CyberScape

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Jack of tears
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CyberScape

Hey all, I'm going to be running a Cyberpunk Planescape campaign soon, where Sigil sits at the center of a cyberpunk universe and many of the Factions serve the role of megacorps. Most of the Outer Planes are actually VR locations and while magic does exist, most of it is reconceptualized as technology (though magic has taken the place of electricity and the inner planes are all real places).

In preparing for this, I could use some suggestions about what the various Faction Megacorps might be up to, or other ideas to help flesh out the setting.

I will be using a modified version of the Shadowrun system where magic is a downplayed and the races like Orcs, Trolls, Elves, etc. are all the result of genetic engineering.

Thanks for any help!

sciborg2
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Are you trying to keep the

Are you trying to keep the same Factions or do you want new ones?

Jack of tears
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My intention is to use the

My intention is to use the same Factions as in the boxed set, as I avoided Faction War at the advice of the community.

Jem
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Are the Outer Planes actually

Are the Outer Planes actually afterlives, where dead spirits dwell, or are they just virtual locations with various programmed features?

The Fraternity of Order is clearly going to be involved in the really low-level hardware/software business, designing the fundamental structures that define all other communications. If you can talk to a computer in assembly you're going to be, at least potentially, bypassing many of the limitations normally present for a user, similar to their idea of loopholes in laws of the Universe. If they do big business selling chips and routers then a common conspiracy theory would be that they have bugged them, and are collecting huge amounts of data to analyze for patterns.

Of course the Xaositects are going to be an organization of hackers looking for every weak point and flaw in the protocols -- some for profit, some for fun. Their philosophy will be that there is never a perfect system, and there is always an opportunity for someone who knows how to sniff out the cracks in the wall. The "corp" would be some sort of mutual defense fund, perhaps? With a white hat security investigations firm bringing in money and giving a legal home for their other interests, doing at least some legitimate business pentesting other companies.

Jem
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Another faction megacorp: Sensates

Every faction, whether a megacorp or not, will of course have both a legitimate face to their existence as well as a sub rosa agenda.

The Sensates: this conglomerate has several departments. One of them is entertainment, and Sensations is one of the biggest studios in existence. Every medium from neurological implant memory to holovid to lo-fi vinyl reckons with their impact. Their actors and actresses are the heartthrobs of the world, their video gaming empire is a household name, and in journalism their reporters are often first on the scene, both for big stories and paparazzi fluff. They manage this in part because a second item in their portfolio is surveillance. All the surveillance. The surface business of their tech side is optics and sensors of all sorts, along with software for data mining and customer tracking, sold to consumers and businesses. Their gray dealings with national intelligence agencies and police forces include hidden cameras, tracker pills, microdrone spy insects, network traffic interceptors, and decryption suites.

All of this makes them ridiculous amounts of money; they're one of the richest and most popular factions. But even making ridiculous amounts of money is not the true goal of the corp. If information is power, then the the corp... well, there are two interpretations within the faction. One is that the corp that has the information has the power; the other is that the corp that controls the information controls the power. Within the vast personal-data files of the Sensates on every user of cyberspace and every iota of information humanity has gathered over the centuries, the first type of Sensate believes there can be found the greatest secret of all time. The second type believes that this is already the power, and these believe that with sufficiently precise psychohistory (for some, aided by judicious blackmail), the Sensates can put themselves in position to manipulate the world to their desires. Everyone already appreciates the impact of a thumb on the scales of the media; these Sensates think you can put a thumb on the scales of physics. In a world with magic, maybe they're right.