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Old 02-09-2021, 06:21 AM   #21
arcanus
 
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Default Re: (IW) Cyberpunk Worlds

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Originally Posted by awesomenessofme1 View Post
There's really no feasible way that a late 2020s society that's had parachronics and high-tech worlds to ape for over 30 years is still TL8, even late TL8.
I agree with this, as per Worlds of Horror, cannon is now 2035, Homelines TL will be divergent with Computing, Materials, energy (and by default transport), entertainment and healthcare TL 9 due to consumer demand and commercial appetite there's just to much money and publicity to to be made by not advancing TL in these areas.

Other areas such as widespread weaponry could well be TL8 or TL8+1 as incumbant technologies and players hold the markets and consumers are happy to purchase small improvement to current.

Fear and deterrant is also a big incentive to improve TL, Homeline governments and maybe even citizens are aware of enviromental hellworlds, plus Nations are aware of advanced tech threats from Reich 5 and Centrum.

Defences will be an area where TL would be focused on and improve, space may not be very interesting for Homeline (high investment for things we can acquire from empty Earths) but deterrants against Lucifer type impacts are worth consideration.

HL might be super AI adverse afterall they've seen ROS, Ogre and Transhuman so the threat of AI Gods is a worry and probably one of the biggest headaches in terms of who might R&D crosstime capability - AI have got to high on the sleepness night list.

Developing Internet resilience and counteractions would be an area of focus and TL push, so cyberworlds could be of interest most cyberpunk net progress is more human development than AI and its also got huge entertainment benefits.

Its okay off-worlding your unclean industry and energy facilities but not everything can be transported by conveyer cheaply or efficiently (electricity being a prime choice) so advancing TL in clean energy would be a big focus.

The other thing to note is Homeline is rich, it has numerous worlds where it can acquire vast amounts of mineral and material resources.
Despite Infinities own immesne wealth, First and even developing world nation states wealth from taxation and reserves would be very strong, actually too strong in that to an extent they couldn't use of all their Off-world resources and maintain a viable economy which means that funding and reverse engineering R&D could be extremely well funded - essentially nations would look to uttilise their vast reserves without crashing the economy but they'd need to keep the wheels of progress moving to keep society and economies progressing, no nation would want to fall behind the curve.

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
With what connections? You need connections with the local underground to find runners, and an Infinity agent is going to smell like a cop from a mile away to runners (and you should have a massive familiarity penalty to Streetwise because you are not familiar with the local culture or the local criminal scene). At best, the runners will avoid you. At worst, they will kill you and sell your nice health organs to organleggers.
I think this is more of a timing element, so this isn't a quick payback scenario - once discovered Infinity has to keep an eye on the Worldline, so it can do so through remote means or personnel.

The cyberworld TL could be TL9+1 in programming and bio/cybertech which is of interest, if HL has progressed to TL 9 in these areas then its a single TL leap if theses areas are TL10 and if their developers are more human than machine of interest.

It would be a case of establishing cover IDs, uttilising undercover Scouts or Patrol who lean more to criminal than cop, ingratiating themselves with Nomad groups, money laundering outworld gold into cyberworld currency, developing the rep and then starting the runs.

If you think about it Merlin had the same challenge with infiltrating Georgia Bush into Homeline without her being able to use magic on HL (that we know of) and managed it undetected.
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Old 02-09-2021, 10:40 AM   #22
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Default Re: (IW) Cyberpunk Worlds

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With what connections? You need connections with the local underground to find runners, and an Infinity agent is going to smell like a cop from a mile away to runners (and you should have a massive familiarity penalty to Streetwise because you are not familiar with the local culture or the local criminal scene). At best, the runners will avoid you. At worst, they will kill you and sell your nice health organs to organleggers.
In a cyberpunk setting cops aren't going to be going to be going after the corporate espionage community and corporate security is only going to be going after specific runners who they identified as having breaches. It's the reason a runner community even exists. And it's not like they aren't going to get the lay of the land before launching operations.
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Old 02-09-2021, 12:08 PM   #23
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The problem is remaining undetected while getting the lay of the land. In many cyberpunk settings, normal people broadcast their identity all of the time in 'green' zones, so police and security know that they are where they belong, and anyone who steps into a 'green' zone without such identifications is in for a world of hurt. In 'red' zones, people do not broadcast their identity because many of them do not have an identity, but anyone who does not obviously belong is in for a world of hurt when the gangs or mobs pile up on them.

