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Important details about the plot:
Police Lieutenant Davison has been selling classified gear to a few different gangs in a war with one another. All is well and good, since the gangs pretty much know that if they off Davison then all the other gangs are going to bash their skulls in for cutting the steady supply of "the good shit", weapons, ammo, combat drugs, what have you. But then the lieutenant is approached by a megacorporation employee who politely introduces himself and informs the good detective of just how deep shit he has buried himself in by causing trouble to the corporation he represents. And that he should probably make himself useful for them, or there will be hell to pay.

Now the man has vanished. His status is unknown to everyone, even the NCPD, but everyone wants to get their hands on him. The corporation (Murkywater Security), the police department, the gangs, and then there's the relatives of the man. Players are free to create characters from multiple walks of life, who may or may not end up forming alliances or competing directly with one another. Any single faction should nonetheless try for some cohesion between its members.


Current ongoing plotlines and their respective synopses:




Current character sheet revision available here. Subject to change.
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Hekazu
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RPGO Discord, #rp_discussions channel proudly presents: 80's retrofuturism Cyberpunk, now without a GM!


Long story short (but not quite as short as I already wrote above), a discussion took place in the official Guild Discord. Many (x > 2) people that found themselves to forever be the GM and thus unable to actually get to "play" what they wanted happened to think of an idea. What if the RP didn't have one GM set in stone? And so we set to think of it. Cyberpunk was the genre we found everyone had at least a bit of affinity for, and the current writer of this post happened to have a hook that drew people in. Not much more needed be said. We would see just how something like this would hold up, and we wanted to put our best effort into it. After all, a half-assed experiment has no intrinsic value.

Our main points hold as follows:
  • Not much is set in stone, but the setting is. When we say Cyberpunk, we are referring to the style of the tabletop roleplaying game Cyberpunk 2020's world. This is to avoid Cyberpunk world mismatch issues that otherwise might arise.
    • Just to be clear, we are not bringing in the game elements of Cyberpunk 2020. It is the retrofuturism style it carries with it.
    • The rulebook for said system can, for setting reference purposes, be obtained from me upon request.
  • Now that what is set in stone has been iterated, I shall reiterate the earlier point: Not much else is. This means the story is free to progress where the players want to take it, but this is still a communal effort.
  • OOC talk of the RP is not only encouraged. It is pretty much a must for something like this.


The base plot from which we bounce onward is as follows:
Police Lieutenant Davison has been selling classified gear to a few different gangs in a war with one another. All is well and good, since the gangs pretty much know that if they off Davison then all the other gangs are going to bash their skulls in for cutting the steady supply of "the good shit", weapons, ammo, combat drugs, what have you. But then the lieutenant is approached by a megacorporation employee who politely introduces himself and informs the good detective of just how deep shit he has buried himself in by causing trouble to the corporation he represents. And that he should probably make himself useful for them, or there will be hell to pay.


Currently suggested ways to move forward from there include:
  • Lt. Davison is now dead. Characters need to figure out what happened.
  • Lt. Davison is still kicking and refusing to co-operate. An internal investigation towards his activities is launched thank to an anonymous tip, our characters being assigned to do this job.
  • Lt. Davison is a member of the PC party, trying his best to swim instead of sinking. Other PCs likely to be hired muscle to help the good officer.


And that is what we have at the present moment! Let us continue building our RP up from here, no?

(Obligatory Discord discussions participant ping @The Harbinger of Ferocity@The Scotsman@DJAtomika)
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Interested. I have a few character ideas in mind already, will post them here soonish. There are issues pertaining to my joining the discord chat (which I have already shared with @Hekazu), but I will be paying close attention to the thread here.
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I don't follow with the whole "the GM can't be a player" notion. I've never imagined that to be an issue if the GM wants to play as well, provided they can keep up the work of GM and player and don't engage in the usual undesired behaviors (metagaming, powerplaying, etc.). It may not be the same as being solely a player, but I've yet to have any issues with it.

That aside, you had my attention at "Cyberpunk" regardless of how much skepticism you may or may not have attracted. To that end I'll be watching. Further involvement is TBD, probably pending some reorganization of my current RP portfolio.
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by The Harbinger of Ferocity
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Thank you for putting this forward as we go on our endeavor, @Hekazu. I would like to think that the last option regarding the lieutenant offers the most opportunity, particularly if when we all at times maneuver him about here and there, that we have a reason and an obligation to investigate further. Then where relevant, or particularly dramatic, either of the other options can play out. Of course this requires a great deal of trust between all of us, the idea would more or less be that if someone does something with a non-player character, especially something significant - say on one of the missions to help straighten out his record he dies by a sniper, who is perhaps a hitman - that the person is then responsible for making sense of it and helping the party to sort of have some direction from there. It needn't be significant, it could be as simple as getting a face scan from the killer and some of his blood, now having to run it through a corporation or the overburdened police, but we as the group are given something to fairly work with.

