Author Topic: Hacking Red Market question.  (Read 38033 times)

Gorkamorka

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Hacking Red Market question.
« on: September 25, 2015, 04:24:12 AM »
Hi.

Im lacking a group and time at the moment so I  haven't been apart of the playtest.  But I have been keeping an eye on it though the podcast and the forum.  Now, I just had an idea, and I was hoping the people who have played the game can answer me.

The question:  Can this system be easily hacked to play cyberpunk?

It sounds like it can.  It sounds like it would make a great system for cyberpunk gaming. Cyberpunk has so many of the same elements as Red Market. 
- The apocalypse happened, but the game is not about that at it's core.  The zombies took over VS the Corporations took over is not a great leap in game mechanics. The only thing that changes is the opposition.  You drop the infection mechanic and add cyber, but cyber stuff is just another tool that require maintenance and you the game already has rules for shooting non infected.
- The game revolves around poor, but competent people, doing dodgy jobs for doggy clients. While trying to make enough money to retire. Doing these jobs saps at your humanity as you get crushed by capitalism.

Would it work?  Does it fit?  What am I missing?

What do you think?

P.S.  I know the game is not out, so questions about hacking it are a bit premature, but that is just how my brain works.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 05:03:16 AM by Gorkamorka »
Gorkamorka (Fridrik)

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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2015, 10:55:24 AM »
Oh, I think that would work perfectly. As Caleb has said, the zombies are basically just an excuse to play desperate impoverished hustlers without it being exploitative of real-world poverty. You could easily replace them with an entirely different genre excuse.

Heck, now you've got me thinking:

  • Use the RM rules to play low-rep Scum in the Eclipse Phase setting, taking odd jobs for @-rep and paying upkeep just to maintain the right to use their possessions in a private-property-free scum swarm.
  • Use RM to play scrappy, magic-less rogues trying to get by in a typical D&D-esque high fantasy world where wizards own/ruin everything.
  • Use RM to play grittily realistic Medieval landless knights, going on "quests" for cash and reputation through the chaos of plague-stricken Europe.
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Gorkamorka

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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2015, 11:11:24 AM »
Does the system allow you to "fight the man" or would that have to be an added feature to the Cyberpunk game? 

Is there a mechanic for how much threat you are to the people in power? Or would I have to borrow "Heat" from Nights Black Agents.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 11:13:41 AM by Gorkamorka »
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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2015, 01:34:44 PM »
Does the system allow you to "fight the man" or would that have to be an added feature to the Cyberpunk game? 

Is there a mechanic for how much threat you are to the people in power? Or would I have to borrow "Heat" from Nights Black Agents.

There isn't a mechanic like that now (I think the game presumes that the PCs will never be a big enough deal for that to matter), but I think it would be easy to add. In keeping with the overall mechanics of the game, I think it would include some sort of extra upkeep cost for staying off the radar, and failing to pay it off would lead to a rising "heat" level. So kind of like a Relationship, but in reverse: pay bounty to not attract the attention of hostile forces.
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Gorkamorka

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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2015, 03:17:42 PM »
Yeah it's defiantly a doable idea.

What else could we make RM do and what would one have to add?
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Twisting H

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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2015, 11:17:08 PM »
Great idea for a thread.  Correlate all the Red Market hack stray thoughts.

I posted this previously

Quote
So that made me reflect on Red Markets, and it really is economic horror. The system works perfectly well for a pure gritty survival game without the dead.

Then I was thinking about the Laird Barron story about the Iditarod, Arctic expeditions in gaming (http://recklessdice.com/2015/04/live-session-beyond-the-mountains-of-madness-part-1/) and The Revenant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRfj1VCg16Y

As written in the beta, Red Markets expects a cycle of risking life and limb with varying (usually diminishing) rewards. But I think the system as written could apply and apply well to one shot survival situations where instead of the crushing attrition of economic horror, there is a "happy" ending if the player survives to the end.  The Red Market's rules seem to me to deliver a more gritty slant on survival than any other system in gaming I can think of (GURPS, etc.). 

In a survival situation like this where you have multiple players or a lone survivor. Tapping a Dependent to heal humanity could mean a flashback in the middle of a crisis to a more domestic time, or you making the Dependent Needy, Strained, or Broken means you weakened the bond for additional supplies in the field (you ignored your wife's calls to work overtime to buy more supplies/train harder, etc.).

Then I was thinking of The Call of the Wild and Call of Catthulhu. And I got the weird idea, could the Red Market's rules as written work for playing a sled dog in the Iditarod? Your bonds/Dependents are with other dogs and the human drivers? I don't know just an amusing fancy I had.



The question:  Can this system be easily hacked to play cyberpunk?

