Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Brief History Lesson

Last time, we introduced you to the very basic concept of Psi-punk.  Today we'll share a brief history of the setting, as outlined in Chapter 1 of the upcoming source book.

A Brief History

            During World War II, the Nazis conducted several mind control experiments in an attempt to discover new methods of programming human beings, especially in relation to soldiers.  Despite having lost the war, they made great inroads in to the science of mental programming and mind control.  Most of this knowledge was captured by the Allied forces, but very little of it was destroyed.

            Two decades later during the Cold War, the Russians began their own research in to the paranormal and supernatural.  Utilizing Nazi techniques that were discovered by Russian spies, the Reds succeeded in inducing psychological phenomenon in their test subjects.  These subjects began to exhibit mental capabilities beyond that of simple brainwashing; telekinesis, clairvoyance, astralism, and dowsing are just some of the words used to describe abilities that were born out of these experiments.

            For generations, various world governments struggled to contain these experiments under a veil of secrecy; the general public could not know that human beings were being experimented on, nor could other superpowers lay their hands on the valuable psychic prototypes that were being engineered over time.

            In the year 2017, the now infamous escape of one such psychic being, Nathan Hunter, from a government facility in America had sparked an uprising that would change the face of the world.  Hunter was a third generation psychic, skilled in both mind control and telekinesis.  After springing himself from a testing facility in North Dakota, he managed to bring to light the 75-year-old "psychic conspiracy", which generated an enormous public uprising.

            The public immediately began demanding the release of all test subjects, but the American government refused to admit guilt, let alone meet the demands of the people.  Hunter became a public figurehead, partly in an attempt to ensure his own well-being (knowing full well that any attempts on his life would only cause him to become a martyr), but also because he knew that there were at least 200 others being held in similar facilities throughout the country.

            By 2019, Hunter had amassed a following large enough to forcibly enter the testing facility in North Dakota, only to find that it had been completely deserted and all evidence had been cleared from the area.  This sparked an even larger underground anti-conspiracy movement that eventually led to revolts across the country.  A year later, Hunter and a group of 30 armed civilians entered a similar facility that they had discovered in Colorado; they freed 50 men, women, and children who were being held there.

            The break-out was not a peaceful one; over 100 government employees lost their lives in the raid, along with a handful of psychics.  Hunter and his men fled the country, seeking amnesty in South America.  Word of the event had spread quickly throughout the nation and eventually the world and the government could no longer hide its dirty secrets; they were forced to shut down all psychic research facilities and their victims were released to be assimilated in to regular society.

            Unfortunately, assimilation was difficult for these mental-elite.  Normal people feared them for their special abilities, and it wasn't long before the same folks who had demanded their release would turn violently against them.  Laws were eventually passed to limit the use of mental abilities, and psychics were forced to either abandon the use of their abilities or sink in to the shadows and begin lives of crime.

            Civil unrest continued for many years, but after just a few generations the population of psychics had increased significantly enough to eventually take up positions of power and repeal the tyrannical laws of the 2020s.  Psychics across the world gained some amount of control, despite still being in the vast minority, and eventually use of psychic abilities became common-place in homes and workplaces around the globe.

            Now in the year 2096,  the social environment is about to undergo another drastic change…
 We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the Psi-punk setting.  Much more history, including the world's political climate, will be presented in the full version of the forthcoming core rulebook.  Stay tuned!