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Setting Design Workthread

piLpiL Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Critical Failures
There existed a Campaign Design Workshop thread here, but it didn't quite seem to meet my goals, and I couldn't find another thread appropriate to my goals; at least not relatively recent at all.

So this thread is for knocking out setting design ideas, questions etc. If you need help completing an idea, what best to do with an idea, or just fishing for more ideas in general, this thread is designed to help one another work on our setting projects.



I'm starting this thread with a need: A friend and I have been working on a Sci-Fi themed RPG. It's not fleshed out enough for us to want to make any big thing available, but we want to start playing with it and use that to find out what things we need. For the time being, we were considering GURPS or modifying Storyteller to fit our needs, although other possibilities exist.

We've decided that, for now, Storyteller will meet our needs, and we're trying to put together some of the basics. The 'discipline'/special ability slot of players is planned to be filled with things reflecting what will be semi-isolated sources of power. For instance, psychics and synthetics are two of the 'classes' we're shooting for so far. What I need right now is a good word for chromed-out Shadowrun style individuals--the class will include super-hacker-types (maybe), street-samurai, and rigger-style pilots. The idea being that the individuals in this class don't just have plug-and-play cyberware, but hugely expensive and time-consuming cyberware surgeries that require massive amounts of time to install, recover, and train, separating them from the data-jacks and retinal clocks that most people own, and probably received it from corporate sponsorship in corporate forces, part of military service, or (especially for the hacker/science types), received it as part of medical/technology jobs.

As for my ideas on this word: I thought about using 'Agent' for the class first, but I've decided that's probably a good word for player-characters in general, so I'm looking for something gritty and representing the cyberware-focused nature of the class. I had 'Chromer' as an idea, but I'd like to see if anybody has a better idea.


TLDR Summary: Looking to name a class of cyber-ware focused individuals in a gritty Sci Fi setting.

Thanks.

piL on

Posts

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    arright i try n' be helpful here

    Automata (penny arcade reference)

    Hybrid (strictly practical)

    Armitage (name of extremely modified character in William Gibson's "Neuromancer")

    Armateur (play on words: armature)

    Servotaire/Servoteur (same thing but for 'servitor', playing off the angle of being enhanced so as to be used by the organization paying for the implants)

    Concorder (french verb meaning "mesh"... i think)

    Mechadict (obvious, really)

    Prosthete

    Profract (mashup for voluntary displacement)

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • BrodyBrody SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Hacked (Referring to both the extensive amount of surgery required, and from when "hacking" occurred not on the webs, but referred more towards the literal hacking and splicing of wires to make various things do that which was not originally intended. Potentially more derogatory?)

    Splice

    Wired



    I don't know if you have seen it, but Ghost in the Shell is an anime that seems to parallel your concept to a degree. It also happens to be my favorite anime ever. It has very interesting flavour.

  • SUPERSUGASUPERSUGA Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I think Chromer is pretty good. If it's going to be a major focus of your setting you can afford to go with new vocabulary, whereas for more minor things it's best to stick to words people will understand straight away.

    I'm not working on a proper setting at the moment, but I'm creating an adventure module for The Adventurer's Tale that will be packaged with a small guide to an implied setting. I've blogged my thoughts on this as I've worked on it, but I'll throw them into this thread to show my support.

    The Adventurer's Setting Musings
    I want to start with some key points that people familiar with fantasy settings will want to know. The idea is to stay generic, but do generic as well as I can. Let's do this off the top of my head.

    - The World is a mundane place. Magic is uncommon, most people have boring jobs and the novelty of local monster attacks has long since worn off on the average human. Most people have little reason to know about things that aren't happening in their immediate surroundings.

    - The Otherworlds are far from mundane. These hidden, unnatural places exist outside of the natural world and range from the the glittering domain of the forest queen, elusive elf cities, weird underworlds filled with wonder and even Hell itself. Crossing points to Otherworlds are difficult to find and could take any form, but the Adventurers will find a way. These places are where the rules are broken and occasional "leaks" from Otherworlds are the source of most of the Fantasy in the otherwise natural world.

    - Elves are elusive, immortal and always thinking of the big picture. Dwarfs are focused, obsessive and enjoy routine. Orcs are ugly, amoral and easily led by smarter creatures. Humans are everywhere.

    - Wizards can display supernatural abilities but are rare enough that many people go their lives without witnessing it first hand. Wizards rarely gather together in numbers of more than two, a master and his apprentice. Stories of magic are told, but often assumed to be exaggeration. Likewise, stories of Otherworlds are often thought of as children's bedtime stories.

    - Adventurers seek to protect their loved ones, gain riches and fame and explore the legendary Otherworlds. They will be given ample opportunity for all three.

    Thoughts on the Otherworld
    The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Otherworlds as a focus for a setting. They let you keep the familiar reality of a low-fantasy world, but have your characters encounter magical, high-fantasy elements when need be. I'm hoping that both sides of the coin will benefit from the contrast of the other. But the idea of jumping into new realities is hardly a new one in fantasy. From Planescape to the more accessible 4e Cosmology D&D, the elephant-in-the-room for any fantasy RPG, has covered quite a bit of ground itself.

    For my Adventurer's Setting I want something a little less defined. Something more Fairytale than Epic. I'm definitely thinking more akin to Wonderland, Oz, Neverland and Narnia than the Great Wheel. Places where adventures happen and rules of nature are broken, as well as a source for magic to leak into the natural world in small doses.

