So following on from my previous post some of you may have had some questions about Code Black. Most importantly you may have wondered: Why now?
It's a good question.
FL:Override is still in beta and we are still making tweaks, the current tweaks we are looking at is how to supercharge the hackers. We'll have more of that in the future, but we want to see more Program use with greater usage of Interferance, Blackout and of course Hacker Duels (did we rename that? I forget).
I've been quite public in wanting to do a 'fluff book', something that is not needed to play the game but goes into greater depth about the world of Honos, the development of the AI, the AI War, the Hydan & the Kratel, and the more I thought about it and the more I made both mental and digital notes, the more it was turning into a source book the kind we would see with a P&P RPG the kind that White Wolf would put out with racial source books and the like.
It was then that it struck me; that was what was actually needed! Don't put in something like a RPG source book, create an RPG sourcebook!
Of course I was currently experiencing a slight issue - through the writing of the short story Wetware (which you can read as part of the rulebook for FL:Override which can be downloaded from firstlawoverride.com) I have established Technomantic Space as it's own location, a place that I wanted at some point to explore.
Note: this was never intended, nor was it on purpose. I have said before that I do not write my stories and lore, but that they write themselves, and the same is true about Technomantic space.
It would be impossible to fully explain the world of Honos where Hackers have the ability through 'Mantic abilities to cause as much (if not more) damage to an industry or corporation than an man with an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade, not Role Playing Game... Could you imagine a follower of the Gygaxian Church standing outside the HMC HQ trying to 'spread the word of their Lord'? Ok that would be freaking cool!)
Anyway, I could not explain one without explaining the other, especially when it comes to the Hydan Wraiths and Raider Ghosts.
So I started thinking and planning, and I knew that with some tweaks and shifts it would be more than possible to create an RPG (back to the Role Playing Games now, likewise I do not own a missile launcher, nor do I plan to) for which these source books could work with. In doing so allowing players to experience the First Law: Override Universe from a person eye view rather than the 'God view' that we are treated to in a tabletop skirmish game.
So then came the awkward moment: how do you work that? Would an RPG be set on Honos? Would it allow for full exploration? Would it let you jack into the Mantiverse?
Well the answer seemed obvious to me.
Set it fully in the Mantiverse.
Treat it like you would with us as players being the physical form of the characters, but your character is your Mantic Avatar, your PC, your Toon or Char!
Things began to fall into place.
As wargamers, geeks, nerds and/or dorks, many of us are used to being the butt of the joke, the laughable excuse for a subterranean hermit, but in our games we can be superheroes!
This is what life is like for the Hackers in FL:Override! They are the physically weak Force members who can not fire an Assault Rifle even if they wanted to (literally) and will fall over at the slightest breeze (figuratively), but in Mantic Space they are superhoes! They can manipulate the actual world of Honos, opening doors, stealing data, battling AI all within a blink of an eye in the real world.
So the next question must be Why the Shadow?
Those familiar with White Wolf's works may have recognised The Shadow's type as similar to WW's Gehenna, The Wyrm and The Apocalypse, and on the surface it is very similar, but ultimately what we are looking at is a simple Doomsday scenario. Those who are in the know, they know that the Mantiverse is shrinking, that people are disappearing while jacked in, and they know that locations are being corrupted, appearing instead as dead code that spreads at a slow, but ever increasing rate. This is not a new idea, and because of the philosophical nature of Mantic Space, who is to say it doesn't simply exist because enough people say it does? A thought form if you will.
You also have to remember, this is something that is a bit of a sidewise step for the universe. In source material I will be going into great detail on history, events and locations on Honos, and a lot of major events in the Mantiverse will be chronicled, but what happens from this point is up to you the players!
Yes the events due to unfold on Honos will effect Mantic Space, if the UEF carpet bomb Free Port, then everyone in Free Port will be dead and unable to effect Mantic Space, but the events in Mantic Space do not need to effect the world of Honos, especially when entire hours can pass in a matter of seconds.
More importantly, it allows the GM to create a world entirely to their taste.
Yes certain locations like Akira Avenue will continue to exist, but the GM will have free reign to create almost whatever circumstance they wish.
I mentioned earlier that The Shadow simply represents the Doomsday phenomenon present in almost all modern and historical cultures? Well what if that went further?
What if people believed enough in the 4 Horsemen? And if you as Code Black members were told to investigate that rumour? Fancy bringing down Death himself with a Turbo Charged Heavy Plasma Rifle?
But then there are the deeper questions. What people believe, IS, in Mantic Space. But they have to truly believe, they must expect 100% that it is true.
So what about God? If people in this time and place truly believed in 'Him' and that He was everywhere and in everything, then He must be in Mantic Space. Likewise, so would Lucifer as well.
- But what would happen if as a rest of a Code Black expedition it was found that He did not reside in Mantic Space, that for reasons unexplained people did not expect 100% that He truly was real and present?
This is the philosophical conundrum that Mantic Space creates. In theory, every single deity which is still believed in at the time should be present in Mantic Space, ranging from Jesus, through Ganesh to Krishna, they should (in theory) be wandering around somewhere, pure thought forms born from the expectations and belief of millions of Mantic Space users, but would these creations be the real thing, or would they be no different from an AI construct NPC?
On that note I will leave you for now. Stay safe and be excellent to each other!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley