In a post apocalyptic world of rubble and radiation, mutants fight for their lives against an onslaught of racist humans who have only recently returned to plague the world they once destroyed.
The date is 2275. More than a hundred years ago the world plunged head first into a nuclear armageddon. Like the sinking of the Titanic, yet on a global scale, the fall out divided the world into two classes, rich and poor, have and have not, survivor and casualty and... eventually... pure blooded human and mutant. Those with the resources to afford shelter space escaped the worst of the nuclear fires in high-tech subterranean bunkers, but those left above ground were not so lucky. Many died in the initial blasts, burned to ash or roasted alive. Many billions more faced the slow, agonizing death of radiation poisoning and cancer. A handful survived, but not intact...
Within twenty years of the bombs, humanity was scoured from the surface and in it's place mutants inherited the earth. They survived in the concrete carcasses of abandoned mega cities, the scorched desert wasteland and even hostile toxic bogs. In time, distinct breeds of mutants appeared and organized themselves into groups called tribes. These tribes carved out territories befitting their inclination and unique mutations, claiming sewers, eroding skyscrapers, and even swathes of the barren wastes as home. For nearly a century, the tribes dominated what was left of the surface, interacting mostly through warfare, but occasionally diplomacy. Then, ten years ago it happened, the shelters... opened.
Humans called it the Resurgence, mutants, the Purge. Pure blooded humans, untouched by radiation, emerged onto the surface for the first time in over a century. They came bearing the technology of the old world, fusion powered vehicles and plasma rifles, pneumatic armor and hovercrafts. They also came with an ideology, a manifest destiny, that the world was meant for humans not mutants. What followed was not so much a war, as an extermination. The wasteland tribes were the first to go, caught on open ground they were slaughtered by the humans' superior technology. Those mutants who remained fled into the concrete maze of the mega cities or deep into the radioactive swamps, but this only slowed the onslaught.
The year is 2275, you are a mutant living in the twisted ruins of a mega city once called Orlando. This is your world, your ancestors passed through the fires of radiation to give birth to you and now the cowards who hid from the bombs want to kill you and your people in order to reclaim the world they abandoned. Will you let them?
The years since the bombs have not been kind to Orlando, though the city did avoid the worst of the initial attack. Missiles hit both Jacksonville and Tampa and fallout from the later drifted across central Florida making the area uninhabitable for human life for decades after. A century and a half later radiation clouds persist in many closed spaces of the city and whereever toxic wastes, left by the fleeing populace, have eroded through their containers. Even before the War, however, Florida was in trouble. By the end of the 21st century sea levels had risen nearly a meter due in large part to fossil fuel emissions. Rising seas claimed much of the coastal cities causing the population of Orlando to swell to nearly 1 million by 2125 when the bombs fell. The trend of rising sea levels continued after the War since the loss of sea ice created a positive climate feedback and by the time of our story the ocean has risen nearly 3 meters above their current levels making Orlando practically a coastal city and shifting the wet subtropical everglades up in into central Florida where, merging with the Okefenokee, it now comprises a single irradiated swamp which surrounds the city proper like a vast moat.
In the spirit of player freedom and suspense, I will leave much of Orlando untouched, but there are a few major points of interest that players should know about at the start.
The Everglades (The Glades)- In the time after humans, the Everglades has overtaken Florida like a mold growing over a loaf of bread. Saturated with radiation, this toxic swamp is lethal to anyone except those few mutants who have learned her ways. The thickets of magroves are all but impassable and the ground is pitted with dangerous sinkholes and quicksands. Mutant animals, notably leatherjaws (giant crocodiles) and mange cats (mutated pumas) stalk both the waters and the tangles of vegetation. The mutant tribes of these swamps are almost as inhospitable as their environment. Many descend from the back country folk who knew how to live in the wilds before the bombs fell and after the War many turned to cannibalism to survive. Notable swampfolk in the Orlando area include The Clan, an inbred tribe of motely cannibals with religious inclinations and xenophobic attitudes.
