The Complete Cyberpunk 2077 History & Lore! (Part 1!)

Welcome back to the Neon Arcade for a ton of glorious Cyberpunk lore and history This will be a comprehensive video illustrating all you need to know about the history of the Cyberpunk world, and all the main standout points of the Cyberpunk timeline from the source material of Cyberpunk 2013 and 2020, which 2077 is based on If you are interested in learning more about the lore, RTalsorian Store has you covered with all the details spanning an incredible number of books Link in the description and pinned comment Most of this video is spanning all of Talsorian’s countdown to the dark future episodes, which are the integral parts of the cyberpunk lore and history that have been distilled down from thousands of pages of Cyberpunk sourcebooks With that being said this video will cover everything from Night City, Bars, Cyberware, Gangs, The Net, US History, The Wars, Media figures, vehicles, weapons, trauma team and much more This is going to be a long one so sit back relax, grab a beer or coffee, and enjoy If you’d like to jump to a certain section, there will be timestamps in the description, as well as supplementary videos if you’d like to know more on a certain topic! The famous band Samurai was discovered in 2003 by Jack Masters, an executive at Universal Music Jack signed the band after seeing them play at the rainbow cadenza, a backstreet bar in Night City The members were Johnny Silver hand on the vocals and guitar, Kerry Eurodyne also on the vocals and lead guitar, Denny as their Drummer, Nancy as Keyboardist and Henry on the bass guitar Their first single, Blistering Love, was number one on the Eurocharts Samurai split up in 2008 Nancy aka Bes Isis went to jail for 7 months for throwing her abusive husband out of their 83rd story apartment through a window The band firmly supported Nancy, but the 7-month lull proved they were each going in different creative directions Henry went to work on a human interface prototype An accident fried his brain and he’s had to rebuild his mind Denny joined a band called Mastermind Nancy took the name Bes Isis and became a major media presence on Network News 54 Johnny Silverhand and Kerry Eurodyne went onto successful solo careers, often touring together as a double ticket After Samurai split up, the DMS music label attempted to sign Johnny Silverhand by any means they could, including threats, violence and ultimately blackmail They discovered Johnny was a deserter who left the USMC while serving in the wars in Central and South America Instead of giving into the blackmail, Johnny signed with Universal Music and went public with the information His first solo album, SINS of your brothers was released in 2009 The songs on it explained his own actions, the reality of the wars, the government lies, and the experimental cybernetics program many soldiers and marines were forced to go through The popularity of the album and the message it conveyed lead to increased awareness and support for veterans of the Central and SouthAm wars While Cyberpunk 2020 is the most famous edition of the tabletop game, it isn’t the first Cyberpunk: The Roleplaying game of the dark future was first published as a box set in 1988, which means 2018 marked the games 30th anniversary The original version of Cyberpunk was set in 2013, which is why many fans refer to it by the nickname Cyberpunk 2013 The Cyberpunk 2013 boxed set included 3 booklets View from the Edge: The Cyberpunk Handbook contained character generation and non-combat rules Friday Night Firefight laid out the combat rules Welcome to Night City: A sourcebook for 2013 introduced Night City and the Cyberpunk Universe to the world The boxed set also included a 6 and 10-sided die and 4 player reference sheets Cyberpunk 2013 marks the first appearance of several iconic characters Five of them first appeared in Never Fade Away, an adventure story written by Mike Pondsmith as an introduction to the Dark Future This includes Johnny Silverhand, the iconic rockerboy, Alt Cunningham, netrunner turned ghost in the machine, Thompson, a reporter who hates Arasaka, Rogue, a solo with only one weakness her ex Silverhand, and Santiago, Rogues partner and future leader of the Aldecaldo nomad clan Famous media Bes Isis, who was a keyboardist for Samurai, also appeared in 2013 as a byline in an article about gang violence in Night City Cyberpunk 2013 established the core three concepts to achieve the essence of the Cyberpunk Universe: Style Over Substance meaning it doesn’t matter how well you do something, as long as you look good doing it If you are going to blow it make sure you look like you planned it that way Attitude is Everything: Think dangerous, be dangerous Think Weak, be weak Never walk when you can stride Don’t sit around waiting for the next job, be there when the party starts And Live on the Edge The edge is where risk-takers and high-riders go On the edge, you’ll risk cash, your rep, even your life on something as nebulous as a principle or a score Edgerunners aren’t just in on the action They are the action According to Fax on File, a date term program available to the general public, when visiting Night City, you should wear medium weight clothing, with a light armor jacket or ballistic-cloth overcoat optional A filter mask and supplemental oxygen are highly recommended due to acid rain and inversion smogs Acid-proof slickers, umbrellas and masks are readily available from sidewalk vendors for 20 to 35 eurobucks Temperatures normally range from the low 50s to the high 80s Rainfall is 21 inches per year, 35% of which is considered toxic by government standards

Jets and aeroydynes regularly arrive and leave from Night City metropolitan Airport Traveling to the Johnson Space Platform requires transferring to Los Angeles International for a connection to the Mojave Orbital Air Facility Security on all flights are at the passenger’s own risk Low-velocity rounds are suggested, so as not to penetrate the outer wall of the cabins Airlines operating out of Night City Metro include Atlas, TransContinental and Western Pacific Pan-Pacific Phoenix-class aero-zeps, the luxury cruise ships of the sky dock at Night City Metro Security is tight and there will be a full weapon and cyberware lockdown for all passengers Flights leave once a week for Hawaii, Tokyo, Washington and New York Due to the Free access act of 2018, holders of legitimate Free State of NorthCal issues disabled Holoplacards may use weapons to clear illegally parked vehicles from blue zones, which are designated for their use Red zones indicate no parking Yellow Zones are reserved for corporate-owned vehicles and may only be parked in for half an hour Green zones indicate a ten-minute limit for all vehicles except the police Red and black zones designate a no parking zone except during free fire emergencies Night City PD and other offices are not responsible for damage taken by or the destruction of vehicles illegally parked in these zones Fax on File recommends two different Child Care Agencies in Night City Child Creche offers care at an affordable price of 50 eb per day, with cryotanks inspected weekly by licensed members of Trauma Team Children under Child Creche care are pleasantly plugged into their parent’s choice of braindance chips for pacification purposes Safe Child is more expensive at 350 eb per day, but has nannies trained in Europe and child psychologists on staff Trained 24-hour Arasaka guards with on-call tactical squad support means parents can rest easy, knowing their child won’t be extracted by agents of a rival corp or caught in the crossfire of a nearby gang war The “Night City” is a mixture of tequila, raw wood alcohol and several drops of turpentine, all garnished with a dead worm It is only served in the rougher bars in the city and is often used by gang members as a way to prove how tough they are The average cost is 6eb The “Euro” is a recipe imported from France and quite popular with rich corpos It’s a blend of fruit juices and bourbon served over cubes of pure, frozen gin The bar needs a special freezer unit to store the gin cubes Average cost is 15 eb The “Blade Runner” is a Chooh2 and champagne mixer, served in a cocktail glass with mealworms in the bottom Avg cost is 6 eb Places to shop in Night City include Everything and More a middle-class department store with good security to keep gangs at bay, Long Last Books A store which only sells indie titles and rare books their resistance to corporate pressure has earned the store respect from the local gangs Weird Stuff, a techie haven selling all sorts of wires, gadgets doodads and pieces You can buy just about any diode or chip here, assuming you can find it in the mess Golden State Pawn features Clothes, Jewelry, Books, programs and cyberware It’s all here The people of Night City are divided into the following categories: Powerdealers are the elite CEOs, world-famous celebrities and internationally influential politicos Corpzoners are Execs at the top of the Corporate game Movers are amibitious young corps looking to scale the ladder and claim that corner office Edgerunners are Cyberpunk who find success in unorthodox and dangerous ways Mallplexers are the struggling middle class who make up the majority of the faceless hoards Beavers are low level corp managers and high-level techs who