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arcady

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About arcady

  • Rank
    Cyberpunk
  • Birthday 30/03/1971

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  • AIM
    arcady0@mac.com
  • MSN
    arcady0@yahoo.com
  • Website URL
    http://home.comcast.net/~brianfwong/SciFi/
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Profile Information

  • Location
    San Francisco native
  • Interests
    Coffee, Comics, table top RPGs, Cichlids, making 3D art, Biking, Writing, Law and Politics. I write, I study politics, and I spend too much time online.
  1. I know you've been trying to reach me. Life for me is busy elsewhere. I'm not sure what exactly from me you wanted added to this compilation. But I suppose I can give approval to add it.
  2. GURPS had some of the best setting material, but the rules... too binary. When I ran a Cyberpunk combat in GURPS, one side had slightly better weapons (15d6 v 14d6 or something like that) and slightly better armor (55 versus 50 or something like that). On a system where hit points was about 10... this resulted in no ability to do any damage from one side, and no ability to do anything but a one-shot kill for the other side. On the 3d6 to-hit roll, after mods for sights and other things, it was so pre-ordained that I needn't have bothered with the fight. Sometimes that happens, but it was too much. I came away convinced that GURPS in science fiction is only suited for one setting: Traveler. And that because this binary technological edge is something I personally felt was a part of Traveler on the setting side, but never worked right in Traveler's own rules. Ex Machina was great, but had two basic rules flaws. One was roll-under. 2d8 roll under is flawed. It gives the same problem seen in Hero, GURPS, and BESM 1e and 2e. The curve becomes too strong and mods have too much impact while doing opposed tasks gets complicated. As the campaign progresses, characters soon XP out of the game engine. The second flaw was combat damage. In Ex Machina nothing can hurt anything else. It inherited the old BESM way of damage - built like a video game were you can never one-shot, even when you should, but you just have to keep clicking the 'A button' and whittling them down. Even after I multiplied all damage by 3 across all weapons in the game, a handgun only had a just under 2% chance of ever being able to one-shot kill. While the chances for an actual instant kill with a handgun are low, they are still vastly higher than that. But any other modification sent the rest of it out of control. BESM3e fixes both of those issues, and so I've been converting my Ex Machina setting to that. Hero system would be perfect, and in fact Cyber Hero was great in everything but its internet system - which was clunky and too VR like. Built to copy the 80s model of Cyberspace written by fiction-writers who had never been online. Even in the 80s, smart writers like Walter John Williams knew better, but Gibson's model won out with the game designers. Hero's implementation of that model was almost as bad as the ones used by Cyberpunk2013 and Shadowrun1e. But today that is easy to address. A more internet like cyberspace with neural aspects to it can be handled with simple skill rolls and play in real time alongside the other players - like Ex Machina and Shadowrun4e both do. By big probem with Shadowrun has always been the funky setting. While I like the idea of fantasy punk, I don't like the way Shadowrun does it. And the basic premise that multi-national corps will hire a bunch of two bit thugs to raid each other's offices, and then double cross those thugs as a matter of course... wasjust absurd. The thing about multi-nationals is they can play a much more potent game by buying out the courts. Witness the real wave of the future mega-corps, the WTO. Cyberpunk action needs to go elsewhere for its kicks, and there are plenty of options - but Shadowrun's are versed in 80s ideas dreamed up by people with no understanding of social and political science. Again, even at the time there were Cyberpunk writers who knew better, like the authors of Islands in the Net and When Gravity Fails (maybe flawed on other levels, but it had some concepts down) and even the not too credible Johnny Zed (which at least understood that government isn't going away, its becoming someone else's tool)... Also, as a person who is half Native American (Amazon on one side, Cherokee and Crow on the other), I found the whole nativist approach absurd in implementation. First the population numbers were 10s of millions too high. In the US today there are maybe only a million people who are native enough to be considered such. Original Shadowrun had them push out the non natives, yet still have populations in the 10s of millions per group. Later on they revised it to say they didn't push anyone out, they let them get native citizenship... but this after the fact patch looked so hacked in given the culture dynamics that the NANs took on. It just seemed extremely patronizing.
  3. New version, after all this time. Now includes the ability to take a character out of action for a period of time. Includes such things as prison, rendition, coma, and so on.
  4. Doggy its called having an imaginiation. If you cant use any of its thats your personal failing. I you give someone crap, it is not their failing when they call it for what it is.
  5. http://www.renderosity.com/mod/gallery/sea...y&username= - Given that a lot of this is Poser Art, it will show you people using the same tools as used in the newets v3 books, some of them much more skilled (some amazing work), and some of them, well, much less skilled (people who, as we in the Poser community joke, just hit the 'make art' button). - make a free account, log in, and then click the link... Otherwise you'll get redirected. http://search.deviantart.com/?section=brow...cyber+cyberpunk - This one requires further refining of the search, they don't have any sorting by genre until after you first choose a medium and then style - so it returns not just cyberpunk, but a few fetish images and random poems. However, overall you can find a lot of stuff this way. http://elfwood.lysator.liu.se/ - I can't get it to load right now, but it has Science fiction sections and a search engine, and hundreds of thousands of works of art. Quality varies in the extreme as this gallery is open to children and adults, so don't tell someone they suck unless you're sure they are old enough to take it. It is supposed to be closed to professionals but amateurs who started here are allowed to keep their galleries, and some of them are shockingly good.
