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Old 04-11-2024, 04:08 PM   #2881
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This idea follows several of the tropes I use alot but I think it goes somewhere new.

Basically, the middle and late 21st century is an ongoing crisis. The 2035-2060 period is often called the Plague War (although the evidence for biowarfare is ambiguous, but definitely interesting). Climate change forced mass migrations in Eurasia and Africa. Smaller scale problems created vast horrors too. The Water Wars between Egypt and Ethiopia ultimately caused a famine of amazing brutality and duration in Egypt.

The USA, relatively isolated from most of the worst of the crisis was the only source of regular aid and relief. Less because other nations were unwilling than that they were unable.

The setting of this campaign is Egypt. This is a fairly dangerous cyberpunk/biopunk Egypt. The Arab countries have been in serious crisis since the 2030s and the present year is 2114.

The population of Egypt is lower now than it was in the 17th century AD. The Nile Delta, always the agricultural powerhouse of Egypt, is ruined. Between being cut off from fresh supplies of silt for a century and a half, because of the Aswan dam, the delta is seriously eroded. The eighteen inch rise in world sea levels, which would have been brutal under normal circumstances, and is greatly magnified by the erosion, has totally salinated the delta. Egypt is dependent on food hand-outs from nations they despise.

The PCs are working for cultural NGOs. They are here to rescue the surviving antiquities and monuments. They also hope to arrange lucrative deals for the local people to be paid to preserve their heritage sites and ancient treasures. However the PCs must navigate an unstable cyberpunk environment filled with smugglers, fanatics, violent radicals, local mafias, and new age mystics.

Sometimes the PCs will have to track down stolen art treasures, other times they'll need to broker a peace between different factions to prevent turf battles that could destroy ancient monuments.

So, save the relics of the past, and promote a hope for a decent future.
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Old 04-13-2024, 07:34 PM   #2882
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On a Clear Day...

Now, in 2024, brain/computer interfaces are good enough to allow a sense of touch through cybernetic limbs. This was even on 60 Minutes. This scenario proposes that connections between the human brain and computers and computer networks greatly improve in the next two decades.

In this 2045, a skilled Interfacer can surf the webs while talking or moving. They can access sensors and receive sensory impressions from them. Mindhacking is the stuff of Sci Fi and Horror films, but texting is no issue. It is somewhat over dramatic to call it machine telepathy. Skilled Interfacers can, like Zoe Harriet on the old Doctor Who show, have all the advantages of a computer without losing any capacity of the human mind.

Sadly, not everyone can develop skill as an Interfacer. Most can only Interface at IQ-6. Each level of Interface Talent removes minus two of the limit, or adds plus two.

Basically, skilled Interfacers are superhuman, in a limited way. Just imagine how their gifts alter society at large. More to the point, imagine how the gifts of an Interfacer effects detective work or espionage.
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Old 04-14-2024, 07:00 PM   #2883
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That sounds pretty cool. I'd mash it in with the other technothriller elements. Interfacers are just part of the scene with the solarpunk dronewar biohacking AI-driven near-future.
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Old 04-20-2024, 12:11 PM   #2884
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Beyond the Garden Gate

Childhood was a dream, literally, you were raised in a simulation. You were raised as faeries in a Garden and you probably miss your wings. You were raised in a strange mixture of epic fantasy and Victorian whimsy, the Alice books meet Tolkien but with the kind of dainty butterfly winged faeries Tolkien could never abide.

You are now awake as young adults in what you hope is the real world. At least you don't want anything worse. You have awakened on a generation starship seeking a new home for humanity.

Your community has discovered that the program you were to be raised in was erased and the strange faerie tale reality was the replacement. The ship's AIs somewhat limited the damage. Still a sophisticated understanding of Classical Greek and Latin literature, with Middle English poetry, Shakespeare's plays, the literatures of Ireland, Wales, Persia, the Arab lands, ancient Egypt, France, China, India, Japan, and the Ottoman State, isn't as useful as quantum computing.

Basically, the PCs are High Stat parahumans tasked with saving humanity and they were raised as faerie sprites in a Victorian country garden. At least they were all taught Mathematics(TL12) to IQ+3.

Now, go out and face the universe. Watch out for any other sabotage from the nut who scrambled the training simulation.
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Old 04-23-2024, 06:26 PM   #2885
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Fever Dreams

What are you going to do alone?

