Thursday, 25 October 2018

That's Entertainment | The Drug of the Nation [D10]



Here's another D10 table, detailing and expanding upon the vid show list from page 38 of the Augmented Reality city kit. I've fleshed out these 10 contemporary vid shows, and added associated plot hooks, for your viewing pleasure. Don't change that dial.


Roll a D10:

1. Implant Fixers - a popular and irreverently amusing reality show, where, each week, three kooky cybertechnicians attempt to fix or replace embarrassing failing implants for members of the public, from their pop-up clinic equipped throughout with cameras.

Hook: Someone the PCs are hunting down (heavily augmented) has signed up for a day at the Implant Fixer clinic. So, your target is now surrounded by cameras for the next 24 hours or so. The good news is they will, at some point, be anaesthetised and be very vulnerable. Have they put a contingency in place? And who knew THAT was a problem on the early Mr Studd® models?

2. Simsense & Sensibility - respected drama about love and virtue, staged in both the modern world and a lovingly-crafted virtual of the mid-19th century. The show is also reactive, with viewer-subscribers making plot proposals in realtime.

Hook: The PCs are hired by the production team who are having issues with a particularly mendacious troll, who keeps shitting-up the plot lines; ratings are tanking fast. They need you to trace the culprit and deal with them - trash their computer, destroy their television, kneecap them, whatever, but it cannot be known that the PCs are working for the show crew; it would be a PR nightmare the execs would never forgive. Turns out, the troll is someone dangerous and connected that the PCs already know.

3. Zone Runner Xtreme - contenders, on foot, battle to complete a course which snakes through some of the worst parts of the combat zone. Eye-in-the-sky camera drones follow the action, as competitors are picked off, one by one. Celebrity pundits provide commentary from the safety of a far-away studio.

Hook: A powerful corporate's eldest son has signed up for Zone Runner Xtreme. Obviously, said corporate is non too happy that his son and heir is putting this life at risk like this, for money he doesn't even need. Yet, the old man admires his drive. He wants the PCs to protect his son and help him to win (without him knowing), or, if things go badly, extract him from the zone. Alive. 

The trouble is, the corporate's rival knows the son is entering the competition (it's all over social media), and plans to send a team to grab him, for leverage.

4. Crash & Burn - promising and talented console jocks go head-to-head through a series of hacking challenges, cooked up by the production team, for big cash prizes. Filmed in front of a live studio audience, pop-up windows and big screen backdrops show the action, with an over stimulating layer of rapid-fire graphics and stats.

Hook: One of the latest Crash & Burn contestants recently turned over a corporate mainframe, and has been doxxed by the company IT team. The PCs are contracted to assassinate the hacker, before they win the cash and buy their way to a new identity. 

The studio has very tight security, as has the hotel the participants are staying in. Unknown to the PCs, contestants are shadowed by network security contractors and production crew, and are encouraged to keep a video diary for the duration, with sections being edited and inserted into the show; could be bad news if the hacker is doing a piece-to-camera when the team decide to strike.




5. My Two Clones - long-running sitcom, following the trials and tribulations of poorly-payed Zoom Corporation retail exec, Poppy Langmore, as she navigates a plethora of zany relationships (and shoots for a pay rise), whilst managing the unwelcome assistance of the two illegal clones her deceased father made of her. 

Hook: The actress who plays Ms. Langmore, Crystal Green, is a train wreck, and has a very expensive drug habit which the studio has enabled for far too long. Fortunately, her onscreen clones are ACTUAL non-consensual clones, and not actresses cut to look like her, as Crystal believes. 

The network want the PCs to smuggle a compliant and vat-fresh third clone into her secure penthouse apartment and eliminate Green - but the team must dispose of the body 'cleanly' (NB: a bodybank won't touch her ruined junkie ass). Problem is, the new clone is having a crisis of conscience, and has her heart set on getting Crystal the help she needs, or she won't play ball. And the real Crystal's narco-paranoia has led her to hire some of the best private security money can buy.

6. Atomic Geisha Dojo - body-perfect competitors face the challenges of the fearsome Dojo obstacle course, while fending off the stealth attacks of the cute-but-deadly Atomic Geishas; a string of brutal, demeaning endurance trials, disrupted by random acts of violence, played for laughs. 

Hook: The titular Atomic Geishas are unregistered synthetics manufactured by Ashoka Robotics in India, illegally brought into the country by a network of fixers, paid by the studio. Three of the units have violently escaped the studio during a routine maintenance cycle, and are at large in the city. The show's lead tech contracts the PCs to find them and bring them back, before it makes the news. She doesn't know if they planned to travel together or separately, but can give the PCs the frequency of their implanted RFID tags. The tech also warns the group that the Atomic Geisha's are hard-coded for cruelty.

7. Personality Adjustment - moving reality show which follows the difficult lives of six people undergoing chemical, psychological and virtual reconditioning, to mend a range of past traumas. Follow their stories, as they each embark on their own journey to a healthier self.

