Bladerunner!!!!

General chat about Mongoose Publishing and its releases
Gist_Engine
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Postby Gist_Engine » Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:13 pm

I haven't read much cyberpunk of the early 1980s beyond Gibson, which I found dull, but Dick's 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' came out in 1968!

I started graduate research in Artificial Intelligence a few years ago (too many!) and read all I could find with strong AI characters, through Asimov, Dick, Gibson, and more recent authors. Gibson was very weak- all his AI are AI, and all his humans are human. He never fudges any lines or posits questions about human nature. He never admits that humans are a kind of machine at all.

He is classically Romantic in that way- "The Human always survives and endures in the face of dirty Technology." Dick is much more subversive, and he has many works that really make you wonder which side you want to be on. Humans are one kind of consciousness among many. My beef with mainstream 'cyberpunk' is the way it is so conservatively Romantic, always putting the Human versus the Machine as though they are naturally incongruous and naturally at odds, always making the Human the passionate, warrior and the Machine the cold, logical-to-a-flaw atrocity. I think that is silly. Even worse, most of the time there is the obvious correlation between Human-equals-Individual and Machine-equals-"the Man." It pretends to be so rebellious and individualistic, but really it reaffirms the Human as the top of the evolutionary ladder with machines still unsuccessful in their attempts to take us over. Dick doesn't make that his central struggle, which I appreciate.

And, yes, Wintermute and Neuromancer are stock AI characters at best.

Anyway, if someone wants to make a Bladerunner RPG, that'd be swell with me.
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Postby AKAramis » Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:50 am

Gist_Engine wrote:I haven't read much cyberpunk of the early 1980s beyond Gibson, which I found dull, but Dick's 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' came out in 1968!

I started graduate research in Artificial Intelligence a few years ago (too many!) and read all I could find with strong AI characters, through Asimov, Dick, Gibson, and more recent authors. Gibson was very weak- all his AI are AI, and all his humans are human. He never fudges any lines or posits questions about human nature. He never admits that humans are a kind of machine at all.

He is classically Romantic in that way- "The Human always survives and endures in the face of dirty Technology." Dick is much more subversive, and he has many works that really make you wonder which side you want to be on. Humans are one kind of consciousness among many. My beef with mainstream 'cyberpunk' is the way it is so conservatively Romantic, always putting the Human versus the Machine as though they are naturally incongruous and naturally at odds, always making the Human the passionate, warrior and the Machine the cold, logical-to-a-flaw atrocity. I think that is silly. Even worse, most of the time there is the obvious correlation between Human-equals-Individual and Machine-equals-"the Man." It pretends to be so rebellious and individualistic, but really it reaffirms the Human as the top of the evolutionary ladder with machines still unsuccessful in their attempts to take us over. Dick doesn't make that his central struggle, which I appreciate.

And, yes, Wintermute and Neuromancer are stock AI characters at best.

Anyway, if someone wants to make a Bladerunner RPG, that'd be swell with me.
There is an anthology of short stories called Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology which has a wide variety of cyberpunk substyles. Good stuff.

Also, if you can find it, "Bug Life Chronicles" is excellent post-human cyberpunk.
-AKAramis
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Gist_Engine
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Postby Gist_Engine » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:34 pm

Thank you much. I'll definitely try those out! I had almost giving up wading through humanist sci-fi for the nuggets. I still have Snow Crash and Carbon something or other to read (the last recommendations I got). They should be in the mail now.
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Postby WhiteWolf » Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:31 pm

AKAramis wrote:
And as for Shadowrun: it was the third major game focused upon he cyberpunk genre. First was Cyberpunk 2013, by RTG. Next was ICE's Cyberspace. Plus, before them was Traveller:2300 which had a cyberpunk sourcebook.
Ok, I have no idea why I did this; but for some reason when I read the above statement I thought I would check it out. Here is a list of publications by year from wikipedia.org. Sadly it only listed the year and left out the month and I ran out of time to research the month, so it's anyones guess at this point as to which one was produce first for those published in the same year.
  • 1977 Classic Traveller
    1987 MegaTraveller
    1987 Traveller: 2300 1st edition
    1988 Traveller: 2300 2nd edition - titled 2300 AD
    1988 Cyberpunk 2013
    1989 Shadowrun 1st edition
    1989 ICE's Cyberspace 1st edition

    1990 Cyberpunk 2020
    1992 Shadowrun 2nd edition
    1992 ICE's Cyberspace 2nd edition
    1993 Traveller: The New Era
    1996 Marc Miller's Traveller
    1998 GURPS Traveller
    1998 Shadowrun 3rd edition
    2002 Traveller 20
    2005 Shadowrun 4th edition
    2006 GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars
    2007 Traveller Hero
    2008 Mongoose Traveller
    2008 Traveller5
Now Traveller: 2300 or 2300 AD did not produce a source book for cybernetics until the 1990s as listed on wikipedia.org page regarding 2300 AD

"Finally, the authors added a Cyberpunk campaign to the game with the publication of the 'Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook'[1] and two adventures for the same, contemporaneous with the Cyberpunk fad of the 1990s. References to such works as Neuromancer or Blade Runner inevitably appear.
[1] ^ *Codling, Stuart (February 1990). 'Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook'. GamesMaster Magazine 2 (6): 29. Review"

I guess you could say Cyberpunk was the first to be published, at least. Who started the idea of cybernetics first, Cyberpunk or Shadowrun, based on the books and movies would be a hard arguement because the two were published within a year or each other. Who is to say then that Shadowrun used the idea from Cyberpunk to produce their game? Maybe Cyberpunk used the idea from Shadowrun but Cyberpunk was able to publish their game first. Oh and don't forget about ICE's Cyberspace either!

