P OST-WAR AMERIC AThe alternate Post-War America had a history resembling our own until about the 1940s. With a slight difference in how science worked, there was a divergence in the timeline, creating a world with laser guns, Motorama-style vehicles, and housecleaning robots. Futurism, art deco, and radio stayed the order of the day, and with further emphasis on supercomputers and nuclear technology, culture stagnated beyond the 40s and 50s. On October 23rd, 2077, ultra-nuclear bombs were launched from China to the United States, turning what had been a decade of war into the Great War. The Great War and an ongoing energy crisis threw the public into riots, the United States commonwealths dissolved into an irradiated wasteland, and it wasn’t until about a century later that settlements began to establish and life started moving again.Fractions of the post-war wasteland that have made it through the divide are strange indeed. Outdated culture mixes with incredible technology and dangerous radiation. Old style diners are manned by advanced robots. Laser rifles resemble props from old TV shows. Resources from other worlds have helped some of the post-war settlements find more stable footing, as many were struggling for even the barest essentials in their original world. Still, many of the citizens of the waste have had trouble adapting to the bizarre mangling of societies and realities created by the Great Collide.VAULTSBefore the bombs fell, the US government commissioned Project: Safehouse, or the Societal Preservation Program. The Vault-Tec Corporation built 122 bomb-proof underground vaults all across the United States. At the start of the Great War, the panic invoked by the first bombs falling lead to most of the vaults being sealed with most of their signed up inhabitants. Each vault was designed to hold up to 100 people, with all the supplies and necessities needed to support life for 900 years.However, Vault-Tec and the US government never believed the bombs would actually fall, and the vaults were reallycommissioned as an inhumane social experiment. Each vault was assigned a particular “quirk” in order to monitor and analyze the effects--and the general effects of isolation--on pre-selected inhabitants. In addition to the 122 public vaults, there’s an undisclosed number or private vaults Vault-Tec built for actuallysurviving a nuclear holocaust. Those that manage to come out of the experimental vaults alive and intact tend to have various mental hangups, from xenophobia to agoraphobia or worse.The Vault-Tec vaults, while being a horror story in human detachment and callousness, are also a source of several distinct technologies in the wasteland. RobCo Pip-Boys are personal information processors that strap the user’s wrist, and are capable of storing large amounts of information, as well as transfering that information to and from holodisks and data tubes. They often include Geiger counters, mapping systems, radios, inventory journals, and can monitor the health and status of the wearer. Because of their immense utility, they’re often sought after by adventurers, explorers, and survivalists. Pip-Boys were standard issue for Vault-Tec inhabitants, and from within the vaults they were safe from the rigors of the Great War. Most of the surviving Pip-Boys are strapped to vault survivors, or are still buried in the madness of unexplored vaults.