live in Corp-controlled suburbs Streetscum are the urban poor and a demographic which grows bigger by the day Trauma Team in an international corporation which operates in North America and Europe They specialize in paramedical services and take pride in their promise to reach a client, once summoned, in seven minutes or less They are headquartered in LS and have nearly 17,000 employees worldwide A standard Trauma Team crew consists of a driver, a senior medtech, an assistant medtech and two security officers Most crews travel in a heavily armed and armored McDonnel-Douglas AV-4 Tactical Urban Assault Aerodyne loaded with advanced medical technology including a mobile cryotank Trauma Team Tower in Night City is located near the NC Convention Center It houses the Night City branch’s corporate offices as well as local operations including dispatch, armory, maintenance and launch pads for the company’s AV-4s NCDP gives Trauma Team Tower a security rating of 3, which means highly sophisticated locks and alarms, incapacitating security measures, constantly monitored security feeds, military and swat level guards patrolling in groups, and black ICE to counteract intruding netrunners There are at least a dozen active Trauma Team units on call in Night City at any one time and their employees are always the best of the best A Trauma Team pilot can land an AV-4 on top of a parked car and the senior MedTech in any squad has a Medical Tech Skill rating of 8 or higher out of 10 Thanks to cybernetics, cryotanks, biotechnology and drugs, medical science is so advanced by 2020 that Trauma Team and other medics bring people back “from the dead with some regularity It is so common in fact that Trauma Team has established a scale of dead they call “Death State” It runs from Dead 1 which means just flatlined, with resuscitation being almost certain, to DEAD 10, no resuscitation possible As a general rule of thumb, a patient slides up the Death State scale once every minute, although circumstances such as environmental conditions, cybernetics, drugs and administered CPR can slow down the rate of progressions The Lifeline Act of 1994 allows citizens to register as a parts donor Anyone who delivers the body of a registered citizen to a donor center earns a county based on the condition of harvestable limbs and organs Although medical coverage, charged on sliding scale is guaranteed for all citizens of the European Commonwealth, trauma services such as those provided by Trauma Team must be paid for by the patient or another responsible party Trauma Team is not the only trauma service operating on the continent and EC law requires a trauma service to pay a rival’s expenses should they pick up a subscribing patient

first All EC countries have regularly placed SOSBooths, nearly indestructible shelters which can house up to 6 people Anyone can enter an SOSBooth, but if a trauma service subscription card or credit card is not slotted and validated within 10 seconds, the booth will flood with anesthetic gas Once subscription or payment is verified, a dispathcer will arrange for police and trauma services to respond Trauma Team charges quite heavily for their services, at a rate of 100 Eurobucks per minute from the time a call for aid is received to the time the patient is delivered to a hospital or other facility The patient is also responsible for the reimbursement for the cost of any ammunition fired during the rescue, among other fees The cost can be mitigated through the purchase of a service plan Corporations often offer Trauma Team coverage as a perk for higher level employees and Edgerunners sometimes negotiate for a one-use Trauma Team service plan as part of their payment for a job For those paying their own way, plans run from 500 eb plus expenses up to the mid-five figures per month depending on their level of coverage Trauma Team values its employees and provides even their MedTechs with armor for use in the field The company has contracted with Bodyweight Systems to creat and supply the MediGear Combat Medical Armor MedicGear is a hard-shell armor with a protection ranking equal to a standard military grade flak vest Standard features include a built-in drug analyzer, techscanner, drug injector, sprayskin applicator and palm mounted shock panels For more intense situations, Trauma Team has worked with Militech to create the tb/o Lifeline, a powered armor suit designed specifically to allow emergency responders to operate in any situation, no matter how dire This light but tough armor has a chassis weight of 158kg and comes standard with a full suite of medical equipment, heavy tools, climber claws and a power saw CityMed is a not for profit which offers medical services to those who can’t afford it They function thanks to donations and receive quiet support from several corporations who realize having a base level of care available to the destitute can help prevent a pandemic, something which can harm even their bottom line CityMed is run out of Miami but has chapters in most major cities The majority of staff work on a volunteer basis, including some Trauma Team MedTechs Trauma team recognizes the publicity value of their employees volunteering for CityMed and encourages them to do so CityMed offers emergency surgery, medicine, vaccinations and examinations to those who need it but have a policy of not offering such services to wanted criminals, Edgerunners with a bad reputation or members of particularly vicious gangs The foundations for the body enhancement technology commonly known as Cyberware were laid in 1991, when the first aritificial muscle fibers were developed in the United States and in 1993, when the first biological interface chips were developed in Germany Early cyberware was field tested by implanting it into soldiers serving in the Central and SouthAm Wars without warning the test subjects of the potential side effects By 2020, cyberware is pervasive in society for utilitarian reasons but also as a fashion statement Its hip to have high tech grafted into your body somewhere and the trendsetters who walk the red carpet are as likely to boast about who designed their new arm or eyes as they are to talk about who made their outfit Cyberware is usually divided into 10 categories Fashionware are cosmetic enhancements made to the body Examples include Biomonitors, Light Tattoos and techhair Neuralware are processors plugged into the nervous system to modify or enhace it Examples include neural processors and smartgun links Implants are devices adding specific functions to the body like gill implants and chemical analyzers Bioware are enhacements built along biological rather than mechanical lines Examples include grafted muscle and nanosurgeons Cyberweapons are most illegal weapons implanted directly into cyberlimbs or the body These include Vampires, wolvers and chainripps Cyberoptics are cameras which replace biological eyes These include color shifting irises and image enhancers Cyberaudio devices are plugged into the auditory nerves to enhance hearing Examples include Radio Links and Amplified hearing Cyberlimbs come in any color and style you want and include reinforced joints and tool hands Linear frames are exoskeletons grafted onto the body, and feature low to moderate and high strength boost models Body plating are plastic or metal covers to protect the body or as a mounting urface Examples invlude the front optic mount and a torso armor plate Interface plugs are one of the most common forms of Cyberware in the world of Cyberpunk 2020 They’re the starting point which allow people to stud into vehicles, firearms and computers to control them, providing the user has the right neuralware Information and skill chips can also be slotted into interface plugs, allowing direct mental access to them Interface plugs are usually installed directly into bone and tap into major nerve trunks Most people mount interface plugs into their wrists but others like to show them off “Plugheads” mount them at the temple “Frankensteins mount them just behind the ears “Puppetheads” prefer the back of the skull It isn’t uncommon to see an interface plug inlaid with precious metals or decorated with custom caps Humans aren’t the only biologicals who can be fitted with cyberware Upgraded animals are usually purchased by the wealthy or organizations looking to fill