Anyway...like I said I have no idea why I spent some time researching this topic (only a few hours) but I did so I am posting my arguments/findings. :D
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Postby AKAramis » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:22 am

The genre predates the games. By several decades. (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and several others...)

Neuromancer brought the "mature" netrunning cyberpunk.

Shadowrun is a different sub-genre, though: Cyberfantasy. All three properties (CP2013, Cyberspace, and Shadowrun) appealed to different styles of play, and to different aspects of the genre. CP2013 focused on the Gibsonian mixed Net-and-Cyberware motif. Shadowrun took gibsonian and merged it with fantasy; Cyber-D&D. Cyberspace focused on a more broad view, including a lot more "dark" sides, like drugs, gengeneering, and while it included the cyberware, it was a more open aproach.
-AKAramis
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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:44 pm

AKAramis wrote:The genre predates the games. By several decades. (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and several others...)

Neuromancer brought the "mature" netrunning cyberpunk.

Shadowrun is a different sub-genre, though: Cyberfantasy. All three properties (CP2013, Cyberspace, and Shadowrun) appealed to different styles of play, and to different aspects of the genre. CP2013 focused on the Gibsonian mixed Net-and-Cyberware motif. Shadowrun took gibsonian and merged it with fantasy; Cyber-D&D. Cyberspace focused on a more broad view, including a lot more "dark" sides, like drugs, gengeneering, and while it included the cyberware, it was a more open aproach.
What?
AKAramis
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Postby AKAramis » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:14 pm

WhiteWolf wrote:
AKAramis wrote:The genre predates the games. By several decades. (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and several others...)

Neuromancer brought the "mature" netrunning cyberpunk.

Shadowrun is a different sub-genre, though: Cyberfantasy. All three properties (CP2013, Cyberspace, and Shadowrun) appealed to different styles of play, and to different aspects of the genre. CP2013 focused on the Gibsonian mixed Net-and-Cyberware motif. Shadowrun took gibsonian and merged it with fantasy; Cyber-D&D. Cyberspace focused on a more broad view, including a lot more "dark" sides, like drugs, gengeneering, and while it included the cyberware, it was a more open aproach.
What?
Cyberpunk, as literature, is FAR older than the games.

Shadowrun, however, is in a different sub-genre from Cyberpunk 2013. THere are cyber-fantasy novels before the shadowrun game. (one of them is a story of a tiger private detective....). It puts the style of William Gibson into a Fantasy hybrid setting.

Cyberpunk 2013 (the RPG) is typical of the works of William Gibson and John Williams. It focuses on the dichotomy of machine and man.

Cyberspace the RPG is really a much broader treatment of the whole Cyberpunk genre, and due to compatibility with MERP, Rolemaster, and Spacemaster, could be used for all the genres; it focuses more on the non-hardware aspects, tho. Like Drugs, Genetic engineering, etc.
-AKAramis
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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:39 pm

Ah, I see. I was not commenting on the literature. I was commenting on the statement you had made, "Plus, before them [meaning a list of games] was Traveller:2300 which had a cyberpunk sourcebook." I was just showing when they were published and the Traveller: 2300 did not have any cyberpunk in it until the 1990s when a source book was published. That's all.

The only thing I care about regarding literature is the title of the book, the aurthor of the book, and the ISBN of the book if possible. :)
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Postby AKAramis » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:24 am

WhiteWolf wrote:Ah, I see. I was not commenting on the literature. I was commenting on the statement you had made, "Plus, before them [meaning a list of games] was Traveller:2300 which had a cyberpunk sourcebook." I was just showing when they were published and the Traveller: 2300 did not have any cyberpunk in it until the 1990s when a source book was published. That's all.

The only thing I care about regarding literature is the title of the book, the aurthor of the book, and the ISBN of the book if possible. :)
Year: 1989 for Earth Cybertech Sourcebook for 2300. Just about the same time. (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/9/9813.phtml) I had it before Shadowrun, as well.
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Postby Swampy » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:06 pm

WhiteWolf you forgot cyberpunk v3 came out in 2006.
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GJD
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Postby GJD » Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:11 pm

Also GURPS Cyberpunk, published belatedly in 1990 after the manuscripts and production notes were siezed by the US Secret Service as a potential threat to national security (honestly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jack ... et_Service ).

G.
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Postby -Daniel- » Sun May 04, 2008 6:55 am

GJD wrote:Also GURPS Cyberpunk, published belatedly in 1990 after the manuscripts and production notes were siezed by the US Secret Service as a potential threat to national security (honestly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jack ... et_Service ).

G.
Now that was a funny story. I remember when it happened. Some of us wondered if it was not a sad attempt to get some press by SJGs until it kept going and how long it took him to get some of his stuff back.

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