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 cafĂ©

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).