The Law: A Rimworld Story

I decided to write the story happening in my current game of Rimworld, as much for myself to help me get more immersed into the game as well as for those who might find this entertaining.

The set-up
I've installed most of the Vanilla Expanded mods, a collection by a team of modders that replicated the art style of the game pretty much perfectly and only added content and systems with careful consideration of how it would impact the game. They made it completely modular, with plenty of mod options for most of the modules, so you can pick and choose what systems and content you do and don't want to add.

I'm playing the Crashlanded scenario, meaning I start with 3 colonists and a bunch of resources so I can quickly set up a camp.
I'm using the Randy Random storyteller, which means that all events can trigger from the very start, though their intensity is still determined by the amount of wealth of my colony.
I'm playing on the Strive to Survive difficulty, which is the "normal" difficulty, using Commitment Mode, meaning I only have one save.

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The starting site features large hills. an ancient asphalt road and the temperature is usually between 3 Celsius and 24 Celcius, with plenty of berries to forage. Growing plants is only possible 2/3rds of the year, so I'll have to find alternative ways of getting food or make sure I'll have enough stored to last through winter.

The colonists

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"Callaway" started life as a lab rat of a hospital after they discovered she was naturally immune to a series of diseases. After they got all they needed out of her, she was released and ended up as the sheriff in an isolated industrial town. Because of her history, she has good shooting, melee and medical skills. She also has a minor passion in art and animals.

Callaway is very neurotic, meaning she works much harder than most people, but she's also more prone to mental breakdowns. She also loves the ocean, which we're sadly not anywhere close to, as well as doing the no pants dance, which is unfortunate for her as the other colonists are her son and his ex-wife.

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"Rev" is Callaway's son. With her habit of sleeping around, no one was quite sure who his father was, but the rumour started going around that he might be of noble birth, which meant there were a lot of people interested in being close to him in case he managed to inherit something. However, he ended up following his mother's example and became a sheriff himself. His history gave him good shooting, melee and social skills. He has a burning passion for animals and a minor passion for shooting and mining, but the thing he cares about most in the world is plants, though it seems he hasn't had much opportunity in his life to do anything with it.

Rev is psychically dull, meaning that he is far less affected by any psychic phenomenon, and is extremely smart, allowing him to learn new skills almost twice as fast as most other people, but also makes him more likely to suffer a mental breakdown.

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"Walsh" is the ex-wife of Rev. As a child, she fell into a coma, only waking up years later when she was already in her teens. It left her lacking in skills, but has helped her in social situations as people take pity on her. She later became a sheriff, which is presumably how she met Rev. Because of her history, she has good shooting, melee and social skills. She has a burning passion in melee and a minor passion in shooting, social and intellectual skills, with a complete apathy of cooking.

Despite her apathy in cooking, she loves eating good food. She also loves animals and would never be able to butcher one herself. Also, just like Callaway, Walsh loves the ocean.

The plan
These colonists will be able to defend themselves well, as they're all proficient with ranged and melee weapons, and they have enough medical skill to patch up any wounds sustained. While Rev's plant skill starts of very low, it'll grow so quickly that we should be able to rely on him for supplying most, if not all, of the food. Construction and crafting skills being low for all of them will mean they'll be limited in what they can build, but luckily they'll start with some decent weapons and clothing. Hopefully they'll learn fast enough so they will be able to replace their gear as it breaks and upgrade their houses once they've unlocked the right technologies. Cooking being so low means there will be a risk of food poisonings, so we'll just have to hope it won't get too bad.

Because Callaway and Walsh are both ocean lovers, the long term plan is to eventually move the entire camp to the ocean. However, I'll want all of them to have decent armour first in case of ambushes and they'll need to prepare enough food and medicine for the trip.
Because Walsh is an animal lover, I'll refrain from butchering any meat as much as possible (this isn't necessary, but a self-imposed restriction). Because of her love of good food, I'll also try to prioritize making better meals.
Rev just needs the opportunity to grow and harvest plants, which should be easy enough. It would be fun if he could eventually make a garden with every type of plant in it, but it'll make more sense to wait until the entire camp has moved to the ocean before starting on that.

Because all of them were sheriffs, they will always try to capture any wounded enemy and patch them up. Then they'll either try to reform them or let them go after a certain amount of time. They'll also be more likely to accept quests from people in need, though their own safety is their first priority. They will also eventually try to wipe out any nearby hostile factions, once they have the numbers to fight back.



