So, I was for awhile building a space western/space pirate game, but with my obnoxious love affair of realism included. Due to that love affair, it morphed slowly into more of a cyberpunk/biopunk/crime fiction kind of thing. I got pretty far into it and had a lot of fun, then I decided I didn't know what rule system to use. Realized I hated D20 Modern, barely understood HERO, and wasn't familiar enough with anything else to know what to do, so I did the insane thing, of trying to make my own system. That, plus taking way too many credit hours in school made me stop when I was pretty well into building the world. I had some inspiration for a fantasy world (not really, but still), and had largely forgotten about my space BS thing, so I did a little bit of initial work on it. So, I'm putting the fantasy world on hold, and reviving the space BS one.
Now, one of the members of my gaming group is here (apparently), so hopefully he'll stop me if I'm doing anything too out of swing with what we usually do, and hopefully someone will start yelling at me if I don't keep updating this thread, which for right now is going to be basically all of my collected notes, which as it turns out is mostly stuff on weapons, armor, and vehicles. Blah.
Also, first and only warning: some of this will get dark. Like, really dark. You've been warned.
Battery started dying, will finish later.
In the 1970s a council of the UN created and passed the Outer Space Treaty, which forbade the militarization of space. Unfortunately, the law was unenforceable, since if a private group was able to get weapons in space, no one would be able to stop them. And so, of course, several criminal organizations moved their major activities into space. Soon, the area around Earth became rather like Los Vegas in the 1920s: built around hotels and casinos, with strippers, prostitutes, drugs and alcohol flowing like water.
Various Illegal Activities:
*Extortion: The use of coercion to obtain money, usually called a “protection racket”. In this case it refers to one of two things: either a space-based hacker groups demanding money or other resources in exchange for “protection” from other hackers, or space based weapons platforms threatening to strike ground targets.
Other Goals and Methods:
-Blackmail: threatening to reveal compromising information in exchange for money, supplies, information, or to prevent the targeted organization from taking an action
-Badger Game: a type of Blackmail in which the Blackmailer tricks the mark into a compromising situation so that he can then be Blackmailed. * Bribery: The ability to put bribe money in an offshore account made tracking bribery difficult to prove, and almost impossible to prosecute. The ability to channel money offworld made proving bribery virtually impossible. It also makes it more difficult to do, so it is generally done in large numbers from private accounts to offshore accounts, to offworld accounts, and back to offshore accounts. The offworld banks generally take a cut for doing this, which makes proving bribery even more difficult.
Similarly, offworld locations can make for relatively easy hiding such actions as insider trading, ponzi/pyramid schemes, embezzlement, and money laundering. * Selling Fraud: Listing a DVD on a product selling site, receiving the money, and then not sending the video. Similarly, listing a car on a similar website and demanding a down payment, taking it and not answering any further contacts. Additionally this is having an pay website which accepts money but then does not actually have the products. This also includes the scams created and propagated by spammers. * Contracting: Contract killing, arson, assault, kidnapping, extortion, robbery, torture, jury tampering, evading legal authorities, witness tampering or intimidation, and basically any other crime you can think of can be contracted from one of several groups collectively referred to as “contract men” * Cyberbullying: Essentially, the continued harassment of a person online. Some hacking groups have started to specialize in cyberbullying activities, often for corporate groups aimed at other corporate groups or anyone critical of them. For example, a large chemical company which uses unsafe manufacturing practices may use cyberbullying to get critical groups to be quite. Or a fast food company may use cyberbullying to discourage small competitors from entering the market.
Methods and Goals:
- Spread Lies and Rumors: This is often done in combination with Cyberstalking. At an organizational level, this may include information about illegal, unsafe, or otherwise immoral practices.
- Send Insults and Threats: These may be sent directly to the victim, or at an organization level to a person involved in the organization or the company as a whole, or they may be posted generally on the internet. Specific sendings have the advantage of specificity and uniqueness to encourage compliance with the bully, broad attacks are likely to disrupt services as low level employees quit out of fear, and general threats/insults help spread the message generally and encourage the friends/family of the targeted person/organization to change the targeted person(s) to change their behavior. * Cyberstalking: The prevalence of mass surveillance has allowed for relative ease of cyberstalking. Some hacking groups have started to specialize in cyberstalking, selling out their services to anyone willing to pay, resulting in them often working for pissed off ex-boyfriends. Along similar grounds, cyberstalking often ends up including false accusations, monitoring, making threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sex, or gathering information in order to harass.
Methods and Goals:
- False Accusations: This is using the information gained from cyberstalking to mix real information with fake ones to lend credibility to an otherwise incorrect accusation, such as saying that a company which has recently said they have accidentally dumped hazardous waste material in a lake, and saying that the dump was intentional.
- Information Gathering: such as following an ex girlfriend, or following the target for an assassination.
- Monitoring Online Activities: Similar in scope and methods to Information Gathering, but generally intended for blackmail.
