a) It's a mashup, so fuck you - stop harshing my buzz, man;
b) It worked for Paranoia, so fuck you - stop harshing my buzz, man
My first idea for doing this was always like Paranoia but sort of dialled to 11. It was based on the Harlan Ellison short-story, "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream", in which a far-future computer called 'AM', which was created to operate the US's nuclear arsenal (stop me if you've heard this one before, writers of The Terminator) became self-aware and amalgamated with the Chinese and Russian supercomputers and took over the Earth. AM grew to hate mankind because they had created this uber-intelligent and all-powerful machine but given it nothing to do or live for, so it killed off almost all of them except for five people it kept alive to spend every moment devising new tortures for.
But recently I read this article in The Economist, about mile-high skyscrapers, and it sort of combined with my ancient memories of the hive city in Necromunda; here, the conceit would be that the players start off near the top floor of a massive skyscraper with god-knows how many levels underneath. Maybe on some levels there are actual functioning societies but on others there are weird techno-cults, barbaric boostergangs, bio-plague-infected beggar kings, crazed AIs, psychopathic full-body conversion cyborgs, and more besides. Just getting from one floor to the next would be a task in itself, because none of the lifts would be working any more - although the shafts would still be there (natch). And most levels would be based on roughly the same floorplan, although others would be given over to biodomes, electricity generators, computer server banks, etc., etc. And you would use Lorem Gibson to generate idea-seeds:
- 8-bit claymore mine augmented reality
- singularity tower sub-orbital narrative
- 3D-printed warehouse BASE jump man
- military-grade weathered rain bomb
- saturation point vinyl artisanal fetishism
- decay gang boat
Tell me you wouldn't want to play in a game in which you could find a "tech item" called a military-grade weathered rain bomb.
That's why I wrote GigacrawlerReplyDelete
I love this idea and was getting ready to comment using Zak's Gigacrawler when...ReplyDelete
Still, I'd love for you to do it, giving it your own flavor
Sign of the Labrys ... The Night Land (where the pyramid is the adventure, not the base) ...ReplyDelete
judge dredd block wars also good on thisReplyDelete
they'd rappel out of the windows. You need pelgranes, sniper-bots, or a constant bath of acid rain.ReplyDelete
And maybe have acid-proof wingsuits somewhere?
Actually, you could make it like .rec (or Quarantine), where the government is trying to seal them inside the building to prevent the release of some doomsday virus that was released inside there. And the spider mechs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are moving slowly on the outside of the building, welding metal plates over all the windows, while the area around the building is a killzone. But maybe someone in your group knows of a secret tunnel? Or they think they do.
Yeah, although I guess for it to be true cyberpunk flavour it wouldn't be the spider mechs of the US Army Corps of Engineers, but of the paramilitary wing of Arasaka Co., Ltd.Delete
I love the virus idea though - a kind of external limit for the amount of time you can spend on each level of the "dungeon". The virus is slowly spreading down the skyscraper from level to level and you have to stay one step ahead of it.
Or make it like Ballard's High Rise. You don't want to escape. This is your tribal stomping ground and you're here for blood. You've stopped going to work, but your silk ties make great garrotes. You aren't trapped in there with the booster gangs and tech cults, they're trapped in there with you.ReplyDelete
I've always thought of cyberpunk (at least as a gaming genre) as a sort of D&D in the future. I don't see why a megadungeon couldn't workReplyDelete
"players start off near the top floor"ReplyDelete
The classic dystopian version would be to have the players start at the *bottom* and fight their way up and out. Every single science fiction novel in my primary school library seemed to be some version of that plot...
Shadowrun actually did this if you want to steal from a published module, but you seem to be doing more than well enough without it.ReplyDelete
(Renraku Arcology Shutdown - turns out AIs go evil when you put them in charge of a giant arcology full of people and robots and fully capable of operating without the outside world, who knew?)
At the Hayward Gallery at the moment there's an exhibition showing Outsider Art with a slight bent to architectural visions-it features the work of Marcel Storr, a blind, illiterate Parisian roadsweeper who drew in private in his later years. His drawings were plans for a rebuilt Paris after an attack and seem pertinent to this post:ReplyDelete
If you want to make your dungeon even bigger, make it a dyson-sphere-like thingy. The manga Blame! did that, with literally millions of strata of city built by mindless robots, ever expanding it outwards and by the time the story took place the whole thing had turned hostile towards its human inhabitants. Humans lived only in niches where the central intelligence of the so-called network-sphere couldn't find them, eeking out existence by planting mushrooms in air-ducts, always afraid of squads of killer-robots forming out of the walls and killing them. Incredibly dystopian but also incredibly cool.ReplyDelete
It's like a technological mythic underworld. Nonsensical titanesque architectures, odd monsters, weird humanoid societies, powerful factions at war and more. Worth trying.
Have you read Stanislaw Lem's "Memoirs Found in a Bathtub"? Highly recommended if you're still considering running this campaign. It reads like an absurdist text adventure -- each room is a crazy encounter that has no connection to the encounter in the prior room or hall. I'm convinced that Dragon Magazine's "Mansion of the Mad Professor Ludlow" was inspired by this gem of a book.ReplyDelete