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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

AZ Mouse, GZ Mouse

No one initially planned if they would end up in wild territory or where a government still held sway.However, once the worst of The Event  passed, they could chose where they would stay. It isn't so much a matter of occupation, knowledge or politics that determines where a person ended up, but a mental state. Those who ply the Anarchy Zone are marked by adaptability, liked to a certain form of intransigence. Government Zone Citizens show a certain form of intransigence, and a marked form of adapability. The younger generation does not always have a choice, but most know where they want to be.

The Zoner abides, adapts, and advances - working towards goals of their own. Life in the uncontrolled portions of the zone is not easy, and those who chose it must wear many hats. Scavenger, trader, technician, trail blazer, soldier, doctor - fending for oneself on the frontier requires a lot of knowledge. Food is never certain, environmental hazards can silently kill as easily as reanimates, and Citizen encounter suits can tear apart small hamlets with ease.

All these troubles and tasks could be easily traded away for security, if they were to just settle down in a Government Zone. But that would mean giving up on their own dreams, and accepting often over-crowded conditions managed by other people. It may mean acquiescing to a theocracy, acting as a second class citizen under a cadre of mad scientists, or being drafted for dangerous missions by executive order - none of which will suit a person that chooses the zone.

Conversely, the Government Zone seeker is looking for stability in the world, even if it comes with a lack of personal control. They stand by the old traditions, believing it is better to restore what remains than to create something new or go off adventuring. Even this requires some flexibility however. New jobs have appeared - like salvage artist and bounty hunter - while old ones like lawyer and advertising executive mean a bit less when so many of the rules have changed. So they remain in society, yet still must struggle to find a place in it.

It is quite hard to tell who belongs in which category by simply looking at them or by occupation. A combat medic might feel that they are best serving  the community by staying in the city, while an accountant sees that their old knowledge of tax code is obsolete, and thus sets out for a new life in the wild. People will sometimes cycle through the two options - finding they can't fit in a G-zone, but can't fight their way through the AZ, thus seeking out a different enclave to serve.

At the heart of it, choice matters. The time of last stands in old farmhouses and malls is over, the time to chose a path is upon them.

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