- Attacks on Data and Hardware: Many times a cyberstalker will use their acquired information to ease attacks on networks, websites, computers, acquire secure information, commit identity theft, or various other attacks along similar lines.
Additionally, a cyberstalker may use acquired information to order embarrassing products or services under the victim’s name (such as porn), or use internet sites to encourage harassment against the victim. Also, the methods used by cyberbullies/cyberstalkers are somewhat commonly used for internet based espionage, be it political or industrial espionage. * Forgery: This includes art, literary, film/music/software, and relic/artifact forgeries and fakes, counterfeiting money, checks, credit cards, government issued IDs, counterfeit medications or illegal drugs, wine or other high value alcohols, designer clothes or accessories, make up, and really anything else which is portable and valuable. * Internet Piracy 2.0: The very common practice of downloading and/or streaming illegally downloaded movies, music, and even the specifications for patented products, such as computer software. In effect, websites such as Piratebay have started taking on the position of being a dumping ground for the products of industrial espionage as much as anything else. Some of the larger pirate sites have their own independent space stations, sometimes renting out space (physical and server) to other websites. * Gambling: This occurs in two forms: online gambling based in outer space to avoid national laws regulating/outlawing internet gambling, and physical betting parlors. These exist because they cannot be regulated (which benefits the house by letting them do more) and is not impacted by gambling regulations on Earth based on age or history of cheating. Many who go to space to gamble are looking to engage in sports betting, and sometimes these events are rigged. Platforms which have gambling often are also sources of alcohol (legitimate, or counterfeit), drugs, strippers, and prostitutes.
- Loan Sharks: Always available where gambling and other forms of vice are common, they really will break your knees if you don’t repay. This isn’t a terrible thing, since the orbiting casinos will break your hands for being late on paying them. * Drugs and Booze: Because it costs a few cents per pound to get men and material to and from space, it is relatively easy for groups (generally mafia’s) to mass produce highly profitable drugs such as cocaine in space, package them, and then quietly slip them into Earth. The same is true with alcohol, which is illegal in some places. This practice increases the price somewhat, but greatly reduces the risk to the organization making the drugs. * Wikileaks: One of the first groups to move to space, Wikileaks continues to be a source of information gathering (legally or otherwise) from companies and governments. More recently it has started having information about how to bypass security on the Three Rings. * 4Chan and Anon: Also now based in space, they continue being a weird mix of anarchist, anti-consumerist, anti-corporate, anti-government group that ignores it’s unpleasant elements. * Hackers and Cypherpunks: Several hacker groups have based themselves in space to avoid legal implications of their activities. Some are essentially think tanks that spend their time developing new and more creative viruses for teh lulz, but many more having ideological goals which they seek to propagate through their activities, or which simply sell their services. Even many of the for-profit hacker groups are ideologically motivated and restrict their clients or jobs accordingly. * Biopunks: This is a broad term for anyone who deals with gene manipulation. A science which is still rather in its infancy, this means that much of their actions are simple experimentation based heavily on guess and check. For funding they tend to make clones for pay, and some claim they can make bioweapons. The clones are for (mostly) genetically perfect soldiers, slaves, and sex slaves as the buyer wants. These sex slaves tend to be sold as children to pedophiles, and bought back as teenagers and sold again. While Biopunks have managed to find cures for genetic disorders, that does not make them well respected by, well, anyone. * Internet Porn: Essentially any illegal pornography, such as that directed at minors, containing minors, bestiality, or containing real torture or rape. Or it may simply available in countries where porn is illegal or designed to be impossible to trace for those who want anonymity. * Racist, Socialist, or Anarchist Organizations: Many have moved websites to space stations, and other stations make racial separatism possible, and some are set up as distinct countries for the ideology of the platform, and is often named for the ideology. Some have declared themselves independent countries, though no one recognises them as such, or cares. * Information and Cyber Warfare and Terrorism: These are not the same, but are generally related concepts. Broadly, this is the control or manipulation of the flow of information, such as jamming or hijacking radio or television, manipulating information flow to disrupt logistics, police or military movements or other enemy communications, or any activity which is done by a hacker or malware programmer and is used in a military conflict (cyberwar) or for the goals of terrorism (cyberterrorism). Some further examples of the methods and goals follow:
- With the proliferation of automatization it has become possible for hackers to infiltrate and disrupt essential services and infrastructure by altering or stopping the flow of water, fuel, electricity, communications, or by changing traffic signals can seriously hinder or stop vehicular movement. This kind of large scale coordinated attack can render a city inhospitable without firing a shot.
- Disrupt troop movements: Several attempts, with mixed success have been made at using various methods to get military installations to weaken defenses, remove troops, or alter logistics to ease an attack, or to move troops completely out of a combat zone. This may also be moving logistics along a path vulnerable to attack, or simply finding out troop or supply presence and movement.
Zahhak's guide to PC generation: Anything worth doing is worth doing serious and unneeded research into.