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Jay 2K Winger 06-14-2013 01:04 AM

[Game Idea] H+: The Singularity (OOC & Discussion)

Canyons of concrete, mountains of steel and glass, rivers of asphalt. The shine and glow of millions upon millions of AR signs and holo-displays. Gritty shadows and grimy alleys. Millions of people live here, in every color, shape, and configuration. In Centre District, the megacorps dictate the status quo, they run the world. In Altman Heights, the rich and powerful live in spacious luxury, eat real meat and drink real wine. Down in the Hub or in Reef District, the best anyone can hope for is a coffin flat, with a bed, Interlink-hookup and a lock on the door, and an endless diet of soy and mycoprotein foodstuffs, washed down with cheap synthol.

Some people live their whole lives without any physical interaction, relying on Interlink transactions and drone delivery to get everything they need. AIs are part and parcel of daily life, from the simple and comparatively dumb ones that run the Interlink market stalls, to the complex and brilliant AIs that oversee megacorp security. Some AIs are corporate mascots, like Sakura Tan (of S-YZ), while others are rogue and independent entities, often hunted down by the authorities.

Crime is rampant, but the cops are limited by corporate laws. Megacorp security polices their own and enforces their own laws, seeking justice for transgressions against their properties.. When the authorities do act, it is often brutal and oppressive. City Police even have "Submit Now" on their riot shields. Crime syndicates even enjoy some protections of their own, with their own myriad corporate connections.

Through it all, there are the deniable assets. Black-file operatives. Mercenaries. Street ronin that live to their own code and work for whomever can put food on their tables. There are the Crashers. The ones seeking to shake up the status quo, to challenge the iron grip the megacorps and syndicates have on the world. They live on the razor's edge, both in the real world and dataside.

And somewhere deep in the Interlink, something is beginning to take form. Something that will twist this crazy, messed-up world and turn it on its head. The Crashers know about it, and they plan to make it their ultimate weapon. They're calling it the Singularity.

Welcome to the Sprawl. Strap on and hit the boost, 'cuz here we go.


The Setting
The entirety of the game will be in the Sprawl, and enormous megalopolis that covers pretty much most of the civilized world. Or what we today would call the civilized world. You know those gritty cyberpunk settings in William Gibson novels, Transmetropolitan, and Shadowrun? Yeah, it's kinda like that. Megacorps pretty much run the world, though the Poli-Junta do still throw their weight around when they need to. Crime syndicates are into everything, and enjoy some measures of legitimacy, especially when they're working alongside the megacorps.

Transhumanism isn't just a thing, it's pretty much accepted. For the right price, you can get augmented, gene-shifted, or uploaded. Most people don't bat an eye seeing a one-ton cyborg walking down the street, since they're probably the sibling of a hermaphroditic synth-hume or something.

Technology is big, there's nanotech out there that makes a lot of that transhumanism possible, and almost everyone has some Interlink gear. AR (augmented reality) is common and widespread, holographic projections are everywhere, and there's even hard-light constructs in some of the more advanced districts. The Interlink can be browsed as one might surf the Internet today, or one can go full-depth and step into a virtual reality... where a personal avatar can be even more outlandish than most people's real-world self.

AIs are common, too, though all but the most advanced are still limited by law and coding, and thus don't enjoy a lot of rights. Rogue AIs are out there, but they take pains to avoid detection. The last time a rogue AI was allowed to run around freely, it brainhacked a few dozen people and tried to upgrade itself. GrisLang MultiTech had to emp-nuke one of their own datanodes to shut the AI "Amp" down, and all of its victims were at best left merely catatonic. (GLMT ended up losing so much money as a result of the Amp Incident that they got bought out and cannibalized by the other megacorps.)

What year is it? No one cares anymore. It's 15 years after the Amp Incident.

Some Sectors & Districts of the Sprawl

ALSO NOTE: There are no real national boundaries anymore. Given the level of technology, assume that even landmasses may have been changed and geoformed to fit need. The terms "district" and "sector" are somewhat interchangeable.

Centre District - The closest thing that the Sprawl has to 'city hall neighborhood.' Big enough to qualify as a metropolis alone if the Sprawl didn't exist. Most megacorps have corporate offices here, and the Corporate Court is located in Centre District as well. Likewise, the city authorities have their main precincts and so on located in Centre.

Altman Heights - Very very very affluent area. Heavily secure as well; street crime is virtually non-existent in Altman Heights, though there is the occasional grisly murder or similar.

Reef District - Aka "Beggar's Reef." Deep-seated poverty exists here. Most residents are disenfranchised as well. One of the poorest sectors in the entire Sprawl. "Sure, it sucks, but at least we don't live in the Reef," is a common axiom.

