Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About HalC

  • Rank
  1. For what it is worth, my last game session that I ran recently (ie two nights ago), has the following elements in play. Technology in the game world includes the same technology used in STRANGE DAYS, as well as BLADE RUNNER (sans a fully developed replicant production technology - but it is coming) along with some other various odds and end. The pregame back story that the player doesn't know: The FBI is watching him in "watcher" mode to see who he contacts or who contacts him from the Night City Police Department. There is the suspicion that there are not only some dirty cops, but also some who are working hand in hand with terrorists. The player's character is unaware of this at the start of the game. The character in question has a VR addiction the feeds his obsession with solving the death of his former client. She died in his arms as he was investigating what her estranged husband was up to. The player was unaware that she is one of several "clones" whose memories were downloaded into their minds (They were mind-dead clones, a technology that is permitted for organ harvesting for wealthy clients who wish to have readily available replacement organs if necessary - a service provided by REO MEATWAGON). What he didn't know is that the husband is involved with an organization called "The Consortium" - a criminal cartel that engages in bribery of government officials in various European nations as well as some American government circles. They also rig elections, intimidate witnesses, kill various individuals, and engage in various traditional criminal enterprises. Then we have one lone individual code named "Jester". The player meets this individual in his VR environment, because Jester has hacked into his system with a periodic update. The player is currently supposed to be working an investigation trying to locate a missing researcher from Night City University - and if he doesn't close the case, he will lose his job (his VR addiction is causing him to work 20 hours per week instead of the mandatory 40). Now that Jester has intervened and given him information regarding Rose, our player now has to decide "Do I keep my job and help keep my half-brother employed at the same job where I work, or do I go off and hunt for the killers of Rose?" When he discovered that he now had access to 25 million dollars in various accounts associated with the Consortium, his brother freaked out, and realized that Jester now has both his brother and himself in a tight place. All Jester has to do, is leak information that the two brothers are a danger to the Consortium, and the contracts on their lives will put an end to them both. If they help Jester take down the Consortium (which is what he seems to want), they will be up against an organization for whom 25 million stashed around here and there is likely but a fraction of their yearly income. In other words, not an organization they should take on with but two men and a mysterious individual named Jester. What kills Mike (the other brother) is that they don't know a thing about this guy, other than the fact he must be one helluva hacker or have access to a world class hacker. Jester knows where they live, where they work, what their activities are on the net, etc - but they know nothing about him. So - Mike went to the FBI telling them the bare minimum facts about knowing of the existence of the Consortium, and let them know that his brother Jack (Half-brother actually) knows more and that they both need protective custody. TO put this mildly? The complication comes in several layers 1) an old case haunts the one player character, and it is destined to come back and bite them in the buttocks 2) they have another case that needs solving or their jobs are on the line 3) they are up against a criminal organization that either Interpol or the American agencies seem to be in the dark about. It is HUGE in resources and capabilities. 4) Jester - who or what is he? Is he a front piece for another organization? Is he a complex personality simulation unlike anything ever seen before? 5) Technology is rapidly advancing in the area of brain information recovery. Before too long, people with memories that can't be captured by the enemy are going to need cortex bombs installed to insure security after death 6) The two brothers have different ideas of how to handle the mess they're in, and Jack is really ANGRY at Mike for making the decision for him to go to the FBI. If they fail to disclose information that is requested by the FBI, they get nailed for Obstructing an investigation. If they keep silent about criminal activity they know about and it can be proven they knew, they get nailed for accessory after the fact (and when dealing with RICO issues, that's really bad) Time will tell how the player gets through this maze or if he even survives it. The player found out the hard way, that his hard drive with the database installed on it - will only run properly when run on the computer whose CPU ID matches what the program expects (ie, a cloned drive on a different CPU won't run properly and cause a security fault. After three faults, the program starts to shred data (not delete it, but shred and overwrite it). The one player now knows his character is in way off the deep end.
