If you’re not familiar with what Rimworld is, I suggest reading at least the first little bit of the description on the game’s website. In short, it’s a sci-fi remote planet colony management simulator. This piece follows the story of Tom, Budd, and Justin – three civilian survivors from a crashed space ship. They must survive on a rim world at the edge of known space. This playthrough was with the Beta 18 version of the game, with a few mods.
The story begins with the same message on screen as last time:
The three of you awake from your cryptosleep sarcophagi to the sound of sirens and ripping metal. You barely make it to the escape pods before the ship is torn apart. Some time later, you land on an unknown rimworld…
The escape pods land in a thick tropical rainforest in the southern foothills of a mountain range. To the west is a massive bog called the East Gray Basin, and to the east is a region known as Wiseeye Grove. You can see the location of the crash site/new colony in the global map image below, marked by the white hexagon icon in the center (all images are clickable to view the full resolution version).
Below you can see the local terrain (the game takes place entirely at ground level in two dimensions. The large grey areas are the inside of stone hills and mountains.). It’s the 2nd day of spring, and the year is 5500 CE. The weather is a very pleasant 23 degrees C. The area is absolutely choked with vegitation, including palm, bamboo and teak trees and countless smaller shrubs and bushes. Nearby fauna include alpacas, capybara, panthers, monkeys, and boomalopes. A boomalope is a large, camel-like animal with large yellow exposed fleshy sacs on it’s body which are filled with explosive gas. Ignore the large square building to the left for now – it is an ancient structure and will come into play later.
As before. the escape pods contain a few starting resources for survival, including wood, metal, medicine, electrical components, packaged survival meals, some silver (currency), and three weapons: a knife, a pistol, and a survival rifle. Also in Budd’s escape pod is Lorentz, a 7 year old male husky. Lorentz is not owned by any of the three survivors, so his background is not known. Tom is the most experienced shooter, so he takes the survival rifle while Justin takes the pistol, and Budd the knife.
Below are the personality characteristics of each survivor. The names have been censored because they’re named after real people. The skill levels range from 0-20, with 10 being a very high degree of skill for the average person, and 20 being a prodigy. The size of the flames beside each skill represent the amount of interest, or passion, each colonist has for that skill. The more fire, the more interested they are, and the faster they learn that skill through practice. I varied the starting parameters a bit this time to keep things interesting and have somewhat well-rounded group.
Our trio first spends a few minutes scouting out the immediate area, then sit down to eat their first meal. The early afternoon is spent hauling all of the crash landed resources to a nearby clearing, to take stock of what they have to work with. A rudimentary wooden structure is built by the evening against an ancient stone wall, before the three sit down by the campfire to discuss their plans for the next day.
The next day, Tom and Budd get to work establishing a basic power system, including some solar panels, a large battery, indoor lights and a heater for the cold nights. Justin spent the morning clearing an area nearby and planting crops, and was joined by Budd in the afternoon, while Tom got to work clearing the vegetation from inside the building and the trees closest to the walls. The third day is uneventful, and was spent largely planting further crops and clearing vegetation. The primary building was expanded some on the fourth day to the full length of the ancient wall, with a basic electric stove and countertop installed for preparing simple meals and butchering animals when that would inevitably become necessary. That night, three travelers passed through the area, stopping for a short time to inspect the odd structure in the middle of the jungle.
The following day, it became apparent that the supply of metal materials was depleted, and that more would need to be mined from the nearby deposit in the side of a hill. Budd and Tom get to work on digging out the materials, while Justin assembles a table and chairs. While working on this, Justin realizes this newfound community needed a name, and after a brief debate, a name was decided: Crashville.
Not long afterwards, a notification appeared in the game: A nearby monkey had gone mad, and would attack the first person it sees. Within minutes a monkey came screaming through the jungle, making a beeline towards Crashville. Tom took aim with his rifle and fired a single shot, striking the monkey in the chest and killing it instantly. Fresh meat was enjoyed for dinner. Also that evening a research desk was built, so Justin could begin working to develop more advanced technology to assist with the survival of the colony.
