Wednesday, April 11, 2012

SanFranCyber 2065 - A Cyberpunk Setting

Photo by Trey Ratcliff

I was able to GM a version of my old Cyberpunk campaign from 1990, tonight.

I've rebooted the setting as SanFranCyber
I have been trying to do more GM'ing on the fly to improve my skills... I had a blast bringing this setting back into action :)

The year is 2065.
Over fifty years ago, in 2013, the U.S. economy took a drastic turn,; so much so that it was called "The Greatest Depression". Most people in America quickly became unemployed, as the currency of the United States became virtually worthless. In order to shore up the financial situation to avoid the total collapse of world trade and economies, which were still greatly tied to the dollar and U.S. consumption, the holders of most of the debt of the United States acted quickly.

Both Japan and China had the largest stake. They revitalized the economy, brought jobs back and saved the country from total poverty and chaos... but not without a price. U.S. corporations, industries and land were bought for very little capital. The entire San Francisco County became a protectorate of Japan, except Chinatown, which was given as a sovereign possession to China.

In the future, almost no one cares that the red, white and blue is overshadowed by the red flags of China and Japan. The United States is enjoying an all-time prosperity level. American ingenuity, coupled with those of China and Japan have made for great wealth and advanced technological strides.

In San Francisco, most things seem peaceful, but in the modern Cyberpunk world, things are not always as they seem. Japan and China have a secret war in that town and Netrunners are trying to cash in on it. A new Cold War has begun in the United States... one that does not even concern it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Problems of Planet Classification for Space Explorers

 There is a quandary in classifying planets that bridges the gap between science and science fiction... especially as it relates to roleplaying games.

First, there is no standard scientific planetary classification system in the real world.
Many systems have been developed or proposed by various space exploration and astronomical groups. For the gamer, these systems do not always work well, any way. Classifying a planet by mass alone leaves off many factors of planetary attributes. The Surdasky extrasolar planetary classification method is only for gas giants (the majority type of extra-solar planets discovered so far).

Secondly, some people like to use the Star Trek universe method of classification... you know the one where Earth-like planets are "Class-M" ones. The Traveller game world has its own system, too. This may work in some instances for Sci-Fi or gaming, but has little to do with the real world and it complex. There are even more complex Science Fiction planetary classification systems out there such as the type found here:

SO, we see there are some problems and none is completely satisfying in the real world or in gaming.

I recently saw an article that brings the general classification of planets down to those commonly encountered in the galaxy. I was wondering if it could be used in "looser" science fiction games, where the many distinct attributes of a planet do not need to be tracked.

What do you think?

Image and article found here: