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About Destecado

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  • Birthday 11/10/1970

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    Applied Misanthropy
  1. I talked it over with CyberBear and changed the events leading up to the nuclear detonation. Since it was never stated (previously) in the written material that the nuke was smuggled onto the Ronald Reagan, it will be retconned to an external detonation in close proximity to the ship and space dock facilities. The device was delivered via rocket bike / intra orbit sled. The plotters would be able to spoof the system or possibly forge transponder codes to allow the sled to approach the space docks. By the time it veered off it's flight path and dove toward the Ronald Reagan it would be too late.
  2. The complexity of planting the device seems to belie the origin of the attack. With a nuclear weapon, do you really need to sneak it on board the ship? A delta shuttle in close proximity (the analog of a terrestrial car bomb) would probably achieve the same effect, with less risk of being caught before detonation.
  3. Ok, this was not information I had before, but it adds more confusion than clearing up matters. The device was placed by the ship's main reactors, but the Ronald Reagan was still 3+ months from launch. Was the placement of the device an attempt to make it look like the reactors overloaded during a test or to magnify the size of the explosion? Would the shielding of the reactors have any affect? What form of shielding do these ships use ... physical, energy fields or a combination of the two? Space docks aren't the most rigid construction, but the facility would have to be substantial to accommodate a staff of 5-6 thousand people, plus the additional 3-4 members of the Aerospace force who also perished. Is that an accurate tally or a number that was inflated for propaganda value? In addition to the docks, you would also need habitation modules and a fare amount of infrastructure to support such a work force. Are these facilities attached to the docks or at a distance in the same or near orbit?
  4. Earlier this year I was reading an article in the New York Times about closed hospitals being repurposed as For-Profit Medical Malls. I began to wonder if a similar model could be applied to vacant retail space … ‘dead’ malls and empty big box stores. This isn’t a new idea of course. As demographics and shopping habits have shifted, communities have struggled to find new uses for these old facilities. With the prevalence of urban blight and socio-economic and demographic shifts that exist in the Cyberpunk universe, there would a large selection of abandoned properties. Not everyone capital or interest in tearing down and building new. So does anyone have any ideas for how to repurpose one of these old structures? I’ll start with my idea, turning an old mall into a kinda medical-mecca. Infrastructure that had been built for movement of large numbers of shoppers in and out of a retail environment would also meet the needs of a busy medical facility. Anchor stores would be replaced by the main medical center and perhaps a hotel. The hotel like the mal itself could be mixed use. Floors could be set aside for extended stay, rather than the typical transient stay. Such rooms might be used by family members of patients in the medical center or even patients who no longer need direct medical supervision, but who are still on premises for medical rehabilitation. Additional anchor stores might be given over to lab facilities or possibly medical school annex. Students might serve their residency in the attached medical facility. The retail space between the anchor stores would provide office space for specialist in specific fields of medicine to have their own offices (OB/GYN, Urologists, Dentists, Oncologist, etc.) There would also be room for supporting businesses, such a pharmacy, cleaners, gym / physical rehabilitation center, medical supply store, delivery provider (akin to UPS , FedEx, etc.), Trauma Team office, offices for insurance providers, etc. On-site food service would be available in the food court or in standalone restaurants within the mall or in the hotel. There would be no need for the medical center to have its own cafeteria. In order to cut down on wait times and traffic within the medical center ... and service their low end customer base ... self-service body docs … might be set up in a wellness center. Several machines could be grouped together with an attendant … kind of like the automated check outs in a supermarket. These automated stations could in many cases take the place of a consultation with a nurse. Minor maladies may not require meeting with a doctor, which saves both the patient and hospital money. If a doctor is required, the patient would be directed to a satellite clinic set up adjacent to the wellness center.