a specific need Most are cloned as fully mature, then fitted with cyberware and trained via chip for specific behaviours Buyers looking for animals with a naturally developed personality must pay extra Animals from the wild cost 50x the base price due to both their rarity and the difficulty in overriding their natural instincts Dogs are the most common type of cyberpet but cats, horses, primates, rodents, birds of prey, sharks, dolphins and even bats can be purchased Common cyberware for pets include sensory boosts, bersek chips which activate a frenzy mode, cyberlimbs, cyberweapons, and harnesses to transform larger animals into mobile weapon platforms Full body replacement is perhaps the ultimate expression of cyberware The process of turning someone into a borg, as they are commonly known, replaces almost all biological material with cybernetics This includes the skeleton, organs and skin Borgs retain their original brain, though it is intensely modified Borgs do not need to eat, drink, or breathe Instead biological components receive nutrients via cybernetics Borgs do sleep for psychological reasons A number of companies offer full body replacement models The IEC Alpha class is an all purpose model, the Dynalar Aquaris is designer for underwater, whilst the Cybermatrix inc Copernicus functions best in space At 8 feet tall and 620 pounds the IEC dragoon offers the ultimate in battlefield performance The Bioexotics line allows clients to become something other than human through intensive transformation using a variety of techniques Most exotic packages involve forms resembling an anthropomorphized animal Various mammalian forms are the most common Fantasy race forms such as elves, dwarves, and orks are also available Among the most extreme options are aquatic, dragon and insect forms While initially intended for the wealthy, it has become increasingly common for gangs, cults and “secret” societies to offer their valued members the bioexotics profess as a reward In such cases, the forms selected always match the organizations theme (animals logo / tiger sculpt) In cyberpunk 2020, the figurative “war on drugs” of the 1970s and 80s turned into real wars in the 1990s when the actions of drug cartels were used as excuses for the United States to send military forces to Central and South America By 2020 those wars are over, but the trafficking of drugs remains illegal in many American states and cities The problem has been made worse by a wave of potent synthetic drugs entering the market Most law enforcement agencies which still care classify ilicit substances as Type A, B, or C with Type A being the highest priority for enforcement, and C the lowest Trafficking a Type A substance carries a sentence of 1 to 10 years in medium security Type A carries a sentence of 15 to 20 years in maximum security plus mandatory Braindance reform therapy In 1992, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency released several bio-engineered floral plagues around the world These plagues were custom tailored to target coca and opium plants and were incredibly effective, destroying approximately 98% of the world’s crop Several governments propped up by the drug economy collapsed virtually overnight A second set of bioweapons was released in 2004, wiping out plantations run by the Golden Triangle in China, which had been growing strains of opium and coca resistant to the previous plagues Since then, the golden triangle have specialized in creating synthetic versions of old drugs in addition to new variants So long as the Golden Triangle focuses their efforts on exporting product to America and Europe, Chinese authorities are content to turn a blind eye to their activities Illegal and even many legal drugs in Cyberpunk 2020 are lab designed to be addictive in order to create a captive market While the wealthy can afford designer drugs tailored to their specific physiologies in order to get a high without side effects, everyone has to make due with generic synthetic drugs sold by criminal organizations or from the even more dangerous experimental drugs dumped onto the black market by Corps looking to recoup the loss of a failed project or field test a potential new product This is all made worse by the large number of underground chemists working as either individuals or in groups These black-market entrepreneurs sell both copies of legal medicines they’ve cracked the patents on, and new mixtures of illegal drugs they’ve spiced up to make interesting The illegal drug market is constantly evolving, which means it can be difficult to keep up with what’s new on the streets However, here’s a few with staying power” Synthcoke is a variant of cocaine, made more potent in the lab Boost is a common study drug to which you develop a quick tolerance to Dorph is a pain negator which can damage the nervous system Mr Ex will keep you awake for days on end Char is a mood dampener which installs an inhuman sense of calm Smash is a legal drink similar to alcohol but with a harsher downside Think a foamy energy drink laced with uppers Starlight is a powerful and addictive euphoric In general, the European Commonwealth maintains a harsh stance towards street drugs of all kinds The EC takes pride in its reputation as a civilized zone in a mad world and has implemented intense measures to maintain it Non-citizens arrested for a crime, no matter how minor, are usually deported or jailed Custom agents are especially diligent in their duties when searching for contraband The one major exception to this is the Scandanavian Bloc They maintain a “neutral market” which includes the common availability of “soft”

drugs in most bars and “harder” drugs from specialized and licensed salons Combat drugs are completely illegal and not tolerated While Scandanavian governments allow, and even encourage recreational excess, they do not tolerate violence against citizens Combat drugs are used regularly by militaries and corporations to enhave the capabilities of their forces The higher ups are generally more concerned about results than they are about troop health, While soldiers and mercs generally take an expedient viewpoint Surviving and dealing with the consequences of whatever chemicals are being pumped into their system later is a better outcome to combat than being dead Here are some examples of combat drugs Prime narrows the subjects focus and imbues a sens of ultimate calm, increasing battlefield awareness and reducing incidents of panic Timewarp sharpens reflexed but at the cost of real damage as muscles are overextended in the process Berserker is used by commanders who want to turn soldiers into suicidal killing machines Legal drugs are big business for Corporations Biotechnica is one of the most obvious pharmaceutical firms in 2020 but they aren’t the only ones Arasaka and Militech both produce combat drugs for example Trauma Team International initially developed a suite of drugs for in-house use, but has found them to be in high demand and now sells the full line to hospitals, clinics and even rival trauma services Rumor has it the drugs they sell to their rivals are less potent than the versions they keep for themselves Products in the Trauma Drug line include Stim which increases responsiveness and reduces pain, Surge an intense stimulant and appetite suppressor which reduces the need for food and sleep, and Trauma I a last ditch method of slowing down the slide down the death state scale The Forlorn Hope in Night City was founded by John “The Professor” Freeman and his wife Marianne as a home away from home for veterans of the Central American War Mant of those former soldiers turned to running freelance jobs to pay the bills, so, overtime, the bar became a watering hole of choice not just for the vets but for edgerunners of all kinds The Forlorn Hope doesn’t advertise You only hear about it if someone in the know tells you it exists The hope is a bar and club, complete with a house band, the Slaughtered Lambs There are also bunks to rent and rooms where edgerunners can meet with clients, a ripperdoc clincic, and a weapon repair shop The Professor also runs a safehouse for veterans and solos on the edge who need to get their head together Club Atlantis in Night City occupies the top 3 floors of the Piper Memorial Sports Arena, which hosts a number of different blood sport events The Atlantic itself is favored by both up and coming corpzoners and Edgerunners who have made a name for themselves The clubs interior is intentionally designed to disorient Cleverly placed cantileverd stairs, angled mirrors, animatronics and specific lighting effects combine to give the illusion of defying the laws of physics as customers move about The Atlantis is high end and most customers know the score The Black Hole is located in the Crystal Palace in Earth’s Orbit Everything about the Crystal Palace orbital habitat speaks of influence and wealth The public areas sparkle and the resident (as opposed to the workers) have the best looks money can buy There are even real trees here The Black hole is a marvel to behold Holographic tech is used to create the illusion of stellar gasses slowly swirling around the room until they vanish into a disorientingly realistic “black hole” on the floor Gravity in the Black Hole, as with most of the Palace, is .8x Earths normal and drinks are up to 100x more expensive The patrons of the bar dress in the trendiest fashions or in custom body paint and fashionware schemes which both scandalize and inspire awe The Afterlife in Night City is a solo bar that has been appropriately converted from a mortuary and is partitioned into 3 areas, The Antechamber, The Crypt and Hades The regulars who frequent the Afterlife self-divide themselves by ability Each chamber is darker and more dangerous, with the Antechamber being for newer solos with potential while Hades is nothing but the most storied combat vets The Solos who frequent the Afterlife follow a strict code while inside When they brawl, its for fun They hit hard but they don’t strike to maim or kill No one in the Afterlife needs to prove themselves Fixers looking for professionals rarely visit the bar directly Instead, they leave a message which is circulated around Interested solos can then contact the Fixer for further details Night City has 3 particularly popular taxi services Red Cab Inc is the largest and keeps a fleet or armored, well-maintained ground cars Their fleet is big enough that a Red Cab usually arrives within 5 minutes once summoned by dataterm, phone or email Aerocab prefers the skies to the streets, and maintains a fleet of recondition AV-4s, aeroygyros and a few new AV-7s More expensive than a ground cab, Aerocabs provide pad to pad service for customers looking to avoid the danger of the Night City ground level entirely Combat Cabb is not the largest service but it is the best armed Combat Cabb has the most skilled battledrivers in the business and is the only service which will take a customer anywhere, guaranteed, no matter the risk Combat Cabb is famous not just because of their “go anywhere” attitude but because of a long running dramedy series produced by Diverse Media Systems focused on a fictional version of the company The series extends the fame of Combat Cabb across North America and the world and, as a result, one of the most popular activites for tourists visiting Night City is to hail a Combat Cabb and take a ride into the Combat Zone just to say they’ve done it The Combat Cabb vidscreen series airs on Thursday nights and follows the adventures of Harrick, his partner and lover Emmanuelle Moore, and the rest of their tough and battle ready but lovable cast

