A lifeless light surrounds us each night. Never could I imagine that something so luminous could feel so dark. It's this glow that reminds us of the dreamless existence we've been sentenced to. Now this city is full of dry eyes caught in a trance of obedience, devoid of any trace of an identity. Such a curious sight, to see bright eyes strangled by the darkness.

luminous beings are we, not this crude matter

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сyberpunk 3049

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1

LIFE IN A CYBERPUNK WORLD

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[indent]The perfect description of cyberpunk is "high tech, low life". Cyberpunk is very much about the atmosphere as well as the cool body enhancements. It's about the grim, sprawling city streets, the humming neon lights, the steam billowing from manholes, the shifty stranger lighting up on the street corner. It's about mega corporations, shady deals, private police and general discontent. Cyberpunk breeds a certain kind of character – the anti-hero, which players will become. They are never rich, not in the beginning anyway. Characters are generally quite poor, living in squalid apartments laced with grime. They probably don't have a full time job, so must do whay they can to stay alive. Mechanics may fix vehicles for some pay while Cyber Ninjas may be hired as security detail at a local nightclub. This section gives you information on what you can expect in a USR Cyberpunk game.

MEGACORPS

[indent]There is little semblance of national government in USR Cyberpunk. There is still a seat of government but it has very little power anymore, with any bills it passes having to be passed by huge corporations called MegaCorps to make final decisions. MegaCorps are huge multinational private companies that have inherited the powers traditionally held by the government. MegaCorps are in charge of healthcare, police, military, urban regeneration, housing and social policy. The people are top of these corporations, even the smaller ones, are the richest people alive, many of them living indefinitely due to extreme life-prolonging enhancements. MegaCorps are amoral in nature, doing whatever they need to turn a profit. They will hire hitmen to take out high ranking executives from opposing companies, pay hackers to steal their opponents ideas, put out drug-laced products to placate the people on the streets. Some, like weapons manufacturer Armatech, will train terrorist cells in order to sell more weapons to security forces, controlling both supply and demand.
[indent]MegaCorps are the biggest employers of freelance workers, so they players will usually find themselves working for a MegaCorp in some way, whether it's to hack, murder, plant evidence, spy or anything else they may need doing.

STREET LIFES

[indent]Life is hard on the streets. The lower classes live near the street floor while the richer city inhabitants host parties in their 200th floor penthouses. It's not uncommon to walk one block and rub shoulders with vagrants, drug pushers, prostitutes and gangers. Street life is deadly, especially at night. Neon lights up the streets and huge video billboards advertise the latest energy drink, usually at high volume. Strange smells waft from food vendors selling genetically modified meat and synthetic drinks – organic produce no longer exists as farms have been replaced with factories. Humanity has been replaced with indifference.

HOUSING

[indent]80% of people living in the city live in apartment blocks that stretch miles into the sky. Characters will begin in squalor – a dirty, cramped apartment with space for a small bed, a kitchen unit, a bathroom cubicle and a TV on the wall. Even though this is the lowest of the low, technology has become so commonplace that even the tech in these little apartments would seem impressive to us. Lights are voice-activated and the TV is holographic and the temperature can be changed with a wave of the hand.
[indent]Once they start to earn more money character will likely be able to afford bigger and better apartments with retina-scanning security, immersive holo-simulations and clean water. Perhaps even one day they will host their own penthouse soiree for the city's elite – but that's a long way off.

THE BLACK SURGEGY

[indent]Implants are all the rage in the city, mostly due to boredom. Most people have to visit the Black Surgery in order to have an implant of any kind. This is a small hidden-away room where a surgeon of sorts fits clients will all kinds of implants. It's not the most hygienic way to do things but it gets the job done. Characters will use Black Surgeries for their own implants, as only the wealthiest can afford to go to a real surgeon.

