The Cowboy Bebop Universe

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This page is obviously still under construction. This image is by J. Scott Campbell.

As the lovely lady to the left indicates, this page is still under construction. Eventually you will be able to view a wide range of topics, the titles of which are presented below. Until I can get my own sections up and running, take a look at what Webmaster Jeremy Thai has on these topics over at The Real Folk Blues:

The Real Folk Blues

Caution poking around his page, there are spoilers if you haven't seen the full series.

Travel times through the gate: Venus to Earth 1/2 day, Earth to Mars 1/2 day, Mars to Asteroid Belt 1/2 day, Asteroid belt to Jupiter 1 day, Jupiter to Saturn 1 day. I don't have any times for Mercury or the outer planets yet.

Main Alterations
New Rules
New Skills
New Drugs
The Syndicates
Fun Locations
Intro to Jazz


"Once upon a time, in New York City in 1941... at this club open to all
comers to play, night after night, at a club named "Minton's Play House" 
in Harlem, they play jazz sessions competing with each other. Young jazz
men with a new sense are gathering. At last they created a new genre itself.
They are sick and tired of the conventional fixed style jazz. They're eager
to play jazz as freely as they wish."

--The History of Bebop Jazz (Watanabe, 1998)


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,


Those of you used to the official world and history from Cyberpunk 1st Ed. and Cyberpunk 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 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 rules and equipment. With a few fun additions of course...


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:



Surgery Level:
Military Skinweave
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.
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.

Triple-Barrelled Shotgun
M-31A2 Pulse-rifle

Player-created items from my various campaigns:

Zortech Ltd.             Twitchy's Toy Shop


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:

Lunar Red-Eye

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


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."


Valkyrie n : (Norse mythology) one of the maidens of Odin who chose heroes to be slain in battle and conducted them to Valhalla.

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.



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



Jazz in a Box, Copyright 2003 Maxim Magazine
The following article was originally published in the June 2003 issue
of Maxim Magazine under the title Instant Expert: Jazz in a Box. While
I have edited it slightly to make it viewable by audiences of all ages,
the complete article can be found through either of the links provided. 

Jazz in a Box

When you absolutely, positively have to watch a sexy girl’s eyes roll back in her head, nothing does the job like jazz. Here’s how to catch a real gone vibe just right.

Maxim, June 2003
By Mike Damone

Blue Note:
A note “between notes” that adds immediacy, intensity, voice, and depth to a jazz riff, harder to pin down than Martha Stewart’s accountant. On a piano, plunk two keys and slowly lift one. See blue? Practice till you awaken in Chicago surrounded by smiling men with trumpets.

You know the word. It’s what you do when the boss says, “Perhaps Peters can explain the tequila stench around his desk this morning.” But in jazz, improv is more about makin’ new than makin’ do. Only a square plays a tune the way it’s written.

Take work songs and spirituals from the slavery era, Cuban and African rhythms, ragtime, even—mon dieu!—French military marches, then crush ’em all in turn-of-the-century Nawlins. Stew until 1920, ladle heapin’ helpings into Chicago, New York, Kansas City, and dig it!

The Swing:
“Doctuh” Mike Woods, a jazz studies prof at Hamilton College, says swing is “a rhythmic phenomenon with a flexible feel and lots of syncopation.” Ed Confused “It’s Jessica Rabbit’s hips bouncing back and forth,” he clarifies. Ed Smiley

Jazz musicians are sluts when it comes to band fidelity. All these cats jump from band to band. The constant camaraderie and one-upmanship leads naturally to shifting sounds and mutating musical forms.

The Man:
Early on, he (the established music industry) recorded all the greats and paid them chicken feed, perpetuating slavery and unintentionally keeping the creative fountain of resentment flowing.


Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong (1901–1971)
Three words: “Mack the Knife.” A founder from the Big Easy, Satchmo took his trumpet all the way to Hollywood. God Himself reportedly loved Satchmo, and rewarded him with death in sleep.

