Limitless Worlds

Limitless Worlds

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Something I'd Like to See

I wish someone would make a hack of Eclipse Phase using Apocalypse/Dungeon World. I would do it, but I am working on Panopticon and Pulpwood!

Yes, you heard me right, Pulpwood. It'll be a different format, but I am sure it'll still be awesome. The big draw will be a crap-ton of setting blurbs, placed on a map of the world Indiana Jones style. It's coming along, but I'm not giving a day. It'll be done when its done

Panopticon is getting close to being some kind of playtest ready. I'm almost done with all the Upgrades, and the human classes are mostly done. Still, I have to hammer out psionics, gear and basic combat, but after that it should be easy. Combat will be pretty simple OD&D fair, adjusted mostly for the use of guns. That allows things like aim, burst fire and so on. It should be pretty ool

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Preliminary Upgrades

I've been compiling ideas for that OSR cyberpunk game, tentatively entitled "Panopticon." Below is a list of
cyber/bioware, which includes modifications for the torso and the arms. I'm also having leg mods and head mods, but this is what I have so far.

Torso Upgrades

These upgrades are for systems located in your torso, or ones that run throughout your whole body.

Your heart has been upgraded to increase circulation and efficency. Your Constitution score increases by 1. This Upgrade can be taken three times. Simply replacing a diseased heart only costs no power, and that type of neoheart can't malfunction. Note that Constitution modified by the neoheart does not allow for additional Upgrades.

Bone Weave
Your bones have been reinforced to be extra strong and resistant to damage. You gain an additional point of natural AC. This Upgrade can be taken twice.

Your lungs have been upgraded, both in size and holding capacity. You can hold your breath for up to 20 minutes, sealing off your system from dangerous gases, water and vaccuum. Simply replacing a diseased lung costs no power, and that type of gigalung can't malfunction.

Muscle Threads
Your musculature has been fortified to make you stronger and tougher. Your Strength score increases by 1. This Upgrade can be taken three times.

Nerve Splits 
Your nerves have been branched and increased in output, allowing you to be faster and more responsive. Your Dexterity score increases by 1. This Upgrade can be taken three times.

Black Blood Cells
Your blood has been infused with black blood cells; hyper-fast nanobots that seek out and destroy pathogens hundreds of times faster than white blood cells. You become more resistant to disease, granting you a -2 bonus to saves involving avoiding them. This Upgrade can be taken twice.

Hardened Adipose
Your fat and skin tissues have been hardened, making you more resistant to damage. You gain 2 additional HP unmodified by Constitution. This Upgrade can be taken up to five times.

Your endocrine system has been augmented, releasing synth-pheremones in order to make you appear more attractive or influential. Your Charisma score increases by 1. This Upgrade can be taken three times.

Steel Gut
Your digestive system has been fortified with nanites and advanced bacteria. This makes you extremely resistant to poisons, both ingested and otherwise, granting you a -2 bonus to saves involving avoiding them. This Upgrade can be taken twice. Note that this upgrade also makes it quite difficult to get drunk, though now you can eat almost anything.

Cosmetic Alterations
These alterations include things such as animated tattoos, glowing eyes, elvish ears, strange colored skin or hair. These alterations do not cost any Power, but they cost credits like all Upgrades.

Arm Upgrades

These upgrades are used to replace and augment your arms and hands.

This metallic arm replaces large portions, or perhaps the entire length, of a dismembered or missing arm. They range from high class and sleek to rusty and piecemeal. A cyberarm is needed to obtain the Sleeved Gun, Bicep Compartment and Inbuilt Compdeck Upgrades.

Sleeved Gun
You have a gun built within your cyberarm, which fires out of your palm and reloads through a feeder under the wrist. The gun must be small-arms and though only one weapon can be placed in an arm, it is possible to switch out guns (e.g. pistol for SMG). If you have two cyberarms, this Upgrade can be taken twice to provide a weapon for each.

Siberia Claws
You have mechanical or bony claws that extend out of the back of your knuckles. They function like a 1-handed melee weapon.

Bicep Compartment
You have a hollow storage space in your bicep that can only be unlocked by your brain. The space is large enough to hold a pistol or anything smaller. This Upgrade can be taken twice if you have two cyberarms.

Inbuilt Compdeck
Your Compdeck isn't handheld, but rather built into your forearm. This prevents your Compdeck from ever being stolen, unless someone wants to just rip your arm off (which some people do.)

