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The long, skinny stretch of industrial blight has been at the heart of US history since the Revolution, when a battle was fought at Princeton, and George Washington spent two bleak winters at Morristown. As the Civil War came, the state's commitment to an industrial future ensured that, despite its border location along the Mason–Dixon line, it fought with the Union.
>>>>>[Toxic Avenger Shamans attack the sprawls and small towns. My guess is an Avenger got to Princeton. Maybe a pissed-off dork, still slotted from his school days, decided it was time for a little payback after years of being ignored, avoided, and ridiculed.]<<<<<
-Retro Beushen (04:13:42/09-18-70)
>>>>>[Poisoner Shamans have been worse for Jersey. They have been the ones to keep the state poisoned and they shall pay for their crimes. They are the ones responsible for the perpetual state of pollution for which the state has become known. There are much more Poisoners than Avengers.]<<<<<
-Lillia of The Land (13:27:43/09-27-70)
That commitment to industry has doomed New Jersey in modern times. Most travelers only see "the Garden State" (so called for the rich market garden territory at the state's heart) from the stupendously ugly New Jersey Turnpike Gridguide toll road which, heavy with truck traffic, cuts through a landscape of gray smokestacks and industrial estates. Even the songs of Bruce Springsteen and Leo Saraf, Asbury Park's two golden boys, paint their home state as a gritty urban wasteland of empty lots, gray highways, lost dreams and blue-collar tragedy, though Saraf is much more modern. The majority of the refineries and factories hug only a mere twenty-four-kilometer-wide swath along the turnpike, but bleak cities like Newark, home to the major airport, and Trenton, the capital, do little to improve the look of the place and the state suffers from a major image problem.
But there is more to New Jersey than factories and pollution. Alongside its revolutionary history, Thomas Paine and Walt Whitman both wrote nostalgically of the happy years they spent there; while the northwest corner near the Delaware Water Gap is still traced with picturesque lakes, streams and woodlands. Best of all, the Atlantic shore offers many bustling resorts, from the tattered glitz of Atlantic City (C) to the glorious kitsch of Wildwoods (A) and the old-world charm of Cape May (B).
The quake of 2005 hit many New Jersey areas hard, and many never rebuilt. Many local municipalities took corporate buyouts and handed their land over to the megacorporations for revitalization. What happened in many areas was quite the opposite: many of the megas, namely Saeder-Krupp, used most of the ruined areas of New Jersey as their own private dumping grounds. Ghouls, ghosts and worse soon made their homes in the toxic swamps and abandoned ruins of quake-destroyed blocks of old businesses and homes.
Inland New Jersey (D)
Traveling west on the interstates from the shore or from New York City, visitors see the New Jersey of popular imagination: heavily industrialized, a cultural desert, peppered with run-down cities like Trenton and Paterson. Newark, the state's largest city, is perhaps the nation's drabbest, redeemed only by its efficient airport, new performing arts center, and views over the Hudson to the Statue of Liberty (which is, incidentally, in New Jersey waters). The one place that holds interest in inland New Jersey is Titus Mill and Princeton University, an Ivy League town that makes a pretty if limited stopoff.
The animal and insect life is dangerous, but more opportunistic than territorial. If you’re weak or wounded, here they come, but they won’t go out of their way to consume the strong and well-organized. Natural disasters occasionally happen, but it’s not inherent in the landscape. People generally avoid this area and view it as dangerous, but the strong and skilled can get by just fine.
Bandits, those five-fingered raccoons; mutated fruit bats; massive wild dogs with red eyes, black fur and horns; deathlights (others call them corpselights); there are even rumored to be Trolls out there that lure people away from the sprawl under some illusion, and they are never heard from again. Then there all the other types of packs of wild, giant, mutated dogs ... some breathe fire while others scare the drek out of you so bad you don't move and then it's too late; wolverines the size of lions and that foam acid at the mouth, snakes that can lure the unsuspecting with its mimicry, short, human-like creatures covered in brown fur, sharp teeth and sinister faces; mutated possums; and giant, tusked black bears. And don't forget about the underwater beasties ... giant, troll-like lizards with paralyzing barbs growing from its lips; and the massive toxic earth spirits and toxic water monstrosities.
New Jersey Shore (A)
New Jersey's Atlantic coast, a 209-kilometer stretch of almost uninterrupted resorts – some rowdy, many pitifully run-down and faded, a few undeveloped and peaceful – has long been reliant on gambling (formerly farming) and tourism. No profitable ports were established, nor did short-lived attempts at whaling come to anything. In the late 1980s the whole coastline suffered severe and well-publicized pollution from ocean dumping, but today the beaches, if occasionally somewhat crowded and choked by the SINless masses during tourist time, are safe and clean (rundown and abandoned most of the year): sandy, broad and lined by characteristic wooden boardwalks (faded and warped), some of which, in an attempt to maintain their condition, charge admission during the summer. The rundown glitz of Atlantic City is perhaps the shore's best known attraction, but there are also quieter resorts like Spring Lake and historic Victorian Cape May, plus local gems like Wildwood that are worth the journey further down the coast.