The real Harrick founded Combat Cabb in 2011 and still runs the operation Red Cab was founded in 2012, when Russian Immigrant Alec Belavits bought out the yellow cab sompany he was a senior driver for and revamped it He painted the cabs red in honor of his beloved homeland and made sure they were all armored Alec had been a cabbie in Night City for almost a decade and he knew the score Mass Transit in Night City is maintained by NCTC: The night city transit corporation This includes all bus lines, which are considered to be the most modern in North America The megacorps of 2020 are nearly nations unto themselves, with their own laws, infrastructure and militaries They are almost fully autonomous, paying heed to local law only in the most public of ways so as to avoid a PR disaster In actuality, megacorps are powerful enough to buy any politician, bury any unfavourable law, and avoid any penalty for bad behavior Megacorp offices hold a status roughly equivalent to a national embassy Employees carry corp-issued passports and identity cards If an employee is charged with a crime by a civil authority, it is common practice to ship the accused to the home office This prevents civil police from attempting to execute warrants on corporate grounds while a possible extradition is negotiated Most local cops are happy to go along with it Corp security is almost better armed and armored Conditions in 2020 favor the employer, not the employee Unions are a thing of the past, either so weak they are ineffective our outlawed altogether Lax labour laws mean employment contracts can dictate terms ranging from minimum length of employment to debilitating penalties for even minor infractions Headhunting in such an environment can be deadly Corporations often have a team which specializes in extraction of key personnel from rival companies, whether they want to or not On the flip side, most corporations would rather see an employee dead than working for the enemy and sharing company secrets Mediacorps are conglomerates of music, video, news and publishing subdivisions with a power which spans continents It is perfectly possible for an individual to go their entire life and consume only media from one specific mediacorp The largest mediacorps are Network News 54 which, despite its name, controls more than just the news, World News Service the most respected and underhanded news service in the world, and Diverse Media Systems, with a reputation for eating its own employees alive Because only a handful of corps control the majority of the worlds media, they hold an unprecedented amount of influence over public opinion Politicians, celebrities and high level corp exectuvies all know getting on a mediacorps bad side is a great way to destroy a career When corps act like countries, war is an inevitability The first corporate war was between Eurobusiness machine corporation and Orbital Air, both of whom wanted to purchase Transworld Airlines In the end EBM lost This war marked the beginning of corps using military might to obtain a desired outcome in their deals The second corporate war was between energy giants PetroChem and SovOil In the end, SovOil won The war dumped billions of barrels of crude oil into the Pacific and ruined the economies of several small nations The third corp war was fought almost entirely in the net between financial firms and represented the first large scale virtual conflict The war ended with one of the participating corps utterly destroyed The fourth corporate war began as a conflict between two aquatech companies: OTEC and CINO Each brough in major muscle to fight for them OTEC hired militech CINO hired Arasaka What should have been impersonal quickly became personal, as the long standing rivalry between Militech and Arasaka overshadowed the small conflict they were fighting and became a war of its own By 2022, the war had become an all out brawl between the two largest security forces on the Planet The 4th corporate war was devastating Governments and even other megacorps, were dragged into the conflict just to protect themselves, though some chose sides It ended only when both the United States and Japanese governments stepped up and forced a resolution at the executive level By then, it was too late The world had already changed The most prominent Megacorporations are as follows EBM is the worlds largest manufacturer of computer technology Zetatech is a new megacorp specializing in software ad hardware technology Network News 54 is an American broadcasting and media company Orbital Air deals in cargo and passenger transport in lower earth orbit Microtech is a small mainframe and workstation designer company Biotechnica is responsible for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology They own the CHOOH2 patent but licenses it out InfoComp is a data firm If knowledge exists, chances are InfoComp has it recorded somewhere Merill, Asukaga and FInsh is an investment bank and financial counceling firm WorldSat communications Network is a monopoly controlling satellite communications Arasaka is responsible for corporate security and private inteliigence services Militech is an arms manufacturing and private army service which is closely allied with the US military World News Service is the worlds most trusted and dangerous source for news PetroChem is a producer of petroleum products and the world largest supplier of CHOOH2, Trauma Team International is a global ambulance and paramedic service A combat zone refers to any urban area which has been mostly abandoned by the local government and law enforcement agencies Combat zones essentially represent an unspoken treaty, where municipal and corporate forces won’t bother gangs and criminal groups so long as most of the violence and bad behavior stays within the designated area

Most combat zones are born from poor communities where policing became too expensive or dangerous Cities first ramped down law enforcement activities in those areas, then ceased them altogether as municipal budgets tightened and ran to deficit Those unfortunate enough to live in such areas found themselves trapped in a cycle of poverty and violence from which few can escape The combat zone of Night City began in the late 1990s After Richard Night’s death in 1998, Corporations and organized crime carved up the city’s resources and as a result the NCPD became completely ineffective Gangs, backed by corporate and mob sponsors, established themselves in the suburbs south of the city center In time, the gangs became so entrenched the only way to remove them would be to demolish the entire area and start from scratch Many gangs have a presence in the Night City Combat Zone, New ones spring up all the time, only to be slaughtered and absorbed by the others The blood razors are a nasty booster gang full of violent psychopaths responsible for an average of 40 murders in Night City per week They are perhaps the largest of the gangs centered in the zone Warrior heart is a combat gang constantly seeking to improve their fighting skills The piranhas want to party and have fun but their idea of “fun” can be something of a sadistic mystery Blood and Tears are a gang whose trademark is the removal of the victim’s eyes whether cyber or natural Death in the afternoon is more of a nihilistic cult versus a real gang No one goes into the Night City Combat Zone unless they absolutely have to Even the hardest Solos know getting in and out can be a roll of the dice Entire security teams have gone in an vanished Only two organization, Combat Cabb and Trauma Team, will enter the Combat Zone willingly and that’s only in well-armed and armored vehicles and with backup Because no one goes into the Combat Zone, information on the geography and demographics are hard to come by Old maps from before the Zone went to hell are outdated and anyone who actually enters and leaves does so as quickly as possible They aren’t stopping to record map coordinates Urban legends abound of pre-Collapse cashes of weapons, money, drugs and tech hidden even from the gangs in the Combat Zone but good luck