Welcome back to DECK OF FRIDAYS, our weekly feature here at FATE SF. We make a draw from the Deck of Fate,RPG Inspiration Cards, or another Aspect-generative randomizer. Then we do something interesting with it, using the Aspect as inspiration for a campaign or scenario seed, a situation, scene, location, NPC, thingie, etc.
This week's draw from the Deck of Fate is a card with the Aspect: Betrayed. This is a pretty good fit thematically with one of the novels I am reading right now, Cherie Priest's Boneshaker. It's the book that kicked off the second wave of steampunk back in 2009. It's a very gritty novel, not particularly "light" or giddy steampunk - not the good clean fun divorced from the hierarchy and mayhem of 19th Century capitalism that so many steampunk aficionados are content with today.
The world of Boneshaker is filled with the consequences of betrayal: the lingering war with the traitorous South, racism and nativism in the supposedly free North and Northwest, women's oppression, and environmental destruction wrought by careless and callous inventors and industrialists.
So, a scenario seed on the theme of betrayal, inspired by Boneshaker.
Your husband the genius inventor was responsible for thousands of deaths; thank God he's dead. He left you to raise a kid on your own: a good kid, but one who's looking for answers. Too bad the answers he wants are all about his father.
You had to change your last name to get away from your husband's horrible reputation. Not everyone gets to destroy a city with one of their inventions. Not everyone turns thousands of people into zombies in an industrial accident.
The kid's taken off looking for answers. He headed right for the ruins of the city. Right on the other side of that Wall. You know, the Wall that keeps the zombies and the poison gas inside the ruins and away from the living city.
So you followed him in. You want to find him and save him before the gas or the zombies get him. Or cannibals. Or slavers. There are lots of possibilities in the ruins. There are people still living there, and a lot of them are worse than the zombies.
Although now that your over the Wall you've found some people who aren't too bad. They're helping you try to find your son. But the rumors! Everyone thinks the mysterious ever-masked Doctor who lives in the ruins is one and the same person as your deceased husband.
Supposedly deceased. Because if he were still alive, and had just abandoned you and the kid - well, that would be a betrayal. Better that the zombies get their hands on him than you do.