The following morning, a man named Benni came running into the region, screaming about being chased by pirates, and requesting help. Not the kind of group to decline such a request, the three accepted the call to arms and prepared to receive the incoming hostiles. A minute later, a single pirate from a faction known as The Killers of Murder enters the area wielding a steel shiv and, spotting Benni cowering near Crashville, attacks. Tom and Justin sprung from behind trees when the pirate was within engagement range and opened fire. The pirate was struck twice in the chest by bullets from Tom’s rifle, perforating his liver. A third gunshot, from Justin’s pistol, struck the invader in the stomach and swiftly ended his life.
Benni, it turns out, is a 39 year old paramedic, and despite being a particularly greedy individual (in addition to being a pyromaniac), his medical skills far exceed those of the original trio, and so he is welcomed to join Crashville with open arms. The invader was buried in a simple grave close to where he fell, and Benni took the steel shiv as his own weapon. It was nighttime before anybody realized that Benni did not have a bed, so he ended up sleeping on a pile of rocks outside.
The following day, food began to grow short, so Tom set out on a hunting expiditon and returned in the evening with several dead cassowary. Budd and Benni worked on constructing some bedroom buildings, where each person could have their own private space. In the distance to the south west, several cargo pods crash into the terrain – they contain an enormous amount of smokeleaf (the game version of marijuana).
Another day passes, and a notification comes though. The Killers of Murder had sent someone to find out what happened to their man. That someone turns out to be a man nicknamed Undie, who enters the area from the north, and is carrying a knife. He assaults the group, and is defeated – see below for the play-by-play of the combat, and in particular, note that Benni might be having a bit too much fun with it all (please note that the combat listed in reverse order, with the most recent at the top and the oldest at the bottom, so read them from the bottom upwards).
Undie’s leg has been ripped off in the fighting, and he is understandably incapacitated as a result. Justin drags Undie into one of the unfinished bedrooms and locks him inside, using the room as a makeshift prison cell. Benni, after some conversation, agrees to tend to Undie’s wounds. Looking at Undie’s stats, he is clearly a good shot and could be of use around Crashville. The following day, Justin talks Undie into joining the group on his first attempt to do so. Undie also proves to be a very helpful builder – he and Tom finish the extra bedrooms very quickly, and begin planning an expansion to the main building. Justin trusts Undie enough to give him is gun, and Undie (still with only one full leg) and Tom go hunting for more food, this time scoring a pair of capybaras. That night, Tom was walking near the large, unknown structure to the west of the camp, and this message appears:
The next few days are very productive for Crashville. Justin and Budd plant more crops to feed the ever-increasing number of mouths. A trader visits, as well, and Justin purchases his excess steel in exchange for some old furniture. Benni takes a long hike to the southwest corner of the map to retrieve the smokeleaf from the crashed cargo pods, and everyone puts it to good use. Another trader arrives a day after the first one, but this one is selling only one thing, and in great quantity: human leather. None is purchased.
On the fourth day since Undie joined the group, a raid appears. This time, though, it’s a group of three tribal warriors from the Nation of Bilcamdaca. Two of them are armed with bows, and one with a club.
The tribal warriors didn’t last very long against Crashville’s more modern weapons, but Benni was hit by two arrows (one in the torso plus one badly cut his right hand), and Justin took an arrow to the chest as well. Two of the tribals were gunned down and outright killed, and Lorentz chased down the wounded third as he attempted to flee and tore him to shreds. Lorentz took an arrow to the body and was accidentally shot by Undie in the fighting.
The following two days were uneventful, and everyone eventually recovered from their wounds. Tom crafted a peg leg for Undie, and Benni installed it, greatly increasing Undie’s mobility. The expansion to the main building was completed, as well as some further hunting and food gathering. The tribal raiders were buried in graves near where they fell. Things were pretty okay.
On the second day of summer, the tribal warriors attacked a second time. They sent a larger force as well, five in total. Three were armed with bows, one with a club, and one with a knife.
The fight happened quickly. The club-wielding tribal charges ahead towards the colony firing line, and in short order he is riddled with bullets and falls to the ground unconscious. Shortly behind him, however, is the tribal with the knife, and he successfully closes to melee distance while the archers provide covering fire. The tribal warrior with the knife reaches Justin first. Justin swings his knife at the enemy but misses, and the tribal immediately counterattacks, plunging his knife into the top of Justin’s skull. Justin collapses in a heap as Budd and Lorentz reach melee distance, and a brutal fight ensues. Budd repeatedly stabs the tribal, but he would not go down until Lorentz eventually manages to rip open the tribals neck, leaving it a gorey mess. Meanwhile, Tom, Undie and Benni are engaged in a gunfight with the archers, and eventually one is shot through the neck and killed. The remaining two archers flee from the fight, but not without injuries – one had his eye shot out and the other would leave his left hand behind.
