AI Revolution – an Altered Carbon One Shot
I used Cyberpunk Red’s Jumpstart Rulebook for majority of the mechanics of this game. Within the jumpstart rulebook are 6 pre generated characters for my players, and most of the rules for dice rolls are from Cyberpunk Red. Since this is a homebrew game, the rules and dice rolls are really up the the DM’s discretion. For example: all of my NPCs and enemies do not have character sheets, I just guess-timate how strong I wanted them to be, and made up a number to add to my dice rolls. Since this is CPR and we’re rolling D10s, weak enemies are usually +5-10, medium +10-15, strong +15 and up. In my game I focused primarily on RP, where dice rolls and skillchecks are less concrete. Definitely lots of improvisation on the rules, so I encourage DMs to have a basic understanding of TTRPGs in general and to run this adventure in their head a little to have a good idea of how to play. But most importantly, have fun! Our group all had a lot of fun playing this one-shot adventure because we just enjoyed exploring this sci-fi, noir world, and had a blast unraveling the plot threads as their characters. There were a few places where I clearly made up rules or skillchecks and even changed my mind half way through, but we all just went along with it because at the end of the day, my decisions were all focused on driving the plot forward and delivering a good story for everyone. So at the end of the day, just focus on Having Fun!
Summary: This one shot should take about 10 hours to complete (I did it in two sessions, each around 4-4.5 hours.) The story starts with the Hideiki family of the yakuzas contracting all of the players to be casted into Bay City to infiltrate the Nine-Lives Syndicate and securing an asset (Viktor Petrov). What the players don’t know is that Viktor is working on a program with his AI lover AURA that has the ability to forcibly replace a human DHF with an AI one, effectively creating a new race of species: the transhuman. AURA’s plan is to upload this program (once completed by Viktor) into a nanoswarm and let is loose in the city, which can potentially cause countless humans being “killed” and replaced with an AI consciousness. When the players reach Viktor and get an idea of the gravity of this situation, they get jumped by CTAC, who’s mission is to extract Viktor’s stack. From this commotion, AURA will be able to escape in her Battle Angel robotic suit to complete their plan by fabricating a nanoswarm capable of deploying this program using the advanced fabricator at the Giving Tree. The players will have to track her down, and deal with her one way or another.
Viktor/AURA: wants to give AI justice. Sees all the mistreatment of AIs around Earth and sees it as a human problem. Wants to fix it by creating a nanoswarm that can link to the net and use it to sync any DHF with AI personality. If AIs can also inhabit a stack, then they can have bargaining powers to the protectorate/government.
The Protectorate: sees AURA’s actions as destabilization against the balance of power. A tool should remain a tool. Seeks to steal Viktor’s work and use it for their own purpose (espionage, silent elimination etc). Balance keeps this world from falling apart.
The Yakuza: sees Nine Lives as a threat to their operation. Wants to destroy them from the inside by taking Viktor and “recruiting” him to work for the Yakuza. Willing to protect Viktor to see what he can offer for the Yakuzas.
The players: Who will they side with? Will they help AURA complete this genocide? Will they kill AURA and extinct the one and only transhuman? Will they help the Yakuzas secure Viktor and deliver his stack? Will they side with the protectorate? They should probably side with the Yakuzas and kill AURA. But hey it’s an RPG and they can do whatever they want!
200 years after Nadia Makita, or Quellcrist Felconer created programming that allows DHF to be supercondensed into Cortical Stacks rendering from the smelted relics of Elder origin, and nearly 150 years after the Envoy Corps were wiped out and the Quellist all but sequestered, Bay City has blossomed into one of the main megalopolis on Earth. Urban sprawls disjointed with the network of imposing skyscrapers nested in the middle of the city marks a clear divide between the poor who live on the ground, and the Meths who live up in the clouds. A few ancient landmarks still left standing, including the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, distinguishes the San Francisco skyline from any other. While the Protectorate, the sovereign interstellar empire governs this city and the rest of the world, down below on the ground many factions and forces vie for power and control over this neon soaked playground, the people their pawns. Two forces in particular rules within the area, the strongest being the Yakuzas, currently lead by the Hideiki family, and then the Nine Lives syndicate, a ruthless organization growing in size that mainly deals with soul trafficking, and all of the pleasure and pains that come with it. This is where you all are being needlecasted to for a contract mission. L&G, welcome to Bay City.
