Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Augmented Reality Review From The Questing Beast

There I was, scratching my head wondering why there's been an overnight spike in Augmented Reality city kit downloads… And then I discover this extremely positive video review by Ben Milton, presenter of the Questing Beast. This guy totally gets it!

So, thanks Beast!

You can check out the review here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag9izYGiZ8E


And while you're there, take a look at Ben's other reviews; there's a great selection of OSR classics and hot small press covered. The Beast is obviously a man of good taste. ;)

The Neural Archive recommends.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Not Dead, Just Ink-Bothering


Cover by Matt Hildebrand

Trigger Warning! OSR D&D words! Severe lack of Cyberpunkery!


Gavin Norman, of the excellent City of Iron blog and Necrotic Gnome Productions, very kindly invited me to wrangle some inks and turn the resulting marks into a Dolmenwood beastie for the sixth issue of the very excellent Wormskin.

So I did. And I illustrated the hideous kelpie.

The issue is available through RPGNow, er… now!

Behold!

http://www.rpgnow.com/product/211614/Wormskin-Issue-6


  • The sixteen Lords and Ladies of Fairy who concern themselves with the mortal realm of Dolmenwood.
  • The Brackenwold calendar (article to accompany the free Dolmenwood Calendar PDF).
  • Descriptions of seven hexes around the town of Prigwort, in central Dolmenwood.
  • The most important people and places of Prigwort.
  • Spirituous beverages generator.
  • The Baker's Dozen: an adventure locale involving an enchanted bakery and its thirteen inhabitants.
  • The Gingerbread Grimoire: four spells of yeast and spice.
  • Monsters of the Wood: kelpie, black bile wyrm, phlegm wyrm, blood wyrm, yellow bile wyrm.

WORMSKIN periodically details a place called Dolmenwood, an isolated, woodland setting for tabletop fantasy games that, if the referee so chooses, can be dropped into an existing campaign world without much fuss. (Locate Dolmenwood in some out-of-the-way, temperate, and well-watered area within reasonable distance of a small kingdom or principality.)

WORMSKIN serves as a means of exploring this mythical Wood, revealing the contents of the many hexes of its map and detailing procedures for generating adventures within its brambled bounds. Various aspects of the setting will be treated as well, including new classes, spells, magic, monsters, and sundry ephemera.

Material in WORMSKIN is designed for use with B/X, Labyrinth Lord, and other old-school adventure games.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Augmented Reality, En Francais

The very cool indie game designer, Tiburce Guyard, will be creating a French translation of Augmented Reality, and is offering it as a stretch goal for his translation of Hamish Cameron's excellent The Sprawl game.

Check it out!

https://fr.ulule.com/the-sprawl-jdr-cyberpunk/






English language editions are still available in PDF here and Print On Demand here.

Monday, 20 February 2017

She's Coming For You Tucker

"She feels the elevator slowing.

She squats on her haunches in its graffiti covered confines and takes a long, deep breath. Slowly, she traces a line across her ribs with the Sony-Diahatsu, pulling the gun from its hiding place beneath the black vinyl raincoat. It hums softly as it connects to her cloud, the synthesis of their shared awareness makes her shiver.

The paint-spattered doors rattle open and she's up and moving, the fresh Haruna derm barely taking the edge off her pain. Last night, in the Whitechapel NoGo, Tucker's graftees were uncharacteristically thorough.

Gun in hand, she strides down the habstack's corridor with purpose, boosted synapses triggering her headware. She sends her mind snaking through the building's system. As she closes on 303, persuasive algorithms whisper their way through the apartment's sentrynet, fragmenting budget encryption, an expert seduction of dollar store AI.

The door pops and she's in.

Without breaking her stride, she squeezes the trigger. Three tightly spaced stitchers hit Tucker's centre of mass, penetrate and then erupt, graphene monowires eviscerating him from the inside."



The Oni. Just in case.

Sony-Diahatsu Oni 
Medium Needle Gun

Type: P  Acc.: +1  Avail.: R  Con.: J  Shots: 30  ROF: 1/3/20  Damage: see below  Reliability: VR  Range: 50m Cost: 500eb

Basic Needle Rounds: 1D6+3AP per round (box of 200 for 250eb)

HE Needle Rounds: 4D6 per round (box of 200 for 600eb)

Stitcher* Needle Rounds: 1D6AP per round going in, a further 2D6 per round coming out (box of 200 for 500eb)

Nerve Burner Needle Rounds: 1D6AP per round plus a STUN save, minus the number of rounds that hit (box of 200 for 450eb)

*Needle rounds that deploy a monofilament tail, like a messed up flagella on a carbon spermatozoa. So, they do damage on entry, but, not penetrating very deeply, the filaments work their way back to the surface, liquidising matter as they extend.

