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Disposable Heroes: a setting for Schism

Started by Spooky Fanboy, July 09, 2003, 08:03:30 PM

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Spooky Fanboy

While I wait for the streamline and hopped-up version of Schism to hit the streets, I came up with a setting imminently playable for Schism, either version.

Basically, it's a dystopian hero setting. The characters are employees for a megaconglomerate (yet to be named) who have undergone an extensive, invasive surgery that has given them interesting abilities. This megacorp has extensive Defense Department contracts, and the primary resource for it is black-ops, against threats for the government both internal and external. This megacorp has split the company three ways, to give the appearance of competition and to encourage it's separate branches to compete for resources.

In this setting, any positive changes made during the 1960's never were. Woodstock, the education of the populace about the environment, cigarettes, war, women's liberation, the plight of the underclass, the idea of computers in every home, all of that didn't occur or happened in such a way as to minimize it's more radical effects. The government is much more intrusive and present, price regulation is common, inflation is barely under control, and shortages of gas and basic foodstuffs are common. Drugs have been decriminalized as an effort to sedate the populace. It's basically like Nixon never left office, and the problems America suffered during the 1970s never really went away. Other than that, it's pretty much like the default setting of Schism.

There have been technological advances, all of which the megacorp has patented. These advances were made by people like the PCs, who've had their brainpower Boosted by the procedure. PCs are the company's main stock in trade, called "Alphas." They are well-paid, as are any dependents they have listed. They have to be: according to statistics, the pocedure they undergo gives them an average lifespan of 5-10 years after the procedure. They either collapse physically or mentally, sometimes both. Drugs given to them by the company dampen the nastier side-effects of the procedure, but they become sterile in the process. Most of them shrug when this is brought up; most Alphas pretty much came from the bottom of society's barrel anyway.

There are renegades, a large chunk of whom broke contracts with the megacorp. They are to be terminated on sight, as are any other targets so designated.  The characters are also photo-opportunities if the company so desires, complete with comic-book hero nicknames and costumes fro special occasions. Other than that, don't get caught doing anything compromising, defend all secrets (including corporate) with your life, and life for the characters is peachy.

You are dead soon. You are property. Will you die on your knees, or on your feet?

Comments? Feedback?
Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!

Jared A. Sorensen

Sounds do-able. Especially since a major inspiration of Schism was the movie Blade Runner.
jared a. sorensen /

Spooky Fanboy

I like it because it gives me the opportunity to try out Ron's dual-tier Humanity. In this game, Humanity marks two things: Your independence versus your willingness to do what you're told, and your human-sided method of doing things vs. your eagerness to use your powers. Both of these determine your core Humanity stat.

Also, another bit of setting coolness:

In this game, Big Business (including media and entertainment) is de facto the fourth branch of government. What is good for Big Business is good for the government, and vice versa. All citizens have an ID card that allows them access to their assets, as well as their Unversal Healthcare. There are numerous security measures, but sometimes criminals try to swipe and use a stolen card anyway. The card has an ID system that's unique to every individual, but nonetheless looks suspiciously like an UPC barcode.

The rebellious youth has seized this fact, and they have shaved their heads (and as much body hair as they can), and tattooed their ID barcode to their foreheads. What was once a way of gaining access to their cards in the event they were stolen has become a symbolic protest against becoming a product. These street punks (called "units" or "barcodes" in street-slang) have become a troublesome source of discontent with the powers that be. The movement as a whole is tolerated, but barely, and most of these kids are labeled troublemakers whether they are or not.
Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!