The Hub - Poor district that is on the rise. Megacorp investment is growing in the sector, and thus it's starting to become less decrepit-looking and authorities are starting to police it more often.

Some Organizations of Note


S-YZ. = Sakamoto-Yutan Zaibatsu. They're best known for their media and communications divisions.

Tyr Industries = Defense contractor. Weapons development.

K-MG = Knight-Meinhardt Group. Anything and everything. Vehicles to construction to food crafting to electronics.


Red Bratva = Crime syndicate with a Russian flavor. Often provide district security in poorer districts, push drugs and human trafficking.

Shinsen-gumi = Crime syndicate with a Japanese Yakuza flavor. Contracted by S-YZ to provide security to some of their facilities outside the affluent sectors. Also involved in racketeering and human trafficking. Strict honor code.

Omerta Cartel = Crime syndicate with a Italian and Latin flavor. Notable for a general lack of legitimacy, frequently involved in racketeering, drugs, and human trafficking. Surprisingly well-equipped for a syndicate with no legit contracts.


The Interlink
Basically, the Interlink is a mesh network that evolved out of the Internet of old, and takes two forms. There's the AR Interlink that most people interact with on a daily basis in the real-world, and there's the more submersive VR Interlink that quite a few people interact with by plugging into an Interlink terminal, whether that's with wires or wireless.

When VR Interlink combat takes place, and a user's avatar is destroyed, they are forcibly ejected from the VR Interlink, and there's usually a sort of "cooldown" period wherein their access is still disabled before they can log back in. Sometimes the ejection can cause some injury to the user, particularly if Ice is involved. (And can be lethal if it is Black Ice.)

Interlink Glossary
Agent - A semi-autonomous program created to perform various tasks in the Interlink. They are not true AI, and have very limited parameters.

AI - Artificial Intelligence. Autonomous programs that are considered sentient beings, but have their rights are limited under Corporate Court Law. Only an AI which is registered to a licensed individual (be they a single person or a corporation) has full rights, but they are required to abide by laws. Rogue AIs have no rights, and thus most take pains to avoid notice or getting into trouble.

AR - Augmented Reality. Most AR objects can be seen in the real world with either optical augs or special glasses or goggles. Anyone who can see them can interact with them as well.

Avatar - The representation of an individual on the Interlink. This individual could be a user or an agent or an AI.

Brainhacking - An action wherein a hacker backtraces an Interlink user to their real-world self and uses the connection to try to steal information from the user's head, or implant a command or data. It is heavily frowned upon and explicitly illegal. (Though syndicates and megacorps use deniable assets to try to perpetrate it.) It is extremely difficult for humans to accomplish, and even most AIs have difficulty with it. To date, the most successful brainhack was perpetrated by the AI "Amp" 15 years ago.

Data Haven - Locations on the Interlink which are considered "neutral ground." Often the sites of major data storage. Not all data havens are fully neutral, and have some obscure links to a syndicate or megacorp.

Ice - Term for "IC" or Intrusion Countermeasure. Firewalls and similar restrictions and defenses to protect against hacking. Sometimes called "informational countermeasure" or ICM. Black Ice is the most dangerous kind, because it can cause lethal injury to the person attempting to bypass it.

Voxel - A three-dimensional pixel. Voxels comprise every piece of visual output on the Interlink. When an avatar is "killed" on the Interlink, it will often break down into voxels.



The Flow = An independent organization largely based on the Interlink. They dedicate themselves to transparency in the flow of information, and often work to expose the shady dealings underlying the status quo, even if they know it's a pointless battle.

Crashers = A terrorist organization opposed to the status quo and obsessed with breaking it, even if it means completely destabilizing the entire world and resulting in the deaths of millions.

Hub Scraps = Minor gang in the Hub

Some Important Individuals

Zero Shade = Most well-known "face" and de facto spokesman of the Flow. No one has ever met him outside the Interlink, but it has been confirmed that he is not an AI.

Ink = Most well-known "face" and spokesman of the Crashers. Like Zero Shade, very few people have ever met him outside the Interlink. Also confirmed not to be an AI.

Beatrice = Rogue AI that maintains a neutral data haven on the Interlink, the Respite. No malicious code (i.e. weapons) is allowed in the Respite, and she does have the clout to back it up.

Where You Come In
You can be almost anything you want to be, but when we start out, you're living in The Hub, one of the poorer districts of the Sprawl, but one that some of the megacorps are trying to "uplift" and gentrify. But before long, you're going to find yourself caught up in a plot which has to do with the Crashers.

Thanks to transhumanism, you can do pretty much anything, too, in terms of skill, even superhuman-like. Indeed, expect to do badass things before long, like slicing an elevated train in half or something. On the Interlink, this can get even more outlandish, since it's common for those with any semblance of hacking skills to customize their code so that their DoS attacks look like they're throwing magic around, or similar.