Parker Tips
Your fingertips are laced with small barbs, allowing you to climb up vertical surfaces with little to no climbing gear.

Sworl Erase
Your fingertips have been scrubbed clean, leaving you lacking of fingerprints. While useful in avoiding the police, it's hard to access to anywhere without them.

Field Sensors
You have had magnets, or a biological equivalent, implanted under the skin of your palms and fingers. This allows you to feel energy fields, allowing you to discern their properties, where they are going and more.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Basic Running System

And here is the draft system for net running! It's pretty easy since I treat running as more of a separate setting than one that requires a million rules. Still, I offer pretty easy to remember guidelines for all your running needs.


When you enter the IntraNet, you are navigating the nearly infinite digital space with your mind. Your body, as well as all your gear, is sitting in situ (hopefully in a safe place). That doesn't mean you are unprotected in the IntraNet, however. Your mind is convinced it still has all its gear, but it is instead a manifestation of your mind, rather than a physical object. Still, while in IntraSpace, your brain becomes a computer for all intents and purposes. That mentally digitized gun may not be "real," but it can still lay the smack down.

Running is handled exactly like normal, real-life street missions. You have all your gear, and you look like your normal self, though you glow slightly blue and look digital. The difference is that you are no longer in the realm of the physical, but of the mental. That means when it comes down to fisticuffs, you have to flex your grey matter instead of  your muscle matter.

This translates in a few ways. First, Strength is no longer used to determine melee attack bonuses and damage. Intelligence takes up that roll. Second, your Dexterity is no longer used to determine ranged attack bonuses and AC. That is now Wisdom's job. Further, like you saw in character creation, you have two new stats while running: your FC, or Firewall Class, that acts as your AC while in digital space, and your SP, or Stress Points, that act as your HP.

IntraNet combat works exactly like regular combat as well, though instead of fighting gangers and corp security, you'll be tangling with ICEs, worms and more. These programs can take up thousands of forms, similar to your Avatars.

In this way, IntraNet running is a good way to get away from the normal cyberpunk aesthetics for the GM. Want to do a fantasy dungeon crawl? Have the runners visit a IntraSpace that emulates a medieval town, where malware in the shape of a fell drake constantly frags the inhabitants.

"Dying" in the IntraNet

While exploring the IntraNet, if your SP ever reaches 0, you will become "fragged." Fragging basically is the break-up of your digital form, causing your mind to refuse a connection with the IntraNet, thus jacking your consciousness out of the Net and shoving it back in your body. You will be unharmed, but mentally, you'll be exhausted. Fragging occurs after 1 minute of reaching 0 SP, so the runner's partners have time to revive him before he is booted out. SP heals at the same rate as HP.

However, if you reach into negative SPs, that could be a serious problem for you. When you plunge down into the negatives, your mind starts reeling and trying to destroy the "infected" parts of your brain to revive you. Your consciousness stays in the IntraSpace as your brain does its work, and you must make a Will save to stabilize, similar to stabilizing physical wounds.

If you do manage to stabilize, you are fragged instantly and tossed back into your body. People with negative SP will not only be mentally tired, but they'll often be confused, confrontational, depressed and forgetful until
their brain manages to self repair itself. SP can also be restored through visits to a psychologist, often called "brain docs". These aren't so much licensed psychoanalysists, but more programmers who jack into your access port and try to root out malicious programs. Both natural and assisted healing at negative SP works exactly like healing similar HPs.

At -10 SP, the runner is fragged instantly, shoved into his body, and either becomes irreversibly comatose or incredibly insane. That means it's time for a new character.

It is important to stress that when you are in the IntraNet, your body must be safe. While running, you can easily be killed, kidnapped or worse. Further more, if you are unexpectedly jacked out, your conciousness will be stuck in the IntraNet as your body stays as a potato. You can rejoin with your body if you can find where it was transferred to, but that in itself is a whole other adventure.

Entering, Exiting and Moving in the IntraNet

The actual process of entering the IntraNet is fairly easy; find a safe and comfy place to rest, insert the Jack Wire into your access port, and sink into the Net. Where you arrive in the IntraNet is a different story. Every IntraSpace has an IP address, similar to current computers. If you know the IP number of the IntraSpace you want to visit, you'll arrive there with little complications once you Jack in. A good deal of IP numbers are easy to find, but some, such as the IP of a megacorp's stock portfolio, will be extremely hard to locate and may require real-life hacking and infiltrating to get access to.

