The members of Blue Rose Import/Export were enjoying a meal in the back room of The Osaka Shuffle when a smartly dressed woman approached them. She apologized for interrupting, sat down and explained with great hesitation she needed their help to locate her missing daughter.
“It’s been a week, no one’s heard from her. None of her friends. Not her Boss or her apartment manager. The police let me file a Missing Persons report but they won’t do anything because she’s an adult. They say she probably ran off with some new boyfriend and will turn up later. But that’s not like her. She wasn’t dating anyone and she doesn’t just leave like that. I just know something’s wrong. Will you help me? I can pay you.”
A 1,500 Yuan advance is a great incentive. Add expenses plus another 1,500 when they find her.
So yeah, you took the job.
The evening unfolded as the team split up – one half to her place of employment, the other to the club she frequented. (Gentleman Loser) Leads in both locations point to her apartment building in District 6. It seemed like straightforward easy money job, a “Where’s Waldo” or in this case “Where’s Sun Dai Yu?”
Until they picked up a tail.
I won’t bore you with details, but the evening’s session ended in a messy, back alley brawl as the tail turned out to be a private investigator contracted by the Asian-Pacific military to track down AWOL combat simulacra. He flashed his credentials and a general purpose warrant that would allow him to run ID tests on Derek’s character, C33r. (that’s ‘Seer” to you)
The members of Blue Rose were disinclined to acquiesce to his request.
Part 1 ended with C33r shooting one very nosy drone out of the air and Other Pat’s character, Marlow, using his shot-fist on the investigator’s head. Shot-Fist: 1 Head: 0
The team left District 6 in a hurry with Dai Yu’s laptop. (stolen from her apartment, btw)
More RPG game prep last Tuesday evening. We finished up Character Creation then read through a bit of game setting fluff on New Hong Kong in 2069. After, we ran through another simple scenario to hammer out the combat mechanics. (It’s taking me a bit to wrap my head around the granularity and pace of a RPG game)
The fight took place at the Docks in Lower New Kong with the Ebony Hand crew fending off the Trade and Transit Security forces for four turns. The TTS outnumbered the EH slightly, plus they were kitted out with Kevlar. While vicious as wharf rats, the gangers’ main advantage was their hacker, who could splice into the docks loading array and shift Conex containers to block or funnel the security into EH lanes of fire.
Here are some pictures.
Long story short, the Ebony Hand made quick work of the Dock rent-a-cops, blasting away and using the Conex containers to shove them aside or even squish them on a couple occasions. (Shaken cops who couldn’t crawl away fast enough were turned into tarmac pizza. Eeeew.)
Easy win for the chrome and mirror shade punks.
First RPG session is in two weeks. For now, here’s the New Hong Kong fluff and a short list of cyberpunk slang to get you in the mood.
Til then, have a large one, omae.
NEW HONG KONG IN 2069
Considered Asia’s premier ‘International City’ and the financial capital of the Eastern Hemisphere, New Hong Kong was originally conceived in 2027 as a large-scale urban expansion to the original city. However, explosive population growth and increasing market dominance from the development of advancing technologies ensured the new metropolitan area received formal recognition as a separate municipality in 2041.
With an estimated population of 8.3 million between the Upper and Lower sector in a total area of just over 900 square miles, New Hong Kong (or ‘NK’ as it is known) is literally a ‘City of the Future.’
The Ground Sector, or Lower City, is constructed on existing landmass south of old Hong Kong with parts extending over the South China Sea. The Sky Sector, or Upper City, is built on a massive platform called the ‘Terrace’ which rests 7,000 feet (2 kilometers) above sea level. The Terrace is supported by twelve gigantic pillars called spindles, each one covering twelve city blocks. Internationally, New Hong Kong’s dual sectors are designated LNK and UNK for Lower and Upper New Kong.
UNK is home to the world’s largest and most prestigious corporate, commercial, and financial entities. With available space at a premium, residence on the Terrace is restricted and possible only to the world’s most famous, well-connected, and affluent individuals.
LNK is divided into twelve numbered districts, designated by the Terrace Spindle inside its zone. While the Lower City contains numerous upscale residential areas and exclusive corporate arcologies, it is primarily home to a vast multitude of laborers, merchants, wage-slaves, and workers who either make the daily commute as service personnel in the Terrace, or are employed in one of the hundreds of factories and dock-related industries on the ground level. Because large portions of the Lower City are in shadow most of the day, LNK is nicknamed ‘Dark Town’ and it lives up to this moniker in more ways than one.