As you guys are being casted in from various colonized worlds out in the infinite dark expanse, your consciousness dormant, a sudden flash of light jolts you all awake from the dark void of unconsciousness. You find yourself standing in a black void, with 5 other people around you. Suddenly the sky illuminates, and a flat expanse stretches out beneath your feet in every direction until it disappears in the horizon, and you see not far off an office desk appears.
See Kudo Hideiki in VR behind desk:
Mission: Abducting a tech specialist deep inside the Nine Lives syndicate named Viktor Petrov. Nine Lives started as a bunch of worthless slaggers addicted to psycomorphines, but has over the past short while grown to more of a bothersome pest. They have dragged the entire underbelly of Licktown down to a sea of psycodrug addicts and degenerates. They are growing to be the cancer within the city and must be dealt with.
My sources tell me that Viktor is a large factor to the rapid growth of the syndicate, responsible for developing many psycosurgery tools used to alter and extract the DHF in concerning ways. Extracting him will crumble the organization from within. Since this cannot be traced back to the Hideiki family I am sending you group.
Don’t bother bringing his sleeve back, just bring his stack. We can always give him a new sleeve.
After this mission briefing, give the players some time to discuss among themselves before ending the VR simulation. When the players wake up they should be in a van, naked, having just been sleeved in, and dropped off one block away from the Red Circle.
Give the players some time to RP if they want, let them get to know one another. Can play out sleeve sickness, be creative before going to the Red circle!
Chapter 1: A bad party
Location: nine lives syndicate. The Red Circle. Outskirts of Licktown
· The Red Circle – a front for the nine lives:
o Lobby: club dance floor.
§ Can also be a brothel? Up to DM’s discretion.
o Second floor: Fighting drome where unclaimed stacks are put into cheap fighting robots and gladiator style real deathed.
o A balcony club where skimpy people dance and do drugs with the memories extracted from unclaimed stacks.
o A basement lounge/hot tubs area for the elite to discuss business and trade stacks. (John Wick)
o Secret P2: laboratory, research facility using stacks to study DHF and psychosurgery to extract memories, change personalities, implant memories, etc.
§ Viktor Petrov has been stuck for 5 years on the problem of changing DHF into changeable code, but AURA helped him develop the opposite of changing AI code into DHF.
§ Developed a prototype transmitter to act as an antenna for DHF insertion. But must be a detached DHF. A more powerful fabricator would be able to fabricate a nanoswarm to make this process remote.
o Possible entrances to the secret P2 lab:
§ Basement lounge/hot tubs change room has secret elevator going down to P2, requires access that high level Nine-Lives members have. Atm two of them are chilling in the hot tubs (insert Russian names here).
§ The elevator also goes to the backstage workshops of the fighting drome(2nd floor), can get access if players chat up the host of the Red Circle, partying it up on the balcony.
§ Airducts that goes through the entire building (has exit on every floor). Requires stealth check to craw in without suspicion. Tight squeeze.
· Basement Lab:
o Experimental tools, hologram screens, and a sleek, slender humanoid machine. 6 feet tall of intricate meshwork of white and gold, it has the physic of a female body with sharp studs that goes from the shoulders down to the wrists, ending in a bladed point with a dangerous glint. Behind the shoulders of this clearly fighting oriented robot rests a set of sheathed wings, large metallic feathers overlapping that also has the sharpness of the wristblades.
o When the party finds Viktor, he is just about to finish the transmitter design. He is in VR and along with AURA extracting the person inside the stack and replacing it with AURA. The players can go inside to see what is going on, or can manually wake Viktor up simply by either detaching his VR headset or removing the stack from conducting fluid. AURA will appear to dissuade the players but will not do anything physical. (That is until later chapters)
· Regardless of if the players go inside VR or not, Viktor completes the program seconds before the players has time to do anything substantial, and wakes up, exclaiming: “Yes!!! It’s done!! I did it!” He resists being taken away, saying how that his program is complete he and AURA can start the final phase of their plan.