Mall of the Millenia (Millenium)- What was once a shopping center for wealthy Americans has fittingly become a mutant trading town. The ruins of the Mall are home to the Millenials, a diverse tribe of motleys and outcasts from other mutant breeds. Unlike most mutant tribes, the Millenials are accepting of anyone who has ooze or junk to trade. Also atypical for mutant towns, the Millenials are democrats, convening on an annual basis to elect a Mayor. In conjunction with a guild of merchants, the Mayor makes all decisions which affect the entire town and determines how to defend the mall against marauding Trolls, Human Patrols and Nightclaw boogeymen. In the past, Mayors have harbored expansionist goals, sending colonial forces into the ruins of Disney World to reclaim the technological wonders rumored to lay hidden there. The disastrous consequences of this venture, has prompted the current turn of Millenium toward isolation.
Epcot Center (Blood-Dome)- Thirty four years ago, Disney World presented a tempting target for the growing city of Millenium, but its defenses were considerable. Weaponized versions of the animatrons which once served to entertain tourists and coax laughter from children now roamed the ancient attraction disentegrating all trespassers with Old World laser weapons. The Millenial mutants put together an expeditiary force aided by a few other allied tribes to overcome this robotic resistance and claim the technology which lay hidden in Disney World. Armed to the teeth with every weapon that could be scavenged, jurryrigged or built from scratch they invaded the old theme park. None returned from the campaign, instead they took up residence in the forbidden theme park. When they did return, it was not to share scavenged wealth, but to pillage, rape and plunder. Something the mutants encountered in Disney changed them into blood thirsty lunatics. Motivated only by sadism, they turned the old Epcot Center into a bloody gladiatorial arena, hanging rotting corpses and boiled skulls from the exposed girders of the great geodesic dome. The weapons meant to destroy Disney's robots now turned on the Orlando mutants as the expeditionary militia metamorphosed into the crazed raider tribe now known as the Screamers.
Suntrust Center (Pinky Tower)- The tallest remaining skyscraper in Orlando, this building serves as the main base for the invading humans (called Pinkies by mutants due to their soft pinkish skin). Many theorize that the shelter from which the humans emerged lies beneath this building, but no one can tell for sure since Suntrust's defenses are all but impenetrable. The humans have transformed the building into a fortress. Window mounted artillary and a surrounding improvised wall of derilict cars and debris makes sure no aggressive mutants can get close.
The Magic Kingdom- The holy grail of Orlando, it stands strangely untouched by the apocalypse, it's fake spires still glistening in the noonday sun. Unfortunately, hostile animatrons have always managed to keep all ambitious scavengers from plundering its old world treasures and now with the Screamers taking up residence in Epcot, it is more off limits than ever. Rumors abound as to what force rules the Magic Kingdom. Many assume the robots are merely out of control, but a few speak of a enigmatic entity appearing on computer terminals linked to the Disney network, an entity that calls itself 'The Mickey'.
It goes without saying that as the game progresses and players introduce their own tribes and mutant breeds, this 'bestiary' will expand.
Motlies- Motlies are the most common humanoid mutant breed. Suffering from random, strange and only rarely useful mutations, they make up the bulk of the mutant populations. Though not as physically imposing as many other breeds, motlies make up for power with sheer numbers and organization. Motlies tend to be civil, as far as mutants go, since they can't often get their way through sheer force. Like other mutant types they are fertile, in fact motlies are known for having multiple births, but they rarely pass on their mutations. Instead each generation's DNA is jumbled in new and exciting ways.
