Mankind is at something of a juncture. H724 didn’t wipe the species out but it did erase some of the technologies and advances that had defined decades of progress.
There is no doubt that mankind will continue to survive, how quickly they can rebuild is another question. Despite the relatively large number of people left, there are nowhere near enough to make the world work like it had before and many technologies have been lost forever. Towards the end, libraries got looted like they were supermarkets or gun stores as people tried to retain knowledge and expertise in the form of books. People that had never even seen a field were going to have to figure out how to farm and for many, books were the only remaining method of learning.
Free from mankind’s destructive nature on a large scale, the world itself is starting to heal. There is no more drilling or fracking or mining or pollution and nature is starting to flourish again, free from mankind’s dark influence. It has only been a year but the air smells better, there is no pollution, and mother nature can once again be seen exerting her dominance on the planet. This can most readily be seen by the fingers of grass starting to creep around the edges of roads.
As the world moves into its first post-virus Spring and mankind attempts to heal and rebuild, so does the planet. So, grab some friends and some dice, create your characters and prepare to survive in a Fractured world.
Some things to remember.
There are no central authorities left, no governments, no military, no supply-chain, and next to no loyalty remains for anyone outside of your family or clan. Enough people with enough weapons can lay claim to anywhere - or anything - they feel entitled to unless someone is willing to try and stop them.
In a fractured country where territorial maps are being rewritten at a whim, you are going to have to navigate tribal lines and continually shifting threats as you look for your own place of safety.
Or maybe you will decide to just keep moving, dealing with threats as they arise instead of making yourself a sitting target.
Things are rotting and spoiling and whatever is left of any value is going to be gone soon. But you still need to eat and drink. Whether you decide to scavenge, hunt or farm, securing resources will be sure to bring you into conflict with someone else at some point.
Some towns and cities are further along in their recover than others and have started establishing trade-routes with like-minded settlements. A couple of roadside trading posts and taverns have even appeared in various parts of the country, and they are as heavily armed and defended as anything in this new world.
You are going to have to decide if you are going to take your chances on your own, or if you are going to work with - and possibly recruit - NPCs, to produce a continual supply of food for you and yours.
Although parts of the electrical grid remain intact, relays continue to fail, and swaths of the country have no power and no clean water. Staying warm and dry is as important as staying fed and you are going to face continual challenges ranging from other humans, to wildlife, to the environment - and you will need to solve them all to stay alive.
In addition - and possibly scariest of all - with almost 50 million survivors in America alone, there are still many human threats that you need to navigate, ranging from warlords seizing territory, to religious zealots reveling in the rapture of the end times, to bandits looking to take whatever they can from anyone that has something worth taking, to cannibals looking to make you their next meal.
The world everyone knew is gone, along with all the comforts and upside that it had previously brought. News broadcasts & the internet went out months into the pandemic and no one knows anything for sure that they haven’t seen themselves. Rumors are rife. Nothing and no one can be trusted.
Anyone who is still alive has likely had to do terrible things to survive, and anyone with half a brain knows it’s not going to get any easier, any time soon. You will have to decide who you are willing to trust, and just how far that trust will extend as you interact with desperate people.
But, even in the dark there are sparks of hope. Places remain where people are trying to work together for a brighter future. If you find these communities then you may want to enter to trade, socialize, or simply see what is on offer. Maybe you’ll want to try and join them (if you are permitted) and throw in your lot with a rebuilding effort. You may attempt to raid the place and see what you can steal. You might even decide to try and take over.
Whatever you choose, you are going to have to decide how you deal with the strangers you encounter and the consequences of the choices you make.
And remember to keep you mask on.