Del Coronado, California

"Night City"

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Introduction
History
Main Differences
House Rules
New Cyberware
New Drugs
Mega-Corporations
Fun Locations
The Slang
The Gangs
Timeline
References





INTRODUCTION TO CYBERPUNK

Welcome to what's left of the Home of the Brave, Cyberpunk America. The good old United States has seen some tough times in the last thirty years, from flood, fire, famine, to martial law, a second dust bowl, and one of the bloodiest wars on record--against herself. The Corporations control the world from their skyscraper fortresses, enforcing their rule with armies of cyborg assassins. On the Street, Boostergangs roam a shattered urban wilderness, killing and looting. The rest of the world is a perpetual party, as fashion-model beautiful techies rub biosculpted bodies with battle-armored roadwarriors in the hottest clubs, sleaziest bars and meanest streets this side of the Postholocaust. Oil rains from the sky, spare parts are grown in vats, trees are a myth, and the last bird died in 2028... The Future never looked so bad. So take a look around my friends, here on mythical Anystreet, USA. At that girl, the teen over there with the silver legs and the metallic teeth. Yeah, her. She's a mother of two and earns a cool 20,000eb a year. Doing what? Well, let's not talk about it. And that man, with the mirror shades, wearing the Tanaka Exec? He's one of the highest paid corps in the city, and he's never stepped inside a classroom in his life. He's in the same line of business as the girl.

And those "zeros" over there, huddled around the trash can, burning the scream sheets? The old man is Professor Lightman, one of the team that was working on cold fusion. The girl is Amanda Harding, the only living heir to the Harding fortune--that fortune dried up with the stock market. The last gentleman is Richard Ellis, Ph.D. No need for him anymore, he was replaced last year by an AI in his company.

Walk with me a minute. See that building over there, the tan one? It used to be the Federal building--Social Security and Welfare and all that. Now the only help it offers the poor is a place to get out of the rain, if you want to risk robbery or rape. Look out! Are you blind?!? It's the turf marker for the Death Knights. The brown stuff? Dried blood, the Knights don't like people stepping on it. Another foot and that kid would have put a bullet in your head. Yeah, the twelve year-old over there. Of course he's packing; everyone is these days. Usually around here, you're packing or your dead--welcome to the Combat Zone.
True, it's not like that everywhere these days; the Corp Zones are very well policed, and only the truly stupid try something there. But you pay for that protection, usually in the form of personal freedoms. I've even heard of girls whisked off the streets after catching the eye of some high-ranking corp. Lord only knows what happens then. Hell, who can know what really goes on above the tenth floor. It's a mystery to us scum of the street. If you ask me, the corps really run things.

Now that's a damn shame... What? You act as if you've never seen a dead body before. Probably got into an argument with the cops, it's pretty common. They're pretty mercenary these days. Hey, check it out, up there. A Military AV-9, probably belongs to the US Provisional Government. Some sight huh? Enough missiles to level a city block, and prolly a tac-nuke to boot. Look how it's flying over near the Arasaka building? My info-broker says that the Japanese Empire really pissed off Uncle Sam by passing some harsh "quality" laws on American parts. The Provisionals like to get back by flexing their muscles occasionally. Nothing like a good strategic bombing to show folks that black ops aren't the only way to kill, huh?

Well, here we are. See that? Yeah, the flag... kinda neat isn't it? What do you mean so what?!? Let me tell you a little story: Last week a gang of Nazi posers snuck into town, gassed some non-human bodymods, and put a swastika flag up there. Burnt the old one. Real nasty stuff, too nasty. The Death Knights and the Valkyries called a truce, and that corp I pointed out went to work; even the folks around trash can helped out in the spotting--in three days there were none of the posers left. And that girl with the silver teeth? She drove up to the capital and laid out a cool 500 euro for a new flag, some sort of new polymer fiber. They say it'll resist a mono-katana cut. That's what America is all about, and I'm damn proud to be an American. The world may be going to hell in a body-bag, but we're all crazy enough to think that we can change it. You see, you've got interface plugs in your wrists, weapons in your arms, lasers in your eyes, bio-chip programs screaming in your brain. You're wired-in, Cyber-enhanced and more solid state that a 20th Century tank. You can take it to the fatal Edge where only the toughest and coolest can go. Why? Because you're a CYBERPUNK. And the world is counting on you to save them.