Kickstarter. Just in case.
Haruna MediCare™ Kickstarter Derms

A combination of fast acting drugs, including amphetamines and anaesthetics, delivered by nano-carriers absorbed through the skin from the adhesive patch, guaranteed to get an injured or shocked person back on their feet in no time.

Kickstarter derms are supplied in a strip of 12 individual foil packets, 1 strip per box, RRP 120eb.

Can be applied to an already stunned and unconscious character. Providing they pass an unmodified STUN save, they will come round. If they fail, they can try again next round, if the patch is still in place. Applying numerous patches may cause palpitations, or even a heart attack.

Duration: 30 minutes

If more damage is taken, for the duration of the dose, treat the user as if they were fitted with a Pain Editor (no further STUN saves, but Death Saves still required).

Also known as Resurrection Pads, 9-1-1s or Lazarus Patches*

Haruna MediCare take no responsibility for any inhibiting effects on SpeedHeal applications, or other nanite delivered recovery methods (GM discretion).


*Taken from the excellent Stars Without Number from Sine Nomine Publishing.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Proxies and Go-Betweens

After your PCs have received a cloak and dagger contact, their mysterious and paranoid patron may still feel it's too dangerous, or too early, to deal with them directly. So they utilise a proxy.


50 Covert Go-Betweens

D100

01-02  Cold and aloof, an AI calling itself Brief Moment Of Agony instructs the PCs to attend ‘an interview’ later today, at a half-finished habstack an hour’s drive away

03-04  Notorious fixer, Sonny De Silva, contracted by client, goes through the motions of vetting the PCs before agreeing to meet them at the Below Zero nightclub to discuss the potential job

05-06  Arriving at the specified meet, the players must disable their AR filters to discuss the operation with a creepy anachronistic house boy who suddenly appears in the room (a net avatar of the client)

07-08  Out of work sim actor, Aiden Odel, is blackmailed into playing the role of deceased fixer Harrison Fulwood, to discuss the operation and record everything on outmoded implants, for insurance

09-10  Dr Vijay Ravinder Hazari, the client's personal physician, has been instructed to invite the PCs to his secure private clinic to discuss a potential job, the client monitoring dealings from a security suite on-site

11-12  The PCs will initially meet with a gender-reversed clone of their potential client, who happens to be their fiercely protective and loyal bio-incestious lover, loaded with cutting edge weapon implants

13-14  The client has promised to erase the misdemeanours of corrupt cop Sam LaTorra, providing he leans on the PCs hard enough to get them to take the client's job, no questions asked

15-16  Fixer and talent scout, Francis Dormandy, sought out the PCs for the client, based on specific requirements, PC reputations and known skill set, plus he has information on some of their more unsavoury activities, which would conveniently 'disappear' should they agree to come onboard

17-18  Concerned colleague JJ Parrus has decided to take action and hire the PCs secretly to help deal with his co-worker's problem, but, while well meaning, JJ has just made things way more complicated

19-20  goon_feeder, an obnoxious online troll/stalker, has selected the PCs deliberately to make the supposed 'client's' life much more difficult and a lot more dangerous

21-22  Voice 2.0 ®, an off-the-shelf software assistant, is tasked with convincing the PCs that working for the client would be both ethical and rewarding, as well as a unique opportunity for personal development, fame and fortune

23-24  Jackson DeWalt, the client’s BFF, college roommate and on-off lover, has been co-opted by the client to deal with the PCs on the client's behalf, hoping that Jackson will get caught in the crossfire

25-26  A semi-intelligent and complex algorithm chose the PCs for the client from parameters provided, and considers the briefing stage as part of the selection process

27-28  Transpinay hacker collective, headed by sleazy fixer Monty Schwab, is tasked with hosting a meeting with the PCs in a Filipino gaming virtual, behind one of Monty's ubiquitous paywalls

29-30  An extremely attractive individual, tweaked with artificial pheromones, is sent to discuss the details, self-identifiying as the client's closest ally and long term fuck buddy

31-32  Ruthless lifestyle coach Charlotte Mills hires the PCs to perform certain tasks that will reduce the client's stress and anxiety, dealing with the PCs on the client's behalf as part of her remit, all of which should lead to a measurable increase in her client's well being

33-34  The wealthy client's psychotic drug dealer, Ninja Euros, has been pressurised into dealing with the PCs as "he knows those sorts of people" and is decidedly unhappy about it

35-36  Dominic Teeth, an uplifted and cyber-enhanced mandrill with anger management issues, hosts the PCs in an office at the back of an ultimate fighting dojo, discussing the job for his 'handler' in a surprisingly professional manner