Our main points hold as follows:
  • Not much is set in stone, but the setting is. When we say Cyberpunk, we are referring to the style of the tabletop roleplaying game Cyberpunk 2020's world. This is to avoid Cyberpunk world mismatch issues that otherwise might arise.
    • Just to be clear, we are not bringing in the game elements of Cyberpunk 2020. It is the retrofuturism style it carries with it.
    • The rulebook for said system can, for setting reference purposes, be obtained from me upon request.
  • Now that what is set in stone has been iterated, I shall reiterate the earlier point: Not much else is. This means the story is free to progress where the players want to take it, but this is still a communal effort.
  • OOC talk of the RP is not only encouraged. It is pretty much a must for something like this.


Here are a few relevant elements I think to note and build off of to the points listed before.

  • Cyberpunk Retrofuturism
    • Dark and dreary dystopian future based upon the 1980s in part, being a mixture of analog, digital, and brightly lit neon. Somewhere that the morality is a bit grey and finding "white morality" is rare because there is so much black. Not grimdark, more the technological future is frightening and strange, almost alien. Technology is a mishmash of plugging one's self into outlets and sockets to use some devices while at the same time the cyberworld is simultaneously more and less advanced and involved than in actuality.
    • A sense of underlying absurdism, as it is punk after all. Be it bright, garish colors, giant mohawks, studs and leather, or finely crafted suits and shined shoes with perfectly, immaculately kept hair for the business day. The idea either you are a part of the system or bucking it, but either way you know it terribly corrupt, ruled by corporations and consummerism gone wrong.
    • Technology did not necessarily get better and or smaller, just advanced differently to the point connecting one's brain to the net seems sane while trying to make a computer that fits in your pocket is more or less still technological sorcery. People have phones built into their bodies and can replace entire limbs, but the concept of wireless anything is metaphorical magic.
  • For the world a general idea is that most of the people in it are not chromed to the nines; they might have the basics to get by, but are not optimized to being walking tanks or superhackers who could easily end up on the most wanted lists, those official and unofficial. There might be a few who are real cyborg types, but in general that is still rare. Keeping a sort of contrast between the having-nothings, or those who chose to forgo changing times, and the pristine future. Namely the freakshows and oddballs in between being a major area of interest.
  • Themes of both white and blue collar crime, but where crime and corruption are rampant. There are few "good" cops, as in the ones who are not only doing the right thing for the right reasons, but are not morally questionable either. The type of world where a doctor is pretty clear he wants your wallet and is happy to give you what you ask for if the appropriate pay follows suit. A world where the "good" people might just be the gangs trying to police their own turf and even that is debatable.


Thoughts, opinions?
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Terminal
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Thoughts, opinions?


First, a thanks for your clarification on the exact theme/presence of technology in the setting, that has helped me reshape a few of the concepts I had in mind.

Additionally, in regards to your interest in the third option: Makes sense, but we should not need to unduly restrict ourselves here. The base premise we have been supplied with permits for a greater diversity of starting points that might be immediately apparent.

  • The gangs the Lieutenant has been selling gear to are now having a fit either because he has stopped supplying it, or else because they want to protect their source of goods. Gang members or affiliates may be interested in causing a fuss.
  • Whoever is supplying the Lieutenant with his supplies may be paying attention as well. A Police Lieutenant having access to truckloads of high-end gear on his own? Please. Somebody is using him as a middleman. Perhaps they have some form of agenda...Perhaps they will make their presence felt.
  • The Corporate Agenda calls for the intervention of a few troubleshooters in this instance, either literal or figurative.
  • The Police Agency itself is starting to investigate the Lieutenant due to suspicions they have had for a while.
  • Private parties may be interested in sticking their noses into business that does not concern them - detectives, investigators, meddling children, busybodies...


I am not saying any or even one of these exists or is indicative of the setting we're building up yet, I would just like to make everyone aware of them for the sake of not necessarily forcing everyone to group up at the same starting line. There is room for intrigue and messiness here.
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by BangoSkank
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This sounds very interesting. These questions might not be particularly important but I figured I'd ask a bit about the setting for myself and for others who may not be very familiar with it beyond watching movies or the CP2077 trailer.

