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Snowtiger

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About Snowtiger

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    Out there on the Edge, no-one hears you scream...
  • Birthday 27/02/1979

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  • Location
    Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Interests
    Besides Cyberpunk 2020, I enjoy action-based scifi-literature(both reading and writing), the novels I write tend to incorporate elements from several different set-ups, including StarTrek-StarWars combinations, Cyberpunk-style worlds, almost anything that seems usable.
  1. Why not, overpopulation fits into a dystopian world well, since it feeds other problems as well, like food shortages, high crime rates, lots of homeless people, high unemployment rates etc.
  2. The point is moot, since the sword used was not a katana at all. It was a retractable single-handed tactical short sword with a full length of about 2-3 feet. It was far more practical and utilitarian in use than either a katana (a significantly longer blade) or a rapier (that could break far too easily to be useful in a combat situation, suc has the one depicted). Just because Sulu preferred a rapier in the series, doesn't mean that he wouldn't use another weapons suitable to the situation.
  3. The AV-9 picture there has one serious oversight, the loading ramp on the side seems to be right in the path of the forward exhaust duct. It's hard to picture a situation where someone willingly is standing on the opened ramp while in mid-flight. However, in a life-or-death situation, every second counts so there might be someone trying this on purpose to save a patient. A suitable medevac helicopter wouldn't have this problem, since it's all room-temperature downdraft from the rotors. The correct in-flight procedures of an AV-9 will probably be addressed during training, so everyone in the flight crew would know that there's a hot exhaust plume right outside the hatch, but still, I wonder why the heck did somone design the loading ramp there, when it would have been much safer to ape the design on the Chinook.
  4. Some people are like that. If they're not having fun, anyone else shouldn't have fun either, because it somehow distracts them from being able to mope and be difficult on purpose. If I was running a game with someone like this in my group, I would have called off the game right at the point when he started to act up, pull him aside and seriously talk about it with him, since being bored and not feeling like playing doesn't automatically entitle him to ruin the game for everyone else. Killing his character in-game, because he was trying to ruin the game for everyone else, is drastic and effective. It's a good short-term resolution to the situation, but I would still talk to him and find out what caused him to misbehave.
  5. Yes, the tech is there, but it's still young, and won't always work as planned, until advancements can be done to improve it. CyberBear, you talk about losing skill points and such due to trandfer errors, so maybe the technology itself needs a little helping hand from its operators. How about purposefully pruning out damaged memories (such as fragments of forgotten memories that are not consciously needed anymore or memories damaged due to a brain injury of some sort) and tweaking skills to avoid memory overflow on the transfer itself? This would probably improve and streamline the transfer process, because it could theoretically cut down on the amount of data to be transferred over to the new host body. Think of this as the equivalent of using a defragging software, as well as a disk cleaning utility on a computer that's not functioning as well as it used to. As long as you don't take out something essential, people might not even notice the difference, and some might even function better without certain unstable memory engrams that have been plaguing their life. I'm not talking about pruning away tragic moments and other things that have molded the person into what he is, just removing some clutter that might not be useful anymore. With this kind of technology, you could also have forks of yourself to use as menial labor and other duties. Forks are basically copies of your personality with their personalities, skillsets and memories pruned and molded to specific tasks. In Eclipse Phase, where this idea stems from, forks aren't actually considered persons in the legal sense, they're property of their creator (namely you), and do not have any legal rights as a person. The rich and powerful could (and usually do) employ a duplicate fork of themselves to act as a double for tedious social interactions and public relations events, or for security reasons(like in the case they know that there might be someone after them). Of course, making a perfect dupe of someone else than yourself is illegal and can be considered identity theft if the dupe is not pruned to specific tasks.
  6. It was actually a good thing I walked out on him that night, since actually playing with him might have turned me off roleplaying games completely. Because I walked out, my interest in roleplaying was still there, unspoiled and intact. A few years after that incident, I actually bought my first roleplaying game just to see what it was all about, and that game happened to be the Finnish translation of Cyberpunk 2020. A few years back (more like five or six at least, I think, I don't exactly remember how long, but it's been a while), I actually got introduced to my current roleplaying group, I got to actually experience my first real gaming session, and have been gaming with them ever since. The group's been varying in size and complement slightly, but the prime members remain the same even today.
