Roaring Twenties
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Basic Information

The Roaring Twenties (i.e.: the 1920s) are certainly among the most exciting years of the 20th Century. For one brief decade you have economic prosperity, bookended by World War I on one end and the Great Depression on the other. Massive cultural transformation happened as well in the 20s, before diving back into conservatism in the 1930s. The roaring twenties are the era of Prohibiition, but also the era when women first got the vote, and the decade which saw the popularization of the automobile and jazz. Women, ethnic minorities, and homosexuals had a taste of equality and freedom they wouldn't experience again till the end of the 1960s or later. It was also the decade in which dating was invented - prior to the 20s, you might court a sweetheart, but there was no casual dating.

It is also, of course, a Mafia-rich era (mainly because of the huge boost provided to organised crime by Prohibition, a boost that wouldn't be repeated until the generalised prohibition of recreational drugs beginning in the 1960s). See also Al Capone, Elliot Ness, Bootlegging, Gun Moll, G-Man, Speakeasy, Thompson Submachine Gun, and St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Such mafia-and-moonshine antics are so common in fiction set in the 1920s, that the decade is practically a genre unto itself. Luckily, both for the criminals and those who object to them, there won't be any significant restrictions placed on automatic weapons until 1934 - that Thompson or BAR? Completely legal! (not to mention bleeding edge technology…).

For further ideas on what lines of work (beyond just being a mafioso) were available, see our List of Roaring Twenties Professions.


Game and Story Use

  • It's an exciting era bristling with all sorts of adventure. PCs could easily be on either side of the law.
  • This was the decade in which most of H. P. Lovecraft's works were set, and thus the default time period for the Cthulhu Mythos and the RPG Call of Cthulhu.
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