  5. Well, Episode 21 wraps up my tenure as Game Master. Overall I was please with how the story went. We did have a dud of an episode in Niger, but otherwise I like to think the players had fun. I could have probably continued on for several more episodes, but that ran the risk of the story becoming stale and repetitive. Since not all of the PC from this story would be carrying over to the next leg of our adventure, I didn't want to blow up the deal the Bast Corporation had with the State of the Fezzan. Owen's 'home video's' became a useful tool to 'cull' Natty and Hanna from the 'herd'. I also found it to be a very Cyberpunk way to end the story ... the 'faceless' corporation offering up scapegoats / sacrificial lambs in order to save face and hold onto a lucrative contract. The story arc presented the players with a clash of cultures ... not just with Muslim / Islamic culture, but also with the 'volunteer' culture of Global Share. As with any good story, it provided the players with opportunities to learn and grow. The ending also serves as a reminder, to the players, that the opposition has more tools at their disposal than just guns. Killing off the competition doesn't always have to be the first answer ... especially in a high level campaign. I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had running. Cheers, until next time... Destecado
  6. Destecado

    Lotus C-01

    Check out this sweat ride from Lotus (actually being built for them by Kodewa). This futuristic beauty was designed by Daniel Simon, the man behind the light cycle and other vehicles from Tron Legacy. Here are the specs. Engine Construction: 2-cylinder 4-stroke engine, 75° V-style Capacity: 1,195 cm³ Bore: 105 mm Stroke: 69 mm Power Approx: 200 HP Transmission: 6-gear jaw-type shift transmission Lubrication: Dry sump lubrication Main shaft ratio: 40:76 Lay shaft ratio: 15:41 Clutch: Hydraulic anti-hopping clutch Ignition: Full electronic engine management with digital adjustment of the ignition Chassis Frame: Aero tech steel/Titanium/Carbon fibre frame Fork: Upside down Suspension strut: Twin suspension strut Spring travel front: 80 mm Spring travel rear: 70 mm Brake system front: Twin brake disc, ø320mm, four piston calipers Brake system rear: One brake disc, ø220mm, two piston calipers Chain: X-Ring resp. O-Ring Head tube ang: 59° Fork ang: 54° Ride height: 90 mm Height of seat: 710 mm Fuel tank capacity: 10.5 l Dry weight: approx. 181 kg More information is available on Lotus' website: Lotus Motorcycles
  7. Mikael van Atta and Stray Catalyst were kind enough to provide feedback on a plot idea for an upcoming adventure. The discussion moved from the initial plot point, to a discussion of what the response and ripple effect would be to terrorists launching a nuclear strike on a country. The canon timeline touches on this, with the nuclear attack on New York City. In the extended timeline for the gaming group to which CyberBear and I belong, we have had a second nuclear incident; a terrorist attack (by a group claiming to be the Voice of the Wastes) on the United States orbital space dock facilities. Since we address the detonation of a nuclear bomb in New York City, it might be helpful to have a better understanding of the device used and its effects. The info provided by the source material is sketchy, but thankfully, nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein has created an interactive tool that can help approximate the effects. The tool employs Google maps, which allows users to select a location for their simulated nuclear explosion. You are also able to chose the size of the device and even decide whether it will be an airburst or ground detonation. Ironically, the default map location is Manhattan. NUKEMAP Below is Stray Catalyst's post that inspired this thread... For clarity, My response to Stray’s post starts below... Our gaming group has tried to stick with the canon Cyberpunk 2020 timeline wherever possible. We do however elaborate on the typical one sentence event summaries to add context. Events do no happen in a vacuum. The nuclear attack on New York may have contributed to the draconian immigration reform in the EU the following year, which culminated in “Fortress Europe”. 1994: A new wave of immigrants hit Europe's shores. EEC uses military to enforce its borders. As a result, many refugees are killed. Numerous new human rights groups begin to form as word leaks out. Some of these groups form terrorist cells to articulate their position. 1995: The EEC decides to implement the "Fortress Europe" system continent-wide. A surveillance-satellite program is initiated. A totalitarian ID card system is also started. These cards are programmed with the individual’s fingerprints, retina scans, DNA prints, profession, health status, and any licenses. Many civil rights groups fear a "1984" scenario and react accordingly. European countries had experienced waves of terrorist bombings and attacks during the 1980s and early 90s. I see the backlash from the NYC bombing in the canon timeline to be an expanded version of what occurred following the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center (Twin Towers). Instead of wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan, the US escalates its War on Drugs in Central and South America, going after the cartel and anyone tied to such a devastating attack on American soil. The European response is to tighten immigration. This move also makes sense from an economic standpoint. Increased domestic spending on military and security needed to enact such a policy could allow them to counteract the impending economic downturn. The attack on the US led to an economic collapse which would have been a magnified version of the global recession that followed the real world 9-11 attack. Though we have not examined it specifically, real world events of this time may have also