Wednesday, 27 February 2019

20 Questions | Cape Point Edition

Many moons ago, Mr Jeff Rients created a list of questions that, when answered, would give you the bones of your D&D campaign world. More recently, the very excellent Tore Nielsen gave it a spin for his The New Economy project.

I thought I'd finally get round to doing the same for my Cape Point campaign. Apologies in advance for any casual DnDisms.

What is the deal with religion?

The Global Brands are very much alive and well, with Christianity, especially in its Protestant forms, predominating. Your contact might be a Calvinist, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish or Bahá’í. There’s also a resurgence in African Traditional Religion, highly diverse beliefs, traditionally oral rather than scriptural, with a supreme creator, belief in spirits and the supernatural, veneration of the dead, use of magic and traditional medicine. 

Technology also synthesises with faith, with a growth in popularity for online Ancestor Archives, the spread of sakawa rituals, combining modern net-based fraud with African traditionalist practices, and the recent incorporation of Yemisi N’kosa’s Church of Virtual Martyrs.

Where can we go to buy standard equipment?

Stretching under Table Mountain there’s the Thirty Mile Mall, the biggest Consumertopia in the Southern Hemisphere. Other stores are scattered throughout the central Hub. If you still can’t find what you need, try The Hoop in the Pinelands nogo, but keep your Minami 10 handy.

Where can we go to get custom fitted armour?

Custom kevlar or spider-weave can be found in the Mall. More unusual or bespoke protection needs to be brought in by fixers, for a price.

Who is the mightiest wizard hacker in the land?

Polly Carbon, nano-enhanced hacker, teen prodigy and occasional kingmaker.

Who is the greatest warrior in the land?

The last of N’kosa Mambi’s clone soldiers. Who knows how many have escaped his wars before he was put down?

Who is the richest person in the land?

Syndicate boss Mr Rose is so wealthy, he no longer has to contend with death. Yet, he fears it more than ever.

Where can we go to get some healing?

Cape Point has a number of pay-per-use government Mediplexes, Nazareth House in Vredehoek being the largest and most versatile. Diagnostic kiosks accept a convenient variety of payment options. Or there are street docs like Dr Omomo, who runs his clinic on Holblane Street, under the Observatory geodesic. If you’re really desperate, try the Medicine Market, but make sure you load up on antibiotics. And, of course, there’s the ubiquitous Trauma Team and Cape Medevac, for those that can afford rapid response and extraction insurance.

Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions?

Poison, disease: Table Mount mediplex specialises in disease control, or sell your soul to Biotechnica.
Curse: Find the witch doctor who cursed you and put a couple of AP rounds into them, or trash that sakawa boy’s server.
Level drain: That’s some weird-ass elf game shit, right there. So, nope.
Lycanthropy: You had to get that exotic gene-edit, didn’t you? Best sign up for the Freak Fights to pay for the reversal.
Alignment change: Identity Function in the Tertius-Kazawa tower, the largest producer of personality chips in the world.
Death: A good ripperdoc might be able to bring you back if you get there fast enough, or get a cortical archive fitted, if you can find (or steal) one.
Undeath: A percentage of the urban poor in the townships believe in the undead, but it’s not a thing. Unless you count those who can afford to extend the lifespans…

Is there a magic guild my MU hacker belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells software? 

Try the Equation Troupe, if you can contact them. Or maybe the datasocialist collective will find you?

Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?

Most of the experts have money and security, safe behind the walls of PLEC-patrolled gated communities and habstacks. To reach them, you’ll need contacts amongst the fixer community. For a reasonable percentage, of course. Or contact Nana Dharma in the Devil’s Peak projects, her distribution seems to know everything.

Where can I hire mercenaries?

Militech and Arasaka are the world’s leading PMCs, but are probably way out of your budget. Echo International might give you good rates. Other than that, try the bars, there are plenty of solos looking for work. Tight budget? Hit up one of the thousands-strong gangs in the townships, but watch your back.

Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?

Most of the Municipal Policed Zones, gated communities and private estates. Here, Johnny Law is just itching for an excuse to put you down.

Which way to the nearest tavern?

There are bars and clubs to suit all tastes. Watcha in the mood for?

What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?

The best way to kill someone, or some thing, and get famous is to sign up for the Freak Fights on the Panama Rose. You might get rich too. Maybe.

Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?

There’s an insurgency on the Namibian border and the PAU are ramping up Cold War activities in the Cape Republic. There’s also the coming Ghost War that just needs a spark. Mad AIs and their inhuman machinations, eh?

How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?

There are numerous illegal combat events, where augmented fighters are pitted against one another in cages, pits, parking lots and cellars, hidden in the decaying districts of the city. The most famous and with the best returns are the invitation only Freak Fights. Not sure about the glory though.

Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?

So many. There are Aleph agents embedded in Protocol, Father Ghost’s distribution teetering on civil war, the Flesh Cartels, the competing transnationals, Nana Dharma’s network…

What is there to eat around here?

There are restaurants and fast food joints aplenty, but a majority survive off kibble and SCOP (Single Cell Organic Protein), with the occasional treat of a baggy of piping-hot Sumo Noodles.

Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?

Executed war criminal N’kosa Mambi’s personality matrix contains a link to his orbital accounts, and the Aleph code could unlock the hidden net.

Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?

The Dragon is a combat helicopter, and as far as I know, it has no treasure. But it can bring the hurt.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Regarding Zak S

Many of you are probably aware that Zak Smith aka Zak Sabbath has been outed as an abuser.

See https://www.facebook.com/amandapatricianagy/posts/10215845527064252

I believe Mandy.

And some of you may be aware that Zak's work on Vornheim inspired me to write and publish the Augmented Reality city kit. I asked him for his permission at the time, to ensure he was okay with an unknown such as myself taking his ideas and extrapolating them into an imagined future. He gave me the green light, for which I was very grateful. Hence why I credited him in the book - it seemed only fair.

Things have now changed.

Please do not perceive the book credit in AR as condoning or supporting his vile behaviour. I am looking at replacing the relevant text as soon as I can. I do not endorse Zak or any of his works. His behaviour is unforgivable. He has lost my respect utterly.

With that in mind, I sent him this email Tuesday morning (12/02/19):


I received this in return:


To which I reiterated:


I'll now wait and see what he comes back with.

I am making this public so that Zak cannot claim that he had my support or permission to use my tables for his Demon City project. I doubt he would have included my name in the book anyway, and no money was ever offered, but I wanted to make sure nobody mistook me for a Zak ally. I am not.

I want to thank Mandy, Hannah and Jennifer (and now Vivka Grey*) for speaking up. It was exceptionally brave of them to do so. I certainly hope that, with the truth now being known, they can all recover from this horrific episode and start to heal.

*https://m.facebook.com/VivkaCriesWolf/posts/2478145012257909


NB: Comments now disabled due to zakpuppeting.