Source Code

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Source Code
« on: July 06, 2010, 11:20:18 AM »
I boldly pronounced a while back at Story Games my intention to Hack ApW to:
Quote
... a Cyber/noir/punk setting. Think Ghost in the Shell meets Bladerunner while doing lines of Richard Morgan spiced by some District 13 parkour (or maybe I should say some Dead Weight Parkour.)

Some other projects have gotten in the way, but now my sourcefile is growing exponentially, and it is time to make this official. I am doing it. It is official, and I am now committed.

And I am integrating this with my Moby Dick idea: Source Code (the original idea so boldly stated at the Forge many, many years ago under a different title). So this will eventually be a stand alone game. But I'll develop it like a hack, being the sneaky little idea thief I am.

I'll share more as I concretesize the ideas I have.

Pax.

K

Re: Source Code
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 05:33:34 PM »
Here is my braindump on the stats. May or will change naturally.

Edge Chipped skills just can’t compete with the true edge, sie tagged and took out the security detail without breaking hir stride. Just like that.
When you live on the edge, the City needs to be cut. Hard. Your operator’s Edge gives you how hard, violent, aggressive, strong-willed, mean, cold or simply tough sie is.

Style Zeiss optics, AR augmented hair implants, and a sleeve built for speed. Sie would kill any room she walk into.
Style over substance is the key. In a world where beauty is of the rack, it’s how you wear it that counts. Your operator’s Style tells you how hot, sexy, provocative, subtle, beautiful, inspiring, exciting or radiant sie is.

Attitude I don’t care if sie bought the smile of the rack, sie wore it like a gun. And sie would cut you deeper than any monoedge ever would. Just for fun.
Attitude is everything. In the concrete jungle every predator may be prey. Your operator’s Attitude tells you how unfazed, cool under fire, rational, calm, calculating, rational or ice cold sie is.

WareSie’d take a cameradrone, pack it with semtex6 and orbit it around the block. Anyone triggering the perimeter would get a fast forwarded package of death up their rear. She’d then sell the footage.
The street finds its own uses for things someone said. Tech is omnipresent, your body simply another piece of kit. Your operator’s Ware is tells you how quick, adaptable, innovative, strong, enduring or clever sie is at using this.

GhostSie would weave through the City like a hot virus through a firewall, untraceable and lovely. Bending the floating world to hir will. Making the alternate reality real.
Everything is interconnected. Our souls digitzed, reduced to ones and zeroes. Ghost opens you to the AR, the floating world. Your operator’s Ghost savvy, skilled, trained, perceptive, innovative, clever or simply fluent sie is in the AR of the floating world.

Re: Source Code
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2010, 05:47:48 PM »
The Floating World.

The omnipresent netsphere that lies there as alayer over the Interface. The Augmented Reality of the City. This will have two functions.

The first is a bit like the psychic maelstrom. With two actions controlled by Ghost, Ghost Trawl (ask the maelstrom) and Ghost Hack (manipulate the interface (the world) through the floating world). And everyone has constant access to the net through their IBrain (think Ghost in the Shell combined with the Altered Carbon of Richard Morgan fame.).

So the Ghost Trawl move is
10+ - ask one question
7-9 - ask one question, but get fucked with
1-6 - get fucked

Getting fucked in the floating world will have its own MC moves (called Controller). These will be situation dependendt (like all Controller moves) but I am going to build oracle like lists for this.

Re: Source Code
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2010, 06:58:25 PM »
oooh.. I really like where this is going :)

Re: Source Code
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2010, 08:24:39 PM »
//initate another braindump
I love the way the playbooks take you by the front of your shirt and trust you through character generation. This isn't really obvious until you play the game. But it is there and it works like hell. So I got this idea.

It starts, for the moment, with the ideas for some templates. This will be important later. They are:
o   Warewolves – augmented soldiers and veterans.
o   Ghostwalkers – manipulators of the Floating World.
o   Hard Cases – street operators and muscle.
o   Runners/Transporters – movers of information and hardware.
o   Negotiators – settles scores, one way or the other.
o   Players – true manipulators of people and the hidden market.

Right now these are more placeholders for my concepts. I really want to take that shirtgrabby bit from the playbooks and add a bit of lifepath (think old CP 2013/2020) touch to it, with choices made opening some doors and closing others.
This will however take a hell of lot of work, so right now I think I need to focus on the player moves.
Or that old question What do the Characters do? bit.
//End braindump

Re: Source Code
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2010, 08:41:21 PM »
I love those stats so much.

Re: Source Code
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2010, 07:52:16 AM »
Interesting question - what to the players/characters do?

The characters are thieves - fancy cybered up and experienced, but at heart, thieves. I always compare shadowrun/Cyberpunh2020 with movies like Heat, Ronin, The Italian job, Ocean's 11: basically hiest movies.

As a player, I always found the game divided into a couple of parts
- gathering infomation: talking to the juy giving the job, gathering intel through channels, etc.
- Making a plan: almost part of the above section - working out how the skills of the people you have can be used to break the known defenses of the target, as well as planning for when the shit hits the fan.
- doing it: Putting the plan into play :) This is when things go wrong and you have to adjust on the fly :)

Re: Source Code
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2010, 05:44:39 PM »
I am not so sure about that thieves thing. If that isn't more of a hangover from Cyberpunk and Shadowrun. I am looking more to refocus the threats and impulses. Defining the conflict areas (scarcity).

