Environment: Rook City
Overbrook City was founded in the mid-1800s as a portage town. The rivers which met near the city originally made for ideal trade routes, and later became an important source of industrial cooling for the various power plants and industrial facilities in the city built and managed by Pike Industries in 1921. In the middle of the 20th century, the gothic architecture and the grim pallor of the city, brought on by the various plants and factories, resulted in the city being referred to as “Rook City” in the local paper, and the name stuck. The name “Overbrook City” only exists in certain legal documents and on monuments. Rook City has the highest crime rate of any city in the world, with an overworked and underfunded police department, which has led to talk of switching to privatized defense for the metropolitan area. Between the street thugs and organized crime, the filthy streets and the putrid sewers, the unsavory characters and the nigh-constant wail of sirens, Rook City is the opposite of a tourist attraction.
After Wrath of the Cosmos
Rook City sustained massive damage during Deadline's assault on Planet Earth. Buildings crumbled due to intense seismic activity, volcanoes broke through the streets to spew lava, and fire rained down from the sky.
As the assault began, Chaiman Pike made his way down from his office at the top of Pike Tower to a secret underground facility, deep beneath the Pike Industrial Complex. Trusting in the stout iron walls and the safeguards he'd set in the case of an emergency, he approached the only empty tube in a vast chamber full of occupied tubes. Setting the tube's systems to protect but greatly slow the metabolism of its occupant, he calmly entered, barely able to hear the rumble of massive explosions from far above. He would be back when things quieted down.
His plan should have worked. However, after the Deadline event, just as relief efforts were being made to recover and restore Rook City, Progeny arrived.
The destruction the Scion brought on Rook City made the Deadline event seem like calmer times. Progeny broke Rook City, down to levels so deep that pipes bearing chemicals to Pike's underground chamber were disrupted. It would be many years before anyone emerged from the Barzakh chamber.
After Sentinel Tactics: Battle For Broken City
When a man did step forth, he was not the same man whose sense of enterprise had build a commercial kingdom, nor was he the mastermind who had ruled Rook City's underground. Further, he was accompanied by five others: the only surviving occupants of the other tubes. Each of them were an embodiment of one of the primary drugs that made Spite the lone "successful" subject of Pike's earlier experiment. They know no names other than the monikers given to them by their glorious master: Exemplar.
- Ambitious Racketeer  (x1)
- At the end of the Environment turn, this card deals minus 1 Hero Targets 2 Projectile Damage each. At the start of the Environment turn, this card regains 2 HP.
- Art: A man in tipping his hat coming out of the police station carrying his trenchcoat;
- Flavor text: "It'd be a shame if anything happened to this place. Really, it's a gem. The sort of place you'd pay any price to keep safe. And I'm here to collect."
- Blighted Streets (x2)
- Increase Damage dealt to Hero Targets by 1. At the end of each Hero's turn, if that Hero dealt no Damage this turn, their Player may discard 2 cards to destroy this card. When this card is destroyed, play the top card of the Villain deck.
- Art: A thug robbing a childhood Ermine and her parents;
- Flavor text: Slim shook his head as he turned away. This was the sort of thing he used to get involved with, but why? Trying to save someone in Rook City is pointless.
- Falling Statuary (x3)
- When this card enters play, this card deals the Target with the second lowest HP 3 Irreducible Projectile Damage. At the end of the Environment turn, destroy this card.
- Art: A gargoyle statue falling off a building;
- Flavor text: "This place is falling apart," grumbled Expatriette as pedestrians scattered. "Third time this week I've seen falling rubble, and it's only Tuesday!"
- Scum and Villainy (x3)
- At the end of the Environment turn, play the top card of the Villain deck. At the start of the Environment turn, the Villain Character card deals each Hero Target (H) minus 1 Melee Damage. Then, destroy this card.
- Art: Friction, the Radioactivist, Proletariat, and Char playing pool;
- Flavor text: "Er, I must have the wrong place," Expatriette stammered, retreating and reaching back to pull the pins from two fragmentation grenades…
- Toxic Sludge (x2)
- At the end of the Environment turn, this card deals each Target with at least 5 HP 2 Toxic Damage, then deals each Target with at least 10 HP 3 Toxic Damage. At the start of the Environment turn, each player may discard 1 card. Any player that does may destroy 1 Environment card.
- Art: A neon green light and and vapor coming out of the sewer;
- Flavor text: "Don't go into the sewers. The waste from Pike Labs isn't even the worst of it. Also, don't be around when the sewers come up to the streets."
- Twisting Back Alleys (x2)
- Reduce Damage dealt to Villain Targets by 1. At the end of the Environment turn, players may play both the top card of the Villain deck and the top card of the Environment deck. If they do, destroy this card.
- Art: A silhouette of the Wraith facing two thugs in an alley;
- Flavor text: As she rounded the corner, the Wraith skidded to a halt. "Why, look at this lovely ambush! All for me?" she grinned, taking her combat stance.