Despite the depressed state of the area, there are no threatening animals here. There is only a comfortable temperature range, and edible food grows wild in some places. Water sources are available year-round. Easy camping year round, and easy farming or animal-husbandry.
Metahumans (mostly orks and trolls) tend to be crowded into the rotting tenement high rises in Newark, East Orange, Jersey City, Paterson, Trenton, Camden, and Clifton. Coffin hotels proliferate in the poorer sections of the Jersey Sprawls of Newark, Patterson, and Camden.
>>>>>[Yeah. Right. 0% Other. Tell that to the slots who died at the claws of the ghouls in what was once East Orange. Truth is the Newark Sprawl is a crusted drainage ditch for whatever the New York Megasprawl don’t want.]<<<<<
-Jersey Giant (21:43:27/11-19-70)
-Arlington: D (Sector 3): Depressed Business Zone. Crowded residents experience few patrols and poorly maintained PanicButton booths which means that crime here is reported less often and therefore laws are enforced less often. Omni Police Services holds the law enforcement contract here, but makes a real effort to prevent crimes before they happen. These security forces are looked upon by suspicion at best by locals, who accuse law enforcement of being less than thorough in investigations involving crimes at businesses here than in other parts of the New Jersey Sprawl. Most Northern New Jersey officers start their training in places like Arlington and try to get promoted out as quickly as possible. Most, however, maintain their contacts from their beat days because they know its places like Arlington where the information flows. Except for undercover officers and detectives, the usual response to any call here consists of 6-8 fully armored officers in an armored Citymaster with two patrol vehicles and one combat mage. Drones are sometimes used to reduce the risk of injury to officers.
Many of the old businesses and buildings have been boarded up for decades, home only for squatters and gangs. Homeless, mostly children, eke a meager living selling BTL chips, as well as more traditional drugs, on the street.
When the megacorporations went on their land-buying spree, they snatched up this entire area, filled in lakes, bulldozed down trees, demolished old buildings and homes, and constructed blocks of metahuman housing projects for the orks and trolls that work in New York’s and New Jersey’s shipyards and other fields of manual labor nobody else wants to do.
-Belleville: B: Belleville, NJ is made up primarily of commercial properties such as industrial parks, office complexes and manufacturing. Just on the northern edge of Arlington, Belleville guards its regentrification projects jealously. Rehabbers are turning older buildings into art galleries, loft apartments, and other low middle-class businesses and dwellings. This trend is spreading the big three law enforcement corporations thin as they try to contain the gang violence in Arlington.
-Downtown: D (Sector 1): A ruined area, the old downtown of Newark. The area is a very poor residential and business area where people barely eke out a living well below the poverty line in the remains of old office towers and condemned buildings with faulty water and electrical systems. Gangs rule the streets here, and each claim one of the many Night Clubs and bars as their home turf. Chip addiction is big among the juvies, so is pre-teen parenthood.
-East Orange: D (Sector 13): This is an area of toxic swamp and decayed urban housing tenements. Those who have stayed and managed to survive the ghouls here have gone so insane, they would just as soon kill you for your shoes as make a deal with you.
And if you’re looking for magical assistance, this is the last place you’ll want to look. If there are any magicians here, they are all toxic, stalking the swamps and crumbling blocks with their abominations they call their spirits, nothing more than twisted horrible creatures marred by the blight of the land and the water.
This area includes the Dead Zone of Rahway. No one lives here but ghouls, the wandering ganger or people on the run. There is no power or water but what people find for themselves. Devil rats, some as big as small dogs, infest the allies and the abandoned buildings.
-Kearny: B. Industrial (Bad Area). (Sector 3). Coffin motels. Decrepit ferrocrete tenements.
-Lyndhurst: A. Industrial (Good Area)
-Orange: A. Industrial (Good Area)
-West Orange: B. Industrial (Bad Area)
Since the Quake of ’05, the Crash of 2029, and the Night of Rage of roughly 10 years later, Jersey City never really recovered. It’s formerly bustling downtown area is now home to only squatters, gutterpunks, chipheads, street punks, and gangers. This area is contained by the loop created by I-78 and I-95.
The only relative safety here is found in the many coffin hotels, made from converted apartments and condos damaged from the quake. There are four subway mass transit stops, but all but one are closed. The one remaining open is Journal Square only because it deposits its unwashed masses in Terminal.
-Bayonne: A. Industrial (Good Area)
-Downtown: E. Abandoned Zones
-Hoboken: B. Business, Lower-Middle Class
Paterson is at least attempting a regentrification, with having moved its downtown to a new location. A few minor corporations do business from the upper floors of the gleaming towers. The lower floors are public access shops, small restaurants, banks, and the like. Security is very tight.