    However, my experience of these sources is a little limited, as may be clear. My examples are exclusively from sources I remember from my childhood. What reminded me of this concept recently was reading about the Celtic Otherworld, and I'm familiar with many of the analogs in other culture's mythology. What I'm calling out for is recommendations for other sources of inspiration for fantastic places existing outside of our world.

  • Crimson KingCrimson King wolves cull themselves, man. what other creature could? and is the race of man not more predacious yet?Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm actually experimenting with group setting design at the moment, and I've found quite a good way to tie worldbuilding into character development. Basically, I've defined only one part of the world, the mythical city of Shahrazad, to which all adventurers are inevitably drawn. That's where the campaign takes place, but the PC's are travelers from outside of town, and I've asked each of them to tell me where they're from and what it's like there. So we have a clearly established location for the plot to take place, but the rest of the world is defined by the players weaving it into their backstory. So far we have a bard raised by dragons in the volcanic Chain of Fire, a warlord born of nomads in the high and forgotten desert, and a ranger from a tropical island chain filled with vivid and valuable life. I had them place each of these places on the map and then throw ideas around until the rest of the world was filled in. It's worked out really well so far.

    DS: 4742 - 6001 - 2106 add me to your friend safaris
  • SUPERSUGASUPERSUGA Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I've asked each of them to tell me where they're from and what it's like there.
    This is something I really like. I'll try it myself at the next opportunity.

  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    piL wrote: »
    I had 'Chromer' as an idea, but I'd like to see if anybody has a better idea.
    but hugely expensive and time-consuming cyberware surgeries that require massive amounts of time to install, recover, and train, separating them from the data-jacks and retinal clocks that most people own, and probably received it from corporate sponsorship in corporate forces, part of military service, or (especially for the hacker/science types), received it as part of medical/technology jobs.

    moneysinks

    ie "that guy's a moneysink. i could do his job twice as well with half the chrome."

    sometimes you just gotta do a thing
  • piLpiL Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Firstly, you might have read mechadict as Mech Addict, but it sounded to me very much like mechadick. Which I guess could fit into the setting, but probably isn't good for point points into.

    Barring that one, great recommendations! I still don't feel very satisfied with the class name itself, but a lot of this I'll end up using to describe areas of class abilities (I like prosletes to describe prosthletics, which give a bonus to athletics, for example, also an "Arimage suite" and a"_____ splice" will probably work their way in. Finally. moneysink sounds like an excellent cynical slang, and so I'm for it.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    yeah i thought that as i was typing it but threw it in anyway

    it should have had two d's

    freudian slip

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited January 2010
    piL wrote: »
    I had 'Chromer' as an idea, but I'd like to see if anybody has a better idea.
    but hugely expensive and time-consuming cyberware surgeries that require massive amounts of time to install, recover, and train, separating them from the data-jacks and retinal clocks that most people own, and probably received it from corporate sponsorship in corporate forces, part of military service, or (especially for the hacker/science types), received it as part of medical/technology jobs.

    moneysinks

    ie "that guy's a moneysink. i could do his job twice as well with half the chrome."

    I like this one. It could even be further contracted to "sink", to be evocative of both "moneysink", "heatsink" and "everything but the kitchen sink"

    ...failing that I think chrome and all its related parlance works well.

    cBY55.gifbmJsl.png
  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Edcrab wrote: »
    I like this one. It could even be further contracted to "sink", to be evocative of both "moneysink", "heatsink" and "everything but the kitchen sink"

    That's pretty awesome. Working that word hard, there. <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    it also seems to imply that the individual is simply not worth the great amount of time and money that was invested into them by a patron

    "That worthless moneysink's going flatline before he earns a half credit for Bankuzacorp."

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • SUPERSUGASUPERSUGA Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I think 'sink sounds pretty cool as a somewhat pejorative term for the class. They should have some formal name that nobody uses, though, just for official purposes.

  • Crimson KingCrimson King wolves cull themselves, man. what other creature could? and is the race of man not more predacious yet?Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    SUPERSUGA wrote: »
    I think 'sink sounds pretty cool as a somewhat pejorative term for the class. They should have some formal name that nobody uses, though, just for official purposes.

    Something corporate, the kind of name that a marketing departing would think up to make their cyborg assassins sounds friendly and respectable. RoboBoys and CyborGirls, your shiny servants for a better world! Or something sleek and modern, like Wired or Improved. Anything that sounds trademarked could work.

    DS: 4742 - 6001 - 2106 add me to your friend safaris
  • BrodyBrody SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Or, assuming that WiFi is standard, Networked.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    standard wifi in a Chrome-job could make for some interesting security issues.

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • SUPERSUGASUPERSUGA Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I actually brainstormed a scifi/cyberpunk setting (which would inevitably end up with me writing a new system for it) a couple of weeks ago with a heavy focus on augmented reality being built into nearly every person's vision. One of the key points being "social networking + gang warfare". I'm not sure if I'm glad I abandoned this idea or not.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Facebook and MySpace gangs!

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • SUPERSUGASUPERSUGA Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Yeah pretty much. You look at someone and your vision pops up that they're friends with someone from the green-mohawk gang, whereas you're a rising member of the badkillers, so you jump them and shoot at them with lasers or something.

    I didn't really think it through any further than that.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Ah, a more advanced version of denoting gang affiliation.

    I would assume that there would be still those who are lower tech and still wear colors or insignias... maybe somehow that would be considered to be a more barbaric or foolish way of doing things.

    That's a neat idea.

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • SUPERSUGASUPERSUGA Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I figured it could have some neat applications in-game. Near constant communication with pretty much anyone you want, grabbing people's details and location at any time etc.

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