You up to the challenge choombatta?


The world of the Cyberpunk is a violent, dangerous place. Filled with people who would love to rip your arm off and eat it. The traditional values of good and evil have been replaced with shades of gray--even the good guys have to do a little evil now and then to survive. Nevertheless, the best Cyberpunk games are usually those with a combination of doomed romance, fast action, glittering parties, mean streets and quixotic quests to do the right thing against all odds. It's a little like Casablanca with Cyberware...

Sphinx by Jennie Seay

So you want to be a Cyberpunk, or just look like one?

Before you pitch off your sleep-mat and jump in, there are a few things we need to tell you. First of all, the name. Cyberpunk comes from two words. Cyber--from the term cybernetic, or a fusion of flesh and machine technology. Punk--from a late 20th Century rock music style that epitomized violence, rebellion, and social action in a nihilistic way. The term was popularized in the pre-Militia War days by a group of writers who specialized in writing science-fiction with this kind of techno-melange. Their works featured a streamlined blend of rock, pop, sex, drugs and the highest, hippest technology--usually grafted on the body somewhere. The archetypical cyberpunk heroes of this period ranged from technobarbarians roaming a Postholocaust world, to cyberchipped jet setters with designer bodies.

VR-Glasses

Of course, from our enlightened viewpoint here in 2035, this all looks pretty dated. After all, you probably accessed this article from your personal database 'comp--using a Kiyoshiru 1300A interface cable with a direct link from your wristplugs. Every day you hardwire yourself into appliances to make coffee, or "stud" into the 'Benz to drive down to the corner store for a bottle of soymilk. But understand that in 1984, when the Great Prophet Gibson wrote the very first Cyberpunk novel, this was all considered pretty visionary stuff. No one had plugs, you couldn't dial Luna on the digital cell phone, designer drugs were illegal, and you could walk down most city streets without wearing an armor jacket. There wasn't even a World Wide Web, let alone the modern NeoNet!

Now we know better. History vids can tell you in detail about the failed Second American Revolution, which led to the barbaric years of the Militia Wars. Every child knows of the dreaded Wasting Plague, which happened when a mutated AIDS finally went airborne in 2020 and killed a quarter of the world's population in just under two years. Finally, you can watch in-depth about the Crash of 2013, when the European Union established the World Stock Exchange and the economies of the United States and Commonwealth of Russian States finally collapsed. But back in the days of the first Cyberpunk novels, both the US and Old Soviet Russia were considered Superpowers--instead of just a couple of second-raters waving around antiquated nuclear weapons under the watchful eye of the European Space Agency. Luckily for us, as long as the Tycho Colony massdrivers are ready to throw rocks at Moscow and Washington we'll probably avoid the nuclear war that everyone's been expecting since 1944. Between the Russian and Chinese mobile ICBM trucks, American missile subs, and European massdrivers, a new world balance on weapons of mass destruction has developed. After all, rocks are cheap.

By the late 2020's, everything is more or less run by the Corporations anyway--as they are pretty much governments in and of themselves. You can go anywhere on one Corporate Passport, one worldism at its best. The Corps issue their own currencies and control their territories like sovereign nations, including the raising of small armies when the need arises. The currencies of most corporations and governments are tied together, and the Eurodollar (EB) is considered the world currency--worth about five American new-dollars in 2035. These days, hardly anyone complains about the Corporate Lifetime Contracts or the abolition of unions. It's the price of living in the stable Corp Zones, right?