Budd had taken an arrow in the side of his torso, and Benni had several lacerations from glancing arrow hits. Lorentz was very badly injured; his tail was ripped off, and he had multiple stab wounds and broken bones. Justin was non-responsive but alive, the handle of the raiders knife still protruding from the top of his head.
Justin, Benni and Lorentz were carried back to the colony, where Budd began treating their injuries with an arrow still sticking out of his torso. Tom went back to recover the tribal with the club who had multiple gunshot wounds, and dragged him into one of the bedrooms to be kept as a prisoner. Budd and Tom worked long into the night to heal their comrades, while Undie prepared food to keep them fed. Benni was patched up well enough, but Lorentz was barely clinging to life. The knife was removed from Justin’s skull, but the blade had cut deep into his brain. He was in a coma. The prisoner’s health declined rapidly as well, and the decision was made that the resources could not be spared to keep him alive. Tom accepted the grim responsibility, and slit the prisoners throat while he slept.
The next few days were quiet – a Godsend, considering the state of affairs. Tom spends some time fashioning new pants for everyone out of animal skins, while Budd spends some alone time working on some artwork. Some additional animals are hunted for food. Lorentz’s healing progresses well, and he and Benni form a bond. Justin wakes up from his coma after two days, but it quickly becomes apparent that he isn’t the Justin he was before. He had suffered serious brain damage. His cognitive abilities are, at best, 40% of their previous level. He is unable to stand or walk, as he cannot keep his balance, and is in constant moderate pain.
On the third day since the fight, some traders arrived to peddle their wares. Among them is something that might be able to help Justin, a rare drug called Luciferium.
The trader only had a single pill, and was demanding no less than 480 silver for it. This was more than Crashville had, and so the trader was sent on his way, but Tom couldn’t stop thinking about what possibilities Luciferium could have. Eventually he develops a plan. The ancient structure that was to the west of the colony – the one that filled Tom with dread when he was around it – may contain valuables that could be traded for Luciferium. There was no telling what was inside, but it was a risk that seemed worth it if Justin could be healed.
The following night, while sitting around the dining table, Tom had finally thought it over enough. They were going to do it, and they were going to do it right now. Some travellers who had been camping for the night, watched from afar as Tom and Undie took up firing positions. Benni took cover behind an old wall while Budd swung a pickaxe into the wall of the ancient stone building.
After a few tense minutes, the wall crumbled away. Budd peered inside, his eyes adjusting to the darkness. It was one giant, cavernous room, with several dim lights glowing faintly throughout. One of them moved, and a mechanical chattering noise was quickly followed up by a loud snap as a section of wall exploded beside Budd’s head. The building was filled with Mechanoids – ancient killing machines – and they were still active!
Budd and Benni flee towards Undie’s location as the mechanoids attack, but both take hits from heavy charge blaster shots. One of the mechanoids follows behind them, and fires an inferno cannon blast towards Undie, setting him and his surroundings on fire.
Tom opens fire on the mechanoids as they emerge through the hole, and is shot in the foot with a charge lance. The others retreat back to base to have their wounds dealt with, while Tom stays back to keep the mechanoids busy and hold them off. A heavy rain starts which douses the jungle fire, and after observing the mechanoids for a while it becomes clear that they are not pressing an attack, but rather remaining around the ancient building – presumably defending it. Tom falls back to base to have his foot looked at – it would never heal properly and Tom would be in constant pain for the rest of his life. That night everyone has a very uneasy sleep.
That morning, some visitors arrived in the area with some items to trade. Unaware of the mechanoids, they stroll right up to the ancient structure and are attacked. They are both killed in a swift battle ending with a huge explosion that set the jungle ablaze again.
Once again, as luck would have it, heavy rains set in and the fire was dispersed before reaching Crashville. A few hours later things took a turn once again. A pack of a dozen enraged ibex entered the area, and in a murderous rampage they assault the mechnoids. The mechanoids do not initially recognize the animals as threatening until they are attacked at melee distance where their advanced weapons are of little use. At the time, the mechanoids were dispersed around the building and so the ibex are able to attack each of them individually.