The Time Machine is the only hope left.

They erased all history between 2050AD and the foundation of the Overstate. How will you know what to do? You don't know what destroyed the old society or created the oligarchy that founded the Overstate.

I'll just have to transform the world to much for our world to exist or for them to murder you.


People have been having strange dreams and then strange things happen. Most poltergeist events tend to be emotionally distressed children acting out. However now there are a couple hundred poltergeist outbreaks throughout the USA and Canada.

The poltergeist events started in the city of Detroit and soon spread all around the Great Lakes region. The poltergeist outbreak seems to be preceeded by a fever outbreak that only effects prepubescent children. All of the homes were the poltergeist events are occurring had children who caught the fever and afterwards entered puberty. Not all children who caught the fever and have since entered puberty are the center of poltergeist events, but many of those that don't have poltergeist events have other strange things going on.

There is a thirteen year old boy in Toronto who seems to have become outrageously lucky. There is a fourteen year old girl in Chicago who can always guess which card is next. Some of the poltergeist kids can get their poltergeists to do them favors.

More later.
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Old 04-26-2024, 05:45 PM   #2886
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Fever Dreams

The children who display Psi powers are part of a Time Traveler's plot. He simply wants to derail history. He is still researching the available records to figure out what caused both the collapse of the old culture and the rise of the Overstate. The Time Traveler has found several names that are associated with the Overstate. He believes certain prominent families present in the contemporary world are the ancestors of the founders of the Overstate. The Time Traveler plans to exterminate these families. As these families are wealthy, politically connected, and socially prominent. The exterminations of such families will cause chaos.

Basically, this is an investigation centered campaign set in the late 2040s. It's assumed that the world is early TL9. Thus most places are late TL8 and cutting edge places are TL9. Think about the USA in 1890. Sure many places were TL6. But most of the countryside was TL5, and often mid TL5 rather than late TL5.

A small number of the transformed children are able to use their PSI powers. They might make good PCs It's up to you.
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Old 04-28-2024, 05:54 PM   #2887
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Spring Fever

Did you see the new Doctor Who episode last night?

I stopped watching thirty years ago when they started making the show in California.

But this was the new Doctor. They're making the show in the UK now.

When? Why?

Since last year silly. And also since the electricity is stable again.

Fusion power will lead to nothing good. Mark my words.

The 32nd Doctor is being filmed in Britain and retirement age is back down to seventy. That looks good to me.
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Old 04-28-2024, 06:09 PM   #2888
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Spring Fever

Did you see the new Doctor Who episode last night?

I stopped watching thirty years ago when they started making the show in California.

But this was the new Doctor. They're making the show in the UK now.

When? Why?

Since last year silly. And also since the electricity is stable again.

Fusion power will lead to nothing good. Mark my words.

The 32nd Doctor is being filmed in Britain and retirement age is back down to seventy. That looks good to me.
Phone issues.

The mid 21st century saw much of the world go through a long crisis. Some areas, especially North America, the Antepodes, Maritime Southeast Asia, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Argentina, most notably, avoided the worst of the crisis. One or two areas experienced a resurgence.

Europe, outside of France and Sweden, was especially brutally hit. Now, with a new suite of technologies coming mainly, but not exclusively, out of North America, society is spring back to life. New hope a vitality is flooding into European life.

But the long crisis empowered many radicals of both the right and left. The new prosperity and the many opportunities it brings threatens to make the whole political discourse of the last forty years irrelevant. Many people would fight that to the death.

Basically, it's a cyberpunk campaign set in a Europe that is moving OUT of a crisis. The corporations are still mainly evil (what else?) However the broader society is healing rather than falling apart. Nihilism just can't cut it. The war now is for a real future, because a future is realistically possible, and probably good.

Cyberpunk in a hopeful Britain. Weird enough for you?
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Old 04-28-2024, 10:58 PM   #2889
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Fracture Points

It was once thought that the Precursors were only legends; creator deities who traveled among the stars and bound them, who brought life only to perish in the end of the great golden age long before modern civilization. True, there were mysterious ruins, but until recently, there was nothing concrete besides a curious commonality of all the world's legends.

