Desert Phone Boot Redux

So here it goes, the revamping of the Desert Phone Booth plot (brainstorming can be found here.

The plot is going to revolve around Onyx and their plan to plant explosives within the superstructure of Shasta Dam and sabotage California’s water supply. Onyx had hired Samual Hawthorn to help move supplies and such into place to execute this. They are avoiding detection by influencing those local to the time so it creates less temporal disruption. Samual was unable to complete his first task and failed so badly that Onyx decided to punish him and execute Willow.


The plot will open up with Samual having been left for dead in the Death Valley desert and no supplies. He will not be severely injured, but not be at full strength. The way I see it is Onyx wants him to suffer for failing them and to live with the knowledge that Willow is dead for a while.

Act 1 - Survival

Samual must survive the desert. He has been left to die in the middle of the California desert miles away from anyone / anything. First order of business is to survive and get back to civilization while not getting caught by authorities who are still very much after him.

Basics for Survival

  • Water / Shelter
    • Underground water, an old mine shaft that’s been abandoned for years.
    • Samual finds an old set of tracks near the foundations for a former warehouse, basic ghost town vibe, everything is mostly down to the foundations.
  • Food
    • Lizards, snakes, and the like.


  • Rattlesnake
    • Stumbling across a rattlesnake that attacks.
  • Puma
    • Comes across a puma or similar that stalks / attacks.
    • Puma can be scared away with loud noise.

Back to Civilization

To get back to civilization Samual will find an old map of the area in the abandoned mine which will show where the nearest actual road is and a gas station. The gas station will have long since been abandoned.

  • Station uses well water, need to restore power.
  • Power can be provided either by a generator or by reconnecting to live power lines nearby.
    • Live power lines run along the road.
    • Generator can be powered by siphoning gas from old junkers left behind, provide maybe a gallon of gas total, not a lot.
  • There will be old snack type food in a locked shed.
    • Shed will have rusted old lock that can be broken.
    • Some of the snack food has gone bad from the heat.
    • Still some food, particularly canned food and old packs of twinkies or similar.

Act 2 - Information & Resources

Once back to civilization Samual must make contact with Solas Tempus, this will be facilitated by an anomalous signal picked up by his Pip-Boy. Samual must locate and make contact with the source of the anomalous transmission which is reminiscent of the kind of signal that Onyx used to recruit him. This will guide him to a position where he can actually move forward both emotionally and tactically.

Solas Tempus Operatives

Solas Tempus Signal

Act 3 - Revenge & Reprieve

Samual with have to convince Solas Tempus to assist him or evade Solas Tempus in their attempts to bring Samual to the 24th century as he does not belong in this time. In either case, Samual’s primary goal will be either one of revenge or redemption.

In the case of revenge, Samual will be out for blood and to primarily eliminate those who killed Willow and tried to kill him. In the case of redemption Samual will take the more moralistic approach to help people, either path will be a valid path to success with different circumstances and consequences.

Onyx Operative


Samual will be given a choice at some point to kill the Onyx operative who killed Willow or potentially let the operative go and save the dam. Either option will be allowed in the game, though different consequences for each. It is also possible to accomplish both, though that will be unknown to Samual at the time. The idea is for the situation to be presented in the form of the classic moral dilemma with no hope of doing both. Whether or not both are possible will be up to the game play itself so the player will also not know if both outcomes are possible.


Between Acts 2 and 3 Samuel is going to have a lot of choices to make. For instances, if he makes friends with the Solas Tempus Operative he may receive assistance for redemption. On the other hand if he cannot do this he may be forced down a darker path. Either option is completely valid and will be up to the players involved to determine. Solas Tempus will not allow (or will try not to allow) someone to go off on a revenge-fueled killing spree in the past making the consequences for this action potentially dire, in the other case Onyx may use Samual’s experiences against him and try to divert him from saving the day based on it.

Additional Notes

I believe that Solas Tempus would get involved around Act 2 or even 3. The general idea is for Samual to go through the hero’s Journey. He’s started it in the last and now would be kind of “in the underworld” in classical mythology. I am still plotting who is going to come in as his “advisor”. In classical mythology there is always a “Wizard” or some such who acts as an advisor to the hero.

This could be played by a player who will get advance information on what’s going on or I could NPC it.

Updated for Act 1 notes, Solas Tempus signal, and who will be the Solas Tempus Operatives involved.