"Why am I here?
Because as much as I despise this smoke-filled poisonous choking pile of bricks, I'm not ***ing letting anyone turn it into their own personal little empire."
- Keller of the Zero One
is the third setting in the Cosmopol RPG
universe, taking place roughly fifteen years after the introduction of the first setting.
Contrary to the branding (the title "Cosmopol"), the action is dominantly set in the considerably gloomier city
In contrast to the other two settings' dominantly capitalistic, mercenary and adventure-based themes, Retribution
casts the player characters as members
of the Zero One
organization, which has become an armed resistance movement after previously being a loose-knit brotherhood of playful hackers
After a genetically-engineered Neohuman government
based in England
has seized much of Europe, Neustadt finds itself split between these forces and the equally cruel, anti-"Gene Job"
Mechanist government and finds itself the key prize whose taking will mean a decisive turn in the war.
Attempting to free the city, sometimes against crushing odds, is the Zero One
... who have now found that the Assembly and the Mechanists are not their only problems.
Tropes in this System:
- Amazon Brigade: For some reason, both the setting and the PC group have ended up with dominantly female characters.
- Author Appeal: The universe was born out of the author's own admitted love for 20s and 30s tech and retrofuturism.
- Badass Pacifist: Keller to some degree. He attempts to stick to the moral high ground. Justified in that sabotage of the invaders' infrastructure and technology may be the only way to win the war, as the Zero One is badly outnumbered.
- Bio Punk: Taken to some of its ugliest ends.
- City of Adventure: The setting is more or less self-contained, focusing on Neustadt.
- City Noir: Neustadt.
- Cool Airship: Likely to be used as a bomb...
- Code Name: Everyone in the Zero One uses a callsign.
- The Cracker: Even La Résistance needs its crackers. How else are you going to sabotage robot armies?
- Zero One cell leader Keller is this.
- Dark Messiah: Mitternacht
- Diesel Punk: Takes a distinctly Diesel Weird War turn, with the emphasis on ideological war, the Zero One resemblance to the Polish partisans and the sheer number of bunker scenes.
- Everybody Smokes: Somewhat averted in that cigarettes are now hard to get, and considered a luxury item.
- Fantastic Racism: This game runs on it.
- Framing Device: The universe and its major events are introduced by fictional characters living in-universe.
- Gadgeteer Genius: One of the player character jobs.
- Hacker Cave: Averted, as hacking looks ridiculously low-fi: hackers spend most of their time crouching over little analog dials and scanning lines of code on display goggles or very tiny screens.
- Homemade Inventions: A major point of the game.
- Kafka Komedy: Everyday life in Neustadt, prior to the Siege
- La Résistance: The Zero One. And how.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory
- Mr. Exposition: Keller and the other characters in the framing stories
- Punk Punk: Largely of the Diesel Punk flavor, with many Cyber Punk and Bio Punk elements.
- Rebel Leader: Keller
- Romani: A minority ethnic group living in Neustadt's Unterstadt. They are known for making their living as "modders" and mechanics, and are one of the few groups aware of the several kinds of Nasty living in the lower levels of the city.
- Science Hero: One of the player character jobs.
- Schizo Tech: Computer intranets, large-scale architectural/civic projects, robotics and advanced genetic engineering... in a world that seems to run on internal combustion, fossil fuels, pneumatic mail, vacuum tubes, and display gratuitous use of pressure gauges and analog dials.
- Took a Level in Badass: Keller. Also got an Expository Hairstyle Change and lost much of his snark.
- What Measure is a Non Human
- What Measure is a Non Super: And how.