After all, you could be living in the Projects. Sixteen people to an apartment, sharing Federal ration chips every week to buy food, with eight thousand apartments per city block? Sure, it isn't the best life, what with Boostergangs roaming the alleys and the major-league crime problems, but it beats actually being on the street. At least the mega-arcologies have cops, corrupt as they are, but it's better than fronting the Euro for your own personal Solo! Besides, the Media-Nets make sure that every apartment has direct digital-cable access to TV, radio, tri-vid, and simstim; so there's always something to do on a Saturday night (once you cut through all the advertising).

Where were we? Oh yeah--you wanted to be a Cyberpunk

Here's more background for you to think over. When the grand old Masters of the Movement first started writing the cyberpunk genre, they assumed that most of the things they wrote about would never happen in their lifetimes. Nevertheless, it only took about fifty years for the newtech to catch up to the vision. First, the Militaries of the world started using cybertechnology to create "perfect soldiers" and pilots. Some of the spin-offs led to advanced prosthetic limbs, eyes, and other body parts. Later technologies like organic and micro-circuitry led to direct hookups between men and machine. Combined with major advances in telecommunications technology, the basis for the modern NeoNet was finally in place. But predictably, as each new technological advancement slammed into place, a sort of cultural technoshock set in.

Technoshock: When technology outstrips people's ability to comprehend or fit it into their lives. Suddenly, people freak out. They get irrational; violent. Families shatter and relationships tear apart. People feel helpless in the face of the ever-changing Universe. Eventually, the whole society grinds to a halt, the victim of mass psychosis. That's what we now call the Collapse, and it happened in December 2012 with the creation of the first sentient artificial intelligence.

There were three major responses to technoshock. The vast majority of people, their lives uprooted and changed by the advancements, sat passively waiting for their leaders to tell them what to do next. One smaller group tried to turn back the clock, founding the basis of what we call the Neo-Luddites. The remaining group, they decided to hit the future head on. With the old 1980's visionary writings as their guide, they established the movement we now call Cyberpunk.

Plastic Warriors

Okay, so now you're ready. As a Cyberpunk, you grab technology by the throat and hang on. You're not afraid to check out the razor's edge of newest enhancements in cybertech and bioengineering. You've got interface plugs in your wrists, weapons in your arms, lasers in your eyes, and biochip programs in your brain. You become the car you drive, the gyro you fly, the guns you shoot. You dive headfirst into the 'Net, using your mind to hurtle at lightspeed over the vast network of Data Fortresses, Expert Systems, and Artificial Intelligence programs. With cyborged fingers you pick computer locks and reverse-engineer the latest techno gismos. With enhanced senses you can almost see into the future, allowing you to surf the fatal Edge of street technology.

Cyberpunk is also an attitude. You wear the most "in" clothes, you know the right people, and follow the right crowds. You plan your crimes in the most select clubs and bars; your enemies are the Corporate armies, cyborg biker gangs, nerve-wired assassins, and computer-jacked Netheads. Your weapons are street-smarts, hubris, bravado, and that Minami 10 Smartgun strapped to your hip. Are you ready now? Of course you are, you can't wait.

Now you're a Cyberpunk.




HISTORY OF DEL CORONADO


Del Coronado, c. 2001

"Los Osos, or Valley of the Bears, is set between lush rolling hills
 and sandy beaches. With a somewhat secluded atmosphere, it's just a
 few miles south of Morro Bay."
                                 --Late 20th Century Travelogue


Not anymore.

Del Coronado, c. 2035

"Del Coronado: the city of confrontation, escalation, and crash evasion..."
                                 --Diana Hunter, Valkyries Boostergang         



Quite possibly the fastest growing city in the world, Del Coronado is now one of the biggest trading ports on the American West Coast. First founded in 1785 as a small neighbor to the sleepy town of Los Osos, the seed of what is the now famous "Night City" slowly wandered through the years as little more than an overlooked Californian resort community until the end of the 20th Century.

