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Old 02-12-2019, 06:48 AM   #1
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Build a Cyberpunk Setting

So I'm building a new campaign setting for my players. It's going to nominally be a cyberpunk setting but has elements from the action, horror, biopunk, caper, and neo-noir genres. The TL is going to be 9 and the start date is going to be 2081 so I've got a bit to fill.

A few random bits:
  • Psionic powers are real and those with them are actively hated by most common folks. They are considered second-class citizens. Currently, I'm considering telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation, and ESP as abilities. I'll be using GURPS Psionic Powers, of course.
  • Biotechnology is retarded do to some stuff that happened creating (among other things) a nasty vampire-like disease that essentially destroyed Mexico. Biotech firms still exist and still do research, but bio-tech in general (not really including medicine) is at early TL9 instead of the campaign's mature TL9.
  • There is a mini-ice age happening that has chewed up some of the more northern countries and nations.
  • I've moved some borders around and changed some nations. China became a empire with an actual (psi-active) emperor, parts of Canada, the US, and Mexico have formed the North American Union (NAU), while most of South America is under the rule of a dictator with advanced technologies.
  • The solar system (at least the Moon, Mars, and parts of the asteroid belt) have been colonized to a degree.
  • No living aliens, but something was found on Mars. I just don't know what yet. It's still a secret the world's governments are keeping.
  • The Middle East is just a mess and has been in constant warfare for almost a century.
  • The Indonesian subcontinent and parts of western Africa were decimated by an Ebola outbreak.

I'm looking for events or ideas to incorporate in the setting. Any help would be appreciated.
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Last edited by Christopher R. Rice; 02-12-2019 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:59 AM   #2
Mathulhu
 
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Default Re: Build a Cyberpunk Setting

Here's an idea that flies in the face of one of your random bits.

The Middle East isn't really a mess, there is actually several solid functional states in there. The chaos and violence that is seen by the outside world is actually a minority of loud people being dramatic, it's like they're judging all of America on the gang riddled area of a single city.

A war that isn't happening, or maybe no one wants to win. There are troops deployed and things are being blown up but no one is actually shooting at anyone. The troops in the field are mingling like sentries before a Napoleonic battle. The officers are allowing the enemy to retreat in good order.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Build a Cyberpunk Setting

What do you want AI and robotics to look like? There are many ways to present them in a cyberpunk setting.



For space colonization, I'm always an advocate of orbital rings. They're useful for getting huge amounts of material into space.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:07 AM   #4
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: Build a Cyberpunk Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathulhu View Post
Here's an idea that flies in the face of one of your random bits.

The Middle East isn't really a mess, there is actually several solid functional states in there. The chaos and violence that is seen by the outside world is actually a minority of loud people being dramatic, it's like they're judging all of America on the gang riddled area of a single city.

A war that isn't happening, or maybe no one wants to win. There are troops deployed and things are being blown up but no one is actually shooting at anyone. The troops in the field are mingling like sentries before a Napoleonic battle. The officers are allowing the enemy to retreat in good order.
Hmm. Interesting. Yeah, maybe.

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
What do you want AI and robotics to look like? There are many ways to present them in a cyberpunk setting.
AI is working toward late-era TL9, but are restricted after an isomorph took down the NAU power grid harkening back to a previous catastrophe. So they are there, but they are effectively LC2.

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What do you want AI and robotics to look like? For space colonization, I'm always an advocate of orbital rings. They're useful for getting huge amounts of material into space.
D'oh. Good idea.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:55 AM   #5
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Build a Cyberpunk Setting

Global cooling is not really a cyberpunk theme unless it is the result of nuclear winter or geoengineering gone horribly wrong. A limited nuclear exchange, perhaps between Russia and the USA, or a UN sponsored geoengineering project that bankrupted most of the world would be quite thematic. Perhaps a giant sunshield 'acquired' by China after the bankruptcy of the developed nations allows the Chinese to selectively reduce sunlight to its rivals by up to 50%.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Global cooling is not really a cyberpunk theme unless it is the result of nuclear winter or geoengineering gone horribly wrong. A limited nuclear exchange, perhaps between Russia and the USA, or a UN sponsored geoengineering project that bankrupted most of the world would be quite thematic. Perhaps a giant sunshield 'acquired' by China after the bankruptcy of the developed nations allows the Chinese to selectively reduce sunlight to its rivals by up to 50%.
you could blow up a large volcano somewhere ... that could get you some serious global cooling. The eruption of Tambora in 1815 lead to "the year without a summer" in '16 and is thought to have reduced global temperatures in '17 and possibly '18 as well. Could give you the traditional "sky the colour of a TV tuned to a dead channel" ... and possibly some impressive sunrises and sunsets every now and again.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Build a Cyberpunk Setting

That level of global cooling would only drop the temperature to what it was in 1950s (the world was still in the last stages of the Little Ice Age when Tambora erupted, which was why it was so devastating). To reach temperatures as low as the Little Ice Age, you would need a VEI 7 event, which would cause agricultural collapse across the globe and a die off of 50%-90% of current human populations due to famine, since we do not have the slack in the system that we had two hundred years ago.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Build a Cyberpunk Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Global cooling is not really a cyberpunk theme unless it is the result of nuclear winter or geoengineering gone horribly wrong..
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
you could blow up a large volcano somewhere ... that could get you some serious global cooling.
How about combine them?

The UN's Global Climate Initiative was going strong, and the world looked like it was entering a new phase of peace and hope. Then (insert mid-tier nuclear power) fell into civil war. Nobody now knows whether the insurgents seized the nukes for a suicide attack, or if the government forces initiated the detonations themselves to deny the rebels their victory. Then when (insert giant volcano) erupted, the combined effect sent the GCI futilely scrambling to halt or even reverse their project.
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Build a Cyberpunk Setting

Another idea
The ice age is a result of global warming. One or all of the temperature regulating ocean currents went out of whack. Now the arctic is a lot colder but somewhere else is a lot warmer as a result. Maybe a melting Antarctic (ice age and ocean levels rising), Amazonian desert, middle east monsoons or a burnt to a crisp Austrailia.

As for other ideas
The technology of the world is on the cusp of creating some post scarcity developments. Corporations of course dont want this to happen.

The formation of the NAU involved a long and drawn out "shadow war", now there are many enhanced veterans from all the sides involved, many of whom are still carrying an axe to grind.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:52 PM   #10
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How about combine them?

The UN's Global Climate Initiative was going strong, and the world looked like it was entering a new phase of peace and hope. Then (insert mid-tier nuclear power) fell into civil war. Nobody now knows whether the insurgents seized the nukes for a suicide attack, or if the government forces initiated the detonations themselves to deny the rebels their victory. Then when (insert giant volcano) erupted, the combined effect sent the GCI futilely scrambling to halt or even reverse their project.
How about: someone tried to vent Yellowstone to avoid a catastrophic eruption. Half right was not good enough.
You could also use the same event to rid the world of coastal California...
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