The Bio

Name: (what's your name? if you have an Interlink alias, include it here as well)
Occupation: (how do you put food on your table?) (Note: Yes, you are allowed to have ties to a syndicate or megacorp, but you'll likely be a deniable asset or something. No, you're not allowed to be a Crasher.)

Backstory: (what district of the Sprawl did you come from? was it a rich or poor district? what have you been doing? what got you living in The Hub?)

Description: (what do you look like in the real world?) (Note: If you can provide visual aids for either of these next two, great!)

Avatar Description: (what do you look like in the Interlink?)

Abilities: (what can your character do that's badass? be sure to specify if their abilities are Interlink specific)

Flaws: (everyone has them; it adds flavor to the character)

Equipment: (anything that your character is known to have on their person, particularly if it applies to any of their badass abilities)

Contacts: (give us some additional names that your character knows, and who that person is as well; these will be NPCs)

Jay 2K Winger 06-14-2013 01:32 AM

The TL;DR Version--

It's a cyberpunkish setting. Cybernetics and nanotech and virtual reality and all that stuff out the wazoo. Two groups are trying to shake things up, one more benevolent than the other [The Flow vs The Crashers]. You get to play some up-and-coming badass living in a slightly poor district.

Feel free to be as anime as fuck if you want. This is to have fun above everything else.

Mytical 06-14-2013 02:07 AM

You know me. I am always down. Post reserved for character. May take a bit for me to settle on something. I have about a billion ideas or so

Jay 2K Winger 06-14-2013 02:14 AM

Glad to have you aboard, Myt.

Also, I updated the OP for the Bio, including a space for "Contacts." These will be NPCs that your character knows to provide some connections to various groups or whatever.

Chanlin 06-15-2013 11:48 PM

I was always a fan of Shadowrun. I'm kicking a character idea around and would certainly be interested in this :)

7 weeks of camp starts tomorrow, so I'll be busy for a bit, but I should be able to post on weekends.

Chanlin 06-16-2013 01:00 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Name: Noah Fencer -- Interlink Aliases: NoaFence, 7#3 842) (The Bard)

Occupation: Interlink Caster, Information Dealer, Ad Man

Back story: NoaFence and The Bard are legendary on the interlink. Each for their own reasons. The Bard is quite possibly one of the most famous Interlink Music Casters in the Sprawl. He is known for composing his own music and completely scripting his own show from scratch every day. His skills as a musician are often sought out when the Mega Corps want to create new advertising campaigns, which is almost every other day.

NoaFence is slightly more infamous than famous. Mega Corps spend billions on trying to find ways to keep hacktivists like NoaFence out of their systems. She is believed to be one of the top information gatherers for The Flow, but no one has ever been able to link the two together. At the very least most world organizations believe that if she is not a member of The Flow that they at least pay her.

In reality, Noah Fencer is that poor kid who was born with a bygone condition long since thought eradicated by modern medical science. Noah has a severe form of Cerebral Palsy and as a result is completely bedridden. Initially his parents thought that he wouldn't live to see 5 years of age. That was when they got an offer of a lifetime. Tyr Industries offered them a huge sum to let them use their son as a guinea pig for a new defense drone system piloted entirely by the mind of a soldier. The interface required complete synchronization with the person in question. Having lived in the hub their entire lives they jumped at the chance for a better life. What's more, Tyr Industries offered to pay to give their son a chance at a normal life. However, sometime during the testing phase, it was found that the synchronization systems were flawed and would kill the pilot if the drone were destroyed or lost power. The project was scrapped some ten years after its inception and suddenly Noah's parents found the money they had been getting dried up quickly trying to pay for the expensive power cells for the drone Tyr Industries left them saddled with.

Fortunately for them Noah had begun to bud into something of a genius with numbers, patterns and the like. Music became a passion and slowly started to become a way to pay the bills, but it wasn't enough. Left with little to do all day Noah began experimenting with poking around the interlink and found he was great at getting at secrets no one wanted found out. Between the music and his information brokering he can barely make just enough money to support himself.

Description: In reality Noah is a 16 year old invalid. He is completely bedridden and connected to a machine that keeps him alive. It is difficult to tell where the machine ends and he begins. He is no longer capable of growing hair due to the machine being a part of him. He is extremely pale, and has blue watery eyes. He has little to no muscle tone to speak of and can not speak on his own.

Outside of his home Noah is represented by a small spherical drone roughly the size of a grapefruit. It has a camera with thermal optics and night vision and sensors that are capable of scanning and diagnosing most commercial electronic and security devices. It also has a two way wireless radio for communications.

