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[Interest/Recruiting] Cyberpunk Space Opera (FATE Accelerated)

Some Regrets

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I'm looking for 3-6 players for a 'throw everything at the wall and see what sticks' sci-fi game. In the spirit of FATE, I'm going to leave a great deal of the setting to players. Aliens, psychic powers, space fighters, AI (without all those pesky corollaries that come with AI in a harder setting), cinematic mutants, and the like are all on the table if the group wants them. I'm looking for a pulpy, cinematic feel without loosing cyberpunk's gritty roots.

I would prefer to keep adventures grounded to start--you should aim for 'street level' characters (i.e. private eyes instead of secret agents, gangbangers instead of elite mercenaries, etc.).

So what's non-negotiable? This game takes place in the year 2700. Humanity has survived several major disasters (in the relatively distant past by this point) and emerged changed. After several steps backwards and one robot uprising, humanity has finally reached the stars and spread out. Earth's major nation states wield disproportionate power and influence over their colonies and client states, often airing their differences through ugly brushfire wars. For most people off Earth and the colonies of its nations, however, corporations and anybody rich and eccentric enough to start their own colony on another world are the ones running the show. On worlds far harsher than Earth, this disproportionate power and wealth has grave consequences--someone owns the filtered air you breathe, the purified water you drink, and so forth. Your characters all find themselves on one such colony, a highly balkanized world with the colonies of several countries and a great many private ones that don't owe allegiance to any Terran nation.

Other stuff:
-Humans have encountered several alien races. All have been confined to a single star system but a number were nearly advanced as humanity with the exception of faster than light technology. Other species were primitive or non-technological. Some have assimilated (voluntarily or otherwise) into human polities while others maintained their independence or were simply left alone.
-Planets and star systems are somewhat harder than usual--there aren't many truly Earthlike worlds and a lot of colonies (and alien life) can be found on tidally locked worlds orbiting red dwarf stars.
-Aliens are also somewhat harder than usual--most are probably not humanoid and don't do well in Earthlike environments (and humans don't do well in theirs).
-There are all sorts of mostly benign relics from ancient and extraordinarily advanced precursor aliens on many worlds. Why there are none on Earth is the subject of considerable debate.

Applying:
-Please post a concept in this thread. After we talk over that concept a bit and make sure we're on the same page, I'll accept you.
-Though I won't require it, I strongly suggest that you talk about the type of game you want to play, plots you enjoy (or don't), themes and setting elements that appeal, etc.
-I am happy to provide suggestions and my own thoughts on particular setting elements on request--don't think of these as ironclad declarations of how the setting is. They're just my suggestions--if you've got a better idea you should share it.


The OOC Thread:
 
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Llayne

Random Player Guy
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Cyberpunk and Space Opera seem like two different ends of the spectrum, but once you mentioned everybody being in the same city/region of a colony world, I think I got an idea of where you were headed. It made me think of Altered Carbon... space travel was there in the background, but it was still cyberpunk at its core.

A bit of pulp is good, Cyberpunk can get very gritty if left unchecked. There are usually some sort of social and economic elite class running things... and they players are typically amongst the dregs of society... struggling to survive. Often that means preying on each other because the governments/corporations, etc... are too powerful. Some sort of meta-plot of rebellion is good to have though... even if it's in the background.

As far as a character... with all these aliens running around, I'm sure somebody tried toying around with their DNA and mixing it with humans. I'm picturing one or more mutant races designed as workers, soldiers, etc... probably some cast offs from bioware experiments as well. Subject to racism and prejudice, they are among the lowest of the low.

I guess there's a bit of Red Rising in there.

He'd be a gang member (small gang) and underground fighter... looking for easy scores and get rich quick schemes to make his life better. He'd have a lot of resentment to people who have 'More' than he does (pretty much everybody) but no serious aims toward rebellion or terrorism just yet.
 

Some Regrets

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Altered Carbon is a fairly good place to look for inspiration (as are shows like The Expanse). Space travel is probably a bit more common than in Altered Carbon (it's not inconceivable that the party could pack up and go somewhere else) but it's expensive/fussy/slow enough that most people won't be leaving the world they were born on.

And here, there's a bit more balance between corporations (who are mostly headquartered off Earth--far from Terran regulators and law enforcement) and Terran nations. Both are nasty in their own ways and both are extremely unequal societies. In a largely postindustrial world most humans are economically useless and the rich aren't sharing the wealth.

As to your concept, I reckon the broad strokes are all solid. I assume that you're interested in a game that takes a political turn where the party tries to make their corner of the planet a better place. Consider how your character would fall in with a variety of groups (hired muscle, I assume). In terms of short-term motivation, money and the basic necessities of life is solid.

(You're in if you'd like!)
 
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Llayne

Random Player Guy
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That kind of politics is fine to stay in the background for the time being unless other characters weigh in as leaning toward it as well.

I see it mostly an RP thing in the beginning, maybe being a factor when it comes to choosing jobs... who we're hoping and who we're gunning for.

Hired muscle basically... though more thug than mercenary. Maybe a bit of demolitions as well if nobody has it.

I try to keep things broad strokes until more players start to weigh in.
 

pstjmack

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VERY up for this - especially within the spirit of Starblazer Adventures and every other Fate SF implementation
 

partiallycyber

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This looks cool! A character that I've been rolling around in my head a bit:

A former miner for some corporation, at some point she encountered some precursor artifact that caused her to begin aging backwards (good ol' Merlin Sickness but she keeps her memories). I imagine that she didn't realize this for a few years but eventually noticed something was strange and had a few discreet tests done to confirm her suspicions. Rather than stick around to become stuck in a lab when others inevitably noticed that she was getting younger rather than older, she grabbed her meager savings and fled to the fringes of society.

