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About Cyberati

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  • Birthday 07/03/1974

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  • Location
    Wasteland: Colorado
  • Interests
    Too many, and too varied to completely list. Suffice it to say, I'm a gamer, and I like to write as well.
  1. Here's a good article on some of the challenges facing airships and lighter than air "nearspace" vehicles. http://blog.wired.com/defense/2007/11/whatever-happen.html To summerize, most designs account for the mean airspeeds they have to face. In truth they need to design them for the maximum airspeeds and conditions they would have to deal with. Hopefully it helps.
  2. LoL, nice. I like that term. Handwavium, I'm going to steal it as well. It would make it economically feasable to do so if you could get the materials in orbit (asterods and the like) and manufacture from a station and drop it down. I totally forgot about the massdriver being there. Probably why it stuck in my mind a s a good spot though. What about making it a totally offshore platform. They could build a port in international waters, build the platforms and the like for support and it could be a totally company project? It would eliminate all of those pesky environmental laws.
  3. So anyone else from So Col here? I'm in the Pueblo area, and have a small game going. Just curious if there is anyone else in the area looking for a game.
  4. Baker Island sounds like a good place to me. Same with Indonesia. I think Clarke put his just south of the equator when he described it in one of his books. Though it was a fictional country I'm pretty sure. Personally, I've always liked the idea of putting it on Uhara peak on Mount Kilimanjaro as it would give a way to make Africa a major player. It also makes a lot of sense to be able to utilize Africa's natural resources and labor there. As far as collapse of the beanstalk, barring terrorism or cable failure, metorites could have been the cause of failure. If one collided with the cable in orbit and snapped it that could have led to complete failure. (And to a dramatic story as they tried to repair it and failed to do so) Out of curiosity, what material did they use in your world to overcome the tensile strength requirements, and how did they end up putting it in place in the first place? Carbon nanotubes are very promising, but they haven't found a way to really overcome the handicaps of getting the cable in orbit right now.
  5. Wow, that's awesome. It makes a great deal of sense and something I wouldn't mind trying out eventually.
  6. Glad to see we think the same. Honestly? Not very much. Most of the players have very little in the way of cybernetics. All of them have data jacks, neuralware and many are scrambling to get an eye, or some nano technology. While humanity is a one way to prevent munchkinism, there are other tools. The main one being is we set the expectations at the beginning of the campaign on the style and theme of the game. Once that is set, most players will stick to that. And of course, there's also just saying "no" (As an aside, it may sound like my style is heavy handed, but in actual game play it's fairly hands off because my players like the style guides and generally follow them, and well I don't like to interfere in the flow of play if it's going well. Very much story oriented) And frankly, I never felt humanity was all that limiting. With proper counseling (straight out of the rules) I could walk around in most full conversion borgs without being cyberpyschotic. All it takes is more money. As an aside, I've not seen the Ianus rules, so I can't respond with an informed opinion one way or another. An interesting question. AFAIK, not in their own perception. However, in the perception of non-modified humans it makes them... strange. You have been given the examples of people obsessed with their body modifications by Hound. We had to deal with the problem once in the cheapFBC project. The best solution we were able to get was the Jattenhand. You mght want to check it. But as I've stated in the very beginning, it's your game. Jattenhand? Exactly. I think it may have gotten lost in the translation somewhere, but I did mention that if someone is going out and deliberately looking to transform themselves into full combat monsters, we do apply full humanity rules. Though, I do so less for the fact that they're putting massive amounts of machinery in, and more because they are deliberately going down a decidedly anti-social route that does make them callous and detatched from humanity. I also really worry about characters who install items like cybersnakes and buzz hands, arc throwers, etc.
  7. What works for you, doesn't necessarily work for me. I personally thought this was a board to discuss ideas and or ways we're altering these for our individual games. The beauty about gaming locally is that I can tailor the game for my individual tastes and style. I think part of where I am coming from is that the Gamemaster is the final arbitrator on what is and isn't allowed by the characters. I've been running LARP games for sometime and the concept where the player's character is inviolate has long gone by the wayside and I'm more than willing to make alterations to the rules if need be for an appropriate balance to my game. I am by no means telling other people how to run their games. Again, do what you want. I had an idea, and I thought I'd share. A lot of people seem to assume that I'm wanting to see more cyberware on the characters, and that is why I'm reducing humanity costs. Quite the opposite. I prefer to see a less cyber-intensive game than many of the games I've played in. What I do not like, is that every solo I've ever seen has had their two highest attributes at creation in Reflexes and Empathy. The latter so they could specifically get more cybernetics installed. To me that breaks the genre and does not add to the game. I'd rather see them put an appropriate empathy score based upon their characters history and motivation, and I'd keep an eye on their character for humanity loss. To be real honest, what I'm doing is kind of redundant. In most games, a GM could simply opt to let the players use and abuse the counseling rules and they'd still be able to pack a ton of cybernetics and be walking talking tanks. There are some cybernetics in my game that are more common, and the others that are less common. Hence one of the reasons why I tweaked the humanity costs. Any rate, I hope this helps shed light on my reasonings, and hopefully prevent some of this flaming I'm getting.