One by one the mechanoids fell, their metal bodies smashed and their wires severed by the furious animals. Eventually they were all defeated, and half of the ibex remained.
The ibex remained outside the walls of Crashville. Why they did not try to break inside may never be understood. However, they were still enraged, and their grunts could be heard through the walls. The decision was made to remain indoors until the ibex left. Benni, having a few moments to sit and realize the predicament, has a mental break. In a panic he runs outside, and tries to run into the woods, but the ibex are immediately on top of him and pummel him into the dirt.
After a few hours, Benni comes to and manages to crawl a short distance back to the door. The ibex swarm him again and he is once again stunned, but now he was close enough to the door for a rescue attempt. Tom manages to drag him inside and his wounds were not life threatening. A few hours later, the ibex leave, and the half a dozen dead ibex are hauled into the freezer – no sense in wasting good meat!
Tom spends a few hours ensuring the mechanoids are dead for good with some well placed gunshots and field disassembly, and when he enters the now-safe ancient structure, something catches his eye. Luciferium. Sixteen pills – enough for almost a year! He snatches it up and is heading back to base when another tribal raid appears. Undie, Budd and Benni hold off the attackers while Tom rushes into the hospital room and administers a luciferium pill to Justin, before rushing back outside to join the fight. In less than one minute, Justin is out of bed and, clutching the very knife that had been embedded into his skull weeks before, heads towards the fight for vengeance.
By the time Justin gets outside, the fight was already over. Benni and Budd are wounded but not seriously, but Undie was badly stabbed and Lorentz had multiple stab wounds, including one in the left eye, leaving it intact but ruined.
Many days pass without incident.. Recovery is slow for Undie and Lorentz. Justin, while mobile now, is still far from back to normal. His consciousness is now 46% of normal. He can feed himself and perform simple tasks, but his movement is painfully slow. A few days later, Tom and Undie are both diagnosed with Sleeping Sickness. The two of them are completely fed up – the festering blood and vomit on the floor, the disease, the pain of so many numerous injuries – and binge on smokeleaf. Budd was finally able to finish the artwork he had started at the beginning of the season.
A Difficult Debt
This carving bears and illustration of Benni practicing hauling with a husky as Benni thinks of what’s for lunch. Benni is shaking his head in frustration. The image is totally devoid of both cataclysm and decency. If you squint your eyes, the triangular composition of the image reveals the outline of a sea urchin.
A few very hot days keep everyone mostly indoors and in the shade, but Justin toiled away at harvesting the fully grown smokeleaf plants, insisting it was important work. The weather leads to a tornado entering the area, but it passes south of Crashville without causing any damage.
The following day, Budd was working in the workshop when he heard creaking and scratching sounds coming from underground nearby. A few moments later a hole formed in the stone floor of the base, and several giant insects emerged, the largest the size of a horse. Budd fled to get the others and they returned to fight off the creatures.
The fight was easier than was expected, with Budd and Lorentz suffering minor injuries. The giant insects, frightening as they appeared, were really quite fragile. Shortly thereafter, Benni and Justin also acquire sleeping sickness.
Nothing really happens for the next few days. While this would normally be a good time for the colony to progress, this time almost nothing gets done, because everyone is sick except for Budd, who is injured, and the colony had run out of medicine. A bulk goods trader passed by, but they carried nothing that Crashville did not already have, so some excess junk was sold off for silver and the trader moved on. Justin takes his second Luciferium pill to maintain the mechanites in his body, bringing the stockpile down to 14 pills.
After a few days, a huge fireball streaks across the sky as a piece of an alien ship enters the atmosphere and slams into the ground southwest of Crashville. A message is displayed on screen.
The newly introduced stressor on Toms mind causes him to crack, and he goes on a tantrum, smashing several things including Benni’s end table before coming to his senses. The ship emits a psychic pulse that drives animals in the area into a murderous rage. Several wild boars attack the colony – they are put down before anything is damaged, but Undie and Budd are injured. Moments later a pair of alphabeavers (giant man-sized beavers) attack Justin and he is knocked out.
