How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy (t3knomanser) wrote,
How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy
t3knomanser

Over the weekend, I ran a roleplaying session. Nothing odd about that, but I decided that none of the games we usually use were up my alley. Plus, I wanted to put a kabash on bankrobbing (major hobby of all of those players!). So I created a universe where there was no bank.

New York City, 2015. A dark wasteland, ruled over by warlords, organized crime, and the NYPD (which is more a mercenary organization than anything else). A kill or be killed society. I've started putting together an intro for the game, it's currently uneditted, but I plan to go through and execute this universe as a role playing game.

It's pretty depressing really, I'm going to have to find a way to throw some hope into this game!

A stiff wind kicks up, and a small pile of crumpled paper blows down the street. Despite the size of the now nearly empty city, the fetid smell of humanity is everywhere. Down the street, a man wearing rags rummages through the dumpster behind a McDougal's; he was a millionaire on Wall Street once.
But that was before.
There are no millionaires anymore, at least not here, not in New York City. City is far too strong a term now. The population numbers in the hundred thousands, and they're spread out pretty thin, empty sky scrapers crumbling and dropping rubble on the streets below.
She leans against the wall of a building, taking a long drag from a home made herbal cigarette, watching the man rummage. She doesn't know his past, and doesn't care. He's not why she's here. No, across the street from him, an old brownstone is serving as the headquarters for Lt. Dobbs of the NYPD. He's currently in there, organizing an attempt to raise an embargo against Little Italy. It's foolishness; the Boss would never allow trade to stop anywhere, there's no margin in it. And there is no chance that the police have the money to buy him off.
Still, there's no reason to be incautious. That's why she's here. Any minute Dobbs is going to walk outside, and that's when she drops four high caliber slugs into his skull from the rooftop she's on.
Because that's how her Family does business.

Long way down…
Things did not go to hell with a bang, but they did not go with a whimper either. Civilization, in any sense that we would recognize it, is no more, at least not on a global scale. No one can really put their finger on what happened exactly, but some combination of war, economic recession, natural disaster, and pettiness brought the "World Community" to its knees.
It is now 2015. The fall, which was not a single day event, is usually thought of as having happened in 2007. It was really the peak in a 10 year decline in civilization, or maybe the bottom. A series of increasingly meaningless wars grew more and more violent, culminating in a minor nuclear exchange- if any nuclear exchange can be considered minor. Shortly before that, a fad of currency speculation and other shaky investments all bottomed out, creating a depression that was the worst the world had seen since the `30s. A new "super-flu" sprang up in the Asian Rim, and within months, air travel had spread it from Hong Kong to the US, Mexico, and Europe. More traditional vectors spread it westward across Asia, as far as the Middle East. Between war and plague, two billion were dead, Washington was a smoking nuclear wasteland, as well as Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia, Paris, Moscow, Delhi, Islamabad, Sialkot, most of Kashmir, the entirety of Gaza, and Cairo.
People fled the cities, spreading themselves into the empty land areas, like the highly depopulated Midwest (which in 2010 had four people per 10 square miles average population density), driven by lack of work, lack of food, lack of hygiene, fear of war and fear of illness. Civil unrest erupted in major cities around the world, toppling governments, destroying social infrastructure, and creating chaos.
Everything is not as bad as it sounds. The entire world did not fall into savagery, just large parts of it. Britain fared well, after loosing control if Ireland, which reestablished their own government. Scotland broke from the UK, but again, did not change significantly. China lost control of its perimeter regions, but Eastern China remained strongly united, and quelled unrest, especially after its conquest of Taiwan. Japan still turns out high end, cheap technology, with only a minor setback in its development. The West Coast of the United States has mostly been bought up by corporations, or corporatized city-states, like Burbank, which declared and won a war against Disneyland.
What I'm trying to get at here, is that this is not the world that you grew up in. Welcome to the World of Metropolitan.

The World of Metropolitan
Jack was a social worker, not too many years ago. He could remember it, he could remember the lies he fed the abused kids, the battered women. That they had a right to be treated fairly, to live a full and happy life, and no one could take that away from them.
Hell, he used to believe that!
His reverie was cut off as Sharee held up her hand to stop him. They locked eyes and she nodded, the old guy was still there, and he was alone. She drew a carbon-steel tanto from beneath her shirt, and from her waistband she pulled out a 9mm pistol. Jack drew his own weapons, a small, homemade sword that had once lived as a car's bumper, and a small .22 caliber pistol. They wouldn't use the guns of course.
Ammo was expensive.
Sharee kicked through the plywood door of the small grocery, and walked in, gun leveled on the shopkeep. He was about eighty, the oldest man I had seen in at least a year, and he was trying to run a grocery based off of the produce and livestock he kept in the lobby of an abandoned skyscraper on 5th Avenue. The look on his face when we barged through the door wasn't fear, it was a sense of betrayal. His eyes screamed at us, "I held a position of trust! I cared for you, and kept you out of the thumb of the Boss! How could you?"
That's what his eyes said, but his hands said something different; a sawed off double barreled shotgun appeared in his hands, and with a roar and a muzzle flash, Sharee was no longer merely in front of me, she was behind me, above me, and a large bit of her was on me too! Before he could pull the other trigger and kill me, I slapped a .22 slug into his chest, and while he was recoiling from the sudden wound, I was across the counter, hacking at him with my sword, until he was dead, and I was covered in blood.
Damn, that sucked. Quickly, I gathered up all of the weapons, the euros that were in the register, along with a smattering of `friscos, and filled my pack with as much food as I could carry.
Yeah, I used to preach up and down that people had rights. And you know what? In a way, it's true. People have rights, they have the right to fight and kill to get whatever rights they can hold. If you can't hold onto them, then you don't have the right to them.
In a flash, I was gone, before the community watch could investigate, and remove my right to continued existence.

I ? NY
The principle setting for Metropolitan is New York City, in the year 2015. This is not a cyberpunk game. This is not a world of darkness. This is not a glitzy thrill ride through the digital web, nor is there magic and shadows lurking in every corner. This is a sad world that's becoming more and more a possible reality. This is a world that has fallen, and no one is really sure that it is ever going to get better again. And so they try and stake out the best living they can, and deal with things from there.
The stories that can be told here in New York
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