Cyberpunk Remix Supplements

21 Jul

Well, it’s been a week. I should stop moping around and work on something fun.

I do have my game, Cyberpunk Remix. I could write supplements for that.

In case RPGs aren’t your thing, or they are but you only play Dungeons and Dragons or something, I’ll explain it really quickly.

  1. Game uses FATE. Set 100 years in the future.
  2. Virtually no protection of information property.
  3. Global warming – 3C, 8 meter increase in ocean levels.
  4. Increased biotechnology – almost all surgery is outpatient, pharmaceuticals made in small shops rather than huge corporate factories, small pharmaceutical lab is all you need to make your own deadly plague bio-weapon.
  5. Millions of refugees from submerged cities plus bio-weapons as common as computer viruses, equals the collapse of military and old nations. Lets be honest with ourselves here, the USA was paralyzed by indecision on what to do about health care, so the government simply let H1N1 kill 4000 American citizens in 2009 without lifting a finger, and we still don’t have a plan or agency to protect the USA from foreign viral threats. A terrorist engineered flu would undoubtedly mean the collapse of America.
  6. Instead, factions defined by self-reinforcing ideologies establish city-states only for those people that agree with them. The internet (or a hundred different cable channels) means you get to chose your news, and our natural closed mindedness (really, the structure of your brain rewards you for dismissing your political opponents without even considering their point of view) means that these ideologies have to establish city-states. They cannot cooperate in larger nations.
  7. Almost everyone is urban, meaning they live in one of these city-states, or more likely in a refugee or squatter neighborhood on the fringes of one of these city-states.

And those are the basics of the cyberpunk setting I’ve proposed. Now, as far as supplements, I would like to do one supplement for each of the factions I’ve proposed for the future. Each supplement would contain a description of life in a city-state loyal to those values and that faction, and a description of life in the heavily urban squatter neighborhoods outside the official city. I’m thinking of doing the supplements in this order.

The atheist and academic Hobbes Network – These are the kind of people that would say, “It’s stupid to be grossed out that stem cells come from aborted fetuses; this is for science.” (Actually, I’m not sure that’s true anymore.) This supplement would contain maybe a page or two about the history of academia, starting with Plato and going to the year 2010, and then a more in depth treatment of future history. I’d also like to describe how people stay healthy in the future, ie. grow food and run medical centers in a world without government and with dangerous plagues as common as computer viruses. This would mostly be game rules for players would want to run a campaign where the PCs run a farm or clinic.

The consumerist libertarian Zu Fazhan Shetuan – These people would say, “The world is so much better without government. We all have guns and shoot trespassers, and don’t pay taxes.” It would have a page or two about the history of Libertarianism, starting from 1857 with Joseph Déjacque, and going up to 2010, and then a more in depth treatment of future history. I’d also like to describe how people run businesses, other than farms and clinics, and make money in the world of 2110. Farms and clinics have to operate differently from other businesses. Without governments to protect them, they have to operate with a lot of trust, generosity, and community cooperation, otherwise they will constantly live in fear of violence from hungry and sick people without money, who will fight to the death for the resources they need to live. Ordinary businesses that provide products and services that are not essential to life, would use different game rules, and run much more like businesses we know today. Players who want a campaign centered around a company that makes and delivers a product, provides courier or security services, private eyes, tech support, etc, could use the rules in this book.

The strict Shi’ite Ithna’shar Juma’a – Each of these city-states is rules by one or more ayatollahs that see themselves as the stewards of Al Islam in the absence of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It would have a page or two about the history of Al Islam, starting from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), following Shi’a, and going up to 2010, and then a more in depth treatment of future history. I’d also like to describe more of how computers and the internet has changed in the years up to 2110, and offer rules for using computers and hacking into computer systems.

The Catholic Church – The pope has this huge and powerful organization, and in my mind, they are just waiting for the world to fall apart so they can seize the reigns of power. And seriously, they have some grudges to settle. Since the inception of Liberation Theology, capitalists, and even the United States’ CIA have been hiring death squads to strait up murder nuns and priests trying to improve the lot of the poor masses of South America. Do you think they’re going to help the failing nations, or build fortified refuges for their flock and bid good riddance to the national governments? The second one, totally. For Catholic history, I’d focus on the juicy conflicts and conspiracies, like Liberation Theology and the month-long reign of Pope John Paul 1. Then I’d take a bit longer on future history. Then I’d offer rules on gaining converts and memetic warfare.