Hook: One of the lead psychologists working on the show is testing illegal personality chips on the participants. Legality and ethics aside, EBM would very much like to get their hands on those chips, and will pay the PCs handsomely for the doctor's bespoke suite of persona-altering chipware. Unfortunately, due to the sensitive nature of the show, and the importance the psych team have to the production, they are guarded by teams of close protection specialists contracted from Arasaka at all times (probably with extraction protocols written in to their deal). And EBM don't know which of the six psychologists is the one dicking with their patients.

8. The Clade - surreal CGI soap opera, focussing on the interwoven lives of the inhabitants of a downtown closed socio-economic franchise-state. Scripted and plotted by a specially-coded expert system, the show is renowned for it's sometimes amusing algorithmic glitches.

Hook: The PCs are asked to find Miles Davy, the original creator of The Clade series, by his estranged and very wealthy ex-wife, along with a cabal of production execs who believe only Davy's talent can turn the show into something great again. Miles, in a creative malaise, has been on a two week bar-crawling, whore-hopping, sofa-surfing odyssey around the city.

In reality, while the execs are genuine (!), the ex-wife is being blackmailed (she likes atrocity porn) by the show's now self-aware expert system into finding Miles so that he can be 'written out' permanently.

9. Fracture Point - classic buddy cop show, following two Organic Damage detectives, Jake Siegel and Rachel Wolffe, as they attempt to investigate the homicide-of-the-week, despite pervasive corporate interference and complex personal relationships. Popular reoccurring characters include Valentina-3, the wisest and most understanding of Seigel's sexbot harem, and Gunnar Wolffe, Rachel's full 'borg and veteran cop dad.

Hook: Fracture Point merchandising is a very lucrative business for the network, with everything from mugs and t-shirts, to v-games and even branded sexbots. The production team hire the PCs to track down the source of Valentina-3 counterfeits that have started showing up in the city, and to halt the operation. They're coming in from a factory in Venezuela, but the shipments are being intercepted by the triads in Florida. The 14K syndicate aren't keen to cease selling their sleazy knock-offs, and they laugh in the faces of your puny gweilo IP lawyers...

10. Alt Cult Zero - slightly judgey and slow moving documentary series following the ups and downs of a number of alternative subcultures, revealing their sometimes difficult interactions with a wider, but still fragmentary, society. Most of the footage is shot via cameras worn by those taking part, shining a realistic, but gonzo, spotlight on hypercurrent alternative lifestyles. Voiceover provided by a neural net encoded with the dulcet tones of Kelsey Grammer.

Hook: Peterson-15, a founding member of a misogynist bro-borg franchise involved in the show, was witness to a mafia shooting at a restaurant a few nights ago. The Family hit man that did the job remembers that the metal-head was loaded with body cams, and that there's probably incriminating footage. The local Don, brings in the PCs as an expendable neutral party and tasks them with taking out Peterson-15 and anyone he's with, and retrieving any footage from the night in question. Sadly, for the PCs, the bro-borgs' compound is well defended, as is Peterson, and the footage was uploaded to the production team's servers automatically.  



Friday, 19 October 2018

That’s Entertainment | Place Yer Bets [D10]

Life in the rusting habstacks of the slum zones is far from easy, with money increasingly hard to come by, so many do whatever it takes, just to get by. While most will gravitate towards criminal activity, many also turn to underground gambling for a chance to strike it lucky and land that big score. 

Here are 10 activities for the desperate to place a wager on.


Roll a D10:

1. Drone Dash - contestants race their homemade drones through the hollow shells of abandoned habs. Anything goes, and dirty tricks are encouraged. The winning drone is the first to complete the course, or the last drone standing.

Hook: An Arasaka surveillance drone went missing around a week ago. The remote's tracer became active again today, and the corporation want you to go and retrieve it ASAP. Said drone was hacked, disabled and stripped by scavengers, the components sold to a group of teenage Drone Dash enthusiasts, looking to enter the next race. Problem is, the teens all live inside a Militech gated community, and the next competition is tonight. But where?

2. Combat Zone Run - tricked-out street cars undertake a circuitous rally through some of the most dangerous turf in the combat zone. Crews compete any way they can, running the gauntlet of the gangs, the crazies and the security drones, to try to make it to the finish line in one piece. 

Hook: The PCs are contracted to crew a dubious looking hotrod in the next run, and meet up with the current warlord of the Painhaus gang, Iron Face, in a contaminated industrial ruin, where they will deliver a cargo of explosive munitions, bought by the gang from the Russian mob. 

3. The Freak Fights - popular illegal combat event, where modified fighters are pitted against one another, in cages, pits, parking lots and cellars, in the decaying districts of the city. Bouts can be to first blood, to the death, or anything in between. (10 infamous Freak Fighters can be found on page 41 of the Augmented Reality city kit).

