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The future isn’t what it used to be. Then again, neither is the past.

It’s the year 2150 AD…as near as can be determined. The century known to history as the Roaring 20th — fifty years of madcap technological excess, followed by fifty years of escalating warfare — ended a hundred and fifty years ago, and civilization still hasn’t recovered from its disastrous end.

Now the world has largely reverted to wilderness, through which prowl savage, mutated beasts with a taste for human flesh. The ruins of once-famous cities like New Amsterdam and Lost Vegas hold forgotten treasures and decaying technological marvels. You’ll search there in vain for people, however — humanity has survived by going elsewhere.

Most of mankind huddles in the cities of the NeoVictorian Empire, where technological progress and social change are considered crimes against nature, and the laws against such things are enforced with swift and brutal justice. Treading lightly across the land, the nomadic NeoBedouin hunt, trade, and survive constant danger from beast and man alike. And in the skies above, platforms cobbled together and held aloft by giant gasbags hold the floating cities of the Skyloft.

It’s a dangerous, gritty, brutal world, where you have to be just as dangerous, gritty and brutal to survive. And the most dangerous, gritty and brutal of all are the Airship Pirates. By good luck or bad, those from all walks of life may find themselves flying under the Black Flag; some take to it eagerly, while some try to remain decent folk underneath it all.

Airship Pirates — are they the last, best hope to bring new life to a slowly dying world? Or are they merely a pimple on the back end of world history? Let’s find out together!

And Now For A Bit Of Meta

This campaign is being run as part of a regular rotation of games held weekly at our Friendly Local Gaming Store. We trade off GMing duties, each of us running a different game.

The game in question is the Airship Pirates RPG; it’s based on a novel that’s based in turn on the music of renowned steampunk band Abney Park. The game uses a streamlined version of the Heresy Engine (also used by Cubicle 7’s Victoriana and Dark Harvest) for cinematic action in a gritty world.

Though the setting pretty much rocks on toast, there were one or two things that didn’t quite sit well with me. So I changed them for my game. At some point, I may put up a wiki page detailing what I changed and what it was before, but for now that will have to remain a mystery. What’s described here is how it works in my version of the setting.

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The "Lucky Strike" Casino Lounge and Airship Piratin' Society jso jso