The alphabeavers are killed as well and Justin, Undie and Budd return to the hospital room for treatment. Shortly thereafter, an escape pod crash lands nearby. Tom goes to investigate it and finds a woman nicknamed Diva inside, badly injured. She is carried back to base for treatment. Undie then has a mental break and goes on a tantrum. He rushes into the storage area and begins smashing things. Tom is able to subdue him, but not before all of the remaining luciferium pills are destroyed. It was clear the alien ship was wreaking havoc on the minds of the colonists. With little time to deal with the problem of the luciferium being destroyed, Tom, Budd, Benni and Undie leave to destroy the alien ship part and end it’s psychic droning. After taking a few potshots at the crashed debris, several mechanoids emerge to defend it. The ship emits another psychic pulse that drives animals mad, but this the animals attack the mechanoids and eventually only one mechanoid remains. It is swiftly defeated in brief gunfight that left no colonists injured for a change. The alien ship part was fired upon until it resembled swiss cheese, and everyone returned to base.
The following morning, Budd was able to convince Diva to join the colony, and while she was still recovering from her injuries, she was optimistic about her ability to contribute to the group. A few hours later, Lorentz was attacked by a panther while wandering north of the camp. Budd rushed to his aid, where he shot and killed the panther, but it was too late. Lorentz was dead. Many of the colonists mourned the loss of their faithful companion, but Benni took it the hardest. Already bedridden from the sleeping sickness, he drifted in and out of consciousness, but when he was awake all he could do was cry over the loss of his friend. Budd buried Lorentz just outside the main building so that he would always remain close by.
By noon that day, the withdrawal symptoms of the luciferium begin to appear in Justin. He eventually collapses on the floor, writhing in unimaginable pain. Budd carts him back into the hospital where Justin became bedridden once again, his sleeping sickness also progressing steadily.
Undie, on the other hand, makes a remarkable recovery from his sleeping sickness. Tom however is now in the final stages of the disease, he is delirious and bedridden. Budd does his best to tend to his sick friends, but the stress overcomes him and he goes on a food eating binge.
The situation is now looking awfully dire for Tom, Justin and Benni. Without medicine Tom and Benni would surely die from their sleeping sickness, and Justin desperately needed luciferium to maintain the mechanites coursing through his veins. Benni also contracts the flu, just to top it all off. Diva volunteered to hike to the nearest other settlement to try and trade for medical supplies. It would be a dangerous 2-3 day hike there through the jungle, and another 2-3 days back, but there did not seem to be any other choice. She set out immediately, taking all of the colony’s silver, some valuables, and 10 days worth of food.
Within a couple hours of Diva’s departure, a raid appears on the eastern edge of the map. Seven tribal warriors approached the encampment. With Tom slipping into a coma and Justin writhing in unimaginable pain, Budd and Undie rush outside to try and repel the attack. Benni also drags himself out of bed to help, despite being exhausted and confused.
The battle unfolds quickly. Benni takes an arrow to the stomach almost immediately, causing him to stumble out of cover. Another arrow pierces his chest, and he falls to the ground in shock. Budd also takes two arrows, one to the leg and one to the kidney, but manages to shoot and kill one of the tribal warriors despite the injuries. Undie shoots and kills one of the invaders with a shot to the brain. Budd takes a third arrow to the other kidney, and a fourth in the left lung. He finally collapses to the ground, leaving only Undie still standing.
The raiders decide that they are now going to kidnap who they can and leave. They head towards Budd and Benni while Undie continues to open fire. He manages to kill one of them, while another was able to grab Budd and begin dragging him away. The other three raiders begin setting fires. Undie manages to land a couple hits on that raider dragging Budd, killing her and narrowly missing Budd in the process. The other three raiders decide to flee. Undie, being terrified of fire, leaves it to burn. He opts instead to grab Benni and haul him to a medical bed, then turns back to go retrieve Budd.