  7. Geez, I just remembered the first time I was supposed to take part in a Cyberpunk 2020 game and I ended leaving halfway through stats generation (yes, that's right, we didn't even finish rolling stats for my character), because it turned out that the guy running the game was bullshit as a GM. No matter what I rolled on the D10, he insisted that I write down 1 in the sheet(which in hindsight would have resulted in an unplayable character anyway, according to the rules), and wouldn't even listen when I told him that's not fair and not even funny, even if he thought it was. I was actually interested in getting to play the game, but his behavior pissed me off and he was only interested in being a bully and a jerk, instead of making it enjoyable for me (it was a solo game, and I didn't know the rules at all, so he might've thought that he could do anything and get away with it). I don't know how he normally runs the game, because I don't even know if he had a steady gaming group, nor if he still plays with anyone(mind you this was in early 1990's and we were in our early teens).
  8. It is possible that at least the major airlines would install some form of protection from outside threats(be they missiles or other planes), due to terrorist activities and such. These systems, however, are expensive and at least somewhat restricted, due to their military origins, so it might not be common practice. What you probably won't see is many of the smaller, privately owned airways and flight schools putting money to these systems, because maintaining them would eat up their profits. There's also the little tidbit that most major airlines will probably be utilizing planes that are not only supersonic, but also can attain altitudes up to LEO (Low Earth Orbit), so their planes are usually operating well outside the range of any shoulder-fire missiles, unless you start camping near airfields to shoot at them while they're either taking off or landing (which in turn can get you a heap of trouble if you actually manage to down an aircraft and they close down the airport to investigate what hapened and turn up at your campsite pretty fast). The only way to drop a plane like this effectively is to have a fighter plane take it down, and that costs a wad of money and is probably on a very reatricted supply. And if you manage to scrape a surplus fighter from some scrapyard, you're probably going to have a heap of trouble trying to make it fly, let alone actually arming it. And even if you do, the old plane may not be fast enough to chase down an airliner.
  9. Of course, in more high-tech games we could really apply some handwavium into the mix and literally make a retractable sword that uses nanites and/or smart memory materials to form the blade as needed, in any preferred form without any moving parts, and it would retain the rigidity and flex of a normal solid blade. As an example I offer you Eclipse Phase, where smart tools form into any needed configuration using a combination of nanites and smart memory materials, so you can literally turn your screwdriver into a wrench or a hammer at will(literally, since the tool is usually a part of your PAN and can be controlled via mental command or it can automatically configure itself to fit the situation). It wouldn't be hard to think of a melee weapon that could essentially be multiple weapons all at once. You could theoretically have a simple handle piece that can form a small sword, a small axe (similar to a tomahawk) or a dagger (and anything in between) at will and then turn back into a simple handle/baton for easy storage and transport. And because it can be manufactured on demand in your own autofab, you could customize it to fit your style and needs. Of course, this is a bit outside the traditional Cyberpunk range, and if available would be a really expensive piece of tech only fabricated in orbital fabs, and not probably sold to dirtsiders anyway.
  10. As a blade buff, there is one thing with retractable swords that makes me think hard upon. That is blade rigidity and resistance to shearing forces. Let's take a simple folding knife for an example, a good folding knife can be made very rigid, compact and simple, because the blade usually consists of a single solid piece of sharpened metal of varying sizes and shapes, that is hinged to to a hilt designed to contain the blade. Trying to fit a respectable sword blade (let's say anything from 2' to 2'6" long) into a hilt that's six inces long is going to be a problem with a simple fold-out mechanism like the one used in most folding knife designs, since the blade segments will need more room to fold in, and the blade cannot be made perfectly straight and rigid because the segments will have to fold next to each other in order to fit into the hilt. Also each segment, aside from the hilt and the tip has to be hinged to at least two other segments and the hinges are going to be thicker than the blade itself. Not only that, but each segment has to be locked securely into place in order to have the necessary rigidity to act as a viable sword. Let's also not forget about shearing foces, a hinged blade is going to flex a lot differently than a simple solid blade, and the hinge pins may be susceptible to damage from strikes to the side of the blade, perhaps either jamming the blade into open position, or breaking the delicate hinge assemblies and snapping the blade from the parts it is more rigid then a normal blade. This means that a retractable sword is more likely to be based on a sliding, spring-loaded mechanism. In this design, there would be a rigid (or semi-rigid sliding) central spar in the hilt, at least half the length of the actual sword, and when the user presses a stud on the hilt, the blade segments slide out of the hilt in sequence and lock into place to form the blade. This would be a far more efficient method of anchoring the blade segments into the hilt and also far simpler in design than the folding design, as the segments could be thinner and made from simple one-piece elements. The resulting blade would also be straighter and could hold a finer edge. Cheaper blades could utilize a telescoping, muscle-powered version, so you'd basically use a thin pull-tab at the end of the hilt to extend the blade (sort of like the pull-to-extend antennae on radios and such).
