I’m going to start this post off with a disclaimer: This is about a roleplaying setting, and I do not categorically endorse real world violent rebellion against the police. This would generally be a bad idea and get you arrested, and there are probably a small number of bad apples giving the rest of the police a bad name.

Right, now, take all that real world restraint and lock it away. Put on some angry music; punk would be best, but anything will work; some old NWA (911 is a Joke, for example) would also work if you are into rap, or Hammers in my Head by A Miracle of Sound if you want something more modern, if a bit less angry then would be ideal.

You’ve got your music on? Good, now lets do some inspirational reading. Lets start with something I got off Reddit’s News of the Weird. Now look up some things on Adam Nobody. Heck, just go on youtube and watch police brutality videos for a bit. Then imagine this was Standard Operating Procedure; if you have trouble with this Transmetropolitan is a great comic series. Now take all of these bad, horrible things and turn them up to 11, at least in the cities; place a Bradburian dystopia in the suburbs. Now that we’ve set the stage, I give you:

Occupypunk, (Alternate Title: Yippiepunk)

They killed my Charlotte. Sweet innocent girl, just trying to make the world a better place, protesting and going to sit-ins and crap. Then the pigs beat her to death, and left me for dead. Too bad for them I didn’t die, and remembered their faces. I waited outside police stations for days, waited until I saw one I recognized, followed him home, out to the nice, safe, surveillance-free suburbs. Then I beat him to death, just like he did my Charlotte. The next one I just shot; after the first they were more careful. I had to get help with the next few; they knew my face by then, but luckily with all the shootings and beatings the pigs do, it wasn’t hard to find help. Once the government let them off their leashes, they’ve been running rampant, and there are a lot of people who’ve lost loved ones, limbs, friends, and bedmates to them. Only deal I had to promise them was that once we finish the ones who killed Charlotte, I’d help them with the ones who hurt them. You know, if I’m still alive. It isn’t like pighunting is conductive to a long and healthy life. One day they’ll catch me, like they caught Joe. Sent an entire SWAT team after him. Too bad for them someone got word to Joe that they were coming, and he had time to take so many uppers and dreck that he forgot how to die, for a little while anyway. Jumped them with a couple hatchets. They had to take him and a whole buncha the cops out in a bag, cus they couldn’t figure out what bits belonged to who. They’ll never get the blood out of that apartment, I live there now. Rent is really cheap, and the splatter is kinda artistic, if you’re into that kinda thing. Anyway, I don’t expect to have a long life, but hell, the courts ain’t administering justice, so someone has to.

I can’t think of much to add to this: It is probably the most straightforward of my settings, just channelling that helpless rage we feel when we watch the news these days into something constructive. Also, ripping off part of Steal This Book.

Anyway, I have some ideas on how you could do this setting in a game, to reward self-destructive punk gameplay. I’ll try and write them up later, until then, stay geeky.


Edit: I forgot to link the original RPG.net thread.

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Interesting idea.I wonder if it will be cathartic to peole–or just further accentuate their frustration with the system.

    • Well, I know that I wouldn’t be able to run something this dark. Of course, I couldn’t run most punk, despite being able to write ideas for it.

      • Dark settings are my forte so I am sure I could run this on my table.

  2. This sounds so very inappropriately fun.

    • That it does. Hard to avoid getting depressed by it though.

      • Lucky you are in Canada and made this post, or you might get a knock on your door for promoting terrorism. Now I have to worry about commenting on your post though, due to living in the US.

        • And that is why there is a disclaimer. Its unlikely the one job I’ve had that needed security clearance could hire me back (they got privatized and mostly shut down), so *shrug*

  3. Part of the problem I could see with an OccupyPunk campaign is the same problem I have identifying with the Occupy movement – a lack of focus.

    Really, I’d see this more as a modern resistance campaign with a quasi-totalitarian state. Actually, if there were a mechanic where the vengeance exacted upon the establishment resulted in increased brutality/decreased tolerance, more atrocities, and more cause for retaliation, it could be a fascinating (if very, very depressing) game.

    • I picked the name mostly to be provocative, but I kind of like the idea what it would be mostly PC run; what I call a responsive campaign, where the PCs do things, and the world responds to it. So I might have a set ‘if the PCs do nothing, X, then Y, then Z happens’, but each actions the PCs take makes me alter the world to accommodate for that action in a logical way, based on the people involved.

      I kind of see what you are saying, but I thought that was part of it being punk; punk wasn’t focused or coherent, it simply was, much like the characters in the game; They have a vague goal (vengeance) and some tools to accomplish that, and some names and such, and they can choose how to go about it. The DM could overlay some structure on top of this, by giving them information (a contact comes through with the name that goes with a badge number, a previously unavailable target transfers back into range, there is a crackdown they have to hide from, they discover one of them has been identified and is on the cops shitlist, etc)

      I like your idea of the spiral of violence, as I feel that would really boost the nihilism and futility of the game, but I generally don’t like putting mechanics on world events, as they make things very generic. Oh, you’ve done this much violence, now you get this response, etc. What I really don’t want is to make one of those story games where each campaign can only play out in one way (For example, Metal Öpera) I prefer loose guidelines for a DM to work with, that they can fiddle with or alter as they wish. I find once you put mechanics to something people treat it as a law, whereas people are much more comfortable altering guidelines and suggestions; have a look at all the people ripping apart D&Ds world based on spell abundance and economics for what I want to avoid.

  4. […] while back I ranted about punk and how it should be darker and more nihilistic, but didn’t really give any modern examples of […]

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