  2. Moral Complications: Invasion of Privacy not covered by law Endangering the welfare/happiness of a child Committing an act of injustice in the name of the law For instance, a simple job is to smear an opponent of a corporate goal who uses environmental laws and regulations to oppose the construction of a manufacturing facility. The job is to smear the individual's public image by entering into the home, steal data from the computer, and expose any private emails pictures, etc - that would publically embarrass the individual. In the case above, the issue was that of a birth mother and child - but go one further? Custody battle between wife and husband, where the husband is a foreign national. Once the players find this one out - toss in the next level of mental anguish - the mother actively abuses the child and endangers the welfare of the child because she's legally a psychopath with sadistic tendencies, but always knows how to cover her tracks. committing an injustice in the name of the law? That might be a toughie, but for instance, someone signs a seemingly standard non-compete clause in their R&D lab work in college. What they don't know is that the research being conducted by the college is in conjunction with a corporate sponsor. That Research work now becomes "work for hire" and when the person graduated and went to work for another corporation - their non-compete agreement kicks in - rendering all such work the property of the original sponsor of the college research. The "team" now has to collect all of the work, and investigate that everything was found/discovered despite the desperation to keep something back because technically, that work had nothing to do with the non-compete, but the courts are enforcing it anyhow. Another example: body guarding an R&D scientist who engaged in unethical research that was against the law. Another might be one of "Accessory after the fact" - in which the actual mission is an effort to cover up an illegal event, and knowing that it was illegal, requires that the team not only aid in the cover up, but keep silent that it even happened. Another might be the lone researcher who spent years working on a process, took out loans against their personal equity, and will be bankrupted and lose the benefits of their labor - the consequence of a successful theft of intellectual property? I think what it boils down to is this: the excitement of what needs to be done, the obstacles being overcome, and the reward at the end, almost entirely bypasses the results or aftermath of the events. Maybe the perfect penetration of a secure facility results in a guard being accused of engaging in a felony theft of material, and sent to prison for 3 years. Doing a follow up on the results afterwards might drive things home all the more.
  3. Somehow, it turned into a double duplicate post. Editing this to remove it...
  4. Well - therein lies the tale... What would you consider to be unethical - and would it be universally shared as unethical? Possibly the worst aspect of "unethical" is when the mission itself is set up as one thing, but to be successfully completed, requires that one engage in behavior one would rather not. While it may smack some as being a "railroad" style complication (one that the player character can't avoid regardless) - perhaps it is one that is provided by the last minute that requires the player to decide which is more important. For instance, the mission requires an extraction - and the extraction needs to be done via a wheeled vehicle due to the anti-air defenses currently deployed about the individual who is required to be extracted. Then the news hits the player "We have your principle's kid. You have precisely 30 seconds to turn around or the kid shall find their time in this world severely shortened." If the player turns around, the mission is a failure. If the player doesn't turn around, the kid is made to suffer big time and a video showing the suffering is sent to both the principle being extracted and the team that made the extraction. Usually, the ethics of the mission rears its ugly head such that the person wouldn't normally do a task. If the complication is one that occurs AFTER the mission, that's one thing. If the mission complication is one of those "your employer didn't tell you everything" kind of thing - that may set up a secondary event to counter the mission after the fact (making amends). Perhaps it involves doing bad things to innocents. So - what constitutes unethical behavior? Stealing something that on the surface, is a nothing kind of thing, but subsequent news reports indicate that the people who had this "thing" had to pay a non-refundable bond in the event the thing was stolen - and the agency that held it originally is forced into bankruptcy. If that Agency also helped people avoid starvation, how might that make a few people feel? Maybe a key NPC helps the players succeed in their mission, but the aftermath of the mission results in the execution of key NPC? Perhaps the person being extracted was misrepresented as being happy to be extracted, only to find out that the person being extracted is being used to coerce their family member to do something dangerous or even suicidal? Maybe the mission is to make it appear that someone is dirty when in fact, they are anything but? It is character assassination in the original sense of the word! In the end? If morality or ethics has no meaning in the eyes of the player because they wish to play a cold blooded assassin - then nothing will ever bother the player as far as decisions it makes or jobs the player will have their character undertake. Case in point: I have a player whose ability to thrive on his own, is worse than if he had someone there he can bounce ideas off of, or have his back for when things go down badly. So he always gets his "Murphy" (named after the first such supporting NPC when I hit upon it as a viable method to keep my sanity). In GURPS, this is called an ally, which costs character points. Now, if this player wants to undertake a campaign in which he's a stone cold assassin, what will happen when a love interest finds out that he's such a person? What kind of person is best friends with an assassin of such a mentality and is willing to overlook that kind of character flaw? As a result, the player has reluctantly conceded that he could never make the character idea work AND have his Murphy. If he wants a meaningful relationship with others, he will always have to hide his nature - making his character a psychopath. For him, there is no fun in role playing a psychopath... So, on that note, the question all revolves around whether or not ethics is even important. Anyone remember the line from the movie CHERRY 2000 in which a major psychopath pulls out a pistol, pulls the trigger on a woman, and as her body lies on the ground cooling, says 'she needed an attitude adjustment"? THAT is not a character I'd want to play in a role playing game day in and day out. Perhaps the thing to consider as far as ethics go, is to identify HOW things can go wrong on an ethical level? Who gets injured? How will they get injured? How lasting is the injury? Why are they being injured? What are the alternatives to inflicting such an injury? In GURPS, there is this thing called Pacifism: Cannot Harm innocents. If a major bad guy points a submachine gun at a crowd of innocents and tells the player character "Drop it or they get hurt" - the player has to consider that they voluntarily accepted the disadvantage of "Cannot harm innocents". If the major bad guy drops a gas grenade with caustic agents, the player character is obligated to find a way to deal with the grenade rather than continue hot persuit because they had a choice in protecting the innocents or letting them come to harm. So perhaps that list of the five things above might be the structure for how to consider what might or might not constitute an ethics issue for any given job?
