GRIDSHOCK 20XX is a tabletop roleplaying game setting: a superhero world where something went very wrong in 1986. Reality was warped, civilization collapsed, and the world as we knew it was turned upside down. Now the bad guys are in charge of what's left – but a new breed of superhumans called Vectors strive to restore freedom to their ravaged world. Like the heroes of the past, Vectors use their powers to address injustice directly, and with style: by punching it in the face, or blasting it with laser eyes. And with a totalitarian state called the Supremacy in control, there are a whole lot of things in need of punching and blasting.
GRIDSHOCK 20XX is a set of four 32-page zines:
GRIDSHOCK Roadmap: An overview of the world, themes, and play style of GRIDSHOCK 20XX, with optional rules for trucking the Thunder Road in your Motorig and tuning up for superpowered action.
GRIDSHOCK Regions: Details on the eight major regions of the world of GRIDSHOCK 20XX. The undead-infested Deadside and the dangerous New Homelands surrounding it; the criminal theocracy of Beringia; the reality-warped, weaponized wilderness of Cascadia; the genetic dystopia of The Orchard; the despot-dominated Sanction; and the twin Supremacy bastions of Seaboard and Sunrise Sector.
GRIDSHOCK Roster: Character templates for the world of GRIDSHOCK 20XX. The Ace, Fabricator, Free Agent, Gatecrasher, Gridjockey, Hybroid, Neogenic, Outcaster, Revenant, Rogue Bot, Suitjack, and Ultra-Knight templates, each illustrated and including three variant builds to let you hit the ground running.
GRIDSHOCK Reference: A glossary and encyclopedia providing additional background detail – in effect, an "official handbook" of the GRIDSHOCK 20XX universe.
GRIDSHOCK 20XX is a different take on the superhero genre. Normally, superhero stories take place in a world that is nearly identical to ours, except for the superpowers. Since GRIDSHOCK 20XX is designed to be a rich and exciting backdrop for gaming, rather than for selling comics or movie tickets, it takes some of the conventions of the genre in unexpected directions. GRIDSHOCK 20XX is still about superpowered characters who take action, but its dystopian world means that the action often diverges from the genre standard.
GRIDSHOCK 20XX is a setting, not a new rules set or a standalone game. Its focus is on describing its world and the types of characters who live in it. When it does provide stats, GRIDSHOCK 20XX uses ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying, a well-established and streamlined system created by respected game designer Steve Kenson, and released under the Open Gaming License. If you've ever played TSR's classic Marvel Super Heroes RPG, much of ICONS will look familiar to you, and its stats and abilities are easily extrapolated to any RPG that can handle superpowers. GRIDSHOCK 20XX suggests ways to make small but significant changes to the ICONS rules, to deliver a tougher, more action-packed experience.
The world can no longer count on its former saviors. The old superheroes are no more – slain, corrupted, or fading. Vectors, thenew breed of heroes, are its last hope. Gone are the days of the secret identity, the caped crime-buster, the masked vigilante. Instead, a Vector might be a mutant street fighter, a reality-hacking criminal, an undead superhero, or a robot servant gone rogue. For Vectors, this is a full-time job: sure, they fight for what's right, but they also have to fight to survive. Patrolling the city streets or waiting for alerts in a fancy high-tech base won't put food in your belly, and staying in one place isn't an option for anyone who poses as big a threat to the powers that be as Vectors do. Vectors roam a ruined landscape in armored Motorigs, traveling the hazardous Thunder Road looking for trouble and ways to pay the bills. Along the way, they just might forge some new alliances, explore their ravaged world, and maybe even reclaim a little of what it's lost.
Any character that could exist in a superhero world can exist in GRIDSHOCK 20XX – in other words, anything goes. The ICONS rules provide multiple methods to generate nearly any superpowered character you could imagine from scratch. GRIDSHOCK 20XX also includesa dozen Vector templates, which let you quickly create a Vector with a clearly defined role in this dystopian world, or provide examples of the types of heroes that inhabit it.