The regimented, interplanetary Astroforce – These people live in space. By the time the governments collapsed, there were actually quite a few orbital habitats around Earth, and when people started dying from engineered plagues, and the cities quarantined themselves to try to protect their people, the people who thought they were living in space a short time, suddenly found that they had no homes to go back to, often no families to go back to. They established martial law and did what they needed to live, and a generation later, they’re still doing it. This would obviously include information about space travel, it’s history, and living in space, as well as game rules for player characters running their own space ship and rules for handling conflicts between space ships.

Elitist privileged Tarun Corporation – This isn’t really a new faction seizing an opportunity for power. This is just the remnants of the society we have now. They are second in political power, right behind the church, but even they understand to not try to force their values on others. They safely hide in their palaces, their guards venturing out to protect their properties, and they offer jobs to the huddled squatters in their unofficial cities that spring up just outside the palace grounds. They could try to hire a death squad to murder nuns for helping plantation workers form a union or exercise their democratic rights, but then the pope would hire some geneticist to create a plague just for their wealthy inbred bloodline, so horrible that you’d think God must have liked Job because he pimp slapped him so softly. So they hold onto what they can, and let the rest of the world do whatever it wants. I think the history section of this book would also start in the 1800 (like Zu Fazhan Shetuan) because that’s when factories and wages (modern employment) started and The Navigation Acts were repealed so real laissez-faire capitalism started. This supplement would also have rules for running a media outlet and investigative journalism. Wealthy people hate scandal.

The SSE (Semitic Socialist Erreshet) – I think I would start the history section of this in the 1940s because 1948 is the founding of Israel and the Fellowship for Intentional Community. The SSE started as a network of Jewish/Muslim/Ethiopian (all Semitic) kibbutzim and hippie communes that has since gone global, helping people set up new communes and helping pre-existing communes survive and join up. They are very secular and utopian, with relatively small core cities, surrounded by sprawling urban neighborhoods of semi-hippie squatters.  The supplemental rules would be about surviving in the wilderness. Plus I think I should have random charts for generating things like weather, random creature encounters, random dangers, biohazards, radiation hazards, land-mines, etc. Maybe a random terrain chart. Maybe there could be rules for prospecting, looking for mineral resources or genetic resources, like sequencing the genomes of extremophiles.

So those are the first 7 supplements I’d like to write for my game Cyberpunk Remix. What do you think, 10 or so people who know that my blog exists?


4 Responses to “Cyberpunk Remix Supplements”

  1. Graham 9 August 2010 at 10:04 am #

    I’m not sure I’d want supplements organized that way. Unless travel is common and integral to play, I couldn’t see using more than 1 such supplement. The ideas are decent, but I’d rather have a mix of all those groups in any one place than in their own separate places.

    • sheikhjahbooty 9 August 2010 at 11:53 am #

      You might be right. I was imagining each supplement as a campaign sourcebook, like if you were going to have a space campaign, that would be the only supplement you would use.

      So the question I have to think about is: Do I want to write 7 sourcebooks when I know that potential players would only use one, if at all? (Of the 7 books, 6 would not be used by each group.) Or should I write one book that covers things in a much less in depth way, and then just shows how to use the rules for those different things, a kind of players companion type of book?

      The second way of doing would not involve me writing a lot that would never come up in play for most groups, so your idea does seem attractive to me.

      • sheikhjahbooty 11 August 2010 at 11:37 am #

        I’ve decided. I’m going to start writing them as faction splat books, much like the old House Books (Davion, Kurita, etc.) for Battletech. After all, whether I write one book or seven, it’s pretty much just for my own joy. And if I actually get fans of this game, they can download and use one or anther, as a campaign guide.

        But I’m going to keep the other plan in mind, of a Player Companion, so if I start to find it difficult to write a whole book about a topic, or if I find some information repeated in each book, I’ll just condense them into one book.

  2. Misterecho 7 September 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    why not write these splat books, then combine them into a single book if desired?

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