It sounds like it can.  It sounds like it would make a great system for cyberpunk gaming. Cyberpunk has so many of the same elements as Red Market. 
- The apocalypse happened, but the game is not about that at it's core.  The zombies took over VS the Corporations took over is not a great leap in game mechanics. The only thing that changes is the opposition.  You drop the infection mechanic and add cyber, but cyber stuff is just another tool that require maintenance and you the game already has rules for shooting non infected.
- The game revolves around poor, but competent people, doing dodgy jobs for doggy clients. While trying to make enough money to retire. Doing these jobs saps at your humanity as you get crushed by capitalism.


Never thought about cyberpunk for Red Markets but yes, yes I do think it works, and works well.

My first thought was the latest Shadowrun video game by Hairbrained Schemes, Shadowrun: Hong Kong.  In Hong Kong, the Kowloon Walled City is rebuilt and it turns into a massive slum again.  I could see the Red Markets mechanics working in this setting if players are young shadowrunners who grew up in the slum and are trying to take increasingly dangerous jobs to earn enough nuyen to buy them and their families a place to live outside the slum.  A point of economic tension could be that every bounty spent on upgrading their gear is one less they have to put towards their family/loved one's maintenance.  Want that novahot Fairlight Excalibur cyberdeck so you can reduce the damage to your body when you run into black ICE? Little Timmy might have to go without food for a month.   Maybe the players have to pay the Triads protection money on a monthly basis.

PS: Ross if you have the time I suggest you play this because the writing is good and touches on some themes possibly useful for Ruin.  Est 10-20 hours or so.

Second thought is planned obsolescence.

Imagine a Gibsonian cyberpunk world everyone has cyberware. In fact you need cyberware to be competitive for the quickly vanishing jobs pool as more jobs are increasingly automated by AI exploding in complexity driven by the singularity curve.

A good backround for this would be the AMC tv show Humans (http://www.amc.com/shows/humans) where this very issue is addressed. A decent drama but very influenced by BBC direction.

If you remember Deus Ex: Human Revolutions, there was a Taiwanese MBA woman who needed money for cybernetic pheromone upgrades in order to get a job to feed her family so she got in debt to the Triads or something.  The point was this theme was addressed in that game as well, and very effectively.

So in a planned obsolescence cyberpunk game, I could see the economic horror is less from your dependents depending on you to take increasingly risky jobs to support them; instead the horror is more personal and creeps over the line into body horror.  Cyberware is designed to degrade or every year it becomes increasingly difficult to find a competent doctor to remove last year's model because they have all updated their medical equipment for the newest tech.  You need money to upgrade the cyberware in your body so that you can keep it up to do date with the singularity driven arms race that is ever increasing security complexity that the the next job will certainly entail/and maintain your aging cyberware to keep it from breaking down in your own body! 

I really need to read Neuromancer again and there was another good one. All of Tomorrow's parties I think.


Does the system allow you to "fight the man" or would that have to be an added feature to the Cyberpunk game? 

Is there a mechanic for how much threat you are to the people in power? Or would I have to borrow "Heat" from Nights Black Agents.

Huh. Real neat idea!

Oh, I think that would work perfectly. As Caleb has said, the zombies are basically just an excuse to play desperate impoverished hustlers without it being exploitative of real-world poverty. You could easily replace them with an entirely different genre excuse.

Heck, now you've got me thinking:

  • Use the RM rules to play low-rep Scum in the Eclipse Phase setting, taking odd jobs for @-rep and paying upkeep just to maintain the right to use their possessions in a private-property-free scum swarm.
  • Use RM to play scrappy, magic-less rogues trying to get by in a typical D&D-esque high fantasy world where wizards own/ruin everything.
  • Use RM to play grittily realistic Medieval landless knights, going on "quests" for cash and reputation through the chaos of plague-stricken Europe.

These are really interesting ideas Trinite.

For the gritty realistic landless Medieval knight scenario I immediately thought of the "landkersnat" (sp I have no idea how to spell it and I can't find the word) the landless knights of Germany in the Middle ages.

I think this is the Osprey book that discusses it : https://ospreypublishing.com/german-medieval-armies-1000-1300-pb

Alternately, the gritty Medieval world is overrun by vampires (as in a Vampire the Dark Ages post Gehenna situation) and players have to earn their keep for themselves and their loved ones who dwell within a vanishingly smaller number of cities that have walls strong enough to repulse the bloodcraving horde.  Sort of a Middle ages I am Legend situation.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 03:16:57 PM by Twisting H »

trinite

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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2015, 05:57:05 PM »
For the gritty realistic landless Medieval knight scenario I immediately thought of the "landkersnat" (sp I have no idea how to spell it and I can't find the word) the landless knights of Germany in the Middle ages.
Twisting H, I think you're talking about the Landsknechts, who over time became famous as groups of mercenaries. While Red Markets is built to handle groups on a much smaller scale than Medieval mercenary companies generally were, it could definitely be an interesting historical game to play a small band of landsknechts in some plague-ravaged Medieval backwater, doing odd jobs for local lords/villagers/bandits against other lords/villagers/bandits.