Squatters have taken over the old downtown blocks and the city has left the buildings and streets to rot. West Paterson has been holding its own for a long while, but time will only tell if it will fall the same way as the rest of Paterson, or go the way of Passaic. Population: 1,435,618
-Downtown: D. Residential, Very Poor
-Garfield-Lodi: C. Residential, Poor
-Passaic: AA. Downtown, Upper-Middle Class
-Ridgewood: C: Industrial (Very Bad Area)
-West Patterson: A. Downtown, Middle Class
Elizabeth: (Security Rating A). Residential, Middle Class
This little sprawl is a diamond in the blight. Surrounded by urban slums, Elizabeth makes the last stand for middle class residential living in the Sprawl.
-Downtown: B. Residential, Lower-Middle Class.
-Metuchen: AA. Downtown, Upper-Middle Class.
Toms River 591,155: A. Industrial (Good Area)
Trenton 113,103: E. Business, Slum.
-Downtown: C. Business, Poor.
-Cherry Hill: D. Business, Very Poor.
-Bellmawr: C. Business, Poor.
Clifton 101,014: C. Business, Poor.
Brick Township: (Security Rating AA). Business, Upper-Middle Class
Princeton: Population 9,415 (Security Rating E). Business, Slum
Princeton, NJ never recovered after the Quake of 2005. And its hopes for any future recovery evaporated when the powers-that-be at the prestigious University decided to head for higher, and more secure, ground and moved to Edison, New Jersey in 2018 after years of bureaucracy and “filibustering”. The ensuing corporate war finally pushed Princeton University out and left the town of Princeton to rot. None of the buildings are fit for habitation and would be condemned if the New Jersey Dept. of Buildings and Standards ever bothered to give Princeton a scan.
Now considered a slum, people live here still, but they aren’t “real” people (they don’t have SINs, after all), so the big three law enforcement corps figure they have more important assets to protect. Patrols are not assigned to places like Princeton and Winter Systems, Knight Errant, MinuteMan Security, nor Lone Star make any effort to prevent crimes from happening. They will respond if the victim has a SIN and calls in a complaint themselves, or if the violence makes headlines or threatens to spill over into more “important” areas like Edison. When law enforcement does respond, it’s very high level, usually including two Citymasters filled with 12-15 officers in heavy armor, plus one rigger per vehicle to handle drones and the Citymaster’s weapons, and at least two Combat Mages. Such force is always lead by an elite officer. The slums of Princeton are often where detectives and undercover operatives maintain contacts.
The old University Campus seems to be home to a number of gangs, chipheads, burn-outs, squatters, and addicts. But, occasionally, you might find the rare item or person of value within this motley crew. A small black market has been created here by criminals and smugglers.
The rest of the town looks totally abandoned. But it’s not. There are about 9,500 people left. More than enough to wage a full scale war. There may also be a couple nice hide-aways, but for the most part, Princeton qualifies as a slum.
Titus Mill (A)
Mount Rose (AA) (Princeton University): This is an upper-middle class area that won the Great Bonanza when the University relocated here. Anyone here who works, works for Princeton University. The posh businesses revolve around Princeton U., catering to the rich kids and even richer benefactors and corporate salarymen. The average income here is in the six figures, and the average home here can fit ten tenements in old Princeton, within which an ork family of ten must find space.
Self-satisfied Princeton, on UCAS-206 11 km north of Trenton, the Town of Titus Mill, is home to Princeton University – the nation's fourth oldest, which broke away from the overly religious Yale in 1756. It began its days inauspiciously as Stony Brook in the late 1600s and then in 1724 became known as Princes Town, a coach stop between New York and Philadelphia. In January 1777, a week after Washington's triumph against the British at Trenton, the Battle of Princeton occurred southwest of the town of Princeton, the University’s old home. This victory, a turning point in the Revolutionary effort, bolstered the morale of Washington's troops before their long winter encampment at Morristown to the north. After the war, in 1783, the Continental Congress, fearful of potential attack from incensed unpaid veterans in Philadelphia, met here for four months; the leafy, well-kept town was then left in peace to follow its academic pursuits. Graduates of the university include actor James Stewart, jazz-age writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, and American Presidents Wilson and Madison. Today, it has moved to Titus Mill roughly ten years after the Quake of 2005. Princeton University is rumored to have been the birthplace of more than one of the famed Echo Mirage strike team that wiped out the last of the virus that crashed the world wide computer nets in 2029. There is little to do in this sleepy place called Titus Mill other than tour the university and see the historic sites.
The campus is well guarded that it gives the Tir/Salish border patrols a bad name. Paranormal Animals, mostly Cocatrices and Barghests, guard the perimeters, along with powerful elementals, City Spirits, and Hearth Spirits. All offensive measures are non-lethal … lethality is often preferred to the Princeton University security measures.
Its Matrix PLTG is just as tough: Orange 10 - 13/16/17/15/15 Host (Hard).
Cedar Grove (B). Bad Industrial Area.
Blawenburg (A). Downtown Middle Class.
Rockingham (A). Business, Middle Class.
Monmouth Junction (A). Industrial Area (Good)
Cranbury (B) Business, Lower-Middle Class,
Atlantic City: (Security Rating C).