I’m pretty lucky to have a nice Friendly Local Gaming Store. They’ve got a pretty good system for connecting players to new games, and so back in May, one fellow reached out, looking to try FATE Core as a way to return to gaming after years out of the hobby. Four of us met up at Mishap, and I was elected GM by virtue of having GMed before. I tried to sell them on playing Abyssals (albeit in FATE), but they demurred, and so we ended up with a homebrew setting that I sometimes describe as Neon Shadowrun Evangelion, without the giant robots.
Okay, I don’t describe it like that, except right above this sentence, but I think it’s a pretty good summary. It’s got other major influences: Defiance, Firefly, Lexx, and Kurosawa in general. This isn’t my normal genre, so it’s been a good opportunity to stretch, and we’ve been running for a little over six months now, time enough for the group to lose one member and gain two more…in addition to all the mayhem this group has inflicted on the poor island of Taiwan.
The year is 63 A.I. (After Incursion). The world is weird. During the Incursion—an event that reshaped the world as we know it—alien influences ripped into our world from…probably some other dimension, we guess? No one really knows the details. Well, no one who wants to share.
For 63 years, the world’s been reshaped by alien monsters, baffling super technology, psychic powers, and other strange phenomena. The world at large is supposed to be pretty trashed and awful, but Taiwan got off easy. Survivors have flocked there en masse, building a new life for themselves and their communities:
The glorious city-state of Neo Taipei is a benevolent autocracy administered by a compassionate Artificial Intelligence known as the Bodhisattva. The place is high tech, sure, but everyone is tracked, measured, and analyzed.
In Yanlin City, life is cheap, justice is precious, and a fist full of yuan can buy whatever you like. It’s a sprawling megacity of slums, almost Neo Taipei’s exact opposite.
The western coast of the island is the Old Taiwan Total Exclusion Zone, a reactionist society who’ve gone back to a feudal, agrarian lifestyle. Electricity and other marvels of technology don’t work in the Zone, so everyone’s gone all shogun-style. It’s a tough, independent place that’s not really hospitable to immigrants.
The Iron Scar is technically part of the Zone, but they’re really their own thing, a coalition of scientists, tinkerers, engineers, and garbage pickers who kludge together steampunk contraptions in their ruined factory-towns.
Further south are the Independent Cities. They’re just what it says on the can, except they’re not really all that independent. Instead, they’re bought and paid for by RATIO, a superpower corporation that’s been implicated for a major role in the Incursion, in addition to just…so much shady stuff.
- Destroyed a bunch of genetically engineered bioweapons that were let loose on Yanlin City by RATIO as a field test.
- Raided four separate RATIO compounds. They usually blew up after.
- Blew up SIREN, a powerful alien fish-monster who was the source of all psychic power. Now SIREN lives inside Quanting’s head.
- Sold out an old friend in exchange for a tank and some napalm.
- Defended the village of Ji, using said tank.
- Became retainers of Shen Amelia, the regent of the powerful kingdom of Kagure.
- Destroyed FOLLY, an enormous moth kaiju.
- Became buddies with the Bodhisattva.
- Stole copies of RATIO’s encryption keys from a top-security installation.