Man, now I'm contemplating how much fun it would be to write a full-on "Red Markets: The Dark Ages" supplement, laying out a full conversion of the rules. Maybe I should wait until the game gets published...
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clockworkjoe

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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2015, 02:16:10 AM »
Eh, who cares about being mercenaries - I want to see a RM hack about medieval guilds and trade.

Gorkamorka

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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2015, 04:19:15 AM »
Eh, who cares about being mercenaries - I want to see a RM hack about medieval guilds and trade.

Hmm... Thiefs guild....  It would work to.
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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2015, 06:39:54 AM »
a RM hack about medieval guilds and trade.

Complete with apprenticeship rules!

The enclave economy options would be a great deal more limited.
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Jace911

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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2015, 12:01:07 PM »
a RM hack about medieval guilds and trade.

Complete with apprenticeship rules!

The enclave economy options would be a great deal more limited.

Not necessarily, IIRC there was a fair degree of specialization even in the medieval era. You could have an enclave of hunters who trade furs, meats, and carved bone tools for iron weapons and herbal medicines.

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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2015, 05:39:58 PM »
a RM hack about medieval guilds and trade.

Complete with apprenticeship rules!

The enclave economy options would be a great deal more limited.

Not necessarily, IIRC there was a fair degree of specialization even in the medieval era. You could have an enclave of hunters who trade furs, meats, and carved bone tools for iron weapons and herbal medicines.

Was thinking of Economy table: Feudalism vs. Collectivist vs. Theocracy vs. Odoist etc.
Feudalism and Theocracy would obviously still be viable options. Raiders/Thieves would use the Pirate economy descriptor, and probably some of the free/charter towns would use Barter, Tribalist or Collectivist.
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Twisting H

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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2015, 06:08:28 PM »
Twisting H, I think you're talking about the Landsknechts

Exactly! Thank you Trinite.

Man, now I'm contemplating how much fun it would be to write a full-on "Red Markets: The Dark Ages" supplement, laying out a full conversion of the rules. Maybe I should wait until the game gets published...

Why not jot down a few notes while the idea is burning in your mind?


Eh, who cares about being mercenaries - I want to see a RM hack about medieval guilds and trade.

How would this work?  I'm not well versed in medieval guilds and trade and where the economic horror would be.  The only sparks that come to mind is playing a merchant caravan that say traveling along the Silk Road or whatever and barely breaking even.  Or a Dutch merchant ship where several parties have invested to share the risk and said parties are all on the same boat.  Just spitting random thoughts.

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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2015, 06:45:37 PM »
not necessarily horror, but economic themed gaming - I think I mentioned this on the podcast but I read a book on medieval maps a while back. All those sea monsters you see? Commissioned by clients - maps were status symbols back in the day so a fancy map with dragons and shit was more expensive than a plain and practical map.  I have this idea where the PCs are mapmakers hired to make a fancy ass map for a duke but the duchess doesn't like spending all the money on fancy decorations for the castle so she puts in a clause in the contract where the PCs have to prove whatever monsters they draw on the map actually exist - so they have to go on expeditions to find the damn things.

trinite

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Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2015, 08:53:48 PM »
Twisting H, I think you're talking about the Landsknechts

Exactly! Thank you Trinite.

Man, now I'm contemplating how much fun it would be to write a full-on "Red Markets: The Dark Ages" supplement, laying out a full conversion of the rules. Maybe I should wait until the game gets published...

Why not jot down a few notes while the idea is burning in your mind?


Eh, who cares about being mercenaries - I want to see a RM hack about medieval guilds and trade.

How would this work?  I'm not well versed in medieval guilds and trade and where the economic horror would be.  The only sparks that come to mind is playing a merchant caravan that say traveling along the Silk Road or whatever and barely breaking even.  Or a Dutch merchant ship where several parties have invested to share the risk and said parties are all on the same boat.  Just spitting random thoughts.

Well, whatever the flavor of Medieval we'd want to play, we'd need to do some flavorful revision of the Skill list. Shoot becomes Archery, Drive becomes Riding, Meme becomes Philosophy, and there's a new INT skill called Reading.

I'd like to replace Detachment, Trauma, and Stress with period-appropriate terms for psychological damage -maybe something like Despair, Terror, and Exhaustion. Or maybe go whole-hog historical, and have meters for the four Humors that go up and down.

I think we could add on a new category of Relationship called Servants, who demand upkeep like Dependents but provide practical services rather than emotional support. Some gear, like plate armor or horse armor, would require Servants as a part of Upkeep. I'd still keep Dependents and References as well.

I'd also add a stat called Fame or Honour which would be necessary for most retirement plans, and could only be earned by extremely public acts of bravery or piety. Retirement would most likely entail impressing a liege lord enough that he grants you land, or marrying into a landed family, or endowing a monastery with enough wealth (and/or salvaged relics) that they let you retire there as a monk.

For the closest historical Medieval analogue to the Red Markets setting, I'd probably go with Germany in 1350, at the height of the Black Death. The closest analogues to Latent and Immune status would probably be Leprous -- and maybe Jewish.
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