[Interface Zero] What happened to the U.S.?

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fenriswolf
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[Interface Zero] What happened to the U.S.?

#1 Postby fenriswolf » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:59 pm

I just received my book and I'm prepping for my first IZ session to run. I browsed through the history of the world section and it's a lot to soak up. I'm trying to come up with a succinct summary to explain the collapse of the United States as a world power. I understand that the oil crisis played a large part as well as the second civil war. I know that my players are going to ask what the heck happened that caused the downfall of the country and to explain why it is now divided into smaller countries and city-states. I was wondering if someone could help me out with a brief explanation that makes sense.

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Re: [Interface Zero] What happened to the U.S.?

#2 Postby robert4818 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:11 pm

fenriswolf wrote:I just received my book and I'm prepping for my first IZ session to run. I browsed through the history of the world section and it's a lot to soak up. I'm trying to come up with a succinct summary to explain the collapse of the United States as a world power. I understand that the oil crisis played a large part as well as the second civil war. I know that my players are going to ask what the heck happened that caused the downfall of the country and to explain why it is now divided into smaller countries and city-states. I was wondering if someone could help me out with a brief explanation that makes sense.


There's also a big (and I don't really agree with this) part of "Evangelical Christianity" causing too much strife within the country. This isn't a forum for politics, so I'll leave my opinion at that.
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#3 Postby Vinzent » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:16 pm

How about a view that corruption on the federal level caused a lack of faith. The result was state after state seceding to protect their own interests.
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Re: [Interface Zero] What happened to the U.S.?

#4 Postby DavidJ » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:44 pm

fenriswolf wrote:I just received my book and I'm prepping for my first IZ session to run. I browsed through the history of the world section and it's a lot to soak up. I'm trying to come up with a succinct summary to explain the collapse of the United States as a world power. I understand that the oil crisis played a large part as well as the second civil war. I know that my players are going to ask what the heck happened that caused the downfall of the country and to explain why it is now divided into smaller countries and city-states. I was wondering if someone could help me out with a brief explanation that makes sense.


Conceptually It (The fall of the United States) is a bit of a mirror of the first civil war in terms of the politics.

Oil had nothing to do with it. That was decades before, and had mroe to do with the nuclear war that started in the middle east.

But I digress.

Religion played into it, this is true. The large evangelical population of the nation started complaining about the rights of bio-forms (simulacra) and artificially intelligent constructs, like androids and sentient AI in the Deep. Predictably, there was violence and prejudice (much of it fueled by the fact that androids were starting to take jobs from humans in an already ravaged economy), at first small but when authorities started turning a blind eye, people grew bolder and the violence grew.

Resource wars also played heavily into it as well, specifically with fresh water. A particularly long drought forced States to begin controlling access to reservoirs, which in turn sparked violent clashes between the government and a growing separatist movement (comprised of people with various political affiliations, no small number of which were Simulacra and hybrid activists).

Things quickly spiraled out of control and soon The president suspended elections. That's when the secessions started. Backed by State governments in the Great Lakes region, various separatist militias banded together ( Forming the Great Lakes Union) and vowed to reunited the nation, which led to a bloody civil war.

in 2065 Low Yield dirty bombs were set off in a number of cities, such as Chicago ( a major battleground in the early part of the war), prompting some of them to ask NATO for peace-keeping troops, who gladly obliged and sent humanitarian aid along with thousands of troops VIA Canada and Mexico to help these cities form their own government and become "free" from control by any of the warring factions.

Long story short; The war raged on for a little while longer, until the Great quake of 2066 decimated much of the western coastline in California. Both sides, nearly bankrupt and unable to get any loans from other nations declared an armistice.

Over the next couple of years, a number of nations would take advantage of the turmoil to form their own nations: Cascadia, The Republic of Texas, the Great Lakes Union, The North American Coalition, and Atlantica.