Where is it set geographically?

New California like in CB2077?
New York?
Chicago?
Seattle?
Hong Kong?
Tokyo?
Dubai?
New Delhi?

Also, for folks not super familiar with CP 2020 like me, maybe you could indicate a bit more about the setting. Like is it a very global world, meaning would there be a lot of importation and exportation going on? I assume the answer is yes, but if it were say a more insular setting that could also be interesting.

Is it set in a slum, or in a metropolis, or in a metropolis atop a slum, or in a metropolis next door to a slum?

What form of dystopia? Is there a lot of video surveillance? Are the police heavy handed? If they are are they Judge Dredd heavy handed or Any Moving Taking Place in LA heavy handed? In that regard I'm largely wondering if the anti-establishment aspect of it is solidly justified.

It doesn't seem as though starvation would be a thing, but it does seem like there's probably a huge separation between the wealthy and the poor. Is poor generally so poor there are no augmentations, or are they just less effective/more likely to malfunction?

(I'll edit out any of these questions if I've glossed over the answers, I've already edited the message as I was typing but I might have missed the answer twice)
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by The Harbinger of Ferocity
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@Terminal

The third element I largely see as just a component of it. Of course there are "good" people and there can be, but most of who the players are going to be dealing with, keeping with the cyberpunk theme, are morally questionable. Everyone sort of is to some extent, even philosophically. Being augmented and covered in chrome might be beautiful, even to the point of obsession, or sickening. Just as doing the "right thing" might not be the good thing in all cases. That gives it that sort of hazy cling about an already uncertain future I think. There is nothing definitive there, just saying that most everyone, players likely as well aren't much of "good" people. People trying to get by in a predatory environment, however? That is likely.

As for the doings of the lieutenant and the consequences, I see it as a sort of issue where everyone will have their hand in the jar and no one is going to get what they want. The gangs obviously want their cyberware and they want it now, meaning helping or hurting him to get it, all at the same time the actual police are trying to investigate it while the corporate overlords are doing the same thing trying to keep the other three, plus any outer parties, far away. For the group of players themselves it becomes a question of, "What's the best thing to do?" and I am fond of that.

@BangoSkank

The world of a consumerist future as with cyberpunk generally tend to be highly globalized in the major cities, as those you listed, and anyone outside of them are left in the wayside and dust; sometimes in the literal sense. Many of those locations in the stories of this genre tend to be nuclear wastelands or otherwise totally irrelevant. Governments are corrupt and defunct, mostly owned in every sense, even transparent enough for people to be jaded to it, by megacorporations who have their hands in everything. Imagine buying gas, food, and water from only one company. While being completely dominated there, there is a plethora of competing and massive heads of technology; cyberware of various sorts and models is plentiful and expensive, with every corporation out to steal the other's secrets or run them out of business. Buying them out is considered a kind way to cease to exist.

For myself I always liked the idea of tiered approaches and zones, say no-go zones which are basically the slums where only the armed and armored police go and are ruled by gangs and low-level criminals, then of course the major, ultra dense, overly saturated metropolis locations where skyscrapers cram the heart of a city. My personal preference for this is California, Los Angeles or San Francisco because of the sprawl and say, a massive buildup over it, surrounded by huge concrete barriers and walls.

As for dystopia, yes, expect plenty of low resolution cameras but few belonging to the government. The sort of assumption that if you are on corporate territory things are alarmed or watched to some extent but nothing like London today. More dysfunctional and cynical than that. Say, where getting mugged or stabbed is common place as a real threat still if you go down the wrong isle between buildings and a camera might be watching, but the corporate security shrug and "get around to it" when they can.

My general feeling is that technology varies wildly and people with money flaunt it. Headvisors to replace eyes, internal cellphones and credit devices, artificial livers and kidneys, implants for memory or knowledge circuitry, robotic hands that could be replaced and removed with false flesh ones, chrome, matte black, etc, while the poorest of people haven't even a phone at all. I really suspect a full gambit given the tone
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Hekazu
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The question of cities has risen, and I will introduce my proposal to it: Night City. The megalopolis to trump all megalopoli, Night City was born out of multiple cities growing together and megacorporations simply shrugging and figuring "it's better to have more avenues for business than try to stop the spreading, even if it causes a bit of competition." Hell, they might well have seen it as a chance to simply expand their own business like so many times before, until they realised that every other company had the same idea.