37-38  Khun Kom Sa (Thai for 'Mr. Handsome'), greasy Thaiwanese club owner and pimp in his early fifties, arranges to discuss the job in a rooftop pocket park in an affluent suburb, at a time of their choosing, where he takes a shine to the most alpha PC in the group

39-40  Apparently, the client had a dream about the PCs, did some digging and wants to hire them, according to the android barista the PCs have come to see at the airport's Hyperlife™ concession café

41-42  Blackmailed and RFID tagged call girl, Candy Vision, pressured into meeting and convincing the PCs to take on the job, any way she can, no matter what

43-44  Bhin Xuyen syndicate foot soldier, Kha Cong Thu, happily brings the PCs onboard, telling them everything he knows about the job, knowing he is now owed a BIG favour by the client

45-46  The actual client will meet them in a pink polymer room at GoGeisha!™, a utilitarian brothel franchise above a backstreet augshop, but employs holoprojection, appearing only as a vague fractal blur

47-48  The client has dispatched a cloned double of themselves to make contact with the PCs, failing to realise that the clone is controlled by the corporation, and it is setting a larger company plan in motion

49-50  The client has Hygge-1, their smart-home AI programmed for enhanced conversational skills,  contact the PCs for them, hoping it's cosy, reassuring tones and gentle wit will win them over

51-52  Terrified of being compromised in meat-space, the client uploads a temporary fragment of their consciousness to the net, and relies on this digital ghost to negotiate with the PCs

53-54  Geoff Skinner, muddled geriatric, paid to pass operational detail to the PCs, will meet wherever, providing they pay his bus fare; accompanied by Catalina, his hot, but indifferent, meds manager

55-56  Well briefed but irrational junky called Scurv, paid to tell the PCs where to meet the client regarding the job, takes an inconvenient accidental overdose before he can pass on all the necessary info, which the PCs may have to deal with

57-58  The client's no-nonsense war veteran buddy, Oscar Weiss, put himself forward to talk to the "street scum" PCs to ensure they understand the client "is most certainly not fucking about"

59-60  The PCs are rapidly briefed by the client’s self-aware defence net, as the client lies injured and bleeding out, in need of immediate assistance or evacuation

61-62  The client's estranged ex-partner and desperate drug addict, Christine Avery, manipulated into meeting the PCs, exaggerates the threat level, bad mouths the client and agrees to pay the PCs whatever they want

63-64  The Vent 3 Cerebral Commonwealth, a self-aware nano swarm hiding in an overpopulated social housing complex, have chosen to hire the PCs on behalf of the client, for their own inscrutable reasons

65-66  The client has contracted Reputelligent Inc., a gig economy employment agency, to gauge the PCs’ interest, and to lay down a few ground rules once the legally watertight online contract is completed

67-68  Paranoid hacker, Domino State, a long term associate of the prospective client, has agreed to deal with the PCs on the client's behalf, but doesn't trust any of them and will constantly monitor their progress, infiltrating their neural processors

69-70  The PCs are contacted by IdSecure™, a memory insurance company, as the policy has been triggered by the client being in a coma, clear instructions stipulating that the PCs in particular be given a secure brief in the event of this happening

71-72  The client's professional agent, Zen Warner, will facilitate the hiring of, and subsequent dealings with, the PCs, and will secure the services of another team should the PCs be perceived as working against the best interests of his client

73-74  With a fat buddha-faced, fixed smile, Mao Tse-Tungsten, the client’s cold, cyborg security consultant and bodyguard, will pass on the details of the job to the PCs, but would rather be performing the task himself

75-76  The client's gruff and syndicate-connected Ukrainian driver, Antin Shevchenko, begrudgingly deals with the PCs for his employer, making it abundantly clear that he neither likes, nor trusts, them

77-78  Unbeknown to the PCs, and depending on the contact method, the client will deal with the PCs directly, utilising voice modulation (phone), an obfuscating avatar (VR) or a misleading disposable v-mail

79-80  Hannah Black, the client’s long suffering PA, is sent to put forward an offer to the PCs with no regard for her safety, but still maintains her employers anonymity, despite being deathly afraid

81-82  Eminent lawyer, Blanche Portillo, requires the PCs to attend her offices in the Corporate District to discuss a matter of importance with regards to her client, who will also be present

83-84  The PCs are summoned to meet with the client’s full cyborg 'mindstream transference' guru, who calls himself Quiet Mountain, finding him in the lotus position in the middle of an empty warehouse, where he will brief the PCs in hushed tones, following an hour or more of silence