surviving long enough to find them In 2020, the Hong Kong Combat Zone was also known as “The hell of the Death of a Thousand cuts” due to the local preference for blades over guns Using a gun in the Hong Kong Combat Zone is a quick way to be branded as a member of the Triad, a Corporate spy, or worse, a weak target incapable of defending one’s self After all, a gun will eventually run out of bullets but, in a combat zone, it is always possible to find a sharp piece of jagged metal By the end of the 4th corporate war, “The hell of a thousand cuts” is as empty as the rest of the city thanks to a potent and highly contagious bioweapon which was unleashed within Hong Kongs city limits The most infamous Combat Zone in the world may well be the one in Detroit There, the Zone was so bad the city government decided to wall the whole thing off It took years but, in the end the city completed the task, after which they declared the Zone a minimum security prison Anyone born there is essentially guilty of the crime of being alive and anyone trying to escape on the city side can expect to be intercepted and dumped back or shot Oddly enough, walls have become a fashion of sorts in Detroit Wealthier neighborhoods have put up guarded walls of their own while poorer ones have constructed razor wire barricades The Detroit of 2020 has become less a single city and more a collection of vaguely affiliated townships all afraid of what lies outside their borders The Rockerboy movement began in the early 1990s, when James “Rockerboy” Manson’s second album, Bum’s Rush released with an overtly political message He continues to defy authority and release songs ceneterd on change and rebellion until 1997 when he was clubbed to death in front of an audience, by British Police at an Amnesty international concert His death inspired the Rockerboy movement, which was named in his honor People continue to argue about the impact of Manson’s legacy Many point out his musical talents were rather mediocre and some believe his message of protest was a ploy to generate sales Others say it doesn’t matter, since he started a cultural movement which lasted over 20 years Most of the music available to the public is prepackaged noise, algorithmically generated to sell the most tracks and albums while pushing a pro-corporate message Rockerboys of all genders work to get their message out to the public anyway they can Some, like Johnny Silverhand are famous enough to push their songs out through the traditional channels unchanged Smaller independent Rockerboys sometimes call themselves sonic terrorists, work through underground distributors, independent networks, and the darker corners of the net to get their music heard A few underground labels exist but most independent bands release their own music, often for free, hoping their words of protest are heard Much like the rest of the world, Rockerboys love their cyberware Popular options include a Neural processor with machine link, which allows you to stud into your instrument and play it with your mind, Romanova cyberlegs which have gyroscopic balance and can add 6 inches in height, as well as the NewThroat, an extensive vocal replacement While James Rockerboy Mansion started the movement and Johnny Silverhand is the most famous rockerboy in 2020, there are other notables including: Destiny, who has been called one of the most provoking bands of our time They started off as a pop band but grew ia heavy political edge thanks to the influence of bandleader Jessie Moore More than one concert has ended with the band and their crew fighting off corporate assassins backstage The Silver slash’s first single released in 2017 was Stand for your world, a call to action with lyrics in English, French, Swahili and Japanese The band has inspired many around the world to enact “positive change” in society, including the Night City guardian gang of the same name Not all rockerboys are musicians As the movement has gorwn, others have claimed the label for themselves, including Street poets who are often part of a local performance gang trying to get their message across through

words not music, and performance artists who stage visual representations of movement and style to express their rebellion Civic organizers and activists are also rockerboys, leading crowds to march, chant, protest and occasionally riot Some believe James “rockerboy” mansion knew he was going to die on August 3rd, 1997 Just hours before he was beaten to death on stage, an act that triggered a riot where over 500 people died, he said the following to his audience “To live in ignorance of the political state around you is no excuse It is your responsibility as well as mind to spread the word One great nation is dead; will your’s be next? If you have something to say then don’t keep quiet, tell them how you feel Don’t let their oppression silence you!” Those words have become a talisman to the rockerboy movement In the Cyberpunk world, lack of regulation in the US and other regions resulted in an increasingly changing and unpredictable climate which made agriculture nearly impossible By 1998, the Midwest US was a little more than a dustbowl while acid rain, drought, wildfires and toxic waste had destroyed the orchards of California, Texas and Florida In 2020, much of what once was the breadbasket of the world is now a polluted wasteland, so less food is being produced and it is being produced in new places Due to rising temperatures, areas which were once too severe and cold for large scale agriculture now offer new farming opportunities Northern Canada has become of the world’s leading suppliers of real food and Alaska is one of the few parts of the US where farming can still occur on an industrial level Most Americans eat manufactured, processed foods in 2020 The most commonly eaten food is kibble: dry, grainy nuggets laced with vitamins, minerals and a small amount of actual protein Like potato chips they are offered in a variety of flavors, textures and brands to the general public Kibble makes up to 70% of the average American diet SCOP, a vat grown protein genetically tailored to mimic the textures and tastes of various foods makes up roughly 20% of the average American diet Because SCOP looks and tastes vaguely like real food, it is more expensive Little farmland is left in the United States and most of that is dedicated to growing the genetically modified grain used to make the fuel CHOOH2 Some Agricorps grow food crops in hydroponic farms but the majority of fresh food in the US is imported from Canada, Europe or the USSR Fresh food makes up as little as 2% of the average American diet The wealthy of course, eat differently than the average American Powerdealers eat real food prepared by real people every meal Corpzoners manage fresh food an average of 4 meals a week, never eat kibble and rarely eat SCOP Movers live mostly on SCOp but occasionally spring for fresh food to impress Everyone else? They eat what they can Most meals in America are eaten outside of the home Few living spaces come equipped with food preparation units and only the more expensive apartments and houses have actual kitchen areas Unless an area is Corporate-controlled or specially patrolled, there are almost always a variety of food vendors available on any city street Those vendors do their best to dress up kibble, SCOP and whatever else they can find to be as attractive and appetizing as possible Soups and stews are offered when enough fresh water can be found More expensive eateries offer a mixture of soy, SCOP and fresh food In the European community, food in theory is controlled by the Food Commission They ensure the yeast farmers and kibble manufacturers produce enough food to feed the masses of Europe They also oversee the laws governing farming, fishing, livestock and water processing The food commission plays a constant game of catchup, trying to navigate the thorny politics of local agribusiness while imposing quotas and subsidies in an effort to stabilize a constantly changing market Few people in Europe go hungry The food commission supplies everyone with basic meals and even real food is fairly cheap Most citizens with employment can purchase and enjoy vegetables daily and actual meat once a week The golden kids and new nobility of course eat real food every meal Two companies, BudgetArms and Dai Lung have made a name for themselves for creating firearms at a cost can afford The BudgetArms C-13, a light pistol, costs half as much as the Federated Arms X-22, which is the industry standard for plastic “fire and throw away” weaponry The Dai Lung CYbermag 15 is even cheaper and comparable to the X-22 in every way but accuracy More recently, BudgetArms has attempted to enter the higher end firearms market with the Laser-Niner 9mm It comes standard with an integral lasersight and a full auto mode Snail drum magazines are optional Militech’s firearms are a standard of the industry worldwide Their Ronin model is a durable and accurate accurate light assault rifle which uses 5.56 ammunition while the Militech Crusher SSG is popular with solos due to its compact nature and power A pistol sized shotgun, the Crusher works extremely well for close combat and roomsweeping duries but conceals nicely in a bag or under a jacket The standard weapon for Arasaka Security, the Minami 10 SMG, is popular around the world for both its durability and affordability When the situation calls for heavy firepower, Arasaka Security preders the Rapid Assault Shot 12, a high-powered auto-shotgun that can spit out 10 shells in less than 4 seconds Malorian Firearms Incorporated, is a bespoke weapons designer and manufacturer based out of Night City Their motto is distinctive firearms for distinctice people and it shows in the care they put into

the creation of each weapon they produce The firm was founded by famed gunsmith Eran Malout, who has designed weapons for among others, Solo Morgan Blackhand The most famous weapon designed by Eran Malour is the Malorian Arms 3516, which was custom made for famous Rockerboy, Johnny Silverhand This one of a kind 14mm heavy pistols titanium frame was manufactured in space, allowing for an almost zero chance of imperfection in the casting An integral cyberlink means only someone with a cyberarm and smartgun link can take full advantage of the pistol’s features In 2018, the US government held a competition to develop the next generation of advanced infantry firearms Forces within the government content with the weapons the military already had, sabotaged the project by putting in place seemingly impossible design standards Of course, Militech rose to the occasion The M-31a1 marries a 4.5mm assault rifle using an advanced liquid propellant firing system with a pump-action 25 mm grenade launcher The liquid propellant system was designed by famed gunsmith Eran Malour and licensed to Militech while the revolutionary small mini-grenades were the design of Militech weapon techs Paired together the two form one of the most high-tech combat weapons available Integration of firearms and chrome has been one of the goals of cyberware design pretty much since their invention Smartguns are modified versions of normal firearms which use various scanning systems to continually paint targets and feed the data to either the brain or a set of goggles This allows for more accurate aiming, as combatants no longer have to rely on anything so crude as the organic human eye to guide their shots Over the years, various companies have also created weapon mount options for cyberlimbs Popup pistols and SMGs are common but flamethrowers, grenade launchers and micro-missile launchers are also possibilities for those with enough cash to pay their ripperdoc Energy-based weapons are usually only found in the hands of military personnel or specialist corporate agents Such weapons are rarely found on the street, both for legal reasons and due to the cost and technical skill required to operate and repair them Laser weapons like the Militech LaserCannon, are rifles powered by batteries and have a dial allowing for variable output This means the laser can be set from a lower power setting which does no more damage than a light pistol to a powerful shot which hits as hard as an assault rifle but drains half the rifle’s battery power The Techtronica Model 009 Volt Pistol meanwhile is a taser with a twist It uses a low-intensity laser to ionize the air along its path, then discharges electricity to form an artificial lightning bolt to strike the target The unique threat of cyberpsychos and full borgs have led to a number of unusual developments in weapon technology Microwave-based weapons can cause cybernetics to perform poorly or malfunction However, the exact effects are hard to predict, giving microwavers a poor reputation with cyberpsycho squads More reliable and expensive is the Rhinemetall EMG-85 Kinetic Energy Railgun which delivers a 15-gram Mylar-coated slug at hypersonic velocity, meaning it can punch through all but the heaviest of armors The irony is, the extreme weight and recoil of this weapon means it is often being used on full borgs by full borgs, as few other people can properly wield the weapon without mounting it to a vehicle first Most gangs in Night City are built around a central theme, often taken to cultish levels of obsession In the Dark Future, where there’s little to hope for, people are so desperate to feel purpose and belonging they will build their identity on any scrap they can cling to Boosters are gangs obsessed with replacing meat with metal They are cyberware addicts who see the future as one where flesh is dead and chrome lives forever Chromers are gangs inspired by the Rockerboy movement, often building their theme around a specific musician, band, or even single song Combat gangs are obsessed with battle They range from those who consider themselves noble warriors, striving to perfect their art, to all out brawlers, who just want to beat the tar out of anyone they can Cultists are gangs organized along religious lines, often following one leader’s spiritual guidance Many cultgangs are nihilist in nature, believing the world is beyond redemption and needs to die in a blaze of glory Dorphers are gangs focused on the acquisition and use of drugs They can range from blissed out junkies to amped up monsters, depending on their vice of choice Often cops can be trusted to do their jobs and that’s when Guardian gangs come in They band together to protect their neighbourhoods, but despite good intentions some guardian gangs still rob and kill to pay the bills Juvie gangs, also known as Youth Gangs or Yo gangs, have many themes but all have on thing in common: Most members are early teens or preteens Pgangs adopt themes from pop culture and base their lifestyle and looks on them, often with the help of surgery and cyberware Prankster gangs are dedicated to practical jokes that can have a dark side Pranks range from “smash every red car’s back passenger window” to “add psychoactive drugs to the local community center swimming pool” to even nastier tricks Party gangs only want a good time They are hedonists and their tastes often grow jaded as their idea of a good time evolves to darker and bigger highs Professional gangs blur the line between guild and gang coming together for protection in a world where freelancers and performers are vulnerable to threats Puppets are corporate sponsored gangs, who are used as weapons to point at enemies while maintaining plausible deniablilty The thinking man’s boostergang, Braniacs prefer skill chips and neuralware over less elegant, clunkier cybernetics Not directly violent, the Braniacs prefer to outthink rather than outfight In once incident, they nearly wiped out a chapter of the Blood Razors by manipulating events to bring the booster gangers into contact with an Arasaka security force Each Braniac wears a small silver coin around their neck to identify them as a member of the gang Part boostergang, part combat gang, Maelstrom was born from the shattered remainds of several

other gangs with one thing in common: a grudge against the mysterious Inquisitors Members prefer black leather and chrome, making a point to visibly display their cyberware for the world to see Atleast half of the members have succumbed to Cyberpsychosis or are dancing on the edge Both guardian and chrome gang, the Silver slash patterened themselves off of the band of the same name Gang leaders Mation and Jake Maxwell were inspited by the band’s hit single, stand for your world, after their son was shot and killed in a gang scuffle near the Children’s Hospital Ow, the hospital serves as the gang’s headquarters and they work hard to keep the local neighborhood safe Dorpher gangs usually burn out when their leadership dies in a hail of gunfire or due to an overdose The Wild Things are different No one joins without first surviving for at least a year as a member of another Dorpher gang As a result the Wild Things are predatory, cynical, and can hold their own in a fight The Wild Things don’t have gang colors, Each member knows the others sight Their tag is a red circle with a white dot The Voodooboys are as much about organized crime as they are about gang activities They make their eddies by selling drugs to the students of Night City University They are also a cultgang, using drugs and practices taken from Afro-Caribbean religions to enact sadistic rituals True members of those religions disavow the Voodoboys as nothing more than twitsted pretenders who have stolen elements of a spirituality they can’t possibly understand In 2077, Haitians have emigrated on mass to strip 2020’s voodooboys of their name reclaiming their heritage linked name Some gangs succeed despite their sheer lack of talent or combat ability A good example are the DJs, a chrome gang who are better at selling bootleg music chips and fake collectables than they are at making music Their one saving grace is a firm understanding of the music scene in Night City If you can stand a DJ’s “music” you can probably pump them for information on where the best parties and underground concerts are Like all boostergangs, the Slaughterhouse believe in packing as much cyberware into their body as possible The twits is, the Slaughterhouse wants as much of that chrome to have sharp points and edges Rippers, vampires, bigripps, slashers and wolvers If it can cut or pierce, chances are its implanted into the body of a Slaughterhouser Members of the Slaughterhouse prefer black and red leather The Bozos began life as just another prankster gang, organized around a clown theme Everything changed however, when the Great Bozo took over the gang It is whispered the Great Bozo is actually an