on hiatus, switched campaigns_…see DM_Shane (right) for new campaign…
The World, Now:
Thirty years ago, the US government, in an attempt to design a new breed of super-soldiers, created a super-virus which not only enhanced the users strength and stamina, but let them feel no pain, enabling them to focus purely on killing. Unfortunately, the virus, known only as RA/6-3 or “Rage”, also significantly decreases the users intelligence, within minutes resulting in a mindless hulk, bent on killing anything living. Within hours of ingestion, the subject seems to calmly die, motor and brain function ceasing for up to 30 minutes before the subject rises again with a single-minded desire to attack the living. There has been no evidence that the subjects suffer any pain, only motor-neural shut-down.
In a very small number of subjects, a glimmer of intelligence can be seen, mainly evidenced in the planning of attacks or retreats and tool or weapon use.
After the disaster with the super-virus, the US government had shutdown the project, but not before greed had had a chance to ruin the world for the rest of us…
Elements within the agency tasked with dismantling the project instead took all of the samples and data underground, continuing to test applications for foreign Military and Corporate clients. An accidental release of the Rage Virus at first went untreated, allowing a wide-spread outbreak which quickly swept the world. As soon as the extent of the virus was understood, most of the nations of the world called for US or UN extermination of this threat. The US responded quickly and decisively, tac-nuking the most infected areas and sending in divisions of men and machines to hunt down the remainders. Unfortunately the nukes didn’t work quite as planned…starting with the earthquakes that compromised water, power and telephone lines, to the melting of the polar caps and the huge tidal waves that wiped out dozens of cities and towns around the world.
Aside from the destruction caused by the blast, the Rage-Zombies were immune to the radiation, making them radioactive as well as undead! Huge numbers of soldiers were lost in the fighting, many due to radiation poisoning: all of the dead rose again as Rage-Zombies, further damaging morale. A few of the communist nations, fearing that this was an attempt by the US to gain control of the rest of the world, denied the US forces entry, some going so far as killing US forces on sight, others even resorting to nuking US cities and satellites in retaliation. Communication has become problematic at best, in many cases becoming virtually impossible.
The US and Canada are desolate, radiation filled wastelands, human habitations being few and far between. There is now no organized government, law being whatever you make it.
Europe has been ravaged by the US missile strikes, leaving many scattered settlements that choose to have no contact with the rest of the world.
England declared martial law almost immediately, quickly moving to cut off the island nation from the rest of Europe. As a result, only minimal damage was caused by the US nuclear strikes, mainly in the south of England.
Asia and the pan-pacific are largely untouched, except for a few radioactive holes where Shanghai and Tokyo used to be. The Oriental Nations have become very insular, excluding any who are not like them, cutting off all contact with the western world. The last anyone had heard, more than 25 years ago, the ‘ON’ had begun working on a possible cure…which they were going to keep for their own people.
Australia is the least affected by the nukes, only losing the coastal cities in the tidal waves and earthquakes that followed the US strikes. Unfortunately for Australia, the global conditions have resulted in a ring of radioactive ‘smog’ around the whole nation, almost completely cutting it off from the rest of the world!
Although many nations have become much more isolationist, the Australian Congress has decided to begin limited relief efforts, beginning with the shattered US and Canada.
Prepping a fleet of older cargo planes, the AusiCongress has begun the first ‘fact-finding’ missions to the US…
Known effects and features of the static radiation clouds include:
- Limited exposure results in exhaustion and fatigue effects (1d6 Endurance lost/turn of cumulative exposure), continued exposure results in sores, weakness and sickness, eventually death. (1d6 Life Points lost/turn-cumulative)
- Clouds are immune to wind and weather effects, appearing to swirl with an inner motion. (Clouds can be, and have been, apparently controlled in some way by Kevlars, a new and highly dangerous type of Rage zombie.)
- Slightly warm to the touch, the mist moves aside easily, seeming to ‘swallow you’ like treacle. (..and immediately starts to drain you; see #1)
- Green color is derived from the radioactive gamma-hydroxide particles suspended in the mist.
- Radar and sonar are unaffected in the cloud, normal and thermal vision are limited, lights are diffused to a 10-12ft glow. Electronics all futz if exposed for long periods. (All electrical equipment becomes unreliable, failing on a roll of 1 or 2 on a d10)
- Cities and towns with populations larger than 10000 were hit by at least one nuke, larger cities were hit multiple times, up-to 12 times in some cases…
- Most of the active electronics on the planet were subjected to a series of massive EMPs, generated by the huge volume of nukes being unleashed in such a short time-frame, All unshielded electronics may fail…1 or 2 on a d10 each minute or turn active
- Old gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel has been found still effective, even after all this time, provided there was no contact with outside air. Some have speculated that the chemical makeup of the air has changed somehow, due to the amount of fallout; what exactly is happening is unclear.
- Further info pending…