Drone Rigger: A Critical Analysis

As every Dumpshocker knows full well, pre-made characters from the Shadowrun 4th Edition corebook are more or less shit. Usually more. Of course, they may look interesting on paper, but once you grab them by the throat, slam them against the wall hard and line up against even the characters from “Sample Characters Archive” thread (to say nothing of UmaroVI’s “Archetypes” which are so minmaxed I’ve explicitly warned my players that if I see one of these at my table, they get fed to Shedim), they just fail. Horribly. But let’s see the details first. Czytaj dalej

This Is L.A.: Pito Bandito

If earthquakes and floods weren’t enough, Los Angeles is plagued by social media as well. To be more exact: Persona 2.0, or „Pito” for short. Imagine Youtube, Facebook and LinkedIn all in a neat little package: camera drones film you all the time, serving the live video to hundreds of schmucks watching you, you have a contact list (to which – and that’s sure as hell – some spackers you don’t even know will try to add themselves), and, to top it off, a meter that displays your degree of connections to the Big Green, Gary Cline (the Horizon CEO). Of course, an ordinary schmuck off the street can’t get a P2.0 account – you need an invitation first, which means that if you don’t make an impression on someone, you won’t be able to show off in the city. And showing off is a sacred thing in LA. If you don’t show off, you don’t exist. Period. Czytaj dalej

This Is L.A.: Rebuilding A Metropolis

DISCLAIMER: This is a translation of my earlier note in Polish. It contains no extra content and, in some places, link references have been replaced with ones that don’t require knowledge of Polish. Because I can’t be arsed to translate it all and translation software (ie. Google Translate) throws up seven colors of monkey shit when confronted with my writing style. Try it, or better don’t.

Downtown Los Angeles as seen from my American ...

Image via Wikipedia

Having decided on running a Los Angeles-based campaign for Shadowrun, I prepared a Google Earth overlay and started chewing through the „Corporate Enclaves” splatbook. As we know from the previous entry, the flooded area is, in our times, filled mostly with your typical American family houses – if you played GTA: San Andreas, you probably know how Ganton, the fictional counterpart of Compton, looked. The splatbook, however, insists that there are skyscrapers or at least multi-story buildings – and I, following my „think, analyze, criticize” motto, started asking what, why and what for. After a few days, I got enlightened: have the family houses been replaced with public housing like the Projects from GTA IV, built with „stuff as many people inside as possible” in mind? Well, if we demolish a block of small houses and slap a couple of ten-to-fifteen-story tenement blocks there, the number of inhabitants will grow a good couple of times. There’s only one little problem with that: due to the vicinity of San Andreas Fault, Los Angeles likes to shake sometimes. And tall buildings don’t like shaking, to say the least. Well, technology marches on – if Downtown LA can have skyscrapers that can shake and not keel over, and the growing population has to live somewhere, we can demolish the family houses of the more well-off and replace them with so called luxury apartment blocks (note: „luxury apartment block” is a term overused in Poland to describe anything that was built in the last two years and has apartments at least slightly larger than a shoebox, hence the irony). And here I noticed another thing: the whole area is one huge-ass suburb made of a handful of towns engulfed by the LA Sprawl. The more LA sprawls, the more suburban architecture, that is: those funny little houses, will be replaced with urban architecture, that is: large blocks. So we can safely assume that the closer to Downtown LA, the more likely we’re to encounter an obstacle course made from the ruins of tall buildings – well, with the exception of industrial districts, but we’ll get to that later. Czytaj dalej