The world changes and the motto is ‘Change or die’. The campaign is set in the UK of the Cyberpunk book “Rough Guide to the UK”. The change between today, in the DC universe, and tomorrow, in the Cyberpunk era, is dramatic. This is a capsule history of how the world got from there to here.
The ‘heroic’ heroes of modern day, slowly gave way to generations that understood less about personal honour and more about personal wealth. Superman, the Flash and even Batman gave way to darker characters who struggled to define clearly the line between hero and villain. A generation after that, ‘heroes’ became what the military had always wanted, soldiers created and managed but it was no longer the era of the military. In the military industrial complex, it was industrial that now called the shots. Powers, while not fully understood, could be created, both given and taken, in the laboratory. Corporate wars were fought with military cast offs from the previous generation and with new creations of their own devising. But there were not always was to fight and soldiers that were not needed were a drain on the company bottom line. The solution was untidy and suited no one except, of course, corporate accountants. Those powers that could be turned on or off by their scientist creators were disabled and their possessors were cast out into an unfriendly world. Those that could not be so easily disarmed, well, there was always space in the corporate cryogenic freezers. These assets could be thawed, used and refrozen as desired by the board. Of course, that still left a thriving black market in this high end human traffic. Many gangs would either pick up corporate cast offs and reactivate them as bodyguards or procure the scientific help they needed to create their own. The corporations are quite prepared to turn a blind eye to any use of their ex soldiers as long as no corporate property or interests are harmed. The players are members or more accurately ex members of Force Nomad, just one such ex corporate unit, looking for a reason to fight, or perhaps, just for another pay-packet.
The UK has been under the government of the Army and other Forces, united as the MLA, the Martial Law Authority, for thirty years, the monarchy gone and a thousand years of history fallen to the plough and the bulldozer. Whole areas of the countryside were bought up under compulsary purchase and turned into huge mechanised farms and whole populations were moved into enormous sprawling conurbations. These ‘mega-cities’ started off huge and just got bigger. The richer you were, the closer you could live to the countryside but the poor just kept spreading too. Where the rich went, the middle class soon followed, and then the lower class and then finally the dirt poor and criminal classes and the centre of the conurbations became wars zones for gangers and corporates. The suits could leave at the end of the working day but the sarimen, the wages slaves and the companies lower eschelons, had no choice and so they stayed. When three great corporations, the Hillard Corporation, Imperial Metropolitan Agriculture and the ETB (English Tourist Board), brought down their estwhile ally, the MLA, the rest of the country went downhill rapidly. MLA soldiers and corporate troops clashed in the fields, the massive automated farms burned and the country began to starve. Even with the Hillard-engineered political reappearance of Queen Victoria II from her exile abroad, it is going to take a long time for normality to return. Neo-nomad tribes roam the wildernesses of abandoned farms and ruined estates, gangs rule the centres of the cities and, over it all, the national corporations fight off the gathering wolves of foreign companies who, seeing the downfall of the MLA which had kept them from turning a profit in the UK, think that they can now chew on the bones of the corpse of Great Britain. But they will find, to their cost, that we aren’t dead yet!