Hook: Your fixer wants you to make friends with freak fighter Ghengis Klang, and keep him alive. Seems he's the only witness to a double-homicide that the fixer is being set-up for. Corrupt FBI agents really need the fixer to go down, so will be doing all they can to take Klang out before he can testify.


4. Holo Dogfighting - ‘trode-controlled holographic aerial combats, fought out in the darkened back rooms of bars, noodle joints and pool halls. Miniature ghosts of fighter planes strafe and barrel-roll mere inches above the spectators heads.

Hook: Lorenzo Valentine, a local mafiosa, lost a ton of money on the last dogfight. He plans to bet on rank outsider, Hamed Riley (current odds of 150:1) when he goes up against the circuit champion, Tammy Reed. Valentine wants the PCs to sabotage Tammy's rig, lean on her to throw the match, or inhibit her ability to win. Whatever. He doesn't care how, she just has to lose. Turns out that Tammy Reed is 14 years old, and only able to walk with the use of a linear assist frame. 

5. Augmented Animal League - illegally enhanced animals (mostly dogs, cats, large rats, and the occasional fox) are set against one another in spiked pits, for the entertainment of a baying crowd. Combatants are classed by their cybernetic implants, and the fights matched as best they can.

Hook: The AAL goes through animals at an astounding rate, so the organisers always need more. And where's the best place to find virgin animal stock? The uptown rich districts, of course. Make good money petnapping from corporate families, in secure residential areas.

6. Counting Coup - groups of juvenile gang members are sent out into rival turf, tasked with landing a blow on an enemy ganger. If any make it back in one piece, they win prestige, and may tattoo their body to mark the event. Sometimes, rather than striking a rival, they will be required to steal an item, or tag a difficult to reach location.

Hook: Word on the street is members of the Reject Parade gang are planning a coup run on the Altitude Boyz, where they plan to grab a nano-fabricator that the Boyz 'liberated' from a Microtech courier three nights ago. The company will pay top dollar to get their toy back, undamaged.

7. Parkour Marathon - a number of free runners compete to cross entire city districts, without touching ground level, in this gruelling test of stamina and endurance. Sabotaging or attacking your opponents is expected.

Hook: Spider Wozniak is the current number one free runner in the city, winning the last four parkour runs in a row. EBM have started sponsoring Holly Dhahar, an experienced runner they brought in from Detroit, and they need Wozniak out of the picture. The corporation want Spider to have an 'unfortunate accident' during the next scheduled marathon, and to never, ever run again. 

8. Aero Drag - backstreet aerodyne ‘hoppers’ are paired and compete, usually two at a time, to be first to cross a set finish line from a set hovering point. A definite risk to legitimate air traffic.

Hook: A fixer you know needs someone skilled to pimp out a getaway aero for an upcoming job, and wants the PCs to snatch Mechanized Mikey, the best damned hopper tech in the aero drag scene. But Mikey is bankrolled by the local Mob.

9. Scrapbot Wars - teams of amateur teleoperators control their own home-made robots to fight against each other, whilst also avoiding arena hazards and more powerful ‘House Robots’, which are not bound by the same weight or weapon limits as the contestants.

Hook: Someone the PCs' are looking to liquidate will be in the crowd for the next scheduled rumble, but it needs to look like an accidental death-by-scrapbot. Fit deadly weaponry to some rigger's pride and joy, and make sure it targets your mark.

10. World of Vornheim Tournaments - a warehouse or other large space is rigged with big screens, packed with spectators, and the e-sports networks hacked, to broadcast teams from across the globe battling their way through their respective regions, to gain XP, gold and magic items.

Hook: The yakuza are looking to launder cash through WOV games. Sign up, roll your characters, buy as much shit and as many levels as you can with the syndicate's money, and shoot for the treasure (trade it in for real coin) and the sponsorship dollars. The Osaka boys won't take too kindly to you making a loss.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Paydata PLUS [D10]

Inside Job by Clark Huggins
















Following on from my previous Paydata post, and to help you avoid simply recycling those results after a while, here's another take on a D10 list of saleable or useful files, links and vulnerabilities your sneaky netrunner might discover in the corporate grid she's infiltrating.