Now, this is where organized crime has it better. They really do not care how many peons get piled on in the 'red' zones, as long as someone eventually comes back with the lay of the land. Eventually, someone will survive long enough to make a worthwhile connection that is willing to do business with outsiders, whether it is a gang, mob, runners, etc. Infinity cannot afford to lose a few hundred agents while criminal organizations can afford to lose a few hundred peons.

Criminal organizations would also be willing to blatantly invade a 'red' zone after they realize that the local authorities do not care. After all, most people do not care who they are paying protection to as long as they are not being harassed. Homeline criminal organizations might actually provide better services, as they would want to avoid drawing attention to themselves. After all, why would police care if the number of complaints in a 'red' zone go down, especially if the new people in charge are even more generous with their bribes?

The trade in meat for drugs and tech would be an interesting thing to explore in an Infinite Crime campaign. For example, a triangle trade could evolve where meat is traded for drugs in a Cyberpunk world, drugs are traded for gold in a second timeline, and gold is traded for meat in a third timeline. Since everything shipped is technically legal at its destination, it could take a lot of time for Infinity to realize that someone is happening.
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Old 02-09-2021, 12:16 PM   #24
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Default Re: (IW) Cyberpunk Worlds

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The problem is remaining undetected while getting the lay of the land. In many cyberpunk settings, normal people broadcast their identity all of the time in 'green' zones, so police and security know that they are where they belong, and anyone who steps into a 'green' zone without such identifications is in for a world of hurt. In 'red' zones, people do not broadcast their identity because many of them do not have an identity, but anyone who does not obviously belong is in for a world of hurt when the gangs or mobs pile up on them..
<snort> When the protection guys come around you pay them. It's that simple. Cyberpunk slums are not close knit communities on the alert for outsiders, and Infinity agents aren't hapless unarmed victims. The streets aren't going to mob you just because you're a foreigner. The streets are filled with foreigners.

Last edited by David Johnston2; 02-09-2021 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 02-09-2021, 12:34 PM   #25
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Default Re: (IW) Cyberpunk Worlds

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Now, one interesting possibility would be a criminal organization from Homeline infiltrating a cyberpunk timeline. They probably have plenty of members that they are willing to sacrifice in order to gain the connections and the familiarity with the local street scene. With access to money from the meat trade (most inhabitants in cyberpunk settings are forced to eat meat substitutes, so criminal organizations could make a killing smuggling hamburger from other timelines), they could purchase TL10 gear and TL10 drugs.

In that scenario, the first signs of anything weird happening would be the price of meat going up in TL7 timelines, followed by the appearance of strange new drugs on their streets. Eventually, Infinity agents would stumble upon criminals who are sporting TL10 cyberwear and using TL10 weapons. At that point, it is a race against time as Infinity agents try to shut down the criminal organization before it becomes too powerful and/or accidentally gives the mega corporations in the cyberpunk timeline the Secret.
I hadn’t considered the organised crime angle, but it’s an excellent point - love the meat/real food angle anything not mass produced soy would be a commodity.

As you say Infinity’s involvement comes once they’ve discovered the activities and hopefully before it’s too late on a multitude of scores.

Of course depending how dark or shades of grey Infinity is within your campaign, what they do with the Cyberworld red zone network if they take it down is another matter - do they shut the Worldline down and slap on a Z Rating or exploit a questionable but not illegal market place in return for TL10 technology.

Last edited by arcanus; 02-09-2021 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 02-09-2021, 04:19 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Staged to look like the act of some local competitor that absolutely deserves getting one back in return, of course.
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Militech.

Or perhaps the Chinese government, if we're officially not giving a shot about collateral damage.
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Old 02-09-2021, 05:28 PM   #27
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I hadn’t considered the organised crime angle, but it’s an excellent point - love the meat/real food angle anything not mass produced soy would be a commodity.

As you say Infinity’s involvement comes once they’ve discovered the activities and hopefully before it’s too late on a multitude of scores.

