I did indeed make a lot of use of the Front books, though heavily adapted to my own storyline thta had started with the Cyberpunk game. The characters did eventually discover true purpose of the CNMs.
Yes, I think the games would fit quite well. That would be interesting ;)
Has anyone ever told you the RTG-factual True Purpose?
Since none of my players are on these boards, I have no qualms about sharing it. :)
Lorm Dragonheart wrote:
CP2020 was always one of my favorite games to play. It is also one of the few games where of you do get into a gunfight, you've already lost.
CP 2013 vs 2020 aside - this is what made these games fun to play. "D&D style" run in and kill things and take their stuff failed 9 times out of 10. Players really had to 'think' as EVERYONE has big guns if things come to a firefight.
Yeah for inspiration it's great -- but honestly the rule of "style over substance" actually holds up in the real world too. Wall street is a classic example of it with the maxim of "Perception is reality" being perhaps the root of the thought. Prices and trades happen on the perception and feelings of those involved -- not the science or hard data/information involved.
Politics is another area that proves the rule quite easily with each side (in the USA at least) trying to frame all problems as coming from the other side regardless of the truth of such a position and claiming their side (and style) has the answers where the other side doesn't.
It's all about 'style' -- nothing about the actual substance of the positions involved.
I would point out that the use of violence, force, and self defense often follow this as well.
(the following link is not for children, those with self-image issues, faint hearts, or the inability to read and think on what they read beyond what is needed to like Steven King or other bubblegum fiction) This guy has a lot of thought tied up on exactly how violence happens, who it happens too, and why it happens. There are a lot of good articles attached to that site (I posted to a random article I found when first exploring the site) and if you read and think on it you'll realize that if you apply style as your non-verbal communication and general 'message' (which is what it really is when you break it down) most of what he's putting out there is information on how to present the style to stay out of trouble, and what happens when you mess with other people's style.
or trods, or AR glasses or AR contacts (prototypes are already under developement)
38 degrees, anonymous vs. scientology, the arab spring...These things are without substance. If anythinging I think the net is really just starting to grow up.
Well I cant really judge something as the Net as a whole.But I liked the spirit of its more academic previous incarnations and dis-like how the vast majority of users(especially under 26) roll with it.
Funny that you mentioned anonymous they are starting to remind me of how the laughing man cases spread in the Ghost in the Shell universe.
ps:I know all this is ephemeral.Trends change etc etc
I've dreamt of AR glasses since I was a kid...I dig everything about them
Abraham spalding wrote:
Our whole world is about 'style'.But not individuality & style like some proposed in earlier eras..apparently eating someone else s sh$t* is kewl nowadays
*=product,designs,worldview,stupid attitude etc
Since you where a Kid? Seriously? You sure you arn't thinking of VR?
No I imagined glasses that explain everything and have data for about everything etc in my games.Unless that's something different
I would love to know what their story was. So, yes please let me know - either here or email me email@example.com
Then you seem to have been well ahead of the curve. AR was discussed in a very limited fashion in some earlier media that took inspiration from Cyberpunk, but the concept didin't really take of until relatively recently. I mean the Cybergen and Ghost in the shell being some of the better implimented discussions on it, and william gibson didn't really talk about it until virtual light and I think it wasn't until pattern recognision that he actually used the term.
I was fascinated by Encyclopedias around that age, and thought there should be a portable version.So yeah glasses seemed the cool medium.It was just imagination and games, at the time I had no idea about the tech behind all that.Like how my favorite game with my spaceship miniatures was Tera-forming etc
Design-wise Shirow's GITS 1 manga has aged less-compared to other 80s cyberpunk- imo.It even has cellphones in it(for a brief moment though and they look like pocket journalist recorders)
You can put it here with a spoiler button for anyone who doesn't like to see it :) (I' kinda interested ;p)
So, if you go bandy yourself about in the Near Orbit and Deep Space supplements for CP 2013 and 2020, respectively, you'll find hints and references to a couple of Jupiter-shot missions - where probes and, later, astronauts, are sent out to Jupiter... Allow me to quote from Deep Space:
Deep Space, Page 6 wrote:
Based on data gathered by the 2018 ESA unmanned probe, NASA launched a manned mission to Jupiter in early 2023. The mission is aimed at conducting scientific analysis on both the gas giant and its moons. Curiously, several corporations have taken an unusual degree of interest in the mission and it is believed that NASA may be hiding certain information revealed by the earlier probes. Whatever the information is, it appears to have generated some interest outside of NASA, and rumors speculate that systematic radio transmissions have been detected emanating from the planet. In any event, the expedition should enter the Jovian system in November 2025.