Most IPs won't actually drop you inside the IntraSpace, but rather right in front of it. If you want to get in,
you'll have to do it the old fashioned way.

If you don't know the IP, good luck. The IntraNet is vast, some say infinite, and finding anything is a bitch. You may find what you are looking for by wandering, as similar IP addresses are placed close together physically, but don't expect to drop into an IntraSpace city and find a gun smuggler's hideout with no effort. If you enter the IntraNet without knowing the IP, you'll drop into your personal IntraSpace, which usually takes the form of an apartment.

Entering and getting place to place in the IntraNet is fairly easy, but exiting is a different story. As stated in the previous section, getting fragged is the forceful way to leave the IntraNet. The willing way requires you to go back to the IP you entered from. Yes, this means you can't just go to the IntraSpace's core, grab the data you want, and then Jack out. You have to escape with the goods. However, once you get back to the IP, jacking out is basically instant.

The Core

All IntraSpaces have something called a core. The core represents the source code used to write the IntraSpace, as well as the hard drive which contains the more important and hidden files. It also serves as the central processing power of the IntraSpace. If you want to modify or extract from the IntraSpace, you have to access the core.

Cores are usually centrally located, and are not hard to miss. The core is often in its own heavily guarded room, and the core's room itself is high vaulted and empty. In the middle is the core itself, a floating piece of geometry that constantly shifts and fluctuates with information and code.

Actually accessing the core is difficult, as the cores are fairly powerful AIs that will try to destroy the runners. Cores can be dealt with like any enemy, but these creatures are dangerous. Not all cores are insanely powerful, though; accessing the core of a digital coffee shop will usually only take a quick battle or round of negotiating. However, destroying a megacorp or government core will be a drawn out battle that may result in some fragging.

Once the core is defeated, runners won't have long until the core's back-up systems activate. These could be alarms, self destruct systems, or even a full reboot. Runners have a limited time to access or alter the information they wish, represented by an extended Intelligence check. Weak cores can take up to 20 minutes to activate their back ups, while powerful ones only need about 1 minute. This is complicated by the fact that more powerful cores will need more successes on the extended check to get the information you want. Once the runner does get what he wants, it's time to bolt.

Hacking in the IntraNet

Hacking with your Avatar in the IntraNet is fairly difficult, if not impossible. What an Avatar does to an ExtraNet is avoid, destroy and circumnavigate malicious programs in order to get to data files. However, most items in the IntraNet ARE programs. The Avatar simply doesn't know how to infilitrate individual programs to access their source codes.

Well, that's not really true. Not all Avatars can.

Some very illegal, very powerful and very expensive Avatars exist, and they are known as Devas. Devas are extensions of Avatars, so you can have a rank 3 Deva. Devas can hack items in the IntraNet, and the hacking functions just as Avatar hacking. Some things are too powerful for even the Deva to hack, such as an IntraSpace's core. What is hackable by the Deva is up to the GM.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Basic Hacking System

It may be no surprise, but I'm kicking around making an OSR cyberpunk game. Below are my draft rules for hacking, which involves hacking physical objects like cars, ATMs and so on. Netrunning does exist and will be covered later, but it will basically be just a setting change, not so much a mechanical one.

These rules are supposed to be both quick and cool. I like the idea of have your personal assistant jump into an ATM, swim through the files while dodging ICEs, and then eventually proudly announcing 2000 credits have been transferred to your account. It also brings in hacking combat without making it too complex. Originally, the Executables were going to be basically Avatar equipment, but I think treating them as bonuses is quicker and less book keeping.


Almost everyone in modern society has a CompDeck, and you're no exception. Though most CompDecks are only used to browse the IntraNet, play games or other personal matters, you have tailored yours into a hacking machine.

Every CompDeck has an Avatar, a small helper program that represents that limited intelligence the computer has. The Avatar can take any form you wish, from a dragon to a businessman to a sexy lady. The Avatar, which rests or stands on the back of your hand when you use your CompDeck, basically performs the CompDeck's functions for you, serving as a digital helper and more.

Avatars are also the programs that actually hack the ExtraNet. They plunge into the ExtraNet, rooting around and fighting off counter measures to perform the task you want.

Avatars are based on their Rank. They are ranked from 1 to 5, with all characters starting with a rank 1 Avatar. The rank serves as the Avatar's health bar, the Avatar's hacking effectiveness and the amount of Executables he can attempt.