85-86  The client’s so-called ‘business partner’, the confrontation averse Felix Dixon, volunteered to meet with the PCs, and is hoping to con them into sorting out a problem of his own as part of the operation

87-88  Able3, one of the client's loyal synthetics, is sent to discuss the job proposal for his owner, and appears polite, placid and timid, unless the PCs refuse the offer, at which point Able3 will attempt to kill them all using his incredible strength, to hide his master's plans

89-90  The client’s lover, entrusted with finding a deniable team, has been compromised by the client's enemies, and has selected the PCs in the hope that they will screw it all up, and is deliberately failing to pass on crucial information

91-92  Arriving by aerocab, Dr Paula Wozniak, the client's augmentation councillor, has agreed to speak to the PCs for the client, but is concerned that the client is suffering from some sort of implant triggered delusion and tries to negotiate a cut of the money for the 'phantom' job

93-94  Emil Santiago, private detective to the rich and powerful, is contracted to vet, brief and pay the PCs on his client's behalf; Emil is both self-serving and corrupt and may well sell them all out

95-96  Close friend of the client, Akira Churchyard, will pass on information for the job to the PCs, but is working as a freelance investigative reporter, and hopes to turn this job into his big break

97-98  The client’s extremely wealthy and powerful father will communicate with the PCs on his offspring's behalf, as he just doesn't trust his child's judgement, nor their financial acumen

99-100  Having been previously messaged with a single, obscure word, the PCs are met in a hotel room by Lorelei Jones, a mnemonic courier who asks them to "Just say the word", which triggers her savant mode

Monday, 13 February 2017

Augmented Reality | A Review

Top chap Carl Clare has submitted a rather positive review of Augmented Reality to RPGGeek:

"At first glance Augmented Reality is a city kit resource for the lazy GM. Spend some time with it though and you realise that's actually an unfair image - it’s a resource that could be your best friend in a tight corner. For example the tables could be used to pre-generate a city block/Johnson/encounter for later use or used to quickly improvise an area/job/encounter if the game is going in unexpected directions or beginning to flag." 

https://rpggeek.com/thread/1722568/great-resource-harrassed-cyberpunk-gm

Many thanks Carl!

And in case you're missing out…

Augmented Reality PWYW PDF

Augmented Reality POD Hardcopy


But Carl does makes a very good point in regard to the Drop Grid pages:

"… I can’t see them being as useful in the book unless you are willing to weigh them down flat. As the printed version doesn’t come with a pdf file as well then you are left with photocopying pages or buying the pdf. This seems a bit mean but as there are only three of these grids I’m okay with photocopying them."

So, I have decided to make the grids available for FREE on DriveThruRPG for those that want them - both variants are included, as well as a little bonus content in the form of this blog's Cloak and Dagger (tidied up and presented in Augmented Reality table style) and the expanded Gig Economy article, which relates directly to the original book.

The free Augmented Reality PLUS PDF is available here:

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/10957/Geist-Hack-Games


Go grab yours now.

Did I mention it's free?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Augmented Reality Print Books Shipping Offer


If you're STILL on the fence about grabbing yourself a printed copy of Augmented Reality: The Holistic City Kit For Cyberpunk Roleplaying Games from Lulu, here's a free shipping / 50% off ground shipping code, good for the next 3 days. Go grab the kit and see what other goodies they have available.

Code: SHIPFEB17 

Cannot be combined with other offers. Does not apply to eBooks or services. Ends February 12th at 23:59 (UK time).

Monday, 6 February 2017

Cloak and Dagger

Sometimes you don't want your PCs approached by yet another fixer in yet another dive bar. 

Sometimes you want to add a little mystery, along with a soupçon of paranoia, to that first approach by the people with the money and the need.

The following weird contact methods make your PCs ask important questions, such as:

> Why are potential clients reaching out in such obscure ways?

> Why is Ms Johnson going to such lengths to cover up her contact with us?

> What's with all this cloak and dagger shit?
[fast loads H&K shredder and downloads updates for aware targeting system…]


50 Mysterious First Contacts

D100

01-02  Hacker drops a .txt file on a PC’s device entitled ‘READ_M3’ containing a v-mail address and a cell phone number; the file is tagged with a clever read-receipt script

03-04  PC receives a call from a low grade AI automated dialling system, that only gives a phone number and a time at which to call it - repeatedly

05-06  Vidfile arrives on PC’s device via courier software, an indistinct, grainy request to log on to the dubious Ebony Ziggurat VRotica netsite, at a specific time

07-08  PC’s sensory implant (either optical or audio) receives repetitive message to call a cell phone number (either a scrolling message or a nagging synthetic voice)

