Gutter Runners

In Victoriana your character could be a wealthy aristocrat, a revolutionary, a magician or perhaps simply a poverty stricken laborer. Your goals could be anything from 'global domination' to (the perhaps more reasonable) 'ridding the rookeries of London of the threat of a necromancer'.

Regardless of your characters' origins, or their goals, we assume that you will all have one thing in common — desire for change, fueled by a firm knowledge that the social structure your characters live in is corrupt and wrong.

Those who realize this frequently become 'Gutter Runners', unafraid to do what needs doing, regardless of the social system, regardless of the hierarchy, and regardless of law. Often they are urban mercenaries, sometimes killers for hire, or thieves. They are always expendable, as their desire to live outside social conventions also excludes them from social protection. Gutter Runners value personal freedom more than the society around them. They feel a need to be in charge of their own lives, make their own mistakes, choose their own Romances and make their own fortunes. Many Victoriana middle and lower class characters share much in common with (or are) criminals, mirroring the cyberpunk era 'edgerunner' ethos. They are making the best of a bad situation, doing what needs to be done to rise above the stink of a grim life in a dark reality, maintaining their individuality against a depersonalized and dehumanizing world.

However, in Victoriana some of you may have upper class characters and, when a character already has the world on a plate, what else does he need? Well, upper class characters certainly have money, but they don't have freedom. Many upper class characters take drastic measures to bring their futures under their own control, and thus they fall in with the other Gutter Runners who also attribute the same value to personal freedom.

The simple fact that your character has a 21st century brain (you) behind his every action makes him a perfect Gutter Runner. You will (or should!) disagree with at least some of the following: arranged marriages, sweatshop exploitations, empire building, social murder, sexism, racism, slavery — but if your character does then, by 19th century standards, he's a rebel and, in short, he's a Gutter Runner.