But under four thousand years of sediment in the To'challi desert, a clearly advanced object was uncovered. A machine - no, a computer with advanced storage media. The optical crystals were degraded, but intact enough to verify much that we thought to be myth. Now knowing what to look for, we found other crystals in museum vaults and religious reliquaries, one even cut into jewelry, all fragmentary, all found only under deep silt. But enough to cross-reference and uncover many long-lost secrets of the Precursors.

They had many wonders - many of them we still do not understand. But the most incredible and most promising of them all are their ancient gateways. Built using hyper-dimensional topological defects (sometimes simplified as 'fracture points,') these orbiting distortions sit acquiescent, nearly invisible, until activated by an energy pulse, then blossom into a vortex over a hundred meters wide; anything that enters emerges from a corresponding vortex orbiting some other world.

Probes have traversed these vortexes safely; so has simple life and experimental animals. Now, the first crewed vessels are preparing to journey to a new world. We go boldly, prepared to face the worst, yet joyful in pursuit of the unknown wonders yet to be uncovered.

The player's homeworld is not Earth. They are, however, humans, and their tech level is mostly 8, with TL 7 computing (on the assumption that OTL has anomalously advanced computing). That is merely how it starts, of course. As players find precursor crystal shards, more and more data emerges from cross-referenced bits, revealing technologies only dreamed about.

The civilization that preceded them spent 3200 years spreading outward at sublight speed, building gateways between adjacent 'interesting' planets, be they green and habitable, particularly weird and special, or in some cases just cosmic freaks; a few worlds are ordinary by the standards of real-life exoplanetology, but most are extremely Earth-like or weirder.

Interplanetary travel is brief; portals are situated around 40,000 KM above the surface of the major body, but can be closer or farther. As a result, from launch to any such spot can take only a day or two, even with TL7 rockets. The mechanism to open a portal requires a fairly powerful radio pulse, and actual travel is instant.

The na´vety of the player's homeworld should lead to conflicts with minor nearby powers but also to taking leaps and bounds ahead of where they can see. They will discover that the vanished precursors are they, themselves (or rather, they are the descendants of the tiny number of people who survived virtually all technology failing abruptly in the midst of some kind of other unknown calamity). They will encounter worlds occupied by relatively similar people, but often with dramatically modified genes. Or they will meet ancient survivors with strange and unnatural powers. With four thousand years to rebuild, many other worlds will have developed in strange ways and have strange alternative tech paths or politics -- any kind of star trek style scenario is possible; allies and enemies abound. They will uncover crystal shards which contain information that can help advance to TL 9 (at least in theory), while relic tech and exotic materials provide TL 10 and 11 options too - plus tools for more powerful spacecraft. And most importantly, they will find out what reduced an interstellar empire to scattered tribes bashing each other with rocks and sticks for four millennia.

One special feature is that the player's world is itself a character. Players are from a planet as diverse as any continent on Earth. Let them help create unique cultures and backgrounds - even conflicts. Early sessions might focus more on the space race than the threats in the cosmos. And later on, tricky planetary rivals are a hidden threat while you face external goes.

Play this as a fairly hard Sci Fi with only the one big lie (the jump points thing) set in the far future of Transhuman Space. Or play it as a pulpy-soft space opera with a merciless conqueror stopped by your Space Americans; it works either way.

Last edited by PTTG; 04-29-2024 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 04-29-2024, 09:22 AM   #2890
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Interplanetary travel is brief; portals are situated around 40,000 KM above the surface of the major body, but can be closer or farther. As a result, from launch to any such spot can take only a day or two, even with TL7 rockets. The mechanism to open a portal requires a fairly powerful radio pulse, and actual travel is instant.[/I]
Well, I mean you can probably get up there in less than a day provided you're willing to get into a low orbit before transferring to the point. The real problem is going to be building a rocket that:
1) Can land on an Earth-like body without infrastructure
2) Can take off from an Earth-like body without infrastructure
3A) Can carry enough fuel to take off from an Earth-like body without refuelling
3B) Can produce fuel locally to take off from an Earth-like body without refuelling

These requirements are pretty tricky for TL7 or 8. Your best options probably are:
1) A massive, difficult to land chemical rocket
2) A nuclear thermal rocket that hauls infrastructure to break water down into hydrogen gas
3) An ion drive type rocket that gets high into the sky using dynamic lift (i.e. a gasbag).
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