Cave Rats and the The Delphi Diner
One of the new Encounter Groups in 4th edition is the “Cave Rats” or “Tunnel Rats”; these are the descendants of people who found or built underground shelter before the Wars and Asteroid strikes. They don’t have a very high technology (early 20th Century) but trade in “recycled technology, information, iron ore”. This article is an attempt to add a little more detail and suggest how a PD might incorporate them into a campaign.
The “Delphi Diner” is a relic from an earlier time – when America was mobile and the roads were safe. It is close to the Cave Rat community and is linked by power and phone lines. Warning: Following the pylons back to “Home” is discouraged. There are traps and even a few landmines on the route.
This operation is the Cavers’ link to those they call “Outsiders”. It allows them to trade and communicate without compromising the location of their community.
Local farmers regard the Cavers as good neighbors and customers. They “keep themselves to themselves” and never cause any trouble. The Cavers are appreciated for their skills at finding or making spare parts and are respected for their knowledge of the Old Times.
Inside the Diner
The interior looks a lot better than the outside (the Cavers find it hard to worry about the external appearance of a building ). However, inside the Diner, it is clean, tidy and even welcoming. MP personnel might find it a little nostalgic: artificial lighting, wood/leather furniture and stainless steel cutlery. But it’s not quite a recreation of the past – plates and beakers are made from wood.
Food & Drink
The Delphi specialises in mushrooms and meat from small animals – mostly rabbit, pigeons and snakes. It also offers a good selection of vegetables: potatoes, onions, leeks, cabbage, turnips, parsnips, peas and beans. Herbs and spices include garlic, parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt and chili peppers.
Drinks include peppermint-water (served ice cold!), sunflower seed “coffee”, vodka and dandelion wine
The staff consists of a waiter, a bartender, a cook and a “Business Manager” who does all the negotiation, trade and diplomacy work that is needed. The PCs will notice the following about the staff
1. All are friendly – but armed with large revolvers
2. All wear tough denim overalls that have numerous leather patches.
3. They all wear dark glasses that are obviously very thick and of recent construction
PD Background and Adventure Hooks
The Cavers have an epidemic-level of myopia (short-sightedness). This is partly due to the conditions in which their children develop – insufficient light and too much close work. As a consequence, many of the older Cavers have glaucoma, detached retinas and/or macular degeneration. They would be very interested to meet a Morrow Project medical unit that was capable of eye surgery.
Caver children are encouraged to spend a little time outside each day (Vitamin D deficiency is understood to be a potential problem). Children can wander off….
The Cavers are good at making lenses but they need a supply of good quality glass. Of course, this skill could also be useful if you wanted rifle optics or telescopes
One of the Caver homes (they have several) was an old fallout shelter in the basement of a Library. Most of the books have been preserved and would be of great value to the Reconstruction Effort