09-10  Sonny De Silva, an infamous fixer, approaches the group via hacked AR projection to ask for their contact details regarding an employment opportunity they may be interested in

11-12  Each PC receives a call at exactly the same time (conference call) informing them they will be contacted again shortly (GM’s discretion as to when that happens)

13-14  Leather-clad biker screeches to a halt and offers a cell phone to the PCs without getting off her parabolic curve of a bike, saying “Its for you”, and she’ll definitely want the phone back

15-16  Obviously augmented German Shepherd trots over, calmly states the PC should contact
a particular v-mail address, which he will spell out s-l-o-w-l-y, before casually walking away

17-18  PCs find a brand new, wafer-thin, very expensive laptop set up where they are living, ready for a single video call (it contains no other data)

19-20  Client calls PC directly to ascertain availability, background noise suggesting they are somewhere public, will ask PC to call them back in an hour or so to talk business

21-22  Young, bubblegum chewing Somali girl, in an oversized, fur-hooded coat, hands over a scrap of paper with GPS coordinates on it, which lead to a specific parking lot bay

23-24  Insidious subliminal advertising compells one or more PCs to be at a Sumo Food synthiburger joint, next to a busy monorail hub, at 3am tonight

25-26  Handed an exquisite hand-made paper envelope, containing a slip of paper which carries a beautifully written instruction to be on a specific roof at midnight

27-28  Harassed and armoured bicycle courier, in primary coloured livery and sports wear, hands PC a laminate box containing high denomination bill with a v-mail address written on it

29-30  Television picture breaks down into a pixelated mess, a long net link briefly forming from the fragmented chaos, just long enough to note it down or take a photograph of it

31-32  Filthy, shuddering android with blistered synthskin, in a tatty coverall, limps out of a nearby alleyway towards one PC, whispering a phone number over and over…

33-34  Basic print-out with the words ‘CONTACT ME’ and a v-mail address in a large serif font slides under the door where the PCs are staying

35-36  PCs are visited by a well groomed, pleasant man called Nathaniel Sheen, who has been sent to get one of them to jack in to his neural link to meet a potential client securely online

37-38  For several nights, a PC has the same lucid dream of a string of specific numbers, which turn out to be a net address for a minimalist, black-mirrored VR environment

39-40  Omniversal Parcel Service (OPS) commercial courier drone delivers a small packet containing a datachip with a URL for the Arteology VR site, with an exact log-in time

41-42  Handed a brushed-aluminium business card, etched only with a contact number, by shabbily dressed, emaciated youth who grunts through cracked lips, “They want to talk to you.”

43-44  PC’s cell phone begins autodialling unknown number, until the PC decides to see who it is that their phone is calling, at which point it will stop

45-46  Gravely injured member of the Reject Parade street gang clutching a blue plastic datachip in his bloodied hand, stumbles up to PC, before expiring messily, the chip containing net coordinates

47-48  Message flashes up on a PC’s device, simply stating a time and date, along with an exclusive restaurant’s address, and a table number

49-50  PC’s equipment displays start showing only binary code, when translated, it appears to be a cell phone number

51-52  Hacker jacks a PC’s phone, replacing all their contacts with only one number, but it auto-corrects and re-ups their contacts once the number has been called

53-54  Row of public pay phones ring as a PC passes, and will keep happening until a PC answers one of them

55-56  Healthy looking human thumb in a glass vial is delivered to a PC, complete with label showing an address for a secure storage module; the module contains nothing but a lone laptop

57-58  PC receives a message via v-mail that simply states a time; a sleek, black aero-limo will arrive for them at the time stated

59-60  All food packaging jingles they come into contact with repeat the same net address in an irritatingly catchy sing-song manner

61-62  Uniformed police officer approaches PC, referring to them by name, and hands over a printed acetate with a phone number on it

63-64  One of the PCs finds a plain grey plastic business card with a v-mail address and phone number on it, under their vehicle’s windshield wiper

65-66  Watching the news, a PC perceives a glitch, the anchor then asks the PC by name to phone a number (shown on screen), there’s another glitch, the broadcast then returning to normal

67-68  PC finds an empty Lunglife™ cigarette packet, with a v-mail address scrawled on it in biro, in their jacket pocket

69-70  Small, beaten up orange cleaning bot approaches a PC, repeating a phone number in it’s tinny little Disney voice, whilst colliding with their foot repeatedly

71-72  A string of v-mails through a Cambodian datahaven, enquiring about the availability and skill set of the PCs’ team, followed by a v-mail contact address routed through Prague

73-74  PC takes delivery of a parcel containing a pen drive that contains a numer of URLs and log on details that need accessing in order, to arrive at the client’s offshore net domain

75-76  PC is v-mailed the map reference to an area of ocean off the nearest coast, along with a date and time that they need to be there, should they want to discuss a job (there's a yacht there)

77-78  The expected pizza delivery contains one extra box (yay!) that holds a mid-range tablet device (what?), set up to enable a vid chat via a secure, darknet distributed server web

79-80  Six heavily armed, but smartly dressed, professionals burst in while the PCs are chillaxing, their leader carrying an attache case that holds a satellite phone he insists they use RIGHT NOW!