That took way longer to write up than I expected and I already have about 40 more screenshots of stuff that has happened since I started playing. I'll probably have to skip a bunch of the more mundane stuff if I want to be able to keep up with any new events that happen while I keep playing.
 
Chapter 1: Touchdown
Carraway, Rev and Walsh wake up from their cryosleep to blaring alarms and the sounds of ripping metal. They barely have enough time to get to the escape pods before the ship explodes.

Luckily they land without any injuries, with a large amount of resources and food that should allow them to set up a camp and survive for the next few days. Rev even managed to save Malvina, his Great Dane. However, they know that evacuation is unlikely as they have no way to make contact and any ship seen descending on this planet will draw the attention of one or more of the many hostile factions. It'll be vital to set up shelter and find a source of food.

They find some ruins nearby which work fine as a place to store the stuff that crashed with them safe from the elements, with a big patch of fertile soil right above it. They quickly patch up the ruins and set out to build themselves some shelters, hopefully before nightfall.

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However, none of them are particularly good at construction, so it takes them a while to just get some walls put up (notice the many "construction botched" messages in the screenshot). It ends up taking two days before they each have a room with a bed and a light.

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Rev immediately sets out to plant some rice in the nearby soil while the two women start hauling the rest of the resources into the ruins. He actually seems to be having a pretty decent time, for someone who just crashlanded. Perhaps he figures he can patch things up with his ex-wife, Walsh, as their relationship has improved a lot compared to before the crash.

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Their crash must have been more visible than the three survivors had hoped, because only a few days after their arrival the first raider arrives to try his luck.

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Bringing only a poorly made knife, he was quickly taken out. Several more raiders would attempt their luck over the following days, each wielding only basic melee weapons and each being dispatched without any serious injurious beyond some bruises and the occasional cracked bone, which would heal quickly enough.

Several days after crashing on the planet, Walsh decided that since they would probably be stuck here for a while, they should give themselves a name. Something that could send fear into the hearts of bandits across the world when they would hear it.

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Being sheriffs, coming up with names wasn't their strong suit. They settled on naming their faction simply "The Law" and their settlement "The Fortress", though it didn't look like much yet.
 
Chapter 2: Growth

Some days later, another lone raider attacks the colony. However, this one manages to go down without immediately dying and subsequently receives the honour of becoming the first prisoner of The Fortress.

The hospital is quickly converted into a makeshift prison and the new prisoner's wounds are quickly tended to. After all, as former sheriffs, the colonists feel some moral duty to take care of their prisoners, they're not monsters.

As Callaway is tending to the prisoner, a flash of inspiration strikes her about how she could go about doing a successful surgery.

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Eager and impatient to try out her new inspiration, she decided that the prisoner's wounded leg is surely far too likely to get infected and it's definitely in his best interest if she were to remove it. She quickly gets to work and puts the prisoner under anaesthesia, saws off his right leg, then affixes a wooden peg leg to the stump. Satisfied with the result, she leaves the prisoner to recover.

While the prisoner is recovering, the colony receives a message from the nearby Black Swamp settlement that a friend of theirs has been wounded while travelling and they're requesting help rescuing them. Though the sheriffs had intended to help out wherever they could, their food supplies are still low and the wounded man is so far away from their settlement that any food they would bring would spoil long before they could return to the colony. With heavy heart they decide to ignore this call for help.

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Meanwhile, the prisoner has woken up and it turns out he harbours no ill feelings towards the removal of his leg. Quite the opposite, he seems so thankful for this vital emergency operation that definitely saved his life that he agrees to join the colony. Thus joins Tuch the Butcher.

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Not long after, the colony suddenly gets an incoming radio message from Zeke, a former lover of Callaway. He's being held prisoner by the Blue Grassland settlement and managed to steal a radio and send out a call for help.

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Even with Tuch helping out it's going to be tough getting the supplies together to make the trip, but Callaway insists they try and the others dare not refuse.

However, before they've managed to prepare the rescue team, the colony is attacked by three raiders from the Blue Grassland settlement.

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It's the first time the colony is attacked by raiders carrying firearms. Luckily, the sheriffs have been in plenty of shootouts before and Tuch knows his way around a blade, so together they manage to take down the raiders.

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Sadly there is no way to do a prisoner transfer.

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She's still determined to go save Zeke, her former lover, however. Once she and Tuch have recovered, they quickly resume preparations, only to be interrupted once more, this time by a broadcast from a man on the run from the Gray Expanse Bandits. Though this might interfere with their ability to help Zeke, the sheriffs decide they can't just turn the man away and tell him the location of their colony.