STREET GANGS

[indent]The city is teeming with gangs, each of whom own their own territories and defend them with great hostility. Occasionally territory wars will break out with innocents caught in the firing line. Shopping malls wll be shot up, bombs will go off in plazas and hundreds of people will be slaughtered. Each gang has a feared leader who decides on their next course of action. Characters may get involved in a gang at some point – usually for a bad reason.

DRUGS

[indent]Drugs are a popular culture in USR Cyberpunk. Most aren't outlawed because drugs turn a tidy profit for MegaCorps. Drug pushers on the street deal only with illegal substances, ones that are usually stronger but from a more questionable source. Chemists are able to create their own drugs to use or sell on the street, however it should be noted that the penalty for possessing illegal drugs in the city is usually death.

2

CHARACTER ARCHETYPES

[indent]Listed below are a number of character archetypes, pre-made templates on which to base a character.

[indent]— The Face:
[indent]The Face is the charmer of the group. If you need to schmooze a local gangster or flirt with a barmaid to reveal information, then The Face is the person you need. The Face is incredibly well-connected, knowing people in high and low places, whilst also preferring cyberwear like face alternation and the language translator.
[indent]— The Hacker:
[indent]The Hacker is indispensable for a group looking to gain access to information they're not meant to see. Hackers kit themselves out with the best decks and operating systems to crack security, steal information and slip away unnoticed.
[indent]— The Cyber Ninja:
[indent]On the mean streets it pays to know how to handle yourself in a fight, but the Cyber Ninja takes this to a whole new level. Fast, agile and deadly, the Cyber Ninja is a fearsome warrior who uses blades or guns along with cybernetic limb implants to enhance their strength and physical prowess.
[indent]— The Mechanic:
[indent]The Mechanic is an expert at building and repairing technology, whether it's a piece of cyberwear or a vehicle. Mechanics also make handy drivers, perfect if you need a quick getaway.
[indent]— The Gunner:
[indent]The Gunner is a person with great firearms expertise, probably from years of serving in the private militia. Rifles, explosives, knives – Gunners know their way around all sorts of weapons and benefit from eye implants that aid targeting.
[indent]— The Chemist:
[indent]Drugs are a large part of life in a cyberpunk world. Many have been made legal, such a Buzz, Scratch and Whizzer, but others with terrifying side-effects have been outlawed. Chemists are experts in drugs of all kinds, from medicine to narcotics, with the ability to make all sorts of concoctions and identify them.

SPECIALISMS

[indent]This section lists examples of Specialisms you can use in the game.

[indent]— Charismatic:
[indent]You are charming and able to manipulate others to your will, whether that's to persuade them to sell you a weapon for a lower price, or to get a mercenary to join your cause.
[indent]— Chemist :
[indent]You are able to create all sorts of potions and mixtures, whether it's a recreational or a chemical to poison a corrupt CEO without leaving a trace.
[indent]— Create Software:
[indent]You are adept at coding software and programs, both to benefit your hardware and to compromise your enemies. Software can range from anything from an automatic data compiler to a malicious virus.
[indent]— Disguise:
[indent]You are able to effectively look like someone other than yourself – a great trick to move around without getting noticed or simply trying to infiltrate an enemy.
[indent]— Driver:
[indent]You're a gearhead – you love to drive. Whether it's a car, a truck or a motorcycle, you can put the pedal to the metal and still retain great precision control over the vehicle.
[indent]— Electronics:
[indent]You're a wizard with circuitry – you can find the cause of breakdowns in electronic equipment and repair them as well as wiring up your own systems.
[indent]— First Aid:
[indent]You are able to patch you wounds and take care of infections. While you're unlikely to be able to perform surgery, first aiders are vital when the bullets start flying.
[indent]— Hacker:
[indent]You can into the OverNet to steal information or leave viruses on enemy networks. Hackers are immensely important, being able to crack into systems and limit the trace they leave.
[indent]— Heightened Agility:
[indent]You are trained athlete, agile and nimble, able to leap higher than most and dodge blows just at the right time.
[indent]— Intimidating:
[indent]You strike fear into the hearts of your enemies merely with your demeanour. You can extract information with just a look and often have no problem in getting what you want.
[indent]— Mechanic:
[indent]You feel at home in a oily garage tinkering with mechanical equipment such as cars and drones. You are an expert in fixing vehicles and weapons.
[indent]— Search OverNet:
[indent]You can find almost anything on the OverNet without the need to hack. You know the exact keywords and phrases to input to find what you're looking for.
[indent]— Sprinter:
[indent]You are fast. Very fast. Before your enemy knows it you're right next to them, taking them out.
[indent]— Stealth:
[indent]You can sneak quietly, using the shadows you your advantage. You know the best ways to remain unseen even in broad daylight.
[indent]— Weapon Proficiency:
[indent]You are adept with the use of a weapon type, which gives you a bonus when using it in combat. You can select from the following types:
[indent]1. Blades
[indent]2. Pistols
[indent]3. Shotguns
[indent]4. Rifles
[indent]5. Assault Rifles
[indent]6. Explosives

