It took many things, all occurring so close together as to be simultaneous.
It took decades of war, with nuclear weapons, biological weapons, and weapons so powerful that they could devastate entire nation states. It took years of economic collapse, famine, unemployment, fuel shortages, stock market crashes, crop loss, infrastructure decay and countless other factors that were so varied and so nuanced as to be almost unpredictable.
It did not happen overnight. It happened slowly. One country went bankrupt financially, while another went morally bankrupt under the guise of righteousness. Some people suffered and tried to recover, while others flared up, like brilliant sparks, and then went dark far too soon to have made much of an impact on the rest of the world. Slowly, things got worse in regions all across the globe.
Eventually, even the greatest nations were laid low by war, crime, disease, greed, and the loss of the thin veil of civility. The human race would have been able to recover much faster, and the world would have been well on the way to recovery had it not been for the way people turned on each other.
Now, generations have passed. No one knows how many. People are getting by as best they can. They struggle to perfect skills that their great grandparents left behind as progress carried them forward. They plant crops in areas where the soil will still allow things to grow. They hunt wild game, sometimes in places that were once considered refined and sophisticated. They travel the highways and roads of their homelands, trying to piece together the strange technologies and mysterious devices that their ancestors left behind.
From the struggle to find enough to eat, to the battle that must ensue when one tribe decides to steal the resources of another, the world is at once new, and brutally the same as it has ever been. It is into this world, a world that lacks the encyclopedic knowledge that countless generations before accumulated and preserved, stride our cast of characters.L.
Oh great. Just about every ten seconds, my concept changes, or the whim of my players change.
In order to make sure that i am going to have enough material, or the appropriate type, i am now adding some GM only spaces, allowing me to add or subtract which are played/visible at any given time.