  5. As I ponder about NIGHT CITY, I am often puzzled by how the book was laid out, and its relation to say, New York City. When reading about the new ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER, its height is listed as being 1776 feet tall -making it the tallest building in the western hemisphere and the sixth largest building in the world. Granted, this is a building that was built AFTER the book was published - so I'm not trying to reconcile the book with the real world per se. But this is where it gets interesting. Of the height involved, a portion of it is due to the spire itself that was added to increase the height of the building. Overall, it would be high enough structurally, to contain 104 stories, but actively has only 94 stories. Not having ever visited the building, I'm guessing that some of the floors are not the standard height, but may have extra space devoted to them. Either that, or the floors from top to bottom are a bit more spacious overall. Short of being able to determine this from actual floor plans etc - this is all conjecture. But this is where things get interesting in my eyes... The Arasaka Building is 140 stories high. What is even more interesting in my eyes, is that the population of Night City is listed as being 5 million people, as contrasted against New York City's current population of approximately 8.4 Million. So, as I try to imagine Night City in terms of real life NYC - it can get to be rather confusing. There is a PDF that you can download from https://www1.nyc.gov/site/planning/data-map...ghborhoods.page That shows the various neighborhoods along with some interesting factoids. There are other data bases open to the public including a tax parcel database that lists the buildings per parcel within the city. It looks arcane at the first glance and all, but I suspect that some sense can be made of it if using a Vlookup table in conjunction with the CSV database. Ah well, it be getting late and time for my beauty *cough* sleep.
  6. Ethics for a main character in a story is one thing. Ethics for a player character is another. Unless the player intends for his or her character to be amoral - they tend to have some level of morality in place that lets them enjoy their character and take it from there. "Will not take a wet job involving women or children" is a major problem for the one player. I'm half minded to use a scenario from DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION (Director's Cut). There, the player has to decide not who he can rescue, but who dies. No matter what, the end result is a "Lose/lose" scenario, and it hammers home emotionally, something that no one ever wants to have to do. If you ever watched Schindler's List (the movie), you see a similar situation unfold where the person can't save everyone, and feels a wretched soul for not saving enough. In the end, after the credits, you get to see the descendants of those he did save and the good that did come of it. Cyberpunk - for me anyhow, is an exploration of humanity given free rein over the ever growing technological advances colliding with the baser nature of man, with a few instances of the more divine nature of man thrown in for good measure. Cyberpunk seems to be one of "Man vs Man" coupled with "Man vs Himself" or even "Man vs Society" I could probably bore you half to death with stories of one player whose love for Cyberpunk also includes a death wish for a bulk of his characters. Either that, or he would rather enjoy the Movie PAYBACK with Mel Gibson and hope he can pull it off, only to find out that the script writers were on Mel's side (that and Mel didn't stick around rubbing elbows with the Mob when he finished his quest for pay back). Well, on that note - having an ethics aspect to the mission might not be worth the idea. But to be honest? The best fun I've had as a GM with this one player, was setting him up with a seemingly "ethically ok" situation, only to discover that things aren't always what they appear to be, and dealing with it. Maybe the ethics of the thing should be a complication aspect kind of thing?