Roll a D10:

  1. The Science Division techs working the labs have biomonitors contractually implanted, as standard, synced with the network for 'safety' (plus, it allows the company to keep tabs on them). And their unique identifiers are left exposed after an incomplete system update. How long have you got to manipulate, tag or trace them?
  2. One of the Rapid Response Team managers has left their memory chip connected to their terminal, after a particularly hectic nightshift, followed by a brutal debrief. The chip contains the designated wireless frequencies for the team's smart weapons, apparently good for the next 36 hours.
  3. Looks like a company commtech forgot to turn off the 'share' settings for the video-phones on the 14th and 15th floors, after a routine installation. The v-phone cameras and contact lists for Marketing, Analytics & Modelling and Public Relations are all currently accessible. With the right software, you just might be able to worm your way through the rest of the comms network.
  4. This part of the system is haunted by fragments of a partially de-rezzed AI 'ghost', who is clearly quite insane, but courteous and happy to chat. If you ask the right questions, who knows what secrets it's deteriorating mind will reveal? Can it's unstable psyche be trusted?
  5. An innocuous branch of the network leads to an unsecured terminal currently running the route-planning software for the company ad blimps. Also, the GPS system for each dirigible can be accessed by the reasonably intuitive guidance application, each blimp's current location mapped in real-time.
  6. A hot-desking account manager has accessed the network using a private cloud account, which is still connected. Wading through the spreadsheets, DRM-hacked music and porn, the netrunner may realise that the cloud is quietly auto-syncing with any and all enabled devices in the vicinity. Smartphones, tablets, cheap neural processors, robovacs, autonomous trashcans and the office smart-fridge, all pop up and drop out of the wireless network, periodically. Perhaps the same cloud can lead the hacker to the employee's home system.
  7. The system exposes the central hub for an intelligent washroom on one of the executive floors. A versatile software suite manages a plethora of voice-activated assets - cubicle doors, an air freshening system, soap dispensers, taps and the all-important power flush. And that means there are mics in there…
  8. A glitch reveals the LAN of office environmental sensors across three floors - the locations and operating systems of the smoke alarms, air conditioning, atmospheric regulation, fire suppression and acoustic weapon sensors are all disclosed to the netrunner. There's only D6 minutes until the glitch is corrected, and any tampering will be detected.
  9. A link to the company spam filter is being used by an operator. Normally handled by an expert system, an employee has logged in to double-check that it's performing correctly. The netrunner can see the database being altered in front of them, v-mails slowly being white-listed and others moving to trash. The netrunner, of course, moves at the speed of thought, so has a narrow window of opportunity before any useful v-mails are reclassified by the wage-slave in meatspace.
  10. A very recent update to the OS creates an as-of-yet unknown vulnerability in the building's air traffic control system, giving the netrunner access to the company IFF database. Only identifiable aeros are permitted to land on the rooftop pads, but some subtle changes to that stored data could change everything. 

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Paydata [D10]

Puppet Master by Dmitry Kalinichenko

Yesterday, I spotted this request in the comments of a previous post:
Kash Register12 September 2018 at 20:23I know that you are very good at producing "lists" of things in cyberpunk. So my request is a list of possible types of paydata a netrunner can find in a corporate system while they are there doing whatever it is they do. Paydata being info they could sell that is not specifically part of the mission at hand, but valuable none the less. Thanks in advance!

So, here's my take on a list of 10 potentially valuable files your netrunner may stumble across while illicitly datascraping a company network.

Roll a D10:

  1. A zero-day vulnerability in the software of a concealed long distance link, which exposes a direct line into a secure Korean server farm generating cryptocoin for a jopok black bank. There's only D6 hours until the vulnerability is patched and becomes worthless. Tick tock.
  2. Some admin noob has created a text file that includes the teleoperators' passwords for the company's onsite security drones or patrol bots. How long until the passwords are changed?
  3. Somehow, a copy of the chemical composition of the company's performance enhancing drug of choice has been saved in the wrong folder. The file contains enough information for a competent street-chemist to synthesise the compound, and also includes the latest molecular tweaks that may alter it's current classification status to legal.
  4. A system user has, for whatever reason, secreted a video file in an innocuous looking folder. It's three day old footage of one of the company execs, who can be seen in a number of compromising positions with escorts of varying genders and questionable ages.
  5. Filed amongst a number of marketing PDFs, the netrunner discovers a spreadsheet containing the names, addresses, contact details and 'financial contributions' to a number of prominent politicians on the take from the company.
  6. Unsecured compressed folder, containing the IT department passwords used for software updates to the company's fleet of autonomous and teleoperated delivery vehicles, docked at the nearest company distribution centre.
  7. Someone has left their remote access setup active, allowing the netrunner to utilise the live editing software on an ad-heavy, company sponsored simsense serial, which is extremely popular. Programme in a back door, and you'll be able to come back and spread whatever message you want, live and direct.
  8. A botched satnav update has dumped the favourites list of a company limo GPS into the  main system. Each of the locations appear to be visited routinely and regularly, and many seem… unorthodox.
  9. Numerous internal reports which prove beyond doubt that several popular company products are toxic/carcinogenic/hazardous/dangerous, each report being signed off by the same Quality Control exec.
  10. The netrunner notices that the network hosts a poorly secured peripheral device (meant to be offline when not in use), which holds a number of cipher keys used by the company medical division, to access several high-profile executives' neural processors for injecting software updates.

I hope you find 'em useful Kash!

