Now I know I said I'd talk more about the setting than the system but what if I can do both? The mechanics of some of the items and equipment in the setting. Project Powerpunk takes place in an alternative near future, what we've been referring to as "The day before cyberpunk" but I can hear you ask, what the hell does that even mean ... technologically?! Technologically it means; body modification just below cybernetics, Rudimentary AIs are available on the open market, automated workers if allowed to are only permitted to function under close supervision by a trained professional, energy weapons are now seeing military application. But right now I just want to focus on Computer Hardware, software and the ways people are using them in world
Let's start with computers; Computers are advanced enough to be worn as jewelry[Diamonds On my fingers] or travel beside you as a silicone pet, with levels of modification that are mind alluring. Example: You can have ring computers, a computer that is divided amongst several rings themselves being powered by a bracelet battery and all of this is connected together by conductive tattoos!
You can have the aforementioned silicone pet resemble a snake that can give you your insulin injections by "biting" you. One of the testers for the game is planning on using a tricked out server and his henchmen's sidekick smartphones as nodes to establish his own private network. It's flipping nuts! That same player wanted to know if it was possible to build a bullet with retractable arms and legs. Then program the bullet to throw itself at targets the player shoots at but misses. Afterwards he wanted that bullet to return to him. Which means if the cops were to investigate the scene of one of his gunfights: they'd find dead people with tiny bloody footprints leading away from the bodies! Long story short, we were able to build them and I am looking forward to the chaos created by them.
Those robo bullets wouldn't be possible without Programs, specifically Hard and Fluid H.Is(Heuristic intelligence). Which are Lesser AI programs that can perform tasks and actions separate from the player. You give it a task and it'll complete it to the best of its abilities. Hard H.Is can be programmed to perform certain actions and have a flat result to said action but they can take more time to perform these actions in order to lower the difficulty of the task(anything is possible if given enough time). Fluid H.Is on the other hand can be programmed with traits allowing them to take all actions under that trait. They roll this trait to perform actions but they have the ability to raise the floor of the roll; insuring they cannot roll below a certain number.
The private military company Rayven specializes in utilizing remote H.Is in the field. Why H.Is; it's like having a digital A team at your fingertips. Put this A-lgorithmic team on a server that only Rayven agents have access to; you have yourself a digital fireteam that can function autonomously anytime and anywhere with a data-line. Punctuate this with a world where almost Everything and Everyone has a digital Silhouette and you get "Manes ex Machina" ghosts from the machine or ghosts in the machine. Rayven likes to put a large number of their agents into deep cover; with this they can, have access to their companies tools from any data device. They now have the power to spin up a new life online, take the digital form of an inactive person, have the H.Is deepfake themselves into different forms of media(photos, videos, documents and audio) to better sale their alias'. Oh did I mention that Rayven won the PMC Contract to police the borough of Brooklyn? Is that new barista really into Future Islands, did your friend from Junior High always have Hazel hair, where in Tampa did Mailroom Bob say he was from and How long has your aunt been dating this person with anisocoria.
This equipment has turned Rayven agents into cyberspace skinwalkers, true spectres. Did I slide that last setting detail in at the end because I forgot this was supposed to be more setting focused?! No, not entirely because "In spite of mechanics" should be a foreign saying to GMs and players alike. In my view good Mechanics should help settings be more immersive and characters reach greater agency.
Ethereal & Dev-X | Stock & Bull Entertainment