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Old Chicago Campaign Setting

Old Chicago
A CS Army Campaign Setting by John Stevens


Old Chicago is a Rifts Campaign Setting for 4-8 players that takes place in the magic rich wasteland of Old Chicago. Unfortunately, there is no source material on Old Chicago. However, this gives us the freedom to do whatever we want, and it also limits the ability for rules laywering.
This guide gives setting information, details on character creation, and the first adventure.  




A scant 80 miles north east of the mighty fortress city of Chi-Town, the ruins of Old Chicago sprawl along the shores of Lake Michigan. The one time 'Windy City' is now a wasteland. Once a hotbed of mercantile activity, with major canals, rail ways, and highways, it is now a hot bed of supernatural activity with some twenty-four major ley lines crisscrossing the area, culminating in a ley line nexus in the former downtown core. It hardly seems like a fitting neighbor for the capital of a nation that despises the supernatural and loathes magic.

Yet Old Chicago is forever written into the Chi-Town psyche. In 11 P.A., the former NEMA base was attempting to rebuild civilization; it was a city that was even experimenting with the magical arts. However, the Federation of Magic launched a brutal surprise attack from a stronghold they established in the magic rich ruins of Old Chicago. As Chi-Town beat back the invaders, they took the fight to the streets and canals of Old Chicago, fighting block by block toward the nexus earning every square inch in the blood of their soldiers. The fight for Old Chicago made a mark on the whole development of the Chi-Town and the Coalition States. Everything from the veritable UAR-1 Enforcer to an intense hatred of magic and all things supernatural can be directly linked to the ruins of Old Chicago. The skeleton of the former city represents everything the CS opposes.

To this end the city will never fall into the hands of magic users or supernatural demons again. Chi-Town maintains an almost paranoid military presence in and around the city. Air and ground patrols fly regularly, the Rifts Control Study Group (RCSG) does most of their research there, the CS Navy patrols the coast, nearly every new recruit fresh out of basic has done a stint in Old Chicago, and the most famous CS film "The Trenches of Old Chicago" remains the most watched movie in the entire Coalition.

And the ruins still define the CS today. They stand as a constant reminder of the dangers of the supernatural. The constant influx of new d-bees, demons and monsters, ley line storms and intense firefights make it a constantly transforming landscape for adventure.

Our story will follow the missions of First Squad, 3rd Recon Platoon aka, the "Ruin Rovers", leading element of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Company, of the mighty 1st Joseph Prosek Brigade aka "The Fighting Joes", the vaunted and historic garrison unit for the Ruins of Old Chicago.


What You Need
There are a few resources you will need to make this game work:


Character Creation
Class selection in the Old Chicago game is limited. Players will be squad members in the Ruin Rovers platoon. The Rovers are hardcore Army Infantry: not Rangers, not Special Forces, not Commando, but the backbone and strong foundation of the CS Military. These are the fighting men and women who toil in the trenches and gutters, in the ruins and in the plains to hold the Coalition, and her citizens, safe.


Player Characters

The squad has a specific formation. Players can choose from the following characters, but the squad can only have the number specified of that type.

Our story will join this unit at a new rotation, as a fresh crop of graduates join the Fighting Joes to earn their field experience badge and others are transferred out to safer postings. Our characters are regulars, chosen for reconnaissance duty because of their skills and/or experience. Some may be veterans of Old Chicago while others may be green, coming to the Ruins on their first assignment.


The roles not filled by Players will be filled by NPCs.


Notable NPCs

There are a few NPCs that the Players and the GM both need to know.


Adventure Ideas

The first adventure for this campaign is Operation Expurgate. See the adventure write up for more details. For continued adventures, the landscape of Old Chicago is a hot bed of activity, with any number of possible adventures. In North America, it is the largest intersection of ley line activity, which has two obvious consequences. One, all manner of PPE loving men and creatures are drawn to this place. And given the extent to which the CS guards the city, only the most dangerous of mage-users will be inside the city limits. Two, there is extreme rift activity. All manner of dangerous creatures pour into the city.


Virtually anything in federation of magic or any monster, demon, or DBee can be found inside the city. The ruins make for thousands of hiding places. The beings inside are sure to use the terrain to their advantage, setting traps for the players and using ambush tactics. They are also more likely to implore hit and run tactics.


Campaign Story

Using the Operation Expurgate adventure as a launch point, the overall campaign could go a number of ways. Here are three possible directions to take the game:

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All incidents, situations, institutions, governments and people are fictional and any similarity to characters or persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.