I've pretty much got the background nailed down for the setting. It just needs some polish, so here's the first installment of the basics:
Frenzy was inspired by a shark shaman I played many years ago in a Shadowrun game or three. At the time, I was doing research for the Spirit West sourcebook for Palladium Books' Rifts RPG and some of the things I had found there inspired the character, but details on Frenzy specifically will be another journal entry. This one is about the big stuff.
Like the Shadowrun setting, the world of Frenzy & Bit is high technology and industry, corporate wealth and individual struggle, magic and machine, homo sapiens and not quite human, and a host of other different forces trying to coexist. It is a cyberpunk setting with outnumbered rebels trying to either make a difference against the societal machine or just spit in its eye for the rush. Also, like Shadowrun, there are those that make a living doing illegal mercenary work within the towering cities and corporate halls. Elves and other races are here, along with cybernetics and the vast, virtual world of the ever expanding digital network.
The elves and other races began to appear in this world even before the magic returned, and some later theories would propose that their appearance was the first herald of the resurgence of the magic, especially when certain similarities with the elves and other races arriving on Earth after the return of magic were documented. Initially, these other races were born from humans and looked at as mutations of some kind. Genetic research was in full swing, and the new races got the spotlight, but little acceptance. The ever increasing number of them and the uniformity of characteristics scared people, even those like the elves with little visible differences. When the similarities between the human mutation races and the xeno races delivered by the return of magic were found, people got scared all over again.
Unlike Shadowrun, the return of magic was not heralded by a societal upheaval that turned vast tracts of real estate into other countries, this world was rocked by the violent eruption of magical energy as it exploded back into the mortal realm. Just like a volcano building pressure for 500 years, when the dimensional fabric separating the magic from the world was sundered, the energy burst free in a manifestation of force that rivaled any nuclear detonation (but thankfully without the radiation). This event took place simultaneously at a score of locations across the globe, creating Devastation Zones miles across that left the cities and towns little more than skeletal ruins. Not only did these zones look like post apocalyptic wastelands, but the ruptures in the dimensional fabric opened gateways to other magic rich worlds as well as the astral plane and the myriad of sub-planes therein. Through these gateways came not only all manner of alien creatures, but also members of the fantasy races, like elves, who would turn out to be very much akin to those humans who had mutated.
The devastation zones strained governments on many levels, including clean up and containment costs, loss of lives and taxable income, impact to citizen morale, investigation resources, and numerous other financial, social and political strains. In nearly all cases, the other worldly creatures finding their way through the magical tears in the dimensions were dangerous and had to be contained. This resulted in the newest world war, but this was a war fought by each country on its own soil against an unknown foe. These were prolonged conflicts with questionable results, some of which are only recently resolved, but given the size of the devastation zones, there will always be the chance something is still lurking in the ruins, and most are uninhabited, except for the occasional village/town of peaceful races that had no where else to settle once they arrived on earth (ie. elves, etc).
The corporations used the government strains over the devastation to shore up their power base and make themselves even richer. This puts them on par with those in the Shadowrun setting, but mine are not quite extra territorial (not legally, anyways). By aiding the efforts at the Devastation Zones and pushing shady deals with weak law makers following the tumult of the magical resurgence, corporate power is hard to challenge head on.
More thoughts later!