Donaldrun Campaign Aspects
1. High Fantasy, High Tech – This campaign is set roughly 3000 years after the ascension of Stuart, Son of Stuart to the throne of the Donaldlands. By this time, the peoples of the Donaldlands have fully embraced technology, adapting many of the once-mysterious concepts designed by Robert Palmer and others into everyday life. Average citizens are fitted with Donaldlands Identification Bracelets, allowing the monitoring of everything from heart rate to finances to current location by both the user and others. Information is readily available to all through corporate networks, but an enterprising “nethack” can enter the “Bloodnet” to find black market secrets, obtain illegal code, or even violate the networks of major corporations. The once-feudal system of government has been replaced by the total embracing of expansionist capitalism, with the traditional Donaldic Kingdom evolving over time into DonCo – a multibillion Donnie, multifaceted, extraterritorial corporation with tendrils snaking into many spheres of influence. At the top is the CEO, known to the public at large – and even to most of his employees – as “The Donald”. Though DonCo is acknowledged to be the largest such corporation, many others exist. Some, like Dread Islands Exports, provide for their employee/citizens by trading in their exotic local flora and fauna. Others, such as Faewild Holdings, Inc., attempt to preserve a racial heritage by marketing magical services. And still others, such as the OtherContinental Corp, practice a business of nationalistic exclusion, hoping to do only what little trade they need to supplement their otherwise insular existence.
2. Under a Raging Moon – The expansionist DonCo operate under a corporatized version of the “Manifest Destiny” ideal. Believing that all lands are theirs by divine right, many cities and small corps have fallen under their sway. Long ago, DonCo established the Donaldlands Lunar Colony on the surface of the moon, sending citizen/employees to cultivate this new land and send back resources. However, over a lengthy period of time, DonCo began to neglect the DLC, and sent very few resources back. This ultimately led to a revolution, and the DLC declared themselves an independent nation, renaming themselves the Standalone Lunar Colony, or SLC. A protracted Cold War followed. The SLC knew they were no match for DonCo’s private military, and further knew that any force sent to the Donaldlands would likely be shot out of the sky before they even reached land. Instead, the leadership of the SLC set about using their valuable resources to bribe a succession of more and more powerful managers in DonCo, until they held sway over The Donald’s personal assistant. In an event known now as “Betty’s Exploding Memo”, The Donald was assassinated, creating chaos within the world’s largest corp. DonCo’s retaliation was swift and merciless. Four large missiles were launched, and detonated on the surface of the moon. The SLC was destroyed, as was the moon itself. The planet is now surrounded by a volatile ring of asteroids, and the repercussions are felt to this day. The tides have ceased, and the polar ice caps have begun to melt rapidly. He Unrelenting Sea has moved farther inland, burying Stormsea once and for all, and turning Donaldham into a coastal city buffeted by a terrible monsoon season. And worst of all, perhaps, is that night is now pitch dark, making reliance on electrical and magical lighting increase exponentially. Resources are dwindling in this darkness.
3. From The Darkness…Daggers! – With the rise of the Nation-Corp, the verbal jousts and courtly dealings of the past were replaced by electronic transactions and espionage. With DIB’s tracking the movements of average citizen/employees, a need arose to find “off-the-books”, deniable resources to do the clandestine jobs that corps needed done. These mercenaries would be contacted through back channels, given a target, and paid to carry out their mission in an untraceable manner. These mercenary groups gained the title “Daggers”, after the legendary organization of adventurers that took similar mercenary contracts. However, where the original Daggers were highly organized and generally thought to be heroic, today’s Daggers are small, unrelated groups that trade in unsavory, often deadly, deals.
4. What is Human? – For centuries, there have been “robots”. Originally animated by magical means, the first known robot was Robbie, built by Robert Palmer, after whom the field of “ROB-otics” was named. Now, robotics has grown from merely creating life to augmenting it. Cyberware is widely available to those who can afford the ware and a capable surgeon. For the right price, one can replace weak eyes with replacements featuring 10x magnification lenses. Arms can have retractable blades or data spikes installed. Or in extreme cases, an entire brain can be transferred into a droid body. This new hybridization between flesh and metal has called into question the concept of “humanity”. Though things like magical aptitude or knowledge do not diminish with added cyberware, studies are showing that the ability to identify with humans/demihumans emotionally begins to degrade as more robotics are introduced. Similarly, flesh people find it extremely difficult to relate or even interact with robots, due likely to the uncanny valley effect. Daggers tend to encounter this problem frequently, due to the prevalence of robotic Dagger operatives and the usefulness of cyberware in the Dagger’s jobs.
5. Noir in the Year 3000 – due to the nature of Daggers, as well as the destruction of the moon and the corporatized society, life as taken on a distinctly noir style. Daggers are just as likely to resemble Humphrey Bogart as they are to resemble Robocop or Neo. Similarly, Daggers take all kinds of jobs, and are just as likely to be investigating strange occurrences as they are to be stealing prototype cyberware. And with more and more Daggers incorporating cyberware, they have begun to embrace a hard lifestyle, drinking cheap intoxicants, smoking and taking stimulants, and pursuing other unsavory vices. This adds to their aura of danger, and forces them further into the darker recesses of the Donaldlands.