The Pathfinder expedition (there's some irony in naming, for you) arrives in August 2025 (Cybergeneration 2nd Edition, Page 187).
The Foxrun Incident takes place in the heart of Night City on December 19th, 2025.
In Eco Front it is revealed that Foxrun 3-13, the same team that blew up and crashed over Night City, was the same team that broke into the Blanc Research lab in Death Valley, stealing several containers of volitional Carbon NanoMachines before high-tailing it to Night City.
Questioning Bianca, the facility's AI, reveals that Blanc Research had received the pattern and coding for the CNM's from a nebulous "somewhere else," and that they were working with the VCNM's "before the outbreak of the Carbon Plague."
So. Here's how it went down.
The early ESA/JSA/NASA probes to Jupiter found something they weren't looking to find - Machine Intelligence. The regular, systematic transmissions from Jupiter were being sent out by a huge nanotech cloud - that cloud was looking for something... or actually someone. I'll get to that in a minute.
The probes were able to make low-level contact with the cloud, and in so doing, establish enough communications to get some pretty cool stuff - that being high-functioning, superior quality nanomachines. Further probes would establish further contact, concluding in a full-scale download of the CNM's themselves into the probe systems, the plans and specifications for which were then transferred to Earth.
By 2025, the alien nanomachines had been researched and replicated back on earth. The Pathfinder mission managed to make live contact, real-time contact, with the master cloud.
And in so doing, got the core code of the cloud transferred back to Earth, which was then given to the Blanc Research lab. Blanc had already established that the CNM's had the ability to modify the genetic code on a basal level. They had used it rather successfully on some of the animals in the lab. They inserted the master Source Code into the CNM's they already had. Which, in turn, caused the CNM's in their care to go, as they say, completely bugnuts crazy.
This caused the Event at the Death Valley Lab, which in turn caused Bianca to initiate burnout protocol and trigger her Neutron Bomb. The CNM's that remained, as it states in Eco Front, were far less discriminatory about what they transmuted - because they had no idea how to handle our type of life.
Eventually, the CNM's would figure out what the dominant form of life on this planet was - Humans - and how to deal with them. They keyed in to Human Growth Hormone (which is the best carrier they could find to help them get into our DNA and RNA and effect the changes they needed to make), and started the Carbon Plague. In doing so, they were following a protocol that was given to them who knows how long ago. The CNM's on Earth were able to communicate with the Master Cloud back on Jupiter, and determine that the people of Earth must be helped.
Because the aliens that sent the Master Cloud to Jupiter had sent it there to establish contact. To establish relations. To help.
The aliens that sent the Master Cloud, however, had no concept of life of our type existing on a planet that, to them, was completely uninhabitable.
The Master Cloud was sent to Jupiter looking for other life forms of the type that had created it. They were described to me as "Floaters" - big things not entirely unlike enormous, sapient, cloud-based jellyfish. To them, Jovian worlds are the best places to live. They're the only places to live.
The CNM's were designed to integrate with native life forms, inform them that they are not alone in the Universe, and open communications. To bring culture and information. To be, basically, their version of the Voyager probes. "Hi. We're out here. We're just like you. Won't you come talk to us?"
When they ran into Humanity, they had no friggin' clue what to do with us. But they knew, eventually, after going through our minds and our records and evaluating us as a species, that we were going to burn ourselves out in a few short decades.
And so, they did what they were programmed to do: They helped us.
Now, this next part is 50% speculation, 50% confirmed. I'll list which is which.
Eventually, when a "critical mass" of Cyberevolved had been reached, the Kids would have gotten something that was referred to as "The Call," drawing them all together in one place, at one time, for one purpose. (Confirmed)
Something I refer to as "M2 Evolutions" - Second Generation, higher-functioning Cyberevolved (Scanners capable of controlling emotions and generating long-range Gestalts with other Scanners, Wizards able of controlling other Wizards Familiars, Tinmen capable of locking down or "puppet-mastering" other Tinmen, etc, etc), would rise to the top of their groups, and help integrate one big happy Cyber Evolved Love-In between the many thousands of scared, crazed, Evolved Kids. (Speculation)
With one mind, with one purpose, they would link together, and using all of their various powers to support and supplement each other, send a message back out to the stars - "We are here. We're not like you. We need your help." (Confirmed but also Speculative - signal sent is confirmed. Nature of signal, unconfirmed)
From there? It was anyone's guess.