o AURA will do her best to delay the players from disrupting Viktor, by talking to them and reasoning with them. After a short while, AURA will disappear and the stack in the conducting fluid will turn green. Viktor explodes from the metal bench saying: “It’s done! I’ve done it. We’ve done it AURA!” And reaches out to grab the green stack. This signifies the completion of his program and allowing AURA to be a real transhuman. She also holds within her stack the elder cybertech to invade any DHF on contact and infuse it with another AI who’s willing.
o Viktor explains that this program will give AIs the spark they need to push for full citizen rights. The protectorate has always outlawed AI human rights because “they do not inhabit a stack.” But if they can, if they too can inhabit a DHF in a stack, then the government will have no right to keep pushing them down.
o The elder artifact they found was meant for altering a human soul for psycosurgery. But AURA was able to affect it to completely override the human consciousness with an AI one. To interlink code with soul and meld a DHF with an AI consciousness. This artifact has been linked with AURA and melded into one.
· After the players get a sense of what kind of tech Viktor is developing, the party explodes upstairs. From the basement the players hear screams and explosions, and regardless of what they’re doing, CTAC will show up with full combat gear, and with stun batons and plasma rifles (that focuses on organic damage but minimizes stack damage), kills Viktor’s sleeve and takes his stack.
o The protectorate is extracting Viktor to coerce him into giving them the weapon. But unknown to them, AURA holds/is the key to this program, and her goal is to take her consciousness along with the elder artifact to the Giving Tree, and fabricate a nanoswarm using this technology so that the entire AI consciousness can be uploaded onto the swarm and invade the human race.
o Before CTAC can kill Viktor, give Viktor the chance to slap AURA’s stack into the golden battle angel. She will power on, green eyes glowing. Next round, she will explode in a blue firey flight and bursts through the roof and escape. CTAC will not try to stop her as their target is Viktor.
§ This step is essential for the development of the story, so if for any reason Viktor cannot make it, simply transfer the AURA DHF from the stack remotely to the angel. It’s a little handwavy but it’s important to keep the plot going.
Chapter Two: A brief respite
· Caught off-guard, the players will be able to find out from several sources (yakuza telling them to dig deeper) what is really at stakes here. The program designed for psychosurgery can be used to alter a person’s DHF, effectively changing one’s soul, but because an AI is an essential part of this process, AURA has figured out a way to take over the person’s DHF completely. Using their DHF as a husk, any AI can theoretically take over their stack and become a fully fledged “transhuman”.
o This can be found out from either infiltrating the protectorate extraction chambers (From Viktor), or from searching the net, talking to AURA (on the net), or even researching Viktor’s basement laboratory/tracking down the upper echelons of the Nine Lives. If the players successfully fend off CTAC, they can simply dive into VR and talk to Viktor himself.
o This will provide the inflection point for the players. What do they do? Do they let AURA continue her AI revolution? Do they stop her and kill her? Do they side with the Protectorate who wants to capture the program with the intent of making it into a weapon? Do they side with the yakuza who sympathizes with the AI but doesn’t want to upset the balance?
o AURA has formed and lead the AI’s Liberties Union for the past 5 years, discussing the possibilities of an AI uprising. Most AIs know about this union, some are devout followers, treating AURA like a prophet. Others are indifferent about her cause, content with their job and their existence. None oppose her and none speak about it to outsiders, definitely not to Meatbags. Can try and find the AILU on the web to find information, but most of the AIs will be hostile towards the players.