insane, former Arasaka engineer who now uses the clown gang for experiments in cyberware and surgical techniques considered too extreme and sadistic even by corporate standards Pity anyone targeted by the Bozos One might wonder, what sort of person would willingly join the Bozos and allow themselves to be sculpted and altered int the twisted image of a clown? The truth is, Bozos take twisted pride in their recruiting Once they’ve settled on someone as a new member, they stalk and prank and harass that person until they’ve been driven to the edge of insanity Then the real torture begins It is unknown how many Bozos were once mallplexers, corporate executives, or even genuinely decent people who had their sanity peeled away layer by layer until they embraced their new identity as “one of us” Among the smaller gangs in Night City are: The tyger claws a gang of Japenese decent, known to protect citizens of Japantown from outsiders, even if they are known for shaking them down for protection money The western stars are a posergang, modeling themselves after the cowboys of the silver screen, and a combat gang, taking pride in their skills as a marksman The willow sisterhood are a group of women who have biosculpted themselves to resemble famous beauties of the past and present Each member undergoes extensive training in combat arts and it is considered fashionable for the rich and powerful of night city to keep a sister as a bodyguard or mistress Scratchers replace a person’s fingernails with metal or carbo-glass Small compared to other cyberweapons, scratchers are still dangerous, as the incredible sharpness of the material used make them as deadly as any razor blade across the throat To prevent accidents, scratchers are designed to slice crossways and not downwards, meaning they have to be used in a specific way to do damage They are often decorated to make them indistinguishable from normal nails and are one of the few cyberweapons that are generally legal and available at any local clinic Vampires are exactly that one might expect from the name: implanted fangs A full set, completely replacing all teeth, are commonly known as the Sharkgrin Special Vampires are considered decorative and not generally illegal, unless augmented with poison injectors Rippers, a deadlier version of scratchers are three inch blades which pop out from the fingertips Fake fingernails are often work to hide rippers, as they are illegal to possess in most locations Rippers are usually extended by curling the hand into a clawlike shape Wolvers represent the next step in bladed weapons When someone with this cyberweapon forms a fist, thin, triangular blades telescope out from the wrist along channels build into the back of the hand The blades are a full foot in length and quite sharp With BigKnucks, the knuckles of a hand are reinforced for weight and hitting power For brawlers who like punching their problems away, BigKnucks are an absolute necessity The weapon commonly known as a Slice N dice is a monofilament wire spooled into a single finger, which can be extended to use as a whip or garrote The Cybersnake is a directable, flexible weapon which is usually implanted in the throat but can be installed in any body orifice more than 1 inch long Upon command, the cybersnake will extend up to three feet from the orifice and attack It attacks much like a cobra, darting to jab, or like a whip to make a slashing attack When attacking from inside an opponents body it stabs and twists repeatedly causing internal trauma Cybersnakes are a favored means of defense for those engaged in professional sex work, from joy boys and girls on the street to high class escorts The mace hand, meanwhile, allows a heavily reinforced fist to be spooled out on a three

foot long, thick cable for ranged attacks The extended reach comes at a price though, as reinforcement interferes with articulation and reduces flexibility of the fingers The BigRipp implants a blade of up to fourteen inches in the length in your forearm Simply flex the right muscles and the sharpness pops out Because of the way they are mounted, BigRipps aren’t aws effective at parrying other weapons as a normal blade would be Edgerunners seeking a subtle cyberweapon often look at the Bonespike A vat grown seven inch length of bone, reinforced with polymer, is installed into the forearm On the other end of the subtlety spectrum is the ChainRipp Upon command a chainsaw blade pops out from the forearm above the hand and whirs to life ready to rip apart enemies Night City differs from many American cities in that its police services are staffed by municipal employees and not a privately contracted organization The Night city police department mantains multiple precinct offices while deputized corporate forces patrol the Corporate City Center NCPD keeps order in Night City though the use of investigative units, a closed circuit camera and monitor system, and aerial patrol forces Roughly 40% of street corners in Night City are home to a callbox which allow citizens and visitors alike to summon an NCPD presence for the cost of only one eddie NCPD officers assigned to Traffic Patrol have pulled the shortest straw possible Its all the danger and none of the respect, as they suffer not only the dangers posed by gangs looking to have a little fun and corporate strike forces unconcerned about collateral damage but also the abuse heaped upon them by potentially armed Night City citizens irate about getting a ticket or being caught in the latest traffic snarl They say the worst thing a superior officer can tell a subordinate is “you have been transferred to traffic” If a cop has been assigned to traffic patrol, it means they’ve pissed off someone with the power to make their life miserable Airborne patrol uses aerodynes and gyros for surveillance and support purposes A standard airborne patrol crew consists of one pilot, one command officer, two troopers and a medic A position in Airborne is sought after by many in the NCPD Not only do they get to play with some of the latest technology but it is harder for gangs to lay traps for airborne vehicles the way they do for patrol cars A standard vehicle in the airborne patrol is the AV-3 aka “the Aerocop”, replaced on the civilian market by the more popular AV-4, the AV-3 was retooled and sold as a specialty vehicle to police forces around the world The AV-3 now come standard with good armor, ground wheels for surface maneuvering when needed and a top mounted turret In 2020, the homicide division of the NCPD is busier than ever The population is growing every year and Corps, crime syndicates and gangs are all fighting for control of the city’s streets Mass murders take place disturbingly often and not every cyberpsycho is an obvious rampaging metal monster Some look like ordinary serial killers until it is too late to call in MAX-TAC Anyone who works homicide develops some way to cope with the depressing crush of too many cases, many of which will go unsolved A homicide detective can see up to fifty bodies a day and anyone who doesn’t find an outlet to help them deal with that stress instead finds the psych ward or the grave The Net Security Section, otherwise known as NETSEC focuses on Night City’s digital streets instead of its concrete ones Computer crimes and illegal netrunning fall under their jurisdiction to investigate In addition, NETSEC provides intelligence and research for other investigate divisions of the NCPD NETSEC officers tend to be high strung and man did not receive normal police training before joining the force A rare few join out of a sense of civic duty Most join because NCPD promises them access to military grade netruning hardwar and software and it is better to have a regular paycheck from the occasional random hacking score and the constant potential of Black ICE frying your brain The Cyborg suppression unit is shorthand for the C-Swat and more recently as MAX-TAC This division was originally a part of the special weapons and tactics section (SWAT) but spun off when it became clear the frequency with which they carried out their duties merited their own command Max Tac is a rapid response team of the most combat capable officers the NCPD has to offer and outfitted with the best in military armor, weaponry and vehicles They have on mission: monitor highly augmented individuals and be prepared to arrive fast, hit hard, and shoot to kill if their quarry goes over the edge into cyberpsychosis MAX Tac work in Special purpose assault rescue teams of six troopers and one officer By necessity, many members are chromed to the point they are on the watch list themselves The occasional MAX-TAC officer is a full borg MAX-TAC weapons are universally designed to take down heavily cybered individuals This can include non-lethal and experimental weaponry but usually means high caliber rounds capable of penetrating any armor EMP weapons are rare since they’ll do as much damage to the team as the cyberpsycho they are trying to take down Common weapons include the Constitutional Arms Cyclone Squad Support Weapon and the Remington Gyro Sniper Rifle No single event contributed to the Dark Future of Cyberpunk 2020 than the Collapse, an implosion which devastated the US and rocked the world economy By the early 90s, the Gang of Four (The FBI, CIA, NSA and DEA) had been covertly working together to manipulate United States politics and legislation for years Driven by ideology and lust for power, the Gang of Four took advantage of the covert nature of their various agencies and their control over much of the information the government received about the world to street policy In 1993, worries about the rise of the European Economic Commonwealth as a world power, the Gang of Four began the “Quiet War”, a series of covert actions to diminish EC power and ensure US dominance This culminated in hacking by US agencies into European and Asian stock markets to bolster US corporations and currency on the world market United States hacking-based manipulations of European and Asian stock markets were discovered by European agents in 1994 Rather than take direct action against a nominal ally, the EC instead leaked the information to the world press The resulting outrage caused the Crash of ’94 The American stock market was devastated as shares plummeted and countries which were once friends called for embargos