Here endeth the Spoiler.
Very interesting. A lot of similarities and connections with what I did in my campaign, though I had a completely different source. Hmm, definitely gets me thinking about Cybergeneration again :)
What I really love about the set up for this, is that it's all right there in black and white. It's verifiable that they were heading here from the beginning, and didn't just, as some people have suggested, pull this out of their... um... hats. ;)
To be honest, I can see that. And I think that the similarities with what I did show that much of the inspriation and the details were there. The differences came about because of my earlier thinking for the Cyberpunk campaign which I'd started running soon after Cyberpunk (2013) was available in the UK.
Nice to know that I was thinking along some similar lines to the Talsorian guys!
And what of the HERO foray into the subject?
Requisite Disclaimer: The following is my opinion and the general opinion of my players as regards both these games. We've tried almost literally every Cyberpunk genre game out there in the interest of fairness, completeness, and so that we can honestly say we have done so.
Both GURPS Cyberpunk and Cyber HERO are what I like to refer to as "Good Intentions Games" - which, as we all know, are what paves a certain road to a certain place.
They're both very well researched, very nicely padded books. One takes a very... well, I guess the word to use these days is "nerdcore" approach, the other takes a more esoteric genre-based approach. Both use mechanics that feel a bit shoe-horned in to the ruleset. These mechanics, while factually accurate in the terms of their games, add little to the overall Cyberpunk "Feel" of the game. In other words, they make the games more complex, without actually helping the players feel like they're engaged in a Cyberpunk-style game.
If I had to pick one over the other, I would pick Cyber HERO, if only because the rules are slightly less arcane, and make it clear to the GM that where the rules fail, the GM has every right to step up. Also, I long ago grew weary of the supposed "banning" of the GURPS book... but I've already covered that in another Cyberpunk thread here on the boards.
I adapted your spoiler idea for the bits that are out of subject :p
Much ado about HERO:
I ve never played HERO
The following is not my view on it(as I would need to play extensively with the system to form one)
it is merely a 'taste' that a lot of net search/talking in shops etc leaves me with, in regards to it or some of the players attracted:
Whenever I try to read an article about HERO it seems needlessly complex(And I am not talking about getting your head around math etc.Those are way below the level of any undergrad)
There's people claiming this game is only for smart folks(unsurprisingly this statement most of the times comes from people who use this system..so yeah...)
Unconsciously all of this has given me the impression(and this can very well be false) that this system is a pseudo-intellectual elitist approach to rpgs.
That said in essence what the system promises to encompass is my cup of tea.A lot of the ideas,the seriousness.But I can't help but wonder if its implementation is as good as the Hero players claim.
Maybe I just need somebody to sell it to me or run a campaign.
As you ve mentioned in other posts I believe in the right tool specific to each task, but I also believe in Occam's Razor
So thanks for clarifying that
I think my problem with GURPS, Cyber HERO, and Tri-stat's foray (the Ex Machina mentioned above) is that when I play cyberpunk I don't want to 'build powers' I want to buy, install, update or destroy tech and play cyberpunk.
This isn't to say that I don't like the systems for other things (multi-genre games for example) but for cyberpunk I want something more direct and defined.
For me this is because that's part of what cyberpunk is -- the clashes that develop in a defined system where everyone has something of a societal role they are supposed to play and what happens when those roles conflict, or don't match the player. In my view cyberpunk is just as 'antsy' as say WoD... but instead of crying about it and dreading you pull an '80's' riot out of your back pocket and charge in guns blazing. Its the different between a defense and offense -- WoD you are trying to protect yourself from loss and against the unknown cyberpunk you shout out, "Success or BUST!" and take the offensive.
Abraham spalding wrote:
Very succinctly put.Until I discover a generic system that will change my mind, I wholeheartedly agree.
I also await to see what will come of Technoir.It has interested me but I cant find the group willing to play-test it for now
It's insanely fun. It's very different & I recommend you download it for free to check it out at least:
Several different things you can do with it too.
Yeah, when the sky is the limit then the limit is too high -- granted almost anything is possible in cyberpunk... the question is at what price. Quite frankly generic 'ability buy' systems put the price too low.
I may have missed it, (I dont think so ), but no one seems to have mentioned Cyberspace. Cyberspace is a cyberpunk role-playing game published by Iron Crown Enterprises. It uses a slightly streamlined variant of the Space Master system (but not as simplified as Middle Earth).
The game was out of print and unavailable for a number of years around the turn of the millennium, but is now available, with all of its supplements, from the publisher's homepage in a PDF format.