In short, Night City is the size of the West Coast of USA and then some, reaching up North to Vancouver and down South just a bit across the Mexican border. Night City has it all: Slums (aka Combat Zones, pretty much a no-go as described), numerous Chinatowns, the occasional middle class residential area, and a massive amount of corporate zone of pretty much only the highest end housing for those with the cash and the workplaces for those who can afford to be even considered for work in high-end corporate business.

As for the level of chrome included, sure, options are many. But especially for those who would rely on underground Ripperdocs for the installation (not necessarily licensed cyberware install services, cheap and available for anyone unlike more reputable Trauma-TeamTM cyberware clinics or, heavens forbid, privately utilised megacorp augmentation workshops) might encounter cases of early onset cyberpsychosis. After all, when you are augmented to be so much better than a human, why should you care of what happens to the squishy meatbags? Their fault for being so vulnerable!
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by The Harbinger of Ferocity
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I find the proposal of one giant, stretching, ongoing city to have my vote since it covers the areas I find most of interest. So I am all for @Hekazu's Night City, namely since the idea of separate nations and states in cyberpunk have always been mostly irrelevant. That and it offers the most diverse environment in quality and content.
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Sierra
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The Corporate Agenda calls for the intervention of a few troubleshooters

You rang?
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<Snipped quote by Terminal>
You rang?

It was more of a Rat-a-tat-tat. Pack your typewriter, we're going on a business trip to Chicago.
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Well hello friends! Happy to be here. Will throw in my two cents at some point today, thought I should just show face and get my current tasks out the way first.
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I have to completely rewrite the sheet now. Not working with framework lore so I have to change out a lot of references. It does mean I get to instance Panopticon and its massive web of subsidiaries, but that also entails a lot of development work.
Hidden 9 mos ago Post by The Harbinger of Ferocity
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I would say so long as it is clear there is no one master corporation, there should not be too much issue from players introducing themes relating to them. There are surely some megacorporations of course, ones that are the real titans, but a gambit of everything vying for those upper tendrils of power and niche roles should be fine. Generally the only thing I would urge us all to stay far away from is power creep of any sort, say any of our characters being more, if involved in a corporation of course alike anything else, being mid-level at best. Not an executive, but a supervisor or manager; a boss, but not one the bosses. Likewise, a gang enforcer but not the criminal leader, a police sergeant or detective, but not the captain, so on and so forth.
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Terminal
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I would say so long as it is clear there is no one master corporation, there should not be too much issue from players introducing themes relating to them. There are surely some megacorporations of course, ones that are the real titans, but a gambit of everything vying for those upper tendrils of power and niche roles should be fine. Generally the only thing I would urge us all to stay far away from is power creep of any sort, say any of our characters being more, if involved in a corporation of course alike anything else, being mid-level at best. Not an executive, but a supervisor or manager; a boss, but not one the bosses. Likewise, a gang enforcer but not the criminal leader, a police sergeant or detective, but not the captain, so on and so forth.


While I agree that some amount of role discretion is necessary, I think that the nature of the setting itself is a sufficient deterrent to abuse.

Let's think, hypothetically about the actual power a Megacorporation has. One of the big players - not the only one, like you said, possibly one of a dozen or so. Its board probably wields immeasurable, inscrutable power and influence. They probably have their own private army. They probably outright own parts of the actual government due to personal connections and money. They probably have access to mountains of the latest military equipment. They probably have their own super-soldier programs, etcetera.

There is, however, a bit of a problem: Even they cannot do as they please. At least, not in Night City, where the slums are combat zones. If even a megacorporation wants to push its agenda, they are not going to be able to do so without a fight. The gangs, the people, the other corporations big and small - will push back to an equal and opposite degree.

I say we embrace the freedom permitted by the nature of the RP and employ *just a tiny bit* of trust in our fellow writers to exercise discretion and prevent power creep. If it happens anyway, the rest of us are here to keep them in check. Power creep, metagaming, godmoding, it does not have to be an issue left for a GM to watch out for and resolve. It can be a community concern, addressed publicly.

So I say: If somebody wants to roleplay as, amongst other characters, a corporation Director or a Gang Boss or nearly anything else: Let them, perhaps they will do something interesting.
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Hekazu
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I will reiterate the true Cyberpunk way: A character becomes a problem, an even bigger fish swims along and destroys him/her/it in whatever way is appropriate. Yet even then, I suppose as long as we are looking to keep to the start plot we have at our hands, a certain degree of reason should be maintained. It is rather unlikely that even the CEO of Murkywater Security, a subsidiary corporation serving under Securitek Global, who in turn is owned and governed by the AzTek Group* would find it in their interest to place in their two pence when it comes to Lt. Davison's case, them being infinitely more likely to just give the order down the chain, if they even got to know of it in the first place instead of those toiling under them in the pyramid just handling it as it came up. Sufficient motivations might crop up though, not saying that would be impossible.