Screamers- Although physically speaking, screamers are motlies, psychologically they are something different. Deeply deranged with an intelligence that seems only able to express itself through cruelty, Screamers are the relics of a raiding party sent into Disney by the town of Millenium 34 years ago. No one knows what they encountered in the old theme park that drove them insane, but they now plague the Orlando area with constant raids, dragging back prisoners to fight in their arena, the Blood Dome. Screamers get their name from the high pitched howls they unleash when charging into combat, often with little care for their own lives. Although most captives taken by Screamers are never seen again, they sometimes remmerge among the ranks of the raiders, as twisted and insane as their new family. What Screamers lack in tactics they make up for in ferocity and high tech old world weaponry apparently scavenged from the Disney World area.
Trolls- Do you hear that? That's an impact tremor, that's what that is. Something big is coming and in Postapocalyptic Orlando that can only mean one thing: Troll!! Trolls are the largest humanoid mutants, standing upwards of twenty feet and weighing over five tons. Fortunately, as their bodies have grown, their brains have shrunk making them easy to elude and elude them you must for they are well known cannibals.
Nightclaws- Mythical mutants who appeared in Orlando no more than ten years ago, oddly around the same time as the humans. The theory that they are human allies, however, is easily debunked. Nightclaw attacks have done much to keep humans from extending their reach beyond downtown. Despite this apparent benefit, few mutants feel anything but fear toward these nocturnal killers. The aftermaths of their raids make Screamer attacks look like a tea party and most mutants are convinced these bloodthirsty predators will kill anything that gets in their path, human or mutant. No one knows what the Nightclaws truly look like, for no one has seen them and lived, but they are rumored to be everything from flying harpies to hyperactive felines.
Leatherjaws (Gaters)- Alligators are the most prolific predators in the Orlando area. Mutant varieties can reach truly impressive sizes, large enough to prey on trolls and drag boats underwater. In all forms and sizes they remain sit and wait predators, lying just under the surface of the toxic swamps and sewers until some unlucky creature comes too close to the shore.
Meganurans (Wyrmflies)- A mutated version of the old world dragonflies, wyrmflies boast wingspans upwards of three feet and fly off carrying prey as large as house cats. Most leave humanoid mutants alone, but they will violently attack anything or anyone who approaches too close to their spawning pools. Ironically baby wyrmflies are more dangerous than adults. Meganuran larvae are aquatic monsters equipped with sharp, merciless pincers which have been known to sever legs as cleanly as a surgeon's saw.
Mangecats- Descended from old world pumas, these huge felines haunt the swamp lands surrounding Orlando and occasionally venture into the city. They can be quickly identified by their mangy fur which completely sheds during adulthood leaving the cats covered in a disgusting layer of wrinkled, scabby skin.
Humans (Pinkies)- Mutants have next to zero interaction with humans who shoot at anything with a radiation signature or more than one arm. Pinkies, as they are called by mutants due to their soft pink skin, seem to desire nothing less than the complete extermination of mutant kind. Very rarely they take prisoners and these poor mutants are never heard from again. Although physically weak and vulnerable to the ever present threat of radiation, humans wield advanced old world technology and seem to have almost limitless resources, churning out as many rovers and hovercraft as they can pilot and as many energy weapons as they can fire.
Mynocks- Roosting in the abandoned steel skeletons of city skyscrapers, flocks of these deformed bats are a common sight in the sky at night. Named after a creature from an old world movie now long forgotten, mynocks are more a nuisance than anything else. Insectivores, they are drawn to the flies and moths that accumulate around city lights and occasionally crash through windows in the course of their erratic flights. When threatened, mynocks can deliver a vicious bite which, if left untreated, can lead to a lethal bacterial infection.
Muskies (Water Rats/ Must Rats)- Largely unchanged by radiation, musk rats are a common sight in the undercity where these social semiaquatic rodents build messy dens out of junk and flotsom. Muskrat meat and pelts are a common item of trade among tribes and the rodents also serve as a main food source for young leatherjaws and other wild predators.
Giant Armadillo ('Dillos/ Tin Cows)- Giant Armadillos serve as the main domestic animal for many mutants of the postapocalyptic American South. They are found in Orlando both as meat livestock and in wild herds. Dillo herders make their living trading in both the meat and the cured skins which can be crafted into a tough yet flexible armor. In the wild they can be a danger for they charge when spooked and their massive weight can hurl or crush unwary mutants. Bull 'dillos have been known to flip cars in a rage.