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Not At All Official But Still Wicked Awesome


Super stoked to discover that R. Talsorian Games have included the Neural Archive in their list of Not At All Official But Still Wicked Awesome Stuff. As a long time CP2020 player and referee, it's cool to be name checked by the company that has given my gaming group DECADES of dark future fun-times.


Follow the link to discover more more cool blogs and sites on the Wicked Awesome Stuff list.

https://rtalsoriangames.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/a-celebration-of-cyberpunk-day-two/

The R. Tal blog is hosting a running celebration of all things cyberpunk, including the new Cyberpunk RED (about which I am more than a little intrigued), the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 computer game, as well as that venerable classic, Cyberpunk 2020.

And speaking of Cyberpunk 2077, here's a must-see link to a 48 minute gameplay walkthrough, jam packed with excellent little details, that's definitely worth a watch.



https://youtu.be/vjF9GgrY9c0

To any new visitors who have found their way here from the R. Talsorian blog, WELCOME and feel free to rummage around in the dark corners. And don't forget to check out the links to the Augmented Reality city kit while you're here - it comes in two great flavours, PWYW POD and a lovely Lulu hardcopy (links to the right; on a mobile device, view web version to see them).

Friday, 29 June 2018

Cape Point | Life In The Hub

The final instalment of our trip to Cape Point, hopefully giving you a sense of the flavour and feel for this unique city. You're a long way from Night City now, my friend.




The Neon Haze - Light pollution is a way of life in The Hub. Every skyscraper in each of the corporate zones is lit by searchlights, every squat is illuminated by fires, every commercial street lit by a multitude of neon adverts. Advertising slogans are projected into the sky by searchlights and ad-blimps, or projected onto the side of Table Mountain. Its never truly dark in Cape Point.

Beneath a Dying Sky - After the war, the weather patterns of the Western Cape were shot to hell. The region is plagued by creep clouds, flash floods, acid monsoons, poisonous smog, torrential rains, extreme humidity, corrosive fog, sweltering dry heat, lightening storms, hurricanes, howling gales, dust storms from inland, ice cold nights and oppressively hot days, yet the sun is dull, shining weakly through the polluted haze, giving an orange cast to everything.
Spoils of War - Refugees from the north flood into the SACR and are collected in state holding camps or disappear into the ghettos. The Cape Republic is recovering from the Emergency, the conflict they wouldn't call a war. This 'police-action' was the result of PAU Colonel N'kosa Mambi's 2024 fever-dream of a new African Empire, that tore across the continent. Eventually defeated by an international coalition of Protocol peace-keepers, N'kosa awaits trial in Geneva.

There is evidence of warfare throughout the region - pockmarked buildings, abandoned city areas, rusting tanks, gutted APCs, aerodyne gunship carcasses, ghost towns, skeletal human remains by the less travelled roads etc. Limited tac-nuke use in 2024, on the Angolan border with Namibia, has lead to the poisonous and radioactive weather fronts referred to as The Creep. Creep clouds are a toxic soup of rads, nanites and biologicals. Many people have begun to exhibit genetic defects thanks to the damaged local environment and are known locally as Twists, and are feared and shunned by both the superstitious and the healthy.

State of the Nation - There are still African rebel movements within the SACR, as well as white supremacist paramilitaries and fringe religious groups, cyber-supremacists, and bio-chauvinists. Civil strife is never far away. Famine and conflict is always ready to bleed into the city streets. Tensions always run high. You're never very far from a fear-gas enshrouded riot in The Hub. 

Sea-borne piracy is also a problem in the region. With simmering unrest there comes a proliferation of smuggling syndicates, as well as illicit off-shore pirate broadcasters, such as Channel Zero and the infamous Suppressed Transmissions. Establishing the veracity of any information is becoming increasingly difficult in Cape Point and the rest of the country.

The old Wasting Plague is still active in the most deprived areas of The Hub. Various biotech transnats are watching and waiting, their patented vaccines at the ready. The area has also recently been subject to what the media has dubbed the New Plagues. Officially blamed on third world transients but most suspect the top bionationals. These contemporary diseases include Viral Huntingtons Disease (VHD), Adaptive and Variable Transmission HIV variants (AHIV & VT-HIV respectively) and Ebola III, not to mention all the adapted and evolved artificial parasites, tailored cancers and nano-induced syndromes unleashed by heartless transnationals and backstreet clinics. Consequently hand sanitisers, inhalers, disinfectant wipes, and other hygiene solutions are  highly desirable, but generally only available anywhere there's money.

SACR laws state that clones, dubs, AIs and other artificial life-forms have no rights, cybernetic regulation is confined to weapons and weapon systems, while private info havens and secure servers are perceived as separate entities and are not subject to Republic law.

The SACR allows the use of Protocol's intrusive GroundScan in it's territories, but only with the correct warrants. Laws change a lot and most law enforcement agencies are corrupt, especially the paramilitary national police known as the Public Security Agency.