One other thing I was thinking about was that, potentially, the thing that clued her in to the fact that something was strange was a growing affinity for machines/tech. I'm drawing inspiration for this from Firefly's Kaylee, except her connection to machines isn't the result of experience or being a savant, it's part of whatever is happening to her. I think she's probably holed up somewhere working in a meager repair shop for whatever she can get to scrape by while trying to figure out what to do next.

My preference for game type would be one focused on short-ish "job" story arcs with occasional dips into larger scale action. I'd like to eventually be able to get off-planet and visit new systems (no idea how possible that is in-universe).

Some themes that appeal: Uncovering/solving mysteries, exploration, how technology changes people and how to deal with that, building a team out of individuals thrown together by fate, probably others that I'm not thinking of right now.

As far as plots that I enjoy, being hired for a job only to be betrayed by the employer feels like a must for any cyberpunk game.
 

pstjmack

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I'd be interested to do a fixer-style character who specializes in slipping between the cracks of interstellar commerce and getting things to people through those cracks. Nothing too major - yet - and definitely nothing too glamorous or high-profile, but in time, who knows? And his eyes on the realities of interstellar traffic could radicalize him against the nastier humanocentric and exploitative elements in this melting pot. Definitely more Killjoys than Solo.
 

Some Regrets

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Validated User
Everyone:
Is there any objection to setting the game in a planetary system around a brown dwarf star? It lends a suitably gloomy atmosphere: a warm and wet (and very volcanic) world lit mostly in infrared with a sky dominated by the enormous brown dwarf in one hemisphere and the other hemisphere a frigid wasteland filled with corporate mining operations, semi-nomadic bandits and terrorists who prey on the corps, and highly questionable black sites operated by various Terran nations.

Because such a system is very small, other moons may be settled too, making in-system space travel a bit more accessible and creating further geopolitical instabilities that lead to the low level crime and civil disorder that makes cyberpunk punk.


-----------

In any case, both of you are in!

Some thoughts on characters:

partiallycyber:
Time travel may be a bridge too far in a cyberpunk setting but mysterious Precursor nanotechnology that de-ages people is probably fair game. This may provide some justification for your character's knack for machines. In fact, alien nanotechnology of this sort might also be a solid justification for other 'psionic' powers. Your character's background seems to fit well with Llayne's thematically which is also helpful.

Consider the contacts/liabilities a character with your background might have: who does she get her fake IDs and documents from (and have they caught on to her secret?), how does she hide her reverse-aging, etc.

pstjmack:
In order to work as a fixer or smuggler, your character has to be able to move in semi-respectable circles. This is probably going to be helpful in a party with two characters who may be less willing or able to hang out with polite company. It's worth considering how your character works as a freight broker for smugglers (is this a fair characterization of your concept?).

A white collar criminal who works with contacts at shipping companies and compromised megacorp employees may be one possibility. For what it's worth, these skills may lend themselves to the vision of piracy I have in this setting: pirates are mostly planetside hackers and white collar criminals who use robotic drones, software exploits, and social engineering attacks to take control of automated cargo ships, or commit barratry, insurance fraud, securities fraud, etc . You could play up that connection (and gain some dangerous allies or rivals) or play a character who's trying to steer clear of the big, sophisticated organized crime outfits who'd love someone with his skills and contacts. In any case, this may be the reason that someone who might have an office job would hang out with folks at the margins of society.
 
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partiallycyber

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Brown dwarf star sounds good to me! And I like the idea of precursor nanotech, fits well with the cyberpunk theme.

Currently, I was envisioning her aging as being pretty close to 1:1, so for every year that passes she gets a year younger. Not much call to hide that right now, since she hasn't been around here long enough for people to notice. She's probably also covered in grime and oil more often than not.

I think she was in her mid-late 30s when she had her precursor encounter and only 4-5 years later did she start realizing that something felt weird: she was losing wrinkles instead of gaining them and started...not hearing voices from machines, exactly, but really clearly being able to understand what was happening with the machines she worked with. Gaining a sixth sense, almost. So she gets herself to a doctor and, lo and behold, weird nanobots are everywhere in her body. Also her physical age is a few years less than what it should be (measured by bone density or something? I dunno, sci-fi stuff). So physically she'd be early 30s right now.

I don't think that she stayed in contact the doctor who did the initial tests on her but I bet he definitely knows that those nanobots are linked to the changes that he saw in her and potentially valuable to the right buyer.

Her parents are dead, but she has a sister who's climbing her way up the corporate ladder and they stay in infrequent contact. Doesn't give many details though, just that she's doing fine and being generally noncommital.

Maybe there's a mining foreman who'd had a big machine break that she was able to fix for cheap then offered her a job without asking too many questions. It's a mutually beneficial relationship: the foreman takes credit for the work that she does and gets recognition for keeping everything running smoothly and cheaply and she gets a relatively steady income and an employer who only cares about what she can do, not who she is.

I think at least one of the mechanics she works with thinks that something is weird. Not in the "She's a witch!" suspicious way but just like, "I have no idea how she figured that out, she barely looked at it and it was fixed!"
 

doombuggy23339

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I am definitely interested! I should be able to start coming up with a character in the next day or so.

Edit: My first idea would be a back-alley doctor who decided he would rather help people who need it than treat corporate bigwigs for money. Unfortunately, altruism is expensive; treating the poor and downtrodden doesn't do much to pay his student loans. To make ends meet, he does some illegal cybernetic augmentation for the local criminal organizations, along with some other odd jobs on the side.
 
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