Knowledge of the exact events leading up to the apocalypse remain hazy because nearly all paper records have been destroyed by either the rapid incineration of bombs or the slow assault of the elements. Though handfuls of working computers and data storage devices have survived, those capable of using these complex machines or hacking into their information stores are even rarer. For those few mutants with such a talent in computers and access to historical data I present a rough timeline of American history and the events leading up to the War. This spoiler should also be read by any pureblood humans all of who had access to endless stores of information in their underground shelters.
SpoilerGolden Age (1970-2021)- During this 50 year span standard of living rose for the middle class in America. Although currency began its slow turn toward inflation and real wages fell, this trend was masked by the increasing availability of complex technology for the masses. Driven by consumer spending the tech industry boomed. Along with it the other industries which catered to the populace, particularly their entertainment (film and tourism) reached their peak.
The Second Great Depression (2022-2064)- As America outsourced more and more industry to the third and second world, her economy became more and more dependent on sectors like service and finance which, by themselves, create no net wealth. This situation was made sustainable by the place of the dollar as the world's staple currency, but increasing political diviseness and multiple American debt defaults damaged the country's credit and weakened the dollar in world markets. Both the financial sector and the government attempted to fight the growing deflation and both wound up exacerbating the problem for all solutions involved money rather than the reinvigoration of the producing industries which actually create it.
When the US slid into the Second Great Depression it dragged much of the world with it. The middle class basically disappeared during this time and those industries which depended on them also fell. Apple went bankrupt, followed by Sony, followed by GM. Even Hollywood, immune to past economic shocks, collapsed, for people were stockpiling their money to spend on food and rent with nothing left to spare for entertainment. Only those industries which specifically served the elite remained solvent, resorts, themeparks, and luxury automobile makers.
Age of the Elite (2065-2091)- During the depression the gap between rich and poor had widened to a grand canyon, but since the wealth of the rich was based on the spending of the poor even the most heartless of the new elite realized something had to be done. The solution to the depression came much as it did in the 1930s, in part from public works and in part from war. The Stewert Administration, elected with less than 30% of the vote (new poll restrictions assured most of the poor could no longer touch a ballot), put into place the Public Urban Revitalization Program (PURP). Although PURP sounded well intentioned it amounted to a concentration camp system where debtors were forcibly sent to 'rivitalization communities' (labor camps). Meanwhile on the global theater, the EU's recent power grab in the Caspian Sea where some of the world's last natural gas reserves lay buried prompted American response and an odd alliance between two old enemies, the US and Russia. China, busy turning what was left of Africa into a colony, remained neutral but contributed arms to the EU's war effort. The Caspian War lasted five years, from 2083 to 2088 and the massive domestic spending it caused effectively pulled America out of the depression by its own bootstraps. The war ended in an uneasy truce, merely the foreshadow of a greater conflict looming on the horizon.
Age of Unrest (2092-2021)- Invigorated by the trials of war Americans demanded fairer treatment at home. Massive protests led by veterans demanded a return to the democracy of old and an end to the 'voter protection acts' which limited access to the polls. These protests prompted crack downs and the creation of a new robotic arm to augment fascist America's strained police force. Robot enforcers patrolled the streets, while anarchists plotted in secret lairs beneath the city. During this tumultuous time, riots occurred in the third world as well who, after centuries of exploitation had finally had enough. In Africa China grappled with the United African Liberation Front and in South America, the US faced multiple populist uprisings and new antiAmerican socialist governments. The old methods of using the CIA to topple governments from the inside out, was not effective and America resorted to more traditional tactics, manufacturing reasons for war and responding with relentless bombing campaigns. The Argentinian, Brazilian and Chilean Wars further increased tensions with the EU which had forged alliances with the new socialist regimes. In response to the continuing aggression in the South the EU moved nukes into Northern Ontario where they could strike nearly any location in the continental US without hope of countermeasure.
