Work Harder not Longer.
So the characters are convicts so the first thing they need to do is come up with their crimes and background, here are some examples I was thinking about.
Many characters will be significantly older than the normal starting areas, it’s likely they have children, wives, families and colleagues in many cases. It’s important to remember that all the characters have an immensly strong drive to survive.
Booster gang enforcer, you grew up on the streets and joined the gang with your local lads eventually your gang managed to take over half the city thanks to your never ceasing ultraviolence their success was built on your monstrous fighting ability. You were into every aspect of enforcing the gang’s claims drugs, prostitution, gun running and extortion. Eventually, you were taken down surrounded by a dozen heavily armoured members of the peace corp you surrendered.
You were drafted into the Euro Zone military to fight in Africa when you came back you lived in a cube complex, hand to mouth, eventually you ended up joining the ELF and fighting a campaign of terror against the Peace Corp, maybe it was patriotism or maybe you just wanted to do something to punish the Euroboys for leaving you out to dry. In the end, your cell got taken down and only you survived, a chain of murders and bombings as long as your arm behind you.
Mafia hitman, you worked for a family killing their enemies for a fine fee, you lived the high life, nobody was safe, politicians, generals, gangsters, families. You had no qualms about killing, it was business. Eventually, the family turned you in and after a few months on the run you were finally cornered.
Organ harvester, you were a med tech, one of the best, a glorious future, sadly you had debts to pay and started illegally collecting organs from people, eventually, you made the conclusion it was more effective to capture people and harvest all their organs making sport of it while earning a small fortune. Your reign of terror lasted a few years before finally being captured. A modern-day Jack.
A good cop who turned bad after his daughter was killed by a criminal that had been set free due to a technicality, you decided everyone was guilty, first you killed the criminal then you hunted down and eliminated the judge responsible. As the months went on you became a living embodiment of revenge killing and beating people for crimes across the city. You handed yourself in after killing a child by accident and you decided that you could not be redeemed.
You’d been shunned your whole life computers were an escape you found yourself an apt netrunner but vengeance burnt deep within you, after one last insult in life you decided to take revenge, you created a new form of black ic and released it into the wild, hundreds died and you took great pleasure in it.
A genius you have no empathy you took to watching them through the multitude of computer systems, then after that became boring you would stalk them and use the systems to trap and taunt them. Eventually, that became boring so you started to kill them, the looks on their faces trapped in a lift plummeting 50 stories, or trapped in a room with flames all around fascinated you.
Background work for Cyberpunk 2020 campaign.
Listen up chumps you think Night City is where the bad boys are? Well you ain’t seen nothin’ Neo London makes it look like a holiday park space mountain included. It’s bad enough you got Euro Peace Corp boys fighting it out with the English Liberation Front on a daily basis the cities got the badest maddest bosters going and outside the city limits nothing but a radioactive waste land from when the scrap with the Euroboys went nuclear. Surviving a night in Neo London is like getting through a tour in Old Jerusalem, not fucking likely, but the Brits do it every day crazy bastards.
Now despite the copious nuclear waste, murderous go boys and savage boosters, the mortar exchanges, and the armored vehicles careening through the streets that give zero fucks if the meat in the way is civvie or para the corps are still here and business booms. All the big suits have outfits here, except maybe a few eurocorps. Europol battles it out on the streets to keep things locked up and the local peace corp tries to keep the civvies in line, Scotland Yard keeps trying to do what it can and the Met is packed with the toughest craziest socials this side of Mozambique.
The Euro’s rebuilt the city after they turned a lot of it to glass, part of the peace agreement that saved the Euro’s from yet another solid glassing, but lets say that didn’t placate the civvies, hate, man the hate, everyone fucking hates the Euro’s, the Yanks, the Ruskies and anybody else that’s going. You walk the streets and behind the misery and desperation is pure hate. The hate the Euro’s the most but don’t let that make you think they like anyone else, they’ll deal with anybody and everybody and one day, when they’ve got the tools you can tell the Brits aren’t gonna just sit back and live with the Euroboys stomping on their turf.