Character classes for Cyberspace include:
Jockey, a jack-of-all-trades
Releases for it included
I remember playing a campaign set in the Death Valley Free Prison which was like a huge Mad Max area.
I can guarantee you that Mike Pondsmith of R. Talsorian Games is revisiting the 'Punk line, and has been for some time. If I have anything to say on the matter, I'll be doing some of the writing for it.
Must admit I didn't read the whole thread - but I wholly support the R. Talisorian Cyberpunk game. 2013 Cyberpunk was probably the best simple system ever (especially Friday Night Firefight) - I have extremely fond memories of buying several copies of the boxed set. 2020 was also very good.
I spent about 10 years working in gaming stores and it was simply the best simple system for delivering a good game I ever found (though I guess the "simplest system award technically goes to 'Og' the caveman game).
I was very disappointed when Mike Pondsmith jumped to Microsoft to work on their stuff instead of focusing on R.Tal games, but can't blame him. The Evil Empire probably paid a heck of a lot better.
If you want magic, etc. though, Cyberpunk is not the game for you.
I was a fan of Shadowrun 1E when it first game out, but was literally so disappointed in 2E that I gave away my entire 1E collection (which I think was MAYBE missing a single module, but had literally every other book in it) and swore to never play it again.
Will admit that I'm about 8 years behind on more recent stuff as it's been a bit since I had effectively free access to pretty much every game out there.
I had an idea the other day, and I thought you might enjoy it.
I have been reading Houses of the Blooded: Blood and Honour lately. It is John Wicks return to samurai roleplaying games(specifically in this case it is a game of samurai tragidy, very much in the style of films like yojimbo, ran, and seven samurai). It uses the houses of the blooded system, and is very interesting because the main character is the clan, while the pcs are kind of cogs in the wheel.
What occurred to me was that It might be really cool to use Blood and Honour as the basis for running a game centred around the intrigues of the corporate elite. The main character being the players corperation itself, and the pcs filling rolls like net security chief, spokes person, security chief, head of R&D.
You could run the game in a really cut throat manner, and deal with how greed and self interested leads to tragedy in the Cyber punk future.
That sounds like it would pretty interesting and fun to play in - not so sure I'd enjoy running it, mind. Not because of the system or the subject matter, but because many of my players would find it hitting a bit too close to home.
I'll check it out!
A bit late, but that matches up a lot with what I was thinking, other then where it was from.
It does leave me wondering how it would fit in with the
supposed alien invasion in Starblade.
As an aside, that's one of my main disappointments in 203X. I loved SBB and am sad v3 renders it no longer the future of the future. I especially liked using hints that Alt/Gaia was still around in some way and always described Dominica with the same appearence as Alt to mess with my players.
Otherwise my only real gripe about v3 is that I feel like Mike tried to throw too many post-punk concepts in at once.
Gosh, this makes me all notalgic for my old CP, CG, SBB and ADP:SRT (Bubblwgum Crisis with Sylia starting a special hardsuit unit in the ADP) games.
Also: Make with the games Milligan. I've been wanting to give you money for years. ;)
You know... I asked that same question...
Hah. I did the same thing with my SBB runs.
V3 had a ton of potential. It was just poorly executed.
*GASP* He knows my name! I must deploy the Memory Eraser Ninjas!
Okay, but seriously, I'd love to. My agreement with RTG is such that I can't make money on Mekton products. However if I can get some of these non-Mekton items finished (Have I mentioned my day-job?), that may become moot.
Side-note - Did you enjoy "Freedom"? And do I know you?
Well, your mention of writing half the meks in SBB and ARG sorta gave it away for those in the know. Your profile page just confirmed it.
I liked all the mini settings, but I'll admit I was more intrigued by the Martian Eagles preview out of all of them. I was more talking about Era^3 and QSB, although I know RTG is sorta sitting on that one.
I've posted a few times on the Mekton list but mostly lurk there due to the... high noise to signal isn't the right term, exactly... but I'm sure you know what I mean.
I was the guy a few years back that made the argument that the one important but usually overlooked theme in cyberpunk is hope and that Mike's understanding and use of that was part of why CP2020 was such a good game.
Incidently, it was also part of why I loved SBB so much. Sure the setting had comflicts and problems and a war was just starting. It was also a better world then it was in the 2020s. Part of why neither side could be pigeon-holed as good or evil. Sort of why I was disappointed to hear the direction the setting would take, but that direction makes complete sense considering what you revealed about the Carbon Plauge. It also makes the comment about the events of CyberGen occuring in a more limited fashion make more sense too.