Of course depending how dark or shades of grey Infinity is within your campaign, what they do with the Cyberworld red zone network if they take it down is another matter - do they shut the Worldline down and slap on a Z Rating or exploit a questionable but not illegal market place in return for TL10 technology.
The advantage of organized crime is that it appeals to certain types of players (basically, the majority of people who want to play in the cyberpunk setting). You might want to take a look at the Cthulupunk setting, by the way, as it is an interesting take on the cyberpunk genre. It would also have Infinity firmly slap a Z rank on the timeline when they understand that there are Ancient Ones operating there, especially if a few of their agents get eaten by creatures of the Mythos. After all, no one would want Deep Ones getting hold of a conveyor and start colonizing other timelines.
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:26 AM   #28
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Default Re: (IW) Cyberpunk Worlds

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
The problem is remaining undetected while getting the lay of the land. In many cyberpunk settings, normal people broadcast their identity all of the time in 'green' zones, so police and security know that they are where they belong, and anyone who steps into a 'green' zone without such identifications is in for a world of hurt. In 'red' zones, people do not broadcast their identity because many of them do not have an identity, but anyone who does not obviously belong is in for a world of hurt when the gangs or mobs pile up on them.

The simplest trick I can think of is to send in an agent who lives as a homeless individual for six months to a year. He doesn't go digging into private affairs, he doesn't do any traditional recon, he just lives as a mumbling idiot on the streets, watching the way people live, how people get into trouble, and what they say about the world. Any weirdness he displays is likely to be written off as mental illness. At the end of that time period, he returns, gets debriefed, and they figure out what dangers are running around in that particular world, and what an agent needs to remain "normal".



Most cyberpunk settings emphasize that people get lost and not cared about, rather than tracking their every move... though some more modern dystopian works do lean in that direction.
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:44 AM   #29
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Default Re: (IW) Cyberpunk Worlds

That would probably be a mission for a ISWAT team. They go in as a group of homeless people in a 'red' zone, make friends, take lovers, and integrate into the community as they 'improve' themselves. It will be a drop off and pick up, probably using an aquatic conveyor, as other types of conveyors may be too static/obvious.

Of course, the ISWAT team could tell Infinity to slap a Z label on the timeline at pickup, which is probably the most logical choice (especially if there are supernatural elements like with the Cthulupunk or Shadowrun settings). They could still pick up a buttload of technical manuals and entertainment files even if they classify the timeline as a Z, as anything that they bring back would likely have some value. However, especially in a supernatural cyberpunk setting, something might have noticed them and follow them back home.

Imagine a scenario where a Deep One Hybrid knocks up an ISWAT agent who, not realizing the horror she is carrying, decides to not terminate her pregnancy. Now, you have a child that may eventually become a Deep One living in Homeline, potentially acting as a parachronic beacon. If nothing else, if it is born a hybrid, it can breed with humans and have other Deep One Hybrid children, allowing for a gradual hybridization of Homeline humanity. Of course, it may have already happened a few times, and Infinity may not even be aware of the issue.
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Old 02-10-2021, 02:11 PM   #30
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The simplest trick I can think of is to send in an agent who lives as a homeless individual for six months to a year. He doesn't go digging into private affairs, he doesn't do any traditional recon, he just lives as a mumbling idiot on the streets, watching the way people live, how people get into trouble, and what they say about the world. Any weirdness he displays is likely to be written off as mental illness. At the end of that time period, he returns, gets debriefed, and they figure out what dangers are running around in that particular world, and what an agent needs to remain "normal".
I see some weaknesses in your plan, first homeline is incredible rich, with a very high living standard, it takes a very determinated agent to endure the hardships of this kind of live. In our real world several times US agencys complained that they couldn´t find people to infiltrate organizations in the third world because no one wanted to live like this.
A homeless is often even more endangered than normal people and more often mugged, robbed and so on.
Homeless know each other, infiltrating them needs at least a culture familarity and some background knowledge or somone gives the gangs / cops a hint.
Same goes for living costs either begging or "found" money is dangerous the first asks for social interaction, the second raises questions, beggars aren´t blind.
The idea of living a longer time unobstusive is a good one, what about renting just a small flat in a uncontroled zone, pay your protection money to the gangs and watch TV/ internet for some time, the normal living activities will give you a good insight in the other people around you.

Last edited by Willy; 02-10-2021 at 02:12 PM. Reason: spelling error
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