81-82  A silvered limo window descends slightly to reveal a soft gloved hand holding a lawyer’s (Portillo, Emerson & Associates) business card marked ‘URGENT’

83-84  High end Svetlana-9 sex-synthetics are sent to the PCs, along with liquor and drugs but, before the fun starts, the PCs must call a number provided (and the synthetics are wired to record it all…)

85-86  Bloodied body armour vest dumped outside the PCs’ door, a v-mail address sprayed on to it in bright, yellow paint; recognise the armour as belonging to a contact or ally

87-88  PCs are unaware that they have been directed by compromised traffic AI to the Neoshima Atomic Rose motel, where there's a message in reception for PCs to wait in Capsule 17

89-90  Approached by a creepy, twitchy, geisharoid synthetic, remotely operated via the net by the client, to make their initial contact safely and to arrange the meeting proper

91-92  PMed via Union Transmetropolitan hotel's message system, stating there's an item in room 2155 they need to collect (it’s the client and they need protection, just to leave the room)

93-94  A sobbing, hollow-eyed junkie gives one of the PCs a cell phone number and, trembling, suddenly shoots himself under the chin with a cheap, red polymer automatic

95-96  Frightened and emotional middle-aged cleaner, Ginetta Coleman, has been surgically fitted with a cortical bomb, which will explode if the PCs don’t call the number she provides

97-98  The client has Grade-A dirt on an already trusted contact of the PCs, and uses them to pass on the clients v-mail address; the contact seems deeply uncomfortable with this and is insistent

99-100  Harmony Jade, a 10 year old girl in a red vinyl coat, chainsmoking Chinese cigarettes, delivers a portable hard drive, with downloaded maps to a cell phone in an abandoned warehouse

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Augmented Reality 25% Off



If you've been on the fence about grabbing yourself a printed copy of Augmented Reality: The Holistic City Kit For Cyberpunk Roleplaying Games from Lulu, here's a 25% discount code for the next 24 hours or so (UK time, I guess). Go grab the kit and see what other goodies they have.

Code: KICKOFF25 

Cannot be combined with other offers. Does not apply to eBooks or services. Ends February 2nd at 23:59

Friday, 27 January 2017

Wage Slave 3.5: Zero Hour Contractors

Over at the vircades project, there is a wonderful short series of excellent Wage Slave posts covering the sort of employment opportunities your cyberpunks would kill just to avoid; jobs that below average NPC citizens have to do, just to keep that flimsy polymer capsule-apartment financed.

Go and look, the posts are highly recommended.

"When half the jobs have been automated and the other half have been outsourced, what are the legitimate options for someone who grew up in the inundated city slums, without access to education or networks?"

Richard's ideas are perfect fodder for detailing the inhabitants of your favourite near-future dystopia.

Inspired by these, I created a short table in the Augmented Reality city kit that touched on similar gig economy jobs; the kind of role you'd get for 24 hours, should your gig agent have anything available for you that day. In this post, I'd like to expand on the gigs from the book a little, as well as a few that got left on the cutting room floor.


Zero Hour Contractors:

Mobile AR Ad Hub: You are supplied with a wearable body rig (usually a vest, with mounted AR projectors) that continually outputs ‘augverts’ (augmented reality pop-up ads), as you wander the streets following a predetermined course, prompted by the rig's onboard GPS. Damage to the rig will come out of your wages. Loitering is prohibited. You will be tracked.

Human CCTV: Cyberoptic implants are required, and you must allow remote admin level access via an easy to install back door (which may not be so easy to remove…), as well as sign a non-disclosure agreement. Your agent will give you your area of operation for the day (usually a department store, car park, 7/11, college campus, or similar), along with a schedule for minimal bathroom breaks (just pray they cut the feed for that).

Gig Groomer: You will be representing the gig agency you are contracted by, and given a quota of potential gig workers to sign up for your agent. A trackable data pad is supplied, and bonuses paid for exceeding your quota. Installing personality enhancement chips is recommended for this gig. No sign-ups means no pay. Loss of the data pad results in a hefty fine as well as non-payment.