  8. Don't blame WotC. They still have the manuscript in the vault - I've seen both the original LUG version that they still have as well as the second edition they wrote in-house. They lost the license because the Herbert Estate refused to let them keep it because they also own the Star Wars license. The Herbert Estate pulled the plug because they refuse to allow the chance that Dune might play "second fiddle" to Star Wars. Ah. Suckage. I so was looking forward to that system. Love that setting. Does explain quite a bit, rumors were rampant for a while
  9. It's less a desire to pack more cyberware into a person, as to modify rules that I feel don't add to the setting, and are basically designed to prevent munchkinism. As the Gamemaster, I have the final word in letting people have or not have cybernetics. If I feel the person is turning into a killing machine devoid of humanity, I can modify their empathy to that point. I don't need to have the players sticking 10 in Empathy just to get the 100 pts of humanity for max upgrades. I do agree with you, that part of the setting is the alienation. I also believe that human beings have a near infinite capacity for self deception. But I digress. The fact is, I'd rather have folks stick points into the empathy they feel their character would have, rather than stick points in there to get maximum game balance. Likewise, I always felt that cyberpyschosis was too prevelant in the game. Seriously, if it was really that bad, why hasn't the government outlawed all cybernetics? There are plenty of other ways to penalize folks who cyber out. I impose reaction modifiers for obvious heavily cybered/FBC's. I also might actually do something along the lines of what I've been seeing for neotribes which is alienation. There is some risk of cyberpyschosis, and that's part of the reaction. It comes mostly from punks who have too much money and too little sense getting combat arms and the like. Also things like PTSD affecting veterans, and well Extreme FBC's. I also figure one form of terrorism that happens, is when they take a combat borg who's been fed pyschotropic drugs and the like, then they let him lose in rural areas, or on the edges of major cities. This results in widespread fear and terror. It also has the double benefit of fueling the whole cyberpyscho legends. Transhumanism aside, there are folks who get implants for every day things now that we consider them to be part of the norm. Take contraceptive implants. It wasn't so long ago that a woman who got those was considered to be promiscious at best. I'm sure that stigma still exists in many parts of the US. I for one was enthralled by the RFID tags that a couple did recently. I probably wouldn't get one myself. (no real need) but I found it extremely interesting. It's such a minor thing, but it's potentially life changing. Back to the tattoos, piercings and the like. Yes they change how people behave, but does it make them more or less human?
  10. Very nice, has good usable stuff in there. I didn't get a chance to peruse it completely, but it looks good from what I was able to look over.
  11. For the last 4 years or so, I've been running L5R, and playtesting L5R 3rd edition before it was released. I even got my name in the book. (ooooh geek cred) I own every book ever published for the system. Battletech/mechwarrior Played B-tech extensively a while ago, but never did get around to playing mechwarrior though I own probably 90% of the books they published. Starwars -WEG Played that for a long time, still play every so often. GURPS 4th ed. Have them, they make great sourcebooks, and I'm planning on using them in my scifi campaign eventually. GURPS 3rd ed See above. GURPS transhuman space- own them, never was able to get a group together. WoD 1.0. Finally got rid of the majority of my books. Another staple game for a very long time. WoD 2.0 Have a few books, play the larp occaisionally, but not real interested in it very longer. Exalted. Love the setting, never played. Never could get a group formed to play it either. Shadowrun: Own several books, used to play in Highschool. Cyberpunk: Owned several books, played for a couple of years in college, been trying on and off to get a game together. finally got folks interested in it just recently, and will be co-gming a game here soon. Ars Magica: Played with a group of hardcore eunthiasts for a while. Own several books. Traveller- Had more fun creating characters than playing Twilight 2000- Dont own the books anylonger. Morrow Project- Own books, eventually going to get a game going again. D&D- who hasn't played this at one time or another? Refuse to purchase books for it even though we're playing once a month at least. Nephlim, Witchcraft, Immortal. Owned the books for all three games, never played. Babylon project. Never got a game running for it. Dune: Chronicles of the Empire- The main reason I don't support WotC is because they cancelled this line. Star Trek Tactical & Renegade Legion Remember those days? Good ol' fasa. Starfleet battles- I break this out when I'm feeling particulary masochistic Imperial Starfire- I break this out when I'm hating life. Boot Hill. Paranoia - We break this out once a year for a good beer and pretzel game. I have easily a half a dozen more collecting dust on my bookshelves, or I've sold off that I can't remember the name off the top of my head. My biggest problem is I find a setting I love, but then finding someone to run it becomes a serious issue. I usually end up GM'ng most of the time.