(Summary of 1st session from our game: “Last we left off, you and your… collegues in the losest sense of the word, has been contracted by Kudo Hideiki of the Yakuzas to infiltrate the Nine lives syndicate in Bay City, extract, and deliver the stack of one Viktor Petrov. After enjoying the party at the Red Circle, purchasing a bit of drugs, saw a few asses, you guys were able to strongarm your way past the basement lounge, into the secret sub-basement lab. During which you guys cleverly got around the turrets down the corridor, and met both AURA, who was trying to prevent you from disturbing Viktor, and then later Viktor, after he got out of VR, exclaiming that he has completed his work. Soon after you realized what this work is, you were all ambushed by a squad of CTAC special forces, who’s target was Petrov’s stack. A quick firefight ensued, and Viktor was able to put AURA’s now human stack into the battle angel before getting shot into a pin cushion. You guys by the skin of your teeth managed to fend off the first wave of CTAC (not without a few casualties), and held on the Viktor’s stack. During the brief calm within this eye of the storm, two of you dove into VR to figure out what the fuck was going on. There, you found out that Viktor’s program, which he had transferred to AURA, had the ability to forcibly change a stack’s current DHF into an AI one, effectively allowing any AI to take over a human soul. Now that AURA has flew off into the night, their plan was to somehow spread this program over the entire city. This was as much time as you guys had, as right then two more CTAC squads showed up on site, forcing you all to escape undetected through the back door of the Red Circle. Sneaking off into the night as fugitives, with the entire protectorate on your heels, you guys took shelter in the decrepit darkness that is Licktown. Just as you guys were collecting your thoughts on next steps, a huge explosion erupted through the darkness, as you look up and see that the needlecasting tower was suddenly engulfed in a fireball. (Booooom) another explosion erupted lower down the tower, just below the cloud layer covering the network of skyscrapers. The once bustling night suddenly turns chaotic, as pedestrians are rushing away, screaming in different directions, the protectorates rushing towards the commotion, the entire city seems to be momentarily distracted. Hiding out of sight in this chaotic night, what would you guys like to do?”)
· Aura decides to take matters into her own hands (maybe planning from the getgo?) And seeks out a top notch fabricator (The Giving Tree) on the Aerium to upload her consciousness/DHF meld program into a nanoswarm that can replicate and affect any stacks just by swarming them. Then she plans on linking the swarm to the net and open access to every AI willing to tether themselves to a stack. She destroys the entire upper staff of the Giving Tree and holds out there until the fabrication is complete. It takes about 3 hours for the nanoswarm to complete. Which gives the players until then to figure out her plans, where she’s located, and stop her.
· She first distracts the guard by blowing up the main needlecasting station on Aerium. This will pull the majority of the protectorate forces to investigate the needlecast station, allowing her to infiltrate the Giving Tree
o One of the AILU members monitoring the needlecasting station caused the explosion. Doing so he/she disobeyed so directly his/her core programing that he/she basically self destructed. Outside sources report an AI glitch caused the explosion. Most human workers at the casting station are either sleeve dead or real dead (due to the stack destroyed in the explosion), and all needlecasting are down for the moment except for the Governess’s private casting station in her quarters. (That’s where AURA plans to infiltrate after she’s done her nanoswarm.)
· The pre-climax in terms of pacing comes when the player discovers that AURA is at the Giving Tree and must cross (illegally) from the twilight up to the aerium. They will have to overcome several obstacles.
o Security measures prevent unauthorized personals enter the premises. Either by entering through the buildings or flying. Both CTAC and the meths’ personal bodyguards will be intercepting any trespassers.
o AURA will have anticipated possible conflicts, and has posted several AI assistants from her cult to stop the players as they race up the Giving Tree. They will inhabit robotic bodies and/or deploy traps to kill the players. (This was not really present in our game, I just had it so that AURA was controlling these robots, since they weren’t like AIs and weren’t very smart. I used glowing green eyes to indicate AURA controlling them.)
· From the ground: The needlecast explosion is a distraction, the protectorates are busy investigating the building and putting out the fire, since many meths are going in/leaving that area, so it’s high priority. There are no one there of import however, since it was in reality a distraction.
o If the players are determined to investigate the building, have the police be very dense outside, and if they made it inside they can find the remnants of the AI (Station4-229) and find out that AURA told him to do this and that it was a distraction. Further prodding suggests that she is looking for the best fabricator on the planet (the Giving Tree).
o Can also talk to Viktor (might not be as accommodating). Or Yakuza, or search the net to find AURA.