Hygiene Dispenser: You will be deployed to a building lobby or reception area, and sometimes you'll operate in the street, where you will remain for the duration of the gig. You will be supplied with a paper coverall, nitrile gloves and a 20L back-mounted tank full of hand sanitiser, or other germicidal, dispensed by trigger pump to hygiene conscious citizens. You may leave your patch once you've run out of gel. Pay is docked per 500ml remaining at the end of your shift. The tank must be returned in good condition, but the gloves and coverall are yours to keep.

Substrate Fairy: You will seek out and collect recyclable materials to be reused for 3D printing. Particular substrates may be specified such as polymers, aluminium, resins, ceramics etc. Mechanical grippers, kevlar gloves and a wearable plastic basket are supplied, all of which must be returned at the end of the contract, or forfeit payment.

Organ Surrogate: This gig is more likely to run for a week and is subsequently a much better paid job. Following a quick blood test, you will be initially implanted with a fresh cloned organ, which is hooked to a major artery of your choice. Your blood flow then ensures the cloned organ can mature prior to proper implantation. Painkillers and dressings are supplied. Loss or damage of the organ will be considered a breach of contract, leading to withholding of agreed payment and possible legal action. Infections are considered as loss or damage for contractual purposes.

Meds Manager: Also known as a Malady Manager, your job is to deliver the specified medications to the old and/or infirm, and to ensure their ingestion. Failure to deliver said medications will result in loss of payment, as will any failure in administering them. Legal action will be taken if any harm comes to the client, their property or to the supplied pharmaceuticals. Shift quotas are common and transport costs will only be reimbursed if the correct receipts are submitted to the agency.

Brand Spammer: You will be supplied with a data chip (chip socket or interface plug required) containing the necessary information to actively promote a brand, a product or an ideology to strangers, in public. Your area of operation will be determined by the agency, based on client preference. A measured uptake in brand awareness or ideological sympathy will result in a bonus payment.

Pest Microwaver: You will receive one hours training (unpaid) and be issued with an RFID tagged microwaver 'handgun' to roast various vermin at a predetermined location. Payment is based on the number of nuisance bioforms microwaved within the duration of the shift. Loss of the microwaver will result in a loss of payment and a fine to the value of the weapon (RRP). Transport costs are not covered by this contract.

Drone Repoman: Supplied with a bulky tracker, it is your job to trace and recover downed courier drones for a variety of clients, wherever they may end up. Transport costs will be reimbursed on submission of receipts to the agency. Bonuses will be paid if the drone's payload is also recovered. A trace with a failure to recover results in partial payment, at the agency's discretion. The loss of, or damage to, the tracker unit will result in a withheld payment. Injury to the contractor is not covered. Ammunition expenses are similarly not covered by this contract.

Human Troll: A variant of the Brand Spammer above, your job will be to verbally broadcast the disinformation provided, or to make political or personal attacks towards a contractually specified target or targets.

Implant Incubator: Similar to the Organ Surrogate above, you will be implanted with test-grade cybernetic implants (neural processor or Direct Neural Interface required), but with a view to noting any behavioural or physical changes, much like the Chippy Pig below. The contract is void in the event of a major psychological breakdown on the part of the contractor. The agency takes no responsibility for any loss of empathy experienced by the worker.

Chippy Pig: Your job is to install new memory or reflex skill chips, in your own chip socket or interface plug, and follow a supplied itinerary of activities pertaining to the testing of the booted chip. You are also supplied with a digital recorder (trackable) to verbally record any physiological or psychological variations you may experience. Loss of the supplied chip will result in immediate legal action and payment will be zero.

Dataterm Medic: You will be dispatched to an area with a digital map of the local dataterms and a janitorial kit including anti-bacterials, sanitisers and screen wipes, with a view to cleaning these public terminals of gum, pen, paint, vomit, urine and other biohazards. You will also make note of malfunctioning or damaged units on the form-fillable PDFs provided. Loss or damage of the kit will result in reduced or withheld payment. Other PPE is to be provided by the contractor themselves. A smartphone or tablet is necessary to display the map and PDFs (not provided).

Synthetic Backend: A handful of companies employ humans pretending to be AIs pretending to be humans. Companies offering do-anything concierges, shopping assistants and e-mail schedulers have sprung up, but not every start-up can afford expensive AI. You will be contracted per hour to sit in a hot, cramped cubicle, in front of a outmoded terminal, and schedule meetings for gullible tech executives who have too much money.


Thursday, 26 January 2017

Augmented Reality City Kit Now Available In Print

With a cheeky red to celebrate (not included).
Yesterday, I received my second (and correct) proof copy of the Augmented Reality city kit, and I'm really happy with it. The cover is nice and glossy, the interior pages, crammed with holistic cyberpunk awesome, are super crisp and clean.