  7. That might be better as a two table thing actually... Risk would be one table Amount of Preparation would be another Come to think of it - having a table to describe those things useful in the prep might be worth the effort.... For instance: Financials Criminal Record Address of Record National Change of Address (NCOA) Database (for mailing purposes) Telephone registry Social Media Database of floor plans and such for building data Registry of Motor Vehicles Registry of Corporations If the mission requires more detailed information - perhaps a B&E of the apartment or residence of selected individuals maybe be required. In short? A quickie method for detailing some of what is involved in the preparations. THE SPRAWL seems to have the mindset that if you succeed in some of the tasks ahead of time, you get wildcard type information for use later where needed. If it were a GURPS campaign - I might suggest that if the player makes a research roll, with suitable bonues or penalties - they might get a similar "wildcard" bit of data such that the player decides that he wants the floor plan of the building (not its defenses, but the plans at least) plus perhaps access to the Field office for a Telephone company so that he can reasonably fake being a Telecom employee in on a call. Or, he might decide to investigate past history of the corporations to see which one ties to what in order to get a glimmer of understanding that this is a play by a corporation to achieve a given goal without seemingly doing so. Most of us can whip up a scenario on the fly to some extent. But sometimes having something set in motion randomly gives us a little more "surprise" value or "entertainment" value as a GM. Heck, even WE don't know what awaits the player characters if done right. While I'm thinking about it - that character I mentioned earlier that visits the virtual reality model world - he's trying his best to live off the grid in that he's currently subletting from another renter who is currently in Hong Kong (Financial sector employee) so that none of the utilities are in his name, no rental agreements in his name, and he's using cash only at the present. He (the player character) thought he was golden - but for the fact that the people tracking him knew where he worked. It was a small task to put surveillance teams in place and track him to his new home. Sometimes, no matter what you do to stay off the radar, those corporations can sure be pasky things...
  8. One thing that you might want to include? How about an Ethics approach to grading the task? Take for example, the task of body guard work. Is it ethical to save the man? Sure. If the man is conducting illegal research on humans, and the people he wronged are going after him - is it ethical to guard him then? Then there is the issue of "black ops". Hypothetically speaking, if you have the same scientist having been successfully protected, now the opfor wants to kidnap the son of said scientist in an effort to coerce him into giving up who his superiors were - to find out who ordered the illegal research. Then there comes the moment in which the son, having been kidnapped, is now under sentence of death because the scientist essentially sneeringly stated "you won't do that, you don't have it in you to do that." In each instance, there is an ethical boundary that needs to be examined and perhaps shied away from vehemently, or stepped over and potentially causing issues further down the road. I have one current character who is obsessed with solving why the woman died. So much so that the character created a virtual reality and is putting in as much real world data into it as he can to try and figure out what the hell is going on. Is he delusional or is he escaping into the fantasy world in an effort to spend more time with a woman he was falling for? All he knows to his own mind, is that he is responsible for her death due to his lack of operational security. Now he wants to know who it was that pulled the trigger and he can't seem to find the trail right now. So, a broken man with a broken dream in a world that routinely breaks people, chews them up, and if they're lucky - spits them out. Otherwise, some are never seen again. Right now, I'm watching BLUE BLOODS - not because I want necessarily to run a police themed campaign set in a cyberpunk environment. It is more along the lines of what are the gangs like, why do they do what they do, how do they terrorize their neighborhoods into letting them take root? Imagine the frustration of a PC who is a private investigator facing a gangbanger who says "I ain't gotta say nothing to you - talk to my lawyer". So, in the end, if I'm going to run a sandbox style campaign, I have to be ready to assume any role at the drop of a hat. Granted, I can't get into the mindset of the more recent generation of kids. I'm half tempted to portray them as lacking in any serious social graces - constantly turning to their "Personal Access Device" to the Net, and either keyboarding (texting) or videochatting (facetime) or what have you. Having 6 teenagers around for a birthday party, and the living room dead quiet - was enough for me to enter to see what was happening. They were TEXTING each other across the room instead of talking, joking, etc. Ye Gads! (Memo to self: include socially inept NPCs in the game just to throw curveballs at the players!)
