Dead... and Back is a survival horror Role Playing Game. The Anarchy Zones is its official setting - aliens, reanimates, and the ruins of 2055 America.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rethinking Ruby Ridge

Ruby Ridge began as an homage to the Holnists from "The Postman" by David Brin. A commune of survivalists and anti-government, who don't necessarily want to see the pre-event status-quo return. In theory it would be a mix of the idealized wild west where everyone has a gun, and a foil to other efforts to reunify the government, such as the remaining military to the south in Las Vegas.

More recent thinking, however,  has made me doubt the aptness of this concept in my game. New Birmingham (albeit with a different source of motivation) is already on an anti-democracy crusade, making RR a bit redundant. Secondly, while such fears have not fully gone away, these sorts of militarism really more of a 1980s/90s concern than what might be an issue decades from now in the 2050s. I don't want to give the impression I support the kind of people who read "The Turn Diaries" or otherwise feel the government is a source of evil. Indeed, as I explicitly disagree with them, its a bit hard to write about the ridge - making caricatures and wrongful assumptions is all too likely.

I don't intend to eliminate the hold outs entirely. As is constantly reiterated in "The Postman" its more often people resiting relief efforts and internal division that can prevents rebuilding than the fallout of the event itself. Keeping some elements around help continue to make the setting "The Anarchy Zone" rather than "The New USA".

Instead, I'm transforming it to a bit more of an up to date 2050's concern.

If New Birmingham saw the old world as too permissive, then what of the people who saw it as too static? Who needs the old forms of government, when you can have direct polling via the internet in a matter of hours (kept honest by good encryption - code can outpace breakers quite easily), or gather flash mobs in minuets to address a task informed of what to do in real time? Why burden society with the less able when genetic screening and alteration means everyone can have perfect babies? When energy comes free from the sun and everything else from garage size nano-facs, what good is an economy based on scarcity?

The Free City of Tesla - home of radical TransHumaists.

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