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Old 03-29-2019, 04:40 PM   #1
Henchman99942
 
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Default World Setting

Howdy. I am preparing a world setting (for GURPS). It will be a cyberpunk setting. I want to include (at least some) these elements...

Apophis 99942.
Sea Level Rise.
Disease.
Collapse of economy/governments.
Cults/religions.
Ethno syndicates.
Corporations.
Famine.
Unemployment.
Robotics.


One element I am sure that I am including is the impact of Apophis 99942 in 2036. Events preceding the impact, including the collapse of the world governments due to famine, disease, etc, resulted in nobody watching the skies. So when Apophis 99942 came around in 2036, there was no organization prepared to deal with it.

Sea level rises, potentially due in part to Apophis 99942 impacting the antarctic ice shelf, devastate the coastal cities. This leaves most of the traditional sites for cyberpunk settings unusable. So I am looking at the great lakes area.

I invite anyone with any thoughts to share them with me. If not in this thread directly, then as a PM, or potentially in discord or something similar.
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:49 AM   #2
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Even if all of Antarctica's ice melted, large sections of Los Angeles would be above sea level. The East Coast cities might be uninhabitable but the West Coast has mountains. Also, Montreal and Toronto are well inland. Albany, Richmond, Atlanta, and Charlotte NC would become the new East Coast powerhouses. Why not move the US capital to Denver?
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: World Setting

What about...

Charlston, SC?

In the years leading up to the impact event, fears of climate change led to a large sea wall being built around the city to protect against rising sea levels. After the impact, the U.S. government put an irresponsible amount of money into quickly expanding the wall both horizontally and vertically. Now, there's a wall which is nearly 100 feet tall in places around the coastal SE side of the city. It holds back the sea for now, but it's crumbling. A few small leaks have sprung, but there are pumps and canals channeling the water away so it's not flooding anything critical. These are dependent on the interest of rich cartels who want ready access to the sea for importing goods which are lowered by crane. There are more efficient ways of doing this, but for now it's the most convenient method without investing in more infrastructure.

Sooo....

We have a setting with the visible hubris of the government in the background. The wall would become the icon representing what is wrong with the world and also the impending doom. The leaks and ragged top would show human's failed attempt at working together as a group. Everyone's constant knowledge that it could collapse would underscore the knowledge that society is no more stable than the concrete and steel that keeps them dry and safe.

The city exists because it's the best port left on the East coast. The others have all largely flooded and gone. Its economy is thriving, but nobody really WANTS to live there because everyone knows it's a deathtrap. But people need to live there because the economic opportunity is second to none. It's like a new gold rush with prospectors trying to strike it rich and get out before a cave-in takes their life.
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:28 AM   #4
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Not a terrible idea, but both New York and New Orleans are better choices by geography. New York, because Manhattan island is higher and largely made of granite, would be the best choice.

You could have a half submerged New York with the poor and the working classes, to the degree they are seperate, living in muggy, cramped, humid, overheated or clammy cold undersea slums. Which would be very cyberpunk and would probably smell of mold and mildew.
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Old 04-01-2019, 12:50 PM   #5
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If Famine is an issue, then Vertical Farming would be a major plot point. Growing crops near those that eat them would make even greater economic sense and it would deepen Urban/rural divides in much of the world. It would also make for security jobs, ripe crops are worth stealing. Food Riots can be very useful to cults. Control of food charities was often used by Religious groups to control and indoctrinate the poor.

Quarantine of ports would be vital in a plague ridden world. The ports could be sealed off from the outer world, a buffer between the nation the port serves and the plague ridden lands beyond. Only those with very high clearance or great underworld connections and vast amounts of money can leave a port either to go inland or to sea.
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:54 PM   #6
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I was thinking that a lot of water could have been added to the oceans in a short period - causing problems for the coastal cities. When Apophis 99942 strikes, either whole or as multiple pieces, I figured on impact tsunamis causing problems for coastal cities. And I was thinking that famine and disease would wreck government services. Fresh water becomes the number one priority. The Great Lakes mark the largest source of fresh water in the US. This was based on a very rough and brief thought experiment.

I think I want to rule out the Yellowstone supervolcano. That seems seriously civilization ending. Maybe it could undergo a mini eruption.

This does not preclude the existence of other cities. There are certainly other viable cities in this setting. But I am fairly set on the general location.

I am interested in specific cities within that region and catastrophe ideas, both new and specifics within those listed.

If anyone has any ideas they are willing to share in a voice or text chat, I can share my discord ID in a PM and arrange a day and time. I make this offer because this may end up being an extended discussion and I don't want to scroll post on the forum needlessly.
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:04 PM   #7
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Chicago should then replace Washington DC as National capital. How high has sea level gone? How far up the Mississippi do you need to go to get to a viable port? It will effect the economy of the Great Lakes.
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Old 04-02-2019, 02:42 AM   #8
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With corporations replacing government, there is no real need for a national capital. Laws only exist within specific regions and only if there an organization capable of enforcing them. Generally, the nation is broken down into corporate enclaves, though the 'city' unit continues to function as a self contained governing body. The governing body is a board of directors comprised of corporate representatives from the 10 largest corporations in that city.

I suppose it's possible for there to be a unified defense force funded collectively by the city-states. This would ensure safe travel between city-states, which would generally take the form of sub-orbital flights.

... ?
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Old 04-02-2019, 10:50 AM   #9
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You said you wanted some disease/famine themes. One of the problems with our current farming methods is that our crops are open to disease due to largely being the same organism cloned a lot. Look at the impending second banana apocalypse. In that region, something wiping out a substantial portion of corn and/or wheat would cripple food production. The locals and/or rich would probably still be fine, but exports would dwindle and things would get dire fast.

This could lead to the vertical farming mentioned elsewhere as companies want more isolated crops.

Depending on how dark you want to go, you could have a corp developing crops specifically as poison for wildlife. The idea being to plant poison grain at the perimeter and then that will protect the interior grain from insects, rodents, etc. Then, the PCs could be part of a force set to guard the crops from hungry locals who don't know it's poison. Or perhaps hired by some shady benefactor to grant the locals access and ultimately embarrass the corp growing poison.

Power is also an issue in that part of the country. A small nuclear disaster could have rendered parts of the city hazardous. Without government standards, people would have moved increasingly into the hot zone with predictable consequences. But it's still cheap real estate.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Not a terrible idea, but both New York and New Orleans are better choices by geography. New York, because Manhattan island is higher and largely made of granite, would be the best choice.

You could have a half submerged New York with the poor and the working classes, to the degree they are seperate, living in muggy, cramped, humid, overheated or clammy cold undersea slums. Which would be very cyberpunk and would probably smell of mold and mildew.
Frankly you could have the cheap end of town consist of the upper decks of otherwise submerged high-rises with the gaps filled in by boat-towns and things built on stilts until they touch something solid...ish...
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