[Faustusnotes note: This post is guest content by my GM, Eddie, which he has given me permission to upload from the background document he provided to us all. Over the next few weeks I’ll be uploading more of this material in concert with Cyberpunk game reports and other background information]

The City

You live in New Horizon, a massive city that sprawls towards the southeast coast of the Hong Kong conglomerate. The major business area was slowly pushed out of the main land, the city growing further and further into the sea. Now, it’s centre lies on the coast and half of the biggest city in the world floats in the east china sea. All the buildings in New Horizon are massive, each with hundreds of floors and divided into decks. The city itself is then divided by districts, blocks of buildings that are “miniature” cities by themselves. The buildings are so tall that looking down the bottom becomes a dark, misty area, were only utility pipes, transport trains and water can be found. The taller you live the richer you are, the top of the buildings becoming little gardens of Eden, with synth nature, clean air and direct sunlight. The dregs of society are pushed ever downwards, some even living close enough to the bottom that their lives depend on scavenging what falls from the top. Downwards there is only shadow and eternal night, the shade of buildings upon buildings blocking the light of the sun and creating a world of darkness in which shadows and desperation only rule.

The verticality of the city has forced transport to depend on super fast automated elevators and personal hovercrafts, making the city alive with hundreds of thousands of flying vehicles swarming and flying in the spaces between city blocks. Travel inside the decks is a combination of trains, half-automated cars and personal hovercrafts.

In all this mess, you live in district 68, “a place so run down its one number short of a dirty joke.” It is located 6 districts south of central, and is one district short of being in the sea line (where the buildings end and a huge tsunami barrier starts). District 68 is controlled by BioTechnica Incorporated, a company that deals in pharmaceuticals and health technology. Its HQ is located in a beautiful synth nature Arcology on the very top of the district.

Horizontally District 68 its composed of 9 building blocks, south-facing blocks being the poorest and the central block reserved mostly for BioTechnica business and residential areas. Vertically each block is divided into 5 decks of around 50 floors each. The decks are divided in: Deck 1, Corporate headquarters and residents only; Deck 2, Midway residentials, commercial zone; Deck 3, Mid-low residential, light manufacturing, red light businesses; Deck 4, industrial, low-class residential, heavy manufacturing; Deck 5, structural, transportation, illegal residential and chemical manufacturing. Both Decks and floors are counted top side first. (D2F04 is higher than D2F28) Then each floor is divided into residential, commercial and industrial zones (usually from 01 to 99), and finally a residential number. So an address would be:

D01F20Z01 Apt203, Bldg 8, District 68, New Horizon, Hong Kong, XX Province, East Chinese State, Asian Federation.

MFC: Quantum energy and the end of the Oil Age

A long way from here to there ...

A long way from here to there …

It is indisputable now, that the Asian Federation and its Megacity project are the pinnacle of human technological, structural and social advancement. The sprawling, self-feeding, self-organizing “city” is in some aspects as alive as Billy next door (actually far more than Billy, he is quite lazy). It (the city) has a brain, the massive quantum computer ExAlta, capable of organizing and planning everything single aspect of life and structure in the city, apparently obsessed with its constant and perfectly designed growth. It also has a nervous system, an infinite self-replicating information network that spreads through every single utility, structure and even human brain, connecting everything in a network that is more than just “free, public wifi” but rather an alternate world that overlaps with the physical one, creating for all a sort of (pardon my romanticism) spiritual link with everything and everyone around you.

And it never, never runs out of energy.

It grows, it evolves, it is completely connected and finally it feeds itself. This is all made possible through one single amazing (and terrifying) technology: Space Folded Fusion Cells, or (wrongly, but warmly nicknamed) MFC’s (micro fusion cells). A tiny, infinitely complicated and revolutionary quantum technology.

This “battery”, (if you are the kind of person that would call a fusion reactor a fireplace), joins all future technology into an object capable of using nanometric folds in space, allowing nearly infinite amounts of energy to be stored in a finite space, and accessed rapidly and easily. Today, MFCs can be found everywhere, they power our vehicles, our implants and cybernetics, whole buildings, and of course even the Russian spacecraft, used to travel around the solar system, run on massive versions of the MFCs. MFCs don’t generate energy themselves, but they can charge up so quick and hold so much energy that a person could live inside a road hovercraft, travelling through the wasteland, full AC on and music banging only powered with one fully charged 1x1m sized MFC, and never, for their whole life, need a recharge.

The invention of MFCs completely changed the world; the oil super powers, along with their western partners cried in unison as they saw their power base burned from under them. It also allowed the rise of the biggest most advanced city-state ever in human history, who will carry the legacy of the greatest minds and ideas gathered from around the globe. The MegaCity plan which eventually would lead to the open border policy, the Chinese legacy of super tech that would allow it to expand in complexity without depending on any other country for energy.

The change was also quick, MCFs and Fusion Energy were implanted with ferocity and no concern for the effects on the global economy or the Oil Age holdout states that were left floundering in the wake of this super-powered change. In a matter of ten years the Asian Federation and its sphere of influence completely restructured itself to accommodate the new super technology.

The world shook, as the oil empires started to crack in the edges, as Asia rose, the rest of the world descended into war and desperation. US military saw itself being called back to avoid a new civil war, only so that the country would fall to disease a few years later. The Arab nations saw themselves first being consumed by the eastern menace, yet, miraculously, later united to ensure its survival. The European Union crumbled and receded to its old feuds to never rise properly again, and the Russian Federation closed its borders and ignored the chaos, to resurface years later with its master plan: escape earth forever.

Years passed, the western worlds stopped screaming in rage and evolved to pleading in desperation. Russia came alive blooming and sending its colony ships into the vastness of space. AFed, guided by its master minds and pushed forward by its new MegaCity AI, ExAlta, stood tall and proud as the leader of the new world. And then the Crash came, and brought it all down in ruins …

Our adventures are set in the city of New Horizon after the mysterious catastrophe called the Crash, which killed ExAlta and brought New Horizon to the edge of ruin. No utopia now, this crash and subsequent political events, coupled with the environmental pressures wrought by climate change and the slow-burning collapse of the global economy have reduced New Horizon to a teeming, hard-scrabble version of its former self. Ruled by corrupt oligarchs and corporate power-mongers, it has been reduced through chaos and the cruel logic of environmental collapse to the classic case study of Cyberpunk lore. Here, in the oily rain and wave-wracked wilds of the lower decks of District 68, we fight to survive, to get ahead … and maybe, if we’re lucky, to get out …