The War (2022-2025)- Events around the period of the war are foggy even for humans with access to shelter data stores. The conflict centered on resource competition between the EU and America with the Chinese tacitly supporting the EU and the Russians allying with the US. Politically it was a conflict between the new socialism of Europe and the neofacism or neoliberal democracy (depending on who you ask) of America. It was certainly not a war of good versus evil since every player was essentially fighting for dominance over the third and second world (although each feigned to be fighting on their behalf and for their 'freedom'). The War centered on the Caspian Sea region and on the Canadian border where American forces were attempting to take hold of nuclear sites in the North. During this time, nuclear war loomed, but the prospect of mutual annihilation kept the conflict conventional for a while. Still people could see the smoke on the horizon and the mega rich and largely white elite of America commissioned high tech shelters to ensure their survival in case the worst came to pass. No one knows who first pushed the button or gave the order to their bombers, but as far as records indicate both sides were locked into a strategy of maximum retaliation and since the interests of both sides stretched round the world, it is likely that no region outside the arctic escaped nuclear bombardment.
I expect mutants to be very diverse, but there will be a few constants. For one, all mutants are immune to radiation, in fact it heals them. The main currency among mutants is what is called 'ooze'. This toxic sludge is carried in tiny vials and in a pinch it can be smeared onto wounds to accelerate healing. Also most mutants are not, generally speaking, pretty. Almost all have a 'deformed' look about them owing to the random nature of mutation. Finally all mutants will have a weak radiation signature which allows them to be detected by pure bloods using geiger counters (so long as the background radiation is not to strong).
The most common mutant type in post apocalyptic America are what are called 'Motlies' or 'Muts'. These mutants have rather random, and often useless, mutations (like a hand growing out of the back or an eye on the left butt cheek) which do not breed true. That is to say their children will often have completely different mutations. Unlike mutant 'races' like the massive Trolls or the dreaded Nightclaws, Motley tribes are united by culture rather than biology and they can reproduce with any other motley or even a pureblood human...
If we get to the OOC I will accept any number of characters for review, but I'll only greenlight a handful of the best because I want a small, active, high quality group. I will also accept one or two pure blood humans as antagonists or antiheroes depending on group size. I will of course reject with extreme prejudice anyone who can not tell the difference between this game and X-men. Mutations can be useful, of course, but please leave magical mutations like pyrokinesis and weather manipulation for the comic books.
The RP will have a story, but the direction that story takes will depend entirely on player choice. As a result, I am looking for self motivated players who like to feel that their actions have a decided impact on the game world. I would class this game as high casual and mature, there will be some horror and dark comedy elements that those with weak stomachs might find distasteful. There will also possibly be some sexual content and since we are dealing with mutants it could get... weird. I will also not censor players in terms of language for the world is good and truly fucked, but do try to keep profanity in context and in character. I intend to keep the story at a quick pace so weekly posts are a must. People who tend to drop games in the first week, of course, need not apply. Finally, this will be a group RP. I will tolerate a few 'Han Solos', but for the most part I expect players to try to work together. Players who want to be villains are, of course, the exception to this rule.
Here is a rough skeleton of what I need. Each character sheet should come with a sample post which takes the form of a flashback into your character's past. This post could take place yesterday, or the moment of his or her birth. It's entirely up to you. Character sheets can be posted in this thread or given to me in secret in the case of Nightclaws or any other mysterious types. Players with special knowledge not revealed in the OOC (such as those who want to play Nightclaws or Humans) should contact me via PM for more info.
Breed (Mutant type):
Motivation (This is important. My RPs are player driven so characters need to have their own goals):
Flaws & Handicaps (Also important, all characters should have flaws; mutant freaks are no exception):
Flashback Post (A brief sample post from your character's past to demonstrate that your writing will not make me want to head-desk):