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Topics - Anarchangel

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The Sprawl / No answer? Try the G+ Community!
« on: November 18, 2016, 08:16:19 AM »
Hi Sprawlers!

I do check this forum, but not as often as I used to. I've also noticed that notifications of new posts are patchy. If you want a quick reply, your best bet is to post on The Sprawl's G+ community:

This is the most active discussion area for the game. Your question will probably be answered within hours if not minutes, and often before I see it!

You can also poke me on Twitter: @thesprawl_rpg or @ardensludere


The Sprawl / The Sprawl now on DTRPG!
« on: February 24, 2016, 10:18:50 PM »
Glide through the most secure corporate computer networks. Crack the ICE that stands between you and that big score.

Drop your cyberlinked autoshotgun to the floor empty. Flick chrome blades from your fingers. Dive into the midst of that corporate response team to secure your team’s exit.

Turn up your synth-leather jacket against the rain. Watch the back-alley entrance of the club for your target. Tail the armoured limo through the neon-bathed streets.

Cut power to the alarms. Drop over the wall into the compound. Slip past the auto-sentries. Locate and secure the prototype. Escape under the eyes of the rotor-drones.

Whatever your story, you are the extended assets of vast multinational corporations, operating in the criminal underground, and performing the tasks that those multinationals can’t do... or can’t be seen to do. You are deniable, professional and disposable.

The Sprawl is a game of mission-based action in a gritty neon-and-chrome Cyberpunk future for an MC and 2-4 players.
  • Create your own Sprawl at the nexus of bleeding-edge technology and fragile humanity
  • Play hardbitten professionals caught between ruthless corporate interests
  • Win sometimes, lose sometimes and be double-crossed a lot
There are a thousand stories in The Sprawl. What's yours?

The Sprawl / Kickstarter is Live!
« on: September 03, 2014, 12:39:34 PM »
Hi all!

The Sprawl's Kickstarter went live this morning. Thanks for all your help getting the game to this point!

The Sprawl / Version 0.3: Basic Moves and Playbooks
« on: July 29, 2014, 08:16:37 PM »
Two new documents for playtesting and comments:
Basic Moves

I'll put the new Matrix chapter up as soon as it's done, which should be tomorrow.

The Sprawl / Playtest Credits
« on: July 29, 2014, 05:31:36 PM »
I know a lot of you have playtested The Sprawl and given me some great feedback. As I prepare the manuscript for editing and a Kickstarter, I'm looking to update the playtester credits in Appendix 2. If you and your group have playtested the game and wish to be credited, please email me, message me, or post here a list of players as they wish to be credited. Let me know where you played as well, so I can give your group an geographic designation (as per the examples in Appendix 2 of v0.2). Feel free to suggest such a designation as well!

The Sprawl / Working on Version 0.3
« on: June 24, 2014, 09:34:17 PM »
Hi guys,

I just made a new post on

The highlights are:
  • I've started working on the next version,
  • there's now a G+ community for The Sprawl, and
  • I've started planning the Kickstarter.

There will be more posts over the next couple of weeks as I think through and solicit opinions on various tricky rules points.

Thanks for all your feedback so far, and keep it coming!

The Sprawl / The Sprawl: Beta version
« on: August 11, 2013, 02:03:40 AM »
A sudden burst of inspiration and vooom.

The Sprawl / Actual Play Reports
« on: June 24, 2013, 05:12:27 PM »
I ran The Sprawl at the Nerd SoCal June Game Day? yesterday and one of the players wrote an actual play post.

The Sprawl / The Reporter
« on: June 01, 2013, 03:36:00 PM »
I posted the Reporter last night and revised it a little this morning.

The Sprawl / The Tech
« on: May 30, 2013, 02:37:24 AM »
I've added an equipment list for the Tech playbook and added a "mark experience" clause to On It:

I've also standardised the equipment lists.

Next up, to collate my impressions of Max Headroom and Transmetropolitan into the Reporter playbook.

The Sprawl / Synth, Magic and Essence: Hacking The Sprawl for Shadowrun.
« on: January 15, 2013, 04:11:08 PM »
I'm actually gearing up to use The Sprawl as a basis for a Shadowrun hack, and I'm trying to figure out how Essence and Magic would be affected by cyberware and the Synth stat.

The Sprawl did actually begin life as an AW hack of Shadowrun, until I realised that the bits I most wanted to emulate about Shadowrun were the non-magical cyberpunk elements. I did have a few thoughts though.

One important issue to consider is that Essence in SR (and Humanity in Cyberpunk) are essentially (hur-hur) game balance mechanics. As such, they're not needed in an AW hack, which is why The Sprawl doesn't replicate them in that way. What replaces them in The Sprawl is fiction-driving questions about cyberware in character generation and MC moves/principles/agenda.

It's implicit in the above statement that I'm not trying to make a point about humanity as essentially biological. The idea that we become less human as we accumulate prostheses is not what I'm going for in The Sprawl. The Sprawl is about the interaction of humanity and technology, and how that intersection changes both, rather than that kind of biological essentialism.

If you want to make such a point, or if you want to balance magic vs technology as a zero sum game then you'd want some kind of counter attribute to Synth.

I wouldn't bother with both Magic and Essence. I would probably just call it essence and then model the various fictional elements that raised or lowered Magic in SR as basic magic or playbook moves (depending on how you want to model magic in general). So there might be an Initiate advanced playbook or move tree or the like to model different fictional situations.

Essence and Synth might either always sum to 1, or perhaps the combined totals could never exceed 1. So if one is +2 the other is -1, if one is +1, the other is zero.