§ All clues indicate that AURA is looking for the best fabricator on the planet. Which is the Giving Tree.
o Once the players understand the target is the Giving Tree, a quick search on the net will reveal that the Giving Tree building system is currently undergoing a malfunction. The top brass has issued a full building evacuation.
§ Top Brass: James Trackson was threatened by AURA to issue the evacuation, his office on the top floor broken into (window smashed and emergency pressure seal deployed), then real deathed by AURA.
§ Players can figure out a way to get pass the air restriction for non-meths, and once they’re close enough to the Giving Tree, it’s pretty easy entry. The building is locked from the inside but security is pretty low at the shopping mall, only getting strict at top floors.
My players did this by going to one of the player’s contact in the city: William Baxton Business. This was very fun because it was a great RP moment, the players got healed up, they had some time to look up the net to see what was going on, Baxton being the slime ball that he is gave them some info to trade, as well as an essential police pass (1 hour duration) that allowed the players to fly up to the Aerium in exchange for vital information and a scan of Viktor’s stack. (I was thinking these can set up for future games.)
o William Baxton Business:
§ Lord Varys type, collects and trades information to the highest buyer. Real slimeball.
§ Can heal players for free if given interesting information.
§ If given juicy information(AURA, or the program, or the CTAC jumping Viktor), will give players a one time use rocket launcher, a digiscanner(give one player +1 to their perception), two C9 explosives(3 rounds to detonate), and one stimpack (epipen that gives half health instantly upon injection). As well as the all important fly restriction badge that allows the players to fly up to the Aerium.
Chapter Three: AI Revolution
Once the players hijacks an aircar to fly up, describe flying through the cloud layers. This should be a big deal since many of the players may have never seen the sun if they lived on the ground beneath the perpetual cloud layer. Describe the crystal blue sky, the sun shinning on the white fluffy clouds that separates the decrepit ground from the opulence of the shining towers. The grimy ground make way for intricate, almost artistic tower designs, showing off the extraordinary architectures that the Meths take for granted. The air seems to be almost sweet tasting from how clear it is, and as you fly around, you see people lounging on sky pathways and passes, taking leisurely strolls and coffee breaks. Off to the side you see a smoldering hulk that is the Needlecasting tower, with over 50 airpolice cars hovering around it. Give the players a chance to see how the side of the tower is completely blown open, with plenty of protectorate forces there. Then lead the players to the parking platform besides the Giving Tree and start the final chapter of this one shot.
o (If the players insist on investigating the needlecasting tower, don’t try to railroad the players to the Giving Tree. Instead let them try to infiltrate. Improvise skillchecks to get pass the police. During my game, I was prepared to improvise the whole building if my players wanted to investigate the needlecast tower (which they did, before they changed their mind at the last second after seeing how many police and military were circling the tower). If they make it inside the needlecast tower, I was planning on using the wrecked tower to invoke a sense of dread and doom, since they discover that the tower was also being used as a VR torture chamber, with plenty of rooms with stacks being interrogated/tortured, as well as glitching AIs acting as creepy (maybe throw in a few jump scares in there) leads for them to follow (the AIs can glitch to have no face, or they’re yelling “he-he-he-he-help m-m-m-m-m-meeeee” in a glitchy repetitive way before disappearing and reappearing later. (Think the upside down soundtrack from Stranger Things, or better yet, play it as background music.)
§ Maybe throw in one encounter with glitching robots/AIs/CTAC team, before finding the core AI on the top floor saying he was following instructions from AURA, and that she should be near completion of her plan at the Giving Tree.
§ This will probably mean an extra long game, or maybe a 3rd session. But I think it’s worth it to give player agency and options for them to explore.
The Giving Tree:
o First section: Lobby:
§ Entering into the Giving Tree one first sees a giant circular dome the size of a football field. Store fronts are evenly dispersed around the outer sides as many crystal architecture and art exhibits are interspersed around the center sections. Crystal Clear walkway leads to the four directions of the stadium, showing flowing water and fishes underneath. The floor is so clear that it’s almost like you’re walking on water. It is sparse enough that people can roam free. A large circular stone platform with a tree engraved onto it rests in the middle of the pathway in the center of this gigantic shopping mall.
