GURPS: Children of the Black Sea
Once upon a time in a future not so far away, rich old men and women pushed Virtual Reality to a whole new level. They did this to be the first humans to upload their minds into a computer, the first humans to become
Inspired by Tad Williams' Otherland novels, the films Dark City and Matrix, and the Transhuman Space RPG setting
immortal, to rule their virtual and real realms
forever. To achieve the goal, they worked more than 20 years in complete secrecy, for their approach was - and is - mind-numbing, and even their engineers and programmers didn't know what would become of the simulation matrix now known as the
Uniscape. When the story ended, the
Philosopher's Stone Project gained inglorious fame as a desastrous hubris that claimed several thousand lives.
Players will be normal people from all over the world, all with their distinct reasons to break into the Uniscape
network and try to find out what it is. Perhaps friends or relatives became sick or even comatose when they were logged into the regular World Wide Web, or they have heard rumours of a Virtual Reality for the rich that surpasses every other simworld and want to have a look, or they had been contracted to program some far-out subroutine, perhaps only a few lines of code long, and want to know why their employed pays big money for apparently useless stuff. Whatever the reason, they crossed the Black Sea into the Virtual Reality named "Uniscape
The "real life" world of this campaing is definitely cyberpunk'ish, there are megacorporations either acknowledged as states or nearly completely controlling states, widely used Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) systems, although your typical user can always tell if it's virtual or real (neither are the constructs so convincing nor the typical interface's resolution high enough), in first-world states much work is done by telepresence, etc.
It is, though, not as bleak as many other cyberpunk settings: The world doesn't die or drown in toxic waste, the oceans aren't fished empty, and it's a lot more colourful and worth living than what you think of when you see the films mentioned above. The green revolution succeeded, back in the 2040ies, and today's energy efficient houses and vehicles are electric, powered by the energies of the wind, the sea and the sun (there are a couple of beamed-power satellites in orbit and solar panels have gone quite a way).
The major power blocks are China, India, the Pacific Rim Alliance, the US and the EU. The middle east has come to an uncertain rest with Israel still pitted between a democratic Sunni Arabian Alliance and the autocratic Shiite Islamic Caliphate. Central Africa is still a bunch of independent states with changing rulers (sometimes heavily influenced by China), but South Africa has risen to stability and prosperity and has much influence in the Council of States of Southern Africa (CSSA). Space has its inhabitants, too, especially on the moon and the enlarged ISS and its Chinese counterpart, the Ziyou (Freedom). Ventures to mine asteroids or the inner planets are still in planning and get postponed regularly.
The campaign as planned will play almost exclusively in VR and have as key theme the ever-burning human questions: Who am I? Who are you, anyway? Whom can I trust? Where are we? What the heck is going on? Who is to blame?
If those questions will have answers and if it all ends in revenge, forgiveness or flight, well, that's up to you!