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Baroque Bloodlines

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You’re at the home page for Baroque Bloodlines, a campaign setting for GURPS 4th Edition. Now you’re probably wondering what Baroque Bloodlines is about, right? Well it’s quite simple (it’s not really, but it’s a fantasy game so real-world logic doesn’t really work here): the setting is an alternate history of Earth. At some point in the past, humans started developing supernatural powers in the form of strange tattoo-like marks across the subject’s body (Please don’t sue me Mr. Baker).

The World

In practice though its a little more complicated than that. Although most marks are unique to the individual, the ability to manifest a mark is passed down through the parents (Though there can be some exceptions). This leads to the scenario we have at the opening of the campaign: The world is divided between two factions. On the top of the chain we have the Marked Families who have control of the world. Everyone else? They’re the Markless, they make up around 95% of the population but since they lack superpowers they’ve been subjugated by the Marked Families who view them anywhere from “those unfortunate enough to have been born without a mark” to sacks of meat (though despite all these changes the nations exist almost exactly as they did in the 1800’s for some reason).

The world is divided into four sections, as illustrated by this conveniently placed bullet list (or a map if you prefer):

  • The European Quarter: The dominant power in the world due to having the highest density of marks. Although the continent is still divided, most of the nations are on fairly good terms with most disputes being solved by diplomacy. When war does break out, it’s typically a dispute over colonial control and usually happens overseas with no ill effects between citizens of the nation-states.
  • The American Quarter: Although the name may suggest otherwise, this quarter consists of all of North America and South America and is the only quarter truly independent from the European Quarter due to a more extreme version of the Monroe Doctrine and the Roosevelt Corollary. The quarter is fairly isolationist, preferring to ignore the actions of the other quarters provided they don’t threaten American interests. This doesn’t mean the Quarter less dangerous however, as rebels dot the countryside and plot to overthrow the nation.
  • The Asian Quarter: Despite a Marked-run Japanese Empire in control of China, Korea, Guam, and the Phillipines established by the Kyoshu Protocol, most of the continent is divided between the members of the European Quarter similarly to the real world colonies of the 1800’s and early 1900’s. The Japanese have fairly good relations with the European and American Quarters (The latter in particular).
  • The African Quarter: The true chop-shop of the world, every inch of the continent has been staked and colonized by the Europeans. As a subjugated continent, it is completely devoid of marks as they have all either left for another quarter or been killed for resisting European intentions.

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