The Zeroes

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An episodic campaign starting out in the HotZone universe.


It is 2026. Bayport is a "suburb" of Newark, a sprawling jumble of vacant warehouses, dilapidated 50-yr-old public housing, drug dens, tattoo parlors, pool halls, junkyards, and inadequate services. When the port and rail unions got busted a few decades back, smart people left and the mafia moved in. Then the Russian mob kicked their asses, but the war left the whole area a metaphorical smoking crater.

You inhabit a two story brick tenement house at the corner of Granger Ave and 129th Street. There are six bedrooms and one bathroom. The building next door was demolished six years ago, and now stands as a pile of rubble infested by rats. Across the street is the Granger One-Stop, a convenience store where you get all your supplies. Mario runs the place - a mafia holdout who's gone mostly legit.


  • David
  • Crina
  • Tito
  • Bruce

Character Creation

A gritty Tech Level 9 crime drama...

You and your roommates (the party) are living in a rough-and-tumble concrete urban neighborhood of an unnamed large American city.

These are zero point characters with no Supernatural (lightning bolt) or Exotic (alien) traits.

  • Exactly zero-point characters.
  • Up to -100 points in Disadvantages
  • Up to -5 points in Quirks
  • No basic attributes (ST, IQ, DX, HT) below 6.
  • Consider spending on Area Knowledge, Contacts, Urban Survival, Streetwise....
  • Cyberpunk enhancements to be approved by GM
  • You're probably of below-average wealth (to explain having roommates in this neighborhood)
  • Your "job" can range from none (welfare) to panhandler to handyman to lawyer (with a huge debt?) - anything realistic that places you in shared housing in a rough neighborhood.

What Happened

Camaro Mike

Camaro Mike slow rolls his beat-up Camaro into the retaining wall in front of the tenement house, clutching his chest. It's soon assessed that he owes money to Boris Beef, who has kidnapped the granddaughter he's raising.

There's not enough cash, but the party decides to try to do the deal anyway. Using Mike's info, the four misfits drive the rusted out classic over to a rent-a-storage facility. It's closed, but the chain is cut, so they drive on in.

They are accosted by a thick-necked goon and talk their way into joining Boris at unit 36C. It's open, and Boris is inside. A sweet 4Runner is parked a dozen yards away, and Tito makes this his target while the rest of the party parlay with Boris. Tensions escalate, naturally, and things do not go well for the goon, who kneels to pick up the cash the party scatters.

Nor for David, shot in the groin on approach.

Tito has meanwhile scrounged the 4-Runner and returned with pistol, which he braces on the roof of the Camaro before firing at Boris, felling him as Crina rushes in screaming bloody murder with her little knife.

Everyone's freaked out and blood-spattered as they pull the granddaughter from the 4-Runner, pile into the Camaro, and head for home as David convulses in shock.