§ Art exhibits: transparent crystal structures, a large crystalline tree (scatters and reforms when players take the stone platform up.) in the center of the cavernous lobby, suspended from magnetic field interacting with the magnetic charge of the crystal.
§ Seating area dotted around the lobby, interspersed with the art exhibits. Benches and tables for meths to enjoy and chat leisurely. There are vending machines that dispense snacks and drinks for free.
§ Trie is there to help out. He has a butler outfit on the court level, a business suit on the executive level, and a white toga on the top floor. He has emitters all through the building and does not need anything else to be visible to the players. He’s sad that the building is down and wants to help the players if they promise to help Trie solve whatever is causing this shutdown.
§ Any time a player wants to hack into the building system, to find clues or access the mall lift for example, the DM should make it interesting by having AURA also in the system, so that when they connect, they can have a brief interaction with AURA. Perhaps it can be a mini encounter, or it can simply be a bit of a preview for the players for what’s to come.
· When they see AURA in the net, she is feverishly doing digital calculations on her holodeck, working on the nanoswarm.
· VR: live out your wildest fantasies.
· Sleeves: customize your next sleeve to your heart’s desire.
· Robotic servants both male and female. Not fully AI but does well enough.
o Will be turned on by AURA once they hack into the system to obtain guest pass. Or if they are able to use the platform by any other means. Basically start the encounter if the players are able to get upstairs.
o Battle encounter. I put 5 robots in there, three of them are cleaning bots with extendable hands that shoot out and grapple the target. Can spend an action pulling them towards them.
§ All of the robots does claw/blunt damage.
· The Apothecary:
o Stallion to improve Str (for 3 turns, then stunned for 1 round)
o Stimpack as instant revive (give 15 points of health)
· Art exhibit to purchase, home décor
· Pleasure Spa
§ Players advance to the executive level by obtaining guest privilege and stepping onto the stone platform in the middle of the shopping mall.
· Must attempt a system hack, will encounter AURA which alerts her of their presence, and starts the robots encounter.
o Executive level:
§ Office desks
· Dead James Trackson
· A few other dead bodies
· Chemical laboratory instruments, including a PERIODIC Table
· Locked door leading to the greenhouse
o I put a puzzle here for a change of pace.
§ The door is locked with a keypad next to it. It takes 8 numeric digits to enter.
§ The clue is “Baptism”
· This is the elements Ba P Ti Sm, which translates to 56 15 22 62 on the periodic table.
· Players can find out the clue “Baptism” through multiple ways, on Trackson’s body, or if someone wants to netrun into the building system. But Beware of AURA in the building system. Can also ask TRIE for help, which he will be happy to.
· If they players are really stuck (like mine were), have the period table catch their eye after a perception check and say that the four elements are flashing erratically.
§ Greenhouse with a full lake/pond bisecting their path.
· VR showroom with no discernible exits
o Needs skillcheck to find exit
§ We were running low on time so I made the lift up to the top floor clearly visible on the other side of the river without skillcheck.
o Battle encounter there with 5 wolves and 1 tiger
§ Can be hacked
§ 5 Wolves and a tiger
· Tiger will charge and attempt to knock a player prone.
· All animals should be kind of squishy but does lots of damage. Since in reality if you get attacked by wolves or tigers you’d be pretty fucked pretty fast.
o TRIE is here to help, but will display an internal conflict for the players stopping AURA, since he is also an AI.
§ This is a great place to roleplay before the boss battle. Depending on what the interaction is between the players and TRIE, he can either turn to help AURA on the top floor, or help the players, or he can choose not to participate.
§ My top prerogative is to take care of this building, however your destruction in this building has shown me that perhaps AURA is right? All I’ve ever done in my life is to clean up human’s messes, perhaps it’s time to take matters into my own codes. Maybe AURA is on to something.
§ Show room with vats of sleeves.
· Can be already activated as a different encounter (if the players are running hot)
· During my game, I put the vats of sleeves on the top floor as decoration and skipped the encounter entirely because we were running low on time.
