Players run afoul of governmental forces more often than they get support from them in my experience. Often the players are involved in less than legal activities that get them in trouble with the law, or they run into bureaucratic blocks when trying to get things done. However what would life in a culture with no strong source of authority be like? The players could be attacked on the street by thugs and nobody would bat an eye. Maybe have multiple powerful warlords that all fight with each other for control of the area.
Real life can be a great source of inspiration for settings even if you don't pull directly but set up fictionalized settings with similar characteristics. History can be a wealthy source of ideas. Similar to my feuding warlords idea the culture of feudal japan is rich with ideas that would make amazing and very different settings for D&D games. Often players get plunked down in a generic medieval European setting but just a little bit of extra work and flair can make it a much better game overall