The alien spaceship crash landed in Red Square in early 2018 and promptly disintegrated. No trace was found except for the visual record, and many thought it was a sophisticated hoax. But analysis of the surroundings showed changes and erosion at a molecular level. Behind closed doors and in classified briefings the word "nanotech" was used.
In 2020 the first reports came out of Africa, where shamans were using magic spells to create weapons out of industrial sludge. There was a report from Rome about water being turned to wine. Then the anonymous YouTube videos popped up on how to make bathtubs full of hundred dollar bills. Some wit called it "grep" from the Unix expression "global regular expression print", and the word stuck.
And then people figured out how to grep THC. And then guns. And then nerve gas. And then Kiev got nuked.
Thus began the Dark Days, when people learned that it was possible to reshape matter by will alone into virtually anything they wanted. The supply and demand economy collapsed. Gun control became impossible. Cash became worthless. What could have been the dawn of a new age of prosperity failed because of one crucial flaw. People.
Potentially freed from need, people still found things to fight over. Wars and plagues raged until they burned out, and the survivors were not the loners who could grep their survival needs, but the communities that pooled their talents and created a new way of living and a new economy.
It is 2030. The world is a bigger place now, because there are a lot less people in it. There is peace, but there is also tension. Not over resources, but over control of people’s lives. What is left of the central governments wants to be back in charge, but no longer has the monopoly on ultimate force. Skullduggery, treachery and espionage are the backups for diplomacy. And the alien ship is still here, just scattered across the globe in microscopic bits. People are discovering how to use its knowledge base and the first people to unlock it will have an edge that others may never catch up with.
Welcome to the New World disOrder.
grep is a 172-page setting for EABA v2 and includes the full world background, sample adventures and a detailed location for your early campaign. The pdf download includes the augmented color pdf and a flat grayscale version for printing.
Written by Greg Porter