And that's the fall of North America in a nutshell.
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#5 Postby Clash957 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:13 am

The United States breaking down into more city-state like nations is a classic trope of cyberpunk as well. It was one of the things I liked about the Book Snow Crash with its various Burclaves. Can't remember if Neromancer's Sprawl was a separate country. Shadowrun I recall had this city state thing going as well.

The idea also feeds into the dystopian themes of punk. The nation was bought and sold piece by piece giving more power to entities that aren't "We the People." Several nations also allow for the Ronin, Shadowrunners, etc. to be a little more plausible (and not feel like treasonous, criminal bastards) since they can more easily move from city-state to city-state starting a clean slate. Megacorps don't often have extradition policies in place since they don't see other nation-states as anything more than competitors.

Personal feelings aside on the how the United States broke apart in Interface Zero, I think it is important for a cyberpunk, even a post-cyberpunk, to keep this trope as it makes more interesting stories than a single massive Big Brother agency keeping tabs on everyone Ronin. Overall I don't think the fall of the United States in Interface Zero is too hard to swallow for suspension of disbelief to get everything I want in a cyberpunk world.
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#6 Postby fenriswolf » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:10 am

Thanks for all of the input. I'm a former Shadowrun player and GM and I know the meta plot for that world fairly well. IZ is completely new territory for me and I wanted to make sure that I could explain the downfall of the U.S. without butchering it or just reading from the book. Your examples will work fine for setting the scene of the first session. Man, I have a ton of work to do.

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#7 Postby DavidJ » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:49 am

fenriswolf wrote:Thanks for all of the input. I'm a former Shadowrun player and GM and I know the meta plot for that world fairly well. IZ is completely new territory for me and I wanted to make sure that I could explain the downfall of the U.S. without butchering it or just reading from the book. Your examples will work fine for setting the scene of the first session. Man, I have a ton of work to do.


I hope I could be of some assistance.

If you have more questions, feel free to send me a PM
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Re: [Interface Zero] What happened to the U.S.?

#8 Postby Jordan Peacock » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:07 pm

thurak wrote:Religion played into it, this is true. The large evangelical population of the nation started complaining about the rights of bio-forms (simulacra) and artificially intelligent constructs, like androids and sentient AI in the Deep. Predictably, there was violence and prejudice


Just to be clear ... are you saying that in this setting, the "'evangelical population" are complaining in the sense of arguing FOR rights for bio-forms and AI constructs, or are you suggesting that they're AGAINST them? Describing them as complaining "about" doesn't exactly clarify where they're supposed to be on the issue.
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Re: [Interface Zero] What happened to the U.S.?

#9 Postby DavidJ » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:09 pm

Jordan Peacock wrote:
thurak wrote:Religion played into it, this is true. The large evangelical population of the nation started complaining about the rights of bio-forms (simulacra) and artificially intelligent constructs, like androids and sentient AI in the Deep. Predictably, there was violence and prejudice


Just to be clear ... are you saying that in this setting, the "'evangelical population" are complaining in the sense of arguing FOR rights for bio-forms and AI constructs, or are you suggesting that they're AGAINST them? Describing them as complaining "about" doesn't exactly clarify where they're supposed to be on the issue.


The majority are against the rights of bio-forms and AI's
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#10 Postby kronovan » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:48 pm

And GM's think it's difficult to fathom the backstory for the US, you should try Canada! :eek: Have you noticed the Canada of 2088 is 1 big politically homoginous entity in the northern half of the continent, yet for unexplained reasons both Vancouver and Toronto are free cities? At least with the US you have defined regional bounderies and 3 major metropolitan areas fully detailed via the source book and companion products.

Just to handle a future Vancouver, BC for my campaign I had to create the Rebuplic of Neo-Caledonia, the West Kootenay Confederation, the New Douglas Dominion and the Western Plains Coalition complete wih all the back history and geographic boundaries. Then I had to detail FreeCoV (Free City of Vancouver) with distinct locations like Lord Stanley Island, Retrotown, the Downtown Gasside, Neo-Shanghai, the British Shore, WAP (Whistler Alpine Playground), the Whistler Wilderness and the East Shore Bible Belt - the NAC's little, uh-hum, portal into FreeCoV.

