The title is inspired by Billy Idol’s song “Neuromancer“.
It’s the age of destruction In a world of corruption It’s the age of destruction And they hand us oblivion
My system of choice for most games right now is some version of Cyberpunk 2020. It’s an awesome system that doesn’t rely on levels where classes are used in character creation but as a mechanic, can easily be ignored. Advancement has almost everything to do with what the character actually does in a game.
My experience mechanic for Cyberpunk 2020 is not the standard one found in the book. Instead, players make tics by skills they use during a game and every tick converts over to a 1d10 roll for Improvement Points in that skill at the end of a session. Yes, players try to cheese it. Experienced GMs can knock them down when they do :)
Campaigns I run are quasi-sandbox games. Because Cyberpunk is set in the modern world, things are going on around the players that they have to deal with, no matter what their actual plans might be. If an asteroid hits the planet, life is gonna suck, choomba. Get over it.
I also tend to cross-genre alot. My most successful campaign ever ran for 10 years and was a Cyberpunk/Vampire crossover. The Cyberpunk 2020 system is streamlined enough that it’s easily modified for this kind of thing. My current plan is to develop a Shadowrun theme but play the game through the change, starting in a normal world and ending in one very different and magical but still dirty, nasty and lethal.
What is a World of Corruption?
The World of Corruption campaign is set in 2030 in Columbus, Georgia and being 20 years in the future, there have been significant technological advances such as nano-modifications of the human body and sentient Artificial Intelligence.
The city of Columbus will be familiar to all the campaign players to a great extent but there are significant differences. The neighborhoods near Victory Drive, bordering on Fort Benning, between highway 185 and 30th Avenue have been walled off into a Combat Zone and ignored by the rest of the city.
The areas near St. Mary’s Road are dirtier and nastier than they are even now and few walk those streets at night without being armed while Fort Benning is now completely fenced in with razor wire and electrified fencing. Phenix City is pretty much forgotten by time and there’s almost nothing there worth the time to cross the river.
Wait a second, everyone is carrying guns now?
It is the South. Hunting for dinner here was still common in 2010 in many areas and the trend in gun laws begun in 2008 was continued. Citizens are considered responsible for their own safety except in a few very delineated areas.
In 2011, when the economy of the United States finally collapsed from the abuses of the banking industry, Georgia passed a law requiring citizens to a) take a gun safety and use class sponsored by the NRA and b) own a personal firearm.
In 2013, when the state ran out of money for basic civil services for the fifth time, The Marcos Frazier Law was passed, granting immunity to anyone who used a firearm while preventing crime anywhere. Concealed carry permit laws were completely repealed, effectively granting anyone the ability to carry a concealed weapon of any type legal in Georgia anywhere.
What Happened To The Country?
After the complete economic collapse of 2011, the United States limped along for a few more years but as things got progressively worse many states realized that the “business as usual” attitude of politicians on Capitol Hill wasn’t going to pull them out of the hole. Drastic action was needed.
That action first came in 2012 in the form of riots in Atlanta, Detroit and Los Angelos as gangs and militia groups became more organized and tried to take power away from those who had it. Corporations had seen the writing on the street long before and the Supreme court decision of 2010 granting business entities “personhood” meant they’d been building private armies for several years.
The bloodbaths were beyond anything even depicted in film up to that point.
Corporations in California influenced the state government to such a huge degree that California’s subsequent succession from the Union in 2014 was almost completely corp funded. The central government attempted to retake the state but the lack of funds available to civil institutions meant that corporate armies and equipment far outstripped anything government owned or operated by that time.
It wasn’t long at all before other regions followed suit. The North Pacific Union formed in 2016, the Texas Republic in 2017 and the Southern Confederacy in 2020. By 2025, the only area left to the United States was east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
What about the rest of the world?
When the USA proved unwilling to reform it’s financial laws, the countries of Europe banded tighter together and began separating themselves from the US. In 2030, the European Union is one of the richest, most affluent areas in the world.
China is a huge behemoth lumbering on and on and on while the Russian Empire is much like the fragmented United States in culture and attitude even though it kept coherency as a nation much better.
Japan is even worse off than the US financially but Japanese culture means that few outside the country notice the differences.