  12. Woops, probably. Still getting used to this forum. My biggest issue with Cpunk/Shadowrun etc was the Gibsonian approach to the netrunning. What I'm wanting to do is have a system in place that rewards smart players as opposed to bogging down the game with 4 hour long minigames in the middle of the game, while the Netrunner goes off and plays a MMORPG to hack into the computer. I can see VR used in some instances, but not as the system standard. For example, I could easily see a net security company (or other corporation) have a VR representation of their various systems, so if something happens their monitoring personal could see it happening instantly, then drop in to the coding to find out what's happening, or happened. But it's not the system. It's simply a overlay that they could put up so they could easily keep track of 100's of computers at once. It'd monitor things like increased bandwidth usage or anything out of the norm so that they could pull up the system and quickly scan what's going on. Ideally, a netrunner/hacker would spend a good deal of time trying to plumb a system so he can makehimself a back door in it. Either by stealing passwords, cracking encryption, or by doing things like getting into the installation and actually installing hardware in place that lets him bypass some of the more stringent security measures. I also assume most corporations will have their own internal networks that are connected to the net through a single gateway, or not at all. As for wireless hacking of other devices, that's simply either getting the control codes for the chips, or breaking the firewalls folks have installed on their systems. Again, this case a little groundwork goes miles. I'm not a huge fan of graphic interfaces anyways, as they tend to slow down performance and well, make Mr PC very tired. (Vista anyone?)
  13. Well, one of the things I'm setting up for the local game, is Google survived the economic collapse by altering it's business model and assigned an absolute value for certain productsand services. Coupled with their patented pay services, it has become the standard for online transactions. While it's not quite universely adopted, G-cred accounts (or simply cred accounts) are user created accounts that allow individuals to transfer money securely and anonymously. The money that's transferred can be pulled out of terminals into whatever local currency the user is at sort of like atm's. They can also opt to use a Google Visa card, or something similiar which is a basically a prepaid credit card. There are also things like prepaid cred cards and the like that the savvy edgerunner could use to get payment. Transactions have a fee (usually .5%) but its fairly anonymous and alot of corporations and such use it. In the end, google has become such a popular choice that many corporations use it for transactions and negotiate a set fee per year to use that service. Google also has some very good legal teams working for it, and has strict privacy guidelines. The governments have tried numerous times to access or seize records. Only to be met by lengthy lawsuits and frustration. The few times they have succeeded have very rarely resulted in convictions or leads, as the user simply created a new account. O Google maintains a number of dbase sattelites in orbit that store the information there to avoid national entanglements. Needless to say, the encryption and security on this information is very high.
  14. Locally we're looking at doing an experiment with the netrunning rules, and limiting the ability to run programs/download information etc. based upon bandwidth. First, a little background. Take the standard netrunning rules from the CP2020 ruleset, and trash them. We're not using them. We haven't settled on exactly what we're doing specifically, but it's more than likely going to involve a series of either contested or static rolls, taking into account the dificulty of the system and the like. I'm also ditching the assumption that the net is a VR net. VR simulators are used in the big corporations and the net security sector, which use VR representations to oversee hundreds of databases at once. Most runners won't use a VR type interface as it hogs bandwidth, instead they use a more nuts and bolts approach. I've also made most casual connections wireless, and that is the default assumption for most hacks (ie no skill penalties) Getting a hardline gives you more bandwidth (and a small bonus), but the drawback is anyone tracking your hack will get a precise fix on your location. I also figure that most corporations have wireless connections for their employees for casual use, (checking emails, etc) but use jacks for most serious applications. What I've come up with so far, is that bandwidth limits the size (modifier) of the programs you run. The higher your bandwidth the faster the run, and the better programs you can use to hack a system. (Probably rate it 1-20 or something similar) and it'd also factor in the time it'd take to download files. So if you wanted to download that huge datafile that's worth a good deal on the market, you'd probably want to get a hardline and hack in there. On the other hand, if you're just hacking in to turn off security cams at the local quickmart, you would simply do it from your deck while your buddy was driving there. Thoughts?
  15. Yes they do. They also treat you differently if you're dressed in a trench coat, flannel shirts, and ragged jeans with combat boots. They also treat you differently if you are rich, or dirt poor. They treat you differently based upon your race, and also based on the type and color of car you drive. I guess my point with the cybernetics, is that it isn't so much what it does for you in the terms of performance (though boosterware is an exception) but how it seperates you from society. There have been many posts about how tattoos and implants have changed how people act in society. I would argue that its also a product of the new generation and technology that have changed our interactions. Lets look at how things have started shaping our society. Google has changed personal interaction by making information that was previously hard to get and required in depth investigations available at your fingertips. I know gals who google their dates before they go on a date with them. There have even been classes in colleges in how to prep for a career by not putting things in your online blog that might hurt your chances to get work. The ever ubiquitious cell phone has changed how we interact on a personal level. It has led to new laws in some states banning you from using a cell phone while driving. It has led to people being in touch almost 24/7 at work. Hell, I feel naked without my cell phone on me. I'm guessing that at least 90% of all cell phones out there now have a digital camera. This has led to all sort of new issues and problems. They range from a tool being used in cyberbullying(Littleton, CO teen who had topless photo's shared to her classmates), security breaches (The hanging of Saddam anyone?) to whistleblowing (Egyptian bloggers posting cellphone footage on the internet showing human rights abuses.) Anymore it's not just big brother watching, it's little brother as well. As a generalization the more things become acceptable, the more we become acceptable to them. Thus the whole reasoning behind the humanity loss rules I'm using. I'm sure there are always going to be folks who will rail at such new ideas, but in a few generations it usually becomes mainstream and acceptable. Anyways, my $1.02
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