At the moment, there's no mechanical link between your Synth rating and the amount of cyberware you have. I would suggest something like this: Essence starts at +2 and is decreased by the addition of cyberware. One implant, Essence goes to +1 (as currently written, everyone has one piece of cyberware, so everyone would start with +1 at most); two implants, Essence is 0 (this would apply to anyone who takes the Chromed move); three implants, Essence -1 (At the moment, Killers with both cyberware moves). Beyond that, it would depend on how much cyberware you wanted to see in the game. Does it just bottom out, or is there a mechanical trigger for Cyberpsychosis? (I forget what the zero Essence state was called in SR).

I would then have Essence be the stat that powers the various magic moves, and maybe add in a basic move that drives at the heart of that zero sum game. Something like that advanced Monsterhearts move that lets you actually make a real human connection (I don't have my copy of MH to hand, sorry).

The main question you need to ask yourself is "what do I want Essence to do in the game". In an SR emulation, the answer could be as simple as "allow Magic as a counterpoint to technology by requiring a deliberate choice between the two", but the answer to that question will guide the way you consider this problem.

The Sprawl / The Sprawl: XP
« on: November 28, 2012, 08:08:08 PM »
My playtests at Big Bad Con crystalised my dissatisfaction with the current stat highlighting XP system that I'm using in The Sprawl.

I'm planning to go the TSOY route and use some variation of keys. At the moment I'm thinking each character will have a key and the mission will have a key. This will also provide more structural guidance for the kinds of things that happen in different kinds of mission. My intention is that they should be relatively modular or modifiable so that if the MC devises a mission that comprises, say Wetwork, Extraction, and Sabotage, then different parts of different keys might apply at different times.

More to come as time allows.

Monsterhearts / Infernal Darkest Self
« on: September 14, 2012, 01:20:54 AM »
Is the intention here that the Infernal gives his dark power strings until he reaches 5, enters Darkest Self, then can't give any more strings until he's worked them all off again, so it's a constant oscillation between 0 -> 5 -> 0 _> 5 etc?

Or is the Infernal in his Darkest Self whenever the dark power has a string on him?

Or something else I'm not thinking of?

The Sprawl / Gateway 2012 Playtest
« on: September 10, 2012, 01:55:35 AM »
I ran The Sprawl at Gateway in LA over the weekend. I've quoted my comments on the game below, and the relevant day of my con report is here. It contains a fairly detailed example of character creation. If you follow the "The Sprawl" tag on the linked post, you'll find other con reports, usually with brief descriptions of characters, corporations, and links.

Quote from: Gateway 2012 Con Report
There were four players and we created the following list of corporations:

    Virtual Interface (Data storage and cyber security)
    Aeon Nova (Translation Software)
    IrisTech (Optical technology and consumer electronics)
    RadCom (Hazardous waste disposal)
    Vaser (Manufactured goods)

The characters were:

    Mé Moi (Gina), an articifically sweet looking Killer with a metallic cyberarm. Her father was a corporate exec for Virtual Interface; after he was killed, she was raised by the corporation (owned x2).
    Taylor (Jim), a Hunter with an tacky augmented reality visor implant (cheap cyberware); disowned from a wealthy family.
    Spectre (Mook), a small Infiltrator, utilitarian and nondescript down to the cybereyes. Indentured to IrisTech.
    Shard (Nicco), a burned-out ex-simsense star gone open-source Pusher. Hunted by the holder of all the copyrights on his 24/7 life experiences, IrisTech.

Unsurprisingly, IrisTech and Virtual Interface featured heavily in the Links phase:

    When Shard still worked for IrisTech he filmed an exposé against RadCom (Taylor found where the malpractice was occuring; RadCom clock at 1800).
    Mé Moi assassinated an IrisTech exec who had come into possession of VI proprietary data, and recovered the data (Spectre was the exec's bodyguard; IrisTech clock at 1800).
    Spectre was sent by IrisTech to steal the data back! (Shard distracted the IrisTech security; Mé Moi was investigating the security breach; Virtual Interface clock at 2100).
    Taylor investigated a Vaser VP's personal life (Mé Moi was having an affair with the VP; Vaser clock at 1800).

None of the clocks were very high, so there was no pressing need to alter the mission accordingly. Character generation had taken 1:15.

I've run this mission (The Essilor Sterilisation) a couple of times before and it has played out quite differently each time. On this occasion, the team spent about an hour in the Legwork phase investigating the site and gathering resources. It seemed to take a while for them to make a plan (possibly because the Infiltrator was hacking the facility's system, but not very well!), and they eventually settled on a frontal assault with an EMP blast to knock out the extensive camera system. A couple of key misses (and hard moves) resulted in a well advanced Legwork clock (2200), so the target knew they were coming.

Security was quick to respond to the breach and a bloody firefight erupted inside the building as the team met the internal security forces, and outside, as the external security forces arrived in force and outmatched Shard's enthusiastic gang of open-source simsense fans and activists. Shard himself took several bullets, going down. In the final assault, Taylor put a bullet through the head of the the guy they were supposed to extract. On the brink of failure (Mission clock at 2300), the team evacuated the bodies of Shard and the target; the former was rushed to a hospital by his fans, but too late; the latter was rushed to the meet with their employer. They handed over the body and received their payment, but as they looked, somewhat unbelievingly, at the briefcase full of money, they were bathed in the light of a dozen or so halogen spotlights. The credits roll to the sound of safeties clicking off; Taylor had missed the Getting Paid move. (The whole mission played out in about 2 hours - I rushed the end a little as I incorrectly thought we were running out of time.)

It was the first time I'd seen a non-Hacker use the Matrix rules, and it was good to see that it worked, but was suitably difficult. It was also the first time I've seen the team miss the Getting Paid move; previously the clocks haven't been nearly so advanced at the end.

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