Where the PSA don't, can't or won't police, a number of private law enforcement organisations have developed. These contractors include Monarch Law Enforcement, Aries, IntenSecure (small operation), Sentry (Militech), MetaCops (tsotsi funded), Black Eagle Security Group (white/racist) and Arasaka SA. Health and hygiene regulations are strictly enforced, and are some of the most draconian laws currently in place, thanks to recent Biocontrol legislative reforms.

Dante's Streets - In The Hub, street vendors sell anything and everything without permits, with City Filters being the biggest sellers. There are Hyperlife™ auto-caf├ęs everywhere, street traders, impromptu markets, hustlers decked out in dollar store bling, prostitutes, their minders and the down and destitute. Begging is all too common, particularly amongst the street kids; orphans from the war living rough anywhere they can. 

There are vendomats, dataterms, free kibble dispensers, foil blanket dispensers and automated retail kiosks. All this autonomous equipment will be battered, weather stained, and thick with graffiti. 

There are people everywhere; scattered around here and there, some huddled together under blankets or plastic sheeting, some gathered around oil drum fires, others shambling around aimlessly, and at least one poor wretch just standing there shivering and watching the animated signs as if hypnotised. And those animated ads and signs, holographs and the ubiquitous neon will bathe the streets in lurid colour, their incessant drone a constant beat in the background at all times. If you're tricked out for AR, then the world gets even more confusing, unless you're running some heavy-duty filtering. Everywhere, the smell of chemicals, pollutants and human bodies.

In the affluent zones, AI controlled unmanned AV cabs circle with unnerving precision, dropping to street level to drum up trade - they won't travel to certain areas and can't be made to (unless they are hacked of course, which is difficult). Plex or PSA patrols pass through the well kept streets, or wait parked by the roadside, watching for trouble.

The Gangs of The Hub

The top 20 on the PSA list, including gangs from the satellite towns:

• The Hard Time Kids - one of the thousands-strong gangs
• The Cape Flats Boys - another of the thousands-strong gangs
• Thug Living
• The Instant Revolvers
• The Disposable Boys
• The Junky Bullets
• The Jackrollers
• The Magnetic Dog Boys
• The 28s (was a prison gang - they put glo-tat 28s on their faces)
• The AK Legends
• The Scissor Girls
• The Cannibal Cult
• The Twist Society
• The Hungry Loa
• The Shaka Bosses
• The Children of Legba - nu-voodoo and sakawa practising 'dorphers who cook and sell drugs from out of the Warrens
• The Liquid Killaz
• The Right Hand of God (Sub-Saharan Africans, Somalis and local muslims with links to The Burning Light)
• The Tijgerhof Technicals
• The Kid Soldier Soccer Club - smartguns and Sergio Tacchini tracksuits, 70s style


Cartels
The Cape Point Transmetropolitan Hub teems with thousands of faceless hustlers, night operators, retrieval experts, fixers, facilitators, solos, blades and bimbos. Ex-special forces commandos sell their high-end anti-social skills, vying with renegade military clonals and semi-retired combat 'borgs for contracts. Triad thugs brawl with tsotsi warriors and Kombinat assassins. Each of them is connected to the fabric of the netherworld, wired into the splinternets. With a glance, a Nigerian mercenary can scan a passerby, dive into the infosphere's backnet to retrieve a pearl of data about their bionic implants, and have their onboard tac-system formulate a strike strategy that will cripple his target in the blink of an eye.

Trade is the backbone of The Hub, and the transnationals rely on loose laws, immigrants, bleeding-edge technology and corrupt administrations to smooth the flow of business. Smuggling, illegal neotech, dangerous freelancers, and technomads are the lifeblood of the city. The Hub's phenomenal growth was built on the basis of the free flow of people, goods and information after the war. Like Shanghai in the 1920s and Hong Kong in the 1980s, Cape Point attracted the world's most interesting individuals. The glare of neon, the atmosphere of borderline legality and the smell of money lured edgerunners by the kilobyte.

Some will say that the Cartels run the city, with the Russian Kombinat providing a brutal but entertaining sideshow. Others think that the hypercorps are bankrolling the major players, with tacit approval from Government House. And what about the American and Eastern Community operatives sinking their apparati into the bowels of power politics?

Besides the good old-fashioned money-and-politics types, The Hub is also infested with the theological detritus of the world. Add about sixteen major sects and cults - not counting the ethnic groups such as the Sikhs or Druze - mixed with a million and one vendettas, and you've got a potent brew. Pretty much every ethnic group with an agenda has representation here, from Malay dissidents in the Bo-Kaap district to enterprising Chinese importers to dour but reliable Burmese executives. The Europeans have a light presence, but their own infighting keeps them busy.