Miles Davis (1926–1991)
The Da Vinci of jazz, the great innovator, improviser, and founder of cool. No trumpeter matches him in range and control. His album Kind of Blue, with John Coltrane, is a jazz milestone.

Charlie “Bird” Parker (1920–1955)
Sax god of the 1940s. Sharpened his ax in Kansas City, then went to New York City to improvise the roots of bebop. His speedy, wicked riffs are as mind-altering as drugs, which he knew everything about.

John Coltrane (1926–1967)
The pivotal sax player of the 1960s, known for his unique “sheets of sound” technique. Wooed millions with his version of “My Favorite Things.” One of those things, sadly, was heroin--hence the not-still-alive part.

Stan Getz (1927–1991)
In tone, considered the purest saxophonist ever. Brought bossa nova and Brazilian rhythms to jazz with songs like “The Girl From Ipanema.”

Benny “King of Swing” Goodman (1909–1986)
Child clarinet prodigy who never burned out, a father of swing, and one of America’s first teen idols. If your grandparents had premarital sex, it was because of him. Most famous for his 1937 instrumental hit, "Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)."

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899–1974)
“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing,” goes the song. Sir Duke had it, all right—in fact, the great pianist-composer helped invent it with his Cotton Club Orchestra.

Ella Fitzgerald (1918–1996)
Born poorer than a Bangladeshi mud salesman, Ella dominated jazz vocals for 50 years, laying down classics like “The Lady Is a Tramp” without parallel. Her 13 Grammys are a baker’s dozen more than Britney can expect.

Billie “Lady Day” Holiday (1915–1959)
Most influential female jazz vocalist ever, despite no formal training. Known for bluesy, sorrowful ballads like “Strange Fruit,” Lady Day lived the life.

Charles Mingus (1922–1979)
Greatest bassist who ever lived; jammed with everyone. His work “Epitaph,” found posthumously, is considered one of the most important comps of the 20th century. Dead men sometimes do tell a tale or two.

Max Roach (1924–still kickin’)
Primo skin beater, instrumental in the creation of hard bop, cool, and free jazz. Rare for a drummer, he fronted his own quintet and still plays today. Guess nobody told him the drummer is supposed to die first.

Feel Free to "Hep" Yourself!

To start you on the road to cool, here are 12 CDs no jazz collection is complete without:

Ella Fitzgerald
The Best of the Song Books

Jelly Roll Morton
The Original Mr. Jelly Lord

John Coltrane
A Love Supreme

Lee Morgan
The Sidewinder
Blue Note

Miles Davis
Kind of Blue

Charles Mingus
Mingus Ah Um

Ornette Coleman
The Shape of Jazz to Come

Cannonball Adderley
Somethin’ Else
Blue Note

The Quintet
Jazz at Massey Hall

The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Time Out

Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington's Finest Hour

James Horner, Benny Goodman
Swing Kids Soundtrack
Hollywood Records


Cowboypunk 2071:

Session 1: New Year's Day

Cyberpunk 2035:

Book and Movie References

Cowboy Bebop:

Homages and Influences Page at the Real Folk Blues.

[Return to the Cowboypunk home page]

Link to Sunrise Inc.

Cowboy Bebop is a Registered Trademark of Sunrise Inc, Bandai Visual,
Shinichiro Watanabe et al. Original Cowboy Bebop material Copyright by
Sunrise Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used without permission. Any use of
Sunrise Inc's copyrighted material or trademarks in these pages should
not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks.

Link to R. Talsorian
Cyberpunk is a Registered Trademark of R. Talsorian Corporation.
Original Cyberpunk material Copyright by the R. Talsorian Corporation.
All Rights Reserved. Used without permission. Any use of R. Talsorian
Corporation's copyrighted material or trademarks in this file should
not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks.

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Last Updated: 8 August 2003