An informative piece, especially with the lifting stones, and showing how hardy of a people the Icelanders are. That being said, it's a bit on the mundane side, as in somewhat lacking in the fantastic. It is a bleak and treacherous place, inhabited by stoic fishermen, where is the hook to reel a group of PCs to their shore?
Appearance augmentation in the Cosmic era is ubiquitous, which does bring up a certain paradox. There is a drive to be attractive, but only to a certain point, if you are too attractive it can work against you, especially if you are female. Go to Comment
The visual/holographic projection is less useful that directly into the optic nerve or visual cortex, but the implants required for this are common, not universal. There is also the function of security and encryption. The holographic output allows for casual use, not allowing an unfamiliar, or a non-dedicated device (hey, can I borrow your phone?) to access brain access ports.
The Cosmic Era is indeed driven by advertising and marketing, and there is going to be a huge market for licenses cathexes, skins and other mods, and custom made muses with specific appearances. I would say one of the functions of the Muse is an advertising filter, with commerical muses being custom adjustable to block certain types of adverts, but most are not going to have a fully functional adblocking protocol, because that cuts off even so called friendly adverts. This is where the market comes from for unlocked muses, hacked muses, and custom muses. Go to Comment
Generally not, if you're doing CogNet aid either you're lucky enough to have put your own rig together and smart enough to find a way to get signal, or you're patronize a simsense parlour. Its the other side of Demolition Man where people are living in slums and eating rats instead of zipping around in self driving cars and eating at Michelin star awarded Taco Bells Go to Comment
The central idea of the cathex (terrible name) is the personal companion program. These programs are typically only capable of interacting with their owner, and are virtual guides, constant companions, and protectors. This would range from the 'imaginary' friends of children expanding out into entourages of personas swirling around powerful people, to the custom built speciality programs that work for shadow ops and shadowrunners Go to Comment
The observatories have orbits that keep them in the shadow of the large planets in the solar system. This isn't to hide them from Earth, but rather protect them and block out radiation and light from the sun. The hiding aspect just works in their favor, plus most of the high end secret stuff is out past the asteroid belt, far away from Earth. There are ships and people flying around in them but something like a flight out to Saturn or further is similar to a modern trip to Antarctica, something generally only done by the military and scientists. Go to Comment
That could certainly work, but then you end up with a large and unwieldy codex, like the random encounter codices we made. They are massive. I also have no idea how useful they are, or if they are just monuments we've piled up and walk around. Go to Comment
The Chicago stockyards are my favorite of the 11/30 listed. The rest are an interesting mix of crypto-conspiracy and modern mythos and I like that a lot. There are a couple of things that come to mind to add to this.
There's nothing about the Nazis. There needs to be some Nazi wonder weapon secret lair.
Australia and the dreamtime
Devils Triangles and missing cruise ships
Dinosaur cryptids or isolated locations with dinos.
Cold War era simulations, like the American city replicated in Russia to train spies
An Ember/Matrix like buried vault city Go to Comment
I like this idea, and I can see it being used to literally create a new race, add a new check box after White, Latino, Black, Asian, and Pacific Islander to represent the new space friendly, genetically screened, future of humanity Go to Comment
I love both the concept and the complication, you simply cannot control copy control paste skills and competencies into someone's brain without it throwing all sorts of code errors and funny figures, like copying a document from one program and pasting it into another, but not seeing the new figures and weirdness until it's too late to do anything about it. Go to Comment
The PCs encounter a strange set of artistic drawings done on the ground as they pass through a city. It has been done in chalks and no one saw who did it. Wizards might recognize the writing within the colored square as an obscure and dead language with a message stating that a prominent wizard and a retired bard have discovered how to populate Arcadia with the spirits of the dead!
Is it a local hoax, or are the PCs crossing the path of a very deranged and possibly dangerous mage?