The Cape Point Transmetropolitan Hub has the highest per-capita rate of implantation in the world, the highest income inequality of any city, the highest concentration of transnationals in Africa and the largest armoury this side of the Congo Conflict Zone. And these are some of the groups that make it move.

The Bhin Xuyen - Vietnamese organised criminal cartel, specialising in human trafficking, piracy and counterfeiting. The group originated amongst the refugee and transient communities on The Raft and in Limpet Town.

The Swanepoel Syndicate - Luis Swanepoel is one of the new, up-and-coming gang bosses competing for the lion's share of the trafficking and smuggling in and out of The Hub. Swanepoel was a pirate off the Gold Coast and would have you put down for just looking at him funny.

The Njombo Cartel - Mabuki Njombo sliced and diced a bloody path to become a Waterfront kingpin by dealing in every vice imaginable, including slavery/skin-trading, organ-legging, human trafficking, prostitution and personality dealing. He is known for preying on the weaknesses of his own people.

The Triads - A vast network of immigrant Chinese and Malay gangsters. A mix composed of fixers, solos, whores, pushers, thieves and other criminals of all kinds. The Triads will involve themselves in anything that will turn a profit.

The Tsotsi Ganglords - These groups run the city’s black market at street level, arranging for the transfer of weapons, illegal cyberware, narcotics and other goods through a series of street markets and underground emporiums. These ‘free traders’ are very loose and consist of collectives of affiliated individuals rather than a unified group.

Hasim Shakur - There's also a crime clan run by Hasim Shakur, an Indian black marketeer who's neck deep in blood diamond traffic, white-collar corruption and tech-theft. The streets are not his scene, but he has friends aplenty in Europe and the Pacific Prosperity Sphere. He currently resides in the gated community hub of Mouille Point.

The Hacker Collective - Not much is known about this group, beyond the fact that there are a number of them, and they all seem to have an anarchic, libertarian view on the world. Some of them hire themselves out on runs; others remain above corporate politics and conduct operations to a plan known only to themselves, although they almost always launch attacks on the government or municipal trash department if they attempt to disperse an autonomous community. The most famous collectives are… [feed disrupted]








Freak Weather Tables (should you need them):

Morning:
1. Ice cold in The Hub: The temperature dropped off the chart sometime last night and it's remained unusually cold. There may even be icicles, hail or patches of frost around. Kids love it! Wrap up warm and be grateful it's not colder.

2. Corrosive fog: Stinking acidic fog blankets the city causing traffic problems, visibility and situational awareness issues as well as making sound travel funny. Roll under remaining LUCK to avoid any acid damage: 1D6/2 and any SP is reduced by a further -1 for each turn the character remains in the fog.
3. Creep cloud: The area is enshrouded in a cloud of nanite, biological and chemical detritus. This shit stinks! The PCs have no idea of the cloud's composition and what problems may occur by hanging around. But they will be triggering the hazard systems of any relatively modern or secure building. Radioactivity? Dangerous nanites? Plague? Characters better be ready for a stint in decontamination. They might get real sick too - roll under full LUCK.
4. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.

5. Corrosive fog: Stinking acidic fog blankets the city causing traffic problems, visibility and situational awareness issues as well as making sound travel funny. Roll under remaining LUCK to avoid any acid damage: 1D6/2 and any SP is reduced by a further -1 for each turn the character remains in the fog.

6. Dust storm: Tons of dust blow in from the interior of the country. Makes breathing tricky; the dust gets into everything; visibility and awareness are reduced (-3) and if it has been raining first,  everything is covered in cloying, muddy crap (this shit is slippery too).

7. Torrential downpour: The usual rain suddenly increases in strength and ferocity with a good inch or two falling in a matter of minutes. Driving becomes hazardous and those without shelter are rapidly soaked to the skin. Visibility is reduced to a couple of meters. The downpour is loud too (-2 Awareness). Lasts for up to 1D20+5 minutes.

8. Torrential downpour: The usual rain suddenly increases in strength and ferocity with a good inch or two falling in a matter of minutes. Driving becomes hazardous and those without shelter are rapidly soaked to the skin. Visibility is reduced to a couple of meters. The downpour is loud too (-2 Awareness). Lasts for up to 1D20+5 minutes.

9. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.

10. Sweltering heat: It's 110° in the shade right now, not a good time to be layered in armour… Add up the SP totals of any head and torso armour. This is the DV for an Endurance check to avoid heat injuries. If the character is without Endurance, they use Resist Torture/Drugs at -2. Heat stroke results in -5 to all skills and 3 pts of damage (no BTM). Oh, and it's miserably hot indoors too…


Afternoon:
1. Extreme UV levels: Despite the hazy light, if you stay outdoors for too long without adequate eye protection, roll a SAVE or be at -3 (-2 with cyberoptic systems) to all tasks involving sight for the remainder of the day. Any exposed skin, including the face will be burned red (1 pt damage, no BTM). Get yourself some goggles, flare-paste, UV shielding or stay inside until it lets up…

2. Glitter-twists: Dead and dying nanoforms carried on twisting air currents catch the dull, orange sunlight, like sparks. This shit sends the superstitious crazy… Can cause an irritating cough if you breath this crap in. Lasts for around 1 hour on average.

