Some of it is intended to be tongue in cheek, some basic homage and the rest falls under calling a rabbit a rabbit.
I could throw out made up named and mire technobabble or I could put in the entry Honey I Shrunk the Shadowrunners. One major issue I encountered with this sub was keeping it relatively concise. Each entry easily expands out into its own sub and even grouo of subs for monsters and NPCs and dinguses. Go to Comment
Arcanotechnology created the Second Renaissance and lifted the world out of the Second Dark Age, the lights came back on with tremendous fanfare and much glorying, and man left Earth to colonize the Solar System. Entire new industries were born from the entire new category of mathematics, building techniques and materials, and the human genome became and malleable and changeable as a charm bracelet. Things are going pretty nicely.
There are several downsides to Arcanotechnology, and all of them revolve around dimensional contamination. The most common and known side effect is madness and mental/emotional instability in arcanotechnicians. This has lead to widespread improvements in psychiatric medical care, and an increase in the number of Mental Health Hospitals and Asylums. Medical treatments, including brain and behavior altering drugs can be administered to techs to delay the onset of contamination based insanity. In extreme cases, nerve stapling, artificial brain implants and disposable clones/droids are used to keep the lights on and the CogNet humming.
Breaches and Rifts
The larger issue that is more tightly controlled by the CogNet censors and data monitors are breaches and rifts. These are events where there is a bleed over between the alternate dimensions that the arcane devices penetrate to draw power from, or dump heat into, or use for quantum calculations. A breach is a temporary event, typically tied to a series of circumstances and events, that even if completely ignored, will close on its own. The most common cause of dimensional breaches are the destruction of small D-Engines, typically the sort found on battlemechs and other military vehicles. These emit cosmic radiation and dimensional contamination for a matter of minutes to a few hours. There are many other events that can cause breaches, such as excessive use of parapsychic abilities sustained across a period of time in one place.
A rift is a semi-permanent or permanent tear in the membranes between dimensions and these events quickly create contaminated wastelands and the contamination causes mutation, 'spiritual possession', mental degeneration, cancer, madness, and a host of exotic diseases and odd fortean events. Rifts are created by the catastrophic failure of large arcanotech devices, such as the multi-tiered Dimensional Engines used to power arcologies or the dimensional tap reactors used to power naval grade high energy weapons, mass drivers, and military spacecraft.
You can't Handle the Truth!
The existence of the phenomenon is known by the general public, and by the media, but it is constantly downplayed when an event occurs. The corporations, industrialists, and arcanotechnicians (especially senior ones) are well aware of the phenomenon and how often it occurs. The government and military leadership are also well aware of the threat posed by dimensional breaches and contamination.
Timeline of a Breach:
0: Breach Event occurs
+5 Min: Monitoring systems detect cosmic radiation signatures, silent alarms are sounded. Local L/AISC begins containment protocol. Breach notifications are sent to pertinent agencies and local military L/AISC. CogNet service outside of the local area is terminated, only local area network remains functional, but detached from the Global Net.
+10 Min: Rapid Response Team activated, stage two containment protocols begin. If inside an arco, the doors and bulkheads around the breach are sealed, and machinery in the area is deactivated.
+30 Min: VIP and priority personnel are evacuated from the breach zone. Local populace is placed on curfew/lockdown and law enforcement and paramilitary assets are activated under martial law protocols.
+1 Hour: Media Protocols activated, Event is covered as a local natural disaster (earthquake, chemical contamination event) or as a Terrorist Event.
+1 Day: Military assets are mobilized to the breach zone to reinforce local forces, or to establish a secondary quarantine around the contaminated zone. Rapid Response Units are deployed with high energy weaponry to clean and sweep the core contamination zone.
+3 Days: Secondary assets are deployed to the contamination zone, including Air Naval assets and other specialized and sanitation units.
The Dirty Dirty Secret
It is not entirely unknown that Arcanotech isn't always holesome. Inside arcanotech labs and upper echelon administration circles, the propensity for tech failures is known. This has lead to some brutal control techniques, such as nerve stapling, partial lobotomy, and the application of humans with artificial brain implants. The public is kept largely unaware of the threat posed by arcanotech, as few people would want to willingly live in a structure that is powered by an accident prone massive device that can tell reality to get bent, and then start puking out giant insects and intelligent dinosaurs or alien viruses.
As long as the eccentricities of arcanotech can be kept under wraps, the technology remains very profitable and the underpinning of the Cosmic Era civilization. If it became known the extents that the megacorps and governments have gone through to maintain the facade of safe tech, there would likely be revolts and rebellions. Go to Comment
Definitely a bunch of excellent plot points. Shove these on a random encounter table and you've got a near-endless supply of material for a "mop-up squad" of PCs.
Sidenote: I noticed something that seems like it should've been removed -- "Note to self: phase merge article, man-woman merged into single entity, human plant hybrid, human animal hybrid, force cyborg" Go to Comment
So much popular culture blended all into one. While not always original, certainly useful, swimming with content and obviously a lot of hard work went into it. The only reason it's not a full score is because a lot of it is unaltered from its source. Go to Comment
Interesting description, interesting setting info, high hopes for the future, then the GM note which explains the unseen dangers. This seems solid, but applying it seems a bit difficult outside the classic "the reactor is melting down, onoes!" and "the experiment went horribly, horribly wrong" plots. Go to Comment
I had to read this twice as I couldn't really wrap my head around what it was about, even after looking at the classifications. I dunno if those plentiful images did a number on my limited attention span. The later portion made more sense and did a good job of describing a society in decay, but the first portion going into detail describing the vehicles and stuff was a bit heavy-handed I felt. Overall though, well written and suiting for the setting. Go to Comment
I read through all of this thinking 'hey, this guy is pretty cool!', and then I saw your disclaimer at the end and Gossamer's comment about it being very similar to a lot of things she had already seen :(
whellp, I'm not as well versed as others in this stuff, and this sounded fun to me, so I'll give you that extra bit of score! Go to Comment