The better experinces I had with said games came from the times we managed to break out of that mold and into a mode of play more similar to the kicker based play of Sorcerer.

And I am looking for the mode of play from the original ApW.

I am wringing my sleep deprived brain around this subject.

I have so far compiled a list (will share at a later stage) of elements that I want to focus on/include periphally (is that a word?). Building a stage (threats) around and from this will further define the universe.

From this I figure I'll end up with a more concise idea of what the operators do. And heck, the thieves bit might just be a part of that. Then there is the whole "people in motion" bit as found in Remember Tomorrow. Oh, and re-examine Tears in the Rain.

Damn it. Now I need to get that game. Poor little me, I have to read another good game and be inspered by it. Sigh, I hate game design.

Re: Source Code
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2010, 05:50:54 PM »
Yay, I think I finally cracked it.

More later, work now.

Re: Source Code
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2010, 09:51:43 PM »
Threats...

This is what I am thinking threatwise:

Controllers
the shadowy manipulaters and zaibatsu lords of the feudal Brave New Order.
Assets
corporate wetsquads, le flick, hitmen. You know, what the Haves can throw at you.
Security
Area denial, alarmsystems, surveillance. Problems assosiated with real estate in the postmodern world.
The City
The concret jungle and how it may fuck you.
The Floating World
The Augmented Reality has its own kind of mayhem just waiting for the careless Operative.

Will expand upon this. Soon.
My netaccess is limited for the moment.

Re: Source Code
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2010, 08:00:06 PM »
Woo! Glad to see this progressing.

Re: Source Code
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2010, 05:13:33 AM »
/// Begin Braindump...

I want a noirsh sense of desperation. So who the fuck are the characters? And how the hell do I build this desperation into them.

Well, here is the why we play:
  • Shit, the characters are fucking hot.
  • Though all independent operators they are even sexier together. Rivals, friends, lovers, allies.
  • The sea of humanity, the tide of augmented reality, where nothing is static, it is a feudal world thinly disguised as a democracy. But come on, it never was truly democratic, and now it certainly isn’t anymore. The Universal Wage for Votes changed all that. It is a perpetual machine to keep the haves in power. As an outsider, a have not by choice, it is your independence against slavery. Can you hold on to it? Are you cool enough, do you have the edge and the attitude to keep free?
  • Sure you are all SINless. But there is a lot of pressure on you. To keep free you got to keep ahead of the SOTA, keep the edge sharp, keep your past at bay and your future viable. You go obsolete and the tide of slavery will catch you. So you sell your special skills to keep ahead. But the haves want more, and they will use you, push your loyalties and your convictions. Who will prevail, who will sell out? When ultimately everything has a price, can you afford the luxury of trust?

The Operators are...
  • ... not a crew or a team. More a loose collection of allies. These are the people they go to for help.
  • ... also the go to people when people want something done under the radar.
  • ... without a commitment to any community like in ApW. There really isn’t anything tying them to the City, its wellbeing or the mind numbing crowds of drones.
  • ... living in the space between. Your community is those few around you. The army of one. Where nothing is static, everything is changing, they need to evolve. Adapt or die.


Which means that the Fronts and the Threats have to stem from the Operators themselves. Well the end of summer sees me spending more time nailing this down.

///End Braindump.

Re: Source Code
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2010, 05:34:19 AM »
The characters are built by Lifepath system.

The how is still under developing, but the quote that nailed this for me is from William Gibson:
Quote from: New Rose Hotel
“My own past had gone down years before, lost with all hands, no trace. I understood Fox’s late-night habit of emptying his wallet and shuffling through his identification. He’d lay the pieces out in different patterns, rearrange them, wait for a picture to form. I knew what he was looking for. You did the same with your childhoods.”

Re: Source Code
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2010, 04:23:38 PM »
Regarding PC connection to the city, it often seems in noir-ish stories that there's a sort of back-and-forth parasitic relationship going on. Like, if a PC manages to get away from the city, for good, it has the feel of an escape. So I think there are ties there, they're just not particularly healthy ones. Once a PC reaches, or is pushed to, some critical point they can reach escape velocity and get out. Or die trying.

Anyway,  a lot of those dynamics show up in various ways. Like, "I gotta make one more big score and I'm outta here", or "I'm in too deep and so-and-so will never let me leave", and maybe "I screwed up before, and staying here is the cross I'm going to make myself carry (at least until I redeem myself)". Not that the protagonists necessarily want to get out of the city, but it seems like there is always this sort of co-dependence going on.

Don't know if you care to account for that sort of thing, or plan on it happening organically during play, but I thought it worth mentioning.

edited to add: Maybe getting out of the City can be one of those Ungiven Future advances, equivalent to retirement.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 04:27:30 PM by C. Edwards »

Re: Source Code
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2010, 04:27:17 PM »
You're right. There is a connection there, and it will be important. But the ApW are intriscally connected to their community and my take, note, my take, is that a lot of the Fronts are threats to the community as an extension of the characters.

I don't see threats to the city as a valid driving force for the characters. This may change... :)