*: All corporations made up on the spot
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by Sierra
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if they even got to know of it in the first place instead of those toiling under them in the pyramid just handling it as it came up.


Oh of course it doesn't make it more than halfway up the ladder. :P Some subsidiary-of-a-subsidiary med-tech firm has some labs getting razed by gang members and a mid-level manager wants to keep his job, so some files get sent down the ladder until they eventually end up at a buried "security consulting" firm where we finally get away from talking heads and get some real people to go fire some real bullets and make real problems become imaginary. That's how corpsec works. Nobody making more than a quarter mil a year even knows when that shit is happening.
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by The Harbinger of Ferocity
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I personally am for smacking down power creep where it raises its head. Of course we are investing tremendous trust in one another already, but even trusted persons can and do prove unreliable. I believe the main issue with it is, is that when one starts to do it, many others like to follow suit. While this is only natural, you see it in most free form styled roleplays where each successive character in any sort of combat or potential player conflict game exists, it is not in our collective best interest. This is why I am saying we should utterly eschew that and leave it squarely in the realm of non-player character territory, mainly because it takes the power from one set of hands and lays all members' on it.

A player might have a collective set of non-player characters they assume and associate with for their play style, but that being their character to the point they benefit from the usual graces? It reduces that level. Call me skeptical, as my experience has taught me to trust no one in any semblance even close to that of actual trust, so dividing and eliminating potential issue is for the best. I simply do not think under any circumstances players should be anything close to mid tier importance on average and perhaps one, maybe two, edge that way.
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Hidden 9 mos ago Post by DeadDrop
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dope im here
Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by Terminal
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I personally am for smacking down power creep where it raises its head. Of course we are investing tremendous trust in one another already, but even trusted persons can and do prove unreliable. I believe the main issue with it is, is that when one starts to do it, many others like to follow suit. While this is only natural, you see it in most free form styled roleplays where each successive character in any sort of combat or potential player conflict game exists, it is not in our collective best interest. This is why I am saying we should utterly eschew that and leave it squarely in the realm of non-player character territory, mainly because it takes the power from one set of hands and lays all members' on it.

A player might have a collective set of non-player characters they assume and associate with for their play style, but that being their character to the point they benefit from the usual graces? It reduces that level. Call me skeptical, as my experience has taught me to trust no one in any semblance even close to that of actual trust, so dividing and eliminating potential issue is for the best. I simply do not think under any circumstances players should be anything close to mid tier importance on average and perhaps one, maybe two, edge that way.


That outlook unnecessarily constrains the scope of the story, especially since there is no GM to supply the perspective of such important individuals. This project on its own already requires a great deal of implicit trust in other posts; if you are not even going to trust them to write for more 'powerful/influential/wealthy' individuals as a matter of principle, you may as well just rebrand the RP into Slum Wars. Permitting for such characters to exist as NPCs that anyone can use is also unnecessarily restrictive; I do not know about you but I personally will simply never write for such a character since I did not have a hand in their creation and I will never know anything about the crucial aspects of their being necessary to write for them with high-fidelity, especially as other posters write for them as well. It creates conflicts and uncertainty. Such NPCs can exist of course, but to completely prohibit the existence of 'powerful' (however you define it) poster-exclusive characters is simply counter-productive.

Think of it from a narrative perspective of well. In the Neuromancer setting, both the trash and the most powerful individuals in the setting co-mingle to an extent, and even the Megacorportions, with nigh-unlimited power, are forced to rely on rather than combat the less powerful and influential characters in the setting for various reasons. The world has grown too complex and vast to be suppressed and run like a corporate farm.

And while the *temptation* to respond to power-gaming with more power-gaming always exists, that usually, again, exists under the purview of a GM-Review environment where posters can poke and prod at the GM's specific, personal boundaries to see what they can get away with. Here, that should not be an issue since if even one of us has a problem with something, they can raise it and present the full reasoning and logic behind their viewpoint on the matter with the expectation that the claim will be taken seriously. The appropriate response to power-gaming is not to break the setting further, but to correct the error.

So I must, again, respectfully disagree. Posters should be permitted to create character and organizations at any and every level of power, influence, wealth, and expertise. The setting itself and communal oversight by peers is sufficient deterrence, in my opinion, to preempt and oust most instances of power and metagaming.
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