So, I am pleased to announce that I can finally make the book available to purchase via the good folks at Lulu.com.

Get yours here:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/paul-d-gallagher/augmented-reality/paperback/product-23032774.html


Now, those of you who have downloaded the PDF will notice the page numbering is slightly different in the print version (page 4 is now page 3 for example, at Lulu's insistence), but the contents page and other page number references have all been changed to account for that. The print copy is just as easy to follow and use as the PDF.

Obligatory piss-poor cyberoptic shot.
Also, the 2D10 optional grid pages aren't included in the print version, but they are still available for download for free on the blog at this link, should you want them.

And for those who still prefer their content made of pixels, the PDF is still freely available in the side bar, and on DriveThruRPG should you want to toss me a few beer tokens.

Finally, those of you making use of the city kit at your gaming tables, let me know how it's working out for you in the comments, as I'm genuinely curious to know if you guys are finding it a helpful resource.

Right. Back to working on Mission Creep

Thanks for looking.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Augmented Reality Update


Just another little update to let you all know that I am currently awaiting a new Augmented Reality print-on-demand proof, which should arrive next week. Once I am satisfied that all is well with the book, I shall release it to the world at large. So stay tuned.

Also, here's a little taster of a companion volume I'm hard at work on:



No release date as of yet (obvs), but keep an optic on the Archive for the occasional teaser.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Further Adventures in POD

Sez my 8-bit brain.
[An Augmented Reality print update for those who are waiting to buy hard copies.]

Well, I received my POD proof copy of Augmented Reality yesterday and I was very surprised to find the pages in the wrong order. It seems my book has been printed with the second half of the book at the front, and the first half of the book at the back! Yet the PDF proof was fine!

Also, the stylish black thumb spaces are in the crease and not the outer edges of the pages. Unacceptable!

Most of my time since it arrived has been spent cursing.

I've contacted the printer and I'm waiting to see how they will resolve the issue. Once they have, I'll be sure to post the news up here to let you guys know that they are available.

On the up side, the cover looks very nice.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

City Kit Now On DriveThruRPG

For those who requested it, Augmented Reality is now available as a Pay What You Want PDF over on DriveThru. The file also includes the optional variant 2D10 grids at the back.

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202175/Augmented-Reality-The-Holistic-City-Kit-For-Cyberpunk-Games

If you already have your PDF, no problem. Just pop over and leave me some positive comments in the discussion field, if you can.

Much obliged.


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Grid Variants

Ishmadrad makes a good point in the comments section of yesterday's Augment Your Reality post. They wrote:

take the Downtown Drop Down Grid. I roll a d10, getting a "6", so sixth row. There, I see 6 "squares" of different sizes. Let's say that those squares have those numbers inside: Vehicle Showroom (1-2), Fashion Boutique (3-4), Commercial Cybernetics (5-7), Mall (8), VRcade (9), Gym (10).
So, if I roll another d10, and I get a 10, I obtain a Gym.

This system retains the different weights of each "building", so it's rarer to get a Bank, in comparison to an Office Block.


So, I did some thinkifying and pixel bothering, and created numbered variants for each of the three drop down grids from Augmented Reality (see link to the right, or click here). So, rather than drop dice on the grid (which you can still do), you can roll 2D10 instead - one you read down, the other across. The three new pages are included in one PDF document, and can be downloaded for free here.

The Downtown Grid given the Ishmadrad Treatment™

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

It's Time To Augment Your Reality

It's January, it's here and it's yours for free.

(and the file sharing glitch is fixed…) 

The back cover blurbage:

Enhance your games of the dark future, with the easy to use Augmented Reality cyberpunk city kit. Inside, you’ll find over 50 tables designed to assist gamesmasters who need to improvise futuristic city details, or who have found that they are unprepared for where their players are heading. 

With this book, you can add layers of detail to any cyberpunk cityscape, and make use of over 250 NPCs, including fixers, street samurai, corporate players and insane hackers, along with easy to roll cabbies, cops, gang members and street fighters. Missions, motivations and methods can be generated, along with the immediate urban environment, all painted with a broad brush, to enable gamesmasters to let their twisted imaginations shine through, without slowing down the action.

Your players may use the real world as a reference, but YOU can use these tables to bring them the bleeding-edge future. So, jack in now and augment your reality…

Click the download link here or on the right.

UPDATE: NOW AVAILABLE ON DRIVETHRURPG AS A PAY WHAT YOU WANT PDF FILE:
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202175/Augmented-Reality-The-Holistic-City-Kit-For-Cyberpunk-Games

I hope you enjoy it cyberpeople. Let me know how you use it.