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Archive for the ‘cyberpunk’ Category

If the RIAA kicked our doors in right now…

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…and rounded us all up, what would we call ourselves?

asks Chris Minotaur. A really great article on what happend to cyberpunk – i.e. is it dead allready? And yes, I choose “I want my brain haxxorred right now!”

Actually the article is so good that Bruce Sterling (Islands in the Net, Schismatrix) blogged about it. I guess you better start reading. The text is not only really clever, but also a fantastic read.

Written by cyberpunk2020

May 6th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Copy Protection in Cyberpunk 2020

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by Amy Luther

“Anti-IC and Anti-Personnel programs cannot be Backup-copied; they have special copy-protection routines that erase the chip in the copy process. This makes sure you come back to your friendly local fixer for a new copy of Hellhound when yours crashes. You can make a copy using your Programming Skill against a Task Difficulty of 28.”
(from the Cyberpunk 2020 Rulebook)

In our games, we assume that the copy-protection routine referred to in the CP2020 rulebook prevents copies from being made. When you roll versus a difficulty 28 to make a copy, you are effectively cracking this section of the program. From then on, the program is cracked, and you may make a copy of it.

Copying Made Easy

Ditto

(Anti-IC, STR 6, MU 4, GM’s decision as to cost and availability)

Ditto deactivates the copy protection routine of a target Anti-IC or Anti-Personnel program. It is run against the target program and an opposed roll is made: Ditto’s STR + 1d10 versus the target program’s STR + 1d10. If Ditto wins, the string which prevents copying in the target program is stripped, and it may be copied freely with the COPY function on the Menu. This may affect its stability; on a 1 or 2 on a d6 roll, the target fries itself, and no copy can be made. The copies which result are cracked copies and are somewhat corrupted. Whenever run, they will crash and de-rez on a roll of 1 or 2 on a d6. ICON – If run in the net, Ditto breaks up the IC into a million glowing bits, then reforms it. If the program crashes, the bits simply spin away into the net without reforming.

Other Avenues

Programs bought from legitimate sources (i.e., not your local fixer) may come with codes, allowing the corporate buyer to make backup copies, or even fully-enabled copies which can be run anywhere. This option would naturally be very expensive and might explain why Anti-Personnel programs cost so much.

Other options are a licensing/registration process, in which a purchaser (probably a corporation) pays a fee upon purchasing the program which guarantees a set number of copies of a given program from the manufacturer. This fee could be renewed annually, or simply paid whenever one of the corp’s copies gets zapped by an intruding netrunner.

This opens up another avenue for netrunning. Runners could raid programming houses for anti-personnel codes for sale or distribution, or could steal the corporate’s license, then get free copies from the house while the corporation foots the bill.

We’re also working on black IC companies… after all, somebody’s got to have a license to program and sell this stuff, right?

Written by cyberpunk2020

May 5th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Cyberpunk Art 7: Death from above

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Keith Thompson: Helicopter
(click for larger image)

Picture taken from Keith Thompsons (Link) wonderful art page. It has 2 40mm and one 60mm gun.

Written by cyberpunk2020

April 29th, 2008 at 8:08 am

Guns'n Jolie

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Cynx hat dieses fantastische Bild, das fast aus dem Militech Chicks Who Love Guns Calendar zu scheinen stammt:

Angelina Jolie with Gun

Written by cyberpunk2020

April 28th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Cyb3rpunk | Style Trends 2035+

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streetstyle.jpg

Hello and welcome to this month’s edition of streetstyle – the attitude guide that yo can’t afford to miss. We here at global style watch the trends. And ask the street: What’s hot? What’s not?

