After the Bomb

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After the Bomb is a setting in the Palladium Megaverse, in which 99.9% of humanity died in a nuclear-biological war known as The Death, but which their genetically modified creations (mostly intelligent animals with varying degrees of anthropomorphicness) were just different enough to survive. Originally, it was a supplement for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG; in 2001, the 'second edition' was made into a standalone game, because the game it was a supplement for was out-of-print.

The Death[edit]

The end of the world started with a high school prank and ended with the ultimate hack.

Before the Death (also called the Crash, the Bomb, the Big Death, or many other names depending on who you ask; they all know what you are talking about), the world was a paradise thanks to genetic engineering. New foods (including the 'meat potato', which grew with normal vegetables but had the cell structure and taste of a pound of pot roast, and the EverFruit, a small fruiting evergreen with a kudzu-like root system that grows food year-long but starves out other plants for meters) had brought most of humanity out of starvation. Gengineered plants with petroleum sap gave the farmers who were put out of work by these gengineered foods a job and more respect, while solving the problem of dwindling oil supplies just as neat as you could please. Most diseases had been conquered, and even the real baddies like cancer and AIDS were put into remission with the same precision and regularity that tonsils are removed. Genetic tools were commonplace, and people could purchase EGGs (Embryonic Genome Generators) that allowed people to create transgenic mice, dogs, cats, rats, and all sorts of other combinations. Some combined human and animal DNA illegally, but once the result was alive and healthy, the government could do little to intervene.

However, people are still people, and people do stupid things. One day, a high school student snuck a test tube home, and using these common genetic tools, created a disease that was able to get around all the safeguards and immunity shots. And he got sick. Violently sick. He basked in the fifteen minutes of fame he received for pulling such an insane stunt, but got no worse than a slap on the wrist, because he had put no-one else in danger.

Soon, creating 'prankster diseases' was an underground extreme sport; people would push themselves closer and closer to death in pursuit of the ultimate rush. Self-proclaimed experts and posers alike were cranking out new diseases, contagious and non, in an escalating biological arms race. While the media whined loudly and the government tried to stop it, no progress was made fast enough to stop the ultimate hack.

A group of genetic hackers started to gather on the Internet, posting their theories and discussing them. No normal bacteria or virus would do, they said -- they needed a disease that was identical to a human cell. Millions of hours of processing time, using an enormous shared-processing-power network, created this transgenic monster in a few weeks. It was so lethal and quick to spread that seventy four percent of the human race died, as well as a tenth of all mammals and two percent of all other animal life.

What would you do in such a situation? Seeing their race was dying, every group needed someone to blame -- and the cause, of course, was never themselves. The remainder of humanity struck at itself, as if a hard enough blow had not been dealt already, hoping they could find a cure, an answer, with their bombs. The wars they fought were entirely remote, with missiles and nuclear bombs. The human race was decimated.

However, the gengineered animals still had a chance. Imbued with the new intelligence, humanity, and other abilities from their human benefactors, and being (for the most part) immune to the prankster diseases, the animals inherited the Earth.

Setting[edit]

Most of the setting section of the book is dedicated to the eastern coast of North America (or so it says; read my second caveat for this section). However, there's also a listing of two a dozen or so important countries (old and new) from around the world. The information includes current political situation, official and unofficial languages, population and dominant species in that population, capital, government type, military power, level of technology, level of education, level of economy, and currency.

The MacGuffin for adventures in this game is the Empire of Humanity, a loose combination-slash-stereotype of seditionist survivalist groups, corrupt government suits, and white supremacy coalitions. Although their numbers are dwindling due to rising infertility and gradual introduction of animal DNA into the gene pool (no crossbreeds allowed in the New Human Order), they still retain control of one of the highest levels of technology in the world.

System[edit]

The system used for After the Bomb is a variation on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles version of Palladium's in-house Megaversal game system; while it is commonly believed that the TMNT version of Megaversal System was the best, it is nonetheless an older system and has numerous odd rules. Among many fans, the old-school charm of the rules are a major draw.

A huge number of base species are provided.

External Links[edit]