Monday, December 15, 2008

Fate Be Damned: a Wushu setting

I've run Wushu twice now, and our last session left off at a halfway point, so I assume I'll be running it again in the near future. I like Wushu for several reasons that I've already gone into, but one of them that I didn't mention was that it gave me an excuse to work on a setting I've been developing since high school. Here's a cliffnotes guide to the setting. I've been adding lots to it, and in the near future I might release a short pdf of it and Wushu packaged together.

Fate Be Damned.

Introduction

It's 2152. Much of the Midwest has turned into a vast desert of ghost towns inhabited by zombies, the rich retreat into their glamortech palace The Fantasy, while the rest of the world is either obsessed with trendsetting outlandish lifestyles or suffering in non-consumer (3rd world) regions.

You wanted to change this. You want a better future. That's why you became a Fatalist. Secret Agent, Terrorist, Techno-powered Vigilante, Assassin you're all of these now. The Oedipus Agency found you, enhanced you, trained you, and now you know what tomorrow will be by consulting The Certainty Machine. Rather, you know what tomorrow will be without your intervention.

No day is ever the same: Take down a legion of cyborgs, negotiate with the controllers of The Fantasy, save one of the stars of Teenage Wasteland from a horde of zombies, infiltrate one of the pocket universes of The Abandoned Amusement Park.

Be careful though. Libertines know of The Certainty Machine, and they want it destroyed. Cybernetics, and genetic modification have become staples of the underworld. Police forces are unwilling to continue the arms war with criminals to the point of altering their bodies. Fatalists are often all that can stop today's super-criminals.

Humanity without your intervention is doomed. Change the world. Fate Be Damned.

Basics

Premise: Player characters work for The Oedipus Agency. TOA uses a device called The Certainty Machine to track the most probable future and alter this towards a better world.
Agents: Fatalists are the primary force of TOA. They simultaneously alter small and large events (leaving a penny head's up on the ground, robbing a bank) for both immediate goals as well as creating butterfly effects.
Setting Description: A futuristic world that is fatalistically moving towards several paths of destruction. Nanotechnology, hover cars, robots, genetic altering, and cybernetic upgrades all exist, though some of these are rare, illegal, or not yet public.
Inspiration: Lacuna, MiB, James Bond, Minority Report, The Invisibles
Powers: The characters work for The Oedipus Agency. This secretive organization not only possesses The Certainty Machine but has made unbelievable advancements in nanotechnology which they put into their agents making them hardy, strong, and fast. Other advanced weaponry is available as well.
Chi is: Nano-enhanced vitality, luck.
Typical Tasks: Spilling a drink on a woman at a club, killing the vice-president, sneezing in a movie theatre, punching Scientologists in the face.
Suitable Traits: various martial arts, firearms, stealth, charm, lock picking, tech wizard
Mooks: Cops, gangs, cyborgs, robot assassins, human/animal genetic hybrids
Nemeses: Rogue Agents, Hackers of The Certainty Machine, Outliers (people The Certainty Machine cannot account for), Libertines (groups who actively work against TOA for various reasons).

More Details:

The Certainty Machine

In 2138 The Certainty Machine made its first significant prediction: China will go bankrupt due to a poor foreign investment, and this will lead to the assassination of China's prime minster, carried out by a Chinese army Lieutenant. This will lead to a civil war, and escalate over fifty years into a global war that will wipe out 97% of humanity. The Certainty Machine was then in possession of the CIA. After the prime minister's assassination by the lieutenant, the technology was dubbed a success, and agents were sent in to stop China's civil war.

In 2145 The Oedipus Agency was formed. This agency is independent of any government to stop any one nation from using The Certainty Machine for selfish gains. Andrew Marcus, inventor of the machine, is head of TOA, and believes strongly that his machine and agency will make the world better.

The Oedipus Agency keeps its missions secret from the world. This is due to a global variation of the observer effect. After China's prevented civil war, worldwide media outlets reported on the Certainty Machine's predictions, thus creating unintentional alterations, and making the predictions unreliable.

Fatalists and The Oedipus Agency

Field Agents for TOA are nicknamed "Minutia Men" for their first few months/years of missions. Such missions involve fixing seemingly trivial details in the world, or performing simple tasks such as giving a grade schooler a pack of cigarettes, stealing a car and crashing it at a certain location, or responding to a specific person's online relationship ad. Though these tasks are often easily done, they lead to butterfly effects that will significantly impact the world weeks, months, or years later.

After a year of field work an agent is promoted to Fatalist. Fatalists' goals are often more immediate and violent as well as vague on how they ought to be carried out. For large scale disaster prevention the Certainty Machine can only work with probabilities and so less information is often known or given to Fatalists. The vagueness of objectiveness, and the brutality that almost certainly comes from these, leaves many Fatalists indistinguishable from any other terrorist organization.

Andrew Marcus has never released specific details (other than those on China's civil war) but he's gone on record with the UN and his own agents that TOA has prevented two end of humanity scenarios, stopped an African genocide, and the spread of a pandemic. Marcus refuses to share his personal politics, but cyborgs and genetically modified persons, as well as their supporters, have raised questions of bigotry against their subcultures. Some insist that the "pandemic" TOA prevented was in fact the global acceptance of these groups. Marcus has stated that this is not the case, but many Fatalists have reported that their missions involved taking down large groups of cyborgs/GMP's.

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There's a lot more to the setting, but I don't want to paste and edit it all into the body of a single blog post. I might post more later, or just finish the pdf and put that up. Hope you guys like it.

1 comment:

Tyson said...

I liked your setting for the game, I would be interested in seeing a pdf or more posts about it.