Digittoos – Artificial-looking body alterations are out. Leave those to the sad sods who still rant on about the glorious days when they were “Cyberpunks” in the 2020ies. Today’s look is all about self-evolution. About making a statement of progress right in Darwin’s wrinkled face. At first, I was a little surprised when I discovered that even “old” technologies like Philips’ Electronic Tattoos are now all the rage in the clubs. But like it is often the case with “revamped” tech, it’s not the tech that counts, it’s the style. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by rabenaas

April 28th, 2008 at 2:36 am

Eine Cyberpunk Timeline

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Dies ist die Timeline meiner “alten” Cyberpunk-Runde (2032). Wie diese weitergeführt bzw. zu meinem jetzigen Cyb3rpunk-Spiel 2035+ “revamped” wird, bin ich noch am überlegen. Bis diese Überlegungen fertig sind, ist hier schonmal eine sehr umfassende Timeline verfügbar, mit der die meisten CP2020-SLs very happy sein müssten :)

Bis 2020 entspricht die Timeline fast 100% dem “Kanon” von CP2020, spätestens ab dort fließen aber sowohl Elemente von CP2020, den Stormfront-Büchern, dem Spiel CyberGeneration und den in meinem CP2020-Spiel der letzten 10 Jahre angehäuften Entwicklungen zusammen (u.a. auch die “Klon-Story”, die wir durch Spielen des “Road Movie Abenteuers” Land of the Free in unser Spiel holten).

WikiFax

E i n f a c h m e h r w i s s e n

| || | ||| || | | | ||| | | powered by INFOCOMP

DRUCKAUSGABE ||| [ Geschichte, Welt FOC Night City, Start 1990, Ende 2032 ]

Die wichtigsten Ereignisse der letzten 40 Jahre

1990

  • Deutsche Wiedervereinigung.
  • Ostblock zerfällt in Einzelstaaten.
  • Gorbatschov benennt Nachfolger Gorborev.
  • Beginn Erster Zentralamerikanischer Konflikt.
  • “Stiller Krieg” (Handelskrieg) zwischen den USA und der EU (bis 1994).
  • “Zerfall von Südafrika” (Bürgerkrieg).
  • NC: Gründung durch Richard Night unter dem Namen Coronado City.

1991

Written by rabenaas

April 27th, 2008 at 3:51 am

Cyberpunk today: Netrunners

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Netrunning is allready a business. Big business. Reuters reports that in a trial Christopher Tarnovsky, a hacker, received quite a few handfulls of dollar to hack a rival satellite tv system. The victim claims that the software was to be used to diminish the gain of the victim by selling or distributing a pirated copy of the smartcard. The attacker, News Corp, claims it was only “reverse-engineering” to “look how it works”.

News Corp is a massive corp, owning tv stations like FOX, newspapers, movie studios and book publishers.

I used exactly this setup in a game back in the ’90s. Now I’m feeling both prophetic and old.

But reality -unlike our game- doesn’t stop where it gets ridiculous (taken from the same article):

Tarnovsky said[:] “Someone is trying to set me up.”

DISH attorney Chad Hagan asked, “This is all a big conspiracy?”

“Yes,” Tarnovsky answered. He conceded that he constructed a device called “the stinger” that could communicate with any smart card in the world.

Written by cyberpunk2020

April 25th, 2008 at 11:09 am

Nachtsicht-Drohne

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Ja, ja, es gibt schon im hier und jetzt fernlenkbare Drohnen. Alter Hut, Cyberpunk NOW usw. Aber: Wusstet ihr schon, dass es auch schon fernlenkbare Drohnen mit Nachtsichtgerät für schmales Geld und jeden gibt?

spycar_1.jpg
Die Drohne kostet unter 140,- Euro und ist hier erhältlich. Sie liefert Nachtsicht-IR-Bilder, die auf dem mitgelieferten LCD-Headset wiedergegeben werden. Im gleichen Shop sind übrigens auch supergünstig Bewegungsmelder, ein LCD-Headset Paar mit Tastatur-Armband zum cyberpunkigen Übermitteln von Textnachrichten und anderer interessanten “Cyberpunk NOW” Kram erhältlich.

