletics 1, Lore 1, Brawl 1 or Zoofinity 1, Notice 1, Persuade 1, Tech 1 and Stealth 1 (because really, who has never sneaked through the house for cookies, and/or out of the house to go to a party
Then you apply the skills you got until you started working. We'd use the ones in the book, with some changes in the spoiler. They depend mostly on where you grew up. Need I explain that people who lived on a farm might have a better idea how to use a shotgun, but likely don't know the streets that well?
They can simply be applied with different flavour text. Where is your character from?
A metropolis? - Apply the Bartertown.
Straight from the army boot camp, or maybe a military family? - Apply the Remnant rearing.
Small village? - Apply Steader.
Was part of a biker gang? - use the Nomad rearing.
Trog, Tribal and Feral rearings aren't useful for today's society, barring a truly unusual character
Then we come to their professional lives.
Now, remember, these are mostly examples!
That said, what was/is your character doing for a living? Pick the appropriate package!
Farmer in an isolated community - Beastmaster
Bounty Hunter (or undercover cop) - Bounty Hunter package. It might work great for your character as well - not all bounties are collected for people you're bringing alive.
Mechanic that does work the authorities would like to learn about - Greaser
Driver that did smuggling for the organised crime - Hauler (or Outrider)
Illegal doctor - Healer
An MMA fighter or participant in underground "catfights" - Pit Fighter
Street Thug/Biker/Gang Member - Raider
Cop or Army - Sentinel
New Age Cult/Doomsday Cult leader - Shaman
....or, if you're not happy with any of these: simply distribute 10 points instead as you wish and as it would fit your concept. Also, pick gear, as above
. Mind you, having Notice and Athletics or Brawl is quite important.
Once again, the "gear" is what you think fits the character, not limited to whatever is in the book!
Then you apply the Customize package. No surprises there, except I decided to give you slightly more points.
You get 5 points to add instead of 4 as per page 21. However, the limit "no skill raised above 4" still applies!
Now, that's not a concept that exists in all systems, so even some people that are familiar with them can use an explanation, I guess.
Fortuna starts making sense when you think of it as the "genre convention" resource. Like, the character used Heroic Effort, despite the character being weak
? Spend fortuna, get them more successes. Did she get beaten mid-game? Spend a point (or two, forgot that) and "it was only a flesh wound". The almost invincible stalker is pushed through the window (maybe after Heroic effort
)? He might get up, normally. Spend Fortuna for a minor twist to get him staked to a pole
Or you need access to a mobster's mansion, heavily guarded? Hey (fortuna spent for a major twist), I know a guy/gal who could get me in as his armcandy, and I can suggest him/her a threesome with that other girl if he takes her along as a driver
Or of course, you could just limit it to simulate these moments when the character pulls through on sheer willpower and determination, and not spend it for dramatic effect, but to simulate "hidden reserves". We all have them, after all.
In the end, it's your call how you spend fortuna, it's still yours to spend!
And that's it.