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Another successful firefight later, in which Callaway gets hurt again, and Elikabu the Plank Cutter is safe and the colony has grown a bit more.

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After Callaway is patched up again and now with plenty of food available, she and her son Rev set out to save Zeke, taking some of the guns dropped by the recent raiders. This turns out to be a great blessing, because when they arrive at the prison they discover that the hunting rifle actually has a longer range than the turrets, allowing them to take both of the turrets out without endangering themselves. The guard puts up more of a fight, but is eventually killed and Zeke is saved.

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While Callaway and Rev are still returning from saving Zeke, a spaceship battle erupts far above the colony. Escape pods, missed shots and burning pieces of spaceships rain down to the south of the colony.

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Walsh, Tuch and Elikabu dodge falling debris and massive explosions to pull some of the survivors from the area. The prison is quickly converted into a makeshift hospital, as the regular hospital quickly overflows, especially since Rev, Callaway and Zeke all need medical attention too when they return.

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The next few days are tense as everyone gets tended to. A flu also spreads through the colony, but eventually everyone who was saved stabilizes and four of them end up joining the colony.

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Getting enough food will be a challenge with so many more mouths to feed suddenly, new clothes will need to be made to replace the clothing that was torn during the crash landings and it'll be important to keep a close eye on everyone's mood so that no one has a mental breakdown, but for now everyone is alive at least and the colony has grown significantly.
 
Meet the recruits

With 4 new additions to our colony, let's take a quick look at what each of them brings to the table.

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Steroid is a fine addition with strong skills in both melee and shooting. Extra colonists will mean extra attention from raiders and hostile wildlife, so another skilled combatant is always useful. A crafting skill of 8 means he'll also be able to craft some decent armour.
The Drunken Master trait doesn't actually mean Steroid is an alcoholic, it just means that he becomes better at fighting while drunk.

(side note: you can see a part of the collection of graves in the top left corner, with the light blue ones being the graves that still need to be built to bury all of the bodies of the people who's escape pods didn't protect them well enough or who weren't rescued in time.)

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Lewis was an ascetic priest before crashing on this planet and has renounced the ways of violence. Not ideal in such a hostile environment, but her passions for cooking, plants and medicine means she will at least be useful, especially because she works harder than others because of her industrious trait. She's also low-maintenance because of the ascetic trait, which means she prefers having a simple bedroom.

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Bud is an experienced doctor, which is a valuable trait when living in a colony that's attacked every other day by raiders or wildlife. She's also a great farmer, which doesn't hurt considering we'll need a lot more food to feed all the new additions to the colony. Plus it means she'll be out in the field most of the time, so the rest of the colonists don't have to look at her "staggeringly ugly" face.
However, Bud is also a lush, a word I had to look up but which means she's basically an alcoholic, which is a problem as I don't have any alcohol and there's currently more important things to do than setting up a moonshine operation. She's also already world weary, meaning it'll be hard to keep her happy.

You might have also noticed that Steroid, Lewis and Bud are all incapable of social skills. This luckily only affects their ability to talk to traders and convince prisoners to join, they have no problems bonding with the other colonists.

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Last and least, we have Redwyn, a former con artist and another colonist who refuses all violence. Her social skills will come in handy when trading, though Walsh's skills are almost as good and she's abrasive to her fellow colonists. She's a natural at crafting, which doesn't hurt, but it'll take a while before she's better than Steroid. Her animal skill is useless to me as I have no interest in starting a farm, since I decided not to butcher any animals because Walsh is an animal lover and I don't have any need for other animal products. She's even bad at hauling stuff because she's a slowpoke. At least she's an optimist, so it shouldn't be too hard to keep her happy while she makes everyone else miserable with her abrasiveness.


Besides Steroid, these are not people I would've chosen to join my colony, but circumstances brought them here and I will not abandon them to their fate.
 
Chapter 3: Love, Death + Robot

Now the big question is whether the new additions to the colony will integrate well. Especially Redwyn, being abrasive, might cause problems. However, these fears are quickly quashed.

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In the week after Redwyn joined the colony, Rev has fallen in love and Redwyn has now reciprocated his feelings. It seems Rev has finally gotten over his ex-wife, Walsh.

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Only one day later, Callaway and Tuch get into a fight after Callaway insulted Tuch's parents. Luckily, both of them only used their fists and they just got some bruises, which are quickly patched up.