Not to mention I had to create a fully functional Hybrid Hockey League - WAP Wolverines rule! I'd name star players, but most of them died in their 1st season - oh the bliss of legalized, gladiatorial sports. :razz:

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#11 Postby Kodyax » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:49 pm

kronovan wrote:And GM's think it's difficult to fathom the backstory for the US, you should try Canada! :eek: Have you noticed the Canada of 2088 is 1 big politically homoginous entity in the northern half of the continent, yet for unexplained reasons both Vancouver and Toronto are free cities? At least with the US you have defined regional bounderies and 3 major metropolitan areas fully detailed via the source book and companion products.

Just to handle a future Vancouver, BC for my campaign I had to create the Rebuplic of Neo-Caledonia, the West Kootenay Confederation, the New Douglas Dominion and the Western Plains Coalition complete wih all the back history and geographic boundaries. Then I had to detail FreeCoV (Free City of Vancouver) with distinct locations like Lord Stanley Island, Retrotown, the Downtown Gasside, Neo-Shanghai, the British Shore, WAP (Whistler Alpine Playground), the Whistler Wilderness and the East Shore Bible Belt - the NAC's little, uh-hum, portal into FreeCoV.

Not to mention I had to create a fully functional Hybrid Hockey League - WAP Wolverines rule! I'd name star players, but most of them died in their 1st season - oh the bliss of legalized, gladiatorial sports. :razz:


A hybrid hockey league? This bear wants to know more!

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#12 Postby kronovan » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:50 pm

I‘m currently working to expand and polish the HHL. You may be happy to know there‘s a Boston Bears, who are -you guessed it- mostly bear. :)

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#13 Postby Kodyax » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:04 pm

Heh, sounds good, which can be odd coming from me, as I live in Philadelphia and yes, I follow the local NHL franchise. I like hockey in general, which is why I made sure I paid for the promotional hockey jersey for Fur Fright this year.

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#14 Postby Kodyax » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:08 pm

I also need to find folks to play IZ locally. I really like the way this setting is laid out.

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#15 Postby salcor » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:44 pm

So does the old OGL book Warmachines of the 21st Century: Vol 1 Robots fall into the Interface Zero civil war?


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#16 Postby DavidJ » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:11 pm

salcor wrote:So does the old OGL book Warmachines of the 21st Century: Vol 1 Robots fall into the Interface Zero civil war?
Salcor


I've often thought about taking those designs and savaging them. I still might, but right now, no they don't
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#17 Postby Kodyax » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:43 am

Never got into war machines, but I am interested in hearing any details on history however it can be expanded. If for nothing else than a potentially good read.

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#18 Postby crazytrpr » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:37 pm

Clash957 wrote:The United States breaking down into more city-state like nations is a classic trope of cyberpunk as well. It was one of the things I liked about the Book Snow Crash with its various Burclaves. Can't remember if Neromancer's Sprawl was a separate country. Shadowrun I recall had this city state thing going as well.

The idea also feeds into the dystopian themes of punk. The nation was bought and sold piece by piece giving more power to entities that aren't "We the People." Several nations also allow for the Ronin, Shadowrunners, etc. to be a little more plausible (and not feel like treasonous, criminal bastards) since they can more easily move from city-state to city-state starting a clean slate. Megacorps don't often have extradition policies in place since they don't see other nation-states as anything more than competitors.

Personal feelings aside on the how the United States broke apart in Interface Zero, I think it is important for a cyberpunk, even a post-cyberpunk, to keep this trope as it makes more interesting stories than a single massive Big Brother agency keeping tabs on everyone Ronin. Overall I don't think the fall of the United States in Interface Zero is too hard to swallow for suspension of disbelief to get everything I want in a cyberpunk world.


THIS a broken up US or any other all powerful mega state s what makes a game playable.

IRL a 2nd US civil war is more than plausible, though it won't involve armies in the classical sense. More guerrila/terror than armies my $.02


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