The fall of Britain
Well the main event was the Euro war, Britain and the EU Zone fell out on trade tariffs, then they fell out over the uncontrolled refugees from France, then they just fell out. Tensions escalated to a point where open hostilities broke out on the 23rd of March 2072, the Eurozone was under heavy pressure from the Eastern Alliance and Russian Federation and over the course of 30 days the continent and the British Isles were ravaged by conflict, in the end, limited tactical nuclear weapons were used by the French to gain a beachhead and invade what was left of Britain.
Betrayal by the USA, after over a century of what some see as bootlicking by the UK the US refused to offer assistance during the war, this has lead to deep hatred, though many academics say it’s unsurprising given the US’s history of betrayal.
The BBC – Mouth piece of the Euro Zone tasked with sedating and placating the populace.
The Peace Corp – European Peacekeeping force deployed to the Islands.
The English Economic Zone – The name for England under the control of the Euro Zone.
The Paras – Before the occupation paras referred to the parachute regiment, during the Euro War they captured Paris. Now it refers to any paramilitary organization fighting the occupation.
Europol – The top criminal and anti terrorism investigation unit in Europe.
The Met / Scotland Yard – Local law enforcement generally dedicated to normal crimes though dealing with cyberpsychos is the purview of the peace corp due to the limitation on arming EEZ citizens.
Euroboys – Derogatory term for Peace corp and Europol.
English Liberation Front – A guerilla/terrorist organization dedicated to freeing Neo London and the EEZ from the clutches of the EU Zone.
The core idea for the game world is a classic/dark fantasy setting where the mortals overthrew and killed the realms gods. It can be assumed that the pantheon of gods that had been in charge were mostly corrupt and evil at least in the eyes of the mortals too busy with their petty games to recognise the risks.
This raises another concern as to how were the mortals able to kill the gods?
- Some form of god killing weapons may be made for battles between gods or crafted by the mortals themselves.
- Stopping the worship of gods, in some realms gods are given strength by having people worship them, in this way maybe the whole realm stopped worshipping them as gods?
- Trickery, getting the gods to kill themselves.
- Gifted heroes, some people in the world were far more powerful and had the ability to fight the gods toe to toe. Could include gaining access to god level magic.
- A war on the gods, pure weight of humanity crashing against the machinations of the gods.
- The gods are evidently not omnipotent nor omnipresent.
We can assume the gods have some kind of physical presence that can be killed and that they exist on planes of existence that the mortals can get too and often en masse.
Another thing is that there are inevitably those who weren’t fully onboard with the whole “let’s kill the gods” idea.
In the setting, I’m imagining that great heroes rise up and lead armies against the gods having spent many years gathering resources and skills possibly watched by amused and scoffing deities until the mortal hoard crashes down upon them. There are no doubt mighty and cataclysmic consequences for the realm and its people, those who fill the ranks of the gods forces against the mortals are forever shunned in legend. Deep and everlasting bitterness created.
Where they stood, some rough thoughts
The elves were closest to the gods and sided with them during the war but much like their prefered deities they were dismissive until the last moment and as the powerful tides of the other mortals crashed against them. Elves were devastated and forced from many of their strongholds. The result is that they have become even more hateful of the other races, notable slave traders, blood magic ritualists and bitter.
Lizardfolk / Gali
The lizardfolk are varied habitats and tend to live in tribes several of which sided with the mortals others ignored the entire affair and some joined with their prefered gods. In general, the thought process of the Lizardfolk is alien to most other mortal races. However, since they have had some second thoughts on the matter.
Descended from crows the Kanku are excellent mimics but generally poor at anything that requires original thought as such flocks were beholden to their deities and fought long and hard, now they follow any large intelligent creature that can give them purpose.
The main force behind the rebellion only a few of the nations sided with the gods and those that did are forever cursed by the rest of humanity. Humans also had the greatest number of heroes.
The Dwarves were strong supporters of the war against the gods.
Gnomes are evil little critters but kept out of the whole affair looking to profit from it.
The Dead the don’t die
A number of those that die now no longer remain dead, they continue to walk the realm, slowly decaying as they do.
The world heavily revolved reincarnation now, and a concept of “if a man can be reborn a worm then perhaps a god can be reborn a man?” Many societies keep a watch for such a scenario also the rebirth of Heroes.