The City, After

This entry is part of the PBM List.

Costs: free
Frequency: minimum of one per week
URL: [ dead link ]
Type: Post Apocalyptic Fantasy Game
Last-Update: 2009Oct19
Keywords: free, open-ended, www, human, fantasy, rpg


The City, After

Life in the city was good. We had working sewers, running water in some houses - a stand-pipe on every street, that was for sure - the mages created wondrous things for our entertainment and our defense. The walls were high and strong, a relic of times past when the plains outside teamed with enemies. We had been at peace for three generations.

And then, one night, everything changed. The night of fire changed everything. The mages found their power corrupted. The land outside the walls changed. Nothing was safe any more. The city guard are fighting something in the sewers - and the caves below, we didn't even know were there. We have fresh water for the moment but I don't know how long our food supplies will last.

Rumor has it one of the mages knew what was happening, worked to prevent it but he was killed. His notes might help us undo what was done. His tower was lost during the Night, though. First we've got to find it.


What's the gen?

The City: After is a post-apocalpytic fantasy roleplaying game set in the world of Desolation ( and using the Ubiquity system first developed for Hollow Earth Expeditions ( The apocalypse in question, an event dubbed "The Night of Fire" happened within recent living memory and the world is starting to recover from both that and the long winter that followed.

Where's it set?

OK. Open your Desolation books to the map inside the front cover. If you don't have Desolation yet, you can get the map here: You're looking for the word "Empire" on the right-hand side of the map. The city of Khadim sits at the point of the lake where the middle of the "m" in "Empire" is. Please note that this map is pre-Night of Fire and no geography can be relied upon.

I thought fantasy games were all dungeon crawls!

Not necessarily. I'm a fan of city-based gaming as I feel you have to spend more time developing character over killing the next monster. Role-playing versus roll-playing if you like. Opportunities for Dungeon Crawling abound, however - Khadim had a very extensive sewer network that was part-built by the Dwarves. All that waste has to go somewhere, and it goes deep...

What sort of characters are you looking for?

The characters are all to be members of the City Guard. Following the Night of Fire, the City Guard became the cohesive force that held the city together, kept rioting under control, distributed food, and so on. The Malcontents (named after their commander, Alec Mal) are respected - for the most part. Characters could have been guardsmen (or women) who came through the Night. Or they could be recent recruits to the Guard. Alec Mal has a habit of conscripting the ringleaders of any troublesome groups so that he can keep a closer eye on them. Several dozen magi served alongside the Guard, working out of the city's Watchtowers. Only two of those towers survived the Night. No race is prohibited, though any of the Oruskans might be in for a harder time of it. Before the Night of Fire, the human:non-human ratio was roughly 50:1. It's closer to 20:1 now...

Sounds interesting. But I'd like to know more.

So would I. The city and it's environs are in a state of flux at the moment. I'm not even sure how many people lived there before the Night, how many survived. The beauty of the Desolation setting is that the geography is entirely your own to play with. Anyone who's dealt with the Warhammer game in it's various incarnations might have come across "Chaos Terrain". That's what we're dealing with here. Areas of the landscape could be fluid, changing from one day to the next. I'm open to suggestions - we've got quite a large area around the city to work with (and there's the city itself, which has hardly come through unscathed).

If you've got questions, please visit the forums at NextGen RPG and ask them! Any particularly juicy or useful answers will be added to this here or the official The City: After OAQ. (That's Occasionally Asked Questions).

Is there a meta-plot?

I'd be lying if I said there wasn't. However, until I have my cast of characters I can't finalize anything... But I can tell you that there are some rather prophetic writings that have been discovered in the ruins of one of the Watchtowers.

What's the system?

Desolation uses the Ubiquity system - I can't explain it any more eloquently than the game's designers do here:

More information about character creation can be found here:

I don't have Desolation. Can I still submit a character?

Of course. If you don't own Desolation yet (and I stress the yet there. It's a fantastic game) then please submit a character concept using the Motivation-Personality-History guidelines laid out here: I can then take that and between us work it into a full character with all appropriate numbers. And there's a cheat-sheet for character creation over on Scribd here:

What about Survivors? Will you be using material from this supplement?

Yes. And a few more sources that aren't so obvious. No-one out there's got Unhallowed Metropolis, have they? Good. Hot War? No? Excellent.

Where will you be playing? What are the Posting Requirements? How do I submit? and what's the deadline?

The game will take place at, where we will use the web 2.0 workflow tools to collaborate on the game moves. No knowledge is needed, it's super simple, instead of using pbp or pbem, we use a single document for each game move. It's like a living breathing compile, where the GM and all the players hop in and out of the same document when they make their posts.

Posting Requirements: Minimum of 1 post per week, however the ability to check in three times a week would be preferred, sometimes these games can enjoy a rapid pace. Where the slowest member sets the pace.

Please send your characters to: via email: archives (at) filesandrecords (dot) com PM on NextGen site to Imajica

Deadline is October 31st for Submissions! Feel free to ask questions.


Played the game? You can send me comments to be placed on this page by writing But don't write me attempting to join the game -- write the GM, whose address is above.

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Greg Lindahl