3. Lightening storm: A sudden peel of thunder followed by a spectacular lightening show moving in from the ocean or from south of the Table. 10% chance the ionisation of the air monkeys around with implants, cell phones, net connections, smart weapon systems and the like. Lasts for 1D3 hours. 20% chance of city block black outs per hour.

4. Torrential downpour: The usual rain suddenly increases in strength and ferocity with a good inch or two falling in a matter of minutes. Driving becomes hazardous and those without shelter are rapidly soaked to the skin. Visibility is reduced to a couple of meters. The downpour is loud too (-2 Awareness). Lasts for up to 1D20+5 minutes.

5. Sweltering heat: It's 110° in the shade right now, not a good time to be layered in armour… Add up the SP totals of any head and torso armour. This is the DV for an Endurance check to avoid heat injuries. If the character is without Endurance, they use Resist Torture/Drugs at -2. Heat stroke results in -5 to all skills and 3 pts of damage (no BTM). Oh, and it's miserably hot indoors too…

6. Acid monsoon: Sheets of corrosive rain drop from the sky. Little columns of vapour start to appear where the acid does it's worst. Roll under remaining LUCK to avoid any acid damage: 1D6 and any SP is reduced by a further -1 for each turn the character remains in the acidic downpour.

7. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.

8. Extreme UV levels: Despite the hazy light, if you stay outdoors for too long without adequate eye protection, roll a SAVE or be at -3 (-2 with cyberoptic systems) to all tasks involving sight for the remainder of the day. Any exposed skin, including the face will be burned red (1 pt damage, no BTM). Get yourself some goggles, flare-paste, UV shielding or stay inside until it lets up…

9. Creep cloud: The area is enshrouded in a cloud of nanite, biological and chemical detritus. This shit stinks! The PCs have no idea of the cloud's composition and what problems may occur by hanging around. But they will be triggering the hazard systems of any relatively modern or secure building. Radioactivity? Dangerous nanites? Plague? Characters better be ready for a stint in decontamination. They might get real sick too - roll under full LUCK.

10. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.


Night:
1. Creep cloud: The area is enshrouded in a cloud of nanite, biological and chemical detritus. This shit stinks! The PCs have no idea of the cloud's composition and what problems may occur by hanging around. But they will be triggering the hazard systems of any relatively modern or secure building. Radioactivity? Dangerous nanites? Plague? Characters better be ready for a stint in decontamination. They might get real sick too - roll under full LUCK.

2. Arctic snap: The temperature has dropped off the chart excessively cold. There may even be icicles, hail or patches of ice or frost around, particularly after rain. Driving and other movement actions at -3. Prolonged exposure such as staying out all night at these temperatures can result in hyperthermia, pneumonia or frost-bite - roll under full LUCK.

3. Sweltering heat: Unusually for after dark, it's 110° in the shade, not a good time to be layered in armour… Add up the SP totals of any head and torso armour. This is the DV for an Endurance check to avoid heat injuries. If the character is without Endurance, they use Resist Torture/Drugs at -2. Heat stroke results in -5 to all skills and 3 pts of damage (no BTM). Oh, and it's miserably hot indoors too…

4. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.

5. Gale force winds: Extreme, angry winds buffet the city from the ocean. On the coast, great waves crash against the shore. The sound is incredible. Expect some signs of damage when it subsides. All activity in these high winds is at -4.

6. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.

7. Lightening storm: A sudden peel of thunder followed by a spectacular lightening show moving in from the ocean or from south of the Table. 10% chance the ionisation of the air monkeys around with implants, cell phones, net connections, smart weapon systems and the like. Lasts for 1D3 hours. 20% chance of city block black outs per hour.

8. Arctic snap: The temperature has dropped off the chart excessively cold. There may even be icicles, hail or patches of ice or frost around, particularly after rain. Driving and other movement actions at -3. Prolonged exposure such as staying out all night at these temperatures can result in hyperthermia, pneumonia or frost-bite - roll under full LUCK.

9. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.

10. Torrential downpour: The usual rain suddenly increases in strength and ferocity with a good inch or two falling in a matter of minutes. Driving becomes hazardous and those without shelter are rapidly soaked to the skin. Visibility is reduced to a couple of meters. The downpour is loud too (-2 Awareness). Lasts for up to 1D20+5 minutes.





For those unfamiliar with the very excellent Vircades Project blog, may I suggest Richard's outstanding Ruralpunk series of tools and concepts for running PCs through the wild places found beyond Cape Point's city limits. Enjoy!


*with apologies to Richard Balmer once more for bastardising some of his ideas. :)