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-paid 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.