3

CYBERWEAR

[indent]This section lists the cyberwear you are able to attach to your character, either by implants of additional gear. Note that some implants can decrease your Humanity score by multiple points, depending on how elaborate they are.

OVERNET DECKS

[indent]Decks grant access to the OverNet, an all encompassing web of data much like our own Internet. In order to access a deck, you must either jack in with a cable or using a wireless key. Decks are pocket-sized cases, around 5" that often go around the neck. There is no keyboard or screen, as all information appears in the user's head and is mind-controlled.
5Tech Deck: The cheapest and most popular deck. The 5Tech cannot be modified for wireless access and must be jacked in via a cable.
Vantage Deck: A mid-range deck with advanced software built in.
FizerCorp Superior Deck: A top-end deck with built-in wireless and cable jack. High rating and advanced software makes this the preferred choice for hackers.

SENSORY ENHANCEMENTS

[indent]This section contains enhancements to both audio and visual without the requirement for implants.

EYE ENHANCEMENTS
[indent]Eye enhancements can be worn in several different ways:
[indent]— Googles
[indent]— Glasses
[indent]— Contact Lenses
[indent]Scope Vision: Can see up to 100ft more than normal vision.
[indent]Thermographic Enhancer: Can see heat signatures as red, orange, yellow and white. Effective for seeing in the dark or spotting invisible enemies.
[indent]Nightvision Enhancer: Allows the user to see in complete darkness.

AUDIO ENHANCEMENTS

[indent]Audio enhancements can be worn in the following ways:

[indent]— Headphones
[indent]— Earpiece
[indent]Enhanced Hearing: You can hear more detailed noise from your surroundings and hone in on specific sounds.
[indent]Language Translator: Translates thousands of different languages into your language.

SENSORY IMPLANTS

[indent]This section lists the implants that you can purchase for your senses.

EYE IMPLANTS

[indent]Camera Eye: Can record video or take snapshots and be uploaded to your Deck.
[indent]Gun Link Eye: Can be liked to a gun to be able to view the world from the point of view of the muzzle.
[indent]Nightvision Eye: Implant version of Nightvision Enhancer.
[indent]Scope Eye: Implant version of the Scope vision.
[indent]Thermographic Eye: Implant version of Thermographic Enhancer.
[indent]Targeting Eye: Brings up a green targeting reticule, allowing for more precise aiming.
[indent]Vision Magnifier Eye: Can zoom up to 10x to magnify the object the user is looking at.

AUDIO IMPLANTS

[indent]Enhanced Hearing Ear: The implant version of Enhanced Hearing.
[indent]Inner Ear Balance: Helps balance out the inner ear, allowing the body to more easily walk on narrow beams or find its footing after falling or jumping.
[indent]Language Translator Ear: The implant version of the Language Translator.
[indent]Sound Recorder: The implant records audio within hearing distance. Can be augmented with Enhanced Hearing Ear.