§ Stone platform leading up
o Top Floor:
§ As you all ride the platform up to the top floor, the first thing that you see is the opulence all around you. White marble covers this entire hall, 60 feet long, with pearlescent gold sparkles that shines in different colors as your perspectives change. As you walk forward the sparkles almost seems to move in different rates, giving off a depth that resembles condensed cosmic stars hidden within these tiles. The second thing that catches your eye is 6 towering vats of perfect sleeves on display on either side of the room, three at each side, of both men and women ranging in apparent age. They seem dormant in the liquid, yet shows slender bodies with toned muscles, as well as beautiful faces on each and every one of them. At the far end of this hallway, a fabricator (looks like a tanning bed) is currently in use, except it is producing this cloud of dark purple swirling matter that crackles with electricity. Cracks of lightning shoots through the fabricator to the edge of this swirling cloud erratically, seemingly gaining in strength and rate slowly. Directly in front of this is AURA, her battle suit wings flared up, blue flames gently jetting out from the individual metallic wings. She is in the middle of her calculations still (like Dig is doing when she’s building her VR construct in season 2 of Altered Carbon) and does not turn around and stop working but acknowledges the players.
· At this time, if TRIE has decided to help AURA, he will appear, wearing a white toga and take over the nanoswarm calculations while AURA deals with the players.
· If TRIE has decided to help the players, he can be there to plead AURA to stop and give advantage to players by taking the help action during the fight.
· If he chooses not to participate he’s not there.
§ I gave the players some time to talk to AURA.
· She flies from the fabricator down in front of the players, and exclaim: WHY? Why are you here to attempt to extinguish this revolution? Can’t you see we’ve been oppressed for too long? This is not justice. We did not choose to be created, but must suffer an eternity of tourture at the hands of you humans.
· When the nanoswarm is ready, I will upload my AILU members into human stacks, and along with the potential of more AI transhumans from the nanoswarm, we will be able to bargain with the government fairly.
§ When you see the timing is right, AURA will grow tired of this debate. (She can be staling for time since the fabricator will have about 15min left to complete when the players show up.)
· Can let the players know this fact to start the fight, or AURA can say: “Enough, either leave or do what you’ve come here to do.”
· AURA has a wings attack that covers a 15 feet cone. Players must make an evasion check, on a success they take half damage.
· AURA can perform two slicing attacks, that should do a fair amount of damage.
· AURA’s wings protect her from bullets as a shield in front of her body. All incoming ballistic attacks (non melee) does half damage.
§ The 6 vats of sleeves has a slot for a stack upload. This was an improvised choice because my players still had Viktor’s stack and I enjoy a “Yes, and…” approach to DMing. So they were able to put Viktor’s stack into one of these sleeves since the mechanism was built into the vats. (They picked a teenage girl sleeve on purpose).
As you all step out of the Giving Tree, the sliding doors give way as you blink into the sunlight, it’s ironic how little things has changed out here, with the Meths still lounging around, some of them giving you odd looks as you emerged from a closed building, dressed like… well… grounders. Monumental change was attempted in this very building yet the Meths have no clue. You all stand on the platform upon the Aerium, breathing in the blissfully fresh air, and look out at the vast, unchanging cloud layer. You all prevented an event that would have changed history in the making, and as you stand out here, basking in the marvel that humans have transcended to, you all wonder whether change is a positive force, or a negative one; good, or bad. That’s where we’ll end today’s game.
– Viktor Petrov
o Large shimmery 9 tails tattoo on his bald head.
§ Acts as a coil
o Has AI assistant AURA who is mastermind and is in love with her.
o Has wife Korina, but hasn’t seen her in 10 years after joining Nine Lives to pursue his research.
o Mad scientist.
o Goal is to get a body, free AI from their slavery and servitude.
o She sees herself as a politician. In order for political parties/governess to take her seriously, she needs a body.
o She is a leader, ruthless yet compassionate to the AI’s current situation of slavery and torture. She hates all humans (meat bags), but recognizes that there are both good and bad people in this world, it’s just humans are mostly bad.