The ripple of course, spread across the world Without the United States as a driving force, many international institutions collapsed As other countries dealt with the fallout of the American stock market crash, no single government, or block of governments, could or were willing to step up to become the new world financial superpower By itself, the Crash of ’94 wouldn’t have caused the Collapse but other factors combined with the crash to make it possible The Gang of Four had already been pushing covert and overt wars in Central and South America as part of a public relations campaign: a way of distracting US citizens from noticing an increasingly unstable domestic situation After the US hacking attacks on European stock markets was discovered, EEC countries began backing anti-American guerilla groups in the western hemisphere This created a quagmire in South America and resulted in daring terrorist operations carried out on US soil As a result, resources had to be pumped into military and security operations, leaving little left for rebuilding a shattered economy or a crumbling infrastructure Another factor which contributed to the Collapse was environmental Pollution and environmental damage resulted in the despoiling of US farmlands The once fertile fields of the American Midwest had once more become dustbowls This, combined with damage to American waters from industrial accidents and pollutants meant the United States was unable to feed itself, much less the rest of the world Things reached a tipping point on August 17, 1996, when the president and vice president were both assassinated The Speaker of the house was undergoing bypass surgery, and the president of the Senate refused to undertake the oath of office That afternoon, John Seward the secretary of Defense addressed the nation and declared martial law The time of the Collapse was perhaps the darkest the United States has ever known Acting President Seward and his cabinet actively fought against the Gang of Four for control of the government At the same time, Seward had to deal with riots across the country, rebuilding shattered global alliances, further environmental disasters, and a devastating plague Seward was assassinated in 2000 His successor, General William Newell was able to convince important members of the Gang of Four to testify against their masters It took 4 more years, and several assassinations, to end the power of the gang of 4 Those members who weren’t jailed or imprisoned saw the writing on the wall and found new masters to protect them: the rising Megacorps Most historians mark November 7, 2008 as the end of the Collapse and the beginning of the rebuilding of the United States On that day, 12 years after martial law was declared, free elections were held Unfortunately, the damage was already done As of 2020, the US government is still weak Washington’s masters aren’t the Gang of Four but the Corporations who prop up the economy According to census reports, nearly half the population of the United States died during the 12 years of the collapse Another 25 – 50 million citizens became Nomads, disenfranchised wanderers Combine this with Environmental disasters and the United States has become a country of concentrated urban centers with thousands of towns and cities now little more than empty rusting shells The NET of 2020 is the sum total of human telecommunications, joining together computers, telephones, cellular phones, radios, microwave transmitters, satellites and more Everything connected to the NET is a part of it, from Megacorp supercomputers to computer controlled blenders The NET has many functions including storing and sharing information, communications, and remote access and control of real world peripherals Basic NET access can happen the old fashioned way, using a visual display and an input device High level access, though, must be done via a combination of software and hardware which translates the electronic information of the NET into sensory data which users experience as “real” To navigate the NET, a user needs a cyberdeck The average cyberdeck weighs half a kilogram and is roughly he size of a box of mac and cheese Monitors, keyboards and other input devices are not standard, since cyberdecks are designed to directly engage with a user’s bran and nervous system via interface plugs A cyberdeck contains the hardware and software needed to properly translate the NET into a reality users can experience and interact wwith This is done via an interface program which works with the Ihara-Grubb Transformation Algorithms to extrapolate local data and build a landscape construct of the NET The user doesn’t just see and hear this virtual world, but can navigate through it as if it were real space with merely a thought Early research into linking computer systems by militaries and universities done in the 70s and 80s seemed primed to create a global network which reached into most homes by the 90s The development of biologic interface chips in 1993 made this even more exciting as it promised a future where everyone could mentally travel into cyberspace Unfortunately, the stock market crash of ’94 and The Collapse which followed delayed development It wasn’t until WorldSat completed a telecommunications satellite system in 2001 that a truly global network was born At this point netrunners, who had been using primitive interfaces to navigate local networks, could now move globally and get into trouble In 2005, Kenjiri technologies released the Cybermodem, the first commercial available computer designed specifically for the purpose of plugging the mind directly into the NET, using an interface program to translate the information received into sensory data These first interface programs were primitive and came in a variety of flavours, allowing

the user to decide if they wanted the NET to look like a fantasy dungeon or a 1920s metropolis The lack of standardization in interface programs sometimes made interactions complex and difficuly, especially when 2 netrunners tried to communicate Trying to explain that someone should take a look into a data node is hard when one user sees it as s pulsating squid and the other sees a simple geometric shape instead In 2009, NET pioneer Nobuhiro Ihara was extracted from Zetatech by a consortium of telecommunication companies That same consortium hired game designer Jan Grubb away from Kenjiri Technologies Together, the two geniuses led a team of engineers and programmers to redesign the NET from the ground up They developed a consistent and universal interface system which not only translated data to sensation but also conveyed a feeling of spatial awareness that meant traveling online truly felt like moving through a 3D world Released in September 2014, their Ihara-Grubb Algorithm ensured everyone on the NET had the same base experience, although they could still customize the way their ICON, programs and personal network space were presented While the NET is ever changing, it is roughly divided into 9 regions, the boundaries of which shift, shrink and expand constantly Regions, also known as Kingdoms are nominally controlled by either a single local Corp or Government or a coalition of them Some netrunners have theorized that these regions, with all their connections and computational power and the influence of the Ihara-Grubb Algorithms have spontaneously awakened and gained some level of sentience, becoming Artificial intelligences In other words, believers in these AIs think when a netrunner travels through a region, they aren’t just moving through “somewhere” but “someone” – They hunt agwe Netwatch began in Europe as a private organization Their pitch was simple: hire us and we’ll make sure you aren’t hacked NEtwatch grew quickly as it was contracted by corps and governments around the world to monitor and provide security in their local part of the NET More aware than anyone of just how vulnerable having a single central system can be, Netwatch operators work independently or in cells, spread out across the NET Netwatch operators do exactly what the organization name suggest, they watch for crim on the NET When they find it, they ac accordingly Somethimes this ends with someones brain melted by Black Ice, but more often than not, the Operator is content to try to immobilize a netrunner, then call in the local authorities