BODY IMPLANTS

[indent]This section covers bodyware – any implants or enhancements to the body, from Derm Armour to Skin Pockets.

[indent]Bone Enhancement: The skeleton is reinforced with a light metallic alloy which makes it more difficult for the bones to break. The body also becomes heavier as a result.
[indent]Cyber Arm: Replaces an arm with a mechanical one that's stronger and less fragile.
[indent]Cyber Leg: Replaces a leg with a stronger mechanical one.
[indent]Cyber Torso: A shell that is wired directly into your body, rather than a full replacement.
[indent]Deck Fusion: Your reck is implanted to the base of your spine, allowing you to access it just by thinking. Software can still be upgraded once it has been fused.
[indent]Derm Armour: This is a hard sheet that is places under the skin on the torso and arms.
[indent]Enhanced Reflexes: This is triggered by a series of neural boosters placed around the nervous system and may be switched on or off.
[indent]Facial Alteration: Your face is changed to look like anyone you like.
[indent]Forearm Blades: Metallic scythes are embedded into your forearms and can spring forth at will.
[indent]Neural Boost: A microchip is built into your brain to enhance cognitive functions.
[indent]Oxygen Tank Implant: Implanted in the lungs, the oxygen tank allows you to breathe clean air rather than the stale smog of the city.
[indent]Skin Pocket: Allows storage of any small items.

4

HACKING & CREATING SOFTWARE

[indent]Hacking is a huge part of cyberpunk gaming so it's only natural that USR Cyberpunk lays out rules on how to do it. When a character hacks, they are usually trying to do one of three things:
Read/steal information from System
Plant information or a virus on a System
Change information on a System
[indent]The OverNet is the all-encompassing network that USR Cyberpunk uses. Think of the Internet now and multiply it by ten. OverNet is accessed using decks, both wireless and "jacked", the latter where you must physically connect the deck to your brain. It is assumed that every character has a brain connection for the jack. Decks are categorised by their model types and operating systems. For the casual user, the standard 5Tech Deck running a Lambda A7 OS does the job but isn't the best set-up for a would-be hacker.
[indent]When hacking, players will use their Deck's rating along with the hacking rating from the operating system the deck is running. They will add these two numbers along with any Hacking specialisms to get their total hacking bonus.
[indent]It is said that a player is hacking a System. Everything attached to the OverNet has a System, from decks to cameras. When hacking, a player must either jack their deck into the system or access the System wirelessly if both the deck and the System have wireless connections (this must also be within 20ft of the System).
[indent]Each System has its own security rating which represents how difficult it is to hack into it. When a hacker wants to hack into a System they must roll against this security rating with their Wits die, adding their operating system's Hacking rating, any Hacking specialism and their deck's rating. The result must be equal to or higher than the System's security rating.

[indent]Players are able to create their own software to aid them in their adventures, whether it's a new operating system or a virtual reality simulation module. Creating a new software requires money and a series of attribute tests, as well as some time. While a player cannot upgrade a store-bought operating system, they can upgrade their home-made software. If they want to upgrade either the hacking or security rating they simply need to fulfil the requirements of the desired specification. Once they have successfully done that, their bespoke operating system will have been upgraded.
[indent]Players are able to come up with all sorts of different software, whether it's to run on their decks or to install in more specific Systems like an android, drone or even kitchen appliances (remember, almost every piece of tech is connected to the OverNet). There is no limit on what kinds of software a player can create – it could be program to regulate temperature in their apartment, a GPS map program that appears over their eye implant, or even software to monitor video feeds from multiple sources.
[indent]To create new software the player must first have a bespoke operating system. Current operating systems on the market do not permit outside software to be added, so players must create their own.