  9. Not that this helps per se, but... When I'm GM, I not only direct the events as a supporting cast NPC, but also move things in the sense that I set the stage, put into motion "threads" of events, and not only rumors, but rumors of rumors. I have found that sometimes the best thing to do is respond to the player's comments on his worst fears, and then modifying THAT. Truth be told? I have ALWAYS run games on the fly. True story: Before my girlfriend of the time became both my wife as well as a Gamer - I ran an AFTERMATH! campaign where everyone played themselves. We ran the 50 yard sprint and timed it. Took 2 liter bottles filled with water (thereby knowing their weights) and threw them three times taking the average distance thrown. The game system we used was GURPS, so we had a fairly decent chance to stat ourselves in GURPS terms. Point is - we had a BLAST. But they only saw the prep that transpired at the table. They never saw all the work that I put into the background material, the research I put not only into survival skills, but into tactics - and yes, even Vietnam era sniper techniques and tactics. But the MOST important thing I spent nearly a week on - and used my girlfriend as a sounding board for - was the top secret research lab disguised as an agricultural research station. Read the information on bio-research containment processes - the works. Had an over-presurization system, an underground hydro-electric generator that was off the grid, and so on. All that intense work? Went out the window. Why? Because I hate being railroaded as a player, and refuse to do it as a GM. My girlfriend was outraged that the group refused to venture into the research facility despite all indicators pointing to it was a good idea. She asked me how I could do that. In the end? I chalked it up to "I learned something interesting for my own enjoyment" and let it go at that. BUt I also learned that nothing ever survives contact with either an enemy or a player character party. *teasing grin* So, that's why I LOVE being a GM that has to think on his feet. I think about the game world, the motivations, the specific details ahead of time, and even do mental preparation of solo role playing for my NPCs so that they fit like a comfortable glove if they're long standing NPCs. Extras that show up wearing a red shirt die off quickly (metaphorically speaking) and I don't waste time getting into their so called minds and personae for the game itself. But the others? They are people with loves/hates, desires and fears. Now - where does AUGMENTED REALITY come into play? It helps keep me from being in a rut in my descriptions. When I can use the Table generator in FANTASY GROUNDS to generate details on the fly quickly (and I do mean QUICKLY), then you can bet that I will welcome a GM assistant in the background. Just having something to generate the street contents is helpful. Density of people on the sidewalks, trees as "green area", waste bins, a street vendor selling stuff, tables in front of a diner or bar with people sitting/chatting/dating/taking lunch break etc - helps to set the scene. So - pregenerating some buildings in advance, some gangs in advance, or some places of interest in advance, is a good thing. One of these days, I'd like to show you what can be done with FANTASY GROUNDS and the story template that it has. Heck, if you put out a table of 100 things that might be seen sprayed as Graffiti on a wall, a bathroom, or storefront - I could create that table for use with Fantasy Grounds, and list all of the 30 different tags on the wall and in what colors if need be. So, if your characters are walking in the Combat Zone of Night City - and come to a somewhat beaten down block with businesses, local gang acting as law enforcement, and a contested area with competing gang tags coupled with a bit of blood here or there from drive by shootings - presto, I've got the scene set right then and there. Now the one thing I like about THE SPRAWL role playing game (it has issues I don't like, but I usually read game systems for inspiration and ideas worth filing serial numbers off of and using in game) was the concept that depending on the rolls involved, a team might discover one fact needed to do the job, or discover three facts needed to do the job. Clearly, not having two vital pieces or clues can cause problems - but that's life in the sprawl chummer. Take one of my previous sessions. Guy is tapped to find out what happened to a man's daughter. She's in Mexico when she disappears. In the news, a research facility was broken into and torched - something that involved apes and other primates for research that was not ethical enough to pass the PETA standards. In reality? These people were perfecting notochord and brain transplant techniques in primates with the hope that they could do it for Humans. Not only would it be a means for extending life - but criminals who want to get out from under their sordid past could swap bodies and no one would be the wiser. Of course, in the true Cyberpunk fashion, the investigator went afoul some criminal types, gang bangers in Mexico, and sadly - never completed his mission, and when the story ended, a fade to black without knowing if he made it back stateside or not. So - Scenario generation tables? Love the idea. Why? Because - with a sandbox approach to gaming, it helps to be able to generate 20 jobs being offered in a marquee display at the Afterlife club for mercenaries to bid upon. Some jobs clearly require a team, some jobs can be done with one or two people. Some jobs just are too dark to be viable for a cyberpunk character with ethics.