contributed to the severity of the United States economic collapse and the EU’s involvement in Eastern Europe. Ukrainian Nuclear Weapons Stockpile: The US made a large financial investment and certain security assurances with the Ukraine as part of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances signed in Budapest, Hungary on 5 December 1994. As the United States was victim of a nuclear attack the previous year, it stands to reason that they would do everything in their power to ensure the Ukraine’s nuclear arsenal did not fall into the wrong hands. The ECC (EU) also had a vested interest in keeping such weapons out of the hands of fundamentalists and revolutionaries. Given the position of the US at the time of this agreement, it is possible that the EC (EU) or at least members countries who were still at the time members of NATO, would sign on to assure the political independence of the Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant & Nuclear Power Plants of Eastern Europe Even after the 1986 meltdown of reactor 4, reactors 1-3 remained in use. A fire shut down reactor 2 in 1991. Reactor 1 continued operating until 1996. The final reactor was not shut down until 2000. The plume from the 1986 disaster initially traveled in a northwest direction toward Sweden, Finland and Eastern Europe. The public was exposed to levels up to 100 times the normal background radiation. Ukraine is heavily dependent on nuclear energy. It has 15 reactors generating about half of its electricity. Other former Eastern Block counties have a similar dependence on aging soviet nuclear power plants. The 1994 nuclear accident at the Beaver Valley Power Station, outside of Pittsburgh, (from canon timeline) would be a reminder of the Chernobyl disaster. Nuclear accident in Pittsburgh kills 257. Cancer deaths soar over the next ten years. The government declares "The Pitt" a superfund site, but no assets are allocated to deal with the problem. After a very public debate it is determined that nomad labor will be used in reclamation. The Aldecaldo Clan is hired to administer the project. The clan must travel almost two thousand miles to Pittsburgh, but accepts the contract. Given the threat such a disaster might pose to Europe, it would be in the interest of the EU to find ways to have these older plants decommissioned and possibly replaced with ‘safer’ European designed plants. This strategy would also fit in with their overall security policy of securing nuclear weapons. If terrorists could not obtain warheads, nuclear material from a reactor might become their next target (for a dirty bomb). This is of course an oversimplification of the reasons for propping up ‘strong men’ (dictators) in the new Eastern Europe, but stability at their borders and nuclear security provide good pretext. US Response to New York and Pittsburgh We have modeled the domination by the ‘Gang of Four’ in the years following the nuclear attack on New York after the growth of America’s security apparatus in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. As for those responsible, I find it highly unlikely that the Drug Lords would have claimed credit. That they are named in the canon timeline is to me more the filter of history assigning blame to the guilty parties. It may have taken several years for the Intelligence community to fully uncover the plotters. The intelligence apparatus may have known the cartels were somehow involved, but finding a credible link could come later. For now they would have a ‘scapegoat’ at which to direct America’s rage. This would allow them to enact stronger drug policies at home, while scaling up their efforts in Central and South America. Operation Promote Liberty (the reconstruction of a democratic Panama) was already running into problems before the 1993 attack. The ramp up of activity in the region would actually be a boon to the tiny country, which would grow to be one of the largest staging areas for American forces in the region. Given the paranoia following the attack on New York, the nuclear incident at the Beaver Valley Power Station (near Pittsburgh), the following year, would have to be investigated as a terrorist attack. Such an investigation might potentially hamper efforts to evacuate the public from the area of contamination if not cause mass hysteria. Nearly 200,0000 people are believed to have been relocated as a result of the 1986 accident at Chernobyl. The estimated population of Pittsburgh, at the time of the Beaver Valley accident, would have been around 370,000. This estimate does not include the surrounding communities which form the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area (Greater Pittsburgh). The accident would affect most of the Ohio River valley. Pittsburg, coming so soon after New York, was the domino that set the others tumbling. Attack on the US Space Docks The US response was swift and devastating. President Windham saw this as the perfect opportunity to eliminate enemies both foreign and domestic. The main thrust was of course aimed at the Voice of the Wastes’ terror network. Cruise missiles and kill teams struck with impunity. Aid to US allies in Africa was increased. This was part of the reason that the Voice of the Wastes had moved parts of their organization to the Triple Frontier (tri-border area) of Brazil. Russian-US relations had already been on the upswing for more than half a decade, spurred in part by the joint construction of the Bering Strait maglev project. The attack only strengthened these ties. Vocal opposition over the funds allocated to building a space fleet, disappeared in the wake of the attack. It would resurface, but for a time, the tragedy trumped claims of fiscal irresponsibility. Domestic policy focused at ‘shoring up’ the borders and reigning in the remaining Free States. The Cotton Kingdoms became the next target of President Windham’s efforts to ‘restore’ the Union and the power of the federal government. Eliminating the Alabama police state and bringing other ‘lawless’ regions back into the fold would also help to limit the range in which nomads clans could operate. Windham is even seeking rapprochement with Mexico and other nations of Central America. The aftermath of the Nomad border war helped bring the Texas Free State back into the Union. It also opened a dialogue between the US and Mexico. Cyberbear did not provide an exact orbital location, Low Earth-Orbit (125-1,250 miles / 200-2000 km) might be too close given such a facilities mass. Semi-synchronous orbit (6,000 - 12,000 miles / 10,000 - 20,000 km) seems more likely. The chances of such a device ‘vaporizing’ both the orbital space docks and USS Ronald Regan seem remote. It would however cause extensive damage, causing one or both to break up. As you have indicated, the remaining debris would be irradiated and spread across a large area, making it a hazard to both those ion the ground and other facilities in orbit. There is precedent in our gaming universe for efforts to clean up space junk in orbit. The last time it had occurred was in the aftermath of the Fourth Corporate War. The orbital exchange which targeted work shacks, satellites and other orbital assets of Arasaka and Militech had left LEO littered with debris. Last time, a collaborative effort between nations addressed the problem, because it posed a navigational danger to everyone. As for the personnel on board the ship and station, those not killed outright would have been exposed to high levels of radiation. Rad weave as well as radiation shield of the facility and vessel would help a little, but the chances are that most received a lethal dose, well beyond the means of existing therapies. Being a military facility, the actual number of dead cannot be confirmed by outside sources. The number killed in the initial attack may have been inflated to spare their families … dying from radiation poisoning is a brutal way to go. The incident may also have been used (after the fact) to disappear certain assets for clandestine work. Regarding environmental effects, the ozone layer is between roughly 15 - 35 km / 9 - 22 miles above the Earth’s surface. I was trying to figure out what effect, if any, a 20 kiloton device detonated in Semi-synchronous orbit would have on ozone depletion. An interesting note on ozone depletion and nuclear weapons … it has been estimated that as much as 5,000 tons of nitric oxide is produced for each megaton of nuclear explosive power. Industrial pollution is normally blamed for the depletion of the ozone layer in Cyberpunk 2020, but the Middle East Meltdown may have played an important factor in the thinning of the ozone layer. Any thoughts on how the detonation might affect global communication?
  8. GM Note: I had originally estimated that this mission would take two game sessions, but I decided to wrap it up in one session. This scenario turned out to be a dud. Niger just didn’t engage the team. I think that part of the reason was that the threats they were investigating didn’t really affect them personally. I had spent a good amount of time in the early adventures setting up NPCs that I was hoping they would come to care about or at least have a vested interest in keeping alive. The death of two characters (Owen & Mason) had derailed some of the adventure threads on Cyprus. It also meant that the new PCs these players brought in really had no connection to the NPCs stationed in Niger. The goal I set for them (Threat Assessment) may have also been too ambiguous. There was some misunderstanding about what I meant by locating threats. I know that at least one player heard it as neutralize threats. I think he expected to walk into a fire fight the minute he stepped off of the plane. Some players also do not take setbacks well. After being arrested in Dirkou, Brandon and Bishop’s players stopped caring about what was going on. They felt I was being unfair and that the police had completely overreacted. This was unfortunately a point of not paying attention to the intel provided about Niger, but I had lost them for the rest of the night. The only time they showed any interest after this was when it looked like the team would be infiltrating (or storming) the test well in the desert. This session was meant to provide foreshadowing for the later adventures. China National Petroleum Corporation really was ‘up to something’ in the desert. It wasn’t really a nefarious scheme. They are planning to build a pipeline that stretches north, from their Soraz refinery (near Zinder) up through Algeria, to the coast of the Mediterranean. The company does have test wells in the area, but there are also taking core samples to assess soil compaction along the planned route. The ‘ambush’ of the Nigerien patrol was more a case of the Niger Troop being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The proposed pipeline would be cutting straight through the Tenere. Before construction could be started, CNPC need to secure the cooperation of local tribal leaders. The Tuareg that the Nigerien patrol had been tracking were on the way to a meet with a CNPC negotiator. Blackridge was providing security. They had fired upon the patrol when they had come too close to the meeting site. The CNPC negotiator didn’t want the Tuareg and Toubo to think they had called the meeting only to ambush them. It was the negotiator that the Blackridge team picked up at Chirfa. He had traveled with the tribesmen to Djado to meet with the tribal leaders. Commander Mossi and the delays at the Dirkou airport were another subplot that was not really investigated. The commander has his own deal with CNPC as does the hotel owner. There were no vacancies, because the energy conglomerate had bought out the rooms at the hotel (for six months) for use by Blackridge and CNPC personnel.
