Wednesday, 21 December 2016

That Biomonitor Is Buggy

"Guys, I'm picking up a transient intelligent dumpster
with minimal battery life and a metric shit ton of K-Pop
classics onboard…"
The finish line for the city kit project is now in sight. I've just finished off the contents page and renumbered the entire document, and I'm about to start work on the intro and the cover. Expected release will be sometime in January 2017.

In the meantime, I thought you'd like to take a look at the Hackable Assets pages. This is the third and final drop grid included in the forthcoming book. I hope that GMs find the grids easy and effective to use in play.

This is the last page preview before the kit goes live on the blog in the new year.

Click to embiggen

As this will most likely be my last post of 2016, I'd like to thank my readers (both of you) and hope you have an excellent holiday and an awesome New Year. See you on the other side.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Subcult Miscreants

She'll cut you up real good.
Work on the city kit continues apace, so I thought I would preview another spread, this time it's the quintessential gang generator. Simply read across the columns to quickly bring a street gang in to play, or roll several times to get a more unusual, mixed result.

There are complimentary tables (now complete) that show you what the gang is up to, that help you generate important or associated gang NPCs, and a table that gives you some rumours or hooks to use with your freshly minted subcult miscreants.

Other generators recently completed, and with a similar layout to the gangs table, we have 50 insane corporate aristocrats along with 50 dubious fixers and facemen, with associated tables to give you even more details, but more on those at a later date.

Also nearing completion, we have the oft requested Mr Johnson tables; one with people as targets, one with desired 'things'. Again, more to be revealed later.

For now, feast your eyes on these Urban Tribes.

Click to embiggen.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Street People: Cabbies and Hookers

Work continues on the city enhancement kit. I've just finished filling in the Random Cabbies table, and thought I'd post a preview. Here, have another choice fragment.

Click to embiggen.

All comments welcome.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

MetSec: The Future of Urban Pacification

Prototype SO1 Synthetic
In my current campaign, the core of the action takes place in a future London, now known officially as the Metropolitan Civil Protectorate.

Being a monolithic fascist city-state, the powers that be police the neon-drenched streets with the state funded paramilitaries of Metropolitan Security, or MetSec.

Often referred to as the Old Bill, the Rozzers or simply the Filth, under-manned and under-funded, the men and women of MetSec are the thin, black and hi-visibility line between order and anarchy.

The Divisions

• D1 - MetSec Uniform Patrol (MUP - standard patrol officers)
• D2 - AeroSec (aerial patrol, monitoring and transport)
• D3 - ChemSec (science division, forensics, pathology, narcotics)
• D4 - MetTech (technology felonies)
• D5 - Cybernetic Suppression Division (C-SWAT equivalent)
• D6 - Public Order Unit (riot control)
• D7 - NetSec (transmission felonies including fraud and intrusion)
• D8 - MedSec (body recovery unity, patrol extraction)
• D9 - MetSec Investigation Division (vice, murder, organised crime)
• D10 - SO1 (special operations, anti-terror)
• D11 - Dispatch & Communications
• D12 - Corporate & Media Liaison
• D13 - Internal Security Bureau (ISB)
• D14 - Administration & Procurement

Ranks still follow the old Metropolitan Police model; Constable, Sergeant, Inspector, Chief Inspector, Superintendent, Chief Superintendent, Commander, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Commissioner. MID ranks are preceded by a D for Detective e.g.: DC for Detective Constable, DS for Detective Sergeant, DI for Detective Inspector and DCI for Detective Chief Inspector.

There are often conflicting operations between MetTech, the CSD and NetSec, and blurred jurisdictions between the CSD and SO1, whereas the MID just seems to get into every other division's business. The ISB see themselves as wholly removed from the other divisions, the command structure very much in the pocket of elements within MI5 and the Ministry of Information Retrieval, as well as being infiltrated by various corporate actors.

MetSec's newer equipment is supplied by Arasaka, the transnational recently winning the contract previously fulfilled by Sentry International, a subsidiary of Militech, specialising in public order and urban pacification technologies. There is a mix of both companies' kit in the supply chain, although Arasaka is limiting access to gear that can use munitions compatible with the older Militech hardware, which is causing some shortages and subsequently hamstringing certain hostile contact procedures.

Private enclaves, micro-states and gated communities do not fall under the jurisdiction of MetSec, rather they are policed by private security contractors such as Monarch and Black Eagle.

