For quite some time, I've been working on a campaign set in a post apocalyptic world. Getting to the starting point has been a very slow process, but I am finally here. The following is an introduction to the post apocalyptic world in which my game campaign takes place:
The world ended with a whimper. There was no single global event that placed its stamp on the end of the world. It was more of a drawn out unraveling of social order and structure. And while no single calamitous event could claim to be the cause, many predictions of the doom-sayers contributed to the collective failing of humanity.
As the world embraced technology, people found that through this technology, they had a voice. As it turned out, the loudest voices came from those who dissented the most. Thus, instead of bringing the world together as a global community, technology inadvertently succeeded in cutting the world up into an ever growing number of angry, fearful little islands.
This fragmentation had many negative effects, including that of disrupting productivity and trade, bringing about a global recession. The recession turned into depression, food and medicine became scarce, global famine and disease started to take a huge toll. Wars sprouted, governments failed, and nuclear weapons and all sorts of chemical and biological agents fell into the hands of feudal warlords. Chaos abounded, and many, many people died.
In the span of a generation, the many billions of earth's population were reduced to millions. To further compound humanity's problems, the abandoned and ruined remnants of man's enterprises brought about environmental catastrophes and geological anomalies, literally changing the face of the planet.
In the After, society ceased to exist.
But, alone and miserable, a few people somehow survived. And in time, a few, here and there, came together, and they began to rebuild the world. Rag-tag bands of scavengers grew into villages, incorporating tools and resources from the Before. In some places, villages grew into towns and even cities, and rarely, cities united and created loosely governed territories. And that is the state of world in the After.