  11. Hmm, based on the skills listed under ATTR, the stat seems more like it's intended to be based on the overall appearance of the character and not just based on the looks of said character. This means that it also pivots on what the character wears and how often he/she performs personal grooming duties (washing up, shaving etc). Thus, to factor in cosmetic surgery, you have to also take into account the effects of these two other aspects of personal attractiveness. A pretty face alone doesn't necessarily make a high ATTR character, if it's concealing other flaws such as bad teeth, general lack of personal hygiene and other things not necessarily apparent from a distance. Also, the effect of a pretty face can be spoiled by ill-fitting or defective clothing. Thus, a guttertrash character can shell his money into cosmetic surgery to make himself look better, but if he doesn't also change his grooming habits and buy suitable clothes, he cannot probably get the full benefit from his cosmetic surgeries. Making himself more attractive is not based on just having a pretty face, he has to also back that up with a nice set of clothes and a haircut and shave, as well as keeping himself clean. That's why I think ATTR should be 1/2 good looks + 1/4 grooming + 1/4 clothing. So to get a bonus on ATTR you would have to not only make yourself look good, but also make sure you're well-groomed and wearing something cool. This also means that the low ATTR guttertrash character is probably not only ugly as hell, but is also wearing whatever he found from the dumpster he lives in and hasn't probably had a bath, a shave, and a haircut (among a plethora of other grooming activities) within a few months. In the other end of the scale, we have a high ATTR spoiled corporate brat, whose daddy has shelled out a lot of money to make her the princess she looks like, along with all the necessary bling and grooming available to corporate types like these.
  12. In a certain degree this applies to Star Wars D20 as well, although in Star Wars lethality is paramount, as blasters can whittle away Vitality and Wound points at a steady rare (an average blaster pistol does 3d6 damage) and chew up characters pretty fast. When you're talking about starting characters who at most have 20-30 life points max (counting Vitality and Wound points), you'll see that lethality is paramount at lower levels. And then there's the little kink of critical hits surpassing vitality totally and going straight to Wound points(wound points are equal to the characters constitution score), so after one unlucky critical hit you could have a starting character dying if not dead in the first encounter. Of course, SWRPG criticals don't do double damage, but they're already pretty lethal to characters with low constitution scores.
  13. On the topic of names, I'd rather have brand names for every piece of gear in an RPG, than to stick with generics on the lines of "Reflex booster +2". It's a lot more cinematic and realistic to drop a few names now and then, since in the real life, there are no "Cellphone +2's", people talk about hardware either using brand names like "My Samsung got busted because I backed over it with my car" or using generic substantives that aren't half game stats already "I'll have to get a new phone, this one took a dive into a lake.". Then there are overgeneralizations(less of a problem in Cyberpunk, where generic guns don't exist, while some other games thrive on it), such as every light pistol having the same stats are also not present in real life. There are a multitude of light pocket pistols, that can be categorized under light pistols, but they have different mag capacities, calibers and the like. Even if they fire the same cartridge in the same caliber, one might be less reliable with it while the other shoots it just fine, and then there are some that just don't shoot right, no matter what you use. As in real life, "Kerenzikov" could be the name of the inventor (similar to Kalashnikov when talking about the famous Russian rifle design), or it could be the name of the original test subject that received the system during testing phase. Or maybe it's a generic street name for any Russian speedware tech.
  14. Even if it has no value as ballistic evidence, it can still carry other evidence that you were there (finger prints, DNA, fibers from your clothes), tying you to the crime scene. Also, some people like to customize their tools, so you'd be in a pinch when the prosecutor pulls out a cylinder with your trademark engravings on it.
  15. From a design standpoint, the Citygun has a lot in common with a real-world revolver, the Mateba MTR-8. Although the Mateba doesn't have removable cylinders, you can clearly see that the guns have a similar design. Both have a fairly short barrel and the cylinder is placed in front of the trigger assembly rather than on the top. I think that they shoot alike too, that is, they're both front heavy and have a less pronounced barrel flip and reduced recoil. In a firefight the Citygun's selling point of replaceable cylinders is actually both an asset and a disadvantage. If you came prepared with extra cylinders, it's more like shooting an autoloader, because you can just pull out the empty cylinder and slap in a new one. If all you have is one cylinder and some spare ammo, you can expect to have more trouble loading it, since you have to fumble around with a loose cylinder in addition to the ammo you've pocketed. Imagine the situation when you pop out the cylinder and it skitters across the alley, only to end up under a dumpster, and you have to plan a strategy on how to get it back without getting shot in the process, just so you can reload the gun. Also, the used cylinder becomes an additional piece of ballistic evidence if the cops ever start thinking about investigating the shootout and are trying to find ways to tie you into the case, so instead of picking shell casings, you'll be picking up cylinders in order to avoid incriminating yourself.
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