  9. I’ve translated Cyberpunk into a fantasy setting, but I haven’t been able to convince the other’s players in our group to try it. It’s called Pantheon. There are of course guilds, which take the place of some corporation, but the really big megacorps are the religions tied to the various pantheons of gods. Religion is big business. High priests and clerics are the ‘corporate’ executives. The gods themselves are ‘board of directors’. Religious wars are really fought for ‘market share.’ Religious adherence equals brand loyalty. The gods need believers to exist. In this world, it is even possible for humans to attain godhood. It’s a matter of earning prestige (reputation) and followers. One of the issues of this world is that several of the gods are serial inseminators. There are demi-gods all over the place. Some are nurtured by their divine parent, given gifts, so that one day they might take their place among the other divinities in the pantheon. Great deeds not only enhance the prestige of the demi-god but of the divine parent. Others are, shall we say, one night stands. The pantheons fight amongst themselves and against each other. They are also up against a wave of humanists and unbelievers, who threaten their dominion. There are many places for edgerunners / sell swords to eke out a living. Working for one of the religions, even if you are not a believer, can be very lucrative. Demi-gods generally don’t work alone either. Not everyone can be the hero, but being a trusted companion (one their entourage) has its perks. And to keep this sort of on topic, there is revivification in this world … but it’s not as simple a wheeling your dead buddy down to the temple for a quick resurrection by a cleric. The tasks one would have to undertake to bring a friend or loved one back from the dead are the stuff of legend and great fodder for further adventures.
  10. There is no denying that such technologies could exist, the problem is reducing the cost per unit and operation expenses to the point where producing them becomes economically viable. I dislike handwavium, with the practical application of new technologies such craft need not seem so outlandish or unbelievable. If the canon images are not to your liking (and why would they be), use a different design that isn’t so impractical; they are out there. One of the main issues for any vehicle of this type is weight. Reducing the overall weight of the vehicle will help to increase efficiency and possibly carrying capacity. The incorporation of Carbon-fiber alloys and Aerogels in the construction have benefits beyond weight reduction. Aerogels are the world's lightest solid materials, composed of up to 99.98% air by volume. They represent a diverse class of materials with a range of useful properties. The physical properties of an aerogel are highly dependent on its density and chemical composition. By varying the compounds it is possible to create aerogels with greater transparency, ferro-magnetic properties, structural flexibility, etc. Aerogel insulation is not only lighter than conventional alternatives, it is also more efficient. Less material is needed, which potentially reduces the amount of space required. Other applications include the production of light weight ballistic protection. Wired Magazine Article Crosslinked Aerogel Armor
  11. Mazda has an nice info-graphic presentation on their site for their new rotary engine. Mazada: 16X Sadly it's still in development. Mazda has a long history of building Wankel engines. They even won the Le Mans (24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race) with a 4-rotor (the R26B) engine in 1991. Full Story Behind the Mazda 787bs Victory at Le Mans
  12. In our groups gaming universe, there are AVs, but we've also incorporated spinners from CyberGeneration. These are crafts with ducted fans, ranging in size from spinner bikes to large ACPA (PA suit) carriers. Avatar popularized the idea, but designs for such craft have been around for decades. Autogyros (gyroplanes, gyrocopters) may not be as sexy, but they are a proven technology that's been around since the 1920s.
  13. It might as well be Paranoia. I actually think that this is one of the reasons I could never get into MMORPs. There really isn't any risk. Oh my character died, I'll just resurrect and go pick up my equipment from my dead corpse and continue on like nothing happened. Death is reduced to a minor inconvenience.
  14. Its been a long time, but I kinda remember reading somewhere that the Buyadeen was supposedly in North Africa. If you are including it, place it where ever you need for your purposes. It is also important to mention, that Effinger's books take place in the future (near the end of the 22nd Century). This is at lover a 100 years beyond the canon Cyberpunk timeline. The geopolitical makeup could shift drastically in that timeframe. Are you coming up with your own timeline or trying to incorporate both the canon cyberpunk and WGF timelines?
  15. If you wish to establish your own timeline, then all of these are great ideas. The canon timeline is another matter. Real world events have to be filtered through the emergence of multinational corporations such as SovOil. Geopolitics is not as important as market share. The Oligarchs of SovOil have their own standing armies. Why fight a war to conquer territory when you can convince countries to sell it to you willingly? SovOil owns large swaths of land throughout what use to be The Eastern Bloc. The Petrochem & SovOil Corpbook provides background information that you may find useful. I can't remember if it gives a total, but a lot of the land owned by SovOil is under cultivation, to produce biofuel (CHOOH2). And, what SovOil does not own directly it controls or at least has a hand in through its subsidiaries and business partners.
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