ExtraNet systems also have a rank that acts the same as Avatar rank. This rank represents the various firewalls, re-routes and fake files the Avatar must navigate. However, their health bar can reach higher than 5 depending on the system. ExtraNets can have Executables as well, but usually only half as many as an Avatar of an equivalent rank.

Hacking is basically a quick one-on-one battle between the Avatar and the ExtraNet. Unless the ExtraNet is particularly strong, the Avatar usually goes first. The hacker rolls a d6, and if it is less than or equal to the Avatar's rank, the Avatar has made progress in hacking. The Avatar deals damage equal to the difference between the roll and the Avatar's rank (minimum of 1) to the system. If the system reaches 0 health, the Avatar has breached through all the security and the hacker can manipulate the ExtraNet how he pleases.

Like combat, after the Avatar makes his attempt, the ExtraNet will attempt to ward off the Avatar. The GM does the same d6 roll as the Avatar did, and if he succeeds, he deals the difference in damage to the Avatar. If the Avatar ever reaches 0 health, it is booted out of the ExtraNet and the hacker is pinged. When the hacker is pinged, it means the local authorities are actively looking for you for the crime of "unlawful data manipulation." You should start running.

Be aware that at any time, the hacker can abort the attempt and withdraw the Avatar. The Avatar may have some scrapes, but you won't be pinged and can safely lick your wounds.

As both the Avatar and ExtraNet take damage, it is harder and harder to perform well. When damaged, your rank temporarily decreases to where your health is. So if a Rank 5 Avatar took 2 damage, you would have to roll a 3 or lower on a d6 to deal damage to the ExtraNet.

If the Avatar reaches 0 health, it's out of commission until the hacker can wipe his hard drives, restore memories and so on. The process takes about 8 hours, and afterwards the Avatar is back up to it's full rank.

It seems hacking may be difficult, but the Avatar has some tricks up its sleeve in the form of Executables.

Executables are small bonuses that Avatars (and hackers) can use to better attack the ExtraNet. They represent backdoors, trojans and malware the Avatar unleashes to get what it wants. The Avatar gets a number of Executables per day equal to their rank. This number doesn't decrease if the Avatar takes damage.

By "burning" an executable, the Avatar can do one of the following things

1. Instantly restore 1d3 health
2. Block 1d3 damage from an ExtraNet attack
3. Use the Hacker's Intelligence roll to hack, rolling d6 for damage. Backgrounds do apply.
4. Instantly re-roll a hack attempt
5. Cause the ExtraNet to re-roll their hack
6. Deal an additional 1d3 damage to the ExtraNet

Be wary, as some well protected ExtraNets have Executables as well.

Blitz Hacking

Blitz hacking is the term used when multiple hackers attempt to infiltrate an ExtraNet. Though one Avatar could hack the Rank 5 Megacorp Door Lock with 10 health and 4 Executables, it won't be an easy task. He'll need a little help from his friends

Any amount of hackers can work together, but usually 2 or 3 is the norm. There should be a leading Avatar, who actually does all the hacking, and the support Avatars.

While Hacking, support Avatars don't really do any active hacking. Instead, they can use their Executables on the leading Avatar, and they can also intercept damage. A support hacker can take the lead should the lead hacker fell, taking up the job of damaging the ExtraNet. Further, none of the Hackers are pinged until all the Avatars are knocked out to 0 health.

Be advised that ExtraNets can also Blitz Hack, with local ExtraNet objects teaming up to destroy a significant threat. It's not common, but it can happen.

Hacking Hackers

Avatars can actually hack other CompDecks. This functions as an ordinary hack, treating the opponent's CompDeck as its own ExtraNet. However, the opponent's Avatar will quickly make his master aware of the act, upon which he will probably draw a pistol and attempt to give you a second mouth.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Some New Races for Mutants & Machine Guns

Mutants & Machine Guns is a cool little post-apocalypse RPG that come in at around 8 pages. In it, there are guidelines for playing a few types of characters, namely humans, mutants and mutated animals. While this is cool, I feel M&M (not to be confused with that superhero game) can really wander into crazy post-apocalypse territory without really breaking the system. So below are some brief races I think would work out pretty well.

Mutated Plants - Pick a plant type (Cactus: gets Spike Growth mutation; Tree: Gigantism mutation; Mushroom: Acid Spit mutation; Flowering/Fruit Bearing: Enhanced Healing mutation). Rolls 1d6 + 8 for health and gets 2 mutations

Cyborg - Can install 10 TU of equipment into his body, representing cybernetic parts. Can't mutate, but can take up to 20 RP. Rolls 1d6 + 10 HP.

