This page is to introduce some of the major conflicts, posts that give a good introduction to the world, and summaries of important places.
The Big Idea
The Anarchy Zone is a picaresque story in a post cyberpunk world now inhabited by aliens, reanimates, bickering city states, and large swaths of new frontier. A combination of David Brin's "The Postman", Neil Stephenson "Snow Crash", and the "Resident Evil" video game series, mixed a bit with "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain would be a good way to summarize.
Starting An Adventure
The first things to decide upon, is whether the game is internal or external, and where the Player's allegiance should lie.
Internal games take place within the confines of a city state (mostly). These are about dealing with isolation, competing factions, black markets, finding supplies for long term stability, and keeping the area secure. Internal games often cast the players as some faction within a state trying to reform the leadership or as some branch of the government trying to maintain order.
External games are about traversing the zone, exploring, scavenging, and trading. The dangers of other people takes a back seat to the threats of the wilderness. Much like the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - movement is fairly safe, but when they stop trouble pops up.
Allegiance is a matter of what the PCs are doing and why.
The following are some of the entries that I feel best introduce elements of the setting, or give information useful for a starting group of players.
- Means of Infection (7/20/2010)
- Insight to the early days of The Event, and the fearful truth that no one is quite sure how reanimates are created.
- 104.3 & Fire (7/26/2010)
- First of all, the post introduces to possibility of learning about the zone through regular radio boradcasts or other personalities. Secondly, there is some good advice about setting up shelters and outposts and making locations that
- Crimes Against Inhumanity (7/30/2010)
- This addresses why the citizens continue to exist, why humanity can't just band together nicely, and broaches the idea that the citizens are not simple movie antagonists.
- Currency in the Zone (8/1/2010)
- Although its difficult to grasp, the world is a barter economy with no list prices. Shopping is not picking equipment from the book, but an entire session itself.
- Entrance Exams - Part One (8/20/2010) & Part Two (9/8/2010)
- Chances are, players are going to run across a fortified settlement, try to protect one, or even build a new community. These entries give a visual style to towns and ideas for tricks and traps.
- Cruel as Wagner (8/25/2010)
- Insight to raider behavior, proof that they can be intelligent enemies, and an introduction to Dr. Kurtz, leader of on of the major raider groups.
- Zone Demographics (9/15/2010)
- This deals with making the zone a realistic and living place, depopulated, but still with civilization and places of great treasure.
- Beatnik Heat Pic (12/6/2010)
- A fun to read break from the normal format of my entries, and a good sketch of life inside a sequestered city.
- Known City State Forces - Part One (1/10/2011) & Part Two (1/12/2011)
- These can often be the player's employers or antagonists - and can be a good source of information, or a leash on an an unruly group.
- Where the PC's Fit In (1/31/2011)
- Citizens are not included just to be another target - they are potential allies, as well as an adversary with far more foresight and technology than reanimates.
- NEST Formation (2/18/2011)
- The NEST was one of the first areas of the zone to be conceived, and are full of backstabbing, tight corridors, great treasure, and sequestered reanimates. Megastructures are a great point to hinge a campaign on - to resupply, to escape, or if players have really made the big time - raid.
- How Dangerous is the Zone (3/18/11)
- I consider the theme of the Anarchy Zones less about what once was and the tough order that has replaced it, but rather the quest to build new societies and recover before too much is irrevocably lost. Being able to moderate the obstacles well is key to running a good game.
In many cases, long distance communication has been disrupted. Communications satellites no longer orbit the earth, many large antennas melted by the EMP eddy currents, and and land lines cut by various maladies.
It is true that raiding groups are present in some numbers in the zone, and that they are one of the bigger threats to reconstruction of former nations. However, it is notably false to presume that they are all opportunists and anarchists simply out to cause mayhem and enrich themselves. Although some might fit this stereotype - those are actually quite rare - organization and goals is far more necessary for group cohesion than random thuggery.