- Dr. Tremata  (x1)
- This card is immune to Damage from Heroes. At the end of the Environment turn, reveal the top 2 cards of the Environment deck. Put one on top of the Environment deck and one on the bottom. Then, the Villain Character card either deals this card or the Hero with the lowest HP Melee Damage.
- Art: Dr. Tremata investigating blood splatter on the wall;
- Flavor text: "Yes, you're very sneaky," Juli Tremata sighed as the Wraith suddenly appeared in her lab. "Be a dear and pass me that tea while I pull up the blood reports."
- Tony Taurus  (x1)
- This card is immune to Damage from Heroes. At the end of the Environment turn, reveal the top 2 cards of the Villain deck. Put one on top of the Villain deck and one on the bottom. Then, the Villain Character card either deals this card or the Hero with the lowest HP Melee Damage.
- Art: Tony Taurus walking by a house;
- Flavor text: "I'm here to get information," Tony stated, calmly holstering his revolver. "You will tell me what I want to know. Now, how do you want this to go?"
- Scum and Villainy: The second sentence has been split into separate sentences for clarity. The second paragraph now reads "At the start of the environment turn, the villain character card deals each hero target [H] minus 1 melee damage. Then, destroy this card."
- Falling Statuary: "This card deals" becomes "deal." The first sentence now reads "When this card enters play, deal the target with the second lowest HP 3 irreducible projectile damage."
- Dr. Tremata: The word "one" becomes the numeral "1". The third sentence now reads "Put 1 on the top of the environment deck and 1 on the bottom." (Note that Tony Taurus is unchanged, and uses "one" instead of "1".)
- Toxic Sludge:
- "This card deals" becomes "deal". The first sentence now reads "At the end of the environment turn, deal each target with at least 5 HP 2 toxic damage, then deal each target with at least 10 HP 3 toxic damage."
- The second sentence has been split into separate sentences for clarity. The second paragraph now reads "At the start of the environment turn, each player may discard 1 card. Any player that does may destroy 1 environment card."
Meta: Rook City
- "Scum and Villainy" shows Char, Friction, Proletariat, and Radioactivist in a bar and the flavor text indicates that Expatriette has come in and, pulling grenade pins, is about to wreck the place. This implies that this is the "super" bar mentioned in Letters Page Episode 4, named "The Wretched Hive".
- City was founded by Overbrook family and they have been in charge since Letter Page Episode 2
To Other Works
- Rook city is an almost exact recreation of Gotham City, the gritty and dismal home of Batman.
- The backs of the Rook City cards show a red letter "C" spray painted on the city's "welcome" sign, making it read "Crook City." (Originally the community was founded as Overbrook City.) With the exception of a few background lights, which are also in red, the entire picture is in black and white. This is very evocative of artist Frank Miller, who wrote and drew the famous crime noir comic "Sin City" in just such a way. The setting of the story, Basin City, was commonly known as "Sin City" by it's residents, partially due to it's overwhelming crime rates, and partially because the "B" and "A" on the city's welcome sign were crossed out with spray paint.
- Tony Taurus and Dr. Tremata are both textbook examples of the "lone upholder of justice" trope. Commissioner Gordon of Batman lore is another such character.
- Tony Taurus' last name is evocative of the Minotaur, a bull/human hybrid that patrolled the maze of Tartarus and guarded it from intruders. Similarly, Tony Taurus patrols the corrupted streets of Rook City as a private investigator.
- The art for "Blighted Streets" shows a wealthy family being accosted by a mugger. This is reference to the traumatic event that shaped young Bruce Wayne into Batman.
- The gargoyle on "Falling Statuary" greatly resembles Etrigan the Demon, a character created by legendary comic artist Jack Kirby.
- The combination of the name of the bar, The Wretched Hive, and the card it appears on, "Scum and Villainy", is a reference to Obi-wan Kenobi's description of the port of Mos Eisner in the original Star Wars film.
- The wording on Scum & Villainy, Dr. Tremata, and Tony Taurus is updated to read "the Villain Character Card with the highest HP".
- Blighted Street's text is adjusted to say "After this Card is destroyed, play the top Card of the Villain Deck". This means it does not increase damage during that card play.
- Rook City errata
- Any cards which refer to "the Villain Character Card" should be read as referring to "the Villain Character Card with the most HP". This will be updated in future printings of the Rook City expansion.
- Tony Taurus and Dr. Tremata
- Both of these cards say they are "immune to Damage from Heroes". they should say they are "immune to damage from Hero Targets", which would make them immune to damage from Unity's Mechanical Golems, for example. This is official errata that will be updated in any future reprintings of the Rook City expansion.
- Toxic Sludge
- The second ability on this card says in part, "Each Player may discard 1 Card to destroy 1 Environment Card". This may look like it means that if all players discard 1 card each, then 1 environment card may be destroyed. In fact, it means that each player may discard 1 card each, and if they do, they may destroy 1 environment card each. So, if two players choose to discard a card, then two environment cards may be destroyed.