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Hack The Planet - what’s it like?

kvltjam

Async
Validated User
Hack The Planet has been out in PDF for a bit and is slowly making its way in print form to folks. So... what’s it like? In particular...

  • Aside from different playbooks and the inclusion of cyberware, are there any big rules differences from BitD?
  • What are the factions like? Any leap out at you as particularly cool?
  • I know this is extremely subjective, but are you happy with your purchase? Is this a game you see yourself wanting to run or play?
Many thanks, y’all.
 

Gee4orce

Registered User
Validated User
Just bought it but I've only had time to skim the PDF. Looks amazing - absolutely crammed with stuff. I was intrigued by BitD but the setting never clicked with me. Scum and Villainy was nearer to what I'm interested in, but I wasn't convinced it was a great match for the system. Hack the Planet should be a lot closer to the mark being closer in tone to BitD but with a setting that's much more up my street.
 

kvltjam

Async
Validated User
Awesome, Gee4orce Gee4orce ! Blades in the Dark is my favorite game, so I’m pleased that so far Hack the Planet maintains the feel. Looking forward to any findings you can provide the thread! :)
 

Nate_MI

Formerly 'Raveled'
Validated User
Bought it, stared longingly at it, might actually get a chance to run it.

It intrigues me a great deal more than the "base" Blades in the Dark. Part of it is that this is science fiction and cyberpunk, genres that appeal to me much moreso than the vaguely Edwardian fantasy of Doskvol. I also enjoy its focus on climate-fiction and the setting of Shelter 1 is appealingly dystopian. It's probably my favorite Blades hack that I've seen yet.

  • Aside from different playbooks and the inclusion of cyberware, are there any big rules differences from BitD?
Cyberware is the big one. It gives you a fifth dot in a skill but eats away at your Stress track.
  • What are the factions like? Any leap out at you as particularly cool?
Cool is subjective. There is one that is basically the street gang from Akira, which is a really interesting reference to see. There are a couple of optional Crews with really strong themes along with their mechanics, namely the Sappers and the Storm Witches. Sappers are revolutionaries and dissidents, bomb-throwing anarchists devoted to bringing the megacorp system down. Storm Witches are sort of techno-primitivists who augment themselves to live with and even direct the massive storms that have wrecked the world.
 

kvltjam

Async
Validated User
Those are awesome, Nate_MI Nate_MI . Thanks. What about NPC factions? I heard the prison system is a power generator for Shelter 1. What are some other quirky possible allies or enemies that pop up?
 

Nate_MI

Formerly 'Raveled'
Validated User
The prison system is a power generator, yes. Any form of non-renewable power is illegal in the setting and there's not enough resources to just have people sit around in cells for years, so instead you charge batteries via turning a crank -- by peddling a bike, or running on a treadmill, or turning a hand crank. Since those batteries they charge are also the currency of the setting, you don't serve a set sentence -- you're assessed a fine and whenever you've charged enough currency to pay off the fine, that when you're set free.

The corporations who run the place have names like Nourish and Safety. Those aren't stores you go to, those are just things you need. As for fun factions -- well there's SneakNet, a group of street kids who act as couriers for data. The Mirrored are somewhere between Anonymous and DedSec, handing out politically-charged rhetoric on paper while wearing non-identifying masks. Both of those point to a really big issue in the setting -- the megacorps completely control the flow of information, data, education, history, and culture. There's no possibility of, say, having a private discussion about the direction of Shelter 1 because any dissenting opinion that might actually prove dangerous gets squashed and deleted.

In addition to the "standard" cyberpunk setting there's also a sort of pre-cyberpunk piece included in the main book. Basically it's a community (or, well, several communities) in a situation where most of society has collapsed due to ecological devastation. It hasn't gotten so bad that an armored arcology is the only place people can survive long-term, but it's definitely post-apocalyptic.
 

kvltjam

Async
Validated User
How are Acts of God handled? Are they just something that’s there in the narrative background or are they handled by a system like a clock or whatever?
 

Nate_MI

Formerly 'Raveled'
Validated User
How are Acts of God handled? Are they just something that’s there in the narrative background or are they handled by a system like a clock or whatever?
They're an obstacle to overcome with a clock, like everything else. Folks can get through by hiding from it, or driving through it, or teching the tech, just like they can everything else in the setting. The big deal is that each Crew has a special way they interact with AoGs; one Crew, for example, can siphon fuel from it, while another can make measurements of the storms and sell the data for extra cash after the job.
 
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