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Sex sells

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…even Cyberpunk blogs. I can hardly imagine any reason to post this teaser for the GI Joe movie I ripped of io9. Except she looks cool.

Scarlett G. I. Joe

About time for this blog to take the “Style over Substance” part of Cyberpunk seriously, anyway.

Written by cyberpunk2020

April 22nd, 2008 at 4:29 pm

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

DragonSkin Armor

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For your next discussion about modern armor rules in Cyberpunk 2020.

[youtube KS0pSwdQfbY]

Stats provided by Karsten:

Dragonskin Vest – SP: 30 EV: -1: treats AP (armor-piercing) rounds like normal Ammo – 1200 eb.

(based on Chrome 4 Armor Costs revised: Vest: 25 eb, very good quality (x2), AP-proof (x3), SP30 (x6), extra 300 eb for reducing the EV by one – not on the list). Do you agree?

Written by rabenaas

April 18th, 2008 at 8:15 am

Sinfest

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As I mentioned elsewhere, I am a huge fan of the daily Sinfest Webcomic. Every now and then, the comic touches a Cyberpunkish subject, giving me an excuse to show the respective strip here and to command you ALL to go forth to Sinfest.net and see for yourself what a great series this is.

2008-02-23.gif

Written by rabenaas

April 16th, 2008 at 8:14 am

Watch yourself bleed to death in slow motion

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We’ve said it many times, and chances are we will keep on telling you: Cyberpunk’s not dead, it’s just turned into our present. Almost every day, we find stuff that most Cyberpunk authors may have once described in their visions of our future. And in a lot of cases, this future turned out to be a lot weirder than any SF author could have guessed.

So here’s another fine selection of weird and often quite inventive Cyberpunk stuff, this time from the incredibly imaginative website thinkgeek.com

Personal Soundtrack T-Shirt

The definitive add-on for each and every poser gang member. Don’t be satisfied by just looking like Kirk or marching like Vader. Let others hear your personal soundtrack in each and every situation. Catch more information and a funny video of the many uses of this piece of tech here. Available NOW! for 39.99$

Labyrinth Security Lock

Ever thought that security stuff that just slows down intruders (like Cyberpunk 2020 player characters) is unrealistic? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Even in 2020, there are geeks lurking behind every corner. They may even work in the R&D department of your next megacorporate target. Geeks LOVE labyrinths and puzzles. As you can see for yourself with this titanium labyrinth security lock. Available NOW! for 49.99$

Youtube Tazer

Big Brother is here. And chances are, he will never leave. Especially if he is so much fun to have around. Like when you taze that ‘punk that tries to assault you and instantly upload the video of your successful hit to Youtube. Or your security provider. Or the cops. Imagine all the fun you and your fellow Cyberpunks can have with Fashion Guncam versions of this idea. Watch yourself bleed to death in slow motion. Maybe even to your own soundtrack (check out the Soundtrack T-Shirt, above). Available NOW! for 99.99$.

Wii Pee Game

No. It’s not real. You have not just discovered that there is a peeing game for the Wii console. Super Pii Pii brothers? Give me a break. Sorry pal. No rest for the wicket. The peeing game is here (yes, there is a video as well). Available NOW! fpr 34.99$. Peeing controller included.

Snooze and Lose

This one gets a bonus point for creativity in getting the wage slaves off their fat asses and earning the megacorp even more money. Originally, this alarm clock is intended to donate money every time you hit the snooze button to a charity organisation you HATE – giving you a great incentive to get up immediately, instead of snoozing on. By 2020, this gizmos are bound to be installed in every wageslaves appartment. Hit the snooze button, and your employer will receive a payback from your bank account. Hit the snooze button three times, and you may receive the ultimate wakeup call by that tazer they built into your corporate appartment’s bed. They may even share your tazed early morning self via that handy youtube tazer application, feeding the vid directly into the megacorporate employees network. The original SnūzNLūz is available HERE for 39.99$

Have Fun At Thinkgeek.com

There are a lot of other nifty things available there, like the deadly annoying Sonic Grenade, the easily upgraded USB Webcam Rocket Launcher, the highly useful 1.3 Megapixel Spy Camera Glasses, The dream of every Orion Battlelord (see SSDC page for Battlelord RPG info – Orions are aliens that wear kilts) Utility Kilt, the amazing Ultimate Hoody with built-in Personal Area Network, the very first in Urban Flash jewelry, the uber-cool Aurora Borealis Mood Projection Lamp (how could anyone ever live without it!), a f**cking lot of High-Tech watches from Video to WiFi Detection, a top-of-the-notch RFID Experimentation Kit, the TOTALLY innovative Driving LED Emoticon with which you can show other drivers smileys, the TeleSpy Intrusion Detector that gives you a call if it spots any movement in your home, a (soon) very useful RFID Blocking Wallet and the likewise very useful Hidden Camera Detector

Written by rabenaas

April 4th, 2008 at 8:40 am

Cyberpunk Art 6: Tank Time

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Always looking for a fashionable way to move through the post-apocalypse: The Tank!

Tank in the rain

Tank in the rain This armored scoutcar is the ideal urban tank. Fast and well armed, no punk can do better! Found as Vehicle concept on Gorilla Artfare
Click on the image for a larger picture.

Written by cyberpunk2020

April 2nd, 2008 at 8:44 am

Programming 108: It's the Law, 'punk!

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Programming 108: It’s the Law, ‘punk!

Snitch
CLASS: Alarm COST: 580eb
STRENGTH: 4 MU: 4
PROGRAMMING: 174 DIFFICULTY: 29
FUNCTION(S): Alarm
OPTION(S): Memory, Icon (superrealistic)
COST MULTIPLIER: x2 (Alarm x2)
ICON: Snitch has a database consisting of thousands of pictures. You nevah know who can be airin’ your dirty laundry.
DATA: After the intruding netrunner has been detected, the program will alert the sysop on duty so he can deal with the threat first hand.
Handcuffs
CLASS: Anti-Personnel COST: 7,000eb
STRENGTH: 3 MU: 4
PROGRAMMING:168 DIFFICULTY: 28
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Personnel Read the rest of this entry »

Cyberpunk Photo Gallery

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Written by rabenaas

March 28th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Easter Linking

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If you came over to read stuff, you’re going to be disappointed. Even I have something better to do on Easter then to write for you.

But fear not: Others wrote stuff worthy of your attention:

  1. Wired shows you how to create your own combat bot. Ground, aerial and submerged bots for you to build – for just some 100s or 100s of $. It’s a wiki, so you can help. I wonder when homeland security takes down that site. Terrorists might use the cheap combat bots… :) (Am I the only one who thinks that “Homeland security” sounds deliciously fascist?
  2. Contact lenses that can do some stuff we thought cybereyes would needed for, esp. a HUD (head up display, showing you images superimposed over your view – today used by fighter pilots)
  3. A Cyberpunk documentary from 1993. Look how William Gibson looked like 14 years ago:
The young William Gibson, ca 1993
Click for bigger size

Written by cyberpunk2020

March 23rd, 2008 at 11:57 pm