Been playing Red Dead Redemption, Bioshock 2, and Wolfenstien, and the combined Wild West, Steampunk, and Weird War 2 themes have been congealing in my head into one yummy mass ^^ I've no real interest in actually playing, however, and instead want to GM the game. The setting is as follows.
When the Industrial Revolution came, and the Government from far away promised to 'civilize the savage land', opinions were split down the middle. On one hand, many people, even Ranchers, welcomed the flood of new technology that this would bring. Many did not wish to see their land taken and changed beyond recognition simply for progress.
The Indian's, a native humanoid species, red skinned and incredibly agile and fast, opposed the push of civilization fiercely. Watching their untouched and pristine lands being mowed down by machines, they fought hard, but incurred the wrath of the US Military. Pushed almost to extinction, the only Indian's left are either second class citizens from Reservations, or ghostly figures in the forest, often thought to be mere campfire stories.
With the Indian's all but gone, and the land giving way to the new age, the Government began construction of New Salvation. The flying machines that were thought to be only myth were here in the West, and now, the greatest flying machine of all would take it's maiden voyage right here. An incredibly advanced city that would take flight and hover and move about as it pleased, it promised freedom from Bandit's, plagues, storm's, hostile invasion and even promised to cure all diseases.
Bold claims. Many flocked to New Salvation, and it did indeed seem to have cures on the way for many inflictions. A large chunk of the new populace were saved from Smallpox, and much of the West's distrust for the Government was starting to fade. It was obvious that not everyone would get in, and that New Salvation would just be a new Ivory Tower for those the Government deemed worthy, but those advancements would see the West as well. This alone was enough to forgive the snobbery of the Government.
New Salvation flew, and for months it coasted along the continent, without issue. When it's first voyage was complete, and it returned, something went wrong. Science gone mad, many said. Something infected the citizens of New Salvation, and they fell, only to rise as senseless, rage filled corpses. They overran the city, and it fell to the ground, crushing Blackwater, the Governments own slice of home in the West. Majority of Blackwater was crushed, and the debris scattered, damaging almost every surrounding settlement.
The dead poured out, swarming on the newly wrecked settlements. By the time the US Government could respond, their numbers had grown three fold. Military Flying Machines dropped in, barricades were set up, and a short but bloody battle took place. In only a few weeks, the tide of undead was defeated, and a colossal lead canister was buried underground. All of the bodies were thrown in, and the lead crypt was locked tight, only to be opened under very strict guidelines, and only to dispose of more undead, in the event of a resurgence.
The Government had managed to force it's new and ambitious technology on the West, saw it fail, dropped the military in for a quick and sloppy clean up, then quite literally swept it all under the rug and left. They would simply pretend it never happened, ignore the wreckage of New Salvation that lay scattered. No doubt they were dealing with quite a grand internal struggle over this massive disaster, but it seemed the West was left to fend for itself, and the distrust of the Government had returned, stronger then ever.
The zombie outbreak would return in small instances. There were hundreds of unmarked Indian burial grounds, plenty of left over bodies for animals such as vultures, coyotes and wolves to feed upon, and also many bodies, dead and undead, left in the Ruins of New Salvation.
Eventually, the Government gave defense systems to the West, specialized turrets that would track any kind of undead movement and shred their fragile bodies apart with flak. But these were only given to settlements of a certain size. A decent town or ranch would get a system, but the other places were left unprotected. Eventually, smaller places were abandoned, ranches and towns merged for protection, and grew to the point where they outsized their defenses.
And even then, these systems were hastily given out, and were quite shotty. Keeping them working was a task in itself.
Treasure hunters flock to the many Ruins in search of valuable technology. Well equipped bandit groups roam the West and attack those that stray outside of the Settlements. Regularly influxes of Zombified wildlife and Indian's keep people from resettling the ghostly countryside. Rancher's must fight against the land to make it through the winter and see that their farm's turn a profit. With the Government gone, and their failures lingering, the West has, once again, become Wild.
What will you be? A rancher with a targeting eyepatch and a long barreled energy rifled, keeping his family and his livestock safe? A Sheriff managing a town that is growing beyond its capacity? A Reservation born Indian, swift on his feet and deadly with a knife, educated by the white men and the redskins alike? Or perhaps you will be a foreigner, a treasure hunter from the East with advanced technology that could rival the US Government's, looking to loot the Zombie infested Ruins of New Salvation?
Whatever you choose, be prepared. The Wild and untamed West is an unforgiving place.