GURPS Children of the Black Sea (Otherland-inspired Near-Future)

Old Feb 15 '11, 12:06am
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Liantefaron Liantefaron is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hesse/Germany
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GURPS Children of the Black Sea (Otherland-inspired Near-Future)

Children of the Black Sea - Forum
GURPS - Cyberpunk
Ad Closes: Feb 28 '11
Estimated Members Requested: 5

Edit: Player slot open as of 17 september 2013! More info at thread's end.

I invite players who...
... build believable people as their characters and who like to tell their story in
If what I see from your posts here and elsewhere on the site speaks of poor command of the English language or the inability to spell-check before posting, expect not to be accepted for that reason alone. Why? See my self-description below.
well-written postings at a pacing of at least one post every other day. Please understand that I'm living in GMT+1, but I will make efforts to look into the game each local morning and evening (whichever time of day that is at your home).

You do not need to be GURPS experts and indeed, the setup lends itself well to bring you in contact with the game mechanics one bit at a time if you don't know it:
Player Characters will all start out in the Uniscape VR matrix with the "Amnesia(Total)" disadvantage, which - by the rules - means you don't get to see your Character Sheets and won't know your Point Value, Traits or their Levels until you try something out.

That said, character creation will lie in your discretion, for I invite you to apply in secret with a character concept and background info that cover such things as your character's age, sex/gender, appearance, ethnicity, place of living, social standing, job (and/or education), world view (religious beliefs, political views in the broad categories of (far) left, right, centre, green, other, out of the ordinary opinions on the other gender, ethnicities, transhumanist or reactionary opinions, etc.), possibly relatives/persons of interest, and the answer to one question ...
What do you think would make your character inquire about a near-mystic secret network no one else seems to have heard of? Nosy hacker type? Found the entry gate by chance? Relative or friend lies in coma or suddenly has severe mental disorders after roaming through the net and now you have to find out 'cause the cops won't listen?

For those of you who like to build their characters by picking traits from the book and see what comes of it, you may do so with 75/-40/-5CP in mind (normal people, remember), but you will see that I recompense for a low starting level with quick rising: Additionally to your regularly earned CP, expect point-heavy packages of traits for free if you do the right thing at the right time. This also means that if you have a character concept in mind which isn't, in your opinion, feasible with those starting points (very wealthy or high-status characters for example), you can talk it over with me. Give me your sheet when you're done, and then forget what points you have spent, because I will fudge it so you can't rely on what you know your Traits/Levels should be. Mwahaha.

In fact, you should put all your character ideas either in "[private=Liantefaron]...[/private]"-tags when posting here, and - if accepted to the game - create a private Myth Weavers GURPS4e character sheet and attach it to the game so I have read/write access. I will take my notes, make my secret adjustments and then blank your sheet except for the final attributes, derived values and any traits that will be obvious to your character or someone looking at him once the group "wakes up". If you can't live with me taking that out of your hands, don't apply.

On me:
Your GM is a
Yes, I'm French and German at the same time. By Hollywood standards, this makes me Evil squared!
Franco-German MA of German and Roman Literature around the age of 30, more or less fluent in three languages and dabbling in a couple more. This is the reason for his delusion that everyone should be able to write correct sentences, ideally ones that are nice to read, too (what a twerp!).
He regularly played and GMed multiple RPG systems since ~1995, amonst them RoleMaster, The Dark Eye (Das Schwarze Auge), Shadowrun and Midgard, but his favourite has long since become GURPS. He LARPs several times a year, too, and joined Myth Weavers two years ago - when his local group evaporated - to become a very satisfied player. Now he dares to GM a Play by Post game, which he hasn't done in quite a while.

Game Description:

GURPS: Children of the Black Sea
Inspired by Tad Williams' Otherland novels, the films Dark City and Matrix, and the Transhuman Space RPG setting

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 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.

Campaign Focus: 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!

Last edited by Liantefaron; Sep 18 '13 at 4:28pm.. Reason: Added my time zone as a hint of when to expect my posting.
Looks like I have one player. You're in, SageBahamut.
On a related note: I don't see any "approve player"-button on the Game Page yet, so you might want to apply formally by hitting the button with the little man and the plus sign there, that should do the trick.
I don't know if you can do so, but if the form allows, attach an empty GURPS character sheet to the application.
(Sorry, as I said: First-time GM on MythWeavers. Haven't found all the levers yet, if you have already "applied", pass me a note and I'll keep looking for the joining players interface...)

I will have my character idea up today!

My personal minimum of players is reached, but there are still slots for the interested and able.
Originally Posted by one player
I have the Otherland novels at home but have never read them. Would they be useful to read for this game? And which one should I start with?
I'm not completely through all novels myself, so: No, you don't need to have read them.
Having read the first two in English and reading the third one in German (I'm very unsatisfied with the translation but couldn't get my hands on English volumes 3+4), I can already say that the author really takes his time to get things going and the plot lines begin to cross only in volume 3, but I'm quite positive on reading the story to its end: The low pacing leaves enough room for each of the personalities to be characterized very well, to trace their psychological development and even to tell side-stories from time to time.
If you have already read them, don't expect that everything is as in the novels, but if you can grab the feeling and tone of the books and transport them into the game, I'll applaud you.
As said in the Game Description: I will crossover the low-key cyberpunk of Otherland with more flashy or with darker sources, but hope to retain the feeling that it is a world which isn't so much different from our own, only many years later (that is, it will be way more believable than the premises of Dark City or Matrix, no aliens, no machine uprising, just greedy, stupid old mankind).


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