Aside from the usual range of carnal entertainment and distraction like casinos, bars, pharma-dens, brothels of every type, and simsense arcades, Dark Town also specializes in illicit Gray and Black Market cyberware, biotech, robotics, and nanotech. Traditional Triad families keep a tight rein on all criminal and semi-legal activity, although recently both the Japanese Yakuza and Russian Bratva have been stepping up their attempts to gain control of the docks and airports.
The team operates a legitimate cover business registered as ‘Blue Rose Import Export.’ They maintain a nice but standard virtual office staffed with a commercial level business A.I. and they lease a mid-sized warehouse near the LNK North Docks. They also have a safe house in District 5 behind the Hong Ying Rice and Noodle Shop on Shenghua Street. This safe house is reasonably secure and is equipped with additional gear, medical supplies, weapons and ammunition. The Blue Rose is fronted by Matt’s character, a Human 2.0. It falls then that this small trade and transport company operating in LNK would employ a Repair Android, a Cybernetics Technician, and a Security/Bodyguard.
The crew has a solid working relationship with the local Triad boss, having done a number of security, delivery, and exchange jobs for them over the past two years. The team, while new, is considered reliable and enjoys a reputation for quick, clean work and while having scruples, doesn’t hesitate to get stuck in if necessary.
CYBERPUNK SLANG (Mostly Shadowrun ‘verse)
Angel: usually an (unknown) benefactor
Buzz: go away
Chipped: Senses, skills, reflexes, muscles, and so on, enhanced by cyberware.
Chummer: Pal, Buddy
Cleaner: assassin (or team) used to eliminate all traces of a mission, including the participants.
Comm: any device that allows direct communication
Corp: anything related to corporations
Dataslave: Corporate decker or other data processing employee.
Datasteal: Theft of data from a computer, usually by decking.
Deck: Cyberdeck or its use.
Decker: Cyberdeck user.
Deckhead: Simsense abuser; anyone with a datajack or chipjack.
Dumped: Involuntarily ejected from the Matrix.
Dumpshock: Nausea and disorientation from being dumped out of a simsense interface (usually the Matrix or a remote control rig)
Exec: Corporate executive.
Frag: Common swear word; Someones (desired) death in a disrespectfully rejoicing context.
Geek: To kill. (outdated)
Go-go-go: A bike gang or gang member.
Heatwave: Police crackdown.
Hose: Screw up.
Ice: Security software. “Intrusion Countermeasures,” or IC.
Jack In: enter cyberspace
Jack out: to leave cyberspace.
Jander: to walk in an arrogant yet casual manner
Kobun: Member of a Yakuza clan.
Mr. Johnson: an anonymous employer or corporate agent.
Nutrisoy: Cheaply processed food product, derived from soybeans
Nuyen: World standard of currency.
Oyabun: Head of a Yakuza clan.
Panzer: Any ground-effect combat vehicle.
Paydata: A datafile worth brouzouf on the black market.
Plex: A metropolitan complex, or “metroplex”.
Poli: A policlub or policlub member.
Razorguy: Heavily cybered samurai or other muscle.
Samurai: Mercenary or muscle for hire. Implies honor code.
Sarariman: From “salaryman.” A corporate employee.
Screamer: Credstick or other ID that triggers computer alarms if used.
Seoul Man: A member of a Seoulpa ring.
Seoulpa ring: A small criminal gang with connections to others like it.
Shaikujin: “Honest citizen.” A corporate employee.
Simsense: ASIST sensory broadcast or recording.
SINless: Lacking a System Identification Number.
Slot: Mild curse word.
Slot and Run: Hurry up. Get to the point.
So ka: I understand. I get it.
Soykaf: Ersatz coffee substitute made from soybeans.
Sprawl: a metroplex
Squatter: to fraternize below one’s social level.
Suit: A “straight citizen.”
System Identification Number (SIN): Identification number assigned to each person in the society.
T-bird: Low-altitude vehicle (LAV), usually vectored thrust.
Trid, Trideo: Holographic animated media; Three-dimensional successor to video.
Vatjob: A person with extensive cyberware replacement, reference is to a portion of the process during which the patient must be submerged in nutrient fluid.
Wetwork: Assassination. Murder.
Wired: Equipped with cyberware, especially increased reflexes.
Yak: Yakuza. Either a clan member or a clan itself.
Gave the Savage Worlds combat system a quick test drive last week. Broke out a couple of my scratch-built interior boards and had a salvage crew escort a technician through an abandoned research facility. Lights were out but of course the automated defenses were still online.
Here are some quick shots
There were five crew members in all: Boss, Second, a Tech with Repair bots, a Medic, and a Gunner. The scrawny young-Einstein hung back out of the line of fire and allowed the crew to tackle the drones.