  6. Immigrant communities tend to be radically different from the people back in the mother country, and yet believe they are the same. Culture within them tends to get frozen in time, with people keeping the values they had when they left their point of origin, and not changing to match how that society has since changed. Their children then end up with a mix of local values and out of date source-point values - while themselves still believing they represent the culture of their ancestry rather than a new, third culture. So, that said - in forming a Russian quarter I would look at Russian communties outside of Russia more than Russia itself. There is a big immigrant community in San Francisco, existing in the same space as one of the three largest concentrations of Chinese, but I don't know them well myself. I believe there is also one somewhere in the New York area, but I don't know for sure.
  7. Spice it up? No... It would just make it even more 'show off your inner l337-patheticness' for the author. The group is just... sad...
  8. My sister got me DaVinci code on some little playaway audio thingy. It was fun and hard to put down, but not challenging and I could 'hear' that it seemed to be thin on story. It was like sitting in a room with a pack of webboard grognards discussing philosophy and getting about half of it wrong, but never understanding which part they got wrong and which part they got right. I did finally finish Slant. It was a good read in the end, though the final revelation of what was going on wasn't all that impressing given how long the buildup for it was... I never cared for any of Gibson's works. To me, he is the Steven King of Cyberpunk - well known and loved, but not exactly even in the top half of quality, just happened to be in the right place at the right time to grab up all the fame others deserved. Dune... Saw the movie in the 80s, it left me wondering why I would ever want to read the book. It was like Caligula with punk rock hair... I've got the SciFi channel DvD, someone got it for me as a gift. Maybe some year I will watch it and that will impress me enough to get over the 80s movie and go read the thing.
  9. reading the girl-gang was like getting bitch slapped by my pimp (if I had one)... It was just all wrong... I guess I just want a serious genre out of Cyberpunk, and this stuff is like playing 'Toon' on Crack. There is a lot of literature - intellectual and urban pop - on what gangs are, how they work, and what kinds of people get into them, and Paris Hilton with an RPG just isn't it... That's some strange stuff... It was fun recognizing all the Poser art. The artist behind that posted a few months back in a Poser forum noting he had gotten a contract to do art for Cyberpunk v3. He needs to render in something more complex than Daz|Studio though, from the looks of it. Maybe it's just the green-toning, but it still looks a little bit like 'Team America: the RPG."
  10. Just de-activate or remove the sweat glands. A half-uncle of mine was born with this defect. It causes him all sort of salt intake problems as well if I recall right. But for your furry, remove the sweat glands and put in panting tongues for cooling down. I never addressed this issue in Mosquito, but that is what I would assume. Most of my writing on the 'Exotics' therein deals with how they live as a result of their modified psychology. Vocalization problems could be corrected with a modified voicebox designed to compensate for the different mouth shape. One thing to consider in an exotic that is not born that way from genetics engineering is the constant problem of transplant rejection and the need to take drugs to prevent this. The diet of your exotics might get highly regimented as a result of needing to stave off this problem - if there are enough of them, special foods might come about that include the proper drugs within.
  11. I've mentioned this setting round and about on these forums before whenever I show up (which is somewhat intermittent...), but never put up it's own topic in here. The website: http://home.comcast.net/~brianfwong/SciFi/ Mosquito is a setting some 250 years into the future set on a giant space station orbiting Jupiter with roughly 12.5 million inhabitants. That station is part of a nation known as the 'Jovian Federation', with a population of about 25 million people around Jupiter and her moons. The genre is decidedly 'postCyberpunk' in that the major player is the government rather than megacorporations, and the tainted utopia it has evolved into. It also a somewhat dark setting in how it explores themes of slavery and human trafficking, forced biotech, and control through memetics. My design has primarily focuses on setting players not as 'edge-runners' but as agents of the state - from one of many different police factions combating crime and corruption in a high tech world. That said, I have also written some on the other side of the coin - the 'edge-runners' and criminals; who are decidedly more villainous than your average 'Cyberpunk edge-runner,' being grounded more in real world criminal mercenaries, organized crime, and inner city agents of violence. The setting was built not for the Cyberpunk RPG, but for Ex Machina, a now defunct and sadly short lived RPG from Guardians of Order (who went out of business about a year ago). I am presently converting it to the Hero system. I have no tried a Cyberpunk 2020 nor v3 conversion - mostly because 2020 is out of print, and I personally have nothing to good to opine about v3... The most recent updates included: Last Update: 12:22 AM 12/01/06 * Yet more Hero system conversions done. Added a caution at the beginning of the book as the setting deals with some very dark themes. Rewrote some of the Altered Human descriptions test to be more explainatory. Added some more terms to the slang dictionary. Have begun writing out Conflicts and Plot Hooks for GMs to use to get started (yeah, I know people never use other people's settings and I'll probably be the only ever GM for this, but I'm doing it anyway). 1:54 PM 11/27/06 * Its been a long time. Recent changes include a section on refugees and one on international law / diplomacy. The lifepath is on version 1.2 now. I have also begun to add data for conversion to the Hero system, which is rather 'patchy' at present. A connected website is my multi-subgenre Cyberpunk Lifepath: http://www.geocities.com/arcady0/SciFi/lifepath.html
  12. I still haven't found a sutable place for stories, so I'm with the 'it died off' conspiracy. Would be nice to have a stories forum, but I would only want it if it had a relaxed TOS so we could write themes that are like the literature and novels and not have to hold back 'kid gloves'. Although, not so relaxed as to end up an 'erotica forum' or 'blood'n'gore forum', nor 'unofficial nazi party forum'. Let it go into adult themes, but not extremes.
  13. arcady