You know, if you think about it, the Livemetal in SBB has its roots directly in the Carbon Plague. Personally, I prefer the idea that the Carbon Plague became a world-wide event that forever changed the shape of humanity and would lead directly into a Post-Human era of Cyberpunk gaming, but limiting its scale and turning into an alternate-timeline style of thing helps lead into SBB a bit more clearly (the eco-collapse of V3 also ties into the SBB backstory nicely).
So let's talk about hope in Cyberpunk, while we're on the topic. I don't think anyone would mind if we kept up the theory-crafting on the Cyberpunk genre while we're in the thread.
One of the key elements of my last few Cyberpunk (and the ending of my Cybergeneration) games has been something referred to as "Project Sunflower."
Project Sunflower has its origins in the CP:2013 and CP:2020 mentions of the "irradiated wasteland" that makes up most of Africa and portions of the Middle East. We can assume that a full, continental-scale military nuclear option was most likely not actually pursued across the African landmass, but there was surely a series of small-scale international exchanges between the various nations of the continent - along with an inevitable follow up of chemical and biological warfare. However it happens, the bulk of Africa and the Middle East are rendered mostly uninhabitable, with the exception of certain coastal areas and the land in and around the Kilimanjaro Massdriver/Orbital Elevator.
Sunflower itself is nothing less than a "Miracle Bomb." Devised by a pair of scientists working on a completely unrelated project, Sunflower incorporates volitional nano-machines, a series of high-function virtual intelligences, and a distributed database loaded with genome and biological information for all flora and fauna into the area in which it is dropped. A five-kilogram jar of silver sand, when combined with a half-kilogram of "sunflower seeds" and fed a steady diet of radiation and water, becomes a nearly infinite army of tiny little robots that create an ecosystem in five easy stages.
Through the various stages, the nanomachines do their crazy nanomachine thing, and scrub toxins, cleanse atmosphere, and - at the height of their frenzy - actually go so far as to start creating chimeric lifeforms (blends of plant and animal characteristics) that then go on to serve as precursors to full, stable populations of native species in the area. So, for a time, you have photosynthetic hyenas that eventually generate normal hyenas, for example. And they do this all using the radiation from the bombs, the chemicals from the weapons, and all the spare carbon they can get their tiny little nano-hands on.
The goal of Sunflower, then, is nothing short of rebuilding and re-greening the Earth. Of course, it gets noticed by the higher ups at Monsanto, Biotechnica, and the other world-devouring Agri-corps - which in turn leads to the scientists trying to get it out to like-minded folks who can drop it into Africa and show the world what it can do before the Corporations get their grubby mitts on it.
Which of course leads to the courier trusted to get it out of the country showing up dead.
And then the PC's happen upon it.
All through this, there is the string of hope - the hope that the Sunflower nanos will actually work, the hope that the Corporations won't get their hands on it and turn it into some sort of for-profit bastardization of itself, hope that it could be used for more than just one shot.
In my CP 2020 game, the Nomad in the group tried desperately to convince the PC's to let her drop it into the nearly-dead farmlands of the Sacramento River Valley (the argument that it was pre-loaded for Africa didn't even dissuade her - getting the land green again was more important than whether or not there would eventually be lions in Old Town). Hope for a "home" for her tribe pushed her to do some pretty insane, near-suicidal things.
In my Cybergeneration game, a corrupted version of Sunflower was used by ISA President Wyndham as a method of "undoing" the Carbon Plague - his "hope" being that he would be seen as the leader who "rid the world of monsters." Of course, the Sunflower Virtual Intelligences had been generated to help and create, not degrade and destroy - they were easily swayed by the Wizards to revert to their original code and rebuild the world - one little pocket of green at a time.
I guess what I'm getting at is that on the surface, the genre and tone of Cyberpunk seems like a hopeless, grim and dirty reality - and for the most part, it is. But at its core, as we've talked about, is an undercurrent of hopefulness - even if it's just "making my way through another day without getting shot" - that eventually blossoms out into something bigger and better for the world. The PC's may not ever truly take down the monolithic corporations and plutocracies that run the Cyberpunk world, but they can and do act as agents of change and chaos in just enough capacity to set the stage for the people who will.
And that's what keeps me playing it. Well, that, and Morgan Blackhand.
It had some useful things.
I made use of the hard suit boomer thing to good effect in my ADP SRT game.
It helped that one player was rabidly anti-boomer though.
In general though, the original's better.