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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Sewer Rats

I want to put some thoughts to paper (figuratively speaking), but don't want a lot of people reading them as of yet.  This idea is still quit undeveloped and needs to simmer, but writing about it well help me gel the concept.

I plan on writing a role-playing game.  It may just end up being a module for a game system that already exists (I hear that the GURPS system is pretty versatile), but I kind of like the idea of designing my own system specifically for this setting.

In the not-too-distant future, the world's oil supply suddenly and rapidly dwindled to nothing.  The infrastructure of the United States, so dependent on gasoline, crumbled.  Power outages swept across the country as power stations ran out of the coal, gas, or oil necessary to keep them going.  The economy collapsed, and the nation's leaders, huddled in their underground bunkers powered by hydroelectricity, cowered and waited for the country to dissolve.

Then came the Corporation.  It approached the United States' panicked legislators with a new, renewable energy source.  While not environmentally friendly, it could rapidly replace oil as a source of fuel, restoring the country as the dominant nation of the world.  All the Corporation asked in return was control.

And control it received.

No longer governed by the people, no longer protected by the Constitution, the United States became the Incorporated States.  The Corporation dissolved all American businesses and established a communist totalitarian state.  All citizens were required to attend Corporate schools, work in Corporate jobs.  In return, the Corporation restored energy to the nation.  It provided jobs, housing, food, clean water.  Everything a citizen could ask for.

All for the price of freedom.

Thirty years later, you are a member of the resistance.  You live off the grid, underground, or in abandoned buildings.  You do what you need to do to survive.  And you fight and hinder the Corporation in any way you can.

You are a Sewer Rat.

That's the basic backstory.  I may, later, change the way that the Corporation came to power, but I like this one because it makes some sense, and this new energy source could cause it to be dark, rainy, and unpleasant all the time, which would fit the pseudo-post-apocalyptic mood.

The basic idea of the game is that the players take on the roles of Sewer Rats.  They try to take down the Corporation using any means necessary--stealing from them, subverting employees, whatever they can do, they'll do it.  And while their cause, it is just, they also have to eat occasionally.  Which will often mean that they must steal from the very citizens they are trying to free.  Moral dilemmas galore.

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