Waste Knights – Where the true adventure begins
|The merciless, Australian sun bathes everything in its scorching rays. You’re gasping for breath hidden in the shade inside one of the many ramshackle squats lining the main street in Pumps. Their broken windows try to intimidate you every time you come to town. It’s been a while since your last job and you’re almost out of supplies. That’s why you’re eyeing with such greed and jealousy the strangely clean men in military clothes who are hauling barrels of fresh water and oil onto their trucks. There are five vehicles in all – a decent convoy with some guards armed to the teeth, but asking them whether they need some help can’t hurt, right? Everything is better than another day in this hellhole.
Walking towards the man who seems to be the leader of the group, you notice the presence of a local lawman, Jack Diamond. He’s waving to you frantically as if trying to grab your attention. What could this drunkard want? He spends more time emptying moonshine bottles than keeping the peace…
Decide: offer your services to the convoy leader OR talk to the constable…
Welcome to the open world
Above and throughout this text you can read an example of but one among many narrative choices that you will inevitably make when playing Waste Knights: Second Edition. Each decision will enable you to discover and explore the whole world by yourselves. Key choices will be made even before the proper game, so at the beginning of a scenario you will often have no idea what adventures await you. Maybe you will become mercenaries who guard convoys and caravans for a living? Or maybe you will join one of many power groups of post-apocalyptic Australia? Hey, how about checking a machine cult that terrorizes the area or taking part in a turf war? The choice is always yours!
A tall man wearing a heavy, bulletproof vest in such a good condition that he must’ve taken it straight from a shelf, is looking at you unconvinced, yet he introduces himself as Hawk. In fact, he IS the chief of security. After a short talk, you convince him to employ you as escort. Further negotiations last at least quarter of an hour, but finally you reach an agreement. Hawk’s briefing is short and to the point: he shows you a map and marks a dot in the middle of nowhere claiming that this is your destination. You realize that the area is controlled by two powerful gangs.
Choose a Knight: make a Talk test. Gain 1 Fuel and 1 Ammo for each success. Distribute the resources as you see fit.
Place the special marker A on space 21. Shuffle the Rust Children and Night Raiders enemy cards into the Wasteland Deck.
Humble beginnings of future grandeur
If you think that Waste Knights: Second edition is yet another adventure game, in which your only decision during the setup is choosing a scenario to play, you are dead wrong. The prelude of each story is actually a series of choices that enable you to learn the fate of ruined Australia and its inhabitants. Moreover, your decisions can result in discovering various side plots for you to follow. That is the reason why each playthrough will be unique. Let’s take the example – even if you choose to follow the convoy, depending on how you talk to the stranger, you can learn something interesting about the goods being transported or the dangers along the way. Or maybe some other options will become available – ones that you haven’t even been aware of?
You’re about to leave when Martin, a local lout and ne’er-do-well, approaches you. He usually preys upon those naïve travelers who forget to close their cars after tanking some gas at the main station. This time, however, he seems to have some real business.“I’ve got somethin’ for ya” – he whispers, frightfully scanning the surroundings. – “One guy, he tells me if you pin it somewhere on one of them huge trucks, you know, all secret-like, he’ll make you mighty rich.”
Having said that, he offers to you a strange, black box fitted with a magnet and a bag full of meds.
“That’s just to sweeten the deal, you know. More comin’ once you’re done” – he adds with a wink.
If the Scientist or the Mechanic is in your group, see script 118.
Decide: take the stuff from Martin and follow his instructions OR refuse the offer with well-aimed kicks on his butt.
Choice is everything
An innovative, open-world system designed especially for Waste Knights: Second Edition enables you to find your own path and make meaningful choices. The gameplay is not so rigidly dependent on rules of a scenario, but on your decisions regarding places you visit, enemies you vanquish or conversations you have with NPCs. Each, even apparently petty decision, might have various consequences both for your group and for other inhabitants of wasted Australia. Waste Knights: Second Edition offers you freedom while keeping the game dynamic and immersive. The decisions that you make reflect on your knights and the world around them.
How would you behave if you learned during the game that the convoy you’re escorting is bringing the supplies to a gang hideout? If you don’t react, the gangers will surely start to terrorize local communities, which will affect the game conditions. On the other hand, you will pay dearly if you openly resist your employers. This is the kind of choice that might even split the group for good – maybe only two players will decide to attack the convoy and the other will try to protect it? The Australian wasteland is a breathing and living setting that reacts to the players’ decisions. You might perform acts of camaraderie and loyalty or cause dissent between your fellow players: backstab or betray them.
The setting sun paints this strange rock vivid red. The monolithic wall of stone towers over the flatlands as if left behind by some ancient giant. A tall fence crowned with razor wire surrounds the site, faded signs on it giving mute warnings from a bygone age: “Ayers Rock. Military Zone. No trespassing”. You’ve spent the week on the road and your ears, tired with the roar of truck engines, are only starting to adjust to the overwhelming silence of this place.Suddenly, it’s pierced by a deafening boom and a grinding of tons of steel coming from the rock. It seems that a hole is starting to become visible on its front wall!
At the same time, a sound of weapon being reloaded catches your attention. Hawk is looking at you with a confounded and somewhat sad gaze – you’ve faced a lot during the last few days together, after all. Then he simply points his assault rifle at your group.
“I’m sorry” – he says, placing his finger on the trigger.
Time to go
No matter the choices you make, one thing is certain: great stories await you in Waste Knights: Second Edition; stories that you will love to play. With friends or alone, you will have to find their own path to become the legend of the Waste.