Written by rabenaas

April 20th, 2008 at 8:17 am

The evil guys – how to paint them black in a greyscale world

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Villians are difficult do create and play for an Cyberpunk 2020 GM. In D&D, a evil aura is all you need for the groups paladin to cry “I shall smite this evil” and a fight will occur. Which will be Level-appropriate. And be won by the group after having expended the precalculated amount of spells, magic item charges and hitpoints. Boring.

So how do you give your PCs a villian they will remember? When I was young, you could identify them rather easily. They wore a tie. This is no longer an option – I have to wear a tie at work myself. But then, I’m probably a villian, too. Only less well payed. And no, we don’t get any cool guns or explosives. Not even super-powers.

Where was I? Ah, right. Yax, over at dungeonmastering.com, wrote an D&D related article on how to greate a love-to-hate villain. Some stuff (also taken from the comments) might be useful for cyberpunk, too. In the comments I found

Make the villain an ally, until story arcs climax, then betrayal then return in reacuring arcs. Annoying, frustrating, and appealing. Plus, get one of the players intimatly connected, like a relative, or childhood friend or lover. thats a hard thing to kill.

Okay, that’s basic for us. What else is there? Lot of stuff that might be innovative for D&D, but not new for cyberpunk. A selection of the best ideas:

The love-to-hate-them villains should:

  1. Speak slowly. Very slowly. Or have any other annoying vocal habit.
  2. Be good. That villain is lawful and good, but stupid or manipulated so that he doesn’t realize he’s causing harm. It’s hard to deal with someone who well-meaning, but they’re still annoying.
  3. Have the villain send a thug to beat the tar out of one of the PCs – not permanently damage them but beat them into unconsciousness (if they can). Of course the villain has an alibi but everyone KNOWS it was his/her order.
  4. Have the villain steal a prized magic item from one of the PCs and then wear/use it publicly, much to the adoration and amusement of the commonors in town.

I would love to collect your tips on how to create the most memorable and well-hated villians for cyberpunk 2020 in the comments. Yes, comments in german are willkommen.

Written by cyberpunk2020

April 19th, 2008 at 8:46 am

Stranger Than Fiction

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Blade Runner Umbrella

Remember the kewl “glowing” umbrellas in Blade Runner? As I already wrote here in my blog, these are available NOW! from a company called Euroschirm.

Unfortunately, the umbrella isn’t shown or listed on their website, but as my readers began to suggest that this ad may be a fake I hunted down another address where YES you CAN order it directly, thanks to the guys at ThinkGeek.com. Here’s the link, and it costs 25$.

Meanwhile, I have found even weirder futuristic umbrella concepts – stuff that the makers of Blade Runner could never even have imagined …

(There’s also a variant to this theme: The Starlight Umbrella uses optic fibres to simulate a glimmering starfield above your head – with changing lights!)

RFID umbrella

Take the RFID umbrella, for instance. What’s that? Basically, it’s a “free to use” umbrella you can just take away and use in case you need it. The RFID chip will monitor your movement (and make sure you don’t steal the umbrella). The Corp that came up with this idea is named “Dutch Umbrella”, and apparently it was a barkeeper who had the original idea. The tech is there and the umbrella seems to be in use already. Click here for a German article from the Stern magazine.

Satellite Link Umbrella

But wait! There’s more! Americans AND Japanese engineers both had the idea to connect an umbrella with a weather forecasting service. While the American umbrella will display weather warnings and such by use of a small LED display, the Japanese umbrella uses the umbrella surface itself as a large projection surface, transforming the umbrella’s underside into a large computer monitor you can also use as a GPS screen or for video conference or whatever.

The main advantage of the US version is that it can already be ordered at – guess where – ThinkGeek.com. Here’s the direct link.

Here’s the website of the JAPANESE umbrella, and here is an (older) video of the umbrella’s 3rd gen prototype test:

[youtube mpHJBWUcpXM]

In case the video won’t play, try this link.

Written by rabenaas

April 18th, 2008 at 12:21 pm