At first glance, San Francisco, 1999, is a bustling city of hope and growth. Classrooms are full of eager students. Buses, trains, and cars bring a flow of workers in from the surrounding suburbs to power the dot com boom. But the City by the Bay is quickly succumbing to the technocracy. Art, music and dance are no longer taught in school. Everyone competes to get into the elite science and technical prep schools instead. A growing number are being priced out and forced to beg on the streets, but the white collar workers don’t see them. They walk with their eyes down and their shoulders hunched against the cold fog of the morning. All they have the energy to worry about is how they are putting dinner on the table tonight for their own family. They don’t look around and see their neighbor struggling. They don’t look ahead and plan for tomorrow. And they don’t look up at the sky and wonder “what if?” The technocracy didn’t need to outlaw dreaming. People stopped doing that on their own. Welcome to “Another Brick in the Wall.”
Another Brick in the Wall, shorthanded as “ABitW”, is my new tabletop campaign that I am GMing. Yes, the game is inspired by the Pink Floyd song by the same name. As the intro suggests, it is a game of mages in the age of the technocracy. The leadership of the traditions on earth has been killed. Earth has been effectively cut off from Horizon (the umbral city that serves as a safe haven for tradition mages) due to the dearth of high level spirit mages who could reach it safely and reliably. In San Francisco, you guard your identity as a mage dearly. Your life depends on it.
I have a cast of five PCs, who find themselves in the middle of all of this. Of course, before I can tell you what happened to them in our first session, you’ll have to meet them. For those of you playing, there shouldn’t be any spoilers in these summaries. Continue reading