Unsurprisingly, Community Support Officers, much like social workers and good manners, are very much a thing of the past.

Evening all.
Mind how you go.

Acquired Technology

Work continues on the city kit. In the meantime, have some minor tech-related table shards.

So, you found (or stole) a tech thing… could be a tablet device, a cybernetic lung, a plasma repeater rifle in the 40 watt range. Neat. But what state is it in?
You so subtle, man.

D10 Technology Condition
  1. Chequered History, Well Used
  2. State-of-the-art, Designer, Cutting Edge Aesthetics
  3. Buggy and Unpredictable
  4. Sought After and Unstable R&D Prototype
  5. Unlicensed Clone Copy
  6. Obvious Foreign Counterfeit
  7. Robust, Basic, Possibly Broken
  8. MilSpec and Bomb Proof
  9. Elegant, But Fragile
  10. Intuitive, Plug-and-play, Modular

And then you found (or stole) a cellphone, agent or computer, and Grabby the netrunner has a crafty look-see. What does she find?

D10 What's On That Stolen Device?
  1. Contacts List - a mix of pure gold and depressingly mundane
  2. Schematics - building, vehicle, cybernetics
  3. Compromising Image Files (GM needs to determine who)
  4. Chemical or Pharmaceutical Formulas
  5. Unreleased Beta Gaming Apps
  6. Illegally Downloaded Music - some tracks are prerelease; copy protections removed
  7. Black Operation Project - an extraction? Wetwork? Adulterating pharms? Neo-disease?
  8. Weapons Tech R&D Data
  9. Presentation For Forthcoming Biotech Launch
  10. V-Mail Conversation Threads - regarding one or more of the above (roll again)
Sweet. But when's the railgun going to be fitted?

As always, comments and criticisms welcome.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Adding Cyberpunk To Your World

Over on the Views From The Edge forum (here), I put forward the idea of hive-creating a cyberpunk city kit in the vain of Zak S's seminal Vornheim, which was made for OSR D&Dalikes. In the excellent Vornheim book, Zak provides a variety of table-based resources designed to quickly add both detail and flavour to fantasy cities on the fly. While he wrote it for himself, and to give him the most utility mid-game, it has proven wildly popular and has become a benchmark of sorts for similar OSR projects.

Now, being largely based in complex urban sprawls, most cyberpunk games tend to provide city source material as standard, but are largely based on the pre-Vornheim model of a mishmash of detailed locations, leaving large voids and lacking a lot of flavour. Like with Vornheim, what we felt was needed was something more fluid, a kit rather than a sourcebook, that could be used as the game is in progress, following Zak's philosophy of  'maximum table utility'. I wanted something I could use during the game, was simple to access, sparked ideas with a sentence and basically just added to the game environment and to play. Also, system agnostic would be cool, as not everyone plays CP2020.

Companero said it best when he defined the project as "taking things you know and adding layers of science fictional strangeness to make it new and exciting" and "to add cyberpunk to the world as it is." With that firmly in mind, some pixels were wrangled and tables started to form, some of which I will be previewing on Neural Archive as the document takes shape. Please bear in mind that these tables and pages are still very much works in progress.

Click to embiggen.

Click to embiggen.

Future tables will include Alternative Businesses, Urban Sickness, Legacy Infrastructure, the Sense & The City tables (smells, sounds, sights), Infotainment, What's On The Road/In The Sky, Augmented Reality, the Cabbies table, the Instacitizen drop grid, plus street gangs, corporate aristocrats, fixers, guns for hire, media, tech, junk, freak weather and much more.

Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to see included in a cyberpunk city kit.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

>> Installing Neural Archive…


Geist's budget Neural Archive was on the fritz again. 

So, just what is Neural Archive?

Spurred into digital action by the calculating Great Mind behind the Vircades Project, this will be my little pixel-stash of the splinternet, where I get to write nonsense about things relating to cyberpunk gaming. There will be musings, characters, technology, random thoughts and more, for dark future science fiction roleplaying games.

Entertaining Geist since 1990.

Neural Archive will be focussed primarily on R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk 2020 and it's contemporaries, but also (occasionally) such games as Stars Without Number, Traveller, Star Wars D6, with perhaps a soupçon of the very best bits of the OSR fantasy gaming scene. Possibly.

And then the shooting started.