VIRUSES

[indent]A virus is a piece of software that can quickly turn the tide of a hack. Once a virus is installed it can cause havoc with a System, wiping information, permanently overriding security codes and more. Viruses may only be used once and they are essentially spent, so they must be used wisely. Here's what a virus looks like.

DataDump Worm
Cost: 200 C$
Rating: 4
Ability: Eradicates all information within the System including its own coding (i.e. a security camera will no longer work, an android will shut down).

[indent]The example above is a particularly nasty worm virus that destroys all information in a System. Its rating counts as a bonus towards a hacker's hack roll against a System, but it can only be used once. If the hack is successfully then it activates its ability. If it is unsuccessfully then the virus does not work, so you need to be sure you're able to hack a System before using.

Few examples of viruses:

Opensezme
Cost: 200C$
Ability: Open a backdoor in the attacked System indefinitely allowing access to it by anyone for a determined amount of time up to a week.

DropFile Worm
Cost: 150C$
Ability: Copies every file from the System onto a deck.

Vid Monitor
Cost: 50C$
Ability: Records any images captured by the System over a 1 week period and automatically downloads to the deck.

Deztrukt
Cost: 300C$
Ability: Causes the System to self destruct.

Izitime/root
Cost: 250C$
Ability: Takes control of a System attached to an android or someone that has "gone chrome" (has 0 humanity). The hacker projects their consciousness into the System, allowing them to take simple actions such a speaking and walking. This lasts up to one day.

Garble
Cost: 35C$
Ability: Changes all language in the system to one of the hacker's choosing.

DRUGS

[indent]Drugs are a large part of cyberpunk culture, having the ability to not only alter the mind but also the body. Characters can use drugs to temporarily enhance things like reflexes, vision and cognitive abilities. Most drugs are legal, although the illegal ones carry the death penalty if anyone is found in possession of them.
[indent]The following is a list of drugs legally available on the street. Each has a cost, effect and overdose attribute. Overdose tells you the number of that drug you can take in a 25 hour period before overdosing. If a character overdoses by 1, they receive a -2 to any task they try to accomplish for the next 12 hours. For every 1 after that they receive another -1 for 12 hours. If they overdose by double the overdose number of the drug they take Hits and fall unconscious for 12 hours.
[indent]Drugs will have no effect on characters with 0 Humanity.
[indent]Each drug has its own Market Cost, which is the price the drug is on the market.
[indent]Creating a drug works just like creating a virus.

Types of Legal Drug

Buzz
Cost: $3 per use
Market Cost: 8 C$ per rating
Effect: Increases sensory awareness for 2 minutes, giving a bonus to any task involving hearing, seeing, smelling, touching and tasting.
Overdose: 2

Neuro
Cost: $5 per use
Market Cost: 10 C$ per rating
Effect: Increase mental abilities. Gain a bonus to any wisdom test.
Overdose: 2

Pump
Cost: $4 per use
Market Cost: 9 C$ per rating
Effect: Increases strength giving a bonus to any task that involves strength.
Overdose: 2

Scratch
Cost: $2 per use
Market Cost: 6 C$ per rating
Effect: Slows down time, giving a bonus to attack rolls for one round.
Overdose: 3

Whizzer
Cost: $4 per use
Market Cost: 9 C$ per rating
Effect: Increases the speed of the user. Get a bonus to any one test involving speed.
Overdose: 2

Types of Illegal Drug

Phaze
Cost: $15 per use
Effect: Allows the user to move through solid matter as though they were insubstantial for 30 seconds. Grants a bonus to defence rolls.
Side-Effect: Causes the user to vomit after 30 seconds.
Overdose: 1

Hottie
Cost: $20 per use
Effect: Lets the user shoot a fireball from her hands. Grants a bonus to attacks for 3 rounds.
Side-Effect: After 3 rounds the user becomes weak. All further tasks give a -2 penalty for the next 10 minutes.
Overdose: 1


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