When he returns to the medical room with Budd, he is astounded to find Justin was standing up. The mechanites that were introduced into his body nearly a half a year prior, in the hopes that they could boost his health and functioning ability, had fully healed his brain injury. He was still in extreme pain from the withdrawal, but he could now walk, talk, and work. A heavy rain set in and began extinguishing the fires outside, so Justin immediately set to work healing Benni’s wounds, and then Budd’s as well. Eventually the fires are out, but both solar panels are destroyed. At this point, Justin has a moment to take it all it. He has not eaten in quite some time, and his entire body is in extreme pain from luciferium withdrawal. He is fully joy-deprived and has serious cabin fever, having been bedridden for weeks. His immediate surroundings are a disgusting hospital room, covered in filth and blood both old and new. In the three beds around him, three of his closest friends, the comrades he had been surviving with for more than eight months, are barely clinging to life. At that moment, Undie walks into the room, soaked an exhausted from dealing with the situation outside, and fires a sarcastic remark towards Justin. Justin snaps, and flies into a rage. He punches Undie twice in the face – hard – before Undie is able to stumble out the door and attempt to flee. Justin chases Undie and catches him just before the main entrance, and begins pummeling him with a series of blows. Undie’s left ring finger gets ripped off as he falls through the doorway, and when he hits the ground his gun goes off. The bullet goes into Undie’s leg, shattering his right femur.
Justin leaves Undie and returns inside, still completely furious, and roams angrily. After a short while Undie manages to drag himself back inside, whereupon Justin kicks him in the head, breaking his nose and knocking him unconscious.
Several hours pass. Justin eventually calms down enough to come to his senses, and drags Undie into the hospital room. He checks on Budd, who now has clearly developed infections in his kidneys and torso where the tribal arrows had pierced him. Justin spends two hours carefully cutting away Budd’s rotting flesh, but his efforts are in vain. Budd dies from his infections, and after a few minutes of mourning, Justin places a blanket over his bygone friend. He turns around to check on Tom, but he too has died sometime in the past few hours, his sleeping sickness eventually stopping his heart.
Justin checks Tom’s pulse, initially not believing both of his friends had died, and as the reality sets into his mind he flies into a rage again and storms out of the room, ready to pummel the next thing he sees. Benni dies only minutes later from his medley of ailments (sleeping sickness, malnutrition, blood loss, and the flu).
Justin, now outside in the pouring rain and consumed with ungovernable rage, finds a wild boar. He stabs it, again and again, but the boar manages to give Justin a serious laceration on the neck in the fight. Eventually the animal is screaming and attempts to escape, but Justin is faster than it is, and he continues to plunge his knife into the boar again and again. Eventually the boar collapses, and Justin alternates between punches and stabs, until the blade of his knife snaps off. This fills him with renewed fury, and he leaves the boar to find something else to kill.
Shortly afterwards, he finds an emu. Justin chases it down, grabs it by the neck, and in a wood-chopping motion he flings the emu over his shoulder and slams it into the ground. He does this again and again, the bird’s neck and body completely broken, until his arms cannot continue, and he collapses to the ground from complete exhaustion. His neck is bleeding severely now, Justin having ignored it entirely in his rage.
Undie, with his right femur shattered and the bullet still inside, and bleeding profusely from his ripped off pinky finger, manages to drag himself out of his hospital bed in attempt to get food from the kitchen, but is so exhausted and delirious from the effort that he returns to his hospital bed before getting halfway there, despite the other three beds being occupied by corpses. A few hours later he wakes up again, and he attempts again to haul himself to the kitchen once more. Justin also happens to be returning at that same moment, and Justin again pummels Undie into the a coma. Justin stumbles back outside where he collapses from his blood loss.
After a few hours, Justin bleeds out. More time passes. Eventually the batteries are finally exhausted, and Crashville plunges into darkness. For many hours Undie drifts in and out of consciousness, occasionally managing to drag himself a couple feet towards the freezer full of food. He never makes it. After two days, he finally dies.
Two days later, Diva returns. Tired and exhausted, but with a variety of medical supplies, she finds Crashville now inhabited only by dead bodies. She spends the next day digging graves and burying bodies, and the following day repairing the power systems. Another day is spent cleaning the blood, and a fourth day harvesting the crops. On the fifth day, a she is attacked outside by a boomalope.
The boomalope closes to melee range before Diva kills it, but it’s gas sacs rupture in a huge explosion. Diva’s jaw is shattered, her spine and right leg are fractured, and her left arm is badly hurt. She collapses on the ground, unconscious. A few minutes later, presumably nearby and attracted by the explosion, pirates from The Killers Of Murder arrive. The pirates set fire to the buildings, and one of them lifts Diva up onto his shoulder. Laughing and joking with each other, they carry her away as Crashville burns to the ground.