Android - Doesn't need to eat, drink, sleep or breathe. Can't mutate, but can take up to 20 RP. Gains 2 mutations that represent android model. Rolls 1d6 + 8 HP.

Endorsing Others Works!

Do you like Final Fantasy? Dragon Quest? Tales? Phantasy Star? Well then you might like this game!

Inspired Press, a indie game company like me, has released a beta for 16-Bit Adventures, which is an RPG that shares many mechanics with SNES RPGs, most notably the Final Fantasy series. It's lookin' real spiffy, and while the beta only has rules for 6 classes, the writer has said he has more planned, such as the Blue Mage, Paladin, Samurai, Ninja, Summoner and so on. It's lookin' pretty slick!

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Transmission


The whole world changed once X-42 fell.

Oh, don't get me wrong. The world was fucked up far before then, but that piece of space junk really put the final nail in Earth's coffin.

Long before the Fall, countries were at each other with the Silver Wars; cold wars over the control people had over androids and AI systems. However, this put them in mega-debt with the old 'corps who were basically funding their sad squabbles. When X-42 was detected, the businesses had to bail out the governments to even give them a chance of surviving. Pretty ironic, huh?

Then the Rush happened. People running around like headless chickens, screaming about doomsday and looking for back-up plans. The only good thing about the Rush was the sweet tech. Sure, the Silver Wars brought in Upgrades, F-Cars and the Net, but the Rush created Skins, Backups, and those Arcs we all get our vat-grown beef from.

As a last ditch, the shadow that was the UN decided to launch a fusion bomb at X-42. Big. Mistake.
The hunk of rock was originally supposed to smash into the Atlantic, probably not doing much. But when it
was blasted, boy did they regret it. What was once a 5 mile wide rock became thousands of cruise ship sized rocks, pelting the ground. Boom! New York, gone. Boom! Madrid, gone. Boom, boom, boom, boom! Cairo, Rome, Toronto, Shanghai, all reduced to skeletons. Not to mention all that nuclear dust. Wiped out whole ecosystems, and those survivors that got blasted became mindless mutants. Those that only got a slight dose became Psykers, like yours truly.

Refugees flocked to what remaining cities existed, overcrowding them and stretching their resources. World-wide riots broke out, and the governments put everything under martial law. Unsurprisingly, this made everyone even more angry.

That's when the Minutemen showed up in LA. A group of paramilitary and privately contracted soldies employed by Taipan Munitions, they turned their guns on the US soldiers. There was no contest, and the army was wiped out. The US wished they could retaliate, but their numbers were stretched too thin. The people rejoiced, and the Usurp began.

All over the world, influential companies started sending in their private armies to basically weed out the governments who were killing the people. Using advanced weaponry, such as psi-linked guns, power armor, combat drones and Frames, they were a force to be reckoned with. The corporations gained power, consolidating and merging until they became megacorps.

By 2072, 13 megacorps ruled supreme over the Earth. They announced the construction of Sprawls, giant additions to cities built by androids and nanobots, as well as defense matrixes to slow the oncoming mutant hordes out in the Wastes. They developed a universal credit system, the Omega chip that allows norms to become Psykers, they established colonies on Mars and Luna, they bred the first Ferals, and they even allowed countries to remain, but only on a symbolic level.

However, they were also making sure their investments were safe. Every street corner has a camera on it, and corp spiders patrol the Net constantly for any criminal activity. In a world of excess, drug use, violence, prostitution, gang activity and more can quickly become rampant as the haves seperate from the have-nots.

To solve this, megacorps employ "Fixers," (that's you and me) to protect their interests. Soldiers, hackers, psykers and more working for a few credits and an Upgrade or two. We are the front line of the megacorp shadow wars, always under the surface and in the grimiest parts of humanity. We'll have to deal with spies, mutants, cyber-horrors, gangers, cults and more. Still, the megacorps may not be the benevolent souls they pretend to be, but a job's a job.

Or is it? How much are you willing to lose? How much are you willing to sacrifice to "fix it?" And can we even fix it?

Who knows.

Harold Tanaka, psyker and exper agent for Alegdi Biotech, signing off.


Thinking of Names

Some evocative names for you to ponder about
  • Megacorps & Metahumans
  • Henchmen & Hackers
  • Chromehounds
  • Runners
  • Fallen Star
  • The World is Theirs
  • Panopticon
Any thoughts?