All that changed, however, in the election of 2012. The long-standing bill to officially split the state of California into two separate entities finally passed Congress and was ratified by the exiting chief elected official (who was at that time referred to as the President of the United States). Drawing a line from the tip of Inyo County through San Luis Obispo County, the border passed directly through the town hall in Del Coronado. This quickly flared into a debate as to which state the city belonged in, SoCal or NoCal--as that would determine any number of laws and trade restrictions. The issue was soon dropped as the Technoshock Collapse and Crash of 2013 overtook the population, and the city of Del Coronado simply retained the state designation of "California".

International businessmen and illegal smugglers alike leapt at this unprecedented opportunity. Quickly establishing a system of docks on Morro Bay, they worked tirelessly to induct the town of Los Osos into a suburb of the quickly-growing Del Coronado. That last hurdle out of the way, the path was open to a free-trade port the likes of which had not been seen since the days of open piracy in the Caribbean. Corporations set up shop, gun-runners shuttled weapons to the Militia forces fighting the Second American Revolution, and the desperate population streamed to where the money was. Within ten years, Del Coronado boasted a population in excess of 2.5 million.

Del Cor Map

But the good times could not last forever. As the reeling national government began to recover from the blows of the Militia Wars, it quickly turned its attention to the burgeoning metropolis that seemed to appear overnight. The unchecked growth had led to one of the highest crime rates in US history, earning Del Coronado the dark nickname of "Night City". The gangs ruled the streets, the Mafia owned the docks, and the corporations were running the city with an iron fist. The United States Provisional Government sent in the National Guard and other Federal policing agencies to clean up the mess, eventually establishing some measure of control by offering free medical care to victims of the Wasting Plague (an airborne version of AIDS).

A stable city government was established in 2025, consisting of a 4-year term Mayor elected by the City Council. The council itself is made up of various Corporate representatives, Government officials, and locally elected citizens (usually Mafia backed). A semi-effective city police force was reestablished soon after, and order began to creep out from the Corp Zones into the surrounding communities. Nevertheless, Del Coronado is still a dangerous place to live, even today--its sinister nickname of "Night City" being justly given. The Corporate Zones are well policed by hired mercenaries, but the surrounding ring of civilization barely survives under the corrupt DCPD. Beyond that lies the Combat Zone and the desert, both equally deadly to those caught unprepared in them.

Del Coronado still has a long way to go...





MAIN DIFFERENCES FROM R. TALSORIAN

Those of you used to the official world and history from Cyberpunk 1st Ed. and Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. are probably already asking "What the frack is going on here?!?"

Good question.

It's the end of the world as we know it

When I first started playing this game I was already very familiar with William Gibson's Sprawl series. Set sometime in the 2040's, it dictated the feel of what I felt a cyberpunk game should be. Ignoring the cheesy history first introduced in 1st Ed (and later expanded in 2.0.2.0. and Home of the Brave) I simply incorporated the history of the cyberpunk novel I was writing at the time into it's place. Over the course of several years GMing the system, I have now ended up with a strange amalgamation of the two.

The main differences in the histories involve pushing the events further out to allow our modern (now 21st century) technology a chance to catch up. Plus, it was just weird to play a "high-tech dark future" that was only ninteen years away. I dropped the SouthAm war entirely, reducing it to a mere skirmish ala Tom Clancy's Clear and Present Danger. Instead, I replaced it with a destructive civil war in the late teens called the Militia Wars. The Middle East Meltdown was nixed in favor of massive ground wars in the region, that then leading to the lack of reliable oil supplies in the west. I then set a very definite date for the Collapse: calling it the Technoshock Collape, it is set immediately after the first true AI comes online in December of 2012. For those that know their myths, this is the legendary date of the end of the world from the Mayan calendars--when a "new age of mankind" would be ushered in. What better time to introduce a new race of sentient beings living alongside the humans? This led to the Technoshock Collapse, and then on to the Stock Market Crash of 2013. From here America fractured into the Militia Wars, resulting in the eventual formation of the free states and the United States Provisional Government. I then ditched nearly all off the stupid gangs from the Night City Sourcebook, replacing them with my own. Once I created a new and a plausible description of how Night City was formed (above), the scene was finally set to use the standard Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. rules and equipment. With a few fun additions of course...