Not a lot of photo ops from our recent DnD sessions, altho we last left our heroes carrying an injured old man with dementia to safety while his family farm burned in the distance. (the goblin bard swears he had NOTHING to do with that. He only set the pig pen ablaze.)
That was after the invisible, tentacled were-cow thing in the attic and the zombie-mom in the bedroom, so yeah… We’re going to bring him to the town for safety before we head back up and sift the smoldering ruins of his once-prosperous homestead for the entrance to an underground lair wherein we’ll most likely find the cause of the mysterious goings-on.
In the meantime, Other-Pat blew us off last night – some lame excuse about ‘celebrating his anniversary’ – so the Dusk Wardens sallied forth to recover treasure from an old border tower.
Opposing them stood the twisted conjurer Sothek Fael, a pair of gibbering familiars, a Plague Knight, and a Dark Elf Assassin. Fael had also employed dark majiks to turn the nearby waystones into necromantic portals that spawned 4 ghouls each.
The battle was straightforward with no real surprises. (everyone had had a long day at work) Still employing Multi Hit Points for Named Characters, the Dusk Wardens soaked up some serious damage to prevail against the fell hand of the evil mage and his minions. I think HP should max at three, otherwise the players wade in with no real regard for damage. Three allows them to be brave and game cinematic-style but makes damage a serious threat, and health potions and healing much more important.
The night ended with the Dusk Hunter at the doors of the tower, the Dusk Quarreler trotting right behind him while the rest of the Dusk Watch bandaged up their wounds.
All in all, it was a solid if undramatic game.
In other hobby news, we’ll be moving into some Savage Worlds Cyberpunk once this current DnD adventure ends. Derek is working his way through the Pathfinder edition of Interface Zero 2.0 as well. And then there’s Gloomhaven 2nd Ed. According to the Kickstarter updates, the box is on the way/getting prepped for shipment. So it looks like we’ll be brightening our dreary winter nights with plenty of RPG games.
Oh and here’s an new Reaper Wizard. Sorry I didn’t catch the subtlety in the shades of gray on him. A simple PJ but I’m pleased with him. He’s pictured here with another recent addition.
(BTW: the Reaper figs listed below are still available. $125 takes the lot. USPS Priority Shipping included in the ConUS. Let me know if you or anyone you know is interested. These need a good home.)
Our 5E DnD adventure began last Tuesday night with four intrepid comrades heading off to investigate the death of a mysterious stranger.
We have an Arab-flavored Paladin undergoing a crisis of faith, a Goblin Bard with a hording problem, an Fighter/Archer with a grudge, and a Halfling Rogue with a conscience. The evening’s shenanigans ended with the Rogue at the top of a dry well in need of a healing potion, the Bard at the bottom of said dry well, gnawing on a ham and ignoring the Rogue, while the Paladin and the Archer just loudly announced their presence inside the spooky farm house. Tune in next week…
Meanwhile, here is the Seer’s Hut for the upcoming SOBH mini campaign, The Fall of House Navratola. Scratch built from insulation foam scraps, foam core, coffee stirrers, and cardboard. Ranger shown for scale.
I’m having fun gaming and making terrain. All things considered, that’s pretty good.
Our gaming group is arranging mini-campaigns for our Fall game night schedule. John is currently hammering out the details on one, possibly two Dungeon Crawl RPG sessions. Derek is perusing the Pathfinder version of Interface Zero for some cyberpunk adventures, and Matt ordered the Blood Rage 5th player expansion so newcomer Anti-Patrick can join in the frenzy for glory as the worlds crumble and burn. (We all decided Blood Rage will be our go-to pick up game on those nights when no one has had time to prep.)
For my part, I’m currently writing up a three-game ASoBH campaign titled “Fall of House Navratola”, where a secret brotherhood of ‘Dusk Watchers’ – men and women sworn to hunt down the evil that preys on humankind – investigates arcane and bloody rumors in a remote province of Trastaya.
To that end, the Dusk Watcher party recently received some reinforcements. The Dusk Warden and Dusk Hunter are joined by a Dusk Medicae and a Dusk Quarreler. A Dusk Skean is in the queue.
While the Dusk Watchers are formidable, here are some of the ruinous powers that will oppose them:
Lastly, speaking of cyberpunk not only have I been leafing through the gorgeous Eclipse Phase rule book during lunch, I wanted to make sure I had suitable figs for whatever Derek cooked up. So here are a couple potentials I fished out of my c-punk storage case.
My workshop’s main table is filled with a commission for a large-ish memorial window at the moment, but outlining the third and final House Navratola game last night, I see a terrain project in my future. More on that as it happens.