  10. In reading what you're posting, I couldn't help but think of either Augmented Realities (which have some of what you're talking about here) or of INTERFACE ZERO which has a mission generator that comprises of the following system (not to say that yours should do the same mind you!!!) 1) The Contractor (who) 2) The Mission (What) 3) The Location (where) 4) McGuffin (sort of something special pertaining to the mission) 5) Innocents 6) Antagonists 7) Twists and Complications 8) Dramatic Conflict Each of the categories listed above, have a 12 element table to roll against. In one adventure I ran, the person who was generating the mission was the Weapon's runner from Night City. He had a guy who was running illegal testing of bioweapon development - and portrayed the mission as a protection mission of a scientist that a bunch of radicals wanted to assassinate. The location ended up being at a research facility. The McGuffin was the bioweapon itself and the cure, of which there was only one. The Innocents were the people that were at the facility who had been infected with the bioweapon earlier. They had a limited time in which to get the antidote to the toxin involved. The antagonist? The vigilantes that wanted the head of the war criminal. The complication? Time limit. The twists and complication? Betrayed by the Contractor. The dramatic conflict: Innocents. When I used that mission generator, it provided for a mission I wouldn't have generated on the fly on my best day. The player had to try and figure out a resolution to the issue and still help the innocents. The mission was to keep the target alive for a given period of time, success only. Once he discovered that the scientist was killing innocents with his testing program, and that both the scientist and the test subjects were both contaminated by the same source at the same time (an accident), he made certain that the only working antidote did NOT get used by the Scientist, but was used to synthesize a working antidote for the remaining innocents held at the facility. That the Scientist had been infected before them meant that the time it took to use his only dose analyze it and manufacture more doses, he ended up succumbing to his own weapon - but not before he was handed to the employer alive (but unconscious). Now, what you're setting up thus far, is far better detailed than what is in Interface Zero. I see that you have a mission generator in Augmented Reality city kit - but what you're working on provides a bit more detail and a wider range of mission potentials than either of Interface Zero or Augmented Reality City Kit. Now, why do I like Augmented Reality? It offers for the GM, the ability to turn buildings into characters (if you will). Walking to a building described as having funky smells, and seeing signs of chemical contaminants (such as a hazmat team trying to fix the sick building syndrome) are all details that might not readily occur to the GM, but could be inferred from the descriptions involved. Seeing that a building is supposed to be heavily coated with Gang Tags, might lead to a description of a kid BLATANTLY spraying Gang Tags on a building, and everyone largely ignoring the kid. Security knows that even if they catch the kid, the boss won't prosecute it, or the kid gets out on the street and nothing changes. So they ignore the whole thing. In other words? Altered Reality City Kit (yes I'm abbreviating the title a wee bit!) helps to stimulate imagination and maybe give the GM a wee bit of a KICK in his figurative hind end and get things moving. In an upcoming Session on Fantasy Grounds, I've got a player who is a working stiff working for Continental Detective Agency (CDA) trying to find out what happened to a woman working on a research grant at Night City University on the use of Genetically modified Kelp as a pollution cleaning agent. She suddenly disappears after supposedly heading south of the Border on a trip with a Judge who owns his own pleasure yacht (small sized of course) and spends time scuba diving, swimming etc - at high class tourist destinations. So, I am going to have to concentrate on describing things like "It is really HOT right now, and the body armor you're wearing is causing you to sweat profusely. The Miltech 2032 armored Duster is very good at trapping body heat. Everyone else is in bikinis or swim trunks (the really young and fit) or in shorts and T-shirts for the rest of the people. The trick as the GM, is to try to imaging BEING there for real, and then trying to figure out what you might feel, hear, see, etc.
  11. Thanks guys for all of your responses. 100,000 square feet seems like a workable number. I'll see if i can find the specs for urban planning for San Francisco and see what pops up. Just for giggles, I took a tour through New York City via Google Maps in Satellite mode. Was an interesting hour hour's worth of tele-tourism. When I had to describe an illegal fight location based in Night City, I placed it by the bridges leading across the bay from the city proper. All I had to work on were my experiences with the Skyway in the City of Buffalo and my experiences with the Grand Island bridges. Those areas directly under the elevated bridge areas tend to be a bit wild if you will. To this day, I will never forget the imagery from that game run. A man who had undergone a few too many muscle grafts, a few experimental riper doc procedures, and a body that make Arnold Schwartzenager look like a puny weakling. Needless to say, adding rippers to his fists made him look invincible in a street fight. Problem was - he was a bit brain dead and knew that the crowd loved it when he would always slash at his opponent's face. In the game system we were using (GURPS), the guy had a less then 50/50 chance of connecting, and because he was "Telegraphing" his attacks (wind ups and a studious look at where he wanted to hit and taking hs time to do it) - the defender had a good chance of avoiding the incoming attack. A few times the Player character nailed this beast, but couldn't really make the beast FEEL the pain. Finally, it happened. A crit success on an attack to the face resulted in his slashers ripping open the nasal cavity below the eye, ruining the player's ability to breathe, and damaging the bone near his eye and sending him into massive shock from the shear destructiveness of the wound. In Game terms - a death blow due to massive trauma, massive bleeding etc. Enter REO MEATWAGON descending through the area's cement and iron support structures for the bridge, and the massive spectators scurrying like cockroaches when the meatwagon arrived. Even though the character was clinically dead, efforts to revive him were a near miss, and stabilization of his wounds took everything they had to keep him going (ie, the NPC medics made their roll exactly with all the penalties involved.) Up until that game session, the player had kept his character innocent *cough* of any cyberwear. In any event, thanks for the comments and a new direction to start working towards. Gotta keep busy and all that.
  12. When I did some urban planning research - trying to gauge the scale of the map for Night City - I came to the realization that it was simply supposed to be a poetic style map that gives you a hint of what you see more or less is what you get - sorta. *rueful grin* The problem for me is this: Lane width is to some extent, a function of when the cities were laid down, along with the speed limits encouraged within the area itself. The faster the speed limit, the wider the single lane is intended to be. But - scale also pertains to the buildings themselves. There will be sidewalks involved, curbs, perhaps some green (trees, shrubs, grass) or perhaps no green - simply cement. But the sidewalks themselves won't be necessarily uniform thoughout the area. I could drive to Toronto in Canada and see how certain sections of the city are tighter (in the older sections) and note that the building materials are brick and looks a tad on the older side, and then not too much further, see entirely NEW construction materials and even design philosophy changing in the blink of an eye. Nothing too garish mind you, just different than say, Buffalo New York (which I live roughly 15 minutes drive away from). That being said, few cities are ever 100% laid out in a checkerboard design with nice squares laid out. Terrain features can cause a road to wind a bit here or there. Early development might result in a road being necessary, and then times change - the city spreads out a bit and absorbs nearby villages from a 100 years prior, and eventually become urbanized to a large extent. So, I know that if I want to try and create a decent to scale map for Night City - that I have to try and keep an open mind on decisions that go into "how wide is that road supposed to be". Is it a main thoroughfare? As you noted, it might have two or four lanes with a center turn area. Or, as in the case of Toronto - there might be electric trolley cars driving in with the rest of the city. The roads might be relatively straight, or they might zig one direction for a bit, then zag a new direction for a little - before taking an angle in a different direction with what looks like a crazy Y type intersection. Its enough to drive a mapper crazy I tell you. *teasing grin* But - thanks to your city kit, I'm thinking that I should be creating a way to randomly generate the smaller shops NOT listed on the maps. The Mom and Pop stores, the Boutiques, the start-up businesses and the like. Night City has a population of 5,000,000 people per the source material on page 6 of NIGHT CITY. Those 5 Million need places to work, places to eat, places to go out for entertainment, and the like. Putting this into perspective, Toronto's population census in 2016 lists the population as being 5,928,040. Now, at a guess, all of the outlying areas such as South Night City, Heywood, Westbrook, Rancho Coronado, North Oak, and Pacifica - those 6 regions plus the Metropolitan Night City area - are all going to add up to that approximate 5 million population. Since one of those regions is largely an industrial complex area - I'd expect that the population within there would be a bit lower than elsewhere nearby. So, the long and short of it is - and why I started asking people for input of what they have around their homes, and I'm guessing some of you who read this aren't located in North America, it maybe helps a little to get some ideas on how to image Night City (a totally fictional construct to be sure!!!) well enough that it lives in my imagination sufficiently well enough for me to describe it for my players. True story: My wife was driving in the city and was lost. She knew if we eventually came into view of the Lake, she'd get her bearings. I told her she was westbound and she asked me "did you see a sign?". My response made her look at me like I was nuts. I told her "In the morning, the shadow points west, in the afternoon, the shadow points east (give or take). I simply looked at the shadow being cast by the poles and people and other stuff (Mail box I think) and took a fix that way. But if I had to describe what it looks like walking on the side walks and the like - I'd have to say that it wasn't all THAT crowded with people even at the worst of the areas. The exception being at places like the Aquarium, or tourist attractions (we were there for the weekend) and other odds and end. What I did remember seeing, were a LOT Of food places, restaurants, Deli and even specialty places that I jokingly tell my wife as "Canadian Chicken". She's a major fan of Swiss Chalet - when it was in Western New York, and when they pulled out as a chain, she made me get enhanced licenses (Essentially a licence that lets me travel to Canada and back without a passport). In any event - I digress too much here. Eventually, I'm going to need to figure out a way to populate the Mom and Pop stores in ways that can be fun to spring on my players. When someone goes to order food, and the person taking the order is speaking in rapid fire espanol, the player is going to have a much harder time of things there. What makes it for more fun, is to have someone looking at you one moment, say something in another language, and have the friends nearby start laughing. Was it something said about the player characters? Was it a private conversation that has nothing to do with the player characters (MOST LIKELY!!!), or what? Ah, got distracted. Started spending time with Google Maps and going into Satellite map mode. Dang but that can be fun looking at! Gets you business names right off the bat. Looking at Chinatown in Toronto helps a bit... Well, now you know why I was asking.