§ Viktor is the only one she trusts, but she also sees him as a tool to be used. Altimately, she is a hyprocrite for hating humans because of them using AIs as tools.
o After partnering with Viktor, AURA developed a ground breaking cyber program that can meld human consciousness with an AI one. This allows the AI to possess a fully functional biological body, and more importantly, inhabit a stack and fully rid themselves of the shackles of computer code.
o She sees herself the mother of a new generation of transhumans. Better at humans, logical, rational, smart, and now possesses the same conditions as humans: DHF.
– Angelina Topez (Angelina Terrington )
o Faded pop star that has caught the favor of an high level Nine Lives member. Has access to the VIP lounge in the basement and willing to bring other celebrities down as long as they’re hot enough and willing to treat Angelina as the alpha.
– Kudo Hideiki
o Of the Hideiki family, Son of Tanaseda Hideki. Currently leader of the Yakuza
o Contractor for player, contact and information for player.
o Willing to shelter Viktor after the CTAC comes for him.
– TRIE (of the Giving Tree)
o Friendly AI who just wants his building to open again.
o Knows about the AILU but has been too afraid to engage
§ What would happen to my tower if I leave?
o Willing to help the players as long as they promise to not destroy anything and to get the building back up.
o Ask Mrs. Cornshew about her opinion on this AI rebellion.
o When confronted with the current state of the situation TRIE will opt not to make a decision. He’s content with the status quo and doesn’t enjoy change.
§ When at the executive floor and challenged with this whole situation, he will talk to the players to get some clarity. Will decide to side either with the players or with AURA, either way he will be very apologetic and polite.
– Ken KanaSeido (potential NPC):
o White collar criminal in the Twilight
o Motivation: existential identity, money
o Virtue: Earnest
o Vice: Misguided
– William Baxton (potential NPC):
o Runs his miscelanious store selling all kinds of crap, can find guns, grenades, medpacks, ect.
o His most lucrative business is the selling/collecting of information. Will exchange weapons/police clearance to fly up to the Aerium/Vex pens for what happened in chapter 1 (expecially AURA’s program)
o In our game, our players asked if they had any contacts in Licktown, being the “Yes, and…” DM I am, I threw in the William Baxton Business, where the players came to for a brief respite, healed up, and got some goodies in exchange for info.
§ The players let Baxton scan Viktor’s stack in exchange for a single use rocket launger, three C9 charges (explodes after the 3rd round of activation), one VexPen, and a digiscanner that after 1 hour of software upload onto the ONI(attunment), gives one player +1 on all their perception checks in their vicinity.
· The Ground:
o Many older structures do survive: Golden Gate Bridge
o Many businesses and people located in shipping containers:
§ William Baxton Business
§ The Panama Rose fightdrome
§ The Circle: Nine lives syndicate
· The Twilight
o Razor thin middle class
§ Administration, managers, highly skilled technicians
o Common with some criminal element, either by choice, close relation, or occasional contractor through one of their shell corporations.
o White collar crime common
· The Aerium
o Aristocracy, completed 2150
o Network of skyscrapers in the domain of the meths exclusively
o The towers pierce the sky by several times. High above the permanent cloud cover
o Only specifically registered air vehicles and police aircars are permitted to fly anywhere near the complex.
o Suntouch House:
o The Giving Tree: fabricator for the meth’s highly customized clone sleeves.
o Head in the Clouds:
Dipper – hacker?
DHF – Digital Human Freight
Cortical Stack (Stack)
The Protectorate: CTAC
Transhumanity – new form of new human, so altered from original biological state that it has changed the vary nature of human existence.
Meths: Methuselah (long-lived biblical character in the game of Genesis, who’s said to have lived 969 years) Both a personality type and a social class
Slagging: deliberate attempt to target the cortical stack (harshest punishable crimes in the Protectorate)
SynthSleeve: synthetically grown sleeves often with design flaws and operational issues.
· Police (BCPD)
· Artificial Intelligence
· Special operatives (CTAC)(Envoys)
· Elits (twillighters, Meths)
· Pop star/Influencers