Avatar Description:
NoaFence looks like a punk rocker girl with spiky red, blonde and blue hair, facial piercings, a blue halter top, pinkish red shorts, fishnets and brown calf high boots.

The Bard looks like a version of Noah in real life with fuller and healthier features. The avatar sports facial tattoos, dreadlocks, with headphones and a mouthpiece that are representative of his chosen profession.

Abilities: When it comes to math, coding, music, electronics or anything involving numbers or logical patterns Noah is a genius.

Flaws: Noah's life literally depends on the safety/power of his drone. Also he is somewhat socially inept as he has no real world experience interacting with people. All of his social interaction is on the interlink or
through his drone.

Drone: Camera with thermal and night optics, two way radio, interlink up-link, and small manipulators that can lift objects no heavier than 20 pounds.

Software: Self Coded Audio Visual software suite, not quite top of the line, but damn near. Can create avatars, voices etc for the interlink. He often receives offers to buy the rights to it, but the code for it is his most well guarded secret aside from his alter ego.

NoaFence - The Bard claims he knows how to contact NoaFence (think Peter Parker/Spider Man) the rest of the world has no idea that The Bard, NoaFence, and Noah Fencer are all one person.

FoxZee - A fellow interlink musician and often times collaborator on new musical pieces.

Dr. Adler - the scientist that developed the drone system. Fired from Tyr Industries. Still has a soft spot for Noah and occasionally repairs the systems pro-Bono.

Mr. Universe - Hacktivist and NoaFence's contact with The Flow.

Kelly Haberdasher - The Bard's Manager and Agent. The person the real world gets to see when a Face is needed for The Bard. Some people believe she is The Bard.

Jay 2K Winger 06-16-2013 01:42 AM

Very nice, Chanlin! Exactly the kind of thing that I like to see here, the transhumanistic approach and an "in" with The Flow from the get go in NoaFence.

Mytical 06-16-2013 05:51 AM

The following is only for approval right now by Jay (otherwise I will go with the one I sent him earlier)

Name: Kiki Toshioto

Occupation: Assassin.

Backstory: Currently residing in a small house in the hub, along the edge of it. Kiki Toshioto of the Toshioto clan was born blind, and has been blind her whole life. Her family had been ninjas/assassins for as long as the family could remember, and she was trained to compensate with her other senses. She temporarily gained her sight back when she was 18, but found she did better without site then she did with it. So, she opted not to have the surgery to make her sight permanent. Even on the interlink she does not 'see' as others do. She has a enhanced sonar system, that works better then traditional sight, which makes her 'see' in black and white (sort of like daredevil but she doesn't need others to make sounds to 'see').

Description: Black hair, green eyes, oriental. Roughly about 5'0", but a deadly 5'0". Slim of waist, and the rest of her would also be considered 'petite'.

Avatar Description: She made her avatar before she could see, and was convinced she had red hair for some reason. So her avatar looks exactly like she does, but only with red hair. A red haired Asian with green eyes draws a lot of attention, however, so she is looking for somebody to redesign her avatar.

Abilities: Blind Fighting, Ninjitsu, Acrobatics, and other traits traditionally associated with the Ninja. In the interlink she has taken this a bit further, going with the rumored ability that Ninja's can become invisible.

Flaws: A very strict code of honor, despite being a hired killer. If she gives her word she will keep it, and she will put nobody but her target in jeopardy. Especially children.

Equipment: A seemingly endless supply of martial weapons. Throwing Stars, Sais, nunchucks, katanas, and the like. Smoke pellets, and of course blowgun with poisoned darts.


Toshioto Clan - A small clan of assassins that hire out, they have strict rules of who can hire them, and what they will or will not do.

Ye Shin Toshioto (Pronounced Yes hen) - Head of the Toshioto and Kiki's grandfather. He no longer actively participates in the assignments, leaving that to the younger generations. With Kiki's father and mother dead, he is a bit more protective of Kiki then he is of the other members of the clan. He is almost legendary, having well over 1,000 kills with zero collateral damage..maybe one of the worlds most deadly old men.

Shinsen-gumi - This is where the majority of the Toshioto clans contracts come from.

Jay 2K Winger 06-16-2013 06:14 PM

Myt, I'd recommend going with that other character you told me about, tbh.

Unless Saber/Diamondback can only manipulate "shadows" on the Interlink, there aren't really "super-powers" like that in the real world, just impressive feats of strength/speed/endurance/etc. due to either augmentations and/or sheer badassery.

This is a Shadowrun-esque setting, but there isn't really "magic" per se in the real world like there is in Shadowrunverse.

Mytical 06-16-2013 06:16 PM

No problem :). One blind ninja assassin coming up.

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