  13. As the subject line suggests - how big are your city blocks where you live? I started looking up "Average retail" floor sizes, and came across a few suggestions along the line of 1000 square feet (20 x 50 feet for example) or 10 x 100. In some instances, I came across references to 10 x 40 and 20 x 30 and the like. What prompted me to ask is that were I to try and create a to scale map for Night City, and try to populate some of the areas not listed in NIGHT CITY sourcebook, or just left empty entirely, it would be perhaps interesting to try and fill some of those locations with random businesses and the like. So - I might have a shoe store run by Croatians, or a Deli or maybe a combination Old World/American restaurant or what have you. As I work on integrating Augmented Reality The Holistic City Kit into Fantasy Grounds - being able to populate the stores with various individuals at random works out pretty nicely. So, what are your local cities like as far as city blocks, street widths, etc?
  14. By Abandoned, do you mean "ruins"? Also, each subdivision of the categories seem like perfectly reasonable items deserving their own slot on a random table. One thing for residence might also include "Gang house" or "Club house". You might want to include halfway houses for those released from prison. Back where my wife grew up, they used to have special buildings made of brick that were long narrow affairs to work on repairs for train cars or engines. If you wander through some parts of cities here or there, you might also find an area that is off limits to the general public due to the high voltage wires and transformers present within. Elsewhere - I have seen natural gas well heads and storage tanks - not to mention oil tanks etc. But those might be deemed more as chemical (petroleum products) storage tanks than anything else. In some areas I've seen, they have high voltage wires atop land that isn't used for anything else but the towers supporting the wires. How come monuments aren't listed either? *teasing grin* Oh wait, how about Art displays or exhibits? At the Eaton Center, there was this one building that was largely nothing but arcade games. Might not the introduction of Virtual Reality in large numbers fuel the need for VR couches and the like? That would be entertainment to be sure - but some people like using the cutting edge machines and are unable to buy it outright (coffin hotel residents for example) who would rent such machines by the hour. If you want, email me and we can brain storm for more ideas if you want...
  15. I'm minded of the episode in Star Trek when Spock says to one twin robot "I like you." and to another says "However, I dislike you." When I read the idea of arming a drone with a Claymore Mine, I thought "I don't like you". However, immediately thereafter, I said to myself "I like you!" I have to wonder... What would happen if you mounted a single claymore mine such that it is hung suspended beneath the fuselage of the drone, so that when the mine goes off, the mine itself is maybe 12 to 18 inches below the drone, and when it is desired to go off - the mine detaches from the drone and explodes immediately upon detaching. The primary blast is directed forward by the mine design, the back blast goes the opposite direction, and with luck, the drone is out of the blast radius when it goes off. Having a drone like that descend into an ally unexpectedly, will make for a really NASTY trick. For what it is worth, I had one player whose character was supposed to act as a protection detail for a scientist whom Petrochem wanted to keep both alive and safely employed by their own corporation. Long story short, the bad guys (as far as the player character was concerned) were coming up from ground level in a sweep operation to take his protected individual. So - he decided to take a claymore mine and rig it for the stairwell in case they came up that way. Unfortunately for him, a four man fire team made it out of the stair well before he could set the mine. He's caught flat footed, as are they, and for a brief moment they stare at each other. The player held the Claymore mine forward after pulling the safety pin out and arming it. He then said "Shoot, and we all die". They retreated to the stair well as he retreated quickly back to safety. He survived the encounter, but I thought to myself "hmmm, that's one way of making a Mexican Standoff work!"
  • Create New...