Breakdown - Life in the Shadows

W Quinellipe ("Quin") Zorn
  • RPG
System: Breakdown
Date: Oct 29 8:00pm (4 hours)
Spaces: 4
Attendee/Player Age: 18+
Safety Tools: Other,Script Change,Open Door Policy
Characters: Created at the table
The game Breakdown features highly-stressed protagonists ("Pros," as we call these characters) trying to do some fundamental good amid a tide of inhumanity. Their emotional drive makes them powerful and vulnerable; the harder they push, the more they risk breaking down.

The Life in the Shadows setting is focused on people under pressure in a near-future "Big Brother"/Orwellian state. Inspirations include today"s headlines about surveillance and privacy and/or fiction such as...

  • Brazil, the movie, where Sam Lowry tries to cope with the Orwellian state crushing him

  • "Life During Wartime" (especially the extended version) by the Talking Heads, as already mentioned above

  • Fahrenheit 451's Guy Montag, awoken by a precocious nonconformist and his wife's suicide attempt to realize the desperation of his empty life, the oppression of his labor, and a sudden desire to truly experience life amid a culture bent on control, stultification, and self-indulgence

  • Blade Runner highlights characters caught in existential crisis - especially the "replicants" with their false memories and short lives


Some inspirations more specific to the world setting include: the TV show Max Headroom: 15 Minutes into the Future; the roleplaying game Paranoia; the book Neuromancer; the book or movie A Clockwork Orange; the book 1984; the TV show The X-Files; the video for the song "Revolution Action" by Atari Teenage Riot; and (not to whatsoever suggest reusing its creepy sexism, just speaking to its superficial setting aspects) the TV show Dollhouse.
Content Advisory!
Depends on characters created, to be discussed at table
Tags: Comical Alternate History Fantasy Horror GM-less Player antagonism Collaborative Drama Romance Cyberpunk Intrigue Provocative

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