    V3.1

    *headdesk* Plenty of people. The "ooh, we don't know the date" idea is just about the dumbest thing in the setting. OK... without looking at your PC, can YOU tell me what year it is? Of course you can. OK... so can you tell me what day of the week it is without looking it up? Yes... Right. Now go fetch an astronomer or farmer & ask him the EXACT date. See - it's easy. Dumbest? I would disagree with that notion as far as it might apply to 'meta-setting level of things. Cp2013 failed for me when it came out because unlike Pondsmith I paid attention in history and civics class and knew that nothing like it could happen before I was 42... Probably not even by the time I'm 80 or 100... but that's a lot less clear. For my own 'Mosquito' setting, I set the dates with a timeline that begins at '0' and counts backwards. That way a GM using it can put the date anywhere, and let the years fill in. While the exact date should be known to the characters, I prefer it to be unstated in the setting, so GMs can fill it in. We all have very different ideas of when these realities will happen, and such an idea helps to keep from leaving over this. As for 'in-setting' I would agree. Unless all post-1300AD technology is lost, time will be retained. Anyone with access to a chart of the stars, or a quartz watch, a long strand of human hair, or whatever, could reverse engineer the date. So 'in setting', the idea that the characters don't know the date is not so much dumb as ignorantly stupid of an assumption for a setting author to make. If you want a transhuman setting - if I like the rules that people come up with, and if they are compatable with Mosquito, I will volunteer that as a second setting for this project. To which end, I suggest the project have 3 settings - each in a slightly different flavor. Ex Machina's biggest selling point was that it had four great and very different settings. A lot of people bought it for that even while disliking the rules. That RPG is out of print now, and unlikely to ever come back, but the notion of multiple settings is one I think has a lot of merrit. It will allow a diverse community to come together under one game system.
  14. There's a link to a PDF download of it in my signature. Game stats within are for Ex Machina, but there are so few of those that it is trivial to slot into any system. I have been planning a convertion to Hero for some time. And not that Ex Machina's publisher is officially out of business that is even more important that it was before... I would do one for CP, but it's kind of hard to know what version to bother with these days...
  15. In Mosquito I made them fertile. In some cases hyper fertile for the first several generations after the design is originally cloned. My idea was a rental-licensing scheme. They can reproduce, but the purchaser of the 'altered human' is not buying an individual, they are buying the right to have access to the producers 'living property' for a certain duration. This allows them to do such things as send it back for recycling into a 'new unit' if it fails to live up to expectations... It also allows troublesome models to be recalled against the renter's wishes (just as can be done today with cars when you lease them) if the producer discovers a trait they don't desire being out there for the public to access. But it also means any offspring are the legal property of the producer. It's perfectly fine to let your product reproduce - you (the producer) own the results, not the 'supposed buyer'. You can then sell your licensee's Norplant implants to make the sterile for long periods of time. The licensee might want this to prevent children with half their own DNA from being taken by the producer... they might also want it as if the 'living unit' reproduces it has some level of 'down time' as a productive item... A big reason for keeping them fertile is the difficulty in cloning. Cloning technology today produces vastly more failures than it does successes, and in Mosquito I predicted this would improve, but not to a great enough degree to make continued cloning economical. Thus, what you try to do is produce an initial generation and give it hormone cocktails to bring it to rapid maturity and have it start naturally producing more generations - after a while your product grows itself. Of course, in Mosquito, none of this is being done for 'humanitarian' reasons. It is cold hard business. It is the human traffickers of the 20th and 21st century updated into a future where they have found a way to do what they do legally...
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