Dead Running has no inherent setting. The events of the game could just as easily take place next week as the far future or, with a bit a tweaking, the distant past. There are only a few core elements that every game should include. These are as much a reminder to the GM as they are seeds to kick start player imaginations.
- The Event awakened or gave psychic ability for every one equally. Everyone can now read minds. Whether this resulted from radioactive mutation, evolution, or alien invasion can be decided each time the game is played.
- Ideas become so easily shared or stolen that there are few secrets left in the world.
- Powerful or paranoid individuals become reclusive to protect their own thoughts and ideas.
- The Company formed as the most secure way to deliver an idea, message, concept or plan.
- Nulls, unable to be read, work as couriers for The Company.
- Unreadable minds produce psychic static, easily detectable by the rest of the population.
- Psychics are provided to the Null to act as security during the mission.
- Anyone is likely to capture the Null since whatever it's carrying must be important.
- The toughest missions require traveling through dense populations where the Null can be easily detected and thus easily compromised.
- Dead Running is about those tough missions.
These are the only setting elements that are required for the game. Everything else is set dressing. Police, mutants, gangs, magic, ninjas, lasers, cybernetics, and all the rest can be sprinkled into the story as you wish. If the game still works for you without one of the 'required' elements, that's fine too. The main goal of this game is for everyone to have fun!