The gangs of Chicago were uniquely situated to survive after the collapse of mainstream authority in the city. While their populations were no more spared the initial die-off than anyone else, they were more accustomed to the violence that followed, had organizational hierarchies to follow, had caches of weapon, and were psychologically prepared to take harsh steps when required. They acted swiftly to appropriate foodstuffs and supplies, which they used themselves and sold to what civilians could afford their prices. Over the next decade the gangs largely let old conflicts rest as survival took priority, and the die-offs brought plenty of elbow room. Survivors flockedRead More →

Before the apocalypse Chicago was organized into 77 community areas, each of which contained multiple neighborhoods. This division is useful to us in designing our version of it, because it allows us to parcel our information out in manageable chunks. As our PCs move through the city, we can use these areas and neighborhoods to tell them where they are, without having to track them block by block, street by street, building by building. That’s a lot of work. What’s in an area? We could just jump into our first area and start brainstorming, but there’s a better and more systemic way to go aboutRead More →

By 2034 Chicago was surrounded by a dense suburban sprawl to a distance of at least 30 miles in every direction. Residential neighborhoods, smaller towns, and commercial centers all blend together into endless concrete foothills before the city itself. It’s more spacious than the metropolis itself, a buffer between it and the more natural farmland and regrowing prairie of Illinois. Overview The years following the collapse haven’t been kind to the ‘burbs, as the native prairie has done what it can to reclaim the concrete, aided by the frequent super-storms. Much of it is in ruins, and much of it has been picked over, butRead More →

As presented, post-apocalyptic Chicago is a fine setting but we haven’t touched on the other elements required for a campaign. This is intentional, as the purpose of these posts is to provide you with the tools you can use to run your own games. Part of it is simply the nature of the sandbox. Players drive the action and set their own goals. However, if we provide some sort of more specific context, we can save the PCs from the dangers of decision paralysis – a goal, even nebulous, gives them a direction to plan in. G-Men The framework I had in mind while conceptualizingRead More →

In our first post we introduced the notion of a post-apocalyptic urban sandbox set in Chicago, covering the setting in broad strokes aside from the city of Chicago itself. Let’s handle that today. Structure of the City Chicago is divided up into 77 community areas, each comprised of multiple neighborhoods. The community areas have stronger definition than the neighborhoods, so we’ll focus on them as we develop the city’s post-apocalyptic future. This also gives us less work to do. More broadly, we can divide the city up into four “sides:” North, South, West, and Central. East is Lake Michigan. Before the apocalypse Chicago boasted aRead More →