HOUSE RULES

As with most groups, I run my game with a few House Rules. While none are major changes to the game, there are quite a few that have been developed over the years to help balance the game:





NEW CYBERWARE AND WEAPONRY

Cyberware:

Name:
Code:
Type:
Cost:
Surgery Level:
HL:
Description:
Military Skinweave
MSKW
Nano
4000eb
Nil
2d6+3
A stiff grey-gold colored version of the regular skinweave. Provides SP18 and UV40 protection. Rare to find outside of the US and European Militaries.
Telepathy
TPY
Nano
1000eb
Nil
1d6+1
A small vial full of silver nanite factories that are injected into the bloodstream. The factories attach inside the brain and create workers. The nanoworkers then weave an internal Interface port and link it to a multi-frequency radio transmitter in the brain. Using a combo of cyberdeck interfaces and military frequency hopping, a user of Telepathy can "think" a message to another user, even while being jammed. 2km range.

Note: New Nanotechnology will be added here as it appears during the course of the campaign.


Weaponry:
Name:
Type:
WA:
ROF:
Damage:
Clip:
Cost:
Availability:
Legality:
Description:
Triple-Barrelled Shotgun
SHT
3
(4-6)D6
3
M-31A2 Pulse-rifle
Rifle
32
2D6+3
96
KFMO only



Player-created items from my various campaigns:

Zortech Ltd.            





NEW DRUGS

Question: What's a Cyberpunk game without drugs?
Answer: A lot healthier...

Nevertheless, a few new drugs have popped up in the last few years. Many have become very popular:

New electronic "drugs" will be added here as they are introduced in the campaign.




MEGA-CORPORATIONS

Doing commerce in the tradition of the East-India Company...

With the collapse of many national governments over the years, corporations have come into their own during the resulting chaos. No longer held back by archaic anti-trust laws, these new MegaCorporations guard and control their territories like small nations--with their employees as sometimes unwilling citizens. Fully promoting the Have vs. Have-not social situation that keeps them in power, the Corps are generally hated by the bulk of the general population. Only the rebellious Cyberpunks and Edgerunners stand a chance against their might, assuming they actually give a damn...

Mega-Corporations of the 2030's

Drew: "So Lloyd, what made you choose the evil path?"
Lloyd: "It was more convenient."


FUN LOCATIONS


THE SLANG

Every counter culture and underground movement has its own words and phrases that set it apart from the others. The Cyberpunk/Edgerunner culture is no different, with its polyglot of terms and techno-heavy themes. It was the first fully accepted "Strassesprechen", a street-speak developed deep within the urban jungle and forced into the mainstream.

Too lenghy to display here, I have added the list to its own Slang Page.




THE GANGS

Machine-enhanced warriors on the verge of cyberpsychosis, Boostergangs are the terrifying menace hunting the dark streets of the Combat Zone. While most of the gangs are feral animals taking joy from the deaths of their fellow man, some have banded together to protect those that can not protect themselves.

Like the proto-gangs of the late 20th Century, the modern Boostergangs act as a sort of foster family to their members--both supporting them and occasionally controlling them. Most of the Boosters have a "theme", and will kill any who do not agree with their sometimes odd beliefs.


The Good

The Bad

The Odd





GENERAL TIMELINE

Thorn: "I know, Sol, you've told me a hundred times before. People were better, the world was better..."
Sol: "Ah, people were always lousy. But there was a world, once."
Thorn: [chuckles]
Sol: "I was there, I can prove it! When I was a kid, you could buy meat anywhere! Eggs, they had real butter! Not this... crap!"
--Soylent Green

 



REFERENCES

This section got so large that I had to move it to its own page!






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Last Updated 29 August 2007