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Only two days after Callaway's insults, the colony receives a message from Tuch's father. The message isn't very clear, but it's obvious that Tuch has been wounded and that whatever wounded him is still in the area. Tuch, Walsh and Steroid quickly gear up and set out.

(Side note: I only just noticed that it says the father is 28. Either he was very young when he fathered Tuch or years are significantly longer on this planet than on Earth).

Once the rescue party arrives they discover Tuch was ambushed by a couple of raiders, who are quickly taken care of. Scott is patched up and taken to the colony to recover.

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While Scott isn't particularly experienced in any skill, his many passions mean he'll pick up anything he'll try. It's a shame he has zero combat skills though.

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While Scott was still being brought back to the colony, a group of genetically engineered animals passes by the colony. These creatures are violent beyond reason and will attack any humans on sight. One can only guess these were the early experiments of someone trying to create a new type of weapon who either escaped or were just set loose upon the world.

While these particularly ones are relatively small, one still manages to gnaw open an artery and Callaway bleeds to death before anyone manages to stop the bleeding.

It's the first death of the original three members and the first of the colony. Morale had just increased a bit as the new people had settled in, this will be a major setback again.

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Bud actually finds some joy in Callaway's death as she struggles with alcohol addiction. She hasn't had any alcohol since she joined the colony and there have been no attempts to set up a brewing station either.

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After relying on windmills and a couple of batteries for a long time, which resulted in frequent blackouts, the colony's top scientists have finally figured out how to harness the potential of the nearby steam geysers. This should reduce the chance of food in the freezer spoiling and people getting mad because their heater/cooler or lights stop working.

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And I don't mean angry, she fully loses her mind. I cannot even begin to guess on the why, but she develops a sudden obsession with corpses and decides to dig one up to show everyone. There's plenty of graves to pick from and she decides on an older one, digging up a rotting corpse and dumping it on the dinner table. Everyone else is of course horrified and the body is quickly reburied.

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It's impossible to tell if any bacteria from the corpse had been carried over to Walsh, whether the guinea pig that had bit him earlier just had a very dirty mouth or whether the infection had come from somewhere else entirely. I suppose it doesn't really matter, the infection proved too much for Walsh. Only 8 days after the death of Callaway, a second member of the colony and second member of the original three has died.

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Melvina, Walsh' dog, goes mad and starts attacking people around him at random. He has to be put down, luckily before seriously wounding anyone. Morale is dropping fast and measures need to be taken.

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Bud has had several smaller mental breaks, both before and after she dug up a corpse, and it doesn't seem she's improving. To prevent another mental break affecting the rest of the colony, Bud is placed in the prison.

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Bud attempts to escape, but does not actually have the skills to do so. The debilitating effects of alcohol withdrawal, which are still increasing in strength, do not help either.

You might notice the "new lovers" notification in the lower right. It seems that two of the colonists have bonded together in these difficult times. However, I forgot to take a screenshot and I'm not sure who it refers to.

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While the notification mentions a group of mechanoids, only one actually lands in the area near my base and he's quickly dealt with. All of my colonists are healthy at this point and being able to focus their fire on one target means it doesn't even get close enough to attack anyone.

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A passing caravan sold the colony a prosthetic leg. It's not really a proper replacement for the leg Callaway cut off, but it's better than the wooden peg leg he has now. Tuch is quickly prepared for surgery by Zeke, who isn't the best doctor, but how hard can it be to install a prosthetic leg?

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Tuch only suffers minor wounds, but the prosthetic leg is broken in the process. Tuch is quickly patched up and his wooden peg leg is put back again.
 

McStabStab

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Jan 13, 2020
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This is impressive and also really makes me want to do a new Rimworld start. So vanilla expanded I take it means you don't have the Royalty, Ideology, or Biotech DLCs, correct?
 
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This is impressive and also really makes me want to do a new Rimworld start. So vanilla expanded I take it means you don't have the Royalty, Ideology, or Biotech DLCs, correct?

Thank you. I had a bunch more screenshots, but writing all this out with all of the pictures was taking more effort than I expected.

I don't have the DLC (yet), but Vanilla Expanded does work for the DLC as far as I'm aware. The "vanilla" part refers to how the mod tries to stick as close as possible to the unmodded gameplay and graphics, increasing the amount of options you have without making any of them worse or better than any other.

At least one of the Vanilla Expanded mods was integrated into the base game, which shows how good of a job they're doing.
 
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